Reflections: Purpose during Pain

Never realised that God could still use a person while they are in pain. I guess I figured His will is only for those who are trending, slaying or in a good space mentally, emotionally and spirituality.

My perception changed when Ps. Vera (the lady God sends emergency whatsapps when I “wander off”), asked me if I would have served God had I been everything above?

My honest answer was “Nope”.

See, I like to do what seems pleasing in MY sight. I HATE pain and just looooove my naps. My mom would call it lazy but I used to call it being efficient. Somewhere in the definition of efficiency there is “minimum effort” – that’s me!

But, just like the Eagle mom; God put things in my “napping and efficiency” nest to make me feel uncomfortable enough so I could learn how to fly.

Look, I love God with All that I am, but I find His human creation rather questionable..

Like why did He give me a sensitive heart with a hot-temper? A mind that can be focused, analytical and logical yet be so easily distracted by Satan? A fighting spirit that can be discouraged when it sees zero results? Doesn’t make sense to me. But then, I don’t make sense to myself most of the time.

Yet; He somehow did give me a sensitive spirit. I feel other’s pain, distress and turmoil probably more than they do. That’s probably why I can write better when my feelings are in tune with my spirit.

So to defend myself from humanity, I hide in thoughts and habits that just block out all that human stuff. Please don’t judge me, pray for me…

Anyway, just wanted to say “God ALWAYS gets what He wants”. Remember it’s His creation, so it’s His rules.

I always ask myself why I have not abandoned my faith in Him? Well, today I got the answer:

1. He gave me a heart of LOVE

2. He LOVED me at my worst

3. For THIS season of my life; He organized people like my Mom, my Dad, my Sister, Ps Vera, Sandra, Elaine Motsoane, Patricia and my Son to remind me that there is purpose in my pain

4. He showed me that I am still worthy of His Love even though I didn’t feel worthy. That I can’t “buy” His Love through trying to be what I’m not!

For this SPECIFIC season of my life, these people have literally been there almost EVERYDAY to keep me from doing stupid things. These people never allowed me to throw a “pity party” and if I threw one, they just didn’t join😂. Instead they prayed, talked to me, made me laugh and reminded me that God IS bigger – IRRESPECTIVE of what my pity party looked liked.

5. He created ME in His image. Nothing about ME suprises God. The gifts and callings He gave ME are irrevocable. He loves ALL His VERY different (and sometimes crazy) children.

Please STOP trying to “fix” yourself.

GO👏 To 👏 The 👏 One👏 who created you!! The One who decides whether you will wake up tomorrow or not.

GO just as you are and He will decide if any fixing needs to happen. He LOVES YOU❤❤❤❤

Jesus, thank you for the gift of Salvation!

Reflections: All Comes Down To Love

It would be an injustice if I didn’t acknowledge the role sisterhood plays in shaping great women. If you have been following my blog you will note a point where I once did such.

But, there are two women who have shown me that sisterhood transcends differences in character. First there is Tshego Machaba who is married to a beautiful woman. I could have chosen to be religious and upheld my knowledge of Theology. I didn’t. I chose to love her because I identify with her annointed Self. Since I’m without sin I CANNOT cast ANY stones. I didn’t create her – God did and loves ALL His children.

I have instead been a recipient of Tshego’s anointing because I realised that the gifts and callings of God are without repentance. She listened to me cry, acted on it and expected no praise or reward about a VERY burning thorn in my flesh.

Lesson learned is “Be careful who you go around hating and feeling self-righteous about – GOD CAN USE ANYBODY”. It’s His Creation, so it’s His rules.

Second is Elaine Motsoane. Satan would have loved for us to be enemies. She is elegant, happily married and successful. Yet somehow our paths crossed. MANY times she has been there to help me wipe away tears caused by foolishness, BUT not once did she judge me. She just showed me Love.

Guys this life thing is tricky. Love is what makes life bearable. Love from a mother is the core of my survival yet love from people who owe me fokol (nothing) is beyond measure!

Lord thank you for these imperfect women who have demonstrated your perfect LOVE which is: Loving Me When I Was Unlovable.

Yes Bebe, I hear you through your song. It truly does ALL come down to ❤❤❤❤.

May LOVE prevail in your life ALWAYS.

Sermon Time: Nothing Wasted

I have read or listened to Matthew 14:13-21 quite a few times and only today I got my AHA! moment. The scripture was more than just the miracle of multiplied fish and bread loaves. Its the process..

So Jesus was told by the disciples there was lack of food. He decided to work with what was available at that moment. No one needed to leave and go anywhere to get food.

So picture this, people have been spending their time in Jesus’ presence feeding their souls with His word. It’s now late and physiology kicks in with hunger.. Jesus did not pray the hunger away – He gave the people food using what LOOKED like lack to the disciples.

You WILL go through moments of hunger even while you were busy doing God’s will with your time. God WILL provide for whatever you NEED, using what you may be viewing as lack.

The process:

1. Jesus first blessed the food THEN

2. Broke it THEN

3. Multiplied it

He blessed first because it is only with God’s hand in whatever we are going through that we survive brokenness. That’s why the Bible says “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed” Lam 3:22. So you can trust that whatever state of brokenness you experience, His hand is there with and for you.

When something breaks, it multiplies.. you become more than what you were. Now I understand why Paul said he rejoices in his tribulations. No I’m not there yet.. I kick, scream and get mad when going through brokenness, ask my cousin Patricia! Don’t judge me.. pray for me please.

My favorite part is nothing that overflowed from the multiplication went to waste! Jesus asked that it be gathered! You get blessed, broken, multiplied and gathered! Oh but Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!! Lord continue to use what others view as lack or nothing! You did it with fish and bread, I believe you can do it with me!

Most of my blog entries where inspired by some form of brokenness. Each experience has brought me closer to Him. He is ALL I know to run to with my wounds and pains. I even joked with my friend Veronica that can God please pick less painful methods to get me to write! It seems pain triggers the writer in me..

So guys, what breaks me, may not break you; YET it’s still brokenness. I thank God for Patricia being there yesterday when I was breaking bad. She reminded whose I am and His track record.

Find such people in your life who will always remind you that God is bigger than any brokenness. Who will patiently listen to your rants and raves then gently remind you who God is. Who will validate your feelings because they too have walked a similar path. Who remind you that GOD LOVES YOU with your dramatic, cry-baby, diva self!

YOU ARE HIS!

Be and stay blessed ALWAYS!

Sermon Time: Misunderstood

After reading Luke 18:34 I realised how like Jesus, most of my life is not understood by those I love. I now realize that it’s because it is hidden from them. I have spent most of my life trying to explain myself and since I realised most people don’t get me, I would sadly just conform out of fear of being alone.

So from the outside the world would call me blessed. I have a loving supportive family, I’m educated and live a generally fair quality of life. Inside though it’s a different reality…

Each day I have to choose to rise above my insecuties that my life is just random and I’m just occupying space on earth. That I might die alone with 73 cats. That I’ll keep on pursuing this abundant life which is vividly etched in my brain yet not coming to fruition. That I’ll die full of seeds I never planted.

A person might read this and say “nice life problems Elaine”. Before you judge understand that I have set my markers of success diffently to you. My key markers are:

  1. To use EVERY gift God gave me to add value to others. He has shown me my talents and like you, they are many.
  2. To produce academic literature that will influence humanity in a positive way.
  3. To live a life of constant overflow of resources. I despise that feeling of not being able to do something due to lack of resources.
  4. To do the kind of work that is aligned to my purpose.
  5. To have my own family.

Right now I feel as if I’m so far off this mark. When I tell people about my dilemma, I’m mostly met with blank stares, apathy or a “get over it” response. Its a lonely experience. It is also draining to keep explaining yourself. Satan knows this lonely experience so he keeps telling me to just give up since no one gets my “crazy” self.

If, like me, you are going through this; I want to remind you that Jesus knows exactly what it’s like. Talk to Him. Also find that friend who will remind you of God’s promises even if they don’t understand your “thing”. Sometimes all we need is for someone to genuinely listen and pray with us to continue this journey of life.

You are not “too anything”, infact you are walking with all these annointed seeds waiting to be connected to fertile ground. Guard those “complicated” seeds. It’s okay if they don’t get you. You were not created in their image. Go to the one in whose image you were created.

Pour your heart out to your Maker, your God. The Alpha and Omega. The Author and Finisher of your faith. He is waiting.

Be and stay blessed.

Sermon Time – STOP the cycle

Yep! You guessed right. I just love the Old Testament. It’s like those stories were written for my spirit! Some notes I jotted from reading Ezekiel:

Ezekiel Chapter 16

V3: Origins – it is VERY important to know where you come from. Some of us are stuck with fruits of seeds we didn’t sow and legacies we didn’t create because of our origins

V4: What conditions were you born into? Did people celebrate your birth or were you an inconvenience and a very unpleasant suprise? How has that influenced the person you are today?

The Restoration
V6: There is a real struggle going on here. You are bleeding, in pain about to just give up on life – you have faced consecutive failure, rejection, shame – your body, heart, mind and soul are bleeding – God says LIVE!

V7: Only after making the choice to live God starts the process

V8: Key word is “again” this restoration thing is a process

V9: Now that you are His, God washes off the blood that represents everything from your past and annoints you. Remember the woman with the issue of blood?

V10 – 14: Complete makeover!

And then… we forget V14 – 34

And so the cycle repeats
V38: Back to being covered in blood (V6)
V39: Back to nakedness (V7)
V44: Back to who the devil always wanted you to remain and keeps whispering “You forget your place”

NOW WHAT???

Stop this cycle!
Wherever you are God wants to make it right (V60)

He is the only one who can deliver you from this cycle – Rom 7:21-24. God is about eternal stuff (Isa 60:15) not “once off wonders”

God is not like humans who have thresholds – there is no “you are just beyond redemption”

He created you knowing you would be in such a state. Rom 8:1 no condemnation…

You are no one’s business but God’s – go to Him just as you are with your blood, shady past, receding hairline, brokenness – He loves You!

Amen!

Reflections: Forgive and Heal..

Ever had those moments when you feel fragile all the time? Its like a fly passing could easily set you off into a darkness of grief? Well, this morning was one of those moments. I can’t even remember the actual topic between my younger sister and I. I remember feeling this choking, trying to hold off matured tears from long lasting pain. I just burst out crying. That ugly cry! Then the words came and attached themselves to the tears. Words describing a much younger me.

As if God sent her an emergency whatsapp, my friend Veronica sent me a link about Tyler Perry sharing his journey with Joel Oesteen. Immediately I realised how harboring feelings of anger and unforgiveness about my childhood were eating me alive. That little broken girl wanted to be acknowledged. She was tired of being ignored. So I wrote her a letter.

Jesus said “come who are heavy burdened..” An invitation I chose to reject because I was busy building walls of “tough chick” around my fragile heart.

Today I gladly accepted the invitation and took my fragile heart to Him, so I can forgive and heal and tap into that abundant life Jesus promised. Here is the letter below. I pray that you can trust Him with whatever is festering in your mind, body, soul and spirit. He answered me. He will answer you. Call Him.

Dear 3 to 8 year old Erengai Elaine,

First I want to apologize for ignoring your cries for so long. I was too busy plastering you because I was afraid and ashamed to face you. Forgive me.

I have acknowledged your cries and I’m validating your pain. You went through things that no child should. Feeling abandoned, rejected and unwanted at that age was not right. You couldn’t dream like the other kids or be free spirited as a child should cos you were too busy trying to survive the foster care system you were placed in.

I’m sorry for all the good night hugs and kisses you missed
I’m sorry for all the cool things to do with mom and dad you missed
I’m sorry for the validation statements you missed
I’m sorry for the fight or flight behaviours you had to learn to survive

I want you to know that you are loved and always have been – by your Maker
I know He was presented as this judge waiting to send you to hell so some guy with a fork and horns – He is NOT

He is Love
He is Joy
He is Peace

And HE LOVES YOU!
Embrace Him fully
He wants to embrace you and make up for all those hurts
He validated you before you were conceived
He validates you each day through His Word
He is your Father
He is your God
You are created in His image

In the name of Jesus,
Forgive and Heal child

Regards,
The adult you

The Father’s Love: LOVE

So I’ve always wondered why Job said “thou He slay me, yet shall I trust in Him”. I was very confused about continuing to trust God when all I seem to be experiencing is pain and suffering. Recently it just felt like God forgot about what He promised me or simply didn’t care.

I am human and while my thoughts were wrong, they were real. I was so broken by this seed that I knew He planted but not shooting out of the ground. This one afternoon I was having an anxiety attack. Everything was just closing in. “God forgot Elaine”, my long time enemy kept repeating. In that moment I was so close to agreeing with the devil and his employees.

BUT, I remembered a song called “uthando luka Baba”, simply translated as “the love of the Father”. Something about the lyrics of that song calms every storm in my mind, soul, heart and spirit. All I need is to hear someone sing it. The last time I experienced something similar I called my friend Sandra and asked her to sing it. This time I called Ps Veronica but she was busy so I called her daughter Ntando and the girl sang those healing words.

I remembered. I cried. I healed in that very moment.

You see, love is the foundation of our salvation. “For God so loved the world…” As I write this, the storm continues to rage, life is still weird BUT I’m not falling apart. Love does that. Not only does it cover my multitude of sins, it covers ME.

In this world there are sooooo many rubbish situations BUT God’s love is bigger. I had an option to run elsewhere with my pain, I chose Him. Why? Because over and over God chose me. He loved me at moments when I didn’t love myself and when no one shows up – He does – ALWAYS.

I could never understand or repay this kind of love. What I can do is accept it and live it. No broken heart, delayed dream, confusion and anxiety can separate me from the love of God.

Even though I feel like I’m limping through life right now, Father I choose YOU. It is the sacrifice of my praise because only YOU can love me in every way, everyday, all day! I am created in YOUR image and NEVER have you forsaken the works of YOUR hands – ME!

Let all the people say AMEN!

The Father’s Love: Arise and Live!

Ezekiel 16:6

V6: Live – remember those times when life itself had no meaning? When the pain was so unbearable you desired death? When you cried from the depths of your soul?

The bleeding spoken of in scripture may have been self-induced due to foolishness (everyone has had a run in with foolishness) or inflicted by others – it doesn’t matter – God says live!

We all have something that drove us towards Christ. For those who stayed IN Christ it’s because they have come to trust Him because He is faithful. When you remember where His Grace found you, you can’t help but just be in awe of Who God is!

1. There are still some sensitive places but our healing is in progress
2. Yes there is some scarring but we are alive to testify of His faithfulness
3. Yes we are still on Satan’s hit list – but none of Satan’s demonic weapons will prosper
4. Yes we are still limping – but God is our crutch
5. Yes there are still traces of shame – but God promised that shame will be a thing of the past
6. Yes everything is in ashes and looks dead – but God promised you beauty for those ashes

SO WHY EVEN BOTHER WITH FIGHTING TO STAY ALIVE?

1. Ps 27:13 (He wants me to experience His goodness while I’m ALIVE on EARTH!). That’s why I’m not sure I like that song “singaba hambayo thina”…

2. Deut 28:6 (Imagine walking in “blessings mode” 24/7, everday, all day! – God says going IN and OUT)

3. Mal 3:10 (I look forward to having problems like not knowing where to store my blessings because there is no space)

4. All of Isa 54 (yes I’m ambitious)

5. My personal reason is to DIE EMPTY – I refuse to give up while I am reproducing fruit

So I will Jesus ninja my way to the Throne of Grace every day of my God-given life!!

The Father’s Love: Grace

Genesis 38:6-30

V6-11:
1. Tamar was chosen by Judah
2. Tamar’s purpose was clear by now – raise up a heir for Er, Judah’s firstborn
3. Er and Onan are the ones whose wickedness is mentioned that led to their death. It is interesting though that Judah blames Tamar for their deaths hence he sent her home to protect his last born Shelah

V12-14: Time passes and Tamar is waiting for Judah to call her back. Judah didn’t. Before judging Tamar’s actions to fulfill her purpose, understand her situation at the time. She moved from wife to twice widow to rejected and abandoned. She is now living with her parents as a grown woman and probably dealing with shame, despair and grief. Yet, she focused on her purpose – produce an heir for Er

V15-23: Tamar became what she never imagined for her life to fulfill her purpose. It could have been any situation besides prostitution. The fact is she had to stoop that low all because Judah chose to forget about her. But God remembered.

V24-26: Now everything that happened in “secret” is in the open:
1. Tamar played the harlot
2. Judah bought her services
3. Tamar is now pregnant by Judah
Judah’s choice to deny Tamar an opportunity to fulfill her purpose ended up in such a disaster, BUT he was led to repentance.

V27-30:
1. For all her shame God gave Tamar a double portion – literally (Isa 61:7).
2. Her purpose was a generational one, she birthed not only an heir for Er, but sons who were in the genealogy of Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:3).
3. The journey to fulfill her purpose was filled with controversy and pain BUT God worked it all out for her good – that’s Grace.

I pray that you have come to discover your purpose. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you. 

The Father’s Love: Criteria

Up until I accepted God’s love I really had no criteria of who qualifies to have access to my heart. I was foolish.

I now realise how much pain I exposed myself to for letting people who just meant no good into my heart. I forgot to guard my heart.

What I have learned though is that once your source of love is God, you just never run out no matter how much people take from you. As I grew older I started avoiding people who were interested in taking and not reciprocating. It’s exhausting.

So this is what I did:

1. I started to create boundaries.

2. I started to find peace in my own company.

3. I started to value myself and my God-given gifts

4. I started to believe that God loves me and that nothing can separate me from His love

What criteria have you set for people to have access to your heart?