(T)his Love

Ever had that one person you’ve fought so hard for? That you did everything to keep that person? Your heart ablaze, your mind set. Justified in our heads that “I love (blank). (Blank) is worth it”.

Some years ago, someone did what it would take to win you back.
From enemy to child. From fallen to found. From rebel to royalty.

Some years ago, someone did what it would take to keep you and nothing can take you away from his love. Not your past. Not your fears. Neither death nor life, nor things present nor things to come,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation

He fought for you and I. He fought a good fight. He fought hard, fought on our behalf because we’ll never be in fighting form nor win left to ourselves. He fought death.

He gave his best on the cross, was buried and–proving He is the Son of God– rose three days later. He gave nothing less than what it would take to pay for, not his debts, but ours. To win YOU back, because YOU are worth it.

But now He’s close. And you are His again.

When we fought for that one person, we dropped everything, did whatever it would take. I pray that as we fight to keep God front and center of our lives, we set our eyes on doing whatever it takes to keep the Love of our lives. It would take a lot of trusting and faith, but worth it. May we fall in love everyday with he who is so in love with us.

Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.” -Matthew 22:37 (ESV)

Patintero

Tumakbo,
Nadapa,
Bumangon.
Hinahabol ng anino
Ang nakaraang hindi na sana maulit
Mga maling nililimot nang pilit

Nakinig,
Nalungkot,
Nalito.
Nagtaka kung naririnig Mo ba
talaga ‘ko
Bawat hinaing ng damdaming walang magawa
Sa pagkalugmok ng mga taong mahalaga
Iniisip kung hanggang saan kaya
Hanggang saan ko kaya?
Nang maalala kong walang-hanggan nga pala
Ang pangako Mo nang pinili mong magpapako

Pinili Mo ko at ang krus
Pinili Mong bawiin ako sa lungkot at dilim
Pinili Mong makita ang takip-silim
Pinili Mo kami
Pinili Mo sila
Pinili Mo… ako

Ako na isang batang hindi alam minsan ang ginagawa
Isang musmos na lahat ng makintab, maganda at mainit sa palad ko’y ikinatutuwa
Isang tulad kong nahulog mula sa dati nating pagiging magkapareha
Pero pinili Mo pa rin… ako

Tinanggap Mo ang pagiging tulay
Sa pagitan ko at ng aking Tatay
Pinili Mong mabuhay dito sa mundo
Kinutya ka man, pinaghinalaan, tinakwil ng mga kaibigan Mo
Hindi na ko magtataka
Na alam Mo ang puso ko pati ng iba
Dahil naging tao Ka at nagpakumbaba

Kapag gabi ay napakahirap
Lahat ng problema patuloy akong inuuga
Ayaw patulugin kahit pagod na
Lahat ng nangyari’y bumabalik
Lahat ng dati ay tumatabi sa akin
Tila bang eto na naman
Tila bang wala akong matatakbuhan
Tila bang wala akong ligtas
Walang pag-asa sa mali’t nakasanayan
Nang maalala ko…

Hindi ‘to totoo,
Niligtas Mo na ‘ko
Hindi ‘to totoo,
Mahal Mo ko
Hindi ‘to totoo,
Tiyak ang pagbabago
Tiyak ang bagong buhay na posible dahil Sa’yo
Tiyak,
Totoo,
Ipinangako.

Sa bawat Salita Mo ako’y hahawak
Sa bawat araw na tila huli ko na
Sa bawat oras na parang sapat na
Hihinga ako
Hihinga pa
Hihinga nang malalim
Babanggitin ang Iyong ngalan
Ang ngalan ng Ama
Ang tanging pangalan na nakapagpatama ng lahat
Ang tanging pag-ibig na kailangan ng puso kong nasaktan
Ang tanging tinig na saki’y nakakapagpatahan
Ikaw lang.

Tumakbo,
Nadapa,
Bumangon.
Ang sikat ng araw ang haplos Mo s’aking mukha
Na tila ginigising ako,
Binabatid na ang araw ay magiging maganda
Na tila hinele ako sa gabing akala ko’y huli na
Walang huli
Walang maaga
Lahat sa perpekto Mong oras
Walang sayang
Walang itatapon
Lahat nagiging maganda
Lahat ayon sa plano Mo
Na ang buhay ko ay hinding-hindi na magiging tulad nung una
Na ako’y magagamit para sa buhay ng iba

Napagod,
Nagduda,
Natauhan.
Sa pintig ng aking kalooban
Parang bulong na kaya ko pa
Ang boses Mong pamilyar na pamilyar
Hindi ko alam
Hindi ko alam kung bakit mahal Mo pa
Ang mapag-alinlangan Mong anak na laging nasa putikan
O di kaya’y nagtatago sa kuweba
Hindi ko maintindihan
Kahit saang lupalop ako kumaripas,
Nakasunod Ka
Kahit saang mababang lugar na akala ko’y walang nakakaalam
Nandun Ka
Hindi Ka daw napapagod
Marunong Ka lang daw magmahal
Dahil Ikaw ang Pagmamahal

Nabuhay,
Namatay,
Nasa kanan ng Ama.

Untitled

You’re in every sunset and sunrise
You ordain each day’s start and end
You’re in my every breath that which yours began
From nothing, you made this woman

You’re in the silence,
You take me when the quiet gets loud
You’re in between the cracks of my heart
You heal and restore what no one can

You fill me up at my emptiest,
You chase me at my most scared
You’re here when I thought you’ve gone
You’re in the darkness where I doubt your presence

You’re in the light I cover my eyes from
You’re in every thought of my loved ones of me
You’re in every kind gesture and disciplining
You’re in places I don’t see

Your spirit lives in me
You died that you may never leave
What have I done to deserve your holy presence?
What work did I do to deserve a life with you?

In my fallen nature you loved me, still
At my worst, you sent your son for me
There is nothing man can do to be forgiven
But you did, through Christ, you did

Your wrath had to be upon Him
That your love may fill earth again
That your children may be back to your arms
You run and clothe them, took the steps they should have taken

Remind me of the good things,
Bad places you delivered me from
Speak louder that I may hear
What you’re trying to make me reckon

I try and fail, O God
At times I ask why I even try
And yet it’s in you I have found reason
I can keep trying because with you I can

Enough

When we accept our shortcomings, or the fact that we cannot be perfect, it’s a path to setting expectations– for other people and most especially ourselves. However, in a world with so much competition, so many badges and titles out there to earn, we can’t help but get lost in the rat race. There’s a desire to be the best not just professionally but even at home or in relationships . At least from my end, I did want to be the best in everything. It’s where I hinged my value then as a person. I’d take criticism at work personally and spend hours too many slaving to finish everything. (But since it’s work, it never ends. That’s just how it is. They won’t need us employees when work actually ends.)

It was a dangerous place for me to be in, wanting to prove my worth in every aspect of life. We don’t even have to as we were already made with worth. All of Creation, everything, was created by words except for one. God dirtied His hands to form man and breathed life into us.

Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man* out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live. -Genesis 2:7

It’s a blessing to have people in our lives– people we love and love us as much — who understand that everyone’s a work in progress. It is only through acknowledging that any role we are gunning for (or already have) will never feel sufficient that we allow the Source of all things to empower us and continuously fill us. He’d remind us we need not be promoted to feel special. That we need not be in a romantic relationship for us to feel loved. That we can and should rest on the 7th day as He made this for us and it doesn’t lessen our value. He didn’t need to rest. But even that He blessed us with.

Labels on earth are temporal, as they are material and can get banal; You won’t always be the Employee of the Year. They’re historical, as belonging to the past; You’d be something to someone only in this life.

Not to say that accolades are bad. Just that we don’t have to kill ourselves over something just so we can say we’re the best. In the end, if getting there only made us miserable, have other parts of our life falter and sent our principles down the drain

what’s the trophy for?

Does the trophy symbolize the joy of the process? The surprise that your silent excellence was noticed? Or does it symbolize everything we had to compromise?

I wanted to be best everything. The problem is the world has limited resources to fill a void of self-worth. Only the Source of all things that which never runs out can fill that void. We may have felt that we’ve given everything but it didn’t seem to be enough. Relationships, career, solving problems of society or our friend’s. It’s futile. It’s like wanting to fill their cup with  wine from a bottle that has a hole on the side. Our worth is and always will be from the One who made us. It’s not a one time big time. It’s everyday that I need to return to Him who made me so I won’t forget, or on days after I forget.

The good thing about finding worth in Christ is He’s *The One* who could have a say on what I really am; Not other people. He made me, saved me, looks after me every waking hour and when I sleep, searches the deepest trenches where I hide, gives me grace in every step I commit to take with Him. He’s my Maker, Father and Keeper. I can be called many things. But above all, loved by God. And He loves *you*, too. Immensely. More than anyone can ever. You don’t have to be the best in everything. You’re enough.

A good friend’s mom told me once, the day her husband shared the gospel with me, that there’s a Jesus-shaped void in our hearts. I guess that’s why we find ourselves in an endless cycle of longing-acquiring-longing as we try to patch it with the wrong things. Guess who’s the One who is (more than) enough to fill that. 🙂

 

good things

My 2015 self giving some advice

*Genesis 2:7 The Hebrew words for “man” and “ground” have similar sounds.

 

Midweek Music: Meet Glo

I don’t have a curated playlist from Spotify. I don’t have one particular song to unpack and share with you how this made such an impact to my life. But I have this friend who has been making music since she was 16. (Or was it earlier?) Well, at least her first recorded original was at this age. She’s an inspiration because she never stopped. She’s an inspiration because she sees the sparks of talent people have and tell them they’re supernova. She does these no matter what season in life she’s in. And that says a lot.

She has encouraged a friend to go back to her love for playing the guitar, over the usual getting wasted along Katipunan. She has encouraged a very shy (and frustrated) lyricist to keep writing and even put melodies to her own song. She has encouraged a burnt out yuppy that her skills set are more valuable than what her boss makes her feel.

Here’s to your genuine self. Here’s to your being a light for others. Keep writing. Keep making music. I don’t need to tell you because you just will, I know. Here’s to you, Glo. And your heart of gold.

 

Midweek(ish) Music: Victorious

The feeling of being forgiven, accepted, loved; feeling secured in His love and no one else’s, feeling free from fear and our past, feeling good enough to deserve such big love that doesn’t ask. Even after living sinfully. Even after hurting Him. Only through Him that all this is possible. Sounds too good to be true?

Sometimes this Love seems too good to be true. Like “What’s the catch, God?” Or “I’m sure You’ll tire of me, God.” Or “Why do You even bother with me? I’m not all that.” But we are. You are. Why else would He come and die for us on the cross and forgive all our trespasses? Right. He could have not bothered and just walked away from us. But He didn’t.

The same God we forgot, will be the same God who will seek us to the deepest trenches and save us. He will envelope you with love so undeniable you will have no choice but to run back to Him. Your doubts that He can’t hear you anymore, He will disprove. The fear that you have hurt Him too much and have fallen out of love with Him, He will woo you like never before. With Him, we will come out victorious.

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Disclaimer: This play list is not meant to be an OST for every after sinning. But may this help you if ever you are still in the self-made cell that you’re not worth His time anymore. The guilt/sadness you feel is part of godly sorrow (or real repentance) in which change and being saved follow. You’re on the right path.

His Desires are Greater than Mine

At some point, I thought I got what I wanted. But somehow it didn’t feel right. I can exhaust myself to go after my heart’s desire and it’s possible for me to actually get it. I realized though that if it’s not part of His plans for me, the #AchievementUnlocked won’t sit well in my heart. I learn to trust Him more and more everyday that there are greater things that He will slowly unfold before my eyes, amazing things beyond my imagination that He is preparing me for every day. The growing pains is a must. The anxiety with every test of my old ways is required. How else can I outgrow something if I don’t intently get out of it and say “Nah.”

Being in Christ isn’t easy. But it is the best place I can ever be. Most welcoming arms. The warmest hugs. Most at peace. Most consoling. The company in which I have found myself most joyful no matter how heavy my heart is. Most reassuring that everything will turn out for the better.  That He’s got this. That He’s got me.

When things get overwhelming, my go-to verse is Matthew 11:30. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When things seem hard it could be 1) I’m subscribing to unrealistic standards. Most often mine. 2) I’m believing lies the enemy tries to put in my head or 3) I’m doubting that God can come through.

But He can and always will.

He’s been revealing Himself through the people I love who now have Him in their lives, people I care about who tear up when they talk about God, loved ones who in their own ways hold on to God like never before. He’s been proving over and over again that I can go through anything, spirit unscathed, through Him.

Dear self,

If you find yourself in yet another difficult situation, know that hours/days/weeks ago from this post He held you through a very tough time. That when the old convenient ways of feeling okay were tempting, you held back and He held you closer.