Faith that Endures

Faith that Endures

When trials mount, will you still trust God? Read how Tina continued to hold on to God despite the trials that came her way.

After I got annulled from my first marriage, I told myself that I would never marry again. But in 2008, God surprised me by introducing me to the man who would become my second husband, Ramon.

I was actively volunteering in church when I met Ramon. At that time, I was so sold out to the idea that I would grow old without a partner. But God had other plans. During one of our worship services in Victory Cabanatuan—right after praise and worship—Ramon asked me to marry him.

I was already 45 years old at that time and I have four kids. That’s why marrying again was something I never planned. But I prayed about it and eventually considered the idea of being a wife again to someone. Not long after, I remarried and have never felt that happy.

I thought all the painful times were over because of my new beginning with my husband. But seven years later—on April 11, 2015—an unexpected news broke my heart. Ramon was diagnosed with liver cancer; the doctors told us that he only had three months left to live.

I was a practicing doctor before so when I saw the biopsy result, I knew right then and there that what the doctors told us was right. But I still prayed hard to God and begged Him to give my husband more time to be with us.

That day, I got a call from an old classmate who is a doctor. He offered to handle Ramon’s case and do an operation as soon as possible. Ramon went under the knife and the operation went smoothly. Despite the ordeal he went through, my husband did not look like he was stricken with an illness; it seemed as if nothing had happened.

However, as months passed by, his cancer relapsed. Though his sickness was slowly trying to overcome his body, he continued to serve the Lord and even volunteered to be an usher in Victory Cabanatuan. Every now and then, he would tell me that it’s okay even if he ends up dying soon—because eventually, we will all get there someday. He would comfort me and prepare my heart for his passing every single day.

While my husband was slowly succumbing to his sickness, my father and my brother were also going through a tough ordeal at that time. (My father’s foot had to be amputated because of diabetes, while my brother had an angioplasty.) It was difficult, but it was during this time that God revealed Himself to me in a deeper way. On January 28, 2017, my father died, and exactly 40 days later—March 9, 2017—my husband passed away.

When my father and my husband died, God gave me comfort through our spiritual family. He surrounded me with people who encouraged me to press on despite all the trials that were trying to break me inside. I surrendered everything to Him and allowed His love to fill all the empty spaces in my heart. Instead of sulking, I learned not to be afraid of death because I know God will be right there in front of me the minute I die. Ramon’s death made me look forward to eternity in God. And it made me grateful, because instead of three months, He gave me almost two years to show how much I love my husband. Not everyone gets that chance.

Now, I’m 55 years old and every day, I try to make the best out of whatever time I have left to serve God and share His love to others. Everything on this earth will come to pass—our relationships, our pains, our loved ones—but God’s love will not.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

We can have great faith even when trials are mounting on every side because we have a God who’s way bigger than all the problems we will ever face. His Word will always remain true, no matter what situation we find ourselves in. His love will always be there to comfort us. His love will always stay.

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