Repaint

Few days ago, our house went to a not-so major makeover – we just finish repainting our yard. And now, we fall in love with its new look that we spend breakfast and even dinner there. The colors make it look as if it was new, though our house has been with us for almost 9 or 10 years.

Yesterday, while having breakfast with my family. I remembered the days before work completion and was somehow reminded by God about its similarities with our journeys and seasons:

1. You have to make a decision.

The repainting won’t ever happen unless there was a decision made. Even the color was decided first before going with the repainting job. Similarly, in our journey or season, either we are given such decisions or we don’t have control over the next journey that life offered. Though we cannot control the events that’ll happen to us, we can always make the decision to take the journey with God – holding His hand every step of the way. We have to decide that we will take this path if it if and only if God was with us. Any journey taken with God, whether be it decided or fated, we can be sure His love will cover us.

2. Trust the process

The week before we started the paint job, our house was turned upside down. My father took out all the things in our house, sorted out what are the things we needed and kept them, then thrown or gave things that were not necessary. Our house seemed like a dumpsite. I never liked how it looked. It was messy. But when you look at our house today, it doesn’t have any hint of that mess. And sometimes we are also in the middle of the mess. Everything is turned upside down and we are left frustrated, angry, and most of the times without hope. We cannot seem to see the end of the mess that we want to give up. I want yo encourage you to trust the process – that ugly, painful, frustrating process – because surely it’ll come to an end. And when you get to the end, you’ll be glad that you didn’t gave up. That the mess is necessary purging to something great. If we had given up sorting, we won’t reach the point where we get to enjoy breakfast and nice stories at our yard.

3. Trust the Planner

My mother, youngest brother and I searched for color combinations that’ll work with our house. I knew my brother knows the color that we liked so when my father comes into play with color decisions, I know he can tell him what color to paint. I never saw the color being painted until the third day. It was morning and I have to go to the office when I saw the bright blue color – this was not what I have imagined. I told myself to keep quiet as I can hurt my father’s feelings if I blatantly told him it was ugly. But I can’t help it, that I told him jokingly – “Papa, I don’t think it would work…what’ll be the color of our gate it our house is bright blue?”, then he calmly responded “It’s not yet finish, it’ll be good.” With his answer, I was a bit comforted – I told myself to trust him. Days after – I saw the house again and he was right, it was good – actually more than good. In our journey, we have plans and we lay them out – and sometimes those plans get ruined. Let’s be honest, we hate it when our plans get ruined – we then question God why did this happen when we already have planned it all. Instead of complaining, it should prompts us to trust the Planner. We love to complain, I do, and thankfully He answers us in calm and cool manner that just makes us trust Him. More than trusting the process, we have to put our whole trust on the Planner for He knows well what He is doing. His plans would never fail and most of all He will never leave us nor forsake us.

Repainting or repairing something maybe messy just as our journey, but if we take the decision to go with it as long as God is with us, trusting the process and most importantly trusting Him – then we can be sure to enjoy His work at the end of it.

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Take Heart

Hi! It has been more than 2 months since I wrote. I was actually going to write last December, but I got too scared and prideful to open up of my struggles within.

No one ever said this journey will be easy. If we are to look at our lives on a different view, I can say we are always at the target of attacks. Doubts will start to creep in, disappointments will haunt you at night, and the past will keep on knocking at your door.

There are better days, days in which you just don’t want to end, but that’s not the reality we are living in. I pleaded to God for help – actually it was more of ranting, haha! I was asking Him why I am where I am now, because I just can’t seem to comprehend. I’ll be honest, at some point I doubted that all of this is for my good – because it’s getting harder for me to see the good. My vision of a good future was blocked by the things in my life that doesn’t seem to work. It made me feel that I lack in all aspects – I feel stupid, I feel like I won’t ever have good relationship, and I feel defeated. Everything doesn’t feel right.

I gave it a week to shake it off – sadly it did not and now it has been two months. Now, I can’t say I’m back, I’m still struggling and fighting to hear His voice and see the light at the end of the tunnel. I just can’t and I don’t want to stay long in this position.

He listens, I know He listens. It’s just that I don’t and I’m so stubborn to do it my way. He cares, because if not then we won’t ever have moments talking to each other. He waits patiently for me to talk to Him again. I think, His heart is also broken seeing that I am not at my best. As a good father, I think if we can exchange position so I won’t feel the way I do, He would. But then again I won’t learn anything, I’d just keep on having the life that I wanted myself that might just make me into a selfish person.

I know He is teaching me to let go and submit to His Lordship. He wants to transform me from glory to glory that purging of my old self is needed no matter how painful it would be. That I should no longer hold on to who I was and stop listening to the lies and declare victory because He is with me.

Even though life is not going the way I wanted it to be, or I am not where I thought I would be, or don’t have the things I need and want – I can’t blame Him. Because deep in my heart, I know what’s important is my encounter with Him, our relationship that gets stronger as we walk together in the valley of death, in the tunnel of darkness, in the sea of uncertainty. I can trust in Him and look forward for a bright future ahead. I trust and know deep in my heart that where I am not is not my final destination. Who I was will never be who I am. What my past, disappointments, failures, and even accomplishments won’t define me. Because who I am is already defined – His daughter whom He loves most.

And I don’t think any Father would just let His child stay at their worst, but He will teach them to stand on their feet. Just as when a father teaches you to ride a bike – at first you’ll ride with training wheels, but there will come a time when we have to take them off and our only guide will be our father. He’ll hold us and little by little he’ll let go. We then ride, wobbly and slow and most of the times we fall and cry and he’s there to help us stand. But we don’t stop because we fall, he will urge us to keep going until we can learn to ride by ourselves, no matter how bumpy, wide, narrow, or uncertain the road are.

I know that deep in my heart no matter the situation I am in He is with me. He has carried me before, and I know He’ll carry me through over and over again. But I have to fight and declare His goodness, grave, mercy, and love in my life. I have to decide that I won’t stay defeated, lost, and loathing instead I am redeemed, forgiven, and victorious.

Yes, I fell, but He got me up. I’ll keep going no matter what because I don’t depend on me but on God. And He will carry me through. 😊

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Pursuit of Relentless Faith

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
– 2 Timothy 4:7

Just last month I had the privilege of joining a Single’s Getaway – held in the chilly weather of Baguio City. I was really excited to join as this was my first ever camp in my *toot* years of existence (Haha!). I expected to meet new friends and of course to have a whole different encounter with God, especially during this Season of Preparation. True enough, my expectations were not just met, but highly met by God. I was able to know many people – got out of my introverted comfort zone, did some small (and big) conversations that paved way to establishing godly friendships and most especially deeper relationship with God.

We are very blessed to have Pastor Jansen Morados as our speaker and he preached about Relentless Faith. After the sessionsI’ve got this renewed sense of faith and saw it’s importance not only in this season, but all throughout the season God will place us in the future.

But first what does relentless mean? According to the dictionary relentless means  oppressively constant; incessant; persistent – in other words it does not stop, continuous, or never ending. And faith as we know “…is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1). But how then are we going to pursue relentless faith?

1. Acknowledge that we are in the fight

First and foremost, we must know that we are in a fight. Though not physical, this fight is deemed to be the most important fight of our lives, for it is spiritual. Especially that we are now called as His sons and daughters, even called by our own name (Isaiah 43:1). We should be spiritually aware of the attacks that will cause us to divert from God and His will.

Acknowledging that we are in the fight also has the need to acknowledge that we cannot fight alone. We need other people (Proverbs 27:17) and most importantly we need God. Aside from that it is also important to know the end battle – we are already victorious. Isn’t that great? Nevertheless, that should not stop us from being in the fight, still.

2. Just keep going

I had a different outlook of this battle when Pastor Jansen revealed to us that 2 Timothy 4:7 does not implore us to win. Yup! Surprised? Me too, it said that we just have to be in the race and finish it. We don’t have to do any winning because this battle has already been decided. We are on the winning team – we have already won, with Jesus raising to life. And nothing will say otherwise.

Even so, the enemy would want to distract us of that truth by telling lies (John 10:10). Lies such as:

  • “You’re just a mere human, you’re weak.”,
  • “You need to prove yourself to God.”,
  • “You’re not part of the team.”

Or maybe implant doubts in our hearts by asking questions like:

  • “If He really loves you why is there a need to wait?”
  • “If He does love you, why is He not giving you what you wanted?”
  • “Do you really have to put your trust in Him? Maybe you can do that yourself.”

Fortunately for us, that’s just about it, a lie. So just keep going and choose wisely whom to listen. Because who we listen to sets the pace in this race.

Again, I cannot stress out the importance of this, the battle’s already won just be in the fight, just keep the faith.

3. Anchor your faith to our immovable God

The same God who parted the Red Sea (Exodus 14:21) is the same God that holds our future in His hands. He is unchanging. He is the only thing constant in this world – and with that, we can surely anchor our faith in Him. Just as a boat anchored on the sea, no matter how hard the waves hit – it will stay still, not because the boat is perfectly engineered to stay still, but because of where it is anchored to.

Aside from that, we can be assured of His love for us. A love so unconditional – that did not let us be eternally separated from Him. A love so pure, He even sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for our sins (John 3:16). And yes! That’s how He is. And that’s how He will always be. That is our Father in heaven.

 

Oh the wonderful pursuit of relentless faith – it does not only strengthens us, but deepens our relationship with our Abba. It makes us discover His heart more intimately, like a love story blossoming to its happily ever after. The pursuit of relentless faith is continuously believing – holding on that no matter what the situation is at the moment or in the future, the things we hoped for will be true, in His perfect time.

 

All Things Made Anew

Losses are inevitable. As much as we want to hold on to these things, there will be a point in our lives wherein we have to let go – whether slowly or abruptly. Sadly, there is no other way around, as much as we want to find one. And in order for us to move forward, we must remove our grip off these things.

Losses are devastating. It leaves us in pain, insecure, and in constant search of we don’t know what.  When we lost something, we don’t only lose what was, what is but as well as what will be – uncertainties that will surely keep us awake at night. And most of the times, wanting to give up.

Losses are overwhelming. More than what we can handle. It is world-shattering, and mind-numbing. It leaves a hole not only in our hearts but also in our whole-being. It almost shuts us down, especially if we let it get into our skin. It breaks us, and nothing in this world seems to make it alright.

We fixate on these things. And that’s the normal human reaction, or else I guess the expression “you only appreciate something when it’s gone” won’t be famous. But have we stopped, reflected, and maybe considered that what happened was more than just a lost? That it is an avenue for the Creator – the Maker, Himself, to move in our lives? That it is an opportunity for Him to make all things new?

“Behold, I will do a new thing…” – Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

If we let Him, He’ll be able to turn the most excruciating journey to the most wonderful and fruitful one. I admit, there are times it will be frustrating. But that frustration teaches us to depend on Him and cry out to Him. Know that it’s okay not to be okay – just pour it out on Him. It shows humility and we need God in our lives. We need God to be complete.

In our brokenness, God works and one day we’ll look back and be surprised by how much we’ve gone far because of Him. We will get to see and realize that it is necessary to be broken – for Him to mold us. God is more than able to cover up the rough patches of the past. We’ll eventually realize that everything was a necessary piece of the puzzle. We will certainly look back and it will not hurt anymore, instead we’ll smile and just be purely grateful for what He has done.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NIV)

I want us to remember that God is able to turn tables into our advantage. Let us have faith that He will make whole what was shattered and even give us something better, in His perfect time. Trust that the uncertainties are for our own sake. Instead of fixating on what was, focus on Him. Instead of thinking what if, focus on Him. Let God turn us into a masterpiece He wants us to be. Let us grow in His grace and love. And one day, for sure,  the things we gained from the pruning – learning, maturity, memories, and even frustrations – will far outweigh the loss, or we thought was a loss.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)

God is a God of new beginnings – He makes all things new. In Him there is a future full of hope. In Him there is love that will complete us. In Him there is joy that overflows. In Him there is peace that cannot be shaken. Just keep the faith.

 “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” – Psalm 34:8 (NIV)

The World vs. The Word

The world we live in is full of voices. Voices that aid us in making life decisions in order to move forward. While some are minor, others are real game changers. We ask our parents, our siblings, our friends, our colleagues, and, believe it or not, even strangers in the internet or social media for advice, but has it crossed our minds to ask God?

Lately, a lot of decisions were served to me in a platter called life. I had a front seat view of how the different views work, most importantly how contradicting – in total opposite – one is to another. It has opened my eyes and made me realize that we really have to take time in choosing who we ask. Because it will either point us in the right or wrong direction. In our study today, we would take a look at – the view of the world versus the view of The Word.


On quitting

Have you felt wanting to quit in life and just run away from it? I did – and honestly, still struggling. As crazy as it may sound, I looked over the internet for “graceful” ways to quit without hurting my personal interest. Reading through their answers made my strong emotion towards quitting validated. Some people said – if it makes you happy, then go ahead and quit. Do it now, than later – at least you can rebuild earlier, others say. Tell you, reading through that, I was so ready to quit. I even made a plan already: First explain to my parents how quitting would be the best for me as I cannot seem to “feel” it anymore. Then, inform relevant individuals about my decision and how sorry I am for the inconvenience I have caused – cause surely I there is. I wanted to cry – run and never go back.

At one point I don’t even care at my reputation at all, in my mind “Just get me out of here!”. I feel like I everything is falling apart and nothing fits properly. I was so frustrated, primarily at myself and how lost I am. I spent time contemplating about it – until out of the blue a voice inside me said, “What do you think God says about this?” So then, I Googled – “What does God say about quitting?” (as of this moment, I am also realizing I have stop asking Google about life questions and really make human contact. Haha!). Thankfully, there was one site that really helped. The first verse made a strong impact that made me question the logic behind me quitting. The verse is Ecclesiastes 9:10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might…”. I haven’t done anything yet with all my might, I was just starting, yet I want to quit already? It shook my worldly view, that if it doesn’t make me happy or serve any purpose – throw it away and don’t give it another chance. You see, the world says quit but The Word says continue on and do it with all your might. For the purpose is not to make us happy, content, fulfilled, prosperous, or successful but the main goal is to give glory to God – to let Him work in our character and our hearts, polish and prune it that we may come out as gold (Job 23:10).

If you think you can’t, remember God can and He will give us the grace to move forward until such time, at His perfect time. Give it a try first, with God. Find deeper purpose in just being happy and move forward with a happy heart.

On Reconciliation

Have you ever been bothered by the ghost of the past? An unclosed chapter of the book? We have heard “time will heal” for a million times, but does time really heal? Or is it just because it is out of our sight, it is out of our mind?

The topic about reconciliation is very sensitive for me because for the longest time, there is one person that always, consistently pops in my mind. I know deep in my heart I have to apologize for what I’ve done in the past and also tell that I have already forgiven this person.  But there is also a voice inside me telling it will be awkward and this person might get a different notion or misunderstand the situation, so just let it be like it has always been. And since “time heals”, maybe the issue has been settled already and there is no need to apologize for.

So by the Grace of God, I mustered all the courage and threw my pride out of the window just to contact this person and genuinely apologize. To tell you the truth it is not easy to apologize after a long time, actually apologizing itself, in general, is hard for me and I have been in the process of learning. It is nerve-wracking, and as I told you, you will really have to gather all the pride you have in your body and throw it away. You’ll need humility in order to genuinely reconcile with people. The world says it is shameful to apologize, that your pride will be walked upon but The Word says be reconciled –time does not heal anything and we should take matters quickly (Matthew 5:25)

As believers, we are given the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18), let us work diligently to preserve this ministry as we are His ambassador. Let us do this because we love Him and to protect our testimony – be a good witness of Christ.

On Beauty

As embarrassing it is to admit, at one point in my season of waiting I questioned why is it no one is taking any interest in me. I asked myself plenty of questions like: Am I ugly? Am I not appealing? Am I old fashioned? Am I too old? Really, am I not interesting at all? I pitied myself. I got frustrated of how I look – If only I’m slim, if only I have beautiful hair that doesn’t need to be tied at all for it flawlessly falls, if only my skin is perfect – no pimple or pimple marks. Maybe, just maybe – a guy would take interest in me.

The world defined beauty in the pages of magazines – flawless and perfect. And I am definitely not. As I take on another minute to pity myself, His grace reminded me, once again that “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” (Psalm 139:14). The world says beauty pursues but The Word says everyone is beautiful as we are created in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27).  We must stop looking at the world’s standard of beauty and start shifting our focus in Christ’s beauty. The world’s beauty will make us frustrated, sad, and incomplete. Christ’s beauty brings out joy, peace, and fulfillment this world can never give.


The view of the world is far different from the view of The Word. It is up to us who will we listen to and put our focus on – one will make us frustrated and lost, the other will bring about peace and contentment, even in the midst of chaos. As we end, let us remember – We are no longer of this world, so why let its voice speak louder than the voice of the one Who redeemed us?

Can God Remove All Pain and Misery?

Just recently, I came across a Twitter conversation which rattled my very heart that urged me not to stay quiet. A believer posted a tweet and this specific post was questioned by non-believers, believers answered too hoping to clear out the questions and before you know it, the conversation was already long. The questions/statements of the atheist goes like this (non-vervatim as to protect the identity of the accounts):

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