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Oh Marriage Where Is Your Sting ?

Sep 4, 2018


I remember moments where my back was against a wall pleading for freedom as my little body hid in the bathroom stall and ate my lunch. Their voices were clanging through the vibration of my eardrums ready to tear every bit of me into shreds. Tears recklessly filled the circumference of my eyes. The trauma infused at the moment was enough to mimic what was occurring within the confines of my environment at home. We lived in a two bedroom apartment, so noise traveled faster than the speed of light. And at a tender age my heart encoded details of conflict, verbatim.  

It was all around methe neighbourhood epidemic, the bullying at school. I saw it first hand, where men would speak to women disrespectfully and think it was okay, and where women would charge back; a defence mechanism to protect themselves. I walked by it carelessly everyday after school, each day was a different face but the same story replicated. Meyes wandered from a distance trying to eavesdrop, while at the same time looking like I was minding my own business. I could see myself in them. Their pretty brown faces, the big bamboo hoop earrings, and the glossy lip gloss they smacked on their lips that you could spot from a mile away.

Their voices choked up and so did my silence. I thought to myself, if I could one day have the confidence to stand up for myself I would be just like them. I couldn't tell if my hidden ideals were just another deja vu moment or if my mind was just mimicking characters out of the movie Baby Boy. Regardless, I coveted what they had, "strength". Strength to stand up for themselves and not back down. I learned it piece by piece and made it a remedy to my own love song. 

It wasn't a story I boldly spoke about, the kids at school were mean. I wanted to fit in so I accepted their inconsistent behaviours; it wasn't their fault. Whatever they were experiencing behind closed doors was enough to allow the trauma to take form and trickle down to them isolating me, which led to me eating my lunch in the bathroom stalls.

At night, while I laid in slumber, within the isolated cracks it would start. From them were words that were sharper than a double edged sword. Words that cut and stitched deep. Taking my covers I would mask the violent roars from their calloused mouths. I was therepresentwith every fast slur that they came at each other with. Who knew that those tumultuous moments were carving my soul bare as witness to my future. The image of my parents arguing was subconsciously formulating the same rhythm of conflict I had seen outside the house.

So here I was...

Years later standing in the kitchen with my husband. Mapping out the same equations that tattooed deeply inside from my childhood.

Churns of minute silence, my heart beat recklessly out my chest. It started with something so small that escalated really quickly it was like rapid fire. My husbands’ words angered me, every verb, and vowel that came out of his mouth. He didn't say much, but his vague silence made my thoughts combust into agitation. His pupils dilated past me, his body became resistant to my call, as if I was just a mannequin posted up in a window.  

I thought about all the things I could do, punch a whole in a wall? Slam the doors again like I did in the last few arguments. The impression of my childhood was replaying through my anger. But what I was displaying in his presence was the puzzle pieces I matched up as truth from an unspoken past. My inability to use my words lacked the power to carefully express my frustration. Although strong on the outside, my raging anger was a clear indicator that openly depicted a woman who was working out her trauma from her experience as a child. 

So now the sting of conflict was making its mark clearly in my marriage.

Our actions were un-loving. Sometimes it felt like we were in a ring of fire. It felt like we were defeated by our own sins. Our differences spewed out, yet as grace lingered in our midst, our hands only gripped onto the lies. Our fierce passion of love towards each other in seconds had turned to bitter remarks of uncertainty. The idea of relationship was tainted by our world view and not always assimilated in God's truth. Where he lacked understanding, I lacked the patience to help him understand. So I used my words to charge at him and beat down his ego, which resulted in him shutting me out.

The cycle was repeating itself...

Marriage where was your sweet sting? Where was your loving reminder that love is not defined by the mishaps of trauma that we both have encoded in different forms. The flaws that have been birthed in us from the beginning by the mark of sin.  Why was it so easy for us to easily forget God's graceful words?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." | 1 Corinthians 13:4-7|  

Love sometimes seems powerless in the midst of chaos. I learned it's a journey and the path won't always be smooth. There will be a few bumps. However, with God's gracious hand dipped inside our lives we will make it through. My confidence doesn't lie in my ability to speak un-loving words towards my husband or to anybody. My confidence is in Christ and that reassures me that in the high's and low's He's working it out beautifully for our good.


"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." |Proverbs 15: 1|

for the sake of love, 

-N

Who Am I Becoming ?

Feb 9, 2018




To the newly christian married woman, if you are anything like me. You’re probably trying to figure it out all over again. You spent your single days waiting. Waiting on the man God had for you, while at the same time waiting on the Lord. Those days, often seemed dragged out. The idols of your heart were plenty. However, those days also taught you that God’s best was not in the man you fantasized about (tall, dark , handsome, blonde hair, blue eyes) I think you get my gist. Nevertheless, his best was in fact Himself. So where do you stand now? How do you cope with the changes? Will anyone really understand you? Will they understand the woman who wrestles her own reflection?

In the bliss of your union you knew in your heart that more than ever you wanted to marry the love your life. But, I’m sure you didn’t realize that it would come with you relearning yourself again in this season. I’m sure some days are lonely, not because no one gets it, but because there’s pressure to hold your household together and to hold yourself together too. The battle between self realization and reality is one which you stand in between the gaps trying to stitch up your flaws in place of God. Should I question God’s hand? I mean wouldn’t it be blasphemy? I would probably have bunch of people waving their fists at me. Cursing me back to dust because of my temporary radical rebellion.

My thoughts are in a bit of a mumbo jumbo. The more things that happen in my life the harder it is to grab hold of who I am. So much has happened and although my life simultaneously bleeds out life’s joy. I’ve been struggling in my womanhood. I want to do more, and create more. The more I draw near towards the gap, the farther away I am from myself. The things I love to do don’t excite me. I’m more focused on the chaos of making my house a home. Whipping up the best vegetarian meals for husband, while trying to find new methods of self care. Being a good friend. Finding passion in my creativity and sneaking in cuddles with my hard working husband on daily basis. Yet, nothing rattles my heart more than trying to understand who I am now. Has my identity changed? Am I more of woman now that I have a husband? Or can I be self reliant and still be married to a man who we swore before family friends we would depend on each other? How do I embrace this union and still keep my identity. The hiccups of life has my thoughts wrapped up in fear. Is my womanhood being tested? Or should I sit in silence and take life's blows to the head? See I don’t want to conform to categories, could it be that I’m being defiant? Or is God transitioning me into a period of discomfort that will lead me to become fully dependent on Him?

My life has changed drastically and praise God for it, but the fears that attaches itself to my blessings are from past traumas of things not working out. Needless to say, between all the long winded thoughts, the dragged out process of writing a book and becoming a wife the voice inside still trembles to hold on.  I feel like I’m stuck in between. My lukewarm heart shatters to press towards the cold truth, God’s reaffirming word. How can I be a voice to the lost when I myself feel lost sometimes?

Yet, these things are nothing new to God. He watches me. Gives me the breath to breathe. He holds my life in His hands and when I feel like my life is thinning out, or my reality is becoming slowly blurred by my anxious heart. This I know, Your eyes say my unformed substance; in your books were written, everyone or them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. | Psalms 139:16|

These days are exactly where God wants me. In midst of the fog. He steers clear my heart towards his holy throne. These are the days where drawing closer to God is more than necessary. These are the days where I don’t have to hide or mask who I am. That behind this body is a woman of strength, grace and resilience.

I’m sure future milestones may come with its perils or there may be seasons where I might find myself once again questioning my abilities. But in the light of it all, I plead with you and say, “hey newly christian married women it’s going to be okay, in actuality you are growing and learning and becoming what you already are”. Relax the pen is in God’s hands.  


Sincerely the woman becoming!

UPDATE!!!!!! So much has happened in my life since the last time I wrote a blog post. If you are following me on any of my social media platforms then you'd probably know that I'm releasing my first book!!!!!!!. It has been a challenging yet rewarding experience and I'm so excited for you guys to read the book. The release date is looking like OCTOBER 2018 so keep an eye out because I will be sharing more with you about the book.


- N

Well....Are YouThirsty?

Jul 26, 2017


I'm convinced that nothing propelled my heart like the day I met the man who aired out all my dirty laundry. He looked like he had just traveled a long distance. Our interaction was brief, however the words from his lips flowed like sweet honey. He was tender yet assertive, immediately when I saw him I knew he was an outsider. I was a bit hesitant to approach Him. I didn't want anyone to think I was creeping around the corners with another man. So I approached Him with caution, He turned and looked at me instantly, and said "Give Me a Drink" | John 4:7|, I was quite confused because He came to the well with nothing to draw the water with. It seemed strange to me while oddly at the same time it stroked my curiosity. He spoke in parables and in the gist of our conversation He said," If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water." | John 4:10|"

"Living water, where do I get that from?"
I said to him desperately, my mind was so deeply perplexed by his response, but he seemed to have the answer to my question. 


He went on about how the living water would never make me thirst again. I couldn't lie, I just stood there eager to know exactly what He meant by that.  An endless supply of water ? That didn't sound too bad. 

'' Go, call your husband" | John 4:7|, he responded.
My husband ? I thought to myself , what did that have to do with water ?

His words started to cut me deeper than I expected, and it suddenly got me thinking about my life.

 Truth is:

I only came out during specific hours of the day where I wouldn’t have to encounter those who knew my dirty little secrets. I battled things I feared to confront so I pretended to be fine with my current circumstances, when in reality I was slowly dying inside. I carried bags of dried bones that lugged behind me. In hopes that one day I would encounter a heavy wind that would rattled the bones back to lifeIt was evident to all, that the weight of the bagged bones were too heavy for me to bear. The proof was that the rope like fibers bruised my back and left deep scars.

The  heavy load steered my heart into a violent panic. Where I would be in different stages of grief while--calculating all my major insecurities at the same time. I would hear the people talking, the words from their lips were ice cold, building up my shame. I was mocked and manipulated to believe that my worth was frail and lifeless. 

Yes it was true I had FIVE husbands, and I was living with a man now who also not matrimonially committed to me. I had DEMONS, which led me into the arms of  men who had betrayed me. The hurt and disrespect from their actions crippled me, so when things got hard I found myself laying up under someone else or running to find myself comfort in other ways. It had become apparent that my sins were leaving footprints all over town and everyone somehow knew my business.



This resulted in me planning my days out. I couldn’t confidently face the truth. I was convinced that I had developed a bit of anxiety just being around people. Their taunting presence gave me the ability to clearly hear the abnormal rhythm of my heart beat. It was calloused and wrapped in flesh with an appetite for unhealthy affection. The chambers were stained with imprints of dirt which were not easy to clean off, because it had built up residue from the ashes I was made of. The signs of my struggles were evident, it broke out like an epidemic flowing through my blood streams latching onto every vulnerable part of me. It fed me and fattened me up with temporary pride, however at the same time sucking all the energy out of me-- leaving me empty and misused.

" I have no husband", I responded silently.
" You are right!, You don't have a husband-- for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you are living with now." | John 4:17-18|  

In awe I thought to myself, could this man be a prophet? How did he know about all my husbands.

I was ashamed of the things I had done. I couldn't find the courage to look Him in the eye, I had lost my identity in the face of adversity in parched places. However, His words sprang like a well inside me. The chaos in my life was silenced by his presence, I barely knew anything about this Man but in our short interaction he knew everything about me. My darkness was brought to light and everything concealed was revealed in Him. He offered what no one could give me; a heart that could worship God in truth and never thirst again. Furthermore, in spite of my heavy past he drew me out of the well when I was thirsty for other things.       


This Samaritan women had been searching for something. However, after five husband she still couldn't find what she was looking for. So what did she do? She looked again and still ended up in the same situation. I grew up with a lot of insecurities as a child which taunted me and destroyed my self esteem. I numbed my pain with temporary satisfactions. So I ran into the arms of others who I thought could help me deal with my internal issues. I down played the truth and resisted the reality to quench my affections. My scars deepened and I found myself in the same miserable place.
                                              
There a popular quote by Albert Einstein that says, " Insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and getting the same results". Certainly, this woman wasn't insane but she was broken and looking to be filled in the arms of men. Many of us may not be in the exact situation but some of us are. We’re emotionally abused by those who claim to love us. Nonetheless, every time we encounter their presence we’re left emptier than ever. We allow temporary satisfaction, people or things to keep us in bondage. Whether we want to accept it or not, the truth is, if we keep turning to these idols for comfort they will end up being failed gods-- useless and powerless. However, there is hope in knowing that, Jesus has the power to draw our heart towards him even in sticky situations. 

That means, He is more than able to sustain us with an overflow of love, joy and peace in which no human or thing can give. So be intentional about your pursuit with Christ and if you haven't met him yet he's at the well waiting to quench our thirsty souls.


"When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst, I the LORD will answer them; I the God of Israel will not forsake them. | Isaiah 41:17|

for the sake of love,


* You can find the story in John 4:1-42. Note the Samartian woman's part is not in the bible. I found a way to use her encounter with Jesus to connect my readers to the issues we face on a daily basis*                              

He Asked Me To Marry Him, But...

May 18, 2017

To whom it may concern,

As a little girl I envisioned the day I would get married. I mapped out the experience down to the finest detail. The intense joy I would feel  from saying yes to the dress and to the man of my dreams. Cheers of excitement, my mother fighting back her tears as she reached out to embrace me in the moment. My heart bursting with joy--unguarded and untamed, my palms sweating with all nervousness. Mumbling under my breath a song of gladness “ In his time he makes all things beautiful | Ecclesiastes 3:11. I was finally getting married to the man whom my soul loved. The day would be magical, decor to the finest detail, exceptional food, centrepieces overflowing with flowers, loads of entertainment you name it… your girl had it aligned to the ‘t’. I knew when it happened, I would do it once and only once. However, I never gave much thought to engagement period, although the thought crossed my mind. Nothing propelled me more than what I wanted to happen on my wedding day.

Yet,

The past few weeks of my life have been a nightmare. I got engaged on my twenty-fifth birthday and with exuding shouts of joy, I said YES ! Having all the most important people in my life was a glorious experience, a moment I can't even form into words. My body instantly went into shock. However weeks after the hype came the reality of two flawed hearts neck and neck at each other. Cultural customs, financial restraints, and my desires--incapable of distinguishing truth. The memoirs of my child-like self was struggling to see the lines of compromise. Every time I tried to walk towards the gap of reconciliation my heart became torn with the desires that I envisioned as a young girl.

The painstaking truth was It was becoming hard to distinguish; between what I wanted and what was actually important. Ultimately, I knew the answer was my marriage, however, my fantasies were unwinding and expressing something else. I had to unlearn and it was hard.

See our hearts are a reflection of our inner-self, thoughts, feelings and desires. However, there are dangers that can arise from the heart if it’s not taken care of. The concerning reality is that most of us are not actively working on our hearts. I was naive to think that when I got into this relationship I was a complete package.

I realized that when I became a Christian I needed to make a continuous choice and give up my old ways of thinking. I laid in bed for days battling the thought of letting some of these desires go. My mind racing I knew this was a life and death process. I knew I had to choose life and live in God’s fullness and die to what I was used to. I had to remind myself  that although an idea of having a beautiful wedding was exciting, God’s intent for me was a lifelong commitment with my partner |Ephesians 5:31| which would ultimately reflect our relationship with Christ. I had to renew my heart and align it to truth. The unfathomable reality was God was bringing two sinful people together for his glory. This required both of us to see outside of ourselves and our desires. And although in this engagement season we haven’t perfectly shown the 1 Corinthians 13 type of love, I knew the challenges we were facing as a couple was God’s way of exposing the areas of our hearts that needed to be renewed.

The struggle is real I’m still learning. Ladies from me to you, don’t succumb to the hype of the seeds planted in infancy. To my singles who are waiting: enjoy the season you are in, focus on laying your heart in the potter's hands allowing him to shape you. Building character is hard, but it is necessary. It will expose the dark crevices of your soul and shape you to be the image of his son Jesus Christ. Remember our hearts are fragile and deceitful; if we don’t guard it can lead to our very own destruction.

Sincerely,

A flawed heart.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
for the sake of love,

Apr 22, 2017


Lies of Panic

Apr 20, 2017


New
you make all things new.

still.
my bones cage in my existence.
Be still. I whisper, be still.

I hide myself behind emotional concrete walls. I've taught myself to equate God's goodness with how to live, what I should do, and how I should do it. I've exchanged my dignity to legalistic ways of love.
It's left me empty and misinformed of truth. However, His unaltered truth remains. He remains. Yet, at times I remain down.

I've attributed Your being to human qualities. I say I've laid your word across my heart only to
access it occasionally.

When the storms of frustration hits. When my mind jumps ahead of me 100km/h. When worry seems to rip my heart apart. When prayer is the sound of weeping than praise. I lay my splintered cross at your feet, I try to deny myself (Matthew 16:24), and allow the truth to penetrate the lies of panic.

I've lived my life through shattered hearts that struggle to live their own truth. I've envied their plastered quotes and the repetitive chatter of rules that worked for them.

I've imprisoned my being, comparing my identity to those who my father used to compare my younger self to. A distant memory that often lingers.
That breaks parts of me down from time to time.

I've been the sheep that has left the flock. I've wondered off in the distance searching for pieces of me in a world that seems to hate me. I've lost my own battle, as a result I've created scars which no longer can be erased from my memory.

I've dug up my own cisterns, the ones that can not sustain water( Jeremiah 2:13). The cracked bottoms are reflection of the life I risk loosing to the pleasures of the world by going astray. Each time I try to patch up the wounds. I end up scratching the surface of my own rebellion.

I try to find the place where the water flows--the land of milk and honey.
Yet.
Yet the reflection of the water from the sun is tainted with opaque idols that reflect the canvas of my soul. The itching relief of freedom, is what my soul longs for. But the bondage of my thoughts  escapes through my anxiety.

You hold me up, when anxiety holds me down!
You make a way in the wilderness,when the lies of panic choke me up.

I relentlessly pursue after the one who can heal me. I'm at a place in my life where I can barely hear myself and the truth at the same time. The missing puzzles of my life cling to me.

  There's longing to knock out cultural norms and to be inexhaustibly human.
To be what I need to be.
a being.unkept. a work in progress.
In the midst, my mind finds the fault in the stained imprints of sin.
However, I believe the one who has freed me has set me free from it all. 

There will be days I will long to go back, 
but oh Lord remind me that my soul can only find rest in you alone.
Rest to break free from a condemned heart.
and an anxious soul! 
Rest from the lies of panic, that heeds to rebellion.
Rest to the truth: that you make all things new!

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? | Isaiah 43:18-19| 


for the sake of love, 

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