Finding My Balance in life

balanceI’ve been meaning to write a blog for ages now and the very topic for which I am writing this is the driving force behind my infrequent posts. Being the person that I am, I find I’m always looking for something to do, never easily getting bored, nor allowing time to be wasted.

So much so that I maybe find solace in accomplishing every possible task I can. However, I am still struggling with getting to a point where I think I’ve got ‘it’ covered- whatever that is.

So I think at some point, I stopped making the effort to get every single thing done and focused on just a few; and sadly that meant my spiritual life had to suffer a bit. I was not making the effort to have the time to pray and truly fellowship with my maker; and was whizzing through life with just daily devotional points from an app on my phone. After all God understands my hectic schedule.

In this same time frame, I also realised that it is true what they say that- regardless of how busy life gets, you do make time for the things and those you Love the most.  Did that mean I didn’t love and value my relationship with God? I don’t think so. I think my life had to head in that direction for me to learn how and the importance of making the time for the ‘things’ that mean the most to me.

I thankfully learnt and truly believed early on, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. And this helped me not allow convictions in my heart turn into condemnation because God is a loving father who truly cares and watches out for us.

I realised that underneath my consistent dissatisfaction and feeling quite heavy at the time, was my not allowing the opportunity to bare my soul and let it all out- which is usually done in my time of prayer and worship.

It is in this time of prayer and worship that I find the most balance in my life. Because it is true what the bible says that- in the presence of the Lord there is LIBERTY.

There’s nothing like innermost harmony and peace with who you are and where you’re at; at every given point in life. It does not mean I settle for less than or be content with mediocrity, but it means I am okay with the fact I am on a journey and all I need to do is keep engaging in it with everything that I am.

I’ll leave you with this, be willing to accommodate the things that you find are vital to your life journey at the slightest opportunity you get. Sometimes this may mean you don’t get to do things in the order which is considered the norm but what is important is that you do them anyway.

Try as much as possible to reflect at different points in your life and see why things are the way they are and how they can be changed; and ultimately trust God that just like the one sheep out of 99 who got lost, Jesus is ever willing to come find you.

 

Love and blessings…

 

Does having Faith mean denying Reality?

Holding-on; having faith blog

God blesses those who realise their need for Him

I have been a Christian for a substantial amount of time yet I’m still trying to grasp unto the idea of what Faith or having faith really means. Growing up in a Christian fold, I have been taught on different ways to exercise my faith, what having faith can do for me and what I can do with my Faith.

Despite my “faith saturated” environment I still managed to be a ‘semi-realist’. And although I consider myself quite an optimistic individual if there’s an actual problem at hand I very well acknowledge it and do not pretend it’s not there. Take for example- I know people who when they are ill and visibly so, and are asked how they were doing will respond with “I am well”. Some may go as far as to even add “in Jesus name” at the end of that statement- reason being they are confessing the faith they have that they will be fine. Now I’m not against any of that and the bible does tell us how powerful our tongues are and even further teaches us that by our words we are either acquitted or condemned.

Nonetheless I was never satisfied with the idea that having faith meant denying reality. So I talked to God and studied about it because I didn’t want to think I was missing out on something; and this is what I came to understand (by God’s grace).

According to Hebrews 11:1 (nkjv);” Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen”. I actually prefer the NLT version which lays it out as – “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see”.

In order for one to have and exercise their faith, there is first a need to. God helped me to understand that pretending the problem is not there or refusing to acknowledge whatever our circumstances are is not what he is calling us to do. I may even go as far as saying accepting there is a problem is key; although need I point out that acceptance may not necessarily translate to being happy with the current situation. I was reminded of the verse Matthew 5:3 which says “God blesses those who are poor and realise their need for him for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven”. Another verse that caught my attention is “God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness”.

I learned that I needed to realise my need for God in order to actually exercise my faith in Him. In other words if I am in trouble I need to acknowledge and accept it and then go ahead to find a solution. We have a God who has so graciously made himself available to us as our helper, our guide, our protector etc. now this will not be necessary if we lived in utopia. God very well acknowledged that we live in a fallen world where wars, sickness, and death are the order of the day so we gave us access to his life giving grace through his son Jesus Christ.

So Faith does not necessarily mean we make light of reality; if anything, having Faith enables us the opportunity to truly cast our cares on Jesus because He truly does care for us  (especially by giving us the priviledge of Himself) .

Again like I earlier highlighted I’m still growing and learning about the concept of Faith so feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you have come to learn about Faith.

 

Love and Blessings…

Fight for Your Peace

peaceful blogSo I woke up one morning, trying to figure out how my day would progress while trying to get ready and all. Then I started to feel this heaviness and I felt my attitude was turning towards a direction that I didn’t want it to go. Funny thing was, I had no reason to feel the way I felt and I knew if I didn’t watch it, my day would turn sour. I started realising that lately at the time it had been a hassle to keep my peace so that morning I decided to play a sermon by Joyce Meyer to distract me while I continued getting ready. Funny thing was the broadcast was about fighting for your peace and one of the ways she suggested we do that is starting your day expecting something good to happen. She also suggested we start our day saying out loud “this is the day that the lord has made and I will be glad and rejoice in it”.

Well later on that morning I went ahead to study Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus was teaching about not worrying for our basic day to day needs but what especially caught my attention was verse 34 (MSG); “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time come”.

From that scripture I was reminded how easily I lost my peace and joy because I kept trying to figure out what will happen tomorrow and how I may be able to control the outcome (I am not God so I don’t know why I even try); and the more thought I would put into it the more I started to worry about things that may or may not happen. I also realised that I had started psyching myself to not expect my day to go the way I hoped so as not to get disappointed hence my occasional sour mood; and I came to realise that mindset is a twisted perspective that will make you lose your hope.

Joyce Meyer said something that morning that resonated with me. She said if we are worried about something happening or not happening, chances are it may well happen or not happen; so what’s the use of getting yourself worked up- up until the time it does or does not happen. Instead give yourself the gift of a positive mindset, not allowing yourself to lose your joy and peace because it should in the first place not be based on your circumstances but on Jesus Christ the prince of peace.

I know it’s easier said than done because even the devil will not be at rest until we lose our hope, our peace and our joy. He plants thoughts in our hearts that if we are not careful would make us start getting agitated over nothing and that’s why scriptures instructs us to cast down imaginations, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). The book of Psalms goes further to tell us to “search for peace and work to maintain it”.

It is a continuous effort to maintain our peace and joy but by the grace of God it is possible because His strength is perfected in our weaknesses. Some of the ways I find works for me is continously giving my self to God’s word, through bible study and sermons, church fellowship, talking to friends/ family especially  those in the faith, confessing positive thoughts also helps.

There are obviously a host of things that can cause us to lose our peace such as sin, strife, pending obedience (disobedience), etc. and we have to also be sensitive enough and ask God what exactly it is that is making us lose our peace; and Him being a good God would always show us if we listen closely/ honestly enough. His thoughts for us as thoughts of peace and not of evil to give us a future and a hope and as we set out to fight for our peace we have to also trust that God himself is in this fight with us.

 

Love and blessings…

Looking for the right Church?

Two men pray at Saint Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church near Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman opened fire on school children and staff in NewtownMost of my life I never really had the need to pray for God to place me in the right church. Like most people, growing up I went to the church my parents attended and never really had a choice; not that I wanted to go somewhere else   anyway

 

Then I moved to a different country for my studies and I happened to have a friend of the family who lived in the same city I was in. So I casually tagged along to the church she went to and settled there.

I was quite young and still coming to my own so I wasn’t necessarily bothered about choosing a right church. I had a very good first time impression by the church and didn’t even think a lot about it much less pray about it before deciding that was the place I’d settle in throughout the course of my studies. That was one of the best decisions I made though thank God.

Fast forward to four years later, I was done with my undergraduate studies and had made the decision to move. The move was a bit impromptu so I never really had the time to do enough research on the churches out there. Unlike before though I did know what I was looking out for in a church and was now very much aware the impact it would have on my faith should I get myself planted where the Lord didn’t lead me.

On moving there I searched the web for churches closest to my address and I came across this one church that caught my eye and decided to check it out. Again I had a very good first impression even though it was generally not what I was used to, I liked it.

Unlike before though I was more concerned now with making the right choice. Like I earlier highlighted I had no experience of actually seeking out a good church and I’m not necessarily a fan of church hopping. So I stuck with it for a few weeks and kept praying about it. At some point though, mostly because people asked, I decided to try out a different church. This other church was nice as well however I did find that my heart kept going back to the first church; so I continued with the latter.

With moving to a new city and all the hassle of settling in, the lack of assurance about the decision to fully commit to the church didn’t help matters. I was struggling. I finally decided to make a kind of prayer I usually don’t make mostly because I sometimes struggle with coincidences and God incidences; and I rarely had the faith to ask for something so precise from God.

I did though, I asked God to do something in a particular way at a particular time then I would know for sure whether or not it was His will. Few weeks later what I asked for had happened when I least expected it (I had forgotten about the prayer) and I only noticed when it was prompted in my heart and then I knew for sure that was the church I needed to be in.

Now there’s no direct formula on choosing a church, God is dynamic and works differently with different people. It just so happened the way it happened for me because God used it to grow my faith in him. For some it may take longer for you to really come to peace about where to worship and I think that’s okay.

I would say this though; there are basic pointers to look out for in a church. One of the main purpose of church is the opportunity to have true genuine life giving fellowship with other Christians not just on a group level but also on a personal level. So you need to check if there’s an opportunity for that. Another key thing is looking out for God; be it in the message, in the worship, in the people etc. and make sure you find the God/Jesus Christ you know and love. Try not to compare in bid to fault the church and given it is made up of human beings, there’s bound to be flaws.

One last thing, make sure to open your heart enough to allow God lead you to where he wants you to be (which may very well be different than what you’re used to) and believe that your Faith in him is just as important to him.

Love and blessings…

Maintaining Your Individuality

Lit light bulb amongs unlit incandescent bulbsSo I was at church the other day with a friend and at the time I was still fairly new to this church environment and my friend was even more of a newbie to the church than I was. I usually am very quiet, reserved and a bit withdrawn when I’m in a situation or an environment I consider foreign or new so I’m not exactly my real self. I guess it’s my way of gradually getting to know my new environment and understanding how to fit in.

However this friend of mine whom I was still getting to know at the time didn’t really seem to care if she was new; she was her loud, jolly self like she had known all these people longer than she really had. I was surprised if I’m being honest at how confident she was, not really minding how people would perceive her. She was not rude or anything she was just being herself. Now I liked it… I even secretly envied her confidence. I thought to myself now here is someone who knows and maintains her individuality.

Then I got to thinking about how sometimes I fail to stay true to myself probably because I think it’s not in the social order at the time to do so; or because I’m adhering to some sort of unspoken rule that governs the social setting. Now I’m not saying act crazy, misbehave or anything of that sort. The information I’m trying to relay is; how many of us truly show up enough to be truly known.

I feel like if God wanted us to all be the same, he would not go through the trouble of locating us in different continents, with different colours of skin and with different traditions and values. I believe God wants us to understands the beauty in diversity and hence get yet another revelation of how infinite He is. As Christians a lot of us tend to conform to this ideal we have in our heads as what a good Christian looks like and how they should act especially when in church; which is good when walking in accordance with the bible but we tend to forget that God made us individually unique for a reason and purpose higher than us. Sometimes we worry too much about how we are perceived by the world in general and as a result rob the world the opportunity to catch a glimpse of how beautiful and ingenious our creator really is.

Now nobody is perfect and I as well as everyone have flaws but this shouldn’t hinder us from showing up in what I’d call our full glory. God had to teach me to be proud of whom He has and is still making me to be. To find my identity in him and not in the way people perceive me to be. To not try and be anyone else but to be me; because that way He gets us show us off as the fragrance of Christ; in other words- His beautiful work of art!
Love and blessings

What’s going on in my life?

So a lot of life has been happening to me lately hence the very infrequent blog posts. For those who follow up the blog, I do apologise and I do have the desire to keep on writing more often but have not really found that balance yet with life, uni, work etc. Hopefully will get there.

So I was thinking, I know I do tend to write posts about different life situations that have gone on with me but never really let you all into real-time life experiences; so I decide to share just a few significant things that have gone on these past few months. It is my way of letting you all get to know me a little bit better and in the good old unmerited love fashion, share what I have learnt and how God has somehow used these experiences to help me grow in Him. (p.s this post is a bit longer than the usual so brace yourselves).

Turning 21

photo bday blogFirst of all I started this blog just over a year ago and I can’t believe it’s been a year already. I was twenty at the time and I turned the big 2-1 5 months ago. I know it’s not too recent but I’m still wrapping my head around acknowledging it. I have to think about it whenever I’m asked my age it’s crazy. What I would say though is that if there’s any difference I’ve observed is that I’ve started taking care of myself a tad bit more, learning the importance of living in and relishing every God given precious moments especially with loved ones or with meeting new people and learning about them. My thought pattern hasn’t changed that much frim when I was 20 to be honest, but I find that I do tend to pray more about applying my heart to wisdom.

I graduated from university

Now this was exciting! This happened in July (4 months ago). Although I remember around the period leading up to the day I graduated, I was not in the best head space; mostly because I chose to focus my thoughts on the wrong things which looking back now, my heart was very ungrateful. grad blog photoHowever I made a decision that day (by God’s grace) to silence every doubt and calm every roaring emotion, telling my restless heart to just breath, forget the worries and soak in every moment of that day because that was what mattered in that time and space. I knew I didn’t want to look back and regret not enjoying that day because I had every reason to. From graduating with a very good result, to graduating with some of my nearest and dearest, to having most of family in one place at the same time (which doesn’t happen very often these days lol ), to being blessed with a beautiful weather that day, to being healthy enough to even attend and so much more. I guess I learnt the importance of thankfulness and realising the more thankful I was, the less room I had for fear, worry and anxiety to thrive.

I moved cities

Yikes…so this happened about 5 weeks ago and I’ve only just gotten from the stage of thinking what the heck have I done to seeing how it’s all somehow been orchestrated and is starting to slowly make sense. I spent four years of my undergraduate life in the city of Liverpool being an international student and hence Liverpool was my home away from home. So moving to an entirely new city where I knew no one to me was a huge leap of faith. However with the way God had a spinner on things in my life this year, I’d say I’m not surprised. With time I would have an entire blog post dedicated to this experience but for now I’d leave you with this. God becomes that ever present help in your actual time of need.photo york blog Literally, what kept me going was being reminded of the fact that God never leaves nor forsakes his own. His presence is most felt in our most vulnerable states because He becomes our strength in times of weakness. I began to recognise that Christ is enough for me and wherever He is, is life and peace. I also learnt that it’s okay to wait and trust Him with my life, allowing him set things in motion at the right time; not trying to figure everything out all at once. I started realising the importance of making Christ my home and you know the saying home is where the heart is- well I decided to leave my heart with Christ enlivening the scripture – in him I live, I move and have my being.

Don’t rush it

Dont rush it blog

He has made all things beautiful in its time

So I was rushing to heal because I mean who likes to feel crappy. I did try to suppress it though and claimed to be okay but deep down, I really wasn’t.

You see I had asked God to heal my heart and he had instead given me a new heart but my immune systems were fighting against it and I was not taking the necessary drugs to supress it. Say what?-Just keep reading.

At the time Joyce Meyer was carrying out a 30-30 challenge worldwide, 30 minutes of the word for 30 days. I felt God tugging at me to take on the challenge. I remembered at first saying that’s not for people like me, it’s for those that need to get their word right and learn the importance of spending time with you. I’m way past that, me and you we cool and besides I know when I get down on my word studying business it goes deep so you know.

Well He opened my eyes to see that maybe it’s not just for the newly born in Christ but for people like me who felt they had arrived but were left behind because they never really continued their journey.

Yep I had stopped digging deep, I had stopped laying myself at the master’s feet; I had now become my own dictator as to when the word comes. Thankfully He didn’t leave me maybe because He saw my ignorant heart or maybe His mercy just decided to abound.

So I took up the challenge by His grace of course. I found myself waking up early in the morning sacrificing that extra hour of sleep just to spend time with Him and his word and from where the strength came forth, I know not.
For the days my flesh got a better part of me, I still managed to find time during the day to spend with His words. No doubt there were times I didn’t come around to it for an entire day but He helped me know from the start to expect it and not be discouraged when it does happen.

He was my strength in my weakness.

Long story short, I not only took on the challenge but I set myself up to hear and learn from God whichever way I knew how. A month later I had started attaining wholeness and I didn’t even realise it until it was pointed out to me.

I started to know who and whose I am. Started growing and basking in the love of Christ, started enjoying his presence even after the challenge and most of all I started seeing the Light in my darkness.

You see we live in a rapidly paced world and in bid to feel and ‘look’ better immediately after a hurt  we turn to whatever suits or numbs that pain even if it’s for a short while and most of the time whatever ‘it’ is, leaves us even more wounded.

However God is saying how about you get the water that never leaves you thirsty again. How about I go with you through the healing. How about you let yourself heal by letting me love on you.