May 5, 2011

The Gift

Thursday, May 05, 2011 Posted by Mary , , 5 comments

It is a common belief in the Philippines that if you complete the Simbang Gabi, or nine-day novena of dawn masses before Christmas, you will get something you fervently wish for. I have completed Simbang Gabi for the last three years without having my mom force me into it. The first year, I prayed for a scholarship to Europe. I was so confident God would grant my wish, too. After all, I completed my Christmas novena just a few months earlier. But oh no. I had some computer errors when I was taking the TOEFL (part of the requirements), so the results arrived too late and I wasn't able to apply. God didn't grant me my wish. The next year, I went through a major heartbreak. Reeling from that, I asked God that Christmas that the person I was then "rebounding" on, be "the one." He wasn't, either.

I was astounded by the two succeeding heartbreaks, almost unbelieving that God would do something so cruel. I really did not know where my life was going. Work was there, but surely I could not live just for work alone. I was just not that type of person. It was a trying time, and I remember a friend trying to console me with the verse from Jeremiah 29:11, something I really tried to hold on to:
"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."
The next year, I'd learned my lesson. My previous efforts had been futile, and I did not ask for anything specific anymore. I just asked God to arrange my life according to His plans. This was last Christmas. Little did I know I was in for a treat.

On December 25, 2010, I joined a penpal site. I was only expecting to find friends, but I found something more. I found someone who felt so right. I finally met him in person in April, and then we got engaged.

Now, I feel that spring has finally begun and my life is about to start; that this is what I was destined to do, and that this is God finally giving me my heart's desire. The fact that I joined the site instrumental in making me meet my fiancé on Christmas Day does not escape me. It just reinforces the feeling that he truly is a gift from above, something I am extremely thankful for.