Dear Friend,

This is the last letter I’ll be writing to you. Treat this as my final goodbye.

We have finally reached the four-month mark since we parted ways. Oh, how fast time flies. So much has changed. You’ve started wearing hipster glasses, while I’ve dyed my hair reddish-brown. You’ve become an aspiring photographer, while I’ve become a budding singer. You’re finally pushing through with your dream of working up in the sky, while I’ve just discovered my dream of influencing lives even after I die.

So much has changed, yet so much remains the same.

How is it that after four long months we still look at each other the same way? How is it that after four long months we still feel the heartbreak as if it were only yesterday? How is it that after four long months we still struggle to let go every single day?

Oh, how fast time flies, yet how slow hearts heal. My heart still beats louder, faster, and heavier whenever you’re around. My face still struggles to conceal my excitement and pain whenever I’m sitting next to you. And my mouth still resists shouting out all my love for you whenever we’re talking face-to-face. Most probably than not, you’re feeling the same way too.

We’ve both been struggling for a long time now. Some people would say that it’s the consequence of falling in love; because everything that falls gets broken. But, I beg to disagree. I’ve said before that I’ve fallen in love with you – that we’ve fallen in love with each other – and now I’ve decided to take it back. I’ve realized that we didn’t really fall in love. In fact, I firmly believe that we were never meant to fall in love.

We’re not meant to fall in love. We’re meant to grow in love.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8, it says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

Love is a beautiful thing. Something as good and beautiful as love should never be associated with falling, because love makes one grow. Love can be painful, but it is not full of pain. And perhaps, the reason why we’re still suffering today is that we’re still growing. We’re not yet done learning. We haven’t reached the maximum growth this heartbreak could offer – at least not yet.

My friend, take a look back and see how far we’ve come. We’ve had a lot of ups and downs. We’ve had failures here and there. And we’ve even had both minor and major setbacks. However, what matters most is that we’ve both grown. We’ve both grown so much.

We barely talk, but I hear about you. How you’ve finally stopped blaming yourself for losing the woman who first showed you love. How you’ve finally put an end to the haunting of your past desires. And how you’ve finally mustered the courage to pursue your dream of becoming a pilot. I hear about you and I see you. I see a man whose Lord is Jesus Christ– nothing else and no one else. I see a man who is so passionate in discipling others – a man whose disciples are really growing. And I see a man who is truly living a life of worship – seeking to glorify God in everything that he’s doing. As I watch you from afar, I can’t help but feel so proud of the man you’re becoming. Then I speak to myself and say, “This would have never happened if we didn’t choose to let go.”

Had we not chosen to let go, I would have never discovered my passion for writing. Back when I was in grade school, I’ve always wondered what I wanted to do in life – always seeking to find the answer to the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And although I had vague answers like a doctor, a teacher, a nurse, a lawyer, a broadcaster, and etc. I never really found that one answer that would make Christ’s dying for 2,000 years ago worth living for. From grade school to college, I was blindly going with the flow of life hoping that one day God would miraculously give me the answer. And He was faithful and just to do so! God miraculously used the pain of letting you go for me to gain the passion of helping others grow.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

All of a sudden, my life verse made complete sense. All of a sudden, suffering became a privilege rather than a burden. God designed suffering not to torture, cripple and break us, but to magnify Jesus’ power and worth through our weaknesses. These verses were the same verses Jesus told Paul when He was explaining why his suffering – his thorn of the flesh – will not be taken away. Jesus, in His goodness and sovereignty, allowed Paul to be weak so that Christ’s strength would be seen on Paul’s behalf. And these are the same verses Jesus is using to heal my heart.

Jesus’ grace is more than sufficient for us because there is joy in suffering. There is overflowing joy when Christ’s power is magnified through the transformation in our lives. If we claim that we don’t need Jesus, that we’re self-sufficient, we will get the glory, not Him. I know now that God chooses my weaknesses for His glory, so that I would not boast of anything for myself. And if I were to boast, I will only boast of His strength – His strength that is shining brightly through my weaknesses. This is the beauty of God’s grace – how He uses weak people to shine forth His glory.

Had we not chosen to let go, I would have never written the articles “To The Man I’ve Fallen In Love With” and “I love you, but I’m not waiting for you.” God has been using these articles which display my suffering to let His power and worth shine brightest. So many people are becoming inspired, encouraged, and touched because they are seeing Jesus' strength through my weaknesses. And I know for sure that it is not my own doing, but His. Only by God’s grace, my blog has been shared at least 10,000 times on Facebook and has reached at least 25,000 people all around the world. I would have never realized that this is what I really want to do for the rest of my life. All glory belongs to Him alone!

Truly, there are so many good things – both big and small – that would have never happened if we didn’t choose to let go. From little things like becoming a better cook to big things like becoming a better leader and discipler. From obvious things like setting guardrails with men to more obvious things like having more time to spend with and cherish my family. From delicate things like making more friends (girl friends, of course) to more life-changing things like having the bestest of all best friends, Tracey. Oh, the list goes on. Believe me; it could go on ‘til dawn.

The point here is…

Seeing you grow as I grow from the other side leaves me no room for regret. It makes all the pain worth it. And if this pain were to last for a couple more weeks, more months or more years even, I wouldn’t mind. I wouldn’t mind getting hurt if it means we’re getting stronger. I wouldn’t mind suffering if it means revealing the power and worth of Jesus. I wouldn’t mind growing apart if it means we’re growing more like Christ.

And then this, I wouldn’t mind seeing you love again, even if it’s not me. I want you to have God’s best because you deserve it. Whether or not it’s me, I want you to have God’s best because I love you that way that much.

Oh, friend. We have finally reached the four-month mark since we parted ways. Oh, how fast time flies. So much has changed, yet so much remains the same. I still love you. Oh, how fast time flies, yet how slow hearts heal. My heart is still broken, but it is also overflowing with joy. And in some supernatural way, I’m glad.

I’m glad we both chose Jesus.

Good bye!

Published by Charlene Manalang