Wednesday, 21 December 2016


December 20, 2016 was a day of great sorrow for me, it was a day to the Christmas celebration and also an indication that the year was coming to an end. I sat in the living room and thoughts filled my heart, it was a clear case of NOTHING IS WORKING, EVERYTHING HAS GONE BAD. I was devastated and I just could not tell where my life was headed, my depression got so bad that I started to recount everything that didn’t work right from the first day of the year 2016.
I remember that on the January 1, 2015 on my way from the crossover service I was involved in an accident that almost took my life. I had left church with hopes of a new beginning, I prophesied so much that I fantasized about how every of my dreams would come through right there in the auditorium but unfortunately things didn’t start that way at all. I was on a bike still basking in the hopes of greater things to come when it happened. It was a hit and run, the car ran into my bike and all I remember was that people were trying to pull me out of the gutter to the hospital. The accident was so bad, I could not walk for weeks, I had to stay in the hospital, I was helpless, I needed help with everything. I couldn’t go to the toilet on my own, I couldn’t give myself a bath. It was a really trying time and definitely not the New Year gift I had anticipated. Despite the fact that family and friends checked on me constantly at the hospital, I still felt all alone.
Exactly one month and two weeks after the accident I was asked to go home. My joy knew no bounds, I was excited that my life could finally return to normal and I could once again start hoping for the year to begin right for me in February. Defying the doctor’s orders, I refused to complete the one week bed rest he ordered, a day after my discharge, I went back to work, enough of lying around helplessly. Even though I still felt some pain, I was ready to pull through it. I didn’t expect the shock that greeted me at the office. My boss had signalled to see me upon my arrival. When I got into his office, he handed me my sack letter and started a motivational speech, telling me how excellent I was but still he was taking my job away from me. If he was trying to make me feel better, he was failing. I was super upset, was this a sign that 2016 was far from being the year of my dream.
Losing my job was a really hard thing, I am not very good at staying idle, it depresses me. I find so much joy in working and being occupied, I hate having to wander and when else is there so much time to waste wandering if not in a state of idleness. The saying an idle hand is the devils workshop is very true.
My hope of a better year just kept getting bleaker by the day. Every month had its own misfortune and it was as though everything in the universe wanted me to stop living. I spent the whole of March and April submitting resumes, I’m not sure there’s any company in Lagos that does not have my Resume. Not one of these companies called me for a test talk less of an interview. If I wasn’t dropping resumes, I was at home depressed and contemplating what life had to offer.
Sometime in May, my aunty offered to help my sorry situation, she bought some Milani beauty products for me, gave me some money and told me to enrol in a beauty school, so that I could start a business of my own. That very day on my way home, the bus I took was one chance, that story is the most embarrassing of my life, a gist for another day. They took everything away from me, I was left with nothing, I didn’t even have transport fare back home. I didn’t cry, I was just looking, you understand when your life has been a series of misfortune and there’s no tears left in your eyes for pain anymore.
All I wanted to do was sleep, I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I found my way home and I went into a deep sleep, every time I opened my eyes, I shut them immediately, I wanted to stay that way forever. I was tired. I was at that point where I was convinced that God was not answering my prayers anymore. I mourned the death of my beauty products for over a month, all I was doing was sleeping and waking up, jobless and exhausted.
Just like that in a flash it was July and once again every status update was filled with greetings of happy new month and prayers of how the new month was going to bring in blessings the past months failed to deliver.
August was different I somehow chose to find happiness and begin a new way as it was my birthday month. Something in me wanted to find happiness so I decided it would be a better month, I willingly reached out to people and did my best not to think about the evil things I have had to go through. I had been far away from my best friend but I then decided to go back like a prodigal son and things were fine between us. Again I started to think things will turn out fair, I stopped praying amidst tears and decided I would switch to praise. Nothing changed, I didn’t get a job, I wasn’t where I wanted to be but I just found a reason to be happy.
But it was like August just came as a birthday gift and a breath of fresh air from all my trouble. The remaining of the year were emotionally trying. As hurtful as physical pain can be, emotional is probably the worst of it all, because unlike physical pain where you can see the level of hurt and clean the wound as often as you can, it is not so with emotional pain. You know your heart is in pain but you don’t know which part, you know you are bruising but you are not sure what the tears flow for, with emotional pain, it’s just always so complicated because you don’t even know who to stay angry at half the time.
The cycle began with my mum, maybe she felt that if everything in my life wasn’t working at least my relationship should be working or she felt that if I got married, I would be less of a burden to her. She started with her obsession of wanting to plan her daughter’s wedding, I didn’t even have a man in my life. She didn’t let me rest, she was on about it all the time. If I asked her for money, she would say if you were married now…… bla bla bla, everything was about my single status. Half the time I was in tears, could life be any difficult.
I found ways to spend more time outside the house, spent more time in church and sometimes at the back of the house with face buried in my laps. With physical pain you can tell the expiry date by the healing of the wound but with emotional pain it’s like a never ending cycle because you just keep thinking about people and the possibility of getting hurt over and over again.
Sometime in October I ran to my best friend’s house to get away from my mum’s troubles. I didn’t plan on staying long because I didn’t want to take anyone’s kindness for granted. But I didn’t think I would be leaving on such bad note. I have learnt that as long as we are in this body of flesh, man is capable of so much except for the grace of God that keeps man from falling far beyond reach. The very things my best friend said she wouldn’t do were the same things she turned around to do to me. Everything she said to me were all lies, my planned wedding that failed in the year 2015 was all her fault. She said so many unimaginable things against me to people I least expected. She didn’t even mince words selling me out to her friends who weren’t my own friends. The mistake I made was going through her laptop rigorously but then when you are jobless, you have no clue of what you are doing. I did apologise for going through personal things on her computer but I didn’t apologise for finding out how unfair she had been to me.
I always say do unto others as you would have them do to you but many people do things to others but always expect to be treated differently.
It’s now few days to Christmas and I am taking account of how 2016 has been, because after Christmas comes the new year and again I am fearful of the thought of another year, I am short on expectations, I don’t know what to keep my hope alive in. The usual excitement that ushers in the Christmas is far from my reach this season and I am beyond depressed. I’m thinking if believing is worth it. I ended 2015 so hopeful irrespective of the hurt but 2016 is worse by all standards.
So as I sit here days close to Christmas, I decided to walk in the true meaning of Christmas, forget everything about myself and make Christmas what it is truly about. The story of Christmas is about a father who willingly gives His son for the lives of others that they may be saved from a coming death. So truly Christmas is celebrating the gift of a life. Thinking about it what I should be celebrating is life. A life that has not perished, a life that is rising above the pleasures of sin, a life that is living because another life was given.
So maybe like me you had:
An Accidental January
A Jobless February
A Joyless March
A Waka Waka April
A One Chance May
A Mournful June
A Depressed July
A Thankful August
A Pressurised September
A worthless October
A Betraying November
You can like me make this last Month count. It is not too late to change pattern. I don’t know what 2017 holds, but I know the one holding that year already so rather than focus on the many problems, I choose to focus on the holder.
I choose to celebrate the life that was given.
I choose to celebrate the life that came forth from that sacrifice – my life and yours
I choose to make someone else feel better this season
I choose to treat others the exact way I would want to be treated
I choose to love my neighbour as myself
This Christmas has to be different, I’m on it. Are you?
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 New International Version (NIV)
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.


‘I love this family of God, so closely knitted into oooone they have taken me into their arms and I’m so glad to be a part of this great family.’
I love this song so much. Every time it is sung in church at the end of service, I always feel like I belong to a family that isn’t going to let me go.
It was not always that way. But something changed. Let me tell you my story.
One Thursday in January, tragedy struck in my family.
I was sitting outside our apartment when I saw two of my dad’s friends walking towards me. My dad had left the house that morning to visit one of his friends who had lost his wife in an accident.
He had promised to get some food ingredients for us on his way back so we could have something to eat during the week.
So why were his friends coming instead of him?
As they walked towards me, something told me the worst had happened. They had a strange look on their face. Something wasn’t right, but somewhere in my heart, I hoped for the best.
My mum had died during child birth and my dad was all I had, without him, my life was pointless.
My dad’s friends finally got to me and the first thing they did was unusual. They sat next to me. If you know Baba Moji (one of my dad’s friends) you will know that something must be awfully wrong for him to sit with a small child like me. He would have started shouting my name, several streets before he got to my house.
Anyway back to my story.
After asking me series of random questions, daddy’s friends started telling me of how he had left the house of the bereaved and was returning home when a careless truck driver hit him and took off.
He died on the spot and was taken to the mortuary.
Just like that?
I couldn’t believe my ears.
How does a person die on a condolence visit, did they share death at the house of the bereaved? Why did God allow something like that? I was bitter and angry with God.
I cried for days and I locked myself up. I should have gone with my father. There was nothing left for me, I was hopeless.
I remember how one of my aunties forcefully stayed in the house with me so I wouldn’t do something stupid.
There were so many dreams. I had promised to make him proud and now God allowed something so wicked.
Church was the last thing on my mind, there was no point. Who did I know even know in church?
I wasn’t a worker so nobody would notice. I just sat at home. Later that day there was a knock on the door and as my aunty opened I could hear the voices from a distance. I went to the parlour only to see that aunty from church that used to stand at the door, she was one of the protocol members, I also saw my beloved Sunday school teacher.
They didn’t know what had happened but they had come to look for me because I had been absent from church. I was surprised. So somebody noticed!
When my aunty told them the sad news, they were shocked but they hugged me tight, listened to me and even prayed for me. It wasn’t so much but it felt nice to know that some people still cared.
Aunty Clara said something that touched me. She said although my daddy was gone, I still had people around. She sounded so sure, she reminded me of the widow in the Bible whom God took care of when her husband’s debtors were on her neck. If God could do that for the widow then my case was settled.
As they spoke to me my soul was lifted, I felt a flood of joy all round and my heart leaped with joy.
Now this was the part that touched me the most.
I had thought that all my dreams had died with my father; I just wrote my SSCE exams and was hoping to go to the university. But now that daddy was gone who would help me? I was getting used to settling to look for any job to at least survive, but the church proved me wrong.
Aunty Clara had spoken to the pastor about my situation, even before I told him anything.
A few days later, the pastor came to my house with some ministers, they came to not only pray for me but offer to pay for my university fees.
Really? ‘But I can’t pay you back sir’
My Pastor laughed. He asked that I paid them back by excelling in school. He said that since my dad’s relatives couldn’t help me, the church would not leave me alone.
I am in my third year in school and true to his words, I have not known lack. People see me in school and don’t know my story except I tell.
The church was my pillar of support, my abode of comfort. I come from a very poor family but God truly brought wealth and promotion my way because of His church. My dreams would have ended with my father but the church brought it to back to life.
Truly there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and to me that brother is the church.
Can you now see why I can’t stop singing ‘I love this family of God? Every word of it is true. The church is truly my family and your family too.
Don’t keep your problems to yourself. That’s why you belong to this church.

Love is all that matters

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