I’ve been bogged down with work ever since most of the states started imposing stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19, mostly because I have gotten involved in a project that built a contact tracing app for one state. Because of the immediate need, our team had been working long hours every day of every week to bring out weekly releases for urgent client needs. There have been a lot of late nights that also spilled over to weekend work even to this day, so naturally, I felt really tired and beaten down.
I called it my cave season. Physically, emotionally, spiritually I was tired and I likened myself to Elijah who ran off to a cave after Jezebel threatened to kill him. Nothing seemed to brighten my spirit, and perhaps I was also feeling a sense of hopelessness that sometimes I found myself trying to shrug it off with my dark sense of humor.
Since I couldn’t get to a place where I could describe my mental and emotional state let alone open up to anyone, I found myself playing and singing sad songs in the middle of my busy day. But even that didn’t last as my left ear started to feel a little deaf. It wasn’t so evident until I would try to sing and sense that my left ear couldn’t hear as well as my right ear does. Eventually I gave up the ukelele and didn’t play it for a month.
But like Elijah’s story, even when I ran off and “gave up” my post and my voice, God sustained me.
A few days after my birthday I woke up to a dream. In it I was very pregnant and was at the last term of my pregnancy (NOTE: This isn’t the first time this year that I had a dream about being pregnant). The strange thing was that in my dream, I wasn’t married and I hadn’t gone to see a doctor the entire time I’ve been carrying the baby in my womb. At the same time, in my dream, someone was telling me that they’re sending someone to look after me during the last term of my pregnancy since I didn’t have a husband. It was weird but at the same time, I knew and I could sense the entire time that I was dreaming that it was all symbolic and that it wasn’t really a biological baby that I was carrying. I felt it in my spirit that the doctor I hadn’t seen was God and the person being sent to look after me was an angel.
I’m not going to go over the details of what it might be that I was going to birth because I honestly also don’t know and I still am trying to figure that out, but I guess my point is, God was telling me that He was sending an angel. Like what He did for Elijah, God, in His mercy and grace, sent His angel to tell me to wake up and eat because there’s still a long journey ahead.
I actually didn’t want to wake up that morning because it was a joy to feel the movement of the baby in my womb.
The weekend after that, I joined an online conference for Christian creatives. They had creative prophetic ministry time at the end of each day and I managed to join on the last day. I had had the experience of getting prophetic words spoken over me through Zoom before, but in the first few minutes of this creative prophetic ministry time, I heard people share testimonies of healing just by being shown prophetic art or being sung over online. They encouraged people to share or speak up if they had any ailments that needed healing. At first, I felt a bit out of place because I didn’t really think I needed any physical healing but my left deaf ear did cross my mind. I shrugged it off as soon as I thought it and said to myself, “Well, I guess I need emotional healing?”
At the breakout sessions, I was put into a group that had two ministry volunteers with six or seven participants, including me. I wasn’t expecting anything grandiose but God highlighted me. After the volunteers had prayed, one of them called me out and asked me if I sang. I told her I do but not very well. She said she actually had a song that God gave her to sing over me. She sang,
The floodgates are coming
The floodgates are coming
The floodgates are coming
She then told me, “I saw you singing and I just saw this depth of intimacy between you and the Lord. Your intimacy just brings such access. You don’t have to be an excellent singer for Him to minister to you or through you because the key is intimacy and that’s something you already carry and something you already have. I saw water moving from your arms. You’re releasing water by your gentleness and your care. I just bless you to step out. You love so deeply so well and the kind of love that you carry, people long for. So if the Lord tells you to reach out, if the Lord tells you to create something and you don’t know why or don’t understand why, or He tells you to create something and it’s not something obvious, I just declare the spirit of courage over you. You were made for courage. You were made for risk.”
Before I was given this word, even before I had the dream, I wasn’t even looking forward to my birthday. A few days before my birthday, I hid my birthday on Facebook so people won’t get the notification and then I changed my settings and disabled people from posting on my timeline because I didn’t want people to make an occasion of my birthday.
I just felt…sad and empty. I stepped away from ministry because I was just tired, burnt out, and it wasn’t giving me joy anymore. I stepped away from community because I didn’t want to hear people say, “Okey lang yan (It’s fine).“ I felt like no one really understood me and I also didn’t want to have to bother trying to explain myself. It was hard for me to process everything that has been going on in my personal life, my spiritual life, and what’s been going on with the world. I was like a sponge that absorbed everything. The pain and suffering of this broken world that we live in was just too much to bear. I knew that I couldn’t bear it all on my own, nor was it something that I needed to bear, but at the same time I couldn’t really help but feel and absorb everything.
But God sees and He saw me through all of that. He held me and maybe even cried with me as I cried in anguish. He gave me the space to let me air out my angst. He let me indulge in hobbies that took more of my time than reading His word. He was patient enough to let me have my way and He let me figure things out by myself as a Father would. He washed me with so much of His mercy and grace just because He’s אל ראי Adonai El Roi—the God who sees.
Not only did He heal my heart that afternoon when He highlighted me in a group of six or seven people, but He also healed my left ear. Right after the ministry time ended, I felt the urge to pick up my ukelele and I also I didn’t feel like anything was blocking my hearing anymore. Because just as He has always been singing over me all this while, He wanted me to joyfully sing praises to Him once again. Even if I’m not the best singer. Even if I still sing out of tune. But simply because He rejoices in my joy and my singing as a Father would.