What do you do when you feel Overwhelmed?

Monday, December 22, 2014 3 Comments A+ a-

If we endure the disciple of the evening season, we will yield peaceful fruits!
I feel so overwhelmed right now. I am trying to get some work done but am not recording the desired result. I am sure many of us can relate with this feeling. In the first three sentences above, do you observe that the word ‘feel’ and ‘feeling’ have been used to describe my state of mind?

Every time we ‘feel’ frustrated it is our feelings interpreting the challenges as frustration.

This is why we cannot afford to let down the guard on our hearts. We guard our heart with the right words! Job 6: 25 says ‘How forceable are right words’. (KJV)
When I feel this way, I remind myself about my faith declarations. My faith declarations are simply words I get while studying my Bible, words that affirm God’s mercy and mindfulness towards me.

Other times, I just tell myself that, this too will pass, there has to be a way out, Father, please help me, I don’t know what to do, and I need to do this, so Lord, please send me the right help. As I begin to say these words, as I am typing them now, my peace over the challenging situation is restored.

My friend, whom I fondly call, grandpa Gab, has a classic line of encouragement for frustration. He will start by saying, you spirit is noisy! Then end by saying, go to bed, go and sleep, goodnight! And when you ask him why? He would reply,
“Things look better in the morning”.

Things look better in the morning! Isn’t this part of the message in Psalm 30:5?

“For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime;
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning”.

Rejoicing comes in the morning! Things look better in the morning! So what is it about the morning?

Last week I was faced with malaria. It seemed as though it came unannounced, but I am sure I ignored the warning signs earlier on. When it finally manifested, it was not good. I felt so weak physically, temperature high yet felt very cold at the same time, and I lost taste for food completely. As I rested on the bed, for one split second I forgot I had the responsibilities of a home maker and a family to cater for. Then I began to speak to myself. I needed to address my mindset immediately before my ‘feelings’ and the symptoms begin to address things around me!

Soon, I took some meditation for malaria and I felt better. But I couldn’t help thinking, ‘how come for a brief moment I forgot everything and I was focused on ‘me’?’‘Why did it feel like I was in the middle of the night praying for the morning to come?’

Our challenges will always come in the form of the evening. Haven’t you read in Genesis chapter 1 (NIV), that,

And there was evening and there was morning’?

My Bible study teacher told me that in the creation story, the evening always comes before the morning, this signifies that day begins with the evening and ends in the morning. I have come to understand that the evening is the time for preparation, trials, difficulty, frustration, you name it.

Evening connotes a season or stage in our life when we allow process to build us up. Evening is not a time to give up, it is a time to prepare, learn and be strong.

Dear friend, if you say you have never had an evening season in your life, I am happy for you, but I do not envy you because evening is as important as the morning. Remember, joy comes in the morning.

So, back to my feeling of frustration at not achieving the desired result for my present task. I know it is evening time as it relates to this area of my life. Rather than faint, I will work. Rather than be distracted, I will be committed and I will see the desired result. I will see it; it is just a matter of patience.

You, my friend can be patient too. Regardless of what may be presenting as your evening, decide to ‘hold God strong’, do the needful, and patiently wait for the desired results.
 Be encouraged by Brother Paul’s words in Hebrews 6:12,

“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” NIV 

Be patient, exercise your faith in God and inherit what God has promised you. May your blossoming be graceful!

My name is Precious, I was bipolar and I live a full life.

Father, I put my hands in your hands, I submit my will and emotions to you. Father help me, send me the appropriate help for every phase of my evening season, that I will not disappoint you Lord, that you will delight greatly in my life, in Jesus Name, Amen.

Job 6:25, Psalms 30:5, Hebrews 12: 4-12, Hebrews 6:12.

Bible Study/Discipleship Class holds every Thursday at 7th Avenue, J Close, House 10, Festac Town, Lagos. It is usually a great time in God’s presence studying the Bible.

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I Dare To Blossom: Managing Emotions: Our Responses and Reaction!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-

I Dare To Blossom: Managing Emotions: Our Responses and Reaction!: My life is a story of God's grace! Recently, I received a call from my girlfriend/sister who resides with her family in another...

Managing Emotions: Our Responses and Reaction!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014 0 Comments A+ a-

My life is a story of God's grace!

Recently, I received a call from my girlfriend/sister who resides with her family in another part of the country. We have been friends since high school, i.e. secondary school as we commonly refer to it here in Nigeria.

She called to check on me. Prior to that call, she was aware of some disturbing situations which required me to take prompt disciplinary actions as it pertained to my siblings. She understood my concerns and was standing in the place of prayer with me, but she was also worried about me, hence the call.

As our conversation proceeded and she unveiled her fears, I assured her, that I was not that lady anymore. I am not that lady who is moved by everything, no, not anymore. I have long chosen to be moved by what God says concerning my peculiar situations.

She went on to describe how she felt when she visited me in the hospital where I was first diagnosed with bipolar. She saw me lying on the hospital bed conscious yet unconscious because of my state of mind. My mind was far away in thought and pain. I was still in recovery from the depression that I felt over my parent’s separation and the enormous responsibility of caring for my siblings. This was like 12years ago.

 Hmmm! I just listened to her as she went on. According to her, after talking to me with not much response, she went outside the ward and wept. She felt so sad to see me like that, far from the picture of her childhood friend!

At present, she was calling to make sure I was not worried over the disturbing situation because she didn’t want to ever see me in that state again! Lol!

Our responses and reactions to a given situation or occurrence is what determines if it is disturbing or not. Our responses define our situations.  Hajara Pitan’s article on perspective comes clearly to my mind at this point.

She affirms that, “any given circumstance can be read in different ways and that it is a matter of choice how you interpret it.”

We can’t control situations, only God can. We can choose to control how we will react or respond. I choose ‘response’ over ‘react’ because I am beginning to recognize that there is a thin line between the two. In responding I am careful, intentional and conscious. In reacting, I am venting without a solution in view, I am unleashing my emotions without careful thoughts on a way forward!

Within the week, one of my sisters got me really upset. My first instinct was to ‘react’. I quickly checked myself and realized I could wait calmly for the emotions to pass so that I can be in a better state of mind to respond with God’s love and wisdom. By the time I had a conversation with my sister, it was indeed a response, and the issue of concern was resolved amicably with the appropriate apologies.

Are you emotional in your responses, or do you react? Are you a ‘touchy’ person? As you grow in the knowledge of God through regular study of the Bible, you will become better. Your self control and love for people will increase and this will impact positively on the lives around you.

 In the past, I have had medication that affected my mood, to the point that I was always touchy, until I related with my doctor and my medication was reviewed. If you suspect that your ill temper or mood has to do with your medication, please go back to your doctor; do not adjust your medication based on your discretion, it’s dangerous! 

Not being able to sleep well at night can affect your mood and temper. I have observed that, I sleep well when my mind is rid of any issue that can affect my rest. Bipolar has a medical explanation for mood swings and temper tantrums but that does not mean that anyone who is touchy or emotional is bipolar! 

In an article titled, ‘Stuck on the rage road!’, Stephanie Stephens of bp magazine, states that,  “Just because you have a head-turning temper tantrum doesn’t mean you have bipolar disorder”.
Notwithstanding, If you are diagnosed with bipolar, and you experience constant burst of anger/temper tantrums, please keep an appointment with your doctor. Always check with your doctor instead of adjusting your medications.

Scrutinize your thoughts by God’s standard before you decide to get angry. Anger as an emotion is not a bad thing. It is the improper way we apply anger that is bad. Try to see the end from the beginning, be patient, allow the ‘good’ in you speak and not anger!
Ecclesiastes  7: 9 , advices, “Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry. For anger rest in the bosom of fools.”

Gal 5:22-26, Talks about the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Having accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour, we now have the fruit of the Holy Spirit within us in different measures. Pray and work/walk with determination to see the full expression of the Holy Spirit in your life. We can. We can because God’s grace abounds to us. Activate the ‘fruit’, put it to work!  Respond with God’s love!

My name is Precious, I was bipolar and I live a full life.

Heavenly Father, give me grace to always walk in the Spirit. Give me grace to ‘be angry and not sin’. Take charge of my emotions; teach me how to respond with love always, in Jesus name, Amen.

Galatians 5:20-26, Ecclesiastes 7: 9, Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV)

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The Only Trusted Way I know

Friday, November 21, 2014 1 Comments A+ a-

See how oblivious he is about his predicament? This is what happens when we make God our Peace.

The day I got wind of Dr Myles Munroe’s death I felt much grief. The more I thought about it, the more I learnt from his life and the way he died. That day I felt so emotionally drained. I find this kind of feeling very distracting and draining, because, it seemed my energy went into the thoughts and emotions that raged my mind, leaving me in a state of shock! Is this what it meant to be bereaved? 

As the day was coming to an end, I did a mental check and still found this odd feeling. I realized that I needed to ‘rush’ into the presence of God for grace and mercy, because in the Presence of the LORD God, there is fullness of joy.

When I got home, the first thing I did was to lie down flat before the most High God, the one I have come to know as Jehovah Elohim, Yaweh, The Self Existing one. The Uncreated Creator of the Heavens and the earth who lives outside of time, yet controls the times and seasons of men. I laid face down before The Almighty God, and sobbed like a baby. I worshiped Him, praised Him and thanked Him as He would have me do always. Soon, I felt relieved and restored to God’s peace. 

Little wonder Philippians 4:7 says,

“…and the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – NKJV

The amplified version puts it thus,

“And God’s Peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

God takes pleasure in us. He takes pleasure in us making Him our First, making Him our Priority. I believe this is so because he created us for fellowship. I love to relate with God as Jehovah Elohim, this reminds me that God chose me to be in a relationship with Him, and is committed to keeping his covenants concerning me. 

No matter what may be, I choose to guard my heart with the peace of God. This for me is Key, because out of the heart flows the issues of life. ‘Guard’ in this context, suggest that I will carefully and consciously be alert to defend my heart with God’s peace. 

This means that our hearts needs to be under the surveillance of God’s Word which naturally will lead us to God’s peace. There may be other ways, but this is the only trusted Way I know. This is the trusted way to maintain my peace anytime. God’s Word tells me that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through Him. John 14:6. 

If you are reading this and you have not yet made Jesus your LORD, or given Him controlling interest in all that you do, I encourage you to please do so. I believe life starts in full when you are committed to living for Jesus. This way, the puzzles of your life begins to fall into place. 

Only Jesus is able to take a seemingly unpleasant life and make it into a beautiful one. He is able to decorate your life with His mercy and grace because,

“… He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:5 (Amplified Version)

Can you fathom this? It means that even while I was still living in perpetual wrong, living for myself, justifying my thoughts and trying to figure out life on my own, Jesus Christ died for me! Yes, You too. He died for us. He paid the price for my peace of mind with His life.  He died to restore me and make me whole. Wouldn’t you embrace this great love from an awesome Friend – Jesus?

Jesus Christ, I believe in my heart that you are Lord, and I confess with my mouth that you are LORD. I accept you into my life. Be LORD over every facet of my life. Do not leave me to myself; help me daily, to always find my way back to you. In Jesus Name, I have prayed, Amen.

Isaiah 53: 3, Romans 10:10, Proverbs 4:23, John 14:6
The New King James Version of the Bible (NKJV)
The Amplified Version of the Bible (Amp.)
“I love to relate with God as Jehovah Elohim, this reminds me that God chose me to be in a relationship with Him, and is committed to keeping his covenants concerning me.”
I came to this conclusion after I heard Pastor Mark-Mordi teach on Genesis 2:15a– 'The LORD God'.

My Name is Precious, I was bipolar and I live a full life.
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Living Life Joyfull!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014 2 Comments A+ a-

Choose to be Joyful Regardless ....!

If you read this blog often you will observe that I always sign off each post with, “My name is Precious, I was bipolar and I live a full Life.” This is my declaration of faith in God, and it is my reality. Bipolar does not define me, neither should it define you if you have being diagnosed with it nor suspect it. 

Wikipedia.org, describes bipolar as “a mental disorder characterized by periods of elevated mood and periods of depression.
A lot of people suffer from mental health issues, a larger percentage suffer from bipolar, if you are not observant you would write off the subtle signs of bipolar as normal everyday life occurrences. These symptoms vary from individuals and depend largely on what side of bipolar is displaying – manic episode or depression episode. You can read more about this  http://www.everydayhealth.com/bipolar-disorder/bipolar-disorder-aspx

The essence of these details is that; just as being diagnosed with sickle cell anemia does not define the carrier, bipolar should not define you.

 Bipolar is not your identity and should not explain or determine how far you can go in life, should not limit your natural abilities, talents and gifts from finding expression in your everyday life. 

Having said that, please bear in mind that, aside following your doctors’ advice and adhering to your medications, you will need to commit to trusting God with your life. Recall from an older post, that this life you are living is not your life, its God’s life in you.

So how can you live a full life without involving the One who has life and gives life? The One who can make alive and Kill!*smile* (1 Samuel 2: 6a.)

We need to make trusting in God’s best for us a lifestyle not a convenient option. To survive the ordeal that comes with bipolar, God has to be your life! To start with He has to be your joy.
One of the predominant signs of bipolar is mood swing. It usually occurs on its own accord without any premonition. One minute you are excited, energetic, full of ideas, the next moment you are irritable, sad, confused, feel abandoned, feel not loved, and even start considering suicide*simle*. I am smiling because, as simple as this sound, it is the scaring truth and many individuals around the world have lost their lives to mood swings like this!

However, one thing I have observed about mood swings is that it expresses itself through our ‘feelings’. If we can consciously scrutinize our feelings (this sterns from our thought processes), and deliberately erase negatively feelings (because they give negative energy), then we will experience less mood swings!

Your life counts! Your life is valuable, irrespective of what you think or feel; you are valuable and essential to existence! Otherwise, the One who makes alive and can Kill, would not have allowed you into this earth! Do you understand what this implies?

This implies you have to recognize the source of your life, align to him and abide in Him. John 16:1. This implies that you are not moved by mood swings; what you feel, hear, see, and know! Not moved by what was meant to happen or what should not have happened. This Implies that regardless of what goes on, your Joy comes from the LORD who can Kill and make alive. 

Being Joyful is better that being happy! Joyfulness is the state of your mind as a result of trusting in God’s best for your life regardless of the prevailing circumstances you find yourself per time. Happiness is elation and a feeling of all is ‘great with me’ as a result of  something - some expectation that was achieved, in some cases, as a result of a new car, dress, house, a gift from a loved one, etcetera!. 

The way I see it, you can be a happy person and not be Joyful; but you can’t be joyful and not be happy.  I love the way Bola Salt Nelson-Essien, author of True Confession puts it, “Happiness is so fleeting. Joy is more enduring; …” Wouldn’t you rather be joyful?
Well, this is how I see it, how do you see it? Whichever, please also see that trusting in God’s best for us as a lifestyle is the one way to maintain your joy. Saleh!

My name is Precious, I was Bipolar and I live a full Life

 Lord, I receive your grace to be joyful always regardless of what may come my way, in Jesus name, Amen.

1 Samuel 2: 6a
True Confession - Bola Salt Nelson-Essien
John 16:1.