As I write this entry, I am sitting on my bed, crying my heart out with the light and electric fan off, Kari Jobe playing on my notebook as background music, all my phones on airplane mode and all my social media accounts logged out. Bathed in the darkness, there in only one thing I know right now: this is the best time for me to talk with the Lord.
I have been a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ since I was 5 years old. This journey of faith is far from perfect and a lot of times, the Lord had to allow me to get hurt to learn my lessons. Don’t get me wrong when I said that the Lord allowed me to get hurt; I am a very stubborn, hard-headed person who most of the time would test how far I can insist my will on the Lord for the mere fact that I wanted to have something that is His will but is not in His perfect time yet.
When I was a child, there was a dream that the Lord has put in my heart. Unlike other kids who dream of becoming doctors, lawyers or teachers someday, I have always desired of becoming a wife and a mother. However, since such a dream is frowned upon or taken with condescension by the adults, I figured I need to just tell them that I wanted to become a lawyer. Alter all, my grandfather wanted to become one until he met my grandmother and I thought it would be a good thing to take up my grandfather’s dream as my own. It was honorable, it was noble.
So years passed. I have kept my desire to my heart and would always tell people that I will become a lawyer instead.
Then on 17 February 2002, I made a covenant with the Lord to keep myself pure until my wedding night. It was not folly, passing fancy or to be “in” that I made that vow. It was what the Holy Spirit of the Lord has impressed in my heart.
When I was 18, two years into my covenant with the Lord, I asked the Lord for clarity if the desire I have of becoming a wife and a mother is really from Him or if it was just an insistent desire of a stubborn heart. It was then that the Lord answered me with two verses from the Bible.
“9 And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and in mercy. 20 I will betroth you to me in faithfulness. And you shall know the Lord.” Hosea 2:19-20
The prophet Hosea had a wife, Gomer, a promiscuous, prostituted woman picked out for him by the Lord to show Israel how much the Lord loves them through Hosea and Gomer’s love story. Although the book of Hosea is full of prophecies on the Lord’s chastisement to Israel because of their stubbornness, this verse hit a nerve in me because I can see myself in the Israelites. And the word “betroth”, which is a formal agreement to marry, was the Lord’s first answer to me. He assured my heart then that I am not waiting in vain for nothing, that I am waiting for a husband that He has picked out for me who is righteous, just, loving, merciful and faithful, not because he is inherently those things but because he learned it from the Lord so that I, too, “shall know the Lord.”
Then another Word came from the Lord, from the book of Habakkuk 2:2-3 (NIV):
2 Then the Lord replied:
“Whoa, wait a minute. The Lord is surely answering my prayers and there is no clearer answer than this.” These were my first thoughts when the Lord led me to the book of Habakkuk. The dream I have of becoming a wife and a mother is not just a desire of a stubborn heart but a vision that the Lord has placed in my heart, which is why that desire is greater than any dream I may have for myself. Yes, I do dream of becoming a lawyer but I know in my heart that becoming a wife and mother will bring more fulfillment than becoming a lawyer. On footnote [c] in verse 3, it may also mean “Though he linger, wait for him; / he”, which will make verse 3 be read as
Though he linger, wait for him;
he will certainly come
and will not delay.
I have then the answer to my question “Am I really destined to become a wife and a mother?”
Years passed again. My heart met and let go of men who are clearly not for me. When I was 26, I said yes to my first boyfriend. He is not a believer and my family did not know about him. The relationship lasted for 10 months and under the hurt and pain of letting go, there was a relief I felt. It was only then that I felt really, truly free. Fast forward to three months. I met another man. I used to call him Ching and I still do until now, but only to myself.
When Ching started to befriend me, I laid it down before the Lord. Even on the night that I said yes to becoming his girlfriend, I already knew earlier that day that I would be saying yes to him. There was not a day that passed by since I gave him the time of day that I did not pray for him because Ching, like my ex, is not a believer.
My relationship with Ching lasted for 4 months, way shorter than my earlier relationship. People said it was not long enough but for me, it was long enough for me to know that my heart will not heal as easily as it did with my ex. The breakup also came as a shock to me because I did not see it coming. One day we were okay and the following day he was telling me that he does not deserve me and I deserve someone better than him.
It literally turned my world upside down but it was not enough to shake the foundations of my faith. When it happened, the Lord clearly told me while I was praying to leave Ching to Him for a while before He will return him to me. A few days after our breakup, the Lord spoke to me through Paul’s letter to Philemon (NIV):
15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever
In my heart, it was exactly what the Lord told me when Ching and I broke up but this time, it came right out from the Bible and not just a rhema in my heart. This led me to a study of the book of Philemon. Paul wrote to Philemon to plea for Onesimus, Philemon’s slave who run away from him after stealing from him. Although it was not mentioned how Onesimus came to become Paul’s disciple, Paul was pleading with Philemon to receive Onesimus again, telling him that Onesimus is already a changed man and Paul wanted Philemon to welcome Onesimus “no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother. He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.” (v. 16)
This is now the Lord’s promise I am claiming. This is the reason for this hope I have in my heart that the Lord will bring Ching back to me. This is the very foundation of this belief I now have that the Lord is not yet finished with my love story with Ching.
During our breakup until this very moment, the Lord has not stopped encouraging me through His Word to hold on to this faith I have.
On 11 August 2014, the Lord reminded me in Psalm 147:3 (NIV) that
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
before reminding me of my life verse in verse 4
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
A week later, on 18 August 2014, He again spoke to me in Hebrews 6:10-12
10 For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
And though these verses speak of things relating to salvation, it also spoke of inheriting the promises – promises that the Lord gives along with salvation. And Ching is the promise I am claiming from the Lord.
A month after it all went down the drain, my friends are puzzled why I am still hoping for a reconciliation. These are well-meaning friends, some are even Christian friends who have known me for a very long time. And they do not understand the hope I have. What they do not know is that the Lord has again given me hope regarding my situation with Ching. He told me in Romans 15:13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Who am I then to question believing and trusting God to fulfill His promise concerning Ching when I myself could not explain the hope I have simply because it is the hope that comes from His Spirit?
One night, when my heart was so heavy that all I can do was cry because I do not even have words for prayers, the Lord reassured my wearied heart that He knows what I am trying to say through my tears.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8)
During my quiet time on 23 September 2014, the Lord again spoke to me of promises fulfilled by keeping the faith. This time, it came through the example of Abraham, the father of many nations. In Romans 4:20-21, it says that
20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
No wavering. Grow stronger in faith. Continue glorifying God. Believing that God is able to do what He promised. These four things kept my hope, reminding myself that Abraham did not even waver in his faith when God asked him to offer up Isaac, the fulfillment of God’s promise to him.
Last December was the most memorable month of the year for me because that is when the Lord has reassured my heart of the fulfillment of this promise for almost everyday. A few days before Christmas, the Lord impressed in my heart Luke 1:45
45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
and this came after verse 37 that says
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”
As I go through this season, there is only one thing I know that I have to do. And that is to be silent.
“14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14)
For an outgoing lady like me, it is very difficult for me to be silent. But, coming from the Lord himself, I know that this is what I have to do. And by His grace, I am able to keep silent.
Why all these verses? Because if I will look at my physical reality, I see no reason to hope for the fulfillment of this promise. Just as it was impossible then for Abraham to beget a son because of his physical state, it is just as impossible for me to have a reconciliation with Ching right now because of his spiritual state. And I believe I have a glimpse of how hard it was for Abraham to offer up Isaac because giving up Ching on the Lord’s altar has literally tore my heart apart that it is a wonder how I am still alive now.
Several times over the past weeks, I kept asking the Lord, “How have Mary dealt with her doubts when she was pregnant with Jesus? How did she maintain her faith in You, knowing that if You will not see her through, it will be the end of her?”
The only thing I know right now in the midst of this chaos and confusion is that God has never failed me before and I know He will not start now. I only need to remind myself of what the writer said in Hebrews 10
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
as well as what James said in James 1
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
So, why do I believe that the Lord should grant me my heart’s desire? Simply because I know He will not prove Himself false by not fulfilling the promise He himself have put in my heart, with all the reassurances and hope He has given me.
Give me faith
Give me strength enough to wait
To stand in faith
And listen for, listen for Your melody
– Kari Jobe, Singing Over Me
Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scriptures are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV)