<![CDATA[Queen in Gold - Blog]]>Sun, 17 Feb 2019 18:13:36 +0200Weebly<![CDATA[Being single and being content]]>Thu, 14 Feb 2019 09:11:09 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/being-single-and-being-content​Most of you probably know at least one person who met their spouse at about the same time they stopped looking for someone and started enjoying their singleness. If you are single you’ll usually get reminded of these love stories right after expressing your frustration with still being on your own. 

​​As true as their stories might be, it simply doesn’t work like that for all of us. Learning to be content is usually one of God’s purposes for singleness, but being content is not a box you can tick in order to get married. Marriage is not a prize you get for being “content enough” on your own.

Learning to be content is an important part of life and not just singleness. We learn to find contentment in Christ throughout our lives and for many of us; this journey starts with being single.

What does "content" mean anyway?

One of the many definitions in the Cambridge Dictionary defines “content” as “accepting something as satisfactory, although it could be better.” From a Christian perspective contentment is not merely “accepting” your situation, but finding satisfaction in Christ, in spite of your situation.

This seems to align with the Biblical use of the word:
“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 1 Corinthians 12:1
 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation...”
​– Philippians 4:11-12
“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” – 1 Timothy 6:7-8

The longing
​Being content in your singleness does not mean denying your desire to get married. I happen to believe that on the journey toward contentment it is necessary to admit your desires to God (Philippians 4:6).
"But more than that – He created them for a relationship with Himself."
We are created with a desire for intimacy. We are created to love and to be loved in return. God Himself said it is not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He created Adam and Eve for a relationship with one another. But more than that – He created them for a relationship with Himself.

This is usually where many of us seem to miss the point...

Your (future) husband will never be enough

As Godly and wonderful as your future husband might be – there will always be a gap in your heart only God can fill.

After the Fall, Eve was cursed with an illegitimate desire for her husband (Genesis 3:16). This desire goes beyond God’s intention for husband and wife. It causes Eve to look to Adam to meet her need for intimacy – a need placed in her heart by and for God.

Being content is not having all your longings met

​​In her book, Lies Women Believe, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth goes as far as to say we will always have unfulfilled longings on this side of heaven. Our longings ought to be directed to God and fuel our desire for more of Him. We find contentment in hope and not always in the realization of our desires (Romans 8:18-24). 
"As Godly and wonderful as your future husband might be – there will always be a gap in your heart only God can fill."

So what does it have to do with being single?

​Singleness is an opportunity to start growing in contentment. You are in the privileged position to learn to direct your desires towards God and not illegitimately bestow them upon a man. 
"It simply means desiring God more than marriage."
This doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to desire marriage or make that desires known to God. It simply means desiring God more than marriage. 

It means spending time with Him instead of day dreaming about who your husband might be. It’s seeking His will for this season instead of comparing it with what you see on social media. It’s not lowering your standards because you’re desperate for a relationship. It’s choosing to believe He’s in control and that His timing is perfect (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

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<![CDATA[Stop dodging the difficult]]>Fri, 08 Feb 2019 14:42:59 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/stop-dodging-the-difficult​The reason I know God the way I do is because of the mountains we’ve climbed together and not because of the mountains He’s moved. Does God move mountains? Sure, but there have been quite a few mountains He’s left for me to climb instead. Those mountains have become monuments in my faith. They are times I look back on knowing that God is good, faithful and with me every step of the way.
In the article 5 Things you should know about faith I spoke about how faith is not always easy.

I encounter so many people who seem to be satisfied with an average relationship with God. Trust is built in the deep, dark, and difficult places and not where everything seems to be working out as it should.

Let us not forget that it is faith that moves mountains (Matthew 17:20) and faith is strengthened through perseverance (Romans 5:3-4; James 1:3-4).

​My friend the missionary


​​I have a 20 year old friend who’s a full time missionary in Papua New Guinea. I’ve actually been meaning to do an article with her because she truly inspires me. 

​Amelia was willing to pack up her life and follow God into the unknown. She has captured God’s heart for the lost to such an extent that she’s willing to sacrifice herself on their behalf. Is that not what Jesus would’ve done?

What does God ask of you?
God might not be asking you to become a missionary on the other side of the planet, but He does ask something of you. There’s a cost to following Jesus – but most of the time we want to receive all the benefits without the cost. 
​Don’t get me wrong – Jesus already paid the cost of your salvation. He loves you unconditionally and bestows upon you the free gift of grace. There is, however, only one appropriate response to such grace. In the words of James 2:18
“Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds."
​Grace might be freely given, but it is certainly not free – it was paid for by Jesus. He gave His life for you – He deserves yours.
​God created mankind in His image and although this image has been distorted through sin, Jesus has given us the opportunity to restore this image through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Becoming like God requires walking alongside Him – mimicking His ways. 
"...most of the time we want to receive all the benefits without the cost."

Stop escaping - start embracing
If you’re going to become like God it’s going to require you to step out of your comfort zone and let go of a few unhealthy habits. It’s going to ask you to take a deeper look at your heart and deal with un-forgiveness and old wounds. It’s going to take times of prayer, times of listening, times of crying and being really honest. It’s going to take commitment and perseverance. It’s going to take boldness and courage.

​He is good

Something God has really challenged me with while starting 2019 is not measuring whether or not it will be a “good” year based on whether or not I have good experiences, but whether or not God reveals His goodness.
​Perhaps if you stop looking at the issues around you and start looking towards your Father you will realize the insignificance of your own problems. This is actually something I’ve realized about times of worship. Often during worship I will come to God with my problems instead of laying them down to simply worship Him for who He is. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who does this. If the motive of your heart is to solve your own issues - are you truly worshipping God or are you worshipping yourself? 
"Perhaps if you stop looking at the issues around you and start looking towards your Father you will realize the insignificance of your own problems"

​What are you hungry for?

I happen to think God sometimes allows a drought in our lives to help us become aware of our hunger for Him.
​Instead we’re so busy filling our lives with “junk food” that will never be able to fill us. We need to stop trying to cope on our own and realize our dependence on God. We need Him.
"God sometimes allows a drought in our lives to help us become aware of our hunger for Him."
​You probably know the verse in Jeremiah 29:11 about God’s good plans for you. I happen to love verse 13 which says:
 You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
​Perhaps God’s good and prosperous plans are for you to know Him more intimately. Ultimately, this world can offer nothing better. 

​So you might be standing in front of a mountain or maybe you’re already half way up and it feels like you can’t go any further. It’s time to embrace the process, take His hand and conquer that mountain. One step of faith at a time; discover the warrior within you.
“...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” - Isaiah 40:31

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​More about Amelia

​For more information or inspiring stories from Amelia; go and visit her blog
​@ finisterreambassador.org

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<![CDATA[What will your 2019 be like?]]>Tue, 01 Jan 2019 12:43:20 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/what-will-your-2019-be-likePicture

​You might have plans and expectations for this new year, but there’s no real way of knowing what it holds or what it will be like. Entering into 2019 I’ve noticed that faith is a predominant theme; not only in my life; but also in the lives of many of my friends and family.  

​I have friends who’ve started their own businesses; trusting God to come through. Some of my friends have set out to complete challenges fully relying on His strength. Personally, I’m trusting that God will show the way.

A familiar verse I’m planning to make part of my life this year is found in Proverbs 3:5-6:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
​in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
​So what does this look like? How can you prepare yourself for a faith-filled year?

​Let’s start with prayer 

If you’re going to submit this year to God, prayer is always a good place to start. It’s so easy to only ask for God’s help when we need it; instead of seeking His way right from the start.

Proverbs 3:5-6 teaches us that we are to trust God with our heart, understanding and in all our ways. I happen to think this a beautiful example of trusting God with every part of your being - your spirit, soul and physical body.  

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Our hearts are the place where our dreams and desires are born. Trusting God with your heart means sitting down with Him to discover His dreams and desires for you.
“Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:
​Once we take delight in the Lord His desires become our desires. He doesn’t promise to give us any and all of our fleshly desires, but those born out of a place of intimacy with Him. 

​Lean not on your own understanding 
​This is something you should know about God’s dreams and desires – they usually don’t make sense. His dreams are usually too big for you to achieve them on your own. 
​Denying your own understanding requires faith – This means not using logic to downplay or give up on your dreams, but to continue trusting God. 
"His dreams are usually too big for you to achieve them on your own." 
​It’s important to continually focus on His understanding and not your own. A great way of doing this is finding a Scripture or Bible story especially relating to your situation. This can be anything from Philippians 4:13 to David facing Goliath. Scripture gives us a glimpse of God’s character. He is reliable, trust-worthy and always faithful!

In all your ways submit to Him

This is where things get practical. God doesn’t simply ask of us to believe big dreams, He asks us to go out and represent Him in the world (2 Corinthians 5:20).

And even there, in making plans and walking them out, we can depend on His council.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

And He will make your paths straight

The last part of the Scripture ends off with a promise.
My friends, a straight path does not necessarily mean a path on which there is no failure or challenges. We don’t trust God in order to receive His goodness, we trust Him in being vessels thereof. 
"We don’t trust God in order to receive His goodness, we trust Him in being vessels thereof." 
​A straight path is a path where you can experience God’s blessing and goodness, in spite of the difficulties you might be facing. It’s a path where you are not alone, because you’re walking hand in hand with Him; straight towards His plan and purpose for your life.

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<![CDATA[3 Reasons you’re still single]]>Thu, 22 Nov 2018 13:49:34 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/3-reasons-youre-still-singleA little bit more than a year ago an elderly man approached me in a grocery store: “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”

I still don’t know how a random stranger could tell that I was single just by looking at me. What could possibly be the physical evidence for having a boyfriend?Picture

​I can’t remember whether or not I answered him, but I do remember asking myself that question on a regular basis during that time.  I remember thinking: “I wish I knew.”

​​If you can identify with my grocery store moment in any way; if singleness is something you’ve prayed and moaned and cried about - this is probably for you. For the rest of you; please take caution when asking single people about their relationship status... 

It starts with trusting God
“He has made everything beautiful in its time...” – Ecclesiastes 3:11
​God is the author of romance. Not only does He long to romance us; He actually also desires for us to bear this image by romancing each other. He created both Adam AND Eve and then HE brought them together (Genesis 2:7-22).
​Have you ever wondered what would’ve happened if Eve went off searching for Adam on her own? It was God who brought her to Adam. She simply had to follow Him and trust where He was leading her.  
"He actually also desires for us to bear this image by romancing each other."
​I’ll admit it. I run off. I try to figure things out on my own. That’s exactly what we do when we try to establish “why” we’re still single – you know: you’re too skinny or too fat; you don’t socialize enough; you only interact with guys on a friendship basis; you don’t have any guy friends; you’re too shy; you’re too outgoing; you don’t wear any make-up; or you wear to much... you need to change! 
"​If God is in control of your life – there must be a reason you’re still single." 
​Let me remind you that God created you – the way you are. He loves you – the way you are. Perhaps there are a few things He wants to work on before He introduces you to that special someone, but He definitely doesn’t ask you to fit into a worldly mould of “dating material.” He asks you to follow Him. That’s it. 
​If God is in control of your life – there must be a reason you’re still single. That was the very thought which lead me to write this article.

1. You’re still single to grow in intimacy with God

Many of us view singleness as a season of “waiting” to get married. We think of it as something that should pass; or something that should’ve passed yesterday. 
​For God, this is a time of revealing His heart to us. Instead of worrying about when this season will end, He wants us to use this time to get to know Him more intimately (John 17:3). 
"He always intended Himself to be our First Love."
​I recently heard someone say that before God introduced Adam and Eve; He most likely shared a moment alone with His daughter. The Scripture doesn’t say much about what happened (Genesis 2:11), but we do know that God was the first One to lay eyes on her. At the same time He was also the First One she ever laid eyes on. He always intended Himself to be our First Love.

2. You’re still single to grow as a person

Perhaps there are areas of your life that still needs healing. Perhaps God is using your current season to prepare you for the next. Some of you still need to finish school or get a job or gain some life experience. Whatever areas of life you’re growing in, God will use it to make you a better representative of His Kingdom; and yes; also to make you a better spouse someday. 

3. You’re still single because God wants to use you
In my article; What I've learnt from 6 years of singleness, I write about how being single often gives us time and opportunities to do things for the Kingdom we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do. These are not my own thoughts, but that of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 7:32-35). 
"You are given a unique calling and an opportunity to start living according to it." 
​You don’t need a husband to complete you. You are made complete in Christ. You are given a unique calling and an opportunity to start living according to it. 

(4.You’re still single because He’s still working on your man)

This might be true, but I don’t think God, who created the universe, would be like:"Great! ____________ (your name) is ready to get married. Oh wait... I forgot to prepare her husband.”

​I happen to think that if He’s still working on your future husband – He’s probably still working on you too. 
​My friends, there is a reason God didn’t create Adam and Eve together. There is a reason they were created separately and brought together by their Father. Let us trust His timing and His process. 

Even if you never marry

There are women who only get married by the time they are 40 and then there are women who never marry. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m simply asking you to assess your own heart. How much do you trust God and that He is a good Father? 
​There have been a number of times where I’ve experienced God asking me whether I would continue following Him even if it meant I would never get married or have children. These are two of my biggest desires. Because I know they are Godly desires, I also know I can trust Him with it. I can trust Him with boldness, because by far, my greatest desire is to do my Father’s will. 
"How much do you trust God and that He is a good Father?" 
I’d like to leave you with this quote by Elisabeth Elliot:

“Having now spent more than forty-one years single, I have learned that it is indeed a gift. Not one I would choose. Not one many women would choose. But we do not choose our gifts, remember? We are given them by a divine Giver who knows the end from the beginning, and wants above all else to give us the gift of Himself.
​Ask God to help you embrace this gift of singleness: seek Him in intimacy; grow as an individual and be a light to the broken world. 

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<![CDATA[6 Things I would tell my high school (and current) self]]>Fri, 19 Oct 2018 11:32:16 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/6-things-i-would-tell-my-high-school-and-current-self​High school was probably some of the best and worst years of my life. It was during those 5 years I discovered I didn’t fit into the crowd (most of us don’t), leading to a very confusing search to find the true me. In between it all I tried to figure out how my childhood faith and relationship with Jesus would look like into adulthood. 

​Clearly, following Jesus called me to be different; so I took a year or two of not being too serious about Him - by grace I realized how unfulfilling that would be. It was in high school I chose to follow Jesus with everything – no matter what. Sadly, I also saw many walk away, choosing to follow the world instead.

If I could do it again – there are a few things I’d do different. While listing them today, I realized how applicable they still are. Perhaps this is true for you too.  

1. Get to know all sorts of people
“Love your neighbour as yourself...” - Mark 12:31
​I remember sitting next to people in class I wouldn’t necessarily get the opportunity to befriend in my current season of life. Although I wasn’t completely unaware of them and did create some opportunities to get to know them – I wish I wasn’t so obsessed with my own social status and whether or not it allowed me to be their friend. I wish I just befriended them anyway. 
​I wish I listened to their stories and didn’t think twice about greeting them in the hallways. I wish I sat with them during break time when they had no one else to sit with and I wish I invited them to social gatherings.  
Often we get so caught up in our own lives that we miss opportunities to be the light in some else’s. We miss hearing about the lady behind the till’s day, because we’re in a hurry to get home. We miss spending time with people who need our support, because we’d rather feel sorry for ourselves. We miss listening, because we’d rather just talk about ourselves.
"​I wish I listened to their stories and didn’t think twice about greeting them in the hallways."

2. Speak up 
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
​In high school I participated in drama and public speaking, so I was never really considered shy. But even though I could get up and say something in a room full of people, I often struggled to say something in a group of friends. Among my peers I often felt insignificant and very insecure. What if I said something and it made me look stupid? What if they didn’t like me? Why would they want to talk to me anyway?
​To be really honest with you this is something I still struggle with. I need to remind myself that God created me and that He loves me and that I am good enough. Because of this I don’t have to stand in the corner timid and shy – I can speak up! I have nothing to be afraid of – in fact; I have something to give.
"I need to remind myself that God created me and that He loves me and that I am good enough."

3. Be a light, not a judge
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
​I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit this, but right after fully committing my life to Jesus; I fell into the trap of telling people how wrong their sinful lives were. I spoke openly about how I was living fully for Christ and often; very publicly; missed the mark. I’m honestly not very proud of the way I represented the Kingdom during those years. 
​I’ve learnt since that my good deeds should speak for themselves and that I really shouldn’t claim to be or know better than anyone else. We are not called to make the world live holy lives – we are called to point them to Jesus. He makes them holy. In Christian circles we often emphasize the sin of the world, rather than their lost- and brokenness. 
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” - John 3:17

​4. Build deep friendships
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24
​One thing I really don’t miss about high school is having so many superficial friendships. I specifically remember one incident where I was “hanging out” with girls I had nothing in common with and didn’t even like; only because we belonged to the same social group. 
​I happen to think that one of the most admirable qualities in life is being real. Authenticity is always a vulnerable position, but it’s the only way to build deep, meaningful friendships. Sometimes we have to open our hearts and face the possibility of rejection. 
"Sometimes we have to open our hearts and face the possibility of rejection." 
​I cannot even begin to pretend that I have this figured out. When and where and how to be authentic is still a journey I’m on. What I do know is that authenticity is part of God’s original design. It’s leading us right back to our true nature of being naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). 

5. Enjoy singleness
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” - Habakuk 2:3
​I was thinking more in the direction of Ecclesiastes 3:11, but then this verse from Habakuk caught my eye. He will not delay! My friend, this is not a promise that He will send you a husband; but rather that He is present in your current season – He’s not late – He didn’t forget about you!
​In high school, especially during the two years I wasn’t seeking Jesus with everything; I was seeking to have a boyfriend (with everything). I believed that if I could find someone whose world revolved around me, then I would be significant and then I would be safe. Meanwhile the safest place I could be was in my Saviour’s arms and His divine timing. 
"He’s never late – He’s already here!"
​Whether or not you are single or married – God has a plan for you in this season! It’s so easy to miss out on what God’s doing now, because we’re distracted by what He’ll do next. I’m not pretending that this is easy – you’re going to need His help – that’s why it’s called trusting Him. Breath it in. Embrace it. Enjoy it. He’s never late – He’s already here!

6. Learn to play the piano
“...and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.”
​– Exodus 31:3
​I’ve always wanted to play piano, but seemed to think that because I didn’t start taking lessons at the age of 5, I would never be able to.  This was a lie. I believed that all I could ever do was develop the skills I already had. I compared myself to others and was afraid to try anything I might not be good at. 
​We often limit ourselves, because we don’t allow ourselves to dream. We don’t believe that the Spirit gives us the skills we need to chase the dreams He placed in our hearts.
​I started playing piano the year after school. Even though I’m still very much in the development phase of this skill – I’ve already seen God use it in facilitating worship. I realize that playing piano is not just a childish dream, but something God placed in my heart for a specific purpose.
"​We often limit ourselves, because we don’t allow ourselves to dream."
​Having dreams that stretch you are worth it! God really has a bigger plan for your life than you do.

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