My Anything

If you want to be challenged and to bring your faith to the next level, then this book is a must-read for you! I must admit, this book messed up with my faith the first time I've read it earlier this year. It has revealed a lot of hidden fears and idols in my heart, truths that I wasn't ready to face yet.  Last February, I finished this book with lumps on my throat -- those lumps hindered me from praying this prayer from my heart: "Lord, I will do anything." 

The first few chapters of the book made me realize that in my four years of walking with the Lord,  I thought was surrendering my all to Him. It turned out that all the while, I was giving God the access to most parts of my life, but inhibiting Him the trespass to those areas that I've held most dear -- my anything. My anything are the pictures that I have painted in my mind for my (and my family's) future: A comfortable home with blue curtains, throw pillows, nice dining set and an all-pink bathroom... a passive income business... my ultimate dream of raising kids and decorating our home school room with them... I realized that I wasn't ready to surrender all of them to God. I was afraid to give Him the access to that part of my life. I was afraid that He would mess up with my plans and divert it to His.

"The idea that we would actually hand it all over to God and say, "Go. Build it. Do whatever you want with all I have"... it is terrifying... What if He lets me suffer? What if He asks me to sacrifice? What if none of my dreams come true. The very thought of doing anything demands everything."
Anything, pages 52-53

So you see, it wasn't really easy. I kept trying to convince myself that I can pray this prayer... "Lord, I will do anything..." which would also mean, "Lord, I will gladly accept anything that you will allow to happen to my life." I was amazed by Jennie Allen's stories of close encounters with God after praying this prayer, and I wanted that too! I wanted to experience that kind of relationship with Him! But I knew that it may mean more financial problems, or more miscarriages, or longer waiting seasons... And honestly, I wasn't ready to accept them if that would be God's answer if I would pray Anything. And so each time I tried to pray that prayer during that season, I felt the lumps in my throat, I felt like choking as I tried to utter those words.

"God builds our lives whether we give Him permission or not. It is the fight for control that has us all tied up, while it's really an illusion anyway. We control because we are afraid of what may happen if we let go. Do we really think we are better captains of our lives than a God who sees everything and deeply loves us?" 
Anything, page 60 
In the months that followed, God made drastic changes in our lives. It wasn't all that easy. Despite my choking, and half-hearted  prayer of Anything, despite God knowing that I wasn't ready to go all out and all in, still trials came. Difficult circumstances, financial struggles, relational conflicts, unanswered prayers... they shook my faith, and sometime in June, I was even tempted to doubt if God is really good and if He indeed sees us and loves us.  I realized, I will never be in total control of my life after all. The surprising thing was that, every time I felt that I was on the edge, it was during those times when I felt much closer to Him. And every time I tell Him about my shaking faith and my doubts, He would always answer me through His Word, and I would feel His warm embrace, and suddenly, all my fears would vanish, and I knew deep down in my heart, I am loved... with an everlasting love. 

We've experienced a lot of these so many times. Times of hurt, doubt, and confusion... and then later on, as we continued to hold on to God and His Word, He replaces them with healing, restoration and serenity. And as I look back, all of those difficult moments in our lives left us with a more strengthened faith and a deeper knowledge of God's love. So I began to think, why am I really afraid to hand over my Anything to a God who has always been there with us, and who is always for us.

Just recently, I found the courage to re-read this book. This time, with a deeper understanding of God's Love. Reading this book and focusing on God's Great Love and eternal plans for me has made all the difference. I can't say that it's easier for me to pray Anything this time. Like Jennie, I feel like riding the Space Shuttle Roller Coaster as I pray this prayer -- with clenched fist, tightly closed eyes, and a trembling voice... still terrified, but this time, willing to go through the thrill of the ride... because just like her, I don't want to miss the great things that God has prepared for me just because I'm afraid. He loves me, and through all the highs and lows, the hoops and the loops, I know that He will always be with me.

[Photo Credit]

How about you?
What are you most afraid of surrendering to the hands of God?
 What is your Anything?

Precious Princesses

Two months ago, I had the chance to speak with a good friend and a sister in Christ. Her long term relationship with her boyfriend just ended, and she was left broken and devastated. She uttered the questions, "What have I done wrong?" ... "What have I not done?" ... "Why?".. as tears kept falling from her eyes. I could feel her agonizing pain as I watched and listened to her through the screen of my laptop. Her dream of someday getting married and growing old with him, the very reason why she was sacrificing to work in the Middle East, her hopes and future plans for both of them... crumbled -- just like that.

From the very first word that she uttered, I immediately understood what she was going through. Heartbreaks. With a sentimental heart, my mind time traveled to those years when I, too, have experienced many of those heartbreaks. We, girls... we do crazy things when we fall in love. Revolving our whole world around that person, isolating ourselves from our friends, building our hopes, dreams, and future plans with him.... We all know what we can do, and how far we would go for that one special guy who has captured our hearts. Then, at some point, we find out that our fairy tale isn't going to be as close to our reality. We've been cheated on, we've been lied to, we've been betrayed.... we've been asked to wait for nothing, we've been given broken promises... and if you are just like me in the past... we have given second, third, fourth, and countless chances to that person, hoping that someday he would change... because it's easier to be cheated on and to be betrayed over and over again than to find the courage to let go and  to start living the life without that person... We hold on, fighting for that little space in that person's life... We hold on despite the tears on our pillows at night. We hold on and try not to tell anyone of what's really happening because we don't want his image to be ruined... We hold on because we are hoping that our fairy tale will still come true, that someday, our prince charming will treat us the way we have always wanted to be treated --- like a Princess.

Every girl, (no matter how tough or independent she may look like on the outside), there is always something inside her that longs to be treated like a Princess. To be loved, honored, adored, protected, treated with utmost care... to feel special and to be someone's apple of the eye. I believe that God designed us that way, because that is the way that He loves us! We've been running around trying to get that kind of love and affection, jumping from one relationship to another ending up getting disappointed over and over again... but the Truth is, we will never find it elsewhere! 

Dear sisters, You and I are God's Precious Princesses! I was blown away when I realized this. While I kept on running after someone else's heart, God has been chasing after mine all along! He was there collecting every drop of my tears in His bottle... He was there, with His heart also broken from seeing me, His Precious Princess, allowing those guys to hurt me, to break my heart, while there He was... waiting to be noticed, waiting for me to give Him the chance to make me feel the kind of love that I have always sought for... He was there, telling me to stop building my castles in the sand... stop dreaming of that fairy tale... because the reality is, He has prepared an Everlasting Kingdom for me... He died on the Cross to make sure that I will be with Him in that Kingdom, that's how much He loves me... He was there, telling me to stop chasing love from people who will eventually disappoint me and will leave me broken and devastated, because the Truth is... I am already Loved... Sisters, We are Loved with an Everlasting Love! 

"I have loved you.. with an everlasting love. 
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself." 
- Jeremiah 31:3

Long before I had the desire to know Him, long before I have learned to love Him, long before I started making reasonable decisions in my life... Long before I was born... He already loved me. He longs to make me feel honored, adored... He longs to protect me, with utmost care... because I am special to Him, sisters... if a guy doesn't make you feel worthy or special right now, I want to let you know today that You Are Special to God... He has written your name on the palm of His hands... You are His Precious Princess.

I will never forget this dream I had in 2010. The very first time that Jesus appeared to me in a dream. It was the time when I just had the courage to let go of a 6-year relationship and it was only a few weeks after I have surrendered my life to Him and accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. In my dream, He was embracing me tightly as we were floating in the air... as if He was telling me, "Finally... You are home, your heart is safe with me now... my Precious Princess..."

I found this picture which vividly resonates what I saw in my dream that night.

Two weeks ago, I was able to talk with my friend again. I could see the glow in her eyes as she tearfully shared to me how the love of Jesus comforted her during the last 100 days. The same girl who was broken and devastated two months ago, is the same girl who is now filled with joy, telling me that she couldn't ask for anything more, telling me that she is waiting... happily waiting for whoever God wants for her. She is no longer begging for that piece of love, because God's overflowing love has consumed her! God brought her to the desert, so He can speak tenderly to her... so He can be her first love once again.

"But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there... She will give herself to me there as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from her captivity in Egypt." 
- Hosea 2:14-15

After almost a decade of heartbreaks, and now, four years of blissful marriage, this is what I realized... Heartbreaks are actually God's Grace... His Grace leading us to Him, and leading us to the right person, that He wants for us. This is why I thank God for my heartbreaks.

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New Look!

So after two years, I finally had the chance to change the look of my blog page! 
I've been wanting to do this but couldn't find the creativity and passion to work on it.
Thanks to a rainy Saturday afternoon! Finally it's pink! :)

Just saving a print screen for future reference! Happy Weekend! :)