Beloved, Let Him Go

Just a little confession: I am in no way an expert at this. I have loved and I have lost and I have spent months and years in an emotional limbo, hopelessly stuck in a place I don't even think I want to move on from because it's the only place I can still find him.

But maybe that's exactly why I have to speak to you about it. Because, my dear, it's 2017 and my heart breaks just watching you bringing the pain and confusion into the new year. Just when you thought you can begin anew, you found yourself in the same cycle again.

It's ironic when you know that breaking up was what's best and the relationship was already doing more harm than good, and yet here you are still at the same place you began.

It's a tug-of-war, you see. Your hands grasp so tightly to the rope, fighting to hold on and at the same time fighting to let go. You push and you pull and you always end up finding yourself bleeding and calloused and oh so tired.

And you know what, it's okay. It's okay that it's hard. It's okay that it hurts. The pain is valid. It's normal. We all need to go through our own journeys, with our own processes. Please go at your pace for wounds take time to heal. Two steps forward, one step back, it's fine. As long as you keep moving.

But if you're honest to yourself and you know that you're not even going anywhere and you're just stuck there, then let me be honest here too. The battle isn't really between you and him. The battle is between you and yourself.

You have to actually want to get over it, sweetie. From deep within you, you have to decide to. It's impossible to help someone who doesn't want to be helped. It's you who gets to make the decision to stop replying. You make the decision to take captive every thought and stop imagining the 1,000 ways the two of you can reconcile and get back together in the far off future. Most importantly, you get to choose whose hand you're going to hold: his or His.

This isn't about actively getting yourself into church activities or finding laughter when you're out for fellowship. Those can help, and they're good, but they're not the answer.

He is.

I don't want to make it sound easy because it's not. It's actually incredibly difficult. However, it's also rather simple. I'm not saying that the moment you choose God, all your feelings will miraculously go away. It doesn't work that way. But beloved, He works.He will work through your emotions and He will work through your situation and you will see Him working this heartbreak for your good.

It's terrifying letting go of what you're so used to. Some days, you just miss having someone to love you. Some days, you wonder whether you'll find a relationship that great again. Some days, you get frightened once you realize that all your plans that always included him are now scrap. But then, that's a wonderful place to start again.

Endings make for good beginnings. 

I beg you, close the door. You need to. Losing him might mean finally finding yourself – and much, much more. Don't chain yourself to the past and miss out on embracing all the future holds. The world is waiting for you to fully step into who you are. You were not created to retreat. There's a million opportunities ahead of you, an endless array of open doors and chances, so stop holding yourself back. Stop holding on to a guy you always believed would die for you when there's One who already did. This Guy, He's not just a band-aid for your broken heart, He'll take all the broken pieces and put them back together. You shouldn't treat Him as a soothing balm when He is the cure. You may have thought love meant grasping, but now there's a love Who would hold on to you. And this Love, just a little tidbit, His hands bled for you too. 

Palms closed tight keep the shadows in. We capture the light with open hands.

Breathe in. Breathe deep. Exhale.

No matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult it is, no matter how stuck you feel sometimes, no matter how many times you have to decide over and over again.

Slowly, fingers uncurling, relinquish. Let go.

Not because he found someone else, not because you want to find someone else, but because now, you are found.


Welcome the new.


I Want To Get Engaged Too

You guys, I’m not kidding.

Two men got down on one knee to propose to two of my friends last week and while I deeply rejoice with them, I can’t get out of my head the fact that life is quickly passing me by. It’s surreal to think that we went from talking about wedding plans to them actually already planning their weddings and here I am, still unengaged. The days have blended into each other, minutes and hours quickly whir past, and I’m left there standing, wondering, where did all the time go?

I don’t want to get left behind and so here I declare that even though I’m single, I will get engaged. I know, I know. Getting engaged is a commitment and it can be extremely difficult, but it’s something I want for my life.

I think it’s something you should desire too.

But first, I have to clarify. By engaged, I don’t mean someone putting a ring on my finger.

Engaged (adj.)
: to participate; to be fully involved in activity
: to be greatly committed and interested

Through all these years, I’ve tried. I force myself to pay attention and to fully be in a moment, but at the end of it, I revert back to my usual pacing – a little detached from reality. I don’t know about all of you, but I’m always charging full speed ahead. My brother points out to me that whenever God gives me a vision, I’d drop everything in the now and eagerly fixate on getting there, always one foot out the door. And that’s not bad, but maybe it’s not entirely good either.

Because how many of us can attest to the fact that God’s visions don’t immediately materialize in one night or one year or even one decade, for that matter?

You see, in attempts to live fully, I want to quickly get on to the next thing. I work and hurry thinking that I need to make up more time, that I’m making the most out of my time, but maybe all I’m doing is throw time away. Because it makes one ask, am I ever really present?

My friends and I would watch travel and adventure videos, and all we could think is: we want to be there, where they are, because here just seems so mediocre in comparison. There is adrenaline and exhilirating and here is… ordinary. However, I can’t help but wonder, what happens after all the rush goes away? They can’t exactly jump from a plane every day, can they? Then their there becomes our here and everything seems mundane again.

But is it really true? Does awe and wonder always have to be there, never here? In always aching to be there, am I ever really here?

Have I ever lived life fully and made the most out of every moment, moment-by-moment? Have you?

The clouds peeking through the buildings and billboards as the MRT speeds through, the extra time to undividedly speak with God when stuck in traffic, the friendly smile of your officemate as she walks past your area, the chocolate swirls that are your mother’s eyes, the iridescent colors of the sun appearing in the suds as you wash your dishes, the smell of flowers seeping through the whirl of the washing machine – it’s all there, but does anyone still notice?

It’s not as if I plan to do some rehabilitation and unplug from electronics. I’m not trying to say we all stop doing anything seemingly apart from nature. This is not a call to scale the Grand Canyon and to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Maybe what we lack is not more weekend getaways; maybe what we lack is a fresh perspective, a look through the eyes of wonder that see His hand in every detail.

I’m excited for the next season. I’m excited for all His promises to come to pass and I’m looking forward to experiencing Him in different ways.

But I also know that He’s just as here as He is there. His very name says it – I Am.  In the present is the presence of a very present God. 

I’m not there yet but I am here and I Am is here.

And I don’t have to wait until that special someone comes to get engaged with a person. Here, now, I can find a good number of people whose lives can fully intersect mine. Here, now, I can be truly, deeply aware of their lives and their situations. Here, now, I can stand with them in their battles and struggles.

Isn’t it time to stop knowing people through stalking their Facebook accounts and start knowing them by actually talking to them?

Don’t just behold life. Take part in life. Fully be where you are. Fully be, right where you are.

I don’t want to wake up one day and cry out, like Jacob, “Surely the Lord is in this place and I didn’t know it!”

For He is in air and space and time, and He is in the in betweens and the plot twists and the situations unwanted and the tough moments and the seeming delays. In Him, all things were created and in Him, all things hold together. His fullness is already here, not just there.

Grace is here. Joy is here. Glory is here. The full life is here, because God is here.

It’s that “yes” to God and the invitation to become His Bride. It’s that “yes” to life.

Here, now, we find the Perfect Lover whose love knows no end.

Doesn’t that make you want to get engaged too?

Bro, Don’t Me.

Based on a thousand true stories of malilinaw na malabong usapan, though not one of them mine. Rather, these are the collective thoughts of males and females alike who are close to me and have been in such circumstances before. 

Let’s make it clear before this gets too far. Like a puppet-master with a string, you have always known how to pull me to you. But today, I might have to cut the ties.

The Greek have said that emotion must warm reason, but reason must rule emotion. I confess, I can love you in spite of everything. I can give up my “rights” and what I “deserve.” However, I choose not to, not because I choose in selfishness but because I choose in wisdom. I apologize for not standing my ground sooner yet I will not apologize for this, now.

I refuse to allow you to keep waging active warfare against my heart.

Stop messaging me audaciously on Facebook if you can’t even face me properly in person. Stop flirting with my emotions if you can’t take responsibility. Stop strategizing and teasing, drawing me near the boundary lines, tempting me to compromise.

Stop making me forget my worth and who I am in Christ.

I am not a secret kept in the dark; I am to be loved in the light. I am not a trophy to be won; I am to be treasured like the jewel in your crown. I am not a toy to be played around with; I am to be treated as I am – created in the image of Maker, bought by the life of the Savior.

They say boys will be boys, but I refuse to accept that. I don’t want to forget your mantle and who God created you to be, too.

You are not a boy, weak and unsure; you are to be a man, ready to lead and take risks. You are not a slave to your emotions and desires; you are to be a warrior fighting for what is right and true. You are not a player; you are to be who you are – entrusted by the Maker to care for His creation, marked by the love of the Savior.

I will not take the easiest route with you, not if it means settling for less than the quality of relationship God might have for us. I don’t want to keep each other stuck like this. The stakes are simply too high. I deserve better. You deserve better. I refuse to rob you and your future wife of your time and affection, so please don’t rob me and my future husband of mine.

If you’re going to pursue me, then do so the way Christ would want you to pursue me.

Love me with clarity.

How would you feel if your sister is being treated the way you treat me?

Love me with purity.

Brother, a man who looks to Jesus would know how to treat a woman.

A woman’s insecurity is never an excuse for a man’s irresponsibility. And as you do your job, I promise I will do mine.

Man up. Please, don’t me.

This Is Who You Are

Take a long look in the mirror right now and tell me what you see.

Hips too thin, waist too fat, arms too flabby.

Look closer. Tell me what you see.

Eyes too far apart, nose too flat, acne scars too deep.

Closer. Look deeper. Don’t you see what I see?

There, right there, swimming in your eyes, reflecting the very depths of your soul.

Beautiful. Breathtaking. The image of the Maker.

You are not an accident. You are not a mistake. God did not create you for the sake of creating. God did not create you out of boredom.

Nothing could come to being out of boredom.

No, like a masterpiece in the hands of an Artist, you were created out of inspiration and love and color bursting. He picked you up and held you close. Face-to-face, nose-to-nose, He breathed life into you. Air from His lungs flow in yours.

Fearfully and wonderfully made – this is who you are.

But maybe you could no longer recognize the face in the mirror. Maybe you’ve hidden behind layers of makeup and clothes and success, afraid that your flaws may be seen; playing your part well, thinking that if you can convince other people that everything is okay, you’ll believe it too. You’ve labored away, hammering walls to keep discerning eyes out and building shiny Christian-dreams of perfection only to find yourself hitting the glass.

Have you shattered?

Love, He does not mind picking up the pieces. He can deal with your mess. Christ didn’t come for those who have it all together; He came for those who don’t. You can let Him hold you together. Your jagged edges and broken fragments won’t stop Him from keeping you close.

The scars in His hands ought to be enough proof of that: He loves you just as you are, not as you should be. There’s no longer anything to prove, because the cross has already declared:

Broken, yet chosen – this is who you are.

The world can try to tell you that you are not enough; that you are hopeless and horrible and shameful. But there is only One righteous to judge and in all His blinding glory and holy, He has His arms wide open waiting for you.

No condemnation. Just forgiveness.

He does not cower from the skeletons in your closet. He is not put off by the darkness of your past. His love is far brighter than that. His sacrifice is enough.

Fully known, truly forgiven – this is who you are.

No more striving to find a place in this world. No more fighting for approval. God has written this story and has put a period to your happy ever after; you know how this tale ends.

Beloved, allow yourself to be loved.

Because the truth is, it’s not about who you are; it’s about who He is. It’s not about what you do or don’t do; it’s about what He has done.

Accept it.

Irrevocably, wildly, unconditionally loved – this is who you are.

The Father’s love reveals who you are.

His.

You are His.

Do you now see?

Dear Student: What To Do When You Like Someone

Dear Student,

I have something to say first, because maybe you have heard from some people that you should not like someone. Maybe you’ve been told that you’re too young to develop such attraction. I’ve had a lot of voices like that in my life. I grew up feeling condemned and sinful whenever I had a crush on someone because there were those who told me that I shouldn’t be having any crush at all. Having a crush meant I wasn’t fixated enough on God. Liking someone meant I would be distracted from God. Admiring meant I would be sinning emotionally. (If you have never heard these statements before in your life, you can skip ahead to the numerated part of this post).

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand where they were coming from and I appreciate the heart behind it. However, experiences like those left me scarred, dubious, cynical, shamed, and above all else, legalistic.

I actually haven’t liked a guy romantically for two years now. Not because I try not to admire someone, but simply because I haven’t found someone who captured my attention. It’s funny that it was when I graduated university that I lost those kinds of emotions, but I guess this is just the season God is placing me in now. However, I certainly have had my fair share of crushes – all when I was a student. And for most of that time, I felt extremely dirty because I was no longer “emotionally pure.”

So let me tell you something that will get that weight off your chest: it’s okay to like someone. It’s okay that you admire him. It’s okay that you feel something for her. It’s okay. You don’t have to suppress it. You don’t have to downplay it. I know your emotions feel so real, so acting like it’s not would be messy. Trust me, I tried. I would attempt to minimize my emotions, then I’d act on them, then I’d pull back, then I’d show emotion again, then things would get incredibly messy. 

And so through all my years of trial and error, I want to share with you the best way to deal with these emotions at that stage in your life:

1. Be honest to God and yourself about how you feel.

The faster you become transparent about it, the better. Don’t worry, God’s not going to strike you with lightning and He can handle your emotions. Thank Him that you have someone to admire and care for so much, then surrender those feelings to Him – don’t let them lead the way. Take a step back and listen to what He says about it. Because while you cannot imagine your life with this person right now, he or she might not what God wants for you – even if said individual is too amazing or attractive or perfect. 

You have free will, but you wouldn’t want to make any rash decisions based on the fleeting and fickle knowing that it might rob you from His best. Not to belittle what you think you possibly feel, but truly loving is different from temporary liking. 

My feelings are not God. God is God. My feelings do not define truth. God’s word defines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives. And sometimes – many times – my feelings are out of sync with the truth. When that happens – and it happens every day in some measure – I try not to bend the truth to justify my imperfect feelings, but rather, I plead with God: Purify my perceptions of your truth and transform my feelings so that they are in sync with the truth.
-John Piper

2. Be accountable.

Don’t go spreading it around like a 5th grader. Tell your leaders, people you trust and look up to, and listen to their counsel. Tell the ones you know would guard you and look out for you, not the “friends” who would spread the fact around like a joke and stir up your emotions inappropriately even more.

3. Guard your thoughts

I am so sure you’ve heard Proverbs 4:23 used to tell you to be careful about how you feel: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” But while there is a good point to that, contextually, that is not what this verse is saying. If you read the entire chapter, you will find that this is a father speaking to his son, telling him to keep wisdom in his heart and to make sure he guarded this wisdom. And so this I tell you as you venture on the adventures of the heart: don’t be legalistic, be wise. Guard your thoughts and keep them pure. It’s not wrong to think about that person every now and then and to continually admire, but it’s wrong if that’s all you ever think about. Don’t stalk his social media accounts 24/7. Don’t overthink every little detail; don’t meditate on every single word he or she says. Don’t fixate on the person; fixate on Jesus. As you submit your emotions to Him, ask for the grace to take every thought captive and make them obedient to Christ. Let your thought life be that of all that is true, pure, noble, and praiseworthy. 

“Not to think of him was impossible. How to think of him was within her power.”
-Regarding Lady Helen’s affection for Wallace, The Scottish Chiefs

4. Watch your actions.

As your thoughts become captive to Christ, I hope your actions do too. Don’t be unnatural around him or her. Don’t take matters into your own hands, don’t grow impatient, and don’t take control. Don’t let attraction turn into manipulation. Don’t go under the guise of “group hangouts” or “study dates” with just the two (or three, if you add a thirdwheel) of you. Maybe it would be wise for you to talk or text less, even. If you’re friends, please don’t stop being friends but also don’t place yourself in positions that would stir you up even more. Let your fists relinquish control and with your heart wide open, hands off. 

5. Pray.

I have had students ask me if it’s okay to pray for a specific person they desire, and my answer is yes. There is really, really nothing wrong with that. God has always wanted us to be transparent about our desires, and to present this person before Him is as honest and vulnerable as it gets. It’s worse to stay within the line of praying “only for the qualities” while thinking of this someone, simply because you think that it would be wrong to ask God and thus you end up being completely untruthful to Him. Just be sure that when you pray, you are completely surrendering those emotions to Him. Be ready to submit to His will when He says no, and be ready to risk when the time comes and He says go. If you aren’t willing to adjust to the idea that God might say no and if prayers just make you obsess all the more then stop completely, because that is no longer love; that is idolatry.

6. Let Christ be your First Love.

Now don’t ask me if you’re allowed to enter into a relationship as a student, because honestly, I won’t say that you’re not allowed. That is not for me to dictate upon you. I don’t want you to follow a formula; I want you to follow Him. So check your heart, your thoughts, your intentions, your actions – is it still about God and what He wants for you or has it become about you and what you want? Be discerning, would a relationship cause you to compromise and sin? Would it distract you from your studies? Would it make you disobedient to your parents? If you answer yes, then take it from someone who entered a relationship when she was 12 years old (I was in 2nd year high school, mind you, and it was mostly out of rebellion): be careful about trading your destiny for something that is temporary. Because let’s be honest, teenage hormones can be immensely misleading. And I don’t think it really matters to God how cute you would be with this person if your relationship wouldn’t be of honor to Him.

“Everything is permissible” you say, but not everything is beneficial (1 Corinthians 10:23). Your willingness to bend your values might mean that you’re only using that person to fill holes in your heart, and that is just setting yourself up for disaster. My dear, you may think you just have to be in a relationship now and all your friends may be in relationships already, but if you think of the fact that you’ll live up to probably 70 or 80, you’ll realize that there’s no need to rush. Know without a doubt that God makes everything beautiful in its time. 

“Our love for God becomes our scale to judge things: we do things and don’t do things because we love God.”
-David Bonifacio

The most important thing is you let your love and life (and lovelife 😂) flow from a place of deep adoration for God. Human love will fall short, and no one in this world can compare to the Lover of your soul. He is the only one who can fill your deepest needs and wants; He alone can satisfy your deepest longings.

And the only way to be sure that you are being wise about how you are handling your emotions is when you love Him most, when you allow yourself to be governed by His holy love. He is the standard of true love, and so let this be how we love– with a love that is patient and not self-seeking and protects; with a love that does not seek to be completed, but is already whole. 

Photo by Jah Sales

Dear Mr. Right: I Can’t Love You That Way Anymore

Dear Mr. Right,

Just a heads up: this might not make you feel butterflies or see hearts.

I’m assuming you’ve read the thousand of books and posts out there on the qualities “God’s Perfect Choice” should have. Of course you have, you’re a godly man. The truth is, I have always wanted you to be the epitome of what everyone would call “The One”. You know how some people say that from the very first time you lay your eyes on that one person, you just know? Well, I have a type. And this entire time, I have waited for that leap of recognition when I look at faces that pass this physical standard. I have held a list up to every guy who dares to get close to me, trying to see how many qualities on my list he lives up to, trying to rate and trying to see if he is you.

But maybe it won’t be that way for us. Maybe you look nothing like how I want you to. And so let me look for you not through the lens of this world and its superficial standards. Let me recognize you through your bubbling laughter and sparkling eyes, through your kind soul and compassionate smile. Let me see not how many barbells you lift at the gym, but how you arms are outstretched to those in need. Let me see not the brand of shoes you wear, but how your feet are willing to go wherever the Lord says so. Let me hear not how deep and melodic your voice is, but how you speak life, grace, and truth. Let me notice not how high you hold your head up, but how low you kneel before His Throne.

One of the main reasons I will love you so much is because you look like Christ. 

Yet amidst all these expectations and requirements, I realized that while having standards is most certainly not wrong, I was teaching myself to only love good people. I was conditioning myself to love you conditionally, and that the moment you start messing up, I can no longer consider you as God’s best. And I can’t love you that way anymore. I’m done claiming to be ready to love you when it’s actually on the basis of my preferences and comforts and pretensions. 

How can I expect you to never make a mistake when I constantly make mistakes too? How can I expect you to be forgiving and understanding of my issues when I refuse to even give any guy the time of the day because he has struggles? How can I say that I love you when it has become all about my standards and my happiness? 

I sincerely apologize for having diminished your worth to a formula; for thinking that your value is rooted in how convenient it would be to love you. I don’t want you to be a checklist I get to tick off. I want you to be real.

So know that I will also love you in the moments that you fall short.

I never want you to feel as if I would judge you just because you lost control over your anger or had a murky past. I never want you to think that you have to be the poster boy for Prince Charming to gain my affection. All I expect of you is that you love God above everything and anything else; I expect you to revere Him and adore Him and live out your life in light of who He is.

Still even then, I know there will still be mess-ups. You’re going to make mistakes and so am I. We’re going to hurt and we’re going to fight because fairy tales and chick flicks are just that – fiction. But what we have is better. What we have is not a story of pretend written by human hands, we have one written by the Author of the Universe – full of plot twists and conflicts for we are to be refined all through out this journey called life. I doubt that it’s going to be easy, walking on this path together, but there will be no balking the moment things get tough and there will be no running away. There will be love, there will be understanding, and there will be repentance and forgiveness.

See, I don’t want us to be like couples who claim to have missed out on “The One” and that they married the wrong person. My love, to me, you don’t become “The One” when you have fulfilled my preferences; you become The One the moment we say, “I do” – that’s why the path to you must be filled with reason and guidance. You remain to be The One even when you fail and even when times get rough. And though you will change through the years, that wouldn’t change a thing because I know that I would have married a person, dynamic and changing, not a list.

To be honest, I’m writing this more for my sake than yours. I have always been obsessed with getting things right, but I am done having criteria that are selfish and are driven by my individual desires. I’m doing this to remind myself that The One I’m waiting for is also a human being – and I wouldn’t have him any other way.

And so tell me, tell me about the universe hidden inside of you, show me the darkness, and let me point out all the stars I see. Let me commit to you not with knowledge of my ideals, but with knowledge of your faults and your weaknesses. Let me love you not only because, let me love you in spite of.

For while the process of choosing you would mean the need for wisdom on the basis of clear thinking, being in a relationship with you would be driven by wisdom on the basis of God’s unconditional love. And so when I dive into this adventure with you, it means witnessing both wonders and horrors; it means embracing the beauty of mystery and uncertainty.

When I love you, I love you completely – past, present, and future; mess and all. When I choose you, I don’t choose by formula, I choose by faith.

And it is with faith that is neither blind nor naïve, with eyes fixed on The One who first loved, that we’ll get this right.

A Lover, Not A Sugar Daddy

I still remember the day I first saw you. Immediately, you were etched into My heart. It was love at first sight and since then, I adored you with all My might.

I’m sure, being in a relationship with Me is not all you pictured it to be.
Because you knew I treasured you so immensely, you pictured rainbows and butterflies when in reality, all I offered you was a love that would fight for you; a love I hoped you’d fight for.

And so I ask you today: why do you love Me?

Do you love Me because of the gifts I give you?
Do you love Me because of how tightly I hug you?
Do you love Me because of how gentle I am?
Do you love Me because of My promises, My glorious plan?

Or do you love Me just because I am?

Will you still like Me if blessings stop going your way?
Or when you can’t see the light of day?
Will you still want Me if I do not answer your prayer?
If I say no to all your desires, will you still lift Me higher?

Now what if death happens to someone you love?
What if the promise doesn’t come when you expected it from above?
What if I ask you to wait twenty years more?
Will you still be there, praising my name even as you lay crying on the floor?

What will happen if I take all your prized possessions?
Will your mouth speak worship or will it mutter moans?
Will you grumble like a spoiled little baby?
Or will you, in faith, hold on to what you cannot see?

When you feel My absence, will you still be faithful?
In your heart, will I still be the One in reign, in rule?
When I discipline you, will you allow it in humility?
Or will you be defiant and refuse, acting so stubbornly?

See, I think I need to remind you
It is a narrow road you have chosen to pursue.
You require too many blessings of this earth,
Is it not enough that I have died so you may have birth?

When I ask you to take up your cross
Will you die to yourself, none too much of a loss?

Beloved, this is a two-way relationship, so do count the cost.

If you want to love Me, love Me for all I am

I am Love as I am Justice
I am Grace as I am Truth
I am Patient as I am Wrath
I am Kind as I am Discipline
I am Forgiving as I am Holy

I am He

Father, King, Lord, Lover


Not Sugar Daddy.

I do believe that God promises to bless His people. However, I also believe it is good to check our hearts every so often to know why we actually follow God. I have heard people turning their backs on Christ so many times just because He refused to give what they wanted, as if He existed for our satisfaction and not the other way around. I honestly grieve when people complain of how much God is requiring of them; such a stark contrast to the disciples who readily laid down their lives for Him with no question. People seem to think that following Christ should mean tangible rewards. 

“God since I obeyed You, give me…” 

Newsflash: God does not need to “pay” us for our obedience. I think we all need to be reminded that we live for His glory – every breath we breathe, every second we’re alive is to His glory.

We love because He first loved us, and the greatest manifestation of that love is His sacrifice on the cross. He need not give us any more proof of His love, for that act alone was proof enough. The fact that He created us and He died for us and He continues to sustain us is enough for us to love Him for all that He is with all that we are – even if material blessings no longer come our way, trusting that our reward is in heaven. 

One ultimate question I would want to pose is this: will you live for Him – even if it means you will have to die for Him?

May it be that it’s okay that we have nothing because God alone, to us, means everything.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

-‭‭Matthew‬ ‭16:24‬ ‭(emphasis mine)

My Issue About The Manny Pacquiao-Homosexuality Issue

Practicing homosexuality is a sin.

I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again. Manny said it too (with regards to same-sex marriage), and it’s gaining coverage with more and more people taking a stand about it. He could have said it so much better, and he fell short there, but it doesn’t change the truth that sin actually disgusts God.

Now here’s the thing. So many people are speaking out on social media, defending Manny, standing by the truth – and that’s wonderful. But we should never forget that practicing homosexuality is just as much of a sin as lying is. Yes, it may have greater repercussions and implications and there will be greater consequences, but in the eyes of a holy God, it’s just as equally horrendous. So here’s the truth: we were just as lost as the homosexuals currently are – we were no “better” sinners.

I know Christians who laughingly say “I repented already” before pirating a movie. I know ones who cheat and lie so naturally; ones who dishonor their parents; ones who are caught up in pride, bitterness, unforgiveness, and self-righteousness. But guess what? Those are all equally sins – all equally hated by God. And in the same way that people refuse to sway about the truth on homosexuality, I hope we also stop tolerating all these other things. 

“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.
Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
-James‬ ‭2:10, 12-13‬ ‭

Now, I would never defend homosexual acts. And to the ones out there saying that homosexuality is seen in animals and God created animals that way, please take time to look at the Bible and see that the first time God stated that He made them “male and female” was when He created man – He never actually said He made them “male and female” when He created the animals. That’s the truth. Homosexuality isn’t of God. 

But it doesn’t mean I can’t be compassionate about it. Because these people are just as lost as I was before. I would never downplay the magnitude of the sin, but may we remember that answering back at our parents, cheating off our seatmates, refusing to obey what God told us to do, and choosing not to forgive a person is just as wrong. May we learn to have just as much distaste for the “little” sins as we do for the ones paid more attention to by mainstream media.

In light of eternity, the “levels” of sin do not matter. In the sight of a holy God, no sin is “holier” than the other. Don’t get so driven by truth that you fail to love, and don’t get so caught up in trying not to offend that you lose the truth. So when we correct, always keep this in mind: is it full of truth? And is it full of grace? 

“(They) said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?… When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 

‭‭-John‬ ‭8:4-5, 7

Now please don’t mistake this as justification for sinning because sin can never be justified. One doesn’t defend his sin by stating how sinful others can be also. In every area of our lives, may we simply live in light of God’s holiness, not of other people.

“As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.””
‭‭-1 Peter‬ ‭1:14-16‬

Loving a Cheater

Your eyes hardened in defensiveness as I confronted you with your mistake. I could hear the way your pride is telling you to just leave, just walk away, to go with who you cheated on me with.

You know, someone once tempted me to stray from my love, too.

The only difference is, I chose love.

I chose you.

Even if it meant waiting for years.
Even if it meant chasing after you repeatedly as you reject me.
Even if it meant being taken for granted as you choose other things that capture your fancy.

You see, I knew your issues even before we entered this relationship.

I knew how easy it was for your heart to be captured by another one’s shallow, sugar-coated words.
I knew how you had the tendency to look for loopholes so you could justify your sins.
I knew how you succumb to moments of pleasure with another only to run back apologetically into my arms.

I knew exactly what I was walking into.

My love is not blind.
I see you exactly as you are.
My love just doesn’t change its mind.

I’m rightfully jealous, I’m rightfully angered. But my heart holds no hatred for you as I wait for you to decide.

You act
As if you’re the victim
As if I’m still just an option
As if your betrayal could be justified.

I’m nailed to a cross
My arms wide open,
My head hung down,
My blood pouring out from my side.

Oh sweetheart, remember.

I chose you.

It cost me everything, but I chose you.

And I still choose you.

So please. Choose me, too.

And this time, please give me all of you.

I wrote this as I was thinking about how vulnerable God can be to us, how we actually have the capacity to bring Him pleasure or pain. I remember a time when I fell into sin and I felt the Holy Spirit grieve. In the moment, I felt my heart shatter as I cried in remorse. I couldn’t believe I offended God that way, and as I thought of all the times I have sinned (which I couldn’t count because there are so many times!!), I was startled with the realization that that was how I break His heart each and every time I lie or gossip or choose my will over His. Every time I sin, I say that the God who formed the universe and breathed life into me is less important than my temporary gratification. Yet in His love, I feel Him accept my heartfelt repentance as He wrapped me in His arms and He sung innocence over me. It changed me forever.

I just want you to know, everyone has fallen short of His glory. Every. One. But none are too far from His grace. Don’t be afraid to approach Him as you do so with a heart that is fully repentant. He’s waiting for you with arms wide open, He’s waiting for you with a heart full of love and forgiveness. Just take that first step and trust me, He’ll meet you where you’re at. Then allow His love to change you radically from the inside out. 

And so my prayer is that you realize that all sin is equally serious, no matter how seemingly big or small, and it is all an act of rebellion against God that can never be justified. I pray that you will be more concerned about how sin grieves the heart of God rather than just gaining personal victory, and so you will cultivate a heart that is pure and pleasing in the sight of Him who sits on the throne. I pray that you will open your heart to all the grace that He has poured out for us so you can be free from the chains and bondages of sin. And I pray that you will remember what it cost Him to love you, and that you will love Him at whatever cost too.

Dear Pretty Lady: You Are Not Cheap

Dear Pretty Lady,

I know there’s so much more to you than a pretty face and an attractive body.

So let me say this: you are worth far more than a booty call or a flirty text. You deserve more than mixed signals and promises unfulfilled. You cannot be demeaned by catcalls and lingering gazes.

You do not have to reveal your body to get men to like you. You do not have to distinguish your value based on the number of likes you get on social media. You do not have to post an album of selfies and bikini shots just to show everyone how pretty you are. You do not have to have a new boyfriend every time a relationship fails because it makes you feel secure. You do not have to starve yourself thin just so you can be as physically attractive as the photoshopped women on magazines. You do not have to change your values so that your peers would like you.

Just because everyone else is lowering their standards and values doesn’t mean that you should too. You were made to stand out. You may have had a messy past, but who doesn’t? You don’t have to doubt your worth, and you don’t have to prove it to other people.

Therefore I plead you, do not give in to someone just because he gives you the butterflies, because emotions are easily manipulated. Wait for the one who will pursue you like a dying man in the desert would pursue water, wait for the man who knows your true value – the way God sees you. Do not expose your precious body and soul to a man who does not understand that such a treasure is worth waiting and working for. Do not succumb to the pressures of this culture and cover yourself in piles of makeup and facades of personality just to be “cool” and accepted. You are beautiful just as you are, and friends who do not see that might not be real friends at all.

You are not defined by how many men court you, by how many followers you have, nor by how pretty everyone else says you are.

Your value was declared and decided when the One who is love gave up His life for you. Know who He says you are, His beloved, His princess. You are worth pursuing, you are worth waiting for, you are worth dying for.

You are worth so much more.

You are a series of complexities, layering upon the other, an endless adventure to the people who are privileged enough to be let in on your journey. You are every possible color slammed together in one canvas, an abstract appreciated by those who are educated enough to know that art encompasses a broad range of wonder, and induces a wide range of emotions.

There may be times you feel so filled by darkness that you cannot see beyond yourself, but trust me, you are the universe. And there are so many stars and galaxies living inside of you, waiting to burst and show true stellar potential.

You are gold, constantly being refined. You are a precious jewel, rare and hard to find.

You are a pearl, and you do not throw pearls to pigs.