Prodigal

Posted: July 8, 2017 in Poems
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Wanderer
I used to stand tall and mighty
Defiant as a sturdy tree
Against all odds and cares
Against all currents out there.
 
And I was confident–
A puppet proud of its motions,
A clay proud of how it’s molded–
I thought I was strong on my own.
 
And I left, like ship without rudder I left,
Wandered too far from the sun
And then wondered why it’s too dark
I left, and now I just have no strength left.
 
I used to think I’m well equipped
To win my battles and wars
But instead of holding gold trophies
I’m here full of wounds and scars
 
Because I left, like ship without rudder I left,
Wandered too far from the sun
And then wondered why it’s too dark
I left, and now I just have no strength left.
 
And I left, wanting to prove myself strong I left.
But now please take me back to the fold
Bring me back to my life, my joy, my home
I left, but now let me return to the joys I’ve left.
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The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. (Psalm 126:3)
I recall my four years of stay in PNU with such fondness and tearful eyes. If every milestone is a framed painting, I would like to believe college is a completed masterpiece, now with added highlights of gold. But the painting isn’t all happy colors. There were hues of purple and gray, of wicked green and pitch black. There were moments of self-doubt, confusion, and plain heartaches. In my limited perspective, there were those I-don’t-get-why-this-should-happen times; the “times that try men’s souls”; the painful times of failures and losing battles and letting go.
My masterpiece wasn’t all gold. But if there’s just one thing I’ve learned in college, it’s that I am being painted by the Best Artist ever, One who doesn’t just want a great work of art but loves the painting very dearly, too. I’ve learned to thank Him for the happy colors, and to trust Him as He paints the darker hues. I’ve learned to entrust my heart to Him, and to wait for Him to gather me back into His arms when He, in the process of teaching, breaks me into pieces.
College taught me to lie still as God turns my dull existence of a canvass into a picture-story worth telling.
College taught me to not be afraid of going out of my comfort zone, so long as God is the one calling out to me.
College taught me that, yes, life will have an abundance of heartbreaks–but all will be beautiful ones with God securing me under His wings.
College made me realize that life paintings will have various shades of painful reds and insecure greens, of confusing grays and sorrowful blacks. And that’s okay, because my life-picture needs all those colors to be my loving Painter’s masterpiece, along with all the silver linings and golden highlights.
And more importantly, college taught me that people come and go, but there are those who are meant to stay–in our hearts, forever. These are the people who matter. These are those souls who hugged yours tight when you weren’t in your best state to be hugged. These people are the strokes in my canvass that made all the difference.
The past four years have been a series of mental, emotional, and spiritual crash courses for me. I learned, I taught,  I laughed and cried, I broke my heart, and again learned a lot in the process. As I look back to see the kind of masterpiece God painted of me, I can only say, “Jesus led me all the way.”
When all thy mercies, O my God, my rising soul surveys, transported with the view, I’m lost in wonder, love, and praise. (Addison, 1712)

You Are His

Posted: March 29, 2017 in Poems
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You are His betrothed.

You are His wedded Bride.

You are His.
He vowed to take you

Where only the perfect dwells.

He promised to keep you forever

And to wipe every tear 

Away from your eyes.

You are His.
You are His promised Bride.

The veil would yet be lifted,

And the morn is yet to come,

But the vow stands sealed.

You are His.
He went away to prepare your place,

But your hope is not misplaced.

For a time He journeys ahead,

But you’ll follow Him soon,

For you are His.

I wrote this piece for my Speech and Stage Arts subject (I crammed it and finished two minutes before I was called up front, but yeah), dedicated to all my younger PNU sibs out there who struggle with all that life–and college–throws at them. This is for you. Remember, we can hear you. ❤

“Love, Light, Hope”

When I entered this university about four years ago, I did so with much hope, and determination. I entered college with the hope of a new start, of a clear record to work with. And there was determination—I was determined to make things right, to not make the same mistakes my high school self did, to make things work this time. I was so sure that I won’t mess up my college days the way I messed up my high school. Turns out I did mess it up. Turns out I failed.

Maybe, just maybe, you are like me. Maybe, you too were so eager to leave behind your traumatic years of being bullied and of failing, and trying harder only to fail again. Maybe you were all too willing to close that one dark chapter in your book and to proceed to a hopefully lighter one—only to find out that the first pages are just as dark as the ones you tried to forget.

Maybe you find it hard looking for the place where you belong, like a puzzle piece whose edges were too rough to fit anywhere, like a piano key that’s a little too low or high for the octave. Maybe you’re like me; trying everything you could to juggle everything that life throws at you—from term papers to terror professors to friendships lost and misunderstood—yet somehow all your efforts are still not enough. If you are, I just wanted to tell you: you will get through the dark clouds of today because you will find love, light, and hope.

I was a sophomore—tired of myself and of my faults—when I have found love, or rather, when love has found me. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get a boyfriend—I still don’t have one. But when I saw love, I saw it in the form of a friend. A friend who lovingly puts up with my heavy silence to listen to the story that comes after. A friend who loves me like a peculiar treasure, and understands me despite my flaws. Love has found me at the right moment. Let love find you too. Remember, I’m willing to listen to you.

I was a sophomore—down and doubting—when I have found light, or rather, when light has found me. It found me not when I went out to meet the morning sunshine in the streets. Rather, light found me in the dark corner of my room looking like a candle—light not too bright, just enough to make me see that someone still cares for me. Someone does care, struggling one. Someone longs to reach out for you. You’re not alone—that’s what the light has told me then. Let me tell you the same. You are not alone. And if the candle whispers aren’t enough to convince you, let’s take this a notch higher—let’s have a coffee session together.

I was a sophomore—depressed and totally giving up—when I have found hope, or rather, when hope has found me. And this is nothing I could ever claim to have accomplished. I was totally fed up with my flaws and incompetence—from reports gone wrong to friendships severed and lost. I decided it would just be a matter of time before I vanish in this story book. But the Writer of my novel thinks otherwise. He let me find hope in my darkest moments—in the form of a loving friend. Sister. In the form of someone who loves and understands. And if you haven’t found it yet, let me be that ray of hope to you. Let me be God’s extending hand to show you that your story is far from being over. That your story is just about to take leaps of plot twists that would turn your dark, stormy clouds of trials and failures to a peaceful rainbow of happiness.

Love, light, and hope have found me. Just at the right time. Just at the exact moment. Let them do the same to you. I am here. And so are the others who care. We can hear you.

This year, the Lord revealed truths about Himself to me—
Not in grand gestures and excessively dramatic style,
Not in the form of a burning bush or a speaking donkey,
Not even in the guise of an angel in a dream.
But He showed Himself to me in the little, everyday things—
in verses daily read, in hymns often sung,
in casual conversations, in trivial tasks—
which I think is even more majestic and astounding.
 
This year, He taught me He knows me inside out
And that He’s the best person to teach me lessons—
Never too hard so I’d inevitably fail,
But also never too easy so I’d get too comfortable.
He taught me to fully let go of my life’s steering wheel
And wait on His every turn with patience and complete trust.
He taught me to never doubt His loving care,
To never question why He puts me in situations,
But simply to ask how to best glorify Him there—
How to best bloom in the garden He has placed me.
 
This year He revealed to me matters of the heart,
Teaching me to love more unconditionally His people,
And let go of things that aren’t meant for me.
This year He taught me that letting go doesn’t always have to be painful,
And that painful breakage can be beautiful too.
Like a vessel breaking and showing up cracks,
Only to reveal golden light inside.
 
Yes, this year, God broke my heart—a lot.
But it all turns out to be a beautiful breakage
And, dare I say it, may He prepare me for more heartbreaks.
Because it was when he broke me that I’ve seen—
I am in need of nothing and no one else but Him.
 
This year I learned to be more honest with the Lord—
With how I feel, what I hope for, what I’m confused about,
Things I want to know from Him and of Him.
My relationship with Him grew so much deeper as He taught me
That I can really and literally talk to Him as I would an esteemed friend.
And isn’t He the best person to be friends with!
 
This year I learned to laugh more heartily—
Not because I have no more cares and concerns,
Not because I can see the solution in every problem,
But because I’ve clearly seen how God is very intimately involved in my daily life—
And with a loving and Almighty God writing your story,
Who needs to fret on the plot development and ending?
 
This year I found myself singing along with Horatio Spafford when he wrote,
“Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Has God spared me from traumatic trials?
It is well with my soul.
Has He kept me from getting things I thought I’ve wanted?
It is well.
Has He told me countless times to let go?
It is well. It is well.
 
Because what He ultimately taught me this year
Is that I may never be enough,
But He always is. Always will be.
And I guess that’s the best lesson of all.
 
And so, yes, I’m now facing a new “turn” in the road.
And I can only smile excitedly as I wait to see,
just right there at the corner, what He has in store for me.
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We’re in the valley of tears.
We’re walking through death’s shadow.
We live a life full of threats and fears.
We’re passing through a dangerous meadow.
 
We’re in this dark vale of tears,
Where there’s toil, hardship, and pain,
Where at times light does not all appear,
Where some days bring none but heavy rain.
 
We’re in the dark, but not for long.
We tremble at night, but dawn is coming.
Light shall come save all of God’s throng
And out of this vale we’ll come victoriously smiling.
 
This is the thought that will bring us through
Jesus our Lord is at the highest station.
This is our life’s most comforting truth–
Christ rules, forever seated on the throne.

Clueless Judgment

Posted: December 19, 2016 in Poems
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They have no idea…
Of how dark my road has been,
Of how dark it still is,
How dark I think it will be.
 
They have no idea…
Of how deserted the road has been for me,
Of how I had to feign strength,
because I had to face the night alone.
 
They have no idea…
Of the sighs, of the hopeless prayers at night.
They know nothing of my reasons for silence,
Nor the excuses for my excessive laughter.
 
They have no idea…
Of how the darkness almost swallowed me up,
Of how I had to steel-proof my heart,
Because I was left to fight alone.