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By Better Days Global, Aug 17 2018 12:09PM



What if other people could see beyond your physical appearance and look at your insecurities, pride, shame, or malicious thoughts?


Those are the kinds of things our society urges you to cover up. After a while, you create masks to hide your true thoughts and feelings and present an image you hope will prove your worth. The longer you wear your masks, the more comfortable they feel. But you cannot enjoy healthy relationships unless you remove the masks and show others who you really are. Here’s how you can take off the masks you present to the world and be authentic:


Realize the price of the masks you wear.






Understand that your masks prevent you from experiencing real life. Your masks give you a distorted view of what is really happening in your life and people begin to view not you, but the masks you wear. Instead of living for other people’s approval and praise, live to please God alone no matter what others think of you. Shift your focus from establishing your identity on earth to something much more meaningful. Understand that your mask prevents you from experiencing intimacy in relationships. Rather than trying to prove your value to other people, seek to simply connect with them.



Ask Questions



Don’t be afraid to honestly ask yourself deep questions about your existence, worth, emotions, thoughts, and purpose. Stop living according to the status quo and consider what changes you need to make to become more authentic. Too often we follow trends, formulas, and ways of living because we do not believe we are enough. Give yourself time to step into the core of who you are and allow your blessings to come to you. When you model your life, personality, or business after something that is outside of you, you block your own potential. When you stay true to who you are, you’ll be in your own unique and authentic lane. Trade lies for the truth about yourself. Instead of just trying to feel good about yourself, let the awareness of your brokenness lead you to the wholeness awaiting you. Find real confidence, not the temporary feel good fix. Rather than basing your confidence on how smart, beautiful, successful, talented, or charming you are, base it on your true authentic self. Stop pretending to be someone you’re not to try to feel more confident; pretending will only lead to deeper insecurity. Accept the truth about yourself, tell the truth, and live in that truth. Then your life will catch up.



Let go of your concerns about how other people make you feel. Don’t worry about being affirmed, being right, demanding respect, judging others, keeping score, harboring bitterness, competing, gossiping, or bickering. Be more interested in genuinely connecting with others rather than impressing them or saving face. Speak the truth in all your relationships. Admit your mistakes and ask for forgiveness. Do your work well. Don’t disengage with your work, viewing it just as a job that you have to do, but don’t really want to do well. Don’t be so driven that you try to prove your worth by working hard. Instead, do whatever work you do, from cleaning, or answering phones to inventing a product or speaking to crowds, with your very best effort, remembering that absolutely everything you do has eternal consequences. Look at every task you undertake as an opportunity to serve God through your attitude. Instead of working just for a paycheck, fame, or praise from other people, work to honour God. Ask yourself: Am I Authentic? Start from there.



There are levels to living authentically.


This is not how your story ends;


Written By Steve Whyte



By Better Days Global, Aug 17 2018 11:55AM



It can be easy to become influenced by voices that don’t get what you’re trying to do. People who don’t approve of you or your work, will always try to discourage you. Once you make your mark, you’ll attract erasers. People who are intimidated by your prime will always try to shorten it. Maybe there are people who drain your energy by constantly demanding you to justify the choices you make, to explain yourself to them so that they can argue with you. By all means spend some time explaining your why, but don’t lose sleep over the fact that they don’t listen and don’t approve of it. Whatever you do, don’t change the way you’re doing it because of them. They don’t really care and they don’t matter to the work you are doing. They provide an excuse to quit. Don’t let it be that. Don’t let the desire to have your work approved drive the work itself. If that was what drove the greatest minds in history, the world would look very different and we would probably still be living in caves, or extinct. Do you approve of yourself or do you seek the approval of others?






When we lack confidence and in particular have a low understanding of our worth, we find ourselves needing the approval of others to feel good about ourselves. Unfortunately, in this day and age of being over worked and under valued, the approval of others may take years to come or never will. Saying “well done” or “thank you” doesn’t seem too common in language in modern society, and how often do you say such things to others?



Being self critical is an easy habit to get into, and forms the basis of our needing approval from others. The root of our self-criticism is usually being at the receiving end of criticism from others as we grow up. I like the expression that “criticism is negative feedback badly delivered”.


Constantly receiving messages like “you’re too slow/stupid/bad/ugly/…” etc leads to us believing that this is a reality. And language like “don’t do that” “why did you….” “you shouldn’t have” “you always” “you mustn’t” doesn’t exactly help a child feel good about themselves. Every expression is a sign of disapproval, so it’s not surprising we grow wanting that approval from others. Comparing ourselves to others is another way we end up being critical of ourselves, as we usually find ways we don’t match up. This perpetuates our own self-disapproval. If you must compare, find positive things in the process and use your comparison to grow not to shrink yourself. Even if you find yourself with role models you are trying to emulate, there will be aspects of their personality, perhaps particular skills or attributes that you already have but they don’t possess. We all have a special fingerprint and God carefully made us all unique for a reason.



Identify situations where you find yourself seeking the approval of others. Is it with particular people, boss, parent, in particular environments, workplace, home, social? Is there any reason you can identify why this should be, why you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to their moods and frustrations? Whether or not you can find reasons for your seeking approval, start getting in the habit of getting approval solely God and from yourself. One easy way to challenge such thinking, is to remind yourself that most people are quite self centered and will speak from their own perspective and opinion of who you should be based on their own beliefs. The problem with this perspective is that they have completely travelled a different path to you, which led them to this train of thought process which doesn’t make it 100% accurate to your situation or even the truth. It is flawed. In the same way you spend most of your time full of self talk, worrying about you, other people are not as concerned about you as you think. They’re mostly concerned about themselves.






The bottom line is while you’re worried about others opinion or approval of you, they probably haven’t given you any thought at all. Like you, when they’re thinking about other people, it’s mainly in relation to themselves. None of us know what anyone else is thinking. Whether or not they’ve even noticed you or what you have done, you may never know. So why beat yourself up about it?



Seeking approval of others and listening to the opinions that don’t resonate with you is detrimental to your happiness. People who ignore their own identity and instead choose to act on the preference of other people never find their true calling or purpose in life. They become the puppets of this lifetime in control by whomever they hand the strings to. This happens because other people do not know your deepest needs and desires, so they cannot help you find your life’s purpose. Almost everyone seeks approval of others on some level, mainly because we were trained to do so since our childhood. That’s what all educational systems and many other institutions and traditions teach us.



If we behave well, our parents are happy with us. If we do what our teachers tell us to do, we are rewarded with good grades. If at work we do our best, the managers are happy with us. Everything seems to be based on the obedience model and bound to someone else. So when there is no defined model to follow, it seems like something is missing. And we automatically start seeking approval to check if we are doing everything okay. We find gurus and other intelligent people and seek their approval. But you should realize that sometimes you’ll have to create a path instead of following someone else’s. If every decision you make is based of another person’s ‘yes’, you will lose your own sense of direction in life and end up on their path unequipped. If you blindly follow others, you will not be happy. Sometimes you will have to be the first that ever did it. If you firstly try to consciously disregard such critics, it will be hard, but with time, it will be increasingly easier to not care what others think about your choices when you completely free yourself from the approval-seeking mode. 



This is not how your story ends;


Written By Steve Whyte




By Better Days Global, Aug 17 2018 11:41AM


Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:9-13:



9 “This, then, is how you should pray:



“‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’




If you’re a Christian or you’ve ever been somewhere when the Lord’s Prayer is being said, you might be familiar with these words. So often we recite them corporately but how often do we actually think about what it is we’re actually saying?


Recently, I have been particularly challenged by one line in particular ‘Give us today our daily bread.’ Verse 11. Have I really understood what this might mean for me? The answer to that is definitely not.


Last week I was serving at a holiday club and during the morning reflection, the woman leading it referred to this line, explaining that so often we go to God with a big list or massive things and we become disappointed in the answers to prayer we don’t see. But this stops us from seeing the things in the everyday, that if we should go to God and ask for our daily bread, as we are told to by Jesus.






I’ve since been reflecting on this, I can hardly get it out of my head. I have been so challenged but also so encouraged. We see and hear, so often, stories of miracles, very clear answers, but how often do we hear ‘you know, actually I believe that God helped me to do life today’? Yes, that’s challenged me to recognise the smaller things, the daily provisions but it’s also really encouraged me. (Of course there are times and places to share the miracles and the clear answers, I am not dismissing these in any way, shape or form, they should be celebrated without a doubt.)


If you’ve read my previous posts you will know about my journey with mental health and how much of a rollercoaster that has been. So many times I’ve prayed that God would take it all away, I’ve sat thinking that it isn’t fair, asked why me, asked when it will stop. But as I consider, almost the last year of my life, I can see the greatness of God woven into the everyday. Whether that’s simply been making it through the day, making it to work, realising that I’ve been smiling more than I’ve been crying or a bar of chocolate that’s made it’s way into my life at a very timely moment!







How many more times a day, week, month or even year would we be able to say ‘God did this for me’ if we did focus on the how we get through each day, the blessings that might seem small but are so present. Of course life is going to be difficult and at times we won’t be able to pinpoint what is good but I hope and pray that each one of us, even retrospectively, can see all that God does in and for us daily.


God really knows each one of us. He knows exactly what we need. And He provides for us.



I believe that He is a good God and He will provide that bread daily.



Written by Kate Newhook




By Better Days Global, May 22 2018 08:54AM



I write the following not aimed at any church or people in particular but out of my personal experience over the last eight or so years. Previously I have tried to voice this but either it falls on deaf ears or is forgotten quickly. Many people are in similar situations, and in the same way that we would continuously call people up on other unacceptable behaviour, this is something that needs addressing time and time again, until we do a better job of it. What I write is personal but I know many other people who are either living this now or have done previously.



Dear Church,




It is with trepidation that I address what I am about to write because I feel that for the most part it is done in love, but please see things from the other point of view and how this can make people feel. Be reminded of what it’s like to have a physical wound that you repeatedly injure...a cut perhaps, that you keep knocking, causing it to bleed again and again, over time, the cut is going to get worse and take longer and longer to heal. Maybe the area becomes infected, the cut won’t go away, people look at it, wrinkle their noses, it hurts...but it’s physical, so we can see it and we know that it hurts or it’s frustrating. What I write is like that cut, only it’s unseen, and you can’t see the damage going on underneath the surface.




For years I have been on the receiving end of comments and prayers and ‘banter’ regarding my relationship status, been told ‘I’m on the shelf’, and felt that the ‘people who have prayed for years for a partner’ comment at the end of a sermon was directed at me.




Please stop.




Why do you define me by this? Because it really isn’t who I am, yes it is a part of me but I am so much more.


Why is my singleness something that you feel the need to draw attention to? Rejoice about something I do have, the talents and gifts God has given me.



Why do we need to linger on this fact? Quite simply, we don’t.




Do you feel I need another person to make me whole? I don’t, I have Jesus, and he makes me whole.




Would you approach a widow/er in the same way? Or the divorcee?




Would you go up to a childless couple, of whose story you know nothing about, and give them banter or tell them you were praying they would conceive?


I hope and pray that the answer to that is no. Please stop drawing attention to what I don’t have, and focus on what I do have. You don’t know my story and how I feel in my current life stage.




I would be surprised if anyone really knew and understood the journey I have been on, my life has been an adventure, with ups and downs, people have come and gone. My past is full of a variety of stories, a lot of these include testimony of all that God has done in my life, all that He has led me into, the places He has taken me, the people I have met, friends I have made, experiences I have had. I have been so fortunate to do and achieve so much in my life but there are also stories tarnished with disappointment or sadness and I don’t need to you to make me feel like a failure because things haven’t worked out.




I do not need fixing because I’m not in a relationship or married. But those comments hurt. Media already tells me I’m not good enough and I don’t need to be made to feel that way by you as well. I need you to love me and accept me for who I am and the stage of life I am in now.




I also don’t need excluding because I am a single person. It’s not an illness or a label hanging around my neck. Please look past that and see me for who I really am.



I am a person. A human being. Created by God, my Heavenly Father.



Just the same as you are.




Please, from this day on, would you think before you make those uninvited comments. Please would you remember that who I am is enough. Please would you encourage me to walk closer with Jesus than make marriage an idol. Please would you go against the pattern of this world and recognise that living for Jesus is far more important. Please would you build a meaningful relationship with me and get to know who I really am.



Like I try to do with you.





Church, we are all here for a purpose, to serve the risen King, let us do that in unity, spurring each other on, recognising what we have each been gifted with and not pointing out what someone might be painfully missing. It can be hard enough with someone highlighting it.



This doesn’t just apply to singleness, it covers a broad range of subjects. There are many people that we will meet in our short lives, many of whom are fighting battles and struggling with issues that we know nothing about. Treat people lovingly, welcome them with open arms for who they are and with what they are working through.



How much more of a unified Body of Christ would we be if we looked beyond what one another didn’t have but valued the opportunities that can provide? God loves each and everyone of us, with the same amount of love, we are called to mimic that. Let’s start today.




By Better Days Global, Apr 22 2018 06:56PM


Last Sunday I was getting ready in the morning before going to church…my usual routine of having a shower, getting dressed, doing my hair, etc. Then I looked in the mirror. The first thought that entered my head was 'my face looks awful’. I felt tired and I could see that tiredness in my face, my eyes had darker circles than normal and I really didn’t look wide awake.



My next thought was, ‘I need to put makeup on this morning’.



Following this was me having a conversation with myself in my head. The one part of me that wanted to try and cover up how tired I looked which, let’s be honest, probably looked about 10 times worse through my eyes than it would to anyone else. The other part of me was questioning who would be benefitting from me wearing the makeup. I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t doing it for me. If I had picked up the mascara and concealer, it would have been for the benefit of other people. Even though I was really annoyed with myself about this, it still took me about thirty minutes to stand firm in my decision and leave the house ‘fresh faced’.






At the beginning of this year, I decided that I was going to have at least one make up free day a week. Not only to benefit my skin but to also challenge myself. I’d got into the habit of wearing it daily, which wasn’t good for me in so many ways. I didn’t want to rely on cosmetic products to feel good about myself, or to think that they were making me a better person. In recent months that one day has spanned over weeks and I think I actually went about six weeks without using one product or needing to use one facewipe.



Did this affect me? No



Did it have a negative impact on anyone else? No



So why, all of a sudden, did I have an overwhelming urge to try and alter what I was viewing as an imperfection? Why did I want people to see a ‘better’ version of my face? I don’t really know the answer to that question but I do know I felt God challenging me. How concerned am I about what my actions are displaying? What my words are portraying?



1 Samuel 16:7 says: ‘But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’’



This is said in the context of Samuel seeking a new King, one to replace Saul on the throne. He discovers that the Lord has chosen David, a young shepherd boy, working in his father’s field. A boy who grew to be a man that served God (not perfectly, none of us are ever going to achieve this), he was courageous and he did what he had been called to do.



How much more should I be concerned with the ways in which I am serving the Lord, the things that He sees when He looks at my heart and how I can serve Him faithfully for all of my days.





Last Sunday morning I felt challenged to spend less time looking in the mirror, at my outward appearance and more time asking God how I can better follow Him or reading the Bible or in prayer.



In society, we have so much to contend with, so many standards that we’re expected to reach, that if we don’t we will be judged for. If I had put makeup on last Sunday morning, I probably would have felt worse after I had taken it off and begun to be sucked back into the lies that I need to wear it everyday because I don’t look good enough without it. These are the awful pressures that we are all facing. Ones that children and young people are being shaped by and are growing up with. Some of whom are being hugely impacted by what the media is telling them they should be like.



We have the use of a powerful tool: Words



We can speak positively over one another, we can point each other to Jesus. We can remember that it is our hearts that matter. We can live a life that is beautiful. I’m not saying that I’m never going to wear make up again, but when I do, it will be because I want to not because that’s what I think I should do for the benefit of others. I’m going to do my very best to ensure that it is my heart that is beautiful.



Written by Kate Newhook






By Better Days Global, Apr 12 2018 10:37AM



In this age of goals, dreams and aspirations, it is no secret that troubles come along the way. For some it may seem that they come more often than success or achievement. In these moments, it is difficult to see the light in the tunnel, and this causes many to lose hope and the spark they once had. The constant pursuit of something that is in the world, but not in your life can become draining, and the yearning it creates for a shift is deep, powerful but often painful.



We have thoughts of doubt, which are tied to desperation of a big break, a change, and a next level. This quest and desire for a breakthrough isn’t a bad thing, however, can become dangerous if the things we seek are limited by faulty interpretations of what the shift is. It is easy to subscribe to the notion that success, security and wellness are things, which are dependent on external and tangible acquisitions. These beliefs are driven by how these blessings are often portrayed, but limited by our perspective and attachments to our own domino effect scenarios. We adopt the viewpoints that if we do this, this and then this, we will get to this level, or achieve this thing that will lead to this opportunity, which will lead to this person seeing us, and then we will arrive, or we think if we get this amount of money, we can do this thing, and go to this place, which will make us happy.






I’m here today to tell you that anything that is outside of you is limited to its existence, without longevity and subject to change. If all of your dreams and goals are dependent on the current of the external world, and the array of variables that can exist, your shift and next level will always be limited but larger than you. However, when you set your mind in a higher place and submit to the reality that God has blessed you abundantly, you will soon see that your shift is not outside of you, rather inside of you. You’ll come to understand and utilise the powerful reality that anything that can fit inside of your mind is smaller than you.






I came to this realisation one year in Paris, standing beneath the Eifel Tower. It was my first time visiting Paris and I was amazed at the size of the Tower. It was much larger than I had previously thought. So big that I struggled to properly frame its full form in my camera lens. As I tried my best to fit it in, it then dawned upon me that the camera lens I had attached wasn’t the correct lens to use from the perspective I were standing, and I had to settle for a mental image. I immediately was mind-blown as something so small triggered such a deep and profound revelation within me: If it can fit inside of my mind, it’s smaller than me. This day changed my perspective of what everything meant to me, large problems began to shrink, my vision expanded and I for the first time saw the unlimited nature and abilities of my own mind. It is a universe within itself, created by God which contains unlimited blessings.



Once I had this reality grasped, nothing seemed to big, too far away, or too out of reach, as I now knew that my big break, shift and next level was a mindset. My advice to you today is to stop looking around you for what is already within you. The internal drives the external. Go beyond your understanding and all that you’ve experienced. God has so much more for you to see, and it is way bigger than any promotion, amount of money, or perspective of reality that you or I could draw up from our viewpoint of the world.



You are your shift.



This is not how your story ends;



Written By Steve Whyte




By Better Days Global, Mar 10 2018 11:44AM


In a year where women from all around the world have be standing in solidarity, fighting the injustices, sexual misconduct, and discrimination, you don’t have to look too far to feel a shift in culture, tradition and what has been deemed acceptable for many years. From the Oscars, to Oprah, to Twitter timelines, #MeToo has echoed throughout the proximity of this world, as women march and take a stand to no longer be held to silence. Talks of equal pay, equal opportunity and equal rights have sparked debates, changed working environments and caused discomfort for those who are comfortable with the way that things have always been.



In the middle of this storm of change where is the church?





We have seen scandals over the years about men in leadership abusing their power, financial integrity, and sexual misconduct with young people and women. However, the discrimination hasn’t always been as obvious, and there has been a silent wave of marginalisation happening in the offices a few minutes walk away from where worship takes place. According to Faith Survey UK, 68% of Church-goers are women, yet they play the smallest roles and are in many cases expected to sit back and listen, but not do much. Women have been reduced to being caterers for churching events, and in many cases ushers if they are lucky. This isn’t the case in all churches, and there are prominent churches in the USA, such as Paula White Ministries in Florida, and Joyce Meyer Ministries etc. Notice these churches are named after the women preachers, which suggests they have not been given the opportunity to lead, rather had to fight for it.





From Florida we travel 4401 miles to The House of Lords (UK) on the 8th March 2018, on International Women’s Day, and we see The Sophia Network presenting their research “Minding The Gap”. According to Rev Vicky Thompson (chair) of The Sophia Network, and Pastor of The Farnhams & Hedgerley Community Church (FHCC), institutional sexism (53% of participants) was the main barrier to women in the church with regards to leadership. Also 62% of women have experienced some form of sexism.



Along with their presentation and report, The Sophia Network is now encouraging churches from all denominations to sign up to their ‘Minding The Gap Manifesto’, which is eight commitments to make the church a place of gender equality. The Sophia Network proclaims, ”Our wider aim is to encourage women and men to work together in equal partnership in a way that reflects the heart of God”. It is their hope and prayer that this Minding The Gap report will provide a useful tool to pave a way forward towards the full equality of men and women in the Church for the sake of the gospel. In a Prayer & Fasting meeting on 9th March 2018, Rev Vicky Thompson said, “It’s time for the Church body to be whole’.



The Church needs to be a place where women feel safe, valued and that they have a place, without discrimination, limitations and old laws overshadowing them. With projects like Minding The Gap, we are making huge strides, but there is still much work to be done.



To give your support to this very necessary cause and movement read, right click save and print the Minding The Gap Manifesto (below).



Take it to your Church and play your part.










For more info on the project and to download the full research report visit: mindingthegapuk.com



For more info on The Sophia Network visit: blog.sophianetwork.org.uk



..and for The Farnhams & Hedgerley Community Church: fhcc.org.uk




Written by Steve Whyte


CEO Better Days Global | 12x Author




By Better Days Global, Feb 27 2018 09:44PM


I have always looked for the best in people. So much that I chose from very young age to tune out scepticism, doubters and those who failed to believe. This on the surface may seem like a great quality to have, as many struggle with this very task. However, as the years went by, I started to notice that although it is good to look for the best in people, I shouldn’t live in a place of denial especially when it comes to my dreams and what people really think and feel about them.






Part of my growth has been in me identifying, and being aware of the destructive energies that have the power to corrupt and destroy my dream, by putting their shadowed hand into the soil of my vision. They come subtly, often disguised as advice, yet they carry deep and dark motives, and are attached with ruthless agendas. Sadly they often come from ‘Friends’ and ‘Family members, who fail to see our vision. Some cannot grasp who you have grown into, and others are jealous of your evolution. Their arrows of pessimism quench the soul out of your passions, dreams and advancements, oftentimes in attempt to hold you captive, hostage to your lower self. It is important to know that not everybody in your life is good for your dream. Not everyone in your circle is in your corner. You must identify the weeds who wait to choke your stem with aim to prevent you from bringing forth any fruit.






Awareness is only one stage. You must stay rooted in and out of season to ensure that you are strong enough to withstand the draining forces from outside and around you. Their masks cover up their shame as they aim to steal, kill and destroy your victory. Your hope, faith and commitment shouldn’t be an outside job, or be dependent on any external approval or acceptance. When God plants a vision within you, stay committed to it, pursue it with boldness and protect it from dream killers. I often say that if you don’t live from the praises of people, you wont die from the criticism of people, but what I may begin to add is that, not all praise is good and not all criticism is bad. You must be secure and sure enough in your vision to carry it out regardless of the results or the popularity of it. Do not be oblivious to the naysayers, do not ignore them; rather use it all as fuel and a spotlight on your belief. Do you need to believe more? Are you rooted deep enough? What adjustments need to be made? Am I forcing squares into my circle? These questions only lead to action. Action is the force that makes things happen.


Be of good courage, God is on your side, this is not how your story ends;


Written by Steve Whyte




By Better Days Global, Feb 15 2018 02:54PM



When I last wrote 'The One Constant in Mental Health', I was coming into a recovery phase in my journey with anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, since then, I have found myself struggling more than I ever have before. I still have my anxiety under control but the depression is consuming me in a way that it never has previously.


Just a few weeks after I was discharged from my CBT course and the Healthy Minds team, I woke up on a Monday morning feeling unwell. I couldn’t put my finger on it but something wasn’t right. Having attempted to get showered, dressed and have breakfast, I gave in and went back to bed. I stayed there for two days. On the Wednesday, I tried again but my head was pounding, I couldn’t concentrate, I felt so ill. I pushed myself and worked, probably a mistake. The rest of the week and into the weekend saw me trying to balance what I knew I needed for my mental health; going to the gym, running, eating healthily, not shutting people out, and what I needed physically; rest, time alone and convenience.


Fast forward two weeks, I still had the headache, I was still trying to maintain a balance. I had taken so many tablets, in attempts to relieve the pain, and tried so many other things, I had seen the doctor, I had listened to advice. I found myself signed off work. It felt like that week just kept throwing one thing after another at me, and the smallest (or biggest) thing would cause my eyes to well up. Sometimes I could hold the tears back, and sometimes it felt like I just couldn’t do anything to stop them.






Whilst I would like to say that in the last week I have improved dramatically, that isn’t the case. This is the worst I have ever been and I’m still struggling so very much. Each day is a battle. It’s gotten to the point that I’ve had to not care who sees me cry, because I can’t always control it.


Yet, in the midst of all of this, I know that God is still there. He is still so present in my life, even if right now it really doesn’t feel like it.


Some people will question how I can hold onto this. I’ll be honest, sometimes I really have no idea. But each morning I will read The Bible, because that is what I do. That is where I read the promises of God and can find His presence, even in the darkest of situations. You only need to read the story of Jesus dying on the cross to know that Jesus endured far more than I am, and you will see that God was still at work, still there, still God. I started this year being overcome by the obedience of the disciples, upping and leaving their families, their jobs, all to follow a man who just told them to ‘get up and follow me’. By apostles who were put in prison for proclaiming the name of Jesus but didn’t stop. For this reason, I will continue to be obedient. More recently, I have been focusing on the love, joy and peace that can be found in Christ. I have been focusing on the hope that I find in my Saviour. Whilst, I don’t always feel those things, I know that they are still there, still true. And they always will be. Some people might also question why I can believe in a God that would allow me to endure so much. This is harder for me to explain because I know that I have so many people praying for me and I too have prayed that this would be taken away. There are two things that I have held onto. The first is from The Bible. Romans 8 is my favourite chapter and it has my favourite verse, Romans 8:28,



‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’






I have held onto this verse so tightly for many years and I truly believe that God will use whatever happens for the glory of His name. This verse makes me think of sunrises and their beauty, but we can’t have those without the darkness of night. Or beautiful budding trees, unless they shed their leaves and withstand the bitterness of winter with nothing on their branches, they won’t flower. I trust that God is working behind the scenes and at some point, this will get better.



The second thing is a song. I love music and I listen to it all the time. A friend recently said, about me, ‘Kate lives her life through music’. This song is on a playlist I was listening to and I had never heard it until about a month ago. It’s called 'Even If' by MercyMe. This song has provided me with so much hope and comfort. I identify with these lyrics and it explains entirely how I feel as I am journeying through life right now.


For those of you who don’t understand the journey that people go on with mental health, please be patient, we can’t help what we’re feeling. For those of you don’t understand how I can trust in God, please don’t judge me, you don’t know the path I’m walking, and if you really knew God, you would understand.


People have told me how brave and strong I am to be able to speak out about my journey. Please believe me when I say that I really don’t feel brave, or strong. This is me being so vulnerable that it scares me. So many people are suffering in silence, and they needn’t. Another friend said recently, ‘we see vulnerability in others as a strength but in ourselves as a weakness’. That doesn’t add up. Vulnerability is vulnerability whoever it comes from. Being vulnerable is powerful, and I can assure you that once you’ve stepped out the first time, it’s not as bad as you think it might be (that doesn’t mean it’s not scary again though!).


Let us all live with patience and understanding, with an awareness of those around us. Let us stop being so quick to judge others when we haven’t walked in their shoes. Let us all become a little bit more vulnerable and let other people in, it helps. And ultimately let all of us hold onto hope that one day things will be better, and I believe that one day they will be. Remain hopeful, Romans 8:24-25 says this,

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.’





By Better Days Global, Feb 14 2018 08:48PM




Many children in school each year before Valentine’s Day bring in an empty shoebox. They cover those boxes with pink and red papers and heart shaped cut-outs, and then add their names in big, sparkly letters. When Valentine’s Day arrives, classmates drop cards into a slit cut out at the top of the box. When they get home, they count their cards to see how many friends they have — it is a childish way to measure their worth. But we as adults do the same.



These days, we don’t need shoebox Valentines for that, we have social media. Based on the number of likes, follows, retweets, and pins, we can tally up how many “friends” we have, still boiling things down to numbers. We keep record of how much we are loved based on how others treat us. Our relationships are based on quid pro quo — scratching backs and procuring favors. “What have you done for me lately?” is the theme song that defines too many relationships. We only give as much as someone else has given to us. We like to keep the scales balanced. Not only that, but our memories are long. We never lose track of what we are owed.




Real Love Cannot Be Measured



I once found a book on numbers for my kids to read. It listed the names of numbers higher than billions and trillions. Now when they want to exaggerate and say that something is so big, bigger than they can count, they say “googolplex.” Yet even a number that high is still quantifiable.



Real love isn’t something you can measure. Tweet Share on Facebook



But real love isn’t something you can measure. The love God has for us is beyond numbers and can’t be tallied. When God promised to bless Abraham with countless children, he used the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore as a metaphor. These are things people simply cannot count. Paul described the love of Christ as surpassing knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). And the psalmist wrote, “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds” (Psalm 36:5). God’s love for us goes farther than even time itself, into the deep recesses of eternity past. It stretched all the way from forever, forward to the cross, and will continue into eternity future. “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:4–5). His love for us is a love that doesn’t hold back. His love gives everything, to the point of sacrificing his very own Son. At the cross, the perfect eternal love of the triune God was shown most vividly as the Son bore all our sins for us. This is unquantifiable, immeasurable love. God’s love for us is a love that doesn’t hold back. His love gives everything. Tweet Share on Facebook Unlike many human relationships, we can’t add to God’s love for us. We can’t do anything to make him “unfriend” us. His love for us is perfect and complete. It is not based on what we can do for him or what we have to offer. It can’t be that way simply because he has no needs that we could ever meet. His love originates in himself and not in anything we have done or will do. This unconditional love is the love he set on Israel and it is the same love he has for us. “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the Lord loves you” (Deuteronomy 7:7–8).







Our Love for Others



In our own flesh, our love for others would always be conditional and dependent on how others treat us. But because God has poured out his immeasurable, unquantifiable love for us through Christ, we have been changed. Our hearts of stone have been transformed to hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). We’ve been given the Spirit who now lives within us. As the Spirit works in us, making us more like Jesus, he enables us to love in a new and different way. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22). Through the work of the Spirit, we can give without expecting anything in return. We can be patient, kind, and compassionate. We can love as Jesus loves.


But there is an order to this love that we cannot forget. It originates with God. He is the beginning and source to our love. First John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” We cannot truly love apart from him. Only as we abide in God’s love can we extend his love to others.


Only as we abide in God’s love can we extend his love to others. Tweet Share on Facebook

So this Valentine’s Day, as the world keeps a tally of love, may we never forget that God’s love for us is greater than anything we can imagine. It is greater than googolplex and more than the stars in the sky. It is immeasurable, steadfast, and permanent. And that same amazing love has been given to us to extend it to others. May we give that love, without keeping score, knowing that God’s love for us keeps no record, because in Jesus, our debts have been marked: “paid in full.”