Encourage Yourself!

“Her smile was like armor and every day she went to war”

I am a talker, those closest to me know I can chat/blab for days and always have one story or the other to tell. So I find my way of trying to get over things is talking. I talk it out with people. People I believe can encourage and uplift my spirit and truly help me heal.

But what happens when everyone is so busy with doing life that you don’t have the people at the very moment you need them to be. Not because they have abandoned you or are anything of that sort but simply because everyone is on a different journey and sometimes their journey does not allow them the opportunity to be there every single time!

So what happens is, instead of wallowing in self-pity, you learn to Encourage Yourself and this is a principle worth imbibing.

Accepting that shocking events will occur in your life is one step in making life a little easier. I’m not saying to start living in fear but instead, start learning to build your strength from each shocking and challenging situation. Looking at how you have reacted, what has truly helped and what attitude to drop.

Now, this is not a call to lead a pretentious lifestyle and never be open about your struggles to those you trust. But to remember that even when we feel like we don’t have help around, we have an omnipresent God who is always…always watching.

Take a leaf off the great King David’s book. In first Samuel 30:1-6, a horrible thing had happened to David; and it had caused him great heart ache that he wept until he physically couldn’t anymore. It was bad enough that it also put his own life was at risk.

However after all this outburst of emotion, verse 6 ended with “but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (KJV).

That didn’t mean that suddenly everything got better, but it allowed him the strength to take the next step forward; which meant going to battle to contend for what belonged to him.

I’d leave you with this; whatever happens in life I’m learning is definitely for a purpose! but it’s up to you whether you let yourself get swallowed by it, or you get on top of it. There’s time for everything, time to laugh and time to cry. Just do not let one season set a negative tone for the rest of the other seasons in your life. Too much time is spent logging around baggage from the past that could instead have been setting stones in our lives.

And I get it, everyone has varying levels of strength emotionally, and that is where we need God! You pray, you cry, you pour your heart out, you study the word but ultimately you must be ready to move forward, whatever it takes!

 

Love and Blessings…

God is For You

support-handsSometimes we are not sure our stand with God. Especially if you feel like you’ve not been on your best behaviour or you could have done something better or treated someone better. You sometimes think why can’t I get this whole Christian thing right? I’m up today and I’m down tomorrow… its like the moment I take two steps forward, the next time I’m taking three steps backwards. Yep annoying and sometimes it makes you not want to make the effort so you decide you know what I’m not just good enough; and subconsciously it begins to affect the confidence you have on God’s love for you. I’m not just speaking out of some abstract knowledge this is me a lot of the time.

But I realised something that I’d thought would be helpful to you all. Something that keeps me going, not give up easily both in my stellar times and in my not so stellar times is that God is for me and on my side and his love for me is consistent. May sound cliché but you’ll be surprised how many people struggle to believe this ALL the time, myself included.

You see sometimes leading this Christian life in a world that dictates we do otherwise can be truly difficult; especially when a lot of “things” the bible clearly discourages are deemed as normal and the idea that “everyone” engages in it may lightens the burden that we may be wrong. So sometimes we are tempted to relax on certain lifestyles in bid to be more accepting or to just fit in after-all as Christians we need to “fit in” to be able to reach and touch lives? well I don’t know about that. The point however I’m trying to make is that we need to stop looking outside and using it as a benchmark of how we lead our lives.

We need to look inwards and see what God is convicting you of as person and use that as a yardstick for your life.

I’m learning lately that every Christian do not have the same path here on earth. So we can’t even look at other Christians and use it as a sole compass to direct our ship. Because to be honest you may end up feeling either inadequate or yet still better than some others. And before you know it you miss the point.

Another thing is for you to remember that God’s love for you is not to be judged by how you feel about that idea. Don’t reduce God’s love for you to just feelings and then make it a give and take sort of game. God is not trying to play ping pong with your heart so stop doing that to yourself. He doesn’t stop and never stops loving you… end of! Contrary to a lot of thought He is not trying to catch you out if anything He is trying to pull you in closer.

So whenever you fall short, sincerely ask for forgiveness and the grace to be and do better. And if the enemy tries to whisper to you that you’re not deserving of God’s love, you catch that thought and speak out to yourself that it is a lie and God is for you and you may not be where you want to be but you’re not where you used to be.

One last thing always remember especially when you’re in difficult times that those times always pass regardless. And KEEP PRAYING because those difficult times can be our most vulnerable of times and hence the need to hold even more tightly to the only one from whom we can draw strength. Speaking from experience He truly does become our strength in times of weakness. Don’t get me wrong you may be mad at God for letting you have such difficulties and it’s ok for a while but don’t stay mad because you give the devil an upper hand over your life. You tell God to help you not be mad at him and give you the grace to hold on to him tightly and He will.

God doesn’t want us running away from Him or seeing him as the not so good God. He is very keen to always be on your side and have you on his side so you can lead the fulfilled life he’s called you into please let Him.

Love and Blessings…

People won’t always be there for you but…

Ever had those moments when you really need to talk to someone because you are having such an overwhelming experience be it happy or sad ( most especially) and no one seem to be with their phone or available at the time? When I say no one, I don’t just mean anyone but those we regard as our nearest and blog pcture (expectations)dearest.   Then they call back, text back or become available when you’re probably done crying and don’t want to start crying again or when the euphoria of it all has died down abit and the high is not there for you to really shout in their ears as much you really wanted to? Yep! been there done that!

For me it was frustrating when I’m upset or emotional and need someone to talk some sense into me or comfort me; and they are not available at the exact time I need them to be. Don’t get me wrong I do consider myself blessed with such amazing friends and family and they have been great. But the thing is none of them (myself included) are omnipresent. Yes and no one can actually fill those shoes except for God.

I had to learn the hard way that no matter how much we try and we’d like it to be that way, we can’t make people always be there for us and we can’t always be there for people. You see I’m Christian and all for putting God as first and the centre of my life as is my prayer; but I never really actively practised it especially during my down times. I mean everyone remembers to thank God when they get a break and are having such a pleasant moment; but not everyone stops to pray/ talk to God FIRST when they are hit with life challenges. If you’re anything like me it’s after you’ve probably complained about it and talked about it to loved ones before you actually consider praying about it. And a lot of the time it is not done in that order intentionally.

You see it wasn’t after I had been disappointed time and time again did I realise that I needed to stop trying to fill God’s place in my life with people. There are great people in this life but people are people and the only perfect being we have the privilege of knowing and having a relationship with it and who will always… always be there for us, is God (Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit). I had to come to learn that instead of placing excessively high expectations on people, I should turn that hope and expectation towards Jesus. The Lord has blessed us with the Holy Spirit who has been described as being the greatest comforter, being able to teach us all things, as Love etc. and a lot of the time we need to genuinely believe that for ourselves in order to fully take advantage of what we have.

Now remember no man is created an island and we are created as a community on purpose; and this is not a post to downplay its importance. Rather the message I’m trying to relay is how about God actually be first in your life. How about He be the one in whom you find satisfaction, contentment and comfort; how about He be involved in our lives as much as our loved ones are; How about He actually be God in your life. Speaking from experience it will actually salvage relationships in your life because you’re learning to place your peace and joy on God and not on people.

For me it is a continuous learning curve with this one, and a lot of the time I am prompted even by people if I have actually prayed about the situation before speaking to them about it. And I’m learning to see for myself that every little variable in my life matters as much to God as much it does to me. God is not just interested in the big things but also in the small things and allowing Him get involved helps us to truly realise that we are never alone, and He never leaves nor forsakes His own.

 

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…

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…

A vulnerable God

How can you truly understand what I am going through after all you’re God. I’m not sure you understand how hurt and pain feels. What it means to have your heart broken over and over again. What it means to have your hopes shattered.

vulnerable

Through his death, we received life.

So don’t tell me it’ going to be ok and Joy comes in the morning because the night is enough to kill me.

Some say you’re the all-knowing and the only truly wise God. I have no dispute against that but I doubt you understand what it means to be human else you won’t be able to casually just say I will be Ok. Of course I know I will be, after all nothing lasts forever but the scar will forever be a reminder and maybe ‘it’ will pass but I will never remain the same again.

So I had a mouth full. God told me to be honest with him and I took honest to a whole different level. So here’s his reply

I know what it means to be fully human as much as I know what it means to be fully GOD. It clearly didn’t sink when you read that I came to earth; born fully human.

Faith, I was rejected by those I called my very own, do you understand how that hurts? Though God I made myself extremely vulnerable becoming like you (mankind) in order to truly feel your pain.

I prayed so hard for the father to take the cup (suffering, pain, anguish) away from me you know why?

I was scared…

Yes I was scared… I had become fully human and I felt every emotion possible. I gave up whatever spiritual defences I had to overcome whatever suffering lay ahead and though I had the choice to pick them back up, I chose not to because I really did want to be able to relate.

It hurt me to see my earthly mother hurt. I had so much love and affection for her yet at the time I could do nothing to take away the hurt in her eyes when she saw the fruit of her womb treated like a dunghill.

My very own friends & companions were not even able to stay up with me and pray with me that night at gethsemane. If at least they had kept awake and stayed by me it would have helped but no they slept off. One of them even denied ever knowing me.

Now the physical pain, oh beloved you don’t want to get me started on that one. Imagine pain that transcends the physical into the spiritual. That’s how much it hurt.

So yes I understand what it means to hurt both physically and emotionally, I understand how it feels to be rejected, to not get what you truly want because God has other ideas…

Most of all I understand what it truly means to trust God and press into his comfort.  Believing Him because Joy does come in the morning even though it takes a while. I guess that’s why I was able to say- “nevertheless not my will but Yours be done”.

 He has handed every power to judge humanity to me because I was human.

I am that part of Him that truly gets you and everyone else Faith, hence I AM the mediator between God and man and no one comes to the father except through ME.

That’s why you can trust that my judgement will be fair and just.

So beloved, I get you, I can relate, I understand and most of all I can heal you and make you whole if only you’d let me all because I LOVE YOU.

 

That was it for me guys, so I’m able to truly trust and relax in his comfort because I know He made himself real to me ( scripture references for everything- Luke 4:14-30, Luke 22:39-45, Matthew 26:39, Hebrews 4:15, Hebrews 2:18, John 19:25-29, John 19, John 5:22)

Love and blessings…