Loneliness: a void so deep…who can fill it

 

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I was watching a documentary on Michael Jackson recently and it essentially documented his life and struggles. The part that touched me so deeply was how lonely this man was. Some people saw him like a god-he was worshiped,loved and praised but in all that he had one thing that plagued him deeply-loneliness.

No matter how much money you have, there is no ailment for this condition. Loneliness can erode one’s perspective and the reason I say this is because of the choices I and so many people have made.

I recently met a lady who was lamenting the years she lost after being in a relationship that yielded pain and hurt-I looked into her eyes and I saw disfigurement-brokenness. I questioned myself after hearing her story and I thought to myself -what would make a person stay in such a relationship if she saw what it was doing to her-and I realised that it was the fear of loneliness, she chose to stay because being apart from him scared her so much so that she took whatever abuse was hurled at her.

The thing about loneliness is how it creeps into your soul, one moment you are joyous and ecstatic and in a split second-you have this severe depression and longing-sometimes you don’t know what you are longing for but this overwhelming feeling of sadness overtakes you and you start yearning for someone to share life with; loneliness can drive you to settle for just about anybody because of that need for companionship and love.

Loneliness is scary because it can lead us to make wrong decisions to try and fill a void that may have been there for many years.

I remember how loneliness drove me into a deep depression, so much so that I stopped attending lectures at varsity and I took on an identity that was never mine-I started to listen to the voice of the enemy that told me that I am ugly, that no one will want to marry me, that I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s love and affection. I remember how broken I became because I had listened to these voices-I remember how lonely I was because by listening to these voices I drove myself into isolation.

Beloved in that moment-only Jesus could get me out, and he did!

I remember how tears became my prayer because words stung my heart too much to be uttered. I recall asking God if this is all I am worth-if my value was reduced to nothing, if I was born to be alone. Just writing this I can feel the raw pain that I felt on that day.

I don’t know where you are at in your life, I don’t know what the enemy has said to you; but I do know of a God so great who overcame all the hurt and pain in this world and his name is Jesus. Jesus honestly filled the void that no man could ever fill. Jesus continues to pour out a love so strong on me that in the times that I choose to be alone-I never feel lonely.

Maybe you are hoping to feel alive again,maybe you are hoping to feel loved again-I don’t know; but what I do know is that you matter so much to God and he will heal those wounds and he will fill that loneliness.

Turn to him, his arms are always open.

(Romans 10: 9-11)

 

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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!

 

 

 

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.

    (Image: newbeginningssc.org)

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?