When things don’t go as planned

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Several months ago, my friends and I were already talking about the upcoming anniversary of the company where I’m having my internship with. We were not certain at that time whether we are eligible to attend the event but we’re already stoked; in fact we have planned for what we are going to wear, where we are going to meet few weeks before the actual event. We were that excited until we’re welcomed by a sad news that interns are not allowed to come to the event.

Despite of that, we have still decided to push through and prepared our dressed and tuxes until we had one day left to reconsider our decision. Consequently, after all the hassle of borrowing and preparing things, we still ended up staying in our respective homes and just hoped that the participants enjoy the night.

Albeit depressed, I’m still glad it happened. If we did come uninvited, things might get worse; and that makes us interlopers too. If we choose to force our way to things and people we are not meant to, we will always end up hurt and depressed.

Sometimes backing off means protecting ourselves from pain.

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When a child starts to believe

I really love late night talks with my siblings because it’s the only time when we get to talk about real stuff and about God.

Last night, my brother and I talked about some random things until I realized he’s already telling me how he has begun to put his faith in God. So he started like:

“I remember the day when I asked God to reveal Himself to me if He is real or something. While I was alone sitting under the tree, I prayed to Him and asked Him to let the mango fruit fall off the tree…. After I prayed, I stood up and left the tree; just as I was about to take another step, the fruit suddenly fell to the ground.
Everything happened in perfect timing like if I didn’t leave right after I prayed, the fruit could possibly fall on my head. But it didn’t. It fell just right after I left.”

So I asked my brother what he did next. He said, “Nothing. I just smiled.”

Me: “You mean, you’re speechless?”

He laughed then answered, “Yes.”

While I was still listening to his story, I was crying in awe inside of me, humbled by the revelation of God that

1. He has made one’s story distinct from another. And I couldn’t explain it much clearer than C.S. Lewis’:

“Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling you your story, not hers. I tell no one any story but his own.”

(The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 11)

2. He is the one who pursues. He’s after every man’s heart. It is not because of my belief or how strong my faith is to Him that somehow influences my sibling to follow God or something similar to that. But it is absolutely, solely Him who can do such things. You can take me out of the picture. You can take every famous preacher out of the picture but not God.

I don’t know any word that could tantamount to this realization that God wants to expose Himself to us; that He is forever seeking to speak Himself out to His creation. We may have different stories on how God reveals Himself to us but one thing is for sure: When He does, there’s no stopping.

 

 

“O God and Father, I repent my sinful
preoccupation with visible things.
The world has been too much with me.
Thou hast been here and I knew it not.
I have been blind to Thy presence.
Open my eyes that I may behold
Thee in and around me.
For Christ’s sake. Amen.”

(Pursuit Of God, p.71)
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The mystery of heart’s misery

“Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.”– Augustine

Ever since we received consciousness, we never stop seeking and going after our desires, hoping to fill the empty hole in our hearts. We are wired to always pursue a thing which we think could give us satisfaction yet after having it, we realized we haven’t had enough so we continue to seek more, more, and more trying to fill that mysterious hole.

Some of us do not come to know it YET that we somehow measure the weight of our joy to the how much gain we have or possess.

Oprah Winfrey once said, “Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” 

On the other side, we try to enter into different relationships believing that it could provide us what we need which we call, “LOVE”. We heard it many times. Some people are not content with their spouses, so they cheat. The stories go on and on.

The point is our hearts are restless. No matter how many times we wrestle and give in to its desires, we will always find ourselves in misery, always wanting for more.

Good thing, there is an answer for this yet it’s up to us if we want to give it a try.

When He knocks on the door of your heart, open it. Welcome Him. You’ll be surprised how your heart will respond and find rest in Him (that will reveal the mystery of the restless yearning of the heart, whatever wild reasons a man may say.)

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16

So…

When He stands at the door and knocks, will you open the door?

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Why “no one cares” line is a lie.

It’s a one big lie that nobody ever cared/cares/will care for you. There is always at least one person who cares for you and who checks up on you to see how you do. Sometimes however, that person is someone you least expect or perhaps the one you have never thought of would have been doing such thing.

In reality, what “no one cares” wants to imply is that the people we WANT and expect most to care about us are not present in times of need while the other people we DON’T WANT to be by our side are actually there in our aid.

We choose who we want to be by our side (it’s good and I have nothing against it); but the fact that we overlook the acts of service and love of someone else is something that we should ponder before we say that no one really cares.

“When I look up and think about Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in their place, what is man, that You think of him, the son of man that You care for him?”David

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Nothing special

Only few people know that I am not the kind of person who is always on the go for a birthday surprise, party, even for a sleepover, and hang out. And I know you won’t be surprised anymore if I forget to greet you on your special day or when I don’t remember an unforgettable day of yours. In spite of these, I couldn’t bear to disremember the days when you have made a huge impact in my life, when everything suddenly started to work differently, when I wondered why you’re included in the kwento of my life, and when every little thing about me has begun to change because Someone has put each of you deliberately with complete accuracy and perfectness in timing and all.

This time, I want to show my sincere appreciation and gratitude and honour you for being altruistic in fulfilling the work God has entrusted to you.

rgRobert Gonzalez: 4 years have passed already since we first met. Thank you for believing in what I can do even when I, myself didn’t believe in what I was capable of doing during those years and up to now. Thanks for being a father to me. Please stop sulking na po when we talk cos you always say I forget you already even when I don’t. It’s annoying when you sulk, father. Haha anyway, I am always humbled when I witness you being compassionate to everyone like I already see Jesus in you.  Thank you for being patient with my “telenobelang story” way back when. Additionally, I honour you not only for being a good father/coach to me, but also for being a good steward of what God has entrusted you.  This photo was taken by the way during my first Christmas dinner at your place (December,2010). Thank you for believing and continuously believing in what God can do in and through me. Thank you for the undying passion to reach out for the young people. Thank you for investing your time in us, making sure we wouldn’t let go of what you have taught us. Thank you for being more than a coach.

ccConey Cabahug: Hello, haha we may have our different paths now pero I still consider myself as a prodigal trainee of yours. =))) You may not remember it but thank you for flooding me with texts like “Hi Jess! When are you free for our 121?” and responded gently when I replied, “I’m busy,” or when I didn’t reply at all. It’s quite fascinating to see that whatever God has started, he would guarantee its completion. You may not be the first person who did 121 to me but you’re part of those who contributed to the finishing touches of my Victory Weekend and this photo is the evidence! Thank you for pushing me to lead a lifegroup. I’m 100% sure I couldn’t do it if you didn’t push me to. Thank you for sending me out.

lrLynn Rodio: You’re always proud of me, I don’t why. Haha! =)) Thank you for millions of encouragement and countless learning and wisdom you’ve imparted with. You’re probably out of the nation making disciples but wherever you are, be reminded that you are treasured in my heart na. Thank you for praying and sowing. Thank you for helping me see the deeper purpose of my calling in our Alma Mater.

ltLea Targa: Hi, are you surprised? HAHAHA thank you for always directing me to God when I thought everything seemed to fall apart when I started getting problematic with my academics. Thank you for the rebukes and correction. Thank you for clearing the vision God has shown me long ago when it got blurry because of the overwhelming school requirements and surviving grades. Thank you for pushing me not to believe in my own strength (especially when I say “di ko na kaya”) but to the One who provides it.

jbJanyn Berame: Thank you for being much more of a sister to me. THE BEST KA GIRL. Thank you for being there since then.  You really are a gift to me. During my introvert moments, you’re there. May sabaw moments, you’re still there. Hello? Baka neighbour kita. Haha! With you, my life is full of thrill (naks) particularly when we have our “consulting detective” moments and all. Thank you for always making libre and thanks for letting me sow in prayers with you.  ALSO, thank you for giving the whole “you” when we talk or when go for a hang out. Thank you for not texting and doing something else when we’re together. Techy is successful in killing one-to-one interaction but not to you. Now I’m making “hugot” to this one ‘cause you know how much it offends me when human does it.  Haha love you.

snShaine and Nica: Thank you for standing in prayer with me!!! Thank you for patiently listening and reading my replies and stories although sometimes they’re kind of a weird to listen to ‘cause I talk weird na. Haha you girls are much more of a blessing to me. Thank you for imparting your personal experiences in life so I wouldn’t make the same mistake in the future. Thanks for sharing the wisdom God has taught you.

rcRandy Camba: More than 4 years of thriving in God’s grace, yeah? I want to honour you for being a good brother to me by sharing things which you think might be helpful in my walk with the Lord. Thank you for bearing with my weirdity and all. There are plenty and various things we can relate to but thank you really for understanding the weirder and deeper side of the room inside my brain. Uhm well, far more ‘greater ‘things are coming up ahead. And we better be ready. How, when, why do we have a picture long before? I don’t know the answer too. Uhm God’s will perhaps.

jcJastine Capri: Thank you so much for all the wisdom you’ve imparted with. You know how I needed it badly when you got a phone call from me or perhaps text. J Thank you for being a good teacher to me. I consider you honestly my teacher for you do not only look at me as a younger sister or so but you look at me as a protégé as well. That’s why I thank you for believing in me. I admire you for being wholesome in the aspect of womanity, not as a very gentle one but a woman of courage and boldness, salted for war of faith. Thank you for being an example.

Florabel Olaso: Thank you for sticking through thick and thin although you may not be aware of it. Thank you for being a nice classmate/sister/friend. You’re much more of a blessing to me than we both could imagine. Thank you also for referring the “see friendship” so it would be easy for me to look for photos with me in it. =))) I wish we could be best buddies forever although you might not consider me as such. lol I love you. Stay as you are and just continue to grow in faith. Date in historical places, yes? =)))

***

Nothing special. You’re not special; neither am I. But it is God who makes everything exceptionally special. 🙂

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Of Untitled and Unedited

I wrote this note a couple of months ago. I wanted to keep it to myself because it’s a prayer of my lost-but-now-found soul to a gracious God. But when I read it again, it brought me back to where I was writing it down, to where I found myself standing in awe of God. And I think it’s too good and too refreshing not to share.
It’s a simple note. Unedited. Untitled.

What is Love?
Love means looking to the interests of another person over one’s self.
Love means forgiving someone over and over again despite of all the hurt the person gives.
Love initiates.
Love takes the responsibility.
Love pursues. It never stops. It never runs dry.
Love disciplines. Love rebukes. Love corrects. Love wants the best.
Love is neither a feeling nor a force.
Love holds on. Love perseveres. Love thinks about the person who doesn’t even give a single attention to it.
Love prioritizes. Love never forgets. It never abandons.
Love pursues. Love never stops knocking. Love believes.
Love is abused. Love is hurt. Love is despised. Love is scorned, mocked. Yet, Love continues.
Love starts, then finishes.
Love never gives up until the end.
Love has everything but wants another.
Love wants you.
Love encourages. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy. It does not boast. It is no proud; not self-seeking.
So, Love comes down, makes the self nothing.
Love endures. Love motivates. Love dies. Love rises. Love wins. Love declares,” it is finished.”
Love is a noun.
Jesus is love.

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The Pain of Being Separated

For OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers), going to airport will either be a means of hope of meeting and being with their families again or might be a heart-rending setting of being away from their love ones for another time.

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Yesterday (Sep 21), my tito went back to Korea after having his 2-week vacation here in Philippines.  I’m pretty sure he made every minute count with his family and with us, his relatives.  However, his last day in here wasn’t much as good as the other days. Perhaps, he was already thinking of being away again for a year and a half. I don’t know but I really saw that extreme sadness as I was taking a rest near him due to stomach pain. He was quiet. When everything got packed up, we head straight to the airport. We dropped them off at the terminal and my brother accompanied my tito and his family. I was left in the car (because again, stomach pain -_- ). After waiting for a short time, we fetch my tito’s family then we went straight to Luneta Park to chill out or to just simmer down or so. We were quite noisy inside the car but everything really wasn’t much fine. It was something.

My tito won’t tell it but his actions unfolded that extreme sadness, of being gradually tormented by the truth of being away again from his family. Of course, I didn’t realize it at first.  But that reality of being separated albeit temporary still causes great pain on the inside; sometimes, manifested outwardly.

As I was about to have my quiet time with the Lord, I was abruptly disturbed by questions: Do they really have to be away? Why can’t they stay here? We have here a lot of job offers naman.  I believe God has his reasons and purpose for everything.  While those questions were still on my mind, answers were already there. The latter has already arrived before I thought of the former. And it all directed me to Jesus.

Jesus had also experienced the pain of being away from His father.

Abba, Abba, why have you forsaken me?” – Jesus

God has planned it all ahead of time before the separation ever happened. Jesus became flesh. Meaning, he was physically away from His Father. Jesus had his yolo days too. He perfected the law. YOLO. However, he must also face the agonizing reality.

My appointed time is near.” He said.

(c) lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com

We knew what happened. Jesus was crucified on the cross to make the greatest substitution of all time; exchange his perfectness with our gross shameful imperfection.

BUT… PERO.. NGUNIT… SUBALIT.. DATAPWA’T… HOWEVER..

JESUS SAID….

My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.

My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

Jesus prayed this prayer not just once, not twice, but thrice. He knew how painful it would be to be separated from His father because of our sins.

In our present time, we would hear people asking for prayers to their friends and closed ones who they believed are “close to God” to pray for them. Such reality exposes the truth of being spiritually, emotionally, and mentally away from God because of sin. Sin destroys relationships with people, and so does with God.

God knows how it hurts to be separated from our loved ones for He experienced it Himself with His Son being crucified at the cross, bearing the sin of humanity so as to save the world and be reconciled to Him once more.

After being deep in thought of all these things: from tito’s departure to Jesus’ divine substitution, it just boils me down to one thing: HE EXPERIENCED IT ALL AND SO HE UNDERSTANDS.

Everything has its perfect timing.

There’s a time when to scatter stones and when to gather them.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.”- The Teacher, Son Of David, SOLOMON.

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