Broken & Beautiful

Her face looked pale and her eyes were swollen. She broke down in tears as I embraced her. It was my first time to see her, a week after I've heard the news that the father of her children, her partner for almost 10 years was sent to jail. And now, here she is... left with three little children to care for... no money in her pocket, no source of income... nowhere to turn to.

She poured her heart out and told me how lost she feels. How her strength is failing as she fears what lies ahead... as she search for answers when her children ask her about what happened to their father... as she hears the condemning voices of some of her friends and relatives. I felt the heaviness in her heart... the heaviness... The weight of sin.

"For my iniquities have gone over my head;
like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me."
- Psalm 38:4

The weight of sin grounds us, breaks us, and makes us realize our need of a Savior. Until such time when we realize the weight of our sin, we will never appreciate what Jesus did on the cross. These spoke to me so much as I read Jennie Allen's book, Anything.

I just listened, as my friend continued to let it all out. Suddenly, she uttered these beautiful words... "I am sorry..." She was sorry for the years of living her life without regard for God. She was sorry for everything that she and her partner did which led her to their current situation. She was sorry that her children have to suffer the consequences of their decisions. She was deeply sorry... no justification... no excuses... just a heart humble, and broken before God, asking for forgiveness... longing for grace and mercy.

"I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin." - Psalm 38:18

"There is something so beautiful about people 
aware of their sin and their need for God. 
That is beautiful to God. 
He can work with that, enter into that." 
-- Jennie Allen, Anything

Being broken is beautiful in the eyes of God. It is in our brokenness when we are stripped off of our pride, stripped off of pretension, stripped off of striving. It is in our brokenness when our hearts are emptied, humbled. It is when God can pour out His grace. It is in our deepest wounds when we feel God's slightest touch.

That same night, my friend gave her life to Jesus. Not knowing if her decision would set her partner free from prison bars... not knowing if it would instantly change her circumstance or answer her questions. All she knew was that, she was tired of running away. She acknowledged her need of a Savior, a healer. Here's a bleeding woman who reached out to touch the edge of Jesus' cloak. A woman who was stripped off naked. A woman who had nothing left but faith.

"For I am waiting for you, O Lord. 
You must answer for me, O Lord my God... 
Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior." 
- Psalm 38:15, 22

Friends, can I ask you to please pray for my friend as she starts to live her life with Jesus? Please pray that she may find comfort in the presence of God and that our good Lord may supply all her needs according to His riches. Please also pray that her partner, who is still in prison may experience the Love of Jesus and may also be set free spiritually.

My personal devotion on today's SheReadsTruth Reading -- Psalm 38.

One Thing Remains

As I repeatedly sang these lines from the song One Thing Remains by Jesus Culture, I couldn't help but recall who I was before I met the Lord. I was in the height of my sinful life back then. I was in the middle of an empty pursuit of pleasure, countless heartbreaks, and pointless struggle. But God, in His Unfailing Love, never gave up on me. He pursued me when I kept running away. He never condemned me, but embraced me, He offered forgiveness and new life... and just like that, my life was never the same again.

Oh, but how often do I forget. When His answer to my prayers is to Wait. How I am tempted to doubt His goodness when I get another negative pregnancy test result after years of waiting... when I lost the heartbeat of the first and only life that I've ever held in my womb... when so many dreams are yet to be fulfilled... when a voice at the back of my head tells me that God is withholding good things from me...

"O Israel, hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord there is Unfailing Love..."
- Psalm 130:7a  [NLT, Emphasis mine]

As the song says, One Thing Remains -- His Love Never Fails. I can put my hope in Him, in His Word, His Promises.. because His Love Never Fails.  No matter how dark and cold the night may be -- the waiting season, like a watchman, I can be sure that the morning will come.. because His Love Never Fails. And even if there are times when I am tempted to doubt His goodness... when the night feels long and endless... still, His Love Never Fails. 

The same Love that pursued me when I was wandering in my empty life, is the same Love that holds me together as I wait... until the morning comes... and throughout the endless forever... because His Love for Me Never Fails.

My personal devotion on today's SheReadsTruth Reading -- Psalm 130.

My Favorite Penpal

His name is Jorge. Our journey began when he became my World Vision sponsored child four years ago. He was only 5 years old then and in Pre-School. When I decided to sponsor him, I was still single back then, and was working in a Call Center. Four years have passed, and as I look at his pictures, I find great joy to see how much he has grown! He's now 9 years old and in 4th Grade.

Jorge is such as sweet child. His letters never fail to melt my heart every time. We talk about so many things in our exchange of letters. Sometimes my heart breaks when he shares how he feels growing up without a mom. I also tell him how much I long to have our own baby too. In one of his letters, (I think he was only 7 years old then) he asked if he could be my baby while we don't have a baby of our own yet... That letter burst me into tears! My favorite part of our penpal journey is when I see his penmanship evolve: from print to cursive, from pencil to ball pen. I also love when he sends me his artworks and Christmas cards as well! 

There are seasons in my life when I get so caught up with the challenges of my own life. Life isn't always easy. But whenever I read Jorge's letters, I am always humbled by this young boy's gratitude. How his heart overflows with joy by just receiving a T-Shirt (as a Christmas and Birthday Gift) because he didn't have any new clothes to wear for their Christmas party and couldn't even join the exchange gift. How that Noche Buena package made his family's Christmas Eve very special. How this little boy could see the very hand of God working in his life despite undergoing an operation without a mother on his side, despite not having the luxury that other children have, despite the simplicity of his life in his small village in Aklan. Whenever I read his letters, I ask myself... How could I ever complain with what God has given to me.

I'm sharing this because I want people to know the joy of being a World Vision Child Sponsor and to encourage others so they may experience it too! One doesn't have to be rich to help change a child's future. With just 600php a month, you can help send a child to school and begin a wonderful journey with him/her... and as your journey continues, your heart and life is changed as well.

Christmas Cards & Letters from Jorge
Replying to his letter today :)