I did not volunteer, but I was chosen. I believe God chose me because I had thought that He had forgotten about me. I’ve always had questions popping in my head, like, Why am I going through such a lot, God?…. Don’t you love me anymore?….Why am I always feeling sad, angry and lonely every day?…. Isn’t it enough that I’m looking after my Mum?…. Why did you have to take my grandmother’s life, Lord? She was my only best friend, and the only one I relied on for help. There are many more questions: Why? Why? Why?
I was angry at God. I didn’t like praying. Whenever we had prayers at home, I would lie in my room and come out when prayers were about to finish. And if I had to go to Mass with my family, it would just be for the sake of attending because it’s a Sunday. I would do anything just to make my parents angry.
My parents had a hard time with me. I have always thought that my parents did not love me, because I was brought up differently from my other siblings. I come from a family of six and I am the third eldest. I was brought up by my grandmother and sometimes I would feel that I was being treated differently at home. In fact, I got so angry that I didn’t want to accept them as my parents.
I’ve always wished that my grandparents were my real parents. But at one point this year, at the beginning of Lent I stopped to look back at my life, so I started praying because I wanted peace in my heart. I wanted God in my life. I thought it was too late. I saw the way my parents saw me, the way they thought of me.
It was so painful to see my parents so angry with the person I was. They saw me in a different way. Two weeks before the crosswalk, Father Tavite Naiveli, our parish priest, came and asked me if I could take part in the crosswalk this year; I was so happy. But my family didn’t think I would make it.
As for me, I knew that God had answered my prayers. This would be the way, the first step, that I would change my life. That same day was our medical check up [for entry into the walk]. Even though I did not pass my first medical checkup, I did not give up.
The second medical checkup, I also did not pass; still I did not give up. I had to find another doctor to get another opinion. I was praying so hard that I would pass my medical check up with a different doctor. This doctor heard a slight heart murmur, so I had to have an ECG done, and thank God, this time nothing was found. Finally I had my certificate.
In the early morning of March 23, 2013, 90 youths of the Central Eastern, led by an inspirational young priest named Fr. Papila Tonga of Nausori parish, commemorated the death of Jesus on Calvary. I was so scared, and I thought I wasn’t going to make it.
That same Saturday I prayed and asked God to give me a sign to make me feel that I was following the right path and that going for the crosswalk was no mistake and He did. That same morning we were the first group to carry the cross, it was so emotional. Tears were just running down my cheeks. Following in Jesus’s footsteps is not easy, but if you put your mind and heart into praying and singing, you won’t feel a single pain.
Along the way the committee did different dramas about family life. It was very touching; they had different messages and one in particular made me realize how I was hurting the feelings of my parents, family and friends without knowing it. It opened my eyes and my heart to ask for forgiveness. I found this very hard, especially to ask it from my parents.
But this crosswalk made me realize how important my parents are to me and my life. It made me realize how important it is to obey them and how strong our faith can be if we put our mind and heart into praying and singing. I believe that after the crosswalk, I can say my faith has grown stronger.
“Last year I left school to look after my Mum. I was not prepared for it. At first I was angry because I don’t have any experience in looking after the sick, but now I realize that, that was one way God was trying to build back a bond between a mother and a daughter.
When I was young I cannot recall the day I felt a mother’s love from my own mother. I can’t recall any hug or kiss that made me feel like her daughter. I guess God wanted me to look after my Mum, so that we can build a bond. I thank God for building that missing bond between my Mum and me. The crosswalk made me realize my mistakes in life. It made me stronger in spirit, and also strengthened my faith as a Catholic youth.”
“This crosswalk was amazing; I would love to share my experience with other youth, family and friends. I’ve learned a lot on this walk. Just recalling the walk, it’s like doing a drama from which you exit as a different person, one who was at the beginning very closed and with a heart as hard as a stone. But we return with new hearts, a new life and completely changed persons.
When you put your mind and heart into what you are praying for, believe me you will get it. Whenever you sing or pray, every single word means a lot. Before the walk, we were told that we will only be praying and singing during the walk, and that through this, and with faith, we can achieve anything in life.
Remember that God is always there even when you think He is not. He will always love you even if you think you are a very sinful person. Even if you think that no one loves you, or feel like the world has turned its back on you, God is always beside you, guiding you, ready to listen to you and help you.
God will make miracles in your life, if only you put your life in His hands. Always make Him number one in your life. I find myself very lucky to have participated in this year’s crosswalk. I believe I was chosen and the only thing that’s left is for me to spread how good the Lord is in our lives.”