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Monday, November 30, 2009

God Gave Me You

Everyone has their own love story to tell. I want to share mine too. Sometimes just thinking of making my life story open to others who barely know me makes me feel uneasy but I am doing this just to show how the good Lord has worked in my life and that everything that happened, God has a reason. You have read in my previous post HERE how I overcame a big trial in my life and just more than a year after, another big trial befell me. The enemy did not succeed to defeat me through my illness so he turned to my love life.

I had a boyfriend whom I loved and he was very loving, sincere, caring and affectionate to me. He had been with me when I was in my lowest moments of my life. He had seen what I’ve been through when I was battling the cancer and he had accompanied me during my chemotherapy treatments. During those times that I thought I was going to die, he didn’t leave me. He stayed by my side. I was even ashamed to face him when he came to visit because I looked so ugly, no hair and blackish finger nails, thin and dark because of the chemo and radiation therapy. I was hiding in my room and I told my brother to tell him to go home but he insisted to talk to me. I told him I wanted to break-up with him because I didn’t know if I’m going to live or die soon. I also told him that he can find a healthy and pretty girlfriend and I’m setting him free. He was a good-looking guy and a lot of women had a crush on him in our town. He didn’t want to and he told me that he really loves me, that my hair will grow back and that he already expected my hair to fall out after the chemo. So he's been with me through the bad times and good times in my life. He’s seen me without my hair and he has witnessed the worst effects of chemo on me but he never gave up on me. Whenever I was having a throw-up after chemo, he was there massaging my back and giving me support. Until I recovered everything went smoothly but not for long.

My boyfriend had been watching on television this religious program and he was so impressed with the minister because he seemed to know a lot about the Bible. The people in the audience asked that minister questions and he answered and quoted verses in the Bible from memory. So without me knowing, he went to find a church founded by that minister. He studied their doctrines and got baptized. At first I was impressed because he's been reading the Bible. He also attended their bible study regularly. Until he told me about their doctrines that I got the big shock of my life. Their worship day is Saturday night. They don’t believe in the Holy Trinity. They only believe in God the Father and God the Son but don’t believe in the Holy Spirit. They don’t believe in the doctrine of original or inherited sin either. He said that the sin of Adam and Eve should not be passed down to the next generation. So I started watching that tv program of that minister and I saw and heard how he twisted the meaning of the verses in the Bible. He also blatantly criticized all the other religions and he used offensive and obscene language on tv. So I discerned that he is a false teacher/minister and that their religion is a cult. The Lord has really prepared me for this because during those times that I was in Baguio City having my radiation and chemotherapy, I read my Bible daily and I even highlighted those verses that really blessed and inspired me. God had been talking to me through His Word not knowing that my faith in Him will be put again to the test. 

So every time he visited me in our house we always have an argument about our opposing beliefs. One time I got so upset because my brother had a birthday celebration and he came but he didn’t eat. He said it’s against their doctrine to eat if the celebrant is from another religion. How absurd! I even quoted to him 1 Timothy 4:1-5 but he won’t accept it. Then he wanted to invite me to attend their church so I can see how they pray and sing but I refused. I said I’m already contented with my church because they’ve been with me when I was sick, they prayed for me and they are my prayer warriors. Also it’s in my church that I got saved, baptized and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He said that he would be praying for me so I would join him in his church but I told him no need to pray for me about joining his church because I already cancelled all his prayers and it won’t be effective. I was really in spiritual warfare that time. 

He even proposed marriage to me but he said we will get married in their church or in a civil ceremony. I told him “No way, if I will get married it will be in my church and will be officiated by our Pastor.” He said he really wanted to marry me even though I can’t have kids anymore because of the chemo. It really made me tear up because I know he really loves me. His mom was very fond of me too and she always cook for me whenever I would go to their house. I asked him one time if now that he’s been faithfully attending that church if he’s sure that he is saved and is going to heaven and he said nobody knows for sure. That’s why he’s doing good works so that he might be saved and go to heaven. I quoted to him Ephesians 2: 8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith: and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It just fell on deaf ears because he’s already been brainwashed by their false teacher. I felt so frustrated. Then I had this dream that my boyfriend and I were talking when I saw a sack not far from us and something inside it was moving. He went to open it and I told him not to open it because it might be a snake inside. But opened it and it was really a snake! What puzzled me is that the snake slithered through the ground past my boyfriend moving towards me and tried to bite me. Then I woke up.

I told my dream to a pastor and he interpreted my dream. He said the snake is the devil and the reason he went past my boyfriend because he already belong to him and he wanted to attack me because I’m not his. So I had to make a decision. Satan had reminded me of all the good things that my boyfriend had done for me especially when I was so sick and he didn’t leave me.  Even my aunt told me that I can’t find a man as good as him who really loves me. My dad and my siblings were very fond of him too. He used to give my father haircuts. Satan told me that no man would love me no more because of my illness. But I have to stand firm on my faith and my beliefs. The Bible said in 2 Cor. 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbeliever: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness.” I prayed to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. Though it hurts me so bad I decided to break-up with him after 4 years of our relationship. I never forget the look on his face when I broke up with him. He was very, very sad, hurt and he went home right away. But what can I do, I can't accept his religious beliefs. I told God that I love Him more than any man in this world and that when I will see Him face to face and He will ask what did I give up for Him, I will tell Him my boyfriend whom I loved. I cried and cried that night. I was so heart-broken. It took me a few months to get over it. I remember my sister asked me that time why is it that I have a lot of trials in life. I really don’t know why but I only know that God won’t give us trials beyond our endurance. A few months after the break-up, my father passed away in February 2000. So it was another trial in our family. I was so broken again. Ex-boyfriend came to visit me several times after the break up. I could feel he still loves me but I never went back to him. With God’s grace I slowly overcame the hurt and the pain of losing 2 people that I dearly love. I can’t handle it without the help of God. Life has to go on. 

I prayed to God that if it’s His will that I get married, then He will give me a man who is a Christian, one who loves the Lord and who has the same beliefs as mine. I prayed for a man who will love and accept me for what and who I am despite the illness that I’ve been through. I also prayed to God that if it’s His will that I will remain single all my life, then I would still be happy serving and praising Him. Every night I prayed to God for the right man to come along in my life. Then on May 12, 2002, I met George in a dating site online. He is a widower for 5 years and he’s a Christian. We corresponded for 3 months and I told him everything that happened to me, my illness and my break-up with my ex-BF. Before I emailed him about it, I had to pray to God and to the Holy Spirit for guidance. I prayed to God that if George can accept me despite the illness that I've been through, then he is God’s will for me. If he will get turn-off then he’s not meant to be in my life. So after I prayed, I e-mailed George and told him everything and the title of my e-mail was My Personal Testimony. The next day I was at my work when my cell phone rang. It was George and he told me he had read my e-mail. He said he was touched and was even teary-eyed when he read it. I asked if he still love me after reading my e-mail and he said yes. I was so happy and I knew that time deep in my heart that he is God’s will for me. 

Here’s the e-mail he sent to me after reading my e-mail. I printed all his e-mails to me and kept it. I re-read them over and over and it really made me love him more. Here it goes, “My dearest darling angel, I read your letter and tears came to my eyes, it made me LOVE you even more and I knew you truly were sent to me by God. The LORD had kept you alive because HE knew that someday you could be an encouragement and uplifting, a very special person, a LOVING ANGEL for me. After I read your letter, I fell to my knees, prayed unto Him to forgive me for being so selfish. I had no problems, praise Him for giving you to me. My faith was restored by just reading your testimony. LISA I MOST DEARLY LOVE YOU. LISA you are the WOMAN I HAVE PRAYED FOR, THE WOMAN GOD HAS SENT ME TO LIVE OUT MY LIFE WITH. The LORD has given me life again. He forgave me for turning away from Him then accepted me back in the flock…LISA I LOVE YOU. I got to close for now. John 3:16. I thank God He also gave me YOU..." George

My tears were flowing down my cheeks while reading George's e-mail. They were tears of joy. The Lord has finally answered my prayers. He gave me the man I prayed for, one who loves me unconditionally. I love George very much next to God. On August 25, 2002, George came to the Philippines and met me and my family. After a few days he asked me to marry him. I was surprised because we never talked about marriage. I thought we will just meet in person. I told him to think a million times before deciding to marry me because I almost died of cancer and I'm not sure if I will have a relapse again. He said he already decided that he's going to marry me before he came to meet me. After a few days I told him again that he can change his mind of marrying me, that he can back out anytime but he said NO. I was then convinced that he was really serious about his marriage proposal so I agreed to go with him to the US Embassy in Manila to get his certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage in the Philippines. George told me later that the US consulate asked him if he is sure that I really love him because I might just be using him as a stepping stone to go the the US. He told the consulate that he's sure that I love him. What a guy! He never doubted my feelings for him. On September 11, 2002, we got married in our church. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. It was a whirlwind romance so to speak. We only have known each other for 4 months and we ended up in the altar. 

On September 30, 2003 the next year, I arrived in the US with my husband. I thank God for giving me George. We both love each other very much. God is good all the time and I praise God for everything that He has done and He's going to do. God is really amazing! He answered my prayers and had given me my heart’s desire. I can't thank Him enough. God is awesome! God deserves all the glory, honor and thanksgiving from me. “He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.” Ephesians 3:20. 

My husband and I are now doing missionary works in the Philippines. We came back here in January 6, 2009 after staying in the US for more than 5 years. We built a church with George as the pastor and I teach the kids in Sunday School. There's no greater calling, no greater honor than to be called servants of God. We've seen people got saved after hearing God's Word. God is good all the time and I praise God for everything that He has done and He's going to do. TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I Was Offered A Job

Last week, hubby and I was offered to invest in a private high school that they're going to put up here in our town. There is a public high school here but there's no private high school yet. I asked how much should we invest if in case we have the money and they said it's Php400,000. They also offered me a job to teach Math. I am a license secondary school teacher major in Math and I have also an experience working as a school clerk in the public high school here in our hometown for more than 7 years. It's a very tempting offer, I can use my profession here and also I will have a steady income. They gave us 1 week to decide and hubby said we gonna pray about it. I have already decided right after they talked to us but of course I have to go with hubby's decision.

After a week they came back to know our decision. They said they already have 2 investors not counting the 2 of them and they still need one more. Hubby and I told them we do not have the money to invest. With our financial situation right now, our income is just enough for our monthly expenses. Besides, we came here to start a ministry and not to find a job. It's true that hubby had talked to that teacher about starting a private school more than 6 years ago before we went to the US but that was the time that hubby had some money in the bank which he got from his retirement. Now we don't have that money anymore, it's been spent. We have to keep the money circulating you know. So that's been settled but they want to know if I'm interested to work for the school and teach Math. I simply told them that I am not interested to work 8 hours a day 5 days a week as I used to. Our ministry is where I want to focus my time. The Lord had provided the means for us to come back here so we have to do His work. I really appreciate that they considered me to work in the school that they're putting up because they know that I am qualified. Not a lot of people have that opportunity. In fact, there are many professionals here who are having a hard time looking for a job. Had it been offered to me a few years back, I would have grabbed the job offer right away without thinking. But my priorities had changed, the work for the Lord comes first now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Done With My Dual Citizenship

I'm done with my dual citizenship. I got my certificate last Friday from the immigration office in Manila. Then I filed my petition for hubby's permanent resident visa. They told me to go back after 5 days for hubby's hearing and that's today. It so happened that the van of my sister that we've been using in going to Manila is color coded today. We had no option but to travel by bus. It was not that easy taking the public transportation if you've been used to traveling by car or van for the past 6 years. Also, I'm not familiar with the streets in Manila so my sister had to go with us. She took a leave from her work and accompanied us. We left the house at 3:45 and my BIL drove us to Binalonan to wait for the bus that will take us to Manila. We were able to ride the bus at around 4:30 AM. It was a long trip and the bus had to stop at the bus stations twice not to mention the traffic. We arrived at the immigration office around 9:15. The scheduled time for hubby's hearing was 10:00 AM. As usual, it was already past 10:20 AM when they called us inside the room for the hearing. The so-called hearing is just like a casual conversation between the immigration lawyer and us with just a few questions and that's it. They told me to call their office after a week for a follow-up of the application. I hope it would be approved soon...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Been So Busy...

...cleaning our front yard the past couple of days. Why is it that those weeds grow faster than my plants. I've been weeding our my garden, sweeping the dried leaves and some plastic wrappers scattered around. I also replanted some of my cactus plants and arranged them altogether in a metal planters holder. Oh, they look so cute. I have different varieties of cactus but some of it died when it rained so hard. They got rotten. Cactus don't like too much water. Next time it will rain, I will have to cover my cactus with plastic cover so it won't get too much water and rot. Right now they're alright because it's not rainy season no more.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Our Christmas Tree

As early as Monday, the 3rd of this month, hubby and I had already put up our Christmas tree. Hubby assembled it and I was the one who put the ornaments. We are using the same Christmas tree that I bought in Texas six years ago. It's still look good and we're gonna use it until it's still usable. Hubby and I shipped it here last year. At first it didn't fit the balikbayan box because it's long. So hubby had to cut the pole of the Christmas tree into 2 to fit in the box. He just connected it using a wooden rod before he put it up last Monday. We bought 3 Christmas lights and put it around the tree. The ornaments are the same ones that I bought at the same time when I bought the Christmas tree except for the apples which I bought 2 years ago at a garage sale across our house in TX. Baby Vernice was having a blast when she first saw the lighted Christmas tree. Here it is.



 
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