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SAVED DATE

April 15, 2016

After a minor invasive procedure – Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

I never knew how strong I am, not until I walked in the operating room, got fully sedated, walked out of the recovery room, processed my hospital bills and left the hospital ALL BY MYSELF. I was left an independent girl at 13 and I still had to be 13 years later. I know for a fact that ever since Mamang (my grandmother and legal mother) died, I am to look after myself always ‘coz there’s no one to do that for me anymore. My siblings are all married and got families of their own including my ever-hardworking, biological mother. I was never comfortable to bother them to babysit me or simply care for me, for I know that they have more important things to look after compared to a 26-year-old, in-pain woman in me. They raised me to be independent after all.

After my very first operating table experience, I literally just walked out of the hospital in spite of the cautions given by the hospital staff. I simply assured them that I am nurse, and I know what to do with myself in case there is anything unpleasant that will happen to me after the procedure. They were not convinced though. 🙂

I do not want to go home yet. It was too hot, there’s no enough ventilation in my room. I am hungry ‘coz I had to fast the night before, and I don’t want to sleep ‘coz I just woke up from a general anaesthesia sedation. I decided to eat somewhere all by myself, since I am so used to it and very comfortable to do so. 🙂

I guess the enemy’s eyes were prying on me at that time, and seeing me in my independence, he took his chance at me with his very unwelcome sales talk. I never knew how strong my faith is, not until the enemy started telling me with lies saying, “Look at you, you just had a minor operation and you were in so much pain, yet there’s no one to be with you now. No one cares for you. You’ve got friends, family and ministry, but where are they now? You’ve got a family, but they don’t care for you. Did they even ask, ‘How are you feeling right now?’ They do not love you. NO ONE LOVES YOU.”

Tears started flowing from my eyes, and as soon as I come into my senses and with the Spirit, I immediately wiped it with my then swelling hands and replied to the cunning enemy, “Get behind me Satan or better yet leave me alone. I am not going to feel sorry for myself for choosing to be alone and for being in pain. I chose to do things by myself, and I am secured that I am not unloved. I AM AND WILL ALWAYS BE DROWNING IN THE DEPTHS OF GOD’S LOVE. No one can take me away from that, not even you.” Right then and there, I felt relieved and will not entertain another word of sorrow from the devil.

I called another independent friend to join me for dinner, and so we had an awesome time together, laughing our hearts out with our recent life stories. See, I was not alone at all? I’ve got friends to call just to be with me. And even if I am left with myself, I KNOW THAT GOD IS WITH ME ALWAYS AND FOR ETERNITY. THAT’S A FACT THAT IS HARD TO DOUBT.

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April 15, 2005

Youth Camp

Exactly 11 years ago, I made the biggest decision of my life in accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. See? It has been 11 years, and I’m still counting on the faithfulness of Christ in me. Ngayon pa ba ko bibitaw sa Kanya? Pambihira naman!

It was my eleventh birthday in Christ. (I did celebrate with pizza and ice cream party the following day).

I do not believe in coincidences. God is just so timely to remind me that He never leaves me nor forsakes me. I’m pretty sure God was smiling at me, as I fought the enemy on that day – my saved date.

I do not believe in coincidences. God is just so timely to remind me that He never leaves me nor forsakes me.

I may be vulnerable to the traps of evil at times, but I can always be secured that I am God’s child no matter what. The enemy can only try, but he will surely not win.

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It Takes Two to Roll!

Upon going home last Friday, I come across a child sitting on the street with roller blades on his one foot. Basing on the tone of his voice, he was annoyed that he cannot stand properly. This is probably because he cannot use the roller blades on one foot only while with a slipper on another foot. From a distance, I saw another child with roller blades on his one foot as well. He was happily playing if I will base on his looks, but he was struggling, for he was only using roller blades on one foot and slippers on the other.

Seeing them both, partial sharing has been impressed on me. If these children just take turns with the complete pair of roller blades, then both of them could have had the best times playing. They may not play at the same time, but at least they were able to play with the roller blades properly. But since they opted to share the pair, they both struggle.

As an adult, I realized that sometimes we (or, I alone) tend to do the same. I share or give just half and not whole. We reserve some things for ourselves when we give. Instead of sharing or giving fully, we give only a piece and not a whole, and sometimes, we even share half-heartedly. In return, we ended up struggling with what we choose to keep for ourselves.

The question, “What’s in it for me?” has become so normal to being a human.  However, that question still seems way better than asking, “What will be left of me when I give?”

Six years ago, I became a part of the so-called most prestigious youth congress in the Philippines, wherein we have been reminded that many are called, but few were chosen (Matthew 22:14).  Yes, we are the chosen few. Moreover, since we have been chosen to receive much, we are also reminded that “to whom much is given, much is also expected in return” (Luke 12:48). This is why the question, “What’s in it for me?” has been a No, No to us.

When there is a call to serve, whether that’s on a Sunday or from a conflict-centered area such as Sulu, we do not hesitate to answer. After all, with great calling comes great responsibility, right Spiderman? We do believe that to serve is always better than anything else, and serving entails a lot of giving, be that of time, talent and even treasures. And when we give, we ought to give nothing but our best.

As a follower of Jesus, I am strongly convinced that I have received the best gifts I could ever have in this world – SALVATION AND ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS. So, instead of struggling to keep things for ourselves or asking what we are to receive in return, we just simply have to look at what Christ has done on the cross for us. It is where He gave His all, so we can have life to the full. In the same way, we are to give our all because we have received in full.

We are to give our all because we have received in full.

I am more than grateful that Christ did not reserve something for Himself when He was destined to sacrifice on the cross. I wonder what will happen to my eternal debts if Jesus had reservations. Will they also be paid in half? If that will be the case, then we will surely be struggling, working our way to heaven. But praise Jesus, for He did not hesitate to give His all, saving nothing for Himself. I pray that we can always do likewise.

Back to the two kids, I admire the fact that as young as they are, they know what sharing is. I just hope and pray that soon they’ll realize that it is better to share the complete pair and play one kid at a time. As the old saying goes, ‘it takes two to tango’. So is with the roller blades, it takes two to roll! 🙂

 

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Photo grabbed from redtri.com

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The God of my pain

A week ago, I witnessed another awesome creation of God in Nagsasa Cove, Zambales. Everything in that place was picturesque. The sunset, the sea, the rock formations, the surrounding mountains, the pine trees, and the skyline were nothing less than perfect. In this paradise, my heart never fails to declare how great and awesome my God is. How majestic are the works of His hands. In fact, I wasn’t able to count how many times I sang Cris Tomlin’s Indescribable and Hillsong’s Oceans.
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It is indeed very easy to worship God when we are in a place of paradise, when our wallets are full, when we are promoted at work or received a raise, whenever we are with our loved ones, or when we have what we’ve been praying for. When everything goes according to plan, we say, “God is good!”

But, how about when we are faced with difficulties, when we lose a job or a loved one, when the place where we are feels like hell, filled with torment and pain? Would it be easy to say, “God is good!” Or, will we be the ones who ask, “Where is God in my suffering?”

Before we reached Zambales, I was already having an intermittent abdominal pain and throbbing headaches. I tried to self-medicate with analgesics, but to no avail. On our way home Saturday noon, I had a worst headache followed by rounds of vomiting.

I was strong, just as what I thought, but Tuesday came and my tummy aches worsened. I cannot stand straight neither walk properly because of the pain. I endured until Thursday night, the pain along abdomen area was excruciating, my headaches are overwhelming that I cannot even move around my bed. On Friday morning, I decided that I’ll go to the hospital and have this pain checked. My whole abdomen underwent an ultrasound, my heart had a 2D-echo, my urine was tested and follow up tests were scheduled. I was given Proton-Pump Inhibitors as medicines, but still the pain persists.

A week of enduring such an excruciating pain was too much for my body. But, I smiled at the thought that I wasn’t asking where is God in this suffering. It didn’t crossed my mind that maybe God was punishing me or God was teaching me a lesson.

What came and assured me is that God is here inside me. He is worshiped, honored and revered, even in my pain. If someone would ask me, “Where is God when I was in such a pain?” My reply would be, “God is the God of my pain.”  

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. – Isaiah 53:4

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In my strength and in my weakness, God is God. My pain won’t diminish His greatness over my life. In my pleasures and in my pains, I will lift my hands to declare His goodness and love.

Just today, my ultrasound results (from last Friday) show normal internal organs. I’m still waiting for my heart and blood works result. There are still series of tests scheduled to be done on my body. My illness is still to be ruled out. I’m a bit okay now, but there are still the constant visits of pain. My medicines already doubled. But, as I believed, “God is the God of this pain. He is in control and He will always be. What will I fear?”  

GOD IS GOOD, not just in the good times, but ALL THE TIME!