Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wait a minute...

Three weeks ago I thought: "I have a certain amount of things to do and at the end on November I'll be done and then it's time to relax." My appointments were booked, my move was planned, my visa prepped and all I needed to do was pitch up. Or so I thought... It turned out that every task that I needed to do grew about 3 extra tentacles and it was out of control.

Some things I had to do 3 times, I got dropped by people at the last minute and my most important appointment got postponed twice without me having any say in the matter. Needless to say, I got discouraged. Why was everything taking so unusually long and just when I think that I have one thing covered, it pops its head out again?

Suddenly I thought: "wait a minute... Who do I believe is in control here?" the correct answer would be God, but if I really believed that, would I be getting frustrated right now? No, I guess I won't, because even if it is out of my control, it will never be out of His hand. Amazing what a little change in perspective can do! I was so caught up in getting things done, that when things didn't go my way, I got frustrated instead of holding my circumstances lightly and allowing God to plan the timing.

Suddenly peace came and I knew that everything will get done in its time and that God's timing is perfect in every situation. It's so easy to forget that God is in control when we get so wrapped up in our own situation and then instead of peace, we experience frustration, irritation and maybe even anger. It has been 3 weeks now and some tasks are still not done, but peace reigns in my heart, because I know that there is a reason for everything and that God can do in a day what we can't imagine in a lifetime!

I can step back and relax, do my part when the time is right and just marvel at how He will make the story unfold. After all, He is the good shepherd and He knows how to look after His sheep.

"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (Romans
8:28 ESV)

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Thursday, 14 November 2013

And lift off!!

In my last blog I wrote about the worm and the cocoon phase, you might want to read that first for some context before continuing to read this post.

Your challenge, struggle or storm (aka metamorphosis ;) ) takes time, sometimes the whole cycle takes a day or a week, but sometimes it can take a few months or years, all depending on the size and depth of the revelation and change, but there is always a reward after every storm or struggle and therefore I think that the butterfly phase is awesome! You have learnt what you could, applied it as best you could, fought the good fight and now it's time to live and teach. I enjoy this phase as I love teaching and sharing. It's a time to give testimonies and encourage others.

I'm always excited about the butterfly phase, to me it's almost the reward at the end of the cycle of learning. You get perspective as you stick your head out of the cocoon, life makes sense again and as you spread your wings to fly for the first time with your new wisdom, joy is abundant. Your mind is clear and you are completely unstuck. (I always feel a bit stuck in the cocoon) :)
There is still a challenge though…

Did you know that a butterfly uses its wings to break out of the cocoon? It needs to do that in order for the wings to gain strength through the process and ultimately enabling it to fly. If you thus help a butterfly out of its cocoon, you would actually kill it, because it never developed its wings and thus won't be able to fly. I can't explain the entire process, as I'm not a biologist, but i think it's pretty awesome.

The challenge for us would then also be to break out of the cocoon and fly. It's not always easy, because the cocoon process was shaping and vulnerable and we need to gain some courage and boldness to push out of the cocoon. Also, people might not agree with our revelations, might resist our changes or persecute us for them and thus there is always a choice, remain in the cocoon or fly. Stay in the comfort zone or take a leap of faith. If we never leave the cocoon, we'll never experience the reward.

Life was made to share, whether it is a struggle or a victory and we shouldn't be afraid of sharing our struggles and victories, but rather embrace them so that others can be encouraged. Take a leap of faith today and share your testimony, you never know who you might inspire!

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Revelation 12:11 ESV

Picture credit: imgfave

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The metamorphosis…

And I'm back! It's been a while, but God has taught me wonderful things in the last season and I hope to be pouring them all out soon. :) Sometimes it's necessary to hibernate a bit, to let all the wisdom and lessons learnt sink in, to turn the worm into a butterfly. Well, on that note, let me just comment that I'm not sure if this butterfly is flying yet, but she's definitely peeping out of the cocoon and preparing to fly, all the while thinking "eeeek, this looks seriously scary!"

I'm going to focus on the worm and cocoon phase in this post and then write another one on the butterfly. I think it might be too long for one post. So here goes! Metamorphosis is never easy. Being the worm is the easy part I think, gathering information and munching on every new leaf that God gives you and there are lots. It's green and revelations are everywhere, it's an easy season where you can just stuff yourself full of all the goodness of God. I think that it's important to enjoy yourself in this season and not to push yourself into the cocoon. I can be quite fast paced and I often want to move quicker than I should. Moving too quickly takes the joy out of the now and it makes you miss things and feelings that are important. So relax, enjoy and be content. The growing is inevitable and will happen soon enough.

The point of the "worm" phase is to prepare you for the cocoon, the change, the stretching. The phase builds trust, courage and prepares you for the challenges of change that lie ahead. Without the "worm" phase you wouldn't have enough to sustain you in the cocoon. There's no need to be afraid of the cocoon, it's merely a phase in which you apply the things which you have learnt and really cement new revelations. Plus you have been adequately prepared for anything which lies ahead in the cocoon. God will always provide you with what you need, before you need it. Fear, on the other hand, will always try to discourage you, but it is the time to practice what you've learnt and to stand up against any fear.

It makes sense to me in this way: the worm phase is for learning, the cocoon phase is for applying and the butterfly phase is for teaching and showing others. The cocoon is therefore necessary, because you can only really teach and demonstrate once you have applied the knowledge yourself. This experience builds confidence and boldness and gives you the courage to push out of the cocoon and fly.

So in whichever phase you are, relax, enjoy and push through knowing that the time to fly will surely come!

Photo credit: favim

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Live fearlessly!

God designed us to live fearlessly and yet we are so often held back every day by fear. Mostly when someone says "fear", I think of spiders or heights or those things that you find on people's general lists, but those are not the fears that I'm taking about.
I'm talking about those fears that paralyse you without you even knowing about them. Those fears that stop you from moving forward in life, those fears that limit your potential. Satan can see the potential which God has placed in us from an early age and often he creates situations to scare us and keep us from the exact thing which God is calling us to. For example, the fear of rejection can stop you from loving, caring or giving or the fear of failure can stop you from breaking borders and going places where no one has dared to venture before. 
Often it is quite daunting to think about the things that really scare us. It makes us feel vulnerable and it is easier to just brush them under the carpet and put our "I'm fine" face on. Even though we know that the issue will pop out its head again sometime, we just prefer to ignore it. I guess the problem is that when we start thinking "what do I fear?", the most logical next question would be "why do I fear that?" and this is the hard one to face, because often we need to think back to a situation which was painful and which left many wounds.
When God highlights a fear like this in your life, know that He will create a safe environment in which you can deal with it. He will give you all the support that you need and in the process He will be taking you to new heights of confidence and potential. The problem with fear is that it eats away your confidence and prohibits you from being your true self, because it convinces you that a different you will be better, more acceptable, more perfect, more loved, adored and successful. We then start compromising and adapting to being someone who in our own eyes will be more acceptable, thus focusing so much on being what we are not, that we completely miss out on what we have that is unique.
What will our lives be like if we stop living to meet unhealthy expectations set by ourselves and others and we start accepting ourselves, loving ourselves and focusing on the unique potential which God gave us individually? I'm trusting that the more free we become, the more we will live life with increased joy, peace, love and an abundance of passion!
Picture credit: favim

When God speaks

When God speaks, He speaks life! It's not about conventional or rational, it's about Him, His plan and His purpose for your life. We don't need to breathe life into the visions that He has for our lives or the future that He reveals to us. By speaking, He breathes life over our situations and He will lead us through faithfully. All we can do from our side is to seek first the Kingdom and He will add the rest. We can build our relationship with Him and serve in the areas where He is using us. We don't need to carve out the plans or the road for ourselves.
Actually as soon as we start carving out the road, we start stressing and losing our focus because we start taking control of something which isn't supposed to be in our hands. How are we supposed to lead the way when we only know part of the journey? We cannot, it’s impossible and that’s why we need to keep our ears tuned to God’s voice and react to His promptings.
When God reveals something to you, wait for His instruction and follow the road which He lays out before you. Running ahead will highly likely create doubt and stress in your life. It is in situations like these where we learn to walk closely with the Holy Spirit. We learn to hear His direction and trust that He knows what’s best for us. Be encouraged as you are growing in faith. Remember that “faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the conviction of the things not seen”.  Rom 11:1
May you have wonderful adventures with the Holy Spirit as He pours His love into your hearts and leads you from glory to glory!

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Sunday, 16 June 2013

You are not alone

When you have God in your life, you will never be alone again. He is with you, watching over you, holding you, carrying you and planning your every step. He catches you when you fall and helps you back up in His love. He knows your fears and failures and He loves you still. He is not intimidated by your past or your current situation. He is not there to scold you, but to walk alongside you. He knows your motives and He sees your heart. He knows what He can expect from you and you can never disappoint Him. He knew what you were going to do with everything that He gave you and He still gave it nonetheless.

He loves you, accepts you, cares for you and is proud of you. He has an unlimited storeroom, His heart is to bless you and He cannot wait to spoil you. He waits for you to ask Him and He delights in answering your questions. He provides for you, protects you and dreams of a bright future for you. 

He is everything you want and everything you need. He is unable to lie, unable to disappoint and He will never be able to stop pursuing you, because His love for you is more than you can ever dream of.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

A Tetris moment

So this week I had a Tetris moment. "So what is a Tetris moment?" you might ask and I'll explain it as follows. In a game of Tetris you have blocks of various shapes falling at a certain speed and you have to align all the blocks to fit perfectly. This becomes difficult as you do not know which block will fall next thus making it difficult to plan ahead. Also if you place blocks in awkward positions then you start running out of space until eventually you lose control, your screen overflows with blocks and it is game over.

So I had a Tetris moment in my mind, all these thoughts and ideas started falling at different speeds and I wondered how on earth I'm going to fit them all in in the most effective manner. I felt a bit claustrophobic as the thoughts crept in on me and I realised, I need a time out!

Sometimes we just need a time out to say: "hold on a moment, these thoughts shouldn't control me, I should control them" and then take some time to sit, identify the different thoughts and piece them together. We can so easily get overwhelmed by our multitude of thoughts and emotions just because we do not take a moment to sit and just organise them. It is so worthwhile to take some time out, sit with God and decide how these things all work together. Otherwise the confusion will always lead to anxiety.

Even when you are in a situation where you cannot merely draw up a plan of action, because the variables are unknown, you can still take time out and rest in the truth that God knows which block will be falling next and that He knows how to place them all perfectly and efficiently.
He is the ultimate Tetris player, He never makes mistakes and can save any seemly lost game.
In Luke 12 Jesus says: "do not be anxious about your life" and "which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" Let's put our trust in God's hands and know by faith that He is looking out for us and that all things will work together for our good. He is in control and always looks out for His children. He has a plan for our lives and even though we don't know what the future holds, He knows and our future is secure in Him.

"And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you." Luke 12:22-31

Listen to this awesome song! - Hillsong United - Oceans

Photo credit: Loyal K.N.G