It is in our brokenness that we are made whole.

I can always go on on how things have changed over the course of twenty-one years of life. I can just enumerate the so many ups-and-downs that are already there even if I try so hard to change some parts of ’em. I can tell you of who I was before and the things I did to be here today. But, no. I didn’t know who I was, and looking back, I think I’m not liking the “Daine” I have made myself to be.

Just like any other kid out there, I had a pretty good childhood. During grade school years, I was always a part of the honor roll, been elected as class officer, and graduated with flying colors. Those were the days that being a kid felt like the easiest thing to do. All that was demanded to me was to go to school and study hard. I was pretty much okay until I learned how some people looked at me. It made a mark on me and somehow affected on how I looked towards myself. It wasn’t a nice feeling; to hate yourself because you chose to believe what they have told you.

Then come high school. They said that it was the time to discover and enjoy things of this life. And I did learn so many, sometimes I think I already know everything. I was in first year high school when I first had my mobile phone. I remember saving up my week’s allowance so that I would have some money to buy some prepaid credits. (During that time, it costs 30pesos for one day unlimited texting. Ang mahal, ‘no?) And I can attest to what they say that it’s a crazy world out there. I met random strangers over text messages. Spent hours and hours talking to them with nonsense and pointless topics. Mobile phones? Tsss. I was even scolded by my parents because of it. But going back to my highschool life, it was awesome. I found friends that stood up for me. And actually, that’s already more than enough. Highschool is highschool. I would always want to go back and laugh at all the stupid things I did.

Even before I start discussing my college years, I want to share with you that after I graduated in highschool, I had a romantic relationship (RR) with the then-boyfriend. This would quite help in pacing up the feels of my college life.

Then come college. It didn’t sink at first that it was the make-or-break moment of my life. I didn’t take my studies seriously for I was so taken aback by the RR, that I spent more time exerting more effort into it than studying for my exams. I also wasn’t able to join my planned out extra-curricular activities for I just wanted to focus all my attention to the then-boyfriend. (Gosh, was I really okay with that?) I have compromised study times and bonding moments with my friends, again, for the RR. Then eventually, the RR ended and I was devastated. Literally. I didn’t attend my classes, didn’t pass homeworks, projects. I failed quizzes because of my absences. I’ve withdrawn myself from everyone and carried the pain and brokenness all by myself. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. I just knew that I can do it on my own.

I continued pacing this earth after deciding to numb everything that felt so painful. I looked for medications that I thought would end the sleepless nights. I continually gave a piece of myself to what this world promised. I lowered myself to the point that there was no love, no respect even, was left of me. Nothing, as in nothing, was left of me.

It is in our brokenness that we are made whole.

I was so broken that I knew no one would ever take me in. But Jesus defeated death so I can live out His plans for me. I was so blinded by pain, but Jesus made me see that everything works out for good of those who love Him. I didn’t listen to anyone, but Jesus hears my soundless cry for love. I was really, really nothing. But today, Jesus says I’m everything.

I can never understand how God’s grace works, but I am so grateful that I was saved by it. The time that I needed saving, most specially from myself, His grace rescued me. I cannot imagine how far His love goes that I’m still standing today with victory written all over me. I can never be worthy of what Jesus did on the cross, but He said I am never worthless.

Do you know this saying that goes, “If only I had a chance to go back and change some things in my life, I would…”? For me, if I’m given that chance, I would not take it. Everything that happened to my life, every decision, every mistake, I would leave them at that. It’s in the broken pieces that I was mended to what God has planned for me. It’s in those broken pieces, no matter how it scarred Jesus’ hand, that I am built to become more like Him. And it’s the broken pieces that I have learned that I needed God to do it for me. Because if it’s only by my strength, I never could have done it.

If it wasn’t for all of it, I wouldn’t be here today to tell you that God can use our deepest miseries for His greater glory. I can tell you that giving up is never an option when you know it’s for and from the Lord. And I can confidently tell you that God isn’t finish with you, yet. Have the honor of living out the Kingdom’s missions for His glory alone. And you would then understand the reason for your next heartbeat.

So, do I like the Daine now? Well, if Jesus says I am the person He created me to be, then, it’ll be more than enough for me.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭8-9‬ NIV)

Seed of faith and RC

No one forced me to be there. I just woke up one Sunday and told myself, “I have to be in RC.”

It happened again the next week. Then next one. Then the next. It just kept on happening until I realized it is no stopping now.

I first went through its doors during its second anniversary. I cannot remember what happened during those times, except that there were balloons, see-through-glasses that enclosed the room, and that I stood in front of what they call as an “altar.” I did not know what was happening. I did not understand why I was there. I did not even care for I was there to do a favor for a friend, and I wanted to be distracted from the pain I was nursing caused by a recent breakup.

During those moments, I never knew that my life would be taking a 180-degree turn. I am becoming speechless when I try to really explain how it happened. But I will try.

The Rock Church, or RC as it is fondly called, has only one goal: Inspire to Impact. And I am one of its many living testimonies. I see how it strives to win more souls for Christ. I see the way it honors the Holy Spirit’s works. And I see how it obeys what the Father tells it to do.

I have been there as the pulpit changed its backdrop series after series. I have heard the band instruments during practices. I have held those little cups during Communion. I have placed the envelopes for the tithes and love offerings on the chairs. I have prepared sweet little gifts for our little surprises.

I have covered water baptisms (even participated in one), anniversary services, and Christmas parties. I have edited a video for a service launch. I have played around images for promotional ads. I have captured moments during special days.

I have been dancing crazily which makes my sprained foot from three years ago hurt. I have been singing my heart out up to a point that I have a course voice afterwards. I have been crying and crying until my body begins to shake. I have heard testimonies after testimonies. I have listened to preaching after preaching.

Then I realized, I have done many things in church. But it has done much, much more for me.

RC has showed me that it never hurts to have a group of people around you who will support you, rebuke you in love, and prays for you and with you. It has taught me that the best companionship next to God and my family are the ones who love Jesus. It has engraved in my heart that being a Christian means being the imperfect being you are for the perfect One.

RC has helped me improved my skills for the sake of my ministry and for His greater glory. It has taken away my fear to talk to new faces and intently know who they are. It has built up my confidence to ask simple questions and start a small talk.

RC has showed me how to honor those who you love (We have planned numerous surprises during birthdays, and I can say that we are pretty good at it *winks). RC has thrown a number of parties that are filled with fun times and good memories. RC has brought me to worship concerts, trainings, small group discussions, CBTL nights, and an outreach mission.

The Rock Church made me understand why I stood on that spot three years ago. I gave my life to Christ and I am never ashamed to say that. And do you know why it seemed easy? It’s because I have a family in RC that can testify to the faithfulness and goodness of our God.

But it wasn’t easy. I have gone through a lot in my life before I have come to this point where I am now. You may say, “Why still believe in someone you don’t even see? What good does it bring you? You are not loved!” I know you have these in your minds. Believe me; I once had them in mine.

Yes, I don’t see Him. But He said that the one who seeks finds (Matthew 7:8). I was once afraid to seek God’s face, but today, I yearn for His presence and embrace more than anything else. Yes, my faith does not bring me any good because it brings me peace with God (Romans 5). That peace, I wouldn’t trade even for the most precious gem of this world. And no, Jesus loved me first before anyone else ever did (1 John 4:19). I won’t even have my next breath if it wasn’t for the love He demonstrated on the cross for you and for me.

I know RC would take just a tiny bit of credit for all the help it has selflessly given me. But I will always be grateful that I have the privilege of knowing Jesus through this family. I will forever thank the Lord for the obedient hearts that took that leap of faith for the four walls of this church be built up to inspire to impact many, many lives. I will praise the name of the Lord for the hearts that never hesitate to demonstrate how it is to live under the authority of the Maker of the heavens and the earth.

I love The Rock Church. I love RC. I am excited for this new season. I am expectant for the greater things. If one day I would be called to be in another church, in another nation (claiming!), I would always look back to where I have started, to where I was planted. I am so glad that I have this family to go back to.

One last thing to share: On the 27th, we are launching our new time slots of the services. Starting this Sunday, we will have 2PM and 4PM services. Yes, we are shifting to the afternoon feels. \:D/

timeshift

I am inviting you to join us during on this day, so that you would understand and experience all the things I have had ever since I said “Yes” to every challenge that has been charged to me through RC. Take my word for it: It is an incredible feeling to have your life surrendered to the magnificent God. See you Sunday!

It does not matter now what time of a Sunday I would wake up. What’s important is where to spend it and be made meaningful. 🙂

 

Faith.

How can you tell someone that “It’s all part of God’s plan,” when they are hurting, when they are blinded by their own pain, when they are deceived by the world’s lies?

Simple.

Faith.

I am sure that you believe it, that you’re saying it, because you have experienced it. You can never tell other people how you got addicted to an ice cream flavor, or got hooked up with a television series if you haven’t gotten a taste of it, or watched an episode or two.

Just like faith. You can’t show others how it works if you don’t know how to start, where to start.

I will be honest that I was once imprisoned by the darkness that embraces those who are empty. I didn’t believe that everything was according to plan because I don’t want to accept that I lost something, that I’m letting go of an “important” thing in my life.

I was wrong.

We are impatient. In this world, we want instant results because we try to keep up with the pace. We fear that if we don’t have it now, it’ll be gone, forever.

But have you asked yourself, “Was it meant to be mine?” Yes, maybe. Then why it’s taken away from you?

Because you are to be handed with what is truly yours. You are to be given with what you deserve. You need to see who knows what’s best for you.

Nothing in this world is ours. Your house, your car, your job, your money, even your body is not yours. Everything is God’s! Our pain, our struggles, our frustrations; He even tells us to give it all to Him, and He’ll give us rest (Matthew 11:28). Now, wouldn’t you agree to a deal like that?

I may be one of those people you heard from who says, “God has a plan for you,” or “Trust in Him. He knows what He is doing.” Then maybe, you are one of those who answered, “If that’s the case, then why am I hurting?,” or “I don’t need anybody.”

Friend, I can’t answer all of your questions. I’m human, too, you know. I feel the same emotions that you have, and I’m going through life just like everybody else. But if there’s one thing that I’m sure of, it’s that we are all children of God, and we are part of His Kingdom. He even said that He has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). If you can handle written examinations, thesis defenses, work escalations, business rejections, and relationship denials, imagine how easy it can get when you keep in mind that a Savior died on the cross to save you, then lives again to see you succeed in life.

I know it’s hard. I know it hurts. I know it’s unfair. But self-pity and doing nothing will get you nowhere. Only God knows what will happen to you. It is a very wise decision to trust in Him, even if He only shows you a glimpse of it. He doesn’t reveal to us everything because it takes heart and a firm “Yes, Lord!” to carry out a mission from the Kingdom.

Live in faith. Live in hope. Live in Jesus Christ. Only then you will understand why you can still give thanks even though it hurts. 🙂

Spiritual thought #4

I want to take this opportunity to thank God for what He has done in my life.

Just yesterday, I was on that state of nothingness. I felt like I am not doing anything. It felt like I am not going anywhere. It felt like I am nothing.

But night came, and unexpectedly, I was able to speak life to someone who looks down to himself. I was able to recall the words that God placed in me. I felt like those words were boomerangs, not really knowing I need it, too.

A big opportunity came knocking on our doors in the least of time that we expected it. We are given the chance to impart the knowledge that undoubtedly God placed upon us. Now, I am claiming that God will provide. If He allows it, He would give us what we need.

Another chance surprised me just a while ago, and this one will surely change my life. Another chapter is about to unfold, and I am given assurance that God will always be my side all the time. I am so excited.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (Philippians 4:4 NIV)

Not only in the good times, but rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS. Even in the bad times. As it was said, the lonely times are just God’s reminder that we need to dig our relationship with Him a little deeper.

Stay faithful and patient with the Lord. He listens, provides, and heals you. Above all, He loves you.

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Spiritual thought #3

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. – John 10:10 NLT

It’s true. The enemy will steal the joy in your heart. It will kill the dreams that God placed in your life. It will destroy the relationships you have with other people.

But when you know that this is not what God desires for you, if you have Him there buried so deep in your heart, then you would not entertain what the enemy offers. It is plainly nothing compared to the price of your salvation: Jesus’s blood. He holds you in His hands. He carries you every single time. Return the favor by not harboring any thoughts that the world gives you. Don’t let anything grasp you and let it drag you down. Cut it out the soonest. Do yourself a favor.

Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.

If you want to experience true love, seek God’s love. He knows how it works. He created it.

Spiritual thought #2

workout
Image from Google

It is a very well-known fact that an individual should exercise or undergo some workout programs to keep our bodies healthy. Search around the internet and you will find a lot of articles stating the benefits of regular exercise. It is a good habit. Actually, ourselves are the ones responsible with our own health.

A lot of people are willing to spend an enormous amount of money just to go to the gym. Others even own those running shoes and workout clothes that really amount to thousands. Some aren’t hesitant to try out the slimming pills out there in the market that promises effective results. There’s nothing really wrong about all of these. Investing on your health can go a long way later in your life.

What I am saying is just this: You allot time to go the gym at least thrice a week, but do you intend at least one day to go to church? You bought a portable music player to pump up your running, but do you own a Bible? You risk your current health condition in exchange of the guaranteeing results of energy drinks, but have you ever went out your way to accept Christ in your life?

The Word is freely given to us. Even if you don’t deserve it, you have been saved by grace. (Ephesians 2:8) God stays true to His promises.

Yes, we are to take care of this temporary form we are currently in. We are to stay in this stop-over until we are called Home. But as we do that, let us not forget that we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).

workout your faith
Image from larrydixon.wordpress.com

If you can finish an hour of a workout program, what is a 10-minute devotion to the Lord every morning? 🙂

Grace.

God has been reaching His hands to us in many ways unimaginable. But most of us don’t notice because we tend to count on our beliefs that we are THAT strong, we are THAT invincible, that we can get by just with our capabilities. I was guilty with this thinking; that I got through everything in life because I was mentally strong, I made the right choices, and I listened to the pieces of advice that were imparted to me. I was very confident that I am the person I was because of what I could do, without thinking, “Where did all those come from?”

“Am I proof, that You are who You say you are? That grace can really change your heart? Do I live like Your love is true?” –Live Like That by Sidewalk Prophets

I am a worrier. Even though I know I have prepared well enough, the possibility that I would be unsuccessful still crawls in. This world’s influence of constant failure ruled me for a long time, and it hasn’t done me any good. When I succeed, I feel relieved. Otherwise, I sulk in my own misery. I tell you, it isn’t the best feeling this earth could offer anyone.

A friend asked me what grace is. I wasn’t able to answer her because I really don’t know how to explain it. All that I ever managed to blurt out is that, “It is related to God’s mercy.” So I asked what it means, and I have been told that “Grace is something given to someone who doesn’t deserve it.” Yes. I guess I wasn’t able to expound on it because in the first place, I wasn’t really worth it. I wasn’t, but God does the opposite. His grace saved me all my life, and I haven’t stopped, even just for a minute, to thank Him.

That grace can really change your heart?” Yes, grace really does this. I have this new perspective that nothing is ever hard if you know God is able to help you out in just about anything. That God is the source of hope that life continues even if you stumble almost all the time. And that God is the only One who can bring about the best in you.

Do I live like Your love is true?” I always think about this. I wonder if all my actions and words reflect of how God is ever great. I live in a world that critical eyes are to be anticipated. They will think that you have no right to commit sin. But what if I don’t live it out? Will God kick me out of His kingdom? One thing I have learned, no one knows your being like God does. His love will be evident from those who accept Him in their hearts. And that’s how strong His love is. It will steer you in that direction that will only lead to His righteousness, no matter hard you resist.

“Am I proof, that You are who You say you are?” I maybe still “new” in this faith, but I am just thankful that God wants me to become an evidence of what His greatness can do. I am still in the process of understanding who Jesus is, but I am already overflowing with the love He can only offer. I don’t know, yet, what He really wants me to do, but I will rather be here than in any place where His name must not be spoken of.

God is the only one who can help you. Can you give up everything for Him? If his unending and unfailing love is at stake, why not? That is more valuable than any treasure anyone could offer.

Prayers and my faithful God.

With my graduation in less than two weeks, the reality of me becoming “bum” continues to shove my soon-to-be-unemployed self. But just like what everyone else told me, I deserve a break. I’ve earned it. Might as well make the most out of it.

However, circumstances arose that I considered having a job the soonest time possible. Meaning, no vacation, no rest. It was fine for me. I have dreamed of working and earning money and working and earning money… and working. I sometimes ask myself if this feeling would exist now, or will it persist? Because I am sure that I will get tired, get burned-out even. So, yes. I am longing for that chance that I will get hold of my time, and not the other way around–for it has been the way ever since I learned the difference between skirts and jumpers.

Even before this academic year started,  I had many plans on how to spend my summer after graduation. Go hiking, go back to Sagada, meet all my friends and catch up with them, watch all the movies and series I have, finish reading all the books on the shelves, clean up all the papers and books and handouts accumulated in four years in college, and the list goes on. I tell you, I haven’t done 1% of it, HONESTLY. I have so much time, but all that I want to do now is to sleep. I cannot imagine how many hours of sleep I have missed in 14 years of studying.

Well, to get directly to the point (this happens when you talk to yourself), one of the things that I have planned out for summer is the Nazarite Training. Ate Mutya, my church mate at THE ROCK CHURCH, had told me about this waaay back. Given the human’s nature, when someone invites you to join a very exciting event, you can’t help but answer, “GO! I WILL JOIN YOU!” with all the conviction that you have. But when you are asked again after some time, I bet that you don’t even know how to respond.

I had intended to apply for a BPO company when I learned that there was an opening in their Human Resources Department. I had envisioned myself working in here: I love their office, the HR head is a Thomasian graduate, and the starting salary is not bad at all. It is my dream job. But there was something in me saying that I should not grab it, that it is not the path I should be taking. I was torn with my dream and that voice. So I prayed. And I got my answer.

A friend of Ate Mutya has a very kind heart to help out an individual who wants to attend the training. And guess who is blessed enough? *YOURS TRULY WAVES WILDLY* Yes, I will be joining the training. Yes, I am blessed. Yes, my prayer has been answered. I take it as a response to my confused mind. How? Because if I am to start a job, I won’t have the time to be in the training. That job was not for me. God has something better to provide.

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24 ESV

I know God used Ate Mutya’s friend to tell me that I am meant to be in the training; that I am to learn a lot of things; and that I am called to be a Nazarite. I am very excited for this because I know God truly approves. It feels so good to obey Him, even if that means letting go of a dream you had for the longest time. Really, you have to let go of certain things in your life for the greater ones coming.

nazarite

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
-John 15:7

He knows.

I miss everything that there is in a relationship.

You see, a few months back, I didn’t want to see couples in public places holding hands, eating together, laying one’s head to the other’s shoulder; name it. It was sickening for me, more of annoying actually. I don’t know. Maybe it was really painful that I didn’t want others to become happy because of the romantic relationship they are in.

But I grew tired of it. I hated myself for hating these couples when they are not doing anything that would make me feel… alone. It was I who chose to stay away. It was my decision to stray away from people just because I thought I didn’t deserve to be comforted. It was my choice to push them away for the thinking that they might hurt me. Again, it was tiring. Very tiring.

I used to think that I know everything about relationships. I even called myself a veteran because of the fact that I was once in one. Yes. I was Ms. Know-it-all. Yeah right, Daine. Yeah right. I was so annoying I want to punch my old self… Oh, too much violence. But maybe, just one?

To cut short all my thoughts, I miss all the things that concern love. I miss the butterflies in my stomach before I get to see him; the grin plastered on my face when he tells a joke only the two of us understand; the anticipation when my mobile played your ringtone; the good morning and good night messages that greet me; and the effect of that ultimate line that made me fall. I miss it. I long for it.

However, despite the absence of these in my life, I have saved, and I am saving myself from a lot of things: the frustration of not being with him when he gets a promotion at work; the worry of having an empty-battery phone that results to not being able to text him where you are, who you are with, what time you’ll be home; the impatience while staring at the clock, waiting; the pain of misunderstanding; and the heartbreak of broken promises.

I was wrong. Experience taught me that you should be willing to do all of these to the only One who’s worth it: JESUS. It is okay to be frustrated, as long as you know to whom you’ll cast your anxieties (1 Peter 5:7). It is okay to worry, as long as you know what He will never permit (Psalm 55:22). It is okay to wait, but wait patiently (Hebrews 6:15). Pain is okay, only if you know that it is nothing compared to glory to be revealed to us (Romans 8:18). And heartbreaks are absolutely no-brainers if you know what impossible means with God (Luke 1:37).

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

God’s love includes the whole world. All that are living in it. All that has life, even those who don’t know who Jesus is. All the world. And here I am thinking of myself. Thinking of how to find that one person to spend my life with when as a matter of fact, Lord God has given me the mission to reach to the world.

Maybe I’ll get married at 25. Or tomorrow. Or whenever. What I do not know is how will I be in that next relationship I’m going to be in. Different person. Different perspective. Different heart. What I am sure is that it will be the greatest love story one could ever hope for because it is approved by the perfect definition of love: Jesus Christ.

All bible verses are taken from ESV.

I just wonder…

If I had lived before the time that Jesus came, if I had walked the streets of Sodom, if I had been slaved by the pharaohs of Egypt, will I have the same faith as His people had? Will I be as obedient as Abraham to sacrifice my own son (Genesis 22:9)? Will I listen to the angel of the Lord as Moses did as it flamed on that bush (Exodus 3:2)? Will I be as brave as Joshua to take down Jericho (Joshua 6)?

I have always wondered. If I am alive during those times, would I have the same faith as they had? Would I be worthy to be saved? Would I still be chosen?

Sure, I would love to know the answers to these. But I am more interested to this one question that will affect my today and forever: Will you give your everything to Jesus for you to go to the Father?

My response: I just intend to spend my living days to live for God’s glory. I may not be worthy, but Jesus already paved my way to eternity. I have my faith; a faith that will grow everyday, until the time comes God commands me to part the waters of my own Red Sea.

I am just thankful that I am chosen. For now, I am glad I am saved. Tomorrow will come. But I will not fear; FOR GOD IS WITH US.