Day 14: Fathers and Brides

โ€œThe king proclaims the LORDโ€™s decree: โ€œThe LORD said to me, โ€˜You are my son. Today I have become your Father.โ€ โ€ญโ€ญPsalmsโ€ฌ โ€ญ2:7โ€ฌ โ€ญNLTโ€ฌ

I love watching wedding videos. I always imagine myself as the beautiful bride walking down the aisle ushered by her parents as her handsome groom cheerfully awaits at the altar for the final ‘handover’.

I don’t know about you, but I know for most people – and for ladies especially – that they would cry the most at the moment when the couple exchanges their wedding vows. But for me, I don’t really find it so tear provoking. Perhaps because I already know what to expect. One cannot exchange vow without the other. Weddings will always have a bride and a groom in it, right? Otherwise, there won’t be a wedding in the first place! 

But for me, what would always bring me to tears is the moment when the bride walks in and her father meets her in the middle of the aisle, while the bride puts her hand around her daddy’s arm and he kisses her on the forehead and as they walk together to meet her groom and finally reaches the altar, her daddy gives her daughter’s hand to her groom. As he does, he whispers something sweet to his ear as if saying, “Please take good care of my princess.” 

This particular scene is more than enough to make me cry. I feel my throat tightens as I fight those tears back. But no matter how hard I restrain them, I’d always end up in tears.

The pain of the loss was still there. My dad passed away when I was 20 years old. He never saw me graduate from college. He never saw me took that offer for my first fulltime job in the city right after school. Nor was he there to send me off when I first left my country to work overseas. 

I would have loved him to be part of the ‘big moments’ in my life, and I always consider my own wedding to be THE ‘biggest moment’. Unfortunately, my wedding video will not be the same as the others as mine would have one major character missing in it. And this actually breaks my heart. 

Moments like these drive me to self-pity. I’d think to myself, “That’s never gonna happen to me anymore because my dad is no longer here.” 

As a Christian, we all believe that even if we no longer have an earthly father – whether our father passed away already or have abandoned us – we know that when we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have become adopted sons and daughters, therefore, His Father – the Heavenly Father becomes our Father too. 

It wasn’t easy for me to grasp this truth at first because the longing for an earthly father’s love remained in my heart and this was mostly manifested in my longing to have a relationship with men. However, as I draw myself closer to the Father through constant communion and prayer, I felt that void in my heart slowly being filled up. 

I used to hate God (that was before I came to know Jesus) for taking my dad away. I blamed Him for a long time for causing most of the pain that my family suffered due to the loss. Until one day, God spoke to my heart as I was crying over a broken relationship and blaming Him again for the loss. 

As the memories of all my broken relationships beginning from the loss of my dad up to the recent one re-surfaced, the Father, in His most loving and merciful character, gently rebuked and comforted me as He spoke saying, 

“My child, I am not a taker. I am a giver. I gave up my one and only begotten Son because I heard your cries. I was there and each time, I’d come to rescue you because I love you so much. My Son took you for His bride, so I could become the Father you’ve always longed to have. Cry no more, my princess, my daughter, because I will never leave you nor forsake you. Nothing can ever separate you from Me… And when it’s your time to walk down that aisle, I will be the One holding your hand.” 

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us allโ€”how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 

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Day 13: God’s Love Letter To His Daughter

Day 13: God’s Love Letter To His Daughter

My dearest Daughter,

You are precious to me. You are my little princess. Before I formed you in your mother’s womb I knew you. You are the apple of my eye. I delight in you. I am pleased with you. I will give men for you and people in exchange for your life. Whoever touches you, touches the apple of my eye. Nothing can separate you from my love, because you are mine. Though you walk through the fire, you will not get burned; though you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you, because I am the Lord, your God, your Everlasting Father. I am yours and you are mine.

Wait patiently, my child. The best is yet to come. I will supply all your needs. When the right time comes, you will receive the promise. Your inheritance, I have not forgotten. The promise, I will fulfill, because I am faithful.

Just hang on to my word. My word is the lamp upon your feet and a light to your path.

My sweet daughter, there is nothing I will deprive from you, because you are precious and honored in my sight and I love you. My love for you is deeper than the sea and wider than the ocean. I have loved you with an everlasting love. There are wonderful things that are yet to come – the gift I have promised you; just stay close to me and never let go.

Remember my child, I am with you always. When my glory is revealed, you will be overwhelmed beyond your imagination. Because nothing is impossible with the Lord, your God. I have created all the heavens and all the earths, there is nothing too hard for me to do. Just for you, because you’re my daughter.

My precious one, I have seen your sufferings. And I have seen your heart and I am well-pleased. Your reward awaits. Come and join your Father’s happiness. Well done, my good and faithful daughter. You have proven yourself worthy to be trusted of small things, I will entrust you with greater things.

I love you, my child. My heart belongs to you. You will be known to the world. Many people will come to me because of your life. Stay close to my heart for I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future.

Stay with me and hide under the shadow of my love – and I will always be with you until the very end of age.

All my love,

Dad

Day 12: Struggling to Trust

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 2:5-6 (NIV)

Trust. It is easier said than done and I don’t know how other people manage their lives to simply just trust, then close their eyes and jump off the cliff.

Trust is such a big word for me. I couldn’t just give it away easily to somebody unless I have known that person for a long time and he or she has proven an exemplary track record with me. I need to see if I can rely on the person in so many different areas before actually coming too close.

But there’s a problem. I also fail even in this area, well, most of the time. I can’t exactly say that I am perfect in applying this principle to all people because there are just some people – you know, people who have got amazing charisma and no explanation whatsoever, I’d give my trust away in a snap of a finger – only to be disappointed in the end. As a result, it made me wallow in my own ‘negligence’ blaming myself for my stupidity until I couldn’t trust even myself. Depression would then hit me like a strong tidal wave.

So I struggle. I can’t trust other people. I can’t trust even myself.

What do I do now?

I came across this bible verse several years ago. I didn’t even read it in the bible. I didn’t know it was from the bible. I was listening to the radio then suddenly a song played on and I knew from the beginning of the song that it was a Christian song because I know who the singer was.

The chrous of the song goes…

“Teach me to trust in you with all of my heart, to lean not on my own understanding. I just forget, you won’t give me what I can’t bear. Take me out of the dark my Lord, I don’t wanna be there…”ย 

I heard this song before, but that very moment, I felt as if God was talking to me and inviting me to trust Him. I needed someone to trust so badly with my life because I admittedly couldn’t trust anyone.

The song spoke so deeply in my heart. It was like telling God exactly how I felt inside. So desperate. So hopeless.

That very moment, when I didn’t even know how to utter a prayer. I prayed. Then I asked God to teach me to trust in Him and not in myself.

That moment changed my life forever. And everyday I still ask God to teach me to trust in Him in everything that I do. And everyday, He walks with me to a path that leads to an everlasting life. Even when I walk astray, I can still feel His hands pulling me back to Himself.

So, if you’re struggling to trust anyone, trust God. He knows your past, your present and even your future. He knows everything and He loves you!

(Here’s the video of the song, ‘Take me Out of the Dark’ sang by Gary Valenciano.)

Day 11: Breaking Free

Day 11: Breaking Free

Over the course of time, I realised how much I held on to the kind of life I lived in the past. Even after my dad had passed away, I was still chasing him to love me and see me. I was still trying to seek his approval; trying to make him feel proud of me (as if he were somewhere looking down on me, watching my every move); trying to find qualities from men like my dad had – hoping that somehow, if I did find those qualities, I might hear those precious words, “I love you” – words my own father never uttered to me even while he was still alive. So, that for me, as a father was his ‘unfinished’ business to his daughter.

Since I have known the Lord and spent more time with Him – understanding and experiencing His love and goodness – I realised that I do not need to work hard for him to love me. I realised because He created me, He knows me – my strengths and even my weaknesses. His thoughts towards me are precious. He’s always after what is best for me. And the more I contemplate on this, the more it became easier for me to let go of relationships that are never going to be good for me.

What happened in my past and in my family didn’t necessarily have to happen to me and my own (future) family as well. Since God wants to restore me and give me a future and a hope, He wants to replace my mourning into dancing; my weeping into singing of songs of joy. My God loves me with an everlasting love. I don’t have to win it because it is free. My God wants me to forget the former things and not to dwell in the past, but look forward to a bright future because He’s already there.

For so many years I have lived in fear that I might end up like my mother who lost her husband early on in their marriage or if not, that I might find a husband (out of desperation), who would only give me unbearable heartaches. So, I lifted up all my fears and worries to the Lord and made a conscious decision that I will live in freedom for the rest of my life.

So when it comes with my relationships especially with men, I make a decision that…

– I never ever want to live an empty life. Therefore, I will choose a man who is living a full life with the Lord.

– I never ever want to be a widow at an early stage of my marriage. Therefore, I will choose a man who looks after not just his spiritual being but also his own health.

– I never ever want to be apart from my husband and raise my kids alone. (My mom literally raised us by herself as my dad was always away.) Therefore, I choose a man who values not only providing for his family but more than ever his time with them.

– I never ever want to have to deal with extra marital affairs. Therefore, I will choose a man who fears the Lord above all and honors the sanctity of marriage.

– I never ever want to have to deal with a drunken husband (my dad died from liver cancer caused by excessive drinking of alcohol). Therefore, I will choose a man who chooses to be filled with Holy Spirit and exemplifies it in his life.

I am declaring freedom from these bondages and surrender these areas to the Lord because I’m breaking free from the kind of life that the enemy has always been trying to offer me. I am not going to compromise. I am not even going to consider it. I’m simply breaking free and I’m going to walk into the Promised Land.

My God is making a way in the desert. He is turning my parched land into a land flowing with milk and honey. I am walking into wholeness and in truth – to the life free from confusion, pain or brokenness. So I am releasing my dreams to the Master Orchestrator.

I am shouting out freedom! Jesus is my Lord! I am overthrowing away old mindset and replacing them with the mind of Christ.

He will rebuild my walls back again and embellish them with precious gems – rubies, diamonds and sapphires and it will shine like a glorious dawn.

He will plant my vineyards that it may bear fruits – fruits that will last forever!

He will make me bloom like a flower in springtime that I will be so beautiful – all nations will see and be amazed at what God has done! And I will hear them say, “What an amazing God you have!”

Day 10: Write about Writingย 

I wasn’t able to write for the past two days. I know I was supposed to write everyday. The whole purpose of this exercise is to discipline myself to get into the habit of well, writing of course! Unfortunately, just like going to the gym where you kinda start off feeling giddy and excited about the whole task, then all of a sudden, once you have started doing it in a regular basis and it becomes more and more difficult, you think like, “why am I doing this to myself? Why did I even start this in the first place?”

I just didn’t realize breaking that lazy bones and building that ‘muscles’ to write was going to be this hard. So yesterday and the day before, I spent most of my days running around here and there and during the night when I should actually be writing, I was just staring at the ceiling, then later on I start fiddling with my ipad and then the next thing I knew I was caught up scrolling down by what I consider to be the biggest distraction in my life nowadays… Facebook! I know, right? In fact I wonder how easy and focused life would have been if facebook has never ever been invented!

It’s funny how I could write loads and loads of stuff from serious to just silly comments to my friends’ posts but find it so challenging to think of what to write for my next My 500 words post! Oh how I hated myself! I could pull my brains out and still nothing would come out of it. What a waste of time! If I could only turn back time…

Anyway, I guess that is the biggest challenge with writing – distraction! Once you’re distracted it’s so hard to get back into the focus. So, I’m not blaming facebook or any of my social media, which goes to say that if you’re seriously planning on writing something, get away from any social media lest you be enticed and swept away by its charm.

It’s a lesson learned and now, I need to plan better and keep my eyes on the goal and not on the task in front of me. It’s funny that when I couldn’t think of any writing prompt, the prompt I got today was to write about, take a guess? Writing!

I’d try not to get so serious in the coming days and just simply write what is in my thoughts for that moment. Then perhaps, share with you what has happened to me on that day or lessons I have learned in the past that might somehow be of value to you. I don’t know if any of these things might be of interest to you, but trust me, it’s not easy to break a bad habit, i.e. Laziness. Anyway, hopefully by the end of this challenge that bad habit is gone and replaced by good and better ones.

Until next time, I will try to entertain you with some interesting stuff (not like today when I am mostly making excuses for not writing!)

See you soon!

Day 8: Today, I have become your Father


โ€œThe king proclaims the LORDโ€™s decree: โ€œThe LORD said to me, โ€˜You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.โ€ โ€ญโ€ญPsalmsโ€ฌ โ€ญ2:7-8โ€ฌ โ€ญNLTโ€ฌโ€ฌ (http://bible.com/116/psa.2.7-8.nlt)ย 

Dear God,

Thank you for this word today. I have had so many realizations recently. Thank you Holy Spirit for sending them to me. I have forgotten what it was like to have a Father who truly knows and understands me. I have been so independent most of my life. I have gotten used to not asking anyone for help that hearing these words actually sounds so new to me.

I have become so distant from you that I have subtly stopped spending time with you until I got to a point that I no longer spend time with you nor pray nor believe in you. And yet, you didn’t stop reaching out to me even in my darkest days. Even at that point when I was willing to give you up for something I thought was going to make me happy. Yet, you saw my heart and you stopped me from making a terrible mistake. So, You rescued me and redeemed me through your Son, Jesus. I almost lost You, but You did not lose me. You held my hand so tightly and didn’t let go of me.

Thank you Jesus for loving me so much, for coming down from heaven to earth to find me. Because of your love, I can freely come before the throne of God. And now, He has even become my Father. What an honour to call the God of this universe, my Father. In spite of me, running away from you and in spite of everything I have squandered even after I have already surrendered my life to you a long time ago. Still, you want to be my Father. That was way more than enough for me! I couldn’t ask for anything more. I wasn’t even going to. All I ever wanted was to be right with you and have peace.

Now, with these words that you give me this morning, you even want me to ask you anything! To give the nations as my inheritance and the whole earth my possessions? I am overwhelmed! Such great love and I don’t deserve!

Father, who am I that you are mindful me? Even when you know I ca never love you back the same way and yet you chose to adopt me in your Kingdom – to call me your princess, your beloved, your precious daughter. Oh Father, I guess I will never completely understand you. ย Why do you love me this much? I don’t get it at times. Why are you crazy about me? Why do you have to do all these things for me? But I am humbled and eternally grateful because your love is my home.

I love you!

Your daughter,

Pia

Day 7: The Pursuit to be Pursued๏ปฟ

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Every woman longs to be pursued by her man – not that she enjoys being chased. But I believe it is because thereโ€™s just a part in her somewhere deep down her innermost soul wanting to know that her heart is precious and above all else valued. A woman desires to know that it is not only her physical beauty that is desired by a man, but more than ever that she is worth everything to him โ€“ regardless of her ethnicity, intelligence or economic background. Everything!

This is probably one of the biggest void in my heart that God had to deal with me. Frankly speaking โ€“ and Iโ€™d be very vulnerable in saying this, that I have yet to experience this from any man I had met in my life. It is something that is as rare as a diamond โ€“ a character that is established from his love for the Lord; a strength that cannot be shaken; and a perseverance that is willing to move heaven and earth to find his woman and fight for her.

At times, it makes me sad, wondering if perhaps, what I desire only happens in movies; that perhaps this type of men do not exist anymore. Maybe not in this generation. It is disheartening when you see some men (and Iโ€™m not saying all) that due to this worldโ€™s massive advertising on anything โ€˜instantโ€™ and promoting of gender equality that roles have been switched. Men no longer want to pursue a woman, instead they just stand and wait. If not, they simply opt for someone who is within their arms reach.

And Iโ€™d like to think that I am mistaken. I really do.

Iโ€™d like to believe that the man I long been waiting for is still out there โ€“ making himself ready to meet me. Iโ€™d like to believe that he is setting himself apart from the world; that he considers himself a cut above the rest; and that he also desires to be with a beauty who is worthy of his strength โ€“ that is a strength coming from the heart which is the most attractive attribute he can have. It comes from within. It is where his faith dwells, his soul rests and his love grows.

For years, I long to be pursued. In my longing, I have tried to pursue in order to be pursued. But I only ended up broken and wounded. I learned I was not designed to be the one pursuing in the first place. So instead, I have learned the secret of being content. Content in who I am, where I am and what I have.

God has placed that void in my heart for a purpose. And that is for me to seek Him in my life. I have learned that even if this man-of-strength exists and comes pursuing me, a part of me would still not be satisfied. Because this void is a God-sized void that none in this world can ever fill. So, I choose to remain in His presence โ€“ the only pursuit Iโ€™d ever want to pursue in my life.