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When You Choose Lust Over God

Beautiful things happened to me and my family last week. There were so many beautiful experiences that I should be thanking God for. But here I am choosing lust over praise. Here I am lazily choosing ingratitude over meditating on God’s word.

And being single doesn’t help. My mind would wander time and again, vacillating whether this act is indeed a sin or not.

I’m talking about masturbation.

Some days, I’d tell myself, “I’m not hurting anyone.” “My imagination doesn’t even star someone I know from the opposite sex.” “Better to do it this way than to have premarital sex, coz that surely will have regretful repercussions.” But right after the completion of sin, I am filled with shame. There is no peace. Only condemnation.

I know it in my heart that masturbation does not please

It is written in Romans 8: 5-8:

Those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

It pains me that I couldn’t get out of it. I neither have the wisdom to resolve the vacillating that has exhausted my mind, nor the power to overcome these desires.

But the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child (Hebrews 12:6). In the following days and weeks, I was bombarded with messages about lust and sexual immorality. God has been so proactive in giving me the wisdom and discipline that I need.

In my Tuesday bible study group, God used the story of Joseph to firmly rebuke me.

Genesis 39 says that the LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered. When Potiphar, Joseph’s master saw that the Lord was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and his master put him in charge of his household and everything he owned, until Potiphar’s wife tried to tempt Joseph into sleeping with her. Joseph refused. He FLED. HE RAN OUT OF THE HOUSE  even without his cloak on (Genesis 39:15). And yet he was put into prison despite of his innocence. But even while in prison, the LORD was with him and Joseph found favor in the prison warden’ eyes, and so Joseph was successful in whatever he did. By the end of the story, Joseph became the second highest official in Egypt, next to Pharaoh.

So how did Joseph gain victory over lust? These are the pointers we discussed in our bible study:

  1. The man/woman of God consistently walks with God.

Galatians 5:16 says, “…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Prior to this, I was in a week-long vacation with my family where I never really made an effort to meditate on His word. There was no quality time with my God, no intense Bible reading, no intimate prayer time. And when we got back home, instead of saving my time and energy for Him, I chose to waste my time watching movies, thinking lustful thoughts, and reading sexually-inciting articles online.

I was prepping myself for a sure defeat. The only way to overcome lust is to walk by the Spirit, and in order to walk by the Spirit, I should take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17)

Indeed, there is a great mysterious power that comes in reading the word of God.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)

  1. The man/woman of God develops a very strong fear of God.

This new revelation brought great fear in me. It made me evaluate myself. Is my fear of God lacking? Is my understanding of what fear of God means right and biblical?

There was a time when all I know of God is that He is a punishing God. I had a hard time looking at the works of His hand with awe and wonder. There was no godly sorrow in me. These was no marveling at the height and width of His great love for me. I can’t go on living with a false knowledge of who God really is.

And I don’t want to live questioning myself time and again if my faith is real. I want to bear good fruit! And someday, I want my Lord and Savior to commend me for winning the race, for standing firm against the devil, and for rising in victory with him every after struggle.

To develop a strong fear of God, read and meditate on God’s word. I must take time to know God intimately if I want to worship Him not because He requires it of me, but because of His great love for me.

  1. The woman of God is willing to lose all things rather than yield to sexual sin.

Am I willing to lose everything to please God? Joseph lost everything the moment he stepped out of his master’s house. Paul said in Philippians 3:8, “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.”

There were consequences when I disobeyed God. Consequences that could have been God’s rewards. And I saw this at work: that in order for God to really get my attention, He would sometimes use my job to discipline me. There were accounts withheld, pitch lost, even good opportunities passed on to someone else…

But if losing career opportunities is what will take me to an everlasting path of sanctification and purity, then so be it. I am reminded of this quote I read a long time ago: God cares more about my character than my career.

But like David when his first child with Bathsheba died, he continued to pray and plea for God’s mercy, so am I in my prayers for God to spare me from the wrath of His discipline.

  1. The man/woman of God is rewarded for her victory.

The story of Joseph ends with such a motivating plot twist. Pharaoh entrusted all of Egypt to him. He was able to save his family from a 7-year famine. His life was blessed through and through. And who doesn’t want such a happy ending? Who doesn’t want to become an instrument of God’s blessings?

Surely, a few minutes of pleasure isn’t worth giving up a lifetime of God’s favour and blessing.

 

God didn’t just use our group bible study to get through me. He also used my best friend who is also a Christian to encourage me when I told her about the things that are happening at work and how they all seem like the consequences of my disobedience to God. No surprise, my best friend also used the story Joseph to pacify my heart.

At church, I was a bit startled to know that the message was about sexual immorality. Upping the ante, God also orchestrated for this same verse to come up not just in our bible study group but also at church and it totally settled all the questions about masturbation that have been bothering me all these years.

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 1 Corinthian 6:18

God also used the sharer’s testimony to help me identify what triggers my desire to masturbate:

  • When I’m alone, idle, and unsure of whether to read God’s word or not
  • When I’m physically tired
  • When I’m stressing myself out over a problem that is not surrendered to God

I praise God for His mercy and grace. This has been a 360-degree approach to make sure that I will pick up His message. The world has been sinking so deep into sin that when I asked my non-Christian friends about it, they would easily tell how normal it is, and that it promotes good health, and there’s basically nothing wrong with it. But we, Christians, ought to live for a higher standard that Jesus Christ set not to cage us in but to protect us.

All of these lessons led me to recommit my life to my Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST. Only by God’s wisdom and power will I be able to overcome lust. I praise God for His patience and for not letting me go. I pray that my life will embrace this one true great desire, that is to please GOD, and to be more and more like His one and only son Jesus Christ.

May all who read this discover how Jesus loves us, and that we were bought at a price. It cost Jesus his life just so you and I can be in heaven with him someday. Let us then honor God with our body.

 

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Moon and Stars

I did something crazy. In fact, for a woman it’s an upshot of desperation and foolishness combined. It’s a mixture of not being able to stay still and my unbelief on the power and sovereignty of God. So let’s just leave it at that–I did something crazy, desperate, and stupid.

I would like to draw some inspiration from the story of Abram in Genesis 12. Abram feared for his life, so he asked his wife, Sarai to tell the people of Egypt that she is instead his sister.  To preserve his life, he was willing to sacrifice his wife. I did the same thing to someone. I lied so I can escape further humiliation and embarrassment.

I wouldn’t know how my lies had ruined God’s good plans. I fear for its repercussions. Will I suffer the same fate as that of Abram and Lot, and Abram and Hagar? How much of what I did would spiral out of control? Well, just as I finished typing the last letter of the last word of that last sentence, I knew the answer is not as important as knowing that God is in control and that His ways are higher than my ways. My friend, as she patiently peruses through my rambling messages on Facebook, wisely summed it up with this verse from Psalm 139:16Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

God will never run out of love, grace, and mercy, and they are all there for the taking. I was a bit resolute to go for a short run today at the park, so I went. I was positive that running will somehow get my mind off my messes and fears. And by God’s amazing grace, under the pale light burst of the unusually big moon set on the dusty Manila sky, He reminded me of that special scene where God took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” (Genesis 15:5) 

Just 3 chapters away from whence Abram took a detour and lied about Sarai being his wife and yet God, full of grace and mercy, still chose Abram to bear and experience His amazing love and promises.

The moon, the landscape, the lights, Oh! they were so magical and mysterious and awesome, just like God’s promises for me. I know He will keep His word in spite of what I’ve done. There is no condemnation in Jesus. I know He’s not finished yet. More good is yet to come.

 

“Follow your heart.” But should I really?

Three long years have passed by since Mark and I spoke to each other.

In that three long years, I knew that God had been disciplining me. He’s been revealing to me gems of wisdom that I wouldn’t have known had I continued on from one displeasing relationship to another. But despite of the many problems and humbling turn of events that I had to go through, I’d still say that these single years were good only because God is with me.

But, nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

A few hours before the year 2015 began, my mother reprimanded me about how I’ve failed to move on from the past. Of course, this was met with great indignation. I was in denial. I was afraid that the consequences of my disobedience and my impure relationships are just right in the corner, waiting for the most opportune time to get me.

But God, by His mercy and grace, is patient and loving. He led me to this verse from Isaiah 43:18-19:

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

From that point on, I resolved to fight the fears I had in my mind and the condemnation I felt. I also made a decision to repress my thoughts about Mark; no more questions like “Is he thinking of me?” “Will there ever be a second chance for us?”

Then one late afternoon, a few months after I made my resolution, Mark (after his three years of absence in my life) sent me a message. I wish I could say I handled it very well, that I was able to hold up with some grace and poise to welcome a man whom I think deserves neither my love nor friendship. That could have been a fine anecdote. But that didn’t happen.

I was not prepared for this. I have conditioned myself that he will never again become a part of my life. That was his choice anyway; a choice, which I believe was forced upon me at the time.

The bittersweet memories of the time we shared together rushed in, from the very first time I met him to the last hateful message I got from him. The fast cut-to-cut sequence that tossed me in waves of confusion and anger overwhelmed me.

It took me by surprise to know that I still want this man to be a part of my life even if we’ve been separated for so long. I never really believed in getting back together; what’s the point of going through all the motions of desiring to move on, only to let your peace and joy be taken away the second time around. But for him…I want him to be the exception.

My struggle to keep my composure took so much energy. I love him and I want to keep him at a close distance as much as possible–a safe length where I can still keep my heart guarded, while being friends with him. But the problem is…

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9

How sure am I that this will be good for us? I was down that road before, executing my own love story before God could even direct it.

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 2 Corinthians 6:14

This inner conflict has shown me my own irresponsibility and flaws as well. If I were to put aside the fact that he is an unbeliever and put myself under the microscope, I’d see myself as a total wreck, unfit for the sort of commitment that I have been longing to have. Here I am wanting a man to commit to me–a commitment that can only be expected from marriage–while I, myself, couldn’t even do the same.

Through our week-long conversation, I had a glimpse of what our future could have been, say if we married each other without laying the foundation of our relationship in Jesus Christ. They said that your marriage can either be heaven or hell on Earth. And the latter was the picture that was painted before me as we go up and about our unsettled past and issues.

Even if I were to believe his love for me and my love for him, I saw how it can never be enough to support our relationship. I saw that without the love and grace poured out by Jesus through the cross, we shall never connect to the pains and needs of one another. I couldn’t bring myself to understand him and vice versa.

And how can he see Jesus amid the pain, anger and indecisiveness I hurled back at him? How could he see through the compromise I made years ago, when I suppressed my faith just so I could be with him? Thinking about it, how ironic that in choosing him over Christ, I have lost him.

We ended our week-long conversation as enemies. I wish I could have done everything differently. Be kinder, be more patient, more forgiving. Be the light by which he is able to see God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.

But this is how it should be for now, so I could learn, perhaps: to let go and to stop acquitting myself; just because I am a Christian doesn’t mean that I had no part, no role to play in this failed relationship. I am as guilty and at fault as he was.

The only consolation I could get from us parting (yet again) is the hope that I could turn all that I have learned into wise application; the hope that wherever he maybe, God will find him and bring him into His loving arms.

Ours is a story that started in the shallow plot of boy-meets-girl set on the flaky world of music and movies. And has any of it–the chemistry, the similarities, the romance, the perfect date night, the little black dress, the perfect kiss, his sweet short posts on my timeline, the efforts, the laughter, that one long night of warm embrace–mattered in the end? How could I have missed the most important element, that is Jesus Christ?

 

Love After Valentine’s Day

Is it always a good time to talk about love? I didn’t really expect me to talk about such a mystical and yet ubiquitous subject matter like love but I got quite a handful of readings about it the other day, which I intend to share with everybody.

I’m reading the book Inferno for the second time. As I was going through Canto V, where one of the most celebrated writers in history, Dante Alighieri, illustrated the damnation the lustful suffers in hell, these lines caused me to pause for a little bit so I decided to read it over and over again:

Love, that can quickly seize the gentle heart, took hold of him because of the fair body taken from me—how that was done still wounds me.

Love, that releases no beloved from loving, took hold of me so strongly through his beauty that, as you see, it has not left me yet.

Love led the two of us unto one death.

Such beautiful composition! Aren’t they?

Then I remembered that for this week I’m actually studying the life of Rachel, Jacob’s second wife. And her story tells us of a predicament about love—presently a cliche—the love triangle. It was Rachel whom Jacob loves and adores but Leah had him first; it was her who bore Jacob his first sons. God sees the unloved Leah as He sees the barren Rachel, and both He blessed (Genesis 25 – 35).

All these make me wonder. Do any of us in this world know what love really is? Are all the definitions we have assumed, reflected, analyzed through the course of our experiences enough to grasp its full meaning?

Relationships isn’t really my strength. In fact, I already had six failed relationships and currently have several complicated ones with family and friends. I discovered that love is too big a word for me that I could never truly understand it apart from what Jesus did on the cross. The thought of love without God, without knowing who He really is is an impasse, a dead end. Love is too incomprehensible because that is who God is.

It is funny that as I think of ways to end this post, I found out that the devotional I read today was wrong. I accidentally advanced to the next chapter. But it did provide me a fresh insight about God who has purposefully plotted all the details of my life. I skimmed through the page that I was supposed to read today and I truly felt God’s love speaking to me.  Earlier this week, I was being skeptic about Genesis 30:22 that says, “God remembered Rachel; He listened to her and opened her womb.” And I felt dismayed because to me it implied that God forgot about Rachel, but I am wrong. To prove that He listens to my thoughts, He answered me straight to the point and with such great humor and love; my devo reads:

God remembered Rachel, but He had never really forgotten her. When the Bible uses the word remember, it doesn’t mean that God forgets and then suddenly recalls. As if the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the universe suddenly hits his forehead with the heel of His hand and says, “Oops! I forgot all about Rachel. I’d better do something quickly!”

No, when the Bible says God remembers something, it expresses God’s love and compassion for His people. It reminds us of God’s promise never to abandon us or leave us without support or relief. He will never forsake us. He will never forget us. He will always remember us. (Source: Women of the Bible, Spangler and Syswerda)

To give my short musings about love a perfect ending, let me part not with happily ever after but with this verse from Luke 1:49 which to me is equally romantic:

The Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is His name.

Excellence in the Workplace: Becoming the Best You Can Ever Be

EIW

It has been a week since I attended the Excellence in the Workplace conference in SMX Convention Center. Writing this blog just now would only mean that I have been mulling over it too long because applying what I just learned is harder than I thought.

The first speaker, Miriam Quiambao, willfully said, “Success comes from God.” The next speaker reiterated what the former beauty queen said but with more drive and power, “Believe we are designed for success and destined for greatness.” Anthony Pangilinan followed that grand statement with more mind-booster concepts but one particularly struck me the most. The chief disturber–that’s what he billed himself as although supported by logical reasons–asked, “Can you tell this to yourself: There’s no one else I’d rather be than me (inside and out)? That alone disturbed the ordinary cycle of my thinking. And lastly, Francis Kong, put a life long reflection on an even simpler note: Understand that I am unique.

I am 26 years old and for me, life at this point is full of confusing cross roads. I’ve been working for the past 5 years, jumping from one job to another, yet I am still lost. What am I really looking for? Two months in a new job, I am all excited and optimistic. The days that’ll follow, all I could ever see is a bunch of reasons to leave. “What do I get out of this job,” I would ask myself. There’s a whole self-centered universe going round my daily angst against life and my job. To me, labor is a curse.

Then I was hit exactly at the core of my disdainful heart. Francis Kong advised, “Change your vocabulary.I should love the fact that God gave me a job. I should love and appreciate the fact that I have a job. Miriam Quiambao offered a loving take on work and asked us, “Do I serve with love at work? What do I do for others?” It has been a long running concept but it rings truth nevertheless: We make life by what we give. What will turn this whole dilemma around is to think, and accept that God-love-life-work are interconnected.

I was fascinated by the fact that hanapbuhay (Filipino word for job or work) actually means to find (hanap) life (buhay). And the only way to actually find life is to find God who is love. And so, my prayer took a slight shift after learning that enthusiasm actually came from a Greek word which means to be inspired by God. It’s exactly what I need! Miriam wrapped up her talk with LIFE which we all should apply not only in the workplace but also at home or just about wherever God places us:

L – Love in action

I – Inspire positive change in people

F – Fulfill a vision

E – Engage and build relationships

Anthony Pangilinan shared with us tips on how to improve our gifts/talents:

M – mentor. Find a mentor.

A – apprentice

X – exercise. Keep on going, Keep on training yourself.

I – Investment. According to Gallup International, talent invested on is equivalent to strength (Talent x Investment = Strength)

T – Testimony. Share to others how God has nurtured your gifts. It is now your time to inspire and encourage others with the same inspiration and encouragement that God gave you.

However, to those–like me–who are at odds at identifying their gifts or talents, here are some key points that will help you in your discovery:

C – Contribution (Where do I have value? Am I able to contribute something good?)

E – Excellence (Can I excel?)

N – Natural ability (nature nurtured = #1; Where do I perform well while exerting less effort? What am I most productive at with less effort?)

T – Turn on (Does it give me joy?)

S – Spirit leading (Does it have God’s approval?)

News reporter Atom Araullo covered these plaguing problems of mine: complacency and attitude. I fail to nurture a culture of discipline for myself. I tend to be lax at doing things. In my head, as long as I was able to give an output, that’s the end of it–never mind the quality of my work or evaluating myself to pinpoint rooms for improvement. I love writing. I dreamed of becoming a writer but what am I doing to help myself do better at my next projects? I instead cower like an ashamed recluse and quit at life, at the world and change yet again directions. I lack focus.  Atom used the hedgehog concept to portray the effectiveness of knowing where I am good at and focusing my energy on that alone. I’ve also been meaning to try his tip on making a Stop Doing list.

Veteran inspirational speaker, Francis Kong, braved the stage with strong, inspiring statements such as: Blaming others is a loser’s game. There is no shortcut to success. Only Jesus can exalt you without making you proud and only He can correct you without making you feel like a loser.

I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to attend this conference. I do hope that I may be able to absorb all these and put it all into action. Job: this aspect of my life has since been a struggle but I know deeply in my heart that through Jesus Christ, I will come out of this renewed and stronger. I was almost in tears when this verse from Jeremiah 29:11, the first verse that I came to know as a child, was mentioned: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I long to be one with God in everything that I do because only with Him will I bear good fruits and have an abundant life.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10

What’s the Future for Filipino Jeep Drivers-Conductors

I have always been a commuter. I have days when I would almost curse the traffic nightmare in Guadalupe, Makati and the boorish, undisciplined jeep and bus drivers in EDSA. But I still couldn’t help but admire these people. There were moments when I will find myself wondering about their living condition and family background: “Were they able to finish high school? Where did they learn Math? How many children are they feeding? How much are they earning after a day of driving (to the same route over and over again) with a bunch of hot-headed, competitive drivers?  How much savings do they have? Then I would be consumed by furiously blaming the government — specifically the Binays, who claimed to have beautifully painted Makati while leaving Guadalupe and its reeking garbage of prolonged curse and rottenness behind.

If given the opportunity and resources, these Filipino jeep drivers and conductors will very much excel in life. I can never do fast Math while driving. And it fascinates me how dexterous they are in  collecting passengers’ payment, breaking down bigger bills, keeping their eyes on the road and being able to tell who’s paid and unpaid. A full jeepney has more than 20 people who are simultaneously paying their fare; some are annoyingly selfish because they all wanted to go first, get their change so fast that you’d feel obliged to manage a comfortably seated throng of professionals and students and ask them to just settle down.

Most jeep conductors stay in the terminal. These are young men who could have conquered the corporate world or teenagers who could have spent their nights out with friends and groupmates accomplishing school projects or reports. I could still sense their joy in their own space of ‘hard work notwithstanding the dark, putrid and polluted place they spent their nights at. I often wonder if these young men have time to play sports or go to malls. Maybe they are satisfied to watch a movie some meters away from the dilapidated stall of pirated DVDs. Movie directors or writers may have emerged from that group.

I have also counted a few jeepney drivers whose taste in music are far richer and more extensive than the usual music buff. Who knows, some of them could have been a great musician or an underground indie artist.

If I am in an awfully bad mood, I sometimes see them as rude and dirty brutes but they are not, at least not all of them carry the same scoundrel feather. I can still remember the times when a kind jeepney driver would give me a ride even though my money was not enough to pay him. One time, a downpour caught me unprepared with no umbrella and with not enough money for a taxi ride, this grumpy driver put a jeepney-roof over my head. To me, it was such a dear blessing.

Poverty in the Philippines has since ached the hearts of many. A quarter of the government perhaps is doing the best they can to defeat corruption. As of late this pork barrel scam with billions of money involved has unraveled stories over the Internet about the suspects’ lavish, superfluous lifestyle. The driver-conductor segment is not even the most impoverished among the social classes in the Philippines, but I know for a fact that most of them are the same people we labeled as informal settlers. It’s funny because just a few months ago, a local celebrity opined that these informal settlers are being treated like babies.

These “impoverished babies,” who have not a single centavo to spend to hire lawyers and fight for the injustices/crimes committed against them, who have never experienced celebrating their birthdays in a hotel or having their photo taken set on a photowall, compared to our long list of corrupt politicians who have probably spent our hard-earned taxes on “a-time-of-their-life” guilt-less binge, who can most of the time fly away from thievery or just plain enjoy the convenience of house arrest,  well, babies do need someone to cling on to so they can learn how to walk, talk, and live. Their future, for now, lies in the hands of their parents..But who can stand up for them and give them an unconditional parental love and guidance?

Smart Jeep

I took this photo while I’m aboard the Ay-Mak Jeepney going to Bonifacio High St., Taguig City. It has a CCTV camera. All passengers were admiring its modern interiors and its hi-tech sound system. The driver was happy as if he’s being recognized for his innovative designs.

Because We Communicate Love

Because We Communicate Love

It’s February!!! Though celebrating love shouldn’t only be a monthly thing, it wouldn’t hurt to join the ones who are so wrapped up in spreading love in every way possible.

Here’s a blogpost that talks about the 5 different love languages. I hope you’d find this piece helpful and applicable in your relationships 🙂 Just click the link!

That Valentine Oomph

A month ago I’ve just gotten myself out of a ‘wrong’ relationship with a guy – whom I thought of course would finally bring me into the world of true and everlasting love; to further aggrandize my humiliation and pain, in the same time my heart was being torn apart, I also found myself being betrayed by a friend. Now, will there ever be a reason to dance, sway and smile as the romantic, valentine air breezes in?

YES YES YES! Love doesn’t have to end when a relationship ends. Little do we know that our capability to love rather matures, than ends. We can choose to forgive and surrender all our frustrations, surrender all things that seem too impossible to fix, things that are too big for us to handle– into prayer.

We are not made to face heartaches alone and we are not created to bank all hatred and bitterness and let time nurture them for a bigger interest.

We can choose to find an iota of love and let it flower into acceptance, forgiveness, and faithfulness.  We can choose to be joyful and celebrate Valentine’s day in faith that someday if our hearts truly desire to find that person, we will, faith will; that person will find us.

We can choose to greet our friends and remember how they’ve always shown us loyalty and kindness.

Let us be grateful that life has been so courageous that it didn’t think twice in removing those that would just hurt us more, those that would treat us like trash, those whose friendships and affection are as superficial and insincere as what we have pictured in our fears. Let us be thankful that they have stopped being the wrong partner or friend and that we have also stopped being the wrong one for them.

We don’t have to parade how we have blossomed in their absence. We don’t have to boast and put on our make-up, our best dresses to prove how better our life became without them. Didn’t they make us smile too? Didn’t they try to make our day too? Once, they have been an important part of us. We have to stop painting them like they have always been our hearts’ nemesis, that they have always been the villain in our love stories. We can always feel better for ourselves because we truly feel better, because the morning has greeted us with some inexplicable grace to appreciate everything that operates around us. Let’s don on our best clothes because we want to be part of a wonderful celebration, because we want ourselves to breathe in and breathe out happiness, friendship and love – because that’s what we are made of!

It is never a cliche to be grateful for having our parents around for they have really been the epitome of love. We can choose to share with the happiness of our friends as their face lightens up upon receiving a bouquet of flower, a gift, or a letter. The randomness of romance when our bosses are thoughtful enough to give his or her subordinate some cute edible flowers or a short valentine note.. or that enchanting music playing just about everywhere. Let us recognize that love is in the air wanting the best for us, waiting for God’s unexpected and faithful move.

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