Emptying Our Hands

Conquer is my word for 2017. I got it from a song that pierced through my heart one Sunday at church:

In all things, we know that we are more than Conquerors.

I have always associated a certain year with a word that would be its banner all throughout its course. It’s like a theme for something that I would like to achieve or something that I would like to be. There are a number of things I wanted to face and win over this year: fear, doubt, laziness (haha yep), new adventures, excellence, stewardship, love, and letting go.

Lately, I’ve been really bugged by the idea of letting go. The Lord has been speaking to me about it because of ze emotional being that I always am.

Our February series at church is about Radical Love and we are discussing the Book of Jonah. If you don’t know the story, let me give a quick gist:

There was this prophet named Jonah and the Lord has commanded him to go to Nineveh so that the people there will know the love that the Lord has for them. Now, Jonah didn’t want to go because the people in Nineveh are unrighteous people and he felt that they didn’t deserve grace. Think of the Lord wanting Jonah to go to Fairview but instead he pushed his way to Parañaque – complete opposite. He didn’t want to obey.

But the Lord has His ways, He has caused Jonah to be thrown out to the ocean just so he can be swallowed by the-appointed-great-fish so he could be brought to where he needs to go in the first place. Jonah stayed three days in the stomach of the fish and when he was vomited out, voila, he was already in Nineveh.

We are so like Jonah: stubborn, disobedient, impatient, self-centered. When we hear the Lord speaks and His Word is clear but we don’t want what He’s saying, we have a tendency to shut Him off, drift away, and make our own path. We are creatures seeking for what we feel is easy to do. We have become enslaved by what we feel so much that logic has gone out to the island of Somewhere Else.

And like Jonah, we have plans. These plans are not necessarily bad, but sometimes, it doesn’t align to what the Lord has initially planned out for us. Our plans may be good but that of the Lord’s is best and perfect; yet, we fail to see it. But then, the Lord would never ever give up on us that even if we go the wrong way, He will not make us succeed being in the wrong path. He will cause discipline, if it needs be; tough love, if it needs be.

The hope in the Book of Jonah was the fact that Jonah came to his senses. He admitted what he was running away from and the truth that no matter where he goes, no matter where he hides, he will get found. Jonah recognized his shortcomings. Jonah acknowledged that his self-will is his own idol. Jonah resolved to finally obey in the end.

Letting go is conceding. Letting go is opening and emptying our hands from all the good things that we possess and placing them to the Hands of the Almighty – trusting that our faith in Him to make all things beautiful is never void. It ain’t gonna be easy, though Letting go hurts.

We encounter different seasons of letting go in our lives: maybe it’s about our favorite toy when we were kids; or maybe it’s about our bestest friends in our adolescent years; maybe it’s about that one argument that we so wanted to win from; maybe it’s about that dream job that we wanted ourselves to land on; maybe it’s about a broken passion, or maybe a broken heart. Letting go is losing hold, releasing grip, allowing space to be present in between us and the ones that we value. It has never been easy.

If I were to be honest, there’s this one area of my life where I am struggling to let go of again because feelings and logic doesn’t seem to go hand in hand. This already happened long before, I’m bargaining with the Lord if, you know, He could somehow allow this particular thing that I wanted. And boy, was I repeating history. The Heart has always been the greatest deceiver of all time. It’s amazing how we compromise so we can satisfy the desires of our unguarded hearts.

The best is yet to come.

We know this assurance like the back of our hands. Good is only good. Good will never be the best. We have to fully believe that the only way to get the best in this lifetime is if we are willing to wait and let go of all the good. It sux, yes. But if we placed our faith to the Big Guy, we will see that everything happened because we needed this journey to build our character. It will take all the struggle in letting go’s in order to learn how to warmly welcome this fragile thing called graceful surrender.

It’s gonna be scary but it is also gonna be worth it.

***

On other Letting Go episodes of my life, it has taken me forever but I am now decided that I will be leaving the blog. This has been my home for almost six years and it’s now time to go. I will be writing more about this on my last entry that I’ll be posting soon. After all, I hate leaving without saying goodbye.

Until then,

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Dear Rez Toledo

Hi, I’m Kriselle. You don’t know me, but, I had been a fan of your craft since the early 2011s.

***

Being the radio junkie that I am, when there’s a new song that comes up and it’s good, I always take a mental note of it. Most of the time, the music that I took note of either got my soul on its lyrics, its rhythm or both. And I happen to bumped with your Hey Daydreamer song that came out on the radio in that first quarter of 2011 and it grew on me.

At that time, I really thought it was something from Owl City. However, I had to rethink it again since my guesses and the voice on the song don’t match. And so, I had to scratch out Adam Young from the equation. But I’m positive that it’s something foreign until you appeared and played live at Magic’s Top 5 at 5 (now PopStop). Upon seeing you, the looks of sincerity in the way you deliver your song (plus your charm), I instantly loved HD more.

Well, HD is not the type of a song with a very metaphorical lyrics (the types of songs that I like) but it just makes you feel light. It’s something fresh. It’s electro pop and OPM (!!!). And the fact that it was only arranged and written by one person was amazing; that was pure talent I saw there and that made me decide to track down what could be in store for this new band: Somedaydream.

***

I always liked the name of your one-man band. When you were getting all the attention from the music scene, I felt that the words Somedaydream was an encouragement for yourself and everyone that they could also, one day, achieve what they had worked and dreamed of. And you, you were living your passion – music. I hope you know that you had inspired many. You always kept your feet on the ground, appreciating and messaging your fans whenever you can – that made them (us) appreciate you more. I guess, you always knew the value of giving and sharing your time to people.

I had never been this much of a fan to other OPM artists out there before. Although I am a fan of some, I never really followed them like the way I had followed you. I’m not sure what made me do so but I think I do a lot of spontaneous and cray things whenever my Inspirational Tank is filled – at some point, you made it overflow. I got this thing for people who inspire others to be their best and I’ve seen that in you; you “inspired” me to be my best. And that’s why, I think, I considered myself a Dreamer (the way you address your supporters) and there’s a lot of work to be done to achieve thy dreams.

***

You are now in a new state of your life where you are making decisions based on your courage and your principles. The day you wrote back to your supporters, updating them on what’s gonna happen next, we were all thrilled since you had been in too long of a break. You were in a lighter mood in that letter, disclosing all your previous and future plans and your decision to release your last Somedaydream album. Believe me, I am giddy to see it but I also wished that you would prolong its release; because once you do release it, we might not see Somedaydream anymore. Sometimes, I just don’t like the idea of losing something of great value. At least for me, and to your other supporters. I think, the music industry needs something of a fresh vision, of a young mind, of a new face – people like you.

Yesterday, your follow-up announcements included your new song and your statement:

Finally, this will be my last contribution to “OPM”. After this, it’s official: I am not “OPM”.

I don’t know how to react when I read this. It makes me sad. Your new song (After Tonight) makes me sad too, especially the lines,

It’s alright, you won’t see me after tonight
Let’s bury our memories of you and I singing under the stars
It won’t mean thing a to me, to you
To you, it won’t mean a thing to you

I don’t know if I got the lyrics right but I’m just so sad to see you go. :( Minsan, medyo OA ako, pero na-sad kase ako talaga.

Even when you wrote that song in 2010, I felt every line of it today. Being a symbolic person that I (too) am, even I think this is quite a love song, I felt that this is you saying goodbye. I just want you to know that I don’t understand your whole reason yet. Or, I just don’t want to understand it at all. #whyRezwhy

All good things come to an end. I’m hanging to your words: we can start a new movement. Your leaving, I guess, is a birth for a new beginning. We know (hope) that you’ll be back, although not as Somedaydream, but someone who is in the process of helping and reaching out for somebody else to reach their dreams — for themselves, for the people they care for, for their passion and for our local music industry.

Somedaydream will always always mean a thing to me, to us. It will mean a thing to us. :)

Godspeed, man!

Somewhere Between

Somewhere between spring and fall
Somewhere between classics and jazz
Somewhere between nightfall and daybreak
Somewhere between the roller coasters and the merry-go-rounds
Somewhere between good memories and the bad
Somewhere between then and now…

I’ve seen you somewhere and I thought we’ll see each other again

Hope was the vehicle of the longing that I felt
Rain was the umbrella for something bright as the sun
The wind blew from Southeast to Westside
All afternoon, I waited somewhere between four and five

I ran faster to keep up with my train of thoughts
I searched the ocean for the right words I should have in mind
I watched the city as it was drenched by fog and rainclouds
I peeked through the window of a room lit with a tiny candle of holding on to somewhere between a couple more seconds and walking away

But I lost all of them

I lost them like how,
Somewhere between exchanging smiles and postcard stamps,
I lost you in between all the avenues of Somewhere.