Speak Life Over Your Life

A few weeks ago I wrote this post about how when all is said and done, YOU get to decide what your life looks like. I don’t know about y’all but as for me and my family, we shall speak the word of the Lord.

Those who know me know that I’ve been battling depression for a while. What you may not know is that I had a major depressive episode over the holidays that left me, well, depressed, because it was a reminder of just how weak I am in the face of that dark brute, and how even though I call upon the Lord, I still have a thorn in my side. Ok ok I just said that to be dramatic *insert self-deprecating giggle here*

Last night, after reviewing my expenses again and realizing again that I can’t afford my life I need to make some big sacrifices if I’m to complete my degree next year, I was feeling very sorry for myself. I curled up in bed and closed my eyes, ready to replay the endless litany of all the ways in which I am a failure when God! God!

You know, people talk about God and sometimes, I confess, I roll my eyes on the inside because come on already, there’s no need to be a real-live Bible-thumper. Well, I’m becoming that annoying person. I don’t want to be, but I do sometimes see -and feel, if it’s an online conversation- people’s eyes glaze over when I get started on who God is, on who He is for me specifically.

I say that so you will understand that I am aware of the implications of what I’m about to share, and so that you understand that there is no response that you can give that I have not given to someone else before. Be that as it may…*drum roll please*…

…last night God wrote me a love-letter, and I’m going to share it with you so that

  1. you know that God speaks to each one of us in a way that makes sense though to others it might seem like nonsense
  2. you realize that God knows your needs and answers the prayers of your heart.

I needed comfort last night, I’m not going to lie. It’s been a long month filled with disappointment but also, as last night, with God proving Himself to be God in spite of my many failings, weaknesses, and faithlessness.

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Did you notice that my love-letter is really a collection of sentences and phrases from the Bible, mostly from the book of Isaiah and a little bit from one of the Psalms? What says God better than God’s own words?  I also expect you to understand that although I did the typing duh, God gave me the words. I didn’t set out to write this, and although I did edit it afterward (for punctuation, because I’m a grammar nazi I do that), trust me when I tell you that this is God’s promise to me, for me, and it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear. I’m sharing it with you because if God can do it for me, He can do it for you too. Write you a love-letter? Well, yes, but more specifically, if you ask Him to He can and He will speak to you in a way that YOU understand, in a way that leaves you in no doubt at all about what you just heard.

My prayer for you today is that you too will hear God’s voice, that He will speak to you in a way that makes sense to you, that He will draw you close to himself and give you comfort, that in all things He will satisfy the longing of your soul. Over and above all this though, my prayer for you is that you may understand the true meaning of grace. Grace. Outrageous, undeserved, unmerited, SCANDALOUS GRACE.

 

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I’m not running I’m hiding

Like most single adult women I have at times found myself caught up in a maelstrom of emotion over that most frustrating of creatures in the known universe – a man.

This morning I was about to ask Google for a solution: how to stop stupid feelings from ruining my life. You see I’m nothing if not self-aware and I know when I need help. Don’t judge me for that Google search because despite what you might be told by my children, I really don’t know everything. Two things stopped me from completing that search. The first, that I was on my way to work and did not have access to internet on the go, and the second, that the answer came to me. To save you from such Google searches, I’m going to share that answer with you.

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You don’t need Google for this. I got you boo.

Today was a morning like any other morning except that it followed a night that had definitely not been like other nights. I went to bed wracked with guilt and disbelief over my behaviour in the late hours of yesterday evening. Disbelief because I could not believe (still can’t) that I almost did that, and guilt because I had, in fact, allowed myself to get carried away. Whatsapp and Messenger should come with pop-up warnings: may cause you to feel stupid feelings.

 

You see what had happened was *wink if you know the reference*, I was chatting with a man who gave me a magical hug a few days ago. Please don’t get it twisted: magical is an understatement and it is not a euphemism for erotic. In actual fact it was the chastest hug in the entire history of male-female hugs and it.was.perfect.

So anyway, there I was chatting with the Giver of Magical Hugs and just when things were about to turn…uhm…you know… my situation-verse (I coined that term, yay me) popped into my head. Yes, I have a particular verse for that particular man, it usually stops me from being, you know, stupid. I shared the verse with him, as one does, thus successfully albeit reluctantly turning the conversation in a whole new direction – God-ward.

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Phew! Disaster averted! Stand down the infantry!

Except I couldn’t help thinking, things should never have gotten as far as they did. I knew then that the entire conversation was evidence that the thing I’d been trying to avoid had in fact happened: I was down with the feelings.

My Google search was therefore necessary – Google saves lives doncha know – but was thankfully rendered useless by the Divine because you know what? – God is good even in the midst of our foolishness. So long story aside, how do you stop stupid feelings from ruining your life and messing up your makeup cos running mascara ain’t cute?

Short answer? Hide in God. 

Keep reading for the long answer.

Hidden in God I would not have had a restless night wrestling with guilt and berating myself for behaving like a virginal schoolgirl. I take full responsibility for opening nudging that door open.

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I did that. I apologize for my shenanigans

Why hide in God?

Because, where else?

My education, skills and talents obviously won’t make me a smart dater so I can’t hide behind those, neither will my salary (it barely covers my expenses, fix it Jesus!) nor my family, nor any of the things of this world. Nothing can cover me and give me the protection I obviously need like God can. I know this and so I consciously choose to hide myself in God.

What exactly do you hide in God?

Everything. My past, my present and my future. Everything about me that makes me prone to saying and doing stupid things. My loneliness. My sexuality. My prideful nature. My contrariness. My love for attention. My fears, my worries. My weaknesses, and my idiosyncracies…All those things that make me me but that also make me vulnerable to situations like the one I’ve just described, situations that make it obvious look like I don’t know my own mind, don’t know how to behave myself with the opposite sex; things that make me look like everything but a child of God; all of those things that make me difficult and strange and weird; all those things that have kept me from forming a meaningful exclusive relationship all these years … All of those things, I hide them in God. The man who wants me will find me there and I will know that he is the one because he will come to me through God, by God. The truth is that I must just hide. Forever. Because clearly I can’t be trusted out on my own.

What do you do while hiding?

Well, I’ll tell you what I shouldn’t do. I shouldn’t engage in inappropriate conversation. I shouldn’t put myself in situations to be hurt by men or where I can hurt them in turn. I should let God’s word be a lamp for my feet and a light on my path. That’s what I should do. 

It sounds like I’ll become this boring woman spouting Scripture at every turn. Since that idea doesn’t exactly encourage the warm and fuzzies, do you think I’m worried? No! God is the author and perfecter of my faith, the one who meets my needs and stays my feet on the path of righteousness. If you know me at all you know that that’s not an easy job (hence giving it to God, ha) and if you know God you know that He is anything but boring! Look at Him sending me magical hugs! Look at me taking magical hugs and messing them all the way up. Boring? I laugh!

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Hiding means I do not fear that I’ll never find a man who gets me, because God has not given me spirit of fear and He is a God of peace

Hiding in Him means not worrying about my future because He is Jehovan Jireh, God my provider. It means not lying awake at night wondering if I’ll ever get laid again. He is the God who satisfies the longing of my soul.

Fear is not of God, worry is not of God, and since it is fear and worry that sometimes drive me to take matters into my own hands and act like a crazy person, hiding in God will and indeed does keep me out of trouble.

I shall not fear nor shall I worry
I shall not panic nor shall I be anxious
Because God is my God
And He has called me by name.
I am His.

-Beauty’s Daughter

Choose Life

​This is the thing: at the end of the day, you are responsible for your own happiness. It is up to you to change the faulty thinking that’s led to your current situation; no one else can take the necessary action to alter your circumstances. Only you and you alone can make you happy, nobody else can change your life. 

I know the excuses: daddy issues, a deprived childhood, a mean mother, a stingy husband, hateful relatives, sub-par education, you belong to a minority, you’re a victim of abuse, you’re shy, an oppressive government…

…yes it’s been rough and in many ways it still is.  I am sorry, really I am. However, the choice to stay stuck where you are right now -in a dysfunctional relationship, a dead-end job – whatever it is – the choice to remain there is yours and yours alone because YOU have the power to choose something different. 
YOU can choose to be alone instead of unhappy, because alone doesn’t equal lonely and unhappy in a relationship is just that: unhappy. 

You can choose to switch careers, to go back to school, to be an entrepreneur; you can choose financial independence and do the work it takes to achieve your goal. 

You can choose to make healthy food choices, to be more active, to just look after your body better, nje. 

You can choose to fight the system because you’d ‘rather stand tall than live on your knees*’…

The point is, YOU. CAN. CHOOSE. 
Before you is set life and death. Choose life.* 
*Conqueror – Estelle

*Deuteronomy 30:19