Here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.

A new season

The last six weeks have been the most rewarding, life changing and eye opening season of my life. The season of motherhood, has not only brought sunshine, but like any season, dark clouds lingered and sometimes heavy rains poured. Then came those rainbow moments, where I am filled with hope until the sunshine appears again!

As I look at the number of plastic containers in my kitchen, I give thanks to God for great friendships. I thank God for blessing my friends, so they can be a blessing unto myself and others. For those who couldn’t visit in the first few weeks, kept in touch via regular messages and calls. I give God thanks for each and everyone of them.

BC Life (Before Christ)

As I reflect on my BC life, I am certain that I wouldn’t have been the mother I am, if it wasn’t for Jesus. I believe that I was predestined to be a mother and God wanted to ensure that I was spiritually prepared for this role. God knew his gal wouldn’t have been able to handle the few stretch marks and the extra weight, without Jesus. My hubby wouldn’t have heard the end of it.

As I look at my strech marked hips, I feel no shame. Of course, I would love to lose the extra pregnancy weight, but I know that will happen in time. However, every now and then, the enemy attempts to steal my joy and I found mysef clinging to Jesus evermore. I continue to call on Him.

The challenges

I’ve called one him when I’m sleep deprived. I’ve called his name when the thought of being on my own with baby hits home or when I’m worried about how I’ll manage when my other half goes away.

Yes, I know that as a child of God we are not to worry or be anxious about anything, but your girl isn’t perfect. I’m sure I’m not alone here! I am just grateful that I know what to do if worry kicks in. I no longer dwell on the situation, instead, I share my worries with God and I also share them with praying friends, as I try to figure things out.

Figuring it out

I was raised in a close knit extended family. Mama, always had it figured out when it comes to raising children. She had raised eleven children with Daddy and managed well. At home ( St.Vincent), every one took turns with baby and the child was raised by the community. In the UK, it was different, with little family support, it’s a struggle. Lift your hand if you’re in a similar boat or you know what I’m talking about. I see you shaking your head sis. I feel you too! You’re telling me it will get better.

In the first few weeks, I found myself missing mama and her remedies. She knew what every cry meant and what to do when baby griped. As I looked at the hubby and I figuring it all out, I thought of mama. It was all trial and error for us, but with God’s help we managed. I thank God that we were both able to figure it out together.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9‭-‬10 NIV

Soldier’s wives

My hubby returned to work following his two weeks paternity leave. Let me take a moment and give thanks to God for this. Did you know that in some countries men do not get paternity leave? How blessed are we.

As a military family, God provided me with an eye opening experience, following the hubby’s return to work. I had heard about the struggles that the wives of serving soldiers face, but it never truly hit home until now.

Ladies, you are ever so strong, you deserve all the love from your men. It’s tough! From being on your own with baby during the day and having to feed through the night. Your other half strecthes his hands to help, but within the next few minutes he falls asleep! He is exhausted too! Everyone tells you to sleep when baby sleeps, but you’re thinking of cooking or cleaning. So you just managed to get everything done, then baby’s up! Game over!

Women cheers to you! If you’re a father doing this on your own, you deserve all the love too. Husbands, give your wives a hug. We don’t always tell you what goes on in your absence, because we know that you need to concentrate at work and you’ve had a rough day as well. Don’t judge us if you see an untidy house every now and then; we try our best. When we say we need a break, in no way do we mean we hate being a mother. We just need some time out, some space, a breather to get back to doing an amazing job again.

Needing Jesus

It’s wonderful to know that as a child of God, the Holy Spirit lives in us. Motherhood requires the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When there is a crying baby in the house, you need the gift of self control. You need patience when your nipples are sore in the first week and you feel like giving up. You need to be gentle with baby and your other half, when you’re feeling tired and frustrated. You need to remain faithful on cloudy days. It is only through his peace you will remain calm; when someone harmlessly comments about your pregnancy weight, without understanding your frame of mind at the time. Through it all, you’ll need love. Love makes babies grow; it is also the thing that keeps the family together during this season.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT

Social Worker

During the past six weeks, I was able to place myself in the shoes of those parents whom I once judged. Yes, the mothers with the untidy homes or the ones whose babies were harmed in their care ( intentionally or not). I realised how it stings when that person can be you. Although I knew the procedures in regards to a child being removed, I was worried about being judged for being a bad mother. I worried about if she fell or if she was somehow hurt in my care, how it will be categorised under the safeguarding threshold. How my clumsiness can cause her to suffer unintentionally, yet under the law it could be seen as a case of harm and abuse! I think of how worrying it might be for the parents who do not know how the system works. I now thank God for the opportunity to see the need to be more empathetic and less judgemental in the future.

It gets easier

As I look at my sleeping baby. I see how important it is to trust and believe in the promises of God. He told us that we can do all things through Christ who gave us strength. I believe every word of this. As I look at my baby’s cheeks, I thank God that I didn’t give up on breastfeeding in the first few weeks. I thank God for the gift of family and true friendships. I thank God for the trials which he has given me thus far. I feel like I’m climbing; a faith ladder, and as the tests appear, I keep climbing and as I climb I get to witness another dimension of God’s glory. You get what I mean?

Here’s to strong women

Women, I admire you for your strength and courage. With or without family support, motherhood comes with its joys and challenges for every woman. May God build his home in you.

God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
Psalms 46:5 NIV

To the wives of serving soldiers, take a bow! I admire you for holding your family down and keeping your home together when your husband gets deployed. I admire you for finding ways to be a wife, mother, sister and friend all at once. May God look over you. May God strengthen you to be the pillar for your family. May you be the thermostat for your home; create an atmosphere of warmth and love despite the challenges. May you and your household serve the Lord ( Joshua 24:15)

Single parents, you deserve so much praise! May God send a helper for you! May your children show you the utmost love and respect. May you continue to lean on God to strengthen you. May God bless and protect your family. May you teach his children about his word daily.

And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.
Deuteronomy 6:6‭-‬7 NLT

I cannot forget those strong women who have yet to encounter the season of motherhood. The ones who remain strong for us, when we need a shoulder to cry on. The ones who treat our babies as their own, while they silently pray for their own little blessing. That takes strength! May God bless your womb. May you be rewarded.

Children are a gift from God

Despite the sleepless nights and cries, which doesn’t last forever, they are truly a blessing. The smile on their faces make it all worthwhile in the end. So yes, the season of motherhood has brought some showers of rain, but also some showers of blessing.

As the season continues, my prayer is that as challenges appear, I’ll continue to climb that faith ladder until I am blinded by God’s glory. It’s only through his Word we can be the parents he wants us to be.

May God bless you and thank you for reading. Don’t you give up!

Love,

Ang 🙂

Where’s my wig?

Wigs

Last year, my sister came to visit for a few days. I always enjoy our short time together and make the most of her visits; we rarely get to see each other. When she visits, we act like two teenagers, we laugh like no one’s watching. My sisters and I have a close relationship. We are so close that nothing is off limits! We are great at borrowing each other’s lipsticks, wearing each other’s clothing and taking left over wigs! Just so you know, we care little about germs in this family.

I have always admired the confidence in both of my sisters. They have always loved and embraced their natural selves. On the other hand, your girl was always into fashion and would spend tremendous amount of money on an important aspect of herself…her hair! I found myself glued to wigs 🙂

Lies

When I became a Christian, I did not just start loving myself immediately. It was a process and still is. For most of my adult life, the enemy planted a lie in my head which I struggled to get rid of. The lie that my thick, strong, afro hair was somewhat ugly plagued my mind for years. The moment I had the freedom to cover my hair with weaves and wigs, I grabbed at this opportunity. It made me feel beautiful.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 8:44 NIVT

Daily Transformation

When God called me, He called me as I was and I accepted His call. I still felt the need to hide my hair from the world. You see that’s the thing about coming to Christ. You come as you are! You come with all those horrible thoughts and feelings. Initially, you struggle to let go of the old you, but through the power of the Holy Spirit you will be transformed daily into the image of God.

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV

Do not conform

There is such beauty in having an honest relationship with God. Like any other relationship, my relationship with God was lukewarm at first. However, as we got to know each other, we became more open. As we grew closer, I discussed how I felt about wanting to love myself. I asked him to teach me how to love every part of my being. I no longer wanted to be known as the girl who loved hair and make-up. I wanted to be known as the girl who loves God. I no longer wanted to be conformed to the standards and patterns of this world. I wanted my mind to be transformed.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV


Back to my sister’s visit

As we sat on the sofa watching the television, we heard a voice in the back garden. A friend had popped into visit my husband. Normally, if someone was paying us a visit my other half would give me a five minuite wig warning, but seemed to have forgotten! So your girl freaked out! Where was my wig? Like a ninja, I flew over my sofa and crawled upstairs. My sister was in shock! She couldn’t believe that her sissy had those moves! I almost broke my neck to get to this wig! We laughed so loudly when I returned downstairs looking like Beyonce.

Wonderfully made

A few months later, I made the decision to commence my natural hair journey. I had comdemned this hair so much, I felt it was impossible to grow. The world had also condemned this hair for some time too, but I was no longer of the world. I was now a child of God and with His help I was going to love this hair. I wanted to believe what God said about me.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Psalms 139:13‭-‬14 NIV

A conquerer

As I developed a better relationship with my hair, I realised I was slowly falling in love with my new image. I no longer glimpsed at my hair in the mirror, I now played with it. I would even say a hair growth prayer and comb my invisible lengths! I would ask God to grant me the courage to embrace it as it grows. It was the beginning of me loving myself in a new way and I was loving it!

After a year, something amazing happened. On October 1st 2019, I finally saw what God saw. I saw hair that was strong and beautiful. I was no longer deceived by the enemy and no longer believed his lies. I finally found the courage to share a photo of my natural hair to the world. I finally wore my natural hair in public. God had transformed my mind to see what He had always seen.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:37 NIV

A new creation

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

At this very moment, my heart is smiling as I have never felt more beautiful. Also, I no longer have to shout, “Where’s my wig? ” Do you know how many times I answered my doorbell with my wig back to front? Those poor delivery men probably thought I was having too many bad days .

Today, I can finally walk out the door without a wig. I can finally choose to wear my wig if I want to and not because I have to. Most importantly, I can wear my natural hair knowing that I am who God says I am…this is me!

Today’s Prayer

Today, my prayer is that you burn every lie the enemy has planted in you. Let the Holy Spirit plant a fire in you that will destroy the work of the enemy.

May you no longer be deceived by the lies of the enemy. May you see yourself the way God sees you. May God help you to love every part of your being.

May we no longer be conformed to the patterns of this world, but transform our minds Lord. Heavenly Father, transform us into your image daily.

May God richly bless you and thank you for reading.

Love,

Ang 🙂

The Delivery Room

In October 2018, my sisters and I met for breakfast in a nearby café. As we laughed and shared our experiences of God’s grace, the topic of childbirth was discussed. My sisters openly shared their pregnancy journeys and their time in the delivery room. Being one of two persons around the table yet to experience the miracle of childbirth, I was slightly petrified by some of their stories. A few months later, your girl was pregnant!

Pregnancy Journey

I had an amazing pregnancy until week 39 ( 40 weeks is considered to be full-term). I had no experience of morning sickness or any other severe pains. You see, everyone’s experience of pregnancy will be different. Do not be turned off by someone else’s story if you are planning on having children in the future. God will give you a pregnancy which is designed just for you.

Preeclampsia

At 39 weeks, I was diagnosed with mild preeclampsia, which led to a scheduled induction. Preeclampsia is an illness which is characterised by swelling in one’s hands, face and feet due to water retention. It is also marked by high blood pressure and protein in one’s urine. While its exact cause is unknown, it is believed to stem from issues with the placenta.

According to BabyCenter UK, it causes the flow of blood through the placenta to be reduced and can mean that the baby won’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, which may restrict their growth . The only cure for preeclampsia is to have the baby as soon as it is safe to do so.

In my BC (Before Christ) days, I remember laughing at Kim Kardashian when she too was diagnosed with preeclampsia. Pictures of her swollen face and ankles painted the internet and your girl was loving it. She was induced at 34 weeks.

It’s great to know that we have such a merciful and forgiving God. He did not let me suffer because of my past, but showed that his grace was sufficient. Thank you Lord.

Induction

As I approached my induction date, I looked forward to feeling a contraction. I remember asking my best friend, “What does a contraction feel like?” She described it as a menstrual cramp, but ten times worse. I laughed, but she was spot on!

Following a 24 hours induction process, I was greeted with contractions. It was a pain I had never experienced before. They did warn that an induction was more painful than a normal labour, as with a normal labour, contractions are gradual. On the other hand, the contractions which stem from an induction are more intense, they go from 0 to 100. Throughout the pain, I called on God, but I did not feel his presence.

Childbirth

To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16 NIV

It’s interesting, God did say that childbirth was meant to be severe. However, I couldn’t imagine a pain of such nature. As a Christian, I am not immune from suffering. The difference between a believer and a nonbeliever should be how we cope with pain. How we use the Word to bring hope and peace through difficult times.

Nonetheless, even a believer can struggle to see God through physical pain. I struggled in the beginning of my labour. I was not like Job, who did not sin when he was faced with sores all over his body. He did not even wish death upon himself.

“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.
Job 2:8‭-‬10 NIV

In the beginning of my labour, I was more like Paul who prayed for God to remove the thorn from his flesh.

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
2 Corinthians 12:8‭-‬9 NIV

Throughout the pain, I called on God, but no response (so I thought). I felt that God had forsaken me. I searched for his presence; I needed him desperately.

God’s Presence

As I reflect on my time in the delivery room. I knew that God was right there with me. As I turned to my right, I saw God’s love through my husband’s eyes. He held my hand and together we worked on my breathing techniques. When I lost all my strength, my husband reminded me of how to breathe. I was thankful that I had the support of my other half. Some women go through labour on their own, while others cannot cope with another person being around them.

As I turned to my left, I felt God’s presence. Through my mother’s touch, I experienced his love and saw His heart. Mother and I held hands and we prayed together. At times when I couldn’t pray, I heard her whispers. Mother was calm, positive and ever so reassuring. She only had three days left in the country, but God ensured that our little one arrived before her departure.

As I looked ahead, there He was, covered in scrubs. Through the words of the doctor, I knew that I was well looked after. She made decisions that were only based on God’s wisdom and insight. She did everything she could, to ensure that we were safe. Through the pain, I felt that God had placed a trusting spirit within her.

God dropped the miracle in, when I pleaded for an epidural to ease my pain. My family insisted for the doctor to perform an internal examination instead. I was 10cm dilated when she checked! Oh the room was filled with laughter when we heard the news. There was no need for an epidural! God knew that this was not his plan for me.

When I thought God was finished with me, He passed the baton to a midwife who had 18 years of experience. She came just in time for the third and final leg. She too was a Christian who was missing church on Sunday. She said, “God is right here with you.” God had used her to speak to me. He knew I needed this reminder; it gave me the strength I needed for the final hurdle. Our little one arrived at 8:45 am on that blessed Sunday, we left the hospital on that Sunday.

Delivery Room

In that delivery room, God was truly at work. I was in a private room with the best technology. I had trained staff around me. Thanks to the National Health Service (NHS), I could leave the hospital without worrying about paying a hefty bill. No need to worry about health insurance! How blessed are we?

Sometimes in our suffering we can struggle to see God. God in the storm doesn’t always look like God. Sometimes it may take a few months or even years to realise it was all Him. If only we can learn to focus only on the good, how amazing would this be. It reminds me of this scripture,

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 NIV

Why does God permit us to suffer?

Perhaps you’re in a delivery room of your own at this present time. That place where you’re in extreme pain and you’re waiting to give birth to a new life, a new beginning or a new opportunity. You’re waiting for God to come through for you, but it’s taking some time. You’re wondering why did God allow this to happen. I asked questions as well. Why did God permit me to go through such a long labour? Why did God permit an induction?

I believe that God wants us to share our experiences of His love with others. He wants us to share our stories with others to provide comfort. He wants us to tell others how He provides comfort in our times of suffering. In times of suffering, His angels may be disguised, we just need to pay close attention.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3‭-‬4 NIV

Today’s Prayer

Lord, thank you for remembering me in my time of suffering. Sometimes I may not be able to feel your presence, but I know that you are there.

Lord, teach me to be like Job in times of physical pain. Let my pain not cause me to sin, but let me lean on you instead.

Thank you God for always looking over me, for not leaving nor forsaking me. May you continue to provide opportunities for me to experience your loving presence. May you continue to comfort me, so I can learn to comfort others.

In Jesus name I PRAY, Amen

God bless you for reading.

Love,

Ang

Give

The most perfect example of love

 

Is God’s gift of His one and only son

 

To give means to love

 

To care

 

To show others that your heart

 

Is near

 

To give means to tell others

 

They are truly important

 

They are your brothers and sisters

 

They are not forgotten

 

Be cheerful in your giving

 

Do it without frowning

 

Give in different ways

 

It doesnt have to be silver, gold or diamonds

 

Just give what you can

 

Give love

 

Give hope

 

Give your time

 

Give your laughter

 

Give a listening ear

 

Show that you truly care

 

Always give back to others

 

It is only by giving you can receive

 

More than what you already have

 

Give in secret

 

Give to the poor

 

Give when you know you get nothing in return

 

God gave you two hands for a reason

 

One to help yourself

 

The other to help others

 

Give with the helping hand

 

Give what you can

 

Show that you are truly human.

 

Inspired by the following scriptures:

 

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Matthew 6:2‭-‬4 NIV

2. All riches and wealth come from you; you rule everything by your strength and power; and you are able to make anyone great and strong. 

Today’s Prayer

Lord, give me a heart like thine. Heavenly Father, thank you for blessing us with this earth and everything in it. Lord, thank you for making me a steward of your gifts. Heavenly Father, let me not hold tightly to anything of this world, especially when I see my brother or sister in need. Lord, teach me how to give with an open my heart. I want to be a cheerful giver at all times. Lord, let me remember that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are true gifts which can also be shared with others. Let me use these gifts to serve others.

 

 

 

 

Not every now and then

Every now and then

I stop and think how God intervened

how He rescued

how He healed

Every now and then

I close my eyes and smile

I think of His unfailing Love

His mercies

which come from above

Every now and then

I look at the birds, skies and seas

His glory can truly be seen

Every now and then

He touches, embraces

kisses me gently

He tells me I’m loved

I’m beautiful

I’m wonderfully made

It is He who created me

Every now and then

I glimpse at the heavens

I search for his presence

I search the Bible

I race to church

Then he nudges me

He whispers softly

“Not every now and then,

Not every so often

But ALWAYS

Search for me within your heart

for that’s where I’ll always be.”

Poem inspired by the following scriptures:

1. “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”  1 Corinthians 3:16

2. “But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 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.” Isaiah 43:1‭-‬2 NIV



Today’s Prayer

Father, thank you for chasing me with your goodness. Thank you for always rescuing me in times of weakness. Lord, there are times when I may lose my faith in you; times when I may feel you are not near. Lord, nudge me gently, remind me that your spirit dwells within me. Lord, fill me with your perfect strength today. Fill me with your perfect love. I need you God today and every day.

May God richly bless you 🙂


Love,
Ang

This time last year: When God lets you hit rock bottom.

Anxiety

In the early hours of August 3rd 2018, my husband and I sat in the corridors of our local hospital. My anxiety had led to panic attacks, which triggered tremendous fear. It was the safest place for me at the time. I was surrounded by persons who knew what this was all about; it provided reassurance for my other half.

Lost

On August 11th, we decided it was probably best for me to take a mini break and return to the Caribbean (home) for a few weeks. My mental health had taken a turn for the worst. The thought of flying made me more anxious. What if I had panic attacks on the flight? It was almost a seven hour flight. One sister looked for the flight, while the other prayed. Mother contemplated as to whether she should book some time off to pay me a visit. I was about to book an appointment with my GP to discuss my mental health, but felt I was running out of time. I had stopped eating and now had a fear of driving. There were numerous ideas floating about; I felt completely lost. In the midst of chaos, something happened.

The Call

As I walked down my stairs on the morning of the 11th, a thought came to me, “find a church.” It was as clear as day. I knew it wasn’t my thought. God was not even on my mind. It was a Saturday, were churches opened on a Saturday? Looking back, I believe that this was the moment that Jesus called me.

Jesus loves me

On August 11th, I responded to the call. I met with my spiritual sister and her husband (Reverend) at his home. As he prayed with me, I felt lighter. After not being able to eat, I found myself eating in his home. This wasn’t a regular talk; regular talks would have brought shortlived happiness, this was different. He told me about Jesus’ love for me and His power. I believed Him; my life depended on it. I had given the world a chance and that didn’t turn out so well did it? I needed to give Jesus a chance. On August 11th, I walked away from his home with the belief that Jesus would save me; I slept peacefully for the first time in months.

The Day

On August 12th, I attended church for the first time in years. I cried! I was broken, timid and afraid, but I listened and believed every word which was spoken. On that day, I made the decision to let God take full control of my life. I didn’t know the Bible, but I believed in God. On August 12th, I confessed to mother that I needed a Saviour. This was an answered prayer for mother; a wonderful birthday gift.

Trusting God

On August 13th, I resigned from my new role in Adult Services. I had only been there for two days. In all the chaos, I somehow believed that if it was God’s will for me to return, I would return. This was the beginning of me learning to trust God.

On August 13th, I told my husband that I was not returning to work. It was his birthday gift. He wasn’t shocked by the news. He had seen how unhappy I was over the last few months and couldn’t do much about it. I  remember him saying, “we will be ok, you’ll find something you love soon.” No questions asked, only his full support.

Still Broken

On August 14th, Shan visited my home. She came to assist with job applications, I was so pleased to see her. My anxiety had made it difficult to remain on my own; her presence was more than enough. We stood in the kitchen area and wept, she said we would get through everything together. Shan had seen how my time in Children Services had broken me, how fear had consumed my life. I had spent four years training for a role which took every bit of me; all the strength I had left.

Decisions decisions

So on August 14th, we applied for about six different jobs. The same day, my manager emailed, then called to say she was not accepting my resignation letter. This led to me blocking her number! The nerves of this lady, how dare she dismissed my application? We just met. Within a few days of me resigning, I received a number of interviews. I had to make a decision. Do I return to social work or was it time to move on?

The Return

On August 17th , I returned to social work. I returned to an old situation, but this time it was different, I had Jesus with me. I took a chance on a man whom I just met. My manager and I sat in a cosy room as we discussed my anxiety. She heard the horror stories in Children Services, but never experienced this type of social work. She provided reassurance and created an action plan with me. She said, “in this job, you will get to kick butt, you will get to fight for the vulnerable.” This was right up my street! You know what, she was right 🙂

Can I say this? I applaud children social workers for their hardwork, commitment and their ability to thrive in stressful situations. There are persons who are made for these roles, persons who have found ways to be emotionally resilient or are well supported to manage these complex yet rewarding roles. I truly appreciate what they do.

Rock Bottom

After meeting with my manager, my anxiety returned. Most mornings, I stopped at my local petrol station and admired the lady behind the till. She was always happy. I would have happily traded my attire, wages, badge, mobile and laptop in receipt of her smile. I had hit rock bottom. I now smile, because it was here I discovered Jesus.

For the remainder of August, God held my hand. I started to pray more, I needed him every second of the day. Together, we attended meetings, visits and wrote case notes. When I felt fearful, this scripture kept me going.

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Each day, my smile got a tiny bit broader. I became more confident in my work, but there was a shift in my spiritual life. I started seeing the world in a different way.

Random Questions

I felt like God was creating a new life within me. I was puzzled, as I asked random questions about life. How was the world created? How and why did God do this? I remember looking at the sky and trying to make sense of it all. Of course, I couldn’t reveal these thoughts to anyone. Can you just imagine me telling others about this? So I went searching, I opened the Bible and started with Genesis.

Genesis

Genesis provided the answers to the puzzle of life. In the book of Genesis, I saw that the world was made with extreme love. I saw that God’s primary focus was about Him and his relationship with us. Genesis did save me; I saw God’s love and mercy for humans. I felt his love. Looking back, I am certain I wasn’t losing my mind, but the shift was me seeing the world through spiritual eyes.

Faith

On August 31st, I was in awe of God when I received my wages. I felt it didn’t belong to me; if it had not been for the grace of God I would not have made it to the end of the month . On that day, I made it my duty to use my gifts to give back to God and to share with others. I saw the importance of tithing. More importantly, it was the beginning of my journey of faith.

Joy

A year later, a lot has happened. In August of 2019, I knew that God had sent me to my job to fullfill his purpose. I was not only there to assist the vulnerable clients, but to support those who were spiritually poor. As I read my final review, I knew I had made the right decision.

For confidentiality reasons, my name was removed from the writing.

A year later, God turned my mourning into dancing as I await the birth of Genesis. I am overwhelmed with joy, as it’s a new beginning for me. I am intrigued as I await to see where he leads me. My life is in his hands and it is the best place to be.

A new life

So here’s to hitting rock bottom and understanding that with Jesus we can always make it to the top. Even if God lets us fall a million times, He will always be our Rock. When we feel like we have hit rock bottom, we just need to look up; God is willing and ready to lift us up. Hitting rock bottom can truly be the foundation where one can build a new life, a life built in Christ.

Prayers

Today, I pray for anyone who is battling with their mental health. Please know it’s nothing to be ashamed of; we are all susceptible to this. I pray that God will provide for you as he does for me. May God send angels in the form of friends, family, managers or work colleagues to you.

I believe in my heart that Jesus is the greatest healer. He not only healed me of my anxiety, but he continues to save me from the attacks and lies of the enemy. However, I am mindful of those whom he has not yet called; the spiritually poor or those weak in faith.

I pray that God directs you to professionals whom he has given the knowlege, skills and wisdom to assist you during this time. Contact your GP if you need to, there might be some underlying health problem which may be undiagnosed.

My brothers and sisters, please check on that friend who has been inactive on social media for the past few days. In moments of depression or anxiety, all hope and joy is stolen. They may not be able to reach out to you, so call or pay a visit. Your support is truly needed at this time.

As I sign off, I beg of you to pray for me. I may not be able to write as much, instead I’ll share some of my poetry with you. Please let me know what you think, as poems are a bit new for me. Looking forward to being back with you soon. May God be bless and keep you.

Love ANG 🙂

Our sins might be great, but God’s love is greater.

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19

Lies

A few weeks ago, I was disappointed in myself and rather embarrassed of my actions. In an attempt to prevent a hospital admission, I found myself lying to a panel of professionals. When I joined the Adult Services, I was aware of the limited community resources and funding, which made it difficult to support persons with complex health needs. Nonetheless, lying was not an excuse. As a Christian, the truth should permeate every aspect of my life. God is a God of truth.

He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. Deuteronomy 32: 4

I have always said, a career where I must lie to earn a living was one that I could not be a part of. In this case, I was not forced to lie and this was the difficult part. I had failed to do what was right.

“Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin,” James 4: 17

How could I have done such a thing to God? As I write to you, I am reminded of the story of David.

David

David was an ordinary man, who lived an extraordinary life. He trusted and believed in God, yet he lived a sinful life.

At first, David was a righteous ruler, but power and wealth took a toll on his moral compass. In lusted after Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, called her to the palace and got her pregnant.

David tried to cover his sin by having her husband come home from war and sleep with her (2 Samuel 11:9–13). When that didn’t work, he conspired to have her husband killed in battle (2 Samuel 11:15). He murdered an honest man to protect his affair with his wife, then Prophet Nathan confronted him about it all (2 Samuel 12:1–14).

David was punished for his sins, but God forgave him as well. David later confessed and acknowledged his sins; he hungered for a pure heart once more. God restored their relationship in the end.

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-2)

Acknowledgement and Confession of sin

I remember approaching Jesus and feeling a sense of shame and guilt. As I prayed, the words were stuck in my throat, yet I continued. Why didn’t I just walk away?

Over the last year, I had grown to know my Father. Through my daily reading, I had developed a personal relationship with Him. I knew His qualities. My Father is slow to anger; His love is everlasting. He was waiting for me to come to Him, just as David had done.

It was as though he was singing these words to me.

“Are you hurting and broken within?
Overwhelmed by the weight of your sin?
Jesus is calling.
Have you come to the end of yourself?
Do you thirst for a drink from the well?
Jesus is calling.

O come to the altar
The Father’s arms are open wide
Forgiveness was bought with
The precious blood of Jesus Christ.”

Conviction of Sin

As he calmed the storm in my heart, I opened up to him. I asked that He remained in me and I in Him. As we conversed, my heart was lighter, I smiled. God was working in me; I was under construction and this was good. How can God dwell in me if I am not worthy? The Holy Spirit was working in me, He had convicted me of my sins.

And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. John 16:8

The word convict is “to convince someone of the truth; to reprove; to accuse, refute, or cross-examine a witness.” The Holy Spirit exposes anything which is not of Christ and convinces people that they need a Savior. We are convicted when we become mindful of how much our sin dishonors God.

Repentance

God wants us to live a life which is pleasing to Him; sin dishonors God. When we sin, the Holy Spirit becomes sad because of our disobedience. Yes, the Holy Spirit is Christ himself, with all of His emotions.

And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the ay will come when God will set you free. Ephesians 4:30 GNB

To make ammends, God desires for us to repent. This in an opportunity for our sins to be wiped away. We repent when we turn away from all which is evil and make it our business to do good.

Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. Acts 3: 19

Renew My Heart

I know that God sent his son to die for me and my sins are forgiven, but in no way should I continue to abuse this free gift.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”  Ephesians 2: 8-9

In no way should wilful sin continue. I craved the opportunity to make it right with God. Not only did I desired forgiveness, but I desired a change of heart.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 NIV

Sanctification and Salvation

As humans, we will never be sinless, but once we come to Jesus a process occurs. First, we receive the Holy Spirit, then we are convicted of our sins, we confess our sins to God, then we repent. God will then continue His purification process (called sanctification), until we grow to become more like Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit’s conviction, there can be no salvation; we cannot be saved from hell.

As I reflect on those past few weeks, I must give God thanks. God used a complex situation to highlight the unholy aspects of my life. Therefore, I must act in obedience. It is good that I have the Holy Spirit to teach me how to live a godly life. This can only be true love.

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Titus 2:11‭-‬12 NIV

Today’s Prayer

I do not know which sin you are struggling with. Perhaps it’s lying, greed, envy, pride, stealing, adultery or lust. My prayer is that you can find it in your heart to boldy approach God and confess your sins to Him.

May the Holy Spirit convict us of our sins, so we can receive salvation.

May we make it our business to live a life which is pleasing to God. May we crave for a pureness of heart.

If you are reading this and you are not a Christian, thank you for reading until the end. Please know that you are not alone when it comes to sin; we are all born of sin and will continue to sin. However, with the help of the Holy Spirit you can be saved from sin, you just need to come to Jesus. May you be called by Christ Jesus and may you answer His call.

God wants you to know that your sins might be great, but His love is greater than you can ever imagine.

May God bless you richly.

Love,

Ann 🙂