Growing up in a community with a lot of older brothers and sisters, waiting for love has never been an option for me. They groomed me in my youngest years and helped me see it as the only joyful and worthy road to take. Being around with those joyful Catholics in my first teenage years made it easier for me to have a guarded mind, heart, and soul. I did not grow up in an old good clean loving Catholic-practicing family, but if it weren’t for God who used my missionary cousin, I would have been that low-standard attracted “assumera” woman who would have adjusted well in the world today. If you know what I mean…someone who doesn’t care about real love at all.
In this article, I am going to share the basic principles I have learned from my first teenage “nene” years – discovering the beauty of waiting and guarding my heart. These phrases that came from the first set of missionaries whom God used to groom my emotional chastity. As years passed by, I have learned and understood these words deeply as I ventured into a deeper relationship with God.
- Magpaganda ka lang ng magpaganda sa Diyos at para sa Diyos (“Make yourself beautiful in the eyes of God and for God.”)
In my most younger years, I used to dance for Kids Conferences then Youth Conferences then people would notice and tease me of my talent and looks (yie), etc. Then my older brothers and sisters would tease me to people who would have a crush on me back then. It took a lot of practice to not get attracted or think much of the praises and flattering words I get during those times I have served God up on the stage. People have noticed my looks and talent that I felt uncomfortable with the flattering words that get in my head. I was confused about how I can serve God without the wrong feeling of getting attention and praises. But a dear brother affirmed me to continue doing what I do for the Lord. He’d say “magpaganda ka lang ng magpaganda sa Diyos at para sa Diyos.” (Make yourself beautiful in the eyes of God and for God) I realized that I need to practice my emotional chastity amidst all the attention and praises I get. The focus must be in the Lord and only for the Lord. Talents are naturally attractive because it is the Lord who gave this to us. As we give justice and glory to God, our crafts attract because of the Lord. After all the flattering praises you get out there, you should know and make sure that you are doing it all for the Lord. Humbly say “thank you” and “praise God” as you give back the glory of the Lord. Continue to hone your passion and practice your craft. Use all the talents God gives you for these are ways God teaches you discipline and excellence – which makes you more beautiful in and outside. This is the most indulging activity in waiting – to choose to do right and beautiful things for the Lord as He perfects you in and outside.
- Huwag mong pansinin yung mga nagpapapansin dyan. Marami ka pang maiinspire. (“Don’t mind the people who want to get your attention. You can inspire a lot more people.”)
Upon reading this at first, it’s kind of harsh and misleading. It’s funny to think that it also sounds narcissistic, but this is how I am frankly advised by my older brothers and sisters. It’s like their way of saying “Don’t waste your time entertaining or misleading those guys. You are still young, and you still have a lot to learn from God. God is not yet done using you, as His instrument, to evangelize more people as a single person.” In our early teenage years, being disciplined by our guardians may come out harsh or KJ, but as the time comes, you become grateful for the discipline and sacrifices they taught you. Those constant reminders help you sharpen your focus on the Lord because challenges along the way may make you forget of your strong commitment to serving Him first. As you enjoy your waiting, refresh your commitments and convictions in rendering your prime years for the Lord. He is not yet done in using you as His tool for evangelization as a single person. This is also His way of preparing you for your vocation. And when the time comes you have given your all, you will know because He will tell you in His mysterious ways.
- Huwag kang assumera hanggang walang sinasabi mismo sayo yung tao (“Never assume unless otherwise stated.”)
There were a lot of times that I experienced low-key kilig on some guys who’ve had a crush on me. A lot of efforts were expressed, but never a real confession of love and courtship. In my young years, my older sisters would catch me and burst my “kilig” bubble and ask “Bakit, gusto ka ba? Umamin ba?” (Does he like you? Did he actually confess his feelings?) Then I’d realized that a lot of those assumptions were made by my creative-overthinking self and that there is no point in being consumed by it. And I’d remember that even if they’d confessed something, It would still be a no because I know I’m not ready to be courted yet. When I became more mature, emotional chastity has helped me not to mind the “pa-kilig” or misleading moves of guys. This is because I know it would just be a waste of time to entertain them, not until they confess their desire for courtship. But when they did, I had automatically said no anyway because I knew then that God was not done with me yet.
Sisters, let us have control over our thoughts amidst the rumors we hear around. Let no thoughts entertain your mind unless the truth came out from the man himself. Then only from there that you think, pray, and act upon it.
Brothers, be disciplined with your actions towards sisters. Be a man enough to respect them in actions and protect them emotionally. When the right time comes, deliver the truth, and act vigilantly, as God guides you through.
Know that your time is valuable for the Lord, and so protect your thoughts. Let this be entertained only by the truth, and God will make that happen in His perfect timing.
- Bigay mo lang lahat kay Lord. Magserve ka lang ng magserve sa Kanya. (“Give your all to the Lord. Just keep serving Him.”)
My older brothers and sisters eventually have stopped being so “makulit” with their corrections with me as I have matured through the years. This phrase was the last set that I can remember back then when I started to become one committed servant of God. I followed this advice the most throughout the years, so little by little, I forgot how I was longing for romantic love like when I was in my younger years. As I learned to serve the Lord purely, for the sake of longing for His love, He transformed all my “hopeless romantic” into “holy romantic”. This Holiness He has taught me to be pure in thoughts and intentions turned me into someone so in love – so in love with the creator of love, Himself, God. He taught me what real love is and have embraced me so much with it that I understand that only He can complete me. From the advice to give my all and serve God with all that I can, I realized that it is not me who has given a lot. It was God who has given me a lot more than I have deserved. Remembering how I felt unloved in my teenage years, I never imagined myself to feel this complete, and to understand that having a husband someday is just a bonus He’ll give if He wills. Giving my all to God transformed me into a new person, embraced by the perfect love of Christ.
Give your all to God, and He will transform you into something new. He’ll form you into the best version He wants you to be. Allow Him to teach you His ways so that someday you’ll think, talk, and love the way He does. The biggest part of waiting is letting God work in you. You can only make that happen when you say yes, and allow God to use you.
In the season of waiting, we are blessed with a lot of time to look upon the cross and discover what and who love is. Get to know God – a lot. He is the master of love because He is also the Creator of love. He knows your feelings and urges, he understands everything about it, and so He is the best teacher to teach you about love.
As we try to develop a deeper relationship with God, we are constantly attacked by the evil with creative thoughts to develop fuzzy “lovey-dovey” emotions for others. Let our thoughts and emotions be guided so may this be clean, and may God dwell in it. Let us learn emotional chastity so our focus will stay on God.
This four personal advice helped me achieve emotional chastity in a personal way. It helped me prioritize my deepening relationship with God and see Him more than imagining the face of my crush in my most vulnerable and idle times. Being emotionally chaste is to be constantly reminded that God has a lot in store for you. So don’t be distracted by the thoughts that aren’t sent by God.
In waiting, God also sends the right people to constantly remind you to be emotionally chaste. Allow yourself to be guided by the older brothers and sisters in our community as they send God’s own creative and personal reminders for you. May you open your senses to God and discover the advice He sends you through the people He uses around you.
“Chastity is a difficult long term matter, one must wait patiently for it to bear fruit for the happiness of loving kindness which it must bring. “
St. John Paul II, Love and Responsibility
Pamela Tanos is a Mission Volunteer for MFC Youth serving in the Luzon Missions Team