Tag Archives: doubt

5 Fears You’re Probably Facing

   
I woke up this morning and was going to write about the five things I’m currently grateful for, but seeing as I’ve spent the last week feeling more fearful than thankful, I thought that might be a little unrepresentative of the truth. I often get told off by friends and family for making everything seem like it’s going swimmingly well when really I’m onboard a ship that feels more like it’s sinking than sailing. As Christians we hang onto the scripture: 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”‭‭II Timothy‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

But that doesn’t mean all of our problems immediately melt away, so here are five of my fears, from the littlest to the largest of problems.

1. My phone battery dying

Don’t laugh, I know you worry too. I think this is the most prevalent fear I have, and there doesn’t seem much I can do about it. I live in one of those awkward locations that doesn’t have a tube station but three semi close national rail train stations with semi-regular buses that I can get home from. Because of this, every journey home is made in sync with whatever live travel app is telling me makes sense. A journey home with a battery under 20% is never enjoyable as I sit on airplane mode praying it makes it home.
If this is you too, we both have to face facts. Taking a little longer to get home because you couldn’t use the bus app to decide which stop you need to get off the train at is not the biggest issue in the world. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, is it worth the worry? Most times the answer is no, in which case you can exhale

2. That the hidden calories in all my food will one day come and bite me on the abs, legs, and everywhere else I am trying to loose weight.

I want to tell you that this is a silly fear and the chances are, an extra banana won’t make you fat, but I think it’s more important to know that being fatter than you’d like is not the end of the world. There’s a hard truth that we should all just accept and that is: you will probably never be 100% happy with your body. 

Sorry for the tough love, on a happier note, God made you in his image, God said you’re fearfully and wonderfully made, God’s opinion trumps societies image of beauty. Simples. 

3. That I’m not really good at the short list of things I think I am

Every time I come to write a blog post, a small knot forms in my stomach and it doesn’t unravel until I’ve clicked share and decided that there’s nothing more I can do to make it better. It’s not just writing though, every time I have to challenge myself to meet my own expectations and am under the scrutiny of others my forehead starts to sweat and my hands get clammy. The usual thoughts are:

What if I’m not good enough?

What if I fail?

What will people think?

I’m not going to lie and say you’ll be brilliant at all things you put your mind to but I have relaxed in accepting that I may not be able to do things in my own strength but in Christ I can do all things. Yes, that means I’m completely dependent on God, and I am learning to be cool with that.

4. That I’ll never have the lifestyle I’ve always dreamed of

There was an article in the Evening Standard that said graduates from my university were the highest paid in the UK and after 10 years, 10% of us earn 100k. Going to a university where everyone wants to be an investment banker/ corporate lawyer that figure is not a surprise, it has however added another stress to the thought ‘where will I be in 10 years time and what will I earn…’ It’s very easy to say that we’re not money motivated people and that we’re driven by less materialistic ambitions, but at the end of the day, the seniority we’ve been able to reach and the pay package that comes along with that will always be a point of comparison. 

So what to do?

Sorry to say but having money is quite similar to having a great body. You will set goals and reach them, but you will always want something outside of your budget and you will always want more money to meet all of your needs. That doesn’t mean stop striving because you’ll never be happy, but let the desire to achieve financially fall into place with a tameable level of importance. Learning to be satisfied with being dissatisfied works the best here.

5. That my looming wedding won’t be Vogue worthy

When you go to weddings you internalise all the things you think were nice and everything that wasn’t no nice and vow to learn from the couples mistakes. Then, when it’s time for your own wedding you create a fantastical vision of what you want it to be like before taking into consideration that you don’t have celebrity money and your parents and in-laws will weigh in with their opinion and expect to be heard. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I want extravagance to the nth degree, I’m just chasing after a wedding that’s close to the vision my imagination has conjured up, and as everyone who has been married will tell you, weddings are pricey. I am so used to being self-sufficient that having to trust God to provide the funds has made me uncomfortable, and hence the battle to combat fearfulness with being faithful commences.

For everyone who is also wondering where the money is going to come from to pay off their next big expense, there is a scripture we can find peace in:

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God’s got a plan, even if you are yet to think of one. Don’t rely on yourself one iota, but trust in him wholly and he will give you the direction you need, bring you into contact with the right people, open up the doors for your needs to be met.

We are so keen to share what we are grateful for, we create an imbalanced picture of greener grass and happier days to the onlookers of our lives. I hope that you’ll be encouraged to shout your fears as well as showcase your faith and that together we can encourage each other through our storms.

Happy Friday!

Dani

When Life Feels like One Long Microwave Minute

Time slow down

Can you imagine it? In front of you all you can see is people, behind you multitudes of people and to your left and right all the same. You’re one of thousands and you’re running. Running as fast as you can because even though you can’t see it you know your aggressor is edging closer. You’ve been a slave so long you’re still getting used to what freedom tastes like, and before you can decide if you like it, someone is trying to take that freedom away. Women are struggling to keep up with the men, children are screaming as they are clutched in their mothers arms, there’s so much commotion as animals pull along carts carrying those unable to walk. What will you do if you’re captured? You’re pretty sure they will torture you for having escaped their clutches the first time. You’ve been told of this “God” that will save you but where is he now? You can feel your heart thunder in your chest, it’s beat the only sound that’s a contender for all the noise around. It’s chaos. Suddenly the pace comes to a halt. Your captor is coming closer and people are stopping with no explanation. Maybe those in front are trying to offer those at the back as some sort of sacrifice as they figure out a plan to escape. Well you won’t go down without a fight. As you scramble through the crowd weaving in an out of those that are taking this as an opportunity to rest you can slowly see what has caused the delay. Your heart begins to slow and your mind follows suit as you try to make sense of the madness. Here you are, alongside all of your fellow natives and standing between you and your long awaited freedom is the sea. Not a river that you can wade through, not a lake that you can swim across but the raging Red Sea.

I can’t imagine what it was like to be an Israelite on that day. It was supposed to be D-day and yet here they were still struggling for their lives. Can you imagine how quickly their songs of praise would have gone from joyful and triumphant to becoming silenced by that overwhelming feeling that God has forsaken them. They had stayed true to God in the midst of their slavery and now he had led them into the desert to die.

What do you do when you’re at your Red Sea? Do you praise God because it might be your last breath and you’re scared you won’t make it into heaven. Do you moan and blame God for bringing you this far only to fail you? Or do you wait? When the Israelites got to the riverbed there was no boat in sight for them to jump on. God hadn’t made it clear what they would use to get across, and at their tails where the Egyptians ready to devour.

Sometimes life seems hopeless. In front of you is a no-entry sign and behind you doesn’t bear thinking about. You thought you had your breakthrough, you thought God had brought you through the storm, only to be faced with another. You’d even started telling people your testimony but what will you tell them now? That you’d spoken too soon and realised that sometimes God fails?

How do you keep the faith when there’s no way to swim to the other side and there isn’t a boat for you to clamber into?

Whilst the Israelites were saying their last prayers, cursing God, and cursing Moses for attempting to save them, Moses had his head to the sky waiting on God to save them. I get anxious waiting for my food to come out of the microwave, can you imagine how uncomfortable that wait was? When it’s between life and death, angst turns to fear and can easily become despair.

God is faithful and just-yeah right

God has your best interests in mind- life couldn’t be worse

God will see you through-you can’t wait to sign out.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

How will you learn patience if you’ve never had to wait on God? We pray to see the things we can’t see, we want to be transformed in our thinking, but we don’t want to go through what’s necessary to get us there. I’m not saying to glorify your struggle but to glorify your God in the midst of it all.

There’s so many ways God could have saved the Israelites but he parted the Red Sea. Why not a boat? Why not giving them the strength to swim? Because every other option would have given room for co-incidence receiving the glory, or self gratification to swoon in.


 

God wants us to know that where there is no hope and we’re looking for a way out, he is the hope we cannot see. God is the strength that we don’t utilise and he’s the comfort that we don’t lean on.

What will you do when faced with your next Red Sea?

Love ya long time

Dee Cee xxxxx

The Things They Don’t Teach You About Mind Control: Battlefield of the Mind

Reading this book is genuinely one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long while. Those who know me, know I generally don’t give Christian books the time of day, just because I question what they could possibly have to say that I can’t read in my Bible. To my fellow sceptic, Christian Books are not the enemy . If ‘Battlefield of the Mind’ is anything to go by, they aren’t adding anything to scripture, they are merely explaining what the Bible says and giving their own interpretation. Basically a sermon that you read. Anyway, I’m rambling but I just wanted to say thank you God for allowing me to discover the blessing that can be found in reading the words of those that walk with you also, and thank you Joyce Meyer for writing such an amazing book.

What I learnt about the mind: Why mind control, why me?

I’ve always knows that what goes on in the mind is important, but Joyce has opened my eyes to just how HUGELY important it is. First of all, Joyce highlights that the mind is where the devil will attack us. I know we don’t like to think about the devil but the devil is just as real as God and as soon as you decided to root for #Team-Jesus, you and the devil became enemies. Is this scaring you? I hope not, but if you are feeling a slight chill, you’ll appreciate just how important it is to know how to win the battlefield of the mind.  We learn that the devil puts strongholds in our minds; these are lies that he’s told us that we’ve bought into and are now affecting what we believe and how we act. However, our three spiritual weapons are: The Word, praise, and prayer. Really it all comes down to knowing God’s word to the point of being able to say it back to him.  As Joyce puts it “God’s word and our need is the basis which we come to him.” Still with me? I shall summarise.

There’s a battle, it’s you against the devil and it’s being fought in your mind. The devil comes with his A-Game trying to attack you with strongholds that he places in your mind. Your weapons are the very words of God.

What I learnt about myself: I have a judgemental mind.

After explaining the importance of the mind and were our mind is at, Joyce shares about different states of the mind that are not of God. Eventually I found mine…

Do you ever exhibit Judgement, Hateration, or come to conclusions about people? However you want to put it, it’s not okay! There’s something about seeing your issue in black and white that makes you want to do something about it. Here’s the diagnosis:

  1. We judge people because we think we’re better than them.

That’s a bit hard to stomach isn’t it?! Simply put ‘Judgement and criticism are fruit of a deeper problem-pride’ EEK! Using Romans 12:3 which tells us quite simply not to get gassed (think too much of ourselves) Joyce highlights that when we have an exaggerated opinion of ourselves, it causes us to look down on others and value them as ‘less than’ us. Needless to say, this is not good.

  1. The fact that we haven’t sinned doesn’t make us special

Galatians 6:1-3 Says that we’re supposed to help people that have gone off track without any sense of superiority. We are supposed to carry each other’s burdens and whilst helping them, be mindful that we don’t get tempted to join them in the sin. If we’re so busy gossiping about people’s problems and ostracising people because we’re shocked at the sins they’ve committed we’ll forget to offer the helping hand to pull them out of it. We are one body in Christ. Imagine if every time a part of us was sick the heart just stopped pumping blood to that region so that it eventually lost all connection with the body and died. Sounds so ridiculous but that’s what we do to ourselves when we judge instead of showing love. Instead, when we hurt ourselves our body pumps extra blood there and starts fixing itself. I know I’ve just given you a very badly remembered version of GCSE Biology but you catch my drift I hope.

  1. Judging brings condemnation

Not to them, but to you! Judging others is literally like praying ‘return to sender prayers’ on yourself. For all the non-Africans reading, it’s like cursing yourself then saying, whoever curses me shall be cursed, but you were doing the cursing so it’s all coming back to you. Do you get it, or have I just confused you? Romans 2:1 says we shouldn’t judge others because in doing so we condemn ourselves. I hope that makes what I was trying to say clear. There’s just no benefit in criticising others and if this is where your mind is at, don’t accept it as ‘ok’ or ‘just another part of your personality.’ We need to use The Word to fight against the judgemental thoughts that creep in!

What I bet you didn’t know: Mind control 101

  1. Your mind at its normal state should be peaceful

We’re so used to thinking a hundred things at once that we’ve become desensitised to it, but this is not a safe land to live in. God wants your attention and to give you the guidance you NEED to live life. How are you supposed to hear him over all the other voices competing for your time?

  1. Your mind and your spirit have to be aligned

So here’s what I gathered. The Holy Spirit is trying to communicate God’s message to us. He deposits it in our spirit, and then in order for us to understand what that message is practically, our mind and our spirit have to be aligned ( in one accord, speaking the same language, basically both besties with God and the things of God).

  1. Reasoning won’t get you anywhere

For someone who loves breaking down arguments and just generally thinking, this was a bit of a shocker. What I think is important is that we don’t try and use human logic to understand scripture but instead allow the  Holy Spirit to give us the interpretation. This does make sense, because it’s so easy to dismiss what God’s saying because we don’t think understand it, but He is the same God who told Abraham to kill Isaac, and then not to kill him because He wanted to see if Abraham would obey him. You don’t always have to get why God is asking, just be willing to obey.

  1. Doubt, unbelief, and disobedience are inter-connected

In a nutshell: Faith is the ultimate. Doubt puts you in two minds about the things you should be certain of. Once you’re uncertain you can go down a slippery slope that leads to unbelief and once you’re there, you disobey. (=BAD)

  1. The only good thing about worry is the weight-loss

I half joke, but in all seriousness worry adds nothing. It can’t make you taller, put food on the table or pay your bills so why bother? Save your time and pray about the things that bring you stress!

Should you read?

This book is perfect for anyone who is Christian and has thoughts. In other words, yes! Purchase! Joyce beautifully unpacks The Word and directs you to the scriptures that will prepare you for the battlefield of the mind. I couldn’t possibly write all the things I’ve learnt in one post; grab your own copy so that you can learn how to fight your own battle. If we’re going to fight, we might as well fight to win.

“I am a winna, I am a winaaaaaa, the devil knows that I am a winna”

Dani X