Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Catch the Sunset

I never realised how close freedom was until I asked the Lord for it. I had forgotten what true peace was until He granted me it. I remembered what joy felt like when I entered into His presence.

A few days ago Viki, Maddie and I decided to dress up in florals and watch the sunset. 

I'm such a sucker for a sunset I immediately agreed. We found the Southsea Rock Gardens in Portsmouth and explored around there before we went to the beach. As we climbed the bank up onto a space that overlooked our city we knew that we had to capture this moment. After running, tumbling, falling over, jumping and laughing until our faces hurt it made me really come to a place of appreciating the moment. Appreciating the fact that we're able to be spontaneous and joyful in moments where we're on the edge of breakthrough. On this day, I had gone from experiencing complete unrest, confusion and frustration to ending the day with joy. It made me think how, not only must I live in the moment but I must live in the moment that the Lord has given me and live freely in Him. 

I mustn't forget how He is moulding me even in my moments of despair. 

Choosing to step out of my door, into a taxi (don't judge), onto the seafront, in a place where my flesh just wanted to sit in a corner and sleep was a choice I made because I held onto the hope that this is not all that there is for me. And if I just appreciate His creation, His magnificent creation and be present and in the moment - it is there where I can physically experience the beauty He has enabled us to witness at the hands of His marvellous mastery.

"Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders . From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy." Psalm 65:8 (NLT)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Overcoming Heartbreak

I want to be able to pour out of myself all that I learned in the times of heartbreak that I have experienced in the past. I think that heartbreak and getting through heartbreak is such an important thing to talk about because these experiences, they shape us and form us into who we are today. They are able to build us stronger, heal us or they can break us. It is ultimately our decision on how we allow it to define us. 

Hurt and pain are both things that we are sure to come across sometime in our lives and for some, you may be going through them right now but know that despite their regular appearances in our lives, they are temporary feelings and you will get past this.

When I think of the first time I got my heart broken, I could refer to my first crush. I could recall a time where someone’s words broke me or I could refer to a friendship that I lost. I could also recall a time where my family fell apart or when I lost someone I loved or when I didn’t get the exam result that I had longed for. The truth is, I probably wouldn’t be able to recall the first time that I got my heart broken because there are so many times that it has happened that they have all merged together and made it almost impossible for me to string them all into a timeline. 

Along with heartbreak comes tears and numbness, anger, frustration and sadness. Moments when you feel like your prayers hit a wall and when you feel like you're screaming into nowhere. It assumes its form in different ways each time my heart breaks, sometimes it's only one of those feelings and other times all of them at once.

Our heart, is an organ inside our bodies. Some say “follow your heart” when it comes to making big decisions in our lives but does this mean to seriously say they are saying “follow your organs”. Maybe following your heart means to follow what your spirit/your soul says. Maybe it’s an expression of the idea that if this vital organ was to actually break that it would mean a life would be lost? Either way, for some it can literally be a physical response to pain. Recent studies have actually come up in finding out whether heartbreak can occur literally and there is a connection between emotional pain and a literal form of heartbreak.  That pain and suffering that we experience in life would be so detrimental to our insides that it would stop giving us life and blood to all of the other important areas in our bodies enabling our bodies to go into shutdown mode. 

Heart break can be as simple as saying, something happened to me and now, in this moment, I feel broken. I feel like I can’t function, like I have nothing to live for. And I think the beauty of who the Lord is and the moment that He is able to step in for someone that is in that place and just simply meet them where they’re at is remarkable. 

For someone to look at you in your loneliness, abandonment, fear, pain, suffering, hurt and through the tears, the snotty noses, the smudged mascara and say, “I'm here, I'm with You” in such a way that allows us to surrender our own strength so that we are able to deal not with heartbreak on our own but because, how else are we supposed to deal with it effectively if it were not for the creator of our very being to wash it away? 

I think that the way the world would deal with such a thing as heartbreak, an experience so frequently met with all walks of life, all generations, is that time is the healer. Which in some ways is true, time is involved in overcoming heartbreak but time is also associated with all parts of our lives because that is what we determine our days with. It doesn’t stop when we experience heartbreak, it keeps going, just like it keeps going if you were experiencing a season over overwhelming joy or financial growth. Time is always going to be involved because it is what we measure our lives here on earth with. So taking that aspect of time and then flipping it into searching for the Creator of time itself and giving our heartbreak to Him, I mean, isn’t that a much better solution than just time itself? Is not His power so great and mighty and wonderful and freeing that we cannot give it all to Him straight away?

Through broken-hearts the Lord also has the ability to teach us. One thing He may teach us during these times are humility and being of a contrite heart. Contrite meaning “feeling or expressing remorse at the recognition that one has done wrong”. So without this feeling of our heart breaking we aren't able to appreciate the times in our lives where joy and laughter are found. These feelings that we go through are there to enable us to rely heavily upon the Lord to bring us through. To come to a place of, asking for forgiveness from an ex, from a family member, over a loss of friendship are we are able to come to a place of repenting and turning away from our sins and to be healed from it. 

“For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart – These, O God, You will not despise” Psalm 51:16-17.

I will simply say nothing more than the simple fact that the one thing that has helped me through every single kind of heartache/heartbreak there is and has been in my whole 21 years of living and beyond, is Jesus.

“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9. 

In the moments where I delayed my heartbreak, I lost focus on Him. In the times where my heartbreak was healed the most, I took it straight to Him and never looked back. I think it’s important to be in the mind-set of having full faith in His healing power, it is not necessary to be in that place, but it sure does help. In moments where I know I have to bring something to the Lord, I tell Him outright exactly what I’m dealing with in as much detail as possible. I will probably cry the river Nile, sob, get frustrated and have deliverance and all of the pain and the hurt, I will give to Him. It can be a process and only I can make it a longer process than I need it to but it is a process worth going through, worth being refined through and worth experiencing. “The thing about pain. It demands to be felt” this Fault in Our Stars quote has been such a memorable string of words for me since the first time I heard it until now. It is true, it demands to be felt, so cry. Cry for as long as you like, yell, journal, scream into a pillow, take a long walk and pick at a tree bark. However long it takes, don’t try to keep it in. Pain is our body's response to something not being quite right within our bodies. So feel it, give it to the Lord, ask Him for healing.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:17-22.

Do not let heartbreak defeat you, define you or lie to you and tell you that things won’t get better and that this is all there is because I can tell you right now that it most certainly is not all that there is and if we are looking to step into who God has called us to be, we need to not be ruled by heartbreak, we need to not be ruled by our past, our struggles, our pain – everything that is in opposition to who God says you are has no place, has no authority, Jesus conquered it all on the cross. Pray and surround yourself in His presence.

“He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds.” – Psalm 147:3. 

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God, I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

I long to know the specific timeframe of just how long your heartbreak will last but that is impossible. Time doesn’t tell us the exact moment our heartbreak will stop but its creator says “hold onto Me, and I will bring you through it”. The only thing we can quite possibly hang onto is the Lord, who pays no attention to a specific time frame, whose being is not restricted by hours, days, months or years but exists outside of time and pours out His love onto us and meets us where we are. He is One who knows you, knows your heart, what you’re going through and He is MORE than capable of taking on all that you are feeling because He has already paid for it on the cross.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work and work.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

"You heard the voice of my supplications. When I cried out to You. Oh, love the Lord all you His saints' For the Lord preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the Lord." - Psalm 31:22

Sunday, 1 May 2016


There are many things in life that have the ability to move you. A child interacting with their mother, bubbles on a warm summer's day, the final setting of the sun as it comes to a close. 

Different things move different people. 

For me, it is nature, God's creation is what moves me the most. The remains of how God intended His earth to be. 

Flowers, constellations, clear blue skies, fields of yellow, gold and green, cloud-watching, tumbling waves on the ocean, towering trees overhead, forrests of entangled branches, freshly cut grass, the intricacy of a flowerhead. 

It urges me to interact with it. I imagine running through the fields in floral dresses, brushing past the flowers, my breath catching on the breeze and my hair flying in each direction. It urges me to make daisy chains and flower crowns and drink iced caramel lattes with my body nuzzled into the earth's floor. It makes me want to read novels and His word and write down dreams in gold paged notebooks. To sing intricate melodies into the spaces around me and to worship Him from the depths of my soul. To listen to beautiful piano music through my headphones and to dip my toes in the sparkling sea. To run away from the foams and waves and to skim stones into the ocean and watch it jump the sea's surface. It urges me to dance upon the sand barefoot and gaze longingly into the horizon. To dream dreams and think lovely thoughts about the future, the past the present and to long for adventures throughout the world, searching for things that move me, that inspire me to be in awe of Him. To encounter moments that leave me speechless, breathless and in search of the right words to describe its beauty. Word that come back void because they cannot even compute or comprehend just how incredible the sights are. 

Lord, in everything, teach me to find its beauty. Teach me to look at the world through a lense of compassion and understanding. Teach me how to be like you, to have and experience the greatest love the world has ever known. You are my Father and You care for me. You are my Father who not only resides in heaven but also here on earth. There in the constellations, there in the spaces that they occupy, there in the ocean depths and below and there in the sky where I stare into when I talk to Him. There in the dry seasons, there when life gets too much to bear, there when I feel like my prayers hit a wall, when I feel alone, when I feel empty. 

He's as real to me as my hand is when it holds another that I love. Real as it is when I raise it in surrender to His will and His way. As I raise towards Him as I reach out for Him and as I long for more of Him. Oh to look at You, stained, drenched, dripping of my sin but you, there, staring right back at me and you define me as my sin, though my sin is there you wash me clean and I am unstained and You are perfect and I am in awe once again.

His creation captivates me. Leaves speechless, breathless for He has captured my heart once again.

I am not entitled to feel or wallow in my guilt nor my shame, I was born to be free, to express myself and who You are in me and through my life. To step into freedom and  to run headfirst into the unknown because with You I don't need to impress, I don't need to filter, I don't need to pretend. I long to be real, authentic and honest and gracious to You and to Your people. With You, I am so free and just like nature You call me beautiful and loved and Your opinion of me is the only one that matters. With You I am wanted, I am cherished, I am loved and I am known. And that is more than enough for me.