Loneliness.

Do you ever feel invisible to the people in your life? Have you ever prayed or wished for someone to ask you how you were and genuinely listen to your response? Loneliness is a very real feeling and it should not be stuffed up within you neither should it be ignored.
I know firsthand from experience that you do not have to be alone in order for you to be lonely. You can be among a lot of people and still feel deserted and alone. I’ve gone through seasons of my life where I struggled with depression which most times occurred as a result of loneliness. And I want to help those who have in one time or the other found themselves lonely even as at this present moment.
Your ability to pinpoint the cause of your loneliness will help you to work out a solution. Below are some of the causes of loneliness:

1. Change of season:
You may become lonely when you change your geographical location or have a change in priorities that causes a drift between you and your friends. Change is a normal part of life and no two seasons of life are the same. You might have just moved to college where you know absolutely nobody apart from your roommate (if you have one) or maybe just like me you just graduated from the university and the few friends you had before now have moved away from home. If you are in a different and difficult season of life have it in mind that “this too will pass.”

Instead of wishing it away embrace it and seek to learn all the lessons God wants to teach you, consider the limitations that come with the season and embrace the opportunities it brings. The point is, change is a normal part of life and what we make of it matters.
“Your season may determine the flavor of your fruit, but it should not determine the level of your fruitfulness” _ Chrystal Evans Hurst.
Thrive, Sister Thrive

2. Inability to recognize your need for meaningful friendships:
As females, God created us to be relational beings. Life becomes more enjoyable when we have people to do it with. I don’t know if you are familiar with the saying “together is better”. This is so true. No matter what your personality is; either you are an extrovert or an introvert like me, you need meaningful friendships in your life. Do not believe the lie that you are not a people person. It is true that our personality will greatly influence our friendships but it should not stop us from making friends. It is true that some of us can be perceived by people as strong and independent (for whatsoever reasons), but this also does not mean that we are self-sufficient. We all need people in our lives.
If you noticed in this subhead I said “meaningful friendships”. I said that because often times people make random friends and without commitment and investment to such friendships you discover that they are not intimate with such friends. Check your life, how many random friends do you have? If you want your friendships to grow be committed to nurturing it. Sow what you want to see.
I also want you to take note of the fact that friendship is seasonal and not all friendship will last for a lifetime. Some friends we are called to fight for and some we are called to release. (Some friendships require that we fight for them to remain and others require that we let go after a period of time). Oh, we love them still and though all change feels like loss, it is good to bless people on their way, to hold them loosely, and to let them go.

3. Inability to be vulnerable:
You may be lonely not because you do not have friends but because you do not trust them enough to let your guards down and let them be the kind of friends God wants them to be to you. If you do not allow your friends into the deep places of your heart so they can minister to you there, you will still suffer from loneliness. If you cannot trust your friends you need to ask yourself “why?”.
Is the issue with them or is it with you? Learn to ask for help when you need it. Pour out your heart when you need someone to talk to but make sure the person has proven herself trustworthy over a period of time. Do not be afraid of getting hurt but let God’s wisdom guide you to open up to the right person. We are to be humble and loving towards all people, but we need to develop discernment in relationships. Scripture says that “Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men. “(John 2:24). Seek to understand the direction of the heart of the person to whom you consider entrusting your heart to. Be aware of warning signs (like gossip, critical attitude etc) to avoid long-term hurt.

4. Inability to allow God fill you:
We all have a vacuum in our souls that only God can fill. No well meaning friend can satisfy the hunger and longing of your soul. A lot of times we come into friendships with the expectation that friends will meet our emotional needs but because they also need God to fill them that does not happen. This expectation can put a strain on your friendships. When was the last time you turned to God to fill you? The next time you find yourself lonely, before you turn to a friend to fill you, turn to God first. Psalm 107:9 says “For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness (NKJV).Psalm 90:14 also says that “Fill us each morning with your constant love, so that we may sing and be glad all our life (GNT).”

The next time I will be writing to you I will write about how you can handle loneliness. I will love to end this post by praying for you.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you because you know all our struggles and you are willing to help us. Thank you because even in our loneliness you will cause us to experience your love. Please wipe away every tear and fill our hearts with your joy. Please bring us out of the pit of despair and cloth us with the garment of Praise. Help us Lord to embrace this season of our lives and thrive in it. Keep us safe in your embrace, in Jesus name. Amen.”

I love you but not as much as Christ does!

The waiting.

No Shunting!!…. This is a common slang in the university I graduated from. It is used when you are on a queue and the person who is supposed to be behind you, comes before you just, to get to the front of the line quickly by cheating. It is amazing how impatient people can be when it comes to waiting for their turn for anything in life. Nobody said the waiting process is easy but the truth is, at some point in life we all have to wait for one thing or the other. You wait to be healed when you are sick, you wait to gain admission into the university after graduating from High School( the waiting process for this in my part of the world can take months and even years), you wait to get a job after graduating from the university, you wait to get into a godly relationship, you wait to be financially stable, you wait to get married,you wait,you wait,you wait!!
It seems to me that for every phase of life there is always something to wait for. The issue most times is not the waiting but how well you wait. The truth is nobody wants to wait. We all want everything to happen fast, to happen according to our plan and to happen at our set time. The interesting thing about life is that things hardly go as planned so,we as daughters of the Most High King must learn what it means to wait patiently. Below are some of the things you can do while you wait:

1. Trust God and trust in His word: we have to get to the point where our faith in God is so strong that nothing can stop us from holding onto His promises. We have to trust His soverentiy, trust that He knows what He is doing even when we do not understand it, trust that He wont withhold anything good from us(Psalm 84:11).
Psalm 12:6 says “The promises of the LORD can be trusted; they are as genuine as silver refined seven times in the furnace.
Christianity is all about our faith in God and His Son, Jesus Christ. God uses the events of our life to cause us to grow in faith and character. The waiting period is when our faith, the treasures of our hearts is tested by fire and becomes gold(Malachi 3:2).
Like Philip Yancey said “Faith believes ahead of time what can only be seen by looking back.” There will come a day when we will look back and understand. But in the waiting, may God strengthen our hearts to hold on to His. May He help us to be able to say like David “I have given up my pride and turned away from my arrogance. I am not concerned with great matters or with subjects too difficult for me. Instead, I am content and at peace. As a Child lies quietly in its mother’s arms, so my heart is quiet within me. (Psalm 131:1-2).”

2. Learn not to compare your life with others: Hebrews 12:1b talks about running with endurance the race set before us. There is a race set before every man on earth and it is a race we did not set. It is a race set by God and we have to run it with endurance. The pace at which every individual will run the race called life is different. We didn’t set out at the same time neither will we end at the same time. This is one reason why we should learn not to compare our lives with those around us. The Bible says those that compare themselves with themselves are not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12). It is easy for us as ladies to compare our lives with those of our friends but this causes us to lose our joy and doubt God’s goodness towards us.
I of recent had to deal with this too. It made me delete one of my major social media app and I didn’t redownload it for about a month. I did that because I discovered that I was in a place in life that looks very different from my friends and I found myself comparing my life with theirs. I was also gradually getting dissatisfied with my life. The choice I made to stay away from social media in order to get my heart right with God and also view my life through His eyes was the best choice I could have made at that point in time and I can say that I am better for it.
What choice do you also have to make in order to stop comparing your life with others?

3. Learn to look away from yourself :I have noticed that when we are in the waiting season of life we tend to be selfish and self-centered. It almost seems like the world revolves around us and on what we do not have. This is not the right way to live as believers. God wants us to fix our eyes on Him while we wait.
Instead of concentrating so much on what you do not have why not try to count your blessings. Get a journal(preferably a pretty one, I’m kidding 😊) or a piece of paper and write out ten things you are grateful for. Before you roll your eyes and say you can’t think of ten things you are grateful for, I want you to know that I felt that way when an Older wise woman in my life asked me to do that but I am glad I did. Take out time to look deep within you, you will be amazed at the wonderful things God has blessed you with; things that are still working in this season of your life. Do it and let me know if you were able to write up to ten.
Another thing you can do to look away from yourself is to do something kind for at least one person everyday. Titus 2:4-5 says “admonish the young womento begood. ” Psalm 37:3a also says “Trust in the LORD, and do good.”
“Goodness or kindness means the absence of evil and selfishness and the presence of a heart set to bettering the lives of others. Goodness or kindness is a reflection of the divine character of God. Jesus ‘went about doing good’.” _Elizabeth George.
Doing something kind for people will bring tremendous Joy into your life and this will also make you know that your life is making a difference. Talk about a reason to live, there you have it!

4. Avoid complaining or murmuring: God hates murmuring and He rebukes those that complain. This brings to mind the story in Numbers 11:1-20. In this story the children of Israel complained about their hardships, the cucumbers and melons, etc that was available to them in Egypt but was not in the wilderness. God heard them and sent fire to consume them. All through the scripture Israelites always seem to complain about one thing or the other, in this case it was cucumber and melon in another it was the giants in the promise land (Canaan).
I really do not like to point accusing fingers at the children of Israel because more often than not, I am also like them. I am gradually learning to praise God while I wait. And if I find myself unable to praise for a while I at least keep quiet as I go round the mountain. You might have heard your mum or an older woman say to you “if you do not have anything good to say, KEEP QUIET!” it is God’s will that we praise Him in every circumstance(1 Thessalonians 5:18). This is a very important principle, instead of empowering the enemy by speaking negative words, why not speak God’s promises over your situation and life. The power of life and death is in your tongue, speak life!

5. Pray: Philippians 4:6-7 The Message “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. ”
Prayer cannot be over emphasized. God loves to listen to the prayers of His children. In fact 1 Peter 2:12 says “the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers.” You can be rest assured that He will answer your prayers according to His will and He will make everything beautiful for you in its time. Don’t get tired of praying. Wait on the Lord and renew your strength.

Have you ever experienced a season of waiting in life? If yes, what are the lessons you learned through that season? I will love to hear from you.