I am excited,we are excited to start #Christianfiction. I said #MondayswithGWA is here to stay and we are kicking off the year with #AqueenlikenoOther and I am so loving this kick-ass, strong independent queen, okay no spoilers, let’s dig in.
Whew!!! A few people have had their stories told about them and I’m in awe of all the raw emotions they have poured out and it has inspired me to put down my own story for you my beloved friends. I would like to thank you in advance for deciding to take this journey down memory lane with me.
You see, my childhood was different from those of most of my peers in other countries, and even for the wealthy in our country but for us it was the only life we knew. I was orphaned at a very young age and was raised by my beloved uncle. He didn’t have much, in fact he had very little and sometimes he had nothing. We often went to bed with empty bellies or practiced 1-0-0 or 0-0-1 all in a bid to manage the meager income my uncle made. You see, my uncle worked as one of the security guards at the palace of the Oku Ibom Ibibio in our state. He was so close to the rich, yet so far from them. He worked at the gate of the most beautiful house…wait nope let me rephrase! He worked in the most elegant mansion in the state and even the country, but we lived in the dirtiest, lowest slum in the province. You need to visit the palace of the Oku Ibom Ibibio, it was a beauty to behold. Most times, I would pass through and I would imagine how it would feel to live in such opulence and have all these people attend to me, the luxury was something we could not afford living in the slums, yet we were happy. My uncle showed me so much love, he called me ‘Uyai mmi, Uyai Abasi’
From a very tender age, my uncle groomed me in the ways of the Lord. He taught me about humility, hard work, perseverance and good works. We didn’t have much, we never even have enough but we always made in a point of duty to share whatever we had with those around us. At times I did not understand how my uncle could be so happy, how he could give so much without a thought to his own comfort, how he did not mind going to bed on an empty stomach, if it meant that someone who was in greater need could smile. For my uncle, it was all about putting a smile on the face of others. He would tell me this every time I asked why he did what he did: ‘We ought to serve everyone just as Jesus did. He came to serve us, our creator died for us, we can only give so much to others for all we have and are comes from him.”
As I grew older, I began to understand the happenings around. I saw the wide gap between us and them, them being the wealthy of our society…our “lords” siphoning the monies meant for the masses, throwing parties and generally living large while we scrambled for the crumbs off their table. I felt that we had enough to go around that no one had to ever be poor, we were blessed with oil, ‘the black gold’, yet we were worse off. Our rich natural resources seemed to bring division and death, the suffering in the land was palpable, yet the rich fed off the riches of the land. I had a lot of questions, to which my uncle’s answer never wavered, he would always say “Eyen mmi, nie mboutidem ke Abasi.” To my uncle, all one needed to do was to trust in God.
Trusting took a bit of time, that was one of my hardest lessons to learn. Trusting means letting go, it often meant depending on others. I had lost my parents at a young age and I had learnt to be independent, going through life never being dependent but that was what my uncle was asking me to do. I had learnt to work hard and persevere, but I was yet to learn to have faith that God was not my parents who would desert me. Gently and consistently God showed me I could trust and lean on Him and I learnt to do just that! Trusting in the lord for all matters great and small, for what to eat and for what to do. As I look back I see that He always came through, right when we needed Him. He never failed, to me He was the God of the eleventh hour, the one who gave hope when all hope was lost.
I remember when I needed to have a surgery to operate on my eyes, we had lost hope as to raising the funds. We had tried the government hospital that was supposed to be free, but the waiting list was very long, and the doctors kept repeating that I was going to lose my sight if I did not have the surgery within the next couple of weeks. I had given up already and was totally consumed with the thought of how I would survive in a world without my sight. I was in my last year at the Federal University in the state capital Uyo studying Business Management and I had such lofty dreams on how to change my state and country, so it was such a rude shock hearing that I would no longer be able to see. I had earlier had an accident in my first year in Uni and was hit by an oncoming vehicle and I got hit in my head and I did not know that it affected my eyes as I had gone to the hospital and was treated. I did not think any bit of it until I started losing my vision at the end of my third year in the University when I was diagnosed with having cataracts that would require surgery to correct. Even my entrance into the university is a miracle but that’s a story for another day. My uncle believed that I was going to be fine sight or no sight and just when I thought all hope was lost an NGO offered to take care of the cost of the surgery, God showed up for me and confirmed my uncle’s favourite verse in Psalms 125 vs 1: “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which can never be shaken, never be moved.” Whenever I felt low, ‘Ete mmi’ as I fondly called my uncle would tell me: ‘Nie ime ini-abasi ado eti.’ ‘Eyen mmi, be patient.
Life was not a bed of roses but I had a home, I had an uncle who loved me, I lived in a neighborhood with people I could call family and God was not done with me yet, I knew His plans for me were for good and all the dreams I had were going to be fulfilled.
I had just completed my compulsory 1-year National Youth Service Corps program when everything changed…
See you all next week as we continue this exciting journey and our prayers is that the many lessons God has in store through this story are learnt. Stay tuned, God bless you all and do not forget that God loves you more than you can ever imagine. Please don’t forget to drop a comment and also tell a friend to tell a friend to read. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising
Image credit: Google
P.S Any error in the use of language is ours as we tried to get to the best of our abilities the right words to use.