The F word

Okay get your mind out of the gutter! I’m talking about forgiveness today.
When some people or myself included hear the word forgiveness we sometimes act as if someone just swore at us. Forgive? Who? What did you say? I don’t need to forgive! They need to be sorry, They need to pay, He/She doesn’t deserve this and that!
I used to talk to my friend about “fairness” it wasn’t fair that her Dad an amazing Father, Pastor, and Husband ended passing away from cancer. The other hand my Dad who had done terrible things, hurt my Mum, myself and others, was living his life seemingly fine. It used to really annoy me and make me angry!

As I got older I thought I was fine, I had forgiven my Dad of the hurt he caused to people around him and if I didn’t have to talk about him or think about him then everything was just great! 

Moving to Japan brought up many undealt with issues for me, a lot of people were interested in my racial background, where my Mum was from, my Dad, how they met, where they live now, why I speak English, what they do for jobs…..etc 

Every single time these questions started I would get this super power and laser beams would shoot through my eyes and make holes in the wall! Haha not really okay but that’s what was happening inside if you could see what I was feeling.

One day I was journaling and I was asking God to show me any areas that I needed to change, forgiveness scriptures kept coming up and I was like “yeah forgiveness is good” and I felt God telling me “Hey, you have an issue of forgiveness, like rust on a car you’ve started out with a scratch and you’ve let it eat away at many parts of your life and you need to cut it out”. Well, that was a bit of a wake up call. I saw some areas where I was lacking joy, struggling in and almost every area was effected by this “rust”.
So I asked God “How then?” 
And a voice said “Trust me, am I the judge or you? Are you perfect or am I?” 

And I knew instead of letting God be God in that area of my life I was trying to hold on so that I could feel in charge of my situation. 

I had to make a decision to cut out that unforgiveness and see Gods healing power come through in my life. Letting go of hurts, disappointments and even injustice in my eyes because I don’t see the big picture and God always does.

Now I can freely talk about my childhood and about my Dad without destroying the room with laser beams but easily and calmly and God uses those situations always for his good.
I hope if you are dealing with the F word at the moment, Jesus has the power to heal you and set you free! Let God cut out your rust and make you new, free and full of joy! 

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”‭‭ Ephesians‬ ‭4:31-32‬ ‭

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Dear 15 year old me

Today I thought I’d do something a little different. What would I say to the 15 year old me? The person half my age now.

Hi, it’s me….you at 30. Let me share with you 10 insights to help you see through the next 15 years. 

1. You’re at highschool now, what an awesome place. You get to see your friends everyday, learn for free, your mum makes your lunch and at the moment you are studying Art, dance, photography. You think it’s because you are not engaged enough or smart enough to be interested in subjects like maths, science, economics. Actually it’s not that, you are a Creative and guess what that’s Absolutely O.K! It’s actually wonderful and will give you many opportunities in the future and the world needs creative minds!

2. About your friends, those girls that you surround yourself with. You have got a pretty amazing group of sisters around you. Cherish them, love them, be honest with them. They will be there doing life with you through the years and their friendships are much more valuable than Gold. 

3. Being brought up in the church does not mean you are missing out, having a relationship with Jesus is not causing lack in your life, you gain. You have gained so much opportunities, friendships, freedom, unlimited love and knowledge from being brought up there and getting to know about Jesus at a young age. People that don’t know Jesus are actually the ones that are missing out on so much. So give them the chance. You are so fortunate to be brought up with such a special and unique group of people. It’s not what everyone has. To grow up with people that you look to like brothers and sisters, aunts and Uncles and they all want the best for you is incredible. To be able to jump on a microphone or an instrument or learn lighting or how to organize an event is worth so much more than you realize right now.

4. Those programs you like watching like “friends” “home and away” or lots of movies you watch, they are shaping your view on society and your view on relationships. Relationships are not meant to be like that. You don’t need to live like them. And it’s not okay for guys opinions to be the standard of your value. You have been made awesome and you don’t need to prove that to anyone.

5. Keep laughing at everything, keep having joy. Those people telling you “life is serious” are too serious. 

6. Embrace your culture, learn about it, it’s not an embarrassing thing!

7. Just say Thank you a lot, appreciate people. You don’t know how much time you have with them.

8. Don’t get into credit card debt-oh my gosh! Do not do it! You think you will be paying that back but really you will be paying back interest for a long long time.

9. Stop trying to cram the bible into one day a week, you always end up not reading it properly and dread doing it. How about read a little bit everyday and write down what is standing out to you and then apply it to your life. God actually wants to talk to you every single day through his word. It will change so many of your situations.

10. You can go as far as you like from God and try and run away from him but you will never ever be satisfied, because He is the source of true life. 

 

“Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”‭‭ Proverbs‬ ‭23:17-18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I tripped up in front of everyone

Let’s go back to my first year at highschool, the field was surrounded by little hills of grass where all the first year students liked to sit and hang out. Basically, if you were doing anything on the field everyone could watch. 

One day I saw my youth Pastor at the end of the field and filled with excitement I ran my little heart out to her to say hi. 

As I was running like an Olympic runner, I felt my bag go over my head and my body do a flip in the air, as I fell to the ground the school giant sprinkler started spraying water all over me. 

When I stood up I turned around to see mounds of people rolling up and down the hill in fits of laughter. 

The rest of the year people would come up to me and say “Had a nice trip?” All in good fun of course and we’d all have a laugh, even now the epic fail still sometimes comes up.

Hey, we all have tripped up right?

What happens in life when we fall down in front of everyone, sometimes we feel like everyone is on the side watching us as we fall, make a mistake or have an epic fail. 

I know I have had some major slip ups and it was pretty hard for me to get back up again. There are these voices or reminders that come up “had a nice trip”, “remember when”, “you’re not good enough because” but those words and feelings are not from God. 

It’s says in Micah 7:19 “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!”

God is so great and so big and so amazing that when we come to him for forgiveness and say “I tripped up and fell” he picks us up, wipes us off and throws that sin into the depth of the sea!

Ignore those negative voices of condemnation and hold onto Gods grace and love.

With him we can always get back up, learn from our mistakes and continue to move forward in his grace and love! 

So you’re lucky enough to know my weak points.

Why does it seem that people are able to talk about someone they hardly know so well but those close to them are full of weaknesses?
It’s actually a privilege to know someone’s weakness. We often can see someone’s good points very fast, it’s almost like they are highlighted to us and as we get closer we see that this person is full of blemishes. 
If someone knows me very well and they choose to be my friend and love me despite my imperfections then I’ve just found a good friend.
What we choose to do with our overall knowledge of this person is where the level of friendship and Gods love comes in.
Do we choose to shine light on this persons strengths to others or do we tell others what we have observed or know about our friends faults. 
“Oh yes, she’s super generous but she doesn’t know how to save”

“She’s a good singer but she isn’t good at this and this”

“Yeah she’s got a high paid job but she talks about it too much”

What we decide to say shapes other people’s images of our friends and families.
We choose what words come out our mouth and what we choose to say to others. 
I want people to find out that I have been taking behind their back but in a good way, shining light on their good points and speaking life about them. 

How amazing if someone finds out you have been talking about them and they say “wow she really said that about me” and instead of feeling hurt they are feeling uplifted and empowered. 

There is no perfect person, no perfect family, no perfect church, job, husband or wife. The closer you get you will know and see the amazing and not so amazing parts and it’s a privilege to see those things.

Let’s choose to shine and give life to people, whether they are in the room or not. Speaking life and love about our relationships. 

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬