I remember exactly 3 years ago today, I had started a journey of the unknown--walking down unfamiliar paths; meeting new people, conversing to strangers with whom I shared the same interests; getting involved in online groups, and immersing myself in a world that helped me know God and know myself in all the adventures and misadventures of life. Looking back into what blogging has done for me, I can honestly say that I loved every easy and difficult part that came along with it. I loved the people I came to know and of course, I also loved every moment that I got to encourage and shed light on someone else's dark corners. And if it wasn't God who breathed life on my words, those words will just stay as words.
I admit that there were a lot of my life's inside stories in the span of three years that didn't make it into this blog which I sincerely hope I can write about someday. Even then, I want you to know first and foremost that God has been good. Life hasn't for the most part, but HE has remained my anchor in all those depressing times. It was those days of sadness that made me turn to Him and my blog more. And now that I'm on my third year into blogging, I wanna share a couple of things that I learned and thankfully unlearned along the way. Some of it may not directly be related to blogging per se, but it still helped me all throughout. I hope it does for you too!
YOU CAN STILL POUR INTO OTHERS EVEN WHEN YOU'RE EMPTY
When we are anxious, we think that there is no way we can help others when we can't even help ourselves. Logically speaking, how do you extend support to someone when you're in need of one too? I'm telling you that that may not be the case at all. Ultimately, God never stops the pouring as long as we always come to Him humble and empty. Then we can be a channel of blessing to others, an overflow of God's mercy and grace to those around us. We may not know it, but a lot of people are looking up to us, and sometimes we are the only evidence of God that they see in their lives. Truth be told, I wrote most of my encouraging posts in those times that I badly needed one too. It's just that, I always see my situation less than what others are going through. So instead of always focusing on the negativity surrounding me, I spend my time doing something that will 1, personally remind me of God's love & goodness and 2, help others realize that truth too. That's fulfilling to me!
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. GALATIANS 6:2
BECAUSE OF JESUS' LIGHT, WE ARE ABLE TO SEE LIGHT IN EVERY CORNER OF OUR LIVES WHERE THE DARKNESS TRIES TO CREEP IN
I am not perfect, I had my own share of mistakes and mess in life. Some people think that because I go to church, volunteer, and blog about faith automatically means my life has been good and Christlike all these times. If you only know the chaos that I've been through and the battles I am fighting everyday. Two nights ago, I've been crying in the shower because I am struggling with un-forgiveness. Some days, I feel good but some days I feel as if I've been carrying a heavy weight around my neck that the more I try to get by, the more I feel like sinking into a quicksand.
The darkness just creeps in; we get afraid, miserable and depressed. And there are no specific reasons to it always. Like when my sister was strumming to Green Days' 21 guns and I suddenly felt a surge of emotions flowing that I do not even know and understand why?! Let's not forget though, that God's mercies are new every morning, that even the darkest areas cannot escape because of His love, His healing and His life-giving light.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in THE LIGHT oF YOUR unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord. psalm 25:7
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God. isaiah 50:10
SOMEONE'S UNFAITHFULNESS DOES NOT NULLIFY GOD'S FAITHFULNESS
Whether it has happened to you directly or to someone you know, someone's unfaithfulness can at times lead us to doubt God's faithfulness too. I've been through it myself. Even though deep down I knew that He was for me and not against me, the devil can tell all sorts of lies that make us believe God's faithfulness isn't enough to carry us through. In the end, a lot of people--even those closest to us can cause us much pain and can even bring about consequences we'll have to face for life. When others are unfaithful or if our circumstances could be compared to an unfaithful person, may we not think that God is unfaithful too. For even when everyone turns out a liar, God remains true. Let that be our confidence in this life. How uplifting it truly is to be re-assured that nothing in this world, even someone's biggest mistakes can make God neglect us. Not even an unfaithful friend, a betrayer, an adulterous husband, or an abusive parent can make God change even a bit of His character. God is faithful even when those around us are not. End of story.
True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? ROMANS 3:3
If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. 2 TIMOTHY 12:13
DISCONNECT TO CONNECT
A week ago, I deactivated my Facebook account for the main reason of it being so toxic— not that the people are toxic, but because of the untruthfulness that I see in most of the posts. I love this quote that I came across in the web:
"Social media websites are no longer performing an envisaged function of creating a positive communication link among friends, family and professionals. It is a veritable battleground, where insults fly from the human quiver, damaging lives, destroying self-esteem and a person's sense of self-worth." - Anthony Carmona
I am just disappointed with how plastic everything has been because of social media. I see teens investing their lives, spending most of their times in front of the computer chatting with someone they barely know. I see couples who post sweet photos together and in reality is far from sweet. I see a generation influenced by something that makes them think they socialize better, when they aren't in real life (outside the comfort of their screens). It is devastating to witness how much rude words & messages are exchanged in social media, how body-shaming is common and where depression is made a laughing matter. I deactivated because I once was addicted to social media, I once had no clue how big a part of my life was being put to waste just by stalking a friend's uncle's cousin's child's pet dog. It's weird how social media has such a big hold of our lives right now— that it's promise to connect people becomes the main reason we all grow apart. I hope that someday, social media serves its real purpose, and that we, (humans who are smarter than computers) realize the importance of forming genuine, solid, unbiased relationships.
‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say – but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’– but not everything is constructive.
Three years of blogging, three years of witnessing God's faithfulness, three years of creativity, three years of being able to write for all of you. Can't thank God enough!
To the next stories together,
We're breathing the 4th day of 2018! This new year, I decided to pick out a song that I would hold on to this whole year. I picked 'Where I Belong' by Building 429 because of the clarity of its message. A lot of times, we fail to stand by the truth the Bible is teaching us. This very song resonates with my heart & thoughts right now. That no matter how much of the world is presented to me, I shouldn't at all be pulled to believe that this temporary place is what I should call my home. Bad or good things, I should firmly believe that everything will fade, and when the earth shakes, I will still be found in Jesus. I've linked the song above hoping you all get to watch & listen to its lyrics closely. I pray that this year gives us many opportunities, but that in those hundreds of opportunities, nothing.. NOTHING will ever be able to convince us that this is our home, because this is not where we belong.
Take this world, and give me Jesus!
12 months, 52 weeks and 365 days, what a year has it been!
Time does run fast... so fast that it's as if I was on a speeding train nearing my next destination so soon that I haven't even slept yet! 2017 was a year of many unexpected events for me and my family. There were twists and turns in between, and I truly and honestly cannot thank God enough for the many majestic ways He has provided, protected and cared for each and everyone of us.
My 2017 was surely a year of learning new things, taking risks, accepting changes, and most of all, instilling an attitude of gratitude. When 2017 started, I took this challenge called "thanks-living". It was an idea from a devotional I read at that very time and I'm so glad I was able to go through it the whole year.
The challenge was to write about something that I was thankful to God for in every single day. I'd roll the tiny papers and keep it on a jar, or in my case, a container. The great thing about this is that I get to be thankful even for the simple things like being able to wake up the next morning, being able to move out and about, and all the other things we usually take for granted. Although not everyday is as bright as the other days, through the "thanks-living", I get to divert my attention from all the worries and focus on being grateful instead.
Because I loved doing the "thanks-living", I decided to unroll a few papers and read about what I was thankful for at the time.
And that was it. I can't believe Christmas 2017 is over in just a blink. Everything just passed by so quickly that it's already the 26th of December! So, how did your Christmas go, everyone? Where and how did you spend it?
30 days 'til Christmas! How fast has it been since last year's? Time really does run fast; so quickly that we don't see how much we have changed the past year. My life is basically the same— been dealing with a lot of problems emotionally—learning and unlearning; forgiving and forgetting. Life really is a cycle of something. Some things just have to go on while some don't really have to. We have to let go of the negativity while holding on to the few positive ones that make our lives worth the living. At times, we feel like giving up and sometimes we feel energized to continue on in this race we are in— competing against all hardships & dilemmas.
Life is so complicated, ain't it? I just feel like undoing all the things that went wrong in mine, but I just can't do it! The choice we only have is to make use of life and enjoy the presence of people we love in our lives. This year truly taught me soooo many things that I wouldn't have learned otherwise. This year has moreover brought out the gratefulness I have to God for never failing me — for never leaving me behind. I also never loved my family like the way I do now. God's absolutely good in that He's answered a lot of my unanswered questions and just listened to my heart's desires. I know that the problems my family's facing now isn't ending yet, but the assurance that He is in control just makes me want to surrender it all to Him. I hope I could be more open in here, but I care for my family's privacy too, so I'll keep it this private for now. Whatever it is, I just want to tell you that life isn't ending even when you want to... so keep on running, keep on blooming wherever you're planted even when life seems to be but a big blur, and appreciate every good thing that comes your way. Some people only beg God for a life like yours, so live yours and own it!
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. — 2 corinthians 4:16
I live an ordinary life; striving and making it work in the giant sandpit aka Dubai. My life isn't perfect (I wish it was!) But I guess there's something about the imperfection in my journey that makes it worth the write and share. I believe that we don't have to have everything figured out because if we do, a lifetime won't be enough.
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