Thank God for Friends

I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster ride for the past weeks and if not for my friends, I may have gone crazy.

 

You are better off to a friend than to be all alone, because then you will get more enjoyment out of what you earn. 10 If you fall, your friend can help you up. But if you fall without having a friend nearby, you are really in trouble.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (CEV)

I’ve had a broken relationship with my sister and lately, I’m feeling at a loss. I’ve also been so busy with my tasks that I think, if I have gone through all this alone, I know I can’t take it. God just knows and provides what you need, exactly when you need it.

 

So here, I wanna introduce you to my friend Venice. She has helped me through my most emotional times this year.

Our Story 

I’m attending Victory Makati since 2013 and every week, we have what we call a Victory Group (VG) . It is a support group where we talk about God, our careers, relationships and dreams, and all relate it to how God wanted us to live a life pleasing to Him.  When our group leader Yasmin died in an accident in 2015, I took over and led these women here in our journey through life.

Our Victory group, with Yasmin in orange as our leader

The women I started leading in 2015

 

Eventually, life brings us to our destined purpose and we separated ways. Some of them took another job, and some went abroad to pursue a graduate degree and career. I thankful enough I get to influence their lives at one point in time.

 

As it is, Venice and I were the only ones who remained in the group. Since we also wanted to share the love of God to other people, we started our own Victory group in her dormitory. After a year, I have gained new friends and together, we are walking in this journey with God’s guidance.

 

Why am I sharing about them? Well, I just wanted to honor these people and make them feel special in this online space that I have.

 

For today, I just finished talking to Venice and I’m thankful enough God gave me friends who can rebuke me if needed, help me and encourage me when I’m down, and also, celebrate with me if I’m happy. I’m thankful enough to God because the relationships I have with these people are not disposable. I’m just thankful because I realize, if your friendship puts God at the center, you know that friendship will last. Lastly, I’m thankful enough because I know, I’m not alone in this journey called life.

 
PS: I’m still hoping my relationship with my sister be fixed in due time, and that my friends will also get to know my future partner so they can hang out together. For now, I’m thankful because even if not everything is sailing smoothly, I have friends I can count on most especially when I needed them.

 

How about you? Are you feeling down, discouraged or you just needed someone to talk to? I hope God can also give you a friend you can cherish for a long time. But if you haven’t met these kind of friends yet, you can talk to me and I can introduce you to the greatest friend of all.

 
Really, I’m here to help and talk to you if you need one. Just tag me in Twitter or Instagram @itswyza and I’ll do my best to help you out. 🙂

 

Happy Father’s Day

Today, in the Philippines, we celebrate the father’s day, along with all the goodness, protection and discipline they’ve imparted us. For today, I want to honor both my father and my mother. 

10 years ago

 An opportunity came for Papa to work in General Santos City. It was a hard decision for him, but he went anyway to provide for his family. At that time, I was just a sophomore in college and my sister just entering the university. 

Then, the unthinkable happened. All communication and financial support were cut off. We were left in the dark. We had to support ourselves. 

My mother took on the role of being a mother and a father at the same time. She worked on several jobs: being an insurance agent, a realty agent and being the father we needed the most. She disciplined us, loved us, helped us, and for that, I wanted to honor her today. 


5 years ago

When I got the opportunity to work in GenSan, I know I’d be facing my greatest fear and longing at the same time — my father. 

I’m afraid that if we met, I’ll be blaming him for all the difficult times or I’ll have bad news instead. I’m longing because as a daughter, I still wanted to have that father to call. 

Needless to say, we were able to meet and reconcile as I’ve written in this post. That was one of the best decisions in my life — forgiving my father and freeing myself from the baggage all these years. I admit, after our reconciliation, it’s as if a heavy burden is taken away from me. 

After a year of this reconciliation, I was able to bring my family to GenSan so they can have their own independence as well. In the photo was my family gathered together after several years of separation. 🙂

So, for all the fathers out there,

Happy Father’s day! You rock! Thank you for providing and loving your family. 

For the mothers, guardians, and grandparents who became that father-figure for all those children lost with one, 

Happy Father’s day! Your unconditional love is what keeps children like us going in this journey.

For those men who just become fathers, 

Happy Father’s day! Be the kind of father your child will look up to in the coming years.

For the fathers and soldiers who are fighting the war to protect their country and their loved ones, especially those in Marawi, Basilan and Sulu,

Happy Father’s day! We appreciate your sacrifices to keep the children of the country safe. Thank you for making the decision to love the country and fight for us.

And lastly, I wanted to honor my Father in heaven for loving us unconditionally and giving His one and only begotten son to die on the cross to save us from our sins,

Happy Father’s day, Tatay! Thank you for your unconditional love. Praying that I’ll be giving glory to Your name wherever I go.

I’m hoping in one way or another,  you’ll say a word of thanks to your father. That appreciation will definitely go a long way. 

Shout out your faith!

I just attended the Lifemixx Convergence of Victory GenSan with Yeng Constantino as the speaker. Even before, I’m amazed how God worked in Yeng’s life and how He is using Yeng to encourage people of His great love and mercy to others.

I learned so much for this night that I am reminded why I want to stay here in GenSan — not because of the place but because of the people who constantly push me towards God and because I know, in this place, I am growing as an individual, may it be personally, emotionally or spiritually.

Just this night, Yeng talked about how she got saved and why she has this passion to tell others about Jesus (really, if you saw how passionate Yeng is in talking about Jesus Christ, about His love for us, you’ll know and you’ll be encouraged to say — I also want that relationship with Jesus). She is like us, a simple person who rose to fame and fortune, but still the emptiness in her heart haunts her. With desperate cry, she told Jesus everything that she’s feeling and while reading her bible, her eyes focused on these verses: John 17: 24-26.

24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you[e] known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Jesus loves us so much that in his prayer, He says that He wants us to be with Him. That he has told everything about God so we can be with him in heaven. A very personal idea that she said is that, “Jesus loves us so much that He died on the cross to save us from our sins”. That Jesus, the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings, was not ashamed to tell about him and about God to others. He was not ashamed to be crucified on the cross to save us. While listening to this message, I can’t undo the tears running down my cheeks because I know I’ve been guilty — there are times when I would rather sit back and relax than share about Jesus or even mention his name to other people. There are so many things that I’ve learned for today – but the big question is: Will I do it?

In every aspect, planning is good, but it’s much better if we implement and do what we’ve planned. I am actually challenged: Will I shout out my faith? Everything boils down to the status of my heart: Will I honor God with everything that I am, or will I sit back around the corner waiting for something to happen?

I would rather choose to honor God with everything that I am and not be ashamed of the truth —  because in reality, God was not ashamed of me in the first place, He loves me so much that He has given me the mercy and grace. He loves me so much that I can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. It’s time for me to say: 

I will make things happen. 

God is faithful. ^_^

Last January 5-12, I participated for the annual prayer and fasting of Victory churches, particularly here at Victory Gensan. Ever since I put my faith in Christ back in Victory Los Baños, I am always praying for the salvation of my family.

For those who don’t know, I came from a broken family. Six years ago, I was still in college and my sister was still in highschool, when my father went here to GenSan for work. After several months, all communication and support were lost.

It was very difficult for us and we have this anger and hatred against him for abandoning us. Being the only Christian in my family, it was very difficult. I have to deal with such emotion and help my family finance our studies.

Every year during prayer and fasting,  I am always praying for restoration of relationship with my father, and eventually with my sister and my mom’s relationship with him. Last 2009, I know in my heart that I have already forgiven him for all that happened but I am not yet ready to meet him, or even see him.

I have so many questions for him, why this, why that. What is his reason, what really happened and what is really the truth. When opportunity came to work here in GenSan as earlier stated here in my blog, one of my reasons is eventually to see him. Even before, I’ve been praying for this for so long.

Then, I got an answered prayer just this January 14.

My father and I met here in General Santos City. It was a cold evening and I was with my churchmate, Chelo talking about our personal lives at the plaza. Then, I received a text that he wanted to meet me. I was nervous, and I do not know how to react, even how to confront him, but this was my prayer ever since — to someday meet him and tell him I’ve already forgiven him for all that happened. I just asked Chelo to pray for me before our meeting.

At last, we met at around 10 in the evening. We ate with Chelo, talked about general stuff and went home. Then, it was the time. Time to talk to him, tell him everything I think about him, ask him questions, blame him for what happened. But then, I realized, as Christ has forgiven us of our sins, why will I blame him? All the while, what I really prayed was tell him I’ve forgiven him?

He spoke the first word when we were at the dining table. He said, “Anak, sorry. Sorry sa lahat ng ginawa ko. Alam ko, galit kayo pero nagsisisi ako.” If I am still my old self, I would tell him, “Iniwan mo kami. Alam mo ba kung gaano kahirap nung wala ka? Kelangan kong magtrabaho, kelangan kong i-give up ang mga gusto ko para makatulong. Sina Mama, nahirapan, pero nasan ka?” But then, I never actually thought about it. When he said the first words, all I want to say is, “Napatawad na kita. Basta ako, napatawad na kita.”

God is awesome and wonderful. Just do what God wants and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4, paraphrase)

We cried and hugged each other. Then, I asked him all my questions and he shared with me what really happened during those six years. He mentioned that he was actually given a second chance — he nearly died because of high blood pressure but still, he survived and was able to live another lifetime. As for me, one greatest breakthrough is that God allowed me and gave me the strength to forgive him despite what happened in the past.

Also, God answered another prayer for me — that is, I would be able to share the gospel to my father. I’m the shy type and I don’t usually tell others about Jesus. But this time, God gave me this boldness and He helped me say the right words so that I can share the gospel to him – that Jesus loved us so much that He willingly suffered and died to save us from our sins and that He rose again after three days. As what I’ve told him, “Papa, I’m telling you this because I just want to share God’s love in me. How God loves me, He loves you as well.”

I’ve shared about salvation and  we prayed the prayer together. I’m happy for him. My follow up prayer for now is for him to start One2one at Victory Davao, and that he may constantly attend the church services there.

This is my testimony and I know, I have lots of testimonies coming my way this 2012. I just wanted to encourage you guys – those who follow this blog or for those who just stumbled upon it. God is faithful, God is just. If you’re believing for something, just believe and work out your relationship with God.

Nothing is impossible with God. To God be the glory for this testimony.