I FIT DIE ONTOP YOUR MATTER

We have a kindly neighbourhood cd shop that believes in advertising its wares as loudly as possible and one day, dude was playing Wizkid’s newest song – “I fit die ontop your matter”

I was still laughing to myself about the sheer drama in that one sentence when I encountered a young acquaintance who looked somewhat distressed. Upon enquiry, it seemed that a relationship that he had invested quite a lot emotionally in, had ended, when he discovered that the young lady for whom he had invested was not as invested in him.

I promised him that pretty soon, he would thank God for this heartbreak, especially when he eventually met someone who had as much to give as he does. Then it got me thinking…isn’t it a marvel that so many of our heartbreaks happen when we are young enough and oblivious enough to bounce back in months, no matter how “crushed” we believe we are? We weep and sob and declare that we will never love again, and then 3 months later we’re writing someone else’s name in a heart filled with badly drawn flowers.

And isn’t it a marvel that our heartbreaks point out an area of our life that needs working on – or an area we need to watch? The playboy that taught you that there was something wrong with your type, that quiet girl you let go who helped you see that there is more to beauty than a made up face, the one that always castigated and taught you to stand up for yourself, the damaged one who taught you that you cannot fix everyone.

It got me marvelling again at God’s wisdom, that He will often allow circumstances that will allow that relationship crack enough to show wounds that need healing, or even more, a rotten core. Of course sometimes He allows cracks to let us see the diamond hidden in the roughness of a personality or appearance.

I remember when love and all its associated wahala was the cause of many sleepless nights – sleepless either due to happiness or sadness. I remember the time when I started learning to balance logic and emotion to act in wisdom in my relationships. I smile at the wisdom that I have gained. I know that my young friend will be fine…and that one day, he will meet someone who will make all his heartbreaks seem worth it, when he realises that his cracked and repaired heart is made perfectly for hers. And unlike Wizkid, when he finds this woman, he will know that there will be zero need to die ontop her matter.

A FREEZER FULL OF MEAT

There are times when I am so perfectly aligned with my world that it almost seems like I am in a bubble of complete Zen. I had one of those mornings recently; which was very good. Considering the fact that I woke up rather suddenly from a dream where I was being threatened by a bubble of silvery, aggressive ectoplasmy stuff; that’s what you get from eating a shawarma at 11pm at night.

Anyway I woke up very content…but puzzled. It has occurred to me rather abruptly that I am now hoarding food. Ok not food per se, but protein. As I type, in my freezer, I have beef – marinated and non marinated strips, pieces, minced and raw meatballs. I have chicken – marinated pieces and wings. I have kidney, 3 types of fish, shrimp and some rather random pieces of goatmeat. Yet I had to catch myself from scuttling out of my house this morning to buy shaki and liver from the market nearby…I’m not sure what is going on. Usually, when I crave food, it’s because I’m lacking something. But I don’t want to eat the meat, I just want to keep it in my freezer.

Ok what else…aha…one day, in that manner that people do when the Holy Spirit needs someone to be told something, my friend Ijeoma called me out of the blue one day, to share with me a book she was reading about love languages. It detailed how we perceive God in the manner of our love languages. It was like a light bulb moment, especially coming at a time when I was feeling a little alone. My love language is Acts of Service; nothing makes my day more than a thoughtful act done for me. Leave all the flowery words and all. So I started to look for God in the blessings around me and guys, it was like my eyes opened to a whole new spectrum of colours; little things that would come my way that were so tiny that only Someone devoted to my joy would do.

Like the day I threw all my clothes out of my wardrobe (as I tend to do) and then realised I couldn’t find my belt (a tiny strip, really difficult to find). I gave one hopeful toss of the clothes; just to see if I could unearth it, and out sails my belt; as if my Abba’s hand had flung it out.

Or the time I changed my lens solution and kept on putting the right eye lens in the left eye case. For those of you who don’t wear contacts, one case cover is always differently coloured; for those who have different prescriptions. This meant that every morning, I would spend a good amount of time putting on the wrong lens, wandering around in a literal haze of confusion and then realising my error and changing them back. One day, I was about to make the same mistake when the lens case flipped out of my hand, literally like someone had knocked it out. Absentmindedly I tried again and the cover flipped out of my hand once again. Of course that caught my attention and I realised my mistake.

It’s little things – favour I receive unexpectedly, walking into a shop and seeing something I’ve been looking for, needing to wash my hair and walking to the market to find the very last ball of black soap just waiting for me…my Abba shows His love for me in the ways He knows I will see it best and consistently reaffirms His undying love for me. It’s beautiful.

I’ve heard people tell me how it felt like God has literally reached out and hugged them, or how they read a scripture and a promise jumps out at them. There are people who are constantly receiving one gift or another from random strangers and some who can get lost in communion for hours. Looking at it objectively, I marvel how I always felt that the people outlined above had a relationship with Him that I didn’t, but no, I think now that all He does is express love to each person as they perceive it best, in the way that they need to see it to feel it most.

Do you know, one of my fave songs, as random and “unchristian” as this may seem, is Wizkid’s Jaiye Jaiye. It makes me smile to think of how he looks at all the things he can now do and afford and acknowledges how far God has brought him. It’s a song of celebration and thanksgiving…to me. I think of things like that often. Of how far God has brought me, of doors opened that I never imagined I could see open, of blessings and a way of life that I thought I’d have to work much harder to acquire, of enabling grace that shows me things that in all reality I should not know…guys, God has blessed me…can’t say it enough, don’t ever want to get to where I think that the good things I get are normal or my due. They aren’t; it is His grace and favour that is responsible for it all. And I am grateful.

THINGS THAT NO LONGER MATTER

Some time ago; I was on FB when I came across the profile of an acquaintance…it made me smile and it made me remember. You see, she was the person an ex had moved on to after a split I was not ready for and I spent months stalking hero n B and Twitter, reading her posts and trying to see what it was about her that made her the choice instead of me.

Years later, I smile because in the manner of all things, it really doesn’t matter any more. And it got me wondering; honestly we carry so many things in our hearts; worries and hopes and slights and pain and all…how many of these things still matter after some time.

When I think of the pain I harboured for so long, and I think of the wholeness that is my daily testimony, mehn I just marvel at God.

I also remember secondary school…I was tiny, awkward and totally lacking in self confidence. Everyone was bigger and had much more to offer than I did; or so it seemed. On to University where it seemed that as soon as I mastered one “coo keed” trait, the happening kids discarded it and moved on to newer things. It felt like I was always on the edge of breaking in.

Today I think back to my days of self doubt and insecurity, my days of wanting so badly to fit in, and I smile.

Recently I needed a dress for an event and walked into a lovely boutique to pick something up. Looking at the owner of the shop, I reflected on how gorgeous she was and how fashionable she seemed. Walking into the changing room, I was startled to realise that I was styled very similarly to her…I hadn’t noticed, but apparently, I was fashionable too.

I reflected on just how far Abba has brought me. How He must have shaken His head as I worried and obsessed and fretted. Knowing His plans for my future, I wonder what He thought as I constantly put myself down because I felt that I was not good enough; this beautiful child who was ignorant of her worth.

Today, I meet people who see a confident woman who is smart and funny and slightly crazy….ok lots crazy. This woman knows what to say and when to say it; she is self assured and not afraid of much. Sometimes, people see the girl who is on TV; the one with the stylists and whose makeup and hair is always done.  And I smile. I am a swan now, but I realise I was one all those years ago, when all I saw was an ugly duckling who wasn’t right, who got left, who allowed herself to be treated as much less than she was. I was a swan even then when I didn’t see.

When I walk into a room and I am tempted to revert to duckling behaviour, to become awkward and try to please and put myself down, I find myself thinking instead – Naw, let me reflect the beauty that the One who made me saw when He created me. Let me celebrate the beautiful, wonderful swan that He lovingly and carefully crafted.

And all of those things of those days that I used to worry about; the breakups and all…it’s incredible how, just a few years later, none of them really matter anymore

 

INDEPENDENT WOMAN!

So first, I’ve decided that I will blog as thoughts come to my head. Now this might mean that my blogposts might be a bit shorter, but at least I’m no longer putting things off because I don’t have time to write as I please.

So I was chatting with a friend and somehow, the discussion turned to children. I’m not sure what I said, but his response was that when he had daughters, he would raise them to be good wives.

The words he used struck me, and I immediately asked him why he said “wives” instead of “people”. His answer  was along the lines of – ehn I will bring them up to be good people but you see, if I don’t start early…there is a chance that they might be too…*and then he pauses and looks at me uncomfortably*…independent.

So I ask – “like me?” And he goes “yes, you’re too independent; you don’t seem to need a man or anyone”.

Hmmm…guys, this made me wonder. You see ehn…sometimes I ask God why He made me the kind of person that derives so much joy from my work. No joke…nothing makes me happier than facing a challenge and getting it done…it is a genuine rush. And yes I am pretty independent – and happily, purposefully so.

I don’t know that I want to be the kind of woman who gets married because she needs a man…I have a full life guys – honestly! between my work, my dreams, my friends and my family, my growth and my God…I literally have everything I need. Now I KNOW for an absolute fact, that when a partner comes into my life, it will be someone whom I complement and who complements me. My independence and strength will be an asset – not a liability. How do I know this? Because my Abba would not make me this way if He knew I needed to be otherwise.

Through a series of lessons and experiences – He has bent and shaped me (and continues to do so) tempering my strength with kindness, tempering my too easily swayed heart with a steady calm logic, tempering my slightly suspicious nature with an unshakeable belief that everyone has good in them…I am moulded daily, into who He wants me to be

I digress tho – this was the bit that made me pause – we bring up our girls with the mindset that their purpose in life is to support their husband – and that’s good…do we also teach them that this support is for the man that they will marry, not for every passerby that says “I think I like you”, do we teach them that to be good wives/mothers/employers – they first need to be complete people – secure in their OWN identity – able to stand their ground when life’s storms come, do we teach them that there is an identity outside marriage – that they must learn what they love/hate/fear/desire – so that they do not enter marriage incomplete, hiding their lack of an identity behind the Mrs mask?  Do our daughters know that they must live each day to the fullest – so that they go into marriage ready, with a heart full of lessons learned and wisdom gained?

Hmmm guys…if God blesses me with a daughter, I want to teach her that she is a priceless gem, and to carry herself in such a way that the less than worthy know to stay away. I want to teach her to love and live and laugh and learn every day, to build herself because only when she is a complete person can she be a good partner. I want her to enter marriage conscious that it is a part of her purpose and not the summation of her life’s existence. I want her to be unabashedly, exultantly strong and to celebrate that strength because there will be days when her partner will be afraid, will doubt, will be confused and she will need to draw from that strength to carry them both. I want her to be independent so that she does not lose the preciousness of her identity as she walks with another, to bring her gifts to the table and have her partner know that “mehhhhnnnn, I got a good deal”

I am grateful for the independent spirit my Abba has blessed me with. Only time will determine why He has chosen the processes that have shaped the person that I am. But I know that when the fullness of His purpose is revealed…it will make perfect sense.

But I need to yab that my friend small sha…so na me him wan use as an example to his children “Girls, don’t be like Auntie Arit o. She is too independent!” Hian! Issokay.