If He doesn’t, He is still good

..and let that be your greatest worship to Him

If God doesn’t, He’s still good.

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If He never heals you, He is still good.

If He never gives the desires of your heart, He is still good.

If He never speaks, He is still good.

If He never meets you on your terms, He is still good.

If He never brings you to your promised land, He is still good.

If He never makes you understand, He is still good.

If He never ends your waiting, He is still good.

If He never presents you the gift of having someone to be with, He is still good.

If He never carries you to the overflowing harvest, He is still good.

..do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. (Hebrews 10:35)

Sweetheart, if He doesn’t — will you still follow Him?

Will your confidence remain in Him?

Will you still hope in Him?

Will you still confess, “He is faithful.”

Will you still pray with a childlike faith?

So, do not throw away your confidence dear one. Do not do it!

Because He is better.

He’s better than anything you can name. He’s better than anything you could take. He’s better than anything your life could get into. He’s better than the victory you’re asking after your crisis. He’s better than any of your good preferences. He’s simply, the superior of all. 

He is your fullness.

You want to know how to make Satan mad? If he hears you say, “I will dance in these disappointments. I choose to worship. I choose Jesus.”

Oh beloved, with that confidence in your heart — I can imagine the devil grumbling, “Dang it! I don’t have her!”

Even in the midst of your questions, decide that it’s okay not to understand. You just want Jesus.

I just want Jesus.


“But you don’t know what you’re talking about, I’ve already thrown my confidence away. I no longer trust fully to the name who saves me. My confidence is gone.

Here you are ..broken and left with no courage to move forward.

And it’s okay. After all, love is never born in stillness and safety. It blooms in mess and pain.

I understand. Trust me when I say that I have been there. It was a perishing season which made me cling on more to the steadfast love of Jesus Christ. It was a season when God will drop love letters for me everywhere, reminding me that I’m not defeated. That I am no longer slave to fear. If He could do it to me, He could do it to you too. Let’s get that confidence back, shall we?

Let’s be vulnerable. Do you trust me? Let’s strip down all those walls. I am with you. I believe in you. I want to hear you.

Maybe you lost your confidence because of a violated conscience. Maybe there are areas in your life living in disobedience. So now in relationships, you can no longer look people in the eye because of what you are hiding. Or maybe there is this unresolved bitterness in your heart which leads to forgiveness that God initiated but you have not.

Then this happened.

You ran away. You turned away. You have tried everything else except Him.

Yet, this my friend, I am sure of: In the end, where else could you go? Nothing else fulfills when you find it; nothing else forgives when you fail it. No one takes you back like He does.

Remember this word again: Grace.

Grace is forgiving. Grace heals.

Grace is thoughtful. It listens to your back story, and still eager to hear your commentaries.

Grace regards all flaws.

Grace covers your past and empowers your future. It does not condemn, but convicts and brings life again.

Grace looks at what could be instead of what should have been.

Grace confronts the worst of a person and does not shy away when it reaches the darkest part: because at our worst, we realize how much we must confront the ugliness inside.

Grace restores there, in the wreckage. It heals the fractured fallen weary sinner.

It is not what we deserve, but what we need: and Jesus saw what we deserved, but gave us what we needed, Him.

That’s grace.

Love unconditional, undeserved, unrelenting, always resurrecting.

Dear friend, your confidence is coming back.

 

Let Him Love You First

I plead to you, young lady. Let Him.

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Let Him love you first.

Before you start waiting for the right guy, grant the access to your heart first to its Maker, Jesus.

And when you give that heart to Him, I won’t promise that it will not be broken. Because it will be. Yet it will be broken for all the right reasons. You’ll be amazed how your heart will cry out the truest and purest prayer, “God, break my heart for what break Yours.”

You’ll see a clear picture of how your heart’s brokenness can save those who are crushed in spirit. Your willingness to share your brokenness can bring comfort to those who are weary and wounded.

Brokenness will turn as your testimony.

Brokenness will make shame into praise.

Brokenness will qualify you to His kingdom.

Brokenness will be made whole.

 

Let Him love you first.

Before you chase your dreams, commission yourself in following the greatest desire your heart can ever claim, a relationship with God.

..because nothing of this world can ever satisfy your soul.

Only Him. He will be enough. Every hard work, every investment, and every time spent will be paid by the most satisfying reward ..unconditional love.

Let Him love you first.

Before you give grace to others, allow yourself to also lavishly receive grace from Him.

You will be seen. All of you. Every piece of you.

Your past and your future. All those behind the scenes will be exposed.

But His love will regard all the flaws. It won’t blame. You won’t hear this world’s voice shouting, “Just give up.” You will be wrapped with the grace which says, “I am in control. I’ve got you. Rest my daughter. I care for you and I see your situation. I have a plan. Will you give this to me? Trust me more.” 

Beloved, when you are hurting, God is hurting with you. When you are mad, God is as mad as you are. When you are in pain, He is side-by-side and face-to-face with you. Throw away the lies that you can’t hear Him because He’ll fight just for you to feel His love. In fact, at one point in our history in a land full of blood and sins, He entered our pain and died for you and me. He suffered not only for us but with us.

Let Him love you first.

Before you allow the right guy to pursue you, give your yes to the Lord first.

Because God wants to show you how you should be loved.

He wants to give you heaven and earth before anyone can promise you the sun and the moon.

He wants you to experience his genuine intention to serenade you with His goodness and mercy.

He wants to rejoice with you and quiet you with His love.

He longs to have a lot of your “firsts.”

Remember the time you conquer that childhood fear for the first time? You cried. He wanted to hug you. He was the happiest. He trampled the enemy just to supply you with the courage you need. You did a good job.

How about the time you conquer your first mountain? The view took your breath away but God was looking at you the entire time and proudly claimed, “No better view than you, my child.”

How about the first time your friends ditched you? God was actually there too. He sat beside you, touched your hand, and made you feel that being alone doesn’t identify you as a woman. You are on a journey with Him. Since then, you have never been afraid to be left out. You know deep in your heart that you will never be alone.

He wants more of you. He wants more of your time. He wants more of your firsts.

Do not rush in giving your heart away. Do not rush in leaving His presence.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” (James 1:4)

Let Him love you first.

Let Him love you, before you love yourself.

Because it has always been you.

I think the devil’s biggest lie is to make you think that how you feel right now is how you will always feel forever. Girl, do not allow your mood now to determine your entire value as a person. We get tired. We have doubts, frustrations, questions. And Jesus welcomes you graciously, the exhausted doubtful you, and He will give rest for your weary bones.

Trust that you are still on your way to the “best version” of you. You might think that you are two steps behind now and needs to do a lot of catching up — but Jesus loves you, right now, unconditionally. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Believe me: seasons change. Feelings fade. Life goes on. Do me a favor: endure the late night rage of emotions. Let go of your harsh self-evaluation. The same grace that you show others: have some grace for yourself too.

God’s love got a hold of you. When all else fails, His love remain.

 

Isolation Won’t Heal

“I’ll stay here for a while and maybe in time, they will realized that I am right.”

No, they will not. Truth is, you are once again.. isolating yourself.

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You thought it’s going to help. You thought people will miss you. You thought people will reach out sooner or later. Guess what? Most people don’t. People, left on their own, won’t even notice that your presence is gone. I know that you are in pain and you don’t have the energy to face the world. Yet, isolating yourself is not the answer.

Isolation makes you a prisoner of condemnation

The kind of condemnation that doesn’t come from the people around you but the condemnation created and especially constructed by your own self. You let yourself cling on to this “privacy” where in fact you are treating yourself as an “exile.” You distant yourself from people thinking that it would lessen the suffering yet dear one, let me tell you that isolation won’t mend anything. It will make you bleed more. It will make you drown from the thoughts that the enemy sweetly planted to your heart and mind.

Don’t punish yourself. You are no longer a prisoner of your past. God has won your heart. Jesus already conquered your sins. He is everything He has promised to be. Joy has a name. Healing has a name. Freedom has a name. Victory has a name. All that is Jesus.

Beloved, isolation is not for you. Since the beginning, love is for you. Nothing changed. He is still here for you.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. (Romans 8:38)

Isolation throws away humility

When you isolate yourself, it is your flesh demanding for you to be understood. For you to be acknowledged. For you to be affirmed. Now, all these are good. Yet do they make you even a step closer to being Christlike? Sometimes, we focus too much to be loved rather than being the one who loves. 

Jesus is perfect. Jesus has it all but for us He humbled himself and became poor. He wholeheartedly stoop down to our level, emptied himself, reached out to our sinner lives, and loved us to the point of death.

You see, isolation shouts, “What’s in it for me?” while humility says, “In this brokenness, how can I love more?”

Isolation breaks accountability

Isn’t that what the enemy wants? By isolating yourself, you are making the enemy’s job much easier. The enemy would rather come after the struggling lone believer than the group of believers having fellowship and building each other up in Christ.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

Isolation will never count as one of your “alone time.” Isolation is never healthy. Your emotions will never subside in this distant land. You’re not winning every time you ignore text messages from your friends or whenever you purposely reject calls which you know will lead to “How’s your heart?” conversations. In this body of Christ, we are meant to carry each other’s burdens. Let your accountable partners remind you of who you are in Christ. These are the people who choose to overlook all your “despites” and who have made up their mind to bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endures all things with you.

Run for accountability. Renounce isolation.

Surrender not isolation

God’s love knows no distance. The four walls of your room will not shield you from being pursued by the Lord. Pretending to sleep over and over and over again will never turn your mourning into dancing. Eating ice cream from the bucket will only give temporary comfort. Sweetheart, nothing compares to the peace that transcends all understanding which you can only get from Christ.

With arms stretched wide, lay it all down to the Lord. Surrender it all. Let your weaknesses be recognized by the King who can use it for His glory. Let your desperation of healing be known. Let this fall be a testimony of His goodness and His faithfulness over your life.

Little that you know, there’s someone, somewhere in this world, who is also isolating himself and by breaking your isolation, God will use you to reach out to this poor soul. Get up now. Go on to loving again. God will meet you where you are.

 

 

What Hurts is When We Don’t Talk About It

What Hurts is When We Don’t Talk About It

If there is one thing I will never exchange in this world, that would probably be…

Relationships.

..and oh, road trips too! Mehe.

But seriously, how wonderful it is to have that connection with another human being, right? Nothing will beat talks, whether it is shallow or deep ones, (over cheesecake and milk tea of course! yay!) with someone who can laugh with you or can go “what-are-we-talking-about-again?” times with you.

The joy of receiving messages like, “Where are you? I need you in my life right now. Let’s meet up.” or “Are you crazy?! He’s not worth it!” is incomparable.

Plus, who wouldn’t treasure hours spent with someone where in you just sat together, ate together, and made plans together. You discussed life and you realized that you guys are not the same people you were five years ago. Yet, you’ll be thankful that you’re sharing that explicit moment with the person in front of you.

Relationships. It makes life radiant, superb, and exciting. Yet, why do people choose to shut their doors towards this blessing? Why is it so easy for people to jump from one relationship to another just because there was a bump along the way?

Worst? People stop talking. And this is not just the usual cutoff of all the, “how are yous” but it went all the way down to people who decided to stop investing to the relationships around them.

My friends, we have to talk about this. What hurts is when we don’t talk about it.

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1. Lukewarm is no good

One thing I learned over time, and still learning mind you, is the importance of being optimistic in life. You have to be an enthusiast. When you are interested with something, especially with someone, no matter how large the effort you required to put in, go at it full speed. No holding back, bro. You go honest when you need to be. Lukewarm is no good in relationships. You confess it when your mad or simply not in the mood. You go real and say, “Hey, I really wish we could spend more quality time. I miss your company. But I’m happy with how God is making you so fruitful in this season. I love you and I’m proud of you.”

Embrace relationships with both arms, truly invest to it, entrust your emotions to it, love it, and above all become passionate about it. Conquer the fear of being abandoned someday. You are either supportive or not at all. Because at the end of the day, for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.

2. Be that guy who breaks the truth

If you are hurting and you got offended by this friend of yours, be that guy who breaks the truth. Don’t settle with, “It’s okay. I love him anyway. I’ll give way.”

If that is your way of thinking, I don’t think you are loving the person enough. You are actually being self-centered and this is exactly what the enemy wants to see in your life. Seeing you so focused with yourself and hiding all your emotions in darkness. Put it into light. Dear heart, you can’t handle it all by yourself.

Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

Remember that there is a huge difference between accepting and tolerating. Relationships are designed to make you grow and not to make you a slave of pain. If people are having a hard time to say what’s truly happening, be that guy who breaks the truth. Because we always end up thanking that guy later.

Here’s a piece of advice though. If you happen to decide to be that guy who breaks the truth, makes sure you break it in love. Be reminded that the purpose of the conversation is to restore, and not to blame. Oh dear one, trust that God’s grace will take over as you make a habit of choosing to win relationships over

3. Be a stayer

Be brave and be a stayer.

If love truly is what makes the relationship works, then don’t turn away quickly when roads become tough. Beloved, I want to save you from having regrets. Your life is not supposed to be a story of “What if” but it should be more of the “Even if.”

Even if the distance is tiring, I am going to stay.

Even if I don’t see him more often unlike before, I am going to stay.

Even if he’s surrounded with people I no longer know of, I am going to stay.

Even if it hurts, I am going to stay.

Staying is a decision. And when it is properly express with someone, staying becomes an agreement. It becomes an understanding between two people who wants to fight for each other and not against each other.

And if staying becomes hard because of every heartache and every pain, be assured that they will all start to look tiny because the battle has been won a long time ago. When Jesus made a decision to stay, for sinners like you and me. 

..for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

So I urge you, friends, to enjoy life. Enjoy your relationships. Fill your life with so much love that it overflows.

It’s Not Enough That She’s a Christian

First of all, let’s clarify that I am not the perfect person to write this blog. Yet, I have written something last October 2015, It’s Not Enough That He’s a Christian, which made me feel obligated to write it’s counterpart.

So here we go, dear mighty men…

It’s not enough that She’s a Christian.

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1. There’s a lot of nice Christian women, but not each of one is meant for you to be pursued.

Believe that God created only one person who will fit perfectly with the plans you have in life. A lot of women in your church can be so deceiving with their sweet charms, “I admire your faith in the Lord, bro. I hope all men are just like you.” But, there will be only one woman who is created to be your partner. She will not work against you but she will work with you. This woman trusts you enough to make good decisions for her and for your future family. She will wholeheartedly submits to you because she respects your walk with the Lord and admires how you serve Him. She admires you so much that she wanted to be part of what you are doing for the Lord. There will be no dragging, it will be a sweet worship between the Lord, you, and her.

2. Don’t go after a woman who distracts you, pursue the one who is ALREADY secured in the Lord.

I believe that the prettiest women are the ones who are secured that they are loved and accepted for who they are, whether they are being lovable or not. Look for the one who is so in love with the Lord, that she doesn’t need approval from men. Look for the one who is comfortable to be herself and loves others because she knows that she is fearfully and wonderfully made. The truth is, if she doesn’t like herself, no one else will either. If she thinks she is unlovable, guess what — she will not be able to radiate beauty, she would probably lived up to that painful “image.” Remember that a woman who controls her passions and walks with a sensitive heart before the Lord is attractive to a man. Every man wants a woman he doesn’t have to worry about.

3. Spiritual + Beautiful = Desirable

Tell the truth, bro.. have you prayed and asked the Lord to send you an unattractive woman? No, I don’t think so. Don’t you want to wake up in the morning beside a woman who is heart is so overwhelmingly beautiful which makes her outward so breathtaking. Everybody does! The same truth applies for women.

You see, if someone is truly “saved,” therefore they should look saved. Many attractive men and women come to the Lord and, overnight, they look like different people. And I’m not talking about a change for the better. The women turn plain and the men look strangely weird. Oh heavens. What do saved people look like?

Pursue the one who exercises a wonderful thing called balance. There are three levels of beauty — soul, mind, and body. When these three are balanced, you’ll have heaven as picture. When one is off, you’ll have hell as a punishment. Have you ever met a woman who is physically a work of art, but you had a hard time seeing her attractiveness because the way she thinks and her personality are beyond awful?

So remember this formula, Spiritual + Beautiful = Desirable.

I lost something today.

It’s my external disk drive.

And I know some of you might stop reading from there and could even react, “For goodness sake Joena. Just buy yourself a new one.”

But you don’t understand. Almost half of my life is in that drive. I put everything there. All my work files. My important documents. My digital arts. The photos I took ages ago. The SDEs I created for special occasions. And oh my, my favorite movies.

All gone.

How can that happen? I just have everything this morning and now…

I am coming back home as a lost soul.

I honestly don’t know what to do tomorrow. I felt so incomplete that it hurts.

Then all of a sudden I hear a familiar voice said, “Girl, imagine if you’re the one I lost? I would lose everything.”

It was God expressing His perfect love to me. I got reminded of how He delights in knowing someone like me.

In Him, I am more than all the important documents combined. I am far greater than meaningful photos and videos. I am His memories.

He continued, “Don’t ever get lost, okay?”

I break down in tears. Because I know in my heart that there were a lot of times that I did. I did get lost. Sometimes, I am the one deliberately choosing to be lost.

I have chosen to be lost in my seemingly good plans instead of being part of His grand plans for me. I have chosen to be busy in the ministry instead of listening to His voice, “Stop. I don’t need your offerings. I need you.” I have chosen to be everywhere with everyone instead of sitting peacefully at His feet. I have lost so many chances to build memories with my God.

It led me to repentance.

Now, as I approach 2016, I asked the Lord, “Give me a word.”

And it was so clear when He said,

Steady.

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I cringe. I draw back. Give me any word but not that. You see, I’m the type who execute plans quickly. I love ideas and I love jumping into them right away. I love moving. I hate staying. I get drain if I am in a routine that happens over and over again. I even hold a secret wrath for people who do tasks for 2 hours when I know I could have handled it by myself in 10 minutes.

I hate all the baggages that the word, “steady” carries. I hate it cause I know what God exactly means.

It means that I need to untangle the long twisted cords in my life. It means going back to some relationships and finally facing those tough conversations. It means more waiting. It means more loving. It means seeing people beyond what my human eyes can see.

It means I have to ask help from people. And God knows how I hate doing that. I try everything I can to do everything on my own. If I finally came to a point where I ask, “I need help.”  Truth be told, that’s pure humility. That’s undressing my powerful mask and letting everybody knows that I am not the Joena they thought I am. I am weak. I am fragile. I need help.

Yet I am learning the truth: Every time I ask for help, I am actually opening myself up to a relationship that will go beyond the surface. A relationship with people where I don’t have to fear that they will walk away once they discover how insecure I am inside. I am making myself vulnerable to pain in order for me to love more.

However, with all these rants, it is foolish not to embrace what God wanted me to experience.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8)

I can say with confidence that I want that. I want to taste and see that the Lord is good. I want to taste every bit of Him. I don’t want to waste another opportunity to build a sweet memory with my God.

That, friends, means one thing. I need to be steady. How can I enjoy God if I am in full swing speed? Steady.

I am posing the questions: what are the areas in my life that I need to slow down? What am I still holding too tightly? What do I need to let go?

Consistency Is So Manly

Nothing I love more than living under your consistency.

Consistency

Your consistency is so beautiful.

When I don’t..

When I don’t want to dress up. When I don’t want to be artsy. When I don’t feel beautiful. When I don’t want to go outside. When I don’t feel positive. When I don’t want to talk about it. When I don’t want to go with your plans. When I don’t fulfill my words. When I don’t reply to your messages. When I don’t answer your calls. When I don’t move in quiet and gentle spirit. When I don’t want to go out of my comfort zone. When I don’t accomplish anything right.

When I don’t trust your promises. When I don’t have faith in your plans. When I don’t want to love.

I heard you said firmly, “Beloved, I’ll still stay with you.”

How did you manage to stay when it was so easy for you to escape? With that, no one expressed commitment better than you did.

Your consistency is beautiful. It is so manly.

When I’m.. 

When I’m being truly madly unreasonable. When I’m being more than what you can handle. When I’m being the annoying kid who sends nonsense endless emojis. When I’m being demanding as ever. When I take too many photos. When I’m being the crybaby at coffee shops. When I buy too many books that I don’t even have time to read. When I say yes to almost everyone at everything. When I have to admit that I’m wrong. When I’m being the endless chatter that I am.

I heard you said lovingly, “Beloved, go ahead. I’m all ears.”

I know that you are serious in knowing me when you choose to shut up and listen. You understand what I want, but more than anyone, you exactly know what I need.

You make me forget of my craving to “get there” and make me love the moment of “being here.” You satisfy me. 

Your consistency satisfies me.

When..

When the world is too cruel.

When a prayer is unanswered for years. When waiting becomes colorless.

When words become too familiar and it can’t heal anymore.

When people choose schedules over relationships.

When small talks become more valuable than deep ones.

When serving becomes a routine instead of a pleasant offering.

When going to church becomes a show and relationship becomes an act.

When everybody screams I’m an accident.

When fear shouts louder than faith.

When I lost track and can’t find my way back.

You whispered with that still small voice, “Beloved, tomorrow’s another day.”

Indeed, I will find you when I seek you wholeheartedly.

And if breaking my heart means experiencing the consistency of your love, then let it be shattered a thousand times over.

How can I not trust to the one who is true with his words?

Your consistency builds trust. 

Your consistency makes me quit thinking that you will love me more if I faked it.

Suddenly, I don’t need to overthink. You saw me. You held my hands. You stayed. You loved me.

You are the kind who doesn’t know how to walk away.

You are the kind who would brave the terrifying traffic and would drive for hours just to knock at my door and say — I will wait until you unlock the door and let me in.

Puso, Hindi Siya Para Sayo.

Hindi ko alam kung bakit paulit-ulit. Bakit paulit-ulit mong hinihiling ‘to?

Puso, hindi siya para sayo.

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Hindi para sayo ang lugar na ‘to. Hindi para sayo ang pagyaman na gusto mo. Hindi para sayo ang sakit na paulit-ulit mong inaayawan pero paulit-ulit mo ring binabalikan.

Tama na. Hindi siya para sayo.

Kagabi sinabi mo, “Konti pa. Kakayanin ko pa.”

Hindi mo ba naiintindihan? Hindi mo kaya. Kailangan mong tanggapin na hindi mo kaya. Kailangan mong tanggapin na mahina ka. Kailangan mong tanggapin na hindi mo kaya mag-isa. Kailangan mong malaman na minsan sa pagsuko, dun pa tayo lalaya.

Lalaya sa lahat ng sakit.

Suko na, puso. Hindi na natin kaya.

Hindi na natin naiintindihan. Hindi na natin kaya magmahal. Hindi na natin kaya magtiwala. Hindi na natin kaya umasa.

Suko na. Hindi na kaya.

Ngayong gabi, tawagin natin ang Diyos.

Sabihin natin ang lahat ng sakit. Magsumbong tayo. Sabihin natin kung paano tayo sinaktan ng mundong ito. Kung paano tayo sobrang nagmahal at nagtiwala pero wala tayong natanggap na kapalit. Sa dulo, walang nakita kung hindi purong pagkakamali.

Wala tayong natanggap kung hindi masasakit na salita.

Napagod ako. Nakapagod ka.

Puso, magsumbong tayo.

Sumbong natin na minsan nakakapagod din maging mabuti.

Sumbong natin na minsan nakakapagod din maging malakas.

Sumbong natin na minsan nakakapagod na magtrabaho.

Sumbong natin na minsan nakakapagod.

Nakakapagod umasa. Nakakapagod maghintay. Nakakapagod magmahal. Nakakapagod magsabi, “Panginoon, gusto ko maging katulad Mo.”

Paano mo nagagawang makita ang kabutihan sa taong walang ginawa kung hindi manloko?

Paano mo nagagawang tulungan ang taong hindi marunong magpasalamat?

Paano mo nagagawang magtiwala sa taong puro kasinungalingan ang laman ng puso?

Paano mo nagagawang makasama ang taong nandyan lang kapag may kailangan sayo?

Paano mo nagagawang magpatawad ng paulit-ulit?

Paano mo nagagawang mahalin ang taong paulit-ulit kang sinasaktan?

Paano mo nagagawang magmahal ng katulad ko?

Ang hirap maging katulad mo, Panginoon.


“Hindi para sayo.”

Hindi para sayo ang magpanggap na hindi ka nasasaktan.

Hindi para sayo ang mga pangarap na kailan man hindi ko nilagay sa puso mo.

Iba ang mga pangarap na meron ako para sayo. Mas mataas. Mas mabuti. Higit sa hinihiling mo. Higit sa kasiyahan na hangad mo.

Hindi para sayo ang lugar na ‘to. Ayaw mo ba makita ang buong mundo kasama ako?

Hindi para sayo ang mahalin siya. Hindi ko ‘yon binigay sayo. Hindi para sayo ang mahalin siya

..dahil mahal ko na siya.

Matagal na. Bago mo pa siya makilala.

Pero ako? Isama mo ako. Isama mo ako sa pangarap mo. Isama mo ako sa pagpapatawad na gagawin mo. Isama mo ako sa pagtitiwala na ibubuhos mo. Isama mo ako sa pagmamahal na ako mismo ang magbibigay sayo.

Isama mo ako.

Dahil, ako.

Ako lang ang para sayo.

Mahal kita. Higit sa sakit na nararamdaman mo.

Sa ngayon, hindi ito para sayo.

Pero ibibigay ko. Ibibigay ko dahil kaya ko. Ibibigay ko dahil gusto ko. Pangako, ibibigay ko.

Ibibigay ko dahil mahal kita. Mas mahal kita kesa sa pagmamahal na meron ako para sa sarili ko.

Ako ang para sayo. Ako lang.

Gagawin kitang katulad ko. Pangako, narinig ko ang dasal mo.

“Panginoon, gusto ko maging katulad Mo.”

Pero darating ang panahon, hindi mo maiintindihan. Sasaktan kita. Sasaktan ko ang mga tao sa paligid mo. Hahayaan kong saktan ka nila.

Pero magtiwala ka, higit ang pagmamahal ko sa lahat ng sakit mararamdaman mo. Ang pagmamahal ko ang magtuturo sayo na sa sakit ka lang tunay na magmamahal.

Kapag naghihintay ka na gumaling sa lahat ng sugat, unti-unti kong ipapadala ang mga taong tama para sa buhay na gusto ko para sayo.

Kapag naghihintay kang mawala ang lahat ng luha, unti-unti kong lalagyan ng kasiyahan ang puso mo. Yung saya na hindi mawawala kahit anong dumating. Kahit sinong dumating.

Sa tuwing magdarasal ka na, “hindi ko na kaya.” Umasa ka na kukunin ko lahat. Hinantay ko lang na sabihin mo ang mga kasunod na kataga, “Kailangan kita.”

Dahil ako, Ako lang ang para sayo.

Pupunan ko lahat ng pagkukulang. Gagawin kong buo. Gagawin kitang buo dahil sa lahat ng sakit na naramdaman mo.

At kapag nagmahal ka ulit, kapag nagtiwala ka ulit, kapag umasa ka ulit, hindi na yon manggagaling sayo.

Mas magmamahal ka ng higit pa. Mas maiintindihan mo sila dahil naramdaman mo rin kung gaano kasakit.

Sasabihin mo ring, “Hindi siya para sayo.”

At alam kong dadalhin mo sila sa akin.

Dahil ako, Ako rin ang para sa kanila.

Just Friends: Are You Sure?

Just Friends: Are You Sure?

“What’s wrong with two people spending time together?”

“…”

“We’re just friends.”

“Are you sure?”

Let’s clarify this: I am not against guy-girl friendship. I’m all up to it. Thinking of it now, I even have more guy friends than those of my gender.

By this means, my heart has fallen to plentiful of mistakes. Not all of my guy friendships started pure. Because oh dear, there are just guys who seem to be “The one.”

I recall the time when a guy friend walked me from church going to the place where I’m having my ladies small group. Mind you, I have already planned our wedding, naming our kids, and designing our beautiful home during that 15-minute walk. I am not joking. I have been guilty of this while my poor guy friend had no idea how adorable our kids are.

Although when asked by one of my mentors, “Joena, how are you and _____?”

“We’re good Ate. We’re just friends.

Yikes. Isn’t that such a big lie?

I also observed this to many singles — yes, Christian singles. We enjoy sending signals and then we disown them when the confrontation comes. After all, it’s in our hope that they will come sooner or later, even if God is not in the picture.

So let’s have a quick heart check with that “we’re just friends” mark, shall we?

1. Do you guys appear to be a couple of those around you?
Because if the answer to this is yes, you might want to step back a bit. Remember that out of the overflow of our heart, the mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45) So as with what our actions show. I know that we are not made to please people. That’s true. You should not live up to what people would say about your life. But, don’t you think we should be grateful to have people who are willing to speak life and correct us? To mentor us? Value those people. Contemplate to what they are telling you. Be accountable to them, especially to this friendship that we’re talking about.

If you guys appear to be a couple of those around you, this only means that no one could come close to your heart, including the one that God has for you. The more you spend time with Mr. Wrong, the less available you are to Mr. Right.

2. Do you pay special attention to each other?
Do you share things with this guy friend that you don’t normally share with your other guy friends? Does his name pop up right away when you need a quick drive to the grocery? Do you find yourself saying, “Oh you know what, _____ too!” “_____ would know how to do this.” “If only _____ is here.”

I know how heart-warming it is to have someone who acts special towards you when he’s around. But think about how is he when he’s with the company of other ladies. Now that is something to think about. Realized that there’s a huge difference between liking someone and liking the attention they give you.

Also, just in case you forget, Beloved, you are much too whole to be loved in halves.

3. Do you stick to each other even if you are with people?
Think about a Post-it note. The first time you use the note, it stays straight, the edges don’t curl, and it stays in place almost wherever you put it. After a couple of uses, how well does that Post-it note stick to any surface? Not well at all, right?

It even loses more stickiness when you put it on a dusty surface. The more impure the surface, the less ability it has to fuse. It is the same with our emotions. The more impure our actions are, the less ability we have to truly love. Don’t lose your stickiness for the wrong people. Keep it pure.


How do we act now?

Easy. Be friends with your singleness. Learn to fall in love with God over and over again.

Have you ever thought about how God would feel when you give attention, time, thoughts, and emotions to another human and not to Him? As if we’re telling God that He’s not enough.

Being single is the perfect and right season for you to enjoy God the most. There’s no better season when we can serve Him the most, focus on Him the most, trust Him the most and obey Him the most than being in the season of singleness. God wants you to have fun. Travel and go around places! Meet new people. Serve in unfamiliar ministries. Go out of your comfort zone! Have fun and don’t just be around guys where you’ll find your heart unprotected.

Trust that He’s not going to keep you single a day longer than He plans.

It’s Not Enough That He’s a Christian

I’m sorry but you read it right and I mean it.

It’s not enough that he’s a Christian.

Beloved, you need to hear the truth.

Repent

1. There’s a lot of nice Christian boys, but not a lot of Godly men.
You see, a lot of guys out there can easily serve in the ministry. You can spot them in church every Sunday. Hitting the drums so passionately and leading the worship in all its honor and glory. Yet, are these really the marks of a guy whose life is fully surrendered to Jesus Christ? Are you seeing him leading younger men towards a greater encounter with the Lord? Are his words a reflection of God’s grace or better yet, do you feel God’s grace every time you talk to Him? Does he spend more time reading his bible rather than being cozy in the comfort of late night fellowships? Does he live out the scriptures he posts on facebook? Or you just fell for a guy who is all about the talk and none of the walk? Is his faith really rooted in God? Oh dear. Remember, a Godly man not just a Christian boy.

2. Don’t settle for the guy who knows nothing but to compliment you. Go for the one who challenges you.
The one who asks brave questions. The one who is willing to disagree to agree with you. The one who’s not just going to say yes every time but would actually ask follow up questions. The one who double checks the intention of your heart. The one who checks if you are really aligned with God’s will for you. The one who will not simply go with the flow saying, “Yeah, that’s great.” but to the one who will push you with so much grace and love saying, “Your work is not in vain. Keep going out of your comfort zone.”

3. The guy whose life’s number one priority is not to pursue you but to pursue his relationship with the Lord first.
What’s fascinating here is when a guy’s priority is his relationship with the Lord, he will grow closer and closer to you. Imagine a triangle which has God on top while you and him are both on the other end points.

RTriangle

If you are both facing each other and your only goal is to move closer, you will go no where. It will just be all about you. The relationship will only footmark on a straight line, being so constant with what you have and never approaching a hint of growth. You will just both make each other as your idol, as your functional God.

Whereas if you’re both facing towards God and you are both pursuing God first, what’s crazy is you will both naturally get closer to each other as a by product. So you see? The more a man is focused on Jesus, the better he can treat a girl right. The more he is capable of giving bigger love because He is connected to the Source. He is anchored to the author of love.

Keep in mind that the closer you and him move towards God, the closer you move towards each other.