Purely Personal Pieces

Emotions Check!

Wait train

Try coming up with a list of all things unstable and unpredictable and you’ll find yourself holding a looooong one. If we’d compare lists though, I think we’ll all find “our emotions” somewhere on top.

In one of my conversations with a student, we talked about how it’s easy for us to like someone we get to interface/work with in ministry. Proximity leads to familiarity which can lead to fondness which can lead to liking. And the last one is what makes our emotions go berserk.

The conversation went on with us discussing two things:

  1. Acknowledge your emotions. When Jesus saved us, He did not expect us to be totally stripped off of our humanity. And our emotions are part of our humanity. We need to understand though that it is not our emotions that lead us to do the unwise, or worse, to commit sin. It is our response to our emotions that makes all the difference. Acknowledging our emotions means we are pointing out exactly what it is that we can lay down at the foot of the Cross, surrendering it to the One who is able to give us the grace to move in the most appropriate, God-honoring way. At the end of the day, we don’t bow down to our emotions. We make our emotions bow down to the lordship of Jesus.
  2. Acknowledge that your emotions are not stable. AT ALL. Try to make a mental count of all the people you’ve come to like until today. While you’re at it, also try to recall how you were so sold out at the time that that person is really, really, really “the one.” (Side note: Writing that just reminded me of a comment a friend told another friend in one of our barkada conversations. He said, “Bro, pang-ilang ‘the one” mo na yan.’“) If you did just that, then you would have already counted how many times your emotions have failed you. The heart is deceitful, the Bible says.

    So, how exactly would you know if the person is “the one”? He or she is simply the person who would show up on your wedding day – the one you’ll exchange rings and vows with, the one you’d get to go home with after the event is over. Until then, it could be anyone.

    I write this not so you can go about each day trying to spot potentials. I write this to echo what one of my mentors said a few years back: “The sign that says he or she is the one would be the ring on your finger and a piece of paper that has ‘Marriage Certificate’ as its heading.”

One of my friends was just telling me how he knew for certain that the woman he is pursuing right now is the one he wants to spend the rest of his life with. He got a “no” from the same woman the first time he tried. Ten years later, he tries again, for the same reasons he had ten years ago.

This is not to say we all have to wait this long to validate our emotions. This is to say that we are not losing time when we wait for our emotions to mature. This is to say that we take time to consider what we feel and consider how God feels about what we feel so we can respond in a way that aligns to His good, pleasing, and perfect will.

If “our emotions” would be on top of our all-things-unstable-and-unpredictable list, then I believe it’s only fitting that we go for something that withstands the test of time and circumstance. Our waiting time is not wasted time. What should be will come to pass. Just you wait!

Purely Personal Pieces

What if you don’t get what you pray for?

“Something happened the other day and it got me thinking: What if what I’m believing God for does not actually happen?”

A friend asked me this question a few weeks ago and I must confess, I had to long for an answer to this same query quite a few times myself. I write this here today so I won’t forget what God, in His loving kindness and grace, told me the day I found myself asking that question yet again.

In a still small voice, He gently whispered: “If you find yourself in the future and you don’t have what you prayed for, would you still be able to say that I am good?”

I knew that my answer to this question would reveal the condition of my heart. Do I pray to get my breakthrough or do I pray, certain with all my heart, that His will IS my breakthrough?

In her preaching at one of our youth services last weekend, my friend talked about how her Mom got sick with rheumatic heart disease when she was 14. They prayed for healing – fervently, incessantly. Her mother passed away.

Fast forward to today, while she still feels the void left by the passing of her mother, she is seeing how perfectly God has ordered and drawn the blueprint of her life. She recognized God’s goodness in the trial, His grace in the difficult, His faithfulness in what didn’t make sense.

What are you believing God for? Do you believe in Him because He can give you what you’re praying for? Or do you believe in Him simply because you know that He loves you and that He would give you nothing less than the best?

Today I pray that we would all have the confidence that King David had when he wrote the 27th Psalm:


We serve a good God and He will never do us wrong. A “YES” is the goodness of God. A “NO” is His goodness you have yet to recognize and make sense of in the days to come. Be strong! Take heart! You are waiting on a good God and He only has the best for you. 

Just Sayin'

On the Upcoming Elections and the Next Generation

I could vaguely remember now how our party campaigned for student council elections back in college. For some reason though, my social media feed has had me retrospecting the past few days.

batch pic.jpg
Because my retrospection would be incomplete without digging through old photos, let me present to you our block. Also, say hello to the darker, nene me. 😀

I was eighteen.

Before I became Vice Chairperson on my third year in the university, I remember feeling awkward about the thought that I was running against one of my closest friends – who was my roommate for a year. I remember disliking how divided the campus was (and sadly our block too) during campaign period. Students wearing red would walk past those wearing blue in school corridors. When needed, one would give a casual nod or an awkward smile. These are students who would share meals at the canteen or hang-out at the dorm lobby at the end of each school day. The campaign period seemed to bring with it an invisible wall that creates a great divide.

What I dreaded the most though was all the mudslinging and black propaganda. While I was glad I was with a political party that does not advocate such, I didn’t have much peace knowing that a printed document containing information meant to mar another candidate’s reputation could well be posted on the freedom wall for everyone’s spectacle the following day. The most strength-draining meetings were always those where we had to anticipate issues and personal attacks that could be thrown at us and then having to think of what we could throw back at our opponents should the need arise. The hardest moments were when you get a hold of something that you know would certainly hurt a friend.

A day after the election, the wall would dissipate. But people would have already gotten accustomed to the divide – whether they admit it or not.

UPMin Throwback
Taken at a Freshmen Orientation. ‘Gotta fulfil them duties.

I was eighteen, and all these happened on campus – friendships severed due to attacks on each other’s integrity; a political party exhausting all means to prove that they are more worthy of office; a people-group divided where a collective decision is needed; the divide staying even after the decision has been made.

Thankfully, we all graduated without bringing with us too much campaign and election trauma.

Grad photo.jpg
Didn’t have much photos on my graduation day. This will have to do. Haggard face because ceremony started at 7AM and I still have not fully recovered from the sleepless nights spent to complete graduation requirements.

I have come to the conclusion that I am having thoughts reminiscent of the past because what I see today is what I saw on campus – only on a much larger scale and with so much more at stake.

With the upcoming elections, I say I am at peace, for I am convinced that “there is no authority except from God.”* And so I would pray more for all the days that would come after the new set of officials are installed – that they conduct themselves worthy of the people’s trust, and that we citizens would humbly submit to and cooperate with our governing authorities.

But today, I am also reminded that the future leaders of this nation would come from the campuses our campus ministry are currently discipling. Consequently, those who are not called to public service will have the power to choose who will run our beloved Philippines.

I am hopeful that one day, by the grace of God, the generation we are raising now will be a people who are convinced that politics is not worth losing friendships over; who know that one does not have to drag someone down if only to serve the nation; who will boldly take a stand while exercising their freedom of expression in wisdom and with discretion; and who will work together to build bridges over the divide that differing opinions have created.

All these they will do knowing that while people in office are instrumental to a country’s growth and progress, it will take a discipled generation to change a nation.

* Romans 13:1