“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
– Romans 5:2-4
This is the first talk of our first series this year, JUMP! And as I read this verse, I began to repeat some of the words, “…we rejoice in hope of the glory of God”. As Bro. J has explained, the glory of God is the fulfillment of His plans for you and me. It is the fulfillment of our dreams that He has planted in our hearts.
Then I began asking, “Really? As in seriously, God?” You may be like me, who’s waiting and waiting for years and when you begin to hear these words, you can’t help yourself but ask. But let me redeem myself here; it’s not that I’m doubting God’s plan for me but it’s more of loving to hear it over and over again.
I had a rough week, or should I say I had a rough start of the year! Plans for my studies abroad are still uncertain, funds are not yet available, things aren’t doing well in my family and I have consistently been messing up at work. Last Thursday, I cried as I listen to how frustrated my boss was when she began to see my work suffer accuracy and credibility. I cried so hard that day and began asking God, “Why? What is wrong with me?” Just when I claimed bigger things happening to me this year, here I am all messed up and I can’t find the answers on why I am consistently committing mistakes. As much as I want to remain positive, deep inside I was broken and frustrated.
But God has His ways of really surprising me and giving me what I need, when I needed it. I met my friend Iris that same day and she introduced a promising business to me but I won’t go into those details. As we wait and quickly catch up, she just blurted out this question to me, “Do you want to receive healing NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) with Jojo Apolo? He is available tomorrow and I can bring you to him if you want.” I prayed that night and ask God if He wanted me to go. And in the silence of my heart, I just knew I needed to go.
Friday night came, and as I walked to the New World Hotel, there were so many questions in my head and to be honest, I was so nervous for an unknown reason. But when I got to meet Jojo Apolo face-to-face, I just knew God is at work. I started telling him all that has been bothering me; the hurts, disappointments, struggles, insecurities and frustrations. He smiled at me and said, “You can be free from all that because God loves you so much.” And he also told me this, “I am 100% sure that it will happen to you. I have been a witness to thousands of people who were healed and I am sure it will happen to you.”
At first I didn’t get what he said; how sure he was and how everything will happen. But as we go through the healing NLP, the voice of God speaking through my heart whispering “I love you” and embracing me lovingly assured my heart that it was happening to me that night. And you know, amidst the noise from different sources in the hotel lobby, I was able to ignore all of them and I just focused on talking to God about a lot of things and how happy I am to be able to experience healing in a different level—in an unexpected and unimaginable way. People I knew were dying to meet Jojo Apolo, and God arranged our schedules to meet that fateful Friday night.
After the healing NLP, he asked Iris how I looked and Iris gave a whole lot of answers but Bro. Jojo affirmed one of the best descriptions that she said. My look wasn’t just peaceful—it was serene. And deep inside, I knew they were right.
I recalled how Bro. Niko Capucion shared about ignoring the noise and the 4 of the many barking dogs that we have in life:
1. People’s opinions – My insecurities and low self-worth became worst because I listened to them. I worry so much on what others think or will feel if I don’t get to meet their expectations. But Bro. Niko reminded us with this: Never try to be anyone you’re not. The only way you can inspire others is by being yourself.
2. Uncontrollable frustrations – I have experienced mid-life crisis oh so often. Many times I grow weary waiting for my one true love, for that handpicked man of God. But do I have control for this? No. So since I can’t force my way to being in a relationship, I have decided to prepare for it. As I pray for my future husband, I also pray that God will prepare me to be a wife. I even started writing love letters for him, and now I have 6 letters!
3. Negative people – You can’t change them but you can change how you deal with them. Love them from a distance.
4. Past failures – One of the things I realized after the NLP is that I have imprisoned myself with this. And as I surrendered everything to God and was freed from my past hurts, I began to feel the joy of expecting God’s blessings.
Our hurts and pains are God’s sweet reminder of asking us to focus on Him. Because when things are falling apart, that is the time when things are falling into place.
We rejoice in our sufferings and HOPE in the Lord! So this year, let’s continue to be hopeful and JUMP for an amazing 2014.