THE BEAUTY IN THE STRUGGLE

So, I just came from a fantastic midweek lesson

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This one is a little different that what you are used to. a theme of the lesson was “Sexual Abuse” and the damage it does t our soul and our relationship with God. Just want to share some of what relates to me and how it impacted me.

Ecclesiastes 3:11a

He has made everything beautiful in its time

The English dictionary defines Beautiful as pleasing the senses or mind aesthetically.

When something is beautiful, you delight in it.

when you are going through tough times, does this definition of beautiful describe you? i know for me, it does not. I do not express the beauty of God in my struggle . But why?

I have been going through this book lately called “The wounded heart” its a book written to help adult victims of childhood sexual abuse.

yes, it  is as heavy as it sounds. I have had to remember the most horrific events of my life like when i was molested, times when i was exposed to sexual content that i shouldn’t have been exposed to and various ties when i have been abused. its been hell. Its been so painful that i want to tear my pwn mind out. I want to numb out, i spend some times super frazzled, because of what i am reading in the book and the memories and feelings they trigger. I rock back and forth in the corner of my room, crying  because i do not want to remember, i do not want to feel but i know i must in order to be healed.

BEAUTY IN MY STRUGGLE? What? No!

My struggle is painful, my struggle I hate. I wasn’t to discard, I want to pretend doesn’t exist.

On top of that i realized that back then after i got abused, i blamed myself, i though  “hey if only i wasn’t me, its because i was me; naive, too trusting, not guarded enough, that’s why i was taken advantage of”. That’s why i was violated, its my fault. So, i decided to create a new me so to speak. Taking cues from my environment, society, media, etc i created who i thought was acceptable to the world, a persona i could adopt to help me survive and not be taken advantage of again. And guess what? that’s what i have done. from my childhood to now, about 2 decades of a false reality which really is no reality at all. I even  feel it. always have, i am uncomfortable in my own skin, i know that who i am is not the true me, i am all kinds of damaged, find it hard to be real, always want to be someone else, constantly seek people’s approval, want praise and recognition to feel better about myself, feel worthless when i am not recognized and so much more.

To be honest who i am sucks, the idol i have created is failing, i cant sustain it anymore and most of all, i cannot be useful to God as long as i keep being who he didn’t create me to be.

Now, i see that God is asking that i give up this current Dami to be who he created me to be in the first place. Who i am must die.

Now, this should be good news because who i am sucks, i know i am damaged and i just cant be at full capacity because i (the version i created long ago) i am not real but guess what? this is not how i feel about it. Instead i feel angry, i feel angry that God wants to take thisaway from me . that now i am supposed to trust him t kill the me i am used to , the me that i know to then replace me with his version?

I just feel so much anger, i feel wronged by God, like he has sinned against me and need to atone for it.

yes i am aware that that is arrogant and deserving of me getting struck by lightning but hey, its how i feel and one thing i have learned in my walk as a disciple of Jesus, “If i am real, there will be no healing”

Proverbs 23:7 NIV

for as he thinks within himself, / so he is

Proverbs 13:12 NIV

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

My hope has been defered for a long time over the course of several years in my life and boy is my heart sick.

The reason i don’t have in my struggle is because of my mindset. My mindset is sick because of what i have created because of how i have decided to see myself, the victim mentality i have adopted.

I have relied on my mind over the years to determine who i am . to save me from ever being abused again, to guard me from harm, but all this while, my mind has been sick.

The very thing i have relied on for survival is my enemy. I have deceived myself and made the lie an idol and now that i have to give it  up, i am afraid, i am afraid of being empty, i am afraid of who i’ll be without it.

What do i do? This situation will either draw me away from God or towards him.

What to do?

The easiest answer is “Trust God” but then again easier said than done was never more true.

my solace:

Proverbs 23:23

Buy the truth and do not sell it—
    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.    NIV

THE TRUTH. I cannot take out satan’s lies unless i first face the truth of what is going on. Now what i do is dig. Beg God to show me the truth and dig through my life, what i really feel towards God, searching out any offensive ways in me so that i can be led in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24)

So this is where i am at:

On the Journey to shine for God in my struggle. The journey is rough and the demand tall but i determined to not give up

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Made for Disciples:- Grateful for the Kindgdom

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You know that saying “You dont really know the value of what u have until u dont have it anymore/loose it” ?

Yh! That’s how i feel about being away from the body. From the Kingdom of God.

I was baptised in the Londom church but due to Visa issues, had to go back to Nigeria where i applied for a new visa but was denied and just like that, i was stranded. Thought i was just gonna be gone for 3 weeks but its been almost 10 months now.

I love the Kingdom of God and was always grateful for it but I didn’t really realise how much of a privilege it was to be in d kingdom, to have people in ur life that love you enough to call you to the standard of the bible, to have discipling, live in a household of sold out disciples, have brothers that will guard ur heart and take u on dates until i didn’t have it anymore and got stranded away from the body.

I remember times when perhaps a sister would say something insensitive to me and i’d make a big deal out of it, get bitter , keep it in my heart until i blow up!! Now, i miss having someone to say something insensitive to me .

In this past year that i have been away from the body, God has exposed so much in my character, weaknesses i have, he has helped me realise so much. The biggest of which is how privileged i was . In fact compared to the situation i am right now, i was spoilt being able to be in God’s physical kingdom on earth, be a part of a fellowship made up of sold out disciples, have daily contact with my brothers and sisters, etc.

Sometimes we become used to being in the kingdom and start to see it as just an awesome Church.
But Scriptures paint the real picture of what the kingdom really sis and where we come to when we come to this “Awesome Church”

Hebrews 12:18-24 You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”
BUT
you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

This is the church i was baptised into 💁😘

One thing i realised being away is how much a lot of us take the kingdom for-granted or Don’t take advantage of the resources God makes available to us but instead complain about the little things, even use them as an excuse to justify our sin and sometimes to fall away.

While away, I have gone thru some persecution which is tough enough when you are with the body but when you are not, yikes! And i remember just wanting a hug from a disciple. Something i used to get all d time and just took for-granted

I remember when i would struggle and ordinarily, i could call up a sister or message a sister, maybe she could pray with me and i’d feel refreshed

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
‭‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

But not this time!

My Wifi device does not work until 6pm (because that’s what I can afford and even that , barely) . So any struggles i had during the day, it was just me and God.

Or the fact that, in order to be part of a meeting of the body, i have to Skype in or call in via whatsapp or Livestream or something (So grateful for the disciples that sacrifice for me by the way) and sometimes the connection wouldn’t even work. Maybe there’d be an echo or no volume or just disconnected for minutes on end. Something that would not even be an issue if i was physically there at the meeting of the body. I’d get frustrated and angry that i couldn’t hear clearly. While some disciples don’t even show up to meetings of the body

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Or the fact that everyone i live with is basically against what i believe and who i am as a disciple and there was a time where i had to make sure i woke up before they all did so that i could have a quiet time without being persecuted about it

While some people see having a quiet time as a choice or even a chore, i came to realise that it was my lifeline. With all the persecution i was getting, all the religiosity around me, the corruption around me, all the sin around me, i knew “if i don’t have a quiet time, i’m gonna die! ”
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

There’s a song we sing quite often in the church called “Oh, i need ur love ” and i particularly love this verse;
“I can’t face a day without some time to pray”

I remember singing this while i was in the London church, and not really thinking about the words but while i have been here, those words have come to life for me ; its just impossible for me to face the day without praying to God.

Another thing is going on dates; Its such a privilege to be able to go on encouragement times with disciples. I didn’t realise how much of a privilege it was until i ended up in a country where there are almost no disciples, satan wants to get me in anyway he can and i can’t physically go on dates, my heart can’t really be protected in that way and i am just there…..

While some disciples flake out on dates, some don’t even bother, sometimes the only encouragement i get is reliving the great dates i had while i was in london and reading through some encouragement cards i had received.

Another thing i realise i took for granted is being able to go out sharing with other disciples, the environment i am in is sooo religious.
I remember sharing my faith with a lady and she’s like to me “The fact that you are wearing trousers disqualifies you from talking to me”
I was like😧
And she didnt stop there. She went in!!
Really embarrassed me in front of the woman selling her wares, people passing by us on the street, etc.

Even though she was wrong biblically, i still missed having that partner in d gospel there with me.

I could probably go on and on but my encouragement is this; Please don’t take the kingdom of God for-granted. Be grateful for it.

Hebrews 12: 28
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe,”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:28‬ ‭NIV‬

Don’t quit so easily. Don’t keep bitterness in ur heart because that sister said something ypu didn’t like or your evangelist’s jokes isn’t your kind of “funny”
Dont decide to fall away because that brother didn’t greet you in the fellowship or that date was not as fun as you would have liked it to be.

Don’t complain about how long a meeting of the body is or how no one raises you up or gives you recognition.

You are in the Kingdom of God!!! Don’t you know how awesome that it! You are surrounded/Protected by people of God, sold-out disciples. You have a wealth of resources available to you that some disciple would do anything to have. I know i would.

Be grateful, be joyful and fight! Fight to keep what God has given you. Fight to stay faithful not criticising every little thing, looking for an excuse to fall away. I am saying this to myself as much as i am to you.
“If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭24:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I so miss my spiritual family and i just really wanted to share this so we can all realise just how awesome it is that God gives us a spiritual family here on earth. He didn’t have to but he did. We will literally have this family till the end. ❤️👌

To Fear or To Trust

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Been thinking for days what to blog about, two words kept popping into my head; Fear and Cowardice .
Perhaps that’s because i’ve been doing both quite a lot lately

Nowadays we are all so easily crippled by fear , i know i am; fear i wont get this Job, Fear of never really knowing/finding out who you are, Fear no one really loves me, Fear people will not like me if they knew the real me, Fear of telling the truth, Fear of What people Think/Will think, Fear of not passing exams, Fear of not getting into Uni, Fear of failure and on and on and on.

The English Dictionary definition of Fear is ;
a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

Feat steals our peace and most times leads us to sin.

Fear keeps us from doing so many things but most especially it blocks us from God.
When we give in to fear , we don’t trust God, we don’t have confidence in him, we doubt, we become faithless and become cowards.

God is so Wise and he know us so well. he knows how prone we are to fear. That’s probably why he said so many things about not being afraid.
Just reassuring us tat we don’t have to fear.

Here are some of the Scriptures that Inspire and encourage me not to be so fearful. I hope they inspire you too;

Joshua 1:9 NIV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Isaiah 41:10 NIV
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Psalm 23:4 NIV
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil,for you are with me;your rod and your staff,they comfort me.

Romans 8:31-39 MSG
So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, ………………….

Psalm 139:7-10 NIV
Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there;if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn,if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,your right hand will hold me fast.

The Right View of God

perspective-hacks

 

For  a lot of us, our view of who God is is shaped during our childhood; the experiences we have and the authority figures in our lives. As a result, we can think God is distant, we can think he is this great big scary man in the sky just waiting for us to mess up so we can get a beating. We can even think he’s way too busy to hear our little prayers or little issues. Like he is uninterested in our lives.

We can also have a small view of God like he’s capable of things we can imagine him doing; so we limit him. Some people even say God only helps those who help themselves. These are some of the things i thought before i became a disciple and can still think sometimes but that is not the God of the bible.

For me, i know this view made it difficult for me to draw closer to him, to want to communicate with him in Prayer. Made it difficult for me to love him or open up to him. it also lead to me having an unholy fear of God and almost miss out on an amazing relationship with him.

When i let the bible define for me who God truly is, i saw that he is a God that loves me, that is interested in every single aspect of my life, he wants to hear from me, he puts mercy over judgement and is full of Grace, he is the God that sings over me, watches over me, comforts me and wipes away my tears. He is also a God of compassion that treasures me like a jewel and is more powerful than we can ever imagine. how special is that?!

Let me give you some visuals;

God crawling on his knees, with the dust and dirt not caring how dirty he gets or how scratched his knees get from crawling just to draw you close to him. (Luke 15:20)

God filled with compassion for you and me, running towards us just to embrace us and show us his love (Luke 15:20)

God carrying you and i in his strong arms where we feel safe and secure; close to his heart (Isaiah 40:1)

God not afraid to cry with you (John 6:35)

This one is one of my favorites; God happy to have your back, calming you with his love, delighting you with his songs (Zephaniah 3:17)

And there are so many more…………………….

Go through these, personalize them because he wrote them to you, believe them. they may sound corny or even unreal but this is the real God in Heaven!