Out of my comfort zone
This time a year ago, I was sitting on my couch afraid because I doubted how God was ever going to use someone like me; a girl who has to grasp just to stay afloat. I remember sitting on my couch this time last year too scared to press ‘publish’ on my first blog because I didn’t see what purpose it would bring or if I’d last blogging- funny as God is, a year later I’m still doing it, still not understanding how God managed to bring this blog this far.
I can go on and on about the journey, but what I am so thankful for is that God blessed me with a platform to express Him intimately with everyone. I often have moments where all I don’t want to do is blog 😕 but I have to admit that above all the amazing things I experience, there is nothing more fulfilling than encouraging believers to continue their walk to the finish line, and to encourAge non-believers to get to know God, who is living and is very real!
At the bottom of my name at the top of my site is the bible reference Mark 4: 26-29 – the parable of the growing seed.
26 Jesus went on to say, “The Kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed in his field. 27 He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet he does not know how it happens. 28 The soil itself makes the plants grow and bear fruit; first the tender stalk appears, then the head, and finally the head full of grain. 29 When the grain is ripe, the man starts cutting it with his sickle, because harvest time has come.
In many ways I love this because it illustrates an unexplainable glory about God that inspires me. The parable describes what the Kingdom is like. I can’t help but think that its what God’s power, grace and kindness is like. – He is the soil of all good things, love, mercy, healing, joy, and strength. In spite of who we are, or where we’ve come from, we are His seeds. He planted us in this soil as seeds gracefully scattered into the richness of Him. His intention is that in Him we will never be uprooted. His intention is for us to grow, and bear the fruits of His love, of everything that He is. “A man scatters his seed in his field. He sleeps at night, is up and about during the day, and all the while the seeds are sprouting and growing. Yet, he does not know how it happens.” – if from one plant is more seeds, imagine what it will be like when we are scattering our seeds? Sacraficially, Christ becomes the foundation that we build from so we can reach harvest, alive in Him, free in Him! – whose soil are you rooted in? What fruit are You bearing? Where are You scattering Your seeds?
Thankyou God for all You are and all that You are doing! Thankyou for this opportunity to write blogs, it’s only been a year but it has been a year of growth in my relationship with You.
Bless the reader of these posts, speak to them in a way only You know how. Amen!
A personal reflection for this post. Feeling a whole lot of emotions, experiencing heaps this week and last. I asked God for something new to change up the journey a little, for some new challenges, and He did just that. Easter Monday, I was sitting in aisle alone waiting for church to start, and a couple that I had never seen comes sit right up next to me. I was blown away with the total randomness of the mysterious couple, who took hold of my hand during a prayer, then hugged me like a familiar friend. Wanted to speak to them after church but I couldn’t find them. I know it was God, who used this couple to reassure me of the journey I’m travelling, giving me the peace I needed to go with Jesus in this season.
I’m totally thankful to God for this whole week in general. For some reason after Easter he’s turned me into a softy, lol because I’ve cried randomly more often than usual. It’s not that normal for me to cry, I’m usually a softy by personality, but try to make me cry, and I probably won’t. But this time, in particular, I’ve seen a light in the most unusual things; a lady’s smile, writing, just sitting still lol, watching my nieces and nephews… I’m thinking: well okay God, I’m thirsty for You but I sorta need my tears haha…what if it’s Jesus who is thirsty for me? Wanting me to experience this love, this confidence that He’s in every moment of every day…
Anyway, just out of the blue. I feell like sharing that I just watched the movie ‘Home’, the kids movie that has recently been released. I’m on and off with watching movies, again, like reading books, I’m sort of ‘those’ people; I’ll watch when it stands out to me (lol -_-) indecisive in the sense. But anyhow.. it was the Home movie I watched when I took my ‘kids’ to the movies, lol… turns out, it’s an amazing watch. It’s funny, and fun, at the same time, portrays so beautifully the significance of friendship, love that comes from it and family. It portrays hope, and the hope that comes from mistakes… hehe sorta really passionate about this right now haha but do watch, iif it “stands out’ to you… haha But where was I going with this? lol
I watched this movie coincidentally after a week of being bombarded with family, but even more so, just as my brother departs the country to venture on. Me and my siblings are so close, it’s annoying lol, it’s the first ever time we’ve been separated with this distance, and I’m almost, slightly heart-broken that we won’t be all in the same room for a long time, but there’s actually something beautiful about what God has shown me, just now actually. I feel like God’s breaking comfort zones for me, for my family… big comfort zones, ones that I didn’t want broken, ones that I didn’t feel need to be broken… but God says… “Giovanna, I gave you a spirit of power, love, and self-control, not one of fear” (2 Tim 1: 7), I’ve equipped all those who trust me with my strength (Phillipians 4: 13), and there are times when what I will do will go beyond your own understanding (Proverbs 3: 5-6); TRUST ME. I have the plans that will prosper you, give you a future, one of hope (Jeremiah 29: 11-14)…”
I’m still, and I’m rested that Jesus is taking me, my family, my situations, to places I can’t see, but my faith does. Jesus resurrected in our lives, and comes to me through people, in the unexpected events of my day… and I can’t help but boast not of my love for Christ, but His for me,for us. I’m so thankful God, so so so thankful.
Hopefully that offers encouragement to keep you fighting the good fight! Have a good weekend! God Bless!!
p.s dont know if you read this Marcellus, but just in case you secretly do, I miss you soo much! It’s hard to not have you here, but Im excited for you!! I hope to get the courage some day to step out of the comforts of the good we got here, like you… but until then, don’t forget God’s leading with You. His love strengthens Your path, so all the best with this break through! Love you so much!!
Wow, took me long enough to get something up. The timing is evidence that I found it hard trying to write up something to describe my journey, something to testify on. Tried to write a poem, tried to be creative… sadly, couldn’t think of anything so I’m going to do what I know best and write a big long novel 🙂 It’s a lengthy read, but bear with me. I purposely left out intimate details of experiences I’ve had growing up, partly because it’s not easy to write about. In some way I’ve already shared part of my testimony and that’s in the posts I’ve already shared on this site, so when you’re up for the read go through some of my stuff and hopefully you get an account of why I love God so much. I know reading isn’t for everyone, so search up youtube for someone else’s testimony. If there’s one thing I’m adamant on, it’s that the God I experience love from, is the same God you encounter, the same God in the bible, so on and so forth. So if you hear someone else’s testimony, even though their journey is different and the details of their life are not the same, I am certain that God’s Presence and the way He has showed unto them love and mercy is the same way I have experienced God. (Also, don’t hesitate to skim through all the wordy bits haha I’m a wordy kinda gal, can’t help it.) Enjoy.
If you are someone who has a broken past, and you have done things you are not proud of; I want to tell you that I was there too….
Fortunately for me, I grew up in a Christian home and had the teachings embedded in my school, and through my family.
All glory to God that I have never suffered from alcohol or drug abuse, haven’t rebelled from my parents, nor have I been a broken tale of boys and heartbreaks.
By grace, I was saved from that walk of life. But don’t get me wrong, I’ve experienced some of those things, like any other teenager going through high-school or univeristy’; it just so happens to be I wasn’t satisfied to be about ‘that life’.
I was a wreck in the sense that I thought I needed no-one, at times, not even God. I was so convinced that I had a good head on my shoulder’s, I was on the right track, so my relationship with God was not the priority for me. Like a person who craves the wild party life, I craved success and self-achievement. I never exploited my dignity as you would see on the tv with girls who wear barely anything, or crowd around guys, but I wouldn’t see myself any different from them, because like those girl’s…. I had insecurities. I wasn’t quite sure of my worth, so I didn’t feel confident in myself, so I lied to be safe and I was safe because I lied. Does that make me any different from a criminal?…. I don’t think so. You might think “Okay Giovanna, it’s a bit dramatic.” But what I’m trying to show you is that sin is sin and when I thought I was a good-girl, who didn’t do what society defined as ‘bad’, I was doing the one thing God never wanted, and that was to continue living as though I was okay with God.
What made me decide to commit to my faith is when I saw the way God had worked miracles in my life. The first, most vivid time I remember was when I was about 10; when I made my first prayer in distress. I had a scalp problem which hurt, and caused bad migraines and broken sleep. In order for my scalp to heal I was told that I had to shave my hair off. You can imagine what a 10 year old girl like me felt like. I remember being in my room, crying so hard because I loved my hair, and long story short, it was the first time I can remember vividly that I got on my knees and begged God to save my hair (lol not my scalp), and take away the pain. The day after that my hair stayed, and the year and a half after miraculously my scalp was completely healed. Since then I have never had problems with it, and in a beautiful way God blessed me with beautiful hair that is a physical reminder of the way God see’s me as His jewel.
That among so many other stories is a time I’ve cried out to God, and He answered, 10x more. You would think that after that experience of a miracle I would drop life and commit to Him straight away, but nope, He let me experience my teens and go about living a materialistic life, living as if a relationship with Him wasn’t important.
I talk about another really important milestone of my journey in the post I wrote called ‘Falling in love’. In regards to what I wrote about in that post, it was the first time I appreciated, properly, the magnitude of God’s love for me. I won’t pin point an official time I decided to commit to God, because even now, I’m still learning what it means to abandon myself to Him. I’m just so very thankful that He gifted me the spirit of wisdom, and hope because without it, I wouldn’t know where I would start.
If I had an opportunity to speak to people who were non-believers, or who desire a stronger relationship with our Jesus; as an account for my hope, I would say this:
The bible is not made up of fictional stories passed down from generation to generation. If this was the case, why has this one book not disappeared in history like other historical evidence? A man called Jesus walked the same world as you, and I. He lived a life dedicated to spreading love and hope; in His teachings he showed us how to love, to forgive, and remain faithful in the goodness of the Holy Spirit. This wouldn’t cut it with the people of His time, so He willingly accepted His fate and endured pain, beatings, and carried a cross to Calvary to be crucified.
With this death He paid the price of any sin we have ever committed before God; this was how much he loved us. He knew that when we do something sinful there was a price to pay and this was a life with no hope; continuously seeking redemption. So he did what no other person would do, and was nailed to the cross to show us, that nothing we will do could separate us from the love of God. He also showed us that we too, can die to sin, and overcome the devil, and all bad things that come from his lies. Just as he resurrected three days after, Jesus proved that there is a better life after death, but to have it requires that we work towards it
. I can’t express enough how fulfilling it is to believe in something higher than this world.
Most people are sitting around waiting to have proof before they will believe in God. There too many people focusing on other people’s way of living but forget that love is a domino effect. When we learn to love God, we learn to love ourselves, and then we are able to love others. There is no wrong or right way to follow Christ, He dwells in us (Acts 17: 28) so all that is required is a heart willing to commit. People are living in too much time, until soon, time will not be enough and we are made to face all that we have done on this temporary time on earth.
I can testify that committing to God doesn’t mean that you switch lives. As I have said in other posts, change comes gracefully. The commitment comes when you give God more than an a few minutes of your day thanking Him for the life we live, and then asking Him to walk His will. But what is His will? It is always that which is best for us, because God is love.
My life now is a testimony I’m working on. My testimony is the life I could have had if it weren’t for the people who came into my life and reminded me that a relationship with God is a growth experience. It takes times. It requires a sacrifice of lifestyle choices, or behaviours that don’t have God as the priority. It requires prayer, devotion, and forgiveness. This relationship requires your will to live as an example of God living through you.
I’m far from perfect, and I have a long way to go, but often, I ask myself; “Is all that I am doing in life giving other people around me hope that there is more to life than the world we live in? Do I love people as much as I know God loves me?” If I feel I’m not doing so, then there is something I’m doing wrong. But if I am, then humbly I thank God, and all the people in my life who have done so, so I am able to live as a proud Christian.
Thanks for reading! 🙂
Had a good catch up with friends this evening (nz time). One of the reasons that makes me love God all the more is because of who He places in my life, esp.my ‘mains’ (lol gang name I have for the three girls that I’m unfortunately friends with :p I can’t say any more about them though because I know they read my blog and I don’t want them to think their special, because their not…lol and I’m kidding, it’s not a gang name, it how we refer to each other)
Anyhow. we were talking and they suggested that I shared my testimony. Now, don’t judge me but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I understood what a ‘personal testimony’ was. In my church we knew it as something else. (Without getting too much into the differences in Christian denominations, if your Catholic, I’ve read that a personal testimony is what we know as our ‘conversion experience’) An account of how we came to know of God, and what it took, ‘personally’ to make a commitment to Christianity. I used to be a tad confused because I’ve known and believed in God all my life, but I understand now that it’s not enough to know ‘about God’ and it’s not even enough to ‘sub-consciously’ know that I ‘love God’. Based on the testimonies I’ve heard from so many other people, I can see that believing in God and committing to God is two different things. Committing to Him includes a lot of sacrificing of lifestyle choices and behaviours that we have become accustomed to because of the way society has defined ‘fulfillment’.
I find it hard to talk about my testimony because 1. I have never shared one. 2. Does it make sense that I feel like I’m still living in an ongoing testimony?
If you’re wondering why a personal testimony is important to tell 1 Peter 3:15 explains perfectly
15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect
If you’re like me and you have never shared a personal testimony, or you’re unsure of where to begin,in the blog posts coming soon I will attempt to write my personal testimonys and hopefully encourage you or even to think about your own. It’s always nice to revisit where it all started 🙂
(p.s. a thank you to my friends for encouraging me to share mine. Have to wonder why I have bad joker’s as friends lol but I’m thankful for your wise words and God-fearing hearts. Any God-fearing guys out there want their number? hahahahah kidding!! )
Have a good weekend, God bless!
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.Yes, wait for the Lord.
-Psalm 27: 14
Some encouragement to start the sort-of start to the week. I think ‘the wait’ or ‘to wait’ is something we all do, esp. in terms of the future .. waiting on a job, school, family, baby. marriage, travel, big or small lifestyle changes. The wait on our future and the ‘what’s-next-in-life’ is all that everyone thinks about. And even though the bible tells us that we shouldn’t worry about what tomorrow bring’s, God definitely understands that we get a tad anxious or stressed or worried or fearful about what next?
Waiting on God is never the easiest thing to do but God asks us to do it. I’ve got all the patience for about a month, a week, a days or even hour’s in, but I won’t deny that it gets hard, if not too hard to wait… and wait… and wait lol it’s only weakness or maybe even temptation that I start getting anxious or worried or stressed… or all of that at once lol. We have faith in a humorous God who doesn’t just ask us to wait, but in the process he’s chucking in some challenges, adding on some detours, and maybe even road blocks. We end up finding that it isn’t just a wait, He makes it productive, makes us do things outside our comfort zone. (and it’s not easy haha for me anyway). One thing I know for sure is that God doesn’t do it for no reason. Just as it says in Romans 8: 28 or in Ecclesiastes 3: 11, if God is controlling the situation, you can guarantee that it will all work for our good.
It’s not about the promise of what God can do in what we are waiting for, it’s how we change and who we become as a result of ‘the wait’ and coming to know how God so loves us. What can knowing of God’s love do for you? It can do everything that’s missing in your life and more. It’s actually not something I can define, I guess the only way to know is by finding out yourself.
Your wait might not even be that long, your wait may have just started… but remember it’s worth it! Also remember that sometimes it’s not going to be a wait of patience. Wait faithfully.
I’ll pray for your wait 🙂
Never quite believed in the saying “brighter things await at the end of the tunnel” (or however it goes lol) and this was Because if I was having a pretty faith-testing or stressful week I never wanted to know the outcome because I would be in fear of things turning out not the way I wanted it to. I would pray for the strength to handle stressful situations, or for God to take care of what was burdening me but as soon as I finished praying Id go back to feeling anxious, fearful and let my thoughts eat at me…… It was Faith without faith. And I put limits on God cause I made the situation bigger than Him.
In the week just gone (on a Monday) the head of department of the School of Nursing set up a meeting with me to discuss the results of an exam that was compulsory for all students to pass. Everyone I spoke to had already got their marks except me so I was thinking the ultimate worse! Thought I was going to be told that I had to drop out and start again next year, thought I needed to repeat my degree- every negative thought was on replay. I did so much praying but I felt like I was only praying to make me feel better, like I knew God was listening but he wasn’t able to get me out of the situation. Sort of the feeling you get when youve done something bad, your hoping not to get in trouble but deep down you know you will, there was just no way of getting out of it. That was me.
– I asked God to spare me of the possibilities. Because I knew….that exam was one I never studied for, didn’t put the effort in because my time management is shocking lol, and so in my thinking: “God was going to let me live with the consequences of a lack of commitment in a degree that I was only placed in because He put me there”…... So like a guilty child who knew they should of done right by their parent, I was asking God for a second chance, I was not ready to let a lack of study and just pure laziness determine my whole length of study at University.
So long story short (because I have a bad habit of going on and on lol), two days before the meeting (scheduled for the Friday of that week) my sister had posted up a link on the story shared by the wife of Joel Osteen (search him up on YouTube, he speaks volumes of Wisdom and love for God). The story described a woman of faith. In a nut shell, she seeked healing and saw an opportunity to be healed by Jesus, who was walking through the town…. She suffered years of having the illness consume her spirit, she wanted to be free. Crowds gathered around Jesus, but she pushed through the crowds with faith that held her determination to reach him. She managed to touch the end of His cloak and instantly she was healed. Of all those surrounding Jesus, he felt her touch, and recognised the power of her Faith in Him. The relevance of the story was quite overwhelming. Two days before a meeting I was extremely worried about, I had God remind me that his grace was nevereneding, and that my faith needed to match. But believing wasn’t just me subconsciously asking, i needed to trust confidently, like the story of the woman in the bible, that God will take care of me.
At the end, the meeting was no more than 5mins, she gave me an opportunity to complete a section in the exam paper I got wrong, and with her smile she reassured me that she believed in me. And to think that hours before that I was just about in tears.
—Straight after, I got told I got a job with the university (one I desperately needed). God answered more than one prayer all at once.
My situation is one of so many times God has come through for me.
I saw the way my fears tried to eat me up. I saw Grace give me another chance and if I continued to neglect my studies God could leave me to live the consequences to teach me a lesson lol.
…. I was reminded again that I can’t put limits on God anymore. Its like telling a person who can walk that they couldn’t.
I posted in my last blog that believing makes things possible, and I’m more than willing to admit I fell short of knowing that during that last week
…..What I forgot to mention in that last blog, is that believing ain’t easy- it takes the core of your heart to keep the faith, it can be tiring, its hard, frustrating at times and challenges even the most faithful.
…..But what’s beautiful is that God only requires a mustard seed.
He had to let me go through a really hard week to remind me that he never breaks promises!
I understand that God won’t always get me out of situations like that of which I experienced. I understand that Grace enbled me to recieve the blessing. I realise that Faith isn’t clear-cut, I can’t always depend on seeing things physically just to be reassured. I need to Pray with an Honest heart, take my prayer seriously and know that as soon as I say “Amen” it will be done.
I had a tough week for sure, but after Friday I welcomed more blessings. Got to hang out with my family after so long, didn’t have transport to my tutorial in the city and to a friends birthday and had it all covered! And I had a good time witnessing a good friend turn 21!
Although I feel unworthy Lord, Thankyou for walking this journey with me, for your Love that covers a multitude of my sins….
(die hard Beyonce fans, I’m not mocking her don’t worry lol)
Ever felt weird after doing something out of the ordinary?…. Like, the first ever time you yelled at someone and you knew that they knew it wasn’t you to yell. And then afterwards you’d feel like weird or awkward about doing it, and wished you didn’t do it. (am I even making sense? Lol). that feeling was me this morning when I realised I “blogged” :’) was so tempted to like delete this and pretend like I didn’t act all macho the night before. Lol but no. “I’m committed, I’m committed” lol
For real though, I have no clue what im getting myself into with blogging, I don’t know enough about it. Like, is it safe? What do I write about? How often? So I decided; I’m going to write when I feel like there’s a need to, and I’ll write for Purpose. It would be real good to know I make a difference with someone, somewhere even with my grammatically incorrect sentences. 😂:roll:
Challenging you to try something new. Don’t weigh it up or compare it to how you Think others will respond to it. Just do it. Do something you Know is not a ‘you’ thing to do. I Promise, whatever it Is will contribute to something or someone.