Put the light on…

Hey friends,

It’s been a while. Where has the time gone? Can you believe the month of May is slowly creeping on us, I cannot believe it. It was never my intention to be gone for this long. Every so often  I would think about sending out a hello piece, but struggled to find better reasons besides saying, hello. It is important for me that when I do decide to share a piece, it would always come from a now, and transparent place.

As someone who appears strong, confident and sure of herself it’s so easy for people to assume you have your shit together.

‘You always look so good, It’s hard to believe you’ve been through so much’.

What does mental illness look like to you?

Do you know anyone personally that has/is suffering from this illness?

Would you know if you were suffering with it yourself?

What are your triggers?

Can you identify ONE trigger and what has been your coping mechanisms to help you manage?

I am astonished each time I get into conversation with people who for whatever reason simply refuse to get their minds around the fact that I once suffered from this illness/disease and even more, my audacity to claim to be a victor of mental illness.

Sometimes we are mad at people because we want them to love us in a way they don’t know how to.

From the age of 16 I was diagnosed with bi-polar, on medication, psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, behavioural therapies, you name it, I had them all. The cycle perpetuated itself, suicide attempts, hospital visits after the other, drug abuse, bad financial decisions that would lead me making poor friendship choices, abusive relationships, and consequently making grave decisions that took me to rock bottom. Until the dimg_1536ay I was presented with  four decisions to make: prison, mental institute, grave or life. Some days I fall humbly to my knees, thankful to God that I chose life. And that His mercies never gave up on me.

You are looking at a victor of mental illness, a victor of someone who did not know that the mind had to be renewed on a daily basis. That you do eventually become how you think. My thoughts were toxic to say the least, thoughts of abuse from a young age, thoughts of abandonment, thoughts of being unloved, rejected…

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

Today I found myself struggling to get my day-to-day shores completed. All of the sudden, with no warning signs. I found my self procrastinating on things that would otherwise take no time at all. Refusing to accept the truth, I phoned a friend. It was in our conversation, the heart of the matter was revealed. My transparent moment became the reason behind this blog. Through this conversation he told me to retrace my steps and rewind the days leading up to today. It soon became apparent I had been inconsistent with one of my daily habits, and the scariest part of it. It had only been two weeks. Had I known two weeks of missing the gym would’ve made such an impact in my mental health, I think for sure I would’ve reconsidered. I must add this also, I haven’t even as much suffered a ‘down’ day, or ‘low-mood’ day, until today.

But, one thing I can say is that It is so important to be in tune with the triggers that cause you to revert. You must start to understand what triggers you.  You have to protect yourself from these triggers. The same way you would protect your home with a burglar alarm.  My safety net is Jesus. When He told me several years ago that my very life depended on me exercising. I didn’t completely understand it, so I developed an inconsistently consistent habit.  That was until last August. After loosing several family members things were becoming harder and emotions were becoming heavier. I knew besides church and prayer. I had to be more consistent with my pursuit of well being than I’d been in the last 5 years.

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Since January I’ve been attending the gym 3-5 days a week, sometimes twice a day. I’m no where close to my fitness levels or weight goal, but; each morning at 6.30am I find myself down a familiar road, walking and talking with Him. No interruptions; just the two of us, desperate to hear Him, but happy to just be still. I get to watch the first sunrise, and marvel at His creation. Yes, the gym for is so much more than just an institution to build physical muscles and the delights of me one day fitting into my favourite skinny jeans. It has become my training field for so many of the other things I see Him working in me.I am beginning to see the discipline of turning your desire into delight and it makes my soul happy.

 

You could say, missing the gym even for a day could have unwarranted side affects. Like today’s sudden melt down.  Truth is I am human. I live in a body. My flesh is constantly throwing its dummy out of the pram desperately seeking attention. Putting the light on it and revealing its ugliness is one way of me fighting back. Today has been a  wake up to the reality that yes, although I’ve come out of depression, after battling with it for 15 years without medication, or counselling.  It was sobering to say the least, and being awaken to my triggers is the greatest help. And my need for Jesus as my healer and constant life support. I’m honoured to be His patient among many things. There is no doubt that day(s) like these will resurface. But I am living proof that there is a God. There is NO pit too deep that He cannot dig you out from. He will bring everything that this world had tainted and work it together for good.

The contradiction of life is that I am experiencing one of my most fruitful seasons. Busy, productive and beautiFULL. Each day I am discovering His goodness in a new way. I even took the step of faith and started that new business which i’ve put off for quite some time. I’m also currently in the process of moving homes, and schools with a teenage son who is also on his journey discovering this gift we call life, and trying to figure out his purpose in the plan of God’s big tapestry. All the while finding my feet in many unchartered and unfamiliar fields, with different projects I will share with you all as time goes on. img_1322

 

I do not pen my heart for follows, or likes. I  do this for you. You might be that  ONE person who feels that their life makes no sense. Fed up of the sameness and monotony of your journey. You might have woken up today wishing you hadn’t. Believe me, I was the same. Some days I begged God to take my life. Just so I wouldn’t have to face another painful reminder of the past and scars. So, before you end it all, throw in the towel, check out. Please believe that there is a God. He loves you so much, that He sent Jesus to die for you. I am living proof of His restoration.

Being transparent is so important, we cannot heal if we remain masked. I know for me I gravitate to people  who allow me to see their true authentic self. And the truth is said for those who have connected with me, in times past and even today. People are drawn to the real you, not the pretend you. For so many years i’ve shared my story in bite-sizes and it has been that level of transparency that have allowed me to form lasting relationships. Being courageous to dare to reveal, and refusing to skirt around my truth has helped healed so many, including myself.

I dare you to reveal

 

I know it’s not always easy, and sometimes it feels safer to  hold back. Sometimes we don’t know how we’re going to be received if we were to put it all out there, So I understand. This is why it is so important to use wisdom and discernment. And even for me, I share a lot but there’s still so much that I’ve yet to disclose. This is partly because I am under submission to my fathers will. Whatever gets disclosed have to be for the greater good of revealing His goodness in my tests, and to give testimony to His goodness. Anything more outside of that, well for me is irrelevant.  Make no mistakes about it, the beauty in restoration is that it affects everything. Nothing remains the same. The exteriors and interiors have to be demolished in order for the building (you/I) to be remade.

I see us living in restoration mansion together. I see broken men and women being restored back to wholeness. I see masks falling off, and laughter being the sound theme of the every room in our homes. I see scars being supernaturally healed, and relationships revived.

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Jeremiah 31:4

Once again I will build you up,  and you will be rebuilt, my dear people Israel.

Once again you will take your tambourines, and you will go dancing with happy people

These were the words I read the week I heard God saying to me that He himself will rebuild my life. I believe this to be the truth for every one of you reading this entry today. As I conclude for today I feel that someone needs to know that the God of heaven and earth is in the business of rebuilding, repairing and  reviving.

Stone by stone He will rebuild our lives. 

God is not wasteful, and nothing you have ever been through will ever be wasted. Lets ‘go-again’ and  get on this road trip together.

 

Mirror mirror on the wall, let me re-introduce myself to you. And it all started with Hello…

 

Signed,

Jewelbygrace

 

Running my race 

Enjoy… I miss him.

OMG!!!

How long has it been? Never intended to be gone for so long, especially as I’ve just begun this blog life. It’s not the ‘done’ thing, right? I blame it on life demands, you know raising a family especially teenage boys, juggling business and work,  and yeh my return to the gym. I’ll write more about this in another post. My whole life has changed in a matter of weeks, and dare I say it. I am loving it!!!

You could say I was enjoying my ‘real’ life far too much away from the social media world. To be blatantly honest I couldn’t even tell you it was a planned thing. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting, thinking and most importantly resting. Some seasons demand more of you. You see, when you understand your race, you prepare differently. You plan strategically. You ensure that you travel light.

Carrying excess baggage on a road trip can cause unnecessary breakdowns. Baggage isn’t always luggage. Just saying! Happy it’s the weekend. Can summer come already. It’s so cold…

Running my race was birthed by a conversation that me and my best friend were having about life and the current demands it places on us. As she approaches 40, single, unwed, and without child. Life could seem somewhat unkind. Often neglecting the remarkable blessings that are happening around us daily, we revert to complaining and wanting more. But theres nothing wrong with wanting more, surely not! I guess wanting more because the Joneses seem to have it altogether is considered the wrong way of wanting more. After-all tiresomely seeking after something that others have, is the worse type of pain to induce on yourself, the burden of trying to keep up can be all too exhausting. Running a race in another man’s lane, with another mans shoes on. The sheer thought of it, spells folly.

(Isaiah 40:31 ) Listen it is so easy to be like Jacob in this scripture whining and complaining. Some seasons it sure does feel like God has lost track off us. It can almost feel like He doesn’t care about what happens to us, or even knows anything about our lives. Like really, has He even been listening to our cries?

If that’s you, be assured. God hasn’t let go of you. I LOVE this bible promise that talks about how Gods hands are not too short to save us. If you are anything like me, visual. I see this HUGE enormous God who holds literally everything in His hands. Loosen your grip on your life and experience true victory and peace in knowing that He guides and holds us
with His right hand…

I really hope someone gets blessed by this and encouraged to get back on the tracks of their life and begin to run in their lane again. Far too many people are simply existing and not living. This is not the way it was supposed to be, and having gone through it and wasted too many years of my life that I will never get back, I refuse to relax and allow others to do the same.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42). Changing the world one life at a time…

Instead of being daunted by the immense need on the planet, let’s be determined to be part of the solution by helping to change the world, one life at a time. We cannot do everything to alleviate all the pain and injustice on the earth, but we can each do something! Christine Caine

I WILL LIVE I WILL NOT EXIST

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My Inheritance & great Reward

Run your race at a steady pace
See the goal but don’t make haste 
Because you’ll need your fuel
To face;
The turbulent and unsteady places
Your eyes transfixed 
Don’t lose your focus 
You WANT to fulfil your God-given purpose 
And get to YOUR finish line  
To hear the words ‘well done good and faithful Servant’. 

So live your life – LIVE

In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 msg translation it reads:
You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.
I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.
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God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energises those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.

Hows your race going? You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?

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READY…

Head facing forward, eyes looking forward (about thirty or forty metres in front of you)

I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11
STEADY…
shoulders back and down
GO!!!
…hips stable with short light steps and steady rhythmic breathing. This is your race. Run it at your pace, and don’t look sideways. Sometimes it may ‘appear’ that your pace is too slow. But remember that the race is not to the swift. Just keep pressing onwards and refuse to look back.

FOCUS ON THE GOAL

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Get your eyes on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
Philippians 3:14

I’M OFF RUNNING, AND I’M NOT TURNING BACK.
So live YOUR life
Run YOUR lane
Use EVERYTHING you got because it’s going to take ALL YOU’VE Got to get to the finish line – your finish line.

 

 

Cheerleading you all the way to the finish line.

Jewel x

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