24 May Trust
“Sorrows, sorrows, prayers!” those are the words this version of me would be telling my past self who would be sobbing fervently, while am patting her on the back, standing tall, just like queen Charlotte. The words would be coming out of my mouth, but I wouldn’t recognize the feelings which would make my past self, sob with so much sadness, because I have long forgotten them. Now am content, I feel peace, calm, joy from within, I feel secure, I have patience with a lot of hope, and am focused, focused on my beautiful journey. Do you know how I was able to shift from a girl who is afraid, sad, with no direction to a woman with a purpose? I will tell you
As a young girl in my village, my co-curricular activities revolved around the church. Am a catholic. First, I was in Sunday school when I was in my lower classes, here I was taught the bible verses to memorize, prayers and choruses that we sang, I learnt to play drums at this point. I remember always fighting for the drum with another girl every Sunday so I would make sure to arrive to church early and pick the drum so then she wouldn’t have any right to take it from me. As soon as I joined class four then I joined CHC (children for children) group, this was a beautiful milestone. This is the group that danced for the mass routine songs on Sunday and not everyone got the chance to dance. My friends and I went to audition one Friday after school, the older members those in the upper classes were the judges; so, they were singing one of the mass songs with the drum beat and we danced. We knew the steps of course because we had been observing them every Sunday and during their practice on Fridays and Saturdays. We always wanted to join them it was our ultimate goal at that time, and we were chosen. The first Sunday I danced during mass, I can never forget the feeling, I was so proud and so content, I looked over to where my grandmother was sitting and she was looking at me dancing on her seat, she was so happy, may she rest in peace.
At the same time, I was attending catechism classes, to learn on all the catholic teachings, theology, doctrines, and prayers. These classes were hard, I used to worry so much not to fail any of the exams, I felt like that would disappoint God and my parents as well, so I used to study hard with my catechism books, I never failed any so I was happy being there. We used to travel far for music festivals, dramas and different competitions with other church parishes, we travelled by foot always, together as a group, led by our teachers, no matter how far we were going to go. Every time we had such an occasion to travel my parents would buy me new rubber shoes and it used to be the highlight of my travels, also I would get some money mostly 40 bob, and that was a lot, I would buy every snack being sold at the gates. As I grew older, I became one of the leader of the group, my best friend was our chair, in the music festivals she would lead the traditional songs, and I would lead the own composition, or the arrangement songs, in drama, I was once awarded the best actress, taking the role of the virgin Mary, all good times.
In high school, I joined the youth group, here the church gives you more responsibilities like maintaining the church making sure its clean, and the instruments are well kept, reading the bible on Sunday, being sent to other churches to speak to the youth, and most importantly leading mass on Sunday. When I went to college, I joined the CA (catholic association) group. It was even more fun, we led the first mass every Sunday, I was one of the dancers as well, we even recorded our own songs and produced two volumes of DVDs, I loved going to the studio.
After finishing campus, I kind of parted ways with the church, I became distant. For one year after moving to Mombasa, I started going to PCEA church with my sister, I completely stopped going to catholic. I joined youth, I joined a district, we led services, I read bible on Sunday, I went to practice every Saturday, prayer meeting Thursday evening, competitions. Then, I moved out of my sister’s house to my own, and also stopped going to the church gradually. When asked by my district members, I told them that I was going back to my roots, to my catholic church. The truth is, I didn’t go to the catholic church as much too, once in a while, when I get a day off on Sunday, however, there are some Sundays that am off, and I choose to sleep instead. I was faithful to reading my bible, beginning 2020, there is no day that passes that I don’t read the word of God, but prayer became scarce. I would pray only when am in need or If I remembered to. I know God, and have always trusted that He takes care of me and guides me always.
I have this friend of mine who shares my name ‘Njoki’, whenever I visit her place, I always find her listening to a pastor online, she loves listening to Priscilla shirer, a woman who has read the bible and is led by the spirit. If not a preacher, she is listening to some beautiful gospel melodies, and when I go back to my house, I always search those songs and listen again but not really follow it up like she does. I have always admired her consistency in her love for the gospel.
So, this one day I was on YouTube watching videos, researching about my last article ‘what is love’ so I was listening to different podcasts talking about love and types of love. Then, I came across this video titled ‘ Get Up Sis! By Sarah Jakes, I was intrigued. I started listening. She was preaching to a multitude of women who had come for her seminar, basing her sermon on the story of the girl who had died while her father had run to Jesus to come and heal her Luke 8: 59-56. The servants of the girl’s father had run to them and said that the girl was dead, but Jesus told him Not to worry and only believe that she will be well. When Jesus went to her house people were sobbing and he reassured them that the girl was just sleeping. In company of the mother and father, Jesus went to her and said, “Little girl, wake up! “And she did. Sarah jakes preached that most of the time we are sleeping, we don’t know the word, we don’t trust on the lord, we have no space for him and Jesus is telling us to wake up. Wake up and recover your passion, reclaim your spirit, recover your faith, recover your talents, regain your power, your confidence, refocus on your dreams, arise for Jesus, reclaim your love, reclaim your positive thoughts, wake up and be fierce, Get up! I was moved, I was crying, sobbing uncontrollably, I was verklempt, only this time not of sadness but of the overwhelming feeling of presence of the lord Jesus. I surrendered my heart, my body and my soul to Him that evening and it has never been the same again.
Faith is why, faith is the answer, now the word of God is so powerful in my life, every verse I read I can connect it to the situation or to that particular moment am having and it fills me with hope, now I pray without hesitation and the spirit leads me on what to say and ask of the lord. My thoughts are clearer and I can consciously or unconsciously block negative emotions, I counter them with the promises of God. People’s opinion really doesn’t matter to me anymore, I feel a freedom that is like home. Before, I knew God and I knew he existed, but now am in a deep relationship with Him, and it’s the most peaceful time I have ever been in.
What has really amazed me is how patient I have been especially regarding a goal that I have been trying to reach. It has not been smooth and is taking longer than I would have wanted, but every day I wait, on His time and His promises. When I want to doubt, his word finds me in different ways and my faith and my hope is increased. Now I understand what the priests always say, it’s not that God will answer all your prayers immediately you ask, but he will give you His grace while you wait for His time.
I want to tell you what it means to have faith and living a life free of fear, and in the abundance of the love of our lord.
What does it mean by saying you have faith and you trust in God? He is looking from heaven to see those who understand, psalm 53:2. Here is what I found out;
- Trust means staying calm when attacked psalms, 27:3: as you know fear is inevitable, people face hardships, uncertainty and conflicts, no control. However, what one can control is how they respond to it, and who they rely on to endure it and to grow through it. Trusting God gives you a calm heart.
- Trusting God means turning to Him when you need help, psalm 40:4. Turn to God when in need of accomplishments, in relationships with people, in emotions and opinions, instead of depending on own human strength. Remain firm no matter what and enjoy the blessing of his mercy and undeserved friendship.
- Trust means staying with him through fire, Daniel 3:16-28. Do not doubt him, don’t abandon him, or blame him when trouble comes, rather walk in confidence that he will use your troubles for good.
- Trust in Him means making the relationship personal, psalm, 31:4. “you are my God” are words of a personal friend who understands who God is and is aware of His qualities, his greatness, His love, His promises and confidence in Him grows.
- Trust in God means trusting in His promises: psalm 37:3, be vulnerable about your needs to Him and leave the solution to Him. Be steadfast in prayer and trust that he will answer.
- It means letting go of self-protection, psalms 57:1. We are used to closing up to protect ourselves from hurt in relationships, criticism by others and avoiding conflict with those close to us and so we avoid relationships, we avoid taking risks and evade talking to people in fear of criticism. In trusting God, you let go of this self-protection, take risks and allow Him to protect you.
- It means growing and thriving, psalms 52:8. God nourishes us to be like a tree not afraid of heat or drought, always strong and fruit bearing. Trust in Him leaves you nourished, refreshed, rejuvenated even when times are hard.
- Trusting God means believing Him despite our emotions Psalms 43:5, instead of the usual minimizing of disappointment, discouragement, He helps through all these emotions when you trust him.
- Trusting God means trusting His forgiveness psalm 32:10. Your sins will be washed out clean, all your guilt gone, all the burden freed and you are filled with grace. All you need is to confess your sins and trust in His forgiveness.
- It means moving forward, John 14:1, psalm 78:10, don’t get stuck in the past, trust his promises and his guidance forward through your faith. God will help you realize His perfect ways, and you will learn from your mistakes. He will put a new song in your mouths.
Even when in doubt, the voice of God reminds you of his promises. I haven’t gone back to the church fully, but now I am aware that am in God and He is in me through our savior Lord Jesus. I pray that all our faith increases, that we learn to trust in Him, and enjoy the blessings of His love.