Dear Friend,

It has been 59 days since you told me that you love me and decided not to court me. It has been 59 days of not talking to you every day. It has been 59 days of not teasing your adorable flaws. It has been 59 days of not being there for you when you need me.

It has been 57 days since I realized that I love you too. It has been 57 days of pretending that you really are just a friend to me. It has been 57 days of hiding my feelings whenever you're around. It has been 57 days of repeatedly surrendering my heart to God, repeatedly letting go, and repeatedly failing to move on once we're standing face-to-face.

The past one month and twenty-nine days has been extremely difficult. There's not one day that I don't think of you and there's not one day that I don't miss you. I've been crying a lot and I've been stress eating a lot. I've also been getting heartburns more often. There are times when I want to get mad at you for making me fall for you at the wrong time. There are times when I want to get mad at you for leaving me hanging – for confessing and not pursuing. There are times when I want to get mad at myself for failing to guard my heart. And there are times when I just want to forget everything about you, give up and run away.

My heart is in so much pain. It has become weak and weary. And I only have you to blame for it. So, if you're reading this, I want you to know, I want to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, I want to say, "Thank you."

Thank you for making me smile.

Although the past 59 days have been very painful, I want to say thank you for the 12 months that preceded it. It was, for the lack of a better term, SOLID! Every time I want to get mad at you, I always end up failing because all you've left for me to hold on to are happy memories. Missing you has been painful, but it's also been fun. I smile, laugh, and even giggle a little whenever I would remember your witty yet corny jokes and hugots, your impeccable struggle with the English language, and your daily battle with toilet bowls and wet wipes. It has been a habit of yours to bring laughter to the people around you whatever the circumstance may be. Whenever I have heartburn and hyperventilate, you'd make me laugh by telling me jokes, teasing me and even impersonating me. Whenever I cry, I can see in your eyes that you feel like crying too, so you do whatever it takes to make me laugh. You comfort me and pray for me. You try to change the topic and divert my attention. And there was even this one time when you took a video of me crying just to use it to blackmail me until I stopped crying. You've never failed to put a smile on my face, so thank you.

Thank you for loving me.

Love is an unconditional commitment towards imperfect people seeking their highest good which often requires sacrifice. Although your love for me wasn't perfect and had its own flaws (e.g. wrong timing), you've always strived to put my needs above yours. You bought me food and drove me home safe. You took care of me when I was sick and carried me home when I could barely walk. You stayed up with me just to make sure I get to finish my school work. You helped me stay fit and healthy with the biggest loser challenge you proposed. You even helped me resolve my bad habit of tardiness through our late fund. You accepted and admired me for who I am, all my flaws and imperfections, when I couldn't. You prayed for me and I'm sure you still do. You treated me with respect and protected my purity. You loved me without expecting for anything in return, without conditions and expectations, so thank you.

Thank you for helping me learn what it really means to "Guard Your Heart."

Because it's the one thing we both failed to do, we had to learn it the hard way. And while I'm very grateful for your love, I've learned that the right love at the wrong time is still wrong. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says, “Love is patient.” It needs not to be rushed. Love is spelled as T-I-M-E. It takes its own time and follows the timeline of God. Love must not be awakened when one is not yet ready to commit, when it's not yet the right time. Without commitment, we invested too much time, effort, attention and emotion on each other. This led us to fall in love, too deep, too soon.  Instead of investing on each other, we should've saved all those time, effort, attention and emotion for our future spouses. We should've saved the accountability, the late-night talks, and the heart-to-hearts for our future spouses. We should've set Godly boundaries in building our friendship and left enough room for the Holy Spirit to take control. I've learned that love and patience are two inseparable entities – that if one truly loves, he/she will wait, so thank you.

Thank you for not pursuing me.

Had you not left me hanging and decided to court me instead, it still wouldn’t have worked out because it’s not what the Lord wants; it’s only what we want. To be honest, I am not yet ready to commit. As a woman, I have yet so many things to do, so many things to learn, and so many things to be – a daughter, a sister, a student, a friend, a disciple, a discipler, and a servant. None of the things I ought to be right now is a lover. And if I were to be a lover today, it would only be for the Lord. God has been impressing upon my heart to prioritize Him and only Him as of now. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m using all my time, talents and treasures to seek Him more, obey Him more, serve Him more and love Him more. By not pursuing me, you’re giving me room to grow and become the woman God has called me to be, so thank you.

Thank you for breaking my heart.

When you confessed your feelings and decided not to court me, it broke my heart. But, it was also in those times of suffering that I realized that all I've ever needed was God. When my heart was left weak and weary, God proved to be the strength of my heart. Every day for the past 59 days, He has been speaking to me, comforting me, giving me peace and joy, and blessing me with His perfect love.

"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." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10)

I’ve learned to delight in this heart-break because it is for Christ’s sake that I suffer and because it is His strength that sustains me in this Godly sorrow.

I’ve learned to honor God by wholeheartedly obeying His will for my life, regardless of my own desires.

“The Lord says ‘Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don't you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.’" (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Because the Lord said to forget about the past, I have chosen to move on. I have chosen to surrender my heart to God. I am well aware that surrendering is a process. That is why letting go and letting God is a decision that I choose to make every day. It is a painful process, but God is faithful as He renews my heart every day.

He said to me, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26)

 I’ve learned to trust God more. I’ve stopped asking the questions “Why?” and “What if?” Instead, I’ve chosen to accept the unchangeable past, embrace the priceless present, and have faith in the promise of tomorrow. I believe that all this happened for a reason. As to what the reason is, I’m still not certain. However, I am certain that whatever the reason may be, it is changing me and it is changing you. It may hurt a little or it may hurt a lot every once in a while, but whatever the reason may be, it is for the best. It is for our best. I’ve learned to be still and trust that God is fighting for me. Because He said to me, “Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)

 I am in awe of God’s grace. I’ve failed to guard my heart, but He continues to give me strength. I’ve failed to wait for His perfect will for me, but He continues to fight for me. I’ve failed to be content in His love, but He continues to bless me.

 Among all the lessons I’ve learned, the greatest one remains to be the ultimate experience of God’s love and grace. There is no greater joy than experiencing the warmth of God’s love every day, so thank you.

Your friend,

Charlene

 

Published by Charlene Manalang