This is How Letting Go Feels Like

“So, I uttered the serenity prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference…” over and over again until what seemed to be too difficult to do becomes, not easy, but less difficult.

Sometimes we are put in a confusing situation of choosing between letting go and trying harder. That is one of the hardest decisions we will ever have to face in this lifetime especially if both will cause your heart to break into pieces.

My life has been a series of letting go. Letting go of my pacifier when I was a kid. Letting go of my mother’s hand on my first day of school. Letting go of my comfort zone when I studied away from home for college. Letting go of my youth when I decided to work abroad right after graduation. Letting go of my pride for my first job. Letting go of my hope when my first business attempt failed. Letting go of my dreams when I realized that I don’t have one anymore. Letting go of things that are beyond my control simply because they hurt me. My hand is like a broken vessel where everything just slips away uncontrollably but not surprisingly because I know losing is a part of life and I am wired for it.

I am wired for it but I am tired of it.

Why can’t I just keep them?

I wish I could say that losing things, people, and other stuff taught me a reflective life meaning. But losing those just broke my heart over and over and over and over again. Losing those just made me ask if I am really meant to be happy. Losing those made me wonder how happiness feels like. Because I don’t know how it feels like anymore. But certainly, I know how letting go does.

Letting go feels like a long sleep where you are relieved but still feels tired.

Letting go feels like keeping tears from falling and finally releasing them. You feel lighter but the pain is still there deep down in your heart.

Letting go feels like flying back abroad after a short vacation in your home country. There is a physical pain in your heart, sometimes intolerable, but once you are done with it you will feel liberated and brave just by being able to do it. At the same time, it also excites you of what will happen next.

Letting go feels like having a butterfly riot in your stomach. The butterflies that used to give you a happy feeling now started to fight against each other.

Letting go feels the same or worse than dysmenorrhea. The pain is sometimes unbearable. You just curl up under your sheets and forget about the world outside the four corners of your room.

Letting go feels like a blessing and a curse. No matter how I find words to describe how letting go feels like, nothing seems to be accurate.

Letting go is relieving but there is one thing I am certain of, letting go hurts.

Letting go is painful. Letting go is hard. But, letting go is inevitable. Letting go won’t kill you (even if it sometimes make you feel like dying) and we all know that what can’t kill you will only make you stronger. Stay alive for the ride.

Letting go made me realized how brave I am.

Letting go made me feel alive.

Letting go made me more prayerful.

Letting go allowed me to put my complete trust in the Lord.

By letting go, I have learned the meaning of full surrender.

As much as I want to keep a grasp of the things that I want to keep in my life, I just opened my hands and let them slip through them. And now, my open hands are ready to receive greater blessings from God who made me let go. The God who provided me grace and courage to let go of things that I badly want to keep. The God who gives and takes away. I have read somewhere that God won’t give us things that somebody else is supposed to have. God takes away for a reason. It might be painful and hard to understand sometimes but God knows what He is doing. Let go, get out of the way, and let God do what needs to be done. Trust. Have faith. Surrender.

It is only in losing that we gain. We gain better understanding of ourselves. We gain a clearer view of how we want our lives to turn out. We gain more realizations of what deserves a spot in our lives. We gain more self-worth and self-love. We gain more strength and faith.

We only lose what we cling to. If letting go of things, people, and other stuff is the only way to keep them in my life, I am willing to go through the pain. The pain and the fear of uncertainty. The pain of longing for what was once constant in my life. The pain of seeing my high hopes stumble down and die. The pain of seeing my broken walls that seem to be irreparable. The pain of seeing myself that I can’t recognize anymore. The pain of seeing my future that used to be so clear becomes hazy. The pain of not recognizing happiness anymore. The pain of realizing that what was once a reality is now a memory. The pain of losing myself. The pain of missing things and people. The pain of feeling like I could never be the same again. The pain of dealing with anxieties. The pain of the aftershock of letting go. I realize that I don’t really fear letting go, it is the “what could have beens” that I fear. The act of letting go is painful enough, nobody wants to deal with what comes after that.

But then, there is God. A God who never lets go. A God who makes letting go bearable. A God who listens, answers, and saves. A God who empties us so we can be filled again. Let us trust the process.2017-05-09

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Hey, winner!

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        To anyone whose goal is to bring joy into people’s lives or to at least just remind people to be joyful all the time. To anyone who knows how to choose when to fight and when to put down the sword and back down for a while. To anyone who believes that sometimes moving forward means taking a step back even if it means breaking his own heart. To anyone who loves without conditions. To anyone who gives without any anticipation of something in return. To anyone who always puts a smile on people’s faces. To anyone who serves God joyfully and willingly. To anyone who patiently listens to people’s rants, outbursts and tantrums. To anyone who always go the extra mile. I want you to know this.

       You deserve all the joy in the world. You deserve to have a genuine smile painted on your face all the time. Never let someone steal that smile because no one can wear it better than you. Remember those battles you chose not to fight? You’ve won them all. Remember those battles you chose to fight silently on your own? You’ve won them too. You are a winner in many ways, in many forms. It may not seem like it but believe me, you are. You may not have the prize but the lessons and realizations that comes along with it are your greatest reward. I’ve never seen a courageous warrior who is strong enough to choose not to fight and love himself instead. Everything is a part of your preparation. So by the time that you will be faced with a battle that is worth the fight, you can triumphantly come out of it. You deserve all the love that you are getting or even more. You deserve a love that will sweep you off your feet and a love that will allow everything to make sense. A love that doesn’t just feel good on the outside but a love that brings peace in your heart. You have so much love to offer. I pray that you find someone who deserves all that. But for now, if you will love someone, may I suggest you love yourself? Because among everyone, it’s you who deserves it the most. Never forget that you are likable – lovable even. I hope everything that you are giving to everyone – time, attention, affection and care – be given back to you generously. If you find it insufficient, I hope you find what is lacking within yourself. God appreciates all your effort and your service. I am sure He has a wonderful reward waiting for you; more than what you are praying for; more than what you can handle. Be prepared and let Him surprise you. I hope you find ears who will patiently listen to your sentiments as well. Someone who will sit with you and let you do the endless talking on how your day was. Someone who won’t just nod and pretend to be interested but someone who will take everything into heart. I hope you find someone you can call home. Someone whose presence is more than enough. Someone who will make you say “I have won the fight.”

In His Time

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I prayed and God listened. I prayed and God talked to me. He calmed my heart as if telling me to be still. He reminded me and assured me that His plans and His ways are perfect. He will guide me through anything. He will unfold His plans slowly and perfectly. He will eliminate all the fears and replace it with excitement, with joy, and with peace. When we pray, God opens our hearts to greater possibilities until our doubts slowly fade away. When you start doing things in God’s way and when you surrender to His will and when you trust His timing, you’ll be surprised to where God can lead you. After all, He is a God of surprises. He will do things for you. Just let Him. He will enlighten you. He will make things happen…in His time.

While waiting for His time, just serve Him joyfully. Anticipate good things. Look forward to better things. Wait patiently. Be sensitive to what He is trying to tell you. Trust that He will make things happen. If something is true and meant to be, it will come, it will happen effortlesstly. Most of all, pray without ceasing. Pray to God as if you are talking to your best friend. Offer your fears and hesitations to Him. Do not hide anything from Him. Tell Him everything. Prayer will be your armor when doubts cloud your mind and your heart. You will find comfort in praying. Receive God’s warmest hug through prayer. Let God meet you in your prayer time. He will tell you what to do. Listen and you will never be afraid again. The fear that you once knew can never control you. Your heart will be at peace and when your heart is at peace, you’ll know that God is making it happen.

Take small steps. Follow where God commands you to go; for anywhere God leads you is worthy. When you get there, you’ll find God with open arms. He will hug you and He will tell you: “I love you, child. I love you enough to lead you here.”

Dear Everdearest

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These past few days, you are always in my Timehop. It’s like time is telling me to get in touch with you again. Time is reminding me of the good times we once shared and that I shouldn’t let them go into waste. But, I can’t even write a word to you every time I try to. It’s like I am writing to a stranger. I know nothing about you anymore; until one day, I saw an old video clip. I heard your voice after such a very long time. Oh, I never realized how much I miss it until I heard it again. I would like to dial your number so I could hear it more. But then I realized that I don’t have your number. Thinking about it saddens me. The number that was once in my list of favorite contacts is not recorded on my phone book anymore. A sign of total disconnection. But, I wanted to feel you, I wanted to feel what I once felt before, I wanted to feel it again. So, I wore the silver bangle that you gave me long time ago. It still looks beautiful on me. It still wraps my arm perfectly. I look at it with my sunken eyes and I almost teared up as I tell myself “this is what I have left.” not noticing that, just like us, there’s a crack. The next thing I know, it is nearly broken. There’s just a tiny bit of silver that connects it together. I took the courage of removing it from my hand. I pulled each end apart until it broke. I slid it inside my bag. Acceptance.

Somewhere down the road, in between traffic lights, I remembered you. I imagined you standing somewhere in the corner of the street waiting for the traffic light to turn green. Smiling back at me as if you’re saying “Get ready. It’ll turn green in no time.”. I remembered when we first had our moment together, just you and I. You talked, I listened. I talked, you listened. You did most of the talking actually but I didn’t mind because your stories open the door to your world, to who you are. You are this person who gives so much value to experiences, to people and I am amazed by that. But, as the road comes to an end, it gets sadder and sadder each time I take a step because each step brings me towards the night when I first realized that things are not as perfect as they seem. I still went home with you, same road, same night but I am not the same anymore and I have never been the same since then.

I saw the place where we sipped our first cup of coffee. The place where you first held my hand. The place where you first looked into my soul. The place where we talked about our fears. The place where it all started and the place where it all ended. The place where I cried for you for the nth time. The place that I dreaded for so long because I see you in every corner of it. The place that I refused to go back to because it brings good memories and good memories always make me cry. But, that night was different. I passed by it, I stared at it until it disappeared from my sight. I let out a deep sigh then I looked away; away from that place, away from your memories and that moment I knew that I am heading in the right direction.

My Spiritual Dryness Story

I have been too occupied with life the past weeks. I have been busy dealing with stress at work, planning an event, moving to a new house, dealing with life and all its occassional punches, attending activities in the community, dealing with distractions and harrassments, and the list goes on. I do not know if it is necessary, but it took most of my time and energy. These things became my first thoughts in the morning, my last thoughts at night and everything in between. And despite my best and constant effort, I would have to be honest, my prayer life deteriorated a bit. I felt so lost, unmotivated and weary. Yes, I still pray. I always try my best to have a few minutes of quiet time with God. It is a concious effort on my part because I don’t want to go faraway from the Lord, my source of strength.  My Redeemer. But, the quality of my prayer is obviously at its lowest. It makes me sad. But, God is really good. During those weeks that I was busy dealing with the unnecessary things in life, God never failed to remind me to come to Him whenever I feel like I’m losing my track.

Test me, Oh Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I desire to walk continually in Your truth. – Psalm 26:3

The past weeks, though I lost my focus, have been a constant reminder of how important our prayer life is. Everywhere I go, whatever I do, God’s reminder is there. Like a silver lining finding its way for it to be seen to give me a glimpse of hope. I just have to really change my focus in order to see it.

It was our upper household. We had an activty about prayer. Each of us were asked to write our prayers for each day of the week then it will be distributed among us so we could all pray for each other. We are a community of intercessors after all. It is just good to know what others are praying for and it is always a previledge to pray for them. And knowing that they are praying for me too, makes me feel good. That is my most favorite thing about our community. You can be very certain that someone is always praying for you.

Days after, though unprepared and uncertain with the overall posture of my heart, I sent a household invitation to the sisters who are under my household headship. We watched “The War Room”. I have watched that movie a lot of times and I know it is a powerful tool to strengthen a drying spirit. It strengthened mine the first time I watched it and I prayed that it will do the same to my sisters. Very timely; I guess that is exactly what they needed at that time and though I have already seen it several times, that experience is still different. I stayed behind them as they watch the movie. I was silently praying for the movie to serve its purpose and for it to touch their hearts or probably remind them of God’s grace, power and goodness. I guess, it did. Praise God. “Lord, teach us how to fight a good fight and help us to recognize the real enemy.”

But, I can still feel that some parts of my spirit is dry. “Pray hardest when it is the hardest to pray.”, they said. I have to admitt that it became a struggle. I had to conciously put myself into prayer mode. It makes me sad realizing that I have to put so much effort into praying. But, the important thing is I did not stop. God did not stop. I love our team work. 🙂

Then, we were called to attend a general teaching for our formation. It was jumpstarted with a powerful worship; Makahugas-Kaluluwa (Soul Cleansing) as what they described it. I was literally in tears the whole time. I didn’t even know why I was crying. It must be the Holy Spirit who is moving me into tears. To my surprise, the teaching is about Prayer and Intercession. That is not a coincidence. That is God speaking to me. That is God reminding me of what I am forgetting.

I praise God for using people as a bearer of His good news. That night I was reminded that I have to fully surrender myself to the Lord and admitt that I am completely dependent on Him. This battle of spiritual dryness is not for me but for Him. I am relying on God’s grace for me to step out of the deserted island that I am in. That He is my oasis. I am reminded that it is the perfect time for me to humble myself to the Lord.  “Gustung-gusto tayong i-bless ng Panginoon” (The Lord really wants to bless us.), the speaker said. Who are we to stop God’s blessing from entering our lives? We just have to ask and we will be heard. Surrender to His will and we will be blessed. “The prayer that God wants to answer is the prayer that asks for His will to happen.” Though empowered, I still feel unworthy to come to Him. But, I know only God can help me.

You need to plead with God to do what only He can do, and you need to get out of the way and let Him do it. – Miss Clara, The War Room

So, I have decided to let God be in charge. Whenever I feel like He is asking me to do something, I would submitt to it even if sometimes I don’t understand why. I would say Yes to every invitation to be in fellowship with Him even if sometimes I find it hard to get dress and step out of the house. I don’t want to miss God’s blessing; it might be what I exactly need. You’ll never know until you open your heart to it. Even if I am struggling inside (and nobody knows), I kept my heart open. I just cooperated with God because I know that He will win this battle for me if I will only let Him.

I thank God for allowing me to go through season of dryness. I thank God for giving me the courage to admitt to myself that I am running dry. After all, being able to feel and acknowledge our dryness is a gift from God. Let’s see it as God’s way of calling us to be closer to Him. To seek Him more than we ever did before. To desire Him with our whole heart. To pursue Him and to be available to be filled by His spirit. It is much worse if we do not recognize that we are becoming dry. I once read somewhere, I have come to realize that the real tragedy in the church is not spiritual famine: it is famine without hunger, dryness without thirst.” I couldn’t agree more.

I thank God for giving me the chance to actually feel my spiritual dryness without dwelling on it. I thank God  for the wisdom He has given me to fight it. I thank God for sending me angels on earth to enlightern and encourage me. I thank God for every pep talk that I had with people who saved me before I fall into self destruction and I thank myself for truly listening. I thank God for the time He has blessed me with to just feel it without getting exhausted by it. I thank God for reminding me that it is okay to rest but I shouldn’t stop. I thank God for the gift of prayer. But most of all, I thank God for guiding my every step to the Oasis that He is. After all, He is the only one who can refill me. Without Him, I am nothing. He is the only one who can cover our leakage that is causing us to feel dry.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

I thank God for disturbing me. It was disturbing but if it is the only way to lead me back to Him, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

My prayer life has never been better. Even if I feel so burnt out at times, I still find myself being cradled by God in my solemn moments of prayer. He continuously teaches me to fully surrender to Him even if my stubborn heart tells me that this is not the way it should be. Humble obedience. My heart is still at peace that no matter how many times I feel dry, I will never run out of God’s love, grace and mercy.

“Lord, empty me so that I may be filled again. Less of me and more of you.” ❤

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Lord, I am Tired

Lord, I am tired and confused.

I need You.

Lord, my soul is weary.

I need You.

Lord, I feel burdened.

I need You.

Lord, I’m at the tip of exhaustion.

I need You.

Lord, there is too much going on in my life right now.

I need You.

I need You at all times.

Sometimes, I want to ask “why does it have to be so hard?”

“How long will it be like this?”

But before I even give up, You assured me.

Things may be hard…

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Today, I admit my complete dependence on You and You alone for strength.

The strength to carry on.

The strength to pull off a smile.

Today, I declare that I can’t do this on my own.

Fight this battle for me.

At the same time, I pray for courage.

The courage to do the things I have been putting off for so long.

Also, I pray for wisdom.

The wisdom to affirm whether I’m doing things right.

Lord, I pray that my decisions are aligned to Your will.

I thank You for the love that sustained me on my worse years.

I am counting on You now.

I know You got my back.

I may be weak; but, You are strong.

This is me, humbling myself and coming to You for refuge.

Let me sleep on Your lap tonight.

Because no matter how many trials I may have survived,

The warrior is still a child.

May tomorrow be a brighter day.

You are all I need.

All is well.

Just like what You have promised.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28

Trusting You,

Eckay ❤

High Standards In Love

Last week, a video of Filipino actress Jodi Sta. Maria, went viral on social media. She said,

“We should never apologize for having high standards in love, because the right man, or the man who really wants to be in your life will rise up to meet those standards.” – Jodi Sta. Maria

How did Jodi know what I was thinking? She picked the right words to explain it well and I hope people understood it very well. It could not have been said better.

Most of us experienced playing with Barbie and Ken and at a very young age, we were exposed to the idea of love. I grew up playing with “The Sims” as well and have watched my Sims build their own home and family. Since then, I have dreamt of having my own family someday. I have pictured it out in my head the kind of wedding I would have and the kind of home I would build. I carried those wedding fantasies in my head as I grow older.

Now that I am at a marrying age and when all my friends and cousins are getting engaged or married, people would  ask me all the freakin’ time how come I am not married or why I am not in a relationship. It is actually tiring to explain everytime someone would ask. Truth is, I think I don’t really have to explain myself to anyone. But for their own peace of mind, I always try to. But still, some people have made their own conclusions. Some would say maybe I have high standards or that I am choosy. Some would make speculations such as maybe I am a man hater or worse, I am a lesbian. They talk about it as if being one is a crime and as if they know you so well. I would tell them that none of those is the reason to why I am still single. They wouldn’t believe me, and would start telling me things like “You are not getting any younger.”, “It will be hard for you to give birth after 30.”, “You have to find someone you can spend the rest of your life with.” and the list goes on as if they are trying to scare me so that I would settle down right away. As if it is that easy.

Who doesn’t want to find someone who they can spend the rest of their life with? To have that constant person that you can annoy and love for the rest of your days or atleast someone to cuddle with on rainy days. Who doesn’t want cute mini versions of themselves? Who doesn’t want to have that wonderful wedding and an even wonderful Christ-centered marriage? I never know anyone who never prayed for these. It is everyone’s heart’s desire.

But, God delays the love story of some sometimes. Good thing or bad thing; Only God knows. Sometimes He delays it because we are yet to accomplish a different mission in life first before He gives us away to the man He prepared for us. Sometimes He delays it to save us from the wrong one. Sometimes He delays it until we realize who we really are and what we want to do. He delays it for a reason. Someday, everything will make sense. All I know is He delays it for our own good. We may not understand it or there will be days that we might find it hard to wait for God’s time that sometimes, we would do things our way. We will refuse to take the narrow gate and we will start making our own decisions and moves. We will start taking advantage of the free will that has been given to us. Chances are we will have our hearts broken. And when we end up heartbroken, we will turn to God like a child and would pray for the heartaches to go away. Do not be deceived by the earthly gifts people offer you or the flowery words that they feed your ear or by different ways that they try to impress you. Sure, having those romantic dates and having someone to have and to hold sound like a good idea; But, a wrong person will always be a wrong person. Be careful who you give your heart to.

In Proverbs 19:21, it says: “Many are the plans in man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”. God promised us a future that is full of hope.God never breaks a promise and only God has the power to fulfill this promise. You can fall in love to the next guy who will tell you he likes you or the first guy who will give you butterflies in your stomach; We can fall in love with our dream guy but if our dream guy is not God’s guy, he will be just like any other guy. Never rush. Trust God’s timing. Do not listen to what the world tells you. Just keep praying for it. “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4).

Do not be bothered if they criticize you for having high standards or if they question your stand on love. None of them matters. At the end of the day, it will be God who will tell you to open your heart because He has sent the one. He knows you are ready. You’ll know it, not by having butterflies in your stomach or a huge smile plastered on your face. God will unfold His plan for you in the most amazing way. (Thinking about it makes me look forward to the future.)

May we find the joy in waiting for that magical moment and not be affected by the opinions of the world. While waiting, may we learn to pray more, hope more and to love more. May we focus on understanding ourselves and in preparing ourselves to be the best person to the person that God will give us as His precious gift. May we look forward to our love story that is not forced; a love story that is written by the author of all. In Nikki Gil’s words “gradual but consistent”.

I once asked an officemate, “Kuya, paano mo ba malalaman if nakita mo na si The One?” (Brother, how would you know if you have found The One?). His answer left me astonished. “Basta dapat yung mamahalin mo, yung mas mahal si Lord kesa sayo.” (If ever you will love someone, you should love someone who loves God more than you.” Because a guy who loves God before you will always put God first and a God who puts God first will be scared to hurt you.

Now ladies, this I tell you. Your standards are high not because you want a guy with a good job, a fat bank account, a luxurious car, good looks and a good body. Your standards are high because you pray for a guy who loves God more than anyone, a guy who prays with/for you, a guy who serves God with you, a guy who believes that you are a precious gift from God. A guy who treats you like a precious jewel because he believes that nothing can be compared to you. A guy who waited joyfully on the Lord just like you. A guy who can maintain a good conversation with you. A guy who can make you smile without you knowing it. A guy who doesn’t have to try hard just to impress you. A guy who have learned to love their mother before he decides to love any girl. Whoever thinks that these are high standards are probably those whose standards are low. So, never apologize for having high standards. Because  one day, you will be thankful that you have set your standards according to God’s promises to you.

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If I will be asked again why I am still single, it is not because I am choosy or because noone has the courage to tell me they like me; It is because God is still preparing both of us to be the “perfect” person for each other.

I strongly believe that someday, I would wake up and watch the sunrise next to the guy who don’t just gives me butterflies in my stomach, but with the guy who who will stand by me and pray with me until the sunset of our lives. I know he is just somewhere out there waiting for God’s go signal too. Once the light turns green, we’ll find our way to each other. For now, I will focus on my journey of knowing God more, of having God in my heart so whoever loves me has to find God first in order to win my heart. ❤ I am God’s princess after all.