More From Ruthie Solitario

June 7, 2022 by Ruthie Solitario (National Capital Region, Philippines)

I received a message from a woman who introduced herself as a translator of meditations for The Upper Room. She told me she was translating a meditation I wrote in English to Tagalog for the Tagalog edition of The Upper Room — Kasama ni Jesus.

Two years ago, I received news that my meditation was selected for publication, and I proudly told my husband, family, and friends about it. It was in 2019 when I encountered The Upper Room for the first time. I was scouring my mother-in-law’s book collection and asked her if I could have her dusty March-April 1998 booklet. She said yes.

I am a fan of devotionals, especially the ones that do not add too many pounds to the total weight of my already-heavy baby bag. But don’t be fooled — this booklet is a heavyweight. The easy-to-carry devotional became a companion when my cross was heavy to bear. I had it in my hospital bag before I gave birth to my son in April 2019. While recovering from my C-section wound and postpartum blues, The Upper Room was tucked in one of the pockets of my son’s stroller. Many times, it provided the light for my darkened thoughts, and one or two meditations became a source of inspiration for poems I wrote or a starting point for friendly chit-chats. Sometimes my husband and I would read an entry or two and become encouraged in the Lord.

When the pandemic hit, I forgot about submitting what The Upper Room editorial staff required of me. The demands of motherhood have so preoccupied me that I staggered under their weight. Sometimes God would remind me of my meditation when I heard the sparrows singing by our windows. Meanwhile, so many things have happened in 2021 that would challenge and reinforce my faith in the Lord.

In January 2021, I had a miscarriage. Two months later, my husband’s job was declared redundant. Because of this, we had to consider the possibility of transferring to a rural area. The lockdowns in our city were getting worse then, and our emotional, financial, and physical health were bearing the brunt of these. So in June 2021, we moved to a province in the Philippines, but not without more difficult adjustments to deal with. Bouts of fear, loneliness, and sadness came as we adjusted to our new environment. Alongside these events, there were many other pots on the stove in my life — homemaking, homeschooling, and continuing my long-overdue MA (which I had begun in 2009) at a Bible college through online instruction.

The message from the translator of The Upper Room made me review the last two years, and my heart broke out in profuse praise. How could my family do this all if it were not for the Lord? Oh, the wonderful grace of God! Life has been truly challenging, but God’s love is more amazing! And brothers and sisters in the faith attest to this with their own stories of trusting God when things were tough.

The translator was kind enough to send me the Tagalog edition since I did not receive my copy of The Upper Room in English (Was it perhaps sent to my former address? I don’t know!) Holding the copy in my hands for the first time, I began to meditate on my own devotion and tears fell. Reading what I wrote in my own tongue was like a sparrow’s song to my ears, a hug from an old friend, and a sweet love letter. Now it is out in the world to speak to others in their own language too. I also had the feeling that my brothers and sisters in Christ were speaking to me through the devotional as I traversed the difficult times of my life. Truly, with God on our side and our brothers and sisters rooting for us to press forward, no Christian is ever alone. 

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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