Poor in Spirit

For days I put my heart under scrutiny, an in-depth heart examination as I tried to search for the reason of my sadness. For even though I determined to go back to the first and great commandment and try to forget the more than 13 years that I had not received my healing, and start afresh, I could’t feel the spark. I went through my days going through the motions, the very thing I’d said I wanted to avoid. I couldn’t get myself to fully rejoice in the Lord, although I continued to do the things of God diligently as before – praying, Bible reading and journaling, praising (if I could), writing on my prayer journal, and painting flowers with a verse written in metallic gold paint – all to bring honor to Him. Still, my spirit groped.

YELLOW BLOOMS on my Monologue journal. I love painting on my journal and using metallic gold paint for Bible verse.

YELLOW BLOOMS on my Monologue journal. I love painting on my journal and using metallic gold paint for Bible verse.

I asked myself: What am I harboring in my heart?

Is it a silent rebellion that has its roots in resentful feelings?

Is it a silent, insidious sulk that is hardly remediable except the Lord do something about it?

Is it a combination of weariness and sorrow that cannot be soothed?

Is it bitterness that is hard to scour and dislodge?

Or, a defiant cynicism that is the beginning of my undoing?

I knew that it couldn’t be only all those things without it having any redeemable qualities. I discerned that my soul was longing for something more, besides my healing, something that is beyond my heart’s known desires (some of these desires, when put under the Savior’s penetrating light, are really not necessary in kingdom work). I guess I’m longing to see and live differently, far from the reach of the world’s standards.

I confess I’m weary of the world and the things it does to my heart and mind. It influences me in such a way that my mindset and affections are partly shaped by it. I’m getting weary envying and coveting and being plunged into the abyss of dismay and discouragement. Or numbness. That is, envying and coveting NOT other people’s goods, but other people’s lives – their health and strength, the places they go, things they are able to do and enjoy.

But please don’t get me wrong. I do not wish to see Las Vegas or Hollywood or other plush places most people wish to see. I wouldn’t long so deeply just for those, no. No, no, no. I just want to get well and get out and get away for a while. I want to be healed and be used by the Lord according to His purposes and plans. I want to live and experience the thrill of that kind of life. So alive and meaningful!

But as I wait and be ill still and suffer, I remain vulnerable to these unprofitable emotions which I hate to mention again.

And so, I arrived at a conclusion: I have not gone cold and backsliding, I am just poor in spirit. For years I have been poor in spirit, even as I learned to live and walk in full faith, pray as a child of God should, read the Bible diligently, praise and worship, and write about God’s story. Because of my longtime sickness and suffering that always threatens to steal my life, my future and joy, I have always been at the complete mercy of God – poor, needy, dependent, hungry, thirsty, desperate. And even as I am weak enough as to let the world subject me into a whirl of emotions that doesn’t help or add to my stature, I am the more poor in spirit.

I am the more in need of help. God’s help. In need of wholeness, wholeness that only the Lord Jesus can give.

I saw my true poverty for even as my illnesses oppress me, so I have let the world oppress me also by desiring to have a piece and taste of it, even for that harmless part of it: travels and vacations, dates with the husband, playdates with the kids, and more. Those are not sinful desires, I know. They are just normal desires that a wife and mother cherishes. But I have let their absence in my life and my deep longing for them steal my joy and my zeal for my Lord nonetheless.

The good part is, I have come to know how poor I am and how I need my Savior even more so.

I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. (Rev. 3:18)

Refined gold. Our true wealth is in the Lord Jesus Christ.

White garments. He will clothe us with wholeness.

Anointing. That we may see.

I want to be truly rich, whole, and seeing, so there is a need for a change of heart and mind.

Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord… (part of 2 Cor. 8:17). And so I have made some practical changes that I knew would greatly help. One of those is to not live in and through Facebook. Most of my heartaches have come from that bittersweet place. Sadly, there are things I see there that make the heart heavy, doubt, and even grow cold and can make one stumble in his/her faith walk. But I need it also to share my blogposts or my art to those who want to have a piece of it. So, I only go there now when it’s really necessary.

The good things, really good things, are the ones you rarely see on your FB newsfeed: praying and fasting believers, workers visiting the sick and bringing the Gospel of salvation to places others would not dare to go. Of the saints of God weeping in worship, in poverty, in hardship. People of God who are poor in spirit: dependent on and hungry for God everyday of their lives.

No, you won’t see them on FB, but it would be a great blessing to be serving alongside them.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Mat. 5:3)

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Linking up with Sharing His BeautyTrue StoriesTell His StoryWise WomenCoffee for Your HeartFaith Filled Friday.

3rd Blogging Anniversary {and a Giveaway}

From the same patch of earth where the grain of wheat fell and was buried, a new life sprouts, a seedling with tiny green leaves entirely different from its buried sire. From the same dark cave where the Lord was buried broke forth a new life, a resurrected life, and the hope of mankind has been shining ever since. From the same year of near-dying sprang a new purpose. Just when you think death is finally at the doors, God wreaks a mighty work and renews life. How can this be?

To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. (Is. 61:3)

I’m celebrating three years of blogging and my heart overflows with thanksgiving to the Lord. On New Year’s Eve of 2009, another bout of my illness attacked again and it was much darker and harder than the previous years. The “walking through the valley of the shadow of death” continued excruciatingly for months through summer of 2010 and spilled over to the rainy season. But on 29th of September, after I was accidentally introduced to blogging through a post on Twitter by Ms. Twila Paris, I published my very first post, a testimony of a brother in Christ who was healed of bone cancer. My very first blog, Minister of Mercywas born. From the same place of near-dying erupted a new life, a writing life.

After about a month, I published my first post on my second blog, Our Healing Moments.

I’ve said before that I loved writing, but in my three years of blogging about the Lord’s testimonies, my faith journey, and the lessons learned in my trials and in His Word, I cannot count the times that I had been disappointed and discouraged to continue writing. Different reasons caused these waves of discouragement. But I’m in awe that I’m still here, doing what the Lord has called me to do.

I’m ashamed to say this, but I used to be disappointed and greatly discouraged by low site stats: zero or few comments, few blog subscriptions, visits, views, or “likes” on Facebook. But one day, I determined within myself that this must stop. From then on, I set myself to pursuing the Lord with all I am and not on how to up my site stats. I began to focus only on Him and to whisper through the day: Draw me near to You, Lord Jesus. Keep my love ablaze. Be glorified in my life. 

I just want to have these reasons why I write: I love to write and I do it for the Lord because I adore Him. I want to live my life giving glory to Him. When I weave a life around my Savior and the wealth of love, mercy, and grace He has for me – I burst with inspiration! And if from this place I do write, the supply of anointing and wisdom from above flows interminably.

Now, it doesn’t matter if I’m writing for one or one thousand. What matters is, I enjoy what I do and I learn better when I put down to writing my wrestlings. It’s like engraving on marble the lessons being learned, leaving indelible marks. And when I’ve touched even just one single soul and etched the words that heal on his or her heart, then I would have fulfilled my purpose.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for visiting, reading, subscribing, commenting, liking, and connecting with me. It means a lot to me.

By the way, a little fact about me: English is my second language. But I do love the English language; the grammar challenges me; the vocabulary fascinates me. My three years of blogging only succeeded to intensify these.

3rd Blogging Anniversary Giveaway

To enter:

1. Leave your comment below.

2. Giveaway closes on Saturday, 6:00PM, and winner will be announced on next Monday’s post.

3. Giveaway is for Philippines only (I apologize to my readers outside the country). OFWs can join. If you win, the giveaway will be shipped to your Philippine address.

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I might be linking up with these lovely blogs.

Journey with Jesus,