Monday, 24 December 2007

Saying Goodbye

What a year this has been. Last Friday was my last day at work. I left the building with mixed emotions; fear, excitement, tension but most of all relief. It is right that my days in that job are over just as it is right that I am saying goodbye to this blog. I'm leaving it behind in 2007 because I want to start 2008 on a fresh plate.

2008 will be the year in which I will enjoy myself. It will be the year in which the first words out of my mouth each morning will be carpe diem (seize the day). It will be a year of happiness. It will be a year of good things and I will reach out and grab hold of those good things with everything that is within me.

I'll miss you all. Thank you for your comments, emails and all. I'll be keeping a discreet eye on all your blogs and who knows, maybe I'll resurface again in blogville...

Until then, carpe diem (seize the day).

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Who's Who in Jerusalemville

There are two Jerusalems; the one who writes this blog and the other, the intercessor, church worker and friend to all and sundry.

I reread my last blog entry yesterday. Yes, that was a particularly bad day. Thank God for this blog that allows me to rant and vent as need be.

I haven't really talked about my church work because I didn't think it was appropriate (I didn't want you all to think I was boasting) but I think I will now. In evangelical/charismatic circles, I'm what you would call an intercessor with the gift of knowledge. When I pray for people, I'm not lying but 98% of the time, I get the facts of their situation right and they hear from God. In my office, I know personal stuff about other people that God has told me in my prayer time. Of course, I don't say anything to them because that's not what it's about but I can't help but wonder, Lord, what about me...

I did get an answer once. It went something like this: 'Your gift is not for you but for other people.' I didn't like that at all but it's given me an appreciation of what pastors go through. They see miracles and answers to prayer in the course of their work and they go home to an empty house because they're having problems conceiving. It can't be easy but following Christ was never meant to be easy.

What is true Christianity?
True Christianity is dangerous. It's dangerous because it makes you emotionally and spiritually vulnerable. Let's face it, when everything falls apart and you're lying in shit, you don't have any choice but to be open to God. In Christianity, we call that being broken. It's dangerous because being 'broken' means being fragile and from my experience, it's not a particularly nice place to be. I want to be in control. I want answers but with God, I'm learning to accept that sometimes, you don't get answers. I'm learning that with each season of pain comes life lessons that we wouldn't have learnt otherwise.

I don't know if I love God. I don't know why I hang on so tenaciously to this faith of mine. I don't know many things but if there's one thing I've learnt this year, it's this: sometimes, there aren't any answers and I have to be content with that.

Saturday, 1 December 2007


I'm still here. Didn't really have much to say so haven't blogged much. But I am alive and well. And that's the most important thing. I was thinking to myself the other day. Why is it that I'm trying so hard to do things, move forward in my life and I keep on getting knockbacks? Why is it that everywhere I look, I see people being successful at everything they do and I fail rather spectacularly? I know life's not fair but just once in a while, I need a break.

Pray harder. Fast more. Let God be God. You're doing it all in your own strength. I've heard it all and none of it works. I've prayed, fasted, let go, let God be God, done all I can to really make things work and still nothing. Am I going to wake up one day and find that I am a never-married 50 something woman, who is still carrying her disappointments and emotional pain around her like they're her best friends? I really, really don't want to and everything within me riles at the thought. So I try harder, to make a success out of my life, only I fail.

And I thought I was doing so well
I really did. I refused to look ahead. I didn't have any expectations. I focused on the here and now but all of a sudden, it all got a bit much and I'm back to square bloody one.

I've just had enough. All I want; get a decent enough paying job that will enable me to finally buy my own place and get a decent pension seeing as it's blatantly obvious that I will die alone. It's not much, so why am I finding it so difficult?

I'm mad. Mad at myself because I am trying so bloody hard and nothing is happening.


Monday, 12 November 2007

Last Night

I am physically exhausted. Only had 3 hours sleep. Church was great. Really, really great. After the service, I lingered around, not to find someone to have dinner or hang out with as have been my habit of late, but to just soak in the presence of the Lord.

During the church service, I spoke to one of the "prayer warriors" in church. I had to speak to someone, I really thought I was losing my mind. I told her about the black hole and all the blackness surrounding me. She listened. It was such a relief to talk to someone about it. I sought her out because she didn't know me at all and sometimes, it's just easier to talk to people you don't know at all because there's no history between you. When I finished speaking, with tears and all, she said, "Jerusalem, I hear the Lord asking you to be still and to worship. That's it. Just be still. And worship. I know it can be hard to do those two things in the midst of your pain but that's what I believe the Lord is saying to you. Don't do anything. Just be still and worship. Try it for 5, 10 minutes a day for the next 7 days and if you sense the Lord asking you to carry on, then do so. But for now, be still. Worship and allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Himself."

It was very easy to listen to the woman. If anybody else had told me what she said, I would've screamed blue murder or more than likely, walked off shaking my head at the enforced spirituality of pentecostals.

I left the woman intending to do exactly as she'd told me. I was a bit scared as my mind was still fragile but I knew one thing; I was going to worship and be still. I hadn't bargained for what would happen when I got home.

The night-time
I was really tired so I went to bed at about 9.00. I could not sleep. I knew I was tired. My body physically hurt but my mind was too active and my senses heightened. I could hear every creak in my flat and the traffic outside seemed so loud. Then my heart started beating really fast. At one point, I really thought it would jump out of my chest. When I couldn't bear it any longer, I went to my bedroom windows. They were securely locked. Yet, it was still like the traffic outside was in my room.

I went back to my bed. Every creak, heartbeat and everything else seeming even louder. My body ached physically and then, it started getting hotter and hotter. I touched my skin. It was boiling hot. I looked at my mobile. It was 1112pm. I'd been in bed for over two hours without sleeping.

Suddenly, I felt this thing coming down on me. Although I couldn't see it I knew it was dark and creepy. It was an unclean spiritual entity. I couldn't see it, but it was there, bearing down on me. I could feel it. "Jesus, Jesus," I could feel myself trying to say. I forced my mind, my head to get the words out and then I shouted in the dark, "The blood of Jesus covers me from head to toe. I am covered in the blood of Jesus and under his protection and nothing can harm me. In the name of Jesus, I command you to leave this room , this flat, right now, in the name of Jesus! You have no power over me because I am His. I command you to leave this room and this flat right now in Jesus name!" Then I turned on the light.

The power of the blood
"Nothing can harm me because my name is written in the palm of God's hands. I have the mind of Christ. I am more than a conqueror in Christ. I am saved by the blood of the Lamb. God knows the plan He has for my life. Plans of good not of evil. Because I am His child."

I repeated the words to myself over and over again and dozed off, still with the light on. I woke up again in an hour, unable to sleep. I wondered who to call. I only knew 1 person with the spiritual maturity to help me deal with this situation. In the end, I decided against calling the person because they also had to get to work today. It wasn't fair to wake them up so late. In any case, I reasoned, I'm a Christian and I know the authority I have over spiritual forces so I just kept on talking about the blood of Jesus and my authority in it.

Another hour later, I slept for about 3 hours and woke up. To be still and to praise my Lord, Saviour and Delieverer.

What I'm doing now
At work. On autopilot. Exhausted beyond measure. I know a spiritual battle took place last night with me at the centre. But it is well. I have the victory
. I can do all things through Christ.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Walking, Walking, Walking

I hardly take lunch nowadays, preferring instead to walk around everywhere. It clears my head and strangely enough, invigorates me. My last few months at the gym has made this surge of energy possible. Today, with the sudden drop in temperature, my walk was even more invigorating as usual. I returned to my desk, my spirits lifted beyond measure.

My last day at work is just before Christmas. Although I still refuse to think about what lies ahead of me, money and job wise, I've been looking for other jobs. A few agencies have called and put my name forward for a few jobs but I have no expectations about those. If I get selected for interviews, great. If I'm offered jobs, then even greater but I'm not beating myself up about it. Ever since I discovered that life is about managing expectations (yes, that again), I've been more realistic about just about everything else in my life. The jobs the agencies are putting me forward for are not what I would've chosen to do. In fact, I have no interest in any of the positions whatsoever but - and this is key - it's a job, it pays the bills and that is all there to it. My previous high expectations about life were childish and unrealistic. Life is about grafting, doing what you can and making the best of it all. It's taken me almost 40 years (the sum total) of my life but I think I finally got it.

A friend told me my "light" was gone. She asked me what happened. Nothing much really. Life. That's what happened.

The weekend
I was thinking of going to the movies. Not quite sure what to watch though. Seems to me that no sooner do movies come out than they're released on DVDs only to "premier" on satellite television a few months after.

Too fast. That's what it is. Everything is moving too fast.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Madonna Said

Madonna was on Oprah, a year or so after the birth of her daughter, Lourdes. Oprah asked her if she had ever felt alone. Madonna gave an example of one time she was in a room full of people and never felt so lonely in her life.

I spoke to many people last week about loneliness. They all said they made sure they kept themselves very busy. If you're busy running around, you wouldn't have time to think, they all said. So, they go to work, do stuff after work and generally keep busy.

I understand that. I fell into that trap of general busyness and then one day, the tears, fears and everything else I'd been trying to keep away for so long came crashing down on me. I'm still recovering. In fact, this blog was part of my healing programme. I wanted to write through and make sense of what I was going through without fear of being judged.

The black hole
This year has been about the black hole. Or maybe I was clinically depressed and didn't know it. It is difficult for someone who hasn't been there to understand what the black hole is like. It's a place of no hope, no energy and zilch self-esteem. Everything is just black. As an evangelical/pentecostal Christian, I felt really guilty about the way I was feeling because I thought I shouldn't be feeling like that. I thought I should be happy, full of joy, fighting spiritual battles and winning because "I'm a victor in Christ." I tried talking to a few people about what I was going through but the over-riding message was, "get over it" or "it will pass". Now, it's November and I'm still fighting and working my way through the blackness. Some days are good. Others, just plain awful. But I soldier on.

I think through my days, ascertaining and determining to be happy. To take charge of my life as much as I can because I, and I alone have the power to do this. No point in crying out to God if I'm not willing to do my bit. My post about Managing Expectations is all about this.

2008 cometh
No, I don't have any big plans or hopes about "wonderful things that will happen in 2008" because I'm old, jaded, disappointed and bitter enough to know it's all bullshit. You do the best you can and that's it. It's called managing expectations and yes, it's my new mantra.

Actually, something good happened in church on Sunday. For the first time this year, I actually "heard" the service. I go to church out of habit, not necessarily to hear from God, and ever since I became a church worker at the evening service, my fulfilment has come from helping people not by the sermon itself. But not last Sunday. Usually, I don't remember anything at all about a sermon within 5 minutes of it finishing (I'm not exaggerating, it's the truth) but last Sunday, my spirit, my inner being was stirred by the sermon. I even had tears in my eyes. This hasn't happened for a long time. Not this year anyway. So maybe God hasn't given up on me yet.

Shopping, communion boy and all that
Still haven't been shopping. No money (what's new). Absolutely loving the gym (it's given me more confidence) and I haven't seen Communion Boy since I stopped attending the morning service. I wonder if he thinks about me...

Friday, 2 November 2007

I'm Darn Thankful!

Sometimes, it takes someone's miserable life to make you appreciate yours. I've heard a few stories of need in the last week and while they've caused me to reflect and be thankful for where I am now, a part of me thinks I've paid my dues. I should be at another level financially/spiritually/emotionally/faithwise by this stage of my life. Or maybe I'm just naturally inclined to self.

An agency called me a few days ago. They've seen my CV and would like me to register with them. Whatever happened to the days when agencies used to sign you up as you soon as you emailed in your CV? Now, they're like, "We'll call you when we have something for you," which translates as, "Don't call us, we'll call you." Knowing this, I said yes to the woman. Yes, I'll come in and register with you. And all I'm thinking is, I wouldn't hold my breath about you finding me something. What is it about agencies nowadays anyway? It seems like everybody I speak to has a sad story to tell about them.

We are 8 weeks away from 2008. Did you know that? Another year. More challenges. More mountains and more BS to conquer.

God help us all.