By Yay Padua-Olmedo

“Many have prophesied that 2017 will be a great year, but it’s not so much the prophesying but the yielding to God which will bring you blessings,” Pastor Paul Chase of Alabang New Life Church reminded us at the close of 2016.

And this, he said, is what the Lord requires: to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with the Lord, Micah 6:8.

I’m pretty sure that Steven and Steph (not their real names, including the ones mentioned here) are two of those who will receive God’s abundant blessings—even miracles—in the days to come.

Their love story itself is a miracle, and one for the books. If this were a theater production, you’d be watching three acts.

Act 1: Until recently, Steph had consigned herself to a life of single blessedness. She and Steven were schoolmates and were quite an item for seven years. They said temporary goodbyes when Steph left for the US many years back, with Steven promising to follow after two years. But the two years stretched to ten so Steph bid her merrily-ever-after-dream goodbye. She was moving on. Her sister Chai lived with her; so they made the most of their American dream.

Act 2: Fast forward to 2015. Steph and Chai step on Philippine soil again, but this time to a woeful scene.

Their younger brother, Arvin, died under tragic circumstances, leaving behind two sons: Jace, four years old, and Nathan, one. Their mom never showed up and was never heard from again—for whatever reason. So their aging grandfather, now a widower, was left to care for the boys when Steph and Chai went back to the US. Though employed full time in the US, the sisters took turns to visit and stay a bit longer, playing surrogate mothers to their nephews.

Act 3: Seventeen years after Steph and Steven said their goodbyes:

Steven, now a very mature Christian, was by himself in a mall when he spied a young boy. “He looks familiar, parang kamukha ni Arvin,” he mused; then followed the boy as he strolled back to another familiar face—Steph’s dad!

The next time Steph came home, guess who handed her a bunch of flowers? This time, she allowed herself to be swept off her feet again.

Steph and Steven tied the knot recently in a quiet but beautiful wedding ceremony conducted by the latter’s brother/pastor.

Things are looking up that they could now quicken the process to adopt the kids and prepare for them a home in the US.

Amazing story, huh, about how God “closes a door then opens a window,” borrowing a phrase from the musical play “Joseph the Dreamer.”

I’ve always wondered why the writer of that song used the word “window” instead of “another door”? This time I understood.

God allowed Steph and Steven to clearly see His design, a purpose bigger than one’s self. It’s about sacrificial love and relationships, “acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with the Lord.”

That’s what Christ showed us on the cross.

It will still be an uphill climb for this new couple to finally become official mom and dad to the boys. Parenting is challenging enough yet they’re already deep into it.

We’ve witnessed a miracle. What’s another miracle to Him who promised to work things out for the good of those who love Him?

I recently watched Steven playing with now two-year-old Nathan and my heart was assured: all will be well!

Lord, we lift up to you Steph and Steven. You know who they are and their situation. We pray that your abundant grace will enable them to persevere in their new-found status, and You will intervene so that they—with the boys—could now build their home.