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Why should we go through the pain?

SATURDAY, Australia

Today, I learnt the importance of pain even though I have read such topics from other books and heard testimonies on how trials have shaped the lives of different people. My take on this topic isn’t so different from others but I still have the urge to write because this time it’s mine and it’s personal. You can make it personal too if you will relate. I guess we all relate in different ways because we all have different circumstances.

I will start by how I suffer and what made me suffer. I am afraid. I have a fear of failure and rejection that I believe is gone but sometimes it still creeps in me. I could say it’s all gone but I am weak. I acknowledge that and I admit it. I could say I am only human but I really hate saying that because it’s earthly. I do not like to comfort myself by justifying that I am not perfect which will cripple my actions because such comfort can be stimulating that says it is okay even when it is really not, I do not want to be deceived. So am I being hard on myself? not really. My fears and anxiety make me call on God. I always pray. Praying is a gift for me, it is too precious and it is my fuel.

When I am worried, I tend to eat junk food (stress eating). When I am lonely, I binge watch romantic comedy tv shows in Netflix. Years ago, I used to smoke to calm my nerves and control my stress. I also used to drink and party all out to forget real time problems. Yes, I used to love living in fantasy just like in the movies. My life was poisoned by worldly love. Now, as I continue to grow, I can’t help but notice how the habits formed during my former years tend to knock on the door in my new life so I could relapse. It is a spiritual warfare but by his grace I am what I am right now.

Life right now loves to challenge me in many ways. I am weak but for some reason by the wonderful grace of Jesus, I find strength out of nowhere (but it’s really because of his grace). I learnt that devoting my life to reading the Bible and praying everyday brings healing to my mind everyday. I learnt that going through all the pain is important even though the pain is beyond explanation. Let me still try explaining it though by questions, do you guys know how hard and painful it is to stop smoking? do you know how painful it is to invest life and love to someone that just trashed every sacrifice done? do you guys know how hard it is to kneel down and pray even when the flesh just wants to sleep? do you know how painful it is to be reminded of how far I am from my love ones? do you know how painful it is to get back up when life is designed to crush my hopes?. Hmmm, I bet you do.

Overall, as I continue to reading and learn, It’s finally sinking in why pain is important because I’ve been waiting for – healing, inner peace, and ambition. I learnt that avoiding pain solves nothing. Avoiding pain by stress eating, binge watching fantasies, drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, and more only bears rotten fruit such as insecurity, fear, and continuous death. We all need to go through all of that pain so we could be hungry and thirsty for healing and peace. That hunger and thirst drove me to call unto God who is full of grace, that hunger and thirst is the increase of my eagerness to find myself in Jesus Christ. Knowing Him and learning what He wants me to do continues to bear good fruit in my lifestyle (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). Once I’m fed, I’m strengthened.

But to obtain these gifts, you need more than faith; you must also work hard to be good, and even that is not enough. For then you must learn to know God better and discover what he wants you to do. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have his way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is for you to enjoy other people and to like them, and finally you will grow to love them deeply. The more you go on in this way, the more you will grow strong spiritually and become fruitful and useful to our Lord Jesus Christ. But anyone who fails to go after these additions to faith is blind indeed, or at least very shortsighted and has forgotten that God delivered him from the old life of sin so that now he can live a strong, good life for the Lord. 2 Peter 1

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1

Do you do well to be angry?

“You are weak Marianne. You are so ignorant Marianne. You are stupid Marianne. You are fake Marianne. Why are you so pretentious Marianne? Why do you not care Marianne? Why do you not voice it out Marianne? Why do you think like that Marianne?”

Sometimes, even though people do not say it to my face I somehow get all this negative words in my thoughts as if people are saying it to me through their eyes or body language. It’s my intuitive nature that sees it. Hence, if their hearts and minds think this of me – true or not, or maybe call me assuming. Does this bother me at all? it does sometimes. I do get tempted to argue and sometimes even lash out because sometimes words can get on my nerves and the provoking ones people say sometimes can just really irk me. I used to hate the feeling but now I understand.

You see, I do have my stand in politics. Every time I speak it out, people do not get me because I will always include bible verses and they will just find me weird and find me religious. I do have my stand in relationship, but people will judge me right away that I’ll end up being single for the rest of my life because of my principles. I was even called a prude once without even knowing my testimony. I do have my stand in such ideas, but it’s never to the extreme that people will think I am safe and pretentious but I am never grey, i just always put in my biblical principles to everything I do. I do have a stand in everything but sometimes people just do not get me even when I explain it. It’s quite depressing sometimes thinking no one will ever get me, it is lonely.

I used to be an angry woman because I love being right, I love being correct, and I love when people support what I support. However, that habit of arguing and being right never really helped me in life. I wasted time and even years of arguing just because I believe I am right. But now, I am aware… I am aware of what anger and grudge can produce – as I look at Jonah’s life and remembering when God asked him “Do you do well to be angry?”. I realise how anger that turns to grudge just produce a rotten fruit that sucks up life to death.

I realise when I am mad or when I am tempted to lash out, I open a door to my sinful nature – which I loathe. I always do my best to be calm but when it’s too hard I just shut down now and just walk away. I do not care about my feelings anymore, but what I care for is what my tongue will say because I used to hurt people with words. I just cannot do that anymore. I hate it. It’s really a struggle but whenever I reminded of my hope, I get by. The hope that there is more to life than what the world offers and what it speaks about. The human nature have the inclinations to be so self-serving hence the complexities of human thoughts, that’s why arguing is tempting. But when I dig deeper whether I look to left or right, worldly topics have flaws and blind sided research. All will fade away anyway.

As God continues to renew my mind, I realise that I’d rather cry when people wrong me in their hearts, thoughts, words, and deeds. When I see injustice, I’ll cry it out to God. When a government rises up in tyranny, I’ll cry it out to God. I’d rather be God-inclined rather than earthly-inclined even though it is so easy to be worldly because I am still on earth and in flesh. Not everyone understands that narrow is the gate that leads to life and the wide gate leads to destruction. I get so distressed with my surroundings and environment that sometimes I am thankful I am not God because seeing how much sin there is in this world is just too much bear. — (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard) 2 Peter 2:8

Every time that anger comes knocking into my heart, I can’t help but notice the issues in my heart, it bothers me so much. Hence, I cry it out because it makes me so mad. But I cry out even more. I tell everything to God like a child as he is my father. I’d rather cry it out than say words I do not really mean to someone.  And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. James 3:6-8

Also, when I tend to be angry – I search my heart why did it affect me so much? Why am I giving it power over me? Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Psalm 4:4 . I realise as I follow Jesus’ teaching I slowly take no notice of everything the world offers, as my faith helps my spirit outgrow everything that is happening around me.

To anyone who feels the same way, I’ll leave this with you as an encouragement: and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, 2 Peter 2:7-9a

Communion

Him:
It’s time for rest my love
lay down your head on my chest
you are safe under my watch
My presence is a hiding place

Her:
You are the shield of my heart
evil lurks to put me in darkness
when I am with you there’s light
In your presence I’m protected

Him:
Hush, evil will die by my hand
for my love for you knows no end
I see troubles bringing you down
My presence is love come inside

Her:
In to you I see nothing but love
Here I am in your presence
I believe I finally understand
you have called me your beloved

Him:
Come closer and hold my hand
Here we are in the garden
In this communion, you are mine
I have called you my beloved

Little Gestures of Love

I was always afraid to hear the end times
I am not proud of what I have carried out
but knowing i have salvation from Christ
I am going to be alright because He’s love

The good news is He is patient and kind
a knock of comfort in my heart arrived
comfort said “love, you still have a chance”
I am going to be alright because He’s love

I have given a friend a hug right now
I called my mom to hear my voice say “hi”
I gave someone food without being asked
I visited prisoners to preach Christ

I packed extra food to share with someone
I hugged her instead of waving goodbye
I secretly prayed strength for his trials
I gave water to a weary homeless man

At the end of the day it will all clump up
Time is wealth but there’s no need to rush
realise now gestures don’t have to be grand
Little gestures of love is always significant

~ M. Salonga

What if it were really the end of the world?

If I were really in an apocalypse, I realise how much my thoughts would’ve change. I’ll see people with so much forgiveness, love, and mercy as if what they did wrong don’t really matter anymore because death has them by its grip in any moment. If someone who I know of is to die, I will have nothing but care and love for them make their last moments filled with love. pure kind of love.

Sometimes, I am self-serving and I admit it, I always worry, which is not pleasing with God. So I meditate on Matthew 6’s “Do not worry” part, it really helps my way of thinking every time I read it. I think of things I could do to make myself better as if that were to help. It does for awhile but it never really sticks. One thing that sticks to me, is to really have that alone time with Jesus. I do believe without even noticing that I am being renewed and I’ll have my Aha! moments wherein I’ll say “Aha! Jesus changed my way of thinking” like right now.

While I do care for others and while how awful some of the government have been handling this pandemic paranoia, I have been taking this distance to my benefit which is to really get to know myself and His perfect will. I pray, I read His Word, READ, READ, READ, READ, READ.. simply because reading means learning and consuming. So instead of consuming angry thoughts. I consume eternity ~ His words. His words will never pass away He said.

With all the things that I have learnt today, my favourite one is how little gestures of love to someone matter and it counts even if no one sees it. It gathers and clumps into a big love. I know people said live your life as if it were your last day but with this revelation I realise how self-serving that is. So now, live your life as if it were last day of everybody else or people you know. That thought hit the core of my heart and it’s now forever stuck.

Three Voices

three voices live inside me

the lies of the devil
and the truth of my King
and my soul’s longing

my thoughts are blurry
so I end up singing
lead me to your will

O my soul keep seeking
my heart mocks me
so I fear and worry

I fall down to my knees
shed a river of tears
O truth fill my spirit

my thoughts are blurry
I will keep on singing
lead me to your will

O my soul keep seeking
I see the day of my victory
I will soon find my King

My King will reign in me
I will keep believing in Him
I am not alone in this

~ M. Salonga

Making social distance count

In the midst of the current covid-19, pandemic paranoia, rants, terror, and fear mongering. I’d like to share the positive side of social distance. It’s having communion with Jesus.

I can’t help but see this as an opportunity to have that time to unwind, connect, to the source of love, godliness, righteousness, peace, and hope. It’s time to read His word, to pray for everyone and for oneself, to listen to Him.

I start mine by having that coffee and beautiful breakfast. then I will prepare my study table bring out my notebook and pen and then my bible. I will read 2 chapters from the old testament and then 2 chapters in the new testament. Afterwards, I will reflect and treasure His words in my heart.

I can sing praises and worship to him. I can read self-development blogs or books. I can blog right now. Dedicate all my energy for Jesus.

You see, I love distance and even with or without any virus. I would still have times of my own space and social distancing because I like that alone time in Jesus, it’s intimate. It helps me physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

Lastly, God’s love is somehow distant. He is in heaven and we are here on earth but His love is the greatest, He died and rose again just to be able to save us from sin and He wants us to be there with Him by having to give His kingdom in and for us. It is a living hope. A hope that doesn’t disappoint.

P. S The picture is my view as I was having my quiet time with Jesus. I was just appreciating it and remembering this beautiful moment.