Today is June 30.
Today marks the first day of the Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting 2015 in church.
Today is the day I ended a current relationship and reconciled with a former relationship.
Today is all about STRENGTH.
Last Sunday, I was with my fiance and his family to celebrate his brother’s birthday. In case you have been reading my previous posts, a devoted believer put in the midst of non believers is a really tough case. Values wise, any differences could have been resolved if God was the priority and at the center.
But that was not the case. And yet, I am not writing this to complain but to share my faith.
Having a non believer as a partner is indeed being yoked unequally. It is difficult to agree on certain matters for two perspectives are at hand – worldly (his) and Godly (mine). And yet, God is so faithful He gave me the strength, patience and the means to endure it all.
I can only accept our differences: good moral values, upright conduct, beliefs in faith, etc. BUT there is a time for everything as God puts it in the bible.
A saturation point so to speak.
This time calls for things to come into a final halt. I don’t mean to judge but I meant to enlighten by sharing in some unfavorable experiences I have had. It is not for us to judge though and condemn but God’s.
Last Sunday I was with my fiance’s family. I was a guest, I do not make the call what time we go to church, what time we leave the house, etc. As a Victory group leader, we were advised by our spiritual leaders to arrive early during a Sunday service. But we arrived late for so many reasons being able to hear only the last few stanzas of the last worship song. I felt broken. I was there in church feeling guilty not being able to live up to my responsibilities as a group leader. And yet it was not my choice to make. I tried to fight against the feeling of guilt, a little bit of anger and sadness within me and just be thankful we still ended up in church.
Then it was time for the lecture to be delivered and Pastor Jonathan of Victory Alabang led the discussion. Word after word, my heart was slowly being torn apart – the message was for me. I was fighting back those tears. Those tears of how many months of trying to fight for faith against the worldly, of keeping quiet and enduring it all and those moments of pain from conflicts. My heart was so heavy I knew it was the Spirit asking me to do something. Pastor Jonathan just nailed it when he preached regarding “darkness” and what it means to us. Especially when he talked about marriage, that maybe the conflicts did not come from the enemy anymore but from myself – a reluctant and stubborn heart to pursue my desires, my plans and my lack of strength to let go and let God. I was on the verge of raising my hand for that second altar call, but I know there is no such thing. Or if there is, then God knows I already made it at that moment. The wounds have been exposed now in the open and they hurt even more. I can no longer bear it and yet I know I needed to move on and pray even more.
It was funny though I remembered walking out of the worship hall with a smile of relief. Then for the first time, we went out the exit door where books on faith and devotionals were being sold. I felt a tug in my heart to browse through them. And I believe these books were picked by the Spirit for me for the season I am in right now. And I bought a baller too – my first about faith. And I remembered telling my fiance jokingly that I will buy a memorabilia as this might be the last time I’ll be attending Victory Alabang. And it looks like the joke really was on me. 😀
Touchpoints for Women: God’s Answers for Your Every Need is the perfect devotional book for women dealing with specific issues. And I did not read the first page yet, I was waiting for the right time. And the other book I bought was the only book available there on relationships, marriage and faith – The Act of Marriage: The Beauty of Sexual Love. This, too, I have read the first page but decided not to continue as I am no longer in this season. I just thought that this is all God’s way of preparing me for something in the future.
I was keeping my calm when at a buffet restaurant, all the rest of the family including my fiance and his Mom, agreed to sneak out some sweets to give to a niece back home. I gently reminded my fiance that it is a Sunday and we just finished attending church and we are all aware that it is against the restaurant’s policies to take out any food. I was grateful my fiance listened when I told him if ever you get caught, consider that we are both professionals – I am a teacher, you are a nurse. We both were given licenses to nurse and to teach under the oath that we will behave appropriately in public. They were drinking too and it was not a big deal for me and yet when my fiance was advised that a vice is more important than work which made him decide to file for a sick leave the next day, I was broken again. Another heavy heart for me and yet ended with a smile of relief.
I stayed at their place which is one of the things I am totally against as it gives room for temptation to enter in, and yet by God’s grace, temptation failed to get in. Next day, I accompanied my fiance to the bank to deposit money and we had another conflict and this was the first time I experienced how far his rage could go. He pushed me out of his anger and when we were having the heated discussion I saw his trembling hands while rummaging on his things. Yes, it was an accident that he did it – out of his anger. So I thought it best I leave him alone for the meantime and let him cool down his temper. And yet it made me think too that it was a red flag. A guy who easily gets angry and could not control it will lead to physical violence. Domestic violence is not the kind of home I wished for my kids to grow up in. He did apologize after and I have forgiven him. I was broken and yet there is that smile of relief.
In the afternoon, we were on our way to Starbucks to celebrate the wedding anniversary of their parents as his dad is not here. Came the moment that his mom inquired regarding our business venture and our plans. His mom lent us some money to be able to start the business and indeed, the borrower is a servant to the lender. For during the discussion, I felt that his mom was suggesting things about the business and asking me why are you planning this if you want this and that and at that time, I was also talking through text with a business partner regarding a business meeting that I wasn’t able to attend because I prioritized my fiance and his family and it didn’t turn out as planned. There were a lot of things going on in my head, I was not in the right mood to talk about serious things and it was too late for me to realize that I was already answering in a very aggressive and offensive tone. I was provoked and yet my fiance did not support me and our plans but instead blamed me why we are in complicated situations right now.
My heart was broken. His Mom went on to “advice” on what to do, what we should do in front of my fiance and his sister. Some were very insulting and I am already aware that she doesn’t notice too how offensive her words could get as I was told by the girlfriend of my fiance’s brother who was also in conflict with my fiance’s Mom for the very same reasons which ended in broken relationships with the future in laws. My body was trembling out of anger that I was suppressing. I was controlling not to let tempers loose and holding back my tongue not to say words that are even worse. I was able to listen and they were able to laugh and talk about things although they sensed I was not in my happy mood. And his Mom was affected by my inability to join in the fun. I tried but it was not that easy to let go as if nothing happened. And yet a smile of relief came through – I need to respect her.
No shouting, no curses and temper outbursts came through from me, I was able to hold it all back and just listened when she made the final statements. I stayed silent and talked with them when I can and smiled when I have to all the way home. My fiance gave me a cold shoulder not talking to me while eating and when he was driving us home and I was seated beside him. I stayed silent and broken for I know now how Jesus felt when everyone around Him abandoned Him and was persecuting and condemning Him, but I was able to smile with relief – I was able to pour out all my concerns and my side to his mom, although my mistake was, emotions took hold mostly of the discussion.
When we got home, the Spirit convicted me to do the right thing – apologize. I wanted to talk to his Mom personally but couldn’t find the right moment to talk privately so I chose Facebook instead to send her a letter of apology for how I behaved and if I have offended her. I also apologized to her personally when I said my “goodbyes” when we left the next day. In the letter, I thanked her for her suggestions keeping in my mind that she only wanted what is best for me and my fiance. I also apologized to my fiance but it came to another heated discussion – my fiance blamed me for ruining his parents’ wedding anniversary celebration. Aggression and blaming were there. Until he blurted out that I am not worthy of his respect at all. Yes, I was broken again and yet came a smile of relief afterwards – I cried to him explaining my side that as my future spouse, he should support me and our plans at all times because the spouse should always come next to God. I tried to understand him knowing how my fiance is so dependent and attached with his Mom that he could not even let go of that attachment even now that we were about to be married – one of our ongoing conflicts.
At this point, allow me to share some very important points during the Marriage Preparation seminar we attended in church. I highly recommend you attend one as it will answer the question if both of you are REALLY ready to commit:
We were able to end the conversation peacefully and decided to learn from the experience and move on although we did contemplate on breaking up and he wanted to end things already. I reminded him about the lecture service we just heard last Sunday and quoted bible verses. I can only hope and pray they all got through to him.
We said our “goodnights” but I suddenly woke up at 3:30am. And I thought I heard someone called me. I couldn’t go back to sleep anymore and was contemplating on telling my fiance the next morning to end the relationship formally as I believe it is what God was asking at the moment. We have ended the relationship so many times and yet neither of us have the courage and the strength to be firm with our decision considering a lot of factors, i.e. love is not an emotion but a decision; we will dishonor God if we break the commitment; etc.
I was praying all along for God to save me from this “darkness.” I no longer feel safe, I am not happy and my faith was always tested. And yet, God assured me and prepared me for this – for I know these are all His plans. I took a cab the day before I went to their place and I know it is not a coincidence that this is the name of the cab I was riding:
And when we were driving home from Starbucks and even going to church, incoming trucks from the opposite lane mostly have a “God Promised” sign board on top. I didn’t know what they meant at that time and even now. And I thought, I must be dreaming or I must be in another dimension, or am I already in Heaven? 😀 Yep, I was broken, but I can smile with relief knowing that God is with me anywhere and I need not fear.
I was sleepless last night silently praying to God to give me peace and to continue seeking for His forgiveness and having a forgiving heart letting go of the past. And when my fiance and I boarded the bus going back to Manila this morning, I just let the peace that God gave me to fill me in. And yet that peace came out of a decision – the decision to finally let go of the relationship and let God take control.
Yes, letting go of my worldly relationship with my fiance and reconcile with my spiritual relationship with my God.
My fiance and his family are not perfect in the same way that me and my family and all the people in this world are not perfect and will be making mistakes one way or the other. It is all a matter of seeking God’s forgiveness and obedience to God’s instructions. I can only pray for their salvation in the same way I am praying for my transformation every day. I texted my fiance this morning that I would have opted to end things personally and yet I know the situation calls we end it now. God is asking us to do it and He is asking us to trust Him what His plans are for both of us in the following days, weeks, months or years even. It has been said that during the Prayer and Fasting, the Spirit works at its best because it is most powerful during this moment. When I got off the bus, it is just strange that the ticketing personnel of the bus assisted me down as if I am a debutante walking down the stairs although I am only carrying two little bags. And it is also strange how the tricycle driver said “I love you” to me after paying my fare when I took the tricycle going to our apartment.
They are very strange but I got an answer: God was telling me I am still worthy of respect despite my fiance telling me last night I am not worthy of his respect and despite my failures and I even thought that could it be that God was in that tricycle driver as if telling me and comforting me,
“My child, I love you and you have nothing to worry nor to fear for I am with you always, anywhere, anytime. Let go of the things that you have no control over so I can take control of them. Leave them all up to me. I am ALL THAT YOU NEED.”
Which now made me realize why I chose or the Spirit chose my baller for me that says this: Jesus + Nothing = EVERYTHING.
God is more than enough, Jesus is worth the sacrifice.
I remembered one instance I shared to my brother about the conflicts that my fiance and I had, and he told me to just endure it all. He said that they might be a test of faith and if I get used to giving up easily, it will also reflect in other decisions I make in life. Or maybe the reason why I am going through the same things I did in the past was because I keep on making a mistake – that of choosing a man who is not after God’s heart. He said that they just differ in names and background but personality wise, they are the same because they are not yet believers. He told me we cannot judge for even Christian guys and Pastors make mistakes but let’s just wait what God’s plans are. For the meantime, he asked me to be assured always and to pray and the question I asked back at him was this,
“I can trust him even if he makes mistakes repeatedly and no matter how dark his past was if and only if I know that he was already born again, now a devoted Christian and was already saved. For I know every time he makes a mistake, he will experience Godly sorrow and will go back to God. But he was not saved yet – no sincere and genuine repentance took place in his past, how would he know how to search for God and go back to Him when conflicts arise and things fall apart?”
My brother was silent for a moment and just simply said, “Now that is the thing we cannot control anymore.”
As of writing, I just finished my Day 1 Prayer and Fasting devotion and getting ready for the prayer meeting tonight to know more of the Spirit’s revelations. I have decided to not log in on Facebook and Twitter for the entire duration of the prayer and fasting week and turn off my phone by day and turn it on by 6pm onwards as part of controlling addictions. I committed to a once-a-day-meal type of fast and yet unbelievably, I do not feel any hunger at all. All I ever wanted to do is immerse myself on “spiritual food” and share via my megaphone regarding my faith – this blog. But since I committed to a once-a-day meal fast, I will uphold to that commitment. 🙂
I am smiling – with relief, contentment and peace. I am praying, still, for healing, for guidance, discernment on God’s will and that my plans will be more in tune with His this time, more strength, more courage, more patience and restoration of things that were broken. But I am now assured that I can only put my hopes in God alone. Indeed, true love and security can only be found in Him. And I can only be grateful to Him for this hope, this second salvation, this peace and this love that now gives me joy for I can now serve my Lord wholly in truth and in purity.
Thank God for the STRENGTH. 🙂
There really is something about number 3 – my water baptism was 3/3/13 (the day I was reborn), I always wake up around 3:30am not knowing why and I receive my daily bible verse notification from my bible app every 3:00pm though I set it to appear every 9am.
So…I don’t want to go ahead of God’s plans but I am believing in His promises (if these are His promises) – that I’ll give it 3 days to let things heal during this prayer and fasting, seek for forgiveness from people I have hurt, apply the 3-month-no-dating rule, pray to God how to tell our families, move on with a new and Godly perspective, maybe get married by age 31 as I am claiming I am done with my grad study by that time (I am now 29 turning 30 this December), spend a year with my future husband as a married couple to get to know each other better living under one roof and have my first baby when I am 33. 😀
Still, “many are the plans of man but it is the Lord’s purpose that will prevail.” I can only praise God for giving me this now – HOPE, may it be in numbers, in signs, in words, in other people, in the Scripture or even in that tricycle driver. 😉