Beautiful in its Time

Beautiful in its Time

Every time I get upset about my prayers not being answered when I wanted them to, I would always try to fight back my impatience by recalling that precious memory a few years ago when my nephew, Waki, who was nine years old at the time, finally received his much-awaited Christmas present.

Several months before Christmas, my nephew asked his mom and dad to buy him a Yamaha keyboard. The one he specifically liked was a black 61-key Yamaha PSRE223 keyboard he saw at Carrefour which costs about AED699. It’s not cheap. But everyday, he would try to show off what he has learned with his toy keyboard – which his mom bought for only 40Dhs.

Waki is a natural music and art lover. Anything that interests him, he perseveres hard to learn and perfect them.  At an early age, we can tell that music is his natural gift. As much as his parents would want to support his craft, what he’s asking for was not in their budget at the time. So, we would always tell him to wait until mommy and daddy find extra money to buy his keyboard.

Weeks before Christmas, he posted a photo of the Yamaha keyboard on the fridge with a note he scribbled on saying, “Please buy when you have extra money.”

One time, his mom took him to Carrefour. The moment they stepped in, he went running straight to the area where the musical instruments were displayed and told his mom in a silently pleading voice, “Mom, I can’t wait anymore. Can we just buy whatever you can afford today? Please mom…”  It was a heartbreaking scene. But his mom assured him that they will buy him the one he specifically likes and not the cheap version if only he is willing to wait.

Days before Christmas, Waki’s mom received a bonus from her company. We were all delighted with this unexpected ‘extra money’. We all believed that this is God’s way of answering my little nephew’s prayer. So, we all ‘conspired’ to keep this good news as a secret from Waki until the right time comes.

On Christmas Eve, as we were excitedly opening our presents one by one, my brother and sister-in-law took out a small box and gave it to Waki. When he opened the box and saw, “Yamaha” written in it, his eyes lit up and said, “Wow! Mom, it’s my keyboard adapter!” My sister-in-law tried to put up an act and said, “We’re so sorry Waks, it’s only the adapter we can afford at the moment.” But surprisingly, my nephew only smiled at her and replied innocently, “It’s ok, mommy, next time, you will be able to buy me the keyboard that goes with it.”

While he was still studying the adapter in his hands, my brother came back inside the room and then took out another box. This time it’s a bigger box. My brother said, “Hey, young man, here’s another present for you.” Not really expecting any new presents, my nephew opened the big box. It was the keyboard stand. Upon seeing the content, he immediately put together the stand and ran inside the room, took out his toy keyboard and placed it on top of his brand new keyboard stand and started playing his 40-dirham toy keyboard while seated on a stool. Very proudly he says, “Mom, look. I can now play my keyboard like a real professional musician.”

I could not forget the look on his face – that big proud smile gratefully receiving what was in his hands without any trace of complaints or dissatisfaction. In his innocent heart, what matters that Christmas Eve was the moment itself. He knew in his heart that the very thing he has been waiting for has already started to unfold right before his very eyes. He thought, “It’s just a matter of time and it will surely come.”

Finally, the moment of truth arrives. While Waki was still busy playing with his toy keyboard, my brother took out the big box which we have hidden for days. By this time, you can imagine his reaction the moment he saw the box which he no longer doubted contains his Yamaha PSRE223 keyboard he has been praying for. As he unwrapped the box, tears just came rolling down his cheeks with sobs of joyful expectation of a dream that is now coming to pass.

That night, he was the happiest little boy in the world!

tears of joy

 

If you, just like me have been waiting and praying for something for so long, I encourage you to stay in faith. Learn from the heart of a little child and keep an attitude of thanksgiving and praise. Who knows the very thing you have been praying for is now about to be unwrapped. Simply put your trust in God.

After all, “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

A Wise Exchange

A Wise Exchange

Here’s another very touching story from an anonymous author. It speaks volume about the love of our Heavenly Father to us. Be blessed! 

      One day, a little girl named Jenny was with her mother in the grocery store. She saw a toy pearl bracelet worth USD20. She became giddy with excitement and asked her mother to buy it for her. “Are you sure you like it?” her mother asked.

       “Yes, Mommy! Please, please, please buy it for me!”

       So the mother bought the toy pearls for little Jenny.

       Jenny’s father, who loved her very much, read a bedtime story to Jenny each night. One night, after reading to her, he asked her, “Jenny, do you love me?”

       “Of course I love you, Daddy,” she said.

       “Can you give me your pearl bracelet?” he asked.

       Little Jenny pouted. “You can have my princess doll, Daddy, but not my pearl bracelet. That’s my favorite.”

       Daddy smiled, “That’s okay Jenny, I love you.” He kissed her good night.

       Seven days later, after another reading session, the father asked again, “Jenny, do you love me?’

       “Daddy, you know that I love you,” the little girl said.

       “Can you give me your pearl bracelet?” he smiled.

       “No Daddy, please. You can have my brush, my violet pen, and my red hair band. But not my pearl bracelet!”

       He chuckled. “That’s okay, hon. I love you,” and kissed her goodnight.

       But a few days later, a teary-eyed Jenny came to her father and said, “Daddy, I love you very much,” and placed in his hand her toy pearl bracelet.

       Her father gave her a big hug and said, “I have a very special gift for you, little girl.” He pulled out from his pocket a beautiful velvet case with gold lining. He opened it, showing to her a genuine pearl bracelet. “This is yours. No more toy pearl bracelet for you, my princess. You deserve the real one.”

 Friends, this is the kind of wise exchange that God wants to give to us.

 God wants to take what is cheap and fake in our lives (our addictions), so that He could give us something much, much better (our holy ambitions).

Give up your addiction.

Give up what is counterfeit.

Give up what destroys you.

Give up what pulls you away from God and life and happiness.

Like Jenny, you deserve better.

The Dream, the Cloud and the Man behind the Cloud

The Dream, the Cloud and the Man behind the Cloud

(I found this blog in my old ‘multiply’ account which I posted almost 8 years ago. I’m so glad I was able to save it before my account was deleted. I just want to re-post it here so I don’t lose it. Hope you get blessed as you read it. It’s quite long though, so please bear with me.) 

I could not remember what I prayed for that night. But there was something special about it that made God reveal how He plans to fulfill my greatest desire. Let me share you this beautiful dream which I had a year after walking with the Lord. This was the time when the major storm in my life has finally settled down.

I remember His words, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4 NIV) This was the verse my former boss quoted to me before I left the Philippines two and a half years ago. I have not had a relationship with Jesus back then. But even then, I felt that God was trying to reach out to me through those words. I just couldn’t understand how I would even apply it in my life. After I have received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior a year after, there has always been a question about what lies ahead.

Following Jesus Christ, as a new believer has never been so easy for me. It was filled with nights and days of tormenting battles inside my head. My mind was being pushed to the limits by evil thoughts and memories of the past. My emotion was constantly stirred by those so-called “good memories” in my past wanting me to long for things which I have already surrendered to the Lord. Even worse, the enemy of our soul kept hitting the wounds which have not yet healed completely.

There were nights where I would just cry out to God and ask Him for a miracle so that the pain would just die down instantly. But that was not part of His plan, the Holy Spirit would always remind me of Paul’s words where Jesus Christ spoke to him saying, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV)

Each day, I would wake up filled with hope, excitement and joy in my heart knowing that I am a day closer to wholeness and completeness. Finding refuge in the loving arms of God has covered me with so much peace in spite of those raging battles.

But this night was not like any other nights because this night marks the rising of the new day… the day that I have been waiting for…the day when I will begin walking in fullness and completeness through the grace of the Lord.

“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT)

It was at this time that God showed me a much greater view of His plans.

The scenes in my dreams were so dramatic. It seemed as if I was watching in a drive-in cinema. There, God showed me what my heart has been longing to find out, after coming out victoriously from painful relationships in my past. I asked, “Will I ever get married, Lord?”

This is probably the no. 1 question that most single men and women have been asking God. Somehow it has imposed a lot of pressure to singles most especially to ladies thinking their biological clocks were ticking fast making them more desperate especially when there is no eligible bachelor available.

I thank God that he has already opened my eyes to the truth. But that did not stop me from asking. Who else would be best to ask other than the one who holds our future in his hands? Well, what do you know? I got my answer!

Let me tell you my dream…

I was in a pub. It pretty much looked like the same pub I usually hang out with when I was still a non-believer of Christ. Like every pubs, it was dark with lots of people young and old coming in and out drinking beer and laughing their hearts out like there’s no tomorrow. I was with my brother and sisters. We were all having fun – drinking beer and watching people as they enter the main door.

Then suddenly, there came a bunch of local Arab men. Surprised by their unexpected presence, the crowd started buzzing around. Later on, the party host came up to the stage and announced that these Arab men were actually the sons of the Sheikhs. They were given this one-time chance to go around, get to know the ladies and select a lady for each of them to be his wife. Each one is to write the name of the lady he selected on a piece of paper and hand it over to the host.

I was awestruck in one corner and I didn’t know where to hide. The next thing I knew, one of the Arab men was already smiling at me. I started talking to him and we got along quickly like one of those one-hour photo developed shots. After a while, I left him and joined my brother and sisters.

Before the party ended, the host took the microphone and called the name of each son and read the name of his chosen “one”, one after another. When it was the turn of the man I met, he went up the stage and pointed his finger towards my brother. I was tongue-tied then I realized my brother was holding the piece of paper in his hand with my name on it. Then he came up to me, knelt down with one knee and asked, “Will you marry me?” I sobbed and answered him, “I can’t. We are of different faith. I might have feelings for you, but I love God more than anyone else in this world. And I could not bargain my love for him over you. I’m sorry.” I left him feeling as if there was a huge mountain of regret lying on his shoulder.

Immediately, I ran outside the pub sobbing and crying out to God. I began to pray and say, “God, why would you ever allow me to meet somebody so nice but then you know for sure when he ask me for marriage I can never say ‘yes’ to his proposal? Father, I feel my heart being crushed right now. But God, even if my mind is telling me one thing I want you to know that my heart still belongs to you, no matter how many times things like this happen, I will always love you and you will always be the one I will choose.”

It was actually a strange night because the sky was clear. There were clouds and the sun and moon were bright. After I have had my piece, and while I was still looking up in the sky, the cloud suddenly moved and formed a big hand. I was astounded as the hand-shaped cloud started moving and formed an arm. Slowly it gets longer as if trying to reach for something on the other side. As if searching a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I followed where the hand was reaching for. When I looked, there came a man walking in the cloud coming closer and closer to me. I couldn’t recognize him. I wonder who this man could be. I felt my heart beat fast. I reckoned he was the same man who proposed to me but he was not wearing his dish-dash and his hair seemed different. Though I could not see his face, I knew he has been sent by God for me. As he got closer, he stopped and asked, “Will you marry me?” I was startled. My heart leaped for joy but trying to hide my emotions I said to him, “I will still have the same answer. I will still choose God over you.” Then he held my hand and answered, “That’s fine. I know you would. That’s why I am here. Because He sent me to come for you to ask you to marry me.”

  
When I woke up, it seemed as if I was still dreaming. I couldn’t believe what was just revealed to me. My heart was filled with joy and excitement. Then I thought, whatever God was trying to tell me in that dream, the one question that has been disturbing me has finally came to rest. I realized that our ultimate desire for marriage here on earth is nothing compared to the marriage that awaits us in heaven.

There is a greater plan that God has set for each of us. As we walk closer to God, we come in fullness and understanding of His love. Then we understand that it was Jesus all along who could complete us. He was sent to all of us by God in his mighty hand. This journey towards wholeness was his plan because one day Jesus will come again and ask us to be His eternal bride.

As for getting married, I don’t know when. I don’t know how. I don’t know with who. But I choose to put all my trusts in His unfailing love.

“…The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.” (Psalm 145:13b NIV)

Signs!

Signs!

There are times when my mind gets too preoccupied by things I desperately wanted to have and achieve. Then I start to worry over and over, then I wonder and ask myself, “how can it be? It just seems so impossible!” I try to figure out what to do and how to do it? Where to go and who to turn to? No! It’s just impossible! Then I simply surrendered and gave a deep sigh, “Lord, I can’t! But I know you can!”

Then suddenly, just as I was about to finish my statement – a great big ad welcomes me with this sign as if God just heard my sigh.

Coincidence? I don’t think so! 🙂

Finishing Strong

Finishing Strong

I just want to say that one of the best things that has happened to me this year was actually being able to join and finish strong in a 10k race.

I know, I hate running or any form of physical exercise that makes me tired. When I started my fitness journey just a few months ago, I could barely run 1 kilometre without stopping to catch my breath. Just thinking about running 10k non-stop seemed like an unimaginable task and such an impossible goal to achieve.

But hey, look what I got in my hand right now! My very own medal, a precious keepsake which will always remind me that indeed, “Nothing is impossible!”. Thank you Lord for the strength and for giving me some amazing friends who encouraged me to pursue this dream. Here’s a toast 🍷🍷🍷 to more marathons to run, more people to inspire and more friendships to build!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/6f4/65708460/files/2014/12/img_1792.png

Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

It’s true that God can use the greatest pain in your life to bless others. I’m still overwhelmed by the response I received (and still receiving) from my blog, Single, 30(ish) and Thriving which I almost deleted out of fear of criticism. When I published it, I only asked for just ‘one’ soul to be encouraged and blessed by it, yet God amazingly used it to encourage not one but thousands! It has now been viewed all over the world, even those nations which I have not even heard of. What is even more amazing is that it has even reached those nations resistant to the gospel which I never in my wildest dream, ever thought would respond to it.

I am just extremely humbled and grateful that God has used me as an instrument to share His love to the single women (and men as well), who are just simply yearning for some breath of fresh air. What could be even more refreshing than having the presence of God in our lives?

With this surprising breakthrough, I was literally swept off my feet. If you’re reading this message and just like I was, you are afraid to use your gift – whatever gift God has given you – use it, not just for yourself, but use it for God’s glory to shine onto others.

Don’t be afraid to share it. Be a blessing to the world. You never know, perhaps, God wants to take you to places you’ve never even thought of or imagined. He loves you so dearly, and as I write this note I am reminded of this word which I would like to leave you:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Go ahead, open your gift and be a blessing! 😊🎁