The backstory of my Greece-Turkey trip

IMG_7221A dream just came true! After visiting Egypt, Israel and Jordan in 2014, I knew in my heart that the next study tour I’d be joining should have something to do with the Bible. I was informed by the same tour group that there would be a Paul’s Missionary Journey scheduled sometime after 2015. Since then, I’ve been praying about it. I’ve faithfully set aside whatever I can (on top of tithes and offering, bills, savings and investments) and continued to trust the Lord to provide.

The schedule however has been moved thrice. At first, there weren’t a lot of people interested. The next time it was moved, dollar rates were sky high and then it was moved again due to a coup attempt in Turkey. So I had to wait. During the wait, the Lord allowed me to go through continuous spiritually-maturing circumstances, which sharpened my discernment, made me realize that I needed to pray more and there was so much transformation that my heart still needed to go through. You know, it wasn’t an easy journey but I can say right now that it was worth it. The storm has passed and I am grateful for truly, the Lord never left me. I only took my eyes off Him which is why I sank (I can very well identify with Peter, thank you very much).

When the call for the first deposit had to be made, I looked to the Lord. I looked at my bank account. “Looord,” I said “If this is Your will, I know You will provide.”

And He did but it wasn’t as I expected. If there is anything I’ve been learning about God, it’s that He breaks away from what is normal. He has taught me to trust HIS WAY of doing things not the world’s norm, not how things usually go. In His power and omniscience, He can override JUST ABOUT ANYTHING. He can move hearts, He can make the resources available in an instant and in the many times I worried, I would end up with my mouth gaping open because He’s proven that HE CAN. IF IT IS HIS WILL, HE WILL PROVIDE. I like what Heather Lindsey mentioned in one of her Bible studies, she likened God’s provision to sending her children to camp. She knows sending her children to camp will be good and fun for them. So as a mother, will she just send them there without providing for them? Of course she will prepare clothes, pack for them, make them sandwiches, make sure they eat–she’ll make sure that her kids will have everything they need when they go to camp. And then it made me think “OH RIGHT. And that’s just her being a mom. What more our heavenly Father who sees and knows all things? He knows what we need before we even ask for it. He knows exactly what to supply us with.”

After the finances were taken cared of, there was the issue of the VISA. Compared to Israel, Egypt and Jordan, it was tougher to get visas to Greece and Turkey. Worry filled my head again. Ano ba, Ingrid. Parang hindi ka natuto. I’m thankful that we didn’t need to appear before the Turkish Embassy but there were a ton of requirements we needed to submit. Applying for the Schengen visa tested my faith (and patience) because 1) they were very strict with requirements and papers 2) if you’re SINGLE and of working age–there’s a tendency for them to keep an eye on you. During my embassy interview, I was nervous. The consul asked me a lot of questions mainly about the papers I submitted, what I do, does my boss know I’ll be away, who will I be traveling with, how long have I known them, what are the names of the husbands of my companions, etc etc.

One thing I’ve consistently known about God is that He really does lead us STEP BY STEP. It’s not a one time, big time showcase when He answers our prayers. Our faith is a journey, isn’t it? Our maturity doesn’t just happen overnight. The Lord knows exactly where to meet us and He knows how to take us through each step as He grows and perfects our faith.

Hay Lord, what can I say? Now that I am back in the Philippines from my enlightening and highly educational trip, I now laugh at the moments when I worried myself sick. It makes me want to poke myself “Ingrid, Ingrid, Ingrid… oh you of little faith.

SINGLES IN REUNIONS BE LIKE…

If you’re single and you’ve attended reunions in the past, chances are you’ve had these encounters and conversations.

  1. People repeatedly asking you about your relationship status, who are you seeing, when are you settling down
  2. “You better settle down quick. Your biological clock is ticking.”
  3. “Maybe you’re single because you’re too picky.”

GAAAH! Just watch the video. Please do give it a thumbs up and share it if you think you’ve had enough of people pestering you about the single life.

HANGING OUT? NO-LABEL RELATIONSHIP?

Ever come across people who say they’re just “hanging out” with someone but they’re actually acting like a couple and doing things that are supposed to be for those who are in a LEGIT RELATIONSHIP? How about those who say “We don’t want to put a label on what we have right now.” Ugh! This month’s Happy Singles video says it all. ENJOY!

REAL TALK: Singles, it pays to listen to your mentors. Don’t rush into marriage.

Alright, this one is lengthy. I appreciate her honesty but the whole time, in my head I was thinking
1) Did her husband use hypnosis on her? Because everything he seemed to tell her, she eventually just gave into.
2) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Don’t just get married on a whim. Just because you were forced into it. The moment a guy uses THREATS just so you would marry him is already a tell tale sign that his intentions are not right.
She said it herself, she knew there was something wrong because there was no peace whatsoever in the marriage. She had anxiety attacks.
3) It pays to REALLY GET TO KNOW who you’re marrying. It’s not enough that you go through the online profile and base it on photos and posts. Hang out with the friends and family of your boyfriend. Invite him to also hang out with your own circle.
4) It pays to have mentors and please, LISTEN TO YOUR MENTORS. Her mentors told her they probably need time away from each other. Eventually they warned her not to marry the guy but for some reason, she still decided to marry him. 
5) The guy  lied to her, had no job and dropped out of school. 
Geez. Please watch the video and learn a thing or two.