Stopping the circle

Weeks ago I went for an official meeting in one of the well known hotels in Lagos, as I prepared to take an eye tour of the lodge and people as well, I made an unexpected eye contact with a familiar face. The face happened to belong to one of my male senior friends; I was so excited to see one face I knew in the mammoth of faces that surrounded me.  He was equally happy to meet me as he quickly abandoned the idea of sleeping in his suite upstairs; as we began to catch up on old gist, he suddenly looked into my eyes and asked me, “Tolulope, what is happening to Rahab Memoirs, I have not been seeing your posts, are you alright.”

When I heard him say this, shame and pain made a mixture in my gut, tears smarted on my eyelids, making me remember what made me remember my dreams. Struggling to wade my way through, I stammered up many excuses , why I have not been true to my dreams, why I have allowed myself to be drawn in the pit of emptiness, why I have not found time to ask God the next step in my career, why I have allowed money to be my idol.

In my heart I was expecting my friend to be sympathetic to my woes, unfortunately for me, he bluntly told me, “Tolu, if you have passion for something, you don’t let go, even in the face of pains and trials. Tolu, please stay true to your dreams and passion that is what will make you stand out.”

Over the last months, I have bowed down severally to idols and not to God, I have allowed strange companions including ingratitude, pride, laziness to be my bed fellows. I complain all day long about unfair life and people are to me , I have gotten in contact  with my ridiculous sensitive nature, taking offense to everything people say.

As I write this, I know that I don’t want to walk this road again, I don’t want to be that woman that is pitied every day, I don’t want to be the woman that cries at any sight of trouble, I don’t want to be that money-hungry individual that am fast becoming, I don’t want to be that lady that expects too much from people.

 In three weeks time, I will be walking down the aisle  with the love of my life , OLUWASEYIFUNMI, and God knows I want to be a better person , I want to seek Him in every way, I want to be a woman after God’s own heart. I want to stay true to my dream which is writing and totally for now forget about money or material things.

Friends, this day I invite you again on the renewal of my vows to writing and blogging, I ask for divine grace from God as I continue to write truly from the heart and even extend it to fiction because that is my dream.

Friends, Am Back

Hello everyone, I am so glad to be back from the long-intended break I have put myself on for several months. Over the  time that I went AWOL, I have received many texts and e-mails of friends urging me to come back to blogging, I have received phone calls of people asking me what the problem was, and why I decided to shut down. I am grateful for your prayers and support over the time when I practically lost strength and faith in everything I believed in.

This morning as I ride in the bus taking me to work, I decided to chat with my friend (Ff), this chat of ours demonstrated to me how easy it was to go away from the right track and just do  things anyhow. Since I started my break, I have blamed everyone around for my condition , even God, I totally rebelled against Him and told Him through my actions that I don’t need Him anymore in my life.

Friends, one thing I have discovered over my isolated period is that it is so easy to always point blaming fingers to everyone for what is happening in our lives and ignore the fact that  we are 100%  responsible for it. This year has been a challenging one for me, no doubt, but it has also been a year I have to grow up most, it is a year where my rose-colored glasses is broken and I am made to see life from the real side.

The truth is, at every stage, life will happen to us and we will be highly vulnerable to stuff that we hate most, we will be disappointed over events and  at people that we trust most , we will be rejected by loved ones. People will promise us and they will fail because God wants it like that, He doesn’t want people to share His glory.

This year, my faith has shaken,  revealing to me my lack of depth in God’s business, I have crumbled because my foundation was not strong enough. Friends, over this period, I have known great mercy from God, I have known His tender love that will never leave me even in storms that will always come around.

I have learnt that in every challenge and trial that comes my way, it is not ME that matters but God. Shouting, crying and being depressed won’t ever solve the problem, it is praising God and telling Him that will do justice.

Friends, am back, but I can’t promise you that I will be blogging regularly or that I will always have it together, what I promise you is that God’s love will be always be there for me to hold on to. People are dying every second, natural disasters roar with anger, terrorism seems the order of the day and my first reaction is fear, but I choose not to fear but  always speak God into every situation.

Friends, am happy to back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who am I?

Months ago, I received an award for being versatile in my blog , and I was expected to put up 10 things about me that people don’t necessarily know about me . I must confess I was thrilled and grateful to fellow bloggers that nominated me but I held back because I did not in a whole way know myself. I asked within my mind , why will I put up a list on the blog when I am not sure it is me.

If you are like me , have you ever wondered what you are doing on earth , why did you come with a particular gender, is there more to life than getting married, having babies , going to school , having all the money and working like a jackal? These are questions that I have in my mind all the time even when I apparently look like someone who does not have a care in my life,on a light note, I have that look.

As  human beings , I  realise we are complex with lots of drama hidden in us by God , to know ourselves , psychologists won’t ever help, so don’t waste your money and time being trapped behind the chair . I have discovered that we won’t ever know really ourselves until we have an encounter with God.

That brings me to the next question , How do we really become sure that God is with us? This will shock you because it does not qualify as a question to you but it does to me. Doubts fill me many times, I still battle time after time with my flesh and I make decisions based on my desires and feel too much. Especially as a woman , I must say I qualify as a ‘’feeler’’ which is not a strong point at all.

To walk with God is to throw into the waste bin all the feeling issues because to love God equals to being a person of faith. Weeks ago, when surfing the net , I read a comment of Oprah Winfrey on her spirituality , she said ‘’the reason why Christianity did not work for her because she needs a feeling thing rather than the believing thing’’. I mentally cringed when I read this because if all my life can be summarised in a feeling moment , then it doesn’t make sense.

To know myself truly is to believe that there is a Higher Source that is so bigger than me , it is to know that my existence is totally hinged on God , for without Him I don’t make a meaning , am just a cheap lump of clay balancing ecosystem. Faith is knowing that everything in this   world is simply beyond us , and to live a life of purpose is to always run into Jesus Christ who is ‘’THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE’’

I have sadly watched loved ones slip into eternity , I have heard shocking news of how people lose their lives to a simple miscalculation of the drivers, doctors , I have cried in anger as  aunties die in their prime , I have lived in vacuums for days wondering why am on earth. I have sat for days empty right inside church , just hoping to be consoled .

That is where faith comes in , it is believing in those things that can not be seen , it is being joyous when I don’t have a dime in my pocket.

This Easter , faith is absolutely knowing that over 2000 years ago , God came in form of man to redeem us from sins and on the cross He(Jesus Christ) said ‘’It’s finished’’. In Him I live , move and have my being , so from now I can boldly say I know who I am because I know Jesus Christ. My friends , don’t be scared when life throws us heavy yokes , remember that Jesus has risen.

Happy Easter.

My speck is bigger than yours

For few weeks now, I have been enjoying the media attention , I have been praised by my colleagues about my guts to write on sensitive issues , my wonderful friends have made it a habit of encouraging me which I deeply appreciate, my yahoo inbox, facebook and twitter have been jammed with messages spurring me on in the goodwork. Even though I have over times promised God never to be puffed up or self-reliant , the same things  I have been writing about, have revengefully turned around to haunt my soul, seriously threatening to destroy my testimony.

How easy it is to point the accusing finger, how pampering it can be for the soul to put down another fellow who fell into sin and self- righteously say ‘’’I can not believe, she is this promiscuous , does she have self-control at all’’ or go ahead to reveal another man’s secret ‘’my friend , did you hear that sister mercy put to bed six months after her wedding’’.

I have been guilty of this shameful behaviour, I have over times hanged out with friends and accuse people of their sins , I have been in forefront of debates of how people can be so weak in the face of sins. I have wondered within myself  why some people kept on eating their own vomit , my self- righteousness has subdued my compassion , always quick to put down and not extend a hand of mercy just God does for me every second of my life. I have like a hangman sentenced lots of people to the gallows just like Hamman with my tongue , what I don’t know is that for every pit dug by a Hamman , he ends up inside.

Before I really digress , I must write that the devil is not only after the unbelievers , he is after everyone Jesus died for , He wants as much as possible to get everyone in hell, so he is crazily haunting us with sins or let me write our weaknesses.

I have it a hard time to sit down and write about this , because I felt it is too spiritual and my readers might find it boring , I have wrestled with the Spirit , begging Him to make Him conceal my sins , but I can’t again , for without writing this , I might not be able to write again . Where you are sitting and reading this , you are probably thinking that ‘’ what possibly can be Tolu’s weaknesses , she is smart , cute and spiritual’’, you are correct in those observations but only superficially correct because to every human you see , there is always a depth that no one can successfully dissect except the Creator. Human beings are not just what we see , we are complex spiritual beings trying to live on the flesh, never possible though.

These days , temptations have constantly lodged at my doorstep like a lion waiting  for its prey, I have been down, I have over the weeks doubted my own faith in God , I have cried endlessly not because I have no food on my table nor clothes on my back , nor money in my account , nor love in my life but because my grip of the Word is slipping fast , because my mind is now a vagabond roaming aimlessly , sins of diverse manner is becoming enticing to me.

Friends , I am not ashamed to ask you all to take a pause from whatever you are doing and please ask for strength for my mind , I need to be able to accept my Daddy’s love with no shame , I need to decrease so that God will forever increase , for this friends ,please pray.

I quit the slums (part 2)

After writing the 1st part and posting , I honestly did not know where the second part will come from ,I had no clue about what to write ,because all I was feeling when writing the 1st part was quiet desperation on how to get out of the slums and to be permanently banned from those mindsets that stand like mountains in my path.

Then the comments started rolling in one after the other , the red light on my phone will constantly alert me of someone’s contribution to the slum situation . As I eagerly waited for each comment, I, underneath my breath pray  to God that someone will be touched , someone’s heart will be convicted , that God will be glorified in my life and in the lives of my contributors.

Then a particular comment  casually rolled in , Jaycee replied ,but not in the usual way , she sent in the Word and it shook my very existence , surging great hope within me that am not just a lonely traveler marooned on an isolated  island but that inside of the slums there is Someone right there with me. What she sent knocked out my usual thinking that God can’t rescue me from the slums easily , I was wrong because He is with me , urging , cheering , comforting , and loving me out of those slums.

The scripture, Jaycee sent was Ezekiel 16:6-14, since she sent it , I have been looking around for various Bible translations to better explain this wonderful revelation , this morning, as I decided to write again , I finally settled for the Youth Bible Contemporary English version , I was amazed to see how much God has gone and how far he is still ready to go to save me , here is the scripture.

‘’ I saw you lying there , rolling around in your own blood and I couldn’t let you die. I took care of you , like someone  caring for a tender ,young plant. You grew up to be a beautiful young woman with perfect breasts and long hair, but you were still naked . When I saw you again, you were old enough to have sex. So I covered your naked body with My own robe, then I solemnly promised and entered into a covenant  with you, says the Lord God and you became mine. Then I bathed you with water and washed off  your blood from you and anointed you with oil’’.

This amazes me , how tender , loving , compassionate my God is , he’s not standing outside of the slums waiting for my exit , He is right inside looking for as many as will turn to Him even in their pains and disillusionment. What a great message this is , that no matter how far we’ve gone in sins , God is always able to bring us out. He is the changer of destiny , the rewriter of history , the author and the finisher of my faith , without Him I don’t exist. I don’t want a life without Him in it, I don’t want a home that He is not heading. This day , with my hands around His neck , God is carrying me out of the slums , looking from His shoulders, I saw the devil and cohorts gnashing because they’ve lost me forever.

Baby Girl, learn the seasons

How I just love this particular verse in the Scriptures that says ‘’ To everything there is a season and time to every purpose under the heaven’’ . I have to confess that I have been acquainted with this verse since my childhood days at CAC ,Oke Alafia in Ilesha , at every quiz event in my church , I had opportunities to recite this verse but I never did knew  its meaning or how it will come to affect my life as a young woman.

As a growing young girl from the countryside ,I had so many first events that I cannot forget in a hurry , the first time was when I was taken to the nursery school, that day was memorable as I was the only girl who didn’t know how to stop crying when my dad left me . Another first event in my life was when I experienced the tingling sensation in my belly and erratic beating of my heart when my brother’s male friend looked straight at me , then I was just 9 , that was my first crush . Another first in my life was when I discovered I had the ability to bleed every month; it was such an embarrassing event because it caught me in school. Since then I have become so acquainted to series of ‘first events’, that I don’t exactly know what  midlife or end of life meant.

Fuelled with my desire to be the best in everything, I give no allowances for mistakes ,night after night   on my bed , I muse over my mapped out life , I had it all written down upon the tablet of my heart .Then if I were to be woken up from sleep to recite my life , I will have given it like this : Finish secondary school with A’s in all papers, get admitted into OAU to study Law , fall in love with the tall dark and handsome dude in Medicine , graduate with 1st Class , get married immediately after Law School ,honeymoon in the Caribbean’s , get pregnant on the wedding night , live happily ever after. Those were my dreams and desires, in all of this I neglected the One who owns the ends of the earth, I shunned His advice about times and seasons .

So in due time, the Owner of the life started showing me what time and seasons meant, He first started with my dreams of being a lawyer. Firstly, I missed admission into OAU, number 1 dream shattered; I courageously opted for the 2nd option: UNAD. I could still remember how excited I was when I was admitted into the University as a Law student , I had stars in my eyes then because being a lawyer was everything to me , I idolised this profession , thoughts of sending people to jail then rushes adrenalin into my body , but the Owner had a different idea . After two days in the Law class, I was graciously excused out of Law forever by the Vice Chancellor himself. Hence I started my journey as a literary person in English , for me to succeed here I needed to wipe off my lawyer dreams , I needed to step into the ‘Elizabethan , Soyinkan and Victorian age .

Not too long from this event , I met a young man whom I fell in love with at first sight , I could still remember those heartbeats that threatened to betray me whenever this young man comes near , this time I felt and thought these tingles, heartbeats were forever , how I loved this young man , if it were possible for a young black girl to blush , I guess I will have been given the best blusher of the year because I couldn’t just stop being attracted to this guy with the most penetrating gaze ever .

Again the Owner stepped in and clearly told me that there is a time to love and a time to hate , when I heard it didn’t make any sense as I searched for reasons why I will come to hate this my Prince Charming , even if he turned out to be a jerk , which eventually happened , I will still love him , I reasoned within myself. Sooner or later, my Prince Charming turned sadly into a frog, not just a quiet, nice frog, but a nauseating ugly frog and I had no choice than to turn away from his arms .

Seasons , seasons was all I heard whenever I took time out to tearfully pour out my heart to God , at a time I told Him to please never to bring those bad seasons again , I pleaded with Him never to allow me go through the valleys again because it is so scary and painful . He told me He allowed me to go through the pain of being rejected at Law Class because He wanted me to know that it is not a profession that makes a man but His favour.
I reluctantly agreed to this because my obsessive love with Law had disappeared but again I argued with Him about my relationship that hit the rock , when He heard this , He laughed and quietly told me ‘Woe to them that put their trust in man’. When He said this, I became ashamed of myself as I vividly remember how I idolised my ex, how my whole life revolved around him , there on my knees I begged God to let me know more about this Season’s stuff.

I had to be pierced

Months ago I went to get myself pierced, I have always had this desire to get a second ear hole , how I just love the idea of having two small earrings adorn each of   my cute ears , but I have been held back by a lot of reasons .Firstly by my parents , my dad made it very known to us(girls)in his home  when we were growing up about his aversion for jewellery of whosoever kind . My loving daddy is an adherent believer of natural beauty, he often questioned us (my sisters and I} about our unwavering love for things of this world, in his words ‘tolulope, can’t you just do without all these nonsense you put on your body, don’t you know you are more beautiful without all these eye pencils, big earrings , lip-gloss that looks like palm oil on your lips’.

Even though I have always had this innate desire to wear two earrings on each ear , I dare not try it under my father’s roof , I watch with envy other girls whose parents were lenient in this aspect . Years has various ways of softening people and obviously my daddy is not left out of this theory , he has tremendously become flexible when it comes to understanding his female children and their fashion needs , so in my home now , it’s no longer a crime to wear trousers , to have 16 inches hair  on , to pierce the second ear hole , to enjoy the flawless beauty MAC, SLEEK and MARK KAY offers.

So months ago , having thought about it over and over  , I went straight to the saloon to get a new and second ear holes . When I got there , there was a lot of excitement in me , a picture of how I will look was stuck in my mind , I could literally see it with my naked eyes. Amidst all these excitement I clearly forgot something , something that is unavoidably compulsory before I could be a proud owner of new  ear holes , I forgot the pain that comes with it , the lady that was to help me prepared me saying ‘ aunty , it’s so painful , will you be able to bear it , I just got myself pierced too and it has really been painful’.

When she said this, a fear arose within me, I momentarily thought of abandoning the whole idea of piercing, but what stopped the thought was the pleasure of belonging to the clique of ‘two ear hole holders’, what made me to be prepared , was the joy I will have after the pain , the sheer joy of having those two ear rings on each of my cute ears kept me in that chair .

So even though I was really scared of the pain to come, I knew it will be worth it , lo and behold, she started the piercing and all I could remember was my yelling. The pain of the earring pulling through my skin brought tears to my eyes , I started screaming for her to stop , she told me  to sit still for it will soon be over , the more she said this the more pain grew worse . Through this pain , I suddenly realized another dimension of Jesus’ love for me , I clearly saw Him on that tree as He put His life down  for the glory that will be revealed in the generations to come. Don’t you ever think that it was a pleasurable thing for Jesus to be pierced in all parts of His body as He laid down His Life for humanity? What I experienced in the saloon as I pierce my ears is nothing compared to the pain Jesus bore for us on the cross.

God’s love is unexplainable and incomprehensible, His love for me is so deep that to an intellectual, it looks foolish. He gave His only begotten Son for  us , not only was Jesus homeless when He was on earth , He was killed for the sins of the world.

Jesus went all through the pain , humbly submitted Himself to derision , to spite and of course to all the piercings in His hands , feet and to His head , can you imagine that pain , accompanied with these was the grievous burden of the world’s sin . Will it not be wise of us to live worthy of His calling and do away with those sins that won’t let us go.

Faith rocks

For weeks now or maybe months , I have been going through what writers call ‘ Writer’s block’ , an imaginary barricade that stands between a writer and his ‘Muse’ . For me as a writer , this period of not being able to write takes hours , sometimes days but this time it took months and whatever block is standing in my way pose a serious threat to my ability as a writer.

 Have you ever heard of  ‘Utopia’ , this is a world of perfection , a world where things are fair and just , a world  where good things happen to good people , where wickedness does not exist , a world where  brave knights  go to any length to rescue their damsels , Utopia is this  world I escape to as a writer . This world for me is where I don’t get scared , where shadows don’t hang in the closet waiting to pounce when the lights go off , so to be locked out of this world , is to be denied of the perfection I desperately seek  , is to be left naked in the rain , is to be denied of everything that makes sense to me.

  Following the long delay by this ‘block’ , I packed my stuff and headed west , hoping to find peace , hoping to connect somehow to my muse , so home I went . Getting there sure did  not shift me back to my Utopia , it only brought my fear to fore , fear of being permanently locked out of this world , fear of being alone in this world of reality . The pain that this fear brings cripples almost everything around me , this pain blurs even the brightest day .

Early on Wednesday morning , as I sat on the wood near the flowers in my house , my attention drifted to a flower , I nicknamed ‘ Morning Flower’ , it has started to wilt , it’s usual vibrance is sadly absent , suddenly I thought in my heart that it does not matter whether ‘Morning flower ‘ blooms or wilt , it will always be ‘Morning flower’ to everyone that sees it. The wilting process is painful  , but it is compulsory for its growth , in this same light I suddenly saw myself , I may not be able to write now ,or for months , that does not make me  a non –writer because writing is who I am , it is what gives me joy , it is  how I  reach my world .

With this insight , I was frankly made to realise that it wasn’t my writing ability that was threatened , neither is it my world of perfection , what came under siege  was my faith. My faith took the first blow from insecurity and fear , it only took time for the rest of me to follow , of  things to lose in the world  , faith should be wisely excluded at all times.

 As a young Christian , I feel rather inadequate to talk or write about faith , but what I see as  faith is believing that no matter what happens to me , I will always be able to pick a pencil and write, maybe  I will even scribble some notes down when I meet my Creator at the Gate , faith to me is knowing that God is always with me even when I don’t feel His presence . Faith to me is knowing that no matter how deep I have gone in the issues of life , I will always be able to come out because I have a God that specialises in helping confused people , faith to me is believing that I will always be that warm , tender hearted , passionate woman I see in my dreams every night, to me that is faith.