Category Archives: Heath & Healing

PAIN: A Blessing Not Everyone Appreciates


“God wants us to choose to love Him freely, even when that choice involves pain, because we are committed to Him, not to our own good feelings and rewards…Job did not seek the Giver because of His gifts; when all gifts were removed He still sought the Giver.”
~Philip Yancey, Where is God When it Hurts?

Today’s supposed to be Papa Benny’s 59th birthday. He peacefully slept in the Lord without bidding goodbye, in the loving arms of his Beloved, my Mama Belinda. He passed away 2 months and 25 days ago, to be exact.

Remembering my friend’s statement after his burial, “I thought you’ll sulk, …good thing you don’t. Take time to grieve for your sudden loss, you’ve been through a lot!”

Healing Amid Hurting

The dawn of December 1, 2013 was still vivid! The night of  November 31st was full of fun and laughter since we’ve been visited by family friends and lingered until almost midnight. Only to be awakened by a call that chilled my spine and gave me a shock. “Ate, wala na si Papa…”, my brother Franz tearfully uttered.

That devastating news was another nightmare, it petrified me. It didn’t sink in, until I received a call from our family friend neighbor who assisted my mother in our province. If only I could fly and attend to my mother’s dire need of our presence. But how can I? when I felt so helpless, as if my wings were utterly broken. I was torn. Then after several minutes, I was able to bitterly cry.

During the five-day wake, I never cried. Even during the internment, I didn’t shed a tear. The excruciating pain almost benumbed me. Maybe because I’ve been through major heartaches with the quick successions of death of my younger brother BJ (March 2011), and eldest sister Leah (12.12.12), and then my father’s.

I never forced myself to cry, though I was greatly hurt within. Now that the grievances resurfaced, I could cry and I’m grateful for the gift of pain and tears.

“Our sufferings are not for nothing.
NEVER…
The trial of faith is a thing worth much more than gold.”
~Elisabeth Elliot

Family Day Out the day after ate Leah's cremation. (Dec. 12th her death was Franz's birthday, Dec. 15th was JR's birthday). Sort of celebrating despite the great loss.

Family Day Out on Dec. 17th, the day after ate Leah’s cremation. (Dec. 12th her death was Franz’s birthday, Dec. 15th was JR’s birthday). Sort of celebrating despite the great loss.

 

Legacy of Love Lives On

During his last week at the church, he had a special funeral service at our home church, Pinamalayan SDA Church where he also served. I was spontaneous in updating my Facebook timeline for the sake of friends and relatives who weren’t able to come to our province. I thought of blogging about it, but soon lingered.

tough guy at tough times, he's got a tough FAITH!

tough guy at tough times, he’s got a tough FAITH!

Here’s the caption of this old photo which I made my DP (display photo).

I bid my first love, my father, good bye.

He’s the man who introduced me to the Redeemer, Restorer, and Returning King; one who reminded me to make Him the first and last, and best in everything.

The fight of faith of this brave and brilliant man might have come to its end, but its legacy would last in my heart until we meet again on that grand & glorious day.

I would surely miss his baritone voice, his mega-watt smile, his warm embrace, his corny yet entertaining jokes, his intuitive advises, his never-ending tales, and his high hopes for our future.

I can’t thank God’s unconditional love that was channeled through him.

At a very young age of 8, he was an orphan. Lola Indalecia died after giving birth to their youngest sibling who died right after too! At 21, Lolo Blas died too, leaving him with all the responsibilities as the first-born, a quasi- mom and dad to his brother Wency and sister Ercie.

At early 20’s he received his black belt in martial arts, Judo Karate. He won tournaments and even survived fights, defending others and himself.

But when he got to know Jesus as his personal Redeemer and Defender, his outlook in life drastically changed.

Down memory lane, I saw myself begging him to train me (Judo Karate) for self defense. He never did, he even discouraged us to learn. He taught us to have full trust in God instead; advised us never to repay evil for evil, for “vengeance is mine, says the Lord” (favorite verse). For him, that’s the true measure of a man.

He’s a faithful husband to mama, and a friend to us. Despite some flaws and shortcomings as a hubby and a father, he’s still the BEST for us.

Til then Papa Benifredo Geronimo Fronda, Sr.
March 26, 1955 – December 1, 2013

*This photo was taken on December 9, 1978. (He’s 23 yrs.old)

She's an epitome of love, faith, patience & prudence. She's my unsung heroine and wingless angel. She brought me in her womb for 9 months and took care of me since then. Without her, I won't be here. I'm more than blessed having mama Belinda.

She’s an epitome of love, faith, patience & prudence. She’s my unsung heroine and wingless angel. She brought me in her womb for 9 months and took care of me since then.
Without her, I won’t be here. I’m more than blessed having mama Belinda.

Bravery During Bereavement & Beyond
Here’s my musing on the day Papa’s death sank in (Dec.1):
On November 15th, my beloved parents celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary with us beyond the distance.

On Nov. 21st, we celebrated again for mama’s birthday; and on 23rd, for Zola’s birthday.

This month was full of mirth and memories, not knowing that December would come with another cry-clad crucible for our family.

We’re never aware that it would be the last November with Papa.

With all the terrifying trials we’ve met, I’ve learned and unlearned a lot of things in the vicissitudes of life.


With my parents’ inspiration, especially Papa’s, I’ve scrutinized life and learned to focus on a query “how will I maximize the abundant grace provided?”, rather than wallow, asking “how come Lord?, why?”.

I may never fully grasp God’s purpose, yet I’m hopeful of that glorious day I would be able to sit at Jesus’ feet and find the right answers to my wondering.

 Christmas Selfie with photobomber sweetums! Who would have thought that this pic was taken 24 days after my father's death? We have a gracious God, our true source of happiness. *Dec. 25th


Christmas Selfie with photobomber sweetums, Who would have thought that this pic was taken 24 days after my father’s death?
We have a gracious God, our true source of happiness. *Dec. 25th

Miracle, Mirth and Misery

During my recent vacation at home last Oct. 28 – Nov. 10, I’ve witnessed how papa struggled with difficulty of breathing. Almost everyday, he’s got asthma attack; oftentimes, mild, sometimes, severe.

Aside from natural means to help him ease the pain & hardship, he’s been dependent with the use of nebulizer.

I had my worst dilemma when super typhoon Yolanda struck our province, Oriental Mindoro @ signal #4. We’ve got block-out, and we’d been praying for him to be spared of possible severe attack. He had on that Friday night, but God intervened. He wasn’t brought to the hospital.

For him, being confined in the hospital was a nightmare. He told me he doesn’t want if ever he gets really worse.

Actually, he had the worst attack on May this year, and was brought at the ER with only a lil’ chance of survival. He almost died, but praise God he was revived! He no longer has BP and very low respiratory rate, he’s already turned blue-black. Grateful, my bro. Ifo was there to rush him to the nearby hospital.

We’re so shocked that after 6 months of survival (with another confinement on July), he would give up the fight. He told mama that he’s so tired already on the wee hour of December 1. He had a severe attack and when my mother told him he should be brought to the hospital, he told her, “wag mo na ako dalhin, bukas na lang, pagod na ako, yapusin mo na lang ako at haplusan” (don’t bring me there, let’s go there for check-up tomorrow, I’m tired already. Just hug me and apply vapor rub at my back).

My mother developed calmness and constant reliance upon God since my younger brother died in her arms on March 31, 2011 (sudden death due to typhoid encephalitis), few days after Papa’s birthday on March 26th.

So my mama just did what he requested, few moments later, he’s lifeless. However heart-breaking the scenario was, mama said, papa was peaceful as if he’s just deeply sleeping. He was declared expired soon after, due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), he didn’t have any vice, but during earlier years, he was exposed to many strong chemicals due to work and our own Nata de Coco business (we used strong chemical which is harmful to health, esp. to the lungs), air pollution in the city where he stayed for many years, etc.

He died at mama’s loving arms. I admire our wonder woman more! God is indeed merciful.

Too ironic, mama and some brethren told me, he was at the wake in our neighborhood and was so lively, cracking jokes to the bereaved family friends earlier that night. Not knowing that it’s the last time he’ll laugh and would be emotionally stressed.

Even us, with my friends who visited at home in Cavite, we were laughing a lot as we bonded that Sat. night, only to receive the horrible news few hours after.

Life is fragile and temporary indeed! Our only surety is God’s will and the Blessed Hope.

 

Hearing My Last Sermon

During my vacation before his death, I was requested to speak in our church on November 1, 2013, focusing on the State of the Dead. I shared our family crucibles, the terror and trauma of death among family members and how we had “Healing Amid Hurting”.
Who would have thought that after exactly one month, December 1, Papa would be in the state of the dead! My mom even sang before I spoke! She sang “Keep Looking Up”. My parents used to sing duet when we were at an early age, and I found them very lovely singing together.
Here’s the second stanza and chorus of the song my mom sang:
So when your faith is sorely tried
And earnest pray’rs have been denied
Whene’er you need a faithful guide
There’s just one thing to do.

Keep looking up, Thy God is still the same today
Keep looking up He will not fail thee
Come what may, keep looking up
The darkest night will roll away
So do not doubt, but keep on looking up.

I actually made a blog in Tumblr, dedicated to my mom’s exquisite faith and bravery. The first entry, “Looking Down is Never an Option” is all about her and Papa’s sudden death. Here’s the link:
http://curlywittywordsmith.tumblr.com/post/70765941446/looking-down-isnt-an-option
Just keep on looking up. There is where God paints a rainbow after the rain!

Just keep on looking up. There is where God paints a rainbow after the rain!

The Last Song
For many people, both related by blood and not, they considered me a very strong person. “I can’t imagine myself if I were on your shoes Lanie, you’re so strong! I admire you! God is with you!” utterance of the former principal of AUP Academy told me. Aside from a strong and supportive family, we’re blessed with awesome family friends and prayer warriors!
Here’s my simple secret:
With Christ, I’M POSSIBLE!
Without Him, IMPOSSIBLE!
Here’s my post on Dec. 6, after the internment of my father.
Since last night during tribute until necrological service this morning, I talked much. I have no choice, since I’d love to and I am expected too! Sharing papa’s epic conversion story was a delight!
But to sing those three songs were offerings of a broken, yet grateful heart.I never thought it would be that rewarding to serve my family, relatives & brethren through music ministry. Coz to sing to my own papa’s funeral was a big, different story. Gone were the days when I rendered songs to other people’s funeral services, and to my sibling’s too. It’s just so special.After all, speaking and singing are the most obvious talents I’ve got from my father, according to my mother and other people.
Here’s the last song I rendered during the necrological service.  (please click the link, This Day if you want to watch the video)
Friendship Lives Beyond the Grave
Papa’s misconstrued as a politician in our place, he’s been known throughout our province having myriad of friends throughout the country and abroad. But he’s just a simple person, rich with friendships. Sometimes I feel uncomfortable and annoyed having many visitors coming almost everyday at home.
On his last night of wake, the number of friends who gave testimonials surpassed the number of family members and relatives who did.
Best Friends Beyond the Grave

Best Friends Beyond the Grave

During the first night, his best friend who came from the U.S., delivered the message. It was a blessing  because we longed to share to our relatives our faith and the HOPE of Jesus’ soon coming. Though it wasn’t a good reunion to gather with, all things work together for good! (Romans 8:28).

“Mahal ko po ang taong ito, sya ay isang tapat at tunay na kaibigan.
Mapagbigay, matulungin, (Para sa kanya, ibibigay pa sa iba),
masayahin…Nanghihinayang po ako!
Pero ito ay niloob ng Diyos na may kadahilanan…”

Tito Jerson Camposano highly regarded papa not because he’s his best friend since early 90’s, but because they’ve understood, accepting each others’ flaws & shortcomings; and help build each others’ faith. A true unconditional friendship indeed!


They’ve been brother-like buddies since he was assigned as our district pastor in early 90’s, according to him. He delivered the message on the state of the dead and the end-times, emphasizing the Blessed Hope of Jesus’ soon return.

I’m super grateful! It seemed a family reunion with a crusade. Most of our relatives aren’t SDAs yet. Our deepest desire is to reach out to them and uphold Jesus, our Wounded Healer.

Thank You Jesus isn't enough. Because You live, we can face tomorrow although we no longer have Papa Benny. You renewed that blessed Hope again and again. *Ate Leah's urn was finally buried with Papa's remains. Six days before ate's death anniversary.

Thank You Jesus isn’t enough.
Because You live, we can face tomorrow although we no longer have Papa Benny. You renewed that blessed Hope again and again.
*Ate Leah’s urn was finally buried with Papa’s remains.
Six days before ate’s death anniversary.

Our loved ones, Papa, ate Leah and BJ (Ben Jathniel), left our presence, but never our hearts. They've gone asleep in the Lord and we long for that blessed resurrection morn. We simply miss them. Yet that doesn't lessen our reason to celebrate God's greatness!

Our loved ones, Papa, ate Leah and BJ, left our presence, but never our hearts.
They’ve gone asleep in the Lord and we long for that blessed resurrection morn.
We simply miss them. Yet that doesn’t lessen our reason to celebrate God’s greatness!

“The very trials that test our faith most severely and make it seem that God has forsaken us, are designed to lead us nearer to Christ, that we may lay all our burdens at his feet, and receive the peace he will give us in exchange.
When you surrender yourself entirely to God, you fall all broken upon Jesus, you will be rewarded by a victory, the joy of which you have never realized.

As you review the past with a clear vision, you will see that at the very time when life seemed to you only a perplexity and a burden Jesus Himself was near you, seeking to lead you into the light.

Your Father was by your side, bending over you with unutterable love, afflicting you for your good, as the Refiner purifies the precious ore.”
~EGW, Gospel Workers p.372-373

 

“The TRIUMPH of Christian FAITH is
to SUFFER, and be STRONG;
to SUBMIT, and thus CONQUER;
to BE KILLED all day long, and yet to LIVE;
to BEAR the CROSS, and thus WIN the CROWN of IMMORTAL GLORY.”
~EGW, Sketches from the Life of Paul, p. 300

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” Job 13:15  *with Lolo Urbano Castillo, an evangelist whom God used to channel bring Papa in the faith and helped build our home church, Pinamalayan SDA Church taken in early 90's. I'll post his conversion story later on.

“Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.” Job 13:15
*with Lolo Urbano Castillo, an evangelist whom God used to channel bring Papa in the faith and helped build our home church, Pinamalayan SDA Church taken in early 90’s. I’ll post his conversion story later on.

 

My father’s epitaph:

Benifredo G. Fronda, Sr.

March 26, 1955 – Dec. 1, 2013

“For to me, to live is Christ 
and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

This is a blog tribute for my father. I longed to blog about him, but today is the right time. I pray that as you read this affirmation of God’s faithfulness in our family’s life, may you be strengthened in whatever storms you’re going through.

And if you’re plagued with pain, remember, the Wounded Healer is ever near!

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Zola, and Google Image. Video credit to Zola and You Tube. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Health & Healing, Heath & Healing, Life story, Love, Ministry, Vicissitudes

Ready, Set, STOP!


I’ve always wanted to be back on track, to be consistent in running; joining fun run and pro run.

What’s with running? You might wonder.

For me, it’s more of the feeling of freedom, a package of endurance, agility and strength’s tests. Actually, it’s more of character building. Behind every successful run is a huge dose of discipline, determination and diligence. That’s pretty rewarding!

Birthday Blast

Having missed joining fun run and pro run last year and the earlier years, I’ve done other outdoor adventures to compensate my frustration. But those were so few, I longed for more!

Unknowingly, my younger sister Zola, an accomplished half-marathoner, registered me in an 8-K fun run early this year. She surprised me few days before the run, January 26th. I was bound to a four-day event, 7th Asia-Pacific Conference for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, held on January 21-24, 2014, at Philippine International Convention Center.

I felt so fulfilled having my dream answered, to volunteer in whatever program or outreach with a good cause on my birthday. Instead of paying P 14,000 in an international conference I was invited to take part, I was accepted as a volunteer. So, it was like hitting two birds in one stone!

Tired but happy serving as one of the registrars for the registration. I encountered roughly 1,000 people, delegates and participants from countries all over Asia-Pacific Region and beyond.

Tired but happy serving as one of the registrars for the registration. I met roughly 1,000 people, delegates and participants from countries all over Asia-Pacific region and beyond. (There’s a blog post about the 7th APCSRHR)

Though tired for the four-day event, spent on travels (I commuted twice going back and forth Silang, Cavite-Pasay City) and various services done in the conference (usherette, monitor for satellite presentations, assistant to the speaker, assisted a reporter during a coverage), I was excited to run!

I also lacked sleep and having no enough vim. But my delight, being given such unexpected gift, surpassed my body’s condition.

Unexpected! sandwiched by too 'beauty and brains', Ms. Monique Wilson, the world-renown Broadway artist, and Ms. Myrel de Castro, one of the organizers.

Unexpected! Sandwiched by too ‘beauty and brains’, Ms. Monique Wilson, the world-renown Broadway artist, and Ms. Myrel de Castro, one of the organizers.

Run for Your Life, Run!

Imagine yourself being one of a thousand runners, or more than that, having one aim: to reach the finish line, in the shortest time possible. It’s like the battle of the fittest, and the race of the fastest.

Meanwhile in a fun run, you have all the time, no pressure (unless you wanna beat your time limit). As long as you finish the race, you’re a winner.

Having that in mind, I just wanted to enjoy and have fun! It’s a bonding with my sister and my friends. After all, it’s just 8 kilometers!

One of my favorite movies, Forrest Gump flashed back, when Forrest started to run for years, only to find out he has no specific reasons why did he run.

Epiphanies on Track

While on track, I was talking to Therese, a dear friend. Since my sister Zola was fast, we’re left. Instead of focusing, we talked, and talked; we even stopped once in awhile.

But I was aware, while running, I thought of the three P’s to keep in mind:

  • Pacing – it should be constant, once you stop, you’ll have a hard time starting again. Avoid distractions, or else, plan destruction follows.
  • Patience – the vital key, not only during training (for a race, pro run), but while on track.
  • Perseverance – keep your mind to your goal — reach the finish line.

These are actually not new. But these three P’s are running after me, again and again. It followed me as far as Oriental Mindoro, my province. Well, sometimes, you ought to do crazy and corny stuff to keep your sanity!

Coming here in our province made me realize that I needed to slow down, find solitude, and sulk (healthy sulking), if needed. I’ve been in a rat-race and have always been anxious to finish an ample amount of to-do-list, while my body silently scream for proper and longer rest.

This also help me evaluate my efforts in the past few weeks. What I’ve been too absorbed with, what I was eager to accomplish. I’ve got many appointments, here and there. Some friendly requests, volunteer writing projects and extra writing job. Well, I had sense of fulfillment and fun (especially volunteer blogging/writing), I also had some regrets. I thought of this, having the musings, “there’s power in second thought”, and “it’s ok to say NO!”. After all, I’m no Wonder Woman!

Feasting on these books helped me a lot! I should have spent more time feeding on His Word.

Feasting on these books helped me a lot! I should have spent more time feeding on His Word.

Taking the risks worth taking is worth it!

Taking the risks worth taking, is worth it!

With regards to spiritual race, I was reminded of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

The Need for Self-Discipline

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 

26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 

27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Grateful for the grace, I finished the fun run with a flash! haha! (my thigh started to ache, I looked like leaning to Errand).

Grateful for the grace, I finished the fun run with a flash! haha! (my thigh started to ache, I looked like leaning to Errand).

extended birthday celebration with Therese and Zola

extended birthday celebration with Therese and Zola

“We are able to persevere only because God works within us, within our free wills. And because God is at work in us, we are certain to persevere. The decrees of God concerning election are immutable. They do not change, because He does not change. All whom He justifies He glorifies. None of the elect has ever been lost.” ~R.C Sproul

"Trustful dependence on Jesus makes victory not only possible, but certain." ~ Signs of the Times, Jan. 3, 1906

“Trustful dependence on Jesus makes victory not only possible, but certain.” ~ Signs of the Times, Jan. 3, 1906

I’ve always wanted to be back on track, to be consistent in running; joining fun run and pro run.

But more to that, I’ve always wanted to just be on the TRACK OF LIFE. Through God’s grace, I wanna have the CROWN OF LIFE, waiting for me at the finish line.

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Errand (fun run), and Google Image. Video credit to You Tube. This blog has a copyright . The photos and articles should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Filed under Bespectacled Books, Exciting Event, Friendship, Heath & Healing, Life story, Object Lessons

Cuddly Cutie Creature Called Charx


With much anticipation, I held back my exaggerated excitement as I let my brother uncover what he’s cuddling.

It was just last week, January 5, when our new bundle of joy arrived. The sunshine that Sunday morning was warmer and brighter. My brother, JR, fetched him at Tagaytay, from the poster uncle of our dear Charky. We called him Charx since he looks almost like his dad.

I find him soooo cutieee though he’s got a lot of cooties. YAY! He also suffers from skin problem due to his fleas, and yet I touched his head and gazed at him with wonder! CHARKY’s FINALLY BACK! yeah, through his baby, Charx!

close-up, Charx's camera shy haha!

close-up, Charx’s camera shy haha!

sleeping baby doggie

sleeping baby doggie

away in the dog dream land

away in the doggie dream land

hanging lil' head

hangin’ lil’ head

inat din

space saver 🙂

touching the wall

paw show-off, touching the wall

sweet slumber :)

sweet slumber 🙂

His Separation Anxiety, My Sulking Syndrome

One week swiftly flew, which swept me off my feet. He’s grown a bit. The past week was kinda crazy! As I heard the horrible news of subtly slaughtering of innocent dogs and puppies at AUP campus, I gazed at him with much pity. What if it happened to him? I even crazily joked to my sister Zola, “if sya nalason, matutupad yung literal na drop dead gorgeous, huhu…”, I might have fainted. I remember Charky, his dad whom I used to walk with, run with and have devotional with at AUP campus years about three years ago.

It was nostalgic having Charx! For he brought back the awesome memories of Charky. That entailed some awesome memories with that wonder doggie, and ate Leah. I vividly remember the days we can no longer take care of Charky since we almost lived in the hospitals were we confined ate Leah. We had no choice but to give him away. Grateful for Mimi Balbuena-Reynon who was hospitable and caring. I can’t thank her and her family enough for loving our then puppy. He surely had separation anxiety. We had a share of it. Yet we’re consoled.

Seeing Charx sweetly sleeping, I can just imagine how hard it was for him to be separated from his mom & siblings, from his home, from his community. To be with us is a new challenge to start living bravely and happily, even far from loved ones.

Gazing at Charx’s eyes with much tenderness, I promised him that he’ll be safe and will be loved and will be well taken care of at his new home. It’s not exactly that of “Ten Promises to a Dog”, but I sought God’s grace for patience and perseverance to make him our home a lil’ heaven on Earth. That means waking up at wee hours when I hear his lil’ voice at the veranda, to make sure he’s ok. That means cleaning his poop, even in the most uncomfortable time (while eating or cooking). That means preparing healthy meal and making sure he’s healthy (vaccinated, other hygienic routines), cleaning the veranda, his playing den. That means playing with him, singing for him, and other ways spending quality time with him.

Instead of wallowing from my own scars wounded afresh and tendency to sulk, I helped myself focus more to be happy through Charx.

wittingly playful

wittingly playful

Happy Heart, Healthy Heart

I felt worse with a severe stomachache at wee hours this morning. I was supposed to leave at 7:00 AM for a whole day seminar at PPSOSG main office. Unfortunately, the pain lingered til around 9:30 A.M.

With prayers, I did some natural ways to ease the pain. I decided to help myself get better. Instead of being confined in bed, I did my daily routines, cleaned the house, and played with our cuddly cutie pup called Charx.

So while I sweep the floor at the veranda, he’s playing with me, tugging my skirt with mirth. Isn’t he sweet & adorable?

I feel better! Thanks to God & to those thoughtful friends who prayed for me! I thank God for this cuddly cutie creature which constantly reminds us of God’s healing and blessings in our family.

Charx might not be cute for others, not even as cuddly and pretty like the celebrity dogs of my friends, Soya (Weanne’s schnauzer), and Sam & pups (Dianne & Duane’s huskies); but for us, he’s simply the best. And I believe, that’s what other owners of the numerous dogs in AUP.

sweet schnauzer SOYA, "so good for the heart"

sweet schnauzer SOYA,
“so good for the heart”

KILIGayahan  Wea & Soya's version

KILIGayahan
Wea & Soya’s version

cuddly, cutie patootie huskies <3

cuddly, cutie patootie huskies ❤

STARKstruck & aweSAM :) "look into my eyes and wish!"

STARKstruck & aweSAM 🙂
“look into my eyes and wish!”

As a dog lover and a pet owner, I deeply sympathize for the victims of horrible dog poisoning, and their bereaved families at AUP Campus. I still can’t fully comprehend why such were allowed, were cunningly crafted. I pray that discernment, discretion and compassion abound.

my heart bled for them (Pastor Diesta & family's Oreo and her puppies)

my heart bled for them (Pastor Diesta & family’s Oreo and her puppies)

cold and lifeless Cookie, heart-rending to behold

cold and lifeless Cookie, heart-rending to behold, I empathize for Joy Fajardo

This was my FB post yesterday in retrospection with the Sabbath message:

“The direct and immediate recipient of our love towards God is God’s people.”

So blessed and refreshed with God’s message channeled thru Bro. JD Andalecio. I like the illustrations used, the humor and emphasis on God’s unconditional love, “The Imperative of Loving Well.”

To be honest, my Sabbath morning was messed up with the horrible news of another dog poisoning. I’m not the owner, but I empathize coz I also have a puppy. Besides, ONCE is enough; TWICE is too much; and THRICE is unbearable.

So let me paraphrase the quote during sermon, “The direct and immediate recipients of our love towards God are GOD’S CREATURES — especially the DOGS.”

Stop being indifferent & cold-hearted, you who are CULPRITS of dog poisoning! ~_~

precious thought to ponder

precious thought to ponder

live with a purpose, never steal life from helpless, yet helpful and brave creatures.

Live with a purpose, never steal life from helpless, yet helpful and brave creatures.

Keep posted for the recent pictures and updates 🙂

To know and read about Charky, click this link 🙂

https://curlybookworm.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/for-the-l♥ve-of-charky/

© 2014 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Weanne and Dianne Claire Estrada. This blog has a copyright . The photos and article should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Scars Wounded Afresh


The dusk of Sunday, August 25, 2013, rapidly turned into midnight. The horrible nightmare of the loss of the three working students succumbed AUP into an obvious terror. Grievances engulfed AUP like a raging tsunami that went beyond the borders; the surging waves rippled to the farthest places on Earth, as the horrible news spread like a wildfire, particularly in FaceBook & other social networks.

The darkness lingered until Tuesday morning. Figuratively, the sun ceased to shine on Monday. But the glimmer of hope, flickering in the hearts, burst into the light of noon as the missing bodies were found dead in the respective areas in Laguna on August 27, 2013.  Finally they were found! The aftermath of the search and rescue operations was a blizzard — awakened AUP from the nightmare. The dawn of the Blessed HOPE rose into a brand new day!

This is the Part 2 of “Flushed by a Flash Flood”

https://curlybookworm.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/flushed-by-a-flash-flood/.

If you missed the Part 1, kindly STOP, and please finish reading it first so you would fully understand and appreciate this.

No More Mourning in the Morning

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5

Every dawn beckons a brand new day! LIFE GOES  ON... thrilled for that glorious Resurrection Morn!

Every dawn beckons a brand new day!
LIFE GOES ON… thrilled for that glorious Resurrection Morn! (12.19.12 @ Richlands Hill Village (opposite of AUP Campus)

Since Monday afternoon, I haven’t gotten back in the portals of AUP. I failed to attend the memorial service, I was hoping to see. But I’ve got personal reason why I wasn’t able to. On that Monday afternoon, I learned that Kat was among the missing AUP students. I broke down to tears, I was at the internet cafe’ but I didn’t care if the people there saw me weeping. I really wanted to join in the special worship at PIC that night, but lingered there, astounded.

Finally on Tuesday, I regained my composure. But I was more saddened to know that the dead bodies confirmed to be the missing students were found. Everything sank in. My heart dropped.

I felt so sick, broken, and I realized that it’s more than the tragic incident that struck my heart so hard. I corresponded again of whatever update I gather from significant people. I posted series of FB status on Thursday night, I failed to attend the memorial service:

“The remains of the victims were cremated. A memorial service was done at PIC.”

“No one understands like Jesus when the days are dark and grim,
No one is so near, so dear as Jesus, cast your every care on Him.”

While patiently waiting for updates, I was struggling if I would still go to PIC as I planned, but vim abandoned me. I thought everyone was cremated, but only Kim’s and Jay’s were cremated. Kat’s remains remained in the funeral homes.

So I finally divulged my personal reason why I can’t. Bottled up for quite a time, I realized, the scars of my own loss were wounded afresh. I exploded, burst into lamentation. Then updated my FB status:

“The scars of losing my siblings, ate Leah (12/12/12) & Ben Jathniel (3/31/11) seemed wounded afresh as I grieve for Kat T., Kim G., and Jay M. I can somehow relate with the pain of losing loved ones, although I would never fully grasp what their families & relatives are going through right now.

Fervently praying for the comfort of the Holy Spirit. May the Wounded Healer touch everyone’s heart.

Come Lord Jesus! “

Here’s the link of “When SOON Lingers”, story of my ate Leah’s survival and finally resting in peace; testimony of God’s greatness, our healing amid hurting: https://curlybookworm.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/when-soon-lingers/. She died on my brother’s birthday, and it’ll be a forever reminder of her loss. I thought I have moved on somehow after 8 months (ate Leah) and 2 yrs. and 4 months (BJ), but it would take a lifetime, I guess.

I’ve learned that three among the 18 students who went near Japanese Cave celebrated their birthday, it was actually a celebration which turned into lamentation and devastation. They’ll be reminded of that tragic incident every year on their birthdays.

But time will finally come when there would be NO MORE NIGHT, NO MORE PAIN, NO MORE TEARS, no more sickness, no more disasters, especially flash floods, and no more parting. That’s when JESUS would come in the clouds of glory, when He would awake His loving children from deep slumber. I long for that glorious morning!

Encounter with the Wounded Healer

“Why God?”, “How Come?” Few among the queries I’ve asked the Lord again, being boggled with the enormity of the crisis AUP has been facing since Sunday afternoon.

“Where is God When It Hurts?” by Philip Yancey inspired me again as I reminisce how the ministry of pain helped me, how it turned bitter experiences into better components of a new person in me. And more likely many people, although Christians and founded in Biblical principles might have asked the same way.

When answers aren’t enough there is Jesus! He is more than just an answer to your prayer. 

And your heart will find a safe and peaceful refuge. When answers aren’t enough, HE IS THERE.

Another question answers it best: “Where is the Church when it hurts? Philippine International Church, AUP family and the AUP alumni and SDAs worldwide offered their help and support in diverse ways, especially through prayers. Even non-SDAs, local government and other concerned people extended their help. If the Lord touches your hearts, it’s not yet late to help.

"AUP students once again lined up tonight, this time to offer their donations to the bereaved families of the victims, following a memorial service in a jampacked PIC. A total of P35,063.50 was collected. Those who still wish to give gifts may drop by the dormitories or the Student Affairs Office tomorrow. Let us do what we can to ease the loss felt by the ones left by the three working students." Photo & Caption credit: Weanne Myrrh Estrada

“AUP students once again lined up tonight, this time to offer their donations to the bereaved families of the victims, following a memorial service in a jampacked PIC. A total of P35,063.50 was collected. Those who still wish to give gifts may drop by the dormitories or the Student Affairs Office tomorrow. Let us do what we can to ease the loss felt by the ones left by the three working students.” Photo & Caption: Weanne Myrrh Estrada (mobile photo taken from FB, used with permission, posted on Aug.27)

Where is God when tragic incident like this happens? Doubt might have overwhelmed some, thinking that God punished, and more likely abandoned them. But lo, when things like these happen, we can be assured that NO ONE UNDERSTANDS LIKE JESUS! You can desert Him, but He will never, ever leave You! You just need to return to Him, for He’s ever near than you could ever imagine. He comforts through the ministry of family, friends and even strangers! I can boldly say because I went through with crucibles as well.

LUMAPIT SA KANYA – Kindly click to view the video of the The Meisters Singers (AUP Ambassadors), with solo part of  Lady Daffodil Diesta. They rendered this during the memorial service done at PIC on Thursday night. The urns of Kim G. and Jay M. were brought to PIC after the service. An all-time favorite tagalog song, I usually render this in funeral services and evangelistic crusades then. (Video credit: Mimo Estrada, used with permission)

While the rest of the sympathizers almost overflow PIC during the memorial service, I kept updating in FB whatever new updates I’ve gathered from friends who were there. Then I was impressed to write this short poem:

I AM CONSOLED

(8/27/13 * 10:30-10:35 PM)

I cried a river, but it didn’t drown the pain.
I gazed the cross with the eyes of faith, saw Jesus’ sweat of blood, tears of agony, horrible pain.

I am consoled.

He had to go through that horror of death that I may live.
Oh what glorious thought when face to face I may gaze him,
His pierced hands would clasp mine,
His melodious voice would be heard: 
I was broken and wounded, that you may be HEALED.

*dedicated to the bereaved families of Kat Taroquin, Kim Guardias & Jay M.

Kat T. (Photo credit: Ma'am Amelina Fabroa)

Kat T.’s remains remained in a closed casket in Arcway Funeral Homes (Photo credit: Ma’am Amelina Fabroa)

Kim G. (Photo credit: Ma'am Amelina Fabroa)

Kim G. (Photo credit: Ma’am Amelina Fabroa)

Jay M. (Photo credit: Ma'am Amelina Fabroa)

Jay M. (Photo credit: Ma’am Amelina Fabroa)

memorial service at PIC

memorial service at PIC (Photo credit: Mimo Estrada)

special prayer

Special prayer offered by the Senior Pastor of PIC, Ptr. Ephraim Parulan (Photo credit: Mimo Estrada)

last glance

students crowd near the urns for the last glance (Photo: Mimo Estrada)

deep sympathy

sympathizers (Photo credit: Mimo Estrada)

"AUP students lined up last night to hug and comfort the 15 survivors of Sunday's flood. The AUP family is here for you guys, as well as for the families of the three students who didn't make it. You are in our prayers." #Godheals

“AUP students lined up last night to hug and comfort the 15 survivors of Sunday’s flood. The AUP family is here for you guys, as well as for the families of the three students who didn’t make it. You are in our prayers.” Photo & Caption: Weanne Myrhh Estrada (mobile photo, used with permission)

hug of comfort (Photo credit: Reü Dawner Flores

hug of comfort (Photo credit: Reü Dawner Flores)

a friend's agony (Photo credit: Reu Flores)

a friend’s agony

lamentation (Photo credit:  Reü Dawner Flores)

lamentation (Photos credit: Reü Dawner Flores)

Jay's grieving mother (Photo credit: Reü Dawner Flores) *I was quite afraid of the horror seeing the families' pain painted in their faces in person)

Jay’s grieving mother (Photo credit: Reü Dawner Flores) *I was quite afraid of the horror seeing the families’ pain painted in their faces in person.

Jay's Urn with his mother as the back draft (Photo credit: Reü Dawner Flores)

Jay’s urn with his mother as the back draft (Photo credit: Reü Dawner Flores)

“…Naked came I out of my mother’ womb, and naked shall I return thither:
the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.”
Job 1:21,22

“What if my greatest disappointments and the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy.
What if TRIALS of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are your mercies in disguise.”
~Blessings, Laura Story

Awake out of Sleep

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.” Romans 13:11

As Bible-believing Christians, we know that the quick successions of the three merciless typhoons mixed with Habagat were just signs of the times. Even the numbness of other people who would rather criticize and misrepresent the present condition of AUP. Love of many really grew cold. But still we look on the brighter side of life. We ought to focus on the roses, not with its thorns.

My epiphany on the time I learned the whole story: “Do AUPians need to learn the lesson of obedience the hardest way?”
It blew me hard! My deepest sympathy goes to the 15 survivors. If I were super affected, how much more them? They would carry this tragic baggage in their lifetime. Once in a while, flack backs of what they’ve experienced and witnessed would vex them. This time of grieving ought not a time for blaming game; not a time for pointing fingers to who’s responsible, who’s accountable. We’re all responsible, we’re all accountable in every decision and action we make. And God always gives that freedom to choose. And yet, every action done has a consequence.

With the deep, deep slumber of the three precious students, I roused with a paradigm shift.

Despite of the disheartening outcome, what magnified the most in this event are lessons learned, so practical and precious: unconditional love, faith, patience, perseverance, persistence and unity amid adversity. My sincerest prayers ascend for AUP leadership and the rest of AUP family, I appreciate the all-out support they’ve done. I may not fully grasp the pain and burden in their hearts, but I can imagine them.

I know, healing amid hurting is possible. We may be healed and the scars may be wounded afresh, but surely, there would be progressive healing.

It takes time. But it wouldn’t take forever.

© 2013 LAF

Note: Photos credit to Reü Dawner Flores, Mimo & Weanne Myrrh Estrada, and Mrs. Amelina Fabroa. Video credit: TheAUPian. This blog has a copyright . The photos and article should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

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Heeding the 8-8-8 Call


More than three months have passed swiftly since I gradually ceased from updating my blog; I was too occupied with a lot of things: responsibilities at home and at work. My aim to daily post my epiphanies had flickered; but like one of my favorite songs, “It only take a spark to keep the fire going…”, here I am renewing my vow with a burning desire to bless others through the ministry of writing.

chillin' during break time with Shine, my middle-school Korean student

The pivotal changes of my life challenged me to exhaust my energy and maximize my time. I was enjoying it at first, juggling two teaching jobs; working as an ESL teacher in a language academy in the morning until afternoon and tutoring TOEIC and TOEFL in an English language center during late afternoon until evening. I would sometimes accept writing and editing projects to be done on Sundays. Being a freelance copywriter/editor, I feel life isn’t complete without writing. Ironic it may appear, my blog has few entries lately, and most are photo challenges. I am fulfilled seeing the fruits of my hard labor at our workplace, but I realized that some essential aspects of my life seemed to lack vivacity.

To be honest, I haven’t listed New Year’s resolutions, yet I’ve crowded my prayer journal with several daily resolutions. My utmost concern this year is how to be a faithful steward of the precious health and time that God entrusted me. Reality slapped me in my face; I am not getting younger, my health is getting fragile. But I’m very grateful that I didn’t get sick since the discharge of my malady-stricken sister on May 2011.

As days hasten to approach my birthday, unexpected circumstances which are truly God’s providential workings happened. While contemplating on these, I reviewed my life again and again. So much time were wasted on unessential things. So much vigor was wasted to less priority. But it’s never late to build a more intimate relationship with God and through that, I would be able to be more efficient and effective. I’m comforted focusing more to what God has done in my life, not to what I have done throughout the past years.

Thirsting for the LIVING WATER... *pic taken on January 24, 2010, after a 5K Jog from AUP to Paseo

Before the dawn of 2012, I read an article about 8-8-8 Protocol. All people are given the same 24-hour day. The author emphasized the importance of balancing life by using the time wisely. Her main concern is for the reader to be challenged how to be discreet in developing a healthy lifestyle in all aspects. Use the eight hours in building closer relationship with God (devotion and ministry), building stronger family ties, building lasting friendships and personal necessities (including regular exercise). Spend only eight hours for work, overworking deteriorates not only the body, but the mind. Consume the remaining eight hours for quality sleep. God is too wise be mistaken, He created day and night to fit to the human’s need.

I was so blessed; I sought God’s grace to comply with a more productive and balanced lifestyle. In our church, we have this 7-7-7 Prayer Habit: Worldwide, Seventh-day Adventists are encouraged to pray seven days a week, every seven in the morning and seven in the evening for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I thought it’s best to partner 7-7-7 Prayer Habit with the 8-8-8 Protocol, because with the first, it would be very possible to practice the latter. The grace needed to fulfill God will is provided. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer, and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Isaiah 65:24

With this inspiration, I heeded the 8-8-8 call. It took me many sleepless nights to realize how pathetic I was, that I kept ignoring God’s call. In miraculous ways He showed His unchanging love. He saved me from a possible accident last Monday night (keep posted for the story). In my simple yet devoted way, I respond to His love: to listen to His call without E-A-R (Excuses-Alibis-Rationalization/Reluctance). It takes a child-like faith like little Samuel to respond: “Speak Lord, for your SERVANT is listening!” (1 Samuel 3:10).

 

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NaBloPoMo Surprise (Day 2): Fruit Zoo & Mexican Delights


While the world has gone creepy wild with the Halloween’s Trick or Treat, I was wondering how to give myself a real TREAT; I’m not fond of TRICK… LOL! Besides, I’m not participating in Halloween Parties due to personal conviction.

Then I found out a TREAT to make my blogging experience more fun and thrilling! Thanks BlogHer NaBloPoMo November 2011 is a surprise. But I failed to post my first entry yesterday 😦

November is the National Blog Posting Month on BlogHer, with the theme: “Blogging for Blogging’s Sake”. For me, “A blog post a day keeps boredom away”. But there were days I failed to post due to some unexpected circumstances. I failed to post my FIRST entry yesterday!  That means more boredom! 😦

Here’s the PROMPT for today:

If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?

Fruit Zoo & Mexican Delights

Being a nature buff, I am an avid fan of the Creator. I mean, I appreciate His picturesque creation and His creatures! With this boggling question in mind, “If you knew that whatever you ate next would be your last meal, what would you want it to be?“, Fruit Zoo and Vegetarian Mexican delights popped up. I drooled.

Is there such thing as Fruit Zoo? I thought of this awesome treat when I was with my sick sibling at the wellness home last May. Since I love fruits, I thought of more creative way to eat them. Think of fruits named after animals. Kiwi Fruit. Dragon Fruit. Carabao Mango (one of mango varieties). What else? Maybe you can add some more to my FRUIT ZOO in the Fridge!

Different varieties of mouth-watering Dragon Fruit

Lucious Kiwi Fruit

Juicylicious Carabao Mango

It’s so simple to prepare! I just cut it in desired shapes and mix them all together. Natural taste is the best! But if you like to make one, you can add all-purpose cream or condensed milk. I usually eat vegetable salad or fruits before eating cooked foods. It helps the digestion 🙂

Being a vegetarian isn’t a hindrance to enjoy food, especially your favorite dishes! I thank God for helping me survive for 16 years of practicing vegetarianism. It helped me a lot and I was able to make most of the quality times exploring the kitchen and the market, for quality food for longevity and wellness.

Some of my favorite treats are Mexican food! Good thing there are some vegetarian menus in the Mexican restaurants and food chains. It’s still best to prepare your own food! I am always grateful for the gift of cooking and for friends who share the same passion.

Here are the Mexican Delights we used to prepare. These photos were take last year for the Vegetarian Food Store of my friend, Aldrian Mercadal. He didn’t study culinary arts but due to some experiences, he was able to make his own Mexican menu, the vegetarian version. I was asked also to pose as a model for the Mexican Pizza! Viewing these photos makes my tummy grumble! I’m craving more!

Mexican Pizza, all-time favorite! Sick during the photo shoot,well after.

Quesadilla de Mariposa, my ultimate favorite!

Big Bean Burrito! oh so yummylicious!

Colorful Fajitas! Delicioso!

Maybe you would try these treats too! Just think about the last meal. Oh, it would be well enough for me! How about you?

Note: Photos, except for the fruits are courtesy of  Jeruel Ibanez. This blog has a copyright . These pictures should not be used, reproduced and manipulated by any means without a written request and consent from the author.

© LAF 2011

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Life’s a Mystery-filled Miracle


SIMPLY OVERJOYED

Life’s too short to be trifled with. Short statement, yet too meaningful. But how short is short? How long is long?

On Tuesday night, I had an appointment. It wasn’t in my itinerary, so I adjusted. Everyday has a lot of challenges and surprises to offer, and each of those has a lasting impression to linger for a moment, and most, for a lifetime. My dear friend informed me that they’ll be visiting family friends who are bereaved. Tita Joyce’s mom passed away.

After hours of travel, we reached Sucat, Paranaque. Without knowing the exact location of Holy Trinity Funeral Homes and Crematory, we spent some time looking for it. It was not the usual funeral services I went to. The wake that night was memorable. Like I often experience way back in college, I was asked to offer musical rendition. Ambush ministry may sound weird, but I call it that way. Abrupt, yet I can’t resist the calling for service. If I won’t do it, who else? But I expressed some excuses, as my flesh struggled with my will! The fact that my friends who were with me were singers, member of Reagent Square Chorale and Unceasing Cantica, gave me encouragement; yet I sang alone and was requested to sing two songs!

I sang not for the dead but for the living, the bereaved family and those who came to sympathize. It was actually a great opportunity to share. Before I sang, I uttered a short testimony. I may not fully understand the feelings and situation the bereaved family is going through, but I can relate somehow. I too had a loss, our family is still coping up with the death of my younger brother Ben Jathniel. He’s only 12 years old and his death was beyond our expectations. He died on March 31, 2011, few days from my ate Leah’s first hospitalization. BJ, as we dearly call him died of typhoid encephalitis, for eight days of hospitalization, he suffered until after discharge, he painstakingly fought for two weeks but gave up. Oh, the agony of not seeing him after my graduation! I hysterically cried due to regret, I promised to see and care for him after graduation but before week-end came, he passed away.

His death led to greater pain when my ate Leah became severe after the incident. The emotional trauma and strain from travel worsen her case and she’d been bed-ridden afterwards. After a month from her first hospitalization, she never walked again, she had three hospitalizations from three different institutions in quick successions. To reminisce the details of our nightmares makes me more vulnerable to doubts and bitterness, yet I could praise God for the miracles, instead of being bitter with the unfairness of life, as it may appear, I learned to appreciate His lessons and the blessings overflowed. We knew that we are loved, cared for and being prayed for by family, friends, acquaintance and even strangers from here and beyond. I learned that almost the entire world who knew our crucibles supported us in prayers and other ways possible.

healthy with natural beauty...no hint of impending severe disease

Ate Leah is only 28 years old, young to acquire dreaded diseases. She was robbed with many privileges and rights, but “Praise the Lord!”, she still have life He entrusted. For more than a month, she was in three different hospitals. Southern Luzon Hospital and Medical Center: Myelomalacia and Syringomyelia,  at Manila Adventist Medical Center (8 days in ICU): Chronic Inflammatory Demyelenating Polyneuropathy, chronic counterpart of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, she had lumbar tap and tracheotomy because she had difficulty being intubated; at Philippine General Hospital (9 days in ICU, more than 2 weeks in Neurology-ward): Myelopathy. There were MRI results from four other hospitals: Calamba Medical Center: thoracic spine – cyst formations; St. Luke’s Medical Center, Global City: cervical spine– tumor ostrocytoma/ endepymoma at C2- C6, Cardinal Santos Hospital: cervical spine – tumor metastasis, FMAB/PGH: cranial: tumor near cervical spine), however the neurosurgeons at PGH wanted her to undergo brain surgery. We didn’t like and ate didn’t want to, we always wanted natural remedies; but of course it’s needed to have modern medication!

The magnitude of her case challenged us to depend more with the Wounded Healer. Then the dreadful verdict came even at her second hospitalization: case is hopeless, INCURABLE. I thought I was having a nightmare, oh it even started when we learned ate Leah got severe disease. The neurologist blatantly uttered: “Well, I would tell you frankly (talking to my father, brother next to me, and myself), it’s too late! Her tumor is huge and her case is rare. She’s incurable…count two weeks; however, if she survives, she’s be paralyzed for life…” I respect doctors, I regard them highly, but that moment, I could have told him how cruel he is for being too insensitive! I wished I could have died myself, maybe from heartbreak?! But God didn’t allow, He gave me wondrous opportunity to witness His unchanging love amid the unexpected vicissitudes of life. The miracles that He did magnify His creative and restorative power! From two weeks to live, she survived for more than two months!

The neurosurgeons at Philippine General Hospital didn’t declare it cancer and it’s stage though her tumor metastasized. The doctors wanted her brain tumor to be studied so they’ll know more her rare case, they really encouraged ate and our family for her to have brain surgery. But there’s a little chance of survival. When her neurologist at MAMC said her case is hopeless, he advised cobalt treatment for a month…that’s also the neurosurgeons at PGH advised, but it’s after the surgery. It’s horrifying to take risk with the surgery. I respect the doctors opinions and I’m also grateful for their help, but then we were convicted that we have to fully entrust her case to God and follow His will — have her a holistic natural program!

Since she won’t undergo surgery, she was discharged. We brought her to our medical missionary’s wellness home and she was given a modified Gerson Therapy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShqKk3fasZA). It was never easy. Being drained in almost all aspects we were revived with greater hopes from the God who knows us better than we do, whose hurt more than we do. The recuperation continued and ate Leah survived all the depressing moments from the hospital that kept haunting her. FAITH and PRAYER played the vital part of her awesome miracle! We can’t cease to praise God! Her diet are most fresh juices, herbs, fruits and vegetables from God’s bounty. Nature helped as a SDA Christian author wrote more than a century ago: “There are many ways of practicing the healing art, but there’s only one way that heaven approves… lifestyle change, natural healing.” We gave ate revulsive hydrotherapy, clay poultices and her environment is abundant in fresh air and sunshine. It’s God Himself whom we felt in every moments we had whether in joy or in sorrow. Here’s a video taken before we transfered her from the wellness home toour apartment. Kindly watch and be blessed!  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=2016016877835&set=vb.1166240443&type=1&theater

Life is too short to be spent in bitterness. That’s what I learned the most. By His grace, I learned to be truly grateful and happy even in sorrowful moments. And that night during the wake of a friend’s family friend, I testified of His loving kindness that is better than life. I sang NO MORE NIGHT, a song based on God’s promises of the new heavens and new earth where there’ll be:No more night.  No more pain.

No more tears. Never crying again. (http://www.lyricsmania.com/no_more_night_lyrics_david_phelps.html)

Mamang Asuncion Pinili passed away at 99 years old — FULL AGE. She’s about to celebrate her 99th birthday on the 15th of August, but she died 10 days before her birthday. She was born August 15, 1912, almost a century! Too ironic, my brother lived for only 12 years. When he died, I prayed that God would spare ate Leah’s life, we can’t afford another death in the family so soon! So kindly continue praying for my sister. God has reasons for allowing these to happen. It’s beyond our finite mind to fathom, yet He let us understand one purpose at a time. I long to see my BJ and Lola Asuncion on that grand resurrection morn! But I long more to see the Wounded Healer and hug Him tightly as He utter: “It’s over! You’ll never cry, you’ll never get hurt; I cried with You, I was wounded for you to be healed!”

Ah! what a wondrous thought! I can only smile as I reminisce that night and even those moments I consider nightmares. The appeal song still rings in my heart, which I also sang at the wake: “It’s easy to blame God when troubles come our way, to ask Him Lord, “why do you treat as so? Why do we blame the Lord for everything that’s wrong, forgetting all the blessings we have known so long?”

So I continue my prayer song: “Please help us heavenly Father to trust in You today, You always answered in the past, help us find your way.” I would smile every time I ponder upon life as a mystery-filled miracle. ^_^

sweet sistahs...hoping we could have another epic stroll at at Paseo de Sta. Rosa

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