Thursday, November 2, 2017

Last Chapter Episode 6: A Letter to my Grieving Parents


Dear Mom and Dad,

I am sorry that I am not with you today. God called me home early, and though there has been mourning, His plans has actually been a blessing for us all. God has spared me from the trials and frustrations of life on earth. While I am in a building from Him, a home not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, you all remain in a tent. The apostle Paul is here, and he told me that you are naked, but I am clothed; you are visiting but I am home; you are decaying, but I am whole (2 Cor. 5).

It seems strange that some would view my short life on earth and question what God was doing. The prophet Jeremiah is also here and he told me that God knew him, and planned his life, even before he was formed in the womb; I know the same is true for me.

Dad and Mom, the days He gave us together were precious, and lovingly planned by God. He says that He was intimately acquainted with all my ways before I even uttered a sound. He scrutinized this path I am on, enclosing me behind and before. He ought to know -- He formed my inward parts, weaving me in your womb, Mom. My  little body was never hidden from His sight -- He made me with skill! He saw my unformed substance, and He determined the number of days of my life before there was even one (Ps. 139:1-18).

Please do not be concerned that my time was too short, that I missed out. Your life, when compared with eternity, is short too. When I asked God how long, He compared the length of your days to the distance from my little finger to my thumb. As I look at my tiny hand, that is not too long. I thought I missed something, but God says lifetime is as nothing in His sight (Ps. 39:4-5).

Finally, let me tell you about the company I have been keeping. It seems that  Jesus has taken a special interest in me. He said that the kingdom of heaven was designed for children such as me (Mk 10:3-14). Apparently, they had a hard time understanding that on earth. Dad and Mom, I appreciate the doctors and nurses who ministered to me in the hospital on earth, but now I am with the Great Physician. He says that we will be reunited soon, but in the meantime, please know that I am under the shelter of His wings (Ps. 36:7).

Until He comes for You,

Your Little One



Note: This letter was given to us by someone whose colleague has lost a baby. The baby's grandfather was a pastor, and he wrote this letter to help the parents. She was given permission to share it with others.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Last Chapter Episode 5: My First Faith Story


Hello jello. I do not know the world well enough because I am living for only 28 days (as of April 1). My small eyes can hardly see what my mom used to brag with me while I was still in her tummy -- the world. I can only see shadows and other things of merely blacks and whites. But my ears are now sharp enough to distinguish my mom and dad’s voice from others. I can also hear other sounds aside from the people who used to visit me: the chirping of the birds, coo-coo of chickens every morning, hustle and bustle of jeepneys, television, and Ate Chloe’s lightsaber toy whom she accidentally or intentionally hit whenever she come to our house to pay for a visit and check on me. You see, I am but a tiny creature in the world of grandeur, entanglement and sophistication. But I want to share with you how this tiny creature proved that the One who created the vast universe actually loves me and is mindful of me. My name is Yechezqel, people know me as Kahel; and this is my first faith story.

This is me :)

I remember when mom used to say that I will be a good boy when I grow up; she was talking to me when I was still in her tummy. I can also remember when she and dad used to talk to me to see the world on my 40 weeks, because they do not have enough money yet to pay for the hospital bills. Sometimes I can feel mom’s worry, but she and dad kept on saying that God will provide and will meet our needs. God must be powerful so so much that mom and dad trust Him to provide. Me, being too excited to show my parents how loud I am when I cry, went out and saw the world for the first time exactly on my 39 weeks, a week earlier than their expectation.

Me on my 22nd day

Mom felt the contraction dawn of Thursday, March 3. She can still tolerate the pain though, and even managed to cook for breakfast. They missed their Thursday class and went to the hospital for a checkup with only 6000 pesos on their hands. The doctor announced mom was in her 1 cm so they decided not to get admitted that time. Mom and dad waited at the mall instead of going home because of the traffic. At 11 PM, mom could not take the pain anymore. She was having 5-min interval contraction that time so they went straight to the hospital and got admitted at 1 AM, and 4 cm cervix opening. The labor went for about 11 hours and on 10:22 AM of March 4, a healthy baby boy of 3.175 kgs, 50 cm, came out. It was the first time they heard me cry, the first time dad leaped in joy silently when he heard me crying, the first time I was held by mom in her arms. Welcome me.




This time one of my Titos and Titas gave my parents a generous amount (as in huuuuge amount) to pay for the hospital bills. I think it was God’s hand who touched their hearts and moved to do such an incredible act. When I get older I will personally thank God and Tito Kiko and Tita Anne and write them a thank you card. Mama should teach me how to. Anyhow, relatives and love ones were excited to see me and paid a visit only to find out that I cant be with mom and dad yet because of my successions of vomiting. I had to stay at the ICU for 2 days under observation.

Every 2-3 hours since I was born, mom had to go
 to the ICU to see me and breastfed me.
For two days, my "fans" had to stay by the
window to see me.
 

My name Yechezqel is a Hebrew variation of Ezekiel, which means "God will strengthen". 



And that’s what mom and dad claimed when I was diagnosed with physiological jaundice, prolonging again our stay at the hospital for 3 more days.

Sun bathing like a boss

It was too cold at the hospital at night!
I cried and cried a lot, mom and dad
had their wakeful nights started.

All the more they put their hope in God, though I heard Mom cry a couple of times at the hospital. 48 hours of sun bathing occurred, two times my blood was extracted to check my bilirubin, and a lot more sleepless nights took place for mom and dad. My grand parents, Titos, Titas and cousins didn't give up on visiting me while I was at the hospital. Their voices seemed to be the constant hullabaloo and encouragement for my parents. 


Finally after 6 days I was able to see the world outside the white walls of the hospital. I am thankful for letting me experience God as early as I know. I hope that this story will inspire and encourage you to continue in this world. I may still be very young to say, but this first encounter with God is something that I would want to remember as long as I live. Because as for me, my only hope is in God. Someday, I want to know more about mom and dad’s God. Will you journey with me? :)

Thank you for reading my first faith story! -Kahel

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Globe-trotting Philippines: Secret Hideaway in Tagaytay

I am nearing my pregnancy term and can't wait to see our baby Kahel out of his comfy sac. With this I mean more wakeful, late-night cries and less quality time for the next season of our married-now-parenting life. And since we had a long weekend holiday we decided to use this time to have a quality time before this little one come out. 

Hang in there, buddy

We headed off to Tagaytay, where short and convenient trip is most welcome especially in my case. My doctor did not allow me to travel too far and it might lead to a serious health case so we chose Tagaytay on our list. I am happy and blessed that the grad school offers some condo units in Tagaytay with very affordable price so we chose to block off one couple room for one night. And guess what? Quality time equates food trips for us! Was a bit averse about eating as I have to continuously check on my blood pressure and of course, weight. 


Well it was a well-spent weekend for us knowing that we found this secret restaurant that offers good food and massage. It was a bit pricey for our budget so my husband just allowed me to try their foot reflexology that's so soothing even for preggy like me. They even had a complimentary jasmine tea for both of us and unlimited access to placid Taal Lake. Here's a little sneak peek of this little heaven that we went to. (Photos are from my phone, peace out for the quality of these photos)

Intricate door details: Perfect for the Chinese New Year

The Dining Area

Taal Lake on the View

The Yin and Yang Pools

Qi Wellness at night

If you wanna go there and try their services, you can check it up on the following details:

Qi Wellness Living
Aguinaldo Highway, Brgy. Maharlika East, Tagaytay City, Philippines
Email: teahouse@qiwellnessliving.ph or bathhouse@qiwellnessliving.ph
Mobile:+63 917 522 6969
Instagram: @qiwellnessliving