Do you believe that blessings come in little boxes? Sometimes, we expect it to be handed to us in this wonderfully, colorful, and beautifully wrapped package that we missed seeing the simple ones showered upon us everyday.
I have been so focused in waiting for His blessings to come in the way I visualized and expect it to be. Now I realized I was so wrong looking at God and His magnificence based on my standard and expectations. I should have known better that His ways are far greater than mine. His wisdom is beyond my understanding. Just like a child who trusts his parents in everything, I should trust God and simply have faith that He is in control of my life.
It is not just enough to say a hasty prayer to consider myself communicating with God. I realized this when I went to church this Sunday. From the moment I heard the choir singing, I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit. I cannot seem to stop the tears from trickling down my face. I stood there with this huge emotions in my heart and felt myself being gathered in the arms of God–hearing His soothing voice telling me He understands. I wish I could say all my insecurities, struggles and worries went down the drain that very moment, but in truth I just had to thank Him for it. I felt this blessing so intense, I cannot help but feel the joy in my heart amidst whatever I am going through.
With my imperfections, God is glorified. I truly believe He allows me to go through tough times so that I can shine for Him and not for myself. On my own, I am and will always be a person with a broken spirit, unsecured, and struggling. But with Him, I am strong and courageous.
One thing is for sure, I don’t want to continue on with my journey if God is not on my side. I would rather have these small blessings in ordinary boxes bestowed on me daily that continually reminds me that I am not alone. At the same time, nothing can stop me from hoping and praying that somehow my life will eventually move on to be better–which I know it will.
This was the very first article I wrote almost a year ago in one of the prestigious writing site.
I opened my eyes to the darkened room and slowly tiptoed to the window. Catching a glimpse of a new day just peeking through the ebony sky, I knew there was no turning back. Quietly, I went to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror…Is this how a 40-year old look like? The girl I see in the mirror is not young anymore. Wrinkles in the eyes and face are visible despite the daily applications of different moisturizers and creams. In fact, those facial treatments that I monthly indulged in cannot stop blemishes from appearing. Gone was the once svelte, eye-catching body. Instead I see someone almost 25kgs overweight with all the love handles visible everywhere. Should I start considering Liposuction? I grimaced. Physically, at age 40, I am a distasteful picture. With a deep sigh, I started to leave when suddenly I stopped. Glancing back at myself in the mirror, I looked deeply in those dark almond eyes staring back at me.
I see someone who has been through a difficult life the past 40 years. Strength, courage and a deep faith in God has helped me survive the most trying times of my life. The past year alone has not been easy for me financially and emotionally. Business has been almost dying while bills were piling up high waiting to be paid. I took it hard when my youngest daughter who used to live with me decided to go back to her dad, my ex husband. Worst, I have been betrayed by the man who promised to grow old with me. Pain and sadness have been my best friends and not more than once, I have contemplated if I should go on living this life.
Yet as I continue to reflect on this, from somewhere I felt the strength of God seeping through my very soul. Despite the physical unattractive sight, I see a beautiful person who is filled with love and kindness. Not allowing hatred or anger to rule my heart, I have learned the art of forgiving not only the people who has caused me pain but myself most especially. I have learned to move on and continue living. I am still in control of my life and even if there are times I am scared, I face life with a zest! When life throws lemons, it is up to us to make lemonade out of it. Yes, it may be difficult but we can always use a trial in life to become a challenge that will draw out the best that we can be.
Today is my 40th birthday and I can’t wait to see what is in store for me the next 40 years. I know the road ahead isn’t easy. With all the turns and bumps along the way, with God’s grace, I am not afraid. They say beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. To others looking on, they may see an overweight, over-the-hill girl but for me, what I see in the mirror is a kind, courageous and a lot better person.
It is a word so often used and misused. We can always say “I love you” to anyone and everyone without really understanding the true meaning of love. When we were young, love is associated with that special someone-the guy who makes our heart pound so fast whenever he is around. As we become adults, love is our family. The true meaning of love is found in the word “unconditional”. You love a person despite the flaws and differences. To love someone unconditionally is loving the person exactly as they are, what they were before and what they will become. Since people change as time passes, loving them means you accept them even if they become a person you disagree with. How many parents can truly say this about their kids? How many can truly say they love their partners unconditionally despite the pain they caused? Love isn’t about what you can get out of it or what the other person can give you. It is not about you feeling “proud” of what they have achieved or how they are always agreeable with everything you say or do and never does anything to disagree with you. Unconditional love means the person can live their life exactly how they choose and you will always be there for them no matter what happens.
No one is perfect. This is what I always tell myself in regards to the people I love in my life. I am not perfect either. Sometimes we wish that we exist in a world where there is no pain, no mistakes, and no wrong decisions so we can avoid hurting the people we love most. How simple it is if we can always live up to the expectations of people closest to our hearts. To be a good daughter, a caring sister, a supportive mother, a loving wife or a trusted friend yet, once in a while we fall short of these expectations and we hurt others. In the process, we hurt ourselves too.
I have been blessed that I have found unconditional love in God. For the past years of my life, I have strayed away from my Christian belief and faith because of human weaknesses yet, He never gave up on me. God has given me chances for change every day of my life. Constantly reminding me through the many trials I face that I have Someone who loves me despite all my flaws and imperfections. He accepts me every time I called out His name and asked for forgiveness. How do I know He loves me unconditionally? I know it because I feel it in my very soul. There’s a certain peace in my heart despite the tumulus of negative emotions that keeps eating me alive. Because of His unconditional love, I have learned to love others unconditionally–my partner, my children and myself.
My husband is not perfect. He has his own weaknesses and demons yet I know he has more good in him than his flaws. There is no perfect partnership and it will take years of adjustments and mistakes for us to achieve a long-lasting relationship. My children are not perfect either. They are their own person with unique individuality that only a mother loves and accepts. I should not place them in the context of children who are or should be “good” kids. I cannot shield them from making their own mistakes or making the wrong decisions in their lives but I know deep down (and they know this too) that whatever happens, they have a mother always to come home to. I am not perfect either. I should stop living up to the expectations of people around me because the more I want to, the more I fall short of it. I should stop berating myself if I cannot make other people proud of me with the simplicity of life I have or the decisions I make. I should love myself–flaws, fats and weaknesses included.
For me, true love loves unconditionally. God loves me unconditionally and I in return, should love unconditionally