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Of Asking What’s Wrong to Finding What’s Right

I’ve been wondering for so many years what’s wrong with me why I’m not in a serious romantic relationship when most girls and women my age are getting engaged, married, and having babies.

I asked myself countless of times, “Pangit ba ako? or Super taba ko na ba?” I’ve been trying to comfort myself with the words, “Matalino naman ako, mabait, at malambing. Masaya din naman ako kasama.” How come I’m not committed yet?

At times I get so used to the idea that being single is fun. I can actually date any guy who would ask me out. I have no commitments. I own my time. I do not have anyone to think of or care about aside from my strong, independent, and stubborn self. But, this train of thoughts do not soothe the longing to be in a relationship and the desire of having someone to have and to hold.

I became a hopeful romantic…

Everywhere I go, I welcome the idea of finding my one true love. I thought of meeting him in a bus or plane ride. Every mountain I hike becomes an easy climb with the thought that maybe he is already there at the peak. Every island is a paradise with the thought that maybe he is also there wandering and looking for me.

I waited, prayed, gave up, stumbled, prayed, and waited again. For years, I was thinking of what I have done wrong, or what’s wrong with me, or if I was looking at the wrong places. In this cycle, God made me see that there is nothing wrong with me, it’s just that it wasn’t the right time yet.

For 8 years, from 2009 to 2016, I have included “to be pursued by a man and be in a relationship” in my faith goals. Every prayer and fasting, I asked God for someone to love and to be loved in return.

Until 2017 came, I intentionally not include being in a relationship in my faith goals, not because I gave up on it or I lose my faith already, but because God impressed on me that getting married and having a family of my own is His plan and promise for my life. So, I don’t have to beg Him for it rather I should trust in His timing.

Lo and behold, when I least expect it, when I thought that the year is ending again and I’m still not in a relationship, and just when I gave up searching for love, love found me.

God moves mysteriously.

God has brought him to me at the right place and the best time possible. He is God’s gift to me, delivered just outside our home on my 28th birthday (literally).

Looking back on why our paths haven’t crossed before…

I started hiking way back 2012 with Mt. Pulag in Benguet as my first mountain while he was busy toiling their land on the other side of the mountain province. That was the closest chance I could get to meet him, if left to my own will and strength. I visited several islands and dive seas, while he was somewhere in the other part of the ocean, training as a diver. I ride commercial bus and planes, while he ride military/police service transportation. He has never been on an island for leisure but he was training in the forests. Most of my time were spent traveling here and there while he spent most of his inside their barracks. There is little to no chance of meeting each other if we will look at it in our own situations and differences.

But, God has His own ways of bringing us together.

Who would have thought that in this archipelagic nation of 7,641 islands, the two of us will share a seat under a beautiful night sky? I still can’t fathom how a man from the mountains of Ifugao (him) and a woman from a penal colony in Davao (me) found our ways to each other. I haven’t computed how many islands have separated us before or how many miles there is, but there’s one thing I know and that is – the world is too small in God’s great and gracious hands.

I’m grateful that as God took our hands, He leads him to me and I to him, so we can have and hold each other’s hands.

[10-27-17 Our first picture together taken after our first jogging around Sunken Garden. This is truly an answered prayer, for I have long been asking God to send someone who will run with me at night.]

God is indeed the One behind every best love story written. I can’t write our own story yet for we are only in the first chapters, but I am sure and is at peace that God has prepared the best plot for us two.

Both of us weren’t totally faithful in our individual seasons of waiting, but God is faithful to lead us to each other, just as He planned it.

I hope that as you read this, most especially if you are a single person, you will be more faithful to God and His perfect plans for your life. Remember that His promises come in His own ways and in His appointed time. He will make all things beautiful in His time.

Trust God in the waiting, in the weeping, in the wandering, and even in your past wrongdoings. Know that He alone can turn the wrongs to rights. He work wonders and write the best love stories. Allow Him to author yours. 😍

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Let’s talk about Murder

War there. Killing here.

Corpse there. Bullets here.

Evidence there. Drugs here.

What made killings and illegal drugs so rampant and popular these days is that we are officially talking about it. Illegal drugs and injustice has long been an issue of our country. But, we only talked about it out in the open when the elected-President speaks about it like it is a common, usual topic. He talks about killing people like it is a normal thing to do.

BUT, isn’t it really normal?

Even before he won, there were killings everywhere, but we don’t talk about it. The media doesn’t put it on the headlines. We’re not informed about it, so we can not talk about it. We were silent.

How many innocent blood have been shed and lives lost that we have not heard of? How many children, mother, father, and old people who died a tragic death but were not mourned and prayed for? How many families cried for justice but were never heard in the past years and even decades?

Yet, we scream now #SILENTNOMORE

Why only now?

Where were us when the Prison Guards of Bilibid where shoot down by gunmen hired by those rich druglords in prison? Where were us when fathers raped their daughters and mothers sold their children to foreigners? Where were us when bodies were chopped and thrown in the ocean or locked in a luggage? Did we mourn for them? Did we cry foul? Did we say ‘enough’? Did we even blame anyone for it?

If we look at our crime rates, we can probably enumerate a lot of instances that we have been silent for the past decades, yet we only speak now.

During his presidential campaign, Mr.President said that if ever he wins, “it’s gonna be bloody”, and so it is now. It’s bloody because we can openly see it, hear about it and talk about it. Killings do not happen in the dark and shootings are not done in secluded areas anymore. Public areas such as malls, highways, streets, and homes are now the murder arena. There are bodies left dead out in the open. There are those who were killed and are mourned by a number of Filipinos because “we are silent no more”.

If we can talk about it in the open, then openly and collectively, we can address it. We are not to tolerate murder (because it appears to be normal now), rather we can confront it straight to the eye and condemned it as a sin, a thing that only the devil does.

Let’s talk about murder. Isn’t it what God has done when he faced Cain? He knows what Cain did, but He still asked of his brother. Do you think God was not there when Cain murdered Abel? God was there, but He also wants to hear it out from Cain, himself.

How about us? Aren’t we supposed to be talking about the murders of our brothers?

I just hope that before we open our mouths to be silent no more, may we also remember the deaths of those who do not make it to the news and our knowlege.

May we not neglect the fact that we are our brothers keepers and that the things we did to them and what we failed to do for them are still our accountability to God.

May we not blame one man alone, just because he was the first one to talk about this in public. You can call me bias, but this is a democratic country with millions of people who are supposed to be responsible for each other.

May we all remember that it is the Lord who gives and takes away life. He is the Author of everything. He allowed such things to happen from appointing the President to what’s happening in our country today. He was, is, and will always be in control.

This is not just the time to be silent no more, but this is the time that we confess our sins – a thing that Cain failed to do, even when God asked him to.

God said…

“if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14

Photo grabbed from Google images

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Chase and Catch

Allow me to be very open with you (in this post), folks. The past years were tough in the area of dating and relationships with the opposite sex. Being beautiful, faithful and successful (ehem) has a very high toll you know. People are expecting me to be dating good men, but sadly, I didn’t. I failed in that area. 

Never heard about this, eh? ‘Coz I don’t post it on social media. 😂  Since I am secretive and proud, I’m not the kind who would share what I’m going through with anyone (until I stumbled). I won’t go into details about these past experiences and hurts of mine, but I’ll share with you what I learned (the hard way) in this area.

1. Never ever let your guard down. I learned this in Muay Thai, but I failed to apply it in practice. I keep on saying my heart was guarded, not knowing that my heart have already been opened wide and ready to be torn apart. I thought I was still guarded even after the first date, but nah, I let my guard down the moment I first replied with a “Hi” and stayed up late for midnight chats. 😂 Save yourself from heartaches and eyebags. Be with someone who would take time to talk with you eye-to-eye rather than someone who will cause additional weight to your eyebags. You are meant to be protected!

2. Never ever run a race not worth running. If it is not worth it, stop. I can run for hours in the treadmill ‘coz its for my fitness. But, running after someone? No way! Do you think God will be pleased seeing you run after a frog when there are princes available around? You are meant to be pursued!

3. Never ever pursue what is not meant for you. How did I know that it was not meant for me? I asked God, though I should have asked God first before I put on that running shoes and had that first step (but still it was better late than never). You are meant to obey God!

4. Never ever hold on to what is meant to be let go of. How will I know that it is already time to let go? Ask what will make God smile, running away or staying? I chose the former, and I can feel God’s pleasure when I did that. You are meant to be free from worry and pain!

5. Never ever attach yourself to temporary things, choose what will stay. I loved the “goodmornings” and “goodnights” messages, but I’d rather say “goodbye” than settle for what I know is not meant to last. You are meant to be loved forever!

6. Never ever settle for an “almost” and a “maybe”, choose what is “always” and “sure”. Do I even have to explain this? 😂 But seriously, don’t settle for what will make you wonder (and worry) about your future. Be with someone who you can see and build your future around with. You are meant to be secured!

7. Never ever settle for the pressure around you. If you are 27 and surrounded by older people, you will receive daily unwelcome advices. Just know when (and who) to listen! You are meant for God’s best at God’s perfect time, so don’t be pressured by others’ opinion and your biological clock!

Again, I’ve learned these things the hard way, and (after a haircut) I am now moving on and okay again for dating, hoping that this time I’ll do it right. I hope this post helps you. 😊

P.S. Remember what they say about having so many fish in the ocean? You are not the one supposed to chase and catch the fish. You are one of those fish. You are meant to be braved the waters with and to be patiently catched! You are a good catch, darling. (Just be careful with the baits. 😉)

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The God of my pain

A week ago, I witnessed another awesome creation of God in Nagsasa Cove, Zambales. Everything in that place was picturesque. The sunset, the sea, the rock formations, the surrounding mountains, the pine trees, and the skyline were nothing less than perfect. In this paradise, my heart never fails to declare how great and awesome my God is. How majestic are the works of His hands. In fact, I wasn’t able to count how many times I sang Cris Tomlin’s Indescribable and Hillsong’s Oceans.
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It is indeed very easy to worship God when we are in a place of paradise, when our wallets are full, when we are promoted at work or received a raise, whenever we are with our loved ones, or when we have what we’ve been praying for. When everything goes according to plan, we say, “God is good!”

But, how about when we are faced with difficulties, when we lose a job or a loved one, when the place where we are feels like hell, filled with torment and pain? Would it be easy to say, “God is good!” Or, will we be the ones who ask, “Where is God in my suffering?”

Before we reached Zambales, I was already having an intermittent abdominal pain and throbbing headaches. I tried to self-medicate with analgesics, but to no avail. On our way home Saturday noon, I had a worst headache followed by rounds of vomiting.

I was strong, just as what I thought, but Tuesday came and my tummy aches worsened. I cannot stand straight neither walk properly because of the pain. I endured until Thursday night, the pain along abdomen area was excruciating, my headaches are overwhelming that I cannot even move around my bed. On Friday morning, I decided that I’ll go to the hospital and have this pain checked. My whole abdomen underwent an ultrasound, my heart had a 2D-echo, my urine was tested and follow up tests were scheduled. I was given Proton-Pump Inhibitors as medicines, but still the pain persists.

A week of enduring such an excruciating pain was too much for my body. But, I smiled at the thought that I wasn’t asking where is God in this suffering. It didn’t crossed my mind that maybe God was punishing me or God was teaching me a lesson.

What came and assured me is that God is here inside me. He is worshiped, honored and revered, even in my pain. If someone would ask me, “Where is God when I was in such a pain?” My reply would be, “God is the God of my pain.”  

Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. – Isaiah 53:4

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In my strength and in my weakness, God is God. My pain won’t diminish His greatness over my life. In my pleasures and in my pains, I will lift my hands to declare His goodness and love.

Just today, my ultrasound results (from last Friday) show normal internal organs. I’m still waiting for my heart and blood works result. There are still series of tests scheduled to be done on my body. My illness is still to be ruled out. I’m a bit okay now, but there are still the constant visits of pain. My medicines already doubled. But, as I believed, “God is the God of this pain. He is in control and He will always be. What will I fear?”  

GOD IS GOOD, not just in the good times, but ALL THE TIME!

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On Beauty and Compliments (and not to mention Hormones).

We, GIRLS, feel low at times especially when hormones are spiking and fluctuating; mood swings just come out of nowhere no matter how  we try to control it. And, even though I am secured with my beauty and figure believing that I am fearfully and wonderfully made still I have this “I feel so fat,” and “I’m so ugly.. Grrr!” days.

While I’m down with fever, headache, and flu (blame it with the heat as I travel to work at noon and uncontrolled AC in the office + hormones), someone gave me a compliment that made me feel elated. It was my REAL dad who commented on my picture in FB (the 1st comment below) just when I feel so guilty for eating too much these past few days.

My dad and I just met once and that was a decade ago, so he really doesn’t know what I look like in person, but He can say that I am beautiful (oh well, I’m his daughter!).

My dad somehow made me feel so beautiful by his comments, but I believe I really do not need those, for I should be secured on what my Father in heaven said, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”  –  1 Peter 3:3-4

I must have a gentle and quiet spirit so that I may be fully secured on who I am and Who is in me that will make me feel really beautiful; this includes mastering over my emotions, hormonal changes, and guilt plus more time with the source of all beauty – God.

Moreover, I really don’t need praises every day or reassurance that I am beautiful nor compliments to flatter me, for my Father in Heaven said,  “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” – Proverbs 31:30

My fathers are right; I am beautiful, and I should never grow weary with that fact.  I don’t have to be praised every moment of my life, my fathers’  words are enough. After all, who I am including my beauty is created not just to please the woman I see in the mirror and the people around me, but the One who created me.

Let the King be enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for He is your Lord. – Psalm 45: 11

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A Love Story

There are so many love stories

Some are featured in movies,

Others are written, read, and admired

While others aren’t even desired,


Some stories have tragic beginnings

But have happy endings,

Others have a beautiful start

But have a painful depart,


Love stories have different characters

Some have rich and poor lovers,

Others are best of friends

Who turns lovers in the end,


My love story was not like Sleeping Beauty’s

Who  fell in love  as she was save with a kiss,

It wasn’t like Cinderella’s who lost her shoe

And found a love that was true,


Our love story is not written in publications

But it is a masterpiece in Gods’ creations,

Ours was not just a simple love  story

For God wrote it for His greater glory,


My prince and I were  once strangers

But we are both faithful characters,

To a story that started with our friendship

That grows and endures in His Lordship,


This is a love story that to the world I can scream

That happy endings doesn’t just happen in dreams,

It exist as I obeyed my father, the King

Who send His prince to give my finger the ring,


God prepares our hearts to be the best

Characters that are faithful and finest,

 In His love story that hasn’t started yet

For my prince and I  haven’t met.


This poem was written on May 10, 2009. Inspired by my  crush whom I haven’t met personally, I just saw him worshiping with me in Cebu last April 2009.  I’m so glad to recover this poem for it reminded me that I used to be a poet. I already throw all  the poems I have written since my childhood for some reasons, but I’m happy that my old laptop saved some; and this one gives me the carbon dioxide to resuscitate the almost-dead poet in me.

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Feel – Fill- Full

Allow me to create my own Powerful Points to share an overwhelming half-day Summit with the Grounded Leaders. I don’t have the time to take notes during this event yet I believe the lessons shared is still stock in my mind and inscribed in my heart.

Lessons I learned from the Grounded Leaders Summit 8-18-12: 

Be Observant! 

When Pastor King demonstrated our dance steps I wasn’t focused that when the time comes that we have to dance in order for us to meet our group mates, I was lost and couldn’t find my group. Look at me in the photo below, I’m so lost right?

 Lesson Learned: When someone gives instructions, listen and observed carefully. 

 

Boys will be Boys!

When Pastor Edrei informed every one that there will be a separate session for the boys and girls, this thought came to mind, “Boys are created differently- anatomically and genetically that’s why their thoughts and actions are different from girls.” Girls don’t think the way boys think, and girls don’t act the way the boys do. Having this thought in mind, I know that being surrounded with girls makes me feel more comfortable because I know they will understand me, my acts, my words, and even just my stare – boys can never decode that. We will always have that time that we want to know more about the opposite sex, but I believe the best way to learn that is by being surrounded with your same sex friends. Because when you know who you are, what you are, and what you do, you will never lose that identity when you mingle with the opposites.

  

Lesson Learned: We can never fully understand the opposite sex, but we can make them better by becoming better with our own.

 

Feel right to be Filled righteously!

We are so blessed to be with Ms. Phoebe that day, and here are the things I learned  On Senses and Influence:

  • The song that we sing or hear creates a memory, an emotion, and actions. When we listen to a song, it somehow creates a thought or reminds us of someone or somethings or events. When you hear a love song, will you feel bitter or kilig? A song could create an emotion. When it’s raining, what would we listen to? A rock, hardcore music, a senti or a bossa nova? When the music is on a fast beat? Won’t we just feel the beat to dance? What we hear dictates our emotions; the bad news is, it happens unconsciously. So listen to what is good that will make you think and do good and not just feel good.
  • The taste, when the food presented to us is sweet or something we like, won’t we crave for more? When a food is unpleasant to the taste, will we finish eating it or just throw up? I didn’t know that my first taste of Starbucks coffee would make me a coffee addict (see my confessions here),  yet my addiction started on my first taste as the cravings succeeded over me. I love the line that says, “Watch what you eat, don’t eat what you watch” but it hurts to hear the line that says, “You are what you eat”. It hurts because I’m an unhealthy eater, the Bible says, “our bodies is the temple of the Holy Spirit”. Our taste dictates our appetite, our appetite drives us to eat. What we feed our body is a gift to the One who dwells in it. Taste what is right to eat right.
  • Sight! I’m a reader, a book lover, a traveler, and a researcher. My eyes have seen wonders and beautiful sights already.  My prayer to God is this, “Lord, of all my senses and body parts please spare my 20/20 vision.”  I protect my eyes because in all the things I do, my eyes are essential. But more than protecting my eyes physically, I tend to forget that my eyes are also the window to my inner being. I haven’t protected my eyes from the emotional and the unseen danger, I read matured books, adult films, and seen pornographic materials. What entered my eyes enters my heart as well. When I called Christ as my Lord, I surrendered everything to Him that when I say, I offer my body as a living sacrifice holy and pleasing to Him, it doesn’t mean that my eyes are exempted. So I guard my eyes by reading books and watching movies that won’t compromise the holiness and the righteousness of the blood of Jesus that covers me. And here’s another prayer for my eyes, “Lord, help me not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.”

Lesson Learned: Our hearts doesn’t have a brain, it doesn’t know how to think, it beats as dictated by the perceptions of our brains, what our brains perceived is acted on by our heart. So before we say we guard our hearts, we must first guard our thoughts and our senses. For what we see, hear, taste, smell, and feel fills us.

 

Push don’t just Pull!

Don’t just be on the defense side, know how to attack! The world may throw us a lot of things, but being secured and grounded in His love and words, we will never be shaken. We know the word, we absorbed it, we fill our hearts with it, but what happens when someone attacks and steal those words and worth in us? Shall we allow those snatchers? Or we fight back?  Scripture says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” Fight with love! We don’t fight to make them losers instead we win them for God.

Lesson Learned: No one wins in basketball by just guarding their  home courts, players win because they go to the opponents court side to shoot and make a score. 

 

It will NEVER be about YOU!

After our separate sessions, we did have our brainstorming/ case studies about modesty, conduct, relationship between boys to girls, dealing with fellow youth, etc. Some questions are hard to answer, but in the end I believe we are all humans, we have shortcomings, we are saved not by our own efforts, we are all work in progress, and we are able to love others because we can feel the love of God. We can love those who wear short shorts, those who are suicidal, clingy, infatuated, childish etc., because we have been loved unconditionally. And as young as we are, we  must equip ourselves to be better leaders and influence to our fellow youth.

 

Lesson Learned: How we live our lives is a testament on how we live the fullness of life that Christ has offered.  Our lives will never be about us, but it will always be about Him.