I quit the slums (part 1)

Before I start writing this , I will want to beg for indulgence from my sister, my senior friend and my mentor , Buky Ojelabi as I am going to use her last post ‘Leaving behind comfort zones’ as a reference point.

Few days ago before Sister Buky posted her new note , she sent a copy to me to edit and to professionally advise on , though I wasn’t able to finally edit as I was no where I could use the Ms office , I read it and immediately I saw ‘’comfort zones’’ , I mentally laughed ,knowing that this is me in a different way.

For me , leaving my past is as stressful  and painful like a cow wrestling with labour pains , leaving my past which unfortunately is my comfort zone is what I live for everyday , as I can’t wait to disassociate myself  from those mistakes that boldly stare me in the face anytime I want to, in my desperate bid to get away , I have often prayed for ‘Amnesia’ so at least I can forget. But like the saying ‘’if wishes are horses , beggars will ride’’, I can only wish that the past will vanish and I will forget , I can’t , the sting can only be taken away.

My comfort zones were all along refuse sites ,that I have been  terribly used to , they are relationships that are toxic that I have become addicted to , they are mindsets that have built talons and claws inside my psyche and become strongholds, comfort zones are the valleys of my dry bones.

When Buky sent that note and I saw her reference to London as her comfort zone where she had fond memories , mine is not like that , I have always found it rather easy to say goodbye to the good stuff  that come my way, it is the garbage I keep struggling with like a wet fish on a dry land.

As a media person , I get to see lots of things that confuse and surprise me , one of the news in my office is the report of people that live in a particular slum in Lagos(Nigeria), the slum is partially one big refuse site , where people live in , shacks have been  built over the years on this settlement. People live, cook and have kids  in this slum, known as home to them, when they were asked if they will like to relocate to a safer and cleaner  environment , they out rightly refused claiming that the slum has become a home to them as they can’t imagine life without the filth.

As I write this piece, there is a similarity between me and these slum settlers, but unlike them, I can’t wait to bolt out from this life sucking circumstances. As a single lady of considerable age and with a figure so petite , I often wondered why I am yet to have a man in my life , several times  I have put myself on a hot seat just to know what exactly is the issue , people that are concerned about my single status have often planned blind dates for me , but they don’t just work because am not allowing it to. Most times I keep seeing myself as the person that is not good enough to have an individual to devote all the love on , I have been used to comfort zones of relationships where  I have  to work like a jackal in  order to make the relationship see the light of the day . I get scared and sweaty whenever I have a young man fawning over me , seeking my attention , a great part of me screams at me to run as it can’t be real , while in the toxic relationships , I am the chief planner , chief talker , chief giver ,like mother bee trying to always win love.

Anytime I talk to my father about it ,and I cry endlessly about how unfair things are to me , the only answer I receive from the Holy Spirit is ‘ ‘Why can’t you accept love , if you are still finding hard to receive love  from humans you can see, how will receive the ultimate love from God you can’t see’’. As I heard this ,this morning , tears splatter down my face because I don’t know why am stuck on this refuse site ,looking for more dirt to eat while the only One that can save me stands near me beckoning me to come out.

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tolulope Ilesanmi
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 13:15:00

    Beautiful, soul searching, heart felt. Isn’t this the story of all our lives? There is infinite goodness standing next to us, very present with us right now but we reject it because it is too good to be true and we settle for what is familiar and less than good. You speak not just to you but to me, to everyone of us before whom the Father waits and longs to be invited in. Thank you for this. Paul said who will deliver me from the body of this death, this inhibitive body that wants to keep me in filth? But thanks be to God….


    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:11:21

      Tolulope, when I was writing, i had a struggle within , or whether to write or not ,but God prevailed , slums of our life are the desperate times of our lives when we are so tired , clueless about what is next , but God will always gatehr us to Him, i love Him for this.


  2. Jaycee
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 14:11:42

    Psalm 40:2 “He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.”

    Ezekiel 16:6-7 “And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful.”

    That’s the God we serve. He rescues us.


    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:16:15

      Jaycee, God bless you for this, you opened me to a new verse today, Ezekiel 16:6-7 .I saw it and it comforts me, greatly. we are work in progress, we will never be cast aways. thank you so much for the prayers and words of encouragement.


  3. Buky
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 14:22:42

    Tolu, this post is real and powerful. The more I read your blog the more I get to know you on a deeper level.

    Comfort zones are part of our journey thru life, good or bad. There was a small line in my post ”I experience all sorts in London but we are going to just stick to the good part only, yeah”.

    I chose to focus on the happy memories because I have realized that reliving the horrible past does me no good. We will become what we focus on and while I sometimes pray for Amnesia too and so far that hasn’t happened. I have learnt to embrace the good, bad and the ugly about my past. I can never be who I am today or tomorrow without those experiences.

    Tolu, everything you have been thru is a nutrients for where you are going. It’s not about where you’ve been; it’s about where you’re going.

    My entire focus is different because I no longer look back in regrets. I have come to love that lil Buky of yesterday and so must you Tolu.

    Some of us learn from other people’s mistakes. The rest of us have to be those ‘other people’

    In the valley of dry bones is where we hear the voice of God clearly because that is usually our most desperate hour.

    My dry bones are God’s future promises that this bone shall live again, our part is to have hope and continue to speak live to every dead bones.

    Tolu, the dead bones shall arise and live again.

    I stop here for now because there is a part 2 that I am eagerly looking forward to.



    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:20:03

      Sister mi , Holy Spirit nudged me to write this post , you were used by God to touch my life in so many ways that I can’t mention. Aunty Buky, we all know that Tolulope is one complex young lady , and your response says it all. we are finishing strong and as for us and our families , we will serve this living God.


  4. shade
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 15:16:09

    Hey Tolu,
    You made some accurate point. I also read bukky`s post and i have to say that it has really helped me in ways i cant even imagine. Letting go can be hard and intimidating because we are so comfortable in our old refuse and we let the guilt weigh us down as well, but the one thing i have learn from all these past issues and experiences is to forgive myself of my past. For me , thats was the hardest thing i had to do but with the help of our Heavenly father, i can say am moving forward. Once thats done, gradually with God`s help we can begin to move to that place where God wants us to be.
    Thanks for this wonderful piece.


    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:26:58

      Shade , how are you doing? thanks for dropping by, thanks for the frank truth, the comfort zones are guilt traps set by the devil to keep us in it, but we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.


  5. temiville
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 15:56:04

    We need to UP and LEAVE the slums of our lives. I have mine. I know EXACTLY what to do. I dish out amazing advice to people that I trip for myself as I speak (Im not even being funny). But guess what my love, to practise it na another issue. I’ll pray for you Tolu. You pray for me too. Life is already hard enough we don’t need to add extra wahala on it.

    We deserve to be happy.

    Watch this babe. Would blog on it soon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF_10F7eYRE

    Love you hun



    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:32:14

      Temi, you have been a strong inspiration for me, through your articles.we are receiving lots of grace to be doers of the word ,not just the writers.please pray for me, i need tons of it and surely I will pray for you, we are women of virtue, ther is nothing the devil can do about that one. thanks for the link to youtube, you are blessed , sister.


  6. Rev Dunamis
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 15:57:11

    Most often, the plan of the devil is to turn our heart into a ground of refuse. His plan is that the refuse will stay so long on the ground until the ground becomes the refuse and the refuse becomes the ground. He wants it such that you could not tell the heart from the filth. we must rise up and refuse this, for the zenith of his potency rest on suggestion; he can only suggest, he cannot impose.

    We must then rise up with the strength within, rise up from the shackles of yesterday and the doldrums of yester-years, throw off the dust and the rut and embrace the newness of life that God has given us.

    This way, we can short circuit the power of the past in becoming a clog in the wheel of the future…the best years are not behind, they are ahead!


    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:35:17

      Rev Dunamis, your family makes me thirst for my own family too. you are a good man with a wonderful wife. thanks for the comment especially, ”Most often, the plan of the devil is to turn our heart into a ground of refuse. His plan is that the refuse will stay so long on the ground until the ground becomes the refuse and the refuse becomes the ground. He wants it such that you could not tell the heart from the filth. we must rise up and refuse this, for the zenith of his potency rest on suggestion; he can only suggest, he cannot impose”.
      Thank you sir


  7. Aderemi Awe
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 17:07:17

    Tolulope, In “I Quit the Slum” (Part 1), as in most of your wrtitings, i can situate myself. This is deep, so very deep. God bless you, He wud keep increasing you, amen. Keep firing from all cylinders!


  8. Cyrus woman
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 17:19:57

    Quitting the slum,huh?go 4 it girl.no need for the daughter of a heavenly king 2 have anything less than the very best.its a process,tho.
    New wine into new wineskins.
    Adversity builds character in us.
    We become mo woman with time and even the nastiness of who and where we have been God uses 2 build a masterpiece.
    I love this God of 2nd chances


    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:39:10

      Cyrus, in my message to you yesterday,I told you ”you are highly respected by aunty Buky and I’, don’t ever doubt it
      God loves us, no matter what the devil screams into our mind every second, and we have overcome. thank you sister.


  9. ayo phillips
    Jan 28, 2011 @ 17:29:37

    As always tolu.. Ur write up is awesome …. And dis time even more so…getting up and leaving d’slums .takes a lot of determination… AsidE from it being comfortable. To sit and do nothing.dere is d’fear dat wen u do stand up and leave… U might carry d’smell along with u…. But tanks for d’write up….


    • Tolu
      Jan 28, 2011 @ 19:40:28

      Ayo, thank you.yes , you are right, leaving the slums takes determination and God, but it is possible, we are marching out in Jesus name


  10. Adeola
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 14:59:06

    So touching. You need not shed tears for you are yet to understand how God works. ‘There is no danger in delay’, as against the popular saying. Tolu, my dear, you need to understand your inner self. Then you will know the blessing awaiting you in disguise. Leaving the slum might not be the best option for now. There are yet things to unfold; there are stars walking behind your curtain. Remember, there are reasons for everything.


    • Tolu
      Jan 30, 2011 @ 15:04:05

      Hmmm, i love this bros ”there is no danger in delay”, but only patience , delay builds up desperate times when we call out to God in pain , He is good , I know that and I am not stopping in serving Him.


  11. lovely me
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 08:32:24

    This is so deep , strong and Emotional!!!

    I had to read it twice.
    You wrote like you could read my mind.

    Leaving the slum….. Most of us have comfort zones that we relapse into once in a while but i have observed that until we resolve to stop going back to this “refuse dung”, it might hold us captive……..
    Leaving behind the past is difficult but it’s one of the major prerequisite to progress and moving forward.
    I keep praying to God daily to help me and he is and i know he ll definitely help you through it too.

    In summary: God makes all things beautiful in His time
    The grace to stay true and faithful until His time of beautification comes is what i covet for you.

    This is a lovely one again girlfriend!
    God bless you specially for putting this up.


    • Tolu
      Jan 31, 2011 @ 13:19:05

      Ronke, I thank God for you everyday ,and that you will attain the place that God has for you. Slums are bondages , the devil let us to trapped in , most times we don’t even know we are there , it has become a normal lifestyle. my prayer today is that the eyes of our understanding be opened, and we will become complete women of virtue.


  12. raveadams
    Feb 01, 2011 @ 16:42:37

    A truly moving piece, brings by memories of my own furlong in the abyss of feeling ‘not being good enough to be loved’. In reality though. This is a lie. There are scores of people out there that believe you are simply wonderful(speaking in a general term of course). The trick is not to expect too much to soon and too little later. Enjoy the people for who they are not who you hope them to be and gradually it becomes apparent whether there is something in the relationship or not. Remember love is for the bold yet it pays to be prudent and wise


  13. Abayomi
    Feb 03, 2011 @ 16:16:44


    We all have this slum in one area of our lives or the other. My prayer for everyone is for God to grant us the grace to leave what to us is a comfort zone but in the real sense of it, we could be better somewhere else.

    I have experienced a situation where I had thought I was moving to a better place only to find out it was a slum for me. Thank God for God because I prayed my way out of the situation and today I know better than before.

    Pardon my manners, great piece and keep up the good job




    • Tolu
      Feb 03, 2011 @ 17:20:08

      Thanks, yomi, and thanks for the call. Am glad that you are totally out, for some people , it takes hours to pack out of the slums while some , it takes them years , but never worry , we are all coming in Jesus name.


  14. Temi
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 13:14:19

    I stumbled on this page from a FB page. I have been reading and I can’t believe how I can actually read my own situations and thoughts through another person’s life. I have been reading from latest to earliest so I got to part 2 first and I thought this is not really me, until I read part 1. Phew! I believe God is actually using your page to explain me to me… God bless you Sis and keep up the awesome job


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