So I’ve been in a slump lately. This sounds very reminiscent to previous posts but I guess that’s life (LOL.) I’ve felt so stagnant in my relationship with Christ and instead of doing something about it, the voices in my head have encouraged me to remain stagnant, to remain empty, to remain unmotivated.
However this soon changed after hearing about the loss of my friend, Kika Onyibe whom I went to secondary school with for 3 years. Life was placed in a new type of perspective. Despite the tears, the fear of ‘whose next’ and the immense pain I felt for her family and loved ones, I was given a special word to adhere to. I was given a new sense of hope because she lived her life so unashamedly for Christ and it was noticed. Countless tweets and tributes showcased the beautiful legacy Kika left because she allowed God to move within her and through her, touching lives even beyond death. WOW, even as I type this I’m seeing more and more that Kika moulded her life to look like that of Christ’s. I am inspired to say the least.
After scrolling through all the things various people had to say, there were a few tweets that resonated in my soul:
I have decided to give my life to Christ – not once, not twice but MANY TIMES. Like the number is not known simply because it has been that frequent. Giving my life this many times is not even the problem I’ve been able to identify. It’s the dwelling in Christ that has been my issue. Going back and forth, being pulled by what Tolu wants for Tolu instead of what God wants for Tolu has simply been the most draining experience because I am left feeling the same way every.single.time – E M P T Y. I am left feeling envious about other people’s growth instead of feeling inspired and focusing on my own. Can you imagine, it got so deep I was even jealous of Kika & her growth in Christ at some point after I heard of her death – EVEN AFTER HER DEATH!!!!
This is when I could see there was a deep issue. I was not focusing on Christ but rather focusing on my feelings. I was deeply fixated on appearing perfect and maintaining this sense of perfection in my life even in front of my own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I wanted to be able to tick off certain things on my list to ensure I had reached a level of ultimate perfection and when certain things like having a boyfriend, or enjoying my degree to the fullest weren’t ticked off – I began to feel incomplete. As though all these things were meant to be the source of my satisfaction.
But, NO. These feelings I felt and still feel as I type this have been proven false. And I’ll tell you how.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” ~ Luke 9:24-25
I never understood what this meant before. And this is simply because I NEVER LET GO. I never let go of the life I’d created and I believed was perfect for me. I never let go of the ‘I’ and let God take control. I’d always say ‘God is in control’ but was he really? Did I let him? I was focusing on MY dreams & aspirations, MY plans, MY hopes but never His. He who says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28). He who holds my life in His hands. He who knows best. I was so fixated on being in charge of every aspect of my life that I ended up disappointing myself – every single time. Hence why there was no growth. There can’t be growth where there’s no water or light.
Jesus offers water: “but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14)
Jesus offers light: “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)
My seed was stagnant because I ‘received’ it but then suddenly hid deep in the soil of the world when He was giving it to me. The soil of the world ended up betraying me because nothing lasts forever. Everything in this life – my Topshop Joni Jeans, my Ruby Woo lipstick, my Taylor Lautner doll – everything is perishable, including life. So I’ve found that when you place all your trust and hope in fleeting desires, in things God has not picked out to be yours, in a life that lacks his presence and approval you will be DISAPPOINTED. No ifs, ands or buts about it. It’s fact – a fact I’ve experienced time and time again.
A lot of the time, I’ve felt like a broken record to God. Like that annoying child who repeats theirs words over and over again but never means them. It’s led to me to stay away from Him for time on end simply due to this shame and false belief that he won’t want me back. This is a LIE the devil tells us because his plan is to keep us away from Christ. Because Christ says: ” Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) He wants that relationship and is so ready to enjoy it with you as long as you can lose your life for Him. The life you are sure is yours, The Tolu I believe I am means nothing. He’s been wanting to re-define me and I’ve been running out of the sheer fear that I will lose my identity when that’s the exact opposite of what will happen. And what’s more beautiful about this all is that He wants the real Tolu. Not the ‘perfect’ Tolu I’ve tried to create. But the raw & real Tolu.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” ~ Luke 9:23
‘Deny themselves’: THE RE-DEFINITION, allowing God to tell you who you are and be on the other side of the mirror affirming who this person is.
‘Take up their cross daily’: THE ACCEPTANCE, coming as you are with all your baggage, all your mistakes, all the things you’re ashamed of, all your skeletons and presenting yourself before Him.
‘Follow me’: THE JOURNEY, letting Him lead the way.
I apologise if all of this seems like a spew of words that lacks cohesion but I’m writing exactly as it comes to me.
It’s scary letting go. It’s scary taking that step. It’s scary identifying the blemishes and realising you need help. I am not perfect no matter how much I try to make it seem that way. But God loves me anyway. He loves me and he loves you and He wants you, NOW more than ever.
So I’m letting God re-define me and trying to draw near to Him, as much as I possibly can because time & time again I’ve seen I cannot do it on my own. I’ve seen that there really was no point in me trying to steer the wheel because I’m clearly a shitty driver and so I’m handing over ALL control to the driver of all drivers, the one who surpasses the Lewis Hamilton’s of this world – to my Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.
I will be making changes to my life, to this blog, to my mindset, to my approach to things. And these changes I know not of but He knows and He knows best.
May the Peace of God that transcends all understanding be with you and His Love engulf you today & always, AMEN.
With all my love,