It’s 09:57 on a Monday morning and I’m still in bed. Freedom Day. That’s what today is. Today in South Africa we are celebrating 21 years of democracy.
You know how your mind gets super busy in the morning… Like I think of one thing and then another comes up and it links itself to another ‘til I don’t know where I started. That’s me right now. I’m trying to figure out where I started; I’m trying to figure out how I got here…
I’m sitting in an awkward yoga position on my bed (which is now starting to cramp my right leg) facing the window letting whatever sun ray gets to me hit me on the face. I figure that’s enough of a distraction to make me not focus on this hollow space in my heart. It’s been there for a while and I’ve been trying to get it filled with something or someone but I keep getting distracted and I keep letting myself get distracted because somehow I know that figuring out how it got to be so empty and hollow will hurt. I don’t want to hurt. I’ve been hurt a lot in my short life and today I really don’t want to be hurt. Not at 9am.
I used to be a dreamer. I used to dream that I’d be rich in my early 20’s and that I’d live a life filled with adventure and that I wouldn’t need anything but I’d be a giver of everything. And then I grew up and realised that though it doesn’t cost you to dream, disappointment will come knocking at your door once in a while. I don’t like disappointment. I don’t . So for a long time I stopped dreaming and just started living. Until I realised that I had to dream again in order to live with purpose.
There is so much that I want to accomplish but sometimes I just don’t know where to start and sometimes I’m just plain scared. Scared of starting and not finishing. Scared of starting and failing and not getting the courage to continue. Scared of starting and being rejected. I’m scared of being rejected. I’m scared of putting myself out there and not being good enough. I’m scared of exposing myself only to be turned down. I’m scared. Heck I’m petrified!
Last year September I packed my bags and moved out of a city that had become so dear to me. I fought countless battles in that city. Some I lost but some I was victorious in and having won the last battle (by the grace of God), God saw it good for me to move. I didn’t want to go. Moving meant starting over. I didn’t want to start over. Ironically, a few months before I moved I asked God to let me start over. I shared that with a friend of mine. I wanted to move and go somewhere where nobody knows me so I can start over. I wanted to run away from a can of worms that I had opened and couldn’t deal with any longer. I wanted to escape. I forgot about that request. And when the time came for me to move I didn’t want to go.
“Whatever you run away from will always be around to chase after you.”
I can attest to that. Though the last battle was won in Port Elizabeth, not all of them were. And the ones that were not conquered are now sticking their heads out trying to signal their existence.
There was a boy. There’s always a boy. Handsome young man full of zeal and potential. There’s something about potential that makes me go weak in the knees. I buckle at the sight of potential (help me Lord). We never dated, never even tried to even though there was something there. His nature was very broad; very loving yet stern, very childish yet manly, full of intent yet soft. Reading him was never easy. But in my heart I knew that there was something there. I couldn’t put my finger on it but there was something there. But because there was no way we could date, I never made it obvious that his presence made my stomach have a million knots.
I never made it obvious that his mere existence gave me hope. And because I knew the type of woman he goes for, I made it my mission to disqualify myself. I made it a point to look in another direction when he would come running my way. I made it a point to not allow myself to be disappointed. Sadly that is one of the battles that I am yet to conquer because as much as he didn’t exist 100% in my space, he had shares to my mind and my heart. So while running away from him physically was successful, mentally and in my heart he is running towards me and I don’t always have the strength to take my eyes off him and look in another direction.
My dreams have changed. I’m no longer focused on just being a billionaire. Things changed. Things happened and made my dreams change. Now I dream about freedom. I dream of the day when I will look back and think “Thank God for grace and mercy.” I now dream about listening to other girls speak and my heart smiling because I not only know what they’re talking about, but I also know that it can be conquered. I dream of the words “I used to”. I dream of a flourishing heart, a prospering mind and the purest of spaces behind closed doors. I dream. And that’s a good thing; that I’m dreaming again.
What do you want to achieve?
I had to ask myself that question before I started writing this. I had to know what I wanted to achieve by writing this so I wouldn’t go off track. I had to make a mental mind map of where I would start and where I would end off. I had to because I don’t normally write about this; in fact this is my first time writing about it. My thoughts therefore had to be gathered. My mind had to be focused. My heart had to be open and preferably on my sleeve.
The picture above has been lingering in my phone for the past four weeks…there’s a story there, it just took me a while to get the words to tell it.
I am without a prince. And while this is my own choice, it is a decision that I have to remind myself of every day. I’m turning 23 in about 5 weeks and I should be getting married soon…well according to The Plan. The Plan. You know The Plan…the one you made when you were 10 or 13 or 16 years old…that plan. I made my plan when I was 14. The plan was to study journalism (I graduated with Business Management and Economics last Friday), become either a club DJ (though it was short lived, I thank God for taking me out of clubbing) or a radio DJ of which I am neither; I am an Auditor. I was then supposed to meet someone and get married at the age of 25 (which was later reduced to 24 then reduced to sooner rather than later) and become, and I quote, “An indispensible part of someone’s life.” Poetic.
The Plan has not unfolded the way I thought it would. I was never shaken by the school and career path change; it has always been as a means and not an end. However, I am starting to feel the pressure of being one with someone. Oddly enough, I find it very strange how we can plan such. I mean it’s not like when the opportunity presents itself, I’ll go down on one knee and ask this fairy-tale of a man to marry me. I may be 23 but I’m old school. I have to wait. If only I had written that down as part of the plan…
“The biggest block to our surrender is not our appetites and our wayward desires but our addiction to running our own lives.” Gary Thomas
Waiting wasn’t such a struggle when I was in varsity. It was easier to surrender then. It was easier because I knew that marriage was not going to happen until I finished my degree. It was an easy surrender. It was a logical surrender. But it was a surrender that had an expiry date. I now have to surrender everyday. I have to remind myself that my life is in the Lords hands and that His word promises that if I delight myself in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart. I now have to align my sight with God’s vision. It’s difficult. Sometimes I am tempted to get off the wagon and start dating and sometimes I just want to flirt.
Can I be real? Sometimes the struggle to stay single until marriage isn’t about wanting a partner; sometimes it’s about wanting to feel wanted and attractive and important to someone. It pains me to say this but sometimes knowing God loves me isn’t enough. And this is not because Gods love is not enough, it’s more than enough, but it’s because there are areas in my life that I haven’t let God be God in. That’s where I am. I am opening up every door and every window in my heart for God to enter and fill me with His complete and unending love. Everyday presents a chance for me to weigh my options…would I rather a man told me he loves me or God? God stays winning.
That is the reason behind staying single until marriage. I believe there is a level of intimacy I have to reach with God before I reach it with anyone else. So The Plan in this case may or may not come to pass but I am filled with faith and hope that even as I write this, my prince is being prepared for me just as I am being prepared for him.
Photo credit: Daniel Faro
Lately I’ve been listening to Jonathan and Melissa Helser. They’re beyond worship leaders and musicians…they’re people that have an understanding of what it means to have an intimate relationship with God.
About two weeks ago I got a strong and unexplainable desire to know God deeper, to dive deeper into His love, to know Him intimately. Then last week I found myself in a situation where had I not known that God loves me, I would have died…spiritualy.
Today I stand having obtained help from God. Today I stand a living, breathing testimony of Gods love. His love changes situations, it changes hearts, it changes what would have been. I wish I could stand on a mountain high enough for the whole world to see me as I confess about this Love that has not only given me hope, but a future. The simple fact that He has numbered the hair on my head is enough to show how much He cares. My heart no longer holds position at the shore but is going further and further into the vastness of Gods love. I’m going in over my head.
I’ve been quite an idiot…the younger me that is…total utter idiot. I climbed a wall once. You know…those fence walls built around a yard to separate houses…that wall. It wasn’t the highest of walls but some chair enhancement was needed to get on top of it. So I climbed the wall. The plan was to get the attention of a cute boy that had just come through the gate at home. I wanted him to see me when he walks out so he’d maybe say hi and maybe strike up a conversation about my current situation. I didn’t think I was interesting enough. That’s why I climbed the wall. I didn’t think he would notice me had I just continued with my ordinary self. I had to do something drastic, something that screamed, “You have to talk to me now!”
I once thought I was a rapper and decided to challenge some other popular rapper guy from high school. Break time came and what would decide the fate of my proposed popularity was at hand. It was raining so I can’t say I was sweating at any point but I was nervous. He started and as he was going on and on, I was trying to figure out what rhymes with what. I was trying to be part of crowd I had no business being oart of. I was trying something else because I had very little faith in what I knew I already had. I was trying other things because I didn’t know that who I was (different), was what we all wanted. I didn’t know I had everything I needed…needless to say I lost the battle because I couldn’t make out a single sentence and because somehow that day, the bell went off sooner than it usually did.
These are just fractions of the things I’ve done while in the dark. I was in the crevice of a dark stone age. I had very little self-worth but amazingly, I had very wild dreams about my future. I think I always knew that I was in the dark. It never crossed my mind that that was the life I was born to live. I knew there was something better. Having given my life to the Lord at the age of 12, I knew He was there and therefore everything would soon shape up but I didn’t know what to do with Him. I just didn’t know how to be His child. Personally I think that that is the worst kind of darkness. There’s light but there’s no light. I thought one day I’d wake up a beautiful yellow bone, nicely shaped girl with all the right things going on for me.
I didn’t know that when He made me, He looked at me and said, “This is good.” I didn’t know that when He made my grandparents He already knew me. I didn’t know that He made my path to be just the way it is, making me cross mountains just so He can show up when I have nothing left so He can be my everything. I didn’t know that I didn’t have to do drastic things because He already made me different and therefore no matter how similar I can be to someone, no one in this entire world can ever be like me. I didn’t know I was interesting, not by might or by power but by the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know.
That is why I do what I do now. That’s why I write. Because I now know. I thought this blog only had the capacity to reach people in South Africa but I’ve been constantly seeing people from other countries and other continents go through the contents of this blog. My prayer has always been that the Truth that the gospel of the Lord reaches everyone, even to the ends of the world. And as days go by, I see that it is. I don’t regret being an idiot because it not only made me realise how precious God is to me, it also gave me stories to tell. Stories that I hope will let you know that because the One that made you is Beautiful, you too are beautiful.
I wish I could’ve gotten the chance to explain my weeping. I feel like had I explained, some would not have gone home and asked God to heal me yet my tears were not the result of hurt. I’ve held this sentiment throughout the past 15 months…
I wish I could get up and not feel so drained because my tears come from a deep well. Rather, I wish I could get up and smile and have enough words to tell you how I really feel…peaceful.
If ever there was a crying quota, I know that in the year of 2014, I exceeded that quota. There were times when I’d cry every single day for a week. There were times when I’d cry myself to sleep almost every night. There were times when I would cry so much that opening my eyes would become a chore. There were times when I’d sit and sob at the altar, hoping I could just lay there for eternity and have God minister to me.
While many of these moments were as a result of being broken, having looked back, I realised that majority of them were caused by the goodness of God. I could not understand a lot of things that were happening last year, but even then, I carried an enormous amount of peace, peace that I had received from the Prince of Peace Himself.
Today at church I was reminded of these moments. I wept throughout the service and I wish I could’ve explained to the lady sitting next to me that I was ok…in fact I was more than ok. I was having a moment of overpowering gratitude.
When I look at myself today and I think of the person I was 5,6 years ago, I cannot but shed a tear. A friend of mine, upon request (workshop activities), described me as a package the other day. A Package. Everything you need in a person…a package. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that one day I would be described as a package. This is why I weep. There is absolutely nothing I have done to deserve what I have, who I am and where I am going. I still may not much material things to show, but that doesn’t bother me for my war, just like most, was not on the outside but on the inside. Pst. T.D Jakes once said that because the war is on the inside, so is the bleeding.
I remember moments when I would be so hurt that I would go into the bathroom (the only private room at home) and I would cry that very silent and very painful cry. Five minutes later I’d walk out of there as if nothing happened; smiling and cracking jokes. I used to know of very little peace. I remember a season when at home cell meetings, the only thing I would talk about and pray about was peace. I knew it was attainable, I knew of people who had it and I wanted it with every fibre in my body. That’s the life that I used to live. But God saw me…He saw me and a love in His heart got stirred up and He remembered me and He redeemed me.
I now know peace. I now know what it’s like to sleep peacefully. I now know what it’s like to laugh wholeheartedly. I now know what it means to be anchored in His goodness; that even when things are not going your way, they will surely work together for good. I know because He showed up while I was in a desert and where there was nothing now flows a river, where there was darkness now exudes light, where there was bareness now there is plenty of life.
If this can encourage even one soul I will bless God for it. Tests aren’t meant to kill us, they’re meant to make us wiser. There is no pit God cannot reach down and get you out of. There is no storm that God cannot silence. He is a good God. He is a good God. Put your trust in Him and anchor yourself in His goodness. He is a good God.
Before blogging, many years ago, I wrote poetry. For a long time I used that as my way of venting. Time went by and I kind of ourtgrew it but it’s always been an art that’s quite close to my heart. I wrote this about three years ago when God was starting to open up my eyes to see what a blessing it is to be called Woman…enjoy 🙂
I am proper,
I come with terms and conditions,
I am a different kind of sophistication,
a fly sister,
with lips that run like water from a burst pipe,
charisma brighter than the sun on the hottest day,
more eyes than the natural set.
Don’t let my ghetto vocabulary phase you,
I am more than what I say.
I touch with intention
move with liberty
kiss with inspiration.
an aura of grace
presence of humility.
I am spirit.
Faith like an evergreen tree,
I look not at the world,
but at the Lord,
the maker of heaven and earth.
His love is pure,
His love is forever.
The same God that heals, delivers, sanctifies and is
glorified fathers me.
He is arms to hold
heart to love
feet to follow
and voice to hear.
I am my own specie.
My love is simple yet full
yes I love.
I love passionately
I laugh tremendously
and I have fun gracefully.
Colour me Woman
for I am.
While doing a treadmill warm-up this week, I got an “a-ha” moment. For a while I had been trying to train myself on focusing on one thing while running. I found that this helped me run more. So on this particular day, I looked across the gym and I fixed my eyes on two gentlemen who were lifting weights. Now, before we think I’m a perv, I’m not lol. They doing really interesting things and I just decided to turn their way for a little while…Anyway they then became the object of my focus.
Focus (verb): to adjust one’s vision or an optical device so as to render a clear, distinct image; pay particular attention to; to concentrate attention or energy
Unfortunately I have a short attention span and so it wasn’t long ‘til I got bored and started thinking about wondering off and looking elsewhere. Before the decision was even finalised in my head, my eyes were already on something else. Almost instantly I started gasping for air and I could feel myself grow tired. I tried to refocus on the former but I wondered off again. A few seconds later I slowed the machine down. I could not believe it!
Then it hit me. It is extremely important to stay focused, in anything. Let me hasten to say that every level of life requires one to refocus, change gears, change perspective, shift focus. However, if you are running track, you cannot, or rather you should not compare yourself to someone who is on the back of a horse. That’s what I mean when I talk about shifting focus. Shifting your focus leads you to see everything that is out of your spectrum. It allows you to see what other people are doing, how far they are, how much ground they’ve gained…Mostly, shifting focus leaves very little room for you to celebrate your own progress.
I could have run longer had I not sunk in into the temptation of looking for something else. Something else didn’t give me new energy nor did it inspire me; instead it slowed me down and threw me off my goal. Stay focused. Be it in your new job, last semester of your second year with your junior degree, your marriage, your faith in God…refuse to be distracted. Stay focused.
God has been incredibly awesome! From deliverance to showers of love to revelations of promises and the life I’m supposed to be living to letting me know that I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing there is…I’m telling you, I’m a lucky soul to be able to be reckoned with the blood of the lamb. There’s a sermon I still have to listen to. Title: it’s your choice to live below the mark. I think the title says it all. Lol the title is the sermon!
But on a serious note I am over living below the mark. I’m so over not seeing myself the way God sees me. I’m so over being miserable. Because that’s what you become, a young miserable person walking around pretending everything is alright when it’s not. Listen, when you’re not okay you’re not okay! There is an art in accepting that and living through it. Mind you I did not say live with it. You don’t have to live with misery. Nowhere in the nine fruits of the spirit did they mention misery. Live through it. Do what you have to do and move right along. Life is too short!
Two weeks ago, on a Sunday, I sat next to an interesting fellow at church. After the service I felt rather compelled to converse with him but doubt got the better of me. But it didn’t get the better of him. Before he left he looked at me and said goodbye. I smiled and started a small convo. Last week at church they announced that he passed away in a car accident. I couldn’t believe it!! This young man was here just a week prior and now they were telling me he’s dead. That was such a wakeup call for me. Time waits for no one. While you’re busy being miserable, someone somewhere is making their dream a reality. Let’s start walking right. Let’s start walking right into our destinies.
Procrastination is only a word until you give it reason and power to become a force. You’re bigger than that! People usually say life starts at 40, I say life starts when you give your life over to the author of life. I reckon the reason why Christianity is sometimes a difficult walk is because the minute you surrendered, you took your first step into your destiny. The devil hates that. He doesn’t want us to know our purpose hence he tries to make our lives a living hell. But because we serve an all-powerful God, He’ll not only destroy that hell but He’ll bring you heaven on earth!!! Choose to live above the mark. Choose to raise the bar for yourself. Choose to live a purpose filled life. Choose to live a good life.
I LOVE YOU ALL
P.S: I’m so over choosing the ordinary over strawberry swings 🙂
Coffee. It’s a bitter mug of absolute happiness. Two teaspoons of brown sugar, two heaped (sometimes three) teaspoons of coffee and just enough cold milk to make it look caramely. The way I hold the cup depends on what time of the day it is, where I’m sitting while indulging, what I’m doing and who I’m with. I have endless conversations with myself while experiencing these euphoric moments. My imagination goes wild and I find myself in cities I’ve never been to talking to people I’ve never seen. Then I find myself wanting to cross over a border that is too thin to realise but too thick to not know that you’ve gone over it.
I can’t help but think that when God created us, He wanted all the best for us. I think He wants us to prosper in everything that we do and to live comfortably, with no need whatsoever. However, I don’t think He created us to be comfortable.
Comfortable: Producing feelings of ease or security; free from anxiety or stress; at ease
Don’t get me wrong, God wants us to find security in Him, worrying about nothing but trusting that if He can provide for the birds of the air, He can provide for you and me. That’s not what I’m referring to. The type of comfortability I’m talking about is the one that can very well be a deadly disease to a Christian. Someone once said that taking up a cross and dying to self are not “comfortable” actions. Sometimes, we as Christians think that accepting the Lord as our personal saviour is where it ends.
Dying to self does not happen in an instant, it’s a process. Following Jesus isn’t a walk in the park, it’s a journey and sometimes in our journeys, we find places and spots that are so comfortable and so full of ease that it becomes almost impossible to think of moving from there. This is mostly caused by a constant and consistent presence of familiar faces, the familiarity and increased liking of current surroundings and sometimes, it is caused by finding what you’re either good at or called to do.
When it dawned on me that I was good with words (particularly written), I got a sense of belonging. I started to associate myself with the idea that I’m an author in the making. I started to become comfortable, knowing that if anyone asked what my future goals are, I wouldn’t give off the “I don’t know” stare but rather answer with confidence. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I started to not only box myself but box the power of the gift and the dream that God graciously gave me.
For a very long time, I had no identity outside writing. At church I served under media as the person that projects the sermon notes and the songs. People knew me as that girl that writes good summaries or reports. I knew myself as that girl and not an inch more than that girl. I started to box the power of God in my life.
It wasn’t too long ago when God showed me what life beyond the box that I had erected looked like. I haven’t stopped marvelling. Greater are the things that are yet to come. And this doesn’t just apply to me but to everyone reading this. We just need to step away from the boxes that we’ve put God in and move into a realm of possibility. I used to use coffee as my getaway look classy look fabulous Tumblr life which made me dream less about the things of God and more about the things of the world…now I use coffee to reflect, to realise that truly, greater are the things to come…
And sometimes I use coffee to try stay awake at the office hahaha