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 …

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 …

 

Day 7: Treat Yo’ Self!

When I first moved out of my parents house I was so unbelievably broke I only spent £11 a week on ready meals, 49p on cordial (the drink you mix with water), I couldn’t pay half [any] of my bills (sometimes including gas and electric) and I did not buy anything extra for myself.

I could have easily asked my parents for money but I wanted to do things myself. So after those long 4 months of suffering with no money, not even student finance (SFE) and a 4hr a week contracted job that paid next to nothing, I promised myself I’d be more careful with money.

I’ll plan ahead. I’ll set a proper budget and I’ll start to plan where my money for the month is going to go. Which I did and haven’t stopped doing.

When I got my SFE, I paid for all of my bills 4 months in advance, just in time for my next SFE payment, and I became careful with where my money went.

A bit too careful.

I didn’t treat myself to anything I wanted. It was all “when I get enough money” but I have ‘enough’ money, with more than just a little extra but I got into the mindset of hoarding my money.

Look, I’m not saying that saving or being careful with money is a bad thing. It’s actually very rational, but not only do you spend wisely you also need to treat yourself in the process. Buy something that makes you feel good about yourself not just your situation.

By that I mean, paying for your bills on time and not having to worry about them until the next payment, makes you feel good about your situation.

Buying a nice dress, or watch, makes you feel good about yourself.

It’s part of self care in my eyes because you’re giving yourself something you want, even if it’s temporary happiness.

Hmm.. maybe it’s not temporary happiness, if those things are going to last for a long time.

For example, I bought a really expensive coat.

  1. Because I needed a good, warm coat for the winter
  2. It looked really good. A reversible coat!

I thought killing two birds with one stone. Anyway every time I open my shoes and coat cupboard it makes me a little bit happier to see it because I think “yeah I bought that. And when I wanna go somewhere fancy I can just turn it into a fur coat. Yup this was worth it”.

So here are the lessons for you. Because I’ve already learnt mine. ***Students.

Lessons:

***Use your SFE to pay off all of the bills until you next payment. This way you can enjoy your money without worrying about the bill for the next 3-4 months. PLUS it helps in summer if you’re staying in the same place.

Don’t hoard all your money. It’s technically not even yours anyway. And it’s not the governments either. What I’m saying is when you die you’re not taking it with you so why hoard? Enjoy your money. Enjoy your life. You don’t know what day if going to be your last.

Set a monthly budget. Get a book that’ll help you calculate your bills or make your own. Write all the things you need to pay, even the subscriptions, and calculate how much you’ll have left for yourself.

Don’t enjoy recklessly. If you know you don’t have this money you want tot spend, don’t do it! You’ll spend it and instead of happiness you’ll feel regret because not it’s like “if you didn’t buy this I could have paid for that”. Saves you from feeling like crap until your next payment.

Find money goes quicker when it’s in your account? Take the money out and use cash only! This works better because you can actually physically see your money disappearing whereas with a card you just tap it and pray to God it doesn’t get declined when you feel like you’ve used a lot of money. Take out a lump-some and only take £20 or so out with you. It’ll last.

Don’t let money get you down. Like I just mentioned, money can make us feel two emotions. Happiness. Depressed. Don’t let it get you depressed. Stay on top of the things you need to pay for. If you can avoid it don’t borrow too much money that, in the moment, you don’t know how to pay back.

Self-love!! Buy something that makes you happy once a month. A new dress. Get your nails did. Buy yourself a new wig. Even get a massage, we all need one of those at least once a month. But don’t overspend.

BUT!!!!

In the mist of treating yo’ self. Don’t forget to save. Set aside an amount you know you can give monthly to your savings.

It doesn’t need to be for anything in particular, just save.

You don’t know when you’re going to need that emergency money.

Resolution:

In 2019. I want to save more but still have enough to buy a few things for myself here and there.

I believe it’s possible to be a semi hoarder of your money but still indulge yourself in a few things that you want once in a while, when reasonable.

You’ll all find your own balance of spending wisely, saving and enjoying your money. I have.

And that’s all she wrote, kids.

F A R I E L L E. N