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.

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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

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!

Rejection

It is almost impossible not to think about this word because my world right now is flooded by reminders. Rejection. One word, innumerable effects.

My devotion this morning had me reflecting on things that wounded me emotionally. This drew up quite a number of memories. Last night, the same thing happened and I found myself asking God to have any of the bits of my heart that were still hurt. From friendships that ended and left with chunks of my heart to guys who whether dating or not, left with bits of my soul. From disappointments and anticipointments, to moments that were beautifully high but left me broken the minute things crumbled.

The other trigger was a TED talk I watched on 100 days of rejection that encouraged those of us who’ve felt the sting of rejection enough to make us hide in our cocoon, to expose ourselves to that very feeling. The point wasn’t to get you wounded further or get you hooked to pain. The activity is premised on the fact that the more you expose yourself to rejection, the less it hurts and eventually, you become immune to it. I won’t lie, this sounded exciting; I mean, who wouldn’t want to be immune to rejection? I considered trying it for 30 days and each day I would go request something that I knew would be outrightly rejected (maybe asking for a raise from my boss should have been my starting point, Lol).

When I thought about it, I agreed with several of the things stated on that talk. Most of us fear rejection because of our perceived reaction by the person bound to reject us. We come up with all sorts of reasons why we were rejected: I wasn’t good enough, she’d never accept a guy like me, I am not his type, I am not good enough for this position, they don’t usually consider people like me, it’s because of my background… and on and on we’ll go. However, we’ll never know unless we ask. The guy giving the talk one day knocked on a random door and asked to go plant a flower in the person’s backyard. Of course his offer was rejected and he had all sorts of ideas as to why plus had begun beating himself up for this. Then he decided to ask the person why he refused his offer and turns out he had a dog that uproots things in the backyard so he didn’t want to waste the guy’s flower but he referred him to a lady who loved flowers. Not surprising, the lady was ecstatic about his offer and accepted.

This morning, one of the first things that met me on Facebook was an article shared explaining how guys break the hearts of girls even when they were not dating. This I easily relate with! From my own experiences and those of my friends; in fact if I had a dime for each time this occurred, I’d be a pretty rich woman right now! All the friendships where the guy was sweet, always listening, always there for you, crosses oceans for you, is your go-to guy for everything, always telling you how beautiful you are, willingly stating how much you are missed every so often and practically acting like a boyfriend without the title. Then you fall for him only to realise it wasn’t mutual or discover he started dating some other girl. Rejection stares at you with its big ugly eyes again.

It’s never a funny thing to hope and miss; to put your best effort and be met with a no; to invest so much only for things to fail; to try even against all hope and still be disappointment. It kills something inside of you each time and you either end up shut tightly away from anything threatening or masking your wounds and constantly portraying a picture perfect you. None of that helps and eventually you’ll see that healing is necessary.

Healing starts with exposing your wounds bit by bit, by choosing to step out and try again even when you’re scared. Most of all the ultimate remedy lies with the Maker of our hearts. He knows exactly how that wound came, what shape it took and how to heal it effectively. He breathes onto those wounds, pours out His liquid love to wash them and holds us gently until we’re well.

Purpose For The Pain

I met someone over the weekend; not the kind of someone you think 🙂

The kind of person who puts plenty into perspective. Meaning is found for queries long unanswered. This particular one was a girl in high school. We were at their school all weekend and I had missed students’ ministry. We had just finished facilitating a session for all the girls who wanted to become lawyers. She followed me as we walked out. I didn’t mind; as a matter of fact, I absolutely love those one-on-one conversations.

I initially assumed it was a career related issue since that’s what we were discussing. Wrong. Turns out, while we were winding up, I mentioned how my coming this far sincerely took God and hinted at the crazy health drama I’ve had. That’s the part that got her attention.

She begins to speak and I it feels like she stole the script from the story of my life. She sounds kinda like me and our personalities are too similar; but this wasn’t it yet. She starts to explain all the health issues she’s had. No way! She’s literally stating all the areas of my body that I’ve had trouble with. I listen to her almost speechless. This is more than unbelievable! She’s in tears and I’m almost following suit but I hold them back.

I can’t recall most of what I told her afterwards but I narrated my issues as well and we exchanged experiences that had left us emotionally drained, mentally overwhelmed and on the verge of despair. Things that people around us probably never get. The relief! Seeing that in this world, it’s possible to have someone who truly understands the very lengths, breadths and heights of your pain. Needless to say, we hit it off and became friends.

As I was reflecting on this later, I got thinking that if this was all the purpose to my pain, then it was worth it. Sharing my story with someone who was living it as well and encouraging her to not give up because I too was making it through. Being there to remind each other that all the dark days and all the tears, were not for nothing.

We might never fully see the purpose our tears, break downs, valleys and unbearable moments accomplished; but rest in this darling: it wasn’t pointless. God never wastes our pain. Someone somewhere will survive what you’re going through just because of your story. Hold on, fight through; it sure is worth it.