Month: July 2015
Pain makes us stronger
Ever had one of those moments where it seems the world is crashing on you? Moments when you question everything around you including your faith? That earth shattering, throat thickening, tears flowing kinda pain that is simply unexplainable? I’m pretty sure we have all tasted a bit of the pain pie at some point. But there’s this Kelly Clarkson’s song that says ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and I find that to be true
I won’t lie and say that at the point of the pain you will feel strong. As a matter of fact, in my moments of pain and hurt, I’m the weakest of all; I sob, I sulk, I write and then I shut down. Literally, my mind shuts down as a defense mechanism from the pain.
How do we deal with the pain?
People have devised different ways of dealing with pain. For some, it is avoidance, some others it’s shutting the world out or just burying one’s self in the pain till it stops hurting. For me, it’s throwing pity parties; I’d line up depressing songs in a playlist and eat lots of junk food (my fav is ice cream and pizza). Funny, how I enjoy wallowing in such depression like a duck in a lake.
Create an outlet for the pain to flow out.
Please do not keep the pain bottled up within you. It would get full and explode like a volcanic eruption within you someday. Cry if you have to, hit the boxing bags if it makes you feel better, whatever you have to do to let the pain out, do it! And let it all go.
Now after the painful episode, tears and all, I go shopping. Shopping therapy works every time (except when you’re broke or under a tight budget-LOL). You could decide to hang out with friends, go for karaoke, go bowling, go hiking, go dancing, watch movies…whatever! Just make sure you have a good reason to stop drowning in your pool of despair.
I came across this interesting story about Samson who killed a lion and later went back to find honey in the carcass that was left behind.
Some days later when he came back to get her, he made a little detour to look at what was left of the lion. And there a wonder: a swarm of bees in the lion’s carcass—and honey! He scooped it up in his hands and kept going, eating as he went.
-Judges 14:8-9 (MSG)
God never wastes your pain
I haven’t had any kids (yet). But recently, my sister gave birth and she’s the first pregnant lady I have been privileged to spend some time with.
Birth pangs are simply indescribable. As strong as my sister was, the birth pangs were so severe that she wanted to scream, shove and push… Push, she did with every ounce of strength within her small frame. She pushed until his little adorable head popped out and the rest of the body slid out. Holding the cutest baby in the world in her arms, she quickly forgot about the pain and replaced the grimace on her face with a smile so wide! 🙂
God allows us experience pain so that he can birth his plans and purposes through us. Sometimes you have to go through trials and experience pain in order to build capacity to survive in life.
At the point of the pain, it’s really hard to see what good can come out of it. Most times I just want to give up and cry.
Looking back now, I can see the honey in my carcasses of pain
There are certain things I wouldn’t struggle with anymore because I’ve developed capacity to withstand them. For instance, I’ve come to understand that things won’t always go my way no matter how tightly I hold on to the control reins. And this has taught me to trust in God even when I feel everything slipping from my grasp.
Instead of brooding about the loss or gruesome pain within, why not take a detour to find the honey in the carcass? If we do not let the waves of pain overwhelm us, we’ll discover the surfboard of faith to rise above it, stronger and thankful that we overcame.
I don’t know what you’re going through right now but I need you to hold on. Just as the night doesn’t stop the sun from shining when it’s morning, so will the pain fade away when it’s time. I pray you find the honey in the carcass.
Have an awesome week ahead!
Lots of love ❤
Mfon Etuk, 2015
Lisa woke up with a start, unsure of where she was. She looked around and noticed the grey curtains draping down the open windows. The strong stench of distilled cocaine mixed with the smoke from burning cigarettes that littered the floor hit her conscious sense like a mighty wave. It looked like a crack house. A sharp pain in her head left her in anguish as a flood of memories rushed in. How long had she been gone for? She couldn’t make out.
‘She’s awake!’ One of the guys exclaimed with a sigh of relief.
The second guy walked towards her, his 6 ft. statue towering over her.
‘What’s your name?’ He thundered.
Fear began to creep into her and she felt nauseous. She wasn’t sure if it was from the fear or from the hangover. She opened her mouth to respond but threw up on his white shoes instead.
‘What the heck!!!’ He yelled, plain disgust lacing his features.
‘I’m sor-‘ Lisa began to stammer before another load of vomit spewed out of her mouth.
Irritated, the man hit her hard on the face as he turned around to go clean up.
‘We should have killed her when we had the chance’ He spat out to the first guy.
‘We still need her. But if she does not cooperate, we can kill her.’ The first guy responded.
Lisa trembled. Her face stung from the slap the surly man had given her.
‘You need to cooperate with us if you love your life.’ The first guy snorted. ‘My name is Sam and he is Paul’ the man continued, motioning to the door where the second guy exited from.
‘My name is Lisa.’ Her voice was a mere whisper.
An evil grin played across his face as he handed her some wipes to clean up the floor.
Lisa remained motionless, pondering what they meant by ‘we still need her’
What did they need her for?
Lisa strained to hear Sam and Paul as they whispered behind the door.
‘It’s going down tonight’ Paul said with gritted teeth.
‘The girl will drive the getaway van while we both go in to get our diamonds’ Sam responded with undisguised excitement.
Were they planning a diamond heist? Lisa pondered. She momentarily glanced around the small house which had only a small window and a single door which she could not get to without passing through the men. She had never stolen anything before and the mere thought of it sent her belly twirling.
As though reading her thoughts, Paul emerged with a silver gun in his hand.
‘Here, you would need this tonight.’ The cold steel dropped on her sweaty palm sending shivers down her spine. She had never held a gun before but had watched enough action movies to know how it was used.
Paul’s back was facing her as she lifted her trembling arms in an attempt to pull the trigger. Snap! The trigger snapped without discharging any bullet. With a sneer, Paul turned around to see her holding the gun aimed at him.
‘You think I’m stupid enough to give you a loaded gun?’ He snarled as his fist united with her cheekbone. Lisa fell with a loud sound.
‘She is trouble’ Paul said to his partner who had just appeared through the door at the sound of the blow.
‘It’s just for tonight and we will eliminate her’ Sam replied reassuringly.
Lisa could taste blood in her mouth from the hard blow she had been dealt. She shivered.
Darkness spread across the sky like a wet blanket. The once busy streets lay deserted as the Van pulled up beside the Jewelry store. Lisa got to the driver’s seat as ordered and her wrist was handcuffed to the steering wheel. She was to be on the lookout for the police and call them if trouble arose. The instructions were clear and curt.
The masked men ran into the store with their duffel bags. With one earth shattering blow, the glass on the front door gave way to the robbers who doggedly rushed in.
Sam and Paul quickly scanned the empty store in search for particular diamonds they had gotten information on. There they were, carefully sealed in a glass case under security protection. Paul impatiently shot at the glass case until it cracked open. They quickly packed the diamonds into their bags along with stacks of money.
Sam’s cell phone rang and he picked it up.
‘We’ve gotten it.’ He answered excitedly.
‘Meet me at the back door.’ The man on the other end replied.
‘Yes boss.’ Sam responded as they quickly packed up the bags.
‘Did you hear that crashing sound?’ A puzzled look played across the policeman’s face as he asked his partner.
‘Yes I did. Let’s check it out.’ He replied as they got into their car.
The sirens of the police car pierced through the stillness of the night skies as Lisa squirmed in her seat, waiting for the guys to come out. She called but no one answered. Using her free hand, she grabbed her gun and shot at the handcuff with the bullet blazing her skin. Dang! She felt the burn on her skin. She quickly started the car in an attempt to run away.
Soon the policemen pulled over and ran into the store which had shattered glass in front. A store personnel emerged pointing at the van driving out of the bushes.
‘There!’ He exclaimed. ‘Don’t let her get away’
In no time Lisa was stuck in a police chase.
‘I didn’t do anything.’ She muttered as the policemen got her out of the cuffs into another. They did not hesitate to press charges including the possession of a gun and cocaine which was found in the back of the van.
She couldn’t believe Sam and Paul had left her as the fall guy. It was clearly a set up. Her heart slumped as she watched from the barred room what had become of her life.
If ever there was a God, he obviously did not care. The darkness seeped through her soul like water through cracks in the pavement. The one whom she once loved went to sleep and in came the thief, stealing away everything-including her very soul. Cold. She coiled up like a ball on the bunk bed, embracing her fate.
Mfon Etuk, 2015
Alas! The sun awakens to my hurts and fears
Kissing away my tears
Naked emotions left bare
Don’t need a shadow to hide in
Take away the heavy cloak of darkness
Uncover my shame
Thick darkness fades away
Like mist at noon
My very essence.
Healing. Still waters begin to flow,
As fresh wounds turn dry with every drop of water.
From darkness to light,
Sadness to laughter,
Night to day, black to white,
I’m changed forever.
Mfon Etuk, 2015
He gets angry once in a while, but across
-Psalm 30:5 (MSG)
I want to find solace in the dark
Even if it is for a night
Hiding behind the shadows
So no one sees the tears
Hot. They fall freely like a waterfall
I’m afraid of the sun
It just might burn my face
So I cover my face with my hands
The cold night pierces deep
With the sharp claws of dark
The pain turns to pleasure
As blood spills, cleaning the void
Oh sweet dark of night!
Take my pain away
Hide my fears behind the shadows
Let the sun not awaken
To my unending tears
Hand in chest-hole in heart
Nothing left behind
Mfon Etuk, 2015
Lisa tried to adjust to the neon lights in the club a friend invited her to. She quickly spotted her friends who beckoned her to the bar. Sensitive parts of her, silently whispering enduring memories of the accident that had claimed her parents. Memories, writhed in a thorny knot inside her, struggling for expression, persistently stretching out through her mouth up into her mind so much that she didn’t need to be told to battle them back down with alcohol.
‘Give me your hardest drink!’ Lisa said to the bartender as she grabbed a stool. Throwing caution to the wind, she was set to drown her sorrows with alcohol.
Loud cheers from friends as she took the first two shots of tequila. In no time, she got into a drinking challenge with Andrew who had been watching her for a while.
‘Ten shots!’ he screamed at the bartender pointing to Lisa. ‘You win I pay’, he challenged. Shot after shot they drank with Andrew who gave up after only six shots and paid for the drinks as the challenge required.
Lisa gave a loud shout as she dropped the tenth empty glass. Her friends roared with excitement at her victorious conquest. ‘Here, take this. It takes away your worries’ Gordon, Lisa’s friend handed a pill.
‘What’s this?’ Lisa asked naively.
‘Just call her molly.’ Gordon replied with a wild grin.
The other friends laughed, knowing molly was another name for ecstasy. The drug that kept them on an all-time high.
Lisa hesitated at first until the crowd started cheering her on. Mouth open, she threw in the pill, and pushed it down with another shot of tequila which had suddenly become a pal to cherish. Grimacing, she squeezed the lime into her mouth savouring its sour taste. ‘Let’s get this party started!’ Lisa exclaimed with so much energy and enthusiasm. She had soon forgotten about the sorrow that had weighed her down for the past weeks.
Amazingly, Lisa came up with fantastic dance moves which left the crowd cheering and dancing along.
After a while, she felt lightheaded and everything seemed blurry.
‘I’ll be leaving now’ Lisa yelled across the room to her friends who couldn’t hear her against the blasting stereo.
‘Are you sure you can go on your own?’ They responded without an iota of concern.
Lisa gave a blind nod and headed toward the door. Unsure if it was a yes or no response. Bumping through people, she set out.
Lisa staggered her way home. There was no taxi in clear sight and the club wasn’t far from home she thought.
She had not gone half way when she heard deafening sounds of gunshots blazing through the dark shadowy night. For what seemed like eternity, she was frozen in her tracks. Her eyes widened as the head lamps of a getaway van flashed across her face. Piercing through her inmost consciousness. She was in trouble and her drunk head could barely think of an escape route as the Van pulled up aggressively beside her. The screeching sound of the tyres clenched by the tooth of the brakes seemed to have woken her from a distant slumber. The back door flew open right beside her.
‘Get in!’ he yelled pointing his gun at her. His masked face got Lisa uneasy and her mind flew at a sight of his bare brawny arm. Sweat trickled down her face despite the cold wind of winter as she sat still in the back seat of the old wagon. Everything was hazy, then blank- she fell unconscious with a thud on the back seat of the van.
Mfon Etuk, 2015