Therefore if anyone is in Christ, [is like a butterfly] he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

A bit of a "Runaway Bride"

Right, first and foremost I have no excuse whatsoever as to why I haven't even bothered to update my blog site within the last couple of months. Especially as exams and graduation are finito. Yes, ladies and a few gents that read this: I have graduated. Whoo hoo! However, my graduation jubilation will not be the topic of this blog. I really wanted to end my two years at Butterfly & Pearls with a bang after graduation ....umm however it looks like God has other plans for me. So, blogging isn't over for me after all.

Not sure how long my blog will be today but I just felt that I should share what has been on my heart recently. Have you ever watched the 1990s romantic comedy "Runaway Bride" starring the ultra-talented Julia Roberts with Richard Gere? Anyway, Ms. Roberts happens to play a woman who has had 4 or 5 fiancees but every time she gets to the alter she literally does a runner and leaves the poor chap standing bewildered and slightly embarrassed at the alter on his own. Basically, the film is set around her life as a "Runaway Bride". Where am I going with all this? I actually feel like Julia Roberts in this movie in regards to my relationship with God and people in general.  I have been finding it so hard for almost a year now to actually get close to God. I will take a few steps towards Him but I keep my distance. I couldn't really place my finger on why I was avoiding God so much. For those of you who know me well enough may be surprised when I say this or perhaps maybe not.
It was last night over dinner with a friend that I began to realise why I had been running away from God and why I was so fearful of ever going back to Him. As my friend spoke to me regarding my life before and how I had such a close relationship with God, I finally just blurted out. " I can't go back to God like before because that's where I got hurt".  I was even shocked at myself when I said those words. The reason why I couldn't bring myself to pray as I used to, or why I never looked forward to going to church or just spending time in the Lord was because I did not want to get close to God again because that was a time when I got hurt severely.
As I am writing this, my mind has just become blank. If you notice from my other articles, I always have a solution to a problem at the end of each blog entry. However, right now I have no advice, no revelation, no words of wisdom. Except I just needed to put these thoughts down on my blog.  We all behave like the "Runaway Bride" sometimes. We get close to God, close enough to make it to the"altar" with Him but a full blown commitment we just cannot do, so we run. Or perhaps it is just me who feels this way. Nonetheless, I am certain that the majority of us Christian women can relate to Julia Roberts plight.
Solution: I have none. Yet, I do think a starting place in such a situation is just acknowledging that there is an issue between you and God and from there see what He does with it.

In Christ

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

It's good but not GOD- last thoughts for finalist students.

Less than a month to go until my Law degree comes to an end. Seriously, everytime I look at the calendar I feel like slapping myself to see if this is reality or just a dream. Three years went by so quickly.
Anyway readers, I know some of you have been asking about Butterfly & Pearls and why I haven't posted in awhile. To be honest, I have been so incredibly busy with essays, final dissertation and exams that if I'm not studying I am sleeping. Sad, I know.

Well, all this final year madness has really caused me to think about the past three years at Uni. It is as though I get these flashbacks in my mind of incidents, (usually painful ones) of my time here at University. One in particular, was a day I sat in my Pastor's office on my gap year and I felt so confused about whether or not I was called to pursue Law or not. I had opinions all around me telling me that University just wasn't for me and God didn't not need my education to use me. I'm not slating those who advised me because I know they all had good intentions but just because they were good, they were not necessarily GOD.  I rememeber actually being told that I was going to get married and be in children ministry and my husband will be a youth pastor- no university degree required.  Hearing this news just didn't settle right in my spirit.  I knew the calling was a great one but I just knew that God didn't want this for me. That was a calling for somebody else - not me.  Further to this, God placed me at Sussex and slowly began to painfully tear me away from this presumption of "pastor's wife", looking back I'm glad He did it. I'm not going to go into detail on here just yet about the journey God took me on for two reasons a) I want to save this for my graduation article and finally b) I'm just too tired.
However, I do want to leave you with this: As many of us are going to go our seperate ways come June, you may be faced with so many decisions, so many voices, so many opportunities that you just don't know which one to choose. Perhaps, there is this amazing missionary job in Pakistan awaiting for you but somehow there is a tugging in your heart to join that Magic Circle law firm in Central London. Which one appears more like a "God thing" to you. Yes, I would have quickly jumped on the Pakistan bandwagon as well but in reality God may want you to bring something unique right in the heart of London. Or perhaps its the other way round and you really feel God wants you to be in Law but rather He has plans for you elsewhere. Just because it looks good, it doesn't mean it is actually God. I am certaintly advising myself here and I hope I learn some valuable lessons these next few months.
When you are not sure about life, just keep on going and trusting God because His Word says thus : "Whether you turn to the right or the left , your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:12

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Rejection cuts the deepest

Yes, I am fully aware that I have deadlines to meet by May and that my degree stops for no one but I feel like I have neglected my blog and fellow blog readers. To be honest, when my mind is so saturated with the Children's Act 1986 and civil partnerships I find it hard to ponder on thoughts for my blog.

Anyway recently I've been asking God to reveal to me why I still feel pain after so long. Have you ever experienced something that turned your world upside down, and when you finally think you've come to terms with the situation, you realise that it still hurts? Or is it just me? You ask yourself over and over again "Where is this pain coming from?". You search every ounce of your heart, your emotion, your thoughts. You think if you can just pin point where the wound is you can put a band aid on it and all will be well.  It almost feels like an itch on your back that you can't scratch.  Rejection does that. It cuts so deep. It has such an effect that it can cut a 40 year old woman so deep that it penetrates straight into her childhood.  If there is anything that the devil likes to use against us , it is certainly rejection.
Time may have moved on, seasons may have changed, your light maybe shining so much brighter than before and you can finally say "Yes life is moving forward. I can see the end of this situation."  This is all true and the bible even says in  Job 17:9 “The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.”   I can certainly say that with time I have become stronger and I will keep on getting stronger. However, why do we still feel a slight throbbing pain after time has moved on.
I remember talking to my good friend Jasmine, for whom I was a bridesmaid for in her wedding not so long ago. I remember asking her about her life before she got married.  Jasmine, shared her story about this guy she was head over heels in love with and believed with every bone in her body that he was "the one" but unfortunatly (or fortunatly for her now-husband) he turned around and told her he didn't feel the same way. She described to me how the break up rocked her world. Jasmine is so in love with her husband now and I will never forget these words she spoke to me: "I love my husband, I will never trade him for anything. However, the rejection from the previous guy still hurts a litte."  I was completely gobsmacked when I heard this. Jasmine who had everything still felt the pain of  previous hurts. At this moment it was clear to me that rejection cuts the deepest.

Good Friday, is fast approaching and I am really going to take time to think about Jesus, the one went through the most painful rejection of all time. One that you and I could never fathom. He was rejected by men and His own Father for our sake. God literally turned his back on him (Matthew 27:46).  Yet Jesus cried out to God in that same verse. I think you and I should continue to do the same thing. When the rejection becomes unbearable, just know that this path has already been walked and cry out to Him.


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

My best friend's girlfriend

Have you ever really liked a guy but the guy didn't feel the same way about you? In fact the reason why he never felt the same way was purely because he sees you as the best friend and further, he is chasing after another girl. You end up feeling like Julia Roberts in my Best Friend's Wedding. Disheartening, I know. To make matters worse the girl he is chasing after isn't all that. Sure she is nice, caring, knows how to dress and looks good but she isn't you. You see, you know everything there is to know about your best guy friend. You know what makes him smile, what makes him tick. You know how he likes his eggs done and his favourite childhood toy. This guy knows it too. You are what they call “the go to gal”. Whenever he has a problem, you are there offering a shoulder to cry on and a plate of scrambled eggs to eat. When his girlfriend isn't living upto his expectations, guess who is the first person to hear about it? You guesed right. You are. Its all well and good but don't you wish he showed you a little affection just this once. I mean you don't want to just be his childhood friend from nursery. You secretly hope that he will one day take you out on a romantic dinner for two too...Nandos. Sorry but because some of us student readers, are on a budget Nandos was my best bet. Why can't he see that you can offer him so much more than his girlfriend? Your not there just to sort out his problem. You want a relationship.

This is hitting home, huh? Reading over the above scenario really just made me realise that this is how I have been treating God. God has been my “go to man” whenever my worldy desires were not cutting it. God is more than happy to be there for us in time of need and listen to us go on and on about our difficult essays, difficuly boyfriends, husbands and he has dettol and a bandage to clean up your wounds. Yet God aches for a relationship with his people. Not a casual one but intimate and loving. In Exodus 34:14 (msg) it states:
 Don't worship any other god. God-his name is The-Jealous-One-is a jealous God.
Whenever I begin to run after things outside God's perfect will for me, I cause jealousy. None of us consciously do it but we do it. From now on I'm going to begin asking the Holy Spirit for guidance in terms of actively pursuing a relationship with God. God does pick up our mess but doesn't the King of the Universe deserve so much more than whining and complaining? He does.

1 John 4:15 Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Excuse me for having excuses.

I've just come to realise something each time I log on to  Butterfly & Pearls.  Each article I write is always birthed out of a place of brokenness in my life. Just looking through the archives since 2009, the only way I could bless you as the readers, and the heart of God is if I wrote from an area of desperation and neediness. My desperation was based solely on the need for Christ.

I just quickly want to share something that I learned today.  Do you ever let the things from the past dictate your present and your future. You know those excuses that you have based your life upon and your current circumstances. Excuses such as: " My Pastor abused his position in our church and so that is why I can never trust Christians or God even." or some excuses are lot more deeper than that and sound a little like this " My husband of 12 years walked out on me without saying a word, leaving me with two small children and a mortgage to pay off. So therefore I could never trust a man."
I have to agree with you there, all the above excuses are valid and I can see why you would behave like that. I can see why you have allowed yourself years of bitterness, pain and hurt.  Baby girl, you've seen some stuff in your life.  However, there is just one, teensy, small problem with living a life of hurt and bitterness. It doesn't weigh up with the life God has intended for his daughters.
John 10:10 states thus, " The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy....". We are all aware of who the "thief" is in this context, right? Just to clarify, it is the devil.  Anyway the devil has come to steal from us.  He has come to feed on our painful experiences, and steal away our joy, our happiness  . He has come to  kill the last piece of hope we have for a better life. He uses the bad experiences of our past to kill our desires and dreams so that we settle for mediocre. I have often heard from friends things such as " My dad was abusive to my mother, so I could never see myself getting married and tying myself to one man." Right there is dream put to death.  Furthermore, the thief has come to destroy who we are. He has come to destroy our identity as women. As a result, due to the fact that a boyfriend from old, rejected you for your best friend, you begin to compare yourself to every girl you come across. You hate who you are because you truly believe that if you were so amazing your man would have stuck around, right? Wrong! So your identity is destroyed and you become a cheap copy of Kim Kardashian. Pitiful.
Hold, on I'm going somewhere with this. John 10:10 does not end there. It goes on to say: " I have come that they may have life and have it to the full."  This is Jesus speaking right now. The devil may have come to use bad encounters to destroy you but Jesus is looking past everything that you have been through. He is letting us know that, despite all of this we can still experience life as it should be and experience it in all its glory and abundance.
I'm not just speaking to you, I too  have to take this Word on board for myself. We need to stop allowing the past to dictate our present and future. God wiped that slate clean a long time ago.  We need to start living, and living life to the fullest.
No more excuses!

In Christ


Thursday, 10 March 2011

Love? Me?

It actually feels really good to be back on the old blogging machine again. The key to a succesful blog is just to be consistent.

Well, honestly and truly I just wanted to discuss something that has been on my heart lately and that thing is LOVE.  Already I can hear some of you cynics groaning. Some of you have become so pessimistic and bitter towards the L word that you have compulsive tendencies to click off any christian website which talks about love.  Sites such as my own.
I get this thing however, when somebody tells me "Jesus loves you." I tend to roll my eyes, give a false smile and just agree. "Yeah, yeah Jesus loves me." I respond. Yet, I do not believe it. I mean I believe it is written in the Word of God but it just never seems to go down deep into my heart.  The words " Jesus loves you" never seem to consume me.
Do you ever get like that? Almost as though hearing about God's love for us has become redundant.
Recently, I've just been crying out to God to show me His love. I'm looking for these great amazing signs of God's love but something just hit me now. Every morning I wake up and I take a deep breath - that is an indication of God's love right there. He gave me the gift of life. That alone should be enough, right? Right but wrong.  We humans are looking for this eternal happiness everytime we wake up but we always finish the day feeling rather disappointed and unfulfilled.  We go to sleep with a heavy heart and we hope that deep down inside  tomorrow may be a lot different. Is it just me or does anyone tend to feel the same way?

I keep on saying how "I'm not a good christian" but it isn't about me being 'a good christian' - it is more about what is God saying about me. I've begun this daily bible plan on my new phone (which is a Blackberry by the way...hehehe) entitled "Why does God love me".  I just began today and this scripture really struck out to me:

Deuteronomy 7:6-8 - For you are a holy and set apart people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has CHOSEN you to be a special people to Himself out of all the peoples on the earth. The Lord did not set His love upon you and choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the fewest of all people. But because THE LORD LOVES YOU and because He would keep the oath which He had sworn to your fathers, the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

I have never actually read this scripture before and if I have it has just now knocked me off my feet.


Monday, 7 March 2011

A few months too long...I'm back

First of all I need to apologize for the lack of blogging these past few months. I know some of you have been asking why Butterflies and Pearls has been on a stand-off these past few months but its back. Lily, just reminded me that I needed to update.

Two things: 1) I have just been swamped with work. It is only by God's grace that I am keeping my head above water. Nevertheless, my work load plays only a minor part in the whole 'spiel' of lack of blogging. To be sincere, I decided to take a back seat and just allow God to do a work in my life.
I am not sure where I am now with my walk with God. I know He still loves me and I know I still love Him.  Yet at times my actions speak otherwise.

Please bear with me as I will be updating my blog at least once a week from now on. It may not be as super spiritual and scripture saturated as my previous postings, however God will be in them. That is all that matters, right?

Yes and for those of you who are waiting for my article on "Housewives" - I will publish that in the next few weeks. Promise.