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

2. REBUILDING

Isaiah 9:10 “the bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones; the sycamores have been cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.’’


Once you begin to unmask, you will be removing the emotional blindness, gaining the strength to carry your light. Your light will clear your path directing you to where you should dig out the deep-rooted negative seeds of your past, that will be revealing the true nakedness of your broken soul. Your willpower will fuel life into your light, gradually strengthening you to rebuild your relationship with God, while He raises you into the most incredible dimension.

This was the beginning of my transformation
There is no time set on how long a person should take to transform from any kind of their past, as we cannot measure the depth of each one’s scars except our own. Even though the storms attack us internally and leaves the damages in the public display, let that strengthen you to continually rebuild yourself. It is expected that when you start to transform, the forces of negativity will intensely fight you to break down. Sadly, some loses the courage and do not comeback from the fall, while others with tenacity will fight off the devil who will attempt to imprison them into darkness.

Let us remember that, masking aimed to bury my uniqueness, threw myself into disarray so that I focus on my failures, with intent to produce negative outlooks. What was more was, I was unintentionally normalising immoral behaviours. And many of us have lived under a mask for a very long time.

SHOW ME THE GATE TO MY TRANSFORMATION

Matthew 7:13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who finds it are few.”
God showed me the gate to my transformation, to be someone I had never thought I could possibly be, on the contrary I was truly fearful of a change. I feared letting go of what was familiar. In my past, I settled on self-serving (masking) temporary solution that had returned emptiness and failed to undress deep-rooted problems. I struggled to comfort myself with trusting God and not seeing where I was going. In my mind, being in control was my tool that I hoped would always prepare myself for the unforeseen, but it was distorting my sight.

I was dishearten and had habits of becoming short-sighted with high expectations, while I continued devoting myself to people that rejected me. Rejections built confusion that took over my mind. For a while I wondered if God was certain about me, perhaps He made a mistake about me. In as much as one would want to think differently, by starting to appreciate what is in front of them and change their ways. However, if you do not consistently talk positively to yourself, then it is easy to be drawn into darkness. Amazingly, even in that darkness there was something burning inside telling me that life can be different, but I struggled to understood how I could let go and let God lead.

2 Samuel 6:10 “So, David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the City of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.”

I would be insincere to say there was no help. God came to me in many forms, but the mind was not ready to receive with understanding, I was not ready. God worked on me from the distance but too close for my eyes to observe and my ears to receive. God placed me in the centre of those that He continued to bless with all my hearts desires, just to provoke me and to get my attention. These are the people that I am close to in my neighbourhood, my family, my friends, and my colleagues. Through the darkness of wanting to break free and seeing others receiving their blessings, and my past that I blindly kept hanging alive in my face. I was unaware that I was able to move mountains. I suppose, God was giving me a glimpse of the life I could have and enjoy. In my immaturity of not knowing how to handle blessings, keeping the past alive, and my low self-esteem the devil continued building comfort while I was leaving damages behind with my immoral behaviours.
Frustration started to pervade in me, as I in the past held on tight to my concepts that never had pleasing returns (Haggai 1:6-11 “You have sworn much and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough, you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes”). I felt embarrassed and had pride, stubbornly refusing to cry for help and the devil cunningly used my past against me. When I broke off the discomfort, the forces of negativity pushed harder blowing away and almost killing every part of my life.
It is amidst the inevitable storms, and seeing that I was losing the people I love, that left me with no option but to confess that “I did not know what I was doing.” And storms ceased. As painfully and confusing as you will feel, but when you start accepting, you will then see sunshine of hope

BE OPEN MINDED AND LIVE LIGHTHEARTED

The change you want to see in your life will start with how you emotionally see your past. And God will never miss an opportunity to help us rebuild our ruined selves more improved than before. This is the time where one needs to be open minded and gradually dig deep and assess the consequences of the damages. I searched myself deeply on how I was perceived by those I had crossed paths with, and I was ready to be led on rebuilding myself.


Nehemiah 6: 13 ‘’for this purpose he was hired, that I should be afraid and act in this way and sin, and so they could give me a name in order to taunt me.”
Rebuilding is securing your Oneness covering your whole self, it is finding fulfilment with God. And God was ready to work on me and work with me on restoring myself. My willingness enabled God to carry me through the process. God will gradually reveal your truthfulness and strengthen your faith through your transitional passage to carry the mission to fulfilment (Matthew 24:13 “But the one who endures to the end will be saved”). Transitional passage thorns devil to awaken negative forces. Regrettably, the devil sends them to steal your talents, destroy your plans, and kill your dreams. God allows these tests to provoke and push you out harder on building your hunger of breaking off from captivity. You will be reminded of your past, you will be mocked, you will be lured, you will be threatened, and you will be distracted in whatever form with a purpose to discourage you from progressing.
Nehemiah 6:3 “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you”?
These moments of intimidation, triggered eagerness to daily call on God. Every step you take of transformation, comes with tests that one will need to stand against all the odds. I had learned that the mistakes I made in my steps of transformation; God was the Light showing me hidden negative nails I needed to dig out. Once we realize that rebuilding ourselves is our daily devotion to God, God unquestionably daily grows us to be better people birthing favourableness in us and blessing us in abundance of what we had lost. For every step I took the weight became lighter, my eyes started to see clearer and it is a daily mission to be a better person.

SEE THE GLORY OF GOD

It is worthy to understand that rebuilding, starts with healing from all your past pains by “Laying Your First Stone of Forgiveness.” Forgiveness is rebuilding the trust from those you had wronged and give opportunity to those who had done you wrong by accepting their repentant ways. It is allowing God to work on you first, strengthening you up to take the knocks from those you had mistreated, and continue giving them opportunity to welcome the changing you. And we all have a power to leave the past behind.
I have now learned that people that bled the most trying to close my wounds are left with deeper scars. And may God continue to bless them, I love you all and I ask for forgiveness.

Haggai 2:3 “Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eye.?”
We will no longer be called by our pasts, as we will be called “The One in Christ”(Galatians 3:28) daily driving the mission to fruition for the glory of God to be seen through us all.

May God Bless Us All

“Raw diamonds come at a lower value. It takes a willing heart that sees its value in its dirt to clean it, shape it and polish it. Now that you are appealing and radiant be grateful to the One 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.”