#15 You’re Held

My reflections today are a little on the simple side. I’m thinking about God’s work in my life. I know- sometimes stuff like this gets thrown around and we get used to it, but I’m very aware today about everything God’s up to. At the moment, I’m in DC as part of an incredible fellowship that I keep wondering how I stumbled into. The story of how I got here sounds just about as serendipitous as most of the stories of how I got anywhere I’ve been that was worth going- it’s not at all by my own merit. A series of coincidences and turns (that are characteristic of my life by now)- all way too conveniently ordered not to have been guided by God’s hand.To cut a long story short, I’ve found myself living in a lovely host family’s home, surrounded by some of the most genuine people I’ve met in a while, doing work that a Priscilla a few years ago would have felt incredibly I’ll-equipped for doing, and would have felt too inadequate to be given.

Besides the actual work I’m doing and the convenience of my living situation, however, I think the most striking thing for me right now is how timely my being here seems. I was talking to a friend yesterday and sharing with her how it just feels like I’m here right now and not last year (like I originally intended) because there’s something here for me for now. There are people here I was meant to meet and interact with who weren’t here last year. There are shifts that have happened in my mind that I needed to have happened before I was here. You could say that’s how everyone’s life in general unfolds, but I feel like I’m in a very pivotal season of my life- like some big shift is about to happen. Now if you know me, you know that I like to know how things are going to happen, right down to the finest detail, so being in this moment of unexplainable anticipation has me bobbing up and down in my car-seat asking God “Are we there yet?!”

The bottom line is, God’s at work. I’m in a space where I’m starkly aware of this, and I know I need to trust him. It’s a quite a simple thought, really, but I think it’s some of these simple thoughts that I constantly need to revisit in my journey with God. It’s easy to rationalize and explain how and why things unfold the way they do but quite frankly, my faith leads me to believe and know that everything I have is a gift from God. That everything I am is a work of the Holy Spirit. And everything I bring to this world and to the people around me is my tiny gift right back to Him in which he delights.

It’s a moment of assurance each time I am reminded that God is at work in me. He’s at work in the logistics of my life, he’s at work on the condition of my heart and he’s at work in the state of my spirit. This last bit is especially grounding for me.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
– Phillipians 1:6

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. – Philippians 2:13

 

What a beautiful thing this is- I’m God’s own special project. He’s putting time into my heart to make me give, love, live and see the world the way that he intends for me to. This assurance is carrying me into the week, and I’m so thrilled to have the space to share it with you. God’s at work- he loves who you are and is heavily involved in who you are becoming. So root yourself in him and take heart over this fact. You are held, you are loved, your steps are ordered by The Lord. So go forth confidently in his love and the security of his ever-abundant grace.

Have a lovely week!

Featured Image from Here.

 

 

The Misleading Gospel of Happiness (#14 )

A few days ago, a friend of mine was in a bit of a predicament. After putting so much of her time and energy into something she’s been looking forward to for months, it all fell through. She was backed into a corner and there was no salvaging anything from the remains of all her efforts. Exasperated, she sent me a frantic voice message in which she aired out her discouragement. In no time, my finger was on the record button, and as I spoke back to her, sending a message that I hoped would be the right balance of compassion and practicality, I heard myself say “at this point, just do what makes you happy”.

I want my friend happy. But that’s not all I want for her. That’s not all she’s called to. As I reflect on some of the ways I think and pray, I cannot help but notice how much of my pursuit of God is rooted in my desire to be happy. So much of what I, and many of us pray for and so much of what we commit ourselves to boils down to the fact that we envision some form of a return on our investment that takes the shape of happiness. We give to get to buy to be happy. We love to be loved to be happy. We sow to reap to be happy.We strive for healing to be healthy and happy. We fast to gain to live comfortably and, ultimately, be happy.  And there is nothing inherently wrong with a desire to be happy. But there definitely is something wrong when this desire drives us, and becomes the axis on which every decision we made revolves.

While I don’t believe that God wants misery for us, I also know that happiness has become so glorified. I think that coming at the world from a place that seeks to maximize our happiness can render us people who are more inward-focussed- people who care more about fulfilling our own needs and meeting our own desires. It can make us side-tracked and take away our intentions from loving others and pouring ourselves out to those around us. I’m not going to go into one of those Happiness vs Joy debates- you know, the one that biblicalizes [not a word] Joy and curses happiness. Rather, I want us to reevaluate what happiness means for us, and as with everything else in our lives, for whom we seek to be happy.

We all want to be happy, but for whom, and for whose glory? This life we live in Christ isn’t ours- this is part of the discomfort many have over following God. It calls us to lay down our own intentions and desires and live and breathe for someone bigger than ourselves (if you read last Monday’s post you’ll know that this is a recurring reflection in my life right now). So again I ask; for whom, and for whose glory does our happiness come?

I think there are times when we need to focus on ourselves. Times when we need healing, times when our giving isn’t joyful or life giving. Times when rather than build us or those we give up, it wears us all down. These times call for us to draw from our source, and plug ourselves into God’s light. The thing is, these moments of healing are not meant to restore or peak our happiness. They are meant to place us in the best position from which God can use us. Ultimately, I believe that this place will be our greatest source of Joy. We will delight in the Lord.

Ultimately, happiness is not terrible. In fact, in many places in the bible, the restoration of happiness is a promise God makes. However, the desire for it should not steer our lives or intentions- the desire for God should. The truth is, when our wherever our desire for happiness leans, there also will we seek it. Delight, therefore, in the Lord. Bask in His joy, rather than focusing on your own fulfilment.

His happiness is a lasting, sturdy, bracing, enriching joy that far supersedes any spell of happiness that life can bring. I think it’s not merely a matter of etymology, of what “happiness” and “joy” have come to mean by dictionary definition- it is a matter of what these words represent. The distinction between joy and happiness, as many people have attempted to make is, more deeply, that whereas happiness in the way they’ve understood it has borne its chief characteristics in its polarity to sadness, joy has been seen to coexist even with sadness.

This might seem like a little bit of a detour, but I think a fantastic illustration of this point is in the movie Inside Out. For those of you who have and haven’t seen it, the animated film  follows the quest of emotions inside a child [Riley]’s mind, as they seek to retrieve her core memories and, ultimately, restore her joy. The film reaches its denouement when the character Joy discovers that sadness does not have to be absent for her to do her job. Only when Joy (the character) lets sadness take over for a while does Riley experience true joy.

I know this is a little bit of a stretch, but there’s much to be learnt from it. This is the truth about Joy- Joy anchors us and steadies us in the midst of pain and sadness. Joy is more than just the roaring waves of our emotions. Joy is the sturdy boat that keeps us afloat through all of it. Joy is present when circumstances make it irrational and, indeed, impossible to be happy.

17 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
    and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
    and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
    and the cattle barns are empty,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
    I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Habakkuk 3

Once we come to a place where we strive to have God’s happiness and the joy that comes from him, I believe that our intentions are affected. We no longer seek/desire things purely for the happiness they bring us, but when we ask, we ask knowing that regardless of the outcome, regardless of any grief, strife, or sadness, God’s Joy, which is our strength, will be ever present and carry us through. And at the high points, even our happiness will be for him.

Have a lovely week!❤

featured image from here

A Monday Devotional (#13)

I’m great at making my faith about me. I’m great about negotiating the terms of it around myself- around my needs, my wants, my desires, hopes and dreams. It isn’t. It isn’t about me. It isn’t about my rights. It isn’t about my freedom. It isn’t about my healing, my prosperity, my happiness. It isn’t about me. It is about a life that begins at sacrifice. A life whose very existence is because of sacrifice. In its very nature, this life is one of sacrifice. And it’s not a sacrifice out of self-denial or deprivation. It’s a sacrifice anchored firmly in love. I am who I am in Christ because of his love for me. Because that love led him to give his own life. I don’t believe that any love that I have for him can close to compare. I do know that this love- this love breeds joyful sacrifice. It isn’t about me. It’s about me diminishing. It isn’t about my success. It isn’t about how many people I influence. It’s not about how many people are proud of me. It isn’t at all.

It’s about am I willing to give everything, including healing, including prosperity, including happiness, to and for God? It’s about how much I cling to, and how much of what I cling to is to and for God.

See, this is the thing. This is the thing about Christianity; it calls us out of ourselves. It tells us we are not for ourselves. This is disarming. This is disembodying. This is tampering with who we [think we] are. This messes with our importance. This shatters our universe because the way that universe is arranged, it revolves around us. This transplants our purpose from ourselves to someone else. And how is that fair? How is that our every breath, our time, our pasts, our histories, our love, our goals- how is it that all these must bow down to this God. How and why and to what end? Why must we change. Why must we suit him? Who decided who he is and why he has that authority. It makes no sense. It’s foolishness. It is.

But who are we. Who are we?

I often get overwhelmed by how profoundly microscopic I am. I am so, so small. So tiny. My absence in this world would tug at a few hearts and even so, only momentarily. I am a fleeting shadow, a vapour in the wind. I am unimportant- only rendered important in the larger communities that I belong to. I am no one. And even those of us that are someone are nobody. We come, we live, we leave, and it continues on. We are so small. The amount of time we spend on this earth is not even a fraction of eternity. Who are we? Why are we here? Why are we here? What are we doing here? I ask this especially of those of us who follow Jesus. Why are we here? Why are we following him? What are we doing here? Surely it isn’t for ourselves. In the grand scheme of everything that lives and breathes and dies, of everything that is a part of this world, of every tiny detail and every grand stature of it all- who in  the world are we? 

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
    the moon and the stars you set in place—
what are mere mortals that you should think about them,
    human beings that you should care for them?[c]
Yet you made them only a little lower than God[d]
    and crowned them[e] with glory and honor.
You gave them charge of everything you made,
    putting all things under their authority—
the flocks and the herds
    and all the wild animals,
the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea,
    and everything that swims the ocean currents.

O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth!

Psalm 8

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[g]will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?

Matthew 16

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The Names That We Need

Give and have the sorts of names that hold meaning like the near-black clouds hold rain at home in December. When these names are uttered, every hearing ear will know that it’s about to pour. They will feel fat, cool droplets slap onto their skin and they will take cover. These names will pitter-patter on corrugated iron roofs.These names will tremble out like the thunder, they will flash brightly and burn- just like the lightning.

These names will be the strangest storms- storms that build instead of tear down. They will be tempestuous rains that repair ships as they toss them hither and thither. They will fall on fertile ground and nourish seeds of love for our many selves. They will be noisy- they will be the storm after the stupor-induced calm. Yes, the storm after the calm. They will rinse off every piece of mud that clings to our spirits.

These names will be oceans. Their waves will tower high into the sky and when they come crashing down, they will submerge every ear in their saline waters. What a baptism that will be! And we, submerged in this baptism, will be preserved- every inch of what’s left of us. Pickled- unexposed to corrosive conditions.

These names we should have and give, they will sprain tongues, pain jaws and break hearts. These names will be bowed down to. These names will echo for eons, like chimes in gentle winds.

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For Hairy Girls

As a child, I would look up at the hairs on my mothers chin. I counted six- six dark coils of hair that hung there- and I wondered what sorts of tricks God was playing on her body.

(You are not a contradiction.)

One afternoon Anaphi, noticing my sideburns, said to me, in a knowing tone, “you will have a beard sprout out from your chin when you are older”.
My throat swelled up,
my eyes welled up
I hated her for the rest of that afternoon.

(You are cloaked and veiled.)

I had luscious hair when I was a little girl. Everybody wanted me to walk as a flower girl at their weddings on account of the fact. My hair fell down, shiny and relaxed, right below my shoulders.
One day, in a small crammed hair salon, I sat with a box of Beautiful Beginnings on my lap. In it, a half-used shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and both packs of that #1 gel nobody seemed to know how to use. I waited for my mother.
My newly relaxed hair glistening.
The fan spun.
A tall woman with hair on her chin and green eyeshadow walked inside from the heat and sat across from me. As her eyes adjusted from the brightness, she looked at me, and then at the pink box on my lap.
“Koma nde you look like that American girl on the box eh! Our Black American!”

(Caressing you is a tickle to the fingertips.)

The first time I shaved my legs, a girl in my chemistry class noticed. “You shaved your legs, didn’t you?!” she asked too loudly. I pretended not to hear her. Embarrassed, I cursed myself for wearing short socks.

(Even if you hide it in the sunlight, you must love it in your room.)

Lately, I’ve noticed a darkening above my lip.

(An entire industry sits firmly on your shoulders.)

We used to pluck our eyelashes off and make wishes. We would pluck and wish, pluck and wish. Never too many. Nobody wants to be eyelash-less.

(Your legs are cloaked in prickly glory).

I still shave my legs. I like to. But when I don’t I go about my business. I have never tripped and fallen over because of the hair on my legs.

(Love it.)

One time, a boy I didn’t particularly like said my arm felt like a blanket.
1. He had a point.
2. I happen to like blankets.

(You are magnificence.)

One time in science class, back when science was the study of living and non-living things, we learnt about mammals. Characteristics of mammals were as follows, my teacher said:

  1. They give birth to live young.
  2. They feed their young on milk.
  3. They are covered in fur.

Point number 3 had the class in murmurs. “We are not covered in fur,”one girl said sharply. Everyone laughed and we moved on. Quietly, I knew that under my dark green school sweater, I kind of was.

You are not a contradiction.
You are cloaked and veiled.
Caressing you is a tickle to the fingertips.
Even if you hide it in the sunlight, you must love it in your room.
An entire industry sits firmly on your shoulders.
Your legs are cloaked in prickly glory.
Love it.
You are magnificence.

I learned one day that hairs on a woman’s chin means that she will be wealthy.
What a rich life I’ll have.

 

 

 

For women who refuse

chanyado

Part 3

This is for women who refuse to make space.

It probably confused you that I didn’t lower my gaze when you stared at me. Perhaps that’s because you don’t know who I am. For a long time I didn’t know either until my Kenyan sisters showed me where to look. Plucked from India, my tongue recognised only three generations, and I was filled with envy at those whose homes lay on land that sheltered all their ancestors. Then one day, on a stage bathed in red light, Sitawa the third Namwalie demanded that we call out her name. And as I danced in the shadows, the nyatiti licking at my soul, my blood reminded me that it could never forget.

Let me tell you who I am.

I am the daughter of a woman whose fearlessness in her pursuit of justice comes from a place grounded in such…

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“this poet who never wrote a word”

This poet who never wrote a word
She never spoke
Her only words were brutish grunts and ghastly noises
She wore her pain around her neck like a strange ornament
She was a fickle soldier
She couldn’t go to war.
Her eyes were blue and yellow
Her mind was red and blue.
Her satin sheets left her lying on the cold hard floor most mornings.
She couldn’t bear to be outside. The birds, the men- each was its own offense.
The birds annoyed her with their delight
The men looked past her, or too directly at her.

She is proof, this unwriting poet, that
Some of us die before we’re born
We’re battered before the blowing breeze can lift locks of our wiry hair
We vanish before the seeing eyes of the summer sun welcome us under their gaze
We wilt before we bloom
Goodbyes drip fatly from our lips before we whisper our Odis.

The world isn’t made for the likes of us
It isn’t waiting for our art
We are the seeds that fell on thorns and thistles
We are the ones who failed to walk on water
The waves beneath our wet feet swallow us and there is no redemption.

Where our graves lie, there is no comfort
There is no mourning, there are no songs
But if one dies without having done anything, one doesn’t shift the order of things
One hasn’t lived if one hasn’t faltered
When there is no want for one’s art
No demand, no anticipation,
There is no failure, for there was no expectation.
One hasn’t faltered if one hasn’t lived.

Who, then, did we fail, exactly
If no one was waiting for our success?
Who, then, are we depriving,
If life will go on unbruised by our absence?

How obnoxious we all are
Convinced that the world is neck-deep in tears
Because we are not writing. Nobody needs us.
This art is a mere embellishment that adds nothing in the way of function.
It is nice to look at, but adds no ease to the ails of our existence.

We didn’t give up on our dreams- we weren’t asleep in the first place.
We are she, this poet who never wrote a word.

Title from A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf

Image from here

And Then And Then

Most days at three-thirty-four, I want to fold up neatly and pack myself away
In a small metallic jewel box,
In a drawer,
In a dim, silent room of marble.

At this exact hour and minute, my gift becomes my burden
My craft becomes the source of my every agony
The will to do, the will to write and have my writing matter
It strikes me as vile, as ignoble;
I shouldn’t long for human praise.

That will, it nags at me
In long days filled with everything that has nothing to do with everything I know I latently am.

Tell Uncle Rumi kuti I,
I Am Not The Universe,
I am not the universe in ecstatic motion
Or in any sort of motion at all.

I am a small grove
An encirclement of drying trees and erected fences
Acacia and palm and eucalyptus
Trees that have no business in the same grove
I am that grove, and it has been a long winter. 

There can’t be limits to this art
There can’t be bounds to its charm
Its power has to be infinite
Or else I am a liar
Or else I am a fool .

What shall it profit me to gain the whole word and lose my soul?
What shall it profit me to be learned, and lose my very essence. To forget the fire that once scalded my fear away?

I’ve been sleeping a lot these days. My sleep is just momentary darkness, because I have forgotten how to dream. I have forgotten what it is to roll my threadbare sleeves up and hammer away as I build castles in my overcast sky. 

There isn’t any wonder in my case. It comes as no surprise. That which rises falls. That which falls is honored.
I am levitating. 

Declare this, then, to all the ones I love. Tell them I need them. Tell them I tiptoe around life, clothed in garments soiled with selfishness, kept alive by a heart filled thickly with love. Love is my blood. 

Clothing can always, always be stripped and laundered. This world is not short of detergents.

But tell them to wait on me. It’s been a good three years. It’s been a bad three years since they had cause to be proud. 

I’d retreated into my cave, but lately I linger just inside its entrance, contemplating stepping out once more.

Some days at three-fifty-nine, I wonder how my writing will be read. Will it be read as my heart mourning? Will it be read as fiction? Will it be read as imagination that’s escaped the confines of a mind too small? Will it make no sense at all? Will it heal? Will it sparkle in the sunlight? Will it implant itself in the waiting walls of fertile lives and grow, to be rebirthed by another as Great Art? Will it reek of uncertainty? Will it bleed to death and haunt my heart forever?

The thing is, it’s a lottery, life is. It’s a sick game I’m playing. Of seeing how much I can get away with before it all disintegrates.

If my life is on fire, I am sitting by it roasting a leg of chicken. And it smells delicious.

My mother will attest to the fact that I was a child who was quite frequently grieving deaths that weren’t mine to grieve. Weeping over losses I didn’t incur. I went through bouts of what some would call unnecessary internal affliction.
The world is a giant puddle of spilled milk, you see.
There is no sense in mourning the loss.

Not much has changed, except for the fact that I grieve more silently now. 

(Isn’t that as odd a thought as there ever was? Isn’t that a special brand of tragedy? To be crushed under the weight of the very space you inhabit?)

If none of us thought only of ourselves, or of ourselves at all, the only deaths in the world would be deaths by laughing. The only art on our faces would be laugh lines. 

If we sought God, he would be found. (He promised).

I wonder about all the lines I’ve erased. In my writing; in my notebooks, in my journals, in my life- the sentences I half spoke and ended with awkward “never mind”s. What stories are in the words I took back? Why did I retract them? Were they secrets I preferred to keep to myself? Or were they so well known that they’d be redundant?

At nine-thirty-eight losses are clear. Victories are mired in feelings of inadequacy. Dreams are timid, sickly, pining for affection. Friends are hurt by silence. Lovers are strangers. Family is nestled in my heart between Love and Paranoia. God is assurance. Learning is complicated. Words are in labour and I am a midwife. Completion is an understudy for its cousin, accomplishment. Vanity is knocking at the door. Fear is barging through the window. Guilt is the drunkard at my street corner- I hear it, but know not to heed its words. Silence is a wise old woman who sits by Wisdom in a candle-lit parlour and I am at the door, waiting to be called in.

Green Goo

 

This is what happens- what happens is this. You realize one day when you’re laying in bed on a Friday afternoon “trying to nap” with the blinds closed and the door shut and your heart ajar that you’re not really where you should be. It hits you like a slow-moving beaten-up car with a bit of a wobble in its left back tyre. But your knees are still in recovery, so the hit is hard, anyway. And when it hits you, you think that maybe you should get up, maybe you should write some emails, maybe you should Be Productive.

You realize you left your heart ajar and what if someone walks in? You realize you have some things to say, but you don’t want to say them. You realize you don’t want to say these things because of the can of worms that that’s going to open and it’s really not like you don’t mean to open the can, it’s just you want to wait until you have to go fishing so you know, you can use the worms as bait?

But you hate boats, so you probably won’t go fishing any time soon. You realize that there’s a mold, and that the thing isn’t that you can’t fit inside it. The thing is that you’re not clay- you won’t harden with time. You’re goo. You’re green, glowing goo, kind of like that ghost in Ghostbusters, and you might fit the mold, but you won’t mold to the mold, you know? You’ll fit it for the time it’s there, and then when it’s gone you’ll be back to your unshapely neon, gooey self.

Slimy was his name, was it? (The green ghost in ghostbusters?).

So then what you do is this: this is what you do about it. You write about it. Not because it will be read. Not because it’s remarkable art. But because it’s how you’re feeling right now and you want to be able to revisit it one day when you can laugh about it.

 

 

 

Twinsing With The Apostle Paul

This week, Apostle Paul and I have been straight-up twinsing. My life has looked as follows;

15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. 16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. 17 So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

18 And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 20 But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22 I love God’s law with all my heart. 23 But there is another power[e] within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.24 Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? 25 Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

Romans 7:15-20

That was a bit of a beefy excerpt, I acknowledge, but such has been my life. Bouts of prayerless self-reflection have revealed to me how sick my heart is. How unloving, uncompassionate, impatient and selfish my heart is. I say prayerless because really, what it’s been has been a passive process of realizing what all this looks like with little conversation with God. It’s kind of like guilt- like a blend of guilt and complacency, I think. That “I know what i should do, but I don’t do it” bug Paul speaks of. So it’s just been a nice, cozy pit of self-condemnation, then (needless to say, “nice” and “cozy” are a strange brand of euphemisms in this).

But I am encouraged. Because what follows in this part of scripture is beyond assuring.

So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] from the power of sin that leads to death

But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.) 10 And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life[d] because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters,[e] you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,[f] you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children[g] of God.

15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children.[h] Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”[i] 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Romans 8

God is beyond faithful. He is beyond faithful.