A Selfless Love story—Part 2

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Christmas is around the corner and we are gradually winding down to the end of the year.  We have a lot of things in the works: ‘our charity visit on the 22nd, moving to our official website and restructuring the organization’ All we ask is that you remember us in your prayers, read, share,comment, subscribe and generally live your life better and for Christ. I know you cannot wait to start reading, now dig in

The last thing I hear is a voice yelling “call an ambulance!”before I lose consciousness. I don’t know how long I was out for, but I wake to voices sounding like they were coming from a thousand miles away. I try to open my eyes, but my head was banging, i tried to lift my arms but they were sore and heavy. I could hear murmurs around me and the crackling sound of a fire next to me. Where was I? Who were they? I slowly try to open my eyes and all I can see is a blurry image of a man in white. “Am I in heaven?” I croaked but no one seemed to hear me. Why was my mouth bitter and throat dry? I could hear mother’s voice from a distance and she sounded worried and tired. What had happened? I tried harder this time to open my eyes. At first all I could still see was the same blurry vision of people I couldn’t recognize then it all came back! These people brought the news that turned my day into night! The news that has left a deep hole inside my heart! My soul mate had died! I was never going to see my best-man again! I was never going to see his dark and handsome face! I was never going to see his dimpled smile that brightened my days and warmed my heart! Oh God! Does it mean all I have now are memories of time shared and regrets of time lost?! Hot tears began to find their way down my face.

I shut my eyes and opened them hoping this bad dream would end and my husband would come home as he promised. I looked around and nothing had changed! I saw the men leave, still my best-man was nowhere. Deep sorrow shook me from my core as my silent tears turned into cries and then I wailed! I screamed so hard my voice would have reached the heavens. Mother rushed towards me and held me tight. She rocked me and cried too. We cried till there was nothing left. I had often heard mother sing hymns (some of which were my best-man favorites) we would sing and burst into tears midway. I was still hoping it was all a huge joke or mistake or anything that would make this all a lie.

We hear a knock on the door, mother went to get it. I was hoping the soldiers were back to tell us it was a mix-up but no, it was our neighbors paying us a condolence visit. How bad news travel fast. I heard them mumble some words that they must have thought would make us feel better. I zone them out and travel down memory lane of my best-man, I recall the time we spent in college and all the dreams we had. Tears roll down my eyes as I shut the world out.

I was burning up, a sudden fever had come upon me as I was still in shock, I saw mother rush towards me with a basin, she looked so frail.I heard someone say to her: “Mummy bring it I will do it, you can sit down and relax.”

Mother refused.

I could feel the warmth of her quivering hands on my forehead as she used a cold towel to bathe me. I closed my eyes drowning in my memories. All I could think of was why? How?

Why did he have to go?

How do I go on?

He was serving his country? He was so loyal, even when I didn’t want him to go, he still did so why did God not protect him. I felt pain like a physical ache and I wished that death could take me, so I could be with him.

I open my eyes and I meet mother’s. I looked into her eyes at the same moment she looked into mine. She saw the questions in my eyes and I knew she could feel the pain I was passing through. She had aged by years in just a few hours. Aging caused only by heartbreak. I wondered how she felt losing a son, how she could still hold up after all that had happened.

I wanted to tell her that this was not going as I planned it.

I wanted to tell her that I was supposed to have kids and grow old with my husband living happily ever after.

I wanted to say that I had it all written down in my little journal that I carried everywhere I went.

But my lips failed me as I felt tears gushing out of my eyes again. I saw tears rolling down mother’s eyes too, but she rushed to wipe them, gripped herself together immediately and mouthed to me, “Trust God”.

I didn’t understand how someone who had just lost a child could still act this way. Our neighbors left, sympathizers came and left. The army came with full support, my best-man was sent off in style! If he were alive he would have made a joke or two about the ceremony. It was a beautiful sad event!

Days turned into months and the pain remained as fresh as when those two men came to announce the death of my husband.

Mother was everything you could ever imagine, her faith never wavered! Many times, I would glimpse at her and see her hurry to wipe off the tears that had fallen from her eyes.

She was stronger than I ever could be, the source of her strength I could never really tell. I no longer prayed or read my bible, I could not relate to the God who could take away my happiness away in a twinkle of an eye. I did not understand how my life was over in a blink. I was a walking dead, I was on auto-pilot most times and my schedule were strictly work and home. Mother tried but I just couldn’t seem to move past my pain. I was stuck in my misery and I didn’t see a way past it.

One evening I was preparing dinner, when mother came to sit next to me. She talked and praised me for being the daughter she never had. She said she had really hoped things had panned out differently, but she was still grateful to God anyway.  I was yet to understand how she could be grateful to God for taking away her children and husband, leaving no one to continue the family name.  We that is Mother, and I had started reading the bible together, something that started to pass time to ease the pain, but I was gradually getting my faith back, one step at a time. I wondered where the conversation was headed but didn’t have to wait for long. Her voice tired and resigned said “I came to this country in a search for a better life with my family. I came here full but look at me now…I have nothing left. And as the adage in my county, if you can no longer proceed forward, then it’s time to go back. My daughter, I love you like you are mine that’s why I want you to go,live your life, find love again, while I return to my fatherland”. She said I was young and beautiful and could start life afresh.

I was hurt! Did mother think I could move on without her? Did she think I would let her be by herself?

“No mother! I will go nowhere” I responded

Where you go I will follow and I will start this new life with you. I will love Nigeria and its people like I love my country and I will continue this walk of faith that I have started.

I continued with my cooking as I wondered if mother knew how much I loved her…

See you all next week as we continue this exciting journey and just may be the story might come to an end next week. Stay tuned, God bless you all and do not forget that God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

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A Selfless Love story—Part 1

Hello tribe.  Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story. I have been looking forward to this!  #MondayswithGWA is here to stay. Now dig in:

I hope you enjoy reading as much as I’ll enjoy telling it. I hope you can pick a thing or two and share how it relates to you.

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I am your average American girl, a stable home, beautiful looks, brains and guts. I had life easy, some will say too easy. I had access to things that I now realize I took for granted. In short,I had a good life (I still do). My whole life was lived according to a plan I had mapped out and even written down in my journal. From the schools I attended to people I could call friends, to where I interned, to the company I now work for and courses I took. I had a deliberate road map of how my life was going to turn out. I had even penned down the age I would get married, the kind of man he would be, his social status; when I would give birth and even how many children I would have…  but you know what they say…” the best things happen in-between your plans” (something like that)in between all my numerous plans I met the best man in the world! 

We met in college, at a time when I wasn’t thinking of dating. Yes, it was not in my well laid out plans, so I played hard to get for a long while before I finally gave in because what an African man wants, he gets. That’s what he said, quite cheeky of him. Lol (yes, my best man hails from the rich soil of Nigeria). His family had relocated to America when he was sixteen because his father had gotten a job here and wanted a “better life” for his family. Dating my best-man as I called him was the best experience as at that time. Though we rarely saw each other as about a year into our relationship he joined the army, it was a whole new experience being with someone who made me his priority. Our relationship was filled with constant love; pampering; growth. The relationship changed me in so many ways. I became a whole new being. I grew in strength, my spiritual life became much better, I could no longer be limited, and I learnt to forgive,not to hold grudges. He was my prayer partner and I learnt to love God more deeply and walk in his path.

His family was more than welcoming. Though he had lost his father a few years before we met, his mother and brother were warm! His mother treated me like the daughter she never had, and I was overwhelmed with love. I often wished his mother was my mother. My mother loved me, she loves me, but I have never felt that complete undemanding, unconditional love like I felt when I was around his mum. I felt totally at ease and comfortable around them and often had to be reminded to go home. (Yes, you can laugh because I am laughing at myself retelling this story).

Exactly 2 years, 4 months and 12 days into our relationship he proposed! He had come home in between stations, looking all dapper in his uniform, one knee down, a flower and a ring and the best question I ever heard.It was not exactly as I envisioned it, I wanted something romantic: a trip to the Bahamas or Paris, lights, candles, family and friends and the big question. Something Instagram-worthy. I could imagine the hashtag #MeettheWilliams. Awww, love is so sweet, true love that is. However, I could not have been more excited to say yes as I had no iota of doubt that this was who I wanted to spend the rest of my life, this was my Prince, the one God had prepared for me, the one who would lead me closer to God and make me a princess fit for my King and Lord. We were wed 2 weeks later much to his mother’s horror as she wanted a big wedding, but he was going to begone for a long time and we wanted to be wed! We had probably the shortest honeymoon ever as two days after our wedding I bid my husband farewell as he went off to his new assignment. With teary eyes I joined my new mother in the car and drove to her house which was now mine. My husband wanted me to move in with his mom as he didn’t have a house of his own due to the nature of his job and didn’t want me all by myself, so I moved!

The first 6 months of married life was overwhelming. I struggled with being newly wedded to being a young wife to a man fighting a war I didn’t understand but he was determined to serve his country and living with my mother in-law made it a thousand times more bearable. We would pray together, talk about my husband’s growing up and life together, read his letters together(well some of them as some of them were for my eyes only. Yes, my best man was a poet). She taught me so many Nigerian recipes, so I could wow my husband when he returned as she kept telling me how the way to a man’s heart is through his belly. She told me so much about home that I fell in love with the place. We would always joke about how she wanted to be buried in her homeland when she passes on…beneath the jokes I could tell how much she missed home.

Then it happened.

We had gotten a letter that my best man was coming home,this time for good. Every day was steeped in anticipation …looking out the window several times of the day once we sensed or felt movement. I could not wait for him to be back, so I could sleep at night without wondering if the war was going to take him captive, nights spent sleeping in his shirt and entreating God for mercy on him so that he could come home where he belonged. This day was no exception, we had looked out several times..it was a job! I heard a car outside our home and looked out then screamed, danced and raced downstairs all at the same time! “He’s back! He’s back!!” I rush out gasping for breath then paused…something was not right. Why were there two men in uniform and not one? Wait…my husband isn’t even here. “Oh God” I heard their voice just as mama made it to my side “are you Mrs Ade-williams” I nod in fear as my worst fears were confirmed. All I heard was ” I am sorry..­died in battle…hero” before the darkness enveloped me and I slumped.

 See you all next week as we continue this exciting journey. Stay tuned, God bless you all and do not forget that God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

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Learning to ask WHY

Awww. This is the first post this month. Things are cooking. We have missed you all tremendously and we are back and yes better. Monday mornings with #GWA is here to stay. We would be talking about #LearningtoaskWhy. You want to know what exactly this means and how this affects you; now read:

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A couple of years ago(roughly four years) I lost a friend, not just any friend but one whose life was dedicated to being a bridge that brought people together, the pain was almost unbearable, cried and hurt till I felt empty. Life gone in a twinkle of an eye; plans disrupted, and a void created. From then I have lost a grandfather, an uncle and another relative. Recently, a very close friend of mine lost her fiancé who was also a mutual friend to I and my other friend who had died four years ago, the pain was overwhelming, and it brought back a lot of memories of loss and just when I thought it could not get any worse, my uncle passed away.

Now comes the time for what-ifs, regrets, wishes unfulfilled, words left unspoken, goodbyes left unsaid, thoughts and actions not implemented, praises and compliments not given, the sadness that marks the demise of a loved one and the ultimate question why?

Why him? Why her?

Why did he have to go?

Why didn’t he stay longer?

Why was I not given the opportunity to say goodbye?

How do I move on?

How do I cope and keep on living?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Why did God take him or her?

How could God have sat and allowed this happen?

How do you console the family of the bereaved?

How do you stay strong?

Why do you even have to be strong?

These and more were the questions that ran through my mind when I heard the news, the shock, the disbelief, the pain, the heartache, the tears and the night spent wishing a miracle could happen; wishing, hoping praying that it would all be a bad dream,one I would wake up from and learn that he was okay. It never happened, and we learnt to live with the pain that never fully goes away.

Friends told me God gives and God takes, we cannot question him. I had questions; lots of them, I wondered why he didn’t get healed, why he had to go when he had so much to live for, why God called him home when he did. I never asked them because I was told you didn’t ask God questions. His journey on earth had come to an end. I didn’t think of it again until this year when my friend lost her fiancé and she asked why he had to die, why weren’t her prayers answered, he was serving his country why couldn’t he be protected. It tore my heart and I remembered what happened when my friend died. I didn’t have answers for her and I told her that she should take those questions to God.

You see God gives and He takes, He does not require our permission before He creates, likewise He does not require our permission when He decides that man’s journey on earth has come to an end, but we have a right, we can ask him questions. He is not an unfeeling God, He is father of us all and he holds the answer to all our questions. For with acceptance comes understanding and understanding can only come from enlightenment which can only come from answered questions. God is not too busy that he does not have time for your seemingly-to-other people unimportant taken-for-granted questions. He knows, He feels your pain, it hurts Him that you hurt and yes His ways are not our ways and just may be that sick person needs to be in the father’s embrace to rest, yet there are lots of persons whose lives end in a flash, who for their loves ones they had no chance to say goodbye.

It is okay to ask God questions when you do not understand. It is okay to seek enlightenment on why things are the way they are and trust me He will answer. He is big enough for our questions and doubt, they do not take anything away from who He is. However,to ask questions, we must come with the right attitude, come to Him humbly,believing that He holds all the answers we seek. It is the heart behind the asking that matters. We are humans, frail beings by nature, our dependency comes alone from the Father. The answer may be a knowing in your heart that this is his will for that person, a passage from the bible that brings comfort to your heart that they really are in a better place far away from the hardships of the world, a peace that tells you he is aware and he understands,the comfort and solace from friends and other loved ones.

It is unfair to tell a grieving person not to ask God questions, to give that easy-to-say until-you-have-been-in-their-shoes: ‘God gives, and God takes, who are we to question Him’ response. If you do not know what to say, keep quiet and just let them cry on your shoulders. The time will come when their minds and hearts are ready to accept that Yes, God does give, and God takes away in his own time and according to his own purpose. The grieving person can ask and he or she shall receive understanding that makes the pain easier to live with.

And as I am learning in Jeremiah 29:11-13, “I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for. Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will answer you. You will seek me, and you will find me because you seek me with all your heart.” His plans are always for my good, his thoughts towards me are those that will bring the future I hope for no matter how painful and harrowing the journey might be. I am learning to acknowledge as He says in Isaiah 55:8 ‘My thoughts, says the Lord,are not like yours, and my ways are different from yours.” meaning that God’s plans for us, and His interpretation of the plans for our welfare, future and hope may not necessarily line up with ours but they will be better than we can imagine and His plans will give us the future we hope for and give Him glory. We need to trust and have faith that God keeps his words, he is not man that he should go back on his words. We can learn to thank God in our sufferings and pains same as we thank Him in the victories He gives us. I am learning that the life of a Christian is not free from hardships, Christ did not promise a smooth ride, he even asks that we take up our cross and follow him but believe that He will be there the entire time, lean on him and He will give us the strength to carry through any pain, heartache or loss. I am learning to understand that the decisions He takes are not taken lightly, He knows the end from the beginning,that there are lessons to be learnt in any situation even the loss of a loved one, that they could be the answers to a prayer, his way to draw us closer to himself. And he would do whatever it takes to have us to Himself, joined in perfect union with the one who loved us even before we existed.

Think about it: “He loves you with a love that is so pure, a love that defies reasoning, He loves you enough to send His Son, to give Him up to death. He knows what it feels when a loved one dies, He saw Jesus die, He sees your pains, he understands and will give you the answers you seek as long as you come to him in humility and prayers.” And as the bible says in Romans 8:35-39: ‘’ Who, then, can separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or death? As the scripture says, ‘For your sake we are in danger of death at all times; we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered.’No, in all these things we have complete victory through him who loved us! For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.” The hope we have is an everlasting hope that one day we would meet to part no more and we would be able to say: ‘Where, Death is your victory? Where, Death is your power to hurt?’Until then we live our lives in preparedness for that day, so the question is: ‘If death comes knocking, are you ready?’

See you all next week as we take you on an exciting journey. Do you know what we will be discussing? Stay tuned and God bless you all. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

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This name I bear

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we have been called Christians, our every action must show that.

Hello Lovely Family, it is with sober hearts that we bring this reflection. We have prayed and we believe that God will open the hearts of our minds so that we can take a good look at our lives, see the areas that scream for improvement and with honor live up to the name we bear. 

 I am ashamed to call myself a Christian. For it is an honor to bear the name Christian, yet I have smeared it with my sin. I have stained it with my guilt and I keep my head down in shame. How can my lips profess one thing and my hands do another? How can I with the same lips call you Lord and master yet an insult is never far off. I who should seek to your will is filled with the desire to please others, my heart lusts after another.I move one step forward, I pull back a thousand steps. Something keeps pulling me back and I struggle against the tides. I know you would tell me to go with the flow. But I would like to ask: what’s the flow?
This flow that makes me question myself, this flow that leaves me bereft of words, this flow that feels akin to my person.

 My Instagram bio has Christ lover, Daughter of God, Man of God, Kingdom child, the same goes for my twitter handle. I flaunt it so proudly, scream it loud. Yes, the world must know that I am I a Christian even though my lifestyle says otherwise.I profess my love for you,like an alabaster jab filled with oil, I continuously pour words of libation on the altar of my love for you. I never get tired of letting others know that I am a Christian, yet my life is in shambles. You are so far away I tell myself,these ones are closer, I can see them.

This desire to please others consume me. I shake it off only to feel it come back in a different form. I love one whom I can’t see, and I ought to please Him. But there are so many others who I see and feel that I shouldn’t have to lose them. Remember that you cannot love God whom you have not seen if you do not love your neighbors. I lie Lord!Twisted your words to please myself, to assuage the guilt I feel.For you are Love, for it is the love of you in us that prompts us to love another.

I am stuck fighting a war that I feel like I am losing, this war is worse than the world wars combined. It’s a war in my spirit, a war for dominance – total dominance. One person must win for within me there is space for only one Being. One Being who would have total control.
I must have Faith and what does Faith demand- total submission to the will of another. You see I like to tell myself that I have faith, you know that mustard seed kind but I am gradually loosing that Faith.
The world is gradually pulling me into its arms, it holds me fair and seduces me with promises of beauty. But then what is beauty? When my soul is raw from pain. What is beauty when I am ashamed to look within. What is beauty when I can barely recognize me. You see I try and I fall, and I am tired. My arms are covered in bruises, I want to lay where I have fallen.

I have become a two-faced liar, I should have said two-faced Christian but the sacredness of that name, the weight of the responsibility that the name brings is one I have not borne for a long while. In church I sing Oh how I love you Lord, you see that’s my favourite song. I love you Lord, I think I know what Love is. I think I do love you, but the truth is I do not love you as I ought to and I do not love you enough, for you do not hurt the one you love. The desires of the one you love are supposed to be topmost in the mind of the one who loves but this is not true for me. Your commands to sum it up are this: “Love of God and love of man.” For if I love you, I will keep your words, I would not make for myself another god, money and its pursuits, the desires of the flesh and others would not be my god. I would hold your words in high regard and not profane them. If I loved you as I professed, I would honour my parents, not covet another’s properties.

I remember the words of the psalmists in Psalms 51:3 “…my sins are always before me…” I tell myself that I am not that bad. I am in church every Sunday, I give my tithes and try to keep your words. Defending my every action, no time to take stock and look at my life and see areas that need to be checked and worked on. I constantly make the sacrifice on the cross a sham and continuously send you to Calvary. I look now and see that Calvary was and is the greatest act of love. To give up one’s self for sinners, the sinless one dying in place of those condemned to death.

You offer me salvation and love; this journey you have called me is one filled with obstacles, but your grace is enough. Your love is a shield around me. Even when I feel like giving up, I see your grace.
You let me know that all my efforts are not in vain. You let me see myself through your eyes- an imperfect child of a perfect God. I am amazed that you care. You know that passage Psalm 8:4 that says who is man that you should care,mortal man that you are mindful of him. That’s how I feel, you are aware of every single step that I take, every single tear that I shed, every mistake that I make. You see the often not-so- sincere attempts at repentance. I am scared that I would leave earth without your love. I do not want to be afraid, I do not want fear to be the guiding force, I want love so deep, so pure to compel me to serve you.

Remember whose you are, Return to me says the Father, I stand and knock at the door of your heart, and I offer you Redemption so that you might Rejoice in me and that one day our Reunion in heaven may be all that you have dreamed of this side of heaven.

This name that you bear isone that I have called you by, I call you Child, you are mine, I knit you inyour mother’s womb, I have known you since the beginning of time. You are mybeloved, loved just as if you were the only one that existed. Christian, Christ-like,following the path of Christ is your mission, bear that name with honor andlive up to your name.

Do follow us on all our social media handle @Godlywomenarising. Don’t forget to share, like, comment, subscribe and tell a friend to tell a friend to visit our page.

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The Story of One Man retold—concluding part

Hello lovely Family. We trust that you have anticipated the concluding part of the story as much as we have and we loved writing it too. We are so s no spoilers). We always hope that our posts inspire you to do better and live right with God. Now dig in. 

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Was I ever going to beat cancer?

Was this how my life was going to end?

The tumor was growing instead of shrinking. The doctor said they needed to increase the dosage of Divalproex because of the seizure I had experienced. I also needed to be admitted in the hospital for observation and intensive chemotherapy. How much worse could life get?

I go to use the restroom and I get a look at myself in the mirror and I am shocked at what I see, sunken eyes, gaunt cheeks and I looked like a shadow of myself. The chemotherapy had turned me bald and still the tumor showed no sign of reducing. Three weeks later, I was still in the hospital thankfully my blood pressure had reduced, and I had not had another seizure.

The doctor came in one morning and said I needed another MRI scan to determine the size of the tumor. This was the third MRI scan I had done. The results were as I feared, the tumor was not shrinking, and I needed a kidney transplant and brain surgery immediately. The total cost of the operations ran into hundreds of millions of Naira as I needed to have the operations in India plus there was the cost of rehabilitation. The liver infection had been treated so I had something to be thankful for.

The scheduled date for travel was in a month’s time and all I needed to do was continue dialysis, radiation therapy, conserve my energy and raise the funds. I had prayed and prayed and still it did not look my miracle was forthcoming. So many times, I felt like giving up, I wished death would take me. God can’t you hear me? Why won’t you heal me? I have faithfully served you and kept your commandments. Why do I have to be besieged by this illness? Why has all my life’s efforts gone to waste.

My friends came to the hospital to see me three weeks before I was supposed to travel. I had just finished another radiation session and was drifting in and out of consciousness. “Why would you sell all your properties joy?” I faintly hear my childhood friend speak with quiet displeasure “do you honestly think he can survive this? I really doubt” Jide another friend speaks, and I can hear my wife sobbing. I open my eyes faintly and see two of my friends and my older brother looking serious. I was about to attempt a greeting when I heard my brother speak “I always told him to renounce that his white God. I blame my father for allowing him to live in the white man’s land. This their gentle God cannot do anything for him and I doubt any would. The best thing is for him to perform his maturity rites to our deities, renounce this white God so that when he dies the ancestors can receive him with open arms. “I see my friends nodding in agreement, for the first time ever I see my wife helpless and confused. These guys had given up. They already were planning my demise. What hope did I have? I thought they were Christians, we all worshiped in the same church and they were all elders in the church. Had suffering and trials caused them to turn their backs on God or did I not know their true selves. These people knew my position! Why would they do this to me I think angrily. I raise my left hand. It took a while for them to notice me during their dubious planning. My wife rushes to my side and I signal for pen and paper on which I wrote these words that changed it all “I WILL NEVER RENOUNCE MY GOD, FOR HE IS THE ONLY TRUE GOD” I press the bell for the nurse and ask to be left alone.

I sigh and close my eyes. I think of all I’ve been through; the thought came again “why me? Why?” and then I heard His voice quiet, yet firm and clear “why not you?” did I hear right I mused and heard it again “why not you? You are not the first and won’t be the last. Even I bore my cross, I bore it for you. So that even if you pass through trials and tribulations here on earth, even if your heart is broken and you lose all on earth, you may gain all in my father’s kingdom. There’s one thing more important than all these, and it’s reigning with me in my kingdom” as tears stroll down my face I hear what sounds like a sigh, followed by these words “I know the thoughts i have for you, they are of peace and not of evil. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers you from them all” I feel a sense of deep peace and drift to sleep.

My wife sold the properties and with few of our closest friends contributing we were able to raise the funds needed. We went for the surgeries in the India, with all that was left to my name, my wife, a dash of hope and the resignation that my life was in God’s hands for Him to do with it as He pleased. Was I scared? Definitely! Did I have worries? Yes, but there was a peace in my heart that God had me.

The operation was successful, but I was in coma for 4 weeks post-op. My wife apparently had to be admitted too as the whole stress had taken a toll on her health. The carer became the one being cared for. Whilst unconscious I had an experience I would never forget. I saw myself at what looked like a court…I saw the fiercest looking judge ever. He was shining bright and couldn’t be looked at. I saw a beautiful but wicked looking man, he was the accusing attorney. On the right side of the judge was another bright shining man. I saw him come to me in the dork I was in. He held my hands, He called my name, and smile at me. He took me to the front of the judge and I heard Him say “I died for him, I was crucified for him, I died that he may live. Father!” Father! Father! OMG! I thought as it dawned on me “Father, he is pure, without transgression. He is clean and we’ve all (stretching his hands to capture the accuser) seen that there is no iniquity in him, so it is time father, it is enough. The accuser has had enough” I hear the beautiful wicked lawyer try to speak but he was cut short. I heard the judge speak, His voice none could dare interrupt. But I hear the love in them, telling me He is proud of me and that though weeping had endured for a night, my morning has come.

I wake with a start and feel energized like I did in my twenties, I asked for my wife and was taken to her and she had recovered too. The doctor asked us to rest and take some tests. I knew the results will come out clean, but we go anyways. I told my wife my experience and she was amazed.

The doctor comes to check us the following day, stating all we already knew with even more dazing news. Our health couldn’t have been better…But my wife, my wife was pregnant! I know you are wondering how she got pregnant, that’s God for you. She had been pregnant all along without us knowing. I think I know when this happened, some weeks before I had the seizure that sent me to the hospital, but we never expected anything to happen as she was already in her menopause. Nothing could take away the joy of that news we were going to be parents again. How?! Oh God!! Oh God!! I find myself in awe of his works.

We went back to Nigeria, and the management of my company decided to compensate us for the jobs we lost. Surprisingly my boss had started his own company and decided to make me a partner. I could hardly believe that all of these were happening at the same time. I got everything I lost in multiple folds. My wife, ah yes, my darling wife put to bed and had quadruplet. Of all the ways God could have chosen to bless, the miracle of new life was the best of all. I am grateful for all I have experienced and thankful for his manifold blessings. The rest of my life has just started and the best is still to come.

 

I know you have been wondering who I am. My name is Job. Thanks for coming along with me on this journey and here are the lessons I have picked up from this season of trails.

 

  • God knows everything we go through. He is ever aware and because He does not give us an immediate response does not mean he is unaware.
  • In the face of adversities trust God. No matter what life throws at you, no matter the challenges, trust that God will see you through and He will rescue you. It is easy to trust when things are going on well but learn to trust God even when problems abound.
  • Seek to find out what God is teaching us in whatever season of our lives we find ourselves in. He might be teaching us humility, seeking to draw us to himself in prayer. So instead of asking God why me, ask what am I supposed to learn from this.
  • Bad things happen to good people and although friends may fail us God never fails.
  • Our trails can make us bitter and hardened or it can make us better and dependent on God. Which will yours do for you?
  • God limits the trials? He will not give you a test that is more than your ability to bear it.
  • Ultimately, God is in charge!

 

If there are other lessons you have learnt, please drop them in the comment section.

Also, if there are other bible characters you would like us to remodel their life stories, please let us know also in the comment section.

Stay tuned with us until next week. Do follow us on all our social media platforms @Godlywomenarising. God bless you all. Don’t forget to share, like, comment and subscribe and tell a friend to tell a friend.

 

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The Story of One Man retold – 3

Hello lovely Family. We trust that you have anticipated the continuation of the story as much as we have and we loved writing it too. We felt every pain and sigh (don’t worry there are no spoilers). We always hope that our posts inspire you to do better and live right with God. Now dig in. 

 

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I’m afraid we have some bad news” more bad news! I thought, like my whole world had not just crumbled before my eyes. What more could happen, little did I know that Life as I knew it was over. I tried to lift my right hand in resignation and found out I couldn’t. I became frustrated. “Waarhh waarhh ris haapuning” I said. You guessed right, my speech had become slurred. The doctor with a look of dejection the kind I have never seen on a person less a doctor’s face proceeded to mumble a bunch of jargon (that is how they seemed to me). I managed to catch the words “hypertension, high blood pressure, partial stroke, liver infection, kidney shutting down… India, surgery, 100 million, a long road to recovery, less than 50% chance of the surgery being a success.”

He however wanted to run some more tests when I was more stable, an MRI scan to see if there was a tumor and a biopsy of the tissues of the liver and kidney to determine the extent of the damage to the kidney and liver. I had never been more scared in my life than at that moment. How? That question kept reverberating in my head. How could this happen? I ate healthy, exercised, my wife had a fitness studio and ensured that we all kept fit. I was the model man for healthy. How did I go from being healthy to been so sick in a couple of days? Why didn’t my body give me signs? How do I survive? Where do I go from here?

I shut my eyes hard, wishing it was all a nightmare, may be if I laid still it would all be a dream. I opened them slowly to still find myself confined to the hospital bed, my wife still distraught, half of my body still useless. “Is this the end Lord?” I think to myself. Different thoughts cross my mind. I remember the Bible passage “greater is the end of a thing than it’s beginning….” and I could almost swear I could hear the devil laughing at me. Oh, I could just imagine the tabloids having a field day “Multimillionaire loses all in a day” or “24 hours of calamities” or “The beginning of the Multimillionaire’s downfall” that should make a good Nollywood movie I muse sarcastically within me. I could imagine the tales that would begin to fly… they would probably conclude that I had done money rituals, and all these were a part of my bargain with the devil or a punishment for all my numerous sins. “but why?! Why Lord??! Why?” I sob within my spirit. A nurse comes to give me an injection…I feel the pain fade and sleep consume me……….

Yet sleep held no comfort, the demons I was facing followed me into my sleep. I dreamt I was locked in a cage inside a deep, fast-moving river, there was no key to unlock the cage and I couldn’t swim and was drowning. I screamed and screamed, but no one came to my aid and the instant before death took me, I woke up gasping for air. I kept waking and sleeping in fits and starts and on some days, fear held me bound and I could not sleep. My nightmares had officially started, and the dreams became a part of my daily existence. I lost so much weight during that period and became a shadow of myself.

I still had to do the tests that were to decide my fate. I had been battling with headaches and blurry visions and the doctor said it was part of the symptoms of brain cancer. I had spent 1 week in the hospital by then, finally the day came for the MRI scan. It was carried by 6:00am as I was not supposed to have eaten anything before the test like I had any appetite considering all I was facing. The whole process took about 45 minutes, I laid down on a table, a coil was placed around my head and the table moved into the tunnel. I have never been claustrophobic but inside that tunnel I felt so. I kept thinking: ‘this was not happening, I would wake up and it would all be a dream.’ After the scan, I was sedated just so I could get some rest.

In the afternoon, I had a renal and liver biopsy to determine the type of kidney disease I had. A thin biopsy needle was passed through my skin to remove kidney and liver tissue and carry out tests. The pain and discomfort I felt made me want to scream at the unfairness of the entire situation. After the tests, I was given medications and was told the results were going to be ready in a couple of days and all I had to do was rest and focus on getting better. Did I really hear the nurse say, ‘get better’? what was I getting better for, my children were gone, I had no job and I was slowly dying. What was there to live for I mused, and the answer came back to me: NOTHING!

My wife must have exhausted herself from crying as anytime I looked up all I could see was her swollen face and eyes red from pain. As I looked at her, I felt the worst was yet to come and I could not comfort her. The test was carried out on Monday and when the doctor came in that Friday morning, the gravity of the situation was etched in the lines on his forehead. There were no preambles, my heart beat increased, and I started sweating. I felt sick and I retched but nothing came up.

It’s cancer! I am sorry the doctor said.

My God, I have cancer, how? Tears streamed down my face and I felt so dejected and abandoned.

The doctor was still talking, and I had to listen. He gave a litany of all that was wrong with me. In his own words: ‘I am sorry, but you have glioblastoma multiforme, a fairly common type of brain cancer. The tests also revealed that you have benign tumors in your liver which thankfully are not cancerous and Chronic Kidney Disease which might require dialysis and a kidney transplant which are not readily available in the country. We also need to monitor your blood pressure and white cells count as the count needs to be high to effectively fight the cancer. I tuned out, but he continued. I am recommending four weeks of intense radiation therapy followed by removal of the tumor depending on the outcome of tests and a reduction in your blood pressure. Also, you would need to start treatment for the kidney disease, I suggest we start with dialysis immediately and raise the monies needed for a kidney transplant, the brain surgery and the liver surgery. We need to see a reduction in your blood pressure so as not to strain the muscles of your heart. There is need to watch out for seizures as they are part of the symptoms of brain cancer and could lead to death if not checked. I would be giving you Divalproex, to control the seizures. The drugs could lead to personality changes and slurred speech. The total cost should be within the range of 100 – 150 million given the magnitude of the treatment required and the cost of rehabilitation.

I cried till I was spent. Life as I knew was officially over. I thought of what I could do to raise the funds, I knew my medical insurance could not cover it. I wondered how God could bring me to this point after I had faithfully served him. He obviously didn’t care about me or maybe I had done something wrong and was being punished for it. I was discharged and asked to return in four days to start the radiation therapy and to carry out a dialysis.

I went home and on my second day at home, I had a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Luckily, I got to the hospital on time and the doctor was able to control the seizures. He said I needed to do carry out another MRI scan immediately. I was so scared and the look on my wife’s face echoed my own fears. I was admitted and the next morning the results were out. It was as the doctor had feared, the tumor in my brain was growing aggressively and something had to be done urgently.

 

Thanks for sticking with us and reading. The story will hopefully come to an end next week until then stay with us. May God bless you all abundantly. Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising. Please drop a comment, like and share.

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The Story of One Man retold – 2

Hello lovely Family. We trust that you have anticipated the continuation of the story and we loved writing it too. We felt every pain and sigh (don’t worry there are no spoilers). We always hope that our posts inspire you to do better and live right with God. Now dig in.

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Oh, how tragedy struck!!

It started like a dream, a very bad dream!

My children were coming back home from school, they had called before boarding the flight and were excited about coming home. My wife was beyond herself with joy. Overdoing it in the kitchen, I mean we were expecting 4 kids home not our entire village! But what do I know… Women and their need to prepare extensively. I was happy too as we had not seen the kids in months. I had to tell her to hurry or find her way (I always threaten to leave her but never do, isn’t that the story of all men!)

“Oh Joy! At this rate the children will grow old waiting at the airport” I exclaim with something between admiration and resignation which earned me an eye rolling session. I get a funny feeling in my gut but brushed it off and rushed to the car with Joy still fumbling with the flower arrangements.

Let me pause to tell you about my . Joy and I wanted 4 children and that was exactly what we got. Two handsome boys and two beautiful girls (yes, two sets of twins). I have always wanted twins and was so happy that God granted my request (our request) not once but twice. We had our boys after 2 years of marriage as we wanted to spend time together and enjoy our marriage before we started a family (I know man proposes and God disposes, but God answered us just as we requested. Are we not so blessed); 4 years after we had our gorgeous boys we decided to try again, and God blessed us yet again with my princesses.  Everything I wanted, everything I needed God had given to me and our children meant everything to us.

The boys were finally graduating from the University and my princesses had also just finished their first year in the university and were coming home together to spend the holiday. They had decided on a big road trip and a fabulous holiday that I’m sure had plans of making my account balance blink but that’s why I work as hard as I do. If they don’t spend my money, who will? It’s finally going to be a full house again and we can’t wait. We finally leave the house and drive to the airport, we get there just in time (Lagos traffic and the stress but the thought of seeing my kids more than make up for it.)

We move towards the arrival section again and I have this funny feeling again, only this time my eyes are greeted with a funny sight. I see lots of people running helter-skelter, people crying and wailing. The feeling becomes fear, I should have prayed when I first had the feeling, but I didn’t, I had convinced myself that it was nothing probably just excitement. I tell myself that it could not be, a plane could not have crashed. It probably was not the plane my kids were on. No way could anything have happened to my angels but deep down when I thought about it later, I knew they were gone but I was in shock. My whole world had just come crashing down on me. I rush to find an attendant “the flight from London please?”. It was due to arrive 30 minutes ago” She looked at me with distant eyes like she could not bring herself to speak about the horror that my life was about to become. I was still trying to understand what was happening when we spotted my daughters’ best friend’s parents. We rush to greet them when they broke the news…. The plane had crashed just before landing and there were no survivors! Everything around me became distant. I lost every sense of feeling, barely saw my wife collapse in pain, barely felt the tears roll down my eyes, barely felt anything at all… and all at once the pain hit me! I remember screaming “Jesus! Jesus!! Oh God!!!!!! No!!!” My wife wouldn’t stop screaming and I had no words of comfort. How do I begin to comfort her when I was lost, lost in the nightmare that had suddenly become my life? I lost all 4 children…26 years gone in a few minutes. Just like that! Why me?! Why??

I have no idea how we got home but I found we had and there was more bad news (just like in the movies, troubles they say come in threes) somehow my company had folded up and I was out of a job. Really? Really???  I knew things were difficult but for them to be bankrupt and the company distressed was more than I could bear. I stared at the letter in my hands for so long and the only thought in my head was how do I cope. Yes, I had savings and a couple of investments in both real estate and stocks. I could start life again and then it dawned on that I had no children to work for and the next thing I knew I was in the hospital….

I had fainted, and my wife had rushed me to the hospital. The doctor came in and said he had ran a couple of tests and the results didn’t look good. All I could think of was how bad could it be when all I had worked for had vanished in the twinkle of an eye. The doctor took with his next words all hope of living that I had.

 

Stay tuned and just may be we will conclude next week. God bless you all abundantly.

Do follow us on all our social media handle @Godlywomenarising. Don’t forget to share, like, comment, subscribe and tell a friend to tell a friend to visit our page.

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