Sunday, June 15, 2008

Rediscovering Myself

If I'm honest, I have to confess that I didn't want to write this post. Seeing as I'm trying to be honest with myself, and have a record of what God is teaching me at every stage in my life, I have decided to put it in writing and share it. So here goes.

Sometime last year, I felt God was telling me to leave my job, leave the 9 -5, leave everything connected to my previous accounting career behind and focus on becoming a writer. I was so convinced about this that I prayed about it and I got the confirmation again and again. So about the end of June last year, took the plunge! I quit my job and waited for God to show me what to do next. I asked - "What should I start doing now?" Sure enough, God started opening my eyes and inspiring me so that I could start taking small steps on the path that He had called me to walk. Even though I knew I had a lot to learn and a very long road to walk before I started to see my dreams become a reality, I loved the peace that it gave me, knowing I was doing God's will. I travelled to Nigeria in October and at the end of 2007, I asked God what His plans were for me in 2008. At the beginning of the year, I knew He wanted me to focus on my writing and take it seriously. I was all geared up to do just that when I came back to England in January.

Then I got an email from my former boss asking me if I wanted to take my job back for six months while the girl that replaced me takes her maternity leave. I mentioned it on this blog and I was wondering if it was a good idea to take the job back, knowing it would distract me from what I was supposed to be doing. I prayed about it and waited for God to say yes or no, but I didn't hear anything and I had to get back to my boss in a week. I thought of all the reasons why I should or shouldn't go back to work and I justified it to myself that since it was only six months, it shouldn't be a big deal, and the money would come in handy while I do try to do my writing during my spare time. So I did not "trust in the Lord with all my heart" as Proverbs 3 v 5 says, instead I "leaned on my own understanding", so I said yes and went for it.

Big mistake. It wasn't long before I realised that I had made the wrong move. After a month back at work, I was bored with the job, angry with myself, frustrated with the stress, and tired of the commuting. Then to make matters worse, I was falling behind on the writing I was supposed to be doing in my spare time. Every time someone asked me "how's your writing going?" I always felt awful (thanks Believer, Mimi, GNG, Vera and Jaycee, lol) because I knew I wasn't as focused on it like I should have been. But it was too late by then because I had committed to stay in the job until August.
Then I was too proud to admit to God that I had made a mess and ask for forgiveness. Instead I grew colder and colder because I blamed Him for not answering me promptly when I asked if I should take my job back. Silly of me, I know. But I'm so grateful that God is a loving and forgiving Father who is merciful enough to overlook my mistakes, faults, shortcomings, what-not and draw me back to Him. Two weeks ago, I was in church on Sunday with a sullen attitude, when I was hit right in the face with a message titled "Listening to God". Suddenly I heard it loud and clear as if God was saying to me: "You silly girl, you should have listened to what I told you at the beginning of the year before you went off and did your own thing. Now, see how unhappy you are". I was hooked for the rest of the service. Afterwards, I went to meet the speaker to get the poem she read out during her sermon. She told me that God told her when she was preparing her message notes that she should print a spare copy of the poem because somebody would be needing it. I was so humbled when I left church that afternoon. I knew then what I had to do, so I went back to God and asked Him to forgive me and help me make things right again. All through that week, I had the poem on my table and I read it every day. And every time I saw it, the message sank into my head again: listen to God before you take any big step.

So I've made a mistake and learnt a lot of lessons. One of them is that nothing, absolutely nothing is worth straying out of God's will for. I've learnt that it's wise to postpone a difficult decision until I'm absolutely sure of what God says. I've learnt that I need to focus on what God has called me to do and not get distracted by other things that look tempting. I'm learning to be patient and work according to God's time-table and not mine. And I've learnt that even when I've messed up big time, God is always willing to give me a second chance to make things right again.

I thought I should share the poem too, because I'm sure it will bless somebody who needs to read it.


The Father's Voice

Listen my child,
Beyond the noise of other voices,
Other pressures,
Beyond your conscience, your knowledge
Listen for my voice.

The shepherd's voice pierces the babble,
And can be heard
But it can also be missed
By the attentive ear
Listen for my voice

My voice reminds you of my presence,
My love.
It helps guard you
From distractions from my way
Listen for my voice

The practice
Of listening for my voice
Will help keep you true to me
Focused upon me
Listen for my voice

And sometimes what you hear
Will astound you
But you will recognise the Truth
Because you know my voice
Listen to my voice.

21 comments:

  1. It can be tempting to only blog when everything is going splendidly so I applaud you for sharing your story because God knows we've all been there.

    I'm glad that you went back to Him and now feel more connected to Him and more in tune with your future goals.

    I have always had trouble listening to God; in fact I don't know if I've ever really been still and let Him speak to me. I pray and then if I don't get what I want, I decide I should just depend on myself and yup, things never work out.

    Perhaps this poem will inspire me...thanks.

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  2. Anonymous7:37 AM

    Thanks for this post.The poem is inspiring. I am looking up to God for direction in my life right now, and i just can't seem to hear Him. I'm unwilling to go ahead without hearing His voice, because I did so many time in the past and that has lead me to difficult situations (I'm in one right now). For the first time in a long time, I am absolutely determined to do things right and not guided by emotion.
    O.T.O.

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  3. wow nice post..and inspirational to me...

    sometimes i find it hard to hear God because i am focused on other stuff/distractions...hmm...this is a wake up call for me..

    thanks for sharing

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  4. Very well written...ya so rite. You have to listen. You need to read the post I wrote about "Letting go". I guess it's finally time for you to let go. Take heart and keep working in his steps.

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  5. I know God spoke to me through your post today. If the truth is to be told, in some areas of my life I know I am not living in His perfect will and I have been so stressed. I am learning how to postpone making any major decisions until I hear from Him and i am sure it is Him speaking..not my emotions. Thanks for this, it really blessed me. I will listen to what He is saying. How's the writing going? The Lord is your strength

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  6. wow, interesting story.
    Funny I'm about to make a life changing decision and these words couldn't have come at a better time. Will be listening out.

    Thanks and God bless

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  7. i hope i can recognise God voice when he is speaking to me

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  8. I can so relate to this post.

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  9. ~Mimi~12:09 PM

    awwwwwwwwwwwwww :) ok so what if i ask every two weeks :) lol

    mwah. you'll be fine. God is a gracious God, He lovingly lets us learn..and draws us back.

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  10. Gosh, I know I haven't been on here in a while but it's good to be back. The wonderful thing about God is His faithfulness. I wrote my first 3 books whilst working fulltime so it can be done. It's all about managing your time. And even now, as a full-time writer, believe it or not, time is still an issue. The distractions are still there and it's a battle to keep myself focused on what needs to be done i.e. finish writing whatever project I'm working on. Thank God for His Grace that continues to empower us to do what needs doing in spite of (or is that despite?) all that seeks to keep us back.

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  11. hey FG...
    thank you for sharing this...
    it's so wonderful that God is a God of multiple chances and even when we go off doing our own thing... he's always there... always
    will definitely be saving this poem... who's its author?

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  12. Word! Lesson i learnt is whatever i need to do, i should make sure i am hearing His voice!

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  13. hey blogville idol 08 is back!check our blog for more details!tanx

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  14. Favoured girl how do people here from God? Through thots, dreams or prophesies? Cos there have been times when I thot I had heard from God thru these ways and went ahead to do something that I thot aligned to God's plans for me and other things had either cropped up to confuse and derail me or just discourage me...so please I need answers.

    Hope you finding your way back to God's path?

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  15. Thank you all for your kind comments.

    @Diamondhawk: I don't know the author, sorry. I'll try to find out and get back to you.

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  16. @Parakeet: There are ways of knowing when God is speaking to you. I'm not yet perfect (obviously) and I'm still learning to listen for God's voice. But feel free to send me an email and we'll talk.

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  17. Wow i can so relate to your msg. I am also into accounting but recently had to leave my job and just like u, i thought it was it but i got bored after a while and had differences wif my boss. I am now looking at a business venture which although i have ideas from God, I dont yet have d confidence to go wif it so as always im trusting in God.

    Testimonialjourney.blogspot.com

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  18. I read this a while ago and have been meaning to say thank you for sharing! so much food for thought. You're blessed ;)

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  19. I read this a while ago and have been meaning to say thank you for sharing! so much food for thought. You're blessed ;)

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  20. Well done! Thank you so much for sharing this, it's amazing how reassuring it feels just knowing that God has got your back anytime, any day! I actually feel PROUD of God sometimes, just cos he's so Good!

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  21. oh wow thanks for sharing
    i just feel as if am in the same place in terms of trusting what God had told me in the beginning of this year and holding onto it during the trials especially relating to my career and thanks because I am reassured that God has a plan for me and its okay to trust in Him even when I do not see everything working out at the time I want it to or how i want it to
    its okay to know that everything works according to his timetable not mine
    that people may think I have no direction but with God leading me that's the only direction i'll ever need
    Thanks and I pray that God will continue to lead you in the direction he wants you to go.
    Even though you don't know me.. I'm going to make it a point to ask you whenever I come across your blog
    "How is your writing going?"

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