Blessed to live

live free bigI 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 can’t imagine how life was for both of them back then — two young people with a life ahead of them 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, 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, fearing the responsibility of having more children. But she stopped when she later discovered and began to feel its side effects. 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.

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, “I wish I had 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, 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.

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.

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