Works

Jan & Bianca

At some point in everyone’s life, every person learns the importance of strength. Some people would call superfluous, but for Jan and Bianca, strength proved to be an absolute necessity.

Jan had developed his own self-confidence that could move mountains. At such an early age, his vision was to be the “emperor of the world” and nothing less. However, it proved inadeqate when some bullies in school locked him in his own locker in a high school tussle. That was when Jan learned that he needed more power…more authority. So he took to the gym and by unshakable discipline and an indomitable will, he carved himself into a modern-day Atlas whom everyone respected.

For Bianca, she was her daddy’s little princess. For  little girls, there was absolutely no other hero for her than her dad. He fondly called her “Happiness Angel Girl”. And no other term of endearment meant to Bianca as much as that. But as fate would soberingly remind her, we never have control over our lives. In 2008, Bianca’s dad passed away, leaving a heartbroken girl in his wake. That day was the first day on her lesson on strength and how she needed to numb away the pain of such a loss.

Pride and heartbreak. It was these two things that eventually connected Jan & Bianca. It was with these two glitches that God orchestrated and prepared them for a love story of a lifetime.

Jan learned all about Jesus first and understood the meaning of humility through His example. It was during this transformative period that Jan committed to reading the Bible every day.

During one of her trips to the gym, Bianca was introduced to Jan. As fate would have it, it was in the gym that they both strengthened their physical capabilities as well as their friendship. It eventually blossomed and eventually, Jan introduced Bianca to his own hero. Bianca had so many questions for God but as she continued to learn about kindness and humility through Jan’s example, she understood that the Jesus in the Bible changes lives and provides peace where there is confusion.

There are moments in our lives when we feel most vulnerable…when all hope is lost. It is a time when we feel most alone, but Jan & Bianca’s story tells us that in the end everything will be alright. And if it’s not yet alright, then it’s not yet the end. What started out as a chapter of heartbreak and loss transitioned to a meeting with one’s soulmate which then ended with the union of Jan, Bianca and the Almighty.

And so another plot begins in the lives of these two. A story within a story.

“A triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”

Bride. Groom. God.

Strength in numbers was always a way to go.

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Joel & Carolyn

One of the most precious virtues that one can ever have is patience. Ironically, we sometimes want to fast-forward our lives but in doing so, we miss out on the beautiful details that make up our stories.

Joel & Carolyn’s wedding was quite special to me because it was a testament on how the blessings of God are never late nor are they early–they are always on time. Carolyn was that proverbial “Last Sibling Standing”. She is the youngest of five siblings and for a time, it seemed that the idea of romance was farthest from her mind.

Sometimes you have that feeling when everything is doing okay in your life and you’re perfectly happy living the life you’ve been blessed with.  And then, all of a sudden, God gently lays something (or someone) on your lap and says, “Here. Just so you’re reminded that I love you.”

Joel was that gift. And in many ways, Carolyn was also the same for Joel.

After getting to know each other, the two decided to put God in the center of their relationship and that, as they say, is history. No regrets. No looking back.

I realized that in relationships, the blessings of the authorities in our lives are invaluable. God uses the people who look over us to speak wisdom, guidance and love over our lives. And when the parents of Joel and Carolyn approved, it was a “match made in heaven”–a love story worth telling to their future children and grandchildren.

In the Psalms, the author says, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Waiting on the Lord might mean a lot of difficult things. It might mean saying “No” to a good thing and at times it might even mean saying “No” to something even better.

All because God wants us to have the best.

When you are in a conversation with the Almighty and He asks you to wait, the command is not borne out of a heart of a cosmic killjoy but from a heart of a Loving Father.

May you find joy in the waiting process–whatever or whoever it is you are waiting for. But when it comes to that one person you’ll be spending the rest of your life with, waiting is not only essential but also worth it.


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Aoo & Anna

There are times when words fail to express what two people mean to each other. And while those times are few and far between love stories, every once in a while, there comes a wedding that just makes you realize how much backstories matter.

I’ve always known Aoo as a gladiator. He’s the type of guy that gets knocked down with arms flailing and gets up faster than he hits the ground. He’s one of the people who inspires me to not give up, to give it your all, to keep on keeping on–even when you have your back against the wall.

And now, looking back at these photographs, I remember peering through the viewfinder not as a photographer but as a witness. When I look at his groomsmen, I see a battalion who has stood by his side through it all. When I see his friends attempting to stifle a tear, I see overwhelming joy. And when I look at his beautiful bride–one who, according to him, knows him through and through and still loves him…I cannot be happier for my friend for on this day, he has won one of his prizes in this lifetime.

Isn’t that the point of life? To never give up.

To never succumb to those things that bog us down.

To never say no to challenges.

To keep fighting against the flow of the mediocre.

To never be afraid of making a mistake.

And sometimes, to be courageous enough to admit to yourself and others when you have made one.

It is humbling to realize that we walk alongside some of the greatest heroes we can ever encounter in our lives.

We only need to look harder.

There will come a day that you will be face to face with a kindred spirit–the same way that Aoo and Anna met each other. And without words, they will remind you, one fateful day, how life was so unbearable without them.

Until then, fight for that next step.

Until then, keep moving forward.

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