My Contemplation:

Random thoughts of the day that I fail to allow it fade away into dust on my membrane

Permission.

Live like you know that God has got you.

Live without fear.

Live without worry.

Live without walking on eggshells around life.

Live like you know that your next course of action or decision whether you think it’s good enough – God still gets all the glory.

Live.

Live like a child; Like His child.

Live; you’re a being in the hands of your father.

Live like you live in the cusp of your father’s hand.

Live like a child dancing in the middle of the playground.

Live like you don’t have to make the decision for God but rather He makes them for you.

Live consciously.

Live intentionally.

Give yourself the permission to live freely.

Life, The Bigger Learning Ground.

Being a Nigerian, the need to study within the educational system has never been up for discussion. It is an unspoken religion in my family. In fact, the damaging repercussion that would engulf one’s entire existence if ever they were to suggest to their Nigerian parents – ‘I do NOT want to go to University’ has turned into the never ending ‘joke’ which circulates within many young Nigerians friendships groups. (Unfortunately, this is something that happens not only in some Nigerian homes but across many other countries and homes and I also know the parents mean well).

Oddly enough, the perception of education is one that I never understood. I hated education with every fibre of my being because I never understood it. That happens a lot, doesn’t it? A lack of understanding for someone or something can often spur on your hatred for a person or thing. Education for me was no different. I didn’t understand why such importance was placed on this complicated system that seems to make the world go around. A system worshipped by many. Now I am not here to bash education, far from it. The whole educational system is one I will forever be grateful for, because it provided me a space for growth even without realising it. There I even compare it to sharing similarities with experiencing the thrills of childhood. Childhood like education is a man’s training wheels at life. An experience for growth from mistakes, some individuals robbed of their childhood, some experience their childhood in its full entirety and others, who lack in understanding, experience an average childhood.

From the dependent maintenance grants and loans, the 9am lectures, the group works and grounds filled with everything diversity; educational institution like Universities serve as the biggest bubble wrap of them all. Grounds that can breed into you; levels of comfortability, conflict and conformity without it being its intentions. I have seen many young people like myself fall into the system of education and used it not as it is intended to be used but rather lost in the system of its establishment. Lacking the understanding of what these establishments can stand for in regards to life in general, I struggled every step of the way to complete every key stage. Floating at an average level from GCSE to A-levels to achieving my first degree and now unto the second (all to the glory of God), my perception of education had always been very limited. I failed to see these key stages as my very training grounds for mistakes, growth, an opportunity to work on my craft and overall build myself. Education doesn’t stop at the grading systems; well it shouldn’t.

For many, the first several decades of their lives are spent in various educational institutions. They unfortunately fall under the pressure of a grading criteria in every class. They are consumed by the unconscious limitations of education that upon completion, they struggle with the life that awaited them outside of education. There is no benchmark in life like those grading criteria in education systems therefore dare to develop a more holistic view of what education can do to you. See education as that internship you use to gain recognised experience and transferable skills geared towards that ultimate career of your choice.

Education is a system; life is the school! In a system, there is ample amount of room for errors. There are loopholes but life is a subjective continuum that can be attested through experiences, culture, religion, etc. It has no grading criteria; therefore, dare to live from a more holistic perspective called life rather than the narrow view what education holds (a degree or a qualification). See education as a training wheel for life, a childhood to be experienced in all its entirety, a space for growth from many mistakes and the miniature of life, the bigger learning ground.

There Is Always a Conversation!

I find it hard to escape my thoughts. There always seem to be some form of conversation going on and it irritates me. Sometimes I catch myself catching myself in my stream of thinking and it frustrates me. I spend so much time in my head that nothing ever just happens to me. I have always noticed this frustrating mind cycle and it has always bothered me but I can never just seem to stop. some days I spend time praying for things to just happen to me without my awareness or permission. Like talking to a taxi driver for over half an hour about everything life, knowledge and Africans for over half an hour while he waits for me to catch my coach. It sounds mundane but that kind of thing doesn’t just happen to me. Something completely unplanned. Something I have not coined up in my many conversations. So, for something like that to happen, forever leaves an impression on me because I don’t have to pressure myself to speak about God but somehow, He casually just flows through the conversation. All that to say, I struggle a lot with the pressure of creating every moment rather than just allowing them to just happen and just enjoy and be present in the moment.

This is something that affects many areas of my life and it is just frustrating to say the least. I find that it affects my relationship with God also and I honestly do not know how to work with these conversations forever going on within. I was watching this comedian who said something so profound. He said ‘sometimes your setback is actually preparation for your comeback’ ‘so the things that looked like it was working against you are actually the things God is using to prepare you for what he will have you do’ but sometimes I feel like it’s easier to identify those things in other than in myself. I am forever trying to look within to identify what part of this statement speaks life into my many setbacks and I cannot say I have the best perspective to see it and maybe that is my issue. I am always trying to understand everything before I do and think things through all the time and come up with these possible scenarios that I see working in my favour that I ruin every possibility of just living in the moment and just enjoying it. So maybe I don’t need to comprehend what God is doing in terms of understanding the bigger picture just yet, maybe I just need to say ‘hey, what the hell! I’ll just go along and see what happens’.

Another thing is, I don’t like to leave anything without any form of resolution in sight. I learnt from a mentor of mine that sometimes, instead of being in a rush to fix something, maybe just stay in that moment, that feeling and acknowledge whatever that moment or feeling is even if it’s in a state of the uncomfortable’. Because people are always so quick to fix things, fix people and no one ever just stays in that place long enough to see what happens next. Honestly, with the pressure of having a platform like this based on God, I had to be reminded what this platform stood for, Yes, I love speaking from Scriptures but at the same time, this is also a platform to share parts and pieces of my journey and I don’t know why I have grown so scared to share this part of my journey on here which meant somehow turning this into a one dimension platform.

Yes, I love God and love to learn and impart others as I learn but in addition to that, I started this platform to support the intricate part of my journey and I guess this is me shutting down the conversation within about trying to BE for myself all God has called me to be out of my own way and understanding but starting over by saying ‘hey, what the hell! I’ll just go along and see what happens’.

Guess what. The conversations stopped.

An Open Letter to God the Holy Spirit.

Dear Holy Spirit,

I am sorry, that I’ve always thought you to be somewhat of a mere messenger, who wears the phrase ‘speak only when told to speak’ so well. In all the doctrines and understanding I have acquired and accumulated, I have always thought of you as the lesser one in the Trinity. Sometimes, I have ignored the fact that you are God the Holy Spirit; so therefore, you are God. I have made the mistake of reducing you into the liking of a small errand boy in all my quest of believing in God through Christ Jesus. I learnt the other day that you are not a substitute for God the Father’s voice to me when He wants to say something to me; but you ARE God’s voice that speaks.

Trying to build a better understanding of who you are the other day, I tried to imagine God in his awesome glory sitting on His Awesome Throne. He had no face, but he had a mouth. I tried to picture God the Father through the words of Ezekiel when the prophet spoke of his close encounter with God; which I may add, was only possible through You.  He spoke of the four living beings. He, Ezekiel described the glory of God. From what appeared to be his waist up was like gleaming amber flickering like a fire. And from his waist down; a burning flame, shinning with splendour. All around Him (God) was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shinning in the clouds on a rainy day.

In attempts to capture an image remotely close to anything like that; I grew in understanding of the Trinity but especially you. See through my imagination, I pictured God the Father sitting on His Majestic Throne and as He opened His mouth, the words He spoke into creation; He spoke in reference to God the Son. Every word spoken speaks light, life, and love. See He first spoke into existence Light. Then Life from dust and now I inhabit in His Love every day. Question. Who is light, life and love himself? Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

I am getting excited all over again at the awesomeness of this understanding. Before I could ask myself another question like ‘so where is the Holy Spirit in all of this?’ I realised that even before light existed, you were present. You were hovering. You hover a lot. I realised that the power in the word God the Father speaks is you; God the Holy Spirit. You are the power and presence of God in the Trinity. You have been present way before the New covenant, yes even during the Old Testament. You didn’t just come into existence when the Son of God ascended into Heaven. No, that’s when we were able to receive You personally. You were present in the midst of the great and powerful wind that tore mountains apart and shattered rocks. You were also present in the earth quake and fire. I can imagine when Moses was about to separate the Red Sea right, God spoke the word; You immediately moved into action and manifested the Power and Presence of God.

I have realised that to think of you as simply God’s messenger and by unintentionally separating you from the Trinity is unjust. You are not to be separated nor seen as the lesser one of the three. To imagine God the Father without you is to believe God’s Word is powerless. It would be saying God the Father spoke in reference to God the son but nothing happened. You are important in the Trinity; You are important to me. You are NOT an errand boy who speaks in a gentle voice in substitute for God the Father’s great voice that would possibly burst my ear drums if I ever heard it in all its entirety but you are indeed God, Holy Spirit.

Please forgive me?

I’m Sorry but Don’t Be an Eve.

“Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor each morning, the devil says “Oh, no! She’s up.” – Joanne Clancy

This morning, I am that kind of woman. Feeling like I have just won the battle and a great war and it feels truly amazing. I came across this quote last year and immediately fell in love with the empowering sense of motivation it gives. Imagine waking up each morning and working through the day like you know you’ve got the spirit of power, love and of a sound mind. Today, I walk in this knowledge and boy, do I feel empowered.

Many times in the past, I have felt powerless in my abilities but grew in the knowledge of the God I serve. I have allowed the devil to have a field day in my mind, weighing me down with more confusion and a lack of peace of mind. Waking up today was no different. I woke up feeling lacklustre about the day ahead and thoughts of conspiracies flew into my mind and decided to plant its unwanted self in my head. Great, just what I need; more confusion. I couldn’t shake it off on my own. So feeling powerless in my abilities, I proceeded to praying and asking God for forgiveness because I recognised that these conspiracies were hurtful to him, doubted his abilities and there I say, his presence. I don’t even remember how I got to channelling all that prayer into rebuking the devil; but in that moment, I’d realised that my greatest weapon which is the word of God had to be used. And who is the word of God? Jesus! Using the name of Jesus to fight my battle this morning; left me winning the battle of this minefield. Battle won. Breath.

Isn’t it interesting how canny the devil can be? He is so slick in his ways that if you’re not careful; you end up falling into his trap. But I’ve learnt in his slippery manner, he’s also equally stupid. But scripture reminds me that ‘I have Power, I have Love and such as heck, I have a sound mind’. So when you feel like your mind is called into question, rely on the rock in whom your identity is found, the power of Christ that lives in you, know that you are loved by God and he wants for your good and not evil and know in Christ, you have the promise of a sound mind. So therefore, fight.

Remember Eve? Don’t be like Eve, who lost in her battle against the devil’s temptations. Don’t forget God’s love for you, remember the power of Christ that lives in you and don’t consider yourself powerless but call the name of Jesus EVERY TIME. The grace to do so never runs out nor does the power in His name. Don’t draw your weapon on the shelf only for the great wars but use it even in the small one. You must be alert, awake and intentional if you’re going to win this war and be victorious.

The devil will only test and attack you if he knows that you know who your foundation is in and if you are someone who inhabits in the Power that threaten his plans for devour.

Today, I am the kind of woman who, even before my feet touched the floor, this morning, the devil said “Oh no! She’s up.”.

Scripture Reference:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

‘And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.’ – 1 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)

‘Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ – Ephesians 6:17 (NLT)

‘Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruits and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.’ – Genesis 3:6 (HCSB)

‘Then, the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, you are cursed, more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, grovelling in the dust as long as you live.’ – Genesis 3:14 (NLT)

‘Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.’ – 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)

A Space of Optimism.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Can you believe we are already 8 days into the new year, I honestly cannot believe that. I feel like all I do is blink and days just fly by! Anyways, it’s not how much time you have, it’s what you do with the time you have been given, that truly matters. I thought by now I would be hearing so much lip on new year resolutions but funny enough I haven’t heard many people speak on their ‘new year new me’ resolutions. If anything, listening to someone speak about how people ought to not make those ‘new year new me’ resolutions, just makes me cringe to a level 100, like we get it. That is so 2009, let’s move on, everyone else has.

Another thing that really surprised me is how so many people have come out of nowhere either putting a curse or a blessing on the year 2016. I even saw a trailer to a potential ‘year 2016’ movie. Personally, 2016 wasn’t the one for me but I am grateful it happened. I am definitely one of those who at first had to truly analyse 2016 for what it was, in order to find the beauty in it and I cannot lie, it was hard but I am better for it.

Saying I’m excited for this new year is a big stretch but also an understatement. I’m excited for what’s in store.

Speaking to a friend, she shared with me her bother on how much emphasis is placed on celebrating the new year. Her thoughts were, ‘why wait until the new year to start something and leave whatever you had been previously working on undone?’ To which I agreed, to an extent.

But as someone who enjoys and celebrates beginnings and endings of anything life has to offer, I had to explain that sometimes ‘people are appreciative for the end it brings but also the beginning’. Especially if it has been a long rocky road or the end of something negative for them and emphasising on the new year is just their way of celebrating an opportunity to create a space of optimism. Plus, living with the idea that your life is one big continuum; even though it is, seems rather daunting for many. Think of the new year as ‘recess’ before heading back to class, or a ‘bookmaker’ to aid you in continuing through chapters of your favourite novel.

I realise the new year is my favourite time of the year. You get to celebrate an ending and a beginning all in the same breath. Yes, it also helps in creating a space of optimism for one’s life. However, I’ve learnt with that comes the habit of being ‘intentional’.

I believe setting resolutions are not necessarily to be done away with, resolutions that cause some to spontaneously sign up for gym memberships only adds to one’s space of optimism for the year or until you reach your goal. I believe you ought to only count resolution as a downfall waiting to happen, once you stop being intentional about achieving the goals you’ve set.

Being Called to The Fore Front!

One of the most repeated advice I hear is to ‘dream big, so big that it scares you because if your dreams doesn’t scare you, then you are NOT dreaming big enough’. I have always felt compelled to exclude myself from taking such advice. Not because I am some high and mighty woman who has everything figured out and does not need to take some melodramatic advice that I bet everyone and their brother has tweeted at least once in the last month alone.

I have always simply felt to exclude myself based on two reasons. One being the lies I have allowed the devil to whisper into my head and I have ridden those lies, all the way to the Scriptures to know NOW that IT IS IN FACT ALL LIES. And two, that my abilities are not nor will be enough to accomplish anything. However, I still held on to the belief that ‘I am more than WHO I THINK I AM’, even if I am too oppressed to do anything about it. So I remained silent, suppressing my gifts and talents, dreams and ambitions; nodded my head every time someone quote the ‘dream big’ advice to me like it was Bible and carried on living.

Everything I could pour my heart into was always done halfheartedly, just in case I failed; then I can tell myself and everybody else that ‘I never tried to begin with’.

Whenever I tell anyone my ‘Saved Story’, I always speak on how God has always dragged me all my life but when I truly said yes to God, my status changed from ‘Being Dragged in Christ’ to ‘Finally Walking in Christ’. I have learnt over the couple of years of finally walking in Christ that this journey is not what I thought it would be, it is NOT MY EXPECTATION, but my REALITY.

Now, I’m walking in Christ. The first year of me finally walking in Christ, I cannot remember many prayers and conversations with God that didn’t end up with me asking God what my purpose is. Again I asked halfheartedly. Not because I didn’t want to know or that I was scared of failing, but because I am scared of failing. I believe as humans we have an innate phobia of failing. I have never met anyone who intentionally wanted to fail but what’s worse is, NOT living OUT MY PURPOSE and just taking God’s grace for granted. With each prayer came more conviction to whole heartedly ask God for what MY PURPOSE IS?

I never thought God would answer my prayer, but he did. He called me to the forefront. I was really nervous, so much so that it took me a while to be submissive to his plan and purpose for my life. I was more shocked that God chose me FOR SOMETHING. HE CHOSE ME. ME? I that He saw do things halfheartedly out of fear of failing. ME? He CHOSE ME? The doubts, fear, anxiety, worries, comparison game had never rushed in so fast. You would have thought it was rush hour or something in my head. Everything came in at once and God spoke in ways I didn’t expect. Again, I say, God’s way and plan for my life is NOT MY EXPECTATION but MY REALITY.

Seasons in this journey with Christ is constantly changing and some seasons I like more than others but those seasons that feels more like ‘I’m personally going through the wilderness’ are the seasons I hate to love, because I believe they make me better and equip for the purpose God has called me to. Sometimes, I think to myself that my purpose looks ‘vaguely similar’ to someone else and then find myself comparing myself to that persons’ or I come across someone who seems like they have a better understanding and knowledge of the Scriptures, they are translating the Bible in Hebrew, French, Italian, Yoruba even and I think to myself, I can’t do that. But I have come to realise through the help of the Holy Spirit that ‘Comparison robs me not only of my JOY but my PURPOSE’. I am here looking at someone else’s purpose when I could use that time to invest more in the area that I need to work on.

One thing I have realised through the help of the Holy Spirit is that, fulfilling God’s purpose over my life means I NEED to CONTIUNE to DEPEND on GOD. Just because God has place this higher calling on my life, that doesn’t mean He has left me to IT. If anything, it means I have to draw closer to him than before; because If, and I do use that ‘If’ very very loosely, so loose that it is NOT even a possibility. If I somehow accomplish God’s purpose all by myself, then I will want to take the glory and the Spirit of God will NOT be in me. But I for one, love the Spirit of God and I want God’s spirit to always abide in me.

For someone who excluded herself from the race because she was so scared to dream. God planted in me a purpose so big that NOT only SCARES me but because I am planted in CHRIST, I DON’T have to FULFIL MY PURPOSE MYSELF, but TRUST God to bring the good works which He started to a COMPLETE FINISH; and so should you.

Scriptures Reference:

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’ – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)

And don’t be wishing you were someplace else or with someone else. Where you’re right now is God’s place for you. Live and obey and love and believe right there. God, not your marital status, defines your life.’ – 1 Corinthians 7:17 (MSG)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.’ – 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianities into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand saved me’. – Judges 7:2 (NKJV)

**Another versions says – ‘The lord said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let you all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength’. – Judges 7:2 (NLT)

But Amos stood up to Amaziah: “I never set up to be a preacher, never had plans to be a preacher. I raised cattle and I pruned trees. The God took me off the farm and said, ‘Go preach to my people Israel’. – Amos 7:14-15 (MSG)