“What you use your time to do everyday tells so much of how and what your future is likely to look like.”
The day he said that, it hit me like a brick, it was like a wake up slap to me…as soon as I got to my room; I grabbed a sticky note, wrote it down and pasted it on my wall. And it’s been there ever since Continue reading “I Dare Us To Live Deliberately”→
Reading through the pages of Francine River’s book (Leota’s Garden); I realized once again that there is no such thing as a perfect life… Never mind, it’s just me – Novels have a way of travelling me out of where I am into a totally different world. But that said. I’ll just get straight to my point. Continue reading “There Are No Perfect People (speaking literally)”→
“Still later He appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together and walked up to Peter and said ‘I told you you’d deny me three times before the rooster crows twice, Didn’t I? And see! You did exactly that! Even after you beat your chest and told me you could never deny me…you told me that: even if it meant dying with me, you would rather die than deny me; but still you denied me – I told you, Of course I knew it! You couldn’t even look that young maid in the face and say “Yes, I know Jesus of Nazareth. I’m His follower.” instead you cursed and swore that you did not know a thing about me. You swore that you had never even seen me before…Simon! Simon! Well I won’t say I’m quite disappointed, because I already knew it was going to happen.’ Then Jesus shook His head at Peter and turned to the other ten.”
But that wasn’t the way it happened.
That wasn’t the way it was recorded in Mark 16: 14 (TLB). It was recorded in Mark that: While the disciples were eating together, Jesus appeared to all of them and rebuked them for their unbelief (He rebuked them because of the fact that they stubbornly refused to believe those who had told them that He was alive again). So, Yes that was what the Bible recorded and not what you first read above. As a matter of fact, I don’t recall reading a single verse where Jesus, after He had risen and appeared to the disciples reminded Peter of the fact that he denied Him thrice. He didn’t even bring the matter up again. He never did. Or did He? Um…well, not in my own Bible. And guess what? Not even in yours.
So Love keeps no record of wrongs, and that’s why He keeps no record of any wrong whatsoever; because He is LOVE.
My Jesus is Real Love.
Look, I don’t know how Peter felt when he saw Jesus for the first time after the last time he saw Him. I don’t know what was going on in Peter’s head when he saw the Jesus he denied appear before him and the other disciples. Did his heart skip a beat or two? Or was his heart was at perfect ease? Did he put His head down and pretend to play with His finger nails? Was he looking at the ceiling the whole time so that his gaze wasn’t going to meet Jesus’? Or did he keep his head up and look straight into the loving eyes of his Saviour? Really I don’t know, and I can only imagine; but this one thing I am sure of: However Peter felt at that moment, whether good or awkward, comfortable or uncomfortable; Jesus never wanted him to feel anything less than the friend and brother he had always been. Jesus loved Peter so much, regardless of the fact that he denied Him.
Yep, I know we are all growing. But let’s choose to learn daily from these examples that we see in the life of Jesus. Let’s learn to form our character from them. I love the way the Holy Spirit can just inspire us from these simple stories (Truths) in God’s word. God is amazing and simple. And He teaches us big things even from the little things.
I hope you get to learn what I learnt from this. I learnt that: Not keeping record of my brother’s wrongs or sister’s wrongs won’t kill me; but instead it will help me become more like Jesus; and of course I can’t do this in my own strength especially when I feel really hurt and all I want to do is be angry and mad, when my flesh gives me every reason to be hurt again and tells me: ‘oh yeah, you’ve got the chance now to remind her of what she did to you 3months ago.You’ve got the chance now to point your finger at him and condemn him.’
So of a truth: I can’t do it on my own; but I can ask for the grace to calm down and keep my mouth shut. I can ask the Holy Spirit (Who lives inside of me) to help me and to strengthen my love-walk toward that person or those people.
I also learnt that: God never wants me to feel anything less than His princess and daughter regardless of whatever I’d done before. He loves me, He wants me to growintentionally and He keeps no record of my wrongs. Yes, He keeps no record of your wrongs.
Today, I was amazed at how I felt when I said to myself ‘Yeah Jaachi, you shouldn’t have done that; but I forgive you’. This will be the first time in my life that I’ll ever say these words out loud to myself. On every other day before today, I just deliberately ignore whatever it is I had done and consciously forget about it – but today, I said to myself out loud ‘I forgive you’.
Many times, we beat ourselves up over stuff we cannot change. We become too sad because we feel like we have disappointed ourselves by doing some things we ought not to have done – This is wrong. True, repentance is good and healthy. And in fact it is very necessary; but please never mistake regret for repentance. Regret is something way different; it is unhealthy and pointless and just isn’t right…it wears you out. It births worry, it births guilt, it births self-hate, it may give you a feeling of constant disappointment in yourself, and worst…it births a low self-esteem…and you see, neither of the above mentioned is God’s will for you – or for us.
In living, I have learnt that life is beautiful, and other days funny, and other days boring, and other days magic, and sometimes…just plain disappionting. I’ve learnt that moving on is a way better thing to do than staying or sleeping on some wrong that I have done in the past or whatever. I’ve learnt that happiness is a choice; and so is unhappiness – in fact, almost everything in life is a choice. And so every day – as much as you can, do choose to be happy. Do choose to forgive yourself. Do choose to move on.
I hope you know that happiness will NOT just jump on you; like I said earlier: it is a choice. Choose to remember that you have all that you need. You have a Father on whose Love you can bank on and trust in 24hours a day, 7 days a week…and that is all that matters, really.
I strongly believe that the words ‘I forgive you’ aren’t only meant to be told to people who have hurt us, or whatever. Some days, we also have to say these words to ourselves – call out our own names, and tell ourselves ‘I forgive you’. ‘That was a really stupid thing you did but, I forgive you’. ‘You know you should have done it better but, I forgive you’. Every day, we grow. And every day, we learn. And as the days go by, we find and learn more about who God is turning us to be. And in some of our learning processes, we may do really stupid things, and sometimes may get disappointed in ourselves because we know we should have done it better, or said it better; but c’mon – life goes on!
This post of course is not something I’m writing to give us an excuse (or encourage us) to keep making silly mistakes, or to keep repeating the same wrong thing over and over. No. Instead, it’s something I’m writing to help us understand that we all are growing (in Christ) daily into Maturity (Eph 4: 13)…and I don’t know how long this growth is going to take; but I know that we all are turning into something really beautiful; there may be falls and trips and slips and scars and what have you; but remember that these all make us stronger and wiser and braver.
We must learn to be happy people, we must choose to want to grow, and learn to see ourselves through God’s eyes. We must learn to make peace with ourselves and we must learn to forgive ourselves, since we all already, have been forgiven by God.
Sometimes, the big question you should be asking yourself really isn’t: ‘Has God forgiven me?’ – Because He already has. If you are a believer, then you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and you have been forgiven (Read your Bible, it is all there, or if you need scriptural references, well here are some: 1 John 1: 9, Eph 2, Hebrews 10: 16 – 17.)
Maybe the big question for you is: ‘Have you forgiven yourself? Have you moved on? Have you let go? Do you trust this beautiful, magnanimous God to help you be exactly all that He made you to be even though you know you are not perfect? Are you disappointed in yourself because you haven’t got it all figured out?’
Whatever your answers to the above questions may be; I need you to understand that God wants you to leave the ‘I cannot forgive myself’ zone. He wants you to forgive yourself right here and right now. He wants you to move on…because trust me; you do not want to spend your whole life sitting there, whining over that one mistake. You do not have all the time in the world; so it’s wiser you get up quickly from that spot and…get…on…with…your…life, darling
This is what you do at 12:11 am when you don’t know what to do…not because you are jobless; but because you just want to write your heart out at this time of the night when everyone else is sleeping and you can’t seem to.
Life is beautiful. And sometimes not too pretty. And sometimes magic. And sometimes plain crazy. Don’t judge me; I’m only speaking from my experiences…maybe it’s a different definition for you – I don’t know. I’ve learnt that this is life and it is real. I’ve learnt that good things happen; as well as hurtful things. I’ve learnt that God is good no matter what.
I’m at a point in my life where I’m really afraid because I’m not so sure what’s next. I’m at a point where I feel like I’m standing but at the same time floating. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t get afraid. I do.
Afraid of being wrong in making my decisions; because I just want to do the right things.
Afraid because the things I thought would be actually aren’t as I thought they’d be.
Afraid because I am human and let’s not pretend…we all get afraid…right? Well I do.
“Jaachi, you have every reason to cry”… “jaachi, be strong; and laugh at life”…it’s like a war in my tiny head. My thoughts are waging war…so what will it be? “To cry or not to cry? To keep keeping on or to give up? To laugh at life and trust God or to just shrug and say ‘whatever will be will be’?
But life is too small to make me ever doubt God’s Love for me. Come rain or Sunshine. Come good or bad. Oh let the boat rock terribly; let the storms rise; let the winds blow…let it even knock things off; I’ll still laugh. Even if the skies snow down rocks…Yes, I’ll still laugh. Yes, I’ll still pray. Yes, I’ll still Trust. Yes, I’ll still hope. And yes, I’ll still believe.
I’ll still laugh even though I’m afraid. I’ll laugh afraid!
Who says that it isn’t okay to cry? It’s okay to cry…and do I cry? Well ya, a lot! But not tonight; just not tonight. I won’t cry tonight neither will I complain. I’ll do just as I once heard a very wise person say: ‘Don’t complain, instead turn your wants to supplications’. I’ll turn these hurts to supplications. I’ll thank God every day. I’ll dare to Trust – because I have to…He is the only Person I hang my life on.
So hey, we won’t cry tonight. Maybe some other night; but not tonight! You know what we’re gon do? We’ll turn those hurts to supplications, and we’ll be thankful to the Father, and to Jesus, and to the Holy Spirit.
Life is beautiful. And crazy. And magic. And ‘not too pretty’. But life is too small to make me think that my God is not too Big!
So I’ll end this with one of my favourite song-lyrics in the whole world.
“…And my soul will know
Your Love surrounds me when my thoughts wage war
When night screams terror, there Your voice will roar
Come death or shadow, God I know Your light will meet me there
And my soul will know
When fear comes knocking there You’ll be my guide
When day breeds trouble, there you’ll hold my heart
Come storm or battle, God I know Your peace will meet me there
Ashes are ugly, they are gritty and displeasing to the eyes
Ashes are remnants of what used to be
Ashes are the result of something being burnt
Ashes are the result of something that has gone through the ringer
We’ve all been through situations and circumstances that have resulted in ashes
We’ve been hurt, disappointed and discouraged because of these ashes
When the thought of that situation revisits our minds, our hearts begins to ache, it’s a thorn in our flesh
Any resemblance of that experience and the person(s) involved in it automatically makes us defensive
We’re stuck, unable to move forward…we relive the moment over and over again
You may even be experiencing that “ash” moment as you read this
It’s a fresh wounded, the pain is continuously oozing out
The amount of tears that you’ve cried over this issue can’t be numbered
It may be a broken relationship, a failure, a loss, a career disappointment, an academic issue, a family issue, etc.
Today I have come to deliver good news to you. No matter how bad and ugly the situation is or has been, it will work for your good (Romans 8:28). God is turning it all around (Psalm 126:1); it’s not your final destination it is a temporary stop over. Look onto your father, trust him to heal and restore you. He is the one that has the ability to make all things beautiful (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
It’s a beautiful exchange, he gives beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3). Stop holding on to the ashes, let it go! Make room for beauty, that is what God has prepared for you. Let it go, forgive that person, forget that disappointment. God is set to do a new thing (Isaiah 43:19)
Trade your ashes for God’s beauty today, it will be worth your while.
He has great things in store for you. When he turns it all around you will marvel at how it turns out. He will exceed your expectations; it will feel like you are dreaming.
So what do you say? Are you ready for the beautiful exchange?
Bunmi Adebiyi is a pastor at God’s Love Tabernacle International Church. She has a calling to young women, with the mandate to empower them into becoming well rounded women within their societies by fulfilling purpose and honoring God with their bodies (she will be officially launching her personal ministry soon). Bunmi is the owner and CEO of BeDazzling a company whose vision is to redefine fashion by making modesty the new “sexy”; it specializes in men and women jewelry, clothing, and accessories.
Bunmi is also a Public Health professional by training and a writer, she specializes in poetry and Christian non-fiction.
Bunmi was born in Houston, TX and raised in Brooklyn, NY. She is the first of four children. Bunmi has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from Howard University and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Morgan State University. After graduation from Morgan State University, the Lord laid it on her heart to move to Nigeria. It was one of the toughest decisions that she ever had to make that turned out to be one of the best decisions of her life.
Bunmi is married to Tunde who is also a Pastor at God’s Love Tabernacle International Church and a Medical Doctor by profession. They have a beautiful daughter named Toluwani Eden.
Together they are on a mission to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the Earth and to enjoy life abundantly while doing it.