Category Archives: hope

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 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.

Growing up fatherless

ps-3Growing up fatherless has moulded me into the individual I am today. The pros and cons intertwined together have made me unique. It was not until I started attending primary school that I realized I didn’t have a father. To me it was normal and I was very content with my loving mother. My earliest memory of desiring a father was during the days leading up to father’s day. Each year, we made lovely gifts for our daddy’s during class time. Each year, I would give the creative item to my mummy and the children in my class did not understand why. They didn’t understand why my dad was not present, let alone that I had never met him. I remember one year, mum wrapping the father’s day gift and she promised me she would personally deliver it to my father on her trip to our motherland. As promised, she captured the memorable moment of the gentleman holding my gift, and two decades later, I still embrace the photographic image.

I did always wonder what it would have been like growing up with a father. How would he have impacted my life? Would life have been easier? Would he be the person I would run to if mum was not able to provide for a particular need? Why was is it that all my friends had both their parents growing up and I did not meet him until the age of 8?

As I became older, I was judged a lot for not having grown up with a father and was automatically labelled as having “daddy issues”. The concept of “daddy issues” lingers among women who did not grow up with their father. As much as the imbalance remains evident in individuals that did not grow up with both parents, this concept should not be used as an immediate judgement towards an individual. However, in instances whereby other things are used to replace the emptiness faced by an individual due to the imbalance, there is a cause of concern.     

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It was always a lifelong prayer for me to get to know my father and spend time with him. God was merciful and this came to pass (read blog post Rejected but not forgotten). The experience was by far the most heartbreaking and painful one I have encountered to date, but I still thank God for answering my prayer.

At times in our lives when we desire things that God never gave us. We wonder whether God made a mistake or whether He forgot about us. We repetitively ask Him  “Why” and it seems God is silence. God is a loving a merciful God who protects His children in ways that one cannot express. In hindsight, I thank God for not allowing me to grow up with my father. I would not have had the great childhood I had and would not have been moulded into the person I am today. God protected me from disappointment and heartache and I thank Him for that. I thought I had missed out but God was protecting me all along.

A word encouragement for all who grew up in similar circumstance as myself: it is well. As cliché as it may sound, God is the only father who will love you unconditionally and never let you down. He is always there to protect you and always has your best interest. Although at times we may not see it, He always wants the best for us. May God teach us to be content with Him.

Matthew 7:11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Let us stand together in prayer and ask God to restore us. May He remove all the disappointment, pain, rejection and heal us. May He give us the grace to forgive our parents and to see them the way He sees them. Let us thank God for His hand of protection over us and for the way our life has turned out. Our lives may not have gone the way we had anticipated, but God is still in control. May we rise up above all stereotypes, they shall not define us nor be part of us in Jesus name.

Psalm 27:10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.

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Growing up fatherless- prayer

Dear heavenly Father,

I give You all praise and all the glory. I thank You for this time. Thank you for preserving and loving me unconditionally. Thank You for the gift of life, it is only by Your grace that I am still alive. Today, I bring the issue concerning my father to You. Lord, I have so many questions, and few answers. It was not easy not growing up fatherless. There were times when I felt rejected, unwanted and unworthy because he was not there. It was not easy and at times I still feel this way. I pray that You will take all these things away in the name of Jesus. I pray that You will replace them with the fruit of the spirit. I pray for Your divine healing, that You will fully heal me from all emotional pain. I pray that You will fill any emptiness I may be feeling. May You turn my mourning into joy. Help me to see the positive aspect in all this. I thank You for all that You have protected me from. Give me the grace to forgive my father for not being there. Help me to love Your son the way You do and to see him the way You see him. Help me to understand that only You can fully satisfy every need. In areas where I have been trying to fill the emptiness with other things, I pray that You will deliver me. Help me not to depend on others but to fully depend on You. I pray that growing up fatherless will only impact by life positively and no longer negatively. I pray that I will see You as my father and may You meet my every need. AMEN