Tag Archives: God

Ramblings

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I’m presently all over the place. My thoughts are incoherent and I don’t feel good about myself. The bad weather outside ended yesterday. Yet the wrath of the angry wind and the rain’s wild lashing seemed to hit me deep within. I’m finding it hard to recover. Why can’t things work out the way I want them to? Why does it have to be soooooooo hard? I feel that I’ve given so much today but in return nothing happened. I remember Brother Bo’s words 2 weeks ago in his talk. He said, “God will never waste a single hurt in your life. He will use that hurt for your healing and for your harvest. ” Why do I keep on hitting this dead end? How come this path always seemed dark? I know just like the other roads I’ve taken I’ll get through this somehow. But at the back of my mind, I know I don’t want that SOMEHOW. I desire to emerge triumphant and hold victory in my hands. I believe this journey is worth taking. There is treasure waiting for me on the other side.

I am oftentimes tempted to make a detour and turn away but I know I shouldn’t. I’m certain I wouldn’t. Is that the right choice? How will I know if this will lead to real joy? To a life that’s fuller? Will this dream bring me closer to You? Will this make me better? Will this bear fruits that can bless others, too? I am seriously doubting. I’m not sure anymore. There, finally I said it. It was at the tip of my tongue. It was hiding in the caverns of my confused mind. Many times, I pushed away those words, those thoughts but then they’re there. They’re now out in the open. And I’m thankful I let them go. felt relieved. It’s like a heavy weight was lifted of my shoulders. So this is what all these “clutter” is all about. The pressure is beginning to melt over me and I don’t want to admit it. I couldn’t handle it. Fears are beginning to inch towards me, slowly and quietly asserting themselves to my thoughts and to my body. What if things don’t work out? What if I fail again? A list of uninspiring thoughts about the future that is also not certain. I want to forget about these ugly things, bury it down under, send it to the wind. If only I could.

As this day finishes and I start to rest, I pray that I be cleansed of all these random ramblings, dispersed thoughts heading nowhere. I pray that I find answers to questions that really matter. And tomorrow when I open my eyes, I will wake up to the hope, beauty, and joy that the new day offers. For now, I’ll accept the truth that some days are wonderful and others unbearable. Still, whatever days I have, they are sill gifts from You. Nonetheless I’m not giving up. In the end, I know that there’s something good (even small) this weary day will give no matter what.

Dear God,

Let Your light shine before me, that I may see Your good works and give glory to Your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). I know that the hurting will cease. The crying will stop. Soon I will ascend and others will learn. Consume me. Consume me from the inside out.

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Your Ways

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Some of God’s gifts are unanswered prayers (from Garth Brook’s song Unanswered Prayers).

This I read a few weeks ago. But then surprisingly the revelations made by the previous days were overwhelming that it lead me back to this nugget of thought. 🙂 And I can almost hear You say, “See, that’s why I won’t give it. I have better things for you instead.”

There are times when just like any regular child, I find myself at Your feet begging for something, asking You with all my heart to grant whatever request I think will make me happier and complete. Frequently, You answer yes with sheer delight and pure excitement. I know You want me to feel Your love. You desire to give me joy that’s overwhelming and more than enough. Yet on some rare occasions, You firmly say no. And this You say so cold and harsh, as if I’m not Your child. For no matter how hard I try to convince You to change Your mind, You just won’t do it. Even when my eyes will tire of crying and I pray without ceasing, You just won’t listen. So I’ll be left feeling neglected, abandoned, unloved. 😦 But then after a while, when the big picture unfolds I will realize how You have saved the best for me. That You have made a good decision not to heed my call after all. For always in the end, more beautiful rewards await me. And I will stand in amazement, completely awed by Your magnificent surprise.

There are moments though when You just keep quiet, as if contemplating whether to give it or not. Is it yes, no, maybe??? Craaaaaaaaaaaaaazy!!! I’ve been in this circumstance many times. But then I still can’t find the wisdom and grace to handle it right. Black and white. Very straightforward. With this, I know exactly where to put myself. I know precisely what to feel. But the gray area in the middle… it’s something very uncertain. And i’ts crippling as if I’m tied onto something that keeps me from moving. Am I just too busy to hear Your answer? It’s an ugly feeling. I feel like I’m stuck on one place. I don’t know which side to go to believing my decision should be based on the answer You will give. I sometimes think maybe You haven’t made up Your mind yet. And I just have to wait. It requires a lot of patience and also the gift of discernment. It makes me feel scared somehow for I don’t know how long the waiting will end. I am frightened by the possibility of making poor choices.

But then I realized these past few days (with all the twists and turns) how good You are to me. How You will always look after me and protect me. Thank You for opening my eyes. I can now see. 🙂 I now understand why You seem not to move no matter how much I tried to convince You to hear my call and give me what I am asking for. The waiting was long, I know. It was sad, too. But then it paid off. Finally, I heard Your answer. It runs counter to what I’m wishing to achieve. Very opposite in fact. Frustrating but surprisingly liberating. So now I’m glad I waited. Gratitude fills my heart. I felt empty and lonely but You see I learned. 🙂

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways…Isaiah 55:8. Teach me to honor Your words when You said that. To trust You most especially when I don’t get the things I want.

 

Still

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Waves are beautiful. Waves can be a friend. Sometimes a loving mom that caresses you softly while on bed. They sing songs of promise. They sing songs of love. They whisper delightful words that make your heart throbs.

But sometimes waves can be scary. Waves can be bad. They go crazily mad; they make you fear for your life. They rise like angry giants ready to take the fight. They’re frightening, intimidating. You want them out of your sight.

So how do you send them away? How do you make them stop? When they shake you forcefully from left to right. When they wake you up and make you toss on bed at night. It makes you wonder – how come they were peaceful and quiet beforehand. For some reasons you don’t understand, they suddenly changed their minds. Without a prior warning. Just like that.

I know it’s something beyond my control. One thing my hands can’t do about. Nothing can combat them but a short prayer held securely in my heart. Hoping with all my might you will respond. That You will silence the storm in a snap. And once again the waters will behave like a sleeping child.

Of course, You did.

Thank You for reminding me to be still. For telling me You are my “GOD”. That I am Your child. And just like any loving father, you will never leave my side. Even when the tides are high (literally). When I’m facing something bigger and everything around me is going wild. I know You got me covered. That under Your protective hands I am safe and sound. That all I have to do is believe. And then after that I can relax. Because You’ll take good care of everything. After all You are the one in charge. 🙂

LSS

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Thank You for this wonderful feeling. Thank You for this immense joy. Thank You for seeking me. Thank You for finding me. Thank You for loving me despite my imperfections. Thank You for planting dreams in my heart. Thank You for giving me hope. Thank You for the little courage I have. Thank You for reminding me to be still. Thank You for the many blessings received. Thank You for all lessons learned. Thank You for more tomorrows. Thank You for the gift of love.  Thank You for letting me see Your face. Thank You for letting me feel Your embrace. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me. Thank You for making me believe Your words. You are forever in my life. I will never get tired of singing that. You will be with me through all the seasons.  I trust in You. I believe in You. I love You. 🙂

New Fears for New Year

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Thank You for last year and all the things that happened whether they are good or not. The latter I will just consider learning experiences. 🙂 I know they’re meant to help me get better. There were heartaches and failed expectations. But then on one side, I must say there were more joys and blessings to be grateful for.

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R98 🙂

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open deck countdown

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It felt different attending the countdown at sea. It’s something new again and I had fun doing it. There were many people partying out loud, dancing and laughing as wild as they can. Everybody’s happy and excited for New Year. New hopes, new dreams, new opportunities. Amidst the noise, the cold, the colors and the smiles, I thought of You and all the plans I have in mind. It must have been pressure melting over me. I couldn’t understand. How I wish I have my family to comfort me, to tell me things will turn out right no matter what. I really needed that. There’s a small fear slowly getting into my nerves – fear of failure, it is. Fear of moving away from something that’s starting to feel like home to me. Fear of trying only to realize in the end it will not work out. Fear of being laughed at because I didn’t make it. Fear of hearing the words “See, I told you. It won’t work.” Fear of waking up in the morning, seeing myself in the mirror and realizing they’re all right after all. Ayayay…..Fear is such an ugly feeling. It makes me freeze and it makes me shake. It leaves my senses in turmoil. But then I also realized, how ironic that despite this ugliness it has, there’s something beautiful in it, too. It makes me pause, it makes me think, it makes me careful. 🙂 You created it for a purpose – to save and to nurture, a door towards something great. As I look back, I began to think how fear had helped me come up with important decisions which had a big impact on the life I have. Some of them didn’t turn out well yet in the end I was happy making it. I learned important lessons from them. So just take a leap of faith. I know You will always be there. You will cushion the ground when I fall. You will dress my wounds when I get hurt. You will walk with me all the way through. Just like what you did to Esther. 🙂

I guess I should not fear “fear” but rather consider it a friend. Welcome it when I see it coming. Its purpose should not go to waste. It’ll make me grow and prosper. I pray that you will give me courage to every day “do things afraid.” To speak up and fight for what I think is right. To smile and to say hello. To be seen and be heard. To forgive and forget. To risk and always take a chance. To try something new each day no matter how small it is. To listen and to believe. To sing and to dance. To be crazy and to look like a fool. To be laughed at. To let others see I need them in my life. To study and learn again and again. To hear a story after sharing my own. To dream more dreams and make them real. To do the hard stuff. To love and to cry. To hold someone else’s hand. These and many more.

Help me open the door. Guide me as I walk through avenues I’m yet to explore. I know that abundance is waiting for me at the end. Help me remember Your words. Be determined and confident. Do not be afraid of them. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Beauty from Chaos

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Happiness is a choice. Sometimes though, choosing it is not that easy especially when one has gotten used to being lonely. When there are just so much wounds to heal and more than enough bad memories to bury, finding joy can be quite a challenge.

These thoughts were plaguing my confused mind again. And no matter how hard I try to remind myself that “I am totally, completely, and perfectly loved” the words somehow lost its significance – which is a sad thing as well.

So the fight began again, the fight against all those ugly feelings and thoughts wandering in my head. And while this mental battle was on, an uninvited thought presented itself to me. Why not look for the article you wanted to read this morning in school? So I did and surprisingly I somehow found a treasure of help.

Title – Why I had to go through my Pain? Writer – Bo Sanchez. Talk about good timing. 🙂 Using this I got to know a woman preacher named Joyce Meyer. I discovered her struggles which led her to many years of loneliness. But the inspiring part there is that just like Bo, she emerged victorious in the end. She didn’t let painful episodes of abuse from her own father get in the way for her to succeed and to serve. She even mustered enough strength and courage to forgive. Yes beauty has risen from chaos! Interestingly, while her story amazed me I allowed myself to swim in the pool of great possibilities. Now with little excitement running in my head, I tried so hard to filter through my memory and search for even just one moment when I personally witnessed something glorious coming from a complete disaster. After some minutes of trying, this is what I found.

These pictures were taken a few years back (in the year 2009 if I’m not mistaken). This is something very special to me and I’ll forever thank Teacher Isbel for bringing us to this wonderful place. This is the summit crater lake of Mount Pinatubo which is located near the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales provinces. It was formed after its climactic eruption on June 15, 1991 which wreaked serious havoc to many people residing near the area. In those times, hope was nowhere to be found but then after many years, the very same thing that caused them pain and suffering is giving them a sense of pride and profit as well with the flock of tourists wanting to get a glimpse of its grandness. Seeing this astounding work of nature with my very own eyes brought too much joy to me. Never mind the long walk, the sun and its royal hotness, the dust, the sweat dripping profusely on our faces, the price is worth the climb. I could almost see and feel God’s hands. 🙂

And so gradually I began to realize that we actually have the skills to win over depression or any other sad memories pushing its way into our system. But then we have to try really hard. In some occasions, there’s even this kind of unhappy feeling that can hit you so bad you can almost touch it. It also has its way of affecting you physically so you just tend to feel lazy, wanting not to do anything other than to engage in a mental note of all the sad events that took place and even play it repeatedly in your mind.

These are some of the things I found useful to do or maybe wise not to do when down and feeling gloomy. It’s worked for me (and is still working) and you might want to try it, too.

1. Identify its roots. Recall the events that took place before you started feeling down. Writing them down helps a lot. Try to get a picture of how your day was spent. Who were the people you talked to? What did they tell you? At the very bottom if you dig some more, you will realize that there’s something that set it off. And the events that followed merely supported or worst highlighted that thing which started it. It’s never random at all.

2. Don’t wallow. Once you learned the cause, reverse the exercise. Make black white. Or maybe red, yellow, pink? This time catalogue all happy thoughts you can think of. No matter how bad your day has been, surely you can come up with a few simple things that somehow made you manage to give even just a faint smile. A cute baby seated next to you, a text from a friend, a compliment given randomly, a good meal maybe. Focus on that, and allow it to grow. Before you know it, a few more happy parts will be added to your picture. Be thankful for those simple joys you witnessed or experienced.

3. Find a creative outlet. Turn this negative energy into a positive energy. Squeeze all the creative juice in you. Draw a picture, play an instrument, sing, cook, eat if that’s creative enough for you. Get your mind busy with other things. Make yourself productive. I remember an art class I took when still in college. I learned about Picasso and his “Blue Period. ” From 1901 up to 1904, he produced essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. His works depicted melancholy using models who were somber and cheerless. All these reflected the depression he underwent due to some sad events in his life including the death of his friend. During those years, he had a hard time selling his paintings because it did not command much interest and excitement from the crowd. These days, however, the very same paintings were among his popular works.

The Old Guitarist (1903)

It’s also good to know that this lonely period ended with the coming of more optimistic and vibrant masterpieces. The “Rose Period” began and from 1904 onwards, Picasso’s dark and downbeat colors were replaced by dazzling and vibrant hues together with happy subjects. So let’s take comfort in knowing that doleful phases in our lives also have expiry date. But then again it requires effort on our side.

4. Do something active. Studies show there’s a link between physical activity and feeling happy. Exercise promotes happiness and has an anti-depressant effect. It activates a special part in the brain that produces endorphin, the hormone which block pain and responsible in giving us feelings of pressure as well. So lace up your shoes even when you’re feeling down. Go for a walk or run around, drop by the gym, be happy and healthy at the same time.

5. Don’t stay inside your room. If you can’t help it, don’t lock your door. When we’re isolated, the more we feel depressed, the more we think we’re alone and unloved. Let others see you. Allow them to help you. Underneath all these ugly feelings is a person crying to be understood and to feel loved. Also, there’s an added pressure to fight sadness when you see people looking at you. The scary part with confined rooms is that the walls may whisper something bad to you – a shortcut to finding that evasive happiness??? a second rate version of happiness??? There are many destructive things you can try when no one is watching. These thoughts you shouldn’t entertain. They will only give you temporary fix. Leave your house if you must. This way, you see other things and other people and they’re all moving. You remove the attention from yourself and from your feelings. Let the surroundings entertain you.

6. Don’t open Facebook. Now this may sound weird. Sometimes no matter how much you wish to feel happy for others, you just can’t do it because you don’t have the happiness they have. While pictures of friends, relatives, and other familiar faces are proudly displayed on your wall with their big smiles that call for a celebration, you may start wondering how come they’re happy and you’re not. Instead of sharing their joy, you began to envy it. And the more you start feeling depressed because their happiness highlights your sadness.

7. Find good role models. Search for people who’ve been through the same situation and were able to turn their lives around. Let their stories inspire you. I remember one thing Brother Bo said in one of the Feast sessions. “If you don’t see good people around you, then you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd.” I was stunned. It makes sense actually. Look for good people, successful people, positive people. Widen your search and don’t just settle. If you can’t find real people just yet, then use the Internet. Read books, watch movies, listen to some talks. Don’t give in to the idea that you’re a victim of poor circumstance and bad people.

8. Journal your feeling. Write everything, the triggers and also the solutions if you’re able to help yourself. This can be of aid to you. Use this to study your patterns. What situations usually make you sad? Can you move away from them? Are there people pushing some painful buttons in you? Are there vampires sucking the joy in you? Is there a way for you to avoid them? Your journal will help you get to know yourself and your issues.

9. Talk to someone. Pour out your emotions. There’s someone out there who’ll find the time to listen. Join groups and engage in conversations. If your loneliness is too much to bear, then it’s time to seek professional help. Accept the fact that you can’t deal with it on your own just yet. That will not make you lesser of a person. If all else fails, remember there is always someone up there ready to listen. Talk to Him in prayers. Write a letter for Him if you can. Listen to the words He will tell You. You may not understand it at the moment but then in His own time you’ll make sense of it all. Pain is there for a reason. Loneliness is telling us something so just keep hoping. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”- Deuteronomy 31:6

Happiness is a choice but more than that it’s a conquest. It’s a territory that has to be fought over and conquered. You don’t just wish it. You work hard to get it. It’s a conscious decision you make even when you’re in a mess or you have been in a real mess and the residue of which still runs in your veins. You consciously decide to turn the tides in favor of you and not against you. So let’s all strive to be happy. Every day is a gift. Open it with a smile even when tears are falling from your eyes! 🙂

One Day

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One day I will go to Your place. I will look at You eye to eye and I will only see loveliness. I will run towards You just to feel Your warm embrace. While You will extend those loving arms of Yours and excitedly wait for me at one end. Every step I’ll make is a step towards perfect happiness. No more worries. No more hurt. No more sadness. You will wipe every single tear coursing down my cheeks. All the wounds and scars I have will vanish. You will burn away my imperfections. You will take away my sins. I will rest my head on Your chest and I will clearly hear Your heart beat. It will speak of love, forgiveness, trust, joy, hope, faith, and peace. You will tap me on the shoulder, and give me a smile that’s big, wide, and certainly the sweetest.

One day. No rush, Lord. One day, I’ll see You face to face. For the meantime, I’ll find my own heaven here on Earth. 🙂