Earlier this week, I lost my aunt. Before this week ended, I, myself became an aunt. A few days ago, I had been in a period of desolation. Now, it is time for consolation.

One of my closest friends had said, whenever he receives a great blessing, he is grateful. But then, he can’t help but worry as he anticipates an unfortunate event to happen next. And that is because he said he noticed that the recent pattern in his life has been like this: Blessing – misfortune – blessing – misfortune…

I thought I’d be writing this blog post only as a thanksgiving to the Lord. But I guess I would also be writing this to hopefully remind people like my friend who may see this similar pattern in their lives that, while misfortunes may always seem to come after a blessing, with Jesus, there will always be blessings after trials; misfortunes will be turned into opportunities for growth; and we will definitely finish in victory.

Trial before Triumph

Back in March 2014, a few weeks before my graduation in college, my father came here in the U.S. to visit my mother and to celebrate his sister’s birthday while I was in the Philippines with my brothers, waiting for my big day.

While my Dad was with his sister (my aunt who just passed away earlier this week) together with my cousins and their kids to celebrate my aunt’s birthday in Las Vegas, my Dad’s left lung collapsed. Thank God that he was with my cousins who knew exactly what to do, and they rushed him to a hospital right away and they took care of everything.

It was frightening to learn about what happened to my father while my brothers and I were at the other side of the world, not able to do anything but to pray and wait for updates. I was also worried at that time that my father who was scheduled to return home by the end of that month might not make it in time for my graduation or might not make it at all.

But by God’s grace, my Dad recovered quickly and was given permission to travel back home. Because of what happened, God sent not only my Dad but also my Mom as she had to accompany him all the way home to ensure his safety.

So sa graduation, imbes na ang Daddy lang ang kasama ko, pati ang Mommy nakasama ko rin. And I was the most triumphant graduate when I received not only my diploma but also honors alongside my parents on the stage.

Lost and Found

Last year, around mid-2019, I experienced what I have recognized as a spiritual attack which made me feel various debilitating emotions and brought overwhelming confusion and inexplicable sorrow.

During that period, the Lord opened my eyes and exposed the residues and unhealed scars of the past which gave way to resolution and opportunities to grow and mature spiritually, making me more aware of His presence and of what His true will is to dispute what I thought He wanted me to do.

As that dark period closed, my discernment with the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate officially and formally commenced. And with all the lessons I have learned and the wisdom that the Lord gave through the Sisters and the experiences that followed, in the hands of Jesus, I am no longer the same.

Take and Receive

This week has been like a roller-coaster ride for me. Earlier this week, the Lord took my aunt Home with Him. In the middle of the week toward Friday, I have dealt with highly stressful and angry customers, which did not help and even probably contributed to my mourning and the overall heaviness of my spirit, sinabayan pa ng overthinking at ng paparating na ‘monthly visitor’.

Yesterday was when I felt the worst because it dawned on me that there has been a prompting of the Holy Spirit which I ignored, choosing to follow my pride and selfishness instead. I thought my emotional self-beating will continue for God knows how long, but He stopped my tracks and reminded me to share my burdens with Him, to bring into the light what I have been hiding in the darkness and, to lay on the table what ruminates in my head.

And He received them gladly, lifting the load from me, setting my spirit free like He always does.

TEARS INTO JOY

I thank my Heavenly Father, my Christ Jesus, and my Advocate-the Holy Spirit! For the safety, comfort, and blessings to my family, I will be grateful for all eternity to the Holy Trinity for His faithfulness that sees us through.

We know that trials are not stopping from here, but we also know for sure that we have hope. And today, we welcome God’s gift—a bundle of joy for my brother and my sister-in-law. Thank You, Lord! Walang pagsidlan ang tuwa at pasasalamat!

I pray that we would keep walking in faith and growing in love as we dance in gratitude to our Lord.

Amen.

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Photos are from Pixabay and Unsplash

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