LOGOSOPHICAL family!!! I am back! Yes! And it feels good. It is a blessing for me to write for this blog. As I have mentioned before, it is a part of my soul work. It causes me to deeply introspect and provides a platform for reflection about the days of my life, haha. My last blog was a reflection of the year – the key takeaway of 2019. And in that piece, I spoke about how God had started to make me understand that where I was, was not because He had forgotten me or that I was unloved, off-course or forsaken. He had me write in that blog about how my tears, sorrow and prayers had not been for nothing. And just because I hadn’t seen the result yet, He had collected each drop, bore my sorrows with me (even if it didn’t feel like it at all) and had answered my prayers. More importantly, He had been busy with my soul and mind in 2019. Just because certain things I had desired hadn’t occurred, it didn’t mean that my life in that year had been for nothing. No. God took up my fragile and vulnerable heart and worked on it, mainly by allowing for me to experience disappointment. I learned about holding onto the knowledge of who God is in an often confusing, unfair, cruel and selfish world. I learned that that knowledge ought to be the be all and end all for me – nothing else. In the midst of this tumultuous world, I also learned that God’s expectation of us that we be love and be His representatives on earth never stops. It didn’t stop when I was offended, smarting or feeling that I was justified in being a certain ‘ugly’ way. No. I learned that it is a command that was always to be adhered to. And I guess it’s taken long for me to learn this lesson – my heart is fragile, stubborn and dark. But I am grateful for God inculcating in me how grace works. Grace works because it is undeserved. And along with that, I learned that when you don’t understand the world, people or even God’s hand, keep trusting His heart. And His heart for me, and for you, is love.
I also learned that God refines us through sorrow and pain. This is not necessarily a new revelation, but it was a lived one in 2019. I learned that sometimes, we must pick ourselves up by the bootstraps of our faith when it is threatening to fall apart. I guess there is also help from the Holy Spirit in that regard or in those times, but whew, it was touch and go for me at one point. But I held on, even by a thread sometimes. I was also covered, prayed for and encouraged, and for that I am eternally grateful for my loving tribe. And standing on the other side with my faith a little more shored up, I can say that it was also a necessary lesson. I say this because the experience of having my faith tested also touched on my “I am unloved” insecurities. I have said before that I always struggled to fully and wholeheartedly accept or believe that God loved me. I used every bad thing that ever happened in my life as proof that He didn’t love me. Experiencing the difficult times I did in 2019, a part of me did begin to feel that old insecurity creep back up again: I was going through all this because I was unloved anyway; I had always been a second (or last) thought to God; I deserved all the being overlooked because I was a bad and ugly person; I was never going to receive any divine favour because who was I anyway? Like, only God’s least ‘liked’ person…I know this is all the enemy. But I want to speak to those of us who often have these kinds of attacks – the devil is a liar. You are made in His image and you are His beloved; HIS; the apple of His eye; blessed and HIGHLY favoured, purposed and anointed. If you don’t believe me, read Isaiah 43. Like, just take your sweet time and mull over each word, phrase and verse. My prayer is that His unbridled and interminable love will wash over you like a river that has broken its banks …and then that you would continue to experience that love DAILY.
What I learnt from holding on to my faith, even by a thread is that the tide does turn. Now, there were many (maaany) moments and times when the lies swallowed and consumed me. I was doomed to my present circumstances, nothing was EVER going to change for me BECAUSE I was a nobody and whatever I had up to that point, was my lot for life. I had a running script where God had blessed me only up to a certain point. So it was ludicrous of me to expect Him to ever do anything more for me because it was just not ordained. And how many of us know that when God says it is, then it is? So I was wallowing in the lie that He had never planned nor intended to bless me beyond a certain point. Like, Lamentations 3:22-23 was a lie to me. The fact that I was continuing to breathe and be alive didn’t matter. That what I had up until then facilitated a materially rich life didn’t matter. That I had people who truly and genuinely loved ME, Did. Not. Matter. Because I wasn’t receiving what I had so sorely prayed and hoped for, I believed that I had reached the celling for where God intended to take me blessings-wise and it threatened to lead me back down that road of insecurities I thought I had overcome.
But the tide does turn. I said that in my last blog too. At the beginning of the year, I was pretty jaded…but within a few days God quickly turned that around. He literally deposited the blueprint of my life y’all, and I captured it on what is referred to as a vision board. Like, I don’t know whether the scale of this is as apparent to you as it is to me. Literally, since this blog’s inception, this has been my ask…like, God, what on earth am I here for? I have spoken at length about my desire to know my purpose and to feel purposed. Over the last 2/3 years, I have so sorely wanted to know without any doubt that I was/am at the centre of God’s will for me. And then, BOOM, just like that, He FINALLY shared the grand scheme/framework of my life. What I want to say is that my vision board is not for 2020. It is for until the day I die. It is conceptual and talks to WHO I AM because of WHOSE I AM, AND WHO/WHAT POWERS AND DRIVES ME. In it, God revealed to me my three major titles, and the three key ways in which these titles will be fulfilled. That for me, is a vision – who I am (the titles) and what I will do because of who I am, and HOW I will do this. If anything, this vision board will grow. Recently, I listened to a sermon that elucidated this so perfectly. Lulu also led a conversation for our podcast series on this very topic. You can check it out here. God will have us do different things in different seasons of our lives, under the HOW part…but it all will connect to WHO you are. So, I will perhaps gain more HOWS through the years, but they will always be in fulfilment of God’s calling on my life, which ultimately (as all calling should) points back to Him. I live for Him and to make Him known. That is my purpose, and now I have an idea of the three top HOWS of how I am meant to fulfil that. As an important side note – I want to say that sometimes, some giftings and taskings aren’t for the fulfilling of purpose, but rather for the giving of joy for yourself and others…do and pursue them anyway, because ultimately, as God’s children, ours is to always serve. Him, others and ourselves.
In my last blog, I noted that I wanted to step into 2020 without any goals or expectations. I always found ‘refreshing’ your life every January very odd. Like, “Ok cool and all, but just call it an action plan…not a vision board.” The word vision is too profound and meaningful to be ‘renewed’ every year. DISCLAIMER: not meant to be a dig at anyone who does ‘vision board’ every year. God is diverse and works in many ways to get each of us to the point where we know and understand and live out our calling. Ok, then. So I had never been the vision boarding kind. Precisely because I knew that I didn’t know yet, what the calling/purpose of my life were. And I hated trying to prescribe my own goals, ambitions and whatnot, in a climate in which it seemed God hadn’t breathed into yet. I wanted God to move in this revelatory and significant way. And then He did! So my vision board will always guide my yearly action plans. Do I finally have an action plan? Happy to say YES, LOL. And the things that I have in there are like 3 max, because I am being reasonable. And they nicely tie into different aspects of my WHO and HOW. I don’t have things in there that require God to move. Not for a lack of faith…NO. But because those are things I know He has written in His action plan for me. And He will release them at His right time. For me, they remain prayer points. I have in there, things that I CAN do something about. Things that are MY responsibility.
I would like to ask you what you sense the year 2020 to be about. Please drop a comment in the comments section below. For myself and others (Wooohooo! There is general agreement in body of Christ about this), I sense that the Holy Spirit is saying God has opened the heavens and He will send a downpour of inimitable, divine favour; He will answer long-prayed prayers and acknowledge supplications and obedience; He will console those who mourn in Zion; give beauty for ashes; the oil of joy for mourning and the garment of praise for the spirit of mourning. This is Isaiah 61:1-3. I also encourage you to read verses 4-7. God is saying 2020 will be the year of OVERNIGHT turnaround (2 Kings 7:1-2). Like one day, it will be famine and the next, you will have overflowing barns. Your name will be mentioned in high places and discussed by people with influence, and GOD will lead them to favour you. It will be very clearly a God thing, not a man thing. They will be used by God for your benefit and without your intervention. Basically, God is fixing to show off in the lives of His children in 2020. Ask me, I know.
Lulu also shared Amos 9:13-15 with me and The Message version reads thus:
13-15 “Yes indeed, it won’t be long now.” God’s Decree. “Things are going to happen so fast your head will swim, one thing fast on the heels of the other. You won’t be able to keep up. Everything will be happening at once—and everywhere you look, blessings! Blessings like wine pouring off the mountains and hills. I’ll make everything right again for my people Israel.”
It perfectly aligns with Isaiah 61 and the belief that this is the year of God restoring, multiplying portions and generally just doing big things. If you have been through some pretty low places and wondered where God was in those times, may it be this kind of glorious year for you too.
Relatedly, the theme this year at my church is “2020: THE YEAR OF THE MANIFESTATION OF GOD’S POWER IN YOUR LIFE”. And I heard the introductory sermon on the theme AFTER God imparted the foregoing on my spirit. And so, this also has renewed my faith. I know I said I would go into 2020 with no expectations, but God lit a fire under me and He said, “You GOTTA believe again. Dare to dream and to hope against hope. I will do it.” So, I have expectation in specific areas He has said to expect of/from Him. Areas in which I have previously been bitterly disappointed. But ke, God is not a respecter of man but of faith. So I harbour faith…and most of all hope. I think I have shared before about why hope is such a fragile and tenuous thing. If dashed, it is much more difficult to rebuild. Somehow, it’s a tenderer thing than faith, and we hope because we believe God hears, sees and favours us. And that personalises things…but He says hope does not disappoint…and I think that beyond its eternal meaning, I would also like to find out the verity of that statement in this present life.
Another thing Lulu mentioned as we spoke about what we sensed the Holy Spirit was saying about 2020, is that it will be the year that God places people on destiny paths. It will be the year of revelation, understanding and walking in calling and purpose.
Whatever the status of your relationship with God, I encourage you to hold on. If it has been dark and dingy for you, hold on. Hold on to the voice that is saying ‘don’t give up’. Hold on to that thing that gets you up each morning, even if it is auto-pilot, and trust that the tide will change. Also trust that God will heal your broken places and that He can handle your anger with Him or disappointment in Him. Bring. It. All. To Him. I also encourage you to pray. God doesn’t need or want fancy prayers. He just wants you. But be warned – He is also NOT a genie. He may not change your circumstances overnight, but He will make a way eventually. He will move and He will answer. But through it all, He will sustain you. And it may even be untraceable at times His sustenance, but He will. Being placed on “pause”; being delayed; hearing NO from God and feeling directionless is not tantamount to being forsaken by Him. His ‘no’ is His favour for you because you must trust that He would always operate from a place of wanting to avert danger for/from you. So if He said no, it is because it would have destroyed or hurt you more than the pain of being denied it. Maybe it’s just a ‘not now’…either way, make peace with that situation and read it as “God loves me. He wouldn’t withhold any good thing from me.” So if you don’t have it, it’s not right for you.
After a point in 2019, after I had calmed down enough to stop blaming God and being angry at Him, I found that I began to draw closer to Him anew. And I found Him to be kind and compassionate. So, He also didn’t wave all the issues away. No. He stuck to His process and instead gave me whatever it is I needed for each day. Through that, I began to REALLY believe and know with all of my being that I was loved. That experience was God’s love for me in action. He could refine me, even at the cost of hurting me, but still be there for me whenever I needed Him. He listened when I would travail; He sustained me (literally) and He always brought me rays of sunshine on the next day, just to show and remind me that He had heard me the night before and had empathy for me. Those bits, from moment to moment and day to day, are literally what kept me going at many times. In a sense, I got to be affirmed in His love, not because He did for me, but because He was for me. He stood with me and He held my hand. I didn’t finally accept that God loves me because He answered all my prayers to my liking. Instead, I came to know this finally because I walked with Him. God is an experience, as are all relationships.
God took interest in my gwans (stories) and He guided and advised me consistently, sometimes on a daily, even when my heart was literally shattering into a thousand little pieces and there was no elixir for the pain. Yes, I still felt my pain, deep as it was, and I felt and thought that I would surely die, but I didn’t. I am trying to articulate it as best I can, so bear with me. Perhaps the Holy Spirit buoyed me; perhaps my spirit man had been ‘strengthened’. Whatever it was, though I went through the pain and FELT all my emotions and feels, I did not, as had been the norm for me in the past, FEEL unloved or punished by God. The thought definitely crossed my mind and even bounced around in my heart (because the enemy knows our weaknesses) but it did not take root. That’s what I mean by not having ‘felt’. I am an extremely emotional person. Not in a bad way, LOL. Or is it? LOL! Ok, ok. By that, I mean that I feel everything I feel deeply. So if ever I were going to feel unloved, I would have definitely felt it. I would have sensed and known that I was FEELING unloved. And this is why feelings are such an unreliable guide and measure of what is, of reality and of fact. They’re exaggerated (or at least mine are, LOL) and so subjective, based on alllllllllllll the unique things in life that make you you. So they aren’t always reliable, a ‘true’ reflection of reality or objective. And this is why I am having to learn how to select, contain and steer my emotions. Anyhoo, my being highly strung is a story for another day. So the difference this time was that even if I may have had the thought cross my mind, the thought of being unloved, it didn’t turn into a feeling, at least not one that settled. I appreciate that for myself. I believe that there was a moving from the knowledge of God’s love for me, to a lived experience of it, one which I was keenly alive to. I needed that. In the past, it would frustrate me that I would often feel so unloved, even as I was praying, but I would still say things like “I know you love me” and “You will never leave nor forsake me”. It was just rote; me repeating what the Scripture says, but not “feeling” or believing it. It was not deeply entrenched and ensconced in my knower. Today, I can say that I am grateful that God has begun a good work in me of re-engineering my knower where this issue is concerned. And of course it could have only been through experience with Him. I am now surer of and secure in this love He professes to have for me. He is continuing to break down the enemy’s strongholds there and He is developing a girl with healthy self-esteem where the love of her father is concerned.
I’ve said it before, but I will say it again: may you also own, note and meditate on your lessons and victories. It encourages you to keep going and is a good way of measuring how far you have come. For me, noting my lessons and the journey I have traveled in recent years is a good indicator of the fact that I am not alone…I know for a fact that I wouldn’t have made it this far if God hadn’t been on my side…
Whatever your 2020 is, may it be one of continued growth, revelation, healing and restoration. And as we set off into the new year, may I let you know that you are capable, beloved, called and purposed. You matter and you are here for a reason. Do not give up.