I have many preferences when it comes to love: (1) ayoko ng mas bata sa akin, (2) dapat may fear of the Lord, (3) dapat siya ay tao na who wants to serve the Lord with me, at (4) mahal na mahal niya ako.  Ptra. Owie said this to herself as she presented to God her plans of what kind of man she wanted from Him. Her faith greatly influenced her preferences, and she knew the importance of her submission to the leadership of men. Even when she was a young believer, she had already surrendered herself to God. She asked for a God-fearing husband. She asked that God would bless her womb with children. Many suitors introduced themselves to her, but only one stood victorious.

“Owie, may sasabihin ako sayo.” The very young Allan approached Owie.

Owie mused, “Aba! Wala ng Ate, Ate ah!”  She said this because Allan used to be her Sunday school student when he was still a teenager. Their age gap was 10 years. They served at the same church and found themselves growing together.

Image from Himsan by Pixabay

At that time, Allan lived at the church because his family was in Davao, and he worked at a company near the church. He always saw Owie there. And so with his high regard for her, he finally said, “May nararamdaman ako sa iyo!”

“Iligo mo lang ‘yan, tanggal ‘yan!”, Owie replied, because Allan was totally out of her preferences. She argued, “Ang tanda tanda ko na, maghanap ka ng kasing edad mo!”

Allan replied, “Wala naman ‘yan sa edad, nasa nagmamahalan naman yan.”

She continued, “At tsaka baka hindi na ako magka-anak kasi nagkasakit ako noong bata ako. Sayang naman ang lahi mo.”

But then Allan said, “Ang mag-asawa ay matatawag ng pamilya, at ang anak ay regalo galing sa Diyos.”

Owie had no reply for she was in awe of Allan’s answer. She was on checkmate! Owie challenged him instead. “Pag-pray natin ang isa’t isa at i-seek natin ang kalooban ng Diyos.”

Owie was a “sigurista.” Was Allan truly for her? She knew she had to confirm if a relationship between them was the will of God. They agreed to pray, and 6 months later, she had feelings for Allan.

“Lord, may nararamdaman na po ako sa kaniya!” What Owie saw in Allan was his sincerity, which eventually confirmed to her that God wanted them together. She told Allan about it, which made him glad, leading him to pursue her for marriage.

But tension arose. Ptr. Owie’s parents were not in favor of their daughter and Allan being in a relationship. They rejected Allan. They even became mad at him! Then they had the church elders against their relationship, too! Mentors intervened in the situation and suggested to Allan that he return to his parents in Davao for the test of time and distance. They wanted Allan and Owie to see if their feelings were indeed true. Ptr. Owie agreed to ease the feelings that were going on with her parents.

“Hindi na babalik yang si Allan, kasi nasa pamilya na niya siya.”, her parents said. Owie challenged them by saying, “Kung ayaw niyo talaga siya para sa akin, ipag-pray niyong hindi siya bumalik dito sa Maynila.”

So Allan went back to Davao.

Although the two were far away from each other, Allan continued to send letters to Owie. He made it a point to get in touch with her always, even though Owie was not sending any letters back. She really wanted to test Allan’s sincerity toward her.

Image by Free-photos from Pixabay

Eventually, Allan came back from Davao.  His persistence at letter-writing made Owie believe that he passed the test of time and distance. He was faithful. He was still in love with her. AND Owie could see that Allan was fighting for her! This opened a discussion about a wedding between them.

This time, all the elders decided to contribute to their wedding. Someone contributed for the gown, the food, the cakes, the pictorials… everything! Owie’s parents eventually relented and allowed Allan and Owie to marry. It was a special wedding.

Allan’s sincerity for Owie and His deep reverence to the Lord made Owie have a change of heart toward him. Now, she knew that he really was the one God wanted for her to marry. “Nang naging mag-asawa na kami, tsaka ko siya minahal ng todo. At habang tumatagal, lumalalim yung pagmamahal ko sa kanya. Ipinapakita ng Panginoon sa akin araw-araw na Siya ang nagbibigay ng good and perfect gift.”

Allan and Owie

When we wait and put our trust upon the Lord, God will give us the best answer to our prayers. Owie made sure that God would be the one to guide her toward the right man for her–even if it meant undergoing the trial of time and distance.

When it comes to our own romances, there will be challenges along the way, but when we put our trust in God, staying on His track of confirmation the way Owie did, we will be safe despite uncertainties. God will show us His answer in His time.

Allan and Owie now

Pastora Rowena Lampitoc Lantion

Pastora Rowena Lampitoc Lantion is the Senior Pastor of Christ Our Banner International Ministries. In 1991, she was a missionary to the Muslims in Zamboanga City. She's been serving God as a full-time minister for 25 years.