Wednesday, 19 July 2017

CHANGING YOUR LIFE



Have you ever sat there and wondered if you are living your life the way you truly want to live it? Have you ever thought about what you could do to change your life for the better?

Looking back at how my life was, I have noticed that I truly was not happy in the slightest. I felt as though I was a permanent people pleaser- always being a try-hard to do things that people noticed and felt happy about, or constantly doing things for people even if I did not want to do them myself. I faced a lot of struggles that I thought I would never overcome, and I was taking medication for the depression and anxiety that I had at the time. In all honestly, I felt numb. I felt like I couldn't experience the same world that everyone else around me was experiencing, and I felt as though I was in a thick-skinned bubble. Naaaaat good a tell ye. 

So, what on this earth did I do about it? Changed my life, that's what. 

One of the changes I made was by coming off the anti-depressants. Not everyone agreed, but at the end of the day it is my life and my choice so only I can really make the final decision. People thought that I wasn't going to be able to cope, but I did it. I did it and I managed to survive. The reason I did this was because I felt as though I wasn't going to be able to fix what problems I had without feeling proper emotion and feelings. When you're on medication, this just masks those feelings that you have so you feel permanently numb. I thought that by feeling real and raw emotion again, I could teach myself how to deal with it rather than just to cover it up and never really dealing with it. 

Another 'thing' that I did was began spending time around people that I felt comfortable with, that made me feel a genuine happiness and that made my life seemingly easier. I was sick and tired of comparing myself to people and being a people pleaser that I looked at other people around me in a different light, and noticed that they were different to some of the people I currently had in my life at that time. So I slowly took myself out of situations, kept myself to myself and followed life the way it was taking me. And I would not go back.

Something that had to be done was that I needed to open my eyes. I needed to start taking advice and listening to the people closest to me. I had to use other peoples advice to begin making changes to my life, and I tell you with all honesty that it needed to be done. I am very stubborn so I always think that I am right. This means that I don't like to take other people's advice and think that they're right for a change, so by doing this I felt like I was losing a sense of pride but I really wasn't. These people closest to you see in to your life and notice things that you wouldn't because you're living it. Taking their advice really would be a smart move you know. 

Confidence was a huge issue I had with my life, but one of the main confidence killers I had was my eyebrows. For anyone who knows me, they will know how much my eyebrows used to be the bane of my life. I am talking about eyebrows here as if I actually had some, but the truth is I really didn't have much. My eyebrows were sparse, VERY short and probably non-existent if you were looking at me from a distance. So after my 21st birthday, I decided to get them microbladed. This is a form of semi-permanent tattooing which means that I won't have to get them done for another 18 months, but by gum are they a life-saver. I honestly couldn't tell you how much it has done for my confidence. Not only do I get the chance to wear less makeup without worrying about filling in/drawing on my brows, but I feel confident in front of people with NO makeup on. Something I never thought would happen. 

Last but not least (and probably one of my favourite changes to my life)- finding Jesus. Again, for those of you that know me will know that I recently publicly gave my life to Jesus through being Baptised. Easily one of the best days of my entire life. This gave me the opportunity to show that I can repent and change my life for the better.

I changed my life, and I have never been so happy.

Monday, 17 July 2017

THROUGH THE STORMS



I was sitting on the bus to work the other day, and whilst I was people watching at the traffic lights, I thought about how different everybody's lives are. You look at someone and you notice their image and what they look like, but you will never truly understand somebody's life by just looking at them. 

Everybody goes through struggles in their life time, and experiences storms which they think they may not get through. I, like other people, have experienced this and thought that I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel- but I can guarantee that it is there. I never saw it until the day that I found Jesus again, and I decided to instil trust in to God for Him to help me. Although God promises us a joyous life, He also promises us struggles- however He will guide us through them with the ability to gain strength.

Jonah and the Whale
When thinking of going through storms with the help of the Lord, I thought about the story of Jonah and the Whale. In Jonah 1-4, God sent Jonah to Nineveh to preach against it due to it being full of wickedness. Jonah didn't want to go because he knew that Nineveh was against God and he felt under threat if he was to go there. Jonah tried to escape and travel somewhere else using a ship, however there was a great storm. Jonah knew that God would have sent the storm because he did not carry out what God had asked him to do, so Jonah asked God to throw him in to the sea. God did it, but Jonah didn't drown because God sent a large whale to swallow him whole. Jonah was in the stomach of the whale for 3 days, but then he prayed to God and said that he would do what God wanted him to do. Jonah went to Nineveh and spoke of God's word. The people confessed their evil deeds to God, meaning that He didn't destroy Nineveh.

Caterpillar to Butterfly
Another theory that came to mind when thinking about storms was that of a caterpillar to a butterfly. In order for a caterpillar to turn in to a butterfly, it needs to go through the cocooning process. At the end of the time in the cocoon, the caterpillar has to struggle out of it in order to gain strength in their wings and to be exposed to the outside world. If the caterpillar got help and the cocoon was torn apart, then the caterpillar would not have the strength of the wings to hold it through flight. It would not have had to learn how to gain strength if it didn't go through the struggle in the first place.

The moral of this post is to just show how instilling our trust in God through the hard and difficult times in life, allows us to find strength to make us grow and keep us strong. Like I stated earlier in the post, God promises us a joyous life but He also promises us troubles. This doesn't mean that God isn't good... Because He very much is. He sends us storms to teach us how to deal with those situations, and to make sure we are strong enough to face them head-to-head with the power of the Lord. 

Philippians 4:13
"I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."

Isaiah 40:29
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Psalm 46:1
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."

Sunday, 26 February 2017

My Testimony

Image from HERE
Everyone has a story. Everyone has a story which has led them into one direction or another- whether this leads to happiness or misery. Some people may have experienced either happiness or misery and some people may have experienced both. I am one of them. I wrote a post which led to misery, about my mental health story which you can find here. But this is the other side, this leads to happiness.
(P.S. This is going to be quite long, I apologise. Just hang in there!)

This post is solely about My Testimony. How I found God, and how I found my connection. This is something which I never thought that I would write, but it is a huge part of my life and something which is going to be alongside me throughout the rest of my journey.

When I was younger, my Gran always ensured that my eyes were open to the Lord. She bought me my first book about Bible stories, she took me to churches, she showed me her church a lot whenever I was visiting her, I performed the flute in church and there was other events which happened on a regular occurrence. However, at the age of 9 was when I experienced my first sinister set of events in my life, and due to this I didn't believe there was a God anymore. I no longer found myself looking for God's house in the clouds, and He slipped further and further away from my mind. A few years later, God came back into my mind and I began re-thinking His existence.

Shortly after this, my dad left home and I found myself in a very volatile and nasty relationship. He claimed he was a Christian and with God, but I couldn't understand why God would allow him to do such evil things. This pushed Him further and further away from me once again, and I felt as though I was back at square one. 

It came to GCSE's, and I found myself sitting in a Religious Studies class. Through these two years, God was constantly playing on my mind as if I had something to feel guilty about, but I just didn't know what. No matter how much I wanted to accept God's love and presence, I just couldn't because of what I had seen or been through. 

It reached A-Level time, and once again I found myself sitting in a philosophy class. It was heavily based on God, so I had no choice but to learn and listen to God's word every day. On my 17th birthday, my mum gifted me a Bible. I would read this, but not pay any attention. I would read and read this Bible to try and find some guidance to God, and just look for some message from Him... But there was never anything that came to me. Through my A-Level times, I always had this urge to connect with God. But I felt embarrassed. There were people around me who were openly Christian, expressed their love for Jesus and God every single day and were genuinely happy. I envied them but still did nothing about it. 

It came to university time and I chose Philosophy. I had never been further from God in my life, but I continued to question Him and speak to Him in private or when I needed guidance and love most. In my third year, I met Nathaniel and my eyes opened. His family are very connected with God, and I became envious of how much love they had for Him... and He had for them. So from then on, I decided to quit thinking about what other people may think of me and my choices, and I went in search of a connection with God. And I am so glad that I did. 

Believe me when I say that this hasn't been an easy journey so far. I have had revelations which have been soul-enhancing, but I have had one which terrified me so much. I never believed that people could feel God, but after experiencing it for myself I completely understand how God's love feels.

I will elaborate in another post regarding my revelations, because they are something which need to be read with understanding and yet again they are personal experiences, but I genuinely feel that they could help others finding their faith or experiencing the same thing as me at the moment. I have been to church for the past three Sundays (since I started going), and this is with CCM (Christ Church Manchester). I have cried there, cried after there, cried before there, not wanted to go and not wanted to be a part of it. But I still go, and I still fight these feelings of despair inside of me. 

Where am I now? I am still building that connection with Christ, and I am loving every moment of it. I feel the love when I need it, I am heard when I need listening to and I am helped when I need love. I need to express that this post isn't trying to get anyone to find a connection with God- because that is something personal but I just wanted to share my experiences and story. 

What I want to do next? I am looking to be baptised. This is something which I feel strongly about in myself, and I will document that also as another story in my journey. But one that also leads to happiness. No more misery. 

Here is My Testimony so far. Here is my story. Here is how I found my everlasting connection with the Lord.