FRUSTRATED FAITH

It was June, 2012 when my friend was diagnosed with a condition that only needed surgery to be healed. Even though surgery was the only option it wasn’t definite the surgery would guarantee healing or even be a successful surgery. My friend was so dear to my heart he was a brother and a mentor, he actually introduced me to Jesus and through his persistence I got born again and dedicated my life to Christ. I remember it was nothing but an abdominal pain that forced him to go to the hospital but when he called me, I could tell from the sound of his voice that he was crying. He informed me it was a fifty-fifty situation; the surgery could help or not. This is someone who left our room laughing and was full of life, but he was now living between life and death.

 I remember we even created a WhatsApp group and we were praying and believing that God will come through and the surgery will not have to take place and see the hand of God work. We could fast twice a week in the group and pray everyday trusting God to move. We had so much faith we were believing he will be healed without even the surgery taking place. Because of our faith we managed to make him stand on our faith and gave him hope again. Even before the day of surgery we prayed and trusted God our friend will get healed without it. On the day of surgery, we were told the condition is there and he will still need to go through surgery.

As heartbreaking as the news was, we still trusted God will make a way through the surgery. While the surgery was taking place, we were praying. Believing the surgery will be successful and our friend will be made whole again, especially we knew by his stripes we are healed. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen and I did feel hurt and disappointed. I lost my friend, I felt disappointed, we prayed, we fasted, we had faith and above all our friend was a strong Christian why did he die so young? Why didn’t God hear our prayers? How come we prayed so much from the word go, just for him to die? I was extremely angry I failed to pray again.

-NK

The academic year started rough but I had faith, everyone was complaining but I was opportunistic, I was careful with my confessions because I knew word have power. I remembered Genesis could often say “words are more than just a combination of the twenty-six alphabetical letters they transmit energy waves that have power to create or destroy.” This made me remain positive throughout even though that academic year looked impossible to go through. Doubt started coming in when we wrote our first test and I only managed to pass two courses. Trust me I was studying, I was praying, I had faith everything will turn out good but everyday that came just made everything look impossible.

When our continuous assessment results came out, I was broken, I was slowly losing my faith, I called my mentor and explained my situation, she encouraged me to trust in the lord and focus on my final exams since my continuous assessments have already being made. She told me to meditate on the scripture that says, “If my people who are called by my name will humbles themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” I took these words personal trusted in the lord wholly and studied even harder. Unfortunately, when the results came out, I failed.

There I was a Christian, who had faith in God, believed God will help me pass, studied so hard that my friends who were not even Christians who made it mocked me about my failure. I was frustrated. What will I even tell the people I preached to last year, how will the juniors even look at me? We are now in the same class these are the people I encouraged to have faith in God and just study hard because everything is in God’s control. How do you even face the world as a Christian who just failed an exam? How do you even pray to God after having so much faith, working so hard, remaining so faithful but still fail? To be honest I was frustrated and hurt to the core.

-HM

It is funny how I still remember that day so vividly like it just happened yesterday, it was July 22nd, 2005 I was young but I knew what was going on my mum was sick for a month but that day it got worse, I was the only one with her because my grandma went out to sell things so we could buy medication for mum and put food on the table. My mum got worse she was in pain I could see it, but despite being in pain she started praying. It was like the more she prayed the worse she got. I was only 8 I didn’t even know how to pray, but I was so scared I will lose mum so I started praying too. I remember I asked God to heal my mum that night and I promised to serve him my whole life.

Fortunately, my grandma came back and she rushed mum to the hospital. We were living with my grandma because my dad died when I was two, I have never really had any memories with him. Apart from the pictures I don’t even know how he looks like. I remember we went with Grandma to the hospital and we kept praying. Asking God to heal my mum. We waited until the doctor came out and told us my mum had died. I didn’t know how to react because I was only eight but as I became a teenager every memory made more sense and I reacted then.

As I grew older, I became bitter with God, why did he allow mum and dad to die when I was still young, he couldn’t even answer the prayer of an innocent kid I was? I was only eight but I prayed so desperately so he could answer my prayer by healing my mum but he didn’t. The more I heard people say nothing is impossible with God the more I became bitter with him. If nothing is impossible with him then he had the power to heal my mum but why did he allow her to die? My grandma was becoming old and everything was getting worse, having food was a struggle, paying for school fees, having clothes or even school item was a struggle all this made me more bitter with God.

-JA

It’s even hard to share this struggle even with my close Christian friends because I am scared, I will be judged but this is something I have battled with since childhood, I have prayed, I have fasted but still the struggle persists. There moments that are so picky that you even see loud and clear that you are the only one struggling with this. Something you didn’t even decide to be, something that feels like it’s just in you alone everyone else is fine and the fact that even the Christian community, the only community you have grown in has classified that struggle as a struggle of its own and never willing to listen to you but immediately cancel you, makes it even more painful.

I struggle from same sex feelings but even before you act so shocked please hear me out, this is something I have struggled with from the time I passed puberty. I have rebuked it, I have prayed against it, I have fasted, I have done almost if not all things the bible recommends to do but still, I find myself struggling from the same issue. I fail to share this with anyone imagine you are just reading I am a stranger to you but still your reaction to this isn’t a safe space for me to open up most likely, I only managed to do this (featuring on this episode) because I am not even from Africa, there little or no chances you will ever know me.

I have prayed to God about this, I have undergone deliverance, I have fasted but still everything is still the same, this has made me frustrated and lost my faith anything will get better, I feel left alone by God, it is hard to say this but honestly, I feel disappointed with God, I am sometimes so bitter I cut myself. I have to fight this every day, despite consistently praying to God to take away this cup from me. It is hard to live each day knowing your struggle is different and many people who are part of your faith which happen to be your community are not willing to listen to you but will quickly cancel you and declare you demon possessed the moment you make mention of your struggles. As I earlier said they are hardships that are so personal, they will make it so clear to you, you are the only one going through this and honestly, I am tired.

-Carl

It was January 1st, 2021 when my mum was transferred from a private hospital to a public hospital to get specialist treatment which the private hospital was lacking. I was scared the treatment will go wrong, I was scared this might be the end, honestly, I didn’t even want to think because the whole thought of imagining mum might actually die was unbearable. I remember I cried throughout the whole process that day. It was the first new year day that my family was not happy, or was at the hospital. The transfer was success, when we reached the public hospital, we were told to wait for the specialist to come. I failed to be in the waiting room the entire event was too traumatic I decided to go away take a walk perhaps when I come back, I will find the specialist had come and the treatment was successful.

Eventually, I left the waiting room took a walk outside the hospital but still the thoughts were getting worse especially this time I wasn’t there, it was getting dark so I stopped in front of the hospital gate and remembered Joseph Prince word, “In the middle of the storm make your requests known.” Immediately I started praying, I was praying and crying at the same time in my entire life I have never been that emotional before God, I cried like cry, cry, cry. I was making my request known to him that he could heal my mum. I told him I am not ready for anything else, it will ruin me, it will break me not just into pieces but into dust that cannot be mended. I spoke every healing scripture I know, I poured my heart, I literally left everything that was going on in my mind that day before God. Afterward, I felt better but the doubt was still there. I left went back to the hospital and I was informed the initial treatment was successful but the condition was still not good.

Fast forward, the next day early in the morning I went back to the hospital I went in spent few minutes there then went outside since the hospital could only permit one person inside because of the current pandemic. Outside I found my nephew who I started asking how school is going because last time we talked he was complaining about school. Just less that twenty minutes my mother died, when I heard the news I was shuttered. Initially I failed how to react the entire news was too much for me this was the first time I lost someone very dear to be. I felt disappointed by God I remember thinking mum was a Christian if ok God couldn’t answer my prayer for any reason why didn’t he do it for mum’s sake? I was broken, I was shuttered I didn’t share this with anyone throughout the funeral because most people assumed, I am a strong Christian I will respond the expected way. After the funeral nothing was the same, I was even failing to pray, like what do you even say in prayer after such an experience? I was neve the same person, that person died immediately I was told your mum has died.

-Genesis Mwamba

If you noticed from all the stories, we share in this episode there two thing we are trying to communicate, first we want you to live our hard experiences in three paragraphs and secondly, we are trying to project one recurring theme “How do you bounce back in prayer after disappointment?” How do you even trust again after all your trust is crushed into pieces? How do you even have faith again when your whole faith is shuttered in dust? There things that break us into pieces and at least we have hope that the broken pieces can be picked again, put in order and use glue to mend them or put them back together BUT their things that break us into dust and to be honest you can’t mend dust.

Their things that happen and make you realise you are not as strong as you thought you were, they leave you so shuttered you understand why so many people have decided to live the kind of life they are living. There so many things that begin to make sense all of a sudden, there certain things that you will never, ever understand until you experience it and one of them is the brokenness that comes with the disappointment after prayer,

The distance between our expectations and reality is called disappointment and navigating through this distance is hard. While you navigate through this distance you will be hurt and you will be required to be strong, people are going to understand you the first few days that at some point they will all expect you to be better and move on, that will require you to pretend which doesn’t help but make the whole situation harder. It is not easy to bounce back in prayer after a major disappointment for some people it even become impossible to believe there is God again. Because certain people will battle the thought if God exists why didn’t he answer the eight-year-old girl prayer, isn’t he a loving and merciful king?

LEAD ME BACK

It is not easy though, I wish I could tell you how I am doing extremely better now but I can’t because I would be lying, yes, I am better than I was when I felt disappointed but I still have days where I doubt, I still have days where I am broken and even fail to say anything before God but I am grateful I am surrounded by a great community of believers who helped understand that when I hurt God hurts too because he loves me that much. We live in a broken world and brokenness will always be here. God understands this very well, that’s why his love, kindness and mercy is unconditional

He understands as we navigate through this distance between reality and expectations that it won’t be easy, this is why he is right there with us step by step. This is why he made it so clear in his word that I will never leave you nor forsake you even up to the end of the earth. Sometimes, this might feel like a lie but that’s where faith comes in, we don’t live neither by sight nor by feelings but by faith.

It’s not easy to walk by faith because our flesh moves by sight but this is where being surrounded by a right community of believers comes in. Friends who will carry you with their faith when you don’t have any, friends who God will use to LEAD YOU BACK. Perhaps you have being reading and you’ve never felt disappointed` with God you can be that friend that rallies around those that are broken and shuttered.

Yes, there situations that break us not into pieces but into dust, but dust is one of the best starting point, you can’t glue dust but God can create using dust! Dust was the ingredient that God used to create human his greatest and favorite creation of all time. You are broken into dust, embrace it, it’s a point of new beginning. Even though what’s broken is too much and you feel nothing can replace it embrace the new beginning.

HOW DO YOU BOUNCE BACK IN PRAYER THEN?

I am not anticipating disappointment when I pray and when it happens it doesn’t mean God doesn’t answer prayers instead, I must go back and talk it through with him and believe he will give me perspective. It is not blind faith but trusting faith. Mostly it is because we don’t talk it through with God that we fail to pray again. We are usually scared to be honest with God, like dead, brutally honest with him. A relationship needs honesty to thrive we must be ready to tell God how we feel even if it sounds extra to us.

There is nothing wrong with talking through with God about our disappointments. God is not scared of our emotions; he can handle how we feel and what we think. God is not scared of our questions and we don’t shock God when we tell him how we feel. Talking it through with God has really been helping. I can now tell God how I feel each day even when I don’t feel like praying because I am scared, he might not give me what I want I tell him that.

Prayer is a discipline and a discipline is something you do even in the moments you don’t feel like doing it, it is something you do but doesn’t mean you will always feel like you want to do it. When I wake up today and feel like I don’t want to pray as a discipline I will still pray and when I begin to pray, I won’t pretend as if my heart wants to, I will still engage God in what I feel so he can help me because he is the best communicator.

HAPPY EASTER HOLIDAYS, HE HAS RISEN!

Thank you very much for reading but before you go, I wanted to inform you that we now have merch for Relatable Monday available only in Zambia, if you want to purchase please contact me on my WhatsApp on +260979208425 or send me an email here. The pictures below are some of the merch currently available.

K150 each
Long Sleeved k200 each

Thank you…. Be kind to one another

Relatable Monday Easter Special

I will be sharing a special episode of Relatable Monday on the April 5th, 2021 as we continue celebrating our easter. This episode is deeply personal to me, it’s kind of different from other episodes because it will contain more than one story and not all the stories are mine but I have been a character in all of them. Spread the news, Relatable Monday family.

Happy Easter Holidays

An Open Letter to Mum

Dear Mum,

We have spent almost twenty two years together actually almost twenty three because you carried me for nine months and each day was great except for the last four to five days we spent together to be honest they were really traumatizing. You fought to live so hard I remember telling Precious “Mum is a fighter, I have never seen someone fight to live so much.” I am literally a product of your prayers, There is no place I have gone were your prayers have not reached before me. However, even now I am confident because I am sure you prayed for my future so I can smile into the future because your prayers are already there.

I am forever grateful to you that you introduced God to me, that is the greatest gift any one can give to someone, because God is literally my sanity, it has been taking God to remain sane the past days, mum. I love you so much, I was in university so I could give you the best life ever, but to honor your life I am now in university to make it clear that all your hard work, all your sleepless nights, all your pain, all your tears were not in vain and were worth it.

God is a very orderly God nothing happens randomly everything happens for a purpose allowed and planned by God for his children. My comfort is that God planned your life and he knew you will be called back home in 2021 because your purpose is on earth has been fulfilled. You lived, you loved, You did everything you were supposed to do and it was more than you thought it could be, the hearts you have touched will be the proof that you lived and through my life this world will see that you were here. Even though it pains that God took you from us it is comforting that you are smiling from above.

We are travelers here I know it is true and every breath we breath is coming back to you, we strangers here I know it is true and death is just a bridge that lead us home to you. God thank you. Honestly I can not wait to meet you in eternity, by the way I turned twenty two and this is the first birthday without you. I am not crying because I celebrate your life today, like wow what a way to live ! and you left me with the greatest gift my sisters. For some weird reason it ‘s like you knew you are about to go home because you put everything in order and clear the last days of your life on earth.

Trust me I have so many things to tell you this is not even a drop in an ocean compared to what I have to say but let me end with the words of Paul the apostle; to live is for Christ, which you did and to die is to gain, which you have done. Dear mum, I am so grateful to God I had an opportunity to live with you for the last almost twenty three years because you were just an Angel that was passing by and God has taken you were Angels belong, what an honor it was, that God gave us the opportunity to be so close to you.

Thank you for stopping by………

Today is my Birthday and I decided to celebrate mum’s life on it by sending an open letter to her❤. I love her so much. The last days have been hard but I am grateful for the life I spent with her it was a lifetime opportunity 😊

HESED

Annually at the end of the year we have this tradition at Elevation Church where Pastor Steven Furtick asks us to pick a word in faith that we want to describe the coming year for us, for the year 2020 I picked the word “HESED” which is the Hebrew word for Grace. The major influence for this pick was my academics: I am a medical student and my seniors informed me on how second year wasn’t an easy year in medical school.

To be honest, I was scared and uncertain about second year especially when a lot of people have too much expectations in me. I remember telling God that this coming year I need to experience your HESED like never before. In my academics this year your Grace will carry me through and second year will be my year of Grace. Anything that I will get or do in this academic year your Grace will be the main spear header. Whatever this year has in store for me HESED is the way to go.

Eventually, the year 2020 began and early January I went to school, as expected it was hard and for some weird reason it was harder than I thought, but fortunate enough God provided a great community of seniors who mentored me on how to go through second year. People like Luwi, Danny and Mwita sat me down and advised me on what books to study, what tutorial video to watch and which tutor to follow on YouTube, they even gave me almost all the information I would need to go through that academic year.

 Personally, I don’t consider this lightly it is not everyone who had this opportunity and it is not every day you get surrounded by such a great community of seniors who are willing to mentor you for free before you begin your academic year in school so you don’t make the exact mistakes they made, in case you can’t notice that is HESED over there. I needed this mentorship especially for a year like 2020 when a pandemic would shift us to online learning something foreign to most of us.

To add on, God allowed me to be part of a thriving study group, I can boldly say seventy percent of the knowledge I obtained from my academics this year I obtained from my study group. I am forever grateful for that family, these people pushed me this year they helped me understand topics in two hours that I was supposed to understand in at least two days. They are the HESED I asked for before 2020 began. To some extent most of the information and examples I used in my tests and examinations it’s either I heard someone mention them in the group study or I used it when explaining.

As if it is not enough, God placed another senior in my room Elliot who was very helpful too. I would be studying and fail to understand something (which was the case most of the times) I would ask him and he would explain until I understood, he would explain to a point I would feel lazy when studying because I have a deeper understanding than the book or PowerPoint was offering.

Sometimes he would also be studying but he was still there to help. It is not every day you have such a roommate; it is not every day your roommate will be there interested in seeing you thrive. I pay attention to these things most of us tend to overlook or consider small because I believe there countless of miracles that surround us every day but because we are too focused on what we classify as big we miss these miracles and tend to believe God doesn’t work in our lives. For me HESED had intentionally placed these people in my life.

Unfortunately, the global pandemic hit and physical classes were put on hold at my university so we started learning online. I knew this was going to be a challenge for me, I am a class person I find it hard to study a topic if I have never heard a lecturer, teacher or tutor talk about it, I actually capture guidance and most of the information during classes unless otherwise but since it was my HESED year God had a plan for me.

God placed two seniors in my life who were extremely helpful; Chikwe and Emmanuel they literally taught me all of the topics I found hard to understand or even failed to study because I find it hard to study something I am not taught. I can’t appreciate these two enough because they did this for free and they helped me stay on track with my lecturers who were sending PowerPoints at the speed of light. Maybe you can call it luck or coincidence but I have come to understand that luck and coincidence are God’s ways of remaining anonymous.    

Meet my group study: tried to look for a better picture found none 😂
Maybe this is better 😂
I directed this drama, Kabwe would be proud of me
Did I mention I was chosen to be the drama Director and God worked mighty?
Meet Luwi my mentor….

However, since 2020 was the year of HESED for me I had to find a way to extend the Grace that I was experiencing to others I had to give what I was receiving. I didn’t know how I was going to do this until May when the Holy Spirit dropped the whole idea of Relatable Monday to me. I remember I was studying cardiovascular embryology and I was not understanding anything, I got frustrated, stopped studying and the Holy Spirit communicated the whole idea.

Relatable Monday is a project here on my blog where I share about struggles that I faced/face in my Christian journey, struggles I believe are rarely talked about at church or Christian circles. The Holy Spirit told me that we are all relatable in the sense that we usually experience the same struggles but because we solve them in isolation the enemy makes us believe our struggles are unique and we are the only one struggling. Relatable Monday is a community where Christians all over the globe come together and solve their problems together.

From the first episode of Relatable Monday up to 28th December when I released the 4th episode of season two countless testimonies have been coming in, the Holy Spirit has greatly ministered to people through the blog posts. People who believed they were hopeless because of Relatable Monday they found hope, people who were at the verge of giving up or quitting the whole Christian faith were revived upon reading Relatable Monday. This is God’s HESED using me to reach out to people at their point of need. God empowered people to support the project and people as far as Ukraine know about Relatable Monday for me all this is HESED.

Relatable Monday has been a way I have extended God’s Grace to other people, the HESED that I have experienced this year I have extended it to other people through Relatable Monday. I remember one of the committed viewers texted me saying: relatable Monday has reminded me of God’s love upon my life every time I read it, it has given me a deeper understanding of God’s Grace. I can move around with my head held high knowing God’s love for me is constant no matter the circumstances. This right here is people understanding God’s HESED  

One thing I use to enjoy doing in high school was debating, I loved debating so much I never use to miss anything related to debate. Unfortunately, when I went to University, I found my university didn’t have an active debate society since we are a satellite university. Initially I found it hard to adjust a life without debate but because the school work was so demanding without even realizing debate was the thing of the past.

One of the many grateful hearts❤
I love how God supports his work
People were been led back to God
I shared this comment because we had new readers for season 2🛐

 Early this year the main campus advertised they wanted one person from our campus to join them in their upcoming debate competition. They requested the people interested must send their audition videos, my friend Naomi who knew I use to debate immediately forwarded that message to my inbox asking me to audition. I was so excited about it perhaps my talent would be revived. I auditioned and I was selected to be part of their panel. We went for the competition but we lost in the finals and came out second.

To be honest, I thought that competition would revive my love for debate but it drained me, I didn’t debate like I use to debate in high school. If in high school I use to debate on the scale of 1-10, 8 at that debate I debated 5. I consciously decided to stop debating because I made myself believe the debater in me is kind of dead. In September an announcement was made that the Ministry of Health was conducting a National Debate tour and my satellite campus was invited. When I saw that message, I told myself “I am not going to participate.”

A group was formed for people who wanted to participate I never joined the group, two weeks down the line one of the active members of that group sent me a message why I wasn’t in that group or perhaps I didn’t see the invitation message, without even asking he added me to the group. When I saw that I remember telling my roommate that “even though I am added to this group I am not to participate in this competition.” I purposely went late for the first rehearsal meeting, unprepared even though I tried all this I was still asked to try out.

Long-story-short I was selected to be part of the debate panel, going to this competition I was uncertain and scared because at some point we were going to debate the main campus panel which I knew was a great panel. I remember praying before the first day of the competition asking God to show me His Grace in this competition. Shockingly, we won the competitions and the high school debater in me was revived, we went to the National fair and beat the two times National champions of that competition. Late this year we managed to form our society and I was chosen as the society’s founding President.

I initially didn’t want to participate in this competition but God through his Grace made so much good come out of this competition. I didn’t deserve it but that’s the definition of Grace; unmerited favor, something we don’t deserve. This too God showed me HESED.

Final minute preparations before the final
Seconds before the grand finale
If support system were people
This is my school debate team aka The National Champions

Late this year our results came out and by God’s HESED I cleared my exams as I am typing this right now, I am a third-year medical student all praise to God. I annually share my testimony for the word I picked because I want you to pick your word too. Watch this year’s sermon on this by clicking here and pick a word you want to define your 2021. Words have power they are more than just a mere combination of 26 alphabetical letters they transmit energy and waves that can create or destroy

2020 is not a year I would like to re-live but that can’t stop me from testifying…

Happy New Year in Advance!

The Story of Glory

I have come to learn that one of the things most people struggle with is prayer. In our Christian walk prayer is something important, its importance is made as early as Sunday school. However, sometimes when we look at prayer, we look at it from a shallow position. If you are someone new or at times even old in the faith you will have difficulties of opening up to God in prayer and that is mostly because of the shame that we feel. The shame that we feel not just towards God but also towards people.

I actually believe this is the reason we fail to open up or share certain testimonies to people because we are ashamed of the perception these people are going to have when they hear what we have done before or go through our mind. Unfortunately, we take the same perspective to God. There was a time I felt like that, I remember it was difficult to talk to God about it or even pray to God. It was difficult to even share it with anyone, I only managed to talk about it with two people and one of them being Genesis who I didn’t even tell the full story.

There was a point in my life (I was already a Christian by the way) I started receiving messages that were mostly images from this person I hardly use to talk to. These images that were sent could only be seen after downloading, so I went ahead and downloaded them to my surprise these pictures were nude pictures and I didn’t know how to take it by then. I didn’t delete these pictures I kept them, I mean I downloaded them. I kept them in a safe space where it couldn’t be easy for anyone to access them unless they knew my password. Two days down the line I found myself looking at those pictures and I continued chatting with that person.

Eventually, its kind of became like a thing, after some days they could send similar pictures again. It continued for some time and afterwards, I started having problems because I would go to church and feel ashamed, I would look at myself and move in self guilty. I would ask myself what if someone accidentally guessed my password, opens my phone and find what is there? What would these people think about me especially since I was an active member of the youth fellowship at church?

Honestly, I knew I was struggling but I failed to share this with anyone because of the shame I knew it would come with. I couldn’t bring the other side of me on the table, the side that was struggling because it was full of shame. This was really hard to share because people already have this perfect image of you so you need to keep up with it. Anything less from perfection will be a fail for them. Even though most of us say no one is perfect their still people we expect perfection from. I honestly felt the shame especially when I go to church, I was really failing to pray to an extent I stopped praying.

 I would go to church and fail to tell God about my struggles, during prayer time I would keep quiet because I was afraid of telling God about what was going on, especially I knew I might want to look at those pictures again. There times I would look at the pictures and my conscious would tell me “God is watching you” but still it wouldn’t make me stop looking, worse even deleting the pictures. I struggled to talk to God, I struggled to share this with anyone. If you are reading this you are the fourth person to know this, since there two people I shared with plus myself and you now.

I remember there were times I would gain courage and pray the prayer of confession asking God to forgive me but still I would fail to delete the pictures. One or two weeks down the line I would still go look at the pictures again then I would feel the shame once more. I would stop praying again because every time I would try to pray, I would feel too dirty and super sinful for God. The worst part is that I was active in youth ministry so I was part of the people preaching not to do such things when in the long run I was doing those things. It was also hard to confess to a fellow brother because I was scared to be judged.

However, at some point, I don’t really know what happened maybe I stopped thinking past myself and I started thinking about the conscious decisions I had to make. Honestly, I can’t remember what really happened but I went and deleted everything, like everything at once and I was surprised. The next day I was shocked that I managed to delete those things then I went to the chat and deleted the conversations too. I felt really bad at that time and I remember telling God “I will not do it again.” I had to make certain moves to make sure I don’t do that again and one of them was by cutting my social media time and just permanently cutting my time on certain social media platforms.

Amazingly, a similar incident happened with a different person, because the other person I told them to stop sending such pictures to me and kind of shouted at that person because I was upset. This time the case was different I told that person never to send such pictures to me because I don’t do such kind of things. I still avoid certain social media platforms up to now because “guard your heart” requires you to take unexciting action.

There are things we don’t want to talk about because they happened in the past and we are ashamed of them because we feel like when we share it with other believers that we went through this they will be disappointed and we are scared they will look down on us and say “oh my God I thought this person was all good but no.” It’s not that these things don’t happen but it is because these things happen that we fail to talk about them. Even though such things happened in the past we still look at the people who try to testify differently.

BE INTENTIONAL

Flee from the devil and he will flee from you, our spirit and flesh are at constant wrestle. When we give the flesh an opportunity it capitalizes on it. This is why the bible tells us to flee. Fleeing will involve cutting off certain things, fleeing will involve you to come out of your comfort zone and take new steps that will help you. Behaviour is something that is repeated research shows that most people view pornography in a country at the same period of time mostly at night if this is something you are battling fleeing will mean not being on phone around this time.

I rarely use media platforms, I had to cut off some people because I had to guard my heart. This is not to say that when you are on these social media platform you are going to mess up, no we all deal with things differently. Certain people can be on these platforms but still manage to stay safe while others may not; they will need to put in guidelines on how often they are on these platforms and who they keep as friends or mutual followings in order to guard their hearts. Its something I do now. However, one thing we should understand is that our eyes will see the things and it is up to the mind to process what it has seen. Eyes will never be satisfied, so train your mind.

To add on, when you make this intentional move don’t give up because you failed mid-way that is the enemy’s trap, keep running back to God, keep trying it doesn’t matter how many times you go back to repent to God even over the same sin He doesn’t get tired! Keep remaining. As you battle this you need God’s Grace and giving up will cut God’s Grace and there nothing you will do without God’s Grace. Yes, you are intentional but don’t feel you are too much for God, Keep Remaining. This is not to say continue in the sinning and confession cycle.

BE A STORYTELLER

When we do something wrong it shouldn’t be the reason we fail to approach the throne of mercy or the reason why we run away from God and it should not also be the reason we refrain from making such testimonies because we feel like there is someone in the church or the audience who looked up to you and now will finger point you and give you the holier than thou look. It is not certain that they are going to do that but that is what the mind in most cases tell you because of what you have seen happen to others. This was my greatest struggle because I was afraid that if I come out and share my story people will look at me in a certain way and I will just appear like a total sinner to them.

However, one thing that pushed me to share my story is the statement that was often used in Relatable Monday season one by Morgan Harper Nichols “Share a story of the mountains you’ve climbed your story might be a page in someone’s else survival guide.” I believe that’s true. If I went through something and God helped me overcome it, when I share it with others, I give hope to people experiencing the same thing or other things that God can help them out too. My story might be the only thing someone needs to start a new chapter in their life. When I fail to share the story, I hurt that person.

Unfortunately, shame makes us not talk to God, shame makes us fail to open up, shame makes us fail to tell our stories, shame makes us run away from where our freedom is. Shame is something we feel especially after we sin, shame inhibits our growth and maturity. Usually, this is on our end and not God’s end because if you have a sin problem God has the sin solution and avoiding to go to God, we inhibit ourselves from getting the solution we desire. Shame buries us under the blankets of self-guilt and self-pity that stop us from talking to God

Prayer is important to a Christian and shame is a huge hindrance despite us knowing the importance of prayer. We know that God can forgive us of all our sins, he judged all our sins on His son Jesus Christ but still when we are praying their certain things, we fail to confess to him because we are ashamed. It is a very big issue that I feel should be addressed. I know none of us wants to be judged but James chapter five encourages us to open up to God and our friends. God turns our graves into gardens by giving us a story to tell; we are all storytellers.

CHURCH FOR ME

The main reason we don’t have an environment of honesty where people can be free to open up without the fear of being judged is that we have classified sin. Maybe I didn’t reach a point of doing this and that so I am better than them. We must not point fingers when people open up, we must understand that the same grace that saved us which we wholly depend on is sufficient for our friends too. The same way God has forgiven us, he has forgiven our neighbor even though they sinned differently from us. The church should be a place where people experience the grace of God and not a place where they get labelled.

We must not justify our sins or make ourselves feel better than others because our friend’s past seems darker than ours. The church should encourage people to be open and speak about such matters so they can come up with practical and great ways of helping people who are struggling. There so many people who walk into church with burdens and leave with the same burdens because the environment is not conducive for them to cast their burdens unto Jesus. We can preach theology but because of guilt some people don’t get anything and the best way to help these people is by creating an environment where people can open up without fear.

We must also have love, if we don’t want to judge our neighbors, we must learn to look at them the same way we look at ourselves because none of us wants to be judged. Jesus said to love your neighbor as you love yourself, when we put ourselves in other people’s situation, we love them as we love ourselves. We show them grace as we would love to be shown, we pray with them as we would pray for ourselves, we understand them as we understand ourselves: Jesus knew why he said: “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” This kind of perspective will create room for vulnerability and honesty in the church. When we love we learn to help people without stigmatizing them.

IF THIS IS YOU NOW

If this is something you are going through do not be ashamed especially to God, because before man there is God. God is the solution, running away from Him is like heading north when the solution is south. Going in the opposite direction makes you carry the weight on yourself. Shame is not something that is meant for you to carry because Jesus carried it on the cross of calvary for you when he died a shameful death for a king and an innocent person. You will become over conscious of nothing when you carry the badge of shame. You will have that fear like someone is watching, or someone knows and they will expose you and all that. However, when you head towards the direction of God you will find the solution to your problem.

You must not be afraid to say it in front of people, I know for someone who is saying you are the fourth person to know about this it already tells you I didn’t want to share this with anyone. What changed my view is when I came to learn that my perspective of who I am is not because of what I have done but what Jesus has done for me and his finished work through his life, death and resurrection. This is why I should not be afraid of speaking out of what I was especially when it is going to help out some people or afraid to speak because of what people will view that past of me. Who I am is not who I was. Who I am right now? I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, I am saved of God, I am a child of God.

The most important thing is to find out who you are, you are not your mistakes. The best person to define what a product is a manufacturer. When Apple designs a product, they get to define what it is, just because an iPhone can play music doesn’t make it a radio because that is not the definition apple gave it. Same as us we are defined by our manufacturer who is God. In his infinite mercies, he has defined us his righteousness, he has defined us as his children. This is the perspective I took I get to see myself from the manufacturer point of view. I am what the manufacturer says I am, I am not what I did, I am not my mistakes, I am not my failures; I am who my maker says I am. I am God’s beloved son and nothing will ever change that.

Dear Reader, who are you?

-Joshua Banda

Announcement: So there’s this tradition we have at elevation church where Pastor Steven Furtick asks us to pick a word for the coming year after the second last series of the year, for 2020 I picked the word Hesed and on the 30th of this month I will be sharing my personal testimony in line with my word for 2020. The Testimony will be here at 6pm Central African Time.


Thank you very much for reading the last episode of Relatable Monday in 2020, make sure to share in the comment section down below how today’s episode ministered to you and your encouragement on this.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, in advance and see you next year. Congratulation you survived 2020!

Lead Me Back

Our next Guest in the last episode of Relatable Monday in the year 2020 is Joshua Banda.

Joshua S Banda is a young and vibrant Christian who aspires to be a future scientist in the field of biology. He is a keen individual who is constantly seeking knowledge, wisdom and above all understanding.

He has served as a leader in the youth department of his local church right before going university where he is currently a cell-group leader and a student representative council member.


Joshua is also an upcoming writer, blogger, public speaker and a spoken word artist. He has dedicated his talent to bringing the truth to people and helping the needy.


He hopes to create an environment in the church where people can come and be liberated and not stigmatized or judged. To achieve this, he has recently started speaking on matters that cause such occurrence by using examples of things he has been through. He believes in all our getting, we should get understanding.

Merry Christmas Eve! Have a Great Christmas.

Trading Truth

Leadership is an Art I’ve practiced for the past four years and I’ve faced struggles, of which many were amplified and huge because I am a leader. I was born and bred in a Christian home, so I made myself believe that by virtue of being in a Christian home I was automatically a believer. Fortunate enough I learnt what it means to be a Christian and I gave my life to Jesus Christ in 2012 on July 29th, that’s how I was saved and became a follower of Christ: Christian.

In 2014 I started my tertiary education at the Copperbelt University in Kitwe Zambia. I always wanted to study medicine to a point I never saw myself pursuing anything else. While I was in first year, I made a covenant with God, that if He would make me go to the school of medicine, I was going to serve Him all the days of my medical school. I actually wrote this on paper and even signed, leaving a space for God to sign too. Fortunately, I was selected to go to the school of medicine, I felt like God was saying I have done my part, it is now your turn. Thus, when I was going to the school of medicine, I knew I had a covenant to keep. Lucky enough I found a fellowship that helped me keep the covenant.

I was aware before I went to the school of medicine, I made a covenant with God and I had to keep it. I realized that to keep this covenant my journey had to be personal, my relationship had to be consistent and one way that was going to help with this, was to get committed to my school fellowship. I had to attend meetings even when my friends had not attended because my case was different and my relationship had to be personal and not collective.

To cut the long-story-short near the end of my second academic year, I was chosen as the Vice chairperson of the fellowship. This sounds like a very exciting position but it came with its own challenges. That time I was still a baby in spirituality, never use to pray in tongues, I had been reading the bible but more on the story aspect and less or nothing on revelation. I knew that this new position required me to preach often in front of everyone and I thought I wasn’t fully equipped to preach. I had never prepared my own sermon so I knew why I felt I wasn’t equipped. I couldn’t even pray in tongues and I was the incoming Vice Chairperson.

To add on, I also struggled with tithing as a leader, I knew I had to tithe I would make plans about tithing but when the time comes it was another issue. I was a Vice Chairperson I knew the importance of tithing but still I was finding it hard, worse I would encourage and educate people on why we should tithe. I use to wonder whether I should tithe from the meal allowance I was receiving or not. Is meal allowance an income that qualify to be tithed? These are some of the questions I battled with. I was still struggling to tithe even with business money despite having the understanding that tithing will actually help my business flourish.

Moreover, I have a relatively small Phenotype and in a leadership position this can also present a challenge, certain people found it hard to respect me as their vice chairperson because of the stature I have and that would honestly affect me. There times I would give instructions but some people won’t follow them, that use to crash my spirit especially it was my first time in such a key position I was conscious of everyone’s opinion, every little thing would affect me. Even just how certain people would respond to me I would be like “guy I am your vice chairperson.” These things would really get to me but now because of maturity and growth I am gaining momentum in my leadership.

MY TESTIMONY

I knew the responsibility the new leadership position came with, I had to know how to preach, I had to know how to pray and I was supposed to be faithful with my tithes but here is me, I am the Vice Chairperson but I don’t have a deeper understanding of the word of God and I am expected to preach on a regular basis.

I remember God started showing me that when you were a child you didn’t know how to cook nshima you could only eat what people cooked, but a time came when you learnt how to cook nshima that only you could eat and a time came when you also learnt how to cook nshima that not only you can eat but other people too. Similarly, when you are a child in spirit your only source of the word is from others, as you keep growing you learn to study the word for yourself and it benefits you greatly, with time you capture revelations that you can share with others. So, it is important that you embrace the process and pay attention to each step.

Fortunately, God used the fellowship Chairperson (founding) who was also my mentor to help me grow in faith. There was a time he gave me a scripture (Mathew 6:33) to meditate for a week, after which I had to give him revelations that I had never heard from anywhere. It was a challenge at first but I went to God and asked him to open my understanding, which he did and I found treasure. Having the revelations from that scripture really helped my faith flourish. I realised that when we really seek him, we will find him and when we ask, he will really give us, it might not be according to our time frame but definitely he will.

Eventually, I started getting revelations from the word and it was kind of often than I thought, so I went back to the chairperson of the fellowship and asked him if I should be sharing with people what God is revealing to me, he told me “you should share with others by doing that you create room for God to speak more.”  I was excited to get a green light from him and I began sharing what I had received mostly through social media. I have come to learn that social media is one of the 7 mountains of influence, and one decides either to be God’s agent or that of Satan. This is why I am careful with what I post because social media is deeply used to influence and affect the minds of many people.

There is a common saying which states, “God calls the unqualified” but this statement in itself is incomplete. God calls the unqualified but the unqualified should be ready to undergo the training of God. This is why much of my vacation of second year I was building my capacity in prayer and the word. My growth was pushed by the fact that I had a position but I didn’t know that actually that was the way God was helping me to grow. I was a leader and through God’s grace I had to become a good leader. One’s influence as a spiritual leader is at the mercy of his spiritual growth, how much of God he can carry and express to the members.

I remember one thing that God told me, he said “what matters the most is your personal relationship with God and not really the church you go to.” You shouldn’t get attached to your church so much that you accept and follow everything even if it is doesn’t align with scripture. When you have a personal relationship with God, he becomes your standard and not the church. When God looks at you, he doesn’t say this is Genesis from Maranatha he looks at you and says this is my son Genesis he looks at you personally. This is why I take personal meditation of scripture very serious and not just depending on church because for me scripture is my standard.

AS FOR ME NOW

In moments where I fail to study scripture or pray, I make myself listen to a sermon because I know from every sermon there are prayer points. Everywhere the word of God is, the Holy Spirit is present. In the beginning, the Holy Ghost moved upon the face of the waters. Water speaks of the word of God (Ephesian 5:26). In Acts 10 we are told that when Peter preached the spirit of God fell upon all those who heard the word. When I want to pray and I am finding it hard I always use this strategy and it always work, because it takes the Holy Spirit to pray. However, sometimes I think the environment matters too, if you want to just study the library is a great option. If you want to pray and you are finding it hard try to find a conducive environment.

There is a way in which you are supposed to tarry in the word. Personally I have come to understand that when you read too fast you might not get anything. When I begin reading before I open my bible, I ask God to reveal the truth to me, for he is the spirit of truth. I study the bible word for word I don’t study it very fast I pay attention to each word and statement; this helps me to connect different scriptures because there are statements that are repeated and are interconnected. Scripture answers scripture, you need another scripture to back up a revelation.

When we connect these scriptures, we begin to relate them to what is happening in our lives and our environment, this way we can even give advice to people because we can relate their situation to what scripture is saying. Everything that someone is going through, scripture has something to say. This means when we broaden our understanding with scripture, we broaden the help we offer when people come to us, especially we are all called to go out and spread the word. Listen, how much people God sends to you depends on the extent of your knowledge base of scripture.

When you are a leader a lot of people are going to like you but you need to be careful. People love titles, they are naturally attracted to influencers but be very careful it is not that your market has boosted all of a sudden, it’s at that time the enemy will use it as a trap to strip you of glory. That is why we find most leaders fall because of the opposite sex. Fortunate enough I learnt this quickly through studying scripture and I knew how to set my limits from there and it has helped me fight that struggle as a leader. It really worked well and it has helped me to sustain purity, which is an indispensable virtue for a leader.

REVELATION

Meditation of scripture is a process. When we read the scripture once and we fail to understand we often times close the bible, but then we disadvantage ourselves. We need to continuously go back to scripture and seek for revelation even if we read once and got nothing we must keep going back. We must not leave scripture until we encounter a revelation. We must not try once and quit we must allow the holy spirit to speak. We need to keep seeking until we find, the bible clearly says seek and you will find.

When we read John 20:1-18 we find the encounter of Mary Magdalene with Jesus at the sepulchre. One revelation God showed me from this passage is that, Mary represents one who desires to catch a revelation as they study the Word. Early Sunday morning she arose and went to the tomb, as the psalmist would say, early will I seek. In the first verse of our text, Mary goes to the sepulchre, sees the stone rolled away but does not go in, she instead ran away, at this point she represents one who gets the Bible to read, reads it once and goes away without seeing any mystery. This was the level of the Ethiopian eunuch, he read the book of Isaiah but had no single revelation.

In the eleventh verse, Mary stood at the tomb weeping and as she wept, she stooped down and looked into the tomb. She stood at the sepulchre, Mary never left like before, she bent down and looked again, she was fully convinced that there was something hidden inside. This is the second look, it’s the beginning of meditation. At this point Mary represents one who doesn’t look at the scripture once but looks again (reads and rereads- meditates), because he/she knows there is something he/she is yet to see in that scripture. You need to be persistent over a scripture until you get a revelation.

However, in verse 13-15, she now has an encounter with angels and Jesus, but she is only addressed as Woman and she didn’t know that it was Jesus. Woman is a general term, and in scripture it represents the church. So, this is the level of revelation that speaks to all believers. It is general, for everyone. This is the level that preachers expose us to when preaching, but one has to enter the next level to receive their own personal portion. From one scripture God speaks different things to different people.

In the sixteenth verse, Jesus said unto her Mary, this time she was addressed by her name, she heard his voice, turned and knew that it was Jesus. In the seventh chapter of John Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow me.” This is the highest level of revelation; you hear the voice of God as pertaining to your life, Jesus speaks specifically to you. This was the level that Saul entered when he encountered Jesus on his way to Damascus. The Samaritan woman in the fourth chapter of John equally entered this dimension after Jesus spoke to her destiny, after which she went forth and ministered to others. From one scripture God speaks different things to different people, get your own word!

As Mary in this passage we must not give up when we open scripture once and fail to get revelation, we must go back to the Word. The Word of God has been my main guide as a leader. All the struggles I go through as a leader the Word of God has carried me through. We need to seek God in scripture until we will find him, for a believer whether leader or not, the Word must be your banner, you need it for every step you will have to make.

Dear reader/leader, you need the word of God to guide you through.

-Lubasi Ephraim Michelo


Merry Early Christmas !!!

Thank you very much for reading today’s episode of Relatable Monday. How did today’s episode lead you back to the truth? Share in the comment section down below!

Enjoy Your Christmas!!! See you next week…..