Single moms will probably agree that the road is not easy. Among several challenges, Maricor was faced with financial uncertainty, self-worth questions, and the issue of temptation added to the deep hurt of rejection, betrayal, anger, and abandonment. As she came to know Jesus and lifted up each concern, each of which was important to Him no matter how great or small, Maricor walked the journey one day at a time. She decided to choose joy despite the struggles and difficulties that each day brought. Even when there were days when there seemed to be no light at the end of the tunnel, she hung on to God’s Word which told her that He has a good and perfect plan for her. She says, “If you latch on to that plan, then before it even begins, you’re already victorious.” It has been sixteen years since Maricor was left to fend for herself and her two children. Today, with a smile on her face and joy in her heart, Maricor declares God’s grace and goodness in her and her children’s lives. As a parent, she might have considered herself single, but in God, she was never alone.
Maricor tells God’s story in her life:
1. FROM DESPERATION TO KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS
If somebody told me “Go jump in the river”, I would have done it. But it was my birthday two weeks after that and my friends treated me to lunch. My (first) friend said “Why don’t you have an affair so you’ll be on equal terms?” The lawyer said, “I will work on your annulment. Give me your papers.” My Christian friend said, “Do you want to go to a bible study?” By God’s grace, I chose the bible study…. That following week she brought me to one…I accepted the Lord then. I found myself going every week after that. I began to grow in my knowledge of Jesus.
2. CHILDREN COPING
The following summer I sent my children to CCF (Christ’s Commission Fellowship) Youth camp and they also accepted the Lord then. I figured that if I was going to raise the two of them on my own, I needed that the three of us were on the same page…if they knew the Lord, I would not have such a difficult time raising them by myself. It was a really, really good decision on my part and I know that it was the Lord who led me to do that because my children got it right away. They were the ones who said, “Mama, let’s just go worship every Sunday”. And so that’s the time I began to grow and attend bible studies.
3. DID YOU TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THE SITUATION?
No, but my children were very discerning because they would attend in CCF. They sort of knew without us talking to each other that we were gonna be a team (the three of us) and we were gonna help each other through hell and high water. They believed that they will not do anything that will make my pain any deeper. They never smoked. They would get good grades because in their hearts, they could not add any more difficulty to what I was already feeling. So we didn’t even have to talk about it. It was just on their part, they already did what they had to do. Even now, we don’t talk about it, we’re just so happy.
3A CHILDREN LEARNED THE VALUE OF MONEY
I was able to let my children know the value of money. My daughter at that time when cell phones were new in the market, she’d go to Divisoria, buy jeans and go back to school and sell it. One semester, she was able to make P28,000 and she was able to buy her cell phone. She would also look for available condominiums somewhere in Katipunan because she had many friends who lived down South in Alabang. Their parents would want them to board because it’s near the school and she would say, “Here’s one condominium” and the first month’s rent would go to her because she talked to the brokers. She was on her own but she was earning so she helped me. My son really idolized his father because when he was growing up, my husband would always bring him to trips abroad…so he also wanted to become a pilot. He entered PAL flight school, graduated top of his class in academics. I did this with the Lord’s help— board, lodging, transportation was on me. He was taken in by PAL right away and is now a 747 pilot. My daughter got this nice job in Honda where she was trained very well. Then she went to Mandarin Hotel… then she was taken in by Shangrila in Maldives. So my children are okay now.
4. HOW DID YOU OVERCOME ANGER AND NEGATIVE FEELINGS?
It was a day-to-day thing. That time when I saw this vendor with two huge pythons…I was deciding, “Should I get the smaller one or the bigger one?” I might as well get the bigger one because when my husband would arrive from a flight, I was going to put it in the car. I asked the vendor how much it was. He said, “P3,500”. I said, “Wait. Let me go to the ATM.” So I went and withdrew P3,500. When I came back, the vendor was no longer there. I presumed he sold the two snakes. Even then, I already knew God was doing something. He was controlling me. From that kind of anger, how did it transform… things like that, the fact that I was not able to buy, I knew the Lord was speaking to me already. So little by little, I was listening to what the Lord was saying. I remember that vengeance is His and so I shouldn’t take it upon myself to do it. Little by little, day by day, I would just lift it up in prayer. But the anger was there, the pain was there. I would wait for the kids to sleep and then I would cry myself to sleep. The next day I’d feel better because I would just talk to the Lord and tell Him, “You know what I’m going through.” I would just talk and talk. I guess it’s my way of just releasing. And little by little as the years passed, it just disappeared and now I don’t feel any rancor, any bitterness. It’s a day-to-day thing. I can’t say it’s a one-shot deal. You just immerse yourself in reading His word and in doing things for the Lord. Another thing…when you listen to the problems of other people, and you see that your problem is not that big, you also feel better. There are women just like me who get battered physically but I was never battered physically. Little by little you realize, “Yes, I’m still blessed.” It took a long time, maybe sixteen years but I’m fine.
5. CHANGES AFTER ACCEPTING JESUS
I noticed the change then because (at that time my husband was still coming home) I did not have the desire to look at his things because before I would try to find out where he’s been. The first thing I noticed when I accepted the Lord Jesus, there was really no interest anymore to check where he was or what time he’s coming home. I just said, “Lord, You be the one to take care of this.” I also…became a better wife. When he would say, “Don’t go to the bible study”, I wouldn’t. I would just stay home. And I’d be a good wife.
6. FINANCES/ FIRST PRIORITY IS SERVING THE LORD
Ateneo’s expensive. Year after year, I would do the little things. I cooked and sell what I cooked, I made Christmas decorations and sell in bazaars, decorate my friends’ houses although I’m not a decorator, sewer, or professional cook. But they liked what I did because I guess God gave me the talent to have the eye. I can fix your house with minimum cost. That was something that I did well. Through the years, when there were expenses that were coming, there was always something. It was not much but I never had to go into debt. My sister and I started a business five years ago making resort wear. By God’s grace, we now supply fourteen upscale resorts all over the country from clothes to hats to bags to fashion accessories, espadrilles and even men’s clothes… At this point in time, we don’t have any competition…It is going on really well. Our first and foremost priority is serving the Lord. It always comes before the business. Surprisingly even without too much attention given to it, it runs. The reorders keep coming. What I thank God for is the designs. We never seem to run out of designs. God has made us creative enough to just keep on changing our designs all the time.
8. SUPRISES FROM THE LORD
The Lord is good because as you feel pain or hurt, He gives something like a gift of a surprise like a new friendship so it doesn’t hurt so much. There’s something that makes you excited about something else… When the flock of birds just swooped down. I was crying because I said how could I pay the tuition again. In Manila, the birds don’t flock together they’re just single birds pecking at the ground but this particular time, maybe about twenty-five birds swooped down and I said, “Lord, if you feed them, won’t you take care of me?” If you’re hurting and you’re in pain and you see the birds, that’s how God says, “It’s okay.” Do I have a formula? No. I’m just very discerning about what the Lord is telling me at the moment and just catch it when he’s telling you something and appreciate the little things as you appreciate the big things. Day by day, just walk in obedience and you’ll never even know fifteen years has passed. And now I can stand here to talk about this with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.
9. CONTENT IN THE LORD
Earlier, Pastor Peter asked me, “Do you have any struggles?” Right now, offhand, not really because I’m really happy in the Lord. I am content. I have absolutely forgiven my husband even if he doesn’t exactly want to talk to me right now. I greet him on special occasions. I ask how he is once in a while. The process has been long but definitely, I would not have done it without the Lord.
10. HABAKKUK 3:17 Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
When I made my testimony, this verse jumped out of the bible. At that time, even if everything else was going wrong, there was no light at the end of the tunnel, I decided in my heart that I was going to rejoice in the Lord. Without even communicating that to my children, I think they did too. See, it’s my action that I communicated to them. In spite of the fact that sometimes there was nothing much, we would still be joyful in the house. We’d still think… “at least we didn’t’ have to pay rent, the car was still running…” things like that. Those things gave us things to thank God for.
11. JOEL 2:25 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten— the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm— my great army that I sent among you.”
My son… in his third year of flying, he was able to buy a lot in an upscale subdivision. Before, my car was really such an old, old car. And now, when my son brings me in his BMW with the top down and I see the air, I can’t believe it. It’s like, “Lord, I can’t believe this”. My refrigerator is groaning with food. My mom’s refrigerator she had to change for the bigger one because sobra sobra ang pagkain. When our table is laden with the best steaks and the fruits and the cheese and everything because my son is very generous. He would just give it all to us. My daughter would take me to trips to Singapore and things like that. She’d say, “Mama order anything in the restaurant because before, we never could afford that so eat anything.” This whole thing about Joel that God would repay, it’s so true. Whenever I see those things that I never even imagined I would have, I would cry because the Lord, in spite of all these years, just being faithful to the Lord every single day, this is now the result. My mom, she cries also because we have so much food, we can’t finish it.
12. VICTORIOUS LIFE
Victorious life is actually the victory of the Lord in your life, not your own (victory) but you know that God will always be there, He knows the plan He has for you and it’s a plan that’s always good, always perfect so when you latch on to that plan, then before it even begins, you’re already victorious. You’ve already conquered whatever it is because the most difficult thing to conquer is yourself, your heart, that you do away with bitterness and anger. If you’re able to conquer that with the Lord’s help, then you’re victorious because you’re not living in the past and you’re not living through negative means or ways. It’s always a positive outlook. There ‘s always faith. And the joy that comes out of it is something I can’t explain. You have to experience it for yourself to know what I mean. That’s the victorious life.
13. PRAYER FOR HUSBAND
I pray for him and I hope one day he will realize what the Lord has done to us, his family because I want him to know that we are now okay. We’re very okay. I want him to realize that it was not because of my goodness or whatever…talents, no. It was because of the Lord. I want him to know that.
14. ENCOURAGEMENT FOR SINGLE MOMS
First and foremost, you have to go to God. That’s number one. That’s non-negotiable. Definitely on my own, I could not have done it. He was my Rock. If everything else failed at that point, there was someone I could go to. He comforts you. He really does. Knowing the Lord and just immersing yourself in His word, also trying your utmost best to be intimate with Him. As Pastor Edmund Chan would say, to develop a substructure within which is your heart and your faith. Once that is developed and once it is a fact in your life, then other things will not be that hard to face. When you have the Lord, people will see Jesus in you and they will be helpful. The friends and family that you have, they comfort you.
Another thing is take stock of what your talents are. See what you have. Let’s say you’re good in writing, or you’re good in cooking or you’re good in something, then develop that and do not at any point ever see yourself as worthless because your husband abandoned you or left you. Find out how God loves you. If you have this particular gift, if you can use it to make business, why not? You draw people that way because you don’t draw people them by having a pity party. I’m kawawa. No. I’m victorious here. In spite of what’s happening to me, I can do this. I can do something good out of this. It attracts people when you do that. You’ll feel good about yourself because you’ve done something good. You can tell yourself, “Even if he left me, I can do this. God has enabled me to do this.” Like yourself. Love yourself. See the things that you have. Do something about it. Be positive. You’ll be okay.
Maricor sharing her testimony at Christ’s Commission Fellowship, St. Francis Square, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
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