who am i?

"I write for the unlearned about things in which I am unlearned myself." - CS Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

When shit happens… Give a shit wisely…

Its not every time you’re the butt of the joke… but God has a sense of humor and he’s using my butt to deliver a message. I have struggled with posting this but hey… after posting this, I’m spritzing some Chanel mademoiselle on, putting on lip-gloss and some heels and strutting about like the human that I am… I don’t take or do shit!

Caveat/Disclaimer: I don’t go about saying shit in real life… I show some decorum. Poo-poo somebody? Certainly not excrete… probably ‘take a dump’ sometimes.

That said…. I went to get my hair done at a salon my friend recommended. It was in one of those plazas in Wuse 2, Abuja, ADB plaza to be precise.
I noticed my tummy acting funny… but I assumed whatever it’d be, the salon would have a bathroom I could dash into.
The shit really did hit the fan when I bit into the hot puff puff I ordered from one of the shops. Say what?

I can do this… I will not be moved. I reaffirmed to myself. Beads of sweat may or may not have formed on my forehead. I couldn't concentrate on the book i was reading.
And so time went, I spent hours there… and each minute became more uncomfortable.
The center really could not hold anymore… because you see, I had had it to here… it wasn’t about been tough or exercising patience anymore… it was the whole nine yards, I had no more strength or so I thought, and if I held on to non-existent strength, something was going to emerge…
This was when shit got really messy (pardon this pun, I really am not cussing). There was no bathroom in the salon, the only option in the plaza was the general toilet and the salon girls wouldn’t let me use it because they said it would be too nasty for me, not up to standard, they could use it, but I couldn’t. I was too poised in their eyes to be subjected to that mess.

At that moment I didn’t care, even as I tried to maintain every front of composure. I told them I had to go, I really needed to and I wouldn’t mind the mess, it couldn’t be that bad… but they looked at me, looked at my bag, looked at me and my innocent never had to take a shit looking self and refused to subject me to the instant gratification of the moment.
Funny thing is, I wasn’t even dressed to the nines to warrant such treatment, I was dressed down in an I’m spending all day in the salon with no make up  kind of way.

They gave me an option… go across the road to the hotel and use the bathroom… it’s neat, its decent, it’ll be comfortable.
Would they let me just walk in and head straight to their toilets… or lavatory as we sophisticated (Ha) people say?
“Yeah, just walk in the reception and ask where the toilet is.” They told me.
Now that sounded like a good idea, albeit, embarrassing to walk in and head straight to the toilet and head out again, I mean, no disguise of enquires about the hotel before depositing shit on them.

Even with the assurance that there would be a clean bathroom ready, waiting for me, the next question was if shit could stay put long enough for me to get to my destination. Would the center hold or would things fall apart?
I felt like if I got up and moved, everything would come crashing down…

I loved the toilet they wouldn’t let me use… other people in the salon used it, so why not me? At that moment, if you put a potty right in the middle of the plaza, I may just have pulled my pants down and finished a business deal there… but….

And so I bravely and prayerfully got up, got a scarf to cover my half made hair so I don’t look crazy crossing the busy road… I walked or ran down the stairs… cursing the salon for being three floors up. Walked into the hotel and didn’t even pause as I greeted the cute receptionist… just my luck two very male men smiled from behind the desk and responded to my greeting…. I asked, “Please where’s your ladies?”…. And they said “toilet?”  I said “yes” while still walking in the most likely direction (it wasn’t a large hotel thus the reception area was quite compact), toilet, ladies, whatever you call it, I didn’t give a shit in that moment. They pointed in the direction I was going, and it took me every dignity, and every ounce of strength not to run… I would worry about the embarrassment with the receptionist later.
What joy it was… what a relief. A song of deliverance could be played right about that moment… I had a clean and relaxed atmosphere to relieve myself... there was a sweet smelling freshener, soft tissue, plus running water, soap and a dryer to wash my hands well.

(Another (Unnecessary) Disclaimer: No I don’t go through life throwing the word shit about, I use well-contoured words ... but somehow there’s shit splashed around this post… Lord have mercy)

I shared this embarrassing story so I could tell you that sometimes, you’d be so pressed in life, so pressed that you tell yourself if you don’t grab at that opportunity right now, you would die or shit on yourself, even if that opportunity has dirt marked all over it. Even if you know there’s risk of an infection in whatever form from using that dirty toilet… even if you know you’re worth more than that move that’d give you that instant gratification. But that’s a lie from the devil. It may feel like you’re dying in that urgency the situation tries to choke you with, but truth is, that situation can’t kill you. It may be pressing, but you certainly wouldn’t poop (see how I didn’t use the word shit here…) on yourself if you hold on for just a little little while as you look for a clean spot. You can walk to the hotel across the road and use a very clean toilet; you have the stamina, the strength, what it takes to patiently endure and walk to a proper, neater solution than your body makes you feel. It may be uncomfortable, but it is worth it.
 

There will always be a decoy before the real deal shows up… well, maybe not always, but most times… and we need to learn to discern, to pray, to listen to the leading of the Spirit and how our hearts react to certain things that look right, but rubs off the wrong way on us. Like marry that guy with a shitty attitude because you're so pressed by the pressure of society, when there's a better alternative just across the road from you.

“Satan has a counterfeit for every good thing God wants to give you.” Joyce Meyer.
You need people around you, true friends and mentors who will boldly discourage you from going the dirty path no matter how pressing the issues may be, who will look you in the face in the heat of the pressure trying to floor you into making the wrong choice and say NO!  People who will point you in the right direction and cheer you on.

That day at the salon, I wasn’t dressed the way they addressed me, I wasn’t dressed my best or looking quite classy and stuck up in heels and well made up face… but they still recognized something in me to know that I wouldn’t be comfortable in that toilet. You need people who will recognize who you truly are, maybe you may not be feeling or acting so spiritual in that moment, may not be pumped up with the spiritual juice, but they recognize the journey you’re walking in, they recognize that God has a bigger purpose for you and would stand firm in holding you off a decision that looks right, but isn’t Gods right and may end up causing more harm than good after the instant gratification of the moment, they will recognize you and insist on redirecting you to better… on convincing you to wait for the best. The blessings of the Lord make rich and add no sorrow… no condition to His blessings, but a lot of clauses to the instant gratification from hell.

I pray that God gives each and everyone of us, that person, that friend, that mentor, that pastor, that spouse… that family that looks out for us and saves us from our desperation born mistakes.

“Do not settle, not in marriage, career, ministry, or your dreams. Hold on. There is grace available; for God will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. If He’s making you wait, then there is grace available to wait, and when the decoy comes, there is also grace available to resist, if only you choose to.” Joy Akut, Kiss & Tell (How cool is it that i get to quote myself from my book? You should get yourself a copy :)

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Henna Tattoos... The Paste




When applying henna tattoos (Laali), the longer the dye paste stays on, the darker the outcome of the tattoo...and the longer it lasts on your skin.
Take it off too soon and it's a faint mark left that will fade away quickly before its effect can be truly enjoyed.

I always never have the patience to sit still long enough for it to dry properly, or even if I let it dry I kind of take off the paste too quickly, thus I have never had the luxury of experiencing the beauty of a well set henna tattoo on my hands. It’s always a faint mark that just fades away like a kid scrambling away from the boogey man.

The longer you keep the paste of hurt and betrayal in your heart, replaying it over and over again, recounting the story of disloyalty to whoever cares to listen, cuddling with the pain it brought you, the more it sets... and the harder it is to clean off, thus creating the perfect environment for offense to breed. We really should lovingly stay clear of people who always bring us to the dance floor of betrayal and beats us with their moves every chance they get.

"You can't control what comes in your mind but you can control what stays there." Jesse Duplianties

You really can’t control the way people decide to behave towards you, or the feelings they serve you with, the bitter taste of the effect of their treachery towards you but you can control how you handle it, if you harbor the pain like a fugitive or you feel the effect of the hurt and sweep away the dust of bitterness eagerly waiting to settle in your heart, feeding you with a repugnant taste.

People would most definitely hurt you ... both those on the haters club and even those on the exclusive lovers list. They will give you reasons to be mad and lawfully pissed off, and if you decide to exercise your right to cuddle that hurt...rolling it over in your head for days and days going on years... the longer your heart harbors it, the darker the stain sets and the harder it'd be to take off... in other words, the more offended you get. (Which translates to stress and a whole lot of negativity, thus a break down of your body, because inside is so messed up, it shows on the outside, creating easy access for the negative energy in the world around you into you)
Offense is such a barrier between you and loads of blessings...
John Bevere calls Offense The bait of Satan.  “Many are unable to function properly in their calling because of the wounds and hurts that offenses have caused in their lives. They are handicapped and hindered from fulfilling their full potential. Most often it is a fellow believer who has hurt them.”
(You really should find a way to get this book.)


“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Philippians 4:8-9 MSG

These are the kind of pastes that need to stay longer in our hearts as the verse above describes... things that are true and pure and lovely... things that trigger joy, like the fact that God loves you unconditionally... He came and died for you and rose again... redeemed you... forgave you ALL your sins... has voluntary amnesia towards your iniquity and transgressions ... made an open show of the devil for your sake... made you more than a conqueror... blessed you... favored you... graced you... crowned you... enthroned you... made you His righteousness. Think on these things! Like fine wine they make the heart merry and trigger an inside out response that makes you a joy to the world around you even when all looks bleak.

“Love forgets wrongs so that there is hope for the future.” John Bevere.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Cars, Body Odors... Nigeria!


The old driver resumed as the new driver (long story)... but it was a new problem... His body odor was such an issue. Everyone EVERYONE was battered by it (This isn’t a post to put him down)
The car has had our different scents from the new car scent to Chanel to Gucci and all the various pleasant perfumes! 

But just one whiff of such a bad odor and the car was in a bad shape.
Everyday the driver would get in with his less than pleasant smell... and I would get in with my sweet smelling self, but what won the battle was always his body odor... especially when the car had been parked for a bit.

Even when he's not there, there's a stamp of his smell. I would get in the car and have to put the windows down just to dispel the smell.

The story of the car mirrors life. You could do all the good always (smell nice) and everyone loves you... but one bad is all it  takes to overwhelm every good thing.
Suddenly the humans that we are forget how good a person was or has been in the past as the one bad he's done glares at us... we point fingers, distance ourselves and whisper loudly. We are executors of those with weaknesses once exposed. 


Life amplifies the bad over the good.
The bad smell over the nice scents.


But God doesn’t judge us by our mistakes and weaknesses, even if mistakes are all we make. The good always outweighs the bad in His eyes. And what’s that one good we can do to get God’s attention? Our believe and acceptance of the truth of the gospel. (Christ died for our sins, he was buried and he rose again according to scriptures) That’s why He loves us through our struggles to get to the place of perfection which each step takes us to. I believe He wouldn’t let the one bad smell, cloud over the other sweet scents from us. 

I'm not saying we should tolerate abuse from people or encourage them to continue in their weaknesses. I'm just saying we should find a way to love them through their bad times. Maybe just one encouraging word from you that isn't spiced with judgment but laced with love is all the comfort they need or the tap to wake up to learn from their mistakes. (And sometimes they are unaware of their smell if they are not told)

Jesus healed the woman who had been bent over for 28yrs and the Pharisees let the bad smell of him doing it on the Sabbath (against their law) outweigh the glory and beauty of what he had just done9Luke 13:10-17)... a lot of stories like this found in the Bible... Even with all the sweet fragrance of Jesus ministry on earth and the strong Oud fragrance of the sacrifice was not enough to quench their sniff of how bad it smelled because it was against their law.
Let's not be quick to forget the good in people when we smell the bad emanating from them. It's a lesson I'm still perfecting in. 

I’m Nigerian. I love my country… we just turned 57 on the 1st of October and we have a lot of disgruntled citizens, who frankly cant be faulted. Nigeria may have a lot of bad smells... but you've got to admit there's a lot of pleasant smells emanating from her as well. Don't let the bad smell be the stamp you put on her... As a citizen, I will love her through her weaknesses and lovingly guide her to overcome it in my own corner, in my own way, by doing whatever I do well. Let the good smell outweigh the bad... that's how you can truly rise and pray for her with conviction, that's how you can consciously work towards the change you hope for in her..

Happy independence to Nigeria.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Pardon The Interruption... Keep Moving!

 

I had made up my mind as I got to oxford street that afternoon, that I was going to spend as much time as I could looking through primark and grabbing as many fairly priced wardrobe essentials as I could. And I indeed took my time, weaving through the throngs of European tourist and carefully double-checking that the right size was on the right hanger of the things I put in my basket. My feet hurt, I had spent hours out shopping before braving the primark madness.

I was finally done and took my things to the till... It was while concluding my transaction that I heard the announcement to evacuate the store and I saw security ushering everyone out. The lifts were barricaded and we all (hundreds of us) trooped down, me clutching my purchases (thankfully I had paid), and others frantically leaving their overflowing baskets… efforts of hours of careful selections through different floors. The staff were confused, I overhead a couple of them asking if it was another fire drill with nothing less than mild irritation in their voices.

My heart beat at the state of oblivion to the obvious danger that prompted our evacuation. When I got out I was shocked to see that the road right in front of us had been sealed off with the yellow tapes by the cops and they were everywhere…. Say what?!
What I was able to glean from the cop who was ready to answer our questions was that there was a suspicious parcel found… But did we run off after getting that information? No! We stayed behind the line looking at what was happening and some even had their phones out recording… I really couldn’t understand why we would do that, why we were hanging around to see. What if the suspicious parcel went off when they were checking it? As my sense started getting clarity, I prepared to walk away when I saw the police take away their barricade and give a clear, it was a false alarm, the shops were allowed to open a few minutes later and you should see how people rushed in… to get their baskets before it was taken away to restock… Was I shaken? Yes. Did I walk away to the tube station, by-passing my stop at Selfridges? No way. I walked back into the store with those running, in, I had to get my VAT done and I wasn’t going to let that false alarm stop me, and then I strolled down to Selfridges to get my perfume, then grabbed something to eat before heading home, abruptly forgetting the some what scary interruption.

I had another experience of this sort one boxing day… the craziness of Oxford Street was on, as usual with the Boxing Day sale. I noticed the cops sealed off the road in front of JD Sports, and blocked everyone from following that way, there was an ambulance and police cars, we were told a young man had been stabbed just a few minutes earlier… it was scary, but after my friend and I stood still for a while, we found another route and kept heading our way to regent street… we had shopping to do, we came out to shop and we were not going to be distracted.
Those were serious cases that came up… but even though it distracted me for a few moments, I went right back to doing what I came out to do, not letting fear stop me, or allowing how shaken I may have been to distract me from my goal of being in the area, which was to shop.

I was thinking back on those two events recently and I realized that as crazy as it feels sometimes, we should go right on back to fulfilling purpose, achieving our dreams after interruptions, most of the interruptions that come our way, though they look threatening, most times are just false alarms… shadows (the devil loves to play with shadows a lot, because he has no real power and they make him and his distractions look bigger than they are)

So even if you get distracted by that, don’t be discouraged with the fear it instilled, too discouraged to get back on your path, like those people didn’t let the bomb scare stop them from their shopping, they literally ran in with speed to continue after the distraction, so they wouldn’t lose what they labored for.

I get to host this wonderful event called Incense… do I get to experience hitches and false alarms? Yes! Financially sometimes, its borderline frantic trying to get everything in order… and sometimes, I see a nice crowd, packed full halls, overflowing halls, other times just under two hundred people when you expect more… but is that enough to discourage me? No! I go right back to organizing more meetings. Even if I get distracted by the numbers. Even if sometimes the budget feels like a huge punch in my guts… I get right back up and do what I ought to do, because there’s a big picture I see, bigger than the distractions and the discouragements that come… there’s a picture bigger than my mind can wrap its hands around, that’s why enlargement of heart is key for me… that’s why getting right up and enjoying every single step as a step of victory is key. Knowing what you’re doing, knowing the end you’re looking to, knowing the picture you see in your heart is the thrust that gets you up and going when there’s any distraction sent your way.

After the roar of the pussycat lion impostor startles you a little, go right back and finish up. (The devil roams LIKE a roaring lion, looking for whom to devour, startle, deceive). Pardon the interruption instead of dwelling on the 'what ifs' it could have been/getting hung on it and just move on! 

I've had countless interruptions in life. some enough to floor me and get me fazed, but that's not a loss for me, because as much as I loose my breath sometimes, I never remain there, I always choose to move towards the goal, the bigger picture. Interruptions could come in form of a broken relationship/marriage, bankruptcy, rejection of proposals, 'failed' businesses etc... but you've just got to keep moving.

The picture you see of the beauty it would be if failure were not an option… that’s the joy set before you! So you keep doing what God has asked you to do, chasing those dreams and big ideas, knowing failure is not an option, even when challenges are all around you…. The little distractions will come, but they don’t faze you… your face is set as a flint.
We have people giving up too easily, bowing out to discouragement. Faith doesn’t mean it’ll be easy, but it means it is possible.
Don’t let the distractions deceive, discourage, or hold you bound in fear, but Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. Hebrews 12:2(The Msg)

He never lost sight of where He was headed… and so He put up with all that was thrown at Him even when they weren’t convenient or pleasant; shame, the cross, the spite… He could see it, and He’s right there, right now, in the place of honor, because He didn’t let the decoy, the distraction derail Him... and we have Him to look up too.

Don’t give up just yet. Keep moving.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Game of Thrones...


This Picture makes me feel more like Brienne of Tarth... but not the point!

I am a Game of Thrones (GoT) fan… I joined the bandwagon somewhere in season five, so I had the luxury of watching episodes back to back, sometimes binging without having to wait for the next week to see a new episode or months after for the new season (I loved that luxury of not waiting). But last season was my first time of watching it in real time. Waiting for each new episode after cliffhangers of the last. Breathing down my friend Oris neck for each new episode.

We watch one episode that is nail biting, and we are in suspense waiting for the next. Suddenly, next Sunday feels too far away. And so we spend time meditating on the last episode, knowing the next is surely coming, but while we wait, we talk about what happened, our expectations are on a high… looking forward for the next. We bite our fingers (well not literally), regurgitate, bringing it out and chewing on it over again, excited about it till the next. And when the season is done, we do the same thing… sometimes, we watch the past episodes, go on fan pages, join discussions… write on facebook, tweet about it…snooping around for spoilers for the next season, and you may find glimpses and pieces of puzzles and guesses that seem right, its not the whole picture, but it excites you all the same. Sometimes the next season starts just after a couple of weeks, sometimes it’s a few couple of months, but for shows as epic as GoT we impatiently, excitedly wait a whole year for the next season… and I hear we may be waiting for maybe two for the finale season 8 (well, GoT just happens to be the scapegoat here… it could be any of your favorite series)

When God speaks to the Game of throne fan in you...

That’s what faith should be like for believers. You’ve enjoyed one episode of Gods blessing in a season, just don’t give up yet, there’s another episode coming, one after the heel of another… while you wait, be in faith for the next episode of success in what you’re doing. 
What do you do? Do you complain? Or you meditate on the blessings God has poured on you? You chew on it, regurgitate, and in doing that you make an easy entry for thanksgiving which makes for easy digestion of rejoicing, which helps lighten your heart, exciting you for what next is coming. Meditation makes the waiting period move fast… it takes away the time or even if it doesn’t, it makes for good company while you wait.  Be it for the next episode or the next season.

What are you doing while you wait? Start thinking of the goodness and faithfulness of God in the different seasons of your life. His promises, the beautiful plot for your life in the bible… the plot that says His plans for you are for good and not for evil… a plot that says He has blessed you and has paid the price for you… given you authority over principalities, you reign! In the game of thrones, you sit on the iron throne, at the right hand of God the Father high above every principality and power… the villain of life has been put under your feet. He prepares a feast for you in the presence of your enemies (epic scene). He anoints your head with oil, and your cup runs over… He has clothed you in His righteousness, and nothing is impossible for you that believe. The plot for each season of your life makes for a blockbuster, each season more intense than the last season, for every level you rise to. Each episode has so much to talk about, so much to rejoice about… so much to be thankful about, especially with all the action scenes of what God has saved you from, how the angels assigned to you have acted on your behalf behind the scenes, battles you are unaware of.

Be encouraged, think of the things you've been through and what God has done, and rejoice as you wait for answers... the breakthrough!Get ready for the blessings that is about to fall on you!


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Unknown Error?...

Have you ever tried to top up your phone only to get an error message/a timeout message?
Then you retry and it says 'this card has already been used by you'? And that's when you check the balance to see that the initial top up was successful even though the phone gave you an error msg.


It happens to me all the time. Thus I have learnt to just make the call after I get that message or check the balance instead of trying again… because somehow I know the phone has been credited. It rarely is the case that I have to input the numbers again because the truly wasn’t processed.

This happened to me recently and it got me thinking about how we ‘input’ prayers and are unaware that they have been answered because our feelings process an error message and sends to us. I believe many prayers are answered that we're unaware of because we don't check... We feel like a response hasn't been received because we don't get a "successful recharge" message from God! (Even after His word says He always hears us)
Only to check and realize your prayers were answered but you were too blinded by worry, fear, desperation to notice... you were so focused on the error message of anxiety to notice.
Our flesh gives an error message! We don't feel healed, we don't feel comforted... we just don't feel.... but it's not about feeling!

Sometimes answered prayers come in the form we want it to come in.
Sometimes it comes in the form of a storm to end that relationship that was killing you spirit, soul and body. Or a storm to make you move from that city that wasn't good for you. To prevent you from going on that holiday that may have killed you...etc
What have you been praying about? Maybe it's time to start thanking and praising God for the answered prayers... praise brings down walls of delusion, unbelief, fear and dread! It brings the reality of whom God is to focus.

Be assured that God has heard you... Take that assurance to the bank and praise your way in thanksgiving and wait to see the manifestation.
(it sounds like a mechanical thing to say right? What if you don't see results?) Well there are always results to prayers... It just may not be in the way we imagine. But God is good and perfect, a good good loving Father and He responds to our prayers in ways that He knows will do us well.


“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Mark 11:24 NIV

Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.
Isaiah 65:24 (NIV).


And as Mosugu Eben sings "I serve a God who answers prayers... "

Download here  
 
This has been one of my favorite songs in this season… knowing that God loves me and He answers my prayers even when I don’t feel it, even when it doesn’t look it. That’s why I praise even when the fig tree does not blossom… 

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom
    and the strawberries don’t ripen,
Though the apples are worm-eaten
    and the wheat fields stunted,
Though the sheep pens are sheepless
    and the cattle barns empty,
I’m singing joyful praise to God.
    I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail,
    I take heart and gain strength.
I run like a deer.
    I feel like I’m king of the mountain! Hababkkuk 3:17-19(msg)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

When You Fall In Love...


I’m not the girl who falls in love. I’m the girl who has major crushes and moves on. But this was love quite all right. It was the stark raving mad kind of love. Yeah, he was fine, yeah he was bloodily rich. People referred to him as a prince. His dad was one of those high chiefs/kings . So maybe all the perks helped a little, but oh my, dude was the sweetest most humble of them all. My feelings were definitely beyond his looks and pocket and overall perfection.
He’s the sort of guy everyone falls in love with, I couldn’t imagine what he saw in plain old me.

My life changed with him in it. We were in sync, I backed out of things he didn’t like me doing, cut off from friends he felt were bad influences, our PDA was almost too consuming, always whispering to him words only he understood. that man knew how to make a woman feel loved. Morning, afternoon and evening was something special and sweet written just for me, one-liners, whole pages, a story that always spoke directly to my heart. He was my first call everyday and every night he was the ears that listened to me talk myself to sleep. In the afternoons I sneaked calls to him to tell him how much I loved him.

Have you heard me sing before? Well you’d hate it, but this man, he loved it when I sang for him, he listened like I was the best singer in the world, some days I danced into the night with or for him. Those were days of perfection. I had so much peace with him, but I was becoming one of those girls…you know those that go crazy in love that they don’t fit into the world anymore? Those my friends and I gossiped, mocked and made jokes about, no more fun nights out, I was too busy with my love. I was no more popular especially at the hot spots, no more at the events, the little social fire I had burning was slowly ebbing out. I was just ‘the girl he loved’ now. Thus I decided to take things slow, people were starting to talk, and you know how we hate it when people talk, don’t you?

And take things slow I did, more like try to shoo him off like I do with my crushes. It was too consuming for me, or so I thought. From whispering every moment to him to not even giving him a nod of acknowledgement, to blocking out his desperate but calm whispers of love, to dreading his letters, the once sweet words were now like chunks of bitter herbs to me. They only seemed to highlight how wrong I was even though they were the same old sweet words.
I cheated on him, betrayed his trust, and abused his love, made his family and friends wonder why he still hung on to me.

I used him when I wanted, like days when I needed his money and his family connection, or days my leg hurt, and I needed him to rub my back the way only he knew how to, days I was sad, days the world seemed blue, I would come crying to him and he would rock me to sleep in his arms, that peaceful familiar arm of strength and I’d know everything would be okay. Of course that little fox that loves to ruin the garden of love would visit and in the morning I was back to being the mean lover i was. I cringe at what I put him through, the pain, the hurt, the shame. I pushed him to the limit any human would have cracked at, but there he was, his beautiful eyes lighting up for me when I bothered to visit. I knew he was hurt but I was past caring, I had hurt him too much to go back to that place we were at the beginning, o how I wanted to be there, but my shame wouldn’t even let me soften up to him, my shame took me farther away, my shame made me hurt him more, just waiting for him to reach his limit and dump me.

We had a routine I still kept up with. We went to his fathers the king/chiefs at oniru twice a week. On Tuesday evenings for dinner and Sunday mornings for breakfast. On these days I would grudgingly dress up in my best outfit not wanting to go, but feeling obliged to, the least I could do for him for defending me when his family asked him to leave me. I always ended up having the best of times, with the other family members and friends who were invited. Whenever I saw how much they loved my charming loving dude, I would get aggressively jealous, I would whisper and scream telling him how much I loved him, just for the show of it, just so they wouldn’t get to judge me or label me nasty or take him away from me(you see I’m that confused, I didn't want him but I wanted him). I would make sure I danced with him... I didn’t want to loose his love to those who seemed to show more emotions than I did. I would hug him and kiss him and listen to him talk, as mesmerized with his words as the other guests …we would laugh, and we would be the cute loving couple again. Till of course he drops me off, gives me the goodnight kiss, and with the morning light I'd be mean ol' me again.

Oh that man really loved me…no one would or will have coped with my attitude for so long. Have you ever been so loved that you feel it in your spirit, soul and body? I messed up what i had because I was scared I’d be labeled as a weak weird girl, who fell in love and ruined her life. I preferred to be popular in town than be safe and pampered in his arms.

My miserable self wanted to free my spirit again, allow myself to accept Love, the purest pleasure of life without prejudice. I wanted those days back. I just had the worst day ever. the people I tried to impress by being tough on the best thing that ever happened to me were all a bunch of selfish fools, no good. Why did it take me so long realize this truth? We partied together, we drank cocktails together, we gossiped together, we did all those things together but we were no more than strangers. We didn’t love ourselves. They would gladly put a knife in my back and drag me to hades just to save themselves. I didn’t want to wake up in ten years alone, dying from some mistake I made with my ‘friends’. i wanted my love so bad.

Thus after this epiphany, I rushed over to his fathers, it was a Friday, they'd be having some family lunch. I was going to fall at his feet, soak him up with my tears of sorrow, beg him to forgive me. I panicked, not sure if he'd be nice to me, not like i deserved it. I said some nasty things to him a few hours earlier, was that the last straw that would break his love?

I rang the doorbell, feeling like an intruder in that house of love, I fidgeted, wanting to run back, but the door opened before I could, it wasn’t the butler, it was my love himself, how his eyes lit up, and the sight of it drowned the darkness of what i felt, and even before I could say a word, he pulled me to him and held me in his arms as I cried my shame away, all the words i wanted to say lost in my tears,but i didn't have to say anything, the way he held me told me he knew. He smiled and then he laughed,oh he laughed a sound so sweet ….
"don’t cry, I’ll always love you, I’ll never leave you, even if you push me away, I’m close by, waiting for you to come back to me. My love is sufficient to drown your imperfection and mistakes, I don’t love you less than the first day I met you”

That man, my lover, my friend, my king. I’ll never leave him anymore, I’ll go crazy for him, I’ll gladly be called weird and be ignored because I spend too much time with him and time talking about him on fb, twitter, bbm, instagram... I don’t mind being put in the dog house, as long as I’ve got him by my side, That man Jesus…he sure knows how to love, and I’m basking in his love. My love can never be measured to his, but I’ll try my best by accepting all of His love.
"I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39)
Its up to us to be willing to accept this special love, because it’s just there waiting for us to acknowledge it.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 . . . "Love is patient and kind . . . Love does not demand its own way . . .
Love never gives up"…thus he keeps knocking, the more you push the more persistent he is. Because that’s what he is, he’s Love and love is patient. His grace is more than we can ask for, given freely to those willing to accept it. That's why as imperfect as we are, as often as we disdain the cross and hurt him, he still welcomes us back when we turn back to him.

Sometimes it gets old and boring, if we don't constantly fuel the fire of love.... by spending time together and praying etc. the excitement of the first few months and years are lost on us, thus we find ourselves sliding away, if we're not careful we end up being the mean lovers. Gods warning us about that, to keep watch, to guard our hearts so we don't loose out completely.
Look how far you have fallen from your first love! Turn back to me again and work as you did at first. If you don't, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches. Revelation2:5

The bible is one of his precious gifts to us, because its straight from his mouth to our ears. You find the kindest, truest most loving, and enlightening words in there, that directs, that comforts, that encourages, that teaches you everything, to love, to pray, to have faith, to receive peace, to be happy, to be patient, to care…. its that love letter that speaks straight to my heart.

I am the girl that Jesus loves and I’m proud to be his.... Lets all align ourselves with his love, cos really, there's nothing else out their.

PS
I used oniru, not because of the royal family...before i get accused of crushing over one of them:) but because my church City Of David is located in oniru estate. we have Sunday morning service 7.30am and 10.30am and midweek service on Tuesdays by 6.30pm and my absolute favorite... He's Lord praise hour at noon on Fridays.(an hour of lunchtime pure praise and worship) Come if you can to experience some real love:)
(Well I wrote this when I still lived in Lagos) But here are a list of bible believing churches I attend when I find myself in the area…
Makurdi
Shelter of Glory, opposite Aminu Isah Kontagora Complex, Makurdi, Benue State. We have services on Sundays at 7am and 8.45 and on Wednesdays at 5.30pm

Gboko
Christ Family Centre Theatre if Faith, Off Ring Road behind Gboko Hills, GRA, Gboko, Benue State, Nigeria.
Gboko 1159
Sundays 7am and 9am and Wednesdays 5pm

Abuja…
Savannah Grace Chapel Abuja - SGC Hall, plot 870/871 northern parkway, beside NHIS Building Utako, Abuja, Nigeria
Service times Sundays 7am and 9am and Tuesdays and Thursdays 5pm

The Standpoint Church Nicon Luxury Hotel, Area 11, Garki
Abuja, Nigeria
Sundays 5pm and Wednesdays 6pm

Plot 1101 Kaura District, between Games Village and Prince & Princes Estate
Abuja
Sundays 7am and 9am and Thursdays 6pm

London…
HIllsong London has a campus located in the heart of London's West End every Sunday at the Dominion Theatre, Totehamcourt road.  11 am, 1.30pm, 4pm, 6.30pm

Jesus House …. 112 Brent Terrace, London NW2 1LT, UK
Sundays at 9 am and 11.30am

The Vineyard Church 7 Ashley Road Brick Knoll Park, Ashley Road Industrial Estate, St Albans AL1 5UG, UK
Sundays 9am and 11am

There’s just so many great churches out there, these are just some that I have attended and been blessed by… find yourself one, be planted and flourish in Gods word and presence… in company of other believers. Your TV is great, but getting messages on TV isn’t an excuse to forsake the gathering!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Road Trip...


I went on a trip to a town about 45minutes away from where I live, but takes about an hour thirty minutes because of the bad road… how horrible that road is.
We had to charter a not too nice car for this trip because we had car issues… I had plied that road one too many times, but it was always in the comfort of a nice air-conditioned privately owned car…
But this time, how horrible the trip was. The car bounced and bounced and everywhere rattled and my body rattled, I was so sure I had displaced parts from all the prancing… and then there was the dusty section of the road that was extra horrible because the windows were down, I had to inhale an unhealthy amount of dust…
I was exhausted and felt so dirty and in desperate need of a bath when we arrived the hotel at our destination.

For the return leg of the journey the next day, I returned in a style I was used to… a nice air-conditioned private car. I was relaxed and so happy I didn’t have to go through the rigor of the first leg of the trip.
When we seemingly glided on the same bad road, even though we went in all the same potholes, I thought how this was the same horrible road that rattled my bones the previous day… but my experience of the road this time was different because of the vehicle I was in.

I literally felt sick after that trip. My body ached from the first leg of the trip and I was thrown into a comatose sleep most of the day.

I had always known the road was bad, but I had never really been so affected by it on previous trips because I was in nice cars… I had even driven myself once or twice on that route and I didn’t feel it was so bad. But the moment I stepped into another kind of vehicle for the trip, everything seemed to have gone wrong. I experienced it in a different light.
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Earlier this year, I experienced the same thing. This time, I drove with my friends to Porthacourt(a Nigerian city) about nine hours away from where I live, I didn’t even feel it, not the bad road or the distance… it wasn’t tiring at all, it was fun and relaxing. Fast forward to a week later when I had to return home with a chartered car… from the moment we started the trip I already felt tired(he picked us up about two hours later than our agreed take off time)…. The bad roads pierced my nerves(if that makes sense) and of course the car had troubles on the way. I hate to think about that journey. The driver dropped me home feeling like I walked the distance… I couldn’t believe it was the same trip I felt refreshed after about a week earlier.

Jesus said in this life we would have troubles…. There’s’ always trouble both for the saved and unsaved/believers and unbelievers.
Life is like that really messed up road… there’s no sugarcoating it.  One day after the other we hear different horrors, from cries of recession, to cries of terrorism, to unjust things happening, to molestation and child abuse etc and so many hideous effects of these things like increased suicide rates among other things as a result of discouragement and despair. Life is a bumpy road… but your experience of this flawed road is dependent on whose car you’re sat in…

You will pass through the fires and it will not consume you… (Isaiah 43:2)
A thousand may fall at your left and your right… if you make the Lord your refuge, the most high your shelter, no evil will conquer you... He will order His angels to protect you.... He is your refuge and safety place, you will find rest in Him. (Read Psalm 91)

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I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." John 16:33(MSG)
   
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Jesus said he has overcome/conquered the world… now that’s the vehicle to jump into(the shock absorber of this vehicle is top notch)… you go through the potholes and dusty road knowing Jesus has conquered, you go through it cushioned in his love, that as much as the reality of what’s happening surrounds you, there’s a deeper truth that gives you peace in the midst of it. You’re shielded and they do not and cannot affect you… same experience, different reception and handling of it… same experience, different security measures keeping it from affecting you.

See, I knew the road was bad but was never affected by it until the day I took another kind of vehicle… once you take your eyes off Jesus to try things your way/another way, you’ll realize that the same situations would leave you so scared and covered in sooth and just so despaired that you begin to think and see suicide as not as bad an option as you used to think when you heard those news.

In this world you would have trouble… but if you’re riding in God’s vehicle, know that He is providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil… (Psalm 94:13(msg))


People are going through trouble in marriages, finances, self image, and life goals etc.
I’ve gone through periods that have been daunting and tasking for me, but never enough to floor me. I’ve never seen a reason why I should pack up and get floored on life because of certain seemingly larger than life crisis, both private and public experiences that I have faced. I have cried but I have not allowed the tears drown me. Now its not because I have super powers… its because of the car I am sat in. I have seen others go through the same things or even less than I have and look like car wrecks. It’s unbelievable how good I’ve looked through some of the worse times of my life.

Who are you riding with on this journey? The worlds system with a car that makes you feel every single bump and wear and tear of the road, or with Jesus in His car of salvation that takes you through the bumps without feeling like you’re going through it, because He has indeed overcome the world for your sake?
I don’t want to arrive the destination of my dreams too beaten to enjoy the victory… I want to arrive rested through the process.

Beloved, let not your heart be troubled. Rather, let it be strengthened and established in the love and wonderful promises of God for you! Joseph Prince (John 14:27)


We are children of Light!
By Gods favor, we are exempted from what affects the people of the world! We weren’t saved for nothing.
Jesus has deprived the elements and systems and evils of and in the world of its power to hurt and harm us and has conquered them all for us” Apostle Mish Ogbodo

Its easy to get on-board this vehicle… it takes nothing from you… instead it gives everything to you. You don’t have to get it right before been accepted in Christ i.e change your clothes, and wash the mud off your shoes so you don’t stain the interior, get sober, clean off tattoos and wipe off your ruby woo painted lips i.e You don’t have to drop your denomination… whatever it is… all it takes is letting Jesus into your heart and resting in His vehicle as His love drives you… leads you through life… cleans you up and dresses you right.
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(Say the welcoming word to God - "Jesus is my Master" - embracing, body and soul, God's work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That's it. You're not "doing" anything; you're simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That's salvation. Romans 10:9(Msg))
And it all starts with just simple words…

Whisper it to yourself, or shout it out loud… just make sure you sound it out…
Thank you Lord for loving me,
For your grace that accepts me as I am and shows me mercy
Have mercy on me
I’m tired of doing things my way, in my own strength
Please come into my heart… come and be Lord over my life.
Let your love wash me afresh.
Teach me your ways.
I believe and I receive you into my heart. 
The Bible says if I confess with my mouth that “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in my heart that God raised Him from the dead, I will be saved 
and so I confess that Jesus is Lord over my life
Thank you for my salvation.

It’s that easy.
Please send me a mail (akutjoy@yahoo.com) if you said these words, I would love to hear from you and just kick it with you on this trip…. We love road trips don’t we? And its fun when we are riding with others. I would love to keep you company.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
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