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!!

Writing in Croatian

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV).

So, I’ve been learning Croatian for a few weeks now. I am really excited to be learning a language I hope to one day use in the future. I have been confused, frustrated, sad, etc… But one thing that has been keeping me going is that God created the language and I am relying on God for His grace to keep going and keep learning. Why do I want to learn? Because I fell in love in Croatia! I did and I want to be able to communicate with my friends who are Croatian.

The following is my freestyle for today. From the little that I’ve been learning, I have put together some sentences that say a little bit about me. Please excuse the mistakes :mrgreen:

Here goes:
Ja sam Elizabetha. Moja prijateljima zovu me kraljica. Ja sam dvadeseti i dva. Ja volim čitati i pisati i naučiti. Ja vjerujem u Boga i volim Boga. Moja obitelj je velika. Imam tri brata i dva sestre. Ja volim ljubičasta. Ja učim Hrvatski jer ja čelim pričati za mojim prijateljima u Hrvatskoj.

Ja sam sretna ali učiti Hrvatski je teško.

Translation: my name is Elizabeth. My friends call me queen. I am 23. I love to read and write and learn. I believe in God and I love God. My family is big. I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. I love purple. I am learning Croatian because I want to talk with my friends in Croatia.

I am happy but learning Croatian is hard.

Thank you. Please keep me in your prayers!!!
How did I do?

Transformed

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2nd Corinthians 3:18, NIV).

First of all, God is good! I just can’t keep that to myself, neither can I say it enough. God is so good that when I think about His goodness towards me, I cry. But today is not about crying; it is a day of thanksgiving.

One aspect of God’s goodness that I have been enjoying is His power to transform! Friends, never underestimate the power of God to change your life and give you a whole new perspective, a new outlook, a new mind, etc. An example of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit is the story of Paul! Once called Saul, Paul was a Christian-hating-murdering Jewish man who was bent on destroying the disciples’ work after Jesus’ ascension. Jesus encountered him on his way to Damascus in Acts 9. This same guy was transformed by God to be the guy who planted churches, wrote a majority of the books in the New Testament, called himself a servant of Jesus in multiple letters, etc. I look at Paul and I want God to so transform my life that people will be wondering: who’s that girl? I want to know her God.

But I digress. So what does all of this have to do with me? God has already started his transformative work in my life. I had the chance to share a bit of my story with someone today and I realized my heart for people, especially my family, has changed.

I love my family, don’t get me wrong; but now I LOVE them! I love them with the love of Christ! I love them with the burden on my heart to get them closer to Jesus! I love them enough to care about their salvation and eternity. I love them enough to rebuke them and correct them. I love them so much that all I want is for them to know Jesus on an intimate level and be souled out for Him! I love them so much that I pray for them, intercede on their behalf. I love them enough to want to talk to them and check in on them and give them godly counsel and disciple them. I can keep going but I’ll stop.

This is not to brag. This is just to show what God has done in my heart. To be honest, before I surrendered to Christ, I was selfish. My family, though they mattered, were just people I was stuck with, so I had to tolerate them. Praying for them was a burden to me, caring for their wellbeing was forced out of me. I am not proud of this; I’m quite ashamed, honestly. But I thank God I am not who I was.

So I praise God for transforming me by the renewal of my mind and the changing of my heart.

This is my testimony. This new found love I have for my family doesn’t stop with them– it is extended to friends, neighbors, strangers, siblings in the Lord, etc. And let me tell you something, I am glad! I am glad that God has shown me mercy by allowing me to care as He does– although, He cares way more for them! And He cares way more for you!

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!

He is…

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM.’ This is what you are to say to the Israelites. ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ” (Exodus 3:14, NIV).

When I think about God and all He is, my human mind freaks out to the point where my flesh starts to lie to me and say that there is no God. But I know that He is alive and He is very active, not just in the world but also in my life.

Before becoming born again I had always been fascinated with God! Now that I am growing in my relationship with Him, I am overwhelmed that He can be and IS everything to me; not just what I want, what I need as well.

Where am I getting this from? Well, His Word is my number one source. In the Bible I find facts about God, His character, His heart towards me, and so much more! The Bible tells me that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). The Bible tells me “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2nd Timothy 3:16, NIV), so I can trust it.

So what does the Bible tell me about my God?
• He is Creator (Genesis 1).
• He is Father (Matthew 6:9).
• He is Shepherd (Psalm 23).
• He is Redeemer (Isaiah 47:4).
• He is Strength (Psalm 73:26).
• He is Shelter (Psalm 91:2).
• He is Rock (Psalm 18:2).
• He is Strong tower (Psalm 61:3).
• He is Comforter (Isaiah 40:1).
• He is Present help (Psalm 46:1).
• He is Savior (Luke 1:47).
• He is Friend (John 15:15).
• He is Healer (Psalm 107:20).
• He is Deliverer (Exodus 13, 14).
• He is First Love (Revelation 2:4).

These are just a few things about God; there is so much more– no wonder that song says He is INDESCRIBABLE!!. The list can go on for days. The Scriptures are just a few of the many that point me to who God is– and ultimately who He wants to be to me.

The second source is my life and my continuous relationship with my Maker. I rededicated my life to God on October 13, 2013, a week before I turned 21. I got baptized December 4th of the same year. The journey hasn’t been easy but God has proved Himself over and over again. I have learned that God is my best friend, my burden bearer, the One who holds my tears, my defender, my husband, the Calmer of my heart, my trust, my helper, my master, my leader, my physician, my might, the strength of my heart, my teacher, my corrector, my truth, my life, my forgiver, my provider, my one true love, the architect of my life, the one to whom I surrender, the Holy Spirit, the all sufficient one, Grace, Truth, Beauty; in short, I am learning, every single day, that He is everything I need.

In all honesty, sometimes I forget who God is and has been to me. But I thank Him because day after day He shows me His steadfast love (Lamentations 3:22-24).

I am still a work in progress, but I have God, who is perfect and perfection. Indeed, He is…

Song: “Everything”, by Tye Tribbett                                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWVn6MCExjA

What if I Marry a White man?

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“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?”

He is the Reason for this Season

I can’t remember the actual date but what really started this whole blogging business is “Testimony Thursday”. I was just on instagram one day when the thought came to me, “Instead of #tbt, why not have testimonies?!” I thought it was an original idea… that was until I saw a page using the same phrase! I was a bit discouraged but I was happy because I knew that the idea came to me; I didn’t steal it from anyone haha.

Long story short, “God for everyday” came to my mind on Monday, actually, and I started thinking of creating a blog and/or website where I’ll be able to simply share the Gospel with the world!!!

I love Jesus! I love God! The gift of the Holy Spirit is amazing! The Bible is my best friend. I love the fact that Continue reading “He is the Reason for this Season”