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Books Christianity

Chosen Not Cheated: Life Edition

Earlier this year, my girl – Koki Oyuke – published a book aptly titled: Chosen Not Cheated. This month, my posts are a tribute to her book (and life) message. More details on the book after the post.  

“At a certain point, you have to decide to start living your story and stop waiting to live the one you think you deserve.”

Koki Oyuke (Chosen Not Cheated)

Sometimes being chosen by God feels like a rip off. We’re emphatic about the promises of God over our lives until we start to question why those promises and our reality are worlds apart.

Yet God’s promises are rarely instantaneous. More often than not there’s an in-between of waiting where you have to straddle your present reality with the future you know you could have but can’t quite grasp yet.

Waiting isn’t easy. It stirs up all sorts of questions in our hearts. These are some of the ones that have been voiced in my heart over the years and some of the truths I’ve learned to hold onto in my seasons of waiting.

Why do I have to wait?

We feel cheated when we realize we have to wait.

God’s promises are given to us on credit. He does indeed speak the end from the beginning – telling you what you’ll get in the end then beginning the work of getting you there.

This confuses us because the world works the opposite way. First you do the work to earn something, then you get it.

So we tend to collapse God promising us something with us being ready for it now.

But in God, we’re working from ownership of promise X not for ownership of promise X.

Waiting then serves to prune us and increase our fruitfulness as stewards of God’s promises.

Every obvious and hidden thing concerning you and whatever you’re waiting for will find expression while you wait.

And not everything that comes to light is pleasant.

You may discover all the ways you’re impatient, too fast, doubtful, proud, entitled, etc; all these are things that you need to address with God so you can become a better steward of what you’re waiting for.

God has already chosen you as a steward for every promise known and unknown to you. He’s not looking for reasons to disqualify you. He’s just trying to help you be in the best position and condition to receive and enjoy what He’s promised you.

Why do I have to wait?

We feel cheated when we think we’re the only ones who are waiting/have had to wait.

There’s no one who’s not waiting on God for something. One of the biggest disservices we do to ourselves and each other is to look at the tiny fraction of someone’s life you’re aware about and make conclusions about the entirety of their life.

When we compare our lives with another’s and make the assumption that they didn’t have to wait for what we did, or for as long as we have…we’ll easily end up qualifying our waiting as “unfair”.

But, if we’re honest, we know little to nothing about their journey. It’s terribly presumptuous to think that someone started waiting on God for something when they told you about it or when you found out about it. How do you know it hasn’t been a lifelong desire hidden in their hearts? How do you know they’ve not been going through their journey of waiting in private?

Only God knows the extent of trust each one of us has placed in Him for our lives.

Nobody gets out of this Christian life without growing the fruit of patience. The only difference is that some have learned how to wait better than others.

God has chosen to unravel all our lives in seasons, including those that require us to wait. When you’ve known the ache of waiting, it’s all the more reason to rejoice with they who have walked into their breakthrough. Because you’ve had a taste of that ache and know exactly what getting what you’ve been waiting for means.

Why do I have to wait?

We feel cheated when we don’t think we have a choice in our waiting.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a season and thought – this is so not what I signed up for? I sure have.

When we feel like God has forced us to wait for something without just cause, it can throw us into despondency.

God has chosen for us to wait on Him for certain things. But that’s only half the equation. We also need to choose to embrace our waiting.

Some of those who know me in person have heard me say – this is the life I chose – in reference to some aspect of my life. I say it casually but the heart of it is a very intentional declaration.

I don’t have to do this. I get to do this.  

God has given us all free will. We don’t have to do anything as far as He’s concerned. We get to make choices. Waiting is one of them and so is how we choose to wait.

You can wait miserably as you lament about how unfair God is to you and dwell on everything you consider negative in your waiting.

Or you can wait circumspectly, with the right perspective – remembering the truth of God’s faithfulness and partnering with the work He’s doing in you to make you a better steward.

Either way, waiting is an active choice on our part. Even in running from it or trying to bury our head in the sand about it, we are making a choice.

Why do I have to wait?

If you understand the purpose of waiting, then you’ll understand the nature of waiting. It must stretch you. It must cause you press into God more than you ever have before and depend on Him more than you ever thought possible. It must reveal things to you, about yourself, about God, about others, about life.

This cannot happen if waiting is something comfortable that you do on cruise mode.

It will be somewhat manageable on some days, quite uncomfortable on others and pretty unbearable from time to time.

But rather than curse God in our delays and denials, we can choose to learn to seek His face, especially when we don’t feel like it or don’t want to.

If you want to learn more about how to do that, then Chosen Not Cheated is a book you need to read.


Book Blurb:

Chosen Not Cheated is a story about going back to the place where the light shone in your eyes. Back to the place where you feel weightless, and with your dreams within reach. It’s a story about becoming in the in-between, thin and hard places you find yourself in life. And it’s seeing for yourself, I mean really seeing for yourself, all the ways you’re chosen by God no matter how cheated you feel. This is about scars, journeys, and stories. Yours and mine. Chosen, not cheated.

Koki’s Chosen Not Cheated TV Interviews:

Chosen Not Cheated: Books & Blogs (KTN) – Part 1: https://youtu.be/BQcuPjv_b3I & Part 2: https://youtu.be/Cgm0Tw27oAk

Why You Need To Read The Book Chosen Not Cheated: Full Circle with Joyce (Switch): https://youtu.be/vNOVjjAey-M

What It Means To Live Like One Who’s Chosen: Living With Ess (NTV): https://youtu.be/va_mKuz1ZFk

Sample the book:

Read Chapter 1 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9966130004

Listen to Chapter 1: https://youtu.be/USpLd2X7q2M

Buy the book:

From Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/9966130004

From Koki (if you live in Kenya):  MPESA Ksh. 1300 to Buy Goods No. 388 686 and await a WhatsApp message with further details.

Show some love to Koki:

Website: https://kokioyuke.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officialkokioyuke

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kokioyuke/

Categories
Marriage Bed

Marriage & Purpose III

When I got married, one of the things I did was drop my father’s name and adopt my husband’s name. I went the whole nine yards which included getting a new ID with the new name.

A few years into marriage, it’s not something I think all that much about. But recently, I was getting served somewhere and in the process my name change came up. The person serving me was a young guy, younger than me by a few years. For the life of him, he couldn’t understand why I would change my name and especially so “early” (in his view) in marriage. He even went as far as to vehemently state that if he got married, he wouldn’t allow his wife to do so. To him, it was an unimaginable and unnecessary risk.

There was an unspoken question in everything he was saying.

What on earth gave me the guts (or made me naïve enough) to do something like that?

In the months leading up to our wedding, I was in the thick of transitioning from dating into marriage. One of the things that crossed my mind was my surname and what to do with it. To maintain my maiden surname and keep everything as is, using my marital surname as and when necessary. To hyphenate my maiden and marital surnames. To drop my maiden surname entirely and adopt my marital surname. These were the options I was looking at.

As with everything relationship, there’s a ton of opinions out there about what a woman in my situation should do. Every single one backed by an intriguing blend of logic, emotion, and paranoia of all the things that could go wrong.

I happened to like my maiden surname. Given that my first two names are about as common as names come, it was nice to have at least one name that was somewhat uncommon. Even if meant that every so often, I had to spell it out to people or correct records when someone decided to baptize me with their version of it. My marital surname, on the other hand, rivals my middle name in how widely used it is. So there was definitely a part of me that was angling to keep my maiden name if for no other reason than that.

Rather than wade into the sea of confusion that is human opinion, I went to God one day and asked Him what He thought about the whole thing. The Holy Spirit led me to Genesis 17, where God changes Abram and Sarai’s names to Abraham and Sarah. The context of this name change is the institution of a covenant between God and Abraham (plus his descendants).

Throughout the Bible, names significantly denote identity and purpose. The same holds true even in the present day. Case in point, most Kenyan communities have traditional guidelines on how children should be named – typically after specific relatives on either side of the family based on order of birth. Often, this practice is done with good intentions (or to avoid family drama, let’s be honest). But what gets lost in the process is the spiritual significance of naming someone after another. Or taking up a family name, in the instance where a woman marries into a family and it goes without saying that she adopts the family name.

If you study people named after others, perhaps even yourself and the person you’re named after, there’s a high likelihood of certain similarities in traits. Things like looks, personality, strengths, weaknesses/flaws, etc, end up shared between the two people. Jokes are cracked about it. It’s chalked up to coincidence and serendipity. But there’s so much more to it than that.

When God took me to Abraham and Sarah’s story, He began to explain to me a crucial aspect of my transition into marriage. Yes, there was the covenant between God and the two of us. But in addition to that, there was the transformation that marriage would bring my way in so far as my identity was concerned. And so, my name needed to change to reflect the significant shift in season and to herald all that God was releasing to me in marriage. In taking my husband’s name, I was embracing the role God was giving him in my life to be a catalyst for and a steward over what God had in store for me.

Somewhere along the way between dating and marriage I came to the realization that our marriage was primarily dependent on God, not on either of us. Notwithstanding the role we have to play as individuals and as a couple, there’s a weight that only He can carry and we need to let Him do so. We need to trust Him to do so.

So many of us, Christians included, enter marriage with failure at the back of our mind. We may not say it out loud but we have all these contingencies in place mentally, emotionally, spiritually and even physically in so far as the decisions we’re making. Decisions designed to protect us in the event things don’t work out.

Given the rate of divorce, again, even in the church, I can understand why this would be the case. Yet, aren’t we called to live a life of courage as believers and not one of fear? Because inadvertently what all our safeguards say is that we don’t entirely trust God to have our back so we put in place our own backup plans.

As I shared last month, going into marriage God’s way is not a guarantee that everything will work out the way you expect it to. But if we’re going into marriage as petrified, if not more so, as non-believers, then what does that say about our God and our relationship with Him? What then, is the point of doing things the divine way, if when all is said and done we’re exactly where everyone else is?

Out of all human relationships, marriage undeniably requires one of the highest levels of trust. Trust in yourself. Trust in your spouse. Trust in your marriage. But also trust in God. Trust in God to do that which neither you nor your spouse can do for each other or for your union. Trust in God to uphold you both and your marriage when the storms of life come raging your way. Trust in God to transform you both into better spouses for one another throughout the rest of your lives. Trust in God to circumvent every aspect of self-sabotage you knowingly or unknowingly got into marriage with. Trust in God to make quick work of the spiritual, mental and emotional baggage you both carry having lived thus far in an imperfect world. Trust in God to lay you both bare and continually transform you into Christ-likeness.

My decision to change my name was not based on how much trust I have in myself or my husband and our ability to sustain a healthy marriage for the rest of our lives. For all the love and respect we have for one another, we’re two very fallible human beings who are prone to failure.

No. My decision was based on the how much trust I have in God, the One constant who never changes through the seasons of life. He’s the rock on which I stand, on which we stand, on which our marriage stands. He is the source of my confidence in the institution of marriage.

Divine marriage will require you to lay down your understanding of life and lean on God instead. Utterly, desperately dependent on Him. Every. Single. Day. As you acknowledge Him in everything you do in your relationship, even stuff that seems nondescript like changing your surname, He will direct your path. And He’ll never steer you wrong.

God’s hands are wide open, beckoning us to find rest in His heart and mind for us in marriage. But will we say yes, wholly and truly with every fibre of our being, to trusting Him?