Overcomer

Life is quick to knock us down. I’ve been ill for a couple of days and for me if one thing is an issue in terms of either emotionally or physically, it all links up. If I’m honest, recently everything around me has felt like ruins. It sounds ridiculous, because nothing huge has happened, but I’ve found myself looking at life and feeling that nothing is going according to plan – my plan, that is. Tonight as I was curled up on my bedroom floor feeling sorry for myself, my mum came in to pray with me. I have to admit, a lot of the time when people pray for me I’m not really listening. I’m trying to listen to what God is saying to me and putting my focus on him, or sometimes I’m just focussing on my issues because I’m human. But one word my mum said was “overcomer”, I don’t know what the context was, but the word stuck out to me.

The dictionary defines to overcome as “to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; conquer; defeat. To prevail over.” When all around me is seeming like ruins, for a word so strong as that to come my way was crucial. Truly, I felt like I was living in loss, and not just for a day. Romans 8:37 after talking about nothing being at all able to separate us from Christ’s love and then listing the many things that try, says “no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” It is by his love that we conquer!! There is NO alternative route, no brilliance, or intelligence, or holiness of my own, will create the spirit of the overcomer within my weary soul. An overcoming spirit begins and never ends in the one who came and overcame for my very heart. Elisabeth Elliot – a woman of great honesty and a woman who knew the loss of two husbands – said “Refuse self pity. Refuse it absolutely. It is a deadly thing with the power to destroy you. Turn your thoughts to Christ who has already carried our griefs and sorrows.”

Self pity is like a cancer in our bones that will take over our whole lives if we allow it. Often, self pity is the easy option. I wish that wasn’t the case. When it is the case we must choose to believe we have the victory, for no other reason than because our Father has said so. When we truly believe that we are conquerors/overcomers, we are able to walk in to any and every situation, good or bad, and see it the way God does. Nothing is lost, nothing is wasted. The ruins aren’t ruins, actually they are foundations on which to build something new. There is hope when we look at life that way. He really does make all things new.

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To the girl I used to be

You used to be so afraid of your voice being heard, so afraid of speaking out because you never thought the crowd would stop to listen to what you had to say. You used to keep quiet because you believed that your words were tainted by inadequacy. You used to be scared, of everything. But especially you used to be scared of having to lead, you would always rather take the back seat than the front and I guess I’m happy to see you leave. Continue reading

The Heart Trial

“You are exactly the way God wants you. And he doesn’t make mistakes” she said. And it’s not as if I haven’t heard the same thing a million times, but this time, I really heard it. Comparison is a deep heart trial, but its time to take ourselves out of the dock. Let me say this, if you don’t have the kind of friend who will be real enough to tell you when you’re wrong about yourself and that you’re exactly the way you’re supposed to be, even when you want them to join your pity party, find them. There’s someone out there waiting to tell you that your constant self-criticism has to stop. I’m sure of it. Someone waiting to be honest enough to tell you that you’ve always believed the lies and it’s time to refuse them. Because honey, you’ve always believed the lies. And it really needs to end. Continue reading

Wanted

I tend to write so many notes in my phone. Honestly, if you found my phone, you would know so much about who I am and where I am just by going through them. As I sat with a hot chocolate I added yet another note to my phone, and then I scrolled through my old ones and I came across this: “You don’t have to do anything to be wanted by me, Shan” and I suppose it’s in our nature to strive and to try and to work and to want. To want to be wanted. Continue reading

The Fight for Honour

I think about Mulan a lot. Not in a weird obsessive way, but in a reflective and inspired way. The story of Mulan to me really underlines what it is to fight for our Fathers honour. Leslie Ludy said: “God made me a girl. And he did that on purpose. But he asks me to be the kind of girl who is actually useful to his kingdoms purposes. I need to become the sort of girl who is unafraid to poke my head into the battle of the ages and cry out “Who is this uncircumcised philistine who is blaspheming the armies of the living God?” God wants me to wrestle. God wants to stick grit in my girliness. He wants me to be prepared to tangle, to interlock my soul in this eternal combat – not with other girls, not with sweaty boys, but with him, and with the otherworldly powers of darkness. He wants me to wrestle in prayer, to grab ahold of his great and precious promises and fight to see them unfurled in living reality on this earth.” Continue reading

Loving Even When It Hurts

I have to admit, I’ve always found it easier to avoid love. Love is almost always painful. Firstly let me tell you that when I say love I do not mean the cheap notion that books and films often seem to suggest love is. I think we grow up reading about this fairy-tale love which is all about finding the perfect person and living happily ever after. But the Bible tells us love is completely different than that. Love is not just a feeling that we realize when we meet a ‘soul mate’. Love is an active thing, love is a verb.  And the bible says love is for our neighbours, but also our enemies. Continue reading