An Attitude Of Heart…

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I couldn’t quite understand why I felt there was a wall between me and the Lord. I looked at my life and analysed it thoroughly: my actions were okay and, though my life wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t bad enough for this ‘wall’ to be there. So, what was it? What could possibly be blocking my mediocre walk with Jesus.

People have a habit of defining Christianity, and being a good Christian, by what you do; but, little do they know, it has scarcely anything to do with what you do. I was privileged enough to be shown that not only do actions speak louder than words, but that way before the action is triggered, something is already happening inside of you. That’s what really counts; and, it’s the first thing God looks at.

The New Testament speaks more about the attitude or motivations of our heart, than the actions that follow a humble heart. Our Christian life is really a life of attitude. Go right back to the beginning of your walk with the Lord, and remember that day you realised you were a sinner and gave your heart to Jesus? What do you think was the most important part of that day? Was it when you went up for prayer? Or when you repeated the words of the person praying for you asking Jesus to come into your heart? Nope! But, way before those actions something very important already occurred in your heart… Do you know what it was? It was your attitude that changed. Your heart softened to the love of Jesus. That’s not something you have a control over; and your attitude (which is something you have control over ) was humbled by God’s love; and, that’s what Jesus wants. An attitude of being ready listen, humble yourself and to obey.

We are all able to do good things; even an immoral person can do more charitable deeds than a Christian and with a good attitude too. Don’t get me wrong, but actions mean nothing if the heart of that person doing the good things is closed. First of all God isn’t looking for someone who can do the work (though having that ability has  its benefits), He’s looking for someone with the right attitude of heart to do His will. That way one is doing something God’s way with the attitude of heart that He desires, rather than just doing a good deed to feel better about oneself.

Remember, it’s not what you do, or how well you are doing what you’re doing; what counts is the attitude of your heart and how you will react when God speaks. Though His words are always full of grace, they’re also sharp, painful, and cut straight through the heart. I repeat, it’s got nothing to do with what you are doing, it’s the motivation of your heart! Why am I repeating myself? Well, when God confronts you mid serving him (something he does often) we tend to grow a teeny tiny (fat) attitude towards him. Let’s call it our defence mechanism shall we?

No one appreciates it when confronted about their bad attitude when doing a good deed. We immediately flash our works out there, and struggle to understand how someone could focus on such a tiny wrong in the midst of us doing all these ‘right’ things. What we fail to see is that is the beauty of Christian life, true Christian life! It is a life lived by an imperfect being on the road to perfection and, like I said, it’s not what you do but the attitude of heart when you are doing it!

Serve the lord like Everyone else, you are pleasing God by doing so; pray for others, even if you’ve failed several times a day, because that’s pleasing to God; He’s not focused on that day’s failures, but on your heart that wants to be better than what you are! Give to charity if you want to, that pleases God because he wants you to give freely even if you spend more money on other things, he’s looking at a heart that wants to add Him to your budget. Do all these good things because it does indeed please God, but … do it with the right attitude!

Sometimes serving the Lord is tough (I spelt most of the time wrong!) and you can feel physically and mentally drained. That’s normal and Jesus knows that. He doesn’t hold you accountable for that at all, He isn’t looking at that; He’s looking at the state of your heart when He confronts you about your attitude; and, how you react determines the attitude of your heart towards God!

I wish I could speak more clearly but I think you understand what I’m trying to say, right? Take a step back, slow down in your physical service to Jesus and dig deep into your heart and ask yourself, is my heart open to hear from the Lord? Even if he says I’m wrong? Are your ears open to hear the voice of the Lord? When He says go and do this and you do it, then somewhere down the line He confronts your attitude while you’re doing as He says… Are you able to humble yourself when he speaks? Because if you are, it doesn’t matter how much you think you’ve failed, you’ve just won the fight!

Marilyn Evangelou

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Which Rebellion is Worse?

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When I was younger, I rebelled against the Lord. I took my own path and started doing as I pleased. All that partying and drinking took me down a path that turned my life for the worst; I went nowhere. When I came back to Him after six long years of fighting and running away, I returned broken, but very grateful. Since then I find myself often saying that I hope never to rebel in this way again. I never say ‘never’ because you don’t know what can happen. After a few years of having my life back on track with the Lord, I found a new way of rebelling… I discovered a way that is worse than before. So much so, that I now find myself saying, maybe it’s better to rebel openly as I did in the past, than in this manner.

When a Christian gives into his old ways and habits, it’s bad, but not as serious, because he has simply given into his desires, which will later lead to destruction if he continues on this path. But it is still just his weaknesses, which is understandable; because he is human, and the Lord knows that and will set him free, provided he shows a desire for the Lord to do that. But when a Christian hardens his heart and then abandons his walk with Jesus, that’s when things get more serious; because his problem is no longer with his old desires, but with God Himself; and, many, many people have left for good for that reason.

It’s so easy to harden your heart towards God, especially when you don’t understand the place He has in your life, or who He really is. It’s also easy to get irritated with God when He allows certain things to happen in your life and you struggle with them. It’s even very easy to get angry at God for not letting your life go the way you want it, but the way He wants it to. So, as you can see, there are many reasons why one could get mad at God. And, allow me tell you something: this is not a good place to be.

What do you do, when you find yourself in such a position? Humble yourself and repent to the Lord; yes, repent! Even I twitched when I heard that, but then I did repent and things changed. What happens if I fall once more, and find myself in the same place again? What do I do? The same as I did before: repent. I don’t really like that word ‘repent’; it sounds so… serious. But it’s very serious indeed, and sometimes I even wonder if I really mean it when I repent; because, so often I find myself falling again. But hey, all that shows is that I’m weak. It doesn’t mean that I wasn’t serious when I repented the first few times. I’ve just got to carry on repenting until I am completely free from it. I can’t give up; I don’t want to, or else I will remain the same, maybe get even worse?

Trust me, the Lord is the last person I want to be angry with, because He’s the only one that will be there for me to the very end, and then for eternity! I guess that 9 times out of 10, I’m not going to understand what He’s doing with my life. Then again I presume that’s where the problem starts: trying to understand something that’s beyond my comprehension. So trusting the Lord with my life is basically living out the prayer I said to Him on the day that I gave my life to Him; with the hope that one day, He will finish what He’s started in me and I will be free indeed!

Prayer

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It’s not easy watching an unsaved family member suffer and it’s not easy, knowing that the Lord can help them yet they refuse Him, or their time to acknowledge Him has not yet come. ‘We are four born again Christians in this family, shame on us that we don’t pray for him…’ these words rang in my head long after I read them. How true are these words? How sad that it reveals the truth. I have been saved, I have the testimony, I have the tools and I see the urgency to pray and I don’t.

Shame on me!

As Christians, we have a few responsibilities and one of them is prayer. This is not for God’s benefit but for ours. I’ve often thought, ‘if the Lord knows our prayers and He will answer them, what’s the point of praying at all?’ I later realised that our prayers (if we pray) reveal our hearts and motivation. If we have nothing to say, something is missing in us. If we only pray for ourselves, it shows where the eyes of our hearts lie. If we pray in the same manner and the same words, we’re a little bit religious.

Prayer also brings us closer to God, what’s the point of having a relationship with someone if we don’t talk to them? It’s the same with the Lord, what’s the point of having a relationship with Him if we don’t pray to Him? We’ll just be people claiming to live for someone we don’t know – intimately. Prayer gives us the privilege of being a part of the plan of God. What an honour to see someone saved, knowing we’ve spent hours praying and fasting for that person. Or, when a Christian event goes well and many lives were touched and we were lucky enough to witness that victory, knowing all the 5 am wake up calls were not for nothing. It’s a joy watching the plan of the Lord unfold before our eyes and it’s an even greater joy when we’ve played our part in it, even if it’s ‘only’ prayer!

Prayer is important; it’s special and can be so exciting. I believe that prayer defines us; shows us who we are, and what we really want out of our relationship with Jesus. We all hear great revelations from pastors and elders; I know for sure that it comes from many hours of prayer. Prayer encourages us! I know there are times in my life where I start praying feeling confused and finish praying feeling renewed. Prayer is precious. It’s only a few minutes or hours of our day.

What I love about prayer is that there is no ‘right way’ of praying. I always thought that when you pray, it has to be formal, sitting up straight, and saying the right words with the right sentence structure. Prayer like that then became a burden to me. But, when I heard that prayer is just us talking to God, it changed everything! I found myself lying in bed talking to Jesus or walking about in my room or out in the streets talking to God, I could even tidy my room and know that I can speak to Him. I realised that although He is my Lord and Saviour and I should treat Him as such, I can still turn to Him as a Friend. That alone, overwhelmed me with more joy and respect for my God.

How wonderful for us, to have such a great and big God, who allows us to come before Him as we are, and to speak to Him in the simplest way. How comforting is it to know that He does hear our prayers; to have that assurance He will answer us in His perfect time, and according to His perfect will; having that certainty that His plan will be accomplished in our lives. What a privilege that we have the freedom to speak and spend time with Him and to get to know Him a little more every time we pray.

The Lord is great, and He has given us a tool to know His greatness and to know Him personally. I repeat, prayer is so precious, I pray that this may be revealed in all of  our hearts and that we make the effort to get to know our Saviour who knows us so well.

Amen?

Music’s Magic

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Music is alive; I’d like to compare it to a magician. It has many gifts, many different tricks and it plays lots of games. It can make things disappear, re-appear, and make something appear out of no-where. Am I making sense? Or do you think I’m over-exaggerating? Let’s think about this for a minute; or better yet, listen. Listen to the song that’s playing in your head. Your thoughts have vanished for a moment and the tune of the song repeatedly playing in your head has replaced them, by creating stories relating to the lyrics.

Most of the time you don’t even remember where or when you heard the song; from the night before? When you walked into the store? Or, even when a stranger walked by humming the song to herself. Music passes through the room and invites itself into your head. Music is very sneaky, it charms as well, especially your ears, flirts with them a little as it very quickly makes its way into your head, playing with your thoughts and emotions. As it continues, the song stirs up something in you, bringing back memories; good or bad memories. It also brings back feelings, feelings that you probably haven’t felt in a long time or didn’t know were still there.

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Music, it can make you laugh and it can make you cry. It takes you by the hand and spins you around the room; makes you fall in love with the tune as you discover new dance moves. It’s almost as if music has the ability to turn into a liquid and flows through your veins making itself one with you.  Just like the blood that gives you life, music can make you feel alive. Music’s abilities are endless; no one can know the power and control it has over you. Often, it takes advantage of those who under-estimate its influence.

An angry man, for example, can easily be triggered off when a particular song plays and messes with his thinking. A woman may admire a man and enjoy his company, she can quickly fall in love with him when the right song plays, so that she starts to believe she’s in love. A young boy can have his emotions shaken when he hears the many rap songs about women. His once innocent thoughts are ruined and he is taught to think of things even a grown man shouldn’t be thinking about, as he now sees women differently than before.

Music creates expectancy, a fantasy, an illusion, a story that doesn’t even exist, yet it makes you hope or wish it does.

A sincere Christian for example, he loves the Lord but he loves music as well; and, he may slowly find himself drifting away. Because he’s always brushed the warnings aside, believing it’s just a song and not taking the dangers of music seriously. People forget that music plays around with their emotions like with a puppet, makes one do and say and think as it pleases. When you find your body moving to the beat of the song and your lips continuously repeating its lyrics, you may not be aware of this yet, but you are already one step further from the Lord than you were yesterday.

Listening to, or hearing a song isn’t a sin in itself; remembering the good old days when a song plays isn’t a bad thing. Simply remember to be careful that the little music you do listen to isn’t setting up home in your head, because its only a matter of time before it reaches your heart.

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Rejoice, Joy and Faith (part 1)

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I remember telling a friend how I wished that I could carry the same joy I have when I experience victories during my struggles. I am currently going through a situation, big in my eyes, probably small in your eyes and tiny in the eyes of the Lord but my mind is wondering here and there. I’m making plan B, C and even D, ‘if this doesn’t work, I will do that,’ ‘if that doesn’t work, maybe I should try this,’ ‘if it still doesn’t work, maybe it’s not meant to be and I will make another plan,’ my mind doesn’t stop and it kills me (obviously not literally, because I’m still alive.)
I’m so challenged inside me it’s ridiculous. If I cannot have faith for this small thing, what am I going to do when things really get bad? You see, the time was coming where I had to make a decision and all the doors were opening in this particular direction and I finally accepted and I knew what the lord wanted me to do. But after that, it seemed like all the doors were closing again and my first reaction was, ‘the Lord deceived me.’ I failed my test within seconds of it starting, since when does the Lord ever deceive anyone? (I saw how easy it was to blame God when things don’t go your way or when a little pebble falls on your path.) I was finished in my heart. My mind started making plans again and doubting the ones that were trying to line up to Gods plan.
The second fail of this situation was the joy I wanted to carry when I go through hard times. When I heard the bad news, my smile left my face and peace left my heart. I had to force myself not to think about it or my mind would take me too far with its trickery and games. I would be fine and joyful when I wasn’t thinking about it, but when the situation replayed in my head again, I felt depressed and stressed out. The last fail of this test, was my faith. I was still hoping in ‘man’ for my situation, not a man, but my trust and hope was not in the Lord first but in man. (Does that make sense?) I remember walking out the house, telling the pastor I live with to ‘wish me luck’ as I was about to leave to try sort out the things I needed to. He stopped me and said, ‘is it luck you want? I think we should pray…’ after he prayed for me, I left there feeling like a broken woman, shocked at the little faith I had in my big God.
After this, I realised a few things, the first one is I can’t do or be anything or anyone in my own strength. I wanted to carry joy in my struggles, but how can Ido that? It’s the joy of the Lord I had to carry, so how will I get that joy? By releasing that situation into the hands of the Lord, which I hadn’t done yet and trying to sort this all out without asking the Lord for help, made things worse, I didn’t seek Him to lead me and guide me, I sort of did my own thing hoping it will work out. The other thing I realised is that, everything is taken care of, everything. The Lord planned out my life long before I was born and all I have to do is co-operate and have faith that His plan will come to pass, which has been successful thus far, so why freak out now? One more thing is faith, each time something comes my way that challenges my faith, my faith tends to jump out the window and run away, not even putting up a little fight. Sad thing is, I let it happen, forgetting all the things the Lord has done in my life in the past and all the wonderful things I have witness Him do in others’ lives. The last but not least, I realised how much He loves me. There is no ways someone could love another that keeps losing faith in Him and panics when things go ‘wrong’, but they haven’t gone wrong, you’re just being tested. But Jesus still loves me after all this, He still wants His plan to come to pass in my life and His love will never stop for me, never. That brings hope and when I have hope, I have faith.
Well, It’s definitely growing (my faith), slowly but surely, I’m growing and I thank the Lord every day for never giving up on me.
Part 2 is coming up people… This is not the end 🙂

Faith

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The lord is never slow to answer our prayers.
He answers at the right time and the right place, and he provides for our needs.
When has He ever failed us?
Has He ever forgotten us?
Have you ever heard of an unanswered prayer?
Or a searching heart unable to find what it’s looking for?
Or a saved soul that’s unsatisfied?
So, where is our faith?
How can it be so small when our very planet is like a tiny speck of saw dust in the entire universe.
And yet, the Lord knows us.
He knew us long before our birth,
Before the creation of this world and,
He knows us by name.
He knows what’s in our heart, what’s going on in our thoughts, even the number of hairs we have on our head,
He knows us better than we know ourselves.
It’s normal, after all He is our creator.
How blessed are we?
Our God, He is an awesome God,
Whom reigns forever and ever Amen
And we have been given a gift.
Through the blood of Jesus Christ, son of the living God,
We have received an invitation,
An invitation to join him in the heavenly realms.
There is a road to take to get there and this is the walk of a Christian,
Whom is born again in Christ Jesus.
The road to eternal life with Jesus Christ may seem endless and difficult,
We see the mountains to climb,
The bridges to cross
And the road narrowing down towards the end
But,
Nothing is impossible with God.
With a little bit (or a lot) of
Blood, sweat and tears,
We may find ourselves standing outside the gates of heaven with eyes wide open as we finally see the face of the
Lamb of God approaching,
Welcoming us home.
It is this very moment that everything becomes worth suffering for.
Feast your eyes on this moment,
Jesus is coming soon,
so persevere to the end.
That’s what faith can do.

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Hello…

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Hey there, it’s been a long time since I have last posted, for those of you that forgot I had a blog, ‘surprise’, for those that have asked me to carry on posting, ‘surprise’.
After writing my testimony, I started to realise the challenge of carrying that on. The first challenge is, my first testimony was easier to write, it was about my past and how the lord delivered me from it. Secondly, is the work that needs to be done in my life to write what I want to write. You see I wanted to write about the challenges in my life to lead and direct and encourage others going through the same thing. (not that I am full of wisdom or anything, but..) We all go through issues that we often think we are alone and too ashamed to talk about it. I always told myself there is nothing that is too shameful to talk about, there is nothing too bad that we need to hide and there is no reason for us to keep our issues to ourselves so that we don’t bother others.

These are the three things that I struggle with and have often brought me to my knees before the Lord. Where I have kept something silent because I don’t want others to know ‘the real me’. Where I have done something bad or naughty and I don’t know how to handle it, so I will try and handle it alone instead of seeking help. Lastly where I have kept my issues to myself for so long that they ate me up inside and guilt took it’s place in my heart. It’s silly, it took me far from the Lord and I ended up leaving the church for a long time.

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Now that I am back and you all know the story how, I want to make sure that everyone knows that it’s okay. It’s okay to fall, to have your weaknesses and to fail, even if it’s a couple times a day, it’s okay. It’s okay to get mad, really, it is and frustration is a normal feeling, it’s okay to cry and it’s okay to scream ( I come from a house full of girls, so screaming is VERY normal for me). All these things are okay, as long as your hearts in a place where you want to grow and change. it will happen. When, where and how? that’s none of our business. Accept yourself the way the Lord accepts you and desire to grow the way the Lord wants you to and you shall. If  you love Jesus and want to be like Him, the Lord will do that in you. When, where and how? Again, that’s none of our business, but it will happen.

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So, be prepared everyone, my life is an open book, literally. I have fears, I make mistakes, I miss opportunities to be used of God and I often take the things of the Lord lightly. I forget to pray and sometimes lose my bible. I can hold a grudge against someone for so long that I forget why, I struggle to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Admitting I am wrong is a challenge and not letting pride sneak into my heart when I am right is another challenge. I am an imperfect young girl with a perfect God living in me, although I struggle to accept myself, the Lord accepts me and even though I have all these ‘defects’, Jesus loves me and has a plan for me as He has for all of you.
I’m on the road to perfection and so are you, so let us walk and walk with a joy in our hearts because at the end of the day, the Lord will have His way and His Will shall be done in our lives.
I better go now, otherwise I will type till you all get bored, which I hope hasn’t happened yet.
until the next post, have a lovely day/night/ weekend etc..
Marilyn

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What this blog will be about …

download (60)Well… we have finally reached the end of my testimony.

You now have an idea of what my life was like 🙂
My stories do not end from here, life is still as interesting and entertaining as it has always been.
So stay tuned..

Like all of us, I am far from perfect.
But when I am going through my struggles and trials, I know that there are two things I can turn to that will never fail me and that’s the word of God and prayer.

I still hold grudges if I am not careful and find it difficult to repent depending on the situation.
There are many times where I forget, there are many times where I do things wrong. There are many times where I worry about the things I cannot change, there are times where I try change or stop things from happening.
There are times where I try run from my problems and times where I handle my problems in the wrong manner.
But in all this, no matter what I’m going through, I know that Jesus is there.
I know that in the mist of my issues or drama, Jesus is always there.
Some may find it foolish and some may not believe but you will soon see how the lord can change a person’s heart in the simplest way. I find that when I stop fighting what the lord wants to do in my life, I see miracles happen.
Not extreme healing miracles or obvious signs but, miracles within me that I discover a peace and growth in me.
I know I could never accomplish this alone.

So I hope that this was interesting to read.
I do hope that my future posts may be a little entertaining, some might be inspiring and maybe even be encouraging. My main goal in writing this blog is to show you the hand of the lord upon a person’s life And how He takes care of His children. Its also to share His humor in many of my situations and the relationship I learnt to develop with Jesus.

last imageThank you so much for reading 🙂

Jesus Becoming My Teacher…

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Every day I learn something new and every day the Lord speaks to my heart.
The lord shows me many things, the things I’m doing wrong and the things He wants me to do. He shows me my attitude in some situations and how my attitude should be in many situations. 

The lord shows me His heart for me and also shows me the same heart he has for others.
The lord has expressed his love and grace for me and also asks that I have that same love and grace for His people. The lord shows me the way and guides my footsteps. Sometimes I find my own way and tell my feet to turn the other direction, when I reach a dead end, I look up and see the hand of the lord waiting to lead me to where I should be.

I’ve learnt that being a Christian isn’t about doing good things. Doing good things doesn’t make you a good person but the key is Christ himself. If we throw all cards on the table and look at our lives and thoughts, I can see a good change that I can do in my life but I cannot see me changing my heart.
I tried forgiving in my own strength and tried loving in my own strength and found myself drained out with grudges in my heart but when I let Christ help me forgive and teach me to love, I see myself in a place where I never thought I would be. 

Conquering and failing in my new life

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Since then, many trials and tests have come my way.
Some I have conquered and some I have failed. Some I have learnt and many I keep on learning.
I have had good days and bad days, days where I’m full of happiness and days where I count the seconds to when it ends. There are some areas where I have changed enormously and many areas that still need change.
Am I perfect?
No.
Do I make mistakes?
All the time!
I have learnt so much when I started to live for Christ. Not live as in do the right thing but to live my life with Him in my heart directing my steps. Living this life doesn’t make me a better person; it gives me a better reason to being a better person. Living this life doesn’t mean I’m going to be perfect, but I’m aiming that way because the one who lives in me is perfect.
Living this life doesn’t make be higher than anyone else, it makes me realise my faults and where I need to change. living this new life has its ups and downs but what makes it worth it is,  who I’m doing it for and the victory I get in my heart at the end of the day.
It’s been a crazy adventure living in this little island; I loved every minute I’ve been here because of the change I have seen in myself.
I have watched myself adapt to a new life style and learn to make it my home.

A new place to call home

When I came back to this precious island, I began working  part time and going to school here.
I loved my job and school was always an adventure.
download (58)I worked as a swimming teacher and had many funny experiences trying to explain to the kids in English what they must do when they only understand French! download (57)Even with the language barrier I developed a wonderful relationship with these kids and loved them to bits. Their parents were lovely people and they loved the way I worked with their children.
Some days I would travel to another town, just forty five minutes away (by car) and teach swimming there for a few hours.
The life style in this town was completely different to the town I was living in and it was extremely hot too.
I managed to catch a nice tan and enjoy the beautiful scenery each time I was there.

 Although things were well with work, settling down to living here was tough because things are completely different to the way they are at home. I now had no car and had to accept taking the bus everywhere. I had to learn to budget my money and spend it wisely. I had to become a member of the house I was staying at, instead of just a visitor, by being involved in the activities that took place in the home and start building relationships with the people I lived with.

Zim Youth Camp 2012

I went to the Zimbabwe Youth camp with a friend and my youngest sister. This was my second youth camp I had ever been to in my life (the first one was when I decided to leave the church) and I was both excited and nervous for it.
It was a bit of a challenge for me being there as I do not do well with crowds and I’m not really a ‘game’ playing person. My sister and friend were put out of their comfort zone too and although we had our differences, the lord restored us by the end of it all.
Due to my back condition I was physically unable to play most of the games and felt like a ‘party pooper’, the energy I once had was no more and the fun I used to have with my close friend while playing these games couldn’t happen anymore either. It was tough, watching others run around and enjoy themselves, while I sat and waited for them to finish. It felt like I was not really a part of the team as I did nothing to be a good team member and I really started to seek the lord for help.
By the end of the camp, many things had taken place and we all truly enjoyed ourselves. It was nice to do something different and be out of your comfort zone every now and again. I learnt so much by the end of this camp and regretted nothing of it.

Hello Zimbabwe!

images (81)When I went home my family saw the joy of the Lord in me and they rejoiced with me. My sisters felt the love of the lord at work in my life because for the first time I had humbly apologised for all the rubbish and struggle I put them through in the past. It was incredible how the lord had restored our relationship and gave me grace to repent to my loved ones that I hurt. I know for a fact that this would never have happened if it weren’t for the help of the lord because I was not the kind of person to apologise for anything!

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Obviously when I went home things were a challenge for me, my old habits of lying by the television all day were waiting for me, my friends and our naughty ways were waiting for me. My time at my father’s pub were waiting for me and I wanted to stay away from all those things that might draw me away from what the lord has done in my heart because I didn’t want to go back to the old me.
Although some of these things were still tempting, the only reason I didn’t return to them was because what I had found, was far more precious to me than my old life.
I was constantly put to the test by friends and family around me my entire visit home (not that they were doing it on purpose, it’s just that the lord put it in my heart to be a different person towards my friends and family and to not drift back to my old ways of reacting or acting) and I started to see the difficulties of being a born again Christian.

The holiday’s come to an end…

Now, my routine didn’t change, but I had changed; therefore my life completely changed.
From hating dishes, I loved them now, I had no problem if there were two dishes to wash to twenty dishes to wash (there was more of a chance of twenty dishes than two!) but the joy in my heart, never left me.
Although I struggle with concentration, I loved going to church because I was learning so much. Normally, I hate learning, I cannot sit still long enough to absorb anything but this time, I was so curious that I took everything in  when reading the bible, or listening to the pastors.

Now the time had come for my holiday here to end and I was sad to go, I was also excited to see my family though and it wasn’t too long to the time I would. We had put a lot of thought into me coming back for there was nothing for me where I was going and I had loved my time here so much that I wanted to come back.
I remember being nervous of going home again because in the past, when I had been touched by the lord, I would always rebel again after being home a few weeks. There was still a fear that would happen.
But I was given an assurance that the lord will be with me where ever I go and not to fear for He will always take care of me.

I have never been the same again…

Since that faithful day, I have never been the same. Never!
Every day I found myself glued to the bible, reading every single word and reading all the time (and I’m the kind of person who hates reading!).
images (78)When I came home from volunteering at the church, I would read till dinner time, at dinner, I would ask questions and after dinner, I would carry on reading until my eyes forced themselves to close. I just wanted to learn so much about Jesus because of this joy he had put in my heart, because of the burdens he had lifted off my shoulders and because of the love he has filled me with.
I was not the same person anymore.
Suddenly, I was always smiling, I was gentle, I stopped swearing, I stopped complaining (well…not completely 😉 ), I started to love those around me more and appreciate them for the role they played in this house. I learned from them and the way they lived. I asked them what they knew about the bible, I asked questions, countless questions about the life of Christ, what he did, where he went, details about certain situations in Jesus’ life. It was endless.
There were times where I would feel tears fill my eyes in hearing what I heard about certain parts of the life of Christ. There were times where I would not go to the prayer meeting to finish reading a chapter I was on and would find tears of joy while reading this chapter. I prayed to the lord, not knowing what to say but mostly thanking him again and again for bringing me back home.
Joy, joy was what was flowing in me because I knew; I was back where I belonged. I knew I was in the right place and I knew this is what my searching heart had longed for.

I was now complete.

The greatest day of my life… so far

images (80)I felt like I was walking on the clouds while making my way down to the front of the church.
My eyes remained shut as I gracefully found a place to stand in the crowd of people. My hands were held tight together in a prayer position and I made sure my hair covered the sides of my face, so no one would see me crying. I opened my eyes for a second to see where my feet were standing and repeatedly prayed, ‘I’m here lord, I’m finally here, what do I do now, I’m here

Tears made their way down my cheeks and for the first time I didn’t try hold them back. My heart was still racing and the adrenaline felt like it leaped to my soul lifting it high. I soon felt someone touch me and begin to pray, I then heard someone else close to me speak, translating what was being prayed.
To this day I cannot remember a word that was said, I do not know who translated for me but I do remember what happened. finally… I felt something change and that was me!
When they finished praying the tears never stopped, it felt like each tear that went down my cheek was a burden that was being taken away. Each tear that dropped down the floor were bad memories of the past that were being taken away.
A weight, a huge weight that was sitting on my heart for many, many years, I felt it lift off of me and I was finally free. Something happened in me and it set me free.
Something happened that day that took away all the bad, all the hurt, all the pain, all worries, my burdens and all that was left was joy!

Jesus touched my heart.

When an old chubby man walked on stage …

praise and worshipPraise and worship began and I stood watching the lyrics on the big screen, trying to sing the song without mixing up the words. My stomach had butterflies and my eyes were wide with curiosity. I clapped my hands and watched everyone else around me, waiting for something to happen.

After a while, I saw nothing happened in me and a huge weight of sadness came over me.
I sat down like a little girl who has just been let down by her parent and shrugged my shoulders thinking, ‘what was I so excited about?’
And then I saw an old chubby man walk on the stage.
Someone had given him a microphone and he began to speak with a strange deep voice.
I stood up to get a closer look at him and saw the translator standing next to him preparing to repeat his every word. As he spoke and she translated, my heart began to race and I listened very carefully to what was said.
My heart began to race even more and I held my hand over my heart feeling it beat twice the normal rate. I then closed my eyes and started to pray in a panic asking God not to let me have a heart attack and that I was too young to have one, I didn’t know what was happening to me.
Something came over me and I felt an adrenaline rush through my body with the rate my heart was beating. I carried on praying, thinking and feeling like I was about to have a heart attack.
My eyes remained shut and as I prayed, I started to walk down the aisle to the front of the church for prayer. This was the  first time I’ve ever been up for prayer on my own without anyone asking me to go…

A week full of anxiety and excitement

download (54)I remember one day, I was trying to read my bible but I had always struggled because I hadn’t had a clue what to read nor did anything happen after I read it.
(I had heard people tell me how reading the word of God changes lives) then soon after reading, a feeling came to me that something very special was going to happen soon. I had no idea what it could be nor did I know when it would happen but all I remember is being very excited for no reason.

I was full of anxiety and excitement; I was nervous yet, sort of happy. I never expressed my feelings or told anyone about it but something very real was happening inside of me and I just wanted this week to end.
Sunday finally came and it was a gathering of all the churches; every month all the churches would meet in one big building and have a wonderful time with the lord.
For the first time, I was happy to go.
images (79)When we arrived I hadn’t seen so many people in one room before and I became very overwhelmed, sitting quietly in my chair hoping no one notices me. As the meeting started the expectancy in my heart grew and I was eager to hear and see everything that was about to happen.

A changed life doesn’t change a person

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I had been living there well over a month now and started to wonder why nothing’s changed about me. My life had changed, for I was no longer drinking or smoking, I had no boyfriend and I was not glued to the television like before. But inside, I still hadn’t changed and I didn’t know how to do that.
Everyone around me was different to me; there was something about them that I wanted. They had something that I didn’t have and I wasn’t sure how to get it. I may have had a few things in common with some people, but there was still something different.
I wanted to change and I thought that coming here would do that, but in fact all it did was, change my life. I was still the same. I lived a good life though, I volunteered at the church during the day, went to home meetings during the week, and went to church on Sundays. I washed dishes occasionally, made my bed every day and read my bible from time to time but I was still the same.
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I started to wonder what Jesus does to change you, ‘how is it that he changed all these people around me, but I’m still the same. I mean I’m living a completely different life now, why do I still feel something needs to change’.

My new home

(in case you’re wondering, my aunt was too busy to have me with her at her house and thought it was best I live in the company of her crazy friends.)
My new home was a different kind of adventure and it was tough in the beginning but it turned out to be the best place for me to stay. I would watch the way everyone lived, I watched how they lived with one another and it started a work in my heart.

I looked at all these people individually and noticed that they are so different from one another yet, they got a long so well. There was a unity among them that I hadn’t seen before. Other than their different personalities, nationalities, routines, they were all somehow a team and a great one of that. I loved watching them live; it was something about this family that touched my heart.
Joy was constantly poured out of all of them, if one was stressed, the others supported, if one was joyful, they all rejoiced along with him/her. Although it was overwhelming living with so many people around me, something told me this was going to be a very special stay.

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