Friday, October 16, 2015

The Lord is good!

After months of going through a trying phase which includes – depression, emotional breakdown, agitation and more more stress, I can wholeheartedly say now that the Lord is still good! He remained to be faithful despite my unfaithfulness to Him for the past few months that I struggled trusting Him and being satisfied in Him; by being content with what I have and where I’m currently at in my life. I can now joyfully say that it was indeed necessary for my sanctification and I thank Him for that.

No, I am not proud of how my disposition was in the last few months.  I really thought I’d quit. Well, I did feel like I wanted to, but then the Lord had other plans. It took a while, but after being intentional in wrestling with Him through prayer and reading/meditating on His word, I have come to realize the reason why I suffered a sort of "self-inflicted depression."  It was because I was focusing too much on myself, what I think I lack, what I think I need, what I think I must have and all sorts of “what I…” I dwelt too much on things na gusto ko makuha pero alam kong di ko naman agad pwede makuha so nag paka brat ako before the Lord. I even became angry at Him (shame on me) for not giving me what I want.  It was too much, I was so full of myself and it was really dark phase to be in.
Yet while I was on my gloomy side, the Lord still made me feel loved by blessing me with people whom He used to get my attention back to Him.

First was the surprise birthday bash my Connect family gave me, it was planned by two of the ladies I’m discipling, Olive and She, and was attended by almost all of the Connect growth groups.

I really cried when I saw what they did for me. They set up a room for me, may photo booth, they brought food for my handa, I received a number of gifts and then I got a bouquet of roses pa.  

Teary-eyed me with ate Lea who gave me flowers.
Some of the gifts I received from my Connect family. And look at those eye bags! Hahaha!

My handa. 

With the Connect Ladies

And the Connect Men!
It was really humbling and unexpected. I never thought I’d receive such surprise after being out of the picture since I was on leave for the whole month of August in my Connect involvement.  John told me after that night “Kita mo, madaming tao ang nagmamahal sayo.” Just affirming!

Second was our Balesin Island Trip, a belated wedding gift by our Ninong, Tito Mike Asperin.  It was also a chance for John and I to have a moment na kaming dalawa lang in celebration of our third year anniversary as husband and wife.

First night in paradise!
We had Greek dinner at Thanassis Taverna, at Mykonos Village. 

Grabbed from Tita Charu's facebook.
This was day 2, we had brunch at Warung, Bali Village with the Asperin Couple and Doc Jovic.

Feeling wala sa Pinas pose. Bumalik kami sa Mykonos Village, my favorite village in Balesin.

At Toscano Village. Photo credit to Tito Mike. 

With our beloved Ninong, Tito Mike Asperin.
Thank You, Lord for him!
Day 3 and we went back at Mykonos to experience the whirlpool tub/jacuzzi!

That trip was so of God! It was really humbling and it made me speechless to receive a gift, an expensive one may I say, that I know with my current state na hindi ko deserve.  I really felt like God was humbling me when I first saw our booking confirmation.  I cried. Yung feeling na hindi ka na nga deserving pero bini-bless ka pa rin? Yun ang feeling ko talaga.  Meron pa sa part ko na parang ayoko tanggapin pero naisip ko na lang na, parang grace lang ni God itong gift na ito, hindi ako deserving pero binigay pa rin sa akin, sa amin ni John and so inenjoy at nagpasalamat na lang kami. The experience was memorable not just because the place was a paradise but also because of the stories Tito Mike and Tita Charu shared with us, a story of God's faithfulness in their life na talaga naman lalong nang-rebuke and nang-encourage sa akin. It was really, God-ordained.  John and I were so blessed by that thre-day vacation. 

I thought after the Balesin trip I’ll be totally okay. Hindi pa pala. May mga ilan pa rin akong naging eksena and then it took a fight with John para talaga magkaroon ako ng major turning point to realize things. Napakabuti pa rin ng Panginoon, He really made a way para maging maayos ang heart ko.  Sa mga quiet times ko lately and Bible reading ina-affirm Nya lang ako na kailangan ko lang ma-satify sa Kanya because He is the only One who can truly satisfy all my needs. Sabi Nya sa Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Hindi pala ako nagde-delight sa Kanya at kaya lumayo ang heart ko at hindi ko ginusto kung ano ang gusto ng heart Nya, kung ano ang will Nya for me kaya ako naging miserable. Huhu! And just like the Samaritan woman at the well with whom Jesus revealed Himself to be the Messiah, I have found myself somewhat telling God "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." -John 4:15 and then Jesus answered na Sya ang living water.  It was a great reminder for me.  Oo nga naman di ba? Nag lo-long ako ng mga bagay na hindi naman talaga makakasatisfy sa akin, while all along the Lord is with me.  And ayun na nga, because I'm so full of myself, di ko nakita agad yun. Ang haba pa tuloy ng pinagdaanan kong mga eksena.

Pero ayun nga, ang galling lang. The Lord is really good!  He still did not let go of me even if I felt like REALLY giving up.

Allow me to share my devotion the other day na sobrang relate na relate ako, "God heals by humbling" by John Piper:

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the LORD, “and I will heal him.” (Isaiah 57:18–19)
In spite of the severity of man’s disease of rebellion and willfulness, God will heal. How will he heal? Verse 15 says that God dwells with the crushed and humble. Yet the people of verse 17 are brazenly pursuing their own proud way. What will a healing be?
It can only be one thing. God will heal them by humbling them. He will cure the patient by crushing his pride. If only the crushed and humble enjoy God’s fellowship (v. 15), and if Israel’s sickness is a proud and willful rebellion (v. 17), and if God promises to heal them (v. 18), then his healing must be humbling and his cure must be a crushed spirit.
Isn’t this Isaiah’s way of prophesying what Jeremiah called the new covenant and Jeremiah called a new heart? He said, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel . . . I will put my law within them and I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (31:31, 33).
Isaiah and Jeremiah both see a time coming when a sick, disobedient, hard-hearted people will be supernaturally changed. Isaiah speaks of healing. Jeremiah speaks of writing the law on their hearts.
So the healing of Isaiah 57:18 is a major heart transplant — the old hardened, proud, willful heart is taken out and a new soft, tender heart is put in which is easily humbled and crushed by the memory of sin and the sin that remains.
This is a heart that the lofty One whose name is Holy can dwell with and give life to.

I thank Him because He is just wise like that. And I am now looking forward for better days, for a better me na not full of me but full of Him. I pray He’ll find me faithful again, by His grace syempre.  The Lord is still good and indeed His mercy endures forever!