Posts Tagged With: journey

Vulnerability

Weirdly enough I am now at a place where God is preparing me for the things He had inscribed on my heart years ago. Since that time I have only ever had glimpses of what He has wanted me to do but in the past few months and especially now, I am slowly seeing it all come together and I am left in awe as I have seen how He has prepared the way and started to bring it all together.

I am very excited, feeling like a child on Christmas Eve, too excited to sleep and constantly thinking about what gifts await my opening them the next morning. So yes, I am super excited as I feel the time nearing to what God has laid on my heart.  Not only have I been excited, I have also felt nervous and scared…the kind of scared because I am ready but I fear I’m not…So once again, I am filled with mixed feelings…

Obviously with all this, there is a requirement of preparation – so continuous research is being done. Reading articles, rapports, books, journals, watching videos made about prisoners and gangs…it is a lot on an intellectual and emotional level but there is a lot of preparation required spiritually too. It really means getting rooted in the Word and in my relationship with God before I go…it has meant looking at myself in all honesty…People and relationships are important. The Body of Christ is important. Very important. The parts of the Body of Christ help in supporting one another and establishing key characteristics needed in everyday life.

In this preparation I have learnt the importance of sharing with others and the importance of including others…if you don’t – they feel left out and like you are shutting them out, which might sound weird in a sense, or at first it did for me – because I did feel like this was something God has for me and it has nothing to do with anybody else…it is my gift, my treasure, something God placed in MY heart…but the more I look at it and think about this issue, the more I realize it isn’t just mine…that I am being selfish…in the beginning it was mine, given to me, but God wants me to share it…it is like grace..He gives it to us and first when we find the little treasure, we want to keep it and cherish it…constantly opening our own hands in which it was placed, to just look at it and admire it and just soak it all in, but once you have and you’re saturated and you realize just how beautiful it is…you can’t help but want to share it and feel you need to share it because if you don’t you just might burst. It would just be selfish not to, right?! It is so good, you just have to!

I guess I didn’t want to share it because it was mine, but also because you would then be able to see deep into my heart. Deeper than what has ever been seen before. And I’m not sure I want anybody but God seeing that deeply…why? Because it makes me VULNERABLE. Vulnerable is great but it is scary..it means that I could get hurt… It means I could get laughed at or mocked… And I try protecting myself from that and also from the negativity and death people could speak over me… But even that, God has shown me, is no excuse for shutting myself to the world…to family..to friends..to Jean… I have to open myself up…that is what love requires… And love casts out all fear..so why do I still hesitate…? Isn’t it selfish? I have always been transparent, with all my issues..because being vulnerable, making myself vulnerable and transparent makes me admit everything, putting it all out there myself, by choice, takes it away from others..gives me control and shows I’m okay with me, that way, no one can really harm me… but with this…this piece…this command God has put in my heart…it is the only thing I have been reluctant to share…the only thing I have chosen to be selfish with and not fully shared with people. People know bits and pieces of the story and what I feel God leading me to do, but no one knows the whole truth…

So what am I talking about? I want to work in the prisons… I am all for supporting the raped, the hurt, the victims…but long ago, God placed the other side of that coin upon my heart…the murders, the liars, the convicted, the rapists…that is what I want to do…the gang members…the youth that go into the gang life..who end up in prison and those who live on the outside of prison… That’s as far as all people know. Many cannot understand that.

But I have come to know many like them…I have also watched enough footage to feel something different for these people… Watching and observing these people, I have come to know they are no different from us…We all want the same things and they are just as scared, if not more than us, of vulnerability… They shy away from it, just like us, but we all do long to be vulnerable…all of us do…and we long to be accepted even when we are vulnerable and only when that happens…that acceptance and love that takes place when being vulnerable, does change come. Vulnerability is what ties us… And vulnerability doesn’t have to be as bad a thing as the world has made it. And the biggest lesson I have and am learning is that – if I can’t be completely vulnerable in front of God or others, no preparation in this world will prepare me for what God wants to do with these people and with me on this journey of working with convicts in prison.

So to those I have not been able to be vulnerable with, I am sorry and I hope I will have that chance again. I hope others will be able to learn from this too. Love casts out all fear. So as God has showed me and said to me, I will say to you – DO NOT FEAR. 1376039_orig

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Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sand, Showers and Soup for the Soul

More than anything, I’m loving being back close to the ocean and the sea sand… Nothing better than that. My skin feels anything but dry, my hair is back to its natural self, curly or not… And I’m loving the salt in the air… Relaxed is not enough to describe how chilled out everything is…

But in my days here, it has been sunny… I have loved not being cold and tried to take advantage of the sun-filled warm days, but deep within me… I have been longing to see some rain… I haven’t seen, felt or smelt rain in months… So today, when I woke up after hanging out with my best mates last night, I was stoked to see the cloudy whether and feel the shift in the wind… Rain was coming… And I was getting excited as the day went on. This evening, the clouds finally broke and the late afternoon/early evening showers hit!!! As soon as it did, I was recording it, outside smelling and enjoying it… I got so excited I was dancing around, my mom thinking I’d gone mad and rushing to make some tea. Yep, I was loving every second of it and appreciating the shower of rain we’d been blessed with.

Then this evening, something I had also waited for all week, was making soup with my dad… Not only because I love his recipe and we’re the only two in the house who would dare eat this soup, but also because it is truly good for the soul. It meant some good bonding time and talking about deep heart issues. My dad doesn’t have to say much, but we feel each other in the spirit so making soup together means intense spiritual talk between our souls without even having to use words. It’s kinda our little secret. In this time, I usually get to also just appreciate having a dad and also his character and just everything about him. I get to make memories, remembering smells, jokes, sounds, just everything around me in those moments with him. Not knowing when we might see each other again, I’ve got to use each moment to the fullest.

So yeah, an evening filled with sand, salt, showers of rain, soup and soul-filled moments… A lot to be thankful for 🙂

loving the sand, salt, sun - being home by the ocean

loving the sand, salt, sun – being home by the ocean

my hair done by my sister before I joined my dad to make soup

my hair done by my sister before I joined my dad to make soup

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Health, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘The Vow’ of Love

tumblr_m7hsg8t5pu1rzed5jo1_500_largeI watched the movie ‘The Vow’ for the second time the other day. What a great movie! Whether you’re in a serious relationship with someone or not, it really seems to apply to any relationship you have with any other person on this planet – be it family, your colleagues, your friends, or your partner.

There are a few really amazing themes that stood out for me.

Moments & choices:  In the movie Leo, talks about ‘moments of impact’. Our lives are made up of many moments, moments which can end up defining exactly who we are and who we become. Many times we hang onto them, some good and some bad. But we have to learn which to hang onto and which to let go. Because sometimes, it isn’t what happened in those moments that is of importance, but what we choose to do with them and from that moment onward, that is. We get to choose whether moments will bring us closer in our relationships with others or with God or whether they will completely tear us apart or come between those relationships. But in the end, we make that choice.

Change: There is ALWAYS potential for change. Although we can’t always see the potential for change, it is there and we have to believe in it and hope for it. No relationship, no situation – is static.

Glass half full: There will be times of immense closeness and also times of being far apart. But just because things spin a little off, doesn’t mean those can’t be great opportunities & ventures. Things can be worse than ever but there is also a chance that it can be greater than you ever expected. You can find treasure in the most unimaginable places you just have to be willing or open to exploring & letting God show you what He needs to.

Control: You can’t always, no matter how hard you try, control every situation you land in or how it affects you. Only God can. But you can choose how you deal with it and how you respond to how it affects you. You can choose what effects will come after how it affected you.

You have to let God take control, let the beans spill where they may. Go on the journey. Take things as they come and roll with the waves. Until God chooses to bring it all back together/put things back together again.5939747968_b4c32920d8_z_large

It’s kinda like that wait between waves…. That period when the water is just flat for ages and you think nothing is coming. In that wait, you have gotta chill out and just enjoy it…feel the water. And suddenly when you can feel the ripples and the vibration that there’s a wave coming, you turn and prepare yourself for when that wave comes…and when it does, you ride it again. It’s the same with waves, you can’t make them come. You just gotta wait it out and make the best of that wait.

You can’t change people. Only God can. You’ve just gotta go on, wait it out, until they’re ready. All you can do is get ready and prepare yourself for when that change comes. Things have to happen naturally, you can’t force them.

It starts with me (or for you, it starts with YOU) – it starts with US: To be able to love people, and I mean truly love them..we have to love ourselves first. To bring out the best in others, we have to be or try be the best versions of ourselves.

We have to be willing to accept ourselves, love and accept all forms of ourselves. Be comfortable in our own skin. We have to love all forms of others, accepting every version of them. We can’t love and accept pieces of people. God didn’t do that with us, so why should we or why would we do that with others? We have to accept people completely. Although we may not like all of them or even all versions of ourselves, we still need to accept them and ourselves, love all of it as a whole.

Love is a CHOICE, more than just a feeling: Truly loving another human being (no matter the type of relationship), is a CHOICE. Not merely a feeling. You choose to love someone despite your feelings at that particular moment. You choose to love despite the bad versions of themselves. You choose to forgive their wrongs. You accept the whole human they are. If you had to lose all your memories about that person, like Paige does in the movie – if you had to lose all those moments, what would happen? You’d have lost all records you’ve kept of anything they ever did, including their wrongs. It would be a clean slate. Exactly like what Christ did for us on the cross. He accepted us for who we are and who we are not and who He knew we could be. But never forcing what He believed we can be down our throats, but giving us the freedom of choice. He gave us an undeserving clean slate. Another chance. If you truly love, you do not keep record of wrongs and do not abandon that person for the wrongs, but rather love and forgive, staying for all the reasons and things done right, hoping in what is right.

My last point is just how much this movie showed me about acceptance.

Accepting others for who they are, is so much more important than accepting them for what we want them to be. That is truly loving and putting their needs first. In that also, wanting them to be happy even if it would mean we won’t be a part of that.

God accepted us for who we are and not for who He wants us to be. That’s why He died on the cross, wiped the slate clean of all the wrong. And because He knows who He wants us to be but accepts us for who we are and truly loves us, He gave us FREE WILL.

It truly is a great movie, but the lessons that lie within it, are amazing treasures that are even greater.

 

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Halfway mark…

So ladies, or anyone out there – yesterday (15 March 2012) I reached my halfway mark of trying to find myself, figuring out who I am and just drawing closer to God.

Sounds amazing to have gotten here and like it has gone by so quickly but yesterday I was brought to my knees again. Humbled once again. I found myself emotional and flat on the floor, tired of working my way around my ex. I hadn’t let him go completely and hadn’t given anything over to God as I had thought but last night I did. On my knees, tears and mascara running down my face and arms as I cried. The last couple of days, God has just opened my eyes.

Firstly, I had to give everything over to God and make the choice to do everything for God with a smile, swallowing my pride and being the better person between me and my ex. All for the glory of God. And I had to decide that I can’t stop living my life and doing things God needs me to just because my ex is around. I have the choice on how to handle things and not be intimidated or feel inferior. But I’ve made the choice – handed it all over to God – His Will not mine. God has the bigger picture – I should trust that even if I don’t understand right now.

I also had to repent, for many things. Feels like a whole list but it is all things God showed me in 2 days.

First it was on judging. I hate judging others, yet somehow we all do it, including me – something I feel so ashamed of. Anyway, with that, God seems to have a great sense of humour when it comes to proving me wrong. In my first year of studying at varsity, back in 2010 – I judged or put a guy, named Francois, into the box of “jock”. You know those who are sporty and hang out with the pretty girls who always look perfect. Well, I did that without getting to know them or him. Someone I thought I’d never talk to and then for some random reason I thought he might want to watch the Bulls rugby team play the Blues last Saturday and invited him. He declined but ended up going anyway with someone else. So I left at that thinking he was a jerk. Tuesday evening, he sends me a message asking to catch up before class or just see me. My stomach was in knots, I was super nervous – didn’t know what to expect or why in the world he would even want to speak to me. I guess because I had already labeled him as a ‘bad guy’, I was hoping it would be aweful so that I would be right and not have to like him. Fortunately, it was great, not only did we meet up before class and walked to our classes together, he later also saved me from a terrible experience with my ex and the more we talk, the more I feel bad for judging him because he really has a good heart, one for God and his intentions great. The next day I had tea with him & a friend and they spoke about business – which I thought I’d hate, but I learnt so much about him and so much about what I do want in a guy that I never thought of before, although it seems God already has. Anyway, great guy – if he ever reads this – I want to apologise sincerely for making judgements without getting to know him first.

The second, was repenting for trying to take my own life into my hands and wanting to sort it out myself. Listening to Francois and Starlyn, talking business, I decided I should get into that so I’d have money for a missions trip to Hawaii and Indo with mates end of next year which was so wrong. Because if you really knew me, you’d know that God already told me He’d take care of that. Before I started studying, my parents questioned me because they doubted I’d make money and be able to stay alive in my field of study. They made me worry, and the first time He really ever spoke to me – He gave me the verses in 1 Corinthians 9v13&14. It said, “13 Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” God had already told me He’d always provide and that money or anything of the sort would never be a problem and if it were – He’d take care of it, not me. So last night when I fell down to my knees, I knew that was something to repent about. God’s got it – I must stop trying to take control.

So 6 months down the line I still don’t get much right, but after last night, today I feel renewed and I had the most blessed day I could ever have imagined. My class presentation went well, I had a great time chatting to Francois and again learned so much about him. It all just gives me new perspective and today I found myself drowning in God’s amazing, sweet grace and felt so loved and if this is what it feels like to serve an Almighty God and just to live for Him, then I don’t want anything else!!! 6 months and I’m finally over it all and starting to live a life of God’s purpose and will and it is so humbling. Never been more blessed and learning as much as now. And no one can take that away unless I let them.

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A ring for a single lady’s journey

When did it start…..

15 September 2011 (I became single)

Buy a ring….

31 January 2012

With….

Deo-Dane du Plessis (a very good friend of mine)

Date of Arrival of the ring once made smaller…

10 February 2012

Made smaller to….

a size “M”

Symbolism….

  1. A new beginning
  2. God has a plan (& I must be patient)
  3. A reminder of my singleness, being fine on my own waiting to see God’s plan happening in reality.

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Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Next to you…

As I thought that all my friends were getting married or into relationships, it seems there are a few of us coming out of relationships…

Bubsy & I

Today or in the early hours while everyone else was sleeping, my best friend told me that it seems like it is definitely over between her and her ex. For months now he’s been holding out on her, confusing her so that she doesn’t know where she stands with him. In a sense giving false hope. She sent me the message he sent her and it wasn’t pretty. Basically how he never really loved her and how much he’s enjoying life without her. I just feel that is so wrong. You can’t keep people waiting around like that, if you make a decision then it’s yes or no. None of this in between krap. If you can’t decide what you want then be straight about it rather than confusing the other person. It’s just common courtesy.

I feel really bad for her because I know what that’s like but at the same time I’m glad to see that she’s starting to see that she deserves better and to be treated like God’s princess and no less. And I’m glad to have her be at the same place as I. Usually one of us is always ahead of each other or something in this journey – that being life or love, but finally, even though we’re miles apart right now we’re at exactly the same place.  It feels good to be in the same boat – even though we always support each other because usually one of us has already been through what the other is going, but this time we can actually walk next to each other instead of one of us leading the other in this time.

I guess it is times like this that you see that not all challenges are negative and that sometimes they’re actually a blessing in disguise. We can just make the best of each challenge and see them as an opportunity instead.

So to Bubsy (Jaqui-leigh), you are a blessing and girl – I’m here all the way.

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