Wednesday, June 27, 2018

All it takes is a simple Hello

I have this habit of dropping hellos to my Facebook friends. It could be very random and of course, irregularly. If there is one gift I think I have, it's the gift of connecting. Funny how I dread making small talks years ago, especially if the other party is senior, more experienced, or intimidating. Having been exposed I guess to the Couples for Christ community, I learned the value of not just talking, but more so, listening, and making genuine connections. We are after all, brothers and sisters in Christ. Again, easier said than done, and it took me years to overcome my shyness.

So earlier this evening, I said hello to a sister. Randomly again. Little did I know, the sister was down since yesterday, and she was asking for God for ways to lift her spirit up. And she goes, "Mukhang tinouch ka ni God ha, kaki kahapon pa ko umiiyak, I was asking God for a sign or for Him to use someone to help me and give me a little hope." 

Woah. Amazing God. It's an honor to be used to lift someone's spirit. I didn't know what prompted me to message her, all I know was that at that time, she popped into my head and FB messenger was next. Simple, fast, connected. And what's greater was that, my spirit was also lifted.

In these days of fake news, pretend profiles, meaningless posts, and viral contents, there is still good in social networks. It can still be used to build relationships, duh, that was it's FIRST purpose to begin with, hence the word SOCIAL. How lucky are OFW children and spouses these days to have a communication line at the tip of their fingers. Back in the 80's and 90's, I would wait months for a tape recorded voice of my father and a letter to express feelings, to fill the gap, to be connected. Use Facebook to make real connections, uplift a spirit, put a smile on someone's. You'll never know who will need one.

And while were at it, say hello to me. I'd love to connect.


Can you take up the challenge and leave one FB friend a sincere hello today? It'll make a difference on someone's day.

Oh and yes, let's transcend the connection eventually to real face to face interactions. I am a Communications graduate and in theory and practice, nothing beats person to person communication.

May we all be blessed.

Friday, August 25, 2017

On Miscarrying

I remembered exactly how we announced to friends and family that we were expecting baby no. 2. – on the day of our 2nd anniversary, no less. I knew it weeks before that. Must be because I know my body too well. More than excitement, there was fear. Pol was more dumbfounded than I was. We just knew that baby no. 2 didn’t really come in the best of timing, with the 1st baby born prematurely, my CS delivery and yes, the most concern coming from my health issues being diabetic and hypertensive.

We prepared ourselves from not just how our parents would react but more so, how our doctors would. It was strictly advised not to conceive yet in the next 5 years or at least until I completely manage my BP and sugar.

Anyway, as any expecting parents would, we embraced the blessing with all our heart. When the ultrasound confirmed our pregnancy, we were yet again happy, like it’s the first time. However, something about the ultrasound was daunting. The baby’s heartbeat was slow.

To cut the story short, I came back for another ultrasound two weeks after, and heard the words: THERE IS NO HEARTBEAT. My world stopped. Right in the doctor’s office, I tried to put up a face and held back the tears. I didn’t even know how to tell the news to my mother who was waiting excitedly outside the ultrasound room.

The grief of losing a baby—of all the possibilities -- is incomparable. Three days and one medical procedure after, I am not sure if I am emotionally stable.

I went straight to the church after finding out. On the way, I sent an SMS to my husband and best friend – we lost the baby, there is no heartbeat whilst trying not to break down inside the jeepney. I cried my heart out inside the church. I didn’t asked God why. I just cried. Deep in my gut, I blamed myself—for not being healthy enough, not being strong enough for my baby whom we called different names-- MC, JP3, Clarito…

A cousin messaged, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes.” How apt. I am thankful and humbled to be in a spiritual place where I’ve learned that everything happens according to His will. I know that the joy that He gave to our growing family may be short-lived but will never be forgotten. I know that another angel has been added to look over me. Knowing all those things though, wouldn’t stop me from feeling and longing—for the could have been and the might have been.

If for anything and despite the physical, emotional, and financial trauma this experience brought us – this has brought my family closer. It reminded me to treasure life, as it is fleeting. And so I need to be healthy for my first born Johanne. The world may have ended for baby MC, but it is just beginning for my eldest. We have witnessed a miracle in her birth story and she will turn a year in just 2 months. There is more reason to celebrate than mourn. And while a piece of me is gone with baby MC, God’s grace is new every morning.

For now, I take time to pray for myself and for those in the same shoes as I am – those who have lost a loved one, for fellow mothers who have miscarried, for mothers who gave birth to premature babies, or babies who are unwell. Even to those who wants to become parents but biologically unable. God is a God of miracle, the healer of our soul, and the ultimate comforter. Let us cast our fears, pains, and worries on Him who can do all things.

And yes, I will continue to grieve with the Lord, until He takes the sorrow away.

To friends and family who has celebrated with our joy in announcing the great news of baby no. 2 – please include a prayer for baby MC tonight. Heaven has earned another angel. And may God bless all of you a thousand folds.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Unfailing Love

Tonight's blog is from a friend whom we shall call MIMI. Since I was down with a bug for the last few days, I wasn't able to write anything, but I'm grateful for friends who are always to my rescue. Mimi's story is something Filipinos can relate to -- love for family and the desire to return all the love back while we can. But things doesn't always go as planned and there's always a reason behind it.

Happy Reading!
I grew up in a family where my father is very strict and my mother is vulnerable, but both of them are softhearted and strong person inside. Early in my age, life showed me how my parents struggled a lot to raise me and my three siblings to be responsible, better person, to have a simple and meaningful life which we treasure today.

When I graduated from college, finally my dreams for my family, especially for my parents started to materialize. I was excited to get my first job so that I can give them the life they deserve and to pay off the hard work they did for us in providing our needs. It’s easy to say 'to have a job', but it's hard to find one that is worth working for and will sustain your needs.

As I gradually reach my dreams, a sad moment pulled us down. My father was hospitalized due to his illness and did not manage to survive. What happened to him broke my heart into pieces. I remembered when I had my first period (menstruation), he was so excited to tell everyone that I am already a lady (blushing).

Despite losing and grieving of papa's death, we are happy for him because we know he will not suffer anymore and he's in God's loving arms already.

Through all these trials, we’ve proven that God is really great! He sent us people to reassure that He loves us and will not leave us. God provided us the money to pay all the expenses of my father's death. Thanks to the company where I was working at that time and the people who helped us. Praised God! 

At this very moment I feel we are so blessed, despite losing a very special person to us a few years ago. God has so many  ways and plans that I can never tell. Challenges and trials in life come and go, and we all know it will not end. But the faith we have in God and the assurance that He will never fail us and will continue to amaze us with His love, remain forever.

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Happy weekend!