<![CDATA[Queen in Gold - Blog]]>Wed, 14 Aug 2019 08:10:33 +0200Weebly<![CDATA[Wild & Adventurous     (Part 1)]]>Tue, 13 Aug 2019 16:54:26 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/wild-adventurous-part-1​A while ago someone asked me if I’m “adventurous”. On hearing the word I immediately pictured myself jumping off a cliff or out of an airplane. Adrenaline chasing has never been one of my hobbies, so I assumed I couldn’t really be described as an “adventurer.”
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​But does adventure only have to do with jumping off cliffs or is there more to it? Somehow the thought of not being adventurous made me seem so boring. Was I boring??

What does “adventurous” mean anyway?   

The Oxford dictionary defines it as a willingness to take risks, or try new ideas, methods and experiences.

My personal conclusion is that “adventurous” includes everything out of the ordinary. Adventurous is being spontaneous and willing to break routine. It’s having a hunger to explore the world around you. More than anything adventurous is about following Christ.
​The more I thought about it – the more I wanted my life to look like that. I actually realized that was exactly how I saw myself – this crazy Christian girl who’s willing to follow Jesus just about anywhere. The problem was that although this sense of adventure was written all over my heart; somehow I wasn’t necessarily always living it.
"More than anything adventurous is about following Christ."

Desiring adventure

In their book, Captivating, John and Stasi Eldredge, explore God’s intention for the feminine heart. They mention what they believe to be the three core desires of womanhood:

Being romanced

Having a beauty to unveil

And playing an irreplaceable role in a great adventure

​There it was – the very desire of my heart – not to have a boring, unnoticed, ordinary life; but a life of meaning and influence.  

So why not?

It’s actually pretty simple - FEAR.
​We choose to live boring, ordinary lives because it seems safe. Stepping out into the world and taking risks is somewhat dangerous. It requires strength, boldness and whole new level of faith. 
"​We choose to live boring, ordinary lives because it seems safe."

The fear of being alone

I’ll be honest with you. This was what God revealed to be the main reason I seem to avoid adventure.

The truth of the matter is; if I am too afraid to follow God into the unknown, it’s because I don’t really trust Him with my needs and desires. 

The Botswana mission

​During this time of discovering my God-given desire for adventure; I signed up to go on a mission to Botswana. This seemed like a pretty decent challenge to apply my new-found revelation. 

"...if I am too afraid to follow God into the unknown, it’s because I don’t really trust Him with my needs and desires." 
It was easier said than done.

A few weeks before the mission we had a planning meeting, where we spoke through some of the logistics. These logistics included camping in rural Botswana with no electricity, running toilets or proper showers. All of a sudden I realized just how big the adventure was I signed up for. The biggest challenge, however, was that I knew absolutely no one on the team.

I got home and cried a little bit that night. I even remember praying that I didn’t really want to go on the mission anymore. 

My friend the missionary

And then I remembered Amelia.
​If you’ve read Stop dodging the difficult then you might remember the 20 year old missionary in Papua New Guinea.

I’d like to highlight a few things about Amelia. She’s not married and she’s the only single grown up in their mission team.  
"I was reminded of Amelia’s bravery in deciding to go and live in a little village in Papua New Guinea."
​On that day when it felt like I absolutely could not go to Botswana for ten days “on my own,” I was reminded of Amelia’s bravery in deciding to go and live in a little village in Papua New Guinea. 

What does it take to follow Jesus?

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” – Matthew 16:24-2

​​Following Jesus IS an adventure. It’s almost never the easy, safe and comfortable way. One thing you can be sure of is that it is going to require faith and bravery. Think about Peter getting out of the boat (Matthew 14:22-33). Imagine being able to walk on water, but even more; imagine the boldness it took to give that first step.

We’re not alone

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20

This was what Jesus said right after instructing His followers to go and make disciples. It’s almost like He knew we needed a little bit of reassurance.

I ended up going on the mission to Botswana and not having any regrets. One of my personal testimonies is the unexpected spiritual family I experienced within our team. I wasn’t alone. Not only because Jesus was holding my hand; but also because of His children; loving, caring and looking out for me. I formed friendships and built relationships I didn’t expect.

God truly is faithful, friends. 

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

​Also look out for the follow up article with more adventures from my time in Botswana. 

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<![CDATA[Heaven’s time and your singleness]]>Fri, 24 May 2019 14:33:29 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/heavens-time-and-your-singleness​Trusting God’s timing and purpose with your life can be pretty tough. I remember being in high school and worrying that God’s plan for my life was to be single forever. I’m mentioning this because I happen to know many Christian women who’ve also worried about this at some point in their life.
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A friend of mine made a valid statement saying that whenever we fear or worry about the future we always seem to forget God’s grace will be there for us in that situation. God always seems to prepare us for the seasons we need to go through (1 Corinthians 10:13). Seven or eight years ago I convinced myself He wouldn’t let me arrive at this age of almost 25 without being married. But seven or eight years ago I didn’t know the fulfillment I’d find in Him today.

This doesn’t mean I don’t want to be married anymore. I still do very much and I often remind God of my desire for a companion. But I’ve learnt so much about my Father’s heart in this season of waiting. I believe singleness teaches us to wait – for more than just a husband.   

Finally!!

A while ago I made a little discovery from Genesis 2:23. This verse contains man’s first words ever to be recorded. It describes Adam’s response when he first saw Eve. And do you know what he said?

“At last!”

I’m not kidding – 

“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh...” (ESV)
“Finally! Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!” (MSG)

The Hebrew word  pa‛am pa‛ămâh (At last) is mostly used when referring to time. Although Adam’s words are often also translated to “This is now”, it is noteworthy that he makes mention of time at all.

I happen to think this is probably what every groom thinks the moment his bride comes down the aisle. This is it; the moment he’s been waiting for!
​In Adam’s case we know it was all in God’s perfect timing. He was the One who said it was not good for Adam to be alone (Genesis 2:18). He created and revealed to Adam his desire for a companion (2:20). He let Adam fall asleep (2:21). He created Eve; and then (listen up ladies) He took her to him (2:22). 
​All Adam had to do was respond. And He responded firstly exclaiming the wonder of God’s divine timing. 

​So what does this have to do with you and your singleness?

​If anything; singleness teaches us to wait. No one is born married – although God designed us to be joined in marriage, He actually didn’t create us married. He created you separate from your future husband. He wanted us to wait and grow on our own. He wanted us to spend time with Him alone and treasure Him as our First Love.  
"​If anything; singleness teaches us to wait."
Just like Adam and Eve had to wait for that divine meeting – just like some us are waiting to meet our earthly husband – we’re all waiting for the return of our heavenly Groom. 

It’s okay to have a longing for a companion for this life, but let us not forget there is a life beyond this one. Let us not forget our true longing for the return of our King.

Waiting on His return

While teaching His disciples what to expect during the end times, Jesus tells the parable of the ten virgins waiting on the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). Culturally, weddings included a procession after dark where everyone would carry a lamp. In the parable, five of the girls weren’t prepared and didn’t have enough oil for their lamps. They ended up missing the entire wedding.

We have all been invited to partake in a heavenly wedding. And we’re not just invited as guests to this wedding - we are invited to be the bride.
Attending ​this wedding, however, requires us to wait in wisdom.  We need to use our time wisely in order to prepare ourselves for the Groom. 
"...we are invited to be the bride."

Still single?

Take a moment and imagine what it would look like if waiting on your earthly husband could reflect waiting on your heavenly One. I’m deeply passionate about marriage being a reflection of our relationship with Christ (Ephesians 5:22-32), but why can’t this reflection already start in singleness?

Singleness is a beautiful opportunity to trust God and walk along side Him (I’ve definitely written that line before).
​​
Truly, we are not just waiting to walk down an earthly aisle; we are waiting for our Saviour to return.
“I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His Word I put my hope.” – Psalm 130:5


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<![CDATA[When at His feet]]>Wed, 27 Mar 2019 08:01:43 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/when-at-his-feet​“What am I about to do?” she asked herself looking down at the alabaster jar in her shaking hands. The possibility of rejection was very real. She had a reputation for being a sinner and was definitely not welcome in the house of Pharisee. 

​She took a deep breath and walked into a room full of men, carrying her most precious possession – her future, her security. Trying to ignore the cruel stares directed her way; she searched the room for Jesus. He was all she was there for. It was all because of Him. 

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She couldn’t help herself; tears were already streaming down her face. This wasn’t really part of the plan; she was hoping to be a bit more composed. But standing face to face with Him somehow exposed the burden of the sin she was carrying. It’s like everything about her broke open in the same way she broke the jar of expensive perfume. She fell at His feet and in spite of her past and the harsh comments by some of the men in the room; she felt like she belonged. He wanted her there.
(See Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50; John 12:1-8).

Something about this story always leaves me a little bit speechless. Would I have had the boldness to do what she did? Or am I merely one of the bystanders who’d consider her act of worship a waste?

What can we learn from this woman?

True worship is vulnerable

Everything about Mary’s act toward Jesus was one of vulnerability. She rudely interrupted a dinner party she hadn’t been invited to; threw expensive perfume over the guest of honor and washed His feet with her tears. She also then dried His feet with her hair. Culturally women kept their hair covered in public, because of the beauty thereof. Taking off her hair covering in a room full of men would’ve been considered a shameful act
​There was nothing about this woman hiding behind a mask of pretense. Her sins were exposed and so were all her intentions. She considered Jesus so worthy she was willing to wash the dirt off His feet; spill what was likely her most prized possession over Him and then dry His feet with her hair.
"​There was nothing about this woman hiding behind a mask of pretense."
​The disciples, on the other hand, immediately found fault in the woman’s act and tried to impress Jesus by saying the money of the perfume should’ve rather been given to the poor. Jesus isn’t that impressed with our attempts to do the right thing. He longs for pure and honest worship.
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” – John 4:23

​​Living a life of worshiping God is going to ask you to sometimes step out in vulnerability – especially towards Him. Shame is this ugly thing that was never intended to be part of creation. Adam and Eve walked around naked and unashamed (Genesis 2:25). Then sin came and they hid themselves, trying to cover their nakedness (Genesis 3:7-10). But God asks us to open our hearts to Him and be real. He doesn’t want our attempts to impress Him. He wants us just as we are. For when we come to Him as we are, we’re giving Him the opportunity to truly heal us.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord.
​‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” – Isaiah 1:18

True worship is giving everything

Apart from being completely vulnerable, the woman came to Jesus with the very best she had. The alabaster jar of perfume was worth about a year’s wages. We don’t know why the woman had this jar, but we can assume she didn’t just have a few standing around in her house. This jar was likely a financial investment or family inheritance. It was something extremely valuable. However she attained it and whatever its intended use might have been; the woman decided to pour out the entire jar over Jesus. 

​If you think about your own life; what do you consider valuable? Would you be willing to “waste” this for the purpose of honoring Jesus? From a worldly perspective, the woman’s act made no sense. According to the by standing Pharisees and disciples there was no justification for what she did. Perhaps if she sold the jar and gave the money to the poor it would make a little sense; but just pouring it out over Jesus didn’t.  
"She chose to see Jesus for who He is and chose to honor Him for that."
But in that moment the woman chose not to look at value from a worldly perspective. She chose to see Jesus for who He is and chose to honor Him for that. She chose to give her very best.

When we start looking at our lives there are often so many areas we’re willing to settle for “good enough” instead of “very best.” 

True worship is bringing your heart
​Jesus valued the woman’s act – not because of what she’d done, but because of her intentions. He wants us to give our best, but more than that He wants us to want to give our best. He wants us to see Him for who He is and be willing to lay ourselves down in the same way He has. Worship is a response to our relationship with God. You can’t fake it – it has to be authentic. 
"He wants us to give our best, but more than that He wants us to want to give our best." 
​What I love about this story is that Mary didn’t only bring her best. She’s not this worldly idea of the perfect woman dressed in a beautiful gown coming to pour expensive perfume over Jesus. No, it’s a story about a sinful woman, who’s crying and appears to be a little bit of an emotional mess. She comes to bring Jesus her very best, but at the same time she also brings the very worst of herself.

Worship is not about being perfect, it’s about coming as you are.

“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’
And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’
Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
​– Revelation 22:17


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<![CDATA[An open letter to the girl in a toxic relationship]]>Fri, 08 Mar 2019 11:38:56 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/an-open-letter-to-the-girl-in-a-toxic-relationship​I hope that you'll really understand my heart with what I’m about to say. This morning I was reminded that we are to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). I was reminded that I’m not better, smarter or holier than you. What I am about to share is simply because of grace. For some unfathomable reason God chose me to walk with Him. Today I would like to remind you that He chose you too.
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You might not consider your relationship with this guy toxic. I’m going to take a wild guess and say he might even treat you better than some of the previous relationships you’ve had. In some ways you might even think this relationship is good for you. And that is exactly why I would like to remind you who you truly are; beloved of the Almighty God (Song of Songs 6:3). Compromising your purity, dignity and self-worth is not His plan for you.

He knows your inner being and deepest desires and He longs to give you the fulfillment no man can. 

​Seeking fulfillment
​A few weeks ago I wrote an article called “Being single and being content.” In it I address one of the curses Eve received after the Fall; being an illegitimate longing for her husband (Genesis 3:16). That’s where it started – this crazy idea that Adam will be able to fulfill you. Oh and how he’s failed you over and over again; one after the other. 
"​Sin causes us to turn to a sinful Adam instead of a loving God."
You see, instead of meeting your needs Adam becomes your ruler (Genesis 3:16). In his own sinfulness he’s blind to your worth and treats you accordingly. And when this man on whom you’ve placed all your longings and desires, utters your worthlessness; you believe him.

Sin causes us to turn to a sinful Adam instead of a loving God. Daughter, I wish you’d see your Father’s not calling you to burden you with religion, He’s calling to speak His truth and meet your deepest needs. 

His standard

I remember being in high school and craving acceptance from boys. Since then, God has led me to experience relationship with Jesus; setting a new standard. I’ve learnt that even though Eve was cursed with an illegitimate desire, desiring marriage is not wrong. Even before the existence of sin, God designed marriage as a metaphor for His relationship with us (Ephesians 5:31-32). Ultimately the relationship between man and woman ought to resemble Jesus’ relationship with His Bride.
​The reason I’m saying this is not to condemn your current situation, but rather to reveal the beautiful plan God has for your future marriage. God desires to be made known in and through earthly romance. That, my friend, is the standard. It’s something we cannot cease striving towards. 
"Ultimately the relationship between man and woman ought to resemble Jesus’ relationship with His Bride."

You’re not cheap

In the article “Modest or beautiful?” I spoke about how our bodies belong to Christ, because He paid for us with His own (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).  

You are not cheap - you were bought at a price.
One of the major lies girls buy into is that they need to compromise their purity in order to receive love and acceptance from a man. Ironically, God has given you the gift of purity to give your husband, because of the commitment to love and accept one another in marriage.  Marriage is the only safe space to live out your sexuality. God designed it this way because of the vulnerability thereof. A sexual relationship outside of marriage opens the door to uncertainties about whether you’ll ever be “good enough” for your boyfriend. 
"He’s actually asking you to remain pure in order to experience the brilliance of the plan He has for you." 
If you’re currently in a relationship where you’re compromising your purity in any way, I pray that God will reveal His heart about sexuality to you. He’s not asking you to remain pure to punish you. He’s actually asking you to remain pure in order to experience the brilliance of the plan He has for you. God’s idea of sex is not outdated; He actually has a much higher standard than the modern-day culture.

Also read the article “The truth about SEX (Every unmarried Christian should know).”

Only God can heal

Whether you’ve been hurt in a toxic relationship or you feel unclean because of past sin – Jesus already dealt with that on the cross (John 19:28-30). And if you can think all the way back to lies the enemy told when you were only a little girl – Jesus dealt with that too.

If you haven’t heard it before; this is His invite for you to accept His forgiveness, grace and Divine healing.

Allow Him to speak His truth, His Word, over you. Allow Him to show you who Love is and what it’s supposed to look like.

Open your heart to more. There’s always-always-always more of Him.

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<![CDATA[Why I ran a half marathon and how it impacted my life]]>Fri, 01 Mar 2019 05:02:07 GMThttp://queeningold.co.za/blog/why-i-ran-a-half-marathon-and-how-it-impacted-my-lifeThis is one of the few articles where I simply want to share a story from my life. I hope that it will inspire you as it has inspired me.
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Sunday, 24th of February 2019 I ran my very first half marathon. This, my friends, is a testimony of God’s goodness. It’s not your typical running testimony where I miraculously got healed from some or other injury. It is about how faithful God is to manifest Himself in different seasons of our lives.
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I’ve always been the arty girl who doesn’t do sports. I never thought God would teach me a lesson through RUNNING– but He did.

Where it all started

I first “started” running in 2014 during my year in England. As you might remember, I previously wrote about how I spent a year in England doing a course that challenged me in absolutely every way (Bravery vs. Womanhood). 
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and (for me especially) learn dependence on God – the year also included running. We actually had a goal to run a half marathon by the end of the year, but somehow we never actually got around to train enough for it. Honestly, I was extremely thankful. I really didn’t like running. 
"Although I didn’t like running, it taught me that I am able to face challenges, because of the strength God gives." 

What He taught me

But in spite of not enjoying running during that year – God used it to teach me a few lessons.

One of the prominent Scriptures I held onto was Isaiah 40:31
“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."

​God used running as a metaphor for all the difficult things I was going through. Even though it felt like I couldn’t go any further; somehow I did, because He was carrying me. Although I didn’t like running, it taught me that I am able to face challenges, because of the strength God gives. 

It wasn’t over yet

Excluding a few odd 2 kilometer jogs I took a break from running until somewhere in 2017. I cannot pinpoint the exact reason for starting again, but unexpectedly I started to enjoy it.  So I ran more and further and I started pushing myself. 
​Then one morning in June 2018, I came across a woman right after she had been stabbed. You can read all about that in the article “On her way to heaven.” I believe God used running to bring me to that woman. I realized His protection over my life, but at the same time became aware of the dangers of running on my own. This was a challenge on its own, but only one month after the incident I was back running again.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Back to Isaiah 40:31

“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.” 

​​What really led to running the half marathon, though, was a season of trusting God. After expectantly inquiring to Him about the season I was in; He gave me Isaiah 40:31 one Sunday at a church gathering. Some of you might have been delighted in receiving a word like that from God, but being the thematic verse for a very challenging season of my life, I was not. I didn’t want to go through another season like that. I was resistant.
Then one of my friends gave me a mug for my birthday with the words “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” written on it. 

Then someone prayed that I will be able to soar like an eagle.

Then another person prayed the exact same thing.

I can’t even remember all the instances, but the verse just kept popping up everywhere I went. So I chose to embrace it – not realizing how this running metaphor will once again become a physical thing.

Deciding to run a half marathon
A friend of mine suggested I should think of doing a race. After looking up different dates for races one particular one caught my eye. This one – on this specific weekend – which held so much significance to the journey I’m on. And right then I decided to run the 21 kilometer race.  
"...it was symbolic for trusting Him with every other area of my life." 
​I realized that this was something God called me to do, especially because it was symbolic for trusting Him with every other area of my life. 

A display of His goodness

After the incident in June I tried to run at times when the streets were at their busiest – simply for safety purposes. To train for the race, however, I was going to have to run more and further than usual – I realized I was going to have to trust God to protect me.
​Oh and how faithful He’s been.
​He even sent a dear friend to do long runs with me on Saturday mornings. And get this – He took me out of my neighborhood to do long runs on a beautiful farm. During my year in England we ran through a beautiful park. It was like God was taking me back to finish something He started in 2014!
"Right there, when it’s really hard, is when we truly encounter who He is."
It’s easy to miss God’s blessing in difficult times; but I believe God uses challenging times as an opportunity to bestow His goodness on us. Right there, when it’s really hard, is when we truly encounter who He is.

Running that race

The night before the race I read a post by another blogger about running after God and chasing His purpose for your life.

So I kept thinking of running towards God. I cried about twice during the race and again in the car on the way home; not because of pain or tiredness; but because of being completely aware and overwhelmed by His presence.
​It’s not just a physical thing, you see, running is still this weird metaphor for my current reality. I’m running towards God in everything I do. I’m trusting Him. 

“Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23:6


​I hope that you will choose to be inspired by my story – whether you are facing a season of challenges or not. I hope that you will choose to seek Him in your day to day life, because He is there; working all things for the good (Romans 8:28).


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