Tag Archives: In His Steps


Allow me to use a common introduction to horror stories to start this post: This time last year, it was a dark and stormy night.

This time last year, my parents, my best friend and I were carrying our important belongings through chest deep flood water across the street to our neighbor’s house, where they have been waiting for us to evacuate for a while now. The rain won’t stop, and we carried all the important things that we can to their house, where they welcomed us in one room. We cleaned up, changed and prayed and listened to the rain pour down. My parents fell asleep, but my best friend and I were too antsy to do so. We talked in hopes of calming our own fears and listened and prayed for the rain to stop so the water will not go up anymore.

I was expecting the worst the next day. We woke up to this, our house submerged, on our street that has never flooded for the 20 years we’ve lived there:

One year ago.

I’ve been afraid of typhoon season starting ever since that day. Hard rains freak me out, and I find myself always, always praying for sun, and stopping myself from complaining about the heat. Better heat than flood, right?

I always said that I just need to get through this one year anniversary without any major calamity and I will be okay. Just that, and I think I can really, and fully move on. I don’t know how I could say that, but I’m big on dates and anniversaries and all that. I’m not a human calendar for nothing, you know.

But you know what? I will never really know if there will be another Ondoy. It doesn’t matter how much weather watching I do — if there’s another one, it will come and I am only human. I can’t stop it from happening. I can only do so much, I can only prepare myself so much and read about all the life insurance premiums and acts of God on insurances I can read about, but in the end, it’s all…well, God’s. He commands the weather, and everything else in this world, after all.

Ondoy really changed my life last year, and even if I know I’d rather not experienced it, I am still thankful that it happened. I don’t think I would be the person I am right now if I didn’t. I still don’t understand why it happened to us, to me. I don’t know if I will ever understand it, at least in this lifetime. But it doesn’t really matter if I understand it, or know why it happened. It’s kind of hard to explain, but trying to figure it out will just stress me out, when I can just rest in the fact that God knows and God understands and He will never ever give me anything that I can’t handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). So…why worry, right?

I will never forget what happened on September 26, 2009. I refuse to forget because I don’t want to forget how it changed me and the lessons I have learned. It will always be a part of me. But I will also refuse to worry about it happening again. My God is bigger than any other typhoon or calamity, and I rest in the fact that He is always in control, and He understands even if I do not.

I don’t know if I have thanked everyone who helped, prayed and listened to me and my family during the entire ordeal and after — if I haven’t, well, THANK YOU. You were all God’s blessings to us. Thank you, thank you.

It’s been a year, and I am never more happy when I woke up and saw sunlight shining through my window. :)

And for the record, I want to say that despite all that happened last year, I’m not an Ondoy victim. I’m a survivor. :)

Blessed be His name.

Read other Ondoy related entries in Refine Me:

Related posts and such in the world wide web:


day twenty-four.

Today was sort of kind of freaky in different levels, almost like 2012 movie like freaky. That, and bad memories of the flood — yeah, I’m pretty shaken right now.

I got to work this afternoon a bit earlier than the usual, because of the scheduled fire drill for today. I was glad to have arrived before the said time of the fire drill, and I was planning to buy food as soon as we go down for the drill, just so I won’t run into any hassles. Then, my teammate asks, “Nararamdaman niyo yun?” (Can you feel it?)

Apparently, there was an earthquake.

And the building was swaying. For a long time.

With all the earthquakes that happened in the past months (Haiti, Chile), it’s very scary to be suddenly feeling an actual earthquake. Honestly, it doesn’t faze me as much, even before, because I know that the buildings here are kind of safe. But that earthquake was long…and well, just plain scary.

A few hours later, I had to attend a meeting for my boss, and it was about our account’s business continuity planning. The fancy term just means the plan in case something big – ex. a calamity – happens that prevents us from going to work, or doing work. Anyway, there was a simulation in the meeting where we simulate an event where the plan was activated…and guess what the situation was? A typhoon, with a flood.

Hello, hurricane.

Needless to say, I was creeped out. Sometimes I think I’m already over the entire flooding event, but whenever I’m reminded that there is a big possibility that it could happen again…it just scares me. I know it’s selfish of me to not wish for rain…but I can’t help it. I’m scared of it, at least, any type of typhoon, now. I’m terrified of the thought that it may happen again, that we might see our house submerged in flood all over again. They say it’s a hundred-year flood, meaning it won’t happen in another hundred years…but how sure are they about that? What if another typhoon comes and drops huge amounts of rain on us…what if?

I don’t think I blogged about it, but a couple of weeks ago, we had a fire scare at home, so we had to turn off the electricity at home to have it checked. As I was going around the house in darkness with my iPod flashlight, packing my stuff, I was reminded of that day a few months ago, when I went around the house in darkness with my iPod flashlight, and rain was pouring outside, and my feet were underwater. It was scary.

I have to trust God that He would protect us again…but in a way, I can’t help but wish for something concrete, something that I can actually hold on to that would tell me that we wouldn’t have to go through what happened that September day.

I’m still shaken at the thought of experiencing the flood again and yes, even the earthquake…but worrying about things like this is a waste of time. I need to stop doing that, and I need to turn my eyes to the One who holds today and tomorrow and eternity. I need to turn my eyes to Him and give all my fears to Him and trust that He will take care of us. He will protect us. Trust and believe that He is bigger than anything in this world.

I guess that’s faith, you know. That’s what it is about having faith and trusting God and all that — trusting that He will protect you even in the midst of all uncertainties. In calamities like these, I can only do so much, and in the end God still has the final say (Come to think of it, He always has the final say). Having faith means believing that He will carry you through even if you don’t know what will happen. It means trusting Him in the darkness — figuratively and literally. It means believing that God will be enough, and He will enable me to make it through.

*breathes deeply*

It’s been a while since I last posted this on a blog entry, but if you can spare a prayer for me, please do. Help me pray for peace, because I think that’s one thing I really, really need right now.

Hello, Hurricane

Hello, world!

I meant to post soon again after my last post, but work and my new shift got in the way. When the weather is like this, I like being on day shift, but my body clock is making it hard for me to adjust. I realized when I was looking in the mirror after my work out earlier that the dark circles under eye are back. Hello, eyebags.

On another note, Switchfoot released their latest studio album last week, entitled Hello Hurricane. Remember those Mess of Me CDs that I hid a couple of months ago (where did those go, anyway?) ? This is where this song is included.

Hello Hurricane
I bought the deluxe version of the album through iTunes (of course, get the real thing!) when it was released and listened to them in passing. Then I was distracted by Mae, so it took only today to really listen to this new album.

Then I read the story about what the title track was about from Jon Foreman himself…and guess who almost started crying? (Emphasis mine, btw)

This is a subject matter that I speak of with holy reverence. Having grown up on the East Coast I know firsthand of the houses lost, of the dreams turned into nightmares. I take my shoes off and recognize that this is a matter that is dear to our nation, especially of late- with every passing hurricane season. Last year, with Habitat for Humanity we helped to build a house for a woman who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane had taken her city, her house, and her leg. As she relocated to Baton Rouge and learned how to walk as an amputee, her mantra was this: “I walked out of my house and my life in New Orleans on my own legs, I’m going to walk into this one the same way.” This is the spirit that I wanted to capture with this song, and moreover with this record. The storms of life might take my house, my loved ones, or even my life- but they cannot silence my love.

Yes, the reactionary impulses of hate, fear, and despair really are defenseless against the storms of this life. And yet, this selfless love really might be stronger than death. Perhaps, the kingdom of the heavens really is at hand, ready to give, ready to love. And with this love as my song I will overcome. In surrender to divine love I will find my strength. “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love another.”

After everything that has happened, this song is just so fitting. Hello hurricane, you’re not enough, you can’t silence my love.

If you haven’t gotten the album yet…well get it! :-) Seriously. I hope the CDs get here to the Philippines, everyone could use the hope that Switchfoot sings about in this album.

Hello Hurricane
Switchfoot, Hello Hurricane

I’ve been watching the skies
they’ve been turning blood red
not a doubt in my mind anymore
there’s a storm up ahead
hello hurricane
you’re not enough
hello hurricane
you can’t silence my love
I’ve got doors and windows
boarded up
all your dead end fury is
not enough
you can’t silence my love
every thing I have I count as loss
everything I have is stripped away
before I started building
I counted up these costs
there’s nothing left for you to take away
hello hurricane
you can’t silence my love
I’m a fighter fighting for control
I’m a fighter fighting for my soul
everything inside of me surrenders
you can’t silence my love
hello hurricane
you can’t silence my love

Oratio Imperata for Deliverance from Calamities

Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for Your providence in sustaining us in our needs, and for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.

We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation.

We have not been good stewards of Nature.

We have confused Your command to subdue the earth.

The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing, and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference.

Global warming is upon us. Typhoons, floods, volcanic eruption, and other natural calamities occur in increasing number and intensity.

We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.

We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard earned possessions be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made.

We beseech You to inspire us all to grow into responsible stewards of Your creation, and generous neighbors to those in need.


Source: inquirer.net

I feel like I'm Job

For those who are curious: I live in Cainta.

Obviously I’m blogging so you know I’m okay. Normally rains don’t bother me except the fact that it’s so hard to commute, because our village entrance usually gets flooded and I get stranded inside the village. Plus rains mean brownout and no internet, so you know.

Saturday gave me a whole new reason to be scared of rains. I woke up with a plan to do the following: go to the gym, go to NaNoWriMo volunteers’ meeting, then buy the bag I want and go home. However, I woke up late so I didn’t get to ride with my brother so I told myself I’d just commute. He then warned me to not go out anymore, so I just went online to book flights for our Palawan trip this December. I knew there was a typhoon but I didn’t think much of it, since it’s just rains and like I said, it doesn’t flood in our street. I cancelled the meetings and was fully prepared to be inside the house the entire day and enjoy the bed weather with my new books…but then a few hours later, I went out and my dad said, “Look, water’s rising up to the gutter.”

Again, let me reiterate: we never get flooded in our street.

By lunchtime, water was beyond our gutter, and by three in the afternoon, water was in our garage. Four, water was inside our house. By eight, we crossed waist-deep flood to get to our neighbor’s second floor with our valuables and prayed for the rain to stop.

Waking up the next morning was surreal. Our house…is…I can’t describe it. The things we put up so they won’t get wet tumbled down into the water anyway. My brother’s camera got wet because we didn’t see it. Our clothes are safe, thank goodness, but most of our furniture are wrecked. We’ve cleaned up stuff yesterday and today, but we’ve got a long way to go. Some of my books got wet, I lost a lot of files, my brother’s clothes all got soaked. It’s surreal.

I’ve helped out flood victims, but I never thought I would be a flood victim myself. I try to laugh it out and say it’s time to clean up anyway, but tell me: how does one go back to normal after something like this?

I know I’m luckier than the other ones because most of my belongings are saved and we have good neighbors and our house is still intact and everyone I know is safe (well, still waiting for the other people to text). But my heart is unsettled, and I want to be brave but I feel like I can’t. Sometimes I wish I had the power to magically make everything okay, but I can’t. How can I ever go back to functioning normally again after this?

I’m not mad at God, nor I am questioning His purpose. I’m trying very hard to trust Him right now, to trust that this is a part of His plan. I’m trying very hard not to be afraid, but I feel like I will always be afraid whenever there is rain. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep soundly with the sound of rain. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to work and hear the rain without worrying about my mom at home. I don’t know if we’ll even be able to restore our home.

It’s just so, so, surreal.

And then I remember Job.

My situation isn’t anything like Job’s of course. He got it so much worse. But there was this verse that I remember from his book that I am trying to hold onto:

I was born with nothing, I will die with nothing. The Lord gave and now He has taken away. May His name be praised! (Job 1:21)

What strength and faith he has to be able to utter that. Imagine me, losing so little and saving so much and I find difficulty to praise and thank God for it. All I could think about is “What next?”

I want to find the strength to be optimistic, to be brave and to start again. I want to be brave for my family and my friends. I don’t know how, but I know I’m out. And I know He’s got more. And He’s bigger than all of this. And He’s the only one I can hold onto in this time.

Interestingly, when we got back after the flood has gone down, we found that the altar in our house wasn’t moved at all. Everything else tumbled down/was wet, but the water didn’t even touch the Bible enthroned on our altar. If that isn’t a sign of God’s strength, I don’t know what is.

I don’t know what will happen next, and I have a feeling I’ll swing from happy to sad and back and I don’t know when we’ll be able to recover from this…but I’m going to try to hold on. I’m going to try to praise God regardless of what happened…because He is God. And I am not. And He knows and understands more than what I can understand now.

It’s going to be a long week. Maybe even months for others. Thanks to everyone who texted and sent a message through all kinds of social networking stuff. :P Thanks to our neighbors who we stayed in for two nights and to everyone in the street who helped out. It’s far from over, so please keep on praying. Not only for us but for the other people who got devastated by Ondoy.

I will do my best to echo Job in this situation. God, please give us the strength to hold on. Please don’t let us go.

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

(Blessed be Your Name, Matt Redman)

We’re okay. We’ll be okay. Other people need more help than we do, so please send donations their way. You can visit Philippineaid.com to see how you can help.


Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.” – Genesis 22:14

Two credit card bills arrived yesterday, both of their due dates coming quite soon. Earlier this month, I had to pay an insurance fee which comes twice every year, and I also had to pay for my phone bill and another insurance.

All these bills would have been okay if they had come during my “rich” months, sometime around April or November. However, they all had to come durng the poor months of July to August, where I am always at my lowest when it comes to funds in the bank. It doesn’t help that the time between June and July paydays were excruciatingly long, and that I had a huge credit card bill last June too because of our Hong Kong trip where I swiped some stuff (not the smartest idea, I know).

So, now I just paid for one credit card in full, and a part of the other credit card, and it’s still roughly two weeks until next payday…and my bank account does not look pretty.

It’s not that I am totally and absolutely broke. I still have some funds, and it’s not really dismal or whatever…it’s just that it’s dangerously low. I’ve learned to set a certain threshold when it comes to my accounts, and I try as much as possible not to go lower than the limit, because if I do, I feel like I won’t have enough in case of emergencies and all that. Admit it: there’s a certain security in having enough money (and enough is subjective, I know).

I’m not broke. I’m just dangerously low on funds, and I can’t help panicking at times. I mean, what if something happens? What if I need something? How will I survive with this amount until next payday? And what about next month, when my salary comes, and I’d have to pay the bills? Will I survive on each paycheck until bonus comes?

It’s enough to make me panic, really, especially when I kind of find a sense of security in knowing I have enough money, sometimes even more than enough to be able to lend to people. Or splurge on something for myself, you know? And it’s not that the things I paid for in the card are mindless spending; some of them are really good investments, but that doesn’t make it less of a pain in the pocket.


I remember writing about God’s providence a couple of years back (here’s the entry), and I try to remind myself of the lessons I learned during that time. I guess in a way it’s harder this time around because I no longer ask for money from my parents, and all the things I paid for were not for YFC or padugo, even.

I guess the root of my panic is really how I put some sense of security in the money that I have in my account(s). Money is just money. It’s something that I may need, but it shouldn’t be something I lean on to in my life. It’s not something I should get my security from.

God will provide. I’ve got to believe that. A few weeks ago, I heard Mark Hart say in his Sunday Sunday Sunday podcast: God will not only meet your needs, He will exceed them. And when I really pay attention to it, He has always been exceeding my needs, even when I don’t need to. So why should I believe that less now that I know God knows my panicked feeling?

God will provide. Jehovah-jireh. The Lord will see and the Lord will provide.

Please calm my heart Lord, and help me to trust in Your providence.

“And God is able to fill you with every good thing, so that you have enough of everything at all times, and may give abundantly for any good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8

Second Chances

ResurrectionI was never the one who went away to vacations during Holy Week. Ever since I could remember, I was always at home. Our families had specific Holy Week traditions: mass on Holy Thursday, Bisita Iglesia ((Doing stations of the cross by visiting 14 churches)) during Good Friday followed by lunch, then we stay at home for the next days until we go to Easter Sunday mass.

Ever since I graduated from college, I’ve made Good Friday afternoon a time to pray on my own. I usually stay in my room, read, and then wait for 3:00 pm. Once the time comes, I open up my Bible, pray and reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice. I usually end up crying when I try to comprehend how much it all meant and cost. Suffice to say, after a very inspiring Palm Sunday mass, I found myself praying for a meaningful and different Holy Week this year. Other than the idea of a long vacation from work, I was also looking forward to a serious Good Friday prayer time.

It’s amazing how easy I forget the things I pray for, especially when they’re not prayers of intention. :)

I didn’t exactly forget my prayer last week actually. But I held on and was anxious to follow the schedule I set for myself last Friday: Bisita Iglesia, then lunch and my 3:00 pm prayer time. I had my readings ready, my Holy Week playlist ready, my journal and a couple of hankies (because I know I was going to be crying) and even an idea of a text message to send to friends after it. It was my personal time with God to praise and thank Him for giving Jesus to us, and there was nothing else I wanted to do more than that.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Holy, even.

But of course, God had other plans.
Continue reading Second Chances

If I Were There

While I was on a long and quite different Good Friday yesterday (more to this on a later post), I suddenly wondered (for the nth time in the my entire life): how did the people who knew Jesus back then felt during this very day?

I try to put myself in the crowds. If I were present in that time, where would I be? Would I be one of Jesus’ followers? Or would I be one of the people shouting for His crucifixion? Would I even care at all?

If I were one of Jesus’ followers, and He asked me to come with Him to Gethsemane, would I stay awake for Him while He prayed? (I’m afraid I kind of know what the answer to this question is. :( )

If I followed Him when He was taken, and I was asked the same questions that Peter was asked, how would I have answered? Would I tell them the truth even if it meant I could die too, or would I answer like Peter, even after swearing my loyalty to Jesus?

If I didn’t follow Him there, would I have followed Him the way John did as Jesus walked to Calvary? Would I have stood at the foot of the cross, heart breaking at the sight of my friend who is being punished unjustly before my eyes? Would I have stood beside Mary as she cried for her only Son?

Or would I have hid in the upper room, scared to be found and connected with Him, confused on why all these is happening?

If I were one of the people in the crowds and the guards asked me to help Jesus to carry His cross just as how Simon was asked, would I have said yes, too? Or would I pretend it wasn’t me they were calling and hide instead? Would I have said an excuse just so I wouldn’t have to accept the responsibility?

If I were one of His followers back then, one of the women who helped bury Jesus in the tomb, how would I have felt after doing so? Would there be a sense of hopelessness, the feeling of “What now?” after? What would happen now? I believed in Him, but He’s in the tomb, and it is over. How do I go back to the way it was before?

Why did He have to die?

Or…would I be a Judas Iscariot, selling Him out and then being so wracked with guilt afterwards that I couldn’t ask for forgiveness? Would I be so blind and crazed that I would decide to just end it all myself by tying a rope around my neck and hanging on a tree?

Or would I even really care about all that happened at all?

Faithful to Me

I think I’ve mentioned this before sometime and somewhere: I’m not a person who gets mad easily. My roommates even wondered that about me back in college, how whatever they do, whatever they say, I keep on saying that everything’s okay, that they don’t have to worry about it and I’m not offended. It’s not that I don’t get annoyed, I just don’t get annoyed easily, and when I do, I don’t get annoyed for too long.

I also thought I wasn’t a person who carried grudges. I mean, how could one person who doesn’t get mad too easy even carry one, anyway?

But lately, I’ve learned that I actually do carry grudges. A bit.

I’m not confrontational, so usually when I’m pissed off, I let it pass and then it’s gone. But I never really tell the person if I get offended. It’s something I should work on, I know, because no one is a mind reader and I can’t blame them if they don’t know what they did to offend me, right?

Anyway, during my 23rd birthday, a person that really mattered to me didn’t greet me. And…well, it hurt. I know it feels kind of shallow to be annoyed at something like this, but birthdays are a big deal for me and when it’s that person’s birthday I try to make sure that I can greet that person, you know? How hard would that kind of greeting be? I wasn’t expecting a surprise; a simple text would have sufficed.

I was trying to give more time for that person to greet me, even if it ended up being days and weeks after. I’d settle for even an “OH MY GOSH I can’t believe I forgot about it I’m so sorry happy birthday!” type of greeting.

But it never came.

And then I started thinking, “Does this person even care?”

And then I started wondering when was the last time we even saw each other.

What was the last thing I knew about this person?

When was the last time I was able to talk to this person and tell him/her about whatever is bothering me?

When was the last time he/she exerted an effort to meet me halfway?

And I realized how much I’ve been putting my life on hold at times just so we can catch up. How much I have been calling this person a certain title that maybe he/she doesn’t really deserve.

And then I started feeling really, really hurt, to the point that I wanted to text the person and confront him/her about it and how lousy of a friend he/she is.

You know that feeling, when you just wanted to give up? And I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because it’s been going on for a while, and I knew I shouldn’t have expected anything more, that I should have learned from how it was in the past. I had this strong feeling that I should move on, that that person doesn’t deserve the way I value him/her, and I deserve more.

It’s just fair, isn’t it?

I was brewing with all of these thoughts up until Wednesday. Interestingly, I had changed my Yahoo! Messenger status to something related to that (But now I feel like I don’t know you — don’t you just love Paramore? :P), and I actually got a couple of replies, including that person in question.

But I wasn’t appeased. I was more annoyed, actually.

I was more annoyed at myself because I couldn’t bring myself to say anything about what I feel.

And then I went to the chapel for First Wednesday Mass.

I got to the chapel late, so when I got in it was already time for the homily. I was pleased to see that it was the priest I know from the other chapel (ever since I went on midshift I started hearing mass in this other chapel),  and I missed hearing his homilies so I listened. The readings for the day were kind of hard to digest, so it was kind of hard to really get into it, until he finally said something that hit me like a brick.

Be faithful to one another.

Incidentally, I was listening to Jennifer Knapp’s Faithful to Me earlier that day, so that line kind of struck a nerve. Fr. Odon repeated the line: Be faithful to one another. Faithfulness goes a long way.

And then I almost broke down crying in the chapel.

Okay I may have exaggerated, but I did want to cry.

It hit me then…what right do I have to demand to be treated that way? To be remembered on that day? I know it’s my birthday and it’s a big deal, yes, but why do I demand such treatment? And why am I threatening to turn away from this person after I have been forgotten? What right do I have?

What right do I have to turn away, to give up, especially when Someone who I’ve been hurting and forgetting a lot has never turned His back on me? What right do I have to demand so much attention when I couldn’t even give the same kind of attention to The One who really deserves it all? What right do I have to get angry when Jesus never gets angry at me for forgetting Him?

Tell me, what right do I have? What right do we have?

No matter how much I turn away, no matter how much I forget, He has never failed to be faithful. It blows me away when I really think about it, how He has never turned away from me, from any of us. And I know for a fact that if there was anyone who didn’t deserve having someone so faithful, it’s me, being the sinner that I am.

But I’m just glad He is. Faithful. In every way possible.

I know I may have every reason to be mad, to cut of all ties from that person, and I know all of these feels martyr-like…but in the bigger picture, I deserve the same thing. But He didn’t cut me out of His life, His love.

So how could I not be faithful to others when He has always been faithful?


Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To one who sees past all I see.
And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you’d understand
You’re the only one who’s faithful to me.
You’re the only one who’s faithful to me.
Faithful to Me (Reprise) by Jennifer Knapp

Perfect Love

One of my favorite verses about love is on today’s first reading:

There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear, for fear has to do with punishment; those who fear do not know perfect love. (1 John 4:18)

Sometimes, when I think of love (especially the romantic one) objectively (which is how I think of it, more often than not, heh), it’s very easy to see it all in a straight line — I’d do this, I’d do that, I won’t do that he did and I will never do what she it. You know, like linear motion. But when I hear and read stories from other people about love, I realize yet again that it’s not always black and white. If anything, it’s full of gray areas. Crossroads. Both roads seem the right thing to do, but which is really the most loving thing?

You know how people often wonder how you’d know if you love another person? Well, I think that verse up there is really the answer. I remember back in college, when we would have these kinds of discussion, we’d often bring up what St. Paul said to the Corinthians:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

We’d often say that when you can replace all instances of “love” there with your name (unless of course, your name is Love), that’s, well, love. But that verse only describes what love is and love makes us do, which I know once a person loves someone, they’re really willing to do all these, no matter how difficult it is. But how about when you’re not sure if you love the person already?

I think I may be going in circles there but hear me out a bit. How would you know if it is love? Maybe when you don’t feel any fear, just as what the verse states. Maybe it’s when you think of the future with that person and although it’s very uncertain, you feel secure, knowing that you’ll have someone. When you think about jumping and making a risk, you feel afraid but you still do it anyway, knowing everything will be all right in the end. Maybe it’s when you’re secure with yourself and in the person, knowing that no matter what happens, no matter how you look, no matter how chaotic everything else around is, even if the world is ending, the person will still be there, loving you.

It’s a tall order. And more often than not, people fail. But that’s why we just have to keep on trying, right?

Bringing it closer to home and in a non-romantic way, perfect love is there when:

  • a mother calls to console their scared daughter about her upcoming thesis defense, and tell her that it will be okay no matter what the outcome is.
  • a father tells his tired and worn out sophomore teen that they will finish the project on time, even if he is very tired himself.
  • a brother takes the time to cook for his sick sister and make her drink her medicines even if she feels like she’s getting worse.
  • a brother goes out of his way to meet his sister at a mall and bring her laptop to the service center to have the adapter fixed, and then drop his sister off to the dorm on commute just to make sure she gets back safe.
  • friends listen to another friend who finally takes a step away from a destructive habit and promises no judgment.

Perfect love drives out fear. And God is love. Ergo, God drives out fear. :) Comforting, isn’t it?

Wherever you are, whatever you are going through right now, may you find peace in God’s love. :)