Tag Archives: fear

5 Worries You’ll Have In Your Early Twenties

1. Is my job making me happy? 

Life is hard. It can take us weeks, months, even years to finally get that first ‘real’ job out of university, and before you know it we are faced with the re-occurring thoughts:

“Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” 

“Am I using my brain enough?”

“Does my job mean anything in the grand scheme of what’s actually important in the world?” 

You can go to work Monday to Friday and get so engrossed in work, go to church on a Sunday and after the service  nothing seems worth doing if it isn’t spreading the love of God and telling people just how great Jesus is. Suddenly work seems futile and time at your desk is weighed down with soul searching questions.

2. Are these my swan days because I really expected my blossom to be better than this?

I say this without even a hint of a chuckle. Those of you honest enough to admit you feel like this to, Kudos. I remember being in my early teens and dreaming of the days when I would be in my prime, the peak of my beauty, turning heads as one of those exquisitely dressed business women before living life to the fullest took its toll and the wrinkles set in. Now I’m in my early twenties, hurriedly dressed without the slightest hint of effort being put into my appearance thinking if not now, then when. It seems trivial but insecurities about our appearances plague us all from time to time and it comes to a point when we have to re-evaluate what we take comfort in, whether that be make-up, the words of affirmation we receive from others or the fantasy of beauty to come. 

3. When will the one find me?

I won’t labour this point further because even having to list it gives me a heavy heart, but alas the relationship centred conversations that crop up time and time again make it quite clear that this worry is rooted in fearful overthinking. If you read between the sarcasm and joke cracking you can hear that people are really saying 

“How long will I be lonely?”

 And 

“Will I find love before my body clock stops ticking?”

4. Am I achieving success at the right pace?

We all have milestones that we’d like to reach but it’s not only important that we reach them, when we do is crucial. You hear about child geniuses taking their GCSE’s aged 8 and teenage entrepreneurs becoming millionaires and you wonder just how they’ve managed it. If someone has achieved something then it’s clearly humanly possible and you have to wonder what makes the over-achievers get so far ahead. We plod through life thinking about how we measure up to others, relieved that some people are ‘further behind’ than we are and curious about all the people that are ahead. It’s a sad truth. Money is all relative and your house is only big in comparison to your neighbours. Stand alone achievements just aren’t enough if we can’t be seen as better than someone else.

5. Am I good enough?

Now you’re in your twenties you are old enough to know better but young enough to feel like a bad choice made every now again isn’t the worst thing in the world. Every so often I evaluate my recent actions and worry about whether I was nice enough, if I could have been more thoughtful in the way I said something, if I stuck up for myself enough, the list goes on. Christian or not, we want to be “good” people and then as Christian’s there’s the added pressure of ‘what would God expect me to do?’ This is usually followed by a major sigh because it often means we have to bite our tongues, lose the argument, let the grudge go, alas, be the person we feel way too young and carefree to be.

So where is the light in all of this? Here are some things we should all remember.

1. We aren’t all called to be missionaries, some of us are placed into the corporate jungle to bring light where there isn’t any.
You can think yourself beautiful. God thinks you’re a work of art so let’s take a leaf out of David’s book and praise God for our looks (Psalm 139:14). The sooner we start thinking it, the sooner we’ll start feeling it.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down oneʼs life for oneʼs friends.”‭‭John‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬. Your love story has already begun.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬. Your time will come.

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither do we one day just start living perfectly. You gave your life to Christ and began the journey but never forget it is a journey.

Love y’all

Dani

Xxxx

The Day I Got Burgled In My Sleep

  
Waking up, still half asleep I was 50% sure I’d heard a sound and 50% too tired to worry. Some time passed it could have been a minute, it could have been 20 (you know how sleep works) and whilst being too timid to investigate, I was 100% on the verge of wetting the bed so I dragged myself up and headed to the bathroom, only to be stopped in my tracks by a definite sound…one not being made by an inanimate object or being made by the only two other people that should have been in the apartment as they were fast asleep. Looking through the bedroom door that was ajar I could see the front door to the apartment that we had locked before bed was also ajar. That was probably one of the most scary moments I’ve ever been faced with. I woke up my friends and headed to the bathroom, with the single thought that if I was going to be killed it would be with the dignity that didn’t involve wee running down my legs. 

After my friends went to check the coast was clear we discovered whoever had entered had thankfully left, leaving the backdoor wide open. Hours later we realised we were an iPad and all of my holiday money down. All the plans I had for that money stolen and replaced with the prospect of spending more money than I’d budgeted on the break that, up until this point, had been amazing. I will backtrack a little so you can have a better picture of the events.

My last holiday was full of the unexpected, in every single sense, with a mix of good and bad surprises. I booked a flight to see my maid of honour who decided to exchange the gloomy grey of London for the concrete jungle that is New York for the year, and prepared myself for 5 days of sleeping, a spot of sightseeing and some regular exercising. What I received was a surprise that my other best friend had also arrived in New York and news that we were headed to Miami for part 1 of 3 of my hen do. Yes I have the best friends ever and yes I’m on the edge of my seat for parts 2 and 3. We had three days of sun, never-ending portions of seafood and celeb spotting as we found ourselves in VIP lounges. The flight to Miami I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be going to Miami with everything organised behind my back and the flight to New York was spent not believing I had been robbed right under my nose, but apart from cash loss had left unscathed. Getting over the anger of being robbed, the gratitude that I still had all 10 fingers and toes and hadn’t had the near death experience that are known to come with break-ins. 

Imagine I’d awoken whilst the intruder had been in the bedroom and they’d decided killing me would stop them getting caught

Imagine they were after more than just monetary goods and had decided to take us hostage with hope of a ransom fee

Imagine they didn’t want to steal at all but commit a heinous sex attack

In that moment I praised God that I had been robbed, alive to tell the tale, and not too traumatised by the events. 

Is anyone a fan of the comedian Eddie Izzard? I personally don’t really tune in to his comedy, but he said something recently at the Apollo that had me squirming in the inside, cracking my brain as to how to change his opinion that undoubtedly many people all over the world share.

In the words of a true sceptic he asked the audience ‘when has God ever done anything to interfere with all the natural disasters and crappy things this world has suffered?’ (I’m paraphrasing here) but you get the gist. If you studied Religious Studies at school you’ll recognise this as as the anti-God triangle argument against Christ, which basically says the existence of evil and suffering in the world isn’t compatible with the existing of a God that is all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-present. After hearing Eddie I had the same thoughts and feelings I’d had sitting in my RS lesson wondering what I was going to have for dinner.

Just because you don’t know the things God has done, don’t assume he hasn’t done anything at all

This very morning a man gave up his seat before an elderly lady got on the bus. She offered no thank you because she didn’t know that he was standing just so she could have seat, and the man felt no need to tell her, simply happy that he had done something nice for her. If mere mortals can offer altruism with no desire for gratitude how much more can God happily stand in the gap for us, happy to know that we are better off than we could have been without writing in the clouds to say all the near misses with misfortune we had that day.

I thank God for the things I know he’s done and the things that I’m completely unaware of.

To my God who watches out for me, regardless of my gratitude, I love you!
Love Dani
X

Why I’ve Stopped Living In Denial

  
Have you ever woken up and realised that you’re not worn out because you didn’t get enough sleep, or because you’ve spent too many hours at the gym, but because your mind has been thinking of a thousand problems at once and each one remains unsolved?

This is how problems generally work in my life:

1. I realise problem ‘x’ exists 

2. I rack my brain to produce a plan a, scrap plan b, only to conclude plans l-m-n-o and p won’t work either

3. I think about giving ‘x’ to God to resolve but I haven’t touched base with him in so long I’m uncertain he’s able to make it better

4. I stress-well actually I secretly stress. I go on through life as normal and try and push problem x to the furthest point in my mind whilst my subconscious brain continues to think of solutions, and decide those solutions won’t work, so thinks of some more in a hopeless cycle 

5. I despair

6. I run back to Jesus. I don’t even care if he fixes things, I just want to be living under his wing, trusting that he’ll give me the strength to feel at peace in the midst of whatever storm has been raining on my parade.

Reading that, you’d wonder why I didn’t just run back to Jesus in the first place. Why try to figure things out on your own when you know you’re going to find your senses and come back to God in the end? There is a reason. Actually in fairness, there are many reasons, but they all begin with one…

I will tell you a secret. Not many people know what I’m about to share so brace yourself. I am quite proud. Not in the sense that I think I’m better than people, I’m just confident in my abilities to the extent that I rarely (every bone in my body fights against) ask for help. I might even think the person offering to help would do a better job than I could but I’m too proud to admit that, and the mere thought that I could do it myself even if it does take me twice as long, means all help is rejected and the thought of asking for it is ludicrous. I know what you’re thinking- 

“Even when the person your asking is God?!”
 Yes.

So this has been one of those weeks. I know I can’t possibly solve all the issues life has presented me with, but I hate to admit defeat so much, I have ran away, instead of toward the God that can make it all better. I’m not saying God is a wizard, he’s definitely not a genie in a bottle that grants all of your wishes, but he does give you the ability to overcome every kink and disruption to this journey of life. 

Today I admit defeat. I admit that I need God and that life is only worth living when it revolves around him. I haven’t the energy to keep running away so I’ll stop.

Cast your burdens unto Jesus for he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

When you give your problems to Jesus, it’s not that they immediately disappear and life returns to perfection, but that weight from constantly trying to find a solution is lifted, along with all of the stress it brought. Nobody said being a Christian would be a breeze, but Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light

If you, like me, woke up realising you had been trying to fight a war all by yourself, take the best advice you’ll ever get. Give all  your worries to Jesus, who cares for you and wants you to be free. The stress just isn’t worth it.

Love y’all 
Dani xx

How Being Unemployed Almost Ruined My Relationships

IMG_11092014_234723This post has been on my mind for a long time – maybe two months? I didn’t want to write it because I didn’t want to address the issue underpinning the blogpost: jealousy.

Who likes to admit that they struggling with jealousy?

Nobody.

We all want to seem as though we are completely content and only trying to be a better version of the person we were the day before. Alas, life isn’t always like that. We do not exist in a vacuum; people with prettier faces, better lives and greater gifts surround us. When life is going amazingly well and everything is working out ‘for our good’, the fact that those around us may have better lives than us tends to fade into the background because our incredible lives are centre stage. Unfortunately, life is full of storms, cycles, challenges and seasons. Once things begin to crash and burn around us (why am I so dramatic?!) it’s harder to clap for those around us as they rush towards their goals and leave us behind; it is harder to love those who appear to be doing so much better than us, it is harder to support those living out a dream you felt belonged to you alone.

This summer has been great, I’ve done many weird and wonderful things and I am honestly blown away when I think about where I was in April in comparison to where I am now. In April, life became full of uncertainty, sadness and fear. I didn’t lose my job in the conventional way most do (I’ll divulge all the gory details another time) I lost my job in a slow and painful way (which still makes me feel a little sick when I think about it). During that time of uncertainty, I forgot who my Rock was. You see, at the end of last year God revealed that the coming year would not be easy. He even gave me a scripture:

But the rock of our enemies is not like our Rock, as even they recognise.

Deuteronomy 32:31

I was well aware that there was a storm brewing but because life was so good, I put the scripture on the back burner and kept living my life like it was golden.

The whole ‘lovin life’ came to an abrupt halt just after my 22nd birthday. It also felt as though just as my life began to fall apart, everyone else’s lives began to fall together. While I was in my wilderness, my homies were partying in the Promise Land, eager to tell me about how great it was and how grateful they were because God had blessed them so much. Although I was happy for them, there was a part of me that couldn’t handle their happiness. I was jealous because on some level, I felt like I deserved some of what they were getting. I was jealous because I felt as though I was being left behind. My life looked so foggy and unsure my stomach couldn’t help but churn when I heard about all the great things they were achieving. In the beginning I could brush it under the carpet and praise God with them but by the end of my downward spiral, whenever I heard amazing news all I could think was: REMEMBER ME TOO, GOD.

There should be no competition or jealousy because the Giver of all gifts loves us all equally. Jealousy stopped me from seeing, and it almost stopped me from being able to fully appreciate the wonderful things my friends were doing. It kept me from remembering that the same God that had blessed my friends would bless me in His own way and in His own time.

I was –

Fearful:

I was afraid. I couldn’t see the plan at work and I couldn’t see God in my situation so I lost faith that things would work out of my good. I stopped looking at the Creator and looked at those he had created.

Insecure:

If I truly believed in our amazing God, if I believed that He was working things out for my good and in His time, I would not have been filled with jealousy, I would have been filled with faith.

Jealousy has the power to ruin relationships – I believe jealousy becomes resentment and resentment eventually becomes hatred. Did I want to hate my friends? OF COURSE NOT.

So how do we combat jealousy?

1) Prayer

When that thought comes into your mind, when that feeling begins to rest on your heart..

Pray about it

Don’t wait for night-time prayer and don’t wait for the next day to say a quick prayer of repentance. As soon as you feel that feeling wandering into your being, ask God to renew your faith in Him, ask Him to increase your confidence and ask Him to help you focus on how amazing He is instead of how amazing your friends’ lives seem.

2) Change your perspective

The past week has really revealed how blessed I am even though I am still not where I hoped I would be, and I still have no idea how I am going to get to the place that I want to be. I have been exposed to a different life: a life where your health, your actions and your thoughts are often outside of your control, a life where your opportunities are capped from the time you are born, a life where physical and mental health issues rule every single day you will ever experience. This week reminded me that even on my worst day, when everything is falling apart, there is someone crying for the things I am begging for God to change. This realisation humbled me; even when I don’t feel as though God is blessing me, I have to remember that I am still blessed.

All my loving,

Joyyyy xx

The Day I Stopped Being A Law-abiding Citizen

IMG_3264.JPG

As a Christian that’s been brought up in the church things can get tricky when it comes to deciding what’s wrong. Lots of people will hold beliefs based on their perceptions of God or what they feel convicted of and you aren’t always sure whether going against their 11th commandment is sinful or just choosing to live life differently.

The usual culprits that cause confusion:

“That’s an ungodly hour to be on the phone”

“Christians shouldn’t drink alcohol”

“Parties aren’t events you should be attending now you’re saved”

“Don’t be alone with a person of the opposite sex after 6pm”

The list goes on, and suddenly you’re not sure where Christianity ends and option and culture begins. I remember when I was having an argument about one of my piercings and had to highlight that the other person not liking something didn’t automatically mean there must be a deeper sin behind it.

Therefore we must not pass judgment on one another, but rather determine never to place an obstacle or a trap before a brother or sister. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean in itself; still, it is unclean to the one who considers it unclean. Romans 14:13-14

I think being reminded not to judge is a key part of this scripture. As we’re pointing the finger at our fellow Christians for choosing to talk on the phone late at night or for not having their ears pierced, we have to remember that each of us have our own convictions that should guide how we live. We don’t know the journey that God is taking someone on, so how dare we try and force them to become a changed individual overnight and not allow God to lead the process of transformation. Similarly when people abide by rules that we consider irrelevant, who are we to tell them they’re wrong for doing so?

I stopped feeling condemned of the rules that I couldn’t find in my bible when I realised that I didn’t have to walk through my faith, looking like the image of a Christian imprinted in the minds of others. With the bible in one hand and the Holy Spirit in my heart I could live according to the word of God and the convictions I felt in my heart.

For the kingdom of God does not consist of food and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

The little rules that we argue over are somewhat irrelevant in the grand context of accepting Christ’s love and showing it to others. Let’s not have others say that Christianity is about ad-libbed rules and regulations. In my experience of God, there’s more to life than not getting tattoos or deciding to have adventurous piercings.

Live out your faith according to the way you feel led by the word of God.

Love and hugs and kisses

Dani xxx

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

Why I Stopped Talking To God

Lonely woman

It’s not very ‘Christian’ to admit that you stopped talking to God, is it? I wonder if any of you will admit the times you’ve had to just walk away from God for a minute because you just couldn’t understand why life kept dropping bombs on you. There are situations that occur that bring our worlds to a standstill and while we’re trying to hold ourselves together, other parts of our lives begin to fall apart.

Have you ever asked God “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?” We don’t often talk about those moments that occur during our Christian Walk, (the questions, the angst and the fear) because they’re not as attractive as the relentless faith we are supposed to exhibit and the lifting of hands in worship, but life throws too many unexpected events my way to not have asked God why he is allowing certain things to happen to me. It has be a crazy year, an expect-the-unexpected-kinda-year and I have done my best to ‘keep the faith’ and ‘pray no matter how I feel’ but I think this week it all became too much and I didn’t connect to my Source. Despite knowing that in the moments where I feel most hurt and angry, I should run back to God, not run away, this time my feet wouldn’t move, my hands refused to turn the pages of His word and my heart stopped beating for him.

 The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”

“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The Lord brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the Lord has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.

Judges 6:12-13

When I read the response from Gideon this morning, I thought, “finally, someone asking the questions that I’ve been asking God!” His question was respectful, genuine but completely honest– if the Lord was truly on their side, why were they oppressed, abandoned and homeless?

I’m sure some of you have been in a tough season and asked God some real questions:

 Why?

How?

Where are you?

What are you doing?

Why me?

What have I done to deserve this?

I sat with the above questions longer than I sat with God this week because I couldn’t bring myself to admit how disappointed I was in Him. I also knew in my heart I knew I had no right to be disappointed. This was the same God that had allowed me to walk through beautiful seasons that I was also undeserving of so what right did I have to be disappointed?

Although walking away was illogical, I had more questions than I had answers and I needed time. In hindsight, the distance I put between God and I was a mistake because He was the only person that could have healed me, saved me and kept my irrational thoughts at bay.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

I think I forgot that being a Christian didn’t mean that my life was going to be flowers, sunsets, giant teddy bears and ‘happily ever afters’. My belief in God did not excuse me from the pains of life. The only difference between those with faith in God and those that do not believe is that when we face our problems we have God on our side; our faith alone does not exempt us from pain and sorrow. Through the trials and tribulations that we face, we are able to experience something new of God, a side of Him that we otherwise may not have encountered. It takes being poor to see God as our provider, it takes being sick to see Him as our healer and it takes heartbreak for Him to be revealed as our comforter. It has never been said that this journey would be easy, but it does say that His grace is sufficient for me and that His power works best when I am weak (2 Corinthians 12:9). I shouldn’t be afraid when I reach the end of myself because that is where God can begin.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

I’m still here with my questions, my disappointment and my pain; faith in my strongest moments and fear in my weaker ones. But I am also here accepting that God knows what is best for me (Isaiah 55:9) and He will always bring things together for my good (Romans 8:28).

I am learning what it means to be dependent on God. He is my security, He is my everything, He is my source. There is no walking away.

I am learning what I meant when I surrendered my will and asked him to take control of my life.

Learning that just because I want something to happen doesn’t mean it will and just because I don’t want something to happen doesn’t mean it won’t.

Learning how important it is to trust God.

Learning that I need to read my bible even when I don’t want to. I need to pray even when I don’t have the words.

Learning that I can run away from my problems or run through them with God.

Learning that even though I’m not as strong as I’d like to be, I’m not as weak as I thought I was.

Learning how to speak again. To connect with Him. Apologising for my absence. Admitting how lost I am without Him. Asking for forgiveness. Learning how to pray in hope and faith once more.

I am learning.

Joy x

Shadowfeet – Brooke Fraser

When the world has fallen out from under me
I’ll be found in you, still standing
Every fear and accusation under my feet
when time and space are through
I’ll be found in You

As I listened to this song yesterday, I began to cry. Life isn’t a bed of roses and it is prone to presenting situations that have the power to bring us to our knees. This song reminded me that with Christ I can, and will stand again.


I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

Psalm 16:8

What To Do When You’re Falling Apart

falling

At the moment, I’m getting into the Old Testament (OT) – the part of the Bible most young Christians tend to avoid – not because we don’t want to read it, of course, but because it just feels a bit intense and at times, confusing. The New Testament (NT) feels a lot easier to get through, right? It can at times feel like an action movie with the star of the film being our main man Jesus Christ who just keeps doing and saying amazing things.

 Boom! Born in a manger

Boom! Doing Miracles

Boom! Dying on a cross

BOOM! RISING FROM THE DEAD

Such a page turner, right? And of course, once you become a Christian, you’re given the little red NT Bible so most of us just sit with the last 27 books and neglect all the other books. After years of being content with the NT alone, I decided to begin right at the beginning of the Bible. I have just finished reading Joshua and let’s just say it’s been quite the journey.

God delivered  the Israelites out of the Egypt but instead of allowing them to enter the Promise Land instantaneously, the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years because of their disobedience and distrust. The Israelites had no real idea where they were going; there had been ups and downs, disappointments and frustrations. The very thing they hoped would come to pass had been severely delayed.

Eventually, the Israelites reached the land God promised them and in Joshua 22, Joshua their new leader, gave some of the tribes some sound advice:

But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold fast to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.

Joshua 22:5

On the day I read this, I was having trouble holding onto God because I had so many other things in my hands. It had been a whirlwind week, full of moments where things had failed to come together in the way I hoped they would. I wanted to throw myself into my emotions and hibernate under my quilt. Thankfully, this scripture caught me as I was falling apart and caused me to question my response to what most would consider one of the usual setbacks of life.

When we are falling apart that is when we should hold tighter onto God – we shouldn’t let him go because of our emotions.

When everything is going wrong – fall apart hold fast

When things aren’t going your way – fall apart hold fast

When you’re not sure what to do next – fall apart hold fast

When you put all your hope into something and it doesn’t come together –fall apart hold fast

Hold fast to God, He is all we have.

Joy xx

How Lil Wayne Taught Me To Love

253  I didn’t intend to write this post today.

It’s 22:49 on Thursday 17th July and this has to be posted by 10:00 tomorrow morning. I’ve been putting off writing this post because I don’t have the answer to the question I have been asking myself (and God) over the past few weeks: How Should I Love?

 You had a lot of crooks tryna steal your heart

Never really had luck, couldn’t ever figure out

How to love

How to love

-Lil Wayne

I never thought I’d be writing about Lil Wayne’s ‘How To Love‘,  (this is my least favourite song of his). It came to mind a few weeks ago and I realised how much I identified with the song – no, not the broken-hearted stuff, I’m talking about the not really knowing how to love part. You see, the way I love is so intense that I have had to learn how to moderate my love depending on the recipient. Few people can handle the intensity of my love and even fewer people can live up to the standards I set for those I love which inevitably creates a huge gulf between what I expect from people and what they can actually give me. I honestly thank God that He is teaching me the importance of having low expectations of people and high expectations of Him. Slowly but surely, He is becoming the first person I run to when I feel like a storm is brewing; He is my shelter from the rain.

You had a lot of moments that didn’t last forever

Now you’re in a corner tryna put it together

How to love

How to love

– Lil Wayne

I wonder why we think our todays will last forever when we can barely remember our yesterdays. The world around us is ever-changing and yet we somehow think that the relationship we share with another will transcend time. I blame Disney. I blame fairy tales. I blame the innate desire we all have to belong to someone, to be wanted and to be needed.

The woman in this song doesn’t know how to love properly. Life, unfortunately, has been unkind to her and she is sitting in the corner trying to figure out how to put the pieces of her broken heart back together, wondering how they even fit together in the first place. As I’ve said numerous times, heartache can come from many different people and in many different forms. For too long, we have been sold the narrative that heartbreak only comes when your one, true love walks out on you. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth for some of us; we’ve experienced heartbreak through broken friendships, broken families, Dads walking out , people we looked up to failing us – the list really does go on.

 Now you’re sitting here in this damn corner

Looking through all your thoughts and looking over your shoulders

-Lil Wayne

The thing is, our hearts do come back together again after they’ve been broken but we no longer view humanity in the innocent light we once did. We realise that people have the capacity to break us when we entrust them with our hearts, and we therefore shield ourselves from anyone who has the potential to hurt us. Although we try and form new relationships, a significant proportion of our time is spent overthinking and looking at the past to assess the parallels between what has gone before and the new relationship. This affects the how we love people. We love people… but not really. We share with people…but only the insignificant information that we don’t mind them walking away with.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been challenging myself to love people properly again. It took a friend to really show me that I was letting my fear of being hurt impact the way I interacted with people. As I mentally replayed the conversation we had (as I do with all important conversations) I remembered that we aren’t called to live small lives (I think I say this in every post) and therefore we must confront anything that seeks to weigh us down and make us fearful simply because if we are truly in Christ then we are meant to live freely.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

John 8:36

I know this is the part of the post where I’m supposed to list my tips but I just wanted to remind you that I’ve been putting off writing this post because I don’t have the answers – I am still figuring out how to love. Here’s what I have so far:

1) Stop Being Afraid

Loving people is really important to God because God is love. After commanding us to love Him, he commands us to love others. We can spend the remainder of our lives punishing the new people in our lives for the wrongs committed by the oldies or we can choose to set our fears aside and love without fear.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

2) There’s No Wound He Cannot Heal

I was afraid to love because I was afraid to be hurt again. I had to remember that God is the mender of broken hearts and specialises in pulling me back together again. That doesn’t mean I should throw myself into relationships but it doesn’t mean I should fear them either. Every time I tell God that I am afraid to love, he reminds me that I can never be broken in the way I once was because I no longer live my life without him, I live my life for him. Even if I am hurt again, this time, I have someone I can run to.

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my saviour; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

Psalm 18:2

3) Your Heart Is Precious

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Proverbs 4:23

Set boundaries, be vigilant, be careful. Your heart determines who you become and where you will end up so ask God to help you protect it from those who seek to break it. Be mindful of those you invest your time in and whom you give yourself to.


This is all I have at the moment. I honestly wish I had more for you! Feel free to comment and add any lessons you’ve picked up along the way, I’d love some help on this journey.

Loving you in the only way I know how,

Joy xx