You Complete Me

These words became so eminent in the 90’s after Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise confesses his true feelings to Dorothy Boyd, the character played by Renee Zellweger. During that time, single women  including myself shudder at the thought of having someone say the exact same words to us. I mean, who wouldn’t? “You complete me” is the ultimate pick-up line!

That line became so endearing to many hopeless romantics, who wished someday their prince would come. Some of these women admittedly believe finding their one true love would complete their being, their life. I also had the same belief, that only the one person can fill the void in my lonely heart.

I may have shared in a previous post that I grew up with parents who fought a lot. They would argue about almost anything and that left me feeling insecure about their love for me and for my brother. As I grew older, unconsciously I was looking for love all the time. I would seek out new friends and hold on to them for as long as I can. I also looked to boys to find the elusive love I was looking for. I had my list of 101 crushes then and had a boyfriend at age 12. I have kept this relationship from my mom because I knew she would not allow it but it made me feel good at that time.

That relationship did not last long as my family moved to another city. In high school, I also sought other relationships until I met my first serious boyfriend during my senior year. The relationship lasted for almost three years and when it ended I was so devastated. I thought of ways of bringing him back but to no avail.  Just a few months after the break-up, he told me he already had a new girlfriend. That was a slap on my face. There was I was trying to win him back but he was so busy “getting to know” someone else already. It took a long time to finally get over this boy. I seriously thought we were going to end up together. I would picture him asking me to marry him and we will live happily ever after. He would be the one to complete me. Sadly, when the relationship ended, I felt incomplete again.

In each relationship that I had after that made me believe that the guy I was with was “the one”. Unfortunately, they were not. Many years had passed before I met “the one” for me. I met my husband in 2001 and got married the following year. It was a sweet and intimate wedding with family and friends to witness us exchange vows to each other. But soon after the wedding, I still felt incomplete. I began to doubt our relationship and thought that I married the wrong person. When our firs child was about 1-2 years of age, that discontent lingered. I asked myself why is there still that hole in my heart. I thought getting married would solve this predicament but I ended up being unhappy still.

I got reconnected with old friends from high school. They had invited me to join them in their game of badminton. Because I was out of shape that time, I excitedly joined them. We played Wednesday nights and after each game we would catch up on things over coffee. One of the persons in the group was an old flame. Little did I know that my old feelings for this person were coming back. That person was still single at that time and we just connected right away. We would exchange text messages or calls daily and that felt good. I knew the relationship was wrong but I thought, “Isn’t my happiness more important than right or wrong?”

I was talking about it to another friend in the group and I was sharing that I would be willing to leave my husband and go with this person. I also mentioned I didn’t care anymore if my parents or the people around me would hate me for it but I was willing to take the risk because being with this person makes me happy. I was surprised to hear her response, “Fix your marriage first”. I didn’t expect that from her since she was also in the same kind of relationship as I was. Not very long after that conversation, the person I was having an emotional relationship with told me that causing problems in  our marriage was not the intention and that I had be let go if it would ruin the marriage. We ended the relationship. I was rejected.

There I was unhappy with my life. Finding wholeness in other people. Finding completeness in being a mom yet none of them did it for me. I felt lonely, desperate and angry. Until a new couple friend of ours invited my husband and I for a bible study in their home. We agreed to join them every Friday and we went through the Purpose Driven Life. My eyes were opened to the reality that I exist in this world not for myself but for a purpose and that is to glorify God in all I do. I exist for his pleasure not mine and that it’s not all about me but about Him alone. We are recipients of His grace and mercy and instruments of his love.

I realized that the void I had in my  heart for a very long time could only be filled by the love of God. No person, position in life, riches or other tangible things can complete me. Only the Creator, the God of the heavens and the earth can do that. Because it was He who created that void in the first place. He put that there so that in His perfect timing, our longing to be reunited with Him goes hand in hand with His call to repentance.  I surrendered my life to Christ in 2004.

It has been 10 years since that couples’ bible study and my husband and I are continuously seeking the Lord in our lives. We don’t have a perfect marriage but God is fixing it supernaturally. I am still a work in progress but I am stepping out in faith to share what Christ has done in my life and my family. Now I can confidently utter the same words by Jerry Maguire to my God… Lord, you complete me!

16 So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! 17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

18 And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 2 Corinthians 5:16-18

Pretty in Pink

I am excited to attend the www.Jesus event in church tomorrow. It has been quite a while since a women’s conference has been organized by our local church. The seminar will focus on 3W’s, Women, Wellness and Wholeness.

For events like these, we need volunteers and I was asked to assist in the distribution of meals to the participants. As a volunteer, we were required to wear something pink. I knew that I don’t have a decent pink shirt so I had to get one, nothing fancy, just something to wear on Saturday.

Jianne, my 6-year-old daughter, was so thrilled when I told her I needed to buy a pink outfit for the event. She asked if she could go with me to the mall so she could get a new pink shirt for her too. I raised my eyebrows at her request and told her she doesn’t need a new one. I reminded her that most of her clothes are pink and I’m the one who needed one. She insisted but I said no. Instead, she just asked if could get her a new headband and my reply was a quick yes.

So, we headed to the mall which is a stone’s throw away from our place. She quickly changed her house clothes to one of her pink star shirts. We looked at different shops because I don’t want to get one that’s too expensive neither do I want to get a plain shirt. Jianne was on the lookout for pink items on the shelves and racks. She would point out the ones she like but when I checked them out I looked like an old teenager haha.

We were busy talking about the style I want that we forgot that my husband was with us too. He accompanied us to the mall that afternoon. It’s funny how grown up Jianne was while we were talking about girl stuff. Poor hubby, he was like a bodyguard walking his two girls.

Every item I choose, I would ask Jianne if she thinks it’s cool or not. Then, she would motion me to ask her Papa whether he thinks it’s cool too. Shopping with Jianne was like shopping with my girl friends.  At 6, she has her own style and is very opinionated especially when it comes to fashion. She is so unlike me haha.

We went in another store, Shapes, and I found a pink and gray blouse. I asked her to go with me in the fitting room to try it out. She voted for the blouse and we were off the cashier. Not only was the blouse cheap but we got an additional 10 percent discount on it!

Soon,  we were headed to the kids’ accessories section to look for her headband. She knew what she wanted. She specifically told me that furry one with flowers, like the one she had before which Coby accidentally broke in two. As soon as she saw the color and style she wanted, nobody could change her mind. The sales clerk suggested other styles but she was fixed on that blue flower headband. She never took it off until it was time to sleep.

My daughter would be turning 7 in a few months and she is growing up to be a fine young lady. She has a mind of her own now and knows what she wants. She wants all pink things.  She wants all pretty things. I am praying that as she goes through the different stages in her life, she would learn to love the simple things. That she would learn to enhance not only her outer beauty but ultimately love God who is the source of inner beauty.

How do you teach your daughter about inner beauty?

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:3-4

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Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Inspired to Read

I had just finished reading a book by Barbara Hughes, “Disciplines of a Godly Woman”. What a great way to start the year! The book was given to me as a Christmas gift by a sister in the faith and I kept thanking her after just reading the first chapter. 

Barbara Hughes is married to a pastor, Kent Hughes, who also written a book called Disciplines of a Godly Man. They have been serving the Lord for many years now in the United States and I am just fascinated at how Barbara outlined the different disciples, we, Gospel women (that’s what she calls women who follow Christ) should act or behave or live our lives according to the different roles the Lord has assigned to us. 

Barbara has included a lot of bonuses in her book which I find very helpful too. One of which is what I wanted to share in this blog. I have italicized my personal comments. 

What I do With the Hard Times of my Life by Barbara Hughes

(taken from Disciplines of a Godly Woman)

1. Immerse myself in the Word of God. 2 Peter 1:3 . Meditiating and chewing on the word of God is the primary discipline any believer should exercise. 

2. Realize:

a. He is in sovereign control of all that concerns me, His child. Everything is sifted through His fingers first. (Don’t you love that? He doesn’t give us anything He knows we can’t handle!)

b. God has given each of us our own race to run. We are to keep our eyes fixed on him and stay in our lane, not comparing our lives or the life of someone we love to the lives of others. (Hit me right in the face!)

c. God does not give us grace for someone else’s race. 

d. God does not ask us to understand His ways, but He asks us to trust Him implicitly. He sees the whole, eternal picture. 

e. My lack of faith does not nullify His faithfulness Romans 3:3. (He remains faithful despite my unfaithfulness)

f. I am not the point— He is. It is not about me getting out of suffocating pain; it is about His Son being revealed in me, about God’s image being released in me. (Wow! It’s really not about me!)

3. Yield to the instrument of refinement He has chosen in my life. God cannot fulfill His purpose in me when I am kicking and screaming. 

4. Confess that I don’t know how to yield, that I am helpless and angry. God is big enough to take it. 

5. Confirm that I am willing to be taught in the midst of this pain and difficulty. (Teach me your ways, Lord my God)

6. Ask in the disappointment, loss, isolation, and pain that the Holy Spirit will teach me through the Word to trust God and understand who God is in all His mercy and love. 

7. Seek to walk in obedience through the storm and not waste my energy fretting. (Don’t you fret little one)

8. Know that the secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances. 

9. Remain hopeful that through all of life’s changes, we are secure in the knowledge that we will see His face and be fully satisfied. 

10. Press on to take hold of that for which Christ took hold of us. Philippians 3:12, Acts 20:24

Because of this book, I am inspired to read more as Barbara suggested in Chapter 6 on Discipline of Mind.  As of writing, I’ll be on my way to my favorite Christian bookstore and check out the books Barbara included in her reading list. 

I am not paid by Barbara to promote her book, I don’t even know her 🙂 but I suggest you get a copy of it. The men’s counterpart writtten by her pastor-husband Kent Hughes, “Disciplines of a Godly Man” is also available. 

Press on sisters and brothers in the faith! 

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