PURSUIT MANILA : A Community of All Things Lovely

"This is your safe place", Rhiza said. And from there I just knew that finally found a place to belong.

I've waited so long for this, and when I arrived all I could say was "FINALLY, FINALLY. . . I'M HERE.".

Back in 2016, I chanced upon a photo that encapsulated my teenage daydreams - warm, pretty lights; arms stretched high; letters and ___, and music. I stalked further, and found out that PURSUIT MANILA, is a community of WOMEN, who share the same faith. WOMEN, who are driven by that faith, to create and inspire and just be. WOMEN, who love Christ above all things, and are sharing that love to the world through their passion, abilities, and businesses. WOMEN, who worship together, pray together and for each other, inspire and encourage one another.

I wanted to be part of that.

I wanted to belong to a community like that.

This pink rose brought a smile to my heart.
It's as if Jesus himself is telling me that pretty things and
sweet gestures like this need not come from a man.   
It was something I had been longing for since 2013 - the year I rediscovered my relationship with Christ, the year I first finished the "Purpose Driven Life", the year I made a commitment to be woman after His own heart. In my journey, it was hard to be alone. Yes, I had my sister, I had church mates, but there was still that missing piece of "belonging".

Fast forward to this year, I still haven't seen any updates from their instagram account about when the next gathering would be. But just last Friday, I received a facebook group invite from Rhiza herself (Rhiza Oyos is the founder of Pursuit Manila) and that to me was God Himself moving! Perhaps my name was familiar because of my Lettergram purchase? In any case, she invited me on a Friday, of all days! I was having a terrible week, a heavy heart full of pain and resentment, and I was crying when the facebook notification popped up! AMAZING GOD! The wonders didn't just end there - I think they had only 2 slots left and I wasn't sure I'd get one but I registered anyway. It didn't take long for Karen to send a message about the event's reminders! WOW. Just wow!

My long awaited moment finally came! All mixed feelings especially because I came in a little late, but the timing couldn't have been more perfect because of where I was seated. I was blessed to have met four ladies I could call my spiritual sisters - Janna, Issa, Grace, and Gail. Everyone's story was a tug in the heart, and what pulled strings was how they responded to mine. It was definitely not by chance that I sat with them, and I really felt that God spoke to my heart through them. Thank you.

It was an afternoon of all things lovely - a beautiful welcome gift basket filled with works of heart,  a long festive table with pots of flowers and passion cards, mood lifting lights, decore with a scandi flare, an amazing dessert table, singing in praise and learning from Joanna, romantic sax instrumentals, Madz' sharing, and of course every woman in the room who is a living testimony of His grace.

Take Aways :
"We cannot give what we don't have".
It's a gift basket filled with wonder!
This made my heart giddy <3 
No matter how many times I've heard it, it's still challenging to keep myself focused on how He loves me, and how His love never runs out, how His love never fails. It is indeed true, in its most literal sense. We can't give someone a cupcake if we didn't even buy one, can we? But His love, His love is free even if we don't deserve it. His love doesn't have to be bought, or earned! Until we really, really let Him love us, our love tanks will run empty.

But as flawed as I am, I tend to love on my own strength and think it's "EVERYTHING" I could give and then blame other people for falling short of how they love me. I am still a work in progress, and I guess my challenge is to completely allow God to love the people I love, THROUGH ME, and ALLOW MYSELF TO BE LOVED BY THEM. "We cannot receive what we don't want". More about that in a different post.

One great piece of advice that I kept so dear was to "communicate my love language", and also listen to theirs. It made me see things in a different light, and believe all the more that I shouldn't give up no matter how hard things are. I won't. I won't.

Perhaps this time, I will love not with my strength, but with God's. 
I will love not with my own version of love, but with the only true version of the real source, who is love himself. I will love, because He first loved us. 

Love, TWH 

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I'm a lover of all things handmade (and local!) 
Especially if they're made from the heart <3