“Babalik Ka Rin!”

Ang pag-ibig, yung tunay na pag-ibig, sa totoo lang, ay hindi talaga madali. Habang mas lumalalim, ito’y mas susubukin.

Noong una ko Siyang makilala, wala akong reaksyon. Malamang hindi ko pa kasi lubusang maintindihan kung ano ba talaga ang pag-ibig.

Tumagal ng ilang taon ang aming ligawan. May panahong malamig ako sa Kanya, mayroon din namang nagliliyab ang nararamdaman ko sa aming relasyon.

Pero sa tuwing ako’y nanlalamig, lagi kong pinangungunahan ang sa palagay kong Kanyang iniisip: “babalik ka rin!”

Pero kahit sa mga panahong iyon, ni minsan, hindi Niya ako pinilit. Ako’y hinayaan Niyang mamili ng klase ng pag-ibig na sa palagay kong nararapat para sa’kin.

At sa tuwing ako’y mabibigo, ako’y magbabalik. Pero aalis muli.

Ganu’n pa man, hindi Niya ako iniwan. Alam kong masakit sa Kanya na parang binalewala ko Siya, pero nagpapasalamat ako na ganu’n Niya ako kamahal at kahit kailan, hindi Siya bumitaw.

Bago pa man tumuloy ang kwento ng huling pagkabigo ko, narinig ko na ang Kanyang bulong,

“Babalik ka rin!”

Naisip ko, bakit ba Niya lagi sinasabi yun?

Hanggang sa isang araw, nauntog ako at tuluyan kong natuklasan kung bakit.

Totoo ngang ang unang pag-ibig ay hindi namamatay. Bagkus, ito’y mas nagbibigay buhay!

Kaya kahit ilang beses akong umalis, ako’y patuloy na bumalik, bumabalik, at babalik.

“Babalik ka rin!”

‘Yan ang sinabi Niya nung una palang.

At oo nga, bumalik ako sa Kanya — sa una kong Pag-ibig; sa unang Nagmahal sa’kin.

Palagay ko ikaw rin.

“Babalik ka rin!”

“Tayo’y nagsisiibig, sapagka’t Siya’y unang umibig sa atin.”
-1 Juan 4:19

To the Brokenhearted This Holy Week

Heartbreak comes in many forms. But whatever form it is, it’s definitely no walk in the park. It’s always like having a dagger in your heart, or falling into thin air knowing there’s no safety net to catch you, or simply turning your mind into a broken record that keeps on rewinding and playing past events you couldn’t change.

I can say all that because I’ve had my fair share of different kinds of heartbreak. From a very serious one like the death of my parents, to an immature one like my then long-term unrequited love for a college best friend (for six years! even after graduation! natatawa nalang ako ngayon! haha), to a neutral one like being laid off from a job (God gave me my dream workplace in exchange, by the way!), and of course, to a very fresh one, which is my recent breakup from a four-year relationship.

But you see, heartbreak may not be something we welcome warmly in our lives, but it’s inevitable. The fact that you’re experiencing heartbreak simply means you’re alive! And breathing! And still have the capacity to make your heart whole again and give love, love, and love!

So no, don’t fear heartbreak. Don’t even try to escape it because as long as you’re living, you won’t be able to. You just have to learn how to deal with it properly.

And how do you deal with it properly? By simply thinking that it’s part of life and if others have survived it before, so can you! And to me, the best role model I can think of who knows heartbreak like nobody does is Jesus Christ.

When you lose a loved one to death, He knows. Even He cried when Lazarus died.

“Jesus wept.” -John 11:35

When you’re angry and don’t know how to deal with it, know that it’s okay to feel it. Sometimes, even react based on it (we’re just human!). However, just be ready for the consequences and lessons that come after it. As long as you’re not doing anything illegal, that’s okay. Do whatever you need to do to release your pain. He knows. And He understands.

“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” -Mark 3:5

When you remember someone who used to declare their love for you then eventually rejected you, He knows. That’s what Peter did to Him (three times!) before the rooster crowed, remember?

“Peter replied, ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will disown Me three times.’ And he went outside and wept bitterly.” -Luke 22:60-62

When you feel like your heart is being torn into pieces, He knows. His pain wasn’t even just emotional, it was physical, too! Crown with thorns, crucifixion, etc. Need I say more?

“Then Pilate took Jesus and had Him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They clothed Him in a purple robe and went up to Him again and again, saying, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ And they slapped Him in the face.” -John 19:1-3

When you feel like you’ve been wronged and nobody understands you, He knows.

“Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ And they divided up His clothes by casting lots.” -Luke 23:24

When you feel like you have all the right to question God for feeling like He abandoned you, He knows.

“About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ (which means ‘My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?’).” -Matthew 27:46

When you know that everything happens for a reason, including that heartbreak, and the best thing you can do is just surrender it to God, He knows.

“Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit My spirit.’ When He had said this, He breathed His last.” -Luke 23:46

(Not that you’re going to literally breathe your last when you surrender to God, but it will pave the way for you to experience unexplainable strength and peace, which is only possible through His grace. And yes, maybe your old self would “die,” but a new and improved you would be reborn!)

So yes, if you’re heartbroken — whatever kind of heartbreak that is — this Holy Week, look up to Jesus. Offer your pain to Him even. And if there’s one thing we can all learn from His story, it’s that it always ends in a happy ending. From darkness, light always follows — He’s light Himself. In fact, there’s no ending with Him, just eternal life. So if you lean on Him during this painful time instead of dealing with that pain through unhealthy means (rebounding, drinking alcohol, etc.), you can be assured that only good — even great — things will come out of that life experience! You won’t just be able to simply let go and move on, you’ll even heal. So yes, don’t settle for anything less — especially not during heartbreak.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28

Have a blessed Holy Week, beloved!

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son,
that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

-John 3:16

A Letter from God

Dear Mika,

I know you have a lot of questions why the breakup happened. I know that you’re even asking why did I even give him to you and you to him for four years, only to say that it’s time to let go and move on. I know that you also can’t seem to remove in your mind how he’s able to “move on” that easily, and yet you, you’re taking longer than what others expect. And that’s what I want you to know. You don’t need to think or even care about what others are thinking of you, especially him. You are unique, and I’ve created you differently. I’m telling you that you can take all the time you need, heal at your own pace and don’t compare, and trust that I’ll be with you every step of the way. You can do it! You already are doing it! And if there are days that there are still unanswered questions in your mind and you suddenly don’t feel okay again, know that that’s okay, too. True healing is gradual, not overnight. Just continue to look at Me, I’m all you need. So hold on, you’re almost there. We’re almost there. I can’t wait for you to know and see what I have in store for you! I promise that all those tears you cried will be replaced with genuine laughter and smiles! I love you! And I will never leave you. But you already know that. Smile, Mika! 🙂

God

Last weekend, I attended another retreat, and this letter was one of the “fruits” of that. After writing and sharing this, I felt a whole lot better. I decided to share this here, too, in order for others who are going through the same thing to somehow know that they’re not alone. That they, too, can do it! If it takes a letter and more to somehow ease that pain you’re feeling, go. Do it! They say, all’s fair in love and war. I say, walang pakialamanan sa sakit na nararamdaman! Haha! But yeah, feel the pain. Acknowledge it and what have you. Just know that you’re not alone — not just because others are experiencing it, too, but because God is always with you. And then slowly, one piece at a time, you’ll feel that your broken heart is starting to be whole again… just like mine. So yes, SMILE, BELOVED! 😀

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
-Psalm 147:3