prayer

Glory Be Yours

Change me, teach me, help me, Lord, that You alone will get all the glory in whatever I say, do or think.

Change me, for I cannot change myself. Cleanse me, consume me from the inside out, with the fire of Your love, the washing of Your Word, the power of Your blood, and the wind of Your Holy Spirit. Change and cleanse my heart so it can readily absorb and imbibe Your precepts. 

Teach me Your word and Your ways. 

Help me walk out what You teach me daily, Lord. Help me see through Your eyes. Help me remember each day who You are and what You have done in me and for me. 

That You may get all the glory. 

sermon notes

The Goodness of Our Father

2 Chronicles 2:20

Give thanks to the Lord, His mercy endures forever

Love is demonstrated in the word “chesed” = mercy is the loose translation, but it cannot really be defined in one word. 

Used in the Bible 248x: Goodness, kindness, benevolence, pity, tender mercy, loving kindness, loyal love, unfailing love

Chesed is a character of God because God Himself cannot be fully defined. He is multi-dimensional: God is a shield, rock, cornerstone, branch, shepherd, King, judge, Father. 

We need to experience God in different dimensions. We may not comprehend everything about God, but for sure we can apprehend something. Today, may we apprehend a new dimension of God.

Ephesians 3:18 (AMP)  – That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it]; – Ephesians 3:18 AMPC

Jeremiah 9:23 (NLT) – This is what the Lord says: “Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom, or the powerful boast in their power, or the rich boast in their riches. But those who wish to boast should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the Lord , have spoken! – Jeremiah 9:23‭-‬24 NLT

– don’t lean on what you have (wisdom, power, riches, contacts), if you must boast / glory in this: that they truly know Me and understand that I am God. Boast in your relationship with God.  He demonstrates hesed, brings justice and righteousness. = demonstrated on the Cross

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. – Romans 5:8‭-‬9 NKJV

Romans 5:8 – demonstrates = it’s still ongoing. God is still demonstrating. 

Romans 5:9 – we have been justified by His blood

I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; With my mouth will I make known Your faithfulness to all generations. For I have said, “Mercy shall be built up forever; Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very heavens.” – Psalms 89:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Psalm 89:1-2 – mercy, Chesed, shall be built up forever 

– In Hebrew, this is Olam hesed ebenei. = olam – everlasting, world. El Olam – God is everlasting. Adon olam – adonai

– the world is built up by Chesed. The reason why the world exists is Chesed. Because of this, our supply is God, Himself

– Chesed is the very thing that sustains everything else

– mercy shall be built up forever. Your faithfulness shall establish the Heavens.

– Chesed is that which sustains, initiates and supplies; Chesed will lead us to the person of Jesus.

Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me…this is the reason why Chesed will sustain you. (In Psalm 23)

My grace, Chesed, is more than enough. It is the favor that sustains you. 

Colossians 1:15 (NLT)  – Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together. – Colossians 1:15‭-‬17 NLT

– Whatever it is you’re going through, God is holding you, will sustain you. 

– You don’t just want to have life. You want to have the Zoe kind of life. 

– Nothing deserves to be here; but out of His mercy, love, grace (Chesed), things exist. We have something rather than nothing. With God, we have something, everything actually, for nothing!

Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? – Romans 8:32 NKJV

– the love of God is beyond understanding. In Christ, we don’t just have something, we have everything. 

– Chesed = Dalet Samech Chet 

Notice the change in the modern rendering of the Hebrew letters. It’s now a double surround: the Father and Jesus embracing you. Nothing can separate you from the love of God through Christ (Romans 8)

Door = movement

Our worries, our anxieties, He took it on, because of Jesus Christ. The very word of Chesed points to Jesus Christ. 

The moment they started to sing, something happened, they were singing something specific: His mercy endures forever.

What is your heart’s song? No one can take away the song of your heart.

Ephesians – speak to one another with Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Continue singing, even in the dark moments of our lives. 

Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns. When was the last time you sang in your darkest moments?

Matthew 26:30 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. – Matthew 26:30 NKJV

There’s a particular hymn that they were singing: the great Halel. Psalms 130 – 186

Psalm 136: there’s a particular theme – His mercy endures forever 

Dreams

Dreams Galore

For 2 consecutive nights, I’ve had a smorgasbord of dreams:

Tues Night – Wed Morning

1. I was back in Highschool with James Goll as my literature teacher, and taking an essay exam on a blue book. The test had 2 questions. I was able to answer question 2 on the bluebook, while question 1 was a response to a book of his (or excerpts thereof). I made notes on the book and dissected the content, but wasn’t able to write down my answers in the blue book. When I left the exam, as I was talking with classmates, I realized that I wasn’t able to transfer my answers to Q1 on the bluebook. I wasn’t following instructions. I wanted to find James Goll to ask him for consideration.

(In real life, I purchased James Goll’s book on becoming a Prophetic Intercessor. I’m on Day 3…for 2 weeks now. It has questions, I haven’t been answering them on a separate sheet of paper. Could that dream be an instruction / reminder for me to do so?

Yesterday, I repented for “forgetting” to grow in my study of prophetic intercession)

2. I was in a photocopier shop that was white all over. While transacting at the counter, I was told that I have pretzels to claim as prize, but just needed to present my BPI ATM card. I brought out the ATM cards in my wallet. They were all under my husband’s name. I couldn’t find mine. I asked for consideration. The lady agreed and said, anyway, they knew me and knew that I had a BPI ATM card. They will give me consideration this time around, but will require the BPI ATM card for the next freebie.

(In real life, I have 3 BPI ATM cards all under my name. 

Impression: prayer in Jesus’ name is the access pass to claiming God’s freebies. It may be what the ATM card represents, since dreams 1 & 2 seem to be about prayer. Could it be that I’ve been praying more for my husband, but need to pray for myself too?)

3. I was sleeping and hugging a white stuffed toy that looked like the owl from Harry Potter. I was sleeping soundly in a double bed, anticipation of a reunion with one of my HS bestfriends the following day. The owl moved away from me, and I transferred to another bed, a single bed this time.

(In the book, Divinity Code, owl means:

Since it was a white owl, could it be wisdom or loner? 

Btw, bed appears to mean:

From agreement to single, with the loss of wisdom…could this be a warning?)

Wed Night – Thurs morning

4. The dream is a little hazy now, but it involved the following elements:

  • My gay ex in HS (back when he was a boy). In the dream, he was trying to pursue me, dropping me clues here and there. I recall clues such as a locker with a rose and a newspaper article.
  • Another HS friend named, Marco, was being used as the “bridge”. Then, Marco was kidnapped.
  • Authorities were trying to connect me the kidnapping.

(I woke up in the middle of the night from this dreak, once more renouncing any ties with the past. Since I wrote a testimony about what happened to me last year, pains from that season have been resurfacing. I needed to consciously make an effort to tell it to go away and say that it’s over now. 


Btw, I looked up the name, Marco:

)

5. I was in a police precint, innocently answering questions on a car loan granted to me (q.1) and transpo allowance given (q.2). My husband was telling me not to answer, but I proceeded. The officer probed deeper into why a duplicate privilege was given to me. I was already getting suspicious.

I was then asked a 3rd question: does your mother still receive grants from the government? I refused to answer, saying it had nothing to do with me anymore. I asked, why am I being pinned down and accused here?

(The other day, my husband was telling me about being uncomfortable in ministries that are make him feel condemned. Could dreams 4 and 5 be a warning about that?

The feeling I had after the dream was: so this is how my husband feels when he is being interrogated: like he is being accused, even if it were far from the truth. )

6. I was the passenger of a friend named Sherwin. We were driving along the seaside and needed to go to another island through a bridge. But he took a left term and made the car (an Innova) jump through the fence into the sea. I was scared. Amazingly, we didn’t drown and he continued driving for a bit. The car entered a bigger ship. He told me that he knew what he was doing and that I shouldn’t have been afraid.

When I went down the ship, there was a photo being taken. I had to join. Some people who were supposed to be in the photo were missing. Some of them were my college friends, and Marco (a high school friend).

(As I was praying about what the dreams mean, this dream was highlighted to me. I looked up the name Sherwin. It means: 

Could it be that the Holy Spirit wants to take me for a ride, and from a 1:1 ministry with Him, make me join other people with a similar ministry, and that He wants to shortcut the process?)

In all these, I believe God is reminding me to be aware of His Presence and fix my thoughts on Him, knowing that He loves me with an everlasting love. With this in mind, I believe that He will reveal more.

Uncategorized

Rejuvenated After the Battle

Following the story I wrote on what happened to me last year, I saw this word. 

I couldn’t help but thank God for how He has brought me through and ministered to me in the most difficult season of my life. Now, He is definitely refreshing, restorating and rejuvenating me. I have begun to encounter Him in ways I never had before, and I know that is just the beginning…there is more, more, more! I am beginning to experience the spoils and I know there will certainly be more…as He has promised, I will experience it in abundance till it overflows…and from the overflow, there’ll be a lot to share.  I am at the cusp of His promotion, after the most difficult season of my life. I know I am on the fringes of that promised land. I have entered in, and will press in further. Lord, by Your grace help me navigate and steward it well. 

—–

MINISTERING ANGELS HAVE BEEN RELEASED TO MINISTER TO PROPHETS THAT HAVE BEEN THROUGH AN INCREDIBLE ‘SHOWDOWN’.

Lana Vawser

I have been sitting on this word for a little while and felt to release it today. The Lord spoke to me recently and showed me MANY prophets that have been through an incredible ‘showdown’ with the enemy and an incredibly difficult and dark time recently. 

I saw many of these prophets were sitting under a tree, exhausted, depleted, wanting to give up and discouraged and it reminded me of Elijah under the Juniper tree in 1 Kings 19. Elijah has fled for his life after Jezebel sent him a message in verse 2. 

So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”

Many prophets have been in battles in this season where they feel they have been fighting for their life. Many have been in the greatest showdown of their lives, where the enemy is roaring and releasing intimidation and fear in ways that these prophets have not experienced before.

I saw these prophets have continued to stand, they have continued to fight, many of them fighting for their very destiny and continue to move in the calling the Lord has given them. In the midst of the intense battles, in the midst of the intense warfare, in the midst of the intense darkness and fear, they have remained faithful to Jesus and seeking His heart. 

These ‘showdowns’ for many of these prophets began at very strategic moments in their journey where the Lord was releasing them into another level of favour, increase, promotion and opportunity to release His Word, and for many it seemed like day suddenly turned into night. 

Many of these prophets have been facing the darkness and fierce battles in an intensity that they have not experienced before and they have been paying a price that many would not realise. These prophets have continued to steward the words the Lord has given them with purity, integrity, humility and continued to pour out to others even in the midst of their pain and dark night. 

I saw these prophets have now gained great ground. There has been a great victory and breakthrough that has happened in the spirit and the manifestation of that freedom and breakthrough is beginning to be seen in the natural, some of the greatest victories of their lives, yet they are feeling like Elijah under the Juniper tree, where he got so low, so discouraged and so depressed that he wanted to die. (verses 3-5)

Exhausted. Discouraged. Empty. Disillusioned from the battle. Wanting to give up. Tired. 

If you are reading this word, and you are one of these prophets, and you are feeling this way, then this word is FOR YOU.

The Lord spoke to me recently, for you, and He told me that He has released ministering angels to you, like He did for Elijah, to strengthen you and to minister to your heart and soul. The Lord is going to give you the deep supernatural impartation of rest through the rejuvenation of His Spirit and his ministering angels, the very deep rest that your heart and soul is crying out for.

The Lord is sending his ministering angels to strengthen you, to heal you, to empower you and to breathe hope and life into you again. In this deep exhaustion, in the struggle, in the weariness, in the discouragement, in the depths, He will show Himself strong. He is awakening the prophets to the revelation in a deeper way than ever before of His grace, His empowerment, and that is it “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” says the Lord. (Zechariah 2:5)

These angelic encounters that are before you are going to shift everything in a moment. You will go from where you have been feeling depleted, empty, weary, wanting to give up, discouraged, disillusioned, without hope, passion or joy, to FULL and OVERFLOWING again. There is a new level of grace, empowerment and refreshing being released to you through these angelic encounters. Your hearts will be healed, mindsets shifted, hope renewed and restored. 

Where you feel like you cannot go on anymore, the Lord is bringing a sudden divine turnaround and you will go further than you have ever been.

THE SPOILS ARE BEING BROUGHT TO YOU

From spoil won in battles they dedicated gifts to maintain the house of the Lord” (1 Chronicles 26:27)

The spoils that have been won in the battle that you have been fighting are now being brought to you. I had a very significant dream recently where the Lord showed me angels that were being sent on assignment to go and gather the spoils that had been won by the prophets and bring them into manifestation in the natural. 

As I pondered this verse, I came across this comment on 1 Chronicles 26:27 on a website:

When Scripture talks about maintaining the temple, the original Hebrew means “to repair the house, to strengthen and consolidate what was built.” These resources were meant to maintain the temple’s original splendor.”

Where is God’s temple today? Oh, you know that. It’s made up of his people—you, me, His Church worldwide. According to Paul, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. And, like ancient Israel, our Lord still maintains his temple through spoils gained in battle. That’s why our trials are meant for more than just our survival. Through every battle, God is laying aside riches, resources, wealth for us. He’s stockpiling a whole treasury of goods from our warfare. And those spoils are dedicated to building up and maintaining his body, the church of Jesus Christ. 

Not only through the battle you have faced has the Lord done a deep work in you, He is giving the spoils of war to you in abundance and not only will you see greater increase in your own life and ministry, but the Lord will use your victory, what you have gained and received through this war to encourage, strengthen, repair, and minister to others and extend His Kingdom. (https://thinkingtoday.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/the-spoils-of-war/)

There is a sevenfold restoration and recompense upon you prophets of God! 

Even though you felt like you were walking a dying path, the Lord is bringing you to life. Your dreams and promises are not dying, the Lord is adding increase to them. Many of you felt you have walked a path that has been so dark, and so hard, to the point of giving up, but the Lord is decreeing the greatest promotion of your life is upon you.

Hold on! Hold on! Hold on! For He is sending ministering angels to assist you, to strengthen you and instruct you. This strengthening and empowering is going to see you empowered with such supernatural strength, that you will go further, see further, hear more clearly and move into the new opportunities, assignments and promotions upon you with greater joy, peace, clarity and passion than ever before. 

YOU ARE GOING TO ENCOUNTER HIM IN A WHOLE NEW WAY 

The Lord also highlighted verse 6 and following to me where Elijah had been strengthened and was now on the mountain and God was going to pass by:

“A hurricane wind ripped through the mountains and shattered the rocks before God, but God wasn’t to be found in the wind; after the wind an earthquake, but God wasn’t in the earthquake; and after the earthquake fire, but God wasn’t in the fire; and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper.”
I saw the Lord “showing up” in new ways in this season and ways that are different to how you may have experienced the Lord speaking to you before. Some of the greatest encounters with Jesus, some of the greatest touches of His Spirit, some of the greatest moments with the Lord in this season for many prophets are going to come in different ways than has been experienced or expected. For Elijah, he was so used to God showing up in “loud signs and wonders”, and here on the mountain, God shows up in the gentle and quiet whisper.
You are going to hear from the Lord and encounter His heart in a way in this season that is going to leave you gloriously undone by His power, His kindness and His love. A whole new level of AWE of God is upon the prophets and upon the body of Christ.

Prophets of God, I prophesy over you that some of your greatest encounters in this season are going to be in the WHISPERS of God and God showing up in new and unexpected ways. More is going to be released, restored and broken open for you in this season through the gentle and quiet whisper of the Lord. The Lord is depositing and imparting to you something new, something fresh, something different to see released into the body of Christ that is going to bring the body of Christ into greater alignment with His heart and this next move of His Spirit upon the earth.

Prophets of God, you are being ministered to. The Lord is adding to you, He is restoring you, He is rejuvenating you, He is giving the spoils to you, He is taking you further and higher than you have ever been. Your discernment is about to increase in double portions. Your eyes will be like the eyes of eagles on fire, to see like you have never seen before. You will encounter Him in a new way, and be invited into areas of His heart to see, hear, feel and carry what He is carrying which will be TOTALLY different to what has been carried, released and experienced before.

You have been in the fight of your life because the greatest promotion, positioning, increase of assignments, favour and increase season is upon you. 

I decree and prophesy over you, that a season of GREAT JOY in what the Lord has called you to, your destiny and vision He has given you is upon you. 

Even though you may not feel it, you have won a battle, you have won a war, and now the Lord is ministering to your tired, weary and discouraged hearts. The Lord has used what you have walked to extend you, strengthen you, increase your capacity and you are TALLER in the spirit and are growing further into your authority in Jesus and your mantle than you ever have been.

The temptation has been to be like Elijah and throw off the mantle and want to quit, give up or die, but hold on, a great turnaround is upon you through these ministering angels and the power of His Spirit and your mantle is about to see the fire of God fall upon it. Increase is upon your mantle! 

“May he send you supernatural help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.” (Psalm 20:2)

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

sermon notes

The Battle is the Lord’s

NLTF Notes:

His mercy endures forever

2 Chron 20

The journey of Jehosaphat and his people from being surrounded by enemies to total and absolute victory 

– Jehosaphat, son of Asa, was the new King of Judah at 35. He wanted to honor God. Because of God’s hand of favor upon him, He prospered and even His enemies were afraid of him, even sent gifts to him. Jehosaphat later allied himself with Ahab, who died in the battle. A prophet told him that he shouldn’t have allied himself with someone who didn’t please and who hated God. 

– 2 Chron 20:3 – no need to beg God – as new covenant Believers, search what God has already said about a matter; Jehosaphat set himself to seek God

– v.4 – Great power when 2 or more come together to agree

– v.5 – the King was not afraid to humble himself before the Lord. Showed an example of what it meant to humble himself

– v.6 – He was blessing God, exalting Him, honoring who God is. 1st recognize what’s going on up there. Set your sights on higher things. 

– v.7-8 – reminded God of what He did

– Isaiah 59:19 – When the enemy comes in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord, don’t stop there!

So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. – Isaiah 59:19 NKJV

– a standard or banner. When the enemy comes in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord…God is so much bigger, it will never compare to what the enemy is trying to do to you. 

– 2 Chron 20:9 – remembering what God said. There was a confidence, not because of what they’ve done, but because of what God does

I would have lost heart, had I not believed that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living – a relationship, a covenant (Lord, Master)

– 2 Chron 20:11 – when you dedicate your asset, you are transferring ownership, maintenance to the Lord

– 2 Chron 20:12 – We are powerless against this mighty enemy. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. May this be our first response, not resort to our human strategies or networks. 

O our God, won’t you stop them? We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” – 2 Chronicles 20:12 NLT

– 2 Chron 20:13 – the entire nation was there, seeking the Lord

– 2 Chron 20:14 – the Spirit of the Lord came upon one of the men standing there – God knows who He’s going to speak through, who He’s going to use to bring victory. Now, in the new Covenant, the spirit of the Lord is in you! God already gave His spirit, He wants to show you things to come. 

– Jehaziel – beheld by God. Zechariah –  the Lord remembers (put Me in remembrance, I do not forget. When you remind Me, you’re really reminding yourself). Bene-aiah – Jehovah has built. Jaiel – God sweeps, God will take care. Mepheniah – gift of God, always by the grace of God, not because of how good you are. WOW!

– 2 Chron 20:15 – When you seek the Lord, wait for thr answer, for His instruction. God is able to speak to you in the middle of anything. God can use anything, if you are just willing to wait and hear. DO NOT BE AFRAID, DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY THIS MIGHTY ARMY. THE BATTLE IS NOT YOURS, BUT GOD’S. 

– 2 Chron 20:16 – Do not be afraid, be strong and of good courage.  You will know that it’s me, because it will happen this way. Tomorrow…there’s always a tomorrow. Tomorrow is always better than today. Don’t lose heart, there’s always a tomorrow. Sleep, rest, because there’s a tomorrow. Don’t wallow and despair at home. March out. 

– 2 Chron 20:17 – you don’t even need to fight. Take your positions, stand still and watch the Lord’s victory. – your true position in Christ 

– Eph 2:4 – God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love (not yours), with which He loved us. Made us alive, raised us up together, seated us with Him in Heavenly places, far above. 

– Be still and know that I am God. Know, understand, pursue, have a growing knowledge. 

– Pursuing the enemy may be good, but it is limited. 

– Micah 7:7 But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord (individual response ability). Watching in hope. 

Hebrews 12:2 – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

– 2 Chron 20:17 – He is with you. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Go out against them tomorrow, for the Lord is with you. Not just allies, the Lord is with you!

– 2 Chron 20:18 – response of Jehosaphat and the people: they bowed (humility), and shouted with a loud voice (in faith). Received the instruction, the word of the Lord, because you know, there’s victory coming

– 2 Chron 20:20 – early the next morning, the army. (Not procrastinating, early; the army, not just one person). Believe in the Lord and be established. 

– It is good for the people to be established. Stand in the grace of God. 

– Believe in His prophets and you will succeed, and you will prosper

– Prophets – the sent one, mouthpiece. The One sent to us is Jesus Christ. 

– Believe in the One that He has sent. It will establish you, you’ll see prosperity in your life. 

– 2 Chron 20:21 –  they let the praise go forth (thanksgiving, honor, blessing). They sang: give thanks to the Lord, His faithful love endures forever. They focused on His character. 

– 2 Chron 20:22 – the moment they began to sing and give praise, the Lord caused the armies to fight among themselves 

– 2 Chron 20:26 – the valley of the shadow of death became a valley of blessing for them; if you just remember your position. 

Inner Healing, testimony

Suicide

Prologue
I used to consider myself blessed. I thought myself to have a strong faith in and relationship with God. I enjoyed quiet, sweet and restful fellowship with the Lord; but deep within my heart, there was a dissonance of discontent, caused by asking what-if’s in my unguarded moments.

Married to a man who spoke the love language of service and treated me like a queen that did not have to lift a finger at home, I became overconfident that we had overcome the so-called 7-year itch. On the surface, we looked happy; yet deep within, we were scarred from two miscarriages, and battled years of mutual silent frustration over little things that snuffed out the flicker of love in our marriage…at least for me…and I began to ask, “what if I hadn’t married him?”

In my career, despite recognition and promotions for most of my professional life, I was not at rest. I found myself searching for something unknown, causing me to hop from one job to another. In 7 years, I had 7 employers, the longest of which was 2.5 years in an international law firm – one that perhaps, I shouldn’t have given up on. I also began to ask, “what if I weren’t an in-house tax lawyer?”

Covert yet failed attempts to change my husband as well as the perennial chase after some lofty ideal in some calling, built years of pent-up frustration. Hope was a concept that I struggled with, after surviving two miscarriages. I thought I was fine, and that I was good at brushing off my struggle; but God, who searches the hearts of men, saw what competed with Him in my heart. By His grace, He sought to cure the dissonance. It required a major upheaval though, one necessary to replace a shaky foundation with a stable one. 

On Valentines Day of 2016, following several failed attempts to rekindle romance, my heart was stirred to ask God to bring back into my heart, love for my husband. After praying by myself for a week, I sought support in prayer at a midweek service that I regularly attended. Through that unforgettable prayer, before the Lord set the shaking into motion, He warned me of impending strong wind and rains. The warning was coupled with a promise of healing, love and forgiveness, and of unshackled marriage rings, which remain fastened tightly to one another shining brighter as God causes my career to soar. Apparently, it was a promise that I was to hold on to in the months ahead. 

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I. Suicide Attempted

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Behind the heels of my second miscarriage, the perfect storm broke out when I discovered text messages that shouldn’t have been exchanged. As trust broke down, my marriage began to disintegrate. Hurtful words were exchanged, causing walls so thick and seemingly impenetrable to rise up in an instant. 

My career also took an unexpected downturn. I was then undergoing regularization in a multinational company. Recovering from my second miscarriage, by itself, caused me to go on autopilot in my job.  While on auto-pilot, the proverbial plane crashed when most of my time and attention were consumed with stalking my husband’s and a few other persons’ social media accounts. Noting a decline in my performance, I opened up to my bosses about my predicament in the hope that I would be given due consideration, but doing so backfired and painted me as unprofessional. 

My husband and I talked about separating; but neither of us had the nerve to truly say goodbye. For some reason, an unseen, unspoken force bound us together. Perhaps it was our sporadic joint prayers. After all, we still went to church together amidst the turmoil. Other than that though, I knew nothing about him anymore. He treated me like a stranger, and he became a stranger to me, as well.

The emotional strain took its toll.  Decades of latent emotional wounds soon resurfaced: my childhood, teen-age, collegiate and work-related traumas as well as deeper layers of supposedly healed emotional wounds came to fore.  The storms caused the foundations of my faith and identity to be shaken.

I fought the temptation to blame most of the turmoil on my husband and my multinational employer, and wanted to punish them for how I viewed their rejection of me. In the intensity of the storm, when I felt like I had nothing to live for, came moments of weakness. 

One evening, after a fight with my husband, I succumbed to weakness and uttered, “I wanna die”. As soon as I said those words, it felt like a dark cloud that had been hovering over my head for some time eclipsed my rational thought processes.  I literally felt darkness enter my mind. 

All night long, I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t even pray, even if I wanted to. I was simply consumed with thoughts of wanting to jump from the veranda of our 5th floor condominium unit or getting a kitchen knife that I can use to slash my wrists. The war in my mind was too strong, and I didn’t know who to reach out to. Contrary to whispers of suicide, there was a prompting that reminded me not to harm myself and that suicide was painful and would mar my decades of Christian testimony. In response, surreptitiously, another idea entered my mind: death by carbon monoxide poisoning…It will not be as painful, and would not make me an ugly corpse. Plus, if I succeeded, people would not readily determine for certain if I did commit suicide. And if I did, my husband and my employer will definitely be put to blame….or so I thought. In my weakness, I was quickly convinced that it was the perfect plan.

The following morning, I was still in some trance – decided do the deed. I was able to go to the office earlier than my usual time, with the intent of sleeping inside my car after parking it in the office’s enclosed parking area, with the car engine and airconditioning running while windows were tightly shut. As I drove to work, I gave my husband a goodbye call, but accidentally dialed the number of a Pastor friend by mistake. As it was too early, he did not pick up, and I proceeded to give my husband a goodbye phonecall. Because my husband was confident that I wouldn’t really push through with the deed, or that if I did, it would not succeed, he merely texted me, “I love you, ha. Please don’t do it.” But I was looking for a sense of alarm from him that would prompt him to exhaust all means (say call, go to my office or call the cops to intervene) to thwart my plans. From my perception of his response (or lack thereof) to my disclosure, my then sick mind gathered more resolve to execute the plan. 

It was all going as planned.  Just as I was about to drift into deeper sleep 30 minutes or so later, I was awakened by my ringing phone. On the other line, I heard the voice of my Pastor friend, who called to return the missed call. He asked how I was and what I was doing. The only reply I could muster was, “Nothing, I’m okay.” But I wasn’t…I was dazed and he was able to discern it, prompting him to pray for me. His prayer was unforgettable, “Lord, I speak hope to Lorybeth and life to the dead areas of her heart.” 

His prayer woke me up from the dark stupor that overcame me. I found myself crying, overcome with grief over what I planned to do, yet extremely thankful that he called at the right moment, that I apparently forgot to put my phone on silent mode and that I didn’t turn it off.  It was a close call though…what if I succeeded? 

But God saw to it that I wouldn’t succeed. His eye was unmistakably on me at that moment, and His mighty hand directed my plan to fail. Quickly, I repented from the desire to snuff out the precious life He had given me. I asked Him for forgiveness, as I realized anew that my life was not mine to take away. With my Pastor friend as witness, I renounced the spirit of death and suicide. After closing the prayer in the name of Jesus, I received fresh assurance of hope, pardon and purpose. 

The failed attempt was without consequences, though. A few minutes after the suicide attempt, I set foot in a meeting with my indirect manager. Still whoozy from the carbon monoxide I ingested, I failed mindlessly and miserably in a presentation. My dismal performance helped solidify my employer’s decision against my regularization for employment. 

No job meant no pay. Not long after, I was constrained to tap into my savings. Financial uncertainty loomed in the horizon, coupled with the impending end of my husband’s employment contract.

 

II. Suicide Consummated 

I spent the next month without a job. The time-off, as well as my husband’s disinterest in household affairs, gave me an opportunity to finally learn how to run my household after 8.5 years of marriage. As I lifted up to the Lord the pain of unappreciated efforts, I got convicted that it could’ve been how my husband also felt before all of this: taken for granted. It led me to repent for not honoring him unconditionally as a Godly wife should. 

Not long after, to sustain dwindling resources, I accepted an offer in a small law and accounting firm as a Junior Partner. It was a gloomy place, but it was my hallway of transition, where I received God’s provisions coupled with the option to work from home and maneuver my schedule. 

In the months that followed, day after day, I withstood the storm. Holding on to God, His word and whoever He sent to bring it to me helped me battle increasing depression and anxiety.  God knew I needed reinforcement and simply surrounded me with it: 3 bible study and fellowship groups, a lady pastor whom I SOS-texted in desperate moments, my mom and my bestfriend who imparted strength and learnings from their own experiences, to a long-time friend and sister in the faith whom He strategically ordained to be my neighbor, and a cousin who messaged me round the clock from another continent. They all bore witness to times when I was fine, as well as moments when I was barely able to hold on. In moments of weakness, I learned to speak stillness to my soul, encouraging it to rest in the Lord. Yet God knew that my heart was becoming weary from standing in the battle.  Soon, He threw me another lifebouy. 

In my law firm of transition, I handled a stressful engagement with a high-maintenance client. Thanks to that engagement though, I grew close to a sorority sister who served as the counsel for my client’s counter-party to transaction. Upon learning of my situation, my sorority sister introduced me to a Psychologist and Marriage Counselor. 

A former nun, the Psychologist was open to psycho-spiritual approaches of treatment individually, for my husband and me, and jointly, for our marriage. She came into our lives at the right time, just when my husband and I were at the brink of giving up on each other.  She also made me undergo a battery of tests that diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), as well as depression and anxiety which seemed to date as far back as childhood. If left untreated, I was told that such would lead to neurosis. 

The results exposed my brokenness, but God supplied the cure for the clinical prognosis.  My flexible schedule allowed time for individual and joint therapy sessions with my husband. In the sessions, God’s guidance was evident as He caused the Psychologist to be quick in discerning my knee-jerk responses in the flesh. In moments when my husband or I were close to giving up on our lives and our marriage, she would ask us to pray and discern what the Holy Spirit was saying. The take-aways from each session were affirmed by the Lord in my daily quiet moments with Him, podcast upon podcast, hours of prayer and worship and prophetic articles. God also sustained me through friends who caught up with me, and by spending time with my mother in a foreign trip, which healed the root of many of my wounds: rejection from the womb. God was simply my anchor in the difficult process. 

Yet, as the sessions progressed, the dark sides of my and my husband’s personalities, manipulation, control, anger, anxieties and insecurities, were exposed. Even strengths, which I prided myself on, such as tact, a strategic mind and a gift of gab, all backfired. All that used to work for me just stopped working. Though at a seeming loss, I knew that I had promises to hold on to. Holding on was difficult, though, when there was a raging storm in the domestic front and even within me. 

One night, when I felt I couldn’t take it anymore, in tears, I cried out to God, “Lord, why does holding on to Your word and Your promises concerning my marriage and my entire life make me feel like I’m dying? Like I need to die? Like I couldn’t be myself anymore? Like I’m losing myself…my mind. Lord, I could no longer hold on…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.” Not knowing what to pray for anymore, I just kept on calling out His name. A barely audible still small voice stopped my wailing, “My child, it is because you do need to die…to self.” 

A sterling moment of clarity followed: I needed to die, alright…at least my flesh did…through a new level of surrender to God. And so, I yielded to Him my self-esteem or what was left of it; hopes and fears; plans, back-up plans and uncertainties; heartbreaks, traumas and wounds; lack, needs, and desires; my pedigree, crowns, accolades and failures; as well as my strengths and weaknesses; thought processes and learned emotional responses to curved balls that life threw. I gave Him the pen to continue writing my story.  In contrast to decades of past piecemeal surrender, this time I gave Him all of me.  I released full control unto Him. God was right…I needed to die…and so that night, I killed myself anew, not via carbon monoxide poisoning, but by putting my flesh to death, even visualizing myself as crucified with Jesus on the Cross.  It was suicide, alright, but the right kind. Paul in Galatians 2 describes such suicide experience so perfectly:

The morning after, I woke up to the sound of birds chirping at sunrise. I felt something shift. It gave me a knowing in my heart that a new season had come. God did not only hold on to me in that dark night of my soul, but He renewed and sharpened my focus on Him. 

In the weeks that followed, I was able to learn the art of living one day at a time, acknowledging Jesus as my ultimate source of love – the Lover of my soul and my Bridegroom. I was still clueless as what to I had to do to fix my situations, but my eyes were on Him. The battles were His. 

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III. Resurrection 

Having died to self, I became more pliable in the hands of the Lord. Uprooting and burning the draws in my heart, His resurrection power began to manifest in my life.

In a 2-day weekend retreat, I was substantially healed of the PTSD, depression and anxiety, that would have taken years of Psychotherapy to heal. Over that weekend, women from a group called Women of Wonder ministered to me, imparting God’s spirit of joy and trust. I emerged from the retreat as a brand new woman. Eventually, I was called to join them in ministering to other women in need of healing. As I joined them in praying, preaching and prophesying, the Lord also polished my heart causing blemishes of intellectual prideinsecuritypeople pleasingreluctance, as well as rejection from my childhoodteen-age, collegiate and professional years to fade. Through this ministry, the Lord showed me how it was possible to co-labor with Him, while in a state of rest, one of complete dependence on Him. 

With a healed heart, I was able to see the changes that God brought to my husband and our marriage. His resurrection power was made manifest most evidently in the healing of my marriage at a supernatural speed. He sent circumstances our way that bound my husband and I as one anew. As we cared for a sick pet that we both loved, our communication lines were restored. God allowed us to rediscover our love for one another in a three-week exploration of a foreign land that He seems to be leading us to, a trip which we managed to pull off despite limited funds.  When my husband suffered an injury, we learned to care for and rely on one another anew. As he was in between jobs and I was able to work from home most of the time, we were also able to spend more time getting to know each other all over again  

As each of our hearts and our relationship received more healing, we both experienced God’s supernatural ability to infuse love, trust and grace back into a marriage. Not that we were able to hold on to God’s promise perfectly; but God held on to us and held us together when our capacity to do so was drained. His love bound us together, when our human hearts failed. Indeed, God alone can resurrect a marriage from a dying state and make it thrive.  God also gave me new lens to see my husband. With absolute certainty, I can now declare that he is the one God ordained for me, by no mistake. Every morning waking up in my husband’s embrace is a blessing and a reminder of God’s faithful grace. And while he may be a work in progress (as I am too), he is God’s work in progress, not mine. It is a joy to witness him brought from glory to glory by God’s mighty hand. 

Soon, a new season with pioneering assignments in career and ministry beckoned as my identity was restored. I rediscovered who I am in Christ as well as my role in His Kingdom.  Now, I treat that perfect storm as a gift from the Lord, where my biggest ministry will spring forth.  God transformed my valley of death into a valley of blessing. Indeed, He has worked things out for my good! 

Even the rejection from my last multinational employer, turned out to be a redirection from being an in-house corporate counsel to external legal advisor. The Lord used my failed regularization to cause me to reconnect with a former senior colleague in the international firm that I used to work for. A year later, he eventually put up his own firm with regional affiliation, and I was to join him as the pioneer associate. From my dark hallway of transition, I was ushered into a Board Room. Now, I work on commercial engagements that impact millions, in a relaxed firm culture of our own and with my own time in my hands. I couldn’t have maneuvered it thusly; only the Lord’s hand can. 

God’s plans of redirection manifested when my heart finally imbibed the Kingdom perspective: that my job and successes do not define me; they are but undercover assignments, that allow me to interact with and pray for people of various races who don’t know Him and their need of Him yet – ground for fertile harvest! 

Unlike my past seasons, now, I am no longer eager to jump ahead to the next. Having been given a frontrow view of how His mighty hand works, I know He will pave the way of transition to the next season, which I need not concern myself with at the moment. I have learned to focus on the present until He (not I) opens the door to the next season. Through it all, my heart has gained contentment, having learned that my greatest calling is to bow and kneel before God’s throne, a posture of humility, submission and bondservanthood. 

My soul used to have this unspoken secret posture of pining for something I didn’t have at the moment, hence my what-if’s before the perfect storm broke out. Now the dissonance of discontent has been replaced with Godly contentment. Though the awaited breakthrough of motherhood has yet to manifest, my heart is sick of waiting no more. In the storm, my heart was taught to trust that God is listening, and that He knows the appointed time for the manifestation to come to pass. My eyes and ears have learned to see my needs and wants from a Heavenly perspective: they are in the hands of the Father, my Provider, from whose hands a steady stream of provision and moments of refreshing flow. And so, my heart is at rest while waiting for motherhood, the next door of employment to open for my husband and even for migration plans to progress. Though it may tarry, the vision will come to pass; but even if it doesn’t, my soul shall continue praising God!

For the first time in my life, I can say that I feel truly alive – fulfilled, content and happy. He has brought me to the other side, safely through the storm. He is with me, I have Him and that is more than enough. He is simply full of wonders! And because I am in Him, I am a woman of wonder. 

Epilogue II

From this story of mine as well as those of a few others, I realized a common theme in people’s journeys with God: However which way one’s story unravels, the plot will always involve a dying to self, being crucidied with Christ, in the journey. The vessel of our souls must first be emptied and broken. From that state of brokenness, and emptiness God will reconstruct the vessel and fill it anew, with more of Him and His new wine. 

As for me, God made me whole again – spirit, soul and body. With His mighty hand, He reordered my life and my steps.  Now, with a new story unraveling. I trust that with a renewed mind and a healed heart, God will give me the grace to steward the new season and its accompanying assignments well. I trust that the good work He has begun, He will be faithful to complete. 

All praise be to God! He remained faithful, despite my times of faithlessness. In His love and goodness, He transformed my faithlessness into deeper faith and trust in Him, His word and His ways. He has given this story a redemptive end. Only by His grace am I able to write it down as well, so that whoever may be contemplating suicide can think twice, and choose the type of suicide that I eventually chose – the one that leads to life abundant, life to the full.

Dreams, faith, sermon notes

Bread vs Cake

The other day, I woke up to a dream. It’s a bit hazy now, but what I do remember was this: I had a choice between pieces of bread (pan de sal) and a small cake. 

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I just realized this morning what it means. It could have been a reminder of the choice between Christ versus the flesh. 

God can also be assuring me that: when you choose Me, as you press into, and chew on My Word, delighting in Me and pursuing My righteousness, behold My provision. My Word and My ways are inseparable. 

I am reminded of the message last night in Windwatch Makati on how riches follows as a natural consequence of pursuing God’s righteousness above all else. 

The message led me to remember and repent from the times when, in the face of decision-making, instead of asking, “what will please You, Lord?”, top of mind was “which is the better alternative, Lord?”. While both questions sought the Lord’s counsel, the focus and premise of one question differed from the other.  The first question focused on delighting in the Lord and delighting Him (yes, we are accepted in Him, but bringing Him pleasure and delight is another thing). On the other hand, the focus of the second was more of self. It was a Christian way of asking: what’s better (or in it) for me?

This encouragement is so precious to me at a time when my husband is in between jobs (making me the sole income earner), and aside from the normal bills, we have amortizations and credit card bills to pay. 

This situation is no stranger to us, as we have experienced something similar 8 years ago. Also, after my dad died, I remember times when I had barely enough. Through those, God provided. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even be where I am right now. 

If God was faithful then, and even in the olden times, how could He, faithful through the ages, not be faithful now? Selah. 

And such a great prayer here:

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