Day 2: My Encourager

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NIV).

Day 2 went well, glory to God. I thank God for allowing me to start the day in prayer. I woke up today from a terrible dream, but I thank God that the Holy Spirit removed the fear and put me in an act of worship instead. Praise God for that!

After prayer, I washed the bathrooms at my apartment (it was my turn this week; now I don’t have to wash them anymore). Then, and this is the highlight of the day (one of the highlights), one of my friends called to encourage me about my mission! I felt the encouragement of God! I felt the love of God upon me– she went out of her way to encourage me! Here are a few points she made:

  • God has a purpose for me, so I should stop doubting Him. 
  • As a child of God, I can’t make a mistake– even my “mistakes” aren’t mistakes because at the end of the day, everything works together for good. Therefore, I cannot lose (cue Romans 8). 
  • Don’t look at the present situation because our God is a God of the future. 
  • For mission: remember how God confirmed your work to you in the first place. Hold onto that because it is your revelation. 
  • When God gives you something, don’t undermine (or question) it. 
  • Remind yourself why you decided to even do the work of God in the first place. 
  • Remember that destiny involves a breaking. 
  • ASK GOD TO ORDER YOUR STEPS. 

These were the main points of our conversation. I was so happy because it was needed, much needed. It was important for me to be reminded on those things and continue to focus on God and His work in my life. As a missionary, life is hard, but my God is better!

The rest of the day was filled with being in the presence of God. I was of reminded why it is important to have good Christian friends, friends you can watch something with, confirm whether or not it’s in the Bible, encourage each other, get blown away by revelations, and then pray together… It is ABSOLUTELY priceless! My two friends came to visit me, alleviating my alone-ness; it was a pleasure to have them around.

After, we went to choir practice. I came back, had dinner, watched some videos, talked with my pastor (who also encouraged me), and now I am writing this (journal).

I thank God! I’m happy for His encouragement! He sees my future– my future is secure in Him alone! I’m grateful and happy about that!

Now, I’ll go spend some quality time with my Father!

Advertisements

To my Mother (In-Law)

“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown” (Proverbs 12:4, NIV).

“Adam and Eve were the happiest and the luckiest couple in the world, because neither of them had a mother-in-law.” — Anonymous

The quotation makes me laugh. It’s funny because it’s true. But why do mother-in-laws get a bad rep?

Honestly, the fact that I will one day have a mother-in-law wasn’t  really at the forefront of my mind because I have somehow (subconsciously, I guess) always assumed that I would have the best mother-in-law in the world! That is my prayer. But something changed my mind when a mother at my church advised me to start praying for my husband and his family, because when I marry him, I marry his family as well. I listened.

Two things inspired me to write this letter. One was a Yoruba movie I watched yesterday. In it, a mother put a spell on her son because she didn’t want him to love anyone else above her. The other was the Proverbs 12:4 verse that really caught my attention while having quiet time.

As I think about what kind of mother-in-law I’ll have, I aim, starting now, to be my husband’s crown, adding to him. I pray my mother-in-law understands this.

Dear Mother (In-Law),

Thank you for raising a fine man! I know he will not forget the godly principles you have imparted on him.

As much as I love and respect my husband, I understand that you do, too. Mum, my desire is that you will be a source of guide for me, teaching me how to live with him, love him, care for him, etc. I desire unity in our family. I desire to call you Mum. It is my desire that you take me as your own daughter, love me, scold me, even discipline me.

I want to reassure you that I am not here to replace you or compete with you. But, as it is, God has given me the duty and privilege of being his help meet; this is my mission and priority. I pray I succeed in it everyday. I am his crown, not a crow. I submit, not overpower. I respect, not disgrace. I love my husband; I am the bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh. God joined us together in His own divine wisdom. God has allowed him to start his own family, and with God our side, we will excel and flourish.

Take me as your own daughter; I write to you as such. I appreciate you. I pray that God will continue to bless and honor you. May you continue to be your own husband’s crown. My hope is that I will be the best wife to my husband, as the Lord gives me strength and grace. I pray you will continue to pray for me– because when you do, you are also praying for your son.

Don’t forget: we are on the same team, mum.

With Love,
Your Daughter (In-Law)

A God of WHEN

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV).

I received good news from a very dear friend of mine this morning. As much as there was (is) joy in my heart about what she shared with me, the Word and promise of God in Psalm 126, especially today, has really put me on a whole other level!

Verse 1 really touches my heart. Whoever wrote Psalm 126 didn’t say, “If…”, but “When…”, telling me that my God is a God in charge of time and timing. The problem is we do not know when His “when” is, which means that we have to wait for it, which is a problem for all of us. But, when God promises, He fulfills. When God speaks, it comes to pass. When God saves, it is sure. When God opens a door, it can’t be closed; when He closes a door, it can’t be opened. When God writes your name in the Book of Life, no one can take it away. “When” suggests to me a finality that only God possesses.

It’s not as if I don’t know the character of God; but the thing about the Bible is that the Holy Spirit teaches and re-teaches you things until you fully understand them and transform them into heart knowledge. By the grace of God, I have a different view to my circumstances (Romans 12:1-2). I am convinced now that my God is a God of when, not. As I was reading the chapter I kept telling myself that God will do what He wants to do when He wants to do it. I have accepted my breakthrough by faith!  When God does allow me to be fully funded… when He gives me a husband… when He gives me financial breakthrough… My victory is coming! In fact, it is here! That is the power of my God!

The chapter itself is just very encouraging! I implore you to read it and let it bless you! Apart from that word “When”, the other part that really caught my attention was “we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV). What that suggests to me is that perhaps they had lost hope that deliverance will actually come; perhaps they were only dreaming of a freedom they didn’t really believe in. But when it actually happened, I can just imagine them saying “We can’t believe it!” But, I’m here to encourage you today, friends, to believe that your Father in Heaven, when He delivers you and grants your requests, you will be like a dreamer. Hold onto your dreams and the vision you have for your life, marriage, finances, ministry, children, spouse, etc.

Because your God is One who does immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, the joy and peace you will feel WHEN He shows up and shows off in your life will certainly be immeasurably more than you are even thinking at this moment!

Heart Matters

“the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people…” (1st Samuel 13:14, NIV).

I think we can all agree that the heart of anyone is very important because our actions start in the heart– it’s all a process, you know. The heart matters. I think of the song that says Lord, I give you my heart… When we give God our hearts, that means we hand over our totality to Him alone, knowing that He will mold it and remold it and polish it to become like His; and the end goal of our surrender is that we look more like Him, showcasing Him to this broken world. So, what does all this have to do with me?

Well, I love the heart! When discussions of matters of the heart come up I get excited because I just want to glean from people, and grow; I also want to be aware of the state of my heart, checking to see if it aligns with God’s own heart– I desire to be a woman after God’s heart!. And when it comes to relationships, not just romantic ones, even friendships, I pray that the heart of the person I am interacting with is aligned with God.

At the end of the day, though, when thinking about my future, I want my husband to be a man after God’s heart. Think about it: if the man is the head of the house as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23), wouldn’t you want him to be led by the Spirit of God? I desire a husband whose heart and will and totality will be conformed to the will of God so much so that God will look at him and say this is my son, in whom I am well pleased.

Why was David the greatest king in Israel? Because he was a man after God’s heart– that’s a very high calling! To be a man (or woman) after God’s heart means recognizing who God is, His unchanging character, His steadfast love. It means living in the fear of the Lord. It means surrendering your life to Him. It means hating what He hates and loving what He loves. It means living by faith and not by sight. It means leading those entrusted to you with the realization of your accountability for them. It means accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior and King. It means living a worship lifestyle. It means seeking first the kingdom of God, knowing that He will give you all you need. It means gazing upon the beauty of God. It means seeking Him for the rest of your life. It means that when you mess up you know you have a Father who will forgive you and receive you back. It means lifting up your eyes to God when trouble comes. It means walking in your destiny, knowing that God is with you and for you. In a nutshell, it means following your Shepherd like the sheep that you are, trusting that His thoughts and plans for you are of good and not of evil, to give you hope and a future with and in Him (Jeremiah 29:11).

It’s a high calling, alright. But like Paul said, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV). So, I want my husband to be a man after God’s heart. My prayer for him is that he surrenders his heart to God and just allows God to lead him. I want my husband, my king, to be led by my Father because then we will never go wrong– after all, “those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God” (Romans 8:14, NIV). I want a marriage that will reflect God Himself; what better way to do that than to look upon the One we are trying to conform to.

So, husband, I give God your heart. I pray that you will surrender to Him alone. I pray that God will be Lord over you and me and our marriage and our children. In Jesus name, amen!

Funny… I was going to write about waiting. Guess my heart has just been poured out. Look at God!!

Dear Husband,

Waiting for you hasn’t always been the easiest thing but I do know that it will be rewarding.

I know that God took me from your side for a reason, and I’ve been wondering what that reason is. You have already been chosen for me, by God Himself, which makes me happy because then I know that I won’t make a mistake– neither will you.

Do you know what I envision for us, to chase after God together, to raise our children in the love of Christ, modeling for them God’s vision! Are you on board with me, my love? I envision a marriage filled with service and love, honor and respect.

This love story of ours is epic! God is writing it, so why won’t it be awesome? ;):)

Anyway, that’s it! I had the urge to write to you. I hope one day you’ll read this and smile.

I am yours, darling, and you are mine.

Love you so much!

With love and eager expectation,
Your one and only Queen!

My Foundation, The Rock

“He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on the rock” (Luke 6:48, NIV).

I don’t know if you know the hymn “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”. The chorus says: On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand. I don’t know about you but I want to have a solid foundation, one that won’t fail me when everything else is crumbling. And in my experience, Jesus is the only one.

I had an encounter today that really struck me. I am in a phase in my life where I am transitioning from being a child to being an adult, not just developmentally but also in my day to day living. I graduated in May and now I have to face the real world, i.e bills, stdent loans, responsibilities, etc. Frankly, I don’t like it, but such is life… What are you going to do?!? Anyway, I am not going the traditional route of coming out of college and getting a job, or coming out of undergrad and going straight to grad school. I am convicted that God has called me to something else, at least for now. And I am pursuing that! But… There is always a but, isn’t there?

I have faced some opposition and I am still facing them! It is very discouraging when you are excited about what God has called you to do and the ones you expect to support you are the ones against your decisions, they are the ones second-guessing what you’re doing, they  are the ones asking if there isn’t another way to serve God– to be honest, I was sad; but God had to open my heart and eyes and let me see that they are coming from a place of love and concern. When I was asked these questions, I was hurt, very hurt to be honest. I was so hurt that I started to think that perhaps I heard the wrong thing from God! I started questioning God, asking Him if He really wanted me to do what He purposefully called me to do– don’t get it wrong, friends, God is never confused– but I was pretty sure that God didn’t know what He was doing… How naive and human of me, right?

After some time I was reminded that I am on this earth to do the will of my Father in Heaven. With apprehension I decided to follow in God’s footsteps, allowing Him to lead me and guide me. The journey hasn’t been all that pleasant, but it has been peaceful. I hope that makes sense. Today I was reminded and encouraged that God is my foundation. My foundation is not on man or woman or family or friends; it is not on the nods and approval of the people around me, neither is it on their disapproval. But my foundation is on God, the one who formed me in my mother’s womb, who called me, molded me, who is pruning me. If He approves of me, that’s great; if He disapproves of what I am doing, I can go back to Him where I can at find grace and mercy, something man doesn’t necessarily give. I was reminded that at the end of the day, I answer to Him, the author and finisher of my faith.

So, what am I going to do from here on out? I will continue to trust God. I know that challenges will come; perhaps even the old tunes of disapproval will play again. But Jesus is my rock, He is my foundation, I put my trust and hope in Him. I trust that He will help me and guide me in the new direction He is taking me. Perhaps I’ll even get discouraged along the way, but I will put my trust in my Father knowing that, “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his’ ” (2nd Timothy 2:19, NIV). And if God’s very own foundation is firm, then I am pretty secure trusting in Him!

I am excited for this journey, though! God is going to move and it is a great privilege to be on The Rock’s team, my rock that will never fail!

Rejected? How Long Will I Mourn?

“The Lord said to Samuel, ‘How long will you mourn for Saul…’ ” (1st Samuel 16:1, NIV)

Rejection? I know it. I think a lot of us have been rejected at least once in our lives; some people deal with it better than others. As for me, I hate it, but by God’s grace I’m learning to pick myself back up and keep moving on in the strength of God. Still, rejection sucks, especially on the romantic end of things.

I have had my own share of rejection when it comes to guys. I have had one relationship– the other one that I would’ve considered a relationship, the guy at the end of the day said there was never a relationship (that’s another topic for another time). Neither of them chose me. It hurt. When something like that happens it messes with you. How can someone who made grand promises of love and affection one day turn around and act as if you never mattered? What’s worse? Continue reading “Rejected? How Long Will I Mourn?”

What if I Marry a White man?

image

“A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies” (Proverbs 31:10, NIV).

On our last night in Croatia, we went to a restaurant for dinner. The food was good but our conversations were way better! One of the things we talked about was marriage, one of my favorite subjects. A wonderful woman asked me a question along the lines of who I’ll be if I end up marrying someone who is not Nigerian. I told her that if I do end up marrying a White man, an American for example, then I’ll be an American wife. She said something that I’ve been thinking about since, that my response sounded as if I’ll losing a sense of self. Huh….

After hours of pondering her response, I came up with more questions than answers: what kind of a wife do I want to be? Does it have to depend on who I marry or what culture I marry into? What does it mean to be an American or a Nigerian wife? Do I know who Elizabeth is? Do I even know myself? I do not have all the (correct) answers but I do know that I want to be a wife God is proud of. At the end of the day, I am a child of God who has different roles– I hope to honor God in all of them.

What does it mean to be a child of God? It means I must follow in Jesus’ footsteps, looking more and more like Him daily; I must be transformed by the renewal of my mind (Romans 12: 1-2) daily; I must live in absolute surrender to Him; I must abide in Him (John 15), etc. Being a child of God means living according to His Word. The Word of God, the Bible, has a few things to say about wives, marriage, etc. In my little knowledge of the Bible, any mention of wives or their roles/duties never specified anything regarding culture or race or ethnicity. What that means for me is that when I do become a wife, I should obey what the Bible says about that role. I think it’s that simple (but not really). What I am saying is that I am a child of God and I belong to Him always before I can be called anyone’s wife.

So, what if I marry a White man? Continue reading “What if I Marry a White man?”