Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In the Hands of the Potter.

I've been wanting to blog about this for so long, but I thought I'd ask Joy first if it was okay. This isn't an easy subject, given the circumstance. 

It was back in 1992 when I first learned of what happened to Joy. I was in the US, and my aunt and uncle had arrived from Manila and had mentioned this. Because her brother was my classmate back in grade school, the story hit hard. I had asked the Lord why He would allow something so tragic to happen to a pastor's daughter. Last year, Joy's testimony was featured on CBN Asia. Two weeks ago, for Holy Week, her story was once again featured for CBN Asia's Tanikala Special - this time, with Pastor Peter Tan-Chi's insight on what happened to his family. Below are the videos of that particular feature (thank you, Fermin Fajardo, for uploading!):

You don't have to be Joy's friend to know that something like this affects you forever. I admire her for coming out to tell her story - more for using something as tragic an experience as rape for God's greater glory. I know some people will never come to understand the whys - why they chose to forgive over seeking vengeance, why they chose to tell their story, why they chose to forego suing the perpetrators, etc. But see, when you choose to leave everything before the Lord, He promises to make something beautiful out of it.

"You changed my sorrow into dancing. You took away my clothes of sadness, and clothed me in happiness." Psalm 30:11 NCV

Similarly, I know a lot of people will never understand my reasons for standing for my marriage. But my hope is in the Lord and not in man. He brings me true joy and strength. I am not pining for R, and yes, we are friends. I choose to be his friend. And if others see something wrong in that, it's their problem, not mine. It is not an easy choice. It is easier to just walk away. But what does that say about my faith in an omnipotent God? I pray the Lord protects my children, and instead have them see Christ in our situation. This is my conviction. No matter how ugly the past may be, God still meant it for good.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him..." Romans 8:28 NCV

I was just telling my friend A how I've set my eyes on the prize, and even if I don't get to see it in my lifetime, I am fine with it. I know this is the purpose God has planted in my heart. I pray God uses my life and testimony for His glory. So far, He has allowed me to encourage a few friends going through similar battles - just as He has used Joy's painful experience to minister to women who have been raped and abused.

No one wants to go through pain. The Tan-Chi family didn't think something like this could happen to them. I never asked for a broken marriage. But it is what it is, and I can only hope that God uses the broken pieces and molds it into something extraordinary.

You know how it is when a potter works on his clay? He molds it, and sometimes, the clay doesn't turn out the way he planned it to be. He takes the clay, kneads it again, then molds it once again to make something beautiful. It is the same with life and God. He is the Potter, and we are the clay. Do we allow Him to knead us into something beautiful? He can repair those chips, He can mend your broken life!

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart." Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV

Joy and I crossed paths again in college. I remember it was sometime junior or senior year when Edric (her husband) was telling us how he was planning on courting Joy. Edric is KY's godfather, and he is like a brother to me. When I heard how he liked Joy, I wondered if he knew. I know Edric to be this super idealistic guy (sorry, Sioti, totoo naman e, but of course God changed you, hehe) and I didn't know if that would matter to him.

Once, when discussing Joy, he tells me, "She's beautiful, Kaye. It isn't just her face. She is beautiful inside and out. Her beauty emanates from within." And right there, I knew. He knew and it didn't matter.

God had already made something beautiful out of it.

The ways of man is nothing compared to the ways of the Lord. He allows tragic things to happen. If He allowed it, He must have a plan. Is there anything too hard for the Lord?

| Read more about Hope on Joy's blog Teach With Joy

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