The brutal side of singleness…

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Yesterday I was asked if I was a lesbian. Yes you’ve read those words correctly. I still think I’m a bit offended, but then I know that when you’re walking the path of righteousness these attacks will come. I don’t believe the person saying it meant me any harm, but I still find myself having to rebuke these labels in the name of Jesus. 

You see, this individual, who happens to be male, sees me walking boldly in my single hood. I’m not pulling my hair out over why I don’t have a man, I’m not concerned with that anymore. My singleness doesn’t overwhelm me like it used to, it doesn’t have the power to influence my moods and rob me of my joy, because I am at peace in CHRIST JESUS!!! 

Now to the world this notion is unbelievable. So often these days I’m seeing and reading about single women who are so desperate to be in a relationship that they continue to hook up with any man that shows an interest, only to be left devastated when said man, after getting what he wants, usually sex and a few dates, wanders off into the world never to be seen or heard of again. Then the women are left pondering what is wrong with them, why are guys such let downs, where did they go wrong….you went wrong when you put your worth in being in a relationship at any cost, over being whole, healed and satisfied on your own….. 

It has been such a hard lesson for me to learn, but I’m so glad that God has kept me deeply hidden within Him. I have not had to do deal with male attention of any sort. This fact alone could give the enemy enough ammunition to destroy me if my hope was placed in the values of this world. The enemy could easily fill my head with thoughts that I’m unattractive, undesirable, unworthy, but I choose to listen to Christ and He tells me I am blessed and highly favoured, fearfully and wonderfully made, loved, cherished, forgiven and redeemed. HALLELUJAH!!

The more I walk in my singleness and the more Jesus makes me whole, the more I see the world seeking to steal what God has placed within me. This is a battle, but I’m so thankful that the Lord continues to hold me close to Himself and I continue to chase after Him. People may try to label me or see me as peculiar because I follow the principles of my GOD, but I do not care about what they think. In my ignorance, I followed the ways of the world and all I was repaid with was fear, anxiety, depression, darkness and death. Following Christ and obeying His plans for my life has given me a freedom I never knew was possible. 

Here I stand, single and celibate for 5 years and everyday He continues to pour into me His peace, His wholeness , His healing. Because of Jesus I do not fear the future, instead I am expectant. Thank You King Yahweh!

Embracing imperfection…

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Revelation is a beautiful thing, especially when it is Jesus doing the revealing.

He is setting me free in so many areas of my life, I’m floored by how far He continues to bring me in my journey with Him.

You see, when I first began to follow Christ, almost five years ago, I thought my life would be perfect. God would make all my wrongs right, and everything would fit neatly into a beautiful Christ centred box……how naive and ignorant I was….*shake my head*….

The Lord blew me away with the force by which He shook my world. He detonated it from the very foundations and my life was forever changed. I tried to make sense of the brokenness and the pain and in time God’s word came to life within my circumstances as He began to piece back together the remains of my shattered existence.

With three young children and no  godly male figure to partner with me and help me raise them, I found myself yearning for an on fire for Jesus husband who would love my children and I as Christ loved the church, so together we could show them what a Christ centred marriage looked like. For me, that is what perfection looked like. I had not experienced it for myself, but looking at others and hearing so many awesome testimonies I knew it was possible so patiently, I waited for my turn….

…..five years later and still waiting….but now I no longer feel desperate, in fact I will be as bold as to say this is no longer a yearning of mine…

You see, marriage is not an end goal, perfection is not found in marriage. Perfection can not be found anywhere. Only Jesus is perfect and more and more the Lord is showing me this. Through my life and the lives of others, He is continuously revealing that no situation we will ever find ourselves in will ever be flawless. 

I used to be so guilty of looking at others and believing their lives were better than mine or they had things easier than me, but how would I know? What do I know? Everyone is battling something. No one lives a challenge free life, even if they believe they do and the more I realise this, the more I am able to find peace in my now, despite the difficulties I may be facing…..

Every season has its hardships, nothing will ever be plain sailing. It’s time for us to stop believing that when we reach a certain milestone, tick a personal goal off a bucket list, or meet ‘THE ONE’ that our lives will dramatically improve for the better. The only ONE who will ever truly make a radical difference to our lives is Jesus, The Soul Saver and Death Defeater…Hallelujah!!

I am learning that if I’m not content NOW, how can I expect to be content later….an event will not change who I am on the inside, only Jesus can do that. I need to be teachable, to be open to what His spirit wants to do through me for His glory…changing my relationship status or achieving career success is not going to bring me any kind of long lasting joy if that joy was not present to begin with. Can I please get an AMEN somebody!!

I am so thankful that God never gives up on me, that He reveals more and more of Himself to me as I seek Him. I can honestly say I am not the same person that I was when He met me in a church in South London almost 5 years ago. Broken, lost and although I didn’t yet know it, in desperate need of a Saviour. Jesus Christ of Nazareth who continues to be all I truly need. 

All I ever wanted can be found in Him and as He teaches me, I teach my children. Jesus is not allowing me to wait, He is empowering me NOW! He is equipping me for NOW! RIGHT NOW I am a strong and determined single Mother of three bright and beautiful children and  already, they are further along in their understanding of Him than I was at their age and they are 9, nearly 8 and 5 and a half. Wow Lord, you really do answer prayers in the most profound ways. There really is none like YOU!

“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭54:4-6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

In four weeks…

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In four short weeks I’ll turn 38, God willing. 

3-8. 

I’m bewildered. I remember my 7th birthday. That was 31 years ago guys! I’m finding it hard to wrap my head around this getting older thing. I used to look at my children and wish for time to stay still, they were growing too quickly and time was moving too fast, and now, looking at my own life, the same applies to me. Although, I don’t want time to stay still, I just want to stop getting older. I want to be able to use the wisdom of my age to live a life filled with better decision making. Only life doesn’t  work like that…..does it?

If I turn this whole thought process on its head, I’m thankful that the Lord is allowing me to see these advanced years, because many do not. I am blessed and highly favoured of God. He opened my blind eyes and bought me into a deep, life changing, relationship with Him. It came at a cost, but He is walking me through this thing. Every. Single. Day. He has blessed me with three amazing children, my health, my sanity, my strength, a home, a car, a teaching qualification that I’m on the cusp of obtaining….just to clarify, I follow Jesus because of WHO He is, not WHAT He gives, but His  very nature is to bless His children. I may not be given everything I want, but He gives me the things He knows I need for my good and His glory! Praise Him!

Getting older, when you have made mistakes that hugely impact on your life’s path in a challenging way is tough, especially when you feel as though your children are suffering as a result too. I thank God that despite all my doubts, regrets and insecurities He still makes time to show me I am loved, I am blessed and I am His. Thank You Lord.

When you put God first…

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What a difference putting God first makes. As you all know, at the start of my teacher training I was running around like a headless chicken, putting God on the back burner of my life and doing everything in my own strength. Now, not only did that leave me extremely exhausted, admittedly I still am, but it also meant I was failing in areas I thought I would excel in.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year, and the Lord in all his loving kindness and mercy, shook up my world and reminded me that it is Him, that gives and takes away. It is Him, that gives me the power to complete the tasks He lays before me, so if I’m not seeking Him, leaning on Him, feasting on His word, assembling with His saints, then how on earth can I adequately equip myself for what He has in store for my life??? 

*hangs head in shame*

It was a tough lesson to learn, but thank God I’ve learnt it. No more missing church every week, because of my workload, I’m there virtually every Sunday now and my goodness, the messages have been so on time. They have watered my parched soul and given me the spiritual sustenance I need, to get through challenging weeks in this challenging world we live in. The Lord truly knows what we need and when we need it loves. 

God is so very awesome, that He has been able to take what I thought was eating up too much of my time (travelling to and from a church that was too far), relocate me to a church that is closer, embed my children into the fantastic children’s church provided, and still give me all the time I need to complete the tasks required to pass my training. Who but you Lord?! And today I can proudly say He has done what He promised and put me right back on schedule!! I’ve passed two assignments, of my three assignment, teacher training programme. One more to go friends!! 

I’m still exhausted and somewhat anxious about the workload that lies ahead, but I know that with my God beside me and for me nothing, nothing, NOTHING is impossible. Praise Him! Glory! Hallelujah!

“Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”

Matthew 19:26

Getting your thoughts to catch up with God’s word…

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It gets hard when your thoughts are constantly under seige.

I know that in Christ I am more than a conqueror. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. 

I am more than an overcomer because I am a child of the King! The Most High God! 

In my weakness, He is my strength! 

The declarations pour down like rain and give life to the dried out areas of my spirit….

I must keep meditating on these declarations day and night until every word permeates my soul and I begin to walk boldly in the provision God lays before me.

The reason for my angst? Well yesterday I handed in my second assignment folder for my teacher training. When I handed in my first assignment folder last term, it was a bit of a disaster. You can read about it here. Even though I made the necessary changes, by putting God back on the throne of my heart, taking more advice from my tutors and  following my course plan more diligently…what do you know? I’m still being harassed by thoughts of failure, not being good enough, not passing this segment of my training, not becoming qualified at all, the negativity is unrelenting…..

Why Lord? Why?

I’m beginning to understand that the closer we come to a breakthrough in our lives, the more the adversary will try and come for the fruits of our labour in Christ. I need to take what I know to be true of God’s promises and use it as a holy shield to guard my heart and mind. Actually as I write this, God is whispering to my spirit that I am in a spiritual battle right now and I need to feast upon these following scriptures to fight back!! Hallelujah Lord!!

Ephesians 6:10-18

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”

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Philippians 4:6-8

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

‭‭2 Corinthians 10:3-6

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

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My God is such an on time and faithful God!! Already I feel the burdens beginning to lift as I feast on the sweet nectar of His all powerful word. 

Chains are being loosed and strongholds destroyed as my God reminds me that nothing He has ordained for my life can be taking away from me. NOTHING. He opens doors NO MAN can shut. His favor has been poured out upon me like rain. I have nothing to fear, He has gone before me and made my crooked path straight. I have done all that I can physically do in the natural. King Jesus, for His name’s sake, will go forth and do what only He can do in the spirit so I can continue to bring all the glory, honour and praise to His name!! 

Hallelujah Father!!

Why faith pleases God

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I believe I am walking through a season of testing.

I believe the Lord is testing my faith to see if I really trust and believe in His promises for my life. 
It’s hard.

By nature I am a very modest person. I am not one to boast about my achievements to any and everybody. I steer clear of self-promotion. 

If anything, I’m the type of woman who constantly doubts her own abilities in the belief that remaining humble and unsure will lesson the blow, should I fail.

The Lord is telling me this is a defeatist attitude and it must stop in the name of Jesus!

His word says; I am more than a conqueror. He tells me that His strength is perfected in my weakness. His word proclaims that goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, because I dwell in Him….

….so why must self doubt creep into every nuance of my life? 
*sigh*

Hebrews 11: 6 says;

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Sometimes I feel like the Lord is entrusting me with too much. I can’t do all that He wants me to do on my own, and yet He keeps on reminding me I am not alone. He is always with me. It is He that is my husband; Christ Lord Jesus. The One who never breaks my heart, never lets me down, never leaves me nor forsakes me. He will always be there for me and I need to cling onto this truth with every ounce of who I am. 

There are a number of exciting yet daunting challenges on the horizon. Living completely on my own with my children as my brother moves onto pastures new. I find myself remembering all that God has brought me through to get my children and I to this point, so when I feel like I won’t be able to make it on my own, I remember His faithfulness to us and that He is a good, good GOD!  

Then in the summer my children and I will be flying to the West Indies on our own. This should be such a gloriously, exciting time, especially as it’s been several years in the making…..but unfortunately I’m not the best when it comes to flying, (especially for eight and a half hours) and my eldest, although she has flown once before when she was a baby, has mentioned her nervousness, add to that my two youngest who have never flown before……all I can say is that another adult to help balance everything out would have been wonderful….BUT GOD!! I know He is a provider and a way maker and He will send His angels to guide and comfort us as we embark on our overseas adventure to the land of my earthly father.

I read something so profound yesterday which I know was a word from God especially designed for me:

‘If you want to know where God is taking you, look at the lessons He’s teaching you.’

I am going to ponder on this because the Lord is teaching me so much in this season. But as always, the main focus is for me to depend fully on Him. The situations He is placing me in will not allow me to do anything but look to Him. I am so thankful I have You Jesus.

Sowing good seeds…

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I am so glad that God in all His unending love, grace and mercy ushered me back into fellowship with His people. My children and I have been attending our new church for over a month and let me tell you, my children are loving it.

Of course, no church on this earth is perfect, but there is something so beautiful about assembling with other believers. Being in the world certainly takes its toll, so being able to celebrate and worship my King with my hands lifted high and my heart opened wide is like sweet manna from heaven. 

There are so many different events and activities that take place at this church and next week I am volunteering at the annual girl conference. Yes! Despite my obscene workload God has planted a deep desire for me to be used within the body of Christ and He is making a way!! Hallelujah!

My children are loving the children’s church and it is this that pleases me most of all. I yearn for my children to truly encounter Jesus for themselves whilst they are still young. It is my hearts cry for them to be surrounded by other on fire for Jesus believers, so when on Sunday morning, instead of moaning about another early start, they say they are looking forward to church, or when they catch me unaware and tell me that they love church, or when they begin reciting scripture unprompted, or when they begin to sing songs of worship to their Heavenly Father, my own soul sings. 

GOD IS SO FAITHFUL!!!

Despite our single family status, God holds our beautiful family together with His righteous right hand. God leads and guides me as He plants seeds of His love, peace and mercy into the lives of my children. 

Unlike I did as a child, I want my children to know, that a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ is available to them right here and right now. I don’t want my children to make the choices I did, or suffer the heartache I have because they are ignorant of the ways of God. My prayer is for my children to know Jesus and His principles for their lives, I want them to know He is with them, He is for them and His way has always been and will always be perfect.

Putting Jesus back on the throne.

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I love how Jesus teaches us lessons to draw us back to Himself.

My latest disappointment, you can read about it here, highlighted to me how much I had neglected my pursuit of Jesus in favour of my pursuit of a teaching career. Don’t get me wrong, my children and  I live and breath Jesus, but in over three months, I could count on one hand, the number of times we had been to church. My excuse was;  church was too far, service was too long and I had mountains of studying and lesson planning to do….

I dedicated all my time to ticking all the teacher training boxes, yet still I came up short. Jesus revealed to me in the midst of my disappointment, that He, is who I should be dedicating my time to, because in Him there is wisdom and sustenance to fulfill that which He has laid before me. 

When God is put first in your life you will never come up short. Who is more important than Him? When all else has gone, it is He who  shall forever remain. Hallelujah!

I prayed to my Father asking Him to lead me to a church closer to home, where I could go to worship Him and assemble with the saints and in His unending faithfulness He answered.

Today, my children and I attended a church, which although is not on our doorstep, is still much closer than our previous church. The congregation is diverse and my children loved the children’s ministry. My son took a while to warm to his surroundings, but when I picked them up at the end of service, my daughters gushed about the activities and how they won prizes for standing up and explaining the story of Joseph. My son has been given Jeremiah 29:11 to memorise and next Saturday there is a woman’s conference I’m going to attend. Glory to God!

You know what else is amazing? We still managed to fit in some clothes and food shopping after church, plus when we got home there was still time for me to get the children’s clothes ready for school, prepare dinner, the children were able to unwind for a few hours before bed AND I got some planning done AND emails sent AND let’s not forget, writing this blog post!!! Who but Jesus?? The creator of time will actually give you back time and then some when you are intentional about making time for Him…WOW!!

Seriously, I think I got more done this Sunday, than the Sunday’s  when I don’t go to church! PRAISE HIM!!

I’m so thankful to the Lord for never giving up on me and seeing fit to answer my prayers even in the midst of me putting all my efforts into my career at the expense of truly resting in Him. 

It’s such a juggling act. I would justify my absence from church because I am a single mother striving to re-establish my career in order to adequately support myself and my children. Jesus reminded me that I can not do this alone and He loves me too much to let me do it alone. A ‘not yet satisfactory’ teacher file was His way of getting my attention, His way of gently ushering me to re-focus on Him. 

Although it is early days, He has placed my children and I within a large church community where we will be able to celebrate the name of Jesus. He has united me with a family of fellow believers, where we will be able to grow in Christ and become the individuals He has called us to be. I am glad for this lesson and I look forward to His grace filled plans for the lives of me and my three little miracles. Thank You Jesus.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:33‬ ‭KJV‬‬

When you feel like you’ve wrecked your witness for Jesus.

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Today has not been the best of days.

I received feedback from my first teacher training assignment submitted last term. I didn’t get satisfactory or unsatisfactory I got a lukewarm ‘not yet satisfactory’ due to insufficient evidence for one of the teacher standards.

I was crushed, (the perfectionist in me would not allow me to feel any other way), mainly because the very standard my assessors took issue with was the one I explained to them I hadn’t been able to complete due to my mentor being in a car accident. It seems that explanation fell on deaf ears and my assignment was still not up to scratch.

It’s easily fixed. And it’s by no means the end of the world, but what stung the most was the four other classmates who were in the room with me when I read my feedback had all got satisfactory (bar one) for their assignments, so I felt like the foolish black sheep with the bulging folder full of inadequate work (an exaggeration, because I did receive good feedback for other teacher standards, but I’m feeling glum, so everything is just rubbish at the moment…. lol)

The tears pricked my eyes and spilled out. My friends rushed to comfort me, and as one friend hugged me, I swore in my frustration. Not at him, but at the situation. He was surprised. I was disappointed. 

Since my new life in Christ, swearing is something I don’t really do anymore. I used to be that girl who took great pleasure in littering my vocabulary with expletives. Not anymore. Although I have found they can sometimes slip out when I’m not at my best. Mainly in my head or muttered under my breath. Today was different, I said the ‘f word’ out loud in sadness and anger, and in the process my witness for my saviour was ruined.

I hope the Lord is able to make beauty out of my misdemeanour, this episode has shown me that in my deepest distress I must learn to delve deeper into the arms of my Saviour and King and not my explosive feelings….sigh…..

Growing. Forever growing……

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

More power….

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As a Christian, I know that the power of Christ lives on the inside of me. It’s hard to tap into that power, especially when the issues of life and worldly distractions drain your spirit and numb your senses at every turn.

I know I have a battle on my hands. I must choose to turn to Christ in prayer, so He can give me direction and  fill my empty places. Prayer over scurrying to social media to escape the chaste life the Lord is currently calling me to lead.

Lately, I feel the Holy Spirit impressing upon me to seek Him in prayer and ask for the blessings He has waiting for me in the spirit. I feel reluctant to ask. What if what I want isn’t what I need? 

Immediately I feel foolish for entertaining this thought because the God I serve specialises in giving good  gifts. If what I ask for does not line up with His plan for my life then it will not come to pass. 

I have been here before. 

Maybe that’s why I’m afraid to ask. Why ask for something I may not get? But again, the Lord urges me to begin to activate my faith. I’m not the same woman I was when I begun my walk with Christ almost five years ago. Back then, I was asking for things God had played no part in. I was asking Him to bless dysfunctional situations that were not of His making. 

This time it is different. 

This time it is God who has planted the seeds of desire within me, it is He who has cultivated the soil of my heart and now He is asking me to pray for the harvest.

Prayer is hard for me. It has left me so disappointed in the past, but I have to remember the past is the past and I can’t allow it to hold me back from what has been ordained for my future. 

As a Christian, prayer is not just about me and my needs, it is about my children, my children’s children and those God has placed in my life to influence, bless and love for His name’s sake. Generations are dependent upon my testimony, my obedience to Christ, the power of my prayer life or lack thereof. I need to step up and Sunday 1st January 2017 is as good a start as any.

Lord I want you to teach me how to pray in accordance to Your will and word. I know I must pray without ceasing and I believe I communicate with You everyday, but help me to listen to You Lord, to place Your voice higher than the voice of social media and its ability to waste so much of my precious time, time you have lovingly set aside for me to accomplish Your call on my life. Sometimes it is necessary to unwind and connect with others, but help me to get the balance right Lord. Help me to pray for Your harvest to be made manifest in my life and the lives of my children and those you have strategically placed in my circle. I want to experience all that You have for me Lord, I want to be a blessing to others for your glory. Show me the way to go Father. In the mighty name of your son Jesus I pray. Amen.

“He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29‬ ‭KJV‬‬