A Heart That Honors God – A Christ-Centered Life
How do you live a Christ-centered life?
Every one of us has goals and dreams. But sometimes because of our desire to reach them, we miss the most important things in life. We miss the very purpose of our existence.
God called His people to be set apart in this world. We don’t just live to achieve our goals and to be successful. We are here to make a difference and to live a Christ-centered life.
Sharing with you a story of how a woman changed her perspective in life when she experienced depression in reaching her goals and dreams.
God did not promise that our life will be easy but He assured us that He will walk alongside us as we go through it.
Growing up, my life was far from perfect. My parents would really work so hard just to send us to school and give us a comfortable life. They would often remind us to study hard because that’s the only thing that they can give us. They also said that education is the wealth that stays with you no matter what. I took that homework to heart so I strove for excellence and always aimed for honors when I was a child.
My parents did not put pressure on me to get high grades, but I knew in my heart that they were always proud of me whenever I would get a medal. My grandparents would give me gifts after every Recognition Day. I even got accelerated when I was in grade school, and I graduated with honors. My life revolved around my studies. That was the choice I made early in life.
My Journey As A Young Christian
I came to know the Lord at a young age. My Tita on my mom’s side would bring me and my younger sister to a Christian church and let us attend Sunday school. I accepted the Lord not just once but many times because I thought my salvation was anchored on being a good girl and in praying. I didn’t fully understand grace at that time.
Life became complicated as I learned more about things in life. As a typical teenager, I had a lot of insecurities and troubles. I had issues with my Dad, being alcoholic; he was also into cockfighting.
As I entered college in UP, I had learned that life is not fair. I have seen the disparities between my life coming from a simple family and that of my classmates coming from well-to-do families.
From a simple, studious girl, I became very insecure, and I began comparing myself with others. I did not rebel from my parents, but my drive to push myself to excel and to have a better life became more pronounced.
The Struggle Within
I became so self-centered that I miss to appreciate my family, especially the hard work of my parents. As I started working, the pressure to reach my goals was so strong. I had big ambitions, I had set a very high standard for myself, and I even aimed to really make a big difference for the country. I took up Public Administration for my masters, because in my mind, I want to make a radical change in the education sector.
While juggling work, studies, and some kind of a “love life”, I experienced depression. That was the time that I hit rock bottom. My family was very supportive of me as I was going through that ordeal. That experience changed my perspective in life. I then understood grace.
Living A Christ-Centered Life
I’ve learned that I am not capable of anything apart from God. I realized that I was so blessed to have a very loving family—my mom and dad, my siblings, and my relatives. I also learned that life is not all about success in the worldly perspective. Life is not all about work. That was my biggest realization.
From then on, I have learned to chill in life, and I discovered many things. I learned photography. I got involved in Backstreet Kids Ministry—a ministry at Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF) which helps the marginalized community. Interestingly, I also developed a love for travelling.
Suffering from depression was really a humbling experience for me. It was a curse I thought, but it became a blessing because I have learned to appreciate life better, and because of that I recognized the Lordship of Jesus in my life. It was really a turning point, a good one.
I thought after graduating from my masters I would join the public service to fulfill my goal to contribute something for the country. But because I am not allowed to experience so much stress because of my condition, I remained serving in a private Christian school. I have no regrets because God gave me opportunities to minister to young people.
Blessed & Grateful @ 40
Right now, I am already reaping the rewards of my hard labor when I was a young teacher. My former students are now professionals, businessmen, career people, excelling in their field. It’s very rewarding to see them today. Although it makes me feel old every time I see them, I would always tell them that I am forever 21.
My almost 20-year career as a teacher made me realize that life is not really about me and what the world say about my accomplishments. I realized that the audience of One is more than enough to please.
I have learned to work for my big boss, Jesus.
With or without people looking at me, I am driven to excel because I know that my life is never about me but it’s all about God. It is His story through me.
God’s Continuous Work in My Life
God continues to fulfill His promises in my life to this day that I turned 40. He continues to fulfill the dreams and goals I had when I was young. Today, He is growing my business at a tremendous pace. I consider this as my new ministry – my new assignment.
I’m amazed at how the Lord has been using Plant Project PH to reach out to people and to be a blessing to many. I thought at first, it was just for my parents to do something at home, and to add a stream of income for me, but it’s now far beyond how I imagined it to be. It’s way out of my comfort zone. This is really something new, but now, I am seeing how the Lord has prepared me for this new assignment.
My teaching, my love for nature and photography, my advocacy to fight the stigma of depression, my longtime goal to make a difference in the country, all these, little by little are unfolding right before my very eyes. It’s also a legacy that my Dad has left me with—to start small but to dream big.
I humbly ask for your prayers as I take this new assignment that God has given me. Indeed, in every season, God is faithful; God is good. To Him be all the glory and praise!
About Jennie Agcaoili
She is a teacher by profession and a life-long learner. A travel enthusiast, a hobbyist photographer, a plant lover, a legit “Tita of Manila,” a committed follower of Jesus and the owner and founder of Plant Project PH. Her teaching, her love for nature and photography, her advocacy to fight the stigma of depression, her longtime goal to make a difference in the country, all these, have contributed to where Plant Project is today. She is an advocate of nature therapy—reconnecting with nature to nurture your well-being. She supports programs that empower the youth and the marginalized sector. Plant Project PH has been instrumental in fulfilling her mission to contribute a positive impact to the society and make a difference in the lives of the people.
Share Your Story
I know every one of us has a story to share.A story on how God taught you…
… to forgive,
… to be still amidst the storms of life,
… to be faithful,
… to be a loving and respectful spouse,
…to be a mom or a dad with unconditional and sacrificial love,
… and so much more.
Bless and inspire other people with your own story on how God is teaching your heart to be ..
THE HEART THAT IS GOOD!
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Share your story because your story matters to God!