“My 180 Degrees Story” Nicholas Lolin (Batch 9-10)

My name is Nicholas Lolin – drummer, singer, and videographer for 180 Degrees Music Team Batch 10.

Growing up, I was never really social. Interacting with people was something that I wanted, but never really liked when the situation actually presented itself. My understanding of human interaction was limited.

Given this it was no surprise that I only had about 1-3 consistent friends growing up.  Add to that the fact that I barely knew how to act around other kids; I became an outcast. Most people ridiculed and bullied me everyday from 2nd to 6th grade. I hated school. Being weird, outcast, bullied, and not having a deep understanding of basic human interaction, made me the perfect recipe for loneliness.

And for the most part, that’s what I was. An angry, bitter, and lonely kid trying to be himself that didn’t know why he was alone.

I felt unloved. Don’t get me wrong, I knew that I was loved, but I couldn’t help but feel the way that I did. I became weary of people. Every time I was presented with a situation wherein I was going to meet new people, the tough moments I’ve had with people would enter my mind. The darkness overpowered whatever good things there were. I asked God why He’d even let me be born. I didn’t see the purpose of living because for the most part I only felt pain. I wanted a way out. I wanted to die.

It was either the people I hated died, or I did. That’s all I saw.

But thankfully I did feel that love. The pain that I felt opened a door for me to be advised and comforted by my uncle. And it was through his pieces of advice that I wanted to cultivate my mind more into wisdom. So I continued searching for it through God’s word.

I started being active in our church’s music ministry; I became more attentive during sermons and joined the youth group. I met a lot of people that I could call true friends during these times. It was through these experiences that I got to develop some of the things that I lacked with regards to interacting with people and understanding them. I felt the joy of fellowship consistently, and for the first time, my distrust with people was overpowered.

Now of course, going to church means that you get to encounter messages tackling many different topics, but amongst all of them, the most prominent message that I noticed and remembered were those about sharing the gospel; going out and intentionally letting people know of Jesus.

I felt the need to share the gospel, but I always thought that I didn’t know enough about people to be able to approach them about it. So I started looking at the skills that I had and tried to find a way for me to fulfill The Great Commission by using them. It was through this self-evaluation that I thought of joining a music organization that had made its presence felt throughout my life, 180 Degrees, that my family is heavily involved in. I decided to do this so that I could use the skills that I considered to be my best – music.

It was then that my journey of being Christ’s worker in missions began. During the first few months in my first year as a member of 180, I got exposed to many things related to music and missions. These were the days when God was equipping me for what was to come. We attended seminars, workshops, and went through a lot of learning and preparation before we even got started doing ministry work as Batch 9.   Despite all the good times, I also encountered many challenges. From the physically stretching, to the emotionally stretching, there were many different things that presented themselves in order to show me the tougher side of what I was getting into. By the grace of God, I was able to endure and mostly maintain composure amidst these.

Thankfully, God gave me people who stuck around with me even at my lows, when I acted my worst, and when we all had to suffer and endure together. It was these people inside 180 and outside that made me hold on, even if just a little.

God used these people, and my struggles to help me become wiser and stronger, as previous struggles did once before. My pain made me grow a passion to help people who felt the same. The wisdom that I’d gained gave me a way to help the people that needed it. And the twists and turns in my life prepared me for the trials and tribulations that come with missions and spreading the gospel.

I began to see that the purpose of my pain was to prepare me for what was to come when I would do God’s work.

It was both the bitterness and the love that I felt throughout my life that made me who I am now.  So despite the pain, I am thankful. Despite not seeing the point to all of it back then, I do now. Had I given up when I was a child, had I quit life, I would’ve never seen that today is worth all of the pain.