Category Archives: inspire

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

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!!!

 

Blessed are the broken hearted

In this life journey, we have all had our hearts broken at some point in our lives. The emotional feeling when you think your world is coming to an end accompanied with an endless atrocious pain. The aching heart which manifests as if it’s about to physically erupt- consolation is unable heal the broken heart. One will wonder, where is God and why has He allowed such a thing to happen to me? Or perhaps it is all entirely my fault? What could I have done to avoid this situation?

Two months ago, I found myself asking God these questions. A close friend of mine had sadly passed away from adrenal cortical carcinoma. We all know that death is inevitable, yet when it occurs the shock is unexpected and unbearable- irony (Genesis 3:19 “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return”). I remember 6 months ago when I found out about her illness. I went before the Lord and prayed and had a captivating vision. I saw a white room, glowing with light and a white coffin in the middle. I started contemplating whether I had really seen this or whether this was my imagination. But deep in my heart I knew this was confirmation that it was her time to be with the Lord. Dazzled with emotions, I continued praying for her and believed God for her healing (Psalm 77:14” You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples”). Whenever I spoke to her, she was weak but joyful, anticipating on when we would see each other again. We planned all the activities we would do, and reminisced on old memories. Up until the very end, she was positive, knowing that the Lord would heal her from this unpleasant condition. I had planned to see her, and although she was 4000 miles away, I knew I would get there in time to spend time with her and physically pray with her. My deepest heart desire for her was that God would use her as a vessel to show His healing power, and to bring more people to the Lord- for it to be evident that the miracles that occurred during the days of the apostles are still very much a alive. 6 days before my departure, she passed away. I was devastated and even now at times when I remember her it brings tears to my eyes- Gone too soon! I was disappointed and sorrowful, with many unanswered questions. “God, If in Your word it says that “..by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5),why did you not heal her and let her live?”. 

Sometimes our prayers are not answered in the way in which we want them to be answered (Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD”). However, God has a way of manifesting His mighty power in all situations. My friends’ medical condition made headlines throughout the nation and disseminated to communities within the diaspora, as well as on social media. Worldwide people were praying for her healing.  People sympathized with her and donated financial funds towards her medical treatment. The day before her death, a car wash fundraising campaign was launched in which over £20,000 was raised to aid her treatment. Her departure touched the lives of many.

I have come to understand that although we plan things in our life, God already knows our beginning and ending (Revelation 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega-the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come-the Almighty One”). It is His desire for us to join Him after we have completed our purpose on earth and live in eternal joy (John 14:4 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going”).

When a loved one leaves us, whether it is in a relationship or to be with the Lord, it leaves a hole in our heart that only the Lord is able to fulfill. Its very easy to praise and thank God when we get what we want and when we are joyful; but what about in disheartening, sorrowful, disappointing times? (“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”). My prayer for you today is that regardless of the kind of heartbreak you are going through, God still loves you and has an amazing plan for you. The fact that you are still alive shows that you still have an impact to make on this earth and have a bright future ahead. It is always hard to say goodbye to a loved one and there are many unanswered questions. But there is always something to be thankful for- always!

In the loving memory of RN, miss you loads xxx

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       Blessed are the broken-hearted- prayer

Dear Lord,

I thank You for today and for the amazing plans You have for me. I thank You because the joy of the Lord is upon my lips and I am blessed and highly favoured. Father, I come before You because of (state situation). Lord, my heart is heavy and I am in pain: spiritually, physically and emotionally. Father, You see all that I have gone through and know You are with me, I am not alone. I pray that during this time you will be my source of strength (Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”). I pray that you will help me to understand that everything I go through in life has a beautiful ending. I may not understand it now but pray that You will heal me and help me to forget about this experience. Help me to forgive all those who have hurt and disappointed me.  I pray that You will bring the right people in my life that will encourage, uplift, love and bring joy to my life. Anyone that is not meant to be in my life, I cut them off in the name of Jesus. Restore me O Lord, renew my strength and help me to continue to run the race of faith. I pray that You will carry any burden I may be carrying (Matthew 11:28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”). Help me to put all my trust in You and remember that man will disappoint me but You never will. I thank you for I believe my prayer has been answered. AMEN.

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Prayer of healing (bereavement)

I thank You for this time, I thank You for today, I thank You for the wonderful plans that You have for my life. I thank You for waking me up today, for allowing me to see another day. I do not take this for granted (Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for he grants sleep to those he loves”). Father, although my heart is heavy right now, I know it is pleasing to You to praise and thank You even in our lowest moments. My prayer for today is that you will heal me from the pain I am encountering because of the death of my loved one (Matthew 5:4  “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted”). It is difficult to know that I will not see this person again and that they are gone forever. Whenever I think about them, it brings such sorrow and sadness and words cannot explain how I feel. I pray that during this time You will comfort me and be my strength (Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze”). May you strengthen my family and that of (state the persons name). May I acknowledge that this was Your perfect will and that nothing happens without You allowing it. I thank you for allowing (state the persons name) to fulfill their earthly purpose and for being a blessing to my life. Help me to hold on to the precious moments I had with (state the persons name) and pray that they have joined You in eternity, a place without pain, sadness and sorrow. Help me to move on forward with my life and fulfill the purpose you have for me on earth. AMEN   

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