Wanted

I got sick last week, and the funny thing about this particular sickness was I lost my voice along with all the other icky stuff I had to go through. This made me fall silent for almost five days, and that’s a feat, because if you know me in real life, I always talk. But there, I lost my voice, so I didn’t speak much last week. Thank goodness for social media, I guess, so I wasn’t completely quiet?

Anyway, the one thing I really don’t like when I’m sick is how it can get pretty lonely. Which is silly, because I was surrounded by people at home, and at work when I got to work. I was never really alone, but I still craved a specific kind of company. Not exactly a specific person — not now, not anymore, anyway — but you know, just someone. Outside of my family and friends who would ask how I was, and would take care of me, too.

I remember one time when I had the flu, and I was feeling terribly sad and lonely at home. And then I had the craziest craving for McDonald’s Twister Fries, and I wished like crazy that someone would bring me some. You know, bring me some at home. Again, I wasn’t really looking for a specific person to do it, but I knew then that I wished I had someone who would do that for me, even without my asking. Or you know, someone who saw what I posted online and would be nice enough to bring me some.

I wished there was a guy (there, I said it) who would be concerned about my health, too, and would take care of me when I get sick.

I wished that there was someone who’d bring me sick day food when I get hit by the flu, or asthma, or allergies. Someone who’d go out of his way and visit me home.

My brother brought home some fries later that day, and I was happy. But I still couldn’t shake off that feeling of loneliness that had long settled in while I was being all whiny. It sucks to be sick and to feel alone all at the same time. Even if I wasn’t really, completely alone.

Being sick can make someone feel the craziest kind of longing.

It’s silly, you know, how these lonely spells can feel like it’s the truth. How easily we get convinced that we need a specific person to make us feel less lonely. How we tend to disregard the presence of other people in our life because we want just one person. We put so much expectation on that person, whether we know him or not, and we end up being disappointed when that person cannot fulfill the need we thought they would feel. And then we get lonely all over again.

There was a time I went out with some girl friends, and after I had cried a little, one of them said, “Don’t forget you are loved. We all love you. God loves you. Don’t let this experience make you think you are less loved, because you are not.”

It wasn’t anything new, really — I knew all of that. But somehow, it’s so easy to forget. When my ego gets bruised, when my heart gets broken, the first thing I always seem to forget is how much I am loved. Instead, I focus on that one love I wanted, the I won’t really get anymore. I know it’s normal (and healthy, even) to feel bad and to cry over things such as heart break, but I think it’s also as important to remember that even if that one person doesn’t love me the way I wished he would, there are still people who love me. Who still love me. Who never stopped loving me, even if I was a complete mess.

You see, even in our loneliest moments, we were never unloved. We have always been loved.

It’s so easy to forget. But it’s the truth. And you have to fight everyday to remember it.

The good thing is, you aren’t alone in fighting to remember it, either. The people who love you? They will fight along with you to make sure you know they love you, too.

* * *

I was on a Hunter Hayes kick last week. While listening to his album, I realized that his song Wanted would be perfect for this next writing project I had already outlined. I listened to it several more times for more feels, of course, and somehow, the song started to become more about me instead of just my next project. As I was humming the song one day, I started to feel a little melancholic.

On the umpteenth listen,1 I sighed and prayed softly, Lord, I wish someone would want me.”

Then in the silence (because I still had no voice then), I heard the most gentle whisper in my heart, in the place where The One who made me always speaks: “I want you. I have always wanted you. I will always want you.

Image from we heart it
Image from we heart it

 

  1. Oh, I’ve stopped playing the song on repeat as of this week. Sort of. []

The Cornerstone Blessing

The thing about volunteering that I really liked so much is how it takes one’s focus away from themselves and puts it on others. I’ve always wanted to volunteer consistently for something, and when I was in college it was easier because it was a part of what we need to do for school to get our grades up. When I started working, it got a little bit harder, because I had to go out of my way to volunteer, and I always felt like I don’t have enough time to take that longer route for volunteering.

cornerstone00I became a Cornerstone tutor only this school year, and it all started with a heartache. I’ll spare you with all the drama about that. Let me just say that it’s true when people say that heartaches can make you do things you’ve never done before just so you can fill that hole that the ache is digging in your heart. I used to hate to admit to that, that it took a sad story for me to start moving and doing something, but I realized that we all get called through different circumstances.

So ever since August of 2013, I woke up early every Saturday, rode a tricycle, a jeep and a bus to our sector’s school, and tutored kids. I’m not really good with kids since I’m the youngest in the family and I don’t have little cousins or nieces or nephews to take care of and play with. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, exactly, but I prayed that whatever I lacked, God would fill. And that it wouldn’t be so bad. Like I said, I wasn’t good with kids.

Pretty soon, I started looking forward to my early Saturday mornings. It was so nice to start the weekend doing something for someone else, even if sometimes I have no idea what I was doing. Sometimes I danced. Sometimes I had to lead the prayer. Sometimes I had to struggle from not having enough sleep from the previous night because of work. Sometimes, I had to tell my friends that I had to skip a Friday night gimmick because I have to go to a Cornerstone session the next day. But I looked forward to those Saturday sessions, and I had fun. It was fun knowing new people, and playing with the kids and teaching them something that I really love to do: reading. And I’ve learned that sometimes it doesn’t matter if I don’t know what I’m really doing, as long as I am willing to do them. The small things really count in things like this.

cornerstone03

cornerstone05

But they say sometimes, familiarity breeds contempt. Or at least, when you’ve gone and done something for so long (even if it wasn’t really so long yet), you start feeling lazy, or less motivated to go. You start of thinking of excuses like, “Well the others don’t go there anyway, so maybe I can skip this”, or “Maybe I can just sleep in today because it’s so cold and they can do things without me”. There are some days when we just don’t want to show up. On the first Cornerstone Saturday of 2014, I almost skipped going because of those reasons above, plus I was feeling a little under the weather. I ended up still going, though, because I had somewhere to be later that afternoon, too, and I thought it would be unfair if I skip the morning and then go to my appointment in the afternoon when I wasn’t really burning with fever or anything of that sort.

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My Best Friends’ Weddings

Two of my closest friends got married in the past two weeks.

No, they didn’t get married to each other. They were two separate wedding ceremonies that we attended, the first two weddings in our little group and we were all excited to witness them get married to the loves of their lives. It was the perfect way to end 2013 and start 2014. ♥

I really like weddings. I can’t not like them, I guess, especially since my brother is a wedding videographer, and I’m always around wedding stuff when I’m with him. I like weddings not just because I’m a romantic sap, but because I think weddings are a solid proof of God’s faithfulness to His people.

All wedding stories I’ve heard from friends, and from people my brother worked with always had a story behind it, one that involved a lot of struggles and tears and heart break. It all seems lovely on the day itself, but can you imagine how the two of them got there? What did they go through, not just in preparing for the day itself, but you know, before the proposal, before they got together and all that?

Take one of my friends who got married, for example. I’ve known her since elementary, and she’s one of the nicest persons I know. She’s pretty and popular in school, and from the outside, I always thought she seemed so lucky with love, because boys always noticed her first and went for her. But I was also privy to some of her greatest heartaches, especially before she met her now husband. I can still remember those days when we’d all sit together and talk and keep her company, because the one relationship that we all thought would be forever ended like that. And then she met the next guy, and I can still remember that long discussion we had about commitment and what she wanted and what he wanted, and I saw how it was such a big decision for her and for him. It wasn’t easy, and I know I just saw a fraction of her struggles. But I saw how faithful God was to her and how He took care of her heart, and when we watched her walk down the aisle, all I could think of was: This is what we have been praying for for her. This long journey really battered her heart at some point, but it made her a different person. It made her even more beautiful, and now she’s with someone who will take care of her heart the way she deserves it, and we’re all just very happy for her.

Then our other friend, who I had the privilege of talking to about love and life for a long time as we ruminated over our own struggles. It’s funny how I was a witness to how God transformed this guy through some of these love struggles, and sometimes I still laugh when I remember how he was before to how he is now. His story with his now-wife took years in the making, and he tripped so many times in the journey, but the road led back to her again. This amazes me so much, because it almost seemed like a dead end story when he first told me about it. After a rejection, and some pizza time (because I can’t forget about that, haha), my friend started building his relationship with God, and then found his way back to his girl. I don’t mean to make it sound so simple because there was a lot of work in the background of their story, but the point is — and I’d like to borrow my friend’s term for this — it’s all God’s favor. And His faithfulness to the the people faithful to Him.

It’s not an if-else thing (because if it is, then I should have been married by now, too :P). The thing I realized over these two weddings is that God really is writing our love stories, and it’s almost always not in the way we thought they would go. If anything, the story God writes for us is way, way better for us, and something we never really thought would be possible until we get to a certain point and look back. It takes action on our part, of course, but most of it is a trust thing — trusting that wherever we are now, God is always working on us, and He always sees, and He always loves us even in our most difficult times.

It gives me hope, you know. Not just in the romantic aspect, but in all other aspects of my life. I really believe that God makes all things good and He gives what is good, and He works for the good of all the people who love Him. My idea of what is good may be different now to what He has in mind, of course, and I’m learning that bit by bit. That’s why I’m also learning take delight in Him, be it in good times or success or failures or heartache, because I trust that He knows and sees more than I do.

And He is faithful, always and forever. My closest friends are proof of this. :)