When Your Past Sins Hunt You

I’ve been consistently dreaming of my past sins for more than a week. I tried to ignore it but it bothered me until I finally saw myself again leading to a situation/scenario very close to it.

Lust, what goes with this sin? Adultery, immorality, fornication, maliciousness. These are sins that I find very hard to admit, especially because I think it’s very embarrassing, you sin against your own body when you commit it, but these were my sins and I cannot and shall not conceal them.

I’ve learned, through the help of my sisters in Christ, to get to the root of why these sins would mentally affect me again. If I’m truly a new creation in Christ, why would I still be bothered by it? They’re just dreams, but just like what my mentor told me, dreams are things I cannot control; most of the time it reveals things I may be longing for. I was able to point out that those lustful dreams would resurface because of my desire for affection, to be with someone, to be married, to have a “God’s Best” as we call it in church. I recently watched a love story movie, and that triggered emotions in me too. Now, I’m more aware of the things I shall be careful of watching for I tend to over romanticise fictitious matters. I realised that purity isn’t merely keeping yourself sexually inactive, purity is a pursuit of the mind & the heart too. Purity in protecting my emotions from wandering at ideas and thoughts that may ruin my sanity. I also had to admit (to my long distance accountability partners, Carla/Cherish and Dia/Divine) that I’d long to be affirmed, to be loved, to be wanted. Sin begets sin. My lustful dreams caused by my dissatisfaction in Christ led me to days of rambled thoughts and anxiety. I felt as if there were so many issues in my life that I have yet to deal with, that I have to fix, & I felt paralysed at solving them all at the same time, that it eventually frustrated & confused me even more.

On the week of my struggle, a verse from Psalm 51 kept iterating in my head: “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation & grant me a willing spirit to sustain me”. I believe God would also speak to me through James 4:7 “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” What could be more direct than that?

After I read it, someone from the past all of a sudden sent me an invite to have coffee with him. I met that man at the peak of my lostness & I’d sin with him. I’m glad that the Holy Spirit in me is just too wise to recognize baits. I replied with: “sure ☺️” it was then that I also realised that I’m always just a tiny tilt closer to going back to my old self. But God won’t let that happen. I immediately became accountable to my friends in the faith, I told them to stop me from doing things I’m sure I would regret. I asked for prayers.

Before my flight to Paris, I was alone in my room, crying, confessing my sins to God, being sorry for all I’ve done in the past and during that week. I’d listen to sermons that gave me a fresh understanding of my identity in Jesus: that I am His coheir, that I am His bride, that I am His bondservant. I think part of my joy’s restoration is to get to this part all over again, Psalm 51 also says it is not in sacrifices that the Lord is delighted, but His sacrifices are a broken spirit, He will not despise a broken and contrite heart. Oh yes, I will never outgrow my need for the Gospel. I had nothing to offer, only my tears, my brokenness, my fear of losing my salvation (which by grace, will never happen), and my knees bent down and my hands up high, telling Him: “I’m sorry, forgive me, I’m tired, I surrender.”

My prayer before my flight to Paris was to spend time with Jesus as I get there. My initial plan after my afternoon tour was to go to a wine place at night and drink after a quick rest in the hotel. You see how contradicting my plans are with my prayer? But He cleverly didn’t wake me up, I set my alarm at 9pm and I didn’t hear it at all, I woke up at 12 midnight instead, where everything was closed, it was already dangerous to go out, my flying partner was asleep, I couldn’t even order for food — because what I needed that very moment was spiritual food. God has irresistible ways of getting my attention. He wins, always. I had a three hour quiet time with Him. He spoke to me through Exodus, which talks about the Israelites complaining to Moses and wanting to go back to Egypt. “Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness,” (Exodus 14:12 ESV). Many times in my life I’d be like that, unconsciously desiring to return to my Egypt out of impatience, because of the inconsistency of my trust and reverence to the Lord, & ultimately because of my lack of understanding on who He is that pollutes my confidence on His plans for my life. I wouldn’t look to Jesus, I was so focused at my sins that I’d forget the vastness of my God’s love for me.

You know what brought me to total peace after it all? Moses’ response to the Israelites: “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”” Exodus 14:13-14

I will never ever forget that morning in Paris, God confirmed to me that it is finished. The sin of lust is done in my life, for Christ has delivered me from it. My longing for a husband, well, Christ is my future husband as I marry Him in heaven one day. My anxiety in serving people out of pride and insecurity, wiped away, for I am His bondservant. “For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ.” 1Corinthians 7:22 It can’t get any clearer than this. I am free in Jesus Christ. I am not going back to my Egypt.

I think, just like the Apostle Paul, I will always have my thorn in the flesh, sin/s that may hunt me, that may attempt to resurface. Thank God my salvation isn’t based on my emotions, neither the things I do for Him (cause I fail Him most of the time), nor any knowledge I’ve acquired, (for I am foolish & forgetful). I thank Him because even if I’m faithless, He remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. That’s what makes my God supreme, that while I am still a sinner, while I need to face the consequences because of what I did in the past, He died for me. While I’m still struggling, He already worked things out for me. He won’t ever give me any challenge I cannot carry, and even if there seems to be no way out, He will provide a way out.

Please continue to pray for me. I want to know & love Him more. I want to revere and worship Him better. May Jesus be glorified in my life. May I finish the race strong.

•••

Romans 5

Peace with God Through Faith

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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Confessions of a Cabin Crew

I’m a flight attendant and an OFW (overseas filipino worker), but on top of these two, I am a Christian too. Over any profession/career/status, my ultimate identity is that I am saved by the grace of God.

It has been over six months since I signed up for this job. I haven’t reached a year yet flying, but I am learning a lot. Like a lot. And I want to share some of it, especially my mistakes that I want to be corrected. I don’t want to be flying 10years from now (if God allows) and see certain ugly characteristic/attitude in me that may already be hard to change or heal. A true follower of Christ does not tolerate sin, but confronts it. I must not tolerate mine, be warned of others’ and make every effort to live a holy life.

1. I am guilty of complaining a lot verbally and in my head when passengers have so many requests. Seriously? My work is customer service in the cabin, hospitality, both on ground and up in the sky, I do not have the right to complain unless a request done risks my safety & the safety of the flight. Handing a glass of water, blanket or pillow wouldn’t make me unsafe, right? Passengers may have as much requests as they want, except when the seatbelt sign is on, or when flight is turbulent. That’s their privilege. That’s their right. By grace, I want to be the kind of flight attendant that doesn’t complain to passengers’ demands. So what’s the root, if it isn’t the passengers’ fault, what could be the problem? Colossians 3:7 says “whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Being such a complainer is the opposite of thankfulness. I can’t be complaining just because I feel lazy to move. I am the problem, not my passengers. God, I’m sorry. Proverbs 12:24 “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” I pray wag na ako maging tamad. Again, I am tasked to serve, I pray I’d do it joyfully. No more argument. No more grumbling.

2. It’s also not the passengers’ fault if I lack sleep. I’m given minimum rest for every duty. I don’t have the right to ever be grumpy. My job is to smile, to greet, to be pleasant and polite. I can be it, but I can’t be consistently it when I lack sleep. Huhu. I do need a lot of improvement with managing my sleeping habits, knowing when to rest and when to move, learning to say no to events that may compromise my time for rest before duty — needs a lot of work and discipline! Grace!

3. With my colleagues: I have to be more understanding. That’s why it is myself that I’m assessing, though I see certain mistakes in others too, I can’t just correct them, especially when there’s a bunch of things that must be corrected in me. Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” I can’t correct others for something I still struggle with. I must be corrected myself first.

4. Note to self: Gossips — don’t indulge in it. Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” I pray I’ll be able to constantly tame my tongue, be discerning and never badmouth anyone. This, I’m grateful that I am graciously able to resist (I’d estimate 80% of the time), I feel the Holy Spirit working in me every time I’d witness a colleague talk about another colleague, you know that still small voice that whispers: “wag kang gumatong, from what you are hearing, find the root sin and pray for it”. I pray for more discernment and wisdom on this matter. Bible says love your enemies & pray for them. In the first place, ayoko ng may kaaway, it wouldn’t put me to sleep. So better not talk about people if there isn’t any solution to follow it up. Kung mag gossip man ako, please rebuke me.

5. I’ve had an encounter with an unforgiving passenger just a week ago. I tried apologising to him many times for saying no to giving him 2 cups of water. He insisted, & so I gave him his request in a manner that wasn’t pleasant. He got intensely mad at me. He didn’t want to accept my apology — he said emotions and tears won’t work. ANG SAKIT! But in essence, that’s what I truly deserve. Actually, even in general life matters, I don’t deserve forgiveness, but God gave it to me through His’ Son.

Isn’t it always liberating to be reminded and live by this truth? Again, that I am saved grace. Grace, as in I didn’t contribute to it. Grace, as in it wasn’t my choice. Grace, freely given to me. Grace, as in favor. Grace, kasi mahal na mahal Nya ako.

I remember a colleague telling me to stop sharing my flaws/mistakes to people. I think madalas I repeat this whenever I write, that the Bible says: I shall boast about my weakness, para Christ’s power may be displayed through me. Kasi nga only in confession and repentance and legit acknowledgement of my wretchedness ako nafi-free. Nothing else matters more than the constant sanctification I have to go through in this lifetime until God accomplishes through & in me everything I ought to be.

In summary: I pray to be able to honor God sa trabaho ko. ♥️😌

Brokenness

Never in my entire life have I embraced brokenness until I sincerely understood that it is necessary for my growth as a Christian. I was one of the people deceived by the illusion that Christianity is all about favor and blessings.2 Corinthians 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. Many times in in my earlier years of getting to know Jesus, I’d treat Him like a genie, I’d require Him to grant me all my dreams and earthly ambitions for me to believe in Him. “Lord, give me a crown, make me famous, give me modeling gigs, make me marry at this age. Lord, I really want this, I want him, etc. etc.” This is how I’d pray back then. Full of pride and selfishness. I never wanted His presence, I never asked for more of Him. In most cases, I would end up broken, because He wouldn’t give me what I though I wanted, He always surprises me with what I truly needed. He blesses me with what is unseen, with what the world doesn’t understand, with matters that are beneficial for eternity, for the pruning and moulding of my character.

I’ve learned to love and embrace brokenness because it is necessary for my Christian walk. I am a sinner saved by Grace, if I understand this fully, I must humbly embrace brokenness. I forgot where I heard it exactly but I highly agree that Christians are constant & consistent repenters. Others find it so odd, but it’s exactly what we should be. Not conforming to the world, cause the world says it’s okay, a little sin won’t hurt, a little rebellion is cute. But if we truly are Christians, when we realize the gravity of those ‘tiny sins’, we would be disgusted, they aren’t cute at all. Tiny sins birth death, they are the passageway to our eternal separation from God. 2 Timothy 4:1-3 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.” Repentance is a privilege that can never be taken away from us Christians, because there isn’t salvation without repentance; and repentance goes hand and hand with brokenness. I’ve never heard of anyone who repented and believed in Christ without being truly broken.

This month has been packed with sanctification and opening of my blind eyes to what I’d label and tolerate as my “tiny sins”. Every time I realize things like these, I’m always reminded of how holy and pure my God is, that He doesn’t allow even a tiny bit of sin to linger. 1 Peter 1:15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” It’s such a shame, but sadly, I’ve been insecure and malicious, I’ve cheated, I’ve lied, I’ve manipulated and used His name in vain, I’ve done things out of conceitedness, I’ve coveted many times in my head, I’d struggle at the same things I never thought I’d still struggle with, & the scars I’d scratch would still give a heavy impact. It breaks my heart & I have to admit to myself all over again that I do not know how to love my God, that my love for Him is conditional, that Grace is the only thing that keeps me alive in the faith, that enables me to desire righteousness. I owe it all to GRACE. Actually, I do not owe it to GRACE, because I can never repay what GRACE has done. I can only give Him praise & thanks, I can only worship Him, Christ, my one and only Grace.

Wanna know what breaks me more? I commit mistakes, I sin again and again, and every-single-time, He’s the One who still and always provides the way out. 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. It hurts to hurt the Man I’d always shamelessly declare to the world that I do love the most when I couldn’t even love Him right — because I am a sinner.

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this before, but I am tired. I’m tired of hurting Him. I’m tired of sin. I’m sick of my sins that’s why I embrace brokenness. For I know, in time, He’ll take all brokenness aside and make it beautiful. But for now, I gotta go through it. I have to feel it. Remorse cannot be skipped, shame must be felt, sorrow is necessary for it makes us better grasp, how deep, how wide, how great His love is for His people, for those called according to His purpose.

I truly have no participation to my salvation other than my sin and wretchedness. We can never understand the Lord’s love in pride and arrogance, by thinking that we deserve so much more, when we deserve nothing good, and yet His grace came in. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

There’s no such thing as an innately good human being, in my lifetime, I’m the biggest proof of a wretched person I know with innately evil thoughts and deeds. Should that bother me? It is written in Romans 3:10-12 “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Christians, our story doesn’t have to end there. We remain grateful in the midst of troubles, trials and tests. We are still in the midst of brokenness, constantly being sanctified, we aren’t promised that it won’t hurt, but we are promised by our Lord that the narrow path is worth it, that He who endures till the end will be rewarded. God has given us the reason to always hold on to our faith, that He himself provided. It is finished. Your past, present and future sins… forgiven. Paid in full by Christ at the cross in Calvary. It is irrevocable for God doesn’t change His mind, He is a Promise Keeping God. He’ll soon come back for us, His people, His sheeps, His servants, His daughters and sons, His bride. We shall live with Him in righteousness forever.

4 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

BROKENNESS IS NOT A PLACE THAT HE TAKES US SO HE CAN LEAVE US, BUT HE BREAKS US SO HE CAN REMAKE US. CONFORM US TO THE VERY IMAGE OF CHRIST… -Voddie Baucham

***

♥️ My prayer:

Psalm 51: 1-4

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.

♥️ My worship:

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love; Here’s my heart, O take and seal it, Seal it for Thy courts above.

O that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face; Clothed then in blood washed linen, How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace; Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, Take my ransomed soul away; Send thine angels now to carry, Me to realms of endless day.

(Come Thou Fount by Robert Robinson)

♥️ My declaration:

His love for me shall enable me to love Him genuinely. His love isn’t weak for He isn’t a weak God. His love is more powerful than my sin and shame. My eyes are kept on Christ for nothing can separate me from Him, not even my sin. I am His’, I belong to Christ now until eternity. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

My Heart & BibleMesh

Today, I finished my Bible in Missional Perspective 2month course in BibleMesh, BibleMesh is a a site for theological courses to help Christians grow in faith and make disciples in the local churches. To learn more about it, you may check the website: BibleMesh.com

A year ago, it was introduced to me by my discipleship group leader, Steffi. She encouraged me to take the courses and join the class with my other brothers & sisters at The Fellowship. (To learn more about The Fellowship: come to CCF Eastwood, UpperRoom every Monday at 7pm😉). I initially didn’t want to participate in it, during that time, I was still distracted and struggling with my former job, but I still said yes to Steffi without fully being committed to it. To cut the long story short, it took me over a year to finish the course. Just today. Praise God I did.

Bible in Missional Perspective helped me understand the Bible in summary better than I used to. I can conclude that men are truly evil, God is truly good, and Christ is truly Lord of all. If He isn’t Lord of all, He isn’t Lord at all. Understanding the creation, the fall of man, the solution to our problem is overwhelmingly good. It inspires me to better serve my King Jesus, not because I’m a nice girl, but because He’s a nice God, w/ a good-good-Father. Looking at it, through the lens of a Filipino lady who grew up with a Catholic background, the knowledge of what He’s done is very simple, but not everyone has understood it, because not all eyes were opened, NOT YET. And that’s the goal, to get Him known, to get people to see what we see. I know, it’s only Grace that does that, Grace initiated by His love through us, Christians. Mannn. I pray I’ll be able to do my heavenly job well. Sometimes we find the gospel so basic, sometimes (we think) we get too familiar with it that we forget its essence. And most of the time, well, in my case, most of the time I’m pridefully wrong. Repent! Gosh, it was humbling. Shame on me. I was too prideful to not want to study & learn. But thank God for finally making me finish the course. I didn’t even get a perfect grade with my test, but I’m just happy with the knowledge I’ve gained.

I’m emotional as I write these things, and it’s okay, the overflow of my emotions will subside, but I pray that the overflow of my love, adoration and longing for Him doesn’t. By Grace, through Faith, in Christ. Always!!! What a beautiful God I have! I want to learn more. I want to know Him more. I want to learn how to love like Him even more. Christians, let’s all die together, & be filled with Christ.

Let me end with these verses from my favourite follower of Jesus, Paul:

“I affirm by the pride in you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord: I die every day! If I fought wild animals in Ephesus with only human hope, what good did that do me? If the dead are not raised, Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:31-32, 58

Dear False Lover (Part 2)

Dear False Lover (2),

Hi. Nope, you didn’t expect me to write you for the 2nd time. But I did. Surprise. Hindi ko sinasabayan ang mga stats and year end posts ng mga tao just cause it’s New Year, hindi din hyped yung emotions ko. In fact, pakiramdam ko mas matino na ako mag-isip ngayon. More reasonable than emotional. Emotional: on that note, I’m still a work in progress. Kaya thank God pa din, dahil may progress.

Medyo matagal na din since I last wrote you Dear False Lover (1), May of 2016. It’s been a year and a half. Madami ng nangyari sakin, and I’m sure sayo din. I’m sure? Well yes, cause I’d still check your Instagram once in a while. Not to weigh kung may nararamdaman pa ako para sayo, matagal na natin tinapos kung ano man yung meron tayo. Normal lang naman siguro maging curious paminsan-minsan.

So what’s the point? Why would I write you another letter? Well, eto na. I noticed that my first letter to you was too heavy. Parang galit na galit dahil sa sobrang sakit and sobrang bigat as if I was the only victim sa pag cameo natin sa buhay ng isa’t isa. Eh parehas lang naman tayong biktima ng sin, ni Satan. I noticed too that I blamed it all to you. I don’t even remember kung humingi na ba ako ng tawad sayo. So that’s the purpose of me writing you again, para mag-sorry.

I’m deeply sorry that my heart was full of pain and pride at the same time. I’m sorry I had to go through the process of healing, along with that involved me hating you. I didn’t acknowledge my sin. I was insecure. I was motivated by selfishness. I was desperate. I was a false lover myself. I was lost. Kaya sobrang sorry cause I blamed you for the sin I chose to make. Gusto ko din sabihin that I’ve already forgiven you. Kapal naman ng mukha ko if I wouldn’t forgive, kung si God nga napatawad ako sa dami ng kasalanan ko.

Hindi ako naniwala na time heals, I believe only Jesus can absolutely do that. Or maybe He heals in His’ time? Pero yun nga, Jesus heals. It took me a while to digest all these. But I’m grateful I reached this point. I’m grateful I’m able to finally say sorry, forgive you, and myself. Sana napatawad mo na din ako.

Ang saya ko to start the year with this blog. Kasi diba makakapagsimula lang naman tayo ng maayos at tama kung mapayapa yung heart natin. The Father’s forgiveness through the Son set me free. Forgiveness is always freeing, it’s always the key to true healing. Easier said than done. Pero legit. I can attest now, totoo. I’m free. Plus, I can’t really consider myself a Christian kung wala sa sistema ko ang pagpapatawad at paghingi ng tawad.

Alam mo yung song na Grace Changes Everything ng Victory Worship?

“There’s no sin too great

There’s no pain too deep

The cross declares it is done

There’s no shame too real

That His love won’t heal

Forever the victory is won”

It is finished. Christ took it all, the pain, the shame, the anger, the pride in my heart, the bitterness, my sin. The old is gone, the new has come. Kaya again, I’m sorry, my brother in Christ.

O sya. Yun lang. Praying for grace upon grace upon grace sa buhay mo. God bless you!

Sincerely,

(Insert Name)

Mali, mali. Isa pa.

Sincerely,

Ria

When Enemies Become Roomies

At the beginning of our Training, Frey and I didn’t have a good first impression of each other. I tried assessing the situation, getting my heart checked and asking God why, we’re both Christians and yet we don’t seem to get along well. I immediately judged her and thought that her level of belief in Christ was shallow. How dare I assume that, kapal ko diba? Our first month gave me such a hard time, seeing her in class everyday felt heavy. Sobrang awkward kami sa isa’t isa. Our conversations were empty, and filled with insecurities and pride. Our faces both look unapproachable to some, “mataray-looking” as they say, and maybe that was the reason why we didn’t click right away; we saw a bit of ourselves in each other. I actually felt with Frey what many people would usually tell me on their first encounter with me— ang taray ng aura, hindi ko keri. So there, nag backfire sakin yung feeling na yun.

I’d always believe that first impressions do not last, because I grew up always being mistaken as a bad girl for how I look. But you know what I realized lately? They’re actually right, I am bad, and even worse than what they thought of. I really am bad apart from Christ. I wouldn’t have the effort to smile at people, to remember names & to intentionally build friendship. I’d be picky with my friends, build walls & limitations within my own circle. I would be prideful, though deep down inside I wanted to get to know people, I wouldn’t talk to them because I wanted them to be the first to approach me. Ang OA diba?Sobrang prideful. Ang dami kong possible friendship in the past na pinalagpas dahil sa pride ko. So again, I am absolutely bad when Christ doesn’t rule & reign in me. But HEY HEY HEY it doesn’t have to be that way anymore, right? Having been a new creation in Christ, I must mirror His holiness. “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 — Wouldn’t this be a solid rebuke to us Christians? I don’t know about you, but this one heavily slapped me. I got so used to putting the blame on others and judging them without being aware of my own attitude. I wouldn’t consider having a character check because I’d innately & selfishly think I that know better. Remember what Christ says in Matthew 7:5? “Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Ouch! Repent! But of course, GRACE ABOUNDS. Praise God for searching my heart and knowing my anxious thoughts, for seeing offensive ways in me and always leading me in the everlasting way.

The tension between Frey and I subsided when I prayed for God to change my heart, (while I didn’t know she was actually praying for herself too), when I confessed the situation to my dgroup in the Philippines & asked them to pray for me. One of my devotions also compelled me to take action, it says that the way for people to know that we are Christ’s disciples is when we love each other; *gasps* basic knowledge in Christianity that I always forget; I cannot say that I’m the Lord’s if I do not love, for God is love Himself. Eventually, God opened an opportunity for us to get to know each other better. It began during our service training, when we didn’t have a choice but to share a meal because we both love seafood, and the stock was limited. Haha! I know, medyo-PG. Who would have thought na food lang pala ang mag-rreconcile samin. But what really brought us two closer is that towards the end of our training, we didn’t have a choice but to be each other’s room mate. Irresistible grace nanaman. I had two room mates before her (Ajla and Dawn, I love and miss them!) and when my 2nd room mate Dawn graduated and moved to Riyadh, I had no choice but to move in the same room with Frey. God moves in funny and mysterious ways talaga! That time, I told Him, “I don’t know what exactly You are up to, but I’m excited & I trust You, so bring it on.”

It’s been 2 weeks being in the same room with my former enemy. I won’t go into details on how it has been, but I feel sooo blessed having Frey as my room mate now. We cry and laugh together, we pray together every night before we sleep. We both acknowledge that we are saved by Grace. We both apologised and asked for each other’s forgiveness. We now call each other sisters in Christ and we believe we’ve got eternity to make chikahan about His goodness. Grabe, madalas kaming napupuyat cause we’re both talkative and we love to share lots and lots of testimonies. Indeed, all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. God is so intentional in making us live in harmony with one another so that we may glorify Him in Christ with a united spirit. (Romans 8:28; 15:5-6) How amazing!

Two more days before we move to Riyadh. We’re both aware that it won’t be easy, there’s more to discover in our newly blooming friendship, not just between us but also among our batch mates, and the thousands of colleagues we are yet to encounter. We’ve got a lot of adjustments to do, we may disappoint each other in the future but we know that the battle isn’t in the flesh but in the spirit, and as long as we have Christ in our center, we’re cool. Christ is our Peacemaker! Yay! ☺️

I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

My Turbulent FA Journey

It’s been exactly a year since I became a Flight Attendant for Philippine Airlines; and though I only flew for 5months with my country’s flag carrier, I will always be grateful for what the Lord has taught me through my “turbulent” journey with PAL.

I never knew I would be in love with hospitality/customer service job 35,000 feet above sea level until the PAL opportunity came along right after my final year at Bb. Pilipinas (2016). If you were able to read my blog (A Necessary Detour & While the Failing Continues, The Failure Continues) several months back, you’d know that I was actually terminated for failing my written permanency exam. Looking back though, I think the reason why God allowed me to get fired was more than just not qualifying the permanency.

While I was working for PAL, I became in denial that the job was actually becoming my idol. My quiet time was becoming too quiet that I wouldn’t want to spend time reading my Bible, I wanted to Fellowship with my friends at church but I was half hearted in serving the Lord, I neglected opportunities (I dropped my BibleMesh class) where I had the chance to get to know Him more. I wouldn’t give much value to God, the same way I’d give value to my layover activities, my dream destinations, to my OOTD’s, my Instagram posts (which I deleted shortly after my termination, none of it really mattered). This season in my life reminded me of Ecclesiastes, where the writer talks about how depressing it is to seek happiness in the things of the world.

According to GotQuestions.Org: This book gives Christians a chance to see the world through the eyes of a person who, though very wise, is trying to find meaning in temporary, human things. Most every form of worldly pleasure is explored by the Preacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning. It’s key verse is Ecclesiastes 1:2 Vanity of vanities,’ says the Preacher, ‘vanity of vanities, all is vanity’. Sadly, this is very similar to how I spent most of my time flying with PAL. I was distracted by the world. As a Christian, I should be a world changer, not a world chaser. In PAL, I chose the latter.

The Epistle of Paul to Titus, (chapter 2) talks about the saints denying ungodliness & worldly lust, seeking the Lord, living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. I wasn’t seeking the Lord while I was flying for PAL. I placed Him behind, and navigated my life the way I wanted to. (Nagmarunong nanaman po ako. Feeling ko nanaman I could take care of my self.) For a few months, I was delusional, the world ate me up. — And that, I do not want happen ever again. I pray that His grace sustains me in my new journey with the new Airlines I am currently training for.

I’m already on my last 2 weeks at training to once again be a Flight Attendant. I am very grateful that He gave me another chance to pursue this career. So far, training has been very good, I can say it’s lovelier the second time around. By Grace, my Quiet Time has been good. By Grace, I would get better grades at my exams, nothing below 90%, I pray it remains this way until the end. By Grace, I would enjoy getting to know the 18 new classmates I have at training (but of course I love pa din my PAL ICCT16-12 family, the #Victorious1612 lol) and more women from other batches, some of different nationalities. My prayer for this brand new journey, I tweaked it a bit: that none of the things I would be tasked to do in this new opportunity given to me will be in vain, that I do not value this opportunity above God in my life, that I do not take it for granted, and that it humbles me, MORE & ALWAYS. May I never find the world pleasurable. May I never ever forget my First Love, Jesus Christ.

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” Ecclesiastes 12:13 On top of it all, I’ve witnessed and experienced that my faith in Christ Jesus is the ultimate job entrusted to me. The faith I have that He graciously poured out through and in me is my ultimate standards of pursuing a career. Life on earth is brief, time is running, why would I settle for things that do not have eternal bearing? In case that happens again, which I hope not, please rebuke me.

Few more weeks till graduation day. May I give Him glory for the rest of my time at training, post grad, and beyond. To my failures, to redirection, to new endeavours, to success, to every sadness turned to gladness, to God be all the glory!

My Story on Immodesty

Immodesty was a big struggle to me. I thought it was something I’d be compromising for the rest of my life due to career choices. My biggest dreams when I was about a decade younger were either to be a supermodel or a beauty queen (me & my worldly perspective, of course). My character was set to the industry’s culture, to wear underwear in front of anyone, pose in bikinis, look fierce in photoshoots, casually seduce the camera and have my sensual photos all over social media, print ads, etc.

Since I became a Christian, I began praying for God to make me dress modestly. It was *gasps* tough. I remember cutting all my bikinis into tinier pieces years ago and throwing ‘em all to make sure nobody uses it so I don’t make anyone stumble. Just a year ago, I’d say no to projects that would require me to be in bikinis. I’d also ask my friends to rebuke me each time I post anything disturbing on social media. It was so hard trying my very best to be modest. Mind you, I had massive relapses. But as usual, Grace came to my rescue.

None of my “good works” and my modesty-styling-skills fully changed me. It’s only Christ who could transform me from the inside out. It says in Galatians 5:16-19: walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, SENSUALITY..” Baaam! As usual, pahiya nanaman ako, I read these verses about 6 months ago at a Bible study with my friends, Marlann and Pamu. That moment, it finally hit me hard, and so I repented.

Right now, slowly but surely, I’m learning, appreciating and I’m fully convinced that my body really is the Holy Spirit’s temple, that I must protect, guard and take care of it not only in its spiritual but physical sense. What helps me fight immodesty is every time I’m about to do/be it, I’d ask myself: what is my motivation for doing it? Why do I want to flaunt my body? Why do I want to post a certain photo? Who gets pleased when I do it? As Christians, we are told not to conform to the pattern of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Then we’ll be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will. (Intense. Gamit na gamit sakin ‘tong verse na ‘to.) It’s nice to always be reminded that not all good plans we have leads to the Lord’s pleasing and perfect will for us. If our desire doesn’t please God and doesn’t point us to Christ, it’s pointless. You get my point? 😉

I would call it irresistible grace that God brought me to a place that requires me to dress modestly. What a beautiful irony! Now, I’m learning to understand that my problem was more than just clothing preferences and career choice. The issue of immodesty is in the core, it’s an issue of the heart. It’s my sin in itself. Immodesty brought me to committing more sins in my past. It made me greedy for attention, fed my insecurity, led me to immorality. Indeed, sin begets sin!

But I praise my Lord and Saviour that I’m no longer in that state, that though I chose the immodest path back then, He pulled me out of it. Though I was being tempted by instant gratification and the earthly desires I had, He saved me from it. Immodesty is just one of the many sins Christ saved me from. I’m excited to discover more sins and be delivered from all of them. I’m hopeful that He will constantly sanctify me on this matter.

May our beauty not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, our inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1Peter 3:3-4

“Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body.” 1Corinthians 6:19-20 — Shall we? Leggo!

Technology is an OFW’s Best Friend — Would you agree?

I’ve never appreciated technology the way I do these days. I’ve been taking advantage of it for the past two weeks of me being an OFW. It is the instrument of Grace the Lord is immensely using to strengthen, widen and deepen my faith in Him. I would seriously be dead by now without it — Spirituality dead.

I remember my prayer before I got my iPhone back when I was still working for Philippine Airlines. I literally asked God to allow me to use it only to give Him glory; that I do not use it for vanity, for selfish interests. I prayed that with every App I download in it, I only use them with an eternal perspective. I am amazed to witness now that that prayer is evidently becoming a reality, slowly but surely. My mobile phone is such a blessing. It has become my best friend. Praise God. 😭 Here’s why.

1) It is what keeps me rooted in the faith since I got here. My devotions, my Bible, my praise and worship music are all in it. It literally allows me to meditate on the Word day and night. It keeps me Spiritually alive and healthy. Yay! My most used app now are Spotify (for dancing and singing) Holy Bible (You Version; for my Quiet time) and Ligonier (where I watch preaching sermons). God makes my life A LOT easier through all these.

2) It connects me with my Spiritual family. It’s been two weeks and thank God cause I haven’t missed a dgroup meeting. I shall never give up, forsake, neglect meeting them even if it’s a bit hard to communicate. Hearing and being encouraged with the updates of my sisters in Christ and staying accountable with them is TREASURE. Thank God for Facebook Messenger! 😭

3) This week, I also got to video call with three of my best friends. (Thanks to Janelle Olafson, another sister who is in Texas – USA for inspiring me to catch up with my bff’s.) It was awesome! I’m glad to hear the things they are up to even for a while. I’m thinking of doing this with them regularly. Looks like distance isn’t really a hindrance for long-distance-relationships! ☺️

4) Another thing I love about technology is that I get to capture nice moments with my new friends; and swiftly share them with my loved ones all over the world.

It’s only been two weeks. I hope & pray that the communication upward⬆️ (to Him), downward⬇️ (through Him), and side-to-side↔️ (with Him) continues.

My phone has its benefits but it also has its downside. Sometimes, I’d still go overboard with social media to entertain myself for worldly feeding of my brains. You probably think I’m being too hard on myself, but the sinner in me has the tendency to idolise entertainment. I hope to be improved by Grace (on using social media wisely) for the coming days, that my heart chooses to spend more time with Him than indulge in things that don’t have eternal bearing. Grace, please take over!!!

A Necessary Detour 

At this very moment in my life, I believe I’m taking a detour. Dictionary defines detour as a way of getting to a place that is indirect and longer than the usual way, and which is taken in order to avoid a particular problem. An alternative route for use by traffic when the usual road is temporarily closed.

I believe I’m in a place where God will still take me to where He promises me to be, but it is necessary for me to go through His redirection, this detour, because He cares more about my heart than my success status. 1 Samuel 16:7 says “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” I lost my job almost 2 months ago today, prior to losing it I would always pray that the Lord humbles my heart, *tuh-daa!* prayer granted! Losing my job as a flight attendant has been very humbling. I am grateful to immediately recognized that it was wholly and practically my fault why I got terminated. I was on probationary period for 5months. I knew I was going to take a written exam for my permanency and I did not review, I know my capabilities and I know exams aren’t something I should be complacent with because I know that I easily forget lessons that’s why extra effort of studying is a must for me to grasp things well. So yes, I failed because I deserved to fail. I did not deserve the permanency. Simple analogy, no one is to blame but myself and my irresponsibility. 

I would lie if I’d say that losing my job at PAL didn’t hurt me. I did love the job and I was passionate about it to an extent. Practically, on In-flight Duty Free sales and dealing with passengers; but flight safety knowledge is non-negotiable, and I was weak at safety. Maybe I didn’t love the job enough cause if I did, I would’ve exerted more effort on areas I am weak at. Same with the Lord, there’d be days l’d feel like I don’t love Christ enough to obey Him & be fully convinced of His love for me. Faith, unaccompanied by action is dead. I lost the job because I didn’t take action on the faith I professed. Perhaps, it wasn’t faith at all. 

I cannot expect a pleasant result for things I would do half heartedly. God gives and takes away. He takes away especially when He sees that I am unable to take care of the blessing. I did not take care of mine. Lesson learned, and as a Christian, I am sincerely, deeply and humbly sorry. 

I’m also grateful because though I know that my love for God will never be enough, that no matter how many times I have broken His heart with all the ugly things I’ve done, He remains faithful. His character doesn’t change. And that loving character He has is where I’m holding on to now, to being constantly transformed to becoming a better Christian. I needed this detour to be reminded of all these all over again. 

For now, I want to productively and graciously savor this redirection. I did apply for a job, still as a flight attendant because I sincerely still want to be one. If I make it, I’ll tell you, and please pray with me, that I’ll be good at it this time around, that I will finally be able to show that I really do love the job. If I don’t make it, there will always be somewhere else He will place me in, and I do declare that only by His grace and mercy I will be able to excel at it and give Him glory. His will alone be done. All I know now is no matter what career I end up doing, GRACE will always back me up, I’ll get there when I’m ready. My hope is in Christ. 

“Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother; I am like a little child. Israel, put your hope in the Lord, both now and forever.” Psalms‬ ‭131:1-3‬