New year. New Plans. I know it’s good to be expectant, but how will you respond if your plans didn’t push through this year?
2016 taught me a simple yet challenging lesson – TRUST GOD.
This maybe a cliché statement but it’s actually sensible. Let me share with you my 2016 story.
I wrote and prayed for my plans for that year and they were all set!
The plan was simple enough: I would have a book tour to promote my very first book entitled, “WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT?” and a major concert.
I met with a marketing consultant who would help me promote my book and the strategy was all set in place. At the beginning of the year, my manager tita Angeli Pangilinan – Valenciano also spoke with me about plans for me to have a concert with two of my favourite contemporary singer-songwriters. It would be a follow-up to the favorable response of our production number from my concert 20th-anniversary concert in 2015 (ACEL@20).
Just two solid and exciting plans for the year, but both of them didn’t push through.
Who would have thought that I’ll get pregnant in 2016?
Pregnancy was not within my plan, but it happened. It was a sensitive pregnancy that made me decide not to push through with the book tour.
Yet who would have thought that the concert idea would push-through … just without me? Turns out, the idea was never original in the first place. Somebody else had thought of that exact same idea.
As someone with my personality who wants everything to happen the way I planned it, I could have chosen to well-up in my disappointment.. and to be honest, I was really bummed out.
It is never easy to be side-lined.
But choosing to look at the whole situation in a different perspective, looking at it through the lens of God’s nature, which is love, wisdom, and perfection.. I end up in awe! Truly, HE is all-knowing! A good Father who always acts in love.
GOD’S PLANS ARE GREATER
I didn’t plan to be pregnant in 2016. Compared to my small and short-term career plans, God has given me this greater opportunity and privilege to build, not a small career, but a whole new generation through my sons.
What an amazing gift to be entrusted with life.
My husband and I are given the privilege to nurture, mold, and train a whole new generation! It is unbelievable. Wherever God will take my sons, I am grateful that God has entrusted me to prepare, chasten, stretch, and through the years, release my children to their God-given destiny.
GOD’S WAYS ARE GREATER
Considering I’m doing homeschool with my kids, I had a simple 5-5-5 plan.
I was really just planning to have a small book event to some 5 campuses, 5 coffee shops, and 5 churches… with audience numbers of no more than a couple of hundred. But looking back to 2016, I am still so truly grateful for the invitation to a number of conferences (I never knew existed or would take place).
I thank God for the new friends I have made in 2016 with the privilege and opportunity to share God’s message through my simple stories and simple songs to, literally, thousands of young people across the Philippines. I am still so blown away with that fact.
You know me, and I’m not big with numbers. The aim was never even to “sell” my books. So at the tail-end of the year when I recapped the invitations I received, and realized how many people I was actually standing in front of, my jaw just dropped.
4000! – National Youth Congress (Alliance Youth) held at Gen San with 4,000 youth participants who came from different parts of our country. The bonus is, my books that I brought with me were sold out.
3000! – Negros Island Youth Convergence held at SMX Bacolod with 2000-3000 youth participants from Visayas.
1000 – 2000 – Love Goals Conference held in Taytay, and Kwentong Midweek Break at His Life Pampanga
800! – Worship Festival held at Union Church Manila with participants from multiple church denominations in Metro Manila
Now you can see how His way is sooo much better than my silly 5-5-5 plan
* I didn’t even have to plan it. I just had to show up and speak (and sing)!
* Disclaimer: This really is never about the numbers. Never was. Never will be. I’m just sharing this to explain that God’s ways are always GREATER!
GOD’S TIME FRAME IS DIFFERENT THAN OURS
Who would have thought, that a musical project I helped work on some ten years ago, would win “Best Musical Scoring” at the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival!!!
It was ten yars ago, I forget exactly when, that I was asked to do the musical scoring for the animated movie, SAVING SALLY.
It was my first time to do that kind of thing, but I accepted the challenge and worked on a couple of compositions for the movie with my little CASIO piano.
I submitted my work but didn’t hear back. Several years went by, I heard there were other musicians who took over the project. I actually thought they wouldn’t use the original music that I worked on, perhaps the quality wasn’t great or maybe the files were lost or something. They had to re-shoot the whole movie as well…. And so this year was such a beautiful surprise!
They finally finished the movie and it was given a slot at the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival. The best part of it all, was that I could hear parts of the same music that I’d worked on!!!
The award given to SAVING SALLY for “Best Musical Scoring” for the year’s MMFF was such a bonus. It also taught me the value of collaboration and hats off to Pablo Pico, Diego Mapa, Gupit Binata X and Mikey Amistoso for making the music sound so much better in the finale.
Another lesson I got from this was that “we are all just part of a bigger picture”. I’m only one of the many musical contributors in this movie, but together with the work of others, it resulted to a beautiful masterpiece.
OUR STORY IS JUST PART OF A BIGGER STORY
Just like my experience as one of the contributors in the movie SAVING SALLY, each one of us has been given a part to play to complete a bigger picture.
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21
God sees the bigger picture and His plans works for HIS purposes. He is the author of life. It is HIS story and not ours.
And you know what? Even if all those wonderful, unexpected invitations did not happen and I ended up sitting at home all day with my baby in my belly, I have learned to TRUST GOD… and I know that it’s never about me.
So here we are looking forward to 2017 and the new year.
The next time you feel bummed out that your plans didn’t push through, we know that in “all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).