When I was 22 years old, I told myself “I’m going to be at my peak once I reach 27”. It became my motivation to reach my best; I wanted to be physically beautiful and successful at the same time. It was coming out of a broken heart and jealousy. 3 years after, I met Jesus Christ. Having found my identity in Him, the idea of being my best self at 27 became an afterthought and sometimes a running joke between me and my friends. I still wanted to be at my best but this time, it was coming out of a healed heart and basically, I just wanted to take better care of myself. I looked forward to the day I’m going to reach 27 just to see if I’ll turn into the woman I was imagining to be.
Now, here I am.
Am I at my best? NO.
Am I successful? Not yet.
Am I physically fit? I’m trying.
Is this where I am supposed to be? Definitely.
Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21
For years I held onto the idea of my ideal self but I know what truly matters now : being God’s best for His glory. I thank God for the pruning, for all the seasons of waiting, disappointments, the mountains, uprooting, convictions, and blessings. I’d like to believe that this is the peak that God wants for me. Having Him in my life is the best gift my 22-year old self can give my present self. I am excited to see what God has prepared for me in the years to come!
To end this, here’s a video of my friends surprising me.
It’s been awhile since the last TSC entry! Just to change things a bit, I thought that maybe I’d also include a word that best describes my feeling for the week.This week’s magic word is.. as you can see.. apathetic. The reason is self-evident; no need to expound ’cause I wouldn’t stay true to my apathy.
The book of Psalms.
Beyonce’s Lemonade. I’ve been listening to Bey’s album for weeks now.
This and my schedule for the coming week. I need to seriously get things organized and do more important things other than browsing the internet.
This book was given to me as a Christmas present last 2015. I actually read it when I was in Hamburg last year and re-read it when I was in queue for my passport renewal last week. This is one of those books that you have read over and over again; gaining new perspective in the process.
The impact is strong this time, probably because I am in the season where I really have to exercise my faith and work hard in doing it. This book contains insights on what faith is, why we need it, how it grows, and putting our faith into action. What’s also great about this book is that it won’t drown you with scholarly information but it lives up to its line, “A practical guide to the life of faith”.
This book is also a gentle reminder of the true purpose of having faith. It is not for my own encouragement or a fuel to sustain my journey but for the purpose of pleasing God and giving Him honor.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 6:11 NIV
When we love someone, we do our best to show how much we love them too. We serve and please them the best way we know how.In the same way, our faith is a manifestation of our love for God. It is not about me and my own personal desires but it is all about loving Him who loved us when we were unlovable. Faith is indeed a gift we don’t deserve and unlike any gift, we should nurture it because it is given by God.
I have to stop sharing now because I might be taking too much from the book, haha. I hope you’d get the chance to read this book and maybe we can share insights too once you’ve finished it.
PS: If you are in the season of waiting like me, I also recommend this video before or after reading this book
My longtime friends, Butch and Miro, got married for the second time last weekend. First one was civil and this one’s a christian ceremony. Butch, whom I fondly call HB, is very dear to me since she was present during my “formative” adult years—if there is such a thing. She and I also got baptized at the same time; she’s one of those people who I can always run to for encouragement and prayer. Basically, she’s my HB 4ever and my sister in Christ.
You can imagine how emotional I was that day and I couldn’t hold back my tears when I saw her walking down the aisle. I was extremely happy for her. All the memories of praying for that exact moment came flashing through my mind. God is faithful, without a doubt. What He promised would come to fruition.
Prior to this moment, I grabbed the opportunity and took a photo with the groom!
Just to give you a short background, HB and Miro have been together for 5 years and most of those were spent long-distance. Their relationship is a proof that long-distance relationship might be hard but it works… if you work hard on it.
Intermission : cute baby alert
Here are the photos from the reception aka gutom-na-yung-mga-tao.
The wedding was also a reunion of some sorts. I got to hang out with my old officemates! They are the best. I think I’ll never find anyone like them in other companies. All of us left our previous company, fyi.
It was an awesome wedding, all in all. The main reason why this wedding is perfect is because God made it happen. This is God’s gift.
My best friend and I have been following Kanye West since the beginning of our friendship; our peak was back in senior and the years after. Admittedly, I lost interest when Kanye started dabbling into Hollywood aka the Kardashians. Still, I followed his music up until Watch the Throne. I was never into his Yeezus album because of obvious reasons; although Black Skinhead is very catchy.
A few months ago, we heard that Kanye is coming to Manila for a music festival. We were apprehensive because number 1, we didn’t trust the producer (they have a history) and number 2 (which is crucial), Kanye is unpredictable— just look at his tweets. However, advertisements kept creeping in and our curiosity sparked big time. We stalked Kanye’s whereabouts including Kim’s for two weeks up until yesterday. We didn’t buy tickets in advance because like what I’ve said, we didn’t think he was coming. The deciding factor came when we saw a photo of Kanye’s arrival in Manila.
That’s when we knew : we had to go.
I finished my work yesterday at 6 pm, hurried to Manila, and waited for my friends at the event. We went inside the venue just in time for Wiz Khalifa; he was chill as chill can be. *wink wink
I wouldn’t say much but this : Wiz Khalifa has a solid fan base in the Philippines. I heard lots of people rapping with him; me excluded since I only know four of his songs. Nonetheless, he was very entertaining. I wouldn’t be surprised if his fan base grows after this concert.
Now here comes Mr. West. He was actually late for his supposed 1130 performance but ye know, “You should be honored by my lateness”.
The lights went on and I was shouting my lungs out! I was dancing all over my cramped space, looking at my bestfriend’s face and just telling each other how we can’t believe we are seeing Kanye live. I guess what makes it special is the fact that I get to share this with my best friend.
Earlier I mentioned that I’ve kinda lost interest on Kanye because of his recent actions but seeing him perform live made me appreciate his artistry and gained back my admiration for the man. Kanye West is really something, let me tell you. He performed and killed it. I’m just in awe of how good Kanye is as an artist; I hope he’d put this into good use.
One more thing, he sang most of his classics—it was amazing. Just to give you an idea, here is his setlist :
It was a good night. Until now, I can’t believe I watched Kanye live. I didn’t take many photos but plenty of videos. I’m planning to edit them once Adobe starts functioning properly on my laptop. However, if you’re interested in watching some snippets, I’ve got a couple on my snapchat. Better watch those before it expire!
Kanye, you were great and are a great artist. Just take it easy on Twitter, ok? Haha.
I took a day off from my work today to do some spring-cleaning in my room. While I was cleaning out my desk, I found an old box containing letters from my friends, photographs, concert tickets, etc and I saw a very interesting one— a *letter from my old self for my future boyfriend.
I honestly forgot that it exists. If I’m not mistaken, it was written four/five years ago. It was an image of how lost I was before I met Jesus Christ. Back then, I was eager to meet someone who will see me through my partying, drinking, smoking, etc etc. I was ready to commit and give my heart to a person. I wanted saving.
Well, I did meet someone. Someone saw through my flaws. I gave my heart, not to a person but to God. Jesus saved me & I surrendered at His feet.
I read the letter twice. I laughed and then looked back on where God took me to be where I am right now. I never saw my worth back then. My habits were damaging; I was damaged. But God orchestrated everything just so I could meet people who would lead me to Him. God met me where I was: damaged, flawed, lost, and broken. He must have really loved me because through it all, He called me.
I threw the letter into the bin but not before taking one last photo ’cause I know this is going to be another great testimony of how Jesus redeems people. Jesus is the only one who can truly change and save lives. When He said, “I make all things new”, He was true to His word.
I may come across a few other things that will remind me of my old self but I will always look at it with a grateful heart. Some might say that you just have to forget the past but I won’t. I will always remember who I was; I’m just only turning my back on old ways. I thank God for redeeming me, for showing me how precious I am, and for loving me unconditionally.
Two years ago, I got a text message from my uncle telling me that my grandmother passed away. I knew it was coming since my Lola had a tough battle with cancer but still, it was indescribable when the inevitable meets you straight in the face. I was home alone that dawn; I remembered I couldn’t think straight.I walked out of my room and sat outside with the security guard. I guess at that time, I desperately needed a companion. Not that I talked to the guard, I just want to see someone other than the dark. I was carrying my bible at that moment and I prayed to God these words, “Lord, did my Lola surrender to You? Where is she now?” God answered my question with 1 Corinthians 15. It was very comforting and reassuring. Death had no power over my Lola, God had and has. As you can see, 1 Corinthians 15 holds a special place in my heart because of this event. Now, imagine how emotional I got when the Pastor preached 1 Corinthians 15 this afternoon.
If we don’t believe in the power of resurrection, then our faith is futile. Now, what does it mean to truly believe in the resurrection?
To believe in the power of resurrection is to live victoriously and free from the sin that so easily entangles, to break free from its bondage. It is putting our sins to death and being made alive in Christ. It is never fearing death for death is inevitable but eternal life is imperishable. One day, I’m going to meet my Creator just as my Lola did and thinking about it now scares me but thank God for His perfect love for driving out this fear. Believing in the resurrection gives us the gift of eternal life and that small minute of fearing for death is incomparable to what’s coming ahead. Our time here on earth is just a short stop compared to the eternity Jesus has prepared for us.
Jesus is no longer in the tomb, He has risen! Until now, we can feel His presence in the million of lives which goes to show that the God we serve is not a dead god, but A LIVING GOD. He is alive in us!
Thank you, Abba Father, for giving us your one and only son, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Jesus Christ, for the gift of salvation and eternal life. One day I’m going to meet you face to face and I hope I’ll hear the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant”. But until then, I will decide everyday to choose You more than anything else; to remind myself of your sacrifice, to obey your commands, to love you, and to believe in the power of resurrection. Through you, Jesus, I am no longer dead to my sins. Because of you, I am victorious conqueror. Thank you Jesus for making all things new. Today I honor and give all the praise to a living God. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.
Thank you very much for visiting my Lent Devotionals this week. I’m glad to be able to share Jesus with you and know yours as well. God bless you 🙂
The woman broke her jar of a very expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head. The jar was broken into pieces, with no possibility of reusing or replacing the perfume. A few verses later, Jesus broke the bread, His body, into pieces and offered it to us just so we could live an eternal life; free from the bondage of our sins.
The woman gave us an image of what a life surrendered to Jesus Christ looks like. We give our all, leaving nothing behind. We don’t keep anything for safety measures. The world may equate surrendering to defeat but in God’s eyes, surrendering means victory. Jesus giving up his life on the cross is the greatest victory mankind has ever experienced. Admittedly, I am in a process of laying my everything to Jesus Christ; my control, my desires, my future plans. It won’t be hard as long as I keep my eyes focused on Jesus Christ and remind myself daily that He gave his life for me.
Let me end my reflection with this question, “Are we willing to break down our personal jars and offer it to Jesus Christ?”
Lord Jesus Christ, you surrendered your life to us so we can have an eternal life with You. Allow us to do the same for you. Give us the grace to surrender our all; the strength to break down our personal jars and offer it to you. We want to surrender to You because we love you. We want to surrender because we want to know You. We want to surrender because we want to give you all the control. Be the King in my life, Jesus Christ. Take control. To You, I surrender. Amen.
Jesus Christ knew he was going to die an extremely painful death and his response was very simple, to pray to the Father. Before being taken away by the guards in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus commanded his disciples to pray, so that they (you) will not fall into temptation (Luke 22:40). Jesus’ parting words to his disciples that night is an image to what our prayer life should be like. When I became a Christian, my prayer life went from nothing to everything. However, there are also times when I haven’t been praying enough—meaning, I wasn’t praying sincerely as I should be. I was praying like a pagan. I thank the Holy Spirit for the conviction because I can immediately get back up, repent, and pray to my Father in Heaven.
Luke 22:40 is a great reminder that we should always be on our guard and pray. The enemy is waiting for every open opportunity that we fall into temptation and we will not let the enemy get his way. During his darkest days, Jesus Christ prayed and let this be our inspiration to never let a day pass without praying to the Father. As we bow our knees in prayer, we get a glimpse of Heaven. As we humble ourselves and pray, we see our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thank you Jesus for teaching us how to pray and the importance of prayer. May I always be on my guard and remain standing firm on the faith you have given me. Lord Jesus Christ, today Your image of praying on the garden hours before your suffering will give me the strength and the motivation to persevere and to keep on walking. I pray today with my whole being; I bow my knees and look to You. In your mighty name. Amen.