You Are Who You Are

Let’s confess things to ourselves right now. How many of us have had those people we hated in high school? I know ‘hate’ is a strong word but in my case if there was a stronger word than that, I’d use it.

Here I am now, looking back at when I was fourteen-fifteen years old, young, naive, and influenced by ‘friends’ who were supposed to have my back, but didn’t.

There came a phase where I realised that there’s no point hating someone just so that you could look cool or blend in with those who hated the same person. As an obvious consequence of that, I lost my so called friends and all the attention I had gained from them. My best-school-friend walked out on me ’cause apparently her parents thought I was a bad influence on her. Ha! See what I mean? I was the one being influenced by people, but here I was, being the bad-bad influence on others now.

That transition confused me so very much, that I actually became the person my best friend’s parents claimed I was. My parents were amazing, they still are, but at that time, I was a loose cannon yet they held on to me when everyone else didn’t think twice of letting go.

Life was now moving on to this spot where I couldn’t decided between keeping myself happy, and pleasing others. Somebody answer this for me – What should we do when we’re trying to keep someone else happy and we’re not happy?

Is life all about compromises? Will we ever find that place of unending joy? Will my heart ever be at ease? Can I stop doubting myself as a person? So many questions left unanswered, just because of what happened when I was fourteen. (that was like 6 years ago, I’m not that old. Pshh!)

Life is all about decisions. It’s all about compromises we might have to make along the way. Life is all about sacrifices. Life is all about ifs and buts. Life is all about adjustments.

But don’t just see it from that perspective. Take a look at life and all what it’s about from this angle –

Life is all about those choices which only you can make, THIS IS YOUR LIFE and YOUR CHOICE we’re talking about! Life is all about taking risks and seeing how things work out. Life is all about new beginnings. Life is all about taking a stand for yourself even when the world walks out on you. Life is all about acceptance; accept those ups and downs (once you’ve accepted a phase, you’ll move on to doing something about it rather than moaning). Life is all about change. It’s all about how we see things. Life is all about emotions, it’s about all those feelings that rush through you. Most of all, Life is about expecting the unexpected.

If you do not expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail. – Heraclitus

To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect. – Oscar Wilde

For those wondering if I’m still a wreck – No, because I’ve learned to accept life and all it’s wonders, one day at a time. I’ve achieved so much more since the age of sixteen, I’ve done well for myself, achieved all what I never thought I could, (definitely stuck it to my ‘best friend’ from school). I then grew up with much better friends in school and church, and you know what, they’re still my best of best friends. Give life a chance, and watch it fall perfectly into its place.

Be proud of who you are; there’s no one else like you.

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Instructions from the Book of James

So it’s been a while since I’ve uploaded a post.

Why not kick it off with a set of instructions given to us in the book of James –

1. When you lack wisdom, ask God for His unfathomable depths of knowledge.

James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

2. Pray with an unwavering faith.
Once you have prayed, don’t doubt it! Have faith in your faith in God. (if that makes sense)

James 1:6 “… he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

3. When you are being tempted, don’t blame it on God.

James 1:13-14 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desires, he is dragged away and enticed.”

4. Quick to listen, slow to speak, even slower to anger.

James 1:19-20 “… Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”

5. Two words – Don’t Swear!

James 1:26-27 “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless … keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

6. Don’t show favouritism. (Yikes! Note to self.)

James 2:2-4 “Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

7. Be merciful.

James 2:13 “… judgement without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!”

8. Let your deeds define your faith. (serious one here guys!)

James 2:17-18 “… faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”

James 2:24 “… a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.”

James 2:26 “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

9. Think twice before you speak?

James 3:1 “… that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

James 3:5-6 “… the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

James 3:8-10 “But no man can tame the tongue … With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing … this should not be.”

10. Pray with the right motives, and not with wrong intentions. (DUH!)

James 4:2-3 “… You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

11. Do your best, and leave the rest to God.

James 4:7-8,10 “Submit yourselves, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God, and He will come near to you … Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

12. Don’t boast about tomorrow. We do not know what the future holds, but we know who holds our future.

James 4:14-15 “… you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

13. Do the right thing in all situations!

James 4:17 “Anyone, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, he sins.”

14. Be patient, and don’t grumble.

James 5:8-9 “… be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against each other, or you will be judged.”

15. Know that our Lord is so good!

James 5:11 “The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

16. Don’t swear by Heaven or Earth.

James 5:12 “… do not swear – not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned.”

17. Pray, pray and pray some more. In every situation, PRAY! It’s only a conversation with God after all. He’s waiting!

James 5:13 “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.”

18. The elders of your church should be called to pray in time of need.

James 5:14-15 “Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.”

19. Confess your sins and pray! Be it for yourself or for loved ones or for others.

James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

20. Talk to non-believers, and invite them to Christ. Those Christians who have been led astray, bring them back to Jesus!

James 5:19-20 “… if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Five days ago, a day after my mother’s birthday, something happened to me for the first time. Some would get over it and go out to replace it, but I, the silly one, am still holding on to it. I know I started off a little bit dramatically but don’t worry, it’s just about my phone and how it was nicked off my pocket. Gotcha!

As soon as I had realised what had happened, I stood there stunned; and the first question that popped into my head was, “Why me?”.

Its funny how we grow so fond of new gadgets and improved technology, but that was not what caused the blues that I felt. My galaxy S4 – bought by my parents on my birthday ten months ago, was stolen a second after I had touched it in my pocket. So you see, sentimental value – I know how hard my parents work so that they could provide for me, the memories captured that were saved on that phone, the many-little notes and voice recordings and pictures and video clips and messages; all gone in just a second! Weird right? Never knew that a piece of technology could cause so much distress when went missing. How do we end up tying ourselves to this?

I came back home, getting off work earlier than what I should have, skipping work the next day, avoiding a fashion-show that I volunteered to model for, stopped eating, crying miserably, avoided praying or reading the Bible, shutting myself from social sites, not talking to my loved ones – like WHAT!? You must be thinking that this girl is insane; a phone shouldn’t influence a person as such. You’re right; a phone is not actually doing this to me. It’s the disappointment of the entire situation. My friends have said “Shizz happens! At least it’s nothing serious”, which I agree. Every time I think I’m moving on, my thoughts remind me of how some guy nudged into me and we looked at each other and then I made way for him to walk ahead but he still walked by my side and then my phone was missing from my pocket. Umm it’s a phone get over it! But I can’t. I’m not so sure of what’s causing me to not get over it, but I’m sure it’s not just the equipment itself.

It’s a cruel world out there; you can’t stop these things from happening. Which brings me to this question – “How can God exist when there’s so much of evilness in this world?”

Don’t! Just stop right there. Rephrase that question – “How can God tolerate evil deeds that we human beings end up doing?”

We are evil; we are aware of what we do wrong; yet He chooses to remain patient with us, love and forgive us.

You should listen to Truth by Lecrae – this song words it all so beautifully.

Coming back to the incident, I don’t think God would ‘let’ this happen to me if He didn’t have something better planned for me.  The Bible assures me that not even a single hair would fall off my head without His knowledge.

I’m glad that I’m able to share this post with you. So that you can dust yourself off, and trust in His plans for you.

However careful you are with the things you love or treasure, if it’s time for it to go, it will go no matter what.
But one thing that you can be sure of is – God knows!

The next day, my dad sent me an email. From which I’ll directly copy-paste an extract –

So my doll, you are not beaten nor kidnapped. Just praise God that your phone was the only thing which had gone. After you told me about the phone, I thanked and Praised God for having saved you miraculously. By His grace I can buy as many phones I want, but nothing can replace my daughter who is incomparable.
…God was very generous in protecting you, and keeping you safe and secured. 
Just forget the past, look ahead and keep going. Life is not that easy as you might be thinking. As the days go by, we have to face challenges which would become tougher and tougher. The only part where we won’t face a tough situation is when our God is on our side.”

Emotions – what to do when you don’t know what to do!

There are certain characteristics that make you up as a person. Those traits might scare some away from you or some might feel comfortable around you because they’re just “like” you. But for a fact, no one can be just like you or feel what you feel or even worse when you’re in a pickle, and they say that they understand you. Gosh! That annoys me. No you DON’T understand what I’m going through. No one does. Every person has their own reaction patterns. You can’t influence someone’s reaction unless you’re the cause of it. Ha!

Let me get straight to the point. I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here but let me have a go!

Do what you say, and say what you feel 
By which I mean, let your actions be greater than your words and your words be as subtle as those beautiful emotions you feel (No! Don’t go punch someone instead of swearing at them, that’s NOT what I want you to aim for). If you say “Wow I love him/her I think I’m going to take him/her out to express how much I love him/her”, but what’s the point of being so overwhelmed with love when all that’s happening is a lot of talking and less of doing. So instead of saying you’re going to do something in the near future, just do it now (or if it’s a birthday surprise then do it according to plan). It would be worse if you said you would do so, but didn’t!

Let every thing you do be accompanied with love, and every joy guided by humility
A friend of mine told me that her ‘better half’ moaned and groaned throughout by saying how great he is when he does all these little ‘romantic’ things for her, and how she didn’t have the flair of doing so! I mean come on, who would want to do something for you when all what you’re doing is boasting about what you’re doing. (Get your senses on track man!)
I know its a bit too traditional for a guy to make the first move or the first attempt in pleasing the girl or the first step towards buying stuff for her and all but I don’t see what’s wrong in that unless the girl is taking your goodness for granted (then boy, run away!)

Don’t tell them you understand, just be there for them
Again, I’m stressing on this – Don’t tell them that you understand. That’s the last thing you should say! Rather than telling them you understand what they’re going through, try and accommodate the emotions that they are going through. That is if you really want to ‘understand’ them. Emotions are not easy to deal with, just let it be. If your loved one is going through a hard time then cuddle up, make them some food (even if it means taking some pre-cooked frozen food and shoving it in the oven), make them laugh, make the effort of doing what you would want someone else to do for you when you are facing dark times. (<– I don’t even get that. Read it again!) So when the time comes; that you are in a difficult position, they would remember all what you did to bring a smile on their faces, and now would have the audacity to do the same for you. Simple as that!

You know what the problem is, we over-complicate the simplest things in this world. Number one being Emotions! 

Now take a step back, close eyes, and be thankful that you are able to feel what you feel for it is good.

Every tear of pain is good, you’ll then value those things that bring joy to you.
Every moment you face alone is good, you’ll then value being surrounded by loved ones.
Every betrayal is good (only once don’t let it happen to you again and again, or else you’re basically stupid), you’ll then value each expression of love.
Every downfall in life is good, you’ll then value picking yourself up, and pushing all efforts to its extreme.

‘The sun does not stop shining when its rays are blocked by the clouds’

Then why should you let a hurdle stop you from running the extra mile?

Respect Yourself, Appreciate Others, Love Life and be Thankful to God! 

A Life Worth Living.

We often face these situations where we question our lives. As a Christian, I’ve asked myself these 3 questions at least four times a month – ‘Why is life worth living?’ and ‘What exactly is L.I.F.E. all about?’ and also ‘How can I be different?’

You can clearly get the idea of how confused of a person I am, who lives with so many questions that mainly go unanswered (until now).
I keep searching the world for answers to my questions, and I keep forgetting that the greatest answer I could possibly receive; lies within me. Nope, not my feelings nor my thoughts, but Him who lives in my heart. He who has assured me that I have a beautiful soul no matter what! (Psst! It’s Jesus)

But wait, don’t we go through problems in life, and question God’s existence?  There are many wars people are still fighting, wars and enmity that have been passed on for generations. Yeah so now where’s God? You break into an argument with your loved one, where is God’s unfailing love? You fail a year at university, where is God’s promised wisdom from Heaven? You get yourself in an accident, where is God’s protection? Where is peace in this world when all what we’re doing is having a constant battle. Worst of all, the battle with oneself.
I’m ugly, too pretty and gain unwanted attention #VanityFair, too skinny, too fat, I don’t have friends, I hate my life, I hate him/her, my spouse is this and that, I dislike my parents, I wish I never had siblings. Wow aren’t we messed up, and have labelled everything in life?

Through all what we put ourselves, ultimately we blame God. We accuse Him of not being there for us. I confess, I did that too and I regret every moment of it.
We live to please others and not God, then why do we blame Him when we do something wrong? You may say “human behaviour, that’s how we are, we can’t help that” then pardon me when I say, you have no one else to blame but yourself.

You can’t hold God responsible for all what YOU do. How long do you think it would take for God to put an end to all evil (which includes us by the way, remember, we the glorious sinners)? Less than a second? Blink of an eye? Trust me, much lesser than! Yet the Bible tells us, that He is merciful, He loves us, He cares for us. I mean like WHAT!? WHY?! Why should He? We are now experiencing a generation that neglects His existence or don’t even know who Jesus is. So why should He let us live this life? (Again with my questions!)

But Christ died, so that we may live in Him. How perfect is His love! Now I’ll ask myself the 3 questions I had mentioned earlier in this post –

Why is life worth living? 
Because I’m a sinner, yet God forgave me. I should have died so I may sin no more, but Christ took it all upon Himself and gave me eternal life. – (John 3:16)

What exactly is L.I.F.E. all about?
It is all about Jesus. It’s about Him living in us. It’s about what we owe to Him. It’s about what we can try and do, to repay His love (definitely impossible to achieve His level of Awesomeness!).

“The nails didn’t hold Him to the cross, It was His love for us.”

How can I be different?
By never letting go of Him, because He never gave up on me.
Stand firm on your faith, it’s not worth giving it up for the world. There are trials to face, and mockery to bear; but trust in Him, it’s worth it! He is good, He is love, He is powerful, and He is our Heavenly Father. What a privilege that is indeed!

Finding it hard to Pray?

I’ve recently been a little jumbled up with words, as in words to pray. The conversation that I could have with my God, seemed so much of a hassle to me. There was something or the other that discouraged my faith in Christ. I felt like I kept sliding back. Every time I sat down to pray or read the Bible, the phone rang or there was someone at the door or I would receive a new Whatsapp message that led me on to a two-hour-conversation. Oh how could I forget the obvious – exams and pieces of coursework to submit!
There was so much to do and so little time!! <— Exactly what I mean, these are just excuses! But I let them get the best of me.
It’s not like I would let a day pass by without a single word ‘offered’ as a Prayer. Prayed when I woke up, prayed when I left the house to go somewhere, prayed when I had to go back to bed. Yet that connection, that place of comfort, that strong force of assurance; seemed to be missing from my life – temporarily (Thank God)!

Through all of that, I let myself believe that God is always there for me so I don’t have to worry about anything (which is true, He’s always here for us), but could you go a day without hearing from your best friend or your sibling or your parents or your partner? Precisely my point, the answer is NO! You love them, and they love you; that’s why you’d love to speak to them or hear from them. That’s exactly how the relationship between God and you works! That very relationship filled with love, requires communication from both sides. Here I was, forgetting that He is God, He is waiting to listen to me, and He is just a prayer away. Simple as that!

Just because you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, doesn’t mean you’re done for it! (Avoid tunnels!)

Pray for strength, and courage to face these dark situations. Ask others to pray for you.  There’s nothing embarrassing about that. If you’re thinking that they would judge you or assume you’re seeking for attention, then just stop thinking for a moment!

If Jesus died on the cross for our sins without judging us, then why would they?

Trust me, the other day I posted up a status on Facebook saying ‘In desperate need of a Prayer-Partner’, and the response I received from that very status was impeccable.
Such as “I’m in! Let’s do this!”, “I’m here if you need me”, “I’m here for you, ready to join hands in prayer”.

I gained so much of love, encouragement, and support in the form of prayers, screenshots of Bible verses, pictures of my prayer requests (my friend’s way of saying he was praying for me), spiritual and casual advice, Whatsapp and Facebook messages and what not! (I’ve certainly advertised enough for Whatsapp and Facebook in this post!)

There’s so much to be thankful for. Especially those who come to you in times of trouble, you’ll be surprised to see the most unexpected people coming up to help you.

Matthew 21:22 – If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in Prayer.

* Special Shout-out to these guys, without whose support and prayers, I’d still be a mess! (Love you guys!) –
Benita Geolin, Brad Smith, Emily Amos, Jessica Bhaskaran, Namita Joshua, Pranay Borde, Sanjana David, and Shaun Samson
Psst! Alphabetical Order, Yes!