Two Things I need to Pray For…

Assertiveness and Confidence.

I find the two go hand in hand but my lack of both have hindered me on several occasions. I’ve allowed people to trample on me until I’m nothing but a pathetic sack of nerves. I don’t continue arguments—and I mean genuine arguments, not little spars with my friends—because I just can’t be bothered to fight my corner and when I see someone doing something that I disagree with it’s likely I won’t say anything. There’s been times when some of my friends have been spoken badly about to me, as in, someone just wants to start bitching about someone else, and I don’t say anything. It’s only fairly recently that I’ve started to say “I don’t agree with that…” or “well that person’s my friend so I haven’t seen that side of them before…” and such things. This is because I’ve realised that by staying quiet I’m just as guilty. Guilty by association.

I lack confidence with many things. With my singing ability, my writing, with talking to others and speaking in public. Giving testimonies in church is something I don’t do often because the image of tens of eyes staring at me makes my heart flutter. There’s so many things I want to do, that I wish I could do, but can’t. I hate being in the spotlight.

Sometimes I look back on my Dark Ol’ Goth days and wonder if the music I listened to and the way I dressed was a coping mechanism. It was a way for me to be outrageous, to be interesting and a talking point of sorts. People at school called me weird, people at church thought I was a lost cause. It was a lonely time but for once I felt like I had a thing, something about me that I could say was different.

There you go. Another confession.

Dressing like that is the most confident thing I’ve done: not many Black people around my way would do it. Social pressures would contribute to that: South London is saturated with African/Caribbean culture and the expectations placed on the Black diaspora is immense. Now that I’m converted I wonder if I still have the confidence to dress in such a way and if I don’t, then what’s happened? Shouldn’t it go the other way around? One pastor said that God can turn you from being shy and reserved to bold in Christ. Why aren’t I bold yet?

I would have put this on the prayer request list on Facebook but I don’t want to tell those people. I’m not friends with all of them. So I’ve decided to go even more public with it and put it on this blog instead. *ironic chuckle*


A Confession.

I haven’t updated this blog for a few days. This is mainly due to university assignments and my personal writing. I’ve been meaning to start sending off stories I’ve written to magazines and publishers, but I was always scared to do it. A couple friends of mine from my old Creative Writing class really got me motivated to do it: they’ve been sending off poems and things; getting rejections and great acceptances as well.

I was also trying to prepare for the Sabbath School class I was due to teach last Sabbath: The Teens. The less said about that the better.

But what I really want to do is confess something. Here it is:

I’m not a good  person.

I mean, I’m not the worst person and I wouldn’t like to think of myself as horrible to others, but as I get closer to God I’m beginning to notice things about myself that I’ve never noticed before. Very often I hear the Holy Spirit reproaching me; my conscience is pricked. I don’t feel guilty, necessarily, but I feel as though I need to change it. My main problem is gossip. I’m not a huge gossip by nature–in fact, I hate gossiping, but sometimes, when I’m with the right (or wrong, however you want to look  at it) person, my mouth just runs on its own. Especially if it’s someone I’ve known for a long time and there’s so much to catch up on, somehow we’ll always get into a discussion about who’s pregnant, who’s broken up with who, who’s done this and that. And I feel bad every time I do it.

And sometimes I say cruel things. After Sabbath, I and a few other people were consolling a guy at my church who’s been going through a tough time. My friend was simultaneously making a list of the youth at church that would be availble to take up a post for next year. After the guy was gone, we all said we’d be praying for him. Consequently two youths came and chatted to us for a bit, turned down the posts that were offered to them as they didn’t want to work with old people or children, and left. After they were gone, my friend asked if she should add them to–

Now I thought she was going to say a prayer list, so I said very flippantly: “oh yeah, we need to pray for them too”. She laughed, and added them to the list of posts for next year anyway.

Now that comment might not seem that bad, but in hindsight I can see why that would come across as a bit High and Mighty. Ironically, it showed that I need prayers more than them. I’d hate to turn into those Christians who always see the bad in everyone else before seeing the things that need to change in themselves.

These things I need to pray for. Jesus wouldn’t act like I do. At all.

Pray for me; and I’ll pray for you.