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

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.

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

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

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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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

My Place of Safety

I had a rough Tuesday night.  Since I posted an ad selling my old phone, there was this sneaky inquirer who insisted to meet up instead of me shipping the phone to him.  I prayed about it and I felt disturbed.  For one, this person never gave me his name (I don’t even know if he’s a he or she).  Second, even if we’re meeting in a crowded place in the morning, I don’t feel secure at all.  So when I decided to call it off, this person started sending me foul SMS… calling me names etc.  I replied with respect at first, stating the reason why I feel uneasy meeting up because of the lack of information this person is giving when he already have information of my bank details where he should deposit the payment (as I do not trust myself in distinguishing fraudulent currency to real ones and it’s not just a few hundreds…).  He replied to my reason with 3 really bad SMS, I was so furious I wanted to cry.  I didn’t reply anymore, screen captured the messages to show a friend and then deleted it.  I prayed… really prayed because I was mad and then I was scared.  If this person is a part of some big underground or criminal group I might be in trouble cos they have my full name, mobile # and bank acct #.  Goodness, what media do to your imagination! It was disturbing.  I prayed, and out of fear all I uttered were verses I could remember about the Lord being my fortress, my hiding place, my shield.  I don’t even know if they’re really verses or I read them some place else.  Then I fell asleep.

Wednesday morning, my phone greeted me with this daily verse –

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. ~ Proverbs 18:10

Always grateful, always in awe. ♥

I See

In praising I see
Beauty beyond compare
In thanking I see
Joy enough to share
In praying I see
Calm so resolute
In loving I see
Power that’s absolute

© djklmnopi 12.09.14 13:04

Wait on the Lord, Wait for the Lord

This morning, I received this verse from Psalm 27:14.

Now, I receive this short text about waiting on the Lord, to run in His pace and to trust in His timing.

The peace and joy that your heart and soul experience whenever you keep pace with God is so wonderful.  I am currently going through and learning about this waiting – and it’s not something that you learn once and then graduate from it.  Waiting on the Lord is a lifetime commitment, a moment-to-moment event and opportunity to glorify Him.  I will never get tired of hearing God telling me to be patient and to wait for Him because I know only He can give me the best.

Read: When I Lose My Patience With God – Christy Mobley

Do Not Be Anxious…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (‭Philippians‬ ‭4‬:‭6-9‬ NIV)

You don’t get to make up most of your story. You get to make peace with it.
You don’t get to demand your life, like a given. You get to accept your life, like a gift.
~ Ann Voskamp

If I Can … Maybe I Will

If I can make you smile
I’d like to say it’ll make my day
But your smile only lend my tears delay

If I can make you laugh
I’d like to say they’re music to my ears
But your laughter won’t stop my tears

If I can make this world any better
If I can make people peaceful to each other
If only I can make you see better
If only I can, maybe I can, maybe I will

08.19.14 13:58
© debi620 © djklmnopi

Peaceful Wait…

Peacefully waiting is the verb, but what do you call the waiting that is peaceful?

It’s something I’ve been enjoying for a few months now.  I am surprised, at first, to find that I am no longer fretting or complaining about what is taking so long.  The surprise turns into gratitude and of praises for our Lord for He has given me this sense of peace.  It has been a long road of getting here, and I wouldn’t have gotten here if I did not acknowledge the fact that I NEED IT, ASKED FOR IT and SOUGHT AFTER IT. (Matthew 7:7-8)

The mind never ceases to ask questions, to provoke, to deceive, to reason out.  The heart never ceases to yearn, to desire, to want, to feel.  There were moments I wanted to just shut them up.  Now, I welcome them with whatever they want to do, with the confidence that He has already provided the answer and these things I go through are just small bumps and are needed for me to draw closer to Him and to better understand and appreciate what He is going to do for me.  The desire and the questions are still there, but a sense of calm patience has overtaken.  If I have to put into words the feeling, it’s like being told, “Wait, my princess, the wait will be so worth it.  For now, enjoy the gifts I am giving you.” And yes, there are so many blessings that might have been overshadowed if I have gotten what I have desired.

Truly, the Lord’s ways and plans are beyond anyone.  (Isaiah 55:8-9).  And His plans for me are full of hope and is beautiful.  (Jeremiah 29:11).  Nothing to fret but in all things to have the heart and wait for Him, to provide, to bless, to come. (Psalm 27:14).  And these, I really love… Look at the birds of the sky, the lilies of the field, look around at how He has taken care of them (Matthew 6:25-34).