Only One Thing is Necessary

So it’s good I went out at last, out of my condo unit, out of my tunnel. Out of hibernation, from all the hiding and over eating. It was nice to see the sun as it drape over the leaves of the trees above. It was nice to finally get out of my polar bear life. I was able to finally talk to warm bodies, human beings that is. Out of social media, out of all the frenzies and paranoia of facebook and messenger, of my story and my day. Finally I was able to hear other voices… other than the voices of rejections and neglect.

Tiendesitas, an open mall beside our church building in Ortigas Manila Philippines

In His Grace I was able to pull my self together. Gathered enough strength to get out of bed. I quickly took a bath but I slowly did my make up. Making sure the contour of my blush on are even… I almost couldn’t breath from the smoke of my loose mineral powder foundation. Finally the last touch… the glitter highlights of rose gold. So I sported my black overall overlap bow tie satin jumper, standing tall in my elevated sky scraper sneaker wedge, millennials calls – AF1, I don’t even understand what it is but the details in the “Zalora” shopping app says Air Force 1 Nike. Well all I know is that my feet won’t hurt with it’s thick white rubber sole. At last, I was able to meet the ladies I had been speaking to on messenger group chat.

The past week had been tough. I never had an argument and exchange of painful words with a love one before, not for a long time. It was hard, hard in a sense that the person you love only wants to communicate through text and messenger chat messages. It was hard because he wouldn’t even want to communicate through voice call. It’s been days and nights of crying. I know it is the Holy Spirit, some how, for some reason I have that internal sense of peace. It was like some sort of burden was finally lifted.

One of the things I learned from this painful experience is that I didn’t asked God before I invested emotions with this man. I told the young ladies in our discipleship group meeting. A discipleship group is a small group more often called a break out group from a big corporate church. This is where believers like us are discipled up close and personal, according to the leadership of the church, the body of Christ – Jesus as the Head. It follows the discipleship model of Jesus with His twelve disciples. So when I arrived, we sort of chat, laughed, teased with each other. Then goes the serious part of the conversation. Now my DGroup (discipleship group) leader asked us, so what’s that one thing, that temptation we need to flee. What’s that one thing that we have put first before God. Oh no, I know where this is headed, I told my self. I cried, I tried to hold back the tears, but I couldn’t help it. All they did was to look to me in the eyes, they didn’t say a word and patiently listened until I am finished. I praise God, God honored my faith to get out today. To attend the fellowship of the saints. I learned from the ladies as well. I heard their longings and cries, their prayers and weaknesses, heart aches and desires.

“Then the LORD spoke to Joshua, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘Designate the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses, that the manslayer who kills any person unintentionally, without premeditation, may flee there, and they shall become your refuge from the avenger of blood.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭20:1-3‬ ‭NASB‬‬

Many of us go through life with no place of refuge. We carry our burdens from problem to problem, repeating our sins of the past. Churches and recovery groups can be refuges where we can come together and share our pain so we no longer have to be victimized by it. God is a God of grace; anyone seeking Him will find refuge.

– The Life Recovery Bible, Joshua 20:1-6 commentary

I was encouraged to hear from my quiet time that the cities of refuge of Christians of this day and age are the church and fellowship with other believers, the Body of Christ. I know I sound spiritual, but you see this is what I am learning now at this stage of my recovery. I realized that I need to live a life outside this pain, suffering and never ending longing. That I need to get out of the box of men’s approval. About what others will say, of protecting my image. From the paranoia of what others will think and say. Outside of the struggle to control and change people and situations. Outside the chaos and confusion I have created for my own self.

I never asked God first before I invested my emotions with this man. I told the group and this resonated to me. One thing I like when you seat with this recovery group, as I had attended and will continue to attend the “Glorious Hope Program” runs of our local church, is the support system. Every time I seat with my sisters and they are just there listening intently, some teary eyed, some completely silent – I feel I am never alone. It is like God my Father in heaven telling me… see my child, you are never alone and I will never leave you. Breath in, I will take care of you.

So what is that one thing I have put fort before God, meaning what is that one thing I have prioritized more than God? The message this Sunday was “The One Thing”. It is the story of Martha and Mary. As I listened to Pastor Peter Senior, as he holds back his tears towards the end of his talk. I my self can’t hold back my tears from the inside. Here I learned that I some how have become Martha, I have become a human doing instead of human being. I have dwelt on what will I do to impress God and Kevin, yes Kevin who never loved me since day one. Yes the Kevin I have put on the pedestal and bowed down unknowingly, unintentionally. How I have pushed and tried harder and harder to win my bosses approvals, just to hear my most coveted validation and affirmation. Martha is doing the right thing, Pastor Peter continued, but one thing is not right – she’s complaining, she’s no longer happy, Martha was no longer happy in serving God, she lost her joy. I have lost my appetite to go to work, I would rather stay at home – in my own world, in my own deep dungeon. Until it became automatic, just when I wake up every morning, I will look for all the likes and comments on facebook. Whether who have seen “my story” or “my day” on social media. To check from time to time who have “hearted” my posts on instagram or do I have a new follower, then if my follower count goes down, my whole day now becomes gloomy. That every messages I send to Kevin is just “seen”, that despite of frequent checks I receive no replies. That I stalk for him, if he’s online and all the hurt of being ignored and neglected in that chat room. But there’s the other story of Mary, the bible says, only one thing is necessary, Mary chosen what is good and this shall not be taken away from her. Unlike Martha, Mary was undistracted, she was totally focus on Jesus – her sitting at the feet of Jesus is intimacy. Yes Mary found her joy, her true joy in Jesus. That joy that no one can take away from her. That joy so fulfilling that she gave up her chance of getting married, by pouring everything she had, that whole year salary worth perfume she poured to anoint Jesus’ feet. Lifting her vail, that she no longer cares what others will say, bypassing the culture when the only one should see a woman’s hair is her husband. All she knows, all she care about is to be intimate and find her delight in the presence of her Master and Savior. All along I thought Kevin was the one… the only man I will hold on to. I have pursued my own way for happiness with the man I thought will make me happy. After all the emotional turmoil, God honored my faith when I went out of my comfort zone. Just as God did not make no apologies nor explanation to Job why? God gave Himself. Today I received God Himself, because the only One, The One Thing, The One Thing necessary that will never be taken from me is God alone… God Himself alone.

“But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:40-42‬ ‭NASB‬‬

The following working day Monday, I emailed everyone telling them I will be on leave. But the truth is I will join the church wide prayer and fasting. What a way to start a year! A break up, a heart break… really? but does my heart aches for what breaks the heart of God? Maybe I had been nurturing this pain for too long… I have dwelt with all failed relationships in the past. It’s about time to break free and pursue what matters most – The One and no one else.

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