Defender of my Heart

“All I did was praise

All I did was worship

All I did was bow down

All I did was stay still”

Defender by Rita Springer

Ever felt that difficulty to praise and worship amidst the hurt and pain? Ever felt that challenge to believe despite the uncertainty of the future? Well, guess what we all have gone through that at some point in our lives.

It was August 20, 2018 when I found out that USCIS denied my visa application. After all the waiting for the decision, it all went down to a rejection. I remember being calm but also being clueless of what’s about to happen. I told God, “You’ve allowed this to happen, so what’s next? What will happen to my graduate program? What will happen to me?”

To cut the long story short, I went home to the Philippines the following month (September 13, 2018) and had my interview at the US embassy last November 15, 2018. They didn’t give me a decision but they instructed me to send my passport and documents to them at the right time and they’ll go from there. It was a journey of trusting God in the unknown. I learned to be still and believe even without yet seeing. I had moments of doubts and crying all-night but God always reminded me of His goodness and His promises. Fast forward to May 10, 2019 (almost a week since I’ve sent my documents), my student visa has been approved! And I will be back this summer to do my master’s program. Praise be to God! He makes all things beautiful in His time.

As I write this, it’s been almost 8 months since I’ve arrived in the Philippines. I thank God for providing for our family, for letting me spend time with loved ones, for surrounding me with loving families, for giving me a chance to catch up with people I haven’t seen in years, and for giving me the opportunity to serve Him.

The day that I found out that my visa was denied last year, my Ate shared this song DEFENDER to me. When I made my line up earlier this week, that song was part of it. As I look back, I praise God for turning that song meant to encourage me at that time into a song where I testify of His faithfulness in my life.

“The LORD is your mighty Defender, perfect and just in all His ways; your God is faithful and true; He does what is right and fair.”

Deuteronomy 32:4 (GNT)

Whether we’re up in the mountains celebrating our victories, or down in the valleys struggling in our trials, nothing should ever stop us from praising the one true God. Because that’s when we show the enemy that he has already been defeated. Jesus already won the battle for us and victory is in store for each and everyone of us. When you know in your heart that it is from God, nothing – not your negative circumstances nor people around you – can ever take it away from you except God Himself. Believe in what God has in store for you even if you do not see it yet – and that’s FAITH! For He who promised is faithful and He will finish what He has started.

I end my testimony with: What the enemy meant to bring me down, God meant it to bring me up from glory to glory. What seemed a rejection at first, God turned into an acceleration of my faith. Though it seemed hopeless from worldly standards, God kept my hope alive. And it sure is so much better His way!

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To God be the glory forever! Amen.” –Romans 11:36 (NIV)

In Christ,

Justine Anne

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