The transcript below is from the testimony I shared during our church's anniversary on Oct. 10, 2015.
It's only been three and a half months since my husband Ferdinand ‘Bong’ Ballon went home to his Lord and Savior. Yet it feels like forever since the last time he was with us. Many of you are wondering how the kids and I are doing. By God’s grace we are doing well. Many times Em-j would still cry for Daddy. She also said that it is boring without Daddy (and I do agree with her!). Zek would always say “I wish Daddy is still here. I miss him so much.” I took a video of him one time and he said “See you in heaven, Daddy”- he’s been used to sending Daddy videos when he is away. Eunice gets my phone and pretends to talk to Daddy. Our wounds are still fresh. Never a day goes by that we don’t long for Bong’s presence. The celebrations and milestones in the kids’ life are not as joyous now that he is gone. The daily challenges of parenting are more difficult to bear without him.
As for me, I’ve been going through moments when I would wrestle with the Lord. I was thinking that Bong and I just wanted a simple life and we desire to glorify Him in every decision we make. We desire to serve Him and be a blessing to those around us wherever He leads us. I feel a sense of entitlement to something better than this hardship. Yet I know that I am being prideful and self-righteous. I know I deserve Hell yet He gave His Son to be my Savior. This trial is nothing compared to Hell. It’s just difficult. I am not prepared to bury the most precious person in my life at a young age, more so when his passing away is so sudden.
To be honest with you, the spiritual battle is real. It’s easy to be selfish and focus on my pain. It’s easy to just give up instead of persevere through this trial. Sometimes I feel like it is pointless to persevere since Bong is not here any longer. There were moments when I feel like things are meaningless without him. But then again I remember Bong’s reminder for me to keep my focus on the Lord. I’d still hear him say “Trust God more than you trust me. Love God more than you love me.”
I have to accept the fact that it is God’s will for Bong to have a short life here on Earth. As his wife, that is something that is not easy to do. In my perspective, the kids and I need him here forever. I feel sorry for my kids that they will grow up without Bong's wise counsel, protection, love and leadership in our family especially in this evil times. However, I have to remember that God has given me Bong to be my husband, but he is not mine forever. Bong is God’s and I have to let him go. And that takes away any hint of bitterness in my heart, knowing that God in His holiness and faithfulness does not intend to harm the kids and I by calling Bong home. As Job said “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord”.
That is one reality in life that we all have to face. Our lives are not ours. It is God’s. We cannot live our lives any way we want. The truth is we are all sinners in need of God’s mercy. We deserve hell and yet God in His goodness sent Jesus to seek and save us. Only through surrendering our lives to the Lord that we can find deliverance from God’s wrath. I’d say it once again, if you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, don’t delay. Believe me, tomorrow may not come. Seek Him now! Seek Him while He may be found. Repent of your sins and believe that Jesus died for our sins and He rose again!
That is the same gospel I share with Em-j and Zek when they ask me questions about heaven and life in general. Yet I must admit the challenge is not just with sharing the gospel but living it out day-by-day, moment-by-moment in the midst of pain and sorrow. And that’s when over and over again I cling to the cross and I experience the power of the gospel in my life. I can rejoice and sing:
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, All fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future and life is worth the living, Just because He lives!”
Bong is with the Lord now. As much as we want him here with us or better yet the kids and I be with him in heaven right now, we are alive to proclaim and live out the gospel. We have become heavenly-minded. We long for the Lord’s return more than ever. Yet until that day that He comes back or calls us home we need to trust and obey Him.
As I’ve said, the spiritual battle is real. Only by God's grace that I can sleep in peace. Only by God's grace that I can get up in the morning and face each day with hope. Only by God’s grace that I can hold on to His promises that He will never leave me nor forsake me- that this light momentary affliction is preparing for me an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. Only by God’s grace that I can stand before you today, rejoicing and finding comfort that one day I will be reunited with Bong and worship Christ face to face. O the richness of God's grace!! And the same grace he gives me is the same grace He can give you in any situation you are in right now.
I continue to ask for your prayers. Please pray that I won't be fearful and grow weary; that I will stay strong and endure the pain and persevere through this trial; that I will continue to grow and mature in the Lord; that the kids will grow up in the fear and knowledge of Christ our Savior and Lord.
(Thank you for caring for my family. I cannot imagine going thru this trial without the loving and constant support from all of you. This church has been a blessing to myself and my family).
Thank you so much and to God be the glory.