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Ligawan ko ba?

Isang araw may nag-chat sakin:

“Jen, paano ba pag may girl na pasok sa standards mo tapos gusto mo’ng kilalanin…

KILALANIN lang muna ah. Pero di naman agad liligawan.”

(Alam niyo kung bakit naka-emphasize? Ok. Tuloy… )

“… kasi diba, di naman maiwasan na pag interesado ka na may kilalanin, kahit paminsan di naman sinasadya, paasa agad ang tingin saamin?”

Yun oh! In a world full of paasa, there was this guy who courageously ask and seek for the advice to speak in behalf of young women.

So ano nga ba ang BEST WAY to know girls in a RIGHT WAY?

1. CHECK THEIR PREVIOUS POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA

For future reference lang, hindi naman masama yan. At least you get acquainted with their interests, views, and opinions… tiyaka kung may mga ex’s din, at least di ka masyado mabigla o masaktan sa future (hahaha), naeevaluate mo din kung sino mga circle of influences niya.

Tips: Iwasan mag-like ng mag-like o puso ng puso. Minsan ang off nun. Stalker moves yun (dito, galingan mo mag ninja moves, ninja, as in parang secret agent).

2. GET TO KNOW HER FRIENDS

The closest one, even yung mga taong nirerespect niya, ex. mentors, leaders, pastors, even the church’s culture.

Minsan yung ka-close niya, yun yung ka-wavelength o ka-vibes niya. Halimbawa, funny-type ang madalas niyang kasundo, check mo, malay mo funny ka pala, magkasundo pa kayo diba? O kaya kung hindi, ipon ka na ng jokes mo at witty comebacks (hahaha)

3. BE INTENTIONAL ON FRIENDSHIP

Both personally and virtually?

Yes. But be BALANCED.

Guys are expected to INITIATE and TAKE THE LEAD. Wag mo panindigan yung kanta ng Exb na, “Hayaan mo sila ang maghabol sayo diba?” (hahahaha) Lalaki ka, tandaan mo, initiator ka (easy hahaha).

Make sure din na nasa group setting din to, para maiwasang mag assume si girl na may special attention na binibigay si guy.

*Reminders: ang goal nga diba kasi ay para maiwasan ang may umaasa at may paasa

4. MAKE CONNECTIONS BUT NOT USE VIRTUAL WORLD AS A FOUNDATION

I-chat mo, pero REMEMBER, wag araw-arawin, dahil kahit pa gaano ka kagaling magtago ng nararamdaman mo, at kahit di ka sweet sa mga words mo, GIRLS CAN EASILY READ A GUY’S BEHAVIOR. 😉

Social media is just another platform for making connections, but not for solid foundation in building strong friendship/relationship (taking this on a general sense).

5. CLARIFY

“Bakit ko naman ika-clarify kung wala pa naman?”

Clarify. It means, you have to enumerate and eliminate all the possible clouds of doubts and questions that would probably pop up on her mind.

Kung ramdam mo na na parang mejo vulnerable ma-fall si girl, una pa lang, bigyan mo ng CLARITY na you have no intention whatsoever na beyond friendship.

Girls love honesty. At least secured kami na yung sinet niyong intention, we won’t go beyond that.

6. BE CONSCIOUS ON YOUR MOVES

Guys, galingan niyo sa part na to. Don’t give hints or anything… madali talaga ma-fall ang mga girls, so clear things out sa una pa lang.

7. BE CASUAL AND NATURAL AS POSSIBLE

Treat mo talaga na kaibigan. That means, no exclusivity agad. Mag set agad ng boundaries physically, emotionally, even sa time.

Lastly,

“Be patient in the process and pray for it.” — Ate Gurl

Yan muna for now. Balita ko may sequel ang post na to. Hehe. 😉 Drop your comments to share your views and share this to other guys whom you think would benefit from this.

Ciao.

Grace Story

Grace Story

I’m not a good poetess
Yup, you’ve heard it right
I’m not good at measure of syllables, rhymes and patterns
Maybe you’re wondering why I was even in front of all of you

I’m not even a good writer
Not have much creative ideas, concepts, technical capabilities
Deep vocabulary, and a perfect grammatical structure

Haven’t I convinced you with the first statements?
Maybe you were thinking,
“why is she even here in the first place?”

Well, no.

I’m not only here to present a well-written prose or poetry about “GRACE”
But what you’re about to hear of is a grace story written by the Grand Author of Life

Here’s the story…

There was this young woman
who was hidden in the arms of her Savior.
Her story didn’t end at the day of her salvation,
but it’s just the beginning of another written chapter of the Author.

She keeps on walking with her Faithful Lover…
On His delight, He gave her the gift of wisdom and knowledge.
She received affirmation, love, and favor from the other people…
She was called “nice” and “religious” (they say)
— everything admirable.

As time went by, she absorbed what should only be reflected.
All the external validations of what humanity craves for—
Temporal pleasures and admiration outweighed eternal satisfaction.

She portrayed the image of a “I-have-it-all-together” woman.
Striving for perfection whether as a daughter, student, or a godly church girl

So bad
She held too much of it.
Her identity that was once placed in the arms of her Savior, was placed into a self-righteous pride, called the “I” throne.
She was trapped into a mental ideology that what she possessed is what she deserved.

Little by little, her Faithful Lover took back all the gifts she held dearly.
All the accomplishments, talents, abilities, image, favor, and yes even her passions in life.

She silently suffered from emotional pain
Her tears were her food, night and day
She felt shallow and hopeless
She would choose closed doors and dark rooms on the corner
Her inner world began to collapse like a captive city whose protective walls are broken.
Depression and anxiety has conquered her heart,
Yet she firmly kept a mask of a strong woman

But if you’ll reveal on what’s on the core,
they are nothing but lifeless and purposeless heart
Trying to figure out her sole existence.

Her Faithful Lover saw her and watched her
He’d loved to embrace her moment by moment
But He said, “If through my silence and your pain is the only way to make your heart and life be completely mine again, then so be it… “

She cried out to go back once again from where she started— alive, vibrant and full of purpose.
But her heart is after the gifts and not on the Giver

Day and night, she cried out, “bring me back once again for who I was before… “

Her Faithful Lover never gave back again what she desired, but she gave her the GIFT OF GRACE.

She held tight on it
She never understood it at first
In fact, she never knew the real meaning of it

But at her lowest and darkest moment
It was the ONLY thing she possessed

Her eyes were opened
And the gift of Grace revealed the reality of her sinful and prideful heart

Grace revealed and exposed her stony stubborn heart
But it’s the same Grace that redefined her story
Grace restored her wounded heart
Grace redirected her FOCUS ON THE ONE WHO IS THE SOURCE OF EVERYTHING

Grace became sufficient and made perfect in her weakness

Grace is the Savior, Faithful Lover, the Giver and the Author of Life

Now she finally understood that Grace isn’t just a gift.
GRACE ITSELF IS JESUS.
HE GAVE HIMSELF, HIS LIFE, HIS BLOOD, HIS HEART FOR YOU AND ME, AS A GIFT.

YES, GRACE ITSELF IS JESUS.

AND FROM THAT DAY ON, SHE CHERISHED IT.

• • • • •

This is my story.

Told you, I wasn’t good enough.

MESSAGE

The world does not only need our Salvation story
They need to hear of our GRACE STORY

Own your story
Don’t hide it away
Let them see you struggle, but let them see you hate the sin and the fruit of death.

Let them see you preach the Gospel to yourself
Let them see you being fool for Jesus
Let them see your brokenness, your cracks, all your flaws and imperfections,
let them see the real you, but let them know WHO BROUGHT YOUR PIECES BACK AGAIN AND MADE YOU WHOLE.

You have a grace story to tell.

Let them hear THE STORY OF HIS GLORY.

Author of my Life

 

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…”

Love, 

Jen Ferrando

7 “” O God, you have taught me from my earliest childhood, and I constantly tell others about the wonderful things you do…


Let me proclaim your power to this new generation, your mighty miracles to all who come after me. (Psalm 71:17-18)

Entrusting the Journey

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)


Letter on Vulnerability

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. 

 Life journal (July 08, 2014)

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. 

Life Reflections

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.”

“The Type” by Sarah Kay

Beautiful Soul

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. 

Radiant Soul

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)

The Ongoing Story

Agape: Music x Poetry (February 12, 2017) at Dunamis Garden, WIN-GMA Community Church
 
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.