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 …

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 …

 

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 …