“We all have the same God but a unique story in Him.” – Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio
Rica is now a Pastor’s wife, a mother of two young boys, a discipler, mentor, writer, and influencer. Her life is one exceptional example of radical transformation in Christ – from entertaining the world with her stardom to inspiring the world with her Savior.
Here are three life-giving truths that we can learn from her story.
SATISFACTION IS NOT A LIST OF DREAMS TO BE ACHIEVED.
“I thought that this job, fame, popularity, career are all I need.” – Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio
Rica is right in saying that achieving something is good but dangerous if life fully depends on it. As she has experienced herself, her stardom, money, and showbiz perks met her temporal needs but put her life in danger and made her miserable.
When life revolves around the tangible things that do not last – wealth, fame, position, power – it craves for more and leads to a downward spiral in the end.
As many teens aspire to enter the entertainment industry as their source of purpose and success, to Rica, it was the source of being lost and wounded. “It was the major source of my brokenness,” she told Toni.
Extensive research over the years has studied the pursuit of happiness from the popular adage, “Life begins at forty” to the sayings “Money can buy happiness” and “Reach for the stars”. Misguided, we misinterpret happiness by consumerism, popularity, and we are trapped by this idea.
The problem with this happiness trap is the assumption that we would be delighted forever if we get to achieve our bucket list of dreams, one by one. We are unaware of the fact that the sense of pleasure only lasts for a few hours, days, or weeks – and not for life – because of its superficiality.
What is one real, soul-deep, constant satisfaction in life? “It is life in Jesus,” Rica declares. She had a taste of having much and having none in life, but it was only in a relationship with Jesus that she was able to experience a richer and fuller life.
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” John 4:13-15, NIV
MARRIAGE IS NOT AN OPTION TO FEEL COMPLETE.
“I don’t believe in ‘You complete me.’ Marriage is two imperfect people coming together and going to a perfect God..” – Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio
The thought of entering marriage to feel complete is a fairy tale. It only happens in the movies and Korean drama series, giving us the illusion that the same perfect happy ending will be our fate in real life.
Marriage in reality is not a fantasy of a princess waiting to be saved by her prince charming. We don’t go find a partner and get married to fill our sense of worth. Weddings are neither meant to pursue happiness – to wear a gown, wear a ring, wear the perfect smile of a bride, and walk the aisle in paradise to marry our dream prince.
In fact, the feeling of bliss will only last until the honeymoon stage. The real battle begins after that because marriage consists of two imperfect people who need a perfect God, as Rica testifies.
No wonder many marriages are falling apart because of false expectations, wrong images, and illusions of a perfect partner. Unknowingly, there is something in a person’s life a soul-deep longing for meaning that only intimacy with God can satisfy. Yes, “to feel complete” is experienced alone in a perfect God, not in marriage.
17 Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:17-19, NLT
FEELING LOST IS A MOMENT TO BE FOUND.
“There is a possibility of being a new creation in God.” – Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio
Rica calls it “divine appointment”. Amidst soul-searching for new meaning in life, it seems God had been orchestrating the pieces of the puzzle to meet her in an unexpected moment.
She recognized her own brokenness from the story of the bleeding woman and that moment opened her new self to a process of wholeness in Christ. And her life has never been better since then.
She is a new creation, a renewed woman, an inspiring mentor, a dedicated Christ-follower, touching thousands of lives along with her husband-Pastor. Oh, what a beautiful testimony of a life saved by grace!
Indeed, a lost life is a moment to be found by Him when you seek for it in vulnerability and openness. Yes, our emptiness, loss, and needs are God’s opportunities.
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” Luke 19:10, NLT
Like Rica, may we cease striving for our sense of well-being and learn to draw deeply from Him who alone can satisfy the deepest longings in life.