The Personal Testimony of Sis Haydz Banigan, BCBP Las Pinas
“If there is anything you need in your life, pray to God for it” was what my mom taught us, her nine children. I grew up praying for everything I needed like “Lord, if you are going to give me a husband, don’t give me someone who womanizes or someone who drinks” and “Lord, let me finish my college education, have a job so I could send all my siblings to school”.
True to what my mom taught me, my prayers were answered. For thirty six years I enjoyed immensely the fruit of obedience, prayers, study and work. My husband’s income as a certified public accountant and a lawyer plus my earnings as an exclusive marketing arm for the first telemagazine show, The Probe Team, was more than enough for the whole family (three children) to enjoy a very comfortable life. We looked to the future, with much anticipation of a secured, happy old age together. When our eldest got married, we started to feel the effects of what they called “empty nest syndrome”. And we said, “kaya natin”.
However, God had other plans. Manny, my husband, died after a four-year battle with cancer, a year after our second child got married. His hospitalization drained all our resources and left us with nothing. Suddenly, I was alone. Our “kaya natin” did not happen, I was left alone to go through the “empty nest syndrome” and to grapple with loneliness, helplessness and grief.
In hindsight, our being invited to join the BCBP, a Catholic community, in l982 was part of God’s plan for me to see how I could cope, not only with my life as a wife and mother but more so with my life as a widow, a retired senior citizen receiving a pension that could hardly meet my basic needs.
What should I do with my situation … cry, be angry with the world, be resentful or despairing? Will any of these change my situation? I realized that no matter what I do, I wouldn’t be able to do anything to make and have the things I used to enjoy – a husband, money, children, a good life, etc.
I immersed myself in prayer because that is what God said in scripture, that He would take care of me. Even when I am old and gray, He will provide for me, and my life can still be beautiful because of Him.
As I look back on the last five years, I can not help but thank our Lord for having brought us to the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals and the Ang Ligaya Ng Panginoon Community. The coping with what I thought was a “lonely life” was not as lonely after all. I have learned how to accept situations as they come (financial, physical), adjust to what I have and be contented with blessings coming from everyone, specially from my children, my siblings and my community. I am still active in attending and serving my brothers and sisters in community and I smile a lot because I no longer have expectations, I am just happy with who I am, what I am now and what I will be in the future.
Sis Haydz is the widow of Bro Manny Banigan, the first president of the BCBP. Sis Haydz continues to be active in her BCBP chapter as an action group leader for single and widowed women. May the Lord continue to bless this very inspiring sister in the Lord.