So the other day I met the perfect stranger, a really awesome guy who also happens to be brutally honest. We met at the airport in Abuja while waiting for our flights and It was such a joy to have a conversation with him. He mentioned that he read my article and he and his fiancé had a little discussion about it. While he appreciated the message, he said he was too concerned about the notoriety that it brought about. I asked him to clarify and he said he meant the attention I would have received as a result of being so open about something so private. I proceeded to express to him that everything I wrote was not even by me but I truly felt it was the spirit of God because God wanted to speak to all of us as his children. I also mentioned that every response I have received has been positive and I am glad that despite my fear, I trusted my God and he showed himself to be faithful.
He said he knew that it was meant to be positive and uplifting but he also knew about humanity and some people are just negative and horrible and I agreed (although I experienced zero negativity). He said how even though there was a light to it, he worried about the darkness of the world reading the article. He said because he has been in a situation in which people spent a lot of time discussing his personal life so much that they had even used it to pay rent (lol), he had learnt to shrink from people.
And then he said something that made me sad – He mentioned that it was his friend’s wedding but he didn’t go because he was so scared of people and their negativity and he didn’t want to be a topic of discussion. I actually felt really sad about this because, although I never told him so, I saw myself in him. He reminded me of me.
I was always so concerned about people and their opinions about my life that I was often paralysed from taking action. I would spend so much time thinking about all the potential negative opinions and backlash that I would just not do anything instead. It never occured to me that sometimes things could go right instead of going wrong.
I come from a very big family and I have always been a people pleaser so if I thought people won’t approve of something I was doing, I just won’t do it even though it was often at my own expense. And then I would relive my regrets, replaying the whole incident in my head.
Thinking of the number of decisions I made because I didn’t want to upset anyone or disappoint anyone or because I wanted people to be impressed, gives me a headache. I worked in a bank for two years just to show people I considered “important” that I wasn’t a failure and that I had made it. I am not saying it was a complete waste of my time because I did learn a lot but I was often miserable and I felt even more like a failure than before I chose to work there. I just felt like I wasn’t living my life with purpose and I was just conforming like most people. What was even more painful was when I received lacklustre responses when I told people what I did as I often thought they’d be impressed.
Quitting my job was probably one of the scariest decisions I made and I didn’t make it lightly. I spent a while praying to God and meditating about it and he gave me clear confirmations that working in that organisation was not my purpose. So I quit without an idea what I was meant to do. I simply decided to trust God and his promises for my life. I still remember confiding in people about this decision who I knew for a fact were snickering and talking about me in my absence. They would make snide remarks and ask why I didn’t stay in the bank until I knew for sure what I was meant to do. I would always go back home, pray to God and write my letters to him.
Today I have gone back to some of the things I wrote that God had promised me. As I see them coming to pass, I have complete peace. I also see the answers to some of the questions I asked God and I am reminded of God’s word that says: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (habakuk 2:3).
In recent times, I am learning who God is on a new level. I am learning that when God says something, it will surely come to pass and all I have to do is trust him instead of being afraid. The bible says that God knows his plans for us to give us a future and a hope and I truly believe this. I am not saying it has not been some of the most difficult times in my life because that would be a big fat lie. A lot of my letters to him are filled with my questions and anxiety and he would always say to me ‘Do not worry princess”.
The most ironic part is that the loss of my daughter is what God used to show me who I am and who he has created me to be. When I decided to write about losing my daughter, I did worry about negative responses and that made me afraid but I truly thank God I did not let the fear stop me. It has been a privilege to share how amazing God is and to create an avenue for others going through various types of pain to get some form of healing. I am at so much peace and it truly is peace that surpasses human understanding.
Do not get it twisted, I am blessed with my husband and God has used him to take care of me but with my BIG EYES, I would have enjoyed the nice pay check from my salary even more (lol). However, I learnt so much in my time at home because I had time to just study God’s word and submit to him completely and when I went through the most tragic time of my life, I could stand on his word. I realise now that God knew the tragedy ahead of me and he wanted me to be somewhat prepared which is why I had to leave my job. If I had not spent that time knowing him, I would have completely fallen apart. It was also during this period that I made relationships that have been significant in me discovering my true self and in which fear is no longer a factor (actually it still is but I just “do it afraid” and trust God”).
I met my awesome life coach who told me point blank that I had not been living because I was too busy thinking about people’s opinions. I am not saying I completely blank people out but I am learning to discern God’s voice and to know when he is the one who speaks and so I place all my focus on him. Sometimes we are so distracted by other people, their opinions and the fabulous lives they are living (thanks to Instagram) that we totally forget who is the one who has created us and every one else. The worst part is that most of the people whose opinions we are so concerned about are completely fickle and they move on from us so quickly, while we choose not to live our lives to the fullest because we are thinking about them.
Its time to get BOLD and LIVE. Do that thing you know God has called you to do and just let him know you are trusting him completely o, so when katakata burst you can go back to him and ask “How far”?. As for me, I don’t have it all figured out but I am learning to enjoy the process and the journey knowing that God is with me every step of the way.