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!

Strange(r) Tales

​Today I’ve had the most incredible experiences with people I haven’t personally met or hadn’t known at all. Each of them dented my life significantly.
I was enjoying a nice lazy Saturday when the first encounter happened. I received news of her death and it completely broke me! I couldn’t stop crying. I had too many questions for God. This lady was an icon of hope for thousands if not millions of people. Her battle with stage 4 cancer and her faith in God through it all had spread unimaginable hope. I couldn’t get why. My own health battles had been enough and I had been encouraged by her recovery. I had never met her personally but her death wrecked me.
In the midst of my tears and heartache, the second person reached out. I can’t even remember when we became ‘friends’ on Facebook but I’ve known him there for quite long. I’m still in awe of how God worked. I had a very fruitful conversation with him and God used him both to teach and remind me of several lessons. By the time we were done, I was in complete peace; not just comforted but led right back to where God had wanted me. 
Immediately after that conversation, I had to leave for a sleepover. I decided to take a long walk instead of using a more direct public transport option. Armed with my earphones, I started out really well. By the time I was getting to the second song, I met this kinda old lady. I said hi to her as I was passing her, just out of politeness and because I love saying hi to strangers. 
Little did I know that it was the genesis of a conversation that would take me through my entire walk. She began by talking to me in a dialect I love but know little of. Eventually I had to admit that I wasn’t getting everything. Lady told me tales of God’s faithfulness the entire way! Two random people and somehow we found so many things in common. I was greatly encouraged and my faith challenged. 
Let’s just say I’m in awe of God and how He works. It’s unbelievable how He used 3 completely unexpected people who I barely knew, to break me then build me and leave me better than I was. Evidently there’s nothing He can’t do and no one He can’t use. That He’d do all this leaves me overwhelmed by His goodness and love.

A Letter to You

Hi,

You with the wounds; deep or shallow. You who’s clothed with despair. You whose heart is tired. You who’s hoped and hoped and been disappointed one too many times. You who’s been looking at other people flourishing in their happiness and wondering when your turn will come. You who’s been hurt severely or mildly. You on the verge of giving up. You who always comes so close but the happiness you chase keeps being elusive.

Your pain is legit, your despair is understandable, your fears are founded and you are worth grieving over. Don’t let anyone belittle what you feel; not even your own self. Allow yourself to feel all this at this moment.

However, down in those ashes of despair is not where you belong; that pit of pain isn’t your abode; that dark cell where you’re covering your wounds is not your permanent place. After the dark night, day dawns; don’t miss your sunrise.

You, right in the place you are, are loved. You are worth caring about. You may be knocked down but you’re not out. Take His hand, let Him gently pull you out of the pit. Lay your heart bare, let His love wash over your wounds and be your healing. Move away from that cell’s door; His rays of hope want to burst in and flush out despair.

You are loved; your wounds are legit but they can be healed. You are loved; yes your hope was genuinely lost but it’s a new day. You are loved; you feel rejected you but what they didn’t give you, they can’t take away; your acceptance was from Him. You are loved; broken as you are, He makes you whole. You are loved; disappointments of the past are not a forecast of the future. You are loved; nothing can take that away

Allow yourself to be loved and embrace the truth of that love until you live it fully.

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. 

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!