God’s Will

Hello Lovely family, hope you have missed us as much as we have missed you. It’s with great joy in our hearts that we present #Godswill. What happens when this will does not align to ours. It’s a long read spiced with a story, settle in and read and we pray that the lessons to be learnt in this are learnt. Now dig in:

I don’t want this one God, that is what I want.
I don’t want to be here just take me there.
God give me this job, I am sure it will suit me better?
No way!
This can’t be happening like this,
This wasn’t how I planned it.
No this isn’t who I want to be married to.
Why am I not married yet?
God say something!
Can you hear me?
Or are you mad at me?
Should I present my desires on my knees?
Is that what you want?
God! Answer me!
I’m getting impatient waiting for the things I want.
I want them and that is all that matters!
Why do I struggle to get almost everything I desire?
Are they not pleasant and good?
Are those not the promises you made to me?
Why then do I have to struggle this much Lord?
Is my will not yours?

On and on we go, not a breath lost. How can His will not be the same as mine? Are they not in line with his promises. Am I not praying as I ought to?

Stop for a minute or two and let me tell you a story as told by a friend.

My phone rings for about 6 times non-stop before I pick up, upset at the caller. I rolled my eyes as I saw it was one of my best-friends from Uni. I should have known, only Sade would call me like the Heavens were falling and I somehow had the superpowers to stop it.

“Babe let me call you later biko I am very busy” but she doesn’t let me finish before screaming in her high-pitched voice “checccccccccccck your WhatsApp!” and before I could respond the line had died. I rolled my eyes, it was so like Sade to expect you to drop everything and attend to her. I knew I was not going to rest if I didn’t check my WhatsApp and distractedly open the App to check the almighty message that needed my urgent attention. I froze at the words staring at me “I HEARD ROYAL’S MARRIAGE HAS CRASHED! APPARENTLY, HIS WIFE CAUGHT HIM CHEATING SEVERALLY AND HE EVEN INFECTED HER WITH AN STD!” what???!!! I exclaimed out loud before I realized. I smile assuredly at my colleagues who stared at me like I had lost my mind and dropped my phone. This is not my business I told myself. It’s been 6years and well, his gist can wait. But then I am extremely restless, I rush to the ladies, phone in hand, dialing Sade’s number. I barely locked the door before she picked. “my friend, my friend you too like gist” she laughs but I was not finding it funny. I cut her off, demanding the full details which she was privy since she was neighbors with Royal. Sade fills me in, and I am shocked to say the least. She goes on about how the situation was messy and the wife was bent on a divorce. She ends the conversation with “babe na God save you o”

I went back to work, and soon forgot about Royal and his marital woes. The remainder of the day passed uneventfully and soon it was time to go home. On my way home, I remember Sade’s call and the memories and revelations it brought with it.

I’m sure you have already put two and two together but let me tell you my story.
You see I met Royal whilst I was in school. 8 years ago, he was a master’s student, I was in 300 level. He was my dream man! What I used to call the perfect blend, you know handsome, tall, dark, goes to church, wonderful Christian, always involved in one Church activity or the other, Spirit-filled but also social. He was sweet, and oh girl I was in love. Boy did he make it easy! He pampered me, showered with love, attention and I never for once doubted that this was the ‘one’. He shared with me dreams of the future, our future, took me to meet his mother (I know, I know), cooked for me, and made me feel like I was the only woman in the world (yen yen) lol. He met my parents and all that was remaining was for me to graduate and serve, and the wedding would hold. Everyone called me “Olori Royal” and I would smile, raise my shoulders and walk taller. I was so happy and couldn’t wait to be his wife. Everyone kept telling me that he was a catch, handsome Royal, working in a multinational company, had everything a woman wanted but you know the whole time I wasn’t at ease and I kept having dreams of Royal stabbing me with a knife, but I was sure it was the devil trying to derail me! I mean I was the envy of girls on campus. I remember my prayers to God, to keep my relationship away from evil eyes, to keep us in love and make us stronger as a couple, I was already praying for our unborn children. Yes, I am extra like that.

2 years into the relationship, I was gearing up to get married as I was done with service. I was 23 and this was the age I had always wanted to get married, I was eager, I was anxious. 2 years down the line and I was still hearing occasional voices “He is not my will” but I was always quick to shut it down. I convinced myself it wasn’t God’s voice, and hadn’t he said in his word that whatever we ask for in prayer we shall receive? Well, there you have it! My world was perfect, a fairytale world filled with roses. Royal proposed to me on a trip to Greece, we had gone to celebrate our 2-year anniversary. It was magical and everything I had always imagined my proposal would be, surrounded by the people we loved. Our parents were ecstatic, and the planning commenced immediately. I wanted a Christmas wedding, and everything was moving on towards that direction.

The lingering doubt would not go no matter how hard or fervently I prayed but I was in love and I continued planning until things took a huge turn, and everything changed. I got the call that would change my life. Our mutual friend Adeline told me she thought Royal was cheating on me. I refused to believe her, but she said she had proof and I decided to at least listen to her so I could look her in the face and laugh and say you see Royal is as faithful as they come and finally kill my doubt. She asked me to go visit him at home unplanned and gave me the time when I was sure to catch them. I thought this was all planned by her to steal my joy, but I couldn’t stop myself from going. I didn’t know what I was going to see but I was not prepared what I saw. I caught my fiancé cheating with one of my supposed best friends and the funny thing, he wasn’t even remorseful! Apparently, he had been sleeping with her for the entire duration of our relationship…He said I got what I deserved by coming unannounced, that she gave him what he wanted, and I was just being a frigid virgin. I wanted the ground to open and swallow me, I could not believe my ears, I thought he wanted to wait, he did not pressure me, and I was so grateful to God for giving me a man like him. Little did I know that I meant nothing to him. Still I was willing to forgive, I had put so much into the relationship and was not willing to give up without a fight. Royal said he was still willing to marry me, but he was going to keep her on as a side chick and if I was not willing to accept that, then he was going to call off the wedding. I did not know what to do or say as we had less than 2 months to our wedding. I could not bring myself to accept the offer and I told him so and he ended our engagement.

I became a shell of myself, I was barely living. How could God do this to me? I had served him faithfully, I had done all I needed to do, and this one desire of my heart and he couldn’t grant it to me. I became bitter towards God and I felt that my Father didn’t love me enough. It took 2 years for me to finally move on and rekindle my relationship with God. I had accepted it as his will and let it go but now it finally made sense why I had those doubts, why the dreams never stopped even though I prayed. It was at this point that I truly understood what God did for me 6 years ago. That it was not that He didn’t answer my prayer, He did. But His answer was not what I wanted, it was what I needed. I now understand that nothing supersedes His will and that His will concerning my life is of good always.

This is a clear example of how God’s will turn out to be the best.

‘His will not mine’ is how we have been taught to pray, everything must be aligned to his will. His plans are always for good and to bring us to an expected end. You see He knows best and his will is supreme. You cannot question Him, only accept that this is his will.

How do you tell someone who has just a child she has longed and prayed for after 15 years of waiting, after 9 months of carrying the child and the labor pangs and 3 months down the line, the child dies of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)? How do you explain that it is God’s will? Or how do you tell someone who has prayed for a husband and finally God sends one and just on the eve of the wedding, the husband-to-be is knocked down by a car and dies on the spot. Or a promotion at work, or a job you have prayed for and worked hard to get and just at the last stage, it slips away, or someone who loses a loved one or loses a job for no reason. The scenarios abound, so how do you explain that all of these is God’s will.

How can all these bad things happen when God says his plan are for good and not for evil and to bring us to an expected end. How do you learn to trust despite all the heartache some of these experiences bring? We say the ‘Our Father’ and it has become a routine prayer and we do not at times fully understand the meaning of the words we say; “…May your will be done…” we need to not only pray for His will to be done but also we need to pray for the ability and grace to accept this will even when it is not palatable. God’s will can be perfect or permissive. There is nothing that happens without your Father’s knowledge. He either wants this to happen or He allows/ permits it to happen, either way HE knows.

Trust is a key ingredient in our walk with God, learning to have faith in him, knowing that He sees every tear, He hears every prayer, He is aware of every sigh, He knows every of our heart desires and he knows best. He does not bring us far to leave us to our own devices. It is difficult to fully trust another, to surrender your will to that of God for faith demands that from us, at times it makes no sense to us why things are the way they are or why we do not get what we want after putting in the effort, there will be pain along the path, but you have to trust God completely, you have to believe that God knows what is best for you and is going to do his very best for you and then you have to hold onto your faith as strongly as you can.

Is this going to be easy, No! But your job is to trust God and hold on to his promises as He says in Jeremiah 29:11: “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.” So, when next your will does not align with God’s will or prayers do not seem to get answered, hang in there, your father loves you and knows best. Trust him!

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. Also, we will be starting a new series titled: #ConversationswithGod This is us simply writing a letter to God, no flowery words, just a sincere heart talking to the father. You can send us a mail at godlywomenarising@gmail.com. This can be done anonymously or you can drop your mail. We explain more on Friday.

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

A Queen like no other…3

We are excited to continue #Christianfiction. We said #MondayswithGWA is here to stay. We apologize for taking so much time to finish up this post. I really loving this kick-ass, strong independent queen in the making. We hope and pray that at the end, we are all able to take the lessons to heart and improve on our lives for what is the need if it doesn’t make us better humans. Now let’s dig in.

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…He said I had proven myself as a worthy daughter of the land and he was proud of me. He commended me for my selfless service to our Kingdom as the result was glaring for all- we had recorded the highest success rate in the history of the kingdom and our children were finally going to the University…Oh I had forgotten to tell you all that we had also taken the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and all our students who had written the exam had passed. This he said, translates to the development of the kingdom. I was happy beyond words, God had not failed me. He had shown up for me when everyone thought I had failed. Everyone was marveled from the naysayers to the ones who had doubted. The king immediately set up an education board in the kingdom with me, the principal and two other teachers. We were to come up with detailed plans on how to further improve and drive the kingdom’s literacy and education. The board was to present their action plan and feedback in a fortnight.

I was terrified, teaching students was something I loved and enjoyed but an education board, a presentation was different from what I was used to. I wanted to make use of the opportunity that had been given to me. I had the support of the principal and the teachers and as we researched on it, I gradually warmed up to the topic and was eagerly awaiting the visit to the palace. Okay okay let me let you in on a little secret; apart from speaking about the education and literacy program titled ‘Every Child a Leader’, I wanted to see the King. I haven’t stopped thinking about him since that day. I just wanted to talk to him and just gaze into his eyes and kiss him, he had the most kissable mouth I had ever seen.  He was so handsome and when he looked at you, he made you feel like you were the most important person in the world. I know, I have never been kissed and how many men have I seen but trust me, he exuded royalty. You need to see my face, I am blushing and going on and on like a hopeless romantic.

Oh, the days before my meeting with the king became long! It seemed the days moved slower. I could almost say it moved in the reverse direction. I was in a mess! I couldn’t concentrate on anything and found myself constantly day-dreaming about the king, what I would say if he asked me a question. Oftentimes, I would admonish myself to get myself together but would soon find myself lost in thoughts. Oh but then, I am sure the king would not feel anything for me besides regards and care as he would all those in his kingdom. I mean, I am not from a royal family; I am not even from a rich family, I am not even from an average family. We were poor. People from my side did not marry kings, no, we wait on those who did, and we did their chores and wash their laundry. There are some dreams one shouldn’t dare dream! This was one of them, yet I could not stop myself from dreaming.

I resolved not to get ahead of myself, not to overstep my boundaries either in thoughts or deeds. I put all my efforts in ensuring that the task given to us was very well done. This was a lifetime opportunity for our kingdom to develop through education. I had outdone myself on this one and I was sure it was going to be approved. I had fasted and prayed, and I was sure of God’s backing. I keep mentioning fasting and prayer right, the efficacy of these are something I have never doubted and was my own surest means of communication with God and I had learnt that no one who placed their trust in God was ever disappointed. It might not be at the time you want it or in the form you have prayed but He brings it just at the right time and in the right manner.

The day of the presentation was a day I’d never forget. I could barely sleep from the excitement so I decided to sing and pray. The moment day broke I jumped up from bed, did my chores, prepared Ete mmi’s breakfast and got ready. I spent an extra 30 minutes in the bathroom, wore my best outfit which I had recently bought for the event, combed my hair and packed it neatly and waited for the appointed time. I couldn’t eat breakfast due to the excitement, part of which you can already tell was from anticipating being in the presence of the king.

I dashed down to the palace, the meeting was brief and conclusive. The king and the council loved the plans and we were asked to start preparations immediately so that we could launch at the next Usoro Abasi festival. The King and cabinet members promised us their support and were ready to assist us in any form that we needed. The meeting was dismissed, and we were asked to go to the dining chambers though the king was in what seemed to be a brief discussion with one of the guards, so he motioned for us to go ahead. I got up slowly to allow the chiefs and school board to go out first, I was on my way out when I heard my name. I looked back to see the King in a boyish smile get up, walk towards me and take my hands. I would never forget the words he spoke next ‘’walk with me”

See you all next week and just may be we would come to the end of 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.

Broken Vessels

Hello Lovely Family, I know we were supposed to continue with #AQueenlikenoother but circumstances beyond our control did not allow us. God-willing we should continue by next week. However we have this piece for you, do you think you are broken, of no value or use, this is the voice of the Father saying come home my child, you are of value to me. It is our earnest prayers that God stirs in our hearts-yours and ours the desire to know him and serve him better. Now dig in.

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Broken Vessels can still be used

Look at me, I stand, I walk, I fall, I falter. Shunned, derided by the world, no hand to lift me. I lay where I have fallen. They pass, they see me, but no help comes. Leave him there! he deserves it, he thinks he is better than us. They mock me, and I feel pain shoot through like an arrow aimed straight for my heart.

Ignore them you say, they do not matter. Easy for you to say when you are not the object of their mockery. These ones I have called my own, these ones I have called family. She is a shame, cast her away, worthless I have become. My dignity stripped off, my person trampled on. I hide my face in shame, I can no longer hold my head high.

I love you Lord, I really do. I want you Lord; my heart truly yearns for you. The world sways me with its ways. I am pulled in numerous directions. I fight you know I do. I struggle with the desire to fit in, to be the world’s version of ‘normal’.

I fight this urge to give up, to sink into depression. I am broken, tossed by the waves of life. They call themselves Christians, Christ-like yet by their actions they show they are nothing like you. Judging the next person, failing to embrace the other, plucking the speck from another’s eyes while the beam remains in theirs.

I am not like you Lord, I who am born in your image and should walk in your ways do differently. My lifestyle tells a different story, so I am like these Christians I have talked about. My actions show no difference between myself and someone who knows you not.

A broken vessel that’s what I have become. They think me useless, but you can still use me. I am not useless to you, am I? You can take all the broken pieces of me, scattered around the place and make them whole. The cracks cease to show, a whole new creature I become in you. Say the words and I will be healed. I am still useful to you, right?

Broken Crayons can still color they say. Broken Vessels can still be used. Broken vessels can still come to life. Mercy pours out for me, for us, Wholeness in every drop of his precious blood.

Hope in every stripe on his body, life in the death he died. His voice, my shepherd’s voice calling me home. My lover’s voice draws me close. His love holds me fast to him.

I am free from the chains that have held me bound. I am free from the snares of sins and the past. A wretch was what I was, but grace found me. His blood washed me clean, tenderly with love in his eyes, with gentleness in his hands, all my bruises he washed.

I realise now what I am. His treasure, his beloved. He the potter, I the clay, moulded to perfection, perfect for his use. Take this heart of mine, take my failures, weaknesses and excuses and use me as you would. Let me a broken vessel work for you.

Won’t you come home to your love? Don’t you know whose you are? Beautiful, perfect, wonderfully made. You are the beloved of the Father.

See you all next week as we continue with #Aqueenlikenoother and our prayers is that the many lessons God has in store 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, share and subscribe. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

Image credit: Google

A Queen like no other…2

I am excited,we are excited to continue #Christianfiction. We said #MondayswithGWA is here to stay. We apologize for not being around last week. I really loving this kick-ass, strong independent queen. We hope and pray that at the end, we are all able to take the lessons to heart and improve on our lives for what is the need if it doesn’t make us better humans. Now let’s dig in.

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I had just completed my compulsory 1-year National Youth Service Corps program when everything changed!

It was during the Usoro Abasi festival, people had come from all over the country to celebrate.  It was a time for all those who were living in the city to return to their roots. We even had foreigners trooping in to be part of the most famous Usoro Abasi festival. That year’s own was bigger than ever, our state was beautifully adorned, everywhere was cleaner than usual, some were fortunate to lease out their homes for some income as the hotels in the city could not contain everyone who came, yes, the crowd was mammoth. Though my uncle and I didn’t partake in the festival because of our beliefs it brought a dash of fresh air. It was interesting to see all these people troop in to the state to witness the festival.

The Usoro Abasi festival is a religious purification ritual and symbolic reenactment of the mysteries of the king yam which is accompanied by thanksgiving offerings performed by the Chief Priest of the town. It was usually held to celebrate the harvest of yam before the new yam could be eaten. It was always a colorful event with masquerades who were said to be ancestral spirit and came to bless the land at this time. It was also a time for purification of the land. It used to amaze me that even Christians partook in this festival and did not see anything wrong in it.

The festival lasted for a month with various activities and smaller festivals like the Ekpo festival and the Usoro Ita festival. At the end of this one-month event everyone dispersed back to their different destinations, but something had happened during this and would bring a change in the palace. At that time all we heard were the rumors surrounding the occurrence but the one thing we knew for sure is that the king and the queen were about to be divorced, and that the queen had left the town immediately after the celebrations! There were speculations, it was a topic for discussion at every gathering. Everyone wondered why the queen left and what must have caused it. The queen always had ideologies and the king tolerated her excesses perhaps because of love, but in their opinion, she went too far this time. She had publicly embarrassed the king, refusing orders and mocking tradition… The town was outraged, and the chiefs frustrated, scared that this new recalcitrant trend would soon become the norm in the town and the wives become uncontrollable. They pressured the king to act fast as such matters could not be left to get “cold”. The judgement was that the King divorce her and she was to be sent packing back to her parents. It was done as quietly as possible and we heard she was lucky, as If it were to be in the olden days she would have been banished to the evil forest. In my opinion, these were all barbaric customs and traditions that needed to be outlawed.

After a few weeks the news died down and the city was back to his quiet self. I wasn’t however bothered by all of these as what was foremost on my mind was getting a job and helping to pull my weight in the house. My beloved uncle was getting old and the thought of him continuing with the menial jobs worried me! Ete mmi would tell me not to worry that Abasi provides for his people. I wanted a job in the city, but I couldn’t imagine leaving my uncle by himself to do all the work. I wanted to be there to take care of him as he had done for me.  I decided to therefore look for a job around whilst my mates went to the big city of Lagos to “hustle” as they say.

I soon got a job in the town’s secondary school. I was advised by many not to take the job as they felt it was fruitless! The students were always failing, they hadn’t recorded a single success in the WAEC exam in years! The school’s glory is dead they told me. You can do better than this, you have so much potentials, how can a first-class graduate be slaving away in Uyo, but i didn’t let that deter me. Ete mmi and I had prayed about this and my uncle was convinced that this was the right thing to do, that I had to take the job. 

I resumed at the Secondary school on a Monday I would never forget. The school was in a sorry state, dilapidated buildings, lackadaisical attitude to work and extreme lack of discipline.  They were short staffed, and I had to often take double or sometimes more subjects as all they had were Corp-members and old teachers. I got to work immediately and went above and beyond in my duty (If I say so myself, lol). This was not the economy I planned to make impact on, however I decided that this was my life and I was going to make the best of it. The new mantra was ‘Excellence’ ensuring that all the students excelled.  The students loved me as I made learning fun and they soon began to do well on their work. I put in the extra work and time, followed up on those that were absent, did after-school lessons and weekend lessons for free so they could catch up as the O’levels exams that were fast approaching.  It was difficult, it was hard work. It sounds very easy to say now and sounds like smooth sailing, but it was a period in my life that made me the person I am now. It molded me into some one strong. The children called me ‘Miss You can, Yes We can’. It was these words that I charged them with every day.  They needed to believe in themselves, that they could do it, that they could make something out of themselves. We prayed, learnt and helped the weaker ones catch up and we had fun, we laughed, we danced, we made the best of the entire situation. The whole town soon knew something different was happening, students were excited, parents doubtful, mockers watchful and I extremely prayerful.

The WAEC exams were drawing near and I had to focus on the SSS3 students as we had a lot to prove. We wrote the exams in May/June and it was then time to await the results, the school was on vacation and so we were all at home. I didn’t stop praying and trusting God. I enlisted the help of those I knew to pray with me. We started a prayer chain and had some praying at every time of the day for 30 minutes. The result was due in September just before schools resumed for the new session and I keenly awaited God to prove himself and allow the efforts of my students bear fruits.

I was at home one day when I heard my neighbors shouting, followed by a knock on my door… well what was left of the door.  I stepped out to see the king’s guards, they claimed they had been ordered to bring me at once.  I could see some of my nosey neighbors grinning wickedly and overheard them saying they knew I would soon get into trouble.  I said a silent word of prayer and followed. We got to the palace and I was surprised to see the school principal and teachers, even some students and almost all the townspeople had gathered! The king cleared his throat and spoke…I was lost in his rich sonorous voice, deep, yet soothing, I glanced at his beautiful face for this was my first time of seeing the king up close. I was away in my final year when his father died and as such didn’t witness his coronation. The king looked me in the eye, his eyes full of mischievous smile and his lips twitched a bit and i realized I had been caught staring. Gracefully he repeated himself, this time not taking his eyes off me.

He said…

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.

A Queen like no other….1

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.

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There is something so regal and queenly about this lady.

Hello everyone!

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

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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.

A Selfless Love story—-Part 3

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The new year just started, and we could not be more grateful that we are all alive to see the new year. We have a lot going on which would include 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 the final part and we are so sorry that it is coming this late, now dig in

Where you go, I will go and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

These words would be the reason why Mother allowed me to go with her and they would later become my source of encouragement when I questioned my coming to Nigeria. Mom watched me fall apart many more times, she feared for my health and as she watched me she prayed asking God why this had happened to us.

I remember vividly the morning before our trip to Nigeria, I was exhausted from the packing and arrangements and Mother asked us to commit the entire journey into God’s hands and with tears in our eyes we prayed : ‘Lord be gracious to us; we long for you, be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress’ (Isaiah 33:2).

A year after my best-man died we were on the shores of Nigeria. It was a totally different experience than what I was used to. It took a while getting used to life in Nigeria, the people and the culture. It was a learning experience as I saw that the things I took for granted meant a lot to people. We moved into Ikoyi which I would come to find out was one of the better living areas in the country. I remember one event that makes me laugh even now, I had gone with Mama to a wedding of a ‘family relative’, you know the cousin twice removed and you needed to see the arrays of asoebi, I was looking like a fish out of water, mother had warned but I decided to go with something comfortable, what struck me was the gift sharing, almost every group of friends and families had gifts to share. Weddings were usually not the loud affair it was in Nigeria.

We learnt to accept the death as part of life experience and stood by each other because we were all we had. People laughed at my decision to stay but I always remembered the promise of my selfless love. They could not comprehend the reason behind my coming to Nigeria as they felt there was nothing for me to do here, I had no family to speak of, no child and was a foreigner. I still felt the loss and slowly we moved from crying to praying, then we sang, laughed and danced and my heart was slowly healing. I had a mother in Mama. She was a rock, held me and walked me through life’s challenges.

6 months after I moved to Nigeria, I was done with the sight-seeing and the waking up each day not knowing where my life was headed. I decided it was time to start working but I was not ready for the drudgery of the corporate world. I wanted something that would keep me on my toes, make me feel alive and put to good use my creative talents. I started researching, I wrote down every plan, idea, strategy that came to mind. I was looking at what I was good at and what would be viable, and the idea came, I loved planning events and Nigeria did not have a shortage of events. So, I started my business—EventsandMore. It was rigorous at first navigating the event management industry. I attended seminars and workshops, learnt how active participation on social media helped the business grow, got acquainted with awesome vendors and yes, I had to do a couple free jobs. Mom was so proud and supportive, she would bless me every morning that God would grant favour to the works of my hand ‘At night she would anoint my head and pray I find happiness and a man who would complete me (LOL! Like I was thinking about getting married again.)

I would return home each day and talk to Hubby about my achievements and plans (He was hard to get over, but I did not feel the breathlessness I usually felt at the beginning, I had learnt to immerse myself in happy memories). I also started a workout routine and I’d run every morning on the Lekki- Ikoyi bridge with the song ‘He still loves me’ by Beyonce on replay (hubby’s favourite). I felt his warmth like he was taking a walk just beside me (*chuckles* He was my Mr. Macho.) 

My first paid job came 2 months after I had started EventsandMore. It was my friend Cynthia who had become a close friend since my movement to Nigeria. She got married to a distant cousin just a month after my wedding and had given birth to her daughter who happened to be my god-child a year ago. She had decided to celebrate Zara’s first birthday with the cartoon theme: FROZEN. I was super excited and got the team working to ensure that everything was perfect. The D-day came, and I was everywhere ensuring things went as planned. Trust us at EventsandMore, the event was superb, and everything was top-notch from the decoration, to the photography to the catering. I was impressed if I do say so myself.

The party ended around 6:00pm and the after party for the adults began which was organized by Cynthia’s husband. We played games, talked and danced to the songs of the 90’s. It was at that party that I met Kunle. Kunle was one of Cynthia’s closest friend in Uni. He was well built, looked smart and his eyes were such that you could drown in them. He was in his late thirties and in my mind, I had concluded that a man as handsome as he was already married with maybe two kids. I know you are wondering how I was able to notice him. I have this habit of studying people and building stories around them, it was often a way to pass time.  Kunle had also been watching me as I was watching him and when (in my own opinion which I am sure if you ask Kunle he would deny) he couldn’t hold himself any longer, he walked up to me and made small talk. During our conversation, he asked what I wanted in a man (I hadn’t thought about that in so long) I smiled and said respect, love, understanding and the fear of God. Cynthia caught this moment and told mom and they became our matchmakers. They planned one visit after another, date nights, they went the whole nine yards. SMH! I learnt that Nigerian parents loved to be in the know of things and knew how to spice things up. Mom and Cynthia would update Kunle of my where-about, Mr C.E.O became my guardian angel (lol! everywhere I went). He treated me with utmost respect and gave me the space and time to heal properly. Kunle was also a good writer so I was treated to poems and love notes.

I would wake up to dreams with my best-man in them, he begged that I let his memories fade. I This was a tough one for me because in as much as I was beginning to love Kunle, I sometimes felt it was a betrayal on the memory of my late husband. Mama talked and counselled me, but I needed to understand and grasp it myself. I learnt that sometimes we don’t get what we want but God provides what we need. I wanted to focus on growing my business, but God blessed me with more, He blessed me with a man after his own heart, a man who shared my vision and would make me a princess fit for my King and God. The promises in the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 147:3 came true for me: “For he heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wound”.

Kunle proposed in a small intimate setting on one of our vacations to Seychelles. I finally had my Instagram-worthy pictures. I wanted a small wedding considering this was my second wedding, but I had to reconsider as this was Kunle’s first wedding. It was everything we wanted and more, yes, I planned the event myself so were you expecting anything less than perfection. I look back and the word that comes to mind is beautiful. We had opted to write our own vows to each other and I would share mine with you all.

Here it goes: “Kunle Onitemi, you sauntered into my life when I was not looking, you showed me that God indeed blesses us more than we can imagine. I thought I was done with that part of my life, but you showed up and I knew all hope was not lost. With you I am ever reminded of how much God loves me. You are not perfect, yet you are mine showering me with unconditional love, being my friend and confidant and making me a princess fit for my King and God. I promise here before these witnesses to love, hold and cherish you, to be the best wife and help-mate for you till death do us part.” There was not a dry eye when we were done.

Kunle and I are with a son and a daughter, the two most precious gifts God could have given us. Kunle allowed for Mom to live with us, the kids and Kunle love her so much. He says Mama gifted him his most precious gift. We are not without challenges and each day is a learning experience, but we are blessed to have God as our head as we grow every day.

Thanks for listening to my story and just in case you have been wondering who this is my name is Ruth Coker, a woman loved by God, Kunle’s life partner, mother to Oluwanifemi and Oluwadarasimi Coker, daughter to Mama and an event planner extraordinaire.

We have picked valuable lessons to learn from the story of Ruth to share with you all.

  1. Loss and change is hard and more common than we know and dealing with grief can make us feel lost
  2. It is important to keep our promises and commitments
  3. Get to work, because something bad has happened is no reason to stop working.
  4. Have honourable intentions towards all.
  5. Make a move, don’t stay at a place and expect things to change.
  6. Having a noble character is key.
  7. Our decisions matter and never underestimate the power of your decisions, commitment, humility and integrity.
  8. We are all equal and important to God despite our race, gender or status.
  9. God uses little things to accomplish great plans.
  10.  Don’t let the past hold you back.

See you all next week as we officially start the year and thanks for sticking with us. 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 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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