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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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The thing about Love and Pain

“Pain demands to be felt”, and for many years, I tried to escape anything that can cause me pain. This is the reason why I can’t jump off cliffs because I’m afraid that when I fall, I might get hurt.

Lately, I have been posting on Social Media about the man I’m currently dating. I even created a hashtag for all my post about him, #CardoSavesTheDay, which is very new to me since I tried to escape love to avoid the pain it may bring.

For the first time in 28 years, I’ve openly told my family, friends, and friends of friends that there is one blessed man who’ve reached my heart and my Facebook timeline. It created a buzz to those who knew me as a strong, independent woman, most especially to those who know that I’m not the type who would share my dating status to anyone, much more on my public accounts. BUT, this time was different. I finally have the boldness and courage to open up and officially commit.

For those who knew me well, and I mean very well, they knew that I have commitment issues and that I really fear getting hurt. I’m afraid that when I decided to love, I will be left behind in the end, or I’ll be cheated on, and that eventually, I’ll be heartbroken. Things like these go inside my mind, that’s why I’m scared to love. I’m afraid of the love that may hurt me eventually.

My heart is guarded, but this time, I finally allowed someone in. I have been asked if I’m ready to be hurt, and I was surprised with my courageous and certain reply,

Pain is inevitable, but we choose our pain. We choose what’s worth it.

I cannot remember exactly where I’ve read those lines, but one thing is for sure, it made me believe that love is a decision and that I can choose my pain in the same way I decided to love.

If in time I’ll found myself hurting in this love that I chose, then I’ll make sure that it will be worth it. After all, there should be no fear in love, for even Love, Himself, suffered so much pain for someone unworthy as me.

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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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Surely, Someday

The rain is pouring out

Giving chills to my warm heart

Through the window pane

Thoughts flooded my brain
Maybe somewhere in a faraway land

Someone is meant to hold my hand

To comfort in pains, to correct the wrongs

To breathe fresh air into the lungs
To watch sunsets and sunrise

To dry the tears from my eyes

To share the hopes of tommorow

To connect deeply through the skin down to the marrow
To witness the skies turned gray to clear

To sing lullabies and music to the ear

To witness the blooming and fading of a rose

To bring tickle and aroma to the nose
To cross borders and boulders

To rest my head on his shoulders

To bring out each other’s best

Or to simply lie on his chest
To drink tea, coffee or wine

To wrap his arms around my spine

To share secrets and cooking tips

To bring thousand kisses to the lips
We may be separated now by oceans or just a river

Like blood knows its path to the liver,

I know our feet will find its way

Not maybe, but surely, someday.

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Swept Away

Some time last year, there was a man who handed me a beautiful rose. He did plan to surprise me with it, and I knew how much effort he exerts just to give me that. However, I wasn’t good at hiding my real feelings. When he gave me the long-stemmed, red rose, I was not at all surprise neither extremely glad to receive it. My face shows it all. He said he was hurt with my response. He was expecting that I would be very happy with the rose, but I was not.

Honestly, deep inside I was happy with his efforts in pursuing me, but I am not totally knocked off my feet with such gesture neither did I went head over heels with it.  A rose cannot easily sweep me away, even if it makes my heart smile.

rose

As I reflect on the passion of Christ on the cross, it dawned on me that I have been swept away by a man crowned with thorns, a man who pursued me not with things in this world but with His very own life. What Jesus Christ did on the cross was more than enough for me to know my worth and that I am loved. It was the greatest expression of love that I have received. Who can beat that? No man ever, right?

I did appreciate all this man’s efforts for me though; it’s just that no man can ever sweep me off my feet like Christ did. I have been won by Jesus. I am swept away by His love, and no one can ever make me feel loved and glad more than what He has done.

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I AM FOREVER SWEPT AWAY BY LOVE, HIMSELF.

So, to all the young ladies and single women reading this, I would like to encourage you to remind yourself that your worth is more than just a bouquet of beautiful roses. Don’t be easily swept away. Look at the man, who handed you those roses, does he reflect to you the Man who was crowned with thorns for your sake?

The Man named Jesus has long pursued you with His life. Let His love be your standard and basis of what love is. Again, be swept away by the eternal, unconditional love of Christ and not on the temporary, conditional love of this world. Not a bouquet of roses will ever satisfy you, only the Man crowned with thorns.

Not a bouquet of roses will ever satisfy you, only the Man who was crowned with thorns.

 

The Proposal

It was not on a romantic place

It was a place of death and sorrow;

He was not well dressed

He was almost naked;

His face was not handsome

It was beyond recognition;

He does not look composed

He was wounded, bleeding and bruised;

There were no cheering friends around him

Only a mocking public;

There were no roses on his hands

But there were thorns on his head;

He was not kneeling

But he was hanging;

He bought me no diamond ring

He was a persecuted King;

He laid down not just a wedding proposal

But his very own life;

It may not seem pleasant

But, it was the grandest of all;

I know I’m not worthy of such love

– a love that bleeds, a love that completes,

a love that’s unending,

But I will always say “Yes” to my nail–pierced lover.

cross of christ