Things I Forget

Sometime around last week, I started to feel this tiny little worry because my word for 2015 hasn’t found me yet.

Delight, my 2014 word found me perhaps a little around this time last year, but it felt a little obvious given everything that happened in 2013. Courage, my 2013 word found me sometime in December, I think, but I think I knew it before I finally acknowledged that word (because I was scared of it). And now, we’re about 5 weeks away from 2015, and I was coming up with nothing and I was worried.

But then there was no room for worry because the last few weeks at work were very tough ones – as in really tough – and a part of me wonders why these things had to happen on the year when I said I’d be joyful, and not on the year when I said I’d be courageous. I am supposed to be done with having to live courage all over again — it’s the year of joy, joy, joy. Why am I wrestling with fear again?

I know, I know – joy is a kind of courage, it’s not just happiness, and courage is a choice, blah, blah, blah. I know that. Except knowing and living it out are two different things and there was a huge part of me in the past few weeks that keep on resisting to what I was doing, and what I should do, and there’s this loud part of me that just wants to quit. Because it’s hard. Because it’s not fun. Because I don’t think I can do this. Because I don’t want this. Because I didn’t ask for this.

I’m trying to recall where all the guts I had from last year went. I called myself brave last year because I did things I never thought I could do. Did they disappear when I decided to take delight this year? I hope not. Or maybe I wasn’t really brave then, but you know, faking it the entire time? I hope not, too.

I remember something I learned when I started working for my current company, about how we get called to certain levels of faith. When we reach a certain point, we get to start from zero again not because we’re back to square one, but because we’re at a new level, and we need to level up with the faith points. Or joy points. Or courage points. Those kinds of things. While I was reflecting and listening to the community events I attended this weekend, I realized that maybe I am at a new level of courage, and that is why I am scared out of my wits.

Over the weekend, though, I learned that courage isn’t really what drives away fear. Which makes sense, because I always thought brave people are people full of fear who still decide to go for it, anyway. What I completely forgot – because I let my fears ruled me in the last two, three weeks – is this: love drives away fear.

How could I forget that? Perfect love. Okay, sure, my love isn’t perfect, but I am loved by a perfect God…so why am I so afraid? I know I am capable of love…so again, why am I so afraid?

It’s so simple, but I know it’s going to be hard, too, especially since I tend to fall away and worry and lately I seem to be so overwhelmed with so many things. I forget so easily, and I get distracted by so many things, and before we know it, I am back to the worrying and wanting to get out…and then today I was reminded of two things (among others):

Surrender control. Seek His will.

You see, it’s really not about what I want. It has never been that. It’s always been what God wants, what His will is. I know that I will find His will in my deepest desires, but I will only know what those deep desires if I seek His will. And part of seeking His will is surrendering all of my control. The more I try to control, the more frustrated I will get, and the more fearful I will become.

I forget so easily.

I’ve been restless in the past days because everything felt hard, so hard, and all I wanted to do was quit. But earlier today, as the people in the Catchfire 2014 conference sang Refiner’s Fire, and I leaned onto my dad, I started to cry because I realized what I forgot: my heart’s one desire is to be holy, set apart for you my Master, ready to do Your will.

I forget so easily.

It’s Monday again tomorrow, and I am already bracing myself for another tough week. God never promised that it will be easy, but He promised that He will never ever leave us. He will never ever leave me. Hasn’t He been faithful all my life – why would He be less faithful now?

Here’s to a victorious week ahead. :) Pray with me?

Oh my strength, I will sing Thy praises!
Thou o Lord are a shield to me!
Oh my King, though the battle rages,
I look with victory on my enemies.
Praise you Lord, mighty King of Zion! ♥

Your goodness shall follow me

01.

I talk about being brave, but sometimes I think I really don’t know what it entails until it stares at me right in the face. I haven’t watched the movie We Bought a Zoo (although I probably should), but I remember this one quote from the movie that always comes up when I search for “bravery” and “courage” in Google:1

You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.

Twenty seconds, huh?

How about five?

Image from we heart it
Image from we heart it

02.

There was that one mass, where I fell to my knees after receiving communion and started tearing up. Okay, that isn’t really new, because sometimes I find myself crying a lot while at church, which often feel like the safest place for my tears. I knelt down and prayed, and my heart cried out. I don’t know what to do, Lord. I don’t know if I should go forward or forget about it. I’m scared, I’m scared. I just don’t know. Please tell me what to do.

Those were my prayers, but I realize later that underneath all those prayers is this one more urgent, pressing prayer: Please tell me what’s going to happen if I do this. Please, please.

And then, the answer: I will not tell you what’s going to happen. Remember that even your mistakes are in My plan. Will you trust Me?

By the time I went out of the church, I know what I was going to do. Okay, I didn’t know how I will do it, but I know what I think I should do.

God, I’m scared.

03.

I came across this post as soon as she posted it, but I didn’t want to read it the moment I read the first few paragraphs. Not now, not yet.

Now I read it and read it and read it, not because it contains the answer I need but because it’s one of the few things that I can hold onto now, as I prepare:

You must look that answer in the eyes and listen to it, and let it ache, and let it roam around, and let it lead you. Because the truth will always lead you somewhere.

04.

“You know how when you eat a sundae and have tequila after, you expect LBM…but not too soon?” My friend made me laugh at that statement, but there is truth in what he said.

When you’ve come to the point of no return and then you are asked to wait again, it’s frustrating. Let me say that again: it’s frustrating. It’s even more frustrating when some things you sort of expected to happen later happen too soon, before you’re completely ready for it. What results is you, a complete mess, breaking down at random times in the day while you try to hold yourself together, try to not take offense, try to not over think things, try not to jump to conclusions.

It’s not like you can turn back, anyway. Or you’d want to turn back.

“The only thing you can do now is be strong, and wait.”

05.

This must be what free-falling feels like. How long till you get to the end?

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  1. Sidenote (or, fine, footnote): I wish it was that easy, just enter the thing you want or need and Google and you get results. I wish it was that easy. []

50 Shades of Brave

Also known as: Pondering bravery

Yes, the title of this post is a corny play on the title of a book I will never read. But it sounded fitting for this entry, so let me use it.

Yesterday, some friends and I watched Disney and Pixar’s latest animated movie, Brave. I’ve been wanting to watch the movie for the longest time now since I’m pretty much a an of anything Pixar. I really liked the movie — it was a bit different from the other Pixar movies I’ve watched, but I enjoyed it a lot for the accent and the kick-ass lead girl (love her hair!) and the jokes. The movie tugged at the heartstrings too, as expected…but (unfortunately?) not in a way I expected it when I went in the cinema.

I hope this isn’t spoilery, but I guess I was kind of looking for a different kind of brave in the movie. You know, courage. The things that make us tough, the things that helps us face our fear. In Filipino, tapang. Those things.

And now that that got me thinking: what exactly constitutes bravery?

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