God as a Father

A lot of things come to our mind whenever we hear the word “God” — someone who rules the world; someone who is 100% holy; or someone who reminds you of religious things, like having to act solemn whenever we pray, and other things similar to that. We’d usually picture God as someone sitting on a lofty throne with a staff, zapping anyone who does Him wrong.

But most of the time, we miss out on the fact that God is so much more than these stereotypical pictures and that God actually revealed himself to us as our father.

So…a father? Someone who cares, loves and looks after us? Someone who can give us care and affirmation? Someone we all expected to have? Someone who looks at us with such gentle eyes even when we commit mistakes? Someone who accepts us without any conditions? Someone who will always be around? The ideal father we all dream to have? God? Really?

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Is that possible?

Is that possible in a world where so many people grow up in families with distant fathers? Is that possible in a world where fathers are usually cold and uninvolved? Is that possible in a world where some fathers fail to live up to their children’s expectations? In a world full of pain, broken families and rejection?

Here are three different people, reflecting on how the absence of a father in their lives affected them and their relationships with others.

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“I missed having someone whom I can enjoy things with and joke around with once in a while. I also missed having someone that I can run to when my other parent was hard to love. I don’t remember us talking about it before it happened. It felt like I always needed to have it together just to prove that I’m not like my parents. There’s ultimately a lot of trying to prove that I was different, or I was worth something.”

“They didn’t really know who I really was because of my strong front and my secretive nature. This also led me to have issues when it comes to relating with people, particularly in terms of building trust and relationship.”

“The fact that my father was away and had another family affected me in a way that was so subtle I didn’t even know there was a wound. I would say that my family isn’t ideal but it is mine and I love them.”

***

Many people have experienced a lot of hurts from living in a broken home. But someone was able to fill that empty spot that none of their parents could fill. Someone stepped in to be that loving, perfect father for them. Someone who is able to restore them and to bring them from being broken people into being confident, healed people.

Here are these people now, healed from their wounds.

“I love you and I forgive you. You’ve caused me a lot of pain without intention and I know there are days when you blame yourself for it. But I want you to know that it was all orchestrated by God. I also want to say thank you for loving me from afar and allowing God to teach me that He is so much nearer than I thought. Because of you, I was able to look up to God as my almighty father and I want to thank you for that.”

“I still hope that we’d become whole again someday but for now, I love my family just the way it is.”

“Today, since that point when I accepted God, it’s been an amazing journey. God’s been healing my relationship with people and super great that a family that used to always fight now always bonds together, talk together, and make that effort to be in each other’s lives.”

Is it really that simple to heal and to forgive? It is never easy to grow up in a single parent home and it is certainly difficult to forgive anyone who hurt and betrayed you, especially one who has been doing it for years.

One thing these people know with certainty, in order for them to come to terms with their family’s circumstance:

Jesus Christ did not just die on the cross so our sins can be forgiven. He also brought the gift of restoration—that because of the mercy shown to us, we can also extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us.

At what cost is this mercy and grace? The only perfect Father-Son relationship in all of eternity was sacrificed so our wounds can be healed. When Jesus Christ cried out in Matthew 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”, it signified that God the Father stilled His hand from rescuing his own son so that His sons and daughters who have gone astray could be brought home. So that the people who felt like they could not belong anywhere could be brought to a place where they actually felt loved and belonged.

This is for you if ever you felt like you had to keep proving yourself, or felt like you were never good enough to receive love, because you are good enough. You always will be, and nothing will be able to change that fact, because God is not someone who is condescending or someone to look at from afar, but, rather, He is a father who is always searching and looking for His children to care for.

And He fully loves and accepts you.

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Romans 8:32

“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

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The Truth

Hey, you.

Yes, you, the person who is reading this now. Not the person beside you, not the person you wish you could be, not the person whose life you want to have or even the person you think I’m writing this to because I want you to know this is directed to you.

I want you to know the truth.

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I may not have known what you went through. I may not have experienced what you have experienced. Everyone’s life is different, and the people they encounter are different as well.

But despite all that, I want you to know the truth.

That you are loved and accepted no matter what.

Think of this picture.

Imagine something beautiful. It may be a picture of a beach, or the sunlight surrounding the trees by the mountaintop. It can probably be a shiny car, or a piece of artwork, or a simple flower. And it can most probably be your favorite meal or drink of the day.

No matter how many words are spoken against it, it still remains beautiful. A beautiful view or a beautiful flower won’t turn ugly if words are spoken against it. Or imagine if that view or flower can talk. Even if they directed negative words at themselves, it’s not like it will magically transform them into the words they spoke.

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The truth still remains. Despite everything. Despite the hurricanes. Despite the trials. Despite the days that didn’t seem as good as the others. Despite the sudden problems.

Despite the bad.

And I want you to know that, that truth will always be that way. That you will always belong. That you will always be loved. That there will always be someone who will understand.

That you have a voice, and that it will be heard. That you were not made to shrink back into the crowd, but to come out with confidence. That you are you, and that your life will always be secure. That you are approved no matter what. That you are not defined by the number of people that surround you, but you are defined by the one who knows every single detail in your heart and approves of you anyway. By the one who wanted you to know the truth so badly that He was willing to step out of His comfortable home and live in a broken world for YOU.

This world is definitely not perfect. The pain, the trauma, the agony, the  sadness and the brokenness are things we have witnessed. We have experienced stuff that have made our hearts bleed, and it caused us to be left and scarred from those emotional wounds. But. I want you to know that despite that, despite the imperfections, despite the harsh realities, you are identified not by lies, but by truth.

You are NOT an accident
You were NOT born a mistake.
You are NOT a failure.
You are NOT stupid.
You are NOT ugly.

No matter what you think and no matter what you feel, know that…

You belong.
You are special.
You are approved.
You are likable.
You are valuable.
You are worth it.
And You are loved.

Here’s a reminder.

Always be aware of the truth.

Because that truth is who you are.

That truth is who God says you are.

And that truth will never change.

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

 

When Pain Is Good For Us

 

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You’re probably questioning the title as you read this. Pain? Good? How can “pain” and “good” go together?

Which leads to one of the most baffling prayers ever. Here it is: A mom praying, on her knees, begging for her daughter to feel pain.

Why would she want her own child, someone she loves deeply, to feel pain?

Wouldn’t she want her child to live a pain free life, to smile and be happy without any care or burden in the world? Not crying from the wounds she obtained, but living a perfect life 24/7?

Maybe she knew for a fact that there is no such thing as a perfect life.

There will be ups and downs, no matter what happens, period. And no one is exempt from that. Everyone will feel pain at least once in their lifetime.

And why is that? Why would God, our loving Father, allow us to go through pain? Through hurt?

The answer lies in the story of that mother offering that puzzling prayer, and the story of her child.

Ashlyn Blocker is known as, ‘The girl who feels no pain’. At first, her parents thought that it was a good thing because her tolerance for pain was high. When she was in grade school, she was once asked if she was Superman because some of them thought that it was like a superpower or something. Until “feeling no pain” became a danger to her own life.

There was the time she burned the flesh off the palms of her hands when she was 2. John was using a pressure-washer in the driveway and left its motor running; in the moments that they took their eyes off her, Ashlyn walked over and put her hands on the muffler. When she lifted them up the skin was seared away…

There was the time she broke her ankle and ran around on it for two days before her parents realized something was wrong.”  Heckert, Justin. “The Hazards of Growing Up Painlessly.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/magazine/ashlyn-blocker-feels-no-pain.html.

It turns out that she was born with a rare genetic disease known as congenital insensitivity to pain. Because of her inability to feel pain, her parents did everything they can to protect her and keep her safe.

When Ashlyn started school, teachers watched her on the playground; one person was assigned to make sure she was O.K. at all times…

The Blockers got rid of all their furniture with sharp corners. They lay down the softest carpet they could find. They didn’t let Ashlyn roller-skate. They didn’t let her ride a bicycle. They wrapped her arms in layers of gauze to keep her from rubbing them raw.” Heckert, Justin. “The Hazards of Growing Up Painlessly.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 15 Nov. 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/magazine/ashlyn-blocker-feels-no-pain.html.

Dr. Roland Staud, a professor of medicine and rheumatologist at the University of Florida who has been conducting research into chronic pain said of Ashley, “Pain is a gift, and she doesn’t have it.”

To be clear, God is not the Author of pain. Pain has become a part of our broken world since The Fall. Some of our pain is caused by the careless actions of people and some of it are caused by our own foolishness. The feeling of pain is there for a number of reasons, and one of the major reasons is to restrain us from harmful and dangerous behavior. Could it be that pain is God’s gift to us?

Imagine if we don’t feel pain when someone betrays us. If we don’t feel pain when we get rejected. If we don’t feel pain when we do something stupid that alienates people we love. If we don’t feel pain for the consequences of the bad things we do. If we don’t feel the pain of being far from God.

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When God allows us to feel pain in our lives, He is giving us a gift. Maybe He allowed that friendship or relationship to fall apart because if it continued, it might have led to something that might have serious consequences. Maybe He allowed unanswered prayers because it might have hindered us from fulfilling God’s call in our lives. Maybe He allowed the loss of a loved one or losing something very important to us so that we can put our trust in Him and Him only. Maybe He allowed those family problems to make us run to Him.

Pain may seem like something that any person would want to avoid or escape. But ultimately, it is there to protect us. Pain is necessary for us to become healthy individuals. It tells us that there is something deeper that needs to be addressed so that true and lasting healing can be achieved.

Pain is inevitable. It will always be part of life. That is why knowing why we have to go through it is important—to be protected from a snowball of actions that could lead to something worse.

James 1:2-4

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

ADOPT A DOG FOR FREE!

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MBY PET RESCUE AND SANCTUARY, AT MORONG, RIZAL 

ADOPTION IS FREE. It would be a privilege to help these rescued animals feel love. Adoption does not require a fee; only a valid identification card. Help give love and affection to these beautiful dogs with multiple personalities by turning them into playful pets for free!

Here are descriptions and backstories of some of these wonderful dogs.

Nano is from Taytay pound. One of the seventeen dogs that was rescued. A stray that was scheduled to be put down for mercy killing but now lives. Yawns and is very droopy. Introverted dog. Shy.

Elvis is 9 years old. He was a stray when they took him in the dog pound in Taytay, and he still looked weak. When they cured him, he eventually got better and turned into the sweet caring dog he is now.

Pathea was rescued with a broken leg as a puppy at 2 months in Commonwealth, Quezon City. She likes to run around.

When Cloretez was rescued, she had no hair and she had a lot of wounds. She is a very kind dog, and likes to chill. Born in the streets.

Botchi is very serious. Poker face. Very still. Never smiles.

Whitey is from Pasay City. Was a stray before. Was thin before. One of the many white dogs.

Tisay is from Pasig. He was a stray since he was a puppy. Color blind. Sweet and loving.

Sakura is 8 years old. She was surrendered by the former owner when she was just a puppy. A big, playful dog.

Patheo is a stray that came from Patirose, Taguig.

Paula came from a deep well. She was very emaciated when she was gotten.

Akira just gave birth to loving pups.

Trixie is very loving and likes to play around. A lot want to adapt her. She’s easy to train.

Charisma was rescued as a pregnant baby one Christmas Eve. She is from Cubao. Only one puppy survived.

Victor was rescued on New Year’s Day. He is from Taguig. He was found as a hit and run baby and still has a leg that does not work until now. Very shy.

Sean was rescued from Tamarin, Caloocan. Kind.

Goliath was rescued as a puppy back in 2016. Always chill and friendly to others.

Whitney is well behaved, cheerful and hyper. She was rescued from Paranaque.

Joy is from Binangonan. She likes playing around with other dogs and moving a lot.

Pia, one of the fourteen dogs that was recently gotten from Makati, has a well balanced personality.

Merville is brave and bold. She was rescued a year ago on a Black Saturday. She has five puppies.

Powder is from Makati. She is one of the recently rescued fourteen dogs. Very demure, and her first puppy died.

Mira was rescued as a puppy in late 2016. She is from Quezon City, and she is very serious.

China was rescued from a squatter in Chinabank, hence the name. Feisty. Neutered. Slouches a lot.

Sharpil is a senior dog who is excitable and scared of cats.

Carol was gotten from Pampanga. She was given supplements to nourish herself after she got rescued. She is scared of lights.

Casey has a lovely personality.

Bronze was named for his fur color.

Blackjack is stern and brooding, but lovable in his own way.

Each of the other twenty-five dogs as well, whether they are shy puppies or big, playful dogs that want to be in the spotlight, have their own stories and a chance to be recognized and loved as man’s best friend.

Be able to adopt a dog now and help them!

Thirteen Reasons Why You Should Live

 

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  1. You have a purpose. You were born in this world not just to exist. You have a purpose. You are meant to be remembered for something. You are meant to make a dent in this world. Imagine the significant contributions you can give to the world. You can be the next Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham or Benigno Aquino. There is always someone who is counting on you.
  2. You are valuable. You matter. Your life matters. The things people do to you do not determine your worth. The people who’ve had a negative impact on your life are not worth holding on to.
  3. Somebody cares. The saying ‘nobody cares’ is. Fully. 100%. A. Lie. Your life has an impact on other people. Always. Imagine how much pain they will have to go through once they realize you’re gone for good. It will change their perspective on life and death forever. Someone definitely cares for you.
  4. Things will get better. Hardships are temporary. It will pass. The hardships we all face are temporary. There will always be a new day after each dark night and there will always be dancing after each mourning.
  5. Character is forged during difficult times. They teach us persistence and resilience. Tough times happen for a reason. Our painful experiences give us a bigger capacity to love and to empathize with others. Unpleasant situations are inevitable, whether we do good or not.
  6. You are not alone. You are not the only one experiencing these terrible situations. You may think a person has his or her life all figured out, but maybe that’s not how he or she is in reality. And with that, we can learn and find comfort in journeying with people and friends who are going through the same things. One of the names of God is ‘’Immanuel,” which means “God is with us.”
  7. Victory is possible. You can be healed and restored. The voices in your head can be gone for good. The battle to silence these negative voices can be won. The voices of doubt and fear, telling you your life is worthless and filling your head with worries and lies—those voices can be gone. Completely. And those lies can be replaced with the truth.
  8. Joy is available. You can be joyful even in the midst of difficulties. Being joyful is different from being happy, because being happy is circumstantial. We can’t be happy all the time, but we can be joyful in every circumstance. We can see the positive in each negative thing.
  9. You are accepted. There’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Just because people are going through struggles worse than yours does not mean your feelings are not valid. Your feelings are just as valid as someone who went through something traumatic. And if you actually did go through something traumatic, there will always be hope at the end of that bleak situation. There will be no need to compare a certain situation to another. Each situation is different and requires different solutions. So, having said that, we all have the right to open up, no matter what background we came from. It is okay to not be okay.
  10. Life is an adventure. There is so much more in life for you to explore and experience. So many opportunities to grow, situations to enjoy, challenges to learn from, and milestones to remember. Once you’re gone, you’re gone. You won’t ever see your parents grow old, or get to have your own children, or get to pursue the career you want.
  11. You are unique. No matter what happens, your identity stays the same. The One who made you says, “You are accepted and approved.” No one is expecting you to be perfect. In times like these, don’t be afraid to open up your feelings. No one will ever put you down just because you are feeling down. Your circumstances won’t ever define who you are.
  12. You are loved. You are actually the object of God’s affection. The apple of His eye. His treasured possession. You are worth dying for. You’re not a burden to anyone.
  13. Someone died for you. In His mercy, He couldn’t bear for you to be separated from Him forever. He made a way and gave His Son for you to be reconciled with Him so that you could enjoy fullness of life through Him.

 

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John 10:10 (NIV)

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.

I’m Sorry.

I’m sorry.

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Sorry for what?

Sorry if there are times I do not prioritize you. Sorry if at times, I fail to do the right thing. I am sorry for not seeing things the way you do. Sorry if at times I cannot help but be afraid. Sorry for my propensity to prove something.  Sorry for trying so hard to look normal and perfect when everything else on the inside is wrong.  Sorry if there are times  I focus on my flaws, on what I cannot do, on what I am not, my limitations and my problems. Sorry for hurting people. Sorry for making excuses. Sorry for not listening. Sorry for talking too much. Sorry for being self absorbed. Sorry for not speaking up. Sorry for not being cool and composed all the time.  Sorry for letting you down.

Sorry for being a fallen human.

Sorry for being sorry.

You are forgiven. 

 

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But wait. I feel like I should apologize more. I feel like I should do something to earn more of your love. I feel like I need to be this certain person and reach this certain standard for your acceptance. Wait. Don’t look at me. I’m struggling. I don’t want you to see this ugly and pathetic part of me. I don’t want you to see me so vulnerable. Look at me when it’s over. I’m ashamed. I don’t deserve anything from you…

There is no part of you that I do not love.  I accept everything about you.

The area that you don’t want anyone to see. The negative things kept inside your heart. The things you think are the most ugly. I didn’t love you because you were the most confident person in the room. Not because you knew how to carry yourself in front of everyone. Even before you knew how to do those things, when you were crying in your room and wondering why there’s so much emptiness and insecurity in your heart, I have always loved you.

And I still do. No matter how many mistakes and failures you think you make. Even in the times that don’t seem so bright, I love you. I will always be there to help you and make you see your worth.

You are forgiven. Period.

Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

The Right Thing

The right ➡️ thing

What exactly is the right thing?

Is it following our hearts? Is it doing whatever feels right? Is it expressing ourselves? How in the world are we supposed to know the direction on what the right thing is?

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Go to church. That’s the right thing. Be a good person. That’s the right thing. Do your homework. That’s the right thing. Don’t go out late. Be on time. Sleep early. Don’t party. That’s the right thing.

But no matter what, we always get the urge to stray from doing the right thing, because we want to do whatever we want. Our hearts want to rebel. To cross the line of good and bad. Because whatever feels right is right in our eyes.

But…it’s in our eyes.

Because we live in a world filled with chaos and mess, we all have been broken. And empty. So we live with eyes that are bound to see only what we want, feet that go only to places that we want, and emotions that only feel what we want to feel. And if that doesn’t work out, we completely lose sight of everything and lose ourselves in the process as well.

Drink. Cut. Rebel. We know this is not the right thing. But it feels right at the moment. So we put up a facade. And we become very good at making it seem like we’re doing the right thing.

 
And that seems like everyone’s mantra: “I am my own boss. I have my own world. I have my own choice.” As long as no one sees the monster of emptiness inside us, we continue the lifestyle of hiding, putting on masks, and running. Running from everything. From the eyes of people who, in our eyes, are out to judge us. And no one is exempted from that.

But no matter who we are, no matter who we think we are, no one has the right to judge us. There is no place for, ‘this person is better than me because this person goes to church and does his/her homework’ or ‘this person is worse than me because they sell drugs and drink all night’. No.

Everyone, as in everyone, is on the same boat. As humans, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has their ups and downs. YET no matter what,  the only One who has the right to judge, still loves and accepts everyone. There will be no ranking on who’s doing the right thing the most. No ranking on our performance. So…

No more hiding.

No more facade.

Because we are loved. We are accepted. We have already been approved.

No more striving. Nothing to prove. No one to impress.

We’re still humans. We’re not perfect. But once we have fully experienced indescribable love, then our perspective changes on what the right thing really is.

It is to give love and compassion to other people who haven’t received it. To care more. To be open more.

Doing the right thing is not a boring external ritual, but flows out of an encounter we want people to know about. A kind of love that we want others to experience too, so that the monsters and emptiness inside them will turn into something meaningful and full of light.

 

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And that is the right thing.

 

 

 

 

 

Am I Fooling Myself?

So…I have something to tell you guys.

I’m actually moving to another country, and I’m not going to be able to see you guys again.

Happy April fools!

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This day is fun because we can make the most out of senseless pranking. We can come up with the most ridiculous, shocking statements for people to believe us, and they will think that it is the truth, until we all go “just kidding, it’s just a prank, happy April fools!”

But have you noticed, unconsciously, whenever people ask us questions, do we really tell the truth? Or do we just come up with our very own April fools statement?

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m totally fine!”

April fools!

“I’m super stressed with the thought of life, in general. I’m so done.”

“How are your relationships with other people?”

“Amazing!”

April fools!

“I don’t know if I’m communicating with them enough.”

“How’s school? What’s your plan in the future?”

“It’s going well! I’m sure I know my plans!”

April fools!

“I literally don’t know.”

“How’s everything at home?”

“We’re one happy family!”

April fools!

“Everything’s a mess at home.”

It all comes back to one big heart check. And that heart check deals with one of the toughest questions that requires the truth out of you: is what you said really genuine? Or is it just a cover up?

If it is a cover up, then it would be wise to bring it out in the open. You can talk to someone who can help. Exposing the heart may be challenging, but in doing so, the condition of our hearts will be healthier. The same goes with showing a physical wound or being honest with the pain to the doctor so that it can be treated. And this is why having a heart check is so important. Because letting the truth out in the light is like a weight off your shoulders instead of leaving it in the dark and being in denial about it.

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Let us continue to trust God in the process. Yes, the truth hurts, but at least we won’t be fooling ourselves and pretend to portray an image that we want other people to think we are.

At the end of the day, what matters is leaving the audience of everyone for the audience of the One who knows us best. And that won’t leave room for trying to fool people anymore.

It will only leave room for us to be real.

To be ourselves.

Psalm 51:6 (MSG) (AMP)
“What you’re after is truth
  from the inside out,
  and in the hidden part (of my heart)
  You will make me know wisdom.”

Coming of Age

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I used to measure things according to a set of standards.

I used to put things inside a certain box.

‘By this age I will be able to do this.’

‘By this age I should already know how to live in my own apartment, get a dog, have 1000000000 friends, succeed in my career, be known worldwide, have 100000 more disciples, and get married.’

And if ever things don’t go my way, I panic, overthink and get extremely anxious.

I wonder if I’m mature enough, responsible enough to take the next step and be an adult. I wonder if I’m as good as any of my other friends. I wonder If God’s purpose for me still stands. All because I’m so busy comparing my behind the scenes to everyone’s highlights. Thoughts run in my head, and sometimes I don’t realize how worried I am until my head starts throbbing until I kind of just want to scream, ‘enough’! My thoughts would keep going on and on and on, like multiple jump scares that never end. I wish I had a button to turn off the thoughts.

 

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It’s so repetitive, that I’m almost clutching my head until…

God tells me to stop.

Not in the booming loud way like a boss would yell at his subordinate if they do things wrong, but in a calming, soothing, still voice.

‘Daughter. Stop.’

The thoughts shut down once I realign my focus. Once I ask God to help me. And through that, I cease to follow my heart. Instead, I follow His heart.

And once I navigate my way through His heart for me, I begin to look back and see how far I’ve come now.

Everything, each thing I had been praying for at that time, God took care of. He walked by my side. He gave me what I asked.

Then I realized His heart isn’t just about giving us what we want or what we need.

His heart does want to bless us, yes. Because we’re His children! Because He loves us more than anything else in this world.

But His heart for us is so much more than that. He wants His heart and our hearts to align together. He wants us to see what He sees. And yes, He can and He will give us multiple blessings and bonuses. Once we walk in His purpose for our lives, He will be there every step of the way, cheering us on because He wants the best for us.

In the end, though, when we’re back in our rooms after a long day full of joy and laughter, when the feelings fade away, we can be back to feeling what His heart feels.

And that is His heart for people.

The heart to help others. The heart to understand the pain they’re going through. The heart to be there for them. The heart to win them over.

The heart that rejoices not just because we have received many blessings, but because we have shared our blessings with people who want to experience what true joy and what true love really is.

So the standards I used to measure, the boxes and walls I’ve built, and the goals I’ve set to achieve at certain stages of my life, has turned into a ‘So what?’

‘So what if by this certain age I’m not the person I expected myself to be? The point of my life anyway is to continue to follow His heart. Of course I will have a bucket list full of stuff I want to complete by a certain age. But if I keep panicking, what’s the point? In the end, it won’t matter. The blessings will come as long as my eyes aren’t set on the blessings for myself, but on the blessings I can share to others.’

All the other things will come in due time.

He has always fulfilled every promise He has for me and has given me even more than what I asked for.

So now, I will fix my focus on what really matters.

And that is setting my eyes not on things that will benefit me, but on things that will benefit others.

 

Colossians 3:1

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

 

Know Where To Look.

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A driver can’t drive properly if he or she is always looking at other car lanes.

‘Look at how shiny the other car is. That other person is probably a better driver than I am. That car is probably worth more than my entire house. I wish I had a car like that. I wish I could drive like that.’

A swerve, a slamming of the brakes, and a crash.

All because the driver was looking at the wrong things.

 

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And it’s funny, isn’t it? Because sometimes, in life, it’s applicable to us. We always look at other people and their journeys, instead of what we have and looking at where we are supposed to go.

Instead of focusing on our lanes, we tend to focus on other people’s lanes.

But what good will that do?

It can only lead to the dangerous road of endless comparison and envy. Worse, we will miss the road signs that could lead us to the “perfect” destination for us at the end of the journey. This could lead us to lose our will to drive, and the joy of our journey.  Either that, or we crash and burn. We get into an accident because we are not focused on our own lanes. The end result could be tragic.

So how do we stop looking at the wrong things and start focusing on our own lanes?

It’s not easy when you’re driving an owner jeepney while the cars in the different lanes around you are full of Ford Mustangs and Lamborghinis.

But it becomes easier once you listen to the voice on Waze that tells you to stay in your lane because you’re headed in the right direction.

 

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When we are focused on the right things, we won’t even worry about the pressure to do what we’re supposed to do. We do what we’re supposed to do because we enjoy it, not because we’re trying to keep up with the people on the other lanes. We do what we’re supposed to do because we want to help other people, not to gain attention. We do what we’re supposed to do to inspire and to make a positive impact, not to compete with others’ achievements.

So let’s fix our eyes on the path prepared for us, and let’s have fun along the journey.

Because not everyone reaches the same destination at exactly the same time. And that’s totally fine. It shouldn’t define us at all.

Again, know where to look. Because if our eyes are set on our own lanes, then we will get to the proper destination because we see the right signs and we hear the right voice.
And that is exactly what we should be doing.

 

Hebrews 12:1-2

..And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith..