Oh wow. I just realised that I have used the word “impatient” at least 7 times in the last couple of posts… *sigh*
I think that being impatient really stems from not truely believing that God’s got the best plan for our lives. We’re impatient because we want things to happen on our timeline, not knowing or understanding that whatever we have before us is there for a reason, His purposes.
I want to repent of this. I need to repent of this.
Impatience also means, in my view, that you start striving to make something happen on your terms or timeline. That equates to stepping outside God’s will which can lead to some dangerous consequences.
So I’m resolving here and now to be patient with life. To relax and chill over things I choose not to control coz I’ve given Him reign in that area of my life.
To not get too enthusiastic about people I click with coz it might scare them away. To not put unrealistic expectations on others. To take things slowly and be at peace with all those around me. To love greatly and forgive quickly.
I’m not saying I’ll get it right all the time but this is the direction I want to travel in.
– Ames –
Lately, I’ve had those moments where I’m just overwhelmed by God’s grace and His love for me.
I hung out with an old friend and thanked the Lord that I didn’t end up marrying him (and he married someone perfect for him).
I grieved over a broken friendship and had someone to comfort me while the tears fell.
I was supremely blessed by an anointed teacher of the Word of God.
I saw God’s provisions for a lost sister of mine.
My prayers for a spiritual mentor came true!
I spoke about the loving community that God had brought around me in one of the lowest times in my life.
I recalled how much growing has happened in the last 3 years.
I was reminded of how we serve a God that redeems, renews and restores things that we thought were lost.
I realised that sitting across from each other with my kids and your kids running around in the background, isn’t such a far-fetched idea after all :).
And I find myself here on my knees again
Caught up in grace like an avalanche
Nothing compares to this love, love, love
Burning in my heart
– Like An Avalanche, Hillsong
Praise God for His faithfulness.
– Ames –
This week I found out a few things.
Some things shocked me.
Some things grieved me.
Some things surprised me.
Some things which never crossed my mind before.
But in all these newfound pieces of knowledge, I was grateful.
Grateful for those who felt that they could share with me those things that had been kept hidden.
Grateful for the openness and at times blunt honesty with which opinions, fears or worries have been voiced.
Grateful for the opportunity to minister to my siblings in Christ :).
This is what it means to be part of a community of believers – to carry each others burdens, to walk alongside, to lift another up when they have fallen, to love even when another’s heart is hardened, to watch out for each other, to support each other through the tough times and to rejoice in the little victories and graces of everyday living.
You may have given up, but I won’t give up on you. And neither will He. I’m here, He’s here.
We’ll get through this, one day at a time.
“Let us not become weary in doing good,for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” – Galatians 6:9-10.
– Ames –
When people fail you… what do you do?
“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.”
– Proverbs. 19:11
I understand that people disappoint.
I understand that people may not do things the way you want to do things.
But is that really a good enough reason to part ways?
“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:7–8
God calls us to love our neighbour as ourselves. It’s easy to love someone when they agree with you. It’s easy to love someone when they treat you right. It’s hard to love someone when they disagree with you. It’s hard to love someone when they’ve hurt you.
I look to Jesus. While he hung on a cross, beaten and bruised, he did not curse those who put him there.
Instead he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
You can’t love them on your own strength. It’s in those situations that you gotta love out of the love of God. It’s in those situations that you’ve got to draw on the strength and love of God.
See more at Desiring God on this topic: More Thoughts on Friends Who Fail You
– Ames –
To know and be known.
To understand and be understood.
To accept and be accepted.
To encourage and be encouraged.
To learn from and learn with.
To trust and be trusted.
To love and be loved.
Is there nothing better than a friendship that has Christ at the centre?
There is nothing quite like it.
Thank you for friends such as these.
We haven’t spoken in a long time. I hope you are well. I miss you. Not in a romantic sense. Just your friendship and the familiarity that comes with it.
I miss your lame jokes.
I miss your awkwardness.
I miss your kindness and care.
I miss our comfortable conversations.
I miss knowing what’s going on in your life.
I remember when hugs were a foreign concept to you and smiling was only something that happened on the rare occasion. Now hugs are the norm and you flash your pearly whites in nearly every photo I see of you.
I know we’re travelling different paths now but I just wanted to let you know (if you ever read this) that I’m so proud of you. I’m so proud of the man of God that you have become. I love that you are a role model that young boys can now look up to in your community. I love how your life is a living testimony of what God can do when we give him some room to move in our lives. I’m blessed to have been there to witness the transformation and see the fruits of God’s love and mercy at work in your life.
I hope we’ll meet again one day soon. With the precious girl you have by your side and my amazing guy who’s on his way… can’t wait ;).
Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3. Now the final installment…
Almost overnight, there was something different about him – everyone could see it. The prayers I’d been praying over his life had finally been answered! Even now, I praise God for His faithfulness. He never gave up on him. We were personal witnesses to God’s radical transforming power and I feel so humbled to have been a part of His plan to ultimately bring my friend to the end of himself, to bring Him to the point where there was nowhere else to run but into the loving arms of the Father.
We settled back into our friendship but with a difference… I could see a light in His eyes as he spoke about God and shared his own experiences of God with me. He has encouraged me so much and at times, I feel like he has surpassed me in my understanding of who God is – which is awesome.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. It took 5 months for me to realise what a big mistake I had made by entering into that first relationship. We broke things off on mutual terms but I was severely brokenhearted when the other boy started seeing his old girlfriend again and then a few months later was engaged (ah, I said I would leave it for another post!). But it allowed me to feel the pain that I had put my friend through the months before and it was such a comfort to know that if he made it through, surely God would bring me through it as well. I was so thankful that he stood by my side even though I had hurt him so much in the past.
Even though God had moved in his life in such an amazing way, that did not necessarily mean that his feelings for me were automatically extinguished. Through my own personal pain, I could not see his words and actions were clothed in an unrequited love for me. Actually, that’s not true. I knew he still cared for me but I knew that it would be entirely unfair to him if I was to just fall into his loving arms to ease my own pain. I didn’t want to put him in the position that I had just been in – not only would that be unwise but it would have been entirely selfish of me. So I left it for him to get his feelings sorted – it was not something I could help him with. All I could do was reassure him that we would be ‘Friends for life’ and in my heart of hearts and I knew that’s all we would ever be.
Now, 4 years on from that first summer day, we’re both doing well :). He is dating one of my dearest sisters in Christ and I think it is for the long haul. We don’t talk as much as we used to but that has been partly due to my own personal decision to distance myself so that I do not interfere in their relationship in any way (and also moving to another church has meant I don’t see him on a weekly basis anymore). However, he remains one of the sweetest, most generous and kindest guys I know and what’s more is that he has a solid faith in God to back it up. He is one of the finest guys I’ve ever met and I’m so thankful to call him friend.
Our lives have taken different paths but I’m thankful they crossed and know that (if you ever read this) I am so proud of you, happy for you and love you very much. I pray that God continues to do great things in you and through your life to inspire others to pursue the things of God more.
Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here and here.
I remember the day I told him. I felt like we were such good friends so why wouldn’t I? I think I had an inkling that he was harbouring feelings for me but as he never verbalised it, I didn’t think it should matter.
I told him about the boy who’d expressed that he liked me (a story for another post). I told him how I knew that the boy must have been on the rebound and nothing was likely to come of it. I joked about it but he didn’t say much in response.
I just put it down to it being one of his off-days. However, the next day, a full-blown confession waited for me in my inbox. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. I also was a few weeks away from the exams of my final semester so I asked for his patience which he had no choice but to give. I left him in the dark for the next month as my friendship with the other boy unexpectedly accelerated into something I had neither anticipated or foreseen – it had all the markings of a relationship though it was never officially labelled as one.
Anyway, the time came when he requested a meeting with me. I told him it was horrible timing as my grandma also had just gone into hospital (that was true) but if I was being honest, I just didn’t know how to handle it. I cared for him deeply but I also knew my heart wasn’t where his was. So I asked for more time. He told me later about how that period had been the darkest for him. And that was when his own journey began…
I felt so alone. One night I just prayed to God. I prayed for Him to help me. I prayed that I would do anything, absolutely anything if He would just take this pain away. Right then, I felt the pain go away. I continued to pray. I prayed for Him to take away all my burdens and my anger. That night I gave my life for God. I told Him, ‘Here is my life take it, everything I have planned, everything I did has failed. Take it and show me your plans, for I know that Your plans never fail, that your plans are amazing beyond my imagination.’ As I kept on praying, these waves of love were coming and healing me. I was no longer in pain. It is a feeling that is beyond words. That week I must have prayed over 1000 times. Not for myself only but for you as well.
You may wonder why I am so transparent with these stories that are so obviously written from or based on personal experience. I find that once I am able to talk/write about an event, I know that it has become a subject of the past and no longer hangs over the present. It’s therapeutic and I think a necessary part of any form of ‘letting go’. Dear FFL, if you still read this blog, I hope you’ll understand my need to share this.
Part 1 can be found here. This is how I remember it…
The event started and they were nowhere to be seen. I put it out of my mind and enjoyed the praise and worship with a dear sister beside me. Then, about halfway through the third song, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the brother and sister come in through the side doors. My heart gave a little leap and I couldn’t help but smile and shake my head. He came! We barely spoke that night but I remember being slightly embarrassed when the guest band turned out to be of the ‘head-banging’ type (seriously, I don’t get how someone could understand whatever Christian message they were trying to get through by their music!) and apologising to him for it. Sadly, they were only able to stay for half of the sermon but I was still glad that they were able to make it. I felt like it was such a great achievement and was mentally patting myself on the back for somehow being the catalyst to get him there.
Over the course of the next few weeks, we somehow ended up chatting on MSN (so old-school!) or sending text messages back and forth on the mundane everyday things. I didn’t think too much about it because in my mind, the goal was to get him to know Christ and I thought it was important we became friends before I could really talk to him on that level. I remember the I HEART REVOLUTION being played in the cinemas and I really wanted to go. He had a car. Need I say more? We were going with two of my friends however, they were majorly late so we spent a fair bit of time just waiting outside the cinemas and chatting. Who knows what about but given that he was so aloof when I saw him at church, I thought we were making progress. Continue reading
I’ve always highly valued my friendships. Friendship itself ‘has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival’ (The Four Loves- C.S. Lewis). Good, honest-to-God friendships are hard to come by and I cherish the ones I have greatly. But I’ve found my flaw when it comes to friendships. It can be both a blessing and a curse if wisdom is not involved. The pattern I’ve noticed is that I tend to want to play the ‘saviour’ role. I’ve noticed a trend where I will always try to give selflessly of myself to benefit the other individual in the friendship. If I see a friend in need, I have to find a way to meet it. Selflessness is a good thing but done as a reaction to a situation without further thought can be damaging.
Lately, I’ve had trouble sleeping and getting up in the mornings has been a challenge. I’ve found myself on the brink of tears mid-conversation a number of times and my appetite has disappeared. If that’s not a sign that there is nothing good left to salvage, I don’t know what is.
Hence, it’s time to act. Not with selfishness but with wisdom. Godly wisdom. After some intense prayer time and consultation, it’s become crystal clear what steps need to be taken. There’s a sense of relief to have come to this conclusion. Stepping aside with the resolve of never returning means a full stop can finally be put at the end of this story.
Our God is the God of restoration and I believe wholeheartedly that if He sees that this will be beneficial for all involved, He’ll restore it in His own perfect timing.
So, have a good life. Goodbye and God bless.