Saturday, December 31, 2016

One of my many miracles of 2016

I cannot believe that today is the last day of 2016. This year had been good. If I thought I knew the extent of God’s love, mercy and faithfulness, 2016 taught me that I have not yet known even the beginning of His love. As a family, we cannot thank God enough for His faithfulness. The testimonies are plenty but I want to share one that has opened my eyes to the perfect timing of God.

It all started in October 2014. I was on one of my business trips so I thought to visit a doctor in the US whom I was familiar with to complain about a lack of menses. After her detailed tests, she said my ovaries had shrunk and from my hormone profile I was premenopausal (entering menopause before the right age for menopause). She said if my husband and I were interested in having another child, it will be very difficult for me to get pregnant naturally but she will give me some drugs to help. If after 3 months I did not get pregnant, she advised that we should consider more advanced fertility treatments.

I think I was more devastated to hear that I was premenopausal. When I discussed it with Mr. Rita, he brushed it off and said God has the final say. So I told him, “You are a seasoned engineer. If you make a diagnosis and give a recommendation, don’t you expect people to take your word and act on it? How much more a seasoned doctor?” He did not respond, but that was what I held on to.

At about the same period, my older daughter (3 going on 4) started talking about a baby brother. This baby brother was so real to her that she named him Kelechi. She talked about him every day that it became bothersome to me. I was working on my 2nd novel (Morning Does Come) and every morning she would come to my study to talk about this baby brother, and even draw pictures about him. I called my mother one day and told her I was being “traumatized” by this baby brother, when the doctor had pronounced me premenopausal. My mother said next time my daughter mentioned it, instead of trying to explain why it may not happen, I should agree with her.

In March 2015 when the drugs had not worked, I went in search for an OBGYN in Pau, France where we were residing. I was told that the earliest appointment I could get was in July. I was leaving Pau in July so I could not take the appointment.

In April 2015, I had a dream. One lady visited me and gave me a word about my children. I told her “how can it be when all through my marriage I have struggled to have children?” and her response was “The Lord will do it. As a sign, He will give you a son and his name will be called Jude”. I woke up that morning thinking I would be pregnant, only to see a period a few days later. I was so disappointed and lost hope.

We got back to Nigeria in July and I quickly went to see my doctor who knew my history. When he did a scan, he said he was not seeing one ovary (from shrinking to disappearance???) and that we would have to schedule a HSG to understand what had happened to my organ. This was too scary to imagine. I told the doctor that once I return from one of my business trips, I would schedule the HSG.

I returned from my trip, and I was supposed to resume work in Nigeria immediately. On the day I went to the office in Nigeria, I was told the position was not available and hence I would have to go on a one-year leave of absence. The drop in oil price had impacted a lot of things. I was very very disappointed but I had no choice. I told myself that once I clear my desk, I would go and schedule the HSG. Maybe it was God giving me time to do the advanced fertility treatment if it called for it.

September 9, after I submitted my signed letter accepting the Leave of Absence, I went to the clinic to schedule the HSG. As part of routine practice, they performed a pregnancy test since I was 2 weeks late in my period. To my greatest surprise, it came out positive. I was in shock.

Please take a moment to pause here and feel the shock with me. 

I told the doctor he did not know what he was saying. It seemed he did not understand that I had been struggling with infertility all through my marriage so getting pregnant out of the blues was close to impossible. The doctor said since he trusts the results of the lab test, he will treat me as a pregnant woman.

That was how God gave me a surprise during my one-year leave of absence. Many people thought I planned it but did not know it came as a surprise to me. During the one year, I enjoyed my pregnancy – no work pressures at all and I had enough time for my other kids. Then when my baby was 6 months old, I was called back to office, for a similar role as I was to take before the leave of absence.

And before I forget, the baby is called Kelechi Jude, named by his sister and in fulfillment of the dream I was given in April 2015 (exactly 1 year before he was born).

Wishing you a miracle-filled 2017.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Zero Percent in Math

Today I want to share with you a lesson I learnt from my experience getting 0% in Math. For those who don’t know, I am a Petroleum Engineer. I would not have come this far without some passion for Mathematics. But once upon a time, Math was my weak point. Maybe I will share with you how I overcame that in another post. Let me not digress.

I was in Primary 4 then and we were learning division/fractions. It was the most difficult concept for me to grasp. Then we had a test. When I looked at the questions, for example 6 divided by 3, I told myself that these questions did not have solutions. The “problem” was unsolvable. So it was no surprise when the results of the test came, I had 0%.

My mother tried to explain the concept to me, but it did not stick. The teacher did the corrections but I could not fathom how she ever arrived at a so-called solution. My mind was made up – the problem was unsolvable.

But as I grew older, I realized the issue was not that the problem was unsolvable. The issue was I did not know the solution. Until I believed that there could be a solution and made effort to find that solution, the concept of division remained rocket science.

In life, I have faced a couple of challenges where it seemed like the problem was unsolvable. But each time I am reminded with the gentle words, “My people perish for lack of knowledge, is anything too hard for the Lord?” Until I run to the All-Knowing One, I remain in despair, depression and hopelessness. Thankfully, the 0% in Math also reminds me that the issue is not that the problem is unsolvable, but that I do not know what the solution is.

Have you ever been or are you in a situation where it seems the “problem” is unsolvable? Some issues may be impossible to the men, but with God nothing is impossible. It is never too late to seek the wisdom of the All-Knowing God. He says today, 
“Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” [Jeremiah 33:3, NIV].

Be it a strategy, be it direction and guidance, be it a solution to an issue, the Lord has all the answers.
As you call upon Him, may He open your eyes and ears to receive His unparalleled wisdom and restoration.

Remain Blessed.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Welcome to 2016 - Your Best Year Yet

Happy New Year !!!.
I don't know what your story was in 2015 but may 2016 be better, much more than you imagine.
Each day in 2016 is like the layers of an onion - each day is new and fresh, and comes with its own flavor and value. 
May you take each day at a time, being led by the Spirit of God and being sustained by God's grace.
May you experience uncommon grace and favor.

Praise our God, all people, 
Let the sound of His praise be heard;
He has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping [Psalm 66: 8-9, NIV].

Welcome to 2016, Your Best Year Yet!

Remain Blessed

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Excerpt from Morning Does Come: Chapter 7 Page 64

“Your mother does not need to know you came to see me,” Uncle Timothy said. “She will not be happy with you.”
“Why?” Kaine asked.
“It is complicated. Come here,” he said, motioning to her with his hand. “Come and sit on my lap like you used to when you were a child.”
She blushed.
“Uncle, I am quite heavy now,” she said as she stood up and walked toward him.
“The heavier, the better,” he said with a laugh.
He lifted her unto his lap. As she tried to make herself comfortable, her skirt moved up, revealing her thighs. He immediately pulled her closer to him.
In a hushed tone he said, “If a beautiful girl like you runs a restaurant, you will have many customers, not because of the food you cook but because many men will want to have a feel of you.”
What is the fate of Kaine during this meeting? Would she get what she wants out of the visit? Can you predict what next?

If you haven't picked up your copy of Morning Does Come, find out what happens to Kaine (and much more) by getting a copy through any of the means listed HERE. Get a copy for yourself or someone dear to you.

Compliments of the season and have a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ordinary but not Ordinary

Certain events may seem ordinary in your eyes but to God they are not ordinary; they are strategically happening for a greater purpose in time to come. #hope #lifelessonsfromkaine #morningdoescome

Next week, I will share with you an excerpt from my novel "Morning Does Come". Stay tuned... 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

My Toddler and the Bottle of Medicine

It was a Tuesday. The day went on like any normal day. Infact, it was much better. The children had closed early from school. We had played together, done 'Mummy's Lessons' together, and talked and laughed so much. The children were in the best behaviors and I couldn't thank God enough for the joy He had given me through them. 

As usual, women have to be multitasking. 2 separate pots of beans were on the fire while we were having fun. And just when it was time to finalize the cooking of the beans, I remembered that the children's medications were in the fridge and needed to be warmer before I could administer them. So I brought them out of the fridge and kept on my section of the dining table then resumed cooking the beans. 

After some minutes, I heard the children haggling over something. 
"Give me some!" the older one said.
"No, its my own!" the toddler replied.
"Let me drink a little na!"
I could not imagine what they were fighting over. 

I peeped through the glass in my kitchen door that overlooked the living room. Then I saw my toddler holding an empty bottle of cough syrup. I immediately ran out of the kitchen, forgetting the beans on the fire. She was coughing.
"Mummy, it's very sweet!" she told me with an innocent look as she handed to me the empty bottle of medicine.

I was finished at that point in time. I did not know where to start from. I turned to the older one to ask what exactly happened. It was obvious. I found myself scolding the 4 year old saying "next time, if you see your sister touching a bottle of medicine, take it from her and come and report to me!" How silly I sounded. 

I called Mr. Rita, told him we have an emergency and explained what had happened. No response from him, how frustrating. So I dropped the line and called Mr. Rita's father who is a doctor. I explained which medicine she drank and he gave me tips on what to do. After that, I went to attend to the beans which was almost burnt.

Very depressing and condemning thoughts began to enter my mind. I called myself names from irresponsible mother to a woman who did not deserve the precious gifts of God. I began to think of the impact of the medicine overdose, and this was only worsened when I consulted Dr. Google. 

When Mr. Rita returned from work, I immediately handed his children over to him (without greeting him) and ran into the bedroom to have a good cry.  Then I cried to God because the self-condemning thoughts were so depressing. And He comforted me. He reminded me of how happy the children were to spend the afternoon and evening with me. He reminded me of the beautiful paintings that came out of the extra time I spent teaching them how to color neatly. He reminded me that none had cried or thrown tantrums while we were together. I was not so bad after all.

So I wiped my tears away and went to join the rest of the family. Mr. Rita was as usual awesome with the children. They did not miss me. And just as I was about to set the table for their dinner, I saw that the medicine had spilled on the floor of the dining table. 
Phew! What a relief! She had not drank a full bottle of cough syrup but the whole experience was a lesson for me - Keep all medicines and anything harmful away from children!!!

And dear Mums, yes sometimes those self-condemning thoughts may come but I want to assure you that you are a great Mum, and no one could be a better mum to your kids than you.

Remain blessed.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

From Dream to Reality

My children and I were watching an animated version of the story of Joseph, one of the sons of Jacob in the Bible. Since the children are less than 5 years old, I had to do a lot of explanation during certain scenes.

My older daughter has watched this movie several times. At the scene of one of Joseph’s dream, where the sun and the moon and the stars were bowing down to him, I explained it meant his brothers and parents will one day bow down to him. Then my older daughter asked, “Why did he have to go to Egypt and be washing the floor and enter prison before his brothers came and bowed down to him?”

To this I replied, “Ajuju”, which I always reply her when she asks me those deep questions which I must not hurry to answer. And then I began to ponder.

Isn’t it like God to give a ‘dream’ which only comes to reality in the fullness of time? Isn’t it the same God that made a promise to Abraham concerning a son from his wife Sarah, and when the time was right, it came to pass?

Let me not go too biblical. I am sure there are certain times you have prayed and the answers to the prayer came when the Lord deemed the timing right. I believe there are certain words, prophesies and promises spoken to you that became manifest only in the fullness of time. The fullness of time could be immediately, a day later, a month later, a year later or even ten years later, or more.

And if you are in waiting, do not despair. Your fullness of time will come. In the meantime, here are some things you can consider.

1. God exists outside of time. He is not bound by nor limited by our time. While you, or those around you may feel that time is going and soon it will be too late, when He finally comes through, you will understand that His timing is perfect. The bible states that “Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age…” [Hebrews 11:11, KJV]. There was no medical condition of this child (Isaac) which was recorded to have been due to Sarah’s age, nor was it said recorded that she had issues during the 9 month journey due to her age. Indeed the Lord perfected the conception and childbirth despite Sarah’s age.

    2. God cannot lie. God is not a man, so He does not lie. He is not human, so He does not change His mind. Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through? [Numbers 23:19, NLT]. Hence if He has given you a dream, shown you a vision, or given you a word, it will come to pass. It does not matter when.

    3.God does not need ‘big faith’ to work with you. Yes the Bible says “But without faith it is impossible to please Him…” [Hebrews 11:6, KJV] but all He needs is a little faith. This is demonstrated in the scripture, "You don't have enough faith," Jesus told them. "I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." [Matthew 17:20, NLT]. Faith as small as a mustard seed could simply be a confession that ‘Lord, I cannot bear this on my own. I give it all to You because You are the only one who can help me through this situation’. Or it could be that revelation in your heart when a word of God comes alive in you, and you have that knowing that God is able, and your situation is settled in Him. Little faith is sufficient for Him.

  4. Prior to a breakthrough, it may seem as if the situation heightens in magnitude, almost crushing you beyond what you can bear. Imagine that Joseph had to go to prison before his breakthrough. Beloved, where there is life, there is hope. No matter what comes your way, you will overcome “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith” [1 John 5:4, NIV].

May your dreams come to reality.
Remain blessed.

The story of Joseph can be read in the Bible Genesis 37, 39 – 48.

Ajuju’ is an igbo word that means ‘Question’.