Nope, please do not get me wrong. I am not self-centered but I decided to share my own experiences in order to not judge anyone’s character but if I did share something that is not from my own character, please do understand that it is in the hopes of making us understand better that we are all a work in progress. What I do hope to share with my readers is a bunch of experiences and lessons I have learned which they could learn from as well.
Experience is the best teacher, as they say. It is application that measures how much of the theories you have learned have you applied AND have applied successfully through a test. If you have never gone through any form of trial or test in life, then there’s no way that you can assess how far of the theories you have indeed learned. So take heart my dear friends when trials of all sort come to you. For it is the final assessment in molding your character and in preparing us for the final journey with our Savior, Jesus Christ. 🙂
So why the title for this post?
I would like to highlight yesterday’s event. My Facebook profile right now seems like I am going through the darkest moments and friends have been asking why and been praying for me. It all started when I browsed my news feed and status updates that contain “dark moments” came popping up one by one. And I thought, all these dark moments that my friends are going through, you piece them all together, that is what I am going through now – career, marriage and health.
When you are in darkness, yes, one emotion that you will feel is anxiety. And I praise God I have in my list of Facebook Friends Christian friends, devoted ones, who never fail each and every single day to post a bible verse/spiritual quotation which will remind you of who you are in Christ – an overcomer saved by the blood of Christ. Indeed, God planned it well that we are to uplift one another in times of peril through faith and Jesus. 🙂
This is what I read from one friend’s post:
Prayer Over Anxiety
“Heavenly Father, we pray for all those suffering from anxiety. In the midst of their fear, give them your peace. When they feel alone, surround them with your presence. Strengthen them and give them grace to get through today and every day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” – Circle of Prayer
Indeed, when you start to worry, you start to trust less and then it makes you hopeless. Enemy’s schemes, right? Yes, they are. For that is what the enemy is very good at – deception and lies. Making you believe that you are weak and you have no capability in overcoming a situation. And yet, if you have been born again, you know that that is not true. Self pity will only make you feel more worthless.
God, on the other hand, is the one who counterbalances that. God is always fighting for us. We may not realize it but He is. The fact that you wake up each day, unharmed, alive, forgetful of the past, that is what we call the Grace of God.
In my previous posts I have shared about the condition of my health and I am sure everyone is asking, “How was the check up?” Unfortunately, circumstances came that I wasn’t able to have a medical checkup in the week that I have planned to have it – I take it as not yet God’s time and will have to wait for the right one. I stopped taking birth control pills though and so far it alleviated my migraines. When I completely read the prescription of the pills, it is indeed one of the most common side effects. Good for me, I stopped taking them.
And yet, I was “unsafe.” Now my husband and I are contemplating about the possibility that I might be pregnant. Something that we are not yet prepared for considering that I do not have a job, though I could get one any time I want but because I need to concentrate on my exam and my masteral thesis, I had to accept the idea of being jobless for now. I jokingly told my husband, “Honey, if indeed I am pregnant, the baby will be born in my birth month too, December. And yes, he/she will be like Jesus, born in a manger, the modern counterpart would be at home via a midwife or maybe in a taxi or somewhere else except for the hospital for we are not financially ready.” But, no need to worry if it is God’s will. For if it is, then God has already prepared everything beforehand. I always trust Him that He will not give you something that you cannot handle. 🙂
Regarding my exam, I have short term memory retention. Thus reviewing a couple of months before will be useless because a week after, I sure have forgotten everything I have reviewed. I am starting to review just a couple of days ago and many may call it as “cramming” but that is just the way I review in every exam. The exam is in a matter of 8 days. Prayers, review materials, more prayers and letting God take control of it are what is occupying my mindset now. Again, no need to worry. For if I did my part well and if it is God’s will, then I will pass the exam. 🙂
Yes, it is easy for me to trust God in those areas of my life. But then again, if we haven’t loved yet as how God has loved us, then we haven’t experienced the optimum when it comes to faith. And the best way to experience and express God’s love at its best and learn it first is being in a Holy Matrimony – loving someone who is completely a different individual than yourself and living with that person under one roof every single day.
“If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” – 1 Corinthians 13:2
Relationships are my waterloo. I have failed miserably in the past when it comes to that. And these are relationships in general, not just between a couple. But right now, as I am in a season of being married, this is where my faith is being tested the most for now.
I do trust God in my exams, in my health, etc. and yet focusing on them would mean balancing my time between being a wife, a housewife and being a teacher and a student. All these roles carry with them very big responsibilities and duties. Sometimes they can be overwhelmingly burdensome.
I may have not oftentimes showed my distress but it does reflect in my words and sometimes in my actions towards my spouse. And the very recent was when he decided by himself to drive for his mom and relatives during a family reunion. He texted that it doesn’t matter if I choose to go or not for he will still go. We are experiencing “tight” moments at home and him texting me that just made me thought like, “Whatever happened to your promise that whatever happens, you will always be with me.” I thought I needed him most now and why didn’t it cross his mind.
I started thinking about my needs, myself and I thought how could my husband be so selfish and think about having a good time when he will be leaving his wife doing all the household chores, tired and stressed from reviewing then had to make all the necessary planning for what is to come, etc. He explained that he needed a relaxation. Indeed, when selfishness and pride creep in, it is easier to get bitter and angry than be patient and understanding and the next thing I knew my husband and I were furious about one another and having another argument. And this now made me realize something about myself: “Tin, the Spirit is not in you yet.” For it is said that the fruits of the Spirit is joy, love, peace, gentleness, selflessness, etc. I obviously do not have those. And this made me cry.
I had to battle with my inner self that I am already a new creation when I got saved through the Name of Jesus and through the Cross. I should understand better. If I want to be gentle, patient and understanding, etc., then all I have to do is think about the Cross and what God did for me even though I was in my most sinful self – He wholeheartedly accepted me for who I was, not furious, not impatient, not insisting His way and yet lovingly gave me a chance to change. This is now my opportunity so I need not waste it away just because the enemy is using my emotions. Indeed, heavy were the emotions of anger, rage and bitterness. Every emotional burden I am carrying came all loose. I was crying most of the time yesterday and I thought hopefully this will not trigger another depression which almost took my life before I got saved 3 years ago.
I was crying when once again, I was reminded by the prayer regarding anxiety. I had to combat the enemy making me feel that I am alone, that I am hopeless, and that there is no solution for every burden I am carrying. In between sobs I can only utter one word, “Father…Father…” All the rest that I wanted to pray and say, they were all drowned by tears. And then positive thoughts started pouring in. My husband needed that break. He has been having a stressful week at work, he deserves to have a time of relaxation and enjoyment. If I love him, then I have to sacrifice my needs for his needs. That is what love is all about. That is what God did and what Jesus did on the Cross – sacrificing.
But of course I thought, what about his promise that he will never leave me whatever happens. And I thought this is yet another of the enemy’s schemes to make me hate my husband more for not fulfilling his promise. And this is what the Lord has for that, “put your hopes not in the things around you but in God and God alone. Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Lesson? I should never put my hopes in my husband. Why? Because my husband is only human and he is not perfect like me. He will make mistakes and he will not meet what I have expected. He might even be doing things now that are contrary to what we have agreed upon or be even committing the same mistakes/sins he did before.
There was one time that out of anger my husband told me that he doesn’t want to go to church and he is only accompanying me just to please me. I almost uttered that he doesn’t have to go to church with me. But then I thought that that was the goal in the first place of discipleship – to bring those who doesn’t know God closer to Him through the spiritual family. I did tell him gently that it is okay if he doesn’t feel like going to church.
But came the unexpected because in the Sundays that followed, he still includes going to church as part of his itinerary and would constantly remind me while I am preparing if we are about to be late for church. He still would lead in praying before he leaves for work. But there also came a point wherein he blamed God for every conflict that we are going through as a couple and how much he hated Him followed by curses. That was one of our bigger fights. Yes, the enemy is always lurking in the corner waiting for the right opportunity to act on his plans. Indeed, anger will only lead us to committing more sins and suppressing it will help us in so many ways and will defeat the enemy’s purpose to destroy and kill. In this case, acceptance of mistakes and forgiveness are the best solutions to fight the enemy.
It is not for me to judge my husband’s faith and personal relationship with God. It is only God who knows the deepest intentions and conditions of our hearts. My husband knows how much my faith means to me and when we are having a fight or a disagreement, he would mock my faith to offend me more and to retaliate whenever I would commit a simple mistake. He would accuse God of wrong decisions made, that if there is a God then he wouldn’t be experiencing all of the trials in the past and the trials now – the enemy is in him, is in us. That is what is making both of us sin and anger is what the enemy is using to control us. But they say, hate the sin but love the person for this is what God’s love means and this is His second greatest commandment – love others as I have loved you. God’s love was through His one and only Son, Jesus Christ.
I can only pray though that God will live in his heart and lead it. I can only pray and look forward to that change. And I pray the same for myself, that I will not go back to who I was even if the enemy will use my husband against me. So that my husband can see the works of Christ in me, how to rightfully respond in situations that are seemingly offensive to the self and to the faith and with persecutions and he’ll be inspired to follow suit and surrender himself to God’s Grace.
Being a perfectionist, I have this knack for the good, the perfect and the pleasing and that includes good manners, speech and behavior because that was the values system that my parents and my family have brought me up with. As much as I want to correct my husband’s behavior, it is not for me to change him – I, too, have my own flaws. As the bible says, “why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye and not notice the log in your own.” I can only show him what is right through my actions, something that is so hard to do though. For it was also written in the bible, “do not associate yourself with hot-tempered people for you will become like them and endanger your soul.” But I am here in this situation now and maybe this is also the test that I have to go through to become the person that God wanted me to be through tests of self-control, discipline, patience and endurance.
I felt during these moments that I am being surrounded by so many powerful demons. My heart was very heavy with all sort of negativity – pure thoughts were nowhere to be found in my head. I began to worry, I began to doubt, I began to lose trust, to lose hope even on my faith. Yes, there was a battle and I wrestled and I thought I can only seek for God’s help. And I only needed to cry out His name and He will save me from these. For He is the only one who sees and knows everything. Prayer is my only weapon to defend my faith.
THEN there was peace, there was calm. I slept yesterday afternoon and took a time off from my review and I opted not to text my husband and have him enjoy his relaxation time with his family even if it would mean that the enemy could possibly once again use his family to tempt him or be the avenue for him to get tempted to do what he should not ought to do i.e. drunkenness, lust, etc. or be in a bar somewhere in the wee hours of the morning or checking in at a massage spa that is unusually open from midnight ’til dawn, etc. and etc.
I can only pray for them as well and let God change their hearts too. Yes, demons are indeed real as Pastor Joey, one of our pastors in church, said in one of his blog posts. But as my Dad says, God can never allow for a sin or a bad agenda by a demon to continue on and on and on. God will expose it and will do the necessary actions if a reprimand is needed. My Mom once told me, “I have no worries when your Dad will not be with me for how many days or weeks to attend a seminar or even if it is just hanging out with his peers because I trust him and I know that he will never do anything to compromise our marriage.” I asked her, “But Mommy, what if you got married to someone who has a bad past and still continues to commit some bad things every now and then, what would you do?” She was silent for a moment. Then told me this answer, “Then you should’ve married a pastor. But you chose him then you should love all of him even at his worst. Because that is him.” Okay, now I don’t have an answer/follow up question for that. I actually know the answer, it’s just that I have to keep myself reminded of it. 🙂
That as a couple we should give an allowance to each other for mistakes even if those mistakes were repeatedly made because nobody is perfect. And that change and adjustment do not happen overnight. Be ready to forgive and forgive if apologies take place. Yes, I had the option to choose what my Mom formerly said but I chose differently. Circumstances didn’t end up for me that way. My brother told me that if I prayed for that decision, which I did, and God gave me the answer to push through with my decision, then it is God’s will.
I was exhausted yesterday and yet I was relieved. Though there was no visible assurances of a solution, I felt at peace. It is a good thing my phone’s wallpaper was the Lord’s Prayer. I have had it for a long time already and I am not planning on changing it. For I know there is a reason why it had to be my phone’s wallpaper.
I prayed to God last night for protection, for healing, for guidance, for purity and strength to withstand every battle, every attack, every assault on my faith. And lastly, I prayed for courage to face the enemy. The next thing I did was I looked at the Lord’s Prayer then I started mumbling it. It came first as a whisper and then I am uttering it out loud over and over again. Then a thought came into me, I have in my possession an anointing oil from Jerusalem which was a gift last year from my parents-in-law. You can read more about it here: https://chinginete.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/the-anointing-oil-and-more-memories/.
I went down to get it and started making Cross signs all over the house with the anointing oil and over my forehead and my heart while uttering the Lord’s Prayer. I really have no idea how the anointing oil should be used as I believe a prayer sincerely prayed and your faith are enough to cast out a demon. But if this anointing oil has been blessed and prayed over by spiritual leaders from the Promise Land or from any parts of the world, then my faith and theirs combined will be powerful enough to cast an also powerful demon/demons out along with the prayers. Because demons are real and if they are invading this house, my marriage, my thoughts and my heart, then I need to cast them out and seek for protection through a prayer and the sign of the Cross. And the best prayer for it is the Lord’s Prayer. For if there is one person who was tested by the devil the most, that would be Jesus. And yet if there is one person who was able to resist all of the enemy’s temptations, that is also Jesus. He was the only one who conquered death.
This happened around midnight and because I couldn’t sleep, I was restless and I keep on getting up. I have been experiencing severe back pains in my shoulder too which makes my breathing difficult. But praise God, for the moment I laid down in bed after the Lord’s Prayer and the signs of the Cross with the anointing oil and closed my eyes, I was off to heaven. Nah, I am kidding. I was just off to sweet dreamland. *wide smile* It was a very restful night that was granted to me. I woke up greeted by the warm sun through the window curtains and I automatically sat down and prayed a prayer of gratitude.
Last night though, after I finished my last Lord’s Prayer before sleeping, I felt my throat so dry I had to cough it out and our neighbor’s dog yelped suddenly as if someone kicked him and I heard nobody i.e. footsteps, etc. Hmmm, must be them. But, it doesn’t matter for the sound sleep is what mattered and a heart realigned with the Lord’s. If they do come back then I should better be prepared. 🙂
Today was very different from yesterday’s. I am still alone for my husband is staying for 3 days with his family and yet I am at peace with that, there is security. I was able to do all the tasks I had to finish, although some are still ongoing. Today is bliss. And if I will reassess myself, I may have failed miserably in behaving with a Christlike attitude in some situations, I am still glad that I was given by God the opportunity to still learn from these experiences, repent and improve myself. I can say that yes, I have withstood yet another battle defending my faith – still alive, still breathing, faith still intact. And yes, when it comes to defending your faith, it is a day-to-day lifetime walk of constant reaffirmation, a decision that you can never ever turn your back on once made – crucial and yet beneficial. 🙂
To end this, let me share one quotation by Og Mandino that I came across my reviewer (God planned I come across it in His perfect time) which will summarize this article:
Darkness makes you see the small tinges of light such as the stars making you want to seek that light even more and appreciate any single tiny bit of light you see. Light is all about hope and darkness just makes the light seem even brighter. ❤
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9