By Yay Padua-Olmedo

“I am the master of my destiny.” Or so I thought. Until Cyd.

Earlier in my career, a former colleague called me to rejoin her in the company we both served.

“I’m happy where I am now,” I told her — sure that I was beyond convincing. In our back-and-forth, she offered me a salary I could not resist; so I went back to this former employer — convinced that I was smokin’ hot.

Never did I realize that God was brewing His own recipe, not buttering my ego.

It was in this company where I met the former Cyd Latunio, a Corporate Planning analyst.

Our offices were neighbors, so Cyd and I managed to chat between work. To my surprise, I felt at ease around her, even if I was initially intimidated by her — she seemed really smart.

Yet there was something about her. Cyd was friendly and easily laughed at the slightest provocation. Yet she never told off-color jokes, nor spoke ill of others.

“I want whatever she has,” I thought. It felt good to be around her. In contrast, I complained a lot and easily found fault in others — that was low-self-esteemed-me masquerading as intolerant-high-and-mighty-me.

It did not take long for me to discover that Cyd was a believer, and with the Philippine Campus Crusade for Christ. The more she spoke about Jesus, the more I gravitated to her.

But it was not just her words. She demonstrated Jesus.

Cyd invited me one day to a balikbayan’s gospel concert in a hotel. I didn’t need convincing. At this point, she had me — hook, line and sinker.

Here I was, plagued with insecurity, unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness, and fear — one faced with tsunami-like issues — and I was drowning in them.

That night, a different sort of flood engulfed me: “God loves me, unconditionally!” I never knew that. “It’s by faith and grace, not works.” “Repent.” “Confess Jesus as your Savior and Lord.” Who could refuse that? I asked Jesus into my heart.

That night I slept like a baby, for the first time in many years. So this was what being born again meant.

Change? Too many to mention here. Miracles? Likewise. My story is not finished yet. All my days are in Jesus’ hands.

Cyd may have gone to heaven ahead of us (She succumbed to kidney failure some time after she married and bore her son.); but many of those she discipled still bear her light.