A little over a year ago, I wrote one of the most honest, heartfelt and emotional posts that I have ever written here on Truly Rich and Blessed, entitled When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers. I cannot believe how quickly time has passed since I wrote that post. I am so amazed by the Lord’s ways and miracles, and how He has brought me and my family to where we are now.
You see, even before our youngest was born, when I was still pregnant with him, there was a time when I really, really questioned God’s ways. I actually wanted to write about it much, much earlier than now but I would always back out. I am not sure why this was so.
However, after reading this very honest article by Rebecca Frech, and how she — at one point in her life — had an “unwanted pregnancy,” and when she first found out, she “wanted nothing more in that moment than to be unpregnant,” I felt as if God was nudging me to write this.
Here is the truth: When I first found out I was pregnant with our fourth baby, I had mixed emotions. The majority of which were negative. I cried. I was in semi-shock. So was my husband.
In fact, we took two home pregnancy tests (or was it three?!) just to be sure. And waited until our first check-up (when the OB-Gyne confirmed the pregnancy via an ultrasound) before we told other people about it.
Why the mixed, mostly nega emotions? The tears? The semi-shock, etc.?
Well, we had already made so many “grand plans” for the future. This included booking and paying for Cebu Pacific tickets for our whole family (my husband, our three kids and me) so we could spend part of our Christmas and New Year with my sister and her family in Brunei. We were supposed to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary and renew our vows there, too.
But when we found out I was pregnant, and counted forward to when my estimated delivery date would be, we knew that all our plans would not push through. I was to give birth in January 2016. Our tickets were booked for the last week of December 2015.
So you can imagine how sad I was. I struggled to not feel that way though. I even felt guilty about feeling sad. Which made me feel even worse.
Which is why I thank the Good Lord for the dear “mommy mentors” I have — women in whom I confided when I first found out about my pregnancy. They “heard” me out (well, more like read me out, since we conversed via chat), prayed for and with me and our family, shared their own experiences, gave tips, sent virtual hugs (and chocolate! 😉 ). The older, more “experienced” ones even told me that it is perfectly normal to “grieve” for a time; to tell God that, “Lord, puwede ba akong magtampo muna?” and then move on, choosing to accept His will with peace and joy.
And that is what I did. I allowed myself to “mourn.” I allowed myself to feel sad about not being able to go to Brunei anymore. About our plane tickets going to waste. About our plans getting “destroyed.”
After that, I started choosing joy. Gratitude. Surrendering to God’s plans. Because I believe that is part of what being “Truly Rich and Blessed” is all about. And I quote:
Drawing inspiration from Matthew 6:25-33, we hope to help you lead a richer and fuller life in all aspects, while “keeping it real” at all times. Life is never perfect, but we can find blessings all around if we actively seek them!
Long story short — I went through my pregnancy with joyful anticipation, knowing that God held our future in His hands. I chose to believe that “God has a better plan.”
But then, as I previously mentioned, when our baby was born, I felt as if God did not answer our prayers again. He got sick and took a while to recover fully from his health issues. But recover he did, and God even used his situation — our situation — to bless other babies via #TeamTitus 🙂
Today, I cannot help but cry and praise God for all the blessings of these past months. Yes, we have undergone many trials as parents and as a family especially after Baby Titus was born, and we are still undergoing them now. But God has remained faithful to His word and His promises. ❤️ Through our burdens and crosses, He has even given us opportunities to share our blessings! 💕 I am posting this not to "brag" about what we have done but to encourage others to "pay it forward," as our good friends from @theparentingemporium always say. 💝 Through the #BestForBabyBlessABaby Fundraising Photo Shoots done by husband-and-wife team @carlojcecilio and @hyds0908 of #studioxoxophoto, and the kindness of the moms who participated, we have been able to donate a humble amount to #GraceToBeBorn Maternity Home and Nursery, which helps pregnant mothers in need, and their babies. 👶🏻 We remain humbled by the outpouring of love and prayers for Baby Titus, and we invite YOU, #TeamTitus members from all over, to join us in: (a) asking God for a miraculous healing for Titus, such that he will not need surgery for his undescended testes and hernia — if it is His will (in which case, we will donate all funds raised for his operation) and (b) seeking other ways to help ministries like Grace To Be Born. There are so many people — so many babies and kids — who need our help and prayers! 🙏🏻 Let's do what we can to show God's love to others, even in simple ways! 💕 God bless you all richly and abundantly! We are #trulyrichandblessed because we have you in our lives, as God's reminders of His unfailing love! ❤️ #ParenthoodShared #ItTakesAVillage
Dear #TeamTitus, Once again, praise God and THANK YOU for all your prayers! ❤️ Please continue to pray for the swift healing of Titus's surgical wounds and that they won't get infected in any way, and that he will continue to grow stronger and healthier each day. 👦🏻 In addition, do so kindly pray for everyone who needs healing in mind, body, spirit, and even in aspects like relationships and finances! There are so many broken, battered, hurting, sick people in the world and prayers can help them in so many ways! 🙏🏻 Thank you and God bless, everyone!
Fast forward to today.
Our family is slowly getting back to our usual routine after spending two weeks in Brunei, courtesy of God’s angels on earth (i.e. my parents, who treated us to Cebu Pacific tickets at very affordable, promo prices)!
Making beautiful memories with my kids where my own parents made beautiful memories with me and my siblings. 😍 Praise God for His blessings and miracles! 🙌 There is a beautiful "back story" behind this trip, one that tells of God's plans being way much better than our plans, and of how God can turn our sorrow into joy, our trials into triumphs… when what seem like unanswered prayers to us become part of our love story with the Lord. 💗 Will share it soon but for the meantime, allow me to encourage you: Pray, hope and don't worry. 🙏 God is working things out! He has a purpose for everything that's happening to you right now! 😇 #TrulyRichandBlessed #TRBFaith #TRBRelationships #CountYourBlessings #FamilyFieldTrip #Worldschooling
Do you see what God did there?
He showed us how His plans are way better than our plans.
He “delayed” our trip to Brunei so we could go there at His appointed time, with His chosen people, i.e. not just me, my husband and our three kids, but also my parents AND our new baby — the baby He gave to us. The baby He chose to give us at His appointed time, according to His perfect plan.
Why am I sharing this here?
Over the past year, I have had friends who have had what could be considered “unplanned” pregnancies, too. A few had/have mixed reactions, too, and I want to tell them (and maybe you who are reading this now and need to know this too):
It’s OK if you are not feeling what you think you are “supposed” to be feeling.
It’s OK to feel sad. To grieve. To throw an “adult tantrum.”
Feel all your feelings.
This message is not just for my fellow moms out there — it’s also for every person who is dealing with disappointment. For every person who is questioning God’s ways. For every person who is doubting God’s plan.
Rest in His promise in Jeremiah 29:11-13.
Declare the truth of Romans 8: 28.
God is not finished with you yet. He is purifying you, preparing you for something better, bigger and brighter.
While He is doing this, please be encouraged by the knowledge that you are not alone. You are in my/our prayers. God bless you today and always!
Did this post bless you somehow? Please feel free to share it with others if it did! Or leave a comment — I would love to connect with you in that way. Thanks for reading!