This Life

It is with pleasure that I write this even though not a week ago, I was so hurt and trampled upon I felt like my life shrunk to nothingness. But the Lord Jesus gave me peace amid the storm, and joy triumphed once more. The “gentle and quiet spirit” I have been praying for, I received. I pray that I get to keep it. The enemy the devil does everything to make my life harder than it already is, I saw myself like the man who traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Well, it may not have happened exactly like that, but the hurt inflicted upon my being wounded me and stripped me of my self-respect that I just let my weak body slump at Jesus’ feet and be covered and comforted by Him.

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A quick dabble for the theme. Gardenia to remind me of the gentleness of my Savior, something which I want to emulate.

In the absence of compassion, such pain can be inflicted. It helps to realize that people who can’t find compassion in their hearts at a time that is most needed have problems in themselves. It’s about them.

Storms in life do happen, sometimes when you least expect it, which makes it more devastating. But I will not complain. A friend of mine who is nothing but sweetness, honesty, and virtues was suddenly hit by such a storm when the pillar of her home and the love of her life left for another woman (I hate mentioning this here, but you see, others have it harder and I grieve for them, especially for my friend).

By keeping a staid spirit which the Lord gave me while the storm raged (not without unceasing prayers), I was rewarded in the end. In the dark night, I whispered prayers and recited verses in my mind without let up. It’s where I drew strength and calmness. I clung to my faith and the Lord Jesus, believing with all my might that He would deliver me through it all. I should believe this promise, otherwise, I was completely helpless with my sick and weak body:

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”… (2 Cor. 12:9)

His strength is made perfect in my weakness. It is so very true. When it seems like we are totalled, the Lord Jesus waxes strong on our behalf, but only through our unwavering faith. When we feel like we’re disintegrating, He holds us up. When we come undone, He makes us whole. He will never leave us alone, forsaken and desolate. He will comfort us; He will bring us warmth so that we will feel loved when we’ve been robbed, wounded, beaten, stripped, and left for dead. He will come to our defense and love on us. He will raise us up when we’re slumped and make us strong and put us on the road to healing so that we still triumph in the end.

I mentioned at the beginning of the post that I write this with pleasure. Yes, because the Lord has turned my sorrow into joy. The person who has hurt me has said sorry and although I would have wanted a deeper, more heartfelt repentance, it will suffice. And I’m slowly healing. The Lord Jesus is my Healer.

I know this to be true: sick people are a little lower than healthy and strong ones, especially when it comes to respect.  They are either treated with utmost care, sensitivity, and understanding, or disdained and forsaken. (There is a brother in Church who was blind for 7 years and during that whole time, all his relations forsook him. But he’s healed now – praise the Lord!) Sick and weak people could be invalids needing assistance. Their neediness makes them piteous and could stir up contempt in the people around them or the ones caring for them.

It’s a very sad fact that I’m in that group of infirm people, but the Lord lifts me up, sometimes without me even realizing it. For the past months, I’ve been steadily selling my paintings and premium prints and even my books: Walking Along the Narrow Path and Quiet Strength. People who like and buy my art tell me of their joy of acquiring them and sometimes, my hidden reaction is just a “blank stare.” Honestly, I squirm when they admire my work, because there are artists like me who don’t really want to believe they can create beautiful art.

So they buy my art, they want to have a copy of my books, and they read my blog. They message me of how their lives have been touched by what I share. This beautiful picture of my life that the Lord is painting is a far cry from the one I experience myself, the one I see from day to day, the one I suffer through. It is the same life that is shared out there, but somehow, when it has been processed in God’s heart and has brought Him glory – it all comes out beautiful! 

I just realized recently that the Lord has made a small network of these gifts He gave, connecting them to make one beautiful tapestry, one whole life. My life. Praise Him!

Ms. Joni Eareckson Tada is a woman I admire. Despite being a quad and strapped in a wheelchair and need others to tend to her for even the smallest things, she shines. Her light is apparent. You will immediately see that she is a woman that is smart and loaded with talents and gifts, an A-1. She is an artist, an author, and a singer. But having read almost all of her books, I know the heartaches and pains she has gone through, not only with her disability, but because of her disability. The frustrations, the disappointments, the hurts and wounds inflicted upon her because the people surrounding a sick or invalid person are humans, humans that sometimes are lost themselves and their compassion (and patience) may fail many a time.

Sick or invalid people may not be all that. They may be diamonds that shine for other people and bring God honor and glory or precious pearls that are worthy of love and care.

If you have been blessed by your visit here, I’d love for you to like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. To not miss any posts, I also invite you to subscribe below. Thank you!Linking up with Tell His StoryWise WomenCoffee for Your HeartFaith Filled Friday.

He Sent His Word

Thursday, we had no other recourse in our maidless situation but to have Tim skip classes to accompany me at home. For the sake of those new to my blog, I can’t walk and I’m physically weak to fend for myself, hence, I need someone to assist me in many things, like serving me food. Hannah couldn’t be the one to stay because she had scheduled presentations in class. Felix, on the other hand, had a business trip in Cebu with our foreign supplier.

My latest painting of red, shiny apples with my open Bible.

My latest painting of red, shiny apples with my open Bible.

Our housekeeper left for an emergency in their province and had not yet come back. The agency didn’t have any available replacement. Maids in the Philippines are getting rarer and rarer for more and more opt for greener pastures abroad.

This situation in our home is not unusual. Through the years that I have been ill, we had found ourselves in same dire situation many a time and always, I couldn’t help but blame myself. If I wasn’t sick, I could have been the one tending to the needs of our family and home and not dependent on maids and house helps. But as it is, I am the one needing assistance and it is very frustrating to say the least. I suffer the helplessness of it all. It makes me angry and touchy. And my family suffers because of my health situation.

So, this and one other important issue, a “church” thing, weighed heavily upon my heart and soul that on that Thursday morning, I broke down in tears. That other thing has wounded my spirit, a raw and bleeding wound that’s needing healing, a very delicate matter that I can only bring to the Lord. It troubles me until now, but each time I think about it, I pray and lay it all down at His feet.

Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come…” 

While I watched Tim mop the bedroom floor (after first sweeping), I opened my smart TV and clicked on that praise song that I knew would capture my hurting, scattered heart and quieten my spirit. In my frustrations and self-pity, I thought that in our family, I was the “odd man out.” That if I was gone, there will be no more problems. But that was the devil speaking and to entertain him one bit is both pathetic and shamefully ugly.

But the praise song did capture my heart. It spoke to me and realigned my thoughts. You know, whatever is…

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things arelovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (Phil. 4:8).

At the song’s tail, the words of the Lord in Matthew 28:20 graced my mind.

“…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

I am with you always. That stayed with me even when Tim asked if he could bring my breakfast tray. He said that it would take a while and I answered, “It’s okay, baby.”

When Tim finally brought my tray and laid it in front of me on the bed, I was so shocked I didn’t have words for a few minutes. He served me leftover food that he warmed in the microwave, the spoon and fork he rolled in a white table napkin, my rice he molded in a cup, and beside it, he placed a paper napkin printed with pink and orange hearts and the words “I am with you always.”

I bought that pack of paper napkins from christianbook.com a year ago. I wanted the cook to put one piece each into the kids’ lunch box, but apparently, there were still some remaining.

The Lord speaks in wonderful ways. He sends His Word to comfort and strengthen us and to let us know He is always near. Even through a paper napkin.

Years ago while I still had to find a solid ground wherein I could grapple with my sickness and suffering and somehow understand it and keep a strong and peaceful heart in the process, I was sitting in our Astrovan listening to the preaching in one of our church’s fasting houses in the province. During that time, I was also afflicted with fearfulness, the kind which is pervasive and paralyzing. I felt like my life was always threatened. That kind of fear that eats at you and snatches whatever peace and joy you hold close. It was exhausting and life-wasting.

As I listened to the preacher, I was at the same time fighting these internal struggles that were rending me apart. Suddenly, the preacher shouted, “Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward!”

Like a thunderbolt and an electrifying lightning at the same time, it struck me so powerfully, jolting me out of my pitiful, fearful stupor. The preacher repeated the verse and its effect was just as powerful to me as the first. To attempt to translate what happened to me, it was as if the heavens opened above me, pouring out blinding light and the host of heaven singing the Hallelujah chorus, filling the whole place where I sat. That did not actually happen of course, but the power was equivalent to it. I was instantly freed from the suffocating fearfulness and the relief I felt — I felt so light from my inmost being!

God sends His Word to liberate, heal, and make whole. 

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. (Ps. 107:20)

If you have been blessed by your visit here, I’d love for you to like Our Healing Moments on Facebook and connect with me there. To not miss any posts, I also invite you to subscribe below. Thank you!Linking up with Tell His StoryWise WomenCoffee for Your HeartFaith Filled Friday.

Plodding and Praising

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I am deeply grateful that though I am ill and weak and can’t do many things and in fact, do suffer every now and then, I am still here with my family by the mercy of God. Having said that though, I cannot deny feeling the steel pressure and pain of seeing friends and sisters […]

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Labor in Prayer

I made this quick dabble before midnight but I love how it turned out, do you think so, too?

While I shared on my last post how I ceased praying for one whole night, today nothing will stop me from writing about prayer and its power in our lives. Ceasing to pray doesn’t necessarily mean we have become unbelieving. It may just mean keeping quiet to listen and be guided and instructed by the […]

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When Silence Reigns

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One night last week, after seeing that my very serious hair problem wasn’t budging an inch, I felt my spirit shut down. An overwhelming need to be silent engulfed me. I lost all desire to pray. What’s the use when I’m not heard? That was, more or less, the beat of my heart and the […]

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Held

Please excuse my messy illustration, but I have a surprise for you at the bottom of the post - my latest completed serious painting project.

My Christmas holidays were quiet, beautiful, and if I may say, holy. Holy if we consider being held and nestled in love and warmth a sacred thing. But then I believe in the sheltering and sanctifying power of marriage, that process of two flesh becoming one. No, not in the physical sense only, but in […]

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