When you do not hope anymore

I wanted to make a little series of posts about my current season. I am sharing a state of mind that may be familiar for some….I have felt like this recently and I had to put it in writing in form a little poems.

It happens sometimes when life hit you too hard, you found yourself losing hoping.

When you do not hope anymore

And then you reached a point

Where you get really tired in your waiting

Especially when you where at an avenue where you had an inkling of hope

You thought this is it

This is what I pray for

Finally it is here

You feel all the expectations

You smile

And then

Just like that the door close back on you

Brutally

It was not it

So here you are laying on the floor

Feeling disappointment like you never felt it before

You are locked in the tower of despair just like the pilgrim

But you are so tired now that you do not want to take the key to get out of there

A part of you is mature enough in your faith to understand that even this setback has a purpose

you will probably make sense of this later on

Because at the end everything is a lesson…Isn’t it?

But now it looks like this storm is too strong for you

This does not seems to make you

This is actually breaking you

And you know about being broken because you have been broken in the past

So many times

So many times you have reached rock bottom

You know what it is like to feel heavy

To not be able to breathe easy

You have known disappointment and frustration before

You are acquainted to these negative feelings

The sadness

The anger

The regret

The bitterness

The pain

They become for a moment, unfortunate friends

They do not want to leave you alone

You are with them so close in this tower of despair

They are the talking to you

And you know you don’t really want to listen to them

Good people try to make you see the light and you think to yourself ‘I have heard these words of encouragement before

I know these verses’

But somehow they do not work in this storm

Actually nothing seems to work

My usual coping mechanisms are not useful here

I am oh so quickly reminded of my pain when the song is over

When the pack of sweets is empty

When the movie credits starts rolling

When you come back home from hanging out with friends and your mask have to come off

The reality is you are not okay

And you do not know when you will be okay

In the mist of people you feel alone and bored

As time goes by, you feel more and more empty

Life becomes a bore and it feels pointless

Every day you are in autopilot so that you do not feel anything

You do not want to feel anything anyway

Nothing matter

You want to disappear but you cannot

This dark tunnel is endless

Where is the light?

Hope?  Where are you?

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Uncertain difficult seasons 

There are moments in life when you have no idea where you are headed. You reach a point of total confusion where there are more questions than answers. You do not know even what to pray for or what to hope for.

The doors you thought were meant to open close right on your face. You are then wondering if  God is distant or is just sitting silent.

I am currently in such a season. I can honestly say that my heart is weary and the heaviness is unbearable. However I am mature enough to know that every seasons is necessary for our growth and our faith. It is in hardships that our character is made and truth be told: some lessons can only be learn in the storms of our life.

So today I just wanted to share the lessons God has been teaching me in my season.

1) It is okay to cry and yes emotions are real

We ought to allow ourselves to feel emotions and feelings, as harder as it is. Scream if you have to but let it out all. Do not bottle anything and give it all to the Father: the heartbreak, the sadness, the anger, the disappointment, the bitterness…Every feeling is valid.

2) Share with someone and allow them to pray for you.

It is important to have good friends to speak to. If you have good counsel around you it is okay to explain what you are going through. Before you know it, they may have been or are going through the same seasons as you. We always feel at time that no one will understand what we are going through and they cannot really help us. At some of my lowest points, God allowed my sister, my brother and a woman at my church to bring me comfort in my period of transition.

3) Be careful to not listening to the lies of the Enemy

Remember he prowls around like a lion, and will come in different forms to try to confuse with all type wrong narratives.

“You will be better off away from God”

“He doesn’t love you”

“He doesn’t care”

“Your situation will never change”

“Look others who are not walking with him look better off than you”

Do not think that you will be better off. God covers you everyday believe it or not. Just because we do not get a notification every time that God did protected us from something does not mean he is not protecting us. Even when we feel it or not, He looks after us. Outside of his love, his protection is not guarantee and we can end up in worse situations.

4) Always remember that God is working in your heart and character

We are the clay being moulded by the potter and he is constantly pressing us to make  a more useful vessel out of us. We are the diamond being refined through the fire. Our character and our faith are more important than our circumstances changing.

5) Praise him in the pain

Yes…As harder as it will be, we still have things to be grateful for and thank God for him. See I believe in the power of music and especially worship music. I have playlists of songs that usually talks about hope. Listening to them on a bad day is genuine therapy.

Praise him every time you feel your emotions racing

Praise him with music and with your own words.

6) Be patient

This one is a hard one too. I confess that I still struggle with patience; I have not much of it so it a never ending lesson for me. Situations will not resolve and change all in one go…It might take time. God works with time. I wish I could tell you when it all get better, but I do not know. I can assure you is that there is a purpose in pain and that breakthrough do happen.
It just that God’s timing is very different of ours.

There is say in my country that say that some eat at 8am, some eat at 2pm, some eat at midnight…But no one goes to bed hungry. This means that we each have our own designated time and we will all ultimately receive our answers.

It is also very tempting to compare our life and walk with others and seeing them progressing, achieving things, getting their miracles and we feel like we are not moving. Especially when we have been walking faithfully with God, serving him and we see some who just seem to have started their journey who have came back from wandering ways, getting blessed. We then feel like the other brother in the prodigal son story: “why  is he being blessed and I am not receiving anything although I was here serving you Lord”. Comparison will steal your joy.

Also maybe God just want to also show us that he is our reward and just want to us to enjoy us and our relationship with him. After all, are we seeking more God’s hand or God’s heart?

So let’s be patient and praise him when it hurts. There is always something beautiful on the others side of our faithfulness.

Let him be our strength in the waiting.

At the end of us, He is there.

And all things, yes all things will work for our good.

Age is nothing but a number

 

 

Recently I came across a personal situation where I was told that I was ‘too old’ and it really frustrated me. I felt angry and sad but it also make me question if I was really too old.

I am going to turn 34 this year and here is the trick: I do not look like  34.  On most days people think I am 22. When they hear me speak and how I express myself they can give me 25. I frequently get ID to the point. I believe this is mostly due to my genes as my mother has always looked young. When she turned 50, all my school friends called me a liar because she clearly looked in her early 40s. I am also  black  and consequently the melanin keep me wrinkles free at the moment.

I personally do not see it…I do not know which age to give myself. But most importantly, I do not feel it. I do not understand how time has passed by. It feels like yesterday I was in my early twenties and last week I was a ten year old jumping on my bed, and wondering what will be the next episode of my favourite cartoon.

I believe that is mostly because of where I am in my life at the moment. For me a 34 years old woman will be married with one kid and maybe another one on the way. She will be working as an executive in a company and will juggle career and family life while navigating mortgage payment, holidays bookings, school baking events and dignified brunches with women in the same age as her .*apologies for the stereotypes*

However, this is not my reality.

I am not married. I do not even have a boyfriend. I have no children and do not have enough time to look after a pet. I rent my little flat and  the word mortgage give me chills. I do not own a car and still struggle to keep money in my saving account. Although I am an assistant manager in a prominent law firm, I am not really where I thought I will be at this age.

So my life feels more like a 25 years old’ life.

I am responsible in terms that I pay my bills on time and go to work. But I usually spent my time socialising with teenagers as a youth leader, binge shows on Netflix, travelling and thinking about what item of fashion I am going to buy next. I try to adult in the best way I can, but I am not too sure if I am doing a good job at it. Well I think I do. Since I am alive, I must be doing something right. Whereas others are getting married, and posting baby announcements on Facebook , I am looking at memes and funny videos on social media.

I do ask other people in their thirties if they feel their age. They have the same answers as me, especially those who have children. They do not feel as accomplished adults and it looks like no one is really sure if they are handling situations well or if they know what they are doing. So in a sense, we are all in the same boat: quite unsure about this ‘we are getting older’ thing.

So maybe it is just the way it is and age is really just a number as they say. You are as old as you feel. Feel? I am not necessarily the ‘feeling’ type, but it is true that life does not have to be dull as you get older and become more swarmed by new or bigger responsibilities.

It is not useful as well that our modern society gives us mixed messages about ageing. Apparently you have to embrace ageing but also fight it.

The truth is I believe I got better with age on so many levels (I know, humblebrag).
My body looks its best and my metabolism is still very fast. Since I went back to my natural hair texture I have been appreciating the way my hair looks. My skin has finally cleared up and don’t get me started on the confidence level *Hallelujah*. I am so much more comfortable with myself. In my twenties I tried to figure out who I was, in my thirties I am finally settling into who I am. So many things I used to worry about in my twenties does not bother me now.

Can we really use our age as an excuse to not continue to enjoy life, to believe, to create?There are so many examples of people out there who reached their success and accomplished amazing things in their 40s, 50s,60s and beyond. Life is what you make it to be, at the end of the day.

So although my body will get slower and my energy levels will decrease at a certain point, I will not use my age as an excuse to not enjoy my life.  I will not have a crisis about getting older. I refuse.

Life doesn’t stop as you age. The fun doesn’t stop at 29.

It is just a different chapter, different challenges, different opportunities and different difficulties.

Life is short and getting older is a privilege denied to many. As long as God woke you up this morning, you still have purpose.

Make your life an adventure, not a chore.

God bless

 

 

Fashion moment: Spring Jackets

Hello there

I  wanted to bable a bit about fashion for a moment..Spring is well upon us and it is a season that I really like. I like transition seasons because it is never too hot and too cool: it is just a happy medium. I do not need to wear a coat and a heavy scarf but I can trow a nice jacket and I am good to go.

So to prepare for my new season wardrobe, I checked my favourite fashion websites and just wanted to share some items that caught my eye.

There are some  wardrobe staples that I think everybody should have. There are also some edgy and seasonal pieces to have fun with.

So let’s go.

Classic pieces

The Denim

The Leather

The bomber

The suede

The mac

The fun pieces

The ripped

The floral

The Cargo army

The festival rain jacket

The Embroidered

 

 

Be Kind

 

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Have you seen the news lately?

How many articles have you read and you felt: while this earth is a big mess. What is going? Things seem to get worse.

I have felt lately that even though I need to be informed by what is going on around me, watching news and sometimes being on social media just instigate fear, worry in my heart. Also it seems like there is more hate and anger out there than love and empathy.

This is why it is important for me to write this post.

No, I am not going to advocate any political positions or spread my opinions.  I just want to go back to a simple basic step on how to react towards all of what is happening.

Be kind.

As much negativity is out there, we can push out positivity.

I know this may sound cliché, especially coming from my Christian mind, but I think it is one of our solutions available out there. I starts with empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Understand

Firstly, let’s remember that life in general is hard and we all go through difficult times and we all struggles. All are lives are imperfect, going up and down, mixing beauty and pain. Secondly, we could all or have at some times being mocked, bullied, vilified, discriminated against, attacked because of how we look, what we wear, our lifestyles, our belief, our ethnicity, or else. Empathy is just putting oneself in someone else’s shoes. Sharing their life in a sense.

Share

You can never know about a person’s life just from meeting them once. We should probably listen to others as much as we are talking to them or about them. In a world where everybody wants to voice their opinions, it is so easy disregard another’s feelings because we see our feelings more. As they sharing their stories, we can give a piece of heart rather than a piece of our mind.

The simple things

You probably heard it or done it before:

We can all do little things from keeping company to the people who are alone, befriending older people in a nursing home, to volunteering at a shelter, donating to charities. But we can also do the little things like being polite, smiling, complimenting and encouraging people instead of criticising them.

I know it sounds pretty basic, and we all heard it before but it looks like a foreign thing these days. I remember hearing last week a person telling me that just because she was kind with a person, people assuming she was flirting with them. Why is being kind now associated with suspicious motives or hidden agenda. Let’s flip this script and just treat others the way we want to be treated.

The world can easily makes us harder, let’s not give into the negativity

Let’s just be kind…the worlds needs it.

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Blogging: Another try

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Hey

Long time no see.

I know, I am not a very consistent blogger. I have good intentions, but sometimes it is hard to turn them into actions. My days are sometimes so busy I come home incredibly tired; I lose all motivations to type or arrange a post. Well, these are my excuses. I know they are not valid.

This year I will try things a bit differently.

The main reasons: I love writing….I love creating.

This blog was a desire of mine for a long time. In the past I tried others blog ventures, but they never stick. I want this to stick. I want this to grow; growth not just in numbers of followers but to growth in quality.

This year, I will turn 34 years old * insert intense screams of panic *

Now, I am not married. I do not have kids. I do not own a house, not even a car. Currently a lot of people advise me to get on the property ladder now. But I have no desire (nor really the need) to buy a property.

But I have this: this little blog of mine. This is my space: a little place of the Internet that has my name on it. So I will cater to it. I am going to nurture.

Like many people, last month I have thought about goals (not resolutions) and had vision boards and mood board about 2017. Last year, I did not do that. Last year I decided to take life as it comes. It was not bad but this year I want to change it up.

So the goal is to be more consistent and more creative and see if I will decide to go premium by the end of 2017. For me, going premium is the ultimate commitment since money is involved. I want to see if I can go there. So this is a goal and a challenge.

So get your seat buckled, people…as there will be more to be read, if you are happy to take the ride with me.

Yveline

 

 

Soul Survivor

 

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So this year I went to Soul Survivor with the youth group of my church, Bethel Community Church.

It has now been two years that I am a youth leader at my local church. This was never something that I had planned. I joined the church in 2013 after I had some troubles with a boy (long sad story). One of my good friends used to go there and recommended it to me. I did not go to church for more that 4 years (once again another sad long story). So coming to Bethel, I had many reservations, I just wanted to hear the sermons at the time, was not really planning on staying long, talk or fellowshipping with others Christians.

But I ended up really enjoying the sermons and decided to stay.  One day, I prayed God if there was something I was supposed to do in the church, in term of serving. At first, I though about joining the worship team because I enjoy singing and not to brag I am quite good at it. So like a good Christian, I prayed about it. Then one Sunday, I was approached by a member of the welcome team who encouraged me to help and volunteer at the Youth Group. I was very reluctant because I remember what I was like as a teenager and I was just a horrible human being. I was so prejudiced against young people; I did not want to be around them. But since I had prayed God, I felt compelled to go to one meeting to see how it was. One of the major things that I learned about my Christian journey is that God likes to take me out of my comfort zone and push me to take risks.

It has now been two years and I am officially part of the leadership team and this year we decided to bring the youth camping for five days at Soul Survivor in Somerset. There is the weird part; I am not one who ever thought she will be camping. To be honest I am still not a great fan of it. I do not mind doing outdoor activities as long as I can go back to my bed at the end of the day. Sleeping in a tent is not on my bucket list. If I had to tell the truth, the first night was just horrible. The airbed I had deflated and I was literally sleeping on the floor while it was absolutely freezing outside. In addition the mother of all heat wave decided to fall upon us; so staying in tent was just insufferable.

But although the living conditions were not my favourite thing, the actual festival was quite an enjoyable experience. We attended really challenging sermons and incredible worship sessions in a big tent. There were several activities and seminars throughout the day and we all bonded as a group like a little family creating memories that I know we will cherish forever. We grew closer to each other and to God. It was even decided that we would go back next year.

On my part, God taught quite some vital lessons. The principal one was that some elements of Christianity would be different from one person to another. The message is the same: we serve the Almighty God, Yahweh, who sent his son Jesus to die as a sacrifice to redeem our sinful souls. Jesus died for us and rose again. He promised to come again and left his Holy Spirit to guide us in our journey to love God and love others while being continually regenerated. This is the core message from the Bible. However I got reminded that there are some stages and levels and therefore everybody walk a different journey. Although there are similarities and we can even shares similar experiences, we are all different people. Different personalities, backgrounds, with different gifts. We even react to the Spirit differently. Throughout the Bible, there are all types of people: quiet, stubborn, strong, creative, passionate, small etc…God uses them all in their different personalities. So there are different journeys and paths, which shows even more how much our God is amazing. We are not clones and we are not robots. We are imperfect people drawn by redemption by the grace in his eyes.

The verse that stuck with me, was from the first sermon. It was Zephaniah 3:17:

‘For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty saviour. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With his love, He will calm your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song.’ (NLT)

I love that God can and will quiet me with his love. That is one beautiful hope.

God bless.

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