Sunday, 21 July 2013

Women’s conference 2013

It was such a privilege to attend the Women’s Conference at my church, CRC. The conference is founded by my spiritual mother Pastor Nyretta Boshoff. We also had a guest speaker all the way from Seattle Washington, Pastor Wendy Treat imparting God’s Word of wisdom to us. The conference’s central theme in my perspective was forgiveness. In the evening Pastor Wendy led us in prayer which helped me personally, release the un-forgiveness that I harbored in my heart. After everything that happened between Kabelo and I, I had so much anger towards him even towards myself for disappointing God. Not only that, but several other things that I was dealing with this past week. The next morning of the conference Pastor Wendy shared some strategies on how to release un-forgiveness out of your heart which I believe will be of such great help if I take them to consideration, which I will. 

Areas of forgiveness

This has been one of my toughest weeks, but my Father carried me through with His sweet love and tender care. 

At the beginning of every term, as Education students we are supposed to do our teaching practical at any school we choose. I chose a school convenient for me nearby. What I didn’t know is that the school is for special kids.. I had the worst time of my life there, but I really want to be broken by God so I guess it was the perfect place to be at. The learners in that school, which are way older for their grade, gave me a pretty tough time. They would laugh at me when I got in the class and make nasty remarks. Of course the teachers in that school were not able to sort these people out because they are so uncontrollable, they swear at teachers, they talk back, they put their feet on the desks, they throw things around, they smoke, they take drugs and alcohol, they fight brutally!! You just need grace to work under such circumstances. The teachers were all Afrikaners and most were not really talkative.When the principle introduced me to my two guardian teachers they didn’t even look at me, they avoided me for the whole week!! I don’t think it’s much of a race issue but issues with their character especially when you work with such difficult children. No adult wants to be seen being disrespected by little uncontrollable kids; no man wants to be seen as weak, not being able to handle a small child. So I had a different teacher assigned to me during the week who was friendlier. In the staff room everything was spoken in Afrikaans and mostly throughout the day, so it was hard relating to people who just won’t speak anything but Afrikaans. I felt belittled by the children and left out by the teachers. All I could hope in was God’s amazing love and presence in my life. (I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord. Apart from you I have no good thing. Psalm16:2)

Forgive Your Critics

Every day after school I was always sad and depressed. Sometimes I wanted to tell my close housemates all about it, but you know, they really don’t have time to listen to such petty stories. I would sit with them, trying to blend in but by the influence of one, they always managed to leave me feeling even worse. One day I was chilling with them and one of my housemates asked me something about someone who has hurt me so terribly in the past. With the shocked reaction I gave, she asked me, “Are you still that kind of person?” What she was basically saying is that, you are a Christian but you are angry. Another housemate asked me what am I afraid to lose most in life. And me being a lover of Christ, I said “I’m scared of losing my God, my salvation”. I had somebody criticizing me for that. This criticism happened all the time before and it is always by one person, but this time I could not take it anymore. I left their room, said my goodnight and no reply. Well, I am glad I don’t put my hope in human beings, they change. Today they love you, tomorrow they change. I knelt down and cried out to God so bitterly like a child. (I am worn out of my groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow they fail because of all my foes. Psalm6:6). There will always be critics, and as long as they are they, God will always be available for us to cry out to. Critics make us better Christians. If my housemate didn’t ask me that question I wouldn’t have known what prayers to say. I wouldn’t have known that I still harbor un-forgiveness towards other people. This is where the whole breaking part all comes in. Your face is always on the ground before God. You are always pleading before His throne to take away everything in you that doesn’t align with what real Christianity is all about. I could have easily judged my housemate too for all the things that she does, for always calling me names and trying to put me down, but the real test of time comes when you don’t view yourself even in your mind as better as the other person. As a Christian the world is expecting extremely high standards from you, when you say or do something wrong they hold it against you for a very long time. This is why we need to be broken before God always; we are expected to be perfect and flawless. (Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Mathew5:48). Now how can you become perfect when you were born in an imperfect world? By being broken in God’s presence all the time and God will always allow circumstance to happen to us in order for us to get broken. Your critic is not your enemy, the devil is. Forgive your critics. If you are going to be angry at someone for one wrong that they did and forget all their goodness, then I feel sorry for you. I have learned that my critic is just there to make me a better Christian.

Forgive Yourself

Author, Chip Ingram said something that I like in one of his books. “If God so freely forgives us, then what gives us the right not to forgive ourselves?” This is one of the things Pastor Wendy Treat mentioned during the conference, forgiving ourselves for all the wrong we think we might have done. It’s easier said than done I know. I got in a heated argument with a cashier at a grocery store a few days back. The argument was so intense that I was even shaking. I really don’t remember myself being this angry in a long time. “Who am I? What am I?” I even began questioning myself when I got home and dropped down on my knees crying out to my Creator. It’s like the more I try to live a holy life, the more I blow it big time. If it’s not fornication, its anger. If it’s not anger, its envy. If it’s not envy, its theft. If it’s not theft, Lord knows what else it is!!! 

It’s so easy to forget everything that God has done for you when things get hard. Sometimes I ask myself, what am I doing? I mean, why am I still trying so hard even though I fail countless times!?

I believe that if God parted the oceans, If God was able to sustain Jonah’s life in the fish, If He was God of Daniel, then He will do the same work in me! I have learned to be patient with myself, forgive myself when I mess up. The devil no longer has a grip on me because I have made a decision that I will forgive myself just as much as God forgives me. 
Come and hear, all you who fear God;
    let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth;
    his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened
    and has heard my prayer.Praise be to God,
    who has not rejected my prayer
    or withheld his love from me! Psalm66:16

Make Peace with others…be at peace with God

(God did not plan the evil things that happened in your past. Wendy Treat). Pastor Wendy supported her statement with the scripture in John 10:10. How many times do we get so mad at God when the devil does something to us? The day we realize what a loving Father we have, our relationship with God will improve greatly. During this conference I learned how to make peace with God. Pastor Wendy shared a few of her testimonies and I was encouraged to believe in God, to trust Him, to praise Him, to love Him. When we make peace with God and forgive Him if we think that we are so righteous that He needs our forgiveness, we become peaceful with other people. This conference helped me not to see my housemate as a critic, but as a woman who can get her life changed by looking at how I treat her. This conference helped me to see those girls who were laughing at me in the class as people capable of transformation as soon as they saw the humility of Christ in me. I love women and it is the devils strategy to try and separate us through gossip, belittling one another, and being inhumane to each other.  (Women can help each other grow in a way that no man ever can. We can feel each others pain as if it is our own. We can rejoice in each others strengths and celebrate each others victories as if we ourselves had accomplished them. We are, after all, different facets of the same jewel, the female soul. Barbara De Angelis

As women gathered in that auditorium, crying out, releasing the un-forgiveness in our hearts, we were even able to love each other as Christ loved us. We held hands, we hugged, and we prayed for one another, oh what a spirit of unity. Forgiveness comes naturally when we allow the Holy Spirit to do such a work in us, to move in us, to make us better South Africans, better Women, better Christians!

I love being a Woman of God. I chose to forgive! I am unstoppable. I have definitely caught the fire!!

CRC Women’s conference 2013 (See more pics of the conference at my gallery)

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