Getting Married and Staying Married

The Holy Gospel of the day inspired me to write something about the sacrament of marriage.

Being married with someone you really love is not merely a gift; it is a HOLY gift. And when I say “HOLY” for me it is dedicated and consecrated to God.

When I was young, I had this misconception between marriage and wedding. I thought that marriage and wedding are synonymous. Although they are related to each other, they are very much different in nature. While wedding refers to the ceremony, marriage refers to the relationship-a long term sharing of two lives.

The idea of wedding and getting married never fails to blow my mind. That dream of having sacred and sincere ceremony, exchanging of vows in front of God and all our loved ones, wonderful table setting, tall and unique wedding cake, and wearing the best dress of my life ever.

Fast forward.

Getting married: Expectations

  • Waking up in the morning with the person you love the most, morning talks before going to work, and breakfast in bed;
  • Exchanging sweet text messages while at work;
  • Being excited going home to see your husband/wife;
  • Having a baby soon;
  • Cooking food for dinner and eating together;
  • Late night drives and conversation;
  • Travelling the world;
  • And many more!!!!

Staying married: Reality

  • Most of your expectations will only happen during the first few months or first few years of your marriage or never at all;
  • You might have trouble on having a baby or you might find it hard to look after your kids;
  • No more money and time for long drives or travels;
  • Long and heavy fights:
  • And a lot of changes that will bring your marriage on the edge.

These are just few of our expectations and realities in married life.

Having expectations is not bad. It’s actually good because it might bring the best out of you to turn all those expectations into a reality. But always remember that expectations will not always become a reality and there are huge adjustments to be made.

When you marry someone, you did not promise him/her to make your dreams/expectations to happen in reality. What you have promised is to stay with that person even if things didn’t happen the way you want it to be. Staying married rather than just being married. And sometimes reality is better than your expectations because it all comes out natural from the both of you.

We always want to be true. But being FALSE this time might work for your married life

F- forgiveness. Marriage is not only made up of two good lovers, it also consist of two good forgivers

A- acceptance. Always accept your mistakes and shortcomings and always accept that changes might always come your way.

L- love. Always share God’s love to each other.

S- surrender. Surrender your worries to God.

E- embrace. Embrace each other’s strengths, flaws, and weaknesses.

“Always choose to be inlove with your spouse and never stop to look for ways to stay inlove.”

May God be Praised

“With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

-Ephesians 4:2-3

No… Wait… YES!

I am stubborn! I am impatient! I usually always want things to happen according to my plans. But… that was me 2 years ago.

Now, I can confidently say that I have grown up and changed for the best.

I can still remember that day when God said “NO” when I want to proceed my application in one of the prestigious universities in the Philippines. That time, I know it’s actually not feasible for me to study there because of financial issues and because it will not let me proceed with the course I’ve always wanted, which is Psychology. That time, I am aiming for the best university to avoid being judged by others and to maintain the fame that I have. I complained a lot to Him and even questioned Him. But now, I understand why he said “NO” and it’s because being able to complete your degree in a prestigious and well-known university is not as important as being able to study and work in a field that you are really passionate with. I actually can’t imagine myself now being a nutritionist if I proceeded with my own ways. And I am very happy now working with a lot of people experiencing different kinds of disabilities and mental illnesses and being able to help them individually and their families. Thank you, Lord! Thank you for saying “NO.”

WAIT! He said that to me quite few times in life. But my patience is not that high to tolerate waiting for the things that I really wanted. During those times that I am looking for work, He never fails in giving me various opportunities to work with different organisations, which helps me with my financial needs. However, it’s not the work that I am praying for. But, it’s true, you just need to wait for His timing and He will give you the best. A year ago, I am looking for behaviour therapist job opportunities here in Melbourne and I really struggled a lot in finding one. I experienced a lot of rejections which made me think of giving up. And finally, I got one! And then I realised, He didn’t give it to me before because my schedules are not fixed, I don’t have a car, and I need more hours of work because of the tuition fees that I need to pay. And if I worked there earlier, I might ruined the schedule of the organisation and end up having a bad reputation, I might also had a hard time getting from one client to another if I used the public transportation and I might struggle more in paying my tuition fees because of the limited time that I can work. At the same time, I might not yet ready for that job because I am still adjusting here in Melbourne. Discernment is not my expertise. I am usually agrressive to grab opportunities given to me. But now, I have learned how to wait, pray, and discern properly and according to His time and His will.

Lastly, a big YES from God. It is when a certain blessing or gift was given to you in the least expected way, time, and setting. It might also be something that you have been praying for but not expecting it to get immediately. It’s like when I found the love of my life (a bit cheesy) haha. He’s my God’s Greatest Gorgeous Gift. We’re not a perfect couple but there’s something greater than being perfect; it is when both of you are working so hard to make your relationship last forever. A relationship full of love, trust, and respect. A relationship that knows how to honour both of our parents. A relationship without competition. A relationship with pure and Godly love. Love that is patient, kind, selfless, not easily angered, protects, hopes, and always perseveres. God gave me the best! A person who will not leave me at my worst. A person who will always pray for me. A person who wants the best for me. A person who will take good care of me. A person that respects me. He’s one of my favourite YESES in life!

All of us might experienced or currently experiencing a NO, WAIT, and YES from God. But I am a living witness of His greatest love and mercy for everyone of us. We just need to trust Him. He has a reason for everything and believe me when I say that He wants the best for us and He will never leave us because He LOVES us! Always pray for a humble heart! A heart that will always trust Him; a heart that knows how to accept His noes; a heart that will patiently wait for His answers; and a heart that will praise His name for His big YESES!

Miracales do happen everyday! ❤️

And for that, May God be Praised!

God Restores the Broken

All of us are capable of being broken. It’s fine to cry, to scream, and let it all out. Give yourself a time to heal and restore the brokenness in you.

But how can we restore a broken heart?

I was broken several times, in different ways, in different situations, and because of different people who I am surrounded with. But hey! I made it! And I know that I will make it through no matter what! Why? How? Because I have my God, who knows how to restore the broken. I have a God, who has a purpose for my pain. I have a God who has a reason for allowing things to happen. And I have a God, who LOVES me so much; who loves us so much. All we need to do is to trust His will; to follow His ways; and to LOVE him and have faith.

I can still remember how a bible verse changed my ways of thinking about life and pain. I was 12 years old back then, when I attended a Sunday Mass. While I was listening to the homily of the priest, he suddenly asked “What’s your favourite bible verse?” Everyone was talking and trying to say out loud their favourite bible verse. However, I was so blank that time, not because of the noise around, it is because I can’t even remember one bible verse, knowing that I am studying in a Catholic school. What a shame!!!! Then the priest shared his favourite bible verse, Corinthians 13: 4-7, which was also the first reading that Sunday. He read it out loud and I can still feel the goose bumps I had that time, hearing every word coming out from his mouth.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

-Corinthians 13:4-7

When I got home, I opened the bible and read Corinthians 13 several times. But reading it was still not enough. So, what I did was, I grabbed a pen and a paper, and I wrote down everything and started to reflect on each sentence.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Patient love bears with offenses and does not eager to punish the offender. Instead, it looks for ways to help the offender to learn from his/her mistakes.  Patient love knows how to wait. We often see patient love from God; we make never-ending mistakes, but He was still there, loving us and guiding us to His way.

I believe that kindness is how we treat others. However, I also believe that kindness is still based on the intention of doing good to others. It might also take the form of a gentle rebuke when careful and rightful discipline is needed.

It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Love should not be jealous. We are often corrupted by being envy of what others have. However, a person who knows how to love also knows how to appreciate and how to rejoice when others are blessed with good things.

Love that does not boast knows that your own value and worthiness will never be measured on your achievements in life. In addition, it does not underestimate and does not exalt itself over others.

Lastly, love should not be proud, it should not be characterised by self-importance or arrogance. It knows how to live in humility.

It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love knows how to respect others regardless of their status and position in life. A person who knows how to love, must know how to acknowledge the concern of others and will never act dishonorably or disgrace other person.

It should not prioritize things based on his/her own good. Instead, he/she must know how to put first the good of others and places God first above all.

Love knows how to forgive and will not let anger control his/her heart and mind. Love is selfless.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.

Truth! Love should be according to truth at all time. It will not tolerate evil doings of others and will not let temptation to dominate his/her mind, heart, and soul.

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love should not harm, shame, and damage others. Love knows how to trust others, regardless of how many times he/she became broken because of trusting. It hopes for the best of everyone and will still continue to love no matter what.

From that day, I started to live in accordance with this bible verse. I started to pause and pray when I am running out of patience. I also became mindful in examining my intentions in everything that I will do. I am trying my very best to treat others in a very good way even if I had a bad day. I am always praying to have a heart that will speak with humility and will only speak the truth; a heart that will see the greatness with other people. I also learned how to acknowledge and recognise my own strengths and weaknesses and use those to inspire and motivate others. I was also able to learn that I cannot make it without God and without those people who loves me and who hurts me. I started not to measure my own value and worthiness based on what I already achieved in life, or even based on my past. I seek more of truth and start to resist lies. I started to celebrate my neighbours’ victory and to pray for the success of others. I still trust in spite of million betrayals I experienced in life. I became more selfless and still working on it. I am now 22 years old but still on the process of loving myself and others in God’s way. I know that it’s hard to risk your life several times in loving, but one thing I am sure of LOVE NEVER FAILS. My life never became easier learning these things, actually, it sometimes became harder. But, my heart, mind, and soul became stronger for I know that I am being LOVED by God, especially when times get tough and I was able to survive. Love when it hurts! Love harder. Pray harder.

“GOD REALLY KNOWS HOW TO RESTORE THE BROKEN! He never failed to love us, that’s why we are still here! That’s why we are still loving others because we believe that it can restore the brokenness within us.”

There will be a million reasons to stop loving. We might experience several betrayals in life; we might experience living with the lies of others; we might experience being abused by others; we might experience being prison of poverty, depression, discrimination, and even of our past. But, always remember, that God will never stop loving us, and we should take His love to heal our broken hearts. We should humble our hearts and recognise that we cannot do it without His love. We should also be an instrument of love to others. We might think that our experiences were the most horrible thing in this world, and we might underestimate the pain of others, but we should remember that it will never be the level and length of the pain. Because not all of us are gifted of the strength to overcome those, and others might need us to feel the love from God so they can hold on

Always remember, that all of us are not only capable of being hurt, we are also capable of loving.

“God restores the broken through LOVE!”

 

 

 

 

Compassion, Love, and Food for My Soul

It’s been almost 23 years since I started to run in the endless road of life. Looking at new born babies, I would say that compassion, love, and food were the only things I need in this world back then. But things have changed and my needs also changes. In fact, the time has come where these three things are not enough and will never be enough.

Looking back at my childhood days, where attention from my parents were the greatest reward I could ever received. I am the happiest kid in this world when I got praised by them for doing something good. It makes me feel like I will do great in my journey to adulthood. But things changed over time. I started to build relationships outside our house, which made me crave for the attention of others too. I actually became a people pleaser thinking that it’s the only way to be good; not being aware that it starts to ruin the goodness in me.

Compassion. It is where my faithfulness in humanity started. I used to believe that every person has kindness and humility in his/her heart. I thought that everyone has a helping hand to those who are in need. I thought that everyone has a genuine sympathetic pity and concern for the misfortune of others. I thought that it is where the love started to grow for each other. Unfortunately, compassionate heart does not exist to everyone. I searched a million times to hold on, but I end up seeing it in a very few people. It is where I started to look for more. My need of compassion grows bigger by asking equality in everything that I will do. I should not be the only one giving, I should also gain something! I started to be kind, to only those who are also kind to me. I only offer my hand to those who have the capability of also helping me in the future. Respect is also something I am not just throwing away, it became something that others should gain.

Love. I used to believe that love is the most beautiful thing. But my roller coaster experiences in life made me feel upside down about love. Love is blind and love is hate.

I’ve always wanted to spread love. It’s actually my childhood goal, but my childhood experiences captured my very soul; it made my love love love turned into HATE. I cried so many times, I got mad and screamed so loud, and also asked Him WHY. But I am left with nothing and no one. It is where I started to easily hate and to struggle loving others. It is where I started to envy others and stop loving who I am, in fact, I started to hate myself. It is where I stopped seeing Christ to everyone. I was blinded, yes! It is because I believed so much in love. I believed so much in the power of love! And now, love would never be enough.It takes a lot of time, effort, respect, and trust before giving it away to someone.

Food. Food for my tummy is enough back then. When I cried mum only needs to give me some food to eat and a milk to drink and that’s it! I’m the happiest child ever! As I grow older, food for my tummy will never satisfy my cravings anymore. I crave for too much in this world; I crave for successful relationship with my family; I crave for a genuine friendship; I crave for fame; I crave for intelligence; I crave for beauty; and I crave for more and more. Endless MORE!

Until one day, as I look myself in the mirror, I saw too much scars, not on my body, but in my eyes. Scars made by being envy of asking too much, not only to myself but also from the people that surrounds me.

I paused for a while, I closed my eyes and prayed. That’s the first time I felt the satisfaction within me. As I opened my eyes, I realised that compassion, love, and food were still too much to satisfy my soul.

If I will just…

STOP asking too much from myself and from others. I have learned that it is about my willingness to take small steps in accepting, loving, and be thankful for who I am and to spread compassion and love that lies within my soul. It’s about being ready to give and to help without asking if I will gain something from it. It’s about loving without being afraid to hate and to forgive. It’s about feeding yourself not only with the most delicious and most expensive cuisine in the world. It’s about feeding yourself with respect, trust, love to yourself and others. And to feed yourself with the scriptures that will guide you during those times that you don’t know anymore how to be compassionate to others, how to love and forgive, and when the time has come that you are craving too much of the things this world is blinding you with.

Lastly, I learned that I only need to take a deep breath and pray. It works! You only need to wait for his answer, and then you’ll see the goodness in everything.

“It is about being contented to what you can give and what others can give.”

And it is also about seeing CHRIST in every person that we are encountering and acting in the likeness of Him”

 

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.”

-Philippians 4:11