Because He is…

“We underestimate the power of our own will.”

That’s what struck me from a sermon I just finished listening few minutes ago. It is somehow a good intro of what I want to share on how my 2019 turned out to be.

I must say 2019 was a continuation of my 2018 journey.  Though really, our journey is not bounded by end or start of a year. It just keeps going.

2019 was a very humbling year for me. God helped me discover things about myself that I didn’t know were happening to me. What I went through during the later part of the year is hard to explain. It’s really true that only God knows the deepest of our heart. When I share it to people, it would seem petty and just really a normal struggle anyone can go through. But from my end, it was a battle. I struggled with anxiety and deep fear that paralyzed my faith, took away my joy and shattered my peace. No matter how hard I fought it, I would find myself back into the pit. It’s like quicksand.

As a child of God, the only way to overcome the battle was to continue reading God’s Word even if it was hard holding on to it. I kept asking myself what was really the cause of all of it. I thought it was my stressful work. I thought it was certain circumstances that didn’t go the way I wanted it to be. God eventually made it clear for me. He showed me that I’m weak. Not that I didn’t know I am weak. I for sure am aware that I am weak – on certain areas in my life. But God showed to me the kind of weakness that I wasn’t aware has slowly been crawling into my life.

I am weak in allowing myself to be slowly swayed into the comfort and “good” of the world without being aware of it. I am weak that I was becoming self-entitled and demanding in a very subtle way without being aware of it. I am weak that I was becoming ungrateful when things didn’t turn out the way I thought it would be. I am weak in thinking that when God provides, it will always be smooth and easy. I am weak when my focus was starting to be about myself and what I want and what I deserve. I am weak that even just little difficulties, I would just want to give up.

It is so true that most of the time we underestimate the power of our will. We don’t realize the little things we feed into our mind will eventually change the way we think and the way we believe. I’m still in that battlefield, letting God continue to renew my mind and transform my heart. Fear & anxiety would try to creep in from time to time, but Jesus helps me overcome. His peace is undefeated.

People who know me might think that I am always okay. When people see me at church, they would probably think I am doing well with my walk with God. That those I mentioned above never manifested when they see me or when I serve. All I can say, despite my weakness, God’s work will continue to move. And that’s what amazes me. In the midst of my struggles, His work doesn’t stop.

The biggest blessing for me in the midst of this struggling time is to experience God’s presence and to see how He can continue His work through a season of brokenness. Every time I would find myself going to church, being at work, serving in ministry, meeting my discipleship group or cleaning my room – I know that it was all Him. My own will would just be in a depressed state, in my bed and just be thoughtless. But His grace was working during the time my own will just couldn’t. 

In my almost 15 years as a follower of Christ, I was never in this state of deep anxiety and fear. And somehow, I have understood how those people who really struggled with depression, on how hard must it be for them especially if they don’t know Jesus. What’s the source of their hope? What are they holding on to keep going?

Please include me in your prayers and pray for your loved ones who are probably going through difficult times right now.

If there’s one thing I would like you to take from this is that to remember that we have a sovereign and powerful God. Because He is who He says He is,  even if I am weak, His work will prevail. I may be defeated, but Jesus is not defeated. And that’s the truth that I am holding on. That even if there were days that I have failed, Jesus has already overcome it for me.

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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. – Ephesians 6:10-13

 

What Happened?

Happy New Year!!! As always, first blog entry for 2019. A tribute to 2018.

So, what happened to your 2018? How was it?

My 2018 was very interesting. It started really exciting especially when I joined a new company.  I mean, that was really a leap of faith for me.  It was a bittersweet decision.

Then, a lot of things happened in between. God’s word for me for 2018 was “courage” and I thought that I would be making a lot of “big” decisions in life and you know probably meet someone (LOL). But, it was a different kind of courageous decision He wanted me to do. And yes, it was more difficult. I struggled with it all throughout the year (until now!). And, I kinda figured it out almost half of the year already.

SLOW DOWN. The two big words that I had to embrace and continue to embrace up to now. I tell you, it is harder than being busy.

My greatest blessing was to be able to spend time with people. My slowing down has allowed me to make more time with people and ministry. Those I can never exchange for anything. Relationships are the most important! And I’m truly grateful that God really allowed that in my life.

Then, my 2018 ended with a surprise. I didn’t know I would reach to a decision to leave the company that I joined early in the year. I feel like I became more brave by doing that. Though, I was confident because I have a Father in heaven who will take care of me no matter what.

I don’t have a list of what’s or what-not’s of my 2018. Just one big lesson that I will have to learn and keep re-learning. To learn to LIVE FOR THE MOMENT.  The reason why God wanted me to slow down. I forgot how it is to appreciate TODAY, embrace the PRESENT, enjoy the NOW.  So, we’ll see!!!

To end, always grateful to God who deserves all glory. I don’t know what 2019 will look like but I know for sure that God will remain faithful.

So, what’s your biggest lesson for 2018?

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