Birthday Countdown – Reflections (Part 1)

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Today is the first day of April. April 1st marks the countdown to my 26th birthday. I’ve decided to slate this period (from now to the big day) as a season of reflection. Today, on reminiscing about some of the horrible seasons that I overcame, I feel incredibly grateful.

Recently, I had a conversation, with a friend about some of the seasons I’ve gone through. The conversation made me realize something important. My past difficult seasons prepared me for future, more difficult, seasons. For example, dealing with a horrible breakup while attending university full-time and working part-time taught me how to handle my business despite emotional trauma. This experience prepared me for a season in my professional life where I was required to handle a difficult professional scenario while dealing with health, family and emotional difficulties. Despite the difficulties and emotional toils, I fought hard and soared! I now feel incredibly grateful for the hardships of my difficult seasons. The future benefits outweigh the past hardships.

I also feel a sense of assurance. God prepared me for something that I didn’t even know that I needed to be prepared for and through it all, He held my hand. I will echo, once again, I am grateful.


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May the Peace of God go with you!

XOXO
Chañel

 

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The Mountainous Journey of Life

For the second half of the year, I’ve focused quite a bit on achieving some of the goals I had set for the year. While the journey has not been without hiccups, I am happy to report that I’ve struck another item off the list!

For years I’ve heard my friends and acquaintances talk about the marvellous experience of climbing the Blue Mountains. If you thought, source of the best coffee in the world, you are absolutely correct! When the opportunity arose, while the factors weren’t ideal, I decided to go forward.

Trekking through the hills at midnight is quite something! First off, I must say, all my friends lied to me. They stressed the beauty of the end result but no one bothered to tell me of the challenge of the journey. I must be honest. In the moment, I considered the hike, one of the worst experience of my life. The drive to get to the starting point was very bumpy. The climb up Jacob’s Ladder caused every muscle in my legs and lower back to shriek in protest. Also, it began to rain halfway into the journey and the temperature dropped to the point where I felt I was freezing! By the time I made it home, I was exhausted to the bone.

I know! I sound a bit whiney! That’s because my focus was on all the negatives.

I’ve always found it amazing how in the midst of less than ideal circumstances, we tend forget to see the small silver linings in our dark experiences and switch to autopilot whining. In the moment, I forgot the wonder I felt in seeing the stars clearly for the first in a long time. The awe I felt from standing in the mountains and looking down at the city lights.

Of course, nothing can beat the opportunity I got to see one of the most life-changing sunrises of my life from the first speck of sunlight in the dark morning sky to the orb of light flinging its rays across the entire sky. I felt at peace and in awe of God as the heavens declared His handiworks.

I also got the opportunity to ring in one of my dearest friends 25th birthday with her on a journey that meant a lot to us both.

On further reflection, I realized that my Saturday night into Sunday morning journey is very much like the journey of life.

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The Serpent (Devil) is Still Active

I just want to share with you something that the Lord revealed to me while I was praying last night. I was a bit astounded when He opened my eyes but first let me give you some background information.

Over the past few months I have had a couple of dreams/visions featuring snakes. In one dream, I woke from a Saturday afternoon nap and when I looked down on my bedside carpet, a nest of snakes just moved around on the carpet in a perfect circle in sync.

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A Forgiveness That Healed

One of the persons, in the Bible, who I have a deep admiration for, is David. We all know the story of how David went from being a shepherd boy to king but many of us missed some of the small details that he went through to get there and even what he did, once he got there. In this post, I want to examine a story that has fascinated me in recent times. This is a story of relentless persecution and a forgiveness and mercy that healed all involved.

Many times when we mention forgiveness, we pull on the analogy of Christ’s forgiveness of our sins, yet there are men who had displayed measures of forgiveness that are truly admirable. The books of Samuel tell the stories of how King Saul persecuted David when he realised the glory of God that shined on David. The books tell of the many instances when Saul does everything in his power to kill David or cause him ill-will. These attempts included: 

  1. Throwing javelins at David while he played the harp to calm the evil spirit that had overtaken Saul.
  2. Sending David on dangerous missions in the hope that he would be killed.
  3. Giving David’s wife, his daughter Michal to another man after his threats to David’s life forced David to go on the run.
  4. Setting out with his soldiers to find and kill David.

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Maternal Instincts Re-Instated?

Today I had a moment. No, it was not just a moment, it was an epiphany of a moment. You know, like the epiphany of moments that probably resulted in J.K. Rowling visualizing the Harry Potter series while broke and on her way home on a train? Now I had a epiphany of a moment today which totally opened my eyes to exactly how I feel about kids.

My mom had my youngest brother when I was seven years old. To me, he was my first child. I fed him. I changed him. I gave him baths. I combed his hair. I punished him. I comforted him when he was hurt. I helped him with his homework. I chastised him out when he is rude. We have our movie nights. He is very protective of me. He is my baby! Sure I didn’t give birth to him but he is still mine.

I don’t know how or when it happened but somewhere along the way I grew scared of babies. I had mental panic attacks when I held them and so, couldn’t hold them for long. No matter how cute they were, I preferred them big. I hated the thought of giving birth and found myself vowing I would only have one unless I ended up with twins. I couldn’t imagine having anymore. If I was honest to myself, I would have realized in that moment that I was fine not giving birth to any. I only started making those vows because it was what persons expected me to say. They had no meaning behind them.

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A Contemplation Upon Ants – Move With Purpose

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It is often strange, the things you can be inspired by. I had the opportunity to observe some ants the other day and they, God bless their little hearts, reminded me of the importance of living and moving with purpose.
It was a windy, sunny, spring Saturday morning in Jamaica yet while many humans remained in bed, these ants were busy at work. I can only imagine what I would have seemed like to them. Perhaps a giant who had the power to crush them without a care but yet still they moved with purpose.

Their nest was to the east, the wind blew in the opposite direction. Ant after ant moved in every direction in their search for food. Then, despite the strong wind, they struggled home. When the wind became too much, they band together and made it home. They even employed this method when the load found was too heavy for one. They never slowed their pace.

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Let your eagle SOAR!

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About a year ago someone hugged me tightly and said, “You know what you remind me of? An eagle! Girl, go forth and whatever you do, spread your wings and soar!” At the time I didn’t think much of it but as I sit back and do some introspection, I can truly say that God has been demonstrating to me how to unfurl and use my wings.

One thing I have learned is that God allows every incident in your life to happen to teach/prepare you. A few years ago I had a bad case of stage fright whenever I spoke in public. I also felt that my ability to write had been nullified. I was left empty. But this is something you need to know. Sometimes, when God intends to bless you, He slowly empties you. He begins to remove any impediments to your blessing. Only then will He begin to fill you up.

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