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(Almost) Three Months

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via 1000 Things to be Grateful for in Life (http://bit.ly/2A14YGP)

via 1000 Things to be Grateful for In Life (http://bit.ly/2A14YGP)

I just want to start this post with a greeting: Happy Thanksgiving Day! I didn’t realize it until I checked my phone calendar because it has US holidays saved. And the feature image is a coincidence as I only chanced to save it from Google images via 1000 Things to be Grateful for in Life, a blog, too. 😀 Now back to my original post…

The thought may be cliché but I really do not know how to start this blog post. After two years, I decided to post here again. I have been thinking what to post, but because I haven’t been online in my Facebook account for almost 3 months, I thought it would be good to post my thoughts here again. Being away for three months on Facebook is not a long time but when you get used to being online every day for hours, you know how long it feels.

Let me start with my apologies. I am sorry. If you are one of my friends reading this, and you felt I’ve abandoned you because I haven’t replied to you through Facebook as that is the only way to reach out to me, I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I also felt selfish for being away from Facebook, not even posting something at my wall, telling you that I will be away I do not know for how long. But know this: I have been itching to ask how you’re doing—if you’re well, if you’re having problems, if you’re having a good time with your life now. I couldn’t stand not asking my friends how they’re doing because I’m afraid to be forgotten. I’m afraid that they might think I do not care. I’m afraid that they might think I am such a bad friend. I am not even a good friend, I think. I have my own flaws, anyway. But thank you if you think otherwise.

I am sorry for feeling so afraid if I cannot reply to group chats right away. I sometimes feel unwanted in a group; as if my opinions won’t matter so I’d choose to keep myself away. And I am sorry for not responding quickly. Sometimes I’d get too anxious seeing who sent me a message, especially if it’s someone I haven’t talked to for a long time.

Being away from Facebook, I felt like I did not exist within those span of months. I felt like I did not exist in the “digital world” where everybody goes day in and day out. It felt like I have been left out of some people’s lives just being offline because Facebook equates their lives.

It’s also somehow sad to see how people depend on Facebook nowadays. It’s hard saying this as I am thinking on how to actually communicate to my relatives and friends abroad without Facebook (WE HAVE E-MAILS! But Facebook, of course, is easier and more accessible…?). I am also thinking on how to promote your businesses/projects without Facebook. So, really, being dependent on Facebook is not an issue, I guess. But what’s bad is that when it comes to social gatherings, when you are finally face to face with the people you’re socializing with online, it gets a bit awkward already. Maybe that’s the bad thing about being online all the time: you tend to lose the art of listening and/or oral communication because now, you’re the best in communicating through typewritten words, not to mention through emojis, too.

I know I still have tons of reasons to apologize for, but they seem to get lost somewhere in my brain when I start typing my thoughts for this post. So let me now start with my gratitude! For those who still send me texts messages and really make the effort to know my number, thank you. For those who send me messages on Twitter (because it’s my go-to social media account aside from Facebook wehehehe), thank you very much! Whenever a friend sends me a text message or a direct message in this time of being offline on Facebook, you don’t know how much it touches my heart that somebody is thoughtful enough to ask how I’m doing. I also feel so happy when you just simply tell me stories about your day! I’d sometimes cry (yep, I’m that sensitive) and say, “Hey! I’m okay!” because I’d realize that somebody cares. I’d feel okay just having someone to talk to.

Being offline on Facebook also made me focus to my family—nobody beats their love, care and understanding, really. Even if you’re the worst, you are loved. Being with them while I was offline made me feel so loved and complete. It made me realize that when you’re offline, cherish the people who are physically there for you, too.

Thank you also for those who strived to send me messages on Facebook even though I haven’t opened it yet (even now!). It makes me feel like you’re not giving up on me; you want me to stay in your life. It feels a bit lonely if someone wants you out of their life. It hurts, really, but moving on and letting go is part of life so you got to keep a hold of yourself! Though for me, letting go of someone is a hard part for me. I’d rather fight for the person to stay in my life than to let him/her go. Fight for your friendship if you still have the chance!!

And one thing that really made my life during my three months of being offline was this: God made me realize how important it is to need someone. This culture/society is always talking about independence, that we can do this alone, and that you have to be strong because in the end, the only one who can help you is yourself. It’s true; you should really be strong inside. You must take heart. But also, I think it’s grace when somebody needs you. The feeling of being needed is very important. “I need you in my life.” “I need you to do this.” “I need you to go here.” “I need you.” It suddenly struck me that being needed by/needing someone is important because it makes you feel that you exist in their world, or even in this world.

That’s why it made me feel so selfish being offline. What if there are people out there who need me? I’m no superhero, but being there for a person is really something. What if my friends whom I haven’t communicated with a long time need me at those moments when I was offline? I cried upon realizing this (this realization was back in September). But I still didn’t go online because I was scared at what I will see in my inbox and in my timeline. But what is there to be scared of when the fears inside me are only my thoughts and myself and not the people around me?

Okay, I think I’ll go online very soon.

After all, I am not forgotten.

When I’m Feeling Down

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Picture not mine

Picture not mine

Yes, I also wondered why I posted this picture as a “cover picture” for this blog post of mine. I was really searching for quotes or photos of people that represent sadness or depression, but when I typed the word “down” with Google’s suggestion “feeling down”, this showed up and it made both me and my brother laugh. I love it when it happens.

Anyway, enough of Chewbacca. Time for another blooper moment. I typed “down” in Google Images search, and these were the images that appeared:

Image

Indeed, they’re down

I respect people who have down syndrome. They’re absolutely awesome. But when I’m so sad, and I was expecting for different results in Google Images, darn. I laughed a bit.

SERIOUSLY, enough of all these. I am so down, really. A lot of people who could see me personally can’t believe that I get down, that I get problems, that I have problems in managing time and that I have a hard time balancing my priorities. Why was I sad? Again, it’s because of my attitude. It feels as if I’m becoming too disrespectful to my parents. I have the guts to tell these things to you not because I’m proud of it, but because I believe that when the darkness is exposed to the light, it will vanish (Eph. 5:13). I learned it from my former leader in church.

When my parents touch me or talk to me, I become so irritated without knowing why. When they scold me when I do wrong, I complain, thinking, “That’s not even wrong! I am old enough to know what’s right and wrong.” My heart is becoming stubborn.

Have you ever felt this before? This feeling of thinking about a problem in your life; just a single problem in your life, then you’ll start over-thinking. When you started over-thinking, that problem becomes so big that you think the whole world is upon your shoulders. That’s a big problem now, and has become a burden in your heart too. That’s how I feel about myself now. But when I think about it, I battle it with a positive thought, “I’m fighting with it. I don’t have to stay down.” But you know what? I’m still down.

What I forgot was GOD. I put God out of my life. I put God out of the context. I put Him out of my mind and heart, in my soul and strength. I am not fighting WITH Him. I choose to forget about Him, and do it all on my own believing that I can. Yes, it’s said in Phil. 4:13 that “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” but am I really putting Christ as I apply it in my life? I try to change my attitude. I try to change my thinking. I try to change every negative thing in me without God’s help. I hope to practice and apply it in my life from now on. Putting God in every situation I’m in since I can’t really do this alone.

Let’s FIGHT on!

2014’s First Day

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This picture is not mine!

This picture is not mine!

January 01, 2014 and I cried half the day.

Do you know that feeling when you can’t stop crying over something, then starts thinking over a lot of things and cries over everything without you knowing? That’s what I’m feeling now. I still can’t stop crying because of a mix of emotions within me.

I became too fed up with one aspect of people: being judgmental. I know that it is wrong to judge and that you won’t be judged unless you did something for people to judge what you did or said but in the first place, “IT IS WRONG TO JUDGE“. I myself isn’t excused. I also judge. I am not exempted. I admit it. Unconsciously, I judge people too. And I also make the excuse: “Well, he/she is doing/saying something for him/her to be judged.” We don’t have the right to judge, anyway. We also make mistakes in some other way. Only He Who’s perfect has the right to judge us.

I cried everything to God in the van as my family and I went home from our relative’s house. I vented my anger towards God. Of course, I cried because I couldn’t take it anymore. My heart’s full of rage and sadness towards the people I care about when suddenly, God taught me a lesson:

“Never play with people’s emotions.”

I experienced it. It’s as if people were playing with what I really feel. We really have to be careful and think before speaking or doing something; whether it may be online or in real-life situations. I felt like you’d simply laugh over what you really feel yet deep inside, you’re screaming, “Please stop it. It’s getting too offensive.” I must admit that I take a lot of jokes very seriously. I even cry over some of those. I am aware that it’s a joke but most of the times, it gives a pang of hurt and offense in my heart.

Emotions are very dangerous. They can control you as a person. That’s why we need to have self-control to be able to control it; not overcoming us. About emotions, it’s cool that a lot of people have been opening up to me lately (5 people to be exact, and yes, they’re many for me). They’re not much of a close friend of mine but they chose to open up to me. I thank God for that. I realized that behind people’s courage, boldness, strength, happiness, joy, and laughter is a broken, sad, lonely, depressed and lost soul. I saw how people really need God in their lives.

As I cried to God, I noticed that it was my first cry over Him. Faith really helps us see the invisible (Heb. 11:1). I was comforted. I believe that He’s listening to me. I’m not crazy. Well, maybe yes because “Love makes us do crazy things”. Haha. God also taught me another thing, similar with what I typed in my post, “2013” (https://whoismaria.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/2013/):

“You need to understand people no matter what, even if they’re too annoying for you. Love is unfair. Learn “empathy”.”

God has been so patient with us. God has been so gracious towards us. He may know everything about us, from our deepest hidden sin in our hearts to our craziness but He loves us anyway. We may look very dirty as how we view ourselves but God views us differently; God views us “through a lens of mercy, love and compassion” (I forgot where I read this). And He keeps whispering, “You are loved, *insert your name here!”

Cheer up! Focus on God. Our identity is found only in Him.

P.S.: Sorry if this blog post became too random (?). It became a bit random for me because of a petty mix of ideas as I cried to God earlier.

What’s With July?

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this picture is not MINE

Now that I am back with my head up, I am being active in my social network accounts again (Facebook and Twitter to be specific… is WordPress counted?). What happened last July? Why wasn’t I active? I said it in my recent post https://whoismaria.wordpress.com/2013/06/30/adios/.

How did I seek Him? I actually forgot HOW to seek Him. I started again like what I did before. I read books about Him. I read a book entitled “It’s OK To Be Not OK” by Rev. Rico Villanueva. I committed to read that book for the whole month of July, but gladly finished it before the end of July so I started reading another book (but it took me days to get over thinking about my insights from “It’s OK To Be Not OK”). Reading that book made me realize that what I feel (worried, down, sad, almost depressed and depressed) is OK because I am not alone. It is not okay when those “negative” emotions would really BE negative. God uses our emotions as human beings to glorify Him too.

How can He be glorified when we doubt and be sad? We get closer to Him by praying. I actually realized that if we feel like He’s not there, CONGRATULATIONS. It means that we really felt His presence and believed that He’s there even for a little while. We will never recognize nor appreciate His presence if we never felt His absence. We won’t be sad over the absence of something if we do not need it, anyway.

I spent my July with sadness and gladness, with confidence and pity, with hope and grace, and with faith and doubt. I became inactive in my congregation. When I attended services, I didn’t sing praises to Him because I doubted Him. I kept questioning His existence. I prayed without my personal self indulging in it. I forgot how to be passionate in Him, believing that everything I did to Him were all lies. I thought that what I did before, spending time with Him, reading my Bible alone in my room, etc. is all because I was told to do so. I thought that my heart wasn’t really in accord with my actions. I didn’t know what to believe anymore.

What I learned is that He’s always there. Like what I realized while having a good conversation with a friend, God lets us go through certain situations in life, may it be good or bad in our own opinion, for US to change and not for HIM to change. He never changes, anyway. He wants us to be open to Him, to let us go to Him in our worst state, to be US. He understands. I suddenly remembered a certain scene in the Bible (Old Testament) when God changed His mind in destroying Israel because of Moses. I believe that He’s always moved with our faith. I don’t want to state things that may be a lie but I think (this is only FOR ME) God’s blind spot is a person’s faith. I can’t explain it, but it seems like it.

Anyway, God molds us for a new level of faith. I had gone through such a tough season in my life, and I thank God because He promised victory for me. He promised that I will not always be in the deep because He wants me to go up again, to climb again to where the broken and hurt people are to testify how good He has been to me. He let me experience hurt and pain to connect with the same people who got hurt. He let me experience situations in my life so that I could relate myself with those people who are undergoing what I went through.

Like what a friend of mine prayed for me, “She will get back up stronger, God.” I’m still that girl who kept wearing a smile even when the days are dark. I felt that I wasn’t that girl anymore, but God helped me to get back up on my feet again to encourage people. I am going back to the battlefield, preparing to respond differently in life’s challenges. Surely, I cannot do this alone. I need His grace to conquer the battle within me. Now, I’m starting again. He gave me another day to experience His love and grace in my life. He gave me another day as another chance to change for the better.

Hello, August!

Promise

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First, let me give you a brief background about this verse. Every verse has a background why such words are placed there. Everything has a purpose, anyway, and God is a God of Order. This was the time when the LORD told Moses to “choose a leader from each tribe and send them into Canaan to explore the land” He is to give to the Israelites. If one would remember, they had twelve (12) tribes, so there were twelve leaders. When they went back to report what they have seen at Canaan, the land that God has prepared for them to give, they reported negatively. They got a fruit from the land, and it was big. They reported that the people who were living there were strong and that their cities were walled and large. But Caleb, on the other hand, said, “Let’s go and take the land. I know we can do it!”

When God says that He will give it to you, He will really give it to you. Do you trust Him? We also need to have faith in Him, and make an effort. How did Caleb had such boldness and confidence that they will really overcome that land? He had faith in God. He knew that God is true to His Words. Are you also declaring His Words and Promises in your life?

Accept the challenge, and let Him bring your faith to the next level.

Walking Down the Past Thought

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Credits to buffalohomesecuritysystems.com for the picture

I would like to go back to what happened to me this past week. It’s so funny on how God shows His faithfulness and greatness in so many ways. This should have been my post last September, but because of too much delay (due to my busy-ness at school and FOR school) I decided to make it on October (and that is today).
This happened last September 27, 2012. I left the house late, and I waited for an FX to Buendia or Vito Cruz at North Fairview because I thought that I would be waiting at Robinson’s Novaliches longer. But I guess I was wrong that day. I waited for almost more than an hour at North Fairview! I sat on a wooden bench in front of a Sari-Sari Store near the waiting shed to wait for more FXs, almost crying. I was texting my best friend that time, and he told me that he will go there for me to help me. I thought (out of my irritation and anxiety), “Duhh, as if you could help me find an FX. You can’t even control this whole situation.” I texted my block mate, telling her that I will be late in our first class. I was surprised with her reply, “Do not fear, Tricia. Free cut tayo sa WORLITE (World Literature) today! No joke! :)” ( Translation: Do not fear, Tricia. We have a free cut in WORLITE today! No joke! :)) Wow! The moment I read her text message, I thanked God, and laughed silently (people might wonder why I was laughing alone).
Every time I feel afraid and almost giving up, having a feeling of crying already, God suddenly pops out of nowhere. I was saved! I almost got two absences for that subject (I hate committing late(s) nor absences) if it weren’t for God’s faithfulness. I trust God that time (when I was teary-eyed), saying, “GOD, I know that You have a reason why I’ve been waiting for an FX here at North Fairview for almost an hour and a half. I’ll hold on to You.”
God will really test your faith. If you’d tell Him, “LORD, I submit to Your will, and I trust in You.” you are putting your 100% trust in Him, not doubting but believing that God will do what He wants in your life. It’s submitting to His good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
Will you trust Him?