Sometimes it feels like I can’t breathe.
Surely stabbing myself in the heart would hurt less.
One minute I am happy.
The next minute I feel like my life has been ripped apart.
Maybe it has been.
I have much to be thankful for.
But it all feel so clouded.
Does one ever become the other?
What is that?
Everything is channelled through the lens of the Summer of 2009.
I feel sick.
I’m been feeling “off” for a while now.
When does it all stop?
Does it ever get easier?
How do I escape from it?
How do I stop myself feeling guilty for forgetting?
People think I should move on.
Don’t they understand that takes more than words?
More than time limits?
What would they know.
They’ve never been through it.
Death is a members only club.
But even if you’ve experienced death, no two deaths are the same.
I hate it.
To walk away from everything in my life and start again.
The wrapping sounds tempting.
I’m tried of the same thoughts and questions.
I want to move on.
I don’t want to let go.
I know what I want.
But I feel like I can’t break through.
I’m tried of trying to push through university.
Then I have to work and pay it all off.
Suck it up.
I’d love a gap year.
Spend time with my friends.
Maybe I need a shrink.
Maybe I’m a freak.
I wish I could stand on the edge of a cliff.
My thoughts and emotions expressed through nature.
The starlit sky destroyed.
The Eye of the Storm.
To feel it.
What a release.
The Rising of the Sun.
Set me free.
There is something that has been on my mind. Let me share a little story with you…
On Friday I witnessed somebody state their wishes, their desires… but then submit themselves to their family to make the final decision. Discussion took place and in the end the decision was not the desired outcome this person was hoping for. The person could have fought it but in heartbreaking acceptance, the person continued to submit and trust their family, despite the painful journey this person was now going to walk.
It really touched me this story… and the thing it highlighted was “submission”. It got me thinking about life and God. The choices we make, the paths God seems to lead us down… so many people struggle to trust God, to submit to living with Him in their lives. He never said your life wouldn’t hurt and be difficult. But He has made plenty of promises that He will always be with you, He will never give you something you can’t handle, He will bless you, and He will reward you in this life and in the next.
Often when something happens or is about to happen I demand to God that He better not disappoint me; and He never has. But my demand stops there. It’s pointless me demanding anything else from God because I have no idea what He’s up too. There’s no point me demanding one thing because I wouldn’t be open to another option. There’s no point setting yourself up for disappointment. My question to you is “Why can’t you live by faith?”… you have NOTHING to lose. Trust me, life is so much better when you just let go of the barriers and let God in.
I know you’ve been hurt, I know you’ve been disappointed…. I know the feeling where life sucks and you don’t understand what’s going on… I understand the fear of the unknown and being out of control… that’s why I can tell you God comes into your life like hot lava. He not only fills the holes in your life, but He melts the crap in your life, placing it on His shoulders to deal with. Leaving you with peace, and a sense of freedom. Hot lava sounds painful… I’m not gonna lie, some things He’s gotta do will hurt, but hot lava… that’s pretty intense right? Well… that’s how intense He’s love for you is.
The picture of the day is of a volcano in Hawaii. There are nine major islands in Hawaii and hundreds of smaller ones… so I’ve read. However, this volcano keeps erupting and the lava is making the island bigger and bigger each time. So I guess what I’m trying to show you is this whole lava business and God… well… there’s a purpose, a reason. We don’t always understand it. But there is. With God’s love and help in your life… you never know where it could lead you. You should never under-estimate His power on your life. Just like this volcano in Hawaii… God is in the process of shaping you… keep letting Him. Don’t miss out on something extraordinary in your life because of fear.
Lately at work I have been involved in Mental Capacity issues with clients and it’s all flippen interesting! My blog helps me process things so I figured “Hmmm why not gather all my thoughts on what I’ve learnt the past two days and share it with you all!”
What is Mental Capacity? Mental Capacity is the ability to make a decision. This could be something to do with daily life like when to get up in the morning. Or it could be a decision to do with legal consequences such as agreeing to have medical treatment. A lack of capacity, or more simply, an inability to make a decision doesn’t have to be permanent. For example, say someone faints, they obviously cant make a decision right then and there so you will do it for them and call an ambulance.
Chapter 2 Principle 1 of the Mental Capacity Code of Practice (the code of practice is a fancy name for a formal document that helps professionals do the correct thing by law!) states professionals such as myself (a social worker), or a doctor or whatever must assume somebody has the capacity to make a decision unless proven otherwise.
However some people need help understanding things. This doesn’t mean they can’t understand it. For example, people who have serious hearing difficulties. It would shock you to know many people who are deaf are misdiagnosed with a mental health problem because they are “confused”. When actually, this “confusion” is because they can’t hear you and therefore can’t understand you! I’ve witnessed it!
So, to prevent this from happening, Chapter 2 Principle 2 says a person cannot be said to be unable to make a decision unless all the practical and appropriate steps have been taken. So, if a doctor completes an assessment to judge whether someone has the ability to make a decision on a noisy hospital ward when the person has a significant hearing loss it is a massive NO. That is very bad professional practice. Not only that, it is discriminatory and oppressive.
I told a doctor that today… for real. It was for a case I was working on. He’s response? “Well I’m so sorry you see yourself higher than our professional medical procedures.” Hmmm… you better be sure I was well and truly pissed off. Don’t worry, I stood my ground and won the argument for my client.
I also discovered that when professionals have a disagreement over someone’s capacity, they must take the appropriate steps to resolve the disagreement or come to some sort of middle ground.
Why is capacity should an important issue? Well, if influential professionals such as doctors and mental heath practitioners conclude you don’t have mental capacity to make a decision about something, and if you do, you will discover that your thoughts or opinions will not be listened to. You completely lose you right! Whatever you want will be ignored and what others think you should do they will do instead! It is really quite serious! Like for example being placed to live somewhere you dont wanna live! Just think a minute what that would feel like!
So, how do you know if you can make a decision? For a professional to decide whether somebody has capacity, two questions must be asked. Firstly, is there an impairment of the brain? Like memory loss. If so, does that impairment mean the person is unable to make a specific decision when they need to. So, to say someone has long term memory problems isn’t enough. If someone can understand the information about the decision that needs to be made, if they can hold onto that information long enough to make that decision at the time they need to make it… even if they forget everything one hour later, if they can weigh up the information like “if I smoke it could kill me, but even though I know that I still want to smoke”… THEN THAT PERSON HAS CAPACITY TO MAKE A DECISION! Even if the decision is completely stupid and dangerous we still have that right to make the decision!
Ok… enough from me for now!
I had a pretty manic day. I arrived at work around 8.20am and finally finished when Dad picked me up from the hospital at 7.30pm… 11 hours and 10 minutes later. Needless to say I’m pretty tired.
It was none stop all day. I must have spoken to at least 50 people, made at least 50 phone calls, completed at about 15 case notes, saw 3 clients, and phoned the police once. That last one was pretty random! I was walking down the street after seeing one client and the door of one of the flats was wide open, the door immediately after that inside was glass and it had been smashed… and there was one guy standing in the living room with a bike and another guy sitting in the car outside… weird or what?! So I reported it just in case it was something.
My multi tasking skills are becoming more than impressive… I joked with one girl today at work about how I should go into party planning haha… maybe next time I go to the ship I’ll join the events team haha. tonight i made an exception, I brought my work home with me long enough to quickly write-up my notes for my last visit to see a client… but it is a joy to be able to leave work at work!
I’m enjoying my job. Very demanding, very fast pace and ou need to be very flexible in your work style. I hate being restricted when I work. So to be the complete opposite in this job is awesome! I love being out and about in the office and all over the city. I deliberately go into work 45 mins before everyone else and enjoy the silence of our office. we have about 45 people in our office… which means 45 telephones, 45 keyboards, 45 voices… you can imagine the noise. However, I gotta say, the windows that line all the walls makes it very bright… I do like my job.
anyways…enough of the computer today!
Tonight we had a friend over for dinner and our discussions led me to emailing Fitz with my thoughts and feelings. This is a bit of a heavy post… but I decided to copy my email to him on here to share with you. It’s personal to me and it’s not something I feel I particularly want to share so publically. But I do know I’m not alone. I know there are people who share similar thoughts and pain. So its to you that I really want to share this with. Please don’t feel alone.
……We had a good chat around the table tonight. We talked a lot about Mike. It sounds like we talk about Mike alot. We kinda do but we really dont. I really miss Mike. It doesn’t feel like he is coming back anymore. He’s feeling more and more like a piece of the past. Not apart of my present. Time is creating distance. I mean, Im sure you can relate a little bit with that in relation to you and me. When you’re not around someone dynamics change. So its really hard fitz. Its painful. I dont wanna move on…. I dont wanna move on from him… One day Im going to talk about Mike as a person in my past and I dont wanna do that. One day I will get use to the thought of my family consisting of me dad laura and mum… and I dont want to ever reach that place. Im struggling with Mike not being here cos in small but painfully clear ways…Im moving on. I will always see Mike as 18. He will never go up and live life with me and it’s so hard. Its so painful. I should be happy maybe that he went to heaven at the prime of his life but my brother is gone. I’ve lost my brother… my friend. I miss him so much and even as I write this I’ve got tears running down my face. Fitzy when I think of Mike I wanna join him. I wanna go to him because well… I love him heaps and miss him. Does that mean I’ve forgotten everything here that is precious to me. NO. It just means I long for the day to be reunited with him. My pain is so suffocating at times. Whilst tears roll silently down my heart is loudly weeping and I come back to the same questions… the same thoughts. God why? God help me. God heal my hurt. Fitzy I still ask God to let me see Mike in my dreams. Like “The Shack”. To see Mike one last time… I get angry with myself for even thinking those thoughts… fantasising and longing for something that is closed. Gone. Why is death so painful? Why is the depth of seperation tearing me in half? I know I will see him again. But why does death take me in its grip and crush me? Jesus has saved Mike… he’s saved me… so why do I weep at the fact that my bother has gone on ahead? Then there’s also the harsh reality of his body, the body that contained the person I loved for 18 years. My baby brother is now rotting in the earth…
I wish Jesus would show up and give me a hug. Times like this I wish he would physically wipe the tears away…. not just leave it for me to read it in the bible. The joke to it all is while Im greiving my guard is down and I feel so crap about other things. Like my image. I mean seriously, Mike’s dead and Im becoming desperately ashamed as to what I look like. Lately my emotions are that I hate what I look like and I wish I was skinnier and prettier. I know I need to speak truth into my life but man… it is hard. I feel like Im physically battling with the darkness. I know we often talk about the fight against the devil as Christians but Fitzy I feel it. I feel the battle. Ive been feeling it for a while. Only one other time I felt like this, back 2 and a half years ago. I know we’re forever fighting the devil but this feels like combat. Real. I feel a darkness around me. But at the same time I feel light. I can see Jesus fighting for me and with me. But I dont really understand what this battle is about. Maybe it is simply grief and the greving process… but then it comes back to my questions. Why is death so painful and like a battle when someone dies. Mike is in heaven! I of all people have hope….
I like rain… in fact I like water in general. I so totally want an infinity pool when I’m all grown up 😛 I like the sound of water… I have an indoor water foundation in my room… Oh my days I totally want an indoor waterfall in my living room!!! That’d be wicked! Ok, getting carried away… can’t go wrong day dreaming though 😛
So, I guess it comes as no surprise that I like songs about water too… the song I’ve been listening to has a really cool melody… the words suck, the melody of the chorus is cool… it’s called “Let it rain” by Tinie Tempha. But one of my favourite experiences with music, rain and water was at MTO 08… I’m sure the MK’s reading this have already pegged the story I’m about to share haha.
The last night of camp (MTO) in 2008 we all decided to have a bonfire where we could chill and sing worship songs. However it started raining… a few prayers were said in our minds, “God, please send the rain away”. But the rain got heavier… a few more prayers went up, “God please send the rain away”. But it rained harder and harder… before long all the musical instruments had to go indoors because they were going to get damaged.
Guys, the rain got to the point were in was close on torrential and the area we were all standing was almost ankle-deep if you were lucky enough to be standing in a bit of a pot hole. Did that stop us from singing… nope. Find me someone who doesn’t like singing or dancing in the rain! There was something pretty awesome about the simplicity of our worship… with no music it was just our voices. Somewhere in it all, we started singing “Grace like Rain” by Todd Agnew. How fitting! With the rain pouring down the words of our song became deeper than just lyrics…
“Hallelujah Grace like rain falls down on me, Hallelujah all my stains are washed away, They’re washed away…”
God definitely reserves something of His glory and power for worship… It was so cool He didn’t send the rain away and turned it into something really awesome. P.S. MTO-ers, I couldn’t find a more upbeat version, Sorry!
I’ve known about “this” for a while, but a friend just sent me the link to a video I hadn’t seeen before… Please watch it. The video says it all!
To be a detective… that would be pretty sweet. I was always fascinated by crime and working out from the evidence who did it, why, how… Getting inside the mind. We were given a case study in our psychology class once where we had to work out the criminal profile of the murderer based on the evidence left at the crime scene… I totally shocked my class with my answer haha. Will never forget it…
Since Mike died, our family and I have been trying to work out the answer to this question, “what happened?”. We know God took him. But whilst that kinda gives us an explanation… it wasn’t deep enough for me. Information, advise, and wisdom has been gathered in the last 8 months and I will list some of these things and give you my conclusion… I have only just voiced this to my dad, sister and two friends an hour ago.
1. The morning Mike died, Dad stood outside his door as the paramedics tried to bring him back to life and dad heard these words, “Enoch walked with God, and then he was no more, because God took him.” (Gen 5:24)
2. The autopsy of Mike’s body came back with NOTHING. There was no evidence of any reason for why Mike died. Not even Adult Death syndrome. Even the Coroner said there was “no earthly reason”. How does a perfectly healthy young man just stop breathing?
3. Several times this verse came up “The righteous perish, and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.” (Isaiah 57:1-2)
4. Another friend said to me “Maybe Jesus asked Mike if he wanted to go home to heaven, and Mike decided to go.”
5. Dad has often said “Michael had a date with God that morning”
6. The majority of people who know Mike recognise the wasn’t your average teenager. He didn’t struggle with some of the sins we commonly struggle with. He had a certain “purity” to him… strange I know. Who’s pure? Everyone sins Akila. Let me answer that with a question “Did Jesus sin?” No, he didn’t, and before you come back with “But Jesus was God”… you also know he was human. Therefore complete purity is possible.
7. All Mike seemed to focus on in his last year was worship
8. One person said to my family, “Maybe Mike got so caught up in worshiping God in his dreams that He simply continued”
9. Before people die, it’s common for Christians to hear or see the after life. My Nain (Great Grandmother) loved Jesus with all her heart and was such a prayer warrior… she could hear angels’ singing before she died. Christians back in the Roman days often died with smiles on their faces as they were torn from limb to limb by lions…
I could present you with countless puzzle pieces. But here’s what I think the puzzle pieces do create a picture of…Mike saw the face of God. It says in the bible that no one can see the face of God and live (Exodus 33:20). How else do you explain why Mike’s body was so healthy when he died? I have no explanation for why Mike died yet. But I do believe that is the answer for how Mike died. Your right, I might be clinging onto things, reading into it all, searching for answers. But it would be ignorant to deny the real possibility of that conclusion.
It’s never always easy to do the right thing, to stay pure and rightful from sin. In our minds, hearts, and actions… it feels like a fighting a lost battle sometimes right? I think what we seem to forget is God is proud of us. Very proud of us! I was talking to a girl friend of mine once and when I told her that, it was like light had been switched on…literally! She responded “Wow, I never thought of it like that”. How is it we fail to remember the very core of God’s being? Love. When things get hard our thoughts and perceptions cannot get past our noses at times.
I went with a friend once to take back her engagement ring to the jewelers. She was no longer getting married. I didn’t know all her story, but to have gone through the excitement of being engaged, the dreams of a future and the heartbreak of the dream shattering… I may be wrong, but sensed her journey was more than what met the eye… However the jeweler said “I’m sorry, we cannot take the ring back unless there is a faulty with it”… Becki was then ENCOURAGED by the jeweler to damage the ring (!). Her frustration was written all over her face… how could she let go of the past and move on?
The next morning we were in church, and she was still pretty silent. I was sitting with her as the worship was on and all of a sudden I had this overwhelming sense to tell her something… but when I turned to her I burst into tears and couldn’t get the words out! Eventually I managed to swallow the lump in my throat and say “Becki, God wants you to know He is so proud of you” She too ended up crying.
I can’t say what those words meant to Becki, but I do believe God wanted to speak to her. I think He wants to speak to you too and tell you “I’m proud of you”. Let those words pierce the truth into your life and shatter the clouds of your thoughts. Know, that whatever you have done in life, or whatever you haven’t done… God IS proud of you.
“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
I’m forever thinking about my friends, and lately, I’ve been thinking about the things they have done for me, what stands out about them… I could pay tribute to so many of the women in my life but for now, I would like to share about two of them.
One of the ladies in my life I have known for years… and my memories over flow with stories of me and her. We have managed to get ourselves in the most hysterical situations sometimes and without fail, the worst things in life only seem to manage to us. I received a text message from her a few days before Christmas with a picture of her in hospital with a broken ankle and it read “…Let’s face it, it was either going to be me or you who broke a bone in the snow this christmas and you have had a life time of trauma already this year!!! xxx”
We have known each other for so long and currently seem to go weeks without talking to each other, years without seeing each other… but I consider my relationship with her just like family. No matter how far we are or how long it’s been… she has always felt to be a massive part of my life. Why is she so special to me? One thing I will never forget, is when she cried about my life to me. She didn’t want me to do something because she thought I was better than that and she cared enough to cry. I always found this friend to understand me, she got my sense of humour, she stood up for me, listened when I needed support, and stood beside me (literally) at my worst moment in life. No matter what I have done or havent done she’s stuck by me. She never once turn her back on me or said a bad word about me…not that I know of anyways!! I always knew where I stood with her… We have shared the funniest moments together growing up… and I seriously hope she will be in my life forever.
My other friend I met far more recently. It was very random chain of events that brought us together to cross each other’s paths. This friend is special to me because she is such a beautiful person. She has been through so much in life and to have come through the way she has… I can only find one word, “Grace”. Her story is so amazing and I’m so proud of her for chosing God, for being real and for never giving up the fight. This friend and I share similar life stories… which I have found so comforting. Someone who could relate to me and not judge me. It’s a privilege to have such an inspiring person. She doesn’t realise it, but I think she challenges me to live more like Jesus. In slight contrast however, I love that she lives on the edge, that she doesn’t mind taking risks that could get her into trouble. She once put me in “hospital” for a week on the ship after a practical joke went slightly wrong and the whole time she stayed with me. We had such a riot playing pranks, staying up at all hours of the night and then KO-ing the day after. I told my sister today, if I got the opportunity to live near this friend, I so totally would try to take it haha.
These two ladies have been such a source of encouragement and strength to me. Standing by me at my worst, being happy and excited when things are going good in my life, laughing with me at my embarrassing moments, and just simply living life with me. I have a lot to be thankful for when I think of you two.
I have just finished watching “Mr. Deeds” (great movie by the way!) and I was reflecting on todays events. The end song of the movie has actually summed it up… “Let My Love open the door...”
I got my essay back today, the first one for year 3, and my mark was rubbish. I passed, but by the skin of my teeth, a rotten two points. I couldn’t help but feel so frustrated and discouraged. I prayed so hard, and worked my butt off completing this essay. I have really struggled with my essays in the past and with this one, I sought loads of advice from the module leader, my tutor, I did loads of research, I followed all their instructions… and the person who marked it stated on the feedback form, “Thank you Akila for this assignement…The strengths of your material are your logical arguments, the theoretical material, and your critique of the theories. These strength are also your assignments weakest parts…” I told my tutor today I can’t keep up. I try so hard to seek what they are looking for and apply it and every time they tell me something else. One marker says I don’t have enough references, another marker says I have too many references. The module leader tells me “one paragraph on the client, one paragraph on the other professions you worked with, and then for the rest of the essay focus on the work you did with one of these professions” the marks says “you didn’t write enough about the client“…IM SO CONFUSED!!!!!!
I did have a really encouraging chat with one of the guys fro my course who said “Akila, look at everything you have been through in life since you started this course. You may be scrapping by academically but no one can failure you for the effort and dedication you have given. You have been through trial after trail… Despite the let downs and heart breaks, you have managed to put one foot in front of the other and you are still trying and giving it 1000%”
It was really encouraging… and somewhere in the back of my mind I half thought to myself… “Hmmm, God, you have seen how hard I have worked for this, you have given me so much strength and support to keep going these past 4 years… but God, I can only do what I can. Please dont let my inability to pass an assignment with good marks ever be an issue. You have written my life story to involve the things I have been through, and you have equipped me with life skills… God, let me be apart of something historical, something radical, something that will use what I have been trained in, God, don’t let all this been in vain…”
And has the song went, God’s Love will open the doors. He is of course the maestro isn’t He? Hmmm suddenly I’m no longer worried… which by the way, means “to strangle” in German and “to cause division of the mind” in Greek.
So, I was walking home, listening to “I want to know you more” and the line goes, “in the quiet hour i wait, only for You…” well, to be fair, I seem to go to God a heck of a lot more when something messy is going on in my life and i feel like i actually need God. Maybe if i went to him ALL the time about EVERYTHING then he wouldn’t “need” to keep me on my knees… then “poker face” by lady gaga came on and the volume went up… hmmm i never seem to learn!
Gotta eat, I’ll write more in a moment
I’ve been working with Older Adults recently, assessing their needs as a Social Worker and then putting systems in place to meet those needs… whether that be getting an occupational therapist to assess the house and the person for equipment, working along side the doctor or mental health team to deal with a person’s mental health, or working with the person to sort out personal care… the list is endless. But one thing that is has been clearer than ever is… we’re all gonna get old. We can’t escape that one unless God has other plans, but we all die. It’s actually be a massive eye opener and rather scary at times to realise I may lose my memory, I may lose mobility, I may be stuck in a bed unable to move unless someone moves me. As we get older we lose our dignity, our identity, control, rights… as a Social Worker I try and do everything I can to prevent that from happening however I can but… there’s only so much that can be done. I’ve started praying for my health and my journey of getting old. One thing I have begged God is “Lord, I don’t wanna lose my memory, I don’t wanna forget who You are”. Shoot I think would rather have cancer than lose my memory…
It’s actually been a really interesting journey as to how I got this job, and why God has me here is becoming clearer. One of the things I believe He is showing me is yet again, is how Life is so so so fragile. Flip, I suddenly realised how freakin shallow it is to worry about my image. To worry if I’m too fat or my hair isn’t shiny or my clothes arent cool. Life is so much deeper than all these things. Without your health… I think it’s massively tough. So to have a life time of purpose, adventure and memories sure does help, I’m sure of it! Seizing the moment, Creating the moment, and Cherishing the moment is so so so much more than just a statement…. LIVE!!!
“God cant I just have a normal life like so many other Christians that don’t have much to share, that are sorta just cruising..”
This was a question I have thought about for so long, a desire that I wasn’t sure if I wanted but did know I was fed up of waiting for God to throw the “next thing” in my path. When a friend of mine wrote those words I thought “FINALLY! Someone else who feels the same way I do!”
I have been thinking a lot about what I want to do with my future. Where do I want to go. I know Michael’s death is THE subject I talk about, but it made such an impact on me. Soon after he died I thought to myself, “Akila, if God is trying to get your attention, and you don’t radically flip your life upside down and chase after Him after your brother’s death… then what’s it going to take?” One thing that really stood out to me about my brother is he KNEW what he was living for and he centred his whole life around Jesus. Not the other way around… which is what I do. School comes before God, relationships come before God, blogging comes before God… everything that is anything comes before God and I don’t just mean in the morning. I mean period. Michael was so caught up in God that after he died it became apparent that there wasn’t anything else significant in his life. It was all about Jesus. Michael had something, and I want it. It’s a statement I’ve heard a number of people say since he died and it’s true for me too.
I’ve been trying to work out my purpose here on Earth, what is my calling? The very foundation of my existence, your existence is centred on Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
I wish I could share my entire life story with you on here, how I have reached this point involves the details of the past, however, I just don’t have the space or time at this moment to write everything. Sin, prophesies, lessons learnt, the voice of God, visions, convictions… you name it, it’s happened. I want to see Jesus face to face one day, and KNOW with all my heart that I lived a life on Earth that was worthy. I want to hear Him say “Well done good and faithful servant” and know that I was indeed those things.
I have a passion for people, for children, youth, and young adults. I want to see them become the people God intended them to be, free from guilt and passionate about living for Him. Equipping them with encouragement, motivation, and wisdom to seize their calling and create revival in those around them. I want to learn how to be a public speaker, a counsellor and a friend. I want to really understand my bible and be wise. Maybe Bible college is something to be done in the future; along with getting training is counselling. I feel like I have so much to offer and I so badly want to see people be healed of their past, and their hurt. I want to help people become free in the name of Jesus. I want to be secure in Jesus and not the things around me like money, housing and other materialistic items. When God calls me, I want to be free and ready to Go. I want my life’s focus to be on relationships and I would love to travel the four corners of the world sharing the love of God.
I know my dreams come with insecurity, with trials… but I’ve finally come to realise, I WANT the life of Faith, not the life that is safe. I would love to have someone special I can share this dream with, but if I have to go at it alone, then may God give me the strength and peace to jump in head first either way. Michael had something, and I want it. I don’t want to waste my life away. I want to see the bible being lived in the 21st Century with my own eyes. I want to witness revival of hundreds of people coming one step closer to God. Of course I’m afraid, everytime I get in a situation like this where I ask God for something crazy or commit to something radical I always think “Shit what have I got myself into”… but God has clearly told me, “Do not be afraid of Man or circumstances”… and as the song goes,
“ You only get one shot so make it count, You might never get this moment again, The clock is ticking down, it’s the final round , So tell me what it is thats stopping you now, You never know unless you try , You’ll only regret, sitting wondering why, You only get one shot so watch this moment go by…”
I don’t know how these dreams and goals will be reached, I have no steps in between here and there, and I have no idea how the present will be influenced by the future… I just know I’m gonna continue walking hand in hand with God, and everything else will fall into place.
I reckon the greatest oppression in this world… well, one of the greatest anyways is ignorance. We get told to treat each other as equal, but we fail to acknowledge the fact that we all come with difference. We say treat black people the same as white people and we ignore very valuable cultural needs, we say don’t stare at people in wheelchairs and we ignore them, we say don’t discriminate amongst class and wealth, but we’re too obnoxious to associate ourselves with the homeless, the drug addicts and the prostitutes….
I’ve been thinking about this recently because of my own needs. I had meningitis at 18 months old and lost all my hearing in my left ear and was left with only a little bit in my right ear, which I wear a hearing aid. Shocked? Yea, you might be… many people have known me for a while and never knew I was so profoundly deaf. My speech as always been good but I think it got better over time once I got my first boyfriend because we talked all the time. All my friends treat me as though I’m not deaf, and often they forget, which I love because I guess I’ve always held a stigma towards myself. Felt disabled and lesser than others. So to have my friends just take me for who I am really meant a lot to me.
However, there have been shameful embarrassments. We all know words can take a life time to remove. You should never say the words “are you deaf or stupid”, “retard”, or “why are you telling me about being deaf, why you looking for attention?” Whilst my friends and family forget my being deaf… there is a complete paradox of conflicting factors. I’m deaf, it’s apart of who I am, and I’m sorry it complicates things for you. I need people to be aware of my disability, because ignorance is discrimination and oppression. It’s actually fascinating in ways. I have to complete a big long form declaring my hearing disability to the government in order to receive benefits and people who have hearing… when they read my forms it’s definitely an eye opener.
Currently I am working in a large team in an open plan office. Everyday I have come home with the worst headaches. A deep, dull pain that spreads across the whole of the back of my head, making my head feel almost too heavy for my neck to support, with it comes aches and pains in all my muscles, along with dizziness, and it take almost everything to keep my eyes open and not throw up at times… Why? My hearing. Unlike people who can hear, I can’t discriminate noise. I may be deaf, but I hear everything. All the background noise, all the noise I need to hear… everything; and because of that…all I hear is jumbled up sounds. What a strain it is on my brain all day everyday desperately trying to distinguish between background noise and information that is vitally important being verbally passed around by my colleagues… Unfortunately, technology is very limited and turning the volume down on my hearing aid just doesn’t work. I feel like such a slow learner sometimes because I just can’t keep up with everyone.
You would think I would just explain all this to those I work with but how? What would it achieve? Nothing. There’s nothing that can be done other than live with it. Plus… I’m too embarrassed. Funny isn’t it.
As you may have read a close family friend of ours went to Heaven three weeks ago and 3 of our other friends are doing the “Race for Life” in memory of Linda who died from Cancer. If you would like to check it out here it is. Donations to the Cancer Research charity would be more than appreciated!
Sorry for the lack of blogging these past few days. I’ve just finished my first 5 days of placement… only 74 days to go. How was it? I’m sick haha. I have had the worst headaches every day which hit me around lunch time and continue until I fall asleep. With the headaches comes weakness, slight dizziness, ALOT of tiredness, aches, and the feeling of vomiting. It is FUN….NOT!!!! Each night I’ve been in bed by 9pm at the latest and up again between 4am-6.30 pm. I’m really enjoying the and there’s alot of food for thought which I shall attempt to share tomorrow… along with some other things. Once I talk to Fitz I shall share what I plan to do with my life… yup… it’s true, I have direction, conviction and confidence in God and my future plans… it became clearer to me about two weeks ago. Our cat is sick too… Mum’s in Australia, Laura’s gone out for the evening and Dad and I are going to watch a movie…hopefully my headache will fade once i finish my cocktail drink of drugs!! 😀 ok, so that’s my week in a very basic nut shell… look out for my posts in the next two days!
Even though I stopped drawing clothes and decided not to go down the fashion route, i still like looking at cool photos! Here’s some of them that i think are wicked…
Our city’s train station was totally transformed for an advert… check it out!!!! 😀 … wouldn’t it be wicked if the city actually looked this cool?!
Well, today was my first day at placement (finally!) and I’m exhausted! Haha, only 78 work days to go… ahhhh! 😀 Everyone on the team is really nice. I think I’m going to really enjoy it. I checked out the exact same team but in Leicester and the contrast in leadership in the two different teams totally reminded how great good teams and leadership is!
It’s ok if you don’t know the answer, take your lunch break when it best suits you, if you wanna come in early one day and go home later thats ok, we’re all here to help yout, any questions just ask, laughs and smiles all around the office… yup, I’m gonna fit right in 😀 Today is a short post… I’ve been up since 6am writing an essay and then went to work… I’m looking forward to my bed tonight!
Interestingly enough there are a number of people who have shared with me that they are seeking guidance on their future in terms of career and in general, the next step. I know that feeling! I’ve been there, and I’m still there haha. But I would like to share with you how I came about to making my decision of doing Social Work at university, and another story… just to encourage you all…
When I was 14 years old I was in my mum’s church in Australia and I was thinking about my life and what I was going to do. As far as I could see I had two options, (1) go into fashion, or (2) work with people. The other questions I had was where would I go to university? England or Australia? Where would I get the money? Such important questions and concerns to my 14-year-old mind.
It was the first week of being back in Australia and our first time at the church in 3 years. So the family was asked to come up the front and share with everyone a little about who were and missions. Dad was talking and gave an illustration of God’s people being like ships, “Ships are safe in the harbour, but they were never made for the harbour.” Somewhere from my cloud of thoughts I heard this and I then heard God say to me “Akila, which ever ‘career’ you chose, I can work with it, but the way I have made you, you can share so much more about Me through working with people”.
So I knew there and then I was to work with people, “But God, what about money? How am I going to do this?” Just as I thought those words Dad finished talking and the pastor suggested the church members bring a special financial offering to place at our feet to bless us. As we stood there, a total of $1000 was given to us. I then heard God say “Akila, do not worry about money. I am far greater than the power of money.”
Let’s skip forward 1 and half years. I was now 16, and at a very important cross road in life. I knew I had to break off a relationship that I had been in for 3 years. I tried many times to do it… but couldn’t. I was at MTO, a missionary teens camp in Holland and a friend of mine said “Akila, what is going on?” So I asked her, “Do you want the truth or the cover up version?”… I explained to her where I was in life, how I came to this cross road and how I couldn’t do it. I failed so many times to break it off. She told me to come to America to stay with her and her husband. I laughed in her face. “Where am I gonna get the money to go to America?!” She said, “Akila, you are not being serious, but if you are going to be serious about it, you need to tell your mum and dad everything.”
So I sat in the bathroom, everyone else was asleep and my mind had been kidnapped by a thousand thoughts and running down the street. I was flippantly flicking through my bible, not looking for anything in particular but I had three questions 1. how was I going to break it off 2. how was I going to tell my parents everything and 3. how was I going to get the money to go to america.
After a while of reading random things in the bible I realised I had read about 8 different stories of miracles Jesus constructed… the feeding of 5000, the healing on the blind, the walking of the lame, the raising of the dead… and just when i realised this the very next thing i read was Matthew 16:8-10, “Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he said, ‘You have so little faith! Why are you worried about having no food? Won’t you ever understand? Don’t you remember the five thousand I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of food that were left over? Don’t you remember the four thousand I fed with seven loaves, with baskets of food left over?'”Iknew then God was saying “Akila, What does it take to prove to you I am the Son of God?” …
To cut the story short, I heard God tell me that Saturday morning (around 1am) that He was going to give me strength and that I would be on the plane to America on Tuesday. Guess what… I went home, God gave me the strength to tell my parents everything, I broke the relationship off, I was provided with the money… I was on that plane to America 3 days later on the Tuesday morning.
A friend of mine wrote the following and I thought it was really good!
“In a world of plastic people, we need to be real with each other. If we all wear painted smiles, who will come looking for us when we need someone? Nobody, because they will be clueless, because you weren’t real.”
I always smile at “vulnerability”. Why is it that we are so proud to ask for help? To say we’re hurting? To say “I messed up”? To say “sorry?” To say “I love you”? To have feelings? When did we become so afraid of it? Why? Sharing your heart with everyone might not be your thing, but those who are the key people in your life or should be the key people in your life… well, I think there always needs to be at least one steady person.
How do you find a steady person? Family units break down, relationships break up, insecurity and hurt takes over, trust is destroyed. I don’t have a simple answer for that. I’ve been hurt by many people, just like you have. I recently did a research study with some young people for my dissertation/thesis on “Do Sports Activities Influence Criminal Behaviour Amongst Young People?” and the young people suggested a vicious cycle between victims of crime and bullying and becoming the perpetrator themselves. I think that’s true in other life situations. With my hurt I was faced with two decisions, grace or my own way. I did both. For a while my way built up walls around me. I wanted to be better than everyone, to be untouchable. What changed in mylfe is a very long story, but one of my guy friends saw me one day on the ship and he said “Akila you’ve taken down the f— off sign on your head” . To be honest I didn’t notice I even had an outwards expression inward emotions and thoughts. But the last two years more than ever I’ve just tried to be me, and believe me, it’s worth it. It’s less complicated, it’s not a game, those around you know exactly where you are in life (even if they don’t understand) and it’s so freeing.
I think so many Christians are afraid to be real with God. He’s superior, the master, the king… don’t cross onto the wrong side of him. whilst he is all those things, don’t you understand he is not sitting on a cloud in the heavens somewhere? he’s right next to you! NOTHING you say or do is too big for him to handle! be raw, be angry, be happy, laugh, talk to him and be real… show emotion, believe me he’ll be thinking to himself “FINALLY!!! she/he is being real with me”. on the other hand, we’ve been hurt so much how do you trust a god you’ve never seen? i don’t know how to answer this other than God has never ever disappointed me. I’ve been to the lowest i can get in life, the highest i can get in life and he even took my brother (If you get a chance to read my post “forgiving God” which i wrote a while ago that is a really awesome story). but in my heart i just know… and in your heart you will just know from the blessings and love he has shown you, from knowing and understanding his promises… He is more real than anyone else you have ever meet. Don’t forget, he made himself vulnerable first for you!