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Monday, July 1, 2019

On the other side of Rape



In light of Busola Dakolo  sharing her story of sexual abuse and violation by someone she trusted- "a Pastor", I was taken aback as I listened to her describe the details of what it was like for a 17 year old girl to experience such violence. I got to the end of the interview and my heart started to beat faster as she expresses the different ways she has seen the reverberating effect of this experience on her adult life. I cried. I wanted to reach through the screen, give her a big hug and tell her, thank you. Our experiences are different but the effect? oh the effect. Lord. They sound too familiar.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Joyfully Depressed Published!



Hi Blog Fam!

Your girl published a devotional book. Wanna talk about that ?

There was a point in my Christian journey I stopped reading devotionals. I felt they were too watered down and it was very easy to get in the habit of “read a devotional a day to keep the devil away” which leaves room for a shallow understanding of God and taking verses out of context. A few years later, here I am, writing a devotional.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Twenty-Lateen



Featured on Arikearts.com 

I know I have a lot to write about 2018 but I have thought about the best way to pen it down without overwhelming my readers with a wealth of information. My usual metaphoric representations or theme- based soliloquies? Raw emotions or filtered psalms? Since this is a post about 2018 lessons learned, I’ll stick to the conventional.
If you know me, you know how much I do not like clichés but because God has a sense of humor, my year was like a mesh of fake deep Instagram quotes woven together to make an actual coherent statement. How cliché can it get? You’ll see.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Joyfully Depressed



"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work." - 2 Cor 9:8

Knowing Your Enemy by Name

It's been over 6 months since my first major depressive episode and I have since then been invested in my mental health. I read an article recently that made a point that sums up all of those 6 months: 
"When you know what the enemy is, you're in a better position to fight it" 
For the past couple of months I have learnt, first, to give depression & anxiety its rightful name. Some say the first step to healing is acceptance and as platitudinous as that may sound, it is legit. When you are in a battle with an enemy you don't know, you run the risk of fighting the wrong battle and even hurting yourself in the process. I have lived in a culture that has paid little to no attention to mental health because God forbid you say "you're sick in the head". Thankfully so, the rhetoric is changing (albeit slowly) with social media bringing to light struggles that were once hidden and even forbidden.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Written in Black - 3


I know you’re able and l know you can 
Save through the fire with your mighty hand 
But even if you don’t, my hope is you alone.

*re-opens Bible app* *picks up study Bible*

Where can I possibly flee from your presence ?

Written in Black - 2


*Reads Charles Spurgeon’s memoirs on depression* 

*listens to sermons on praying through depression*

*googles “are suicidal thoughts sin ?”* 

*memorizes Romans 8*

Reads. Listens. Writes.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Written in Black - 1


Dear Lord,

It's just a few hours shy of midnight, I lean into the steering wheel squinting my eyes with hopes of making something out of the darkness that lies ahead of us. I'm scared. Not for me, I am too familiar with the color black to shrink in its presence; we are way past that now. But I'm scared for you, I'm scared you don't share the same sentiments and my awkward friend gives you the shivers. So I blurt out like a girl who just ran into her ex while on a date at a fancy cuisine with her boyfriend..no husband- " I'm as blind as a bat at night but I'll try not to kill us both". You laugh, in the most painful way only someone who's been in the dark long enough could recognize and respond , "It's okay, I want to die anyways". We both laugh, painfully. I thought to myself: "Wow, she knows black too ?"

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Gospel and Depression (2)

"Christ Chargeth Me To Believe His Daylight at Midnight" - Samuel Rutherford

It's morning again, it's noisy again
Kick start the day with some 
incremental fear and dosing anxiety 
Heart beating, can't stop it
Tries to go back to sleep but 
the day and its troubles banging on the door

What is dependence?
When you feel your body no longer 
responds to the sound of your own voice 
Your heart's planning an escape 
from your chest 
the only thing to cling to is infinite 
The immutable 
"Prone to wander, Lord I feel it 
Prone to leave the God I love"
oops, my grip is slipping again 
Can't hold on, falling back into the deep
Again
"Verily, verily God, these legs will bury me God"
Tears are dried up 
Frustration now sits where peace used to lay
But hey, duty calls
What's left is the strength just enough 
to get me off my bed

Night
Escape is here
Eyes shut, fleeting peace 
Except it's not peace but an illusion
Even my dreams laugh at the sound of my wishful thinking 
They'd soon wake me up 
At midnight and then at 3am 
To remind me of the morning that's near 
Lord please, I'm scared
My metaphors fail me. I'm sleep

"Are you okay ? "
Yes, I'm fine
Pseudo-truth 
If I tell you I'm not 
then what?
How do I explain I see black 
When you see colors 
How do I tell you I feel blue 
Even when there's no apparent cause 
I love you for caring 
But please don't get mad 
if I just want to stay quiet 
Pray for me 

Will this cloud ever lift? 
Yes, it will
Don't fight it, don't pray it away 
What to do with the voices?
Write about them
Understand the triggers
Ask for help
Admit weakness
This is the burden, this is the weariness
Depression is real, but God is realer

Friends & Family 
How can you help?
Pray with them 
Worship with them
Encourage them to seek help
Professional help
Don't try too hard to understand
Please don't say "get over it" 
It's often inexplicable 
Hugs, plenty of hugs

I wrote part of this poem about a month ago and I finally decided to finish it. If you pay close enough attention, you probably know someone that needs to read it. According to WHO, about 3000 people commit suicide every day. I don't know the percentage of these people who are Christians but I bet there's quite a few. We work with them, we go to school with them, we may be "them". Let's talk more about mental health and not pretend we are all okay. 

Grace and peace.

If you’re struggling with depression and/or suicidal thoughts, please seek help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Gospel and Depression


No doubt depression is a terrifying place to be. It can be confusing , painful and even uncomfortable for some as it comes with a frustrating dilemma of trying to explain to those close to you where or how it hurts, there’s no particular spot to place an ice pack on. The most instinctive response is withdrawal, it is the easiest response I’ve come to realize.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The God Who "Gets It"


All of life is waiting. A mother has to wait 9 months to see the real life image of the baby she's imagined in her mind, a driver has to wait for the traffic light to turn green before hitting the gas pedal (I hope) and even at a restaurant, we wait in anticipation that someone will show up with a tray of food on their hands. At different levels and in different forms, we are subjected to voluntary or involuntary pause.