A Personal Battle, A Proud Heart and A Prayer

Have you ever felt depressed at one point of your life? July to August last year (2013), when I felt so depressed, as much as I want to be optimistic and look at beautiful things instead, it doesn’t just work. I know, I’ve always been positive, I am a dreamer, I’m go-getter, I have faith in God, I believe that God has a great plan for my life, He has a purpose for everything, He is in control. I don’t usually allow problems and struggles to affect me for a long time; I just don’t like meditating on problems, so I always lift it up to God immediately in prayer and worship, then I’m okay, I meditate on God’s promises in the Bible, and I’m fine. God usually restores me and bring me back to life the same day or week. But this time it’s different, it lingers, it actually took months… The depression started with unmet expectations from God, from a prayer that was answered the way I don’t expect it to be. I cannot understand God, I expect a “yes”, but His answer is not a clear “wait” or “no” in short God answer is the opposite. I tried to wrestle with Him, I insisted on what I want, on what I thought is best for me, and felt like I deserved a “yes,” I’m so proud, as if God owes me something because all this time, I think I obeyed Him, waited for Him, so I He must say “yes”, I forgot about the grace of God, I’m so proud.

18002114On being depressed, I woke up with a sad heart, I felt empty. In spite of the emptiness, I continue my daily morning quiet time, pray, read His Word, hoping that this will make me feel better, but no, it doesn’t help, maybe I’m just spending quiet time with God for the sake of doing it, but my heart is really not into hearing God. I continue attending Sunday services, prayer meeting, victory group and worship night, I even fast and pray, hoping that I will encounter God in the presence of other believers. Yeah, I felt His presence when I’m church, but driving home, I feel so alone, hurt, fearful, worried and nervous, feeling so anxious of my future. I feel like God is so distant, I know He is not absent, but He is just so far away from me. During weekends, I feel so weak, I just want to stay in bed, hide under my pillows and sleep. I don’t feel like talking to anyone, even to my family and closest friends. I feel that I’m so tired being there for them, and they can’t help, but the truth is I don’t like to admit to them what I’m actually going through, so I avoid them as much as I could. I don’t know why where all this feeling is coming from, I’m aware of it and I don’t like it. Everyday pray and ask God to remove it, but it stays and it lingers.

As how women handles problems, I decided to get a new haircut and hair color, while pampering my mane, I read this e-book from kindle “7 Most Powerful Prayers That Would Change Your Life Forever” written by Houge Adam. And yes, right in the middle of Salon, God whisper to me… No, no, I think He shout, because He’s been whispering most of the time and I can’t hear what He says… And God shouted so clear…

Stop trying to take the lead, and let me lead you. Wait on me and wait for my Word. I will speak in my own due and proper time. If you obey Me I will justify you. I seek a servant who obeys, not one who walks off while I’m talking and does His own thing. I do love you, and want to justify you. Your works cannot attain Mine, unless you let Me work through you. Only then can you see My power moving and working daily in your life. Only then can you be blessed by Me. Stop trying to bless Me, you can’t bless Me! The greater blesses the lessor. Let me bless you. Only be submissive and let Me lead you daily. – GOD (7 Most Powerful Prayers That Would Change Your Life Forever”  Adam Houge)

And I cried in repentance, in humility I admit that I’m so proud, that I know better than God. That I feel like I know what’s best for me and He don’t. I submitted, I surrendered my life to my King. I admitted that I cannot do anything independent, the truth is, I cannot be an independent princess, without the power, blessing and guidance of the King. I admitted to God, that I am limited, and He is limitless God. So I’m giving Him my life, allowing Him to take the lead. During that moment, I felt like, my Father is smiling at me saying, finally my daughter, you get the point, now I can continue to work amazingly in your life, let me lead you to a more wonderful journey !

 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, – Isaiah 55:8-9

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 Excerpts from Sarah Jakes blog: I Turned My Back On You

I was concentrating so hard on trying to have an “ideal” life that I was obsessed with pulling everything around me together, trying to make things whole. 

I was too tired to keep fighting though so I just let the pain sweep over me… 

I learned that faith wasn’t about holding everything together or living the life you “should”, it was about recognizing you’re in too deep and trusting the Lifeguard is coming to get you. I gave in prepared to let life win but God who knows and sees all was already in the water, prepared to come get me. 

The more I fought, the harder I made His job…When you know you’re in over your head you have to trust that God is with you always, even when you don’t see him…Even when you think you’ve gone too far…. You are simply an arm’s length away from His grace.

I believe today, God speaks to me through this blog from Sarah Jakes. I’m browsing the web for blogs that I can read, and my search leads me to her SarahJakes Blog. Since mid of last year, I cannot understand why God is allowing uncontrollable situations in my life. There’s anxiety, depression, job lost, sickness, self-pity, broken relationships and vanished friendship. And then, I cried, found myself lost, broken… In tough times like this, I prayed and told God, “Lord, I cannot do this anymore… I don’t want this, but nothing I can do to prevent this. I surrender everything to you. I surrender my heart, my career, my body, my mind, my family and friends. I’m sorry Lord that my desire to put all things together perfectly leads me to trusting myself, believing that I can control and make my imagination of the “ideal” happens and offer this to honor you, so that you will be pleased with my life. I’m sorry Lord for I am impatient; I can’t wait for You, I do things my way not Yours, as if I know better than You. And I am shattered. Lord, I’m so tired of doing and fighting, because no matter how I tried to create a balance life, to excel at my work, to live healthy, to be a good daughter sister and friend, no matter how I tried, it just don’t work, I’m still defeated. I’m crushed, I’m exhausted… So I GIVE IN, and invite You to COME, do it for me and fight for me. I admit it, I’m not strong enough, not independent enough, I am limited… I repent, I surrender every areas of my life to You, be the Lord of my life. FIGHT for me God, for Your Word says, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15).

My Shepherd, My Healer

Today, I thank God for delivering me from hysteroscopic D&C  procedure done to remove 5 endometrial polyps found in my uterus lining. Our God is our Great Healer. I didn’t felt any pain, except from needles from IV & skin test. Inside the operating room, my  last memory is the voice of my OB Gyne, Dra. Cecilia Reyes, introducing my Anaesthesiologist, another doctor who would assist her and telling me that I’ll be fine. Then, I fall asleep, woke up after 2 hours, and yey, it’s done! I don’t even feel any pain, right after until tonight.

This season in my life, allows me to experience more of God’s grace, it’s  about trusting God with the unknown. It’s my first time to suffer with this type of illness that I need to undergo general anaesthesia and be confined in the hospital for 2 days. I’m so afraid, scared… In my prayer, I trust Jesus alone, that by His strifes I’ve been healed already. I believed that Jesus is with me, He will never leave me nor forsake me. I believe in His promise “The Lord is my shepherd. I shall lack nothing. He restores my strength. He leads me down the right paths for the sake of His reputation.” I am singing “Desert Song” and worshipping God before and after the procedure.

I am loved

I realized that when you’re sick, you expect your family and friends to be ther for you during this low season of your life. I expect a visit, a call or even just text from them assuring that you’re okay. Thank God for few family memebers and friends who spends few hours (and even days) with me after the procedure. I thank God for Mommy and my sister Jell, who take care of me in the hospital, Nanay, Yaya and Temple, my friends Iris, Carol & Ric also visited me. I also thank God for those who prayed for me. I realized how much “time” matters. This can be the most valuable gift we can give to our loved ones whose sick or troubled. Believe me, it matters a LOT! I really felt loved & valued by these few people. (tears of joy)

I’m not alone

I’m also grateful that Jesus is the one who always stays with us and never leaves us alone. I really felt His love and faithfulness to me during this time. I can never ask for more. Jesus, has been enough for me to be strong, face and won this battle! Though I admit, I needed support & love from family and friends. I cannot expect them to be there for me all the time, but God?! God is with me. So I focus on Him, and I felt how blessed I am. My Father is with me, He knows what I’m going through and He is in full control.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. 2014 just kick-off, and I’m expecting more extraordinary days from my extraordinary God! Focus on Jesus. Jesus Loves Me. My Father, my Shepherd, my Lord.

My Personal Psalms

I’ve wasted seven years being in a wrong relationship. I disobeyed, dishonored YOU oh Lord that long.

My heart, my being, pursue this man… A man who evetually hurt me, and left me broken and alone in the dark.

In the darkness…

I saw a light coming ahead of me. That light is YOU. YOU picked up the broken pieces of me. And made me whole again. When you restored me, I respond in submission. “Lord, I submit my life to you.” While uttering this prayer, I’m also believing your wonderful plans for me. My Father, YOU know what’s best for me!

Into the new season…

My feet wandered around places. You revealed new things, so that I can learn new skills, expand my knowledge, build new friendships, experience life adventures, be a blessing to my family, friends and even people I do not know, received blessings and breakthroughs and get to know YOU personally. Only YOU can do that! I am captivated by YOUR love oh Lord. I trust YOU alone.

A wounded heart…

After all these wonderful experiences, your princess remains to be a princess. That desire to be a queen & be captivated by her knight still remains. Though YOUR princess, has been open, she remained guarded and wise. She seeks YOU first, she includes YOU in her dating life because the princess will only choose a relationship that will honor YOU.

Tired princess…

Here I am, my Father, my King. Your princess, whom YOU loved with Your EVERLASTING LOVE. A tired princes… I thought I was strong, independent, but I realized I’m not. Last year, I realized I’m so tired, I cannot do this alone anymore… I neeed YOUR STRENGTH. I need someone to defend me and that’s YOU! For the past 6 years, I am struggling… Because part of me was not yet completely surrendered to YOU. But this 2014, I lifted up to YOU, my whole being. I will wait on YOU.

I will no longer….

…..push for what I want

…..I will no longer do things things my way but YOUR way

…..I will no longer face giants with my own strength, but with YOUR STRENGTH, you will fight for me!

I will….

I will seek your face Oh Lord, I will never stop calling YOU, I believe in your promise, YOU will answer and reveal to me great and amazing things.

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. – Jeremiah 33:3

A Letter to Self….

Dear 21 year old Jenice Joy,

It’s just 6 months ago when you finally graduated from college at PUP Taguig. And you continue working with TIPS… I know how excited you are for the next season of your life; you have so many plans in mind. You just listed your short and long-term plans. Those consist with things you want to buy for yourself and your family, mostly the ones that you’re deprived of when you’re young, goals you want to achieve and the path you want to take. You’re very optimistic, passionate and determined to fulfill your dreams.

You’re in the right track girl! I encourage you to never stop hoping and dreaming, no matter what happened don’t Imagestop! Few months from now, you will experience a great pain, a pain of loosing a loved one. Your friend, your number one fan, your encourager, the best “tatay” in the world. He will have his last breath with you, right in your arms. As if he was telling you that he wants you to be in-charge for the family, for nanay and Jell. Because of this lost, this pain will make you strong, so strong that you’ll be independent from others but so much dependent from God! God will be your dad! He will be your greatest source of strength, grace, wisdom and comfort. You’ll run to Him when you’re down, you’ll cry to Him when you’re hurt. You will seek comfort from Him when you’re tired and weary. From then on, you’ll be the family’s breadwinner, you’ll replace tatay and you’ll be strong for nanay and Jell. And guess what? You can do it! Amazingly, God will work in your behalf!

Then get ready! God will open doors of opportunities for you. I know you just want to work and remain as an ordinary employee. But God has greater plans for your career. He will call you to do things you cannot do on your own. Each decision requires faith, so increase your faith and trust God more! He knows what’s best for you. Soon you’ll be leaving your job in this small non-profit organization. You’ll start working with multinational companies; your background in IT will be your advantage. You’ll meet different type of people from all walks of life.  Your work will bring you to different places, around Philippines and Asia and soon around the world. You’ll enjoy your job, you’ll have fun at work but for sometime you’ll reach your comfort zone and start to get bore. When this happens, you’ll start praying & looking for more challenging job opportunities. Jenice, you can love your job, in this way you’ll excel, but don’t love your company, because you’ll never know when company stops loving you. Just be excellent at work, honor God by doing more than what is expected from you and for sure God will reward each good work you’ve done. By the way, you’ll also pursue graduate school at your dream university, this one is not in your plan, but God made it possible for you, this is part of His bigger plans.

Remember, you cannot please everyone and you don’t have to! So just do something that you know is right and pleases God. That’s your purpose, you exist to honor God.

Now let’s talk about love… I know you’re so in love right now and you think he is the one for you. I just want to remind you that you should also honor God in your relationship. Jenice, enjoy this season of singleness, you only have 10 – 15 years to do so, the rest of your life you’ll spend it with a partner and with your kids. Don’t allow your world to revolve only with that man. There’s a beautiful world out there waiting for you. You have your God, family, friends and career opportunities. Savor every moment with them too! Don’t settle for less than you deserve dear. You’re a princess, you’re valuable and you deserve more than this. You should be pursue and not the other way around. I know you’re independent but you should allow yourself to be pursued! Don’t focus too much on your romantic relationship so that when its time to let go, it will be less painful for you. Don’t worry, God will replace him with the one who’s best for you, just wait, God is writing your love story. A love story with a happy ending!

On finances… Be a good steward! Tithe and Give! I know you want all these stuff – bags, clothes, shoes, gadgets and travel. These are not bad things, you can have it, but I encourage you save and invest first and make your money work for you first before buying this. Sacrifice now so you can enjoy your future. With this principle you can save yourself from debt, money rat trap and poor money mindset. Start thinking like rich people and you’ll find yourself as rich as them! Again, don’t eat everything from your harvest, save some seeds for sowing so that it will multiply. Remember, we are called to be rich not just to satisfy our selfish desires but to be a blessing to other people.

Lastly, keep that desire in your heart to know God more. Be independent from others but be totally dependent from God. Without God you can’t do anything. Trust God wholeheartedly. Trust Him only. Life is not about you, it is about Him. Always honor God and share His love to everyone. Shine and be a blessing!

Inspired by Steve Jobs

During our FY12 marketing strategy planning, Joel shared with us this inspiring video of Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs during a commencement exercise at Stanford University in 2005.

Here are pieces of learning from the man behind the success of Apple:

  •  Connect the dots. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect the dots looking backward. You have to trust the dots would somehow connect in your future, you have tor trust in something in God, destiny, life.. Believing the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart.
  •  Love and Lost. Do what you love. You’ve got to find what you love. Love what you do. If you haven’t find it yet, keep looking don’t settle.
  •  There’s no reason not to follow your heart.
  •  Remembering that we will be dead soon is the best tool to do our best in life.
  •  Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
  • Don’t let the noise of other opinions, drowns your inner voice.
  •  Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

Entering to the Promise

Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you

Joshua 1:6 Be strong and courageous

Numbers 23:19 (ESV)

God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

Isaiah 55:10-11(NIV)

10 As the rain and the snow    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:    It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Deuteronomy 7:9-10

9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. 10 But those who hate him he will repay to their face by destruction;
he will not be slow to repay to their face those who hate him.

REFLECT: God is a faithful God, he keep his promise, he fulfill it. and that’s wow! Isn’t it great to know that our God, our Father, is faithful to his promise? that whatever he says, whatever promise mentioned in the Bible is true and if we just believe, it will happen to us? This characteristic of God, just made realize how confident and secure my future would be. Today, i embrace all His promises!

RESPOND:

  • He has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ
  • He choose us to be holy and blameless in his sight
  • He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ
  • He redeemed us, he forgives our sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us
  • He gives us wisdom and understanding
  • His plan for us works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will

This year i believe that God wants me to believe in His promises:

Genesis 2:18
The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

Proverbs 11:25
A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

Deuteronomy 28:11
The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

#2011 Prayer & Fasting

Putting Smiles at PGH ward patients

After the Cebu trip, on December first week, i catch-up with my personal preparations for Christmas 2010… I’m so not in the mood to buy gifts this early… Maybe because what matters to me now, is the question that running in my mind recently “How can i make Jesus smile in His birthday this 2010?”, and so I’m praying for that, and hollah, my ex-KC friend “tet” invited me to give and celebrate Christmas at PGH ward, i’m so happy to be part of this event, since I know this will make God smile! 🙂 even the patients & their family smile and cry when we bring out some food and simple gifts we prepared for them and as this children sung Christmas carols for them… Me & my sister, can’t help it, we cry… actually it’s a mix of emotions, i’m sad for these people who will celebrate Christmas in the hospital. I experience the sufferings of having a sick loved ones.

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I also feel grateful that God has given me, my sister and my friends this opportunity to help the needy. I remember when Nanay was confined at PGH ward 15 years back, we are in lack in our finances, that we have cannot afford to send nanay in a private hospital. We even have to seek help from PCSO to assist us with hospital bills. I’m indeed thankful where God brings us now… We don’t even have to bother about this kind of emergencies. He blessed us so much now that we have to give back!

180 at Boracay

Our first ever Singles Retreat with Victory Family was last September 2009. Together with my Victory group, Cai, Libby, Bevs, Carol, Iris and Ron. I also invited my sister Jell to come with me, because I believe that God has so much in store for us for this retreat… More than the beautiful “Boracay Island” I’m very expectant that God will reveal His love and promises for every singles who will be part of this retreat.

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Day 1 is our free time, we had a great day walking in the beach, enjoying the beautiful sunset…

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And a welcome night, a good chance to meet new friends from Victory. Then dinner along the beach with my small group friends ;b

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Day 2, we have our own version of amazing race, where we have to go around the island to look for some stuff and imitate pictures and take a good shot!

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And at night we have a luau a party, where every group prepares a presentation… This is also the awards night.

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Day 3, is our free time! We choose to spend it with the rest of the singles for an island hopping, lunch & shopping at talipapa, dip in the beach, get a henna tattoo and do nothing while sitting in the white sands of Bora. It was one of the happiest part of this trip.

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At night we celebrate Bev’s bday at Starbucks, eat a cheap yummy barbeque and spend the rest of the night at bamboo lounge bar…

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Day 4, before we leave the island, me & sis enjoy the turquoise colored water of the beach and took more pictures.

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It’s my first time to have a Quiet Time along the beach and it’s such a wonderful experience. And these are God’s message for me, I was so oneighty@bora-031overwhelmed with His promises and Do’s actually… Proverbs 3:

  • He will prolong my life and & bring prosperity (if I keep God’s commands & teachings in my ❤
  • I will win favor & good name (if i’ll be faithful & loving)
  • He will make my paths straight (If i will trust in Him alone)
  • I will be healthy (if i will fear the Lord & shun evil)oneighty@bora-204
  • I will be bless with overflowing resources (finances) – if I honor the Lord with my wealth & give tithes.
  • Long life, riches & honor, peaceful paths, pleasant ways, blessings after blessings (if i seek Godly wisdom)
  • Confidence (if i will not fear & start trusting Him)
  • Grace (if i will be humble)

And oneighty@bora-108some Dont’s!!!

  • Do not withhold good for those who deserve it
  • Help NOW, tomorrow might be too late
  • Don’t plot your neighbor
  • Don’t envy violent man
  • Don’t accuse man for no reason

Or else I will have to face the consequences of disobedience.

Lessons from First Business Venture

10.23.2010, Saturday, when we finally open & started a small business called scrambleville design1-1“scramble ville” our product – my favorite street food “ice scramble.” I believe that God direct me into this business, its amazing how God opens the door of opportunity, provide a food cart idea, capital and even support from my family & relatives. For our 2 days of selling here are few lessons learned:

  • if it God’s will, He will make it easy for you, whether its in relationship, finances, business.
  • God provides wisdom in the midst of hard times (finances)
  • start RIGHT and Finish STRONG – (God speaks tru #OPM2 Series)
  • great things start from small beginnings – (my sister #jelomejell reminded me), when i was so tired on the 1st day & was almost about to give up
  • the value of hard earned money (ang hirap kumita ng pera)
  • i discover my gift, my passion, my strengths (it’s in planning, numbers & arts not really in selling, i’m not a people smart really) jell & nanay discover their passion as well.
  • i’m grateful how my family supported us this venture (kuya rey, yaya, kuya alex, cuzins)
  • i learn to seek God in every steps

Hopefully, my new role as entrepreneur will be a success too!