Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘leading’

Pressured To Marry

She’s nice. She’s cheeky. She’s bubbly. She’s your typical story-filled housewife who got some good cooking. Until she blurts out. “What a beautiful girl! Does she already have a husband?”

Ok. I’ve encountered this question a hundred times. This time, she was asking my mom while she was eyeing me whose head to toe is donned in my favorite yellow, flowered dress. “No.” My mom replied as a matter-of-factly.

“That can’t be,” she gasped, just like any typical gossip-obsessed housewife. It came with that typical warning that never failed my irate eyebrow rocket towards my hairline, “You’ll grow old a spinster. You should have children.”

With that sympathizing look, she made me look like another human casualty in the evolution of genetics. Fine.

If I would point out my argument in the middle of that dusty, rural street she would never understand. Just like hundreds of married people who have asked me that same question.

I just couldn’t understand why they have to pressure me with that farcical question.

Our Asian culture dictates women to marry at a young age. Women at their thirties are considered too old to marry, more so get a boyfriend (I’m sure I’d be fatally labelled a “leftover woman” in China). As time and culture evolves, women are becoming more empowered, independent and are given more choices to challenge themselves outside the confinement of motherhood.

I am one of those women who have chosen that path.

Of course, that does not mean I don’t want to marry. I would like to fall in love and be loved. I would like to see myself wearing a wedding gown and kiss the man who is destined to be The One. But I am not in a hurry. Why should I marry if I am not in love and no one’s in love with me?

Just like many modern women today, we are given a wide range of choices and paths to take. Be the CEO of a prestigious company. Go into extreme sports and adventure. Explore the Mariana Trench. Manage fifty lucrative businesses. Achieve the Air Force with flying colors. Claim the Miss Universe crown. Win a presidential race. Save the world.

This is the viewpoint of women (and even men) who live and work in the metropolis. But not those who live in the rural life.

I would honestly never forget my chagrin when a member of the Badjao community had told me I should get married so I can have kids who would bury me when I die. Girls as young as 13 are marriageable to this group of people while 18-year old ladies are considered a spinster among them. I could not believe the limited perspective these people have nurtured throughout generations. 

This line of thinking is almost similar to the people living in my community. Partly rural and partly urbanized, most residents living here are below middle-income earners. Some were not finished in schooling. Basically, their choices are limited, as well as their resources. This leads them to the pattern of living-eating-marrying-working-have kids-die.

Ok, it does not mean one dies immediately after giving birth. But my point is most of them believe this is the same pattern everyone should go through. And every women should marry in the age history had dictated on man.

Or maybe, the age that our ancestors have dictated on man.

“Thirty! You’re too old to get married.” Rolls eyes.

“I’m married at 18 but I’m happy.” That’s your happiness, not mine.

“Would you like me to recommend somebody?” Shows me a picture. Throws up in the trash bin.

“You should marrying –” Shhhhh!! I don’t have a boyfriend! You mean I’d marry my toenail?!?!

I have sighed endless of times at those sickening questions. Gentle warning, some would say. But for me it’s the gripping reality on how limited a cultural perspective could be. 

I am not in a hurry to get married. I don’t worry about not having children. Too many marriages are broken because they have served their own selfish urges or followed the dictation of society without testing it through wind and fire. Marriage comes with careful consideration, prayer, commitment, and refinement. 

No one could ever understand when one is different among them. A single lady living among married contemporaries is as odd as the house of the Mad Hatter standing among the same tattered houses. Society dictates us to go through the same path they have gone through. They call it normal. I call it boring.

One’s destiny should not be dictated by the majority who knows no other way out of the box. Our age and status is not the basis of our purpose in life. Man’s judgement is not the fulfillment of things. No one has the right to taint the purity of our choices as only we ourselves can understand why we have chosen this path that’s different from them. Only God knows the best for us and society can never grasp that for our sake.

Awaiting A Life Mission

It’s been late of when I started to pray for my lifetime prayer partner. Like a blossoming teenager, I’m excited to fall in love, have a man to care for, and someone to share my life with. I wondered how it would be (and how I’d look like).

But there are days that I can’t help think if I’m really meant to have a lifetime partner. I contend with what I see to what I’m asking in faith.

When I shared my frustration to a friend months ago, he only said, “Ask God first what’s your assignment…”

What am I really meant to do? I was even more awakened when my mom —the woman who’s been praying for me to have a lifetime partner — told me, “Seek for His will first. Set aside your desire.”

No pressure. Just wait. Enjoy the coming thirties.

Then, I realized that to get married is to be a good steward of a Godly family.

I don’t desire to have children, yet. Actually, I can’t buy the idea of having my own family. Besides, having children means to have the assignment of becoming a good parent — the assignment of passing down a legacy. It would be a time of getting ready to pass by this world, by raising a new generation carrying your calling, wisdom, and anointing.

Many people are telling me to get married before thirty. Seven months to go.

But sometimes, the real mission comes after thirty.

I am in the cocoon stage. I am not quite definite with my assignment on earth. It’s like running after the wind and using your discernment as a compass in the nothingness. Remembering a word given to me that I am a late bloomer, I could see how true it is.

I’ve been given hints. I got short term plans. I have ambitions. But none of them are concrete yet.

Perhaps, my real assignment will come at the age every twenteener feared. And outcomes will not go as expected.

I know that God got a plan that I’d be surprised. If I just follow Him, it would be better than any adventure or any love story in the world. 🙂

Silent Wildfire

I am a wildfire
Filled with passion
Burning with intensity
Receiving heaven’s flame
Fire never quenched
Rising from the ashes
Keep me in a basket
I’ll burn with rage
Lock me in a cage
I’ll wreck it with bare hands
I cannot stay silent
To watch justice crumble
Morality deteriorating
Truth dying
And the road twisted
Let me go as I am stirred
Let me run as I am ready

I am a wildfire
Let me shout a war cry
That destroys the destroyer
And burns the deceit of the deceiver
Let my passion
Burn the blindfolds of the slaves
And the bridges that bring them to death
I cannot stop
To keep this wildfire in me
For I will pass this
To the thirsty for justice

The Test of Love In A Speeding Taxi

It started from a promotion. It was followed by a debate.

It became a night of testing to our hearts.

As the taxi sped in the streets of EDSA, my friend Heidy was challenged when the taxi driver questioned our pastor’s principles. He questioned the idea of the unity of the trinity, yet he claims he believes in the Trinity of God.

Maan and I were then giggling at the back gushing on the play we watched that night. We then fell silent when the man began to discuss his distrust with various leaders of the church from different religions because of their “faultiness”.

The man, who questioned church leaders by saying that they should be judged, gave us a series of verses from the Bible. He did got them quite accurately except for a few. I was checking my YouVersion app in my phone.

But he insisted that everyone should be “judged” and the “judgement” “inside the church” is different from the kind of judgement to “those outside the church“. It was like saying that those who are “inside” their church are the ones to be saved. He is knowledgeable that Jesus died for our sin and claimed that he gave his life to God. But I don’t see any enlightenment as he insisted on the “judgement” given differently from those “inside” their church to the “outside”, summing up that to be “inside” their church is the way to be saved.

But he kept on saying “I am the way, the truth, and the life”. Maan asked him pointblank who said these words. He knew it was Jesus, but then still pointed again on the judgement of those inside and outside.

It was a tense moment in that taxi. I felt our journey was endless as I looked at the window to see where we were. Our hearts were challenged in speaking the truth to this taxi driver.

But most of all, it was challenge to our character.

One girl questioned him after another. We explained that Jesus died for us because of His love for us. And so, if we follow Him, we must love others as He did (and still does). But his argument always go back to the point of giving “judgement”. At some points, especially on the “love” portion, he would stop, but still try to bring up the “judgement” part.

Yes, there is judgement, but only the Lord has the right to judge rightly. The taxi driver was barely looking at himself as he points out that everyone should be judged. He obviously memorized some verses in the Word, but sadly, he has no revelation from the Holy Spirit. He knew them as legally and as contextually as they are.

But let me tell you that the Word and the Spirit go together. To memorize the Bible without the truth and wisdom of the Holy Spirit is futile. The Bible is one way to commune with the Father and the Son through His Spirit, not to be used for debates.

The discussion ended when we alighted at Ortigas. Maan was shaking, I was wearied, but Heidy spoke of parting words filled with a blessing.

Then the driver, despite all the religions he “judged”, admitted that he belonged to one religion that he did not mention in his earlier “judging”.

I contemplated on this as my bus sped the dark streets of EDSA. Then I realized that that moment was not only to challenge the taxi driver. It was a challenge for the three of us. I was blessed when Heidy told me later though a social website, “Praise God for His wisdom and gentle spirit…” Without it, we might have become a reason for the man to look more at the faults of his fellow man than the Lord Himself. What if I’ve shown the driver my rolling eyes through the rear mirror before alighting the car or I’ve banged the door just to show my disagreement to his “principles”. That’s not love. To react without a gentle spirit is pride.

We cannot force our enlightenment to another if we don’t love. Jesus loved unconditionally…and I’m sure He’s telling us to love this taxi driver even if we have parted ways. We three could have debated with him severely, but God is not calling us to force our principles into others. It is the Lord who will give the enlightenment. It is for us to be the light of the world by reacting righteously with unconditional love. We will always be challenged, but it is a testing on how to react with humility and love. When we do, this is a testimony of God’s love to the world and a way for His glory to be seen to those who had not known Him yet.

I was tempted to say to my friends, “This is the end of him, that taxi driver.” But, no! In such a way I was condemning him. I laid down myself to the Lord. “Oh, God, forgive me”, I whispered in the bus. I had been in the dark before. Who am I to completely condemn those in the dark?

So, how should we love? We already did our part that night, I believe. But I believe it made us see how these people need to be prayed for. Perhaps, it’s time that we get on our knees again and pray, not only for this man, but for those who have not seen the Lord Himself. Truth is, we can only do so much…but it is the Lord who will make the way if we seek His face, pray, and ask Him to intervene and touch every lives that we have encountered. 🙂

And indeed…I have been tested again. More tests to come. I pray, that I and my friends will just submit to the Lord at such moments. We are never perfect yet, let us love…and through this love may more see Your love to them, Lord…

Destiny Seeker

There are really such times that I am tired with my own world. I’m tired with some of the people around me. I’m tired of the demands asked of me. I’m tired of living under a purpose not my own. I’m tired of the mundane routines that cause me to drag my feet to work. I’m tired of waiting for the great destiny set aside for me. But then, I would think again…perhaps, I am just too excited to see the prophecies foretold come into material in the wrong time.

When I was in grade school, I believed I had to achieve everything before I become 30 years old. I should be famous, I should have a book published, and I should be a well-achieved woman by then. Going beyond that age would mean I would have no more chances of becoming well-known at least once in my life – nor my name being etched in history.

But things get different as I aged. And yet, the Lord had shown me in different ways how He wanted me to be in His time. No, it’s not getting famous. Actually, I think these roles are downright unacknowledged in society at all. So, I kept all these things in my prophecy shelf. But because of my personality as a sanguine, I tried to wait though. However, I couldn’t connect the dots on how these things will happen in my lifetime. God had foreseen it and was already there before me. It’s just up to me to continue running and struggling to get there. It’s up to me to push harder the mountains that try to hinder me from getting there.

And yes, these mountains brought along little bugs that tell me to give up. Give up where I am now and take a dangerous short-cut to my destiny. But, oh Lord, do not let me listen to them. I must admit, I’m ready with my resignation letter. I’m in this road called lost. But, I’m also seeking the Lord. I really want to know His heart and where He wants me to be at this point of time. Should I jump the cliff or stay on the edge for the moment? I have to know…

I will never forget how the Lord spoke through a friend last time that I am shaken first to be a voice to the shaken. All these shakings made me hurt and offended. Oh, man, if I can just be emotionless just like Little Wonder or be your everyday hero just like Wonderwoman. But God is not looking for heroes or robots. He’s looking for real-life flesh and blood who will be filled by His Spirit during those upcoming great and terrible times. Can I fast forward my tape to that point in eternity? Nope. I have to go through the normal playing mode and see how His story in me will go.

The question is not: to go or not to go? But it should be to hear or not to hear. I’m ready to burst, really. But I’m also ready to listen. Which way should I go? I’m ready to take that step…to that path that I should take towards that destiny He has set for me.

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