Know the Word God gave you; BELIEVE; Speak that word every day; Pray the word; Depend on the word; Defend the word. ======= To contend for the word, Be the one who stands their ground STAND until the word comes to pass. Do not be deceived it will not be easy Yet it is simple; Just STAND. ======= Stand and don’t cede ground. Stand in faith BELIEVE He is true KNOW His Word never fails I t is simple; Just STAND ======= Know the Word God gave you; BELIEVE it thoroughly; Speak it every day; Pray the Word; Depend on the Word; Defend the Word. ======= The WORD produces The WORD performs The WORD changes The WORD fortifies The WORD fertilises Depend on the Word ======= The WORD is reliable The WORD is living The WORD is active The WORD is a sword The WORD is a divider Depend on the Word
You know the saying that we give birth to ourselves? I encountered its fullness yesterday.
The young king is a master planner like me and boy oh boy, he is better than I was at his age. He is so good and has been quietly scheming about my birthday for two weeks. On Tuesday he says, ‘Don’t worry about dinner today and I will also take care of the kitchen tomorrow.’ Now who wouldn’t want a break from the kitchen?
We got up for an early morning class that didn’t work, so I went back to sleep. I now know he was glad I slept because he had time to put the rest of his plan to work. Aki, these young ones watch and learn more from that than conversations. I had a call at noon so I got up after 11, caught up with my sister and prepped for the call. That call…wow…it was absolutely brilliant, maybe one day I will tell the full story.
After the call was done, the king says, ‘Your lunch is in the sitting room,’ and I find my favourite meal ready and waiting…for those who have never tasted matoke and groundnut sauce; I have no words. As I settle down, and take the first bite, a birthday message begins to play on the TV. This young man sent a request to specific people asking them to send me a birthday video and he even gave them a timeline of submission.
Honestly, I thought something was afoot but decided not to think about it.
The seamless nature of the day including sending his grandmother to do his shopping for my gift ahead of time, the right beverages at the right time, participating in a call with family, the arrival of a chocolate fudge cake and dinner, got me thinking. If a soon to be thirteen year old can do things with such precision, what of my Father in heaven?
Before He knit me in my mother’s womb He knew that in 2020, there would be a time of sheltering and containment during my birthday season and I would need a creative young king around to pull off some serious magic. He knew that I would be so consumed with seeking direction for the year to come that there would be enough space and covering for the young king to manoeuvre and accomplish his assignment. He knew what would be needed and ensured I’d trained the young king with firmness and diligence, refusing to back down when things got hard.
Surely God has a plan for everything.
The current situation of containment was carefully planned by God and he’d been preparing me. The story my life has to tell is tied to me being at peace in God no matter the situation. The course of my life and all the challenges therein has begun to make sense yet I know there is still more to understand. So I have to be in school with God for the rest of my days.
I sit on this side of the New Year certain of a few things:
The only thing that will get me through this phase of life and every phase to come is the WORD of God. The written word of scripture and the spoken word from revelation and meditation.
There are people destined to walk with and hold me to account therefore I must, yes must, seek to know them by The Spirit, connect with them and walk in truth and honesty. FAMILY.
There is no room for double mindedness only discipline, devotion and commitment. I must set my heart and mind to accomplish all that God has set out for me regardless of the things that will come. FOCUS and FIDELITY.
There is path that only I can follow to attain and become. There is a way my life will to become that is guided, girded and founded in God. PROCESS
Nothing is random, nothing is a mistake, it is all carefully planned and orchestrated by the Master of all things, Adonai. I must depend on him in totality because all things are working together for my good. TRUST.
There are things I haven’t done before and places I haven’t been that now must be conquered for Him. Therefore I must step out on every instruction no matter who or what in the knowledge that though it is a new path, it is ordained by God to bring Him glory. BOLDNESS
I am sure where you are in your walk or if you are encouraged or discouraged. All I know is that there is a way our lives have changed and there is no normal to go back to. Find time in this season of sheltering and containment to clarify who you are and how you must be from now onward, then walk in it.
It is incredibly easy to hold on to people and things too tight to remedy for our inner turmoil.
Do you have relationships that are challenging or have failed because of being tight fisted? Do people in your life say you are clingy? Have you described someone as high maintenance and demanding? Have you been described as such? What could the cause of this be?
I spent time digging into my life and found that whenever I was feeling lost and lonely or I was dealing with difficult things I had a few default responses. I would hold on tightly to the people around me and use them to validate my feelings; I would pretend to be okay but inside there is a war raging driven by anger and sadness because people couldn’t see my pain; I would stand in the corner terrified by my life and expect people to see I wasn’t okay so they would come and ask. How did I expect that to happen if I didn’t speak up?
I was stunned to realise that I wanted my people to be mine and no one else’s.
I wanted monopoly over their lives and attention. I wanted them to drop everything and come to listen to me regardless of where they are. I wanted them to answer my calls and messages immediately even during work hours. I wanted them to just know internally when I wasn’t ok and o know the actual thing that was ailing me. I wanted to be the focus of the lives around me that were core to my survival.
In time I had to realise that no one can be forced to be around me nomatter how much they say they love me and no one can really understand me unless they have an interest in doing so and have a divine instruction and revelation to stay around. Why? We are all special and not everyone is built to live and deal with us. There is a specific core. I also realised that this kind of connection is a two way street so I wanted their attention and devotion I needed to be willing to return the same attention and devotion.
I remember telling a friend, and I may have said it here, everyone in my life is categorised.
The journey to wellness and balance demanded a shift to a more realistic view of me and life. Everyone has a place and each place as a sense of expectancy to a certain end. It means that those in the inner circle have greater access to my inner sanctum and can ask questions and demand accountability. The further out one gets the less access they have to personal information. Why? Not everyone needs to know and not everyone can handle the inside of me. Sounds simple enough no?
My people and I can read each other from a distance, from the tone of a message or unction in the spirit. The part that really fascinates me is how deep the freedom to call one another out goes. There is little we can’t talk about and lots of strength we share one to another. We are driven to see each other become better people so where there is foolish we address it, sadness we assess and engage it, challenges we resolve them, joy we celebrate loud, long and hard.
The caution though, is to remain an individual even as part of the tribe.
Sometimes, when the journey has been long and arduous, it is easy to lean into people so much that they become the ones living our lives for us and directing every step. This isn’t healthy. Pillars are important to a building but they aren’t the whole structure and the same applies to our people. It became a stark reality that I needed to find and make space within and around me for myself and my people to feel free to be away and be confident that they will come back and the experience would make us stronger.
It has been quite a learning to curve to understand and accept that my people have friends and support pillars outside me and I cannot change that. In fact, these outside engagements could be the key to making our connection deeper. Even harder was the ability to give them the freedom to not only be away, but also to be silent even for months on end trusting that when they resurface we will be able to reconnect. (The silence for months is my current lesson…wah!!!) This applies to friendships, family connections and even marriages. So often we think that unless we do everything together in marriage we aren’t a unit now I know that to be rather false.
I found that, having and pursuing personal interests on one’s own adds incredible depth and variety.
It has been hard to realise that I may not know everything about every member of my tribe, but I must be grateful I at least know most of the things. The thing that gave me the most freedom was the realisation that these other friendships and interactions add so many dimensions to our connection through diverse experiences, interactions, ideas and expressions.
It also dawned in time that if I want to rise as an individual who is part of a strong tribe, there are people in my tribe who want the same. Could I be the one holding them back by my application of behaviour, culture and traditions that are archaic and non-beneficial? As I have interacted with more and more young people, I also realised that there are things we are the older generation see as the bedrock of relational stability that mean nothing to them because they don’t have the same social context as we do. This forced me to think through finding ways to connect with people around what is important to them and show them what is important to me.
So I say love deeply, connect honestly but hold loosely.
Holding loosely demands that I deal with the fear, anxiety and pain within me that demands I have certain people and conditions around me for stability. Holding loosely means I must address and resolve the internal sources of uncertainty that make me feel imbalanced. Holding loosely means I trust God to know and orchestrate the right elements for my growth and rise. Holding loosely means I have to trust that the value I give to my tribe is enough to keep them coming back. Holding loosely means that when a member of the tribe needs to leave, I can allow them that privilege without guilt trips and fear.
Holding loosely means that I can admit when I need help and find it even if it means looking for it externally. Holding loosely means I take responsibility for my inner state and do all I can to resolve the challenges and build strength. Holding loosely means I love, accept and forgive me first then share the same grace to my tribe and the rest of the world. Holding loosely means I am can forgive and move on even if the other party isn’t exactly repentant because forgiveness is for me. Holding loosely is letting go of the pain and learning to live without expectation but full of expectancy. Holding loosely is learnt over time and gives freedom to love oneself and grow into the most beautiful version of myself.
The last couple of days have been challenging with a combination of flu and lots of work. Several days I didn’t even have an appetite but ate because of medication and the need to keep going. I even resorted to adding sips of energy drinks to my life for the energy boost I needed. What struck me the most is that all I needed was a sip here and a sip there to get through; a 250ml bottle takes me more than 24 hours. Crazy right? But that isn’t the story here.
I have an additional coach who is just as committed as my other one. I have wondered why God would allow two people to come in and just offer to push me as if one isn’t enough. Anyway…I digress. She is super fit by all standards and has nothing to lose or so I thought yet is an encouragement to me of overcoming adversity and physical challenges. A few years ago she tore a tendon totally and was told she would never get back on the fitness path again. Many of us would take that as permission to give up and lie down, yet not her. It has been a long journey but she is fitter and more active today than before the injury and is back to wearing her heels. I am encouraged to own the space I find myself in.
Last weekend I spent time with a wonderful group of high school students discussing media and its impact. In the middle of sharing it hit me between the eyes that my issues with my body began a long time ago because the booksI was reading presented a certain type of woman as the perfect image. Well, it didn’t say outright that this is the perfect woman but there was a reference to certain measurements. dimensions and shapes that were appreciated and I was those dimensions in class six so you can image that shortly after as I continued to grow I passed the beautiful size and so begun the silent journey and internal battle of I am not good enough.
No one external told me I was big in fact, I remember the boys around me staring until I begun wearing long skirts to cover up and avoid the attention. As I grew older I would attract attention and it would make me feel uncomfortable and that I need to change things about my body so they stop staring. It is only recently that I have realised that they aren’t staring (yes they still do) because I was garishly fat, it was because there was and still is beauty to observe, cleverly placed there by God.
I had judged the situation and taken a position about myself, stamped and sealed it as final and then moved forward with a false perspective. On the outside I was cool and confident but on the inside I was always working on getting and staying a certain kind of small so I could be and remain beautiful. As I have undergone the last ninety seven days of fitness, one of the exercises has been to look at myself. I have looked at myself in the mirror…really looked and begun to see the beautiful girl God created, somewhat shy at times, with a big smile and beautiful curves. I haven’t lost loads of weight…just 2.4kg and several inches yet I love me as I am. I see me as different; I believe God’s word over me.
You see, I have finally understood, just under thirty years later, that I am beautiful because God has said so. Period!!! No other reason needed.
He couldn’t be out of his mind when he ‘…formed my inward parts; HE covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise Him, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are His works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from Him, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. His eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in His book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.’ Ps 139:13-16 NKJV (Paraphrase is mine)
Love who He created you to be…Embrace His plan for you.
There are times in life that things go diametrically different from our plans. I remember being in high school and failing harder than I ever had in my whole life before then and also after then. It didn’t matter how much I read, I failed. I had a D average for a couple of terms even after free marks in every class. My math teacher gave me a mark for every step of the question and I still had 16% in each paper so the average was 16%. So D average for several terms miraculously became a B- average and I went straight to university.
I had told God…mark my words…I told him and didn’t ask him. I said that on no uncertain terms would I go to pre-university. I didn’t make a grade for direct entrance I would learn a trade and pursue it. I wonder if my folks would have allowed that! Mmmmhhhh!
The poor grades had a massive impact on my sense of self and I struggled to prove to myself that I wasn’t foolish. Yes, I had begun to feel foolish with every failed exam. At the end of the day, it is another friend in university who helped me get past this sense of failure by believing in me and loving out of the despair.
Over the years as the despair would resurface when projects or life just isn’t working, this very friend would say things that made me mad enough with the way I had responded to force action and movement forward.
I now know that this person is my trigger person. They have license to tell me the truth whether or not I like it and stand there until they are sure I understand that it is love that drives them and not a mean spirit. I have come to understand that I don’t really have the depth and breadth of the latitude with them that they have with but that again is by divine design.
So it gets me thinking, what are we doing about the times in our lives when things aren’t working and we cannot see the way forward? Will we whine and complain or will we seek guidance and understanding for the depth, length and breadth of the situation.
It is better to understand that God has a plan that we cannot thwart and no lesson is wasted. How do I know? Quite simply! Romans 5:1-5 says “Faith Triumphs in Trouble”.
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Tribulation, struggle, challenge, hardships etc, pull or push us into the place of deeper engagement with God and a deeper expression of Him as long as it is the appointed path for us. I have learnt to celebrate everything because it is how I will grow deeper and fuller into Him who thought of me before the foundations of the earth to honour him.
Every day I get up and decide to live the day in extreme confidence and faith in God.
Every day I get to the end of the day and look back to see the evidence of His hand.
This doesn’t mean that my day is easy or free of challenges.
It doesn’t mean that I never face doubt and fear.
It simply means that in the midst of all these situations I have found a place to lay my hand, head and heart. It’s a safe place, a warm place, a hard place. It is hard because I must lay aside my personal drama and focus on what is His word and not common practice.
Yet despite it all “I know in whom I have believed and M persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”
It is well and will remain well because I am connected to the light
I walk with confidence because I see through His eyes
Recently I worked with a bride who loves colour and it was amazing. In the beginning I was a bit concerned about the colours then I tested them together and the outcome was amazing. It was like nothing I had ever done before and now I pursue it with vehemence.
Look at the picture attached and yes those are the colours used. The place was alive and energetic. It almost felt like there was an electric current pulsing beneath the surface.
Now that I have had time to rest and think a few things strike me and I must share:
1. Each of us is created with a very unique colour – our colour is our personality and the vibrance we bring to this life.
2. Many times we are told that the colour we bring to the table is not ideal and we believe that line and work to be like others.
3. We look for like colours so that we can blend in rather than contrasting colours so that we can blend out.
The #lesson in this is that we need to embrace who we are and stop apologising for our differences and embrace our God given gifts and harness them for the good of humanity and the glory of God.
Be blessed this week and thrive not only where you are planted but also as who you were created.