Faith Restored

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Anyone who knows me like family is fully aware of my fear of hospitals, doctors, injections, and almost any health-related stuff for that matter. It was because of a traumatic experience at the hospital when I was barely two years old. Ever since I can remember, I would get chills and palpitations whenever I’m inside a hospital.

To cope with it, I have already decided since the start of my pregnancy to visit my OB at her home clinic and not at the hospital, despite the wonderful airconditioning system hospitals provided. 😉

I’ve been on and off a bad cough for a few months now, and while the first few weeks weren’t quite alarming as I was just advised to drink plenty of water and eat citrus fruits, these days proved to be more dreadful because of the merciless summer heat and my growing tummy that gets way too painful whenever I cough.

This is the first time I’ve had a cough that lasted more than a month. You don’t call it a viral infection anymore — so my nurse friends say, but I was so afraid to be prescribed of antibiotics because we know how expectant mothers shouldn’t take them, right?

Anyway, since I’m already 22 weeks on the way, I decided to just visit a pulmonologist and get this cough over with. I was supposed to go to the doctor last Wednesday, but was disappointed that the doctor had such an early cutoff. Imagine, his clinic hours were 4pm to 6pm, but all slots were already filled by 4:15!

You know how two people are not meant to meet each other? Well, that’s me and that doctor.

Which proved to be the best for scaredy-cat me after all.

For someone who’s afraid of hospitals, checkups are the biggest challenges.

Today I went to the hospital 15 minutes earlier than the doctor’s clinic hours. I’ve had an awful experience with the HMO, so I took care of that first. So far, so good. Got my form in a matter of minutes.

I went to the doctor’s clinic and was relieved that there were only 7 patients before me and clinic hours were far from over. The best part? The waiting area was airconditioned and was just the right temperature for me. You see, that floor is divided into two — the airconditioned area and the natural air-ventilated area. And for some reason, the doctor I was supposed to visit early in the week was in the less comfortable side.

Upon consultation with the doctor, who has aged beautifully from my first consultation with her 5 years ago, I was kinda sure she was keeping herself from giving me a good scolding. “3 months ka nang inuubo, tapos tubig at fruits ka lang?!” Err, uhm… 😅😂 It was like getting reprimanded by my grandma who’s a former teacher. It feels good getting scolded by grandmothers sometimes. I think it was mainly because I was pregnant that pissed her off. 😂

After a series of inhale-exhales, the doctor told me to get an X-ray; she said I didn’t have to worry because the baby’s already five months in my tummy. I asked for approval at the HMO, and for the second time, it was unbelievably quick of them to release the form.

I went to the radiology department and was warmly accommodated by the staff who told me to wait outside X-ray Room 1. The attending technician approached me and asked if I was the pregnant patient. She was so kind as to provide me with 3 levels of shield, as I would like to call it, to cover my tummy from radiation. She was also talking to me throughout the procedure which made me feel more at ease.

Right after the x-ray, the technician told me to get the results on Monday, 5 pm. I responded with a hesitant, “Ay, sa Monday pa…” I guess she had a hunch that my pulmo wanted the results today, so she told me that she would just have the results printed out in a few minutes.

At that moment, I just thought, Wow, where’s all this favor coming from? 

For some reason, I suddenly had the urge to take a look at the shirt I was wearing, then it struck me. On it was written: I AM A CHILD OF GOD in Chasing Embers font. Of course! How could I forget? Being a child of God means being highly favored — that I am sure of.

Out came my x-ray results. The whole procedure, including the waiting, took only 20 minutes. There’s God’s favor right there. I went back to the doctor with less worries.

The doctor looked at the print out and muttered, “Okay naman pala…” Man, those words were the only ones I needed to hear. 😏 Plus, her mood has already lightened up. Haha. I was expecting my asthma had come back to haunt me — thank God it didn’t. I was prescribed with an antibiotic, Cefuroxime, which was generally safe for pregnant women, and Fluimucil, one of the best medications I’ve had in my life. 😁 

I went out of the clinic with a smile plastered on my face — a smile of relief, one might think, but it was actually a smile of gratefulness. God has indeed placed His hand on every part of my hospital experience today. Not only has He reminded me of His sovereignty in my life, He has also been gradually restoring my faith in doctors, hospitals, and hospital staff. ❤

Before the x-ray procedure, I was scared for my baby as much as I was for my traumatized self. But after the whole ordeal-turned-faith-restoration-process, if you ask me, now I am fully certain that my baby will be a bouncy and healthy one. How do I know? Because I am a child of God. 

What happens on May 9?

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Our choice of president is determined by the things we value most. Sadly, we cannot find all the best qualities in any one candidate.

So it all boils down to this: do we choose diplomacy over discipline? Words over actions? Intellect over experience?

What do we want our country to be known for? Do we want a president that we can be proud of internationally? Someone who has good ties with other countries? Someone who is intellectually competent? Someone knowledgeable about military techniques and crime fighting? Someone who understands the needs of his countrymen? Or do we want a leader who sets a good example by placing himself on the job and experiencing it for himself?

I don’t know about you, but everything I mentioned above is important to me. However, it is hard for me to follow a leader who leads from a pedestal, who does only the talking but not the walking, who is all wits but without heart.

So my vote goes to that one candidate who dwells with the masses, speaks without pretenses, leads his constituents while living a simple life, and keeps his town safe at the expense of his own safety.

I want a president who is not afraid to die — because maybe, just maybe, because of him, many would become a little braver to fight, and die, for our beloved country.

I have a dream…

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A few months back, a friend asked us in our care group to complete a dream mobile where we had to write down our short-term and long-term goals.

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My dream mobile.

Here’s what I wrote.

Short-term goal: Take educ units and eventually take the Licensure Exam for Teachers. That’s because I figured that it’s easier to finish educ units than a master’s degree. 👌

5-year goal: Have a baby. Or babies. Whichever. Haha! After my miscarriage earlier this year, I realized I didn’t have any plans with regards to our future children, so I decided to officially include “babies” in my to-do list. 😛

Long-term goal: Have our own house and visit Korea. Ever since I started teaching ESL to Koreans, I’ve been dreaming of going to Korea to experience their life and culture — and to practice my speaking as well. It’s been quite a while, and new slang words are being introduced every day. I think it would be great if tables were turned and I was the student in a foreign country. I can only imagine!

So how am I faring with my goals?

No, I don’t wanna talk about it. I’m not even halfway through my short-term goal!

FIVE YEARS

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Certficate of Recognition awarded today.

It has been a very good and fruitful 5 years. I’m still unsure of the path the Lord wants me to take, but I guess I have one more school year to figure it out. 👌

And with that, I am dedicating this blog post to the past five years of lessons and challenges, of trials and triumphs, of heartaches and happiness, of learning, growing, and dreaming. 😄

Faith Lessons and Others in between

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1 Peter 1:6-7 pretty much sums up what happened to me during the last three weeks. The whole pregnancy and miscarriage ordeal sure brought to light what I’ve been missing all this time. Here are 5 lessons I have learned through this experience:

1. God has woven in me the perfect temperament, and I couldn’t ask for anything more, or less. I mean, I’ve heard of stories from friends who had miscarriages. Most of them went through mild depression, self-pity, and different stages of anger and hate. I, on the other hand, spent almost a day dwelling on our loss; nevertheless, I was able to get back up after a quick devotion and talk with the Lord. Had I been a Melancholy, I would have sulked for weeks, overthinking why I had to experience such demise. I am just overwhelmed at how God has put everything in my life in order, and how He made me just as I am – a Sanguine Choleric who lives for the day and possesses all the hope in the world.

2. In times of crisis, I can actually be strong — very strong. Most people who know me from childhood would disagree. I know they see me as a huge coward who’s scared stupid of cockroaches, frogs and rats — yep, I know that. And I don’t deny that I am scared of a whole lot of things, the future included. I’m afraid of physical pain — needles, getting fractured, getting terribly sick and every single thing that needs medical attention. Only after the day of my miscarriage and when one of my aunts told me that I was indeed very brave to deal with the situation — and the contractions — alone did I realize that yeah, I could actually forget my fears and deal with the circumstances head on.

3. I am We are blessed with very supportive and loving friends and family.

4. My ordeals develop faith in others. In the past week, I have been receiving some very encouraging messages from friends and family — most of whom I didn’t even expect to be updated about my condition. A particular message touched my heart when this acquaintance-turned-good-friend shared that like me, she was not yet ready to have a baby. After reading my blog post, she said that “[my] experience really inspired [her] a lot, especially when [ I ] started talking about ‘faith.'” According to her, “if it is in God’s time already, who are we to refuse His gift?” Her message brought me to tears, and I couldn’t help but thank God for allowing me to experience this miscarriage so that other couples and soon-to-be mothers will be strengthened through me. Truly, this faith resulted in praise, glory and honor of Jesus.

Not only that. Even people who do not usually mention God’s name miraculously did so in their efforts to encourage me, probably because they knew I am a Christian. But hey, they must have mustered all their strength just to type G-O-D! And for that, all glory belongs to Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. 🙌

5. Lastly, when on social media, many people take things at face value. They do not really take time, or might not have time, to read everything posted. They see things as WYSIWYG — and that’s quite dangerous, especially when the appropriate word to say is sorry, but they blurt out a big congratulations. 😛 Oops, don’t worry. I’m fine with the congratulatory messages, contrary to what others might think. It’s not in my DNA to get offended over simple and petty things like forgotten greetings or wrong choice of words. There is so much more to life than holding grudges. 👌

Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of His victory. — 1 Peter 1:7 MSG

My Official 2016 Reading List

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Aaand today’s Listers Gotta List challenge is… tada… My Official 2016 Reading List!

I guess there’s no escaping reading now that I am blogging about it. So here goes my list of readables that I hope to finish with flying colors by the end of the year.

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Lila ang Kulay ng Pamamaalam by RM Topacio-Aplaon

1. Lila ang Kulay ng Pamamaalam by RM Topacio-Aplaon

This is one of the novels of a friend whose wild imagination I can barely comprehend. 👌
While I have read the e-book version until the third chapter, I might even be more excited to read the printed copy.

2. Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

I still haven’t read this book which I bought two years before I got married. I think it’s about time.

3. Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata by Ricky Lee

and

4. Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog by Edgar Calabia Samar

Simply because I need to start reading fiction again, this time in Filipino. I’ve had my share of Sweet Valley High and Love Stories pocketbooks in high school, and all they left in me were Wattpad-worthy plots with barely any depth. Oops, sorry.

With 4 on the list, plus the whole Bible to work on, I think I might be able to feed my brain well this year. 💪💪💪

Something New

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The husband and I have been invited to speak about Christian Dating, Marriage and Purity several times already. The fact that we got married without a baby in my tummy probably made us the perfect tandem to discuss the topic.

I got so used to speaking in front of teenagers and yuppies about dating that I have forgotten the existence of other topics. ✌

Just two weeks ago, we were invited to teach young children at church for their anniversary. The theme, Dakilang Manunubos, Ipakilala nang Lubos, was a challenge. I’ve never discussed topics related to missions — and now, I even had to teach children about it. I guess that’s what levelling up means — exploring brand new stuff with a new audience.

I simply grabbed the opportunity to speak to the children. I knew I had a lot of things going for the past two weeks, but it’s not for me to reject any chance to share God’s word, especially when this gift is not natural to me. Yep, it was only after I have developed a more intimate relationship with the Lord that I was endowed with a gift of speaking His word. 🙂

To be honest, it is even harder for me to teach with a partner. Of course, Jets and I have different teaching styles because we have very contrasting personalities. He’s the fun teacher; I’m the serious one. I guess that’s how we came up with our Junior Worship teaching setup that Sunday — he facilitated the games, and I taught the lesson.

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READY, SET, GO. Jets was instructing the kids which message to relay to their group mates in our Pass-the-Message game.

Looking back, I realized that as a married couple, immersing ourselves in the company of kids makes us more mature. It develops what is lacking in us — patience and tolerance for children.

It was also fun seeing the husband mingle enthusiastically with the children. There were times that Sunday when we were starting to panic and subconsciously snap at each other, but thank God, we managed to pull it off.

While it was tiring and challenging to teach the children, I would not miss the opportunity to minister to them if given another chance. 🙂