It has been three days since God has been convicting me to write about what I have experienced the past two months. A lot has happened, a lot of attacks, struggles, victories, learnings and by God’s grace, my dependence on the Lord has really deepened.
Since my last post, it has been more than a year. I love to write (thus the blog haha) but I was so preoccupied on a lot of other things the past year, that I was not able to write them here to share to you guys. But this time, I believe that God wants me to share these experiences with you so that you will also experience and see how wonderful, faithful and dependable our Father in heaven is.
Two months ago, the enemy’s attack on my life was from all sides and in every aspect of my life. God really tested my dependence on Him by shaking my relationships (my family, my friends and my dgroup), my business, my ministry and my finances which resulted to me falling into the black hole of insecurity again.
I remember what Peter said in Luke 5, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing…” This desperation in Peter’s words are exactly what I was feeling.
Three months ago, we decided to sell the first business my friends and I started. Personally, that was the first legit business (meaning one with a business permit and all, haha 🙈) that I started. All sweat, tears, resources, time and effort were shed to start the business. God taught me a lot of things preparing for the opening of the business and even during while we were running the business. It was really heartbreaking when we finally decided to sell the business due to management issues. But what was most heart breaking was that my partners and I are not in good terms because we had different principles with regards to how to handle the business, even on how to sell and who to sell it! We started the business in hopes that we strengthen our friendship, but now it has been a reason for us to grow apart from each other, which actually is the saddest part.
While my first business and my relationship with my closest friends were crumbling the sales of my other business took a really deep plunge. It was so slow that I had to use my own salary from my job to pay for the expenses of the store. I had a great staff, we do our best everyday, but it has been so rough. I remember what Peter said in Luke 5, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing…” This desperation in Peter’s words are exactly what I was feeling. And I thought, Lord, please show me even just one good thing that is happening in my life and I would really feel good. I kept asking God, Lord, pwede isa isa laang? haha (Lord, one at a time please). But God has something else in mind.
“…but God used this so that He can examine my heart, if I would still follow Him and His will, though none go with me.”
I love encouragements, I love to tell people how awesome they are and I also love to compliment them on just anything! And there are also times (well, actually, a lot of times, ahihi) when I too would want to hear encouragements from other people especially from my family and the people closest to me. The singles ministry in our church has just started and I felt very led to volunteer in this new ministry. It has been years since God placed in my heart the desire to volunteer in the singles ministry so when I had the opportunity to sign up, I did! I can really feel God telling me that this is what He wants me to do, to minister to the singles! I was so zealous, I can feel God’s prompting in my heart and I was so full of energy and so ready to serve God through this ministry. And so, I asked God to examine my heart, and then God slowly revealed the baggages in my heart. From the day I said yes to God to serve in the singles ministry, I shared with my family my zeal and what God has been telling me to do. They didn’t tell me not to do it, nor did they discourage me in any way, but they were not very supportive either. I love my family and I know that they love me, but God used this so that He can examine my heart, if I would still follow Him and His will, though none go with me.
I love to disciple. And I praise God for the joy that He has placed in my heart as I disciple ladies for His kingdom. But discipleship is impossible apart from the Lord. Amidst everything that has been going on in my life, my relationship with my Dgroup members has also been attacked by the enemy as well. And sometimes I ask God, am I still worthy to lead these ladies? It was really a blur for me, but God never gave up on me.
“I have allowed the enemy to take over my mind which is the worst thing that could happen.”
In my finances, I have mismanaged my finances this year. Honestly, yes I admit I have. 😔😔😔 Handling finances has been a huge struggle for me ever since I was a kid. This year was a great challenge because I have just started two businesses, one with my friends and other by myself with my mother and brother as investors. I also actually had one too many trips this year that (I just recently realized, bummer. 😅) didn’t really consult God about. And since my business was not doing well, my finances crumbled which led me to acquire so much payables that sometimes I cannot sleep at night thinking how I will be able to pay them.
But the greatest attack was in our home. I always feel alone when at home, I don’t know who to talk to, I am too ashamed of my struggles especially the financial struggles. I didn’t want to tell anyone at home because I was scared what they might think of me. I talk to them at home but never about the deep stuff, about what I was really feeling, only things like what new movies are on, current events or anything else but never the struggles that I am going through. I thought that they won’t listen because they too are busy with their lives. Sadly, I have pre-judged them, whew. 😢
With everything that has been going on, I felt so alone, so devastated and so disappointed with myself that I had the worst thought I could ever think of. I thought that maybe, just maybe, it would be so much better if I would be with Tatay now. I walked past a drugstore that is near my shop and I tried to google what drugs could help me overdose myself. I am not a medical person, so I know nothing about drugs and had to google for it. But, God, amazing as He is, still has plans for my life. When I was googling, I couldn’t understand a thing! It looked like chinese characters to me I cannot even explain why that happened! And seeing that, I got tired of researching about it that I stopped and went back to my shop. AS funny as it may sound, that was the real turning point for me. After I went back to the shop, I prayed and with tears I really asked God for forgiveness for that evil thought that came in my mind. I have allowed the enemy to take over my mind which is the worst thing that could happen. God led me again to the verse in Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind…”
“God led me to this point where there is no one else I can turn to but Him. God made me realize that He is the only one who is unchanging and that only His love is constant. Everything in my life are His and that He can take away everything just to show me that i am already complete in Him. ❤️”
Even though I am not worthy because of the thoughts that I have thought of, because of the things that I have done or even because of the words that I have said that did not glorify Him, God still called me out upon the waters. He still rescued me. He still loved me. And His love has motivated me to press on and start all over again.
God led me to this point where there is no one else I can turn to but Him. God made me realize that He is the only one who is unchanging and that only His love is constant. Everything in my life are His and that He can take away everything just to show me that i am already complete in Him. ❤️ And then God reminded me of His wonderful love for me. I cannot stop praising God for His deliverance even after my not-so-nice responses.
After that incident, I started seeking what God is teaching me though all this. I studied His word day and night and prayed in desperation, now renewed knowing that He loves me and always wants what’s best for me, even if I don’t understand the things that are happening in my life. And then, I started to open up to my dgroup slowly about the struggles that I have been facing. They have been so supportive and have even started praying for me immediately! I realized that I was so caught up with my own struggles that I forgot the main purpose of accountability. We carry each other’s burdens and we encourage each other though God’s love! And then After that, I opened up to my Mom about everything I have been going through. And when my mom and I talked she then told me that, everyday she has been praying for me because God has revealed to her that I need it. She knows I am struggling and she has helped me in the best way my Mom could, by praying for me everyday. I now realized that maybe that was why the enemy was unsuccessful in luring me to take my own life because my mom has been praying for me nonstop! My mom has been God’s instrument to support me in my decisions and slowly I realized that I am not really alone. I was just so caught up with everything that was going on that I was so blinded that I did not see that there are a lot of people who loves me and who are willing to pray for me!
I just recently joined a singles retreat and the first session (and all other other sessions, ehe) really struck me. But the first session was about the motivation of Paul (which again was the topic of Ptr. Peter in his devo during the Dgroup Leaders gathering a few days later), after everything that has happened to Him yet still He pressed on.
In 1 Corinthians 11:24-31, Paul wrote about his struggles:
“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?
If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.
The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, he who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.”
And then I realized that my struggles were nothing compared to what Paul has gone through and yet he did not give up, but he even boasted on his weaknesses. I, we, should never get tired of doing the things God wants us to do because we are doing it to please God.
“We talked, cried and prayed for and with each other. Accountability at its best.”
And during the retreat, I felt so much like Peter, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”, but instead of leaving Peter, Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.”. When Peter obeyed, despite of his past, and despite of who he is, God called Peter to be used for the expansion of His kingdom, the same way He can use me and every one of us.
I met a lot of people during the retreat and I will be making a separate blog post for that (teehee). But that was really a wonderful time for me to seek God and what His will for me is.
After the retreat God has then revealed to me the things He wanted me to do.
I started to open up deeper to my Dgroup Leader and my Accountability Partner after the retreat. I went with them to the retreat so on our last night in Manila, I poured my heart out to them for accountability and how God has turned my mess into a masterpiece. We all shared what we have been going through the past few months and it was a momentous occasion for all three of us! We talked, cried and prayed for and with each other. Accountability at its best.
I then started improvements with the store. With the help of a great artist friend, my very supportive best friend, nanay and a lot of awesome people, we were able to redesign the store, just like how God redesigned my heart! The store will be reopening next week! Woohoo!
“God is not finished with me, he is still pruning me and I still have a lot of struggles and a lot of learning to go through, but I am excited for what God will do next in my life. 😍”
I have started doing accountability regarding my finances. God convicted me to not purchase any flight tickets for next year, not only as a part of my consequence for bad financial decisions but also to learn to hunger for God and not for earthly gains (or stamps in the passport lol). One of my brothers also volunteered to be my accountability partner in this. If I plan on buying something and the price costs more that one thousand pesos, I should tell him first and he’ll help me assess if it is a need or just a want. My family has always been supportive, just not always in the way I expect them to be, but how God expects them to be because I know God is at work in my CCF Beyond family haha (My brother and his wife is from CCF Kuwait and my other brother in Auckland attends CCF New Zealand also with his wife, and my mom and my other other brother, attends CCF Iligan, thus, CCF Beyond, haha) 😎
God is not finished with me, he is still pruning me and I still have a lot of struggles and a lot of learning to go through, but I am excited for what God will do next in my life. 😍
I am praying that my friendship with my closest friends will be mended, all in God’s time. I hope I can reach out to them before the year ends, Lord willing! also am praying that God will continually use me in the dgroup and to have a more intimate relationship with the ladies. I am also praying that God will continually use me in the singles ministry! 😍
In my Dgroup, amazingly, when I asked God if I am still worthy to lead the ladies, His answer was, I am not. But, He has made me worthy, only by His grace alone. And theeeeeen He gave me two new dgroup members just this month! Oh how amazing God is! 🤩🤩
I am also praying for a debt free life! And that I be contented always in God’s love and provision, every single day!
I have been caught and I am excited to be used by God in any way.
And so because I want to imitate Paul as he imitate Christ, I have committed to make these as my motivation:
1. To have an eternal perspective
2. To always seek to please God in everything.
3. To always remember the Love of Christ to enable me to press on!
This has really been a humbling experience, but God has been so gracious every step of the way!
To end, I would like to share a portion of the lyrics of a song by Mercy Me,
“Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory,
And I know there’ll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that’s what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain“
Caught and now very much ready to serve,
PS. I you are going through a lot and need someone to listen to you or pray for you, please do not hesitate to contact me!
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