It’s just under a month until I begin my twenties, and just under a year since I started my channel. So much has happened in the past year. I can say it’s been one of the most challenging years of my life, and I’ve been learning a lot about myself, God and life in general. One of the other things that’s happened has been that I’ve stepped out into my creative side more, an area that was always a big part of who I am but which I suppressed a little to focus on my studies – and something I hope to pursue in some way in the future. I’ve also been exploring new things and taking new risks in general (as I write this I am volunteering abroad in Tanzania – I’ve been here for two months, and I doubt I’ll return to the UK the same).

For a number of reasons, which I won’t go into too much for now, I know that right now is the beginning of a new and exciting season for me. It’s a new academic year, a new decade in my life (and famously one of the most exciting) – and I’ve just come out of a season of real, raw, challenging, beautiful growth. I am so excited to start my twenties and see where God takes me in the next ten years. So, the result of a mixture of the desire for an outlet for my creativity and being on the cusp of a new season, this space will be where I log some of the lessons I learn along my journey in the hope that they’ll bless you.

I won’t say too much for now. But what I WILL say is watch this space.

Imani x

 

 

 

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living in the moment with a friend, Sanje falls, Tanzania

‘Live carefree before God, for He is most careful with you.’ 1 Peter 5:7.

This is a verse that I found in the Message Study Bible and which really hit home for me. I mean, it literally stopped me in my tracks. How often do we get wound up trying to make things happen, trying to stop things happening, trying to control the future, forgetting the present moment? As Christians we sometimes forget that the orchestrator of the universe has our best interests at heart.

In other translations of this verse we are encouraged to live ‘casting your burdens onto Him, for He cares for you.’

Over the years I’ve realised that I am the kind of person who finds it hard to live in the present. From a young age I worried about things that might happen in the future, and as I got older I realised I found it hard to trust again after past hurts. Whether it was in the past or the future, my mind was often not in the present. I remember when I was in Reception being told to ‘not be silly’ by a teacher after crying at the fact my parents weren’t going to live forever…LOL!  What kind of kid even thinks about those things? I’m grateful to God I’m not like that any more!

I recently watched a sermon by Joyce Meyer entitled Nine Ways to Increase your Happiness, because I was in a place where I wasn’t happy with a few areas of my life – my channel, my friendships, even myself. I felt like I wasn’t progressing, or things were just not where they should’ve been. Joyce mentioned as one of her nine ways the fact that we’ve got to learn to live in the moment. That same week, Breeny Lee released a video on the exact same topic. And because I’d found the scripture in 1 Peter just a few days before and it was still etched on my heart, the resounding message was clear. I had to let go and learn to enjoy the present.

I’ve heard it said before that the present is a gift, that’s why it’s called the ‘present’. I fully agree with this.

If you’re struggling with this too, be encouraged. Many of us do. In the Bible it reminds us that tomorrow isn’t promised, and has enough cares of its own. It’s not about living carelessly and not thinking about consequences our present actions may have down the line – that’s not wisdom. But it’s equally not about obsessing over things that haven’t happened yet – and might not even happen. It’s about finding the balance between the two, and learning to be anxious for nothing. You can’t control the future, nor were you able to control all the things that happened to you in your past. What you DO have control over, however, is how you make the most of the present moment you are in, right now. THIS moment. THIS season.

It’s okay not to be exactly where you want to be at the moment. No one has it all figured out. I’ve been learning lately, though, that it’s important to take everything one step at a time, one moment at a time, starting with this one.

I’m so grateful to God that during my summer I had real opportunities to savour the present. I had some life-changing moments with God, with nature and His creation, and with friends and family. It’s been a time of reflection and growth. I’ve learnt from this season that living in the present isn’t easy – especially when you’re someone like me who focuses on the future so much – but it’s a habit worth putting into practice.

Jesus came that we may have life in abundance. We have every reason to drop our worries and leave them at the Cross. Smile, enjoy the time you are in now. Live carefree before God, for He is most careful with you.

Take a look at Joyce Meyer’s sermon and Breeny Lee’s video when you can. I hope they bless you as they did me.

Love,

Imani x

 

 

 

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