Lessons From The Impossible

​December 23rd, 2016

Lessons from the bar exams:
The impossible is possible with God- first it is impossible, then it is difficult then it is done. Everything at that point screamed impossible- I sincerely hadn’t read, I would quit every single night and every morning, I was sick most days (food poisoning twice, stomach issues from here to Timbuktu, cramps and related complications etc) and I generally wasn’t prepared for it.
You need people… daily, without fail, in fact twice a day, mum and my twinie would call or text. They pushed me, prayed for me and encouraged me; they refused to allow me to quit. Each day they dealt with my pessimism, despair, anxiety and depression. I’d have given up right at the start or long before the beginning. Then there were also texts and prayers from friends and family. My family would pray for me every time they had their evening devotion and my Friends would also remember me in the same.
God is my absolute everything. I’m not even sure I have words to describe who He is to me. He’s been my rock, anchor, the core that supports my everything, my biggest cheerleader, the One who fights for me, pursues me relentlessly, understands me the most, bears with me, forgives me the most, loves me like crazy, sees past the things that marr my life, my hope… this list is not ending anytime soon. He’s picked me up countless times and when I didn’t want to get up, He’d sit there with me first before lifting me. He constantly is there to remind me who I am even when I don’t feel like it (which is most times). He’s a Father who surpasses any that I’ve seen. He loves me in ways that wreck me. Without Him, I sincerely would never hack this life. He proved it for the two weeks I did those exams.
I’ve held this unhealthy notion that I was the girl who had unlimited potential but who doesn’t live up to it. I knew that any time I’d start something or embark on anything, I’d not have what it takes to see it through. Reminds me of a party I had before joining campus, while everyone had great advice on how I should carry myself while there or what to watch out for, my mum simply told me to ensure I make it to the end. All she wanted was to see me finish that quest. Well, it gave me quite some motivation. Anytime I felt I’d failed badly, I remembered that all she expected was my finishing this. So as badly beaten as I was, I still made it out alive but with grades I’m not proud of.
So this has influenced greatly, how I see myself. I honestly doubted my ability to even do the bar exams. I was ready to defer some units but my mother would hear none of that. Daily I’d wake up planning to defer but somehow I wouldn’t. I was reminded that my battle wasn’t in how I’d do those exams but my battle was in showing up. True enough, the resistance I’d face daily was in showing up. So after encouragement, I showed up each day. Each day was hard; the hardest two days was when I was so unwell that I left the exam room an hour before time and the time I had my second bout of food poisoning. The food poisoning had ensured I was unable to read and sleep. I woke up staring at the reality that there was no way I’d manage to leave my bed, much less the house. That paper needed me to have crammed a lot and have done enough practice of accounts; I’d done neither. I was sure this was the final blow and everyone would understand if I quit. Somehow, I received encouragement and I told God that unprepared as I was, if He helped me get to the exam room, I’d sit for that paper. He did exactly that and a tad more. I stayed the whole 3 hours doing that paper and had such peace and comfort; it was a miracle. I still don’t understand how I made it to the end but God used that to show me how I actually can make it to do things and complete them.
The entire exam season was nothing short of a miracle and I saw those miracles daily. I’m in awe and still feeling overwhelmed.


The Impossible

​Friday 25th November 2016:

Spent most of the day in bed on the edge of depression. Sometimes it felt like I’d climb down that cliff a little, then climb right back to the edge. Teeter tottering.

Something akin to a panic attack would creep in then leave me be.

Why wouldn’t that judgment just come quickly? What if the judge didn’t rule in our favour and come Monday, we’d still do those exams? Maybe suing the Council of Legal Education wasn’t the best idea; maybe we should have simply focused on reading for those Bar exams and gave up on seeking justice.
By the time I realised we weren’t going to win, I felt BETRAYED! How on earth would God give me so much peace yet He knew all hell was about to break loose? Why didn’t He intervene? He knew how much I’d been through and how reading had been almost impossible. Why wouldn’t He make a way and have the exams at least postponed for even two weeks? He knew there was absolutely no way I’d sit for those exams because I had nothing to write.
By evening, I was glad my friend had planned for us to have coffee on this day. This would be a much needed distraction; at least God knew what He was doing when He allowed me to agree to this, days before I knew how badly I’d need it.
Got myself to town and had one of the longest coffee dates I’ve ever been out on with any friend. By the time I was done, I felt encouraged and with a new resolve to make use of the weekend and not to defer my exams. Maybe I can do this.
Then God reminded me of the previous day: Thursday was nothing short of a miracle! I’d gotten a job in a way I couldn’t explain and after an interview I’d never anticipated. It was relaxed and brief. Before I knew it, I had a job and had not been asked anything people normally get answered. In fact it felt like a meet and greet: getting to see the person who you’d picked for the job. I was in awe of God! 
The God of Thursday was still the God of Friday.
Long story short, Monday came and the two weeks of exams were probably the hardest two weeks of my life! Clearly, I hadn’t seen anything yet when I thought that all hell had already broken loose. I was sick on each day and every morning and evening, I would quit, cry and be on the verge of depression again. I even got food poisoning on each week, which was crazy since I only had food poisoning once, 14 years ago! Each day I’d cry and tell God how impossible it was and that He was demanding of me something I couldn’t do. 
But every morning without fail, God would pick me up and hold me in His arms each night. In every paper He’d flood me with peace that didn’t make sense. Each day He’d remind me that my battle was in showing up, not in what I wrote on that paper. Then to ensure I had no room to quit, He put people who would call or text me morning and at night. 
From yesterday, I’ve been hearing more stories of people God had burdened to pray for me during those two weeks. People who didn’t have to but they still remembered me when they talked to God. Different people in different places who God used to set up what I have come to see as my biggest miracle this far. 

Emergency 36:26

My stony heart,
This rock you took,
Open heart surgery,
Alas you made it flesh.

This fleshy heart of mine,
Flesh cools, freezes, hardens,
Little by little, before I know it,
Flesh no more.

This rocky fleshy heart,
Resuscitation it needs,
Still the cardiologist you are,
Ezekiel Thirty Six Twenty Six again.

Your breath,
Breathe into this heart
And thaw, it shall
Warmth returns
Life renewed.

Beep... beep
Heart restored
Beep... beep

Relearning Prayer

​Something that’s been on my mind lately is prayer. It’s considered basic for every Christian but for a number of reasons, I’ve been rethinking prayer a lot. Currently, I’m trying to trace my journey with regards to the same.
I remember being a young child and joining my mum in her prayer sessions. I’d start nicely and mutter a few words and quickly run out of things to say. I’d be astonished at how my mum would go on and on; what on earth was she even saying for that long? Eventually, I’d start copying her and repeating the same words.
Of course through the years I was taught to always give thanks for food before eating (these days I remember after I’ve already eaten a good portion of the meal). Then we’d have family devotion at night before bedtime where most times we’d fight over who was to pray and my mum, being a person who doesn’t like drama, would end up taking over and praying instead.

I grew up and learnt how not just to do bedtime prayers or praying for food, but personal prayer sessions with God. Like a good number of people, of course for a long time I struggled with having consistent prayer times. When I did have those sessions, lasting 5 minutes would be an achievement. 

I went from all that, to finally getting to pray in tongues. This was revolutionary for me because suddenly, my prayers could actually last longer than 5 minutes. I loved how I didn’t have to struggle with what to pray for. This went on for awhile until a certain church leader told me once that I’d started speaking in false tongues. Goodness, I was freaked out! Because of that, I began avoiding anything involving speaking in an unknown language because I was convinced, I’d picked up the wrong thing. Well, it took a lot of time for me to be convinced otherwise.

Then I went through this phase where people around me would all be praying serious spiritual warfare prayers. We’d even be given written out prayers to help with that. Needless to say, that didn’t work out for me. I believed in praying from the heart or spirit; blabbing out words written by someone else and things I didn’t agree with, wasn’t something I was going to do. 

So I went from those warfare kind of prayers to a point where I was tired and all I could do was have conversations with God. I loved this; I’d be talking with God most times during the day and of course before I went to bed. I grew in intimacy with God and saw how personal He is. I got to know a beautiful Father-daughter relationship with Him and constant companionship. I’d involve God in the nitty gritty stuff and everything generally. My prayers would mostly be silent ones in my heart.

In that season, I also became more intentional about carving out time to specifically fellowship with God. I’d wake up early enough and have a beautiful session that would include things like worship or praise, reading the word, praying and simply listening to God. 

Somehow, the last month or two of 2016, things got busy. I found it harder to set aside that quiet time with God. Before I knew it, days turned to weeks and I still hadn’t gone back to my normal schedule. I’d still do conversations with God as usual but that didn’t feel like an adequate substitute for having set time with God.

Then I started asking myself why I even needed to do those prayer sessions. Didn’t God know the desires of my heart? Doesn’t He repeatedly say and show in His word how nothing can stop His purposes? I needed answers.

After plenty of searching the scriptures and enough teachings on YouTube, I began seeing the significance. God tells us to ask and we’ll receive. He says call unto me and I’ll answer you. Jesus perfectly modelled the same. In fact, the life of Jesus is the ultimate example of how and why we should pray. Even after Jesus resurrected and left disciples, we were still told to pray without ceasing.

So yes, praying is very vital for us. It’s not about informing God; He already is aware of everything. Prayer allows God to mould you in the process. A good example is when you go praying complaining about something and God shows you something in you that needs to change for that thing to stop being an issue. Prayer builds intimacy since you’re inviting God into your situations and listening for His contribution. You get shaped and you grow. 

Have a prayerful week, won’t you?

Comfort Zones

​This little thing called the comfort zone.It is a lovely warm place where life is almost predictable and dissonance rarely occurs. Things are done in a certain way and viewed in a similar manner. However, it also is the place where dreams die a slow death, courage fades and mediocrity is embraced bit by bit.
That was the story of most of my 2016- I was very comfortable and pretty complacent. Life wasn’t perfect but it was good. All this until 2017 happened; this year refused to come sneaking in and nicely fitting in the pattern already established by the previous year. 2017 came like a charging bull and it thrust me right out of my zone! 
The fast pace was set on the very eve of the new year. While everyone was busy enjoying their holidays, I was equally busy moving and caught up in the entire hustle that came with it. The new year found me in a new unfamiliar environment that was completely different from the set up I’d been used to. 
I figured I’d slide back to my zone in the days that followed. I would stop and bring everything to perfect stillness until I was able to manage things the way I always do. Let’s just say, that never happened; the opportunity was snatched from me over and over. There was no going back to life as usual.
Two things stood out; first, an opportunity I’d gotten and secondly, a hairstyle (yeah, you heard me right). The opportunity was something I was grateful for but wasn’t ready for. I decided to give myself ample time to prepare before I showed up. Well, that didn’t work out because I was informed I’d have to take it up way sooner than I’d planned. So now I had to rush with my preparations; pushed myself, those around me and even people I needed services from. Fast pace back, comfort zone out.
About the hair… hmmm. Long story short, in an attempt to get something similar to what I’ve done before, I ended up with something I’ve not done before. With all the bashing black ladies receive for looking like they are copying magazines, I unknowingly stepped right into their class. This was way outside my comfort zone and I definitely did not want to attract the attention. I had to make a choice: attempt to hide more during the period I’d have this hair or embrace it and rock it proudly. Life is too short to carry regrets, so I’m confidently taking this up. For the kick of it I may as well adopt the whole Barbie look and get myself some fake lashes, tattoo my eyebrows and stick on some nails. I should probably pick up the British accent I’ve always wanted while we’re at it, Lol.
The point is, remaining in comfort zones never helped anyone grow. We can either voluntarily take a bold step and go into the unfamiliar or wait until something kicks us out. Yes taking risks isn’t easy and there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed but if you don’t, you’ll never know the possibilities. It probably will be uncomfortable and will challenge what you thought you were able or unable to do. You most likely will fail one or two times but you’ll have learnt essential lessons on how to succeed. 
So yes, go take up that opportunity that scares you, buy the outfit you like but aren’t sure if it will look nice, start doing that writing you desire to do, step into the limelight and do your thing. Whatever your case, stop holding on to the familiar and dare to try something new. 
There is freedom waiting for you,

On the breezes of the sky,

And you ask “What if I fall?”

Oh but my darling,

What if you fly?
(Erin Hanson)

Seeing it

​Last night we talked about the state I was in. Today didn’t start any better. I woke up feeling lethargic and sincerely tired emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically, you name it. At least I succeeded in downloading my devotion for this month. The first thing I read was the necessity of finding time to plan and write. Eventually, I got to doing that.
What sparked this was a TED Talk I watched on the importance of drawing your life. You don’t even need to be an artist to do this- just a simple illustration of where you currently are and where you’d want to be. Of course in between will be the steps you require to get there. The points given in this particular case were: See it, Believe it, Act on it.
Let’s face it, success is never accidental. If you’re going to succeed in anything, you need to plan for it. However, before all this, the first step is to visualize. That for me has been my Achilles heel. I don’t know when I stopped dreaming but that sure was where I began losing it. I remember one time telling myself how I’d be the first female Secretary General of the UN; sigh, I think I allowed reality to block that one. Reality told me how I was too young and by the time I was old enough to qualify, we’d already have had several female Secretary Generals. 
Envisioning things is such a crucial thing because it allows your mind to grasp the concept and believe it’s possible. Sadly, we don’t do too much of that these days. Visualizing became dismissed as fantasies or chasing unrealistic dreams. People got discouraged and stopped. We became part of a system that was already set for us and we joined in without disputing. Read, read some more, get a job, get promotions, obey your boss, work some more, save or get a good pension scheme then retire.
Today, I dare you to dream again or if you have dreams then make them bigger. It doesn’t hurt to aim for the stars, you might just reach there, and if you don’t, you’ll land on the moon or some planetoid. Start by seeing where you’d want to be. No, don’t let current reality paralyse that dreaming process. Ask yourself if all factors aligned and God made the impossible possible; what would you want out of this life? Allow your mind to imagine whatever it can. 
Then with that picture or pictures in mind, keep seeing it. Let it inspire you and allow it to be a motivation. A vision creates hope. Life without hope is meaningless and dead. Go ahead and dare to hope. Involve God in this. He’s the One who created those desires and will help you sift your desires until you know what’s good and what’s plain selfish and vain.
All in all, don’t you stop dreaming and envisioning.

Stepping Into The Unfamiliar

​It’s the 1st day of this year, while people are busy celebrating with friends, family or lovers/spouses; I’m lying down on my sofa (park bench is more like it). This is the first time I have spent both new year’s eve and the start of the new year alone in a house.
It was inescapable since I had to move into another house yesterday. So I spent new year’s eve packing, moving and unpacking. The new year found me in bed on a candlelit night since the lights in this house had been temporarily disconnected while waiting for someone to move in. 
Let’s just say things haven’t been the usual, this time round. By now I’d have had resolutions written down, have verses for the year selected as the Holy Spirit led (began this last year) and would have had plenty of reflection time. Well so far, this post is the only writing I’ve done, if you don’t count the Facebook posts and texts, Lol. I haven’t had any quiet time with God since I’ve been plunging myself into social media. This feels like a symptom of escapism. I’m not even sure what I’m running away from. 
Indeed this year has plenty of uncertainties, a million and ten of them. I’ve started the year in an unfamiliar place with no idea where I’ll be by the end of the year. I have no clue what trajectory my life will take this year. I know I’ll be working in an office for 6 months, after that, I have no idea what I plan to do. I’m not even sure of the kind of job I’d want; which is strange because by the end of the year I’ll probably have been sworn in as an advocate. I’d want to venture more into arts and do more of entrepreneurship merged with social work but I’m also interested in the legal practitioner I’m becoming. See my predicament?
All the above is kinda weird considering how good I am at making plans (and probably equally good at not sticking to several of them till the end, Lol). I want to snap out of this and do some rough plan at least but I feel like I’m in limbo. 
In everything, one thing that’s been clutching onto my soul is that God is in charge this year. That not knowing the way or destination is okay because I’m walking with the One who knows. I have this deep feeling that this year will be filled with adventure. Unfamiliar territories become a delight when you are certain that you’re being led even when you can’t see it. Most of all, I’ll be going through the year with Emmanuel; my God who’s with me. The Ebenezer of 2016 who brought me this far is still Lord over 2017. My Good Shepherd constantly leads me and works everything for my good and to His glory.
So here’s to an extraordinary, adventure filled, beautiful and exciting year ahead. Here’s to the growth we’ll experience and the people we’ll become! Happy New year to each of you. 

Lots and lots of love from me to you!