Just live…

The year has begun and many of us have our planners out and ready to tick off those resolutions for the entire year. While that is a good way of living, I want to remind you to live while you’re at it…Live..! Just live! 

I find it quite monotonous and lethargic living out a routine and I’m sure you do too. Many of us are caught up in unvaried cycles everyday of our lives; work all day and attend midweek service some nights, rest or get involved in some general cleaning on Saturdays and crown off the weekend with service on Sundays. While keeping a routine aides in staying on track for some, I believe it limits one’s ability to experience other things. There’s so much out there to live and experience than we’re letting ourselves do. 

As a Christian, I try to tailor my life according to that of Jesus Christ and so should you. Taking a look at Christ’s life, you’d notice that He must have had a much busier schedule than any modern worker can have today, yet even He found time for extra curricular activities. Why then should any Christian be different? Not convinced? In the case of Martha and Mary, we see that Jesus was rather impressed with the latter who made time to fellowship with Him. Despite her (Martha) efforts to do chores, He preferred the company. (Give yourself a break from the routine dear reader!) Jesus Christ was focused on the charge for which He walked the earth but did so gracefully. He healed the sick, yet attended weddings. He travelled to preach the Gospel, yet He made time for dinner dates. (Ask Zacchaeus) Even at the point of death, He found the grace to make a new friend. He did not live the same cycle everyday of his life. 

As you go about your resolutions this year, make it a point to do something out of your ordinary. You have a life but get a life! Plan out activities away from home for yourself. Go on a hike, spend a day at the beach, take an adventurous trip with friends or family, visit a new place, try something new! ​

​Set aside time to achieve a personal project either for yourself or the community in which you live. Join a fitness or social club, visit an orphanage, make a donation to a home, take a cooking or art class, learn new ways of developing yourself, enrich yourself with your culture! 

Aside the above stated, the Kingdom of God should not be shelved. Do something to populate it, contribute your quota in spreading the Gospel. Jesus, at the well did not need an atmosphere of evangelism to preach God’s word. He weaved it into what we’d call a normal conversation today. Speak to someone outside your church about Christ, even though you’re a chorister, join the intercessors once at their prayer meeting.  As a pew warmer, get to church earlier one Sunday and help clean the chairs. An act of love and kindness goes a long way in Christ also; as you do to man, you do unto God! 

All work and no play really makes Jack a dull boy. We have too many dull Jacks around. Let’s turn the situation around. Live! Live!!! Live again!!!

Happy new year to all!

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20+


We often hear the phrase “had I known..” from adults mainly. It is usually accompanied by a feeling of regret. I abhor that feeling so much that I was led to answer a question on 20 pieces of advice to give to 20 year olds. 
Now this was written for another platform but I thought to share it on here as we can all benefit from it. 

1. Since you’re twenty you probably would have done 2 years of college or uni. REAL LIFE starts after college.

2. The preparation for the life stated above starts now! Take this advice and thank me later. You might wanna take life serious the moment you hit the 2–0 mark.

3. Your parents or support system may not always be there for you. Learn to be independent.

4. Tis the time to prune your friendships and relationships. Not everyone around you is needed.

5. Seize every opportunity to upgrade yourself professionally, spiritually, socially. Trust me, it’ll come in handy later in life.

6. Networking is very important. A person you meet today maybe the key to unlocking your destiny tomorrow.

7. Chase after your dreams and passions. This is the time! Your thirties may bring about children; you may never have time to chase those dreams.

8. Learn to have fun when necessary. “All work and no play..” may sound cliché but hey, it really makes you a dull person.

9. Invest your money as much as you can! Plan for your future expenses. Start a pension scheme now, sign up for a life insurance policy, just INVEST!

10. DO NOT plan on having just one source of income. You’ll realize that extra money is always welcome and appreciated.

11. Cherish family. No matter what, blood will always be thicker than water.

12. Try to be happy always. Nature abhors grumpy people.

13. Be patient! Life doesn’t always throw you what you need and want when you do.

14. It’s ok to be frustrated once a while, but learn to transform your frustrations into solutions. Life brings many frustrations our way.

15. On the dating front, be open minded as much as possible. Tall, dark and handsome is not always the way to go!

16. Remember your maker in the days of your youth! Very important!

17. Be nice to people. However, know that you can’t please everyone. Some of your greatest pains will come from the people you love most.

18. Set goals and targets for yourself. Work hard at achieving them and be firm about your principles.

19. Desire money and work hard to earn your own. There’s a good feeling that comes with making your own bucks!

20. “Everything worth doing is worth doing well. Excellence then is not an act but a habit”

Do share with your kids, friends and family. Hopefully someone benefits. 

Silence is Golden…

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Silence isn’t always golden…

Sometimes all the next person needs to hear is “hang in there, everything will be fine”.

Silence isn’t always golden; it causes people to crash inwardly periodically.

Silence isn’t always golden; for its voice is as deafening as the noise it stands against.

Silence isn’t always golden; it creates a whirlpool of emotions waiting to burst forth.

Silence is sometimes gold plated; for it gives the wrong impression of what’s truly deep-seated.

Silence is sometimes a thief; it robs you of what could have been yours.

Silence is sometimes misleading; it’s like that jury that wrongfully sentences the truth and acquits the lie.

Silence sometimes kills; you may lose your ability to speak again.

Knowing when to be silent, that’s what’s golden.

Boundless

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I have not had the opportunity to conceive a child yet, ha! I know I soon will. Rather I’ve had many chances to mother some babies in temporal spaces of time. I’ve witnessed, heard of and read a number of motherhood chronicles (a friend of mine does a good job at documenting hers on facebook); from the late night hysterical wakes of baby to the legendary comedic expressions on baby’s face without a word muttered, the sudden switch from happy mom to maid on call to the frustrating moments of helplessly watching on as baby throws tantrums. The invaluable toothless smile of baby I must say is what gets me grinning most times.

I crave motherhood, I really do, even though it seems an arduous period right from its inception. I long to hold my seed in my arms, enthusiastic to speak a strange language without any comprehension and to be puked on several times in a day. The Lord knows I patiently await this time in my life. Am I ready for it? I may not know till the time comes but I’ll bet my last pesewa that nothing beats the joy that comes with hearing that first cry of a baby in the labour room.

Last week was practically a baby sitting one for me. My experience expressly got me thinking about the rudiments of motherhood and I couldn’t help but relate it to God’s relationship with me. He gives me life, my very first breathe was probably the sound of my first cry to Him, and just like mother holds baby in her arms with gladness, He’s held me all these years. When I became born again, spiritual meal times served as our bonding sessions as with mother-baby breast-feeding. There were times I choked and threw up and out the meals He served, creating a mess of myself; these times He, unlike mother happily cleaned me up and made me whole again. Like mother changes the diapers of baby, He frequently rights my wrongs and offers me the chance to be right with Him. Mother strives to clothe baby with the finest attire she can afford, likewise He’s clad me with His goodness and allows me to radiate His glory. She wraps baby in swaddling cloth; an extra layer of protection I guess, but He wraps me with grace, mercy and favour and adds on an armour to fend off the enemy.  I disturb Him with sleepless nights of cries and requests but He patiently and opportunely pays me mind. Thank God He doesn’t sleep nor slumber for mother catches a glimpse of sleep when baby rests.  Although mother bathes baby every day, thankfully His water baptism is powerful enough to last a lifetime. I put Him through a lot, but like mother, His love only grows stronger.

Gradually mother goes through the day facing each hurdle with baby one after the other and just like that God holds my hand through it all assuring me of His presence every step of the way. At the end of the day, she holds baby in her arms again and rocks baby to sleep and just like baby, I will rest in the bosom of Christ when He rocks me to sleep.

They say nothing beats the joys of motherhood, I say having God tramps that experience. I cannot express the immense joy in having a relationship with God. He doubles as a father and a mother. Try developing a relationship with Him today. Better late than never.

31 Status??

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Many ladies nowadays are in the habit of claiming 31 status; being a Proverbs 31 woman that is. Whether this claim is made in faith or not, I have no idea. Do not get me wrong, I am not against the aspiration to gain this status. We all want to be that woman. We all need to be that woman. What I am against is claiming something you know nothing about. Being ignorant of who a Proverbs 31 woman is but claiming it anyway amounts to hypocrisy! Why? Because that’s what seems appealing to the ‘husbands to be’ these days? Puh-lease!

In our normal lives, even obsession comes about through gaining knowledge. An obsessed person seeks to know more about their object of obsession day in day out. We see kids diligently follow their role models on social media, read and talk about them, dress like them and try to behave like them. Some even obtain notifications alerting them of the actions of these people.They put in a lot of effort to know and practice the ways of their object of obsession. Although these role models may not be the best of people, I dare say I’m a secret admirer of their effort and tenacity. Lets take another example: have you ever watched a lifetime movie? In most of these movies, we see the obsessed person taking steps to get close to their ‘victim’. Gradually, they weave their way into the victim’s life and find a spot for themselves. Once again, all this takes effort and a great deal of research and knowledge!

As a Christian lady, being a Proverbs 31 woman should not be an obsession; it is an obligation. If obsession involves a great amount of effort, an obligation should be offered nothing less. The Virtuous wife (our 31 status woman), has many admirable qualities, both inwardly and physically. These qualities are not inferred but specifically stated in the Bible. Her characteristics cannot be predicted or exaggerated and neither is the wording of her attributes vague. What is my point here? It is not an onerous task understanding who The Virtuous wife is. Her roles are clearly stated in the thirty-first chapter of the book of Proverbs. Ladies claiming to be this woman ought to have knowledge of who she really is. Saying it is not enough; strive to know her, actually be her, take steps in weaving your life according to her ways. Don’t follow a trail blindly, just because there’s a lot of buzz about ‘wife material’ doesn’t mean you should be a hypocrite. Open your bible and read about this woman, pray for strength to live like her, put in some effort; start by fearing God and being faithful to your significant other; trust me it will some day pay off. Don’t claim the status blindly and lead a man into sin, especially when you have very little or no knowledge about the 31 status. It is not a poem, it is a way of life!

So the next time you claim to be a Proverbs 31 woman, ask yourself if you can explicitly state five characteristics of that woman. If you can, praise God – at least you have knowledge of who she is. If you can’t, please don’t be a hypocrite. Kindly find below the attributes of The Virtuous wife as documented in the Bible. Be blessed! 🙂

The Virtuous Wife

10 Who can find a virtuous wife?
For her worth is far above rubies.
11 The heart of her husband safely trusts her;
So he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
And willingly works with her hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
She brings her food from afar.
15 She also rises while it is yet night,
And provides food for her household,
And a portion for her maidservants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
From her profits she plants a vineyard.
17 She girds herself with strength,
And strengthens her arms.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is good,
And her lamp does not go out by night.
19 She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hand holds the spindle.
20 She extends her hand to the poor,
Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
For all her household is clothed with scarlet.
22 She makes tapestry for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies sashes for the merchants.
25 Strength and honor are her clothing;
She shall rejoice in time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
27 She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many daughters have done well,
But you excel them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing,
But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
And let her own works praise her in the gates.

God bless you.

Little did I know

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I let you into my world and revealed my flaws to you…
Little did I know, that they’d become weapons to you.
You held my hand and walked me into yours…
Little did I know, that you’d shut the gates behind you; leaving me to find my way back
I lowered every wall and barrier for you…
Little did I know, that you preferred the challenge.
I became vulnerable; I liked being vulnerable, just for you…
Little did I know, that you’d one day let me down.
I revealed my insecurities to you; every one of them…
Little did I know, that they’d be fueling your witticism.

I let you in! I let you in!! I let you in!!!

Into the darkest places…
Little did I know, that the light you bore was only a temporal torch.
I believed my cries were over; because you brought with you some tissues…
Little did I know, that those were onions in disguise.
I let go to feel every emotion…
Little did I know, that emotions were weakening.
I trusted your brain; your every thought…
Little did I know, they’d become my very fears.
Now I’m left to the grips of pain, the cold fingers of fear and the heavy arm of numbness…
Will I ever feel again?
Little will I know…

Leap of faith

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Dear you,
It’s been my greatest pleasure and honour knowing you…that much I know. 

At this very moment, I sit behind this keypad with knowledge of what to say but ignorant of how. I’m at a crossroads buddy. Words and thoughts are muddled in my already tired brain; tired from thinking. Not knowing what to do hurts more than losing a thousand pounds. Reaching a logical decision scored a fail in the left hemisphere of my brain; the right didn’t do any better. My instincts are numb and mute. They won’t talk to me either. Do I have to make a decision? Why is this happening to me?

At a time I prayed for a hug, you showed up with wide opened arms. I believed again, I blushed unusually. Everyone noticed the change in my then bleak demeanour; I was alive again.
My heart would skip a beat even when I saw you on a screen, imagine how I felt with you around. Although you were miles away, we met up every night in my dreams. I would wake up almost always smiling.

Remember the conversation when I said you are proof…? I meant what I said; every bit of it.

I miss you buddy, I miss you badly. Remember the night you came back from London? I was so nervous and excited at the same time. My knees couldn’t get me to the gate when you called, but you saw me and said “legs of life”, like you knew they had gone all jelly on me. You knew just how to make me comfortable. I didn’t mind being vulnerable, because I knew you were looking out for me. You were always so ready to let me know you won’t watch me make a bad decision. You would even advocate for the nail varnish remover I was to buy; I thought that was cute.

The night we recorded  the “fanta and coke” video was amazing. It would be the beginning of us. We had so much fun just lying down and holding a phone over our faces; I watch that video almost every night. It is refreshing.

I meant it when I said I love you and I was willing; I still am.

I don’t want to have to make a decision; I don’t have the strength to! Maybe I’ll just take a leap of faith and hope for the best. I can’t live with “what could have been”. Please don’t let me.

I miss you buddy, I miss you badly.

Hopefully this test will soon be over, and we’ll laugh over it.

Sorry for my confusion… I lost myself along the way. Well, I found me in the lost me.  This happened because of you, my invisible teacher. I’m putting the puzzle together to be the best for you. Maybe I should take that leap, who knows?

…I insulted Grace…

“Once I was a sinner, saved by grace, once I was a sinner, saved by grace…”

This song is on repeat in my mind and I don’t know why! Maybe God is reminding me that by grace am I saved through faith and not by my works and that it is a gift of God! Well, thanks Lord, I’m forever grateful. 🙂

Now let’s dive into the message…(doing the diving dance) *shrugs*

Kindly have a read at Hebrews 10.

A study into the tenth chapter of the book of Hebrews, to me, clearly spells out a plan of redemption for man. There we see an old plan and a new plan. The former being the yearly sacrifices offered by priests on behalf of people for the consecration of sins. This was done by sacrificing the blood of goats and cows, the purpose of which was to atone for the sins of man and take away every form of guilt. However, we realize that, as the yearly sacrifices were made, the purpose was somewhat ‘defeated’ as the awareness of guilt rather increased instead of being expunged. Goat and cow blood were not the wrong employees for the job, THEY WEREN’T THE BEST EITHER! Hold up, but then like most situations, there had to be a silver lining for this current job problem. Hence we’re told that the old plan was just a teaser for the good stuff in the new plan. The BEST Employee was yet to arrive! In just one act of sacrifice, this Employee took away the sins of the world! Like the ‘Boss-ish Employee’ that He is, He came and availed Himself, got the job done, and sat down by the real BOSS and watched everything fall into place. (Deuces, Sir!) What’s even better, He made available an added benefit! Real BOSS’s Boss-ish Employee tore the veil and made it possible for man to enter The Holy place; to meet up with the real BOSS freely! Wow! Incredible work, BEST employee! The MSG version puts it this way, “It was a perfect sacrifice by a perfect person to perfect some very imperfect people.” (See the alliteration there by MSG?) Therefore, the sins of the once imperfect man is remembered no more as his slate is wiped clean.

Now here is the lesson… We have been saved by grace, taken out of the mud of sin and evil, washed by the precious blood of Christ and made clean. We have been given a fresh start with a new slate, not to write anymore on the slate but to keep the slate clean and fresh at all times. (Remember He is coming for a people without spot or blemish?) The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a helper and a director, a teacher and a check. What more could we ask for? It’s difficult, yeah I know but hey, provision has been made for the difficulties. The danger lies in turning a blind eye to the great work done at the cross of Calvary and continually dwelling in sin as a believer. By consciously rewriting on the slate with the muddy chalk of sin we take ourselves back in time to when the blood of goats and cows only partially did the job. The Bible clearly states that by sinning willfully, we trample the Son of God underfoot and spit on the sacrifice that made us whole; in a nutshell, insulting Grace. Remember that salvation is a gift and no one likes their gift thrown back in their faces. Clearly, this will not go unpunished as God will judge His people as well.

I have sinned several times; I have lied, lusted after the flesh, had a taste of worldly pleasures and insulted Grace at many points in my life. I too have rewritten on that clean slate that we all received. But glory to God for bringing me into the knowledge and revelation of His word that brings light and peace into my life. There’s nothing better than rejecting the world and having the peace of God rule in your heart. Dear reader, it is never too late to get that slate wiped clean again. It’s never too late to stop insulting Grace and trampling the BEST Employee underfoot. It is never too late to stop spitting on the sacrifice that made you whole. The Spirit of Grace can turn it all around again. Although it’s never too late, the time to act is now! Be not an addict who says I’ll stop later. Surrender to Jesus now and the Peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and mind through Jesus Christ.

Amen!

Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

The Arm of Flesh

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The past few days and weeks have taught me priceless life lessons. One such lesson is not to put my trust in man. My Bible told me this in Psalm 146:3, Psalm 118:8 and Isaiah 2:22 but I did not listen. I chose to trust in and rely on man, kidding myself that I was trusting Jesus only. Thoughts of my experiences in the said period bring me to tears; I guess I had to learn the hard way. 

Psalm 146:3 “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.”

  Belief and trust are two dissimilar things often used interchangeably and as a result causes us to be misled. Belief or believe means to have confidence in an assertion or truth or something appearing to be true without necessarily having proof. Trust on the other means reliance on the integrity or surety of a person or thing. It means confidence in the certainty of something. Notice the difference? Many a times, we find ourselves trying to make sense of the instructions given to us by God. We try to play into God’s mind and give our own interpretations or rationale behind the things we are told not to do, and when we are unsuccessful, we are bewildered. Man is not the creator or giver of life, he is a mere mortal. He is uncertain about the future and at best can only forecast its events. Why put our trust in him? The source of life has sole knowledge of the certainty of tomorrow, He alone can and should be trusted. So when the bible clearly spells out in various verses not to put our trust in humans and princes, it is in our best interest. Putting your trust in man will most of the time lead to disappointment, pain and misery. There is only much a person can do for you. There will come a time when the person in whom you trust will need to or will look out for himself only and then at that point, your trust or plans go awry. You will be let down by man, dear reader. It may be subtle but it will amount to a major disappointment some day. The hymn says, “…the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own…”

Psalm 118:8 “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.”

Another form of trusting your own is trusting in your own abilities; the “I can do it all by myself” mentality. Believing in yourself is key, but relying on God is paramount. You are flesh and hence you are no exception to the man you are not supposed to put your trust in. I was blessed to listen to man of God speak on this issue. In his delivery he asked, “Are you expecting or calculating?” Are you the person placing your trust in God and expecting Him to deliver? Or you are the fellow believing in your own abilities and calculating how things are going to turn out? By placing your trust in your abilities and calculating how God is going to show up, you unconsciously place a limit on how you would want Him to move in your life. When that limitation is not realized, doubts and fears are then reeled in. You are therefore led to question God and trust in man; a fatal act which may have inevitable consequences. Let’s take An input-output-feedback process for example. A right input produces the desired output. The converse is true. So misplacing your trust will not lead to the desired output and your feedback will be the arm of flesh failing you.

God places abilities in each and every one of us. However, He tells us to trust in Him wholly. Committing that which He has placed in you to Him and relying on Him for empowerment will make you a force to reckon with. Trust and obey the Lord as you walk with Him and He will make your path straight. Do not learn the hard way as it is quite unpleasant.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus…

My Confession.

I am a Christian, I’ve always been. I was born into a Christian family and raised in the Lord. As far back as my memory presents me, I started going for prayer meetings at a very young age. Now I don’t mean sitting and watching the adults pray at these meetings, I prayed along. Whatever it is I prayed about, I have no clue, but I know I wasn’t a pew warmer. I prayed and even imitated the ‘movement’ of the adults praying. I am a Christian and I’ve always been. At a tender age I knew about Jesus; I knew who He was. I read about Him and was taught about Him, boy I even wrote ‘examinations’ about Him and the Bible! I was a Christian by default; because I was born into Christianity. I hadn’t come to the full realization of who a Christian was. I’d say I was a Christian alright, but was I a believer? Then, I’d say I wasn’t saved because I had not yet believed with my heart. Yes, I may have confessed with my mouth the Lordship of Jesus Christ but I don’t recall going for an altar call in the early years of my life. I don’t remember dedicating my life to Him with an understanding of what I was doing. In Sunday school our teachers probably made us recite the words “Jesus come into my heart..” but most of us did not know what we were doing.

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe with your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

In Wesley Girls’ High School, I finally fully understood what it meant to be a Christian – to be saved and to be a believer. And so I became a Christian by choice, not by default. I gave my life to Christ willingly, I enjoyed every bit of this new life and I still am enjoying it. My love for God was strong and my zeal and passion for Him was massive because now I understood what I was doing. At times, I didn’t mind staying in church late because I actually never really wanted to leave.

It hasn’t been easy but the grace of God has kept me going. His love has always drawn me back to Him. God keeps reassuring me of His love.  In recent times, things haven’t been the best, I have found myself in situations where going to church and serving seemed like a chore; like a routine. Some spirit of apathy tried to creep into my life and I just couldn’t be bothered. I was too focused on the pressures of this life. My zeal for the things of God went from say a hundred to forty-five; I had my quiet time out of compulsion and prayed at the end of the day because ‘I needed to remind God to wake me up the next day’. I sometimes anticipated sin and walked straight into it.I felt lost at a point; I sat back and watched myself not care.

I’m not one to share my problems with friends, I’d rather stay in my own space and brood over my woes till I can brood no more. Things got worse but I never showed it. To the rest of the world I was fine and everything was normal but deep down in me, everything was not okay. I was troubled and disturbed but at the same time I denied myself help. I found myself singing the hymn “What a friend we have in Jesus” one day and then it hit me, “TAKE IT TO THE LORD IN PRAYER….IN HIS ARMS HE’LL TAKE AND SHIELD THEE, THOU WILL FIND A SOLACE THERE!” Wow! I had been nursing my problems when I could have spoken to the closest ‘person’ to me. All I had to do was to sincerely talk to God. I did heed to the words of the song and I had never felt that much freedom in my life. I felt new again; I felt alive!

“Oh what peace we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear! All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer.” 

I don’t know why God laid this on my heart to share but there’s probably one person out there who needs this. So if that person happens to be you, I’m here to tell you to take it to the Lord in prayer. I’m here to announce to you that keeping silent about your situation won’t make a difference. Yes you may be someone people look up to and can’t share your problems with man, you may even be a leader in church but see, trials know no position or reputation. Keeping silent will make your passion dwindle and leave you feeling worthless. It will suck the life out of you gradually. Take it to God in prayer.

Our God is an all-knowing God but He appreciates a conversation, hence He created a means of communication – prayer! Take it to the Lord in prayer brother, you will surely find  solace in Christ. Say a word of prayer this moment, pour out your heart to God, cry if you have to my dear sister, you will surely find peace and strength in the Lord. To the person who hasn’t yet given his life to Christ, I entreat you to take that step and experience the unending love of God.