Weak

I can’t go on.
I had enough.
I can’t do this anymore.

Recently, I went through something I am used to – people come and people go, right? I should be able to handle this for the nth time. Well, I was wrong. And I saw how it is true – when you are breaking down inside, you vividly see how the world perfectly goes on, how people happily lives on without you, while you try to pull yourself together with all your might.

The questions come one after the other, questions most often you won’t find answers to. And slowly, the bitterness creeps in, and before you know it, darkness. I started to question things I know about, questioning God, questioning myself. Every thing is wrong, someone has to be responsible for this. I have my choices: God, me, or him. Yet I cannot choose apart from me so I point the fingers at myself and felt ever more wrong, which lead me to question God, why create me? It’s a cycle spiralling down towards a dark abyss. I know other people would have chosen differently, and maybe for some it could have been easier to blame the other person and get over with it. That was my choice, a choice which clearly shows how much self-love I have – close to zero. I am selfish, but I do not love myself. I believed I was strong and now I am demanding that strength from myself.

One truth remains and that is, in darkness, Light will shine brighter, in weakness, His strength will be magnified. Only when I shift my focus away from myself and focus on Him; only when I stop blaming myself and start loving His creation called me; only when I accept the divine help He so freely offer and has been keeping me; only when I stop trying to control and solve the situation and rely on Him; only when I start to die to self and live for Him. It is singing to God with all my heart and soul Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hand, cos I can’t do this on my own…

As of this writing, I still struggle. Yet I know, I do not struggle alone and true help comes from Him. I still have a lot to learn from St. Paul. I don’t know how to boast about my weakness. I only plead for the thorn to be taken away but to delight in the thorn is something else. Yet St. Paul clearly said, for God’s strength to rest in me, I must first boast about my weakness. I pray that I will have true strength to surrender and tell about my weakness. Lord, I am a sinner and I cannot do this alone. I’ve tried and failed and hurt myself and other people. This is just too much for me to handle.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Second letter of St. Paul to the church in Corinth 12:8-10

True strength isn’t about being sassy, sexy, independent, self-reliant and in control.

True strength doesn’t rely on self – it dies to self.

Recognizing our human frailty and leaning on Him is what makes us strong.

A woman of strength recognizes she is weak and in need of a savior. She admits her need. She knows that it’s only the good kind of weak – the humble, soft, teachable kind – that will truly make her strong.

The Right Kind of Strong – Mary A. Kassian

The Lost Sheep

I feel I am not worthy to write about God and the things of above. Before sitting down for this, I was bothered by these thoughts: so you want to tell people about God but here you are, you just committed another sin. Forget about writing about God, do not be a hypocrite, no one will listen to a sinner. Forget about writing at all, don’t waste your time. And I almost believed the lies. True, I am a sinner, I am the lost sheep. The lies are that I am not worthy and that no one will listen.

Just when I am about to get on my feet in the spiritual battle and find my purpose, I find myself attacked and fallen.  Sometimes we think, God allowed it trying to take on the responsibility of our choices.  Yet God allows choices, and I choose to do those sins.  I go out of the fence and wander far from Him. It is a dark and dangerous field out there and I find myself being beaten down time and again, by my thoughts, my actions – deceived time and again. 

I asked God, don’t you get tired of looking for me and taking me back?  I accused Him of letting all these happen.  Why cannot He just keep me safe in the fence and so my life will be happy?  Why give me the freedom to wander off and hurt myself and others?  I cried to Him, I am so tired of trying to understand and fight and do what you want me to do and I am so tired of this life, there is just no way that I will be perfect, holy and a Christian.  Even my tears are tired of falling, my heart tired of breaking.  Everything about me is just simply tired, but the irony of it all, in the tiredness I didn’t let go of the rein of my life, I didn’t turn over my life to God.  I held on to it with my remaining strength, trying to fix things, trying to figure things out. 

God, on the other hand, in His faithfulness continue to prod me, silently calling out to me, seeking me, and keeping me.  I know He does.  I cannot explain how I know, yet I believe with all my heart the only reason I still have my sanity and that I am still breathing and writing this right now is God keeping me and keeping His covenant with me.  And He is asking me, aren’t you tired of trying to make sense of your life?  Why don’t you rest in me? 

I wish I can tell you it happened overnight.  That I heard Him and accepted the invitation at once without arguing; that at the point I accepted and rest in Him, things got better.  It was a process that for some would take a while for others longer. Finally giving in and resting in Him, there was peace, there was true joy in me.  But one incident, one memory, one harsh reality and boom!!! a huge wave of thoughts and feelings rush back. I try to run away but it caught me.  I try to stay afloat while it beats down on me.  Truly, me of little faith.  Forgetting the Anchor, forgetting to fix my gaze on Jesus.  Things didn’t get better overnight, but gradually, in little steps, in little moments, with the graces of God, smaller battles are won.  It may take a little more time for me to be truly okay, or maybe I won’t be entirely okay and memories will bring me emotions that will challenge my peace and joy, yet I pray to be anchored to His truth, that in this world, I will have troubles, and I have to take heart and remember that Jesus has overcome the world and has been victorious and in that my hope lies, my rest is in Him.

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18 NIV

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11 NIV

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16 NIV

Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

Psalm 62:1 – 2 NIV

Choices

In every situation we are given always two choices:

do or don’t 
stay or go
wait or act
forgive or blame
fight or surrender

In these choices, there is no right or wrong as we all face different situations under different circumstances.  However, there is in each a choice that leads us closer to heaven.

There will be times we made a choice and find ourselves wishing we had chosen the other one.  Do not lose heart and know that after a choice was made, we are offered another set of choices. Life, after all, is a series of choices and the thing to do is learn to forgive yourself when you made a wrong one, to bounce back up and continue on hoping and praying and to never give up.

Prayer

Father, let me be the girl who trusts you so much that no matter how I feel and what my circumstances are I know You are there. Let my faith be steadfast and grounded in Your Love. Help me and strengthen me for I am too weak and always remind me to focus on You lest I speak and hurt others in my weakness. 

Help me to hold my tongue and help me to conquer my insecurities with Your love. I am unworthy yet You love me. May I conquer with Your love and stop the devil’s attack with Your truth – that I am forgiven, loved and important in Your eyes. 

October 19, 2018. Needed this then, need this now. Need this all the time.

Morning Thoughts on the 1st of April

 

This Lent has been about crucifying and crucifying – my affections, my weaknesses, offering them to God. I wasn’t always there, doing it right, yet God is patient and is keeping me.

On the drive, what I thought was people leaving me and people making life hard for me was simply my wanting to please people and my affection making things hard for me and that God do really keep people away from me not because they’re not good or that I wasn’t good but simply because God wants me to learn what it means that HE IS ENOUGH, and to understand how relationship works, that I do not need people to like me or talk to me to validate who I am or my worth because my worth is found in Him alone – something that I know yet fails to live by. 

When I live in this worth, of being found in Christ, there is peace and joy. Admittedly at times I still falter and wish for affirmation, validation, confirmation from other people – habits are hard to break. Yet I pray that slowly God will help me overcome all these affection that I may love fully and find love also in full. 

Amazing Grace

The overwhelming love of God for an unworthy being – me.  He initiated the love, and in response, what have I done?  I run towards it, and then shrink away from it with my sins.  I plunge into its amazingness and then withdraw and drown in my own misery.  It’s like that scene in Tangled where Rapunzel was finally out of the tower and she was celebrating her freedom one moment then feeling bad another moment.   Yet for me it’s celebrating how God has freed me and then going back to sinning then feeling bad for sinning.  And all the time, God looks at me with love and mercy, waiting for me to realise what I’ve been doing and return to Him.  That immeasurable patience God has for me, I have no words.

If only letting go and letting God is easily done as it is being said (in a span of few seconds).  Experience has taught me, and most would agree, that it is not the case.  I happened to read on this verse from Romans 3:23-25 last night and dived into the grace of God.  I knew that grace is God’s gift – God’s mercy, my salvation and the promise of eternal life.  Amazing, amazing grace.  However, last night led me deeper into what grace is and I encountered these words telling me to guard this grace, to use it wisely and make it increase.  How?

Continue reading

Advent 2018

A season of coming.  Expectation.  Longing.  Waiting.  A call to be vigilant and awake, to wake up from slumber and to be on the watch.  And yet the weather just makes you want to cuddle up with someone or with your blanket and take a nice warm sleep.

God is not asking us not to take our naps or sleep physically, obviously.  He created sleep for our bodies to recharge and regenerate.  To stay awake and not to slumber is a call for our hearts to be on the watch and more vigilant than in any other season because God is coming and He will surely come in a time we never expect.  Just so happen, advent is also a season of busy-ness, holiday rush, deadlines at work, ending the fiscal year, decorating homes, attending gatherings and dinners, holiday shopping – there are just too many things to do that our Lord is asking us to guard our hearts, our thoughts and our bodies lest all these to-do take over the yearning of our soul – the longing of the soul to see and recognize our Saviour.  That, for me, is to stay awake, to be vigilant, to be extra watchful.

I struggle in this season – concerns flood my mind and things happening around me affects me easily.    While the Christmas cheer rings around me, my heart moves along a roller-coaster that seems to drop farther than it lifts.  Outside it seems well, inside it’s a battle.  I grapple to hold on to something, anything, to keep my head above the water, to come to terms with events in my life, to understand the unknown (which is insane, I know) and to stay awake and keep watch for the Lord’s coming.

If there is one thing I am grateful to God, it is that He created me with a stubborn heart, very stubborn!  Some may think that is not a positive thing, but in this moment, it is for my good – that I refuse to let evil take over me, that I refuse to accept the lies of the devil in my life – to just drop everything and not fight because it’s futile, lies!  So I fight by surrendering and dying, in silence I fight and hope in the midst of confusion, in this waiting.  All these things I have no strength to do by myself, so I do the only thing I can and am asked to do – PRAY.  Even when at times I don’t understand my prayers anymore or the text I’m reading or what I am even telling God or that I need to rush because I’m running late for work.  In His faithfulness, He keeps me here in the waiting.  In my tears, He listens.  With every breaking of my heart, He picks up the pieces.

Advent is a season of expectation for His coming and this year I see that the Lord also looks at me and waits for me to approach Him in humility and surrender, and meets me in this very situation to walk with me.

I’d Still Take This Road

No regrets.

There are moments that sometimes challenge me, showing me the things that could have been, should have been, if only, what if’s … shoulda, woulda, coulda…  yet, I wouldn’t trade anything for this path I have treaded.

True, there are times I wished life could have been kinder to me, wished that I could have avoided all the tears and heart aches, betrayals and battles, yet those were exactly the things that shaped me, events that put me to the test of faith.  I cannot say I’ve always emerged victorious when it comes to that test – of faith.  Like Peter, I would lose my focus on Jesus and gaze at the waves surrounding me and sink.  Yet by God’s grace, I made it through each storm, and I continue to weather through the storm through His grace.  Not without sinking in tears, not without bending from the wind, not without gasping for air through the waves, yet time and again, He reminds me whenever I call out to Him – trust Me, I got you and I got this.

The future will always scare me, even if when I think I had it figured out.  For one, I know no human can have it all figured out.  Secondly, I’m not someone who really plans so far ahead and I only have this simple vision of a future that I desire.  It still scares me because the simple future I mention requires so much humility and obedience to achieve.  And the devil clearly knows this, when what you desire is contrary to his, he attacks the more.  I read in a book by C. S. Lewis that it is exactly in making you think of the future that the devil will put fear in your heart, for one it is because no one knows the future – not him, not you, so he can suggest to you all scary outcome to attack your peace until fear turns to doubt and chaos.  We all fall prey to this.  Nothing wrong with daydreaming, with wishing for a future, with desiring this future, yet when it starts to scare us, when it starts to scare me – learn to run to the One who has it all figured out and who holds our future.

So looking back, I will still take this road because back then this was the uncertain future that I didn’t expect and it played out beyond what I could imagine.  Though life is hard, it is beautiful.  And what’s next in this wonderful journey, I take it moment by moment with prayer in my heart, entrusting the future I know not and the desires I have to the One who loves me.

I know not what my future holds, but I know who hold my future” ~ Homer

 

In The Waves

Life throws events in haphazardly and kinda expect you to figure it out and survive it.  Often it seems like that.  And to find myself in a situation I never imagined is truly a blow in my I-know-what-I’m-getting-into stance in life.  I have often heard and being told to step out of my comfort zone, to step into the waves and move from the shore – well, HELLO WAVES!  I, myself, am surprised with the things that I’ve done for the past weeks, months, and surprised as well to how I’ve handled situations – sometimes poorly, other times I think I did okay.

One thing I am certain is, I do not regret anything – stepping out of the comfort zone, going for something my heart wants, jumping into the middle of the waves – no regrets.  It was definitely scary, and it still is, yet I also see in all this how God has been faithfully keeping me from drowning and how patiently He waits for me to act.  Sometimes I struggle with His timing, His time frame, His idea of love and sacrifice yet He is ever-present and reminding me to trust, to wait, to hope and to obey.  Well, the last one is the toughest one for me, because I have a stubborn heart.  If you can get away with something, won’t you?  But He has been patiently reminding me, forgiving me, His patience for me, I HAVE NO WORDS!

I am writing this down for the reason that I haven’t written anything recently here as my thoughts are lately too personal for sharing.  And at the same time, writing this down to share and pray for other people who might be going through the same as I am – take courage, stay steadfast, He is in the waiting, (as the song goes…).  Definitely, God is in the waiting.

And I need also to be reminded of His Word.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

The Cross & The Empty Tomb

We speak about the cross, about carrying our crosses, about laying down our worries at the feet of the cross.  The cross – the symbol of His infinite and unfailing love.

I stand beneath Your cross and I look up, I see Love, my sins, my unworthiness, and my redemption.  And then I look at the empty tomb – Love fulfilled.  The tomb of my sins washed clean.  The tomb of my failures, gone.  Your resurrection is my Hope fulfilled.

The cross, Your Love.  The empty tomb, Your victory.
The cross, my salvation.  The empty tomb, my Hope.
The cross, a reminder of the life in this world.  The empty tomb, a reminder of heaven.

Beneath Your feet my tears fall, outside your empty tomb my heart rejoices.  Lord Jesus, my God, unworthy as I am, Your Love overtakes me.  There is nothing more than I want than to rejoice in Your victory.

Help me.

1144 06.18.2018

How often I’ve wandered
And returned when I am wounded.
With arms wide open,
You wait and mend and heal me.

How often have I leapt
Only to fall and hurt myself –
And watched as my broken pieces
Are picked up by the hands that bled for me.

djane
05.15.2018

I will live through all the wrongs with Your Truth.
I will trust through all the wait with Your Word.
I will see through all the pain with Your Love.

•djane•
03.08.2018

Be You

I chanced upon this post by Ann Voskamp in a period where I badly need to hear from someone words to encourage my downcast soul.

Believe in angels, because they are all around us, instruments of God, reaching out and touching lives.

To you who feel you’re too much, you who wants people to see you for who you really are and accept and love you, you who struggle to love yourself and others, you who fear judgements and find yourself sacrificing your identity to please people… this is also for you.

Read: No more apologizing for being you, for being fully you in Christ.

Alone

Previously I have called Lent the “white space”, the “white noise” of God, the period where winter turns to spring and it becomes cold and eerily quiet, it’s beautiful yet eerie.  This time, the battle rages on but our God is ever faithful.

I have been struggling internally with all the emotions and delusions I have – of the deceit and lies the devil feeds my mind.  I am unwanted, I am alone, I am made to be alone in this world, I will not find love, I will forever be left behind – name the lies, the enemy has it.  Yet, God, in His loving mercy and almightiness knew beforehand what will happen and has sent forth the weapons and help for me.  Well, He could have just stopped it but He didn’t, like with Job’s story.  And as for me, I could let the enemy fill me with lies and not use the weapons God has been providing me.

Yet here we are, here I am.  Faced with all these lies and deceit, God has been feeding me with my dose of Daily Bread, with His Word of Truth and Mercy.  It’s not easy, it sounds  Continue reading

La Madrugada

Es en la madrugada
Aquí en el momento
Mi corazón, en silencio
Palpita en Tu gracia
Laté para Ti

© 02.10.2018

Prayer

Never under estimate the power of a prayer.  At times, we need to look outside of ourselves to see how God works His wonders.  We tend to concentrate too much on our needs (humanly speaking) without realising the spiritual need that God is fulfilling in each of us every moment.  We tend to think that our prayers, to be fulfilled, has to be met in our conditions, yet God’s thoughts is not ours to fathom.  And in His great mercy, He doesn’t meet our conditions but always provide us our specific needs.

To be used by God to help others is not a cause for us to boast but it is humbling and unworthy of us to play a part in salvation’s history and what a grace that He finds us to do His will.

Even if we disregard the prompting of the Spirit, the other’s prayer will be answered in His ways beyond what we can imagine. Yet to be able to follow the prompting of the Spirit is not by our own strength but that which the grace that God gives us, the heart that He molds and moves.

All prayers are effective as God hears them and He moves heaven and earth to fulfil His will.

02.10.2018 00:09

 

I go…

Why these words
Why these thoughts
Why such revelations
This mind has to hold
Why stir this heart
Why chosen apart
Why such emotions
Where do I start

What step to take
How far to go
Where forth I don’t know
This road I follow
Swayed by the wind
Lost in the spin
I falter and fall
Yet you gave it your all

Lean on the Wood
Rest on the Rock
Lay on Your feet
Saved by Your blood

© 05.09.2017 23:28

Jesus Owns You

In the Philippines, especially in its capital Manila, the roads are filled with these rowdy jeepneys – the engine sound, the sudden stops, the blings and stickers on their bodies.  As a driver, you would want to stay as far away from them as possible which is an impossible feat in the metro.  These jeeps would often have names written on their body or hanged on the back, sometimes stickers of zodiac signs, artwork, or the face of Jesus, others hang signs like “God bless our trip” or some pinoy hugot or humor quotes.

As I was done with my first trip this morning and on my way to the second one, I was already getting cheesed off with the bad Manila traffic, the buses and pedestrians, the chaos so early on a Monday morning.  And it’s a Monday.  Half-way to my second destination, this jeep cut me and I was about to lose it when I saw what’s written on its side “Jesus Owns You” and it spells JOY.

So simple.  3-letter word.  3 words.  Says it all.  It occurred to me how we all strive and struggle to be happy, to find peace, to be filled with joy – the joy that the world can never ever take away from us.  We search, we seek, we ask, we knock yet often we are left asking for more or asking more questions.  All along, what Jesus is telling us, what God wants from us, is to be owned by Him – yet we cannot have that.  I am my own, this is my life – don’t we all say that and live that?  I want joy but I want my life to be my own as well.  Hmm… I really don’t know how we can work around that when JOY is simply being owned by Jesus.

What does it mean to be owned by Jesus and why do most of us resist?

To be owned even just by someone is to be a slave of that person, to obey and act on that person’s commands.  Didn’t God give me

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None

Because He lives;
Because He forgives;
Because He is God;
Because He is Almighty;
Because He saves;
Because He loves me.
What reasons do I have
Not to believe, not to trust?
None.
Because there’s none like Jesus,
None like God,
Who will take all of me –
Even the broken, sinful part of me –
To embrace them all and love me.

© May 4, 2017

Only God

Only You can see my tears and know exactly what they mean;

And only You can wipe these tears and fill this empty space within;

Because only You know what’s in my heart and give exactly what it needs;

Only You can steady this heart and bring back the peace within. 

© April 30, 2017