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Oh, to find your purpose in life!

You know you’ve found your purpose in life when doing it makes you disappear.

That sentence isn’t the best but I can’t figure the words out so I’ll try to explain.

When you’re doing something you enjoy so much that you lose cognizance of your own self and your being while you’re doing it, that’s when you’ve found what you’ve been created to do.

Basically, when a dancer who loves dancing is dancing and they enter a realm where nothing else matters, not even themselves, apart from the dancing, they’re doing what they’ve been created to do.

Same with singing, and writing, and doing research, and so on and so forth.

And this isn’t about doing it in an absent-minded or aloof sort of way, this is when you heart and mind are so connected to the task at hand that they focus completely on it.

I heard that when I was listening to a talk by famous Nigerian writer Ben Okri. I haven’t been able to read any of his work. I tried to read his most popular book The Famished Road some years ago in secondary school, but I just couldn’t. The book revolves around Azaro, a spirit child, or ogbanje, children who are somehow in charge of their own destinies. So they are born and stay for a few years if they like the world, but it they don’t like the world, they die, but somehow come back because of the call of destiny upon their lives. Spirit children are very common in several parts of Africa, but I don’t know conclusively if it’s an actual phenomenon or a myth. But who’s to define that’s a myth? Because I don’t know something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

The Famished Road combines magical realism and fantasy, and also is a statement on colonialism. Anyway, all of this is to say that I considered Okri’s work a little too smart for my teenage head in those years, but perhaps I’ll take another look soon.

In the talk I watched, he also said that writing is like meditation on paper. Basically, the writer is compulsed by the very present, very urgent call of writing and almost like a madness, they must respond. I completely agree. First I’m working with so many deadlines so I literally have to write like crazy.

words-have-power

But also, in writing this blog, there have been times, like right now, when there’s something on my mind to say, and it so compels me that I simply have to say it.

Writing makes time for itself. He also mentioned that, and I think how true it is. I’ve probably had the littlest sleep in this past week since I got to college, but somehow, I’ve also been very active and engaged with my writing. Somehow a blank page doesn’t scare me so much, somehow, re-reading my own words isn’t so tasking any more.

That’s because my writing has made a way for itself. It has taken over my mind and changed my attitude to very many different things that I love greatly, even sleep.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine told me that  from the things I said and what he’s observed, I feel closest to God when I’m writing. It’s true. Because I’m working in a creative space when I’m writing, I’m working in tandem with God, the greatest Creator and Creative of all time.

Also, I’m doing exactly what He’s gifted me to do.

Isn’t that crazy?

I hope some part of all I’ve said today has made sense to you. I literally took a little break from my day to share these thoughts on writing with you, and also to encourage myself to keep going.

🙂

With profound gratitude.

I sat on my bed this morning, doing my morning devotion and writing in my journal, and thought about the past few days. These past few days have been filled with a lot of adrenalin, as I’ve been writing and writing and writing.

But as I thought about what I wanted to say to the Lord, one thing was foremost on my mind. The Lord has been good.

He has done exceedingly, abundantly, above all that I have ever asked or imagined, and even more so with the things I haven’t been able to imagine.

How would I have known, four years ago, that I would end up in this college, and make some of the best friends I ever could have had? Who would have known that I’d be sitting up all night writing a thesis and genuinely enjoying the process? When I thought I was the laziest person ever, I see the little things in my life that God is changing.

I’m learning the concept of working with God on His own schedule, according to His own promises. Many times I’ve asked Him why He’s given me my own unique experience, why I’ve had the friends I’ve had, and the church I have, and the teachers I’ve had. I ask Him how He formulated my own cocktail of experiences, unique to me alone.

And I am reminded of His love. His abounding, abundant, overwhelming love that is personalized to me. 

So today, I only have three words on my heart, thank you Jesus.

You’ve been good to me. You have been very good to me. You have taken me from nowhere and you have given me a voice and a backbone. When obstacles come, I am reminded of your love, I am reminded of your life. You are life. You’re not just a life-giver, you are life itself, and what else is there to desire, when you have life itself?

There’s a lot to be said, but it all comes down to this: Thank you Jesus.

Especially on this Easter Monday, when all I’m thinking about is the sacrifice of the cross. Jesus died for me today. His mercy over me is new every single morning. I don’t have to work on yesterday’s anointing, I don’t have to work with yesterday’s miracles. There are new miracles to be seen, new frontiers to conquer. There is something fresh and new and exciting every single day in the walk with the Lord.

How amazing is that?


Featured image from here.

There’s always someone listening.

After my very worried post yesterday, I got a very sweet email in the early hours of the day. I was up all night writing. I had too much adrenalin from thinking about my stories to sleep, so I had to keep going till I couldn’t any more. Does that make writing sound romantic? Lol, it’s not exactly that.

Here’s what the email said:

Hey baby girl! Just sending some love your way! Read your blog as usual and just wanted to send you some love! Anxiety is real and it’s normal, especially in your Senior year/seasons of transition. What you need to realize is that it’s still scary for people who seem to have it all figured out.

But as always, a moment of weakness is simply an opportunity for His strength to be made perfect in us, and an overwhelming time only presents you with an opportunity to grow and to be a conqueror! You’re almost there, just keep pushing through! All things are working for your good and God is right beside you cheering you on! Love you always and praying with you!

I thought about two things:

1. There are always people praying for us. Especially if you have God-fearing friends, who genuinely care about you. Personally, I know that prayers are going up for me at every moment. From my mother who’s  on her knees every mid night, to my friends, including those who send me lovely emails like the one about, there’s always someone who has me on their mind.

What’s there to fear about life? I’m not the first person to experience all the emotions I’m experiencing now, and I certainly won’t be the last. Life gets a lot less lonely when we take a little perspective check. And thank God I shared how I was feeling. Because I was honest, my friend reached out with this email that will leave me smiling for days.

2. Our experiences are not for us alone. I’ve known this for a while now, but as always, you can know something and learn more and more about it as time goes by. Because my friend has experienced all the crazy emotions around graduation and because she’s come through stronger, she has the right words for me. She can understand and empathize with me because of her own experience, and when she says things, I can believe her because I know that she’s lived through them before.

Many times we think that we are the beginning and end of everything that happens to us. But that’s not true. Think about Jesus, we are healed because of His stripes. I can smile and know that all will be well because my friend, who’s come out on the other side, can tell me that all will be well.

That’s why it’s important for us to share our testimonies, guys. One good word from you can make a world of difference to another person.

What’s bugging you today? What’s on your heart? Even if you feel like no one understands, remember that Jesus has felt all you’re feeling and He will provide succor and comfort.

Some days are good, others are not.

Today is one of those days that’s not. The rain has refused to stop falling, I need to take out my braids, and my neck hurts from staring at my computer screen for extended periods.

And I have a mountain of work to get done. By no one else’s fault but mine, I have to work like a donkey these last two weeks of school. Life suddenly seems real. Everything I’ve worked on these past four years could come crashing down if I don’t pull my weight this semester.

I had an interesting dream also. There was a food truck somewhere on my college campus. I went by to see what was happening and I met my church pastor. After a little conversation, he placed his hands on my back and said: “I bind every spirit of anxiety and worry…” and something else. I looked at him, wondering how he knew that I was anxious as hell and worried about everything from my thesis, my final papers, to my graduation (Will I be able to purchase and wear a dress I like? What will I remember my graduation day as? Who will appear in my pictures? Will I have pictures of my own, since my phone isn’t working?). There’s a plethora of things to get done and things to think about.

But alas, I am reminded of the futility of worry. Since I became increasingly worried about inconsequential and sometimes legit things, nothing has fixed itself. I still have my short stories to complete, I still have to complete my interview for a piece I’m writing for my Magazine Writing class, I still have to sit and stare at a computer screen and conjure actual words.

If there’s one thing that worry does do though, it’s that it makes me more miserable. I get worried about what I haven’t done, then I’m worried that time is running out, then I’m worried that I’m worried (Why? Am I not growing in my faith? Have I forgotten who my God is? Has He not brought me through stress in the past?)

And then it’s yet another day and not one ounce of work is done. Everything remains the same but I’m more miserable than I was the day before.

Some days I’m happy and joyful, other days I’m dead worried.

The happy days are the better days. So why can I not work towards as many happy and joyful days as possible?

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

Romans 7:15-20

I guess I’m in good company. Also, I have the Holy Spirit. My default prayer has become: “Help me, Lord.”

A friend in need

I’ve been a little overwhelmed lately. From family to school work, there seems to be a lot to get through. But despite all I have to do, I have unfathomable peace.

I always wondered how the last few weeks of my life in college would be. I wondered if I would be stressed, or extremely busy, or thriving, or merely surviving. But here am I in these last few weeks of college and I have something I never imagined I would have.

I have peace. I have joy. I have confidence.

Ever since I wrote my popular blog post Make Me Gold, I’ve come to a realization that we can easily say big words and make big promises to God, but it takes His own power to make these big words a reality. I’m not at the end of this tunnel yet, but I have confidence that God has me in the best place, and exactly where I need to be.

Here’s a snippet from Make Me Gold:

Take the things that I hold dear and place them far from me so that I run in only one direction: towards you. Take all that I have so doggedly pursued over the years, whatever it may be, and show me just how insufficient it is.

Make me more like you. That sounds very easy, and it’s something that we say all the time. But this time, I mean it. Your glory was in your cross, give me my own cross. Your dominion was in going to the pit of hell and obtaining the keys to the kingdom, take me through hell and bring me back out so that I can stand securely on your own word alone.

Does this even make sense?

P.S. I’ve never gone back to read that blog post because the very words I wrote scare the breath out of me. Lol!

Anyway, the peace that I have is coming from an increased knowledge of God. I don’t know how best to put this, it’s not that I am suddenly reading my bible more or knowing God more. It’s like He’s taking my hand by the day and teaching me about Himself.

What’s even more exciting is that to know God is to love Him. There’s no way we can encounter God and remain the same. No single person has encountered the living Jesus and remained the same. 

I don’t know, I don’t know. Sometimes I have these emotions and these feelings and I have no idea how to communicate them. All I know is that I have a fountain of joy in my soul that has refused to run dry. I have been through stress and cried some very real tears, but almost as sure as the dawn, my days get better, I look up and I smile.

And it’s not even one of those Oh I’m smiling because God has my life in control so today is tough but I know I’ll make it. I mean, it’s that, but it’s also deeper than that.

I have a few words of encouragement for everyone who isn’t in a good place right now:

When you seek the Lord, you will find Him.

Jesus will never forsake you or forget you. Even if your parents disappoint you, or your friends are betray you, God will never forsake or forget you. Rest in His love today. Lay every weight on your shoulders at His feet. You’ve carried the baggage for long enough. You’ve suffered enough. You’ve cried enough tears. Jesus wants to take all of that away. 

You are not created to walk this earth alone. You cannot walk this earth alone. You cannot make it by yourself. That’s why Jesus promised to send His Spirit to be your helper. You have a helper. You have a boss who’s also your personal assistant. You have a parent who’s also your sibling and your friend and your everything.

Will you give Him the right of way?

Will you allow Him come into your life?

Will you let Him take control in exchange for the peace that He alone can give?


Featured image from Pinterest.