Destiny

I’m not an extrovert. I’m not an introvert either to be honest, I believe I am what they call a bubbly introvert, which is a fancy way of saying I like people, and will chat with them excessively when around them, but I have a limit, and once that limit is reached I need my own space so I can regroup and re-energize. What I do admit I am though, is a control freak. I like, hmm, OK scratch that, I love being in control. I like order, I do not like unpleasant, unplanned twists and plots to my day therefore I like to plan everything to the T! But alas! I’m in a new season whereby I have zero control! Yikes!

New job, new career path means I have bosses now, as in actual people senior to me whom I report to and who plan my day for me, plan my week, my month and are able to just suddenly ask me to drop what was on the planned calender to go assist elsewhere because a sudden thing came up and the person covering that unit can no longer do so. Shriek! Did I mention before that I do not like unplanned, unpleasant surprises?! Had to leave most of my convenient possessions back home because I just couldn’t afford to carry them all with me, which leaves me dependent on lots of other factors for transport, day to day living etc which I do not like because like I said, I love to be in control. The other day I had to miss church because the Uber driver was late, he got lost and therefore arrived late, by which it was already too late for me to even bother to go ahead with the church plan anyway, sigh!

So you are probably reading this and shaking your head in judgment, thinking gosh child you are a total control freak! And you know what? You are spot on. Lol. Now please don’t think this is something God hasn’t highlighted to me before, and this is why I always say God has an amazing sense of humour, and also He is quite the disciplinarian, He will put you in a fiery furnace to purify you, to mould you, to teach you certain things that are only teachable whilst in the furnace. Certain parts of you can only be moulded whilst you are in the fire, and here I am, smack in the deep end having lost control of absolutely everything.

I was chatting with a friend of mine just now about how it’s funny that destiny doesn’t quite look like we think it would. She said to me imagine Abraham’s horror when he realized phase one of stepping out into his destiny meant getting circumsized. Yikes! And truth be told destiny, is often like this. If anyone had asked me earlier this year if I truly believed that moving to where I am now was God’s plan for my life I would have responded with a vigorous yes! I was certain this was God’s plan for my life and at this point in time in my life. But now that I have moved, I have found myself questioning everything. Questioning if I truly heard from God, if I chose the correct country or province. If I even really need to study or work. I have even found myself longing for the past season where I was just waiting on God whilst at my parents house, and the truth is the major reason I feel this way is because at least in most past seasons of my life I have retained control.

So here I am now, in a season of my life where God in his kindness and great mercy has decided it is time my child I taught you to relinquish control over to Me. I won’t lie, it sucks. I have found myself over the past few weeks frustrated, tired, unable to re-energize and re-stratergize, questioning everything and just wishing for another kind of reality. Then today, God reminded me that to start of with, I am not alone. I am never alone, because He is right there with me every step of the way. He has already gone ahead of me and prepared a way, and now is walking with me along the path He has prepared. Secondly, He never gives me more than I can bear. And lastly, relinquishing control is a major part of the deal when you give your life over to Christ. It’s right there in the contract, giving your life over to Jesus, meaning your life is literally no longer your own. Tjo!

It’s a tough season for me, yet it is a very necessary one, that I would learn to focus my eyes on the author and perfector of our faith, that as Hebrews says in several places, that I would fix my eyes on Jesus and get strength from Him to get through the day, one day at a time remembering that His mercies are new every morning. Destiny is often not quite what we pictured it to be because more often than not we picture a paradise, yet as is said, we forget the award for passing calculus 1, is calculus 2! So I shall keep my head down and do the work in front of me, keeping my thoughts fixed on Jesus, my strength, my peace, my calm through the storm. I highly recommend the song Even if by MercyMe if anyone out there can relate with this jumbled post.

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Letting go..

I have realized that one of the hardest things for a person to do is to walk away from a bad relationship. Whatever form that relationship may come in, be it romantic, or a friendship, or even a very abusive family member, it is very difficult to reach the conclusion that you know what, I think I have had enough and I need some time away from this for the sake of my own sanity!

I speak from my own experience, and cutting the cord has been something I have struggled to do. I would rather bleed and hurt and bruise over and over again whilst I hold on with all my might and wear that pain as a badge of honour, than to step back and realize that that which is hurting me so badly has no place in my life to start off with. Letting go of a bad relationship is something I have struggled with for years.

I remember back when I was young and in love, and then I realized that no, this was not going to work out well for me, it took me a full year from making the mental decision of I need to walk away to me actually walking away. A whole full year. One would have thought that after I finally cut the cord and moved on and felt free, I would have learnt my lesson from that, and realized that holding on only wastes my time right? Well, wrong! The next bad relationship I found myself in it took me another full year to walk away after I had mentally made the decision that this again, was not working for me. Smh!

But even then one would think OK, surely by now this girl has learnt her lesson right, that holding on does more harm than good right? Erh… Cough cough, nope! Letting go of bad relationships for me is just something I seriously struggle with. Especially if the relationship was really good initially. Which is almost always the case. We start off really well, things are going great and I’m so grateful for this person. Then, I start noticing a few things that are a little off, and I’m like meh, whatever. I can live with that. But then, it starts getting worse. I find myself zoning out when the quirks I dislike pop up. I zone out to avoid an argument because I am afraid we both could say stuff we will end up regretting, stuff which will force my eyes open to make me realize that this is simply not going to work. So I continue with this facade of everything being OK on the surface, that it is well with my soul, when really, it isn’t.

Ok so I suppose this is where being Christian really always does it for me, because trust God to see right through the facade. Trust God to stir the supposedly calm waters, to rip off the bandaid that has been beautifully placed on top of a dirty, rotting wound and trust God to want to deal with the wound, to expose it, clean it and make it whole before he can stitch it up. Yikes!! But that has been my experience. Whenever I’m in a bad relationship (mind you I’m not only talking romantic relationships here, I mean even bad friendships, any form of bad relationship) I find I start to struggle with my quiet times. Each time I go before God in the morning, He wishes to talk to me about the very thing I’m avoiding to talk or think about so I start avoiding spending time alone with God. Anything, including disobedience, for the sake of my holding onto something that is familiar, that which is comfortable, than letting go and risk facing the unknown.

In my last romantic relationship, I completely shut God out when I heard him whisper it was time to let go. How silly of me, because when God says where can you go that my love will not reach you, he means it, literally! So I started experiencing restless nights. I would wake up in a cold sweat, my heart racing because I had dreamt that I was now married to this particular chap and I was miserable! This happened for months on end, and yet still I held on, smh, I am amazed at how stubborn I was!

The issue for me you see was two-fold. 1. I did not trust God. I did not trust that when God says I know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you a hope and a future, an expected end, or that no good thing will I withold from those who love me, he means exactly that. He literally means what he says! So because I did not trust God I felt I had to make a plan, get things moving in case God doesn’t come through. And 2. I was scared the heck of being alone. My mind thought if I let go of this “beautiful” relationship, then what shall become of me? If I let go of this boyfriend, will I find someone else? Am I really in a position whereby I am ready to be alone? What if this translates to me being single for life? Yikes! Isn’t it uncultured to be single?!

Finally God had my attention one unsuspecting day during worship in church, and He said to me Thoko listen! Either I’m Lord of everything, or I am not Lord at all. You and I both cannot sit on the throne of your heart! That caught my attention real quick, and led to my repentance and a reluctant letting go of the relationship.

I shan’t lie, the first few days of being single sucked! I was so used to always having someone,was used to waking up to a good morning message, etc that I was not sure of myself, not sure if I could do this single life. But I cannot explain the peace that flooded my heart amidst all the pain. There was no doubt in my heart as to whether or not I had made the right decision. I truly was experiencing that peace that surpasses all understanding.

So these are my thoughts, that we sometimes hold on ever so dearly onto something we are meant to have long let go of, because we are afraid of being alone, afraid of leaving our comfort zone, and also because we lack trust. We do not take God at face value, we do not trust Him to fulfill his word. Both realities are extremely sad, because what peace we often forfeit, how quickly we settle for a life that’s not even half of what God had in store for us, all because we fail to trust God.

I have been single for the past year and a half, and truly I marvel at just how great a season it has been. I have formed great friendships, rekindled connections with family, I have read a ridiculous number of books, traveled, changed jobs, changed cities, changed countries, gosh, it really has been an amazing season. But most importantly I have learnt to rely 100% on the King of kings. In the lonely moments I have learnt to lean on Him and draw companionship from Him. I will not lie and say all my insecurities and doubts and fears have forever disappeared, but I can truthfully say that God has walked with me all this way, and strengthened me, and made me understand what David must have meant when he wrote the psalm I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than dwell in the tent of wickedness. It is a work in progress, some days are fantastic, others not so much, but I have zero regrets! God has always come through for me, and He will forever be with me and continue to come through. So if God is asking you to let go of something, please do! I realize now that I would rather be alone in my bed, than lonely with a stranger next to me.

God bless

What a friend we have in Jesus..

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions!” This is a quote from William Shakespeare, and how true this proves in life. Just when you feel like you can’t take anymore, life sometimes has a way of throwing curve balls that will just leave you feeling like you are barely able to keep your head above the water. There have been times in life whereby I have felt like I am just drifting by, just surviving, literally feeling like the only bit of my brain working is the bit that remembers how to continue to push air into and out of my lungs.

This week has been one of those weeks. Whereby curve ball after curve ball has been thrown my way and it has felt like I am sinking further and further into the abyss. I am currently in transit, temporarily moved back home with my parents so that I can start the new adventure God is about to take me on. And just on time too. What I expected to be a quiet two to three week break has turned out to be a most trying season yet.

My uncle is not well, so he moved in with my folks as well, and then only a few days later, my mother also fell acutely ill and has been bed ridden for the past couple of days. My aunt, who is a constant source of support was unfortunately stabbed by a thief, and was in hospital two days after mum fell sick. When trouble comes, it comes not single spies, but in battalions. I was telling a friend of mine that I wake up early in the morning and spend a literal hour in bed, savouring my blankets, the peace, the rest, dreading to start the day because I know the minute I roll out of bed I shall be on my feet the entire time until late at night when I literally crawl back into bed, only to remember that tomorrow I am to start everything all over again. Sigh.

I was reading the book of Mark recently, and there is a scripture there that surprised me, although I do not know why I would say it surprised me, considering Jesus said it over and over again in the book of John, but anyway, he says, “I tell you the truth, Noone who has left home, or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age… And with them persecutions, and in the age to come.” In John 16 Jesus says,” In this world you will have trouble.. ”

Jesus promised us trouble, not once, but several times throughout the gospels he tells us that listen, trouble is a part and parcel of this life. I already spoke of this in an earlier blog, and I honestly believe God has taken time to prepare me for the trouble I have recently found myself dealing with. Which is just what I want to say in this post. God is faithful. Listen folks, big time trouble shall come your way. I guarantee it because Jesus guaranteed it! There shall be times you just feel like you are barely getting by, barely getting through the day, but that’s OK. Because you see Jesus promises to never leave nor forsake us, to always walk with us every step of the way, and best still, he prepares us for oncoming trouble before we even know what lies ahead of us.

Trouble is not something meant for us to complain and be bitter about, no. Instead indeed we are to count it all joy brethren when we face various trials, because we know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work so that we may be complete and mature, lacking nothing! When trouble comes we are to turn our faces to God, to make him our refuge and find peace in him because only He can give us that peace. It’s been a hectic couple of days for me, my entire body is crying for some rest. But I can truly say this, my mind has been at such peace, the joy in my heart has left even my parents and uncle marveling at how it is I could be this happy at such a time as this. And truly the only source of my joy has been in knowing that Jesus is sovereign, He is still in control and he is right here with me in everything.

I shall conclude with the lyrics to the hymn, what a friend we have in Jesus, because oh what truth the lyrics speak! Please take time to read them, and let them sink in. For our only hope when trouble comes is in the cross.

  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?
    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.

A few thoughts concerning patriarchy

Growing up, I must admit I never really felt the full impact of my being born a female. I was born and bred in a family of only girls, and perhaps as a result of that I never had anyone to compare with, any huge patriarchal sort of system that I could then say prohibited me or stopped me from progressing. My father, whether or not for lack of a son to whom he could practice patriarchy we will never know I suppose, treated us like his equals, and I must admit that growing up never did I see my father treat my mother as nothing less than his best friend and his equal.

I start with that because in the past few weeks for the first time in my life I have experienced some form of patriarchal harshness which left me rather indignant. A good friend of mine came to ask me if I knew anyone who needed a maid. My friend is married to a gardener and they have a child to feed. Things were tough at home, and because we are in the Zimbabwean economy, every dollar earned could really go a long way. Well, luck was on her side because within only a day of approaching me I found her several jobs where she could work part time and help sustain her family. All seemed alright until she told her husband of the plans, and initially he was on board, but after only her working a full day, the husband suddenly decided he did not wish to have a wife who worked. To cut a long story short, the woman was forced to give up her job and rely on what was available at home even though it was not enough to sustain the family, for the sake of “maintaining peace” within the household.

I was gobsmacked! Literally gobsmacked! I could not believe it. The guy would rather starve, than give up his prejudice regarding working women, a prejudice built on unfounded preconceived ideas. This was, I must admit, my very first encounter with the patriarchal system at its best, or worst if I may say. Coincidentally, I had started reading the book “Nervous conditions” by Tsitsi Dangarembga, and it cemented to me the idea that actually, patriarchy is still extremely prevalent in my everyday society, and there truly are people who believe that male is better, better and not equal, but better and superior to the female species. Whoa!

Forgive me if you are reading this and thinking, “well duh! You are stating the obvious” for this is certainly not the world I grew up in. It boggles me how people can hold onto a prejudice that has been shown to be wrong countless times yet when it comes down to it we would rather hold onto our false beliefs than exchange that falsehood for a better, much more freeing truth that enhances our lives.

Right at the beginning of creation we see the triune God saying this, “It is not good for man to be alone. Let us make him a suitable helper…” A suitable helper. I love how Miles Monroe once put it. He asked, tell me gentlemen, if you need help in lifting the table, who are you going to ask to help you? Someone weaker than you, someone equally as strong as you or someone stronger? I love this analogy, because I think it captures the exact essence of that scripture. The obvious answer is you ask someone who is either your equal in strength, or who is stronger. It is in this light that God made woman. A helper. Someone equal to man, equally special before the very same creator, but with a different makeup. Not equal in strength, although I must say there are exceptionally physically strong women out there, but generally women tend to be physically weaker than men, generally. But however, this does not and never was intended to equate to mean that women are less than men and should therefore be treated as such.

It breaks my heart than we still live in a society where a wife is treated as a second class citizen in her own home, where everything and everyone comes first before her very own needs, and whereby she does not have a voice or an opinion of her own but is suddenly treated like a child who needs to be guided through life. What a shame it is that we even look for scriptures to defend our position, twisting the word of God, taking it out of context to defend our skewed positions.

I propose that we take time to truly study the word of God and see what it is that He has to say about a woman. About what He has to say when choosing a wife, about marriage, about relating to other women. May we reach the point where we see that we are not in competition with each other as a species, that there is enough room for all of us to explore ourselves as individuals and express ourselves in worship to God with absolutely zero need for pressure to compete.

May we see that marriage was intended as a partnership for life. That when God had a wife in mind he had the picture of a whole person, a complete being, not an inferior being nor an invalid, but a helper, meaning someone equal to the man, a life partner, a companion, a confidante, a being who is able to carry you as the man when you are at your lowest. A person who is to be your most cherished friend, one whose opinion you value the most!

There is definitely more thoughts in my head concerning this patriarchal system and how we are shooting ourselves in the foot by propagating it, but I think for now let me just stop, and put a disclaimer that I am by no means advocating for a matriarchal society. It equally destroys. What I am advocating for is equality, that we all view each other as human beings, worthy enough to have Jesus leave the trinity so he could die a very painful death for each of us. For each of us, not just men, nor women, but for each and every single one of us. I am almost certain more thoughts shall follow..

Trouble trouble trouble

The past couple of weeks have been a little tough. A good friend of mine lost her dad, and she really was broken. The dad had been sick for a while, and she had been trusting God for healing but he ended up succumbing to the illness. He was young and loved his family dearly. Then a few weeks later, another friend of mine lost her sister. She had post op complications, and left behind three beautiful children and a very broken husband and family. Again, people had been praying for healing and trusting God for healing to come through but it was not so.

This is reality. This is life and in the midst of all this pain and hurt always lies the question but surely why God? Where were you when I needed you the most? We are often found at a loss for words not even knowing how we can begin to console those who have been bereaved. The knife of death cuts really deep and life is forever changed in a way unimaginable after the loss of a dearly beloved one.

But bless both my friends because in this time of such deep trouble, in this time of such hurt, anger, confusion and feelings of betrayal, I have seen both of them drawing strength from God. Drawing strength from the word because it is only this that can nourish and sustain you at such a time as this. Now I by no means will attempt to answer the question “why God?” because I too am always stumped and left wondering but shuwa Nkulukhulu why? What instead I wish to do, is to perhaps show why it is in times of trouble we are meant to, and we actually run to the cross.

There are two theologies concerning trouble that I have generally met. In Zimbabwe especially, I have heard a lot of teaching that says if you have trouble then basically you either are not fasting enough,or are not covering your family enough in prayer, or you are sinning and are being punished for it, for a true believer should not face trouble. This leads to guilt, condemnation and a self righteous effort to seek God. All this eventually leads to disappointment when even though you are prayed up and fasted up, trouble still comes your way and you begin to question everything you thought you knew about God. You begin to question his goodness for surely, after keeping all he asked you to keep how could he abandon you like this in your greatest hour of need? This teaching is faulty and has loopholes that will cause many to stumble when actual trouble comes. The second theology I have heard is that of how this world is a terrible place of suffering and you just have to endure it and grit your teeth through it, and wait only for heaven because that is the only place you shall have a good time, peace and joy. This too is a faulty, unbiblical teaching because there are many pleasant things to be enjoyed on this earth whilst alive, and there are many pleasant memories that can be made and enjoyed.

When Jesus Christ walked this earth he said this to his disciples in John 16:33 I have told you these things, so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. Jesus Christ himself promised us trouble in this life on earth. He said this as a guarentee that listen, in this world, on this earth, trouble is coming. He did not mean self inflicted trouble like you cheating on your spouse and being found out and then suffering the consequences thereof, no! He was talking about the sort of trouble that you are minding your own business, doing everything by the book, living right etc, and then boom! Trouble hits you in the face. You are told you have cancer! You lose your child in a car accident. You lose all your investment due to factors beyond you. Serious big time trouble! This is the sort of trouble Jesus assures us of, and he is saying to us my dearly beloved take heart! Take heart!! For if you immerse yourself in me; if I am the very reason for your existence, if you make me your centre piece, it does not matter what form of trouble may come your way, you will have peace! The word “have” means take ownership of, belong to, possess and this is exactly it that you will possess peace regardless of the trouble flung your way. This peace is found in knowing that Jesus has overcome the world, and this world is temporary and will soon perish.

The book of Peter talks of how we must count it joy when we suffer. Whoa! Joy when I suffer? Argh! But this is just it! When we realise that Jesus himself promised us suffering as a portion in this world, it will make our burden that much lighter to bear. It will still be painful, oh it will hurt deeply so when we lose a loved one, but we will have hope! We will have hope! For we will know that the dearly departed ones who died in the Lord we shall meet them again. Therefore this separation hurts, but it is temporary. We will hold onto Jesus even when it hurts the most, because we will truly know that peace can only be found in him. Let me just abruptly finish with this word of exhortation from James 1:2. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

A problem shared..

Growing up, it was emphasized that “hatifukuri hapwa” translated to the English proverb ‘we do not air our dirty linen in public’. We were taught to keep it together in public, not to go about telling people our business as they had no right to know it. This is all very true and well meaning, and I agree with it to a certain extent. Not everyone needs to know about your business simply because not everyone wishes you well. We do however, need to learn to let our guards down every once in a while to a circle of trusted family and/or friends.

If we look at scripture, we will find that God is very big on community. Nowhere in scripture will you find a man who lived and died, bearing his burdens alone. The New Testament church had a community, and Jesus instructed them to ‘carry one another’s burdens’ and to ‘love one another, for by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love, one for another!’ Jesus was and still is big on us having a community that bears one another’s burdens. But here is the clincher, I can only bear a burden that you share with me. Sometimes we hold onto our burden ever so dearly and blatantly refuse to let anyone else in, but then we feel crushed or overwhelmed by the weight of what we are carrying, and then turn around and despise the people in our inner circle for not noticing that we are heavy laden. This creates a cycle that further alienates us from the people meant to help us. Truth be told, people can only help you with that which you let them in on.

I do not know why or how it is that as a society we have been deceived to believe that the best people are those who appear to always have it ‘all together’. So we go through life pretending that we have it all figured out, yet truthfully we don’t. We will be burning deep inside with problems that are so deep, that need the inner circle to step in and ‘bear these burdens’ with you, but we feel that if we let them in, we will be viewed as less. We would rather pretend to be a jovial couple out there, putting up a facade of the picture perfect couple even to our closest friends than admit that we last had a proper conversation as husband and wife years ago. When asked how you are doing, the answer is always a jovial ‘fantastic’ or in vernacular, ‘bho zvekuti’, yet deep inside we are screaming and tormented and fighting wars that no one has any idea we are fighting. We suffer in silence when we ought to speak; we keep to ourselves when we ought to be looking for help; and therefore find ourselves stuck in this vicious loop of torment, more alienated than we ever thought we could be and just not seeing a way out of our misery and so, we plunge deeper and deeper into it. All because we are afraid of what people will think of us if we tell them the truth. We are afraid to take off our masks even to those closest to us because we are afraid that if they see the real us, the “us” that does not have it ‘all together’ after all, but that is falling apart at the seams they will view us as worth less.

The past year has been the most trying year of my life. I had a lot of personal major health problems, major social and professional curve balls were thrown my way and these just left me completely mentally exhausted. Now my inner circle knew all the drama that was unfolding, but truth be told I was putting on a very brave face and telling them that I am a survivor, and i would revel in their praises of how “I was so strong.” I would go to bed feeling fine but would wake up with my pillow soaked in tears; I would cry in my sleep and only in my sleep because I suppose my brain knew that was the only way to let it all out because I did not and could not even allow myself to openly admit the pain and weight I was carrying whilst I was conscious.

This is what C. S. Lewis writes in his book the chronicles of Narnia; “Oh how foolishly you sons of Adam protect yourselves from all that is meant to do you good.” How foolishly we do this. I need not have carried my burden alone. I first and foremost needed to have laid it at the foot of the cross, for this is what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… My burden was for me to run with to the cross. But, not only that, I was meant to share this burden with my inner circle. A great circle of family and friends who love me and are willing to share this burden with me, but only if I allow them. Your inner circle can only carry that which you let it in on, they can only carry that which you offload to them.

Jesus gave us an earthly family, be it your actual biological family, or the extended Christian family, whichever way He gave us a family. A community that is meant to help us carry our burdens. Let me finish off with these beautiful words from my good friend Tendai. We would do well to remember them. She says, “Something God showed me today is how the enemy likes to convince us to pray alone when he knows that he cannot convince us to completely stop praying. This is because praying together comes with a blessing and a promise. Jesus said where 2 or more are gathered there I am with you. So it takes at least 2 for this promise to be activated. Again in Psalm 133 it says where brothers come together in unity….there God commands a blessing.”

Let us not burn in silence, for it is not the will of God. Find people you can talk to and trust, and let them help you carry your burden. God bless.

The heart wants what it wants… NOT!

So… Growing up we were often told that ‘the heart wants what it wants’, and how we are helpless victims to this. We are told love is blind, you cannot help whom you love when you love them. We are told that we cannot help but become the person that we are, based on the varying experiences that life throws at us, and we gobble all this up and therefore we have a perfect excuse, a perfect reason to hate the world and fate and all that jazz when we look around and find that we are very unhappy with what life has “thrown” our way.

Now yes, there is some truth to some of these cliches. It is true that you cannot help whom you feel attracted towards. There is truth in that, you could be walking down the street, minding your own business, and then boom, suddenly your heart is doing summersaults and it’s suddenly now very hot because of a TDH (tall, dark and handsome) guy who just emerged from the corner. I am in no way trying to say this doesn’t happen, because this often does; and no matter how prayed up and fasted up you are, you may find yourself needing to catch your breath for a minute in order to slow down your racing heart and bring your pheromones under control. However, attraction and falling in love with someone are two very different things. Attraction, one seldom can help it, but falling in love with that person is a choice! It is a choice!

How so? You see, when a thought lands in your mind, in this example, thoughts of strong attraction have entered your mind, you have two choices. Either to dwell on these thoughts, that is allow them to take root, e.g change your step so it is just a little sexier than it was before, so he notices you; exchange numbers with the guy, begin to fantasize about him, about your first kiss, your first fight, the proposal, you taking his last name and before you know it you already have named all of your four (imaginary) kids! Or, another option, is to acknowledge the thoughts of attraction that have entered your mind, and then just simply choose not to act on them.

You see the thing is, we are told you cannot help whom you love, but the truth is you really can. You really can! The state of your heart depends on what you feed it. You know how people say you are what you eat? Well, yes, likewise you are what you feed your heart. Now the heart here when referred to in matters of love and well-being is not the physical organ that pumps blood, no, it is the mind. It is your mindset, and you truly are what you feed your mind! Therefore, when you find yourself head over heels in love with someone, it is because if you trace back your steps you shall find that you have fed your mind enough food concerning this person that has then made you decide you are in love. You have daily made choices, consciously or subconsciously that have led you to this place.

Now it is all good if we feed our hearts (read minds) with good thoughts about a person who reciprocates them and eventually turns out to actually be good for us. It is however, a completely different story when we do the same thing about someone who truly turns out to be poison to our very souls, and threatens our very well being! This is why we then see in Proverbs 4 God warning us to guard our heart! We are to guard it jealously as from it flows the springs of life. The Proverb writer then goes on further to show how we are to guard it. We are to guard what we speak, we are to guard what we hear, we are to guard what we see, and we are to guard what we think!

Thoughts form patterns, patterns form habits, habits form character, and character produces destiny! So we must watch our thoughts. We must watch them! What do we spend our time mulling over? What makes up our fantasies? What do we read, watch or listen to? Because all this is the source of our thoughts, and if we allow our thoughts to go unchecked, before we know it we will have become some monstrous person that we ourselves can hardly recognize.

I woke up this morning thinking of the needless heartache I have put myself through. The number of times I so easily and so quickly allowed strangers into my heart, multiplying any small thing done for me to ten times what it actually was; reading in between the lines of any small, kind gesture directed my way when there really was nothing in between those lines. How easily I have let my guard down and fed my precious pearls to the pigs, who in turn, have trampled all over them and not even realized their value. Oh, how poorly I have stewarded the heart God gave me to guard! But thank God for his mercy! Because in realising that the building blocks of character are thought patterns, I have suddenly become aware of my thoughts, and have tediously but relentlessly begun the journey of renewing my mind, replacing thoughts not of God with his good word, and allowing his word to take root in my life. Guarding my heart jealously so, I have begun the journey of forming a character that shall reflect Jesus more and more each day. For you see oh beautiful one of God, the heart does not want what it wants, the heart wants what it is fed! I shall close off with the Proverb verse for its words are life.

Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. NIV