Thursday, 23 February 2012

Daring to Bear

I am writing this as I am getting ready for a night out with the girls...but for me it is not an ordinary night out. It is the 2nd day of lent and for me this means that it is my second day without make up. This is because I have chosen to give it up for lent. This may seem crazy to you, but I do have my reasons and since I get so many questions about it (as well as some odd looks) I thought I would take some time to explain why I have chosen make up as opposed to chocolate, or sweets.

The idea of lent for me is to give something up so I can focus more on my relationship with God. I have no major addictions to certain types of food, and I am not using it as an excuse to crash diet either, so that left me thinking slightly outside of the box. You may or may not know that 2 years ago I gave up nail varnish for lent, which seems stupid I know, but when I was wearing it EVERY DAY and hated the sight of my bare nails I realised it was becoming too important. It is not normal to feel anxious when I haven't got a crazy colour on my nails! 

The same thing has begun to happen with make up... I realised that slowly but surely I was becoming addicted to it. I felt like I couldn't leave the flat without it, and that I would rather be 10 minutes late to a seminar than forgo my makeup. I also felt hideous without it, I was reliant on it. That is unhealthy. And I think then it was getting in my way with my relationship with Jesus...I can't count the number of occasions I have been late to church purely because I was putting make up on. I also cannot count the number of times I have wondered how people could even look at me without make up. The shallow, material things had become as essential as food and water for me. Nothing should be that high in the priorities list... Jesus is first and foremost. 

So, after much thought and prayer I reluctantly came to the conclusion that this is what I had to give up for lent. Which means no more make up for 6 weeks: even on a night out. This is a scary prospect. I definitely can't do it without God and I would appreciate your prayers. But I can spend the 20-30 minutes I would normally spend each morning on my make up, with God. I also want to remember what it feels like to be comfortable in my own skin. 

So... this is me, daring to bear. Wish me luck.

Monday, 20 February 2012


This is something that everyone fears, and everyone hates. I know that it is one of my biggest fears, and when it happens, it feels horrible. It is so easy to get spiteful and vindictive and bitter when it happens (as I am discovering at the moment) rather than just letting it go and handing it to God, then moving on. It is far easier to remember the negative things that people say and do rather than the positives. It's almost like I am programmed not to hear the good things and focus on the bad. But as much as people say "just let it go and move on," it is not that easy. I still feel hurt and angry about being rejected. That I won't deny. I always wonder how much of this I am supposed to take and for how much longer, because each time it happens my confidence is shattered. No amount of "please don't think it means there's anything wrong with you" will change the fundamental fact: I was rejected. My brain naturally equates this to me not being good enough, to me being a failure.

This is so wrong. Just because these things happen, I have to have faith that God has a better plan for me. I feel angry with him for letting this happen to me, and I have sworn at him, shouted, cried. But that's ok, because I am being honest and up front about how I feel. I would only feel worse if I wasn't honest with God. Many people believe that it is not okay to question God, to be angry with him, to feel unhappy when things don't work out how you plan. But this is also wrong. Being a Christian is about being in a relationship. If you are with someone you love, you don't pretend to them that everything is fine when it isn't. You shouldn't need to. I feel this way about my relationship with Jesus. I love him and so when I have a bad day, he knows about it, when something amazing happens, he knows about it. People question God throughout the Bible. Psalm 22 begins with "My God, why have you forsaken me?Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?" It is not wrong to question God, to wonder if he can hear you. It is human. And despite all of the doubts and questions that being rejected throws up, I trust him. I trust God to answer my prayers, and I trust him to pull me through. This is also evident throughout the Bible, that when people go through hard times, despite all of the questions and doubts they have about His plan for them, they trust him. Later on in Psalm 22 David is saying that "The poor will eat and be satisfied; they who seek the Lord will praise him." This man is going through hell at the time, and literally everyone has forsaken him. He is going through pain and anguish, yet still he is trusting the Lord to rescue him. This is something I always find incredible when I read the Bible: the stories of people who lose everything and yet they still trust the Lord to rescue them. And that He does. Every time.

So, although this situation bears little resemblance to that of David I am saying that although rejection is a difficult feeling to deal with, I am sure it happened for a reason and I am certain that God has something else planned for me. I can also rejoice in the acceptance I have in Christ. He made me his chosen daughter, and he has mapped out my story for me, so that whatever happens I am safe in his arms, with the knowledge that there is something better waiting for me.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Thank God For Friends.

This is a much deserved tribute to my wonderful friends. I honestly don't know what I would do without them.

Today is Valentines Day (as if you needed reminding!) and I believe that it depends a lot on whether you're single or in a couple as to whether or not you like it. I was trying to see it as any other day of the year, and ignore it. As it turns out this is impossible to do, because every reasonable person on the planet knows that it's the 14th of February. I also discovered that this day can make a bad situation worse. Purely because it's Valentines Day.

But I also realise that friends are so important, and there is nothing like an evening spent having chocolate fondue, reading a girly magazine and watching back to back episodes of New Girl with them to make a bad day good. And for this reason, just as I thought I would come to hate today, because of the monumental hi-light it places on those not in a relationship (ie me) and the way the very significance of the date can make a bad situation 10 times worse, I discovered, after a phone call to one of my oldest friends and a good hug and chat with my lovely flatmates, that in fact, Valentines Day needn't be about relationships, but appreciation for who I am lucky enough to have in my life.

I love you all, and I want you to know that you mean the world to me. I only hope I can be there for you in the ways that you have done so much for me.

Happy Valentines Day <3

Sunday, 12 February 2012

A Love Letter.

A life without love, hope and passion is no life at all. Everyone needs something to keep them going, a reason to live, a reason to fight.

For me it is God. He is my reason to wake up in the morning, to drag myself to lectures even when I don't want to be there, He is my reason for being on this earth. He defines me. And the more I study His word, the more I worship, and the more I pray, the more I discover His infinite power and His impossible beauty. I am just so in awe of him and so full of joy and love and praise. I know that whatever happens, and however hard things may get, that my reason to hold on, my reason to get up will never fail me and will never leave me. It fills me with a new confidence and a new hope that I can cope with anything life throws at me.