The Impatient Woman Who Waited Patiently

When I was in high school, I promised to never engage in a romantic relationship til I turn 18. I was happy being single. That time, the idea of having a boyfriend didn’t cross my mind yet.

When I turned 22, I realized I was still NBSB (no boyfriend since birth), so I started to pray… passively.  It was the least of my priority.

My 25th, 26th and 27th birthdays have passed and I was still single. How can a 28 year-old woman be single? I was alarmed! I felt the need to pray for it seriously and consistently. I knew most of my major prayer requests were answered except for this one: a boyfriend!

So, I wrote down my checklist on the qualities of a man whom I want to marry. Was I too demanding? I guess I wasn’t. Was I asking for too much? I don’t think so. I believed, deep in my heart, that I deserved a good man.

I trust God and His timing but in my age I turned impatient and felt so hurt while going through the motions of waiting. I asked constantly, “Lord, what is wrong with me? I know I can be a little bit difficult, ill-tempered and snobbish at times but i knew a bunch of ill-mannered women who still successfully manage to end up with or marry a guy who can patiently put up with their difficult attitude? Are you preparing me (for the right person) or molding me (to be the right person)? I think I am prepared. Can’t you see, I am not young anymore?

“Am I childish? How do you measure maturity, by the way? You know, Lord, I’m responsible. You saw how I managed to carry the burdens set before me and you know how I sacrificed for my family.

“Yes, I met a lot of men, but we both know none of them is the ‘one’. I cannot compromise my standards especially to anyone who doesn’t take anything seriously. But I won’t give up now, not ever! I’ve waited long enough for me to give up.”

These thoughts were always part of my conversations with God. That’s how consumed I was with my own plans and desires but I am always reminded of the verse in Proverbs 19:21:  “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

On my knees, I cried out to Him every time i turn a year older. I never lost hope and confidence in God’s goodness, hoping that one day, my future husband will find me.

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

I waited a little longer. I didn’t just sit and wait though, I waited actively and enjoyed being single. I joined marathons, climbed mountains, traveled more often and met new crowd12243001_10153743563909712_8930259403073955931_n

When I just notched 30, Gerard and I found each other. Though his qualities do not perfectly match my checklist, I was certain he is beyond what I have prayed for.

I thank my friends who introduced me to running. Through running, and with the help of Facebook, our roads met.

Way back, I did not accept FB friend request if I did not know the person personally even if we have quite a number of common friends online. But since I started running, I started to approve friend requests from runners because I knew I would be meeting them on the roads or in running events soon.

One night in December 2013, as I rested after an exhausting day at work, I checked my FB account for pending friend requests. One of which was from Gerard. He added me in August 2013 but I only had the chance to accept the invite in December of that same year after I saw his running shoe photo. Our love story did not start there yet though. We were just FB friends that time and I never bothered to visit his profile page. I only noticed him because he liked everything I posted about running.

The spark started in March the following year when he posted a funny meme conversation from 9gag. I found it hilarious too that I couldn’t stop laughing. That time, I found Gerard witty and intelligently interesting. I then checked his page for the first time. There I saw his post the prior day about his struggles and heartaches in life. I knew his faith was shaken and I felt the need to share to him some passages from the Bible which also helped me when I experienced the same struggles he went through that time. So I dropped a comment on his status: “Psalms 73”. Of course, he took noticed of that one-liner.

We then talked about his family, about faith, of how lost he was and of how he wanted to reconnect with God. We also often discussed about running and his other sports, and how intrigued he was with me who has done a lot of ultramarathons while he only enlisted for “fun runs” with 8 kilometers as his longest feat. But our conversation did not end there. We shared our hearts out as if we could talk like till forever.

I felt weird because surprisingly, I knew in my heart that my “waiting” was over. Call me silly and overconfident but it was all real to me. With utmost confidence, I knew right there and then he is the “one” — the man that I have been waiting for. The following day, I told my office mates that I already met my future husband. As expected, they did not take it seriously which I absolutely understood. They thought I was just kidding especially I was known to be bubbly. I did not mind though.

After three months of “getting to know each other”, we agreed to get into a serious relationship.

Our story is definitely orchestrated by God – not the fairy tale kind –it is a kind that perfectly fits the adage that goes: “There’s glory in waiting.” 12341233_10153772681374712_2892366066045488337_n

Last November 8, 2015, my prayer was finally answered.12742018_10153946843904712_4577692598000924377_n

“Until now I do not understand why God doesn’t allow things to happen straightaway but everyday I continue to learn that He works things out in His perfect time.”

“There’s a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”12741866_10153946859029712_3426504535496476217_n

To those who can relate: Hold on and keep the faith.

Disclaimer: I am in no way a good writer, so please bear with my simplicity and limited vocabulary.

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Run with Ann

Ever since I came to know the Lord it has always been my prayer that God will use me for His kingdom. An ambitious thought once crossed my mind that if only I am a millionaire, I will acquire a parcel of land and build a church so that Immanuel Fellowship will no longer be renting in Ayala Center Cebu. Reality check: I am still far from being one and my personal funds are almost always just enough to get through everyday.

Considering my means, I found myself with these lingering thoughts: “What have I to offer in order to help my church? I’m not a singer so I can never be a worship leader or be part of the worship team. Teaching kids is also not my cup of tea so I don’t see myself being in Sunday school. But I want to help! I don’t want to just warm my seat every Sunday and settle on just being a tither. I want to be involved.”

Enter RUNNING.

My love affair with running had me become an ultra marathoner in a matter of four months. People have to understand that I was never the athletic type. I would never have imagined myself accomplishing such feat. Fortunately, I have learned not to limit myself and went for it all-in – blood, sweat, and tears. Fun and exhilaration were always constant companions. But it was not all that. Little did I know I was in for something greater — the sport became a passion and a sense of purpose was birthed.

I believe this great transformation is God’s way of preparing me for His greater purpose.

So the day came when Ate Maleigh presented to me ‘Run with Ann’, a fundraiser. The idea was to run 25 kilometers for IF’s 25th anniversary. I thought it was very doable and I immediately signed up. It was an answered prayer right before my eyes and I remember feeling very honored that, of all, I get to do it.

December 15, 2013. From Kilometer zero at the Capitol Grounds, the group assembled and gathered for prayer and instructions. We set off at 5 a.m., cold and drizzling. Some runners and I were nursing the flu; some were even recovering from injury. It went smoothly running along the streets of Escario until we reached the uphill roads. We struggled; to say the least, as pains here and there started to become bothersome. It was getting very difficult. At Kilometer 10, we wanted to stop and just get in the van and ride our way to the top. There were nagging voices in my head making me doubt I was going to reach the goal. Despite this, we chose to carry on. We did not let physical and psychological walls get the best of us. While at it, I was reminded WHY I was doing the run in the first place. I was reminded of purpose. Even with varied paces we kept moving. We kept going until we were at the last stretch. Kilometer 25 was now within sight and just a stone’s throw away. Finally, we took our last stride. And we finished strong!

Upon setting foot on the 25th km marker, the only words I could gather were, “Thank You, Lord!” I recount my journey in becoming the runner I am today and I’m amazed that he can turn one’s passion into something that would proclaim His kingdom.

Thank You, Lord! Thank you DC RUNNERS and to all who have supported in prayer and pledges, thank you! It is a privilege to serve as God’s hands and feet alongside each of you. We’re all in this together. Happy 25th Anniversary, IF!

“Lampa” turned Ultra Marathoner

I know I was born to be an independent woman. I live my own life. I pay my own bills. I know what I want to become.

I have dreams and some of them have already been realized. Thank you, Lord. But never did it occur to me to try running. It didn’t even cross my mind. I’ve seen runners passed me by many times; they were many around the village every morning but I cared less. I have friends who invited me to run with them around IT Park but I preferred to watch over their belongings, lie down on the ground listening to music while they made their rounds. I turned down countless invites to badminton, jogging and other physical activities sessions from my officemates.

Enter Cheenee, an officemate and a neighbor. She does boxing, jogging and goes to the gym regularly. She was patient with me. She woke me early in the morning to jog and convinced me to enroll in a gym. I did all these primarily because I wanted to trim down and be healthier. But this only lasted for a month because I did not see any progress and worse, I became impatient.

Then I met Adrian (Icon_king) who is not just into running but someone who is crazy about it. He invited me over and over again but the reply has always been a NO. Until such time when the idea of running crossed my mind, I immediately bought all the vital gears for running. I had a sudden urge to run! Since then, I never stopped.

I realized that if something is meant for you, it’s really meant for you no matter how much you avoid it.

I always smile when I think of those times when I can’t even jog around the Cebu City Sports Center oval and when a 100-meter uphill walk was a struggle. I smile when I think of my progress. Slowly, my pace sped up with the help of my ever supportive coach, Vahnhelsing! I ran the BE Warrior 50km (ultra marathon) and I know I can run farther.

This is the story of a “lampa” turned ultra marathoner. I made it all because I was my own hero. I was also dependent on people around me, learning from their experiences, listening to advises and encouragements. Above all, I was dependent on God. He is always in the picture. In my ultra experiences, I realized that no matter how resilient a human body is, we still need the strength of the Lord.

Now, if you ask me to stop running, my answer is NO. I’m unstoppable!