Godly Courtship

Hello beautiful people out there! It’s been a while I wrote an article, life has been busy but not too busy to help someone find clarity. The world as we know it today is all chaotic and there is a lot of grey areas especially in christian courtship. Most people including myself (in the past) just wing it, we do it as it comes with no clear cut strategy so it is really difficult to replicate the process. A lot of Christians talk about courtship God’s way and they think the only thing it applies to is premarital sex, yet after all the I will practice celibacy talk you find yourself back to the status quo. I’m sure like me you wonder why your promise and resolution never worked! 

First calling it godly doesn’t automatically make it godly, it becomes that when it is purposeful(clearly defined purpose) and it is God-centred. A godly relationship is courtship not dating and it is grounded in God. The bible says, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” 

Friendship is the foundation of any great marriage because if you manage this stage right, you would have succeeded in starting strong. The friendship stage is the first stage of Christian courtship. Now I believe in a man and woman praying way before they see or think they are ready for courtship or marriage, it gives you a level of clarity about what you are looking for, it allow you lay hold of God’s promises and pray right. This is especially important for a man because he’s the one looking. Praying when you ain’t looking means you will likely pray God’s will and listen more for direction. This stage is devoid of intimacy, romance, long telephone conversation and what nots. Please brothers it is wrong and ungodly to pick up a lady everyday, talk for long hours on the phone, run errands and buy her gifts and come back with I never said I was interested, we were just friends. No sir, you planted a seed, your actions said all the things you didn’t say and it is unfair. My dear young lady don’t allow any man awaken love in you before it’s time, guard your heart and put healthy boundaries in place, you will be saving yourself a lot of heartbreak. Don’t become an item with someone who has not committed to you so much that people start to pass snide remarks about you. The key word is GUARD YOUR HEART! Pure, plain friendship without secret agenda and in a non-intrusive or desperate way. It allows you know each other without pretense or expectations and in a very healthy and natural way.

This leads to stage two which is the interest stage. You have been friends, watched this person maybe from a distance for some and you are interested already. It is time to get to know the person better, to find out more about her.  At this stage I recommend you arrange to spend time in same church activities, hangout as group of friends etc. It will allow you to know each other without putting pressure on yourself or acting out commitment you don’t intend to keep. Speak , chat occasionally but please it is not yet time to call each other for 2hours every night. Now by the time a man is saying, hey! I want to know you, I expect he has the leading of the Holy Spirit and has prayed throughconce ing the lady in question. It is just not fair or nice to tell someone you are interested in them and come later to tell story about how God said she’s not the one. That is what friendship stage is meant for! Watch her, pray and compare what you hear from God, with what God has told you in the place of prayer before she even came along. The interest stage is where you want to know her purpose and see if he fits into yours, know enough to help you make wise and informed decision. Please ladies if a man shows you interest and he won’t move past that in the next three months, he’s not made up his mind on what he wants, move on. I expect ladies to also pray at this stage, make sure you get a word from God about him and proceed with caution. It is also your responsibility to watch and ensure he fits into your purpose and journey. At this stage you are both assessing and finding out pertinent information about each other. Not every tongue speaking, bible carrying brother is a husband material. If I were you I would talk to my spiritual mentor at this stage with details of the stage we are, so there’s no pressure or undue expectations from either side.

The third stage is pursuing stage. Ladies please allow a man speak to you about his intention and allow him pursue you. I expect that at this stage he has communicated his intentions. I assume if a lady is allowing herself be pursued by a man she has a word from God already. It is still not time to talk about your best sex position or that family secret no one knew about. Slow down darling, apply break , put a lid on it just yet! Enjoy being pursued, be certain you both want the same thing and inform each other’s spiritual cover/mentor. You know his intention, that is he has communicated it verbally to you and you have agreed.

Then you can now enter the stage of committed relationship. The courting stage is charcterised by commitment, clear cut purpose and communication. I want to believe that by now you have both parent’s consent and you have started to lay the foundation for the kind of marriage you want to build. Remember that if it is godly then you want to put boundaries in place and you are practicing sexual purity ( no smooches, kisses, cuddles, foreplay, heavy petting etc). Build communication, discuss everything that is important and you need to know. Discuss the hard things, face your truth like health history, finances, credit history, family patterns, traditions etc.

Finally the engaged stage! Finally he proposed, every girls dream in a relationship. Be happy, celebrate but don’t loose focus. Your wedding plans will start but remember you have a life after that. No matter how great your wedding is your marriage is more important. Money, the stress of planing and coordinating the event will get to you at some point.Watch closely, you will begin to notice more than before if you have successfully built friendship, great communication system and if you have good conflict resolution skills. You will need it for the forever part so take note of it. It is like your mini report sheet  , if you are mindful and aware you will know if you have built something solid or shitty! 
This is by no means exhaustive in itself and neither is it a one size fit all or only way to do it. Whatever you do, keep it pure, uncomplicated, grounded in God and be transparent. Make sure you find your rhythm, own your journey, do you!

Prayer: Father I pray for every single that they are divinely directed to connect to their helpmeet, divinely helped to court in a godly way daily presenting their body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto you. They are guided by the Holy Spirit and submitted to your Lordship in Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.

Credit: Adapted from Jamal Miller’s guide to Christian courtship.

The Purpose Series I.0: Higher Calling 

The grave happens to be the richest place on earth because it contains loads of unfulfilled purpose. Purpose is not just a cute word carved out by some wannabe “thought leader”, it is the reason for your existence! The only reason God deems it fit to keep you alive is because of your purpose. Without purpose abuse is inevitable, without purpose you are not useful to yourself or the world in general. God has created you for a purpose otherwise he wouldn’t! The family you were born to, the experiences you have been through, the people in your life, the resources available to you and the talents, giftings & ability in you is not an accident, it is so that you can fulfill your purpose. It is intentional! God is counting on you, destinies are waiting for your manifestation and generations are waiting to be blessed by what you carry inside of you.

No one is born without a purpose, make no mistake about that. Our purpose can only be found in God, our maker. You can only truly understand and fulfill your purpose by asking God and searching the scriptures. When Apple manufactures a new gadget such as iPhone, they inform the public about the functions it can perform and when you buy one it comes with a manual. The bible in Colossians 1:16-18MSG, “We look at this son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank of angels- everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him”. 

You were started in God, he determined everything about you down to the minutest details. Finding that purpose requires you to know him, trust him and walk with him. He wants to express his love and the fullness of his power through you. He created you to love on you, he made you his kind that he may enjoy fellowship with you, he made you that the splendor of his power and grace is make known on earth through you. In him is everything you seek. 

Until you find that purpose, the reason for your existence, nothing else matters. Nothing is as important, it is your essence, the very life you live! Not education, wealth, career, marriage or material possession is as important because until you live a life of purpose you have not started living. Do you even know that you get to give account of your purpose, your life assignment before God? Yes you do! When you are not running with purpose, you run empty! Life becomes boring and monotonous. 

Find your purpose before you find a partner, you will be glad you did…

Prayer: Lord I pray with everyone that you help us find you and allow you to guide us into your purpose. Father bring clarity into our heart and help us to focus on you as you guide our steps. Amen.

Rock Bottom 

Have you ever hit rock bottom? That place were you have expended all you have and you are forced to lean on grace. You suddenly realise the frailty of human nature, you then begin to appreciate those little things you have taken for granted. Rock bottom is that place where you have cried all the tears, shame or humiliation no longer applies. Suddenly your survival instinct is on all time high because you then realise there’s only one way left and that is to go up.

We naturally don’t want to hit rock bottom. It’s too uncomfortable, too painful and too hard a season. It’s the real school of hard knocks, a place where we are battered and bruised but also beaten into shape. We are forced to grow, to think creatively but most importantly to move from comfort zone to stretch lane. You no longer have anything to loose so you try everything in the most creative ways ever. It is a place of growth, clarity and refinement.

I remember my first encounter with rock bottom. I had finished high school and was waiting for my WAEC results(GCSE equivalent) so i could go  to university. I had plans, I had hopes and I looked forward to my freedom with such fervour! The news filtered in that the results had been released as I was in the kitchen cooking one sunny afternoon. I didn’t know what to expect, I looked forward to checking my result with trepidation. Very early the next morning I woke up and went straight to school. You see I was a prefect in high school, I was always gentle, neat and always smiling so I was liked by most of my teachers.

As I entered the school compound, I met one of my favourite teachers, we fondly call him master. He received me with a smile then went on to tell me how much the school has missed me. As he rattled away trying to bring me to speed about the interesting gossips, I smiled sheepishly but my heart was gripped with a mix of fear and anxiety. Eventually he let me go and directed me to the right office to check my result. By now a few of my classmates were around and we briefly exchanged pleasantries. The short walk from the school compound to the principal’s office took forever. Finally I got to the office, submitted my identification number…Needless to say that was my first real encounter with failure. I had just 3 credits, 4 passes and 1 F9.

My heart sunk, I played all possible scenarios of what my parents would do to me in my head and picked the worst one. My dream of freedom, of becoming a doctor has been dashed and in a twinkle an eye replaced with heaviness and doubt. I went home and hid myself in my room for the rest of the day until my mom came to fetch me that night. I found myself standing face to face with my parents, my hands clasped behind my back like someone facing a panel, a sombre look on my face with my heart racing like a formula 1 car at the grand prix. I stuttered and stammered trying feebly to explain away the result as I handed it to my dad. He skimmed through it and I could see the look of disappointment spread slowly across his face. Well I went back to high school wrote the examination 2 more times and finally passed all my papers in one sitting. It took me 3 years to cross that hurdle.

In those 3 years I learnt to depend solely on God to do his part but I also learnt to do my part well. I learnt the important of the decisions I make and how it contributes to the bottom line. I learnt to pull myself up by the shoestring when life beats me down, I learnt to submit to mentorship, I learnt to live uncertain about what tomorrow holds, I learnt to accept my faults and take responsibility for my actions. I learnt to stand up again when live beats me down, to love myself enough to encourage me to try again, to believe, to live and to dream. With the benefit of hindsight I realised God was preparing for something bigger than me. I gained strength, courage and determination from my rock bottom encounter.

It’s rather sad that  parents now try to shield their children from their growth and refinement process when infact that was what got them to where they are. No wonder we have an entitled generation on our hands. Let me quickly remind you that failure in itself is not bad, it is how you handle it and what you do with it that matters. 

Let’s learn to be grateful for every season of life, let’s learn to enjoy the process and appreciate the plan God has. Remember gold is just dirt without going through refinement. So also we are raw materials in the hands of our maker, we need chiselling and refinement to bring out our best. No wonder the bible said “I know the plan I have towards you, of good not evil, to give you an expected end”. God never waste a hurt! Even though there are times when the refinement process leaves scars but trust me they are beautiful. Those scars are your trophy of grace, the testament of your strength. 

God shows up when it looks like it’s over, that is his area of speciality. Remember he makes a way in the wilderness, he brings forth water from the rock and when our back is against the wall and it seems all over, he suddenly makes a way.

 Are you going through refinement now? Does it seem like it’s over already? Maybe you have even lost hope and you no longer care what happens. I have news for You! It is not as bad as it seems, God is just growing you. Quit whinning and get on with it. Enjoy the process and learn all you can. He will surely bring you to a place of rest, that is why he said he will lead you in the path of righteousness for his name sake.

Prayer: Father we thank you for your banner over us is love. I pray that everyone going through rock bottom phase would find peace and courage in you. That everytime you take us through this process we receive grace & patience to learn, grow and become all you plan for us. To come out shinning bright on the other side. Thank you Jesus.

Fatal Choice

This post is especially for every single lady out there looking, waiting and praying for a suitable man. I hope you are able to apply this key point to your life and that it helps you make informed decisions about choosing right.

One of the most troubling question I had back in the days was, how do you know a man is born again? That was because I would date this tongue-speaking, bible carrying, church going dude and say to myself thank God I finally found someone who will do it with me God’s way. Then before I know we have done it our own way, messed it up real bad and back to square zero. It happened a few times, I desperately wanted to choose the right person and do my relationship God’s way but I didn’t know how. Over the years I have also had my friends ask me the same question. It is a very important question that must be answered because the person you choose sets the tone for the outcome of the relationship. I didn’t know the answer until I started to walk with God and apply myself to God’s word.

I believe the most important criteria will be choosing not just a born again but a man with a progressive relationship with Christ. He’s got to be a man who is consistent in his fellowship and communion with the father. How do you know that he has a relationship with Christ? John 15:8; Matthew 7:20- A godly man produces kingdom fruit and the bible said by their fruit you shall know them! So the best way to know any man is through the fruits he bears. A godly man would not tell you that it is ok to experiment with sex because he understands that his body  is the temple of the Holy Spirit and he has been renewed in his thinking. A godly man leads you in building godly characters in and out of church because he understands that he is the church and the bible people read. He leads in his relationship with the father and he’s willing to share it with you.

Also this man has learned the art of fellowship and communion with Christ and he clearly hears divine instruction and obeys them. So from time to time he shares divine directives with you and help you confirm those things God speaks to you about. He’s sharp in the spirit! A godly man will not be scared or shy to share his faith and word of God in a non-offensive way with you and others around him. This man has godly convictions, that is, value system based on God’s word that governs his life. There are just some things he won’t compromise on, he’s not blown around by every wind. He won’t mess about or cheat not because you are beautiful but because he fears God.

A godly man is submitted to the Lordship of God in reverence, of his parents in honour and of the set men(pastors/mentors) in his life in authority. Therefore he won’t make his decisions in haste but carefully seek God and confirm with these people. Even his decision to marry you will pass through the right process of confirmation and listening to godly counsels. A submitted man is a blessing like David the King, he seeks godly counsel before taking any step. He is a man with a solid support system, a group of godly people who keeps it real with each other by being accountable. He understands that he’s human and the devil thrives where there is secrecy and lies so he keeps it 100 at all times!

This man knows to accept his fault and make things right with his maker and people around him when he’s out of line. He’s spiritually strong, emotionally beautiful and intellectually sound. He understands kingdom principles of giving, leadership, management and excellence and daily strives to live by them. He is a man of purpose, he’s got visions and dreams aligned with God’s word concerning him.You think he’s perfect? No he ain’t perfect, he has learnt not to conform to worldly patterns but instead be renewed by his word. He makes mistakes but he accepts them when corrected in love. You won’t have to cajole him to pray, go to church or study the bible because he understands they are not just activities. He’s got an understanding of times and seasons so he prepares ahead of time. Here for me is the most romantic attribute he has, he prays for you, with you and over you!

I know you read this post and thought I don’t think this kind of men exist! It seems like she just described Jesus😀. Then you rolled your eyes 🙄 and said I’ll die single if I keep looking for him. The news is you don’t do the looking…Once you allow God pick you up, wash you, test you and get you ready he’ll bring the right one your way and give you wisdom to choose right. Mind you, to get his kind means you are also getting yourself ready and following the same process because it’s a two way street. 

Here is a prayer I pray when God began to teach me about relationships: I pray that the man you have prepared for me is one whose heart is stayed on you, aligned to your will and purpose for his life and loves you more than he will ever love any human being. Lord model your love to him, teach him to love, to lead and to build in Jesus Name. Amen

I pray for you that God gives you patience to wait for a godly man, discernment to choose right and wisdom to not choose based on fleeting qualities. I also pray that you are found doing the will of the father and pursuing purpose in Jesus Mighty name. 

For every man reading this article I pray that God gives you grace to serve him faithfully, bear godly fruits and be the man he has created you to be. Amen. 

Run for Your Life ❗

Doing the right thing at all times irrespective of who is doing wrong is my value challenge for this week. One of the ways I choose to do the right thing is by standing for what is right and lending my voice to it.

So I join my voice to that of women all over the world to say domestic violence is wrong on all levels, abuse is totally unacceptable in all its forms, shapes and sizes! I don’t care what the woman has done but no one should be abused or violated, No one deserves that! 

Also it is wrong that when abuse or violence happens especially in marriage we are quick to judge. Wait who made you the judge? When did you become the Holy Spirit (arinurode olumoran okan) that you sit upon your high horse to pass careless comment over what you know nothing about? What if you are going through worse and you choose to stay there? That is totally your choice but doesn’t have to be another person’s story.

Wake up women! Stop tearing each other down! There’s so much we achieve if we come together to fight this plague that threatens our existence. Let’s start from teaching our children especially boys to become responsible adults. Let’s not only teach but model the love of Christ to them in the way we treat our maids, cooks, driver and everyone around us. Let our male children learn to do chores, allow them to be vulnerable, let them learn compassion, kindness and empathy through your character. Let’s join hands to raise men of character whose hearts are not raised unto vanity.

Please and please stop advising our daughters, sisters and mothers to stay in abusive relationships.  Even if it is not physical abuse that you can easily see the scars, other forms of abuse are real and just as potent. Emotional scars are more difficult to heal. There are loads of women in mental facilities just because of these issues. Some women say they are staying for the sake of their children. Really? You are damaging those children by putting them in a toxic environment. You are making their lives miserable and planting the wrong seeds in them. 

Finally to all women being abused, please seek help! You only have one life and trust me God wants you to live happy. Don’t allow anyone use religion to bamboozle you o! God is not mocked!!! God is first of all a loving, compassionate father whose mercy endureth forever. Your life is more important to your God than divorce. Don’t be a statistics, please run for help if you are being abused. At least pity your parents and don’t make them mourn over you even if you hate yourself so much!

A word is enough for the wise!!! Shalom.

Suitable not Compatible 

Compatibility is one word that often come up especially in relationship. Relationship experts, amateurs and everyone around reminds you to be sure you and your mate are compatible when choosing a partner. Almost every book I have read talked about making sure you and your partner are compatible as it gives your relationship a chance of survival. I wasn’t so lucky to have anyone guide me through relationship with the opposite sex as such so a lot of  the things I knew came from the books I read and personal experiences. Oh boy did I get burnt a lot? You bet I did!

So I had this friend(a guy) at some point in my life. We were best friend and everything was going good at least until everyone around us started to say how compatible we were for each other. I constantly heard things like you guys are compatible, you look good together, you should date already! Before I knew it I had developed a crush on Mr Perfect. Well my crush remained just that as Mr Perfect wasn’t in the mood for a relationship. I finally borrowed myself brain and decided to catch a flight instead of catching feeling…lol.  On this note a quick advice especially to young ladies is to guard your heart dilligently! If a guy is not asking for a relationship disregard his actions and set clear boundaries.

So I have been working a lot on my relationship and thank God for mentors guiding me and making the journey easier.  Trust me I have turned a full cycle but that is not the crux of the matter here. The important thing is we have pushed ourselves and people into  relationships they have no business being a part of in the name of compatibility. Oftentimes we drop our values and compromise just because someone is compatible with us. Then as I study and apply myself to guidance I discovered something significant. The bible in Genesis 2:18 said it is not good for man to be alone, I’ll make a suitable helpmate for him.

Note it didn’t say compatible, it said SUITABLE!!! Suitable means right or appropriate for a particular person, purpose or situation. While compatible means capable of existing or performing in harmonious or agreeable combination. That means the fact that people  are compatible does not necessarily make them the right fit for each other.  In the pursuit of purpose you will need more than compatible my dear friend. The journey of life requires that you are moving with someone who is the right and appropriate for your journey. 

Imagine travelling across the desert and taking a winter jacket with you! Suitability is not in the bank account, job they have or their pedigree it is in the value they live out for all to see, it’s in what is important to them, in how intentional or otherwise they are about their life. It is about the authority over them, who and what they submit to, the direction of their journey etc. That is not to say being compatible is not important or doesn’t play a role. It plays a huge role but be sure that person is not just compatible but suitable! Remember you don’t want to be the guy that uses AK47 to kill a fly and insecticide to kill a lion…

PS: The next time someone pressures you into choosing someone because they think you guys are compatible, tell them to park well!!!🤣😁

Prayer: I pray for everyone reading this piece that they make the right choices in life by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Everlasting Light 

I Olutola Comfort arise! My light is shining for all to see

For the glory of the Lord is rising upon me

Even when thick darkness covers every nations of the earth, the glory of the Lord rises over Olutola Comfort 

All nations of the earth come to my light; mighty kings are coming to catch a glimpse of my radiance

My sons are coming from distant lands and my daughters carried home.

My eyes are shining and my heart thrills with joy

Merchants from around the world are bringing me the wealth of many lands

Every nation, tribe and race worship God as they behold his wonders in my life

The Lord has filled Comfort with splendor therefore men honours God in me.

Foreigners rebuilds my towns, kings will serve me

For through grace God has looked upon me with mercy

The gates of Olutola Comfort is perpetually open day and night to receive the wealth of many lands 

I beautify the tabernacle of the Lord with my wealth because in his mercy he has made me mega financier in his kingdom 

Those who despised me are now kissing my feet and the descendants of my tormentors will come and bow before me

I Olutola Comfort is called the city of the Lord and Zion of the Holy One of Israel

I was once despised with no one travelling through me but God has made me beautiful forever, I’m now the joy of many generations 

Now I know that the Lord, my redeemer is the Mighty one of Israel. Therefore powerful kings and mighty nations satisfy my every need.

He has exchanged my bronze for gold; my iron for silver; my wood for iron

Peace is my leader and righteousness my ruler

Violence, strife, desolation and destruction has disappeared from my land

Salvation surrounds me like city walls and everyone who enters give God praise

The Lord is my everlasting light so the light of the moon and sun is irrelevant 

The sun of Olutola Comfort will no longer set and her moon will no longer go down

My days of mourning has ended and the Lord has planted me and my family with his own hands in our rightful place

We flourish and reign in righteousness, our lives bring God glory

Our small family has become a thousand and God is transforming us into a mighty nation

The Lord is making it happen for now is the appointed time and all is to the glory of his holy name!

*Please personalise and confess this as much as God gives you grace. Remember words are seeds and what you plant is what you harvest. Grace to you😘

Wait!

I have a burden in my heart for singles out there especially young ladies. I see a lot of destinies aborted and lives ruined on the alter of marriage. We have become a society obsessed by marriage,so parents pressure their girls into bringing the ‘one’, the community measures your level of responsibility and sometimes emotional stability through the length of years you have stayed married. Your relevance and acceptability in some communities depend on your marital status. Ladies approach the dreaded age of 30 with so much trepidation, suddenly all the confidence and achievement fly out of the window and all they want to do is ‘settle down’. 

What is even more alarming is we are mostly not equipped for this important step. So we choose the most expensive wedding gown, learn the latest dance in town, carefully pick out vendors for the wedding and plan the most romantic honeymoon that will make even Hollywood stars jealous. Trust me I have been there and done that, so I’m not judging anyone but we really need to speak up about these things. The very people that pressures you into getting married at all cost are probably going through rough patches in their marriage but will never tell you that part of the story and a lot of time they almost make me believe they pressure people out of wickedness. Please folks stop asking people when they will get married, when you will be invited to eat jollof rice ?(if jollof rice is your problem cook it in your kitchen or gate crash a party). Stop making snide remarks, asking questions that embarrasses another person all in the name of wishing them well. If it bothers you so much that someone around you is not married yet commit to praying for them.

Please folks let’s stop ‘marriage-shaming’ (that’s my word for it…lol)! Marriage is beautiful if done right but it is never the be all for anyone. Not everyone wants to or will marry and that is perfectly OK. There’s nothing wrong with them if they don’t want to get married or if not yet married. Everyone have their own timing and our race is never the same. What is the essence of rushing into marriage and splitting up after a short while. It is not a joke, it is not a car that you take for test drive, it is not something to take with levity. Patience is a virtue, it is an art. Please ladies let us learn the art of patience, let’s learn to wait gracefully!

I pray for all the single men and women out there that God will lift up the countenance of his eyes upon you. I pray that he will give you grace to run your race with patience and strengthen your heart as you wait and face the pressures of life. I pray that he will guide you and keep you from the counterfeits, that you may choose right. I pray that in your season of singleness you will grow into the purpose and will of God for your life.

Grace to you…

He Restores my Soul…

As the first ray of sunlight penetrated the dimly lit room and gently graced my face, I turned and slowly opened my eyes as the words, he restore my soul formed on my lips. I sat up and stretched as I became more aware of my surrounding and the words that seemed to come from my sleep. In that moment I burst into worship, giving all the glory to the Almighty God, the restorer of all things good.

You may begin to wonder what is significant about the experience or what it actually means to me? In my walk with God I have come to cherish the communion I share with him and most importantly the privilege of getting directions for living, it makes life easier. Remember the bible says “He orders the steps of the righteous”. The truth is you never appreciate good health until you have experienced ill health. So I woke up one morning to realise I didn’t feel like praying or studying my bible and it would not have been such a big deal if that didn’t go on for about a week. Though I felt the burden in my heart to go to God’s secret place (the place of fellowship with God), there was a strong resistance in my physical body. All connection and signal were down, I neither heard the spirit of God guiding me nor feel connected to him in anyway. I struggled so much in that week! Even when I attended church services with such heavy presence of the Holy Spirit I was still struggling with no signal. 

Before I knew it I felt unhappy more, became snappy and started having mood swings. The first thing I did was anchor myself by becoming accountable. I called up one of my spiritual mentors and reported myself, spoke to my support group(accountability & prayer partners), we talked through it and I felt a relieve in my soul knowing I’m being raised up in prayer. I then began to think over events leading up to that week, I confessed all the sins I can remember and the ones I can’t. Slowly I began to get into the mood of drive thru prayers but still not studying the bible (in order words no quiet time with God observed). So three days prior to my restoration experience, I began to just listen to worship songs on YouTube and more so fill me till I overflow by Tasha Cobbs. All day, all night I worshipped and told God I know you can hear me, I know you love me, heal every severed connection, mend every broken cord for I desire your presence and I’m dead without you.

The night before I worshipped even more and I could feel a spark, then as I worshipped I started to speak in tongues(pray in the Holy Ghost). My heart was flooded with joy and light, oh it was such a beautiful experience! So the next morning when I said the words he restores my soul I knew what it meant. God has worked his restoration in me and renewed my strength because I waited upon him. Grace found me again!

I don’t even know why I am sharing this experience but I’m sure it will speak to someone and help them navigate the times when it seems God is no longer close by. Now to recap, I took some steps that helped me in that season:

1) I anchored myself by talking to my mentor and support system about what I was going through. As a Christian God has not called you to walk alone. Having accountability partners and spiritual mentor(s) will help keep you grounded. More so, it keeps you from falling into sin, they give you practical, bible-based advice and help you get back to your feet through prayer.

2) I knew God was near, he was listening even when I couldn’t hear or connect with him. I knew without a shadow of doubt that God loves me and our relationship  is important to him. How did I know this? Because I have been bought with the most precious price, the blood of Jesus (John 3:16). All through the experience I kept remembering how he would leave 99 other sheep to go look for one that is missing. Knowing that irrespective of who you are or what you have done, he will never leave nor forsake you means the devil cannot take advantage of you. The devil could not play the mind game with me thereby luring me further away from God’s secret place.

3) I created a conducive atmosphere through continual worship. At times when your heart seems too heavy or you just don’t know what to say, when all hope is lost and you are at a dead end, just worship. Worship invites the presence of God and allows the rivers of joy to well up in you.

4) I prayed in the Holy Ghost. The bible said in Romans 8:26, “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness…Remember he that speaks in an unknown tongue edifices himself. 

I pray today that anyone experiencing a disconnection from God or has strayed from his presence will be fully restored in the Mighty name of Jesus. I pray that God will lead you in the path of righteousness and his strength will be perfected in your weakness. That even at those times when you walk in the valley of the shadow of death,he will gently guide and direct you. That he will comfort you and give you his peace that transcends human understanding in Jesus Mighty name. Amen.

The White Elephant in the Room

I came from a part of the world where depression never enters family, community or national discussion. It is the white elephant in the room that no one ever gets to talk about. Though I  knew a word called depression existed but to me at the time it just meant you are sad, it didn’t go beyond that . So I got a rude shock that fateful afternoon as I sat in my GP’s office after some examination and she said Comfort, I feel you have a mild case of clinical depression.

You see just a few days before then, I was on the overground train and without sleeping, I missed my train stop because I was lost in my world. Then on my way back that night as I waited for my train, a thought slipped into my mind. What if I jump in front of this coming train? Death will be quick and easy but what if I survived and was maimed for life? No I can’t take that chance! Yet I’m just tired of it all and there seems to be no escape from it. My mind argued within itself back and forth for the next 2minutes before I snapped back and took hold of myself. I went home that night scared that something serious was happening to me, I just couldn’t  put a name to it yet.

The next day, I had slept for about 4hours and was woken up by the worst kind of headache like it’s been for the last two weeks. So I booked an appointment and made a trip to see my GP on my way out. She took my vitals, looked at me with a frown and asked some questions. After few minutes of silence and scribbling, she finally told me I had mild depression, extremely high bp and I need to go back home to rest. Now it was my turn to ask questions and carefully she explained to me what it meant and what I needed to do to get back to my normal self.

This was my first real encounter and discussion about depression. I realised either it’s been discussed or not, the most important thing is depression is very real and we need to raise the awareness. Depression is especially common with women than men in the UK according to UK mental health statistics. The sad part is depression is hardly ever mentioned within the African community with little or no support within the family unit.

Its been two years now since that episode and I have come out on the other side stronger than ever without taking any medication but with tremendous support from family and friends. God gifted me with this great surround and support system at the time, they were four great men who stood as pillars of strength and support as I navigated the darkest and hardest part of my journey so far. Even when they weren’t sure of what was running through my mind or what next to do, they held my hands and silently walked beside me. That was just what I needed at the time.

I was lucky to have them but not everyone has that support system within their existing network or sphere of influence. I want you to know that the fact that your neighbour, colleague, sister or friend smiled at you doesn’t mean they are not depressed. A lot of people around us are going through depression and we don’t even notice. Most times a listening ear without judgement or correction, a loving touch, hug or smile is all it takes. At other times a shoulder to cry on or even someone to say it’s not your fault this is happening and everything is gonna be alright makes all the difference.

I have come to appreciate the little things more especially the sun, the rising of it brings fresh hope but most importantly the gift of love and friendship. I have learnt to be more empathetic, compassionate and understanding towards others. I urge you to intentionally watch out for people around you, after all the bible said to be our brother’s keeper. Make everyday count by giving the gift of love, peace, joy and hope. When you shine so bright please make sure you are lighting others too.

I pray for everyone going through a dark time in their journey that God will shine his light into every darkness. The bible said that the light shines in darkness; and darkness comprehend it not. That as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death you will fear no evil because the Almighty God will be your guide and shield. His peace will wash over you and you will experience the warmth of his embrace. Remember God loves you and his banner over us all is love…xo