Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘relationship’

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.

Dwelling In His House

“One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.”

Psalm 27:4
I was ironing my clothes when I had the fun of memorizing the first six verses of Psalm 27. I couldn’t help but go back at verse 4 over and over again, as this has become the favorite of many of us who are in love with Jesus.
Here’s one thing I realized while meditating on this verse. While this cry from the psalmist’s heart has become our heartfelt prayer, too, the Lord has already answered it through His Word, too.
1 Corinthians 3:16 reminds us, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” God’s has given His promise of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling to those who have given their lives to Christ. As we stand as the temple of His Spirit, we have access to His glory and His beauty which we can gaze all the rest of our lives. We don’t have to look for His presence from some distant place as He Himself is already living within our hearts.
I have been praying Psalm 27:4 but was surprised to know that God has already answered it. But this doesn’t mean I have to disregard it. Instead, I have to ask for an increase of awareness and of desire to walk with His closely, I can hear the sweet rhythm of His heartbeat.

The Wanderer and the Haunted

A poem for the waiting (while this correspondent was waiting for news the day before yesterday):

I silence the vision of you
So as not to daydream
In the pavement filled with dust
And rocks that lead to reality
No matter how I try to catch you
You run away, run away
Urging me to run after
Even if the chase has no price
Yet, let me ask one question
As I tread this pointless road
Would you still haunt me
Or should I ever see you again?

 

Love Off the Virtual Space

‎”Do you already have a boyfriend?”
I know there is nothing wrong with this question but it irritates me at most times. It’s OK to ask it if you’re really curious and we’re familiar with each other.
Rather, it’s being asked by not-so-close people…and they’re boys.
For me, it implies something, especially through social media. It’s an off question. And it find it as a really strange question.
Asking other single lady friends, it seems that most of them encounter boys who ask (and even court) on social media. That question is an introduction. The biggest turn-off is when they ask you if you this next question:
“Can you be my girlfriend?”
Girlfriend? Do we know each other that well? Are you sure we’re meant to be? And why ask through social media and not personally.
Why should I entrust my heart through someone who proposes through virtual space? How sure am I he’s true on his word?
The Internet can be used as a mask to hide one’s fears while pretending to be brave enough. Rather, I’d appreciate those who take time and courage to tell his feelings personally.
You can say I’m a very idealistic woman. Let me just say that I don’t have time to flirt. I pursue real love through commitment.
For me, a sign of a committed man would really pray about his relationship and would not try to pry on single ladies through social media.
Love is not a betting game. Which lady bites the bit is his. That is the game of most men today. But this is not true love.
True love goes hand-in-hand with commitment and sacrifice.
To go into a relationship requires these two elements, as each one has to give up something from themselves for the sake of their partner.
As I’ve heard in a testimony of a couple on TV, “Love is not only a feeling. Love is a commitment.”
Indeed, it is not a fleeting moment, just like a shoutout or a status on FB or Twitter.
And I can’t afford to take time on fleeting moments.

My Love Story On the Way! <3

“How do you know you’re in love?” I asked an officemate while walking home.

“Well,” he said, “it has different takes on different people. Some may feel happy when you simply see or talk to the person you like…it varies…”

I only smiled. To be in love must be a crucial thing.

I’m happy for my friends who get into relationships. But there are times I’m tempted to be jealous. I used to hate to see lovers walking hand in hand in malls because they looked so corny. But now, I hated it because I’d secretly wish I’m like them, too.

For those who do not know, I never had a boyfriend since birth.

I’ve had crushes, of course. But the feeling of infatuation can be confused with love. I get attracted, but to handle one’s heart is another thing.

A lot of boys (and even men) would express how pretty I am, but are not really that serious. Because nobody had ever expressed (yet!) how serious one can be, I’d sometimes wonder what’s wrong with me.

Such is the longing to be loved. Perhaps, it would be heavenly to know that someone is excited to see me at the end of the day and share how he feels for me and holds my heart gently at the same time.

Deep inside of me, I swear that I will love this person with all my heart and take care of his heart, too.

Let me be a woman that he will honor, the flesh of his flesh and the bone of his bones.

May he become my strong right hand, my knight in shining armor who would not turn back when the dragon’s fire strike.

His desire be only be for me and my love be only be his.

I wonder…just wonder…how will this love change me as it would change him, too.

I’m so excited, but when I find I’m not yet at this stage, I feel desperate. Perhaps, just perhaps, he has not found me yet.

And I might not have heard of him yet.

Perhaps, he’s praying the same prayer as I do. And we’re just on the way to the intersection.

Perhaps, our hearts have not been unveiled before one another.

As my friend puts it, “You will never expect when to fall in love.” It’s amazing when lovers cherish their love, but what’s more amazing is how they cherish each other.

These people waited (though they are younger than me), prayed, and sought for God’s heart and their beloved’s heart.

They did not go for the sake of passion but pursued at God’s go signal.

They can balance their life’s aspect while handling a relationship. They know which one is worth and not. They may be different from their boyfriends or girlfriends and yet accept each other no matter how different they are.

This I saw it from my friends, and perhaps their season has come for me to see how the Lord blesses such relationships borne in purity and true love.

And He is writing my greatest romance testimony. I just can’t wait to see how it will go. 🙂

Burning the Paper Walls

How long must you long for me
The mist of your eyes
The apparition in your inspiration
The dream of your heart?
Must I keep running away
Or must you stay in seclusion?

My name is deeply etched in your heart
Yet your lips are chained with fear and doubt
With a blindfold you do not want to dare
Walk on the bridge that you thought was burned

Frail are the paper walls between us
With one passionate touch they burn down
Let go of your heart to clearly see your vision
Or I must forever be a silhouette left in your ambition

Nearing the End of the Long Wait!

I don’t know what causes me to write romantic poems these days. Maybe it’s this little song of longing kept in my soft, feminine heart leaking out after twenty-eight years of unusually not getting into a relationship.

I once thought I am tough enough to go without a man in my life. Well, I soon realized that need for that “man who will lavish me with love”.

I am proud of being an NBSB girl (“No-Boyfriend-Since-Birth). I was raised with the culture of school-home-school-friends-home turned into office-home-sleep-office-office-field-office-sleep! 🙂 I tried not to care with my nonchalant routine.

Though I’d go with friends during my idle moments, I never thought I’d begin to long for the “man after God’s own heart”.

Only a few months, I began to pray, very specifically, the one made for me. It surprised me though, because it has never been in a prayer list for years.

Like a teenager, I’m excited to be in a relationship. However, I’m concerned on how I’d handle it.

Am I ready? I believe I am. But is he ready? I’m sure that the Lord will have us bump into each other when His season is right and we’re prepared to face a new world together. Therefore, I’ll wait. And like a wonderful treasure hidden in the deep for thousands of years, I shall emerge with glory the moment my beloved finds me. ❤

Pain Beneath the Shadows

Must I forever lay silent
Among the same-shadowed faces?
Must I keep to myself the pain
When your eyes pierce through the shadowed throng?

From the sea I saved you
For second chance to live
Out of the darkness I pulled you
For another chance to love

Yet you pull back into the shadows
Telling me it’s not worth it all
The love I offered you freely
You sold for a empty cup of cherry

Fools roam around my existence
Forcing me to give up all
For a thousand deaths, I am ready to die
Until you take me once and for all

Why Am I Single (and Enjoying Every Minute Of It)?

“How old are you, Rhema?” A question I’ve always been asked in this time of my life.

To which I’d grin and reply, “I wish I can say I’m seventeen…”

Then I’d pause and watch them react with laughter, “C’mon,” they’d say, “how really old are you?”

With a sigh, I’d reply after my sheepish wince, “Well, I’m actually almost twenty-eight.”

Wide eyes and gasps follow, “Then, you should get married!”

I’m not greatly offended with such replies. It just bothers me how this society have stuck to the idea of getting married before thirty — some of them seemingly threatening me by reminding that my biological clock is running out of season.

By the way, I belong to the NBSB club — No Boyfriend Since Birth.

One might ask me, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend — not even once yet in your life?” When I give them my answer, most wouldn’t understand it. I’m not your conventional woman. To get into a relationship is a crucial matter…and every decision affects one’s destiny greatly.

Marriage is such a crucial matter that it does not only affect one’s inner circle but every aspect that you have known and lived from the beginning of life. To meet the one made for me and the one whom I am made for is not easy. It requires discernment. It requires confirmation. How should I know? The heart is deceitful. Yet when it surrender to the Lord and it is soaked in prayer, the Lord will reveal it…and I’m not sure how because I still don’t know. Having a boyfriend/fiance is a step towards marriage, so as for the moment, let me enjoy this gift of singleness.

I believe this is not yet my season of marriage. Age should not define the most crucial decisions in life. I have crushes, yes I do…but the Lord is teaching me that I am not worth for the second best. I am a highly emotional being. Attraction is a natural thing for me as anybody has. But I have to be careful so as not to have a broken heart and a broken life.

I believe that we are all meant for a special someone — well, not unless one has the gift of single blessedness. I do believe in match made in heaven — no, it should be the match made by the Father in heaven. For my bros and sis, let me remind you of almost every Christian youth’s fave verse, Jeremiah 29:11, “‘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.'” From the beginning of time, the Lord has written down our life story, from the moment we were conceived up to the moment our time on this earth is up (Jeremiah 1:5). Including that is our “love story”. From the start, He only wants the best for us which only He knows. The one we are created for is one of His best for us.

In fact, this singleness is something that I should enjoy. Don’t you smell freedom, my fellow single friends? 😀 This is the time to explore people and friends. This is the time when dates are purely friendly dates and we can have all the time to ourselves. This is the time we seek our destiny like treasure hunting. Like a little kid, I’d always ask the Lord what He really wants for me and what He wants me to be. He lets me discover so much of myself, my friends, the world, and most importantly His heart. By this, I would learn and know where should I really go and what’s my mission in this life.

Also, this is the time when the Lord is refining me to the fullest. To get into marriage is to get into greater responsibility. I am not yet prepared for such a responsibility. Not that I reject it, but it is important that I must learn how to handle it well. In marriage, I will share to my future husband every aspect of my life as he will do the same for me. To our future children, we’ll both will have to share and give so much of ourselves to see them grow well. It requires a character that is after God’s own heart — the character of a good parent who wishes to give the best to their children. I would need the character of Jesus — a partner who will not be self-centered and who will love unconditionally. But in order to be like the Lord, I have to die to myself. And as I can see myself, I have so much to die from myself yet.

And by the way, it hasn’t been revealed to me if I’m meant for someone or if I’m meant to be single forever. Haha! The beauty of single-blessedness. If so, that means the Lord has plans for my life in which marriage will not fit in. Now, this reality scares my mom off as any parent would sure do. Most of our parents think that being married makes us well-off for the rest of our lives. When I asked her what if I have the gift of single-blessedness, she couldn’t answer me. But one thing’s for sure: it is the Lord who will sustain me and take care of me. His love will surely satisfy and strengthen me forever and a day. ❤

For a number of times, I’ve almost fallen victim to fatal attraction. But my Great Dad knows how to protect His Lovely Little Princess 🙂 In fact, He always remind me that the love of the Bridegroom Prince — that is Jesus — is faithful, pure, satisfying and forever. Now, what can I ask for? Yet, I’m sure you can relate with my distresses during waiting periods, as any young person would. But great is the blessing of waiting. Let me, and every single person, enjoy such a season; thus we receive the best that is from our Father in His precious and perfect timing. 😉

The Wiles of the Heart

I was so disappointed with a person I liked. He never considered my considerations. I blamed him for wasting my emotions over his sweet nothings. But there was no agreement, there was nothing really between us. They were all assumptions; I hated myself for almost falling for him. But a friend reminded me: what’s my purpose for wanting to see him? I need to check my heart.

I realized I was selfishly wanting to feed my earthly desire. It was turning out to be a fatal attraction. I did not realize, my Father was protecting me.

I was reminded by my spiritual mother that the heart is deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). The world tells us to follow our hearts, but the Father tells us to follow His heart and His ways. The heart is so deceitful, for it is in our humanistic nature to be born with twisted desires (Matthew 15:18-19). Yet our own passions are so different from His desires for us. And yet His dreams for all of us are for our best, and our most of our passions and our dreams lead to the second best — or nothing at all.

I remembered how imperfect I am. Though I move with His Spirit, there are still so many issues of the heart that need to be addressed. With this, I have to die to myself again.

When I decided to surrender my emotions, I felt that a dark veil was removed from my eyes. My perspective changed. My heart renewed. I believe a part of His heart was poured into mine.

He made me see that my destiny is not as this world planned for me. This world just wanted me to take all, without asking the Father about it. It’s like being a rebel in a free world. But He reminded me that His plans for me are above that I dreams for myself. He loves surprises, I know. And I wondered how His dreams for me will be in His time. He’s teaching me to wait and to abide in Him as I do. When I do, there’s an ever greater blessing…and a big, pleasant surprise for me.

But in waiting, there’s pain. Pain because I’m tempted to be impatient. Pain because my flesh is battling with my renewed spirit.

And so I received revelation what my prayer means: Romans 5:3-5…”let me rejoice in my sufferings, so that it would produce in my endurance, then character, and then hope that will never put me to shame because of the love of the Father that has been poured into my heart through the Holy Spirit.” Such is the given Word for this season since last year.

To rejoice in my sufferings, I have to worship. There is real joy when I delight in the presence of my God. When His presence envelops me, these sufferings are nothing compared to His peace and steadfast love.

I remembered that it is a mandate, and a destiny, to bring His love and His kingdom down into this earth when I earnestly seek Him and call out to Him. In abundance, in trials and pain, His love and glory is above all…and we should rejoice in this truth.

So, what was I disappointed on? Oh, I almost forgot. The joy of leaning on His bosom and hearing His heartbeat filled with love just washed away the pain I had.

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