Real Talk: My Depression.

You know, it’s been ages since I’ve last written one of these. It’s like visiting an old friend; the joys and memories of times gone by, but a grim, real undertone that you know that you won’t see them for a while after you leave. Hopefully, that reality is in fact an illusion, but knowing myself, it probably isn’t. I’ll still look forward to seeing this side of my blog again, and more frequently too 🙂

I’ve come here to talk about a little thing called depression.  The truth is that there are many people out there who suffer from it, but either don’t know or refuse to admit it. Some recognize it, but instead of seeking the help they need to overcome it, try to tough it out and end up only hurting themselves more. Most people say things along the lines of “that’ll never happen to me.” The truth is, life happens. Things come our way and they might just deal a number on you, and there’s nothing that can change about that, except how you choose to react to it.

I’m writing this because life has happened to me, with many things and pressures welling up around me. I chose to ‘tough it out’ as well, being hopelessly optimistic and not taking the time to accept, grieve and move forward. Eventually, I became a casualty to depression. I’ve always thought of myself of being a strong person, but I guess even strong people can grow weak after enduring for so long.

Before I continue, I do believe it is prudent of me to issue a few disclaimers. This is not an invitation to a pity party. I do appreciate those who may as a result of this might be concerned, but please; just keep me in your prayers if you wish to do something, instead of rushing over to my aid. I do not wish to glorify this situation and give it any more attention than it needs to be given, but rather glorify Christ, who is my strength in my time of weakness. If you ask me if I’m okay, I will say no. If you ask me why, I will most likely ignore you.

Nevertheless, I do wish to share a few things with you; namely what it feels like for me, and how it affects me. If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s like a little shadow man that stands beside you all the time. If you distract yourself you can’t see him, but deep down you know he’s there. You give him the time of day however, and he’s all you can think about. He has a voice, and it’s not easy to ignore. When people compliment you, he convinces you that they’re lying. When bad things happen, he says it’s all your fault. He talks to the voices in your head, and they tell you that you’re worthless. They say you’ll never amount to anything. They say you are the reason for the troubles that your friends face, because you couldn’t do anything to help them. He encourages you to do bad things to make yourself feel better, but if you listen, you just feel guilty. He laughs at you. He drains you of your passions, and demotivates you from doing anything. Of course, he then ridicules you because you did nothing. He makes up reasons why people don’t talk to you at certain times. He says they don’t like you. He says that they don’t care about you, and are just trying to be nice to save face. He says you won’t survive.

You never really see him for who he is, until something serious happens. For me, it took a meeting with my manager asking why it is I’m behind in my projects for everything to surface. I was overcome with emotion, just trying to explain myself when tears started flowing. The meeting went on for about 20 minutes after that, but my tears never stopped. It wasn’t even like I was pouring my heart out or anything; they just couldn’t stop.

If it’s anything I learnt within this experience, was that I couldn’t go through this alone. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I thank God for the people who God has placed in my life who have been a support for me throughout this experience. People like Darnell, who allowed me to vent even when he was tired, and encouraged me to seek help. Like Azriel, who made his busy self available to me when I needed, and offered me accountability during my process. Like Jemima, who is such a joyous soul that you could never be sad around. Like Ruth, who knows me so well and checks up on me when something seems off. Like Monique, who’s friendship has been a blessing. Like the Jeremiah Fire squad, who never give up on me and gave me an outlet to express myself, and a drive to grow and become so much more than I already am.

The purpose of this was to raise awareness about the realness of depression. It is a real disease. There is no shame in admitting it, and definitely no shame in getting help. My hope is that you find someone to talk to. That you don’t keep it in. That little shadow man is nothing short of a monster, and not someone you should take lightly. My hope is that you spread the word. That you be a friend to someone in need. That you try your best to be kind to everyone, because you don’t know what they go through. That in the moments when you are your weakest and there’s nobody around, that the very presence of God will overtake you, and that the Holy Spirit will be your comfort and your guide.

Talk to somebody. Be somebody to talk to.

Zecks.

 

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Photo Credit to xm0nkeyx.

Real Talk: Health for the body; Health to the Soul

 

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So the truth of the matter is that I’ve been getting fat. Christmas was a little too kind to me and i fell for it’s charms… and it was glorious. It took the ‘loving hints’ from my girlfriend and an incident when I was going to buy a shirt and saw the magnificence of my belly in the dressing room to push me over the edge. Enough was enough; it was time to do something about it.

So I did what any person aspiring to get slim would do: I saddled up myself and headed on over to the gym. I started eating healthier too, and surely enough, that lil’ me protruding from my stomach is starting to go away. This week just completed would’ve been  two weeks since I’ve started, and I must admit, it feels pretty good! There were some interesting things I noted along the way though:

 

  • Eating Healthy nowadays is just so expensive
  • Even though you’re working out and it often feels good then, it’s not uncommon to feel like crap a day or two after
  • A proper diet is essential and not just trying hard
  • It gets easier.
  • Having people to support you and be accountable to makes it a lot easier to keep going.

A lot of people want to get smaller or in shape, but don’t really have the commitment to actually work it through. Some might start well and good, but fall away because they just couldn’t form the proper habits. And even after I lose that belly of mine, I know that I have to keep at it in order to maintain my figure and health. It wasn’t long before I realized that a lot of what it takes to remain physically healthy applies to your spiritual health as well.

For starters, a lot of Christians desire more of God and want to deepen their spiritual walk with Him, but aren’t prepared to take the steps necessary to get there. They might start off well and good, but fall away to their normal routines and skip out on devotions. The temptation to cheat on their spiritual diets are real, and they might take a “cheat day” and indulge in things that they know they shouldn’t. And yes, spiritual health is the most expensive of all; Jesus said that if any man wants to be His disciple, he must deny himself, pick up his cross and follow Him. That definitely is more expensive than a protein shake or two.

Friends definitely make it easier though. We were never intended to live this life on our own, as Christ called us collectively to be His bride; and by banding together in unity, we have a much greater defense against whatever comes our way. It will take discipline, patience and consistency, but with the right ingredients and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can achieve that Body of Christ that He desires.

Train on Saints!

 

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photocredit to emillemily

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 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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Real Talk: What do you wanna do?

I was reading an article this morning on little something called burnout; something that I’m all too familiar with. A curious point that was raised was that of taking time for yourself. Intrigued as I was, from my experience I knew that this is a tried and true method of keeping yourself up to scratch for the things that you have to do, and so I decided that I should implement it. I should take time to do some of the things that I enjoy, in order to mentally recuperate and be on top of the game.. and to enjoy life! Naturally, a certain question came up following this decision.

“What do you wanna do?”

I immediately began to list several activities that I normally do (posting to this blog was one of them, which , as you could see, hasn’t been done much lately) and in the midst of the whirring of my mental fan trying to cool my brain from all this processing, something clicked, and I interrupted myself. I was listing things I can do, but not things that I want to do. I began to rattle off to myself about unfinished projects and little things that I’d like to finish or continue, but nothing that I truly found enjoyment in doing. Those things were more than likely to just become more tasks that I’d have to do, and eventually lead me to being burnt out more than I was before.

Further to that, I extrapolated this concept a little further. Why do we do anything that we do? Do we enjoy  it? By enjoy, I l-Tired-puppy-is-tireddo not necessarily mean a direct happiness derived from what we do, but rather an acceptable standard of return or utility from what we do. When it is that we become faced with a mountain of tasks and no real measure of enjoyment from them, it’s only natural that we shall loose our keen and become dull to the actual pleasures of life that surround us. I believe this is even true of our walk with God.

I’ve been an active member of my church for a couple of years. I’m involved in a lot of things typically, and after having become involved in campus ministry last year, a few of these responsibilities slipped through the cracks. Mentally, it crushed me. I felt so obligated to do all these things, but my mind and body simply couldn’t handle it. It left me torn between trying to meet the demands I can  without any consideration for self, and dropping a few things to be able to manage, but hating myself for it. I chose the former, and lived to regret it later. I couldn’t give my 100% to all that I did, and it costed me in the long run.

Knowing the God that we serve, we can’t believe that us slaving into the ground is what He wants for us. Psalm 100:2 says that we should serve the Lord with gladness. Our service should not only bring Him joy, but we should obtain a measure of joy in our service to Him as well! I don’t know about you but It’s pretty near impossible for me to serve Him with gladness when I’m tired and weary and refusing to rest.

So what do you like to do? Spending time with yourself, and moreover some quality time with God, is vital to survival. Doing too much? Stop! It may hurt to let go of things, but it will hurt to hold on even more. Prayerfully prioritize, and leave the rest alone. Trust me, you might just be better for it 😉

Have a great day everyone!

Ready for House

In Trinidad and Tobago, to be declared ‘ready for house’, one is seen to have certain qualities that supposedly prepare them for marriage. Typically, it’s often said of people who can cook. If anyone knows me, they would know that by measure of that yardstick, I am no way near ready for house. Pretty much by any yardstick for that matter, I find myself falling horribly short of that title, and often I’d jokingly make my boast in it. You should see my room right now. Of course, by then you’d have probably seen too much, and I’d have to erase your memory somehow. It really isn’t that bad though… I hope. The truth is, I’m hardly home, and by extension the house is the area to which I show the most neglect. At the very least, if you need someone to wash the dishes, I’m your guy 😉

Well, in recent times, a lot of the above forcefully changed.

You could say that I haven’t chosen the ‘ready for house life’, but the ready for house life has begun to choose me. The main caretaker of our home, my mother, has been in the hospital for a while due to a procedure that she had to do. My father works until really late, and my brother and I still have to eat and so on, so just like that we had to learn to cook in a trial of fire… literally. It wasn’t just cooking either. Cleaning the house, ironing clothes (my father handles the laundry otherwise) and yes, washing the dishes, were never all activities I would tell you that I`d be planning to do after work if you asked me about a week ago.

I’m not an expert chef or anything now, and my clothes still have a few wrinkles in them at the end of the day. So perhaps, I’m still not ready for house yet. The food didn’t burn and I’m alive to write this post, so I’d say I’m off to a good start. Strangely enough I’m glad for the opportunity that has been given to me, because I believe it is encouraging a level of maturity  that I haven’t experienced before, and if life has taught me anything, it’s that if this is the lesson, there will be a test… but I’ll be ready for it.

What has life taught me in all this? Life is precious. You take things for granted until you find yourself without them. You don’t have to go through or do things alone; let people help you. Cooking isn’t rocket science. Google makes everything a little easier. Trust God. His peace helps you have the strength to pull through, even when it’s hopeless. A handful of true friends is greater than a bucket of acquaintances. Rest is important.

Maybe you are ready for house. Perhaps you’re just like me and getting there by the grace of God, but no matter where you are, you’re always able to make a difference in your world. So pitch in today if you can; not just in your home, but in your school, workplace, church, community… wherever you see a need that you can help fill. A little sacrifice can go a long way. When Jesus died for us and paid our debts for our mistakes, His sacrifice stretched toward all eternity. In following His example, let’s try to see how our sacrifice can benefit others and make them happy. Trust me, you’ll be happy too 🙂 Enjoy your day everyone!

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Real Talk: On Being Mr. Right

So there is this girl that I like… and no. I’m not perfect for her. If I was, that’d be great, but none of us are really. We all try to be that for those we do hold in high esteem (or just happen to be attracted to, or both for that matter). We try our best to woo and please, because we want them to notice us. We want them to see us as Mister or Miss right, and we want them to be that for us as well. It’s a lovely, exciting time, isn’t it? Some call it the thrill of the chase, while others agonizingly enjoy each and every moment of it.

But what happens when we reveal ourselves as less than perfect?

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Whether they see it or not, we make mistakes sometimes. We can easily disappoint ourselves, or them. Sometimes it might be something small, or sometimes, not that small. The one thing that often is consistent however, is the guilt. We feel as sometimes, we fail them. Those who are especially critical might even go as far as to say they aren’t worthy of the target of their affection. At that point, it’s easy for anxieties to creep in and get the better of someone, turning a potential suitor into possibly just a friend, or even a complete stranger.

In the Book of Hosea, God instructs Hosea the prophet to marry Gomer, a prostitute. It was part of His plan to demonstrate to His people, the Israelites, how they failed Him, and how He felt about them in response. He made Hosea name some of His children things that translated to expressions such as “not pitied” and “not my people”, which was pretty harsh if you ask me. Being disowned by God is definitely not a nice thing.  They (Israel) worshipped many idols, and lost the love, faithfulness and mercy that was once among them. If you want a picture of how God felt about that, you could think of it as if they cheated on Him for someone else.

God still loved them however. Very much, in fact. He planned to remove from them the things that distracted them from the covenant that their ancestors made with Him, and to be reunited once more. He planned to clean them up, and take them back, which was why  Hosea had purchased Gomer back even after she cheated on him. She was by no means Ms. Right for Hosea, and far less the Israelites for God. If you think about it, that’s exactly what Jesus did for us. We made our mistakes, disobeyed God and were on our way to our rightful judgement of eternal punishment, but He loved us, and purchased us back.

Sometimes as Christians, and even in relationships, we do make our mistakes. We stress our hair grey with guilt because we believe our partners deserve better, and we know that God does. The thing is, as the Bible says, love covers a multitude of wrong. God has already forgiven us for our actions, and wants ,more than us becoming strangers to Him, for us to come back and let Him clean us up, and resume our relationship with Him. There is power in forgiveness, but you need to accept it. It takes a certain measure of love to be happy with someone when things are going well, but a greater love to overcome the lapses that do happen.

Want to be Mr. Right? Want to be Mrs. Right? Proverbs 24:16 says that the righteous falls seven times and rises again, In other words, don’t let your mistakes condemn you to the point of death. Get up, learn from them and move forward!

God bless everyone 🙂

Real talk: Be a Man!

There are several versions of what truly defines manhood. What does it really mean to be a man? Some see it as a game of how much hearts they can break without getting caught; what car they drive, how much sex they have… others find it in money and power. In the realm of Christianity, there also exists an idea of what manhood is. Some brethren and I (shout out to my dorm brothers 😉 ) were discussing this feature of manhood as it relates to women. For those of you familiar with the DISC personality profiles (it’s a really interesting thing to check out if you have the time) we came to the conclusion that females generally can have the tendency to be attracted to those who exhibit D-type traits.

In the church, we found that upon examination, we have a culture where such traits are usually frowned upon. That leading, commanding, authoritative sort of demeanour is often seen as not “Christ-like” and instead of grooming leaders and visionaries, the male product of the church often reflects one who is obedient and submissive (which, interestingly enough, is what God desires of wives for their husbands). As Christian men, we were instructed to love our wives as Christ loved the church, and gave his life for it.

What does this look like?

It’s often said that Boaz was a picture of Christ. In the book of Ruth, we see certain things about him and his behaviour to his soon to be bride, and it certainly wasn’t obedient and submissive. He respected her; he ensured that his male servants did not harass her in any way. He gave freely to her, with no intention of receiving in return. He instructed his men that while they were gathering up barley for the harvest, to leave a little more than extra so that during her gleaning for the extras that they left back she’d get a little more. He allowed her to be among his own maidens, to show her the ropes and guide her. He spoke to her with kindness; showing her favour that she felt as if she didn’t deserve.

He saw worth, and value in her. Did he love her from the start? Who knows. In the culture we live in, it’s impossible for is to see it any other way, with they way that he treated her. It was easy to paint the illustration manly-version_00358570of the analogy between him and Christ, because of the grace that he bestowed upon her, who was an outsider and had no entitlement toward his treatment whatsoever. But what of us, as men? Have we seen women in this way? Or do we?

We need to see the value in women; especially those who exhibit exemplary qualities as Ruth did. We may not have servants like Boaz did, or fields of barley, but we can still try to provide for that special woman, and protect her. He was very intentional about his actions, and so should we. A simple thing such as choosing what to eat for lunch shouldn’t be our kryptonite, and neither should leading those we love in the way that Boaz did. The real question to you is, how do you see yourself doing this practically? How do you go about showing forth your love toward that special someone?

I’m pretty sure that no matter what concept of manliness you ascribe to, you can agree that this guy was pretty manly. As a Christian, it’s important to know that our identity as a man is found not in the lady at our side, but the God in our hearts. He has the final say. He was our example, and I guarantee you that he was no pushover. His only time spent in submission was him actively demonstrating his love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, he died for us. Can you love like that? I’m not sure I can just yet. But I can guarantee you, I’m going to try my hardest to get there.

Real Talk: On being the Fifth Wheel

You know things get real when you’ve been promoted from being the third wheel to the fifth wheel. Believe you me, one does not simply look to catapult themselves into the wall of a group of two budding couples that hang out together willingly. I know for sure that I wouldn’t have, but it sort of just happened.

So how did I end up here in the first place?

J5J10 337Originally, as I said, I was once the novel third wheel, and comfortably so. Two of my very close friends had found the magic sparks that drew them into entering a blissful relationship that is soon to reach their first anniversary, and believe you me I a happy for them. It’s refreshing to see the way they interact with each other, mostly for the fact that it’s hilarious, but you always see the genuine love that they have for each other… even when they ‘step aside’ to have their ‘minor’ squabbles. It has reached so far to the point that they insist that I am their child, which I have no idea how it happened, but you never really know when it comes to those too.

Now there is this one friend who I have become travelling buddies with as she lives near to where I do, and so we’d usually leave campus together. She is also close to my ‘parents’ and so when she recently got together with a grateful young gentleman, it eventually happened that the two of them would hang out with us as well.

So there you have it… BAM! Instant fifth wheel! Just add water.

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Being the one who sits there and talks to my laptop instead of an actual person most of the time, I’ve come to see and appreciate many things. I often note the contrast between the pairs of tyres; one which just recently started and still is in the whole lovey-dovey phase of things, and the other which is further advanced. Many a day we were trying to get to the car when these two love birds would be walking slow (whether intentionally or not) and fall victim to our pleas for them to maintain the three second rule of hugging so that we can finally get on to getting home. Add that to the myriad of other sheepishly innocent and cute things that tend to happen between these four and you’d get enough aww’s to fill a barrel if you wanted to.

As expected, there is a negative side to it. Perhaps some of you thought there wasn’t a positive side to it at all 😛

save_my_love_for_loneliness-wallpaper-1920x1440It does get lonely sometimes. Especially those nights when we have those walks to the car. There really isn’t anything that they can do about it though; it’s just the way things are. If they try to do anything to make it less awkward, time has proven it usually does the opposite. So yea, we’re having none of that. It’s also challenging at times to relate with people who have somewhat different mindsets as you do. While I was in a relationship, most, if not all, of my friends were single. There was no one to share in their experiences of courtship, and when conversations about relationships did surface, it was from a purely single perspective due to the majority of those involved in the group, which I found wasn’t healthy for me. Now, it’s the reverse.

It tends to surface this subconscious pressure for me to find someone to go out with, which is never a good thing since it’s not simply a matter of getting someone, but finding someone who complements me well. The last thing I want is to end up right back where I am currently. Seeing this culture of courtship around me constantly however does put a damper on that frame of mind, and as we would say, the struggle gets real sometimes. Perhaps it’s because I’m viewed as the fifth wheel in the group as well, but there’s also some actual pressure into finding someone, when all I really want to do (and continue to do despite the situation) is simply to enjoy the moment and my singleness until that special someone does come along.

There are times when it seems just a tad bit too much, and I feel the urge to block them out indefinitely 😉 Of course, I won’t do that, but being the introvert that I am, the urge does come on now and then. I’ve often juggled with the thought of removing myself from this situation altogether, for perhaps it may be healthier for me as an individual, but I do value them greatly so even if such decisions are made, I’d still try my best to maintain good relations with them. Presently I haven’t been spending as much time with them as I used to because of the business of the semester, so it hasn’t been that bad, but we’ll see how it goes.

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All in all, they’re really good people, and I love them. We’ve had many a joyful time with each other, and I have no regrets about that much. Time will tell what choice I make in the end,  but for now, I accept it. I am [as much as I hate to admit it] the fifth wheel.

Real Talk: John’s Funeral

I’m pretty sure that many of you don’t know John. Truth is, I don’t quite know him myself either. I hope you all can humour me for a little while, and pretend that we do know him. Who was John? Who did John live with at his home? Did he even have a home? Was John married? Was his wife beautiful? Faithful even? What kind of car did he drive? What job did he own? What language did he speak? Feel free to leave a comment saying what thoughts came to your mind about John.

If you’re anything like me, you probably grew a little attached to John after ‘getting to know him’ a little bit. He seems like a cool guy, doesn’t he? Well I have some bad news for you… John is dead. He died a few days ago tragically of unknown causes. Life’s funny isn’t it?

So why mention John in the first place? John reveals to us a certain truth that we must recognize. His house, his job, his wife and his car all stay here on earth when he’s gone. There is absolutely no earthly treasure that can come with us when we die. It can’t help but make you wonder; why fight to earn so much wealth in the first place? King Solomon, one of the wisest men who ever lived, said that all is vanity. He had everything life has to offer; riches, women, power… and he found fulfilment in none of them. The only thing he truly found fulfilment in was putting his trust in the Lord.

It’s interesting that Jesus would come out and say to put our treasures in heaven, as opposed to on earth. I reminds me of

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6 :19,20

the parable of the talents, whereby a master went to a faraway land and designated talents, or money, to his servants in varying proportions. The servant whom was given the least chose to hide his away, while the rest invested what they were given and brought forth an increase. It wasn’t hard to see that when the master came back, that he was angry with the one who hid his talent away instead of investing it. When we work for our master, Jesus Christ, we invest into His Kingdom and store up treasures for ourselves there.

So what does it really mean to live this life? It’s not guaranteed to be an easy one. Storing up treasures in heaven means not storing up any for yourself, while remembering that God is our Provider and that we will be taken care of. A simple example of life not being an easy one is Moses. He lead God’s people out of Egypt, where they were held captive as slaves, and to a place where God promised; the Promised Land. If only he got to go there. God held him back and only let him see the land to which he dealt with a complaining, miserable people for 40 years. From a mountaintop. Far, far away. That must’ve been really tough on him.

Throughout the Bible we see experiences of people who served God, but didn’t have life go as expected. If you really want to hear about someone who had it rough, go read the book of Job. Some might say hey! That’s not fair! We toil and toil for His kingdom and that’s what we get? Surely this must be some kind of joke!

But let me remind you of the one they call Jesus.

Jesus was the first and last person ever on this earth to be completely innocent. Never did a hint of wrong in His life. Out of everyone, He definitely deserved to live it up while on this earth. In the end however, that’s not exactly how it played out. He was betrayed by one of His closest friends with a kiss (which if you think about it, is really messed up), beaten three-quarters to death, stripped naked, taunted, ridiculed and spat upon, before being sent to His death by way of crucifixion; the cruellest manner of execution known to man. And He did that… for us.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

So what of John’s funeral? If you didn’t realise by now, John is a representation of us. All the things that we own, that we strive for, should never come before the service of our God, who gave more than enough for us, that because He died and rose again on the third day, we have victory over our faults and failures. And what’s in it for us? A bunch of heavenly treasures at the end of our road, and being able to meet face to face with the One who loves us more than anyone else ever could. Keep working!

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