Category Archives: happiness

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. 

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)

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


Why me?

1453022739779Why me? A question I repetitively asked myself throughout 2015. Everything that could possibly go wrong occurred. All that I feared happening in my life manifested. Why me? My prayers were not being answered the way I expected them to. Moreover, God was silent. Why me? Pain, grief, disappointmentFather where are you. Perhaps this was punishment for my former sins or maybe I was born to live a life of hardship. Everyone around me was having breakthroughs and my journey was getting harder- Why me?

I then found encouragement in the book of Job. Job was a perfect, wealthy, upright man that feared the Lord (read Job 1). One day, God gave satan permission to intervene in Job’s life and cause affliction.

Job 1:6-12 “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger. ”Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

One would ask, why would God do or allow such a thing? Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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The conversation between satan and the Lord was beginning of Job’s misfortunes and affliction. Job lost his cattle, his children, his honour all at once (read Job 1). What amazed me is despite this occurring, Job continued to worship God (Job 1:20-22   At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing).

However, this led to the Lord allowing satan to afflict Job for a second time.

Job 2:3-10 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”  “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life. ”So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”  He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

However, this caused Job great pain and he repetitively cursed his existence on earth. Job 6:8-10 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life! Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

What did Job do to deserve great pain and hardship? In addition to this, he faced shame and even his own wife and friends rejected him during his time of calamity.

Job 19:13-20 “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

Although Job wallowed in self-pity, he did not curse God and Job passed the test of obedience

Job 7:20-21 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.

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God  promises us that we will reap more than we have lost; all to the glory of His name.

Job 8:7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.

And indeed after God’s purpose was fulfilled in Job’s life, He blessed Job with even more than He had lost out on.

Job 42:11-13 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.  He had also seven sons and three daughters.

When I made a list of the hardships I faced in 2015 and compared them to the affliction Job faced, it was incomparable. Let us ask God what lesson He is trying to teach us, what His plan and purpose is for the affliction, rather than complaining and dwelling in self-pity (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus).

Like Job, God knew that you would be able to handle the affliction, to pass the test He has set before you. He has placed a hedge of protection over you. No matter what hurdle comes into the path of His servant, you will jump over it victoriously. The book of Job also shows how powerless satan is, and that God Himself has the final say over your life.

Why you? Because God loves you and wants to use your life as a great testimony to others. Why You? Because God has installed greatness into you that will do wonders in His kingdom. Why You? Because you are His entrusted vessel who cannot be broken, and can withstand the challenges life offers. Why You? Because God was confident enough that you would overcome any misfortune that come your way. Why You? Because no plan of the enemy can destroy you, it only makes you stronger!!!

 

Seasonal people

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The year 2015 has been a year of rearrangement, growth and isolation for me during my Christian walk; in particular, concerning the people in my life. The Lord has rearranged my friendship circle, brought individuals who have helped me spiritually grow, and kept me isolated to spend more time with Him.

The discontinuity within friendships is never an easy one to comprehend: in particular, when God mysteriously removes people from our lives. One wonders: “Why would God remove this person? We have been friends forever”. These friends are seasonal and have fulfilled the purpose God had for them in your life. When this disconnection occurs, one may feel a number of negative emotions. However, remember that God knows what He is doing and sees ahead of time (Isaiah 46:10 “I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please”). In addition to this, rearrangements allow us to move unto the next stage in our lives without hindrances.

Not long ago, I went through one of the most difficult seasons I have ever witnessed in my life. I was being tested in every area of my life and unable to cope. It was as if God was playing hide and seek with me and the trials and tribulations of this world had really gotten to me. I had not guarded my heart and the deceits of this world had started to creep in. I had gotten to a place where I was so overwhelmed and asked God to take me home (thank God He doesn’t answer all our prayers). But I remembered what Jesus did when the trials of this world got to Him (Mark 14:36 “Abba, Father, he cried out, everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine).

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So I cried unto the Lord and asked Him to give me the grace to keep walking. And out of the blue, people started calling me saying that God had placed it unto their hearts to pray for me. Others had visions and dreams of my pain. These individuals were not my usual friends or people I would usually turn to in tough times. In fact, those people actually turned their back on me during this season. The individuals God sent were seasonal people, who helped me overcome the battles and pass the test.

Recently, I was not feeling too well and spent the day at the hospital. Unable to walk properly and in excruciating pain, I decided to download the UBER app to take a taxi home. However, for some reason the app refused to fully download and kept freezing at 2%. I turned my phone on and off, sat in various positions to get reception (though I had full reception) and it refused to load. I decided to give up and cross the road and take a bus home. In the far distance, I saw a lady cross over the road and walk towards me. Upon arrival she said: “ Excuse me, the Lord has told me you are in pain and that I need to give you a lift home”. I was in so much shock “Could this really have been God?”. I decided to take the leap of faith and went along with her to her car. I sat next to her daughter who was about 7-8. I asked her what her name was and she said Vanessa Anne (my full name is Vanessa Annelies). At this moment it hit me that God was with me, in fact He never left!

I just want to encourage you today to keep pressing on and keep walking. Our Christian walk is packaged with many challenges, but God will always bring someone to pray for you or use them to show you that He is still with you. Thank God for the people He has brought, the people He has taken away and the seasonal people He is bringing to help you reach your destiny.

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Seasonal people – pointers

  • Do not be upset when people leave your life, they have fulfilled their purpose.
  • Allow God to rearrange your friendship circle, He knows what is best for you.
  • Do not look at people you have helped to stand there with you during difficult times. God will send His seasonal people to stand with You.
  • Periods of alone-time are good, it allows you to hear God’s voice more clearly and have an intimate relationship with God.
  • When times are tough, look unto God and not unto man (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).
  • People will always disappoint you, but God never will (Psalm 118:8-9 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes).
  • Guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23 Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life).
  • Focus on God and all things will fall into place (Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things).
  • You are not forgotten and God has placed you unto the hearts of His servants to intercede for you (Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ).
  • Ask God what He is trying to teach You in this season and ask Him help you to pass the test.
  • Strive to please God and not man. All other things will fall into place (Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you).Phonto (1)