Ano nga ba ang Pag-ibig?


Nung nakaraang linggo, kinonpronta ako ng mga tanong patungkol sa paksang ito. “Ano ang Pag-ibig?” “Paano mo malalaman kung in love ka na?” “Handa ka na ba ma-in love?” Tatlong mahihirap na tanong. At ang mas mahirap, hindi mo masasagot yung dalawang huli kung hindi mo alam ang sagot sa una.

Lahat naman tayo’y may iba’t ibang pananaw tungkol sa pag-ibig. Kaya ang sabi ng karamihan, hindi mo talaga ito mailalarawan. Yung nararamdaman o sintomas nito–pati yung kaakibat na pagkilos kapag ito’y naramdaman–ay iba sa bawat isa. Kaya naman ang pag-ibig, sa emosyonal na aspeto, ay subjective. Gayunpaman, pagdating sa rason ng ating pagkilos patungkol sa pag-ibig o sa taong ating minamahal, naniniwala ako na iisa lang ang ating dahilan–iyon marahil ay ang sumaya at pasayahin ang taong mahal natin. 

Ano ang Pag-ibig?

Para sa akin, Love is more than just a feeling. Hindi lang ito basta butterflies in the stomach o yung tumutugstugs na heartbeat, o sparks. Kaya nga maraming naghihiwalay na magkasintahan kasi “nawala na yung spark” o kaya naman nagising sila isang araw na “hindi na masaya sa relationship” at “kasi nag-iba na siya, hindi na siya yung ‘siya’ na minahal ko” o kaya naman “nakakasawa”. Lahat ng ito, ay dahil sa pagkakamaling pag-aankla o pagbabatay ng pag-ibig sa emosyon lamang. Ang pag-ibig ay may kaakibat na commitment, yung rational or reason part. Kung naka-take ka na ng Philosophy class, alam mo na ang ating pagkilos ay diniderekta dapat ng reason at hindi emotion. Siguro bigla kang natawa kasi sa isip-isip mo, ang korni nung “commitment” part. Bibigyan pa kita ng mas korni na baka lalong hindi mo na gustuhing basahin pa ang post na ito hanggang sa katapusan: If you will enter a relationship, you should always have forever in mind. And all your actions must back up that mindset.

Ang problema, maraming tao ang “ayaw munang isipin yan” kasi “bata pa at marami pang mangyayari” o kaya “marami pang makikilala”. Yun nga ang punto e. Kung hindi ka naman sigurado, why go for it? Para ano, para tingnan kung magowowork out kayo? Tapos kung oo, edi kayo; at kung hindi, edi hindi? Tsss! O kaya naman, ayaw mo na siya pakawalan kasi baka wala ka nang makitang iba? 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…” -Jeremiah 1:5

Kilala ka na ni God bago ka pa ipanganak. At alam na din Niya ang perfect plan para sa buhay mo. And for the record, kasama na din diyan kung sino si Pag-ibig mo, si Kuya o Ate na mamahalin at makakasama mo habang buhay. Kaya kung highschool ka pa lang o nag-aaral pa, utang na loob, wag ka muna mawindang sa pag-iisip kung siya na ba. Kasi naman ‘teh, ang dami mo pang pagdadaanan. Isipin mo na lang kung seventy years ka mabubuhay sa mundong ‘to, kalahati nun, o marahil higit pa, ang iuukol mo kasama siya, sa pagbuo ng pamilya at pagpapalaki ng mga anak ninyo. Huwag mong nakawan ang kinabukasan mo dahil lang wala kang ka-holdinghands ngayong Valentine. Kasi, kapag nandun ka na sa puntong may asawa at pamilya ka na, itong kasalukuyan mo, yung parte na bata ka pa at maraming nagagawa na hindi na magagawa sa iba pang panahon ng buhay mo, ay siguradong gugustuhin mong balikan. At sa araw na iyon, magsisisi ka na sana pala ginamit mo ang oras na ito para mahalin ang pamilya (family of origin) mo, maki-bonding sa mga kaibigan mo, tumulong sa ibang tao, magserve ng todo todo kay God. Ang pinakamabuti sa ngayon ay pag-igihan ang paghahasa sa kakayahan at sa character para pag nakilala mo siya, ready ka na. The best yung inilaan ni God sa’yo. Nakakahiya naman kung hindi pa ikaw yung best na deserve nung tao.

Diba nga sa Eight Stages of Psychosocial Development ni Erik H. Erikson, Fidelity is the prerequisite of Intimacy. Fidelity meaning…

“…the ability to sustain loyalties freely pledged in spite of the inevitable contradictions and confusions of value systems.”

Dinagdag ko lang yan para magtunog matalino. (Hehe) The key word pala is sustain. Idagdag mo pa diyan, hindi rin totoo ang You complete me  na sagot sa pick-up line na: “Puzzle ka ba?” Kasi, bago ka makabuo ng isang maayos na relasyon, yung panghabang-buhay na, dapat pareho kayong buo. (1 x 1 = 1) Isang buong ikaw, at isang buong siya ay isang buong relasyon. (.75 x .75 = .5625) You get the point. 

Paano mo malalaman kung in love ka?

Sabi sa kanta ‘Hindi makatulog. Hindi makakain.’ Pwedeng pisiolohikal ito o kaya nama’y emosyonal. Magkakaiba tayo ng nararamdaman. Yung iba natatanga. Yung iba inspired. Yung iba distracted. In love ka kung alam mong may nag-iba sa’yo. Yung hindi ikaw yung normal na ikaw. Ganyan naman ang pagmamahal, hindi ba? Binabago niyan ang tao para sa kabutihan. At kapag naramdaman mong mahal ka rin ng mahal mo, hindi ba masaya? At hindi ba labis na nakakapukaw ng puso ang malamang sa kabila ng mga kapalpakan mo sa buhay, mayroong handang tumanggap sa’yo kung sino ka? Ganyan si God sa akin. At sa iyo rin. Alam kong in love ako sa Kanya dahil maraming nag-iba sa akin. 

Handa ka na ba ma-in love?

In love ako sa ngayon, kay God. Okay, payn. Korni para sa’yo. Pero kasi Siya ang nag-iisang alam kong hindi sasayangin ang pag-ibig ko kundi ibabalik ito ng mas higit pa sa inaaakala ko. Love is more than just a feeling, remember? Hindi pa ako ready sa commitment.  Hindi pa ako buo. Alam ko lang na marami pa ako kailangang matutunan. Kapag pumasok ako sa relasyon ulit, gusto ko kasi yun na talaga. At syempre may forever in mind. Dun naman talaga ang hantungan nun, ang goal ng isang relationship–marriage. At ayokong pumasok sa relasyon na hindi pa ako handa lalo na’t habangbuhay ang tinitingnan ko dito. Hindi totoo yung magbabago ang isang tao kapag nag-asawa na siya. Marami nang nakapagsabi sa akin na kung ano yung character mo nung single ka, yun din ang character na lalabas kapag may asawa ka na. Who you’d become when you get married will only reflect what you’ve valued while you’re still single. Kaya nga kapag tatamad tamad ako sa bahay, laging sinasabi ni Mommy, “Nakakahiya ka sa magiging biyenan mo. Baka sabihin nila hindi ka namin naturuan ng maayos.” Marami pang dapat ma-improve sa akin–pagiging masinop sa pera, pagiging mahusay sa gawaing bahay, pagkakaroon ng mahabang pasensiya, pag-una sa pangangailangan ng iba bago ang sa akin, at marami pang iba.

Kaya ka nga single para magpractice. Hindi ibig sabihin may partikular lang na taong gagawan mo nun. Mali. Dapat sa lahat, pantay. Maaari mo ito i-practice sa pamamagitan ng paglilingkod sa pamilya mo. Pagluto mo sila, o kaya tulungan mo ang kapatid mo sa assignment niya, samahan mo yung kaibigan mong may problema. Kung lalaki ka, tulungan mo yung MGA kaibigan mong babae sa mga dala nila. Dun ka sa danger side kapag tatawid kayo ng highway, o pag  naglalakad sa side walk. Higit sa lahat, mapababae o mapalalaki man, guard their hearts. Do not mess with someone else’s future husband or future wife. I’m sure you do not want someone else messing with yours. 

Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity. -1 Timothy 5:1b-2

At ang pinakabongga, practice loyalty today. Maraming naghihiwalay dahil sa third party at party party na yan. You can practice loyalty now through committing yourself and your season (ang pagiging single) to Christ and to your future spouse na rin. Serve, learn and grow as much as you can. Para pag na-meet mo na siya, ready ka na! Sa ganung paraan mananatili kang in love sa kanya kasi alam mong hindi lang basta emosyon, may kaakibat na responsibilidad, commitment, at si God ang nasa gitna niyo. Nun mo masasabing okay pala ang love triangle. Ikaw, ano ang pag-ibig para sa ‘yo? Share mo sakin!:)

Maligayang araw ng mga puso!:)

Why Does God Seem to Give You the Opposite?


“God. I can’t do this anymore. I’m helpless. Maybe, I’m crazy. How will I be able to handle this? It’s just barely impossible.”

Life Issues. I’ve got my share. Who doesn’t have? I mean, all of us experience struggle[s] every once in a while. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God..(1) gives me annoying people when I promised Him to practice love (2) achievements and compliments from people when I wanted to have humility (3) loads of school work when I’m praying for peace and joy (4) rude people at irritating situations when I’m trying to have a kind heart and finally….. (5) a handsome, God fearing guy who gives me butterflies when I made a covenant to preserve my heart for my future husband and focus on God only.

It’s like a gang bang. These five things are my very desire to have and maintain yet God seems to put me into situations I wouldn’t want to be in if given a choice. Have you ever wondered why? I did. But the realization (what I was hoping as a solution) didn’t come as fast as I wished. Almost every night I cry out, “God please take this away. I really want to focus on You. Why is it so hard?”

Well…Image

It’s pretty simple.

1. It’s only in our weakness that we learn how to fully trust God. Stop questioning Him about the trials He gives us, just trust Him that in that situation, He will help us He will show us His power and He will walk us through it. Trust that through that situation, something in us will be changed. And we will never be the same again.

2. We lose our pride in the process. Trusting God means denying ourselves. If we have faith in Him who will give us strength to overcome, we will not say “I can do this [alone]”. We need His help to sustain us. Then, when we succeed, we don’t give credit to ourselves but we will be amazed and humbled knowing we will never make it without Him.

3. It just has to be the opposite.

Luke 6: 32-36 gives a hint why it has to be that way:

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

What kind of love is it when we love only those who are lovable and not those who are annoying?

How will we know if we won’t boast if people will not praise us and we won’t have achievements we’re supposed to be proud of?

Will we ever know the true meaning of peace and joy if we aren’t placed in a very disturbing situation?

How then, can we measure kindness if the people around us are nice, if all the experiences we encounter are pleasurable?

And, why do we have to guard our hearts if no one seems to be attractive? How will we be able to stand up and fight for our convictions if they are never tested?

It seems simple yet we often miss the point. God gives us the opposite [situation] for the character we want to build, for an attitude we want to have because it is only through them that we are able to know what they truly mean. Only through trials are we able to see His goodness and grace that will bear in us fruits that will last. So don’t worry if you’re in a place where you don’t want to be at. That’s a perfect avenue for molding and pruning. A perfect “battleground” to stand up to your convictions and practice what you want to develop. Every trial is a character-building experience. Don’t miss it.

Remember:

 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” -Philippians 4:13

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5, 6

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

It’s okay to feel weak and helpless. Delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties for when we are weak, we are strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” -James 1:2-4

3 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” -Romans 5:3-5

“By standing firm you will gain life.” -Luke 21:19

“…for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God.”


This is what the Lord says in Exodus 20:5 when He gave the first commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.”

I have cute and funny encounters concerning this verse and this characteristic of My Father God. [You can also skip the story and proceed to the latter part)

Mid-March this year I went to University of Sto. Tomas to meet three of my high school BFFs. I haven’t seen them for so long and to catch up, we spent one afternoon eating and just chatting about how our lives have been. I told them I was single and happy; they were surprised.

“Oh? What happened? Bakit kayo nag-break?”

These girls know my past more than anyone else does. Way back high school, they thought I was the “best girlfriend” my ex could ever have. It was because I really took—and up to now, take—relationships seriously. If I say I’m in love with someone, I mean it. And I’ll do every single thing in the world to prove it. I would always hold on into anything and would always be willing to work things out. I would only give up if it’s already beyond repair. And when I give up, there’s no turning back. To answer the question plainly, I said, “Well, some things are not meant to last.”

“Ayaw mo na?”

I guess it’s not a question of whether I still want to be in the relationship or the other way around. It was more of what God wants. After my real encounter of Him and after the realization of His love for me, I was changed. That time, I was progressively taking Lordship seriously. I just shared how my life has been, how I thought I wouldn’t be able to make it (being single), but through His grace, I did. That day was really awesome but that’s not the real story. The real story took place on my way home.

Riding a jeepney going home, I was pondering on how that day has been—morning classes, lunch with UP friends, then one long afternoon with high school girl friends. I remembered how I shared my story when all of a sudden, memories of my past—specifically him, my ex-boyfriend, flashed. I was reminded about how I met him, how things started, all the sweet moments, romantic lines, fights, monthsaries—everything. I almost drowned but God awaken me through a sudden stop of the jeepney. It almost bumped the car in front of us. I looked ahead, at the driver’s seat. And there, on a white circle pin, written in red bold letters: “GUARD YOUR HEART”. (see Proverbs 4:23)

I smiled.

“Sorry, God”, I whispered to myself.

It was kinda funny because I’ve never encountered a jeepney with that sign/ reminder right at the driver’s area. The ones we usually see are: “God knows Judas not pay”; “Bayad muna bago baba”; “Barya lang po sa umaga”.

“Saan galing yung guard your heart? But, thanks for that reminder, God.” I just knew, on that moment, God intended me to ride that jeepney ‘cause He knew I would reminisce but at the same time would be reminded of my covenant with Him.

My realization was: God wants me, 100%. Not just my status [of being single] but the status of my heart and my mind as well. That moment I don’t deny the fact that I missed him, and all the things we used to do. But God reminded me: If it’s just your status, and not your heart, then it’s useless.

It’s not just being single. It’s about being in a relationship with God. Just like how we dedicate all our love to someone in the past, God wants us to dedicate our love to Him. Not just love, but our time, loyalty, thoughts and actions.

Another instance when God reminded me to have an undivided heart for Him was when I had the chance to talk to my crush via Facebook chat. That was my first time to have a progressing conversation with him. Everything was going well and I admit, I was enjoying it, I even let out cute screams indicating I was kinikilig.Then all of a sudden, our internet connection got busted. I can’t connect to the internet. Again, I got back to my senses and realized, “Oops, I did it again.”

Could God really get jealous? I believe, YES. He wants our attention. He wants our time. He wants those cute screams, those expressions to be exclusively for Him. Have you ever screamed for someone? God wants that too. He wants certain expression of yours to be exclusively for Him. Just like how we kissed only one person, hugged only one person or held only one person’s hand/s.

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They’re cute. I mean, how God communicated those realizations to me. It’s like He’s saying, “Don’t think about him; think about Me. Don’t talk to him; talk to Me. What about me?” God is not just Lord over our lives; He is also our Lover. I’ve been in this attitude of celebrating “our” monthsary. God and I have been in this serious relationship for three months now. Even before the day of our monthsary, I would think of ways on how I can show Him my love. I would also ask Him to make me feel loved. God never failed, I always feel His love for three months now and for three special days in our relationship. On the other side of the pendulum, I always fail. I feel like my way of showing my love for Him isn’t enough. Yung tipong walang binatbat yung gift ko sa Kanya sa mga surprise na binibigay Niya.

I want more of Him. And every day, I want to show Him more of my love. I know, I still make Him jealous, but it’s in His grace that I am able to make and reserve things exclusively for Him. I believe God is calling us women, even men, to have a devoted relationship with Him; to have an undivided heart before Him and we can show Him our love through:

  1. Having our daily quiet time with Him (Reading the Scripture and Praying).
  2. To be reminded every single minute of the day that we are committed to Him and every single thing we do is for Him.
  3. To give Him the credits for someone’s beauty, that we will not dwell on our emotions as we admire someone but we will give our feelings to God.
  4. To see Him bigger than anything, bigger than our problems, than our worries, bigger than that one person we admire.
  5. To do things that will please Him—helping our brothers and sisters, praying for the nation, honoring our parents and managing our time, energy and money wisely.

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Don’t be shy to ask something from Him. Okay lang maglambing kay God.I believe God wants that. Ano ba naman ang hindi Niya kaya? And God will prove Himself faithful and able. Today, God wants you to know that He is deeply in love with you. And even you forget to pray, even you don’t read the Word when you’re busy, He still loves you. He also wants to remind you that you are beautiful/ you are handsome. He loves every single part of you. He adores every detail of your being—from the tip of your hair to your soles. In His eyes, you are perfect. Who cares what other people say about you? God’s opinion is the only one that matters. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you so much. And He is willing, He is able, He can do anything for you, just tell Him. God is a jealous God, I hope you won’t do things to hurt Him. He shows His love for you every single day, you just have to realize it. And He wants to feel your love as well. He is not asking for something big, He just wants you—for you to know Him more and be open for the things He’s going to do in your life. In every action, thought, word or emotion, I hope we will not make Him jealous. God smiles when we intentionally do things for Him, even the slightest, easiest, simplest thing—when you dedicate it for Him, He smiles and He is well-pleased.