Sovereign

You are sovereign.

I used to cower in fear because the idea always brought me back to this truth: I am not in control.

I—with all my tendencies to be fearful, selfish, insecure, indecisive and the list goes on—am not in control. I did not know such was doing me more harm than good.

I remember that grand time when I thought the wheel was in my hands… until my finite mind took off its false cape and confessed, “I had miscalculations.” It was as if scales fell down from my eyes, and the wheel I thought I was so effortlessly maneuvering turned out to be nothing. I was holding on to empty space, deceived. My hands have been holding on to wind.

Then you entered the scene and greeted me like an old friend. I was not very sure if we had already met but you talked to me as if you were with me since day zero. As you sat down with me, you offered help—help that I did not know I needed. As you spoke then, yes, you were telling me about the wheel but in the same breath you were telling me something I knew my soul had been longing to hear. You were telling me about your story and telling me about mine all at the same time.

Then you took my hand, led me out of my little box and asked me to come and walk with you. Now I would not normally walk with strangers. I was so sure we had just met back then, but with you in the picture, my whole being seemed to cry out, “I am home.” It was as if I was lost all along and finally my heart could rest for finally being found.

A few years and seasons after that, here I am greeting again the same truth: you are sovereign. Honestly, there are still many times when my flesh and heart still wail at this truth, but my spirit rejoices. You are sovereign but along this line are truths I wish words could do justice.

You are sovereign and you are loving. You are good and powerful and merciful and kind. You are the perfect gentleman and lover. You are the one that my soul aches for and longs for and so much more. You love me more than I could ever love myself. I can trust you with my heart, mind and soul. I can trust you with my life.

You are sovereign, Jesus. I will forever be grateful that you are.

“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)

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The Little Things

Who am I that You are mindful of me?

You are the God who loves truly. You are the God who values my thoughts and takes care of my secrets, and is genuinely interested even in the smallest things about me. I feel like I’m the most interesting thing in the world when I am with You.

Even my passing thoughts, You remember. I remember that day when I was looking at myself in the mirror and thought, “A necklace would be nice.” The next thing I knew, in my hands was the prettiest necklace I have ever seen. I honestly did not remember asking You for it, but You were just so mindful. I didn’t even know having one would make me so happy. But You knew.

I also remember the time when I asked for something ambitious during prayer and fasting last year, and You topped it. It’s funny because I remember asking it just so I could say I asked for something big and beyond me, but You granted it and even gave me something way beyond. Now I look at that thing and I will always remember how great You are and how I can never outthink You. (You know I honestly had many times when I think I could outthink You haha. Galing na galing lang sa sarili waw.)

I am just so fully known and fully loved by You. You even said that Your thoughts of me outnumber the grains of sand. Who am I indeed that You are mindful of me?

I want to love You like You love me.

When I remember the times when I ignored your gentle nudges dismissing that, “Maybe that’s just me!” And even those times when I was so busy about doing and accomplishing, and the moments when I complained about the painful processes I was going through that will lead me to ultimately knowing You more… They never fail to wake me up to this truth: I do not have much to give.

But still, You want me. Flaws and all, You still say I am loved by You. I do not have much to bring—indeed what I can offer are just filthy rags—but still You promise never to stop pursuing me and singing to me and telling me and revealing to me Yourself. You will still share to me Your secrets and Your thoughts and Your heart. You will not stop. You have decided from the start and You will never grow weary of it. You will never grow weary of me.

With this I think I will, in amazement, forever ask, “Who am I that You are mindful of me?”

“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

Letters

Thank you,
For going through the process with me when I need it, and when I feel like I don’t. Thank you for carrying me through in my objections and selfish reactions, and for constantly telling me, “It’s gonna be worth it.”

Thank you,
For tirelessly singing to me about your ways, about your plans, about your heart when I seem to forget. You never run out of brilliant ideas, God (well, you are God hah), and you never run out of ways to make known to me your heart. The whole world needs to know about it. It needs to know about you.

Thank you,
For never giving up on me when people seemed to already have, including myself. You keep my head together from all the overthinking. When you remind me of who I am and of who you are, a new strength arises. You never get tired of me, God. You do not grow weary.

For deciding to love me in all my ups and downs, in all my bad decisions and indecisions, in all my failures and craziness and soap operas, thank you.

God, you are irreplaceable, unmatched and unrivaled. I love you, and it’s not fit for the typical love letter but it’s the truth—it’s because you first loved me.

Thank you for being you.

Great shot by AnkhesenamonGreat shot by Ankhesenamon.

“Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” (Psalm 105:1)

All to Myself

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Stunning photo by Rona Keller

It’s amazing how
You do way too many things
But when, say, I climb up a mountain
Then go back down,
Even if it takes me an entire day,
I can still have all of You
All to myself.

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

On Dreams

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This beautiful photo is from Grace Came Down.

Dreams.

I saw a painting of a place I wanted to see in real life—it was a place that looked like a lively forest. It had tall redwood-like trees, and behind was a fading picture of a great mountain range covered with thin mist. The sky was almost white in brightness, but patches of sky blues were there, too.

At night the place would probably look like one I had always kept in my heart to see (I saw a time lapse video of it on Youtube): a natural planetarium. The colors would turn to black and grey, but their forms would still be the same. The sky would be the highlight. It would be filled with so many bright stars that never appeared in the city where I grew up.

I have many other dreams. I dream to go to places and meet people from different races and cultures, to write a novel about love and hope and other beautiful stuff, to have long late-night drives with the one I love and many more. They range from simple to downright ambitious and impossible. I look down and see my feet walking a road I have been seeing everyday, and look in front of me and see some of these dreams on the other side (some I don’t see even a trace of), and I wonder, “How will I get there?”

Honestly, dreaming can be hard and painful. Giving up is easy. The distance from where I am today to where I want to be is a misty road filled with uncertainties that both excite and scare me but it’s a huge relief to know that I am not alone. I have people who love me, and ultimately I am with the One that loves me the most. He is faithful to His promise to always be with me so He is happily stuck with me, and I with Him. He is the One who tells me where to go and picks me up and gets me back on track when I get lost. He is the Answer to my “How will I get there?” and the One who gives me the grace to prepare actively, so these dreams won’t wreck me when they’re finally before me. He is the One who opens and closes doors, and asks me to keep on laying down my requests and petitions no matter how crazy they seemingly are because, well, He delights in hearing them and He listens—I am His beloved child. There have been times when He said yes and times when He answered no (and times I cried and even tried to do crazy stuff to try to twist His arm when He gave me the no’s), but it was His heart that made me still. He is a loving Father who will not give an untamable snake to His child that asks for one because she thought it was what she wanted for a cute pet.

Thank You, Jesus, for this gift. You could’ve just saved us but this gift of being God’s child is insanely mind blowing.

With big dreams, I ask God for bravery, too. When He finally opens a door, I pray that by His grace I won’t let fear nor doubt nor unbelief cripple me from taking the step to come in. I pray that I will always remember that when God opens doors He comes in with me—like I said (and I’m just echoing what He said) we’re stuck together for eternity. Jesus sealed that when He lived, died in my place and rose again for me (He did so for you, too! :-)).

While I wait, I will keep all of this in my heart and be faithful with what I have now, and enjoy the place where I am now. I ask God for grace and strength of heart because I, just like everyone (?), have the tendencies to get distracted and to be lazy and to be afraid and to run away. But God is faithful. He will always be with me and at the end of the day, that’s enough to still this heart. 🙂

“Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14)

Off to Paris!

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Pretty shot by Noukka Signe

“I want to go to Paris so I’m staying in my room to sleep.”

The Bible says in Proverbs 4:26, “Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure.” If we want to get to a specific place, we need to check the paths we’re taking. In reality, most of the paths to our goals are not hollowed by tall walls so we are forced to look at what’s in front of us. There are distractions. Often, beside the straight road to good health stand stalls of deep-fried chicken and ice cream and all those things that slow us down–or completely hinder us–from getting to the goal. It’s not always easy. It’s not always effortless to look away and dismiss all the nagging whatnot. But it’s always possible. Especially as children of God, we know the One who said it: It is possible! (Matthew 19:26)

If excellence is our goal, what are the things about ourselves that we have been tolerating? Are these things helping us to go the extra mile?

If purity is our goal, what are the things we’re looking at? What are the thoughts we’re pondering on?

If love is our goal, what are the thoughts that we have about the other person? Do these thoughts make us love the person more or do they fuel an ungodly fire?

We should take paths that apparently point and take us to the destination that we desire.

The great thing about setting goals (and eventually achieving them, oh yes) is we’re not on our own. Especially, for the more powerful things which are more often the things that are within us, we don’t have to go solo. For us believers God gave us people to walk with, people to help us with our blindsides. He gave us people who will lovingly be His voice and take the courage to tell us we’re off the track when we’re so. (I pray we have people like this in our lives. If we don’t yet, we can always ask God for them! I am sure God will grant it because it’s not His heart to lead us astray. 🙂 On a side note, I pray that we are not someone who no one wants to correct anymore because we always take offense and get angry. Hehe. Corrections can make us feel offended at times but let not the feeling of offense cause us to sin. Hooooo, grace!)

Ultimately, we have a Shepherd. We have Someone to ultimately lead us in they way we should go; we have Someone to willfully follow. He is the One who said that His grace is always sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). He is the One who said that, “Not by might nor by strength but by My Spirit, child.” (Zechariah 4:6). When God speaks to us and directs us, I pray that we will never harden our hearts just like what King David said. It’s  amazing that in this life, we walk on paths and though we make wrong turns and stall on some distractions at times, God never gets tired of holding our hand and whispering to us, “That way is dangerous, child.” or “You’re taking too long on that area already, beloved. Let’s get going.” or “Great work, love.” We are not walking alone. We have Someone who tells us, “I will never leave you alone.” (Deuteronomy 31:6). And He never gets tired of reminding us that! 🙂

“Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.   Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” (Proverbs 4:25-27)

Seen

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Awesome photo by decideroffate

I only get to thank you
For the things I see you do
But what about those fierce fights
And those dark and fiery nights
That you, love, rescue me from?

I may not have seen them all
All those times you catch my fall
Those times I was unaware
That around me was warfare,
It’s been you fighting for me.

My Lover.
My Friend.
My King.

“Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, you work in mysterious ways.” (Isaiah 45:15, NLT)