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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Say Something

I… I don’t feel anything anymore. When I hear your name, when I read your letters, when I am this close to seeing you once again. The butterflies in my stomach, they are at peace even at the thought of your presence; those butterflies don’t make me dizzy anymore. I can catch my breath now. I can look at you straight in the eyes without feeling awkward and fearing that my own eyes will betray me and tell you things like: I always wanted to be with you. I always wanted to choose you. I always wanted you to choose me, too.

The truth is, I never wanted those feelings – my feelings – for you to end. I never wanted to lose the spark, to cut the connection, to let go of all the memories. I never wanted us to fade. But you know, I also prayed for this day. I begged God to end whatever my feelings are for you because I know, we are like those Stars: we are crossed. We will never be. To be fair to myself, I just wanted to admit and tell you that: I liked you. A lot. And somewhere along the lines of pride and denial, I held these words in my tongue. I wrapped them in a secure place of I Will Never Let You Know.

I am afraid to grasp the idea of you feeling the same way as I am because it’s easier to think that you don’t. That this was never mutual. But somewhere in my heart, in my mind, in the times we spent — all that I am and all of who you are, I think, they (kind of) go together. Like twin souls. Like authentic laughter. Like two people who just want to hug each other but just can’t. Like there are too many signs and we choose to ignore them.

You are so beautiful. And I find out that the word beautiful can also be used to describe a boy, it supersedes the word handsome in every wonderful way. I always see you as beautiful. No, you were never perfect but you are beautiful. I don’t know what qualities you do have that will suffice my list of standards. You did not fit my standards in any way. That’s when I discovered, I don’t just like you, I think I had fallen in love with you. And Love, I heard, doesn’t need a reason why.

One sided love, ah, a familiar face! I felt this when I was younger: a love that isn’t reciprocated but still loving, anyways. It wasn’t all gloomy and shattered and lonely. In fact, it was electric and joyful and tastes like Summer in mid-Winter. It made me friends with Metaphors because I needed to hide your identity. And soon enough, I was able to craft my own Poetry which speaks of our moments together, I meant, my moment of looking at you closer and inhaling every blissful bits of gladness you unknowingly shared with my heart. Oh, it was marvelous! It still makes me smile whenever I remember.

Today, we hang in the air like moments. And we know that, moments too, need letting go.

You’re the one that I love. And I’m saying goodbye.