What Christian Women Get Wrong About Beauty and Yes, It Matters.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling,
beautiful in every way.

Songs of Solomon 4:7 (NLT)

People who say that physical beauty doesn’t matter are in denial. Studies prove we are nicer to people we classify as beautiful and we expect they are more successful and intelligent. Not only do we admire beauty when we see it, we crave it. We pursue it, that’s why we do everything to get closer to someone we find attractive. That’s why we chase, sunsets and moon rises, discovering coral reefs and playing with a new born. We can’t really explain it but it captivates our hearts and for that moment, time cease to exist. I have a theory I am currently testing, maybe beauty is one of the gateways to the transcendent, to the ‘other world’, to the divine.

Our desire for beauty in others is not to bashed, our uniqueness calls for differential thinking and appeals. The issue with beauty in society is the idea that all of us must find one thing beautiful. That our physical bodies must all look like we came from the same factory.

If you ask a girl who thinks she’s not beautiful the first issue is, there is an ideal that she has been comparing herself to subconsciously or not. Or she is just alright to look at, but if she had this hair texture, this built, this eye, this lash, she would be 10 x more attractive. And she is right in some respect. She would be more attractive to persons who prefer those features. But incorrect if she thinks just as she is, no one loves her present physique.

The second problem she faces is seeking external validation of that beauty in the wrong. I heard so much negatives about validation that I thought it was a bad thing.  But I had been confusing it with affirmation. To validate something means to check of something is acceptable, true, worthy. God has already done that when he made you and called you ‘good.’

Affirmation however, is the action we should healthily desire from others, they would only acknowledge the intrinsic worth you already have. The beauty you already possess. But that can’t happen if you don’t believe that you are firstly worthy of love, pimples and all.

There’s a third thing we experience when we think our beauty to be small or none existent,  it’s fear. Fear that a guy won’t ever find us attractive so we will never get married. Firstly, if the standards of worldly beauty was a criteria for marriage, I have seen so many women fall short and I mean shorrtt and yet they are in a loving relationship. Because most men sincerely desire women who aren’t afraid to be themselves. Women who show up imperfect yet confident. Men love that. Besides, if God is the one in charge of your love life, best believe He’s got you covered, married or unmarried. Or can you not trust Him with that?

Have you ever met a woman that just felt like home? That had the smile that made you fill up with joy? She could even have the skinniest arms but her hugs felt the warmest? Have you ever taken notice of her grace and compassion with which she serves others and receives service? There was a word that didn’t come to your mind, but it was it all along, she was beautiful. Maybe her back bent when she walked or she didn’t have the best clothes. Maybe her home wasn’t the best. Maybe she didn’t bave the perfect body. Oh but what love you experienced!

Abiding beauty is not in a new skin care routine, a waist trainer, our butt enhancer. It’s all temporal any way. Abiding beauty is hidden in between the folds of your heart. It is how you love God, yourself, and your neighbour.  So take care of yourself, if it’s your personal goal to be healthier and a nutritionist thinks losing weight will help, do it. Or if you wish to dress nicely or take care of your blemishes do that. But may our motives never feel that when we ‘fix’ these things we will get the acceptance we desire. Your body is not merely for wandering eyes. It protects you, alerts you, keep you alive. Because you are more than your body. You are more than a standard. You walk around with eternity in your heart. Your flesh carries a unique person and the right person will notice it.

How to Have Hard Conversations About Your Feelings

Audio : Dañielle Wilson

Let us walk honestly, as in the day; 

Romans 13 : 13 (KJV)

Some of my thoughts sound crazy, like seriously, if someone would come to me with them.
I would say, listen, “You are somewhere but not reality, How in the world did you come to that conclusion?!”


But the truth is I already think them, they aren’t going anywhere unless I present myself with new evidence. Often times reading and listening only are insufficient. Because it represents an unfinished cycle. Input is usually relevant because of an output. So to overcome our anxiety we actually have to talk about it. I know, gross stuff.

I shared last time why talking is inportant, today, we will discuss how. Babies identify language by one thing only, repetition mixed with body language. Soon those coos turn into mama and dada because that’s how the parents talk to them. For some of us, difficult things were either swept under the rug, conflict turned into explosions or met with a forceful silence of avoidance.


A part of the reason we have such poor emotional skills is because no one taught us how to have the hard conversations. No one ‘cooed’ how to be vulnerable, angry but not destructive, understanding but not excusing. I am glad children go off to learn other languages at will when desired. We have the choice now to unlearn then learn effective communication. Here are a few starters:

Identify the aim of the conversation.

Is your intention invitation to just be there for you at leaast for a time, seeking advice, desiring to express an action than hurts you and why?
Get settled on the goal.

Decide on a few points you want to highlight

It doesn’t need to be mess free, it doesn’t need to follow a pattern, fam, if you have to rumble until you reach the heart of your worry, do it.
Usually there are major incidents that lead to our conclusions, start there.

Determine how best to get the message across

If you just want to update a friend on the day’s troubles and woes, a text may be just enough.
How about sharing how an experienced with someone made you anxious, hearing your voice may give insight to mood.
Have backed up unspoken things for years? In most cases I recommend face to face but be wise and choose your safety first. Don’t go alone if needs be, especially if it is a past perpitraitor, whether physically or emotionally.

Set Realistic Expectations


Sometimes just sometimes the parent that was neglectful in the past won’t turn on their heel just because you say you feel hurt.
Or maybe the ex won’t decide to take you back or develop a friendship again. Your expectation is not for them to heal you. They cannot.


Your expectation is best aligned to releasing a burden you have been pretending you havent been carryng. Or to clarify the things that cause worry.
It will hurt if they don’t respond favourably, but what if they do? What if they do actually love you and genuinely want to know to help. Things are not always as they seem. And love, you will still find your way even if they aren’t an active traveller on your journey. Sometimes we take the lessons not the people.

Talking about the real stuff is hard but it is 100% worth it.

Practical Tips:


Conversation Starters-


When you did this it made me feel like this


What happened that night painted this picture in my mind that I can’t seem to forget


When you said/ did that I believed this about myself


When I did/ said that, I didn’t forgive myself because


I put pressure on myself to do this because I think that it will lead to

The Reasons You Don’t Talk- Day 3

Audio: Dañielle Wilson

“The reason we hide our faults is because of PRIDE. We want others to think we have everything UNDER CONTROL. We want to look well polished before others. The TRUTH is, whatever you can’t talk about, already has you under control.”

-Rick Warren, Defeating Temptation

My desire for these past days is to communicate that; 1) Your struggle isn’t unique 2) God understands the struggle and wants to help you through it. But there is a third component to overcoming anxiety that I have only hinted at but never addressed directly and it is the importance of others in our healing journey.

How do the best of friends or couples get to the place where they can almost always accurately guess what the other is thinking in a particular situation? I assume their encounters were more than emojis and stickers but more instances of sustained, deep and honest conversations.

I am troubled that our cries for help find their ways only on our statuses and never into a friend’s dm, or do we even have those? I suspect it’s easier to rant on Whatsapp or Instagram, we have very little accountability on those forums. After all, it has very few impacts on the day to day business of life. But authentic conversation has other hurdles too.

The real reasons we don’t talk usually falls in three categories. First, to express ourselves in absolute vulnerability would mean we’d have to return to the moment when we stopped being true to ourselves. Believe it or not, anxiety started somewhere and more than likely it wasn’t just the past few months that caused it. It may be that our people pleasing tendency is now being interrupted because we are burnt out from trying to do it all these years.

Second, talking about our worries reveals that we are in fact HUMANS, weak, fragile and in need of help. I’ve grown sad for the persons that call themselves strong just because they rose above the haters unbothered. Nah love, you need to confront the issues you had with those people and as much as physically and or emotionally possible, seek reconciliation. The hurt hasn’t gone anywhere if you haven’t healed. It has just been pushed into the subconscious that guides your decision-making process. That reeks of control. The haters still win if you don’t heal.

Thirdly, we will be held accountable for what we say. I dislike telling my friends I start to like a guy because one, they have a good memory and two, they will tease the daylight out of me but ultimately ask me the hard questions. The questions that involve A LOT thinking and praying. Most times we don’t genuinely want help, we want pity and baseless encouragement. Seeking persons who only offer comfort and no challenge to grow. We may refuse to talk because deep down we don’t want to change.

That which is hidden, imprisons and that which is uncovered, recovers. In the authority of a black belt introvert, my advice to you today is simple, talk. Talking makes sense. Talking helps you make sense of the ordeals you are facing. Talking puts the issue into perspective. Talking releases burdens. Talking invites conversation for action plans. Talking fosters intimacy with our loved ones. Talking frees us from pretense. Talking makes sense. Confess your faults one to another so that you might be healed. (James 5:16)

Be very careful who you reach out to however. Friend, a love interest is usually not the answer. Let’s stop expecting romantic love to do all our heavy lifting. Prayerfully seek out meaningful help. Can’t find anyone you trust? While I find that hard to believe there are options, for example talking to a counsellor. I fully recommend Family Life Ministries and Trauma Coach Mrs. Laylor-Bogle. Anxiety is rooted in worry, plausible sometimes but usually irrational. Talking sorts out all the chaos, talking brings healing.

Practical Tip:

Start talking, like today. Don’t delay it any longer. Be random, be unscripted. Or start making a list of the people you trust and are able to help. Schedule to speak with one at the earliest time possible.

Day 2: The Human God

Audio: Dañielle Wilson

Can we follow the Savior far, who have no wound or scar?”

-Amy Carmichael, God’s Missionary

My views of who God is have been constantly challenged over the years. He has changed from the one with superhuman powers, too strict, incomprehensible, too genocidal, unfair, proud, judgmental, and then almost whiplash inducing, wham! I stand face to face with Christ. The image of the invisible God. I had a hard time reconciling the Pillar of Fire Old Testament God, to the Human God of the New.

Most of what I knew of God was secondhand information. I repeated church lingo. Like Ruth, I knew Him as their God before He became my God. That’s why the question Jesus asked his disciples in Matthew 16:15 was so important. When all the curtains are closed, when we are alone, who do we say Christ is? Is He Lord? God? Or mere flesh and bones, disintegrated and forgotten? Perhaps a figment of our imagination? A crutch humanity falls upon because we are hopelessly in need of hope? Who do you believe Christ is?

I could praise Christ’s attributes from now until eternity, but the part of Him that connects with me the most is how he walked around in flesh. Gosh! God really just came down and showed us how to be human. He is the God that bled, worked, got thirsty, felt pain, cried, needed food, was betrayed, had to ensure his breath was fresh and asked for another way out when gruesome death was near. He even got angry, turned over tables that one time. So much for the gentle Jesus, meek and mild.

When emotions threaten to consume you, and anxiety seeks to control you, look to the God who knows exactly what that feels like. Remember the Garden of Gethsemane. It would be insufficient to just have a God who understands but is no help. Christ is much more, He is enduringly triumphant. He told Thomas, “Put your finger in my scars.”

Are you bleeding from wounds? Jesus’ response is, “See my scars, touch the jagged skin, I have healed from them.” He boasts, and rightly so, “Take heart, I have overcome the world.” Expressed differently He is saying,  “Hope in me, I have the power to let you overcome too.”

Practical Tip: Write the attributes of God you have experienced for yourself. Answer, Who is Christ to you?

Confessions of an Overanalyzer- Day 1

Audio: Dañielle Wilson
  • When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.
    Isaiah 43:2

I woke one night on the verge of a panic attack. It wasn’t a bad dream. My thoughts shook me awake. Endless questions, self-pity, comparison invaded my mind. I pushed them away during the days successfully. My life is busy. To rest or rather sleep, I usually listen to a sermon or music not to let my spirit feed during my shut eye hours but so my spinning mind had something to focus on. That night, I went to bed without one on. I suspect my mind couldn’t carry the worry any more. So, at 1:19 am, I thought I would lose my mind. My heart rate was faster than ever and the moderately spacious room felt so hard to breath in. No matter the affirmations I repeated, “You are not a failure” “Your calling is different” “You are doing your best.” “Pursue progress over perfection.”

I didn’t believe a word of it, so to cope with those thoughts, I did the usual. I got up and scrolled through Instagram until I tapped out at 3:20 am. I think about that morning often, even though I couldn’t feel God, He was with me. I knew too, He could calm my restless heart, I was tired. Thus began my journey to healing.

Anxiety is an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure according to the American Psychological Association.

Maybe you have a bad record at work, or slipped up publicly at church, or failed your courses, or got rejected by the opposite sex again, maybe your attempt to be liked by peers blew up or you battle an ongoing sickness or even concealing a secret you fear will ruin your life. All of which leads to worry and frustration.

I used to expect things to never affect my mood, that being a Christian means having a permanent VIP pass to the front seats of Unspeakable Joy. The Holy Ghost security would stop anxiety and despair (without my effort) so they can’t crash my happy concert. I appreciate now an even grander reality, one that stares down the length of days on the greatest human suffering imaginable and through the lenses of the gospel, find hope. That is what we will be fighting for these 30 Days, HOPE.

Practical tip: Express your worry, I mean the real reason why you feel uneasy. All of it. Tell it to a trusted friend/s, seek professional help, write it down, say it to God. Expect Him to hear. Expect Him to draw near. He already is.

Why Woman?

Audio: Abigail Barrett

We are all a part of God’s grand scheme! No matter the underlying reason for your birth, whether accidentally or purposefully, God thought long and hard and He intentionally chose YOU to be a part of His divine plan.

Why woman?

The simplest way to answer this question is; “because the Lord wanted it to be so” but let us examine the scripture to understand more. 

And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” Genesis 2:18.

The Wonderful in wisdom looked and saw Adam and saw that he needed something else. For a man to be functional and effective, God knew he was lacking something, and so the Creator of all creatives made women. 

Can you imagine a world without any woman? Imagine how dull it would have been. Our fathers would not have the warm tender hugs, no one to jump in the laps or to ride on their backs. Our brothers? Oh, how they will miss our annoyance, our inquisitive nature, always wanting to be a part of the ‘boy’ stuff. Our friends and colleagues, what would they do without our waves of laughter, our opinions on dressing, our advice even when they don’t ask for it, and for always keeping them in the loop? They simply could not survive with us. What about our husbands? It would deprive them of our tender touch and nurturing care.

I know as women they have socialized us to think that we were all created for the same reason; ‘marriage’ we live our lives as hopeless romantics waiting for our prince charming. There is so much to womanhood than that, we may never be wedded, but God’s plan for us to help the men in our lives remains. Our brothers, fathers, and friends still need to be impacted by the gifts in us. 

 God intentionally and purposely created you woman to carry out his plans in this generation, will you accept?

Today’s Challenge: Focus on the men God has placed in your life. Are you impacting them the way you should? Have you deliberately honored God by fulfilling your roles and responsibilities as a godly woman?

Today’s Verse for Meditation Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations woman for this generation(Jeremiah 1:5, KJV. Emphasis and wording mine).

Today’s Affirmation: I accept my role and responsibilities as a woman, and in this season of my life I commit my time, talents, and treasures to purposely assist and impact the males in my life.

Author: Lizzette Crooks

The Gospel that Kills

Audio: Shamarie Headley

We can sum the law up to two commands Jesus said. It is to love God with everything and your neighbor as yourself. The shooting on Sunday killed our neighbor. The act alone has shown us our love for our neighbor has gone quite cold. I am ashamed to say that right after I watched a video that shook the cores of my soul; the next fascinated me, telling me how much money Ronaldinho’s wife gets from him monthly. Some burden I had.  

Crime after crime, death after death, our numbness to evil deepens. We shout, we protest, we condemn, we post but it’s all just for the moment. Days after I had been intentional about trying to forget the incident all together. But why? Why does acknowledging it consistently cause such a strain? Something in me knows things are not supposed to end this way, something in me knows I am responsible. But no, individually, we could never be the problem, right?

We have made calls on the church (which we are a part of) to be more relevant. We’ve read statistics, condemned religious leaders who bring shame on the institution, judged our own leaders for lack of mobility, and yet we received the Great Commission individually too. If your home, workplace, school, or community remains Christless, you are a part of the problem. 

Never have I seen multitudes of people going to a street service for evangelism in scriptures. It was always one and two about their business, rather, the king’s business, burdened with the gospel that saves. They didn’t need an organizational effort, but their own compassion led them to share the most precious thing we can experience on earth, God. I am not against hosting street services, but it should never be a replacement of our daily neglect of souls. Evangelism is not a service, or event, it’s a lifestyle.

There is something more deadly than the bullets that killed our neighbor on Sunday. It is the gospel that is there to always fulfill my needs, first. I don’t have time; I must build a bigger barn. I don’t have the energy; I must reserve for studying. I can’t stay up to pray, I must be ready for an exam tomorrow. I don’t have the resources; I have a new event coming up. I can’t pursue that right now; it will make me uncomfortable. I can’t carry the weight of dedication; I have other interests to be the best at. The gospel that kills is a gospel that refuses to love our neighbor as ourselves, the gospel that is selfish. Paul says, “Don’t be selfish, don’t just look out for your own interest but look on another man’s interest.” (Phil. 2:3-4) How differently would our life look if we followed this? 

I was in the car with my family and a lady from my community. They were talking about the incident (the one I was trying to forget) and the lady said, “A coworker said when we were talking about the shooting, where was God?” I answered internally, in His church, restrained by His body. A body that refuses to move. What if that gunman had been ministered to and gotten saved, what if that lady had heard about baptism in Jesus’ Name and received the gift of the Holy Ghost before he killed her? The country is looking for immediate solutions, I know no other than when a man who has seen God. What if we stopped not caring about others, stop being indifferent to our heavenly calling? 

If you have been feeling the call, perhaps you don’t know what to do about it yet. You don’t need a method; it doesn’t need to make sense; you don’t need a platform, God needs a vessel. Listen when He calls. That’s it. 

Philippians 2:17 NLT. But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.

Join the Team!

We are seeking persons to join the team. Are you a writer? Perhaps a detail-oriented person who could be an editor? Follow this link to sign up. 

The Bridgerton Effect

Audio: Shamarie Headley

Before you think I am here to judge you if you have watched it, I have read the book and many others too from the author. Let me just say, if you love the romantic and sensual vibe of the show, the book is wayyy better. I am a reader and in my younger years; they have not always been on the spiritual side, rather, they never were. Hunger Games, Twilight, romance stories my friends wrote, and so many others I found online kept me quite occupied. I get it, romance series, movies, books, gif, memes all of them are captivating. Especially for a teenager or young adult who longs to experience it themselves, it’s tasting the rainbows without eating the skittles. So this is what I would say to my younger self before I read, “The Duke and I.”

Hello love,

No one prepared you for this, these surprising years of sexual curiosity. No one told you, your feelings were natural, that you weren’t dirty if you found boys attractive. I know you see others in relationships. They usually won’t end well. You might even feel that you are missing out, but the boys will be too immature to give you the love you desire. You are immature to fully appreciate the beauty of the dance between the sexes. You might think you get to experience love without actually having it by reading this book but as you will look back on those moments and say they didn’t satisfy, no, they awakened a greater thirst for what was natural yet wrong in the present situation. It wasn’t love that was awoken, it was lust. Untamed passions that clawed for satisfaction now.

When you grow older, these images and ideals will scar you deeper than you expected. When you learn that in the end, your heart was searching not merely for romantic love but to be found, to be seen, to be fully accepted. As you grow older, you will be fully known and loved, but the memories etched in your mind will make your heart wander over and over again. Trying to grasp that which is fleeting. Because it seems easy. Easy to hide in, easy to settle for, because it is familiar. It holds no eternal weight. You will find it empty, EVERYTIME. You will have to pray for God to fix your thoughts, to heal your perceptions and reign in your urges. You will beg Him not to want to read it anymore, to free you from your presumptuous behavior, to awaken your limping conscience.

Love between a man and a woman is beautiful. But that’s that not the only way to experience love. It’s odd in that you will find it many unexpected places. You will learn intimacy doesn’t need to come from sensual caresses. You will learn not to wait on a relationship, that joy, peace, adventure, connections, don’t need to be put on hold, but right then, as a whole person, you are free to experience it fully. I hope you learn contentment and fight these days that would rob you of freedom. Stay anchored to a godly community. Even if your time before this moment is stained, God has accounted for it in His story. You will have a beautiful life wherever He takes you.

Love,

Shanann

N.B. Error in name during recording is that of the author, not the narrator.

Would It Make A Difference?

I’d like to convince you to read your bible, but I am careful to not approach it loosely. Bible reading is a spiritual discipline. But that is who I want to appeal to in this post, your spiritual man.  Has it not been miserably unpredictable to fight without a Sword? This year has tried us and some of us found we weren’t gold but bramble. Our faith fled from beneath and left us on our faces crying, hoping we would just survive. Our faith was so fragile because our knowledge and belief was so limited. 2021 is coming and as a generation, we should learn from our mistakes, we should invest in reading our Bibles. Yet, at the heart, is it merely reading? Far from it actually, It is to have our hearts bowed, our minds engaged, our ears listening and our spiritual man feeding. Yes, we have tried Bible reading before, but what if we did that consistently? What if we mixed discipline, the Word and faith?  Would it make a difference?

I have always sought answers to rid myself of procrastination and selfish actions. Seeking also about my purpose, loving neighbor, serving my community, the ‘Christian’ stuff. But no matter the number of videos I watched, articles I read, or psychological tactics I followed, none of them worked. I was dealing with a state of rebellion and outright thirst for sin, that I couldn’t outrun even if I wanted to.

I often wonder if others aren’t extremely disturbed about the reality of evil in them. Evil that sleeps at our doors. No evil that decides it’s a permanent roommate. That in hearing the sermons and feeling the Spirit, it is not enough for the smell of stale vomit to draw us away. To find it pleasing, to pursue it, even at the expense of our conscience.

I ramble on in thought, what else do I need? What is the secret prayer or length of fasting? Maybe it is to detach from everyone, you know, no outside influences?  I dipped in the bagged candied Christian goodies and no quick fix helped. To live with a heart set on sinning and a mind that desires to please God is a torture that rips you apart from the inside. Subsequently, a friend reached out and asked that I joined them in studying a book of the Bible. This is what I found out:

  • Provides accountability
  • Awareness of Sin
  • Sharpened Sword for Battles
  • Deeper Understanding of God

Precious Thoughts’ passion is that we don’t sleep on the Word next year (Lord’s willing). We are labouring towards the freedom of youth everywhere, and we know it is by knowing truth that we experience liberty. His word is truth. We are completing next year (Lord’s willing), “90 Days New Testament Bible Challenge” that starts on January 1, 2021. Persons who sign up will receive email and WhatsApp (optional) daily reminders. They will have access to the plans (FREE), an opportunity for discussion on our social media platforms via Instagram and Facebook, community accountability and opportunity to inspire others with videos and other posts. The secret isn’t the 90 Day plan, the secret is the power of the Word hidden in a submitted heart. Our aim is not to birth a desire for scripture, that’s a spiritual endeavor, we want to strengthen that which is already present and help you get rid of distractions while we are at it. The beautiful thing is that we don’t have to wait until 2021. Our own pursuit of Christ (Truth), can start today. Choose a passage, book or theme you want from the bible, tell someone to keep you accountable and start reading!

I can make no further appeal than to those who are weary, thirsty, and heavy. To those of us who are restless of sinning and finding that you sinned for nothing. Those who experience pursuing the same old vomit, hoping it will taste good this one last time. No judgement here, I know the taste of revisited vomit too. But I don’t want that to be my bread anymore, I trust you don’t either. Click here for the sign-up form to receive plans via email. Despite how things may look, we believe in this generation!

Reconciling with the Past: Remembering

Precious Thoughts Press

We’ve been on a roll over the past years, it seems we are ‘canceling’ feelings. It’s interesting how they taught us how to tie our laces, brush our teeth, do homework, and yet no one taught us how to maneuver our emotions. Even the bible makes it a priority, it commands us to guard our hearts because it determines the course of our life. (Prov. 4:23 NLT) No matter how hard we try, we can’t outrun them, eventually they catch up. But what’s clear is whether or not feelings are immediately in our consciousness, they dictate our path. Whether that path is to run, to pause or to overcome them. We want to be a part of the ones to overcome them. To do that, we must start at our past.

Our lives are just like the universe, a preacher once said. Before God came and created it, we were without form, void, and darkness prevailed in our lives. Salvation restores our form/ foundation, fills our voids, and lets the light into our hearts. Our foundations before Christ were unstable, destructive. Our houses could have fallen at any time. Now, Christ has become the rock we are building upon. However, when saved, our past remained in our memories, forgiven and forgotten by God, yes, but not by us. The mistakes, the hurts, the pain, our offenders and the ones we offended take permanent residence in our minds, skewing our outlook and damaging our relationship to God and others. How do we get rid of them or even bound them, so they don’t always mess things up?

Christian author, Miroslav Volf, suggested a path to healing from our past, or in his words, memories. In his breakthrough book, “End of Memories”, the journey starts with remembering and not just that but remembering truthfully. Our first steps, a guardian holding us just after birth, the feeling of first touching the ground, the first time we saw a bird, or the sky, or the ocean, our first words, the first knee scrape and the first time we laughed, all important things, all things we have forgotten.  It is a fact memories fade, but some especially negative ones, we repress. I don’t blame you; I did the same thing too. Recalling negative experiences are uncomfortable, excruciating even. But avoidance has helped no one in history, not even the thinkers.

I know it’s absurd that I am asking you to do this, but friend, God can’t heal what we don’t acknowledge. It’s true He knows our hearts, but do you know yours? That’s why prayer is so important. It’s an exclusive session with the greatest counselor, comforter, and healer. I remember the first time I did this; it was sometime last year. People close to me often said I was closed off, guarded, cold, emotionless even. As a highly sensitive person, this was the farthest from the truth, I just didn’t know how to handle my emotions or express them. They made uncomfortable, made me feel weak and stupid. So, when they became overwhelming, I disappeared. I didn’t know it was okay to just feel. Apparently, I had bought into the idea that I had to always be okay. I needed to remember, to acknowledge, to name the thing or things.

The interesting part to this is not only will we sit in remembrance to God, but we will speak of it. I did not grow emotionally by myself; I had a community that was patient, loving and sober. Healing whilst more internal than any other process is never done alone. Paul didn’t just arrive after such a horrific past. He had the word, the Holy Spirit and a church family to encourage him. Remembering truthfully might seem easy especially for victims, but one needs to be careful. William James warned,

“The most frequent source of false memory is the accounts we give

to others of our experiences. Such accounts we almost always

make both more simple and more interesting than the truth. We

quote what we should have said or done rather than what we

really said or did; This is one great source of

the fallibility of testimony meant to be quite honest.”

In simple terms, find a prayer room, pour out to God then find a sober confidant, pour out to them fully and honestly. Don’t make yourself look any better or the offender any worst. Afterall, bearing false news is a sin too. Beware of assuming motives and opinions. There will be time for that later. Leave nothing for shame to have power over. You can do it the other way around if you choose too. If you killed someone say it, someone raped you? Say it. They neglected you when you were younger? Tell every detail. Perhaps you struggled with sexual immorality? Confess it. Someone broke your heart? Reveal it. The things I confessed started losing their power the moment they left my lips. Our shame feeds off the things we remain hidden. Let me just add too, it’s okay to feel ashamed too.

I journaled before speaking though; it helped me sort through my emotions to find out what was holding me back from being open and vulnerable. Then, after I sat down to write, I rose to talk to God and people.

Healing is a messy business, but staying broken and wounded is even messier. Your pain won’t just stay in a corner while you continue life, it insists on getting attention. Unhealed pain makes pebbles seem like boulders and streams like raging waters. If you received healing, you change the course of your life for the better. Let’s start with vulnerability. If you feel you can’t talk to anyone, slide into my DM on Instagram. I promise it’s a safe place. Next week we will tackle another part of the journey, condemning those wrong deeds. Remember, you are precious.

Recording: Shamoy