I’m back as promised, so read on for more things I learnt along the way 🙂
I believe that he who wins the battle is not always the strongest person, but rather he who endures the longest. There’s no point in being the strongest person if you are killed first right?! Endurance wins the race! And I definitely needed God to give me that enduring type of strength over the last 3 months!
Do you know what it feels like to feel to be full of passion and purpose to exercise your calling and change lives, but to have someone tell you you’re not even good enough to send an email? To have a history degree and have someone have to proof read a 6 sentenced email? To speak 2 languages and have someone change the tenses of your work? To do things and they never be good enough? To be told that your work is abysmal and nothing to be proud of? To be told you shouldn’t even be proud enough to show that work to your family? Do you know what it feels like to be lied on, time and time again? To be patronised till you feel like taking Bernard’s watch and going back to being a baby? For everyday of your working live to be an uphill struggle? For your heart to jump EVERY time you see an email coming in from your line manager? To be verbal attacked and strategically bullied for 3 months? To wake up every Monday and wish it was the weekend? If you know what all that feels like, then you’ve lived the last 3 months of my life. If you’ve ever been made to feel like that, then you know what it’s like to feel to consistently be drained every day. You can also understand how easy it is to feel defenceless and gradually allow yourself to become a victim. BUT allow me to testify for a second *unpacks pulpit*.
During the first 2 months in particular, strength was a luxury I couldn’t afford. On fateful Thursday, I sat in tears at my desk. Everyone had gone home at 6pm and 7pm and gradually the office got quieter and quieter. I was the 2nd to last person on the floor, there I was sitting at my desk all because I had to make a 31MB file smaller. People had watched this file increase in size since its inception, yet nobody said anything until then. Sitting there at 10pm, frustrated and tired having got in at 8.45am, I was weak and defeated. I had tried EVERYTHING for over an hour trying to make this file smaller. I had cried out but realised that I hadn’t done one thing. So I called directly upon the name of Jesus. I prayed and cried out for Him to make a way, to make this file smaller but even then nothing immediately happened. I gave up, I’m sensitive and fragile at the bests of times lol, but by then I was broken.
My vase was empty, my engine had run out of fuel, I considered sleeping in the office because I didn’t even have the strength to focus my eyes properly let alone walk to London Bridge. At that point, I saved the file one last ready to go home and deal with the fallout the next day. Yet low and behold, the file had decreased from 31MB to 7MB in an instance. As in, I blinked and the file had become smaller. The content had not changed yet there it was on the screen, smaller in size. I broke down and sobbed at my desk with relief and gratitude. I couldn’t believe it, I was lost for words and not entirely sure if I was actually seeing this. Was I delirious? Tears are even falling from my eyes now as I type because I’m reliving the experience, I’ve gone back to that exact moment and overwhelmed at the indescribable majesty, faithfulness and mercy of God. How can anyone else take the glory apart from God in this testimony? I told a non-believer friend and he couldn’t say anything but ‘wow’. I broke out into some worship in awe of what our God had done. I still can’t fathom the fact that our God who sits high and lifted up, enthroned in such majesty above the circle of the earth, He who speaks things into existence, He who is sovereign – took the time to step into my situation the way He did. As I go through life, I’m thankfully that God has given me a few of those ‘nobody but God’ testimonies that no scientist, non-believer or false religion can argue against. God did it!!
Fast-forward a few weeks later and of course, even the 7MB wasn’t good enough because nothing was ever good enough, so I told God I needed the file to be smaller before I went to bed. Whilst I slept, I dreamed that it had reduced to below 5MB but the irony in this testimony is that I also needed to add a lot more data to the Excel document, and when is ay a lot more, I mean A LOT more. But I knew God would do something new and that was being confirmed through the dream. After faffing around for a while trying different thing, the Holy Spirit dropped some divine instructions into my spirit about how I needed to add in the data. After it was all said and done, after a few tweaks and shifts, the document went down to 4MB!!
HOLD. ON. A. MINUTE. This document started out at 31MB, was then miracle reduced to 7MB with the same content, and then decreased to 4MB in size despite the fact I had to increase the content. God is beyond. Words have not yet been invented to describe our God. Even if we had a thousand tongues and ate the Oxford English Dictionary we would and fall short; we could spend eternity creating new words to describe Him and never reach the mark. God is sovereign, just, faithful, merciful, marvellous, love, peace, rest, and joy just to name a few. He is absolutely everything and life without Him is nothing.
But we need to remember that we cannot do it by ourselves. As formidable a force it was, Nebuchadnezzar was able to bring down the walls of Jerusalem. The army of the Lord was able to bring down the strong walls of Jericho. If we view ourselves as too strong for God, do not be surprised when He allows an army to bring you down. If you don’t volunteer to learn about humility, you will learn it the hard. The more we boast in our weakness, the more room we give Him to be our strength – 2 Corinthians 12:9. It is only when we submit and press into God, that we give Him the room necessary to build us into ferociously strong towers that not even the gates of hell can prevail against! He delights in being our strong God & Rescuer.
A song that ministered to me during this season was Hillsong – Oceans. When I was in the States over the summer, I went to Hillsong New York and they minister this song and it was so powerful. I then heard it ministered again at a different church in San Francisco and it was even more powerful. I was able to find it on YouTube and it really blessed me during this season. The song is about Peter trusting Jesus to take him over the waters. The words are powerful and are such a heartcry, some of the lyrics says ‘Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your sovereign hands will be my guide, where feet may fail and fear surround me, You’ve never failed and You won’t start now’. When all I could see was a storm in my situation, this song really encouraged me to trust in God and keep my eye above the waves! I hope it encourages you in your situations too.
It’s only very recently, as in this Tuesday, that I can actually say I have let go of the last 3 months. The truth shall set you free and I’m like a bird. I had an interesting chat with a very incredible lady. She had noticed that I lost my shine over the last 3 months and that I just appeared defeated. She said something that stuck to me ‘it almost seemed like you had put yourself in the victim box’. Now I am nobody’s victim, but she is right at the same time. I had given up on the spectacular testimony like I said in the Testimony post. I had become scared of the emails and dressing downs, every waking second and minute I was thinking about work and all the other impending attacks. Every other day or week, another episode would occur so I got to the point where I was held by fear of the unknown. I had become a bit of a victim. When she told me that I started out so engaging and bubbly, that I had a real energy, confidence and was so shiny but over the last 3 months she could see that I had lost my shine and confidence, I just cried. Sidenote – awkward! The devil seeks to kill, steal and destroy and there I was like Stella wondering where my groove had gone! It was then I cried my last tears over this season and forgave those I felt had made it their purpose to destroy me. Every time I thought I had forgiven them, I realised I had just tried to push things to the back of my mind and was reminded of my unforgiveness whenever I had to interact with them. By choice, I kept myself to myself, interactions with them to a minimum, keep my distance just to block it all out. But that wasn’t forgiveness at all. I had to face up to the last 3 months whilst deciding to draw a line under it. I’m still working with God to be restored and made whole because only He can heal such severe hurts but I have truly forgiven them. Forgiveness is a must because if you don’t forgive, you end up a prisoner in your own man-made furnace, blaming the other person for fanning the flames you’ve lit with the aroma of bitterness.
It also helped me to remember that in reality, they were pawns in the devil’s game to try and squeeze me out of where God had placed me. The year hasn’t been easy and I’ve definitely struggled with being back in the corporate world in 2013 after such an amazing 2012 serving the type of people God has given me a heart for. The politics, the games, the underbelly, the misplacement of priorities have made me feel like a dog returning to tis vomit, out of place and somewhat aggrieved that this is where God has kept me. There have been many times I’ve asked God to move me on, but each time He’s reminded me of why I need to remain – I still have so much to learn and go through before He releases me.
God did not give us the spirit of fear but of power and a sound mind. Never again will I be made to feel a victim. The most ironic thing is that whilst I felt attacked on all sides, I felt incredibly discouraged and defeated but didn’t know that I had passively allowed myself to feel like a victim because throughout I knew God was fighting for me so I held my peace – Exodus 14:14. But seeing how I was perceived allowed me to reflect and soak in the fact that I had actually given away a part of myself to the struggle in the first 2 months. I was listening to William Murphy’s song Higher and the words we’re so timely back in November when I decided to start taking stock and reclaim the things I had given away. Now I’m free and looking forward to 2014!
I worship & praise God not only for what He’s brought me out of, but for what He’s using that season to bring me to. Hear me when I say I did not go through that season for it to whittle away and die! Despite the heartache, attacks and pain there have been many testimonies & revelations along the way, and within it all, purpose is embedded. This is a necessary stepping stone to my next level, and after such a tough round, I now feel just that little bit more qualified to move that little bit more forward.
Be encouraged guys, your 2013 is setting you up for a great 2014!!!
So let’s spread the word, feed a spirit, encourage a soul!
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