Have you ever wondered why we have pebbles and not just big rocks?
How about flowers made from all sorts of sizes, shapes and colors and not just one?
Why is it that a tiny creature such as a bug, has such a beautiful, golden green color as its shell?
Colossians 1:16 NLT
“…for through Him, God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see–such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him.”
“He works in mysterious ways.”
How often do we hear this phrase? Very often to most of us and maybe to some this will be the first time you will read about this. In this article, allow me to let you delve deeper how God works and the amazing things that He has done not just to me but to the people around me. As much as I want to keep all things private in my personal life, I believe God wanted me to share some of them as a testimony of His Grace and His Love.
If you are to read my previous articles, it’ll give you an idea what are the current struggles that I am going through. And yes, I was on the point of hopelessly giving up. I am engaged and my fiance and I were planning to tie the knot next year. The quicker the time passes by, the more conflicts arise, the more challenging the trials become.
One of them is saving for the wedding. We both wanted a simple and intimate wedding for two reasons – it wouldn’t be costly and we wanted to share it with those who know us really well. But I am in this situation wherein I could not contribute anything to the expenses with the meager allowance I am getting out of my sister’s generosity to help me finish my graduate study in UP. I am in my last part of my graduate study finishing my thesis and I was advised by my thesis adviser that finishing it will require me to go full time in my master’s degree meaning I cannot get married this year or get a job.
I can only hope for my fiance’s savings at work which are not enough. We attended the Marriage Preparation seminar and it was discussed there that leaving your spouse to work abroad and earn enough to provide for your family is not the solution. You have to be with your spouse always because that is the commitment you have made when you got married – only death can do both of you part. My fiance considered about this option of working abroad. It became one of the conflicts we had to deal with. He was determined, I tried talking him out of it but to no avail. Until I came up with the decision that we would have to cancel the engagement for the meantime then pursue me again when we are both financially ready.
He doesn’t want to sacrifice the relationship over a career abroad. And yet both of us have no clues how to get married without having to borrow any single cent from anyone. We both agreed to just take things just as they are, leave them be and trust God for provisions. But sometimes it doesn’t come as easy as it sounds – pressure from friends and families asking about the wedding can sometimes be the cause of again facing that conflict wherein temper gets loose, impatience creeps in and negativity overtakes our thoughts.
Every night I would pray and I can’t help but cry out my pleas for help to the Lord. I waited but no answer came, we are still both in the same situation. But it was during those times that I did nothing but pray every morning and every night, devote more time to bible reading and gathering all devotion I could get. I know it is only through His Word that I will get my strength and courage and not give up. I always keep in mind that this relationship is different than my previous relationship because God gave me this when I was already a Christian – this was not a mistake. I will use my free will to honor God by honoring the commitment and by holding on to the beautiful promise that He wanted for both me and my fiance – to fulfill the Holy Matrimony.
Then came more conflicts which involves the families, attitudes, habits, relations with other people, priorities, the past mistakes, temptations, goals – every weakness we both have, God brought them all out into the open. The relationship was like a battle ship attacked from all sides by canyons, tossed to and fro in the sea.
But there is a God.
And I was grateful I was saved. One time when we broke up, someone from my past (an ex boyfriend), contacted me after 2 years of no communication. 4 years ago, we broke up violently to the point that I attempted to commit suicide, never had the chance to apologize to each other and yet I thank him for he is the reason why I got saved and I am where I am now. Exactly the time that my fiance and I decided to call things off, my ex boyfriend called me past midnight and told me he was dared by his best friend. I can tell that he was a bit drunk and this is what he told me,
“Tin, I am leaving for Australia for good. I just want to tell you that if you haven’t been too possessive on me, I would’ve married you.”
His best friend, in the background, shouted this, “You rocked his world!”
Well, I don’t know if I should be happy with what I heard but I took it as our formal closure. I could not remember if I got the chance to apologize because I was tongue-tied – he was telling the truth. Because exactly at that moment when my fiance and I broke up, it was for that very same reason, AGAIN. After he said his goodbyes, I can’t help but cry.
God, at that moment, was telling me that I need to learn from my mistake or I will end up losing another person I love and a precious relationship that could have been lived out beautifully. It was a sign to save the current relationship I have before it is too late – a reminder. It was my being possessive to the point that I was jealous of everyone around him that ruined the relationship and I could not enjoy my moments with him anymore. God does not want me to go through the same mistake because He has saved me from that already.
Ephesians 2:10 NLT
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
I know I am being put to a test right now – to prove that indeed I am new in Christ and the old has gone. It is through my fiance that God was finishing the work that He began in me – how to learn to trust someone who has a past as dark as mine and yet is not yet devoted in his faith. But I know too that through the tests, God will always be with me to make sure that I overcome the greatest weakness I have – my insecurities. I was just amazed that God reminded me of what I wrote in the placard during my Foundations for Victory class’ last day presentation.
Foundations for Victory is a month-long class after your water and holy baptism which we call in church, the Victory Weekend. Its purpose is to equip you in your spiritual journey by establishing your faith with the biblical foundations. And last night, I took a photo of what I wrote in the placard which was the old me before salvation versus the new me after salvation:
Philippians 1:6 NLT
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”
I can tell for certain that this relationship was given to me not to see me fail again but God wanted to help me overcome them consequences now that I am already saved. But my question was always this, “Father, my fiance is not a devoted Christian, how can we make our relationship work if You are not the center of his life?”
Again, I was basing everything on what I see and hear, not trusting God and His plans. I always rely on my own understanding and yet again, I was reminded:
Proverbs 3:5 NLT
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.”
During the Marriage Preparation seminar, we had a workshop wherein the couples have to answer a set of questions and these are the questions.
1. Is it God’s plan for me to marry? Why? How do I know this?
2. Is it God’s plan for me to marry the person I am with? Why? How did God reveal this to you?
After answering, I told my fiance that I am not going to read his answers at that moment, I’ll just read them during our wedding. But after the several conflicts we have had and on the verge of losing hope for the relationship, I re-read our Marriage Preparation booklet and I stumbled upon our answers – I read my fiance’s. I got another confirmation from the Lord – we both have similar answers. And his was even more beautiful:
1. “Yes. God wanted me to experience His blessings (having children and a happy family) because I am His child.”
I cried, I was humbled. I was so wrong. How could I even doubt his faith when faith is a personal relationship with the Lord? It is between you and Him. How could I be so doubtful, so assuming, not trusting the Lord and His plans? How could I judge him so wrongly?
But then, there came the enemy filling me again with doubts: Are you sure your fiance wrote it sincerely? Or he was just playing along with the questions and he knows what answer he is expected to write to please you?
Doubts. Enough with the doubts. Enough with the deception that the enemy has been trying to lure me ever since. Enough with my insecurities. I know my God. My God is the greatest God and He will do anything to keep me and my faith. I may have fallen at times but right now He requires me to stand and fight for Him until my last breath – put into practice what He has taught and trust in the Spirit’s leading. It is not for me to know what happens in the future, He just wants me to trust and obey.
And God stayed faithful and just. For His wonders never stopped there. It was at this point that my fiance and I had the biggest miracle we could ever imagine. I was on the point of sacrificing my master’s degree so I could follow him when he works abroad just so we would not sacrifice the relationship, or he works abroad, I stay here and finish my master’s degree but sacrifice the relationship. Tough decisions to make they are, and yet God gave the answer – better opportunities at his workplace. It was our only hope.
My fiance was reluctant at first if he will get it, but I told him to take the chance. Told him God will give it to you if it His will for you and if you sincerely pray in your heart that you want it because we both need it – not for ourselves but for Him because we wanted to honor the commitment, we are willing to make sacrifices to uphold that commitment. I told him that prayers are so powerful if you believe in every single word that you have uttered in that prayer and believe in God. So there we were praying for each other, encouraging one another when making choices prove to become so difficult.
John 16: 24
“You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.”
And then….YES, it was given. At that moment, I cried with joy. How faithful indeed is the Lord! My fiance gets to stay with me, I get to finish my master’s degree, we both can be secure with our future. He indeed deserves all the honor and glory and I will forever be thankful to my Lord, my Savior.
Doubts may creep in that it is not meant to be but I will continue hoping and I will continue praying. I always pray that God would protect both of us from the attacks of the enemy for I know there are forces in this world that contest that which is good and pleasing which came from the Lord. As it is written:
1 Peter 5:8 NLT
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”
The kind of salvation that I am praying for my fiance may not be what is happening now. But it is only for God to know what happens in the future. All I know is that both of us are being transformed every single day to become the persons that He wanted us to be teaching us the essence of what it really means to be a Christian – to have patience, to have peace, to be faithful, to love selflessly, to sacrifice, to endure, to forgive, to be prayerful and most of all to know God personally and deeply through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I could still remember the early times in our relationship and after the first few conflicts, I shared to my sister in Christ whom I admire deeply on how she handled her relationship and is now happily married, that my fiance is not yet devoted in his faith. And her answer was, “Be patient, Tin and pray.” After all this and what is to come, I can only be so very grateful that I have a God who is this:
Revelation 1:8 NLT
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
And with that, I know I am secure. 🙂