Unprecedented

Times are changing! The days seem to reflect a time that many of us have never seen before. The word as many seem to be throwing around is “unprecedented.” It literally means “never done or never known“. For the majority of the world, a virus, like that of covid19 and its effects to keep us housebound and somewhat fearful is new. Whilst many have never experienced it, does that mean that we really had no foreknowledge of this kind of thing happening?

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There are various conspiracy theories but, we’re not here to talk about them. We have knowledge that these times are to come. And how you may ask? Through the Bible. In Matthew 24 verse 7, it sounds the alarms of earthquakes and diseases and famines. Some are still in disbelief, but having seen them manifest in our lifetime, can one still even cry coincidence? Where some attribute these disasters to climate change and whatnot, I think it presumptuous. Mankind has managed to come up with some diabolical and ingenious feats but to accredit to them; hurricanes and other natural disasters are to give them too much power and praise.

Deep down We know the truth, but man’s separation from God, because of sin, permits them to deny the prophetic word of God. I say “we” due to that fact that; if people who choose to live outside the bounds of “God’s will” are honest they will tell us they just don’t want God: hence their reason for their state of unbelief. Its mere disobedience, better yet rebellion. With that being said, if we put bias aside and look at the evidence before us, it’s as they say, “the writing is on the wall”, in a layman’s terms it’s written in the bible. “For all scripture is given by God and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2nd Timothy 3 verse 16).” I quote this to say that we’re always debating the validity of the bible and though some would say “I cannot use the book to prove its truth,” I can. Inherently, the word of God points the absolute reason why men deny its truth. They hate correction and love unrighteousness. These are the said factors stated in the scripture deems to help us navigate through life.

Other prophecies that the bible mention have been fulfilled. Famines and Wildfires and diseases, the bible says are just the beginning of birth pains. This book was written so long ago. With great accuracy, it has predicted Israel becoming a nation again and many. To go into detail would require extensive writing and I’d rather not. Sceptics will say that “disasters” have always been around. Though true, it coincides with the other prophecies that are happening simultaneously. Some of these diseases we’ve experienced before have returned: scarlet fever and measles being two.

Things like the ” second coming of Jesus“, the increase in knowledge as well as technology is foretold. There is no denying; the age we live in and the vast amount of knowledge or information that exists. These, might I add are readily available to us. Sure, we haven’t yet seen the return of Christ. For those walking close to the edge, away from God, I implore you to use the time you have and think. Death is now, more real than ever. Count the cost, especially in light of the coronavirus. Look at the signs that are clearly before us and go search the scriptures for yourselves with real desperation to know the truth. As for my fellow believers, we are held accountable when we who know what the book says don’t do what it says or even share the hope that the book speaks about. Let’s not get slack and if we are, it’s time to get active!

Hope is Rising

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In 2017 I was at a place of despair. It’s crazy to think that I am writing this about myself on this blog format. I am normally personal through poetry, but this time, in as simple English as possible, let’s get personal.

So in 2017 as I said before I was at a place of despair. What? But Nicolette, You were a Christian even then! Yes, I was and still am for your information. I am and will never be exempt from anything life throws at us. As long as we’re involved, something’s bound to go wrong/ human beings; we break things, people and hearts and I was definitely heartbroken.

Trauma had set in. The dormant parts of my life that I thought I had under control, soon erupted causing me to relive past offences over and over again. Memories I was shocked existed, crept out of their holes. Like spiders in the corners of your house chilling in their webs, waiting for their prey to struggle to the death, so did these memories have me, my mind and I was almost consumed.    

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God saved me from my sins and is delivering me daily from the things that were laid upon me. I have mentioned before that even Christians are not without the issues of life nor the issues of people and violations. The bible says that we should hold on because we will overcome the trouble. It says that we do because Christ has overcome the world (John 16 verse 33. I have had to climb through the dirt and rubble of depression and anxiety. My faith wasn’t non-existent but my mind and body were just tired. I laid there with tears in my eyes and the feeling of someone digging a hole from underneath me. It was then I cried out to my God. The foundations of my faith had remained. Scriptures upon scriptures written upon my heart brought to recollection that Hope is risen.

Everything I was feeling at that moment was not permanent but temporary and soon would pass. Many times we make permanent decisions in temporary places. The words tried to come and eventually all that slipped out was “God I know what Your word says, help me!” I was not without counselling and I definitely prayed and to this date pray that I won’t slip back into that state. That was 2017. it’s now 2020 and I continue to fight against trauma and flashbacks, but I know I have hope because of Jesus. He went through suffering and pain temporarily. He went to the grave temporarily only to permanently defeat death, the and hell. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weakness…” Hebrews 4 verse 15 and so I remember this and know that I too can get through. In the end, it says in Revelation 12 verse 11 that one of the things that cause us as believers to win is the blood of the lamb (Jesus Christ).

 I did want to give up. I almost did, but I’m glad I didn’t. As time went on I was able to face 2018 and by 2019 I realised that the devil sometimes wants to kill the potential in you. I don’t even want to give him too much credit, but this trial tried to break me for sure. The true test of faith the bible speaks of is said to come by fiery trials (1st Peter 1 verse 7). I think its fair to say that I have experienced some fiery trials. Will be the last time I’m tested? I doubt it. I know that it’s hard, however, I’ve experienced hope rising in my life every day since. I will be able to pull through because experience, as they say, brings wisdom. Maybe not for all but for most. And, now I look on to 2020 with hope and love and gratefulness for life.

 I understand that if I hadn’t built my foundation on Christ I would be lost. If I had given up I would have missed out on dating this great person in my life. I would’ve forfeited my destiny and all that God has in store for me. What’s that you ask? We’ll just have to wait and see. “For eye has not seen ear has not heard nor has entered into the heart of man what is prepared for them who love Him.” 1st Corinthians 2 verse 9.   

Mind the Stigma

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“Let us make man in our image and likeness…” Genesis 1 verse 26 tells us that God, being Father, Son and Holy Spirit, made us be bearers of Himself in spirit, body and mind. We are indeed His creation and whist we are on the subject of the mind, let’s take time to talk about mental illness for a bit.

Mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s behaviour or thinking. It’s cause ranges from various environmental and psychological things. Some Environmental factors consist of death, divorce, dysfunctional family life and even social or cultural expectations. There are even cases of prenatal problems causing mental issues due to a defect in the fetus’ development in the womb. Some psychological factors may include varying forms of abuse, neglect, poor ability to relate to others or even long term substance abuse.

This sounds like a lot, and yes we are definitely a long way from the good human beings God created in Genesis 1 verse 31 when He said it was “very good”. It would be nice to think that it’s something that we will never experience. However, in this fallen world, 1 in 4 people are affected by mental illness and depression and anxiety are spreading like wildfires. It is then fair to say that no matter who you are, and yes, even Christians “children of God” too can be impacted by mental illness. No one is exempt. Why? Well, sin affects all of us and though we are saved by grace through faith, the Bible reminds us in Matthew 5 verse 45 “…for He makes the sun to rise on the good and on the evil and sends rain on the just and the unjust”. Even the mighty prophet Elijah in 1st Kings 18 fell victim to depression. It describes him in scripture as a great man of God. He was God’s voice to the people. He caused drought and predicted rain and yet he was overcome by fear and what he saw around him. He went as far as running away but God soon helped him out of this state of mind.

With depression and anxiety are rapidly taking over. Many are affected due to stress, other varying causes and pressures of life. With the increase in knowledge and wealth, we see an increase in fear as many worries about being accepted or are fearful of the future. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind” (2nd Timothy 1 verse 7). There is hope for your hurting. Your pain becomes our pain especially as the body of Christ. We can rest assured because we can overcome as we remember that we walk by faith and not by sight (2nd Corinthians 5 verse 7). Scripture also reminds us that our identity is not in this world Acts 17 verse 28 “ in him we live move and have our being…”.

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We all know someone who is struggling with this because it is closer than we think and as time dwindles down it’ll be even closer. Our position as believers in Christ is to never think that we are exempt. If we already know this, we have to fight back. There are ways of combating mental illness. Not everyone is aggressive or incurable or incapable of living a somewhat normal life. In fact, studies have shown it is possible. Be the one to ask questions or lend a helping hand. The best help you can give is a listening ear and your prayers. The believer’s standpoint is one of complete restoration because God is able to do what no man can. In fact, one of His names is Jehovah Rapha which means the God who heals.

Wounds

What are my wounds? How deep are my wounds? Is there a cure for my wounds? Do we have this in common?

Life’s been nothing but a downward spiral don’t you think? Call into action the second law of thermodynamics, will you? If you’re wondering, this can be viewed as the changes in energy from one form to another, usually involving disorder or decay. Like the body that is slowly dying or the ice cube that changes from solid to its lesser form, liquid, nothing stays the same. I have to be honest, simplifying this term was tricky without trying to leave out what I deem to be the most important aspect of the law itself.

The more I sit here the more I think about the accounts of Genesis, how God created everything and saw that it was good only for us the ruin his creation by sinning. Thanks, grandma Eve, but I digress. It says this in Genesis chapters  1 to 3.  It later sheds light in Romans 8 verse 22, on the fact that, “the whole of creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” Why would creation be likened to a woman in pain during childbirth if initially, all that was created was good? It seems like this law is just another proof of the Bible’s validity. How does this affect you and me and the issue of wounds?

Come on, we live in this world where people offend and hurt each other all the time so, of course, we have wounds. These vary from physical lesions to psychological injuries. Never ruling out instances where one affects the other, at times the ones that we are most affected by are the psychological ones. I know that aspects of the anxiety and depression I’ve suffered stem from childhood offences that were never dealt with and like me many walks through life with issues they just can’t seem to heal.

Pouring ourselves here or there to fill that gaping hole left by a wound is like putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound with the bullet still in there. The after effects of our wounds are never as simple as they seem and neither are their beginnings.

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Since we can fairly say now that sin is the cause for man’s downward spiral, isn’t it true then that our issues first manifest themselves in the spiritual realm and make their way to us through man’s act of sin (disobedience to God)? Indeed so! So why then do we constantly try to cover up a clearly spiritual issue with physical things? A new car or boyfriend or girlfriend isn’t going to solve your rejection issues. Sometimes we even seek the wrong spirits drowning our sorrows in drugs and alcohol, but let’s be honest this just makes our problems 100 times worst.

In the accounts in Genesis after mankind fell into sin or should I say walked into it, God in His mercies, shed blood to cover the nakedness of man (shame) Genesis 3. We also see in this same chapter,  the nature of man to try and fix their spiritual issues with the temporary when they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves after realising that they were naked.

What are you covering yourself with? In 1st Peter 1 verse 20, it states that He, meaning Jesus was foreknown before the foundations of the world but was made manifest in the last times for our sake. Jesus Christ was and is the permanent solutions to our wounds. The prophet Isaiah foretold about Jesus saying in Isaiah 53 verse 5 ” But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace  and with His wounds, we are healed.” At the heart of our wounds is sin, I’ll say it again. Its only rectified by a perfect sacrifice. So there’s hope after all because of Jesus, the Father’s solution.

There is one thing to have a solution, but it’s a different case when we refuse to come to know Christ as Lord, seeing as He died for you . Too many of us refuse to take the pill that’s meant the help permanently because we fear we’re going to lose when in fact you gain. Take it this way, Do you really want to be

healed? Do you really want to be saved from your sins? You can never say that God doesn’t care or love because His arms are always open but some of us are too comfortable or ok with coping as we are when we can be made whole and new.

 

I remember

An essence that takes me through time, where I am staring at your feet

Where my eyes begin to carve out your frame.

The sun rays and your voice are home to me.

Wow! So much from a scent

Just one more whiff and the sound of laughter fills the air as daytime soaps and silly jokes bring us close.

Puff puff, you’re going again,

A reminder that you’re leaving.

Take me with you I’d hope, but I would seldomly get my way.

I pride myself on being independent but never am I too proud when I think of how much I need you.

Romans 8:31

When you see me by myself know that I’m not alone.

I’ve chosen to be called a child of God and so with every step I take even in the trials I know to whom I belong.

You may think my world is falling apart and even laugh and gossip but you are not my enemy and we are not at war.

I am merely that tree dancing in the storm directed by His divine grace as to how to bend when the winds come.

Though I may get wet the umbrella of my foundation in Jesus keeps me from the loose objects floating around.

Yes! keeps me from being broken by your tongue.

He is for me and even when others are not,

I ask myself who’s more powerful; infinite God or man who only knows to rot.