Have you ever feared that God’s designs are all against you?
Most people had, at a point in life.
We’ve all faced difficult situations, had unpalatable experiences, met disappointments, and lots more.
Yet it is helpful to always remember that God has a plan for our lives and this verse is just such a reminder.
“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you; says the LORD, plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
And while that Scripture promises comfort and hope, it is necessarily not a promise to immediately rescue us from hardship, but rather a promise that God has a plan for our lives and regardless of our present situation, He can work through it to prosper us, and bring us to the end He has promised.
Are you facing a difficult situation?
Take comfort in the words of Jeremiah 29:11.
And while you do so, remember that there is an element of obedience to this promise. There’s the need to wait on the Lord, to trust in Him and follow Him.
I’ve had one life changing experience in my life – the death of a loved one. It wasn’t fair to me having my dad ripped away from me at age nine. Years went by before I very much got used to the idea of having just a parent. Not until I really got to understand this verse of the Scripture.
We often do not know our own minds, but the Lord is never at an uncertainty. We are sometimes ready to fear that God’s designs are all against us; but as to His own people, even that which seems evil, is for good. He will give them, not the expectations of their fears, or the expectations of their fancies, but the expectations of their faith; the end He has promised, which will be the best for them.
We only have to hold on to His promise, with the belief that He is up to something good, even when we can’t see it.
Whatever it may be – failure, disappointment, death of a loved one, changing friendship, losing a job, being stuck on one point, financial crisis… Always remember His word, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
With faith, we embrace the future that God has prepared for us.
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Mother-mine woke me up on Saturday morning to have my phone charged. Her words, “You have a program to be at today, and who knows when you’ll be back. You should have your phone charged while there’s light.”
My lazy self thought that she could have just picked up my phone and had it plugged in, instead of waking me up. Grudgingly, I stood up to do that which she refused to do. My day kicked off afterward as I went about doing my morning duties.
Earlier to that moment, I had commented on anitaannabel post on her blog, and with the belief that she would have replied, I went to where my phone was plugged in.
To my dismay, the switch was off. And all through, my data was on, also with the Bluetooth being connected with the home theater. The battery was being drained while the phone was busy giving out, yet receiving nothing. How bad I wanted to cry.
Of a truth, most are connected to their Source, without receiving anything from the Source. Most are giving out what’s within them, yet refusing to replenish themselves with more. If what is within finishes, what will keep you going?
Just like a phone needs to be plugged in, with the switch on to gain more energy to itself, we also need to be plugged in with the one true source(Christ) and with our switches on(the readiness to receive more from Him.)
Always remember to ask yourself, “Am I plugged in, with my switch on?”
Quick question: Have you ever had the experience of plugging in your phone, only to realize later that the switch was never put on?
Let your answers roll in in the comment section.
You do know that I appreciate you and I value your thoughts and opinions, yeah? Please leave a comment, like and share. Thank you.💖
Several times, I’ve come up against challenges that have made me want to give up. I’ve had to rethink the way I do things. I’ve had to push my boundaries. I’ve limited myself many times. And each time, I’ve wanted to give up.
And as time has rolled by, I’ve gotten better at handling challenges. I’ve learnt how to be more patient with myself. I don’t try to force progress anymore. When I feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I do my best to take a break and let my unconscious deal with the issue.
But what I can never seem to do is give up, because I know the aftermath of doing just that. The relief is only temporal, giving up would never give me a permanent relief, and I want no regret.
I let my heart guide me in the right direction and more often than not, I get the answer I need. And when I don’t, I move forward and do my best.
Several times I’ve said to myself, “I give up… I won’t take anything anymore. My brain, my heart can’t deal with this.” But I never did.
You know the little trick behind that?
My heart. It keeps telling me to keep going. My mind is screaming, my fears are coming up, but my heart is steady. It keeps telling me to hold on.
And whenever my mind starts screaming, “Nobody told me there’d be days like these.” Each time my inner demons start fighting their battles with fire, I’ll remember the words of E.JRetelj, “Demons are only aspowerful as you allow them to be.”
And the same is true for you. If you look inside, you’ll discover an inner push. It might be a voice, a feeling or just anything waiting to help you when you most want to give up.
You may feel like giving up at times, but know that you’re on the right path, and that you are good enough. Never stop trusting yourself. And always remember that it sure makes a difference when you have God leading you.
You have it in you to do whatever you want, no matter what may want to cause you to quit. Always remember why youstarted.
Don’t let fear get the best of you. No challenge, issue or problem is worth quiting for.
Keep going. You have everything that you need inside of you. And I hope you’ll find the strength to pick yourself back up if you ever fall. I know you can. I know you will. And no matter what happens, no matter what you do, never quit.
No one promises that it would be easy, but nothing is ever worth giving up for. We sure want no regret, right?
Whatever you do, keep going.
I hope you enjoyed reading!
You do know that I appreciate you and that I value your thoughts and opinions too, yeah? Please, leave a comment, like and share.
What could be more intriguing than having a weird attraction towards someone whose aura screamed mystery?
I guessed nothing else.
And there she was, the object of my attraction, staring hard into the woods, so afar off. I watched her silently for some while, and without knowing when and how, I found myself sitting beside her on the grass.
She gave off no impression of having heard someone settled by her side. She spared me no glance, she just kept on basking in her aloneness. Well, I wasn’t surprised, after all she had a reputation of being the school snob. An attitude problem if you would call it that.
“I don’t have an attitude problem, just a personality no one can handle.” She said out of the blues.
Her words caught me off-guard, and I couldn’t help but stare at her like she’d grown two heads. Coupled with the mysteries that surrounded her, could she read minds as well?
“I’m no weirdo, okay? You can stop staring at me like I’m one. I’m just your normal girl.” She shrugged.
Normal? She called herself normal? She was nothing close to being normal. Weird… Strange… Name it, that would be the perfect definition for her being.
“Call me whatever you want, I care less.”
“Why are you here anyway? You shouldn’t be seen with the loner, you know?” She pointed out in a voice dripping with sarcasm.
“You are not that.” I voiced out shakily.
She turned her gaze on me. Her mask slipped off from her face that moment, and I caught a glimpse of surprise off her. Well, why shouldn’t she be? Even my words surprised me.
“Maybe you’re just different?” I muttered, the statement ending as a question.
She snorted with laughter.
“Why the sudden interest?”
I shrugged, clearly uncertain on the reply to give. “I’m just drawn to you, you piqued my curiosity.”
She gave no reply.
And like that, we sat in silence.
She stared into the sky and I followed her gaze. It was fixed on a bird floating through space.
“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than one seeks. Nature provides a place of comfort and solitude, an escape from the pressures of life. Looking deep into nature makes me understand everything better.” She said with a lit face.
I stared at her in admiration. I had always known that she had a deep side to her, never knew it ran that deep.
“I never meant to be this way…” She started.
To say I was surprised would be an understatement. But I didn’t interrupt her. Guess I would finally get an answer to her mysterious aura.
“…It just happened.” She finished off.
A deep sigh escaped from her mouth.
“There was no one to help me. No one would have believed my sith. I made the journey alone, and unfortunately I got caught. In my mind, things go dark. And no one knew. But then no one really knew me. Only me.”
She pressed the back of her hand against her mouth, her eyes squeezing shut. A stiftled sob sound escaped her lips and she immediately sucked in a harsh breath in an attempt to calm down. Then she glanced at me with a watery smile.
“Trying to know me won’t help you.”
“And why?” I deadpanned.
“You know half to nothing.” She chuckled. “I’ve always watched you, and I’d watched you watched me over the years as well.”
I laughed at her words. “I’m glad you stalked me as well.”
She smiled brightly, willing herself not to laugh.
“You are like that man my Ma do talk about everytime. Maybe I should call you picture-perfect.” She said.
Picture-perfect? Should that word be used for a mortal like me? I shook my head in disagreement. “I’m not without flaws. No one is perfect.”
She looked at me like she wanted to dispute that, but then she nodded.
“Ma said life isn’t perfect, maybe you’re right as well. When we lost all, she told me to hold on to the perfect moments, that the scars do not have to define me.” She said reflectively.
“Ma told me a lot about that man. But I will forever hold on to two things about Him. He is a Father. And He is a Saviour. I have never had a real father, but I imagine that a real father, a real Saviour, doesn’t wait for his children to say the right words when they are hurting. He would throw his arms around them, wanting to save them, right?
I nodded affirmatively, my gaze fixed on her.
“Ma said that in everything I should give thanks. In times of good and in bad, I should remain grateful to Him. But then, I found it hard to understand the idea of an unconventional God who resided up high and watched His people suffer. Why should He be revered? It made no sense to me.”
I pondered on her question as well, trying hard to wage it from her perspective.
“But after He had saved me, I realized that truly, God dwells in shadow and mystery. But I know one thing about Him now, one thing forever – This God of mystery and shadow gave good gifts, even to those who failed Him. Even if I fail Him again and again, I believe He would still be near, walking with me in my darkness.”
I believed that also, cause He had saved me at wild and unpredictable moments. He is here and He is at work. I am together with Him and I am safe.
Her words were all I needed at the moment. Who knew the strange girl always cladded in black had so much depth to her being?
“Ma said even though life didn’t work out for her the way she had wished, I am the good gift she got from Him.” She said dreamily. “With Ma, I had been through a lot, but He held it all together for us.”
I imagined what she might had been through and I sighed deeply.
“By some miracles, maybe the stars would align and the planets would rearrange, but in this moment, He is our picture-perfect.”
She smiled widely. “He was my rescue, and He saved me from myself. He love me, this I know and there are no exceptions. My picture-perfect!”
“And I’m happy about this. It’s just that…” she trailed off. “I’m pained about having wasted three years with that guy.”
“He messed me up – real bad. Being with him did more harm to my mental health. He said a lot. That I added no value to his life. His words were harsh and hurtful. And I felt so sad, so worthless, and so tired of everyone and everything.”
She paused to catch a breath, while Edward nodded at her encouragingly.
“It had all been me faking happiness, smiles and joy, presenting myself to people like all was going on well with me, while actually, I’d been wearing off from within. All I feel now is emptiness. Nothing more, nothing less.”
Edward heaved out as she kept on sobbing. He knew best not to console her, but to let her cry it all out. He knew she would cease her crying. And that was what she did some minutes after. Wiping her tears with an handkerchief he had handed to her, she stopped her sniffs and looked up to him.
“I’m pathetic, right?” She asked in a whisper.
He smiled at her, pulling her into his arms. “You are not. It’s okay to cry.”
It was silent afterwards. They sat in silence, without any utterance from any. For that moment, the silence was enough. It communicated Erica’s pains, sorrows, feelings and thoughts to Edward, and the same way, it communicated Edward’s love, concern, thoughts and unshed tears to Erica. The silence was a voice on its own. They understood it well. And it was enough. It had always been enough for them.
“What I need now is a break. No more tears on any other person. I need no one to make me feel worthless anymore, my mental health is more important.” She said.
“It’s for the best, I believe.”
“Erica?” He called, heading towards his table.
“I’m really sorry about having nothing to say to this.” He said.
“No need for that.” She smiled at him. “You made a great listener. Thank you.”
He nodded, then picked up a card from his table and handed it to her. “What do you have to say to that?”
With a quick glance at the card, she raised an eyebrow at him questioningly, “A shrink?”
He shrugged, “She is a friend of mine. She can help.”
Leaning more into her seat, she tapped a finger repeatedly on her chin. “You do trust her?”
“Yeah. I wouldn’t have recommended someone I do not.”
“If you want it, let me know. I’ll give her a call.”
Without more words, she smiled her thanks at him.
* * *
Once she got home, she tossed her flats into the shoe closet and set her bag on the dining table. Grabbing a pie, she took a minute to collect herself before heading to her room. The bed was a huge no-no, since the minute her body hit the mattress, she knew she’d be out like a light. With care, she maneuvered around the space. First things first, check emails. Her laptop took a minute or two to start up, but once it did, it was smooth sailing.
She started sifting through the pile, deleting and replying. Then she came across one that left her blood cold. Her fingers trembled and a bead of sweet trailed down the base of her neck. She read and reread the writing in the sender box.
The English language was seriously lacking at that moment. There was no specific word to describe the atrocious mixture of pure rage and confusion swirling around in her brain. She might not be sure what her stance was on the email Dennis decided to dump into her inbox, but she knew one thing – it wasn’t needed. Not by her, at least.
She sighed and slumped lower into her chair. As much as she tried not to, her eyes skimmed across the text on her screen once again.
– The text message was a drunken mistake, Erica. It meant nothing, please. –
All she wanted to do was to press the delete button, but what held her back from doing just that, she couldn’t fathom. The next thing she knew, she found herself typing a reply to him.
– An email? You should have sent another text like you did earlier. –
His reply was immediate. Desperate much? She scoffed.
– I can explain babe. Can we meet up please? –
The nerve of him! She groaned, her eyes flashing with anger.
She hesitated for some while, her fingers hovering over the keyboard.
– We’re done, Dennis. Your explanation won’t be needed. –
She read her reply once again, about to hit on the send button. Then for some reasons, she backspaced all she had typed.
A smug smile found it way across her face. With a quick move, she picked up her phone and pressed dial on his number. He answered at the first ring.
“The Shark. 7:00pm tomorrow. Don’t worry about being stood up, I won’t.”
* * *
“Yesss!” Dennis screamed, flinging his phone carelessly on his bed.
His flatmate looked up at him questioningly.
“In two days time, I’m gonna get that big contract, bruv.” He said happily.
“Wawu. How will you do that?” His flatmate asked, his voice laced with sarcasm.
Dennis laughed. “I own the ace.”
“You got that right, TK.” Dennis replied with a smirk.
“You’re still using that girl?” TK scoffed.
“Oh, yes. I planned on popping her v-card before discarding her.”
“You disgust me sometimes guy.” TK said with pure disapproval. “You never liked her?”
“I never said I didn’t.” Dennis replied defensively. “But I happened to like her father’s money and connections much more better.”
“The poor lady did you no bad, D.” TK said in Erica’s defense.
Dennis glared at him, “Her soon-to-be broken heart is gonna need some ice-cream and chocolates. I bet you’ll be the perfect shoulder for her to cry on.”
TK glared back at him irritatedly, then flipped him off.
Was that a yell or a scream? She had no idea. Maybe another Ivy, right? It was too early for her name to be heard. With that, she pulled her blanket more tightly over her head.
“Ivy!” Moyo called more loudly as she took two steps at a time.
Clearly impatient, she pulled open Ivy’s door and walked in, banging the door loudly at her behind. Still that did nothing in waking up the sleeping figure.
“Who the hell sleeps till 11:00am?” She mumbled.
“Ivy,” She called again. The only response she got was a tiny purr.
Sighly loudly, she roughly shook the body awake.
“Heyyyy.” Ivy mumbled. “That was no nice way to wake up a princess.” She protested.
“It’s almost noon, idiot.”
“Still, I hate mornings!” Ivy groaned.
“See ehn, I know you love your sleep, but I seriously need your help.” Moyo rushed out, settling herself into the bed.
“That serious that it couldn’t wait? I was having this so intense dream.” Ivy whined.
Moyo watched irritatedly as her friend covered up herself.
“I’m pregnant, Ivy.”
Whether she heard or not, the other girl gave no reaction of any such.
“What Moyo?” She groaned, her head popping up from underneath the blanket.
“Then sort it out yourself. Last time I checked, I wasn’t the one who impregnated you.” She snapped.
Moyo’s eyes widened at Ivy’s outburst. Not ready to take any shit from her, she fired back, “What’s got your pants so twisted this morning, huh?”
“You woke me up from my damn so sweet sleep, only to give me some shitty news of your pregnancy. And that’s even if you know the father this time around.” Ivy said angrily.
“Wow. Low blow, Ivy.” Moyo stared hard at her, folding her arms across her chest before retorting, “I’m not having that from you. You are not much of a saint either, you know?”
“At least, I have mine wrapped up all good. But you?” Ivy glared back at her. “All you do is to get knocked up every damn time. This is your fourth? Fifth?” She let out a mocking laugh. “Geez, I’ve even lost counts.”
“How could you be so stupid, Moyo?” She added irritatedly.
“Not funny, Ivy. I’m not stupid.” Moyo rolled her eyes exasperatedly.
“You can just go for another abortion.” On a second thought she added, “Madam Iris must not know you know?”
“That was the help I needed from you dumbass.”
“To help you abort a baby?” Ivy asked, her voice going a pitch higher. “Hell, no! I won’t have an unformed figure haunting me. So sorry, but no!”
“I won’t be having an abortion.” Moyo chuckled. “I’m keeping this one.”
Ivy’s lips failed her at that moment, as they refused to move. “I give up,” She sighed dramatically. “My friend clearly is insane.”
Moyo laughed, a little bit forced.
“I live in a brothel, alright? Which is no environment to birth or raise a child. And I know what Madam Iris’s reaction would be to this news. I should be freaking out now, cause I know next to nothing about motherhood. And as much as I hate to admit this last fact, I know that my unborn child won’t have a father figure in their life. So…?” She said sadly.
“I understand your worries, even without you voicing out any word. Still, I want this baby.”
Tears threatened to fall off from her eyes, but she masked it off pretty quickly.
Ivy stared at her friend sadly. She knew Moyo didn’t have a good upbringing. She wasn’t raised to be strong or independent. She was raised to be frail and submissive. But circumstances taught her to be strong and brave. And from her words, she knew she wasn’t just keeping the pregnancy out of guilt.
“Well, I don’t want you to be like me. I want you to be strong, confident and independent. To create a better version of yourself off that baby. Just follow your heart, it will always lead you aright.” She said with a broad smile.
“So?” Moyo asked nervously.
“You’ll be leaving tonight. Leave Madam Iris to me.”
“Seriously?” Moyo squealed happily. “Thanks, b.”
Ivy scoffed at her use of the alphabet ‘b’. Affectionate words don’t go down well with her. Not at all.
“Mind you, I’m not doing it for you. It’s for your little one. She deserves a chance at life.”
Moyo teared up then. “A ‘she’?” She whispered amidst sobs.
“Now the hormones are working.” Ivy groaned. “Honestly, what’s it with pregnant women?”
They both laughed at that.
“Are you really doing this for me?”
Ivy nodded. She knew convincing Madam Iris would not be a hard nut to crack. She only had to offer up herself till a replacement would be found for Moyo. It would be a sacrifice worth making.
“Yeah, we’re friends afterall.” She grinned. “I will work your hours with mine.”
“She is a real bitch.” Moyo said grimly.
“I know right?” Ivy chuckled.
Moyo smiled her thanks. “I can’t thank you enough.” She gushed out, rushing off to her side to engulf her in a hug.
“Yeah, yeah. Meet the incredible Ivy. She’s so nice, right?” Ivy said drily. “Now get off me, I hate hugs. Arrrgh!”
“Doofus!” Moyo laughed, as she gave a light smack to her back.
“I am scared. I don’t want you to leave. But I don’t have a choice here. You have to leave – to create a better life for your baby. I don’t want to lose anyone anymore.” Her voice trembled.
Moyo was surprised by her confession. That was a first. She knew she was someone who never admitted or showed anyone her doubts and fears. She was glad she was opening up to her.
“People complain too much about their lives, yet when they have the chance to do something about it, they don’t.” She said thoughtfully. “We can leave together, Ivy. This life is not cut off for us.”
Ivy laughed. A bitter laugh.
“We are different, Moyo. This is my own life. It can’t be changed.”
Moyo scoffed. “This is no life, babe. Don’t you wish to live the way you want?”
“This is my life.” Ivy snapped.
If only she knew that Ivy hoped to be just Ivy.
“Well, I guess this is my cue to leave.” Moyo said nervously, as she clambered off the bed.
“Hol’ up. I have something for you.”
She leaned towards the bedside table, pulled out the second drawer, then took out a big black purse.
“This is for you.” She said, as she handed it carefully to Moyo. “Coupled with what you have, it should be enough to get you started wherever you moved to.”
“You don’t have to – ” Moyo started to protest.
“It’s nothing, honestly.”
Moyo opened the purse and gasped loudly.
“How much, Ivy?”
Ivy started scratching her neck nervously. “It’s nothing much.”
“I know it’s nothing much, but I need an exact figure to these.” Moyo said, in an almost scream.
“I don’t know, okay? But it sure exceeds an hundred.”
“Thank you.” Moyo breathed out, as she threw herself at her once again.
Ivy laughed nervously. “It’s just a little…”
“It means a lot to us.” Moyo smiled appreciatively, rubbing her little bump as well.
“I’m also sorry for going off on you earlier. It was petty of me. And I hope you will forgive me for my words.”
Moyo waved it off. “I woke you up from your sleep, knowing how much you hated that.”
“And I don’t know,” She continued hesitantly, then reached around her neck, and pulled off a neckchain with a locket. “A present from me to her. There’s a golden inscription in the locket.”
Moyo’s hands flew up to her mouth, as she choked back a sob. “Ivy,” She rasped out.
“This is not goodbye. The future holds a lot for us, I believe.” Moyo said, wiping off tears from her face.
“The future?” Ivy shrugged with a grim expression. “I don’t picture the future. It’s fickle. It never pans out the way we hope.”
Moyo glared at her. “Be optimistic some times, huh?”
“Duhh… You can ask life why it had always been so cruel to me?”
Moyo smiled. “Still, thank you. For everything.”
“Geez. Friends don’t say thanks. Now stop the waterworks. It sucks.”
“Okay. Okay.” Moyo sniffed, wiping off her tears.
“You being a crying mess is not a beautiful sight at all.” Ivy laughed.
“You should get packing. Wait up, okay?” Ivy sent her a smirk, then walked out.
Moyo smiled happily, and mouthed as she gently rubbed her baby bump. “That is Ivy. She is not as tough as she looks. Her toughness is only a shield. She has been through a lot and seen a lot that she shouldn’t have seen. She keeps it all inside and hides it with her tough attitude, but on the inside, she is a kind soul.”
She had always admired Ivy and had wanted to be like her. She walked with confidence and had an aura that demanded respect. Not to speak of her beauty, that girl sure do turn heads. Her life might be a mess. But to Moyo, she was a beautiful mess.
The neckchain took that time to slip off her hand. As she bent to pick it up, the locket flew open. A simple message in a golden inscription stared at her. “When life gets out of tune, sing anyway.”
A broad smile appeared easily on her face. Well, what other perfect gift would a little girl had wished for from her godmother.