Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Is This Really Going To Work Lord?

FOCUS SCRIPTURE: 2 Kings 5:9-15.

This week I've been reading through the book of 2 Kings and I remembered when God spoke to me through the story of Naaman. It was February 2013, I knew God was calling me to go to Fiji to do missions work but I was VERY apprehensive about going; I had never taken such a huge step of faith and was fearful about stepping into the unknown. I didn’t know how I was going to raise the £3,000 I needed for the flights, accommodation, food etc., so one evening after work, I decided to go and sit inside McDonald’s and spend some quiet time with God to get clarity and direction. As I was looking through my Bible, Holy Spirit directed me to the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5.

Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Syria, and a man of valor but he was a leper and was told that if he went to the prophet in Samaria, he would heal him of his leprosy. So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.” But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me!  2 Kings 5:9-11 NLT.

Eishhh! Naaman was not pleased, he went to Elisa with preconceived ideas about how his healing would come; 1) He expected Elisa to come out to him. 2) He expected Elisa to wave his hand over his leprosy, call on the name of the Lord his God and be healed. But instead Elisa redirects him by giving him different instructions and this angered Naaman. He was required to take a different approach, walk by faith and believe that he would be healed as Elisa had said. Let’s be honest, how would we respond if a prophet told us to go and dip 7 times in our local river, would we have faith and obey?

Naaman then goes on to suggest that other rivers would be better in order for him to be healed. He said, “Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage. But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed!” 2 Kings 5:12-14 NLT. 

Naaman had contempt for God’s solution and plan; to him it was foolish, notice human reasoning when he suggests washing in other “better” rivers.  This reminds me of the scripture in 1 Corinthians 1:27-28 NKJV that says “but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not to bring to nothing the things that are”. The world’s standards and ideas of salvation seem so much more logical in comparison to God’s, which seems foolish and so simplistic.

If the officer had not intervened, Naaman would have walked away from his breakthrough because the method required did not match up with his expectations, it looked too simple for him. Also, Naaman’s pride and opinion was getting in the way of him being healed. To go and dip in the Jordan River was a very simple thing to do, he was unwilling to humble himself and obey a very simple command. The officer challenged Naaman by asking him if he was required to do something difficult would he not do it?  Do we have faith to believe and obey God when He tells us to do things that are simple even when it does not make sense to us?

My goodness! God was speaking to me through this story. He told me to set up a Facebook page and He said that by doing that I would get the money I needed for the trip. When He said that I didn't believe it. I didn’t believe that a simple step of obedience would lead to me receiving what I needed for my trip. I was struggling with unbelief. I’ll be honest; I was expecting God to tell me that the money would miraculously and instantly appear in my account, or that it would slip through my letterbox! My thoughts lol! But God had other plans and He was teaching me a few things along the way. I was learning to take Him at His word, walk by faith and obey His instructions.

Naaman’s brashness and pride was surfaced, but his obedience and submission opened the way for his healing. 1 Peter 5:5-7 Amplified Version says, “for God is opposed to the proud [the disdainful, the presumptuous, and He defeats them], but He gives grace to the humble. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. The word presumed stood out to me when I read this. I presumed that I knew better than Almighty God, the One who is all-wise. I didn’t take God at His word; instead I tried to apply human reasoning.

Like Naaman, I too had to put aside my pride and humble myself by choosing to submit to God’s instructions and ask people for help. I had to be willing to step outside of my comfort zone and be bold. So I did it, I took a step of faith. I felt fear as I thought to myself what would people think but then I realise that I needed to be courageous and just do it! By following God's ways, people did donate and I had the money I needed. God was right!!! His ways worked and it changed me in the process. After Naaman was healed, he went back to find the man of God, Elisa and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel” 2 Kings 5:15 NLT. This is my testimony too; I can say that there is no God like Yahweh, I AM, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in all the earth. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of my adventure of living by faith and knowing God.

What is Jesus leading you to do? Are you trying to work things out in the flesh like I did? Let us be open to the various different ways that God may want to answer our prayers and perform miracles in our lives. Us having our own preconceived ideas can limit us and cause us to miss out if we are not willing to try something different and new irrespective of how unconventional, unorthodox, radical and unusual it may appear. God’s ways are truly higher and better than our ways, the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

I pray that God will help us to lean on Him more, trust Him with our whole heart and walk by faith as without faith, it is impossible to please Him, in Jesus name, amen.

Love Josie

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

My Testimony: My Chains Are Gone, I've Been Set Free!

Hello Hello Hello :)  It has been a while since I last blogged, well 2 years and 3 months to be exact. The last time I blogged I had recently returned from Fiji. I was there for a year doing missionary work. I adjusted to a different life; I discovered a lot about myself and grew as a person. Fiji was a life changing experience for me, seriously life-changing! I experienced different facets of God. Readjusting back to life in London was HARD!!! A lot has happened since I've returned from Fiji. I feel like I've been experiencing battle after battle but in spite of it all I am good, I’m continuously learning to give thanks and praise God regardless of what is going on around me. Our circumstances do not define who God is.

I am feeling a bit nervous about sharing what I am about to say but I feel it's time. It’s time for me to share my testimony, I pray that someone is encouraged :) 

When I was around 9 years old I was sexually abused. I can’t recall how many times it happened. I used to believe that my life was ruined; I felt like there was a black mark against my life and used to feel like I would never succeed in life because of what had happened. I used to feel like my life was destined for destruction. For a long time I allowed my negative thoughts and the lies of the enemy to depress and discourage me and I realise that it was because I had not allowed God’s word’s to become truth in my life. I did not believe it could apply to me and my situation. Proverbs 4:23 GNT says “be careful how you think, your life is shaped by your thoughts”. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV says “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. What do you think and believe about yourself?

My mind, oh my mind, my thinking, the way I saw myself and viewed life was distorted. Oh the devil is a liar!!! When we go to God, He exposes the lies we believe. He challenged my thoughts and showed me that some of the things I believed about myself were not true. I used to believe the words of the devil more than God's. I struggled with unbelief (to be honest I still battle with unbelief at times). I heard a preacher say that “when we do not believe God we make Him a liar”. When we fail to believe and accept what God is saying as truth, we make Him a liar! Eishhh, what a sobering thought!

I never used to think about marriage, having a family etc, such thoughts were robbed from me. My focus was on finding ways to stop my past from eating me up. I would suppress it. The second thoughts or flash backs would come to my head I would block it out instantly, I didn’t want to deal with the emotions that came with it.  I felt that they were too frightening and too painful to deal with. Looking back I realise that it is better to deal with past issues rather than fighting to stop it creeping up.

Sexual feelings were awoken before its time. The man who abused me told me to not tell anyone and that’s exactly what I did. At around 9 years old I was keeping a big secret. The first person I told was a friend in secondary school I think I was around 12/13 years old at the time. I did not know I was sexually abused until I found out what it was. I came to realised that what I encountered was not normal or right at all! What happened to me was immoral. It's crazy how we can grow up in situations, unhealthy situations and environments and think that they are ‘normal’ when they are not. How many of us have grown up thinking something was right just because it was the norm. We can think something is normal only to one day realise its far from normal…its abnormal. We can think something is normal and become blinded and desensitised to things but the truth remains, it is not right. Normal does not mean right. Just because something is considered to be the norm that does not mean it is right or the truth.

A few weeks before I left to go to Fiji my past kept coming to the surface, I was experiencing flash backs but I kept shoving it to the back of my mind. It was really bugging me especially because it was not something I was ready to or wanted to deal with. I had decided that my family would never know about this, I had planned to die with this secret. I told my former work manager about it and she said when I get back from Fiji she would see to it that I got counselling. I didn’t realise that it was God who was bringing it to the surface or that He would do a work in me when I was in Fiji.

I remember the night it first happened I felt shocked and perplexed. I had been robbed of my innocence and childhood. It affected me emotionally. I also battled with trust issues, shame, bitterness, rejection, confusion and numbness. I remember when I was in Fiji God spoke to me through a coconut. He showed me that the coconut represented me and He wanted to break my heart of stone. God revealed to me that my past experiences have led to me building walls around my heart. When we build walls around our heart because of past hurt and offences, we not only push others away but we also push God away too.  

I went to Fiji believing that God would use me to bless others. He did that. But first He took me through the process of being open and sharing my story. I once read somewhere that “unhealed wounds keep us in bondage”. My past kept me in bondage, I felt bound and caged. When I started opening up and being vulnerable with people I met in Fiji I realised deep down that I longed to be free from my past. I desired to be made whole. It was so PAINFUL to go back to my past. There was a day I opened up to friends at the base about being abused and boy the tears rolling down my face was unbelievable. I had held back my feelings for a loooooong time. It was at that moment the healing process began, Jesus gently started unpicking the wounds that I so terribly tried to cover up. 

When I was in Fiji I became FREE. Chains were broken, my secret was out and I experienced healing and freedom. God changed me, I became a different person…and then I returned to London. Gloomy London. I returned home and met my past face to face again. I felt bound again as my parents and siblings did not know.  Last year I told my family about what happened and we have been working through it. Now I no longer cry about it when I think about what happened, I feel at peace. God has healed and restored me and I have forgiven the man who abused me. I know now that I am not defined by my past. 

What have you buried away? What are you battling with? What do you need to take to Jesus so He can heal and deliver you? Jesus said "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 NLT). Do not let your past torment you and keep you bound. Whether you've been hurt or you have hurt others go to God, His arms are open wide. Psalm 86:5 NLT declares “O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help”. I was sick and in need of healing and Jesus the Great Physician came to heal me, He loves you and wants to heal you too. 

Love Josie

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Week 45-52- God, I WANT TO LIVE!

Since I last blogged, so many changes have taken place. The end of January was a turning point for me. I moved in with a new family, moved to a new church and I stopped working as a volunteer counsellor with the Police force and started volunteering at 2 different work places.

I worked with an organisation called;The Housing Assistance & Relief Trust (HART). This organisation provides homes for the destitute and attends to their welfare needs. I was working away from the city, which I found to be refreshing. Working there really humbled and challenged me. God showed me that there are people around me that are in great need and there is something I can do to help. In Isaiah 58:10-12 it says ‘feed the hungry and help those in trouble”. He showed me that there are things I can do like giving someone food or even sitting with a prostitute and asking them how they are doing. I am apart of the body of Christ, I am the hands and feet of Jesus.

The second place I was volunteering at was Fiji Media Watch. Working there taught me to be more discerning and alert with regards to what I see and listen to. My eyes were really opened to see how corrupt the media can be and to not be passive but to take a stand especially regarding what young children are being exposed to.

A Time To Pluck What Is Planted!

On the 19th March 2014 I left Fiji. I experienced a whole ray of emotions and feeling. Apart of me feels like I am grieving. To think I was in another country for a year and became accustomed to a new routine, lifestyle, people, food, culture. I became apart of families and gained new friends and then I got on a plane and that all disappeared. It all vanished as soon as I left Fiji! No more late night fellowship sessions and no more walks by the sea wall. All I have now are pictures and memories in my head. I miss the smell of freshly baked buns, I miss looking up at the multitude of stars at night and I miss waking up in the morning eager to see what handiwork God has created with the sky. Sometimes the sky looked pink, other times it looks purple or blue. The clouds different shapes and sizes, oh how the skies truly do proclaim the work of His hands. God is real!!! God sent me to Fiji and He revealed apart of Himself to me. I have seen the creative side of God. I have seen His tender side. I have seen His comforting side. I have seen His generous side. I have seen His merciful side. I have seen His loving side. And I have seen His chastising side. He truly is an awesome wonder.

I was a foreigner and alien in Fiji. People would always stare at me because they could see that I was a foreigner and yet Fiji has my heart. I never knew it was possible for me to feel this way about a country. There is just something about Fiji that makes me all tingly inside lol. In my heart I feel as though I shall one day return there. To think, when I was 14 years old Fiji was on my heart and that my heavenly Father sent me there is just unbelievable, yet true. He isolated me. He broke me. He stripped me.  He healed me. He renewed me. He rebuilt me. Jeremiah 31:3-4 sums up what God has done in me-“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again,
 and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt”. He had to take me away from my comfort zone in order to get my undivided attention.

For I Was Born A Sinner, Yes From The Moment My Mother Conceived Me!

Coming to Fiji has changed my whole life. I cannot fully describe in words what it has done within me but what I can say that it is has changed my reason for living, drastically! Before I came to Fiji my mindset was very different to the way it is now. My perspective, my priorities, the way I utilize my time and money has all changed. The old me was such a selfish and prideful person. Focus was on me.  It had not occurred to me that God had blessed me so that I can be a blessing to others. I was not a very good steward over what He had entrusted me with. An example of this is the way I would spend my money. I was very careless and lacked wisdom in this area. I would buy a new pair of shoes/bag even though the ones I already had were in good condition just to keep up with the latest treads. I was not content with what I had.

Also, if I did not have enough money to purchase something I would feel insecure-I allowed the world to define my worth. Now some of you may be thinking-‘ok Josie, so is it wrong to buy a new pair of jeans or shoes?” No I do not think it is at all, what I am saying is that we should exercise wisdom and examine our motives. My motives for buying something were wrong. We should not allow the world to make us greedy and materialistic. We must focus on the bigger picture-everything we see is temporary and will one day pass away (2 Corinthians 4:18).  Let us not become obsessed and fixated on storing up treasures here on earth that we forget about storing up treasures in heaven (Matthew 6:19-21).

As much as I thought I was a loving and selfless person who loved God-I was not. God has shown me who I really am. I am human. I am imperfect. I am a sinner. I am unrighteous. I am nothing without HIM.  By no means have I ‘arrived’, He is still perfecting me. I am still in the process. I still need to work on the prideful side of me; I know that I could be more humble. I could love more. I need God’s help in making me more patient and gracious towards others. Those of you who know me know that I can be rather direct at times and that my tongue needs to be tamed more. I think the difference between who I was then and who I am now is that I am becoming more receptive to change and accept that I need help. There is no good within me and I want to be a new creation. I want to have the mind of Christ. I want to be more like Christ because the Josie without Christ is ugly.

I have learnt about what it means to lay my life down and die to self. This in essence is what it means to be a disciple and follower of Christ. Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me”. You do not have to travel to the other side of the world to lay down your life; everyone’s journey is different. It does however come down to us making a choice-will we follow God or not. The definition of follow is to go after. It involves us waking up every morning and intentionally making the decision to seek after God. I realized that until I fully committed myself to pursuing God I remained double minded. And because I was double minded I was not moving forward. I was stagnant.

Renewed Mindset!

Before I came to Fiji, my plans were as followed-get a full time job, a mortgage, get married, have children. The end. Looking back I realize that I was conforming to the patterns of the world. Now I am not saying that it is wrong to get a mortgage or get married no no no. It is my desire to get married and have children, loads of children in fact lol. What I am saying is that I was not dreaming BIG. I was settling and going with the flow because it is what everyone else around me was doing. I was not asking God to lead me or give me visions and dreams or even expecting greater things like I am now. I realize that my way of thinking was based on the ‘norm’ in society. I was going with the flow without even realizing it. I was not thinking outside of the box. I was not asking God to take me from glory to glory because I was content with the norm. I was content in my comfort zone.

But when I decided to break out of the norm, take the step of faith and leave my job, my family, my friends and my comfort zone I realized that there is so much more to life. Greater things await me and I want to go and grab it. I want to go on adventures, create an impact and help change the world. I want to see God’s kingdom grow. I want to experience life in its fullness. I want to live the abundant life that Jesus was talking about in John 10:10. I want every day of my life to be different and purposeful. Yes that is what I want. I want to live a life with purpose. I want to exercise my faith daily, I want to see mountains move and miracles take place. I want to see change. I do not want to go through the motions and live a mediocre and mundane life. I WANT TO LIVE.

The Old Things Have Passed Away, Behold, New Things Have Come! 

I have been back in London now for nearly two weeks and I am still adjusting. It has been hard, real hard yet I feel such peace because I am confident that the God who helped me in Fiji will help me here. I feel like a solider that has gone to battle and has returned home. Some of you may be wondering why it is so hard for me to come back considering the fact that I have lived here for 21 years. I mean, yes even though I am back in my hometown, I feel like a stranger and foreigner here too. Apart of me feels a bit overwhelmed by the change in environment. I am experiencing culture shock.

I have gone away for a year and have returned to a place where my friends and family have got on with life-apart of me feels like the place I had in their lives has gone. It feels like I am stepping into their lives for the very first time and starting new relationships even though we communicated whilst I was in Fiji. I am still adjusting to the change in sleeping pattern, the food and the fast pace in London. It feels like I am stepping into England for the very first time because I am a different person. Being away in another country for such a long time, changes you as a person. I feel as though I have lost something. No wait, I have lost everything. I have lost everything I thought of as normal and Christ has given me something greater! Matthew 16:25 says “whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it"

So what’s next for Miss Josie Jo? Sleep. Hehe after travelling for 2 days I am still experiencing jet lag. On a serious note, I am still trying to find my feet again. I am taking things one day at a time and am catching up with friends and family.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.



Monday, 27 January 2014

Week 37-44-Seasons Change!

Why hello there, it has been a while since I last blogged, forgive me. I’m feeling so much stronger spiritually, physically and mentally in comparison to when I last blogged. Blugh I was in such a low place. I cried out to God and He heard me.   
My Bridegroom came and rescued me. He brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, set my feet upon a rock and established my steps (Psalm 40:2). God has really been rebuilding me and refining me. I feel refreshed and renewed. Here is a quick update of what I have been experiencing and learning lately.

I spent my first Christmas and New Years away from my family and friends. It was hard. Different environment. Different culture. Different routine. I wasn’t my happiest as the days led up to Christmas. I kept saying, “It does not feel like Christmas”.  I shared this with a friend who challenged me and this caused me to reflect. To me it did not ‘feel’ like Christmas because I was not with my family. It did not ‘feel’ like Christmas because it was hot and I was used to the cold and frosty weather. It did not ‘feel’ like Christmas because pig was served instead of turkey.

Holy Spirit convicted me and opened my eyes to see I was focusing on the wrong thing. I had to repent and ask God to forgive me for making Christmas all about me. I mean who do I think I am? How selfish of me! It’s all about Christ! Spending Christmas away from everything I am so used to make me see that Christmas is not about the presents or the food or the decorations, to see that it is so easy to associate Christmas with ‘things’. It’s all about Christ and Christ alone. If He did not come there would be no hope, no joy, no salvation…NO salvation!!! He came to save the lost and that includes you and me.

I spent my first New Years away from home, which was exciting as I entered into 2014 before most parts of the world. My friend, Lisa invited me to her church and then I spent the early hours of 2014 fellowshipping with her family. Being there, felt like that was exactly where I was supposed to be. I felt peace and felt accepted and loved.

This year, my first goal and priority for 2014 is to spiritually mature. I gave my life to Christ in 2009. In my eyes I simply converted. I had not begun the process of transformation until November 2011. That’s when I actually made the decision in my heart to turn away from the world and live a consecrated life for God.

Whilst speaking to Lisa’s aunt, she said something to me that has stuck with me ever since. Being born again and having a relationship with God is a commitment. It is something that I must be committed to. I have come to fathom that I need to become more committed to God. As believers we must desire to eat solid foods. Hebrews 5:13-14 NLT says, “for someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong”. I read a blog on spiritual growth that said, If you are rather shallow in your knowledge of the Scriptures, then you are just as shallow about applying the Scriptures to your own life. You can't possibly be obeying the Bible if you aren't faithfully reading it. This makes you a spiritual baby. God wants you to GROW UP to be a good soldier for Christ”.
I want to exhort and encourage you all to continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). God reminded me that I am not saved- by that I mean I have not yet received the crown for winning the race. Matthew 24:13 says, “but he who endures to the end shall be saved”. It is so easy for us to become complacent, comfortable and drift through life presuming we’re ok. I have been there, I know the feeling and it’s a very dangerous place to be.

What else has been going on? Well I have been learning about the different ministries (Ephesians 4:11-12) and also my calling. I have already discovered that I am an apostle, which literally means ‘a sent one’; sent from A-B to do something. I have noticed that me knowing my calling makes it so much easier for me to make decisions. Paul encourages us to not neglect the gift that is within us (1 Timothy 4:14) and also to stir up the gifts that are within us (2 Timothy 1:6). We are responsible for discovering, developing and using our gifts for God’s service.

Since entering into 2014 a few changes have taken place, I have moved house and also been blessed with a new job. I am learning that in life, we cannot predict how the choices we make will turn out. All we can do is trust God and believe that all things will work out for our good. God- willing I will be returning to England in 2 months. I actually cannot believe a year has almost flown by. As I reflect on the process I have been through and the decision I made to step out-I'm shocked. I cannot believe I took such a risk and stepped outside of the ‘norm’.

What does the future hold for me? Truthfully, I do not know. Apart of me discerns that my future involves more studying, which I am not looking forward to at the moment but if it is God’s will I have to submit to Him because He knows best. Overall one thing is for sure; God is good. God is always good. God is NEVER the ‘bad guy’. He is always faithful. Always true to His word. He never changes. It is never His aim or motive to harm us. His actions are ALWAYS driven by love. That’s the God I serve. Oh How He loves us :)

Selah :)

Miss Josie Jo

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Week 34-36-Not Right Now Lord, I Need A Moment...

It’s been a couple of weeks since I last blogged. So much has been going on. I have been feeling so weary. Been feeling like giving up-literally. I stopped journaling my experiences, stopped seeking God and stopped taking the time to evaluate myself and ask God what He’s been trying to teach me during this difficult and painful season in my life. I’ve been in a really dark place.

I mean yes I have a relationship with God. Yes I believe in Jesus and yes I believe in the Word of God yet I still feel like crawling under the covers and praying that the storms in my life go away. I’m just so sick and tired of going through the motions. I can’t even begin to imagine or comprehend how someone who doesn’t have a relationship with God must be feeling.

From Kidulthood To Adulthood…

I have been discovering so much about myself. Like I’ve been learning how strong or should I say how weak I really am.  I’ve been experiencing a lot of blockages and obstacles lately, which have in fact tested my character as well as my expectations. Things are turning out quite different to how I had planned. I wasn’t expecting things to be rosy but like hmm I guess I was expecting things to be a walk in the park in some respect. How naïve of me aye?! Like I was thinking I could get from a to b without any disruptions. I was living in cloud 9 lol. I failed to take into account possible detours, delays and traffic along the way to my destination. I see that life is indeed a roller coaster and if I want something I must get up, go out there and fight for it. Nothing worth having just falls on your lap hence why James said faith without works is dead yo!

When I think about the past 3 months alone, I have indeed been through the motions. Firstly there were issues with my visa. Then I had a heart problem. Oh yes so the doctor found an abnormality in my heart and I felt like I was slowwwwwwwwwwwing down literally. I’m feeling much better now and they were able to get to the root of the problem. What I find intriguing however is that even though there was a physical problem with my heart, I also believe that a spiritual problem contributed to my heart condition. There were some things that I needed to deal with-bitterness, unforgiveness, worry-and this was all taking a toll on my heart.  So back to what I was saying, after the heart issue was all sorted it’s literally just been attack after attack, issue after issue, and surprise after surprise. I feel like every area of my life has got issues. Last Friday felt like the final straw for me. I had suicidal thoughts. Yes I Miss Josie Agyeman had suicidal thoughts. I was feeling so so so low. Life just hasn’t been going the way I had anticipated it would. I’m not going to have a pity party no point. It doesn’t change anything-just makes you focus on self rather than on God.

I’ve been winging crying out to God like a 3 years old baby saying “but I’m so young, I'm only 22 and all these things are happening to me”. THIS IS LIFE. This. Is. Life. God doesn’t say that every 10 year old will experience X at this age and then when they’re 20 they will experience Y. No no no I’m coming to realize more and more that God is sovereign and does things HIS WAY. He has different plans for each and every one of us. We have our own path to venture on.

I'm getting older and coming to realize that I'm no longer a child. You may say Josie of course you’re not a child, you’re 22 for goodness sake, but in my head, I'm going through the process of change and coming to terms with the fact that growing older=taking responsibility for your own life because no one else is going to do it for you.  There’s no point resisting the will of God and trying to do a Jonah. I tried to do it and I ended up on my knees repenting and surrendering my will to God. 

Remember Who The Real Enemy Is

I got to a place where I stopped reading my Bible and stopped praying. I became so weary and tired of life. I found it too painful to even think about God. I kept hearing the scripture “He will never give you more than you can handle”, yet I stopped trusting God and couldn’t see how all of this could possibly work out for my good. At the end of Hunger Games 2 Haymitch said to Katnis “remember who the real enemy is”. I failed to see that God was never against me. The real enemy was satan. I was turning against God when the real enemy, satan was jumping up and down having a party.

What humbles me is that in spite of the way I have been feeling, in spite of the fact that I have turned away from God and been faithless, He has remained faithful. I have been questioning God’s will for my life and apart of me has also been resisting it too. Yet in spite of this there are people in my life who have not left me. They have continued to pray for me. I’ll put my hands up and admit that I haven’t been the best person to be around lately. I would talk to friends and they would encourage me and I would be like “I don’t wanna hear it”. I was tired of hearing my friends talk about God and how He has such great plans in store for me because what I was experiencing was quite the opposite. I questioned how things could possibly work out for my good.

I Need More Wisdom!

Speaking of friends, these past couple of weeks have opened my eyes to the fact that when it comes to friendships/relationships only a few can be trusted. Having said that I put my hands up and admit that I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I was too naïve and trusted people too quickly. I failed to discern and realize that not everyone has your best interest at heart-even within the Christian community. I have been too open too quickly with those around me. I’m learning the difference between being transparent with someone and being too open.

Guard your heart Josie guard your heart! I have heard this scripture so many times yet I’m coming to a place where I have a deeper understanding of what it means. I must be more discerning. I must pay more attention and listen to the Holy Spirit. I must be Spirit led. As a missionary and counselor, these past experiences have shown me that people deal with pain in different ways. Some have learnt unhealthy ways to cope with their problems and insecurities. Some deal with it in destructive ways and will harm themselves as well as others. Some have their own issues but because they haven’t dealt with it, they wound others and this could be through stabbing you in the back or even keeping you close because they see you as a threat. I have also learnt that some people will hate and persecute you because a need of their own is not being met, so they will take their frustrations out on you.  I’m learning to focus on the issue and not the person. The person is not the enemy.

The Show Must Go On

Life life life. I realise that the only thing I have to hold onto is the word of God. That’s the only thing that I can truly stand on in troubled times. The word of God is the only anchor we really have. Psalm 18:30 says that God’s way is perfect and that all of His promises prove true. God’s way is perfect.  The word perfect means without fault, flawless, marvellous and excellent. This means that God knows exactly what He is doing. He is wise beyond comprehension; He is all seeing and all knowing. Isaiah 55:8-9 declares that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. We can’t comprehend or try and work out what God doing, all we can do is TRUST HIM. Trust Him and believe that He knows what’s best for us, after all His intentions are never to harm us. That’s what the Christian walk is all about; trusting God even when we don’t understand why things are turning out the way they are and believing that He will cause all things to work out for our good because He loves us!