Tag Archives: Life

Bittersweet beautiful.

It’s Christmas Day.If you woke up with the bittersweet feeling that, although you should be happy(”tis after all the season to be jolly) but you have to fight the urge to break out into tears, this post is for you. Because it’s for me too.
It isn’t that you aren’t grateful for all he has done for you. It isn’t that you don’t have any reasons to be jolly. It isn’t that you don’t know he has kept you, preserved you, provided for you, comforted you.
But if you’ve experienced any sort of betrayal, rejection or redundancy this year, you know what I’m talking about.
If you have had to question yourself this year, if you have had to wonder if you are really as bad as someone has made you out to be, you know what I am saying.
But. And this is the most important but you will hear.

But someone, the God who created the heavens and the earth, the God who is the Elyon, most high, entered through the fabric of time today. 

He came as a little babe, whose purpose was to die.
And he did this because, he wanted to let you know that, although you may be heartbroken, may have been rejected, although you have broken sobs coming through today, he came.
He came to establish the fact that other people’s rejection of you is nothing compared to his complete, total acceptance of you. Flaws and all.

He will never reject you. He came to be like you to understand your every feeling, every pain, every emotion, every betrayal.
So that when he is covering your shame, your pain and your nakedness, he knows exactly where and how to cover. He knows what places to feel, what wounds to apply salve to. 

And he is the best person for the job, because he knows you by name.
Don’t forget that today. 

Don’t ever forget that.
Merry Christmas.



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.



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.



I want to go home.Where my heart is safe.

Where my feelings are valid.

Where my voice is treasured.
Where my thoughts are thought in peace.

Where my solitude is valued.

Where touches are sweet..intimate

..kisses not stolen, hugs big and warm.

Where tears are not overlooked, never overlooked.

Surely it’s home when kindness is law

And love is king?

Where trust is preserved…

Isn’t it home where no topic is taboo?

Where conflict produces resolution?

Where silence is enjoyed, not used as a tool for abuse?

Where love is requited, appropriately?

Where the music made is beautiful.

Or beautiful chaos.

Where everyone is enough.

Where it is all enough. 

That’s home.
I need you, home.

I do.

This thing called Love.

Two nights ago I tried to imagine what heaven looked like on the day of the crucifixion.

A little background-God was on earth, living as a man, ‘limited’ by all the frailties and the constrictions of this human body. 
I’m sure there were discourses and talks in heaven on this topic. ‘The Benefits of being man’ or ‘The man-God’. Lol. The Angels must have wondered why anyone who could be in a million different places at once would want to be in one place, walking around in the dust and the harsh weather,talking to people whose hearts were so hardened by sin,pain and everything in between, that they probably wouldn’t have listened.

You know why I’m certain they would have talked about it? Because the bible says that angels long to look into the things of salvation. They long to understand it. But they don’t. That is a sole preserve of God and humans.
Think about that for a while, will you?
So,come crucifixion afternoon,Jesus died. 
God died. 
The hosts of heavenly armies must have looked on in horror. I know that they were loyal to God entirely, and they trusted that He knew what He was doing-after all, He has NEVER failed. But I often wonder if maybe a few of them thought that maybe God had taken it too far?
 Probably my humanity talking….lol.
Anyway, my musing continued.I imagined that as they looked on, they kept thinking in their minds, he will send us out to end this madness right now. I’m sure they were more than ready to save Jesus from this terrible,shameful death in a micro second. They must have wondered what on earth(pun intended) was going on. With the flick of their fingers they could have ended the crucifixion and restored Jesus’ body.
Yet God told them to do nothing. To stay put.
How frustrating,I imagine.
Heaven must have been silent. 
God died. 
Oh,but resurrection morning came. Resurrection morning. The morning that altered everything forever.
Everything changed from there. Even our regular calendar is dated Before Christ, and After Death. B.C And A.D.
He rose. He used death to destroy death itself so everyone knows they need not die or be subject to death anymore.
His death made a public show of the disgrace of Satan.
His resurrection made a public show of God’s superiority and Boss-hood. Lol.  Not that it needed to be shown. 
The heavens declare His power and Royalty.
Creation worships just by being. The sun worships by rising and setting every day since forever without fail. The cock crows the same time everyday, via an internal body clock. The earth has not fallen out of orbit since creation. Who else but God could have done that?
Pastor Philip Ransom Bello would always say that if the devil understood what God’s plan of salvation was,he would have done everything to make sure Jesus did not die.
Salvation was a brilliant,genius thing that could have only been brought about by a God whose ways are so superior,so unbelievably foolproof that it can only be the true God. It’s motivation is love. Pure,blinding,scandalous,unprecedented, unequivocal,unapologetic(please insert your own adjectives here)love. A love that the Angels cannot understand because the salvation plan was not even made known to them. 
A love that cut through my heart last night in a way that I cannot fully explain. A love that humbled me and left me unable to stand(literally)for the sheer force of it, just so I can hold my head up high the rest of the days of my life,knowing that I am loved in ways that I can’t fully comprehend until maybe this body is renewed.
I’m saved. I didn’t earn it. I could never pay for it. But it was given freely to me. Because I believed. Only.
He died. Then He rose. 
For me.
Overwhelmed. Forever in awe.


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.



*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.


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.

A Letter for my Osolobuwe

For a while, Lord, perhaps all week, i’ve been filled with..vague disquiet. I’ve grappled with regret about a lot of things. Perhaps, for longer than that, maybe the whole year, in my hours of quiet-in the hours before dawn, before I have to be up and about, attending to the demands my world makes of me, i’ve wondered what my purpose here is. Maybe because i’m getting older? Maybe because the year is drawing to a close? I really do not know. I’ve examined my life as a person disconnected, dissociated from myself. I’ve struggled with being who you say I should be-often times failing, and with effort, rising back up to continue.

But perhaps, there lies the problem-struggling in my own strength?

As long as I’ve known, i’ve been taught to believe in you-the one true God. I’ve been taught to fear you. The one who created me, who formed me and knows me even more than i’ve known myself. The one who knows my thoughts before I think them, who knows exactly what i’m capable of. Who provides, who protects. The one I owe my very existence to-beginning from the very air that I cannot see,to water,whose formulation scientists cannot exactly recreate,no matter how hard they try.

I’ve had my doubts about You growing up though. What kind of God are you? Would You who has professed to be Love allow all the pain I see around me?Would You who professed to be love let an innocent baby die of AIDS, or let a ten year old be abused by her brother? You say you are concerned about the little intricate details of my life, yet you would let me ache with so much pain sometimes, I have thought I would die from it. You who say you love me, yet are silent more times than I care to count, in the face of my loneliness, worry and distress-when I need you the most.
You leave me with the uncertainty of not knowing the exact path my life would take.
Most of all,You who profess to love me has left me with this thing you call Free will-a thing i’ve often wondered whether I really need. You act as though your hands are tied by your principles-why give me free will, then? Since you know the heart of every man, you know who will rape who, and who will kill whom, why let it happen, Lord? We hurt each other when we cheat, when we lie, when we are greedy and selfish-and hurting ourselves hurts You-yet you stand there, seemingly helpless to stop the pain and the hurt. Does pain amuse you?
Why can’t you just let us know, Lord? Is it better for people to keep putting their faith and trust in fake pastors and prophets, in fortune tellers, clairvoyants and dibias, in astrology and palm reading? These people-and things who pretend to foretell the future-a future that only you know? These mediums who only gave a false semblance of hope?
You create us with a hunger, with the desire to control what goes on around us, then ask us to love you and trust you that we cannot see or touch?

I’m not sure if I was taught to love you. You are God. All mighty. All everything. What do you need my love for? You made me. I should do whatever you want or say-out of obligation. Love has nothing to do with obedience…not so?

But it is precisely because you are Love that you’ve left me with this, isn’t it? Free will. You, the Creator, me, the created, free,to love and adore my Creator-or not. To pay homage-or not.

Of all your creatures, i’m the one you chose to be allowed to choose if I want to be subject to my creator. I’m the one you chose to fill with your Spirit.
How can you be contained within me-flesh, full of lies and deceit-how can this be the jar you choose to fill up with your power?

I don’t understand you, God. I’ve often times thought that you were quite mad. Often times, i’ve looked in your word, and i’ve found you to be a big paradox. You are a God of justice, but you are also merciful. You are a good of war, but you love peace. You are all knowing, all seeing, all encompassing, all everything. Nothing escapes your watchful eye-not my silent tears, or the collective groaning of humanity under the weight of sin and evil. Not the little boy torn away from his parents in his youth because of wars, or famine, sometimes forced to take up arms in wars he has no business with. Nothing escapes you, Lord. You know and see everything. You OWN everything. Including me.

Yet you want my love-of all things! Your heart craves it!
How? How can anyone as imperfect as me render love unto a perfect God?What sort of God would want love from me??
And, as if that isn’t confusing enough, this one thing that you desire, you decide to give me free rein whether to give to you or not.
Loving You isn’t obligatory, then. I get to choose. Because,unlike everything else, You don’t own my love.

This is what baffles me.

You woo me for this love. Shamelessly. Like a heartsick woman, like a man in love. Even when I’ve scorned you, chasing my own desires and pleasures, you’ve refused to give up.. And like a girl doing shakara, hoard it from you I have. Even when you have shown me the extent of your love-at least shown me what my little mind can take, i’ve thrown it in your face in numerous ways. I’ve wanted to be loved only on my own terms-never mind that what and how I feel are not necessarily barometers of truth or common sense. You want my trust so that you can help run my life and make sure that everything good comes to me-because you know my end from my beginning-yet, even when I wrestle with you for it, you won’t demand it. You want my obedience-so that I can relax in your will and purpose-after all, who knows the purpose of something more than the one who created it? Yet you allow me to do whatsoever I please. You are content to pursue me,doggedly, determinedly, even when I busy my life with unnecessary things, even when I try to drown you out with the constant humdrum of life.

You let me break your heart so many times by my blatant unfaithfulness to you- when you can very easily take me out with a snap of your fingers. You chose to pour your love into me-traitorous, flimsy creature like me! Why, God? Are you so addicted to abuse that you let me do this over and over, and still accept me, used, battered and broken every single time I crawl back?

What kind of God are you, God?

And yet, when I turn to you, my strength is renewed. My hope is replenished. The light in my eyes return. The spring in my step..the joy in my heart…My heart expands and blossoms with so much love. You are there, ever present, to cry with me when I fall and blunder from not listening to you. When I choose to act like a goat or a mule- stubborn, proud, unyielding, you are still patient with me. You pick me up, when I get to the end of myself-when my pain and my suffering drives me right back to You, when I realize-often belatedly, that no one else can love me the way you can, can fill me up the way you do, can make me the person that I ought to be.

I’ve heard it said that in love, what you leave unattended to deteriorates. With you, even when I leave you and pursue other gods-the gods of knowledge and intellect and beauty, of power, pleasure and riches, these gods who satisfy the hunger I feel but only temporarily, who love me only on their own terms(which are, as long as I remain slave to them)whenever I crawl back to you, I find your love to be exactly as it was-perfect ,stable and undiminished by my stupidness and shortsightedness.

You give me so much more than any other gods can.

You prevail.

Precisely because you are God. You are this kind of God. The only kind of God-the one I can’t understand. My faithful lover.

You have taught me about trust-In the darkness of my life, you have whispered your love, you have erased my guilt, and my shame. you have given me your strength. You have brought me up and out of the place of bitterness,anger and rage that I have been in for so long. You have exchanged my fear for faith. Even in my pain, you have converted and used for my good. Even in the hours of doubt, you never leave. You surround me with your presence. Undeserving as I am. Through regret, suffering, and sorrow, you have humbled me,and brought me to my knees, repentant, hungry for your light, and for your love. In serving me, making me Your own, in cleaning up my mess, and taking up my shame, you teach me what it truly is to serve.

I don’t understand you, God. But I am learning to trust. To lean on you. To focus on your Who-ness, so that my Whys don’t hold as much importance. Because the victory isn’t in struggling in my own strength, is it? My struggle remains because I use my limited understanding of what I think you should be to measure who you are. As if I could limit you to my paltry understanding of You. Smh.
No, Its in resting in You-even when my world is falling to pieces. Because nowhere else is as safe as within your embrace. No other voice is as sweet, as soothing as yours. No other words spoken anywhere by any man or woman, can be as loving as the ones you speak in Your word. The one you whisper to my heart when it is so full of doubt-if I will but listen.

You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
Is there anything I have that you have not given me? Beauty, brains, wit. All gifts. The act of learning to trust, to believe, is a gift. From you. All from you.
You know my name.

And that is enough.

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.


The Breaking Forth.

Little One 🙂

I know, I know, you aren’t little anymore 🙂 You are all adult, all woman, all you 🙂 But permit me, just this time..

I cannot begin to describe the myriad of feelings that overtook me when I discovered you were growing inside of me. I’m a doctor, and all, and I know the dynamics of implantation and fertilization of a human embryo…but in med school they don’t tell you anything about the other aspects. They don’t tell you how absolutely confusing..and as time goes on, how absolutely amazing and overwhelming these feelings become! They don’t tell you how protective you become of the little form taking shape inside of you. How absolutely awestruck you are when you see the first ultrasound-and the doctor shows you your baby’s little features. They don’t tell you how you think that every single cell, every tiny chromosome is perfect. 🙂 No, they keep out the best parts.

Of course, there was the acne! Christ I hated it! Seeing as i’ve struggled with it all my life, it shouldn’t have been a biggie..but Oh in pregnancy, it feels like every emotion is amplified..including my hatred for acne.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world 🙂 My little girl was coming, and it was worth it 🙂
And my hair! Gosh, my hair became a huge mass of nappiness and curls! I couldn’t get enough of how thick and beautiful it was-and neither could your daddy:) You weren’t even born yet and you already brought us all this wonderful-ness 🙂 I had been the apple of your daddy’s eye, but when we were pregnant for you, he became even more loving, more kind, more considerate. He was and has always been my biggest fan. How much can I say? 🙂
The days turned into weeks…and then into months. We grew bigger and bigger. The first day you kicked was totally mind-blowing! It was a tiny push..I imagine your little fingers curled in fists, reminding me in case id forgotten,that you were real!! As if I could ever forget..lol..

And then you were born. I looked, lovestruck, at the perfection that was you…and all it brought was tears to my eyes. How can this little person belong to me, I thought? What could I have ever done to deserve you? Nothing could compare to the feeling that swelled in my heart when I looked at you. Every push, every painful contraction, every tear..it was all worth it. You looked so much like your daddy…but you looked just like me too. What kind of God made this creature, so beautifully crafted? Every little sound you made, every whisper of your sweet baby breath was precious to me. It was a wonder.

I watched you grow up..like a tiny sapling…you grew..you blossomed before my very eyes. I watched, privileged to be a part of your life, as you developed..with a uniqueness that was entirely yours. Your first day at school..your first scrape, your first pencil drawing..treasured memories, kept deep in my heart. How those beautiful brown eyes lit up when your daddy came back home, because you knew that he would always have a treat for his new favorite little girl(I had lost that position-you were such a charmer!) How you would slip your little hands into mine when we would walk down the aisle in church. How safe and loved that made me feel. How you would, after watching TV, come over to where I sat and make a little bed underneath my skirts and my legs. How hard you made me laugh when you snuck into my room one day, made yourself up, pretty as you please, the way you had seen your mommy do it countless times. Oh, my heart swelled with love. Every time I thought I couldn’t possible love any more, you showed me that my heart could take a little more love. The intensity of my feelings stunned even me and often left me breathless. You were my delight.

The times you got sick, my world seemed like it careened out of control. The time you swallowed a coin I was confused! What to do with you? Lord, that was a distressing time.
The light returned to my world only when your smile returned-that smile that could melt even the toughest of hearts-which always turned me into a puddle. You completely changed my life-in ways I never thought possible. I did not and could never deserve you.

At your tenth birthday, I couldn’t believe how the time had flown by. You had your first period that year. It dawned on me that my little girl was on her way to becoming a little lady. I watched, and partook, of your teenage years. You were struggling with these new developments-your body was changing, as were your emotions. Your gangly frame began to fill out in all the right places. Boys began to matter. Make-up began to become interesting. Oh, and the short skirts. I watched, partly apprehensive and partly in wonderment as you begun to establish yourself..how you began to have opinions, how you realized that indeed I was not perfect and that some of my own opinions were not law..that there was a world outside of me. It was a struggle. To give you up. To watch you grow, and realize that I was not in complete control anymore. I’ve had to watch, almost helplessly as you have made decisions that were guaranteed to bring you pain..but sometimes, this is the only way to learn-from personal experience. But I felt your pain,and cried your tears.

Today, Little One, you turn Eighteen. Legally adult. You are a stunning young lady, just on the threshold of all things great and beautiful. I’ve watched you grow and mature, from unsure, temperamental teen, to elegant, more self assured adult. And my heart is full of thankfulness for you and all you have given to me just by living.

And so, I decided to write you this. As you are at the dawn of the beginning of the rest of your life, I ask you, Little one, to take these along with you wherever you go..:) It is by no means comprehensive, but its what I have, and I have always given you everything.

Never cease to trust God. He is the source of all things good. Believe in Him, always. He will never ever abandon you-even in those times you feel like no one else understands you, He does. He is always there. He will never forsake you. Hold on to Him, and never let go.
Believe in yourself. You are a beautiful lady, inside and out, and you are smart, by any standards. Never let anyone run you down. Remember that you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and God(and your parents) take delight in you. Never sell yourself short. The world is full of people who feel they need to make others feel bad about themselves to feel good. You are so much more than that, my dear. Let the love of God compel you, in everything. Remember how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples? You should always be ready to give of your resources, of your talents,and your friendship. Because giving empowers you to give some more..and givers never lack.

Pick and choose your friends wisely. The company you keep can and will contribute to your character. Do not let yourself be influenced by unruly people….its okay not to go with the crowd. The majority vote isn’t always the right vote. Its okay to have an opinion-even better, a well thought out one..perhaps not on every subject though, as there’s always more to be learnt:)

Let your speech and your general manner always be gracious, my love. A good number of Nigerian girls are so rude and ungracious, and I don’t quite understand why. It is unbecoming of a lady, and you are of different stuff. People deserve to be extended graciousness. You never know how far that little smile you gave to that old lady,or that little bit of information you offered to that young man without him having to go through any humiliation at your hands, would go. Be merciful, always, and be forgiving. Understand the fact that, but for the grace of God, you are nothing, and this should always help you stay grounded. This can only be achieved if you are rooted in God, which goes back to the fact that you need to trust God. Let him be your anchor in this crazy world.

My darling, cultivate kindness in your garden. Never leave the house without the scent of it on you. The world is rife with so much unkindness, that people don’t even really understand the true meaning of the word. Be a beacon that shines in the darkness that pervades this world. Be kind. Even when its difficult, be kind. Be kind to your friends, be kind to your neighbors, be kind to people you don’t even know. And when you are married, be kind to your husband. Be tolerant of other people and their idiosyncrasies-not everyone will be like you, as I’m sure you have already experienced. Nigeria is a country of so many different cultures and peoples. Prejudice never did anyone any good. Tolerate the views of others, including everyone’s respective sexual preferences, but never ever compromise on what you have been brought up to believe is true, and right. Moslems and Christians, we strive to worship God, and to do His will. Tolerate your moslem neighbors as you would your christian. Do not judge-no one is perfect, and every sinner has a future, just as every saint has a past.

Never stop reading- Readers are Leaders. Improve on your knowledge base. Read books that add to you, and busy yourself with things that help improve you. Strive to be useful-to share knowledge, instead of just taking and taking. I didn’t say you should be an over-sabi o! Lol..that can be annoying. But be useful. Add value to those in your life, and those around you, and watch and see how people will seek you out.

Now, about boys, men and sex. You no doubt have a lot of questions, and thoughts on this issue. I’ll try my best to give it a shot. 🙂

Pre-marital sex is a big issue, and even though we have had the birds and bees discussion, I still feel like its important to add a few other things-I don’t want to be like the other mothers who treat the sex talk like its a taboo, when the issues which arise as a result of the failure to talk about it loom and threaten to drown us all.
If and when you get into the position of having to decide whether or not you want to do it, please take note of these little pointers.
Do you want to have sex? Or is it just because your boyfriend wants to?Is it the influence of the media? If everyone thinks its okay, what are their reasons? What’s all the fuss about it?
Sex is overrated. Especially out of marriage. How many people will you have sex with before you are married? Bear in mind that sex is a deeply intimate, deeply personal thing-not something to be taken lightly at all. The ‘after-feelings’-the way you may feel let down afterwards, the way it has of numbing your conscience to how sinful it is, will not be worth it.
Sex is wonderful. But only within the boundaries of marriage. I know this all sounds legalistic to you, but consider the fact that any decisions made based on mere feelings are bound to break down eventually-feelings are too flimsy and too traitorous to base permanent decisions on.
You are a young, beautiful, intelligent lady, who has all your life to have sex(with your husband). Bear in mind that your body and your life are your corporation,where you are CEO,and as such, you should not allow something as lightweight(yes, even though feelings can feel rather heavy..lol) as feelings-which come and go to determine the decisions you make concerning your very expensive, very productive corporation. You call the shots, you determine who stays and who goes. Therefore, anyone who wants to stay and own shares must be held accountable for their actions towards and within your corporation. When we are young, we think we are untouchable..but keep in mind that with every choice comes responsibility. I assure you, for example, that having a child out of wedlock is more difficult than you can ever imagine.

Remember, your love for God is more important than any man, and when you love someone, you don’t intentionally hurt them. You don’t say that, because you know they will forgive you, you push the boundaries of how far they can go, just to see how much they can take. Rather, you do what they ask of you because you love them and don’t want them to be sad. And fornication makes God sad.

Remember also, that there are STD’s to be had-even with the use of protection. If you and boyfriend are oh-so-fired up about having sex , I would advise that both of you take a HIV and Hepatitis B test. If you are both so serious-and yes, these are very serious issues, I want you to be aware of your responsibility towards yourselves, and accordingly, behave like adults. These are real and present dangers, and it wouldn’t do to get anything as permanent as an STD based on something as temporal as feelings. You are a phenomenal lady, and should carry yourself as such. Don’t let anyone bring you down. You are your Father’s daughter-and he holds you in such high regard. Let those standards be the same as the ones you command from the men in your life.

And, my darling one, if you ever fall short, as you will, for that is part of life, remember that God is always able to forgive, and restore you. Mommy will always be your friend and will never ever judge you, because you, my child came from these loins and are a part of me. I love you beyond anything I can ever describe or quantify, and I will never, ever let harm come to you by my actions. There is absolutely nothing you can not speak to me about. Nothing at all. Never forget that.

As you get your driver’s license, you must drive with integrity. Don’t beat the traffic lights-Naija red safety is horrible. Don’t drive on the pedestrian walkways- do not compromise the lives of anyone just because you feel you are in a hurry and need to get someplace. Respect everyone, and do your best to be polite to those you meet. It may seem unnecessary and often times you will meet obnoxious people, who are seemingly undeserving of your graciousness but you are cut of different cloth. Respect Authority,and always do your civic duty to vote,and obey the laws of the land. Preserve your conscience, and your integrity. When these are lost, they are often times very difficult to regain.

Be prudent. Spend wisely. Get into the culture of Saving. It always comes in handy. Take a little portion of your allowance and set it aside. It may seem like its little at first..but little drops make an ocean,right? Keep at it,even when its discouraging. Be consistent- I assure you,it always pays.

Be faithful in all you do. In your relationships, your friendships,and at work. Trust is something that is built over time, with sweat and sometimes tears, even at the work place, and when this is compromised, is often difficult to fix. It becomes like a cracked mirror-never able to be restored back to its original form.

If and when you get your heart broken, and when your expectations are not reached, do not fret, my child. Life is like that sometimes. Dust yourself off and keep moving. As long as there is life, there is hope. You have so much ahead of you, and I cant wait for it to all unfold. I only hope I will be given the chance to experience it all, as your mother, and as your friend. 🙂

But, nothing is impossible with God 🙂 Always maintain a hopeful, positive attitude. Fear God, and hate evil. It may seem like the wicked prosper, but don’t be in a hurry. Your efforts will be rewarded, someday, perhaps not in the way you expect, but it will 🙂 Experience builds our character, and it is my hope that your experiences, as they are wont to do, cause you to be refined, and as you age, become-as wine, more beautiful.

Oh Lord, is that really the time?! Have to run along now, and get ready for work, and make sure that everything’s in place for your little party tonight. Your father has a wonderful gift for you, too, and I can’t wait to watch your eyes light up when he gives it to you 🙂

Happy Birthday, my Beautiful One. I love you something fierce! Your best is yet to come!

Written on 7th November, 2033. 😉