Today might be one of the happiest moment of my life. Jesus and I had a one-on-one heartfelt talk, having to release all my heart’s desires, hopes, and dreams for the future and finally place it at His feet… there is joy in learning to be hands-free without any doubt— a beautiful surrender.
God reminded me of the reason why I was born, the day I was dedicated to Him, the time when I finally gave up my life and received Him as my personal Lord and Savior, and the day I was baptized as an act of submission to Jesus and never go back to my old life. All of these were never because of my personal decision alone — it was all written in His heart a long time ago. He is the Author of my life, and this Author loves me and pursuing me still until we finally meet one day.
I write this journal for me to remind myself again and again how it is important to renew my vows and commitment to Jesus, to know how precious this ultimate Gift that I have, and to keep the joy of my salvation.
I have finally discovered that the greatest fulfillment of my life is to love my Dear Jesus with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength… Loving people with everything I’ve received and learned from Him, and be able to proclaim His Name and mighty acts wherever God would place me.
There’s no greater joy than knowing that I’m walking in my God-given calling and purpose. Even in the midst of uncomfortable situation, I choose to enjoy, honor, and maximize this season as to have my undivided devotion and passion for Jesus.
“Jesus, the Good Shepherd of my soul, take my hand and lead me on…”
Too many writings in draft that are yet for post. Too many books that are still left unread. Too many responsibilities that are yet to do. Too many lessons that are yet to learn from… and too many roads that are yet to walk on by.
Every choice has its own cost, and one of the hardest part is to stay committed and determined in the process.
I’ve witnessed my timidity and intolerance that caused too many delays in life. If not for God’s grace I wouldn’t be on this track anymore. Thank God for His undending love that backs us up whenever our first option is to quit.
Getting myself reminded everyday that the character that is being built up until Christ is formed in my life and the endless “encounter” of who God is are worth the prize than just reaching towards the end.
Sometimes, the reason why God is extending the things that we wanted to finish right away is because He wanted us to get His point— learn to abide in Him, ALWAYS.
You might not fully comprehend why you have to keep on doing the things that you want to finish right away, but know this… GOD WANTS US TO GROW IN THE PROCESS AND FINISH THE RACE.
It’s enough to know that the Lord is always with us in this journey.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” (Philippians 1:6 NLT)
Honestly, being a writer always includes vulnerability. An open book of a real life story. Let me share a story of a young lady who almost lost her self-identity but was found in the love of Christ. Her name is Jen, by the way (ako pala yun? haha)
I’m a typical girl who has never been into a relationship. So I wondered for so many times, “What would my life be like to have someone to hold, laugh with, and to love unconditionally?” But because I grew up in a Christian family and church community, my life revolves around with people who have protected me so much against unnecessary hurts and pains that can be caused by early serious intimacy with the opposite gender. So I have soaked myself with books that would serve as a wisdom as I journey towards womanhood.
As time goes by, I thought I’m really living like I’ve preserved something so special— my heart. I’ve set my standards, principles, and values so high that will define my worth as a lady. But then, there came a guy whom easily had my admiration. He was thrilled by everything about me. So I thought I was really amazing for him.
We talked. We laughed. We had moments of quality time together. But whenever people are around, I hid myself, because I was afraid people would consider me as a person who’s easy-to-get. Natatakot kasi akong masabihang, “Ayan ba yung sinasabing well-kept? Kala ko ba precious yan? Ba’t ang aga naman yatang maging close niyan sa kanya?” So, yeah, I had my WALLS built up for that guy all because of my over conservativeness, fear and pride. I’ve tried to personally avoid him for several times because I was really uncomfortable for what people might going to say or how would they view it.
Then one day, he confronted me to explain everything. I cannot directly express all the reasons I have in my mind, I just mentioned the things I’ve read like, “ganito raw dapat kasi yan, eto kasi yung sabi sa blah-blah…”
He knew I was really into covering something. Then he replied, “Jen, stop pretending and trying so hard to be a woman because you’re not a woman,” then my world just fell apart.
All this time I was doing my best to guard my heart. So as I could live a life that would honor the Lord. The very reasons I did that was just because I don’t have enough wisdom on my own.
This was one of the most painful words that I’ve heard in my life. It keeps on resonating as it echoes in my ears. And as if I felt the condemning words crept inside me.
I felt stale. I felt that everything I’m doing is no longer genuine. I started to question myself, my intentions, my purpose. I lost my sense of identity just because of those striking words. I covered myself. I tried to hide my light. And it took me years to recover.
Thank God that by His grace, I have my heart back whole again. He restored me and secured my identity in Him. Now, as I reminisce and reflect from the past, I’ve finally understood why God allowed it, and just like JOSEPH THE DREAMER in the Bible, I desire to have a heart that could say, “God meant it for good,” eventhough I have all the reasons to become bitter. I was 17 years old then (now I’m 20), and I knew I was striving to maturity. I was like a caterpillar forcing itself to be a butterfly. Process pala talaga ang womanhood. It cannot be fake nor produced overnight. There is always an element of time involved that cannot be skipped and escaped or create your own shortcuts.
So kung makakausap ko lang ang 17-year-old na si Jen ngayon, ang sasabihin ko sa kanya ay, “Jen, just because a man told you that you are not a woman, doesn’t mean you aren’t one. It’s the process of ‘becoming,’ because you are not YET. Besides, your validation of femininity doesn’t comes from a man, it only comes from the One who made you— your Heavenly Father.”
Kahit na gusto kong mag blame sa iba, but when you look on the better side of the story, there’s always a lesson to learn and a molding of a character on my part. The Lord has taught me (and still teaching me) to always be opened to corrections and open rebuke, because I knew that being a defensive is one of my weaknesses. At that time, takot akong ma-refined kasi I’ve thought that I already built a good reputation and image sa mata ng lahat, and I was holding on to it—not knowing na self-righteousness na pala ang tunay na tawag dun. But the Lord was more concerned about my LONG-TERM CHARACTER rather than my pain or ego. Kaya kahit super sakit, masasabi kong GOD WORKED ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR MY GOOD. Sobrang mahal na mahal Niya ako na hindi Niya ko hinayaang mamuhay ng may self-righteousness, but to live a life that depends EVERYTHING ON GOD’S GRACE— BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS HAS DONE FOR US.
So, every pride that lies within me, I need to learn how to humble myself in the Lord and to trust Him that He would take care of me the way the Proverbs 31 woman work-in-progress.
A MESSAGE FOR EVERYONE
To young men, empower the women around you. Extend grace to them by being understanding and patient in the process they’re into. Help them see their worth by showing authentic gestures of respect to them exhibited by a real gentleman.
To young women, I know the process is not easy. I’ve been there and I’ll be facing more challenges along the way. But here’s what I’ve discovered: find your security in Christ, walk on your purpose, and be passionate for what you’re capable of and be a vessel of God’s grace! You are beautiful, and Jesus does not only love you for what you are on the surface, but for who you are in Him— you are dearly loved. Just continue to learn, continue to grow, continue to be broken in spirit. Let the crack show but let God’s grace fill those gaps and make that heart whole again.
Ending it here…
Siguro, you might have a painful experience that is really hard to admit. You know, healing from emotional wounds doesn’t heal immediately. But when we learn to surrender and cast all our cares upon Him, we send our road to freedom, and we will start to see the big picture of what God is doing in our lives, someday you will utter and say, “Thank you, Lord.”
I always love to gaze upon flowers— almost all sorts and kinds. Not because of the romantic side it may symbolize, but because there’s something inside my soul that connects to this wonderful creation.
What’s the fuss?
Flowers always remind me of how my lola took care of her garden flowers before. She was a good steward even of simple things. She’s the most loving, nurturing, and life-care-free-giving person I ever known.
I would still recall all my cherished and treasured moments with her, and even at this very moment, I knew I still miss her.
She possessed the most awesome character a woman can have, and I would call her, “a genuine worshipper of Christ.”
I still recall that early in the morning, I would see her bowing down and raising up her hands with my grandpa, praying and singing psalms in worship. I would see her in the church, passionately loving and taking good care of the people eventhough she’s not a “Pastora.” But more than what was seen inside the church, I knew she’s a worshipper inside and outside our home. She displayed the unconditional love for her family and that love is so authentic that even now, I can still feel the glow piercing and awakening the child in me (my tears start to show up).
I was 9 years old when she was diagnosed with a multiple internal organ failure. She would go back and forth in the hospital. I remembered her one time when she came home, but can’t managed to walk straightly. She asked me if she could sit down for a while outside to look upon her garden. At that moment, she would speak upon her flowers and trees saying, “Wag kayo’ng mag-alala, gagaling din ako at aalagaan ko pa rin kayo.” It broke my heart because I wonder what would her plants would anticipate for the next months and years to come.
A decade had passed, and her loving memories are still living in my heart. I had a conversation with my grandpa, mom and dad, even her bestfriend and amazingly they spoke the same things about her— she loves the Lord and the people so radically. They also narrated the moment when she was in the hospital. She would still bow on her knees in bed and sing songs of praise even up to the last minutes of her life, she was praising God, without any bitterness you can trace…
Now, I couldn’t help but to really miss her so much.
Her life as an effective salt and light, remains. As I journey towards womanhood, the Lord always show me the pictures of my past memories with her and I’m blessed to have had someone whom I can look up to whenever serving and loving people nearly exhausts my limited strength.
It takes painful years of cultivation of authentic beauty inside a woman’s soul. I had encountered moments where I would always question the Lord why He requires obedience and discipline, when it’s so easy to show you’re beautiful. But no, the Lord doesn’t look at that way. “Man focuses on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7, NIV) He knows that true beauty is found only in Jesus. Intimacy with Him causes our lives to be radiant and be filled with love, grace, and mercy.
If only I would be given a chance to even stare, smile and hug my Lola Dianne so tight at this very moment, I would embrace that moment. I’m forever grateful that the Lord used her to show me that physical beauty is temporary, but a beautiful heart and soul would always be forever remembered.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” (Proverbs 31:30, NIV)
Never deny our story— it was all meant to glorify our Maker. Let the Author of life write and mark every pages of our lives with His love, grace, and mercy.
Graced to share a piece of my heart’s journey with my Faithful Lover, Jesus Christ, through music and poetry. It was grace that carried me here, and by grace, I shall carry on.
Have you ever been in a season of your life where everything is almost a question mark? That no matter how you dig deeper in comprehension, all you get was nothing but questions left unanswered?
In fact, if I were given the chance to go back from the past, I would prefer myself to trade all my confusions, frustrations, and even all my complains for ‘gratefulness.’ But the Lord says that I have nothing to regret, because after everything that had happened, I’ve encountered God’s redemptive hands for so many times.
So this is the wisdom I’ve hardly learned: EMBRACE THE JOURNEY— love the process of anything that builds patience, discipline, and endurance. We are so tempted to easily prefer a shortcut but miss the main-point of God which is to “build” and encarve in the inner core of ourselves, a long-term character that will be effective and influential enough to bring glory to His name in every aspect of life.
Are you having a hard time understanding why you are facing something difficult right now? We may not have the same intensity of life experiences, but it’ll be the same encouragement for everyone of us— EMBRACE THE JOURNEY…
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11, NIV)