Every Day is a Second Chance

Normally, my day starts with short trips to the bakery and listening to cats purr from an alley nearby. I’m a morning person. No matter how late I stayed up all night binge-watching some insightful TEDx Talks or mushy Korean drama, my body clock never fails to wake me up before the sun fully ascends. It can get physically taxing sometimes especially if there are errands to run throughout the day and it requires you to have a hundred percent energy level. But frankly, I like waking up before everybody else does. There’s nothing but me, the universe, peace and quiet. I would peek through my window and just witness how beautiful the alchemy of the sky is from dusk to light.

photo-1463265305631-8a25b1e5b887

Dusk to light. There is something about sunrise that makes my heart beat faster than a horse in a Kentucky derby. The beams of light penetrate through my vessels and spread joy in my whole being. “Thank You,” I mutter as the sun gradually soars, “thank You God for a brand new day.

The core reason why mornings are very important to me is because sunrise marks a brand new day. A brand new day to start over. A brand new day to be whoever you wanted to be. A brand new day to put yourself back together completely differently.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Our God is a God of new beginnings. His love keeps no record of wrongs. Forgot to read your bible last night? God says, “Don’t worry. I still love you.” Neglected to attend church service for a month? God says, “Don’t worry. I still love you.” Turned your back from God for years and lead a sinful life? God says, “At least you’re back now. That’s all that matters. Don’t worry. I still love you.” The Lord loves you not because of who you are and what you’ve done but because of who He is.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Second chances are gift from above. If you were ever handed one, don’t put it to waste. Use it to have a stronger bond with Jesus. God doesn’t want a superficial relationship. He would prefer us be totally nonchalant towards Him than halfheartedly for Him. He wants you to make Him the center of your life not just a part of it. You’re either in or out.

I am a sinner and the past few months could have been really tough for me, but I let God be my North Star and tell me what to do. I had to go through the process of repentance, rediscovery, and reconstruction. In all honesty, the hardest part was surrendering every area of my life because I’m used to having been in control of nearly everything. But I gained something in return of my obedience. Now, with God, any challenge given to me seems so light that I feel like floating. I’d always hear Him say, “Stay put, sweetheart. I got this.”

New beginnings require sincere repentance.

The Lord gave His children the Holy Spirit to convince us of the holiness and greatness of God. This causes us to perceive whether the actions we make are sins. The Holy Spirit also exists to tug our hearts and knock in our minds when to repent and turn to God for forgiveness. Sincere repentance is not just a mere involvement of deep feelings. It cannot be measured by the number of hours you spent knelt down and crying out to God. It involves faith and commitment.

Most people stop here. They think that God’s forgiveness is the end game. But because of our human nature and the world we live in, we will sin again. So more than sincere repentance, having the strength to struggle against the negative pulls is important.

The scripture makes it very clear that repentance is a change of mind resulting in a change of mind (Acts 26:20; Rev 2:5; Mat 3:8)

Every time I feel lost and when everything doesn’t make any sense to me at all, I feel the urge to rediscover God. I’d always go back to the basics –The Bible. How well do we know Jesus Christ? There are a lot of voices around us. But listen to the inner voice that’s calling you. Come back home and have a fresh start.

You are more powerful than you can ever think of.

If you’re going through a situation where you feel stuck and hopeless, let me remind you this: you always have a choice. Whether you allow fear and suffering to succumb you or take courage and lay hold of God’s gift of new beginnings. Remember that you are powerful. You can change your circumstances by the choices you make. So either let that power make you or break you.

I pray that you choose God and start with a clean slate. And watch your life turn 180 degrees like how mine did. And it certainly has never been the same.

They said love is sweeter the second time around. And that is because you are not the same person you were then.

You learn from your mistakes.

You learn that choosing your ways over God’s best will never give you the result you desired. Worse, the sinful life you chose drifted you away from God and lead you to more sin, pain, failure, loneliness, and suffering.

But this is what God is telling you right now: “I no longer remember those sins. Surrender your life to me. Let’s start anew.” And sweetheart, when you do, you will learn that there’s no greater love than God’s love for you—forgiving, bountiful, eternal, and unconditional.

This Is How You Heal

My life lately felt like a rocket ship—everything is moving way too fast. And if there’s something I’m really bad at that I can think of, it’s my ability to adapt to change. I despise change. I want everything still and simple. But since Jesus Christ is an unpredictable God, you’ll never know what circumstances He’ll try to bring into your life.

My friend, please don’t harbor any grudge against the Lord if He tries to take you out of your comfort zone. I know you want everything steady. But this is His way of trying to show you how He cares. Remember that the Lord is just testing some of your core values—in my case it’s obedience—and that He’s taking advantage of the situation for you to grow.

photo-1460626399219-57a00a2361cb

Couple of weeks ago, I ended my long-term relationship. Like a normal human being, I’ve gone through the grieving process. I was a complete wreck for the first week. I couldn’t eat, sleep and talk to anyone. I even felt like my soul was being detached from my body. Sounds uncanny but it’s totally normal. Our body system adjusts to emotional loss too. Until I woke up one day ascertained that I don’t want that kind of feeling anymore. It’s no longer healthy. Denial and isolation will never solve the problem nor will they heal my wounds. I had to face it, embrace it and gradually let it go. Day after day, the pain that seems unbearable was slowly turning into something tolerable.

So how do we achieve complete healing? Want to hear it?

You need to go home

Do you still remember what you did the first time your phone malfunctioned? Unless you’re a repair man yourself, I assume you went to the manufacturer. Those people know the nuts and bolts of their own product. They know exactly how to fix the damage. Beloved, you need to realize that the same goes for us humans. When things are unclear, if you feel lost, unloved and broken, that’s a go signal that it’s time to go home. Seek for the creator. God is waiting for you to come back. He is your repair man.

Surrender yourself to the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. —Psalm 37:7 (GLT)

Letting go and letting God isn’t just a cliché spiritual advice. It’s an act of surrendering your life to the Almighty and leaving all the works in His hands instead of trying to manipulate others and controlling the situation.

Allow God to revamp you. Revamping starts when you make the decision of trusting God and letting Him take full control of your life. Know that you are already forgiven and the Lord has prepared a new beginning for you. Focus more on what He is doing within you rather than what He is doing outside you. If the Lord is cutting off some branches of your life, you’re in the pruning season. God is removing anything unnecessary to prepare you for something bigger and better.

Give yourself some lovin’

Knowing your worth is the ultimate key to loving yourself. Embrace all your strengths and all your flaws. If you can’t change the latter then you might as well just learn how to accept them. After all, they are parts of you. Your scars aren’t who you are, they are who you were. They are the weaknesses you forced from the inside. Your scars aren’t scars. They are stories. They are testimonies of how great our God really is.

Enjoy your singleness. Try new stuff alone or old things you did as a couple and be surprised on how well you were able to pull it off without any companion. Go for it. Go and start now. Travel often. Explore the country. Take a new hobby. Go to church and meditate. Do yoga. Learn a different language. Engage yourself to volunteer works. Meet new people. Adopt another cat. Keep a journal for your thoughts. Laugh with your friends. Cook for your family. Watch new TV shows and movies. Pull an all-nighter for a Star Wars marathon. Read a book and stay on your bed all day. Just enjoy your life and don’t be too hard on yourself. Do whatever your heart desires as long as it pleases God.

The only time that you’d be ready to love people right is when you learn your own value in God.

Remember that time is your best friend

What if you find yourself crying at the end of the day? My friend, let me assure you that it’s okay. It’s completely normal. Always remember that healing is a process and you have to go through it. God wants you to release your grief. Stop acting like it’s not there because it will only prolong your torment. Acknowledge your pain and surrender it to Him. Pour it out to God. Release it so He can heal your heart. It will take time but you will definitely see the sun shine soon.

One of these days, you will surely find yourself wondering if anyone will really come along to love you. But you need to trust and keep your faith that God is already preparing for your “The One” and that he’s just somewhere out there praying for the same thing—to give him a person exactly like you. For now, use your time to prepare yourself for the love of your life. Be in awe with the idea of your future relationship that revolves around God.

You will be surprised how you love the same things. You will be surprised that he likes adventures as much as you do. You will be surprised that he owns a cat. You will be surprised that he’s a total geek for Doctor Who and Star Wars. You will be surprised that he’s fond of classic literature too. You will be surprised that he listens to pop rock and jazz. You will be surprised that he keeps a blog for his thoughts. You will be surprised that you no longer care whether you love the same things or not because his presence is more than enough. You will be surprised how godly, open, and full of wit this man is. And when he finds you, he will be surprised too. Because you used your time to be the person he asked God for—a beautiful, independent, and compassionate Christian woman who doesn’t need anything because she’s already secured with God’s love alone.

I believe that I’m 100% percent healed. And that is because I let God take the authority. The situation blinded me from seeing His greatness that He had to pull me back from focusing and obsessing on the tiny detail so I can get into the bigger picture—that I am a woman of Christ and I only deserve the best. Although some might consider it a little late, I never think that way. He saved me nevertheless. He might be an unpredictable God but He is faithful to those who obey Him.

God + Self-love + Time = Complete Healing

Seven Reasons Why Rainy is the Best Season

Philippines hate the rain and most people go berserk about it. I can’t blame my folks. It can be light but most of the time, a catastrophe. Strong rain can take away properties, businesses and even humans. It’s destructive, but also a natural event. It’s unstoppable, and not even a sun dance you have seen from a popular local movie will prevent the rain from pouring.

30f8f30b

“Even in a bad situation, there’s always a positive side. Even if you can’t see it yet.” – Susane Colasanti

So we might as well learn to love it and live with it! Here are seven good reasons why:

Class Suspension

Admit it. You don’t usually watch the news but whenever you see the soggy weather, you silently wish for another day off from school. You wake up early and wait until the government suspends your class and when they finally announce it, you are one happy kid. The rain gives you an excuse to bum and have fun. You can sleep all you want, binge-watch your favorite series, finish a backlog of homework, or you, like what I usually do, can pull an all-nighter to read a book and get lost on the pages. The best part is you can escape from going to the gym or you can also sneak in a workout. My friend asked, “Is Netflix marathon considered an exercise?” I said yes.

Coffee tastes like a hug from a cup.

Your favorite spicy seafood noodle soup, beef mami or sweltering bulalo taste better when the rain is pouring it’s heart out. You might as well enjoy making your own coffee and sipping it while counting or tracing the raindrops from your window. The chill that the weather brings in and the warm you get from your cup make it so extra cozy.

Cuddle Weather

Either it be with someone or just with your pillow, it’s always the best time to get under a thick blanket and snuggle up. It’s so warm and cozy and happy and delightful and peaceful and all positive adjectives combined together. Totally my kind of weather.

You have an excuse to wear your leather jacket and wellies without being judged!

Try to wear some pair of boots and a coat when it’s scorching hot and they will label you crazy. When I’m out in public during summer wearing a denim jacket I always feel like I am walking in a strange way and also have people giving me weird stares. But when it’s raining, people don’t usually care about how you look so you might as well dress up the way you want and be comfortable about it. I’m actually writing this blog post in my favorite coffee shop wearing my favorite over-sized hoodie and pajamas while it’s raining outside. And look at these fellow patrons throwing me some envy looks. Yes, I know it’s comfy!

Rainfall complements sad songs.

Isn’t it better to listen to music during grey days? That heartbreaking OPM playlist is deeply felt and intensified when it’s raining. This weather is the perfect time to listen to your favorite sad song and feel happy or melancholic or romantic at the same time. Or you can choose to not listen to any kind of music at all since the rain is universally acknowledged as the most relaxing sound in the world. No wonder it’s considered a therapy to some. It’s so pleasing in the ears.

You can dance in the rain.

You can start splashing in the wet pavements and do a crazy dance move. You can also try singing in it because no one would notice. Or you and your loved one can pretend to be Allie Hamilton and Noah Calhoun from The Notebook and kiss each other under the rain. It would be so perfectly romantic!

Rainbow won’t exist without the downpour.

According to The Bible, rainbow is a positive symbol to never again destroy the Earth with floods. My heart flutters with awe whenever I see one because it represents God’s love to His people and faithfulness to His promises. Rainbows make you hope for a better day even in this chaotic and tough world we live in. It’s still raining outside, I hope I’ll get a chance to see one tomorrow.