Tag Archives: Fear

Became.


The year 2016 started on a very high note for her. She had gotten engaged to her(then) boyfriend eight days prior, in a beautiful, surprising little ceremony that took her breath away. The love of her life. The one that God sent to her, to love forever. Her life seemed to be moving in the direction she thought it should. Hope was flying around, infectious, available for the taking, and she grabbed it greedily. Didn’t God say he would always finish what he’d started? All the technicalities of being married and moving out finally were not finalized, but there was a ring! He wanted to spend the rest of his life with her(or so the ring promised)! Nothing could touch her! Nothing could touch them. 

She could plan. She could decorate her home(in her head). All those experiments she always wanted to try in the kitchen, she could finally do them!She could finally talk about her wedding dress, her wedding colors, she could look forward to being a queen on her special day. She could finally have legal sex. 
It’s December 2016 and she can tell you that on a scale of 1-10, this year ranks 259,000 as the most difficult year in the entirety of her short(or not-so-short) life. 

Every dream held dear to her for this year got shattered. Every fear she ever had came to pass this year. 

Failed professional exams(twice)?✔️

Being so broke at some point that even 10naira could not surface?✔️

Crying such bucketfuls this year from a heart that has been so riddled with pain and fear that it’s hard to remember if there was a time she didn’t cry all the time?✔️✔️

Justin Timberlake knew what he was saying when He sang ‘Cry Me A River’. She knew now that it was possible.

Nightmares that woke her up and made her bolt up like someone on a leash?✔️

Woken up crying many many many times, evidenced by tears on the face?✔️

Questioned her sanity more times this year than in the entirety of her life?✔️✔️✔️

An object of ridicule and pity? ✔️✔️ ✔️✔️✔️

Tried?✔️Afflicted?✔️Wounded?✔️ Bruised?✔️Battered?✔️✔️
Many things were said. She is strong, they said. She is hard, they said. She is unyielding, they said.
When it became the only choice, when it got to the point where I should have been chosen, I wasn’t chosen.

When it got too hot, I was dropped.

Heartbreak, long lost enemy she thought she had lost forever was back.You can’t get rid of me, he seemed to whisper gleefully in her ears.

Twenty-Sweet-Sixteen? Sweet? What was that, exactly?

Oh, but you see, many other things happened this year.

For one, more than anything else, She appreciates the precious gift of God as a sure friend in her life this year. She is nobody in the grand scheme of things. Really. Smaller than a dot, a speck. 
But she is chosen. Nothing was clearer this year than this. 

Chosen by God to BE LOVED and to LOVE.

BELOVED. Every tear She cried he cried right with her. Not one of her tears are wasted. Even the ones she is crying now, blurring her vision as she types this.
Her hope is anchored on a surety that will NEVER expire, never finish, never become invalid. She cannot sell this surety for any amount because nothing can buy it. All the riches of this world cannot pay for it. All.

This therefore means that her hope can NEVER end.
Friendships, covenant friendships were formed this year, the blood of Jesus Christ being the seal..and that is a blood that is more powerful than any other force in the world. Bonds that cannot be broken even by death.
You see, pain provides the sharp contrast against pleasure. Love provides the sharp contrast against fear. If you haven’t felt pain, pleasure isn’t as intense, as important. If you haven’t felt fear, Love is not as appreciated, as treasured.
Ah, but Pain redeems. Ask Jesus. His pain, his blood on the cross redeemed the whole of Humanity. So her pain redeems. There is beauty on the other side.

The love of God is real. It is Sure. It’s firm.

It’s surer than gravity.

Better than life.

Does not change or alter, like shifting shadows.

It is scandalous, consistent, incomprehensible.

It’s humbling. 

She does not understand it, can’t ever fully comprehend it in the limited scope of this present human frame and sensibilities, ah but it is a cushion, a safe place, a warm place. A place where impossibilities become possible. 
For a while there, her name was Mara. But He reminded her that she is a fruitful vine. A beautiful land.

Hephzibah.

Beulah.

Her land flows with Milk and Honey.

There is purpose in her existence. 

So she will stay here. In Jesus.

Here is the place of thanksgiving, of thanks-living, of thank-FULL-ness, of hope, of peace, of total dependence.
And all of her little girl dreams will be rebuilt, restored, slowly maybe.(or not. Who is to determine?)But surely. 

All. Not one missing, not one broken, not one lost.
He will STILL do what He has said He will do. He is God. And she trusts Him.

You are mine. I cherish you, He says.

That’s all.

 

Untitled.


She picked up her phone to call, heart racing, ears pounding. They hadn’t spoken in weeks. Pride made them unable to reach out for each other, even though they were hurting. So much water had passed under the bridge…

Will he even answer?She wondered. Anxious…gosh, what to say, even! Panicked, suddenly wondering why she was even calling..but,oops! Too late! She heard his voice..

‘Hey! Been really busy..What’s up now’? He asked. So casually. As if we spoke only yesterday. As if she was just an ordinary friend.

‘Im fine’ she shrilled. Voice too tiny, too tense. ‘Are you still very busy?’ she asked,suddenly at a loss. 

‘Yes I am’, he replied. Sounding a little terse. Cold.

‘Alright, just wanted to know how you were doing..take care! Bye!’ she chirps.

The line disconnected even before she was done talking. Thirty-one seconds on the timer.

She’d always hated that-how he always seems like in a hurry to get off the phone. Was he this way with  just me, she wondered? Or is he this way with every one else?

Oh God, why am I even agonizing about this?? Why did I even call? Sobbing,she lay on the bed. Tears filling her throat. Hurt filling her heart. This Oh-So-Familiar pain. Why, why, why???

 

 

He saw her. He knew she would hurt afterwards. He felt her pain even as she felt it. He felt her let down, he knew her deepest longings. And he knew that she would cry to Him-suffering brings you to the end of yourself, where you realize that God is ALL you have. He knew she would come with the pieces of her, shattered.

 

Why won’t you be patient, my child?He asks, after her heart’s bare,raw before Him. Why do you not trust me, my child?He asks, His voice full of sorrow. Am I not your friend? Have I not stood by you through those times? When you failed that exam, did I not comfort you? Did I not remind you that you are smart? Strengthen you to try again? When hatred threatened to consume you, because your uncle betrayed you, did I not call you to myself? Did I not soothe your aching heart with the balm of my love? When he treated you like a whore-when he used your body and beat down your mind, your will, was it not I who picked you up and lifted your head and made you beautiful again? Was it not I who restored your dignity, your self worth?

 

Why do you forget so quickly, my dear?

Why do you seek the love of the one who does not know how to love you? Who does not care even, to learn how to love you? Do you forget that I crafted how you need to be loved in my own heart? I LOVE YOU! Do you not see that?

 

My yoke is easy, child. My burden is light. Do you forget so quickly the peace you have when you are thinking of me? When your heart’s thinking of ways to please me? Do you forget the spring in your steps, darling, the love shining in your eyes, the joy trilling forth from your voice, when your heart is loving mine?

 

Why do you have such a penchant for worry, my love? My heart delights when your heart’s bursting with love! When there’s a smile in your every word. When its all you can do not to be happy!

 

Why, child?

 

Come, child. Its warm here. Rest. Sleep in the comfort of my arms. Rest in my embrace. Please, let me hold your hand. Let me kiss your nightmares away. Let me love you. Let me heal your aching heart. Let me dry your tears. And afterwards, let’s take a walk. Together.

 

Come. 

*Written on October 2nd, 2012. At a time when my life was falling apart.

But it fell apart to come together again, God’s way. Not mine.

I was reminded of it today, again.

Sometimes…there needs to be a falling apart for a coming together.

In whatever situation.*

 

 

 

 

There is contrast.


I’ve been reading the book of Ezra in the last few days.  Today I got to the part where there was a report about the Israelites getting married to pagan women(anyone who did not worship the God of Israel was referred to as pagan),and in most instances having children by them.

If you are familiar with some of biblical history, you will know that, in those days, God gave strict orders that the Israelites must not marry outside of Israel. This is because marriage is supposed to be an ‘integrater'(I don’t think that is a proper word but i’m using it anyway ;p).When you marry someone, you marry their hopes, dreams, likes , loves, belief systems. Essentially, you get stuck with everything-warts and all..hehehe.
And so marrying pagan women meant marrying their gods and ways. And their practices, which were said to be detestable to God.

Essentially, in God’s books, they were unfaithful to Him because they would have worshipped the gods of these pagans. And we know how God felt about idols. How He still feels about idols.

So, the anger of God burned against them. Fiercely. They were killed,robbed, captured.
When Ezra found out about this, he was devastated. Appalled. He sat in ashes in mourning. An assembly was called. The people confessed. And after confessing, as a sign of reconciliation, of godly repentance, an agreement was reached to divorce their pagan wives and send them away.

Hmm.

This was taking the moral high ground, for certain. The suffering and the injustice of it all..and why should the children have to pay for this? Divorce is NEVER a good thing. Never.  It seems too much a price to pay, really.

And yet, it was a strict decree from God..and his decrees take no prisoners.  Its either you do it or you don’t.  Either you fully obey, or you don’t.  All or nothing. His way or the highway. You get nowhere by sitting on the fence.

Faith is like that,you know. Taking the high road. Fixing your eyes on something only you can see. Faith literally eschews reality. Faith is NOT reality. Having faith is completely unrealistic. Anyone can and will believe in what they see. Faith…that is a completely different matter o. Because, like I said earlier, you get nowhere by sitting on the fence. You either have faith, or you don’t.

So, if we can profess to have faith;take the high road, fixing our eyes on what we say we believe and essentially ignoring everything else, not compromising until the evidence of things unseen is right there before us, then the flipside of the coin is, treating the decrees of God as such.
No compromise. No reasoning it out. No justifying. 
The decrees say, don’t steal. Don’t fornicate. Don’t lie about your neighbor.  Don’t gossip. Love.

Just fix your eyes on what you must do and don’t reason it out.

Afterall, when you are having faith and expecting God to respond, you don’t really expect him to reason it out. You honestly, really and truly expect Him to answer. If you are like me, you want Him to answer in the way you envisioned it in your head.

Sticking to and obeying the commands and wishes of God is its own form of faith. Its having to believe that,even though it seems okay to do these things, He had to have had a good reason for saying I shouldn’t.  And I’m choosing to focus on that reason even if I don’t completely understand it. #thinkaboutit.

And that is really and truly faith,friends. That’s the fear of God. That’s #nobullshit Christianity.

PS-very glad to be back and blogging. Very long hiatus- Your girl almost died. But that is a story for another day 🙂

It, then.


The time I am most at rest in my life is when I am reading something. It may be an eagerly anticipated book, an interesting article or an old, well worn but loved novel that I must’ve read over and over(some books just do that for me). No academic stuff though. .lol…but really, reading is what I do for rest. For leisure.  Reading is what I do when I am at peace with myself and with the world. Reading is what I do when I’m happy. Reading is what I do to get happy-being invited into the mind of someone else is utterly fascinating.

When im distressed, when I’m involved in an argument with someone I love(arguments upset me more than I can ever say), when I’m worried, and I pick up a book and find that I can’t concentrate, then I know for certain that whatever it is that’s happening has really and truly stolen away my peace.

I can’t tell you how many times that has happened. You probably know what im talking about.

Peace. Much coveted commodity in our hearts, in our homeS,and by extension, in our world-you only have to look at Maiduguri,or Syria, to know for certain that peace is an expensive, sought out commodity.

We all know what it is not to have peace. A difficult boss. An exam that has caused us not to get a promotion. Bills that remain unpaid for one reason or another.  A boyfriend who demands unreasonable things. Children who just won’t act right.(You can insert here what takes away your peace..lol)

On Sunday,pentecost,I thought of what it must have been like to be a disciple of Jesus in the period that he died. The Roman soldiers would’ve looked everywhere for them-to eliminate all traces of Jesus and this strange new cult that was threatening to emerge-nothing should be a threat to Caesar’s rule, and this Jesus preached some sort of Kingship. The Jewish leaders had their own motives-this Jesus brought  some sort of apostasy on a grand scale!
By default, this followership had to be squashed. I imagine there would’ve been some price money on each of the heads of the major players and all affiliated to them.

Huddled in that inner room upstairs, whispering and frightened for their lives, probably wondering if the last three years with Jesus was worth this trouble, remembering all his talk about going to Jerusalem and dying and wondering why the bloody man had to be so damn mysterious with all this His talk(I would’ve been exasperated with Jesus,to be honest)missing him so much and wondering if they would ever see him again, maybe at some point or the other, whispering a word or two of prayer, but mostly reminiscing about this man who had changed their lives on a scale that even they at the time could not fully comprehend….

…..and suddenly,a hush falls over the room.
There he is. Standing, probably with a slightly playful,slightly mysterious expression on his face.

Peace be with you, He says.
And their hearts are suddenly full and empty at the same time. Full! Bursting at the seams with joy, happiness and this PEACE they’ve been craving,the kind that only this man-God could give.
And empty…! Wonderfully empty of this..fear, this anxiety that they’ve been carrying about.
Because, you see,apart from this peace, he gave them the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, they went hand in hand. And once they embraced this Holy Spirit, their lives changed on a scale that,like the domino effect,has caused ripples upon ripples..to this very day. Those fearful, weak men became,seemingly overnight,powerful courageous men, who couldn’t keep silent about the wonderfulness of this man who they had been with.

Peace. And with peace, courage.

Courage may very well be the absence of fear,then, if what happened to the disciples is anything to go by. Because, these timid men who literally scattered in the wake of Jesus’ arrest became,only a few years later, men who bravely gave their lives for this Jesus.

I don’t see any fear there.

Courage. The absence of fear. Jesus came and breathed this peace. This peace that dispelled the fear. This Spirit that gave courage.
And so I say to you. Peace.  #theJesusway.#theonlyway.

Tuesday Morning


Two days ago, I killed someone. Or at least, I tried to.

No, it wasn’t Cupid(Laughing)I’m not writing this from jail..lol..as a matter of fact, Im freer now than I’ve been in a long while.
Okay, I’ll start at the beginning. As always, I’ll ask you to be patient-It will be worth it 😉

A friend needed a favor-she called me Friday last week and asked me to pick up a certificate at the National Hospital for her(She had lived and worked here but had relocated recently,and couldn’t travel back to Abuja just yet). There wasn’t much she required of me-she gave me all the information I needed, and I was to present these at the clinic come Tuesday, and then pick up the certificate.

I agonized all weekend. Would I get lost getting to National Hospital in my car?(Yes, I’m horrible. I had gotten lost once picking up my sister from Apo. In my defense though, it was night, and those roads are really confusing. Don’t ask)Would I get there early enough? Will I get it? I’ll probably spend the whole day there, knowing that this certificate was something that was supposed to be personally collected, I thought. So, I planned to take a book.

Would I be asked to come back the next day? Should I dress casually or..?

Suffice it to say that by the time Tuesday came, I was a mass of nerves. I had worked myself up to this point. So, while I looked calm and collected on the outside, I was as worn and fragile as an old papyrus sheet on the inside.

On getting to the hospital-without being kidnapped by aliens or my car turning into a character from The transformers, I proceeded to the clinic.
It took me less than an hour to get this document, signed, sealed and delivered.

In total-consciously and subconsciously, I had spent nothing less than twenty hours worrying about something that I got done in less than an hour.

Hello, fear.
You may think me a little extreme, but I assure you, its the pure and undiluted truth- Im a person who has made a large majority(in my opinion anyways) of decisions based on fear. As an aside, I was a preemie, and my mother told me that as a little baby, I used to ‘forget to breathe’. Lol. She used to have to spank my little bottom so I was jolted back into remembering to breathe to live. Hehe. Apparently, I’ve been running scared from life from the very beginning. Lol.
Its something I now know to be called ‘sleep apnea’ though, and is common among preemies.

I went to medical school because I was afraid to disappoint and incur the perceived wrath of The Parents. The Daddy,especially. (Uppercase letters, for emphasis.)Ironic isn’t it? People usually think studying medicine arises from courage and a desire to help others. I do want to help others, and I will(I’m a doctor now, thankfully). But I assure you that the primary reason was the fear of disappointing my parents.
This same fear kept me through-and It was rough, I must tell you. Sometimes I wondered what else I would’ve been if not a doctor-but the fear of being anything else completely kept me from even thinking those ‘evil, riotous’ thoughts through. I could’ve found some other things that I would’ve been good at, but I must’ve killed them all even before they took root-my fear was that absolute.

I’ve been in bad, hurtful relationships because I was afraid to be alone. And I’m sure that we can all relate to how fear destroys relationships-jealousy, suspicion, mistrust.

Even though I’d decided for a long time that I wanted to chop off my hair and start growing it from scratch, It took me a long time to actually get it done-partly because I wanted to do proper research on how to wear my natural hair, but partly also because I was scared what my father would think, what my boyfriend(at the time) would think, what everyone would think.
In the end, I chopped it off,they all thought whatever they wanted to think-mostly bad. Didn’t matter-I was happy, and free. Im sixteen months natural today, by the way. Woop Woop! It has NOT been easy, at ALL. But I’ve never regretted it. She is beautiful, she is healthy, she is nappy, and I love her absolutely :p Read here to find out how much.

As long as I remember, Fear has been a faithful companion. My first response to anything new is a ‘No’, or ‘I can’t’. Not because I don’t want to help, but because, I have succeeded in honing the art of being fearful into a sell-worthy skill. With amazing alacrity, I can, within seconds, convince myself of why I should not do something because I know, without a doubt, that I will fail. Successfully destroying its prospects in my head before I even commence. I’ve been afraid to compete at anything- because I have always convinced myself of the futility of trying if I wasn’t sure I would win(as if anyone knows for sure..lol) You may ask if I’ve been living under a rock-If I haven’t watched any movies about fear, or seen people best their demons in real life. But movies..are movies..or so I told myself.

Fear. He lived, breathed and existed in my thoughts, in my dreams, in whatever form that caught his fancy. He reminded me of his faithful presence-in the persistent thoughts of not being good enough, of never measuring up because I could never be good at anything, of always falling short of the mark-reminding me of my past errors and failures and re-iterating that, indeed, I’m really not that awesome. He constantly forced me into Inertia– the ‘what-if’s’ drown out logic and reason whenever I try to start something new,so I don’t bother . Besides, if I do start, would I be able to follow through?
He takes another form called Laziness-he reminds me that since I’m still going to fall short of the mark, there is no need to put in that much effort. He also comes in waves of Anger-I’ve found myself to be quick to anger in the past because things didn’t go the way I expected them to, and I was fearful of the outcome of that.
I’ve been known to be fearful of the outcome of almost everything-whether or not I was sufficiently prepared.
Sometimes, he is insidious- making sure I would concentrate on just how much I don’t do right, instead of remembering my finer points. Other times, he is a roar in my ears, in my head, making sure I hear nothing else and listen to no other voice but his. I became so used to him that I would just usually stand-or, kneel, helpless before his power-a power I fed by constantly yielding.
Indeed, his hold on me was that potent.

My friend does not know it, but on Tuesday, I had to fight the familiar feeling of inertia that Fear brings. I had to fight the little waves of panic in my heart thinking about what lay ahead of me(this was something I’d never done before, which is why fear wanted to convince me,as usual, that I would fail).

But I learnt something about fear.

He is nothing more than a feeling. And all feelings can and should be brought under subjection. We should control our feelings-not the other way around.
He is afraid of action.
He is afraid of calm and calculated thinking.
He is afraid of confidence.
He is afraid of cold, hard facts.
He literally slinks away, like the weasel he is, in the face of laughter, positivity, and hope.
And there is no room for him in the face of Love-I love(d) my friend too much to disappoint her.
I had come full circle, it seems.

Knowledge, they say, makes a man unfit to be a slave. And Love gives a person courage.
I had all these in my arsenal-after fighting the initial wave of inertia.
And when I was done, I realized, as people always do, that fear has got nothing on me. Zilch. Nada. I’ve been his slave too long.
As if I don’t serve a God who has conquered ALL things. Ha! In yo’ face! Msscchheeewwww.

He was subdued,Tuesday. Banished.
And as long as he rears his head, I’ll whip out my arsenal. And banish and destroy him again. And again and again. Whatever that means. By any means necessary.

*Little drops of bliss*

Move aside, fear.
Hello, Life.

#DoingTheGangnamStyle.