When It’s Hard to Let Go

“Why did you even let the relationship go on for as long as it did?”

I looked my friend right in the eye and refused to budge my line of questioning. Here was a man who fell in love with a lady he knew from the beginning wasn’t the one God had for him. He dove headfirst into the relationship, ignoring what he told me were frequent nudges from God telling him to let it go.

With a shrug, he met my gaze and said as frankly as he could, “I just gave in to my desires and before I knew it, I was in too deep.”

Just several weeks ago, I talked to a woman who knew she had to get out of a relationship and yet she couldn’t quite bring herself to. My heart broke for her because I knew exactly what it felt like to be in that position. Sure, this is a story I’ve heard from plenty of other people time and time again, but this is also a story I myself knew very well. I’m well acquainted with the turmoil that comes with knowing you need to let someone go and yet not wanting to.

I remember coming to the Lord and telling Him,

“I can handle breaking my heart over this. What I can’t handle is breaking his heart.”

The reply came immediately, quiet but certain.

“Would you rather break My heart then?”

So I chose to break his heart since what I truly can’t handle is breaking His heart. But while people at the time were highlighting the strength to obey as swiftly as I did, they didn’t see the plethora of emotions surrounding that decision nor did they witness the horrid mess that I was afterward.

The Lord had to deal with several fears in my heart, fears that may be hindering you from letting go of the person you know you’re supposed to as well:

1. Fear of hurting the other person

When you really care for someone, this fear supersedes your fear of hurting yourself. I know people who end up staying in a relationship for many months more simply because of this reason and while it may seem like a compassionate move, it always ends up hurting the other party even more in the end because he would have invested more time and emotion by then.

Let’s be completely honest here: there’s no way to break up with someone that will make him feel happy and fuzzy about it. It’s always going to hurt. So when you know it has to be done, just do it. You’re also robbing him of the opportunity of meeting the person you know is the one for him. This may be hard to stomach in the moment, but if your hesitations are really out of love for him, then you would want to serve him better by letting him go. It may be that the most loving thing you can do for him is to break up with him.

The world may have taught us that love means grasping on to something as tight as we can, but we have now found a love who would hold on to us. We can let it go.

2. “I won’t find someone like him again. I’ll never love anyone else the way I loved him.”

It sounds a tad melodramatic typed out like that, but this is a thought that is very common and very real. In actuality though, this is just an emotion that says it is the first time you’ve been this attached to a person. It doesn’t mean it will be the last nor does it mean you won’t find something deeper than that.

If I were being transparent, I would admit that it took me years to stop subconsciously comparing the men I meet with him. But eventually, I did. And I realized that I would never find someone like him because there is only one him and I don’t really want another him because there’s a reason the relationship didn’t work out in the first place. Now, I get to be found by Someone whom I love so much more.

3. Fear of being alone

The transition between talking to someone every single day to not talking at all is always very abrupt and it takes quite a while to get used to. The loneliness that hits afterward is understandable, but we don’t have to stay there.

The good thing is that more than having a good support system walk with you through it, the Lord doesn’t have qualms in proving that He is close to the broken-hearted. The intimacy I had with Him during that season of my life tasted much sweeter than the seasons before. In fact, sometimes I go back and revel in all the memories wherein He made sure that I never felt alone.

You may fear of losing the feeling of being loved but you are never not loved, not for a single second. And it is when you let that relationship go that you will experience a Love far greater than anything else you have ever known.

4. Fear of regret

Regret is such a tricky thing to deal with. See, there are two regrets that frequently arise from this kind of situation: regret of letting him go or regret of dating him in the first place.

There is always the could-haves and should-haves haunting us down and leaving us sleepless at nights. But reality is, things are as they are now. There is nothing we can do to change what we have done and the only way now is to move forward.

If you’ve made mistakes in the relationship before, then begin by doing what is right. If you’ve crossed physical lines, take action to be pure. If the relationship dishonors your parents, then make the decision to honor them. If there has been lies and deceit, then come clean.

God works for the good of those who love Him and we know that those who love Him follow His will. Trust that as you go with His plan for your life, God will be the One to work the story out into a testimony that brings Him glory.

Now, how do you know if the relationship is something that you should let go? I can’t quite give you a rundown of how to know. The truth is that you just know, but if I may kindly point out: the lack of peace in your heart should already be a tell-tale sign. Abuse, unhealthy patterns, and toxicity are also dead giveaways.

You may start to go on about making it work, and I am all about commitment, but here’s the thing: beloved, if the relationship is not of God, then it has already failed before it even got to begin. You don’t want to fight for something Jesus didn’t die for – and He died so you can have life to the full. Don’t be so consumed with holding on to what you think is good that you miss out on what God knows is best.

And when you do finally decide to let that person go, you need to stick with that decision. They do say that absence makes the heart grow fonder and the first few months truly are the hardest. You would probably be tempted to go running back to him, but stop yourself. Surround yourself with people who will not let you to second-guess yourself. You missing him and thinking about him does not mean you need to be with him. It’s an indication of the past, not the future.

If he does go chasing you around and continues to contact you, then draw the line. Don’t feed off the attention he is showering you. Him missing you does not mean he is the one for you.

I say this with utmost care and concern. The longer you leave yourself out of God’s will, the more consequences there will be. Let’s be frank here. You may be happy with him and he may emotionally satisfy you temporarily, but to your core you know that something’s missing. You can try to convince yourself that everything’s great, but you know something’s not right. Your relationship with God most probably took a hit as well because you can barely face Him anymore, knowing what He will say.

Do you really want to spend more time stuck in that limbo? Paul reminds us to throw off everything that hinders and to run with perseverance. That means determination to push through even when it hurts and even if it feels like you’re crashing to the ground.

I cannot promise you that you won’t hit rock bottom, but if you do, know that He is right there with you – He is the Cornerstone after all. Rock bottom can even turn out to be the foundation on which you are rebuilt and remade.

The best thing to do is to lift it all up to God in prayer. And I don’t mean the “God-please-let-us-end-back-together-after-we-grow-separately” type of prayer. I mean the prayer that acknowledges His will; the prayer that asks for His will be done no matter what that may look like. It is when you consistently place yourself in a posture of surrender that the regret about the past and the anxiety about the future become pretty much non-existent.

You may want to stay within what is familiar and hesitate at the thought of an infinite amount of paths sprawling out in every direction; you may balk at the picture of a future without the one person you thought was sure to be there no matter what road you take. But my dear, when doubt keeps us safe where we are, faith brings us to the pinnacle of living.

Let your faith become really real during this season of your life. Faith without action is dead and letting go may be the action step you need to take. God promises that the future He has for us is full of hope and while all may seem bleak in the midst of the turmoil, we have to be certain of what we do not see. We may not be able to peer into the fullness of the future but we have the only Light we need.

Oh, and my story?

Well I lived to tell the tale.

Fight for Your Heart

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
– Proverbs 4:23

This verse has been preached a thousand times in a thousand different ways. But such are the joys of the Bible being living and active – there’s always something new to get from it every time.

Allow me to tackle this today in a different way.

I have recently gone through a process with the Lord wherein He took me to different places in my memories – memories that I somehow managed to forget were there. At first, I was apprehensive and tried to run away. I wasn’t quite ready to face where I was being taken and wanted to protect myself from the hurt that I knew was coming.

The Lord then had to talk me through it. “I’m not trying to break your heart. I’m trying to bind up your broken heart.”

I was confused because I was at a perfectly good place. At least, I thought I was. The Holy Spirit then kindly made me understand that there were issues I buried from years ago that I thought were already dealt with but in fact still had roots, and it was time to deal with them before they come back up rearing their heads. I really didn’t quite think they were worth paying attention to because the blows I took were not as horrible as others have received. However, we all break differently and such comparison of brokenness doesn’t invalidate the trauma.

There started a process that was painful, to say the least, but was also enlightening. You see, I thought I was protecting my heart by putting up walls and keeping it safe, but the truth is I was actually killing it.

We’ve taught ourselves to not talk about things of the past; to not think about things that hurt. We say what’s done is done, but does that really make it over?

There is constant talk about how the love of the Lord is like a soothing balm over our injuries and yes, that’s true. However, His love is also like disinfectant fiery over our wounds because His hands need to take the bullet out and stitch up the holes.

It hurts, but it’s necessary if we want to live.

If we want to really protect our hearts, then we have to stare all the painful memories right in the face and not look at away. We have to go back to those moments and bring the Lord with us.

It gets scary because we do have questions and regrets. “Why did I do that, how could I have been so stupid?” “Why did the Lord allow that to happen to me?” “Why is life unfair?”

And so it’s important to hold the Holy Spirit’s hand through all of it; we need to be aware of what He is saying about all the things we went through. We also need to be reminded of the fact that the enemy comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. He is actively working day in and day out to snuff out your hope and your spirit.

It might sound threatening but reality is, he’s threatened of you. He’s scared of all the things that you could become and is terrified of you reflecting all of God’s goodness and glory. Therefore, he has set up a thousand situations to take you out and has placed a million lies in your head, telling you you’re not good enough, that you’re unwanted and a burden, that it’s all your fault and that it happened because you had it coming anyway.

But one quick look at the Bible will tell you that even before the Lord formed you in your mother’s womb, He knew you. While you were still a sinner, He died for you. And His heart is to bless you, heal you, and give you life that is lived to the full.

You’ve probably heard of conspiracies regarding the Illuminati and that they make agreements with the devil so they can have the life that they want. Making such transactions with Satan is not the only way to have an agreement with him. Each and every time you agree with his lies towards you and even towards others, you are entering into an agreement with him.

We have to cut ties with those lies. This is not just about having low esteem. This is spiritual assault at its finest and this is why we have been implored to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.

Notice the term “take captive.” It’s a term that belongs to the vocabulary of soldiers and the military. This is because we are in a fight and we have to understand that trying to ignore the battle or deny the war does not mean we will be spared from it.

One of the common translations for one of the names of God “Jehovah Sabaoth” is “The Lord of Hosts.” The literal translation for this name is “The Lord of Angel Armies” and I like that a lot better. The Lord has been constantly accused of being a bystander, but He has been anything but. In fact, He has always been the frontliner, going forward as the sacrifice for the rest of the people.

We look at all the defeating blows humanity has received and point fingers because we have bought into the idea that we don’t have to fight because we have Jesus, but that is heresy and just another lie the enemy has managed to infiltrate in our culture. It’s like someone from the Navy saying, “I don’t need to fight, the Commander will do all of the fighting.” We have been called to fight the good fight (1 Timothy 6:12) and to take up the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). We have to realize that we have been slated into this war and were never meant to play civilians; we were meant to be warriors.

A verse that I commonly hear being quoted completely on its own is Exodus 14:14. “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” as Moses told the people of Israel. What people fail to pay attention to is the context of the verse, because in the next verse, the Lord told Moses “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.”

You have a part to play. You have to keep moving forward. Don’t allow the enemy to belittle the things that the Lord has placed in your heart. Remember that Satan does not want you stepping into all that the Lord created you to be and will do anything to prevent that. He will try to break you down, discourage you, meet you with failure and dishearten you.

Wonder, love, grace, joy – the world wants to take it all away from you. Hell will fight you over what heaven has called you.

There will be doubts. You may be fronted with shame and judgment. Satan may even use people to mock you and look down on you, but don’t lose heart. Think of Joseph’s brothers and how they were so threatened of Joseph that they plotted to kill him. If you’re in that situation, know that it only cements the fact that there is a good future waiting for you and that if you push through, there is glory to come.

“So, it becomes the devils business to keep the Christian’s spirit imprisoned. He knows that the believing and justified Christian has been raised up out of the grave of his sins and trespasses. From that point on, Satan works that much harder to keep us bound and gagged, actually imprisoned in our own grave clothes. He knows that if we continue in this kind of bondage, we will never be able to claim our rightful spiritual heritage. He knows also that while we continue bound in this kind of enslavement we are not much better off than when we were spiritually dead.
We must face up to the issues and attitudes and doubts which constitute our fears, that keep us from being happy and victorious Christians with the true liberty of the children of God. We seem to quake about many things. In the first place, are you still afraid of your past sins? God knows that sin is a terrible thing?and the devil knows it, too. So he follows us around and as long as we will permit it, he will taunt us about our past sins.”
-A. W. Tozer

This also helps us be sensitive to the fact that everyone has their own battles. So be kind, be gracious, and love one another as Christ has loved you. Stand together in prayer and hold the ropes for each other. The Lord knows we all need it.

Don’t be afraid to bring to light all that you’ve hidden in the shadows. Don’t put your heart under a shade and hide it away. Don’t buy into the lies of false humility and shame.

Allow everything in your heart to shine and break through. If we truly want to protect our hearts, then we fight to keep them the way the Lord designed them to be – loving, selfless, brave, and free.

“As for myself, I have learned to talk back to him on this score. I say, “Yes, Devil, sin is terrible-but I remind you that I got it from you! And I remind you, Devil, that everything good -forgiveness and cleansing and blessing- everything that is good I have freely received from Jesus Christ!” Everything that is bad and that is against me I got from the devil -so why should he have the effrontery and the brass to argue with me about it? Yet he will do it because he is the devil, and he is committed to keeping God’s children shut up in a little cage, their wings clipped so that they can never fly!”
-A. W. Tozer

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 Give Up.

I give up.

There, I said it. I just can’t do it anymore.

I’ve never really talked about it on this blog and I only shared about it to very few friends, but let’s get it out in the open now.

I graduated from university almost two years ago with the idea that I’ll pursue either pursue world missions, further studies, or work straight after traveling for a bit. Slowly getting my options in a row, my e-mail was full of messages from Stanford MBA Admissions and London Business School, with job-interviews for Rockwell and Ayala lined up.

And so I still recall sobbing on the phone outside Apartment 1B a day after I got back from Taiwan, my brother beside me as the news that I had to put a hold on all those plans because God had other plans hit me out of nowhere. The only consolation I got that night was Wes ordering all the dessert from the menu to comfort me and Janna standing out of a balcony with me as the Ayala lights flickered away from across the street.

Not that I’m sitting outside a restaurant right now bawling as strangers did their best not to stare at me, but I find myself in the same internal setting once again: bewildered, a little lost, plans in a disarray as I turned down yet another job interview earlier this week because God told me that I can’t do so until He says go. I honestly can no longer count the number of times I’ve had to say no because He said so, and it’s been wearing me thin.

Don’t get me wrong. As much as I’ve been jobless and living in the province, the past year has been the most wonderful year of my life as it has been full of surprises, adventures, and so much of Him. 2015 made sense.

2016, so far, not so much.

You see, He told me beginning of this year to sit back and watch everything unfold because this year will be far better than 2015. But all I could see unraveling is my heart; the frustrations and doubts buried beneath layers of “God, it’s okay”, “I trust You”, “I surrender to Your will” coming out.

The first quarter of the year is almost through and let me tell you, nothing quite spectacular has happened so far. And so when He whispered a date to me twice earlier this month, I held fast to it.

“March 19.”

I counted down the days in fear and anticipation. But March 19, 2016 came and went without anything significant happening, and I felt my fears being justified. That is, until He told me again.

“March 19. Ask Me why.”

Those three extra words, and my head fell in shame. Out of my desire, I assumed instead of clarified. And when I clarified, I found out we were talking about two completely different things.

He asked me to check out my journal entry from March 19 of last year. I was baffled because I knew full well that there wasn’t anything special going on this time last year. But I wasn’t going to make the mistake of pushing what I wanted, so I did.

I approached my bookshelf praying dearly to God that I didn’t mishear Him on this one, and upon scanning my entry on March 19 of 2015, I knew I hadn’t.

Staring right back at me were words I have spoken in the past, words that resonate in me in the present.

“Teach me how to wait on You. I want things to come to pass as I like, but I know You have something better planned. It’s only March 19, and I know You have so much more in store. I will not go ahead of You. Teach me to enjoy the anticipation. As much as I want to pull off the blindfolds and see where I’m headed, I trust You. It’s hard. Some days, I feel like I’m just being stupid. But I know no word from You will ever fail. I wait for Your work and story to unravel.”

The stark contrast between my perspective last year and this year humbled me. I have allowed impatience and discontent to get the best of me. I have wanted to take control of circumstances as I have before.

He so perfectly knew that the best person to remind me of how I gave up before was me from a year ago. He perfectly orchestrated this meeting of past and present. And I know He will perfectly weave the past, the present, and the future.

That’s why, yet again, I give up.

I give up trying to predict You. I give up trying to chart the future and mapping out in my head all the things that were to come my way. I give up fixing my eyes on what is seen.

Rather, I fix my eyes on the One who sees the unseen; the One who already knows the journey, the climax, and the end of my story; the One who, as we speak, is working behind-the-scenes.

I don’t know what I’m waiting for, but I know whom I’m waiting on.

For if there is one thing I’m not giving up on, it’s this: that He is.

My dear, no matter where you’re at, know that He is. He is faithful. He is sovereign. He is trustworthy.

It’s okay to give up to someone like that. And when you do, He will give back. Indeed, it might not look like anything you’ve expected, but it just might be beyond your wildest dreams.

“For when you did awesome things that we did not expect, you came down, and the mountains trembled before you. Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”
-Isaiah 64:3-4

Unearthing Desire: Preserve 

From Recover: Through the heat of the sun, we push through. But storms can come in and wash away all our progress. And so what happens then?

“Let go.”

I used to think that when God asks you to let go, it is only in the literal sense. However, through the course of many, many events that I would not want you to go through, I have found out that almost always the way God wants us to let go is by releasing our sticky fingers and by simply (though not easily) walking in faith.

First I tell you to acknowledge and claim the desires that have been stolen from you, and now I tell you to let them go. I may sound contradictory here, but don’t misunderstand. I’m not telling you to forget about your desires, to “set them free.” I’m telling you to stop making things happen on your own and to just trust God. Fact is, we get tired and frustrated because we haven’t given God the ropes, because we haven’t embraced the mystery and trusted in His supernatural timeline.

“When we don’t look for God as our true life, our desire for Him spills over into our other desires, giving them an ultimate and urgency they were never intended to bear.”

The way to preserving our desires is to uncover the desire beneath the desire, and by holding on to that deepest of deepest desires.

I don’t want us to journey into this without fully grasping that our desire for God is the source of all other wishes. We are able to want other things because we have understood that He is our primary desire. And when we get this, we will find that we finally have freedom of desire (not freedom from desire). Freedom of desire in a sense that we are no longer ruled by our desires, and thus we are free to continually desire. We allow ourselves to continually desire, because we know that we have the One we utmost, truly desire. (I dearly hope I didn’t lose you guys on that paragraph). 😁🙈

However, waiting is still painful, and it’s part of the process. It’s something I had to learn. I got inspired to write this series yesterday as I was crying out to God since I was honestly torn up. By this time I am already four months in on walking the path of desire and faith. I was fixing my eyes on Him, I gave it up to Him, so why does it still hurt so much? Then in a whisper, He came and said “it is because you desire me that I allow you to desire, and this experience is what true desire is. True desire continues to hope, continues to long, continues to hurt, continues to love – in spite of everything.”

I went to the hospital this morning to get stitched up. Why, you may ask. There’s this one room in one of our commercial areas I like to stay in because it’s so quiet. They’re currently doing construction there, so the other day I went after they were done. Upon arrival, I just walked around in the usual Jade way (you know, with a lot of bouncing and twirling 🙈) and to my surprise a few seconds later, there were big drops of blood falling on the floor in maddeningly fast pace. Seems like my foot got cut (deeply and widely, might I add) through one of the edges of the broken tiles placed up in piles. Believing for miraculous healing, I started praying when God told me to pour alcohol over it, like really pour it all over the gash. So I did, and man did it hurt. Then God spoke to me, “you have to go through the pain.”

I was still believing for healing afterwards. I’ll spare you the graphics, but what I did was I convinced my mom to tape the ends of the gash together so that the skin would meet and the wound would close. We agreed that if it didn’t work, I’m going to get it stitched up because the entire layer of skin came off. I was telling God, “please heal me so I won’t get hurt more.” But I really felt God telling in my heart, “nope, you have to go through the pain.” I didn’t want to hear it. And so I tried convincing my mom to knock me out with meds before I would get it stitched up, to which she and the rest of family laughed off as ridiculous. Obviously, I lost the match. Truth is, it wasn’t that bad – the stitching. After the anaesthesia took effect, everything was pretty mild. However, during the middle of the session, a painful wave of dysmenorrhea (male translation: tummy ache) hit me that I ended up writhing on the operating table and I was grasping the life out of the sheets trying to pull myself together. I usually couldn’t get out of bed whenever these pain attacks come around. So much for “it’s not that painful pala.” When God wants to drive a point, He really makes it hit home:

The only way through is through the pain.

“Spiritual surrender is not resignation. It is not choosing to care no longer. It is surrender with desire, or in desire. Desire is still present, felt, welcomed even. But the will to secure is made subject to the divine will in an act of abandoned trust.”

This kind of surrender is the most painful kind. After wrestling with our demons and coming out triumphant with the treasures buried in our hearts, after opening up once again to love deeply, we choose to lay it down and give it all before the Lord. This kind of freedom is the most beautiful kind.

And so we push on through, trusting that history is His story to which we all have beautiful, captivating, unique roles to play.

“Life is a journey of the heart that requires the mind, not the other way around.”