Catching up part 3: Worth the Wait

Hey there good people! So it has indeed been a little while since my last post, but life happens sometimes. I’ve been quite excited about this post, and I hope that for you all, it was well worth the wait. As I’ve mentioned previously, a lot has happened in a short space of time, and if it was possible to escape into a vacuum transcended beyond the laws of time and allowed me to share every detail of those experiences with you, I’m certain that I would. So much was learnt over these last few months, and I yearn to have been able to edify you all in those lessons as well.

Alas, life happens.

Curiously, along this happening of life, I happened to come across someone who I hope to share it with until the end of my sojourn on planet Earth. On the 8th of November, I entered into a blissful relationship. It came as a pleasant surprise; naturally and timely. I couldn’t have wished for a better friend and companion to share this life with, and so I do hope and pray that we hold fast and true till the end, and that our relationship will bring honor and glory to the God that allowed it to happen.

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So how did it happen?

I’m sure many of you would like to get into the details of where we met and all that, but that wasn’t the purpose of this post. Sorry! What I will say is that I had some reservations about us getting into this relationship. As some of you may know, I was in a relationship previously. Its aftermath came at a time where I was in a situation that required me to work with her, and so I resolved to shelve my feelings for the sake of the cause, which it as it turns out, was possibly the worst decision that I could have made at that point.

In the short run, it was alright. We got the job done, and things were going well. However, as time panned on, those emotions festered and poisoned me. While I had no animosity toward her whatsoever, bitterness welled up inside me. It appeared in places I didn’t expect, and it was only after our task was finished at the end of the academic year that I was able to adequately deal with those emotions. I was able to accept the hurt, embrace it, and place it at the foot of the cross and move on. The faster you forgive, accept and allow yourself to deal with the hurts you receive from those who may be close to, the better.

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Photo Credit to http://ditanyil.deviantart.com/

 

Trust me.

Having gone through that, I was a bit afraid of hazarding my heart again. I certainly didn’t want to feel that again, and more so, I couldn’t bear to cause that to someone else. I wanted to be sure that when I commit to such a relationship again, that it would be with the one who I marry and spend the rest of my life with. So what did we do? Well, the same thing that I did with my emotions and hurt from before. We took it to Jesus. We spent some quality time in prayer and fasting, and only after we both felt fully confident that this was for us, that we committed to each other.

That wasn’t to say that our relationship didn’t come with its challenges. Some of those challenges threatened the foundations of what we felt for each other, but in a miraculous way, they have brought us closer together and we thank God for them. My encouragement to you today is not the typical “your time will come” kind of message,  because truth be told, I don’t know that for sure, and quite possibly, you don’t either. My encouragement is to continue trusting God. Seek Him with all you have, and at all times be ready to sacrifice what it takes to be obedient to His call. In my  own life, I have to daily crucify myself and what I want, so that nothing comes before my joy in Christ. That includes me continually placing our relationship in the hands and mercy of our Creator.

 

I believe that we have officially caught up enough! I’ve just about highlighted all the major happenings within these few months. I hope that you’ve been encouraged and challenged in some way, and if you have, please share! I’d love to hear from you all. There are some fun things in store for you all, so I do hope you stick around. Stay tuned, and continue to live  your life for His honor and glory. Enjoy your day! Remember, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, so by default, you are awesome 😉

Ciao!

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Catching up Part 2 – Finding My True Love

It’s not uncommon for a pastor or minister to speak to his congregation on a day like today and implore them to make Jesus their Valentine for the day, especially those who may not have had the luck of receiving a rose and chocolate on this so called auspicious occasion. Personally, it often appears as if they do this in attempts to cushion  the blow of singleness and unrequited love by offering Christ as a suitable alternative. In my esteem, this approach is, to be bluntly put, nonsense. Christ deserves far more than being marketed as an alternative to our romantic fancies. He’s the reason we live and breathe. He is our true love; He is love.

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(Photocredit to http://brucegerencser.net/)

Of course, this mini series has absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s day, but nevertheless… Happy Valentines! Just wanted to put that little plug in for no particular reason, other than to give glory to God. After all, He deserves it 😀

If you are now wondering what manner of click bait did you expose yourself to, I apologize, for it was not my intention to mislead you. I absolutely intend to speak on finding my true love, but from the perspective of a conference that  I went to last December: Urbana 15.

The Journey

IMG_20151226_093601It would be remiss of me to say that this experience began in December, but rather it began way back around March, when I first heard about the Conference. This was not before hearing the encouragement of a past president of IVCF, who devoted his life to global missions and spreading the Gospel of Christ across the world. It was on that day that I felt God’s call towards missions in my life as well, though I didn’t have any idea (and to extent I still don’t) what that meant for me. It was shortly after that I heard about Urbana, the student missions conference that InterVaristy USA usually conducts once every 3 years and my heart panged in my chest. I must go to this conference!

Over the year, I was able to see God stretch my faith and allow me to pay the down payment, which was a form of confirmation for me that this was in His plan, since without Him, it would’ve been impossible. He provided in more ways than thought possible, and through the provision of a well paying job, I was able to fund the rest of my way to USA, and the conference. To share that experience is a blog post in itself, but who knows, maybe one day I will 😀

Probably not, though.

The theme for the Conference was entitled “What Story will you tell?” and I know for sure that mine was an interesting one thus far. And you already know it; because you’re on my team, and I love you all, I’m going to share it with you!

My Story

Those who traveled with me would know that even our arrival to the hotel was a blessing, and we saw God’s grace in our journey, up to our very destination. My heart bubbled with excitement, and with the blissful nostalgia of visiting my home country once again. Though I’ve never been to St. Louis before, the atmosphere brought a familiarity that made it feel by no means foreign. It was here that I, alongside 16,000 others, would listen to what God was to say to us as individuals and the body of Christ as a whole.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Well it was, but perhaps not in the way that you’d expect. Firstly, I was gripped by fear. I felt an overwhelming urgency and need for me to essentially figure my life out within the space of 5 days, having been so heavily invested into this conference. I was afraid because I recently entered a relationship, and wouldn’t have been surprised if God called me to something that meant leaving her behind. I was afraid of missing completely whatever God brought me to this place to do, learn, hear or see. This pressure was so immense that half way through the experience, I broke down. It was too much for me.

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This was all within His plan for me then. I came face to face with myself, and with a grand proposition: to let go of my fears, and place everything in His hands. Now I know that at times we tend to generalize this concept of “everything” to typically mean everything with regards to our situation, but I’d like to emphasize what I mean by everything. In that moment, I resolved to entrust my security in having a job, a potential future wife, a (somewhat put together) plan for my life…. in essence, every thing that I consider to be of value – that was what I placed in His hands. It was beautiful. I became opened up to His world of love for me, and able to subject myself to His divine authority. His authority isn’t a basic thing, mind you. He is able to control the seas, the skies… death itself… why wouldn’t I want to be under the authority and control of such an awesome Person?

I was exposed to a wealth of things. Among this was a real appreciation of the Global church: students from all around the world were gathered in this one place; different languages, races and backgrounds, all in worship to the one true God. You bet it was amazing! We were also exposed to the persecution that exists among some of the body. It encouraged us to always remember them, both to pray for them and to take advantage of every opportunity we have to advance His kingdom wherever we are.

There’s so much more I can say, but for now, I’d encourage you to truly seek Him with all of your heart, so that you will find Him. Let go of reservations you may have about giving Him your all; I guarantee that you won’t regret it. It was said in the conference that either Christ is Lord of all, or He isn’t Lord at all. Think about that as you go about reflecting your day. Hope you enjoyed! We aren’t done catching up yet… don’t worry 😉

Catching up – Part 1: No Turning Back

After an agonizingly long period of procrastination and mustering guilt I have decided to finally return to this blog and greet you with a resolute hello…

Hi! 😀

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I wish that I could turn back time and essentially delineate every detail of my life over the past couple of months in a way that you all can read and benefit from,  but alas, time has its own plans. Nevertheless, I can guarantee with all certainly that those details were in fact life changing. In the best and most certain way ever. My faith has been rewarded, tested and tested again. My focus and resolve elevated to the most prestigious height of honoring Jesus Christ with my life. I’ve met someone with whom I’d like to share that privilege with. This condensed summary could hardly ever do justice to it, so I do hope to share a bit more in the near future. But for now, I must share a few things.

As of the end of last year, I have resolved to dedicate my life to the service of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with intentions of participating in both short and long term global missions. This has come out of what I believe to be God’s hand over my life, following the ending of my tenure as the President of a Christian group on my campus, where I had hoped to graduate last year, but instead have a few courses to finish up. I was really seeking God for direction as to what my next step for Him would be, and certainly was surprised to find myself where I am today. I’ve yet to actually set out on any missionary activities just yet, but we’ll see how that goes.

I’m sure you’re all wondering however… What made you decide such a radical thing?

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“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.”

To be honest, I always told myself that I could never have my life regress to the mundane  routine of working at a job, providing for my family and going to church on Sunday morning. It simply isn’t me. For some that’s all they could ever think about, but it’s not the life I want to lead. I want to live my life serving Him in a more real and active way (not to say that a life cannot serve Christ under these circumstances).

I came to understand and appreciate the sacrifice that Christ paid for us. He sacrificed livelihood, fame, fortune and comfort… even His very life for us. His business, at every waking hour of His life, was in servitude to His Father and by extension, for us. His mission was us. We – the undeserving, self-seeking unrighteous people who could never dream of making it to heaven without God’s intervention. He was the one who showed his authority over the weather, sickness and even death… who wouldn’t want to follow this man? These things were somewhat meaningful to me previously, but it only truly struck home after I heard of the many stories of those who did follow Him.

I was able to hear stories of brothers and sisters from around the world who lost their families, their education and any hope of success in order to follow Christ and His message. They stored up treasures for themselves in heaven, and counted everything as loss, save that they could share in the love and fellowship of Christ, and tell others about Him. My heart leaped out of its bony cage and wept for my lack of seriousness with my approach to the cross. It ached and burned to once again fall in love with Jesus, and to desire to serve Him with all my life.

Perhaps this brief story of mine isn’t enough to get you to want to do the same. Perhaps, you’re now intrigued and would like to hear more. I pray that you keep posted and come along with me on this journey to help discover what led me to where I am currently in my next blog entry, where I will actually talk about the conference that I went to this past December, and get into the meat of the meal. Meanwhile, it’s been a pleasure speaking with you all once again, and I hope that this rekindles our great adventures together, displaying God’s glory through our own lives and experiences. I love you all, and pray for you to love Him too 😀

Have a great day!

 

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