Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A letter to B.

Dear Sis,

Thanks for sharing this with me.  I got a little teary-eyed, because that's how one normally gets when a loved one is happy.  All I can say is, claim God's happiness.  I won't say 'your' because man is naturally selfish and emotions inevitably get in the way of a sound and noble mind.  Claim His happiness because He is happily looking after yours.  "Win-win" situation 'baga :) 

I'm happy that you're healing after your heart's loss.  I haven't been in your situation, but I've certainly experienced different sorts of heartbreak where every day looks bleak and the 'light at the end of the tunnel' sounds more like a myth.  

But God's ways and thoughts are definitely higher than ours.  And like you said, His timing is definitely impeccable.  I'm sure this is not the first time He proved that to you, but we are notoriously forgetful. Thank God He's God because He is also infinitely patient with us.

I do not doubt your revelations and I look forward to the day that "he" will be revealed to you.  Just continue to allow the Lord to mold you into a proper wife, a woman of God; that means He may test you as well so keep His Word close to your heart and let the Holy Spirit teach you to be even more discerning--because meeting a guy shortly after this revelation is not necessarily a sign that he IS the one.

I know that the right one will be someone who will love every bit of you.  He doesn't have to be someone like you, but someone who will respect your differences and accept them because  your ultimate similarity is your love for Jesus.  Marry the man who will put God ahead of you.  

We all grew up to fairy tales and fantasized our love lives to follow the formula of romantic comedies, but I am sure God has someone else in mind for a husband, more fitting than Prince Charming and Mr. Wonderful (and who's to say that your future hubby won't turn out to be like both diba? ;D ) I just meant look beyond the peripherals.  Whatever else he is on the outside and even inside--he may have the best character and slay fire-breathing dragons as a hobby--but if he does not share an intimate loving relationship with Christ, then ekis gihapon siya.

You know all this, I'm sure, but it's my duty as ate to remind and remind and remind.  It doesn't make me the fun-nest person to be around, but I feel obliged to do it ;)

Lecture aside, I AM happyhappyhappy for you.  I am glad that you have reached this point in your life and in your faith to be content in letting God work your life for you.  There's a difference between living in faith and being fatalistic--joy.  I pray that you will continually and joyfully embrace what God sets in your path.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

it all starts with God

Colossians 1: 16 (NET) For all things in heaven and on earth were created by him--all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers--all things were created through him and for him.

It's all about God. Our purpose of existence was never about us. Stop asking about what "I" want. Look away from the mirror and instead focus on God.

I've been struggling about what my purpose is, about what I'm supposed to do with the rest of my life. It looked like everyone else had it going except for me. They had jobs, businesses, income, cars, houses, children, vacations...while I had to struggle for jeepney fare. Not that I resented my circumstances, but I could not help but wonder what I had done wrong to be stuck in a rut.

I felt insignificant. I felt I had less ambition or drive because other people seem to be moving faster than me. They can easily leave their old life and family concerns, make modern choices, and pursue their dreams. Meanwhile, I am forever tethered to the responsibility of being a daughter, sister, niece to even take a tentative step towards "freedom". Freedom for me was living on my own, just catering to myself, not having to worry about anybody else. Come to think of it, I was actually yearning for a selfish life.

My interpretation of "living an abundant life" was living according to how I want to live. God was somewhere in the perimeters of that life. Someone I say Thank You to when I receive a blessing and someone I demand to take my problems away when the situation's beyond my control. That had been the extent of God's role in my life--more or less. I simply did not consider that my life was not about me.

I now understand why, when Adam and Eve was created, they lived without clothes. There was absolutely no need for peripherals. It was all about God. There was no need for structures, luxuries, ambition because God was already there. He was all they need and they were created to simply worship Him.

Nowadays, our devotion time with God can be easily distracted by minor things: looking for the right pen to write your journal, the car honking outside your window, the dripping faucet you can see at the corner of your eye. If we stripped it all down to nothing, there's just you and God. And if you do not consider your self, your needs and your wants, then there's only God, creator of heaven and earth.

I have spent a lifetime looking for a "happily ever after"--a fantastical time when I get what I want--and have ended up getting nothing close to the fantasy. I am stripped down to nothing. All I have is God now.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I am 35, and life is just beginning to make sense to me.

I am 35. I currently don't have a job, hence no income. I do not have a car. I do not own a house. The only thing tethered to my name is an itsy-bitsy piece of land that my parents bought because they liked the bamboo grove on the lot.

I have maxed out my credit cards. My business is more red than black. I am in debt up to my ears and swaddled with demand letters from creditors. My bank account is empty.

Even as I type all these down, I feel nothing but peace. Maybe I am finally getting it. "It" being the purpose of why I am here.

The last few years I have been trying to keep my head above water. Some days I succeed, some days I even manage to float on my back, some days I am seriously tempted to just...give in.

Two months ago I returned to Manila gung-ho about a new project and anticipating a healthy income. At the very last minute, the client pulled out and I was left with literally nothing. The few thousands I had scrounged up for this trip was on its last remaining pesos. I had to do something.

I considered looking for a regular job, but the age thing made it tougher this time around. The fastest I could get was a call center agent position which I had already done before and did not like. I told myself to leave it as a contingent option.

The next several weeks I vaccillated between being taciturn and high-strung. I kept praying to God to help me, to save me, to give me money so I could settle all my problems. He did not do as I prayed. Naturally.

I knew I was being tested. And I knew I had to give in to Him. Arrogantly enough, I decide to let Him have His way with me but with certain conditions.

On June 1 I decided to follow Rick Warren's Purpose-Driven Life program. Heck, it will only be forty days, I thought, so I will be done in no time at all.

The first two days I felt good. The readings basically reaffirmed my relationship with my God. The third day I felt a club smash on my head. The chapter title was "What drives your life?" For the life of me, I did not know what to answer.

The next several days involved more and more introspection. Sometimes I could see the picture clearly, sometimes I was--and still am--confounded with certain aspects of myself.

I am now on Day 17. I am loving it. The questions are becoming harder to answer, but I am loving the whole process. I am learning more and more each day, about myself and about Christ. And those arrogant "certain conditions" have been blasted into infinity. Into smithereens as my nephew would say. I can only recall my Day 1 self and shake my head at my audacity.

I have twenty-three more days to go and right now it sounds like forever. But I am seeing things more clearly now. I am getting to know and understand the purpose of my creation. My mind is being pushed beyond its worldly limits to accept the knowledge that is God. I do not expect magical surprises or instant change. This is a daily process after all. Daily I must learn to commit to and work on my relationship with Christ and His people.

I do not expect people to read my words and understand what I am going through. I wish I have the patience and wisdom to relay to you my day-to-day experiences in finding my purpose. Maybe someday I will post something about it here. But not now, not yet.

Right now, I am just relishing the opportunity and the blessing of knowing. Of loving. And if you are someone who prays, then please include me in your prayers. I have many more mountains to climb.

Friday, February 12, 2010

the super-lotto-jackpot-prize question

yesterday i was asked, "when are you going to get married?"

i am perplexed. why is it that people feel one HAS to get married? or that one HAS to be in a relationship or at the very least, dating. seriously. this isn't rhetorical. can someone out there just give me a clear, logical explanation so that the next time i am asked i won't feel obliged to come up with a diplomatic answer that will smooth their ruffled feathers--or feel my own feathers being ruffled for that matter?

yes, i know how old i am. i celebrate each birthday, whether i feel like it or not. i know how many birthday cakes and plates of mama's spaghetti i've eaten.

it was all right before. no one in our family married young. so even when we passed quarterlife, there were no pushy grandmas or nosy uncles prodding us about our lovelives. that is until the buck stopped in front of me.

all my cousins before me have settled down, borne and sired brilliant prodigies...and now it was supposed to be my turn. it was like i was holding up everyone else younger than me.

and so yesterday one of my older cousins sat me down and i was earnestly asked, "when are you going to get married?"

then continued to present to me a list of prospective grooms.

what the hey!

i don't quite remember how i managed to dig my way out of that conversation, but i certainly don't want a repeat!

most little girls probably played house or imagined how their dream wedding would be. i was not like most little girls. yes, i did play house. i even had an actual house...or arranged my dad's old camper to look like a house. i had a bed, a palayok, a sandok, a frying pan, real food, even a mini-car...but no man in the house. even a pretend one. i was the only permanent character in my play.

as for weddings...the only person's wedding i fantasized about at that time was Wedding Barbie's, which my dad had given me as pasalubong. later on, i'd picture out a friend or cousin's wedding but strangely, never my own.

when i became a teenager, i figured i'd get married about the same time my mom did. just because i thought then that that was what adults did---get married and have families. when i entered my 20's, i got so caught up with all the possibilities life can offer and dreamed of being and having so much more than what was at the palm of my hands. marriage soon did not even become an idea. it simply didn't make my list of options.

sure, i date; albeit a bit sporadically lately, but i am no hermit. i've been in love twice, seriously infatuated many times over, but somehow permanence was not in the picture. at least not now.

the last marriage proposal i received was from a man who already asked me once before. he said he was willing to wait. i asked if he was willing to wait a decade. he got married to somebody else six months later.

okay, maybe this is an answer i can give--a decade from now. it's not satisfactory and had already prompted nosy relatives and friends to inquire, "...but what about children?", but it's the answer i am quite willing--and ready--to give. as for that other question, that is a whole, different ballgame.

- - - - - -

standing on the precipice. trying not to look down. my heart attempts to claw out of my chest.

i take a deep breath.

cleanse my soul. please.

let my mind lift beyond my circumstance.

i reach out and our fingertips touch. but i know it will not hold.

i can already feel you slipping away.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

where am i?

i keep looking at the calendar. i keep counting days, adding and subtracting time. i should be leaving, but i still can't.

the work pile in front of me keeps growing and for the life of me, i do not know how to finish it all. my back is tense and i have had this headache for days.

people keep asking, "where are you now?". physically, i know where i'm at. mentally, emotionally...that question is harder to answer than explaining cold fusion.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

starting a journey...

it's day two of the year's second month. i don't think i have quite caught my breath yet.

i kept reading the lyrics of Rent's 'seasons of love' and can't help but think of the many, many possibilities and opportunities and even tragedies that can occur in a year.

i should make a stand right now and refuse to let another month pass by in a blur. i should let each minute count for something. (let me round that up to a day...i'm not so much into micro-managing, hehe)

there's a line in the song that goes "....Five hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan..."

i want that. i want to go on a journey. not a visit, not a trip, not a tour. a journey.

just the word "journey" itself implies a soulful experience--traveling and gathering golden nuggets of wisdom along the way.

when i travel to a place away from home, i want to walk the streets and ride the public transport. it allows me to look more closely and see the gaps and cracks that make the local face more interesting and real.

sometimes i like traveling alone. alone means not having to make small talk or going through the inevitable--and frustrating!--discussion of where to go next or what to eat. i live for the simple pleasure of a quiet walk. or the pleasure of letting wandering thoughts just wander.

but journeys do not always mean traveling away. which would be good for me since i am not leaving anytime soon. so i will make a journey out of my routine trip to work tomorrow and see if my eyes and mind will gain a wider perspective. let me see if by the end of the day i have a golden nugget in hand.