Re-directions and Re-routes

Yes, you’re reading it right. I don’t know what your struggles are but I know that it will pass. It shall pass.

For the past 6 years of my life, it wasn’t the way I planned it to be. Way back high school right before I graduate, I really wanted to pursue a communication degree far from what I have accomplished. I was into writing; i’m a grammar nazi. I take my English subjects to the extremes (it’s the only subject that i got my 1.00s, hahaha!). However, i drifted from that dream because of practicality reasons and they say, it won’t take me anywhere.

I sent my applications to different universities trying to fit to what people around me thought I will be in the future. I applied for BS Medical Laboratory Science and BS Biochemistry, both from the Faculty of Pharmacy of University of Santo Tomas. I passed almost ready for enrollment. Unfortunately, my parents were scared enough as I am a probinsyana; reasons like I might get pregnant or I might not finish my degree because of n,n,n,n reasons. 

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I’m happy that I still have a photo of my application form (saw it while browsing for photos to share, hehe!) 

Going back, I pursued Pharmacy instead and took it from one of the prestigious universities in Central Luzon, Angeles University Foundation. Yeah obviously, it’s my comfort zone because my parents don’t want to risk chances because I’m their eldest.

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I earned friends and engaged myself to different activities which I passionately enjoy. The photo above was taken when I was in 1st year college during our Inter-Collegiate Choral Competition; and yes, we’re the Champion! Rawr! Hahaha!

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But things have to change, my parents decided that I’ll continue my degree in Manila since opportunities are much available when you’re a U-belt student.

It wasn’t the way I expect it again. I was overwhelmed by how people hustle and bustle. It’s like everyday is chaos. It was far from the peaceful community I was into; where you can easily buy your lunch at the side gate; where ate Nelia’s porkchop is enough to satisfy your appetite.

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Fast forward to the years, I struggled obtaining what my parents wanted for me. For at first, I know it wasn’t really my choice. But I don’t blame them on this since I learned a lot of things dealing with the challenges that this decision gave me. This actually molded me into the person I am today. I don’t regret the re-routes, the re-directions. Maybe that’s how it was planned to be. It was bound to happen.

On the 30th, finally, I will be claiming my diploma and it’s the sweetest gift. I know how hard I ventured through a lot of struggles just to come to this point. There were times where all I see are black and gray.

Once, it happened. Due to the arising mental health stigma, I am more than happy to share that I went through the same phase of other people’s lives. Yes, it wasn’t easy.

Just early this year, I was suicidal. I did it. Actually, I thought it will be the end. My parents gave up. They don’t want to sustain me anymore. But knowing thyself, I thought the only answer is to end it all.

I know some of you won’t believe of divine intervention but it happened to me. God sent people for me to be redirected. My focus from dark and gray became light and happiness. I pursued my degree for the very last time; without knowing where to get my funds for my tuition fee.

I persisted and God never gave up fighting with me. I never felt alone while I’m in this journey. It went really smooth. Prelim, midterm and finals… I thought I won’t be able to make it because I felt strained answering my final exam in my board review subject.

But after a few days. God executed his greatness. I passed! Ready to graduate and march my way to PICC. It was really the best feeling.

To anyone who’s battling against the pressure and discouraging thoughts, I tell you… It will pass. You won’t stay there forever. If you felt demoralized because of harsh words from anyone, forget it. Use those as weapons for you to succeed and cling into God’s promise.

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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11

For the last semester, it’s the only reminder I set to be on my mind every day I wake up. Everytime I really wanted to quit, God constantly reminded me of His promise.

Whoever you are reading this blog, shrug those doubts off your mind. Start believing that you can, even if others say that it’s too late.

Think of why you’ve started. Think of why you’re here. It’s for a reason. Keep that in mind. We all have our own timeline. Trust your timing.

Come on, you can do it. We can do it.

Yours truly,

Cristina 🙂

 

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Four-Cornered Structure Found in a Living Organism

You are my home. 

Throughout all of the searching and wandering, I have came to that opportunity of knowing who you are despite the distance. And by far, you have always made me feel safe in your arms.

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Even if you don’t appreciate those little details about yourself, I want you to know that you are amazing in your own ways.

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Always remember this, you own the radiant smile that I have always loved. Please don’t let circumstances or anyone steal that away from you. 🙂

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One thing that I love about you even more is your compassion towards children. You know that it is my dream to have my own too… and I want to fulfill that dream with you.

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As we venture the road towards our dreams, my love, please don’t get tired. I have mentioned above that my dream is to be with you. By now, we still have to endure with the distance. Remember that you still have my heart even if we struggle every single day dealing with this 6,000-mile-barrier between us. It’s challenging but I know that it’s worth it. Love, I know that you’re sad today. But please as you read this post, please smile for me because as I’ve mentioned, do not let circumstances steal that perfect smile. 

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Remember that I’m always here for you and I will wait for you. I love you, Paul. And that’s the only constant that I know.

You are my home.

What the F!

This entire article is my devotional dated June 19, 2017.

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. – Hebrews 11:1

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Last weekend, we did our VG and meet ups to update each one what had happened throughout the week. As for my sharing, my VG leader imparted this verse from the book of Hebrews and I was amazed by how God uses his people to be able to help others from drowning in grief. I am astonished as how the Lord addressed my immature faith. I am happy to hear from my VG mates what faith is for them and for the bible. It is to walk on water just as how Jesus tested Simon Peter’s faith.

Confidence in God’s Plans = Faith 

As the struggles last week slowly consumed me, the anxiety I had vanished after my VG sessions. I am blessed to be with women who are accountable of my spiritual growth as a Christian. Realizing that having a 100% faith in the Lord makes you do what seem to be impossible for you. I dropped my job offer because the start date will make me compromise a lot of things…even the little time I have with the Lord. 

So I know that God knows what we necessarily need. We need to trust his ways and be confident for He knows even the tiny details of our existence.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you what path to take. – Proverbs 3:5,6

Me being worried as to how to sustain myself. But I know that God works in silence; I know He will provide. I am stepping out in faith. I am still praying what to do with all of the questions I have in mind. However I know eventually, he will provide answers to these queries I have. I am thankful still for the people he gave me. They are the real people who are willing to help me balance my needs in every aspect.

For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. –  Hebrews 11:40

The assurance that we have from the Lord makes us believe that he has something better in store for us. It is a promise as we lay our 100% faith in Him.

Although I took down the job offer, I may lose the ability to earn for myself. But God opened brand new avenues for me:

  • To finish my degree this year
  • More time for devotionals
  • Time for VG
  • Time to allot for discipleship
  • Time for my friends (social life)
  • Time for my Paul Conrad
  • Time for ministry at the Church
    • Currently, I will have my auditions for the music ministry on the 15th! Yahoo!

Truly, God knows what’s best for us. Thank you, Father! 🙂

His Precious Stone

This article contains excerpts from the book of Proverbs 31:10-31. 

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Who can find a woman of worth? Far beyond jewels is her value. -Proverbs 31:10

The world sets standards about how to be on point always as a woman. But being too attached to the world’s standards, you tend to forget your worth in the eyes of our Lord. Why? You know what these standards are, right? True enough, it may uplift your self-esteem and promote something good for your earthly body. But these standards can poison you slowly. Insecurity, self-pity, endless comparison of oneself to others… The attention, approval of the world requires you to strip your inner soul wherein God should reside there. The place exclusive for God and Holy Spirit alone will be invaded by evil desires.

Far beyond jewels? 

Always remember that you should value your worth as a woman and as a human being because you were bought with a price. The Lord Jesus Christ redeemed our sinful entities from the pits of the enemy through the cross. So if you think you are cheap or useless, think again.

She girds herself with strength; she exerts her arms with vigor.

Being a woman of worth requires us to be braced against anything. We should fear nothing but the Lord where our strength should come from. The world will attack the set of standards we have for ourselves. You should not compromise your standards just because someone offers easy affection. Sometimes, we get carried away with the things that people lay on our table. That’s normal, by the way. But being a woman of God, we always ask the Lord our God if it’s coming from him or if it’s his will; is this the perfect time? With that, the Lord will offer a protection for us against the evil schemes. Before anything else, this entails us to fear and trust Him fully. This requires us to view things in a bigger perspective for God’s will sometimes is unfathomable in human’s view. He is boundless; we aren’t. 

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and laughs at the days to come.

As mentioned above, the world will attack the set of standards we have for ourselves. With that, being clothe with strength and dignity gives us the barrier against the persuasion of the outside environment. It only means that a Godly woman is strong. As someone who belongs to the millennial generation, I admit that it’s a struggle to see women slowly degrading their standards. The effect of social media is really overwhelming…saturating in the visual sense. But being protected with Christ’s love and security, it enables us to bring that resiliency straightforward.

Being a woman of God also makes us anticipate the future with joy and free from anxiety. For it has been said, the love of God drives out all fear. Therefore, it makes us anticipate His plans. We take things lightly for everything we do is offered and surrendered upon the Lord Jesus Christ even the worries.

Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.

 

The Provider

After being inactive for a month, here I am again! I will be sharing one of my devotionals this June. Since July is fast approaching, it’s a great opportunity to share something from this month.    

Yes, I felt the demands of school already! In which I know is a good thing to feel after being idle for months. Through God’s grace, I will victoriously take my #PICCmoment with the ones I treasure the most – my family. Hopefully. I am trusting God’s plans for me. 

As of the moment, I still struggle with a lot of things. But my confidence is in Him. I always glance through my favorite verses from Hebrews and Proverbs about 100% (not 50/50 or 70/30%) faith. Complete surrender is what makes my struggles easier and lighter to carry. 

I have already found my answers for this devotional that’s why I ‘m confident enough to share it and let others undergoing the same circumstance comprehend what’s important and how to stay still despite the storm.

So here’s my devotional dated June 8 this year. 

 “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” – Psalm 54:4

After this eventful day, yes it’s a long day of contemplating, this again came before my eyes. As of the moment, I am asking for an ample amount of wisdom for me to be able to understand His will for me. I have been repeating this numerous times: I want to understand His plans for me; to understand and to know my next move and what shall I imbue in my mind as of the moment. I am twisted between work vs. school. I know that I should prioritize the latter. But how can I sustain my finances with such an overwhelming amount demanded by the latter? Those are the things I consider. I don’t want to jump into things that I am uncertain. 

“The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.” – Psalm 145:13

This verse gave me re-assurance that He will handle all of my worries. 

He is faithful to his promises. For sure, he only desires the best for me (and for you also). He loves us so much that’s why he is creating ways for you not to go astray from Him. 

But the problem is in me…

Yes, I claim to have fully accepted Jesus Christ in my life. But there are areas where in I haven’t fully surrendered; the thoughts of the evil still bothers me reverting me to my former self… and myself alone. 

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1, ESV

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” – Proverbs 3:5, ESV 

After realizing my problem, I stepped out in faith and let my burden rest upon His hands. I still went to school even though the financial part is vague. I trust the Lord that he will provide. And just an update, yess! It happened. It all happened out of faith. As of the moment, I have a few to deposit to manage my tuition fee balance this semester and get through it eventually.       

One thing is for sure: I won’t waste any of these opportunities given by my heavenly father. I will make it count. It is to excel not only academically but as well as the long term role I will have for the society. It is for me to be a responsible and compassionate pharmacist this generation needs. An empathetic pharmacist; sensitive enough to feel the needs of his people. 
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”

My only hope left is surrendered to the Lord. Nothing’s left except his unfinished works for me. I don’t want to stumble again on things I know I can’t handle alone. I am trusting His plans. Lord, thy will be done. 

Overall…

“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10        

Pending Works

I have written several reflections that I want to share to everyone here. But my mind’s bombarding me with alot of thoughts to scribble lately so I am pre-occupied with alot of things.

Soon enough before this season starts, I will transcribe everything so that I might be able to inspire my fellow Christians to do discipleship by writing.

Here are some of what I’m talking about:

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And my favorite…

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Looking forward to share these thoughts and more from my Journal with you all!

Have a nice day! Yep, i’m an owl. Maybe my melatonin is chasing adrenaline as of the moment; i’m so hyper!

Ciaoo!

First Love Never Dies

As the rain continues to pour at the roof’s surface, the sound it makes is a music to my ears. I’m a self-confessed pluviophile. It’s a total relief for me as the sound serenade my inner hormones to think… Or just sleep.

But this time, it gave me a transcending urge of emotions while reminiscing my first love. Isn’t it when you remember your “firsts” you will feel nostalgic like you just want to go back to that scene again and tell your crush that he’s cute. Well, in my case, it’s not someone but something. It helped me vent out my ideas and somehow comforted me through the loneliness of my childhood years ~ writing. 

When I was young, I used to have a notebook with me. I always write anything under the sun. My first accomplishment was when I was able to write a poem about rainbows at the age of 7 or 8. It was written in a half-crosswise paper. Today, it is nowhere to be found. It is just a part of a memory. How I wish I could return to that time of my life so I could have preserved that part of my childhood. But nah, the millieu of my writing dream still resonates in my head. Never will I forget that rainbow…

My love for scribbling thoughts out of my head evolved. My audience were now living and breathing organisms. Imagine how I developed my self-esteem to deliver my mind’s eye from paper to people?

I participated to different speech and writing contests. I did impromptu and declamation speeches which helped me shrug off the stage fright that people would normally feel infront of the crowd. Not only that, I have written numerous articles and editorials for the school organ and competed for the Divisions’ Press Conference. My first love persisted to stay with me not until I set my foot in college. Everything totally shifted because of busy schedules and impalpable demands of it. I gave up my first love to give way to my future career.

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Some would ask why I didn’t pursue any communication degree?

The answer will just swirl around practicality issues. I won’t have to elaborate this part because it hurts me still partly.

Now as I sit and diffuse my thoughts in a spring notebook as the gloomy light from the outside environment permeates through the window, I can’t help but ponder that… first love never dies.