Healing in the Chaos

Hey there blog family!

For a long time I didn’t blog because I wanted to ride the storm and when I was triumphant and won the battle then I would tell you guys. However, it’s been a very long and heavy storm. But my mind changed recently when I read something on Instagram. It said

The Book of Psalms is great because it shows you that you can praise and glorify God when life is good and when life is bad

Source unknown.

And that’s when I thought to myself “if King David wrote half of the Psalms whilst in a majorly low place and it has has yet to stop helping people overcome their struggles, why should my blogging stop because I am in a low place?” Especially, since the premise of this blog is to help people with everyday Christian life. And what’s more Christian than the struggles that arise?

So in saying that. Let’s jump into it.

Have you ever been in a situation where something drastic has happened in your life and finally after processing everything you now think to yourself “yup, now it’s time to heal”. But in that moment the devil is just chucking every type of fiery dart at you?

At first you managed to dodge the first few but now it seems like they’re all being thrown all at once and now it’s just mad chaos?!

Your job, bills, friends, family, even church folk, are being used as these darts and all you can think is “God, how? Why?! How can I heal from my previous messes in such chaos?”

If we’re being completely honest with each other, this is where I am currently and it’s the most frustrating place I’ve ever been in my life so far. It’s like every time I start to find my feet again there’s a gust of wind throwing me off my feet and back into a hurricane of hurt, confusion, anger and so many other emotions. And I know I’m not the only one who is, or has been, in a season like this.

You start to wonder “what kind of stressful test is this? And how long do I have to endure this for?”

Unfortunately, we don’t know how long these tests will last. It could be a month, a year or even 10 years! I mean if we look at the story of Job he went through it for months and months (this doesn’t necessarily mean it was less than 12 months, meaning it could have been a year or so).

Job is a perfect example of someone who continued to cry out to God, stay faithful to Him whilst in so much chaos! I mean my guy lost his belongings, he lost his job, his properties, his animals were either dead or stolen, all of his kids died, he got sick, was made homeless, was ridiculed and everybody and their nan’s thought he had become crazy! Then his wife told him to “curse God and die”. (Job Chp. 1- 42)

I mean that is a lot!

We all face problems that can take a major hit on us, where it does feel like your entire world is just coming to an end. I mean the mere fact that Job’s wife said those words could have been playing on his mind all those months low-key. He could have been contemplating on cursing God and taking his own life but his faithfulness in God did not allow him to take the words his wife said to him to heart. Instead he rebuked her right there and then.

But Job replied “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?”

Job 2:10 (NLT)

And he’s not wrong. Sometimes God gives us situations just for the purpose of growth or to have a testimony that can touch others. Even just going through the book of Job now I am being touched by his testimony and I’m in awe of his faithfulness in God. Which is funny because it’s not my first time going through this story.

It’s a hard truth sometimes God does allow us to go through some things to grow us. Whether it be character flaws that need changing for the better, insecurities that need to be weeded out of us, strengths that need to be birthed in us or even just so our testimony can help someone who is going through a situation we have once faced one day.

In saying all of that, I know it doesn’t make the situation easier or the chaos any less. I’ve had days when I just wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits on my Christian journey but God’s previous faithfulness and my fear of having the world beat me up (again) stops me every time. I get frustrated with God and start saying some mess to him.

Like “hello! But what are you doing up there on your cloud? You can’t see me suffering down here?”

As faithful as he was to God, even Job got frustrated as any of us would do when we’re in a pit of endless hurt and chaos. Plus, God was being silent and we all know that never helps when we are continuously calling and crying out onto God to help us.

If only I knew where to find God, I would go to his court. I would lay out my case and present my argument.

I go east, but he is not there. I go west, but I cannot find him. I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. I look to the south, but he is concealed.

Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? Why must the godly wait for him in vain?

NLT
Job 23:3-4
Job 23:8-9
Job 24:1

However, even in these hard and frustrating tests God is always by our side. As silent as He may be during this season he is still here with us. With you.

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.

Isaiah 43:1-3

Job went through so much (42 chapters worth of torment) and even in that God later on blessed him twice as much!

When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before! …

So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen and 1,000 female donkeys. He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. …

Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. Then he died an old man who had lived a long, full life.

Job 42:10/12-13/16-17

Imagine the amount of people living at that time just thinking “wow, this is Job now? Look at how God has blessed him after all he had been through. He has more than what he had before.” And for months he was seen as the rich fella on the streets who lost the plot after he lost everything and pretty much got every illness under the sun.

Another person I think of, in terms of persevering in a continuous testing seasons, is someone I randomly came across on Instagram last year. Her and her husband have been struggling to have a baby for years! And finally at the age of 40 God blessed her with triplets.

Yes, I said it. Three beautiful baby girls were born after years of her and her husband staying faithful and continuously praying for God to do His thing and He really did. X3! And people say miracles don’t exist or were only for biblical times.

Perseverance, faithfulness, patience and endurance. Those are the things we need to continuously pray for during this season. As well as our relationship with God to be strengthened in this time because sometimes, hard times cause us to have a lack of faith which then leaves us open to falling back into old habits and backsliding.

We need to run towards God, more so now than ever! Running away will only lead us to the world and into the grasps of Satan. And I don’t know about you but I ain’t about that life and I ain’t trying to be about it no more.

As I got half way to writing this post, I truly believe tests like these, where you are uncertain of what exactly the test is or if it was a consequence of sin as Job also questioned, are God’s way of seeing which way you will go.

Will you be like a leaf in autumn and fall away from God to parish and wither away in the hands of the world or will you be an olive branch that holds strong to the root which provides you with nourishment, even in times of drought?

Have a think about that.

The suffering might be happening right now. But I will leave you with this, before gold becomes pure, it has to go through almost 2,000°F (1,093°c) of fire. Think of this season as you being purified in this moment as you stay faithful in God.

But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.

Job 23:10-11 NLT

Let’s heal through the chaos together and come out of the fire as pure gold.

That’s all she wrote …

Disciplined

Hey you guys,

Happy New Years!! 🥳🥳 (hope it’s not too late to say this).

It’s been a hot minute, huh?

Hope you’ve been good despite what’s going on in the world. I know I’ve been a little MIA but it’s been a long one still.

Anyway. Let’s get into it …

I’ve always said that this blog will be based on my personal experience. My Christian journey shared truthfully and in full. And if I’m being honest, this post has taken a few months for me to build the courage to write, let alone to post it.

I know how it feels to find it hard to love yourself or even think well of yourself after fumbling so hard. In life. In your love life. In your walk with God. That was the biggest fumble for me.

If I could have it any way, I would fail in every area of my life but keep my relationship with God straight.

It’s funny because for such a long time I used to feel regret with the things I had done in the past, but I’ve come to realise that my only regret is that I took my eyes off God and let myself fall away from Him, instead falling into Him during one of my hardest seasons.

My season of being in the wilderness.

Before becoming saved, although I was in the world, I was always seen as this innocent little girl, a goody two shoes, teachers pet, never really wanting to get into trouble, type of character. And even when I got saved these characteristics followed me.

I always followed the rules, I never wanted to get into trouble with my pastor and pretty much everyone saw me as an innocent little girl who could never do any wrong or sin. The girl in praise in worship, who’s the first to help out in church, who seems to have everything together and had dealt with everything that needed to be dealt with internally and spiritually.

“Farielle got this Christian thing so quick and is so solid in it.”

But no ones perfect. We’re all human and everyone has and can fall at anytime.

In late 2017, I started doubting my relationship with God and who I was as a person. This whole season really threw me off my feet, as it was my first time as a saved Christian that I was being tested in such a way. I had no idea what to do, and I know prayer is a practical way of dealing with things, but I felt like it wasn’t giving me a practical answer. This then lead me to pray less and eventually I wasn’t praying at all.

Fast forward to April 2018. I back slid.

For those who don’t know what it means to back slide, it’s falling back into sinful ways. Ways of the world. Ways that aren’t of God and won’t bring glory to God.

I lied and pretty much lived another life for 6 months. I mean I was so deep in the lies that everything I said and did in my life became overly calculated. What I spoke about, remembering the lies I had told. I literally felt like a double agent in a James Bond movie.

It got to the point where I wasn’t sure whether what I was saying was the truth or a lie.

Eventually, I came clean to my pastor and I got disciplined for 6 months. Of course there were other measures put in place before that, but this was the last resort.

Being disciplined is like getting grounded by your parents but instead of being sent to your room, you have to take a time out from church. Which means you’re pretty much cut off from all things church, including the people.

It’s such a lonely place to be.

I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone. For about 4/5 months I only had two friends around me. One moved back down south and the other lives further away from me. So because of my work schedule, travelling to her after work or uni was too tiring. So I barely saw her.

Depression took its toll real quick! Because then I was really alone. If I’m being very honest, the only thing that really kept me here was my degree and how close I was to achieving it. Finally.

I started going to counselling in February 2019 because of the lack of people I was speaking to, I decided that seeking help where I could talk to someone about what I was going through was the only thing left. Which was definitely a great idea for me to do.

Church hurt is one of the hardest pains to get over, so believe me when I say I understand.

I know how hard it is to go back to God when something so immense, so big has happened in your life and you have no idea how to fix it. You’re not sure whether you can trust your church, another church or even God again. Your faith in God has just … disintegrated. I get it, because during those 8 months of discipline I really fell off the rails like it was no-ones business.

It was really like … God who?

I joke around with it my stories a lot with friends but the truth of the matter is, it was a dark time for me. I acted like I didn’t care but I cared a lot. That was my family and I had lost them.

I went back to church in June 2019 and not long after that in December I got disciplined again.

Yes. I’ve been disciplined twice. This time it was for 3 months.

The first time I got disciplined. I was stubborn and prideful. Even though I knew what I did was wrong and I felt bad for my decisions, I didn’t want to seem weak so I didn’t show any emotions whatsoever.

I held my ground, accepted the consequences and left church with hella pride because in my head “ain’t no one seeing me leave this building with tears in my eyes or with any sort of hurt. Not even through my body language.”

My second discipline was different. When I went to confess to my pastor and a witness, I remember thinking “it probably won’t be that bad. Not like last time.” And I don’t remember everything my pastor said but I do remember these words “Do you not love yourself?”

And it really hit hard. Do I? I know I responded with “I don’t know” because I genuinely didn’t know, and I soon realised that at the time I didn’t love myself or think of myself very highly. When he said I had to leave church my heart dropped and my brain just said “again..?!”

I just started crying. It was the shame of allowing myself to fall again and not learning from the first time. Not to say I didn’t know that what I was doing was wrong, because I did, but because what my pastor was saying to me just made me realise how little I valued myself, loved myself and the fact that I didn’t see myself worthy of anything more than what I allowed myself to go through the last year or so.

It wasn’t the same as last time. I was able to talk to one person for accountability and support, my pastor recommended churches that I could go to in this time and I had meetings with him every 3 weeks.

When my pastor and the witness left the room, he sent for one of my friends, who was my accountability partner during my discipline. When she came into the room I remember just balling even more and saying the words “I didn’t mean to”.

I think it was just the realisation of what I had done and how much it pulled me further away from God. But mostly how little I thought of myself.

It wasn’t easy being disciplined and I do feel like being left alone with no spiritual guidance the first time really did give me a push to go down a path I regret whole heartedly. It was hard getting over everything and even just trusting God and church people again was extremely hard.

But because of the mustard seed of faith I held onto during that time. The fact that I knew God was somehow going to pull me back to him, I kept going, even whilst in the storm I was in.

And I bet you have the question everyone who knows I’ve been on discipline asks me.

Do you still go to the same church?

And the answer is yes, I do go to the same church. It was difficult to return, thinking everyone was either judging me or hated me but the truth was everyone just wanted me back in church.

I went back to my church knowing that most people knew my story, which at first was embarrassing for me but eventually I realised, my testimony is my testimony and no one can tell me otherwise.

I know going back to a place where you’ve been hurt can be hard as heck! However, God didn’t put you in that church for no reason. Even with the church hurt that can occur.

Another question asked is,

Is discipline biblical?

And the answer is yes. I won’t go into it in detail because this post is already looking long, but just like weeds in the garden or fire in a dry forest, sin spreads quickly. One person can be sinning and it can move onto the next person and so on. It might not be the same sin but it’s sin nonetheless.

So what do you do with unwanted weeds? As brutal as it sounds, you cut them loose. Which is what Paul says we should do when there is sin in the church.

Obviously with church they want you to come back after some time, which Paul also mentions.

Here’s the scripture where Paul talks about taking sin seriously and condemning Spiritual Pride. The second scripture is on restoring the individual condemned, with love.

1 Corinthians 5:1-13// 2 Corinthians 2:5-8

I read both Message and NLT version, but you can read whichever suits you best.

I just wanted to end this post by letting you know that if you are struggling with church hurt or you just want to ask me some questions, you are more than welcomed to message me on Instagram.

Remember you’re not alone in this.

Have a blessed Sunday x

That’s all she wrote …

Start Again

Hey hey hey!

New week, new blog post.

Boy… where do I even begin with this one?

I needed to take a time out and recollect in so many areas of my life, hence the major lack of posts.

It’s not a mystery that have been struggling with my faith and relationship with God, but I can finally say that I’m back where I need to be. I’m not perfect, but I’m working on it.

I want to talk about starting again with God. How hard it is for those who have fallen away, from God, to go back to him, how when we go back into the world, and re-learn old habits, it can be super hard to go back to God.

This is mostly because of the shame that we feel. That feeling of

God won’t accept me the way I am, I have strayed too far to go back now.

But let me tell you now. That is nothing but a big lie from the devil himself!

The devil doesn’t want us to go back, he wants us to stay away from God and his wonders. He wants us to be lost sheep reluctant to go back to our Shepherd when he’s trying to find us and take us back to the rest of the herd.

The thief’s purpose is to kill, steal and destroy. My purpose is to give them rich and satisfying life.

– John 10:10 [NLT]

Another reason may be, we may find it hard to go back to God is because we have become cynical towards God.

God hasn’t helped me with such a thing, so what’s the point?

Another lie! God wants nothing but good things for us and there could be multiple reasons as to why the thing you prayed for wasn’t answered. Do you know that no is also an answer? Maybe you weren’t ready for that thing, or that thing was going to destroy you once you received it, which is why what you wanted or what you prayed for wasn’t answered.

“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope“.

– Jeremiah 29:11 [NLT]

Listen, God has a reason for everything, trust me on that one. And just as the scripture says the plans he has for us are so amazing! So amazing that when they happen, we won’t be able to comprehend it!

When I was going through my struggle I was so sure that me and God had parted ways for good! So sure that He was no longer in my favour because of all the things I had done, the amount of times I had fallen and the countless arguments I had with Him about where I was in life. But God didn’t care about the things I had done in the past, He just wanted me back! He was waiting for me with open arms. Not just Him but people at church.

“In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed!”

Luke 15:7 [NLT]

I was so pressed that people at church would be hateful or push me away for leaving, afraid that it would be this whole thing of starting again from scratch, but it was the complete opposite. Thank God that I belong to a loving church family.

Sometimes life happens and you have to start from scratch. Starting again is not a bad thing at all.

You lose your job, you have to start again and search for a new job.

You move locations, you have to start again

You start a new job, you have to start again and get into a new groove with your job.

You fall away from God and you come back, you are starting again from the beginning. Having to unlearn worldly habits again, learning to trust God and to have faith in Him again. It can be hard! But it gets easier and it’s always worth it.

I was so afraid of starting again. Not just with God but everyone else I had to go back to.

But sometimes we have to take that leap of faith.

To have faith that when we jump into starting again, it’s not going to be a perfect straight forward journey, but because God is in control and He will make a way.

Another thing I struggled with was the notation of forgiving myself for back sliding (falling back into sin, for those who are unaware of the term), until I was reminded that

God has already forgiven me, so I don’t need to forgive myself.

Once I had accepted that it became easier to start again with my relationship with God. From having short conversations every so often, to now having mini prayer sessions or even just having a conversation like I’m talking to a friend.

God doesn’t care how you talk to him, He just wants you to talk to him, even if it’s not in the ‘formal’ way they teach us in church. And that’s one of the biggest steps to starting again, like with any friend, talking.

And the scripture was fulfilled that says “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteous” – and he was called a friend of God

– James 2:23

So to finish this post I will leave you with 3 steps to starting again with God.

  1. Leap in faith and into God
  2. Accept that God has forgiven you, so you don’t need to forgive yourself
  3. Start talking to God again!

And the bonus step for you guys would be

To find yourself a loving church family.

(If you don’t already have one)

Now, like every family there might be arguments every so often, but don’t worry about it. God put those people in that church to develop your character a little bit more, and you’re there to develop theirs too.

But that’s a conversation for another post.

I pray that once reading this, you have been able to start again with God or maybe you’re reading this and decided to start a relationship with God for the first time. Regardless, welcome back! You took a big step and I am proud of you. You have so many amazing things and a beautiful journey to come.

With that being said

That’s all she wrote …