Sample Bias

There’s one area of my life where God has blessed me abundantly and that is where people are concerned. I am surrounded by the most loving, supportive and insightful group of friends and family and they push and inspire me to be the person God has called me to be. The information I receive from them and the levels of revelation they encourage me to enter, have helped form the individual I am today.

It’s easy to assume that other people have been exposed to the same truths as I have and know what I know. That’s a mistake I am often guilty of making, but it’s a sample bias error which comes from being surrounded by like-minded people, and using that as a premise to assume that everyone else is the same way. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s very important to have men and women in your life who understand and share your hopes and dreams and see life through the Word. But if we are not careful, we can assume that everyone has been given the opportunity to know what we know and they just don’t want to act on it.

Before He left the earth, Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples. He told them to go into ALL the world and preach the Gospel (Mark 16:15). We live in a world that is dying to hear about the truth of God’s love and how He has a plan and purpose for our lives. But they don’t know. And how will they hear unless someone tells them? (Romans 10:14b). It’s easy for us to remain in our safe cocoon of like-minded counsel (and again, there’s nothing wrong with that) but we also need to reach out to the world. I tell you, there are so many people that are hungry for the truth, but they just don’t know where to find it or how to get it.

There are so many broken marriages today because no one explained what marriage was created for. They were not informed that salvation could not be found in a spouse and that two people are meant to enter a marriage, already complete in Christ.

So many women are looking for a man to save them (I once fell into that category) but they don’t know that no man can save you. In fact, that approach will most likely lead you to men who want to use you and throw you away.

A lot of men have been told that their manhood is defined by the number of digits on their bank accounts. And so you have a generation of men who will do anything for money. That’s because they don’t know who they under all that cash and cannot call themselves REAL men if they don’t have a certain amount of money and are unable to maintain a certain lifestyle.

All these people need to hear God’s truth. But how will they know if they are not told?

We are salt and light and our calling is to be carriers of God’s truth in a broken world. I thank God for my friends and family and for the wonderful people of the House of Freedom because they have exposed me to God’s truths and helped me develop in my relationship with God. Now it’s our responsibility (those of us who understand Kingdom) to go out into the world and introduce someone to the truth that is Jesus.

Because at the end of the day, He is THE truth. End of.

Have a wonderful week,

Grace’s Daughter.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone, my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song

This cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease

My comforter, My All in All, Here in the love of Christ I stand

 

No guilt in life, no fear in death, this is the power of Christ in me.

From life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand

Till He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

I have listened to these words so many times; on some occasions, I just sing along with a casual appreciation of the lyrics and the melody. There are other times however, where the words come alive. Almost like the writer knew exactly what I would need to hear in that moment of my life, as he penned those words.

It’s very easy for the demands of life to weigh us down. We often put ourselves under such immense pressure to measure up to a standard that God never asked us to live up to. I’m guilty of placing such ridiculous demands on my inherently incapable flesh. When I fail to deliver, I suffocate myself in waves of condemnation and despair. It’s easy for me to blame the world for placing such weighty burdens on me, but the truth is I oftentimes place them on myself.

Hoping in Christ means that I no longer have to rely on my human strength. It means that I have a covering that I can rest in whenever I get to the end of myself. When I am confronted with impossible situations, ones that I can never get through by myself, I can sit back and allow God show up. But I actually have to sit back and let God be God. I’m tired of subjecting myself to the torture of trying to figure my life out by myself. I’m tired of beating myself up and wallowing in guilt when I don’t measure up.

The truth is I never will because the standards are constantly evolving. The world is changing and is full of people with differing opinions. Trying to please them all is simply setting yourself up for distress and failure. But there is a calmness and a peace that comes from resting in the knowledge of the truth that God has you completely covered. When you know with every fiber of your being that your life is in God’s hands, you are unshakable. It doesn’t mean life stops being hard; it means you simply rise above.

I wrote the first and last verse of this song because they are a beautiful expression of encouragement. Life is tough and it doesn’t get much easier as we move through it. But as the challenges come (and they definitely will), we can be rest assured that we do not walk alone, Christ is indeed our hope and no matter what, nothing and no one can ever separate us from His love and the wonderful thoughts He has for us.

Encourage yourself in (and through) the Lord.

Monuments

And Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever…Then Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests who bore the ark of the covenant stood; and they are there to this day. – Joshua 4:5-7, 9.

I read this passage and couldn’t help but ask myself certain questions: What are the monuments to God that I have set up in my life? Do they serve as ample reminders of the presence of God in my life? What is my plan to ensure that the story of my walk with God doesn’t die with me? Do I teach? Preach? Write a book? These are somewhat heavy questions to ask one’s self, especially at 6a.m in the morning. On one hand, I have to constantly remind myself that my first obligation in life is to God and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth. But, on the other hand, there are other things in my life that require my attention; my relationships, my job, my health, etc. And all these things are important. The dilemma I seem to constantly face is where and how to deploy my most valuable resource i.e. my time. In many instances, it’s God vs. everything else.

In the passage above, the Israelites were asked to erect monuments to God as a reminder to all people of what God had done for them. While sometimes the struggle is God vs. other aspects of my life, this story shows me that there are times when it’s God IN these aspects of my life. The Israelites had been roaming around the desert for 40 years and it was finally time for them to come into the Promised Land. I can only imagine what must have been going through their minds; they were approaching the climax of their lives. And that’s where God shows up for them and then asks them to put up a marker, so that those who come after them will be reminded of the magnitude of this Being we call Jehovah.

What am I trying to say today? Many times, we make our lives out to be God vs. xxx. But there are times when it’s God in xxx. Yes, we might be called to use our time to serve God by volunteering or writing a book. And this could take away from time that could be spent spending time with loved ones or getting on top of tasks that need to be completed. But there are also other times (and I daresay they are quite many), when God meets us in the midst of life and asks us to pause, listen and obey. The aim is often so that we may point others to Him.

Love,

Grace’s Daughter

Every Today

I’ve felt rather off kilter for the past couple of months, like I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to drop. There were things I used to do before with joy that had become chores to me. Writing on this blog was one of them and for a brief moment, I considered letting it go so I could focus on meeting the basic requirements of my seemingly demanding life.

This feeling also manifested itself in my relationship with God; waking up in the morning to spend time with Him seemed stressful and sleep beckoned even more. And so, I found myself going from doing the barest minimum to doing almost nothing. Even in those times when I managed to get my behind out of bed, I was just going through the motions. My heart was not in it anymore. What worried me the most was the fact that I could not see how to get out of this interesting funk. I know who I am when I am away from God and it’s not pretty but that knowledge was not enough to inspire me to get back on track.

Now there might be some of you out there going through the same thing and I wish I could offer you a novel solution. But sometimes, the right thing to do is the right thing to do. I needed to start praying and reading my bible again. That’s it, plain and simple. But even more, I had to stop depending on myself for the strength to do what needed doing.

I started a new routine this past week; when my alarm goes off in the morning, I pray to God for the grace to do my T-25 (I also haven’t been doing my best where my weight is concerned). I get up and work out and whenever I feel the need to stop and get back in bed, I pray for the grace to finish. And so far, I’ve finished. Then I whip out my bible and journal, read and write down my thoughts, jist with Jesus and get ready for the day.

There were days when I was filled with the euphoria of a job well done and there were other days when I felt like rubbish but I’m grateful to God for the grace to get through each day. Don’t get me wrong, there might be days when I quit but I can’t worry about that today.

That’s what this life is about; living day by day, looking to God for grace in all things and not worrying about how things will get done. Matthew 6:25-34 has taken on a fresh meaning for me. I realize now that I got caught up trying to figure out how to juggle all the different elements of my life in my own strength. I forgot that I absolutely do not have to do that and that I am helped of God.

If there’s anyone out there who is going through the same thing, please understand that you are not alone. Be honest with God and tell Him how you feel. You’re tired of your current situation or you don’t want to do something that you know He wants you to do. Vent and cry out to Him. And then ask Him for the grace to do what you ought to do and take it one step at a time. It will most likely be difficult and uncomfortable at first and you might want to quit. But if you keep looking to God for grace, you’ll look up one day and be amazed at the progress you made. Not to worry dear friend, God is still in the business of miracles; even the seemingly ordinary ones.

Love,

Grace’s Daughter.

Never Walk Alone

Hello people,

Forgive me dear friends for being MIA for so long…..it’s been a very interesting couple of weeks. Honestly, I’m trying to be careful not to say “I’m really busy” or “my life is crazy right now” because it  probably sounds like a cliché now but it’s the truth. Between work (which got really stressful for me this year) and starting to plan a wedding, I barely have enough time for my loved ones or myself. But it’s all a learning process and I’m getting better at it. Life hardly ever gives you enough time to rest at any current level of triumph; there’s always another obstacle to overcome, another area for improvement. So get used to the journey people because life is a series of evolving destinations.

The past couple of weeks have been very tough for me. You see, God is different things to me in different seasons of my life. Sometimes He’s my very best friend; I feel His presence with me and I know that there is absolutely nothing I cannot do. But there are other times when God feels like a very exacting coach, like an unforgiving personal trainer. He knows where He wants to get me to and He’s focused on the abilities He’s given me, which I cannot use outside of Him. However I sometimes only see my flaws and failings or I get distracted by pride, thinking that I can do everything on my own. And in those times when I get scared of the task ahead of me or I fall because I look to my own strength, I question God.

This doesn’t always happen in the most obvious way; I may not question whether God is real or if He really created the world and sent Jesus to die for humanity. It happens in more subtle ways like questioning whether I am good enough or if I can handle the things He’s given me. About three weeks ago, I began to question whether I was good enough for my job. In my eyes, I had made so many mistakes that I could not possibly be good enough to do my job. This was the same job I had asked God for and by questioning my capacity to handle it, I was basically questioning God’s wisdom in giving it to me.

And then a wonderful and wise friend of mine (I love you Eloho, you know this) made me realize that I had got myself in a bit of a pickle thinking that I could do my job on my own without God’s help. God is well aware of my capacity to do my job but that capacity is founded in Him. It is in Him that I am supposed to live, breathe and have my being. He is the catalyst that activates all the abilities I have and makes them shine to His glory. Outside of Him, I have no hope and will be nothing.

The past couple of weeks have reminded me of the importance of leaning on God for everything. There is a place for effort and handwork but you eventually get to the end of yourself and that’s where God comes in and does His part. I’m grateful to have learned this lesson again and at this time because I will soon take up the responsibility of being somebody’s wife and eventually  a child’s mother. The thought of it alone is enough to send me into fits of panic and frenzy, especially when I consider the fact that my life is already demanding enough as it is. But I’m reminded that I never walk alone and that I can leave my life at God’s feet and walk away because He is more than able to work the whole thing out for me. My friend reminded me that I am helped of God and it is a truth that I intend to carry with me every single day of my life.

Love Always,

Grace’s Daughter

A Message of Hope

Today I stand amazed at God and the wonder of who He is. I look back on my life and I see His mercy, grace and favor on me. Of a truth, He is a great and mighty God. Everything that I have and all that I am is because of who He is. I know I normally don’t write like this but right now, in this moment, my heart if full of gratitude to God for how far He has brought me and all I can do is have faith and hope for wonderful things in the places He’s taking me.

We are waiting on God for the year and although it has not been easy, God has provided ample grace for the sacrifice. I have done things I never thought I could do and it makes me soooo expectant for the things He will do this year. Change is in the air people……it’s palpable and I can feel it.

I just feel the need to send a message of hope out today; I don’t know what your situation is. Perhaps you’ve been waiting on God for something or you’re stuck in a difficult situation and it seems like there’s no way out. Maybe you have put your hope in man (as we are wont to do sometimes) and that person has failed you. Or maybe you had great hopes and it all came crashing down right before your eyes. It’s easy to look around and see darkness and depression but if you will cast your eyes back to God and ask Him to reveal Himself to you and change your perspective, you will eventually see that what you’re going through is for a higher purpose.

I do not rejoice because I don’t have problems (trust me, there isn’t enough time to talk about them) but by the grace of God, I choose to look beyond my problems to a God who is bigger than any situation and will cause all things to work together for my good. I have asked that He align my will to His and with that in place, my victory is only a matter of time.

But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you – Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day. Make God your priority, align with the agenda of His Kingdom and He will sort you out.

My prayer for you today is that God will cause the eyes of your understanding to be opened the way He did for Elisha’s servant (2 Kings 6:17) so that you may see God’s protection around you even in that difficult situation. With God, you have overcome.

Stay strong,

Grace’s Daughter

…….For This Year

Hello wonderful world,

And so we leave 2014 behind and look forward to 2015 with all it holds for us. I pray this year is one where you get to walk closely with God and allow Him to guide every facet of your life. I pray that you flourish this year; no matter what goes on around you, you will stay rooted in Christ and bear fruit in all seasons. I pray for growth, increase and revelation for you this year and that your mind and heart will be open to receive all that God has for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen!!!

Now with each new year comes an opportunity to assess the previous year; accomplishments, failures, areas for growth and improvement and new territories to explore. The usual way forward is to come up with resolutions and clearly defined timelines. I had none last year; in fact I don’t think I have ever been one to have any. Looking back now, I think it would have been useful to have clearly spelled out the things I wanted to achieve. But I think for the year ahead, God wants me to be more intentional about receiving revelation on what His plans are for me this year. I usually just go with the flow and let the chips fall where they may trusting that God is leading me (and I know He is). But there is a higher level of relationship where God goes from being your manager to your partner and I think that’s the next step for me.

Now, this is not easy. Partnering with God often requires a higher sacrifice; it could mean saying goodbye to sleep and hello to more work and even more prayer. It could also mean saying goodbye to some relationships, bad habits (especially those that feel so good) and trite excuses. It definitely means putting away childish things in order to become a woman or man. A lot is happening to me this year and so a lot will be expected of me. I need to ensure that I am prepared to handle the responsibilities that come with blessings.

And so it is timely that my church (The Waterbrook) has called a fast for 21 days. The most I have done for a fast is like 5-6 days so 21 days is a stretch and a half. But there is one thing I know for sure that God is saying about this year; if you want to end this year a much better person than you were when you started, you have to get on board with God’s plan and the only way to know His plan is to seek Him and ask Him to reveal it to you. I know who I was when I started 2014 and that person is a far cry from who I was on the night of the 31st. I want an even starker contrast between who I am today and who I will become year end. The only way I know  and the only formula I can recommend is Jesus.

You might not feel led to fast but maybe your Bible has been gathering dust for the past couple of months/years. Perhaps it’s time to pick it up and ask God to speak to you through it (and trust me, He will). Maybe you have harbored bitterness towards some people for a while and it has blocked you off from receiving what God has for you. Pray for them and let it go. What I am trying to get you to do is to resolve to be and do better this year, all according to God’s plan for you. And you can walk in that plan as long as you resolve this year to walk with Him.

That’s my New Year’s message to you my lovely readers. Have a great week ahead and never doubt how much God loves you.

Love always,

Grace’s Daughter.

The Story of Us (Part 3)

Hello wonderful people,

I hope this meets you all well. Once again from me to you all, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. As usual, the holidays were way too short but I’m grateful for the time away to chill with my people who matter the most to me. I went to a couple of weddings as well as my cousin’s 21st birthday party (which was such a swell time) and I’m looking forward to New Year’s day as it will be a good day for rest.

Now I know a lot of you have been waiting for today’s post and I do apologize for its tardiness but it’s for a good reason…..the man in question has lovingly agreed to put down some of his own thoughts on our story so you guys get to see things from his perspective. Here it goes:

This girl is a wahala girl. See as I enter one chance. Anyways, I’ve been following the blog same as all of you and my head has doubled in size as time has gone by (she always makes me look good). She has stayed true to what actually happened – it’s been like reliving the past. As I have been roped into this, I have no choice but to dive right in.

So we started seeing each other but we weren’t “official” just yet (I still don’t get the concept). And then one day she said she didn’t like me but that she would like us to remain friends. At that point, my ego wall went up and I told her that was impossible. I wasn’t going to be in the friend zone, I’m sorry. Sue me. I knew exactly what I wanted from her and I was not willing to settle for anything less. I decided I was going to move on with my life but it was very difficult at first. I didn’t sleep the night she told me. Alas, life had to go on. Just when I thought I was getting to a place where I could start to heal, I get a call from her. My pride almost stopped me calling back but I’m so glad I did. She told me why she said it and more importantly, why she had a change of heart and we got back together even though we weren’t dating (see what I mean by not getting the concept?)

And so we started to see each other again. It wasn’t always smooth but we have always managed to come back to each other. Relationships are hard work sometimes but you need to know why you’re in it to work through the tough times. We went into a relationship looking for a long term commitment that could lead to marriage so we always knew what we were fighting for. Along the way, she has managed to teach me and that is what I appreciate most about her. She has taught me what it means to love someone, to totally put your pride aside because it’s not just about you. She is strong because she allows herself to be vulnerable – if that’s not strength, I don’t know what is. 

We started talking about marriage a couple of months ago and decided that we wanted to get married so I had to get a ring. I got the ring in November but she was out of the country for a while after that so I couldn’t propose until she got back. On the 2nd of December, I finally popped the question.  And that’s how we got to where we are now. 

It’s been a fantastic time and God has been really great. This year has been fantastic for me and she is a big part of why that’s so. Thank you for reading. It’s been real.

That’s it people; you heard it from the other horse’s mouth. Like he said, all the glory belongs to God because we would not have gotten to where we are today if it wasn’t for Him leading and guiding us. We still have a bit of a journey ahead before we become man and wife. But as it’s been with our story so far, we will continue to look to God to show us the way to go.

And so from Grace’s Daughter (and her Prince), Merry Christmas and we wish you a wonderful 2015 ahead.

The Story of Us (Part 2)

This post was meant to go up on Sunday but I was having internet issues at home so I’ll just put up what I wrote then (never mind the two day lapse)

Hey guys,

I don’t know about you all but it’s been such a stressful week for me; I was hoping for a bit of downtime especially where work is concerned but it seems like there’s more to do than normal. I guess we haven’t yet gotten the holiday memo. I’m hoping things will be much better this Christmas week.

Speaking of which, Christmas is here again and with it comes the call to count our blessings and remember the things we have to be grateful for. Look guys, I won’t overlook the fact that it’s been a tough year, especially for those of us living in Nigeria. But the truth is that life itself is a reason to be grateful. So instead of focusing on what you don’t have and haven’t accomplished, focus on the fact that you are alive. As long as there is life, there is hope.

Alright guys, no need to keep you in suspense any longer. The story of us continues….Moyo and I had our first date at Ice Cream Factory in Lekki. If you had asked me at the time, I definitely would not have called it a date. Truthfully, I did not think much of it. As far as I was concerned, I was hanging out with a guy and I had no idea how things were going to play out. If anything, he started out with a serious disadvantage because he is Yoruba and I only wanted to date Igbo guys (bringing that up with my parents was not the easiest thing to do but that’s a story for another day). Our first time out was interesting because I had never talked so much about myself before. I was used to having to look for space to insert myself in my conversations with guys on dates but this was very different.

We hung out for two hours and we were just talking. It was very much a new experience for me and it definitely made him stand out. He was walking me back to my car when he asked me out again and I agreed. One thing I will say for sure ladies is that when a guy really wants you, he will make it clear; he will NOT play with your emotions and he will NOT keep you guessing. He will understand your value and what you are worth and he will do everything in his power to make you his. It IS that simple, please believe me.

We were talking for about a month when he told me he wanted us to be in a relationship. I told him that I needed time to think about it and pray about it and I did (need time that is). To be honest, I was struggling with letting go of the ideas I had of the kind of person I wanted to end up with. And I was not going to enter into a relationship with a guy if I didn’t think I could marry him.

It was not your typical romance story; boy meets girl, girl is ecstatic about meeting boy after going through a frog or two, boy and girl fall in love and live happily ever after. Nah, that’s not what happened here. God used Moyo to work on me, to make me a better person and help me realize that His plans for me might not always be what I would choose for myself and that can be very difficult to accept. But when you let go and allow God have His way, the path He carves out for you is infinitely more beautiful than you could ever have imagined for yourself. Amazing things happen when you let God write your love story.

Stay posted for the third (and final) part of the story coming your way next week.

Yours,

Grace’s Daughter.

The Story of Us (Part 1)

Hello wonderful people,

Hope y’all are doing well. I’ve been away for a while, I know and for that I apologize. I’m sure by now that you all are tired of hearing my apologies for my lengthy absences. Please bear with me guys…..I really am trying to keep up. I know I can try harder though and I so I ask you to please keep me in your prayers.

It’s been a very interesting couple of weeks; I was away for a couple of days in the U.S for thanksgiving. It was lovely to be able to get away and spend some quality time with my family. Coming back to Nigeria was a bit difficult because work got crazy. I’m hoping this next week will be lighter as we head into the Holidays.

Alright guys, so I have some news. A number of you who read this blog are friends of mine (some of you I have actually met through this blog) and so you know that I got engaged almost two weeks ago.

I’m sorry guys; I know I should have told you all sooner but I needed some time to wrap my brain around the whole thing. For those of you that have read this blog from the start, you know that my journey as far as dating is concerned has been a very long and interesting one. But one thing I can tell you for sure is that God is really awesome and cares so much about every single area of our lives especially where dating is concerned. If you hand over that aspect of your life to Him, He will take it and make it something absolutely beautiful.

I met Moyo about a year ago (on Boxing Day) at a hang out with a friend and I didn’t think much of him at the time. In fact, I’m quite sure he annoyed me because he kept asking me questions and challenging my opinions. It turns out that he was just very curious about me and how my mind worked. I didn’t know it at the time but a mutual friend of ours was trying to set us up. Fast-forward about two weeks later and I get a phone call from a number I don’t know and I call back. Turns out to be this same Moyo guy.

Ordinarily I would not have given him the time of day because he was not my type but God had allowed me to “have” my type just before I met Moyo and things didn’t work out with him. Looking back now I thank God for it because I would not have given Moyo and I a chance if I hadn’t gone through that experience. So the version of Grace’s Daughter that Moyo met was one that was a little heart-bruised but as a result, completely open to whatever it was God had in store for her as far as dating was concerned………

That’s it for today guys…..I’m gonna do a bit of a series on the story of Moyo and I as it’s a bit too long for one post. I will put another post up on Sunday. In the meantime, have a lovely week y’all and remember the reason for the season.

Love always,

Grace’s Daughter.