12. WILDERNESS, A GLASS-HALF-FULL

Matthew 9: 16-17 “No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment and a worse tear is made. Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”  

ALONE IN TRANSITION

When my son was in the second grade, he wanted help on the presentation of a metamorphosis of a butterfly.” Hearing the word metamorphosis left me mentally paralyzed, but knowing my son, he will find it amusing if I would ask him the meaning of the word. I was not going to let him call me cavewoman; besides, I have vague memories of my foundation phase in the class, except for lunch breaks. Thank goodness for civilization, my mobile came in handy for me unnoticed. 

Metamorphosis, a word full of hope.

I want to touch on one phase of the butterfly in its transformational cycle, which was incredibly challenging for me to relate to. Chrysalis, of which to me it meant alone in transition.

“In all God’s creation, humans in the honor of dominating nature, sometimes struggle to trust their own intuition. Nature is created to respond to its transformational cycle, purely reliant on other systems. Our planet earth rotates once in 24 hours to give a full day. Those many days feed the tilting process of the planet earth to evolve to each season, leading to a full year that propels us to age one more year. When the caterpillar reaches the chrysalis phase, it mindfully searches the secure place away from harm to pupate. Inside that cocoon it slowly naturally mutates, trusting and using this moment wisely, shedding the past experiences of being a caterpillar, and striving to be better than yesterday. There is no choice of edible leaves or plants. Whatever it ate during the larva phase, has substantial nutrients to sustain it in its chrysalis period. It has no knowledge and is not worried about how it will turn out to be.”

In as much as I was dissatisfied with my life, I felt defeated and saw no hope in my dreams ever coming through. My life changed when I received a tantalizing foretaste of the life I could live, and I wanted more of it. I gave up my life, I followed Jesus Christ and He took me through the process of my transformation.

Nothing is as easy as it seems or as you hear about it, but nothing is impossible through Christ our Lord: Philippians 4:13

In the past year, I attended a training in Change Management, and I learnt about Elizabeth Kübler- Ross Grief Cycle. I must say, it was very insightful to go deep into those stages of grief trying to find myself, but particularly challenging and embarrassing to relate and accept that I was in distress. Reaching a phase of transitioning alone, became a wrestle that I lost. I found myself bargaining with God, holding on strongly to things, ways, and people He wanted me to let go of. Yes, I wanted a new life but how possible could it be in my age, background, and mistakes I made, etc. I mean my life was unstable, wrecked finances, lifeless relationships, at least I wanted to resuscitate some part of my life on my own.

What an implausible excuse of lies, let me just say it, “I did not believe in myself, and I was afraid”

Do not doubt what you have in your hands, and not once should you talk yourself out of your inheritance: Exodus 4: 2

My first writing, “Masking is a grave”, I wrote about my emotional blindness, my excessive selflessness, and how I struggled to rescue myself. Letting go of control and accepting the cocoon phase enlightened my eyes to understand the effects of my choices. Primarily, the purpose of transitioning alone was to reflect and see the glass half-full even in that cocoon. It was to transition out of the old mindset to be the new optimistic mindful person. Formerly, I was unintelligent and misused my inheritance, negatively perceiving them insufficient for me to initially take steps closing a gap to reach my goals. God led me to my blank canvas (Habakkuk 2:2) with a question of “why was I rejecting and destroying what was given to me?” A changed mindset is immensely powerful. I looked at myself differently, with a lot of self-love. But amazingly God wanted me to look deeply into how I can emotionally relate to the blessings that were in front of me.  Firstly, it was imperative that I begin with the most important gifts we all receive, however the amount. The value of time, and value of resources.

Was I investing towards my goals, what were the returns?

You have an unlimited resource; one talent is enough to open many doors: 1 Samuel 17:49

The wilderness seems dry, deserted, and has no activities, but you never run low on essentials. It is that phase of self-introspection, devising new ways on exploiting your given time and resources, towards reaching your goals. It sheds off the old you. You daily have self-positive affirmation that changes your mind, and you work hard and continue to work until someone comes and change to improve your system (Exodus 18:13-23). It trains you to recognize, appreciate and use wisely the opportunities that comes your way. Be optimistic, allow yourself time to go through all stages of grief and transformation. Learn from your past but mostly this day, this moment is enough on its own. Do not be afraid of working alone, it gives your perspective of knowing yourself, your weaknesses, and your strengths

Metamorphosis, a word full of hope,

Filling the half-full glass is uplifting. Enjoy the journey.

MAY GOD BLESS US ALL

9. PART 2: IT IS NOT ONLY ABOUT US, BUT MOSTLY THEM.

Numbers 14:31 “But your little ones, who you said would become prey, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have rejected.”

I have been defied by the crowd of ants invading my property. I am pounded by these creatures and somehow mystified by how they manage to be undefeated. These very tiny beings have intelligent strategies that left a message in my mind. In as much as I try to keep the house clean, and closing their entries, they always find another way. In the early mornings I would be greeted by the marching unified swarms, boldly taking over my kitchen and very determine to fulfil their mission.

CAN WE DO DIFFERENTLY?

Yes, and we can do it all right in all areas of our lives.  My first writing was about “Masking is a grave”, where I had given an image of being emotionally blinded. But now I want to rough through a short story of my late parents, and my youth life.

Both my late parents were born from the struggling families and were brought up in time of segregation. I am not going to dive deep on this as it is not about racial deprivation on good systems of making the world a better place for all. Times were tough for them to further with their schooling. So, they were forced to seek employment. They met and got married and lived a very challenging life. I do not want to share their environment of each ones’ home and relationships, but I can say that “a bad painful past can become a good story”.

This is what I observed. I saw a man that was crying but had no words to express what was troubling him. The father who wanted to do best for his family. Means were enough to offer the best he could, but in his mind it was not meeting his expectations. The pressure of him to have not dealt with his painful past, his failed dreams, adding us (his children and his wife) was too much to bear, resulting to him leaving for some years. While I was still studying him, I looked on my other side. Here is a woman who is hurt and disappointed by his actions, the breadwinner is now hardly available. She had her own share of hurtful past, also not dealt with, and talents that never saw sunlight. She is trying to keep the house warm and be the best mother she could, but she is struggling, her words are many to be understood, but she stayed.

And there was me, in my youth. Here is a young woman imitating what was modeled in front of her eyes. Developing to be her mother’s replica and attracting her father’s version in man. She carries her parent’s sorrows in her mind unknowingly, and is experiencing her own troubles. This young woman is not only struggling in her relationships, but all areas of her life. She is also caught up by the pressures of life, struggling to keep it together, and she ends up living under a mask.

The recess came to an end, it was time to come back home. The house was then filled by voiceless broken people, each one’s mind is in its war zone, hiding their true feelings and emotions, but not for long. No matter how good you think you are at hiding, your hiding place becomes smaller as you normally pile up unresolved issues. It is those past painful wounds that do not get healed. With time it gets extremely septic and ruptures to heat your urges, then the outburst of negativity surfaces.

Moving forward, I joined motherhood 15 years ago…

God gave assurance, showed faithfulness, and made Himself known to the Israelites in Egypt (end of the bad relationship through the plagues), in the Red Sea (the crossing over to the new beginnings), In the wilderness (decluttering and rebuilding). It was all for them to stay on course in their transformation from the old ways, then transition to easily adapt to the new life, by daily developing and positively actioning the new ways of living. They were physically free from oppression but mentally and emotionally chose to remain in captivity. Resistance to change is a foolish choice with results of missing the opportunities of growing your blessings, and we can do differently.

Proverb 22:6 “Train up a child in a way he should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it”.

I lived under masking foolishly and looked like I had it together, conflicted within as I was controlled by urges and blinded by pride to normalise my behaviours. My emotional blindness continually surfaced in my parenting journey. In as much as I was teaching my child good ways of living, I struggled to lead by example. I was saddened to see some repetition of my emotional behaviours from my child. Hypocritically teaching him the good deeds I struggled to present. I was losing a grasp and unaware that I was slowly burying his positive innocent spirit and I needed to bring him back.

Had I not taken steps to transformation, I would be still sadly captured by the old past. That would have kept the wounds of past displeasures alive, and my son would have grown to become a reflection of my past internal turmoil. I needed to change myself first with the purpose of bringing him back whilst still very young. Forgiveness and healing allowed opportunity of starting over. I stepped into the foundation phase of learning, to flex my mind and be willing to learn all of that from the child. I observed the child positive qualities from my son first and embed those qualities back to him.  Learning how to revive my weakened childlike minded qualities from my child (Luke 18: Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it”) empowered me to continually be able to lead him by example and break free from the generational curses of the past.

If we can stop judging ourselves harshly and start loving ourselves, we would be aware that our transformation is not only about us, but mostly to save our children. Our children are the future, tomorrow belongs to them and we need to plant good seeds in them. God wants us to remain undefeated. He wants us to be overcomers of adversities. When we reach barriers, He wants us to always find another way wisely, and sail in our detours boldly and determined. The goal is to be cooperative to phases of transformation and always remember the good God had done (bitter water made sweet, bread from heaven, water from the rock etc), for us to not waiver in our transitional passage.

We are the change makers, making this world a better place for generations to come, and taking the guardianship role positively. Since, it is not only about us but mostly them. And, let us model qualities we would be proud to see our children follow.

Let Us Embrace The Change.

May We All Stay Blessed

7. Recognising God In Each Other

Haggai 1:4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses while this house lies in ruins?”

Raw diamonds come at a lower value, it takes a willing heart that sees its future in its dirt to clean it, shape it, and polish it. Now that you are appealing and radiant be grateful to who invested their heart, effort, and time to bring your sparkling light reflecting life to admiration. No matter how shiny you become, remember back Home.

Home, a place of comfort, where we cannot wait to rush to after the long day’s responsibilities, one gets that eagerness of running to their comfort zone. But looking at the structure of a house, it is built from small pieces of materials to larger scale of materials. Something so small as a nail plays a significant purpose on binding pieces of materials together, to either keep the roof intact or other elements. A home is moreover expressed as a place of dreams, where there are workers that are tirelessly working to ensure that your dreams come to life. A home is where you get your cheerleaders, emotionally supporting you; timekeepers to remind you that you can still make it; financial assistants to provide resources; and law enforcers guiding you to live by the Laws. I regard a home as who believes in you, and never gives up on you. It can be your family, relatives, the community, friends, or your colleague, that each have their role to play in your life.

This can also signify that, a child is taught at school by a Teacher, trained for sport by the Coach, and preached word of God by a Priest etc. So, each one in their profession additional to parents/guardians, plays a vital role of bringing up just one child.

Remember Your God.

Luke 17: 15 “Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with the loud voice”.

We are not our own mirrors; we need each other to inhibit us from devaluing our blessings. Remembering and being thankful to who played a part in your life, shows gratitude to God, and strengthens the interconnection we have in each other. The unity we have with God expressed that; God undeniably blessed me enough to create a need within me for others to fit in for my journey (Luke 10: 33-34 “But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he sat him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him). These are the people that all played their roles in my life, and some I left them without saying “thank you.” Masking obstructed my insight, it brought me closer to people who intentionally took advantage of my weaknesses. I found myself continually engrossed to supporting them, naively expected to be treated the same. I was regrettably pained when I realized that was how those I selfishly left behind felt, when I was disregarded in times of need (Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”), because I had forgotten to be thankful to God, I had forgotten Home.

Unity means love God back. Loving God back is loving yourself and loving others. In our blindness God sends us our mirrors to reflect who we are inside 2 Kings 5: 13 “Sir,” he said ‘if the prophet has asked you to do something difficult, you would have done it. Do not be too proud to do this simple thing.’ And we often break them and hurt them as they truly say things, we are embarrassed to hear. It is difficult to hear a truth about yourself and rather worthy to take steps towards transforming your life (Proverbs 13:10 “Where there is strife, there is pride, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.”). When you are humble, you are acknowledging that your achievements come from God’s willingness, and the Helpers He sends more than your capabilities.

Returning on investment first free hearted, greatly empowers one to pay it forward. You value your investors enough, to nurture their investment and be fruitful. Whether it is the investment of time, love, kindness, money, loyalty, or caring, and it is making a great change in your life. Continue with the flow of return on investment and paying it forward by investing in others. Positivity becomes contagious, and effectively exhibits the glory of God in us.

May Our Good God Bless Us All

6. KEEP STARTING OVER AGAIN AND AGAIN…”START OVER”

  Ecclesiastes 1:4 “A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever.”

God is always about new beginnings, re-establishing Himself through us all the time. The creation of God naturally evolves in cycles. The earth rotates once in 24hrs and starts over again and again (Ecclesiastes 1:5 “The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hasten to the place where it rises.”). A new day is always bringing us a new hope to start over and change things for better: Matthew 6:11 “give us this day our daily bread”. In as much as we are blessed with new days and dominion over His creation Genesis 1: 26, we do not have control of the time. Daniel 2: 21 shows us that God is in control, “He changes times and seasons…” God gives us numerous chances after chances to reset our buttons and starts over again, to learn new things, to make changes in our lives by decluttering the heaviness in our minds. All His new beginnings mean, some of the things will have to die, old ways of doing things and sometimes you leave some people behind with intentions and a hope that they will also wake up and run their races. Some relocate or change places of employments. Since He wants us to make space for what He is about to bring out to the world through us and for us all, He allows us to go through transformation.

DETACH AND KEEP MAKING A CHANGE

Genesis 6:8 “But Noah found favour in the eyes of the Lord”.

I struggled hard to let go of things, stubbornly getting choked by old concepts that were not giving me expected results. My wheel of time kept on rotating, while I was becoming suffocated by my past and losing gravity. I lost myself trying to hold on to old concepts and haphazardly was quick with poor judgement about my future. Trying to control the pace of time, dragging the past baggage, and hiding my mistakes, resulted to negative outburst. Masking gives you a temporary control, it builds attachment to the past, hence it is easy to remember past pains and refresh them by reciting them like yesterday’s events. It intentionally blinds you while expanding that “room of disappointment” to make it the loudest voice in our minds. Room of disappointment will always manifest negative realities.  Unmasking and rebuilding helped me to gain strength on detaching myself from my past and brought me closer to God, as He was giving me opportunities on all phases of my transformation to face unresolved issues and deal with them from a changed mind. All phases of a cycle have the beginning and the end, giving you opportunity to deeply reflect on your life before acting on any judgements of your matters. You find yourself maturing with evolvement and becoming lighter as you now are following Jesus Christ: Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all who labour and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soul. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.

God wants to become the adhesive in our lives, binding us in Truth of His great love, forgiving all our sins (Proverbs 10:12 “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.”) and allowing the healing to take its process. Starting over became my part of the journey in all areas of my life, helping me to detach, and daily learn to find balance in my life. It gave me great opportunity of understanding and accepting all my flaws while teaching me to have the positive spirit of cooperating with the movement of the world and the Great Law that God sets for us (Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 22:36).

It is through losing opportunities, broken relationships, incomplete projects, countless mistakes, losing loved ones, and rejections that is teaching me to be a better version of myself and a better version for myself first. And we need not to be ashamed of starting over again, not to be afraid of trusting again, and not to doubt of loving again.

The stars and the moon shines for the night, then the morning rises with the beautiful sun to take over. It is a blessing to be woken up by God one more day, to see His glory and be given another chance of renewing our vows with Him. The luminous rays of sun shines for the day, giving us yet another chance to work on ourselves and becoming better than yesterday.

How incredible is His abundant love, when God tenderly overlay us with the moon and the stars to recall the day and give it back to Him with gratitude?

“Keep moving forward”.

MAY GOD BLESS US ALL

1. Masking Is A Grave

Matthews 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. Nor people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven”

We light up the world in different ways with a purpose to inspire, heal, motivate, support, care, comfort, protect and guide each other. Our daily living influences how we breathe life to our lights and through each other’s light. The choices we make in life can graciously continue to light up our lights or unbearably weaken it.

This is my journey
A journey that drowned me down to valleys of adversities and lifted me up to triumph. I fell and got up countless time until I could stand still and found myself in God. Amid my storms, God rose me up high to reach my light and showed me the gate to my transformation.
Each person is born with their own uniqueness that makes them stands out from the rest. Identifying your distinctiveness can be a daunting journey. It is a journey where some are fortunate to be taught whilst young on how to identify and nurture their seed; while some will be going through adversities to identify who they truly are. How we choose to emotionally see our journey of adversities, will either strengthen us to build more faith or will blind us to much darkness of agony.

EMOTIONALLY BLINDED
Adversity is hardening. It had compelled some to take good decisions of rebuilding their faith and be resilient, and never let any past failures, mistakes or rejections stands in their way. Regardless of all the odds that comes against them, they strive until they finally succeed. Some likewise positively try to rebuild their faith, however reliving their past emotionally blinds them to feel intimidated, insecure, discouraged, not worthy etc. Blindly they negatively perceive not seeing success in their journey and incapable of trying once more, then they hide under a mask, and hopelessly choose to be either:

  • Feeble and always looking for easy way and quick on giving up,
  • Conniving and ruthless by going behind peoples’ back to steal what is not theirs,
  • Confused and hide their suffering by becoming excessively selfless or
  • Manipulative with intentions of being pitied.
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The absence of appreciating the outcomes of my attempt in trying to identify my distinctiveness, and failure in accepting the status of my life; led myself to conceal my feelings under a mask. Undesirably I focused on my adversities and past mistakes while masking was weakening my light. For I was far from God; I did not know who God was, and became ashamed of opening my heart to God. I blindly allowed the rowdiest negative past of my upbringing, of numerous futile attempts, of my age and my level of education, distort how I perceived things. Masking quietly, was burying myself to darkness. The darkness of suffering in silence caged me to a deep lonely, cold, and narrow grave, while my mind was becoming a war zone of confusion. I was emotionally in the dark and battled to hear God, while unreasonably became excessively selfless trying to be there for everyone, as I struggled to save myself. The devil created comfort out of my discomfort of being ashamed and slyly blindfolded myself to normalise the abnormal behaviours.

So, masking disconnect you from yourself and makes you live two worlds, what you want people to pay attention to and what you are suffering from. It is a darkness where some dive deep and struggle to come back and would resort to kill their pain, mistakes and failures through activities that draws them strongly to becoming addicted. I struggled hard to understand and appreciate what it meant for me to be created in God’s likeness and image: Genesis 1:27 (So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them).


Living under a mask controlled myself to make poor judgement about my life. In as much as I would try to live positively, I blindly allowed my mind to be a secret dwelling of negative seeds of my past deprivations, insecurities, weaknesses, and fears. The lack of confidence led me to be discouraged and I would usually procrastinate or self-sabotage my dreams. My insecurities crushed inclinations of committing to any goals.

OUTLOOKS OF MASKING
The downside of masking was, I was quick to act without thinking things through. In my reasoning I was slowly losing my identity. Masking imprison one’s mind with intent to produce negative outlooks. You find yourself normalising the abnormal behaviours insensitively pushing others to accept you as you are. The results will give you name(s) and you cannot hide your stunts of:
• bitterness
• grudge
• dislike
• envy,
• pride,
• anger,
• stubbornness,
• ego,
• co-dependency or
• deflecting etc.
Masking shadowed my path on finding harmonious way of overcoming my period of unfruitfulness. It is that deep rooted negative growing web, cutting through people’s heart spreading and infecting other parts of our lives. It infused undesirable attitudes that was hurting the people I love. Stubbornness became my tendency of taking control of things, it broke me apart inside, but I had pride and would not admit that I was drowning. Despite that, God will never give up on us and He never gave up on me. God will always provide us with opportunities to correct our wrongs and to remove us from immoral behaviours that can hurt others.

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ACCEPT THE SEASON OF DRYNESS
I blindly masked because I failed spiritually on how I can emotionally relate to my period of want. Due to that I struggle to accept my season of lack. I was unproductive in Religion, Relationships, and Finance. Impulsively keeping my past alive led myself to poor understanding on how I can set my goals. I Impatiently allowed conformity of societal standards drove myself to be disconcerted thinking that I was running out of time, and never gave a chance of my dreams to flourish. Though I understood the Proverbs of Solomon (Proverbs 16: 1) saying “The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord,” I still became critical because I was angry and blindly thought my blessings were not enough.
Outwardly, masking hardened myself from asking, though my heart’s desires were troubling my mind. I suffered by allowing my past stands in my way and became discerning on God’s willingness to bless me. I gradually continued neglecting my light under my mask. In a negative perception of how I saw God, my dreams of living my true self and strengthening up my light seemed unachievable. Because I continued reliving my past disappointments. Reliving the past triggered doubts that manifested negative feelings to life without a challenge. It brought storms that came gushing, and I found myself stifling under my mask. It shattered my heart. The unnecessary pressure we impose on ourselves; the negative perception we have about God, disrupt our thinking. Although God knows our desires, He wants to hear our hearts truthfully. I took a decision to change my mind and surrendered everything and sought God. – Matthew 11:28-30 (Come to Me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light). God wants us to find confidence and courage in trusting Him with all our lives and to trust ourselves in Him.

LET YOUR PAST CHANGE YOUR FUTURE

Surrendering my life, gave me strength to plan my future with a goal of bringing to life my uniqueness, and achieving all areas of my dreams; then identify the undesirable behaviours that had locked out my opportunities. I willingly sought Him first “Matthew 6:33 “But seek first, the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” and He took a lead. Opening my heart to God gave me strength to uncover myself and cleared my eyes. The positive spirit strengthened myself to plead for forgiveness from God first and be grateful; to admit my failures; to identify and remove the negative seeds I had housed in my mind; to see the damages I had done and to be daily taught on how I can rebuild myself.

God is pleased when we directly respond to Him like Solomon said “Give me now wisdom and knowledge…” 2 Chronicles 1:10 God wants to show us how we can control and change our thinking and to focus on how we can rebuild our damaged selves.

God Bless Us All

“A light can not be caged no matter how emotionally blinded we become. It breaks off the shells we hide behind, and measures no deeds of the past. Follow the rays of the light they are there to direct you to God”