“God gave us a second chance. From all the very painful trials we went through and overcame, my husband and I agreed that we need to be a channel of blessing to give hope to others who go through trials,” Monique said on the birth of their blog, An Ounce of Faith on an interview by ABS-CBN Bandila’s Karen Davila (For full interview, please click HERE).
Her husband, John (featured in this preceding post) said, “Before I met the Lord, I was actually a sex addict. Our lives were broken. Before we got married, we already had two children.”
Amidst the mess she found herself in, Monique came to know Jesus and sought to follow Him. Her transformed life was instrumental for her then-partner, John, to come to know the Lord as well. That journey would lead him to where he is now as pastor of Revelation City Church.
What was your life like before Christ?
My life before Christ was all about finding love and affirmation. It was always about performing and getting approval of people. I was consistently in the honor’s list, I like excelling because it covered up for my handicap of coming from a broken home. My parents married for probably the wrong reason and had no idea what married life was all about. My dad, an actor, comes from a prominent family and lived a happy go lucky lifestyle. My mother was a beauty queen and came from a prominent family in the province. She felt the rules in the house were too strict and thought marriage would be the perfect escape plan. It was a disastrous chemistry. My father abandoned us when we were only 8 years old and my grandfather died at age 12. Without any father figure – I was drawn to seek love from men.
What circumstances led you to know Christ? As a young child, my great grandparents always made us go with them to church at dawn 5am every Friday. In school, I was drawn to be in the chapel at 6am to attend mass. So I knew as a young child that God was always calling me. But as life challenges took a twist, I started to see my circumstances and not see God in it.
I started working during my college years as Radio DJ. Then I got into sales and started working right off college in an events agency. I knew I was talented – so I became so self-sufficient. God was not part of my life at all. I had several relationships and I had such a low standard perspective for them. All I knew was that as long as the guy loved me and I loved him – that was the most important thing. Then I met John who was my competitor. We were always bidding for the same projects which led to a new friendship. I knew John was separated but since I did not have a proper perspective of right godly relationship, I fell for him. We had a love child, Sabrina. We started our own business. That was also the time that I started to see the cracks in our relationship. John was workaholic, drank a lot, and to my worst fear – womanized. It was not only random people but people I thought were my friends. This circumstance broke every PRIDE in my spirit.
Was there someone in particular who shared God’s Word with you? My sister who was already praying for me started inviting me to a small group of women studying the Purpose Driven Life book. On my first meeting, I was so full of myself. I boasted about my business, my flourishing love life, and my daughter. On my second visit, the one leading the bible study – opened the word of God to show my adulterous state. How I was a sinner. The week after – I discovered that John was again cheating on me. A few weeks later, we got a project that ended up to be a poor deal that led me to lose millions. Though the times were tough and dark, it was the perfect brokenness I needed in order to hear God speak and whisper to me what I needed to know.
How did Jesus woo you?
Jesus first showed me through His word how sinful a person I am. Then He patiently led me to CCF to be counseled and comforted. I will never forget moments at my lowest, during one of the praise and worship times, all I could do was just kneel down and cry and worship Him. I finally understood… He never left me. All this time, I left Him. I knew He cushioned me first with His word before breaking me with my false reality. He also made me feel strong in my wilderness years. I learned to hunger for Him, to seek Him, and to find Him in my restoration state.
What was the turning point for you to surrender your life to Him?
The turning point was really when everything I considered my accolades, my position, my pride, my relationship crumbled before me. I gave my life to Jesus during one Sunday service. I publicly declared him as my Lord and Savior in November 2003 through baptism in a retreat.
When you surrendered your life to Christ, what changes did you see?
I desired to follow Jesus. I knew I was grieving the Holy Spirit. I just did not know how. So I asked God to give me courage to walk out of this wrong relationship. Then I felt trapped with the lie that I would give my daughter a broken home and was fearful that I would lead her exactly to the same path I went through. I trusted God to lead me. Then I started seeking a new place to live with audacious faith – ridiculous request – God answered my prayer. But as I left, I found out I was pregnant again. I decided to continue to pursue my plans of following Jesus. I started a bible study group in my place. But I always prayed for John and I never closed the door for him to be a father to my children. Those were very hard times but it was the most romantic time I had with the Lord.
What makes you know for sure that it was Christ who empowered you tomake the changes and it wasn’t yourself or through someone’s help?
It was supernatural. When I obeyed, even my debt of five million was paid within six months’ time with projects only God can give – because during the time, I would have never had the capacity to do it. I also desired to be used by Him. I was unstoppable in sharing Jesus to everyone. In fact, I cannot claim that God would bring John and I together except through his Amazing Grace. This is all supernatural because God is good.
Was it smooth sailing after your point of surrender? What was/is the journey like?
It was a roller coaster ride. I was in my pruning stage. I had a lot of tears. My faith muscles had to grow – day by day as a single mom. There were days when I was asking God, “Did I make the right decision?” There were moments of begging the Lord to hold my hand and allow me not to worry and be anxious. I had to get to know God all over again from a different perspective and lens. He taught me so much of thinking of myself less so I could have more of Him.
What are the most challenging problems in your situation? How did you heal and move on towards forgiveness? The Lord wanted to deal with the root cause of my brokenness and that was to restore me by finding true love and affirmation from Him alone. I am no longer relying on my own strength to find my joy; instead, the Lord wanted me to be whole and find completeness in Him. I cried to the Lord and asked Him to “restore my family.” Little did I know that He had a very big restoration plan for my life. God made me meet my father again after eighteen long years in the most awkward of places: Prison. He allowed me to reconcile with my father. The Lord also allowed me to find my mom in the US with whom I lost contact. This was the biggest twist. God was bringing me back to everyone in my past that gave me a hardened and distorted view of relationship. As the Lord was healing me, He allowed me to forgive every single woman that betrayed me because of their immoral relationship with John. As a testament of true forgiveness – these women were in our wedding!!!
Can you give some tips to help other women who may bedealing with brokenness from infidelity?
*Give all the broken pieces to Jesus. He is the One that can get all the broken pieces and turn it into a masterpiece. ( Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wound.)
* There is hope for any relationship. But Jesus has to be the center of it all. (Isaiah 49:23 Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed.)
* Set yourself free. Forgive; there is no better medicine for healing. (Ephesian 4:31-32)
* Pray for your spouse. He, too, needs Jesus. (Mark 14:38)
* When your spouse falls, stay committed to your vows and fight for your marriage. (Ecc.5:4-7)