Yesterday’s gospel talked about the one favorite topic of almost everyone I know—LOVE. God calls us to love. And because we were made out of love, it is safe to imply that we can also easily love. For love is something innate in us. But I know that this isn’t really the case all the time.
As for me, it is easy to love when I’m happy. When everything around me seems to have that certain glow that only a genuinely happy person can see. But of course, I’m not happy all the time. Nor does everything sparkle at all times. Even people give us reasons to not love them. And it is during these moments that loving becomes a burden. I admit it, it’s difficult to love the unlovable. And sometimes, it’s even frustrating to just try. So I often find myself choosing the circumstances and people to love. I tend to be selfish with the one thing that I am supposed to freely give.
The gospel and the priest’s homily reminded me of thing that both made me feel ashamed and floored at the same time. I am unlovable. I am contaminated with flaws, both inside and out. The world has all the reason to not love me. But my God thinks otherwise. Agape. To love in spite of. The Lord loved and continues to love me despite all my negativities. He continues to pursue me every minute of the day. Reminding me time and time again that I am loved, that I am special. So who am I to not love others?
I always pray that I become like Jesus, that every single day I get closer to being like Christ. But now I know that I will never truly be able to be like Him unless I learn to love like He does. To love in spite of. I know that it wouldn’t be easy but it’s also not completely impossible. We are all made of love, after all.
Lord, I pray that You grant me the grace to learn to love like You do. That I may learn to love others without judgements and without biases. And that by doing so, Your name will be glorified above all, the God of the most beautiful love the world will ever see.
Just a couple of weeks ago, I was again given the chance to attend the YFL Conference in Lucban. I’ve waited for this event for a year (no kidding) and actually thought that I wouldn’t be able to go. But once again He reminded me that He wouldn’t give me a dream that I couldn’t achieve. The conference was everything I needed and more. I really felt God talking to me, reassuring me that everything is going to be alright. He told me to have faith. To trust Him because His promises are true. It was the perfect message. I needed it, especially because I am about to begin a new chapter in my life. And now that I know He’s never going to leave me, I feel so much better about facing whatever’s up ahead. My God is great and He will never leave me.
Aside from the conference, I also got to experience so many other new things, met beautiful people, and learned a lot in the process.
Ever since I made a choice and said yes to God’s invitation, my life has never been the same. As promised, He showed and allowed me to experience things far more greater than what I planned for myself. And the things that happened this April are proofs of just how amazing He works in our lives. What’s even more amazing is that I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg, that greater things are still yet to come.
I can only pray that He keeps this fire burning deep within me so that I will be able to share it to everyone I come across with.
Light my heart even more, Lord, that I may lose myself in the process of loving and sharing You.
The moment that I’ve waited for over sixteen years has finally come. As I’ve written for countless times in here, the journey wasn’t as smooth sailing as I wanted it to be. I’ve hit too many bumps, wished I were taking a different route, hated myself for many and no reasons at all, thought of just giving up right there and then. So many challenges came my way that made me doubt myself, my parents, my friends, even God. And I’m not proud of those. But I would like to believe that this victory wouldn’t be as sweet as this if it weren’t for those low moments. I wouldn’t be who I am right now if it weren’t for the dark times that almost made me lose sight of the light.
I could go on forever talking about the many struggles I faced just so I can finally get my degree but I don’t want to go there. Instead, I want to celebrate the many beautiful people that made all this and more possible. First of all, my parents and my family. This victory isn’t only mine. This is also theirs. I’ve always had this thought that I’m not really as proud of myself as I am proud of my parents because this is their work. I wouldn’t be here in the first place if not for them. I’ve seen them give everything they can give just to provide me with all I need. Their selflessness and unconditional love motivated me to just keep on going, to continue to battle my storms. They are my superheroes. They are the best gifts I’ve ever received. I couldn’t imagine living life without them.
Second, my friends. These people make everyday less agonizing and more tolerable. They’re one of the few reasons why I still look forward to going to campus everyday. You know how some people just light up your world just with the sight of them? Yeah, that’s what my friends do to me. No chos. They make me laugh, they make me want to be more, they motivate me through their own little ways. And it’s always good to have people around you who willingly listen to your every whines and complains and rants and who never fall short of encouragements and sympathy. When God was giving away friends, He must’ve figured out how much I needed the best ones because that’s exactly what I got.
Third, the countless people who, in one way or another, made an impact in my life even with the short and passing encounters I had with them. My teachers, my classmates, that stranger who helped me find my way around campus. I wish I could go up to each and everyone of them just to tell them thank you. What they’ve done may be really small but when you put all those little things together, they easily make up one huge beautiful thing. I don’t want to call them “chance encounters” because I know deep inside my heart that God strategically put them in my life for a beautiful, beautiful purpose.
Lastly, the Almighty Father, the one true God, Creator of everything. I don’t even know where to start. He’s my everything. And if it weren’t for Him, I wouldn’t have met those people I mentioned and I wouldn’t have had this life in the first place. His love has allowed me to climb even the steepest mountains. His promises never fail to motivate me, to keep me going. And every time all my personal devices fail, He willingly takes over and leads me out of my darkest tunnels. I’ve never felt alone. I didn’t face storms on my own. Because He’s always been there. With me. Guiding me. Loving me. Even when at times, I’ve let go or failed to acknowledge His presence in my life. I didn’t have to search far and wide for that great, great love because He’s already loved me even before I learned to love myself. This victory, this sweet, sweet fruit of my success is for Him above all. He is the great artist behind this beautiful masterpiece that is my life.
And now, as one roller coaster-esque journey ends, another equally (if not more) challenging one begins. We are all but travelers in this life and this particular one is my sweet pit stop. I’m slowly filling my tank again to prepare me for a new, much longer ride.
I would like to believe that I am a step closer to my dream of doing something to, with, and for the world. I am a step closer to my promised land. And when things get extra tough in this new journey, I will just dwell in the knowledge that I’ve made it this far for a reason and that I’m not on my own. I have an awesome support system and an even more awesome God.
Congratulations, batch 2013. To God be all the glory.
Because it’s the month of February and in a couple of days or so swarms of love-struck posts will be circulating around the web (or have they already?), I feel like I should probably put some lovin here in my blog as well. I want to share about the things that make my heart skip a beat, give my stomach the right kind of butterflies, and have my insides melting out of happiness with just the thought of them. I’m a sucker for romance and everything romantic (we all should) and this is my tribute to the things that make me love and love and love and love even when the weather is bad, my hair is a mess, and my brain is cluttered with things that I should be doing.
What do you love?
This perhaps seem like a harmless question. In fact, it is. If anything, this question looks friendly, welcoming; like something a good friend or a mentor we adore would ask us in a middle of a lull in a conversation. And if you’re like me, you’d probably smile at this question, with the corners of your eyes wrinkling in that way that only the thought of something you love can do. And if you’re not like me, you’ll probably begin, after a less-than-a-minute pause, to launch in this long narration of that person, that hobby, that new movie, those shoes oh those shoes, or that weekend spent snuggled inside your house with all the permission to waste time away while the rest of the world tries to sneak in whatever fun they can sneak in before the two-day break is over. Or maybe you’ll just answer that question, with all the certainty in the world, with one quick short sentence. No elaborations necessary.
I wish the same can be said about me. I wish I can just directly go on and tell you what I truly, really love. But just like everything else for me right now, I am stuck with choices. Do I love this more? Or maybe that, yes? Perhaps I am secretly, madly in love with this? Choices. So many of them. Like racks after racks of books. You wish you can choose all of them but of course, you promised yourself to stick on the budget before stepping inside the store. But given three hours and some frantic scouring, you will be able to pick a book or several books to purchase with a promise to come back for the rest.
So what do I love? A lot. Like a lot. I love reading, books, my family, God, lazy mornings, movies, going to places, v-neck shirts, writing, my friends, a good time.
Simply put, I love the little things that make me happy. I love happiness. You can take everything away from me in exchange for untainted, unending happiness and I will be fine. And I’m not even exaggerating. Because, really, there’s nothing like living a life with a sincere smile plastered on your face with the confidence that nothing in the world can ever turn it upside down.
For right now, though, I am still to find that sort of happiness. Maybe my covert materialistic self will hate this, but maybe that sort of happiness can only stem from contentment. The absence of the need to have everything. The ability to appreciate the small, simple things. There have been times when I thought I had it. Contentment. Only to see it evaporate quicker than the blink of an eye. My blind optimism could only take so much. Then I fall back to yearning for the things that I may not have. Like ever.
But anyway, I continue to love. I have a lot of setbacks. A lot of disappointments. But I will continue to hold on to these little things and to the others that I’m bound to discover along the way. Life has a lot to offer. There are so many things that we can love. Only we rarely give them our attention because they don’t really come with tags that say “love me” or that they’re constantly being outshone by our wrong perceptions about grandiose things.
This post may seem ironic. That I long for that happiness that can only stem from contentment yet I have a long list of the “little things” that I love. How can I love so many and hope for contentment? Honestly, I don’t know. I am yet to understand how that can be. Or realize if any of this actually make any sense.
And while I’m at it, why don’t you share about what you love? Let’s make a movement. Rid the internet with rants about the things we hate for a while and replace them with declarations of the things we love. Let’s make this place a happy place. Even when it means succumbing to the pressures of this so-called love month.
Can someone please suggest movies similar to Gentlemen Broncos?
During the last week of last year, I was finally able to go to Bacolod. I haven’t been there before but I’ve always wanted to though I never had the chance until very late last year. All the wait was worth it, though. God has once again proven to me that really, His love can take you places. Bacolod is such a beautiful place with the right kind of people and the best food. I feel so blessed to have given the chance to visit there for one equally beautiful reason—Jesus Christ.
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2013. :)
I know that it’s quite too late to do something like this but because I refused to acknowledge that it really is already 2013 up until now, I will still do it. 2012 has been a very very beautiful year for me. Sure, it didn’t seem like it while I was still living in between its days but as I look back now, I realize that I’ve had quite a year.
There were a lot of good things that happened to me this year but of course, there were also not-so good ones. I was in this dreadful state of confusion for a while and everything seemed not right and I felt lost more than ever. I doubted a lot of things, judged a lot of people, wasted way too much opportunities, and hated life in general. But those are only tiny spots to what had been my best year so far.
In 2012, I was able to take part in such big events that affirmed and strengthened my relationship with God. Those are the moments that made me know God even more and in return, allowed me to know who I am. It had also been a year of travels for me. Not outside the country, of course. But far enough to let me realize all the goodness the world has to offer. I’ve also made new friendships with old acquaintances that I never thought I’d get to know in a deeper level. I was able to see past fangirl crushes (Kyle Patrick and the Jonas Brothers), watched so many amazing movies (a lot came from the 80’s), and read good books that kept me up at night. And of course, 2012 allowed me to understand the world better. It provided me 365 days to learn more things and to be more aware of the bigger issues around me. And most of all, 2012 had been another beautiful year spent with the people I love who I don’t mind spending another year and eternity with.
And so with a very grateful and happy heart, I bid goodbye to a beautiful year and say hello to a new one. This is going to be a great year for all of us, I know it.
God bless :)
If the world is really, truly ending on December 21, I will be comforted with the knowledge that before everything went away, I had the pleasure of meeting and falling in love with one of the most beautiful characters in literature — AUGUSTUS WATERS. :”>
For the last two years, December has become quite the month for typhoons. At least for our area’s case. Last year, there was the Sendong—an overnight sensation. And this year, earlier this month, we had Pablo. Pablo was rather scary in the sense that we already had an idea what a typhoon might do to us after experiencing the wrath of Sendong. And although a lot of people claimed that they were prepared, it’s safe to say that most were still taken by surprise by the strength of Pablo. It wasn’t as rainy as Sendong but the wind was so strong it managed to knock off several posts and trees near us. We ended up with about a week with no power and it was so difficult to go around our house especially at night. But that’s okay because it could have been way worse. Like in some areas in Mindanao, a lot of people lost their lives and their homes due to a landslide (c/o Pablo). Some are still struggling to recover until now. It’s so hard to watch the news these days and see all these people who are suffering and not be able to do anything except for the small monetary donations through our college. This is where prayer becomes really, really important. When the distance and other circumstances make it impossible to be there physically with the victims. Prayer goes so much further than anything else. It’s much much more powerful in the sense that when we pray, we not only heal those who are affected but we also find peace for ourselves. Peace from knowing that we are all in God’s hands and that’s the best place that we ought to be. That’s where we are safest.
With the power interruption, I was able to realize so many things. One is that technology has really made us rather fickle-minded. Because there really wasn’t anything to do, I was able to finish four books without interruptions. It’s normally difficult to get through a book now especially when there are movies to watch and other things. Because there are so many things going on around us—thanks to innovations, thanks to technology—we easily get distracted. Reading has gotten jammed up with all the other things that we “shouldn’t miss”. During those long electricity-free days, I discovered how much I missed just sitting there with a good book without other high-technology stimuli. Reading is fun. And surprise, surprise, we can do it without the aid of any modern device. So if in case the world ends and we survive but have to start from scratch (no power, no modern technology), we can take comfort in the knowledge that we will always have books. Books will survive. And they are the best antidote for any human-y funk that we might find ourselves in post-apocalypse.
I’m on my Christmas break right now and I still have not made any plans to make this “THE BEST CHRISTMAS BREAK EVER!!”. But anything magical can happen within these two weeks of semi-freedom. I am determined to not let any school stuff interfere with my vacation. Ciao!