08 August 2012

FRESH GROUNDS: Why I Believe Life and Family are Worth Standing Up For

I am the eldest of 7 children.  My parents got married at a very young age – my dad was 18 and my mom was 20.  My mom gave birth to me when she was 21.  I could never imagine how life was for both of them back then.... two young people with so much of life ahead having to face the responsibility of parenting early on. 

I’m quite sure they had their individual dreams to pursue and plans to fulfill.  Perhaps having a family at such a young age wasn’t part of it.  But they made a decision and that choice gave me life. 
Not having a child would have been the easier choice, but despite both of them having to finish their studies and raising me up as their daughter at the same time, my parents decided  to have me.   
Eventually, our family grew - from one child to seven.  Admittedly, my mom once shared that she tried taking birth control pills for fear of the responsibility of having more children.  But she stopped when she later on discovered and began to feel the side effects of it.    A growing family would mean more responsibilities, major accountabilities, more financial obligations and more lives to take care of.  It was tough.  But my parents are still together, married for the past 37 years and counting.  We lost our family business but we managed to make it through rough times together.  (related article: Simply Letting Go
So I can say that I am indeed blessed to belong to a “big” family.  Blessed in spite of the challenges and difficulties we went through.  Amidst relationship conflicts, financial difficulties, emotional trials… it is sometimes tempting to think that, “I wish I have a smaller family”.  But without them, my life would mean nothing and I wouldn’t be the person I was meant to be. 
I simply realized that even if God gave us the freedom to choose, in the end, what will matter most is the fulfillment of His design for our life.  He blessed our lives with situations, people, experiences which are vital for us to live our life to the fullest. 


However way I choose to make a stand… it is my personal advocacy. 
I believe in “freedom to choose” based on what is morally right, not on what is perceived to be acceptable. 
If there is one thing I am thankful for about my parents, it is giving me the freedom to make my own decisions ever since I was young.  I guess I earned this right by proving to them that my decisions will always be based on the principles and norms they have instilled within me. 
Freedom is a right we already earned the moment God created us. Nobody can deprive us of our freedom to make decisions.  The issue I believe lies in the choices we are allowed to make.  It is very easy for us to think that we are choosing what is good… but what may appear to be good doesn’t always mean that it is right.   I’m not against making a choice… I stand against being given wrong options to take.  
I value the sacredness of sex and sanctity of marriage. 
Growing up, my mom never failed to remind me to value my purity.  She often says that my virginity is the highest form of gift I can give, not only to my husband-to-be, but also to myself.  Being in a relationship for 4 years before getting married, my husband and I faced a lot of challenges and temptations to keep ourselves pure. Reality is, it is never easy, but with God’s grace, I made it to the altar pure and joyful to offer myself before God.     
The surefire way to have a satisfying and safe sex life is to do it with your husband or wife. 
Sex should be a “S-acred Ex-perience” and not just “S-omething Ex-citing”.  It shouldn’t be something young people can just choose to do with whoever and whenever they wish.
Sex is something my husband and I “S-hare Ex-clusively”.   It is not something married men and women can choose to do with people other than their spouse.  
I believe that every child is a blessing and not a burden.
Personally, I am inspired by how my parents – amidst the financial burdens – strived and persevered to provide for a big family.  Against all odds, they were willing to make sacrifices and this for me, goes beyond responsible parenting.  It is proper stewardship of the lives they were blessed to care for. 
As a parent, myself, I fully embrace my role as a mom.  Together with my husband, we are accountable and responsible for the young lives entrusted to us.   We highly prefer Natural Family Planning.  Although in our case, it is not to space or control the number of children we wish to have, but more in the line of hoping to achieve.  Not everyone is blessed to have a lot of children.  Natural Family Planning promotes to benefit those who wish to space and those who desire to have more.   (related article: The Gift of Life)
I believe in giving only the best to the people I care about in life. 
Responsible parenthood also means that we are accountable for the welfare of our family and that of our own.  Parents would naturally desire to give only what’s best for their family in every aspect of their lives, including health and safety.  We choose gifts that they deserve best – nothing fake… nothing artificial.  We make sure that they experience the wonderful things life has to offer.  We teach them to appreciate the natural beauty within.    
Artificial is defined as something that is fake, false, unnatural and an imitation.  So how can we qualify use of unnatural and artificial means as being responsible… as wanting only the best for our family?
I believe that everyone has the right to live.    
Life begins from the very moment of conception.   Murder is not the solution to unwanted pregnancy.   Rather it is chastity and prudence.   It is not proper to say that these innocent souls are reflections of regret, fear and guilt brought about by the wrong-doing of another.  Every child brings new hope, new life.  They are the very miracle that can promise new beginnings.     

Raised by devout Catholic parents…  molded and grounded from Catholic school studies… 4 years in a College that places utmost value to Christian living… pro-active involvement in a Catholic organization…

Some may think of me as a conservative, religious fanatic, but my belief goes beyond this – it is part of who I am.   
My values and beliefs make up the person I am destined to be.  It is part of my identity. 

I choose to stand for the very things I care about - life and family.  To go against what I value in life would mean going against the very essence of my being.

Regardless of my political views and religious background, my life is a testimony of what it means to stand for life.  I am alive because my parents had chosen what is right… not because they didn’t have a choice… but because they knew where their hearts stood.








2 comments:

  1. Dear Sam, thank you for sharing this to us. I honor you for standing up for your convictions. I particularly can relate to "to go against what I value in life would mean going against the very essence of my being". All my life, I have been taught to value life at all cost and all kinds of life - yound or old, born or unborn. We may have advanced in technology but the truth that life begins from fertilization would always remain true. In these present times of "instants" (instant coffee, etc), we think that a pill or condom would be an instant solution. The easier way isn't always the right way. I stand for true responsible parenthood which is Purity and Chastity.

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    1. Indeed, it is inspiring to know that there are still a lot of people like you - singlepilgrimsjourney - who continue to believe and value life for what it really is.

      thank you very much for sharing your thoughts as well!

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