So on to today's post.
This year so far, has been spent basking in God's presence! Church has been awesome and the Word has been having such practical expressions and impact on my life. Today's post is about a revelation I had following last Sunday's word.
My Pastor (shout out Pastor B!) was sharing on not obtaining God's grace in vain. So in explaining his theme, he shared a life experience about waving at church members while they rolled out in their cars with him still waiting on the roadside for a taxi. He then made a comment about how every stage in life is to be enjoyed because you will get to a point where you won't be able to do those things any more because you would have advanced beyond that stage. I'm paraphrasing but the essence of that was that life was a process. That wasn't the crux of his message, it was just a detour on the way to explaining the actual message. I nodded in agreement at the time and moved on. I bought the CD of the message and I have been listening to it for the whole of this week. There is something about going back to things that causes them to become clearer. Brethren and sistrens, it turned out that his little detour was actually MY message!
Like 2-3 days into my replay, on my way to work, I got to that part again and my Spirit ministered to me about how I was in a phase: being single, and how I wasn't truly enjoying it. I made a note to self to try and enjoy this phase a bit more. I found that titbit interesting and I said I was going to do a post on what I had just learnt. I tried to do this post yesterday but for some strange reason, I just wasn't inspired. I thought I was being lazy but guys, apparently, the Holy Spirit wasn't done dealing with me on this. There was a need for a more in depth understanding of the theme.
In that same sermon, my Pastor had challenged us to live better; physically, spiritually and emotionally, this year. So I said I was going to start eating better. Yesterday night, I was dicing and slicing up in my kitchen and I again began to meditate on that word. My Spirit asked me a truly poignant question that had never crossed my mind. EVER. The question was "what if you meet the man you were to marry tomorrow, can you say you've made the most of being a single person? Have you done all you could or wanted to do as a single person?" The honest answer to that is NO!
Guys, it dawned on me that I had practically suspended my life. Yes, I go to work. Yes, I dress well. Yes, I have a couple of friends. Yes, I have a family that I love and adore. But I've been living in a sort of suspension just waiting for this period of my life to be over without appreciating that there's a reason for every season. It was quite introspective last night! When the Holy Spirit wants to show you things, He is like a dynamite that just blasts through your ignorance.
I realised that I've been waiting for SOMETHING/SOMEONE and I've pretty much put my life in abeyance. The way the Spirit made this clearer to me was by showing me that I had so given up on actually living that I pretty much stopped cooking and eating well in the last couple of years. Yup...I said years! I've stopped cooking except when I'm over at my parents' house in Lagos or when I truly have no choice or when there is a really strong urge to eat a specific thing. I've existed pretty much on a diet of noodles and egg daily. True story. Ask Atilola. (On this note, I'd like to apologise to my family and friends whom I have subjected to this foolery. Sorry guys. I'm back to cooking now, so I will make it up to you any time you want. Lol.)
I was discussing this with my sister and friends over the weekend and I attributed my loss of interest in cooking to the fact that cooking for one was 'sad'. Imagine. I was on the path to inflicting myself with scurvy and kwashiokor because I did not have man!!!!!! Na only man sabi chop good? Heck no!! It's quite shameful to admit that I did that to myself. Of course at the time, I wasn't conscious of what I was doing or why. It just seemed easier to grab some noodles and go. This is certainly not an indictment on noodles. Still love the stuff...very much. However, too much of anything is bad for one.
I've been on a healthy eating kick since my Pastor lit a fire under my butt to do better by myself on Sunday. To eat healthy, you must buy fresh ingredients and most importantly, actually COOK them. I must tell you guys, I'm loving cooking for myself again, planning menus and eating fresh and organic produce. It's been less than a week, but it's been good. I just thought 'lacklusterly', that I'll be better to myself, but the Holy Spirit showed me specific aspects of my life where I had point blank stopped taking care of myself. That was my own truth. I'm sure there are other parts that need work while I wait, but this one was truly deep for me. I didn't know I was doing such a disservice to myself simply because I was waiting for someone!
Truth be told, a lot of us are treating singledom like it's something we were sentenced to...with hard labour! That uncertainty of 'WHEN will it happen...IF it does happen' is a female dog of epic proportions, I know. But to simply stop living and focus on the waiting is a crime against ourselves! A lot of us have frozen our lives like bears hibernating, waiting for the summer of our lives to begin. That is such a shame because the summer is now, people!!!!! Reaching this conclusion has been quite freeing for me.
My Pastor sounded a note of warning. He asked us to enjoy this period but endeavour 'not to die there'. I totally agree. We don't know how long this period may last. Yoruba people say "Olorun lo m'oko oju ona" (only God knows who your husband (wife) is). So why are we suspending our lives for things we truly have no control over????? It sounds cliché to say we have the rest of our lives to be married but, with the help of the Lord and if He tarries, we truly do. So suspending your life till a man/woman moseys along to give you something you could ideally have for a lifetime, is you truly short changing yourself and not getting the best out of this time period.
My mind has truly been blown by this revelation and my life WILL NOT remain the same...I guarantee that. I don't know what it is that you have been suspending or in what ways you have not been living your life at its maximum capacity for the stage you are in. Note that it is important to kick start your life now. Enjoy this stage before you lose it to your new level and you are never able to get it back. An analogy I can draw on this is how I wish I had done things a little differently when I was at Uni. I wish I had dated more, been more outgoing, expanded my circles a bit more etc. I can wish all I like from now till whenever, but that time is gone and gone forever. It was a phase. I moved on to the next. That's how life works. If you don't enjoy it now, you may never get to experience it or enjoy it forever. Can I say at this point that, though this post looks tailored to single people, it isn't really. I can only draw my analogies and receive my revelations based on what I am or what I'm going through at the moment. So really, you may be waiting on God for a child, enjoy running around the house butt-ass nekkid and being able to pack your bags and fly off to Cancun for the weekend. Or you may be waiting on a job at some prestigious law firm, enjoy closing at 4 p.m. for now. Don't be sooo hung up on the details that are yet to materialize at the detriment of what you have to work with. That's what this is about. So apply as it fits, basically.
As an aside (but it also ties in with what I've been saying) I've been told that the greatest miracle is the miracle of preservation of life. You need to have life to see your dreams come to pass. If you live in worry over something that is missing, you are stealing your own joy, decreasing your life expectancy and not living in the moment as God intends for us all.
I know this is pretty heavy stuff for a welcome back address. But I couldn't wait to share this with you guys! Hopefully, someone is transformed by reading this. I know I am. I will leave you with what is fast becoming my favourite verse of the bible and has been anchoring me in the past days:
Psalm 84 : 11
For the Lord God is a sun and a shield
He gives grace and glory
AND NO GOOD THING WILL HE WITHHOLD FROM THOSE WHOSE WALK IS BLAMELESS
I promise my subsequent posts will be more jokey! True!!
On another note, the kid is looking to be wifed up, so all of you with cute, single brothers/friends/cousins/work colleagues/youth pastors etc of marriageable age, hit a sistah up. Please and thank you. Lol.