Faith over feeling, because God’s truth is truer than mine.

Not sure how to begin this to be honest, it’s been a while since I wrote one of these. But it feels good to be back. I wrote this poem ( or almost poem, not sure how it works!) when I was feeling discouraged and my hope is that it will be an encouragement to someone else. Bare with me I wasn’t planning to share when I wrote it so it’s a bit ….. raw for lack of a better word.

Where are you?

Oh Lord, I am on the verge of giving up save me.

I have faith but not much, it couldn’t surely amount to anything!

Lord I need you, be not far from me.

This heart of mine is weary and tired. I can’t go on.

 

It Feels like I have been walking in the darkness for so long,

my eyes have adjusted to the dark. 

I have grown comfortable in my weariness and sadness.

It’s been a while since I sat in your presence and left your closeness. 

Where are you oh Lord? Where are you? 

My eyes have spilled about a thousand tears and still I find no comfort.

Your word says, “blessed are those who morn for they will be comforted”. 

Oh Lord, be my comfort.

I don’t know about you, but most times I have this temptation to pretend that everything is okay even before God. Which is funny because he already knows everything! But I am learning to be honest with God. I don’t know if maybe you’re feeling some type of way and you feel like you need to first sort that out before coming before God. This is just a friendly reminder God can take your honesty and he sees you ( not in a creepy way or anything), and God’s love won’t be lessened because of your negative feelings. ” God is not in love with a cleaner version of you. His love for you right now is steadfast, and he is inviting you into a relationship with him” Matt Chandler.

I am still learning and while I wait on him amidst discouragement, I will choose to worship despite my feels ( or at least try!).

“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me” Psalm 13:5-6

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The Art of sitting and perhaps being!

What would it take to make someone feel loved and genuinely cared for? Sometimes I think that the answer to this question can look different for different people on a given day and it is most likely complicated. But I can’t help having this feeling that it could actually be something simple. Something that I have found is hard to come by because sometimes we are so focused on us and what we need to achieve that we miss it. I think the answer is something as simple as sitting.

I know right, initially I see no connection as well. But think about it, when do you have the best conversations with people? When do you find that you connect in a real and meaningful way? I find it is when I sit down with people and actually listen. It sounds simple enough, yet I find myself failing at it sometimes. Now, just to clarify, when I say sitting, I don’t mean just the physical act of sitting. I mean the being present in that moment in time with that person. Not just trying to push for your agenda or force your opinion on that person, but just being there with them.

If you’ve gone through a difficult situation or know someone close who has, you understand this. It’s those moments, when you don’t need someone to say some amazing out of this world inspirational ‘I have dream’ type of speech (I love that speech by the way, but besides the point). It’s those moments when you just need someone to sit with you, to be with you. The bible has this verse, which I hope I’m not taking out of context here, but it says that we should rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. I might be over reaching here, but it gives me this image of just being with people, of caring enough to just sit. In those moments when there’s that uncomfortable silence when you don’t have or know what to say, I think that’s the point you know! The fact that you’re there sitting with that person, is the point. Not that smart catchy phase you’re waiting to say. Or the advice that you just can’t wait to dish out (I 100% agree that there’s a time for that). But could we be people that are slow to speak, and quick to listen! Could we learn to just be present for people.

I know, maybe it’s too simplistic maybe I’m completely bananas and make no sense at all, maybe. Yet somehow, I still feel like it’s worth a shot at least.

My hero

It’s been a minute since I wrote one these, but I wrote this poem and I just had to share it. Enjoy!

They say, “not all heroes wear capes”, let me tell you about mine. He took off his outer garment, wrapped a towel round his waist and washed the feet of his friends. My hero is kind and humble.

Most heroes wear disguises, mine didn’t have to, no one recognized him for who he. While Clark Kent was busy flying around, my hero was busy on the ground touching lives, healing the hurt and broken. While Tony Stark was out building an empire, my hero was out saving people, risking his all for everyone else. If you haven’t guessed it, my hero is Jesus!

Don’t get me wrong he was more just a hero. You see, most heroes try to save humanity from a villain, but the villain always says, “I’ll be back” and you know they will. It’s just a matter of time. Or another stronger villain shows up.  But my hero-Jesus, he defeated the villain once and for all. There will never be a next time. Most heroes kill to save, but Jesus died to save us and then rose from the grave like he was just visiting. My hero will never freeze (If you got the reference high five)!

I don’t what to tell you. You should get to know my hero. In case you’re wondering why let me explain. You know how Peter Parker was the good guy, but then one day this black gooey stuff sticks to his custom and he starts to become this other person that doesn’t care for the people around him. Can I break your heart for a minute? It wasn’t the custom that made him bad, it just amplified the bad that was already within. Or take my guy Bruce Banner. When he gets angry he turns into this giant green monster that basically destroys everything around him. Maybe we don’t turn green or black, but we certainly have evil inside us- at least I know I do. Christians call it sin.

So, what has this got to do with my super hero or with you? I am so glad you asked. Well friend, the examples of Peter Parker and the Hulk are fictional, but they resonate with me in some ways. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t even the black gooey stuff to be bad. I don’t even need a reason to be bad. Catch me on a bad day and you might see green. The point I’m trying to make in this round about way is that I need Jesus to defeat the evil in me, I can’t do it on my own and trust me I have tried.

If you reading this and are kind of confused about what all this means feel free to reach out to me and I can explain. Or if your just think to yourself this girl is weird ( you should have known) but on a serious note, lets talk about it 🙂

Grace and peace!

My weakness his strength

I was recently reminded of a passage in the bible that I have read before but this particular time it made sense in a new light. I was humbling that’s for sure, but it made sense. 2 Corinthians 12:9: “He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power I made perfect in weakness….”.

It was humbling because weakness is something I usually try to avoid. So, you can image my reaction when God put this scripture on my heart. His power not mine is made perfect. I must acknowledge my weakness to be able to acknowledge his power. I must decrease as he increases. 2 Corinthians 12:9: “…. Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weakness so that the power of Christ may rest upon me”.

I slowly come to the realization that it’s not about me. It never was. I am simply part of the larger story written by the author of life himself. My pride was a hurt little or maybe a lot, but that’s fine because it’s not about me.

Slowly and painfully but gladly I learn to put away the old self. That I might be renewed. And I am reminded that in my weakness his power is made perfect. What that looks like for me preaching the gospel to myself everyday, especially on those not so good days when it feels like there’s a thorn in my side tormenting me (not literally relax). Still I will look up to him from whom my help comes from and I will remind myself that in my weakness his power is made perfect.

I don’t know what lies the enemy has been whispering to you but know this he who is in you is stronger than he who is in this world. And in your weakness his power is made perfect.

I will trust that he who began a good work will bring it to completion. And I will rejoice in the fact that I am part of God’s story. And for the sake of Christ I will be content in all situations because in my weakness his power is made perfect.

I don’t know if I have stressed it enough. In case I didn’t say it enough, I’ll say it again. I don’t know what struggle you might be facing, you might not even be face one now. I just want to remind you that God’s grace is sufficient for you, for his power is made perfect in weakness.

Take heart friend you are not alone.

Grace and peace!

Happy International women’s day

Happy international women’s day to my mom, to all the ladies that God has so generously blessed me with. Who have taught me, by the way they live their lives what it looks like to have strength, dignity and wisdom. Thank you for being you (you know yourselves).  

But today I want to take some time to celebrate another group of women. Some of these I have met, some I might never. But their strength and perseverance must be celebrated.  This is for those who woke up on the 8th of March and smiled, not for anything other than the fact that they made through another day. This is for the ones who don’t look forward to a day like March 8th because theirs’ isn’t a victory’s cry yet. For those who almost didn’t get out of bed this morning, because they can’t take it anymore.  For those who have been silenced for so long they almost forgot the sound of their own voice, but they keep fighting. For those who don’t know their own strength. For those who’ve been denied access to resources for so long. For those who woke up on March 8th and couldn’t wait for it to be over because just like any other day, it still sucked, and things didn’t get better and they still had to keep their brave face on. This is for those women, who’s pain I may never understand. But I celebrate you, and I stand in solidarity with you.

So, friends as much as this day is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives. And the progress that has been made so far (I mean, have you watch The Black panther!!). I challenge you to take some time to support a movement that is fighting to make international women’s day more than just another day. Reach out to the broken hearted and the oppressed. Let’s love our women neighbors as we love ourselves.

It’s 2018 already!

Happy new year, friends!!

While I have nothing against new years resolutions, this blog post is not going to be about that. I think there a lot of amazing posts about that, so I didn’t want to saturate your mind with another one. I know so thoughtful, right!!

I actually wanted to talk about the past year. If you know me well you probably know how much I love journaling, so it’s no surprise that I have a collection of journals from previous years. What’s really cool about keeping a journal is that when the new year rolls around I get to read though my old journals and see what God has been doing in my life (yes, I read though my old journals of even when I was ten, don’t judge me!). This year as I have been reading through my journals, it’s been really humbling to see how much God has been faithful even when I haven’t. God has answered a lot of my prayer, maybe not in the ways I expected but he has answered them in bigger and better ways than I could ever imagine. And I have definitely fallen more and more in love with God.

Don’t get me wrong though, 2017 wasn’t all milk and honey for me. There were days, where it felt like I was in the upside down (Stranger Things refers, if you haven’t seen highly recommend). There were days when it felt like I was hanging on by a thread and even that thread was being cut off. But what’s amazing about looking at my year thought the rear-view mirror is that I see with much clearer vision. And although not all of my questions and prayers have been answered in 2017, some have, and I can celebrate that now in 2018.

I guess what I’m trying to say is:

1)    Celebrate your 2017 victories this year. You’ve done some amazing things in the past year, celebrate yourself, give yourself a pat on the back.

2)    Don’t get hang up on the stuff you didn’t manage to do. This is easier said than done, but I hope that God gives you the strength this year to be kind and gracious to yourself. The strength to get up, dust your get off and start moving forward again.

3)    Try again this year. Maybe some stuff didn’t work out last year, and maybe that made you want to quit and throw in the towel. I get that, but maybe this year you could try again. I’m not saying it will for sure work out this year, but if that thing (whatever it is) was worth pursuing last year why not try again this year and the next until you get it.

4)    Dream big and bigger this year. Have child like faith, resuscitate those wild, weird dreams you used to have when you were younger and more courageous. It’s about time the child in you was allowed to run around in the rain. There’s a few outcomes that could happen if you chase your dreams, you could catch up with them, or you could fail miserably (but at least you’ll know you tried) or you would realize it wasn’t your dream to chase. Which ever out come it is, at least you stepped out in faith. I don’t know if that’s much of an encouragement, but I’m trying to be realistic here people come down.

Friends I don’t know what your 2018 is going to look like or mine for that matter. But I hope and pray that everyday you wake and run this race with endurance. That you dream a little bigger and bolder, that you love a little harder. I pray that at the end of 2018 your worn out from giving it your all and chasing your dreams. And that you can look back from the rear-view mirror and smile because the struggle was worth it.

Happy new year.

#Hope#Youmatter

It’s seems that somehow, I made it though that thicket of darkness, didn’t think I would, but here I am. And this is not say that I am in any way stronger than you because I’m not. This is to remind you that you too can make it though.

Sorrow may last a night but joy comes the morning and I know this might not be tomorrow but it does come. And I’m not saying that it’s easy because it’s not, but you my friend are a fighter, and the fact that you got out of bed this morning is proof.

I just wanted to remind you that the darkness around you is not all that there is. I can tell you for a fact there light at the end of the tunnel, but I don’t know how long this tunnel is.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”  You might not believe this now, but you know how I know it’s true, because Winnie the Pooh said it. Not but seriously, because I know you.

Is it selfish of me to ask you to hold on for just a bit longer, I can’t bear to loss you? I’ve been where you are, but I also know that I can’t fully understand your pain, but I want to remind you that there is hope. And I’m listening if you need to talk.

Dear friend could you hold on for me. When those waves come crushing in and the darkness seems to come closing in. Could you for my sake hold on. Hold on friend for this too will pass.

Could you kick those sheets back in the morning and get up? So, I can see that lovely smile, that lights up the room. And brightness my day.

And always remember, if you need a shoulder to cry on, I’m here. If you need someone to sit with you in comfortable silence, I’m here. If you need someone to make you laugh, I’m here, and I can try.

And if you forget all I just said, could you remember this one thing.

You have a friend praying for you.

Oh the places you’ll go

It’s been I long time coming, and I know you’re already done with your first week of school, but I’m going to write this anyway.

I’m so proud of you girl, you made it through high school in one piece (at least for the most part) and now here you are going off to University to do big and great things.

Here’s a few things I wish someone had told me in my first year. I hope you find this helpful. But first, I want you to remember that I’m writing this based on my first-year experience, so it might be subjective. Take only what you find useful.

At this point you’ve attended a few lectures and have seen that it’s a lot bigger than high school and a lot more intimidating. Brace yourself kiddo, it gets a bit more intimidating before it gets easier. You’re going to meet people in your lectures that just seem to have been born knowing everything. They just seem to be able to answer every single question the Professor has, even stuff the Professor hasn’t even taught. My advice would be to not compare yourself with others, that will just stress you out. Just do your best, that’s all you can do.

You’ll soon realize that moving over 4,000 miles away from home is a lot harder than you anticipated and you’re not the only one. Most international students soon realize that they hadn’t thought about the distance all that much. And I wish I could say there’s a simple home-made remedy for skipping the homesickness, but I can’t. Crying may or may not be part of your daily route for a few months (I hope it’s the latter).

Sometimes you are (going) to feel like moving away from home was not the right choice and you’re going to wish you could just go home. And it’s okay to feel like that, but you must remind yourself of the truth. The God that took you there will sustain you.

There’s going to be days when you’re going to feel lonely and sad; you will be tempted to isolate yourself and just cry your eyes out. Don’t, just pick up the phone and call anyone and ask to them hang out. Sometimes you’re going to have to make the first step. If they can’t hang out with you, call me and we can hang out on the phone or cry together.

One thing you’re going to be forced to do is to put yourself out there. God is going to push you way outside of your comfort zone ( when you look back you won’t even see where the zone ends. Take courage. And remember to lean not on your own understanding, but on the Lord.

I know all of this sounds kind of sad, and it seems like there’s no good things to look forward to. Well there’s none (kidding!!) Of course, there’s good to look forward to, otherwise people wouldn’t still choose to study away from home.

You are going to be stretched in so many ways and you’re going to grow so much too. You’ll be surprised by how much you’ll learn about yourself and about God and about community. Community can be an amazing thing if you join the right one (which I’m sure you will). You’re going to meet amazing people, that are going to remind you of just how much God cares for you. You’re going to meet friends that will open their home up to you, and invite you into their family.

What ever comes your way, hold on. You will get through it, I know you will. And you are going to come out of first year stronger, mature and wiser. And I pray you never forget just how powerful the God you serve is. (wor

I think Dr. Seuss puts it well,

“Oh the places you’ll go!

You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers

Who soar to high heights.

…And will you succeed?

Yes, you will indeed!

98 and ¾ percent guaranteed”.

So, kiddo spread your wing and fly! And always remember you’ve got a sister that’s praying for you. And I’m only one call away (# song reference). Love you kid.

Learning to love me

Am I really beautiful? When are these acne spots clearing up? Is there enough make up to cover up all these spots? Sadly I may not be the only one whose mind is plagued with these types of questions.

Why is it so hard for girls to love themselves? We work so hard to gain other people’s approval, yet somewhere along the way we forgot to seek our own, as though complimenting ourselves is somehow less of a compliment. But I’m learning now that I don’t have to wait to be told I look amazing to know that I look amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I still like compliments but, I’ll still be fine without them (most days).

I could easily sit back and blame society and the endless propaganda that have spoon fed me the lies, that I needed to look a certain way to be “beautiful”. Or, I could blame reckless comments thrown at me, which left me insecure.

I’m learning that sometimes people’s opinion can be a little bit like a buffet, you only take what is really important and you can leave the rest. And this is not to say that you can’t learn from others, but it’s to say, don’t take everything they say so personally take only what you think is helpful in building you up.

Sure there’s no denying it, the media really has a way of dictating for us what “a beautiful” person looks like. I won’t deny that one too many times, I believed the lie that I needed to look a certain way to be worthy of love. Yet when I search the scripture, I’m told that God knew me before I was even born and loved me before I even knew that love was a word that existed in the English dictionary, heck before I even knew there was an English dictionary.

The same God that spoke the world into motion says to me, “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See I have engraved you on the palm of my hand”

Somehow although I know these truths, I still sometimes walk around looking for approval that’s only temporary.  I still look in the mirror some days and hear that voice telling me, I’m not good enough, not tall enough, and not beautiful enough or smart enough and I listen.

But I’m learning that sometimes even I have a blurred vision sometimes. And that’s why, the never changing truths from a loving God are my best allies.

A few truths I like to remind myself on those days when I don’t know how to love the girl in the mirror the way I should are more or less similar to this, “You are loved by the one, who created love himself, You are worth dying for, by the one who created life himself, You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Most importantly, you are you and there’s only one you in the world”.

As Benjamin Zephaniah puts it,”To leave behind that backward state
of judging looks is very great. I’m beautiful,I’m beautiful this minor fact I know”.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. I am beautiful inside and out, and so are you.