The Pain of Regret

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? John 14:2

 

My best friend died…

Did he even know he was my best friend? 

Crazy how death  will cause you to sober up. These past few years have been the toughest. Losing loved ones, like flies on a hot day. Each death leaving you in state of numbness but knowing life must go on.

My best friend died. The hardest part of all, I never got the chance to say goodbye.

 

We had lost contact for a few years or so. I can’t even begin to tell you I know the reason why.

Life.

He was busy, I was busy.

Time flew by.

I still remember the first day I laid eyes on him. Yes, you could say it was instant. My attraction towards him was unquestionable. It would be the craziest whirlwind, of friendship and frolics to take place at our shared house at university.

Year 2000 the year I would meet my tall, cinnamon handsome-african prince. I  knew instantly that I liked him, and as time went on we fast became close. My regrets are that I played too many games. Afraid of commitment, I told too many lies.

Anything to push away the prospect of something deep and perhaps meaningful. I didn’t mind sleeping with him, but giving my heart would be something far too expensive. He soon became my safe place. We shared so many secrets and in my lowest moments he was always there for me.

I knew he was sick from the fist time we had met. He told me he suffered from sickle-cell, lupus to name a few. But man, was he ever the soul of a party. Never did I see this guy down in the dumps about life. Every so often, he would become frustrated and rightly so. His health was important to me and I recall the many hours spent with him in hospital after a crisis. I never got scared about the possibility of him dying to be honest. Death was far away from my thoughts of him in those early days.  Never thought i’d see the dash between his birth. Never knew how soon that time would come. Somehow I always thought  i’d have forever with him. That perhaps one day, I’ll fix up and maybe one day, just one day I’ll wear his last name.

The pain of regret is one of the hardest things we will ever endure in this life time. The numerous questions rolling around in our thoughts about what we could’ve done better, had we known. 

Truth is, I didn’t know. If I had known I would’ve told him how much he truly meant to me. I would’ve chosen to spend our time together  better, and stopped playing so many mind games. I might’ve forgiven quicker the things he’d do that would cause us to fall out for days, or weeks and now what would become a lifetime.

Finding out he died, was a huge shock to my system. For weeks I struggled to sleep, to eat and basically continue a normal life. He was everywhere I went, convinced he was finding me to say his goodbyes. I saw him at every bus station, restaurant, and road…

Just the other day  I decided to call his number. I rang a phone number I knew no longer was in service. As I looked down at the number in desperation to hear his voice, just once. I knew. It was then it had hit home. Screaming aloud his name, but no one answered. Why didn’t he answer me, didn’t he know I would be calling. Some days are better than others, but one thing for sure is that loosing someone who you never had the opportunity to say goodbye to, is the most painful of all.  Truth is, we suffer this regret because of the wasted opportunities we had but never made good use of.

You see, he was my best friend. You don’t know how furious writing that makes me feel, right now. How can someone be your best friend, someone you spent so much time with  yet remained hidden from. How could he have been my safe place? Why didn’t I take off the  mask and reveal my true self? Why did I not share the things that truly mattered; what was I really afraid of anyhow? Seriously, how could I have allowed time to come between us. Didnt time know that I was busy. It was never supposed to be that long. We would’ve spoken again. In fact we did; a month before he died. We got back in touch. We were meant to meet up for lunch. I called him, he never answered. It troubled me that he never answered, afraid of invading his new-found love, I chose to step back.

Oh how I regret that decision.

He  was that friend that would call me and stay on the phone with me until the early hours of the morning, most calls would have us both asleep on the other end. He was that friend that I could confide in, and tell almost anything to. He kept my mind from running away from itself when I became pregnant at uni. When everyone else disappeared, he proved to me that he was that friend who would never leave me, nor forsake me. He was my Emmanuel (that was his name) he was always there.

I made some terrible choices. Choices I would forever live with, and choices I am not at all proud off.

But not once did he judge me, or ever made me  to feel worthless. Throughout my pregnancy, he was there.  He showed me grace, and although the baby wasn’t his, that made no difference to the wealth of support he gave to me.

I remember the one time we finally decided to give ‘us’ a chance. It didn’t last long. Being his girlfriend petrified me to say the least. I definitely knew I wasn’t mature enough to be anyones’ girlfriend. I was way too messed up to be in a meaningful relationship.

Heck, if I couldn’t even stay faithful to Jesus; the likelihood of staying faithful to anyone was a slim chance. In those days sex was my weapon of defence, my escape and crazy as it sounds my control mechanism. I needed the comfort of being close to someone but never really being close enough to give them the parts of me that were vulnerable. Lost and hurting, I would make up lies that would soon break up apart.  He deserved better than me, I was broken goods. Fit for no use, I had no business being united with anyone in a deeper way.

 

 

What would life had been like if I was just honest with him about who I really was, a broken girl running away to university to escape the realities of life.

She was incapable of love, incapable to give love. She never knew who she was or the worth she carried.

Man I MISS HIM!

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I pray that he is smiling down at me; proud of the woman I have grown into becoming. These days I live with him in mind. Him and the many others I no longer have the privilege of saying I love you to. That’s why I live my best life, on purpose and without regret or fear of others and their opinions. You see, he taught me how not to give a monkeys about what others thought about him, he spoke his mind and lived passionately.

Please don’t wait until it’s too late to tell someone just how much they mean to you.

Learn to forgive quickly

Love deeply

and at all times live authentically. 

 

My greatest recompense is that there is heaven, and that one day we will see each other again.

“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:1,2

It’s kind of hard wit you not around

Know you in heaven smilin’ down

Watchin’ us while we pray for you

Everyday we pray for you

Till the day we meet again

In my heart is where I’ll keep you friend

Memories give me the strength I need to proceed

Strength I need to believe

My thoughts big I just can’t define

Wish I could turn back the hands of time

Us in luton

Shop for new clothes and kicks

You and me getting Tatts

Talkin all hours on the phone

Still can’t believe you’re gone

Give anything to hear half your breath

I know you still livin’ your life after death

(I’ll be missing you) -added my own lyrics to it

Signed,

No more regrets

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

 

I am Woman

 

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More precious than jewels

I’m  more than a face, and more than a body.

I’m more than a vehicle used for pleasure.

And much more than a gentle kiss and a soft caress.

So much more than a cheap date and a night-cap.

I deserve more than sweet words and empty promises.

More than a longing and a wishing for something that isn’t forced and comes without resistance.

I am a woman built with stones of turquoise

My foundations with sapphires and my battlements made out of rubies.

My gates of sparkling jewels, and my walls of precious stones.

I am more; precious than rubies

Born for such a time as this

My worth far exceeds your temporary validation.

Even after the applause dies down

My worth will continue till the ends of the earth .

You see, I am woman 

Made for the completion of man

The perfecting of his needs

To bring him help.

Without me he’s made without function

I bring value to the promise.

Entrusted by the maker to be so much more than eye candy.

I lost the worth in my value

Lost the price tag that used to be attached to me.

So many have come by to have a look, but without care left me back on the shelf to gather dust.

Some didn’t even take a second glance,

Others simply stared.

They don’t see the work that’s gone into the perfecting of my splendour

I am much more!!!

Desperate to scream out this truth

But choked with dust and inferiority I sat there allowing potential buyers to devalue my virtue.

Bartering rates to lessen my price.

Until one day I found my voice

I am worth more and refuse to settle for anything less… 

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Lost &found

Jewel ❤️

36 fun facts about myself

Me, Myself, & I

A list of 36 random facts about me: I’ve been on the earth for 36 years so it is only fitting that I choose the number 36! I don’t know if they’ll be interesting to you or not. But it’s been fun  writing up my list of all the random things that I know about myself.

Here you go!

  1. I was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa.
  2. I love being a mom, it’s not easy but ever so rewarding.
  3. I’m a 50’s gal at heart.
  4. I LOVE music of all genres
  5. I sound different to what I look like, or so I’ve been told. Allegedly I sound rude until you get to know me. The dispute is… I’m blunt and direct and quick to the point. (It would seem I’ve become softer over the years) 😂
  6. I had an imaginary friend throughout my childhood years called Lucy. That was until I met a real life Lucy… needless to say that soon stopped.
  7. I am a Big Kid at heart.
  8. I used to be called weird as a kid. I liked my own company. I still do. I dance to the beat of my own drum, and live to please no man.
  9. I used to stammer profusely.
  10. I can be shy. Really shy. Sweaty palms, the lot (yeah I know, God has not given us the spirit of timidity, I’m a work in progress) I do life afraid, on purpose.
  11. I avoid the spot light. I dislike being on show. I detest public speaking (you could say that blogging has become my therapy).
  12. I started speaking english at age 11.
  13. My favourite scripture is Jeremiah 29:11
  14. I hate lies. I know hate is a strong word, but I really don’t like to give false compliments.
  15. I honestly cannot follow choreography, but I can freestyle.
  16. I rarely watch TV (I do enjoy the odd movie on Netflix ).
  17. My favourite thing to do is listen to podcasts.
  18. I’m a bit obsessive about cleanliness and keeping things in order. I confess to being super fussy, and extremely pedantic.
  19. I’m still single, and 8 years celibate.
  20. I was engaged once.
  21. I love Julie Andrews the Sound of Music is on of my top 10 all time favourites.
  22. I prefer coffee over tea.
  23. I’m a total foodie. The kitchen is my favourite place in any home.
  24. I’m a fantastic cook dare I say so myself. Crazy thing is I didn’t know how to cook until I became a mom.
  25. I rarely (very rarely) get bored. That’s why I like quiet. In the morning, afternoon, evening, and every other time. Well, I’m also a lover of silence. It allows me to think!
  26. I hate violence, bullying and injustice  of any kind.
  27. I used to invite homeless people to my home for dinner when I was a teenager. As much as time permits I enjoy volunteering my time with different homeless charities.
  28. I am super sensitive I cry at almost anything, you could say I have a compassionate heart.
  29. I love Michael Jackson. I was a HUGE fan.
  30. I LOVE birthdays, especially my own.  Like a lot. 
  31. I can’t swim, I’ve taken lessons. And I love the water. Go figure!
  32. I love tattoos, currently I have 4…
  33. I LOVE, LOVE being by the sea, water calms me. My dream home would be a sea front house (anywhere in the world).
  34. I had a pet kitten named Spirit, the little furry guy stole my heart.
  35. I love selfies (especially the ones that are taken in front of good lighting) in fact before phones had that option I used to turn my camera the other way just to snap is shot of myself.

   36. And yeah, I love being me. It’s taken a while to get here.

Regarding no 10:

I believe the words fear not simply mean don’t run. So the solution to fear/timidity is simple: Rather than bowing our knee and giving in to it, we must stand firm against it, knowing that God has gone before us and prepared the way. I have chosen to live life in obedience to God, so that I can experience His good promises that He has prepared for me.

Giving in to fear/timidity will only alter God’s best plan for your life. So use the power of God’s Word to do what He wants you to do…even if you have to do it afraid! The rewards are great. – Mama Joyce

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Hope you’ve enjoyed this post. Now, tell me one random thing about you. I’d like to hear from you guys…

Monologues were never my forte, I much refer being in a dialogue.

Speak soon,

Unveiling the mask