On Coronavirus, Loss, and Gain

With Covid19 well on its way in “destroying” what we knew life to be, some countries are in better places, most are still far off in defeating it; it seemed rational to be talking about losses and gains.

People lost relatives, friends, businesses, jobs, ways of living, more terribly, hope.

I haven’t had much experience on loss of people apart from grandparents — natural causes due to old age — those could be somewhat rationally expected.

But I do have experience on loss of material things, pride, anger, and most other toxic goings on in my heart.

Take for example my engagement ring. How terrible that I lost that! Ever so ironically, it was lost during our pre-nup photoshoot, through swimming on the same beach where we got married! It would’ve been a great heirloom! I had suffered that in bits and pieces for quite a long time.

I guess all loss is felt that way. You do feel it in a burst at the beginning, then feel it still from time to time (in my case, how horrendously careless I was for losing such a valuable thing).

Such the military woman & trooper that I was, I wasn’t hysterical, no one knew except JD 2 days later. (Even as the prenup shoot was an out of town campus ministry team effort and we accommodated them in Mama’s home afterwards.)

It was such a shameful loss because it was such a public proposal. It was an elaborate movie house proposal, (he’s such a movie nut!) He did rent a whole cinema and treated a 100 or so of our friends and colleagues to that extravaganza, complete with a composed song and a music video!

Such a pursuit that he made of me, and inadvertently, the campus church mates and some others would tell us somewhat of what we now call “goals!.” A handful of my closest Victory groupmates and friends were genuinely elated for me, heck the whole church was rejoicing with us!

The loss of that ring in that beach was terrible, and yet, the loss of my materialism was not so terrible. In fact it was great! I had gotten well into the book of Job that time. I had mustered up the courage to tell my fiancé that I lost my ring. I thought he would be mad and I was really expecting that he would break up with me over my stupid carelessness. But ever the gentleman that he was, he just said words that were never forgotten: “Bakit ka umiiyak? E engaged parin naman tayo kahit nawala yung ring diba?!” (Why are you crying, aren’t we still engaged even if the ring is lost!?)

I was crying because I lost such a thing of beauty and I thought I lost what it meant too!

I was flabbergasted as I had never thought of it that way!

I had wrongly pinned everything of meaning in the beauty of marriage into a “shiny new toy,” much like a toddler.

For a time I struggled with questioning my worthiness to be responsible for taking care of our future children, if given.

In those days we usually hung out with the campus kids and one of them said “I was with kuya Jd when he bought that!” Then he proceeded to tell the whole group the 6-digit monetary amount it cost. That knowledge firstly impressed me and told me of how special I was. Then later it was totally, “Wow thanks for adding salt to my wound!”

When God takes away something, it is for our good and for His glory. We can’t immediately see it, but it is.

God knew me better than I knew myself. He knew that I was purely running on materialism at the time. I was all about me, my money, what I did, could do, and what I could buy, what I had. He knew that pride and earthly things occupied my heart. But He was in the business of changing me for the better, as if He wasn’t done in saving me. I thought I was all that and more, and He thought, come to Me, and I’ll define to you how special you are, who you really are.” He’s not finished with me yet.

I know that losing a ring doesn’t at all compare to losing a loved one, let’s say in war, (as I’ve seen many times before) or in the current covid19 pandemic, but still, but let me just say that any loss that makes me grow closer to my Lord and Savior, I’m fine with that. I know He has plans and purposes for me, and He is sovereign.

In the book of Job, Job was tested, he lost his entire family, his possessions, the loyalty of his wife, his friends, even his health! In all that, he didn’t sin and he praised the Lord! Towards the end they have a question and answer portion and its amazing, I certainly love the father-son exchanges of Job and God in the books’ very last chapter.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”

Job 1:20-21

My husband jokes about it now. And I can now certainly laugh and tell it to those who ask too. Well he’s been joking about it since day 1 (or day 2 for that matter)! He has this sense of the more important things in life and death, and he’s all things I’m not. I am mighty glad God put him as my leader then! I wouldn’t choose any other!

These are our Suarez wedding rings, and the Unisilver engagement ring we got for photo ops! Haha!

During that time, I did lose a ring. But I did gain my husband, an extended clan of loving and supportive in-laws, lifelong friendships, and great life lessons I brought with me till now. Eventually God gave us kids to love as well.

Nowadays one would be hard pressed or find me dead, rather than pin my hopes on nothing less than Jesus. (I wonder then what taught me that?!)

Photo by Ron Smith on Unsplash

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5: 3-5

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