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Surprises and Serenades

It was supposed to be an ordinary Friday except that I didn't have any scheduled activity in the evening - no service meeting, no household, no anything... so that makes it extraordinary. :D

I was already excited to go home, watch the ending of Mundo Mo'y Akin, and have dinner with the family. But God had other plans. At exactly 3pm, while we were praying the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, I received an email from a sister with the subject "Talk Giver for CLP." After the 3 o'clock prayer, I read the contents of the email. The sister invites me to be the talk giver for the Christian Life Program which is scheduled that very same night. She said the original speaker backed out the last minute and all the other possible speakers didn't confirm. I was her last resort. Was it because I was wearing the Jesus Doodle shirt that time? :)

Jesus Doodle Shirt available at Ablaze! :) (Promote promote din pag may time. :D)

I wanted to say no but I had no valid reason. And so I accepted the invitation.

With so little time, I did all necessary preparations - printed the talk outline, edited the powerpoint, prayed, and asked people to pray for me. Thank God for the resources and inspirations. I badly needed them. On my way to the CLP venue, I was texting Fr. Mark Naval. I asked permission to use some of the insights he presented when he delivered the same talk in our CLP five months ago. Of course I asked him to pray for me because I was terribly nervous.

During the trip to Mandaluyong, God spoke to me through music. The jeepney driver's playlist was like God's serenade to His beloved (me ♥) and my response to Him - a love story being told by the Greatest Lover Himself. :)

Song # 1: Forever (Regine Velasquez and Martin Nievera)
You and I, we belong in each other's arms. There can be no other love. Now I know that we could have it all forever.

Song # 2: Forevermore (Side A) - this is the ultimate love song!
You were just a dream that I once knew. I never thought I would be right for You. I just can't compare You with anything in this world. You're all I need to be with forevermore.

Song # 3: God Gave Me You (Bryan White)
God gave me you to show me what's real. There's more to life than just how I feel.

Song # 4: Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)
I just want you to know who I am. 

When I arrived at the church, these were the striking statements that I saw while staring at the altar:

Statement 1: Come, rebuild my Church.

Statement 2: (Responsorial Psalm) God Himself is my help.

It was just amazing how all these lyrics and statements affirmed and inspired me that night.

Aligned to the first statement, CFC's mission is to build the church of the home and the church of the poor and God is reminding us that as we do His work, He will be the one to equip us with the graces that we need. I can never be so prepared for a talk, that is why the Holy Spirit is at work to guide me and speak through me.

The songs? They actually tell my story that Friday night. There can be no other love besides God's love. Everything begins and ends with love (God). I am not worthy of His love, but still He chose me to be one of His laborers. I recognize that more than anything and everything this world could offer, nothing will ever compare to the love, peace, joy, and security that only God can give. The CLP participants and the whole of St. Francis Chapter were instruments used by God to remind me that there's more to life than what I think, know, and feel. I may have plans, but God's ways are better. He sent me those people to give me an opportunity to love (Him through them) even more. And my purpose of going to the CLP is simple: to let them know who Christ is by letting them know who I am as a single for Christ. :)

As I concluded the talk, I told the participants that I can only share so much about who Jesus is, but I can never tell enough. Because God is a personal God. Who He is to me may not be who He is to someone else. To the sick, He may be healer, to the desperate, He may be a friend. One thing though is for sure, and this will remain true: Jesus is the Beloved sent for the beloved (us). We are loved more than we'll ever know by the Greatest Lover of all.

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