22 September 2016

a brave new ending ...

 Here in England we are slowly saying goodbye to summer and I cannot wait to embrace autumn and all that it brings. 
The early sunsets. Sweaters. Boots. Bonfires. Fireworks. Fall. Leaves. Scarves. Hot chocolate. Cuddling. Jeans. Pumpkins. Tea and crisp air. I am so happy that I live in a world where there are different seasons and true to say, in life too.
I know for a fact I've been encouraging myself to embrace each season as it comes and I love that the Word of God reminds us of this very fact in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for everything.  
Not long ago my Senior Pastor preached a message titled Goo is good and at the time I was in goo (have been for a very long time) and when I heard the message it encouraged me to treasure the season I was in. Now that I stand on victory ground it may seem to you as if I lived everyday to the truth of what God says but that just wouldn't be true.
Hopefully if you've read my faith journey that I've shared over the last year then you would know I've had moments when I've questioned, doubted and wanted to give up. BUT just when the caterpillar thinks her life is over ... she begins to fly.
My King has won!
I bring GOOD NEWS today after a tough season. As I would hope you know by now, last September I stepped out in obedience to God's call on my life and at the time if I'm honest it didn't make sense at all, if anything, in the natural it was a complete tangent to what I supposed I should have been doing. However, I faithfully completed !Audacious School of Ministry this August 2016 despite the many hurdles that I faced along the way. Now adventure awaits as I step into a new opportunity career wise.
God has gone above and beyond what I could ever imagined, guessed or requested in my wildest dreams. 
There has been times when I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel but I continued to judge him faithful He who had promised.
I'm grateful that I was sensitive to the Spirit of God when I heard him say to journal this journey on my blog. Because not only do I get the privilege to share with you the testimony but the test and as I've shared in my suffering may you rejoice in the hope we have of sharing our faith. 
Thank you for your prayers and continued support.
Our King has won!


7 September 2016

The Undoing

I do not think I can ever articulate fully what this last year has been but in a simple statement I would call it, THE UNDOING, and if at all I've learnt anything,
 it is to STAY and abide in Him in the "not yet" season
 and I guess thats because I can only default to what I have had a personal revelation of.
 If you haven't been following my blog lately or you've missed one or two of my posts, I would encourage you to read the following posts (direct links) so you can get up to speed and understand this post in context.
 Now that you've hopefully caught up this will definitely help you to understand where we are on the journey as far as me sharing about it goes.
 Over the last couple of months I've had many moments when I've thought to myself surely pursuing my career is far worth more and in doing so I glorified what the world glorified and made it my call and comfort my idol. I cannot tell you how many times the enemy almost had me. Soon after my daughters 6th birthday, I had this overwhelming feeling to give up on the God call. Comfort was speaking louder over the calling that was on my life and I was drawing in. I went away for two weeks just to clear my mind and meditate on God's Word. I wish I could say that was a pleasant success because it wasn't and yet it didn't disqualify God's faithfulness. During that time I also visited my cousin and her family and in conversation we got to talking about our faith journey and as she shared God spoke to me through her testimony. Coincidentally it was the exact Word I had heard from God and this verse, 2 Samuel 24:24, "I will not offer to the Lord my God sacrifices that have cost me nothing".
Understand, I had set time aside to pursue what God had called me to and it was costing me everything (pun intended). I was out of employment but still had bills coming in every month and a dependent to support. The struggle was real and even though the conversation I had with my cousin marked a turn around, it didn't change the challenges I was facing but it certainly gave hope to what looked like a hopeless situation.
"When God speaks to us, we need to hold dear to his words because they will invariably become our lifeline and because that is the case, the enemy will try and defy it". 
Knowing this above statement, I threw myself at the promise and reminded myself what God had spoken over my life two years ago (remember the post and post?).
Can I encourage you in saying this, send your roots down deep and stay planted in God's Word, hide it in your heart and agree with it. Thats the secret.
This is spiritual warfare {Ephesians 6:12} for our call and our destinies so we have to recognise the fight for what its for and survive the soil.
What you need to know is prior to coming to this point in my life, in January I had entered into this really dark space where suddenly I didn't know how to pray anymore. It stopped being a dialogue or a conversation and became this complicated thing I made up. The new year had just begun and just like everybody else I had resolutions and #goals. However, my life was taking a different turn and all I remember was grabbing a hold of this Word, a peace that surpasses all understanding and its all I held onto.
I busked in worship. I would constantly listen to praise and worship and just sit in his presence but I didn't feel like it was enough. I was in church all the time and they prayed but occasionally I couldn't. A couple of months later I spoke to my sister about this matter. I told her my reasons and it was simply this, I was carrying bitterness of where I found myself in this season I had been called into.
Surely I had set time aside for God, I was serving his house with every fibre in my being yet in my own life EVERYTHING was going wrong.
 She advised I continue to pray in other languages as the Spirit enabled me to and allow the Holy Spirit to speak on my behalf {Acts 2:4, Romans 8:26}.
 Through a book I was also reading at the time and conversations I had with my mentor again on this matter, I started to discover that I had lost touch of an intimate relationship with my Father. I had made up this strict hierarchal ladder, with Him at the top and myself at the bottom. Every Sunday I would be reminded of how to approach my Father in Heaven and ASK yet I dared not. I was lost for words. You must understand I had asked before and faced disappointment. I was in the not yet season. I thought there is no way I can go before God with how I feel so I stayed away. I had missed the point. He was not just my Father, he was my friend.
I say this to encourage you to learn from some of my omissions, we can do everything else but without prayer we've missed out on an important link. Ephesians 6:18 reads; "Do all this in prayer, asking God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads...." 
It took me a good six months to come to this revelation I share today and I’ve learnt the different lessons at different points in my journey. Am I happy that I had to go through everything that I went through? Certainly not.
However, I count it all joy because who I am now is not who I was then and I'm not talking about my style or any of the outward stuff we can all magic ourselves to be. No, this is deeper and more meaningful and I can only give glory to God for who I've become and still becoming. {Hebrews 12:7-11}.
By no means am I saying I've held it all together, instead its been quite the opposite. Even now they are things God still asks of me that I can't come to terms with but I think I've become more aware of setting my sights on the realities of heaven {Colossians 3:1-3}. I still fight and sometimes ignore that God whisper but eventually I cry out, your will not mine because my way just takes longer and more effort.
Is it easy? Absolutely no!
Do I always? Absolutely no!
Am I perfect? He is.
Like I said before, I wish I could say I lived everyday to the truth of what God says but that wouldn't be true.
One of the things that helped me a lot on the journey was leaning back on his Word and to teaching I had received in October/November at Bling Conference, Jesus Culture and Staff Retreat. So be it like God to have faithfully gone before me knowing very well I would need that encouragement a few months later. Full dependence and starting the motion of vulnerability, here on the blog and in real life being main themes that stood out.
Did you know that when I felt the Spirit of God challenge me to journal this journey and I told one of my very close friends that I will be sharing my first post, test before testimony my heart sank as I lay my life down and stepped out in faith into the unknown! 
But what is faith if it doesn't have an element of the unknown.
 The ability to have people around me that I could be honest with and don’t have to act all superhuman around was crucially fundamental to surviving the season. Who I chose to journey along with changed the outcome as they all pointed me back to the God call.
In another post I will go deeper into the "UNDOING" - the uprooting, the breaking down and destroying that God had to do in me like clay in the potters hands. 
I pray you are encouraged.
Thanks for visiting my blog today.
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