The Steps the Lord Determines Lead to Your True Desires

We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
Proverbs 16:9, NLT

There are many amongst us who are obsessed with goals and dreams. We look far-out in our future and then we create a step-by-step plan, arrange a timeline with deadlines and even appoint liability partners. I’m guilty of that, and I suck at it. I already have several planners, encoded a timeline for each month then per week, and asked my best friend to check on my progress. At first, I felt immensely motivated, but it wore off after a few minor setbacks.

I realized that we can make plans in our lives and oftentimes, things don’t go well. We either decide that our plans aren’t going to work at all or we move forward despite all the difficulties. Unfortunately, many fall to the former and they start losing faith in their dreams and sadly, in themselves.

But what if we take this bible verse by heart and live it? What if we make plans and we allow God to guide us through it? It doesn’t mean there’s no need to organize anymore. Read Exodus and you’ll see that when God was planning the tabernacle, He was absolutely detailed and organized. However, God is God and He knows everything. We don’t know anything. You can make plans to be a singer without knowing that in the future, you’ll be deaf. Or you plan to serve the Lord through celibacy without knowing that in the future, you’ll fall in love.

For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) However, we don’t know exactly what this plan is. We can guess and experiment, but we will never be sure. Perhaps right now, you claim to know for sure that this is the plan God has for you in your life. Then something happens, and you start to doubt.

Goals and dreams are exciting. They give meaning to everyday life. God intends for us to dream. We put our hopes in our dreams. To dream, to plan, to have goals are good. To allow God to intervene and direct is better. When you make plans, lift them up to the Lord. When misfortune happens, ask God to help you learn from it. When you progress, celebrate with praise. When God intervenes, trust Him. Your plans might need to change but don’t be discouraged. Remember Jeremiah 29:11.

When we make plans, the future looks so bright. So bright that sometimes, we don’t see the steps we should be taking to get there. Let the Lord determine your steps.

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God’s Simplest Yet Most Difficult Command: To Love

I wish to live in a world where we actually do what our God wants us to do. I firmly believe that God’s calling sounds the same as the children’s cry for help, the begging of poor people, the shout for justice and pleading for mercy. Look at all the temples we’ve built and yet, the people God created to love sleep in the streets. Look at all the food we’ve offered to the altar and yet, the stomachs of God’s beloved children are empty. Hear all the the songs we sing to worship God and yet, we never speak a word to comfort the mourning ones or to offer forgiveness to the sinners. We can pray for them in secret but we can also show them abundantly the love of God through us.

Reading through my diaries when I was in high school, I realized that I was indeed suffering from depression. The pages were filled with hateful comments about myself by me. Words were blurred by what I can only remember as tears fallen due to my anxiety. Silent requests of death and harm can be found in a journal disguised as a cute notebook. As I scanned through the pages, I recalled the struggles I fought asking God the why’s even to the point of asking God if He even exists.

I thought that I simply wrote what I felt and the only audience I had was myself. I didn’t think of it as a prayer although I addressed most of my entries to God. Yet, He heard them and responded to them through the family and friends who carried me through my sufferings and even strangers who unconsciously lifted my spirits through their heart-warming stories.

These people responded to God’s call whether it was their intention or not. They showered me love and compassion when I needed it. Now, there are people all around me who need the same love and the same compassion to get through this life.

I have nothing against religious traditions. I have nothing against different beliefs. Each of us has a unique way of loving and the same goes for our unique way of worshiping our God. What I simply ask is for us to focus on what God is really calling us to do instead of judging each other’s religious background. Instead of condemning and thinking that it’s God’s will for them to suffer, isn’t it a divine calling to simply respond with love even if they are enemies? Instead of proving that one’s religion is the true religion, wouldn’t it be better to prove a loving God in an unbelieving world? Instead of a sermon and correcting mistakes, isn’t the sight of kindness more glorifying to our God?

I do not deserve the love of a God,” I wrote in my journal, “and yet I yearn for love all my life.” I believe this is the universal truth for all mankind.

A Poet’s Sanctuary

A poet makes a meaning out of words
And words out of her meaning
Express as to inspire
Inspire as to express
Till it makes sense to someone
Till it makes sense to the rest

Read not only between the lines
Learn to read her mind
The things written to tell a story
Are feelings she chose to hide
Who else would try to know them?
Who else but those who try

Fondle with her ignorance
Unless the little things she’s known
The curious mind she has right now
In poetry are shown
In ways she understood well
But only she understood alone

If words have life to speak for itself
Poetry would be of no use
Because a sanctuary is a place amidst the known
And the known she had to refuse
Irony of hiding something
To find it in gray scale hues

Pieces of Thoughts

Close your eyes, young girl
The world would never hear your thoughts
For whatever movement your lips are making
Will always be for nought
Chase the wolf that stole your innocence
Hunt the dragon that imprisoned you in a castle
Survive the army of thousand men
And never return until you win the battle
Did you hear the clock ticking?
Perhaps you never really ran out of time
Pause for awhile and create forever
In a wild imagination of minds
Are my thoughts really excuses?
Am I but a weak representation of the society?
But, little girl, I know you’re not
You close your eyes again and forget reality
Hey, wait a minute. I’ve been here before
It’s called total darkness and despair
In a colourful world of creation
In a scripted disarray
Take a deep breath and let it go
Let it all consume you and never be afraid
For you would learn to embrace them properly soon
And slowly, slowly, they would start to fade
Are you running away from them?
But the world is round, aye?
Now, am I not aiming for its back?
It’s cowardice, I know, but hey
I’m listening, I hear you
But your words are not really what I need
Maybe, for once, it will help
If I start the listening within me
So here is my honesty
Here is my reality
Wrapped in a fantasy
Within ambiguity
Here’s the witch so play the act
Bite the apple of suffering and pain
I’m counting, yes, I am
Not what I lost but what remains
And with this, I open my eyes with gratitude
I realized so much with this loneliness
The little strength that kept me going
Was my faith to an unseen Highness
“They will return, my child”
“Trust me with all your heart”
“If they don’t understand you now,
they’ll understand when you’re apart”
Here are my thoughts
Here’s my mess
I’ll get through this, I know
Through this beautiful sadness

Month-Old to Year-Old. A Child To Cherish And To Hold.

“Ugh. I have a bad feeling about this case, George.”

Payton steered the wheel to make a left turn. “Shit, man. I’m gonna have nightmares after watching the thing.”

I would too. The CCTV camera in the Dennings’ backyard caught six-year-old Jessica last night hovering mid-air. Hovering. At first, her back was facing the camera. Then her head turned. 180 degrees. But her body didn’t move. Only her head. There was no audio but you can see in her face that she was in agony. Then she started moving away, still hovering. Her head still turned to the camera. Her mouth still seemingly screaming out of pain.

“Do you think we’ll find her there? I don’t even think she’s still alive.”

I didn’t think either. The parents too. I asked Payton what he thought about them. He shook his head.

“They sound crazy they might even be our suspects.”

Mrs. Dennings was red-eyed this morning when she opened the door for us. She must have been crying after watching the CCTV footage. She told us that Jessica was their only child and before she was born, they’ve been trying to have a child for thirteen years. I empathized with her.

“Can you believe what that woman said to us? She said she regretted giving birth to the girl! What the actual fuck! They’ve been trying to have children and when this happened, they regret it. Irresponsible. You know? I bet they edited the video to get away with murder.”

Mr. Dennings joined us shortly after Mrs. Dennings shared her regret. He told us that they think their daughter is dead and they simply want her body back to give her a proper funeral. Mrs. Dennings murmured something in which her husband said,

It’s not like they didn’t warn us.

I asked him what he meant but he looked away, unwilling to answer. Mrs. Dennings, however, responded to the question.

“Who would believe their story? Aborted children get second chance? It’s ridiculous. Just.. fucking ridiculous.” Payton shook his head again.

Mrs. Dennings’ testimony was indeed ridiculous. She told us that they found a temple of ‘monks’ up north who claimed that they could help Mrs. Dennings give birth. They needed only an aborted fetus. She said it was a peculiar request but she was desperate so she stole one from an abortion clinic. Two months later, the test showed she’s expecting.

Payton pulled over. “Wow. How do you know? A temple does exist here. It looks abandoned though. You think they ac-“

I hushed Payton. The radio was getting something. At first it was static, then..

…someone’s…. here..

Payton looked at me.

… ahh.. Je.. they’re… here… for Jessica…

I opened the car door and got out, hand on my pistol. I shouted a warning. No response. There was only static on the radio. Payton got out of the car too and we slowly entered the temple. There was a foul smell coming from the inside.

“Fuck! What the fuck is that! That’s.. fuck.. I’m gonna throw up.”

On the floor were what seemed like mangled body parts of a small human being. The blue dress Jessica was wearing on the CCTV was torn to pieces, covered with crimson red.

Forensics identified the parts belonged to Jessica Dennings. Her body was most likely torn with medical scissors. The Dennings were questioned afterwards. There were no monks, not a single soul in the abandoned temple or nearby places.

Payton and I were dismissed that night. “Fuck, I hope I didn’t get Risa pregnant. That last transmission was flat-out scary.”

It was. It really was. Back in the temple, after requesting back-up to gather the remains, the radio started acting up again.

…look… it’s.. the.. father of.. the next… one…

I went home after drinking a couple of beers with Payton. My wife Karen was waiting for me in the living room. Her face was painted with joy as she showed me the white tube with two red marks on it.


 

I apologize for the crude language. It was necessary to establish Payton’s character. This won’t be the last you’ll hear from him.

If you’re confused about the story, read the title again and I hope you’ll get the connection.

Hope you enjoyed this story!

That Causes Wonder

It starts with a pause
A glitter in one’s eyes
Wonders around us
Take us to the best of our lives

But I rather see your smiling face
After looking through such sight
It won’t stay long, I know
But so is your delight

A smile from a stranger’s lips
A hi from a friend’s words
Small things will not matter now
But without them, big things also won’t

Take me to where you find happiness
‘Cause everyone else would go there soon
But I’d stay here now, beside you
Like the earth’s revolving moon

I would want to take your hand
But I’d also want to keep it distant
I want to see you fly
And be there to catch you when you land

How much happiness? That, I don’t know
As long as I’m happy, I won’t have to weigh or measure
‘Cause who would take the time to count
Once you find your greatest treasure?

Look further
Look closer
Everywhere is a mystery
Waiting to be discovered

Dream no matter
Reach out higher
Everyone is alone now
If he doesn’t wander

A Dream of When I Was a Lighthouse

I once dreamt that I was a lighthouse
But in the dream I didn’t think I was
In my rigid stature, I imagined myself
As a star that shines till dawn from dusk

In my dream I fell for a human being
I guided his path as he walked along the shore
He was always a few meters away from me
But in that distance I grew to love him more

But he always looked up in the night sky
I was never the star he wanted to watch
He thanked God for the light they bring in the dark
But never for the light I have

That’s when I realized I was never a star
That’s when I realized he would never see me as such
But still I guided his way to the beach
So he could see the stars he adores so much

When I accepted the truth that I wasn’t his star
I shone my light to the open sea
I knew that even if I look away from him
His stars would guide him for me

Then slowly I noticed as I face the raging sea
I became the light that sailors in the night needed
They knew I wasn’t a star that shines brightly
But they’d look up for me to be guided

So I woke up from my dream and thought
I don’t have to be the person people would adore
I just have to be adored by people who could see me
And be with people who need me more


 

I made this poem for someone I loved dearly. For a moment, I thought I’d be happy with him but he could never see me as me. After a while, I decided that I can’t keep up with his expectations and left to find people who would accept me as I am.