It's been a while since I've written on this blog. Looking at my last post, it's been more than a year. So, what to write about today? That's an easy answer.
In the Spring of 2009, while moving about on the social networking site Facebook, I came upon a friend request from a lady who lives in the Philippines. Being that I have never been to the Philippines, I did not know this lady personally. I discovered we had a mutual online friend on Facebook. I went to her page to check it out and discovered she was a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. I love meeting believers from around the world, so it was a given that I would accept her friend request. It also didn't hurt that she was easy on the eyes for me.
It was a little while before any messages were actually exchanged. That seems to be the case with many Facebook "friendships". People become "friends" sometimes and then you never hear from them again. I guess that's just the nature of social networking online.
So, in May of 2009, I decided I would break the ice and send her a message, thanking her for adding me as a friend. The conversations were very casual at first. You know, "Hey, how are you doing?", "So, tell me a little about yourself"--that kind of thing. Eventually, Facebook email messages would become more frequent as I found myself more and more intrigued with this Filipina sister in Christ. I was very interested in getting to know her further.
Much to my surprise, just a few months later, after not communicating as much as before, I discovered she was engaged. Now, she wasn't engaged when I met her. This was a recent development. Upon initial revelation, my heart was hurting a bit. While she probably did not know it, I was more than interested in friendship with her. Instead of expressing this heartbreak, I rejoiced with her that she had someone with which to share her life. The feelings of happiness for my friend were genuine, even if I was disappointed it wasn't me.
There was another short period of little communication as I desired to be respectful of this new relationship. My heart longed to communicate with her, but I knew the time was not right. So, I waited and I prayed. I prayed a lot. I prayed more than I had in a long time. I didn't pray for a failed relationship for her. That would be selfish and would have caused pain in her heart that I didn't want her to feel. As her brother in Christ first, I was concerned with her heart and her soul.
Without getting into all the details, this engagement ended. While a part of me was hopeful for a relationship with her, my heart was hurting for her. So, I just continued to be her friend and pray for her. By this time, we had been talking more often, even chatting via Yahoo and the like. She knew my interest level at this point. But, she was not ready to commit to anyone just yet, and that I understood. So, I just waited some more and continued praying for her, encouraging her, and caring for her as much as I could.
Okay, let's back up a little bit further, back to before I met her online....
In 2008, I joined a new church. In the membership process, I met some great new friends. To this day, these are some of my closest friends in this world. Two of these friends, brothers, are Scott and Steve Gatdula. They are Filipino-American brothers. Through meeting them, I learned and am still learning a lot about Filipino culture. I am interested in culture and language different than mine, so like a sponge, I wanted to absorb as much as I can from them.
Eventually, I would meet their mother and father, Drs. Tony and Cris Gatdula. I would come to find out that the Gatdulas are part of a group that does medical missions in the Philippines each year, and Scott and Steve invited me to go with them in 2009. However, at that time, I would not have the time off from work to go. So, I vowed to go in 2010, if the Lord willed. Well, the Lord did not will for me to go in 2010, as I was promoted at my job and needed to be in training during months that the mission would be going on. So, again, I vowed, if the Lord willed, I would go in 2011. And here we are...
So, back now to this Filipina I met.
So, after some time of continued friendship and growing closer together through our communications, which now included text messaging in addition to the other means, we decided in December 2010 that we definitely wanted to seek a relationship with one another. So, December 19, 2010 is a day that has changed my life forever. I was now finally in a committed relationship with a woman I so desperately desired to be my wife for the last year and a half. I knew when I first met her that I wanted her to be my wife. And today I know more than ever that she is the one I wish to spend the rest of my life with.
They say that God works in mysterious ways. I must say that I agree. God's providential hand in working in the lives of His people will never cease to amaze me. Here it is, I meet some Filipino brothers in 2008. Then, I meet the most beautiful pinay in the world (I'm convinced she is, sorry to all other pinays) in 2009. The Lord promotes me at my job in 2010(promotion is from above). He brings us together in late 2010 as we begin a relationship with the intent of marriage. And in 2011, with a departure date of June 6, I will be headed to the Philippines for a medical mission and to continue pursuing my bride as Christ pursues His church.
As time goes on, I will share more about this woman I love, but I have written much today. I praise God for her each and every day of my life.
Mahal na mahal kita, Lovey ko! (I love you very much, my Lovey!)