How God Talked to Me Through My Playlist

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God talks to me. Always. Through verses, movies, other people, songs. But it was the first time He talked to me through a series of songs in my playlist. And once again I realized how amazing God’s ways are.

I often listen to music while having a shower. No, we don’t have a fancy bathroom with stereo installed on the walls. 🙂 I actually bring my cellphone with me, place it on the counter by the washbasin, and set a certain playlist on shuffle. And then I’m good for the next thirty minutes. That’s how long I  usually have my shower.

I have more than ten playlists in my phone and I play each depends on my mood. About a week ago, I was feeling so discouraged and hopeless. If you guys read my previous posts, you’d know by now, that I’m battling depression. Anyway, that afternoon, I was NOT OKAY. And there’s only one playlist suited for that kind of mood. A playlist I named HIS ALONE.

It is a playlist filled with all the Christian songs I have. When I’m depressed, that’s my playlist hoping it’ll lift me up. And boy, did it lift me up. The following are the songs that I am certain God used to talk to me while I was in the shower, depressed.

  1. From The Inside Out by: Hillsong 

I love this song from the first moment I heard it, mostly because of the first verse…

A Thousand times I fail,

Still your mercy remains,

Should I stumble again,

Still I’m caught in your grace…

I can only speak for myself but I’m depressed, I can’t stop blaming myself with everything that went wrong about everything. Upon hearing this song, I felt like God was reminding me of HIS Grace. Like He was telling me that there’s not a thing I did, do or will do that can make him love me less. Or that can make him cast me out of his mercy. That no matter how many times I stumble and make mistakes, His love remains.

2. Blessings by: Laura Story

There’s a perfect reason behind every tear, every trial, every unanswered prayer and every failure. Surely with this song, God wanted to assure me that everything’s going to be alright because everything is a part of a grand plan.

‘Cause what if your blessings come through Raindrops?

What if your healing comes through tears?

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know you’re near?

What if trials of this life,

Are your mercies in disguise?

Thus, there’s no need to torture myself.

3. You Belong to Me by: Grey Holiday

When I’m depressed, it’s always ME AGAINST THE WORLD. Or at least that’s what I think. But God doesn’t agree with me. He won’t let me feel like I’m by myself. He won’t let me goes astray. This is a promise of another chance, telling me that no matter how much I want to walk away from him, he’ll keep on waiting for me. He made it clear that I am His and I belong to where He is.

Just take the rope
I won’t let it go
Give in
We can start again
I’m life, I’m hope
And I?m ready to explode
With how bad I want you back home
So come back to the light
To the love, you will find
It’s been here all along
So come back to the start
And you’ll find in your heart
That you always belonged
To me

I do believe that every message from God has a bit of a gospel in it. And this is gospel. He died for us, for me. So I can live. If someone died for me, who am I to waste my life? How ungrateful I am to God every time I think of death. He gave me the most wonderful gift anyone can ever give to me and yet do I ever show Him how thankful I am for it?

Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree

Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled

Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed

This is redemption. This is God giving me another chance and always, I grab it with all of my heart, body and soul. God understands everything I’m going through and He knows how exhausted I feel; how close I am to death. God is Life. There is always a reason to breathe, and be glad of it.

Tell your heart to beat again

Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
You’ll live to love another day
Yesterday’s a closing door
And you don’t live there anymore
So say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again
And finally,

Everything should end with praise and worship. And when I heard this, no I didn’t get up, I fell down on my knees and wept. But deep inside me, I was overcame with joy. God gave me a reason to get up again. I’ll be fine. I am alive, still alive. And that’s something to be thankful.

Everybody get up
If you love Him!
Everybody get up
Get up and praise Him!
Everybody get up
If you’re free
And give Him the praise!

 

God talks to us in many ways, we just have to be attentive to listen. Most of the times His ways are a bit peculiar but always special.

How about you guys, how does God usually talks to you? Ir what’s the most odd way He used to say something to you? I love to hear from you all

 

Lili Marcus

 

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A Picky Churchgoer

I’ve been to 8 churches. EIGHT!!! No kidding. Worse, it’s been only seven years since my conversion. And you might think, since becoming a Born again Christian, I’ve been simply leaping from church to church every year. NO. It’s not every year. I usually leave a church just after few months as attendee. So that means, there are months that I don’t attend church services.

And those months aren’t great times. 😦

But then why do I even get to church hunting? I’m never contented. You see, I’m a very observant person, and as a Christian, I’m even more observant. It has something to do with me being an introvert.  Whenever I see something unpleasant or something that makes me uncomfortable, my initial reaction is always to step back, leave and isolate myself. Because it’s better to be alone. That’s always been my way of thinking.

During the months of no church, I force myself to be contented with streaming online preachings every Sunday. And though the Holy Spirit was never absent whenever I watch preachings on the net, still, it feels like something’s amiss. And now I finally understand what.

It’s Fellowship that’s absent. God commanded us to…

…consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not neglecting to MEET TOGETHER, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and so much the more, as you see the Day drawing near. 

Hebrews 10:2425

I need to fellowship with other Christians. And though as a mere person, it’s okay to isolate myself and let my introvert ego always win, as a Christian, it might not work. If I want my faith to grow, I need others. I can’t stop being observant but I can sure stop being such a perfectionist. We’re living in flesh, so perfection is an absolute impossibility.

2 Timothy 2:20 taught me the reasoning I should’ve learned long time ago. And I hoped that someone(from the churches I’ve been to) have taught it to me. The verse says that there are also vessels of wood and of Earth along with the vessels of Gold and Silver. And that there are always some to honour and some to dishonour.

But what really caught me in the verse is this phrase: GREAT HOUSE. No matter what’s inside it, good and bad, unpleasant and not, God’s house still remains a GREAT HOUSE. Besides, I heard someone said before that a church is not a museum full of beautiful things, but a hospital filled with injured, imperfect people who need God. If the people in the church are perfect, they wouldn’t need God anymore.

This realization really impacted me in an amazing way that I’m willing to forget who I am or what I am. I’m willing to set aside my natural introvert self to be the Christian who God wants me to be. Because maybe it’s the only way for me to be the exact person He created me to be.

How about you guys, any experiences with the churches you’ve been to. I love chatting especially if it’s about my walk with God. Let’s chat. 🙂

Love,

Lili. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Paper’s Fault

Sometimes, it’s the pen’s fault, but there are times, it is the paper’s.

When I was younger, my mother and I always fight over her big mouth. Seriously, she’s too loud, always talking and reprimanding. It’s as if she always sees something wrong to whatever I do. Especially at mornings, my alarm clock was her lectures. Oh how I hated her for that.(don’t judge me)

I didn’t realize then, that it’s not always the pen’s fault.

When we’re mad or hurt, we always think it’s somebody else’s fault. It’s them who has a problem, it was never us. At least that’s what we often think.

I was writing one afternoon. It was an open letter to God. I was using this newly-bought pen that is really expensive for a student. And as I write, the pen kept on pissing me. The ink kept on fading. And every time it does, I would wave the pen a little, and it’ll write again. But it kept doing that. And I knew I must do something if I want to finish the letter.

I thought of using another pen but before I did, I tried using it to a scratch paper. Just to be sure. And the pen writes so well, as well as it should. Looking at my handwriting, something snapped  at me. The paper I was using was a little glossy. Since it was a letter to God, I thought using that paper was just appropriate.

The thing is, that kind of paper wasn’t appropriate to the pen I was using. And I was right. When I changed the paper into a stationery, the pen’s performances changed as well. The ink wasn’t fading anymore.

I realized this; it’s not always the pen’s fault, sometimes, it’s the paper’s.

There are too many kinds of papers. There are plenty types of pens too. But not every pen inks well to all kinds of papers. (Glossy papers are usually the hardest to write on.)

I think, we, people, should learn this lesson: sometimes, it’s OUR fault. Granted, some people really hurt us, wronged us. But before we point our fingers to anyone, before we said something to others, let’s THINK first. Try to think of what might be the reason why that somebody did it to us.

Reflect!

When I think of the fights I had with my mother when I was younger, I wince. Maybe it was her fault being talkative because hello? She can always choose to reprimand me in a nicer way. But it was my fault that she talks too much in the first place. If I just do the chores properly, or if I just wake up in the morning before breakfast instead of before lunch, maybe my mother wouldn’t have been as talkative as she was.

It wasn’t her fault, it was mine. But that time, I was so annoyed and too mad because of her reprimands, I couldn’t see my own faults. I was focusing on hers.

We often heard that famous break up line: It’s not you, it’s me.

I wonder what will happen if we use that line most often rather than just using it when breaking up. What if every time we’re in disagreement with somebody, we tell that line to ourselves first?

What if, indeed, it was our fault, and not theirs? I wonder how many relationship are restored. I wonder how many friends will still be friends? How many lovers would still be lovers? How many families would’ve been still intact?

I’m not saying we should blame ourselves, I’m saying that we stop blaming others for everything. By reflecting on what happens, we get to know ourselves more. And by that, we’ll be more motivated to change ourselves for the better, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our relationships.

This is true to my relationship with God too. Most of the times, it seems like God doesn’t hear my prayers because most of my prayers were unanswered. It pains me to think that he hears all my supplications and yet do nothing. The thing is, I do believe that God is almighty so He is capable of everything. There’s no prayer that he can’t grant.

So why he doesn’t answer all my prayers? I used to get mad at him because of that. But now, I use this principle. Maybe I’m doing something that isn’t according to his will. And whenever I reflect on my actions and intentions, especially intentions, I learn that it is indeed my fault. Believe me, I am a changed and better person now because of this?

Why?

Because I learned about myself more. And the best way to reach one’s highest potential is knowing oneself well.

Next time, think twice(or more) before putting the blame on the pen, maybe it’s the paper’s.

 

Reflecting,

Lili Marcus  🙂

Faith smaller than a mustard seed: An Open Letter to God.

My Lord,

Hi.

Actually, I don’t know what to say, or perhaps I’m not sure HOW to say it. Remember when I told you I want out? I was serious that time. I still want to be out, you know. It’s because I’m tired of feeling hurt and ignored. I’m tired of disappointments. Not just in your part, mine as well. I am hurt every time I feel like you disappoint me, though I know, in my heart, you’d answer me, I just have to wait. But see, I’m too weak to wait. And for that I am disappointing you, in return. Every time, I disappoint you, I end up blaming myself to the point of condemnation.

And every Christian knows only worse things come out from condemnation.

I wish I can tell you I’ll be stronger this time, that I’ll be more trusting to you this time. I’m afraid I can’t. I need help. I’ve been in sought of that HELP from you ever since I learned how serious and hopeless my case is. I’m drowning, Lord. I’m also falling. I can’t breathe.

Here’s the thing though, even though I voluntarily turned my back on you, I never felt like you left. No, that’s too much faith. What I mean is that you’re being too easy on me. You don’t give me so much struggle just to force me to get back to you; to accept you again. No, I am in perfect faith you won’t go that far.

Is this faith enough?

I thank you for I think you’re giving me time for myself. You want me to be calm, to relax for a while and get rid of this anxiety that’s been gnawing at me for a long time now. You want me to get some rest, abandon my worries for a while. You want me to clear my mind and be not pressured or stressed of my adversaries and afflictions. You want me to find myself again.

But my Lord, I don’t think I’m having success in the matter. Did I find myself already? Do I know myself more now? Do I understand what’s and have been happening to me all these time?

I don’t have the answer Lord, I’m afraid.

Maybe, somehow, there’s a little faith still left in me for you, but I’m not sure if it’s enough. It must have been even smaller as a mustard seed. And so it must be the littlest faith any Christian can ever have. My faith, it’s too little and meager. Would you want it?

I know you have other children who have faith bigger than the Milky way, so maybe mine would be so insignificant. It may seem not needed and no place in your kingdom. Would you give me at least a place on your doorway, or maybe the windowsill. Any place would do, I just want to be in your presence again.

I want to be with you. But then, would you  have me, Lord?

I can’t promise to be different from what I was before. But then again, I’m not entitled to make any promises, only to rely on yours. It’s your job Lord, to make promises and see them to pass. Would you still have me even if I act like this? With little faith and too much complaints, would you have me?

This depression, this anxiety, I want to get rid of them, yet it’s not that easy. How can I rid of something I’ve been carrying ever since I realized that the world isn’t the best place for weak ones like me to live? It’s been my companion most of my life Lord, and maybe I should be tired of it to get rid of it. But it doesn’t go.

I’m tired of it, alright. I hope my relationship with you, our closeness, did the trick. It didn’t. I still wake up every morning and sleep at night helplessly thinking something will go wrong eventually. Tis what anxiety does to me. And I want it to stop. But how?

This little of faith of mine, if you would have me back my Lord, ’tis only I can offer. The littlest faith you’ll ever know and yet I am not ashamed of it. I somehow believe this. This will take me far enough to be happy. I’ll go as far as from here to THERE. Even the smallest dust can travel far, given the right guide from the wind.

I need the right guide. Would you provide it for me?

This, I realize, is hubris-an overbearing arrogance. How can I ask you of this after everything I’ve done, after I turned my back on you in the most deliberate manner, every devout Christian could ever imagine? Frankly, I feel like I’ve done worse than all the mistakes and sins of all your beloved disciples combined.

There, talk about anxiety to the highest level. 😦

Lastly, My Lord, if you would have me, I have one question. Is it possible for embers to catch fire once again? After the initial fire has died? ‘Cause you see, My Lord, that’s all I am now-an ember. And I’m so scared no fire would ever rekindle in me again and I’d end up to ashes.

Just as my faith a dust-size, myself as ashes. Dust and ashes, if they have something in common it is DEATH.

And that’s what I’m afraid the most. Thus, I’m turning back to you. You are life-so I’ve heard.

 

—-LILI

Inner Demon

DEMON’s LIES:

‘You can’t do it.’ ‘You’re not good enough.’ ‘You don’t have what it takes. ‘You’re not gonna make it.’

Familiar with those lines? Yes?  Most often, we hear these lines from other people but sometimes, WE say them to ourselves. It’s our ‘Inner Demon’ that makes us say those words.

I’m turning 25 this coming June, and somehow, I can feel the pressure again. I am not getting any younger!!! Yet it seems that I’m still too far to where I want to be.

I want to be a famous writer. And obviously, I’m still not.

Peers, family members, friends and fake friends are now wondering if I really can do it.  The thing is, they’ve been wondering the same thing ever since I dropped the bomb to everyone saying I AM FOCUSING ON WRITING NOW. That was two years ago, and I’m still me, MERE ME.

It’s easy to give in to pressure and get depressed about it but I learned one very important lesson some while ago – the key to one’s success isn’t about proving, or showing, to people that you can, but it’s all about overcoming yourself. Because, at the end of the day, what other people say to me wouldn’t matter, it’s what I tell myself that has great importance.

My Inner Demon is my greatest enemy. For how can I win over others when I can’t even win against my own? How can I prove to others what I can do if I don’t prove myself first of what I’m capable of. How can I show them what I can if I don’t even know what I can, right?

The problem is, my inner demon wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s always there. It’s in my heart, igniting the grief caused by my past failures. It’s in my mind, a pesky, little voice that never stop talking negative, causing me to wallow on self-pity and my self-confidence declining.

Demons are always present. Not just the inner ones. And I’m saying this, not just as a devout Christian, but as a dreamer who is still in this huge endeavor that’s been going on since forever and as a human being who clearly isn’t perfect yet a total perfectionist.

Inside me is this demon I unintentionally allow to dwell. I don’t think I can ever lose this inner demon. No matter what I achieve, and however I did things, this inner demon will always tell me I CAN’T DO IT.

How did I know this?

Because, I know I am not a total failure. I wanted to be a famous writer. I may not be famous (YET) but I am a writer. ALREADY A WRITER. I’m getting nearer to where I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve written several novellas and I have a novel that’s already in deliberation for publication. And i am currently working on a Screenplay (I’ll talk about this in another post). My point I already accomplished something which is actually quite a ‘big thing’ for all aspiring writers, yet does my inner demon stopped talking?

No. There is still this voice inside my head telling me the same negative things I’ve been hearing since forever. No kidding. It didn’t go. Sometimes I wanna yell at my reflection in the mirror so it would shut up. Maybe this is just me talking crazy. I AM CRAZY, by the way!!! But I”m sure all of us, dreamers have this voice in our heads telling us all the negative things possible, crushing our spirit.

I can’t say I made this demon inside my head, that I am responsible for its existence, maybe I do, but the point is, it’s already existing and it will take too much for them to disappear.

But I learned this trick. If this demonic voice decided to stay with me, like forever, well fine. If I can’t get rid of it, I’ll just learn to deal with it in the most effective way I know to intimidate an enemy-SMILING!!!
Yep, I’ll smile. because it’s what I’m good at (aside from writing..lol). I’m that kind of person who deserves the MOST CHEERFUL AWARD in school or in office. I rarely get an enemy. I rarely find myself in misunderstandings. But whenever someone try to annoy me, sabotage, or whatever insecure people do to others, I smile. It’s the most effective payback. It annoys them when they see me smiling no matter what they do to crush me.

That’s what I do with my inner demons, whenever I hear the voice telling me I can’t do it, I’m not good enough or I’ll never make it, I just smile. I’m not befriending them. I just say hi to my demons (inner and the others) and do what I should be doing which is writing.

This inner demon might do and say everything it can to pull me down and crush me, well, it’s best is not enough. Because no matter what happens, I might fall and fail sometimes, I’ll still get back up and do what I was born to do. I’ll still write no matter what happens around me, no matter what other people say and no matter what I tell myself.

Did I already mention that there are more familiar terms synonymous to demons?

DOUBT…and inner demon is SELF-DOUBT.

FEAR, Maybe…

Keep going even though you can’t seem to walk anymore. You can crawl. But don’t let Doubt or fear stop you and glue you in the same place you were yesterday. You may hear your inner demon saying all negative stuffs but can’t listen to it. Keep going, you’ll get there soon.

That’s what I’m doing. I know that if I wait for the demons to shut up before I do something, I will never ever reach my destiny. My greatest fear is to wake up one day, realizing that life has already passed me by. Sometimes, the best way to deal with adversaries is to get used to them, then know their weak point. And then, it will be easier to ignore them as days pass.

No one, not even God, promised that life is beautiful and easy. We have to deal with it in it’s cruelty.

Smiling to demons (and annoying them);

LILI MARCUS

Slow Down

Life is a race, I was told. So naturally, I have to run. Not just to win but at least, to stay in the race. And I’m still in the race. The thing is, I wish that the one who told me life is a race, could’ve been more specific. Because if life indeed is a race, then it’s one hell of a race.

And slowing down seems to be a bad idea.

The thing is, running is exhausting. Running always left me out of breath, heart beating so frantically fast, knees and almost every part of my body is aching, and of course sweating. In short, instead of celebrating because I reached the finish line, I am busy keeping my heartbeat back to normal again. I am busy massaging my legs so they wouldn’t bruise. I am busy wiping my sweaty body. I am sore.

Life, when we ‘re done with it, shouldn’t we be dancing with joy?  Or singing at the top of our lungs? Or maybe screaming like crazy? We just won this long race called life, we should be enjoying.

Sure, runners who won running competitions were overjoyed. But with life, we’re not talking of 5K marathon, or even 10K. Not even longer than that. Life is much longer and more complicated than any other races. Running will help us winning this race but running isn’t everything that there is that we should do. And we shouldn’t be just thinking about the finish line.

Here’s what I think. In life, if we want to win with joy, we should think about the starting line as much as we think about the finish line. And I don’t know about you, but when I think of starting line, I think about my home.

Home is the best place on earth, don’t you agree? But it is also one of the places we most often disregard.

Why? Because we focus in getting to finish line.

What we don’t realize is home is where real happiness resides. It’s where everything starts anyway. It’s where we start dreaming. Most often, it is also the reason why we dream in the first place.

I must share that I’m totally in love with Ed Sheeran’s new single Castle Hill. In which he talks about his hometown and his good old days there. He can’t wait to go home and even wants to go back to the times, for him, were special.

So here’s what I thought: we can never go back time but we can always look back. Visit. Let’s pay a visit to our starting lines, once in a while. We don’t have to start all over again, we just have to remind ourselves why and how we started. Just as sometimes, reminiscing is enough to remind us what truly matter in life. But we can’t do that if we’re running and exhausted.

I suggest, we occasionally slow down and check if we are still who we were and have what we had at the starting lines. Once we do that, our finish lines would be more of a celebration rather than time for restoration and cleaning up our messy selves.

We would celebrate winning if we know what we are fighting for. Right?

Like a traveller who’s too excited to get to his destination, he forgets his house keys. So how is he gonna get in when he comes home? We’re like that too, we’re too excited to succeed in life, we often forget the keys to happiness. Love? Family? God?

Like a turtle that carries his home with him wherever he goes, let’s carry our most treasured belongings too-our loved-ones. Because life isn’t all that enjoyable if it’s just for ourselves.

Thank you for reading. Slow down a bit and think about why you’re even in this race called life.

Slowing down a bit,

LILI