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

Schooled by experience: What a book can’t teach you

Greetings Crowned Royals! I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. I am so excited to write again this week and share with you what has been on my mind of late. Writing on failure last week made me think of something closely related, but a much border topic that we will unpack together. While Failure falls under the entire scope of our life experience, it literally is a small segment of it when we think of our many life experiences and how they shaped us to be who we are today. There is a famous quote that says experience is the best teacher and I couldn’t agree any more. Experience teaches us things about us that the books can not even explain. Being schooled by experience is far more complex and it demands more of your character than it does our intelligence. So, what makes experience the best teacher hands down? To answer this question, think of your own experience; the lessons, the rewards, the surprises, the tests, the uncertainties, fears and how all of that helped shape you to be the person you are today.

What is it like to be schooled by experience

Being schooled by experience is like going on a experimental roller coaster ride blindfolded without any idea on when the highs and lows will hit you. You will be met with many highs and many lows along the way, yet you stay on the ride and hopefully pay attention and take some notes because there will be tests after each ride. When you being schooled by experience, you will notice how you are not being asked to memorize knowledge, but you are rather required to apply the knowledge to your life experience. It is very hands on and practical type of school experience.

Another thing you will notice while being schooled by experience is that comparing and copying off others life experiences will not work so well for your own. Life experiences are told differently by everyone because of how we handle the lessons taught from our highs and lows. Not everyone handles these lessons well, and maybe you haven’t done so well either other times when handed these lessons, but your work and effort to do better is a choice you make for yourself. Doing all of this is not an easy task, so teaching tools such as books can help better prepare for while being schooled. While books are a great teaching tool, they can only go so far in helping us mature than actual experience can do.

BOOKS as a Teaching tool

If you are not reading a book that will help your current life situation, please read something! God has blessed many people to write books on different aspects of life and he gave us his word the Bible that touches on every aspect on life. Books are a great teaching tool that provide you with insight and practical examples. From books we learn that we are not the only ones experiencing life’s highs and lows. The only thing the book can’t teach us is how to learn from our own unique experience. We have books that will help us learn and understand our situations better, so that even as we experience, we go in somewhat prepared. A book will give you a general overview, instructions, advise and commend you, but the work starts when you apply the knowledge of and make it practical for to your own experience. Here is what a book CAN NOT teach;

  • Your own unique purpose
  • Your resilience and tolerance during your lows
  • How to handle your own success and failures in life and move on
  • Your own perspective over your life
  • How to be patient and kind to yourself as you experience life
  • The choices you make and made had a huge impact on your life

EXPERIENCE as a teacher

Can we all admit that experience has thrown us some harsh lessons, I mean really harsh that for some of us it changed our way and meaning of life. Experience is the teacher that most of us wish we did not have to take a class with them or maybe skip a couple lessons and still expect to pass. Wrong! As you experience life more, you will soon realize that there are no redos or make up tests like it was in school. Life experiences are about how well you handled the highs and lows and what you learned along the way is more valuable than you can imagine. Experience as a teacher has the ability to wipe us into shape and despite some painful lessons we would be thanking it later. Experience teach us that success is good and so is failure. We will be faced with many tests and as we continue to learn, but experience as a teacher cheers us on to keep going and growing in the process. Experience will teach us the valuable lessons of life that we can then use to help others that continue to struggle. Once you are schooled by experience you will soon learn the important of every high and low in your life and not take it for granted. Here is what experience WILL teach you:

  • Your own unique purpose
  • Your resilience and tolerance during your lows
  • How to handle your own success and failures in life and move on
  • Your own perspective over your life
  • How to be patient and kind to yourself as you experience life
  • The choices you make and made had a huge impact on your life

God and experience

God created us to experience life in its fullness, he knew that we will experience all the highs and lows and was confident that we would through the process learn who we are and not quit on life because of it. For some of us, our experiences helped align us back to God’s will for our lives. We had to take those hard and painful lessons to be able to come back to where we should have been in the first place. God like any loving parent helps correct us through our experience and while the lesson was not pleasant at first, we were surely grateful. He used our experience for our good. God used our experience for our good! Let us see what scripture says:

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12 vs 11

To be trained by experience is good! There is a harvest that comes with you staying the course and making the choice to grow and transform from your own life experiences. Allow yourself to be trained by the best teacher and while you are at it utilize books and study the word of God. With that said, I hope you can now see that being schooled by experience is not such a bad thing after all. Through the entire process you get to learn who you are and understand why your experience was tailor made for you.

It is time for us to take our rightful place, it is time 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

Mocked Crowns: One against all

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay
Beyond that mockery is a greater purpose that is birthed from our standing one against all
-Xholiwe

Hello Crowned Royals! Here we go again, another week for another trade in. I hope you all are doing well and continue to trade those thorns for crowns! I have so many thoughts regarding what am going to write about this week, so get your reading eyes and open minds ready. This week I think it is fitting to talk about mocked crowns. Xholiwe what do you mean by mocked crowns? Well, I will let the story of mocking of Jesus help us understand the term mocked crowns. So it was at the release of Pontius Pilate Jesus was left into the hands of the Roman soldiers. The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus several ways that included, flogging, laughter, spitting, insults, piercing and as if that was not enough they put a crown of thorns over his head. Oh what such pain to bear, all that for the redemption of a magnitude of people. Jesus from this example was the one against all, but even while he was mocked and crucified to death he still have the victory. While most of us can’t compare our pain to that of Jesus, we surely know what it is like to be mocked physically and spiritually, but there is the good news, we already have the victory! While you stand in the presence of your mockers, be reminded that it too shall not last. So what will we unpack in this blog? We will unpack on how to stay standing even in the presence of your mockers.

Modern day mockery is not as gruesome as the ancient day mockery that involved brutal torture, but it has its effects on people that don’t choose to stand against it. So how does modern mockery attack the one person? The mockers of today don’t have to flog you, insult you, or spit at you, all they need are a couple of hurtful words, lies about you, and old truths that no longer define you to get an unfulfilled satisfaction within them. Unfortunately, so many people fall for this and that is why I think bullying is so predominate in schools, work places and churches, yes, I said it churches have bullies too. Your choice to stand alone against all is what will determine your moving forward. If you are the person falling every time you are mocked then you have some work to do. In the midst of your mockers, it is important to know who you are, just like Jesus knew he was even when they Roman soldiers mocked him. When you know who you are the hurtful words, lies and old truths will not effect you as bad as they would if you didn’t know who you are in the first place. Standing alone is not glamorous as many people expect because it comes with some persecution that is often times unexpected. Can we be honest, not everyone does well under persecution and when the pressure gets too much most will tap out. But why should we not tap out? because beyond that mockery is a greater purpose that is birthed from our standing one against all.

Making the choice to stand one against all can be scary because what we often think is what will people think of me, so then conformity happens. Oprah said it nicely, she said that, “I was once afraid of people saying, “who does she think she is?” Now I have the courage to stand and say, “This is who I am”. Conformity comes from the “what will people think” and victory comes from the “This is who I am”. If Jesus worried what people said towards him and conformed to the mockery of others, we would be telling of another story of our redemption. Jesus knowing who he was brought all of us victory. Knowing who you are is what will bring you victory. I remember being wrapped around the the fear of what will people think of me or say about me and now I acknowledge that limited a lot of the things I actually wanted to do. You may still be that person that is still wrapped around this fear and you are probably looking at how you have limited yourself, but there is a solution! It will take a whole lot of courage stand while everyone else makes mockery of your choice to stand. Let us get this clear, standing is not the weak, it takes a little more strength to stand than it does sitting with the crowd. So what are you currently doing? Are you standing or sitting because it is safe? Please stand up because every season in your life will have some mockers and you will will not sit around mocked and defeated.

Since we still continue to deal with mockers, standing one against all is not a one time thing. We have already established that at every other level or season in your life their will be mockers, so realize that every season will require a little more courage. Courage means you confront the mockers with the confidence of you are. You are a crowned child of God! You are set apart and made for a time such as this! You may not believe me, but there is a word that never lies;

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

1 Peter 2 v 9 (NIV)

The royal priesthood or in other words “crowned royals” are to be set apart because for most of us, we are aware of how God called us out of the darkness into his marvelous light. So while others will not understand why you are protective over your crowns, they mock you for it, but I commend you to hold on to it! Hold on to the victory of knowing who you are and refusing to be someone else because mockers stand against you. Reminder how I told you modern mockery is not as gruesome as ancient mockery, it actually sounds like people care, so there are a few words that may be spoken to you as you stand against all that you should have solid answers for;

  • You have changed. Answer: Yes, I am supposed to change if I am growing and healing
  • Everyone is doing it. Answer: Doesn’t mean I should be doing it
  • That is how things have always been. Answer: Well, it has to end with me
  • It doesn’t take that much. Answer: It does take that much for me to get to where I want to be
  • You take this God thing too seriously . Answer: Yes, I do because he takes me seriously too
  • You will not make it. Answer: Unless God is not on the throne, but I know he is so I will make it
  • You think you are all that. Answer: I am a pretty big deal to God, so yes!
  • You are too happy. Answer: What else should I be other than happy?

I know there are a whole lot more other statements that mock others, these are just some that I have personally experienced. Some of these questions I answered out of fear, now I know better and so do you! Let’s continue our conversation in the comments, share any mocking statements you have dealt with either in fear of what people would think or from knowing who you are. I would love to see more of us standing one against all the mockers that do not know better. It is time to take our rightful place, it is time to trade thorns for crowns!

Much love,

Xholiwe

Change Shock: What it feels like when change happens

Photo by Havilah Galaxy on Unsplash
The process is near its end and now the caterpillar has to be the butterfly.

Hey Crowned Royals! After being away for so long I think I would like to share with you my recent culture shock experience and how similar it is to making a change in our lives. I recently visited the beautiful country of Morocco and like every visiting tourist I was hit with culture shock. As soon as I landed in Casablanca I was in for a rude awakening, this was a different place, a different people, different languages and different daily way of life than I was used to. I was excited about all of this because it was a learning opportunity for me, but if I was to be honest I was not well prepared for it. You would think for some that studied International relations I would know exactly what to do, but I did not and so I needed all the help I could get. I could list a ton of situations that shocked me and left me wondering why do they do what they do the way the do it, however, since my blog aims to keep your attention we will talk about that over a cup of tea. One of many experiences is when people kept cutting the lines in stores, at the markets, at train stations and other places I visited, it did not happen all the time, but when it did I would be so shocked. Coming from a place were waiting your turn in line is so important it was hard for me not to wonder why the did not see the same importance of waiting in line. This one experience may not be as shocking as others, but when it happened it would leave me wondering. In a similar way change in our lives can come as a shock and leave us and others wondering. When we decide to change at first things will be different and the people around the change we want will also be different so we need to be ready for some change shock.

I remember making drastic changes early this year and I was beyond shocked at what I was capable of doing. As much as I was shocked, I wondered what could have happened if I did not make these changes. Was I scared? absolutely! The changes I had to make were very different from what I am used to. Since the changes were different I had learn how to manage them and not only stay in the state of shock. After the shock comes the learning. Often times we as people in the process of changes get stuck on the shock and never learn. In the case of my culture shock in Morocco, I had my best friend explain to me why people did what they did. She has lived in Morocco longer and knows the culture very well so she was a great person to learn from. She helped me cope with my shock so that I could learn this new culture. Same thing would apply to change, if you are in the process of change connecting with or learning from a person/people that made similar changes would help you shift from shock to learning to embrace the new change. Ask the questions that will help you process the change shock and be open enough to the advice or answers aimed towards clarifying your process. Change is not something you have to do alone.

So what does it feel like when changes happen? It totally depends on what kind of change. You changing your old car for a new one is very different from changing a bad trait you have or changing your entire way of life. The new car makes you feel good, but it is not something that will require you to dig in deeper into yourself and make serious life changes. When making changes that effect your life and those around you, you might want to be more serious about them. The feelings that come with changes regarding your life can shock you. When you make the change it is not always the good feelings because if you were honest you would rather stay the same. You would rather stay in the unfulfilling relationship, the unfulfilling job and the unfulfilling way of life because it is scary to change all that without being certain that things would get better. God never said live your life unfulfilled, but since change is scary people usually have opted for the surface level change that only gives you the good feelings. Problem with the surface level change is that it don’t last for so long. There is also change that cuts right deep into all of you and this type of change comes with a roller coaster of emotions. Once you get through this type of change and shift from shocked to learned you better feel good about it.

19 For I am about to do something new.

    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 43 v 19

This bible verse can speak to a lot of people including those that have made major life changes. People that have decided to change from their old ways to embrace new ones can relate to this verse. Angry people who want to change and be more gentle, selfish people who want to change and give more, rebellious people who want to change and be obedient etc. Do you see it? God is about to do something new because of your change. The process is near its end and now the caterpillar has to be the butterfly. The change was not familiar, but now you understand why you needed it. Because when God clears the pathway a lot of the things that did not make sense now do. The change was necessary for you and those around you. God allows us to go through the process of change because he knows that our change despite the heavy feelings will be worth it in the end. The story that comes to my mind when I think of change shock is Rahab in the bible. She went from being known as the harlot of the town and when she changed she was began the pathway in the linage of Jesus. I can only imagine her change shock that made her unfamiliarized herself with being the harlot of the town and now a woman of God. Also, when she changed she probably shocked people around her, those that knew her as a harlot probably were unable to fully comprehend what happened and were left to wonder. I don’t know what your change shock is, but you are better off unfamiliarizing with it and embracing the change that will make you better. People are watching you too and are shocked at how you are now different, so keep them wondering by making more changes.

My last words to you regarding change shock is that as long as you have made the decision to change expect shock to come. You and those around you will notice the change. It may not be something you are used to, but it is something that you will eventually learn and master. You don’t have to go through the process of change alone, speak with people that have made similar changes and learn from them how you can deal with change shock and all the feelings that come with it. God is already 10 steps ahead of you and is ready when you are to walk into your promise because you made the change. Get unstuck with thinking that if you change certain aspects of your life things will not get better because fear has gotten the best of you. The butterfly within you will not emerge if you are still a caterpillar trying to hold on to the old ways of your life. Push pass it and take your rightful place! It is time to shift from thorns to crowns!

Much love,

Xholiwe

Crown of Thorns to Crowns of Life

He that wore a Crown of Thorns now wears a Crown of Life
-Xholiwe

As we are still in the spirit of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I thought of sharing on how possible it is for us to go from dealing with pain to being whole again. We are all excited that Christ has risen and oh what a joy to know that the tomb is empty! Jesus the King of heaven and earth is seated on the throne and he that was crucified for your sin is alive. It is great that we are celebrating, but can we take some time to learn from Jesus about pain and wholeness for he that wore a crown of thorns now wears a crown of life. If you don’t have any examples of people in your life that endured pain and became whole please feel free to take your example off Jesus.

Just like Jesus, we too have had to endure pain and that crown of thorns sometimes leaves us wondering if there is the slightest possibility that we can take it off. Truth is that if Jesus did it, so can we. We do face pain I know and sometimes that pain feels so pressed deep on our minds and hearts that it feels like the crown of thorns is a permanent accessory you have to wear for the rest of your life. The devil is a liar! Because he that wore a thorn of crowns now wears a crown of life and so can we! I remember dealing with pain so much that I thought it would always be that way. I thought I would have to live the rest of my life wearing a crown of thorns, but Jesus had another plan for me and so does he for you!

Healing from pain is not an overnight phenomenon. It is a process that requires you to trust God more than anything. You want the healing bad enough to trust God who knows your heart and every part that hurts. God knows every thorn that is embedded in the crown that has kept you hurtful, bitter, angry and unforgiving, depressed, prideful, and any other things that haunt you because of the pain you have had to deal with in your life.

Would you believe me when I say that you shouldn’t have to feel that way the rest of your life. Would you believe me if I say that peace is possible! Would you believe when I say that healing of pain from every thorn is possible! I never for a second thought it was possible because the pain that I allowed to sit on my head started to feel normal. Yes, we can normalize pain and act out of our pain and see nothing wrong with it. One wise woman once said that when you sit in stinky places for too long, you no longer have a sense of the bad smell because you have normalized it. Same way with pain, we sit in it for too long and normalize it. I was once so bitter and would say that is just the way it is, ummm no! I needed some healing from my pain and if God did not step in, I would still be acting out of my pain.

Here is the thing, we think that when we hold on to pain we are doing ourselves a favor, that is so wrong on 20 different levels that we could talk about in another blog. I want us to realize the power of letting go and allowing God to heal us and make us whole. Can God take us from wearing a crowns of thorns to wearing crowns of life? Yes! Because Jesus was his example for us. What does wearing a crown of life look like? When someone tells you that you dont look like or act like what you have been through. I take that as confirmation that I am healing from my pain when some stranger that I tell my testimony is amazed by all that I had to endure. Crowns of life are filled with peace, hope, faith, love and believing that all the pain you have to face in life will pass. The verse of promise in James 1:12 comforts me and hope it does for you too.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12 ESV

There are so many verses in the bible that talk of crowns and that should confirm something in your spirit right now. God gave us this promise and hope that we will receive crowns of life. A crown of life just like Jesus receive on the third day he resurrected from the grave. We too will have it! How exciting is it to know that we too can wear crowns of life.

Let us continue celebrating our resurrected king, let us also be reminded that he is resurrecting us from all the pain that we have normalized for too long. We are trading our crown of thorns for crowns of life.