More on Hiding in God

A few months ago I wrote about what hiding in God looks like for me. You can read that post here (opens in new window). Last year I made a decision to be celibate and it has been an interesting journey. I choose to be celibate not because I don’t enjoy sex -anyone who knows my thoughts on the subject knows that that’s not the reason- but because I realised that of all the sex I’ve had, the best sex was when I was in love with someone who loved me. The best sex is love-making, and I choose to wait for that – wanna know why? Because I’m a daughter of the King and I deserve the best. If it means never being in a man’s arms again then so be it…and that’s where hiding in God comes in.

When I wrote on the subject the first time  I spoke mostly about my feelings and how I needed God to be between me and whatever madness I might get into because of said feelings. I’m grown enough now to admit that a lot of the foolishness in my past was because I let feelings rule, and I needed that to change. On my own change was not only difficult but frankly, it was impossible. I always found myself in the same situation: falling for guy, trying to fit him into a box I could take before God, while going ahead with the relationship without ever waiting to hear what God had to say about the matter. Inevitably things would fall apart (houses built on sand and all that) and I would run back to the Father crying why me God, why me? The last time I had my heart broken I said no more to that foolishness and let me tell you, it has been quite the ride.

What I want to talk about today is what hiding in God really looks like, and share my experience of it. I want to do this because as a single woman over the age of 30, celibacy is not as easy as it was when I was a 20 year old virgin, and I know I’m not the only one struggling with questions of managing sexuality. There is not much out there on what being pure means when you KNOW what you’re missing, when your hormones drive you up walls with the regularity of clockwork. Y’all know what I’m talking about. You say no sex and your body goes – nawl, I want me some man.

Like everybody else with a menstrual cycle and no man, I can testify that ovulation is a bitch. Yes, I said it. Those few days after my period are the worst because my body demands sexual touch with a ferocity I can’t even explain. When I was younger and didn’t know my body I thought I had a high sex-drive and used that as an excuse for my shenanigans. Now that I’m older I’ve learnt that it’s not so much that I have a high sex drive as it is that my body is fearfully and wonderfully made. It’s not so much a problem I need to solve, as it is proof of God’s gifts to me. You guys, sex is a beautiful thing. There’s a reason why the world has cheapened sex with porn -the power that comes from an understanding of the sacredness of sex in a world that celebrates profanity is immense, and I praise God and thank Him for His lavish love. That being so I desire to experience God’s idea of sex, because I’ve tried what’s out there and fam, it’s not lit. The dating scene is rough, f*boys abound. My heart has been smashed so many times I’m a walking wonder. I should be rocking myself in a corner somewhere but here I am, living, breathing, and preparing myself for love, and for divine sex. My understanding of sex is of its power, and I know that that power is best accessed through love. So for me, sex in the absence of love isn’t worth the trouble and the effort. Have you seen yourself getting ready for a ‘date’? Here’s the sexy getting ready song, tell me it’s a lie.

I mean, it’s exhausting just thinking about it, and all for what? For 5seconds of pleasure and heartbreak? If love isn’t the binding factor, then what’s the point? Nah, I’m good. 

Here’s how I look at it: those feelings every cycle are a promise that the man who can satisfy that desire is coming. God is not so cruel as to give me a desire and never satisfy it. In all things I want to submit to God’s will and in this matter I am convinced that the time is not yet. I rest in the peace that His will shall be done. Do I panic and analyse every word of every text ad infinitum? Duh, over-thinking is my super power but now I can confront my fears with the promises of God, and rest in Him knowing that all things work together for my good, and that His plans for me are love in abundance. There is much I must learn before I am ready to be a wife to a godly man, and I have work to do to ready myself to be the kind of wife I want to be to the kind of man I want to live with. I know who I want to be, and each day I work towards being the best me I can be. To be honest, my reasons are purely selfish. You see, I don’t want just any man, I want a man who is perfect, on whom I dont have to do any work because like me, he is busy right now preparing himself to be the kind of husband I want and need. I’m too old and tired to still be looking for potential. If I want a perfect man, then it only makes sense that I myself should be perfect. No such thing is perfect, you say? That’s where you’re wrong. I know that nobody is perfect, but I also know that there is a man out there that God will bring me to, and that man will be perfect for me.  In this season I thank God for two things: assuring me that the desire of my heart will be met, and giving me time to prepare myself and my heart for that desire to be met.

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I choose to give my love-life to God, I choose to submit that part of my life to His will and while it has not been easy, it has been worth it. A lot of the poor decisions in my past stemmed from my reluctance to be alone and fear that I would be alone if I didn’t conform to what was ‘expected’. How can you call yourself someone’s girlfriend if you’re not having sex with them? How can you be an adult and not have sex? You’re not a child anymore (the implication being that desiring purity is childish). You have needs, it is your right to satisfy them. These are all things that I said to myself, said to other people, and that other people said to me. That fear led to a lot of pain and real heartbreak, and I never want to be there again. That, more than anything else is why I choose to hide my desires in God. The truth is I’m a coward. I’m terrified of getting hurt again. I know that that kind of fear can destroy a relationship, and so I’m glad that I have time to heal, to let God work on me before trying to make a relationship work. That is why when I am confronted by tempting creatures such as the Giver of Magical Hugs I am quick to cry out to God in prayer, because I know that on my own I am incapable of resisting desire such as that man arouses in me. I cry out to God because I have a destiny and I refuse to let my body be the reason I fail to fulfill my potential. Also, I refuse to be the reason why someone else falls; I refuse to be a stumbling block. 

Is it easy to be celibate? Well in a word, no. And some days are more challenging than others. No it’s not easy, this is why it cannot be done until you bring it to the foot of the Cross and say here I am Lord, lustful nature and all. Do you think there is anything in you beyond God’s reach? Living in truth in this area is accepting that the flesh is weak and determining not to be conquered by it. We cannot fight what we cannot confront, and we cannot confront what we have not accepted. I accept that my body is weak and because His strength is made perfect in my weakness, I bring my desires before God so that through the power that is the Holy Spirit I can confront and conquer. After all, God gave me the gift of sexuality and who better to help me manage it? If your entire life is not submitted to Christ, why are you surprised when you fall, when you don’t grow?

Am I saying I never fall, never stumble, never suffer the burn? No. I am saying that I get up every day and carry my cross, that in my struggles I have met Christ and through Him I am more than a conqueror. It is difficult, it is hard, but heartbreak is harder still. I’ve picked my struggle and I choose to put everything I am before God, I choose to hide in God because I never want to experience heartbreak ever again. I’m saying, I’ve tried it my way and failed, and now I’m surrendering. #mina_surrend. The man who will satisfy the desires of my flesh will meet me in the presence of He who satisfies the desires of my soul because that’s where I’ll be, hiding in God because I know that His will for me is perfect and pleasing; because I’m scared of being hurt again, and because I choose holy sex.

People have said it is impossible to be celibate and I agree, yes it is absolutely impossible but through Christ nothing is impossible, and because of Him all things work together for my good. I believe that. Do you? 

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Why You Need To Stop Talking So Damn Much

○Don’t let your tongue be the reason you never get to live your best life. 

○The negative energy of the people closest to you can capsize your dreams.

 ○Don’t make yourself vulnerable by talking too much too soon, to the wrong people.

When you’re an oversharer you have to maintain a higher degree of vigilance over shared confidences than someone who is naturally more guarded, discreet. You may find it easy to unwittingly sabotage your plans by talking too much, too soon. 

That is what happened to Joseph. Have you ever thought about what would have happened if he hadn’t told his brothers his dreams? Just like Joseph your destiny is yours, but it’s not guaranteed: you have to do the work -whatever that is for you. Your success will not be given to you, you’ll have to pay the price. Don’t get me wrong: God’s blessing is perfect and it brings no sorrow with it, you just have to climb the mountain and plumb the depth to reach it. Such is life. 

Don’t make things difficult for yourself by talking too much to the wrong people. 

My Hair Has A Name and Other Things

Every cell in my body is crying in exhaustion. But do you know what I did? I washed my hair. Inbetween all of the things and a pharmacy run because u16s can’t buy cough mixture…I washed my hair. Deep conditioned, even. On a shitty day, my hair made me happy. She behaved. I think of her as a cantankerous middle-aged woman: great fun when she’s happy, stroppy and ill-behaved when she’s not. Nobody knows what makes her happy, and what made her happy today will not necessarily make her happy tomorrow. Beulah is notoriously difficult to please, but mostimes cute with it. She’s your favourite aunt, the naughty one that the adults clutch their pearls over  . 

Anyway, today Beulah was well-behaved. Maybe she’s like a man who treats you right only when he’s got competition. When you’re focused on him he’s difficult to reach and inattentive when you do get hold of him. The minute you get busy with your life or bring another man into the rotation (calm down, it’s called dating and it only involves sex if you’re doing it wrong – trust me, I know), and suddenly he’s blowing up your phone with date suggestions. Today of all days, today when I shouldn’t have been washing my hair because housework never ends and sick babies won’t sit down and colour, today I had a great washday; Beulah got some ack’wright and made me happy. 

Today Beulah was well-behaved. Today the dentangling detangled and the aloe vera juice did its job. The olive oil was a fail as usual (what can I say, I live in hope) but I can’t wait to undo the plaits and braid for the week. 😍

I also took a few minutes to drink in the sun . It was so lovely to do that. Such a blessing to be able to step outside and stand in the sun. The weather changed later in the day making the memory of those moments all the sweeter. It was a difficult day, but it was also filled with moments of incredible beauty. Running my hands through my hair as I rinsed out the conditioner. Sitting outside to plait it, remembering the times my mother did my hair (and attempting to recapture the memory while making sure the baby didn’t eat the haircream I was using and simultaneously swiping through pics on my phone to keep her entertained). Standing in the sun and loving it (before putting in a new load of laundry and hanging the just-washed one). In the backyard hanging the washing, wondering if this weekend  I’ll have time and energy to iron anything other than uniforms, not to mention that I need to make sure I have a minimum of 6 ready-to-wear outfits for the week: dresses, because who has time to look for TWO items of clothing, minimum, every day?! I thank God that in His wisdom He led me to giving up pants. Small mercies, hey? 

In amongst the chaos and the frenzy and the mothering, there was my son, generally being helpful, doing things like straightening the lounge and packing away the washed dishes (and needing to be fed). There was Beulah, treating me right, and there was the sun, giving me life. Yes, it was a difficult day and I’m glad it’s over, but I’m thankful for the beauty in it, for the reminders of grace. #scandalousgrace #countyourblessings 

What beautiful thing are you thankful for today? 

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.

 

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

Let There Be Peace

My prayer for anyone reading this is that you may know the peace of God in your life.

I pray that you may experience the peace that surpasses all understanding, that your heart may be at ease in all matters affecting your life.

My prayer for you is peace about your finances: I pray that you meet Jehovah Jireh the God who provides, and never again worry about what you shall eat or drink or wear, or what your children shall eat or how they shall get to school. Worry is not of God and I pray that it shall not be your portion.

I pray for peace about your relationships. I pray that you learn the art of giving of your treasure, whether that is your time, your money or anything else that another may need. I pray these things for you because God works His miracles through people and I want you to be a miracle-giver for those in your life, and that this might be returned to you a thousand-fold. I pray for the love of God to overwhelm you and through you to be spread throughout your community; I pray for love to be returned to you in abundance; I pray for you to walk so close with God that no human relationship can hurt you, but that in all relationships -with family, lovers, colleagues- your heart is hidden deep in God and protected by Him.

I pray peace over the full scope of your life. I rebuke fear, worry, pain, anger and bitterness. I pray these things for you dear reader, through the blood of Christ and in His name.
Amen.