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Lonely Nights

I have experienced a lot of lonely nights in my life. Every lonely night hurts but to a different extent. It is not new to me anymore. I have always thought that I am wired for it.

It was Good Friday. The day Jesus Christ died for our salvation. I went to church for the stations and veneration of the cross. The experience was overwhelming. It is good to be reminded of Christ’s passion just to save us and to show His love for us.

I was seated with a woman who had her hair covered with a scarf, with pale skin, and dark circles around her eyes. It seemed to me that she is a cancer patient. The veneration of the cross was a series of standing up and kneeling down. In the middle of it, she got tired and her deep sighs told me she was in pain. I heard the lady beside her told her to just sit down or just stand up so she will not get tired of moving. That’s what she did. After the communion, as we were silently praying. I can hear her cry silently. She might probably be praying for healing. My heart grew heavy. I can feel her pain and helplessness. “Lord, I am offering prayers for the woman beside me. Please grant her healing, Oh Lord.” I mentioned in my prayer. Oh, the joy of praying for others.

We all have a different cross to carry this season of Lent. It’s just up to us whether we look at it as a burden or to carry them joyfully.

I had another lonely night last night. I was scrubbing the bathroom floor while crying. There was a deafening silence in the room. This might sound too dramatic but I felt like I was abandoned by everyone. I can feel the physical pain in my heart. It was too painful; I had to rub it gently so it would calm down. I tried to divert that pain into tiredness. After doing all the cleaning, I went to the bathroom to freshen up. I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked like a mess. I cried for a few minutes. Washed my face and went back to my room to rest. I was home alone. It was too lonely, I was deafened by the complete silence. It was too quiet I can hear my thoughts.

I consoled myself. I fried an egg for dinner. I usually fall on self pity in times like that but that night I couldn’t be more thankful that I have that sunny side up on my plate. “I feel lonely.” I told my egg. The egg made no response. I just decided to eat it. I may be lonely but atleast I am not hungry.

I switched the lights off my room. I originally planned to reflect for the night but my thoughts are too loud. So I just held on my wooden cross instead. Like I always do whenever I feel down. Hugged it so tight until I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night with a heavy heart. The kind wherein you can’t pinpoint which part is hurting. All you know is that a part of it is broken. Shedded a few tears. I wish I can say that it’s just because of the bed bugs’ bite but it wasn’t. It was something else. Something deeper.

I stared into darkness. Evaluated my life. I started to miss home. I just want a hug from my mother. But, no one’s left to hug. I hugged my pillow instead and tried to fall back to sleep. Unsuccessful. But, I am thankful. It gave me the chance to finally reflect. The silence is not deafening anymore; it’s actually comforting. The night is too quiet. I feel like the only person awake and I feel like I have God all to myself. I cried out to God. And though Jesus Christ is dead during that time, I was still able to feel His love. Because hey, He died for my sins.

They say the most beautiful of loves requires the heaviest of sacrifices.

Some has to carry a cross of sickness, just like the woman I sat beside with in church, some has financial difficulties, some has broken relationships, some has problems at work, some has inner struggles they never talk about. The lonely nights are the cross that I have to carry during this season of lent. I have had a lot of it. I was tempted to put my cross down but God’s love sustained me.

We all have to go through our own passion. We all have to die to ourselves just to let others live. We all have to stay in the wilderness (for me, the lonely nights is my own kind of wilderness) so we can experience the joy that comes in the morning. God’s love will pull us through.

I can’t wait for my own Easter.

Thank you, Lord, for the loneliest of nights. It is such a privilege to be hugged by You. I love you. <3

My Spiritual Dryness Story

I have been too occupied with life the past weeks. I have been busy dealing with stress at work, planning an event, moving to a new house, dealing with life and all its occassional punches, attending activities in the community, dealing with distractions and harrassments, and the list goes on. I do not know if it is necessary, but it took most of my time and energy. These things became my first thoughts in the morning, my last thoughts at night and everything in between. And despite my best and constant effort, I would have to be honest, my prayer life deteriorated a bit. I felt so lost, unmotivated and weary. Yes, I still pray. I always try my best to have a few minutes of quiet time with God. It is a concious effort on my part because I don’t want to go faraway from Him, my source of strength, my Redeemer. But, the quality of my prayer is obviously at its lowest. It makes me sad. But, God is really good. During those weeks that I was busy dealing with the unnecessary things in life, God never failed to remind me to come to Him whenever I feel like I’m losing my track.

Test me, Oh Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I desire to walk continually in Your truth. – Psalm 26:3

The past weeks, though I lost my focus, have been a constant reminder of how important our prayer life is. Everywhere I go, whatever I do, God’s reminder is there. Like a silver lining finding its way for it to be seen to give me a glimpse of hope. I just really have to change my focus in order to see it.

It was our upper household. We had an activty about prayer. Each of us were asked to write our prayers for each day of the week then it will be distributed among us so we could all pray for each other. We are a community of intercessors after all. It is just good to know what others are praying for and it is always a previledge to pray for them. And knowing that they are praying for me too, makes me feel good. That is my most favorite thing about our community. You can be very certain that someone is always praying for you.

Days after, though unprepared and uncertain with the overall posture of my heart, I sent a household invitation to the sisters who are under my household headship. We watched “The War Room”. I have watched that movie a lot of times and I know it is a powerful tool to strengthen a drying spirit. It strengthened mine the first time I watched it and I prayed that it will do the same to my sisters. Very timely; I guess that is exactly what they needed at that time and though I have already seen it several times, that experience is still different. I stayed behind them as they watch the movie. I was silently praying for the movie to serve its purpose and for it to touch their hearts and to remind them of God’s grace, power and goodness. I guess, it did. Praise God.

Lord, teach us how to fight a good fight and help us to recognize the real enemy. – The War Room

But, I can still feel that my spirit is dry.

“Pray hardest when it is the hardest to pray.”, they said.

I have to admitt that it became a struggle. I had to conciously put myself into prayer mode. It makes me sad realizing that I have to put so much effort into praying. But, the important thing is I did not stop. God did not stop. I love our team work.

Then, we were called to attend a general teaching for our formation. It was jumpstarted with a powerful worship; Makahugas-Kaluluwa (Soul Cleansing) as what they described it. I was literally in tears the whole time. I didn’t even know why I was crying. It must be the Holy Spirit who is moving me into tears. To my surprise, the teaching is about Prayer and Intercession. That is not a coincidence. That is God speaking to me. That is God reminding me of what I am forgetting.

I praise God for using people as a bearer of His good news. That night I was reminded that I have to fully surrender myself to the Lord and admitt that I am completely dependent on Him. This battle of spiritual dryness is not for me but for Him. I am relying on God’s grace for me to step out of the deserted island that I am in. That He is my oasis. I am reminded that it is the perfect time for me to humble myself to the Lord.

“Gustung-gusto tayong i-bless ng Panginoon” (The Lord really wants to bless us.), the speaker said.

Who are we to stop God’s blessings?

We just have to ask and we will be heard.

Surrender to His will and we will be blessed.

“The prayer that God wants to answer is the prayer that asks for His will to happen.”

Though empowered, I still feel unworthy to come to Him. But, I know only God can help me.

You need to plead with God to do what only He can do, and you need to get out of the way and let Him do it. – Miss Clara, The War Room

So, I have decided to let God be in charge. Whenever I feel like He is asking me to do something, I would submitt to it even if sometimes I don’t understand why. I would say Yes to every invitation to be in fellowship with Him even if sometimes I find it hard to get dress and step out of the house. I don’t want to miss God’s blessing; it might be what I exactly need. You’ll never know until you open your heart to it. Even if I am struggling inside (and nobody knows), I kept my heart open. I just cooperated with God because I know that He will win this battle for me if I will only let Him.

I thank God for allowing me to go through a season of dryness.

I thank God for giving me the courage to admitt to myself that I am running dry. After all, being able to feel and acknowledge our dryness is a gift from God.

Let’s see it as God’s way of calling us to be closer to Him. To seek Him more than we ever did before. To desire Him with our whole heart. To pursue Him and to be available to be filled by His spirit. It is much worse if we do not recognize that we are becoming dry. I once read somewhere, I have come to realize that the real tragedy in the church is not spiritual famine: it is famine without hunger, dryness without thirst.” I couldn’t agree more.

I thank God for giving me the chance to actually feel my spiritual dryness without dwelling on it. I thank God  for the wisdom He has given me to fight it. I thank God for sending me angels on earth to enlightern and encourage me. I thank God for every pep talk that I had with people who saved me before I fall into self destruction and I thank myself for truly listening. I thank God for the time He has blessed me with to just feel it without getting exhausted by it. I thank God for reminding me that it is okay to rest but I shouldn’t stop. I thank God for the gift of prayer. But most of all, I thank God for guiding my every step to the Oasis that He is. After all, He is the only one who can refill me. Without Him, I am nothing. He is the only one who can cover our leakage that causes us to feel dry.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

I thank God for disturbing me. It is the only way to lead me back to Him, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

My prayer life has never been better. Even if I feel so burnt out at times, I still find myself being cradled by God in my solemn moments of prayer. He continuously teaches me to fully surrender to Him even if my stubborn heart tells me that this is not the way it should be. Humble obedience. My heart is still at peace that no matter how many times I feel dry, I will never run out of God’s love, grace and mercy.

“Lord, empty me so that I may be filled again. Less of me and more of you.” <3

Trusting You,

Lord, I am Tired

Lord, I am tired and confused.

I need You.

Lord, my soul is weary.

I need You.

Lord, I feel burdened.

I need You.

Lord, I’m at the tip of exhaustion.

I need You.

Lord, there is too much going on in my life right now.

I need You.

I need You at all times.

Sometimes, I want to ask “why does it have to be so hard?”

“How long will it be like this?”

But before I even give up, You assured me.

Things may be hard…

S0Rrq

Today, I admit my complete dependence on You and You alone for strength.

The strength to carry on.

The strength to pull off a smile.

Today, I declare that I can’t do this on my own.

Fight this battle for me.

At the same time, I pray for courage.

The courage to do the things I have been putting off for so long.

Also, I pray for wisdom.

The wisdom to affirm whether I’m doing things right.

Lord, I pray that my decisions are aligned to Your will.

I thank You for the love that sustained me on my worse years.

I am counting on You now.

I know You got my back.

I may be weak; but, You are strong.

This is me, humbling myself and coming to You for refuge.

Let me sleep on Your lap tonight.

Because no matter how many trials I may have survived,

The warrior is still a child.

May tomorrow be a brighter day.

You are all I need.

All is well.

Just like what You have promised.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

Trusting You,

LOVE

Most days go by like any other day. But there are days – like Valentine’s Day- when people focus so much on looking happy. They focus so much on hearts, flowers, teddy bears, chocolates, cards and other surprises and sweet nothings just because it is heart’s day. The day when people expect the whole town to be painted in red. When everybody is pressured to look happiest showing off the bouquet of flowers which they received from their significant others on every social media account they have. When most single people feel a little pinch in their hearts whenever they look at their flowerless selves in the mirror and whenever they see happy couples anywhere.When supermarkets run out of chocolates and flowers to sell just because people think that is what that day is all about.

My friends and I went out to eat right after the mass; Restaurants are packed with people. It is good to see representations of love everywhere. Romantic love, love for family and in our case, love for friends. I remember a friend praying before we eat telling that God’s love is enough for us even if we are *chokes a little* single. Then I had a flashback of previous Valentine’s Days. I never really experienced anything romantic on any Valentine’s Day of my life. I never woke up with a bouquet of roses on my table; I never had a surprise Valentine date; I never received a box full of my favorite chocolates or got serenaded with heartwarming songs. I never got excited for Valentine’s Day but I never got sad either. Why would I be sad? Why would I feel sorry for myself? Every Valentine’s Day of my life, I am always surrounded with love from people who love me more than a lover can. Yes, I won’t be a hypocrite and deny the fact that sometimes I wonder how it feels like to experience stuff that other people experience on that day. Sometimes I daydream about waking up with little surprises from someone who loves me; I daydream about cuddling in bed watching RomComs or just keeping the TV open but not really caring about it because cuddling is enough. But, just because this isn’t happening doesn’t mean that my days are meaningless. I mean, I am okay with how I spend my Valentine’s Day. I still feel loved anyway. In fact, this year’s Valentines has been awesome because I have awesome people in my life that even if a hand drawn flower on a post it note and sweet candies are all I got, they are enough to paint a smile in my heart.

In our community, we call our significant others “GG” which stands for God’s Gift and I strongly believe that it is called God’s Gift for a reason. From its literal meaning; a gift from God. Back in 2006, I remember writing a blog post about solitude and how not having a boyfriend doesn’t affect me. Ten years later, here I am now, writing this and staying true to my words. As much as I would love to have one at this point in time, I can still enjoy my solitude. I still have no problem doing things for myself, on my own. I have no problem not receiving goodmorning/goodnight messages with all the romantic emoji’s. I have no problem not having someone to tell me i love you in the most random time of the day because I know that no matter what’s going on, I am loved. I still don’t think that it’s sad to celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends. It doesn’t make me less of a person just because of my relationship status. There are lonely days but it is not a lonely life. Love is not something we can wish from our fairy godmother and will be ours once she waves her magic wand. People nowadays focus so much on this. It bothers me how some people made romantic love as something that could make their existence complete. Don’t get me wrong, I also believe that love is a wonderful thing and everybody has the right to experience it; the butterflies in the stomach, the sleepless kilig nights and the natural glow of being in love. The joy of finding The One. The joy of receiving God’s gift. The gift that we prayed for.

But, what if despite our best effort and relentless prayer, we might not receive that precious gift? let alone end up with the man/woman of our dreams? Would that be okay? For this I pray; I pray that we can all let go of the part of us that forces romance to happen. I wish we can have fun like we used to in our favorite places without overthinking that maybe The One is just around the corner.I pray that we can silence the part of us that tells us that (romantic) love is all we need. I pray that we can learn to love ourselves instead of being too hard on ourselves because we don’t have that special someone until now. I pray that we can overcome pressure from people that tell us that we’re too old so we have to settle. I wish we can prove to everyone that being single is way better than being in a miserable relationship and I wish that by doing that, we fall in love slowly, deeply, passionately and gently with ourselves. I pray that we can ignore the little voices in our head that tell us that we are not enough or that something is wrong with us. I pray that we will be okay while waiting for God to deliver His gift. I pray that we will find joy, hope and patience in waiting because, I assure you, it will be worth it.

Love has become so underrated these days. Love slowly becomes a status symbol. I still believe that love is not measured by the butterflies in our stomach or the number  of roses we get on special days. Our relationship status on Facebook does not define us. Love is already planted in our hearts. We just have to let it bloom on its most perfect time; in God’s time. Love is not generic. Love comes in all forms. Let’s undo the times that we thought that love is everything. Let’s be the best version of ourselves while waiting for God’s best. Let God prune you and prepare you to be the right person someone deserves. And in the process of waiting, please know that you are also worth the wait.

perfectlove

BELATED HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! <3

“I AM”

“Lord, in times of doubt, please assure me.” I uttered while Iying in bed last night. Just like the other days, I felt a little bit down and quite doubtful last night. I don’t know if I am just plain tired and unmotivated but little voices in my head are whispering some words of doubts; Telling me that the things on my plate right now are too much for me to handle. As much as I don’t want to, they won. In the middle of my battle with the little voices and while I was staring blankly at the ceiling, my alarm went off. “Prayer Time”, it says. I planned to click on the snooze button because I felt like I am not in the mood for prayer. My concentration wasn’t at its best at that moment. But then, I reminded myself about the commitment I made with the Lord and my prayer buddy. I managed to sit; reached for the cross on my bed side table that I usually hold whenever I pray and took a hold of Our Daily Bread. I remember someone telling us that when we pray, we should give God the time to talk to us, to answer our prayer/questions. “Talk to me God. Tell me what you want me to know.”, I said and I had a moment of silence before I proceeded with my prayer, I opened Our Daily Bread. I was literally in tears as I read the reading for that day.

Even when we question our ability to do what God asked us to do, He can be trusted. Our shortcomings are less important than God’s sufficiency. When we ask, “Who am I?” we can remember that God said “I AM”. – Jennifer Benson Schuldt

During the time that I was questioning my effectiveness and adequacy, God came in to the rescue. God reminded me of my faith that will help me to do everything that He asks me to do. Because He will go with me wherever He sends me. It is just very comforting to know that God is fighting my battles with me. Life says “You can’t!”; I say “Bring it on!”. His grace is sufficient. His embrace is all I need. God is truly enough for me.

I ended my prayer. I smiled to God and I knew He smiled back at me. 😀

Psalm 39:7

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Today, I find it really hard to pray. It is not because I am losing faith after receiving a bad news. It is because I can’t find the right words for what I feel. It is because I know God knows what I want to say even before I say it or even if I don’t say it. Because He is a God who feels; a God who understands. Just like a kid, I cried to God and I know He listened. I know He comforted me on that very moment when I locked myself in the toilet during prayer time to freely let go of the tears that have been struggling to come out since morning. And yes, it somehow brought relief. But, it can’t hide the truth, my hope is crashing again just when I thought things are starting to get better.

I slept with a joyful heart last night. I felt like everything is falling into place; everything is going right. I saw my plans materialize right before my very eyes. But today, I saw them crashing one by one until everything starts to feel so uncertain. Everything is a blur. I don’t know if it is because of my tears but I know I don’t see things as clearly as I saw them yesterday. Isn’t it strange how one moment can change a million moments after it? How happiness can slip away from your grasp overnight. I didn’t see it coming. But, it is here and I have to deal with it.

I prayed to God. I told Him to turn my troubles into triumphs. To equip this child in me with the right armor so that I will become a warrior. To bring back the hope that I lost and to trust the power of God’s promise. To enable me to see things clearly and to help me to not be discouraged. To still stick with my plans and to put all my trust in God. Because God loves me. Because God knows what I want and God is more than willing to give it to me only if I will be still. I don’t want my disappointments to get in the way right now.  I don’t want to be my old self who gets discouraged so easily by unfortunate turn of events. I want to learn how to rejoice while it is still dark until I see the silver lining again. I want to have a thankful heart because God loves me enough to let me go through deep waters because He will be with me. My request has been made known to God and even without words, I know He hears my heart. My only hope is in Him and that is more than enough to get me through this.

Oh how great is our God for giving me sorrow so He can turn it into pleasure, for giving me worries so He can turn them into excitements, for giving me disappointments so He can turn them into joy and for giving me problems so He can carry me through them.

There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. It is kinda stormy now but I am trying my best to remain calm because I know God’s love never fails and the more I panic, the more I will drown.

This is when pruning begins and I choose to remain.

The Prayer

Yes, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

I told God what’s in my heart.

Yes, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

I told God I hate this part.

Yes, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

I told God to take charge.

Yes, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

My heart went numb.

God froze my heart.

I don’t feel a thing.

No pain. No heartache.

Yes, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

I thanked God for protecting my heart.

But…

Again, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

I told God I hate this part.

Then, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

I told God to make me feel again.

Then, suddenly, I heard a loud crack.

My heart is breaking again and again.

Then, I look up and saw God.

He was smiling at me.

“Be brave, my child.” He said.

So, I prayed.

I prayed really hard.

“God, You are my refuge, my hope, my strength.”

Your love is enough for me.

So, I prayed.

I smiled.

I know God knows what’s in my heart.

Hoc Etiam Transibit

My life has always been a constant struggle. Problems come one after the other and sometimes, they come all together at once. ‘When it rains, it pours.’ they say. I guess, they are right.

I had one of the toughest weeks last week. I won’t go into specifics but I felt heavier than usual; like the whole world is on my shoulder and I cannot carry it anymore. But I had to go out there, fake a smile and talk to people to show the world that I am fine but deep inside I was trembling, shaking, slowly dying. I just wanted to let it all go because the longer I carry it, the heavier it gets and I was afraid that I can only take so much and that time, it was already too much for me to bear, so I just wanted to get lost in my own world because I might break down at any moment because I just feel so weak and I didn’t know what in this world can fix me. So, I took my time to be broken by hiding from people and wallowing on my bed all week long. I literally shut everything off to befriend my exhaustion. It wasn’t fun but it helped.

I think everyone goes through that phase once in a while; The need for space, for solitude and for some peace and quiet. I needed mine last week and when you need something, sometimes, the whole universe conspires to give it to you. I spent my whole week thinking of ways to fix myself and everything that is broken in my life. I thought about it really hard but I didn’t come up with any answers.I felt like I just wasted one whole week of shutting people out during the time that I need them the most. That moment of despair made me hate myself. I was so down that I didn’t even have the time to appreciate the sun rays beaming through my windows or the hope a new day brings. As days passed, though I spent my everyday in bed, I became more tired and restless. Our self is our own and worst enemy. I started to hate the person that I have become. I hated how I isolate myself from friends, I hated myself for thinking that I can deal with it alone and I don’t need any help. I hated myself for compromising my service, my faith. I hated myself for missing out on a lot of things just because I am busy hating myself. But, I don’t want to be a bad bacteria who is infecting the happiness of those around me. I didn’t wanna show up without my usual happy self because I don’t want them to ask. Because I don’t have any answers except for the excuse that I am just exhausted. It’s funny how people say they’re just tired instead of admitting that they are not okay. I didn’t know that time how long I would do that to myself. All I knew then was, I need time; Time to figure out how to help myself; Time to regain the strength to go out there again and be with people. I came to a point of total Isolation and it was really hard to get out of that darkness. I knew that I need someone to pull me from where I am just so I can still see the beauty of life once again. The beauty of my brokenness. Because being broken gives us the opportunity to be hugged by God. There were times that I knew that I can only turn to God and no one else because only God has the answers to my questions. I cried to Him. I asked Him my why’s and how’s and even when’s.

“No one understands like Jesus.”

I finally had the willingness to do the usual things I do; to go out there, meet friends, laugh with friends. I attended a worship workshop and no matter how clouded my heart is by helplessness, God picked me up, hugged me and reassured me that no matter what I am going through, if I i will surrender it all to him, it will get better. I cried whatever tears I have left to cry. I broke down. I offered Him my weaknesses. He must have carried me because I felt instantly lighter. I am not totally okay but at least now I know what can fix me. The grace of the Lord will, in ways that is unknown to us. We just have to be obedient and believe that…

This Too Shall Pass

…and it did.

Just Because It is Valentine’s Day and I Should Write About Love

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Today is Valentine’s Day. It is the time of the year when lovers show more affection towards each other, when flower shops run out of flowers, and when chocolates are given away to express love. But, for me, it is the time of the year when my newsfeed is filled with sweet nothings while I eat whatever amount of chocolate I could just to supply my body enough serotonin to keep my mood up. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a relationship with chocolate? It can instantly make you happy. Just kidding.

I attended a Valentine Party last night. I was really hesitant to go and I was not in the mood to dress up. But, for the sake of friendship I managed to put on my little black dress and made it to the party. For some reasons, I was not in my “party mood” last night. I was glued to my seat the whole night. Well, aside from the fact that my shoes are not as comfortable as I wanted them to be, I just din’t feel like dancing the night away. All night, I was praying for the night to be over so I can just sleep the strange feeling off. The party was nice and lively. It is just not for me and I have never felt so pathetic for being like that. Well, blame it on the hormones. Such a kill joy. (I hate you, hormones!)

The night ended earlier than I expected. I couldn’t be more thankful that I reached home before midnight. It is not because I have a stepmother  waiting for me but because I don’t wanna carry the strange mood until the next day. On a quiet night like last night, there is no perfect thing to do but pray. I prayed to God to give me a restful sleep and to answer whatever questions I have in His perfect time.

God’s answers to our questions is only a prayer away.

Valentine’s Day. 5:45 AM. I snoozed my alarm off for 10 more minutes before I woke up from a restful slumber to a bright and brand new day. “What a lovely day. I won’t let anything ruin this day. So, hormones, please back off.” I told myself as an affirmation. But, bitterness sets in. Seeing hearts, chocolates and flowers all over every social media site makes me think “Why don’t I get those?”. Worse, my cousin from Oman asked me a favor of buying flowers for her girlfriend and to deliver it straight to her doorstep. After work, I went straight to the flower shop. I picked some pink roses as requested. Later on, I noticed that I am the only girl in the flower shop. I wonder if people thought that I was buying flowers for myself on Valentine’s Day because I am not blessed with someone who will bring me flowers. Who cares?! I am doing my cousin a favor because I want him to be happy. I don’t care what they think. I don’t care about anything. I don’t care about Valentine’s and flowers and chocolates! Okay, that’s me being carried away by my bitterness. Of course, I care. I care about love. I care about people expressing their love for each other because that is how it should be. Love should be expressed everyday.

Whenever I talk to God, I always let my guards down. Fresh from my bitterness, I asked God “Why can’t I have that kind of love? the kind that sends me off my feet, the kind that removes any doubts and fears in my heart, the kind that makes me look into the world in a different perspective, the kind that assures me that I am worthy of being loved in return.” That moment, I was vulnerable. And God knew that He has to speak to me. He did. I opened my “Our Daily Bread” booklet.

February 14: Second Best?

“Though she felt unloved by her husband, perhaps she now realized she was greatly loved by God.”

I guess there will always be a point in our lives when we will feel bad for always being the second best or for doubting our own capacity to love and be loved. It is normal because everybody desires to be loved. But, never let it bring you down. The greatest love that we can ever receive is the love from the Almighty One. The one who knows all our imperfections but loves us anyway. The good thing about His love is that it is free. You don’t have to look good, to give flowers or chocolates just to gain it. You don’t have to prove yourself worthy of it. Because this love has always been yours from the very beginning. God loves us and it is more than enough.

I am not being a hypocrite here and telling you that a love from other humans is unessential and unnecessary. It is. In fact, this world, though full of wonderful things, is still way too cruel that we need this kind of love to survive. This love somehow assures us that we are good enough, that we will never have to go through this life alone. The love that somehow makes us feel whole. I have been wanting to experience this love ever since I learned how to fully open my heart to love. And, I thank God for taking too much time on preparing me and my future God’s gift for the time that we will finally go through this life together.

“You don’t marry your great love, you marry your true love.”

Assured. That’s how I felt after reading that. Though I have never been to any official relationship, I have never denied myself the right of loving. I have loved and have been denied a few times but never did I think about giving up on this crazy little thing called love. The chase is the most exciting part of it. The chase towards my true love. I have loved a few wrong people greatly; more than what they deserve I guess. I have done crazy things for the sake of love. There were love stories which I thought were great enough that it could actually be a reality and last forever but didn’t. There have been times that I cried for unknown reasons for a love that I thought was great but actually wasn’t. Because this love isn’t true. Because this love isn’t for me so God marked it “Not my will” and asked me to let go of it so I won’t keep hurting myself.

“But, God, I want this. Nothing will be greater than this.” I insisted. I begged.

“It can’t be great if it isn’t true, my child.” God told me.

Then, I told myself, no matter how cliche this statement is “if you wanted the wrong one so much, imagine how it would feel when the right one comes along.”

So, instead of wanting the wrong love which we thought was great, let’s just wait for our one true love and make the greatest love story ever told. A great love may not always be true, but, a true love can always be great.

“It is impossible for a love like yours, that overwhelming kind of love that flows out from you, to not catch on anywhere or anyone. It is bound to be reciprocated, not necessarily by the person for whom it was intended but I’m sure it will go full circle back to you.” – That Thing Called Tadhana

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3 God is wrapping His gift for you; He just can’t choose the best wrapper yet because you deserve something special. Enjoy waiting.

Psalm 30:5

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I wasn’t in my best mood for a week. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss home. I miss my normal happy self. This whole ‘Me-Time’ thing is getting the best out of me. I never felt so lonely. I spent a couple of sleepless nights thinking about senseless thoughts and asking stupid questions to myself. But, there have also been nights when I overslept because sometimes sleep is the best antidote for trying times. In short, I just plainly exist.

During this time, I know it’s the best time to pray more but I find it hard to pray. I know we should pray the hardest when it is hardest to pray but I just can’t put myself in the mood for prayer (Sorry).  In the morning when I wake up, I just thank God for a brand new day and for the gift of life. That’s it. Very dry. When I get home, I throw my bag in the bed, remove the shoes from my feet, curl up under my blanket and get lost in my own little world. It was hard. Until one day, I said I don’t want to be like that anymore. If I want happiness, I should create it. I rushed to a nearby department store and got myself a colorful bed cover, put them on my bed and did my usual routine (throw bag, remove shoes, curl up under my blanket. Repeat daily.) For a time I was happy but it was a superficial kind of happiness. Eventually, my happy bed cover lost its magic. Worse, i became lonelier than I ever was before. I struggled until one day, I opened my “Daily Bread” and read I pray that meditations would draw us into His presence. Fellowship with Christ is the secret of happiness now and forever.” God also assured me with His words: “I have promised you my presence everywhere you go; I will never, never leave you…”

 For the first time in my life, I celebrated the mass alone and everything’s just perfect. That solitary moment with God is priceless. God really spoke to me in many ways. He spoke to me through songs. During the mass, Don Moen’s ‘I Will Sing’ played. “Lord, you seem so faraway and though I haven’t lost my faith I must confess right now that it’s hard for me to pray. But, as you give the grace with all that’s in my heart, I will sing, I will praise, even in my darkest hour.” I knelt before God, I let my heart talk and as tears rolled down my face, God hugged me so tightly I can’t even let go. When everyone left the church, I sat there alone. That moment of silence I know God hears my heart without me talking. The place was so solemn I can feel God everywhere. The chairs around me might be empty but I never felt alone. Then I realized, it was God who carried me all throughout the lonely week. It was God who made an effort to listen to my heart when I forget to pray. It was God who never left me when no one was there when I cried. It was God who lead me to Him. Then, things made sense the lonely week emptied me so I may receive more of God.

It was God all along.

That night, I came home, threw my bag in the bed, removed my shoes, curl up under my blanket and thanked God for finding me in my brokenness.

“Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30: 5