The Uni Experience

The Uni Experience: Have you made friends?

Happy Sunday!!

University has been a funny experience for me. Being in first year, I’ve learned how not to do a lot of things. I’ve discovered I need to improve on my timing (I literally live two minutes away from the lecture halls… it should not be possible to be late – but it is). I’ve discovered my time management is awful. Three hours have gone by and I’ve been through 3 slides of the lecture. An hour a slide..really Gina? Well yes, it happens and I always have to step back and tell myself: ‘This didn’t go as planned G, so here’s the plan for tomorrow…’ It’s good to get things in order.

However, there are some days I just can’t talk myself back up. Some days I just need to vent. Here is where university has become a great place for me. I have found such strength in going to speak to people when I need help. I’ve honestly had to humble myself and tell myself: ‘G, as for diss onee deyy…’ (yup the african antics pop up here and there) and willingly knock down pride. It tries to creep in here and there, but I’m learning to remain humble with God’s grace.

The most important thing since coming to university is the fact that I have experienced change. I’ve noticed a change in my character and growth in my faith. This is not down to me, it’s down to the grace of God encouraging me by putting good friends in my life.

I ask, have you made any friends because I want you to reflect. As Christians we need to surround ourselves with godly truths such as Christian novels, listening to sermons and daily devotionals. Here’s a thought though, have you ever considered that just the mere presence of a person can elevate you spiritually?

Friend – a state of mutual trust and support between allies. Here it is in terms of country but it applies to us. Are your ‘friends’ people you can honestly trust? Can you speak about your troubles openly?

Here’s a word we use often – banter.

Banter can become dangerous. It crosses the line when people use it as an excuse to be hurtful. Teasing is permissible, that can be between people who are close, but when it’s a number of people against one person…how is that improving your friendship? Yeah it can be for laughs but have you ever stopped to think how that person feels?

Here’s what I think a good friend should be:

  1. Someone who is concerned about your general well being, who takes an interest in helping you feel better when your down.
  2. Someone who speaks positivity around you.
  3. Someone who is truthful and considerate.

Most importantly:

  1. A friend is someone who prays about your well-being
  2. A friend is someone who speaks positivity over your life through prayer.
  3. A friend is someone who always puts you first, regardless of their own motives.
    (Admittedly this is hard, but effort always pays off!)

Do you do that for your friends?

People are so influential, we need to understand this. What we surround ourselves by determines what we become. I realised I was a bad friend to some when I thought about the ‘gwarnnn girl’ that used to come out my mouth when one of my girls was dancing with a guy. She was casually destroying dignity and I encouraged her. We thank God for saving grace!

The main point of me writing today is to make you think: would you have taken certain decisions if certain people were not in your life? Do you surround yourself in enough love from genuine people?
What’s the point in being with a bunch of people who just crush your ability to grow as a person?

You find the best of friends in the most uncommon places. The story of me and my best friend is a prime example. He in my opinion was a ‘neek’ as I would of put it back then. When we first met, I really disliked him. A few jumps over some hurdles and we’re in a position where we encourage each other in Christ and I feel so blessed to have him. (At this point, Vince you call me and tell me how much you love me haha).

Starting my journey with God I was worried I would loose friends. Even now I have noticed I don’t talk to as many people as before. That’s not a bad thing though. I view it as a transition. A change from talking to many not so great ‘friends’ to a few life changing friends.

I thank God for those who have helped me on my spiritual journey. All those who offer encouraging words, and all those who just simply ask me how my day has been and show genuine interest. You know who you are.
A special shout out to RockSolid Christian Fellowship! You’ve welcomed me with such open arms and have shown me a level of love I never knew existed.

I dedicate this blog to two friends who planted those seeds within me to start pursing God, I’m going to call these two my pioneers :’)
Vincent Nimoh and Gifty-Amy Amprako (Yes I will do full names)
God richly bless you! Thank for being obedient to God by spreading His word.

I leave you with beautiful scriptures to mediate on:

‘ Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective’. James 5: 16.

‘ Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace it’s various forms’. 1 Peter 4: 8 – 10.

Remain Blessed and…

Blossom Into…

Fruitful Friendships 🙂

Gina x

The Uni Experience

Uni Experience: Encouraging yourself in the Lord

It’s been a while. Hope you’re all being consistent in time with the Lord 🙂
In the last few weeks I have learnt some serious life lessons. In the next batch of messages, I’ll be talking about my walk with God whilst in uni. University itself can either be your making or breaking and I truly believe it will be my making. (Everybody say… Amennnnn!)
Moving to university has been both terrifying and exciting at the same time. At the beginning of the year I started to feel quite demotivated and full of doubt, as anyone would. There have been many times when these emotions have tried to get the better of me. Occasionally they have and I ended up in a bad place thinking thoughts of failure. I got tired of it. Wallowing in self-pity is never the answer. I learned to recognise that these thoughts were not of God. How could they be? I am called to be a light: ‘Live as children of light’ Ephesians 5: 8. How can I do that when I’m so down and depressed?

So I’ve been learning how to encourage myself in the Lord. I knew I had to find a way to stop negative thoughts and cynical feelings from loosing my focus. I pursued knowledge.

I’m currently reading Joyce Meyer’s ‘Battlefield of the Mind‘ and it is a real eye opener. I highly recommend it to you all because the mind is so precious in determining failure and success in anything. We have all heard about ‘Mind over matter’ right?
Dictionary definition: The use of willpower to overcome physical problems.
If in society we recognise the power the mind can have over how we feel and act then how much more power can the mind have with God’s influence? We all need that willpower to commit to not letting any demotivating thoughts enter our heads. We have control over our bodies, we have that power to control what we think about. Remain positive and always see the good in all situations because those tough times grow and build you into the person God wants you to become.

This is a hard one to master, believe me. There are times when I want to start work and then my mind wants to drift away, or I start worrying about how much I need to do. I have to, (still do and will continue to do this), literally tell myself ‘Gina those thoughts are not from God’. I remind myself of Matthew 6: 27 – ‘Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?’

Battlefield of the mind has helped me to recognise ways of thinking that should not become ‘normal’. I am particularly focusing on worry, fear and doubt because these are some of the easiest ways in which the devil can get to us. It’s all part of his plan widen that gap between us and God.
I had a moment where I actually questioned God. I thought God you’ve brought me here for what? Am I even capable of this? How can you bring me here when there’s a high risk of failure?

That was a low point for me. I needed a way out and it came in the form of an opportunity. An opportunity arose for me to give an encouraging word on how to persist in maintaining our relationship with God. It was the perfect chance for me to study the bible about coming against fear and doubt. I thought of an activity to help me do this and I’m going to challenge you to do this as well:
Preliminary – Be in a comfortable place where you are still at rest so you can concentrate.

  • Grab a piece of paper an pen and write down 3 scriptures that have helped you through previous tough times.
  • Write down the tough times and how God changed it around for you.
  • Using those same scriptures, apply them to any current situation your in now.
  • Apply them by thinking about them, repeating them out loud and in your head.
  • State with faith that God is turning it around for you.

Say those scriptures any time you feel that fear, doubt and unbelief kicking in.

This is all part of renewing your mind. Forcing your mind to ponder on what God has done and the good that has come of it, will continue to build you in faith that He can do it again. God will never fail us. Even David had his moments and he thought of the good God did in his life:

‘So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done’  Psalm 143: 4 – 5

Find your encouraging scriptures ladies and gentlemen and…

Blossom into…

A Conqueror.

Gina 🙂 x