Saturday, April 2, 2016

Dear God, I am still struggling...

Four years later after my aunt's death with cancer, I realize i am still angry at God and I am seriously questioning my faith in him. A large part of me worries about what that means in terms of my relationship with God, while the other part feels that it is important that I am honest with how i truly feel.

For a while i thought i had made some significant progress, even though i had this "lingering anger", after all i was back praying to God, trusting God for others, and reading my bible again. However, the news of Debbie Idiagbonya Osarere's death yesterday brought back the anger and lack of faith with so much vengeance that i could not even concentrate on my reading and i was up all night.

Almost four years ago, i remember blogging that one of my favorite aunts had stage 4 stomach cancer and that my family kept the news away from me for three months because I was studying for the LSAT. When my father finally told me a few days after I had taken the exam, i was so livid with him and everyone in my family who knew. I was even more livid with my aunt for not telling me in spite of the fact that we spoke all through those months. Her excuse was that she wanted me to focus, which she told me later that week when i went to visit her.

When we saw, she looked fine. I asked her how and when she knew she was ill. I asked her what the doctors were saying in terms of the prognosis. I asked how she felt physically. I pretty much asked her every question you can imagine when you know a loved one is ill. She told me she was going to be okay and that she had started chemotherapy. She also told me that she knew that God was going to heal her. Her only fear and concern was the thought of leaving her young son behind. I told her it was going to be okay and that i was going to be there for her.

I remember visiting her every week until she told me to reduce my visits to every other week because she wanted me to focus on work and didn't want me driving in traffic because So-Cal drivers can be cray cray.. That was aunty Tayo for you. Always worried about my safety and comfort. During my visits, i could see she was tired at times but she put on a brave face and kept reassuring me that God was in control and he would heal her. We would talk about life, men, God, and my cousin. It was nice. She would make sure that I ate whenever I came to visit and I was always happy to do so because I love food. Plus she always made bomb ass stew. She would tell me not to wash the dishes after i was done eating and I would chastise her. I remember those moments like yesterday. Even though I was demoralized, I kept praying. I saw her get weaker but knowing the side effects of chemotherapy, i thought it was just "another one of those side effects" you deal with when you have cancer. I didn't want to be negative.

The next year, I decided to move to Nigeria to work for a while before starting law school. I went to visit her and when I told her the news she was happy for me. I was worried because now she looked really weak and had lost so much weight. It's so scary the difference a week or two makes when a person has cancer. Quite surreal actually. Getting up the stairs was even a bit of a struggle. I remember chatting with her in her room and being shocked and pained at the amount of medication she had to take. I had only seen her take the medication individually. But seeing all the medication for whatever reason really sent home the message that she had cancer. It's weird to explain. But i didn't stop believing and praying that God would heal her. After all, this was the God of Abraham, Lazarus, Esther, and David. There is nothing hard for him to do. Before i left, she teased me that i was always traveling and she wished I wasn't leaving the next week because she wanted me to finally meet the nurse who usually comes to check up on her (a.k.a hook me up steez). I laughed and told her that she shouldn't worry that I would meet him when i returned. At least by then, she would have been healed. We prayed, i gave her and my cousin a big hug, and i left. I remember crying as I drove home. I also remember praying to God again to please heal her and not let us down.

Once i had settled in nicely in Nigeria, i called her to see how she was faring and she said she was good. The only issue was that she was tired. I comforted her and checked in frequently. I kept on praying. My mum also prayed with me. Eventually i couldn't call as frequently anymore. My uncle said she had gotten ill due to an infection and she couldn't answer the phone because she was at the hospital. He promised to relay my message and love to her. I never stopped praying and believing that she would be healed, maybe i should have stopped and it would have made things easier.

Then one Saturday while my mum and I were getting our hair done, my father called to tell me that my beloved aunt Tayo had died. My father started crying. He told me he was at the hospital and it was horrible to see her die. Tears rolled down my eyes as we spoke. I tried my best to comfort my father. I asked him how my uncle and cousin were faring. He said they were staying strong. I told him I would call back. When I got off the phone, my mum asked what happened and i said aunt Tayo had died and went back to reading the hair magazine. The silence in the car as I drove back home with my mum was the worst. I wanted to cry out loud but i couldn't. My mum asked if I wanted to talk. I said no and she said "I am here if you need to" and then let it go. I guess in that moment, she had finally come to accept that i deal with death in a weird and different way. Bless her heart, she was gracious and loving enough to give me space.

For a year, I couldn't pray and couldn't go to church. I was so angry at God. I questioned my faith in him and for a while even stopped believing in him. It was the worst. I felt so distant. I wondered what the point of me praying was supposed to serve if God knew he was going to let her die. Why couldn't he heal her like he did Lazarus? Why couldn't he save her like he did Daniel? Why did he let her go through so much pain only for her to die? Why did he make her believe that he was going to heal her as long as she believed in him and had faith, only to let her down. I was a mess spiritually. But by mid 2013, i started believing again and felt my relationship with God being rejuvenated. It was nice. I started going to church and stopped criticizing God. My mum was happy that my "pagan ways" had gone. Gotta love her. It's funny, last week when I went to visit my cousin during my spring break, we talked about my relationship with God. I told him that i am happy that God brought me back to him and that now i am in a much better place spiritually even though i still struggle daily.

But for whatever reason, Debbie's death brought back those horrible emotions again. I remember when i heard that Debbie's cancer had returned and there was another donation drive that was being organised for her. I asked my mum if she thought Debbie was going to survive, especially because her cancer was stage 4. Side note: my mum runs a non governmental organisation in Lagos called C.O.P.E that focuses on breast cancer enlightenment and advocacy. So she has experience with patients who have or have had cancer at various levels. Some of these patients have had their cancer go into remission and they are cancer free. Others have had their cancer metastasize and eventually they die.

My mum told me that she wasn't God or science. She told me to keep on praying for Debbie and hope for the best. I did. I kept saying to myself that if God had kept her alive for almost 5 years and she had so much faith in him, he wouldn't let her die. Moreover, this would be a great way for him to showcase his power and bring nonbelievers to him through Debbie's healing and faith in him. Or better still he would "redeem himself" even though he allowed Patricia Glenn to die of breast cancer in spite of all our prayers. That obviously didn't happen.

Yesterday, i read comments online about how Debbie was so strong and how her faith so encouraging and I must confess i can't see it. What is encouraging about someone who had so much faith and reassurance in God that he would heal her only for her to die? How does that encourage anyone? How should someone who has stage 4 cancer be encouraged by Debbie's death? Again, i don't get it. I just don't. Personally, it breaks my heart to see God let faithful people down. What's the point of having people trust in God and his word only for him to not come through for them? What lesson is there to be learnt? What level of faith is required before God answers one's prayers? Even when you surpass that level and he still doesn't come through, what do you do? Bring out your Bible and start singing about how blessed and excited you are about the situation? Well you can't even do so because you're dead. It breaks my heart that it feels like God doesn't come through in those moments when you need him the most.

I am done ranting.

Sending love and light to Debbie's loved ones and i hope her amazing soul finds peace.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Still getting the hang...

It is interesting how not doing something for a while takes a bit of time getting back to in order to get back  into the swing of things... Ah well... I promised myself that i would resume blogging this year... 1 post down...off to  a good start I think... :)

Nothing much for me to say actually except that it's blistering cold and snowing in Chicago... Well compared to New York I guess we are doing okay... Okay, can i just say that Chicago's weather is shitty as hell. Don't get me wrong I have lived on the east coast before.. But i realized the ridiculous cold and wind that comes with living in Chicago is just on another level... The wind in Chicago.. The wind in Chicago.....With my sensitive eyes, I find tears trickling down my face everyday while walking because of this silly wind......Horrible i must confess...Just atrocious...So help me Lord...

Today in my 14th amendment class my professor asked the students to introduce ourselves. Per her question, 'mention something interesting about yourself', I mentioned that i love taking pictures and love to travel though i admit that I haven't taken pictures in almost 7 months now because of work initially and now because of school.

So this year, i am going to start taking pictures again. I will try my best though because the issue with photography is that it requires time and effort and with school, it may be a bit of a challenge juggling both considering one (law school) has more priority over the other... We'll see how it goes...

That's about it... I think... Off to bed.com

God bless us all..

SN...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Remember me....




I don't know what to say or how to start but i will admit that it feels nice to be back.... I can't believe I have been awol for 3 years... A lot has happened in 3 years....Dang.... I will do better this year... 2015...

I also hope everyone is doing okay....

Lots of love...

Shade..

Monday, May 14, 2012

Gone...but never forgotten....

Hello everyone.

Sheesh... I have been awol from here for far toooo long... It's not even cool. I am so sorry.. Serious shame on me..

I was hoping that what would bring me back here would be good news but alas i guess it wasn't supposed to be so.

Last year, i talked about my aunt having stage 4 cancer (of the stomach) and how the news was kept from me for a while because i was studying for my LSAT exam. Well she died yesterday. My uncle was by her side when she died at the hospital (her son was at home with another cousin of mine). I was dumbfounded when my father told me (he was crying like a baby). It sucks so much because i still called her last week and i promised to call her back this week because though she felt better, her voice still sounded so weak and my mum said i shouldn't stress her too much with the calls..

My heart breaks for my little cousin. I don't even know..The almighty God will continue to protect, provide for him & shield him. Amen.

I remember going to visit her before i traveled and we talked about so much. I remember how happy she was that i came to visit her. "Ajala travel" was what she called me. I also remember how thankful she was that i helped her with the dishes because the side effects of the chemotherapy had made her unable to put  her hands in water. She prayed for me that i would be happy and would excel. She promised to keep in touch and would ensure to call often. Sadly, she couldn't do much of that because she was in the hospital constantly. I remember looking at & taking a picture of all the medication that she had to take and feeling so sad that she had to deal with such a horrible ailment.

I don't know but her death just makes it that much more clearer to me that life is oh so fickle. One minute we're here and the next we're gone. As cliche as it is, it hit me again that i need to make the best of life. I need to work harder, spend time with supportive family and friends, give back, be happy, explore, get rid of toxic friendships/people, not hold back and love wholeheartedly. She would always tell me that.

I really wish i was there with her in her final days/moments because she was one of the few people on my father's side that i truly loved and got along with & who cared about me so much. She would always tease me about forever being so crazy and being a "Ms no-nonsense". She would advice me about life, men, school. What didn't i talk to her about...I also remember joking with her that when i get back she needs to introduce me to the fine guy who brings her medication. Sigh..

I couldn't even sleep and I struggled to get my behind out of bed today to go to work. I really didn't want to..

I can still her hear voice in my head whenever i called to say hi: "Abimbola mi.  Ba wo ni? I hope all's well and you're doing good?"

To think that she just discovered that she had cancer early last year and now she's gone. The only consolation i have is that she no longer has to deal with all the pain. God rest her precious soul.

Life... Sigh..

Love you always always always Aunt Tayo..

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I'm thankful......

Hello everyone...

Happy belated thanksgiving to "all the Americanas"...) I'm sure y'all must be stuffed from all the food...I know i kinda am...Almost pulled out the "Joey pants" sef but i controlled myself....:)

Speaking of food, it's a blessing to have food. Some people don't have food...That i don't have to worry or think about when/where I'll be getting my next meal is humbling and i'm so thankful to God. I pray that he meets all those who are deprived at their points of need. Amen..

Purpose of this post is just to say God is faithful. He really is... It's amazing.. I prayed to God that today will be a productive day.... Tori commences...

My day started off "okay". But as it progressed my dad's girlfriend let me down because my dad bla bla bla... (another story for another day)....To top it off, the English teacher i sent my law school personal statement to gave me feedback that made me wonder if i should go back to primary 1 to learn how to write all over again...He didn't even offer any positive comment(s)...To summarize, he said: "your coursework in law school will not be about law; your courses will focus upon uses of the English language...Please count the number of "I's" & "it's" in your essay...Instead of trying to rework this essay, consider some inspirational reading and reframe your effort"....

It was just so depressing... I thought to myself: "But am i dumb or something? personal statements are allowed to have I's and what not now..." Sigh...

Extremely frustrated (because i have less than 2 weeks to turn in my apps) and feeling the tears about to run down my eyes, I decide to head to the gym. As I'm about to leave, my friend calls me (i sent her the teachers response and she just made me feel so much better). She gives me honest major feedback, no bullshitting or sugar coating, that just left me overjoyed...Instead of going to the gym, i stayed home on and worked on the personal statement.. And i think i made some progress (my friend agrees)....Granted the statement is not where i want it to be (currently it's at two-three quarter and i need it to be at 2 pages)...But the fact that the statement is better off than where it was a few hours ago, I just had to say thank you Lord. It may be "small" but it's still something...I'm learning to thank God for my "small victories"...

So yep, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...:) I truly do hope everyone is well?.. I know i haven't visited some of your blogs in like forever....It's so sad.. But working on law school apps combined with work = major time sucker...Meh....The only free "social" time i have is to act a fool on twitter (which i soooo love) and that's when I'm at the gym or on my lunch break...God dey sha...This too shall pass....

Okey dokes, I'm off to bed so i can wake up early for church.. God bless us all and the work of our hands. His mercy and love be upon us and i hope we all have a fantastic Sunday and a productive, divinely, favored week ahead. Amen...

Ps: Major side eye to the unceremonious removal of Mrs. Farida Waziri as Executive Chairman of EFCC (naija leaders ehn smcheew), may the Lord God comfort the lady who lost her 3 children and ex-husband in a plane crash on thanksgiving eve i believe, RIP to Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu (May God comfort his family through this trying time), hats off to all the U.S military women and men and their families (it ain't easy), and yawn to the NBA & co reaching a deal....

Toodles lovers,

Shade..

Friday, October 28, 2011

I have a confession...

Howdy howdy peeps..

Okay i'm sorry i lied:) I have no "confession at all". (I was watching the Backyard crew's Oliver video for the hundreth time...Hence the title)....

The only confession i have is that i'm doing good. I thank God for his grace and mercy in my life. Plus the boyfriend and i worked things out and are doing okay. i may have blown thigns out of proportion *insert embarrassed smiley* (thanks Neefemi, Honey Dame & Muse Origins for checking in). Aside from that, work is going okay...Stressful but fun all the same.. I need to get working on my law school personal statement STAT. It's not even funny... God is my strength and inspiration...

Okey dokes, that it's from me. I'm off to the gym. Hopefully my writer block is set free and i get ideas for my personal statement...

I hope you all have a blessed Friday and a fantastic weekend...

God bless and protect us all. Amen..

Less i forget, congrats to My backyward crew for winning the D'Banj / Don Jazzy Oliver twist video contest...Lovely lovely...


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mountain of Fire post....

 Morning everyone (it's 12.37am my side of the globe)...

I hope everyone is doing okay? God is our strength... Less i forget, Happy Ramadan to my Muslim peeps...Una better pray for me o... Ehen..

Okey dokes, I need to quickly share something before i deuces to bed... I spoke to my mum not too long ago and she shared some ish going on that just made me go WTF! It shook me to my core...This world ehn...*Shudders*

All i can say is that like Ephesians 6 vs 12 says: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Some people are crazy and evil. They'll do anything to amass power and wealth and it's beyond shocking and terrifying... I can even see it in certain issues in my life...But God is in control..

Tangent: In case y'all haven't heard,  I heard from the grapevine that I'm God's favorite young woman!!! *Yay me*:). Back to my rambling...

Before i go on, i know that some people may go bla bla bla there goes Shade and her Nigerian "demon stories/beliefs"..Especially with our generation, as some of our parents will agree, we get so "removed from the "harsh realities of life" due to the advent of technology and just think that it is what it is...

But the truth is in this life shit happens. People/things are not always what they seem...People do crazy and evil things and take other people's blessings to get to where they are undeserving of..The list is endless....

So a la the title of my prayer, I'm going to pray that for each and everyone of us.....Well before i pray i will stress that we need to be careful who we share our dreams, goals, plans, whatever it is that concerns us, with...Not everyone is happy for you... Not everyone wants you to succeed....Unknown to you, people are jealous (as naijas will say, we do have haters/henmeies). Like my mum tells me, it's better to look like a "dodoyo" and let people think you're foolish....Better safe than sorry... Plus it's more sad that rather than take the high ground and agree that we all have varying blessings and such, some people (even our parents) would rather strategize to bring you down even if it's means killing you or taking your blessings....What kind of life is that? Hmmnn..Sigh...

Okay back to za prayer. For each and everyone of us (well those that read my blog & if you claim the prayer *insert sheepish smiley face here) that are being tested with various issues in our families and personal lives, issues caused by people we know/don't know, the Lord God will expose them and separate such individuals from us.... As the stereotype of the naija christian goes, I'm sure the next thing that some of you are expecting is "THUNDER &DIE". But i shan't :)

I shall leave such people to God.. He will deal with them... Also, for those of us whose blessings, dreams, success, and future endeavours have been tied down in spiritual places or have been taken to one "mama" or "baba" or oritsa or whatever living in some village, tree, water, the Lord God will send his holy angels to retrieve our blessings. He shall expose such people. Their plans will backfire (be it our parents, siblings, friends, family friends, whomever)...Again, don't get it twisted...The ish i heard today &what i know personally, have seen &heard with my "koroko eyes and ears"....Mehn, people can be evil..Enough said.....

The Lord God shall cause confusion in their midst..He will dabaru their evil plans against us. Amen..We shall testify to the glory of the Lord in our lives...No weapon formed against us shall prosper... We will prevail. Amen &Amen... As the Yoruba's say: "Oluwa li Oluso Agutan mi"..(The Lord is our shepherd).

Aiight, i think i can get off my Reverend Shade pulpit and deuces to bed...Sheet. It's 1.30am...

I hope everyone has a blessed rest of the week and great weekend... God shall EVERLY be our strength and guide... Amen...

Psalm 18 vs 2: "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

*hugs*

Sincerely,

Reverend Shade:)

Credit image to: theconservativetreehouse.wordpress.com