This has been a tradition of mine to revisit my year at the last week of every year. Looking back at my notes/posts/blog on the two previous years, I can clearly see how this year has been so different. And what a year of blessings, favor, and restoration it has been! If you checked on my previous notes (2011- read blog/note here , 2012- read blog here), you would know that I’ve been through a fire of refinement and molding. 2011 was a trying year but I call it a year of communion- that is communing with God. When everything you seem to hold dear or securities in your life are taken one by one, you have no one left but God. You can’t help but commune with the One who has your life. 2011 spilled over into my 2012 and I called it the year of beautiful marks. Marks of pain from the 2011 that have stretched me beautifully…that have sent me into waves of gratefulness for my Savior, the Lover of my Soul. 2012 was also a year of inner restoration. And I held unto this:
The Lord appeared to us from afar, saying:
“I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful.” – Jeremiah 31: 3-4 (NIV)
What I didn’t know was that the restoration would also tumble over into my 2013! This year has been a year of Yes. This is not to say that 2013 was not without trials. I did go through a lot this year. My past came back to life. Demons of my past confronted me like never before and old wounds opened up again. The stabs from my past’s darkness was excruciating but I chose to trust God. He was there digging it up with me and shoveling it out. Because I had to completely give Him my heart, completely let go so I could shine as His daughter.
Financial problems also hovered upon my family that I had to go from one place to another. In one month and a half, I stayed in four different houses/rooms. For someone used to changes, it actually took me out of balance for a while…wondering where my home really was. But I learned that home is what you carry with you inside. And it is with God. My home is in God. It could also be found in other people. I hesitantly had to let go of comfort zones literally and that’s when I found the fourth place where my sister and I still stay. Isn’t God just awesomely unexpected like that?
2013 also found me being confined to the hospital twice; and visits to my grandfather at the ICU which led to visits at his wake and funeral. 2013 came banging with the strongest earthquake and typhoon I’ve experienced, leading to thousands of people dead. This definitely shows how much of a treasure life is, how it is really just a vapor, and that there’s nothing normal about each day we live. So this year, I chose to take calculated risks. I chose to take trips, laugh often, and watch sunsets. I chose to forgive. I chose to open up and take off any masks left in me.
So it is no wonder that my 2013 has been a year of Yes. Yes connotes optimism yet I’ve listed things that have made me go down on my knees, praying to God. Because even in a Yes, there is also a mess. A mess so that we can bless. But if you were to ask me what my Yeses literally were? There have been a lot!
It was a Yes to Ten Days Missions in China! A truly life-changing experience. It was so beautiful to see how God moves in the heart of people who do not know Him. He did not only work in the lives of the people He connected us with, He also worked in my own heart. This post/note is not enough to describe the whole experience. 🙂
Yes to a family member’s salvation! My mom went through Victory Weekend last May and it was such an answered prayer! So don’t give up on your family or your friends or anyone. I continue to hope and pray for the other members of my family. 🙂
Mom at Victory Weekend with moi and sis!
Yes to out-of-town and beach trips and international travels (with the best travel buddies)! Yes to my new gadgets! Yes to new women/friends in my VG (who come and go due to work transfers)!
Yes to promotion! Last July (or was it June?), there was a prophecy of promotion and I was left wondering how in the world I was going to be promoted because from the nature of my job, it wasn’t possible at all (structurally, it wasn’t). But hey, never put God in a box! I was offered a different kind of job with a responsibility that I never quite imagined. Let’s say it took prayers and getting out of the boat to accept it. God’s ways are indeed different from mine. *wink!
Yes to reaching out to kids in need! I’ve always loved kids and at the beginning of this year, I jotted down in my faith goals that I wanted to go to a charitable organization for kids and make them smile through a party. It was quite vague but at the back of my mind, I knew it was going to take some work for me to organize it. Months passed by and I got busier and I wondered how I can have the time to work on it. November and December came, and yes I got to be part of two activities involving kids— Play and Toy Therapy at Brgy. Tinago for the Yolanda evacuees, and a Christmas party for the kids at SOS Children’s Village. And I didn’t even had to work for it! Amazing God!
The kids at Brgy. Tinago (Photos to be posted in FB soon! *wink!)
And Yes to a new season! This was one big SURPRISE from God. I didn’t pray for this but He gave me this special gift in the form of a new relationship that entailed me to open my heart and trust Him.
The words still ring in my ears,
“You’re going to be one who’s going to walk in the fullness of my purpose. The best years are up and coming for you. I’m restoring relationships. There’s going to be some things I’m going to cause you to leave behind. I’m going to give you new relationships and when the new relationships come, do not be afraid to open up your heart. And you can trust again, you can trust again.“ And trust, I did. I’ve found a new best friend and a home in this person. And I have no ounce of regret.
I unfurled my wings, opened up my heart and my life, and let God’s amazing grace carry me. It’s a Yes to God’s love and grace. A Yes to letting Him refine me and letting myself grow. A Yes to His will, not mine. A Yes to living a life that glorifies Him.
”For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” on Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 1:20
The Yes does not stop in 2013. It goes on. I know there will be times when I’ll still say no but ultimately, it is always Christ who wins. He wins because He has got me in the palm of His hands. And as long as God is there, it will always be a big Yes to life— the life He has planned for you and me. All hands and hearts to God! <3 <3 <3 Now I’m definitely excited for 2014! 🙂