Pressing on…

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I have had to reflect  a lot this year, I have had to ask myself some deep questions; one of those questions was why do I actually believe in God-why do I actually declare Jesus to those I meet?

Worldly pressures at times can throw you in a place whereby walking away from God seems like the better option- holding onto your own strength and might seems better than trusting in a God who says is with you but whom you have never seen! I mean-why am I enduring troubles-why am I being patient in the midst of persecution? Essentially-why do I endure all that I do hoping that tomorrow will be better-what I am hoping for actually?

Friend, have you been so challenged in your life that you feel like everything will shatter around you but for some odd reason-you still continue, you still press on, you don’t understand how you are still moving, but you are just putting one foot in front of the other?

There came a point in my life whereby I asked God how he allowed me to be in the career I am in when at times  it feels like I am being thrown in a cage full of lions-everyday, and he expects me to keep moving-regardless of the trials I face! Sometimes I want to run-but I cannot, sometimes I want to hide-but this force within me says:  you aren’t born to hide, sometimes I want to be complacent but a voice within me says:  do everything as if it is unto me! I have wrestled with God  , I have begged, I have stopped praying, I have fasted for God to take me out, but one thing remained-God said I will overcome!

There are scriptures I read when I was happy and let me tell you something, the word of God sinks even deeper when we are hard-pressed, there is something about pressure that causes our hearts to yield more to God’s word. One of those scriptures was in James where he says we must count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds-for our faith is being made strong ( James 1:2).

Man, if you read that scripture to me a couple of months ago-I would’ve decorated it and posted it on my Facebook page with smiley faces because it sounds really nice, fast track to now- it is as real to me as the air I breath, it is so real because I am realising that my joy truly is not tied to the things of this world-God is allowing me to face what I face so that I can actually disengage my soul from being tied to what my flesh is tied to. The Lord says don’t fear the one who can destroy the flesh-fear the one who can destroy both the soul and flesh( Matthew 10:28).

Essentially I believe in God because truly there are things I have tried to do in my own strength in which I have found myself fail. There are things I have tried to pursue in my own strength only to have those doors closed when I had been so sure that they were opened! God has humbled me in a way only I can understand. I declare his name to those who don’t know it because truly he has transformed my way of thinking. I go through hard times but I always know that I will make it because each and every word he has spoken in the Bible has come true in my life. I have tried and tested the word of God and let me tell you-it is always correct! God’s word can’t fail-it will never fail.

I can go through trials and be hard-pressed knowing deep down that the Lord is holding my hand-he promised to never forsake or leave me.

I may face the lions everyday but none is greater than the Lion of Judah-none has overcome him, I carry his name, I am covered by his blood and I am guided by his spirit! The darkness was overcome more than 2000 years ago-God knows that even if the darkness threatens to consume us-it can’t because it was defeated! He can allow us to face the darkness because he knows that his light is greater and it already consumed it.

I believe because I have seen the Light, I believe because I am a light-I believe because I belong to the Light!

Blessings

 

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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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God has not forgotten YOU!

Ever felt forgotten by God? Felt like your prayers are reaching the ceiling? Maybe you feel like praying, but when you get to your prayer room – you feel helpless, you feel like what’s the point!

Maybe you have been praying for many years for change in your life, you see your peers advancing however you feel stuck, like you are still in the same position. Maybe you have tried everything you know how- you have prayed,fasted faithfully but you are still in this dry place whereby you feel like everyone else is prospering around you but you are left behind.

I can understand the anguish you feel because I was there. I know the overwhelming feeling of depression that envelopes you-that feeling of utter helplessness. You want to pray but only tears come, you try to sing but no words come out-only shouts of frustration. I know that feeling of bitterness that tries to creep in – the anger you start to feel towards the Lord.

To make matters worse, just when you feel like you have gotten yourself together, someone comes and exclaims how far they are in life and how they are surprised that  you are still in the same place. I remember a time when someone I knew said to me after they graduated : ” you are STILL studying? Anyway, don’t worry- I will be ‘sponsoring’ your bus tickets from now on.” That sarcastic statement is still a wound to me because that was the first time in my life I felt a sense of despair, I felt numb because I was always wondering if I was going to finish my degree, it was tough and at times I was filled with self-doubt, always wondering if I was going to pass and then just when I had gathered  myself together, someone comes and knocks that little bit of confidence down.

I want to tell you something- you will make it, you will succeed, you will move out of this wilderness. What you don’t understand about this season is the training that you are receiving. You are being trained to develop thick-skin, you are being trained to rely solely on God, you are being trained to trust God more! Your reality may scream that things are hopeless right now, your reality may tell you that you are useless, that you are nothing, that you are a failure BUT this is a test my dear friend to arm yourself.

Some of us don’t know that we are in a battle- a battle for our minds, joy and ultimately soul! Whether you like it or not-someone is fighting you- it’s time that you caught up with the times and started to fight! The thing though about this fight is that you don’t fight the way everyone does by throwing punches or hurling insults-no! You fight by wearing your spiritual armour (Ephesians 6). You fight by declaring the word over your situation, you fight by singing praises to God. You fight through prayer- if you can’t pray- ask someone to pray with you or for you. You fight by reading the word of God and seeing what he says about your situation.

Whenever you feel helpless and hopeless it means that your enemy has punched you to the point whereby you can’t get up, every time you try to get up you feel weaker than when you were down! The enemy doesn’t want you to get up, he will continuously punch you down until you tap out- tap out from God’s presence, tap out from his love, tap out from trusting him again, tap out from worshiping him.

Stop fighting the devil in your own strength, stop trying to rely on your yourself! You have a God who wants to help you, He wants to see you get out of this wilderness, He wants to walk with you, fight for you and continue showering his love on you! Trust in Him to do that, trust the Lord’s heart for your cause.

You are not a failure!

You are not forgotten

God has your name written on the palm of his hand (Isaiah 49:16)

Stay strong, your testimony is coming!

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It’s hard to let go.

We have read countless quotes and posts about letting go, but one still struggles to do it. Honestly, letting go is one of the hardest things any human has to go through, it feels like mourning, it feels like your heart is being ripped apart-it feels like death itself.

I have had to let go of many people in my life, I had to let them go because my peace and contentment began to revolve around them. Ever been in a relationship that drains you but because you have invested so much in it,staying becomes a better option; actually, staying becomes the only option because the thought of letting go brings about dreadful thoughts of loneliness and despair?

Here is my speculations on the reasons why we struggle to let people go:

We have become to accustomed to having that person around. It’s hard to imagine starting a new friendship if you have spent 10 years investing in this one; yes, the person is toxic, but rather the devil you know right? But then again the devil is the devil.

They form a part of our identity. It’s hard to let someone go when that person has formed a part of who you are, they have moulded you to think a certain way, they have influenced your perceptions on life and they have even influenced you to view yourself a certain way.

Maybe I am a failure. Letting go of people can be perceived as a sign of failure to some. You start off with 5 friends and now you are left with 1, that can erode anyone’s self-esteem. One might start thinking that the problem is with themselves or that they don’t deserve to have friends because they always fail. The problem with this perception is that when the right friendship or relationship comes along, because of the past hurts you are battling with, it may hinder your progress with the current friendship.

The key thing to remember is that when your spirit tells you to let go-chances are you need to let go. Toxic people are poisonous for your soul and your perspective, they feed the way you perceive things and create feelings of inadequacy.

Other times one needs to let go in order to grow! You cant be stuck with people who enjoy superficial conversation when you are busy dissecting hard questions about life. If you want to frustrate them and yourself, stick around and before you know it the tension will be thick enough to drain you.

Letting go is a sign of maturity, it means you are willing to move out of your comfort zone, to challenge yourself to meet new people and to even be challenged about your perceptions on life. Letting go is an opportunity to explore new avenues in life, learn new things about others and yourself!

Let go of the things and people who don’t build you up!

Let go of the thoughts and lies that keep plundering your joy!

Mostly, let go of the prisons that you have created that are keeping your mind captive!

Live, be free and let go!

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