Posted in Inspiration

It’s Okay to Feel Helpless…

strong
Photo Credit: livestrong.com

Urrrgh! No one ever wants to be weak and helpless. Between the options of being as strong as superman or being a wimpy kid, I’m guessing we would pick superman; saving the day! Okay, maybe not superman but you get the point; no one wants to be helpless.

Let me remind you what being helpless feels like… Watching your house get burnt and not being able to pick out anything, save your skin; being blank in the examination hall while others seem to be asking for extra sheets; not being able to pay your fees because your parents are trying all they can to cater for you and your siblings; stuck in an addiction you’ve tried and tried to get out from-self-help aint so helpful after all. Being heartbroken from that relationship you thought would last forever or being robbed in your car while stuck in traffic and others keep passing as though you’re suddenly invisible! There are so many situations that leave us feeling weak and helpless and I know we have some experiences to share as well!

At the moment of helplessness, we cringe, we feel low, lost, needy and weak. Now this isn’t some psychology course, so relax.

But it’s totally okay to be helpless sometimes.

I once heard a story about a man who was drowning and he kept struggling to fight against the waves that were pulling him under. The lifeguard wasn’t far away but he didn’t step in to help the man until the man stopped fighting and gave up. The lifeguard swooped in like a superhero and pulled the man out of the overwhelming waters. When asked later on why he didn’t go in while the man was still beating against the waves, he said the man would have drowned them both. He had to wait till the man totally surrendered.

Well, God knows you’re struggling. He can see you even in the dark corner where you think no one can see through. He even sees through the charades that you put up, appearing to be superman when you’re just a nerdy Clark. But he wouldn’t step in and help if you’re still forming ‘I can do it on my own’. You have to come to that helpless state where you say ‘you know what Lord, I can’t do this. I really can’t help myself. Please help me!’ It will amaze you how the Heavenly Superhero will swoop in and pull you out by His strong right hand.

I don’t know what you’re dealing with right now, but I need you to know it’s okay to feel helpless. For when we are weak, He is strong. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember the batman signal? Well, you can also contact heavenly help lines (through prayers) or use the distressed signal (by calling His name) so He can step in and help you.

I pray you find help when you’re helpless.

Have a super duper week ahead!

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

Posted in Inspiration

Vices

We cannot talk about victorious living without talking about vices. vice

The dictionary defines it as an immoral or evil habit or practice. It is also defined as a fault, defect, or shortcoming. Other synonyms include failing, weakness, flaws, sin or imperfection.

When we view vices in the general term of the word, we still realize that young people play the major role in what is termed as vices in a society.

However, they didn’t begin to do that overnight. It all started from an inner struggle with their evil habits and weaknesses.

What are your vices?

I need you to take some time to think about that question.  Truth is, the first step in overcoming and gaining victory is in knowing what the enemy is. Possibly, you’re the only one who knows about it. But then again, you can fool everyone but not yourself and definitely not God.

From my experience with vices, I know it ties the victim with cords of shame; the feeling of not being good enough or perfect enough or even ‘godly’ enough comes along with it. It’s a sad, depressing feeling. While society might go all out to punish young people for performing such vices, I’ve come to know it’s not always as willful as we think it is.

It’s a constant battle between good and bad, right and wrong. We want to be moral but we find ourselves doing what is tagged ‘immoral’. We want to do good but we find ourselves doing bad. We want to be free but day after day we fall into bondage. This is a struggle Paul faced as well;

I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question? -Rom 7:19-24 (MSG)

This struggle from within has resulted in suicides for some people and for others, prison sentences. Of course, that’s when the vice leaves the secret corner of our personal space to the public space. For some of us, it is still an internal battle which we somehow feel is ‘controlled’ enough. But if vices could become so destructive, we need to nib it in the bud!

Am I a pro in overcoming vices? Nah. I’m still overcoming mine. But I know someone who is a pro in thrashing everything that isn’t good in us- God! The triune God makes this possible for us by; 1. Jesus died and His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness. 2. The Holy Spirit lives in us, searches our hearts for these evil habits and helps us deal with them.

Paul also admits:

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.- Rom 7:25 (MSG)

Don’t struggle with the vices alone. I know you may not be comfortable telling anyone about it. I know how people could change in a second when they hear the vices we deal with! But it’s okay. They are humans, they have the right to freak out and probably stay away from us as the plague. But God- He wouldn’t flinch for a second when you tell him about the vices you struggle with. He will gladly help you get free from them.

Therefore, if the Son sets you free, you really will be free. –John 8:36

It’s pretty dangerous to get stuck in your head. A lot of people have been destroyed by their vices. If you’re reading this right now and you’re honest enough to admit you also have some vices of your own, then it’s time for you to get free. It’s time to tell God about it and stop struggling on your own. Stop trying to hide it from Him.

I pray for you right now, that you overcome the vices in your life and you begin to walk in the victory Christ won on the Cross for you. You are free from today, in Jesus precious name. Amen!

It’s always my desire that you live victorious lives!

Lots of love,

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2016, Awards and Challenges

Not Okay

Hi guys!

How’s the weekend going? It’s day 14 of the A-Z blogging challenge and just before we take the Sunday break, I would like to leave you with this little post.  N

I like this song ‘Who you are’ by Jesse J, partly because it talks about identity crisis and stuff. I was listening to it the other day and a line struck me; ‘It’s okay not to be okay.’

Is it really?

Truth is we often pretend we are okay when we are not. We smile outwardly while we die on the inside. Why do we do that to ourselves? Maybe because society has told us ‘big girls don’t cry’ or to ‘grow up’. We’ve also heard stuffs like ‘your tears won’t change anything ‘ or ‘just suck it in’ and a lot more. Society puts so much pressure on us to be perfect. To be so perfect we don’t break. We absorb everything like a sponge. Hide everything so no one knows we struggle with stuff-lest they tag us imperfect, unfit, or different. Heck! No one wants to be called a ‘sissy’ or a ‘loser’.

So people go about wearing masks. A woman could be in a destructive relationship but still use a concealer to hide the wounds and put on a smile so no one knows. A father could be in some deep financial crisis but keep faking a smile just so he doesn’t lose his family’s respect. A boy could be bullied in school but still put up a front so his friends think he’s tough.

But I want you to know it’s okay not to be okay. You don’t have to put up a show for everyone when you feel terrible on the inside. You don’t have to feign a smile when you’re crying inside.  You don’t have to look like you’ve got it all together when you don’t. Don’t lie and say you’re fine when you’re far from fine. It’s okay not to be okay.

not ok
Photo credit: weheartit.com

Whatever it is you may be going through, let it run its course. Cry if you have to. Scream! If you must. Don’t bottle it up ’cause it’ll only lead to implosion.

Hey, stop holding back the sobs because you fear you’ll disappoint them. It’s okay not to be okay- because soon you will be. As I often say, no matter how dark the night is, it doesn’t stop the day from breaking forth when it’s time.

Soon you will be okay. Soon you’ll smile again without pretending. But you only get there when you admit you’re hurt and stop covering up. Let God know your struggles and stop struggling on your own. When you tell Him ‘hey, I’m not okay but I want to be’, He’ll be more than pleased to make you ‘not just okay’ but perfectly and completely whole.

I didn’t plan on writing a long post as I’m usually lazy on the weekends, but He always has His way 😊

I pray for everyone who isn’t okay right now to get to the point of truly being okay with no pretense. God loves you!

Have a super duper weekend! ❤✌

See you on Monday! (as you know the blogging challenge excludes Sundays) 😊

Lots of love,

daintym

 

Posted in A-Z Blogging Challenge 2016, Awards and Challenges

Choices

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A friend of mine gave me the liberty to shop online for my birthday gift and I was so excited about it. 😀 I get to do what I love- shopping- and I also get what I love- a gift! I got right to it with such gusto as though it was a task that would earn me a pay check. I found my eyes straining as I had been glued to the screen for a little above 4 hours! Oh my! When did shopping get so hard? So many choices to select from. There were some I’d like but find out they were only available in smaller sizes 😦 While for some others I just couldn’t find the colours of my choice amidst the vast options. If you’re very selective as I am, you would go item by item, scrutinizing each product till your heart settles for the one- the right one. Sometimes ‘the one’ may just end up looking completely different upon delivery or it would not fit perfectly as it did on the model 😦

shop
Phpto Credit: tinybuddha.com

So what’s it about choices? Why did God give us the will power to choose? Why doesn’t he just make the choices for us?

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live- Deut 30:19 (ESV)

Well, I think it makes us responsible for the consequences when we make the choices ourselves. If not, we’d blame God in the end by saying something like Adam did;

The Man said, “The Woman you gave me as a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree, and, yes, I ate it.”- Gen 3:12 (MSG)

There would always be choices to make; what to wear? Who to marry? Where to school? What to study? Where to live? What to buy? And many more! But hey, don’t despair, don’t be confused, God still promises to guide and direct us while making choices. He gives clues to help us in making choices, for instance, ‘choose life’.

As you go on through the week, remember to seek God’s opinion when making choices and listen for His response and you won’t regret it! 😀

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. –Isaiah 30:21

Thanks for reading!

3 down, 23 days to go!

Stay tuned to this site for the A-Z challenge! And yes, I’m still accepting topic suggestions 😀

Lots of love,

daintym

Posted in Inspiration

I’m Okay and I’m On My Way

Hey guys!

For those of you who have read the last couple of posts, you’d know I’ve been going through a lot and I really appreciate everyone who stuck with me through it! Thanks for the encouragement and prayers. It felt good to be on the receiving end of the encouragement!  😀

I’m glad to let you know I’m okay, and I’m on my way forward. The storm is calm and God’s peace has taken over. Thank God!

So I’m gonna share what I learnt from the past weeks;

Surround Yourself with ‘Encouragers’

I whined a lot about the depression and the bad breaks to quite a number of friends. The listeners listened; the encouragers encouraged me in the word, those who didn’t understand, still said something. A lot said the things I already knew. This reminded me of what Job said;

I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. –Job 16:4

This made me give a lot more thought to how I encourage others. Let’s face it, most of the things you hear, you already know. What makes the difference is the empathy and the understanding shown by the person encouraging. You don’t go saying stuffs when you have no idea what the person is going through.

It all lies in your hands

One of my senior friends took the time out to let me know the power to stop being miserable was in my hands. She understood my whining and empathized with me. But also told me that we are responsible for our happiness not other people. We determine how to react to bad stuffs that happen and how we let them affect us.

life quote

This was followed by another message by Joyce Meyer that spoke about taking personal responsibility of what happens to us. There’s a limit to which people can help us. The bulk of the work still rests on our shoulders and our decisions.

Get your groove back!

So hey, I pulled out of the frumps and into some pumps and took myself out. Watched a really cool movie, didn’t even realize when I finished the pack of popcorn! Then I went on a shopping spree! Got a really cute dress, an amazing perfume and yeah I got a new chunky ring! 😀 Also had my favourite frozen yoghurt! Now that’s my happy place!  I forgot about the stuffs weighing me down and I even noticed how cute the clouds were on my way home. Like some soft pillows for the sky to rest upon. So adorable!

black-shopping-girl
Photo Credit: shumilamalik5.wordpress.com

You can’t stay in your happy place forever

Oh, shopping is my happy place ! I totally love getting new stuffs! 😀 But I found out you really can’t stay in your happy place forever. Reality kicks in like an unwanted guest. Not long into the week I broke down again. It was an implosion that caused an explosion as I attacked the people that came around me. I always had my moods under control but I just lost it that day and they saw it- and of course, it freaked them out 😦

True Joy comes from God

Happiness is easily triggered by circumstances and is often short lived. But joy! Oh sweet joy that comes from knowing God and how much He loves you regardless of your imperfections. I sought after that joy. Repented of my sins and turned back to His warm embrace. 🙂

I had to stop looking to people and things to give me only what God could give me– joy and peace! 

So dear one, if you’re still going through the sad phase, please cheer up. The night can never stop the day from breaking forth. No matter how stormy it is, calmness is certain.  Take responsibility for your life. Christ has already given you victory over this battle. Just arise and take it!

Have a super amazing week ahead!

Lots of love,

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

Feel free to share your thoughts! I look forward to reading them 😀

***Song for the day; Wanna Be Happy by Kirk Franklin***

Posted in Inspiration

FOCUS

focus-daintymI had one of those weeks when I couldn’t come up with anything to post on the blog. And I began to freak out because I made a commitment to post every Sunday this year-it’s way too early to start derailing. In one of my devotionals, I read about focusing on God and I was pretty psyched to try it out. I stared into the blank wall for a while with my thoughts saying; ‘Dear God, I’m here, focusing on you. Say something.’ My mind interprets everything in terms of images, so even when I’m trying to focus on God, my mind starts conjuring images of what He looks like and how He’s towering down on me and giving me a hard stare.  After staring at the blank wall for what seemed like an hour, I had successfully made plans on what to wear the next week, what to eat over the weekend, calls I needed to make and emails I had to reply… I even made a budget for the next month! When I was done ‘focusing on God’ I went back to other things.

Clearly I hadn’t ‘focused on God’. Rather, I spent thirty minutes mapping out plans. It’s not my fault! I just love making plans and strictly sticking to them (yeah, I know I sound really structured-I get that a lot). But God also loves making plans! He already drafted the plans for my life and yours long before we were born. What interests me is how God works out the plan in a fun way. Yeah we drift (mostly because we don’t even know the plans) but He still finds His way around. If a piece of my plan were to fall out, I’d freak out! My mind would begin summersaulting. But God doesn’t freak out even when we leave the right lane and start living another person’s life! How does He do that?

Well, He doesn’t want us to freak out about our plans. That’s why He said ‘don’t worry about your life, what you will eat, what you will wear…’ (Matt 6:25) Funny how these are the foundation stones for every other thing we worry our little minds about. You tell me not to be anxious and I find myself wondering why you said so-maybe something bad is about to happen-OMG! What is it? :O I get so wrapped up in my mind; I just want to scream ‘GET ME OUTTA MY MIND!!!’

Even though God has said we shouldn’t worry, I find myself doing so and it’s exhausting. So yeah, I’m going to focus on God. Because if He’s said I shouldn’t worry, He definitely has a plan. It’s okay if I don’t know everything, but I’m gonna trust Him to reveal each piece of the puzzle till I see the big picture. Hey! Some of the pieces won’t make any sense, but just trust Him 🙂

So here’s something I found about that verse that talked about not worrying and stuff. He’s like, I know you need to fill your mind with stuff, why not fill it with the kingdom?(Matt 6:33) Oh yeah, that can make you wrinkle your little nose all you want but seeking the kingdom first is the key to every other thing you want in life! I’d probably do a whole new post on that. But for this week and through the new month, I want to challenge you to focus on God and pursue the things that please Him; especially as regards promoting the kingdom.

In case you’re lost for how to do so, here are a few things you could do;

-Pray for others 🙏🙏

-Give to God and give others 😀

-Tell others of God’s love ❤❤

-Help out in your church 🙂

This is a sketchy list but I hope to make a more robust post on this! But I welcome other ideas on how to seek the Kingdom in the comment box 😀

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section and do share with friends! God bless you!

Much love! ❤ ❤

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

Posted in Inspiration

He Loves me; He Loves me not

rose petals
Photo Credit; desktopwallpapers4.me

It was a day to Valentines and I wondered what the day would bring. Appointments or disappointments, make ups or break ups. Would he send me a gift? Would he not?

My eyes trailed the lonely path to see a beautiful flower with delicate petals. I picked it up and watched as the flower felt secured in my palms.  I lightly tugged at a petal and said ‘he loves me’ as the mild February breeze seized the little petal. I pulled out another and said ‘he loves me not’.  As I began to pick other petals still repeating the same words, my heart shuddered at what the end of the game would yield.

I’ve always believed in love and I’ve probably watched too many Rom-coms that I can’t help but dream of the fairy-tale. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen tons of them where the girl was unsure of her man’s love and trusted the petals of a flower to tell her if he loved her or not.

Who doesn’t want to know if they are loved? Or the extents to which that love would go? That’s why there are love calculators and apps like M.A.S.H valentine or even a simple striking out game of ‘F.L.A.M.E.S’ which help you ‘know’ the extent of love or degree of compatibility.

So I lingered with the flower. Most people would say it was a lame game but it kinda meant a lot to me because I was unsure of his love for me. I never really doubted his love when I was on my best behaviour; when I was the good lover that spent hours and hours with him; who made him smile by adoring him. Yeah, he sure loved me then!

But what about the times when I was too busy for him? Times when I defiantly did the opposite of what he asked of me? What of the times I cheated on him…? My heart sank. I unconsciously squeezed the light flower in my palm and when I opened it, it looked really pale. Just like my love. 😦

‘He loves me…’

‘He loves me not.’

Three petals remained in my palm. You could already tell the result of my game. A smile that had been hiding behind the creases of my face turned up like the sun rising in the east.

I smiled at the last petal and whispered ‘he loves me.’

The thought sent electric waves down my spine. Like every lover, there were days when I was insecure about his love for me; days when I felt undeserving; days when I didn’t just feel like it- like today. But the result of the game said otherwise and I was willing to believe it.

Look! Listen! There’s my lover!

    Do you see him coming?

Vaulting the mountains,

    leaping the hills.

My lover is like a gazelle, graceful;

    like a young stag, virile.

Look at him there, on tiptoe at the gate,

    all ears, all eyes—ready!

My lover has arrived

    and he’s speaking to me!

SOS 2:8-10 (MSG)

 He loves me! I screamed as the realization began to give me more meaning. He loves me no matter what I do. He loves how weird I get. He loves how I smile one minute and cry the next. He loves how I get weak sometimes and reach out to him for help. He loves all of me. My beautiful imperfections are truly loved by a perfect God!  Nothing could ever separate me from that love! 😀 ❤ ❤

Do you ever feel unloved or undeserving? Here is a quick note to self;

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.

We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us. -Rom 8:35-39 MSG)

***song for the day- His Kind of Love by Group 1 Crew***

©Mfon Etuk, 2016