The Pursuit of Love

 

February, the Month of Love ♥

It’s that season when some of us are Boo’d up, and the rest…hmm not quite, but we’re still happy.

 

One thing I love about love is The Pursuit.  You know when you’re just getting to know someone, there’s this relentless pursuit.  The constant calls, the WhatsApp messages back and forth, the lengthy texts.

It’s exciting, it’s new, you’re hooked, and you want to be around the person ALL the time.

You want to speak to them all day, you look forward to seeing them.  Dates are fun, even when they just consist of quiet walks where no-one is saying much.  Just the presence of the other person brings a sense of satisfaction, and happiness.

 

Goodbyes can be hard, even when you know they are just temporary. New love is amazing.

And then somehow, things slow down.

You kind of get ‘used’ to being with each other, the new things aren’t so novel anymore.  The little cute things slowly lose their spark. The love hasn’t necessarily diminished, but the overt and elaborate expressions of love have…

Whilst most would agree the pursuit should never stop, the reality is that it does.  It’s the sad trajectory of a lot of human relationships.

If you think keeping the momentum in a relationship is tough (and expensive), try maintaining that same energy in a relationship with a faulty foundation.  The ‘love’ will peak quickly, before it rapidly and sometimes hurtfully crashes.

If you find yourself pursuing a ‘love’ in a [hu]man because of loneliness, discontentment, insecurity, hurt – I can almost guarantee you will not find what you’re looking for.  At first things may seem amazing, but beyond the surface you will realise ‘that love’ will not make you feel complete, valued, fulfilled or healed.  Pursuing love ‘just because’, can get messy and leave you broken.

To those who are happy in love, continue to celebrate each other in love, commending the good in one another, and in love covering weaknesses.

And if you are not in a good place this Valentine’s Day, if you are unhappily single (because being single is not a bad thing – another post for another day), nursing a heartbreak, going through challenges in your relationship you are most likely not alone.  Do not let this day ‘highlight’ all the things the things you lack, or things that are wrong.  Instead bask in the knowledge that:


He loves you with an everlasting love.

(Jeremiah 31:3)


Yesterday at the Bible study I attend we were looking a this scripture and thinking about it is really mind blowing:  

 

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

(Philippians 2: 5-8)

 

Imagine leaving your home which is full of glory, comfort, complete luxury and every other great and incredible you can think of to go to a place that is the total opposite.  And on top of that you’re subjected to all sorts of abuse, ridiculed, mocked, beaten – all for the sake of LOVE.  Despite the sacrifice of leaving your glorious home, you’re rejected by the ones you came to show and give this Love to.  It doesn’t discourage you, the rejection gives you more oomph to keep pursuing….now that is the definition of LOVE.

Complete Selflessness. Complete Sacrifice. That is Love.

The breadth, and depth of the love of God is crazy!! Too much for us to fully comprehend.  And what’s great about it, is that it’s unconditional


But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

(Romans 5:8)


It’s not limited to one day a year, but  it’s eternal.

True Love is liberating and is found in Jesus Christ.

 

His love for you is so wide and runs so deep, that you were and always are worth The PURSUIT.

Happy Valentine’s Day

In truth and with lots of love

Faith xox

Are you walking in your purpose?

The word of the season seems to be ‘purpose’. I guess the obsession is understandable for this time of year, as many use the first couple of months to set goals and plan the rest of their year.

 
I’ve heard so many…

‘I need to walk in my purpose’, ‘I need to find my purpose’, ’I’m quitting my job to live my purpose’, ‘what is your purpose, and are you walking in it?’

These questions sometimes make me cringe or roll my eyes. Reason being, is the trending nature in which these purpose fuelled conversations are discussed.

Quick disclaimer: Purpose is important. Knowing your calling, identifying and using your gifts and talents are all vital parts of our existence.  I strongly believe it is important to live a purposeful and fulfilling life to the glory of God. 

My issue lies in this unrelenting quest to discover ‘purpose’.  Some are so bent on discovering their ‘purpose’, they’re no longer living life, as this pursuit has positioned itself as their biggest if not only mission in life.   

 

I also hear bold talks of giving up day jobs to ‘pursue purpose’.

Call me a cynic, I honestly believe many have not actually realised their purpose and are quitting jobs and assignments to follow their own dreams or desires. I do not necessarily disagree with this, but when I think of ‘purpose’, I consider it to be far greater than personal wants or desires, there is a bigger picture which I’ll touch on in more detail later.  There are some extreme cases where people follow trends and disguise it as ‘pursuing purpose’, which is too dangerous and unfulfilling game to be playing.

 


What exactly is your purpose?

Do you have to know what your purpose is?

How do I fulfil my purpose?

How do I know if I’m in my purpose?


 

I recall my pastor’s commentary on purpose at a young adults meeting,  he frankly started that purpose is something only revealed by The Creator. 

He asked us to think about what we would do with a product we were not sure of its use.

He answered, ‘you would probably refer to the manual’.
Why?
Because it has a description of what the product is, how it should be used, and step by step instructions on how to use it. Using our intuition and instincts to piece the product together will probably result in mis-use or even complete damage.  Hence the importance of the manual, it is essential for proper and maximum use.  I believe this same principle should be applied to us.

To live a full, life of purpose, to understand our purpose; what we were created for and how to properly utilise our skills, gifts and abilities we need to refer to our Manual.

The Manual.  

 But, this is a step we often skip, as we tend to head straight over to ‘in-use’ mode.  Then when things start creaking or playing up we begin the hunt for the instructions.  At this point you would think we would refer to ‘The Manual’, nope, most would rather refer to a quick read because of that very reason –it’s quick; there’s no need to take time to understand, a quick glance and you get the gist and off again to in-use mode.

We rush to sign up for conferences, seminars, talks and the likes, to get understanding of what our purpose is.  We begin looking for answers that can really only be provided by The One who created us.

 

Do not misunderstand me; I believe attending conferences, seminars, workshops are great.  Having mentors, coaches, teachers are all really important, but they cannot give us the specific answers we need for our lives, only God can.

If we look at Samuel for example, who called out to him? God.

 


Only God knew exactly the reason and purpose for which He called Samuel.


Eli functioning in the capacity of a mentor was able to guide him towards acknowledging the voice of God. Eli did NOT act as an intermediary and get Samuels purpose downloaded from God and then transfer it to him.  Nope, being someone who was experienced in the office of a priest and having the understanding that God speaks to His people, he was able to share this knowledge with Samuel, so Samuel could respond.  It was God who called Samuel; Samuel had the responsibility of responding and listening to what God had to say (see 1 Samuel 3 for the full story).

This is how we should see our mentors, coaches and teachers.  Most of them have walked the road we intend to, thus more experienced in particular areas. They lend their knowledge and expertise to help and nurture us in these areas.  They are to help us identify areas of strengths and improvement so we can fulfil that calling. But they cannot tell you what your purpose is; only The One who created you knows the specific reason for creating you.  Only He knows exactly what you should be doing and how you should be doing it.

If you do not know what your purpose is, that’s fine (for now). I would advise spending quality time talking to your Creator, inquiring of Him.

We need to break this ‘I need to know now and do right now’ frame of mind.  We cheat ourselves of n developing a deep relationship with our Creator, cultivating our character, honing our gifts and skills because of this need to obtain quick answers and results. 

We are told:


For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.

(Matthew 7:13)


This road is wide to accommodate the multitude that travel through and  fit the plethora of glossy and well manicured tips and suggestions to live life.  We know from this scripture that this attractive wide road only leads to destruction.


But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

(Matthew 7:14)


 

The truth is spending quality time seeking God is not always fun and glamorous.  But the narrow road is narrow for that reason, it is tight, it squeezes out of us the excesses of life contaminated by sin.  It is sometimes hard; this moulds us, shaping us to be more like Christ.  It is narrow because not many choose to journey through, and not all who choose this path make it all the way to the end.
 

To find your purpose you need to get yourself into His presence, spend time in The Word, engage in dialogue that means pray, wait and listen.  This will probably give you the answers you need and provide the clarity and revelation you so desperately seek. 

On a practical note, be diligent.  We need to learn to consistently put our best foot forward.

Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand in the presence of kings. He will not stand in the presence of unknown men.

(Proverbs 22:29)

 Learn to be content in whatever season of life you’re in, this does not mean settling or burying ambition. It means to be okay with where you are now and who you are, trusting God has got you and:
[..]know that God causes everything to work together[a] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28).

Meditate on this scripture and live it!


Whatever you do, work at it with your whole being, for the Lord and not for men

(Colossians 3:23)


Do not be fooled, this dream that the world and social media is selling about purpose, is not all glamorous. I believe whatever your purpose or calling it is beyond you.  It is to be used for God and to serve humanity. Therefore, whatever you are doing now, wherever you are now, whatever season you’re in; it’s a purposeful season to serve God, serve others and develop yourself in preparation for the next stage. 

In truth and with love,
 

Faith xox

 

 

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018

08.01.18. Day 8 already!

Happy new year everyone.

I’m sure some are already tired of hearing ‘Happy New Year’.  I’m one of those people that continues to wish people a happy new year well into March! If I have not seen you in the new year, whether it be mid February or late March you will most certainly receive new year salutations from me.

Earlier last week one of my Pastor’s posted on Instagram that before wishing her followers a happy new year she meditated on what she was actually saying. Yesterday at Church, the senior pastor along the same lines spoke about the weight our words carry and how greetings such as happy new year are  almost said with no true conviction. 

With this in mind, I genuinely wish you all a very Happy New Year. A year filled with the blessings of God. May He make all things new and beautiful for you and to you this year.

 

In all my reflections of the last year, I can truly testify that God indeed answers prayers. Though it may tarry and take longer than we expect, He is true to His Word.

 

Last year I saw the manifestation of this scripture:


For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth,

making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,so shall my word be

that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I

purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

(Isaiah 55: 10-11)


If He says He’s going to do it, trust me (well trust Him) He will do it.

To trust in Him means to surrender it all to Him. When we offer our prayers, make our applications and requests known to Him we need to leave it there at His feet and trust that:‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose’ (Romans 8:28).

I’m sure many of us have major plans, goals, vision boards and all that good stuff set for 2018. I pray that whatever is in our hearts, whatever we desire God will grant us this year and more.

And whatever the year has in store, just remember that ‘many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails’ (Proverbs 19:21).

That being said know God has got you 100% this year, hold on to what He has said and remember He will never leave you or forsake you (Joshua 1:5).

 

Happy new year!

In truth and with love 

Faith xox

 

 

1 YEAR ON

    

    

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

It’s been about a year since I started Faith’s Guide, and it has definitely been a journey.

I have learned a whole lot about myself, God and situations.  I usually write  most of my posts on my (very long) commute to work, which gives me a lot of time to reflect.  Apart from sharing my faith, this has probably been one of the greatest benefits (for me) of Faith’s Guide. You know when things happen,  sometimes you just get on with it, with little to no regard of how significant the event was, or the lessons that was supposed to be learnt.  My writing time has now become reflecting time; I would pray, seek God, search scripture to understand what happened, why it happened and the significance of it for my personal growth and development.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second major lesson learnt over this year is the hard work that goes into creating and maintaining a blog. There’s a process of writing, editing, shooting, designing, researching, praying and finding the time to do all of this – which is not always fun.  Nonetheless when I sit down and get to work, it is something that I find really fulfilling.

 

 


I know it sounds cheesy, but if there is anything you want to do, try and GO FOR IT!

Will it be easy? Probably not.

Will it be fun? Maybe sometimes.

Will it be fulfilling? Who knows, you will only find out when you try it.

 


Just a few tips, that I constantly remind myself of that I want to share:

Remember WHY you are doing what you are doing

( So encourage each other to build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Remember WHOM you are doing it for

(And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24)

Never, ever compare yourself with others

(Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.  For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Galatians 6:4-5)

There are no short cuts in life – be diligent and committed

(The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. Proverbs 12:24)

Have a good support system and use them when you need the encouragement, but also be a part of someone else’s support system and provide metal support and encouragement

(And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16)

Just give it your best shot!

(Whatever you do, do well. Ecclesiastes 9:10)

 


I really hope this blog has been a blessing to you.  The journey is not yet over and by God’s grace it gets better and better.

Regarding the vision for next year, I honestly do not know where and what direction I will be going in. What I do know is I will continue to combine two great loves: Christ and Creating. 

 

Thank you all sooo much for your support and love. It means so much to me!! I sincerely pray for God’s blessings and grace on all of ya’ll.

Love your girl,

 

 

Faith xox

Oh and in case you have missed any posts click on the images which will take you straight to the post x

 

 

 

INTIMACY (Part 1)

I enjoy going for prayer walks, mainly because I’m such a busybody I struggle to sit down and zone out on just one task. So I often combine two activities together, I find it to be a good way to maximise time and resources. And prayer walks satisfy both the spiritual and physical.


So the Friday just gone, I took myself on an extra long one of those walks; playlist set, prayer list at hand then I set off.
To be honest that’s not how it started.  What really happened was I was forced to go on the walk before I combusted.

I spent the whole week feeling really heavy. A sort of heaviness that I struggled to articulate, a heaviness that was written all over my face and demeanour. This despondency came from the feeling of helplessness. There were things happening around me, that made me feel in plain English – SAD. And most of these things were beyond my control.


Have you ever felt like wanting, wishing, needing to do something that you just couldn’t? Well, that was me.  I can be a bit of a control freak (call it first born syndrome) so when things are beyond me I stress out. 


Now, I love detail. When telling a story or engaging in conversation I need want to know all the ‘whats, wheres, hows and whys’. And this doesn’t stop at the factual stuff. I want to know the internal processes too, this includes feelings, emotions, physical sensation. Everything. I like to know it all. I mean it helps me to build an accurate picture of what actually happened which usually informs my next move. 
But this time, I was not privy to this information, and I felt useless and despondent. I wanted to know it all so I could lend myself and help….but I just couldn’t. 

 

In reaching the height of my restlessness birthed from my inability to change or influence the situation I said a brief prayer.  This was mainly to fulfil all righteousness- and by that I mean a quick talk to (not with) God because I knew it was the right thing to do, even though I really did not want to.


This brief conversation brought to the surface an internal battle that I had tried to suppress all week.  

Whenever I felt the urge or call to pray about this situation I tried to blank it out. What I did instead was talk to friends, which was interesting because I was not really talking to them about the issue, because I couldn’t fully disclose the situation. So, all I got was a temporary relief from the build up of emotions I was experiencing, but it didn’t actually solve or help the situation.

So back to this Friday- I had reached breaking point and I resolved that I need to calm down and express exactly how I felt to God, so I started my walk.

 

3 minutes in I realised that I skirted around the issue this week by saying lots of quick prayers because I was not ready or willing to be vulnerable.

Intimacy is something that I struggle with in most of my relationships, not all, but the majority (when I mean relationships I mean with family, friends, colleagues, partners etc).  I understand that each relationship has varying levels of intimacy, you cannot be open or confide in any and everyone, that would be quite foolish. Knowing whom and when to open up requires maturity and a discerning spirit (topic for another day).
Before talking about what the problem was, I explored the barriers that prevented me from opening up in the first place and the things that generally hinder me opening up to people I should.

I have this motto that I live by when it comes to sharing:


‘if it is not beneficial to the person I am sharing with or if they cannot provide a solution – then there is no point in sharing’. 


And that has been my sharing/intimacy mantra, until this prayer walk.
I learnt that some things need to be shared, even if the person cannot provide a solution and even if it is not the thing that will ‘set them free’ from captivity.

 

Some things need to be shared because: 


sharing and intimacy is the bedrock of any meaningful relationship


It shows trust which is an essential ingredient necessary for the growth and development of any relationship.

Now, God, our Father ‘knows what you need before you ask him’ (Matthew 6: 8). We know He knows what we’re going to say before we even say it, so it must not matter that much whether we say it or not right?
Wrong.

It matters a whole lot because it shows we trust. In sharing we are effectively transferring control of the situation from our incapable hands into His all powerful and very much able hands.

 


Sharing is a choice.

Intimacy is a choice.


 

We are not forced into relationship with Him. He doesn’t coerce us to pray- it is something we have the liberty to do, or not to do.

Intimacy comes at a price.

It costs ‘self’ because it means laying pride and ego to the side and showing another side to you. I was tempted to type the ‘real’ you, but realised we have different parts that make us who we are, and our public face is not necessarily our ‘fake face’, and neither is our private self our ‘real self’.

Intimacy means being up close and personal

An intimate relationship is a transparent one.

Transparency means being vulnerable. 

 

 

Being vulnerable means being brave – because you’re taking a chance on the person you’re confiding in – if it’s God, there is absolutely nothing to worry about, but if it’s (hu)man, the there’s always a risk of being hurt and betrayed.  But sometimes that risk is necessary for the relationship to grow to another level.
Whilst on this walk I realised that it did not matter how I described my feelings,  what I said, if I was coherent or a hot mess.  All these factors were irrelevant.  What mattered was the choice I made to share.

 

 

I hope to talk more about intimacy…so stay posted for part 2. If you haven’t already subscribed, please do so, it means you will be alerted when the latest post goes live.

In truth and with love

Faith xox

Faith’s Guide