To All The Boys I have Loved Before

“What are you doing here in the student lounge?” One mother asked while tending to her two young boys from school… “college classes will start on…” I stopped her even before she completely believes that I am indeed a college student… – “oh I am in my forties, am about to turn 50 few years from now” I told her. Then we started to talk about her boys and my adopted teen age daughter. “She’s my eldest niece from my youngest sister” I continued. But deep inside I was laughing my heart out, another victim who can’t guess my age!

Tomorrow is the last day of our church wide prayer and fasting. It’s my first time to join and have actually filed for a vacation leave from work just for this. By Monday, the long vacay is over, from Christmas holidays to this extended holiday. I have to tap my shoulder for a straight week of “yoga prayer” practice every morning. Also bible reading straight through the week. All I have to do is get used to this morning productive routines and I am all set for the days and weeks of work ahead. So what have I fasted from? I go back to the first question. What is that One thing I need to put first in my life? I am a person of habits (maybe all of us are?) and admittedly, I am prone to addictions. For a week I did not, with all that I am, I did not browse anything or anyone about Kevin on the internet. I also stayed away from blackberry work for the meantime to avoid mood swings from demanding and unreasonable colleagues. All I have to do now is map out my life mission statement and what are the “atomic habits” I need to adapt in order to get there.

I am glad to hear Pastor Peter talked about Martha and Mary last Sunday. Indeed it’s the Holy Spirit Who inspires us, it is what I needed most in times when you feel you do not belong with every body else out there, including the ones you chose to love rejects you or not accept you. God is indeed the designer of families. I thank God for my immediate family, my brother and sister who accompanied me all through the seasons of my life. When they were with me here in my condominium unit with their spouses and children, they had no idea what I was going through with my extended lifestyle from the Palawan Islands. They had no idea how broken I was for going through the chaotic emotional turmoil with Kevin. To make matters worst, this misunderstanding is not up close and personal but all happened on social media. Yet I do not understand, how have I become so affected by the action of one person whom I never been with physically nor emotionally. Perhaps I go back to the confession I had with the ladies in the discipleship group – I never really asked God’s grace before I invested my emotions with this man.

“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭10:41-42‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As we go through difficult times, we may not always understand what God is doing, but we will grow in strength and faith as we patiently endure.

– The Life Recovery Bible, Mary & Martha profile Luke 10:38-41

We may get so busy doing things in the recovery process – even good things – that we forget to spend time with Jesus.

– The Life Recovery Bible, Lessons Learned from the lives of Mary & Martha, Luke 10:38-41

There is a difference between being spiritually committed to recovery and being pre – occupied with recovery. This story about Mary and Martha illustrates that difference. Martha was so busy doing for others that she had no time or energy left for simply being with Jesus. In all her doing, Martha even became irritated at Mary for not being equally busy. Mary, on the other hand, took time out to listen to Jesus. Recovery must be a recovery from the heart, not just a recovery where we act compulsively to look the part.

– The Life Recovery Bible, Luke 10:38-42, commentary

All along I wanted to be Mary, the one who chose the right and good thing that will never be taken away from her. But God reminded me, Mary is also different from me. Just as Martha and Mary are different, Martha was industrious (or perhaps the extrovert personality because she was a busy buddy entertaining and preparing for every one at the dinner table). Mary was the contemplative one, introvert, a listener. I know this isn’t right, but it’s easy to assume that Mary was lazy and Martha does all the work. Or is this a good example why experts say that laziness is a sign of intelligence. I really don’t know. But one thing I know is God looks at the heart. When I left Kevin on social media, I was so busy with office work and the “glorious hope” recovery program – but to be brutally honest, I never really asked Jesus, one for intimacy, second for the right and good thing to do. I just left Kevin hanging, so when I tried to come back to him, who am I to question and who am I to be surprised he’s a totally new person. Kevin was no longer the man I fell in love with.

“Our first ministry is our family…” Pastor Danny Urquiqo shared one prayer night from CCF main building through livestream You Tube video I am watching from home. I have babied this pain for too long, I have to admit and learn from my quiet time today, I was not fully committed to spiritual recovery. I was pre – occupied with recovery. I was so focused on my own pain and how to get rid of it. Not minding other relationships I have with Kevin, my other two ex boyfriends, my two other close female friends and most importantly my own family. I have focused on what I can get, instead of what I can give, instead of what I can contribute. When I let go of Kevin, even my chances of getting married in the future, I thought I was the one who made the sacrifice or did an act of kindness – for so I thought. Now I learned for my own self when Pastor Peter defined love. To love imperfect people and seek their highest good. When I let go of the boys I have loved before, I called them boys for two of them are half my age. I let go because I know this is the right thing to do. I do not want to steal their youth and their own respective chances to marry the wife of their youth. To have children and family that I may not be able to give to them. It is painful yes, but I don’t want to waste my pain. If I will be broken, I want to be broken before God. I still do not know what the future holds, but I had been dwelling in this pain for too long. It’s about time to break camp and move on, just in the days when the Israelites were in the wilderness of the dessert. God was faithful to guide them with the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night. I have to move with the clouds. I have to keep going forward. I know I am not alone, God designed my family. My own family and my church family. My work at the office is also my extended family. The thing with family is, it is not perfect, but I am reminded that my first calling, my first ministry is my family. If I were to serve, I have to serve my family first. Be it at home, at work or with other love ones such as friends or perhaps in the future a better half. That for me is the One, my revelation. The One thing that matters most from the One Who cares for me no matter how impatient, no matter how stubborn and imperfect I am.

This is not a setting sun but a rising full moon, the first for the year 2020 if I am not mistaken. As the sun sets at the other side of the building, I was sitting down in marvelous view of the rising full moon in all it’s glory from the east. I was by the pool side when I finished this blog, God indeed have His own extravagant ways to amazed us. Who am I? I am just a dot, a speck in the vast universe, yet God loved and cared for us. Every time I see spectacular creation like this, I am just but in awe that indeed God pursues us, God have His ways to make us His children smile and say in the midst of our busyness and toil – yes Lord you got my attention and in You I have found my joy no one on earth can fill.

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