2 Stories – One Male, One Female, One Experience

It’s two days after 16days of activism has ended, thought I should put these last two stories out…

It can happen to anyone, rape/molestation does not only happen to women, but to men too. These stories are a reflection of our society. They are sensitive stories, so be ready…

I lost my innocence long before I could spell it or even had a notion of it. When I think about it now it’s weird, and when I talk about it, some people empathize while others make a mental note to steer clear of the guy with a bad childhood. Three different women. Three different times. “I was raped”. All before I turned 7. The first incident occurred after what started like all other bath times. I was 5. after drying me off she applied some cheap petroleum jelly on me and started to stroke me “there”. I wont get graphic. She was my aunt. She was family. Who does that? To a child?
The second time I went to see a friend who had been sent to the market. His older sister was home. I was 5 still, Dennis was 11 his sister was probably 4-5 years his senior. That happened.
The last time I was sleeping at my mother’s friend’s house. Probably cause Grandma had kicked mom out again for some reason or another. This was another bath time event. None of the incidents were physically violent but spiritually and mentally, these where decidedly violent. I didn’t know how to speak up back then and by the time I found out what had happened was wrong, I didn’t have the kind of relationship with my mother or father to confide in them. Now I had to keep a secret.
When I turned twelve, I had crush on a girl, I sang along to pop songs and life was nice. But I remember thinking constantly in perhaps weekly intervals, I might have AIDS. I went as far as predicting an incubation period before the disease rose up against me to devour me. 18. If it doesn’t show up by then? I must be HIV-. Fortunately, I indeed was negative. They did something to me I should have had a say in, but a child just doesn’t have a say, which in effect means no. which makes what they did  to me rape. “I was raped.”
– Kaluwe Ndana (Lusaka, Zambia)

It was a sunny morning , the sky clear and bright .
I remember being irritated by the smell of pollen as we rode on the back of a mini taxi. The man who was dressed all formal asked me if I wanted to close the window or leave it open.
I was too shy to answer him so he asked my mom if he should close it or not. I continued to stare at him, asking myself why he was not wearing a police uniform but had a gun and handcuffs.

As we continued to drive past the dusty roads full of potholes and sewage I noticed the people here seemed to be different from the people I was used to. Suddenly we stopped and we all got out of the taxi. We walked past a few houses , straight down an alley until we reached the suspect’s place.

We found his mom cleaning outside, the door wide open and there he was, sitting on a red bar stool with his afro combed out, eating brown bread and drinking tea from a black mug.
The officer asked me to point him out and I did.
I stood about a meter away from the house while the cops were busy with him and his parents.

Minutes later his dad came out shouting and screaming “where is that b***?!”
I couldn’t understand what I had done wrong. Suddenly the whole community came out of their houses. All shouting, “Kill that b***!” They threw stones and bricks at me. I just stood there confused. The cops quickly grabbed me and put me in the taxi and we drove off.

That image still puzzles me till today, what did I do so wrong to make grown men and WOMEN throw stones at a 6 year old girl?

We drove back to school and it seemed like everyone knew what was going on especially his senior classmates. He was in grade 7 and I was in grade R. He looked older than his classmates though.
The police asked me to show them where he raped me.

We walked in the toilet, that place felt darker than usual.
All the horror came back. I opened the shower door where He placed his hand to close the door tight. They asked me what happened , I replied “I came here to use the toilets but since all four toilets were dirty I went in the shower to pee there, the head boy opened the shower door and asked what I was doing there and why I didn’t use the toilet. I told him they were too dirty and I didn’t want to get dirty.
He closed the door grabbed me and raped me.”
I thought he was punishing me for not urinating in the correct place. I’ve never felt so dirty in my life. I didn’t understand what he was doing to me, it just felt so painful, until I didn’t feel the pain anymore. I felt so numb. I stayed there until school came out.
He threatened to kill me, so I never told anyone about it until a few days later my aunt dropped me off at nursery school to play with my cousin while she was in a meeting.
While I was playing on the play ground, blood splashed out of my panties. The teacher noticed and immediately called the ambulance and my aunt. So that’s how my mom found out that I was raped. She shouted at me for not telling her. But how could I when I was living in fear.
Not only did he take my innocence away, but he damaged my bladder as well.

We went to court so many times, I don’t remember what the judge said but I know they gave me R543. My mom bought me a pink picnic basket and a big teddy bear, I guess that was my justice…
-Mpumi Mbele

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Grave Horror

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What must happen when you are gang raped by three men? What happens when one of the men is a policeman, the very people that should be protecting civilians are the ones carrying out these horrific crimes? Read on to experience what Malebo went through.
Please note that this story is sensitive and a bit graphic/vulgar.

Monday 28 March 2011, The day my life changed, not in a sense of just change, but my whole life, thought, patterns, my look all I thought was ever right was changed to wrong.
At about 6:30 while watching a movie in my room at my commune a friend of mine came by, “hey wena, stop moping over “H”(my now ex), let’s go take a walk and get my books from a friend of mine outside, I left them in his car two days ago” I got up and went with her. I had only my slippers, jersey and leggings on.

As we walked out of the gate and approached the car , two guys jumped out of the car to come greet us, no, not just your normal ‘hi’ and smile, but with guns, their faces were cold! “Voetsek s’febe” I heard one say, as I tried to turn back one screamed “tsena koloying” (get in the car), we got in and what might have been a short ride to the cemetery seemed like hours because of what I had already knew would happen.

Upon arrival at the cemetery, the three men stole our cellphones and ordered us to strip, and on a shallow grave I was raped with a gun to my head. I felt dirty and worthless, seeing someone have so much pleasure of abusing me while I lay there numb, I did not cry. As soon as the one was done, another would come, and so all three men pleasured themselves in my pain. As soon as they were done they asked for money to which I offered they take us back to the commune so I could give them my bank card so they could withdraw what was in it. They drove us back but kept my friend in the car, I ran to the house in a panic, as I was running outside to give them the card, my friend came running to me screaming “don’t go, run, they said I must go!“ Then gunshots were fired in our direction from the speeding blue BMW.

The cops were called and we got examined at a nearby hospital. All my housemates were with us to show support while we awaited for our parents to arrive, I still wasn’t crying, my tears only came when I saw my mother walk into the hospital room where I was being examined, she was pale, my yellow bone queen looked hurt, for the first time in my life I saw her cry, for once I knew the pain that parents go through and hide from us.
The next couple of, months were of hurt, anger and fear. One of the guys was a cop and his friends were just hooligans who molested women all the time. Fortunately they got arrested, with the cop Mokolo Molekoa, being arrested on numerous counts of rape and robbery, he got about 7 life sentences. His friends are still free as they are out on bail and are awaiting their other cases as well.
Rape is real, men protect us from abuse and stop inflicting it.
-Malebo

Raped by a Neighbour

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I will be posting two other stories in the next couple of days. Please note that some of these stories are sensitive in nature. These are real stories that happened to real people and these are their stories…

In a country where we are taught that a child is raised by the community, what happens when the trust is broken? We are told to respect our elders, but what happens when those elders take advantage? Read this short story to experience trust broken by a neighbour…

It was a summer day and I was sitting outside my friend’s place alone as her mother had called her in to do something. While sitting there, her next door neighbour called me to come over to his house.  I jumped the fence and went over. He gave me food, spaghetti, I ate it and finished it. He then called me over to his bedroom and raped me and told me not to tell anyone, which I did not. I was about 8 years old when that happened and for a very long time in my life I had blocked that part of my life out. To be honest a part of me has still not dealt with it. It’s a wound that never heals but I guess as time goes by you learn to live with it….
-Anonymous

That Time of the Month

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You sit, you stand, you stretch, you walk, you’re not actually sure which position you should be in.

You’re hungry but you don’t want to eat cause you’re scared the food will greet you again in a few minutes looking a bit gooey.

You love everybody, your life is ending, why doesn’t anybody understand you, you laugh, you cry – all in a matter of 30 seconds.

*Side note: this is meant for ladies only, but testosterone is welcome too.

Joy, it’s that time of the month. Some women can relate and some just don’t get it. When I was in primary school around 11-12 years of age, I just wanted to start my period, it felt like every other girl was on their period except me. I complained to my mother so many times asking her why I haven’t started my periods, as if she could jump-start them or something, and she’d tell me I’m still young. I wanted to buy pads and complain about period pains too.

Out of the blue on December the 24th, visiting in a rural part of Zimbabwe, I say to my mom, “there’s blood”, I was so happy! This was like a Christmas gift from heaven, it’s just awkward that my first pad was wrapped up tissue and cotton wool, but I didn’t care, I felt grown!

I started my period when I was 13 years old, I had no period pains at all for the first few years, until 2009 when I was 19. Out of nowhere I had cramps going from my lower abdomen to my back and I was like, who are you and where do you come from?! From that year I understood what period pains are and why people would skip school because of them. Those things are PAINFUL.

I get nausea,  headaches, cramps etc, and I sometimes go through the weirdest emotions, I’ll cry cause of an advert, get angry cause the water wasn’t coming out right in the shower, be happy because it’s a beautiful day outside and expect everybody to understand me. It’s a bit mental really.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. – Prov 3:5-6 [ESV]

At that time I feel like it is the most normal thing, like why is the water not coming out properly, what is wrong with this shower, who made this shower, what is wrong with the world?! It escalates pretty quickly and after that emotion dies down and I have time to reflect on it, I wonder how water got me so angry?

This is something I feel as ladies we should prepare ourselves for. If you know that like me, you go through periods of unstable emotions, make ways to ensure as minimal damage as possible. It is during these times that you are prone to complain, nag, and just be that huge fly that doesn’t wanna get out the kitchen.

Do not lean on your own understanding – You may feel like it is perfectly reasonable to get angry and shout at your friend because she brought you grape flavoured gum instead of berry flavoured gum. Firstly, you need to understand that this is a temporary emotion, it will be gone in a few seconds, minutes or even hours. It is not wise to act on temporary emotions such as anger because you could say things you do not mean and hurt the person it is directed to. You could overreact and give undue punishment for something really small and many other things you may regret later on.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart – When emotions are running high – STOP. The temptation at this point is sky-high, everything in you will justify wrong actions to fulfill whatever desire you have in your heart. Say no and choose to trust in the Lord.

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. – James 1:14-15 [ESV]

Yesterday night I just wanted to have a nice hot shower before going to bed, I go to the bathroom, leave the water on so it can get hot while preparing my stuff, a minute later I check on the water and it is ice-cold. I was so ready to go to my mom and shout at her for switching off the geyser, I was angry. Thank the Lord I remembered to just stop, calm down and think. I wanted to take a hot shower, nothing wrong with that, I wanted to take a hot shower NOW, something wrong with that. I felt I had the right to be angry, maybe nothing wrong with that, I felt like I could act any way I wanted because I was on my period and therefore she must understand, something wrong with that.

In the heat of the moment I was just thinking about now, after I stopped and thought, I could reason and think to go switch the geyser on and wait about an hour for the water to heat up. I wanted to shout at my mom cause she switched the geyser off, forgetting that she does that to save electricity which benefits us and Eskom – hopefully there’ll be less load shedding :’). The consequences of acting on that anger could have been anything from an uncessary fight to a killing of character.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,  and give no opportunity to the devil. – Eph 4:26-27 [ESV]

Honestly, that time of the month is perfect conditions for the devil to reside. You feel justified in your actions because you’re hormonal – stop and leant not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge the Lord. The Lord created us, He knows what we go through, He does not tempt us but He does equip us with a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13). TRUST HIM in those exact moments. Choose rather to obey Him which is usually the harder option, than to give into your desires.

There is nothing wrong with emotions, they allow us to be joyful with others, be sad with others and many other wonderful things, but don’t act on your emotions impulsively and justify it by that time of the month. Let it rather be a time to give thanks to the Lord for the gifts of self-control and the opportunity to turn to Him multiple times in one day asking for wisdom and calmness. You’ll neeed that prayer sister.

I’ll be working on that too…


Between the 25th of November and 16th of December it will be 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children here in South Africa. It is an international campaign though, so I thought I should take that time to post on abuse, physical and sexual, the statistics; share maybe one or two stories and possible ways we could deal with it as Christians.

If you would like to share your story or have any questions you would like me to address please don’t hesitate to contact me and state whether you would like to remain anonymous or not. I don’t have all the answers but I will do as much praying and research as I possibly can to make sure that post is helpful.

You can email me on: sola5er@yahoo.com

Exposed

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“Father, thank you for allowing me the privilege to come before you, a holy God, with my petitions. Thank you flooor bu–nny egg bake – *snore* you’re so good and beautiful catterpi-created you all-er” … Aaaand I’m waking up the next day.

Those nights I’m like “no sleep formed against me shall prosper” *getting into bed, “I will pray!” Are the very nights that sleep overpowers and conquers me so bad I wake up the next morning saying “amen” thinking I just finished praying.

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”…”Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” – Isaiah 6:1-5

It’s days like these that cause me to question whether I really understand what is meant by God is holy. Isaiah is there crying woe is me; creatures say holy holy holy, day and night; the Seraphim covered his feet and face; and there is me, falling asleep.

Naturally I tell a friend or someone about what happened because I feel bad, and I get things like, at least you slept in prayer, some people don’t pray. But Aha! That’s the problem. “I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips”, I measure myself against the wrong scale.

When you fail a test at school,you don’t look for the person with the highest mark to boast about your failure because it doesn’t feel nice to be exposed on things you’ve failed to accomplish. But that’s exactly what we need  in our lives, to be exposed to God’s holiness, perfection, that we may see just how dismally we fail.

 Compared to other people we may seem alright, in fact we may even earn titles, ‘the girl with the prayer book’, ‘the guy who hides verses in his pockets’, but compared to God, sha, a drop of water in the ocean, we just don’t compare.

So what’s the fuss about sleeping while praying? It shows a lack of reverence, respect or appreciation. We sleep because we’re tired, we normally get tired after hours of being awake. I know that by 9pm my mind starts shutting down, if I try and read anything, I will fall asleep. The disciples fell asleep when they were supposed to be praying as well (Matthew 26:41-43), they were tired shem, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.

I can’t imagine someone getting to work to sleep, besides getting fired, people would ask why they don’t sleep enough at home. We’re taught to take our jobs and schooling seriously, we should take the LORD even more seriously. Instead of choosing times when we know we’re incapable of praying or reading God’s word, rather choose times where you are fully alert if you decide to wake up in the morning and not tired if you decide to do it in the evening.

“But we pray to God that you may not do wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test, but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed” – 2 Corinthians 13:7

We have great need to be in prayer, we’re always ready to sin and without God’s word we could never know what He finds as sin, and we could lead ourselves blindly thinking we are going in the right path simply because we are using the wrong measuring scale.

“…Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” – Romans 7:7

Praise the LORD for His word, which teaches us and prepares us for all that we need to glorify Him and grow in His grace through His son Jesus Christ. Even though it’s tough to fight against our own flesh, yield to Christ and cry out to Him, He will strengthen you.

Cam cam on my phone, make me fairest of them all

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Beauty is in the eye of the camera…

There you are balancing on the basin and toilet seat trying to get just the right lighting from the ceiling light; moving around all corners of the house to get that perfect shot. Perfect make-up on, cute top with pyjama bottoms cause you haven’t even bathed. So are the days of our lives.

These are just some of the struggles we go through in our selfie age. The incessant need to always look perfect penetrates every part of our lives through social media, TV shows, songs and whatever else you can think of. Seriously, our struggle is real!

I happen to have a couple of fashion forward friends, so every time I go onto Instagram #OOTD #WokeUpLikeThis are nothing new to me. (Incase you’re unfamiliar, OOTD = Outfit of the day). My friends look like something straight out of a glamour magazine, basically flawless, and I ask myself how in the world they and so many other people are able to do that every single day?

They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. – 2 Peter 2:19

Most people didn’t start off on a “woke up like this” tip. Looking back at when I first got to varsity, a lot of us started off looking like rural kids slapped by hip hop culture, sporting sneakers and skinny jeans thinking we were the hottest thing after the sun. After landing on campus, you quickly learn that what you and your parents thought were cool clothes, are nothing but a picture of laughter.

But what changed the way that we dress? Well, I realised that when I dressed a certain way, I got more attention than when I dressed modestly. I remember the first time I was “fishing”, no not catching fish, but wearing something short and revealing, I was so uncomfortable, I felt naked. After a few drinks and the constant assurance from friends that you’re just showing what the good LORD has given you, do you boo! I was feeling like a star. We got to Stones ( a club nearby school), and did I dance! I just wanted to be seen and noticed, and well I got what I wanted, a whole lot of attention. The next day, one of the guys contacted me asking me to come over to his place, just the two of us…

So much for freedom and doing “you”. I didn’t go, but it was enough to make me see that this freedom of doing me came with a hidden price tag of shame. Interestingly enough, I had a conversation with my brother yesterday and he was telling me I should be free and not be too Christian. One of the things he said opened my eyes to how blinded we can be by sin. He said he can be a good person, doing good deeds and that to him is a life of Christ as long as he believes that Christ is LORD then all is okay, but “there’s one thing I can’t stop, and that’s sex, I’ve already done it and I can’t get out of it now”. Does that not sound like enslavement?

We’re so bombarded with the thoughts of being free in this life, yet those things we call freedom are enslavement, and it’s being a slave to the flesh. With all the images of perfection flashing before our eyes on a daily basis, it’s easy to make our focus be on external beauty – being thin, penciling in those nicely arched eyebrows – instead of fearing and honouring the LORD with our bodies, making us slaves of beauty. Vanity much?!

I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases. – Song of Solomon 2:7

I knew that when I wore that dress, I wanted a certain kind of attention, I was awakening love at the wrong time. When we take selfies on the bed with those eyes, you know those eyes that are stretched up to your ears, and a pout that competes with a pig’s snout, we are sending a message. When we dress in a sensual way, convincing ourselves that we’re just showing what our mammas gave us, we are sending a message. Filters can make our appearance look better to others, but they cannot erase the gunk in our hearts that the holy God sees.

If your mom doesn’t remember what you look like without make-up, or you  can’t go to church because you don’t have a cute dress to match your new shoes, there’s a problem.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear – 1 Peter 3:3

Just because you own an “I love JESUS” cap, and people think you’re  sweet because you’re always fashionably on point yet sweet at the same time, if you are overcome by the things of this world, that is surely the thing that has conquered you and not Christ. You’re able to wake up earlier to ensure that you look best, but “it’s too early” to wake up to spend time with the LORD… I think I’ve made my point.

Beauty is not in the eye of the camera, it’s in the heart of a woman who fears the LORD. You may look gorgeous and sexy to yourself and millions of others before or after that filter, but that means nothing. We are called to be different, we’re ALIENS. Aim to rather grow in the LORD than to be the prettiest girl around.

So let’s be on constant guard and watch against ourselves, we have all the natural qualifications to justify our sinful desires, so qualified we manage to fool ourselves daily. We can fool ourselves and all the people around us, but never can we fool God. On that note, let me end off with this verse:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. – Galatians 6:7-8

May we keep our hope firmly in Christ, always ready to answer for the hope we have and looking forward to the day we finally get to meet our Saviour. Woop woop!

Good Gossip: Some Thoughts on Sharing The Gospel

This is really nicely put…

Convicting as I think back to my past attempts at evangelising, but also very encouraging for the next opportunities that will come…

Unspoken

by Anonymous

There’s a lot of advice out there about how to share the gospel.  And to be clear, there are many faithful ways to share the gospel and there are different kinds of evangelists.  No one should assume that their way is the way to do evangelism, or that they have arrived at the perfect methodology.  Yet as I have stumbled forward in my journey to faithfully witness for Jesus, I feel that God has taught me some practical ways to be bold, wise, and winsome.  The following are some basic things I try to keep in mind when sharing the gospel with Muslims, hipsters, homosexuals, or anyone who is not yet a believer.

1. Listen Well
A missionary to Kazakhstan once told me that if you’re willing to listen, you’ll always get to share the gospel.  I’ve found this to be true.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer speaks of listening as a ministry, even…

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My Wife Has Tattoos: Marriage, New Birth, and the Gospel

Aaaaaw this is amazing!

Unspoken

Image Photo credit: Todd Balsley

by Spencer Harmon

Today is the day of my wedding.  And I am not marrying the girl of my dreams.

If you would have told me when I was a teenager that my wife would have seven tattoos, a history in drugs, alcohol, and attending heavy metal concerts, I would have laughed at you, given you one of my courtship books, and told you to take a hike.  My plans were much different, much more nuanced with careful planning, much more clean-cut, and much more, well, about me.

You see, it wasn’t my dream to marry a girl that was complicated.  I never dreamed that I would sit on a couch with my future wife in pre-marital counseling listening to her cry and tell stories of drunken nights, listing the drugs she used, confessing mistakes made in past relationships.

This isn’t my dream – it’s better.

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Self improvement versus God improvement

Good read! It’s eye-opening … What are our intentions in doing the things we do? How do we use our time?

Christianity and masculinity

“Self improvement” is one of the many ways that the PUAs and other lifestyle manosphere sites use to build an “attractive man” that women want to be around. However, “self improvement” at its core is obviously about the self. It is inherently selfish and prideful. Therefore, we eschew it because that is not what God has called us to.

The mindset, however, is indeed correct. We must understand as Christians that things we may do and things the world may do may look similar, but we do them for different purposes and intents. This will become more clear as I talk about this further.

One of the big things about “self improvement” in the manosphere is getting men to exercise and build a muscular physique. On the surface, this seems relatively innocuous, but it’s looking at things from the wrong lens.

For example, let’s examine the most recent missions trip…

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Darkness to Light

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Darkness, confusion, lusting after a life of good times alone, that was the prize i placed my hope in, but it never came…
Always came close but never quite got there…

I thought if I did better in this, got better at that, beat this one in this maybe then the smile I am known for would have real reason, but it never came…
Drawing me closer and closer with glittering sparks dancing around calling my name promising more… The sparks kept glittering till they were no more, there I was, lost in a dark unknown place with no one to call.

Why had I moved cause I never quite got there…

Instead of bringing darkness to the light, I let the darkness consume and reduce me to nothing. Around me was nothing. Inside me was nothing. That’s what I was – nothing.

She thought I was bluffing
the thoughts of all those hands…
man, my mind was rushing
All i wanted was to numb the pain
Never to go through it again
So I did something insane not knowing it would be in vain.

pop, swallow, 1
can’t believe I’m doing this
pop swallow, 2
but why would they do that to me
pop swallow, 3
failure defines my life, I’ll never be anything, to anyone
pop swallow 4
Life is better off without me,
pop swallow 5,6,7,8
Now I’ve lost count.
there’s no more pain
sister’s calling
I’m saying please don’t tell dad

paramedic poking me
keep your eyes open
ambulance rushing
family members all around me
This must be what it’s like to be loved
two days later, now I know what I’ve done

16 year old kid tryna take air with a pill
7 years later I’m sitting here writing this story
grateful to God that my life was spared
it’s all by grace that I am where I am
Finally I have found my peace, my joy, my life
If He hadn’t died on that cross and risen again
I’d still be a dead soul with no knowledge of truth
Lot’s wife
Pillar in one place, stuck in the past hoping in a hopeless situation…

#LifeInChrist
#BornAgain

This was something I wrote 22nd October 2013. 7 years prior to that, I had attempted to commit suicide, and clearly I failed at that, and I thank God for that cause I was not saved. I know sometimes it feels as though things will never get better, and life will always be horrible with challenges at every corner. Well, there will be better days, and there will be slumpy days, but challenges will most probably always be there. The difference between me then and now is Christ. I’ve been made a new creation by His grace, and the old has passed away. No longer is everything about me, and the awesome thing about that is God’s glory has become first in my life, He is my father, and I want to please Him.

You know how Romans 8:28 says “those who love God all things work together for good”?
It is so true. Reflecting on how my sins were placed on Jesus, to the point where He cried out “My God my God, why have you forsaken me?“, that must have been the most painful thing ever, to be abandoned by His father, when he was the one person who never, not once, sinned – all for us. Since life is now Christ and no longer me, the challenges that do come, I can count them all joy knwoing they will produce steadfastness as I learn to lean on and trust God completely in all areas of my life and submit to His word.

When I think about how people sinned against me and hurt me, I quickly remember, or rather try to, that God loved me while I was still in my sins, and forgave me of my sins because of His son. Who am I to not forgive when others sin against me, when I have been so freely forgiven without having done anything to deserve that forgiveness. Even when I sin against other people, which I have done countless times, intentionally and unintentionally, when I see that I have sinned against them, I know I have sinned against God too, and in repentance I seek mercy from my Father and forgiveness from the person I’ve sinned against, and the lovely feeling I get when someone forgives me is priceless. It literally feels like the most precious gift ever. I should therefore also seek to give people that “gift” cheerfully when they come and ask for forgiveness. Another thing that just completely humbles me is how by God’s grace I have been saved from eternity in Hell, which is the worst thing that could ever happen to anybody, all the other challenges that happen on this Earth, are so small compared to what I have been saved from, and the story of Job just reminds me of how much my faith should be unwavering.

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” – Psalm 34:8

Just a young girl tryna navigate what it means to live a life as a disciple of Christ.

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