Redemption is a beautiful concept. When you see it in the flesh, it is awesome.
Former Miss Philippines, Anne Blas, is a counselor and consultant of PowerVision EAP (Employee Assistance Program) who is part of God’s army to bring people closer to the Lord. She was a little bit later than usual in enrolling in Psychotherapy and Christian Counseling at the Alliance Graduate School (AGS). But in God’s calendar, it was just the right time, as her life experiences gave her the practicum she needed to have the compassion and heart without condemnation nor judgment to reach out to hurting women.
She is a discipleship group leader who has shepherded and continues to shepherd single mothers and women who have been in the position of “The Other Woman” to make their lives right and to seek to be the godly women God calls them to be. Her message is firm, grounded on God’s Word, but her manner is gentle, kind, and compassionate.
She gets raw and real as she recounts the turning points in leaving her old life behind. She boldly shares her testimony in the hope of ministering to others who are longing to get out of that situation themselves.
The presence of Jesus as her Sufficiency, Provider, Shepherd, Master, and Lord is evident. It is the Answer she had been looking for all her life and she wants to share it with as many people as she can. In this interview, Anne Blas shares with us her journey from wallowing in ruins to serving God in His ministry of restoring lives.
BUTTERFLYINTHESPRING (BITS): What was your life like before you came to know Jesus?
ANNE BLAS (AB): I was really in such a mess. My day was so empty, I just went through life going through the motions without even understanding. I felt so hopeless and helpless, alone, I didn’t have much friends because my life just evolved around one person, the man I was with.
BITS: What drew you to seek the Lord?
AB: I knew that somebody would rescue me. Growing up in a religious background, I knew there was a God, I knew there was Jesus. But I didn’t really fully understand. After we would go to church, the people around me would fight.
In my difficult moments, I was looking for answers, comfort, assurance for my existence. As an adopted child I saw the lives of other adopted kids; I saw mine as more lonely even though I had doting people around me.
BITS: How did you come to know Jesus Christ?
AB: It was my first relationship with the father of my first son. He was already a Christian then. He knew what I was going through. I was the one who initiated the breakup because he had women left and right, I couldn’t live with that.
He knew that it was difficult for me. He introduced me to his friend who could pick me up and bring me to a Christian church and all these bible studies. It was a relief, something new. There were assurances that I’ve heard but my understanding was still shallow. I couldn’t grasp the whole thing about being saved, about grace, Somebody dying for me. I was longing for the redemption they were talking about. I got stuck again in another relationship, the father of my second son. Same lifestyle, same relationship, (the man having) women left and right. I blame myself for getting into that relationship. This was the one that was so hard for me to get out of. It provided all the security materially, travel, comfortable life, education for my child.
Every day was a struggle for me. I would say, “Lord I know this is all wrong. But HOW? What’s the future going to be for me and my sons?” Even my son was telling me, “Mama, if it’s hard for you, why don’t you let go?”
BITS: When you were struggling, why did you want to get out of that relationship?
AB: I know it was wrong. And I know I was living the consequences of that wrong choice. It was hard. It was a struggle every day. I knew I was hurting a lot of people also— his children, his wife.
BITS: It’s hard to get out even if you wanted to?
AB: I didn’t know how to live life by myself. That was all I knew… But each day, I prayed…God prepared the way for me. This is really something I want to tell women about: That if you pour yourself out to the Lord, He will really grant the desires of your heart. I prayed, “Lord, provide me a way PLEASE”. I went back to studying. I went to a Christian graduate school, AGS (Alliance Graduate School). I studied Psychotherapy, Christian Counseling. I graduated four years after. When I graduated, that was the time the relationship was falling apart. There was another woman he was serious about. In my OJT, the company decided to keep me so I had a job. I was able to save enough. From all the studies that I learned, my professor also taught me about letting go of the past and looking towards the future. He told me I have a future that God has already prepared. When we had to separate, I was at peace. I wasn’t worried. I found God. I have Jesus. My ex wouldn’t accept it. He thought I had another man.
It happened (I left the wrong relationship)! My son was happy for me. The separation was hard. I fell on my knees in pain.
I told the Lord, “This is really hard, you prepared the way for me but you know my heart. My heart is broken. And then He told me, “My Beloved Daughter, I have to break your heart so I can have you. So I said “Okay, Lord, my life is Yours. I will open my ears to every direction You want me to go. I will do everything. I will serve you with all my heart. I don’t need another man. I need You. I also dedicate my son to You. However You use him, I will support him…So everything went smoothly. There are still days when it’s still hard… when we come out empty but then the Lord just filled them up, provided for everything we need.
I would like women to realize… You don’t need a man…We all need God. He will provide everything. As long as your heart is there (to seek Him), as long as He sees that He can use you. As long as you can serve and worship Him, delight in Him always. That’s where my life is right now… filled with the Lord. Sometimes I look back. The Lord keeps telling me, “Don’t look back, Anak (Child). There’s a future that you can speak of that I have given you. I will send people your way.” When I started my D-group (Discipleship Group), the women whom He sent me have been exactly through the same experience that I had. The Lord was showing me, “You are not alone. And I’m going to use you.” And that’s where we are now. It’s becoming a ministry for single moms.
BITS: In your ministry, when a new woman comes in, how would you counsel her?
AB: I would like to know what’s in her heart, what she wants to do with her life, why is she talking to me, her struggles. Then I listen to her. I would ask, “What are you expecting from this? What parts of your life do you want to change? Do you really want to change?” You can’t counsel anybody who doesn’t want a changed life. If she does, then I will ask her, “Would you like to ‘walk’ with me?” Then I tell them my story. They are usually surprised and ask me, “But you look so happy”.
BITS: They view the life of an “Other Woman” as unhappy even though it starts out wonderfully…
AB: They are surprised that we have similar stories. Then I would talk to her about Jesus. I have to point her to the Lord. We have to deal with the spiritual side of the person before anything. You can not just advise her unless she knows the Jesus that we have. Unless she knows the purpose of life, the reason why she’s in that situation. It’s like me when I was going through those things, I was thinking, “I’m basically good, I’m doing bad only to myself.” I help them understand the nature of their situation.
If they talk about their pain, I cry with them. There is so much pain that many women go through that they are not able to talk about.
BITS: You have the compassion and understanding to listen to them. In your experience, have the women been open to apply what the Bible says?
AB: There are still struggles sometimes.
BITS: What’s the percentage of women who are able to walk away from wrong relationships?
AB: In my group………… no one has strayed. Praise God!
BITS: Were some of them in a wrong relationship when you started discipling them?
AB: Yes…they were able to get out. I had one who struggled for a long time. But she was really able to. She always tells me she appreciates how God orchestrated that we meet.
BITS: That is amazing. How do you think they are able to cut off ties from a wrong relationship?
AB: The power comes from God, not from us. As long as your heart is willing and you know you have God with you, you would be able to.
BITS: In your life, what factors hindered you from leaving the wrong relationship even if you knew you had to get out?
AB: My fears— I didn’t know the future, what life would be like. Specially the words that were spoken to me, that validated those fears. (I didn’t have God’s Word yet to overcome those wrong declarations at that time). I had no self-confidence. Praise God, it’s been seven years.
BITS: What were the factors that helped you surrender to God?
AB: Studying to be a Christian counselor, learning the many things we have to deal with in ourselves… the insecurities, the past, knowing myself, studying the Bible, knowing God through that, it’s healing at the same time. Going through the pain, God made Himself known to me through the pain
BITS: Do you think the pain was necessary?
BITS: Why do you think women end up in that situation (as the “Other Woman”)
AB: Not knowing God. Fear. Being used to depending on people. Upbringing has a lot to do with it. Not nourished without the parents around.
BITS: What word of encouragement or insight would you have for a wife of a husband who was or is unfaithful?
AB: Be submissive. Quiet ka lang (Just be quiet). Don’t even answer anything. I know it hurts. Sarap sagutin (It would be gratifying to say something). Zip your tongue. If you receive any communication that’s not nice, don’t answer the bad. Just answer the good. You are in control of that. Be the kind wife. Don’t have to do anything wrong because of what he has done. He’s not your enemy. There’s something else that’s overcoming him. You pray about it.
In due time, it will be restored if you have faith. Stand by that. Be consistent. It’s hard when she’s struggling if sometimes she wants her husband and sometimes she doesn’t. Pray for him. Pray for the woman he’s with. Don’t harbor any ill feelings about them. They’re not your enemies.
BITS: Who’s the enemy?
AB: The devil is controlling their lives. They don’t know God.
Lalo na (Specially) that you’re growing in the Lord, the enemy will really attack you also from all sides to break you and destroy you to keep you from the Lord. Remain strong and firm. The power of Jesus will overcome the enemy.
BITS: You would encourage the wife to stay on?
AB: God put together a husband and a wife and they should stay together. There will be women who will tempt the husband to stray. But You are the wife. Keep praying. Stay.
BITS: How do you think one should pray for the Other Woman?
AB: Changing the person is up to God. I would pray that there would be forgiveness, peace among everyone. That the Other Woman would come to realize that it is wrong. And for her to make her life right.
BITS: Would you have a message for a philandering husband?
AB: Drop it!? I haven’t come across any.
BITS: Yes, I know we are not supposed to counsel persons of the opposite gender, but supposing you came across one, would you have a message for that person?
AB:I would like to know the reasons.
BITS: Will there be a reason that will be valid?
AB: No…there will always be excuses. I think I would refer him to a male colleague. I’m here for the wives, the women.
BITS: Who is your favorite Bible character?
AB: Job. I’ve gone through his life story several times. It’s a good example of having a lot, losing everything, and then God restores it to double. Putting your heart right and knowing that God will always be there, even if people think that Job committed many wrongs and is suffering the consequences, he was still consistent with how he stood before God.
BITS: How do you see your life before and after you surrendered it to Christ?
AB: Life is sweeter now. There are so many things to feel blessed about. More meaning, purpose. The best part of it is when someone comes up and says “How I wish I could also have Jesus in my life the way you have Jesus in your life.” I could never imagine that I would get to this point in my life.
BITS: Do you have a favorite verse?
AB: Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. I thought I was such a bad person. I did so many bad things. It makes me that kind of person to make those wrong choices in life. But God used it for my good and for the good of others as well. It became my testimony to many women.
Jeremiah 29:11 ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘ plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. I will always have a future and hope.
BITS: How would you like people to remember you?
AB: I would like to be remembered as someone who’s loved and touched a lot of lives because of what the Lord has done to me in my life; as a mother to many youth. At (the ministry) FNL (Friday Night Light), I’m the second mom to them; as one who lived for the Lord, served the Lord and brought a lot of people closer to God. I would like people to be able to see Jesus in my life… and that no matter what the surroundings, I can still be strong because of Jesus.
Praise God for His power displayed in the life of Anne. As she delights in the Lord, God is already granting her desire to be remembered in the godly ways she is hoping for.
Thank You Lord for showing us yet again that You are in the business of transforming lives for Your good purposes. We pray for protection on the life of Anne and her walk with You, her family, her work, her ministry. May You continue to use her mightily to bring others closer to You. We pray for Your continued provision in her life. We pray for all the women she ministers to and to those whom You will continue to bring to her path that they may continue to fall in love with You completely. We pray for all “other women” that they may come to have a saving knowledge of You, may Your victory over the enemy be a reality in their lives enabling them to live the lives You would want for them. in Jesus’s name and for His glory, amen.