His Sovereignty Over Our Tragedy

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 8:10

When we think of the word joy, what comes to mind?

Maybe presents, having the time of your life or getting your hearts desires.

But for me, my mindset of what joy truly means was challenged more than a month ago. Though my family has gone through trials years back such as bankruptcy, separation of my parents etc. this one was really different because what is on the line is life – I almost lost my mom and my own life.

Let me share about my mom, I fondly call her “momster” because she is a juxtaposition of a monster (as in a big, hairy, amazingly ferocious human being) and a caring & loving mom. She is one of the strongest human being I know.

She an inspiration to me when it comes to perseverance, forbearance, and loving unconditionally.

She stood the testings in our family, she conquered being suicidal to a woman completely dependent on the Lord.

She is a business development and marketing manager by profession but took a hiatus from her longtime corporate career when she was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy and Hypertension last March. She loves conquering mountains and going on adventure trips that is why her recent trip to the north is no surprise for me and my dad, which mom loves doing.

It was June 9,  a rainy Saturday morning when my dad barged into my room telling me to pray for my mom because she met an accident. The night before she left for a trip to Ilocos Norte with some of her client’s employees then it was in the morning when they met that fateful accident. At first, I was still trying to keep my cool knowing my mom is a strong fellow and have to calm my dad down since he needed to leave Manila and be with my mom in the north.

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How my mom looks like fresh from the accident.

Alone here in Manila, I am kind of feeling under the weather so I decided to get some nap since I have a bridal shower to go to that afternoon. Hours have passed by, and I woke up feeling feverish with no one to my avail I called up some friends or whom I fondly call as my spiritual family until I am already at the state where I passed out and my cluster mates from church would have to get me from our condo and bring me to the hospital.

As soon as I arrived in the hospital, the nurses got my vital signs my temperature at 39 degrees Celsius and my white blood cells count rising. Quickly, I was given IV meds and set for a CT scan for my abdomen where the pain is arising.

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My spiritual family – Team Bilibilt aka Bilibers! Yup, the medical staff kinda felt weirded out with the term but we clarified that we are churchmates.

While I was experiencing pain and chills, these people prayed, comforted and even entertained me. I tell you we are the “happiest” people in the ER. I was scared when I got transferred to urgent ER and the resident surgeon started talking to me.

I was so scared that I even brought with me my life insurance policy! Special shoutout to Sun Life.

I was praying to God for help, it feels crazy I was lying in the Emergency Room while my dad is in the middle of a stormy Saturday night and my mom lying in the hospital miles away. As we pray, His comfort and peace came about and by God’s grace, I was discharged with a diagnosis of Diverticulitis. My friends brought me home and took care of me.

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According to Doc Aya, visitors need to be regulated since it is limited. Love & support from the ministry pour in. Thank you again to everyone who showed concern. I really appreciate each of you.
These sisters who took care of me, to be honest being an only child means being sheltered but these women helped me literally survived while my parents are away. 

The next days were mind-boggling, being an only child would mean dealing with all these alone each day would mean changes and not all change are easy to bear. My dad’s side is from Bicol & my grandpa was also in the hospital for a chronic disease so it’s hard for them to come while my mom’s also is in the far south.

I just thank the Lord for being constant and for sending me brothers and sisters in Christ who became my family. Having this accident also means taking toil to our family finances on the same week our contract in our condo in has ended and we have to make a decision to give it up and look for a cheaper alternative. Together with the ladies I am discipling and other sisters we fixed the moving out and was able to vacate our condo indeed what an adjustment.

I literally felt #adulting pouring on me. I remember being alone at home, praying and crying to God because I don’t understand why, for a moment I asked Him why he allowed this because coming in to 2018 was quite a challenge for me from 2017 of heartbreaks, disappointments & unfulfilled aspirations we have this.

But through His Word, I found comfort.

“These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

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I praise God that amidst all the trials He still gave me the energy to be joyful! 
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To these women who helped me move out and look for a home to move in. Praise God for these ladies that the Lord entrusted me to disciple who also ministered to me.  Yass we are your pretty kargadors!
After which,  my mom was brought back to Manila via ambulance from the north and admitted at one of the major hospitals here in Manila last June 14 where her operations took place.
Here’s her condition:
-Bilateral Hip Pain with acetabular fracture hip dislocation of the left
-A fem neck fracture on the right
Other significant findings:
-(+) Racoon Eyes Left with subconconjuctival hemorrage Ecchymosis on left chin to left maxillary area
-Ecchymosis on the right shoulder, right breast left arm
-Hematoma on volar aspect of right wrist
-Swelling on the right wrist
-Right lower extremity externally rotated
-Left lower extremity on neutral position
I remember it was day 2 of B1G True Life Retreat and woke up early to pray for my mom’s operation that lasted for more than eight (8) hours. By God’s grace, her operations were successful and recovery is on its way.
But because of the impact of the accident, it took a toil on her health and resulted in her disability, she also suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to the car accident.
Despite all these things happening in my family, I wouldn’t know what to do if not for God. It is like a complete turn around of our lives. Crazy isn’t I thought these things only happen in TV somewhat an intersection of a medical and legal Koreanovela.
With all these, I know that I can still rejoice because I am confident in who my God is.
And prayer, is one of the strongest foundation that God allowed me to hold on to.
‘Rejoice IN the Lord, again I say, rejoice” (Philippians 4)
I can still rejoice in Him – in who He is, what He loves, how He feels about me. If I turn my eyes away from my problems in hard times and rejoice in Him, in who He is, then I gain strength to face whatever life throws at me.
I praise God for sustaining me and my family through all these and even giving me the privilege to serve Him through B1G True Life Retreat and B1G Friday’s.
Indeed, I can say that it is no longer I who lives but Christ who lives in me. If it was me, it’s so easy to give up or succumb myself to self-pity and depression but it is the peace of the Lord that transcends understanding that reigns in us. It wasn’t easy, there were nights as I pray to the Lord I literally wail to the Lord.
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With the BTLR Design Team!! Hello Pamileeeee! 
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Straight from MMRC to the hospital. Thank you to my supportive ministry mates! We are even wearing our retreat shirts & kudos to mom for the joy that she has despite of the situation. 
Going home from the retreat would mean facing the reality of my mom’s accident. As an only child, this would mean doing most of the legwork for the family since these things can only be processed by immediate family members. I’ve experienced waking up at 4AM just to make it in line at PSCO as I was there were so many things that God allowed me to see and feel – to have a bigger heart for others.
I’ve lined up with many people whose look of hopelessness is evident on their faces there was even a time that I am seated next to a lady who is with her daughter who has cerebral palsy. My heart goes for them and the best thing I could give some of those I have encountered is prayer. I know we are also going through trials but it is not an excuse not to reach out and be an extension of God’s hand to others through prayer. I know it was weird that I will approach people to pray for them but I felt God’s prompting to do so.
Each waking moment, God is teaching me and our family – full dependence. There was even a moment when I broke down at the Person’s With Disability (PWD) Office.
I was praying hard so my mom’s PWD ID can be released and praise God it was!
This help us ease the expenses. Truly, it is the Lord who expedite everything, not us or even our own strength and abilities.
His Sovereignty Over or Tragedy
Indeed, the joy of the Lord is my strength. He is my source of joy that I can still worship Him the best way I know and that is through dance!
Aside from peace, the Lord truly knows our heart’s desire. God knows how much I’ve been longing to dance for Him, this is something that I already surrendered to God months ago no matter how much I love to do so I will only dance again if He tells me so.
And He gave me the privilege of leading dance worship during B1G True Life’s Reunion what a timing isn’t?
Maybe God is really teaching me that worship is not dependent on your circumstance whatever trials and testing you are facing we can still worship Him in spirit and truth because of who He is.
He is indeed, my source of strength and joy!
Honestly, of all the dance ministering and performing that I did in my lifetime this one means so much that I can still stand and lead people despite the fact that my mom is in the hospital bed, our financial liabilities piling up each day and no definite source on where to get it.
When God allows you to go through it, He will walk you through it.
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One of those hospital days. Whui and Achi Dorothy  – My D12 Leader. Despite lack of sleep, we still look pretty by God’s grace! 
There are moments when I would cry out to God because I don’t know what to do anymore, or I don’t feel okay anymore.
It when we come in brokenness that God’s power works in our midst. When we surrendered everything and tells Him – Let thy will be done. Everything is on cue, even the place that we are moving in!
God really has His perfect timing.
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One of my sisters in Christ – Eunice, who drove and helped me move in. Not in photo but my disciple Patty and another brother in Christ Rene helped us. Even helped me clean the comfort room coz I don’t know how. 
Our hospital bills reached almost 700,000 through the help of different people, our own funds. PCSO, Philhealth, Insurances we are left to raise 300,000 to pay the credit card which was used to pay the hospital so mom can be discharged.
Mom was discharged last June 26, and is getting home care and continous Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation which costs at 1,500/session and given thrice a week together with follow up XRay, CT Scan and Check ups on the weeks to come.
In behalf of our family, we would like to thank everyone who helped us to The Medical City, CCF Family, B1G Singles Ministry, Unique/ God is Able Ministry for the wheelchair and a lot more.
How can you help?
Please continually pray for mom’s recovery and provision in our family. Having her in this condition really made a huge financial impact on their family. Please do pray for me as well since I have to go through screening next month to make sure that the pain that I was feeling isn’t caused by colon cancer. But amidst all these, God is always sovereign and in control.
1. Through Financial Support
If the Lord will touch your heart to give financially you may send us a message for the bank details.
2. Through the fundraising events If interested please join this facebook group:
Move for Gem – Fundraising Initiative https://www.facebook.com/groups/488315071624363/
Poster - Mama Mia 2.png
Body Jam with Venice
Don’t forget to like and share the page: fb.me/moveforgemma

3. Through information dissemination.
By simply liking and sharing our page: fb.me/moveforgemma
Are you in need of prayers? or you have a story to share feel free to shoot us a message or email us at moveforgemma@gmail.com we would gladly pray and minister to you.
I encourage to seek God and ask Him to reveal His joy to you and wait before Him till He makes it very real to you through prayer.
For it is His joy that will carry you through anything.

Much Love,

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*If you have been touched or inspired by this post feel free to comment. Also, if you have any questions about God and Christianity or you are in need of prayers you can reach me through my email or social media accounts placed above.

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Mariane Detera is a Brand Strategists & Creative Entrepreneur. Driven by her delight in the beauty of the Word, she uses her love for creativity & the arts to share Jesus and make disciples.

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