DAY 4: THE GREATEST LOVE STORY

When I got back from church last week, I received a call from my sister. She asked if I was busy cause she wanted to talk. I wasn’t. So, we got to talking. In recent times, my sister and I always have the best conversations. We talk a lot about God, life, family and whatever may be bothering both of us. We offer advice when necessary and we encourage each other when necessary.

This conversation was no different. But it was too in a way because as I was talking, something came out of my mouth that was definitely not my words but that of the Holy Spirit. I can’t even remember exactly what the conversation was about but I remember saying something along the lines of: “The Bible is a love story from God to us; From beginning to the end, God has been painting a picture of His unconditional love for us.” That was a revelation for my sister and it was for me too. Of course, we knew that The Bible was important and His Word was important but hearing those words (which I 100% believe were completely inspired by the Holy Spirit) just made my heart feel so grateful and so overwhelmed by the fullness of God’s love. 

For the last week, I have mediated on those words and I felt this need to write on it and make it public.

Guys, think about it. From the first word to the last, God had been painting a picture for us. He didn’t just write us a letter; he wrote a whole entire book. A whole book to show how deep his love really goes.

God created this book for us to be a guideline in our journey to Him. He wanted us to understand Him; to understand how He works; to understand his mind. 

There are things in the Bible that are wonderful and there are things that are disappointing. You see real people in real situations. You see real human beings who were faced with difficult tasks. You see men of God like David, who still fell short. You see persecutors like Paul who had an encounter with Jesus and his entire life changed. You see women like Rahab who, though a prostitute, was instrumental in the Israelites entering the promised land. You see people like Jabez who had a difficult life and prayed an extraordinary prayer. You see Job who seemingly did everything right but still had it all taken away from him. You see the Israelites go against God time and time and time again and yet His love for them continued to burn brighter and brighter. 

If you pay attention to the Bible, you will see clues of God’s infinite wise mind at work. You see how things connect and come about in the right time. You see how He had been working all this time for our own good. And then you see Jesus, who submitted himself as a sacrifice for us. I mean, how beautiful is this book?

Some times, people expect things they see in the Bible to all be perfect forgetting that a lot of times, the Bible is showing human beings like us. The humans in the Bible all had feelings. They weren’t perfect. They failed at times. Look at Solomon. In all his wisdom, he still had no self-control when it came to women. Same with Samson. Blessed with so much strength but still weak at the hands of women. Look at Eli, a priest of God but failed at parenting. All these stories are included in the Bible to show people that experienced things that we do and how God still loved them and used them to do great things.

The Bible was not made to condemn you because Jesus has taken that away from us. We, that belong to Christ are no longer condemned. The Bible is a guideline on how to live life. We have all the examples that we need in the Bible for every situation that we experience. And we have a choice to make. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. He knows that we can’t be. He just wants us to try. He still loves us anyway as the Bible will show. Despite David’s shortcomings – and believe me, he had A LOT of them – he is still referred to as ‘The Man after God’s heart’. God gave us free will so, he won’t force us to do anything. He loves us regardless.

Stop looking to find perfection in the Bible. The only perfection that exists in the Bible is God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit. Other than that, we have human beings who had real lives, real experiences, real feelings, real hurt, real pain, real happiness. They had their biases and their opinions. But God used a whole lot of them anyway. Doesn’t that give us some kind of comfort? That, we don’t have to be perfect for God to love us or use us? To know that He loves us still and all He wants is for us to depend and trust in Him? I know it gives me comfort. 

I hope that in reading this, you come to see the Bible for what it really is. It is a story of love that God gave to us. 

Thank you God for loving me so much!!

DAY 14: Three years since the accident

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You hear about people being hit by cars but you never think it would be you…until it is.

I was really busy yesterday, so I didn’t have a chance to post anything but we would just carry on today, if you don’t mind.

Today is November 7th and exactly three years ago, a car ran me over. It is so crazy that it’s three years ago now because I remember everything around that period so clearly. I had written about it around the time it happened, you can check it out here. It’s so cray because I still can’t believe that it happened to me. You hear about people being hit by cars but you never think it would be you…until it is.

I made it out okay with very minimal injuries and I don’t look back at it with sadness because it’s nothing to be sad about. I got into an accident and I was okay. I’m super grateful to God.

I was telling someone today that life is full of surprises and we need to stop trying to control everything and just appreciate life for all the good it is and isn’t. At least, that’s what I’m trying to do.

Now, getting hit by a car is a very interesting story to tell and I could do it all and give glory to God. So, win-win. Lol

Day 17: This year might just be my best one yet.

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As a Christian, you may hear people say that it’s when you are in the wilderness that you hear God better.

Some of you may be wondering, ‘didn’t this babe just say that this year was financially rough for her?’; ‘didn’t she say, she took a whole lot of losses?’. Well, I know what I said. Lol. It really wasn’t an easy year for me but despite all of that, upon further reflection, I realised that this year was definitely a gift. My struggles made me get closer to God. As a Christian, you may hear people say that it’s when you are in the wilderness that you hear God better. Brothers and sisters, I would have to agree.

I have depended on God this year more than I ever have. And I heard Him speak to me more than I have ever experienced and it has been beautiful. When you are in the wilderness, there is an intimacy that springs forth with God when you depend and trust in Him. I have learned so much about my faith and why I worship and I am so glad that this happened. 

Jesus is my everything. It gives me great pleasure to be able to hear him and be in his presence. I am still a baby when it comes to the word but I am growing. Dare I say, I think I’ve become a toddler. Lol. God is good.

Also, I feel like I laughed a lot this year. Like a lot lot. I was around people that just kept on making me laugh. I got a chance to travel to England twice this year and not only see my siblings but one of my best babes, Akunna, who is just a cruise babe. Lol. And we always have the best time. And we laugh….My summer was amazing (best summer of my life). It was not a bad year at all.

Normally, when my birthday is approaching, I get depressed. But I haven’t been as depressed this year…instead, I’m excited about the future. I have heard God telling me that he is bringing me out of the wilderness into fertile land. He dropped a verse in my heart a few months ago that I have been meditating on ever since. It’s Haggai 2:9 which reads: “The glory of the latter house shall be greater than of the former saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts” and my God is not a man that He should lie. 

Day 21: I am trying to be more giving

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I tried to pay more attention to God and my spirit this year. I started going to a new church that really gave me everything I needed. And it helped me in my journey to understanding God better. I realise now that our real true selves is our spirit. This body is just a shell. In knowing that and understanding that you are a spiritual being, it helps you to better understand some of the things that you see going on around you. So, this year, I really tried to listen.

I tried to listen to God. And I have to tell you, He sends messages when you need it and in the best medium that you can receive it. I tried to pay attention to how my spirit felt. If I felt uncomfortable about a decision I was about to make, I knew that my spirit was not feeling it and in that case, it was probably not a good idea.

How has it worked for me? Well, I’m still on the journey and a lot of times, even when God speaks, I don’t listen. However, I am trying and to be honest, it has made me more aware and more grounded about certain things.

One of those things is: Giving. God put it in my heart this year to be more giving. I always thought that my giving was okay but I realised that I was not even doing the best I really could be doing. He put it in my heart to be giving not just to Him but to my community.

To God

I made a pledge to myself that I will do my best to give God more. You know, I had mentioned earlier that I was really broke this year but I decided to make an effort to give even when things were dire. Not because God needs my money because He doesn’t. And not because He would love me any less because He wouldn’t. God already gave me before I could ever give Him anything. His love for me transcends whatever mere human money I can give Him. But I had an epiphany this year to give to Him because I trust Him. Giving Him is trusting Him. And He always gives you back. Every time, He always finds a way to give me something. He has done too much for me; much more than money can buy and giving some money to his church each week is really the very very least I can do. 

To my community

In learning more about God, I also learnt that one of the reasons why He created us is for service – not just service to Him but service to our community. And who is our community? Our neighbours, our family, our friends, those that are homeless, those that are in need, basically everyone you come in contact with is our community. He wants us to take care of each other. I haven’t been as great in this area, but I am really trying to be. And I know it’s important and I am hoping and praying that in the coming year, I would be more faithful in my giving to those around me.

So, giving is essential. One of the reasons I have been able to navigate a few things this year is because of the help I got from people around me and I pray for them in my spirit because they really blessed me. No one owes me anything but the fact that these people thought to lend a hand when they knew I needed it is something I would never forget. 

So, I am learning about service and the importance of it and I always pray for God to give me opportunities to serve. And I’m looking forward to doing more of that as I turn 24. 

The journey to strong mental health is a continuous one

Don’t cry for me Argentina. I’ll be just fine

My mental health has taken a hit lately. It is no secret that I suffered from depression few years ago. I was on anti-depressants for a moment and I also had suicidal thoughts. It took me a while to get over it but eventually I did through prayer, new friendships and a departure from toxicity. However, I have learned that this journey is a continuous one.

Over the last two years, I’ve had moments where I’ve felt triggered but they have always remained that – moments. Lately, it’s lasted longer than I planned. I can’t exactly figure out when it started but I’m grateful because I know the signs so I’ve caught it early before it can do any real damage.

And while it’s still pretty mild and in knowing who God is and how much he loves me, suicidal thoughts have not come into play and I believe it wouldn’t. However, it’s still hard. I feel tormented inside and I’m trying to deal with it as best as I can. For one, I’m speaking about it and praying about it and even talking to friends and I know that I would be okay soon.

I just want people to know that your mental health is very important. It is not a joke and you should take care of it as best as you can. It is very essential and don’t feel ashamed about it.

To my fellow misfits going through a hard time, you will be okay, I assure you of that. Just know that you are awesome and this shall pass too.

Don’t cry for me Argentina, I’ll be just fine. I just need to do some serious work on myself and I have come a very long way from where I was a few years ago. I am more equipped to deal with this than I’ve ever been and I know that God is making everything work together for my good and I trust Him. It was important to me that I shared this with you all so I hope you don’t mind.

In the mean time, here is a pretty picture of me for you to enjoy. Lol

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His Stay Was Meant To be Temporary…

In a lot of ways, he reminds me of my father. Not an exact copy; but there are just things about him – almost like a modern, more evolved version of my father (but my father nonetheless. And the first time I noticed that, I was scared shitless!

 

I never told you guys this but when I started writing on this blog again, I vowed that I was going to be as honest as I could.

Not to say that I haven’t been honest in the past but I just think that there are a lot of things that I am afraid to talk about, especially in my writing and I want that to change.

Anyway, in keeping to the theme of honesty, I got my heart broken recently. I hate that it happened because the guy and I were never in a relationship. We only knew each other for a very short amount of time but I find that the time that I spent with him was incredibly impactful in my life; in a way that I never expected it to be. He is like a unicorn to me because I have never met anyone who could affect me the way he did in such a short period of time.

From the way it started to the way it ended has been a real life lesson so far. It taught me a lot about myself, my future and my character. I don’t regret it though because I honestly feel like I needed someone like him to push me in the direction that I needed to go in every aspect of my life. I have come to accept that he was never supposed to be in my life for a long period of time; I just needed him to get me moving to the next phase of my life.

He did get into my heart…enough to break it at least. He made me confront a lot of issues that I have. For example, in a lot of ways, he reminds me of my father. Not an exact copy; but there are just things about him – almost like a modern, more evolved version of my father (but my father nonetheless. And the first time I noticed that, I was scared shitless! I always said that I never wanted to marry a man like my father and I would avoid it at all costs. But here I was, seeing a guy who was a replica of my father and I was so drawn to him that I did not realise it early enough.

He was such a teachable moment for me and I can’t help but thank God for bringing him into my life for all He taught me through this man. For one, he is extremely talented ad being so close to him and seeing how hard he worked as a creative was so inspiring. He always advised me to step out on my own and do the things that I love. And honestly, it was while I was seeing him that I started actively thinking about my creative future. And that is one thing I’ll always be thankful to him for.

I also learnt from how he treated me. In a lot of ways, he really was my father. I had so much respect for him (and still do) and it seemed that at the beginning, he saw me for who I was (just like my father when I was younger). Then, as time went on, he rejected me for things that honestly did not even make any real sense. He accused me of not caring about him and always playing the victim and being selfish. Lol. I had to laugh here because it is so far from who I am and anyone who knows me will tell you that. I cared about him so much and I was constantly thinking about him and how special I thought he was. I had always tried to impress him because I loved and respected him and I wanted him to be proud of me but I don’t think i mattered to him as much. It hurt to realise that but I have come to accept that he was not supposed to be in my life for a long time. His stay was meant to be temporary but with a purpose and that was to teach me more about myself.

Were there mistakes I made? Sure. Could I have been less needy, clingy, emotional? Yes, I could have been but none of this was enough to warrant the way he spoke to me in the end. But it’s okay because I realised that I need to be more accepting of myself.

If i don’t see myself through God’s eyes or accept myself for who I am, how do I expect somebody else to accept me? I need to get away from that thinking that believes that I need validation from other people especially men because if I don’t, I’ll keep on meeting replicas of my father. And I can’t have that.

I am on a journey of self love, self acceptance, self improvement; and I am determined to be as authentic as I can be; to be more accepting of my flaws, quirks, imperfections; to work on things that I would like to change and just accept that I am an amazing woman.

The Ground Is Shifting

Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets…”

  • Habbakuk 2:2 (NASB)

When I started blogging about six and a half years ago, it was supposed to be an outlet for me – a way for me to express myself the best way I knew how. At the time, it seemed so easy. I could wake up one day and decide to write something and it would not be a problem for me. I never worried about not being good enough – I just wrote.

Then, by the time I got into uni, things took a left turn for me. I became the most depressed I had ever been in my life and at first, I was still able to pull from my depression to write without any problems, up until I couldn’t.

I had never really been the most secure person or the most confident but when that depression hit, I lost even the little security or confidence that I had. I was in a relationship with someone who repeatedly cheated on me. And I loved him. With every ounce of my being, I loved him even more than myself. That’s where I made the mistake.

I cared more about his happiness than mine and I allowed him walk all over me. This is not in any way meant to bash him because I don’t see him as a bad person even now. But he hurt me so bad. And I lost myself. It was always so easy for me to write because no matter what I was going through, I was never really embarrassed about my feelings.

However, this time I was. He was not the cause of my depression as I also had some other issues that I was dealing with but his actions was a major trigger for me. So, I started finding it difficult to express myself. I was in constant pain. I didn’t know when it started but by the time I realised it, I was already far gone.

I found it difficult to write – the one thing that was my outlet. Can you imagine how horrible that is? And I was just angry at God for such a long time. I still wrote. There are still posts on my blog from those depressing times but believe me when I say, it took great pain to write them.

There were times I really didn’t want to write but it kept drawing me in even though I couldn’t really figure out how to. As at 2017, my depression had already started lifting and I started to write a bit more but I had been embarrassed about my feelings for so long that it had almost become second nature. So, it was definitely going to take some time to get back to me.

Last year, I found it a little bit easier to write (still not all the way there yet but it was an improvement). But then, I got so caught up at work that I could not find the time or the will power to write.

But…God came all the way through in such a beautiful way.

After NYSC, I left Punch and started working at my mother’s logistics company. It is a new company and I was able to be there to help her from the moment the company launched.

Prior to the end of NYSC, I was not sure what I was going to do afterwards. I had always just gone with the flow without really having a clear vision. I knew I wanted to leave Punch. I just felt that my time there was up but I didn’t know what I would do after. When my mum offered me the job to help run it, I was like ‘okay’. I mean, it was something to do and I just figured ‘why not?’ She still has a full-time job and she goes in and out of Lagos often so, I have been running the day-to-day activities.

However, at the beginning of this year, things started to become clearer for me. I felt like this year was my year to just take charge of my life. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but I just knew that something had to change. I realised that I was beginning to get older. I mean, I am 23 years old right now and while that is still pretty young, it just feels scary how much time flies in your 20s. I still remember my 18th birthday like it was yesterday and now, I am whole 23 year old woman.

So, I realised that I have to take this ‘adulting’ thing serious from here on out. I need to start saving and making investments and most importantly start following my dreams and that is where God began to show Himself. He actually started by putting all these mini-thoughts in my head; almost like setting things in place.

First off, with the logistics job, I thought I might be in it for a year before I started to consider leaving and I felt Him tell me that when it was time to leave, I would know. I had been trying to start a podcast last year but fear did not let me. Then, a friend of mine, Isaac reached out to me in early January about starting a podcast together and honestly, I wasn’t sure at first. But then, I realised how much sense it made and when we met up for our first meeting, we had such an easy conversation that I knew that this was going to work.

Then, I had said towards the end of last year that I was going to focus more on my script writing. I planned on writing a play and putting it on this year and I had made a pact with my sister to send her a draft by January 15th. When that deadline came, I had not even written a word and it weighed heavily on my mind. On Saturday, 10th Feb, I realised that I needed to start doing the things I loved and really start taking it seriously. By the next day, I felt God telling me that it was time. The time had come. He gave me such a clear vision on how to move forward and I had never seen my path so clearly ever before. And I am so grateful that He did that for me. I was even so sure that this was the right way to go because everything else just seemed to fall into place.

It was the most amazing feeling and still is. So, I decided to quit my job working for my mother. I knew that I would not be able to accomplish anything I wanted to do if I kept working in the company because I would never have the time. When I told her, she understood and she knew that eventually, I would want to pursue other things.

So, the deal we made was to leave in March. She has even found someone that could replace me and I am just happy and excited to be moving forward in my life. I am taking a huge leap from a job that pays so well but  I feel so much passion in my soul for God and this new path and it just completely fills me up. Walking away from the money does not feel difficult in any way.

I listened to a sermon by Sarah Jakes Roberts recently titled ‘The Ground is Shifting’. She explained that when one looks at the sky and sees it moving, it’s not the sky that is moving but the ground. The ground is shifting and so we change position sometimes and never really realise it in that moment. For example, you could be friends with a person all your life and then slowly, you start to drift apart – not necessarily because anyone did anything wrong but a shift has happened. The person you were has changed and maybe that person hasn’t. Or maybe its the other way around. Either way, both of you can’t really seem to find common ground anymore. This doesn’t happen with everyone but it’s something that does happen. That is just an example.

Basically for me, the ground has shifted in terms of my journey. I don’t know when it happened but it did and I am feeling the effects of it now (in the most amazing way). God has been so good to me – I can’t even stress that enough. I had always prayed to God to reveal a path for me and at some point, it felt like He wasn’t even listening to me. But, He was. He gave me the tools I needed to reach this point. He prepared me for this. Even working at a start-up was a way for me to learn patience and sacrifice and He knew that I would need those things. I mean, just how awesome is He? I can’t even put it into words.

Anyway, this is just a gist that I hope gives a clear explanation of my absence. I have so much in store and by the grace of God, fear would not win. Fear has always prevented me from doing a lot of things but I refuse to give into fear any longer.

Thank you for reading as always and I will be updating as I make all my moves this year.

All my love,

Dolly.