I spent the first eight years of my life in quite a corrupt, yet humble country. But we had joy in our hearts. My mom, my older sister, and I lived a simple life in little Philippines. I almost died several times there. Well, I exaggerate. I almost completely sliced a big toe after running around in our backyard full of metal scraps. I think it was my mom who almost died. I endured many other bloody accidents after that. There was a time I was lost for about an hour at a mega mall. I cried out my nanny’s name instead of my mom. My dad was there to visit. I was under his care when it happened. And then he was back to the “Land of Opportunity”, pursuing his American dream along with his 3 brothers and 6 sisters. I wouldn’t be here in Nevada if the mall had been a little more extra jammed packed that day. I recall this man coming in and out of our lives. He was like a stranger, but he always came with a big box or two of stuffed animals, toys, books, school supplies, and food. My sister and I were always a bit more privileged than our playmates in whichever town we were currently staying. I recall moving so much from one city and region to another. And by the time I was in 2nd grade, I had attended four different schools. I didn’t complain. I made good friends and accepted that they were only there for a while. We would dream about the year we’d finally set foot on America, how awesome it would be to have a year supply of Pringles, Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses, Spam, Vienna Sausage, and m&m’s. Those were our favorites. We’d run around our neighborhood bringing home stray kittens, mice, and tadpoles, and keeping them as pets. I loved playing with lizard eggs and spider eggs. We were the popular kids because we had Sony Walkmans and our little house was a theater with our box tv playing The Little Mermaid VHS tape, and the boys enjoyed it too. All the kids in our neighborhood enjoyed our collection of movies from the US of A. We had a few things and with those few things, we only had a few problems. Life was simple because we had few. And we had joy.
1993 was our year. My dad’s long awaited petition finally came true. I could finally see Mickey Mouse, Pluto, and the whole gang. My sister could finally meet Minnie Mouse too. My cousin came with us. She had to say goodbye for good to her high school sweetheart. I remember turbulence on the plane. It was our last night on board and there was a storm. I almost died again!! I remember all the Filipinos saying their “Hail Marys”. My mom was the only one who prayed differently. Then early the following day, all the hairs on my head stood up. I guess they knew to praise the Lord! Hallelujah! We made it through the night! We would actually make it to California alive!!!! Yippiieeeeee kiiiii yaaayyyyy!!!!!!!
Then things got difficult. My dad was the culprit. I became a teenager. Then I was the culprit. Relationships got difficult. School was difficult. Life was difficult. I was difficult. I missed the Philippines. But everyone kept telling me and my sister that we have so much more here, more clothes, more toys, more privileges, more food, more choices, more things, better things, more to do. More, more, more!!!!!! Things, things, things!!!!! And I learned to love them all for a price.
There were times when I wish I didn’t have the things I had just to remember how much happier I was when I was little. There were times when I wish I had more because honestly, when I look back in my life, there were a lot of things I deserved that were not given to me. Buuut, all things happen for a reason. Then, there were times when I didn’t know what I wanted anymore. To have less or to have more?
I discovered I had to stop wanting. There was a void that I needed to rightfully fill. I had to start realizing that I needed God. And slowly, bit by bit, I began wanting more of God. And slowly, bit by bit, He told me what things to want. It takes practice discerning God’s voice. I still mess up and find out it wasn’t what He wanted. But if I’m careful enough, it becomes joy in my heart knowing that my desires match His. My joy becomes shallow and I easily laugh at the smallest things.
Many times even when we don’t know it, we end up trying to match God’s desires to ours. Don’t do that or He’ll take you back to square one. There’s no point in proving our ways are higher. And if you ask me to pray for you, they won’t be answered. So I’m just going to say good luck! My point is, if you want something so badly whether it’s tangible or not, God has them all. It’s a life of asking and knocking, not just taking, calling dibs, or worse, stealing. And if or when you find it so easily given to you, don’t forget to give back. Give back anyway if it took 20 years for you to get it. Whatever it is, want it with all your heart and give with all your heart. You can be/do/have anything you want if you want God with all your heart. And if you want Him more than anything, it means you’ve got to want to have righteous desires. 😀
2 Timothy 3:1-17 – But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
By His Grace, Sheela