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Monday, April 28, 2014

My New Life in the Spirit

The Lord does work in mysterious ways.

For those reading this blog for the first time, I owe you a summary of my life thus far.

I am a Catholic Christian.

I gave up my life to the Lord at the young age of 11, but acted "unsaved" for the most part of my life    (I was anxious, bitter, fearful of the future, controlling, even suicidal...) up till
I really, truly, finally let go and let God on September 1, 2013.

After submitting to our Lord Jesus Christ, I submitted to my earthly authority, my husband, Dong.

It was after this decision to let go of all desires to control him, our marriage, and even my own life, that I also decided to GIVE UP my career.

I have been a broadcaster for 15 years. I reached my summit last 2012, and I am ever grateful to the Lord for the chance to have realized most of my dreams as far as broadcasting was concerned in that fruitful year.

But, when I did reach my dreams, I realized, even at best, it still did not fulfill me.
I still felt empty.

Following a spate of incidents in my life:

  •  getting pregnant (by surprise) in the middle of 2012 to our fourth child
  • unduly resigning from the TV network I was working for due to problems with higher-ups on my contract
  •  selling off the only property left by my deceased parents and encountering so many problems with the sale itself
  • a shaking of my (Catholic) faith following some real religious persecution from people of a different faith
  •  a very hurtful rift with a close family member
  • being tired over-all of being always afraid for the future, etc...

.... I felt extremely vulnerable and broken.

I cried nearly daily.

I engaged in self-pity.

I cried out unto the Lord!!!

Psalm 51:17
"The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.
You will not reject a broken and repentant heart,
O God."

In my brokenness, He called out unto me once more.

And this time, I answered.

I told God, "Lord, I am tired. I cannot go on one day of this any longer. I give you my life. I surrender my ALL. I submit to my husband, o Lord, as I submit unto You. I do not know what will happen in the future, but I trust that You will be with me every step of the way..."

With that, the Lord personalized this next verse for me. He told me....

Isaiah 43:1

 "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. 

I have called you by name, Nikka. You are Mine!"

And I was all His.

December 26, 1975 - September 1, 2013
R.I.P. old Nikka 
This was on September 1, 2013.
This was my R.I.P. day -- the day that I died  (to my self).

* * * * * * *

Before I died to myself though, 
the Lord had to convict me first
of my many, many sins...

  • of pride
  • of bitterness and resentment
  • of unforgiveness
  • of envy and jealousy
  • of self-righteousness
  • of lack of trust in Him
  • of lack of faith in Him
  • of lack of hope in Him
  • of putting things in my hands, and not His
  • of vanity 
  • of slander and gossip
  • etc. etc...

It was humiliating and humbling at the same time!!! I did not know I was much of a sinner. I even thought I was quite spiritual and nice and sweet and kind! Well, that is what I thought, but not what the Lord thought. He could see right through my heart! :(

1 Samuel 16:7

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

 The Lord saw through my facade, and He saw through me. He looked at my heart and it was so full of myself, that He had no room inside. :(

Oh yes, I gave Him some space alright, but He was not content with being a Resident in the 1/100th part of my heart (which was all the space I could afford to give Him!). He wanted my WHOLE HEART. He wanted my WHOLE SELF.

I was not ready to give it to Him before, because I was so "busy" pursuing my worldly ambitions of being "established", "honored", and "esteemed", in my field. I was so "busy" controlling my life, Dong's life, and our marriage. I was so "busy" cherishing past hurts and sins committed against me. I was so "busy" listening to my sinful flesh, to the world and to the enemy!!!!

I felt like Saint Augustine who famously uttered, "Lord, let me be chaste... but NOT YET!" 
For me though, it was not on matters of chastity but on matters of CAREER.
I knew that my priority should be my home and my family but I always told the Lord,
"Lord, let me be STILL... but NOT YET!!!"

* * * * * * *

36 weeks with 4th baby
The fourth pregnancy (and succeeding childbirth) and the impending series of events I mentioned above made me KEEP STILL, alright. I had not much of a choice, really. It was how the Lord knew He could "corner" me -- by removing every aspect of my life that made me feel "comfortable" and "whole"...                                          
-- my career, my religion, my family ties, my ancestral home -- while being pregnant and then afterwards, recovering from the chidlbirth.

He moved me out of my comfort zones, naked and trembling of humiliation and confusion. Everything was so "abnormal". 

I was so afraid to give birth to our fourth child, to be honest. I had CURSED myself previously, by saying even prior to getting pregnant, that "another pregnancy would be the DEATH of me. I simply would not survive another pregnancy and childbirth"!!! (The third baby was done via lamaze, and it was soooo painful!) That was why when my due date was fast approaching, I was so deathly afraid of fulfilling my "prediction", that I panicked!!!

I prayed so hard and asked for His Forgiveness, and the Lord filled me up with His Spirit. I knew then that I would be able to hurdle another childbirth. I knew that I was going to be okay. And my former decision months before I gave birth to get ligated after the delivery, (because I couldn't bear the thought of another baby) I set aside. My conscience could not take it. I chose to trust in God Who opens and closes wombs, instead. 
I left it to Him to direct the number of children He would bless us with. 

I would not put it in my hands. I put it in His Hands.

Isabelle Veronica - 2 days old -- April 19, 2013

And so I gave birth on April 17, 2013 (our wedding anniversary) to a beautiful baby girl, my namesake (whom my husband Dong named after me because she supposedly looked like me) Isabelle Veronica.

When I shared with Dong just a few days back, that I was so scared to give birth to her because I "cursed" myself by saying it'd be the death of me, he told me: "Maybe it meant that you would die to yourself (without you knowing it). That your old self would die...."

And I said, "Wow! I never thought of it that way! Yes. I am glad I "died", but not physically! :) "

The birth of Isabelle Veronica proved to be more than just a lovely addition to our growing family, but the birth (or rebirth) too of a new me!
A new Veronica!!! :)

1 Timothy 2:15

"But she will be delivered through childbearing, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with self-control." 


This past week has been a continuation of this death of self.

For some Reason that can only be attributed to God, I reconnected with a former School of the Holy Spirit grade school classmate, Beverly Aquias (now Salazar), who in late 2012, wanted me to sing some of her original compositions for her, after she saw in Facebook (back when I was still active in that social network) that I was still into singing, at religious functions, at that. Before that, I have never heard from her, since our high school graduation in 1992.
Singing at an MCGI function - April 2012
Grade 6 Ilang-Ilang section of the School of the Holy Spirit, QC
I am the one in front, 5th from left.
Beverly is the one at the 4th row, 1st from left.

Back then, I was pregnant and in despair over my life, and though I said "Yes, sure, why not?", I was not really ready to give my time or talent just yet. I was too engrossed in the drama of my life to come out of my misery.

Just a month ago, as I was praying, the Lord told me to call her up again, to ask if she still needed my help to sing her original compositions.
To my delight, she said, "Yes Nikka. When could we meet?"

It turns out, she had been praying for a vocalist for quite some time now. She also wanted a singer who had a heart for God, not just one with talent. She wanted someone who will sing her songs for God's Glory, not for the singer's own glory.

And so when I offered my services to her, she said it was an answered prayer! :)

The Lord timed it so, that I was no longer seeking my own glory, but His Greater Glory!
Praise God!!!!

With God's Grace, I am now part of The New Levite Voices, composed of Mika, Bev, James and I (We are still praying for the Lord to give us more God-loving musicians!).  We are part of the Music Ministry of the Christ the King Charismatic Community. I am so honored to be with them because Mika is a child prodigy (sings, plays keyboard, guitar, violin, composes, etc..)  and Bev is a musical whiz too (sings, composes, plays keyboard, guitar, violin, etc...). And me?
Well, I could SING from the  tips of my toes to the top of my lungs !!! :) 
With Mika, Bev and James -- The New Levite Voices :)
Prayer Meeting and Bible Study -- April 24, 2014

As if that was not enough, the Lord further wanted to cement and encourage my own walk with Christ, by making me attend the Catholic Life in the Spirit Seminar that was sponsored by the same community. I thought I would just be singing, but it turned out, I became a participant too of the said LSS. I was able to participate in a similar Life in the Spirit Seminar, when I was a college student in the Ateneo, as a member of Christ's Youth in Action. But as an adult, this was my first, after nearly two decades...

In a gist, the topics discussed were on:

Seminar 1:        God’s Love 
Seminar 2:        Salvation

Seminar 3:        The New Life

Seminar 4:        Receiving God’s Gift

Seminar 5:        Praying for Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Seminar 6:        Growth

Seminar 7:        Transformation in Christ

* * * * *

Since I had already started my transformation last year, in September, the said LSS only further confirmed what God wanted for me -- 
which was to serve Him... fully. 

I have accepted His Call to make my home, my ministry and to spread His Design for Marriage to all, via this blog and via my Titus 2 mentoring to wives who ask for my help and prayers. But, He wanted me to go a step further by using my God-given voice to sing for Him, via the music ministry!!!

During the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Lord showed to me in a "vision" (my eyes were closed), that He was thirsting for Love and that so many have turned away from Him. (The "vision" was an extreme darkness/blackness and I felt in my heart an unexplainable heart-wrenching sadness.) This was when I started crying my heart out and asking for His Mercy for those who did not know Him, did not seek Him and did not love Him. :(

Catholic Life in the Spirit Seminar - April 27, 2014

If I had died to myself on September 1, 2013...
 On April 27, 2014, I was "officially" reborn! :)

My own walk with Christ, and my new 
life in the Spirit is just beginning!:)
With the organizers, the participants and the music ministry

I do not know what the future holds, but I know that our Sovereign God is already in the future. 

He is the Alpha and the Omega.

 He holds my future in His Hands. All I need to do is trust in Him and witness to the Spirit moving in my life, especially in my trials and tribulations. All my burdens and sufferings will be used by God to conform me to Christ and to manifest Himself in my situations!

Jesus already paid for my sins. I no longer have any debts to God! Jesus paid for it with His own Life and Death on the Cross. All I need to do is to continue to accept this gift of salvation by choosing Him and His Love every single day, and renouncing satan and evil every single day too.

Old Nikka -2011

The old Nikka is dead! Good riddance!

New Nikka with my daughter Therese - 2013

The new Veronica is alive!!! :) 

With God's Grace and Mercy, He has filled me up with His Spirit!  

I thank you Father God for loving me; for giving me Your Son, Jesus, to save me; and for making my walk with Christ wonderful because of Your Holy Spirit, Who is bearing much fruit in my life. 
Flanked by Mika and Bev and the CLSS participants

Aaahh..... the joy and peace from being with the Lord is out of this world. :)

My prayer is for all of you who have not yet given their lives up to God to do so...
 before it is too late. :(

Matthew 24:36
"But of that day and hour no one knows,

not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,

but the Father alone."

May we all be richly blessed!!! :)

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