Thursday, February 25, 2021
Home Authors Posts by Romayne Javangwe

Romayne Javangwe

In-between Spaces

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Before I had a real relationship with God, I didn’t have any ambitions or motivation for life. I didn’t hate my life or anything; I just wasn’t passionate about doing anything with it but there is something about developing a relationship with God that starts to awaken something in you and starts to shape your desires in ways that you could never imagine. All of a sudden I cared about people that I didn’t care about before. I hated seeing orphans not being taken care of or meeting people who felt hopeless, unattractive and unwanted. I had to do something about it.

The more time I spent reading the bible and just getting to know the heart of God, the more I wanted to do and the more vision I had for my life. Suddenly I was inspired – I wanted to change the world! I wanted to see lives changed and I didn’t want to see that happen from the sidelines; I wanted to be a part of it! So I wrote down all my God inspired dreams – they were all big dreams – dreams I couldn’t attain unless I had some divine help to make their reality possible. I guess that was the point. If I was going to live life from the perspective of being in a relationship with a limitless, supernatural, all loving Being, I wasn’t going to hold back at all! I was going to dream big, pray big prayers and expect big.

Dreaming is great and expectation is exciting but as with most of us, I didn’t anticipate the waiting. The fulfillment of dreams takes time and the wait tends to leave us discouraged and less enthusiastic about our dreams so here are some truths that have helped me whenever I feel stuck between a dream and its fulfillment.

Who you are becoming is always more important than what you are doing.  Whether or not you are currently in your dream job, how you do that job matters. Take time to develop your character because your talents may open up doors for you but it’s your character that will keep you there. Learn to be a good steward of your gifts, your relationships and your time so that you are better equipped to make the most of opportunities that come your way.

The journey is just as important as the destination – I’ve come to find that the more you grow, the more your dreams grow so the fulfilment of a dream is not achieved by reaching one set destination. By the time you make it to that destination, you will have probably set new goals and written a bigger vision. So I have learnt to practice contentment, celebrate every achievement and enjoy where I am while remaining focused on where I am going.

Don’t lose confidence in God – The bible encourages us to keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going, remembering that God always keeps His word. We need to remember that the confidence should be in God; not people or our abilities, but God. A God inspired dream is hard to sustain without the help of God. It would be incredibly foolish for us to use God for our inspiration to dream then attempt to make those dreams happen without seeking His help.

If you wish to know more about the God who inspires dreams, click on the link below.

Why I Stopped Reading Relationship Blogs

I used to love relationship blogs – particularly Christian ones. I loved them the same way I would enjoy listening to Christian romance stories – you know them, the ones where someone walked into church, saw a guy playing the guitar on stage then he felt she was ‘the one’ and she also felt it instantly. They knew they would get married the moment they laid eyes on each other, because you know, ‘when it’s really the one, you should know immediately.’

I also loved hearing stories about girls who at some stage in their lives decided to give up dating and then followed a, b, c steps then they finally met ‘the one!’ I loved them for the same reason we all do and the same reason we love watching romantic movies; they created an ideal – the life that we all want and not just that – they also provided a formula of how we can get it.

I’m pretty sure that every Christian single is tired of hearing the following: ‘It happens when you are not looking!’ or ‘you are single because God knows you are not ready.’ Then it’s followed by someone’s personal experience of how they met their partner, usually presented in a way that should somehow formulate our ideal.

In our attempt to encourage single people, we have started making our stories and our experiences the standard and the methods through which we can twist God’s hand to giving us certain things. I started noticing that if a guy walked up to me and showed some interest, I wouldn’t give him the time of day because I didn’t have that ‘he is the one’ feeling. I rejected anything that didn’t come packaged in the ideal that I had created in my mind.

So I stopped listening to relationship fairy tales because our lives are not a fairy tale and what worked for someone else may not work for me. Just because my story is different, doesn’t make it wrong. Someone else’s experience is not my standard nor is it my ambition or measure of success.

The motivation to not jump from one relationship to another should not be some kind of misguided attempt to twist God’s hand into giving you the perfect partner, because setting rules and steps for how we can get God to do things for us is our way of creating a world where we can function without really having a relationship with Him.

Living a life of principles is great but it can never substitute a life of relationship with God. He has walked with us through every part of our journey. He knows our needs, hurts and insecurities, and is able to guide our steps according to our individual personalities and experiences. Our relationship with each other can never thrive outside of a thriving relationship with Him.

If you would like to know more about this, why not click on the link below 🙂

3 Questions We Should All Ask God

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The Question of His Existence

We’ve all had questions about God’s existence. Our question is not merely about God’s existence but His existence in relation to us. What is the significance of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I grew up hearing about God and watching Christian films. I never really questioned the existence of God but His existence made no difference to my life until I desired to know what this God thought of me and how His existence affected mine. The day my knowledge of His existence became personal it changed my whole world. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus was no longer just a distant tale, it was a story about a great God who was passionate about having a personal relationship with me. The Bible no longer seemed like rules and regulations but a window into the heart and nature of God and an invitation to a life filled with purpose.

 The Question of Identity

The question of identity seeks to know – How does this God see me? When you discover how God sees you, it begins to affect how you see yourself. Personal identity is something I struggled with growing up – I felt as though each social group I belonged to was expecting me to be a certain way so that I can somehow fit in; but something about that didn’t feel right to me. Why did I have to think, act and talk like someone else in order to validate my worth? In my relationship with God, I discovered a truth that brought me great confidence, freedom and joy – that truth was this: I was never meant to be like anyone else. I am unique: radical, distinctive and without equal. The more I get to know God in a personal way, the more I see myself the way He sees me. I find the freedom to be who He created me to be and I do not look to anything or anyone else to validate my worth.

The Question of Potential

There are many stories in the Bible where God would tell people of all the amazing plans that He had for them. They would often respond by saying that they were too young, too old, too insignificant or that they lacked eloquence. God often responded by reassuring them that He would be with them wherever they went and in whatever they did. Their confidence would be in Him and not in what they could naturally do by themselves. I’ve always believed that God designed each of us perfectly so that we can accomplish the things that he has placed on our hearts and that we are responsible to grow in our skills and maximize our potential. Having said that, the thing that stood out about the great men and women in the Bible, wasn’t that they were talented, charismatic or capable, but that they fully depended on God to do their assignment well.

We have all asked these questions at some point in our lives. We often ask ourselves or we ask each other. Perhaps we would arrive at our answers a lot quicker if we just asked God. If you would like to know more about this, click on the banner below.

 

Living Beyond Your Fears

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Are you still living in fear of your dreams? A good friend of mine asked me this question a few years ago. I thought about this question for many months because the sad answer to that question was yes, I was living in fear or my dreams. There were things I always wanted to do but never tried because of the fear that I would fail. So instead, I invested in a degree that I wasn’t particularly passionate about. I found myself working 40 hours a week in a career I didn’t enjoy and the longer I settled in my comfort, the more impossible it seemed that I would ever live a life I desired; a life that is motivated by passion and purpose.

The fear of failure kept me from starting – Most of us are not successful; not because we are not talented or because we don’t have great ideas but because we won’t start. Living afraid almost guarantees our failure because “life happens at the level of events, not words” -Alfred Adler –  and “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

I missed out on many opportunities because of fear – I read something a while ago and it said this: “the opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.” – Leonard Ravenhill. It made me think of all the opportunities I missed out on because of fear. I never got to find out who I could have been and what I could have done. Many of us have potential to do great things. To speak, write, change lives, inspire dreams, start businesses – but we never get to discover what we can do because we won’t muster the courage to invest in our talents, our hopes and our dreams

 “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh

So I’m going to ask you the same question my friend asked me: Are you still living in fear of your dreams? What have you always wanted to do but have been too afraid to try?

Sometimes, the only way we overcome fear is by doing the very thing we are afraid to do. The more you allow fear to dictate your actions, the more power you give it over your life. The only way to disempower it is to show yourself that all along you were capable of doing what fear always told you, you couldn’t.

I heard someone say that when God puts dreams in a person’s heart, it reveals the potential of that person. I no longer live afraid. I believe that the God who inspires me to dream of influencing the world and changing lives also empowers me to do it. I live free because I’m not doing this life on my own and I know that the story of my life is not just my story – it’s really God’s story and I get the privilege of being a part of it.

If you would like to know more about this, click on the banner below:

 

 

Dealing With Disappointment

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Have you ever been so disappointed that you are now afraid to hope. You truly believed something would work out – maybe a relationship or a job opportunity. Now you are afraid to hope again because it’s easier not to hope than risk the pain of going through another disappointment.

When we lose hope, we become passive. We become passive in our prayers, our dreams and our expectation for the future. Hopelessness promotes inactivity and ineffectiveness. We stop praying because we believe that prayer doesn’t really make a difference. We stop putting too much effort in our activities because the last time we put our heart into something, it didn’t work out as we hoped.

I had a season in my life where I went through every disappointment imaginable. I couldn’t imagine life getting any better or overcoming any of the challenges that I was facing. I didn’t understand how I could have ended up in that place. Why were things not working out for me? Why was I knocking on doors and not seeing those doors open? I started losing hope – I wanted to quit trying; I wanted to stop believing that there was a God out there who actually cared about me and the outcome of my life. But one day I decided that I will either fully believe in the existence of a God or I won’t; but if I choose to believe that a God exists then I also choose to believe that everything the Bible says about this God is true.

There is a very popular verse in the Bible and it says this:

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” – Jeremiah 29:11

This verse says so much about the nature of God; His character and His heart towards me. I chose to believe it in its entirety.

I chose to believe that this God is good. – And if He really is good then His thoughts and intentions towards me are always good. He never wishes bad for me but always has good intentions for my life.

I chose to believe that He has a plan for me. This great God did not wake up today and realize that He forgot to make a plan for my life. He not only has a plan but he is fully in control. He is organized, He is detailed and he knows what He is doing.

His way of doing things is better than my way. – Just because I don’t understand why certain things in my life are happening in the way that they are, doesn’t mean that He doesn’t. Things that didn’t make sense a few months ago, make perfect sense today. I’m glad that some opportunities did not work out because I would have never discovered some of the opportunities that I now have.

When we regain perspective in the midst of disappointment, we stop allowing challenges and the fear of failure to dictate how we live our lives. We start to live with a positive expectation of the future; it energizes our faith and inspires us to make the best of our current situation because we trust in the One who holds the future.

If you are currently struggling with disappointment and would like to know more about the hope that is found in God, I encourage you to click on the banner below.

A Husband Is Not a Financial Plan

Growing up I heard one central message – I had to get married, and more importantly, I had to marry someone who could take care of me. I don’t remember anyone ever going through financial planning skills with me or giving me advice on how I can make wise financial decisions. Somehow it seemed the only thing I really had to worry about is that I am desirable enough to attract the right kind of man – and by right, I mean one who is not poor.

So already I grew up with the following messages. Firstly, I wasn’t really expected to do anything significant. I was just going through education to buy time until I found the right partner. Secondly I had to get married – Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a beautiful thing, well so I’m told, but my need for getting married wasn’t for love, it was to make sure that I had someone to take care of me. Thirdly, I had to make sure I ‘married well.’ – Yes, that’s the term that people have used to subtly advice me that my choice in a husband shouldn’t be dependent on his heart but on his pocket.

In a time where women seem to be getting married much later in life, this is probably the worst message they can grow up being taught. What happens if you get married at 35? Will you allow your life to waste away while waiting for prince charming to come to your rescue? What if you never get married? I know that people think this is the worst thing that can possibly happen to someone, but really, what if you don’t? Will you waste your life or will you all of a sudden go into a panic once you hit a certain age and start realizing that maybe you should actually do something with your life.

Here are 4 reasons why a husband is a really bad financial plan:

You waste your potential. If you believe that all you are good for is marriage, you won’t feel the need to invest in yourself; you waste your time, you waste your talents and you limit your potential.

You become desperate – If marriage is your financial/rescue plan, it ceases to be something you just desire, it becomes something you need because without it, your future isn’t secure.

You leave yourself vulnerable. I know many married women who are forced to stay with cheating and abusive husbands because they cannot afford to leave them. Having an education and pursuing your own goals and dreams empowers you and gives you choices.

You will be unfulfilled. We were all born with a need to do something significant; to live a life that is motivated by purpose. We pursue all the things we think will fulfill us, but once we attain them, we realize that they don’t bring the satisfaction that we hoped. A husband is not only a bad financial plan but also a bad life plan and will certainly not quench your desire to live on purpose.

If you desire to know more about living a life that is motivated by passion and purpose, click on the banner below.

Black Barbie – Why She Keeps Making The News

Every now and then as I’m scrolling through articles online I come across stories about black Barbie dolls. One story from a while back was about a father who was outraged when he noticed that Target was selling their black Barbie doll for over twice the price of the white ones. I initially didn’t get it– was all this fuss about a doll? I didn’t get it until I came across a Documentary called Dark Girls, which was done back in 2011.

Dark Girls is a 2011 documentary, which explores biases and attitudes about skin colour in the African American culture. The documentary also shows a doll experiment, which explores African American children’s perception of themselves; an experiment, which most likely originated from the well known, Clark Doll Experiment.

The Clark Doll Experiment was conducted in 1939 by psychologists Kenneth & Mamie Clark, where they asked African American children between the ages of 5 – 9 to pick between black and white dolls. During the experiment, children were given certain instructions like picking which doll is good and which one is bad or which doll is pretty or ugly. Most of the children chose the white doll as being the prettier and more intelligent one and picked the black doll when asked which one was ugly and bad.

The most disheartening part of the experiment was the very end when the children were asked which doll looked most like them. In some cases, they picked the white doll, others refused to pick one at all, while some just cried and ran away. Who taught a 5 year old to hate their own skin or to view their own reflection as being inferior? Perhaps it’s growing up to statements like ‘You are so beautiful for a dark-skinned girl.’ – a statement I’ve heard often in Africa or having people ‘compliment’ them by telling them they look lighter.

As a result of this poor self- image among black children, more companies have been making an effort to produce darker skinned dolls and deliberately designing them with attractive qualities. The most recent doll to enter the market is Momppy Mpoppy, a South African black doll with a funky Afro who loves fashion and adventure. Maite Makgoba, who founded the company that created Momppy Mpoppy says it’s important to create dolls that black children can relate to in order to boost their self esteem.

The issue of beauty and identity is not just in African American or black culture because ironically whilst some people are known to be spending money on lightening creams in an attempt to be lighter, others are risking skin cancer in tanning salons in an attempt to look darker. The truth is that we are all searching for validation but as much as our world is progressing in finding creative ways to validate our uniqueness, we always fall short. Each time we pick up a magazine, the image we see tells us that we are too short, too fat, or just not enough of something else.

I think that if God created beauty then maybe only He can define it, and I think He already did; not so much in words but in expression. I imagine that in creating each of us so radically distinctive, he was expressing the fullness of beauty in every form he imagined it and instead of looking to each other to validate something we played no part in creating, maybe we should look to Him.

If you are having questions about your own identity and personal worth, why don’t you click on the banner below!

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