#YouAreLoved at #TheFeast

Just like so many girls out there, I used to crowd my thoughts with daydreams of my own fairy tale, of my “ideal husband.” For someone so idealistic though, my love story is not as romantic as I imagined it to be. There are no remarkable courtship milestones, no spectacular and notable heartwarming memories, neither are we romantically compatible. Everything seems so plain and simple.

But Reb—my one true prince—came to my rescue at the most unexpected time and manner.

AWAKENING AND RECOGNIZING MY PRINCE

All throughout my soul-searching stage, I wondered how it would be like to know you have met “The One.” After a series of heartaches, I had lost belief in relationships thinking all hope was gone, as if finding love was a “failed mission.” I even called that time of my life “my dark age.” But it was that “dark age” that made me realize I had gone astray and had forgotten I have a kind, consoling father to trust and lean on: God.

So there I was one day in the shower, pouring my heart out, not just crying but bawling like a child, tired, and had given up, when I remembered to pray. Again.

Yes. In the shower. It was my awakening moment. As soon as I got out, I decided I needed a new life.

Ironically, Reb had been in the background all along. Working overseas, I had known him as one of the first few Pinoys I met in the Cayman Islands but never got an opportunity to be close with. Until that day I approached him five years later to ask how I could join their community. He was actively involved in a ministry for singles, and I was like a lost sheep trying to find its way home.

I asked him what I needed to bring with me when I attend the Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS), and his answer stunned me: “Just your complete surrender.” For a hungry soul, those words were very comforting. So deep it nailed me through the heart. It is what we consider to this day our first romantic conversation.

LSS came and Reb was not as friendly and charming as I thought he would be. He totally snubbed me and showed no interest to get closer to me. (Later on, he revealed to me that his intention was to give me enough space and a chance to be completely immersed in the moment. And so that I could mingle with other people.)

Until one fateful day. For some weird reason we became the “apple of the eye” in a breakfast gathering we attended. With no clue what was coming to us, our community brothers and sisters paired us to their heart’s delight and teased us all morning. Like teenagers, we blushed, rode along, and innocently laughed with them.

Few days after that, Reb and I had more opportunities to engage in casual talks. But already with an element of wonder that time, uncertain of the possibilities purposed for us but looking forward to what may unfold.

Then came our second intimate conversation. Reb broke the silence to ask me, “Have you been praying for this?” “This” referring to our then “awkward” yet unknown feelings for each other.

I admitted I had been praying fervently for direction in life, especially in finding my spiritual partner. He seconded and expressed his inkling to the odd timing of our just blooming friendship. He said he had a few people in mind he was considering to pursue, but was wondering what role I was to play since I was not on his list. (We still laugh at this up to now, and I allow him to brag about this as much as he can every time he tells our story.)

After a considerable amount of time getting to know each other, the community became our home. Nurtured by a family’s care all around, we grew more and more in love. It is only when we falter in serving the Lord that our relationship loses power and meaning. So we keep on returning to Him for strength. Like when we came home to the Philippines after nine years in Cayman, our thirst led us to find the Light of Jesus Family.

HIS LOVE

While we argue and debate on many things, one thing we always absolutely agree on is—we found each other in God’s perfect timing. Though it may sound like a well-used line, it is for us a statement we hold true and dear to our hearts. We had always felt drawn to each other despite our busy and preoccupied lives back then, despite the several failed relationships we both had in the past, despite our differences, despite the lack and lost opportunities to pursue each other.

In the end, we were still led towards the path we were destined to take. A path of togetherness anchored, powered, and graced by His love.

His love. His love that we experience over and over. I say this for whenever Reb and I stumble, feel weakened, and begin to doubt or question our love for each other, miracles in any shape or form intervene to bring forth reconciliation and healing upon us.

For having established a family comprised of three great kids, we can say we have gone a long way. We crossed bridges, conquered struggles, and triumphed over obstacles that tested us. And whenever I ask Reb his favorite part of our love story, he would say it is the “now” and the untold. The every day we overcome together. Through our love. By His grace. 

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