My Boss’ Wedding

My colleagues and I went on a roadtrip to Batangas yesterday for our boss’ wedding. It was a perfect day to relax, enjoy the company of friends, celebrate with the couple, and of course, take a lot of photos. Haha. While we were on the road, one of my colleagues mentioned that the sad thing about bringing a camera to any event is that the photographer is rarely included in the photos. I do agree that the person behind the camera usually ends up with a few photos of himself/herself at the end of the day. However, I do think that bringing a camera still makes it worth the effort as it depends on the photographer’s purpose and focus.

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As soon as we got to the venue and settled down on our seats, I got my camera and started capturing the moments I observed and the people I was with. As the hours passed by, I didn’t even notice that I didn’t have much photos until my other colleague (who is also into photography) offered to take my photo because he knew that I didn’t have a lot of photos yet. I guess it brings a certain joy to my heart whenever I get to look through the lens, see the beauty in the moment, and preserve the memory. Somehow, having few photos or feeling the heavy weight of the camera while I walk up and down stairs and slopes in my 4-inch heels didn’t seem to matter anymore. It just wasn’t my main focus that day.

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When I think about these things now, I can’t help but remember what I witnessed during my boss’ wedding. There was something about the ceremony, reception, and the hearts of the groom and bride that radiated peace and joy. Even though we can try to attribute it to the couple’s personalities, good weather, beautiful venue, or sincerity of their family members, I know that it was because of Jesus Christ – the focus of yesterday’s celebration.

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When the pastor led the ceremony, he emphasized the importance of two things: 1) Trusting in Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior, and 2) Loving like Him. Also, during the exchange of vows, the groom and bride mentioned this phrase “Now, I am excited to wake up each day…” Before they could finish the sentence, I was expecting them to say something cheesy like “…wake up each day and be beside you.” But, they didn’t. Instead, they said: “Now, I am excited to wake up each day and seek the Lord first, so I could know, love, and serve Him with you.”

That was just an amazing moment.

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In this day and age, whenever we hear the word “marriage”, people usually think that the main focus of it is the love between a husband and his wife. However, it was refreshing to see my boss and her husband publicly declare their commitment to God and to each other yesterday. They shared to their family and friends that their marriage is and will always be by God’s grace and for His glory. Clearly, it wasn’t about them. Even while they were exchanging their vows and honoring their parents, they gave the glory to God. It was encouraging to see them sincerely express their desire to know, love, and serve the Lord together as long as they live.

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One of the major highlights yesterday was the couple’s response to their “wedding bloopers”. There were quite a handful of bloopers in the speeches and technical difficulties. But, they didn’t let these little disappointments rob them of the joy that they had. Their wedding wasn’t about showcasing a perfect event or program. It was an opportunity and a privilege for them to give God the glory as they declare their love for Him and for each other. That was their main purpose and focus last night.

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On our way back to the parking lot, I whispered “Thank You!” to God as I looked to the dark blue sky full of twinkling stars. I didn’t have a tripod with me so I couldn’t take a photo of the breathtaking view. But, in that moment, I remembered what had transpired throughout the day and how God encouraged my heart to focus on Him alone. Not on myself, my limitations, disappointments, or the situations I’m in.

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To my boss and her husband (Woohoo!), I pray that you will grow even more in love with the Lord as you enjoy this new season in your lives. Continue to give him the glory in everything that you do. Thank you for sharing your hearts with us on your special day.

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

[Numbers 6:24-26]

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I want to leave you with a song that was played during the reception. It’s called “The Marriage Prayer” by John Waller.

So You Made a Mistake

I panicked this morning when I woke up at 7:38 am because I was supposed to be at the office by 7. By God’s grace, our meeting in the morning got postponed to next year, so I didn’t miss it. When I arrived at work, my immediate supervisor told me that I received an award (President’s Star Award – Outstanding Customer Service) during our company’s Christmas party the night before. Because of a family affair, I wasn’t able to go to the party, so this surprise really encouraged my heart. I felt like I didn’t deserve it because I knew my weaknesses in different aspects. It also felt ironic because I was late for work today. But nonetheless, I thanked God for His grace and extended my gratitude to my supervisor.

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Fast forward to 5 pm, I found out that my colleague and I experienced delays and miscommunication in one of our tasks. Unfortunately, our mistake led to a terrible domino effect on the other departments involved and we were called to the ‘principal’s office’. From 5 to 6 pm, all I could think of and feel was anxiety, regret, shame, and worthlessness. Immediately, I felt like I was melted cheese or a rotten vegetable in the office. I wanted to fly away and never come back. But, I couldn’t turn back time, I couldn’t linger on my regrets because those were already in the past. All I needed to do was to face the reality that I made a mistake, take responsibility, and learn from it.

While my colleague and I were trying to discuss things and seek help from my supervisor, a hundred discouraging thoughts quickly entered my mind which eventually crushed my spirit. I hurried to the bathroom and cried because I knew that I needed to let it out. I mustered a whisper to God and asked for His grace and mercy in the situation I was in. I asked for a miracle.

By God’s grace, a few minutes later, my supervisor walked in the bathroom and told me that one of our managers could help us out and somehow alleviate the stress and delays caused by our mistake. With a deep sigh, I thanked the Lord, washed my face, and headed back to my table in the office.

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Despite the roller coaster ride that I experienced today, one of the things that I am grateful for was the conversation that I had with my supervisor a few minutes after my bathroom break. We sat down in a private room and talked about what happened. She graciously listened to me and comforted me in spite of my weaknesses and it was really a heartwarming time. Instead of adding fuel to the fire, she (once again) graciously and gently rebuked me and gave me a kind of support that only a supervisor can give.

One of the things that she said to me that still gets to my heart was this: “Don’t let that one mistake define who you are. You did a good job this year which is why you were given an award. Even though you made a mistake today, it will not define you.”

Tears rolled down my cheeks as I silently listened to her words of encouragement. I was keenly listening to her voice, but at the same time, I was listening to God’s as well. It was as if God was embracing me at that time and saying to me that His grace is enough for me and will always be enough for me.

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Today was our last working day for the year and God made it as exciting as possible. By His grace, He allowed me to experience His goodness and victory when I received the award today, but at the same time, He also allowed my heart to get crushed and humbled so that I would be reminded that it was, is, and always will be because of Him, His grace, and His love for me. Even if I make mistakes in the future, I know that He never will. My security and hope is in Him and not in my own strengths. And I’m learning to focus on His grace and power and not on my weaknesses.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” [2 Corinthians 12:9]

So I made a mistake. It’s not a big deal because the beautiful thing about God’s grace is that He can turn even our greatest mistakes into our biggest blessings. Sometimes, He may even use our mistakes to bless others too.

Thank You, Lord, for 2014 at work. It has been a privilege working for You this year. I know that You are not through with me yet and I look forward to more adventures with You soon.