I was on a hiatus. From blogging? No, from many things, basically life. I would say that I couldn’t blog because what I was going through was too personal but that wasn’t true. I was on a hiatus from living.
I was living for the future. Waiting for things to get better so that I could start on something. I have to wait till I was done with school to plan a holiday. I had to wait till I had lots of money to buy a bike. There was always something that needed to be sorted before I could do something. I call it FOLO (fear of living out). You see, FOLO is the extreme opposite of YOLO (you only live once). There isn’t any carpe diem in FOLO, the assumption is that time is in abundance and that it is also at a standstill.
I know someone in the Bible who had FOLO. She was Martha the sister to Mary. As Mary was sitter at Jesus’ feet enjoying the moment, she was being a busy body. She wanted everything to be perfect so that she would finally feel like she had the right to sit at Jesus feet. Martha assumed that Jesus would always be around and she could always get to sit at His feet next time or the next if the meatloaf took too long to bake.
Jesus did not approve of FOLO. He said it was not a good thing. What Mary had chosen, to be in the moment was the better choice (Luke 10:38-42). Another part of Scripture discourages FOLO altogether. It paints it as a futile, wasteful exercise that does not add a single hour to a person’s life (Matthew 6:27).
FOLO had robbed me of my true self. I had no time to enjoy the things I love. I was not reading books or listening to music. I was busy researching and reading articles and plotting for ways I could forge my way in life. After the hiatus, I’m relieved that the burden and total responsibility of writing my future is not entirely on me. I have Someone who is able and willing to guide me. Hiatus done over now!
Isaiah 58:11New International Version (NIV)
11 The Lord will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Darkness! It’s the only word that can describe it. I could not see. I could not see the light. I couldn’t feel the Love that was around me. I couldn’t reach out for it as much as I groped for the light. I was in prison; bonded and heartbroken. Joy eluded me even though I kept appearances. That was the hardest part! Keeping up appearances in the midst of pain and despair. When I should have been trying to reach out to joy and peace, I put my energy into putting up appearances. How could I show that I was dying inside? That I could not see hope, I felt I had no right being alive.
Waking up was a hard reminder of my empty life and sleeping was just a hiatus from the pathetic state I saw my world to be in. When I wasn’t crying on the out, I was screaming on the in. I ran over everyone who tried to show me love or concern. I just wanted to be alone in my pathetic state. No one could offer me any help. No one could offer the light I needed. I would just push them into my darkness. I have heard people say that they found the hardest part to be that they would not hear God or feel His presence. Neither could I. How do you get out of such a pit! Is this what they call depression, I asked my sister.
I can’t remember when it happened, but hope started seeping in. I felt the Love. A little speck of light. I am sure there were others who prayed because I wasn’t able to. I would wake up and command joy into my life. A week, two weeks maybe a month I couldn’t feel it but I commanded it. Then I could feel it, then I showed it and now 6 months later, it has not left. I still command it every day but I have hope.
The speck of light is shining bright!
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13, NIV)
I think that God is so amazing and humorous at the same time. Not humor ha ha ha, but humor that is hilarious. Like,
I feel swearing would bring this out best rolling on the floor coughing your lungs out hilarious!
I’m up on a work night because I just got a revelation of something that was being birthed four months ago. It was one of those seasons where life gives you so many lemons, they pin you to the ground and you can’t seem to make lemonade. The smell of lemon instead chokes you and one of the lemons comes alive and taunts you and another squashes it’s juice into your eyes just to drive the point home. I’m sure you get the point.
Anyway back to four months ago, I had the aforementioned lemon episode and tonight I realized I was being prepared for this time. I was being made so uncomfortable that I had no choice but to break out of my comfort shell. God was trying to get me to really believe in my dreams. Again! I had shoved them down a drain and created a flimsy blueprint of what I thought would be the best for me. Such limited thinking!
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts
So I realize I am one of those crazy people who dare to believe that the dreams they have always had can come to pass. To believe that things like terrorism can end, as well as poverty and racism and hatred. That every human being can be treated with dignity and respect that they are entitled to just by virtue of being human and not what they do or have. I am those people who dare to believe that the pain and oddity we are so used to can actually turn into joy and normalcy.
I am the greater fool who is going out on a limb to invest in something I’m convinced will pay off even though I don’t see evidence of it. And what a fool I must be because I am like a short blind man trying to jump over a moat and get into the castle…
- Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
- Old time is still a-flying;
- And this same flower that smiles today
- Tomorrow will be dying.
- (To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time, Robert Herrick)
Sucky ˈsʌki/ adjective
very bad or unpleasant.
So what do I mean by sucky men? Very bad or unpleasant may be an overstatement for me, an understatement for some (don’t I know it). I mean those guys who don’t treat the women around them with respect in one way or another. Those who talk disrespectfully about their girlfriends behind their back or even in their face. Those who cheat on their significant other. Even those boys who lead on girls and then just move on with their lives seemingly unscarred. That’s my PG version of sucky!
But that is not what I want to dwell on in this post. I was reading one of my favorite blogs
and she has stopped writing in it and opened a new chapter
. She has had a fair share of sucky men but now she has found love that I could describe as “love that finally makes sense”. This is the kind of love I want to talk about.
I got back from Kigali early this week and it was such a breath of fresh air to be in a different country and culture. I was at my friend’s wedding and they had dated for 4 years and stuck it through in the good and bad times notwithstanding that the latter had been many. This is what I am talking about, the love that just makes sense, it is not hard and it makes both parties happy. Granted, it does have its ups and downs but both parties still want to hold on. I can shallowly compare it to my love for Ethiopian food. I love it! I enjoy eating it spicy and chilly but always get a severe tummy ache the next day. I still want to eat it though the next time, even when I remember the tummy ache that never fails.
I think God has put it such that if it is your path to meet someone, that you will do it at just the right time and it will make sense. Leave all the romantic notions we have all had. I have had it with all the sucky men I have encountered. The one where he whisks you away into the sunset, or is it sunrise? No, I am talking about the kind of person you meet and it all makes sense why you had to go through the sucky guys and why those sucky situations had to end in heartbreak to get to where you are. I am talking about God’s plan for your life. If God has a plan for your life why would He not also plan for your spouse. I do not get people who say that you can just marry anybody and it will work just fine, it’s like saying you can get into any profession and it will work out fine. Why then would I have different strengths, passions, gifts and talents from the next girl?
This is what I will tell my daughter one day. That there are sucky men out there, most of them don’t flat out want to be sucky but they still are. I will tell her that she does not have to go through sucky guys to get through to the guy who will make sense. I will tell her to pray to God and trust that He can guide her and the man she is best fit to marry to meet. But the most important lesson I want to teach her is to trust in God. That if God has not chosen the path of marriage for her, it is because He has plans for her life that are just as great and if she sticks to His ways, she will be fulfilled in His plans.
I am drinking this water I am preaching!
At times I forget, of the One who made me; He who formed my purposes and ordains my steps.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
It amazes me every time that I still learn new truths even after 16 years in this Journey. These are things that I have heard all my life but they finally sink in! Like this theory of praising in the storm; I use the word theory loosely because it is actually a truth. A mother one day told me that she prays to God that He would not remove trials from her children’s lives but that He would guide them through trials. I found that a bit hard to ingest and digest.
Then we read stories of Job, Daniel and his friends and Paul and we read through how they praised in the storm and I write them off as a special breed. But trials are necessary to build and refine our character. I find that it is at times like these that I grow closer to God like never before. And it is at my darkest point that He comes through and encourages me in a way that I understand.
…“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9
Then I find strength through the trial until it ends. I learn that resilience actually means praising through the storm.
…For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12: 10
At times when I hit my darkest lowest points and I cry out to God and ask for peace that surpasses understanding and He gives it to me. Then later I sit and ask for understanding, He reminds me that I have peace that surpasses all understanding, why would I then seek for a peace that comes from understanding. So I concede.
Every blessing you pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in
Lord, still I will say
Blessed be the name of the Lord
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Blessed be Your name
Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer- Jean de La Fontaine
This post tags on to #QLC and the journey to coming full circle. Things you get to understand about yourself and what you are about. The values you hold dearest and how it dictates your life and relationships. I value realness: honesty, candor and respect in friendships.
I want to be real all the time. Being real for me means I want to be honest, given the benefit of doubt, sassy, say silly things, laugh out loud, sit on the floor, let my hair down and stuff like that. I want to do that all the time, at work and even at school. I hate situations where I can’t do that even when I know I really can’t. Like in a management or any work meeting. Duh! I want to tell someone that their dark blue skirt would go really well with a yellow top and fuscia earrings and show them. I want to talk about how Love and Hip hop must not be real because no lady can take so much crap from a man. Why can’t we have a 20 minute break every thirty minutes to check out what’s trending and discuss it? Maybe because that’s not how the real world runs, boring! I remember one time being in a serious workshop and I just got the urge to ask a silly question. Then I asked it and could almost hear the gasps people were trying so hard to keep inside. I could tell they were thinking, “The nerve of her….”
Thank God the question got answered but if it didn’t that would be fine too.
I want my friends to be real too. One time, a really good friend of mine and I got a chance to work together. We were given roles and I got to find out she had a problem with our roles when I was called into a meeting (that I thought was to brief us on the next step). Turns out it was to ease out the situation that I had not known was uneasy in the first place. I felt so betrayed, like she had stabbed me fifty times in the back. My perspective was, if we are real friends you should be comfortable enough to tell me first before you tell others. Needless to say, there were trust issues galore but we are all good now.
That’s the same problem I have with men who lead women on and not treating them right. Here a lady is being real when the guy is not! If someone’s got some issues going on, they should speak their mind. They shouldn’t say things they know they don’t mean. That’s just downright disrespectful.
But that’s like a whole three blog posts full for another day.
True friendship ought never to conceal what it thinks-St. Jerome
My take is, if we can’t be real we are not friends. Don’t fool me into thinking we are and I will do the same for you.
I need to share a story.
It is about a servant. He owes a king a huge debt and when he is called to pay, he finds that he is not able to and he pleads with the king to give him time to pay. The king feels sorry for him and cancels the debt. This servant, free and forgiven, meets with a man who owes him money. He seems to forget what just happened with the king and he demands for his money. To the extent that he chokes the guy. No amount of pleading would appease the servant so he throws the man in jail until he can pay his debt. Eventually the king hears of what the servant does and has him thrown in jail because he did not show mercy as he had been shown.
Every time I read that story, I harshly judge the unmerciful servant. I could not believe that someone could be so unforgiving and ungrateful. That was until I saw the unmerciful servant in myself.
I recently got robbed of a laptop and some money. The laptop was found, the money wasn’t although the thief was caught. I remember when I found the laptop stolen I went on my knees and asked God to intervene. When it was found I was elated and hurriedly went back on my knees to thank God. It wasn’t until the second incident that I stopped to think of the purpose of these situations. I realized that God is not in the business of waving a magic wand every time I pray just for the sake of it. He does it for His glory. I realized that I was not the only party in these incidences. There were other parties and God has vested interests in them. I was done with these guys, but that is not how God deals with me. Even though they are the culprits, God has grace for them too.
What would Jesus do? Would He just dismiss them and exhale “good riddance”? Wouldn’t He wrap His arms around them and say He forgives them? Wouldn’t He dig deeper in their lives and find out how He could help them? One thing is for sure, He would see this as a golden opportunity to reflect God’s love.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.