Tough Change


Took the time to really process…

Happy Monday all! To kick start the week, here’s a post I wrote on Saturday after an eventful time…

Tough Change

Currently I’m sitting in Starbucks™ with a freshly made Chai Tea Latte and a croissant, with my bible alongside me. I’m at a place of peace at the moment. It was not like that a few hours ago. This morning all my plans were wrecked. I could be annoyed and feel some type of way but given God has been about that YOLO life lately, I’m no longer surprised…

So I’m in a season of tough change, which involves a lot of personal growth. Now I understand we are all growing and God works on us all the time, but this season has been a ‘I’m-going-to-do-things-so-you-can-finally-see-phase’ from Father. Let me explain.

I clearly remember a time in prayer last year where I was in my room and in earnest prayer said: ‘Father, I want to be used by you, make me a worthy vessel, take away anything in me that is not of you and place things in me that can and will be used for you kingdom’.
One little tip: Watch your mouth, He hears it all!
So God took me up on my offer.
Holy Spirit started to reveal to me that I’m judgmental, fearful, doubting…etc. Well, I was fine with those. Of course conviction and discipline is not fun at the time, but I recognized these things had to go. Here’s where God took it down a path I didn’t like. I was convicted over the obvious, which was understandable, but now Father wanted to tell me that my own traits that build my character are not right either? – Tough change.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a planner. I am a strategic person, who works by organized methods. I’m that person who will plan the journey and back, and write out each phase of the journey and consider all outcomes of any situation.
This is my ‘pride trait’. The one thing I could bank on to pull me through; having a clear sense of direction.
So tell me why I am now being convicted over my own trait that has got me through messy times? I can honestly say at one point I felt attacked. Multiple(s) of people would say: ‘Gina you don’t need to plan this’, or ‘whoa you’re overly organized, relax’.
I took these comments with a pinch of salt and brushed them off. I failed to see there was any problem – Pride.
A friend one day asked me: ‘So if I asked you to go for a coffee would you go?’
‘I would have to look at the schedule’ I replied.
One Sunday of planned coffee ended up in a whole car journey to the coast of Kent (Broadstairs, beautiful place). I remember feeling so tense on the way there, it wasn’t planned. There was genuine anxiety at one point.
On another occasion, a library conversation ended in a spontaneous trip to a historic castle…at about 10pm… but that’s just the extent that Father needs to go to teach me a lesson.

Through all the spontaneous ventures one thing struck a chord with me. My friend, Tim said:

‘In order to grow, God will put you in uncomfortable situations’.

I realized I had been so comfortable planning every aspect of life. Father knew and needed me to change. So he used a number of people and random unexpected moments to grab my attention.

The fact that Father knows what He has placed in me, yet still refines, opened my eyes to my own pride. It was, and still is, painful to the ego. However in all things, we give thanks because God just wants us to see ourselves how He sees us. God has the purest love that deals with aspects of my life and own areas in my personality that would be contradictory to the amazing plan He has for my life.

Father wants to deal with every aspect of you. From our weaknesses right through to our strengths because we are not, and will never be, perfect but there is beauty in the freedom and liberation of acknowledging and working on those weaknesses. He needs us to focus on Him, to realize how in everything He gets the glory and we are to trust Him:

Jeremiah 29:11 – ‘For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper and not to harm, plans to give you hope and a future’.

These ‘plans’ are not our own. We need  to be able to humble ourselves to deal the tough change:

2 Chronicles 7:14 – ‘ If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’

It will work out and make you a better you. Everything is prep, training for the life He needs us to live in order to walk out our purpose.

We are always trying to gain control in this life and we give ourselves a false sense of security. Trusting Him in the small things such as the plan for your day is significant start.
These beautiful scripture apply so much to the eventful time this morning.
According to my own plans I should be in Hertfordshire, on a retreat day with a friend. Being a genius in hindsight, this was not Father’s plan for my day.
It started with confliction. I was debating with myself whether I should go; I ended up reasoning and saying: ‘I’m spending a day with my Father; of course He wants me to go and do that’.
However something didn’t sit well with me. So I continued with that train of thought, convincing myself successfully. So we both got ready and off we went.
First barriers were physical ones. The train station was shut. So we got on the rail replacement bus. Got to the next available station and the train we were waiting for just decided to delete itself off the train schedule, oh and the next two trains after that. We were stranded for a while. In my conviction of my own plan (I wanted to go on this retreat) I stated ‘Nope a train will come’. Indeed it did but now we are tight for time. We had a set coach set off time.
At the interchange now in a station full of people, what would make this day even better; if I lost my friend right? Yeah that happened and I walked around the station for about 20 minutes. I was confused. I asked God: ‘really, at this time, how convenient?’
The Underground, having no reception, hindered communication at the time. Turns out she had got on the tube. At the time I eventually spoke to her she was nearly there and I said I’d just make my way home.
I smiled and laughed for bit thinking: ‘It was not the plan today, was it Father?’
Peace filled my heart. I had felt so panicked and conflicted but His perfect peace is confirmation.

On the way home I took a detour (hence my presence in Starbucks™). I took a walk around London and now I am sitting here writing in full flow, uninterrupted and at peace. Something I wanted do the whole week.
So you see God had to alter my plans for His will to be done. I wrote the post I was ‘too busy’ to do.
See… so it actually all works out in the end.

As I take the last sip of my Chai Tea and finish my croissant, I can gladly say – Father ‘messed’ up my plans today and I totally okay about it.

Have a blessed week,

Gina x


The Uni Experience: Just Sleep.

I’ve been away way too long! I have returned with a simple message. My time away from blogging has allowed me to form the next series of messages, I’m excited to post them in the next few weeks, Anyway, here is the message for today.
Just Sleep!
So I’ve had one if those weeks where one verse in the bible I casually skimmed past, popped up a number of times in general conversation and train of thought. There was one day of lectures when as a whole year group of second year pharmacy students we were ALL tired. Half the group didn’t show up and the ones who were they were fighting the sleep….. I didn’t think nothing of it at the time.
Yesterday morning I was reminded of psalm 127:
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.’
Then I watched a video this morning and this verse pops up again, the video emphasised the point that when you are sleeping God is still working.
It’s a given that we always want to feel like we are doing something in order to reach our goals. This student life seems to offer us endless late nights and there’s always a constraint on time.
Hey, did you know that your sleep allows God to work? That means your out of the equation for a few hours. Your the one who’s trying to gain control, running around worrying. As a result your hindering Holy Spirit from leading you. Sleep is good. If your tired go and rest. Your efforts are in vain if you try and do things tired.
My advice: Go, pray that God gives your true rest. Then go sleep. When you wake up, trust me you’ll be much better.
Proverbs 3: 21
‘My Son, preserve sound judgement and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down your sleep will be sweet’.
This verse adds to the importance of living from a place of rest and trusting God. Preserving sound judgement in the context I’m addressing, means we have to be wise about what and when we choose to work. Especially as students, degrees are not easy, we know this! So why let this degree run you down?
When we look after ourselves properly and know our own limits, we live in balance.
I’m that person who my friends will tell me: ‘Gina go and sleep!’. Here’s me saying I’m not tired but it’s very obvious. I can get agitated when I know everyone is working in the time I am sleeping ( I know, it got that deep).
So I had to take the weekend out to go home, back to my family and tell myself to relax.
I felt restored when I came back. I have had such a great sleep and it has allowed me to even blog this morning!Have you ever had those times when you are doing something and you wake up 10 – 20 minutes later, not even knowing you fell asleep? That’s me everyday. If that’s you too, we need some shut eye!
Scheduled nap times are good to have! Let’s be wise about it. Of course don’t use this as an excuse to stay in bed all day ( trust me I want to) but we if we feel good we will be good during the day.
Our bodies need it.

God wants us in the best working condition so He can work through, with, for, around and alongside us (I think that covers all directions lol).

Have blessed week.

Blossom Into,
Those who live wise x
Gina 🙂 x

Fresher’s Prep : Getting Ready

First off, congrats to all of you going off to uni this month!! A-Levels must of been stressful at times, but you got through them 🙂

Whether you did, or did not, get onto the course you wanted or into your preferred uni is not the point. Literally, it’s so not the point. Whatever has happened as a result of your grades has specific purpose in your life. Let me elaborate on this. Here’s my little anecdote.

When my a-level results came, I was genuinely upset. I was confused. To be honest I had pride. I used to think ‘I can’t do bad, even my bad is someone’s exceptional so I’m fine’… I know I was a right douche :D!
Anyways so these results came and I logged into ucas and I did not get into my first choice. My jaw dropped. I had already envisioned life on that campus, had sorted the accommodation, in my mind I was so set.
It was a little hurtful.
However, there was always this feeling within, I believe now as an inner witness from the Holy Spirit, that told me I was meant to be at Kent University which was my insurance. I just chose to ignore it throughout year 13.
Don’t expect me to go : ‘Yeah I moved in and everything went swimmingly well’.
Nope. Everything was uncomfortable. Settling into uni took the longest time. I can honestly say I didn’t feel comfortable until after January. My emotions were all over the place, I didn’t know how to process this big change. BUT GOD… Seriously, God knew I would have trouble. So He placed beautiful people around me, favoured me in all assignments (testimony soon come!), and gave me a place where I felt secure and where I experienced His love. This was Christian Union. I swear when I say I loved everyone that came into the room I did. God had placed me in a foreign environment to allow me to see how through all the motions He remained so faithful.
I would ask God, why have we come here? What am I meant to do here?….
Now I can actually say, I have experienced a glimpse of the prosperous journey He wants to take me on. University will be the making of me because God only has plans to prosper me! x

God will turn any disappointment into joy and laughter. Always hold on to that, wherever this journey called life takes you.

But back to my original message… I’m posing a question to all of you: What are you going to university with? Now, you could answer this in different ways but I’m talking about the practical things you should think about before going to university. Here are the most important things that have come up in terms of preparation.

  1. To all those on courses where you need to read a lot – BUY YOUR BOOKS.
    I understand the whole ‘I can borrow them from the library’. Trust me, I had like 16 books on loan just because I could ( I only used about 3). When the time came that I actually needed most of them I had to return them because someone else had reserved them. Receiving those emails made me sigh so loudly.
    I also have a forgetful mind, so I forgot to renew them. Remember I had like 16 books, and each day overdue is 50p per book…..
    So you see where my loan money went then:)
    Yes, buy your books ladies and gents, even used ones come out quite cheap. Just get’em.
  2. LEARN HOW TO COOK (or find friends that can)
    Specifically for my fellow African’s it is not everyday rice and stew. I beg we need variety in this life guys. Try new and different foods to fill your body with all the good stuff. Cook in bulk too! Saves time in the kitchen. I did two big dishes on a Sunday afternoon and then packed them, one for each day, switching it up as I went along. Plus, I had days where a friend would bless my tummy, We thank God. I’m a person who doesn’t particularly enjoy cooking so I would either cook with someone or blast music whilst doing it alone. Find what works for you 🙂
    I understand, some days there will be unexpected events that will throw you off course but if you have a solid plan for each day, you will have such clarity on the way the day would go. You’d be focused and motivated to tick stuff off the list. When you get your timetable, plan in societies and clubs. Most importantly, plan in study time. Think about your most productive hours in the day and do most of your independent work during that period of time.
    This one is a must!. Will you type them, write them rough then type them, write them rough and then write them out neatly? Figure this one out and your half way there. Once you have a strategy in place you can create a routine around it so you get all your notes done in time. My first year there was one lecture I grabbed scrap from the back of my friends book…crumpled paper for an hour’s lecture. Don’t be like me, don’t be a mess lol x

All in all folks, prepare! Get yourself ready for an amazing journey where you’ll explore your independence, find out things about yourselves and meet life-long friends. Preparation is key to release yourself from stress. Start as you mean to go on.

Defo don’t do all nighters in the first year. To be honest I came with the mentality that I want to do them for the bants which is not healthy , but I did want to see if I could stay up for the whole night.
Basically, older years would look at us first years in disgust. To be honest I understand why now. If we were on it from day one, we would not have been in those situations. But if you want to do all nighters be my guest. Snacking all night was the best bit. Just get some good sleep afterwards yeah? 😉

Of course I couldn’t leave you without telling you that God has made us efficient. I know it’s hard to believe. Even getting out of bed can be a struggle so how can we be doing so many things at one time. Well ladies and gents, I like to think about it this way. God is so diligent in His work. The world made in 6 days and He even rested and saw it was good? Wow. We can be this efficient too! Holy Spirit is the one who will help us. Holy Spirit strengthens us and it’s good when we realise areas in which we need to improve. Pray about it! It’s amazing when we acknowledge that God can take our weaknesses and strengthen us to tackle them.

Our God is a God of order, so we should aim to please and honour Him in all areas in our lives.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1 ‘To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven’

Use your time wisely!

Blossom Into,

Prepared Individuals,

Gina 🙂 x

P.S. I know I address first years, but I am learning from my own list. Go Holy Spirit! x