Dealing With Loss and Uncertainty.

Just as the title of this post says, 2020 has been a year which has brought just that- loss and uncertainty.

The other day, in my bible studies group, we were discussing how this year has brought so much loss for many people. COVID being one factor, waking up to the same BBC news report of the number of cases going up and up, you would wonder if the next person would be a family member or your loved one.

Regardless of that, this year has not been easy. We all suffered the loss of basketball star Kobe Bryant- sitting here writing this post, I guess it still feels weird to say he has gone. I also remember the exact moment Caroline Flack sadly passed- I just began to question why we are all constantly reminded of time to grieve and mourn, whilst we are also reminded that people are loosing their lives on a daily.

Nevertheless, dealing with this period is not easy. I am very grateful that I haven’t had to experience it so deeply myself, but I know of people who have had to deal with it, and it can be tough. Whilst I went around doing my research and speaking to people, I realised that there are many ways of dealing with loss and uncertainty, it is subjective. But I hope these next three points would help anyone who would be going through a difficult time.

1. Remembering there is a time for everything

I’m a Christian, and you’ll always here about my faith on here. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about how there is a time for everything. There literally is a time for every single moment, and as unpleasant as it sounds- there is a time where we will all depart from here and from our loved ones. All good things must come to an end and it is okay to take time to adjust to good things or good people’s lives ending

One thing I also want to stress is to not live in fear- to not let our current circumstances around us drive us to insanity wondering if it’s yourself or a loved one going to pass next- I don’t believe this is God’s intention for us.

2. Dealing with it in your own way
Many people experience and handle loss or uncertainty in different ways, I believe there is no wrong or right way to do so. Finding what works best for you will likely make the process much easier and help you to get a speedy recovery. Whether that be spending some time to understand your loss by yourself- or spending it in the comfort of your friends and family. Whatever works for you well is the way you should go forward with it.

3. Looking for a positive future
We are more than halfway through the year, and whilst it hasn’t been an easy one, you have to look for a silver lining somewhere. It’s not the best to have a mindset that nothing positive could come out of this year. Whilst the grieving process can take a while to go through for people, try not to let it consume the remainder of the year. There is still hope that you will go through this tough season, and this could take the help of family and close ones to be with you through the journey.

What ways have you managed deal with loss and uncertainty? Comment below

Thanks for reading!

Has God entered my 2020 ?

Hey !

So, after deciding what post to write before March started, I thought to myself, I haven’t discussed my faith/journey with God on here in a while.

No particular reason, I guess I’ve had a transformation or a twist with my relationship with God lately.

Let’s get the negatives out of the way:

giphy-3

2020 started on a high. I was in a good mood and everything I envisioned for this year, I looked at with a positive mindset towards it. I guess I can say the same for others, all I would hear from people were how they wanted to start afresh and leave the disaster that 2019 was. To start a new decade with a bang. 3 months into the year and I can say it’s been good so far, not easy but good, I guess.

Now, one thing I didn’t do this year was make a mood board/ vision board. My regular pattern of creating a vision of the year by writing it all out on pieces of paper and sticking it on my wall had taken a halt for this year. I guess I wanted to not put so much pressure on myself regarding goals I had to achieve and to just live, take each day as it comes.

But that came with a risk as I wasn’t being held accountable for anything- one being my relationship with God. The mood board acted as a way for me to check on myself and see if I was truly keeping up with what I wanted to do, so now that I didn’t have my mood board- I had no accountability.

My main goal for the year:

One thing I established in 2020 was that I didn’t want my faith/relationship with God to fluctuate. As that happened A LOT throughout 2020, one season I’m reading my bible and praying and then another season I found myself drifting away from God even more (blame procrastination). I did not want that to happen this year !

So how is that goal going – it’s much better than what it was previously. Although it’s only been 3 months I can say I haven’t fluctuated much, but I think the main goal is to increase my relationship with God. And not the typical saying of “get closer to God” but actually make it personal. I would like to find out my way of hearing from God. Some people hear from God through dreams, visions, the word- I would need to find my method

One thing I want to do is do deeper bible study. See the thing is, the Bible is really a history book, (this should be a walk in the park since it’s what I do in uni) so, it’s basically just evaluating what happened in each time frame of the bible, taking the valuable life lessons from it and applying it to my daily life !

How is your relationship going with God at the moment ? What are you striving to do to make this year count ?

Romans 8: 38 “ And I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow- not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love”

giphy-4

The Fast.

Hey! How are you!

From the 11th to the 15th of Feb I decided to fast. This was my first official time doing this under my own controlled settings and terms. I must say it has changed me and transformed my outlook on my Christian life and journey, so I decided to write about my experience of it. Also providing some tips on how to go about it especially if it’s your first time- don’t worry I’m a foodian just like you guys and fasting is nothing to be scared about.

night court eating GIF by Laff

So, for those of you who don’t know what fasting is, it is basically when you remove a common thing from your life in substitution of getting closer to God. Now this is mainly associated with food as it is a common thing you need daily; however, I did a social media fast in addition, removing my accessibility to both during this time of my fast. Instead a person fasting would substitute time spent making or preparing food or time on social media and decide to pray, read a chapter of the Bible or just serenade themselves in worship music.

My strategy for doing so was to fast from the moment I would wake up until 6pm on that same day for a period of 5 days. This meant no food was to enter my mouth until 6pm when I would break it. All social media apps were to be logged out of, however I wished I had just deleted them as I was tempted to check my Snap or Insta stories from time to time. The only app I allowed access to was WhatsApp as I have university commitments which uses that app as a means of communication.

My day started off with worship and a reading from the Bible plan ‘Fasting with A Purpose’ which was perfect as it was 5 days, so it could keep me going and I never missed a day. I would then set off to uni, but even through that I tried to incorporate God in everything that I did, so as I walked, I listened to a worship playlist- Tasha Cobbs was really doing it for me lool, or I would just take time to reflect on God whole heartedly. After uni, I would do any work needed then watch a sermon- Michael Todd’s sermons really captivated me, specifically his ‘Charged Up’ series and his ‘Church Sucks’ series. Then by 6pm, I would say a final prayer and break the fast!

unnamed

Why I did it ? 

So, the main reason why I did it was to prepare myself. That weekend I went to a retreat in Wales, and I knew I wanted to prep myself for a weekend which I knew was going to be hectic and transforming. But truly it was social media. I WAS ADDICTED! . When I say addicted I think I was truly at my worst, although I was not active by posting messages or pictures, I would be on my phone from morning till night, so badly that my mind was bursting to read a book or prepare for my week at uni, but I physically could not shut my phone off, as if it there was a sprit controlling my hand and glueing it to my phone- weird right ?

I just knew I couldn’t continue so a social media fast was needed in order to free my mind for a while.

Let me just say- IT WAS HARD. I refuse to sit here and type, boasting about how easy it was to not eat or use my phone until 6 pm. Especially with a hectic and demanding university schedule. I was drained and miserable, and had low energy all the time, so concentrating on a lecture was very difficult to do. I guess with the social media fast, I should have had a build up to it- as going from being my phone’s best friend to completely neglecting it for a period of 8+ hours became very difficult to do. I believe on one of the days I had to break my fast in the middle as I was on campus for 9 hours, so energy levels were seriously dropping, but I didn’t let that deter me from continuing.

What I learnt : 

I learnt so much about myself during this time of fasting. One thing that you’re not meant to do is to boast and let others see that you are in this time of fast:

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father” Matthew 6:16-18

And yes, I did just that. Everywhere I went I uttered the words “yeah I’m tired as I haven’t eaten for like 5 hours” and I was waiting for their “Pele’s” in return. I realised this was not the correct way to go about it, we shouldn’t boast about being in this state and we definitely shouldn’t show it in our body language, no matter how weak you may feel. Instead, I learnt just how much reflection I could do, and how Jesus himself must have dealt with the 40 day fast, we are really not like the highest, in a sense of power I guess, our bodies physically can’t go 40 days without food or water, so I guess this shows just how powerful and might Jesus is as he could endure it.

Why you should do it:

– It surrenders yourself to God
– It draws you nearer to him, as the things we spend most of our time doing e.g. scrolling through timelines is spent reading the word or watching a sermon
– Brings humility, you now reflect on your positioning and your priorities, one week was enough for me to realise that I spend an excessive amount of my time on unnecessary things.
-Detoxes your mind: There is more to apps! Walking, chatting with friends, sitting in a park- anything that will allow you to be removed from your phone is great for your spirit and mind.

So I end my post here, my first fast wasn’t the easiest to be consistent at but I must say it has taught me many lessons, I hope to repeat this act of fasting throughout the year and pray that it strengthens my intimacy with my Father.

Remain Blessed x

ESSENCETALKS 3

Hey readers, and Happy New Year !

I’m glad to start off the new year with an ESSENCE TALK, and you can find these posted on my Instagram where I state on my stories that I’m about to write one, and you can send your questions in !

So today’s question to open up the year is:

“Can Religious people listen to secular music ?”

Quite frankly, you can write a whole dissertation, book, journal on this topic alone, but for the purpose of this post I won’t keep you guys reading for ages! So the question states “Religious” and I interpret that as all religions, however I only follow one which is Christianity, so I will be basing it off of that, but I’m sure the points I make can be applied to other religions too.

So to answer the question – YES.
I am a firm believer that you can listen to all types of music, whether it be gospel, grime, RNB, hey even the latest drill songs can be enjoyed if you really want to. Now I understand where the controversy and the confusion may arise as how can you be listening to “Great are you lord” on Sunday and then listen to “Gun lean on the beat as well” on the following Monday- some would say you are just contradicting yourself on your beliefs and what your singing during your gospel music sessions

However I believe that the fundamental difference between the two are the words/lyrics to songs. I’m no music expert, but we can all agree that songs have lyrics and then a beat to it. Now some secular songs may have explicit or demeaning lyrics to it, and even I may find it too offensive, so I simply don’t listen to it- BUT, I must say I do love a good beat anything with a good vibe and a cool production of sounds has me hooked instantly- hence why Afrobeats can be considered one of, if not my favourite genres of music to listen to.

Back to the point I was making (I always seem to digress off topic *rolls eyes* lool) I believe as religious people we shouldn’t let words influence the way we act or our lifestyle. Therefore I try not to take lyrics to heart or literally, especially if they don’t go with the word of God.

It’s quite difficult this topic, because I would be lying to you if I said that I listen to gospel music and worship music 24/7 because in reality, I don’t. But that shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing or a downer on your faith, after all I believe in the verse “So whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of god.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) Therefore if you are following a secular song, I suggest if you feel in your heart that you cannot honour God by listening then simply stop. However I don’t feel it’s necessary to cut all secular music out of your life, God wants us to enjoy, as well as enabled us with the freewill to choose what we indulge ourselves in, so I see it as harmless if you do listen to secular music, I guarantee you I will always be having a Wizkid or Maleek Berry song playing in the background if you’re around me , it never leaves me feeling less religious.

I can’t speak so much on other religions, and if I do, I definitely need to go back and do research before I write anything on here- just so my facts are accurate, but I have the feeling that some religions may be a bit stricter and may prohibit access to

So I end it here, by saying that I believe religious people can listen to secular music, however it’s important to note that some music may have profanities that might disagree with one’s religion, so I guess its subjective and it sole relies on the person to make their judgement on what music to listen to.

Thanks for reading !

when the beat drops dancing GIF