‘The Forgetter’s Eye’ Interview with Elo Osunde

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Elo Osunde

 As many of you know, one of the main aims of this blog/movement and specifically the God Narratives Project is to inspire others, by highlighting the journeys of people that are letting their God-given light shine for the world to see  [Matt. 5:14-16]. For Elo, this light is expressed in her writing and in her photography as documented on ‘The Forgetter’s Eye’ page on Instagram. I had a great time chatting with her for this interview & I hope you enjoy reading it!


Many people see God as their protector, provider & guide- and all of this He absolutely is. But I also see Him as a God of creativity and beauty and wonder. I see evidence of Him in much of your work. How do you feel God has inspired you creatively on ‘The Forgetter’s Eye’ project?

What’s interesting about TFE to me is that it’s the product of one of my flaws. Coming to terms with the fact that my memory is not great at all, I made a spontaneous decision to start taking photographs as a way to preserve the moments that make my life worth it. Naturally, that started off with friends, family and activities and really, it just grew from there.

Weirdly, that’s the first way He has inspired me on this. By helping me remember that little flaws and setbacks literally only have as much power over me as I allow them.

I hadn’t really given much thought to what I was doing until one day when I was journaling and speaking to God about a moment I’d shared with a stranger and how it resonated with me. I felt Him say to me, ‘look, you have so much to say. So say something. Don’t overthink it. Just say something.‘ I started the page the same day.

I don’t think I am amazing at photography, I really don’t think I’m great at it [I do intend to work on it. But] I’m more into it for the stories and how there can be a thousand words behind just one still image. I’m more into it for the opportunity to display all the simple things that should still matter. And ultimately, I think what God has been showing me through this is that He’s interested in the details and how much attention we pay to the world.

For that reason alone, I’m less afraid to talk about the little things in life that make our worlds stop – even when we can’t be bothered to notice.10561041_1446379482295122_664622788_n

He keeps showing me that there’s still good in the world and that it’s worth paying attention to.

#1000reasonstoloveNigeria : because stunning colours like these are commonplace.

Lastly. God’s used it as an avenue to really conquer   my fear. I’ve been trying to outgrow the fear of sharing my thoughts, my words, my ideas and putting myself out there, for years now. This is    helping me.

What has been the scariest part of sharing/ the most impactful part of the sharing process?

The scariest part? Not being able to express myself/my experiences adequately.

The most impactful part? Responses.

Has there been any response to your page that has surprised you so far?

It’s all been overwhelming. Right from when I started, I think it was the third picture or so. It was a ‘Things We Lost in Nigeria’ photo, on the Bring Back Our Girls issue. Someone commented saying she was shivering as she read it, because she had actually forgotten about the girls. That was great to me, because it made someone consider something. It made someone stop to think.10362156_1454484868164351_520381225_n

#thingswelostinNigeria : Our Girls. A myriad of unexpected things can get lost and still be forgotten. Nigeria has taught me this. When honesty, integrity, good leadership, water, electricity and/or billions of Naira went missing, there are many things we did before we did the expected. We fought, we slandered, we cried, we mourned the loss, we sat silently and wondered what we could do. At some point, we even found the humour in the misery. But we still, after all said and done, returned to a now familiar end result: amnesia.’

Also, just a few days ago, I put a picture up, asking people to say one beautiful thing about themselves and one thing about someone they know and/or love.

There were over 67 comments on it. People were tagging their friends and families, to say what’s beautiful about them. The best part about that for me again, is that people have to stop to think about these things, and even if it’s just for that very moment that they’re better for it, it’s more than enough.

Do you feel the Holy Spirit guiding you in the details? e.g who to approach for a picture, how to take it, etc? What to write?  

Yes and no.

Yes, because in my walk with God, one thing I’m constantly challenged to do is to experience people, communicate with people, love people – in my thoughts, speech and actions. Approaching people respectfully and graciously is an aspect of that. Other times, I feel a sure urge to walk up to people I didn’t even realize had important things to say, or people who I didn’t expect to be approachable. And the best things always come out of moments like that. But that aspect goes beyond taking photos.

Which brings me to the no.

“in my walk with God, one thing I’m constantly challenged to do is to experience people, communicate with people, love people – in my thoughts, speech and actions.”

I don’t believe that God polices (my) art. He doesn’t always tell me to do this or do that. If he’s telling me anything, a lot of the time, it’s to be myself. It’s to go even more outside my comfort zone. And I really do think I appreciate that more.

What’s your favourite thing about taking street portraits? I guess apart from all the lessons you’ve learnt.

I think my favourite thing about street photography is catching people in their character. I like that neither the stillness nor the movements are staged or scripted. People are going about their everyday lives when you encounter them, and after they’ve encountered you (if they do), they keep going.

It has to be the rawness of it. I think that’s what I love the most.

 So what has been the best or funniest or most impactful moment that you’ve ‘frozen’ and you’ve meditated upon after?

I think I have a top three. But one of my favorite moments to have caught on camera was the photo with a boy called Mohammed. He’s one of the students I got to teach in Ghana. It was a really rough day that day, because his little brother wasn’t feeling very well. He cried for most of the day. 925965_1523329124571562_1364787401_n

Mohammed was sat with his mum the whole time and when she got up to take the boy to the hospital, he started crying. She told him to calm down and stay back. He retreated to some corner in the room and had his back against the wall. When she left the place with the little boy, he came out from where he was hiding. He watched them until he couldn’t see them anymore. He’s 4, but he stood there, and he watched his mother go (she didn’t notice, because she didn’t turn back around, but) he watched. He actually watched to see that they were okay. I don’t know what it is about that moment, but thinking about it still gets me.

 You mentioned in one of your posts, that the ‘things we lost in Nigeria’ series is to remind us of the things that are still missing that we may get up and search for them. How do you think Nigerians can search for [and find] God?

That’s a whole nation you’re asking me to speak on/to.

I don’t have all the answers and I don’t want to generalise. But I can tell you what I know for sure. God is bigger than religion.

Generally, our greatest setback might be that we’re always trying to buy our way into and out of things so that we can claim authority. But you cannot buy forgiveness by being in a religious building or gathering Monday-Sunday. You can’t buy it with your tithes. You can’t buy it by reading religious texts everyday.10561124_691469157594248_551270893_n

#thingswelostinNigeria : God. It is so possible to be totally religious and yet not know or be known (personally) by God. The average Nigerian can regurgitate everything they have heard about God, in a heartbeat. We will “thank God” for and/or pray before just about anything – including ill-acquired wealth/premarital sex/a robbery “operation”. For a lot more of us, it happens on a much smaller scale. […] religion cannot save one from his/her deepest issues and that God is NOT punctuation for our every sentence. He is mighty and sovereign and loving. Thus, to follow religion pretentiously, is to miss out on all that He is and can be, to our own detriment. […] I reckon we’ll realise that the heaviest loss in our country as a whole isn’t actually any of the many things or people that we are currently grieving over. It is… God. And maybe thereafter, we’ll find ourselves at the beginning of the process of putting our lives/hearts where our mouths are. ‘

God has made us an offer to turn everything around for our good, for free. That’s in Jesus. We ought to stop our unnecessary toiling at that name. We ought to stop our mouths running and really ask what He came to do. We ought to be still and accept that as mind-blowing as it is, God doesn’t need our help to change our lives. He literally just requires our attention and our acceptance of what He has already done. I think everything changes when we accept that.

I’ve noticed a lot of people our age don’t realize they can use their talents/gifts to minister/glorify God. How would you encourage someone to allow God to permeate that area of their life? (and every other area)

  • First, by clarifying this: “The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.” – Martin Luther King.
  • God is an artist. Look at the sea, at the sun: how it rises and sets, at the moon, at trees: how they bloom and how they bare themselves, and then look at yourself. You are God’s art. Your creator created you creative. So, create.
  • Human art is God’s creative hand on Earth.
  • Your “voice” is important. You have more to lose by being quiet than getting up and doing whatever it is that you’re good at.

Finally, what’s your favourite thing about a relationship with God?

Freedom. He lets me be myself. Even when I’m being strong headed, I feel like God is patient with me. On big decisions, He says to me —okay. Well I’m just going to put this right here. This is a picture of where I’m trying to take you. And this is a picture of where you’re trying so hard to be. You choose. [I’m going to admit this right now, at the risk of all losing whatever cool points I may have: God’s picture always looks better than mine.]

I don’t feel the threat of him saying ‘I will leave you if you don’t do this.’ I actually do not/have not at any point. What I do feel is a love that leads me into right. He shows me in the little things. In the way He deals with me, I don’t even get the chance to forget that He always wants the best for me.


Thank you to Elo for doing this interview with me and for sharing with us on The Forgetter’s Eye. Do follow the page and share this with anyone you think it will impact. 

God Bless!

***P.S, have you joined the #wlmvtpraisechallenge train on twitter? Here’s how to: http://instagram.com/p/usi8YYhjXM/?modal=true

 

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Dance in Brokenness

Hi everyone!

So for the past few days I’ve been incorporating praise into my morning stretches and work outs and today, this quote really struck me:

“We are designed to dance. To use our bodies as weapons of grace, beauty and intrigue. We are designed to stretch until we master growth. To replace old dead cells and be physically renewed each moment. So, challenges don’t destroy us, they just should make us dance more swiftly and passionately. For when we dance we please God. Especially when we dance in brokenness.” -Phindiwe Nkosi

Physically, when we push past pain and endure through tension- we come out stronger on the other side. Similarly, when we worship God even in the midst of pain and trials it becomes a sacrifice of praise and is most pleasing in His sight.

The same way our body renews cells, our spirits and souls are renewed/refreshed when we ‘praise in brokenness’. We are pushing past our pain and choosing to recognise the unchanging and faithful nature of our Heavenly father. This keeps our hope steadfast and our faith rooted in God.

That we can use not only our words/voices but also our bodies as weapons of God’s grace and beauty is nothing short of an honour. Our bodies are truly His temple and praise in times of brokenness makes this extremely tangible.

So here’s the challenge: worship Him in every aspect of your day, even when you don’t feel like it. It will keep you focused on this unchangeable fact: He is the core of your life.

Love and light,

@nuellaswords

‘But as for me, I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more.’ Psalm 71:14

Who wants to join me on a 30 Day praise challenge?!

Hi Everyone!

I’ve recently been going through many tests and The Lord very specifically dropped in my heart today to do this praise challenge in order to ‘cultivate thankfulness’ [Colossians 3:15] and ‘stay grounded, steady in the bond of Christ and constantly tuned into the Message (careful not to be distracted or diverted).’ [Colossians 1:21-23 MSG].

So here’s how I’ll be going about it: 
1) I’ll be using the 30 Day Praise Challenge Devotional by Becky Harling (you can find it on amazon and there is a kindle version). You can also use any other reading plans available just google ‘praise challenge’. I’ll share scripture on our Instagram each day too.

2)I’ll devote an hour of each day to read the devotional and praise! *Play music and allow the songs to prompt your praise. This can carry on throughout the day. You can use our WLMVT playlist which is embedded here on the website. I’ll be adding songs to it everyday but you can also leave music suggestions for everyone from your personal playlists in the comments section or on twitter (I’ll add them to the WLMVT playlist).

3)I’ll be journaling! This is to record the praise journey and all God is saying. It’s also for accountability (to make sure I’m doing it everyday by numbering Day1-30 each day). I’ll share questions for journaling purposes here too (from the devotional).

4) To add a twist, upload pictures of something you are thankful for / anything that represents God’s goodness to you as you go along. Use the hashtag #wlmvtpraisechallenge to share them and also your thoughts on instagram/twitter/wherever. You can nominate others no join in with you!

And that’s it!

“Praise restores our faith, fills us with joy, calms our fears and inspires us to love and obey God.” – Becky Harling

[Day 1-5 of Becky Harling’s praise challenge devotional is available online]. Click on the link and enjoy xx

Love and light,
-Nuella.

Single and Satisfied?

“You’re single? You’re not having fun with your life then!” …. This is a statement someone actually made to a good friend of mine when she mentioned she wasn’t seeing anyone. We live in a society that places relationships on a pedestal- from celebrities (Jay and Bey? KimYe?) to presidential couples. Truth is, people love love!

Its not at all strange- love is something the human heart longs for because we were created to love and be loved. We were made to be in fellowship with each other and to be in constant communion and relationship with our Heavenly Father. Sadly, most people are seeking this perfect love from deeply imperfect beings. There are so many pressures on people from not only from society to find someone or get married or have a ‘boo’, but also from within themselves.  This shows how careful we need to be about how these pressures influence our decisions.

As someone who used to be on the search for ‘the one’, I think I can confidently speak on this from my personal experiences. The other day I was with some old friends for a birthday gathering, and one of them announced that she was sure I would get married early because every time she saw me in the past (after long periods of time) I’d be dating someone new. Guilty as charged. Was I a serial dater? Probably not that bad. But it dawned on me how much Jesus has really saved me from. It really is a stronghold that’s on so many people’s lives: that constant search for fulfilment in another human being. Trying to ‘find’ the one who you’d spend the rest of your life with, and hence giving every ‘sorta kinda right’ guy a chance, in the hope that he’d be ‘the one’. And if not, trying to make him the one. Needless to say, these situations always end badly. being single

Because of His infinite mercy, God broke that stronghold in my life, and everything that came along with it. Truly, whoever the Son sets free is free indeed [John 8:36]. He showed me that I didn’t need a significant other to feel happy. He showed me that all I need in life is Jesus. That He is in fact, the one. Once God opened my eyes to this, I began to receive all the joy, peace and happiness I had been searching for. I didn’t realise how broken I was, till He raised me to life.

So, here’s where this is heading. Do you find it difficult to accept singleness, let alone to be thankful for it? Every period in your life is a season. And here’s the thing about seasons – they have to come because they are crucial in the growth process, but they will most certainly pass. Whatever season you’re in is a blessing. And believe it or not, singleness too is a blessing. At this stage, I’ve for instance realized that I’m able to focus on one of the most important qualifications for my future career; I’m able to focus on and enjoy God alone, and grow in Him; I’m able to make new friends and have the time to love and serve them (instead of spending all my time on a significant other). I’ve learnt to entrust everything to God. I’ve realized I can live, laugh, travel and savour all of God’s presence without any romantic attachments. I’ve learnt not to spend all my time wishing all my current blessings away waiting and hoping for the next thing. I’ve realised that I need this season to grow!

If you’re struggling with discontentment in this area it may simply be time to give God full control. Take time to thank Him for your season, because the key to contentment really is gratitude. Stop filing voids with the attention you’re getting from the opposite sex, that’s temporary. If you don’t see yourself with that person, why waste your time and theirs? Become satisfied in the Lord. Ask Him to open your eyes to what you need to be doing with your time at this at this stage and His purpose for you. Wait on Him and you’ll get there when the time is right.

 ‘for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances . I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength’ [Philippians 4:11-13]

***Thanks for reading! For some godly advice and encouragement on relationships, dating, marriage, singleness etc, visit Heather Lindsey’s blog, founder of the Pinky Promise Movement (ladies) and Cornelius Lindsey’s blog, founder of The Oath Movement (men) . God bless you!

 

WLMVT Interview on Contentment (Part 2)

Hi everyone! Here’s Part 2 of the Interview feature in our “contentment” series. Continue reading to see the thoughts that were shared on love and marriage, and being content in the waiting.


 

3)   Earlier on you mentioned that ‘If you want God to laugh, make a plan’ … I’ve noticed that a lot of times, dissatisfaction or discontentment stems from your plans not working out. There you can see the direct link. But there’s also situations where there’s just voids we as human beings try to fill and cant even pinpoint what it is. Have you had this experience before and how did that work out for you?

O*: Of course, I mean, the void I’ve felt in my life is an obvious one- I would like to be married. I feel like the void stems from Biblical requirements – the Bible point blank tells us ‘it is not good for man to be alone let us make a helper suitable for him’. You don’t feel complete until you are with that person who you are supposed to be helping, that’s what I believe. I would wake up crying, I would wake up feeling empty/deeply unhappy because of the lack of someone. As with many things in life there are things that money cannot do for you. Someone being there, to hold your hand through it all… you cant pay for that. I mean, the Lord is there for you but if the Lord thought that it is not good for man to be alone, then being alone is a void in itself. It makes way for a lot of stupidity to happen if you don’t guard yourself. It takes the grace of God to be alone because that’s when people try silly things. You do things that you never thought. It is what it is.

So, in those types of situations that’s a void that I’ve felt. You went further in your question to ask if there’s been any situation where we receive the thing but it still did not fulfill that lack. When I first moved back to Nigeria I couldn’t find a job and I always thought I need a job more than a man. I’ve gotten jobs now and am I spectacularly happy? No , I still want to be married. Also There’s been situations where I’m like oh my ideal weight is this and I’ve sometimes reached that but at the back of my mind still want to be married so yes I still feel a void in that instance though I have reached a goal I was clamoring for. I know that even when one settles down and marries, there could still be challenges of dissatisfaction I mean, one could still be unhappy based on the naughty or unsatisfactory behavioral pattern that I have seen men exhibit however I feel that would not be a void rather it would be a dissatisfaction.

 

4)   Has there been a point that something has taken that feeling of wanting to be married away?:

O: I was made to be married (I believe that) – it won’t go away. However I know, as with every stage in life there’s always something. Even in primary school everyone’s big desire was to pass common entrance and get into secondary school. Then you get to form1 in secondary school and you start again from zero, and then its – I need to get into university. That’s what being alive is, ‘I guess’? there are several stages and several goals. Everyone has a worry that’s forefront in their mind. What I know for a fact is this – when I was younger (there’s this scripture that says ‘the peace of God that passeth all understanding’) everyone would be running around trying to hand in course work and even if I hadn’t handed mine in, it didn’t phase me.

I really don’t know what other people might have or suffer from– some people may be sick , how do you forget that. Some people may be in debt or need money their creditors wont let them forget it. I guess you could be at peace with it with the knowledge that God will heal or provide. It’s not like its deleted from your mind.

I guess if you have your eyes fixed on Jesus and all he is to you then that peace will reign in your heart.

O: Yes, a Scripture says seek God first and everything else will be added to you. And we are human. Things will eat at you but it takes the grace of God and a mind that looks beyond the obvious to be able to shake it off. That’s what I aspire for. I have seen things that the Lord has done and it has put me in awe. I told you about my aunty who gave birth to three kids at 51. No matter what you say now, this lady has three kids, you know? It just takes the grace of God to be able to be able to find peace within yourself till that time. Instead of driving yourself crazy.

5)   Thank you so much for that. I’ll close off one last question- what do you enjoy about a relationship with God?:

O: It is the peace that comes from knowing that somebody has your back. You can’t think of everything… you can’t. I usually tell people this story- there was this knight that was going on a quest and he was like, because I’ll meet the ferocious dragon in ‘whatever land’, I’ll take my trustee sword. Because I’ll meet ferocious enemies of ‘wherever place’, I’ll take my trusted shield so that I can travel a get there on time I will take my trusted horse that travel at that travels faster than any living creature He did all these things, he had his armor, he had he’s trustee sword, he had his trustee horse, he had his shield, he had everything ready for this quest and then he embarked on the journey.

During the journey he came across a rope bridge which was built over a river and because of all the things he had on him including his horse he was too heavy. So, the bridge gave way and he sank into the river. Now for me this says that he thought of everything but he wasn’t ready for what really happened.

There is nothing like God. The things you do not catch even if you overthink or over analyse only God will catch it by His mercy and grace. Right now we live in Abuja, we are here for law school- we’re scared of the bombings but there are places where you haven’t heard of any kind of violence or war and people die everyday from things like a car hitting them. The fact that the perils of the day do not catch us does not mean we are better than anyone else. 5 people could pass the same path and the 6th person passes and falls into a hole. That is what the love of God, the knowledge of God, the favour of God, the mercy of God means to me. Things I can’t even fathom are there, but God gives me peace.

 

*** Thanks for reading! If you feel anything in this interview will bless someone you know, do share the post. Also, subscribe, comment below and follow us in Instagram (worldlightmvmt).

*This Interview was anonymised for the sake of privacy  

WLMVT Interview on Contentment (Part 1)

Hi Everyone! After a bit of a hiatus, we’re starting our July theme of “Contentment” with two parts to an interview. I met with a good friend (and pretty much a ‘big sister’) of mine, to hear her thoughts on contentment in the Christian walk. She shared her personal experiences and we talked everything from love and marriage to what happens when your dreams and goals don’t happen as you wished. Read Part 1 below 🙂


1)   The Bible says “For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead body and ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” [Colossians 2v9-10]. What do you think it means to be ‘Complete in Christ’:

O*: I feel like I might have heard that quoted somewhere before. My understanding is that being complete in Christ would mean that with Christ everything that you are, everything that you want, everything that you know, everything that is you…is vested in him. No matter what you want, no matter what you need, He can do it for you. I would like to take it to mean like they say, that the ‘Bible is the living word’.

For every situation you could potentially face, and every situation that could potentially affect you or yours, there is a word in there for you and therefore there is a God that can be all encompassing for your life. Even in things that you take for granted.

I had this roommate once when I was in Ife. She was Muslim her name was Kuburat. She had this little book that she read of little prayers and I asked to see the book. I looked into it and it had prayers for every situation. We [Christians] believe in grace a lot. We believe in the grace of God because of the death of Jesus Christ. So we say one prayer and because of that…even if we don’t pray for a lot of specific things it is covered by the blood of Jesus.

From what I understand, in Islam they believe that they have to pray for everything so even for something as small as going to the bathroom or pooping – there was a prayer for it in Kuburat’s book. Now, we take that for granted but people have died because they weren’t able to eliminate waste. But I believe this scripture covers everything; even things as small as the ability to go to the bathroom, hair growth (the bible says every hair on our head is numbered, He knows).

Therefore I believe that the fact that the above scripture’ goes as far as pointing out that, He (Jesus) is the head of the principalities and powers means all situations are covered- we are aware that there are principalities and powers but there are things we do not know and don’t even think about. And not just the obvious like ‘oh God I need money to eat’ or anything else. But I believe that outside of the things that are obvious to us, we are complete in Him and for things we don’t even see, for things we are not even aware of, for spiritual battles, He has covered it all, is what I believe this scripture means. We are complete in God.

2)   So you mentioned that God is all encompassing and everything we need. What advise would you give to someone who doesn’t know this? For someone who feels generally dissatisfied with everything and always feels like they need and want more. What practical advise would you give to them?:

O: I will be honest with you- it is easy to say because we believe in God, things are simple or easy. They are not ‘in fact’ always simple or easy. However, I believe that the Lord does not give us anything that we cannot overcome. So, from my understanding of your question, there’s probably at least two facets to it I will answer as thus.

Now, for a person who keeps desiring more, that is another aspect of this question, which is probably an issue or spirit of not being satisfied. That is not just a ‘can God provide for me situation’, it is more of ‘I’m not satisfied with what I have’. That in itself has to be solved, or settled within themselves- it’s a spiritual issue. And usually that stems from problems of insecurities, fr7299826_f260om what I’ve seen. For instance, a person who wants more and more clothes, because they want to hang out or ‘feel among’ or feel good enough to be with the ‘cool kids’ has an insecurity issue. That’s an entirely different thing they need to sort out.

But then if its just a situation of, ‘can God provide for me?’, what I have seen thus far (and I’ll use an example from my life) is that, you do not necessarily have to know or understand God’s plan for your life, but He does not lie. And so, I know that if you are in God, the Bible point blank tells us that, the God that provided for the birds in the air will provide for you.

I moved back to Nigeria a few years ago and I reached a stage where I felt like I didn’t want to rely on my parents for every little thing. I don’t like to really talk about it, but I have a lot of qualifications and my very last degree that I studied, I borrowed the money from the bank in the UK for the course.

They say when you want to make God laugh you set out your plans, and I had this whole thing mapped out of how I was going to pay back and this and that and it didn’t pan out especially because the economic crisis kicked in, in the UK. I was like look, in Nigeria they like foreign degrees and foreign experience and I had had the opportunity to work in one or two legal practices, I had worked at the United Nations in New York . I had done a lot of things I was like there was no way I won’t find a job in Nigeria. But then ..man proposes, God disposes. So, I went back to Nigeria and finding a job was really tough. My parents were fairly influential at a point and I thought that at least they would be able to pull some strings. But it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. My parents were retired, the people they knew were also retired so I thought to myself, how would I survive.

I promise you, every week like magic I would get 10 grand out of nowhere from one person or the other without even asking. Once in a while maybe 70 or 90 grand so I was sorted the savings I had in the UK went into my repayments.

So I stand and I testify, that the God who provides for the birds in the air would provide for you. I was covered for the things I needed.

I can honestly say that a person who is questioning whether God would provide for them should know that they would at least eat; it might not be the most expensive food from the trendiest new place but they will eat.

On the other hand for those who keep wanting and wanting- that’s a spiritual matter and you go to God in prayer. A lot of people don’t even realize they have this issue. They may have a new or functioning car at home but they think to themselves.. why cant I have the latest new car. That is just a spirit of dissatisfaction or greed or vanity. [To be continued]

 

***Thanks for reading!  Stay tuned for Part 2 to read O’s thoughts on love, marriage and being content in the waiting. If you feel anything in this interview will bless someone you know, do share the post. Also, subscribe, comment below and follow us in Instagram (worldlightmvmt).

*This Interview was anonymised for the sake of privacy  

 

 

 

 

Maddy’s Jesus Story

I’m just so inspired and encouraged when I hear about what Jesus has done in people’s lives. Maddy shared this at yesterday’s evening service at Proclaimers; she’s one of the most bubbly people I’ve ever met. Full of life and energy! Read her #JesusStory below and to listen to the service MP3, click on the ‘proclaimers’ link above.


Photo on 12-11-2013 at 20.41I grew up in a secure and loving family. I was raised into the church that my mum went to. The first day I went I accidentally took a nose-dive off the pew and the person behind me leapt forward to catch me before I hurt myself, I on the other hand was laughing my head off.

I was a happy child and I took great delight in making people laugh and smile. But things turned bad during my school years. I was bullied quite badly, careless comments about my appearance, why was I short, fat, ugly, a loser, a nobody plus some boys thought it would be fun to beat me up and give me death threats.

This followed me into secondary school and (thankfully) it stopped. But the damage had been done, my self-esteem was crushed and I believed the lies they said.

This followed me into secondary school and (thankfully) it stopped. But the damage had been done, my self-esteem was crushed and I believed the lies they said.

I did have an idea of who God was. And mum always told me that Jesus loved me, but I didn’t really understand what that meant.

After believing those lies I thought to myself why would Jesus love someone like me?

The more I believed them, the more I hated myself. My dad used to take his anger out on me, things he didn’t mean and it made home life difficult. It hurt to hear that I was a waste of space and wasn’t good enough.

Convinced I was a failure, the depression within me consumed my mind. Before I knew it I was cutting my arms to let out the pain. I starved myself for a sense of control; within a few months I became anorexic and was told by the doctors if I didn’t start eating properly I would have a heart attack in 2 weeks – I was 16.

I didn’t care. I wanted to die. I had completely rejected God and wanted nothing more to do with the church or life itself.

After 3 and a half months being sectioned in hospital recovering, I felt no better that I did before. I tried to commit suicide 3 times during that period.

After 2 more years and 11 more suicide attempts, stitches in my arms, my depression not improving nor gaining an appetite for food it seemed I was in a black pit I had dug for myself and I couldn’t get out of it. Everything was hopeless.

After 2 more years and 11 more suicide attempts, stitches in my arms, my depression not improving nor gaining an appetite for food it seemed I was in a black pit I had dug for myself and I couldn’t get out of it. Everything was hopeless.

Then a friend asked me if I wanted to come along to Hillsong church one weekend. I thought to myself  “oh great! Just what I need, a bunch of judgemental people telling me how messed up I am”.

She persisted, so in the end I agreed to come. The message given was so over powering and it spoke so much into my life. At the end I was given an opportunity to accept Jesus into my life. I hesitated at first because I didn’t think I was worthy.

But I raised my hand.
I wasn’t healed there and then but I was taken on a journey of recovery walking with God.

Within 2 months I’d stopped self-harming, within 4 my depression was gone and my mental health was restored, I found value in myself, I discovered a love so much bigger than me. I was transformed from the inside out.  Never the  same!

Within 2 months I’d stopped self-harming, within 4 my depression was gone and my mental health was restored, I found value in myself, I discovered a love so much bigger than me. I was transformed from the inside out. Never the same!

Now if He can do a miracle like that in my life, I believe He can do the same in yours.

And that is why I decided to follow Jesus!


 

***Wow! I’m completely blown away by that testimony and I hope this reminded you of how completely our Jesus saves. ‘Whoever the Son has set free is free indeed.’ (John 8:36).  To anyone out there who needs encouragement, Psalm 34:18 is another good reminder that ‘the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit’.  Let him in.

Thank you so much Maddy for sending this in. For anyone else who would like to share their #JesusStory , send us a tweet @worldlightmvmt or send an email to theworldlightmovement@outlook.com 🙂

Exam Season – Feeling Overwhelmed?

Hiya, 

Just wanted to drop by and say – God is with you. Always and always. We’ve all got exams right now and everyone’s feeling stressed out, anxious, overwhelmed..the whole lot. This isn’t the time to put God as your last priority. I did that just for a day and the amount of stress that descended on me is ridiculous.

Rather, this is the time to lean even further into your heavenly Father. Accept the peace and rest He wants to give you. Spend time with Him. Look back at everything he’s brought you through- now will be no different. God is FAITHFUL. Moments of stress and darkness are the time to take refuge in His presence- not for what you can get from Him, but for who He isOut of love for Him.

Came across the following in my devotional today and thought I should share.

” God is:
• SOVEREIGN — He reigns over everyone and everything and has never been stressed out.
• UNSTOPPABLE and so are those who follow Him.
• HOLY— God is perfect, which means everything He wants/desires for my life is far greater than anything I could have thought of.
• CONSISTENT — I don’t have to worry about Him being in a bad mood.
• GREATER than any temptation the enemy throws my way.
• BETTER than anything the world has to offer.
• BIGGER than any sin or failure in my life.
• GRACIOUS — He knows every stupid, foolish, sinful thing I’ve ever done (or will do), and yet He loves me anyway!
• ALWAYS here with me — God has NEVER walked away from me. He doesn’t always deliver me from the fire, but He has ALWAYS walked with me through it!
• FAITHFUL — If I fail to see His faithfulness in my past, I will probably not recognize the fruitfulness of my future.
• THE ONE WHO PURSUES ME — He pursues me even on the days I tend to walk away from Him.
• RELENTLESS — He has NEVER given up on me!
• PASSIONATE — His passion and zeal that the scriptures reveal cause me to be in AWE. “

What else can we possibly  need?

***To do the above reading plan, download the YouVersion app on your phone and search ‘The Overwhelmed Challenge’ in the plans. If you have trouble finding it just tweet @ me or leave a comment below and I’ll help you out.

Love and light,
@nuellaswords

WLMVT Interview with Lethu

 

10268158_10203075167055672_555255696_nHow do you hear God’s voice?

L: I think it is that relentless, kind of soft voice. It warns and guides you to the right direction. it convicts not condemns. It is a gentle voice, whilst satan’s voice is a loud clamoring demanding voice that condemns and destroys. I believe that God also speaks through our children. Children are God’s little angels. My children correct me at times when am wrong and  that to me is special. I listen to them.

How do you discern God’s voice from your own?

Well, God’s voice tends to go against mine, mine wants to feed the flesh while God’s seeks to feed the spirit and protect me from self destruction. I perceive God’s voice to be that of a parent who would do anything to protect you from harm. A voice not to harm you but to prosper you. 

So how do you then discern God’s voice from your own thoughts and desires? How do you know which is which?

L:  It’s when the feeling doesn’t go. That feeling saying stop.

That relentless factor, where it just keeps coming back?

L: Yes, he never gives up on us, the passion of Christ. How I see it.

What do you think the role of the church is in the community?

L: Its there for people who are in need. People who are going through a rough time.

Do you think there’s a shepherding factor as well? For people outside of the church?

L: I’m not sure.. because that would be controlling. You can only lead those who want to be led. You cannot force it onto people… you can tell them about God but you can never lead them, unless they want to be.

In relation to this, Matthew 5:14-16 saysYou are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’

So as a Christian, what is your light?

L: Love. Unconditional love. Loving until it hurts. We live in a broken world, where people are hurting, depressed, feel worthless, given up on life and pessimistic about life altogether and are in need of a saviour. That saviour can manifest in the  form of showing love to those in need of it. Love and light to me are the same thing because where there’s light there’s no darkness and similarly where there’s love there can’t be hatred, there only can be love and peace. So as a christian, my light would be showing love to others, (the passion of Christ) through good deeds.

It’s a biblical love isn’t it

L: Yes, the one that covers a multitude of sins. The divine kind of love. 

What in the past, do you wish you could change about your walk with God?

L: There’s nothing I regret, to be honest. There’s nothing I wish I’d done in any other way because I feel like life is a process, and we change through those experiences, you know. Everything works together for good and God has a plan.

***

Flipped tables

L: How can we make others think about God?

N: It goes back to that light. And being light means acting in a way that’s against our flesh. That is not normal for us as humans– it’s biblical, its spiritual, its godly, its supernatural. Its different to what the natural reaction from a human being would be. Um.. and we only get that through a connection with God. We conduct ourselves differently. It boils down to how we’re showing God to people and how we are representing him and I think that’s how we can make people think about God.

L: Cos people will ask why are you so different.

Laughs.

N: Yeah. On the WLMVT blog, one of the first posts I put up, the title is ‘be audacious’, and what I was saying throughout the post was that, to be a Jesus follower, you have to have guts because it would mean going against so many norms in society. It needs that faith and that …audacity to be able to show God to people.

L: How can you love your enemies or people who have wronged you?

N: This is one of the things I’ve found the hardest in my walk with God. For me, the biggest wrong someone can do to me, especially a friend, is be disloyal. When someone shows me they are not with me… my default reaction is to cut them off and not have anything to do with them-

L: -Is that bad though? Because you’re trying to avoid hurt and toxicity

N: I mean… cutting off someone completely means they don’t exist to you anymore. Like if you see them its poker face

Laughter 

But personally, I feel like its bad that I used to do that so easily when I felt betrayed. Because it goes back to unforgiveness and its wrong. If you’ve forgiven someone, being around them isn’t a problem.

What I’ve learnt is, you need to have boundaries – we did this message in church , ‘radioactive relationships’. It was on how to handle the people around us.. the tempters, and all the other categories of people. And the pastor said, if there’s one word the message will boil down to, its boundaries. Learn how to put boundaries in relationships. So if someone is disloyal, or hasn’t been a good friend, or is maybe a bad influence…the answer isn’t to be unforgiving and kick them out of your life. I don’t think Jesus would do that. You still show them love, smile when you see them, be nice, if they need something from you give it to them but put healthy boundaries in place. So for instance you’re not chilling like you used to, they’re not speaking into your life anymore. And its also not something that you say to them, in order to keep the peace. They wouldn’t understand. You just act it out and stick to it because those boundaries will be tested.

L: How can you live life in such a way that glorifies God?

I think, to really give God glory we need to obey him to the letter…literally honoring him so much that even things that are difficult not to do, you still don’t do them. That’s one way to glorify God you know..and always point back to him and just, conduct yourself in a way that would make him happy.

***Thanks so much to Lethu for doing this interview with us! To share your thoughts, comment below or hashtag #WLMVTInterviews on twitter. Don’t forget to keep the Jesus Stories coming in for The God Narratives project!