We Are Not Crazy

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Something I have started to notice and has began to bother’s me is the way social media these days displays how women should act in a relationship. Viewing us as eye candy for men and high maintenance, instead of the partners that we should be. Teaching young ladies that we are supposed to be crazy, jealous and very demanding in a relationship. Moreover, telling us that “THIS IS THE NORM”. Well, have I got news for you! It ISN’T! This type of fake reality is disrespectful to women and here we are sitting and allowing this unwanted label to process.

The lord created us, women so that men wouldn’t be lonely, we are helpers, not stress-causers. Have we forgetten that God has already purposed how women should act even in a relationship. We are not meant to be quarrelsome “Better to dwell in the wilderness, Than with a contentious and angry woman.”
(Proverbs 21:19). This is why the rates of breakups and divorces have increased, it is not in our nature as women to fight and be angry all the time. It is also up to us women and mothers to teach the younger generation of women. We shouldn’t leave them to believe what social media says because that is the platform for the devil to decrease the value and potential of a woman. Even the bible tell us, women, what to teach the younger generation of women “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behaviour, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.”(Titus 2:3-5)

Ladies, we are not crazy and we don’t need to accept this label from anyone. What started out as a playful joke on social media has become the true reality in how relationships are managed in our society today. Yes, I’m also talking from experience, seeing all those social media jokes about crazy, jealous girls and the words “How girlfriends be like” (is this ringing a bell to anyone else), Afterwards I would ask myself am I a crazy person? Am i the jealous type of girl? then i would start to imagine how I would be in a relationship in the way social media perceived women as a guideline. This was an obvious mistake because it led to a lot of stress and worry of how I wasn’t like the “typical girl/girlfriend”. I wasn’t skinny, I didn’t like showing too much skin, I didn’t like a lot of attention and I was definitely not the jealous type. See this is were it all begins, social media had got us thinking that there is something wrong with us that we need to be like all the other girls.

But, I want to thank God because He showed me that being different in this corrupted society is exactly what I need to be. WE are not crazy, WE don’t have to show skin to feel accepted, and We don’t need to listen to the voice of social media. We are strong women, We don’t need attention from men, We don’t need acceptance from this world. We just need acceptance from God and He wants us to be different and look to Him. Not to get caught up with how the world wants us to run but by how He wants us to run. At the end of the day He is the one who has already destined our lives and who we are going to be with forever, so just wait upon Him. Stay Blessed!

WE are strong, NOT weak, WE are sane, NOT crazy

God Pleaser not People Pleaser

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Nowadays I see Churches and Christians becoming more of people pleasers than God pleasers. Church services have now without a doubt formed into concerts and entertainment centres rather than a place of exalting God. It’s a shame to see people lose focus on God because He deserves that moment of adoration and praise for all the goodness He has done in our lives.

We need to focus on our relationship with God, begin to grow stronger in Him and restore that true love for God that is weakening. There was a time where I, myself, was no longer doing the things of God (Such as worship and prayer) because I wanted to do it for God. I started to do them because I felt that was what I was expected to do, I was doing it out of my desire to please others, it was no longer about doing it for the love I had for God. If you read my post “The war is not over yet” I mentioned how there was a time where people would give me many ideas and thoughts wanting to rule my life. However, that is wrong! Nobody can govern your life except God, He is the one you should be trying to please.

The fact is people will always have opinions and a certain way they want you to behave and think. Let me tell you today, forget that, forget them, JUST KEEP DOING YOU! We were not brought on this earth to please mankind, we were put here by God to fulfil what He has purposed for our lives, not what others have purposed for it. It’s by His grace that He gives us a new day every day and allows us to live. If that’s not enough to want to please God then I don’t know what is, because last time I checked people are not the ones who formed us, planned our lives and created a destiny for us before we were even born “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” (Psalm 139:6)

We need to start becoming God pleasers again, doing what God finds pleasing. Which is having faith and putting our trust in Him, obeying His commands in our lives and relying on Him always, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6). Only then will we see His love flow in every aspect of our lives. Let’s stop pleasing people and start pleasing God! Stay blessed!

He wants to do so much in your life, His just waiting on you to give Him your life.

Look Back, Look Forward, Look Up

By Emma Stephens

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Anashe asked me to put together a piece of encouragement and advice to post on her beautiful blog. I will admit I was flattered, but a touch nervous. At 24, I hardly feel as if I am in a position to give anyone advice worth a listen. I know I’m older than some of you out there, but I know that I’m much younger than many of you as well. But 24 years of living is a long time, if you think about it; if there’s one thing I’ve learned in 24 years, it’s that no matter how unique you think your journey is, undoubtedly there’s been a stretch of your road that intersected someone else’s once. There is nothing new under the sun; you never know how your story will influence someone else.

About me: I’m 24 years old. I’m a college graduate working on an MA in English while working full time at my university’s IT department. I was born and raised in the South, but lived in Germany for a year. I received Christ as my savior when I was 7 years old. I got married to the love of my life a year and 7 months ago. I love cats and literature and coffee. I’m introverted, more so every year. I’m a die-hard The Lord of the Rings fan. I love to learn, I love to laugh. And, as easy-going as I’d like to think I am, there’s nothing that riles me more than injustice, and one of the world’s greatest injustices is the burden of double-standards, hatred, and violence poured out on women’s heads. Hence my blog, Liberated, where I explore the incredible, earth-shattering, empowering liberty God gives His daughters by His grace. His grace is greater than our sin and the sins of others; greater than fear, doubt, or pain, and it is on this almighty grace that I depend.

I say I blog, but to be honest, I haven’t been blogging faithfully at all lately. I don’t think I’ve written anything that wasn’t course work in months. I’m trying to change that; get back into writing. I’m grateful to Anashe for giving me the opportunity to do so.

Here is my advice to you all, my sisters, my friends:

Write. It. Down.

Write down your prayers. When I was in college, finding time for God was really difficult sometimes. I got up early to steal thirty minutes of peaceful silence before the rest of the dorm woke up to read my Bible, but I’d fall asleep again the minute I closed my eyes to pray. I bought a journal and started writing down my prayers—the activity kept me awake and gave me a record of my spiritual walk for that semester.

Write down your fears. The best thing I’ve found to help me sort through my various anxieties, aside from praying through them and talking about them with my supportive spouse, is writing them down. Your entries will be angsty. They will be raw. They will sadden you a little when you read them again years from now. But you’ll be glad you have that record; you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come.

Write down your successes. Every triumph is important. Even the little ones. Some of you out there are struggling with mental health issues—getting out of bed in the morning may take more effort for you than for others. But getting out of bed, even when you felt like there was no way on earth you could, is a success, and it’s worth noting. The giant triumphs are easy to remember—note those, too, of course, because even the brightest memories blur with time. But the little successes are just as valuable.

Write down your dreams. Is there something you really want to do with your life? Write it down. Make it a goal. Or discard it when another idea hits you that works even better. As you record each new ambition, you are drawing a map of your journey. You will grow, your ambitions will shift, and that’s beautiful.

Write down your friendships. The people in your life are shaping you as much as your presence in their lives shapes them. Relationships are important. That person you’re really close to right now may drift away by necessity of her own journey, and even though you still care about her, the good memories fade as the connection stretches thin over greater distances. Remember the happy moments. Write them down.

Write down answers to prayer. Make a list of people or concerns you’re praying over. As the requests are answered, check them off. There will come a time when you fear God won’t listen to you or answer your prayers—looking back at this list will help you remember how much God has done for you.

Write down your blessings. Gratitude isn’t an attitude as much as it is a practice and a choice. When God gives you a good thing, write it down so you don’t forget. Again, even the small things are significant. That beautiful flower you saw on the way to work? A gift from God. The rain that fell during lunch? A gift from God. Even the things that annoy us or disadvantage us, like a lost job opportunity or other disappointed hopes, turn out to be blessings in the end—God always has something better. Write it down so you don’t forget.

The most useful piece of advice I could give you is this: no matter what your fears, dreams, prayers, friendships, or blessings are today, they will shift and change over time. Tomorrow is always a new and different day with new and different choices. Sister, no matter what horrible or beautiful thing happened to you today, no matter how down or how happy you may feel, God always has something better waiting for you down the road. There will be hard times and happy times, and God is in all of them, strengthening you, trying you with fire and flood and thunder.

You’ll never walk alone, though. He’s always there. He always listens. He will carry you through.

Write it down.

“For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

To see more of Emma’s posts or seek further advice visit her blog at https://theliberatedblog.wordpress.com/

The War Is Not Over Yet

Hurt, pain, confusion, sadness, weakness, the perfect mixture that allows the devil to consume your mind if you are not careful enough. He will cause you to believe that the end has come and that you can’t push anymore, you can’t take another step. However, have you forgotten that it is the Lord who sustains you, who gives you strength when you are weak? Whose powers are shown in your weakness and downfalls? Don’t allow the devil to convince you that the war is over in your life, don’t bow down to defeat. Certainly not when God has already planned your victorious strategy for the next battle.

What inspired me to write this post was this song “2nd win” by Kierra Sheard. This song got me through some of the toughest seasons of last year. Where I felt like the devil had struck me with an arrow and I was dying in battle. Where I felt down and wanted to give up, bury myself and make the pain end. There were too many people with too many ideas wanting to control the way I lived and did things, giving me advice that was helpless and didn’t relate to my situation. This song always reminded me that the only person I should be looking to is God. He is my deliverer from all my situations, He is my right hand and helper “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’” ( Isaiah 41:13).

Today let me encourage you when you feel like the devil has struck you down and the enemies are closing in, trust the Lord your God and bring it before Him. Like David did in the book of Psalms in his times of hiding from Saul. Like the Prophets of the old did such as Isaiah and Jeremiah, who confided in the Lord and trusted Him to protect them from persecution. There is a saying I once heard “they may have won the battle but they haven’t won the war”. The devil may have won that small battle for that day, but he surely hasn’t won the war that God has declared you the victor.

So next time you fall remember to get back up again, don’t remain on the ground because God has already planned your SECOND WIN. He is bigger than all your adversaries, He will cause them to be ashamed and greatly troubled. “Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; Let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly.” (Psalm 6:10)
Stay blessed!

God is bigger than all your mountains 🙂

Step By Step

By Chidi Udemezue

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When Anashe first approached me to be apart of her women empowerment community, my first thought was “Wow God you are awesome!” and then “What the heck am I going to say?!”

I had so many ideas and experiences and pieces of advice swimming around my head, but one evening I came to sit before God in prayer regarding my own personal situations.
The reply I believe I got back from Him is something that He has most definitely told me before, something that I have most definitely blogged about before (I clearly don’t listen!) and most definitely something that I feel pressed to share with whoever is reading this today.

STEP BY STEP!
With each step that you take in life, whether that be taking the step from high school/sixth form/college into university. Or from university into full time work. Or stepping out into your own business. Or moving out into your own home. Or leaving a toxic relationship. Whatever step it is that you are taking or embarking on – Trust God. Trust the process. Trust the season that you are currently in.
God is the creator of this whole earth: The universe, the stars, the sun, the moon, you, and me He is so intentional.
Do you not think that He has a mighty plan for your life? He will work it out. At each step there is a new lesson for you to learn – it’s a journey, the steps are needed to enable you to be at your full capacity – whole, new, set apart and complete – when you reach the destination. And when you get to the destination you’ll be so grateful for each step and lesson learnt along the way.

And I know, sometimes the steps and the lessons are hard. They make you question everything, from your faith to whether the end goal is worth it or not, but He is God, if He ordained it, He will see you through it.
Just like in Daniel 3:19-30, the fire/situation/trial/tribulation may look like it is set up to completely finish you, but God is with you in the fire. He will lead you through it; He will be with you in it. People will be amazed to see that God is actually in the fire with you leading you out safely. And when you come out of the fire, your clothes will not be burnt, your skin will show no effects of the fire, there will be no smell of fire on you and all that will be left is the glory and the praise that is due to our God!
(And lets not forget the promotion and the fruition of God’s promises in our lives too!!)

Be encouraged! And stay blessed!
Chidi
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www.mycameragodandi.weebly.com 

Follow Chidi on her blog to see more of her posts and to ask for more advice. To learn more about Step by Step, visit her post http://mycameragodandi.weebly.com/blog/s-t-e-p-b-y-s-t-e-p

 

Prayed? Now What

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Ever had that feeling that God is not answering your prayers? Then you start to wonder has God really forsaken you? It’s funny how quickly we as humans find blame in something other than ourselves. We are quick to point fingers at others, though find it difficult to point at ourselves and realise when we are at fault.

There was a time in my life where I would pray and pray and pray, yet see no results. I started to become convinced that God was not hearing me at all, I felt alone and abandoned by God. Wondering all the time what I had done to anger God, was it fixable and could I make him love me again? It was hard to tell people this problem because no matter how much I love my family and friends I didn’t want them to see me in this position. I was afraid of what they would think, what they would say about me to themselves and I was afraid of them thinking less of me. I was stuck in my own bubble of confusion, fear, sadness and hurt.

Then one day I got a revelation as I was reading the bible, the problem wasn’t my thoughts of God abandoning me, it was within me. It was about where my heart was at after prayer. When we pray at times we have these little doubts afterwards, has God really heard me? Is he going to make it really happen? I knew then that my heart was not in the right place. All these thoughts would come and I would allow them to develop and grow with each prayer. God wants to do so much in our lives and he can only do them if we allow him to. Our lack of faith after prayer limits God’s power and blessings towards us. I was limiting God from answering my prayers, I was allowing doubt to cloud my faith and to silence it.

Faith is a critical component to enable God to work upon us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The important part of prayer happens after the prayer, so it is very important for us to have faith after prayer. If our hearts are not set right we may block what God had planned to give to us. It’s not that God hasn’t heard us, it’s that we have built a wall and limited his access to our lives. We need to learn to break that wall and have faith and trust God wholeheartedly “Blessed are those who put their trust in Him”(Psalm 2:12). God is ready to give us all he has promised us, however it is up to us to let him in and do so. Stay Blessed!

“For [his] love [for you] is as strong as death” (Song of Solomon 8:6)