I write because You exist

Michael Faudet and his troll of a one-liner

Nice going, Faudet.

I write because you exist.

Isn’t it embarrassing to admit that the second you finished reading this sentence, you only thought of just one person. And at that very moment, his/her name personified the “you” of this one-liner, and you hated it?

You hated it because you get reminded of why you’d rather write about something and someone more valuable (in every season), but instead, you’re stuck with writing about this very thing or person you’d rather not write about. And you hate it ’cause you can’t help it.

I may or may not have felt the same thing.

Regardless of how much this relates to me, I’d like to establish that this does happen, and may in fact be happening right now among the people you know.

What to do in this situation, then?

First, admit to God what you feel.

If this made you forsake your First Love, acknowledge that for some time, you have allowed yourself to drift away from God. Repent.

Ask God to remind you again of the victory He has made possible because of what He has done.

Then humbly ask why this had to happen.

If you do not get an answer, rest on the fact that God remains sovereign.

Declare that it is possible to be okay again, even though you do not know how long it will take for you to heal.

Believe that God sees your desire to get back up again, for Him to be your First Love again, and He will honor that.

To everyone who has been feeling hopeless with their (lack of) improvement, a huge chunk of this post will attempt to help us how to respond in a way that is hopefully pleasing to the Lover of our soul. Feel free to use it as your template as you write your own version. 🙂

 

Because you exist

I write because you exist.

I write because you made me feel things.

I write because you made me believe in things.
I write because you made me listen to songs I didn’t imagine I’d be listening to. (I think Taylor Swift’s Back to December is our song. Maroon 5’s Just a Feeling became my anthem. It’s impossible for me not to think about you when Spotify teases me with The Script’s Nothing.)

I write because you made me laugh at jokes I find corny.

I write because you made me appreciate the mundane things that I usually take for granted.

I write because you have convinced me that I have a way with choosing the people I share my life with me.

I write because you left me feeling proud that I am involved with you.

But writing about and because of you is too exhausting already.

I’d resort to writing when I see you, but can’t (or choose not to) talk to you.

I’d resort to writing when I remember you and everything that has happened.

I’d resort to writing when I’d learn about how well you were doing (and the fact that I didn’t get to contribute at all to how well you’re doing).

Eventually, I have come to realize that these are all just my selfishness getting the better of me. Because…why does it always have to be anybody’s fault but mine?

Now, I resolve to stop channeling all my efforts into something that will not contribute to being the best version of myself. I am a huge advocate of time and effort spent wisely. But lately, I keep blaming other things and other people for everything crappy that has happened to me. And so I write.

Most especially because of you.

I claim that I write because this, and that.

But in the process, I forget that ultimately, I write because I am.

I write because I am a writer. A writer with the skills to communicate how awesome it has been to be able to have the privilege of knowing Jesus. A writer who has a way with words that relay comfort for the saddest, love for the most unloved, refreshment for the stressed, assurance for the worried. A writer who has been written about, 2000 years ago, by the Greatest Writer Himself.

And the puny writer’s narratives about this Greatest Writer are nothing compared to the Writer’s narratives, both written and unwritten.

And yet the puny writer continues to write about unnecessary things and people. Pity.

 

I write because I am

Recently, I have been putting so much effort into writing about something and someone unnecessary that I forgot why I have been called to write in the first place.

So now, I resolve to write because I am. By God’s sufficient grace, I will write because He has called me to write.

To write about God’s love, despite my being unworthy to be loved.

To write about God’s strength, despite my weaknesses and limitations.

To write about God’s acceptance, despite all the reasons to reject me.

To write about God’s salvation, despite my hopeless situation.

To write about God’s mercy, despite the punishments I should be convicted of.

To write about God’s sovereignty, despite this crazy, wicked world.

To write about God’s redemption, despite how ugly I have become.

To write about who God is, when that’s the last thing I’d want to do.

Here we go.

 

Because You exist

I wrote because I am weak.

I wrote because I get tired easily.

I wrote because my limitations overpower me.

But now, I will write because You are strong and able.

I wrote because I compared myself to others.

I wrote because I can never be like him.

I wrote because I can never be like her.

But now, I will write because You are my security.

I wrote because I’d fall short.

I wrote because I unnecessarily do too much.

I wrote because I’d get frustrated at how long it has been taking me to become functional again.

But now, I will write because You remind me that I am Your work in progress.

I wrote because I tend to harbor unforgiveness.

I wrote because I still nurse the bitterness caused by everything that has happened.

But I have been forgiven much, and I seldom forget that.

So now, by God’s grace, I will write because I have been forgiven much (and those who have been forgiven much, forgive much).

I wrote because I loved and was loved.

I wrote because I eventually got confused about what love means.

I wrote because I felt like I lost a lot because this “love” messed up.

So now, I will write because You are the definition of Love.

I wrote because he said “I love you”.

I wrote because I responded with an “I love you too”.

But our I love you’s have eventually wrecked us both.

So now, I will write because Your “I love you” has always been enough.

I wrote because I have been broken.

I wrote because I broke people.

I wrote because I wanted to get even.

But now, I will write because You heal and You restore.

I have been writing about how I can’t do it, how I have been broken, how I felt unloved, how I got rejected,

My, how foolish of me to forget that You can do it, You restore the broken, You love the unloved, You accept the rejected.

 

Now, I want to write because You exist.

I want to write simply because You exist.

Not because of some other reason.

Not because of some other person.

I want to write because of who You are.

I will write because of who You are.

And who You are is worth writing about.

Just please tell me why

2015: A year of whys

A year of ________.

This practice started last 2014. Since then, I vowed to force (!!!!) myself to blog about how the previous year went and to summarize it with just one word.

In 2014, the word was pride-shattering. So before 2014 ended, I would respond with “pride-shattering” whenever people would ask me about how my 2014 was.

It has already been days since the start of 2016 and now that I think about it, the perfect word that would probably describe 2015 is WHY.

Why. It wasn’t just used a question. I guess all throughout 2015, I wasn’t just asking “Why?”. I have probably used “Why” as a noun, a verb, an adjective, and an adverb. It wasn’t just a question, it became my response to most of the situations in my life in 2015.

Why, why, why

I cannot even count the times that I have responded with the word “Why” in everything that has happened last year, whether in the Philippines, in the world, in the lives of other people, in the lives of the people I know, and even in my own life. For myself at least, this lengthy blog would have been insufficient if I were to list down all my whys in 2015.

Why are You making me do this?

Why on earth did my name appear in the list of accepted applicants in MIS?

Why did You spare my report from my professor’s cruelty? 

Why in the world did that work?

Why do they trust me so much with this?

Why am I even surviving at this job?

Why does it have to be so hard?

Why do they have to live so far from here?

Why is it taking me a long time to move on?

Why are You making us wait?

Why did my heart had to be broken? (and why is it that when hearts break, they don’t break even? ha ha)

Why am I so forgetful (but when it comes to forgetting the things and people that I should be forgetting, my mind decides to engrave the things and people that I will be better off not thinking about?)

Why should I be friends with him?

Why do they have to leave?

Why do I have to pray for him?

Why do You want me to talk to her?

Why can’t she get it?

Why are they so stubborn?

Why doesn’t she understand?

Why do we have to experience this crisis?

Why did I get to have grades this high, grades I sure didn’t deserve?

Why can’t they see the point?

And etc. etc.

The answers to most of these questions have not crossed my mind yet, and there are a number of reasons why.

Some of these are just passing questions that enter my mind and stay there for just mere 10 seconds or so. At best, these are stored in my mind for a day or two, and then will disintegrate in a week, except when I have written them down (which I don’t usually do, but when I do, I usually forget which paper or notebook I used).

Others are questions that, I am aware, are needing much attention that I haven’t been able to provide lately.

Most questions are, honestly, hard to “answer” because I know the answer, but the answer hurts, so I try to stall and convince myself that the answer is not yet known.

Why can’t I see it?

One of my commonly used why’s in 2015, which was carried over to the first few days of 2016 is: Why can’t I see it?

Could also mean, “Where is it?” or “How come it isn’t happening to me?”.

I am talking about the time of prayer and fasting that our church commits to annually. Hopefully, we do not just practice this just so we could twist the arm of God and in doing so, forcing him to do what we want Him to do for us. It’s not even making God feel guilty about the “difficult” effort that we are trying to exert as we deviate from our usual feast. I like how Joseph Bonifacio puts it, that fasting is willfully and joyfully depriving ourselves because of the joy that comes with the increased sensitivity, relationship, and knowledge of God.

People kept talking about breakthroughs, and how God is in the business of revealing Himself to His people through the breakthroughs that He allow to happen. It’s not just material or tangible breakthroughs, because again, more than receiving all these, the ultimate goal really is to have a fresher and deeper understanding of who God is.

Yes, I am believing for my grandma’s salvation and I want to see that happen, but what I want more is to be reminded that this salvation is very much possible, because God is the Savior.

Yes, I am looking forward to overcoming the financial difficulty that were are currently in and I want to see that happen really soon, but more than being able to pay the bills and to buy the things we want and need, what I wanted more is to be reminded that God is a promise-keeping Planner whose plans are not going to harm us.

Yes, I am claiming that the Philippines will one day bow down to Jesus  and I long to see that happen, but what I wanted more is to be reminded that God is the King of kings, Lord of lords, and Ruler of all nations.

But it seemed as if my desire was plunged into the “Why” pool again, since I was asking “Why (can’t I see it)?” again.

At least that was what I thought.

I call into existence things that do not exist

In the years that I have been walking with God, I’ve discovered that sometimes, God has this habit of choosing not to answer my questions outright. I would ask 5, 10, 20 questions, and in all those questions, He would simply provide 1 answer, and that single answer is enough to blow me away.

So when He does answer, I am left speechless, not because I am frustrated at His “laziness” to answer, but because I am knocked out of my foolish thinking that His “silence” means abandonment.

Me: Where?!?! Where is it????

Me: Wait, why can’t I see it?

Me: Abba…

Me: ….okay. It’s…it’s fine…I guess.

Him: I call to existence the things that do not exist. (Romans 4:17)

Day 5 of our Annual Prayer and Fasting, God spoke to me so loudly that I couldn’t help but weep at how faithful He is at His promise, that those who seek will find.

It was a buzzer-beater assurance that God sees our hearts, and when we delight ourselves in Him, He will gladly reveal Himself to us.

As of this writing, there are still plenty of items left unticked in my “list” of faith goals. I am not worried because I know that God is going to show off anyway, but more than seeing every item in this list come to pass, I am more excited to know and understand who God is. My knowledge of Him as a Healer if probably at 30% right now, so I’m excited to see it increase into 35 or 45, as He allows me to see healing happen in the people around me. etc. How much I know in Him being a provider is probably proportional to how often He is going to remind us that even if we are unable to buy certain things, we remain more valuable than sparrows. Etc.

It’s an all-encompassing thing, really. Because I find that when you know who God is, the list will no longer matter. All you are going to be caring about is to keep knowing who He is and then eventually come up with a new list: a list of things that you would like.

i.e.

For the year _____, I’d like to….

( ) Know more about how He lived while He walked on earth 2000 years ago

( ) Love the way He loves

( ) Understand what His stands are in unconventional topics

( ) Acquire His passion to serve

( ) Be as compassionate as He is

( ) Fight for my time with the Father

etc.

2016:_______

Of course, right now, I haven’t really figured out yet what my one-word summary of 2016 is going to be (’cause ya know, it’s still the start of the 1st quarter of 2016, so that would be crazy haha).

But even if it’s just a few days into 2016, God didn’t let my foolishness pass. My heart wasn’t right, and I was focusing on how to grab hold of my “breakthrough”, rather than fixing my eyes on Him and Him alone. So naturally, I needed to be rebuked. And I’m glad I got the rod.

So while I still don’t have a one-word to describe or guide my 2016, I can always trust that there is always one Name that will suffice (for this year and the years to come):  JESUS.

2016: JESUS

I may be unaware of what others are going through right now, but I am certain that in the same way that God spoke to me, He will also speak to you, person reading this. May your encounter with Him spur you into cultivating the same desires that He has caused me to have below:

When I tend to forget, let me remember that You can sharpen the memory of the forgetful.

When I remember stuff that I shouldn’t be remembering anymore, wipe out my memories that do not please You and replace them with memories that will glorify You.

When I choose to wallow in self-pity whenever I feel unloved and rejected, lead me to the Cross so I get to remember the greatest display of love and lavish pursuit for the fallen.

When I couldn’t forgive, remind me that I once was the object of Your wrath, but I am a sinner who has been forgiven much, a sinner only saved because of Your immense forgiveness.

When  I deliberately refuse to listen, let me be rebuked in the hardest way possible so that in the days to come, I’d choose obedience over stubbornness.

When I am reminded of my filth, assure me again of the incredible capability of Your blood to wash away the nastiest stains and make new a once good-for-nothing life.

When I become doubtful of my salvation, enable me to understand fully what the Bible says about grace for the undeserving and mercy for the unworthy, once and for all.

When failures overwhelm me, show me again that if victory has been made possible for the seemingly hopeless case such as my freedom, then “defeats” shouldn’t really bother me anymore.

When I get confused by twisted doctrines and false teachings, point me only to the truth of Your Word and grant me the wisdom to understand You the way You’d want to be understood.

When I begin to get cocky about my now-identity, shoot down my pride and blast my foolishness to look past the truth that I am because You are.

And when I question everything (again), cause me to be secured that there will be times that I will not get answers to my queries, and that’s okay. Because no matter how many questions my mind can conjure, You will always prove that You remain sufficient to satisfy my longing to understand.

Just please tell me why

…was what I used to cry out to God last year.

It’s already the 31st of January of 2016 and in a few minutes, it’ll be the 1st of February.

If I am to be honest, there were still 31+ times that I have uttered the word “why” this January.

But thank God for Romans 4:17.

It might take a few months, or years, or decades, before my whys get answered. I may also have to think about the possibility that I may never find the answers to all my whys. But as I rise after this painful rebuke that I just got, may I always be reminded of the truth in Romans 4:17.

And that always and forever, His “because I AM” will be sufficient to satisfy my “But why, God?”.