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.

New Year’s Resolution: Move On

I had a New Year post all planned out, and it was sooooo not this.

It’s December 30, we just had dinner at CJH, and dad’s driving to visit our tito’s house. We were joking around until out of the blue, I felt an onslaught of emotions overtake me – emotions that I have not felt for a very long time, emotions that had absolutely nothing to do with where I am at the moment. And so among chatter, I sat in the backseat, riding along the laughter while hiding my face in the darkness with tears streaming down my face, wishing my voice did not break as I tried to act normal.

Every day for the past couple of days before this, I was looking back at my year and would simply thank God because I could not think of a day that He did not come. 2015 was the best yet, it was filled with adventure and growth and love, and I was so grateful for everything I experienced this year. I was so happy that it felt like my heart was going to burst of joy, so to say that this sudden outburst caught me by surprise would be an understatement.

See, I thought I was okay. I thought I completely let it go. So as I searched my heart and as I asked God, I couldn’t help but flash back to Abraham, because what happened with him and Isaac was something I always connected to. I have not wanted anything more in my life, but I laid it there before the altar and I plunged the knife through. I could say that I surrendered, because as much as I wanted to take it into my arms, I released my sticky fingers and just let God do what He wanted. And so while my cousins and siblings were out there in the living room laughing and playing board games, I was inside a room crying yet again, asking Him why, why make me feel this way again when I have not thought about it for months. Then His quiet voice pierced my soul with the answer.

“Because you have been waiting for a resurrection.”

I was stunned. But deep in my heart, I knew I was. I kept a door open just in case, and somehow that meant that all doors to other possibilities remained closed because I still wanted it most. Let’s put it this way. For example, God said no to a job. I submitted to it and completely delved in the season God put me in now. Yet a part of me remained hopeful that God would bring that job back to me when I’m ready for it. And there would be other wonderful job offers coming my way but I would turn them away because I was waiting for God to open a door to this specific job again, this one that deep in my heart I desired most. I didn’t think that there was anything wrong with it. I was just staying open, what was so wrong with that?

Then it hit me.

I may have let go, but by not exactly moving on, it’s like saying I knew better than God, it’s like saying I knew what’s best for me still. Why keep a door open to something God has said no to already in the first place? I was hoping He would change His mind; I was hoping somewhere down the line, He had a grand restoration story planned out. But killing it at the altar meant that I had to accept the possibility that my story would be different from that of Abraham’s, and that there will be no giving back.

And I know a lot of people who surrender convinced that if they do it now, they can have it back later. In fact, I came across a beautiful song by Moira Dela Torre, and the lyrics go “kung di pipilitin ang di para sakin, baka sakaling maibalik” (if I don’t force what’s not to be mine now, maybe some day it will be). Doesn’t that echo our hearts? That if we obey and surrender now, we can have it back when the timing is better. Now it’s not that I’m saying He won’t give it back, because God is a God of resurrection. Yet as far as I know, He only brought back to life those that He willed to do so. Not one story fits all. Of course, we all want that story to be ours. But if He resurrected everyone, could you imagine earth right now?

Don’t get me wrong. God listens to our desires, and He loves giving us the desires of our hearts. But there’s also this tension that He won’t, because He has something better planned out for us. 

God is a personal God, so my story might not be yours too. But surrender means forever laying down your plans. And so whether or not He calls the fire to kindle again, I pray that the desire of His heart be our outmost desire.

I believe that 2016 is to be of wider borders, grander adventures, and greater stories. So if God asks you to leave something behind in 2015, I pray that you do and that you bury it there because He has so much better things to give you this coming year. He can’t give you what He has planned for you if there’s still something occupying your hands. Don’t be afraid of walking into 2016 empty, as long as you’re walking into it surrendered to His will and completely by faith. Make way for new seasons, new beginnings, and new stories. 2016 is going to be glorious, for His glory will overtake us. 

“…One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:13-14‬ ‭

Have an incredibly blessed new year, and may your days be filled with His presence! ❤️

Dear Young Lady: Regretting a Broken Heart

I got inspired to write this when a friend of mine told me of how ladies in his school VG were sharing about how much they regretted their past relationships and how they wish they waited. 

Dear Young Lady,

I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to have loved at the wrong time; to have given too much than you should have; to have gone against what your conscience was telling you because something felt good, because someone made you feel wanted. I know what it’s like to have enjoyed it for the moment being, and later look back and see nothing but trainwreck and regret.

Did Prince Charming turn out to be the villain? Did the evil stepsisters triumph and have left the townspeople making rumors about you? Did you fall in love not with the prince, but with the princess? I don’t know, I don’t know your story.

But I do know this: you’ve been injured, you’ve been hurt. Whether you like it or not, a part of you has been broken. You’re now partly jaded, kind of cynical. Does it still leave you aching? The thought of how you’ll never have a chance to have your first ever kiss at the altar? Of how your first didn’t turn out to be your last? Of how your most recent love didn’t turn out to be the forever kind?

To a certain degree, you probably think you lost your chance at a fairytale.

But see, life has never been about being a fairytale. It has always been the story of redemption.

Don’t dwell on what you have lost, on what you have given away – physically or emotionally. Of course there’s pain, of course there’s regret. However, with God, there are new beginnings. He can make beauty out of ashes. Yes, acknowledge what you have done, acknowledge how far you’ve fallen. But then fix your eyes on the cross, and realize that He has long declared that pain finished; He has nailed your failures to the cross. Please stop trying to take them down from there.

I know you wish you didn’t make the mistakes you did, but you have. Now stop magnifying them, and magnify God’s forgiveness, magnify His renewing power. I’m not going to lie, there will be scars. Those are the consequences of something done out of God’s will, that’s why He has always been so intent on getting us aligned to Him. But God is able to take back what seemingly has been stolen, and He will restore it back to you a thousandfold. Walk in light of His forgiveness, walk in the transforming power of His grace.

This is His word for you: No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

Forgive the person who has hurt you. Forgive yourself. Allow yourself to be forgiven.

And sweetheart, don’t be afraid that your future spouse would not be able to accept your past. Love covers all sin, and he will accept all of you. I’m not saying it will be easy for him to handle, but I’m saying that if he’s the right one, he’ll look at you as how God sees you – redeemed, lovely, and pure.

Do know that not all people are out to hurt you. I understand that the world is full of predators and you really do have to be wise about the people you trust, but don’t instantly assume the worst in everyone. For example, while it is true that there are boys who are seemingly epitomes of playboy-ness, there are also men who fear God and live such honorable lives. We just have to be careful to discern who is truly who.

Also, don’t think that your mistakes disqualify you from a beautiful, loving relationship in the future. I know ladies who have been attracted to the same gender, and yet they chose to surrender and embrace how God created them to be so now they have come to have blooming and joy-filled romantic relationships with godly men. I have heard testimonies of women who lost their virgnity to someone before their husband came along – some willingly, some without consent. But because they chose to repent, to trust God and believe that He has called them pure in spite of everything, they didn’t settle for less than what God wanted for them still and today they have such lovely families. So don’t be afraid to give away your heart again when God gives you the go. If that guy loves God more than he loves you, then there is no need to fear. When the time comes and when the right man comes, you can love and be loved the way God has always planned true love to be.

Stop listening to who the world says you are. Don’t be affected by who your friends expect you to be. Renounce every curse ever thrown against you, every lie about yourself that you ever believed. Hear what the One who made you says for only He knows who you truly are and how you were created to be. 

You are precious, a treasure that the Son of God Himself was willing to die for. And this Maker of heaven and earth calls you worthy; He calls you beautiful. The King of the entire Universe claims you to be His daughter, whose identity is founded in Him. So don’t listen to the voices in your head or believe anyone who has told you otherwise. 

You can’t change your past, but there is hope for your future.

For this is the hope of a broken heart: Christ.

In Him, there are second chances. In Him, all things are new. He is the Hero of this story. He is your Knight in Shining Armor. He is your Prince Charming.

God is still writing your love story. I know it’s cliche, but it’s true. Until then, just focus on what God wants you to do this season. Know Him, spend time with His people, grow in your character and interests. And wait, very patiently wait.

Because this is redemption: a second chance at a fairytale. The true kind. The eternal kind.

Your fairytale isn’t over yet. In Him, it’s only just beginning.

P.S. To the teenagers who have read this and would somehow want to use God’s grace as an excuse to do whatever they want – don’t.