The first part of this post has been copied and pasted from my previous personal blog. It was pusblished back in September 6 2015, just 6 days before Taziana was born. I am re uploading it here and making a second part which is 2 years from when the first part was written. I want to share God’s greatness and His glory over my life.
Mark and I have been good friends since we were 11. However, just soon after Mark and I started dating, only about a few months in it, we found out that I was pregnant. It was around the last few days of January 2015. Mark and I spend weeks apart because he studies far from Manila. He has to take 10-13 hours of drive so that we could see each other at least once a month. We were kind of in a long distance relationship. The biggest lie the enemy probably has given me was that it’s okay to do it once since we don’t get to see each other so often, and that it would be the first time would also be the last time. But once was enough for our lives to completely turn around.
I just got home from uni when I took the test and never have I imagined to see two red lines. I only took the test to prove Mark wrong “Honey, I’m just a few days delayed. It’s normal” but I ended up proving him right in the scariest way possible. I was sweating but I felt so cold. I wanted to hide it from Mark for a while. I wanted to wait until the 2nd week of February to tell him, when we’re finally together physically. But Mark is my best friend. He’s always the first person I think of talking to whenever I am happy and when I’m down. I called him and talked to him.
It was hard for him to be my friend at that moment. We were both in shock and we didn’t know what to do. The conversation was just an exchange of “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”. We figured out that this was an important matter and we had to talk about it personally ASAP. So instead of waiting for a few more weeks, we met the very next day.
The night before meeting up, I’ve prayed like I never did in my life. I got down on my knees and humbled myself to my Father who I have also greatly disappointed. God’s response to me wasn’t harsh and cold. Immediately, I felt his warmth and forgiveness. God whispered to me saying, “the enemy meant it for the bad, but I will use this story for the good”. I had no idea what that meant back then. All I thought was that from that point onward, life will be hard. I decided that I will keep and raise the baby no matter what Mark’s decision is.
When we finally started talking personally, I have heard the scariest thing I could possibly hear at that moment. Mark said he doesn’t want to keep it. I prayed, I asked God to calm my heart and to teach me how to respond. I kept calm, I didn’t cry or get angry. I was very hurt but God has given me the strength and comfort that I needed. I just asked him, “Why?”. Mark said, “I don’t want to disappoint our parents. They’ll be really angry. I don’t want you to stop for another semester. You already missed so much when you got sick.” So I asked him, “Is that your real reason?” Then he said, “Yes.” I told him calmly, “Are we not with God in this? Will He not deal with our parents? I’ll stop for a semester, but that’s just a few months. That’s something I can still get back. But your decision, isn’t that something you’ll have to live with forever? If this is your decision, I will respect it. I will not force you into anything.” Then we decided that it’s better if we take a bit of time apart to breathe. So Mark went out of his room for a while. I spent the time praying, scared of what people, specially my parents, would say. I prayed for Mark’s heart. I came across a bible verse,
” 11 The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”” Exodus 4:11-12
When I encountered this verse, I was sure that God will deliver me through the hard times. I just put my faith in Him. I was hurt thinking that I had to let go of Mark. He was my best friend. But I was determined to give my life to God.
Suddenly, after having our short moment to breathe and think, Mark came home. He had a milkshake on one hand and fruits on the other. I was just quiet. Of course I was disappointed and hurt but I never want to nag him, or force him into something he was clearly not ready for. I didn’t want him to take the responsibility out of pity or pressure. It was not my job to change his heart, it was the Lord’s. Mark came close to me, he gave me the things he had brought home. He hugged me, then he kissed my forehead. Then he said, “I want to keep it.” I couldn’t help but cry out of so much happiness! I have seen the power of God to change hearts! He did it in a snap! I said, “Really? I don’t want you to feel forced into anything. To say yes now then turn away in a few weeks and change your mind.” Mark told me that he spent his time praying, and the Lord spoke to him. Mark also assured me that he loves me and this is something he wants to do. He apologized to me. After that day, Mark has shown nothing but true love for me and our daughter. The very next day, he took me to the hospital for checkups and got everything the doctor asked me to take.
My husband and I were happy. We were scared but we knew that God is with us. We had to part ways again and was supposed to see each other in a few weeks. I had to go home to Laguna to celebrate my sister’s birthday. I was just minutes from riding the bus and I wanted to pee. But when I got to the toilet, to my shock, I was bleeding. Mark rushed me to the hospital. The doctor didn’t allow me to go home. I was confined. There was a risk of losing our baby. I was not allowed to even sit down or our baby would literally “fall off”. At that moment, we knew we had a choice to not keep the baby. I was having a miscarriage. It was our chance to still redeem the “life we were about to lose”. But we stood firm on the Lord’s promise and with all our strengths, we fought to save our baby. It was the first time I have ever seen Mark break down, he was as scared as I was. But that night, the Lord made us realize how far we were willing to go to be able to keep our baby. By God’s grace, our baby was saved. I just had to stay completely in bed and take my medications.
I praise God for my husband. He loved me unconditionally and took care of me the best way he can. My cravings could be one of the weirdest thing, but Mark would look for whatever I was craving for anywhere just to satisfy me. It doesn’t matter what time of the night it was or how far he had to go to get me what I wanted, he just does it. I never had to beg him to get it for me, he does it on his own. When I wanted to go out but couldn’t take the stairs because my doctor asked me not to, Mark carried me from 1st to 4th floor- up and down. My husband gave me all the love he could give. He would have sleepless nights taking care of me. And these are few of the things that make me feel so thankful. God has given me a man who loves me without asking for anything in return.
We had to face reality. We couldn’t keep the pregnancy from everyone. This terrified me more than it should. I knew I was going to be judged. I knew people would think bad about me. Although Mark has been dear to me since Grade 5, we were still in the early stages of dating. What would people say? What would my family say? I’ve opened up to Mark about this and he kept on assuring me that God will deliver us, that what matters is my repentance and my desire to change and surrender to Him. It was helpful, but my fear was big. I was scared of judgement.
Sex before marriage is clearly a sin. It made me feel as if I wasn’t worthy of anything from the Lord. I thought, why would He save me? Why would I matter to Him? I disobeyed, I have sinned, I represent failure, my life is a disaster. My prayers and quiet time went dry. I would pray but I couldn’t feel God’s presence. It was my fault. How can I pray with no faith? How can I pray for Him to save me yet in my heart doubted that He would?
God spoke to me around May 2015, 5 months into pregnancy. (Yes, God truly speaks. Through quiet times and prayers, when you listen with your heart, you will hear God’s words) It was during Elevate’s Youth Camp “Freedom Land” when He spoke to me. He said, He will remove my shame. He will make my story about Him and not about me. He will be glorified through my story if I let Him. That’s when He gave me the idea to write a blog about it once everything is “settled”. He wanted me to show everyone, especially those who are going through, about to go through and have gone through this situation that God will not abandon them even if they have sinned and that He will still love them unconditionally just as He did to me. He wanted me to hear out and be there for anyone who might be going through the same thing, to lead them to Him. They just have to repent and surrender to God.
During that youth camp, a young girl shared her testimony in front of around 100 people. She was also a young mom. That moment, I prayed to the Lord, “really Lord? Can you really do that? Can you really use my story though I am already a mess? Okay, Lord. It would be nice to be like her, and to stand in front of the youth to share how you will redeem me”. That day, I decided to die on the cross with the Lord, and start a new life. I knew the journey wouldn’t be easy and that the change I wanted to happen in my heart and life would be painful. It’s not like I was going to wake up good as new. I knew it would be an every day process and only God knew when He would be done molding me.
Mark broke the news to his parents. He feared that his parents might disown him, that he might have to stop going to school. But God has given him the biggest courage I’ve seen in a person. I’ve never seen courage this close. By God’s grace, his parents were very accepting about the situation. Since day 1, they have shown us nothing but love and support. They guided us and made sure we’re always happy.
Then, I had to tell my mom. She wasn’t very accepting at first. After telling her everything, I just let her let her feelings out. There were lots of hurtful words but I kept quiet. I knew this was something I had to go through. I was fearful, I thought my mom was firm in letting me go, that she had no care for me. I prayed day and night and trusted the Lord for the change of her heart. Slowly, it did, through my tatay. God used tatay to touch my mom’s heart and show her that I needed her. One day, while I was in Manila, I received a phone call from my parents asking if Mark and I were ready to meet up. We had lunch together. My heart melted seeing how much my parents loved me despite everything that I have done. They went through this challenge with me. They did not let me do it on my own.
My husband is a really courageous. He faced my entire family. He assured them that he loves me and our baby. Every time I’ve seen Mark this brave, it just makes me feel so loved and makes me more in love with him. He never left my side and every time I was weak, he stood strong for us. I praise God everyday for him. My entire family has slowly become very accepting with the situation. It was during this time when God has touched my heart and Mark’s and called us into marriage. We prayed for many days and really sought God’s heart about this calling. The world thinks we got married for the sake of just being married because I was already pregnant. But it was more than that. It was an answer to God’s calling. It was to obey Him, to honor our parents, and to provide our daughter with a loving home, a family. (The story of our marriage- how we decided to get married, why exactly we got married will be in another post)
God touched everyone’s hearts; our families, our friends, and a lot more. He has given us all the provision we needed, whether it was love, support, wisdom or finances. It was not the easiest thing to go through in life specially when fear kicks in. But if we just trust the Lord, even when the risks are high and a lot of things remain unknown, even with the fear of judgement, even without knowing how things will turn out, we will experience grace greater than what our minds can imagine. God even provided a surprise baby shower through my friends! How amazing is our God. He loves us and cares for us. He knows the things that will make us happy! My mom is consistent in giving me advises on how I can take care of my baby. Even my new family, the Oliveria’s are still very loving and supportive. My entire family is excited for our new member. Surely, I was a sinner. I have committed sin against God and against my own body. But for the second time, God has redeemed me! We are now only weeks or even just days away to seeing our little angel.
If you are going through something similar, I know what fear can do to our minds. Just trust in the Lord and He will save you. He will make sure that in the end, everything will be worth it. God will walk you through it. It is not my promise, but God’s promise.
More than 2 years has passed and every day, God has proven himself to be more and more faithful. I gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl named Taziana. Just as God promised, she brought love and light in our lives.
The judgement I have feared came, but they never touched me. Fear didn’t have the capacity to paralyze me. People talked yet we just continued living a happy life and soon, just by watching Mark, Taziana, and I, they were proven wrong. The Lord has stood with us and defended us all throughout this season and the best part is, we didn’t need to speak a single word to them, we just kept being happy.
Taziana is now two years old and she talks a lot! She enjoys spending time with her dad and they are as close as ever. I think their favorite thing to do together is to eat. Hahaha! No worries, she is a very healthy little girl who has discipline in eating vegetables. She also got Mark’s love language- physical touch. You could just imagine how much laughing and giggling I get to hear before we sleep at night because they love tickling each other. Taziana finds joy in kissing our ears and when we get tickled, she laughs so hard! The most beautiful sound to our ears.
We don’t have that much money, but we are able to go out every weekends after church. Or maybe just stroll around our neighborhood and enjoying each other’s company. God has also been generous enough in providing for us to travel locally. A few months ago, we spent 4 weeks in Baguio.
Sometimes, after a tired week in school, Taziana would dance No Me Hele from Lilo and Stitch to us and it would be the most adorable thing to see. I couldn’t count the times we have smiled and laughed just by seeing our daughter being her.
Our marriage has remained strong in the Lord. He keeps molding us to be better individuals and even trials make us grow more in love with Him and with each other. God had also called us to serve as a model of what He intends relationships to be especially during our generation, when the real goals and ideas of relationships have become distorted.
As for God’s promise to me in 2015, that I would get to share my story to the youth… I never got the chance to stand in front of the youth during a camp. However, my simple posts in facebook where I share struggles and success that God has brought upon my life has reached more than 100,000 people. I was already contented with what He was giving me throughout the years. I was already happy with getting to speak to one or two girls and go through life with them, but God remained true to His promise. He used my story to reach hundreds, and even thousands of young girls. Some of them reach out to me personally, some through messages, and some, just silent readers who suddenly message me after their trials have passed and that though I didn’t know, my blogs helped them get by.
Truly, I am undeserving. I am just a simple girl who writes about how God claims victory over the struggles I go through life. To me, I am only simply writing and sharing the small and big things that I have gone through. Yet, God has used this story, this story of brokenness and fear. He has used it to change hearts, from the people beside us to the people who are far from us. He has used it to bring families together. He has used it to redeem hearts of the youth. He has used it to touch the hearts of young moms who felt like their lives have ended and lost hope.
Let me tell you this.
If He can do it for me, what makes you think He can’t do the same for you? I have hurt Him in the deepest way I could. I was selfish, I was stubborn, I was hard-hearted. Yet our Father has still welcomed me with open arms. He welcomed me home and said, “Come, my child. I will take care of you”.
Whatever you are going through and whatever you have already gone through in life, God has already paid for it in the cross. He will redeem you over and over again if He has to.
He will never give up on you, so don’t you give up on Him.