Monthly Archives: November 2014

PRIVACY OF THOUGHTS

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The security of lives and the privacy of thoughts go hand in hand. Some lives are over-exposed.’ Pastor Poju Oyemade via Facebook.

One of the things that escalated the issues in my marriage was because I confided in someone who I thought was a friend only for me to start getting winds of her involvement with my then husband. We were praying and meeting together to discuss business and life generally. But because she knew there was already a crack in the marriage, she capitalised on that. Yes, things were not too rosy, but with her in the picture, they just got messier.

Now, the big lesson God taught me as He began to unveil the reasons for the myraid of issues I was having then is that the only information the enemy or people in general can use against you is the one you give to them. So, how about if we all just learn to maintain privacy of thoughts. Don’t over-expose the cracks in your life lest the serpent creeps in stealthily.

I am not talking about putting up a front and pretending that you have life together when you actually don’t. Rather I am talking about applying discretion when it comes to sharing personal issues, especially when it has to do with your marriage. Not all your friends need to know what is going on in your home, your next big idea or how much you get as house allowance.

If you want your life to be secured, then maintain privacy of thoughts!

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain!

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PURSUE GOD!!!

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There is a part of us as humans that longs to be accepted. For years, I made several efforts to get my husband to accept me. I wanted him to communicate to me that I was special. Aside from that, I also wanted him to be happy being my husband. But it didn’t happen. I would ask for his opinion periodically on how we were fairing. I wanted to see changes and looked forward to positive feedbacks. Unfortunately, the few that I got weren’t so encouraging. It felt like, there was nothing that could be done about our relationship.

I shared my frustration with a very dear friend and sister. She looked me in the eye and said ‘Chase God!’ She went ahead to explain that people who chase God will eventually have men and women desiring their audience. Hmmm…! I decided to heed her counsel and learnt to face God squarely. Not that I didn’t have a close walk with God before my friend’s advice, but knowing what she had also been through and how soaking herself in God had helped her, I decided to pursue God much more than ever before. I learnt how to befriend Him by spending more time with him in worship, the word and prayers. I learnt how to pour my heart to him. I am not talking about getting busier with more church activities. Rather I am talking about learning to love and desire God more.

Of course this did not eradicate the loneliness but I had more joy and peace. I discovered how to be joyful without waiting for my husband’s appraisal of the marriage. I also learnt I didn’t have to wait for things to be perfect to have peace.

I did not realise the power of being a God chaser until my husband left the marriage. Yes, I was hurt and felt bad, but I wasn’t devastated. I did not become a wreck. God provided a padded landing place for me making it easy for me to absorb the shock of the whole event. What was meant to crash and crush me became a walk over because God had helped me to build and gather strength in His presence. Each time I share what had happened with people, they are always shocked and would say “You are a strong woman”. But I have enough common sense to know that I don’t have any strength of my own. God has been and still is my strength.

It’s been almost 3 years now since I returned to an empty flat after my trip, yet God has kept me going. Looking back, I am so glad for the time spent with Him, even in the midst of pain and loneliness. God has made it all count for my good.

I know as women and humans in general, we want to be loved and accepted. We want to be that special somebody in someone’s life. But I have also realised first hand that it may not happen this way. So perhaps you are going through some form of rejection-from your husband, wife or a friend. Or you are frustrated with your marriage because it has become a constant source of pain, may I offer you the same counsel I was given then: CHASE GOD! Chase Him with every fibre of your being. Not only will He not reject you, He will also equip you with the strength to deal with whatever comes your way. With Him, you may be lonely, but you are definitely not alone!

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pain!

OF THINGS AND YOU…

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One of the hard lessons I have learnt in the course of separation is that things don’t make a man or woman as the case may be. Things are things while you are you. I know a lot of us grew up accustomed to a certain lifestyle and often derive our self worth from our possessions. So whenever anything tampers with the things we own, it tends to affect our personal assessment of ourselves.

Now getting personal, I was already accustomed to a certain comfortable standard of living. Based on agreement, my husband and I sold our old car and bought a new one which we shared. We lived in a decent area in Lagos state, Nigeria. Though we were not the summer vacation type, we travelled as the need arose or whenever the opportunity showed up. All of these changed with the separation because my husband took the car. I had to change accommodation so as to get away from the prying eyes around. And because I needed time to stabilise financially I couldn’t afford to take a vacation outside of Nigeria for a while. Did all of these situations try to redefine me? You bet they did. For one, I couldn’t imagine my life without a car! How was I to attend meetings with clients, move around etc? It was as if my brain shut down. I felt incomplete without a car. Oh! And the accommodation. Although the flat I got was quite expensive, the environment was nothing like where I was coming from. People who know me know that I do not like crowded areas. But here I was in this busy part of Lagos. As for travelling, each time I picked my passport and saw my unused visa, my heart would always ache. This continued until I started having a better understanding of who I really am.

Over time, God helped me to separate my identity from my possessions. He made me see that with or without a car, I am who I am. The presence of a car doesn’t add to me and so the absence shouldn’t subtract from me. Also, I learnt that the area where I stay does not define me because I am already who I am. Ah! These were tough lessons for me I must confess, but embracing them freed me from the pressure. I stopped feeling ashamed or less than others simply because I didn’t have a car. I also stopped feeling bad about my location or my inability to travel as frequently as I used to before the separation.

Daily, I am learning to see myself as I really I am and not through the eyes of my ‘haves and have nots.’ When I look at myself today, what I see is a strong, resourceful, determined, beautiful woman. I see a fighter and a winner. I see a woman with potentials. I see a change agent, who has been healed so as to help others experience healing. I have desires and aspirations quite alright and love to enjoy the good things of life, yet I have enough insight today to know that I am not my possessions, neither am I my achievements or location. Things are things and I am me. And that for me suffices.

Are there things you have lost due to one problem or the other? Are you experiencing a drop in the level of comfort you are used to? Have you been stripped of everything you once had and enjoyed? Whatever the case, don’t loose yourself. You are all that matters. Things don’t make a man. So, keep yourself and stay at peace. Restoration is on the way and I mean it!

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pains

 

When the only way forward is behind…

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 As part of my commitment to professional and personal development, I decided to register for a professional exam. If my memory doesn’t fail me, the last time I sat for one of the stages of this exam was eleven years ago. Yes, you read me right, eleven years.

After making this decision, I started feeling awkward because I felt like it had been such a long time. Why did I not complete the exams then? But then, I also reminded myself that what is important is to go ahead and just do it, regardless of my feelings.

As if that was not enough, I had to go through the gruelling process of having my old registration and past exam documents dug out amidst loud gum-chewing employees of the professional body in question. This process took hours and repeated visits but I had to bear it. More so, there was no way I would be allowed to proceed with registering for and writing the exams unless all these past documents were found as a way of validating my membership and how to proceed. It was a perfect case of looking backwards to move forward.

This got me thinking. I remember clearly that one word/advise that people repeatedly gave me after the separation was to move on with my life. Good piece of advice I must tell you. Life is not static so why should you be? I have however found out that sometimes to really move forward, we might have to pay the past a visit-like I am doing right now.

Now, I know that many people do not like to deal with the past for the following reasons:

– it makes them feel uncomfortable: when you decide to face the past momentarily, you will be confronted with facts that you would rather just close your eyes to. My advice? Open your eyes and deal with the ‘dealables’. You are setting yourself free to embrace the future.

-it makes them feel awkward: enrolling for an exam that my colleagues had concluded on years ago made me feel somehow. But I put feelings aside so I could deal with life

-it takes too much time: I had to wait for hours for my old documents to be fished out and also make several visits to the office of the organisation in charge of the exam. Not too palatable if you ask me, but absolutely necessary.

-it reminds us of what could have been: only God knows how far I would have progressed professionally if I had gone ahead to write all the stages of the professional exam when I started. All the same, I also realised that I have the opportunity of creating my future so that I won’t have to deal with this type of regret again.

This list can go on and on but the point still is, the clue to the future can sometimes be found in the past.

Personally, I am at a point where I want to take my business to the next level and also position it for bigger opportunities. After a lot of praying(yes I do pray!) and thinking, sitting for this exam is one of the many steps to take. So I have a decision to make: go ahead with it and see the business attract bigger clients and grow or forgo it and stay on the same level. It was totally up to me.

So, are there unresolved issues in the past that only facing and dealing with is the way out? Then by all means, go ahead and do so. Could it be that the past holds the key to your deepest dreams and aspirations? It is time to step back then, so you can really step forward. Perhaps, your life is littered with abandoned or half-done projects, ventures and all. Go back and get them done. That is moving forward!

As I was in the process of getting the exam registration sorted, on a number of occasions the thought of forgetting about the whole thing popped up in my mind. But each time it did, I felt stuck, stagnant and limited. On the other hand, each time I told myself I was going ahead no matter what, I felt like I was making progress and my life was going in the right direction. The decision alone filled me with peace so I can imagine my ecstasy when I eventually write the exam and emerge the best graduating student in my set/class(that is part of my dream and promise to myself). I don’t need a soothsayer to confirm that I was doing the right thing.

I know we live in an age where we want everything smooth and quick. So many of us do not like to experience any form of delay, so asking you to go back to the past sounds distasteful to you. But my advice is, if that is the key to living the kind of life you desire, if it is the key to being happy, then by all means, step back so that you can experience real progress.

Pearl

…helping you find the gains in your pains!