I stood before the white formica counter lined with beakers containing various emulsions that we were evaluating, a cellphone pressed to my ear as I talked to the representative of Ichimaru, one of our company’s major suppliers based in Gifu. I was in the laboratories of Ajinomoto in Kawasaki, another major Japanese supplier, together with other distributors from surrounding Asian countries. It would have been a thrilling experience for me, being a chemical engineer by profession, to work in an advanced cosmetic lab had I been well. But I was already sick even before I went to this trip, a weeklong technical training, against my doctor’s advice.
Standing in my low-heeled pumps – enduring what seemed to be a million tiny needles pricking the soles of my feet and worse, it felt like the insides of my shoes were lined with sharp pebbles, my back was screaming in pain all I wanted to do was lie down right there on the lab floor – I told my supplier I was sorry I needed to cancel my trip to Gifu. I needed to go home because I was sick.
The Gifu supplier was eagerly anticipating my visit to their place and manufacturing plant after being in partnership with them for 5 years. I could feel their disappointment.
From Kawasaki to Tokyo, I went home to Manila very sick and weak. A few days later, I received salvation. This was in October 2003. From that day on, I hadn’t been able to go back to work. In 2007 while still waiting for healing, the Lord spoke clearly in my heart: I wasn’t going back to my career even when He had already healed me. I cried buckets, but in the end, I submitted to His will. For who has resisted His will? Hoping to gain His favor for my complete healing, I vowed to never go back to work and turned my back to my career for good. For years I grieved for it.
But I trust that God has a beautiful purpose for me. It will unfold in His own perfect time.
In 2004, my husband took over the management of my company. He is a mechanical engineer by profession and worked in a food manufacturing plant for decades. He didn’t have a clue as far as cosmetic ingredients were concerned. But he depended heavily on God, praying and fasting and faithful in giving our tithes and love offerings. He studied hard, too. And on days that I was well enough to give him some tips, he listened well. He was always grateful for the advice.
In the intervening years after that phone call in Ajinomoto laboratories, God showed up mighty powerful. Though our lives were shaken hard beyond our worst nightmare, He gradually and surely put everything into place. I realized later, not without frequent bouts of bitterness and struggles against resentment and heartaches, that placing my husband at the helm of our company was the most excellent thing to happen. He is the leader of our family, that includes our business. There were hard, difficult-to-swallow lessons that God wanted me to learn and important things that I needed to let go. Year after difficult and painful year, I did slowly surrender control, in my mind, in my words and actions, and sincerely in my heart.
Now, almost 12 years later, my husband travelled to Japan to visit the manufacturing plant of our Gifu supplier and attend a convention in Yokohama. The dream was fulfilled through him and rather than be bitter and resentful about it, I chose to be happy for him and rejoice with him. Through the years, the Lord has immensely blessed him as the president of our cosmetic ingredients company and in the process, prospering further our business. My heart is grateful. I take David’s words and lift them up to the Lord:
…Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness. (Ps. 26:3)
God works in marvellous ways, ways we often do not comprehend. But Apostle Paul had somewhat grasped His mysterious ways when he wrote:
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. (1 Cor. 1:27-29)
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Journey with Jesus,