Take it in. Let it out.

So, this is what it feels like. Do you feel it — your heart that’s full of questions, frustrations, anger?

You keep on believing that everything’s fine; trying to navigate the stillness on the surface while everything’s boiling under. Wake up! You are far from fine! It’s time for you to feel it. Accept it. Embrace it. Listen to your body just for once.

I’m not here to judge you. Please don’t fear to be judged by people. Stop acting like you got everything under control because, clearly, you don’t. And you have to understand, it’s okay.

I know you don’t want to hear these things. All you wanna hear is how everything happens for a reason and that there’s always a rainbow after the rain. Yes, this shit happens for a reason. And yes, rainbows do appear after the rain. But, don’t fast forward things. You are in the middle of this shit. You are drenched in the rain. So, why don’t you find yourself where you are?

You are here. In the core. This is pain. This is madness. This is where you find yourself on the floor — weak, tired, confused.

Breathe.

Today, you breathe. Today, you recognize.

You always have to recognize where you are. In that way, you can clean yourself off from the bruise you’ve got from the fall. In that way, you can process what’s really going on in your head before you say things you might regret saying when you’re mad. In that way, you can comfort yourself no matter how cold you pressed your hands to your heart. Trust me, the beating of it will produce the heat and will make you warm.

Breathe. In that way, you can let go. You recognize, and then, you move on.

Oh shut up. Every time it rains, it stops raining. Every time you hurt, you heal. After darkness, there is always light and you get reminded of this every morning but still you choose to believe that the night will last forever. Nothing lasts forever. Not the good or the bad. So you might as well smile while you’re here.

The Return to Green, I Wrote This For You

Just Keep Swimming Through

Never had I been in any relationship in my twenty-one years here on Earth and I don’t know when would I be in one. I’m a firm believer that the best is yet to come and my only chance at it is when I learned to wait patiently. However, every time a very dear friend of mine experience heart break, I always always wanted to comfort them the best that I can especially if in that moment, I won’t be by their side to hug them tight (to give them cookies and siomai) and narrate to them the eternal lists of how beautiful they are as a person.

To the girl who always had the greatest potential:

You texted me last night to tell me that you are in the core of a break-up; your long year relationship has finally ended. I want to let you know that I am sorry. I want to tell you that everything will be fine and everything will come into passing – that the time will come when you can finally run again and eventually you will fly, you can fly. You were always meant to fly.

I know, people will probably laugh at me – and I too, sometimes, find myself funny – when I give love advice when I, for one, never experienced and felt the same way that you did. But I hope you’ll hear me out, even so.

I know a lot of things don’t make sense right now – your heart is beaten and bruised from the whole course of your fight for love. It has been a tough ride. You have conquered the waves, you took courage to sail against the current. You had been very brave. You believe in this love sincerely that you had willingly given yourself  in the deep blue of the ocean where most of us won’t even dare to swim through. You were gasping for breath each time, you didn’t care if your legs are tired from swimming; the jellyfish may sting you but you just know in your heart that going to the bottom of it will prove to yourself that what you felt and where you are in is because of love.

I don’t blame you because of your choices. And I don’t think that this will be a wasted time, let alone, a wasted story. I’ve seen in it in you. You have this vast ability to care and to love. You are a story – and a very beautiful one at that. You are waiting to unfold. So, you need all these – the pain, the doubt, the tears, the weak knees, the lost appetite, the fear, the consequences, the feeling of emptiness. You need to feel that you are broken. You need to feel this hollow at this very moment. This might be the hardest days in the world for you, but you have to go through this like the way you did being at the bottom of the ocean: just keep swimming through.

While you are struggling to go back from the way it was, I hope that you will stop. Stop thinking that you can return, that you can do it all over again if the relationship will be given another chance, that maybe you are just running away from a bad dream. Let me tell it to you frankly, my love:

It’s over. Nobody’s coming back. Nobody’s expecting you to return. This is the end of the road for that relationship. It is finished. You are now free.

You have to keep living. You have to make your way up, the sun has always shine its rays in the surface of the water. Follow that light. Paddle at your own pace and do yourself a favor of not looking back. You have to rise from the depths of the blue; it might be a long long way to finally breathe the air from the dock of the bay, but you’ll be there soon should you choose it to be.

If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this person, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with that doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using that person to block that door. Let it go.

– Eat. Pray. Love.

Remember, the only mistakes we can have in life are the ones that we didn’t choose to make right.

Love will come again. As long as we live, we will love. Someone will come and accept everything that we are, everything we have become and everything we will be. Just believe and pray that when the time comes, you are fully restored and healed. I know you will be, and I’m excited to see all of it. Did you know that in order for the caterpillar to become a butterfly, it needs to let go of its head? Gross idea, but, sometimes what we most treasure is the very same thing that we have to fully surrender in order for us to achieve our full metamorphosis. The caterpillar will never become a beautiful butterfly when it will just keep its head forever. It goes the same way with us humans, we cannot take hold of what’s best until we learn to let go of what’s good. Always easier said than done, but believe that God will help you surrender.

You are beautiful. True love will always see you as beautiful. And I hope you can give it to yourself – that love – and believe that in the midst of all these, you are still beautiful, you will be beautiful. Learn to find yourself again. Learn to forgive yourself. The beauty of being broken is the very miracle that someday, in God’s most perfect timing, you will be whole again.

God loves you, my dear. You are a gift from God to all of us and we love you. I can’t wait for the time when I can see your full bloom out of this brokenness.

When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy. 

– Eat. Pray. Love.

You Can’t Box It In

When events in our lives are unfolding the way it should, it’s so easy to praise God — feeling all His favors pouring on us like pixie dusts. But when events unravel the other way around a.k.a. the unexpected this-is-not-how-it-suppose-to-happen-ever way, do we still see God’s favor like rain — showering on us in the desert of chaos? Are we ever still grateful?

Last night in our DGroup, our discipleship leader asked us: what comes to your mind when you hear the word “favor?

I would want to formulate some smart answer as what I always intend to do to look smart in front of people (haha, and rarely succeeding at it ((read: never))) but she already called my attention to respond to the question (talk about, God doesn’t always want you to think that you should always be smart in answering questions — “It’s not a beauty pageant anyways; we’re just here spending Quality Time and it’s appreciated for you to answer truthfully.” — I can hear Him speak to my pride in my mind HAHA). So, what I told them was the first thing that I always feel with the word, and well yes, favor for me is like grace – something that is given to me which I really don’t deserve most of the time. Other words that came up in the discussion include favor being a blessing and a gift.

Then my DGroup leader gave some definitions of favor in reference to her notes, I was able to write some favorite points:

Favor is God’s goodness given to a person’s life, to which it’s only God who can get the credit.

Favor is a relationship with God of great confidence where no matter what, you know that with God, you will always end up on top.

Favor is the acceptance, approval and assistance of God awarded to us in the finish work of Jesus.

In different stories from the Bible, we’ll see how our Lord favors His people — there’s Abraham who became the father of all nations; Sarah who bore a child at a tender age and despite the fact that she’s barren (imagine that!); Jonah who was eventually thrown out from the insides of a whale; Daniel who was spared in the lion’s den; Joseph who was once a slave and became a king; David who battled Goliath (we all know this story); Gideon who was the timid and shy and yet considered a warrior in God’s sight; Paul who once a persecutor of Christians then became a servant of Jesus, reaching out to so many people and building so many ministries; etcetera etcetera. Then there was our dear friend, Mary, the virgin who gave birth to Jesus. Then there was Jesus who chose to suffer death on the cross for all of us. Amazing these favors from God are!

Every so often, though, our visions of these favors are limited when it comes to facing unbearable circumstances in our lives. When trials come gate crashing our mini-parties of happiness and just drenching every positive molecule of our being, sometimes we think the favors of God are nowhere. Have we ever learned to thank God when everything’s going great and when everything’s going not so?

You see, trials are also God’s way in wrapping up our favors for us. The problem is, we never really wanted to take those final exams even when we were in school – afraid of stress and failure. We always wanted a carefree life where we can chill to the max with good friends and good music as company. But we need those trials – our character is being molded and the power of God in our lives is revealed through it. More so, when we surpass it, it’s incredible how God polished us all throughout. We just need to persevere, after when the finals are done, here comes the summer break, or even, the graduation – where we can get enough time to bum before proceeding to our next stage in life a.k.a when trials will come pouring in again in metric tons.

As we continued to discuss favor, we were asked to examine our lives and share the most wonderful favor God has given us. The seven of us in the group, who were present that night, impart each one’s “favor story”. It sounded different from time to time but all of it were like bead strings attached to each one – like our story could be presented like a bead work; our stories interconnect. And I believe it’s the same in everyone of us when we all tell our “favor story”, it’ll always boil down to one: unimaginable. I can’t imagine going through life without God in it. I mean, you cannot express in words how God just do things in your life and place you wherever you are right now because His favor has always been on you. Oh, salvation is sweet!

“I’ll be good to you because I wanted to be good to you.” -God

It’s His attribute: He is Love and He is Good. He is our Father who always wanted to shower favors upon favors on us. Have you ever thought of that? Or do you always think that wherever you are right now, it is because of all you’ve done to make the most out of life; and the universe, somehow, is indebted to you that’s why it’s giving you what you are due?

When I heard the favor stories of the other girls in the group and what I’ve witnessed personally in my own life, I cannot help but be humbled by just about everything. And I can’t think of any other way but to be grateful for all of it. You can’t box favor. You can’t box what the Lord wants to give you – it will always fill your cup, it will always have an overflow in your heart. You can’t box God in all His great might! Once we do realize how God sees us and just gives generously in this life for us, we can never be the same. I can only live to give Him the praise everyday of my life. It’s just wonderful. It’s undeserved. It’s overwhelming. It’s all God’s favor!

Blessed be the name of the Lord, from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 113:2)