A few days ago, our leaders asked us to give feedback regarding the recently concluded CLP or Christian Life Program that we attended in the BCBP Alabang chapter. I know right? This is so not me joining this kind of programs, right? Go ahead and judge me. Haha!
Sometime in July, Jeff told me that we are attending something on Saturday afternoon. He said it’s gonna take about 2-3 hours and we can do our usual Saturday plans. Sure, I said. He continued on telling me that it’s the same group of people he’s been meeting during Saturday mornings for breakfast in Alabang Country Club. I mean, he isn’t a regular there. He goes maybe once a month. He took me there sometime last year. I remember it was Tito Frank and his wife who gave the talk. It was a tearjerker, but I tried really hard not to cry because come on, who cries infront of strangers? We went home after the talk and thought to myself, so this is what my husband does during Saturday mornings?
Jeff was invited by his high school friend, Peter. He has been persistent on inviting the two of us to attend, telling us that it won’t be a problem that I’m a Protestant. BCBP or Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals is basically a Catholic group and their main goal is to bring Christ in the workplace. Thinking about it, they actually have a point. We go to church once a week, with some activities here and there, but it ends there. After the mass or service, we leave our God at church and go about with our personal lives in the next six days of the week.
Anyway, the first session was July 8. Husbands and wives were on separate groups. Jeff was on Men’s Table 3, and I was in Women’s Table 3. Noky was our discussion leader, Vera the assistant discussion leader, and Andrea was the intercessor. They handed us a sheet of paper asking us for prayer requests and intentions. It’s been a while since someone actually asked me what I want them to pray for me, so I had to think hard. Jeff has just resigned at that time and so top of mind would be financial blessings. My other tablemates are Vida, Dimples, Chinkee, and Ardith.
It was a good talk. There’s Felix who’s MC-ing the program. He gave some info about the CLP — how it’ll go and how long it’ll take to finish. He said thirteen weeks. WAIT. I didn’t know it was thirteen weeks. Jeff said it’ll only take 2-3 hours. Well, he wasn’t really wrong, HE JUST DIDN’T TELL ME IT’S A THIRTEEN-WEEK PROGRAM!!! On our way home, he told me that we can stop attending if I don’t feel comfortable. I was still grumpy, but whatever.
The next couple of weeks, I would just drag myself out of my lazy Saturday self to get ready for the session. There’s a mass before the CLP, and Jeff knows that until now, I would opt to skip the mass part. He gets it and never forces me to attend. Hey, don’t judge. I wasn’t raised a Catholic.
The CLP started growing on me. There was this one particular Saturday, August 5 to be exact, that I had an event in Alabang and I told my tablemates that I won’t be able to attend. But my event ended early and Jeff said that I can still make it. I actually did! I was surprised that they were so happy to see me. In my mind, we’re still strangers meeting on weekends, sharing the story of our lives with each other because they won’t judge.
I noticed that we started having more pictures every week. Most of the time we’re complete, sometimes one or two are not there. I found myself in constant contact with the ladies of our group. If there’s one thing we’re popular about, it’s that we consume a lot of Chocnut, Flat Tops, and tissues in the table. Us women love sugar and crying! Didn’t help that Noky is there, and Vida is there. Haha! Their stories are not for me to share, but I just feel the urge to cry everytime I listen to them. I myself cry a lot, too.
Soon, we started saying no to Saturday commitments because Saturdays are for CLP. There were days that we weren’t even able to go to my parents in Antipolo because the session ended late. We were able to attend almost all sessions, save for that one Saturday that I had to attend my friend’s daughter’s 7th birthday and that other one that we were in Korea.
We finally graduated from the CLP last September 30. Thirteen weeks and we made it!
For those who don’t know, I grew up serving the church. I was raised as a Protestant by my parents. They too are Catholics before that, even sending me to a Catholic school. I was part of the music ministry for a long time, then suddenly, I stopped going to church. Painful experiences more often than not, get the best of us.
CLP was a safe place for me and Jeff to practice our faiths. It was a neutral ground. I wasn’t comfortable going to mass, as he was not when I took him a few times with me to Victory. No judgement please, we are all just raised and wired differently. They sing Hillsong and raise their hands during praise and worship. They even have an entire session for the baptism of the Holy Spirit! I’ve been baptized before and it feels good to be experiencing it again.
The past thirteen weeks is my redemption. I am a proof that no matter where you go, no matter where you hide, if you’ve found the Lord once in your life, He will never stop taking you back. He has always found a way to take me back, and this time He used my husband. Who would’ve thought that forcing me to attend the first session would lead to this?
I thought Jeff was just attending the BCBP for contacts and networks for our businesses, but we found something else. We found new friends and a renewed purpose. 🙂