Category Archives: Sex And Other Stuff

How To Lose A Man In 10 Days

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Losing a romantic interest abruptly is an art that many of us have unintentionally mastered. The story usually goes a little something like this:

1) Boy meets girl

2) Boy and girl both experience the ‘Click’

You know the click I’m talking about; despite only speaking to the person for a matter of minutes, the conversation flows naturally and the person you’ve just met seems to just get it.

3) The chemistry is indisputable and numbers are exchanged.

Oh, the genesis is bliss, isn’t it? Even though it feels as if Cupid is shooting you every other day, you don’t mind because it appears that Cupid is shooting the other person as well. Conversations during the opening days may go a little like this:

“You love Jesus?! Me too!”

“You miss ‘Old Kanye?’ Me too!”

“You believe Black lives matter?! Me too!”

Things in common, similar likes and dislikes; the fireworks are flying and the crowd (your friends) are going wild and dropping phrases such as “the one” and asking if you “see” yourself with said person. However, before you settle into the person and marry them (in your head, of course) you try and find the answers to some crucial questions.

“So where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

“Do you drive?”

“What’s your hair like under your weave?”

“What do you work as?”

“Are you a Christian or are you ‘spiritual’?”

Do you have any children?”

 “Did you attend university? If so, where?”

 “What are your thoughts on private schools?”

The questions on both sides are answered and as a consequence (in some scenarios) there is a shift. Where there were replies every other minute, now replies only occur once a day. The mutual desire to meet up and solidify the Click is reduced to one person forcing begging hoping for a FaceTime call, and the babies you shared (in your head, of course) fade into the distance and return to the parallel universe where things worked out differently.

I call this phenomenon “The Checklist Problem” (I don’t really, I just made that term up)

What is the checklist?

The criteria that a romantic interest must satisfy before the relationship can become legitimate.

What’s the problem with the Checklist, you ask? Well, only the conclusions and assumptions that are drawn as a consequence of this flawed questioning method. If a man does not drive and chose not to attend university, his stability and the level of his intellect are questioned. If a woman does not know how to cook and appears to be more interested in her career progression than her uterus, she is seen as a ‘lesser’ woman and/or a woman who does not know her place. We are not asking these questions because we genuinely desire to know the other individual; we are using these questions as a basis for acceptance or dismissal. When we use this method we tend to forget that:

We are all a work in progress

People are being written off before they can show their potential. No one is where they will end up and no one knows the true destination of another individual. God isn’t finished with me yet and He isn’t finished with you. I would hate to be judged based on where I am now because I know where I have the potential to be.

Our desires will evolve

What you desire will inevitably change as you grow. At 18, I would have wanted someone who replied to my messages instantaneously and was always on hand for a phone call. Fast forward 5 years and I barely take phone calls (I found out I had unlimited minutes almost a year after getting this phone) and genuinely have no time to sit around all day and discuss the nothing we are both up to.

There is preference and there is pride

Do you have a preference for the things on your list or do you think you are above those who do not possess the desired traits? There is nothing wrong with being confident and knowing your worth, but it is something entirely different to look down on people and believe you are above them.

Now, before you conclude that I do not believe in checklists, let me assure you that I do. The one I am currently prescribing to exist in the Bible. Sorry to my Christian folk who thought I was about to drop the infamous Proverbs 31. No, this checklist is hidden in the Psalms.

Psalm 15

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken

Does he/she do what is right?

When presented with the right option and the wrong option, which do they choose?

Is he/she an honest person?

Sometimes it is easier to lie than it is to tell the truth but the telling the truth fosters trust.

Does he/she have a sincere heart?

Whatever is in your heart will eventually be shown by your actions and your words. There is only so long one can pretend for.

Does he/she refuse to gossip?

Words are powerful; I always respect people who not only refrain from gossiping but refused to listen to it also; it shows integrity.

 Is he/she violent with their words or in their actions?

Your fists are never an effective or acceptable means of communication.

Does he/she speak wickedly about the people they claim to love?

You’d be surprised how many people sit around and discuss the people closest to them.

Does he/she keep their promises even when it hurts?

I commit to doing things all the time but I don’t always follow through. This is something I am working on. I love to be on hand to help others but when it becomes inconvenient, opting out becomes an option. This shouldn’t be the case.


Before you go and figure out if your current love interest measures up to this checklist, I want to ask you a question:

Do you tick all these boxes?

I think we all need to spend time working on ourselves before we critique and assess others. We are so consumed with finding the perfect partner that we have forgotten that we too should strive for perfection, not for a potential spouse, but for our Father in heaven.

We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.”

Hebrews 12:2

Our aim is to be like Him.

And for all those who have been cast aside by a potential love interest without real reason, take heart; whatever God has for you will always be yours and the one that is for you will not leave. Your worth is not determined by another individual’s treatment of you.

All my love,

J xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Why Christians Need To Stop Talking About Sex

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I think it’s funny that the Church condemn ‘the world’ for being obsessed with sex, when they, at times, are no better. I grew up in the church (sorry, that’s churchspeak for ‘I’ve been going to church every Sunday for the past 22 years’) and it was certainly a hot topic in my youth group; every topic under the sun would mysteriously morph into a lesson concerning sex and relationships (I am slightly exaggerating). We were informed at an early age (about 12) that sex outside of the boundaries of marriage was abhorrent. I understood and internalised this truth; scripture substantiated it and I knew no better. My young mind took it, ran with it and I became a young evangelist. My friends that were having sex kept that side of their lives away from my condemning stance while I revelled in my purity and abstinence.

The lessons learnt at a young age stay with you forever, especially those learnt in a religious environment, and the ‘Don’t Do It’, ‘Sex Is Wrong’, ‘Anything Can Lead To Sex’, and ‘If It Feels Good, It Can’t Be Right’ campaigns have had a series of harmful consequences. For many, it has resulted in them equating sexual feelings with guilt and shame. Any activity that causes them to feel aroused is met with self-condemnation and immediate repentance; some people battle with these feelings even after they are married. The Church is well aware that they need to change the dialogue surrounding sex; it should be celebrated because it is indeed a gift and when shared in the right context leads to life.

While the Church continues to talk and obsess about sex, I would like to shift your attention to The Grey area before sexual intercourse, the area that the Bible isn’t so clear about. Its vagueness (and arguable silence) on matters such as kissing, touching etc. have led many down a long road full of misdemeanours and tempestuous encounters where it nearly happens. However because they don’t go all the way/hit a home run/insert-euphemism-here, they brush the guilt they feel to the side, eventually become desensitised to what is occurring and drop into that ghastly sin-on-a-Saturday-night-repent-on-a-Sunday-morning cycle.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying kissing is wrong, I am just saying that it usually leads to the grey.

The truth is that you know better. You know that if he/she comes to your house for a sleepover, it is unlikely that you will spend the entire time forcing him to watch the latest episode of Scandal (which is amazing this season!) or forcing her to watch Match Of The Day. The likelihood is that you will find yourself in a compromising position, feel guilty the next day and wonder whether you should remain in a union that continues to cause you to fall.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Oh, it is tricky. It is. No one ever said Christianity was a walk in the park. We are told to take up our crosses and follow Jesus (Matthew 16:24) and that the road to heaven is is narrow (Matthew 7:14). Have you ever tried carrying a cross on a narrow road? I’m not here to preach to you, nor am I here to condemn you; I’m not even here to tell you that this road gets easier, because in all honesty, I don’t think it does. What is required from us often seems beyond what we can achieve but through prayer, supplication (Philippians 4:6) and being practical (James 2:26), anything is possible.

1. Public is better than private

Yeah, I know going out can be long (and expensive), being a hermit is my default setting and may be yours too, but being in public limits what you can do. It’s also fun to spend time with your partner (why did I use that word? I hate that word) in a variety of contexts. Visit a museum, go ice-skating, have a picnic.  Get out more, create some memories!

2. Group dates can be cool

Being around other people may also help; it once again limits what you can do and if the group of people are cool, it should be a hoot fun.

3. A mentor wouldn’t hurt

Someone you can be accountable to, someone you can be completely honest with, someone older than you who can help you stay on the right path.

4. Be on the same page

If their end goal is sex and yours is not, there will always be a mismatch and a pushing of boundaries. Ensure that you are unified in your approach to this matter.

5. Discuss how you feel when you fall short 

In the event that you do get carried away and things do happen, do not avoid the subject the next day because it’s awkward and you feel guilty. Approach the situation head on and discuss how to do better next time.

6. Pray
Always. Always. Always. 

7. Be careful what you watch
As a Christian, you really shouldn’t be watching porn, especially if you are trying to be celibate. Filling your mind with images and scenarios which are so far from the truth that you are trying to live is quite deadly and will only cause you to think on those things long after you’ve left the comfort of your room.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Philippians 4:8

No shade to the porn industry, but their work does not fulfil the above criteria. Do your best to steer clear.

8. Don’t let anyone drag you down

There’s working together to try and overcome the obstacle, then there is drowning in the sea, trying to swim while holding hands. Your relationship with Christ is paramount; it is more important that your relationship. If the temptation is becoming overwhelming, don’t be afraid to take a break and work on yourself. If the person is meant for you, they’ll be there when you return and hopefully the both of you will have a renewed sense of purpose and be able to navigate this situation more effectively.

Have you got any practical tips to avoid ‘The Grey’?

Let me know!!

Joyyyy xx

Why I Stopped Nearly Having Sex

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I like to live life on the edge. I don’t know what it is about the adrenaline rush that has me handing in coursework (worth a third of my grade, don’t know what I was thinking at university) one minute before the deadline, but every deadline I make the same-must-submit earlier-promises and every time I break them.

I even do it with crossing the road, although I really have met my match on that; I cannot count the amount of times the Boyf has dragged me across the road in front of a double decker, or some other towering motor vehicle, big enough to shatter all my bones at the point of collision. It’s like I get a buzz having just made it. Could have died but I didn’t=huge sense of achievement, (how twisted is that?!) It’s also the cause of my procrastination; I can never seem to motivate myself to do something unless I have given myself a deadline that I can somersault to meet.

Somehow I always end up rushing and somehow I always make it, (hence the lack of forcing myself to change), but today I’ve decided to hang up my adrenaline junkie lifestyle and get serious about staying well within the boundaries that have been set. I can play around with work tasks (don’t take this too seriously possible future employers, I really am as hardworking as it says on my cover letter) but I have to stop living life with “just made it” as the mantra for my walk with Christ.

Some things are just not worth the risk.

Nothing bad has happened yet so you can exhale. Today I just realised that if I carry on skating so close to the edge, one day I might just fall off, and that long way down which results in everything blowing up in my face, might just not be worth the risk.

I am in the ‘no sex before marriage, actually trying to prevent premature virginity loss’ camp. It’s been a camp I joined right when I gave my life to Christ, but one that I used to be significantly more serious about renewing my membership for. No, I haven’t had sex but like all things in my life, I’m no newbie to skating ultra close to the edge. Then I read my bible (something I really should be reflecting on more often) and was slapped in the face with all kinds of conviction.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭5‬:‭3‬ NIV)

I read this and suddenly all that pride I had acquired from team ‘waiting for the ring’ turned to disappointment at the big hint I had been ignoring. I was proud about something that God was simply expecting. You know when you don’t get credit at work because you’re simply doing your job? Yeah, that. Worse still, I realised that I hadn’t even been doing my job.

‘Not a hint’ means exactly what it says. Not a whiff, not an iota, absolutely nothing to speak about when the topic of sex comes up and you aren’t married. All of this skating close to the edge was a sin in itself. I knew clearly what to avoid and yet I wasn’t being proactive because I felt as long as there was no actual two becoming one going on, I was safe.

I was wrong.

Could you be too?

We all know which hints we’ve chosen to ignore: extended hug- pretty cosy, hand sliding up leg- needs to be: put back in pocket, guys/ slapped away girls . We can’t bury our heads in the sand and wait for the dreaded day when the risk doesn’t not give us the payoff we’ve been hoping for.

From this day forward I’m intending to live a life well away from the edge of the boundaries Christ has set me. And while I’m at it, I’m going to attempt only crossing at green men.

Love you like pounded yam and egusi soup

Dani xxxxx

My First Day In Rehab

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Happy Monday all!

You probably clicked this link for one of the following reasons: Perhaps you saw me in church yesterday and you’re wondering how I managed to find myself in Rehab overnight. Maybe you’re one of my Facebook friends who no longer interacts with me but secretly reads my blog in order to find out what’s happening in my life. Maybe you are a loyal follower of the blog and know that our titles aren’t always completely accurate and often exaggerate the truth.

Alas,

1) I am not in a rehabilitation centre, in fact, I am writing this in a computer room at work.

2) I am not addicted to any drugs; I am currently addicted to a person

I want to tell you the full story, you know, how I became addicted to another human being, so much so, that I am writing about it on my baby (this blog) but as you know, it’s not that kind of blog. Also, I already feel as though I overshare on here and this thing is becoming a bit like a diary. My friends often learn things about me by reading the blog (which is weird, right? Either I need to talk to them more or I need to share less….wait…I am digressing…back to the post..)

I want to give you some context, some insider information concerning yours truly.

1) I am obsessive

2) which means I can often become addicted to things.

My obsessive nature means I can think about the same thing every single day for about two years. That’s not an exaggeration. I like things to make sense and I like it when puzzles are solved so I often spend my time trying to connect the dots in my life and make sense of what I see around me. This obviously isn’t the healthiest trait I have. Yes, it has its advantages – I see things that others do not. I am constantly paying attention to things in my environment and changes in energy because these are all pieces of the puzzle. On the flip side, who wants to think about the same thing for two years?

Thankfully, I only know about my addictive nature because of food. I once ate the same thing every day for a year and half (hard dough bread and biscuits) and I can assure you that I never felt bored. Not once did I bite into that sandwich and feel dissatisfied; every time was like the first time. The only reason I added some variety to my diet is because my gums began to bleed because I was malnourished.

I can also be like this with people. I’m not as bad as I used to be but I really am the sort of person who can have one friend and be chill. Although with time I’ve become more of an introvert (which means I have to force myself to be sociable) I’ve never felt like I needed more than a few friends. I love people, I love connecting with them, I love loving them, but when I look back at my childhood and my teenage years, I usually had one friend that I was borderline obsessed with who I always made my ‘best friend’. Once we experienced that ‘click,’ that moment where we decided that were going to be friends forever, I sought to have them in every single day and I never, ever tired of them (quite like the hard dough bread sandwich). The problem with this way of living is that too much of one thing or one person is never healthy (see my bleeding gums as a reference point). Hard dough bread in itself is AMAZING but every day? Well, that’s ludicrous. One person can be great but unless their first name is Jesus and second name is Christ, things are bound to hit a roadblock at one point or another.

I am currently addicted to a person. A new person. A person that I don’t think I’ll tire of. A person who is making my gums bleed. You may also have a person in your life that you’re not too sure why they are there or whether they are meant to be there. You might also be addicted. This blog post is a bit different because I am still in the process of weaning myself off said person. Today is my first day in Rehab and here is what I am committed to doing:

1) Praying about it daily, asking God for strength, wisdom and courage.

2) Becoming accountable to my circle. They know what I am doing and why I am in rehab. When I fall off the bandwagon, I let them know. They remind why I made this decision and we begin again.

3) Being open to God’s will

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps

Proverbs 16:9

I’ve made this decision but I am trusting and praying that whatever God has planned will come to pass.

4)Trusting that whatever He has for me, will be mine.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

5) Thanking Him daily for this experience, for the lessons I have learnt and for the people He is using to teach me.

6) Getting out of Rehab as soon as possible.

Lots of love,

Joy xxx

10 Signs It’s Time To Walk Away

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We all think we are unique until we find people who are just like us. These people may not be identical to us, but they’re similar enough for us to connect with them. They make our lives make a bit more sense; they make us feel as though we are not alone. We love and fear the same things as them, our heartbeats quicken during the same moments and the burdens we have carried on our backs suddenly become lighter because now we can share them. These people become our lovers; these people become our friends.

Most relationships do not remain as beautiful as they are when they begin. I believe that in all relationships there are ups and downs and true connections can only be built in the furnace; it is there that we discover our strength. However, when you spend too much time in the furnace, fighting, grieving and hurting, you have every right to question whether it’s time to walk away. A few weeks ago I wrote about my decision to fight for my friendships and in the last paragraph I wrote that there was indeed a time to walk away. A close friend of mine read the piece and asked, ‘so how do you know when it’s time to let go?’ I sent her multiple Facebook messages and then thought, ‘heck, why don’t I turn this into a blogpost?’ So here I am, blogging a new list.

Now, now, now, before you get excited (we all love lists) I want you to know that this list has been informed by my limited life experiences. I’ve been accused of some of the below (some honesty for ya!) and I’ve experienced some of them also. BTW: please don’t finish reading this list and immediately start burning bridges because you agree with every single point. If you do have someone in mind before AND after you’ve read the post, seek God, spend time praying for him or her, for yourself and about the situation, then make a decision.

Also: This is just my opinion.

OKAY. LET’S GO.

1) When you prefer the memories you share to the person standing in front of you.

If you prefer how they used to treat to how they currently treat you, there may be a problem. You are holding onto the past.

2) When you find yourself constantly altering yourself to suit their needs.

Now, I’m all for compromise. Relationships flourish when both parties alter themselves just a little bit. However, if you’re walking on eggshells around them, and constantly watching what you say just in case it rubs them the wrong way, you may have a problem. You shouldn’t be staying silent because you want to avoid an argument.

3) When their words hurt you more than they heal you.

Words are powerful:

The tongue can bring death or life those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

Proverbs 18:21

If their words make you wince and die a little, if they insult you more than they heal you, if they push you down to the point that you don’t feel as though you can’t stand, it might be time to put on your running shoes.

4)You feel inferior around them

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

5) When spending time with them becomes a painful chore.

Friendships should be enjoyed. If you walk away from said person feeling drained, they have probably withdrawn more from you than they have deposited. Under special circumstances (heartbreak, bereavement, loss of employment, general life horrible stuff) this is fine. It is not, however, the norm. Friendships should be fun, not arduous work.

6) If they don’t ask you how you are but insist on speaking about themselves for hours on end.

This one in itself isn’t really a deal breaker but I want you to know that you matter. How you feel matters. Your day: matters. Your life: matters. Even though someone forgetting to ask how you are may seem unimportant, it often shows a lack of care and consideration. WARNING SIGN.

7) Everyone keeps telling you to walk away

If everyone around you is saying the same thing, it just might be true. Stop ignoring the voice in your head AND the voices of your loved ones. Take a step back and evaluate the situation.

8) If you’ve spoken to them about their flaws and they refuse to take the constructive criticism on board.

If someone is hurting you and you haven’t spoken up about it, you are partly to blame (sorry, not sorry). Is the person a mind-reader? It is a completely different story if you have sat them down, voiced your concerns and they have carried on treating you in the same manner. If you haven’t given them the opportunity to change, don’t walk away so hastily. A conversation could be the difference.

9) If you’re hoping they’ll one day wake up a changed being, ready to love you in the way that you deserve.

This one is sad because your relationship hinges on a moment that may never happen. The ‘one day’ you are hoping for may never come. This just might be it (this post is becoming such a downer). There are many people in the world that will love you right now, just as you are.

10) *insert YOUR reason here*

As you were reading this, someone sprang to mind, right? If I’ve missed it in the above, still evaluate that individual’s presence in your life. I think a part of us always knows when someone may not be good for us, even if we aren’t ready to fully accept it.


Every so often, the people we love the most have to become the memories we shared together.  It’s taken a long time but I have finally accepted that forgiving someone does not necessarily mean that the relationship remains the same. While forgiving people is mandatory (Matthew 6:15), staying in toxic relationships is not. Sometimes we have to walk away and love people from afar. It doesn’t mean that we love them any less and it doesn’t make what we shared with them less special; it just means that we no longer walk with them. And that’s okay. It really, really is. It’s okay to journey without them. It’s okay to thank them for the lessons. It’s okay to pray for them. It’s okay to look ahead armed experience and wisdom. It’s okay to let them go.

Thanks for reading maaaan.

Joy xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

How To Deal With Pain Properly

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I am in pain.

Okay, that’s not entirely true.

I am currently quite alright – I’m listening to Donald Lawrence’s ‘There Is a King You’ which always makes me want to run out into the big, bad world and CONQUER. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like this at every point in the day. Actually, my current pain is like an inconsistent guy, coming and going as, and when, he pleases. I’m never quite sure when the memory of last week’s events will wash over me and cause my eyes to sting so I am never quite prepared. This pain can only by medicated God and time so I am currently allowing both to work on me.

If you’re reading this and you’re in pain, I am really sorry that we are sharing this boat – it’s not very comfortable, it’s incredibly insecure and most of us would rather drown as swimming to the shore feels like too much effort (why am I so dramatic?). However, I want us all to swim and win so please keep reading, I may have found us a route to the glorious shore.

You can do quite a few things with your pain:

1) Ignore it

Ignore the hurt, ignore the negative thoughts and do your best to pretend that the pain is as real as Narnia. Those who wronged you/those who you wronged are not addressed and life continues as it always has; nothing changes because nothing has changed…right?

2) Pretend that everything is okay

This is slightly different to ignoring the pain. You recognise that something bad has happened and acknowledge that you are very upset about it. However, rather than express this thing to God and to a few close loved ones, you pretend as though you are fine. You cry at night and smile during the day, which, of course, is a great way to deal with things!

That’s a joke by the way – one of the worst we can do during a painful season is to pretend that everything is okay; not only is it exhausting, it is also self-destructive.

3) Face it

Now, now, now, this is not an excuse to throw a pity party; pity parties are morbid events which should only occur in dire situations, as infrequently as possible and for (very) short periods of time. When I say ‘Face it’ I mean that you should do your best to objectively assess the situation:

            What could have been done differently?

            What have I learnt about myself?

            What have I learnt about those involved?

            What lessons is God trying to teach me?

Finally, you should ask yourself whether you are crying about it more than you are praying about it. I think too often we spend more time crying about our problems than we do praying about them. So pray about it and let God know how bad things are, don’t hide from Him because:

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

Praying for you and I,

J xxx

What Real Love Feels Like

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Every time I am reminded of what Jesus put himself through just for me, I am moved. I am moved I know there are few people, if any, who would ever fight for me in the way that he did. Yeah, there are people that claim to love me and a few show it through their actions, but I have never experienced a love that does not hinge on what I can do for the giver; there have always been conditions and consequences when I fall short of the expectations set for me. Some have taken back the love they initially bestowed upon me while others have simply loved me less as a result. God’s love is completely different; it is unconditional. When Jesus went to the cross for me, he was fighting for my life, for my love and so that I could be more. Every day he fights for me and reminds me that I am destined to be greater than the situations I put myself in, he beckons me to his side and reminds me that I no longer need to prove my worth to others.

Titus 3:4-7 But God, the One Who saves, showed how kind He was and how He loved us by saving us from the punishment of sin. It was not because we worked to be right with God. It was because of His loving-kindness that He washed our sins away. At the same time He gave us new life when the Holy Spirit came into our lives. God gave the Holy Spirit to fill our lives through Jesus Christ, the One Who saves. Because of this, we are made right with God by His loving-favour. Now we can have life that lasts forever as He has promised.

Our works – what we have achieved, what we can do and what we have done – are not why God chose to save us. When we sin, we feel unworthy, unable to approach and speak to God; we allow our sins to create a gulf between ourselves and the Father. I think during those times it is crucial that we remember that it was not because our works that caused him to save us from the ultimate punishment; it is because of who he is. It is the love that he is that covers every wretched thing we have ever done and every questionable thing we will ever do. God offers us all a new life: one without chains, free from bitterness, lust, jealousy, insecurity, hatred and anger; he literally transforms our lives. He has made it possible to love others freely, to love ourselves, to forgive, to let go, freeing us from the bitterness that might have otherwise consumed us.

I hope you grab hold of that love today.

Joy xxxx

The Day I Got Over My Break Up

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Although I wrote the piece below entitled ‘just.light’ late last year, every time I read it I remember the profound moment of clarity I felt as the Light finally overshadowed everything that I had been through.

God doesn’t always take away our pain, He often allows us to live through in it in order to reveal part of ourselves – hidden strengths, unspoken weaknesses, unresolved issues. He also uses painful experiences to reveal aspects of His person that we may not have experienced before – His peace, His faithfulness, His heart.

You may be going through a dark season at the moment, praying every day for God to take your pain away. Remember that every day you are being made stronger and a greater plan is at work which will one day make this process make sense; better days are ahead.

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Psalm 30:5

just.light.

Today I drove around a foreign land, I took in the landscapes and the beauty I had the opportunity to behold blew me away. I was in awe and mentally brought to my knees as I once again realised the beauty life had to offer. There is beauty all around us. In every moment of every day, I feel there is something beautiful to be found. Sometimes we have to look a little harder and push ourselves deeper in order to find the beauty, but it is there. In the silence, in the tapping of rain, in the roar of the wind, in the moving clouds, there lies beauty. Despite beauty being ever-present, what lies within us can act sometimes act as a mist and cloud our vision. For me, heartache did just that.

Although the words heartbreak and heartache are used interchangeably, they have come to mean different things to me. While I experienced heartbreak the moment that my relationship finally ended, heartache is what I experienced in the months that followed. The what ifs, the whys, the why nots made my heart burn and yearn for a time where my emotions didn’t suffocate me. The moments I would often replay in my mind had the capacity to make my heart swell until it felt too big for my body; the hurt would go as rapidly as it came but the overwhelming sense of sadness would stay. You see, there is no future in the heartache season, there is only here, now and then. The future ceases to have any real meaning, hope no longer exists and every day tasks such as getting out of bed become insurmountable.

heart. ache.

Then one day, that hollow feeling I had become accustomed to faded. The darkness that overshadowed every moment of light the previous months had offered me finally lifted. I woke up and the heartache had passed. And I finally began to breathe. I wasn’t numb anymore; I could feel. People don’t tell you enough how hard breakups are. They are horrible. You feel like you’re going to die. But then you don’t. You feel as though you are suffocating for most of the day and drowning at night and yet you still wake up the next morning. You wonder if you’re ever going feel to peace and have joy in your heart again.

And then it comes. He stops crossing your mind. You stop replaying the moments you shared. And you breathe.

In. Out. In. Out.

You try to capture every moment by inhaling them because you never thought you would be able to feel again. You want to capture everything because you’ve felt so much pain that even the way you appreciate beautiful moments has been transformed. You breathe them in because there were times you couldn’t breathe at all without crying.

Today I drove around a foreign land. I saw Cyprus. I saw the beauty. No mist, no clouds, no darkness. Just light.

just. light.

I Tripped And Fell Out Of Love

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It’s really hard to tell when you’re in love but there are a plethora of signs to show that you have fallen out of it. They don’t make you feel the way they once did, you no longer want to see them, you struggle to remember a time when you liked them, you can’t see yourself feeling any different towards them than the way you do now. That’s how I felt this summer but I hadn’t fallen out of love with God, I hadn’t even fallen out of love with a man. This year I fell out of love with my life.

I should probably ask you now if you want the long version or the short version. But seeing as we only have a few hundred words to tell this in I guess the short will have to do. So here goes…

I started this year content. I had a job offer on the table that I had secured from my summer internship and although my second year grades hadn’t left me dancing for joy, third year still had everything to play for. So I played along, I did more of the reading list then I had ever attempted in previous years and I shared my testimony of how I was due to join those escaping the graduate curse of unemployment. Then March came, and the storm hit, and everyday the time I spent with Jesus literally gave me the joy I needed to counteract the despair I woke up feeling and went to sleep wallowing in. My days were filled with tears and frustration but I remember thinking I just need to make it to summer and life will be on it’s way up, only summer came and events took a downward spiral .

The first knock was results. I’m writing this post and I can’t say that I’m 100% over it, but there is a bigger picture outside of Daniela’s emotions and I really want to share what I learned over the past few months. I remember logging into my university portal and realising that I hadn’t met the conditions of my job offer. Rent would be due and bills would need paying and the security of the salary I was expecting lay in the balance. I’ve never really tasted educational failure before and everything was suddenly so final that I couldn’t avoid the breakdown that was coming. I felt as though bits of myself, the bits that I knew to be true, were floating away before I could reach out and hold myself together. If I was no longer smart then where did I stand and how was this new Daniela supposed to function. I’ve never been a genius but smartness has always been my edge and now that hand been sandpapered away I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself.

So I was sad, but not stumbling at breaking point because all things work together for our good and that meant everything was going to work out in the end.

The next blow came when my job offer seemed to be slipping away. I’d played the scenario over and over in my head which always ended with them telling me that I could still work there regardless of my grades that when I explained the situation and that wasn’t what came out of their lips I wasn’t just hurt I was half surprised. All things work together for our good and things just weren’t working out the way I had imagined they would.

Emotion check: still sad but altogether hopeful. My employer had said I would have to appeal my grades and so this was just a speed bump on the journey, making the testimony I would give at the end of the road that little bit sweeter.

The month of August changed my life. The appeal didn’t go through and the job disappeared and I felt as though all the wiring in me had been cut in weird places. I was still living breathing, eating (and putting on weight, but we’ll get into that another day) but I had become completely disconnected with the life I used to love and the day I used to look forward to awaking into.

And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

All things were meant to work together for my good and they hadn’t worked out.

Well not in the way I thought they would at least.

Life in September felt pretty numb. I kept getting reminded by those around me of how faithful God is and that God has everything under control, but I could no longer be sure. I didn’t fall out of love with my first love I just didn’t completely trust him anymore. He said he would bring me to a perfect end, but I was pretty sure it was over and life was far from perfect. How was I supposed to trust him when he was being soooo silent. I was so preoccupied with trying to find out what next I wasn’t paying attention to the lesson he was trying to teach me.

Then I got sent Philippians 4:6-7 twice and had to climb out of the hole I was living in.

Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God. And the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

I had become bitter because I was scared. I feared the fact that bills were due and my bank weren’t going to extend my overdraft. I feared the lack of purpose I had. I feared my capability of getting a job when most grad schemes request grades I haven’t got.

I read Philippians and changed my prayer. I stopped praying for a miracle with my old job and started praying for the job that he’d like me to have. Last week I got a job and even found a sector that I want to apply to next year. To God, who may not read my blog but sees my heart, I thank you.

Have you heard the saying that you don’t know what you’ve got until you’ve lost it? 2014 has been one of those years. I felt like I’d lost so much I’d never be able to love life again. God was meant to work everything out and I didn’t felt like he had until I realised that I was reading the scripture wrong. It didn’t mean things would work out the way I wanted them too.

We don’t always like what’s good for us, but I’m so glad for the things I learnt from my storm. For everyone still holding on to God and wondering when he’s going to sort everything out I hope that the knowledge that God works everything out for your good will be of comfort to you.

Don’t stop holding on

Dani xxxx

Why Long Distance Relationships Are Doomed To Fail

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This week I went on a mini holiday with some family friends. We were a few hours drive away from home and living in a little village, small enough to be excited about seeing a Tesco Express on the “High Street” and big enough to see fellow shoppers at the checkout that weren’t our neighbours. Aside from Britain’s usual performance of really bad weather, there was just one issue that affected us all, and made us feel like our drive to the coast was really a twenty-hour plane ride that had deposited us half way around the world.

Issue and first world problem: we had no phone signal.

I know what you’re thinking:

Who cares?

There are bigger problems, at least you were on holiday.

The whole point of being on holiday is that you get away from your normal life and that includes your friends.

All of the above are true, but it didn’t stop me from spending hours trying new positions to place my phone by the window, and spending every moment in the world outside the house having conversations with the people that I missed. No, this whole post isn’t about my need to be in constant communication with my friends, what this week taught me is that if maintaining a long distance relationship with a loved one is hard, maintaining one with God is near on impossible, here’s why:

1. Feeling far away stops you from searching for ways to be close.

When I first arrived I thought the signal difficulties might be temporary. Is it just me or does your phone struggle to find signal when it’s in a new environment? Sometimes I go somewhere new (which is in all honesty very rarely since I’ve adopted this old age lifestyle that consists of never stepping outside my flat) and just when I want to call my network provider at the annoying lack of signal, my phone jumps back into life and gives me a strong enough phone connection to send SnapChats. Unfortunately this wasn’t going to be the case this week. As I walked around the holiday home, wondering why my phone wasn’t responding it soon set in, how far away I was from being able to contact anyone and after a while I stopped looking for possible pockets of phone connection with the same enthusiasm. Calling people had become a myth and after successfully letting my family know I was alive and well, conversations had to be high on the importance scale for me to attempt dialling. This may have worked for the week but this is an unacceptable attitude for us to have with God. We can’t allow ourselves to stop seeking him after we’ve searched for a while and still don’t ‘feel’ him.

When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul, I will make myself available to you,’ says The Lord. Jeremiah 29:13-14.

The bible says that when we seek God, we will find him, and we have to hold onto that when we feel like we’ve been looking for a while. Unlike phone signal that might never reveal itself, God is more reliable than any network provider and if you feel distance don’t stop seeking to be close. All God wants from us is a relationship like no other in which love for him and devotion to serve him fills every crevice of our hearts. That kind of love is going to take pursuit so don’t give up when you don’t feel like God is near.

2. You won’t ever find a replacement for God on the holidays you take from him.

In life we’re used to having options. You can go on holiday and replace your entire friendship group with the friends you’ve made abroad. In fact, long distance relationships are a good get-out clause for those looking to escape the relationships they’re in as they play the long-game which eventually results in growing apart from the people they are in relationships with. We, however, are in no position to do the same with God. We can decide to distance ourselves and only communicate with God when we need something from him, but when we come to the realisation that we need God in our lives, it’s the same God that we ran away from, that we’ll be running back to. The mere thought of running back in that prodigal son fashion can deter us from taking the first steps so why make things difficult for ourselves in the first place? In the presence of God is where we ultimately want to be, so if we stay close, the less time we spend umming and ahhing about how we’re going to reduce the distance that we’ve created.

3. God wants to be close to you

This is what Christ says to us:

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me – and I in him – bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. -John 15:4-5

We don’t like to feel like we need anybody but having God in our lives is a need we can’t flee from. Whenever I get depressed and start questioning life and my purpose of waking up that day it’s because I’ve decided to walk a few paces from the presence of God. I can hold my hands up to saying I need Christ to function, and if you know you do too, then remaining in him seems like the best thing to do.

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