“But he told me: My kindness is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
I dread going home.
I know the moment I’d enter its broken door, only three things would greet me: silence, darkness and a montage of my infernal accident –a blaze of fire turned my holiday season into ash. No, that is not a metaphor.
I was cooking few hours before Christmas eve, for something I thought I could share with friends when the clock parks 12. Alone in my flat, a ball of flame gobbled my flat and bombed the entire glass wall behind me. Shocked as I was, I stood for a good minute trying to process what just happened. As soon as I gathered myself and realized it was a gas cylinder malfunction, I closed the gas tank under my stove, check for possible fire and when I found none, I ran quickly to the door to get out. Down on my luck, I couldn’t open my door as the gas pressure had already filled the room.
In between that moment and my rescue, my mind multi-tasked from prayers, to thoughts on exorcism, to jumping out of my balcony, down to trying to remember my fire training when I was an air stewardess.
I met Adrenalin in his full glory and I don’t think I want to bump into him that way again.
Long story cut short, I ended up in the hospital on Christmas eve. The doctor wants to put tube inside my nose down to my lungs and he couldn’t find anyone to make that decision for me. I’m scarce of family in the country and I wasn’t uttering a word since I came in.
I was busy.
I was busy holding back my tears knowing it’s Christmas eve, busy lying to myself that the burning pain all over my body was just a product of my mind, and busy rejecting the devil’s loud whispers on my ears about how God was forsaking me.
Then, my mom, unaware of where I was and what’s happening, called me from overseas to greet me a merry Christmas. I spared her from the holiday’s irony on my side of the world. I managed to fake a joyous voice until we said our I-love-you’s and goodbyes. As soon as I hung up the phone, TJ arrived.
And there I was. All the bricks I built to bolster my heart from self-pity shattered into bits and pieces. I broke down, praised and thanked God for my man’s tight embrace. It was then the only thing that reminded me of Christmas.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” –Romans 8:28
It’s a new year and I’m still here.
The only thing beautiful at 12am last night was the view of fireworks from this hospital’s glass window. I lie wide-eyed, alone. As if in a movie, series of dismal scenes switched one by one in my head by each loud tick of the clock. It was a time in my life when I wish I’m forgetful.
I was at that moment very moody. Why not? I was stuck in a hospital bed for 8 days since Christmas eve. TV hasn’t been my favorite entertainment medium. So for the past week, I kind of memorized the details of the walls surrounding me. To add to that, the very painful sting in the freshly peeled flesh of my burnt legs was making it an impossible feat for me to stand up. I was hurting and limp.
But, God sure has ways of filling His followers with presents and inexpressible, glorious joy even at the worst times.
TJ walked into the room with pasalubong (take-homes). He brought my favorite chips, a bottle of water and a box of cake. Excited as always for his sweet company. Like a child, I giddily opened each item and when I opened the cake box,
Time just froze over.
Choir singing songs of love, joy and praise inside me! What I saw uncaged so many fluttering butterflies inside my heart. I could write my own version of Psalms in my head that very moment. The rest of the world disappears when I read the icing:
“Will you marry me?”
I am the kind of girl that falls in love with random wedding videos. I can watch fairy tales for a whole day, without eating. And for as early as the time I understood how love stories work, I already have answers to the most important questions before getting engaged and perpetually wished my most awaited moment will work its way to a perfectly beautiful surprise.
It didn’t end up perfectly. But last night… was more than beautiful.
My best friend became my fiancé.
He proposed at the worst time, at the worst place. And I believe that’s the best part.
I could’ve been engaged in a garden of my favorite flowers– lilies and carnations. Or in a boat cruising River Seine. Or even just over a fancy candlelit dinner. But no. I got engaged in a hospital bed.
I wouldn’t have it any other way, with any other man.
“Surprise us with love at daybreak; then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.” Psalm 90:14
Last night, my fiance looked at my burnt face like it’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen. All I could do is sink into his arms, and be glad that God makes all things work together for the good and that there is truth to the my mom’s promise:
“There is someone that God molds for you, and when you find him, you’ll know it. When you feel it, say nothing but Yes. ‘Cause when things don’t work out in your favor, God will use him to help you see beyond the worst days.”