Hope. Love. God

In my other accounts (yes, accounts; it’s plural), I have had anonymous people thanking me for sharing my written stories with them. They said I made them laugh, I made them cry, I made them fall in love… I even convince some that there is “forever,” though it wasn’t really my intention to do so. My most favorite comments would be those from people telling me I was able to make them believe vampires are real. (Remind me to throw a virtual party for them.)

The thing is, I made a certain number of people believe I am so good at writing stuff about love that they have started pouring their hearts out in my inbox, asking questions that Maxine of the real world doesn’t really know the answers, but Maxine Laurel the Writer does. What does Maxine of the Real World know about how to move on and give advice to the broken-hearted, how to lose a guy in ten days, or how to make a popular guy fall for the school nerd? She can hardly fix her own story, let alone other people’s love lives. Maxine of the Real World has her own battles and her defeat is so near. She is fighting an illness that slowly kills her (figuratively speaking, people, please!). She is weak; a cry-baby. To the rest of them who knows her, she is a selfish, irresponsible brat who only cares nothing but herself. A self-proclaimed, self-diagnosed bipolar whose depression falls on 85 % according to an online checklist. And she is trying so hard to be better for the sake of the people she loves, and only asks the people around her to be patient, because it is so hard to fight a battle on your own, so hard when people start to judge you when they really don’t know you at all. It is so hard to win over depression when people keep on saying things like “it is just in your head.” It is hard to fight a losing battle.

Good thing Maxine Laurel the Writer comes out once in a while to save her, providing answers to those questions Maxine of the Real World would rather avoid.

Love. What is there to love anyway? One character I created said, “Love is merely a sentiment of a foolish man… Love is nothing but an illusion…” How bitter that character had sounded! Why would I love cool mornings with the birds chirping out my window to wake me up? Why would I love my puppy, who leaps with joy every time she sees me? Why would I love God who makes it a habit to hurdle some trials and challenges along my way? Why would I love someone who could never love me back the way I hoped he would, someone who had lied, cheated, and hurt me in the most unspeakable, unimaginable way?

In the movie The Count of Monte Cristo, when Fernand Mondego begged for mercy, Edmond Dantes’ reply was: “I’m a count, not a saint.” I am no countess, either; not even close to becoming a saint. I am just a girl, but I try to live by God’s words, to forgive even though forgiveness is not sought by the offender, to love even if there is no reason to love. In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, he wrote:

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (Corinthians 13:1-3, ESV)

Without love, I guess I would be like one of those mindless zombies eating the guts of other people, existing but without a purpose, without a reason. I always think that God is love. And without God (and love) my life has no meaning, no purpose.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”(Corinthians 13:4-7, ESV)

Maybe I cannot fully comprehend the passage above. I sure always try to insist my own way (was called a stubborn several times, you know?). But I do believe that love is indeed patient and kind. And no matter how painful the truth is, we still want to know it, seek those answers that will eventually hurt us. I did hear a painful truth today. It was so painful, I wanted to rip my heart out of my chest. Still, I sought for the truth because I can’t bear living in a world of lies anymore. I have been cheated, lied to, stabbed, and hurt by the one person I have loved the most. I have resorted to begging for love like a dog begging for food scraps on its master’s table. It’s pathetic, but it’s the truth. Judge me for all I care. Hindi pa rin ako ang pinakakawawang tao sa mundo. I forgive, then hoped and prayed; believed that there is still goodness and kindness and, yes, love. I endured.

So I guess I really do have a messed up idea of what love is. Up until now, I still don’t know what to do, or how I can go on after this. Still there is life, and life speaks of hope. I am hoping things will get better, praying that God will help me see the truth as it is: plain and crystal. Why do I still love? I really don’t know—I can’t give the right answer for now.

Fairy tales are not real. Forever is not for everyone. Not all men are knight in shining armor. A princess will not always end up with her prince. There are things like broken promises and shattered dreams. Truth hurts, so does love. Still, I think I will choose to love. And hope. And believe. And endure. I will still get married someday, have kids and name them Mark, Mishka and Matt. I will have a dog with three young pups, Oreo, Kit Kat and Mallows. I will become this super cool New York Times bestselling author (or not) who is being considered for a Palanca Award (or not). Or I might end up a starving artist (I hope not!) Who knows? I’m still excited to know what life has in store for me. I still want to know my future. My life does not and will not end here. There is still hope, there is still love, and there is still God.

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