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
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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.

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

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

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

March-ing by

Since this month started, seems like things were going fast.  Lent arrived and then – boom!  A week left of the month and I wonder where have I been?  I mix up days, forget dates, here but absent.  My mind drifting and sometimes shutting down.  I’m staring but not really seeing.  And right now, my body screams STOP!!!- but I cannot.  There are things needed to be done and things I wanted done.  I haven’t prepared a draft for my blog post this March.  I haven’t picked up the book I was reading.  I haven’t been sleeping at the designated time I wanted to, not getting enough hours of sleep.  Seems like I’m running after time.  Just like that, the days are marching past me.

I am overwhelmed as soon as I shifted my eyes away from God and focused on this world.  I am downcast as soon as I turned my back to His Word and embraced the world.

Last night brought me so much consolation.  His Word that is truly alive and active and accomplishes its purpose.

PSALM 27

[Of David] Yahweh is my light and my salvation, whom should I fear? Yahweh is the fortress of my life, whom should I dread?  When the wicked advance against me to eat me up, they, my opponents, my enemies, are the ones who stumble and fall. Though an army pitch camp against me, my heart will not fear, though war break out against me, my trust will never be shaken.  One thing I ask of Yahweh, one thing I seek: to dwell in Yahweh’s house all the days of my life, to enjoy the sweetness of Yahweh, to seek out his temple.  For he hides me away under his roof on the day of evil, he folds me in the recesses of his tent, sets me high on a rock.

Now my head is held high above the enemies who surround me; in his tent I will offer sacrifices of acclaim. I will sing, I will make music for Yahweh.  Yahweh, hear my voice as I cry, pity me, answer me!

Of you my heart has said, ‘Seek his face!‘ Your face, Yahweh, I seek;  do not turn away from me. Do not thrust aside your servant in anger, without you I am helpless. Never leave me, never forsake me, God, my Saviour.  Though my father and mother forsake me, Yahweh will gather me up.

Yahweh, teach me your way, lead me on the path of integrity because of my enemies; do not abandon me to the will of my foes — false witnesses have risen against me, and are breathing out violence.  This I believe: I shall see the goodness of Yahweh, in the land of the living.  Put your hope in Yahweh, be strong, let your heart be bold, put your hope in Yahweh.

 

Even When I Am In This Valley, I Praise You

I am in the valley, the ‘white space’ in my walk with the Lord – the space where you know He’s there but you just can’t see or hear Him.  I feel abandoned, let down, disappointed, and yet I know He’s gotten me all secure and safe.  It’s just that my heart struggle to accept some things and prefer to enjoy the hurt because the hurt is there but the promise unseen.  Yet, His promise, His Word stands firm, it is the only thing that is eternal and lasting, the only truth in all these mess I am in.  For the past days I have been praying, “Lord, please speak to me… please talk to me… please…” and like what I told a friend, it felt like an off-air signal on the radio, not even static.  I would read His Word each morning to console me that all is not lost and that He is there, always there.  I tried reading between the lines, of figuring out what’s going on, of looking for His will yet the more I try, the more I get side-tracked, lost and frustrated.  As much as making sense, they don’t.  So imagine my delight when I finally opened yesterday’s Faith Gateway devotional “When You Can’t Feel God“.  And I know, He has opened the door I’ve been banging on for the past days to slip me this message.  This white space necessitates me to walk by faith and not by sight.  I clearly do not see any thing that has been promised, I witnessed it being taken away actually.  Right now, clearly, His promise is the only thing I have, His Word, His faithfulness, Him – my God.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. (2 Corinthians 5:1-9)

Left My Heart in Lent

So, Easter came.

People celebrated Christ’s victory in their lives. I celebrated with them, even when my heart breaks and aches, my victory unseen and unfelt, I got more questions than answers. Will I say I’m misunderstood? Maybe.

I will be honest. Easter came yet my heart felt like Lent. It’s like the flowers have bloomed in spring yet my heart remained in the icy cold winter. I wanted to step into the garden and take in the beauty of spring. Believe me, I do and I pray for it. I was even looking forward to it with all positivity and expectations. Expectations are such downers…

Please do not rush me. Please do not tell me “how dare you think like that” or judge me for being un-Christian and doubtful. I know God’s victory for me will come, but right now, I cannot see it and I do not know what to do but hope. And this hope sometimes get swallowed up in pity and tears. What am I getting all hung up on? That a person decided in his heart he doesn’t like me? No. That not a single person I liked would like me back, they can but they won’t. Period. Self-pity at its core. It’s not you, it’s me. Something must be wrong with me. Yet God never ever created anything wrong, all He created is good and pleasing and beautiful. So where do I fit in?

Change of perspective, they say it’s all about perspective. But please let me wallow a bit in this – I have been here before but not quite the same, not this close to the light at the end of the tunnel only to be suck back in the tunnel. This time it was Continue reading

Hurt? Hope.

Whenever we are tired and hurt, our response often is to hide, to run away, to deny, to turn around, to be cast down.  To feel hurt is okay, it makes us human, it evidently shows we have a heart and we can feel.  It is good to feel – it is our check and balance in life.  To feel tired, to feel offended, to feel hurt.

It is also good to know that every time we hurt, every time that we want to scream and ask ‘why?’, every time we feel there’s no way out and we’re pushed to the wall – it’s wonderful to know we have this hope, a real hope, the light at the end of the tunnel, we have God.

Jeremiah is one of the prophets I love reading about.  Jeremiah lived through the horror of the exile and he saw God’s hand in the salvation of the Jews from exile.  He saw how the people of Israel has disobeyed God and He saw God’s mercy towards them.  He was a part of that twisted and disobedient generation yet He held firm to what he know about God.  He is someone who knows God and therefore He understands God and He knows that no matter what, even when physically he’s tired and mentally he’s exhausted, Jeremiah still put his hope in the God he knows – the God of mercy and of love.

We may go through deep waters, we may be exhausted with life’s problems, Continue reading

Perfectly Flawed ©

Few days back, I started writing down tidbits of praise and prayer.  The back story for how it started and why:

I sat contemplating about envy, anger, things happening around me, things going on inside my head, temptations I fight and failed to fight.  Then, I am inspired by St. Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth…

2 Corinthians 12:9

 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.”

By His Cross, I see my sins and shame crucified.
By His Resurrection, I see my salvation and victory.
In my weakness, I see His strength.
In my sins, I see His mercy.
In my fallen state, I see His unconditional love.
I am made perfect in my weakness, through His strength.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made, flaws and all.
I am perfectly flawed for His glory.
I am His child, so dearly loved.
I am a child in awe of my Father, my God, my King.
And I will sing and proclaim His goodness, His mercy, His grace, His love, and this Hope through His gift to me – writing.

Debbie

Faith, Hope, Love

Photo source: The Healing Diaries

Turn not aside, discouraged one;
Stir up your gift, pursue your goal;
In God’s own time you’ll see Him work;
He’ll give you hope and lift your soul.

– D. DeHaan

Faith generates love.  Love feeds faith.

– Heard on 09.12.12

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:13

Angels & Messages

Few days back, I struggled with my desire to attend the World Youth Day next year at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  The desire was overtaken by anxiety over the amount of money I need to have for the trip.  It came to a point where I consider to just let go of the idea of being there.  And throughout that struggle, I never prayed about it.  The Lord reminded me to do so, through a friend, heaven-sent.  Sheila asked me to pray about it, for His will. When it is in His will, He will make a way for me.  How easily I forgot about all His providence.  This is a wonderful thing I have, to trust Him and see Him personally work a miracle, a big one IMO.  And day after day, from the night I prayed, I continuously got messages about trust and obedience, of trusting Him even when it doesn’t make any sense, of Elijah’s story and what the Bible say about money.

To share some of the messages I got:

9.24.12

Sometimes, I will allow circumstances to cut down your resources.  Some go through hardship, poverty, and brokenness. Some lose relationships. Some lose their loved ones. And when your resources are down, that’s when you look at me—and become open to my intervention.
Remember: The place of desperation is also the place of deliverance, your deliverance!

9.27.12

I operate in the area of the impossible. If you want to find me, operate in the area of the impossible as well. If you work with what’s possible, you may not need me. But if you work with what’s impossible, you will be forced to look up to me.

10.1.12

Money’s great to have, but it’s important to remember where it came from.
Deuteronomy 8:17-18
“He did all this so you would never say to yourself, ‘I have achieved this wealth with my own strength and energy.’ Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful, in order to fulfill the covenant he confirmed to your ancestors with an oath.”

God will always provide what you need to accomplish what he’s set before you.

Thank YOU so much Father for such great love.  This is a journey for me.  I cannot guarantee that I will not doubt but I am always grateful and in awe of how He has time and again called me back and pushed away all doubts from me.

Jeremiah 29:13
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Let us be vigilant, never tiring, in seeking Him and His will for us.  And to listen when He reveals things to us.  Sometimes I fall short in the listening because in the middle of the asking and seeking I have created in my mind the reply I wanted and when I get something not aligned with what I have in mind, there is the tendency to shrug off the message.  Yet the Lord has His ways and He replies to our asking and seeking, and to find Him is to have an open heart and open ears ready to listen, trust and obey Him.  For He has great plans for all of us and we are all put here for a purpose He has assigned to each one of us.  No one is without one.

Isaiah 55:8-9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

In all things, let us remember LOVE.  That our Father in Heaven loves us so and nothing in this world can separate us from that.

Romans 8:38-39
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-a child in awe of You-