When the astrovan finally left, I got ready for my morning prayer. It should have come first but I had to supervise the preparations for the kids’ trip to Holy Carabao and Fun Farm – braid Hannah’s hair, check their bags, set camera, give instructions and reminders, etc. My mind wanted to imagine the pure enjoyment of traveling with my family to the countryside. Oh, I know that would be blissful but I didn’t want to let my mind wandering in that direction and lingering. It would be too painful.
I thought long and hard about my sharing with you our unique life. That is, the setup our family has learned to embrace in the midst of my frail health. I wanted to protect that part of our life and keep it hidden from public knowledge, but lately, something has been urging me to open it up and let you in. If in any way our life would become an inspiration to others, then I would have given glory and honor to Him who has mercy for us.
Since 2009, I haven’t been able to travel far from home due to my illness. My abdomen is weak and I get tired easily and when I do, my breathing becomes difficult and I get dizzy. But I don’t let this hinder my children to live their lives as they should. When they are invited to birthday parties, their daddy accompanies them. When he has commitments concerning our company, one of the maids or a cousin would accompany them. I haven’t gone to any school event. When Hannah had her piano recital at the Meralco Theater and it was a Sunday and her daddy must not skip church, her uncle and cousin were the ones who assisted her (her dad rushed to the show after church).
Those are events that our children need to participate in. But there are also things that children would love to do during summer or Christmas Holidays. So, I plan for those things then. I plan and prepare every detail that they would need, where they would go, what they would do, etc. I don’t forget to tell them to enjoy and not be sad for mommy. Then I wait at home while they and their dad go out.
When they arrive home, the kids would excitedly run to me, hug and kiss me like they had been gone for days! They would give me the camera and together, we would view their pictures, the kids rattling off about their day.
It was hard at first. After they had left, I would drown myself in praise music, letting my spirit be carried away by the glorious praise and strain to feel God’s comfort. I don’t know how I had survived those first lonely years, but miraculously I did, and I am now in a place where joy and thanksgiving weigh heavier than any self-pity or bitterness. God has brought me to where I am now. I still can’t travel, but my spirit soars higher than I had ever imagined and I have learned to live in contentment and pure gratitude. The words of the Apostle Paul have become true to me:
For I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. (Phil. 4:11-12)
I’m not saying this is a perfect situation, and thus, I’m satisfied to stay this way. Not at all. I long to travel, foremost to testify, share the Gospel and win souls. I never gave up praying and dreaming to be able to travel again. But while I wait, the Lord taught me to live in the moment’s grace, to relish what I have right now, and to delight in Him no matter what. For most people, it’s easy to delight and rejoice in the Lord when they seem to have it all: good health, material blessings, and strong spiritual life. But for one who has not good health, yet delights in the Lord and rejoices in Him – that is satiating grace!
Lately, I took inventory of God’s blessings in my life and realized that I have all the beautiful, priceless things the world yearns for: love, joy, peace, faith, hope! And I reviewed my days and I found myself really delighting and rejoicing in the Lord not because I want Him to give me the desires of my heart but because He has given them already and more!
But what does this satiating grace consist of?
- Grace that teaches the heart to love God more than anything in the world. When hunger to travel and see the world visits me, I think about Anna. She was very young when she became a widow, but she didn’t use her freedom to take pleasure in the world, instead, she chose to stay to serve the Lord night and day. [Anna] was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day (Luke 2:37). She did it voluntarily and willingly. I want to remember the Lord Jesus’ words, that I am not of the world as He is not of the world, for He has chosen me out of the world (John 17:14, 15:19). And so I soak in this truth: I’m chosen, therefore, I’m blessed.
- Just as Anna was gifted with constant prayer and fasting, the Lord has made me worthy to be a vessel of His gift – the gift of writing. Writing, and sharing our testimonies and life lessons to the world, is for me like a journey – a journey wherein I continue to learn and grow in the process, and take pleasure in the experience. It doesn’t matter if I have only over a hundred blog followers, or receive just 1 0r 2 emails in a month from people who seek the truth, healing, and the Savior’s love (and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to serve). The Lord has called me to write and I am His willing vessel. He will achieve what He purposes.
- Grace to hunger for Him and seek Him daily. Just as the sun is sure to rise every morning, He sends His joy and inspiration to see me through the day. And the joy of the Lord is my strength. His presence goes before me, covering me with His love and comfort.
- Grace to be a wife to my husband and mother to my children, nurturing the family with the wisdom and strength the Lord has blessed me with.
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