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? ✔️✔️ ✔️✔️✔️
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.
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.
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.