AWAY FROM LOVE
By Joema Fernandez as told to the Testimonial Ministry
“I am thankful God changed the way I see things and taught me to be patient and to persevere.”
I was raised in a Catholic family. In fact, I studied in a Catholic school where I learned about Bro. Bo Sanchez’s Kerygma Magazine. Later, I found out he is the same Bo who founded Light of Jesus (LOJ) and its prayer gathering, The Feast. It is The Feast that somehow made me who I am now and saved my marriage.
Ours started as a long-distance love affair. That’s how it began and for a while, I thought that’s how it will end. I met my husband in Qatar where I was an OFW myself. However, when I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, I needed to go back home in 2007 to undergo treatment. My boyfriend stayed there till we decided to get married in June 2008. My husband stayed with me for about 2 months, then had to leave again to work in Saudi. During the first 5 years of our marriage, we only spent 1 Christmas together. I gave birth to our daughter in 2010. While my husband was away, I busied myself with work while taking care of our only child.
Since we spent more time away from each other than being together, I felt I was not loved enough. I felt lonely and empty inside. My husband must have felt the same about being away from home. This resulted in fights which would sometimes last for weeks without communication. It became almost impossible for us to agree on anything. Our disagreements resulted in my feeling scarred and hopeless about the durability of our marriage.
During this trying time, since February 2013, my boss had been inviting me to attend The Feast. I was unable to join her in PICC because it was too far from my residence which is in San Pedro, Laguna. Because I work in Alabang, I would pass by The Feast Alabang Center in Festival Mall. Usually, I would only see people meeting or practicing there so I was not interested to enter. Then sometime in July of 2013, as I was checking my Facebook page, I chanced upon the schedule of The Feast sessions in Festival Mall and thought of attending the Wednesday Feast Alabang (WFA). As I listened to the talk of Bro. Velden Lim that time, I felt the tears rolling down my face. It felt good. On Friday of that same week, I joined the FAME, a welcome activity for new attendees where I was seated with Sis Cora and Bro Willy Talon. They invited me to join the Light Group (LG) meeting. The following Wednesday, I attended the first LG meeting and was pleasantly surprised to know it was headed by the same couple.
God’s timing was indeed perfect. After the 2nd LG meeting, my husband was due to be in Manila for his vacation. Instead of pushing for the separation, I had a change of heart because I realized so many things about my troubled relationship with my husband. My LG group became my support in my mission to save my marriage instead of giving up on it.
In August 2013, I joined the Jesus Encounter (JE). I signed up to serve with Intercessory Ministry the very next day. By 2014, I was already in charge of sending prayer text blasts. In 2015, I became a Team Head of the 2nd session of the Sunday Feast. Currently, I am preparing to start a Feast Video.
Although we still have a long way to go as husband and wife and as a family, I am happy with how God is working on His plans for us.
Truly God’s timing is always perfect. I give Him back all the glory.