Never Stop Learning, Never Stop Loving.

I don’t want to put this out as an obligatory write-up, but rather considering it as a privilege to be a testimony of His faithfulness and love over my life. And definitely, a well deserved post to read for those that have journeyed with me in this side of eternity. 

This steady love of His has empowered me time and time again and has kept me grounded in times when life’s realities have snatched joy away from me. This love keeps reminding me that I am no longer an orphan and that I have a Good Father that constantly looks out for me, wants the best for me and delights in me, even in my weaknesses. This love has been a solid anchor and a shield in times of trouble. I am blessed beyond words– and if words are my only platform to articulate, then let every word I write be as gold in the hands of the One who has lavished me with His love for the past twenty-nine years.

This month has been significant in so many ways. One obvious reason, of course, I just turned 29. To be honest, I am quite stoked to turn 30. No joke. I have heard testimonies from friends that something shifted in their spirits when they turned 30. Yet til’ then, I will patiently look forward to what the next year will bring about. I do not want my expectations to get the best of me, but rather, I will choose to make every moment count, and take things one day at a time. Every new season is a journey, an adventure, a process that must be savored, and celebrated; where we all learn and unlearn things, and discover truths that will ground us for the next seasons ahead. 

Last year, it was my first time celebrating my birthday in Vigan City, and this year, it was a conscious decision to celebrate it there again. I am, in all truthfulness, mindblown by how they put in so much effort in making my birthday worth remembering. 

On the day of my birthday, I went to the beach, since I felt it has been ages since I haven’t been there. At this point, I am exaggerating, but you get the picture. Watching the waves and swimming against it, feeling the heat of the sun on my skin, the sand on my toes, already made my heart happy. Little did I know, Abba still had aces under His sleeve to show.

My Vigan HOP family and church family there loved on me so well– They made sure to spend time with me on the day of my birthday, blessed me, encouraged me, prayed for me. And on the day after my birthday, they pampered me with a mani-pedi fix, even prepared a heavenly lunch (Yes, it was heaven one earth for me– I have the best Roomie in the whole galaxy– ask me about her.) with all my favorite food on the table. (Clue: It’s eggplant, people, eggplant. And tofu. But mostly eggplant. Feed me with eggplant– in any form of cooking you can think of, and I will love you forever. Also, my roomie fixed up the best mousaka ever! // Somebody needs to send me a photo of that mousaka, holla!). They have conspired with Abba in making me feel valued and loved on my special day. I am more than grateful. My love tank was definitely filled! 

My heart is consumed with the beautiful truth that because Daddy God knows me inside out, He really placed people in my life to constantly call out the gold in me, to speak life and encourage me as well as speaking the truth in love so that I may know which areas I need to grow in. He is so good! 

I remember, on the day of my birthday, the Holy Spirit dropped a message through a dream; and it was something that impacted my heart so much, that even upon waking up, I was still overwhelmed by the weight of the truth it bore. With His permission, let me tell you what the dream was:

I was somewhat in an international service with my brother in a foreign country. There was this Hispanic pastor in the pulpit speaking. He was telling us how one day, he picked up His Bible and the passage on point was about lukewarmness. He then started to say something about the subject, but that I couldn’t remember anymore. The one who stood in front next was an Indian woman, probably in her mid-40s. She was then talking about lukewarmness too. She said, “Let me tell you what being lukewarm really means.. Being lukewarm is about you not being about God.” 
I was so arrested with what I heard, that I caught myself turning to my brother telling him, “Bam! What a Word!” And then the woman preacher went on saying,referring to the Bride of Christ, “If you are lukewarm but claim to believe and say you’re united, then I’d rather not believe or be united at all.”

I woke up having this holy conviction in my spirit, and I just began praying, “I want to be all about you God.”  I do not want to be in a place wherein my focus gets shaken and my vision, tainted. Or worse, claim bragging rights for things I did not fully accomplish on my own. Realistically speaking, I really don’t have anything to brag about except for His work in me and His constant love that never fails. I am nothing without Him, and I pray that my life would always speak of true abiding, acknowledging that He loves to partner with weak and broken people. It is through gazing into His eyes of fire that can sustain the fire on the altar of my heart.

 This revelation created such a desire in me to live my life pursuing Him in all His beauty and worth and partnering with Him in preparing the way for His return. It was also beyond a personal reminder, it was a call to intercede for the Bride in this hour. As She makes herself ready for the return of her Bridegroom King, may She constantly exude a passion and a desire for His beauty and excellencies, being all about Him and staying faithful til’ the Day of His appearing. She is called to shine forth her light,not just merely reflect. And She must become the standard the world is longing to see. She is His hands and feet to a world that needs a Savior; to a world that hungers for authentic love. 

In turning 29, my heart is still being humbled by His faithfulness and goodness. He has been gentle with me all these years, and gently waiting for patience to have its perfect work in me. He has been the Best Friend that has heard every rant I have released, every complaint I have uttered, every dream I have treasured, moments I have internally screen-captured, knows every pent-up emotion before I even begin to articulate them in ways I only know how; has deciphered every opinion I have of different people and has reminded me always to see them in His lens. He knows my thoughts before I ever tweet them, has read every letter I have ever written, and has read everything in between the lines; He has witnessed every attempt I have made to express my gratitude and love for people and have constantly reminded me to love myself too, and yes, rest. It’s crazy how He sees, and hears, and understands, and knows me, and yet continues to love me still, despite everything. I just have no words for the love He has violently poured out over me. 

Throughout this journey, I have realized that I am in the process of learning how to love deeply without conditions and that I will have to celebrate this as much as I am enjoying receiving love in return. He has opened my eyes to see that I can be secure and be at peace at all times because I have made a conscious decision to make Him an anchor for my soul. He has steadied my heart for the past years, especially in times when I felt discouraged, and lonely. And this season, I still choose to take cover under the shadow of His wings, and it is my joy to fully trust His heart for me. 

In quiet confidence, I can say that I have made it this far, but yet, another season unfolds and another adventure is about to begin.

Currently, I am back in my hometown for a short rest, and an intended time for me to spend with family and catch up with friends too. This, I have to write about soon. 

Sharing with you one of my favorite hometown delicacy- the famous Batchoy. But this one though, is the only kind I order– Sotanghon Batchoy. 😍

Surely, the Lord has divinely and intentionally set things up for me while I’m here.

“Ready your heart, Ji, for you will not refrain from giving much, nor caring much, nor loving much. You were wired for this; you breathe for this. This is what makes you come alive.”

May we find it in ourselves to never stop learning, and never stop loving. And may we always be all about Him! 

Thank you for celebrating His faithfulness with me this season! My love and gratitude goes out to all of you.

Til’ every island sings,

Jian 🌊


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