I thought I am strong. It’s the first time I think that I felt so emotionally down after coming to Japan. It’s been the third time coming here but after spending time with family and friends, I’ve felt things are really different with them. I have antidotes of all these emotional dramas and loneliness in the end, especially that God is more than sufficient for me. Yet, I’m in the mood of writing so let me put into words some of the things I feel from the past few days.
I’ve just done my daily quiet time with the LORD and it’s always amazing how He turned my mourning into dancing and my sorrows into joy. God has been my source of love, joy, hope & strength as I face another year to fight.
However, I can’t hide how I feel after all I experienced when I went back home. Let me start today with my family. Our family is far from a perfect one yet because of God’s presence in our home, He is always the center of our relationships with one another. We are a big family as we are close to everyone in this clan. You know, after living on my own and trying to be independent in Japan like doing things alone after work and church ministry stuff, I mostly spend time with myself (I still love this of course.) The love, the care, the fun, the support, the encouragement & the prayers, I felt I really wanted to extend my stay there. In there, I felt so joyful because I thought I could have lived my life with others around me. Yet their words of advice & encouragement help and equip me to be who I am right now (how I wish I can enumerate everything they said). I told them during our family devotional before the New Year’s eve that because of how they raised me, that’s why I can live my life in Japan strong and independent. And because of their faith to God, I know I can remain faithful in the LORD too. They have been great examples of being godly in many areas of life. That’s why, I can never questioned of how God has blessed them in many ways I can imagine. I witnessed how things have been answered as how we desired and prayed for those things before. Praises be to God! And again, I just can’t help but miss their physical presence & their love & care for me. I have missed many family gatherings & their quality times together. Those deep heart to heart conversations & just random talks that we don’t judge each other, plan & dream for our future with my siblings, simple fun moments especially with the kids in the family, serious interrogated questions with my relatives (I always have to answer why I’m still single though haha!) and many more. Those are the things that I really treasure & will always remember that no matter how hard life is, I always have a family behind me. And I can assure myself that they are the ones who never give up praying for me.
Let me share the “Pabaon” verses they reminded me before I came here for the first time:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 -(Nanay Mary)
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7- (Mama Lou)
‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ -Jeremiah 33:3 – (Te Em2)
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7 -(Mama)
“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” -John 14:13-14 – (Papa)
“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge of God. Thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 1: 4-8 -(Kuya Evar)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 28:11 – (Ate Che)
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (Manoy)
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1 -(Map2)
These promises of God lift me up every time I’m down and brighten me in the darkest phases of life here. No matter how far I am from home, their presence and love are always in my heart. And since I’ve been crying everyday since I left home last week (I don’t know how long this will last), this time is a good reminder to appreciate my life here as well. It’s because if I chose to stay back home, I wouldn’t have grown and have become matured enough. If I chose to live with them, there would be tendencies to rely on them most of the time. So I take this season of my life to depend on God alone & learn many things in life on my own apart from my family. Above all, the reason I can reflect God’s love to others (all by God’s grace) is because I have experienced how to be loved & received that unconditional love of Jesus that overflows from all of them and reaches towards me. And with that, I am strengthened & motivated enough to continue giving that love to others where God has placed me.
So, let’s always be thankful enough for the gift of family in our lives! They should always be treasured. They should always be remembered in our prayers. It’s because they are the ones who never leave us after God!