(Disclaimer: This is a very long post but definitely worth the read.) 🙂
I believe many are already familiar what promise rings are. But in case some of you still are unfamiliar with it, this is a definition I got from Wikipedia:
“A Promise ring symbolizes a commitment to a promise and is given to a person as a token or reminder of his/her decision…”
But I guess what we could highlight in this definition is this: commitment to a promise.
But before I get on to that, do allow me to share just a quick update regarding my current status. If you have been one of my avid readers, you would know by now that my fiance and I decided to take a two-week “cool off” period wherein we were back to being single and strangers? Definitely not. For God was faithful enough to have kept our communication going and again, not let our hearts be hardened by the negative circumstances that we went through.
We haven’t had the time to personally talk things out and just prayed to God to guide us through the week so we could re-align our plans and our thoughts with His. I shared in my previous articles that during the Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting, I asked God for assurances if the decisions and the commitments I have made were indeed according to His will.
It was hard to let go of a person you love so much, but when God asks you to, you have no choice but to obey just like what Abraham did when he was ready to sacrifice his son’s (Isaac) life. You don’t know in that moment of decision-making why God asked you to. But if you are to ask me if indeed it was what God wanted, I can answer with “yes” for the decision came during our Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting.
And yet during those 3 days of Prayer and Fasting, I also asked God if I should let him go completely or was it something temporary, a “breather” so that the two of us could see His beautiful promise and not drown ourselves in the multitude of conflicts we are having – sort of a reminder where our relationship should be going and how we should be loving each other, God’s way.
Came the sign which I shared in my More Revelations (Part 2) article about my fiance’s name. All I had at that time were prayers and my faith and all that ever mattered to me was conversing with my God and nothing else. Yet, I have put my trust and hopes in God and God alone.
Two weeks passed.
In those two weeks, I was more in tune to the Spirit’s leading. Revelations upon revelations, tangible assurances, more Godly wisdom, more of God’s wonders working anywhere and anytime, everything was all about God. I was able to experience freedom by the end of the Mid-Year Prayer and Fasting, answers were given, Godly wisdom on generational curses, learning about what was plaguing me for the past years without me realizing it, until eventually this word popped out – fear.
Fast forward to last weekend, my fiance asked me for a chance to talk things out personally. I always declined saying we should wait upon God for His right time. I thought about seeking counsel from my first spiritual mentor, my brother, and this was his advice:
Brotherly advice from a brother in Christ and my brother for real. 😉
I listened to my brother and continued praying until came the time when my fiance asked me again if he could see me last Saturday, to which I said “yes.” We were able to talk some matters over the phone the past days but I know there are still more that were left unsaid, more that need to be said and more that are better said in person.
An out-pour of prayers came, we met and then came the moment of that big question: “Are you really ready in your heart for this commitment, this big commitment which is marriage?”
Both our answers were a “yes.” The agreement was then mutual. Apologies were said and accepted, love overruled. So there we were continuing on from where we ended. When I made this re-commitment, I felt that I was making a pledge that indeed, no matter what happens, like what my brother said, there’s no more backing out. Fight for faith, continue hoping and most especially fight for love.
I have always believed that God planned everything, and I mean everything from the smallest details and the mundane to the biggest and the marvelous. This includes dates and numbers.
For the date, I thought there must be something to the date when I felt I was ready to talk with my fiance or should I say, it was already God’s perfect time. I am aware that the enemy is also working full time to destroy what God’s plans are. And of course, we all know that the holy matrimony is one of God’s best creations. For in a holy marriage and through marriages future disciples and spiritual leaders are born. But I know for sure as well that God won’t allow a marriage to fall apart if He allowed the union to be part of His even greater plans.
So why Saturday, July 12, 2015?
Okay, I remembered. I was just this total amnesia girl that I forgot it was the day before our 18th monthsary as a couple. 😀
“Praise be to God” was all I could blurt out. What a beautiful way to reconcile. Indeed, there is always something to celebrate after God gave us some time away from our troubles so we could appreciate the beauty that God has created in our relationship. The first week that we had our “break time,” his engagement proposal happened. Yesterday was our 18th monthsary, July 12 – what an awesome, wonderful way to celebrate it. I need not ask for any gift or special way to celebrate it, except I could only offer in return a heart full of gratitude to my Father up above who wished for nothing else but a better life for His sons and daughters.
So the day ended with a smile. I slept with a peaceful heart.
Early Sunday morning, July 12, our monthsary day, I suddenly woke up. I felt the need to urinate. So down I went, drank a glass of water and headed upstairs. When I got back to bed, I was so wide awake as if I haven’t slept at all. I checked the clock, it’s 3:03am. Wow, that is the same time for the past months that I wake up every now and then and could not sleep for no apparent reason at all. The very recent prior to this was the night before I broke up with my fiance and thought I heard someone calling my name. It was during that moment that I contemplated and decided to let him go.
But this time it was different. Here I was in bed staring at the ceiling with a smile on my lips reminiscing the events that happened the day before. Yes, I thought maybe because I just cannot contain my happiness that my fiance and I were back together. Then a phrase just popped up in my head all of a sudden – “real love drives out fear.”
Okay, now where did that come from? It was not even connected to my current thought – recalling yesterday’s events. And the phrase sounded right but not really right to me. But I was sure I have heard or read it somewhere, somehow. So what I did, I grabbed my phone, turned my WiFi on and searched ever reliable Google with the phrase/sentence. And the search results centered on only one thought – a bible verse which says:
1 John 4:18 ESV
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
Okay, so that explained why it popped up – I definitely have read this before but my synapses could not just particularly locate that memory bank where I stored it. But thank God for technology, I can easily locate those lost memories by giving me something to remember them through more additional information and clues.
And I smiled even more when upon seeing the search results, the top 3 sources that came up were from the ministries that I highly look up to as a Christian: Joyce Meyer, Rick Warren and Desiring God. I don’t believe in coincidences and I believe God has a reason for waking me up at this hour. So I started reading all 3 articles by said authors and I found 3 words common in all 3 articles: perfect love, God’s love and fear.
Allow me to share some of the screenshots I took for documentation purposes and do take note of the time. For I will be sharing more revelations in the succeeding paragraphs.
But going back to the bible verse, I was having my dose of Godly wisdom when a question popped in my head again: “why does it have to be “real love”? Usually, for the bible verses, most of the time I get the phrases correct especially if they are the usual bible verses that I have been encountering during devotion time. 1 John 4:18 was not an exemption for I have read it quite a couple of times already. And yet what was with the phrase “real love?” Where did it come from? I am sure I have encountered it somewhere too, something that has quite that significance to me for me to be able to somehow store it in my long term memory but could not point out exactly where.
Then came the “Eureka!” moment and I almost laughed aloud. For this was where I have seen it and now I know why it was retained because it is that significant. The following is a photo of the “dummy” rings that my fiance and I bought a couple months back as during the Marriage Preparation seminar we attended in church, we were advised to use “dummy” rings in the actual wedding ceremony as the real thing might be misplaced and eventually lose them because of all the preparations and the hectic activities lined up for the said event. It was the first thing that we bought and we really don’t know why back then. 😀
I was actually the one who suggested we buy the rings when I browsed online for wedding rings. And I know it was not a coincidence that I felt the urge though I do not know why. But I acted upon it and I believe it was not also a coincidence when came the time that my fiance and I were choosing what ring design would best fit us and this particular design came into our hands. My first choice was a glittery ring but when my fiance tried it, his feminine, slim hands, looked REALLY feminine. So, it was a no-no for us.
The second choice was a plain silver band but then again there’s no available size for my fiance. Then this was the point that the shop owner suggested another pair. I didn’t like it at first. Because I wanted the rings to just have a clean and simple finish since it’s just going to be a “dummy” ring. I mean, it wouldn’t really matter for what matters would be our actual wedding rings. But then again, this pair was the only pair wherein the wedding ring for the groom fitted my fiance’s ring finger just right. And one more thing, I don’t like rings with inscriptions at the outer side of the ring. Well, let’s say I am still a bit old fashioned when it comes to these things. 😀
But in the end, I conceded that we buy this design with an inscription engraved at the outer side of the ring and an engraving of one half of a heart for each ring between the inscription. If you combine the rings, it’ll form into the shape of a heart.
The rings weren’t significant to me for they are just “dummies.” BUT I was wrong – totally wrong. For now, I felt like they are the most important rings we will ever wear. Why?
Going back to the “real love” phrase, I was just amazed when I remembered that this was the inscription engraved on the “dummy” rings. And what was even more amazing was that the revelation with the verse and my interchanging “perfect love” with “real love” was God’s way of reminding me of His promise to me and Brian – marriage. He wanted me to realize that this is real/perfect love – it drives out fear.
Now it dawned on me. This was not about fears in my past, fears in my childhood days but fears that I was unaware I have been bringing in the relationship with my fiance. It was out of fear that we had the conflicts. It was out of fear of the punishments from the past mistakes. It was out of fear of so many things that eventually came to me fearing the worst that could happen in our relationship. It was fear that ruled the relationship.
And this was a portion of the article that made me see the clarity of it all:
God pulled us out of the relationship to protect us from our own fears and gave us hope instead. God wanted to teach us that that was not how He intended our relationship to be. Because fear did not come from Him. Reading the articles further just brought me once again in that state of utmost humility – being humbled by God’s presence through the revelations.
This made me think about once again the idea of me waking up at around 3am and why the number 3 proved to be very significant to me like the day of my salvation which was 3/3/13 (which I shared in my previous articles) and was always included in His bigger revelations. Was it God? Did it come from an angel? I was still baffled and yet I know there’s an explanation somehow behind it. So I typed at Google search once again and checked out if there is somehow a biblical significance with the number 3 and the time. The following were the search results that turned up:
The 3 is always there – even my bookmarks came down to 3.
The Prophetic News
The Prophetic News
The Prophetic News
There really is something about names. Mine is Christine. 🙂
This was another big revelation. Although the moment I read that 3am is also the time where Satan is at work, came the terrifying fear that I might be possessed by a demon or vulnerable of being possessed. Because I admit I do experience some waking up moments at around 3am feeling a heavy feeling in my heart. But for the recent events, they were mostly uplifting and enlightening.
BUT I think my God went before me, for He knows I will seek for answers and He already assured me through the bible verse I have mentioned above. As the article mentioned, the Spirit commanded him to stand on His Word. Fear does not come from God. So most likely, Satan was also trying to butt in. But sorry, not sorry that I am already protected by my loving God. 🙂
I just felt the need to browse a little more and stumbled across a forum regarding the biblical significance of 3am. And one comment just struck me the most:
Yes, I believe it was and is all for a greater calling. A calling that involves a greater harvest. A calling that calls for a preparation towards a significant event. Our God is calling out.
And I believe in my church, our spiritual leaders have already prophesied this. For yesterday’s prayer, led by a sister in Christ who is also a spiritual leader, was all about fear. I really don’t believe in coincidence. 😉
So with that I rest my case, and I am just smiling even more as I type this. For it was one of my prayers to God to give me a bible verse during my wedding that is not the usual bible verse I encounter during Christian weddings such as:
1 John 4:19 ESV
“We love because He first loved us.”
So He gave me a different verse instead – a verse that will have a personal significance and impact not just to me, but a verse that will seal the commitment of what “real love” should be for both me and my fiance along with a symbol of that commitment – the “promise” rings.
It was not just a promise/reminder/covenant between me and my fiance to commit to each other until death do us part but most importantly, it symbolizes God’s beautiful promise for us both – God’s advance wedding gift to us. And this reminds me of The God Triangle:
Photo credit: thewerners.org
Now this is perfect/real love: love is God and God is love. So yes, basically, I just can’t help but thank my God every single day for literally E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. ❤
My chosen bible verse for the wedding was not because I chose it but God chose it for me and it was the verse that came just before 1 John 4:19. So I believe it still is in the context of bible verses perfect for Christian weddings. 😉
Here’s a video about God restoring what was lost if we seek Him FIRST.
And here’s a text from him tonight, nothing can ever make me smile the sweetest except when I see the word “pray.” 😀
Our God is indeed a God who restores and redeems. 🙂