Report says that only 2% of the entire population of the wholewide world has the chance to keep their childhood friends until they reach their death beds. I am one of that 2%. And that is one of my greatest blessings.

I lost Grace, my friend since the time I can not read nor write, last year after a 5-year battle with breast cancer. She was both a source of influence and surprises to me. She even in her last moments did not fail to surprise me. During the last night of the wake, I asked her brothers to take a nap while I volunteered to keep watch through out the early morning.

Before I continue my story, let me share a another story first.
In my seventeen years of membership of the charismatic community, my first ever ministry that I joined was to pray for the dead family members of fellow singles. So, almost every week during the first two years, I had free meals because of wake events where we prayed and sung “Till the end of my days..” One of my leaders even said that if ever we were paid, then, we could have earned at least our transport allowance for the whole month because our group was always called for that kind of event.

But, it was far more different and I must say, difficult for Grace’s time. When I was praying the Prayer for the Dead and singing “Till the end of my days, Oh Lord. I will bless Your name. Sing You praise. Give You thanks. All my days…” in a soft voice, I was wholeheartedly accepting the end of our friendship.
After praying, I placed my phone on a table to take a selfie and her coffin at the background. I set the timer to 5 seconds but before it reached 5, I thought I heard someone called “Benia”. There was no one else in the room and I know that was Grace sending her surprise, maybe her last surprise and accepting wholeheartedly the end of our friendship.

The last time that I visited her, she promised that we will meet outside and not anymore in her house. While her coffin was lowered to the ground, I realized that she kept her promise.

And life continues.

2019 Plans and A New Grace, A New Bestfriend

On my 2019 plans, I did not write down a dream that has been in my annual plans, first time for many years. This year, I did not write, “To be a Bride.” Instead, I wrote a new dream, a new prayer, “Be blessed with a new Grace, another best friend.”
I know that there would be no one like Grace. Her memories will always have a special spot in my heart. But, I also know that it’s never late to find and keep a new grace, a new best friend. A best friend who stays and decides to stay a friend despite all odds. A best friend who brings your soul closer to the Lord. A bestfriend who enriches your life and makes life easier and happier to live in. A best friend who is also a God’s gift.
So, this year I am not praying for a spouse for the first time in many years but I am praying for a new bestfriend.
Or, who knows the Lord will send me a bachelor version of Grace.
❤️

Dear Lord, thank You for your endless grace. I received one through Grace. Please hug Grace today for me. I know if she was to tell me a new dream, she would tell me this again, “Benia, find a new bestfriend, someone like me but unlike me in many ways. Someone, maybe who can also be your spouse.”

_____

Praying for another best friend this year?

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(Leading Prayer Group Meetings)

It was at that time when I said “Yes” to be a group prayer head in a Catholic charismatic community for singles. This Catholic charismatic community has small units of prayer group. This prayer group is called “Household” which is normally consists of 4-5 single ladies, so, that makes me a Household head.
Being friends mainly with girls is something very familiar for me, as growing up and during teen years, I was part of all girls big group of friends. During my first years as a young professional, I still was part of all ladies group in the company where I worked. We regularly went to night – outs wearing our Tok-Toks (our own secret code for high – heeled shoes because of the sound that it makes when we walk with it on). Basically, what I am saying here, I know generally how girls operate, unite, celebrate, love and fight together ever since I was young. Girl power, how ancient the concept may it sound, has always been in me… until I joined the Catholic community for singles .

As I write this, I can’t help but be filled once again with gratitude. This is the posture of my heart each time I get to remember my first few days as an S-F-C, of becoming, that is, Someone for Christ.

Heading the Household prayer group for sisters is also like leading a girl power group in fun and activities except that with this task, I am leading them to Christ and not to the “domination” (lol) of the world. Leading them to Christ means making myself available for them without any cost. Unlike the girl power friendship, this task required me sacrifices. So, I later replaced the term “task” to “service” and me not a “leader” but a “mother”, as I always associate sacrifices to motherhood.

During my first year as a Household head, I was faced with struggles to prepare the discussion topics, my parents’ house and foods.

The difficulty on preparing the discussion topic was not so much because my default topic was the scripture reading for the day, compared to preparing and clearing the food to be served. The latter task was more daunting for me. Food preparation required me time and other resources.

Burdened I may seemed with the differences of building friendship with new sisters (new members) in the community, however, just like in my all-girls friendship, I find joy and love whenever I am with them during household prayer meetings.

All my efforts are somewhat reciprocated specially whenever there was a well-attended household prayer meeting. But I enjoyed, too, even only a member shows up. It is a chance for a heart – to – heart talk.

So, after each and every prayer meeting when all the members are gone and I am left alone washing used glasses, plates, spoons and forks, clearing the table and floors. There in that last task that I find silence without the rush, but, a happy silence with the Lord. It is in this moment that my mind starts to process what just transpired in the prayer meeting. It is in this moment that I realize the Lord is making everything possible. It is in this moment that I say, “Thank You, Lord. Mission accomplished.” It is in this act of washing the dishes, clearing the table and rubbish bin that I find most fulfilling of becoming a head.

Matthew 20:16
So the last will be first, and the first will be last.


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