Daily Devotional

Your ‘Hemorrhoid’ Shall Pass

If  you have never had an actual hemorrhoid, please go on your knees and pray you never ever experience the life-threatening pain that comes with it. I never thought it would happen to me. I live a healthy lifestyle, attend aerobics classes, hardly eat bread, can’t remember the last time I bought sugar…. basically I never thought hemorrhoids could come from my healthy lifestyle. Just like 1000001 other Nigerians, I assumed hemorrhoids are for people who consume a lot of sugar till their butt holes  protest. Boy was I wrong!

It started after a very grueling fitness class. We had just finished a combination session of squats, lunges and cones when my butt started to feel a little painful. I quickly attributed the pain to all the squatting positions and figured I’ll be fine by morning. I have been squatting for months, so really, what’s new? Hahaha… I guess my butt was laughing at me in Spanish.

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By the next morning, I attempted to gleefully roll off my bed as usual and start my day with my upbeat playlist, to give me a bright outlook on my boring work life when I felt the pain. It felt like the smooth stone David attacked Goliath with had been lodged between my butt. What the heck is going on? I took a shower with all the strength I could muster and went to work. The whole day, it felt like I was waging war against myself…a war I just couldn’t win because I had no idea what was going on down there. By the time I left the office, I could barely walk. Jeez! Me the ever-fit, brisk-walking melanin beauty who always had her head high was walking like I was just learning to use my legs for the first time. I was literally dragging my feet because any brisk step I attempted seemed to anger this august visitor. I made it to a pharmacy and in hushed tones explained to a kind lady what the problem was. Got some medicine and advice, and trudged back to my car. At this point, I could see the angels beckoning, and I was beginning to have an idea of what it means to be on fire… and as I sat in my car, it hit me.

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Everyone has a hemorrhoid somewhere. We all have that one thing that hurts so bad, we can only discuss it in hushed tones with people we believe can help us. Sometimes, they are situations we cannot even discuss with other people, but they hurt so much, we literally have to trudge our way through them, hoping we make it out alive. People see us and don’t understand why we are no longer brisk in our steps, why we are irritable and we are sitting on one half of our butts. People might not know what we are going through but deep inside we do, and we know they can never ever feel our pain just like a husband cannot feel the labor pains of  his wife.

Here’s a word for you: No matter what your hemorrhoid is, no matter what it is that hurts – a bad breakup, loss of income, loss of a loved one, loss of your dignity, pain from loved ones, betrayal, anything you feel deep inside that hurts so much – it will fade away with time. You might talk to people and find it’s not helping (the medicine I got at the pharmacy had zero effect); you might need to call in external help (my family members in Nigeria and the USA had to look for medicine for me and courier it because this visitor was not responding to South African things); you might need to turn to God and cry your eyes out (yes, it got to that point where I was telling God to come and uproot this thing with his divine power) and it felt like my prayers hit the ceiling and fell back on my bed…  But with time, the pain faded away. With time, I couldn’t muster the same emotions the pain brought with it. With time, I could not feel like it ever happened. I was walking briskly again with my head held high and my my smile bright. I was not irritable or exhausted. I was myself…. again.

Give everything time. Your hurt, your pain, your sadness, the sting of betrayal, anything you feel that makes you less of yourself will fade away with time. It might feel like your actions are not working, like your prayers are not soaring, and your life is about to end, but believe me when I say “this too shall pass”. Your hemorrhoid, your period of darkness, and your pain will set you up for something better than you can ever imagine. Lots of love from me to you XOXO

Daily Devotional

Give Each Day A Chance of Its Own

I bought a new book a few weeks ago titled “Everyday deserves a chance” by Max Lucado. I’ve always been a big fan of Max’s books because he seems to know exactly how to capture the essence of the time we live in, and bring God into the darkest scariest parts of our lives. I decided to share some insights from this book, and some of my deductions with you in the hope that you will begin to have better days from now on.

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Every morning when we wake up from deep or restless slumber, the one thing that is certain is that we have been given another opportunity to live, to dream, to work, and of course to win. It is also another opportunity to sin, gossip, backstab those who trust us, take God’s grace for granted, and take pride in ourselves. It is also an opportunity to be sad, depressed, faithless, hopeless, feel worthless and ugly, reiterate mistakes made in the past, and dwell on the relationships that didn’t work, the job that never came and the dreams that are still unfulfilled. Every new day is an opportunity. The question is how are you spending your opportunity?

Sometimes, it is difficult to be happy. It is difficult to look up and see a bright day; it is difficult to even have hope because you have had so much hope in the past, your heart is sick from hope deferred. It is difficult to even remember God when you are being tested on such days. Believe me when I say I can write a whole book about this. But I want you to take a step in the right direction starting today. Can you make yourself say “Jesus today is in your hands. Please be with me at every turn.” That’s the prayer that broke me and made me all at the same time. Sometimes we are sad because we want to be in charge of how our lives play out, but the bible says “none can receive except God gives”. It means we cannot decide on how we want life to play out, we can only trust God. If we are to trust God, then we must place every day i.e. every opportunity into his hands so that we can choose life, grace, love, happiness, strength to work and a winning attitude over depression, backbiting and backstabbing, gossiping, pain, regret, worry and everything else we think is important.

From this day, start to saturate your day in the power and grace of God. Let him be your guide and your captain. Let his grace engulf you, and let his power strengthen you. Give each day a chance of its own by placing it in God’s hands. Remain blessed. XOXO

Daily Devotional

Dedicate Yourself Fully

This morning I woke up to a realization that I seem to have a lot to do everyday, and somehow I manage to achieve to achieve them, but they are usually sent back by my boss to be re-done because he believes I can do much much better. Of course, that frustrates me every single time! Why can’t he just leave good enough alone? I’ve decided to stick to that level; why can’t he just go with that flow and let’s move on?

But this morning I woke up with guilt – guilt that I haven’t been putting myself fully into whatever I do. I haven’t been in every moment, because I have this thing in my head that says “Just get it over and done with so you can move on to something else”. But how can I really move on, when my half-baked work keeps chasing after me?

Over the weekend, I started reading “the purpose driven life” by Rick Warren, and something in it struck me. He said, and I’m paraphrasing here ‘Everything we do is a form of worship to God, even our work!’ He basically meant we have to do everything in our lives wholeheartedly, to the best of our ability. Just like we ought not worship God halfheartedly, we should aim to do everything else with full dedication and drive, as though we were doing them for God. Wow… #MindBlown

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Many of us deliver half-baked work so we can move on even though there isn’t anything in particular we want to move on to. We spend hours sitting in front of the TV, and we are not even fully dedicated to that because we are too  busy staring at our cellphones (I’m really beginning to think cellphones are the enemy here). Even when we are with friends, we are not fully there. We are never fully where we are, or fully dedicated to what we ought to be doing because our minds are focusing on the unimportant stuff. It’s time to quit being half-here, half-there.

Whatever you need to do, do it with drive, with passion, to the best of your ability. Do it as though you have do a presentation before God and explain it to him. Do it as though you’d feel incomplete if you don’t put your best in it. Dedicate yourself to whatever you are tasked with. Allocate the time you spend half watching TV and half looking for people on facebook, to your work. The personal satisfaction you’ll feel is not the only result. You won’t have half-baked, just good enough shoddy work attached to your reputation. And oh yes! Even God will be pleased with the dedication and it will  spread to all areas of your life! I’m starting to dedicate myself fully today! Are you with me? XOXO

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Daily Devotional

The Essence of Forgiveness

Many of us struggle with the concept of forgiveness because we do not understand it. There are many times I have told myself I’ve forgiven a person, yet the next time I lay eyes on them or see a picture of them, I feel like scratching their faces. Sometimes, I led myself to believe that if I ignored such people or cut them out of my life completely, then forgiveness would somehow emerge out of the blue. I can tell you that only works with people who meant to nothing to you from the start. Forgiveness is a process, and sometimes a lengthy one. To truly forgive, you must understand what forgiveness really aims to achieve.

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Forgiveness is not equivalent to amnesia which is what I focused on achieving many times. Forgiveness does not mean you automatically forget how much a person hurt you. Rather, forgiveness lessens the impact of the wrongdoing. This is what makes the whole thing a process. To truly forgive, you may have to relive the hurt again, you may find yourself over-analyzing and trying to excuse a person’s bad behaviour. You may find yourself hurting over and over, but after a while, the effects of the negative emotions start to wear off. You find that you are letting go. And the next time you see the cause of your hurt, you don’t feel like scratching out his or her face. You might want to pinch them, but hey like I said, it is a process. Give yourself time to come to a point of forgiveness. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t come to that point as soon as you’d like. Forgiveness is a process, and it does not mean you forget any wrongs perpetrated against you easily.

Daily Devotional

What Are You Spending Time On?

Today is my birthday so I will share a lesson I’ve come to appreciate regarding time and how it is spent. There was a time I was unemployed, and I spent a good chunk of my time watching TV, eating, visiting friends to discuss the same old issues, and simply just created a routine around nothing in particular. Yes, I applied for jobs as often as I could but once I was done sending out applications, I stayed glued to the TV following reality shows and watching friends for the umpteenth time. In retrospect, I realize that I spent all that time doing nothing even though I could have sought out some ‘free’ opportunities.

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 Many of us spend a lot of time doing nothing in particular. Our days are filled with nothing, and we unknowingly dig ourselves into a pit of emptiness. We spend time gossiping about people who are busy living their lives, or we spend time watching them when we could be pursuing knowledge. It was during my period of unemployment that I found out about some free online courses that could increase my knowledge in areas of interest. It was during that time I learned I could liaise with experienced professionals in my field, and come up with groundbreaking ideas to propel me forward. It was during that period I realized I could pursue knowledge and discover my true purpose in the face of an adverse economy.

So the question I pose to you today is “what are you doing with your time?” “How are you living your life?” Are you so dedicated to the television, you spend six hours glued to it? Or do you spend your time with friends who feed you with unnecessary gossip? If that’s what you’ve been doing with your time, you are wasting your life, and it is time to put an end to such wastage.

Spend your time pursuing knowledge; spend your time discussing ideas that can catapult you to greatness. Spend your time in the company of people who are in the business of visible progress. Spend your time on free opportunities, even if they do not seem relevant to where you are at the moment. Knowledge gained is never useless. Spend your time wisely. Discipline yourself to turn off the TV after a couple of hours. Discipline yourself to pursue what’s necessary rather than dwell on something absolutely irrelevant to your progress. Time is an expensive resource. Do not waste it.

Daily Devotional

What’s in Your Hand Right Now?

Do you have a vision that you just can’t shake? Is there a place of success that your eyes keep drifting towards when you try to focus on other things? Are you perhaps complaining right now that you don’t have the tools you need, or the connections, or the experience or the degree you require to take you to where you need to be? Stop!

Many of us spend a lot of time focusing on what we don’t have rather than planning around what we do have. I met a beautiful lady at a conference once, and during the course of our discussion, she told me she wanted to be a pastor. She had all the right attributes that would cause a person to want to know Jesus. What then was the problem? She did not have a congregation. The moment I heard that, I smiled. Who says you don’t have a congregation? You have facebook and Youtube! Get to work!

Sometimes we are carried away by what I’ll call the conventional requirements for our vision, forgetting that we are in a world where opportunities are hidden in unconventional places. You need to ask yourself: what’s in my hand right now? What tool do I already possess that can get me started on my vision? Don’t spend your time and energy focusing on what you don’t have. Search your surroundings and tap into what you already have!

Daily Devotional

Listen to Your Vision

There is a place of success that keeps haunting you. There is a high place you see yourself everytime you close your eyes. There is a picture of yourself that is so different from where you are now because it is just so much better than what your present circumstances suggest. Don’t throw away that vision! That vision is giving you information. It is telling you where you need to be and the direction you need to walk. It is telling where you should be seeking opportunities, and where you should pursue knowledge.

Many people tend to dismiss such visions as ‘daydreaming’, and daydreams are a waste of time. You have bills to pay, and stuff to take care of. Your vision is bigger than your pay check so it is nothing more than a dream. If you have been indulging in the dismissal of your vision, it is time to stop doing so. Instead of dismissing, pursue knowledge in that vision you see. Instead of dismissing it, train yourself in that vision; connect with people who are in the line of that vision. Constantly pray about that vision. Don’t dismiss your vision. Listen to it. It is telling you where God wants you to be!

Daily Devotional

Rise Up For the Sake of Others

I was studying my bible one night when I came across the scripture in Joshua 1: 12- 15. Joshua urged the Israeli tribes that had settled on one side of the Jordan river to help the other tribes cross over to their allocated lands. The Israeli tribes did not leave their families and friends to go fight for their land alone. They joined forces with them to help them succeed.  I was surprised to find this instance in the bible even though a sound moral code suggests it is the right thing to do. It is disheartening though to find that many friendships disintegrate because of the lack of implementation of this principle.

When many of us succeed or reach a place of comfort, we struggle to help others. We struggle to share the right information with them, or alert them to available opportunities. We often struggle with the idea that they might be as successful as we are, so we create a wedge between us and them, and sometimes we go to the extent of pointing out their failures and making fun of them.

If you have been doing this, it is time to stop! Rise up on behalf of others and come to their assistance. Stop worrying about the possibility of them succeeding better than you! Stop trying to suppress them while you climb higher. Rise up on their behalf and give them the help they need to succeed too. You will not lose your success by helping someone else. A candle never loses its light by lighting another candle.

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Daily Devotional

Who’s In Your Circle?

This is a question I’ve had to ask myself in order to frankly assess where my life is heading. I am a big believer of Proverbs 13:20 that says “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.”

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Your inner circle is highly important! The people you keep close to you, the people you discuss your life with, the people you seek advice from play very important roles in how your life plays out in future. If your circle is filled with lazy gossips who do not take initiative or have vision, then your life will most likely head in that direction. Even if you want to be different, they will weigh you down. If your inner circle is filled with people with vision, people who take initiative, people who encourage themselves in the face of adversity, and take risks to make their lives better, then you are on the path to success.

Who’s in your inner circle? Who are you confiding in? Who are you listening to? Your future will be affected by those you choose to associate with now. Choose wisely!

Daily Devotional

What’s your legacy?

Are you aware that no matter how insignificant you may seem in a large crowd of people, there is someone watching you, and secretly looking up to you? So many of us fail to understand that even though we are not as successful as we would like to be, there are people who are admiring us, and hoping to achieve what we’ve achieved. Do you know that someone out there is looking to emulate your courage and your faith? Someone out there is looking to emulate your attitude towards life; someone out there is looking to grow into the person you are.

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This is why it is important to assess your legacy. If a person was to walk in your footsteps, where would you lead that person to? To success? To a place of little? To abundance? To hostility? To emotional immaturity?

Assess your legacy. Where are you leading those who are looking to be like you? If you are leading them to immaturity, lack of emotional intelligence, expression of insecurities, lack of confidence, etc. then you need to change direction. Not just for their benefit, but for yours too!