Tag Archives: bible

Faith that works

 

My friends say I don’t believe in destiny. It’s not like I don’t believe in it but the thing is, I have always believed that if you want something, you’d better go and get it as it will not jump into your lap. Who we are today is formed by our environment, our circumstances and the experiences that we go through and if you have lived my life or better still, gone through my experiences with me, you might understand why I can be cynical at times.

Don’t get it wrong. I believe in faith. You know, in 2008, I attended Bible School (I know, I know, it’s unbelievable. Even I don’t believe it myself sometimes, especially when certain lewd thoughts enter my head), Word of Faith Bible Institute.  I graduated with a distinction but there was a course that so worried my pastor that he had to call me into his office for a chat. As you can guess, that course was ‘Faith’. It was the only course I had a C. The rest were A’s, except Faith. I even passed Prayer.

Me? If a prayer is more than 15 minutes, my dear, you can be sure I am most likely thinking of something else. And I don’t pray in crowds. I just can’t shut out what the other people are saying. You know how Pentecostals like to shout as if the messenger angel is hard of hearing. So by the time, prayers are over, your ears are ringing like you stood near a cathedral communion bell. Suffice to say, the best place for me to pray still remains, a quiet place where I am all alone.

So my pastor called me and asked to talk to me. Didn’t I believe in faith? Was my faith level low? What was my relationship with my Lord and Savior? Did I doubt things because they were not being manifested in the physical (which is a nice way of asking if I am a doubting Thomas)? Did I need extra lessons? How could he help me? Plenty questions. Some I had answers to and some I preferred to remain mute because I simply didn’t have answers and there was no reason why I didn’t have answers.

I do believe in faith. A lot. But Faith has been so bastardized that its hard to understand it anymore. Now, I’ve learned to be practical. If the skies are grey, most likely, its gonna rain. So take an umbrella or a raincoat (Do people still wear that sef)? If you missed your period and you have been sexually active, you are most likely pregnant, so congrats. Safe delivery. If you haven’t read all year and its 30 minutes to the exam, you are most likely going to fail, so start saving for the next year’s school fees. Yes, there is nothing that prayer cannot solve but please let’s exercise a bit of restraint and take responsibility for our actions. I don’t understand what faith has got to do with certain issues, honestly. It is just so ridiculous sometimes.  

Back to the destiny thing, If what will be will be, then why struggle for success at all? Oya, let’s all get naked and go dancing in the rain and hope that at the end of the year, we would all be successful, famous and stinkingly rich. Let’s all fold our hands and not work but hope and fast and pray that manna will fall from heaven like it did in the old testament (meanwhile, God fit just vex and it go happen o. It go be like ‘feem’).

Be honest. ‘No food for lazy man’. We all see that at the back of lorries and trailers, especially the old, rickety ones that look like they are about to fall on the nearest vehicle (and sometimes, sadly, they actually do). Forget the old lorry, remember the message. Because that’s the koko these days. Even yahoo boys gats to hustle. Sometimes they don’t even bathe for weeks, or brush their teeth but camp out at hidden cyber cafes or in their homes ‘yahoo-ing’ away. Trust me, I would know. I’m a Bini girl, we practically invented yahoo-yahoo (but don’t quote me anywhere).

I believe in practical faith. Yeah, I think I can safely call it that. Faith that actually makes sense. Not the type that the big man upstairs listens to in stunned silence and then erupts into laughter at the level of silliness. Practical faith works. At least for me. It is a rocking combination of realism, practicality and faith. Make what you will out of it, but that is what works for me. That being said, one thing I’m beginning to believe more and more is that the lines just fall into the right places at the right time if you are taking the right steps. Confused? Bear with me for a while.

I am happy where I am right now. I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. I might have taken my own sweet time getting here but I kinda feel this is a place I really should have been. Will I remain here? I honestly do not know. All I know is that it’s a journey. Last week, one of my ex-boyfriends proposed to me. As in, the serious stuff. And the truth is, If he hadn’t broken my heart (whatever was left of it anyway), looking at him now, I would never have been happy with him. Hindsight is so much more truthful. There are some journeys that teach us lessons and are meant to guide us. There are some that are just a waste of energy and time. Some experiences teach us, guide us, give us a map and help us re-assess our journey and some are just breathers – meant to distract us for a while. I believe people will end up where they are meant to be as long as they don’t stop moving in the right direction.

I don’t have all the answers. I may not even be making much sense (I knew I sucked at writing, but the wise ones said to never give up, right?). But one answer I do have is, with a bit of time and luck (I don’t believe in luck. The damn thing has never worked for me. Now, Grace loves me. That I believe in), everything will work out in the end. If its not okay, then its not the end. Now, that is Faith that works. How the heck did I ever get a C?

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Let go and let God!

let go

I didn’t plan to write my first article this late into the year. Hell, it’s the second week of February. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been procrastinating about writing, but then what else is new. Y’all know I’m a lazy ass. And we like it that way right?*shines my white teeth*

It’s the season of love! Love is the greatest gift God has given us so Happy Valentine ’s Day beautiful people. Cheers to love!!! For the first time in a long while, I’m really and truly in a happy place, at peace with myself and at peace with the world. Nah, ex-boyfriends don’t apply. I have to have someone to be bitter about na. Come on! I’m not become such a good girl overnight. A measure of badness is required to be me. If not, the tattoo would have been an effort in futility.

Talking about places, I didn’t magically drop into this place. It involved a process and different phases. Sad to say, the phases were more painful than I care to remember. But mostly, the most important thing was my willingness to let things go. It involved a process of standing up, putting my affairs in order and walking out. I was reluctant about it, delayed it for as long as I could but eventually had to.

The thing about walking out is that we are usually scared of the unknown. What if the future is worse than where I am now? What if this is where I’m meant to be? What if all it takes is to try a little harder? What if things become worse if I leave? Won’t I be a quitter if I leave? What if I’m not strong enough? What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail in the next one as well?  What if no one supports me? What if this and what if that? I’ve been there and I’ve done all that. It didn’t work for me. It might work for you but somehow, things are never really very easy for me.

Last year was pretty tough. Infact I learnt the biggest lesson about letting go. I had to walk away from a life I had created for myself, a world I had built with sweat, blood and tears and leave everything I had ever known. The worst part of it all was the feeling of loneliness and failure. I felt like a big failure. I felt like I could do nothing right. I felt like I had achieved absolutely nothing. I felt like the only person in the world.

I felt like this though I stood up straight and proud in public and around people so nobody knew how I felt. I automatically smiled when people smiled at me but at night, I laid down and asked God why with tears streaming down my face. People saw a beautiful, friendly girl and all I saw was a bloody failure. From mountain of fire prayer sessions (That’s a story for another day) to being too mad at God to bother with church, I went through the whole phase but in the end, I could not deny the fact that I couldn’t go on that way.

Changes had to be made, albeit painful ones. So I boxed up everything I had known and loved, offered it up for sale, packed my bags, moved to another city and refused to even think about it. To hell with closure! What the heck is that anyway? I didn’t want to remember. I didn’t want to miss it. All questions were smartly deflected and friendships grew stale because I wasn’t willing to talk about anything concerning myself. I wanted to be left alone. Thank God for people who understood and gave me space while letting me know I had their support and love, no matter what. Above all, thank God for his grace. Grace is amazing, I tell you.

Now, its February, barely 3 months after I packed my bags feeling like a cowardly failure with my tails (I had like 3) tucked firmly between my legs in my combat shorts and I am experiencing a whole new life. Has it been easy? A piece of cake? No! It had its really bad moments. But that has not been the case for a while now. Its been really good! I’ve fallen in love (as usual), fallen out of love (as usual again), forced myself to come to terms with my bitter past, currently learning new things, experiencing a very different world, have new toasters (*tongue out to my ex-es* It can pain!), gained intimacy with my Creator and I’m not breaking stride. It is a whole new place, new feelings of contentment and happiness and I am soaking it all up. And guess what? I’m so glad I made the decision; I’m the happiest I’ve been in years.

Now what did I learn? Letting go is a brave act! Its not cowardly and its definitely not for the fainthearted. It takes tons of courage, bravery and faith. A wise person once said, ‘courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to go on inspite of it’. The ability to go on inspite of the fear, insecurity and doubt is the greatest courage of all. Stop trying to mend fences that just can’t be, stop trying to delude yourself into thinking you can’t exist without it. ‘For God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind’(2Tim 1:7). There’s nothing wrong with being afraid but remember He that is in you is far greater than whatever it is you are afraid of, even the unknown. I can’t apologise for sounding like those fiery preachers who take free rides inside commercial buses and pour spit all over you if you are unfortunate enough to sit close to them but all I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I haven’t seen. So be of good courage! Hold your head up high! Let go…and let God!