When Forgiveness is not forthcoming: What do you do??

Collosians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Matthew 6: 14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

I hope you have been keeping well. Well, this feels like that week when the Grace to write is at 150%

Two weeks ago, while seated in a restaurant in town waiting to meet up a friend,  I saw a certain girl on a table right across me. She was deep in thought and I swear I saw a tear drop.

I used to belong to that ‘mind your business’ school of thought.  If it does not concern me, it is none of my business. Nairobi seems to get this clearly into your head. Assimilation and association. You learn fast. Am still learning to unmind my own business and mind other people’s business that requires minding ( I don’t even make sense to myself, at this point)

As the spirit pushed me to go to her, I kept on thinking of her reaction. What would she think of me? What if she thinks am crazy? This is a public place.

Friends,  I have come to learn that you cannot negotiate with God, He always wins. I was so restless that I knew of I walked out, I would not have had any peace. I went to her and asked if i could share the booth with her. She agreed. For around five minutes,  I just stared at her. She did not even notice. Or she did. But never showed.

‘Is it so painful?’ I asked.

‘Excuse me?’ She retorted.

‘ Excuse my manners, my name is Debbie. And God says Do not despair. It shall be well!’

‘Who are you? And what makes you think you can just. ….’ She looks up and finds me smiling. She cut short her words.

‘Cause it hurt so bad? Do you think you cannot go through it?  Are you feeling helpless, weak?’ I kept going so it would not be awkward 

Thank God, she is a born again Christian. She just kept staring at me and then the tears started flowing freely.

I reached out and held her hand. Then leaned in for a hug. It took around ten to fifteen minutes for calmness to take over. I handed her a tissue.

‘Thank You’ She murmured

‘For the tissue? Never mind .’ I chuckled. To just make things comfortable.

She SMILED.

If I walked out at this moment, I knew I had done something great. ShSMILED.

‘ Well, for two things. For the tissue and for Obeying God.’ She said

‘Would you like some coffee? It’s cold in here.’ I state crafting hoping she takes the bait.

‘Is this an invitation to talk? Well I could do with a great conversation.’ She gets me.

We order coffee and I start with a proper introduction of who I am and what I do.

Coffee arrives. We bless it and go on.

She is a nurse. Fellowships at JCC and she came here to get away from everything that is happening in her life.

‘What do you do when forgiveness is not forthcoming even after several attempts to make things right as a Christian? ‘ She asks.

The question throws me offguard.

‘Well, what happened? ‘ I ask

‘I still don’t understand. How is it possible for someone you think you have known become a stranger? How can a small misunderstanding blow out of proportion? How can they refuse to listen or just see the great lengths you have gone to seek forgiveness. This person hurt me, I hurt him back ( God forgive me ). But God worked on me and I have been asking for forgiveness both in speech and deed.  Twice , the door has been slammed on my face. Today, is one such day.’

‘Who is this person to you?  Are they born again?’ I probe. 

‘My guy.  He claims to be.’ She says.

‘Debbie, the bible asks me to forgive. I have even gone to great extent to make things right. Now, am getting frustrated day in, day out.

‘What was your ideal?’ I ask. Again.

‘To be forgiven too.’ She says.

‘Well, I guess that is where the problem is.  You forgave expecting the same. You do realize sometimes it is not that simple. The holy spirit worked on you. Did you find out of the other party invited the helper too? You can only do your part and pray for the other person that God may work on them as He did you.’  I say.

By now, the person I was meant to meet has arrived and I request ten more minutes. To just pray with this girl.

We do. I give her my card and ask her to call me.  If and when she needs to talk.

We hug and part.

The day ends and I can’t help but think. The bible gives us scenarios of forgiveness. On how we should act.

 

Mark 11:25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins

What happens when the other party acts in total disregard of all your effort?

It got me thinking.  How many people am I hurting out here simply because I hold onto what man did to me than what Christ did for me?

I also realize that to whom Christ says , ” You are forgiven” . The command , ” sin no more ” comes.

You are not in control of how other people will behave or react. You can only do your part. Staying true and faithful to the author and finisher of your faith.

What I do.

  1. Pray, pray and pray some more for them. The Bible asks us to not be anxious about anything but with prayer, petitions and supplications make our requests known to God. God is the only one who can change anyone.
  2. Cancel all expectations. Frustrations find their way home when people don’t behave like we want them to. You have some your part as the holy spirit led.
  3. Keep a clean heart and clean thoughts.  From the abundance of your heart, know every thing will flow. Ask God to renew the right spirit within you.e
  4. When they reach out, hold onto nothing of the past. Just like Christ tells you the old is gone.  Release it as well. Only then can you create the right environment for the new to come in. Our ultimate is to be like Christ.
  5. Life is in seasons.  Sadly there are those that have to leave  and that is the way it just is. The season you are in prepares you for the next. Keep the lessons. Keep learning. From a severed relationship,  God will be reading beauty for ashes. I never really knew what I went through was preparing me for this girl.  But see, now am well capable of handling life and my story and lessons are actually holding someone else together.
  6. Trust God’s plan. He is omnipresent and omnipresent. Trust me, He knows.

Finally, forget the memes, forget the quotes.  Forgiveness is so personal   it has to flow from within. It is a gift you give yourself more than the other person.

Stay in His will and in the fullness of time, God makes everything beautiful.

A blessed one, may you have.

Love

Deb

 

Let’s talk

There are nights that seem so long

I still find it difficult to sleep

Even after devotion and prayer

I always stay awake looking at the ceiling

With lights on

Today is not any different

Am still staring at that same spot

Same as that night when you spoke

That night when we had a sit down

And you reminded me that you saw everything

Each tear I have shed

Each plan that crumbled

All the needless pain I bore

You reminded me:

How valued I was

And how I had sold myself short by going for what I thought was a good choice

How your arm was always outstretched

But

Through it all, you still watched over me

I was still yours

And..

All I needed to do was Trust and Obey

You have me and you promised to NEVER leave

As I stare at the same spot tonight

I am so grateful for your love and goodness

You who made me whole, my Good Good father.

You have been faithful and your amazing grace sufficient.

Am still in awe on how You loved me when I seemed unlovable

When backs turned and you turned to  me with outstretched arms.

When I left but you waited for me and took me back

You took away all my shame and you crowned me

You have sustained me

I have great confidence in your word.

Your love that endures forever

Your kindness that never falls

Your Mercies that are new every morning

Papa, what can I say ,Oshe Baba

I have tasted of You and i can confidently say that You are Good

I will forever glorify You.

Am desperate for you

Get closer, I get louder

Thank You for the cross, Lord.

Love always

 

Deb

The Call

A few weeks ago, I was priviledged to sit through a sermon my dad was preaching titled , ‘ Riskers for perishers.’ The sermon was all about things Kingdom, on how much your natural eyes can deny you your blessings. The inheritance that God has always had in store for you. The sermon talked about our responsibilities to the call.

Dad has always shared his testimony but this day he touched on matters intimate about His call to serve that I have never heard of. Papa was a civil servant, a teacher to be precise. By the time he resigned he was a headteacher. God called him in 1995 that he needed to go full time ministry. He spoke to him during one of his fasts. But papa looked at so much happening ( we were still in primary school except for my eldest sister) and he kept at what he knew would provide. All this time, he had the ministry running. Back then,  we were still affiliated to the Word Of Faith Church. He would get done with school work and pastoral work would take over. 2 years later, the church invited a guest from Nigeria for revival meetings. What he didn’t know was that this meeting was more about him than it was about the congregation ( How this God works is just amazing ). This Man of God came loaded with the confirmation Papa needed. Yet, there were bills to be paid. How was a starting ministry in the village meant to be sustained? There was still much he felt he had to do before quitting formal employment.

Brethren, when God wants you,  He will make it happen. Fast forward to the year 1999/2000, Dad has no peace about everything. Things started falling apart in all spheres. Spheres he taught he was securing by staying put in employment. He had two candidates in the house ( one in form four, one in class eight). Things were tight. Then he made the decision to follow the voice of God. Nothing was perfect at that moment, but he chose to heed to the call.

He says He did not know how we would survive and mum, at that moment, had issues at her workplace that also pushed her to quit. ( This God!!!). That is how they ended up in full time ministry with a bunch of kids( four girls) when they had no idea how to provide for, feed or clothe! And God has been more than faithful. We have seen miracles in ways only God can.

My story may not be so different. The call of God is irrevocable. Whatever He has planned for your life will come to pass. It all comes down to: Will you listen and heed to the call? The call came when I was a child. But as I grew a fear engulfed me. I always saw myself ending up as my father and I felt the shoes were too big. I wanted a very small role. I remember praying and telling God , Let me just sing, and let Daddy preach. Slowly, I drifted. I knew I loved God but I really wanted detached from matters Church. When I first came to Nairobi I kept away from Church compeletely. I felt I didn’t need that reminder of the responsibility I had and was not planning to fulfill. Those days I would end up in church ( they were quite rare), just one gaze at the pulpit brought conflicting emotions. It felt like home, but it also felt like the biggest thing I never wanted. Finally, I never wanted to leave.

When God came for me, so much had been destabilized  ( refer to posts before). I was at my lowest. I had tried all the solving tactics but none was working. I even questioned if God really existed ( I knew He did, but the situation I was in was crazy and I had been declared clinically depressed). That is when I remembered  the God my daddy serves. Is He not merciful and gracious?  Is He not forgiving? I had been seeing a therapist for a month, twice weekly. That week I called my therapist and told her that am terminating my sessions. That I needed counselling with a spiritual approach. That was when I walked into Citam Valley Road. I had been crying all the way from town. I reached Citam and completely broke down.( The nitty-gritties will be up in the next post). I rededicated my life to Christ that day. I had already  started my Bible devotion three weeks earlier as I sought answers from God.  Three weeks after, as I read the book of John 1 : 46 , a still voice whispered. Something Good is coming out of Nazareth. I thought my mind was playing tricks. The voice became more clearer, ‘ Something Good is coming out of Nazareth’

It was 2 am. I live alone, and a distinct voice was speaking. I was numb but so much at peace. I didn’t know what was in store for me in that week (Some mindblowing experience was awaiting and I was just here playing detective in my house trying to find a still voice). I remember it so well. It was on Wednesday. I was just leaving town from a meeting. I felt a sudden urge to be in the House of God. As we approached  Safari Park Hotel it was fast becoming a strong hunger.  I had never been to Citam Thika road despite it being next door. I always went to Valley Road. This day I wanted to find the Church. I needed to be in God’s Sanctuary. I want to the PAC University gate expecting the guards to not let me in. To my surprise,  all they asked was if I was heading to church. On getting there, I didn’t know there was a Wednesday prayer service and I walked right into it. I was so overwhelmed.

Those who know me will tell you that I never lack words when given a microphone. I will either speak or sing.  The time for testimonies came, I was literally weeping as I walked to the altar to say  what the Lord had done for me. When I picked that microphone,  I went blank and I kept weeping. The pastor wanted to take the Mic but I said I wanted to sing. If words failed me, then I could sing. But I kept saying, ‘God I submit to your Will, Let Your will be done!’ Most of the times my mind usually has songs lined up, when I opened up my mouth to sing the song disappeared,to my surprise.  I was blank with the whole church looking and the song refused ( reminds me of Tuzo milk advert, ‘ the cow has refused’ ha!). To salvage the situation, the Word msalaba kept ringing but I could not remember any song with msalaba. The pastor was coming for the Mic and I was gonna give it. Then my own Swahili translation of  kgotso’s ‘ke letlotlo’ just flooded the Mic. Msalaba ndio hazina yangu ( the cross is my biggest treasure) The song said. And this is my biggest truth. We’re it not for the cross, we’re it not for Christ, I would be dead!

The pastor takes the Mic and what he said was ‘ This lady has had an encounter with God. Few of you have gone through what she has!’ This statement summarized the state I was in. I could not explain what was happening but what I knew was nothing would ever be the same. Something happened inside me. I met God face to face. From then I have sitdowns with Him like I do with my daddy. And I submitted to His Will, FINALLY!!! Once you encounter God, You will never be the same. I guarantee you.

He separated me from everything I thought I knew and that which I thought mattered. Relationships had to be cut off, some business deals had to go. And I would cry to Him how much the bills were to be paid ( just like papa had his issues). He always told me , ” Debbie, can’t you are that am doing a NEW thing? One that is marvellous in my own eyes? I have called you by your name, you are MINE!” And He has been amazing in perfecting His work.

The confirmation on His call came seven months ago through someone I did not know. Someone who reminded me of when it all started word for word.  When I was still little, and how much God saw my fears but let them play out. And finally, the answers I needed from Him started pouring.

Why did I write this post?

There is a high tendency there are Jonah’s out here. People running away from their calling for one reason or another ( most of the time they do not make sense). The kingdom needs you. Matthew 9:37, Like 10:2. His call and gifting in your life is irrevocable ( Romans 11:29). For you to get that peace you really crave for, heed to your call. God speaks,  He has never stopped!

You may think that your contribution is too small to be noticed but remember we all are members of one body and we need each other to function properly.(1 Corinthians 12:12)

There is no better place to be other than at the feet of Jesus.

And

Using the conclusion to Daddy’s sermon, ‘ The Kingdom requires Riskers in order to rescue Perishers ‘

Shalom.

Love,

Deb

 

 

 

 

Did God Author It?

That day

When I sat by that water tank in the cold July at 2 am alone and waiting , I should have known it was not healthy

That day

When he put me in a cab at 2 am knowing so well I didn’t have my house keys and I had to sleep over( well I barely slept) at a old college friend whom I hadn’t spoken to for over four years , I should have known he never cared

That day

When I was accused of flirting in church with someone just because the guy complemented my singing I should have known there were deep underlying issues (that may have not involved me) that he needed to take care of.

That day

When I was given silent treatment for over a month, I should have known communication during strife will be an uphill task.

But No ..

I didn’t ..

Why?

Because when you love you don’t give up, even when it hurts.

Because when he came back we talked and he looked like everything was gonna be alright

Because sometimes a second time you will do it better.

Better it looked

But this time I was more broken. I was so messed up that for months I was an empty husk, moving around simply because I had to. I could not recognize who I was for close to a year.

Were it not for a REDEEMER who looked down and by GRACE He reached out, I would be dead by now.  GONE

Were it NOT for GOD who sees deeper than anyone else, Who knew me by name. The devil would have had his way.

Relationships  ( all) are part of God’s plan for our lives but if we are not careful we may end up missing on our destiny. They will either draw us to God or destroy us.

You Should

Leave

  1. When it draws you away from God. A healthy relationship will ensure you are more insync with your creator
  2. When you do not have peace about it. Constant turmoil will wear you down. A right relationship brings peace since you are right with God, your partner and yourself
  3. When More is demanded than you can Give. When a relationship makes you feel like you are empty yet more pouring is required,  it’s time to reevaluate. Once you feel overwhelmed, something may be terribly wrong. A healthy relationship will have these needs balanced. When you feel the burden to give is so heavy, take a step back. Secondly, a relationship is not a MARRIAGE, do not give marriage priviledges to boyfriends.
  4. There is an element of FEAR. Perfect love casts out fear. Enough said.
  5. It constantly demands PERFECTION. We are prone to make mistakes, and this requires forgiving. Beware of someone who will punish by making you work so hard for forgiveness. It’s only the CHRIST in us that perfects us. We are prone to mistakes.

As women, we were created to love and nurture and that’s why its always difficult to notice subtle signs of emotional abuse. We tend to make excuses for them thereby feeling this ugly monster. I know , you know, that you are not being treated right. We were taught to love but no one taught us how to stop loving. Sometimes,we hold onto it way longer than we should.

The biggest lesson I learnt from mine was that only God can put two people together and sustain them. Its all useless if it doesn’t start with the ultimate CREATOR of relationship.

So,

Did God put you together, was it yourselves, was it your aunt or was it your PASTOR?

 

Much love

Deb.

 

 

 

You Matter, Yes You Do

I know the tomorrow doesn’t fascinate you any longer. I know you dread waking up. You are anxious of what tomorrow may bring.

I know the tears you have wept. I know how much you wish it was different. I know what do now is no longer passion.

I know you have had that conversation with God. You have asked Him to take you home. You are done with all these earthly treasures. You want to be lifted higher than these problems.

I know you already think nobody cares. That your exit will not affect anyone. That it will be much easier for everyone..

I know that the thought of walking in the Sun scares you. I know the walls are your best friend, they hold memories no other soul will ever know. I know there are days they seem like they are talking to you.

Oh and those accusing fingers. Those that point more to them than to you. Those that glare at you through Windows waiting to break you. You can even feel them matter the curses. Of why you are taking this so gracefully

I know of that brokenness. Of how you know you will never be the same. Of how you classify yourself as damaged,  a class you never thought existed.  That place no one can do more damage.

But…

I also know that you don’t need to go through it alone. Yes, it may feel that there is no one, or there may be no one. The emptiness may be so deep but I know of someone who can give you all that you are looking and more.

How do I know

He did it for me. He did not just make me new creature, He took away the old. The pain, the mishaps, the mistakes and behold I became a new creature( 2 Corithians 5:17). He chose me and I accepted Him. As my own personal saviour . He redeemed and restored me. There are some areas too dark you may be in, He will come for you physically. Deep down in the trenches.

But there is a catch 22.

He only works on free will. He wants you. You have to want him. You have to invite him in. He knows.

And He will take care of you. He is a good good father. He has your best interests by heart. Oh if only you would know the things He has in store for you.

Call on Him, search  for him when he can still be found and He will be found. Call on Him ( Jeremiah 33:3)

The plans He has for you are perfect. Plans that will prosper you. Plans that will not harm you. Plans that will give you hope and future  ( Jeremiah 29:11)

He created you for a purpose.  And I pray He reveals it to you. So you may know you are not merely existing. You are here for something that is much bigger that only you can accomplish .

You Matter. Even when it doesn’t feel like so now, you Matter. You are our superman/ superwoman in your own capacity.

You are loved

You are worthy

You Matter, Yes You Doo.

Love

Broken To Be Made Whole

That day… Yes… That Day!!

Can I ever really forget it? Oh when Christ found me and lifted me from this desolate place the devil has condemned me.

How can I forget the times I had asked Him to take my life. But why? Because another human being did not see my worth. Since the pain was too much.  Since the darkness had started creeping in and winter was nearing. Days when I enjoyed my tears. When waking up was not my portion anymore.

Let me take you back a little. My name is Debbie. An artist since I encompass so much( model, musician, designer).

The more you read the more you will learn. I am a living testimony of what God can do. Of the depths He can sink to redeem. Of His mercies that endureth forever. Of His Love that never fails.

I hope to document daily my journey to restoration and God’s faithfulness. We are up for a ride that only ends up in His Glory.

Welcome to my space

My simple world