Dear Chocolate Fudge Cake Lover

I must admit, doing anything productive in the office today has been near impossible. Anytime I try to concentrate for long enough, my mind finds itself wandering…again. The unknown causes such anxiety, maybe they should have had live updates being given straight from that theatre to calm those of us waiting eagerly.

I’ve been trying to think of what it’s like for you and I can’t even imagine. You’ve been through enough already. I don’t know what manner of thoughts you’d require to keep yourself distracted while lying on that table. Let me just say that your strength is admirable; whether you’re well aware of it or not.

I know the only promises I could make included the chocolate fudge cake and a nice home-cooked meal someday but I have made a lot more to God, trust me. I have begged, pleaded and even made outright demands; whatever it took to ensure you’d get out fine and have a much faster recovery. Basically, I have prayed until I am out of words. I sincerely haven’t had conversations with God about anyone my entire life as much as I’ve had concerning you. Yes ever since you broke the news and long before that.

I am just one out of countless people who are busy praying and waiting; all vouching for you. Your family is probably bearing the heaviest part of this and the people who love you. You are surrounded by so much love, I hope this acted as all the evidence you ever needed.

By the time you get to read this, you’ll probably be out of hospital and life will have moved on a little. I don’t know what it’s like to have gone through what you did and I will never attempt to make any assumptions. But one thing I suspect is that those physical scars are not the only scars you’ll be carrying.

Allow yourself to go through all the motions. It’s okay to not be okay. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone and that means your healing is yours to walk through and your journey shouldn’t be rushed by anyone including yourself. It’s okay to accept help and to allow people to lavish you with love, attention and affection; their intentions shouldn’t worry you much. It’s also perfectly fine to celebrate small steps. There are things you used to do effortlessly but now are quite a task; allow yourself to celebrate each progress even when it feels like it’s not noteworthy. Slow down a little and get to enjoy each seemingly ordinary moment in life.

There’s so much more to say but I’m a bunch of nerves and the knots in my tummy are tying my words as well. See you soon, hopefully by then all this worrying would have subsided and I’ll talk better.

Do get better soon.

With lots of care & concern,

Me

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Morgue Chronicles

I was at the Morgue today; 5 minutes ago to be precise. Today’s trip was different though. I wasn’t going to the cafeteria to buy food neither was I there looking for a nice spot to go pray. All I’d wanted was a nice solitary bench where I could sit alone in silence. Well not exactly in silence because my earphones was busy pumping music into my eardrums and I wasn’t alone since God was right there the entire time.

I found a bench right behind a Bus parked and close enough to the river. I must admit, the whole time I was there I kept fearing the bench would topple over and I’d end up in that river that looked more like a flowing sewage (yup, cleaning up this river in the Capital City doesn’t seem like a priority for our government). I was relieved that the bus hid me properly, I needed that privacy when the tears returned.

I sat there desperately looking for distraction but social media offered all but the social bit today. So I was forced to deal with whatever brought me there.

I looked around and it dawned on me that those people at the Lobby or hanging around cars as they waited for the bodies of their loved ones to be released, would be us people pretty soon. Suddenly their pain resonated with my pain. Yes we all experience grief in varying degrees but there it dawned on me that pain in whatever form should not be belittled. Someone else’s pain might be greater than yours; understandably so, but don’t let that keep you from mourning.

In no time the tears followed. It’s been hard holding them back today. Of course I have enough questions but I leave those ones for his family to ask; God already has enough of those coming from them and I will not disturb him with more.

There were birds around I suspect, I am sure I heard them at one point or the other when they weren’t muffled by the sounds of cars passing by and the flowing sewage… I mean river, below. I did not hear mourners at the Morgue wailing; no silence reigned today. Not because they weren’t in pain, but today, their pain was borne silently within but it shouted at those of us outside. Their silent pain was too loud to ignore.

In this morgue a variety of people meet- those doing their work hired inside, those taking care of the security outside, those running their cafeteria business, those who came looking for what the cafeteria offered; but the lot that stands out the most: those who have come to begin their final goodbye.

The one thing you won’t fail to pick from here, is how fleeting life is. Life is fragile and has no guarantees.

There were 3 sick people that were the cause of my anxiety yesterday; one is no more today.

Tides High and Low

I can always feel when they’re coming. Them tides you know. Exciting, disheartening; high, low, in that order. A tiny ripple in calm waters, a small nudge follows. Before you know it, the force is too strong to resist. Then off you go wherever the tides were heading. To the shore or to the deep, you soon will see.

I love them tides when they are pulling me in. I get drawn quite deep until I lose myself. I love being in the deep where I have little or no control. being overwhelmed is pure ecstasy. Allow me to explain; you see, a girl like me always has control over everything. I always want to know at each point exactly where I am, where I’m going to and where I am from. I’m that girl who has to get a rough idea of how the picture looks like at all times.

Well that was until I felt the power of the sun over tides; power of the Son over my tides. Forces so strong that nothing can hinder. I find myself powerless and go with the flow. I love it when the Son draws. Little by little, I am pulled deeper and deeper. I lose sight of the shore and it is scary. I no longer have any awareness of exactly where I am but when He’s in the lead, I am not afraid. He knows me, knows what’s best for me and wants it more than I’d desire it for myself. So I let Him steer. I go as the wind of His Spirit blows.

It’s a beautiful place to be. Enchanting. Knowing that you’re not in charge of anything but watching as He takes you places and does things that are exceedingly, abundantly, above all you could ask or imagine. He goes beyond your expectations. You’re lost in Him but fully found. Completely drowning in His love and presence that you die to who you are only to find yourself very alive in Him.

You get used to that. It becomes comfortable. However, you got so fascinated that you began grabbing the steer slowly albeit unknowingly. Then the motion begins. You did not see the moon, but the faint ripple and small nudge, those you felt. And ignored. You were too caught up in the deep to notice anything.

Gradually, the power of the tide grows. It pulls and before you know it, you feel helpless. You are aware that to be safe, you need to go back to deep waters. Once or twice you try to go back but after a few attempts that mostly end in failure, you give up. You recall the many times you’d get to the places you ought to be but always fell eventually. Will this cycle ever end?

The shore comes to sight. You can feel the warmth of shallow waters. In fact, shallow waters are always warm; they are perfect environments for comfort zones. You stay there for a very long time. Long enough to completely give up on ever being as deep as you had gotten. You give up on the Son; give up on your ability to ever make it back. It’s not worth trying, maybe being lukewarm and out on the shallow waters is all you’ll ever manage to sustain.

But you forgot one thing: the unstoppable power of the Son over your tides. Forgot also that the moon still relies on the sun so ultimately, all tides are tied to the Son. He allows them motions for a reason. Whether He reveals the whys or not, it doesn’t matter. Rest in the assurance that all seasons are under His control. And before you know it, the tiny ripple and little nudges are back. The deep draws you back in.

Instead of fretting or despairing on where you find yourself now, simply surrender to the Son. Be sure that He will cause you to move where He wants you to be when His timing comes. Your part is to rest and surrender. Let the tides do their thing, after all, they are simply reins the Son holds.

I leave you with these two links to remind you the beauty of surrendering to the tide:

In Over My Head- Jenn Johnson

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)- Hillsong United

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

It was a gloomy day which perfectly befitted the moment because we were going to bury someone dearly beloved. I was wearing the black dress I bought (whose length I’d immediately had reduced, Lol) and a new purple trench coat. Along the way some car got stuck in the mud or something but all I remember was that the funeral concession stopped and we had a chance to interact with people. I saw him. Heart almost stopped.

Of course he’d be here, this wasn’t something he’d missed. I think I was beginning to like him a lot more than I’d cared to admit. We talked briefly and you can bet my heart did a few of those flip flops. That didn’t last for long, soon we were back to our cars. I seem to briefly recollect introducing him to my parents; he must have been in the company of my cousins because I’d be committing suicide if I had dared to bring him over alone.

Eventually we get to the burial site. It was still cloudy and quite cold. I had done enough crying for several days so by this time, I was far stronger. I don’t like crying in public, so any emotions were shoved aside; all except one.

He was mostly right at the front taking photos alongside many others, but of course my attention was solely pegged on him. I had people to talk to and followed proceedings so it would sober me for a while before I’d steal a glance and be adequately distracted. I looked around me and noticed there was a bevy of beauties everywhere my eyes could see. Sigh, who was I kidding? A guy like him drew too much attention and there was no way I’d get his.

This crazy fog set in just as the family was heading to the grave site. People started rushing to their cars and choppers because the diminished visibility would be an issue. I had to go find my parents because I was to travel back to the city that same day.

He found me before I could trace my parents. He tells me to wait because he was trying to see if he could get me a vehicle going straight back. I’m guessing he planned to travel with me. Oh a girl had to be flattered by that display of chivalry! Unfortunately, he didn’t succeed but told me that whoever arrived first would wait for the other. I got there first.

I waited for forever! He kept apologising and I understood because he was at someone else’s mercy. After what seemed like hours (well less than an hour) he got there and ice cream followed. Long story short, he took me back to our hostels and stayed for a while to talk. Being the gentleman he is, he handed over the ice cream he bought for himself when my friends got there (yes, I love my friends tremendously but no, I don’t love them enough to share my ice cream).

Of course he’s always been a gentleman of sorts. From the first time we met, I noticed that chivalry. I was fascinated by his vast knowledge and travels. I love people who are well read or travelled. We got along quite well and I loved those conversations. He once got me a very beautiful yet simple bracelet in my favourite colour. I was swooned!

This story doesn’t have a happy ending and it’s worse because it was my fault. Oh goodness, I liked the guy! But then that whole faith thing came up and my unequally yoked lessons wouldn’t give me peace. I’d noticed how much he liked me but I had to kill it. So I withdrew and cut off communication. That was cruel and it hurt me badly, but I had to do it because if I allowed it to go on longer, the heartbreak would have been very ugly!

Dear Jonah

You’re probably on the run now. You’re done, you’re tired. You feel a little betrayed. You know how this story would turn out so you will not allow yourself to go through the disappointment or even public humiliation. You can’t afford to believe when you know your hopes will be shattered… again! So you choose to go furthest from where God wants you.

You are hurt, yes you are. Carrying wounds from all the hopes you had, faith in things turning out exactly as He said and despair from the countless disappointments. You know how it’s like to hear from God yet after doing as expected, the results were different. Maybe it’s the jobs you felt Him leading you to apply for, maybe it’s that relationship you got into after praying enough but it left you broken and disoriented. It could be precious friendships brought only to be taken away. Or possibly all the prayers and faith for healing which you thought you experienced but somehow, the same thing is back or something different and worse. How about the prayers you made about school but despite praying and reading; those bad grades keep coming back.

The truth you might not know or are avoiding to confront is that you are wounded and probably feel a little betrayed by God. Oh none of us will quickly admit to being mad at God or feeling like He’s disappointed you enough that you’re hesitant to trust Him with things you hold dear. If you look carefully, you might see how your heart felt slightly stabbed each time you trusted Him with something but it didn’t work out. Yes you know He’s good and said that it is well because He’s in control. What you didn’t know is that each time that happened and you didn’t deal with it adequately, it hurt you deeper and deeper unknowingly. Now you’re like a wounded puppy in a corner and do not want to be touched.

Too many of us carry such pain over time. Yes hope deferred make the heart sick (Proverbs 13:12) and it’s okay to get to the point where you acknowledge what you feel. It could be haboured anger or pain. However it manifests, know that running is not a permanent solution.

Eventually you’ll find yourself drowning in deep dark waters and when that fish swallows you, you’ll have to confront everything and make peace with God.

You see, I know how you feel and I will not condemn your running; whether your running is having left church or being there following the motions yet your heart is detached or simply being in a place where you still do everything expected of a ‘good christian’ but it’s routine stuff.

It’s okay to go through all this. It’s in such a place that you see things you’d never have seen before. You learn that God isn’t threatened by your questions or your doubts. In fact He likes them because you get to walk through it and finally have strong reasons for your faith; He takes you through them and helps you find the answers you need or the peace required when answers are not there.

In that place is where you get to see the beauty of grace, mercy and love. Redemption no longer is a word thrown about but a real experience. You see a God who picks you each time even when you don’t deserve it. Most of all, you’ll see the Hound of Heaven in action; beautifully and constantly pursuing you. He will follow you to the destination you ran off to. He will be there when you’re in the raging waters of the storm. He will send the help you need in form of a big fish and He will be right there in the belly of that fish when you have those conversations you need.

In the end, you will see that running far away from where you were supposed to go, will still lead you right back where you were supposed to be. Sometimes it’s in running that we find ourselves and get to where we need to be.

*Story from the Book of Jonah in the Bible

Where Your Eyes at?

Have you ever had so much going on that your head was left spinning? One bad thing after another; mistakes following each other and you don’t understand how; financial issues; being faced with major decisions; health problems; crippling fear springing up from nowhere and spreading everywhere etc. There are moments where it feels like Murphy was resurrected for the sole reason of unleashing his law in full force.
When waters around you are raging and the roaring winds in the storm are deafening, it’s almost impossible to focus on anything else. Your issues can snowball and become a giant that taunts you endlessly. You become consumed with the weight of it all and spend most of your time trying to find solutions or tracking a way out. It gets to you. Anxiety becomes your best friend. Stress and you are inseparable. The butterflies find a permanent abode in your stomach. Your thoughts become your breakfast, lunch and supper and suddenly, your appetite soars so more thoughts trickle in.

Such times can be overwhelming. The darkness eats up everything around and leaves no prospects of light coming through.

Yet, in all that, we have two options: allow ourselves to be overwhelmed as we indulge our not-so-perfect circumstances or rise above as we change our focus. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. If you’ve been there, you know how it’s almost impossible to focus on anything else. However, that’s where God comes in. Remember the popular saying that you can either tell God how big your problems are or tell your problems how big your God is? That about sums it up.

When your eyes are stuck on whatever’s not right, you become aware of how small you are compared to your circumstances. When you shift those eyes to who God is and what His promises are for such situations; everything else shrinks in the magnitude of His truth. You do this by digging out every scripture you can find that will help. You fish out every song that will flood your mind with truth. You speak to yourself (mentally or out loud) and encourage yourself like David did.

It doesn’t mean everything will instantly be okay but you will be okay right in the midst of it all. It means enjoying peace that surpasses all understanding. It means being held when you’re letting go. It means hope when it’s completely hopeless and it means help when there’s little you can do.

Here are a few scriptures and songs to help you get started:

SCRIPTURES SONGS
Isaiah 43:1-7 I will lift my eyes- Bebo Norman
1 Peter 5:7 Praise you in the storm- Casting Crowns
Psalm 46:1 Trust in You- Lauren Daigle
Philippians 4:6-8, 13 Everything Falls- FEE
Isaiah 41:10 Even If- MercyMe
  Shoulders- For King & Country
  Let the Waters Rise- Mikeschair

Death

I woke up thinking about death today. Yeah, you heard that right. My spirit felt heavy and I had such despair and resignation. No, I absolutely have no plans of facilitating the ending of my life. As I lay there in bed trying to force myself to get up and go to work, all these thoughts flooded my mind at once and hopelessness sipped in as rain does through cracked walls. It wasn’t that I was tired of living, I simply had resigned to whatever comes whether a long or short life.

This definitely wouldn’t be a conversation I’d have months or even weeks ago. I love life to bits! I love everything about this imperfect life: the people, the created things and nature. I have carried a certain fear for too many years; fear that life on earth would end before I accomplish the things I’m meant to. The idea of facing God aware of the tremendous potential He placed in me as He lavished me with excess abilities and ideas, yet having done very little or nothing at all; would make me shudder. My greatest fear was being the girl who had such great potential but never got to live it out. The other fear was to leave never having selflessly loved and given my all while allowing myself to receive the same. Then maybe not having the little girl that I’d want to have would be a real bummer. Needless to say, death freaked me out.

A few weeks ago, God had me doing plenty of thinking on this. I was to write a post on it and begin with explaining all the things I’d never get to carry out of this world. I’d been getting a different perspective on life. Being reminded of how the things we’re focused on chasing are temporary.  We don’t get to carry our money out of this place, our cars, phones and social media accounts don’t go, businesses or jobs are left behind and even the marriages we’re too caught up in (either managing the one you have or the one you want), expire as life here does. They all end here. You only get to have you (your spirit and soul), people, rewards for things you’ve done according to God’s plans and your relationship with God.

Back to today morning; I had such peace about the whole thing. God’s gotten me to the point where I no longer fear death because He made it clear that whatever you fear, you become a slave to and it robs you of life. So as I had all those thoughts and talked to God about it, I was okay. I still don’t like the idea of dying young but what’s there to fear when you realise that you’re simply slipping from one life to the next as you reunite with the Lover of your soul, the One who longs for you, the One who made you and the One who can’t wait to introduce you to your real home. As for love, it occurred to me that I have been lavishly loved! As for people, I have loved imperfectly and been loved imperfectly but it’s been beautiful. The friends, family, kids and young people I’ve talked or interacted with have loved me in ways I can’t explain but have learnt to appreciate even more.

Don’t let fear of death rule you; as long as you fear it, it controls you. This crazy myth we keep perpetrating about people only talking about death when they’re about to die, has to end. I have seen how the more you think about death or talk about it, the more you get to live. It changes how you see life, the people around you and your priorities. Maybe we need to have more conversations on this.

Lots of love from me to you!