“Count your blessings. Once you realize how valuable you are and how much you have going for you, the smiles will return, the sun will break out, the music will play, and you will finally be able to move forward the life that God intended for you with grace, strength, courage, and confidence.” Og Mandino
….and here goes the list of things and people I consider God‘s blessings:
1. Values. I believe that I am blessed with the very values instilled by my parents in me. I may not be the “good” daughter who does not cause them pain and frustrations but I am proud to say that the very anchor that keeps this ship from sinking is the values my parents have taught me since I was a child. The values of hard work, contentment with what I have, importance of money, family as top priorities in my life and love of self are just some of the important lessons they have taught me.
2. Lessons learned. Every time I stumble and fall, I know this is because I did something wrong. I made stupid decisions in life. While other people would blame it to bad luck and “punishment”, I choose to believe these are lessons I HAVE to learn and mistakes I need to avoid. One of the life story that has impacted my Christian life is the story of Job. God allowed Satan to test Job with all the bad luck and severe mishaps in his life. Taking away his hard-earned possessions, his health and his family are just too difficult to bear. Yet, Job chose to be thankful and never for once blamed God even at his lowest. I am scared if this happens to me! How I wish I am like Job–always trusting and faithful to God. I believe that each lesson in my life should be learned as a “test” and a stepping stone to become a better person that reflects God.
3. Writing. All my life, I have found solace in writing. I have always refer to writing as my way of expressing what I feel. I remembered when I was a child and my way of letting out childish pain was writing to my mom about it. The same way when I was a young bride struggling with my troubled relationship with the father of my daughters, I used to write all of what I felt in a piece of paper. Today, writing is still my “outlet”. There would be days when everything seems so overwhelming that even words cannot express how I feel; nevertheless, after a day or two, I would end up writing about it and feeling better.
4. Skills. Come to think of it, I am truly blessed with so many skills. Yes, God is so very good to me! I may not be blessed abundantly in the financial aspects but God has gifted me with so much! As a child, I have so much exposures in singing and acting. God used me to sing in the choir and eventually became a soloist in church. I learned to cook at a very young age. Thanks to my dad who was very patient in teaching me this skill, I was able to use it to feed my family by starting my cooking business. I did not go to any culinary school but my secret would always lie in cooking heartily and happily for others’ enjoyment. I enjoyed cooking very much. After its downfall, my writing skill led me to this freelance career. I started out humbly. (You can refer to this previous post http://lynnesampilo.wordpress.com/2011/01/23/freelance-writing-my-own-experience/) Today I can truly say, I am blessed. God has never stopped giving me continuous work. I have three wonderful employers and working for them is a joy!
5. Tennis. Back at the age of 24 and with a body like Penguin (Batman’s number one nemesis), I started playing tennis. Almost 17 years later, I am still playing this sport and loving it! Tennis is my escape (http://lynnesampilo.wordpress.com/2010/10/12/tennis-my-escape/) from all the pain and problems I am going through in life. I thrive on the exhilarating sport. It allows me to focus my mind and heart on what is beyond the challenges I face. It helps me become a fighter and a survivor in the game of life.
6. Parents and Siblings. My parents are my inspiration. I feel that the reason why I strive to be better in everything I do is because it is always my desire to bring joy and pride to them. I don’t know if they are aware of my humble achievements but it would be my greatest joy to know that they are also proud of me. I am nothing without my parents who sacrificed and worked hard for all of us. Thus, I am always inspired to work harder and be successful in everything to bring them joy. My sisters and I have a special bond. Though we live far from each other, I know that whatever I am going through, they are always ready to be there for me. This, I will always be thankful. I have a wonderful childhood because of the love and happy memories I have with my two brothers. These memories are deeply cherished in my heart.
7. Motherhood. Despite everything that happened in my life, I am truly the happiest the very moment I became a mom to each and every child I was blessed with. Every one of them have a special place in my heart. Through my daughters and son, I know God loves me so much for allowing me to experience the joy of being a mom.
8. Family. Imagine having no one to call “family”….it saddens me to think that so many are homeless. My joy will always be my family. My family will always be the two men in my life; Roy and Josh. My family will always include Stef, Jamie, Annie, Kat, my son-in-law Jayson and my granddaughter Holly. My family will always be my parents, my siblings and their families. My family also includes Bomber and Beauty our Belgian Malinois dogs. I am part of a family! I am not alone in this world at all.
Finally, above all else I am truly blessed that God loves me. He has loved me with an everlasting love. I cannot do this on my own….I don’t have the strength, the courage and the will-power to continue on with life if not because of HIM. He has continually given me so many “second chances” in life as I know how stubborn and stupid I can be. Yet, I am truly blessed.
Just like everything in life, pain happens for a reason. I have good days and I have my shares of bad days too. I cannot rely on other people to make me get over the pain in my heart but I can always trust God that in time, I will be able to rise above it and come out a better person. With this list, I am made aware that the joy I have will work wonders in healing the pain in my heart.
“…to burn out the pain, just find a place filled with joy. God created joy as a balm for pain. What are some places, who are some people filled with joy that you can rely on to ease your pain?”
For the past months, I have been blogging about the pain I have been struggling lately. I have talked about letting go by learning to forgive and prayed intensely for the people who have caused this pain. However, I cannot hide the fact that I am still haunted, stalked and caught unaware with just how terrible it is to be extremely hurt by the people you love. Amidst the desire to be free from it, there is always an intense fear of being hurt again. Thus, it is like a cycle that gets you up and down, going round and round–jostling you like crazy.
My husband, being a man, does not totally understand this struggle. All he knows and believes that one should just “move on” and eventually, gets over it. Oh, how I wish it’s as simple as that. You don’t have to face insecurities and doubts; nor be suspicious about anything to everything. How I wish there is no sense of vulnerability and fragility in my heart that I can just simply shout to the world “hey life! Give me your best shot! I can take it!”….no, no, no. I am simply so scared to face the next major disaster in my life for fear that I my never bring myself up again.
Am I sounding like a coward?
Today while I browse around my Facebook page, I came upon a message from one of the applications there. It mentioned about God giving us joy as balm to pain. Somehow it made me realize that it is part of everyone’s life that he or she will have to face varying degrees of pain in life. The only thing that matters is how you deal with it. Yes, you need to pray for God’s grace for forgiveness, letting go and being whole again. It is your choice NOT to let the pain control you, your happiness and your life. Today I choose to ponder the joy God has blessed me; in so doing, I believe eventually I will get over and move away from the pain in my heart.
Who and what are they? Please see my next post.
Six months have passed since that awful night. Disbelief, shock and excruciating pain have constantly gripped my heart after discovering the ugly truth. Since then, the struggle to overcome it has been quite a challenge. It is human nature that the effects of the problem would cause a person to be cynical, afraid and suspicious. Every emotion that grips the heart is like a yoyo; up and down, moving one step forward during good days, three steps backward during bad days.
The first few months were definitely hellish. You desperately tried to hold on to the thin thread of trust while at the back of your mind you fear the same betrayal happening anytime soon. Many times you wonder how are you going to move on from all the ugliness and fear when every waking moment of the day you are reminded of the pain? Yes, you prayed for forgiveness but it seems forgiving is so overwhelming hard. How then do you move on after the pain?
Yes, time can be such a killjoy when one is having fun. However, time is essential for healing when you are going through tremendous change in your heart and soul. Just like any physical injury, time is the greatest healer as each person’s body has the ability to heal itself. Healing is possible not only through the medicine you applied but from the nutrients you get from the food that you eat. This same principle works with the pain you are going through. Other than time, the people that surrounds you with love and support are the nutrients your raw emotions need.
Some people would say forgiveness is easier said than done. This may be true as one struggle to let go of the pain he feels. Forgiving the person that has wronged you is not a God-given natural choice. But if you do believe in God, you choose to forgive despite the pain and the difficulty. I always tell myself the moment I struggle with the art of forgiving is how Jesus forgave the world even though he went through it severely castigated. In fact, it is only through prayer and grace that forgiveness is even possible. You simply cannot forgive people on your own strength.
There are so many choices when you find yourself in a crossroad; to forgive or not to forgive, move forward or stay put. Forgiving and letting go is a choice you have to make. No one will make this decision but you alone. Yes, it is very, very difficult and only God knows how much pain you are going through. Nevertheless, if you desire to move on from all the ugliness, then there is no other route but go upward, at the same time letting go of the heavy feelings that is burdening and making your steps hard.
There are good days and there are bad days too. Moving on after the pain is never easy and you need God’s guidance and strength to be able to let go. You are blessed if you have family and friends at your side to lend a hand to listen and support–others don’t have this. For this reason, it is good to reach out to other people who are also in the same shoes with you–hurting. This way, you are not only conveying to them that you care and understand but through it your own pain takes second place.
Are you struggling right now? Is your spouse/loved one cheating on you? You may have lost someone important or a person you love has recently passed away. Whatever it is, always remember that healing and moving on only happens if you truly desire it.