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When God Sees (The Wedding Proposal Part II)

It took me a year to be able to finally write the Part II of my ex-boyfriend’s (now husband) wedding proposal. The Part I contains all the details of what actually transpired on the day, but this post is intended to share something that is invisible to the eyes when he proposed — a heart matter.

Let me start with how unworthy I was. I am not a perfect woman. I am a sinner who desperately needs a Savior. I sin and fall short from the glory of Jesus. In the area of dating and relationship, I’ve stumbled and fall many times. In the area of purity, be physical or emotional, I was not a good example.

My heart was filthy, deceiptful, and corrupt. I know God’s holiness cannot look at such a heart, yet I know He sees and hears all my deepest desires. The following details of Julius’ wedding proposal last year are my evidences:

1) The Age

When I was a little girl, I always say that I will marry at the age of 28, just like my Aunts, Myleen and Mae. Over and over again, I claim in my heart that at 28 years old I will be with the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life. At 25, I still didn’t have a boyfriend; my heart was at its darkest but the longing was still there. On the night I exactly turned 28, Julius came into my life. Months after, he asked me to marry him.

Of all my impatience and immaturity over the past years, God still delivered on the dot! He hears what my heart repeatedly says since I was a little girl.

2) The BACKPACK

Shallow as it may sound but some years ago my longing heart and careless mind desired something from a viral photo online. It was a collage of the proposal for the actresses, Kaye Abad and Bianca Gonzales. Both proposals were purely candid that the ladies were not even dressed up for it. They were just on their casual get up with a backpack. So, I carelessly (but hopefully) shared back then that I will always bring my backpack with me just in case someone publicly propose for a marriage.

This was the photo I shared before.

On the day that Julius’ proposed, I totally did not have the will to dress up much more wear make-up. I didn’t even wash my hair, thus I still have the braided hair from the other day. I chose to wear a comfortable jeans, a loose blouse, and flats, which didn’t make me look like a College Instructor.

Now here’s the best part. When Julius’ comrades walked me out of the faculty room to bring me to the proposal scene, we were already at the door but I went back and said I’ll just get my bag. They told me that no need for it, but something inside me wants to really bring my bag.

Now, I believe, it was God telling me, “Hey! You’ve dreamed this before. Go get that backpack of yours!”

img_5653By the way, that backpack was bought by Julius himself.

3. The RING

The ring that Julius bought for me, the size and its simplicity is the one I always have in mind and heart. I did not desire for any other stones or designs. I just want it plain and simple. When Julius opened the red box with a shaking hand, I looked at the ring and I was at my happiest, knowing that it is what I really wanted.

 

4. The CENTENNIAL FOREST

I always wanted to have a public proposal. There, I finally said it out loud — that’s a hidden desire of my heart. I even want to have it in a carnival, either in front of a carousel or a ferris wheel.

However, when Julius and I watched Erwan’s proposal to Anne, I told him I want it to be as simple and meaningful as theirs, so he should just propose privately to me at home. But, Julius said that he will also propose to me in a forest. I took that as a joke, but God sees and hears everything; He turns and makes things beautiful in His time. Julius did propose in Muntinlupa’s Centennial Forest with so many students watching. It was public yet still intimate.

 

5. The MAN

I grow up desiring a man of action, a knight in shining armor. Would you believe that one of my all time favorite movies is Pearl Harbor? I guess that’s one of the reasons I took up Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I always feel like I’m a woman destined to a warrior who can fight and win battles for me (and with me). I even remember writing about choosing the Knight over Jack the Giant Slayer if I was the princess in the story.

When I first laid my eyes on Julius, my initial impression of him is that he was just a “boy” or “helper” of the Special Forces assigned outside our home. He was always in sando and shorts, preparing their meals, washing the dishes, and cleaning around the kitchen. He was also the one who would go to the market to buy their supplies. He didn’t look like a prince or a knight in shining armor to me but more of a servant. And, that servant heart of Julius totally won me over.

When he proposed, that was the very first time I saw him in his uniform! I looked at him smiling at me and he is handsome. As he went near and knelt before me, I know my prince has arrived.

God saw my heart’s desires, and He knew that I’ll be in good hands with a man who has a servant heart, with a knight’s courage, and a prince-like character. No wonder why God keeps on redeeming me from the frogs I thought were princes before.

It has been a year since I said “Yes” to Julius. It has also been a year of saying “Yes” to God’s faithfulness.

God sees the darkest and dirtiest parts of my heart but He loves so much to still grant its deepest desires.

Truly, God sees and hears our deep longings even our shallow musings. And, he is faithful to give every little desire as long as it is aligned to His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” – Psalm‬ ‭139:1-4‬

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Homebound

Julius and I met October 8, 2017 and we got married October 8, 2018. JUST ONE YEAR of friendship and love, then we wed.

Some people, specially those who are not of the same faith, ask me about why do I marry Julius given that I only knew him for a year.

Some even asked, “Are you pregnant?” Of course, I am not and I will not marry just because I’m one (my mom will kill me).

Others consider that our wedding is just a “head-over-heels” decision. But, everyone close to us gave us their blessings, even God blessed us so much to pull off a beautiful wedding.

Some are worried for me that I might end up marrying someone I barely know.

BUT, Julius was never a stranger to me. When I met him on the night of my birthday last year, I didn’t have that butterflies in the stomach kind of feeling. I didn’t went “gaga” or crazy, madly, deeply in love. “Kilig” was (still is) there but I was rational that my life, in all aspects, was not even altered by his coming (I got to balance my acads and work amazingly well with him). I’m not anxious about how I would look like in front of him or worry about what he’ll think of me. I was calm and at peace and not crazy and emotional.

As days passed by in our friendship, I knew I’m already home. Home, for me, is where I can find peace, where I can rest on, where I can feel secured all the time, where I look forward to at the end of every day, where I can be vulnerable with, where I can be my truest self (far from the prying and judging eyes of this world). A home is where I am safe and loved unconditionally.

When I met Julius, he does not make me feel like a teenage girl with raging hormones and is giddy whenever she’s with her “crush”, rather Julius made me feel like a school girl running home, excited to tell her parents how her day went by.

Yes, Julius was never a stranger. He will always be a family to me, and with him is where I will always belong.

Marrying him is running fast, homebound.

I looked high and low, and didn’t find him. And then the night watchmen found me as they patrolled the darkened city. “Have you seen my dear lost love?” I asked. No sooner had I left them than I found him, found my dear lost love. I threw my arms around him and held him tight, wouldn’t let him go until I had him home again, safe at home beside the fire.

– Song of Solomon‬ ‭3:1-4, MSG

Our wedding photos courtesy of Ram Marcelo Photography

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A Call for Help

Infinity War Spoiler Alert!

One of the scenes I liked in the Avengers: Infinity War movie is when Mr. Tony Stark looked up the number of Steve Rogers on his phone to call him for help. We, Avengers fans, know that Iron Man and Captain America were not really in speaking terms as they parted with unsettled issues in their last encounter. Based on the face of Tony Stark, he was having a hard time if he would really call Steve and so it wasn’t him who called (but the intent was already there).

Another favorite scene is when Tony Stark told Spidey that he didn’t like being with him in his mission to rescue Dr. Strange (because he thinks it’s dangerous for the boy). But, he let the boy help him still by including him in his plans and giving him tasks.

Tony Stark, a fictional superhero who is known to be super wealthy, famous, powerful, and intelligent, but knows when and how to call for help, even if he had a hard time doing so.

Asking for help is not easy for many of us because of our pride. When we are so full of ourselves, when we think we can do all things, and/or when we think we are always better than others, calling for help is not part of our actions.

Why would we ask for help when we think that we are better than others? Why would we ask for help when we think we are the strongest? Why would we ask for help when we think we can solve our problems by ourselves alone?

Our pride deceives us of who we really are. Pride makes us believe that we are the best, the greatest, the strongest, and awesomest, if there is such a word.

For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

– Galatians 6:3, ESV

Let me share with you one of the things I loved the most about a real life “tagaligtas” (savior).

Given his profession, his body built, the trainings and challenges he overcame, the life struggles he surpassed, and the workforce he belonged to, a man like my Cardo have all the reasons to think he is strong, great, and/or awesome. But, he is not. He did not even want to talk about him being a member of a special force. Instead, Cardo is more comfortable telling me about his weaknesses.

The #CardoWhoSavesMyDay can admit that he also needs Saving. He knows he needs help at times. He is honest that he has weak points. He knows when he needs rebukes and openly accepts corrections. Moreso, he would humbly asks for prayers because he knows that God is the greatest in his life. That’s my Cardo!

I couldn’t boast that I’m marrying someone who is the strongest and the best. But, I can delight on the fact that a man like my Cardo is teachable and humble. I can see a better future with this man, knowing that he isn’t proud and that he can co-labor with a woman like me, his future helpmeet.

I think Ms. Potts felt the same way with Tony. She is not intimidated with who Tony is or what he is capable of, because with her, the well-known poweful Iron Man becomes vulnerable.

Images are grabbed from Google.

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Pray for a Man who Prays

I’m writing this as I’m about to sleep after being prayed over by my fiancé on the phone. My heart is so full, that I just can’t contain how blessed I am to have someone praying for me and with me.

Exactly a month ago, my fiancé went back to his original mission assignment. Ever since the day he left, there is no morning that he missed waking me up with words of encouragement; there is no day that he missed saying “I prayed for you, Mahal”; and there is no night that he did not pray for me over the phone.

I’m not a prayerful woman. In fact, if there’s a ministry in church that I can’t join in that would be the intercessory. I’m not into lengthy prayers. I did not set a specific time for prayers, neither carry with me a list of prayers and petitions. But, I do make sure that I get to have a quiet time to pray and talk to God intently everyday.

Things changed when I started dating out my fiancé. With his line of work, as a Police Officer, I have become prayerful. I need to be his prayer warrior. But more than that, he is leading me closer to God, and I believe it’s enough reason to pray even more.

I’m also not a patient woman. I would easily lose my temper and snap over petty things. One time we were caught in a very stressful situation. I started ranting, complaining, and saying things negatively at my fiancé. Instead of firing back, he held my hand and started praying. I don’t know how to respond to that. Our situation turned upside down. I can’t help but thank him for pointing my focus back to God and not on our circumstances.

I like my fiancé’s cheesy lines, but I love his prayers more. Kilig will fade, but faith and love remains.

When things get tough, a man’s muscles will not guarantee his strength to carry on. But, a man’s faith is an assurance that he will not be shaken.

If you would ask me if I have a “prayerful” characteristic in my husband-to-be checklist, the answer is “no”. Shame on me. But, I’m thankful that God gave me the things I didn’t ask for in a man.

Ladies and Gents, don’t be like me; pray for someone who prays.

Prayer is the way we communicate to God. Isn’t it amazing to have someone who talks to God concerning you?

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When Love Casts Out Fear (The Wedding Proposal (Part I)

It was a typical Saturday wherein I have to teach for 9 hours straight. I woke up with Cardo’s morning call since he has been my alarm clock for the past 4 months and my constant encourager/reminder of “Para Sa Bayan” because I don’t have the will to go to work on that day. There was really nothing unusual for that’s our day to day morning habit.

The night before I told him that he can sit in my class if he’s not on duty, which he excitedly agreed. I was waiting for him to bring me my lunch (he does that every Saturday) and then have him in my class, but then he told me that he can’t leave the barracks yet.

I was about to have my lunch break when an official from Cardo’s company together with two of his closest buddies in complete uniform came in to the faculty room. Seeing their serious faces and hearing a made-up story from them made my heart beat fast.

If it was not his officer, I would have taken things lightly. But, I know who they were and how precious their time, so I really sense the urgency. I was thinking why would this officer bother pick me up when he could have send someone else? It must be something urgent.

Although their faces are very familiar and they are like friends to me, they were so formal like they were really on a mission. I was asking them what really happened but they said we will just discuss later. They did not even smile at me or joke around me like they used to everyday.

My mom was there with me and she was calm but does not seem to be happy with them picking me up, so they reassured her until she relented.

At those times, I’m really scared but I couldn’t cry. All I ever wanted was to see my Cardo as soon as possible to know if he’s doing fine.

They escorted me out of the faculty room to the university gym. It was already a scene because we came from the 3rd floor and passed 4 Colleges already. There were so many people staring at us, but I maintained my composure. I was trying to smile at his buddies to look for their reassurance but to no avail.

Upon reaching the parking lot, they said we should just wait for the police mobile. (I am now sure that I was really anxious that time because I did not even bother to ask what vehicle brought them to the campus.) After almost 5 minutes, the three of them moved far from me then I heard the loudest cheer behind. I turned around and suddenly everyone and everything surrounding me was a blur. My eyes were fixed at the sight of my lover in his complete uniform with a bouquet of roses in his hands.

I was the happiest, not because I was already thinking that he might “officially” propose but because my fear has subside already. Cardo was there smiling at me, and I know he will save me from the badnews that his comrades have told me. Indeed, #CardoSavesTheDay.

My fear eventually fades as my lover came near me. There is really no fear in love.

After handing me the flowers, Cardo went on his knees, opened a red box with a diamond ring, and asked, “Will you marry me?

He was shaking as he puts the ring on my finger. I know in spite of his shy, he was the happiest man alive at that time. He was flashing his smile that I love the most, and it was enough to calm me and reassure me that everything was fine with him. The badnews was just part of the surprise.

After saying “Yes” to him, all I can ever say was, “Papa, tinakot nila ako” then continue crying on his chest while all the people around us are still cheering.

Months from now, I will be walking again behind these men (this time in an aisle) for they will be part of the wedding entourage as my Cardo waits in the altar (no longer hiding in the parking lot).

The one thing that the Lord told me before Cardo’s proposal is, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The Lord knows that I might fear being left behind as Cardo will be reassigned soon, so His assurance came to my rescue. How can I not be so sure of what will happen when God already secured me of His presence in our lives? Truly, when God gives, He adds no trouble in it.

By the way, 2 weeks before the actual proposal, God already showed me in a dream that Cardo proposed to me inside our home.

One week after the dream, Cardo talked to my mother and asked for my hands in marriage. So, I already knew that the proposal is on its way. However, I never expect that it will come in such a surprise.

When I allowed God to write my love story, I am sure that it will be the best one. True enough, our story is the best one I can ever share!

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Of Dating a Sinner and Imperfect Man (why you should not ask for “Sana Lahat”)

My #CardoSavesTheDay posts on my social media accounts have brought in a lot of comments and reactions. The two most common responses I receive are: “Lodi talaga kita, Sir Cardo!” (You are my idol, Sir Cardo!), and “Sana Lahat…” (I wish all are the same”). I do appreciate these comments.

I liked that others get to admire him for what he does to me and for our relationship, but I would like to tell everyone that the Cardo I post on social media is not all that Cardo is. What I share publicly about my Cardo are only the good things.

“Problem comes when a person thinks a boyfriend or girlfriend walks on water and has no faults.” – Dan Chun

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The reasons why anyone should not say my Cardo (or any man) is “the ideal” are because:

1. Cardo is not perfect (no man is). He has flaws! There ARE things about him or things he do that I don’t like and somehow irritates me, which I don’t get to post on Facebook. These are the things that are so-not-Instagrammable about him. Being with Cardo for the past four months every single day (we live and work near each other) gives me the advantage to see him closely and know more about him. As the days go by, I can see how far he is from being perfect.

But, if you ask me, why I’m still staying with him? It’s because I can live with his imperfections. His flaws are not threats to my life and to our future family. In short, I can live with those flaws for the rest of my life.

Day by day, I look at his imperfections and instead of getting annoyed, I pray that God will allow me to see the beauty in his flaws, his quirks, and for who he really is versus who I want him to be. This is why I can post about his strengths and leverage on it rather than dwell on his weakness.

His love for God, controlled temper, patience, generosity, goals in life, and him being quick to admit his faults and ask for forgiveness, and many more builds up his character. The way he treats others, my family and his own, his superiors and those under him, is what wins me over. A good character is better than an imagined perfect man.

2. Cardo is a sinner. He has fallen short, he is falling short, and he will fall short from the glory of God. There are things he did in the past that he has shared with me which were not easy to embrace. In the four months that we are together, I see how he struggles with sin. And, I know, in the coming days, months, and even years, Cardo will still wrestle with sin.

Why am I staying with him? Because seeing him struggle with sin is a sign that he has not given in. He is fighting a good fight of faith! Cardo is not holy if left to his own strengths. But, I’m grateful that everyday he chose to be in Christ, for only Christ can set him apart.

Yes, Cardo is a sinner, but I don’t dwell much on how many times he sins or records his faults and shortcomings. Instead, I delight on the transforming and forgiving presence of Jesus that is in my Cardo. Every day, I get to tell him, “Mahal, I see Jesus Christ in you.”

Yes, Cardo is far from being a perfect saint, but he is a work in progress. I can look forward to the coming years with him because I know that God has better plans and future for him.

So, I disregard the idea of “Sana Lahat gaya ni Popoy ni Basha or Cardo ni Mona” because no man is perfect. Time will come that Cardo will fail me. Julius (Cardo’s real name) is not Jesus. Jesus is the only one who is perfect and worth imitating.

Julius is not Jesus. Jesus is the only one who is perfect and worth imitating.

Coming from a broken family and complicated relationships, I know that every day is not always rainbows and butterflies. There is no such thing as perfection in this world. I’m not a perfect woman too. I’ve learned to embrace imperfections, knowing that all things that God created is good and nothing is to be rejected but everything is to be received with thanksgiving. Cardo is God’s gift to me that’s why I always thank God for him with his flaws and all.

If you are a single person reading this and you hope to date a man/woman someday, be ready to date an imperfect sinner, because Mister/Miss Perfect is surely not existing.

If you are currently dating someone already, watch out for the red flags in the character of the one you are dating. Can you live with his character for the rest of your life? Do you think he/she will lead you and your future family to God? He may look like Popoy ni Basha but does not deserve any chance on you. 🙂