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 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 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.

I’m sorry for all the good night hugs and kisses you missed from your mom and dad
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 they said He was this judge waiting to send you to hell to 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 was 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!).

2. Deut 28:6 (Imagine walking in “blessings mode” 24/7, everyday, 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 producing fruit

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

Sermon Time: 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, mind and soul. I was foolish.

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

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. However, we need to guard our hearts and be able to discern the spirit behind the people we allow into our lives. Heartbreaks are exhausting as we get olderšŸ˜ƒ

So this is what I did:

1. I started to create boundaries

2. I started to find peace and joy in my own company. HUGE difference between being alone and lonely.

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

5. I started setting criteria for who could be a part of what in my life. Some people are seasonal and some are perennial. Be wise to discern lest you end up investing yourself foolishly!

What criteria have you set for people to have access to your heart, mind and soul?

The Father’s Love: Inner Peace

To surrender all must be the hardest thing I have had to do. My life took twists and turns that stretched me, my faith and my relationship with God, people and self.

I reached that point where I was like “Lord if one more thing happens, I’ll lose every neuron in my brain!”. And as life would have it, several things did happen BUT not even a fraction of my neurons fell apart.

I believe its because although I was falling apart on the outside, there was this stillness deep within me. Something about suffering can create a resilience that is beyond comprehension. Where you can wake up in the midst of a storm and still have this Joy and Hope deep within. I believe its called Peace.

Depending on your Source of Peace, life can either break you to lunacy or make you wise. I’ve lived long enough to understand the principle of seasons. That nothing lasts forever, including my emotions, thoughts and feelings about whatever is happening.

I have come to learn that I serve a God who does not change. He is not moved by stuff. While I heal from my sometimes “schizophrenic” relationship with my Creator, I celebrate that I’m finally at a point where I can praise Him despite my circumstances.

Father your love is the reason I stand today. Thank you.

Relationships: Open To Love

I dont actually remember the exact time I decided I was ready to share my heart. I think it was a gradual process. What I do remember is that I refused to be in a relationship until I knew my worth and what my contribution would be. There is so much power in that. If you believe you are valuable then you easily terminate ANYTHING that speaks or acts against that.

My perception of love had changed. I now knew that until I could accept love from my Creator and until I could love myself then no other human stood a chance. I unlearned all the rubbish I believed love to be so I could learn new things. I was in overflow of finally accepting that God loved me and NOTHING could change that.

I just remember having this longing to partner with someone who was interested in figuring out this life thing. Someone who was open to change and had the courage to ride or die in love. Naturally, I prayed about it but also had to intentionally open my heart. It was daunting at first but I stopped being so technical about it and trusted that “no psycho formed against me would prosper”. And meet them psychos I did, but none prospered!

My journey taught me resilience. After sniffing psycho tendencies, I would just allow my heart to be sad long enough to acknowledge that there are somethings I just have no control over. I learned that just because you have this awesome intention to love someone, they can still choose to be psycho. I found such great power in walking away with no shame, anger or grief!

I believe love has various frequencies and so I trusted that I would meet that man who would respond in tune to my frequency. A man whose frequency would not only complement mine, but I his also. A man who would bring out the best in my character but also face the worst of me with courage and love. A man who looked at my scars and admired my strength to survive. A man who saw the prints of my Creator all over me and just wanted to serve and praise Him!

And at the appointed time, such a man came along.. Will it last? I don’t know. What I do know is I’m in love, I am loved and Love dwells within me. Whether this man stays or leaves I will still dwell in Love. Why? Because NOTHING can separate me from the Love of God!

I pray that after your divorce, you find your healing and learn to love again. Be blessed always!

Relationships: Navigating New Territory

There is unfortunately no guide on how to build your life from scratch that works 100%. Most of what we know about new territory is through trial and lots of errors!

Single mom and woman is a title I had never desired for myself, yet it was my reality. One of the challenges of being a single parent is that even though you have a support system, some things are solely yours to tackle. Balancing work, studies, the child and life in general was tricky. You learn to navigate through these aspects realising that if you dont show up, no one will.

Men would approach me and my first thought would be “where the hell will I fit him?”. I found dating just exhausting. The game had changed since I last dated. I was meeting men who just wanted to settle down and start a family. Men who just wanted a good time. Men who were interested in other things instead of companionship. It is for this reason I stayed single for almost 5 years after my divorce.

I stayed on the sidelines and just observed and learned. I also used the time to discover what I was clear I did not want in a relationship. I prayed and invested in my relationship with my Creator. That is what kept me sane. Are you not lonely? The question well-meaning people would ask. The truth is, nope. I was too busy figuring out who I was and what I wanted my legacy to be for my son.

Yes I went out on dates but would not meet someone who would break my rather selfish relationship I had with Self.. In short, I believe I was just not open to love. I was very sceptical about the “good” ones and amused by the dodgy ones. Men were more an object for my analytical mind than a possibility for a companion.

While going through the phase of navigating I learned that the heart has an amazing ability to heal, forgive and move on. It takes longer for others but once you allow the beauty of healing to take its course you start to experience this Joy and freedom.

You fall in love with yourself and the world in a different and intimate kinda way. You still have places that hurt, but they no longer control you. You are more selective about which BS to terminate and which to tolerate. You find power in knowing that you dont have to react to everything thrown at you, that it’s ok to sometimes just duck and move on. You learn to embrace your scars and start celebrating the gift of life!

Take your time to navigate your new territory and redefining yourself!

Relationships: Grief

Who but God can truly know the hearts of men? Imagine your heart breaking in ways you cant even articulate…

After the anger and shame I cried and cried and cried until literally no tears were left. I cried for the ex, for me and the us that never was and never would be. I cried for my son and the challenges he would face with an absent father. Had it not been for His Grace, I would have died of grief.

I allowed myself to feel every moment of my grief knowing that it would soon come to pass. Nothing is permanent in this world including our emotions, thoughts and feelings.

Cry if you need to. For me I blurted out everything to God during my grief. The unfairness of my divorce, life and everything that plagued my soul. People are different so there is no specific timeframe to grieve. What’s important is that you eventually move past your grief.

Relationships: Mothers, fathers and sisters

I’m the eldest of two daughters. The age gap between my sister and I is almost 8 years. This means we never quite played together and by the time she was born I had come to “my own”.

My mother’s name is Grace. She is in every sense graceful. While she couldn’t relate to what I was going through, she was supportive, loving, and protective of me. You want fire upon your life then talk badly about my mom’s children. It takes a while for my mom to get angry, but don’t touch her babies!

My only sister, Chipo, is the most bubbly human being I know. The cup is usually half-full from her side on most days. She has always been my greatest cheerleader. Like my mom, she never understood what I was going through but would just cheer me up with her bad jokes and joyful nature. Her name means “Gift” and she has been that and more in my life and my son’s.

My father… I cant imagine what it’s like to be a man and see your daughter go through so much pain. Where it mattered my father showed up, especially with my son. He plays his part of grandfather and loves my son as only a grandfather could.

My family is small but a powerhouse of support, love and compassion. They are my covering, foundation and pillar. My parents have known me since birth and no doubt had different dreams for me vs my dreams. Even after I disappointed them with the choices I made (after defying their wisdom) they still love me.

Reach out to anyone in your family you trust and allow them to be that light, lest you be forever lost in darkness.