If there is one thing that faith, the church, our family and the spiritual family all point to, that would be to look at the brighter side of things. 🙂
The first few months of this year have been a struggle for me and my husband which includes everything about life in general i.e. careers, aspirations, adjustments, financial breakthroughs, settling differences, goals, etc. More trials turned up for the month of March which drove me to devote full time to gospel reading, bible study devotion and quiet times.
There were a lot of times that I asked God for guidance, courage and strength to withstand them all as there are times more often too that I felt like everything is a mess, in chaos, uncertain of what the future holds, and all I ever did/was doing was a mistake. Little did I know that God has everything planned out for me already – all I have to do is to be still.
In times of extreme trials, it is the Word that I turn to and it is prayers that held me through. I tried to find snippets of things that would give me hope and I just smiled when I realized how could I be so blind or how could I let my problems blind me from the Truth.
How could I not trust God at all? How could I speak so much about my faith when I can’t even rely on God’s power and greatness which rule this world and beyond?
Yes, as I have said in my previous articles, when it comes to faith you really have to make an affirmation each and every single day. Life is all about God, faith, and nothing else. As my brother would always tell me, “Life has always been a battle of faith.”
Speaking of my brother, God used him as the instrument for me to know what faith is all about, introduced me to a spiritual family which then helped me get out of the pit I was in and finally led me to my salvation. As our church leaders would instruct us, salvation is just the start of your spiritual journey. As much as you have been renewed, being a born again Christian does not exempt you from the perils and sorrows of this world – faith has only made you and your life storm-proof.
It was all God’s plans. As you begin to understand that every single day of your life comprises the millions of routes in God’s blueprints will you realize that it was God who brought you where you are now. But because most of the time our human selves do not have the capacity to explain our circumstances, we rely on them as what they seem to be.
Yet being the all-knowing God, He knows that too. This is probably the reason why He has already prepared us and what we will be needing through the next course of our lives here in this world. Going back to my brother, he and my sister-in-law have been the constant givers of my Paulo Coehlo planner since 2013, the year I got saved, as a Christmas gift – something that I am always grateful for.
Not that I am advertising but I believe God has aligned it to be this way – why I should get hold of this certain planner. This planner, aside from this blog, holds my day-to-day scribbling in my spiritual walk. It contains the verses of the day, my bible study devotion, my Our Daily Bread quotation, my prayer requests, my gratitude note, my problems and my breakthroughs.
What I love about this planner is that each month there is a value/character trait assigned to it and it just fascinates me that these character traits as well as the quotations in the pages depict so much of what I have been going through.
There is no coincidence in God, something which I have learned since I got saved. I see this character trait as the one trait that I know God wanted me to have at that particular month/time of the year. It is just that I have to wait at what particular day of the month will I be needing this particular character trait.
For the month of March, this is the character trait: SURRENDER. 🙂
How timely, how accurate, how helpful – amazing our God is, isn’t He? He knows everything. The general quotation for this month also reveals much of what I needed in my marriage.
The first blog post I wrote for this year was entitled “An Appreciative 2016” simply because I felt that this year will be full of trials and yet we needed to see the beauty of them all. One of my experiences that helped me see things in the Light was after completing a crucial life-changing event which was a test of patience and endurance. After the event, this was what I received from my Mom using my Dad’s number (my Dad always replies in the vernacular):
My Mom is the authoritative type of parent. We don’t have the warm and cuddly mother and daughter relationship. YET, I have so many things that I should be thankful for when it comes to my Mom. For though we are so far away from each other and all my other siblings have their own priorities too in life and I used to live alone, my Mom just nailed it when she stressed out what I should be appreciating – the gift that God has given me which is a partner in life through a husband.
I smiled when I read it and of course, I can’t help but cry. Yes, I seldom receive text messages from my Mom because they are busy managing our house in the province and our farm, but when she does text, it is always something special – meaningful. Just that single text jolted me back to not see the negative things in my marriage but look at the brighter side of it.
I know I am not alone because I have learned to rely on God completely for the first two years of my life since I became a born-again Christian and I was living alone. I have devoted those two years in establishing a deeper and more personal relationship with God. God knows I needed that so when great trouble comes in the later years of my life, I know how to go back to Him.
Because I already know the Way, the Truth and the Life.
It is just that God reminded me that He gave me a husband for a reason and that once again, when troubles become overwhelming, SURRENDER. Just like how I surrendered 3 years ago. And after my “dark moments” post on Facebook, I received a text message from an unidentified number. I am guessing the person is one of my sisters or brothers in Christ who have been touched by God to fulfill the role of being part of those “reminders.” My extreme gratitude for this person whose heart belongs indeed to God. Praise God for your life my dear brother/sister.
And this was the text:
Our spiritual leaders in church, at home or anywhere else in our society have been called by God to receive the gift of prophecy. My Mom is not a devoted Christian but she believes in God and the bible and if there is one trait that I would like to learn from her, that is having a foresight. As a kid, she would always refer it to us as ESP (Extrasensory Perception) or being able to determine what a person will do next or knowing what will happen next. It is “sixth sense” to some and foresight to many. As a born-again Christian now, I see it as having the gift of prophecy. She told us that we should learn it and cultivate it for it will become very handy in our future plans and how we do things. Yup, practical my Mom really is. *wink*
My brother’s foresight is now almost similar to my Mom and we sometimes tell him that maybe he is the one who got it all from Mom. I am guessing it is this foresight that made him give the Paulo Coehlo planner to me in the first place and the significance it’ll bring in my spiritual journey. If I am to compare my Mom and my brother, they have one thing in common – they see things differently than all the rest of us. To me, I see all darkness and blur and yet to them, they see the beauty of it all, the goodness of the darkness and the events that will follow after.
Now if I am to compare it with faith, it says the same thing – train ourselves to see the Light. You can only see the Light when you see things in a Godly perspective. That is, allowing God to take over in driving the path of your life. Again, SURRENDER.
During the bad times, I oftentimes try to take control in solving things out. During the bad times, I see my spouse so differently and very much in the dark. But my Mom, the text message, and the monthly character traits, they all point towards the Light.
I have maintained my calm even if I do not understand all things. I have accepted things for how they should be. I have to be content in patiently waiting for the beautiful promises of the Lord. I know the Lord remains faithful to those who surrender to Him and walk in obedience to His ways.
As I end this article, I just want to share that indeed, God has mysterious ways in changing your mindset about a lot of things. Negative things can really replace the good memories, the good times, the good qualities you have if you will allow them to. God cannot allow it even if you persist to think things that way. The way that He gave me hope is the assurance that things right now are never final, they are only temporary in contrast to what is to come.
I woke up today feeling still very sleepy. My husband asked me if we are ready to pray and I just nodded half awake, half asleep. Through the sleepiness in me, there was one word, just one word that woke up my spirit in full blast through his prayer – REFLECT. I never prayed about the coming Lenten Season. Here is my husband though praying about it and how we should spend it together – REFLECT.
This is the perfect word on how we all should commemorate what Jesus did on the Cross for us -an act of SURRENDER, to surrender out of His Father’s and His love for us. It is this love that is keeping this marriage together, it is this love that is changing me and my spouse as a person, and it is this love that is changing our lives every single day.
It is by God’s love that I have been saved, that my husband will be saved including our families and loving another person through a marriage is where God wants us to learn the basics of what love is. When God’s love is in our hearts completely, we can say with utmost boldness that nothing can ever compare to God’s love and who God really is.
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
God knows that 2016 will be full of trials that’s why God reminded me of that at the start of the year. The character trait for this year in my planner and what I will be needing most is this: COURAGE.
This is the courage to be bold in defying the challenges, courage to seek the Light amid the darkness, courage to stand true to my faith whatever the odds and the courage to proclaim my faith all the more despite my imperfections and setbacks. 🙂