It’s A(nother) New Day

I dance to this song and sing along, meaning every word. It’s in my ‘New Year’ playlist, twenty songs -some secular- that all speak to my spiritual journey. I might do a post and share maybe the top 5 one day.

Back to Becka Shae’s remake of Shape of You. When I first heard the original I didn’t think much of it but played it through a couple of times because a man I liked had referenced it and I was tryna figure out if I was missing something (I wasn’t, his appreciation of the song was decidedly not a glimpse into his feelings for me). Nonetheless it was catchy and stuck in my head until I wrote this (while thinking, of course, about said man):

A few days later a link to Becka Shae’s remake showed up on my YouTube recommendations, and although I rarely listen to covers, the word ‘Christian’ in her title caught my eye. I listened, then Googled the lyrics you know, as one does. I loved it.

Today it’s especially poignant. Tomorrow’s my birthday and as always this is a time of reflection for me. I’ve been thinking for a while but yesterday I found myself asking, what’s the point of it all? What’s the point of prayer, of all those ‘spiritual disciplines’ if at the end of the day you’re still lonely, hungry for intimacy, unfulfilled, unsatisfied, longing for something you can’t quite name?

Today I continued with the reflections, heartsick and sad over the fact of my frailty when it comes to resisting sin. I had forgotten that His strength is made perfect in my weakness. As sometimes happens, a tune started up in my head and it was If Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You Were A Christian Song.

Elohim breathe on me.

Over and over that one phrase looped until I scrolled to my music player, lay down and listened to the entire song.

Elohim breathe in me.

Here’s where I went wrong:

I haven’t read my Bible in a long time. Oh, I look up verses here and there, but actually searching God’s word prayerfully or in study? It’s been a while. Giving praise? Not unless I’m singing along to my playlist, but does that really count? Really? In my case I think not, because I’m usually doing something else too: cooking, checking Facebook; it’s been a very long time since I actually set aside time of any length to just bask in God’s presence.

If I am not walking in victory, if instead of regaining my balance after stumbling I am trying to dust myself off after a fall, perhaps that is because like Peter I looked at my circumstances and took my eyes off the Lord. There is, really, no ‘if’ about it.

Elohim breathe through me.

And here’s what I’m planning to do about it:

I run back to the arms of the Father, so gladly and unashamedly accepting of the scandalous Grace that allows me to run back. I look up Words I have received in more prayerful times, and I thank God for how He pursues me even when I am distracted, disobedient and unfaithful.

Holy, holy, holy Elohim breathe on me.

As I enter my new year, I stand on the forgiveness of the Father, I bathe in His mercy, receive His gift of Grace and look to His promises. For what can separate me from the love of God? Can loneliness, or hunger, or fear or pain? Can laziness, or depression, or hardship, or insomnia?

Romans 8:38-39

I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Happy new year to me.

His Love Is Wild For Me

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Unreserved, unrestrained, his love is wild for me. It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed – his love is proud to be seen with me. Uncontrolled, uncontained, his love is a fire burning bright for me. It’s not just a spark, it’s not just a flame, his love is a light and all the world will see.

His love’s not fractured, it’s not a troubled mind; it isn’t anxious, it’s not the restless kind; his love’s not passive, it’s never disengaged, it’s always present, it hangs on every word we say.

Love keeps its promises, it keeps its word, it honors what’s sacred ’cause its vows are good. His love’s not broken, it’s not insecure, his love’s not selfish, his love is pure. -adapted from Pieces, Amanda Cook

Only God can love like this. And only a man living for God can love a woman who is loved like this.

-Beauty’s Daughter

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