These 14 days : A call to reflection

First, I must start with the fact that words fail me. Early January 2020, I followed the effects of the pandemic in China and East-Asia from behind my phone screen, it was easy to be detached from it. There was a lot of calls on social media saying to pray for China but it was more of a suggestion, not like something we had to do with fervency, love and intention. One of the things I learnt from that truly deeply love and care about others. Then here it came. First, this pandemic came at a time when I was already wading through some difficulty in my life personally. It was a sort of welcome break that would allow me to pause, I could take time off and be by myself.

 In the preceding year, I had struggled with anxiety, loneliness and depression. Therefore, I had some sort of reservation about being isolated. I wanted to be around people, I feared that isolated might trigger me the wrong way. I am an introvert-extrovert as much as I like my space and thrive in quietness. I enjoy being around people, I like being able to be helpful, to listen and to be listened to. One of the things that these fourteen days have done is take more time to get to know myself and understand parts of my personality I hadn't explored before. I'd encourage you to do the same. One of the things this pandemic forces us to be is to be alone with ourselves and this is an opportunity to discover ourselves. 

It also drives us to confront some of the deep-seated issues we may not have known existed before. I found myself doing a lot was reaching out for my phone and downing a lot of time on social media but what that did to me was leave me feeling empty. The more I scrolled, the more emptiness I felt. I don't know if you have ever been at that point where you've opened Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, Snapchat and Triller and there still felt an unmet longing in your heart. Social media cannot fill this void. In these times, I am propelled to turn away from my phone and be with myself, my thoughts and with God. One of the things I have also learnt that is our eyes are a window to our soul and we are constantly being influenced by the things that we see whether or not we are conscious of it. Our phones through social media is a big window of influence. Every tweet, every update, every post is an impression on our soul whether we are taking it or not. It's storing up. So watch what you see. I am trying to do that. 

One part is bringing back everything I see and the impressions that I get to, what does God think about this? What does Jesus think about this? This is because I sometimes find myself buying wrong ideologies. I encourage people to pray fervently in the spirit as much as possible but I also encourage having honest conversations with God. This pandemic has allowed me to have more of those honest conversations. "Dear God, I hate to admit this but I felt jealous of her..., Dear God help me to forgive... God I know this is not what you think but I saw this on social media and I am starting to think that way, please change my mind". Many times being alone with your thoughts forces you to confront your fears, fears that you've had and you didn't even know you did. So I'd encourage put that phone down, take time to think about what you are thinking about at that moment and have conversations with God. Rolling out of bed, one of the first things I find myself doing is reaching out for my phone. Trust me that is a terrible way to start your day, opening social media. Now, since I just reach for my phone, I start my day with the daily bible reading and studying on the YouBible app and spend some time reflecting on how the reading speaks to my life now. It's a practice I'd encourage. A whole lot has been said about using the pandemic wisely: learning, reading, taking online courses. 

There have also been arguments that these put people under pressure. It is a two-way thing. Understand yourself and do what works for you. I know reading books can be sort of difficult in this period, but there are other fun learning tools. Since we are all spending more time on social media than we should anyway we may as well learn with it. For example, there is a lot of really interesting Instagram live sessions to learn from. At the risk of boring you and writing a piece that you might just skip to the end. I would stop here. The key things are more talking to God, learn about yourself, less social media, more learning. Stay confident that this season works out for our good just as God has promised.

"So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God's perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfil his designed purpose." Romans 8:28 TPT

Conclusion . 

 I believe strongly in my heart that Ife spoke to you , she did to me . You never know the lies you have told yourself and the fears you have pretended to overcome until you are alone with your thoughts and you allow God to talk . Thank you Ife and thank YOU for always reading and holding up . Hang in there , you will figure it out .

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