Our Love Story (Part 3)

On the September 21, 2012, we were celebrating our 7 months being in a relationship. Not a long period of time to be boast of I know haha.. But it has been a journey full of God’s faithfulness, mercy, and love for us. Some people may wonder what a naive thing for me to post my love story even before it reaches toward the point of marriage. Well, for me, this is an act of faith. I believe what I have not seen. My purpose to share this is to encourage people who may feel what I feel that there is a God out there who concerns of your love story.

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You may often wonder, “How do you know that Billy is the best God has for you?” Well, I asked God and He confirmed it. For some people the whole confirmation thing can be tricky. Yet I asked for a clear sign which will prove in the end that it must be from God. Pray specifically for this. For me, God putted in my heart for one verse which is 1 Corinthians 2:9:

However, as it is written:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Then I prayed, “Lord, if he is whom you want me to marry with, let You put this verse too in his heart.” The funny thing was I told Billy that I asked God for this verse sign and he had to ‘guess’ it correctly. If not, then I regarded that he was not for me. I did not realize that my ‘challenge’ overwhelmed him a lot. He thought, “Poor me.. There are 31,103 verses in the whole Bible and I have to get it right with only one chance. That means there is only 0.003 probability that I would guess it right.” Then Billy kept thinking over and over again about the possibility of the ‘golden verse’. He thought, “Probably Proverbs 3:5-6.. because she has just tweeted it.. or probably something related to the word “faith” so He searched online to seek all the verses about faith. Being ended up with hundreds of choices, he was getting desperate, “Poor me …”

Then one night, as he went to sleep in deep trouble, he heard one voice singing, “What no eyes has seen. No ear has heard. No mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him …” In Indonesian language the song goes like this:

Apa yang tak pernah dilihat mata

Apa yang tak pernah didengar telinga

Yang tak pernah timbul di dalam hati

Semua disediakan bagi yang mengasihi Dia

Reff:

Allah sanggup melakukan segala perkara

Dulu, s’karang dan s’lamanya

Kuasanya tidak berubah (2x)

Then Billy said to God, “God, don’t sing! I asked for a verse, not a song.” And God said, “Son, I’m singing you the verse.” At that night, Billy for the first time heard God’s voice as clear as crystal clear. And he hears from the Lord ever since..

The next morning, I recalled that I simply prayed to the Lord, “God, would You please remind him of that verse?” It was Sunday morning. After I prayed that simple prayer, I went to the church. I remembered clearly that before the service started at 10 AM, Billy contacted me and shared his experience last night. When he told me about that song, I knew certainly that God had just answered my very recent prayer. Oh no, He answered it even before I mentioned the morning prayer! I was completely surprised.. I always have faith in God, but that time … He has revealed himself in a very miraculous way I can ever imagine. You can read what happened next in My Love Story [Part 2]

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That was my first confirmation from the Lord about Billy. The second was Faith’s letter which I attached in My Love Story [Part 2}. So, how are we going now?

We spent my 23rd birthday together for the second time 😉 And now we are working together to make a devotional book and website which will bless many other people. We have a mission from God and we do not take all of his favor in our relationship for granted. Have we ever fallen? Yes, we have. I always have a dream to save my first kiss in front of the altar on my wedding day. Yet, I have to admit that I did not guard it. We can have a nice dream, but if we don’t actually pursue, guard, and defend it, we’ll lose it. So we are working on to maintain our purity in this relationship. We fell, but we now save our next kiss for wedding. Hmm.. regarding this physical contact area, many people get confused whether they will be okay or not if they hug, kiss, etc. Many people have different standard on this. Yet I cling to God’s words in Song of Solomon 2:7, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires …” The question is not, “How far is too far?” but instead, “How far do we want to honor God?” It is not a matter of what is allowed and what is not allowed to do. But is it a wise thing to do?

Oh yes, and we are still waiting for parents’ approval for our relationship. A miracle.

When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,

we were like men who dreamed.

Our mouths were filled with laughter, 

our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations, 

“The LORD has done great things for them”,

and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O LORD,

like streams in the Negev.

Those who sow in tears

will reap with songs of joy.

He who goes out weeping, 

carrying seed to sow,

will return with songs of joy,

carrying sheaves with Him.

– Psalm 126:1-6

One day, once we get married, it will be like a dream comes true. The door which seems closed right now will be opened. And we know that it takes God and only Him to open it. It is not the story of us, but story of God’s love for us. All of these things which are beautiful are only a glimpse of God’s immense love. Yes, now we sow in tears, in faith, and in hope. We sacrifice our flesh desires to walk in purity, our wills are being put to death so that His will shall reign.

You may realise through all my writings that I emphasize a lot on commitment before you ever get into a relationship with someone. It is like a seat-belt in which will protect you from the ‘accident’ of heart-breaking. I wrote it in more detail in The Safest Roller Coaster. Build your relationship in the rock foundation of Jesus Christ. When Christ is at the center of your relationship, you can be sure that you’ll always have ways to find one another. Have the same vision in what God wants you to accomplish in this life. Being in a relationship is like having partnership to accomplish God’s purpose. It should bring you two together to grow more in Jesus and not make you both grow apart.

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If you are single, enjoy your season with the Lord with all your might. I always hold on to the wise saying which says that, “A woman’s heart must be buried so deeply in Christ that a man must seek Christ first in order to find her.” If Christ’s love is not sufficient for you now, there will be no other man’s love which will ever make it. If Jesus who’s all perfect cannot make you feel loved, then there will be no merely man who’s imperfect who can make you feel loved too. Wait and grow in the Lord. In the mean time, the man who is passionate with God too is doing the same thing.

(to be continued …)

-Leticia Seviraneta-

Our Love Story (Part 2)

It was my 22nd birthday, but my parents were in Singapore. So I was alone during the whole weekend. But it was not a big problem for me since I had arranged birthday dinner with DATERs of JPCC. I would not be lonely then 😀 Billy arranged our first meeting before the dinner. Remember, it was our first meeting since nine months passed by when I finished my course. He sat by the window and stood up when he saw me entered through the door of the cafe. He shook my hand and spoke so many wishes for my birthday. He also gave me a lot of gifts: He made a sketch of my face, gave me sunflowers, rainbow bible (my wish gift), and mochi cake ;)He gave a letter also to describe each meaning 🙂

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To: Leticia Seviraneta

Hi Letty, first I want to say “Happy Birthday” again to you. As God add years to your life, may He adds life to your years 😉 Btw, you still look like 18 years old girl, haha (not like me, who like 25 years old man). With this letter, I want to explain each gifts that I gave to you.

Sunflower — No doubt about that, you love sunflower right? Haha you said that you had a dream that I try to find a sunflower for you but I can’t give it to you because sunflower is a rare thing at Indonesia, haha, so with this sunflower I hope you’ll feel happy because now you have something special, rare, and beautiful thing haha 🙂 Don’t forget to change the water every 2 or 3 days, so the sunflower can still alive.

Mochi — Yes, maybe you already know the reason behind “moci”, it started with your quotes “Aku suka moci, karena MO CIum pipimu wkwk”, you know maybe it’s a simple quote but this is the most funny quotes I’ve ever heard and you also said that you like “green bean” mochi, that’s why I bought you mochi, enjoy it 🙂

Picture of You — I like to listen an old song and for me “Picture of You” sung by Boyzone is a nice one. You gave me a Van der Sar mug, now I give you a Sailor Moon :p I try to give a “dual picture” which described you as a sailor moon (beautiful, funny, and heroic girl) and a pastor (I know this is your passion and what God called you to be). ONE DAY this picture will turn into reality #amen.

NIV Rainbow Bible — Well, you already guess it very well because I ask too much about it haha :p, but it’s okay, I know you really really want to have it and you’re willing to go to Times just to read this bible. I hope you’ll feel happy when you have it at home 🙂 May you get closer to God and Jesus by continually read this bible 🙂

I hope you’ll feel happy with all gifts that I gave to you. I’m not giving you music box, cake, or maybe a dress because I want to give you something meaningful. Whenever you feel weak in your faith, look at the sunflower. Like you said before, “We are the sunflowers. God is the Sun. There are many times we feel that we are not loved, we are abandoned, we are alone. Yet God is always there. He loves us in a way that we don’t always understand. But the truth is God is always by our sides. He is already ready to lift you up at the darkest moment in your life. And our part is simply stare at him. Love Him. Imitate Him.”

Whenever you feel sad or don’t know where to go, look at the “Picture of You”. You have to know that basically you are a hero, brave, and funny girl. Don’t let the tear drops rust your shining heart and beautiful face. Also you are a “pastor going to be”, keep it in your mind that someday you’ll be a great pastor even now you have to walk through the desert of life to reach it.

Whenever you have a question to God or want to know “what God wants you to” look at the Bible and start to read it. You’ll find an answer there.

Alright Let, may this year be your best ever. I hope all your birthday dreams and wishes come true.Not just a year older, but a year better. God will always walk beside you and He promise to be ‘the voice behind you and guide you in the way you should go’ (Isaiah 30:21).
My plan for your future is always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11) Thank you Letty for reading my letter, God bless you as always 🙂

Sincerely,
Billy

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I attach his letter to give you a picture these words meant a lot to me at that time 🙂 Billy had been a friend of mine through good and bad times. Since then we met frequently, until ‘the storm’ came. His mother suddenly asked him to never meet again with me [ps. I have never met her!]. There are some different reactions that men will do when they are in similar position. Some rebels, some obeys. Jabrik chose to obey. We knew that rebelling against his mother would only make us more difficult to receive her blessing later on. Besides, we knew that that was not what God want for us to do. Our flesh might want so much to do so, but the Spirit of God of Peace would never use such way. There it goes, three months separation with almost no interaction between us. But Billy created a blog from the very first day His mother forbid us to meet. He consistently wrote me a new post everyday 🙂

God-written love story is certainly not a fairy tale. It still has its conflicts, external problems, temptations, and so on. The thing which differentiate God’s love story between common ones is because it surrenders completely to God and trusting Him that He is in control no matter what happens. It was a painful process though. God confirmed us to meet again three months later but the storm had not ended completely. There were moments when we are tempted to give up. One time, as the conflicts grew all the more and toiled my strength, an anonymous e-mail were sent to each of us. Exactly at the same time. Here it is:

May 27, 2012. 08.15 PM

For you

Dear, I know that you and someone have struggled hard for several months now. I don’t know exactly what problems are you facing right now. You may often ask yourself “Is it true that this is the way God wants me to pass?”

God has given you many signs in this difficult time. God’s purpose is only one, so you will keep fighting and finish the mission of God.

God gave you such a signpost. Each guide gives a straight mark, right, left to the city of your destination. Though you walk hundreds of miles and not see your destination city yet, you will still go ahead and feel safe when you see signpost indicates you are in the right direction.

The difference between the signpost of the God and common signpost is always the distance mark. In common signpost, you can see how many more miles you will arrive to the destination city. But the signpost of the God just gave it to you a straight path with no sign telling how many more miles you will arrive.

It teaches you to walk by faith. Believe in the Lord that He will not steer youth wrong way as long as you obey his commandments.

The good news is, Yes ! this is the way God intended for you. This path is the path where God wants shape your character and the character of someone close in your heart. Afterwards, both of you will receive the promise that God has already made. call it a True Love.

When God has brought you to a road, obey Him and He will deliver you safely to the city. Be Still and know that He is God.
So many tears of sadness you have cried in the last few months. God saw that and the Bible says,

Psalm 126 
When the Lord restored the fortunes of a Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.

Then it was said among the nations, The Lord has done great things for them. The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.Those who sow with TEARS, will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out WEEPING, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

Keep moving forward even though you have to sow it all with tears. Eventually, your tears of sadness will turn into tears of joy. There are many things that God wants to teach and mold you during this period.

Your test will become your testimony to glorify His Greatness.
Faith will keep your dreams alive.

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She sent me three emails in a row since I had not read it at that time. Billy once received it, thought that it was one of devitionals he subscribed on. On the next day, when we met up, we realized that she sent us at the same time and we are sure that she is really talking to us! [In case you’re confuse who is she … I believe she is a prayer who hears from the Lord] She knows every detail of our problems and always came when things getting so difficult. What a great and living God I serve!
Later on, I discovered that her name is Faith. We corresponded for a while. I considered her as a very mature person in the Lord. She taught me so many wisdoms of God to help me understand His way during our journey. I will only attach some of her letters here 😉

May 29,2012

Leticia,
I am very pleased that Lord Jesus strengthening your faith. I want to pray for you

Dear Lord,

I offer you this prayer, to help Leticia current relationship situation. Please take away all the worries and anxiety in her heart. Fill it with love, joy, patience, and understanding. Bless she and her partner, so that they will never surrender to whatever challenges that come their way.

Fill their hearts with love for each other, and may You make each one of them realize each other’s worth. Please touch their heart, fill it with much love for me. Make their complicated relationship become uncomplicated. They seek for Your mercy and blessing that You may allow them to spend the rest of their lives with each other. Please make this feeling mutual for both of them. Lead them not into sexual temptations. Guide them wherever they go. Always put them in each other’s heart and mind. Thank you Lord for hearing their prayer. I love you. Amen.

I believe the two of you can continue this relationship until marriage. Keep a holiness and sexual purity in your relationship so you can tell to many people about it, and they could see the glory of God inside your relationship and marriage.

Your partner have a heart that full of love for you and you are the only woman he wants to marry. He is currently in a period of spiritual growth. You may not see clearly the fruit of God is working inside him. But God has His Own way to guide, shape and prepare him to be a pastor too, so that you could be a couple of pastor. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Bless you Leticia. I will listen to you whenever you have problem and I want to help to strengthening your faith.
Hope is the last gate of faith.

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May 30,2012

Leticia, I do love you and your partner. Your partner is burdened with the problems that exist in your family. But that does not make his love fading to you. He was a cautious person when making a decisions. By deciding want to be with you throughout his life, he has made ​​the boldest choices in his life. He has a great faith that this relationship and your family will be restored by God.

Many men may like you, some of them could love you the way you want to be loved.But only your currently partner who loves and wants to remain faithful to you even though he knows there are so many problems. Look for a partner that has been tested in difficult times. Just as faith must be tested with time & various trials.

Your partner is a person who has a very strong faith. Although sometimes he doubts, he is quick to re-believe in his faith. What he believes with his faith is right, what he was hearing from God is true. He will not survive in this relationship if he did not believe that you are his true love for the rest of his life. You can support him in the process of his spiritual growth. He has a determination, perseverance, and faith. I’m sure that two of you can form a godly relationship and a beautiful marriage that will glorify our Lord.

Bless you Leticia
Faith

June 2, 2012

Leticia, When we have received our God-given dream it is time to start the preparation phase. This might take years. Not something we want to hear when we are eager to go! But it is very much needed. Even apostle Paul had years to prepare before his public ministry.

Too many of us give up with the God-given dream because it seems to take too long to come through. We start doubting our sense of call: “Maybe it all was a fluke” or “What was I thinking?” But this is the time when the enemy tries to attack us and distract us from preparations. This is the time when we are tested whether we believe, whether we are faithful in small tasks. This is the time when we need to act in faith. This is the time when we need to restrain from any activity that would undo our preparations.

God put these problems in your family and your relationship because during this waiting period, God still wants to teach you many things for you and for your partner. These things God will not be able to teach it to you when there is no problem in your family and your relationship.

I was impressed with what God did when problems arise in your relationship. God made your mate closer to Him. The Lord opened a new window in his life to become a pastor with you. Your partner is a person who is very confident and have strong faith. It’s hard to shake his faith. He is the kind of guy who would just wave the white flag when his dream has been really shut down by God. A few months ago, God has closed one of his big dreams, because if God granted his dream, it is impossible if he wants to become a pastor.

You two really love each other and have a dream to get married. God knows it, but before His children get married, He wanted His children are well prepared. God sees it not a time yet for you two to be together in a normal relationship.

Imagine if there was no problem in your relationship. Your life will probably be happy for a while. You can spend a lot of time together but you guys missed a mission from God. The greatest happiness of a Christian is when they are given a mission by God. This indicates that they are trusted by God.

When God pause or delay something, it is used for your good. God stopped the sun for Joshua so he can lead Gibeon to win the war. It is not Joshua who stop the sun, but God. Because God has a plan and God can pause something in order to fulfill His plan. He use Joshua faith to accomplish His plan.

Are you still with me, Leticia?

Leticia, you are a perfect woman of God. God will use you and your partner to shine like a sun. Your mate is very grateful to have the heart of a woman like you. Sincerity, sacrifice, loyalty and commitment are the values ​​that are very valuable in your heart. Your partner will be faithful to you both in joy and sorrow. You do not have to worry that he will look for another woman just because a problems in your relationship or in your family. He also understands there is something that God wants to teach you.

Leticia, hope is the last gate of faith.

I will reply your partner’s email as soon as he marry you.
God’s delay is also God’s will. He will never delay something unless He has a purpose for it.

Bless you
Faith

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June 17, 2012

Dear Leticia
The Lord and I are amazed with your strong faith.
The Lord told me, your partner faith is weakened because a statement by his mother. I justwanted to tell you ,that if her mother’s statement are words that do not correspond to the word ofGod, for her statement contain the unwillingness to reconcile. Those words are the words of the devil like. God never taught it. Tell Billy, if such words were temptations of the devil to impose his “unshakeable” faith.

God was pleased with your willingness to keep the holiness in your relationship. Keep it up, every effort that you made to maintain the holiness, God will use it to open a miracle door for your relationship. Look at the fruits of what God is doing at this time in his life. If there is no in your relationship, it is impossible for Billy to bear a fruits of God. .

Leticia, the Lord hardened his mother’s heart because there are still things that God wants to do. And more importantly, God knows it is still not a good time to open the miracle door for your relationship.

The delay is not a rejection of God, but His delay is to protecting your relationship from the worst case, and it is an opportunity for God to bear a fruits in your life. Imagine an apple tree that is not illuminated by the sun, could it bear a fruits ? NO. Sometimes the Lord will use anything to hurt you to make you grow and bear fruit.

God always working together effectively. Like the Bible said;

Romans 8:28
And we know that in the All Things God works for the good of Those Who Love him, WHO have been called according to his purpose.

Do you (and Billy) are called according to God’s purposes? Yes, so the verse and this promise is for you guys.
God was pleased with what you ask for Billy and his family to love his mother with an extreme love. Leticia, You are children of God as Matthew 5:9 saying. It is your words that must be heard by Billy, not the words of his mother that contains the unwillingness to reconcile.

Remember that many people miss God’s best because they give up too soon. You two will be the pastor to be used by God, live by faith and not by fear.

(1 John 4:18)
Love banishes fear.

Be like Joseph who never stopped hoping for release from prison. Every day he hoped the Lord set him free, he never weaken his faith even it took more than 2 years in a prison. Finally, God freed Joseph of Joseph and immediately brought him to a remarkable degree. That is what God will do to you guys, A big rainbow after the storm.

When you’re married to Billy, the whole heaven will shout for joy because the Lord delights in His children’smarriage. A Godly prince and A Godly princess. I promise I will be there because I know it will be WONDERFUL.

Faith

There are more Faith’s letter. I would like to emphasize that once God gives us a promise, He will fulfill it. But in the mean time, there may be troubles which actually are a test of faith. God has stretched my and Billy’s faith so much throughout this circumstances. Some people say that when parents disagree about our relationship then the door is closed. For some people it works that way. But for us, since we have received the promise of God, we can know for sure that God is working throughout our difficult circumstances. I know deeply that there will come more tests in the future to stretch out our faith. I guess I should end this post with … to be continued …. 🙂

Our Love Story [Part 1]

The story which I will write about is more than just a love story nor a fairy tale. It is a true love story [in case you’re wondering whether it exists or not, it does!], the one which is written by God alone, as the Author of Love.

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The reason I write this is because I see so many people struggle in their love life. Some may be in search for their soulmates, some may wait in extraordinary patience, some may in active pursuit without coordinating with God. It leads us to a one-million dollar question whether God really has preserved “the one” for us or it all depends on our own free will while He only provides guidance. I once having difficulty in answering this question. But I always keep in confidence that the all-knowing God will know certainly the best for me. This is more than just talking about whether “the one” exists or not. It does more about how well we know God Himself 🙂 Based on this conviction, I put on my faith in my God and allowing Him to write my love story according to His will. Practically, I prayed and I waited. I listened to His guidance regarding men who passed through my life and I obeyed whatever His guidance was. Please noted here that I obeyed His guidance more than my own feeling. I did not depend on feeling for feeling can be tricked.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?
-Jeremiah 17:9

There were times when I sacrificed my feelings in order to follow God’s guidance. There were times when I prayed regarding men whom I considered to be with, then I clearly sensed that God said, “No.” And I obeyed it because I simply trust in my good God who knows the best for me. This experience may sound awkward to some of you. Maybe you have a doubt that God really cares about the details about your life. Well, the fact is, He does. He even can number your hair! How couldn’t he bother your life-long partner choices? Okay enough for the introduction 🙂 So here we go, my testimony about what I have seen, heard, and experienced about God-written love story …

I came not from a harmonious family. When you are in that kind of family, it is easy not to trust that there is such thing called ‘true love’. But when I was 15 years old, I accepted Christ as my Savior, and being mentored by Mrs. Gloria Adhitya. She has been the living witness of God to me. I saw her marriage was extra-ordinary and her love story as well 🙂 Her husband was her first and last boyfriend for seven years and their relationship even began with a true confirmation from God. It gave me a glimpse of hope. As I began to look for more ‘evidence’ of true love, I am convinced that those who are truly truly [emphasis added] living for Christ do have a great marriage beyond most couples. By then, it doesn’t merely give me a glimpse of hope, but a fire of passion, a divinely purpose, that I want to have such kind of marriage, and I will [by faith and God’s grace]. It doesn’t stop there. When I was 19, I consumed lots of Christian books regarding Godly relationship, and it shaped out my vision to help young generation to build a Godly marriage, family, and a home. That made me who I am today.

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I was committed to wait to build a relationship until I am ready for marriage. I wanted my husband to become my first and last boyfriend. [Okay, it works differently for some people. We may don’t share the same longing or experience here, and that’s okay!]. But I have faith in it 🙂 Back then, I just knew that I could not build a relationship with Senior High School guy who still depended on their parents for living. So I decided in my heart that Senior High School moment exactly was not the right time to build a relationship. The same thing went through when I was in college. I just had not meet yet with “the one” or I could say “Potential Husband” whom God impressed in my heart. Oh by the way, I have list of characteristics whom I wanna be with for the rest of my life 😉 It’s a hint for praying specifically 🙂 Thank God I wrote it down haha 😀 I wrote this list on April 4, 2010.

I believe that he is a guy who …
1) Loves Jesus more than ANYTHING
2) Has the same passion and vision to serve Jesus and people
3) Always wants to learn and improve himself toward His likeness
4) Loves me as God loves him
5) Humble and not self-centered
6) Honest, reliable, has a good sense of humour
7) Definately not smoking (care for his health)
8) Completely secure, confident, love himself
9) Willing to work hard yet always prioritize family and relationships
10) Good looking 🙂 , tall, white, smart

I want to be faithful even I haven’t met him yet. I know our meeting will be special and I will wait for you with all or my heart. I love you.

The lists should not be attributes to satisfy our flesh. But I tried to be honest on my list (see point no. 10? 😀 but of course, it’s not the top of my priority). We need to ask God for His guidance too. Different kind of faith will be unnegotiable. Why? Because I am deeply convinced that a strong faith in Jesus will be the srongest foundation ever to build a house of marriage.

Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain – Psalm 127:1

The one who share the same burden for ministry and have determination to grow in Jesus will also be my top priority. For I know what God called me to be and being partnered with a man of God will definately support my calling too 🙂 To create an extra-ordinary marriage from the very beginning, we need to partner with man who wants the same thing too 😉

Talking about lists, I was deeply inspired by the list made by a great woman of God, Ruth Graham. At first, she decided that she would be a single life-long missionary unless there was a man whom fulfilled her list as her partner of life [what a high standard!]. In case you’re wondering what were the lists, here they are:

If I marry:
1. He must be so tall that when he is on his knees, he reaches all the way to heaven.
2. His shoulders must be broad enough to bear the burden of a family.
3. His lips must be strong enough to smile, firm enough to say no, and tender enough to kiss.
4. Love must be so deep that it takes its stand in Christ and so wide that it takes the whole lost world in.
5. He must be active enough to save souls.
6. He must be big enough to be gentle
and great enough to be thoughtful.
7. His arms must be strong enough to carry a little child

Wow.. such a poetic list! But her faith was rewarded 😉 She changed her mind when she met … Billy Graham. The one who eventually became one of the greatest preacher on earth.

What I am trying to say here is … God-written love story began with faith which is applied in specific prayer plus boldness. We need to be bold enough to ask for the ‘rare’ thing.. Godly qualities which only a few has. I did not realize where I got such kind of faith.. I guess I was being like a child who trusted fully to the Heavenly Father who is more than able to provide what I asked for. Moreover when I asked for a partner whom I will work with in order to accomplish His mission on earth. He would be more than pleased to give me what He also wants to give at the very beginning 😉

Then what happened after I prayed? I waited. Faithfully. Patiently. I always believe that it is God’s design for a man to initiate a relationship and a woman to wait and respond to man’s initiatives 🙂 Some of us may think that the best place to meet Godly potential spouse is at church. I completely agree with that. It makes sense perfectly. But God can bring up your mate anytime and anywhere. Even in a condition you may never imagine before. My dad enrolled me to a stock analysis course which I often rejected over and over again. I was stubborn enough to decide that ministry would be my path of life and I was not interested to learn stock market. But I obeyed anyway [this obedience led me to God’s purpose ;)]. On the first day of the course I met “him”, one of the lecturer who have achievement already in stock market since he was 17 years old. It was my first time to know who he was. We did not meet often during the course, for he only taught around 3-4 meetings in 3 months. It seemed pretty hopeless to think that we may develop more relationship that lecturer-student. I did not think much either in that direction. Until the day he contacted me ‘accidentaly’ for the first time through short messages. The short message was not for me either.. so we can say it as a ‘lost’ short message whom he intended to send it to someone else. Yet from that moment, we kind of had little conversation for a few times in a week.

I was kind of interested back then. Yet I planned to go to US for a year to study Bible. I was so eager to go until I decided to sacrifice this feeling and just went away. I surrendered that feeling to God and so ready to bear the consequences along the way [Sometimes we are so impatient to wait on God’s timing until we rush into our own plans!] But God’s way mostly different from ours. I wrote the experience of God closed the door in my life in my writing “When God Closes the Door.” Yes, God closed the door when my US visa was rejected. I could not believe it at that moment. It really felt like the door being slammed right in front of your face and your dreams scattered around. It was my gloomy moment in life where God actually taught so many things regarding Him. At that time, he came over to comfort me. Since then, he had been my faithful companion during hard times #hugs. But we did not meet at all. I did not really think that he interested on me since he did never even call nor asked me out. I even sent his birthday present through mail. It was like a sweet friendship ‘with a slight hope of different intention’ at that time. 9 months passed by until He ‘finally’ initiated us to meet on my 22nd birthday 😀 I was so nervous and happy back then …

How would it turn out? I guess I need to stop here and continue later on My Love Story part 2 😀 See you later!

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“A woman’s heart should be so hidden in God so that a man has to seek Him first in order to find her.” – Maya Angelou

Love.
Leticia Seviraneta

Don’t Give Up

 “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” –Proverbs 24:16 [NIV]

Many of us may feel difficulty in pleasing the Lord as we fall many times into the same hole of sin. We feel that we are unworthy anymore to serve him at church as worship leader, singer, mucisian, usher, or give testimony in our daily lives. We feel that we would be hypocrites by serving God and also keep doing ‘favorite’ sins. The condemnation is greater when we hear sermons about the end of times which some make us afraid that our salvation can be lost since we fail maintain holiness in life.

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The truth is, God’s love is constant and does not depend on our performance. God loves us even when we are still in sin. Surely he has purpose for us to life a holy life and walk in his love. But he also knows that it is a process. There will be times when we can fall. But what makes us difference from the situation before we believe in Jesus is we can rise again and walk with God’s strength after we fall.

God who lives in us has conquered the power of sins that used to keep us in bondage. But we often trapped in our way of thinking that the power of sin is so huge and still in control. As God’s children, we are equipped with God’s strength to walk in holiness. We have already received the power not to do that sin again by Holy Spirit who lives in us.  What he requires of us is don’t give up when we fall, rise again, approach God, and walk again with him.

Many people think that obeying God is so difficult. We feel that it’s impossible to be as perfect as God. Yes, it is hard. God never call us to force ourselves to be as perfect as him now. He gives us a command in which he enable us to do it if we surrender to him. He wants us to trust that his commands will lead us to true freedom and true happiness.

Walking with God should not be a burden, but a delight. Just like a man who goes on a date with his lover, he should not take it as a burden, but a delight.

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A motivator named Nick Vujicic was born without a pair of legs nor a pair of hands. Since he was a child, he learned to live independently. When he fell, he did not have feet nor hands to help him rise up. But with a strong determination, he used his head and neck to rise his body up. Everyone can fall, but we can choose not to keep staying on the ground. When you fall, just like Nick, you can do many things to rise up again. In the process Nick rose his body up, he failed a lot of times. But he had no other choice rather than to try again and again to rise up. Now he has built a strong neck muscle because of his ‘little’ training.

 

The world doesn’t end when we fall. The world can truly ended when we don’t get up again.

If you do not give up, you cannot fail -Unknown

Love,

Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Jennifer Phelps Photography

The Sparkling Eyes

“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” –Luke 18:17  [NIV]

I have a little hobby of observing children especially those who are under age of 5. When they ran and fell, most of time they would stand up again immediately, run again and laugh. There are also some children reacted differently. When they fell, they would cried out loud. But when they had calmed down, they were quick to forget the previous “disaster” and played again with no fear. But the most interesting parts about children are their sparkling eyes and their ways to look at things in wonder. If parents teach a child to pray, then in the child’s perspective, prayer can do all things. There was a child who found out that his friend and family member were sick, either just flu or wound, the child will pray immediately. After praying, he would ask, “Have you recovered yet?”

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I believe that when Jesus taught us to have a faith like a child it means that we use child’s perspective that there is nothing impossible for Almighty God. Oftentimes as we grow up into adulthood, we face the reality of life, and the child’s faith starts to fade out. We use more of our logics and we assume what many people experience in this world as truth. No wonder then if the eyes of grown up people fade. The eyes are no longer sparkling because there is no faith, hope, nor love.

Many people spend a lot of money to upgrade their looks. But Jesus actually has taught us the recipe of keeping our looks beautiful overtime. The beauty recipe is in keep in faith, keep hoping to God regardless of our circumstances. Our optimism will change the atmosphere around us to become more passionate. The same thing happens when people are filled with love. Their eyes will be warm when they greet one another. These kinds of people are beautiful in the eyes of God and the world. Don’t let your circumstances, your past, your problems to dictate your faith. Don’t let what happens to you rob your sparkling eyes you once had. But let your faith influences them and let your life shines wherever you are entrusted by God.

A hopeful heart in the Lord will always create sparkling eyes.

And that is the everlasting beauty.

 

Love,

Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Jennifer Phelps Photography 

Amazing Grace

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” –Romans 5:8 [NIV]

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There is an Indonesian’s proverb which says, “Milk is being repaid by toxic water” which means “Goodness is being repaid by evil.” Yes, our world perhaps has given so many examples on such practices. When we do good and don’t get the appropriate response from others, it will naturally discourage us to do good to them at other time. It is natural for us to feel that way because we are still human in flesh and live in a fallen world.

But, Jesus doesn’t think that way. He died at the cross not when we were good to him, but when we were sinning against him. His love doesn’t depend on our performance or our spiritual life. He loves us just because of his glorious mercy. Grace is a gift to the undeserving ones (unmerited favor). God’s principle is indeed “Toxic water is being repaid by milk” which means, “Evil is being repaid by goodness.” Isn’t it weird? But that is how amazing God’s love for us!

A sinner will never change when we keep showering him with critics, condemnations, and bad behavior towards him. A sinner can only be changed with a touch of amazing love. The song of “Amazing Grace” was created by John Newton, who was raised in a good Christian family but he left his faith and live according to worldly ways. He became a sailor, was involved in slave trade and gambling, and had addiction to alcohol. One day when he sailed, at midnight, his ship was shaking hard against the storm. He ended  up saying a prayer to God to save his life. Miraculously, as soon as he finished praying, the sea went calm. That incident was his turning point of his repentance. He then surrendered his life to be God’s servant for the rest of his life.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me

I once was lost, but now I’m found

Was blind, but now I see

 

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear

And grace my fear relieved

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed

 

Through many dangers, toils and snares

We have already come

‘Twas grace that brought us safe thus far

And grace will lead us home

 

When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bright shining as the sun

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we first begun

 

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We are all sinners in front of God’s eyes. But God decides to love us and adopted us to be his precious children. We can do the same thing to people who mistreat us if we realize also how bad we are in God’s eyes. Pray so that God will enable you to love your ‘enemy’ as he loves you. Sow love or ‘milk’ in ther lives. One day you will be amazed by the results.

Sinners do not need condemnation nor judgment.

They need grace expressed in unconditional love.

Love,

Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Whiskers & Willow Photography

I Will Never Forget You

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!” –Isaiah 49:15 [NIV]

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There are moments when you may feel lonely. There are times when you lose people whom we love dearly or perhaps you feel that no one loves you. You may have memories and experiences that convince you all the more that you are alone and you need to depend on yourself in order to survive. But is it true that way? No. God never leaves you. He never forgets you. You are so precious to him.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8 [ESV]

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Hebrews 13:5 [ESV]

On our verse today, Isaiah 49:15,  it is written that God’s love is deeper than the strongest bond of love between a mother and her newborn child. Though it is very rare, there are some mothers who abandon their children; but God will never do that. I don’t know what happened in your past. You may never know who are your biological parents. You may feel your parents don’t love you. You may feel that no one cares about you in this world. But today, God wants to speak to you specifically, that he is the one whom you have been looking for. He is always beside you and even inside of you, but you just don’t realize it.

God is always in control of your life. “The LORD directs he steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the LORD holds them by the hand.” (Psalm 37:23-24) God uses all things either good or bad to finish his plan for those who love him (Romans 8:28).  If you love God, then this promise is definitely for you.

God never allows problems come into your life without your capability to overcome it (1 Corinthians 10:13). If you learn to trust and surrender into God, he will strengthen you in the broken areas in your life. Someday you may serve others who experience the same like you did by God’s strength.

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There is a true story about a young woman who love and serve God with all her heart. One night after she served in her church, she walked down the street and almost arrived at her home. Suddenly, a group of men trapped her, they ripped off her blouse, kissed her in may parts of her body. At some point, they abandoned her on the street. They didn’t completely rape her, but inside she was destroyed. When she arrived at home, she took a shower over and over again and cried loudly. She had just served the Lord, but why did it happen to her? She was still a virgin, but she was full with disgust and hated herself a lot. She didn’t understand at all why God allowed it to happen.

Praise God, the woman did not run off from God. Fifteen years later, after enduring a long process of healing, she finally recovered from the pain. She was empowered by God to release forgiveness unto those men. She was married and already had children. She dedicated her life to serve women who were raped. The women she served often yell at her, “You don’t know what it’s like! How disgusting that your body is being touched by stranger!” But this woman answered, “I know what it’s like.” She was almost raped and she had the same feeling before as those women feels now. God uses her all the more in this area of ministry.

Whatever you are going through now, God never forgets you. Psalm 8:4 says, “What is a man that you are mindful of him?” God’s mind is so filled with you just like a man who keeps on thinking on the woman he loves. That is how much God loves you.

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God will make you so strong at the broken places of your life that you would minister to others out of that hidden strength.

Blessings,

Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Axioo Baby Photography