From mourning to dancing

How do you get over a loss of a loved one?

How do you move on from devastating grief?

April 2, 2018. I woke up again today crying–no sobbing.

It doesn’t happen all the time but when the crying and the sobbing and the grief comes, somehow it feels like I’m at the millisecond of the moment I knew of my loss once again.

Today I cried because for the first time in a long time, I dreamt of my Papa.

I don’t remember what the scenario was but I recalled that his face just appeared in front of me. I vividly remember how his face has now grown gray stubble…almost like a Lolo. My heart broke because my prayer when my Papa was sick was that I would get to see him getting old and becoming a grandfather. I wanted my kids to grow up to have a Lolo, unlike me not experiencing the love and affection of one. And in my dream, there he was. I remember just calling out to him and feeling the texture of the stubble on his face against my hand. It is hard to believe I would get to see him only in my dreams. Then I cried real hard. I sobbed and sobbed and I woke up with a hush.

Somehow I woke up with a split of emotions inside of me–I was feeling broken and I was feeling mended, healed and comforted. I realized, “It’s okay Anj..this is just an episode of grief and you don’t need to live by it.” I woke up being reminded the great redemption has been done and I don’t need to be bound by a wreck of loss because of the hope of heaven.

I was all the more comforted with the #LentenDevotionals that our church released this week. It talked about “What is the significance of Easter Sunday?”

The women who had been with Jesus wanted to tend to his body after the Sabbath only to find the stone rolled over, the tomb empty and the linen neatly folded.

What do we get from an empty tomb?

I love what Pastor Jeff said.

“The great gift of Easter can be summarized into one word–HOPE. For us Christians that’s what we have. That’s one thing that can never be taken away from us. Hope is eternal. Problems are temporal but our hope is eternal.”

Because of the promise of that empty tomb  that Jesus who died for us didn’t remain dead but resurrected back to life, we can have hope for the eternal things. Whatever was lost in this world, we will see it eternally redeemed in heaven.

Our hope will never be dashed away. Because our hope is eternally fixed in heaven.

For this reason, our mourning has now been turned to dancing. Death didn’t get the final victory. Jesus won it for us.

We now have beauty from ashes for Jesus has risen from the grave!

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

– 1 Corinthians 15

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Here’s the #LentenDevotionals that I mentioned in this post.

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Trusting through…

The clock is about to strike September 5, 2017 in a few minutes now.

Few weeks ago, I was very frustrated, anxious and nervous at the same time.

Frustrated how things are not going the way I’ve planned out.

Anxious with how I can cope up with all the sudden changes that has been happening.

Nervous to how it will turn out for me come September 5.

I was in a mental, emotional and spiritual wreck. I thought I would just blow up just thinking about so many things at that time.

I found myself wishing September 5 would just come in a flash so I don’t have to go through the turmoil of waiting and waiting and waiting how another day would unfold leading to this day I was dreading.

I just wanted to get over and done with. “Lord, just let me know if I would make it or not!” That was my selfish prayer.

I’m grateful that God surrounded me with friends who would speak faith and pray for me ever so lovingly.

Blessed to have a gracious God who doesn’t answer me the way I want to but answer me in love, I felt Him tugging my heart and leading me to hear from Him even with my self-absorbed heart.

“You can enjoy this.”

I think I didn’t hear Him right. Enjoy? What?

“Yes, you can enjoy because you’ll get to know me more as you go through it.”

Have I told you I am blessed by how gracious God is?

Now I get the cliche “TRUST THE PROCESS.”

I have to repent with how unbelieving I was that He is present in the process, His grace is sufficient for me to go through the process, His power will enable to be victorious after the process.

Bishop Juray Mora said in one of our classes that the place between believing and receiving is called place of faith.

A place where your faith can grow.
A place where your faith can lead you to receive your miracle.
A place where your faith can show you how the impossible be made impossible.

But I realized it’s also a place where your faith will be tested, put into the fire and stretched.

Few weeks ago was the place where I had to surrender my faith, or rather the lack of it and ask Jesus again, Lord help me overcome my unbelief and give me faith.

It’s now officially September 5, 2017. The testing was tough. The stretching was painful.

But it was all worth it.

I’ve received my prayer. It eventually turned out well. The miracle happened. The impossible became possible for me.

Yet more than this, I am so much more grateful that God indeed revealed Himself more as I went through these past weeks of faith building, molding, stretching journey.

I’ve learned to depend on Him more and not my own strength.

I’ve come to behold more how wonderful His grace is. I receive not because I deserve. I receive because He is a loving Father. I receive only through Jesus.

I’ve come to praise Him not because the journey was easy  but because in this journey I had to take, He was present–never leaving, never forsaking, ever so near, ever so faithful.

Whatever journey you may be in right now. I pray that you trust the One who holds the steering wheel of your life. He will get you there. The destination may be unclear now, but I am sure everything will turn out for your good because He is incredibly good. <3

Lord, thank You for the seasons You have faithfully brought in our lives. Thank You that every season, every journey is building us up to the ultimate journey we have in this life–the journey of loving You more and Your people more and more each day. May we eagerly await for You more than we await for the answers to our prayers. Lead our hearts to submit to Your good, pleasing and perfect will. Train our hearts to trust in Your steadfast love. We are safe in Your hands.

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His daughter.

I got invited to a party last week and the celebrant was from a prominent family here in our province. As I was talking to someone who is a part of this family, I think one of the guests got curioused who I was so she asked (I’m sure with no offense intended :) ) whose daughter I was.

Somehow I realized that’s how normally we associate someone we usually don’t know, right? We ask from what family they are related to.

Understandably, the person I was talking to wasn’t able to answer immediately since I was not really a daughter of someone they know from their sphere.

I was not offended at all by this but something struck my heart as I went about the party and ‘brushed shoulders’ with the higher ups of my community.

It was actually very humbling for me.

I realized, yes I’m not someone from a prominent family. My economic standing wouldn’t give me an access to the room I was eating at.

Yet I was there.

With a gentle whisper, I am affirmed, I am His daughter
…I am a daughter of the King of kings.

Given access before His presence
…before the most prestigious place anyone can ever be.

How humbling it is to be reminded that earthly prominence isn’t the only thing that will give me special privileges. My heavenly citizenship ultimately does.

How satisfying it is to tangibly taste and experience the favor and blessing that comes from the Lord alone. He is indeed good.

How overwhelming it is to be embraced by His steadfast love and undeserved grace.

Sweet Jesus, thank you for making this all possible for me.
Heavenly Father, thank you for adopting me into your family.
Holy Spirit, thank you for faithfully leading me to the truth of who I am.
I am eternally grateful.

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Mending now

 

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You hang around, oh this feels fine
Throw the confetti now
Flash your superb smile

The frost has melted, cozy on the floor
Lit a candle, still a bit tender
You lift up your hands
Memories tend to linger

No, don’t hide
Dream anyway
Let me stay beside you and say, hey

You’re mending now
Slowly getting there
A good laugh, a good cry
Feeling so much better

Throw open the windows,
out for a little walk
There was a slight drizzle

You draw in closer
to your hope that’s never fickle
Hey,
You’re mending now

Life changing lessons and life long friends.

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Big words. Daring commitments. But yes, even as I am typing this blog post, my heart seems to overflow more with gratitude, joy and awe of what God has done and what He has brought in my life a little over a week ago–life changing lessons and life long friends.

I’ve actually been looking forward to be part of  this school for the past two years already. I knew it was gonna be awesome, but going through the actual school for two weeks was something else!!!

From getting personal impartation from great spiritual leaders I highly look up to, to learning how to take off my minister’s hat but be still and bask in the presence of God as His daughter, to meeting and building friendship with spiritual family from Every Nation–ahh I couldn’t even begin to wrap my head around it!

But I know I’m a forgetful human, so in my hope not to forget the highlights of lessons and experiences God has faithfully allowed me to have, here goes a quick list of those things:

  1. Train yourself to be able to worship God even with eyes open. (I’m a eyes-closed-lift up-your-hands-forget-about-the-world-kind of worshiper. Ha. So when one of our Pastors instructed that, I kinda panicked. How to? But then he said, we gotta learn how to do that so we can learn how to see God through the distractions. God is bigger than the distractions around us and He will speak. I know, He did.)
  2. ‘What you’re building today will determine how you will face the crisis of tomorrow.’ -Pastor Jim Laffoon (Oh this one. Hit me hard. One of our Pastors said that being in the school for two weeks and encountering God there is well and good, but the goal is not just so we can simply have an amazing encounter with Him but that from there we will continue to build our lives–making room for God, seeking Him, building friendship with Him that no matter what circumstance may happen, we are covered. Hmmm…this statement made me ponder a lot how I’ve been living my life so far and how major adjustments and life renovation needs to be done. T.T Let’s do this!!!)
  3. Sometimes it’s not us waiting on God but it’s actually God waiting on us. (Did you hear me say, ouch? :( Many times I struggle about this, I wait and wait but then I fidget and get tired and just move on with what task I need to do next. I realized God’s always ready to speak to me, it’s just that my heart is just too unsettled to make room for Him to speak and when it takes too long for my liking, I just move away. *sigh* I tell you being in the school led me to many many many moments of repentance. Thank you Jesus for your grace!!! <3)
  4. Friendship is built intentionally. (Both with God and with spiritual family! <3 Pastor Jim said this about friendship with God “Friendship is not a gift. It’s a choice. It will take time. It’s not quick. There are no shortcuts.” Also true with building friendship with humans! I’m grateful that through the school I was able to meet family from Every Nation all over the world. But I knew meeting wasn’t enough, if I want to build friendship with them then I gotta set appointments with them for lunch or snack or dinner, have a conversation with them before the class start, take a selfie or a groupie!!!, ask questions, tell my story, listen and be there for them! I’m so grateful beyond words for the amazing men and women I got to meet and got to be friends with. <3)
  5. Write. Speak. (God will speak. He will reveal. He will strike our hearts. The moment will be overwhelming but sadly our human minds and hearts are simply just forgetful. So two action words that I learned I need to practice more–write, speak. Write–as fast as you can! haha especially when the lessons are just dripping with quotable quotes! but kidding aside–really to write–what God has been impressing in your heart, showing in Your mind, revealing in your dreams. Write it down. So you’ll remember. I find this helpful also to process them better later–with leaders who can speak to me and with people God wants me to share to. {Thus, this blog. hehe} Speak–in love and for love. Honestly, I am afraid to speak into the life of people sometimes, afraid that what I’ll say will simply won’t make sense, irrelevant to them, and just my words/imagination and not God’s. But I got encouraged with what one of the Pastor’s said–the goal is not accuracy but to minister. Having the heart to speak life and minister God’s love to a person is truly more important than saving my face. Yes. Speak, I will, Lord.)

Skimming through some of my notes made me realize if I continue to write all the highlights I got, it will take me a looooooong time. But I hope you got encouraged with some bits and pieces of what I learned and I pray to be able to share some more with you, through this blog, face-to-face conversation or even a chat!! <3 Add me on one of my social media!

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