Daisy is smart, intelligent and pretty. She has been a Human Resource executive for more than 20 years. As HR Practitioner, she won labor related cases because of her skills in administrative and alternative dispute resolutions. She is the founder and President of Haven for the Uniquely Gifted and Special (HUGS) Ministries. She shares how God’s love saw her through a difficult phase of her life.
You have achieved a lot for one so young. How did you do that?
“My parents raised me to believe in myself, that I can do anything I set my mind to. Armed with this mindset, I viewed the world without a box, a world with endless possibilities, where excellence is a way of life and success is supposedly a given. True enough, with hard work and determination, I quickly rose up the ladder to an executive position for a very reputable company in my early thirties. It became important to me to be recognized, to receive trophies.
Did your success make you happy?
Despite being raised in a Christian home, the more successful I became, the more I edged Jesus out of my life. Over the years, position, the social status, influence, family, wealth and material possessions became my objects of worship and security. I expected nothing less than perfection from myself, my family and those around me.I was proud and my agenda was the only thing I listened to. I took all the credit, and found someone else to blame for the mistakes. I was enjoying a life others envied until a tragedy hit my family.
Tell me about that.
In 2012, my husband and I brought our son Josiah to the doctor. After she examined him, without empathy, the doctor said, “Your son has a life-long dependent condition and he is on the spectrum of autism. He has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) with speech delay. To set your expectations right, your son may not be able to function at all.” Siyempre, lugmok ka na with this news. My husband, on the other hand, was quiet, parang he was processing what the doctor said. Then the doctor suggested several therapies that my son needed to undergo.
When we got home, we did more research about my son’s condition. I knew there was something that was not normal with my son, but to declare he would be non-functional was simply not acceptable to me. It was hard for both me and my husband to cope emotionally with Josiah’s condition. My husband was in denial.
Toxic fear caused me to not do the things I should and made me do things I should not. That time, my husband was not earning much, so I had to be the breadwinner, me anak pa kaming panganay, tapos itong bunso. Siyempre, I couldn’t afford to lose my job. Ang suweldo ko, 6 figures na but with my son’s autism, our expenses skyrocketed to pay for endless consultations, therapies and fees for special education. Kung minsan makakaipon ka tapos may mangyayaring pagkakagastusan. Hindi ka talaga dapat mawalan ng trabaho. As HR head, kung minsan, I had to blindly follow my bosses’ orders kahit hindi naman dapat.
Ang masakit, despite the therapies and special education, hindi naman nag-pro-progress si Josiah, tapos I lost the special connection with my eldest son, who was transitioning to teenage life. Nag-rebelde siya and his grades were falling. My efforts were focused on Josiah and meeting his special needs.
On the other hand, my husband’s way of coping with Josiah’s condition, was to be away from home as much as he could, and then, kumukuha ng affirmation sa ibang babae. Eventually, he became physically abusive. Ako naman, mas gusto kong wala siya kasi ubos na oras ko eh.
When Josiah was about 3½ years old, he was okay pa, I needed to be patient lang. Nung lumalaki na siya, he became violent because he couldn’t speak and express himself, so nananabunot siya, nananakit. Hindi ko naman siya mapalo kasi hindi nya nga alam ‘yung concept ng right or wrong. So nasasaktan ako ng asawa ko, nasasaktan din ako ni Josiah.
Siguro mga three years ‘yun na hindi alam ng parents ko what was happening between me and my husband until hindi na rin namin maitago. One time, when we were at a hotel, sobrang nanakit ‘yung asawa ko kasi he got jealous of the waiter who served us. But in reality, he was blaming me about many things and needed to get his anger out on me. After that incident, my parents and I decided na maghiwalay na lang kaming mag-asawa and we did for nine months. Sobrang sakit but I know it was doubly hard for my parents to see me go through that situation.
To make matters worse, I lost my job. On May 2012, dumating ‘yung boss ko from Netherlands. He was an atheist and he explained to me why he didn’t believe in God. Tapos sabi nya, “I heard you’re a Christian and because of that, we cannot work together.” He replaced me and offered to move me to another position. It was no use staying in a company where relationship was severed so I left.
The successful life I worshipped had collapsed. I lost control over everything and simply wanted my life to end. I didn’t thank God for the good things that happened to me and blamed Him for the bad things. I experienced a crippling fear of being unable to provide for the family’s needs and losing material possessions. I was consumed with pain, anger, fear, anxiety, exhaustion, hopelessness and bitterness.
How did you handle that?
I filed a complaint with National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). Many of my lawyer friends offered to represent me as it was a sure win case. I had with me about two reams of evidences. Puno ako ng galit kasi wala naman akong ginagawang masama. Ang masakit, alam kong mananalo ako, pero sinabi ni Lord, for four weeks straight during Sunday sermon, forgiveness. Imagine, forgive the very people you hated! I was like teething and screaming in the process. Still, in my darkest hour, Jesus Christ’s love shone brightest. As a last act of desperation, I cried out to Jesus and asked, “Do you love me?” I was not expecting a response, but the Lord led me to read some verses in the Bible. My whole body trembled at this and felt God’s abounding love and presence. I humbled myself and asked for wisdom. He made me realize that my main issue was my heart. I was angry at autism because it did not serve my purpose in life. I felt sorry about myself. I felt I failed as a mother and as a wife. And yet, at that point God gave me a wonderful gift which is humility.
I didn’t get the answer to my prayers that day, but I found peace and comfort in God’s promises, and I chose to put my trust in Him. Binitawan ko ‘yung kaso sa NLRC. It’s funny kasi I met those people recently, and wala na akong galit sa kanila. It’s like the Lord was showing me healing. Talagang binasag ako ni Lord but He was working in me all the while.
What about your situation with your husband?
I prayed to God. Wala naman akong ibang kakapitan, I said, “Lord, if death is the only thing that will separate me from my husband, isa sa ‘min ang mamatay, kung puede siya na ang mauna.” That was how I coped nun, patawa-tawa, but clear naman ‘yung direction ni Lord na hindi kami dapat naghiwalay. We patched up our relationship after nine months. Actually, my husband has strong spiritual conviction but during that time he had issue of unforgiveness na hindi pa na-deal. Nung mag-asawa siya, lumabas ‘yun na marami siyang kakulangan bilang asawa’t tatay at kung ano exactly ‘yung person that he didn’t want to be, hindi niya napansin na ganun na rin pala siya.
After I withdrew my complaint and trusted Jesus, in less than a month the Lord gave me a better job, not only in pay, but flexibility of time with family. God also gave my husband a high paying job abroad. Slowly, marriage has been restored and severed relationships healed. Over the years, Jesus changed my husband and became my God’s best as He has promised.
My eldest son got his inner healing from the damages of a bad marriage he witnessed. More importantly, he sought refuge in Jesus. The more he relied on God’s grace, the more he was recognized for his excellence both in academics and sports.
At work, I got multiple awards, recognitions and global opportunities to travel. Another career opportunity came where I was able to work for a reputable global law firm where I was able to share the gospel of Jesus.Under my leadership, the company was recently awarded as one of the best companies to work for in Asia.
Fast forward, on June 22, 2016, as I was praying, Jesus told me, “Josiah is healed.” As tears rolled down my eyes, I thanked Him and received and claimed for Josiah the “gift of supernatural healing in faith.” In confirmation, Josiah’s therapist said, “I don’t know what happened but the Josiah who sat with me today is not the same child I have been seeing for two years. He showed no trace of autism at all.” Josiah improved a lot in terms of being able to talk and communicate how he feels.
It’s been two years since my unforgettable encounter with Jesus Christ. Personally, it was only the unconditional love of Jesus that saved me from losing my mind completely in my darkest hour. A love like no other is what I have found in Jesus!