Category Archives: encouragement

God’s restoration

restorarionI have always loved studying. My mum sometimes reminds me that when I was in primary school and did not get an A, I would sob the whole day and cry. I wouldn’t say I was naturally ‘clever’, but hard work was installed in me.

Five years ago, last term of my degree in Biomedical Science. My research project was the last component to complete my degree. My supervisor, Mrs H, refused to offer any assistance. She didn’t come to the lab to show us how to hold a pipette, let alone explain to us what microvesicles were. She ignored all emails. With four weeks to go, I knew that if a divine intervention did not occur ASAP, my final grade for my dissertation would be 0 and I would drop down to a third class degree. I remembered how three years prior, I had gotten a conditional offer to study medicine. The day my exams started, my dad passed away. I chose to not go to Uganda to bury my father, and focus on ‘passing my exams’. I ended up failing miserably, and my route was diverted to Biomedical Science. Is this how my journey was going to end once again?

One day in the lab, I bumped into a PhD student conversing with one of the lab technicians. The lab technician introduced me and said: “Vanessa is also doing a project in microvesicles”. That is how myself and Ahmed clicked and for the next three weeks, we worked long hours on my project and even stumbled upon a new scientific discovery. His supervisor, the professor was so impressed with my work; he invited me for an interview for a PhD position. The interview went well, and given an offer to commence in 3 months. Mrs H wanted to submit a proposal for a research paper using my results. She contacted me and asked if I could send it before the due date and that she would refer to me in the ‘abstract’. I told her that I no longer had the word version of my dissertation. Why would I help someone who offered me zero assistance? In hindsight, perhaps I should have sent it to her. Out of spite, she went to the professor and I don’t know what was discussed in that office, but he was no longer interested in having me on board. I never heard from him again.

By God’s grace, I ended up completing my degree with a 2:1. One day, one of the technicians called me in confidence and told me I was never to tell or show anyone what he was going to show me. I agreed. He told me that they had stored research projects in the office next to the lab and he found my dissertation. I saw the grade 87 % being crossed out with a red pen to 70%. I was heart-broken.

I knew that with my research project, I would be able to attend a better university for further studies. I got a place at one of the best universities in the world to pursue my masters. I had worked as a science technician at a secondary school, and used all the money I earnt to pay for the course. From the first day I started at the university, I felt like I didn’t belong. Perhaps it was because I was one of few women of colour on my campus. I worked extremely hard during that year and didn’t go out (only had money for my travel card and for my lunch).

When I received my results, I scored very highly on my thesis, but received 0 for all three exams. I knew the course was intense and challenging, but didn’t expect to fail that badly. I was informed I have failed the course, not allowed to see my test papers and to come back in a year to resit. During this year, I was not offered any help and had to pay for these resits. I spent an entire year studying whilst working at this point. I sat the exams and I received the same results. I was not allowed to appeal, not allowed to see my test papers and was not allowed to receive any form of diploma. All they were willing to do is issue a letter from admin that I ‘attended’ the university.

For me, that was the most painful situation I have ever been in. I worked immensely hard to raise the money, studied long hours to end up empty-handed. I cried to God, “Take me home, I am tired of these disappointments”. It was my heart’s desire that God would one day compensate me for the disgrace, pain and disappointments.

Two years went by and I was working in the cytogenetics lab at one of the London NHS hospitals. The NHS was funding a handful of employees to pursue a masters in Genetics (course I had previously done) at one of the affiliated universities. I believed God for restoration and my manager put me forward and I was given the grant to do the masters (part-time whilst working full-time). I was so thankful, as this is what I had asked Him for. However, the following week, I was offered a job in Amsterdam which was a stepping stone in my career and an offer I could not reject. Why has this job offer come at a time like this? As painful as it was, I rejected the masters offer and moved to Amsterdam.

For months I pondered upon whether I had made the right choice to leave the masters opportunity for a job. I still didn’t have peace about it, so I started looking for masters courses within my current field (pharmaceuticals). I applied for a distant learning masters course in Pharmaceutical Sciences at one the top UK University for studying Pharmacy. They offered me a place on the one year course. I couldn’t afford to work part-time, so this meant working 40 hours whilst pursuing a full-time masters. I took a leap of faith and paid the tuition fee. On the day of enrolment, I happened to stumble on a scholarship on the university site. This scholarship was a full academic scholarship. I had nothing to lose (I had already lost enough) and decided once again to take a leap of faith and submitted the forms. To my surprise, I was invited for a Skype interview with the professors. A week later, I was granted a full scholarship and my fees was reimbursed in full (this happened to be on my birthday). This was last year. Two weeks ago, I was awarded a distinction for my masters.

God is amazing, He is big. It is us who limit Him. He is the one who restores, honors and blesses. When He blesses, He does not hold back. He taught me how to hold unto Him during pain, to have faith for the impossible and to never let go of my heart’s desire. I thank God for the tribulations because out of it He has molded me, as well as birthed out a testimony glorifying Him.

For it is written:

The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.

Who would ever have thought that the girl who missed out on medical school, PhD, and a masters from a top university would one day complete her masters in one year with a distinction whilst working full-time on a full time scholarship? That could only be the hand of God!

The three-folded cord- testimonial

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The three-folded cord

Whenever I remember this testimony, it reminds me of the need to have tough skin and the persistency not to give up. The practicality of holding on to the blessing God has given you, and not to surrender it. To encourage myself in the word of God, even when the world believes my situation will not change- silence those words. To reprogram our minds to live in victory, knowing that God will not disappoint us for totally surrendering to Him.

The beauty of a prayer partner is that through the journey of partnership, you experience life transforming events that only the two of you will ever understand. “What do you want to pray about”? I asked him. He responded: “I want to pray for my wife and for my marriage. Things have been challenging and my wife does not see things spiritually the way I do”. I knew that things were deeper than he was telling me, and that he was desperate for a divine intervention from God. With time, he started to explain the challenges he was facing, and He needed someone that would stand with him in prayer, to usher him into his breakthrough.

For the coming 6 months, we prayed every day without fail. I was doing my masters at the time and was very busy with assignments. But I always made time for our prayer session. It was something to look forward to as we were believing God for a miracle.

He knew my timetable and I knew his. We became part of one another’s lives. I would look for an empty lecture room or even sit in the car park for us to pray on the phone. He would call me on his lunch breaks from his car and was willing to skip anything to ensure we kept the momentum going.

Some days were good, you could feel God’s presence. However, other days were dull, and we were asking ourselves if it was even worth carrying on. The more we prayed, the more dreams and visions we both would got about each other lives and the clearer we were able to hear God’s voice. There were days when he was weary and tired, and I had to keep giving him words of encouragement to keep going. His current situation was getting worse and contrary from what we were praying for. But he kept on praying. There were days when I would ask myself whether I was wasting my time, but the Holy Spirit kept reminding me I needed to be there for him.  It is amazing how much you can learn from one another. I am more of a seer and he has immense knowledge of the word. I now understand that iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17).

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After a couple of months of praying, my prayer partner called me. I will never forget that May. He shared what had happened in their household. He did not tell me in detail what exactly happened. He said he and his wife were in the living room and an unexplainable presence entered the room. At that moment, something touched the both of them and they decided to rededicate their marriage to the Lord. For them that was a new start, new beginning in their marriage and their relationship with God. (Ecclesiastes 4:12  And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken).

Our prayer sessions were replaced with his prayer sessions with his wife. She is a seer, God shows her things concerning him, and he uses his knowledge in the word to add to their Christian walk together. Him and his wife prayer together each day, and willingly.

When the season ended I felt sad. I was used to having my routine of prayer with my prayer partner, and despite it being time consuming, it was one of the best seasons I have had. However, when I see at what God has done in his life, his wife’s life and how God has transformed their marriage, I can only say that it could have only been God!

Things I learnt from this testimony:

  • Don’t listen to every word of advice you get from your friends

Not everyone has our best intentions. Ask God for discernment and for the right people in your life. Make God the go-to-person for everything.

  • Strength yourself with the word of God

The word of God gives us power and strength to overcome every situation

  • Ask God to give you a seasonal prayer partner

We are one body and we need support from one another to fulfill our purpose.

  • Take by force the blessing God has given you

We should always guard blessing and not allow it to slip away from us John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 

  • God is teaching you something in this season.

There is always something to be learnt in each season, it is never a waste of time.

God given husband- testimonial

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Witnessing a testimony is an exceptional life changing experience. You encounter God doing the impossible, the miraculous and receiving unexplained victory. This testimony gave me hope, reminded me that God does indeed hear our prayers and that in His timing He perfects all.

I remember sitting on the tube to university one day when I had an odd conviction about my friend. I strongly had an urge to tell her she had to break off the relationship she was in, and that God wanted to bless her with a husband. How does one break this news to someone who is in a happy relationship? How do I really know this is God, or were these my own emotions? I decided to keep it to myself but the feeling kept coming back. After pondering on it for some days I decided to tell her. I said to myself, “God if this is you, you will not put me to shame”. She received the word better than I anticipated and she decided to seek God about it herself. I remember her being afraid of the unknown, leaving the man she loved for no “apart reason” and trusting that God would bring her better. As we went into prayer, I had a vision of a man who loved her, a man of God who had a pastoral calling. Again, I was hesitant to tell her but still did so in the end. For her that was confirmation to leave the life she was living, and solely trust God’s plan.

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I remember her telling me that she felt like it was a step back. How does one start all over again? She moved back to her parents’ home, but I encouraged her that God would not disappoint her. She decided to set up a fellowship at her parents’ house and it was powerful. We had bible studies, praise and worship, powerful prayer sessions and people came from all corners. She invited one of her high school friends to the weekly meeting, who happened to live down the road from her. He was a young man full of wisdom and on fire for Christ.

They started to spend more time together. A few months later, she invited him to come to our church, as we had a special service. During the praise and worship, the same urge came upon me as when I was on the tube. A voice was telling me to pray for them. I tried to ignore the voice but the burden was upon my heart. I decided to take a leap of faith. I walked over to them and told them that I felt led to pray for them. I remember saying in my heart: “Holy Spirit, please pray on my behalf because I don’t know what to say”. As the words started flowing from my month, I prayed for their marriage, their ministry and a boy child. After the prayer, the gentleman whispered to me: “Thank you very much, this is confirmation”. During the same service, the pastor called upon all who knew they had a pastoral calling to the front for a prayer, and he walked over.

Not long after that, he stated his intentions to marry my friend and a few months later they got married. When I see the spiritual growth within her personal life, and the joy she has with her husband I can only testify that it is God’s doing. Whenever I see pictures of their baby boy, I remember that God revealed Him to us, even before He was in His mother’s womb. Sometimes in life, one step backwards is two steps forward.
At the time, moving back to her parents’ house looked like a backward step, not knowing that her God given husband lived down the road from that home. Perhaps if she had not moved, this testimonial would not have taken place (obedience).

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Things I learnt for this testimonial:

1. God speaks to you
Many times we doubt ourselves and wonder whether it is His voice speaking to us. The word tells us that you know His voice- do not doubt!
John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me..”

2. Take a leap of faith
Try to walk into the unknown by trusting the word God has given you. He has good plans for you
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

3. Uncomfortable situations build up character
No situation last forever and there is always something to learn from it. Sometimes we have to go through uncomfortable situation to embed godly characteristics into us.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”

4. God will not put you to shame
When we put our trust in God, we have the confidence that all will work out for our good.
Psalm 9:10 “And those who know your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You”.

I want to encourage you today, that whatever your heart yearns and desires, God can give you more than that. God wants to perfect everything in your life. He will not start something that He will not finish and the outcome will be victory!

Triple blessing

Floral Background Instagram PostThe first day at a new workplace can be quite daunting and anxious. New colleagues can become your new best friends or become your enemies. My new office consisted of myself and one other colleague. I really prayed I would get along with that person because 8 hours day in day out is a long time! So here she was, a lady the same age as me. At first, there was a lot of silence, I guess each of us was cautious of the other. But in my second week, she was on leave for three weeks, as she was getting married. When she came back, we clicked so well, it was like I had known her for years. Moreover she was Christian. We had very deep Christian conversations. That became the focus of our daily chat and I always looked forward to coming to work. 

She opened up to me about her fertility chances, based on what the doctors told her. I had so much compassion, considering she was a lady like myself in her twenties and moreover a newlywed. Then she told me that her husband lived abroad, and it was almost impossible and unaffordable to bring him over. In addition to this, she always had the desire to pursue further studies. But she stated she would only be able to do if it was fully funded. 

In our third month of working together, is when she received a job alert regarding a higher position.  She was not going to apply. I encouraged her to go for it, especially since it was better pay and a higher position. I told her that God would open the doors for all the things she desired and that she would get them all in a year (speaking in faith).

She went for the job interview and got the job. As she had on a higher position than myself, I was offered her job without an interview (God’s favour).

She took a leap of faith, she left her parents’ home and moved into an apartment. She didn’t know how she was going to manage paying for it but trusted that God would provide. A few months later, her husband joined her. After that, her job offered to pay for her further studies. As we speak she is at one of the top universities in the country!! In addition to this, I recently received a photograph of a beautiful baby girl.

The three months that I worked with her felt like years and I believe that is was purposeful for that season. She changed my way of seeing things spiritually and how powerful God is. Not only did He give her a triple blessing, he quadrupled it and gave her more than she asked for!

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6 things that I learnt from this testimony:

 

  1. Encourage one another and speak into each other’s lives.

We all need encouragement and as you bless others, God is also going to bless you.

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

  1. Do not envy the success of others.

Your time for reaping will come at God’s appointing time

Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 

  1. Put all your trust in God.

He will not disappoint you nor put you to shame.

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

  1. Don’t be afraid to take a leap of faith.

God will not put you to shame, He always has your best interest.

Psalm 9:10 And those who know your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.

  1. God is your provider.

He can take care of all your financial needs. 

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

  1. Do not limit God.

God will bless you with more than you can ask for. 

Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..”

I encourage you today to take a leap of faith and believe God for a triple blessing. Believe God that He is able to fulfill your hearts desires. May He come through for you in every trial and difficulty. May you be an overcomer and accomplish all God has in store for you IJN. 

The humility of John The Baptist

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We have become pleasers of the world and ourselves. Our outer image has deceptively covered up our inner dirt. The layers pile up trying to uphold unrealistic expectations of a Christian. But for how long will we deceive one another and most importantly ourselves? God transparently sees all that concerns us and we cannot deceive Him. He knows all our flaws, weaknesses, sins and is still willing to use us despite all this.

There is exquisiteness about the characteristic of humility. It is a characteristic which brings us closer to the ways of God, disbelieving we are better than one another and brings about acceptance. John the Baptist is a man whose humility I greatly admire. His life from beginning to end is an inspiration and can immensely help us with our spiritual walk.

John the Baptists’ evangelistic journey was not in a mega church, he did not have a social media account nor was he on a tv channel; he was in the wilderness! How many of us would devote our lives to evangelizing in the wilderness?

He did not wear a flashy suit, nor did he have a glass pulpit, however he knew who he was in Christ and his God given purpose!

Matthew 3:1-6 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.

As much as times have changed, it was evident that John was not living the most luxurious life, and yet was not complaining. Many of us hold ourselves back from doing God’s work because of not living up to a ‘particular standard’. But who are we trying to please?

John who knew his purpose and did not think he was better than anyone because he was more anointed. He could have glorified himself as there were not many men of God around during his time. However, he remained humble.

Matthew 3:11-12 ”I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you witch the Holy Spirit and fire”

Even with all the annointing he had, he did not count himself better than anyone else. He didn’t complain about the little he had, nor did he brag about his relationship with Jesus. He was respectful and regarded Jesus as higher than him. Although he was being used by God, he knew he was unworthy and not righteous. He was humble.

Matthew 3:13-14 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

How many of us have thought we were better than others because of our annointing or spiritual gifts? Does one ever think God has given some spiritual gifts because of their good deeds? Do we show off because we know an annointed person or well-known pastor. I know I have.

Many of us have received prophetic words of what God has ordained over our lives and what is to come. Some may even share this with others. Despite knowing his great calling, John never boasted about it.

Luke 1:76-80 And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel.

Sometimes, God can allow us to fall flat on our faces, experience disappointment and shame in order to humble us. He then teaches us to fully depend on Him; for us not to say we did things with our own might. Regardless of how clever, how hard we work or how rich we are, God requires humility and wants to be present in all of it. The love of God cannot be earned, can it be bought- yet despite all we continuously do daily, He still choses to love us!

We can learnt a lot of from the character of John the Baptist and can implement it in our lives!

Matthew 11:7-15 ‘’As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:

Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear’’.

If you are able to relate to the above, I have good news for you. God ready to change you. He is able to assist you in being the person whom He ordained you to be. May we deny our own feelings, desires and ways of life and fully surrender to Him. He loves it when we wholeheartedly repent and walk along-side Him. Today is a new day, fresh start and new beginning.


Humility of John the Baptist- prayer

Dear Lord,

I come before You a sinner. I have been proud, arrogant, self-centered and not Christ-like. I have believed in my own strength, deceiving myself that I could walk this life journey alone. All I am is because of Your love, mercy and unconditional love. You foresaw my short-falls, my sinful nature, and yet You still decided to die for me. Forgive me for all the times I have taken the ultimate sacrifice for granted. Have mercy upon me. I humble myself before Your throne of grace and ask that You change me. Remove all my outer layers and cleanse my spirit.Mould me into the person You ordained me to be. Right now, I pray for the humility that John the Baptist had into my life in the name of Jesus. He was not focused on his physical attributes or the food he ate- he was content. Give me that same contentment and focus. Give me direction on my purpose and the grace let go of the things of the world. For it is written: “…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”- Phillipians1:6. In Jesus’ name, AMEN


God over man

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When it comes to Christian dating, I have repetitively heard that ‘thou must not date a unbeliever’. But what defines a believer? Is it when we have declared Jesus as our Lord and saviour? Does one disqualify when they stop attending church? Is a lifestyle what determines ones’ faith? Or is a relationship with the Father more important than the human classification of a believer?

When we started to date, I knew he was a Christian. He didn’t speak in tongues nor had he read Genesis to Revelation, but he knew who God was. Church was not really his thing as his concept was that it was ‘business’. However, he didn’t mind listening to a sermon or two.

The first few months were the glory days; everything was perfect and butterflies tickled throughout my belly. Not long after, I bought him a men’s bible to help him with his Christian walk. However, his response was contradicting from what I had anticipated. The more I mentioned Jesus, the more I realized that we had different Christian norms and values.

Out of love, I decided to seek God on the matter. I wanted him to see God from a different perspective and to strengthen His relationship with the Lord. I didn’t really know how to pray; in fact I never really prayed in general. I didn’t have the words nor was I sure whether the words I was uttering were correct. I was so used to reciting the words of others, that now I was stuck for words.

The more I went into my quiet time to pray for him, the more the words started flow. I started seeing visions as I prayed and was able to prophecy each time I prayed. I started seeing the little words I mumbled during my quiet time manifest into the physical, and the prophetic gift was birthed. The more I prayed for him, the more I spiritually grew and the more he rebelled against me.

I went from praying for him to praying for a few friends to praying for people I didn’t know. Within a short time, God had spiritually elevated me and people wondered what I was doing dating a ‘not so spiritual man’.

We eventually got to a place where I knew I had to choose between him and God. Having him around was pulling me backwards and away from my new-found purpose. However, I found it hard to let go and prayed for Gods’ will to be done (however deep down inside I knew what this entailed).

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He eventually decided that I had become ‘too spiritual’ and decided to move on with his life. I felt so humiliated, as I had prayed for many people and their relationships had moved forward yet mine had crumbled. Everyone knew I was praying for him and for him to walk away was painful. I didn’t understand why my prayer went unanswered. Also, I felt the shame because many people had told me to end the relationship with the ‘not so spiritual man’, yet I held on believing for a breakthrough.

God is good and He is a God of purpose. God brought him in my life to prepare me for my calling and to unleash the gifts which were locked inside of me. Gifts that I never knew existed!

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My shame is what has made me the woman of God I am today. We have our lives pictured and layout out, however we are indeed not fully in control of our destiny. The discomfort of the unknown or the unavoidable situation which we did not prepare for were all meant for the bigger purpose. Right now, you may not be able to see it, but in the long run it will all make sense.

We love listening to the testimonials of others and enjoy the thrilling feeling of the goodness of the Lord. We ask God to use as for His kingdom and that we are ready. However, when life turns against us, we want out. We no longer want to be used through pain, not knowing the greatest testimony is laying ahead of us. We expected the journey to be easier, but with God there is no such thing as an easy testimony- that is why they are so unique.

The beauty about life experiences is that there is always something to learn. Despite, the heartache, disappointment or failure, there is always a valuable lesson. No time is ever wasted, each minute and second has been used to mould you into the individual you are today. Without the struggle, pain and sorrow, you would not be able to boldly stand today. You would not be able to testify that there is a God. You would not have learnt to fully surrender to God as your source of strength, comfort and restoration. You would not have been able to finish the race alone. However, because of His love, He allowed you to walk through the fire. To refine, purify you and to build up your spiritual muscle mass. To witness His goodness, despite all that has happened and to be a living testimony to others.

Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.


God over man- pointers

  • Seek God for clarity. He does speak if you allow Him to and you will safe yourself time and heart ache.
  • Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. Don’t ignore that little voice whispering, It really is Him.
  • Seek wise godly council. Speak to those who have gone before you about their experiences.
  • Actions speak louder than words. At times, we try to ignore it and to make our own conclusions yet the answer is right in front of us.
  • You cannot change anyone, only God can. All we can do as Christians is to live and exemplative life and to pray for others.
  • Accept that some people don’t want to change. God has given us all free will and all we can do is pray from a far.
  • Pray! As much God has called us to be intercessors for others, always be led by the spirit.
  • Ask God for His purpose and what He is trying to teach you through this situation. There is always a lesson to be learnt.
  • Say no to compromise. It is easier said than done, but by His grace we can do it!
  • Always put God first. When He is first in all you do, all will work out for your good.
  • Say no to distractions. Anyone who is pulling you away from your God given purpose is not worth your time.

Overcoming a broken heart

I remember the incident like it happened yesterday. It was a Saturday around 9 pm. I was innocently scrolling through my Facebook notifications when a post appeared that he was tagged in: “..You are the best thing that has happened to me, I love you, I always have a smile on my face when you call…” STOP! I couldn’t read anymore. This can’t possibly be happening. Moreover, her Facebook surname was the exact same one as his. Could she be a distant cousin I never knew about?

I continued reading and saw that her friends were commenting on the thread and were congratulating her on her new-found love and relationship. STOP! I had to stop reading. I felt as if my heart was going burst out of my rib cage.

Out of curiosity, I snooped through her pictures. She was the complete opposite of me. Was I not good enough? Is this what I deserved to reap after all these years?

I started to cry uncontrollably, and called my prayer partner. It was the most unbearable pain I had ever experienced in my life. She told me I would be okay. I sent him a message with the screenshot of the Facebook post and said that we were done. He never responded. I felt humiliated, everyone that knew us had seen it. Some pretended they never saw, others comforted me, some even said I was to blame. The next day, I attended an event and he was present. No hello, no remorse; he looked the other way.

Is this the person I thought I would spend the rest of my life with? He jumped from saying that I was the woman he envisioned to one day be his life-long partner, to now a complete stranger. Painful.

I had seen the signs before, forgiven, prayed and fasted. However, how does God change one who doesn’t want to change? It is like making a house clean and the owner makes it dirty again. They did not ask you to clean their house and they are not ready to deal with their mess.

I decided to confide in one of my other friends, I showed her messages. She asked me: “why are you looking at this, just move on with your life”. I felt very alone, and it was as if those closest to me did not understand the pain I was in.

He eventually sent me a message, I was hoping it would have been a lousy “I am sorry” or “it is not what it seems like”. Instead, it read “why are you spreading rumours about me?”. That was the end of his communication, and he never apologized.

I asked myself why? What did I do to deserve such maltreatment? Why did things have to end this way? Why the heartlessness? Why the disrespect? Why the coldness?

Even through all the emotion, I kept hearing the Holy Spirit say: “he made a choice”.

I then had a dream, where God showed me my life years ahead from now. I was a mother to a child. As I was nursing the child, He was surrounded by women. He was never going to change.

As painful as it was, I thank God for the experience, because He saved me from a lifetime of pain. Sometimes we pray prayers without realizing that God is working i.e. ‘Let your will be done’.

People always say that time heals however God heals faster. He restored my heart, rejuvenated my spirit and has given me a positive outlook on life.


Overcoming a broken heart- pointers

  • Forgive yourself. We have all made some choices in life which we regret having made. However, God has preserved you; He still has a great life full of joy and blessings ahead. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • Surrender all your pain to God. As humans, we tend to want to keep some things to ourselves. However, God wants you whole and wants to take the burden for everything that concerns you- even the most painful things. (Psalm 55:22)
  • Forgive. Don’t wait for the other person to apologize to forgive them; they might never do so. Your salvation is more precious than their apology. Ask the Holy Spirit for grace to forgive. (Matthew 6:14-15)
  • Gods plan is always the best. You may not see it now but God is working out a great life for your which will override this situation. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • You will get through this. Not only will you get through this, but your latter days will be better than your former days. (Job 8:7)
  • Not all men all the same. As cheesy as it may sound, just as God has made you incredibly unique, so do men also differ,
  • Pray over ungodly soul ties. Whether sexual or emotional, for us to fully disconnect from an individual, we need to break spiritual soul ties. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in this prayer.
  • God will give you honour for your shame. You may not see it now, but your double portion is on its way! (Isaiah 61:7)
  • You are worth more than rubies. He might not see it, but we are not defined by what other people think of us, but what God tells us we are. Don’t allow this situation to define who you are (Proverbs 3:15)
  • Pray for him. As much as he does not deserve it, it is a spiritual level God expects us to be able to attain. Ask the Holy Spirit for grace to be able to do so. (Luke 6:28)

Not Christian enough

There have been many times during my Christian walk that I felt judged by other Christians, in particular women. In fact, most of the judgements I have faced during my life have come from other Christians. You would expect as Christians that we would be the first to love and embrace. However, expecting individuals to abide to ‘Christian standards’ at all times is something one should strive for and something one cannot always attain (Romans 3:23). Nonetheless, what do you define as Christian standards? Is it something you have grown up to know? Is it what you have read in the bible? Or is it what you believe is the right way of living?

Many times, other Christians made me believe that I was not Christian enough. Examples of these were that I was a non-church goer at one point (read Former church girl), I drink an alcoholic drink very occasionally and my best friend is a non-believer. The list is endless!

The biggest shock came when one of my closest friends whom I grew up with got married. We became saved around the same time and in fact she was one of my first Christian friends. In fact, we walked the ‘baby Christian’ journey together. However, when she got married, I didn’t hear from her again. I was informed that she no longer wanted to associate herself with me as I was ‘single’ and only wanted to associate with married Christian women in the church. I felt unworthy. I haven’t seen her till this day.

The second encounter was this year when my friend invited me to a women’s cell group. It was amazing, a great group of women and I was really blessed by the bible study. I had in fact decided within me that I was going to return the following week. However, during the praise and worship, the Lord gave me a vision for one of the girls which I later shared. She was also blessed and she said it was confirmation to what God had been telling her. The next day, one of the girls called me. She interrogated me about what she said was my ‘lack of knowledge’ of the bible.

She started questioning me about my ‘visions’ and informed me that I was ‘spiritually suffering’ for not attending church. She went on for an hour on the phone talking about how my Christian walk was meant to be and how I was doing it all wrong. How can one know all this after one fellowship meeting? I was left hurt and disappointed. I started questioning my position in Christ, my walk. I started to wish I never shared the prophetic vision God showed me because I knew that had caused the tension. I even started to doubt my gift. But, I knew I did the right thing to share and do what God told me.  I never went back.

These are just a few examples of the judgements I have encountered, and may God forgive me for all the times I have judged others. However, I have concluded that these women have their own insecurities and need our prayers.

One thing I have learnt during this Christian walk is that Christians are just normal human beings like the rest of us and not superhuman. They make mistakes and at times do act carnally. Therefore, we cannot expect too much or be surprised that a Christian ‘acted ungodly’. We all need as much prayer as we can get,

Let us stand together as sisters and love and embrace one another. We cannot walk this spiritual journey alone. Always remember who you are in Christ Jesus. Jesus died for you on the cross because of your sinful ways, but in His eyes, you were worth it!


Not Christian enough- pointers

  • Don’t try and justify your relationship with God or your Christian walk to anyone, God knows and sees all.
  • Ask God to give you the grace to love all mankind.
  • Ask God for grace not to judge other Christians. We can only see from the surface what one’s life is like. God will also judge you the same way judge others.
  • Don’t stop interacting with other Christians because previous bad experiences. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the right people.
  • Don’t expect too much from people even if they are Christians. A lot of Christians are still dealing with underlying issues.
  • Don’t allow anyone else to define who you are, know your identity in Christ Jesus.
  • Pray and bless those who persecute you (Romans 12:14). It is easier said than done, but by the grace of God it is possible.

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Silent lips

Silencing my lips is something I learnt to do in this season. Who to trust and who not to trust is the question. Who will tell and who can keep secrets? Trust issues. Who will rejoice with me and who will be envious- paranoia. However, is it paranoia or am I being realistic? After all, we are all humans (Psalm 146:3).

I recently received some good news. Not only was it good news- it was mind-blowing news. God had done the impossible and in fact the whole breakthrough was His divine intervention. Bursting with joy, I wanted to share this wonderful news of Gods’ goodness, and how this fantastic miracle was going change the course of my life. I looked at my phone book and as I looked at each name, I started pondering on which friend I could tell and which one I couldn’t. ‛If I tell her, she will tell the whole world’ etc and so I went on name by name. At first, I thought I was being paranoid and judgmental, but as I elaborate you will understand why these thoughts rushed through my mind.

It is common within the African culture to be ‛pre-warned‛ never to tell people about good news just in case they ‛bewitch you‛. I always thought that was an overstatement and exaggeration, but with time I have understood that not all will celebrate and be pleased for you.

I decided to tell one of my closest friends about my news. As I started to elaborate in joy about the breakthrough, her face changed from excitement to emotionless within seconds. There was no rejoice, let alone congratulations. There was silence. When she eventually spoke, she reminded me of other times when God came through for me, and stated that God ‘always’ seems to bless me. I was shocked because she knew the struggles I had gone through in life, but at that moment it became irrelevant. I tried to explain to her that there are many areas in my life where I am still waiting on a breakthrough and have been very stagnant. She didn’t take any of it in. Envy blocked her from seeing how blessed her life was. It was then that I realized that she had been desiring the same breakthrough in her life and it had not yet materialized for her.

It is very easy to envy someone when they receive a breakthrough. One may wish it was them at that moment. But one will never know the hardship, waiting, sacrifices, humiliation, disappointment and most importantly PRAYER that one had to go through to eventually receive the blessing. People just see the wonderful blessing. We can’t compare ourselves to others because we have not walked in their shoes and vice versa. However, God does not forget us and He knows our prayers and the things we desire. We all have something we desire so badly and need grace for patience. Nevertheless, He knows what is best for us and when is best. Had I received my blessing any earlier and in ease, I would not have given God as much glory as I can today. It was all His doing and no human effort would have enabled it to materialize. I also thank God that I had not received this blessing earlier because I would not have been as humble as I am today. May God give us the grace to wait on His perfect timing.

I was quite upset with my friend and I just didn’t understand her way of thinking. However, last night I had a dream whereby I was walking with the same friend. I ignored any form of conversation with her in the dream. We were going to the same destination; and I was meant to take the same exit as her. She took the exit but missed it and had to go a long way round to get to the same destination. The Holy Spirit then spoke to me that because of my unforgiveness towards her in my heart, I was bringing about delay in my life. I have been asking God for grace to forgive ever since. Unforgiveness is just not worth delay!

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Is silencing our lips the option? I don’t think so. We need to pray for discernment on who to share with and who not to as only God knows the depths of the hearts of man.

An example of this is in Isaiah 39 (please read), whereby Hezekiah shows the son of Babylon all his most treasured possessions.

Isaiah 39:2 Hezekiah received the envoys gladly and showed them what was in his storehouses–the silver, the gold, the spices, the fine olive oil–his entire armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.

The prophet Isaiah then prophesied that because of his ignorance he would lose all these possessions and brought a curse upon his household.

Isaiah 39:6 -7 The time will surely come when everything in your palace, and all that your predecessors have stored up until this day, will be carried off to Babylon. Nothing will be left, says the Lord. And some of your descendants, your own flesh and blood who will be born to you, will be taken away, and they will become eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.

May God continue to give us wisdom, knowledge and understanding and to give us more discernment in Jesus name

The blessed mourner

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Life has never been so overwhelming for me. I had encountered hardship and pain before, but this was one of a kind. There were days when I sat in silence and just did not know what to say anymore; I was puzzled and confused. How can so many hurtful things all happen at once, and why in this way?

The journey commenced in January 2015 when the Lord spoke to me and told me to urgently go to Uganda to pray for my grandmother. At first I doubted my hearing, especially since my grandmother was of a different faith. However, my prayer partner received the same revelation and said she would also accompany me on the journey.

So in April 2015, I went to Uganda. We asked my 87-year-old grandmother if she was receptive to us praying for her and she agreed. We laid our hands on her, prayed for her and her salvation. She was so grateful and asked when we would come back and pray for her. That was the last time I saw her. She passed away in December 2015.

Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015
Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015

             

I was shocked as I did not have an incline that she would pass, let alone that the significance of the prayer and that it would usher her into heaven. It really taught me that when God calls you to move and do something, you have to act instantly- no hesitation or doubt. I was really distraught by her death and as she passed away a few days before Christmas and my arrival in Uganda, it was a sombre mourning festive season.

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It was during this trip that I got my hearts desire to pray for John, a minister who spiritually guided me over the years (read blog post – Discerning the season). He was a man of God who I looked up to, who believed one-day God would use me and wanted to see its manifestation. He suddenly passed away in July 2016. It was very devastating and painful. For days, I would stay awake at night wondering if this was really happening. I just didn’t understand how someone who had just started such a huge ministry passed away so suddenly.

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Minister and close friend, John Baptist Mukajanga

During this time of mourning, is when I found out my cousin, brother and friend Hamim had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I don’t even know if the word “shocked” can sum up how I felt when I got the news. Is this really all happening at once? How can a fit, athletic, non-smoker, 29-year-old have lung cancer?

I found myself for the next few weeks going to the hospital almost daily to see him, to try and encourage him. The good thing is that he had a lot of friends around him and a big family support. I continued to ask God to heal him and for his salvation (as he was of another faith) but he became worse every day. Within weeks, he went from being a healthy athlete to being unable to talk and eat. It was heart breaking. It was during this time that I went on a prebooked holiday to Uganda. Days after arriving in Uganda is when he passed away. This was August 2016. I just couldn’t believe that another close person had passed away within the space of weeks.

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With my cousin, brother and friend Hamim

The pain became unbearable- I could feel the physical heart ache. This lead to panic attacks and depression. Depression is a silent killer which brought along old bad habits/sins, confusion and disconnecting me from the Lord. I stopped hearing and dreaming and was unable to pray. The spirit of fear had taken over and I was unable to sleep at night. I allowed the pain to consume me, and that was a mistake I made. However, at this time, I no longer knew how to deal with it or what to do anymore.

A week after my return from Uganda, my mum woke me up at 6 am. She initially asked me how I slept and if I was okay. I said yes. It was at that time that she informed me that my other grandmother had passed away. This was a lady I had seen the previous week before my return to London. She was fit, healthy and jolly and there was no sign that it would be the last time I would see her. At this moment, I felt like bad news had become the norm of my life. As I continued to suffer from anxiety, I went back to old habits and sins. I felt trapped in a box.

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Last time I saw my grandmother, August 2016

During this time, people would still send me their prayer requests and would ask me when I was next posting a post on Pearl Sisters. But I thought to myself, “How can I encourage some else when I need encouragement myself?”

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As much as people told me I was going to be “alright” and “get through it”, the times when I was alone in my bed  were when the real manifestation of emotions occurred. It was at this stage that I realised that only God was going to get me through and strengthen me.

1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that this was for a season (read the blog post Discerning the season), and this season would pass. I started to discern the tricks the enemy was using to destroy me and my ministry, and knew I needed to stand firm. So I took a step back from ministry to focus on myself, my healing and deliverance.  I knew I needed to continue, to encourage someone that everything will be okay.

I want to encourage you today that regardless of what you are going through, you will get through it alive and in one piece. We all go through stages in life where it is so difficult, painful and sorrowful. But this is the time you need to hold unto God the most. He is the only one who can restore and repair and there is always a great lesson to be learnt. It is okay sometimes to take a step back and reflect, seek God for direction and focus on yourself. Take your time, there is no rush. God has seen every tear, pain, and sadness and it is His will for your to be joyful. Take courage.


In memory of Jajja Namutebi, Jajja Namazzi, JB and Hamim xxx