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 I usually am very quiet, reserved and a bit withdrawn when I’m in a situation or an environment I consider foreign or new so I’m not exactly my real self.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

Am I really Happy?

happy blogI was talking to a friend recently and he told me that I seem happy all the time and that now he thinks of it he had never seen me upset. I chuckled, thinking to myself oh honey you don’t know the half of it. Having gone through my instagram posts he reached the conclusion that I’m a happy person. I wouldn’t beg to differ because I do think I am a happy person… well most of the time.

However his statement got me thinking. I did tell him that like everyone else I had my own stresses and worries and that we all deal with things differently. I realised quickly that as an individual I can only stay upset for so long before it starts eating away at me. So I cry it out, talk it out and most importantly pray about it and the cycle continues until I fully let go of the burden/heaviness.

You see I said “let go of the burden” and not “until the problem goes away” because sometimes the “problem” never goes away. Some problems do go away whereas with some you have to deal well until you turn the coin and they are no longer seen as problems. Take for example- the struggle of being confident in yourself and accepting yourself can be a problem until you decide to accept that you’re a designer’s original and one of a kind.

I don’t believe true happiness is the absence of having worries, fears or problems. It is rather being able to navigate through life and understanding that its twists and turns are all integral parts of its beauty. That way you condition your mind to not only expect challenges but to also look forward to going through and overcoming these challenges. If you’re Christian like me, you hold on to a greater hope, believing that all things have been orchestrated by God and He has made everything beautiful in its time. Bottom line is- have FAITH!

Another thing is, you have to believe in true happiness and genuinely want that for yourself. I mean if you’re a consistent pessimist or you just like attention so you look for every opportunity to be upset it will be hard for you to let go of every unwanted burden you encounter. I’m not saying live in la la land and delude yourself because I know as much as anyone else that life is real; however a little inclination towards a positive attitude every now and then wouldn’t hurt.

Finally I’d leave you with this- always look for opportunities that will make you smile and consciously remove yourself from any mood dampening situations; always endeavour to be thankful- focusing more on your blessings than your sorrows; never compare yourself in a negative way to others because you don’t know their struggles, lead a healthy life style and finally have faith and trust that God’s got You!

 

Love and Blessings…

My Faith was Uncertain

What if everything’s not going to be okay; because at this point I’m tired of waiting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So I had this recurring thought and started questioning if- ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF THEM THAT LOVE GOD. I was tired of hearing this. I mean if anything good is meant to come out of my being sad and depressed then I’m yet to see it- was what I said.

You know when you’re assured of God’s purpose for your life and you start working towards it with all faith, all heart and all mind. Some people even do a complete 180 turn taking that leap of faith but that path they set on does not necessarily embrace them the way they pictured it.  Then you question yourself, your belief and your God.

I began asking God I mean; I thought this is what you wanted for me, after all this was mostly your idea so why cut me off when I was so close. It’s like you pulled the rug from under my feet and it hurts.

This was the point I was and my Faith was shaken.

I was not anything like those the Psalmist described to be like Mount Zion that cannot be moved because they trust in God. Everything shook me and I began to panic.

I went through the whole God I am not happy with you phase and finally came to my senses I guess;  Well God also had his way of subtly teaching me life giving principles that found root in my heart.

I realised I was shaken so much because my faith was anchored on the wrong foundations. My faith was based on what I could get from God and what He could do for me. My faith was centred on how I felt and on my circumstances. And you never come to real terms with this truth (if it’s your truth) until you get to a point where you’re forced to ask yourself why you believe what you believe.

I had to learn to build my faith in God alone and allow Him to help me trust Him. To trust in His Sovereignty and that He is a holy God and has no evil in him. I had to learn to rely on and fully submit to His expectations for my life and not mine because He made me.

I also painfully realised that God does not always lead us through the safest of routes in life.

Sometimes He may ask you to walk on water without warning that you may sink in the process only because He wants you to learn the real essence of solely trusting in Him.

And He wants to develop in you, a Fearless Confidence.

I guess this is why Shadrach Meshach and Abednego were ready to be thrown into the fiery furnace because that was not enough to move them and I believe that right there is Life.

 

Who do you think you are?

Who am I? a question I used to ask when in doubt probably because of some things I have done, or what people have said about or to me. We may not all  admit to asking this question literally but we often do in different ways asking questions like am I beautiful, am I smart, am I good enough? etc.

We’ve all struggled or are struggling to really know what our identity is. I for one used to place my identity on my grades and when I don’t do as well as I want even though most times its nothing close to a fail, I cry as if the world is about to crumble on me. So my identity was based on my achievements among other things. While there are some others who build their identity based on their background, their past, their present, who their parents are, their friends, their ethnicity etc.

You see the bible tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23) and also that as a man (or woman) thinks in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7). One thing I got from this verse is that you are what you believe, what you accept and what you hold dearly to. Everyday thoughts are continuously planted in our hearts through different experiences and it only takes one wrong thought to re-programme our minds. Even God plants thoughts in our hearts but He still gave us the power of free will to choose to think and dwell on whatever thoughts we want. So I’m saying, You are who you think you are.

What set me free from those wrong ideas about my identity was coming to understanding the power of consistency. The only thing or person I know to be consistent in this constantly changing world of ours is God, Jesus Christ. So I chose and still choose to believe and accept that I am who God says I am and I chose to place my security and Identity on that alone because ONLY God’s and his word never change…