Welcome

Welcome back

Isn’t it good to be awake

After so long in the dark

 

Now you can speak

Now you can hear

Now you can see

 

You’re alive now

 

Now there is color

Now there is light

Now you’re okay

 

Good thing

You didn’t give up

 

I know

You hated your life

I know

You wanted an end

But I told you

Hold on

Take my hand

Life is better

When you’re here with Me

 

Welcome

to

life

 

Welcome

to my love

I love you

 

Now you can feel it

My love in your breath

My love on your skin

My love in your veins

My love is

holding you together

 

Life is worth it

Life is worth it

Life is worth Me

I gave you life

I wouldn’t

give you life

that wasn’t worth

the hardships

 

I love you

I love you

Welcome to life

Welcome to love

I love you

Welcome to Me

Welcome

home.

 

~Emilino

Everything has a purpose.

One thing I really love about being a Christian is knowing that everything has a purpose.  God isn’t gonna put us through a bunch of crappy stuff just for the heck of it.  He’s a kind God; He wants our lives to turn out well in the end.  He doesn’t want to torture us, or make us suffer, or depress us.  He wants us to be happy.

Everything He does for and to us is intended to be good for us.  But we can be pretty stupid.  Maybe not stupid, per say — not in every occasion — but we just don’t get it a lot of the time.  God goes through a lot of trouble to make us understand what He’s trying to say.  He became human and died so we’d understand.  But after all the trouble He’s gone to, we still don’t.  We still can’t see.

So sometimes, we think something is bad just because we took it the wrong way.

Because everything has a point to it, I know that when I’m going through something really hard, I should just try to understand what God is saying, and get through the rough times.  I know that if I do that, it’s gonna turn out all right in the end, and maybe even a little better than that.  I’ve learned something from the tough times.

As long as I stick with God, everything’s gonna be alright.  As long as I do what God wants me to, everything is good.

Thing is, most of the time I don’t do what God wants me to do.  And I think that’s when really bad stuff starts to happen.  We twist everything out of proportion, Satan eggs us on, and then we find ourselves in a really bad scenario that clearly is not from God.

And personally, I don’t think that kind of thing can be avoided.  I can try not to sin, and I can not sin for a little while, but I am going to sin eventually, even if I’m on a really amazing spiritual high.

So, in that case, spiritual highs aren’t gonna last forever, but neither are spiritual lows.

God does all things for the good of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

I don’t want to live thinking everything is a coincidence.

So I’ll stick with God.

 

 

Emilino

Pictures courtesy favim.com and hcprojectjournal.blogspot.com

Nightmare

Last night I dreamed that I was in English class, and my friend and I were having a discussion about Christianity, and no one was taking us seriously.  Then, at break, my History teacher started dancing and singing Friday, before returning to his classroom.

Later, I met two of my friends and we were hanging out in the bathroom, when something happened.  I’m not sure; either they went silent or they left, and I got this odd, sickening feeling that something was horribly wrong.

So, I went back to my English class, and everyone was dead. All around me.  And I had no idea why.

Then my mom came and told me all the computers in the school had crashed and exploded, and fallen on everyone and killed them.  And I was the only one conscious, if not alive, left.

I’ll never forget that feeling, even if it was only a nightmare.  It was the feeling, deep inside me, of complete and utter aloneness.

Mom and I went home, and she kept breaking down crying, and I was just trying to make sense of it all.  I prayed, “God, I pray for strength, I pray for endurance…” the rest of the prayer escapes my memory.

I went outside, and for some reason, my best friend’s mom was in her van, just driving away from our house.  I reached out my hand, so she would stop.  She saw me, but didn’t stop, just kept going, leaving me behind, while I kept thinking how lucky everyone at my old homeschool co-op was, that nothing like this had happened at their school.

Then I woke up, gasping.

I still remember it too clearly.  That was the worst, worst, worst nightmare I have ever had.  It felt demonic.  While I dreamt, I kept telling myself that it wasn’t a dream, that it was real, real, real, and there was no escaping.  When I woke up, I was literally surprised that I had been sleeping.  It was a realistic dream; and I’ve had plenty of those, mainly nightmares — but this one was particularly disturbing.

I’m going back to school tomorrow, and I am scared to death just because of that nightmare.  The creepiest part of it, perhaps, was the fact that the beginning of the dream was a relatively normal, perhaps more enjoyable than usual, day of school.  And when I least expected it, everything went wrong.  Everyone died.  And only I was left.  And that feeling I had, standing in the ladies’ room, knowing, even then, that I was alone.

It’s strange, the things that come of our thoughts.  I don’t know where that nightmare came from.

I don’t know if that dream had a purpose. A metaphor, perhaps, for real life. I’ll probably be paranoid for the rest of the year. Was God trying to talk to me? Was that Satan, who created the nightmare, to scare me?

Remembering it shakes me to the core. The only way I can be comforted in the memory of that dream (and I am completely, completely serious right now) is by remembering the gracious, loving arms of God. In a way, such an overwhelmingly horrible vision brings me right to God’s side, because He’s the only thing I can think of to run to. He’ll take me in his big loving arms and He’ll never let me go, and He’ll tell me it’s gonna be OK; He’s got me.

He’s so beautiful.

Of course darkness flees at the sound of His name.

He is my Savior.

I’ll run into His arms.

You are good, You are good

When there’s nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see
You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, You are joy
You’re the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life,
In You death has lost its sting

Oh, I’m running to Your arms,
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, You are here
In Your presence I’m made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I’m letting go

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

My heart will sing
no other Name
Jesus, Jesus

Oh, I’m running to Your arms
I’m running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

~Hillsong

 

Emilino

Pictures courtesy laperm.wordpress.com and aliveinthefire.blogspot.com

Song: Forever Reign by Hillsong

My depression, my happiness

I told you in my last post that my next post (this one) would be about the time I felt most lost, and the time I felt most happy.

I’d been slowly eaten by depression, up until the night of Tuesday, March 22.  I was wandering much farther than I ever should have dared to wander.  I wandered too far, and I got lost.  My diary entries are filled with the things I wrote at a time that I was convinced I was nothing.  I would lie on my bed and sob and write, because all I could do, then, was spread my tears and ink all over my diary. I spent hours soaking up my gutter.  I hated life.  In a particular entry, I wrote, again and again and again, “I am nothing.  I am nothing.  I am nothing.”  Just that, for a whole page.  I don’t know why I was so angry at myself.  Every time I made a mistake, instead of letting it go and allowing myself to be human every once in a while, I rubbed it in and assured myself that because of this, because I hadn’t finished my homework or forgotten my stuff or not done my chores, I didn’t deserve anything.  I was useless.

My mom’s outbursts didn’t help.  Those two months, for some reason, she seemed particularly bitter.  She seemed completely jaded to all of my insecurity and emptiness and sorrow.  I doubt she really was this way.  But it seemed so to me, at least, since my vision was blurred.  I was watching rain through a stained-glass window.

I normally consider encouragement to help success.  If I’m confident and others are confident in me, and are kind to me and encourage me, I usually do fairly well — or at least, I am content with my completed work.  Because I tried.  And I did it with a good attitude.

But during this phase of my life, I didn’t have a positive outlook on anything.  I told myself that I should do well because I was nothing.  If I didn’t do well, I told myself it was because I was such a useless piece of crap, in the way of everybody else.

This continued until one day, I thought, If I’m so useless, and get in the way of everyone else’s progress, I should just die.

I wanted to die.

I’d told myself I was nothing until I believed myself, and then I thought I should die.

Maybe the only thing that kept me from killing myself was my knowledge of the existence of hell.

I wasn’t sure, not 100%, that I would go to heaven when I died.

Would I go to hell if I committed suicide?

But I kept wanting to die.  I wanted to commit suicide.  But I couldn’t.  Something, something deep deep inside of me — God — said, “No.  No.  No,” every time I said I was nothing.

You aren’t nothing.  You aren’t nothing.  You aren’t nothing.

I didn’t kill myself, obviously.  But all I saw, everywhere I looked, was darkness.

Then came Spring Camp, on March 22.  I went to that camp, what I got from my youth pastor’s first message was this:

When you tell yourself you’re nothing, you are telling Jesus that He died for no reason.

I was sitting on the floor as I listened.  And right there on the floor, right in the middle of his lesson, right in the middle of all those High Schoolers and Junior Highers, right in front of God, I began to cry.

My youth pastor and God had just told me I was COMPLETELY wrong about myself.

And it was the most beautiful news I’d ever heard in my whole entire life.

I WAS NOT NOTHING!

The message ended, and my best friend and I went back to our room and I cried some more.  Then I talked to my youth pastor, and he got our other pastor, and I kept crying.

I wasn’t crying because I was sad.  For the first time in years, I cried because I was so, so, so, so so so so so so so SOOO relieved.

It was like I could finally breathe, finally see, finally hear.  Finally LIVE.

I came home from that camp, and two days later, walked into my friend’s house.  And she looked at me and she knew I was different.  I was better.  I was finally, finally healed.  She told me that she and another friend of mine had gotten really worried about me.  They were concerned about me.  She said they’d been planning on literally sitting down with me and asking what on earth had happened to me.  What on earth was wrong with me.

She said, “I saw you, just now, though, and I knew you were finally okay.”

I was happy.  I was so, so happy.  My friends, and my youth pastor, shared my happiness.  They knew how much I’d changed.

My mom said she’d noticed I was sad, but she hadn’t known I was that sad before.  “I wanted to talk to you,” she said, “but you were so busy pushing me away, I didn’t want to make it worse.”

I was so depressed I had scared my own family away from me.

I had been a plague.

I know that was no mere depression.  “Depression” is an understatement, BIG time.  That was a spiritual attack.  That was Satanic.  That was living death.

But once it ended, I was so happy, I was glowing.  I watched a video my friend took of me after Spring Camp, and I was so different.  I didn’t even LOOK like me.  I looked happy.  And from my experience until then, happy wasn’t something I’d have called myself.  But now, I was certainly happy.

Actually, something I thought described how I felt really well was Psalm chapter 40.  I found it on accident at Spring Camp, and I took it to heart.  It’s become my signature chapter, I think, a chapter that means a LOT to me.

This is part of a passage from my diary, written on Monday, June 6.  Around this time, I was writing A LOT.  In my free time, I wrote in my diary.

“It’s like I can see.  Not just happier.   It’s honestly like I can SEE clearly.  Like the very colors are brighter. […]  All I can say is this–

“I have been saved.”

“It’s just like Psalm 40.  God brought me up out of the darkness and the pit; He heard my cry, and He took my hand and pulled me close and breathed life into me.

“And I can SEE.”

Around that time, a quote popped into my head.  I remembered something we’d read about, in a History book.  It was some book by Albert Marrin (he’s my favorite History writer) and in the prologue, I believe, he’d said he’d found a postcard jammed in the cracks of a war memorial.  On it was written a quote by Aeschylus.  I loved that quote.  I memorized it.  I thought about it when I was saved by God from my depression.  It was this:

“In our sleep, painful memories fall drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom, through the awful grace of God.”

I was relieved.  Completely relieved.  My arched back was straightened, the weight of depression removed from my weak, human shoulders.

One night, I wrote this poem.

 

That used to be me

That dead corpse laid in waste

Long given up on living free

 

I should perhaps have listened

The words on a page just blended

I pulled away when I could have been lifted

 

But then I was struck, and I broke

It’s stupid, but that took me by surprise

I stepped out of that musty cloak

 

You saw me, and You took my shame

Now it weighs me down no more

Now I see, all I did was

Just a game

 

So You took my pieces, and put them together

And now I finally see

It’s best to stay with You forever

 

My life might still be just a moment

But with You, it’s so much more

And You will always love it

 

I might just be a stupid kid

But as long as You’re with me

You’ll wipe away even the

stupidest tears I’ve cried

 

So I’ll reach out to touch You

For my entire life

And even though the devil will allure

 

Through all the pain and all the strife,

You’re here, at my side

And no, You’ll never leave me

 

And even those same hands

That traced the lakes upon the lands

With their time-old fingers

 

Will wrap themselves around my own

And there His presence lingers

So I’ll take off my own crown

 

And lay it at Your feet

Because, my Lord, all that I am

Cannot compare to You.

 

Emilino

 

Pictures courtesy:

emminhakbeca.blogspot.com

buzzle.com

hrushikeshzadgaonkar.wordpress.com

amnottheonlyone.blogspot.com

my.opera.com

Wind at midnight

So, I wrote this poem on March 10, 2011 — earlier this year.  Weird how “this year” will soon turn to “last year.”  Time can sure be scary.

Anyway, this poem describes perfectly, I think, what I was feeling.  Mind you, the “wind” I speak of wasn’t necessarily a beautiful thing.  It was my conscience, my God, speaking to me, trying to get my attention.  I was depressed — REALLY depressed — and I blocked Him out.  But for some reason, I wrote this poem.  I didn’t know what the “wind” was.  I had no idea, really.  But I knew it was important.  So here it is.  And I know what it is, now.

 

The wind blows through

my mind;

 

Sometimes it comes

at midnight,

When I can’t fall asleep;

 

It comes subtly at first,

like a raindrop

 

And translucent

And misty,

 

And sometimes I don’t notice.

 

Other times, it’s a flood —

it drenches me

And I cannot breathe.

 

One day maybe I’ll awake

And I’ll understand

what it has to tell me.

 

Emilino

Picture courtesy www.desicomments.com.

Passion

Sometimes it’s hard to look at the people around me who don’t believe in a God.

I go to school five days a week, and I constantly hear people just dissing their Creator.

These people, these beautiful lives. They’re brimming with hope, bursting with passion – just like me, just like everyone. They each have dreams, they each have goals. They each believe in something.

But there is vital, life-changing difference between me and my non-Christian peers. I look at them, and it’s like they’re missing this part of their heart. They have passion, but they have an incredible yearning. And for what? I know what the human yearning is for. But they don’t. And they will live their whole entire lives with a yearning in their heart that will never be fulfilled.

We have a purpose. We all have a purpose. A meaning! A PURPOSE! Something that we live for. Something we die for.

SOMETHING WE DIE FOR!

And all these people around me, these people I see every day, flooding the halls of my school, strolling the sidewalks of life, wandering the fields of being —

They will die for something.

And so many, so very, very many of them, will die for the wrong thing.

They will DIE for the WRONG thing.

How is this happening? How is this allowed? How do we allow this?!

These people all over the world don’t believe in God. They sit there and say to themselves, “There must be no God, because if there was, He wouldn’t allow all this carnage to go on.”

Come on. Come on, people! “Why would GOD allow this carnage”?! This nightmare, this terrible, terrible nightmare?

Don’t say it like it’s God’s fault. God has done nothing to cause this destruction, this emptiness, this yearning that won’t ever end. He hasn’t. He wouldn’t. He loves us so very, very much, so much more than we can EVER IMAGINE!

I bet you hear that all the time, huh? “God loves you more than you can imagine.” I sure have. I hear that a lot. I take it for granted way too often.

Because, really, remember the most passionate love you have ever felt in your whole entire life. A passion that flooded your senses and overcame your being and burned itself into your soul. Remember that complete and total love.

God loves His people WAY more than that.

 

God didn’t ever cause this distortion of joy. He didn’t cause this crap. We did. WE DID.

I look at these people around me with eyes full of hope, and they don’t even know where the hope comes from. They live in a horrible reality. We live in the same place. I know what it’s like. I live in it, too. I know I caused the destruction. But you know what I also know? I know how to be saved from the destruction. I have been redeemed. I will not stay here forever. This isn’t all there is. I know where the hope comes from.

And every single day I see people who have no idea.

Every day I see people who will always, always, always live in destruction.

Why am I sitting here and writing this?

I wish there were no destruction.

I wish there were no nightmares.

I wish everything was just made of milk and honey and we’d all go to Heaven when we die.

But we won’t.

Not all of us will.

You know what?

There IS destruction.

There ARE nightmares.

It’s right there, in plain sight, right in all our faces. We live it, breathe it. Some of us cling to it. Some of us need a reality, so we accept anything.

Well, I won’t.

I refuse to live and breathe this destruction forever.

I won’t sit here in my own little world forever.

I will go and I will pour out my sinful, hopeful, yearning heart into the streets of mankind.

I guess that’s what I’m doing now.

But someday, maybe, someday someone will pass by this heart lying on the street for all to see. They’ll see it, and they’ll see God’s heart right there next to mine.

I want everyone to know this power. This passion.

I want everyone to yearn and know what they’re yearning for.

I want everyone to love and know who loves them.

I WANT EVERY SINGLE HUMAN ON THIS PLANET TO BE FREE FROM THIS CARNAGE!

Because you know what? You know what?

I AM FREE.

 

Emilino

Picture courtesy freelancefolder.com.

The intimidation of the present.

These days, I constantly freak myself out by thinking – maybe this, right now, is all that exists, is really all the time I spend, and anything else is merely an idea, a dream, an illusion; unreal.

I’m serious. Haven’t you ever had those moments when you start to doubt time, reality, and memory?

Like, maybe your entire past never really happened, and you have no future. Maybe the chair you sit on, the air you breathe, everything in life is all an illusion. You’re just crazy – maybe the only person in existence. Maybe a crazy person. Maybe nobody you know is actually real.

And, perhaps most disturbing of all, maybe everyone around you, everyone you know, aren’t experiencing the present at the same time you are. Like, your present is right now, at this age and this year – but THEIR present is 60 years in the future, when all of “your” present has already happened long ago. Or, maybe they’ve already died; and yet here they are, standing before you, alive and in their past. Or maybe they aren’t even born yet, don’t exist in their “present.”

I mean, it’s possible, right? A little strange, a little weird-sounding – but, really, God is eternal, right? God can experience everyone’s present at the same time.” That’s how I reason with myself at times. But at the same time, I know it’s a lie. But I feel doubt.

It’s a very eerie feeling I get when I contemplate that stuff. A very lonely feeling.

Sometimes, I know it’s a spiritual attack, when those thoughts pop into my mind and torment me. There’s no way I can know the answer to these dilemmas. I become doubtful of every single thing in existence.

At those times, it’s all I can do to plant myself firmly in the present, my present. I remind myself that God doesn’t change, ever, and He is not trapped in a time line like I am. Even if I feel doubtful of time, God doesn’t. God is forever.

So, I cling to Him desperately, avoiding the abyss of doubt, depression, fear, and anxiety. I cling to Him while time swirls all around me, moments passing in a hurricane; past gone and spent. I will not let go of my God, lest time crush me in its jaws until I die – then it is gone, and I have no one to save me.

“And you shall remember the LORD your God, for [it is] He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as [it is] this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18  NKJV)

 

Emilino

Painting “The Persistence of Memory” by Dali — this copy courtesy my-blackberry.net.