Story Time: The Time I Lost My Chicken

Hi all!

Hope you’ve all been good.

No, this isn’t click bait, its real. I wanted to share one of my favourite testimonies. One that till this day continues to baffle’s me, to the point where there is no way to explain what happened. It’s the one I always reference back to whenever my mind starts to doubt God and His existence. This is the story that reaffirms my faith, ensures that being a Christian is not for nothing and that no one, and I mean NO ONE, can tell me that God is not real.

So let me get into it.

Before I start, like every story, I have to set the scene for you.

It was 2016, I had just broken up with my boyfriend, I had just moved out of my parents house into my own flat, I had just started my second year in uni and I had started working in Manchester Arndale, where I was contracted only 8hrs a week, which obviously was not enough to pay bills. And I know what you’re thinking “But Farielle, didn’t you have your student loan?”. Yes, yes I did, but I used it to buy some of the furniture in my house, which resulted to me not having a lot of money and spending £11 a month on ready meals and whatever left on the other essentials.

So I was

broke, isolated and alone in a new environment, brokenhearted, down and out, tired because of the long travel to and from work and early lectures the following day

and on top of that

my relationship with God was unstable, as I was unable to go to church because all of my shifts were on Sunday’s, and I had no idea where to find him in the mist of that

but I stayed praying and stayed patient because I knew that God will come through some how, but I won’t lie it got harder and harder everyday. I felt like I was a robot just functioning in routine. Not going to church really upset me as well, because I knew that’s where I needed to be but too afraid to ask for a change of shifts.

Anyway, to the main story.

It was Wednesday 14th December, I remember because my work Christmas dinner was for the 13th and on the day this whole thing happened I was hopeful because I finished work at a good time where I could catch the last 40 minutes of bible studies, which we have every Wednesday.

I finished work at 6pm and I went to catch the bus number 8, that takes an hour to get to Bolton from Manchester, however that day it was only going to Pendlebury, which is about halfway between Manchester and Bolton so I waited for the next one but it was still the same thing. I thought instead of waiting again I would go and get the 163 which goes to Bury, another halfway destination but I knew how to get home from there, however, by the time I got to that bus stop the bus had left.

By this point I was getting frustrated because I’m in the town center with hella people, no buses to Bolton and I couldn’t even make bible studies anymore as it was now getting to 7:30pm.

New plan!

I went to another bus stop where I knew the buses to Bury are a bit more frequent and normally take about 45 minutes to get there. I got on the 135 and got stuck in some next traffic! We were in the same spot for that same 45 minutes it normally takes to get to Bury. On the scale of 0-10 in terms of frustration, I would say about 8.5.

I finally got to Bury at 8:45 and guess what? I just missed my bus home! And the next one wasn’t for another hour!! Can you see my frustration? I’m someone who can actually keep patient in most situations and this one was really tricky, but like I normally do …

NEW PLAN!!

There’s another bus I can take from Bury that would take me into Bolton and I would have to just wait for my bus home from Bolton bus station, which was long but at least I will get home. But this also meant that when I got into Bolton, I would have just missed my bus again and wait another hour. I felt like being stuck in Bolton would be safer than being stuck in Bury as I know Bolton better and I had friends there in case I needed to crash somewhere.

Got into Bolton at 10:15pm, and decided that after all this stress I was going to treat myself with some KFC hot wings with the £5 I had for the week. I walked over to KFC, bought my 6 hot wings and ate 2 whilst I was walking back to the bus station. I felt a bit better after that, if I’m being honest. It didn’t make up for everything but I was grateful I was able to treat myself.

Anyway, after waiting for about 10 minutes my bus arrived, I hopped on and put my things on the chair next to me.

Now, remember how I said I had a work-do the night before? Well, I had a change of clothes in my work locker and I had to stuff that all into my bag so I had no space for anything else.

Back to the story. When I got off the bus, at 11:35pm, I started making my way home. As I walked home I started to think “hmm, what am I going to eat when I get in?” then I remembered about my KFC and for a split second I thought it was in my bag, until I remembered that my bag was full, then I realised that my hand was empty.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

Yes. I left my chicken on the bus. The one thing I was looking forward to, after not looking forward to anything except for the day I could go to church again, which thankfully was that Sunday.

I turned around to go and run after the bus, but it was definitely long gone. So I turned back and started to work home, but I was so overwhelmed with stress, frustration and disappointment that I had to take my earphones off and sit on the curb to cry.

I just looked up, I remember the sky being so clear and the moon was so bright that night, and I just said “why is this happening to me?”. Once I remembered where I was, I picked myself up, wiped my tears, held them in until my throat was killing me and started speed walking home saying to myself “Farielle, you’ve just moved here. Let’s not cry and get a name for ourselves, like the girl that cries home”.

I got into my flat, kicked my shoes off and plopped myself onto the edge on my bed and let everything out.

Like literally every tear, every bit of pain and anguish my heart was feeling those past few months.

I felt like I needed to speak to someone but unsure of who to call, especially so late. I remembered that there’s always someone who was listening and waiting for me to speak to them, but I was so mad at God but who else could I turn to?

So I looked up to the corner of my bedroom and said

“WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS ME?! Why are you letting me go through all of this? I’m being patient! I’m praying everyday for this heartbreak to go away! He’s moved on so why can’t I? I want to move on! I don’t want to keep thinking about him and being sad. I don’t want to be sad anymore. I want to be happy!! When will you let me be happy? You won’t even let me have chicken and be happy! This isn’t fair. You said you love me but where is the love right now? You know what? I’ve got work in the morning, I need to sleep and that’s all I have to say right now. I don’t want to speak anymore. Good night!

And I went to sleep.

The next day, after work I went to prayer meeting. When they opened it up for individual prayers, I said

“Guys, please pray for God to help me with my stress. I cried over chicken yesterday”

Of course everyone started laughing, “how can you cry over chicken?” and all I could do was laugh with them because I wasn’t about to share my problems with everyone.

Sunday comes and I was happy because I was going to church for the first time in two months, but I was still sad because I didn’t feel whole. However, I felt like I would probably get my answer in whatever sermon my pastor was going to preach.

Don’t ask me what it was about, I really don’t remember. After the sermon, there was an alter call and he played a song (don’t remember what the song was), he told us to listen intently to the words and sing along if we could. I remember having my hands raised as he started to pray for people from my right.

I felt so overwhelmed with feelings and I felt that lump in my throat again as I listened to words of the song. So, I just closed my eyes and said to God, “I know you want me to cry but I’m not going to”. I remember my pastor praying for one of the girls next to me and then come to me.

He placed his hand on my head and started to pray over me. He took a pause … then he started to pray in tongues. He then as he was about to move onto the next person but came back to me and said

“DO YOU NOT KNOW HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU?! You need to relinquish the past and surrender yourself to me!”

As soon as I heard those words, my eyes filled with tears, there was no “I’m not going to cry”, there was no “I’m hiding this part of me away from you, God”, it was immediate surrender.

First of all, I was like “woooaahhh! God is really telling me off like a child”, and then I thought, “oh man, God actually cares for me”, and the next thought was “wait, I didn’t tell anyone about the conversation I had with God that day in my room, how is this even happening right now?!”

This is why I say no one can tell me God is not real because that conversation is the most intimate and private conversation ever and I wasn’t trying to share it with no man! So the fact that my pastor straight up gave me that word, that’s when everything just clicked.

All this time I was praying for God to take away the pain I was going through, but he couldn’t do it unless I

LET GO of the past and SURRENDERED to him.

Yes, I was vulnerable in my home, but there was a vulnerability that God wanted.

Complete and ultimate surrender.

I couldn’t hide my tears, my real emotions and not just from God but from everyone. Pretending to everyone that I was fine, hiding that there have been times where I have cried home because of the hurt I was feeling, not being open about riding my bike, near where my parents live, late at night to find somewhere quiet to cry and pray to God, as I didn’t want to be vulnerable in front of my family.

Sometimes we think that God doesn’t want the ugly, we think he’ll be mad if we confess to him what we’ve done or how we really and truly feel.

Listen …

Firstly, God sees everything, he already knows, but he just wants you to go to him. You hiding from him is not helping you.

Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth? says the LORD

– Jeremiah 23:24 (NLT)

If anything its a hindrance, because you are not being true to yourself, and you’re not in full surrender to God. How can he help you if you don’t tell him everything that’s going on?

Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help in no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?

– Mark 8:34-37 (MSG)

Secondly, God wants all of it. He wants the good, the bad, the ugly, and the despicable! He wants you to share everything. When you share everything with God, you will be surprised how free you feel.

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness

– 1 John 1:9 (NLT)

So how do you start the healing process from whatever hurt or pain is tormenting you?

  1. Let Go – stop holding onto your past and the things that have happened.
  2. Let God– tell God EVERYTHING. What you’ve done, the wrong that has been done to you, how you’re feeling. He’s listening. Always.
  3. Stop Hiding – I was holding onto a memory that was no longer for me to hold on to, which stopped me from moving onto what God had planned for me.
  4. Remember that God’s love doesn’t change. It always stays the same. I really shouted at God and he came back with “do you not know how much I love you?!”. Meaning, after all that I have done, the mistakes I had made, He still loved me the same and was waiting for ME to surrender.

The greatest love a person can have for his friends is to give his life for them.

– John 15:13 (GNB)

I hope you have been able to find something encouraging in the testimony I just gave. I hope it’s helped in some way or you’ve been able to take something away.

Continue to be open with God, remember to let go and let God in all situations. And remember he’s always waiting and listening.

Complete and utter surrender.

Stay safe, stay blessed

That’s all she wrote …

 

It’s Ok

‘Sup you lot!

This week was Mental Health Awareness Week, so I thought I’d speak on getting to a place where you can be open with your feelings. Not just with people, but with God and yourself.

I wanted to write this post for people who are sensitive like me, people who feel like their sensitivity is a major weakness that they keep their emotions to themselves, too afraid of being called too sensitive that they hide a lot of themselves.

I wrote it to uplift those who have been branded as too sensitive, so that they can see the positives in their sensitivity because we all know that holding in our emotions can be so detrimental to ourselves, which is not good for our mental health at all.

So I hope you can gain confidence in this post by seeing the positives and know that God is a God of all things, including sensitivity.

Last week, I started to feel a little bit low and I wasn’t really sure as to what it was that got me down.

Now for me, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to be completely open regarding my feelings with myself and sometimes others, which people may find weird because I’m also the most open person. I’m an oddball I guess.

When I was growing up I was super sensitive, I’m still sensitive today just not as much, and people used to always think and see me as the ‘sensitive one’. I was called a crybaby and too soft and this stuck with me and continued to play around in my head.

One day when I was 14 years ago, during my depression, I was in my music class and one of the boys in my class said something, I don’t remember what exactly, and one of my friends at the time replied with “don’t say that you’ll just make her cry again” and everyone, including my friend, started laughing.

I was so embarrassed but I held everything together and decided to go home early, without waiting for my friends. As I got off the bus I let it all out and cried as I walked home, using the alleyways so I didn’t bump into anyone. I started praying to God “why didn’t you make me this way? I don’t understand, why didn’t you make me strong? Why did you make me weak?”

When I finally got home, no one was home so I went straight into my bedroom, changed into my pyjamas, closed the blinds, got into bed and cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Once I had stopped crying I made a vow to myself that I will never cry again.

Ever since then I have had trouble with actually knowing how I feel and managing my feelings. Sometimes we make promises with ourselves that are detrimental to growing our relationship with God. These promises put a barrier in between us and God because they’re not from God. Some people know them as unholy covenants or unholy promises.

I know that sometimes it’s hard to be open, trust me, but sometimes in order for us to be better, in order for God to help us overcome thing and be better, we have to let our guard down and be vulnerable.

God made me to have feelings, and yes being sensitive can be a negative but it can also be a positive.

I’ve googled and found many positives of being highly sensitive. Here are my top 3 for you:

1. You’re highly considerate.

2. You have high levels of empathy and you’re deeply moved by other people’s emotions.

3. You experience positive emotions more deeply.

Being sensitive is not a bad thing. You don’t need to fight your feelings, you don’t have hide your emotions away. It’s ok to admit you’re not ok. It’s ok to have feelings. It’s ok to feel down and out, and not know why. It’s ok to cry. It’s ok.

I had to say that to myself the other week. I’m so adamant that I don’t have to cry and I’m ok, but all I’m doing is putting a big mask and hiding myself from God who’s probably looking down at me like “you’re clearly not ok and you know that I know this. So come to me and lay it at my feet.”

Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

– Matthew 11:28 (ESV)

I had to admit to myself that I was not ok, cry it out and pray to God about what I was feeling in that moment.

I know it’s ok to cry because even Jesus cried.

Jesus wept.

John 11:35

Jesus, the Son of God, who has healed many, who was a great leader, also cried. Feelings come from God. If we didn’t have feelings we would be emotionless robots, which is not from God, which would mean we were not made in his image.

If you need to cry out to God, then do it! He will hear you.

The righteous call to God and he listens; he rescues them from their troubles.

Psalms 34:17

Instead of making unholy promises that will create a barrier with God we should cry out to him, in our most deepest, darkest and saddest times. He is listening always.

It’s ok to have raw prayers with God when you’re literally in bits and you’re just asking why. The same way you can be honest with friends, is how you should be honest with God in all areas.

Moses prayed earnestly to the Lord and said “What can I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me?”

Exodus 17:4 (GNB)

In all his frustration Moses cried out to God. It’s ok to speak to God through all the frustration you’re feeling.

We know God has feelings. God showed love, anger, disappointment, compassion, joy, just to name a few. So don’t condemn yourself if you’re ‘too sensitive’, see the positives in it.

Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:1-2‬ ‭(MSG‬)

Take this passage and apply it with your high levels of empathy. Your sensitive can be more of a strength than you know.

I hope you’ve been able to find some sort of confidence boost within this post.

Remember always be open. Don’t let anyone say that you’re too sensitive without remembering the positives that come from being highly sensitive. Remember it’s ok to cry, it’s ok to admit that you’re not ok.

God is listening and he’s always around, it’s up to you as to how open and vulnerable you want to be towards Him.

Stay blessed, stay safe

That’s all she wrote …

Music into My Ears: The List

Hiiii!

Welcome back.

Right so, like I said I would, this post is about artists I listen to. I’ve put a small description about them, my favourite song and a recommended album to get you started.

This is not necessarily my Top 10 because my favourites change pretty much every week, if not everyday.

So let’s get right to it.

Here is a list of 10 Christian and gospel artists that I love. In no particular order of course:

1. Hollyn

Hollyn is a Contemporary Christian (R&B, pop) singer who I love! One of my favourite female artists.

I’ve been listening to Hollyn since the beginning of my Christian walk. I love how she writes her songs, how open they are about her struggles and triumphs.

Favourite song; I have many but Isaac is the one Ive playing first at the moment.

Recommended album; Hollyn (EP) but I also recommend One Way Conversations

One thing I love about her EP’s/Album there’s a mixture of songs, in terms of genre.

PICTURE!

2. Gawvi

Gawvi is a Christian electro-pop artist. He raps as well as sings, and his new album is FIRE! Every single song on that album for me is just so 👌🏾. I would definitely recommend Gawvi.

I’ve only just started listening in January. My friend played his song Fight for Me (ft Lecrae) from his PANORAMA album and since then I’ve been listening to him. I know it says he’s an electro-pop artist but this album is a mixture of trap, 90’s pop, rap

Favourite song; Girl. That has to be my favourite song at the moment.

Recommended album; Heathen. Which is his new album, where you can also find Girl (Track 7). Listen to us honestly.

I love Gawvi’s rhyming ability, and how he can take the bible and create a lyrical metaphor. Like he says in … “this is my version of psalms”.

3. Wande

Wande is a Christian rapper, not only that but her instagram and TikTok always entertain me.

Accidentally found Wande when looking at Gawvi’s page on Apple Music. One of the best musical finds I’ve made to be honest.

Favourite Song; WAKANDE. Bro, the beat is just too much! And I love the fact that she incorporates her Nigerian heritage by speaking her native language, Yoruba, at the beginning of the song.

Recommended Album; As I’ve only just found Wande a few months ago and I haven’t really gone through her previous albums, I’m going to recommend her newest album EXIT.

Wande = lyrical genius. I really love when rappers are just lyrical. Another thing I love is the fact that she doesn’t shy away from her African heritage, incorporating Yoruba into her songs, telling a brief background story as to when she moved to America from Nigeria. As an African myself it does make me happy, as growing up it wasn’t really seen much.

4. Limoblaze

Limoblaze is an Afrobeats artist from Nigeria.

Another accidental find when I was doing some house cleaning last month. His songs got me dancing whilst mopping, got me in the best mood that day!

Favourite Song; Your Love (ft DJ Horphuray). “I know I don’t deserve it, your love is so overwhelming”. Love the beat to this song.

Recommended Album; Afrobeats, Rap and Jesus. I haven’t managed to listen to previous albums/EP’s yet but I really do like this one.

5. V. Rose

V. Rose is a Christian and Gospel pop artist, although she does dabble in trap.

I found V. Rose when looking for more female artists because at that time I only had male artists and Hollyn, I was just missing more female vocals in my playlist.

Favourite Song; Take a Broken Heart (ft Derek Minor). The first song in her Young Dangerous Heart album, it caught me off guard and it’s always the first song I play when I want to listen to her music.

Recommended Album; Forth. This is her newest album, released 2019, and boyyyy! I love it. Maybe because it’s the newest but the songs, the lyrics, the rapping (oh yeah, she raps too), it’s just really good. I don’t really remember her rapping in her previous albums, might have to take another listen, but I was shook and I loved it.

Some of V. Rose’s songs can be girly at times but I love it because it can speak to areas in my life that are just ‘girl problems’ (love, heartbreak and all that jazz) but she also speaks the truth in all of her songs.

Second Fav Song; I Surrender. I had to add a second song. This song is from her Forth album (Track 2) and I love how she incorporates a song most of us will know which made me feel like I immediately knew the song.

6. nobigdyl.

nobigdyl. is a Christian rapper, who’s style is described as ‘mellow’, but regardless, still bangs.

I first found nobigdyl. when I was making a playlist for my friends barbershop opening a few years ago (shout out to PH Barbers; if you’re ever in Bolton and need a trim, check them out). I knew the playlist I currently had wouldn’t fit the aesthetic they were going. Found nobigdyl. and the whole Tribe on The Move gang.

Favourite Song: Morning. Such a raw song. This song is about how he was before he got saved and how God came into his life and I love how honest and raw it is. “I said Jesus where you is, you ain’t come back by this times … so I did all that I could”. I mean isn’t this how we were all thinking before we became saved?!

Recommended Album: this was hard for me to choose because I have two but I think I’ll stick to Canopy as my recommended choice, although SOLAR is also good.

nobigdyl. is another lyrical genius. I’m sorry, I might say this about a lot of them, but guy fully said “Looking at the pictures at the cornerstone, backed into the corner by the Cornerstone”. If I was to pick my favourite lyric from nobigdyl. it’ll be that one. Gets me every time.

7. Koryn Hawthorne

Koryn Hawthorne is a singer who’s voice is so soulful and smooth, yet powerful. She’s also a minister’s daughter.

When on the look for more female artists I found Koryn’s Won’t He Do It (Remix) and she continues to remain one of my favourite artists in the Christian and Gospel industry.

Favourite Song; You Still Love Me. Another song that’s very truthful and open about the struggles we can go through but God still loves me.

Recommended Album; Unstoppable. This is currently her only album to date, which has songs from her self-titled EP included in it. This album has a range of genre, including rock, which is what I love about it. I love the variety, it’s as if there’s a song for everyone.

Koryn’s voice is what made me fall in love with her music, as well as how her sings made me feel. Want to just have fun or be in worship and I love that.

8. Jor’dan Armstrong

Jor’dan Armstrong is an R&B gospel singer and his songs all bang!

Jor’dan was one of the first artists I found when I started looking for Christian and gospel songs that appealed to me and I remember just downloading his whole album.

Favourite Song; Light Up (Litty). Such a vibe this song, I swear! Gets me dancing every time.

Recommended Album; Vibes. Just like the title, this album is just a vibe, keeps me in high spirits every time I listen to it.

*Fun Fact; it’s the first album I play when I’m about to start cooking :).

9. Riley Clemmons

Riley Clemmons’ music is mostly in pop and R&B genre.

Riley is a recent-ish find when I was listening to a Christian playlist on Apple Music and I heard her song Broken Prayer. Due to the season I was in when listening to this song, it really spoke to me and continues to do so now.

Favourite Song; Fighting for Me. A new favourite of hers, a reminder that God’s fight for me never ends, it’s continuous. A great song to listen to during hard times.

Recommended Album: Riley Clemmons. I haven’t really listened to her whole album yet, it’s on my list of artists to listen to, but I’m sure it’s a good’un.

10. CalledOut Music

CalledOut Music is a Nigerian born musician from the U.K. who dabbles mostly in Afro-gospel and acoustic sounds.

I actually don’t remember how I found CalledOut Music it must have been a really random find if I don’t remember.

Favourite Song: I Am Free. This song is a song that just makes me bop, don’t think I can ever sit still and listen to this song. I have to be up or moving in my seat.

Recommended Album: when I was looking at his profile on Apple Music I realised he has just released a new album, Portraits, which is exciting. I’m looking forward to listening to it!

So there you have it, my Top 10 list of Christian and Gospel artists.

I hope you can find songs that you like in these artists and also I hope they can lead you to find more, the same way they have led me to others.

Stay safe, stay blessed

That’s all she wrote …