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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

At ease in Egypt?


I love life. I absolutely do. In all its up’s and downs, life remains what it best is... a teacher. Life throws you a myriad of experiences, sometimes complex, sometimes painful, and sometimes so simple that you almost, or entirely miss it. Like any teacher though, life leaves it to you to do the learning. It’s an individual choice to pass through, or to go through. Passing through leaves you constantly befuddled; a silent ‘Huh?’ always at the back of your mind. Going through, as I see it, leaves you in a constant frame of ‘Oh wow! so that’s what this was trying to teach me.’ Bottom-line, going through life is about adopting a positive attitude, a mental acceptance and an innate knowing in your spirit that you have a God who is constantly watching over you and Who has promised that all things will work together for your good. My personal mantra is that ‘His goodness and mercy shall follow me and mine all the days of our lives’. I believe this to my core and so this has continued to hold true for me. Don’t I have issues, challenges, problems? Sure sis! By whatever name they are called, I have got my fair share. But I have chosen to be intentional about retaining my place of peace and my conviction that my life is working out for good. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he, right? I choose to think in my heart (believe with every fibre of my being) that I am blessed, I am prosperous, I am healthy, I am wealthy, I am wise, I am a blessing, I am a joy to generations, etc, etc, etc! I choose to believe it.....therefore I am walking and will continually walk in it IJMN.

Am I wrong to make such bold statements? Nope! The One who said He created me fearfully and wonderfully taught me how to make boast....not in myself, but in Him:  my Father – the one who created the heavens and the earth; the One Whose very essence causes the hills to tremble; the One for Whom nothing is impossible; the One Who says He called me to show forth His glory. Yes o! Today, I borrow a phrase from my sista and friend DNW (Desperate Naija Woman aka Bola Essien-Nelson) and’ I brag on God’ because in my life, He has continued to show that He is worthy to make boast about.
Methinks if you haven’t bragged enough on God recently, today is as good a day as any to take stock and just cause the goodness of God in your life to be noised about. He is just awesome isn’t He?

I was thinking about a hilarious conversation between my ladies and me in SA recently. One of us was complaining about the hair-piece she had on and asking if I would help her flat-iron it. Coach Anna laughed and said how back in America, Afro-American sisters were busy trying to keep their natural as a sign of ‘going-back-to-their-roots’. She said how she had also gone natural at some point, which was quite a struggle for her. On her last trip to Nigeria however, she noticed that practically every woman had on weaves, perms, braids, or at best very low cuts. She had said to her ladies back in America that they were climbing up the wrong ladder:  ‘Aint no Nigerian sisters walking around with no afro’s’ . She said something to the effect of ‘I’m outta here. Yes! I’m going back to Egypt’. Then she really got into the swing of it: ‘In Egypt, we had relaxer. In Egypt, we could comb our hair easily. In Egypt....’ .  We were tripping, I assure you. Absolutely rib-cracking! But that’s our Coach. She’s just crazy like that and we love her to bits.

As I recalled this episode however, I thought.... in my own life, what is the ‘Egypt’ that I keep going back to? I can already hear my WAN (Woman Act Now, Nigeria) girls Nneka Nwobi, Enife Atobiloye, Inyang Sami-Orungbe, Bidemi Mark-Mordi and Ini Onuk screaming ‘Cheesecake’ and sistas, you are so right, Ha! What are my Egypt’s? How easy it would be to focus on the physical Egypt’s in my life – the cheesecake; the chocolate; the cookies-n-cream icecream; the hot peppered jollof-rice with stewed beef, slurrrppp!!!  Errr.... where was I ?

Ah! Oh yes! I remember.....  

What I think is the more difficult part, is agreeing with yourself what your intangible ‘Egypt’ is/are. Is it that place of pride which you constantly struggle to keep under some public cloak of feigned humility? Or is it an unbridled open pride that even you have come to be at ease with? Is it that place of faithlessness that you and you alone know that you constantly stay in, even while openly making the right sounds and speaking the right kinds of  ‘christianese’ to convince those around you that you are strong in faith? Is it that inner space where the green-eyed monster constantly rears his head; where envy and covetousness abide; where you constantly find yourself benchmarking God’s blessings or gifting on someone else against yours?

Is your Egypt a root of bitterness that has gone deep and continues to spread? Outwardly, you say you are over it, but in your private space you allow it to dwell and you wallow in it? Is your Egypt a relationship that you know is not good for you but in your lonely moments, you quietly slink back into? Is your Egypt an unspoken, yet constant feeling of inferiority; a refusal to accept God’s Word that you are special in his eyes and that He has a great plan for your life? I could go on but I think you get my drift.  Is your Egypt a lustful spirit; a quiet battle against pornography or other fleshly excesses that are at variance with your outward mien of holiness?

It’s true yes that God sometimes puts us in an Egypt situation so that His purposes can play out in our lives. Again, it’s in our hands to decide to ‘go through’ our Egypt and know that there is a learning; a preparation for something greater ahead. We are not designed to dwell in Egypt, but to take from it what we need to fulfil purpose. Once God asks us to move, we need to question why we sometimes do not budge at all; or why, when we do, we keep going back?

I’m asking myself as I pray you do too: ‘Am I at ease in (my) Egypt?’  That’s the funniest part isn’t it? The answer is always and unequivocally ‘No!’ so why do we more often than not stay in our Egypt? Methinks being at ease in Egypt is mostly about fear. Egypt is not comfortable; it is sometimes downright painful but....  it’s what we know and even a familiar pain can become our ‘normal’ if we allow it. It strikes me that staying in Egypt is a choice......  a choice not to walk in absolute faith; a choice not to be fully submissive to the Spirit of God and to trust Him to deliver us completely and take us to our place of flourishing.

I hope I don’t sound too preachy today. I actually realize as I have written this straight from the heart, that it is the Lord Himself who is calling me to action, as He calls you also. So, I’m going to making a nice hot cup of tea; I will go sit in my new thinking corner, and reflect on any deliberate journeys I may have made or may be in the process of making back to Egypt. I trust God for one thing....He will help me. That is His Word and it is forever settled in heaven. Besides, He did say ‘These Egyptians you see, you shall see no more’. I’m holding on to that – His promise to throw both the horse and the rider into the sea... for my sake. Someday soon, I will share what I found to represent Egypt for me. But don’t stay in the place of expectancy....waiting to hear all my crazy issues, lol. You go do some Holy Ghost-inspired laundry yourself sista. The Lord will also help you.

See you on the other side of your red sea.

TTYL

1 comment:

  1. I find out it is so easy to return to Egypt that we have to constantly be on our guard. Egypt turns out in our walk the only destination where returning receives no opposition whatsoever. But I mean, that is because once we get there, the enemy has us where he truly wants us! Hmmmm, Father please keep me from buying a ticket to Egypt in Jesus name.

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About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.