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Volume 10, Issue 09: You Can Handle It

As I was pondering over my response to the chaos that were intensifying around me not so long ago, I began asking myself a number of questions. What am I missing to comprehend from my disruptions at work? How am I looking at it? Why did God allow these chaos to rock my boat? Should I be pondering over how I am carrying myself in the midst of these chaos? Should I be considering how happy or not I will be with myself when all this is over? I think one of the reasons God allows difficult situations to manifest in our spaces is to reveal what's inside us, and sometimes to show us off.

Daniel faced extreme opposition at his place of work but nowhere in the Bible do we see a record of him whining or asking God to change his job. We see him continuing to work excellently such that his opposers could find no shortcomings in his work to use against him. The other thing he did was pray for the city he loved and for God's help. Daniel did not focus his attention to the negative energy around him, rather he maintained his focus on his faith and the work before him.

I have been listening to the book of Job lately and the dots are connecting in my mind as to how I was relating with my chaos. To show off Job's integrity, God allowed Satan to mess up with Job massively. Through all the devastation and losses, Job did not curse God. Do you want to know what happened to job thereafter? Stay tuned.

Are you who God is portraying you to be to your enemies? If Job wasn't who God portrayed him to be, he could have crumbled from the very first attack. But his first response was to bow down in worship to God. Who does that? Who responds with reverence and worship at the news of loss of all your children and fortune? Only a person whose foundation is secure in God - one who knows beyond the shadow of doubt that no matter what happens, God is with them and on their side.

There has to be more expected of us in the midst of chaos than just to react and ask God to rescue us. There has to be ways that we can carry ourselves to come out of the furnace smelling like a rose instead of smelling of smoke. Every struggle is a test to be passed or failed. And for God to allow it on you, it's probably because he has faith in you, so don't let him down. What if Job let God down? The devil alluded that Job feared God only because God shielded him, yet when the shield was removed and the devil released all hell possible on him, Job maintained his devotion to God.

How are you responding to your chaos? Let's continue in the next post.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 08: Trade-offs

Have you ever reached a point where you consider trading position for peace? There comes a time when tables turn on us so much that the status we have from holding a certain job isn't worth our well being and comfort. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a demanding job. I have happily managed one for years. It's all about where you are at in life and what you have an appetite for in your current season. I have been in my line of work for 15 years, and typically, the higher you go up the ladder the more burdens there are to carry.

Have you ever thought of transitioning from a demanding job for a saner role that suits the pace you want? How about moving from your big house to a smaller house to escape hefty house payments and long hours spent on cleaning and maintenance? Is putting up with the rat race and a fast-paced life in the city worth it if deep down what you really prefer is a slower-paced life in your hometown?

I watched quite a number of family movies during the last holiday season. The story in most of them gravitated around a female executive battling with the decision to trade her high ranking job in the city for a saner pace in her hometown after coming home for the holidays. You can imagine why I gravitated to these kind of movies after the hectic work year I had.

Those movies spoke to my situation but they are not what fully lit the bulb for me. What did it for me after weeks of pondering over my transition plan is seeing an ad for a job near my house. I used to work in that building before my office moved to a further location. My interest in the ad made me realize how we can take precious things for granted and not appreciate them until we lose them.

Some of the things I place a lot of value on, which I lost recently is working from home or near home, and having the space to work peacefully without drama and unnecessary interruptions.

This job that I saw is well below my pay grade but I am interested in it because it brings me closer to my dream job, which is working from home, doing what I love. This job is a step closer to that because, it's a very short distance from my house, and it's sane! If I were to get it, I would leave all the nerve wrecking drama behind me, and I wouldn't have to be stuck in traffic for work.

So, what would be my losses and what would I gain if made this shift? I would be taking a demotion and pay cut. But these are just titles and money, nothing compared to the value I assign to what I would be gaining in return. I would be going back to a sane work life like the one I enjoyed before all hell broke loose at my place of work, I would be able to get home from work in a jiffy, and last but definitely not least, this shift would make for a smooth transition to my dream job.

What would you give up for the life you want? What's keeping you from making the trade? I understand that sometimes our circumstances don't afford us the luxury to choose what we want, but at the end of the day, we always have a choice. It comes down to what we are willing to sacrifice for the life we want.

So, how do we decide what to do? We can start by listing down what's important to us and assigning them degrees of importance. Next, we make the brave step to make a decision. And then we draw up a transition plan to get us to the life we want. We may end up with a smaller budget, but who knows, we could be surprised at how much more we can do with it by the grace of God.

I may not get this job that I saw or even have the time to update my CV to apply for it but in my mind and heart, the lines have been drawn. I know what's important to me and I will most certainly gravitate towards it. Whatever your case may be, don't be afraid of what you may have to give up. Think of everything you will be getting in return.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 07: Rise Above It

When we know we are not where we want to be or should be, we are tempted to act arrogantly or miserably. Worse still, we can be mediocre in our performance where we are. We can also refuse opportunities that we think are too small for our dreams.

You may have every reason to hold back but get over yourself and apply yourself fully in your struggles. As a slave, Joseph excelled and was soon in charge of all the other slaves in Potiphar's house. As a prisoner, Joseph once again applied himself so much that the jailer gave him full authority to run the jail.

Don't wait for things to be ideal to give your all. Don't wait for your dreams to come to pass to put your best foot forward. Apply yourself fully in your far from perfect circumstances. That place is your launching pad for where you are going. Use it to practice your craft and sharpen your axe. It is there that you will get noticed and promoted to your destiny.

Additionally, you could be prolonging your stay in the wilderness by not applying yourself. Holding back means you are not sowing seeds to harvest the future you want. It may not be the job you want, but do it the best you can. It may not be where you want to be, but be fully present at it anyway.

Just the other day I was somewhere where the team leader was talking about how a large number of employees of a certain company walked out of their jobs in protest of lack of equality or something of the sort. This team leader at the meeting I was at related that situation to her current team where she feared some staff had checked out mentally. That there were still with the company but not really there.

This got me thinking as I could personally relate to what she was talking about. I concluded that however badly things may be at your place of work, if you don't have the guts to quit, then you don't have the luxury to check out. You don't have to be cozy with the enemy but apply yourself fully through the struggles. What better time than now to give your all to your job? If they are talking about you behind your back, be the bigger person by not talking about them behind their backs.

Commit to be faithful no matter how difficult or how far your current situation is from your dream. Rise above it. You cannot wait for your dream passively. It's a very active waiting that leads to incredible personal growth. Apply yourself fully in your struggles.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 06: The Backside of BIG

I have been seating under the voice of the renown minister of the word of God, TD Jakes for a few weeks now. On my blog, we have been talking about going for our BIG things this year. Listening to one of his messages clarified some things for me on the matter.

BIG things don't come out of nowhere, they are always a result of investments we make prior to their manifestation. However, when we say we are pressing in for big blessings, what most of us mean is that we are trusting God to bless us out of nowhere. And when the blessings don't come, we lose faith and manage our expectations.

What we fail to grasp is that for us to harvest something BIG, we must have sown into it for God to bless it. Trusting God for something BIG therefore means that we have sown seeds for BIG that we haven't received a return for. Now we are trusting God to send rain to water the seeds to produce a harvest for us.

God is not Santa Claus. He acts in accordance to his Word. There's a requirement for every blessing. We can't ignore what is required of us to receive and expect to receive anyway.

God sends rain on schedule. But if you haven't put anything on the ground, you cannot expect a harvest when the rains come. What have you planted in the past year or the past several years that you haven't received a return from? Will you be ready when rains come? The backside of BIG is sowing. We had better get busy sowing into what BIG looks like for us.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 05: A Joy Revolution

This is a continuation of the "Cheerful No Matter What!" article. One of my big takeaways from Neal Samudre's study on joy is how he connected our thoughts to our reactions. It blew my mind away. The reason we are stressed is not because of our circumstances, it is because of our thoughts about our circumstances. Neal's research revealed that our circumstances are not inherently stressful, it is our thoughts about a circumstance that makes it stressful. Neal used the example of Paul to drive the point home. In the book of Philippians, we find Paul in jail, yet he is repeatedly saying he is rejoicing.

How can he rejoice when he is on one of the most stressful situations imaginable? If we were in jail, we wouldn't be talking about joy. But being in jail isn't inherently stressful. It does not automatically carry stress with it. It is what we think about being in jail that is stressful. And Paul thought about being in jail as a way of living for Christ. His thoughts about his circumstances do not communicate stress, they communicate joy.

To make it personal, I would add that having challenges at work isn't inherently stressful. It is what I think about those challenges that is stressful. I can therefore rewire my thoughts about my circumstances to communicate joy rather than stress. This is really powerful, don't miss the revelation.

To elaborate the point, I will add that it is not inherently stressful to be in trouble. Trouble does not automatically carry stress with it. It is what we think about being in trouble that is stressful. It is not inherently stressful to be in lack. Lack does not automatically carry stress with it. It is what we think about being in lack that is stressful. It is not inherently stressful to be mistreated. Mistreatment does not automatically carry stress with it. It is what we think about being mistreated that is stressful. The question that follows is, how can we capture our thoughts and rewire them for joy?

Neal emphasized that it is important to know that our beliefs are just repeated thoughts. Paul used the words "joy" and "rejoicing" sixteen times in the short book of Philippians. He is repeating a declaration of joy. He is repeating the thought he wants to believe. So in the face of daily stress, what thought do you want to repeat? The more we repeat Biblical truths as thoughts, the more we believe them, and the more we rewire our thoughts about stressful circumstances in light of joy.

Let's make the habit of repeating declarations of joy and thinking about being joyful until we believe it. This will turn our individual worlds upside down because instead of responding to difficult circumstances with stress, we will respond with joy. Talk of a new normal - a crazy one at that! Pause and picture yourself responding with joy when all that could go wrong goes wrong all at once, when hell breaks loose and you find yourself in the middle of a big fat mess. Now, that's what I call a joy revolution. And it's not a fantasy.

The Bible says to be cheerful no matter what. If the Bible says we can have joy at all times, then we can rejoice no matter what happens. I choose joy over stress. What will you choose today?

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi