Catching Up

Hey wonderful world,

It’s with so much excitement that I write today’s post. I usually start with a hello and hope you guys are doing great (which I do hope is the case) but I feel the need to just go straight to the point today…which is basically me catching you guys up on what’s been going on in my life since the last time y’all heard from me. Btw, I do hope you guys are doing great and I wanna say a huge thank you to everyone that keeps coming back to see what I have to say. It’s honestly nothing short of a blessing and I’m grateful to be able to touch your lives in my own little way.

Now a lot of things are happening in my life right now and I will just catch you up on two of them. First of all, I am in my first relationship…eeeekkk!!! Yes, as you can tell, I’m quite excited about it. The young man in question is a wonderful fellow whom I met through a mutual friend. We got talking and about two months later, we became official. This is a completely new thing for me and there are many times when I feel like a fish out of water. I’ve discovered that although my mind had been renewed in God in many other areas of my life, it was not the case as far as relationships with the opposite sex were concerned.

From the age of 9 till about 24, my perception of non-familial, non-platonic relationships with guys was shaped by Hollywood and writers like Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught and Nora Roberts. See the problem with these kinds of books, I have found, is they fry your brain and they prevent you from having a wholesome and honest view of what those kinds of relationships should be like. They hone in one aspect of these relationships i.e. the passion and attraction and they magnify them until that’s all you can see. The end result for me was that I never gave anyone a chance unless I was completely attracted to him.

Now don’t get me wrong, attraction is important. I repeat, attraction is important. However, if you’re building a relationship based on attraction and how the person makes you feel than I am very sorry to say that you are headed down Damnation Street. I listened to a message by Myles Munroe a couple of weeks ago and he said that when you’re deciding whether to date or marry someone, make sure the person has character. Don’t base your decision on his “charisma” or what we on this side of the world call “swagger”. Hollywood and romance novels, for the most part, have taught us to look out for the tall handsome guy with the nice looking chest that knows just what to say and just what to do. They make us swoon and we are instantly attracted to them.

Oftentimes, the problem with those kinds of guys in real life is that the quality of their character is poor. By the time the haze of attraction has cleared just enough for us to see them as they really are, we are already in too deep emotionally. So much so that we’d rather manage the situation and be with the guy rather than call the bad situation what it is, get out of it and sit at God’s feet while we ask Him to get rid of the junk in our minds and hearts and allow Him to renew our minds and to inform what we find attractive. It may sound preposterous to many but trust me when I say it can be done….it happened to me.

It took me a while to get here (as well as many tears) but I’m glad to be here. I don’t want to give too much away too soon because things are still really new but I will say that there’s no feeling like that peace that comes from knowing that you’re in a relationship that God wants you to be in, with someone who is for you and is good for you, who you connect with spiritually, emotionally, mentally (comedically…lol) and intellectually. Someone who supports your dreams and who, at the end of the day, is (or rather in my case, is becoming) your best friend. I don’t know if we’ll get married or if we’ll break up but I do know that God is right in the middle of it and that’s more than enough for me.

While we’re on the topic of relationships, Grace’s Daughter has been getting quite a bit of exposure; more than I ever hoped for or even dreamed of. Starting this blog was just my being obedient to God and I never really thought past each post but it would seem that God has other ideas on His mind. I was recently approached by a young man called Tobi Atte. Now when I first got Tobi’s e-mail, I figured it was some sort of mistake. The e-mail was addressed specifically to Grace’s Daughter but I tend to forget that people actually read this blog.

Tobi is a Life, Relationship, Faith and Motivational coach who is a contributor on BellaNaija.com as well as Love Lounge which airs on Ebony Live TV. His company, IJUSTMETME, is hosting one of its signature events called “The Convo” which is a very deep relationship event. The videos from his past events are below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQtuOnW_hko&list=PLOREye5df14dO33wSwvmHyovbPPXT3P1w&index=4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUDUXMwHt78&list=PLOREye5df14dyP3nJIab9Lv9YHuFmpKQ0

The following links are some pictures from past events:

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.373609106117561.1073741827.155244994620641&type=3

Now Tobi has held this event Philadelphia, Houston and New York and is bringing it to Nigeria for the first time. The topics discussed range from spirituality in dating to commitment issues and shared values. I have watched some of his videos myself and have been blown away by the wisdom in the content. A lot of what he’s said has also helped me in my relationship.

It is for that reason that Grace’s Daughter has decided to be one of the proud sponsors of the event. The date has been scheduled for June 28th, 2014 and more details will be communicated shortly. Over the next few weeks, I will be giving away free tickets to the event and will share more information with you. As you can imagine, I am sooooo excited and I really hope that lots of you can attend.

Well forgive me for the extra long post today guys….I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s completely understandable. I hope to share more with y’all soon and I really look forward to any questions or comments you may have.

Love Always,

Grace’s Daughter.

Taking the Plunge

Hello wonderful people,

I hope this meets you well. I know I’ve been away for a while…..a lot has been going on over the past couple of weeks. I’m in the good old city of Shanghai, China right now…..I’m here for work but I’ve also been taking in the sights and scenery and I have to say that it’s quite a lovely place. I’m trying my best to make sure I don’t pack on the pounds…..so far, so good and fingers crossed, it’ll stay that way.

It feels really good to be back here blogging…..honestly. I’m wondering why it took me so long to find my way back but I’m here now so that’s something. A lot has been going on in my life and the one thing that God has been doing in me over the past couple of weeks is opening my heart up in a completely new way. I’ve spoken about being single a time or two in this blog but it’s always been from the perspective of someone who knew felt that relationships and marriage would happen sometime in the future, not in that current season. I feel like God is calling me to open myself up to the reality of relationships (with guys that is) and marriage.

This might seem weird but relationships with guys always seemed like something that was apart from me in the sense that I never really considered the practical realities of dating. It always seemed very vague because there was no specific structure to it and anyone who knows me knows that I struggle when I can’t find structure. The truth is that I always hoped that I would meet a guy and God would say to me……”Adaobi my wonderful daughter, this is the young man that I ordained you to be with from the foundations of the earth”. That would make my life a whole lot easier because there is some form of structure in the form of heavenly approval and the truth is that God does that for some people; I just happen not to be one of them. You see, one of my greatest fears in life is to be that girl who keeps going back to that guy that she knows doesn’t love her and wants to use her. But she keeps going back because she can’t help herself. That girl scared me because she no longer cared about who she was; her whole being was consumed with the love she had for that guy. I thought that the one way I could avoid all that was by letting God introduce me to my spouse and I would know I was safe to love that person.

The thing is that God has not given us a spirit of fear and often times, the best way to overcome the fear of something is to face it. And so in this season of my life, I am opening myself up to new possibilities, to the prospect of dating someone who God has not categorically told me is my husband. That doesn’t mean I’m closing my eyes to who the person is; if anything I’m more watchful and observant. It means that I have to lean more on God each and every day for each and every aspect of the relationship with the guy as it develops. In a weird way, it means it draws me closer to God. At some point, God could tell me that this person I’ve been dating is not meant for me and although that scares me, I have to trust that God has a grand plan for my life and more so because He has never failed me. I’m learning a new kind of trust in God……trusting Him with an area of my life where I am relatively untried and trusting Him to teach me how to do it the right way. It’s one thing to know something in theory and it’s a different thing to know it in practice.

I was getting ready to go out of my hotel room to a Chinese market today and a song by Leona Lewis came up on my iPod. The song is titled “happy”. Now I’ve listened to that song many times but today, my eyes were opened to the lyrics in a completely new way. The song goes like this:

Someone once told me that you have to choose
What you win or lose, you can’t have everything
And don’t you take chances, you might feel the pain
Don’t you love in vain, cos love won’t set you free
Well I could stand by the side and watch this life pass me by
So unhappy and safe as could be

So what if it hurts me? So what if I break down?
So what if this world just throws me off the edge
My feet run out of ground
I gotta find my place, I wanna hear my sound
Don’t care about all the pain in font of me
I’m just trying to be happy.

And so in this new season, I’m learning to take a chance and take the plunge……but with wisdom please. To anyone who’s going through this same season in their life, Things may be coming to you in a manner you didn’t expect but you need to be open to the fact that God’s plans might be very different from your own (especially when you were not too keen when those things came in the manner you were expecting). God knows us better than we know ourselves and although He may not tell us the end of a situation from its beginning, we can trust him to lead and guide us every step of the way.

Much love,

Grace’s daughter.