Its All About Love

“What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword?” Romans 8: 35

The job you prayed hard for to have, the activities outside work you enjoy doing, the plans and dreams you have for the betterment of your future life and the people you hold dear to your life— these very things and even the usual daily events of life may sometimes seem to separate you from the love of God. 

You see, the time will come wherein the job you prayed hard for to have will exhaust you, the activities outside work that you once enjoy doing will make you doubt if its truly worthy of the extra-time and extra-energy it demands from you, the plans and dreams you have for your future will put too much pressure on yourself, leaving you sad, anxious, and lost and the people whom you hold dear to your heart will disappoint and hurt you. And when that time comes, these very things may seem to put you in a dark place. You may just find yourself doing the total opposite of what should have been done. You may feel dry inside, losing the fire once burning to seek and serve Him, dropping the habbits you formed to strengthen your relationship with Him. You may feel like because of these things you are no more connected with God, you are separated from His love.

But that’s not how it is, nothing can separate you and me and anyone of us from the love of God. You may be blinded of the BIG LOVE that God has for you through Christ, but that will not change the fact that GOD’s love is there. God loves everyone of us big time!

These things may challenge you to practice your faith, you may consider it your version of faith persecuted. Its not easy to face such challenge. What you have to do is to keep on going. Keep on going no matter how dry you feel. Keep on seeking Him. Similarly when you are tired and stressed that you eventually lose your appetite and will decide to just sleep rather than eat. You may forget your hunger at a time, but your body will be physically drained if you won’t feed. So, even if you don’t feel like it, you will eat just enough to sustain you energy for you to carry on the next task until you eventually have your appetite back.

Take it as a personal challenge to keep going no matter what the circumstance. Go accept your challenge and face it! As it is said in Joshua 1:9, “Be stronger in faith, armed in God’s spirit, and fearless in mission.”

In the midst of all the stress, unlikely turn out of events, and the disappointments and pains you may feel, never forget who you are and what your mission is. 

Life’s all about love, its all about love.


So that’s me talking to myself as I ponder on Romans 8:35.

-Tjane 💕


Phone Call

I already received the wake up call I have been waiting for.

People I am often with knows how was I doing in the past weeks, and it wasn’t so good at all. I have been battling with dark forces in my head slowly consuming me. I was sad and anxious, feeling so problematic and lost. At times, resolving to alcohol and late nights out to get my mind out of thinking nonsense. I would also want to point it as reason as to why I haven’t been doing good at work, I can’t get you to believe it though. Wondering what would be the root cause of this mind battle I’m slowly losing myself to?

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentlemen. *drum roll, drum roll, drum roll*

I come to realize the weight of responsibilty I carry in my shoulders to provide for our family back home. Don’t get me wrong, I am not forced by anybody to provide for them, well, aside from the reality of life of course. And I hate that reality. I totally do. Selfish, ain’t I? Believe me, I have been praying for a change of heart regarding this matter. I have long been praying to receive the grace for me to wholeheartedly accept the said responsibility. But the resolution to this matter takes time, and the wait is nothing but difficult.

I strongly believe I am not alone in this battle. There were people and ciscumstances in the past weeks that enlightened me, though I seem to get stuck in the dark corners of my mind, or if not totally stuck, then I am taking it one step at a time to drag myself out of this dark side.

Then, few days ago, while I was in deep sleep, I was awakened by an unexpected phone call. I literally answered the call while my mind was still dreaming and automatically mumbled ‘Good afternoon!’ upon recognizing the voice on the other line, only to realize afterwards that it was only past eleven in the morning. The caller was someone who has a special place in my heart, mother of a dear friend who passed away last year. After the short phone conversation, I was preparing myself to meet her. Finally, after 12 months, I will see her again. It was like facing my fear; I was excited to meet this woman, but fearful at the same time for I will be facing the woman with the exact resemblance of the person I was always with before, yet I could no more see anywhere on this earth now. Anyway, it was good to see the old lady I fondly call ‘Nay’ (short for Filipino translation of mother, Nanay). We had a good lengthy conversation over lunch at McDonald’s. And as I talked to her, she still tears upon seeing my photos with her late daughter on my phone gallery, yet still displays optimism and oh, that beautiful smile that never left her face the whole time we were talking, I couldn’t help but ask myself, “How could this woman who’se heart was broken so bad due to the loss of a loving young child still face tomorrow with such optimism and hope beaming through her smile like rays of sunshine?” God, bless this woman I dearly love! And just like that, realizations dawned to me.

There are people who has problems far greater than mine, people who have more reasons to be sad. I shouldn’t let sadness and anxiety consume me, rather I should take care of people like this woman in front  of me who clearly needs an ear to listen and someone to relate with.  Its better to divert my attention to people who needs me more. After all, that’s a life calling I know I need to respond to.

This realization was affirmed while I was browsing my Facebook news feed upon going home. A video of Bro. Bo Sanchez, an evangelist and inspirational writer uploaded the day before totally struck me. It was like God was speaking to me through him, telling me exactly what I need to do. It was the answer to all the questions I’ve been asking myself for weeks already. The message was clear and it says to me, “You who are sad, lonely, and feeling down with the weight of problems on your shoulders, go and serve others who needs you. The only way to get you out of this difficult emotional battle is to forget yourself and tend to others instead.”

Today marks the first death anniversary of my dear friend who succumbed to death due to leukemia. As expected, our memories together are flashing on my mind again (I am trying not to feel sad). Im currently exchanging text messages with her mother while at the same time reading the gospel. 

I am stunned because, in Luke 7:11-17, the Gospel speaks about the son of a widow restored to life by Jesus. Is this a coincidence or is Jesus trying to tell me something?  
In the Gospel, Jesus was moved by the widow who lost her only son. Understanding the pain she feels, He had pity on her and was so merciful that He brought back to life the young man who died. Jesus may not have brought back to life every dead person (at least not until the end of days) but He is as merciful to everyone as He was to the widow. I can sense Jesus saying, “for every family, friends, and/or people grieving for the loss of a loved one, know that God’s mercy is on you.” 
And so I realized, Jesus won’t allow us to suffer all along, alone. So grieve not, for the love of God is with you, together with His mercy. He will be your joy. Just seek Him, allow Him to know how you truly feel. Lift up to Him everything. 

I guess, Jesus just consoled me. I am overwhelmed. ❤


​”Will I be selfish if I cry? Will I be selfish if I feel pain? Will I  be selfish if I can’t let go just yet?”

Those were the questions I was asking myself September of 2016. Calendar pages turned, a lot of things happened, September’s coming once again. I still cry, I still feel pain, I do not know if I have fully let go of you already. How would I know? Memories are still clear in my mind. Do I really have to let go of them? If yes, how? Maybe this is one way of doing so? Maybe if I spill out everything here, I will not need to keep them in my mind anymore?

Sorry if this bothers you, I’m coping up well, please believe that. God placed quite a number of people around me to keep me company and make me feel happy. I’m doing okay… though there are times that I still miss you.

June 2016.
I had many reasons to be sad. Early days of this month when you started messaging me about your sickness. I learned that you were hospitalized after 3 days of on and off fever due to dengue as you told me. We were wondering what’s really wrong with your body.

June 10th
when my roommate, Karen, whom you met once went back to Tacloban City for good. I was sad because having you still admitted in the hospital for some unknown reason and her going home left me feeling SO alone. The two of you were the only people closest to family that I have.

June 12
when you broke the news to me. After undergoing laboratory exams which are unusual for dengue patients, you were diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. You even sent me a photo of your  laboratory exam result. I was initially shocked. I got afraid. Since then, no day has passed that I did not think of you;
that I didn’t utter a prayer for you.

June 18th. My birthday. I remember I was asking random people from the office to accompany me on that day, just so I can have someone to celebrate my birthday with. I was literally alone. Without you and my old roomie around, I have no one else. You were still at the hospital then and it only adds to the drama. But God is good to let me spend the night of my birthday with people whom I now consider as my family. I was also happy when you posted your birthday greetings for me on Facebook, I even kept a screenshot of it in my phone! ☺

July 2016.

I learned you were readmitted to a hospital near my place this time.

July 13.
We were exchanging chat messages.  You told me you were starting to get tired of your situation. It was hard for me to console you and give you comforting words because I was also breaking inside. Thinking of your situation was enough to worry the hell out of me. And it breaks me more to hear from you directly the struggles you were going through, from the difficulty in breathing and moving, to the irritating bruises showing on your skin. All I could tell you was for you to be strong, to continue fighting for your life, that I’ll always be here to help you, and that you continue to trust in God.

July 16.
It was a rainy afternoon, I was sick and had myself checked in a clinic that was only a few blocks away from the hospital you were in. I decided to visit you for the 1st time. With my hair on ponytail and me wearing my usual comfy outfit of 3/4 sleeves top, shorts and my backpack, I went to the hospital and asked from information desks, nurse stations, and other hospital personnel about you until I found you in a shared ward of patients with different critical illnesses. To be honest, the place was not conducive to recovering. Upon seeing your fragile frame lying on the bed located in the corner of the room, I rushed to your side and called your name. “Zur!” I exclaimed. You opened your weak eyes to look at me and motioned through your hands for me to sit on your bedside and I did. I just stayed there looking at you. You were so weak to even open your eyes again. Only later did I realize that you were surrounded with around 10 people. I got so excited to see you that I went straight to you without introducing myself to the people around. I unknowingly intruded your family’s conversation. Sorry for that. Anyway, I guess they understand how I feel that time, nobody seem to mind me at all. And your mom seems happy to finally meet me, she said you’ve been telling them stories about me. I think you did great in introducing me to her ahead of time! 😀

Aug 2016.

I was able to visit you again the weekend after your birthday, I just learned you were already released from the hospital but needed to be readmitted on the very day of your birthday, because you collapsed at home when your birthday celebration was about to start. I could only imagine the horror it brought to your mother. I remember being with Ron and some other folks  during one of my visits. He brought a friend who was generous enough to donate blood for you. After hours of catching up, it was time to say goodbye. We prayed for you before we left. I don’t know why but I felt the need to squeeze myself to your frail frame for a quick hug before I finally turned to get out of the room. Maybe it was because I know I will be out of town the following weekend so it’ll be a long time until the next time I get to visit you.

Before I went to my hometown on the last weekend of that month, I was able to visit you again. That time I was with Raven, we needed to rush to the hospital for you immediately needed some more blood bags and he was a willing donor.

Your situation seems to worsen as days passed by. Platelets and red blood cells continue to drop to critical points even after multiple transfusions. We can not seem to get your numbers to a point suitable for chemotherapy.

The following weekends I wasn’t able to visit you.

I still regret the chances I didn’t take to visit you again.

Sept. 2016.

I’m back in Cebu. 

Sept. 4th
, I attended an outreach program of Lingkod Cebu (another weekend I wasn’t able to spend with you).

Sept. 10-11
, I had another activity to attend to. I was really getting busy during weekends, and I can’t visit you during weekdays due to the nature of our work (graveyard shifts), I’m always exhausted every after office hours.

Sept. 17-18
, third weekend of the month. Finally, a free time for me after consecutive jampacked weekends. Finally, I have time to visit you… but I decided not to.

Sept 19th.

I already planned to visit you that day, but I was half hearted to do so. I didn’t know why, maybe I was feeling lazy.

I slept in the morning and woke up in the afternoon with an inevitable horror I was trying to and praying to be delayed or not to happen at all. When I turned on the mobile date  of my phone, multiple messages bombarded me with me with questions verifying if the news was real or not. It left me astounded. I just came from sleep and I do not know anything. So I called your mom, and the horror was confirmed. You were no more. You were gone. The fight was over. We just lost you. Its hard to believe but I have to, there’s no other way but to accept it.

I called Ron right after I talked to your mom and we both decided to go to the hospital. There we met your family, they were still processing the papers for your body to be released. Reality didn’t sink in just yet. I was still able to smile and be positive in front of everyone. I even initiated to pray over your lifeless body before I and Ron head to office for that night’s shift.

The sad reality started to creep in when we arrived at the office from the hospital. I remember the moment when I entered the office floor and all eyes were on me, people seem to check as to how am I coping up. And then wishes of condolences were addressed to me directly for they know that we have been inseparable since we were endorsed to operations floor after we passed our training as customer service representatives.

Sept. 20th.
It just happened yesterday, reality’s starting to hit me. And its hitting me hard. After composing a letter for you, I finally allowed myself to cry. I cried hard.  I cried myself to sleep. I cried to ease the pain, but of course, it was to no avail.

I visited your wake multiple times, I attended your burial and allowed myself to cry again upon seeing your mother break down in tears. I just can’t accept the fact that you are gone for real, for good. Your life has a lot of unfinished stories. I know your dreams for yourself and your family, your still far from reaching them. And all of a sudden, your time stopped, giving you no chance but to leave everything behind. You became that flower bud that was robbed the chance to showcase its beauty as a fully bloomed flower.

Fast forward to August 2017.

Tomorrow’s supposed to be your 22nd birthday and so I can’t help but be nostalgic. My memories of you are flashing back in my mind. Honestly speaking, memories of you started to haunt me since April when they started to prepare for the annual summer outing/anniversary party at the office. Everytime I was asked if I will attend the said event, I always answer no. And I find it hard  to admit the real reason why, that I do not think I can ever afford to have another summer outing with our officemates for it will only bring back the last series of happy memories I had with you before you got hospitalized. Memories of you visited me more often come June, for it was that time last year when things started to change.