I am having a hard time writing an article suited for Love Season. Sharing you this video that left me in tears, instead.
Especially when you keep on doing same thing for the past years and your ever wanted opportunity suddenly knocks on your door, you tend to get shattered and confused. I was like this for the past days or weeks since I saw that two-layered coupon bond job opening announcement at the school where I’m taking my graduate school.
I tried to weigh options within myself first. But things were not clear, confusions clattered in my mind instead. There were couple of reasons in my head, like 7 opposing reasons, one reason favoring one option versus the other. I can’t say that hey, self…you need to make a choice. Come on!
So, I decided to ask couple of trusted friends and mentors. I have learned that among all the people you have asked and answers you have received, some opinions most likely weigh more than the other because it’s either they gave a delightful answer or the person matters to you that their opinion matters much! Am I making sense here?
One thing that reminds me during the process of consultation is Solomon. Solomon must have lots of wisdom to ask wisdom from the Lord. Redundant, I know. But it seriously makes sense that he asked an understanding mind not for his own glory BUT to make him a LEADER capable of LEADING the already GREAT people.
1 Kings 3:5-12 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.
Do you personally believe that you are already a GREAT one? I believe I am even I may have fallen short sometimes if not most of the time. My discipler is GREAT in leading me, when she speaks especially on my career consultation. Also, I think I have one of the best team leaders at work now because he keeps balance. And I have great and wise friends too, they opinion always help me on deciding things.
But while their opinion counts, still my decision will reign at the end of the line! And while, I admire my mentors and leaders wisdom, I sincerely ask God for wisdom to lead me on the wisest decision.
I have decision today. And I’ll write about love one of these days (makikiseason naman!) 🙂
1 Thessalonians 4:6-7, “No one should take advantage of or exploit other believers that way. The Lord is the one who punishes people for all these things. We’ve already told you and warned you about this. God didn’t call us to be sexually immoral but to be holy.”
After a full week of battle on work, studies, and value101, I chose to attend the Sunday Service. And the songs and words struck my heart. Boom! (I’m sounding like the church people here! Hahaha!)
Rereading the Isaiah 49 gave me a rekindling feeling to the Lord.
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Calling! God has placed a calling in our hearts, on the depth of our soul is a calling. Never doubt God that you are called just to be born and die (sabi nga, isang marka ka lang sa census ng Pilipinas)! We all have a calling – never doubt that. We are far better people called by God to unleashed our potentials. He has a plan for us better than our plans for ourselves. So it follows that no heartaches, rejection, past, and fear can hinder that calling. May paglalagyan ka!
15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are ever before me.
17 Your children hasten back,
and those who laid you waste depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your children gather and come to you.
As surely as I live,” declares the LORD,
“you will wear them all as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride.
But we cannot achieve this through our own strength. Some may have struggled a lot, insisting on the so-called-calling and fighting for it. Some are dreaming and struggling to climb the ladder of the so-called-strength but are just exhausted along the process. For us to achieve this calling:
1. We need an encounter with God.
How could we then realize that we have God’s calling if we didn’t encounter Him first? For every encounter with God, there is a revelation.
2. We need discipleship.
A higher authority. Someone who will guide us, will take risk on us, guide us on reaching our potentials, or trim down the unnecessary baggage in our lives (that most of the time prevent us on reaching our calling).
Calling is a destination! Malungkot ka kung namumuhay ka ngayon sa alam mong hindi ka tinawag. Bloom where you are planted.
Everytime, I hear this song (especially on my tough times), I easily break down to tears. A familiar song to almost everyone…
We can ask ourselves right now, Who am I?
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
Vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours
Tinatago ka ba, or Nagtatago ka? Baka pangit ka? – Ben Dinglas.
Let us not hide ourselves from Lord’s Show Business. We are destined for a great calling!
It was my year 2011.
I could have written wonderful stories and entries on my one year book of life but I found pages wasted on stories of despair, heartaches, frustrations, and mediocrity. I was a wanderer in the mountain – trying to walk on the chosen and best path but tend to be distracted by other ‘wonderful’ sites. So, I was a wanderer taking a longer path. The distraction is sometimes nice, beautiful, pleasurable, but painful. Painful are bearable, yes. But when you are hurt, too much hurt, it becomes unbearable.
So here are some share able thoughts I have from my 2011.
- School and Full time Work at the Same Time is Hard. Praise God for the Graduate School, finally enrolled myself this school year! But graduate school and full-time work are equivalently hard. Don’t take the challenge if you don’t have the passion or calling.
- Mediocre mind results to mediocre performance. I had ‘revenge’ on my 2010 work’s performance. So, I set my mind to have a mediocre outputs. True enough – I got my expected rating by the end of the year.
- That I can climb a mountain. Had many affairs with the mountain this year – Mt. Pulag, Mt. Pico de Loro, Mt. Makiling. Oh, only three. Hahaha. But I had many camping after those mountains. And I super love camping. Mountains give me the feeling of being close to God’s loveliest creation. The simplicity of life when you don’t have all the easy pleasures of life. The laughter despite the struggle of climbing a mountain. The companions on reaching the same goal. Perfect!
- That beaches are good. But I couldn’t appreciate it at its fullest because of my inability to swim. So, I still prefer the idea of…sipping a hot coffee, sitting at the patch of grass, and just enjoying the scenery at the top of the mountain. But you can also do that on a front beach. Hahaha. But.
- That traveling is meaningless without great companions. I had my best travel because of companions who have the same interest, trips, game-na-game attitude, matipid…and the list goes on.
- I lost best of friends – for some unimaginable and unknown reason. They just walked out of my (best) friend zone. And they never came back. Different interest or change of heart?
- New friends are delicate, a treasure in the making.
- Family is a treasure. This is one of the challenging years for our family but we still dream and hope together despite the arguments and misunderstandings.
- Love shouldn’t be complicated.
- On every action, there is equal consequence.
- That I fail God lots of times but always come back to Him…asking for His grace and unconditional love.
But this year, I’m hopeful. Too hopeful for beautiful pages.
*That at some point you have to let go and it would be all worth it*
MANILA, Philippines — Neil Ronard Que saw a beautiful vision on a plane ride bound for Manila. While he was buckling his seatbelt, a few seats away, he saw her – a pretty Chinita girl wearing a purple Winnie the Pooh shirt. She was busy looking for her designated seat on the plane and trying to stow her luggage in the overhead bin.
Amidst the chaos inside the aircraft, with all the passengers trying to cram their way to their seats and trying to find a place for their bags, he only had his eyes on her beautiful face. He was so focused that he was so oblivious to the chaos around him.
But Neil didn’t have the guts to approach her and introduce himself. He could only admire her from afar, try to have a glimpse of her through the gaps between the seats.
One hour later, he went looking for her at the conveyor. Then he saw was her, pushing the cart where her luggage was neatly arranged and walking towards the exit.
It was certainly a lost chance. He was full of regrets for not having the courage to speak to her, or just to get her name. He knew it was a missed opportunity because he would never see her again. For what were the odds that he would meet her in this big city, filled with millions of people?
With a heavy heart, Neil picked up his luggage and headed to the waiting car that would drop him to the dormitory, his home for the next four years. He would be taking his tertiary education at the Ateneo de Manila University. He had just graduated from one of the prestigious high schools in Zamboanga City, and he decided to venture out and try his luck in the big city.
He went straight to his room and tried to sleep through his disappointment.
The following day, he went to the freshmen orientation at the university while still trying to shake off the overcast shadows looming over him. While trying to squeeze himself in the front row, he glanced up and… there she was. Standing a few feet away from him was the girl in the purple shirt on the plane.
Maybe it was fate, or God’s intervention, but heaven was on to something. Neil approached the girl and introduced himself. Her name was Melissa Tipoe.
But it wasn’t a start of a beautiful love story just yet, well, not for Melissa anyway. She didn’t like him and found him too arrogant. “Kapag nag-uusap kami, it was all about him and his experiences. So ‘di ko siya masyadong pinapansin,” shares Melissa.
She was trying to avoid him. But by a twist of fate, they ended up in one class. Although they had different courses, (Neil was taking up management economics while Melissa studied legal management), they both had a minor in marketing.
The good thing about being in the same class was that Melissa got to know Neil beyond the “I, Me, and Myself” stories he was sharing. Several conversations later, they discovered their unusual connection. They both grew up in Zamboanga City, but their paths never crossed. Melissa’s mother later told them that they were actually classmates in nursery, but they were too young to remember.
They studied in different schools and have different circles of friends. She was the Math Wizard in the school-based competitions in the province, while he would often join the Physics events. He joined the basketball league and competed with her school, but she wasn’t into sports.
Neil’s parents had rented one of the apartments owned by Melissa’s grandparents. And still, they didn’t meet each other back then. It was quite ironic that they met thousands of miles away from their small hometown in a big city where millions of people live.
Soon, romance blossomed. They went through college together as a couple. They were each other’s confidante for the next eight years, long after they had graduated and had established their own careers.
But some time in 2008, they came to a point in their lives when they didn’t know where to go and what to do with their relationship. “Eight years of getting to know each other is just too long. I felt like we were just dragging on. Aside from marketing and our Christian faith (both attend Victory Church), we didn’t have that much in common,” shares Neil.
Being a serious Christian, Neil asked for guidance from his pastor who told him that they had two options: to step up with their faith and get married or to shake hands and part ways. After much deliberation, Neil knew that it was time to part. “I wanted to fight for it, give it another try in a different aspect. Neil was adamant to end things,” says Melissa.
That time, Neil was in Palawan for work. After he got back, they decided to end their relationship. “Although it was painful, I did understand why things had to end. God has a purpose,” shares Melissa.
After a month, Neil realized that he wanted Melissa back in his life, but Melissa didn’t want him anymore. “I tried my best to win her back. She didn’t even want to see me. I asked her if she’s at peace, and she said yes. That’s when I conceded,” says Neil.
Months later, while they were attending church, Neil saw how Melissa had grown and transformed into a much better person and realized that Melissa was really The One.
“For the eight years that we were together, I saw many potentials but I was so limiting then. After a year of separation, I would see her in the church, and she was so blooming. I saw how she had matured. I noticed how she became so responsible with the way she handled the family and the responsibilities. I realized that I was the one limiting Melissa to reach her full potential. She couldn’t do what she wanted to do and accomplish things with her abilities because I was her cap,” says Neil.
From then on, Neil set his heart on marrying Melissa. “Every morning, every day for the next two years after we broke up, I would ask the Lord to give Melissa to me. The more I courted her, the more she was pushing me away. So, I told the Lord, ‘I’ll go after you. You told me that if I give my heart to you, you’ll give me everything. If I go after you, please give your daughter to me. I would pray, ‘Lord, I love Melissa. Please give her back to me,” every single day,” shares Neil.
In December of 2010, Neil wanted to surprise her. He brought her to a lunch buffet located in a hotel. All throughout the lunch, Neil had a hard time swallowing the food. He was even breaking into a sweat. From time to time, his phone would beep. She found it bastos.
But little did she know that all the texts he was receiving were words of encouragement from different people who were privy to his plan. That time, Neil meant to propose to her, despite the fact that they weren’t a couple anymore.
Then, it was time. Neil brought the ring out and told Melissa: “God called me to embark on a journey. Would you join me?”
Surprised, Melissa answered: “Thank you. But please, give me time to think about it.
January came. The church where they were part of has a tradition where everyone has to fast and contemplate about their life and faith. During that fasting time, Melissa had a dream. In that dream, God spoke to her about what her response would be to Neil’s proposal. After the fasting, Melissa said yes. They were married on July 16, 2011, at the Marriott Hotel. Today, they are busy with establishing their business, Jinbei Auto, in Cagayan de Oro where they decided to raise their future children.
ON THEIR RELATIONSHIP
He said: I realized that I don’t want someone who resembles me. It would be a boring life. Someone who complements me is all I need. Melissa complements me. All this time, I wanted her to think like me, act like me and be like me. But that’s not someone I want to marry. If I didn’t marry her, I wouldn’t know what I would do now, or where I would be. In marriage, you have to throw away the Hollywood notion of romance. Marriage is a partnership. Once, you work around that and put partnership into good use, you’ll have so much joy that romance simply can’t give.
She said: When we got married, Neil told me that he couldn’t offer me a luxurious life. I told him that I didn’t care. It would be nice to build our lives together. All the sacrifices we will do and the challenges we will overcome, they will all enrich our bond. Going through the ups and downs together will make our relationship much stronger, our lives more meaningful.
ON DISAGREEMENT AND MISUNDERSTANDING
He said: Enjoy the fights. It would make any couple stronger. But fight with respect. Hold your thoughts captive. If you let all the bad and disrespectful words, they would tumble down and snowball into something big and irreparable.
She said: We are always reminded that we have to work together and fight the battles together, not each other. Your partner is not your enemy.
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