Faith. Travel. Relationships.

 

A trip to remember!
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Now I know how does it feel to experience something that you’ve just been thinking about for a long time (almost 6 yrs in the making). It has been a dream for me to go to a place where you just only see it in movie scenes. Well, for me its New York City and also Chicago (the theatre and the bean).

 

Since I met a friend who works and lives there it gave me a vision of visiting her and have that desire to finally see those movie scenes by myself. Then when I took Events Management class we discussed about the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. It made me more excited and eager to pray about this trip. Few years after (2013) I applied my visa and thank God it was really an answered prayer. I wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving since its the most celebrated season in US and I used to watch films that they serve turkey during this time. This happened few months before my mother passed away. I still remember that she is so happy for me to have my US visa. She said, you will never know why God allowed you to have that visa.
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I have plans to go there last 2014 but a lot of things happened. My mother passed away, got busy with work and some concerns. I didn’t have the time to go and after three years (last 2016) I decided to push through with my trip since it is my birthday gift to myself because I just turned 30 and I wanna do something new. Ironically, I did have some hesitations to go (fears, doubts, personal issues, etc.) and this never happened before. Then I realised if I’m going to delay this trip, when is the best time i’ll gonna do it? Do I still have the time to go there? Too many questions but then I made a decision that i’ll step out in faith and just do it anyway.
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Then finally, I got a ticket (another story) and was able to finalised my schedule. Informed my friends there that I’m finally coming. By the way, people are asking if I have relatives there and I said I only have friends and an aunt in Chicago. Going there is just a surreal feeling. It felt like it was a long overdue trip that I’ve been praying for. I thought of my mom and my dad. For sure they are happy that I get to fulfil my dreams and faith goals. God has been so faithful ever since the beginning. Took EVA air and I have a layover in Taipei. While waiting I said to God that Lord, I hope that the seat beside me is vacant so that I can move easily. As I board the plane and saw my seat (window side) the middle seat is empty. Yes! It made me smile but what’s more surprising is the lady seated in the same row. She looks like my mom!!!!!! Her height and built is just like her. I said Hi and asked her name. She is Bich, from Vietnam and migrated in New Jersey. Few minutes after I settled down my seat, tears fell from my eyes remembering my mom and reminded that God has been so mindful of me. Small things like this encounter made my heart in awe of Him.
As the plane lowers its altitude I saw an autumn foliage right outside of my window. My jaw dropped (not literally) because I really wanna experience autumn in New York. Again, its an answered prayer.
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Friends helped me out for me to have a place to stay. A friend helped me to find a place to stay for my first four days. After that I’m about to do Airbnb for the first time but God is so faithful that a friend offered her lovely home to me. It’s an answered prayer. Suddenly I felt so at home and have that morning routine that we used to drop her daughter in her school. I’m so grateful for their generosity.
Fast forward, my friend who is also a public servant in New York (the one i met 5-6 years ago) invited me to a “Friendsgiving” dinner (they usually do this before thanksgiving). Of course, I said yes because I get to finally spend time with her and meet new friends as well. It was one of the best experience i’ve ever had. I felt like I’m in a movie scene. It was a surreal moment for me. I’m forever grateful. Then finally, five days after its the Macy’s thanksgiving parade. Braved the sea of tourists and was able to get a good spot (thank God for my MRT skills. haha). I am so overwhelmed with the gigantic / building size balloons. It was a festive mood and a cold day too.
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This trip is really one of a kind. The people that I reconnected with and the new friends I met made this trip so memorable. They are far more beautiful than the places i’ve seen. I wasn’t able to see a lot because I decided to meet with them and get to listen to their stories. I am grateful that apart from spending time with my friends I had the privilege to witness autumn and winter at the same time. Such a great way to visit US for the first time.
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It made me realised that when you take a leap of faith, it is the only way you get to see the other side. It exposed me that there is life apart from what I am doing. There’s gonna be more when you go beyond your self and limitations. God will always be mindful and will never let you down. During this trip I really felt God’s favor and grace. It made my faith grow and believed that God can do great things as we allow him to take the lead. Now, I’m more excited where God will bring me and I just know that its gonna be better and bigger.
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Thank you Chicago and New York City for being so wonderful to me. I shall see you next time.

#CampLikeNeverBefore

I know this is a long over due post about my experience last August in the singles camp of victory Ubelt held in Pico de Loro, Batangas.

Anyways, prior to the the camp, I’ve been in a quite personal situation in my life. The feeling of you just wanted to have this reassurance of your calling because you tend to question your ability, skills, and wisdom. Before the camp, my prayer is that God will rekindle that passion and remind me of His purpose and calling. What does He wants me to do this season and for me to even know why am I feeling this way. This uncertainty kills people (not literally but in our minds were bombarded of different kind of thoughts). In every tough situation, the more I need to sought after His very own heart for me.

In short, more than the fellowship with my spiritual family, I’m really expectant to have a deeper fellowship with God during this camp. Then, we started our session with ate Mye, I’m excited to hear the word not just because she’s my mentor and a great preacher but I know that there’ll be things that God will speak to me personally. True enough, it was a #crylikeneverbefore moment for me. She talked about going “Beyond Borders” (which is our main theme for the camp). Never expected that it will speak to me personally. One thing that struck me the most is when she said, “if we want to go beyond borders, we need to go beyond our comfort zone”. Then, it hits me so hard because I wanted to do the opposite, I want to get out because to have a new comfort zone. Running way from new things and challenges. Maybe that’s why there are times that I feel emotional. God reassured me, that I’m on the right track I just need to obey and be reminded of His very purpose in my life this season. Running away is not the answer. I have to face those giants because its part of His purpose. Whew! It’s just the first day and yet so intense. I’m more expectant for the next  sessions.

During the second day, while I’m having my prayer time, I’m just reminded that we are heirs of Abraham. That is why we can also claim that promise that God has for Abraham. We need to be confident in our position in Christ. Then Bishop Jurray talked about VALUE. I always hear this but this time it’s different and I need to hear it in a more straight forward manner that I will never forget.  He said that value is relational and it is set of a higher authority.

Nowadays, we set our value to the standards of world. That’s why maybe, there’s this major concern about increasing number of suicide situations in different countries including ours. Because we tend relate our value to our academics, accomplishments, relationships and to our careers. But when Bishop Jurray pounded on the one who already set our value, it gave me so much relief (not an excuse to be lazy) but it gave me such security that the way God created me, there’s no greater value! The God who created the universe and knows us at our best is the one who loves us.

Our value has already set by someone greater. Jesus set our value and we cannot or else it will be up and down and will keep on struggling. This is my highlight, “Do not attach your value to your work, people, performance or to anything else. Your value doesn’t change because Jesus set your value on the cross!”

In a world that is so fast phase, so much social media goals, you tend to strive so much. That drive to prove yourself will destroy us because we’re trying to prove our value.

I badly needed to hear this message and humble myself once again to the Lord because I know that sometimes I attach my value to the things that I’m doing. Such a refreshing moment.

Of course in every camp, there’s always a breakout session for men and women. Ms Deah, wife of Bishop Jurray talked about “You are God’s woman”. Like the proverbs 31 woman, she’s someone who has an intimate relationship with God. Intimate means “private and personal”. We don’t need to be a superwoman for us to be qualified because God is the only one who qualified us.

She said that, God wants to feel our deepest longing and desires because he wants us to draw near to Him. When we follow our hearts it traps us to the world. It is only God who can fill that void. If others, it will not satisfy us.

Let the love that we receive from God goes beyond us and makes us love, serve, and pray others.  As we get to know God let that faith grow in us.

Well, her last point about knowing God that produces patience is really a hit! Ms Deah said, “patience is being constantly constant”. Patience is a virtue we can learn when we walk with God. For women, take note of this, PATIENCE IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH. Patience is a firm confidence in the Lord. Relationships flourish with patience. Patience makes us Grow, deeper, closer and stronger.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

“By your endurance you will gain your lives.” Luke 21:19

Thank you Ms. Deah for all your impartation. It means a lot.😊

Last day and comes to our last session with bishop jurray. He talked about FAITH. I know this is basic and we hear this all the time but sometimes we need to hear it all over again for us to be reminded until it becomes so evident in our lives. Bishop Jurray said that we don’t just became a display of Gods goodness but a channel of His blessings. Our faith doesn’t just affect us but it affects others.

Our faith has to grow, it can’t remain the same way!

Faith comes through the word of God. When you’re frustrated, tired, don’t scream but keep quiet and ask God for a word for you and let the word of God well up on you.

Truly, this is a #CampLikeNeverBefore.

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God is thinking of you.

It’s been a while since I wrote something in my blog. Now, I just felt like writing my thoughts of being an “orphan”. Maybe you’ve lost your parents because of sickness, tragedy in an unexpected situation or you feel like they’re not with you even if they’re alive…

“Know that GOD IS THINKING OF YOU.”

Yes, me and 5 of my siblings became an orphan since my mother died last 2013. My father died before her around June 2001. It’s has been a difficult situation, roller coaster ride, and the feeling is sooooo surreal. I’ve never expected this to happen but I just embraced this process and God even more. There are questions but it’s beyond my logic. It’s an everyday fight but I need to respond right.

Did I cry? Of course! Name it… In the jeepney, tricycle, taxi, MRT and while walking. The pain is there but I yielded to God’s power and draw strength to him.

A Pastor told me before (forgot the exact words but it’s something like this), “just let it all out. Just go through the process because we need to go through that. If you need to cry, just cry. Healing will come and when that time comes you don’t want to miss the promises of God.”

Then I prayed that He will give me mentors and even families who will “adopt” me and open their homes to me as well. I know that it’s going to be a tough ride and I need people who will guide me and give me godly counsel. Then two of my mentors talked to me and prayed for me. They even encouraged me to take this time to draw more to God and they mentioned to me this verse:

 

 

 

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

Taking one step at time and told myself that I wanna worship God even to the lowest and darkest point of my life.

Did I feel like quitting? Yes! I feel like I have all the reasons in the world to just quit and stop (my father, nephew, mother and recently my brother died) But God would remind me, would it make things better?  Of course NOT! I know for a fact that it will just make things worst!

Never been easy but you know it’s all worth it to pray and seek God after all the chaos in life. I’m glad that He gave me women / mentors who would coach me and be like a mom to me. Yes! It’s an answered prayer. Everyday God knows how grateful I am to have friends, mentors and even spiritual family who will run the race with me.

 

Life is not meant to be cruel and you’re not meant to walk alone!

 

It’s a humbling experience to ask for help but all the more it thought me to draw strength to God because He is the main source of everything that we need.

The more I feel His love as a Father and Mother to me. He is the ultimate shepherd and God will direct our paths straight. Let’s not miss out God’s word in every season.

 

 

 

Everyday is an opportunity to be grateful and experience the faithfulness of God in our lives.

 

Don’t feel that you’re alone because God is thinking of you 24/7.

 

 

 

““For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord,” ‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-14‬ ‭NIV‬‬