When Honour is Worth It

For the longest time, my parents have tried to get me to leave Makurdi. It used to be their thing, taking turns to “badger” me to leave. At some point, even I was at a loss as to why I didn’t want to go. True, I had work and church and I was just beginning to love the town. But I felt like there was something more pulling me to stay.

A few months ago, I began to respond more actively to the leading in my heart to honour my parents. It may sound easy to some people, but it wasn’t so for me. At least, not in the flesh. I am the one child who has always lived at home. I’ve gone through nearly everything with them. We know one another intimately. I have also been deeply hurt by them; inexpressibly hurt. And coming out of that hurt, the spirit of God started to bring to mind this thought.

At first, it was hard and I had to catch myself many times and change my thinking and my behaviour. But something happened tonight. I made dinner. Not a big deal for some of you, but a humongous thing in my book. And because of the heat and the new population in the house, my mother and her darling hubby, my dad, went out to the backyard. Sitting right behind my window, I heard them and called out, “You guys alright?”

And my mum responds. “Yes, we are. Thank you, girl.”

And something happened to me. Tears popped into my eyes and my heart sighed. A good sigh.

And I realize it’s been worth it. I am so glad that I didn’t take the outs I was offered. I’m glad I didn’t leave. I’m glad I stayed. The blessing we are to one another now makes everything we went through to get here worth it. And I’m happy I didn’t leave because I get to experience the blessing of my parents and their love in a whole new way.

Nothing like it.

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My Version of Why I Love My Church, Since I Couldn’t Have My Picture Taken

I was born and raised in a Pentecostal church. When I was 18, I left. I was weary of Christianity at this time, still searching for something that seemed to elude everyone around me, and starting to come off as too judgmental. Was my life going to simply come and go without me doing or being a part of something significant enough to rattle me and turn my world on its axis?

I joined Savannah Ministries in 2014, and it was a rigorous and immature transition. I knew I was meant to be here, but I’d already found a really good church, and therein lay the problem. I transited anyway.

Many people asked me and still ask me why I had to leave my former church[es] and commit to Savannah Grace Chapel Makurdi. They say things like, “We’re all Christians, and church is church.” But if anyone has realized that church just isn’t church, it’s me. Savannah Grace Chapel has rattled me, turned my world on its axis, kept it spinning, and I feel like a child laughing in awe at her Father’s awesome glory and trust.

So, I couldn’t sleep. I got tired of praying. I got restless and hungry, and I began to ruminate over my church, and words I heard on Sunday. Actually, I was thinking about Zac Efron in a movie where he and a divorced mother of one had the hots for each other (don’t judge), and what exactly might have given rise to the legalization of divorce, and how even if it had been a good idea at the time, Satan has funny ways of getting twisted ideas into the minds of people just to pervert good things. And then Sunday floated up from within me, and I heard my pastor’s voice inside me, saying, “But we are changing the signals in the city, operating from the air and changing every contrary thought in men’s minds about our land.”

Because life is spiritual.

And I remembered the words we speak over this land every week in church, and i started imagining us as a force, climbing higher and higher, and uprooting the satellites of the enemy, replacing all his signal sending points with ours.

And I realized that I LOVE MY CHURCH.

My church isn’t just any assembly. We have been ridiculed, mocked, praised and talked about. All of that makes no difference to us. We are rising and letting the Lord fill our hearts with vision for our city. We are the church whose words and prayers will birth the awesomeness that generations to come will enjoy. We are the church who is tearing down the veil of religion, tribalism, division, corruption, selfishness, complacency and tradition in the name of Jesus. We are living a life beyond our lives. We are dreaming for the city until it becomes the city of our dreams. We are looking beyond here and now, taking up the most sacred responsibility in spiritual realms to shape our city. We are taking the time to fit the Promised Land into our systems so that we don’t look back for an Egypt that is long gone.

I am blessed, honoured, and awed to be a part of something that is infinitely bigger than me. I am delighted beyond words to contribute to eternity with my own stroke of eternal life. I am so much bigger on the inside, and I feel the words we speak swallowing up and crunching into oblivion the darkness that has long shadowed us.

My church has made me love my land. My church has made me embrace my land and open myself to God’s plan for her. My church has enlarged my heart. So, as much as I utterly respect and honour all churches that honour Christ in one way or the other, my church isn’t just any church.

Makurdi is my city, and my church is one of the lights that makes her come alive.

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

The Woman Soul

I spent the better part of last night reading about woman. Feminine stuff. Somehow, it didn’t exactly register that today would be the International Women’s Day celebration. Which is equally odd because my dear friend, Ochanya, went for the celebration in Lagos and I texted her last night about how non-coincidental her trip was in the light of the things we’ve been discussing. In addition to being my friend, she is also the leader of our ladies fellowship in church.

There are times when revelation will hit your heart like a lightning bolt. Other times, it will steadily seep in and grow in measures, becoming like the nagging thought you cannot get away from. The second is what’s been happening to us.

For a long time, we thought it was uncool to be a girl. At least, I did. I hated the feelings and attributes that came with being a girl. It felt like life was fun for the boys only, and girls got no end of the stick at all! For many reasons, I wished out loud and in my heart that I was a boy.

In the last few years, though, it seemed like God was trying to steer me back to His purpose of creation. My pastor would sometimes talk about the possibilities of the life of a woman, and he always gets me going when he talks. And so I’d start thinking about it.

God used some of those words to start me on a journey that I’m now enjoying. A journey into the truth of who He made woman to be; who He made me to be. “Male and female He created them,” the Bible says. “For thou hast created all things, and for thine pleasure they are and were created.”

There’s a reason I was born female, and God is already satisfied with that.

It was never God’s plan for us to hate ourselves, fight ourselves, and seek to change our intrinsic identity. That is the devil, as has been since the Garden, waging against us. It is the devil that orchestrated every attack against the female creation of God in order to make us see ourselves as anything but God’s beautiful and purposeful creation. Every attack against femininity, including secular femininity which in many ways wars against the original design of God, is an attempt of Satan to put down the feminine soul and deprive the earth of the beauty, grace, anointing and help we were designed to impart.

Dear sisters, don’t let him anymore. May your eyes be open to see that your one true enemy is Satan the devil, not the other woman. He is the enemy of our souls, and our Saviour has defeated him. But we must stand in thus victory everyday, letting the triumph of the Cross and Grave wash over the hard things we experience in womanhood, and rising up in the Resurrection with a victorious word in our mouths that we have been redeemed from the curse of the law!

Remember, the weapons of our warfare are not intellectual or sensual, not consisting of militating for rights that we own by divine appointment already. They are mighty through God to the pulling down of mindsets and old pictures which have framed our perception, bringing every thought to the obedience of Christ.

Happy Women’s Day. Enjoy the liberty of being feminine, enjoy the liberty of being you!