God’s Masterpiece

Hello Lovely Family, this word Masterpiece has been ringing in our heads and we decided to put pen to paper. We have talked about how broken vessels can be used, we have shown how much God loves us and how that is all the assurance we need. Today on #MondayswithGWA we are solidifying this with #God’smasterpiece, we want this to sink in, it is important to understand your place in this world and to take what is yours by right. 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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I remember singing this song when I was growing up. It goes thus:

  “I am wonderfully made, I am fearfully made, I belong to God, I resemble Him; that is why the devil trembles whenever he hears me singing, I am God’s own, the apple of His eyes.”

Wonderfully made, fearfully made, crafted delicately by the creator of the world, formed by no human hands, blood, water, cells knitted together to create a never-before, never-to-exist-again human being, special, unique, one of a kind.

Most times we do not appreciate our own selves, we do not understand this uniqueness that makes us who we are. Isaiah 64:8 states it this way: “But you are our father, Lord. We are like clay and you are like the potter. You created us.” And some versions of the bible would end with “…we are all the work of your hand.” You are created by Him who made Heaven, earth and all that is in it, he created everything that ever existed and He created you too, fashioned from his own being, made in his own image and likeness, a Masterpiece. You are the greatest work of God, made with the highest possible standards, his crowning achievement, the one person he looks at and says this is my child, mine, and formed from myself.

You know how parents take delight in their children that is how your creator takes delight in you. Psalm 139 vs 13 -16 says: “You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because you are to be feared; all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart…” God makes no mistake, he does not create junk, you are not a product of happenstance, planned or not, he has a plan for your life right from the moment when he knit you in your mother’s womb.

You are a constant work-in-progress, not perfect. This is a process that will take all of your life time on earth to accomplish. Many a time you look at your life and all you can see is chaos, the flaws, the imperfections, the things not working out, the lines not falling into places, the things that need to be changed, the lack of what the world terms beautiful, the scars that often define how we look, all the little things that make us the unique person we are, but oh if you can see yourself the way God sees you, oh if you can look at yourself through the eyes of the father and see yourself as God’s work of art, His Masterpiece. God sees all us as we really are warts, weaknesses, failures, flaws and all, he is not blind to your flaws instead he loves you as you are. He looks at you and says you are beautiful, treasured, cherished, loved and I have called you by name; you are mine.

Do you hear the possessiveness in these words: ‘You are Mine!’ You need to look at yourself each day and see yourself as God sees you and when you are able to do that you will see that you do not need validation from anyone. I understand that there is the pressure to fit in, to belong, to conform. There are challenges everywhere, there are situations we find ourselves and we wonder how do we survive but know this, Your self-worth isn’t tied to how others see you, it does not matter if you do not fit the world’s ideal of beauty, by the miracle of your birth you already belong, you already earned a space in your own corner of the world, you matter, so walk tall, head held high, with a spring in your step because you are Royalty. You were not created to fit in, so stand out, break out of the mould, break down barriers, set new milestones, leave behind a legacy that will endure, do you know whose child you are. Let me reiterate it: ‘You are Royalty.’

So here is a self-affirmation we put down a while ago.

 “My life has meaning, I was born for a reason. There is a purpose to my existence. My father doesn’t make junk ever. My job is to discover and fulfil that purpose. I am more precious than the finest gold. I am more desirable than the rarest diamond. I am worth more than all the precious stone put together. I am Royalty, the child of THE KING. I am beautiful both inside and outside. The perfect peace of God radiates through me. For me the word impossible is not a place to stop but a starting point to overcome. When God was talking about a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, He definitely was referring to me. I am chosen, royal, holy and peculiar and I am out to sing forth the praises of my Father and King. All that God has blessed me are enough for me to succeed.”

You are Royalty, so carry yourself with Dignity for power resides in you. Close your eyes and imagine how it would feel if you were the child of a king, an earthly one; you would walk, talk and act in a different way, you would exude confidence because your father has power. Now breathe, open your eyes. Now close your eyes and imagine what it is to be the child of the all-powerful, the all-knowing King. You are royalty, as Donald Lawrence says in his song: “There is a king in you”, which you ought to listen to, you come from royalty, an aristocratic dynasty, the King in me speaks to the King in you, you were to born to rule, there is power in the words you speak so be mindful of the words you release”. I need that to sink in, you possess power, and the King lives in you.

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Masterpiece—You are perfect

You are made in the image and likeness of God, IMAGO DEI. This means that you carry within you the power of Him who has called you forth. Now act, walk and talk like Prince or Princess that you are; exude confidence, it is not pride. It’s knowing your place and taking it. You are smart, powerful, unique, special, one of a kind, equipped for greatness. Do not ever take that for granted. You can do everything through Christ who strengthens you. You can do anything you put your mind to, so do not let anyone tell you any different. Don’t let anyone bring you down with their words. Don’t believe them when they say you can’t. You can do anything. Remember whose child you are.

You were bought with the price of something expensive, the precious blood of the sinless lamb. You are that precious in the eyes of the Father. Don’t you dare forget that.

God has made you perfect, don’t ever settle for less, you are a perfect work of art- God’s Masterpiece.

See you all next week as we continue this exciting journey 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. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

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He Loves You

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, it’s titled “He loves you” . Have you ever doubted his love, have you ever questioned why or told yourself that you were unworthy of this love, this is the Father’s assurance to you. 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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Have you felt a love as pure as the one God has for you?

Have you felt an embrace as warm as that of the Father’s?

Secure, held safe in the arms of your Lord and God.

Even when we were his enemies, held in bondage by sin, sentenced to death, hell-bound, his love never waned, stronger it burned, fiercer it was, chasing me till He claimed me as his. Oh, how I love the sound of that. I am his and He is mine. I am in awe of the fact that you love me. I am humbled by the knowledge that you would go to the ends of the earth for me.

Yes me, when I look at myself, I am amazed that it is I you love. Who am I oh Lord that you are mindful of me, who is mortal man that you should care about him. These words of the psalmist remind me of my own frailty, yet you love me just as if I were the only one.

I have done nothing to earn this love, many a time I do not deserve it, yet you never stop loving me, always a step ahead of me, drawing me closer, a sinner though I am. Yet saved by mercy, mercy inspired by love, love the kind that sends the son to die for the sinful one, I the sinful one and shown grace unmerited.

Darkness has no place in this relationship of ours for you light up every shadow. I feel your love all over me. You have given me the strength to survive everything. Your love is my shield and I am constantly amazed that you love me. How many times have I said I am amazed, that’s to describe the intensity of the love you shower me with me, never holding back, a father is who you are, drawing me close to you, holding me in the hollow of your hands.

You see my mind wonders why? Lots of questions cross through!

Why do you care? Do you know how filthy I am? Do you know all the things I have done? How do you love me when you know all the things I have done to hurt you? How do you keep loving me in my unworthiness? How big is your heart that you keep loving and loving and never get tired?

Your love sent you to the cross, your love for me was the nails that nailed you to the cross. Love answered: ‘Here I am, send me.’

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He Loves you for no reason, just because he does, isn’t that amazing

A sinner I was and yet love stood up for me and fought hard to rescue me. 1 sheep lost and still you came to find me, your steadfast love never ceases. Your love for me sets me free from the chains of sin, from the past.

Grace that is what you have given me, redemption is what you offer me, a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance and as many chances are as possible is what you offer me; breathing new life into me, saving a wretch like me.

This is me your child with this plea,

Break down the walls I have built around my heart, melt this hard heart of mine, show me how to love you like I ought to, how to please you, I want to rest secure in the love you offer me.

You have moved heaven and earth for me, you have saved me for yourself. You have shown me what true love is.

Your gift to me— Love

My gift in return—Love

See you all next week as we continue this exciting journey 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. Do follow us on all social media handle @Godlywomenarising

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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

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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.

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

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WHY MARRY

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Joined together as one

Valentine has come and gone and yes, we know we are late to the party but better late than never. This post has been in the oven since last year and what better time than to share this with all of you than at a time when we are celebrating Love. We have a King and Lord who is the epitome of love, who has paid the eternal sacrifice for us. We are joined to him in an everlasting covenant which is what marriage, a covenant that bonds us together which is why Christ calls us his bride and him the bridegroom. Now we are going to be talking about #WhyMarry and we do not want spoilers so as usually dig in. However it is to be noted that this is a long post as such we crave your indulgence, settle in, get a glass of chilled wine and learn the lessons that are within.

A friend called me and said she wanted me to be a guest writer on her website, I was thrilled. Yea, the ability to reach a wider audience, who turns down such an offer? The next question was what do I write about? First concern: we strictly write on the Christian faith, our journey, the struggles and issues surrounding it and other life issues because that is the route we have decided to channel our gifts and that is the purpose GWA is heading towards. Do I go all religious?  Tone it down a bit? This is almost impossible… how do you tone down purpose! My second concern came after I had gone through the site.  It had a whole lot of varied content though Eva had given me free rein, so I could choose what I wanted to write on.

Fast-forward to a discussion with Zed on a shared interest in BOM (Break or Make up on Instagram) the issue of marriage came up and on and on we discussed, and Zed asked me the question that prompted this post: “Why do you want to get married?”

I went blank, totally speechless. Before now it had never occurred to me that there had to be a reason to get married apart from the obvious ‘we are in love with each other, it is the right thing to do, I am getting older, I am ripe for marriage” (this one makes me laugh) reasons for marriage that we often give. I could have answered any or all the above, but somehow for me the question or answer went beyond the obvious, it called for an inward look as to why I or you or anyone else should consider getting married. This here is an attempt to answer that question.

So, take one minute (or two if you need more) and ask yourself these questions

If you are married:

  • Why did you get married?
  • Why that person? Why not another person?

If you are single:

  • Why do you want to get married?
  • Why this person? Why not the other person asking you to marry him or her?

What answers did you come up with if you are truthful to yourself?

So, we asked some people the same questions on why they want to get married and for the singles these are the commonest reasons:

  • Companionship
  • Raising a family
  • To reduce or erase loneliness
  • Love
  • Increases responsibility

For the married ones, we ask why they were married, and the answers were the same as above with additional insight as to the reasons they knew this was the ’one

  • Sense of belonging
  • Sense of rightness
  • Peace in their heart
  • Someone who understood them, complemented them and brought out the best in them.

And finally, we asked someone who was engaged and about to get married and this was her response: “Well for me, getting married has never been a part of the plan because before now, I never saw the need to but it got to a point in my life when I met someone who loves me more than I love myself, who complements me in all ramifications, someone who sees me way better than I see myself. What I call my flaws are or appear to be strengths to him. With him I soar higher, achieve greater things and find peace. This was tested by ‘time and prayers.’ Then I knew I was ready and would be getting married to him.”

Love, Love and Love seems to be the driving force in a lot of relationships, the one cord that holds the whole, so let’s talk a little bit about love.

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This is what love is!

1st Corinthians 13:4-8 is the perfect base on which to hinge love. Let’s do a simple exercise. First start with yourself, I was reading a tweet yesterday and it said: ‘you keep praying for the right partner, are you a right partner yourself.’ It got me thinking, we, I inclusive keep praying about the right partner but am I the right person, what steps am I taking to make me the right person, are there areas of improvements and am I working on them. Okay back to our exercise; 1st Corinthians 13 talks about the attributes of love, so replace love with your name. So, it should go like this: ‘Helen is patient, Helen is kind…’ so are the qualities present in you, are there attributes you need to imbibe that are currently lacking, you need to be the best person for that best person you are waiting for. Now let’s move to the other person, replace their names with love and ask yourself does he or she possess the attributes of love, since I don’t have a significant other, I would use a unisex name: ‘Tolu is not proud, Tolu is not rude…’

I know, I know Humans are flawed, we are all imperfect but don’t forget that we are all constantly striving towards perfection. You hear them say that Love is not enough, that you need friendship, trust, respect etc. But then what is love? If you love someone shouldn’t you trust them, shouldn’t you respect them, shouldn’t they be your friend, shouldn’t you want the best for them. God loves us and has given us the perfect example of what love should be, He has given us himself and sent his son to die for us.

I love this passage of the Bible 1st John 4:18: “There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.” Most times our service to God is one borne out of a fear, not ‘the fear of the Lord’ but a fear of punishment, fear of ending up in hell, we do not love God because we ought to but because we think if we don’t then there is something He would do to us. I often ask God this: ‘Do not let the fear of hell or punishment cause me to love you, stir up in me a desire to love you with all my heart.”

Now that we are on the issue of fear and love, let’s talk to our friends who are in a relationship?

Yes, I know we have put in a lot of exercises, so it doesn’t become boring.

Now ask yourself a couple of questions?

  • Does the relationship leave you constantly afraid?
  • Are you always wondering what next would happen?
  • Are you never sure of where you stand?
  • Are there niggling doubts as to the rightness of your decisions?

Do you know that there is something wrong but live for the Instagram-worthy moments, the admiration of others, the likes and the loves and the comments, the oohs, awwws and the aahs? These moments seem to in our minds make up for the other not-so-good moments, the sometimes-physical abuse, the psychological both emotional, verbal and mental abuse. We pretend that it is a one-off never-to-be-repeated occurrence while we fearfully wait for the other shoe to be dropped. We lose ourselves and our self-esteem in the process, become less of a person because we want so desperately to be married, because time is moving at break-neck speed and we would rather endure a sham called love rather than leave.

The loved-up moments are so sweet and romantic that they leave you breathless, he steals your breath away you say, she will change you console yourself, I will pray, he or she will change for me. My love and constant devotion will make them change, on and on you deceive yourself, you are plagued with doubts. You make yourself a fixer of character, Mr/Miss fixer of human defect is it until your life is stolen that you would make that decision.

Why are you getting married?

Stop, ask yourself why?

  • Because he/she completes you
  • Because he/she gives you joy/happiness
  • Because he/she is your better half, that part that makes the whole come together.
  • To fill a void in your life.

The truth is your happiness does not depend on man, true happiness can only from a life dependent on God, only God can fill the void in your life and make you totally complete. You need to be enough for yourself, it is difficult especially when the pressure gets much, it is easy to just settle because time is passing, and you would rather be married than single.

Social media, music, movies and books seem to help sell the ideal of a love that is unattainable, and we often want to mirror that, and this often leaves us disillusioned when what we see doesn’t match what we get. Only God who is love is the foundation upon which love should be built. Only in him do we find happiness and fulfilment, only in God does everything make sense. You can take him away from your relationship or marriage and expect everything to be fine.

Have we left with you with more questions than answers?

I know, I started this as a means of me answering the question Why do I want to get married. However, it has shown the reasons that should not be the basis for your decision. Marriage is a vocation, one that should not be taken lightly. The wedding day with all the lights and colours is just one day, the marriage is for life. So, your reason for getting married should be clear cut. They say marriage is not in heaven, yet life on earth should prepare you for that. That said any marriage not leading you to heaven should not be something you be headed into. There might not be a loud voice saying to you: “My child stay clear” but there will be signs, that lack of peace that this is the right thing to do.

It is important to state that because you have been in a relationship for so long is still not enough reason to be married if you are not sure that this is the right thing to do. My answers are a mix of everything, the pressure is real, like there are days when I have to literally shut my eyes and ears not to be in that head-space, I want a family, I want love too, I want the companionship, you know that feeling that this person gets you for real, because this is my answer to God’s call on my vocation and because I believe that this is the person helping me in the process of becoming a princess fit for my King and God.  So am I there yet, I am that Miss right, no I am still a work in progress, I still have doubts, I still have fears, there are still questions in my head who would love or want me, would I get married, are my desires valid, are my standards high, am I not getting older and maybe I should lower my standards and the quick stab of envy when someone I know is getting married.

I have learnt so far that when you trust God all things work out in the end, that though the process be long and arduous, his plans as He says are for good and not for evil, to bring me to an expected end so while I am waiting, I am going to enjoy my singlehood, work on myself and be a princess fit for my King and God.

Now it is your turn to answer, WHY DO YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED?

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

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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.

Image result for queen of akwaibom in cultural attire
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

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.