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Apat na Buwan Pa Lang

Apat na buwan pa lang mula nang tayo’y pinag-isa

Sandali pa lang naman pala

Sa pakiramdam ay sobrang tagal na

Apat na buwan na puno nang iyak at tawa

Nasugatan ng malalim pero kinakaya

Masakit man, nagagawa pa rin magsaya

Apat na buwan pa lang, pero tayo’y sinubok na

Parang quota na agad sa sakit at luha

Sobra pa sa iniyak natin sa isang taon na tayo’y mag-jowa

Apat na buwan pa lang na puno nang aral at alaala

Na isusulat ko sa iba’t ibang tula

Upang baunin natin hanggang sa pagtanda

Apat na buwan pa lang sa pangarap nating lima o anim na dekada

Marami pa tayong isasayaw at ikakanta

Hanggang sa daliri mo’y di na kayang mag-gitara

Apat na buwan pa lang tayong mag-asawa

Ang dami na nating malalim na buntong hininga

Buti na lang nasa Diyos ang ating pag-asa

Apat na buwan pa lang tayong nagsisimula

Malayo pa tayo kahit sa gitna

Pagsubok siguro ay marami pa

Apat na buwan pa lang, may habambuhay pa

Wala namang di kakayanin, ‘di ba?

Hanggang kapit natin ang isa’t isa

Apat na buwan pa lang ang lumipas at nawala,

May mga darating na bukas pa

Haharapin natin lahat na magkasama

Apat na buwan pa lang ngayon, Papa

Marami pang buwan at taon na mamahalin kita

Dahil “hanggang wala nang bukas” ang pangako natin sa isa’t isa

and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh – Mark 10:8

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When God Sees (The Wedding Proposal Part II)

It took me a year to be able to finally write the Part II of my ex-boyfriend’s (now husband) wedding proposal. The Part I contains all the details of what actually transpired on the day, but this post is intended to share something that is invisible to the eyes when he proposed — a heart matter.

Let me start with how unworthy I was. I am not a perfect woman. I am a sinner who desperately needs a Savior. I sin and fall short from the glory of Jesus. In the area of dating and relationship, I’ve stumbled and fall many times. In the area of purity, be physical or emotional, I was not a good example.

My heart was filthy, deceiptful, and corrupt. I know God’s holiness cannot look at such a heart, yet I know He sees and hears all my deepest desires. The following details of Julius’ wedding proposal last year are my evidences:

1) The Age

When I was a little girl, I always say that I will marry at the age of 28, just like my Aunts, Myleen and Mae. Over and over again, I claim in my heart that at 28 years old I will be with the man I’m going to spend the rest of my life. At 25, I still didn’t have a boyfriend; my heart was at its darkest but the longing was still there. On the night I exactly turned 28, Julius came into my life. Months after, he asked me to marry him.

Of all my impatience and immaturity over the past years, God still delivered on the dot! He hears what my heart repeatedly says since I was a little girl.

2) The BACKPACK

Shallow as it may sound but some years ago my longing heart and careless mind desired something from a viral photo online. It was a collage of the proposal for the actresses, Kaye Abad and Bianca Gonzales. Both proposals were purely candid that the ladies were not even dressed up for it. They were just on their casual get up with a backpack. So, I carelessly (but hopefully) shared back then that I will always bring my backpack with me just in case someone publicly propose for a marriage.

This was the photo I shared before.

On the day that Julius’ proposed, I totally did not have the will to dress up much more wear make-up. I didn’t even wash my hair, thus I still have the braided hair from the other day. I chose to wear a comfortable jeans, a loose blouse, and flats, which didn’t make me look like a College Instructor.

Now here’s the best part. When Julius’ comrades walked me out of the faculty room to bring me to the proposal scene, we were already at the door but I went back and said I’ll just get my bag. They told me that no need for it, but something inside me wants to really bring my bag.

Now, I believe, it was God telling me, “Hey! You’ve dreamed this before. Go get that backpack of yours!”

img_5653By the way, that backpack was bought by Julius himself.

3. The RING

The ring that Julius bought for me, the size and its simplicity is the one I always have in mind and heart. I did not desire for any other stones or designs. I just want it plain and simple. When Julius opened the red box with a shaking hand, I looked at the ring and I was at my happiest, knowing that it is what I really wanted.

 

4. The CENTENNIAL FOREST

I always wanted to have a public proposal. There, I finally said it out loud — that’s a hidden desire of my heart. I even want to have it in a carnival, either in front of a carousel or a ferris wheel.

However, when Julius and I watched Erwan’s proposal to Anne, I told him I want it to be as simple and meaningful as theirs, so he should just propose privately to me at home. But, Julius said that he will also propose to me in a forest. I took that as a joke, but God sees and hears everything; He turns and makes things beautiful in His time. Julius did propose in Muntinlupa’s Centennial Forest with so many students watching. It was public yet still intimate.

 

5. The MAN

I grow up desiring a man of action, a knight in shining armor. Would you believe that one of my all time favorite movies is Pearl Harbor? I guess that’s one of the reasons I took up Bachelor of Science in Nursing. I always feel like I’m a woman destined to a warrior who can fight and win battles for me (and with me). I even remember writing about choosing the Knight over Jack the Giant Slayer if I was the princess in the story.

When I first laid my eyes on Julius, my initial impression of him is that he was just a “boy” or “helper” of the Special Forces assigned outside our home. He was always in sando and shorts, preparing their meals, washing the dishes, and cleaning around the kitchen. He was also the one who would go to the market to buy their supplies. He didn’t look like a prince or a knight in shining armor to me but more of a servant. And, that servant heart of Julius totally won me over.

When he proposed, that was the very first time I saw him in his uniform! I looked at him smiling at me and he is handsome. As he went near and knelt before me, I know my prince has arrived.

God saw my heart’s desires, and He knew that I’ll be in good hands with a man who has a servant heart, with a knight’s courage, and a prince-like character. No wonder why God keeps on redeeming me from the frogs I thought were princes before.

It has been a year since I said “Yes” to Julius. It has also been a year of saying “Yes” to God’s faithfulness.

God sees the darkest and dirtiest parts of my heart but He loves so much to still grant its deepest desires.

Truly, God sees and hears our deep longings even our shallow musings. And, he is faithful to give every little desire as long as it is aligned to His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.” – Psalm‬ ‭139:1-4‬

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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 works wonders and writes the best love stories. Allow Him to author yours. 😍

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SAVED DATE

April 15, 2016

After a minor invasive procedure – Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

I never knew how strong I am, not until I walked in the operating room, got fully sedated, walked out of the recovery room, processed my hospital bills and left the hospital ALL BY MYSELF. I was left an independent girl at 13 and I still had to be 13 years later. I know for a fact that ever since Mamang (my grandmother and legal mother) died, I am to look after myself always ‘coz there’s no one to do that for me anymore. My siblings are all married and got families of their own including my ever-hardworking, biological mother. I was never comfortable to bother them to babysit me or simply care for me, for I know that they have more important things to look after compared to a 26-year-old, in-pain woman in me. They raised me to be independent after all.

After my very first operating table experience, I literally just walked out of the hospital in spite of the cautions given by the hospital staff. I simply assured them that I am nurse, and I know what to do with myself in case there is anything unpleasant that will happen to me after the procedure. They were not convinced though. 🙂

I do not want to go home yet. It was too hot, there’s no enough ventilation in my room. I am hungry ‘coz I had to fast the night before, and I don’t want to sleep ‘coz I just woke up from a general anaesthesia sedation. I decided to eat somewhere all by myself, since I am so used to it and very comfortable to do so. 🙂

I guess the enemy’s eyes were prying on me at that time, and seeing me in my independence, he took his chance at me with his very unwelcome sales talk. I never knew how strong my faith is, not until the enemy started telling me with lies saying, “Look at you, you just had a minor operation and you were in so much pain, yet there’s no one to be with you now. No one cares for you. You’ve got friends, family and ministry, but where are they now? You’ve got a family, but they don’t care for you. Did they even ask, ‘How are you feeling right now?’ They do not love you. NO ONE LOVES YOU.”

Tears started flowing from my eyes, and as soon as I come into my senses and with the Spirit, I immediately wiped it with my then swelling hands and replied to the cunning enemy, “Get behind me Satan or better yet leave me alone. I am not going to feel sorry for myself for choosing to be alone and for being in pain. I chose to do things by myself, and I am secured that I am not unloved. I AM AND WILL ALWAYS BE DROWNING IN THE DEPTHS OF GOD’S LOVE. No one can take me away from that, not even you.” Right then and there, I felt relieved and will not entertain another word of sorrow from the devil.

I called another independent friend to join me for dinner, and so we had an awesome time together, laughing our hearts out with our recent life stories. See, I was not alone at all? I’ve got friends to call just to be with me. And even if I am left with myself, I KNOW THAT GOD IS WITH ME ALWAYS AND FOR ETERNITY. THAT’S A FACT THAT IS HARD TO DOUBT.

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April 15, 2005

Youth Camp

Exactly 11 years ago, I made the biggest decision of my life in accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. See? It has been 11 years, and I’m still counting on the faithfulness of Christ in me. Ngayon pa ba ko bibitaw sa Kanya? Pambihira naman!

It was my eleventh birthday in Christ. (I did celebrate with pizza and ice cream party the following day).

I do not believe in coincidences. God is just so timely to remind me that He never leaves me nor forsakes me. I’m pretty sure God was smiling at me, as I fought the enemy on that day – my saved date.

I do not believe in coincidences. God is just so timely to remind me that He never leaves me nor forsakes me.

I may be vulnerable to the traps of evil at times, but I can always be secured that I am God’s child no matter what. The enemy can only try, but he will surely not win.

I am His

As the year 2014 comes to an end, I just want to share the most hurtful event and probably the biggest storm that I faced this year… To my friends who will be reading this for the first time, keep calm and know that I forgave already. To all my friends, thank you for keeping me secured with your love always!

 After my Licensure Exams for Teacher last August, I went straight to a Sunday service. Unexpectedly, there are limited volunteers in my ministry on that day, so even if I’m not scheduled, I volunteered to help out. I arrived home that night past 10pm and woke up at 6am the next day for work. Most of my friends asked me not to go to work anymore because they know that I am exhausted already, but because I love my students, I still teach that Monday from 7am to 5:30pm.  After class, someone asked me to look after some students for an extra-curricular activity (by the way, this someone knows how tired I am for what I’d been through over the weekend).  So, even if I am very tired, I walked with him to the practice venue.

However, while walking on a narrow and dark street, I was left behind alone by this someone, for some reasons which are totally unacceptable and immature. Right then and there, I called a missionary friend to pick me up, but I found out that he’s with the brothers and that scares me because they might all go and fetch me; they were all annoyed knowing what this someone did to me. This someone told me that he will bring me home, but to my surprise he didn’t (so much for integrity, right?). He could have walked me home, but he did not with another lame excuse.

I was shaken at this experience. I felt unloved and insecure. How could this someone just leave me there on that dark street with drunken men on my office clothes and heavy bag? I know and believe that God has secured me of my worth in His sight and love. Yet, this someone just tried to steal my security and feed me with words that make me feel unlovable and unworthy. Indeed, the enemy has nothing to do aside from stealing, killing and destroying.

 I’m grateful that my spiritual family backed me up on this. I am restored immediately. That someone is (hopefully) out of my life, but what he said and did are still in my memories. I was able to forgive (even if I never heard him say sorry), and I’m trying my best to forget.

If there is one thing I loved best in this experience is that of hearing God say, “Ram, you are mine. You are my precious princess. Remember what my Son did on the cross for you? You are worth dying for.” With these words, I am affirmed that no matter how many times I will be dumped and stepped on to, God will still say, “She’s mine.”  I may be left behind by someone, but God will never ever leave my side. I am scarred from that scary night. But, these scars made me stronger and more secured.

“Remember what my Son did on the cross for you? You are worth dying for.”

Princess

To all the women reading this, know that you are to be cared and loved for simply because you are worth it. However, we do not have to ask or demand from people to treat us right, thinking that we deserve it (that’s entitlement). We just have to be secured that we are God’s precious property no matter what others do to us.

Men, I encourage you to see women in the eyes of God. How will you treat a princess, a daughter of the King of kings? Try to leave her alone on a dark street, and surely, you’ll be accountable to God, her Father.

Love is not insecure

These past few days, I felt jealousy creeping inside my heart. I am afraid of this feeling. I know that jealousy is not a characteristic of real love. It is a sign of insecurity.

It bothers me for days and nights. And, I realized that what I’m feeling isn’t right anymore. Or should I say, this is not the feeling that the God of love wanted me to have.

I must act on this feeling before it consumes me…

So, I finally decided to take the hard but the High way. I cry unto God to remove this growing jealousy immediately because I know that what I’m feeling is not from Him.

It’s a bit scary to think that once God moves, He will surely work His ways to the point of us getting broken into pieces for Him to make whole and new again. I am honestly afraid on how God will correct me and my emotions. I am afraid that as He pluck the wrong feelings, He will also remove a certain person or thing my life.

But, I trust Him for what is best. Now, I’m in the process of being mold again and I’m glad that I am, though it (really) hurts.

If there is one thing I learned in this heart matter, that is to trust and lift up to God all insecurities. He may remove it painfully, but it is always for the best.

Someday, this heart of mine will be swamped with uncertain emotions again, but one thing will remain certain – the feelings that I will only entertain and allow to grow is that of what comes from the Lord.

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Love is not insecure, for everything that comes from God comes with peace and security. When God gives, He adds no trouble in it.

I’ll be forever grateful that God’s love is beyond my finite’s mind understanding, as it secures me from everlasting to everlasting. And, with His love, there is not even a hint of reason to be jealous and insecure.

Not needing more than that…

A note from a prayer of a thirteen-year old boy for a young girl’s troubled heart:

“Lord, I pray that she will say in her heart that, ‘Jesus died for me and I don’t need more than that’.” – Migo Austria

So Ladies (Girls and Women), don’t go head over heels when you simply hear the words, “I love you” because the best and perfect love is not found in the spoken romantic words but on the cross with a bleeding Man, who opened His arms wide in forgiving us, wanting us, and loving us despite all the hurts and brokenness He suffered as the cost of His love for us. Know that no man can do that or will do that for you, aside from that man named Jesus of Nazareth. His love for us is more than enough.

So, if someone you like or love doesn’t like or love you back, it doesn’t mean that you are not desirable or unlovable. Remember that you will never be unlovable, for you are the daughter of Love. Love, Himself, even died for you and conquered death to be with you for all eternity.

And, you will never be unloved because the heart of Jesus Christ never stopped beating for you, in desire, mercy and love that is greater than anyone or anything in this world.

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Photo grabbed from Google Images