Even when it hurts…I will praise you

I have so much on my heart, but I have been struggling to articulate it-I have been carrying all these things hoping that God would allow me to pen it down, hoping that I can express this myriad of emotions and experiences so that I can reflect on it and really take in what I am learning.

This year started off with it’s own set of challenges and man, bombshells got dropped on me-have you ever felt…lost? Like, God what is happening? I was so sure I was supposed to be here and now…this?! What is happening?

The frustrating thing with the Lord is that sometimes he just doesn’t answer when you need the answers at that moment, sometimes God will allow deep pain to come and he won’t even say ONE WORD! Does it mean he doesn’t care-no, but in those moments it feels like no one is there.

I am learning to accept that God is NOT predictable, I needed to learn that friends, that God is sovereign, he answers to no one-he doesn’t owe me explanations. It is hard to accept but necessary because even though he says I am his friend, but He is also my King.

I am struggling to pen the details, but here is an awesome song that sums up what I feel.

Be blessed, God is always FAITHFUL!

 

 

 

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I DON’T LIKE YOU!

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I struggle to understand why we hurt ourselves so much by doing this-forcing people to like us.  I want you to take the time to think about someone you dislike, is there ANYTHING that person can do to make you like them? Chances are…nothing right? Then why bother trying to be liked by someone who dislikes you?

We spend energy, time, and sometimes money impressing people who really don’t get moved by our presence. Think about that, their lives don’t get moved by your presence-meaning they don’t even acknowledge your existence! They really don’t care about you-but there you are breaking your back forcing yourself to be liked when essentially-you aren’t!

Let me ask you again, why do you bother?

You bother because you want affirmation: you want to be acknowledged by them, they hold some power over your life and you want to feel accepted, loved and normal. Someone out there holds your value in their hands because you have given your value over to them.

 What if someone valued you so much that they weren’t moved by your mistakes or any flaws that form who you are?

Thing is beloved you already ARE loved, you already ARE accepted and most of all Jesus doesn’t even want anything in return. You are loved unconditionally, no river is too wide, ocean too deep, mountain too high to express the depth, height, and width that is found in God’s love.

If you are cheapening yourself by thinking that you can buy acceptance then you are living a lie. Emotions can’t be bought, they are felt.Love cannot be expressed only- it is experienced.

When people love you their actions will demonstrate what’s in their hearts.

STOP focusing on people who are blocking your progression, if someone doesn’t like you, please send them off with a a basket full of goodies for their journey, why be bitter when they are creating space for a truckload of blessings?

Get to a point in your life whereby people’s departure out of your life doesn’t cause you to have a breakdown.

Always assess, if you did all you could and were not at fault-PLEASE open the front door FOR THEM and wish them well.

Let go of what needs to go and embrace what is coming to bless you.

You are enough
You are loved
You are priceless, treat yourself as such

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Letting go

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This is a reflective piece, I am really in a good place-almost bitter but definitely sweet. I feel like I have woken up-you know struggles sometimes can cause you to have a warped view of life-to the point that you don’t even see what God has given you.

My character was shaped this year,wow! I feel like I was in a furnace-like everything I held to was burnt right off me, all the people I thought were important to me turned to ashes right before my eyes, I was left vulnerable at times-but in all that God just reassured me to stay focused on Him, to trust him with his process concerning my life.

I am honestly a better version of myself, I say this because I don’t hold onto things like I used to, I don’t beg people to stay in my life anymore-it’s liberating to hold people in your life with an open palm so that they always know that when it’s time to go-they can always fly off. I don’t believe in failed friendships anymore-I am not a failure, I have learnt to eliminate that word from my vocabulary-instead I choose to see it as me having opened my heart and that person for whatever reason chose to live out their life without me-I didn’t leave , so how is it that I failed?  I am done with such labels.

I laugh more now-I laugh deeply and loudly, I have learnt to let myself go-to truly enjoy Fez, to feel her and embrace her. I give myself second, third and fourth chances, I speak kindly to myself, I eat without judging myself-I enjoy every bite of that burger and that lick from that ice cream. I held onto being skinny for so long and at the same time I didn’t realise how sad I was becoming-sad that I was holding onto a physique that just isn’t me. I exercise and leave with a smile afterwards, I eat salads because I want to not because I am holding onto something that drains me. I don’t pound myself over things I am not good at, I celebrate the things I am good at, I celebrate those who are good at the things I am not-without feeling envious or inferior!

I am honestly in a beautiful place-I am living, I am smiling, I am doing ME.

I decided to let go of certain social media portals, I have Facebook on my own terms ( I purposefully chose to have no friends on it because personally my friends live life with me, so I don’t have spectators as friends).

I thank God for my marriage-it has grounded me, we don’t stifle each other-we give each other room to grow. I am growing in my marriage-my husband is my biggest cheerleader-he allows me to be myself, he gives me room to make my own mistakes without judging me. I stopped trying to control things, I stopped striving to have my marriage look like someone else’s and I started enjoying the mould it was becoming. I don’t feel the need to shove it in people’s faces either-I have let go of posting everything under the guise that we are happy-I’m done with the hashtag life because why hashtag when I can actually live out my reality?

You may be reading this and maybe you are thinking that this is a self-affirming post, well-it is, I mean why look for affirmation out there when I can give it myself? That’s why we don’t let people go when it’s their time to go because we use them sometimes to fill holes that are gaping in our lives and when they don’t, we feel like they don’t value us! My dear-learn to value yourself first, once you do that-you will never NEED people to tell you what you should be telling yourself.

Get a pen, a piece of paper and start writing down all the things that you don’t need anymore, if a friendship is getting too hard to maintain-leave, love yourself enough to leave. Don’t expect someone to love you if you aren’t loving yourself-if you are complaining about a partner that never appreciates you-well, have you appreciated yourself enough to confront them that you deserve better and you will get better if they don’t treat you well? My husband always says that we allow people to do things to us-we permit people we have allowed into our lives to abuse us-I have suffered emotional abuse and he always says: “Fez, you are the problem, not them-you, because you are permitting it.” It’s tough to receive but it’s the truth.

I don’t expand my time on useless things anymore-time is a resource-it isn’t guaranteed but we treat it with such disregard. I am very jealous over my time-I realise that it’s limited and honestly I don’t know when God will permit for it to stop-but whilst his grace has allowed it to keep ticking, I guard it jealously, it goes to people who deserve it-I don’t just throw it around anymore. I am a scarce resource-I am a valuable resource. I love what Paul in the Bible says: don’t think of yourself too highly, he doesn’t say don’t think of yourself highly-he just said too highly. So I think highly of myself-I have to so that I don’t get abused and mistreated, at the same time I always keep humility as my tag team partner because you never know when the too highly starts too creep in (know what I mean, hahahahah).

On a serious note-let things go that don’t build you, let people go whose season in your life is up and lastly let yourself go by starting to live!

I heard this song on the radio the other day and I loved the message – In the words of Nicki Minaj : How dare we sit quietly and watch life pass us by?

Be blessed

 

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When we exclude God from our relationship

Image result for wrong relationshipI am meeting people who are in relationships that God did not send them to be in. I am meeting people who are miserable in their marriages-they had this idea that marriage was going to be a dream, effortless and instant.

Marriage with the right person is a dream, our problem is that we are becoming an impatient generation- we assess people by having our own check boxes that must be ticked off to fulfill our criteria , we claim to have consulted God but we find that the person we chose fulfills the whole checklist except being grounded in God. We are okay with dating and even marrying people who are not saved, we are okay with sidelining God in the dating process and wonder when the marriage doesn’t work out why God would lead us into that relationship.

The beautiful character of God is that he will never override your decision, we instead choose to be with people who are abusive, we choose to be with people who don’t fulfill their promises to us by allowing them to  strip us of our dignity for a moment’s pleasure.

Marriage is becoming like a drive-through, people want their needs fulfilled at no consideration of the other person; when their needs aren’t fulfilled they go outside and find someone else to fulfill their needs and forget about their vows. Vows don’t mean anything anymore-being bound by your words has no standing anymore.

You might ask- “when did we become like this?”

We became like this the moment we chose to remove God from our decision-making, we became like this the moment we sidelined God in our lives; some of us box God in and expect him to work in every area of our lives except our relationship life-we purposefully exclude God and wonder why that area is failing.

The people who I have spoken to whose relationships didn’t work out say that they suspected that the people they were with were not authentic, most say they knew, but they hoped for change.  I am seeing a pattern being formed-most people knew that the person they were with was not the real deal-so my question then is – why be with someone who God has warned you to stay away from? Why proceed into getting into a spiritual union knowing fully well that this person isn’t the one for you?

God has shown me that I too am not different from the people I am talking about in the above paragraph- I too chose to be with people who God had told me to stay away from and I too made mistakes by thinking that I could change the people I dated to become someone I wanted. God also showed me that the way I was so deceived I even thought that by dragging someone to the altar to receive the Lord Jesus into their lives would lead to all the tick boxes being fulfilled when in actual fact I hadn’t even discerned their heart (and mine) was not even centred on the Lord.

We choose people based on outwardly appearances- we go after the shine and not the heart, we go after the status and not the character, we go after the feelings and neglect the warning signs, we run after how great our Instagram and Facebook feed will look with them instead of chasing after the wisdom of God in discerning their motives. We trade our souls to become the envy of the world, we relentlessly pursue someone who beats us up-physically and emotionally because we believe that we are more valuable as people when we are with them-forgetting about the one true love that relentlessly pursues us even when we willfully walk away to pursue what breaks us.

Beloved, you don’t deserve heartache and abuse. You don’t deserve to be someone’s second-best when God has made you his first choice. My hope for you is to turn to God for help, run back into the arms of your first love-trust Him to lead and guide you again by submitting to his will. The things of God may appear to take time but his timing is purposeful, his timing is perfect.

Only God changes people, only God can tough people;s hearts to be completely transformed.

Hear the Lord’s voice today and make the necessary changes.

( Picture credit : tamcounseling.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Growth

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I decided to read some of my blog posts and I even went searching for previous attempts that I had posted on other sites…I just smiled.

I smiled because I was taken aback at the growth. I cant begin to explain how good it feels to literally see my growth and to know that I’m still growing. I started blogging as a challenge really-I wanted to prove to myself if I would be faithful in writing. I needed an outlet and I started blogging more for myself than anything else-I even tried to hide away my posts because I just wanted to release that energy-so I always wrote from fear-fear that someone might discover me, fear that someone might see my writings; so I wasn’t really as free as I am now.

You might ask-why didn’t you just get a journal then Fez. Well, I did hahahaha, but I always knew that God gave me this gift so I thought-if someone discovers my writings atleast it will bring them closer to God.

I stopped blogging because I stopped believing in myself. I found myself comparing myself to people who were more experienced with blogging and I felt like I will never be as good and confident in how I write-so I stopped, sadly.

I was sad because writing offered me the space to really share my heart. I write letters to God sometimes when I struggle to articulate my prayers with speech. Writing affords me the opportunity to really process what I am going through-some of my posts were written when things were really tough in my life-whereby I didn’t see things changing. I wrote them because I had hope that things would change. I read them now and I am in awe in how God is ever faithful, that even when we don’t understand-He always has the best intentions.

Friend, I am in a great place in life right now-things aren’t perfect but I am growing closer and closer to the Lord, I know Him better than I did last year. he has caused me to grow up faster than I had anticipated. He urges me to reach out more to others more than I would like to sometimes-but I am glad he pushes me because everyone I met has a divine appointment and assignment in my life.

My roots are more secure now-the wind does try to beat me down BUT the difference is that I am never uprooted from God- I am never uprooted out of his love and grace.

I have this palpable love for the Lord-it overwhelms me sometimes. I think about him often, He consumes me daily. I have conversations with Him knowing that he is right there-I don’t convince myself anymore that he is listening, I now know that He is.

I don’t walk around wishing that people would affirm me-I walk around now knowing that I am important-not to the world but to my Father, I matter to him. I walk with certainty about the love that he has for me.

I could go on and on but all I know is that there is maturity now – what’s beautiful with God is that it’s never stagnant-growth is progressive.

My hope for you is that you would encounter the depth of God’s love-that the height and breadth of it would just overwhelm you. My hope is that you would be lost in the indescribable love that strips fear ,that tears doubt up, that shakes hopelessness and that destroys separation.

Friend-things will get better-they always do! The process may be painful, but it will end-it has to end. You are growing-pain is part of the process but the beauty is the fruit that’ll come out of that.

A seed has to break before a bud comes forth.

You are growing-prepare for your bud, prepare for your fruit-prepare for your harvest.

Prepare for your Savior – keeping in mind that was in in Heaven is PREPARED for you, it’s nothing compared to what you have ever imagined.

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Let it go…forgive

 

I was that person who speaks about letting go and forgiving, I was that person who would open up scriptures urging others to forgive and showing them the importance of letting go-until I had to forgive someone.

Friends, forgiveness is not easy-forgiveness doesn’t make sense at all. Forgiveness is not something that one excels in-no matter how many times you can preach about it-until you are faced with forgiving someone, it’s not easy.

Can I just be real and transparent?

I knew I was carrying something heavy, I knew that I couldn’t keep holding that load-I felt like the other person was wrong and it was unfair that no one could see the wrong that was done to me-everyone continued being happy and even entertaining the other person whilst I had to carry this load all by myself. Unforgiveness is like poison-it eats away at you from inside, it destroys parts of you-it makes you have a distorted view of things-you are filled with anger and that quickly turns into bitterness especially when the person who wronged you is going about their life  joyously as if nothing is wrong.

Friends I was busy looking for sympathy from others when I could’ve turned to Jesus immediately. Look at Jesus on the cross-immediately, he cried out to his father to forgive those who crucified him-he prayed for us in a moment when he could’ve been angry, bitter and unforgiving. He didn’t look for sympathy from God-he cried out for us in that moment!

I cried out to God eventually, I wish I had started there initially. I look back now and I won’t describe what this person did because it’s really not worth it anymore. What I am angry about is that it took me some time to deal with this situation, I am upset that I allowed myself to be held captive when I am free. I put myself in a prison when I am no longer a slave.

I just cried out to my Father, I just cried and cried because I know he knows how heartbroken I truly was especially because I love this person dearly. I asked the Lord to forgive me for holding onto this, I asked him to give me strength to truly let it go. As I am typing this I am tempted to expose this person-but Jesus keeps saying let it go.

Forgiveness really isn’t about the other person-it’s about you! Forgiveness allows you to roam in the presence of God freely knowing that your conscience is clear before him. Forgiveness allows you to give the person over to God and to allow him to deal with the situation the way he sees fit and to trust that it will be the best way.

The question I had to the Lord was how do I interact with this person since they are a part of my life- and he said: ” see me in them”. I wailed! I cried so much because the Lord is asking me to extend love-unconditional love to that person. The hardship about this statement is that I know in my own strength I can’t-my flesh still wants to hurt them back, but I know that with Jesus all things are possible- I know that by his Spirit I can and will do this.

I am not a perfect person,  I write these posts because I am a real person who goes through hardship and testing of character. I have a real relationship with Jesus and sometimes it gets really hard like now-but what matters to God is the willingness to trust Him in every situation.

Sharing this experience with you has helped me to really deal with my heart-to really be transparent with the moments I have felt like giving in, sharing this experience has brought healing into my heart because I am reminded of my worth in Christ-He forgave me when I didn’t even know that I had wronged him, he forgave me when I was going about my life not even considering his heart, he forgave me anyway.

Who am I not to do the same?

 

Loving someone who doesn’t love you

 

There is nothing more painful in this world than knowing that you love someone dearly, but they don’t love you back. There is no higher form of rejection than that kind. I don’t know if you have seen children playing and one comes with toys to also join in-and the others just all pack up and leave that child behind. It stabs at your heart just witnessing it-now imagine what it does to that child’s heart-it’s a break in the heart that no amount of reassurance can mend.

I know what it feels like to love someone who doesn’t love you back; I’ve been there.

You feel like something is wrong with you, you feel like you are not enough-inadequate in every sense of the word. The sad thing is that comparisons start to creep in and you feel like someone else would be better for that person , you feel like maybe if you were smarter, better looking that person would love you back. I have witnessed people change who they were to try and be loved, I once heard one woman say : “he loves blondes-so I will dye my hair blonde and have long hair if that’s what it takes to keep him.”

Beloved-that statement crushed my heart because every single day this person hopes and prays that one day they will be noticed, they will be affirmed, they will be valued-they will be loved. but that day never comes! You start living in this false hope that this person will change, you even start making excuses for them as to why they can’t love you the way you deserve to be loved.

My question is- how did you even value yourself less to be stuck in a situation like that? How did you look down on yourself to find yourself so dependent on another human to validate your being? Do you honestly believe that you can’t be loved? Do you honestly believe that there isn’t someone in this world who can understand and value all of you?

I look back now and realise that I had traded in unconditional love for superficiality. I traded in my value to become a replica of someone else so that I could experience love-yes beloved, I became that desperate once in my life. I became that desperate because in all honestly I didn’t see what my value was as a person, I needed someone else to see that in me.

This made me realise that Jesus goes through this with us everyday-He waits, he knocks, He waits again but in all that , he loves us even when we say :”not today Lord.” He loves us unconditionally even when we stop talking to him for years, he continues to love us when we curse him for the hardships we have to endure, he loves us even when we stop doing his will and turn to other things to fill us up-Jesus remains there!

The lesson I learnt from Jesus is that only he is capable of loving unconditionally-only he has that kind of heart that pursues man even in the face of severe rejection. I also learnt that you can’t force someone to love you-you can only demonstrate that love and hope that they will see it and reciprocate it. He taught me as well to not base my love on someone else but rather to love people besides themselves-not to love because I am anticipating something back, but rather to just love because they need it. The Lord taught me to always remember that if I know my value in Him, if I know how priceless I am to him- I am able to love others without needing their affirmation.

Beloved-you may be stuck in a loveless relationship right now, you are considering divorce-you are considering separation. You are tired of holding onto to someone who doesn’t even acknowledge your presence, you are tired of trying to be the better person, you are tired of lying to people that you are happy when deep down you feel empty. You are tired of faking a happy marriage when you can see that this person’s heart is nowhere near you. Maybe you have even been deceived into thinking by being with someone else things will be better-maybe you have even indulged and broken the vows of your marriage.

I understand your pain

But, you need to acknowledge your actions and realise that because you never knew the love of your first Husband-you went and looked for a second-hand type of love. You need to understand that desperation will lead to to make costly mistakes that you will later regret. Beloved, in as much as you may want that divorce, the truth is no one can love you better than Jesus, if you don’t know that kind of love-you will find yourself in your second, third even fourth marriage and you will find yourself cheating in between because you want to be loved.

We cheat on the Lord because we trade in His love for the superficial things of this world. I love my husband not because he loves me back, but I am able to love him because I know of a greater love than his. My husband may disappoint  me at times-but I always know who to run to in moments like that, I run to my first love-Jesus. It’s easier to love my husband because he loves me back but when I made my vows I chose to love him even if he might decide one day not love me back. It sounds crazy but what I’m saying is that the love I know the Lord has for me makes me able to love despite what others may do to me.

I’m not saying get divorced, and I am also not saying stay. I am saying stop the cycle of thinking a human being can love you the way you deserve to be loved-yes, some people may try but it’s never 100 percent, there comes a point where they may fail you. You have failed your children haven’t you? It’s not that you wanted to, but you are human-it happens.

Know the Love of Christ first-it’s complete! It fulfills our entire being. It transcends what anyone can ever give you. Run to him with open arms-he has been waiting to shower you with the love that your soul has been longing  for-he wants to drench you with his love-he want to shower you with praise. He wants to show you off to all the world, replenish your weary soul- he wants to love you back!

You belong to Him.

 

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