Missed out on Part 1? Catch up here!
As weeks went by, things got back to normal. Jessica and George continued to advance in their love and careers. Life wasn’t so bad, or so she thought.Read more
I had frozen on my screen again. I had been staring at it for almost 30 minutes and had no clue what the text in the opened Word document read. Hands trembling, heart beating fast, tears struggling to fall, but I quickly wiped them off. No, this wasn’t gonna happen, ‘Blacks don’t crack’. Read more
Growing up in a culture where everyone had to ‘toughen up’ meant that negative emotions of anger, pain, hurt, depression etc. had to be hidden or suppressed. It was (and still is) a culture founded on the misconception that emotions make you weak. Those who have read Chinua Achebe’s famous ‘Things Fall Apart’ will understand how crazy it gets when one begins to prove a point of being strong rather than weak. It’s a survivor’s race. Read more
Like an earthen vessel
I was delicately beautiful
Some would even say, dainty
Then came the cracks
The endless stretch of thin lines
That showed I was falling apart
How’s the weekend going? It’s day 14 of the A-Z blogging challenge and just before we take the Sunday break, I would like to leave you with this little post.
I like this song ‘Who you are’ by Jesse J, partly because it talks about identity crisis and stuff. I was listening to it the other day and a line struck me; ‘It’s okay not to be okay.’
Is it really?
Truth is we often pretend we are okay when we are not. We smile outwardly while we die on the inside. Why do we do that to ourselves? Maybe because society has told us ‘big girls don’t cry’ or to ‘grow up’. We’ve also heard stuffs like ‘your tears won’t change anything ‘ or ‘just suck it in’ and a lot more. Society puts so much pressure on us to be perfect. To be so perfect we don’t break. We absorb everything like a sponge. Hide everything so no one knows we struggle with stuff-lest they tag us imperfect, unfit, or different. Heck! No one wants to be called a ‘sissy’ or a ‘loser’.
So people go about wearing masks. A woman could be in a destructive relationship but still use a concealer to hide the wounds and put on a smile so no one knows. A father could be in some deep financial crisis but keep faking a smile just so he doesn’t lose his family’s respect. A boy could be bullied in school but still put up a front so his friends think he’s tough.
But I want you to know it’s okay not to be okay. You don’t have to put up a show for everyone when you feel terrible on the inside. You don’t have to feign a smile when you’re crying inside. You don’t have to look like you’ve got it all together when you don’t. Don’t lie and say you’re fine when you’re far from fine. It’s okay not to be okay.
Whatever it is you may be going through, let it run its course. Cry if you have to. Scream! If you must. Don’t bottle it up ’cause it’ll only lead to implosion.
Hey, stop holding back the sobs because you fear you’ll disappoint them. It’s okay not to be okay- because soon you will be. As I often say, no matter how dark the night is, it doesn’t stop the day from breaking forth when it’s time.
Soon you will be okay. Soon you’ll smile again without pretending. But you only get there when you admit you’re hurt and stop covering up. Let God know your struggles and stop struggling on your own. When you tell Him ‘hey, I’m not okay but I want to be’, He’ll be more than pleased to make you ‘not just okay’ but perfectly and completely whole.
I didn’t plan on writing a long post as I’m usually lazy on the weekends, but He always has His way 😊
I pray for everyone who isn’t okay right now to get to the point of truly being okay with no pretense. God loves you!
Have a super duper weekend! ❤✌
See you on Monday! (as you know the blogging challenge excludes Sundays) 😊
Lots of love,
Anguished. Numb. They say physical pain hurts, but I stand to say it doesn’t hurt as much as emotional pain. Heart throbbing and throat thickening pain. The pain that overwhelms you and leaves you shuddering beneath the sheets, watching as the tears fall like a waterfall. The pain that makes you wish you could just end it all. ‘Besides, the world will be just fine without you,’ the Devil whispers in your ears.
As a Christian, I know that I didn’t give myself life and I have no right to take it. But there are days such as this when I get so entangled in my mind’s web and I can’t find my way out. The jabbing pain numbs my very being. Feels like I’m losing it!
I know you may be wondering, ‘how did she get here?’ ‘How did the sweet peach girl turn all sour?’ :(: Oh my dear! I’m not sure. I enjoyed being by myself and slowly, the depression crept in, which I pampered as a baby till it became a full blown monster living in me. It didn’t take much to trigger it. I remember how I found it crazy whenever my mom would rebuke the spirit of depression in me. To me, it was just a normal ‘quiet’ mood that I nurtured with gloomy songs and poems. Like the sun, my smile sets and the gloom takes over. Clearly, it isn’t a harmless pet to keep, it’s a monster that is out to kill! Scary right? I should know!
Now I understand that the spirit of depression is a spirit of bondage. It steals your joy and peace and keeps you in a state of nothingness. A state where you’re but a walking dead going through life with no enthusiasm. Worse is when no one understands what’s going on. So you smile and wave like the Penguins of Madagascar so no one knows the monster you’re trying to hide.
So how can a broken person be writing to inspire others? Believe me, I wonder the same thing! The truth is, God’s ways are not our ways. He uses the weak things of the world to confound the strong (1 Cor 1:27).
God turned the very thing that could kill me into something that births life #MyTestimony
Out of my messed up mind he brought out messages! Out of the pain, came beauty. The poems I write in such low moments have been used in far reaching ways than I can imagine to bless lives, mine inclusive! Poems like Unspoken, Night before Light, Losing, Dark Nights, Dread, Can you hear me and Jekyll and Hyde were borne from pain. So the next time you read these poems, please read with understanding.
I am still learning to ‘rejoice always’ even when things get dark, I hold on to God’s word for illumination.
I’m a vessel in the potter’s hand, constantly molded into shape.
The process may seem really long, but beauty is sure. I still have relapses of depression. But I’m comforted because I know Jesus has won the victory!
So why am I telling you this? So you could shake your head in pity? Nah. We all face pain. Yours may not be a struggle with depression, it could be addictions, bitterness, insecurities, heartbreaks, sin or anything that leaves you broken. But if you think you’re completely whole, good for you! This, however is for the broken people like me who deal with pain. Too scared to admit we need help. But He knows we do. Surrender to Him in all honesty. Give him the fragments of your broken life and watch Him create a masterpiece!
There will be beauty from this pain!
Thanks for staying to the end of this pretty long piece. Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment section. God bless you! 🙂
©Mfon Etuk, 2016
***Song for the day- Beauty From Pain by Superchick***
He loves you too much to let you go!
Okay, I’ve heard it over and over again of how much God loves us. But there are times when I’m like; ‘God, I’m way too messy for you. Just be you, up there and let me be me, down here- a mere human’. There are also times when I put my hands in the air after stumbling a couple times and I’m like, ‘you know what, I’m done trying!’
But then you see one little quote or a Bible verse while scrolling down your Instagram timeline, a little sentence that says; ‘God loves you’. Of course you shake your head in disbelief and continue the day’s work.
Just before you shut your eyelids for the night, you think about it again; ‘if He hates me, He could kill me at any time; maybe this night. Oh wait! I can’t sleep with the lights turned off’. Then insomnia sets in, along with anxiety and depression. Soon enough you move farther away from God and find solace in your ‘drug’, whatever it may be.
It sets you on a temporary high, takes your fears away for a moment, and gives you an illusion of love. But it doesn’t last so long. It drops you so low; you could swear you fell off a cliff! So, we take it more often till we can’t do without it; call it an addiction. Then the struggles to get lose from its claws begin. The shame; the guilt; who do you tell? Who would understand?
In the midst of this, through the mist I see, His hand reaching out. His love is still present. ‘No, how can this be? I’m way too far gone; you really don’t want to have anything to do with me, God’. But how long will we keep running? What’s there to lose? Really, I’ve got nothing more to lose!
Still afraid, I lift my hands in surrender, too weak to run. I raise the white flag. And there He is, with arms open wide. I quickly turn around, unsure it’s for me. But it is. He pulls me into a deep embrace and I’m crying hysterically. I just don’t get it! What kind of love is this? I mess up. I fall. I struggle. I falter. Yet, He still loves me! I’ll never be able to fully grasp the depth of His love. It’s just crazy! But it’s crazy amazing!
Soon enough, you begin to love Him back. Longing to be with Him- to make Him smile. He’s already given us everything! How can we repay Him? Just love Him some more! Obey Him. Love the creatures He has made; even though they may be irksome sometimes. But it gets a little easier. Because He helps you do it by living inside you, making His thoughts your thoughts, His words your words! Such a beautiful possession!
How long do you think you’re gonna keep running? Forever? Believe me, it’s exhausting! There’s a whole lot more to gain, than there is to lose. I think that’s a beautiful exchange! My imperfection for His perfection; my sins for His righteousness; my mess for His mercy; my shame for His glory; my hurts for His healing; my bondage for His freedom. Oh my! This is by far the best deal ever! Call it the Sicilian offer, one that can’t be refused.
Are you ready to take the offer?
© Mfon Etuk, 2016