On the other side of frustration: The Assurance of Jesus

It was at least my 8th time attempting to make things work so I could move on with my work, but sometimes technology has a way of giving up on you especially when it knows you really need it. I had a deadline at work and this particular software chose the wrong day to not function. Did I mention I had a deadline? In my many attempts to make things work before the end of the workday, I was trying everything possible and with each attempt, my patience began to run thin and by my 8th attempt, I was frustrated. With absolutely no control over what was going on, I gave into my frustrations so I slammed my laptop, and slapped my hands over my face to express my frustration. I bet this sounds familiar to most of you, frustration is quite the emotion, right? I oftentimes think of frustration as that annoying deep itch you can’t reach in the middle of your back and if you are without help, you sit there with it in hopes that it will go away and it doesn’t. I want us to talk about the deep itch called frustration and how best we can get through it without losing ourselves.

REcognizing your frustration

I, first of all, would like to confirm with you that you are not the first and certainly will not be the last to experience frustration. Even the people of old were quite frustrated with their lives and situations, just most of us are at times. Frustration has a way of showing up when people are unable to attain what they personally what to fulfill. In the same way, it also in some way makes people feel like they have lost control over their own lives. A perfect example of worldwide shared frustration was with the COVID-19 pandemic. A lot of us experienced many frustrations due to the limitation and little control we had over the course of the pandemic. With these many frustrations being experienced, it was almost impossible to see the other side of our frustrations and be assured by God that things will go back to normal prior to the pandemic.

When we as humans get frustrated we are often consumed by the need to take back control and find stability by whatever means possible, let us face it, we love to be comfortable. We witnessed that a lot during the early months of the pandemic, might I remind you of all the bulk-buying of toilet paper and cleaning supplies (Yikes)? However, when we are frustrated, it is almost like that comfort is taken away from us and then we get so fixated on how we can get back to our comfort without finding the proper help to help us get on the other side of it all. Understandably, we all find ways to cope with our day-to-day frustrations, but there are long-term frustrations, people, still, experience and those types need the help of Jesus in order to get on the other side. Examples of long term frustrations are plenty, but here are a few; persons frustrated from the lack of career fulfillment, persons frustrated from the lack of having a baby after many years of trying, persons frustrated from many failed relationships, persons frustrated from a terminal illness, persons frustrated from the lack of sufficient funds to pay off debt…..I mean the list can go on, but these are some long-term frustrations that need the assurance of Jesus if we ever want to get to the other side of things. Notice how I mentioned “the lack of” in all the long-term frustration examples? I was not writing that just so I could flow with the text, long-term frustration are often times experienced due to the lack of something for prolonged periods of time. Unlike everyday work frustrations that can be fixed by the IT guy or sharing notes with your co-worker, long-term frustrations can be a tough thing to live through, and to some, they may feel impossible to overcome, but can I encourage you? I will share this famous Bible story and I hope it helps you see that on the other side of your frustration is the help and assurance of Jesus you have been looking for. What does the other side of frustration look like anyway?

Jesus ON the other sIDE OF FRUSTRATION

I couldn’t think of a better example of Jesus on the other side of frustration than this Bible story I will share with you. Granted, there are many bible stories that could help us understand that Jesus is our assurance in all things, but this Bible story is still fresh in my mind, you can read it for yourself (Luke 5 v 1-11) or if you are a visual learner like me, watch ‘The Chosen’. Last Saturday I took some time to watch a few episodes of ‘The Chosen’, an amazing Bible story series by the way. If you haven’t watched the show, I highly recommend it, my sister’s in Christ suggested it and I love it! I had a chance to watch the story of Simon Peter the day before his first meeting with Jesus. I liked the visual depiction of Simon Peter’s many frustrations throughout the episode. But there are these two particular scenes that lead me to think about frustration and Jesus. The first scene that got my attention was when Simon Peter was out fishing at night. He like most of us usually decides to take matters into our own hands, the idea of control and the dare need to attain our desires leads us to many frustrating situations just like Peter experienced. Back to the story, with every attempt to cast his net and catch fish, Simon Peter grew more and more frustrated, he frantically cast his nets to no avail, he also had help, but even with the help of his brother and fisherman friends, nothing was caught all night. How many of us just like Simon Peter had the help, but we’re still left with the dealings of our long-term frustrations? Our inability to get to the other side of frustration is not always because we do not have the help, it is because we have placed a limit on how things should happen based on our initial desire to fulfill our goals. This is where Jesus comes in.

Going back to the Bible story, the other scene from ‘The Chosen’ that caught my attention was Jesus meeting Simon Peter right after a very unsuccessful night of taking matters into his own hands. Jesus then notices that the fishermen have toiled all night with nothing caught, he sees their frustration, he then asked if he can use their boat as a pulpit to teach a small crowd by the shore. With their permission, he continues to teach the crowd and once he was done, he asks them about their night, and you guessed it, they express their frustration of being unable to catch any fish. He, Jesus then instructs them to cast their nets again and at his instructions, they cast their nets again. Something miraculous happened, they caught plenty of fish! A night of frustration quickly turned into a joyous celebration for Simon Peter and his friends. How does this relate to us you ask? Think about the many frustrations that keep you up at night, only to wake up to them again the next day. What was Jesus trying to show Simon Peter and the rest of the fishermen? He was trying to show them that he is the assured help to all their frustration. He also showed them that on the other side of frustration is joy, peace, rest, and fulfillment. Their plan was to catch fish at night and that limited them to see that Jesus could help them catch fish during daylight. Jesus took the limits off their initial idea of attaining their goal and idea of control. So what is on the other side of your frustrations that you can actually look forward to? I already mentioned some, but let me list them for you;

  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Rest
  • Happiness
  • Assurance
  • Fulfillment

I hope this encourages you to see the other side of your frustrations, while I know the reason for your long-term frustration still lingers, there is a much better path you can take. The limitless path Jesus has set up for you. As cliche as this may sound, I feel like it is okay to say this right now, let go and let God! Here is the perfect assurance from God to you while you make your way to the other side of your frustrations;

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” 

Matthew 11 v 28- 30

All! not some…the verse says ALL should come to God with their frustrations and he will give them rest. Now that is a blessed assurance! I will end by saying these words, trust God by his word, and listen to his instructions especially when you get frustrated. God knows there is another side to all your frustration and wants you to see it. It is time for you to take your rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Holding on to Hope: Why hold on?

“I am sorry, mom is no more” My aunties sat close by me as they told me this and waited for my reaction. Denial quickly set into me and I asked, “what do you mean mom is no more?” then the news settled, my mother just passed away. I went into a panic and began to cry frantically, but that was not my state a few hours before this devastating news. A few hours before this I was holding on to hope that my mother would be healed from that illness. I said a prayer before taking a peaceful nap and held on to whatever small hope I had left, but this news killed the little hope I had stored up. I was hoping for a different outcome, but it quickly began to feel unfair and I remember thinking why did I even hope. Why did I hold on to hope when the situation was hopeless? What did the little hope I held on to do for me? I know those are a lot of questions, but I want to share on what holding on to hope can do for you even in the most hopeless situations.

I did a little research on Google and asked Google how many times the word hope is mentioned in the bible. Well, Google doesn’t know it all, but from the few numbers that came up it is at least over a hundred times across the different versions of the bible that the word hope is mentioned. It gave me much reason to understand the significance of holding on to our hope, I am certain that when God mentions a word over a hundred times, then we should know what it means to him. Hope like many other words gives so much meaning to one’s life, to many of us it is a core of our continued will to stay alive. Our plans, aspirations, desires, goals just to mention a few are encompassed by the word “hope”. As christians we find our confidence, strength and motivation is in the things we hope for. Let hope not be mistaken for a wish, hope is holds much weight than a mere wish. Hope is literally a pushing force that ignites our faith and gives us much reason not to quit. The unforeseen power of hope is that it is the peaceful reassurance even in the midst of a hopeless situation. That is why we must hold on to it knowing that in our hope there is reassurance that whatsoever the outcome, things are going to be just fine. I look back now to when I was told the news about my mother’s passing and think to myself, it was my hope that helped me endure the grief and loss of my mother. Also, it is now hope that reminds me that hopeless situations are not all the way hopeless if you hold on to whatever little hope you have left.

Anchored in hope

The purpose of an anchor is to keep something from moving, to stay grounded. When we are anchored in hope even though we did not get that positive outcome we wanted, our anchor sets us up to stay grounded in our belief in God and also reminds us that it will not always be this way. We hold on to hope knowing that our hope will see us through several other difficulties we may face in the future and we will not be shaken. Understandably, we have been faced with some difficult times in our lives, it could be the loss of a loved one, loss of opportunities to better our lives, just to mention a few. In those difficult times we have hoped and prayed for a positive outcome, only to be faced with a different outcome. Hope after the different outcome is what builds us up to persevere this halt or set back we are face to face with. It is important to stay anchored in such difficult times before we drift away into despair.

Why hold on?

The big question is why should we hold on to something that is not even certain? We hold on because our hope is the essence of our continued lives lived on Earth. By holding on we save ourselves from going into to despair (a state of hopelessness) from the many struggles we face and will face in the future. Have you ever met a person that let go of hope and you saw their despair? they don’t have to verbally say it because it could be felt. Despair just like many other undesired feelings comes because we let go of our hope. Therefore, holding on to our hope is important because it is what pushes us keep going on in this life long journey filled with many twists and turns. Again, holding on to hope is where you find your strength, you peace and your willingness to keep going despite all things. So hold on to it!

GOd and hope

You know I will not write a whole blog post without quoting the bible verse that speaks of hope and like the church girl I am, I find such joy in reading this verse over and over again especially when I feel like I am losing hope or I am getting low on faith.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hebrews 11 v1

Hope brings about faith, both things that God desires we have in our lives. While we hope, we build our faith, is that not amazing? why not hold on to something that actually builds even greater faith within you for the things unseen. I believe God wants us to hold on to hope for several reasons, but mainly for him to fulfil his promises over our lives. God knows that our hold gives us confidence to even overcome the next (2 Cor 3:12). Another amazing thing about hope is that it brings us peace and joy (read Proverbs 10 v 23). It doesn’t end there, remember what I said earlier, hope is our anchor (read Hebrews 6:19). All the good comes from us hold on to hope, and that could be even the smallest hope you have left in you. hope anyway because;

For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?

Romans 8 v 24 (ESV)

We are saved in our hope! Let that sink in the inner depth of your soul, especially if you have been not been doing well with holding on to your hope. If we saw it all we would hope, but then like the verse says, who hopes for what he sees?

In ending this post, I urge you to hold onto your hope in God, in your life, for your family, for your aspirations and for your healing (we are need it, trust me). Fight your way out of despair and hope again. What brought you to despair was not meant to keep you there and leave you there. There is hope in the things unseen and yours is to pick up on that hope and hold on to it and never let it go. It is time for you to take your rightful place! it is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Living with your decisions: The good, the bad and the ugly

Hello Crowned Royals! It has been a very long minute, but I hope all is well with you. I am doing well and just like you, I continue to work towards trading my thorns for crowns. I have been wanting to write on this topic for quite a while now, so hopefully my thoughts are still as fresh as I need them to be. Decisions, we all have to make them and eventually we all have to live with them. I am assuming that all my readers are adults and at some point in your lives had to make some major decisions, however big or small, the decisions were made and whether good, bad, or ugly, you lived with your decisions. So let us talk about talk about them!

Not so recently, I went to a restaurant with some friends, I was quite familiar with the menu and knew what was good there and decided on my order easily. My friends on the other hand were visiting the place for the first time and just like most first timers, they did ask what was good, I shared my suggestions, but allowed them to make their own decision. Despite my suggestions, they decided to go for something different and that was okay by me because they were first timers. Our meals were brought to the table and everyone dug into their meals, and immediately you could tell that not everyone was happy with their choice. I was quite happy with my chicken parmesan dish, but it may have been too late for the others to change their order so they ate their food regrettably. They envied by chicken parmesan and some even asked to have a taste of my good meal choice . You might be wondering, what does this meal story have to do with living with our decisions, well, all that is just a simple example with no major consequences of how our decisions eventually live with us. While you are not dealing with eating bland food that could not be saved by any amount of salt and pepper, you are dealing with major life decisions that come with major consequences and you would want to make the right decision with those ones. Throughout this blog I want you to think about your major life decisions and how you live or have lived with them.

Major Life Decisions and living with the them

What are major life decisions? These are decisions that can literally change your life for the good or for the bad. These type of decision impact our lives in major ways, for example, what state should I move to? must I make a career change at this age? is this the right person to marry? etc. Major life decisions are what you live with and unlike deciding on what meal at the restaurant, they are far more complex to be taken lightly. Major life decision require more thought and discernment. Unfortunately, we have more people making major decisions without understanding the complexity of their choices. Whether the decision is good, bad, or ugly the lack of understanding the complexity is what we end up missing overall. If you have ever had to make a major life decision, then you should know by now that not every decision is fun to make and if you are like me, you would rather make the fun decisions and skip those though ones. But unfortunately life does not work that way and so we also have to make sound decisions for even the tough ones because we eventually live with them too. For every major life decision you make, remember that it manifests in your life and how it manifests is what lives with you. How are you living with those decisions?

If you have ever had to live the consequences of your decisions, then you know what it is like to either be glad you made that decision or regret making that decision. We want to think making decisions is the hard part, but have you ever lived through the bad decision you made? Such torture, right? and even though there might be someone to blame, you still made that choice too. Once we get to experience this type of regret with our choices, we then use to to make wiser choices and live with better consequences. Easier said than done for sure, but what would you rather live with? the good? the bad? or the ugly?

Decisions, Decisions and More decisions…. does it ever end?

Just when you thought you made the right decision, here comes another decision causing you sleepless nights as you try to rationally figure out what to do next…been there? there right now? I think we all have been there or are there right now and the question is when does it end? I personally think it does not end, as long as we are alive, we will have decisions to make. It is quite easy to despise major decision making, but do you realize that so much power lies in you making your decisions. I think God gave us the ability to decide so that we are able to see the power our decisions have over us. If you are like me and have made some good, bad and ugly decisions, then you know the power of your decisions really impact your life. With the many decisions we have to make in our lifetime, we quickly learn that our decisions have consequences and those consequences are what we live with. Because decision making will not end anytime soon for you, how best can you make sound decisions and live with them in harmony?

Making Sound Decisions

There are several ways to go about making wiser decisions that you will not have to hating living with the bad choices. I know this because I have made my share of bad decisions and if I just applied some of these listed below things could have been different. I hope these help you too;

  1. Seek counsel- with God, trusted family/friend, church counsellors (pastors etc)
  2. Realize there is power in your decision
  3. Don’t allow fear to decide for you
  4. Learn from your bad decisions and don’t repeat them
  5. Never make decisions under pressure
  6. Evaluate your decisions

God and Decisions

Here is the exciting part of the blog, some assurance that all of us can appreciate as we make decisions. God wants to be part of our decision making, he actually delights in us seeking his counsel regarding our major life decisions, even the ones we consider small. God wants us to make good and sound decisions that allow us to realize the power our decisions have over our lives. He gives us freedom with our choices and that speaks of a lot of his love for us. As complex as decision making is, it is comforting to know that God is willing to help us decide, our job is just to seek his Godly counsel. Living with your decisions under God’s counsel is the ultimate goal. Allow him to guide and help you on which way to go and most importantly what decision to make. Making decision is already hard and can oftentimes leave you frustrated, angry, overwhelmed, confused, restless just to mention a few. So why then complicate your decision making by trying to decide on major life decisions on your own? Check in with God and see what he has to say about your choices. His word in Proverbs sums this all up beautifully;

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and never lean on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.

Proverbs 3 v 5-6

All in all, we can all admit decision making can be hard at times and can even be worse when we have to live with the bad choices we make. My final thoughts on this is that we do not always have to make the bad choices and learn from them later if we just start by making the right ones from now on. How do we do so? By not making these decisions alone! We seek counsel, we learn from past mistakes, we don’t take major life decision making lightly, we don’t allow fear to decide for us and we eventually decide on the right choice. It is time for us to make the right decisions and live with them. It is time for us to take our rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Always a winner: What happens when you fail

To win again you need to critically look at your failure and handle it well. -Xholiwe-

Hello Crowned Royals! Greeting from the winter wonderland land of Illinois. I hope you are doing wonderful and not quitting for nothing until you take your crowns. I thought of writing this week because I had many thoughts regarding failure and how most of us don’t take it so well. I totally understand us because let’s be honest failure is not not as exciting as winning. We all want to win, I mean who wouldn’t want to always be the winner? But what happens when you fail?

If you have ever played a good game of Monopoly with either friends or family, then you know not everyone takes failure very well. Remember when your competitive family member or friend lost all their money and property on Monopoly? How did they take that failure? I am guessing not so well and that was just in a game of Monopoly. Unfortunately, failure goes beyond the a fictional board game, even for the people that have always been winning in real life. Unexpectedly for some failure comes as a surprise and their inability to handle failure can be quite devastating. For people that are used to always winning, I want to tell you right now that failure is okay. Failure is not the end of your winning streak, and will not ruin your life. I hope after this blog the “f” word will be a comfortable thing for you to say without panicking.

What happens when we fail?

When we fail there are two ways we can go and the choose is usually up to us and how we handle our failures. You could either take the route that tells you are not enough because you failed in something or the route that says use our failure as a learning point to grow and mature. It is hard to take the second route if you have always been the winner, losing for someone who has always been a winner is so scary. But I don’t think many people are impressed by a story of someone who has always been winning. In fact, people don’t buy tickets to motivational speakers who have always been winning, what sales those tickets is that failure was involved. We have heard the stories of the winners and champions we admire and they have something in common and that is failure. They share on their failures and just for a second we look at their humanness and that they too are not exempt from it. But if these people took the route that told them they were not enough and should quit, then we would have lost champions because of their inability to handle failure well.

I get it failure does not feel good, starting over does not make any sense at all, but once you decide to take the route of growth and maturity from your failures then you are going to see failure much differently than you did before.

Changing your perspective on failure

A lot of us have looked at failure negatively because we live in a society that does not celebrate failure, if anything we would rather failure did not exist. We all want to win, winning is appealing and well celebrated. Think about how a winning sports team brings celebration to its fans compared to the losing team that leaves it’s fans devastated. For the team that lost, their failure allows them to look critically at their mistakes and how they could improve for the next game or season. Rather than allowing failure to devastate and overwhelm you, look at failure as a place to learn and improve yourself and not beat yourself up about it. Starting off from this perspective of failure will help you realize that your failure is your learning point and not the end of your perfect world of winning. To win again you need to critically look at your failure and handle it well. Some of us could admit that we have not handles our failures well, and that later even lead to our own destruction.

Your inability to look at failure positively will easily frustrate, anger, overwhelm, guilt, shame and discourage you when you do experience it. I totally understand the feeling and emotions that come with failure because I too have failed miserably in some areas of my life and if I allowed that failure to devastate me, then I would be telling a different story. The feelings that come with failure are valid, but you can’t not allow them to guide you through your failures. You are allowed to feel all the feels, but dwelling on them and letting them lead you is an absolute no. Allow yourself the time to mourn your failure, but quickly remind yourself that failure is a learning point and learn what you have to learn from it.

God’s view on failure

There many Bible stories that tell me that God was okay with failure. He worked with many flawed people that experienced major failure. I think of the many failures of David and how God still used him and lifted him up above all the failures. I think of the failures of Peter and how God still used Peter to build the church. God may have realized it before we did, that we would fail at some point in our lives and he hoped we would see it much differently and handle it much differently than we do. God views failure as a teachable moment for you and also a place that helps you grow into knowing who you are in him. God is not looking at your failure and thinking you are defeated because of it. He is hoping you are taking failure well and not allowing it to overwhelm you and take you away from trying again. He is hoping you are realizing that failure is inevitable and not a death sentence. Rather than looking at failure as a limitation as we look at it, God looks at it as a place of possibility. A place where we can mature and take a more accurate look at our failure and how it can help us grow and build resilience. With failure God would want us to see our humanness and that even we are flawed, but have a perfect God that is able use us despite our failures and shortcomings. Think about it, if God only used people that were always winners, how would the flawed related to their own failures? For example if God only used the perfect, how would the world we live in look at failure? much worse than it is today. We would think perfect is the only way to be used by God, but on the contrary, God is wanting to help and work with the person who embraces failure and handle it well. The word of God says this:

Because the Sovereign Lord helps me,
    I will not be disgraced.
Therefore have I set my face like flint,
    and I know I will not be put to shame.

Isaiah 50:7

Let us face it, failure is usually much louder than winning especially in the world that magnifies the failures of others, so this verse should be comforting to all of us. Even in failure God will help us and we shall not be disgraced! Glory to God who shows us grace even in our failure.

With that said, I hope you look at your failure much differently than you did before. I hope you are able to change your perspective on your failures and how well you can handle them. Don’t hate me for saying it, but failure is good for you. Failure will help you grow, humble and mature you. Failure is a perfect teachable moment for you and God is most likely to be part of that moment. Realize that if you have not experienced failure or are like me and have had your share of failures, then your failure does not mean your defeat. There is still a lot of room to win! Before we jump into the winning court, learn from the previous failures and grow. It is time for you to take your rightful place! It is time for you to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

Knotted: The emotional process of un-knotting painful ties

Hello Crowned Royals, Happy New Year to you all! I hope each and everyone of you are doing your best work to attain your crowns. If you asked me what your number 1 resolution should be, I would say attain your crowns and the rest will fall into place.

I was hoping to have written this blog earlier in the year because in the beginning of the year, most people are open to change so hope I am not too late. I want us to talk about knots, not the knots you see on the features image, but the painful knotted ties within us. We continue to do life while knotted with painful ties, which we have a tough time admitting to the emotional roller coaster they put on us. I hope this blog will help you realize that it is possible to un-knot those ties, and also be well aware of the emotional process that comes with un-knotting.

If you have ever been knotted in painful ties then you know that it feels impossible to get out of it, especially if the people or situation is something that changed your life drastically. Breaking of ties while knotted can take you from feeling frustrated, to sad, to angry, to restless, but at least if you have already began the process of un-knotting, you are off to a good start. I liken the emotional process of un-knotting to my constant battle with my knotted necklaces in my jewelry box. I think the ladies can agree with me, when jewelry gets knotted it also feels impossible to pull apart. I realized from the many un-knotting I had to do with my necklaces that if my patience was short, I got angry and frustrated, which lead me to quitting pretty quickly in the process. Even though that was the jewelry piece I wanted to compliment my outfit, I quit on separating it from the other because of the process it took. why was I quick to quit? Well, I think the patience and my emotions got the best of me and did not allow me to finish what I started, which would have eventually benefited me. I know this a trivial example compared to un-knotting actual painful ties in our lives, but isn’t that what we do? We being to un-knot hurriedly things that need time and patience, and because it did not happen quickly we then begin to go through the roller coaster of emotions. Once we allow for these emotions to get the best of us, we are unable to see the many knots we missed and continue to live knotted. Why do we then settle for a knotted life?

Living a knotted life

If you have ever known a life lived knotted then you will know that it is not one you can say you are living your best life. But why are so many knotted people claiming to live their best lives? Hmm, I can give you several reasons, but the first one that jumps out of my mind is denial. We as human tend to think by denying painful ties that they magically disappear, unfortunately, those things only happen in fairy tales. What we go through and experience in our life’s is real and can not be ignored. The knotted life is a life lived in constant denial of one’s reality. What denial does is that it takes away from the person’s ability to recognize that there are painful ties that they need to knot out if they want to live a better life. I know of the knotted life because I once lived it and let me tell you, it is no way to live. It is quite sad to know that many of us continue to live the knotted life and have normalized it because not many of have taken up the task to actually got through the process of un-knotting. But if you are one that is tired of the knotted life like I was, then I think it is time to go through the process head first and not to quit when it gets hard. Because it will get hard at some point, but quitting shouldn’t be you option.

The emotional process of un-knotting painful ties

Now that we know that the knotted life is not the way to live and have decided to un-knot it all, what can we expect? Well, we expect ourselves to go through one tedious and intense emotional process that in the end will give us a life lived with no denial. If you won’t come ready for such an emotional process, then you will be quitting even before it begins. Painful ties are not just little issues that you had with a co-worker that can be cleared over a cup of coffee. Painful ties are things that come with intense emotion and pain and for some those ties changed their lives and how they live. It may be the painful ties with a memory of losing a loved one, ties with failed relationships (intimate, family and friends), and ties with guilt from a situation that was not even your fault that changed it all.

The process to un-knotting all this will take you up and down with your emotions, but as you go through it you are not to allow your emotions to get the best of you. Emotions in the process are inevitable because what tied you up in the first place was associated to an emotion. Once you allow emotions such as anger, frustration, shame etc to get the best of you through the initial process of un-knotting, the process will be much harder, but that is no reason to quit. Are you allowed to feel these emotions as you un-knot? Absolutely! But do you dwell on them? No. You step by step begins to un-knot by letting go of the emotion associated to the painful ties. For example, you were angry that your father abandoned you at a young age. In this process you un-knot by letting go of the tie associated with the anger you felt as a child when your father left. The emotional process will mostly ask for you to look back to past events, remember certain people you chose to forget, feel the pain again and almost re-live what you have been in denial of, but it is all necessary and all part of it. Because this is a tedious and intense emotional process, you can’t do this alone. who will help you through this process?

Where is God in this Process?

God is glad that you have decided to go through the process of un-knotting the painful ties in your life. If anything, God is glad you have come to the realization that living a knotted life is not as fulfilling. God has been in the process even before your realization. He is one that is always waiting on us to take that first step and commit to the process. Once committed God is right next to you even through the emotions that are associated with the painful tie. He will send you help too, people that will help you through this process. You are not alone! God knows exactly how the painful ties make or made you feel. He knows the emotional toll it took on you to be tied up in such pain. Therefore, he knows how to help you un-knot through each step of the process. How do you get help? just like any tied up wounded solider, you cry out for help and seek the help of the Lord through your prayer to him. Like I said before, he has been in the process even before your realization. Call on him! Here is some scripture to remind you that you are not alone in this process God says:

…Never will I leave; never will I forsake you

Hebrews 13:5

That is God’s promises for you and me, that even through this process he is with us. The process is indeed tedious and intense, but knowing that you don’t have to do it alone is much reason for you to take on the challenge. You can not afford to quit and miss out on a life that is filled with the peace and presence of God. A life lived un-knotted! Now that is living your best life! But it does come with a process that you must be willing to take all the way. I know you can do it! It is time for you to take you rightful place. It is time for you to trade thorns for crowns!!

Much Love,

Xholiwe

The Fight of your Life: How can you win?

Hello Crowned Royals, I hope all is well with you and that you are doing your best to stay above ground as we wrap up this year. I know for some 2020 has been a long and hard year and for others it has been a year that allowed you to reflect on your life on a much deeper level. Looking back to this year might just show you at how much you had to fight off to stay above ground. While some had to fight a little harder than others, I think is safe to say that we were all fighting. We had to fight to stay sane, healthy, present, just to mention a few, nevertheless, life was still going on. I decided to write on the fight for your life because fighting for your life is not a one and done thing, but a continual fight that requires your resilience and will to stay standing in every battle ground you are thrown into. If you have ever been thrown into a fighting ring without any knowledge on how to fight your opponent then you might already be fighting a losing battle, but if you come in ready to fight with knowledge of who you are up against, then chances are that you are likely to win. Winning is the result we all should aim for, and if we have to win we need a whole lot more than only acknowledging that we are in a fight for our lives.

Story time: Before I became the girly girl I am today, I was mostly hanging out with my guy cousins and like very young boy back in the early 2000s, the boys loved to watch WWE (wrestling) and later play it on their video games. Because I was outnumbered by the boys, I too eventually got to love WWE and playing video games with them that involved fighting. Now that I think of WWE and playing fighting video games, there was one thing that was common, it was intimidation. How wrestlers in the ring would intimidate their opponents or how my bigger boy cousins will intimidate me was a common trend. In the fight of your life, you will also notice that even before you decide to throw any punches, your opponent will use intimidation to lower your chances of winning and most of us will flee without a fight. Once we give in into intimidation, we let go of our chance to fight and give the opponent the upper hand. One fighting story that just came to my mind is the historic biblical fight of David and Goliath. Goliath was David’s opponent and he did use intimidation to scare away David from attempting to fight, but little did he know that David was ready and had knowledge of his opponent and was training for this epic fight way before it happened. If you want to win the fight for your life then maybe you can start off my realizing that every fight requires your attention. If David was dismissive of this prior fights, how would he then have known how to fight Goliath? Pay attention, every fight is preparation for the next.

Know your own fight

The fight of your life may look nothing like another person’s fight because we all have our own circumstances that we are to overcome. One’s strategy to win may or may not work for you, but yours is to fight anyway. While others have to fight a little harder, others have less to fight for, but yours is to fight. I consider myself a fighter and in the amount of time I have been alive, I would like to think my fights were much more than others and at first I did not receive this revelation well. I thought why can’t I fight a little less like my friends do and just chill, but God knew best that I needed strength for the several other fights that will come my way. God has to build me to not be intimidated by my enemy, but to stay standing confidently knowing that God has my back. Maybe you are like me and you feel like you are in a constant battle that you want to win, I would encourage you to keep fighting. Will you like it at first? absolutely not! But nothing is more rewarding than the victory over a fight for your life.

Who are you fighting against?

Understand that the fight of your life is more spiritual than it is physical. Yes, your physically body does respond the your spiritual battle in some way. I remember when I was depressed, my body was just losing weight, even though I ate food normally. My body was responding in stress when things and people were constantly frustrating me. My physical body was extremely tired and beat down even though I was not in a physical fight. The fight of your life will require more of you and your spiritual attention. The bible says we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places [Ephesians 6:12]. Who have you been fighting? Have you been fighting the wrong person all this while and have been unable to win? The Bible let’s you know who you are up against and in order to win your battle the first step would be knowing who you are up against. When you are constantly fighting people and not what is backing their fight towards you then winning will be a far reach for you. So how can you win?

6 ways that can help you win your fight

  1. Know your opponent: you have to know who you are up against, you have to study their ways and build your strategy in order to win. You can’t come to a fighting ring without knowledge of who you are up against. So who are you up against for the fight of your life? Your answer is in Ephesians 6:12. So where is the fight ring? in the spirit, how do you fight in the spirit since it is not physical? answer is #2
  2. Prayer: Because you can not fight darkness, principalities, wickedness physically, you fight them in prayer grounds. Prayer is your weapon, use your words to win the fight of your life. Pray unceasingly because the fight for your life is a continual battle.
  3. Faith over fear: Some battles we have never experienced can be scary at first glance, but build you faith from it. Place your faith in God’s ability to help you win. Remember that this is not the first battle God helped you through.
  4. Don’t be intimidated: If you know your opponent, you know that they use intimidation to stop you from fighting, but you will make the choice to be bold and brave knowing that God is backing you up and that yours is the victory.
  5. Remember your training: If this is not the very first fight of your life, then you are to remember how you overcame and won your other fights. Even those small fights you consider irrelevant, there is something that could be used for your next battle.
  6. Apply your training: No, you will not just allow intimidation scare you away, but you will apply what you have learned over the years. Your will pray precisely and physically identify the wickedness, power, darkness that showed up in the people around you before taking your win in the spirit.

Once you begin to fight the right opponent and do it unceasingly for every battle ground you are thrown into, I tell you from experience that you will win. I will leave you with this encouraging verse as you pick up your weapons and fight for your life.

Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6 v 12

Much Love,

Xholiwe

The Missing Link: How to own your story

Hello Crowned Royals, I hope you are all doing well and keeping healthy. While some of you enjoy warm summers, winter is on its way up North. I am not opposed to all the holiday fuzzy feels that come with it, so winter 2020 please be kind to us. I have been so out of touch with my writing to you and that is not an excuse for someone that wants you trading those thorns for crowns, even in 2020 we are still in the business of trading thorns. And boy! aren’t there many thorns to trade in this one year alone.

I write to you with such openness because what I write does step on some people’s toes. It might step on your toes, so if it does I apologize in advance. So ownership of your story was heavy on my heart for the many weeks I did not write and now I am ready to unpack. Imagine with me, we are in court as observers following a court case that involves two people, it could be about anything, but in this case we will say this is a bad divorce case. The two parties involved present their stories before the judge and each brings out the many good points about themselves and very few selected bad points only to wait on the verdict of the judge. When telling their stories each may or may not own up to their full story and eliminate the bad side of the story, but at the end of it all the judge has the final verdict. I hope you know where I am going with this, no more sitting as an observer in court, you too have some telling to do in front of the judge. I don’t know at what point you are at in your life, but given the opportunity to tell your story, would you fully own up to your story? Funny thing about not owning up to your story is that the little piece of information you decided to leave out always has a way of showing right back up in your life and then begins your endless battle of self defense in your own court (your mind).

As I mature more, because give or take 3-4 years ago I obviously wasn’t as mature, I was the one that bought into (not always) one sided stories until I realized that everyone experiences a situation and life in general differently and how they choose to tell their story is totally up to them. The problem with this is that like the husband and wife defending their divorce in court, our stories may have many missing links. Here is my definition of missing links, missing links are deliberate eliminations to the full story used to protect us or the image we paint and want people to believe about us. There is a question, are you that person that has left out certain parts of your story to protect yourself or the image others believe about you? Well, it is understandable because a lot of us have done that including myself and we all had or (still have for others) our valid reasons. Because our lives are not Disney fairytales, we actually deal with real life tragedies. The type of tragedies that we find hard to speak of because we don’t know how well others will receive us, sound familiar? The Truth is the part of the story that carries pain, shame, guilt, regret, anger, embarrassment is not desirable to own up to, but can I tell you that you can’t be you without your full story. Leaving out parts of your story and not owning up to all of it takes away from who you are, and hence the many masked people we interact with daily. Owning up to certain things in your life can leave such a bad taste in your mouth even before you decide to talk to someone about it, but can I tell how liberating it is to finally tell your story.

Side note, people that don’t own up to their stories can be self defensive when someone approaches them about their story. Trust me because I was there a couple of times, we might have to talk in depth about self defense in these coming blogs . The problem with self defense is that it takes you further away from being your true self because you are spending more defending yourself. It can be exhausting, not just mentally, but even physically, so why burden yourself this much?

The big question is how do you own up to your story? How do you add the missing link that you have ever so often left out?

5 ways to own up to your story

  1. Own up to yourself: Might sound silly to some, but mirror talk back to yourself your story. Tell it back to yourself and you will be surprised how many tears you might cry by just talking to yourself about your story and also discover how much you bottled inside.
  2. Take it to God in prayer: If you are not ready to fully own your story to family or friends then good news is that our God who is ever so listening would want to hear from you. Tell him your story, all the good, bad and the ugly. Yes, he knows, but you being able to say it is for your healing.
  3. Share your story with a trusted family or friend: Baby steps, just because you are owning up to your story, it doesn’t mean you stand in a church or go live on social channel to just speak on things that could use some wise words, warmth, encouragement and direction. Speak to your close knit and leave nothing out.
  4. Stop with the self-defense: Because it is exhausting, you need to stop it. If parts of your true story are out their being told by others then stop with the self defense. I know no one wants a bad name out there, trust me I know. Sadly, even in the case of false stories about you, you may need to stop with the self defense because people will also make up their side of their story too and all your defenses will mean nothing to them. Is it unfortunate? Yes, but you are working on your healing and not on a marathon of she said and he said. Find your peace.
  5. Identify your missing links: List all your missing links, the parts you left our in your story and associate the emotion that accompanied them. Are they in the past? or are the missing links still part of your story? If they are then, you got work to do to change that narrative.

Owning up to your story can not be so easy and I totally understand, but the beauty of doing so even while scared is the freedom and peace that comes from it. It is a very vulnerable act and if you ever do it, I applaud you! Here is some scripture affirmation that will push you towards owning up to your story;

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Romans 8 vs 1

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Revelations 12 vs 11

How amazing is that? your story matters to God and others need your story. You might not believe me, but there maybe someone out there that needs to hear your story and how you overcame. There is no condemnation! Your story is powerful, so own it. Owning up to it will never take away from you, it does the total opposite! It helps you walk in liberty and peace. Soon in enough you will be able to tell others how you overcame! Tell your story! It is time for you to take your rightful place. It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much love,

Xholiwe

The Dangers of Hidden Emotions

Hello crowned Royals, I hope you are all doing well despite all that is going on in your personal life and the world right now. I hope you continue to take your position and stand firm knowing that God is with you through it all. For the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking of the complexity of our emotions as humans and how easily they can damage us when kept hidden from others and ourselves. You know what I mean right? Think of the times you had to hide your sadness from others because you feared being judged or maybe the time you masked your bitterness with a smile so life could feel normal for just a day. As humans, we are often dealing with our emotions on a daily basis and how we experience them can be a challenge for most of us. The challenge is not with desirable emotions such as happiness, but it is with the least desirable emotions such as sadness, anger, jealousy, bitterness, disgust, shame, guilt, fear. While it is quite easy to display happiness, joy, and laughter, the other undesirable emotions are often kept hidden. Why do we do that? Well, there are several reasons, but two main reasons are; we hope no one sees them expressed in us and two, we don’t want to see us express these undesirable emotions. The posed danger is hidden emotions from yourself, which we do consciously and unconsciously. So, what are the dangers that come from your hidden emotions?

At the very beginning: Where did it all start?

I would like to think every habit we adapt to had to start from somewhere. When is the time you began to hide your least desirable emotions from others and yourself? Let us think back to when were children for a second, we were expressive of almost all our emotions both good and bad. We displayed our face of disgust when our parents fed us vegetables, we threw huge tantrums to convey our anger when our parents didn’t give us what we wanted and cried tears of sadness when our mother left without us. So, when did it become hard to convey these emotions? Is it when your parents said you are growing up and you needed to cry less or compose yourself more? Or is it when your sad tears seemed to irritate your peers and you began to understand the complexity of other’s emotions towards yours? It had to start somewhere and where is started can be anywhere that those least desirable emotions began to be hidden. A perfect example I could think of was from the movie Frozen. There is a scene at the beginning of the movie between Elisa and her parents that we may or may not relate to. Elisa was told by her parents to conceal and not feel (in other words, not be expressive) and that poor girl was haunted with these hidden emotions for way too long. We are in some shape or form have just like Elisa concealed and not felt for way too long. So again the question is, where did it start?

Triggers

I would like to believe we all have emotional triggers. If you have lived quite a bit in this world, there are several triggers that can stir up different emotions. It can be something that someone says that takes you back to that painful experience or something that you watch that is relatable to your situation. It can happen in many different ways, but when something triggers our undesirable emotions, we try to conceal and hide. But how long can you do that before you have an outburst and all the hidden emotions unravel at one time? Sometimes it just takes one trigger to have you lost it because you have bottled up so much for way too long. I get it, been there, and done that and it only took one emotional trigger to bring to the surface all that was hidden for way too long. Was it necessary? absolutely! All that unexpressed anger, sadness, panic, bitterness, and fear had to get out if I want to be liberated from it all. I would imagine that you would want the same thing for yourself too. Nothing is more liberating than being honest with how you feel or felt from the situations you experienced.

7 dangers of Hidden emotions

What we do to ourselves when we hide our less desirable emotions can harm us in the long run. We are created to feel, and God knew exactly what he was doing when he put these emotions in us. Suppressing them only can lead to bigger mental issues such as depression, major anger issues, extreme fear and anxiety just to mention a few. Listed below are 7 of the dangers you are likely to face your hidden emotions;

  1. Immaturity: You inability to fully master your emotions and unable to identify a healthy way to express them. If you are constantly hiding them, how do you mature your expression of them?
  2. Instability: The danger of unstable decisions can lead to long term consequences that could have been avoided.
  3. Self-Sabotage: Ruining almost every good thing in the fear that you will have to expose things about yourself to others.
  4. Regret: Constantly replaying past situations that make you wish you did something different.
  5. Stagnation: Being stuck in the past, constantly unable to move forward because there are still some unresolved issues within you that you have kept hidden.
  6. Isolation: Choosing to be alone and missing out on healthy human relationships.
  7. Resentment: You resent others for things you did not communicate. You also resent yourself, which I think is more tragic.

If you have been noticing some of these dangers in your life, then it means it may be about that time that you feel what you have avoided feeling for way too long. It may be time to dig out all the hidden emotions you hide behind a smile. The good thing is that if you are not open yet to express this to others or lack healthy support, God is always ready to listen and allow you to express those emotions. Here is what he has to say to you;

10 So then, banish anxiety from your heart

    and cast off the troubles of your body,

    for youth and vigor are meaningless.

Ecclesiastes 11 v 10

Banish all anxiety that you have built up from all the hidden emotions. Cast off the troubles and go boldly before the Lord. Speak to God about it in prayer. This is a good place to start better communicating your emotions. Emotions are not a bad thing! Even the bible says get angry, but don’t sleep anger. The bible also talks about different times in the book of Ecclesiastes and emotions are mentioned too. We are human, we are far from perfect. God knew perfectly well what he was doing when giving us these emotions. Being the compassionate God that he is, he is able to turn those least desirable emotions we consider bad to good. He does however require our honesty and openness to him. I pray you see the beauty in opening up from those hidden emotions and finding liberty in finally being expressive in a healthy way. It is time for us to take our rightful place! It is time for us to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,

Xholiwe

What was darkness: Step into light

Photo by kilarov zaneit on Unsplash
How did darkness become a place to hide out in fear of the light? Why do you avoid the light?
-Xholiwe

Hello crowned Royals, Happy new month! We made it to the 5th month of the year and we probably can agree that for some it feels like a century, but we can only pray that God sees us through it all. I have been doing a lot of resting and I must admit that it is time to get back to writing before rest turns into laziness. This blog post is going to be heavy before it gets light, so brace yourselves and let us unpack this together. To get us started, I want us to think about the times as kids when we feared sleeping in the dark and preferred the lights stayed on. How did the darkness make us feel? and why did we prefer the lights stayed on? I personally feared the dark because I believed monsters would get me and I was unsafe, but the light made me feel secure and safe because I could see around me. My reasoning as kid and as a grown adult about light has not changed because the light indeed makes me feel secure and safe. While I am proud to say I can sleep in the dark with the lights off now, it doesn’t mean that I did not overcome the kind of darkness that requires more effort than a flick of a switch. You know what am talking about right? The darkness in our lives that may have come into our life in many ways. It could have been through loss, sin, abuse, abandonment and the list goes on. Because this requires a whole lot more effort, we settle in it despite the fear and uncertainty we feel. What happened to being in the light? How did darkness become a place to hide out in fear of the light? Why do you avoid the light?

When darkness settles in your life

On a normal day to day we always know when darkness is about to settle, the sun sets, and the buildings around us light up. As you walk or drive you notice the street lights come on and the drivers on the road turn their lights on because darkness is settling. It almost happens naturally and because we are used to it, it becomes second nature to turn lights on once darkness settles for the night. How about when darkness settles in our lives? Can we tell that it is about to happen? Most definitely we can! We can tell that the toxic relationship is turning into darkness when we have been emotionally or physically abused once too many times. We can tell when we lose a loved one and depression kicks in that darkness is about to settle. We can tell that it is turning dark when we have repeatably committed the sin we have been struggling with for quite a while. So why do we decide to stay in the dark then? There are several reasons we refuse to turn on the lights, one main reason being that a lot of things that happen in the dark always come with a couple of other things. Things such as shame, hurt, anger, bitterness, regret, guilt just to mention a few literally push us into further darkness. We then fear the light because we fear our truth, not realizing that very truth is what will lead us to the light after darkness settles. Understand that living a life in darkness is tragic whether you believe in God or not. I was listening to an old sermon by my pastor and he asked this question, do you know how expensive living a life in the dark is? You pay for it with you peace, rest, joy and destiny. You can’t afford it! Don’t allow for darkness to settle. It is time to find the light.

Finding the light

Can we be honest? We all have at one point got so tired of the darkness and wanted to find the light. The question is not where do we find the light. It is who is the light? The light is found in Jesus and the word of God clearly says it several times. There is one of the many verses that let’s us know Jesus is indeed the light;

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8 v 12 NIV

Because we often look for where the light is instead of who the light is, we continue to stay trapped in our darkness. We may find temporary light that will never last you as long as the light of life from Jesus. With Jesus as you light, even when darkness comes upon you, his light will quickly see you through. You no longer have to feed off the light provided by man when God becomes the light of your world. Find your light, not in the “where”, but in the “who” and that is Jesus!

Stepping into the light

If you ever tried to step into the light after a long time of living in the dark, you can probably agree with me that it does take a lot. The decision to step into the light can simply be you being tired of the dark and realize it is taking you nowhere. Other reason could be;

  • The word of God that is spoken in truth and proven that darkness wasn’t meant to last forever.
  • Godly assigned people that help you find the “who” in the light and pull you out of darkness.
  • Your own desperation to leave the darkness.

Realize that stepping into light takes a ton of readjusting. Just like the human eye readjusts itself even exposed to light after being in the dark for long, so does the spirit reform. Somethings may feel foreign until the spirit readjust to the light, but that is part of the process.

Walking from the dark into the light will expose you, but the key is to be transparent. My pastor said in one of his sermons that living a life in the dark is living in a life of falsehood and people who live there fear being exposed (John 3 v 20). He continues to say you can not be powerful if you are not transparent. The absence of transparency keeps a person longer in the dark. In the dark you nearly forfeit all power and allow the devil to have authority over you, but it is time for you to step out now.

One thing that we should also prepare for as we step into the light is the shadow behind us also known as our past. As long as there is light, there will also be a shadow. What do you do when you come face to face with your past (shadow)? Well, now that you are exposed to the light it is clear to see your past in the light. It is no longer a giant form of darkness that consumes you and makes you believe that your life is over. Be rest assured that your past (shadow) will go with you, but that is no reason to be ashamed, but rather let it be your testimony. Someone battling the same form of darkness needs you to tell your story!

Living in the light

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! My last words are that stepping into the light is the best decesion you would ever make in your life. Here is what the light does for you;

  • You see clearly
  • You are refined
  • You are made whole
  • You heal
  • You are set free
  • You walk into your destiny

Those are some nice things to have right? Sound like a perfect recipe for what we call “living my best life”. So why not make the choice to trade that darkness for the light? Let’s do this! It is time for us to take our rightful place. It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much love,

Xholiwe

When purpose is birthed from pain

Take the blindfold off and see that there is more to your life than the pain that has limited you for way too long.
-Xholiwe

Hello crowned Royals! Hope all of you are doing great. Shame on me for being away for too long. I am back though and hopefully we can continue on our journey together as we trade our thorns for crowns. I have so many thoughts about pain and how it usually takes away from us being able to see beyond it. I am often fascinated by how pain has a way of connecting us all in very different ways. Pain almost like a universal language knows no boundaries, it doesn’t matter what religion you belong to, what race you are or your economic status, we all have felt pain. Pain can be felt from the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, a major heartbreak, divorce, molestation, rape, emotional abuse, injustice and the list goes on. Often times if ever faced with any of these painful situations, it is almost hard to see the purpose from the pain. We ask ourselves a ton of questions before coming to the conclusion that there is nothing good that can come out of all the pain. I totally get it and that is why I want us to talk about it. So the question is how can purpose be birthed from pain? Purpose is birthed from pain when we understand the reason for the pain and why it had to be us and not someone to experience it. Understanding comes from the process, which we will also talk about in this blog. So let’s keep reading

Rawness of pain and how to handle it

Pain expressed in its rawness leave much to be desired for many of us. It is a messy emotion that we often times want to silence and cover up. Pain is a complex emotion that can not be handled with simplicity. Have you every seen a serious injury only be covered up by a band-aid? Am guessing not, but that is how most of us handle our pain. We cover big and painful wounds with band-aid only to continue to feel the pain and miss out on proper healing. If we are not intentional about healing from our pain, we can get buried and blinded by the rubble from all the pain we experience. Very few of us decide to dig ourselves out of the rubble because we lose hope. We experience despair and go under to only acquaint ourselves to similar people and things in the same exact situation. I remember handling my pain wrongly, like a badge of honor I paraded myself in my pain and thought this would be my life moving forward. At least so I thought. I asked the question that most of you have probably asked yourselves too “what good can come from this pain?” To my surprise, a lot of good can come from seeing beyond the pain. The experience of pain when handled in its rawness allows for you to feel and master ways to change those feelings into purpose. You are not handling pain well if you suppress the tears, lie to yourself, avoid conversations that remind you of the pain and turn away people that can help pull you out of the rubble of your pain and in the process birth your purpose. All these examples point to honesty, be honest about you pain and that is one easier way to handle pain. So with that think about what is it that you are currently doing that is not helping you handle your pain correctly. And then think of what can you do differently to handle it better.

The process before the purpose

While we all want to live our purposeful life, a lot of us neglect the process. Purpose from pain could be the easiest to find, yet most of us have a tough time coming to terms with the the pain hence the process feels like torture. Unfortunately, life is not like that blu-ray disc that you can fast forward and skip the process and land on purpose. The process is necessary even for purpose that is not birthed from pain. Think about it, a doctor goes through the process of learning tough medical procedures just so that his/her purpose can be birthed. Another example in relation to pain is a guy that experienced pain from substance abuse, then went through the process and finally got better and later opened a rehab center for people currently dealing with substance abuse. See anything similar in these two examples? Their purpose is to help others. So here is how we can process, what from your pain triggers you to want to help others who have experienced similar pain? Dig out from the rubble of your pain and you will be surprised to see how many valuable things that will come from it. Some of these valuable things will even help you know you better. You will learn what you can and can not handle as you allow yourself to process. The process can be ugly and dirty, but you must get dirty for your purpose to be birthed from it. The process can even cause more pain and sorrow, but your job is not to quit, you are to dig deep and understand the reason for the pain. The understanding of the reason surely helps birth purpose. While you go through the process be patient and allow for God to help you through it. When pain hit you, God knew you could process and find purpose in it. If you don’t believe me then here is some scripture;

He [God] will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 1 v 8

Another version of this verse says that God will sustain you. Will you still experience pain? Absolutely! But it is surely good to know that God will sustain you! He will carry you through until all the pain makes sense to you and others. Take this from someone who birthed their purpose from pain that God will sustain you. God has held me firm and kept me from falling when I let the pain in my life almost bury me and blind me to see beyond it all. Here are a few things that I did to help birth my purpose;

How to birth purpose from pain

  1. Acceptance – accept your pain and be raw about it. Feel all the emotions and don’t deny those painful situations
  2. Forgive – You need to forgive yourself and others that caused the pain.
  3. Reflect – This can be very hard to do, but you will have to re-visit the very moment that caused you pain. Write it down! How did you feel in that moment, where were you went it happened? who were you with? etc
  4. Ask questions – Yes, those though questions you try to avoid, ask them. Have talk with yourself or a trusted person in your life
  5. Learn valuable lessons – What can you learn from the pain about yourself? this can be both positive and negative.
  6. Connect with supportive people – You can’t process this alone. There are people who have experienced similar pain that you can learn from. These people processed it and found purpose. So learn from them!

Realize that there are several way to get to birth purpose from pain, but these are just a few that helped me birth my own. My last words are keep going! You can’t quit now when you are so close to birthing your purpose. Learn the valuable lesson and expand yourself to see beyond the pain and grasp on to your new found purpose. No, you will no longer be blinded by your pain and be buried under without a fight for more. Take the blindfold off and see that there is more to your life than the pain that has limited you for way too long. It is time to take our rightful place! It is time to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love

Xholiwe