Categories
Inspiration

My Unfounded Fear

I am a regular visitor to my dentist who goes in once a year to check the state of my teeth. So on receiving the letter from my dentist a few weeks ago that it was that time for my yearly check up, I booked myself in as usual for a visit. My previous visit was ok so I wasn’t expecting anything different this time around. 

On arrival, the dentist took an X-ray and discovered that I had a dodgy tooth. It had a large hole that was close enough to be pressing on the nerves. She decided to do a temporary filling first. That was done but I started experiencing severe tooth ache – it seemed as if the drilling and filling created more problems and the nerves seemed to have been touched. It was an uncomfortable experience leading on to the next appointment where I expected the dentist to just change the temporary filling to a permanent one. That however was not the case, as my dentist decided that she couldn’t save the tooth so she had to refer me for extraction. Then the feeling of fear started!

I was scared of the extraction, not because I hadn’t had one before, but because a couple of close sisters of mine have recently had problems with their extractions and I was too involved in the journey of one of them. She had it so bad that when it was time for her extraction to be done, she had to be put to sleep! I saw her struggle, go through nights and days of pain and agony – I was genuinely petrified! I told my dentist about my fears, and she tried as much as a dentist could to calm my nerves and said, ‘I promise you, it’s not that bad’. I looked at her perfect set of teeth and asked if she’d ever had an extraction, to which she looked at me smiling and said…’no!’  Well, how would she know it’s not bad when she’s never done it?

Anyways, I braced up and waited for my appointment date. That came sooner than I expected and the closer the date came, the more petrified I got. I thought to go read about extractions and what to expect on the internet, but I thought that wouldn’t solve my problem. It may just compound the fear! So come the night before, I barely slept and got into the surgery the next morning. As I saw the surgeon, I told him and the nurse straight away about my fear. He then decided to joke about how tough it would be and expected me to feel calmer after the joke (unbelievable, I thought). What shocked me however was that he got going and in 5 minutes it was all done. I had lost the tooth to the surgeon’s instrument and all was good. I was now told I could go. 

I was shocked that my fear was totally unfounded. I then realised it had nothing to do with my experience but it was based on what others around me had experienced. As I thought about my experience, I remembered a scripture that says;

Do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you and I will help you. Isaiah 4:10

Many of us fear because of what we think may happen that may not, or even because of what others around us have gone through. Your fear may not even be your fear! 

God is wanting me to assure you today that it will all be ok and you will get to the end of the issue and wonder why you ever feared or had sleepless nights.

Be at peace, it will all be ok because God is on your side! 

 

Categories
Inspiration

Lessons From His Journey

Lessons From His Journey

About 10 years ago, our son Asher started his journey towards his desired goal of becoming a corporate solicitor. He didn’t have any doubt of what he wanted to be; that goal was achieved this week when he resumed his new role. This write up is not about the role but the journey and some lessons learnt which I think will be a blessing to you.

Practising Law in the UK requires a specialised post graduate education called – LPC (Legal Practise Course). Getting sponsored for the LPC is the ideal route to get into the top firms in U.K. The hurdle to cross however was that the law firms sponsors only a handful of intakes yearly and extremely sound graduates of Law from all over the country want the same sponsorships. Each interview takes about 7 stages!  Asher had over 5 rejections at different levels while trying to achieve this sponsorship. For a guy who hadn’t experienced rejection in his life prior to that time, it was tough; he however kept going and wouldn’t stop applying for the training contract sponsorships. At some point, his dad wanted to talk him into going for something else as he was genuinely good enough to go into any other field; he however dug his foot in and said he wasn’t going to quit because of rejection. We applied all the spiritual ammunition we knew how to: midnight prayers, praise nights, anointing oil, and many more.

I remember clearly when he got the last rejection. It was so unexpected and shocking. Asher was certain he was going to get the sponsorship with this firm. On the day he got the phone call, I was busy counselling a young lady who was going through personal crisis. I excused myself, picked the call, expecting good news, only for my son to say ‘mum, I didn’t get this one again! I don’t even know what I am doing wrong anymore!’ My heart broke. I felt like crying, but I braced up and as his dad and I always say; ‘not to worry Asher, we push forward, you’ll get the next one’. I dropped the phone and looked up. I remember saying ‘Lord, help my son, see how my heart is faithful in helping your children’. I went back in to continue my counselling without letting on what was going on in my own family. All went well with the other lady.

Right after that, Asher got the next one. He genuinely thought he didn’t perform well at the final stage of the interview, but our God came through for him! What was quite interesting after that was, Asher took a year out before starting Law school to work with a Charity that helped black and ethnic minorities get Law sponsorships in top firms. During that year, he was able to help over 100 Law graduates get such sponsorships in top firms.

The number of people he helped into the role was a direct function of all he had learnt from his failures and that made it easy for him to coach them till they then got the sponsorships. It was now obvious why God allowed him go through so many failures. He needed to be a blessing to many people coming along the way.

The lesson learnt from Asher’s continued failure before success was for the sake of many others that would need what he learnt along the way. See the scripture below as Joseph summarised his lessons learnt through his own journey: 

‘……..but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive’ Genesis 50:20

God always meant it for good. Your story will end up being a blessing to someone if only you persevere long enough to follow through despite the closed doors and the failures. There are many people who will be blessed by your story and the lessons you’ve learnt. So keep on holding on to God because He is ever so faithful and will come through for you.

God is on your side!

 

PS: Ladies! Click here to join me for a special hangout!

Categories
Inspiration

If In Doubt…ASK!

I walked into my local Morrisons (superstores) and went to the cooked meals section; ready to pick roast chicken for the family.  There was a queue and that was fine because it gave me a chance to look around at the options. After looking at the range available based on what I presumed they will taste like, I picked one.  When It was my turn, I pointed to the section, stating that I wanted a pack of 5. Just before she served me, I asked the lady serving what I presumed was a good question but that didn’t turn out as I expected.

My pick was the Stout Chicken. I asked the lady what ‘stout chicken’ was spiced with; she looked me straight in the face and said ‘stout’; ok… I looked about and realised that there were quite a number of people behind me listening to the comment, so in not wanting to look silly by saying I did not know what she meant, I said; ‘oh ok. That’s fine, can I have 5 pieces please!’ I collected my pieces of chicken and off I went. Got home, fed the family with it and all was ok. That then became my pattern for a few more visits until I experienced something different last week.

Last week, again I went for the chicken stand and the serving lady this time said, would you like the Chinese spiced chicken or stout; I said stout. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, do you know these are soaked in Guinness? I was alarmed, stopped my telephone conversation and asked her again what she said; she repeated herself and I quickly declined the ‘Guinness spiced chicken’ because I do not drink nor did I plan to buy an alcohol spiced chicken…however…I’ve bought that more than 2ce in the past because I never asked the question.

I got home and told Eddie my experience to which he said, come to think of it; ‘Guinness is also referred to as Stout!!!’ How on earth did I not ask this question in the first instance? I assumed I knew and I did not want to seem silly for not knowing… so in not asking, I did what normally wouldn’t do. In fact I usually crack a joke with Eddie that I was brought up a Baptist before I got born again and we do not ‘touch, serve or sell alcohol!’ In not asking, I didn’t only touch the chicken, I even served my poor old father because the chicken was tender, and I was really buying them for him! I dare not tell him and only hope he won’t read this blog post (lol)

So, why on earth did I not ask questions when I did not know the answer? I did not want to look silly. How many people do things similar to what I had been doing? Not asking could be costly and that’s the key lesson I want you to take away from this write up today. Learn to ask, even Jesus taught us to. Read the bible verse with me:

‘Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you.’ Matthew 7:7

There is no harm in asking. Asking makes you more knowledgeable, makes you have more and makes you clearer on things. Some of the most interesting parts of Jesus’ conversations I always examine is when he can clearly see a problem in someone and still asks them what they want Him to do for them. 

If Jesus will not assume, then you and I surely shouldn’t!  Never be afraid to ask because God is on your side!

Categories
Inspiration

The Happy One

THE HAPPY ONE!

Whenever we take a break to a certain resort, we usually pre-organise our airport transfer through a certain organisation and as usual, we did the same again this last time. Whenever we are on the ride with the transfer driver, we tend to engage them in conversation and expect to hear similar answers as well as experience similar attitudes to the happenings of the area. On this last trip we took, we got a different response and that was so inspiring that I could not but share this experience with you.

As we got to the resort reception, about 10 minutes earlier than normal, we saw that our transfer chauffeur was already waiting for us. He was happy to see us and didn’t show any form of irritation when I informed him that I would like to grab a cup of coffee for the journey as it was early in the day. When he was still smiling after a slightly longer time spent at the coffee shop, I thought, that’s kind and very impressive.

While we commenced the 25 minute journey to the airport, he informed us that he was an immigrant from South America, though spoke Spanish as well as the natives of the country we were in. His family were all in the same region and he could not stop talking about how great his experience has been in Spain. How nice the people were and how great the economy was and his returns as a chauffeur. I looked at Eddie and wondered if anything had changed between when we first got into the country and 4 days later when we were going back home. While, when we arrived, the chauffeur that took us moaned so much about how bad the economy and the land was; this other gentleman couldn’t stop talking about how great the same area was.

As we came out of the cab at the airport, we thanked the gentleman and could not but let him know how good he was, not just at the basics of transferring us to the airport, but his attitude and personality lit up the cab and the journey became remarkable, just because of the positive attitude of this gentleman. We made sure we gave him that feedback and thanked him again in the normal way you express appreciation for a great service given.

The attitude of this gentleman really got us talking way after we left him and was such a blessing that I couldn’t but remember the story of the spies that entered the promised land; where two sets of people saw two different things and what a people saw became the result they experienced. What you see tends to determine your disposition and subsequently your experience. 

God’s word in Numbers 13:30 says;

‘Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Caleb indeed experienced victory and alongside a few that believed, he inherited the land. 

What you see will affect what you get, so adjust your attitude. Our transfer chauffeur was excited, happy and grateful; I was so happy to meet the Happy One! Little wonder his business reflected what he expected.

God is on your side!

PB

Categories
Inspiration

Sad, But True

SAD, BUT TRUE!

Last week saw Eddie and I in Spain as we had the opportunity to escape for a few days to regroup, refresh and replan. While away, we daily took a 7 km walk on the beach front with a few tourists and shops around. I however had a very interesting experience on one of the days which I cannot but share with you today.

This particular beach had quite a few African hairdressers who make cornrow hairstyles. On this faithful day, I had a long patterned summer dress on. As we progressed on our walk, I realised that I was not getting smiles from the ladies, but a slight look of antagonism. I remember asking Eddie if was missing anything, as I didn’t know why the ladies looked pretty unfriendly on the said day. Eddie cracked a joke that it’s because I looked like them and they felt as if I was after their customers. I laughed and left it.

Not long afterwards, we wanted a particular item from one of the shops we got water from the previous day. I went into the shop while Eddie waited for me outside. As I started moving towards the isle, I noticed a lady was making her way speedily towards me. All of a sudden, she walked closely to me and started trailing me. I did not know why she was trailing me, so I stopped and said hello. Within seconds she used signs to communicate more or less that I shouldn’t be in the shop as she assumed I couldn’t afford to buy anything in the shop because she’d concluded that I was one of the hairdressers. I was surprised because I was being judged by what I was wearing and boxed up based on what someone thought of my look… (I don’t know if you remember the scene in Pretty Woman movie where Julia Roberts attempted to go shopping in a posh area and was more or less sent moving along based on her look!)

After a few minutes, Eddie walked in and I spoke to him in English. The moment the lady trailing me heard that, she gave me an apologetic smile as well as space to continue my shopping. I looked at my husband and said; ‘how sad that this lady thought I was one of the people who walk the streets trying to make ends meet, so she felt I wasn’t capable of buying a €5 item in her shop’ What a sad reaction and judgement.

As I thought about this incident, the misjudgement and the subsequent reaction of the shop assistant, I couldn’t but remember the scripture that says

‘Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewellery or fine clothes, rather it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight ’ 1 Peter 3:3 – 4

We are not meant to be defined by what we look like on the outside but as the above scripture says we should build our inner self which is the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which God values.

As I looked closely at this situation, I said to Eddie, this is so sad but true. People still judge others by what they wear and how they look. Needless to say, on getting back to our resort I changed my dress to something more acceptable so we don’t get turned back at the restaurant door when we went for dinner because of my dress and wrong conclusions by the staff.

God is on your side!

PB