Branded by Pain: How to conquer and master the art of letting go

Along the way, you will learn to let go of all the things that helped you conceal the pain.

Hello Crowned Royals, I must admit that I haven’t been great at keeping up with you all, but surely God has dealt with me immensely and that is why I am writing to you today. I hope all is well with you and that you continue to put in the effort of trading your thorns for crowns. This blog post might be heavy for some you that continue to deal with extreme pain, but I hope it brings healing.

Fairly recently I was watching a telenovela about slaves in the 19th century and while watching, a lot of the things that happened were hard to stomach or imagine myself or family go through such pain. I was particularly disheartened by this one act where slaves where lined up and one by one each of them were pressed with a hot iron cast and branded by their slave masters. Through out the show the slaves lived and died with that brand that signified their slavery. The branding of the slaves is more of a physical act that indeed caused pain and this pain was carried on till their graves. Tragic right? I know, but we too in some form have stood one by one and have been branded with pain. It may not all be physical, but it surely did something to us. But what you do with that branded pain is totally up to you, you can either live and died with it or decide to conquer. Understand that branded pain seems nearly impossible to erase, it almost feels like it is only unique to you alone and no one will understand just what you have been through. But you will be surprised to see how many more people experience the same pain. Pain is indeed a universal brand that we can all tell when it is present within us or in others, simple based on our experience and others. Many of us are living defeated by our pain and because of it we have lost our ability to conquer. Here is a question for you; how has living in defeat because of your pain limited your ability conquer it?

When Pain Becomes your Master

Remember the show I was watching about slaves? I want to talk about it again. To be slaves, these people had masters and one thing masters would do is do anything with their slaves. They literally could do anything! they flogged them, raped them, branded them and treated them worse than animals. Again this is more physical, but how many of us have allowed pain to become our master? Our pain has flogged us, raped us, branded us and has treated us less than we are. This much is true about our pain, we have given it power over us. If pain is your master, it dictates your entire life. When pain is your master, it will help you pick your;

  • Friends
  • Entertainment
  • Coping mechanisms
  • Close relationships
  • Places you frequent

Understand that when you are at the mercy of pain, it will continue to dictate your life and how you move forward with it if you do nothing to change it. I am guessing before the pain, they may have been things you set out on doing and changing, but once you gave power to pain, you were more set on the hurt and hate from others, your day to day was plotting your revenge and in hopes to conceal the pain you did things that you were not even capable of doing before it.

When you allow pain to be your master, you give up the right to conquer it, but rather you are made powerless, mocked and hopeless. It slowly eats at you and with every passing year the pain only grows more and more. You thought dying suddenly was tragic, trying slowly dying because pain has invaded your whole being. Now that is tragic. So, how do you get out of it?

How to conquer and master the art of letting go

I would like to provide you with the universal blueprint of how you conquer pain and master the art of letting go, but unfortunately, it wouldn’t work that same for each person. I do however know about one biblical act that even people before us surely can attest to it working. It is giving your pain to Jesus. Jesus has a way of taking that pain and replacing it with that much desired peace, joy, love, rest and laughter you long for. I don’t know about you, but I personally got tired of pain being my master and one day decided to fight by all means necessary. I did not want to feel all the hurt, plot my revenge daily and live less than what God put me on this earth to do. Placing the pain in God’s hands doesn’t take long, but the process of conquering and fully letting go might take longer, I am not talking weeks, but years. Once you commit though, you will along the way understand your pain and begin to fully grasp the art of letting it go. Along the way, you will learn to let go of all the things that helped you conceal the pain. Things like;

  • People
  • Places
  • coping mechanisms while still in pain

All this is not all walk in the park, but if you want it conquer and heal, then this is where you have to go. Especially if you are now desperately seeking for peace, hope, joy etc then friend this is the way to go. Because of the complexity of letting go, you certainly can’t do this alone. You need Jesus, the right environment and people that will allow you to release and let go. Please don’t expect this to happen without all I have mentioned above because you will only be lying to yourself and pain will continue to be your master. Here is some scripture to assure you that once you give you pain to Jesus, he will see you through the rest of the process of letting go;

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

1 Peter 5 v 10 (KJV)

11 You have changed my sadness into a joyful dance;

    you have taken away my sorrow

    and surrounded me with joy.

Psalms 30 v 11 (GNT)

What a blessed assurance right? What he did for others, he can also go for you! Give your pain to Jesus. His word says it will settle you and just like he did for David, he can do for you. Allow him to take away the sorrow and trade it for his joy. You have to conquer and let go, it is better on the other side. It is time for you to take your rightful place! It is time for you to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love,


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.

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


The Villain in the story: Why them?

The villain lurks into your strengths and weakness so that you never see the attack coming.

Hello Crowned Royals! I don’t know if you feel like I feel, but I have one question for January 2020 “What’s with the rush?”. I am guessing not everyone will feel the same, but January is almost gone and there is still a lot more to do. On a less shocking January note, I was hoping to talk to you all about villains in the story. I am a huge Disney fan in case you don’t know, so I am heavily invested in many stories that Disney shares through film. One common element that creates the perfect story line is the villain. Often times the villain is overlooked, but surely they play a vital role in each story. In a Disney movie, there is no guessing what is good and evil. The villain’s intentions, motives and desires seek to destroy that which is good. The good characters in the story seek to overcome the evil caused by the villain. I hope you know where I am going with this regarding your own life. While your story is far from the perfect Disney fairytale, you can agree with me that you have in some point in your life come face to face with the villain in your story. My question for the sake of this blog is, why them?

what is the role of the villain in your story

The distinct role of the villain in your story is to distort what you deemed to be the life you were supposed to live. Like an interruption to your perfect story line, the villain comes suddenly without your knowledge. The villain lurks into your strengths and weakness so that you never see the attack coming. They study your strengths and your weaknesses so that they know exactly where to interrupt you in your story. While you think it is a sudden attack, the villain carefully crafts their attack that range from days to years. The attack is one that can destroy all that you considered your life be and then later it doesn’t make sense to live. Realize that the motives and desires of the villain like I mentioned earlier are to destroy that which is good. Now that we know the role of the villain, let us answer this question; why them?

Question: Why them?

Just like most Disney stories and even some great Bible stories, the question that still lingers is why them? It could have been a stranger that barely knows us, but usually it never turns out that way. It is the people closest to us that know our weaknesses and have mastered our strengths that turn out to be the villain. The perfect example is from the Lion King, my all time favorite movie from Disney. So the villain in this great story line is not just a regular lion that is part of the pride, but Mufasa’s brother and Simba’s uncle Scar. Scar desires the throne, but since he knows it is impossible he creates his own narrative that destroys the lives of others. Scar knew more about his brother and nephew than any other regular lion would, so he used the knowledge he had to craft his attack. The unfortunate truth is that the people that know more about you are most likely the ones that end up being the villains. For some it may have been that uncle that knew you were vulnerable and raped you. For others it may have been that step mother or father that abused you. For majority of us, it was the people we chose to trust and they turned out to be the villain in our story. So why them? Why is it the ones that we love? The ones that we trust? They ones we chose to be vulnerable to? I wish I had the perfect answer that would make you jump up and dance, but I hope you heal with your tears as things come to your mind. If you are still the person that has not risen above the attack from the villain in your story, I think it is time you triumph over evil.

What is your role?

The success of every Disney story and Bible story is that the good person always wins. Notice how they never die and take their pain to their graves? Even when they are completely at their weakest, there is a moment that they rise up and overcome the evil that plagued their lives. Your role in your own story is to overcome! You have the exact strength to rise up and overcome the evil that has plagued you for way too long. You have a vital role in your story line that can change all that was meant for evil towards you to good. Here are a few things you should be doing while you seek to overcome:

  1. Learn some lessons- what did the villain’s attack teach you?
  2. Find better ways to deal with pain rather than taking it with you to your grave.
  3. Master your own strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Still be good, even if you have every reason to be evil.
  5. Face your fears!
  6. Work with others- Cinderella had mice friends, Simba had Timon and Pumba and Elsa had Anna. Build a healthy circle of people around you. You can’t do this alone.
  7. Rise up! Nothing happens for people that sit in their misery.
  8. Remind yourself always that you are able to change what was meant for evil into good!
  9. Love always wins!
  10. Give yourself and others grace- that means you have to forgive yourself and the villain if you want to move forward. Very hard to do and it takes time, but it has to be done.

I hope this list helps you being your process to triumph over evil. It is possible because so many times in my own life, I have made the choice to triumph over evil. If you don’t believe me, at least believe the word of God that say;

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12 v 21

My last words, Show that villain that their evil will not end your story line. The attack may have been an interruption to the story, but is certainly doesn’t end there. There is more your story has to tell and inspire people to overcome evil for good! It is time for you to take your rightful place! It is time for you to trade thorns for crowns.

Much Love!


Dear Younger me: I still believe

Remember when life was a blank canvas and as kids there was so much we believed in? Can you go back to believing like a child?

I feel nostalgic this Saturday and it was all because I watched a 10 minute video of all the opening songs to some of my favorite cartoons while growing up as a child. The most nostalgic 10 minutes of my life that took me back to remembering the little girl who believed in so much more and thought of life a little differently than I do as an adult. Oh, how damaging a couple years can have on us. We are now believing less and conforming more to what has been set and stone because it is easier to believe in what we see than what we can not see.

What happened to that little girl or boy who just believed in themselves and anything mommy and daddy said? Well, we grow up and once we got some understanding and stumbled upon some pain, shame, guilt and frustration we stopped believing in almost everything. We got into our teen years and we found ourselves trying to believe other stuff that were not true because everyone else was doing it, so we thought fitting in was much easier. Why did we conform? Why did we stop believing? We started to believe less in our abilities and our strengths because let us face it there people out there who do it better than you did. There is a prettier girl than you, there is a more handsome fella than you, their are more smarter people than you. But truth is they can’t be you and you definitely can’t be them and that is okay. Believing in yourself is so important because it sets you up to be an authentic version of yourself. In the a society where everyone is trying to be someone they are not, it feels good to be a real version of yourself. Your skills, your talent, your abilities and strengths can take full form if you can only believe. Believe like you did as kid! As a kid, you were doctor, a lawyer, an activist, a pastor, a fashion designer, a baker etc. It is still possible to be that kid again that believed that you could do it all. There is a place that can make use of your skill, there are people who will appreciate you talent and their are people out there that will believe for you if you are having a hard time at it.

It is never too late to believe again, I have had conversations with people younger, my age and older and the usual response is something in these lines;

  • It is too late to start the business
  • It is too late to pursue that job
  • It is not worth it investing into my dreams at my age
  • I am too old
  • I am too young
  • I am not qualified
  • Starting a new life in a different place is too risky
  • I have children
  • I have a terrible past

Excuses are the enemy that hinder us from believing in us again. We now have an excuse for everything because it is much easier to be excused than to believe. What ends up happening is that we settle feeling unfulfilled. We settle for the miserable and unhealthy relationships, we settle for the job we hate, we settle for the regular because we don’t believe for better.

Doubt is another enemy that hinders us from believing in us again. We doubt that things will get better because maybe things at some point in our lives didn’t get better, but that should not keep us from believing again. We doubt and so we make excuses. We have already counted ourselves out even before we try. We have to stop looking for signs for us to believe because God does not always give us signs. He will test our faith by not giving us a sign and because we didn’t see a sign we don’t believe, ye of little faith.

27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

John 20:27

We want God to move while we have settled in our lives full of excuses and doubt. God does not operate that way, he wants to meet us half way, we have take the step first, even one step is enough to show God that you are serious. God is looking for believers, a people that believe that all things are possible just like a child. God comes through for some crazy believers that believe in themselves and the God they serve. I am sure you have meant some of these crazy believers that just jump and never find excuses that reason with their logic. Might as well jump with them

In closing, is younger you proud of where you are at right now? Or is he/she reminding you of the dreams and aspirations you once had? If younger you is not happy with were you are in life currently, then it means you got some work to do. You have to believe again! You have to break all that has kept you from believing again. You are capable, no one can be you better than you can! Let’s get to work! We are trading our thorns for crowns!

Much Love,


Normalizing Hurt: There is liberty

When will it all get better?

Some time ago I remember having a conversation with my dear friend in the UK while I was hurting and I asked her, when will it get better? I remember saying that I needed to catch a breath, but when I tried to, it just seemed like I was under deep waters again. She quickly hit me with the word of God that served as a great reminder when I needed it right before I was out there thinking being hurt should be my lifestyle.

When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.

Isaiah 43 v 2 NLT

Real talk though, have you ever felt that way too? That feeling where you feel like God just healed from some hurt and then soon enough some other hurt finds it’s way to you? You ask yourself why do I find myself in hurting situations and question if there is something wrong with you. Yup! been there and I know how it feels. If not dealt with, It does get to a point where you normalize being hurt all the time and if you don’t get out this mindset that normalizes hurt you may find yourself hurting all the time. Hurting all the time is not normal and if you are a child of God, you certainly will not have to constantly be on an endlessness hurt marathon.

As we journey through life we need to understand that hurt will come in many forms and how we approach it will determine how we will overcome it. I will let you know that if you want to play a victim from your hurt, you are well on your way to an endless hurting marathon. However, if you play a victor from your hurt, you are about to get through life with a better understanding that hurting should not be normalized. You will have the knowledge to look at hurt as a place of growth versus it being a death sentence. Do you know how many people die thinking that constantly hurting was normal for them. I am guessing a lot of people, unless you think other wise. Understand me when I say that hurt should not be normalized in your life. You should not get so used to being hurt that it starts to feel like a lifestyle for you. No one wakes up in the morning everyday looking to get hurt, but have you ever just thought about what environments you allow in your life that can easily get your hurt. The people in your life, are they people that encourage you and see the greater worth in you? Are they people that treat you well and speak kindly to you without hurting you? Are you able to speak up to them in a respectful way when you feel hurt by their words or actions? If your answers to all these questions are no, then it is most likely that this is where you are experiencing some of your constant hurt. When it comes to people we fall under the obligation to keep them around even when they hurt us because they are family, they are friends, they are co-workers and we forget that toxic is toxic. Day after day the people around you find ways to hurt you and eventually it becomes normal for you. In this case, I would like to tell you that there is nothing wrong with giving yourself permission to avoid toxic people and enjoy some peace for once in your life.

Truth is that not every person in your life or people you meet along the way are out to hurt you, but if you have normalized hurt, you will be looking to get hurt because it seems normal for you. Your normal has become crying all night, your normal has become hurting others with your words because you are hurting and isolating yourself in the fear of being hurt again. If you don’t cry, you will want to find a reason to cry, so what do you do? Go back 10 years ago to some major hurt and cry the whole night because that feels normal. I beg to differ, our hurt can either make us or break us and that solely depends on how we normalize it. Learning from your hurt and overcoming helps you realize that hurt is only but a stepping stone that helps you grow.

Some of you would probably tell me that you have been hurting since childhood and if you were honest with me and yourself, you would say you feel like it has been an endless series of hurt. Hear me when I say that I am not ruling out the fact that we all have experienced some major hurts in our lives. For some it may be death of loved ones, divorce, heartbreak, betrayal, rejection and the list goes on, but that doesn’t mean we should expect death, constant rejection, heartbreak etc in the entirety of our lives. We need to work on that mindset that has made us believe that it is normal for us to be constantly hurt that when we feel happy we get suspicious. There is freedom that comes from overcoming that mindset that tells normalizing hurt in your life is the only way you should live your life.

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

Romans 8 v 18-21 NIV

I love how the book of Romans in this particular chapter makes it so clear that we as the creation of God will be subjected to frustration, which in other words I can call hurt, but we are to liberate ourselves from it and experience freedom! It is possible to be liberated, but we have to put in the work. We have to decide that hurt should not be normalized in our lives and we should be seeking liberty from this type of mindset.

I leave you with these last words, you are not a victim of hurt, you are an over comer. I urge you to break away from the mindset that has made you normalize hurt that you don’t know any other way to live your life unless you are hurting. It is possible to live a life where you are not constantly expecting to be hurt. Let’s put in the work! We are shifting from Thorns to Crowns!

Much Love,


Crown of Thorns to Crowns of Life

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

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.

Collectibles: Can Pain be a collectible?

Sometimes what we do is display our pain just like a passionate collector displays their findings.

It was not until I moved to the US that I discovered how collecting specific items was a thing that people took very seriously. Passionate collectors make it their primary mission to find rare collectible items for their satisfaction. There are several collectible items people choose to collect, items such as coins, chinaware, figurines, books, stamps, paintings, signed baseballs and the list goes on! Have you ever been around people that collect similar stuff? If you have never done so, I suggest you do because the conversation is full of passion and desire for the next item they plan to collect and display. I was graced with the opportunity to be around such conversations for an assigned project in college that involved me visiting an Antique store and I never thought doorknobs were that important till that day. There were two passionate doorknob collectors that shared their love for collecting door knobs that could not stop raving about door knobs and how they add character to a home. The antique store I visited had what they needed, a variety of doorknobs that they took the time to carefully study and share their thoughts on each one. While I didn’t have the interest to learn about doorknobs, one thing that was very clear to me was that these people were passionate and it would take a lot to convince them that the doorknobs to me looked like every other doorknob. There was nothing that screamed meaningful to me about the doorknobs and that is because it is not my thing and I did not share the same passion as they did for doorknobs.

To my knowledge, I don’t think I collect specific items, but I was thinking hard on collectibles this week and that is why I am writing on it. I will obviously be use collectibles to talk about collecting pain because pain can be a collectible too! Don’t believe me?! Find two people in conversation that are dealing with similar pain and reference back to my story about the two doorknob collectors.

How do we collect pain you ask? Well, for some of us it starts as early as our childhood and then over the years it piles up. We get to our adult years and we have been bruised and battered by the pains of this world. It is very easy at this point in our lives to even display our pain without even noticing we are doing so because it how been with us for a long time. Sometimes what we do is display our pain just like a passionate collector displays there findings. Pain is usually displayed through our anger, hatred, depression, bitterness and sorrow. And then we get around other people with similar pain and we share our pains like a crazed figurine collectors. Unfortunately, most of these conversations are not shared from a place of healing, but we still hold on to every pain because it feels safer to hold on to it rather than letting go. You become a hoarder of your collectible pains, just like any other collector, you have a tough time letting go because it is meaningful to you and no one felt what you felt right? I get it, I have been there too! I thought my pain was my trophy, but in actuality it was my prison. Truth is that it very easy to pile up on pain after pain if you continue to allow pain to dictate how you live your life.

Unfortunately, when we continue to be around those that are dealing with similar pain, healing can be difficult. In that case, we need to surround ourselves with those that want your healing and theirs too. What this does is that it encourages us to focus less on our pains and start to desire healing. All of us have dealt with pain, big or small it is still pain, but how we decide to deal with pain determines how long we will stay in that prison. When Jesus was on earth, he did not just heal people physically, but he also healed the broken. Jesus wants to see us healed and whole, but we have normalized pain that we find nothing wrong living our lives full of it.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalms 34:18 NIV

Rest in this verse that tells you that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. People around you may not understand what this pain really did to you, but he know and he wants to save you from all of it, not some, but all! You have to stop treating pain like a trophy and realize that it is a prison you need to be set free from. I challenge you today to treat pain as a give away, all the pain you have collected over the year needs to be given to God. It is time to clear out the display of thorns and time to replace the thorns with crowns.

Come as you are

There is no use hiding from God, he knows every little detail about you

I would like to speak for myself, but I am pretty sure you have had the same feeling once in your life or multiple times like me. The feeling that makes you feel like you have not done enough to be qualified and hold the title of a christian. Or maybe that feeling that you are too broken for God to even take a second out of his time for you. If this sounds familiar to you, I have some good news for you! God is saying come as you are, flaws and all! There is no use hiding from God, he knows every little detail about you.

I believe society makes it harder for people to come as they are because we have set so many unreasonable standards that leave majority of the people out. Hence we live to perfect our lives on our own not realizing that we can not do this on our own, we need the help of God. The saying that says we are not perfect is true, but what is often left out is that we can be made perfect through Christ who is perfect (Matthew 5:48). Because society makes it hard for people to come as they are, people find it hard to come as they are to God. Truth is, we want to be perfect first before presenting ourselves because we fear judgement. I have heard people say that they can’t do the christian thing yet because their life is a mess, they say they will try it when they have their lives together. I get where they are coming from because I thought that too, that everything had to be perfect with me first, that I shouldn’t be dealing with shame, pain, confusion, bitterness or anger because it is not is christian thing to do, but boy was I wrong! There were so many examples of people in the bible that were not perfect and still went to God with their imperfections. King David is my primary example, as anointed as he was, he messed up, but he still ran to God even in his mess. He said he would rather be punished in the hands of God than man. He chose that option because he knew that God knew him in a way that man would never know him. So before you feel like you have messed up and feel unworthy be reminded that even mighty men and women of God have not always got it right, but they still ran to him.

I think it would be pointless for me to write this without talking about the story of the prodigal son because this will help you understand what I am trying to say to you. The story of the prodigal son is the classic Sunday school story that I really did not give much thought to as a kid because to be honest I was ready to eat some candy after the lesson. Now that I am older and have much greater sense of the word of God, this story is so profound that I could spend the whole day talking about it.

The prodigal son is clearly a “come as you are” example in all forms of context. The prodigal son thought he had his life figured out, like most of us, we think that we have things figured out and want to handle life based of our limited abilities. Also, the prodigal son prematurely received his inheritance and went as far away as he could from his father. We too have asked God for our inheritance prematurely and took matters into our own hands that evenly took us far away from God’s will over our lives. Just like the prodigal son, we made bad choices, we took for granted our inheritance, misused it and allowed the wrong people to influence us. Just like the prodigal son we were left with nothing, and were put in situations that were shameful and painful. We knew for sure that our father had wealth and that life humbled us. It humbled us enough to tell us to go back home, to go back to our father despite of our terrible mess and because we were so ashamed, we were willing to just be servants. So we head home as we are, in our rags, with our shame and our pain, and we are ready to be servants, but to our surprise we are welcomed. It is like our father has been waiting for us this whole time! Oh what joy we feel when we get back into the loving arms of our father. Luke 15:20 is a vivid picture of how God waits on us always!

So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Luke 15:20 (NIV)

If you are waiting to get it right with God, you will always be waiting and missing out the royal treatment. You can never be ready for something, if you wait to be ready, you will never get it done. Life is too short for you to continue to live with shame, pain, anger, bitterness, worry, depression, you name it when you know God is a King. God would take all that away in an instant if you just come as you are and place it in his capable hands. No party is lit than a heavenly party when the prodigal sons make their way back home! No, you are not a slave to your past, yes you did mess up, but now that you have had enough, please pick up your crown and let us go party!

Being your own Cheerleader

“Nothing is more exciting than cheering your self on and actually seeing result” -Xholiwe

I know it is only two years ago, but I remember it as if it was yesterday! I just graduated and was spending most of my days and nights applying for jobs. There some days that believe I put in at least 15-20 applications. I mean I was determined, I was excited, positive and was so ready to do the adult thing and have an actual job. But soon that excitement turned into frustration, discouragement and stress because I was not getting that job I much desired. Soon enough I was buying into the fear of what others said about people who study “liberal arts” that they end up without a proper job. There was also that dreadful question of “how is the job hunt going?” that I was trying to answer politely, but deep down I had a lot to say about my frustrations and impatience. Rejection letters and no call backs after initial interviews had me feeling down and out. I remember not even wanting to apply anymore, for a good week or so I did not touch my laptop because I felt defeated. Mind you that in this time I was praying, fasting, serving in church, receiving words of encouragement, but still nothing was coming to fruition. I can tell you the whole story about how everything turned out, but I want to get to the good part about being your own cheerleader. Let me conclude this story by saying I got the job God promised I would get after a couple of hurdles and feel of defeat, I started to be intentional and cheered myself on while everyone worried about me.

The story I just shared with you was for you to know me a little bit better and also recognize that this was one of my trials and tribulations. The pain (thorn) that came not being offered a job almost had me operating with the wrong attitude, but the word of God that is living and active turned this around for me. We all know that verse in the bible that tells us to be of good cheer right? Well, if you don’t, that is okay too! There it is;

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

I don’t know what your test or tribulation is, it may be big or little, but if you follow the instructions from the word above you right now, you are about to pick up your crown. The thing that comes with being able to cheer yourself on, or in other word believe in yourself is far greater than you think. You maybe thinking nothing of what you just did, but if do this right you will see results. I tell you this because I have been in tough situations and used cheering myself on in several of them and to my surprise everything turned out good. I am not easy was that easy, but if you keep at it, it does get much easier to be of good cheer regardless of the magnitude of your situation.

There may even come a season in your life where family and friends can not cheer you on because they have their own trials and tribulations to fight through. When that happens you have to be there for you, you have to show up in the bleachers and cheer for you. You got this! I mean just look at how far you have come!

I need you to be your biggest fan before anyone comes to support you, know that you are capable and well equipped with the power of God to back you up. I don’t recommend you stay in that place of defeat because nothing grows there and there is little room for God to work things out.

How do you cheer yourself on? I am glad you asked! Well, how about some words of affirmation? The power in speaking into your life is far greater than keeping silent. Words that affirm the truth about you will shift your attitude just like it did mine when I was in the job hunting season. You may need to repeat them through the day, most especially when you feel that feeling of defeat. There are some words of affirmation that have and continue to help me through my trials and tribulations.

  • I am loved by God
  • I am fearfully and wonderfully made
  • I am an over comer because Jesus overcame
  • I am beautiful
  • I am unique
  • I am strong
  • I am capable to do all things through Christ
  • I am not alone
  • I am not defeated
  • I am a winner, no matter the situation

Please feel free to use these words of affirmation and add to the list what you know is true about you! Stay encouraged! It is just a matter of time before that thorn is traded in for a crown. In the meantime, cheers to you!