Learning to breathe

Archive for the tag “Jesus”

The Resistance

We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.                          – CS Lewis (from ‘The Weight of Glory’)

 

    So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. –James 4:7

Jesus was the ultimate iconoclast; he was rude to religious leaders and treated whores with respect. He was born like most people. He was ordinary and unmajestic in human flesh, wasn’t wealthy by any standards, had no names to drop, no elbows to rub. He was Mary’s boy and James’ brother, a carpenter, a teacher, a friend. He had no car, bike and travelled everywhere on foot. Jesus’ ministry lasted 3 years and when he died in his early thirties, he had no army to champion his cause except for the simple fishermen, commoners and outcasts he spent his time with. Yet his message  grew outlasting empires, dynasties, wars, revolutions, nations. Today Jesus is known all over the world. 3 years. Today on my way back from work, I found myself wondering about my countrymen and why Nigerians are called some of the “happiest” people in the world.

Are we really happy or are we just desensitized?

There is so much life to be lived and we are content with our own cube of earth. We’re fine as long as we’re “convenient”. We’re okay as long as it’s not our relative that gets hacked to death by extremists. Everything is dandy as long as we have our clothes, nice jobs, girlfriends/boyfriends and other pretty things. The corruption, terrorism, fraud is none of our business as long as it doesn’t affect us. I say “us” because I am just as guilty as everyone else. As long as I get to wear my favorite pair of jeans everyday and sing “Halleluyah! God is good” on Sundays I’m fine.

But am I really?

The Jesus that I serve turned the Middle East upside down in 3 years and even after his death, people were (and are) still messed up by the message he brought. I cannot begin to think of where I would be if Jesus had been content with his carpenter pay and being Mary’s boy. What Nigeria needs is a revolution, not religion. We need hearts that can still break not desensitization. We need people who will stand up for something other than themselves, people who will stand up for something greater; our country. We need people to be tired of Nigeria being one of the largest exporters of “convicted felons” to the US. We need to stop inviting the devil to dinner and start resisting him like James 4:7 implores.

Since June this year, a number of people have joined in to pray for Nigeria on the 15th of every month for 10 minutes. And everyday since that first day in June, they have chosen to be the resistance, the rebels, the insurgents fighting  against desensitization, fighting to wake up inside. Will you join us to fight for a truly happy Nigeria? Join  the virtual community, Nehemiah Prayermobs, on Twitter and Facebook.

The resistance is growing.

nehemiah project prayermobs

Learning to Breathe Better

learning-to-breathe-pic

It hasn’t exactly been a year since I started learning to breathe. I started learning to breathe on the 12th of January, 2011 and I’ve been sharing m breathing techniques on my WordPress since then. I believe that you can never stop learning to breathe, you can only get better at it. So yes, I’m still learning. 2012 has been a pretty eventful year for me…somethings I’d like to forget quickly, somethings I’ll cherish all the days of my life. I met new friends and I lost some. I’ve been the insecure girl at work and I’ve been the picture of security. I’ve had emotional roller-coaster rides that have been anything but enjoyable. Been tossed here and there by emotional tides. Now that I look back on all of it, I can smile. I can smile because I tasted a wealth of emotions this year.

Spiritually, I’ve become wiser, maybe even stronger. And I find it amazing how God calls my kind to be “the light of the world” and “a city on a hill” when all I want to do is crawl back into the pit that He picked me from. The pit is comfortable. The pit is all I’ve known. The pit is was home. Time and time again, He comes for me, picks me up again and sets me on a hill for all to see. I’m not sure I love the attention all the time, I would rather go back down to the pit sometimes and feel sorry for myself. Often He tells me that my flaws, imperfections, insecurities, brokenness is exactly what He needs. If I was flawless, perfect, secure, sturdy…I’m afraid He would have no need of me. And I would have no need for Him. If there’s nothing I know about myself, I know that I am needy and I love to feel needed. I think of that and I get out of my pit willingly.

At home, I won’t say that everything has been dandy. That would be a lie. If there is a perfect home in this world, it definitely isn’t mine. I love my father with every fibre of my being. I know that he has made mistakes, I acknowledge the fact that he has many flaws and has made decisions he will regret all his life. I just want to make regretting easier for him. It’s the least that I could do. My siblings and I share a name and a home but I can’t say that we live for each other. We are so used to giving each other left over loving, I’m not sure what it would feel like to give them the main dish. What if they don’t even want the main dish? My stepmother on the other hand is an enigma to me. Sometimes, I think it’s possible for me to love her and other times, I wake up to the cold reality that it will be difficult and it will take flesh out of me. I’m pretty selfish. I don’t want anything taken out of me. I want it dropped in my lap. I lie to myself that I don’t have much of me to give to anybody and I know deep inside that there’s so much to give, so much to pour out and I’m afraid that is what keeps me up at night. I don’t know how to give and through 2012, I wasn’t ready to learn. I just wanted to breathe.

As for school, I’ve had moments when I just sit down and cry. I ask myself more often than I really want to: “What are you doing here?”

What are you doing here?!

I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m doing handling violins, pianos and a lazy soprano voice. I don’t know what I’m doing writing MUSON theory exams. I don’t know what I’m doing reading sheet music. I don’t know if I want to go to Royal College of Music when I finish university. So I’ll just focus on breathing for now. I’ll breathe deeply when the music notes become blurry and the tears threaten to spill, I’ll breathe confidently when my mouth opens and timid soprano pours. I’ll breathe, surely, when I bow my violin in front of an unfriendly looking panel. I’ll breathe.

As for relationships, I’ll take a break. I can’t make wise decisions when I keep hopping from one relationship to the other. I’ll  lose my breath and some of my sanity, some of myself. I’ll lose. I lose because I don’t know what to give and I don’t know what to keep. That way, I end up giving what I should keep and keeping what I should give. So I’ll just stop and breathe.

Breathe.

This is my last post on this blog. Still unsure if I should delete it or just leave it dormant. Don’t ask why, I don’t have the answer. I can tell you confidently though, that breathing is the best thing that could happen to us humans. Just breathe. Breathe deeply, thoughtfully, reverently. Breathe as you are.

And let your heart find rest in Him…

Sunset

The few days after the fight were a flurry of events. Events too painful to narrate. I ended my affair with Tiwa in Sunmade’s presence. Then my son and I flew to London with my husband.

He has not said two words to me since we got here. It has been four days now.

Thursday.

I run my fingers over the healing wound over my left eye and turn to gaze upon my son as he toddles towards me.

“Mama” he coos.

“Hey baby. Come to mommy” I wrap him in my arms and twirl round the living room.

He shrieks and laughs.

The sound of his laughter reminds me of my wedding day and how Sunmade and I danced in endless circles, endless joy, endless happiness. And I could smell the cologne he wore that day all over again.

We were so young. We had no fear. We were wide-eyed.

The door creaks open and the object of my thoughts appears.

We stare at each other.

I put Ire in his chair and fumble with my hands.

“I’m…I’m sorry I beat you.” He says.

“I’m not sorry you did.”

Something in his eyes softens as he comes towards me and holds me.
I cheated on the one man I ever truly loved and guess what he did…

He chose to stay.

Convo

This post came to me yesterday. I was bone weary and I had just had a late lunch. I haven’t put up anything in a long (long to me, anyways) while and I felt I’d just share some of my thoughts and conversations with you. If you have been following my Orin Series, (I guess I could call it that) I’ll be putting something new up soon (I hope)

In the bathroom

Me: Oh dear Lord, I’m fat.

God: You’re a size 8.

Me: A fat size 8.

God: ….

Me: Okay so maybe I’m not fat…just rounded…slightly pudgy.

God: Shut up, Ibukun.

Me: Okay.

In class

Me: God this class is so boring.

God: You’ll have a test soon.

Me: I will?! Oh dear! I haven’t been paying attention :O

(Class ends)

Me: God, you said I was going to have a test. Was that a joke?!

God: No. You will have a test. Soon.

Me: At this point I take your ‘soon’ to mean in the last class for the semester. I can’t believe you just did that to me.

God: 🙂

In church

Me: God, look at these people, especially Pastor Carlton, I don’t think I could ever be like them.

God: You’re not suppose to be

Me: But they look so perfect! They act so perfect. I’m like a sore thumb! The black sheep. I’m a sugar junkie…amongst other things 😦

God: Well, as perfect and shiny as they look, they all struggle with something.

Me: Oh yeah? Like what? Inability to read more then a book of the Bible a day?

God: Somebody’s actually struglling with that…

Me: Are you for real?! :O I mean, really?

God: Yes, I’m for real

Me: :O tell me more!

God: …..

Me: Please na 😦

God: …..

Me: Hmmmn I see. The silent treatment. Oh well, at least I know someone’s struggling with bible reading! Bwahaha!

God: …..

Me: ….

God: ….

Me: okay I get it. This convo is over. Ok bye 🙂

In bed. 5.00am

God: Ibukun!

Me: What? Is it rapture time yet?

God: No. It’s bonding time.

Me: Doesn’t this count?

God: Not exactly

Me: But I don’t want to get out of bed just yet 😦

God: Okay.

Me: (tries to fall asleep again)

God: …..

Me: (covers head with pillow)

God: …..

Me: (fights for sleep)

God: ….

Me: ….

God: ….

Me: How do you do that?

God: 🙂 spare yourself the fight and get up.

Me: Fine. You owe me.

God: Haha! Roight!

Me: 🙂

The end

Pastor’s Kid

Growing up, I was “taught” to act in a certain stereotyped way by people. My parents were not among these people.

In Primary School, whenever I did something wrong, my teacher would say something like “And her father is a pastor” to her colleague. When I got to secondary school, I made sure nobody knew my dad was a pastor. It worked for awhile. Then I changed schools. My new school was a catholic girls only school far from my home and in the middle of nowhere. At the time it was like someone pulled the ground from under me and squeezed the air out of my lungs. For awhile I tried to act like a girl that was in a catholic single sex school. Soon I found out that none of the girls that were in there acted that way.

Well, it’s my second year at university and I don’t care much if people know my dad’s a pastor or not. As a matter of fact, I enjoy the shock I give them when they find out.

If you’re a PK (pastor’s kid) people either expect you to turn out just like your parent(s) or they expect you to go the opposite way…all the way down. But in reality, PKs are not born with extra capacity for righteousness. We are just like the rest of you with “normal” parents.

In a way, my dad never put any pressure on me to be like him. Yes, he taught my siblings and I to love God all the time growing up. He still does. But he let’s me make my own mistakes. It’s something I will always be thankful for.

The allowance to fall, bruise, go the wrong way.

It’s been five months and some I actually committed myself to God. I still make mistakes but when I do, I go back to Him who I wandered away from in the first place. I used to ask myself: “Am I doing this right?” “Am I Christian enough?” But I have come to understand that I can never be Christian enough. I can only be a better person than I was yesterday.

To those who expect me to act a certain way, make your own life count because in the end, you’re only here for awhile and well…

I’m sorry. I will disappoint you till I die.

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