Tag Archives: God

The Wait!

stock-photo-d-human-waiting-with-alarm-clock-111105164So you finally graduated and you are wondering why the job isn’t forth coming? Or you thought you had your life all planned out; graduated by 22,  got a job on the verge of 23 and 2 promotions later, you are ready to “settle” down at 26 but the partner is nowhere to be found. Better still, you got the job and have been working extra hard, more than anyone else in the office for that promotion you deserve but at last, it goes to someone else. What do you do? What do you do when all that you are praying and working for is eluding you and you seem to be in a hollow with everyone and everything else passing you by?

I call that hollow the Waiting Period and I have become all too acquainted with it recently. It seems the harder you try, the more your efforts fall by the wayside. You begin to feel resentful and frustrated. You get easily irritated and emotions that were so far removed from you, start sipping into your heart like jealousy and envy. You wonder why things are so rosy and easy for others yet, difficult and burdensome for you. (By the way, it is perfectly normal to feel that way, what is abnormal is how you react to those feelings).

By nature, I am a very impatient person (praying I get better). So you can only imagine how frustrating it has been experiencing this wait period. The pressure was getting to me and I found myself going through all the motions. So I went to the only place I know to seek relief and counsel. So on Saturday I visited the priest of my church and disclosing all that I was feeling, he reminded me of God’s love. That when things don’t work out, it could usually be one of three answer (not yet, no and yes). And being the Omnipresent God that He is and having better plans for us to prosper, He knows ultimately what is best for us. So when things don’t work out like we thought they should’ve, we need to pause and be thankful even in disappointment. He told me to be diligent in the wait, have faith, hope and continue praying.

The fact that these things haven’t happened yet doesn’t mean that they won’t. It’s only a matter of time before that one job is a yes, that God-ordained partner strolls into your life or that promotion drops in your laps. The most important thing is that you stay seeking and remain open to those new experiences that would be coming through. The vessel needs to be ready when God is ready to use it and that’s what we should all be doing while we wait.

Whatever you are believing and waiting on God for, be diligent, resilient and hopeful. Because it is in how diligent we are in the wait that God would be diligent in providing that which we wait for. No matter how frustrating the wait is, tell yourself, your better days are still ahead of you.God has got you and before you know it, it would be all history. Have an amazing day lovelies and as always, thank you for stopping by.

For The Shame of Living

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Have you found yourself wanting something so badly yet not going after it just because? Or you want to try something new but there’s that small voice asking you “what will people think?”. Better still, you find yourself shying away from the very things you love doing or things that make you happy for no reason? Well, it’s not just because or for no reason, you just might have not identified it yet but it’s called SHAME.

This dawned on me a few days ago. Like I have documented here severally, my weight has always been a sore spot long before I started sharing the struggles from behind a screen. I have tried, failed and continue trying to lose the weight (which I hope it’s a battle where I’d come out swinging) but it never really stopped me from living my life. Or so I thought.

I had never been the paparazzi-picture-loving-kinda-girl from a young age but I was never coy of them either. Until 2 years ago when I stopped taking pictures unwittingly, and when I did, I never posted them to any social site. I had consciously decided to work on losing weight but not on hiding myself through the process until a few weeks ago when I posted my first pictures in 2 years. Only to realize a few days later that shame played a role.

Subconsciously, a tiny voice decided that I was too big to share pictures of myself, what would my friends say when they saw me? what would my parents think? I had let everyone down, not myself but everyone else. This attitude had seeped into my writing sometimes because coming from the cultural background that I do, writers are lazy people and they are broke. I debated for a long time whether or not to share my articles on my social media handles. If I thought the topic was controversial for my followers who are mostly of the same cultural heritage like myself, I didn’t share it and vice versa.

Whether I intentionally thought these through or not, they were affecting my life. I stopped living and went on making any and every excuse possible, most times school was the culprit. Having graduated now, I can’t use that as an excuse anymore. In a few months I would be 30 years old and I want to get there living my life unashamedly.

If you find yourself in the same spot as me, then just like me, you should know it is never too late and get ready to start living your best life. I am an advocate of “live and let live” and I pride myself a pretty open-minded gal for an African, precisely Cameroonian. And at almost 30, I have better things to worry about than what people think of me especially when their opinions are insignificant. My happiness is important and part of it is doing what I love regardless of acceptance, of differing opinions or dissenting views.

We are all clay in the Potter’s hands, that means we are still being molded. I hear it all the time but it never clicked for me until last month – to leave intentionally. For me it means not just coasting along anymore, stop going through the motions and think through all my actions. Part of that is living my truth; while I work on my weight, the reality is this is me right now. This is who is in-front of me and I have to love her before anybody else would, show her off and treat her to moments that make her feel cherished, loved and appreciated. This body too is the temple of God, it is a work in progress and I have no idea when the maker would be done with it.

Stop the shame of living your truth, of being in the way of your own happiness and caring so much what people would say. Live intentionally in the moment and trust the master sculptor to perfect what is good and right in your life. As I wait for Him to finish this master piece, I would be enjoying every moment given me – intentionally. Have a wonderful weekend Lovelies.

An African In Session.

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I talked about finding one’s self in the last post (still in the search), but that’s not the only thing I have been up to these last weeks. If you have been following my blog, then you should know that I lost my older sister in the summer of last year. Recently, I have not been able to stop thinking about her and it almost feels as though I am grieving anew. You should also by now that I have been struggling with my weight since before the inception of this blog. So between finding myself, battling with my never-ending weight issues and grieving for my sister, I was becoming depressed.

I remember two days in row last month when I lost interest in everything; even in my studies which I believed was the one thing I would never loose interest in. To the point of not studying enough for an upcoming test that week and sitting for that test knowing full well I wasn’t prepared. Needless to say I flunked in magnanimous proportions on that test; proportions that have never been associated with me before. Yet, I “didn’t give ” a flying fish.

Not caring whether I failed an exam or not really scared me. I had read that loosing interest in the things that one cared a lot for in the past were tell-tale signs of imminent depression. Knowing that it could lead to something dangerous if not addressed sooner, I emboldened myself and made an appointment to see a counselor at school. You might ask why embolden?

For starters, if you missed it on my about page, then you should know I am Cameroonian from Central Africa. As per my culture, talking to ‘shrinks’ is absolutely unacceptable. Africans ‘believe’ that we don’t need to be sharing our problems with random strangers and if there’s anything to talk about, then a family meeting would be just fine to take care of that. I’d be honest that I did ascribe to these ideologies at some point, but living in America these many years later, I have a different perspective. I understand the importance of having that neutral person to open up to, who wouldn’t judge you and who is just listening to you pour your heart out. I think it is a really beautiful thing which is one of the reasons I started writing too and have not revealed my identity yet. Because I believe there’s some power that anonymity provides and allows you to speak from the heart unlike when you are familiar with your audience.

Despite all this knowledge, I had to talk myself into keeping the appointment because a part of me still thought it odd to talk to a complete stranger about my feelings. So I had to convince myself that fulfilling this was very important and so it was that I found myself face to face with a counselor.

After basic introductions, we both sat down across from each other and he asked me why I felt the need to see a counselor. A few minutes passed between us before either one said anything. Then he repeated himself and I blurted out an awkward laugh. Thankfully, he was very gracious to recognize that my nerves were getting the better part me. More time lapsed before I could muster the courage to talk and speak freely.

It was one of the most freeing experiences I have had in a long time and I wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner. It felt good sitting there , pouring my heart out to an unassuming person and for them to encourage me to talk about the feelings that I was even oblivious to these weeks. Things I thought I had forgotten reared their ugly heads again and things I didn’t even know existed where just lying in a corner waiting for the ‘right’ time to surface.  The session lasted for an hour and by the end, I must have cried a river because my face was all puffed up from the constant streaming of tears and my nose was blocked.

He suggested I return for a follow-up session and again I was hesitant. Going back would mean I have a fully manifested problem which needed fixing, which would mean I needed fixing, which would mean I am broken. But I don’t believe I am broken, let alone that I needed fixing. It took a bit of convincing on his part for me to agree on a second session. I understood from him that the ‘stigma’ about therapy isn’t reserved to Africans only but even to some western folks whose issue with it is the ‘fixing’.

I know Christians might say well, you have God to talk to, to which I say God in the scriptures encourages us to confess our sins to one another. The act of confessing things to someone else in itself is a form of counseling. And I know of a lot of Christians who could really use some counseling in their life but are either ashamed to go for it or are being to hard on themselves for their faith not being enough. (this deserves it’s own post in entirety.) It has little do to with your faith and more about your mind-frame. Your mind might be attacking itself and making it hard for you to accept the grace that your faith provides and this is where a counselor is very helpful.

What are your views on attending counseling? If for, have you been and what was your experience like and if against, why? As always, thank you for stopping by and I love you for it.

Have a sunny peachy day.

 

 

‘Finding Me’

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I have read a good number of stories of successful people and how they came about their successes. More often than not, they stumbled on something, researched the topic and worked at it . For others ,they simply discovered their passion and zeroed in on it and for others it was just “finding themselves”.

This is the bane of this article. Recently, I have found myself wanting. Wanting more , to do more and to be more . I have been looking for myself and I must say this is one of the most tasking journey I have ever embarked on so far. How do you look for something that isn’t lost, for something that you might not find however hard you look? How do you stay
motivated to keep looking for the unknown ?

Success means differently to different people. My definition of success may not be similar to yours but I think we can all agree that the underlining factor to it is finding what speaks to your heart and doing it.

For a long time I thought it was writing, I taught myself the habit of reading books at a young age and somehow along the line, I fell into writing which led me to creating this blog. I’d admit that one of my moments of excitement still come after publishing an article. I love that feeling of seeing my work out there, because somehow I feel I am contributing however little to someone’s life who cared enough to read.

I had thought writing was my passion and a part of me still feels that way. If writing is the “thing” that I am looking for right now, then how did I loose it to begin with? Why and how did I get to losing it in the first place? I am constantly being bombarded by ideas for articles but for some reason I can’t bring myself to write. I recognize the potential within myself to be even better than I am now, but how is that supposed to happen if I don’t write often?

What if writing wasn’t really my passion and I forced myself into it ? Well,that’s what some of these successful people would tell you,to keep working at it ,which I did for a while until the well dried up (well of motivation to keep writing, not ideas) and had nothing more to give. If I establish that writing is not my passion, where does that leave me? Back to searching, and what would I be looking for exactly? How would I know when I find it that I have indeed found myself, my calling,the “thing” that has kept me restless this entire time. How do you know?

This is the one time in my life when I am not ashamed to say I envy my friends who have ‘found’ themselves and are thriving in it. I know one could suggest “well, what about my career switch? The epiphany? Wasn’t it what I was looking for?” To that I say, I am more than grateful to God for leading me on this new path. I am enjoying every bit of what I am taught so far and I cannot wait to translate that in the field.

I need something outside of my career though. Everyone says these days to have a ‘side hustle’. I have taught myself countless things so far. The beginning is always exciting and down the line, everything fizzles out. My understanding therefore of the “thing” is that which I dabble in, teach myself and the excitement would never leave me. I hope for my own sake that I find it soon because this could be an exhausting journey especially as the ‘thing’ is not so obvious.

Have you ever contemplated with this notion of ‘finding yourself’?. If so, what did you find and was it what you were expecting to find?

As always, thank you for stopping by.  I love you for it and have a peachy day.

How Soon Is Too Soon When Grieving?

How soon is too soon when it comes to moving on after a loss? Is there a designated time frame for grief? what is considered “moving on too soon?” How long is the grieving period and who determines it? Do you ever stop grieving?

So it’s been a little over a month since God called my older sister but I couldn’t make it home (home is in Cameroon – Central Africa) for the burial because of a few reasons, some which I could have controlled and others not so much. I tried to be a part of the event as much as I could and my parents did their best etching the ceremony with every detail for me to grasps.

Everyone who attended agreed as I had mentioned in my tribute post for her that she was indeed an angel. The sign for them was the fact that, rain which had been pouring nonstop for a month ceased for three days straight, allowing for a smooth flow of affairs including her return into the soil from which she was made.

A part of me refused to accept her death when I just found out, which is the reason why some of my friends still don’t know I lost my sister. After talking with my parents at length, reminiscing on her beautiful existence albeit troubled, we all agreed that she was finally resting. She had suffered enough and God had decided it was time she rested from the struggle. With that new understanding, we acceded to see it as a celebration of her life instead of a life lost.

Acknowledging this did not negate her absence from us, neither did it mean we didn’t grieve her because the fact remains that she is no longer here with us. So in the days since her passing, I have had to pause in the midst of “happenings” to remind myself that I am grieving.Sometimes I fear that people will think I moved on too quickly or that I don’t look like someone who lost a loved one barely 5 weeks ago.

I had planned a mini-vacation with my best friend before the tragedy struck two weeks prior. We ended up going for the trip anyways at the scheduled time but I couldn’t stop feeling guilty while we were away. My aunt and uncle looked at me askew when I mentioned the trip but I made nothing of it until now. I have been trying to get back to the blog too and have had few topics to write on but It never felt right for me to just come here and continue writing on random topics without addressing the issue.

It seems I put these pressures on myself right? But they are not unfounded given the society we live in now. Too often, people are quick to pass judgements on how people should live their lives including how one should grieve but do not realize that people grieve differently. While some do better constantly reflecting and withdrawing from society after such a loss, others immerse themselves in and get lost in it. It is all about a finding the coping mechanism that works best for you and that something worked for you, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for someone else.

Until you wear the shoes, you will never know exactly where it pinches most. So before you ask me to come down from my horse as no one has made me the spokesperson for the aggrieved, you should know I was one of the outsiders who criticized people about either their method of grieving or “moving on” too quickly.

Two truths prevail here which are; life continues whether we accept it or not and secondly; in my view, we never really stop grieving. The best way to honor my sister I have found, is to live a better life that she would be proud of and that means carrying on with life. Also, I don’t think I will ever stop missing her because she was a huge part of my life. I will just learn to deal with the void better. Whereas crying was instantaneous when I thought of her; now, pangs of pain, of longing, of sadness rip me inside and it is at such times I have to remind myself that she is resting with God, with her maker and creator.

When next you see a picture of that woman/man on social media smiling or simply living their life after a loss, do not be quick to judge because that might just be their way of dealing with the loss. There is no set period for grieving and there is definitely nothing as moving on too quickly. We never stop grieving either, we get use to it but the void remains.

To all those grieving the loss of a dear loved one, may God console you and yours in only the way that He can and may you find understanding, solace and comfort in His arms, believing that your dearly departed has returned to the Creator. Be blessed.

For My Sister Merline – I Will Always Love You

Dear Big Sister

I was heartbroken when Dad told me you had finally gone to meet our Creator and Maker; that after 33 years of torment, you finally went to rest. I felt hurt and sad but now that I have fully accepted that you are not here anymore, I am relieved, knowing that you will not suffer any further.

I will miss you my dearest Merline,though I was already missing you while you were still here. You were the big sister that I always wanted and somehow didn’t have because your illness stole your mind, your very self from us. We all grew up watching you struggle, suffer through countless seizures having lost your mind. Mom and Dad told us painfully how you became like that from a ghastly motor accident at a very tender age of 6.

You had to learn to walk again, talk, eat and then the seizures started. That wasn’t the bad part of it, what made it worse was that from that day, Mom and Dad lost a daughter and we would never truly know how wonderful a big sister you could be to us because you lost your mind and sense of self in that accident.

I saw Dad and Mom cry countless times, most times after an incident or when you’d occasionally wander away, asking God to restore you. I couldn’t stand the hurt in their eyes and because of that I learned how to pray. I prayed that God would heal you, that the seizures would stop, that you would get your mind again so that Dad and Mom would have their first daughter again and we can finally have our big sister whole.

When that didn’t happen, I changed my prayer and asked God to relieve you of your sufferings because it was getting harder by the day watching you helplessly. We could never fully tell how much pain you were in because you never complained but it was heart-wrenching seeing you like that day-in day-out. More than we knew it, you were strong and resilient, bouncing back after every episode but never fully recovering or healing.

So I figured if you survived all those years, surely God was up to something.So I went back to Him and asked, begged and cried that he restores you wholly again. Instead I got a call of your death.

I had the picture in my head, of the fun we would have when you finally received your healing. The places I would show you, the things we would do, the adventures we would go, I would finally have my big sister again but most importantly, watching you bond with our parents. My dream never came true. I want you to know a few things though:

You would have loved Mom and Dad for sure. They are not perfect but they are the best parents we could have ever asked for and they have loved you every single step of the way. They never gave up on you, always seeking new treatments and solutions to your ailment. In your short life, you saw more doctors than anyone human being should in their lifetime. That is how loving and resilient our parents were towards you. They never gave up and loved you just as much they love us if not more, because you were their special child.

Know that I miss you. I have been missing you since I was born; missing the older sister who should have been if the accident didn’t happen. Know that I am sorry for the times that I wasn’t a good sister; for the times when I didn’t care for you as I should have because I was always away at boarding school, for the times when I was ashamed of you and failed to mention that I had a sick sister at home, for the times when I stole your birthrights and introduced myself as the first while you were still clearly with us, for not loving you as I should have loved you, Merline I am so sorry.

I was initially angry with God for letting the devil win,for letting the devil have access to you and hurt you  the way he did, for abandoning you. Now I know better, though I will never understand why He let the devil have access to you, I know for a fact that the devil did not win. I know that God did not abandon you, He was always there protecting you from harm even in the seizures. I know that God won because you died a very peaceful death,in your sleep.

You might have not lived the life that was meant for you but even in your sickness, you have left us a legacy. A legacy of how to love someone when they don’t know they are being loved, how to care for someone who is unaware, how to be strong and look to God in the midst of adversity. Apart from being born in a world with original sin, you were blameless, spotless and if there is anyone close in perfection, it would be you. We have lost you on earth but we have gained an angel in heaven. I know you are next to Jesus in God’s kingdom, watching even as I type this.

This is not the healing I was praying God for recently but I know it is not about me but you, and because of that I know you finally got your healing, you are finally free. Fly Angel. We would never forget you Merline, you will live in our hearts forever.Together with God and Jesus, I know you will be watching over us and guiding us. We will do our best to live our lives in your honor.

Indeed, God knows best.

When Life Doesn’t Throw You Lemons

Here I am making a yet another comeback after months of being away. This was totally unplanned and unprecedented. I missed the WordPress world, reading other powerful articles and I missed writing. It has been a few rough months, I tried to pick myself up and write but even inspiration eluded me.

I had an outlook of how I wanted to spend my summer. I had planned to read ten books; broadening my genres further, volunteer more, learn Spanish, write an article every week for my blog since I was out of school the summer and get to know other blogs and bloggers. Alas, my outlook didn’t materialize and my reality was a lot grim.

There is the saying that “when life throws you lemons, you make lemonades”. I happen to love lemonade and so I will squeeze the juice out of those lemons to have as much lemonade as I possible could but what do you do when life throws you rotten lemons? I have always understood that expression to mean that when things don’t quite pan out, make do with the situation.

It has been a rough few weeks which I totally didn’t anticipate. The company I worked for wasn’t doing so well, so a lot hours had to be cut. The moment I got in on that information, I started looking for a supplemental/replacement job. I should have started sooner because my hours kept reducing to almost nothing and I couldn’t seem to find another one quick enough.

My friend dubbed me the “the interview pro”, that’s because at some point, I was going for at least one interview every week. Things became extremely hard, my bills kept piling up yet I wasn’t seeing a way out. Thankfully my lease was ending in May or I would have been thrown out, I had to make the hard decision to downsize from my one bedroom apartment to getting roommates.

By June, my car was almost repossessed until a family friend step in and took care of the car note for me.My last month living alone was almost a nightmare; a lot of my bills were past due which meant I had no water, no electricity,  no heat, no gas, no internet. As if that wasn’t enough, things seemed to only worsen with my boyfriend  and my family drama was unending.I was living a nightmarish dream which wouldn’t stop.

I am one of the most optimistic people I know; friends and coworkers would say I am that person who laughs even when nothing is funny or even when there is nothing to laugh about. In any difficult situation, I always find that I am the voice of hope, encouraging people, motivating them and assuring them that it will all be ok. But when it was time to be optimistic and stay positive for me, I checked out.

I have never been so scared in my life. I agree that there are people facing even tougher situations than I did but the truth of the matter is, our realities are different. My reality maybe a walk in the park for them whilst theirs might be a trip to hell for me. Oh the things we take for granted. Who knew not having gas to make a decent meal, or just hot water to shower or money for gas to get to an interview could be so threatening.

If that was God’s test for me, I think I might have failed woefully. I have been through a tougher situation than this but I think anytime your livelihood is threatened, you panic and that is exactly what I did. It was difficult to stay optimistic when all those interviews weren’t translating to offers, it was hard to stay positive when I wasn’t sure how I will make the rent and other bills and definitely hard to laugh when you are showering in -2 degree water in a 30 degree weather.

I should have known, as they say, hindsight is always 20/20. My God had me the whole time. I didn’t get to pay those bills. In fact, they are still piling up but the most important things that I couldn’t do without like a roof over my head or my car to take me on all those interviews were taken care of. He put people in my life who helped me just in the nick of time. They helped me out of the abundance of their hearts but I also know without a doubt that God put it in their hearts to come through for me when they did. I am so thankful to them and forever grateful to the God I serve.

I didn’t get the job I wanted but I got two part time jobs that are paying my rent and car note so far. Still looking to find something better so I can start paying off my debts (the past due bills). I thank God for the wisdom He gave me to downsize, I would have still been in the same hell-hole.

Things are beginning to look up, I am getting back to that bubbly girl that I know. Things might not get back on track fully as I want them to but I hope I don’t loose myself anymore in the chaos. I missed me too. I missed the girl who bursts into spontaneous laughter at silly thoughts, who makes light of every situation, who sometimes cries and laughs at the same time. I got too overwhelmed with my issues that I slowly started leaving a sour taste with some people. I missed the motivator in me, the encourager, the supportive one.

As they saying goes better late than never; we just started July and I have decided to catch up with those goals and do as much as I can before the summer is over. This has strengthened me for any future trials which I do not hope for, shown me my true friends, taught me to be more appreciative, to never loose myself amidst the chaos and most importantly, God always has my back. He is always working intricately behind the scenes making sure I don’t drown and even if it got to that, He would rescue me. This I know for sure.

Happy July Fourth Y’all.