Every couple has their own love story. But with Jun and Shiela Flores, whose been married for 17 years- their story speaks clearly about reconciliation and forgiveness.
In the year, 1991, Jun met Shiela in a canteen in Pangasinan. Shiela was just a newly Pharmacist graduate, yet she managed their family’s canteen at the age of 21 years old. During that time, Jun was a 25-year old agent, normally eats at that canteen, with his friends. Prior to that, he already heard a beautiful cashier who works there. His curiosity grew and he had proven himself that Shiela was indeed beautiful.
On the otherhand, she was accomadating to every customer there and one of them was Jun. There were moments when they would talk about anything. Since, he was involved in a Faith community, he’d often share his faith to Shiela and she’d listen to him. Eventually, though there were struggles along knowing each other, they fell inlove.
As he pursued her, he needed to end his relationship with his current girlfriend. After a week of his breakup, he invited Shiela in one of the beautiful beaches in Solo. Jun assured her of the sincerity of his intentions, though there was fear in Shiela’s heart as she was nursing her broken heart from a previous relationship, too- both compromised to enter in a relationship.
Their 4 year relationship wasn’t smooth after all. When Jun transferred into another province, they decided to have a weekend and long distance relationship. They put their efforts to work out that way, until they decided to get married in the year, 1994.
As a newly wed couple, they were clueless about marriage. Jun kept on working, while Shiela decided to quit on her job to become a plain housewife. He already knows some household chores, while she learns it the hard way, since she was pampered as a kid and grown up.
As the days went by, Shiela became worried about her husband’s nature of work. Since, he’s an agent- he was always outside and giving few hours of his time for his family. After a year of marriage, she gave to their eldest son named, Hans. She settled on becoming a full time mom and after 2 years, she gave birth to a baby girl named, Hana. Problem arised as their Hans often became sick. He was also diagnosed with a febrile convulsion and the hospital became his 2nd home. Jun doubled his effort in his job to sustain the financial needs of his family. Good thing, Hans remained normal, despite of. However, on the same year when Hana was born- Shiela often turned jealous of her husband’s work and friends. She thought that these were her enemies in receiving his time and attention.
One night, they had an intense argument, out of Shiela’s rage, she forcefully got Jun’s ring from his finger and threw it and got lost nowhere. She told him that it was just a decoration- that their marriage wasn’t working anymore. Jun was surprised with his wife’s revelation and on the first half he reacted on a passive way, but later on he kept grudges to her. The ring that she threw away meant a lot for him, because it was his mother’s gift to them before their wedding. He thought that she disrespected his mom and their vows to each other.
As a result, there were days when she won’t meet his standards in housekeeping and he would verbally abuse her. Their marriage was on the rocks.
He decided to bore himself into sports especially in tennis. He became addict on it and he’d often buy tennis’ paraphernalia’s. He focused his hatred on sports. He also had a secret fear of dying early, because his father died at the age of 58. And Shiela didn’t know all his deep fears and frustrations.
On the year 2003, Jun attended The Feast in Camp Aguinaldo. He invited Shiela to attend and she agreed. They both realized that they forgot the Lord. They weekly attended the Feast to restore what was lost. But oftentimes, they failed. They would see themselves returning to their old ways and backsliding. Jun struggled to fight for his anger to his wife- whenever he sees a couple wearing a wedding ring.
But they didn’t give up- their family kept on attending the Feast PICC. This year, they decided to attend a couples retreat, in which they encountered so many hurdles before it finally happened. Part of the program was exchanging of letter and gifts. Shiela mulled over the gift, she’d give to her husband until she remembered that 15 years ago, she got his ring, threw it in the air and after the argument, she saw it somewhere and decided to hid it from him. She uttered to herself that it’s time to return what was lost to his beloved. Thus, she excitedly put it into a calling card box together with another gift. She also made a letter for him saying, “Sorry for what she’s done to him.” Meanwhile, Jun was on the plane and pondering too about the letter he’d give to his wife. He made a wonderful poem for her.
They didn’t know that God was moving in intertwining their reconciliation.
A couple retreat was about to happen and the exchanging of letter and gifts finally happened. Shiela gave her gift to Jun, he can’t believe what he saw before his eyes- his long lost wedding ring, tarnished yet still valuable. Maybe, valuable is an understatement. Both of them felt that things were falling into place. God listened to each of their woes. He cried upon receiving the ring. She was oblivious of her husband’s hidden grudges for her, until that day. She lately realized that while she moved on, he hanged on the ring- he hanged on his devoted love for her.
Now, both of them are happy. Jun is serving in Secretariat, while Shiela still discerns if she’ll join Media Ministry or Secretariat also. They devote their time in sharing their love story on their caring group. Their youngest daughter, Hale is part of Awesome ministry. While there 2 siblings are still discerning on what ministry to join. But they believe that they could decide in HIS time. They’re communicating and disclosing everything to each other and they put God first as the center of their relationship.
*Edited story published in Feast Bulletin
*Edited story published in Feast Bulletin