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.

New Year’s Musings

Happy new year people!!! I pray that this year will be an amazing one for all of you, that the Lord will show up for you in awesome ways and that He will cause all things to work together for your good in your life. I pray that this year will be one where you will be totally submitted to God and that you will allow Him to draw you to Himself and reveal Himself to you. Because the truth is that you cannot really know who you are or what you have been called to do and be until you have known God.

I also want to say a huge thank you to all of you that have been consistent readers of the blog. Thanks for your encouragement and for leaving your comments and questions. Please keep them coming…they motivate me to keep writing, keep thinking (anyone who knows me knows that I can think for the world) and keep listening out for what God lays on my heart to share with you.

There’s a deep sense of urgency and excitement as I write this post tonight. It seems that God is speaking so many things to my heart today and confirming a lot of the things He had spoken to my heart a long time ago. I can’t go into detail on a lot of them because there simply isn’t the time and I’m trying my best to make sure my posts stay as brief as possible. So I’ll summarize the different things that are going through my mind right now and I have a strong feeling that I will talk about some of them in more depth in subsequent posts.

  1. God is literally screaming out His words of DIRECTION and is willing to guide us on the right path to go in this year if we will take the time to spend time with Him and listen to what He is saying. God speaks to us in different ways depending on who we are and the nature of our relationship with Him. I know for a fact that, now more than ever before, God is looking to take us by the hand and guide us by giving us specific directions on what to do and where to go. We just need to listen out for what He’s saying and we need to be OBEDIENT!!!
  2. Obedience is key this year. People please, when God gives you and instruction, just obey Him. It might seem difficult at first or even ludicrous but the first thing to do is just say yes and then ask Him for the grace to do what He has asked.
  3. That’s another thing that God has made available in truckloads this year: GRACE. The bible says in Hebrews 4:16 that we should approach God’s throne of grace with boldness and confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. I know for a fact that God is telling me not to try and rely on my own strength or abilities, especially this year, but to lean on Him and trust Him to take care of things for me. I have so much on my plate especially this year and I can come up with many excuses to abandon God’s work and focus on other aspects of my life like work and exams (CFA level 1, the Lord is my strength). But if I rely on God to equip me, I can find that I will get the results I need without having to work as hard at it. Now please note that I am not saying I will not work at all because God’s word says that the man that doesn’t work should not eat. What I am saying is that instead of relying on myself completely and thinking my success is solely dependent on my efforts, I can do my part and allow God to work out the rest. That way, He takes all the glory.
  4. God has called us to be agents of CHANGE. I have seriously slacked in this area and have allowed myself to either become comfortable with things that rightfully bothered me about my country or I have blocked myself off from those things because I did not like the feelings of anger and annoyance they elicited from me whenever I allowed myself to consider them. However, the truth is that those things that elicit righteous anger in us are the very things we have been called by God to do something about. Each and every one of us is the change we are looking for. Start in your house, with your family and friends, in your office with your colleagues and ask God for the wisdom and strategy to stir up the change you seek.
  5. Finally, we need to be people of STRATEGY this year. That means that we need to sit down, figure out what God wants us to do, who He wants us to be and ask Him the most important question which is HOW he wants us to achieve those things. We need to start walking in PURPOSE people. The time to guess or go with the flow is fast running out and we need to take the steps to identify our calling in life. There’s a level of confidence and surety that people who understand their purpose walk with. They are not distracted by what goes on around them; instead there is an otherworldly level of focus that confounds and can even elicit negative emotions of anger and jealousy from people who don’t understand it. But when this is tempered with love and wisdom, it becomes a wonderful too that draws others to Jesus.

 

That’s it from me today people. I know today’s post is a bit longer than usual but I do hope that it speaks to someone. I look forward to hearing from you and please don’t forget that God loves you and longs to have a relationship with you.

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.