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what separates me from God. Disbelief?

wpid-20130402_164739.jpgFor all these years that church made me believe I wasn’t a christian. I just go there having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof. I’m hardly ever without sin though. I don’t even have proof God actually does exists. I just believe. Yet something keeps pulling me towards being committed to the ministry of Christ. Doing more than just saying amen!

All these years, what has held me back; what has hindered my total commitment to the love of doing Christ’s work has been my doubts. 15 years now and I’m here still trying to decide where my loyalties lie. Wether they be with my doubts or with my beliefs. I’m still asking why I can’t trust God about my doubts. And why I shouldn’t trust him about my beliefs.

A few months back, I met a man. He pastors a congregation not far from where I live. Peter Lewis is a soft spoken man of the word. And I was happy to learn from him. But he busted my bubble. He embarrassed my expectations. He made utterances that triggered my demons. Peter Lewis of Cornerstone Church drew my attention to very obvious facts; such that made me pause in reasoning.

“The bible never disguised the failings of its heroes. Abraham stooped to deceit to ensure his safety. Peter denied. David lusted”. Even the three hebrew boys doubted God in their strongest ever display of trust in him. Daniel 3:18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Ha! My spirit cried. My soul begged God’s forgiveness. Suddenly it dawned on me. The presence of FAITH is not the absence of doubt. What makes me a christian is the presence of faith. Not the absence of doubt. Yes I doubt. But still I believe. I started to realise what mattered has always been where my loyalty swayed. Taking sides with my doubt isn’t my job as a believer. If I can trust Jesus with my faith. I can trust him about my doubts.

Sometimes, I don’t know which is stronger. My doubts or my beliefs. Each time I had reasons to think about it, I ended up trying not to get confused. I’ve always believed there is a God.  I’ve always doubted it too. But are my beliefs not meant to be believed; and my doubts meant to be doubted? Most times we doubt our beliefs. We believe our doubts. Worse still, we fail to realise that God’s place is in the centre of our lives. Not our doubts.

If like me, you have doubts. Don’t give in to it. Keep searching. God will find you just where you are.

Me; I soak this fragile heart I have, in the blood of Jesus. Every of its weakness is transformed into strength. Every trembling of its standing is stabilised into firmness.

I choose to learn and accept that the presence of doubt isn’t the absence of faith. Have  doubts if I must. But nurse that faith. What makes me a Christian is the presence of faith; not the absence of doubt. I know that for as long I  am on this side of heaven, I will always have both. But my doubts from henceforth seizes to be a justification for my unbelief or not totally surrendering to the will of HE in whom I have entrusted my life. 

Join me. Believe! 

yet to unfold

 

 

29 January 2010 at 19:49

 

In this part of the world, not too far from beneath the scourging hot sun
Each day is a struggle against the odds, despite resilience, tenacity and focus

As though things were only meant to get worse, the years bring with them less joy than the previous
And we doubt if or not we’ve been cursed, as days feel heavier under the weight of their cause; regardless of religion, simplicity or pulse.

Normalcy is so rare and precious
Almost nothing is without the big pause. Courtesy the Nigerian factor
Electricity, water and transport; Education, rights and comfort
All have gone off course, despite the prayers, patience and hopes

But amidst these many woes.
We have failed to remain on hold
We have kept our gaze on growth
Although our best is yet to unfold
We remain glued to achieving one goal

A Nigeria pure and whole.

Make me believe you more

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Make me believe you more
Make me know you are my all.

Make me behave you more
Make me Know you are my law.

Make my soul believe your word
Make my heart know you are Lord
The One and only true God.

Make me condone you more
Make my thirst for you endure

Rephrase my thoughts
Make my life define your works

Restrict me
Make my heart contain your love

Protect me
Dip my flesh in the depths of your blood

O! Thou balm of Gilead
Ye who the sick besort
Heal me of this sin sick world
And grant me grace to tow my cross,
Until this life in me is no more.

Amen!

Black and white

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For the thirty eight weeks Olajumoke was pregnant, I experienced the dullest form of nostalgia ever.  I can’t call it depression; it was just a severe case of missing someone for whom they truly are. #my wife.

Hormones made a mess of her every function. I had to learn to be her partner all over again. Some days I came back home from work and she’s just there miserable and infecting me with mystery.  Most times she will say to me “Ifemi, I am not feeling myself, everything is swollen; even my temper”. And I will just sit there sad and disheartened unable to empathise with her. Because I miss her so much, I boil with rage and need of her roles.

But somehow, she and I managed to pull through. Our home now involves three happy people. Myself, Ola, and our son: Oluwanifemi.

Five weeks after delivery, I finally find words to describe a fraction of some of my deepest emotions. An attempt to express my truest feelings towards: Olajumoke Ibitoye.

Here it is – titled: Black and White

In the Words of Waje. “Your true Colour must still show even in a world of black and white”.

I guess that is why in this grey mood, every single thought of you lifts a layer of dull pigments my heart exhumes.

Nostalgia sets the background. Scattered around like hearts and flowers. As each Second ticks,
It sets light upon every fond memory in a flash.

My mind opens like a shutter Set at a speed requiring a stand still. My heart leaps to capture a view of the past that has left me in this dark.

Your presence is gorgeous.  Your absence is torture but its true colour is radiance. It adds Chrome to my Story. It brings gold to my Soul and it leaves me close to always being gay.

My world is black and white. Your true colour is Love. Hidden behind a thousand shades of grey.

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Atinuke… 2

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07:45 hours. I picked up my nokia 3310. Not thinking how expensive it is to make a call back then. I dialled Lade but she wouldn’t pick up. One hour later, the land line rang and I was flying towards it.

Still panting, I held the receiver very closely to my ears so no sound was escaping into the background. Only Jesus can convince my father I am not a virgin, so if anyone apart from my sister finds out there’s the tiniest possibility that I have gotten someone pregnant, Satan himself will receive my soul in no time.

My breath was flying out of my heart and my manners seemed to have wandered away. I wouldn’t even confirm who was on the other end of the line. I just went straight into a conversation being so sure it was Lade.

I’m totally certain it’s not me. It can not be…

Hello! Hello Lade! Lade can you hear me?

Let’s not talk this through on the phone. My grandfather is awake. Besides, he’s been complaining about the telephone bill… When I come back from the market, I will come to your area.

Lade, o fe kpa mi. my brains will explode before that time. Let me come to your grandfather’s house now. I will gba eyin kule wole.

What is wrong with you? Put your acts together and stop being an idiot. I said I will see you in the afternoon when I come back from my mum’s shop. If you can’t wait, hang yourself.

Squeaking like a rat that had just been struck by an angry landlord, I banged the receiver on my head gently wishing she hadn’t hung up on the other end. I wiped my face and continued in my doleful thoughts. I was in a state of abhorrence. My whole world as it stood was experiencing a concept it found so utterly disgusting. The only word I could find that describes it was not good enough. SQUICK? This must be the worst kind ever.

No one around the house noticed I’d barely had anything to eat. I hardly eat anything the mornings though. But all the other signs seemed to have reached only my sister; which in a way isn’t bad.

Ki lo shay e?

That?

That you’re looking so frustrated and acting very cranky? Has Omolade left you ni?

I need answers Sawe! Answers; not questions please.

What’s my own? Sha don’t go and hug transformer. Finish!

Ehnn… thank you. And close my door please I asked as she departed; concerned but unenthusiastic.

Mama gbayskay!!

13:25 hours. How I have managed to stay rational till this time I cannot explain. But driving to town in this my lousy beetle isn’t going to work. All these anxious feelings making their way back into my thoughts, now that I am barely awake, need to stop. If only Lade could just arrive now, I exclaimed within my imaginations. Then suddenly I realised my bladder needed empting. I picked myself up and panicked as I headed towards the toilet.  I just have to be patient. Lade will come. I can only hope it’s not long.

Atinuke…

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What was in the air just a while before now had all vanished. Even life seemed to be escaping through my lungs, as I could feel an upsurge from down inside my stomach, yet; the weight this kind of shock imposed so suddenly had me falling to the bed on my bum vertically. Before this moment, I took a step backward. My face wiped the smile off hers. My trembling hands froze mid-air around her curvy waist line. For a minute, it seemed silence walked into the room. She stared in my eyes as if to say; “is there something the matter”?

What fool wouldn’t know that, I thought upon realising she not only looked the question – she asked it.

Only a heartless bastard will say anything at this point, especially one that isn’t worth saying. But nothing – absolutely nothing could be worth saying, judging from the way she gazed distraughtly.

My eyes lost cognition and for as long as it took, I could see almost everything in the room as one massive blurry object. Just while I was looking and not seeing, Lade had worn her jeans and reached quickly for her top which wasn’t farfetched. She had brushed her hair, done all the doings and looked almost as perfectly unruffled as when she first arrived. Except for one thing – Her sclera was so red I feared it could stain the proceeding drops. The tears in her eyes will soon start trickling; nonetheless, she seemed not to have noticed the thick veins along the sides of her head. No doubt; she’s trying too hard to keep back the cloud of water hovering over her eyeballs. But she couldn’t. Lade took the frames of her face and wiped with the back of her palm, as she turned away from me smoothly. She heaved a big sigh before fixing the frame back on just how it fits best.

19:45 hours. It was way past her curfew by now, so why she waited this late before breaking such` horrifying news remains known only to her. 

When did you find out I asked with a voice that almost wouldn’t be audible?

Today

Who knows yet?

I don’t think it is news already… she responded with a voice soaked in gloom

What do you reckon?

Her mouth opened as if to shout out and then closed just before the words. Her hands waded its way through her hair as her fingers parted a way from front to back. That’s it she snapped! I’ve had enough! Just bloody drop me off and stop asking me foolish questions…

I quickly picked myself up and summoned some courage. But no courage is enough at a time like this. How I managed to drive her to and myself fro still remains a mystery. But I know if I had knocked down a police man on my way, I wouldn’t even notice.  behind the wheel I sat for god knows how long upon my return. Hitting everything that wouldn’t break, biting the steering and banging my fore head against a clenched fist. Times upon time, I grabbed my head in both hand screaming and groaning as though it should change the happenings. Only once did it cross my mind how terrible she is feeling and how even worse she will feel, when it all turns out true. Ha! Lade will kill me. She will!

It is absolute shambles and mayhem if a woman tells you “she’s pregnant” when you are only 19. From the minute the news is broken to you. The only two things making a mess of your mind have no interruption until they crash you or into you. My whole life was flashing and my thoughts ran around like particles bouncing hyper actively within a vacuum. If you can’t kill the baby, better prepare to die. Either by your own hands. Or by the hands of four adults – who have the title Nigerian Parents – more than happy to lynch you at the mere mention of *OYUN.

 

 

 

 

 

 

…and I thought

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He turned water into wine for Some’
The wine needed pouring.

He made 5 loafs feed thousands
the multiples still needed sharing..

When he healed Bartemaeus
Nothing needed doing. He saw

when he raised Lazarus. He lived

He parted the red sea. It still needed Crossing.

If You are a christian cos you go to church. God’s grace only rubs off on your life by virtue of his presence.

Your life is only a reflection of your privilege not an image of His greatness.

Until you experience God as an individual, as opposed to being a group member.

Until you relate personally with HE who teaches all good things.

You might never stop needing a Moses before your red seas are crossed.

…and I thought these things. Having reached an oasis in my own wilderness.