Woman with the Issue of blood, Jesus Christ, Savior, Faith, praise and worship, notsoskinnydreams

Women of Blood

A couple of days ago, I attended a service of ordination, of a fellow church member. It was held in a place very far from our own church and in a room with many people I did not know. There came a point where we, the audience, were to give our offerings. I sat with a few aunties from my own church. Upon hearing the call for offering, they smiled broadly as if they had been personally called to the front. I wondered at all the smiles and why they were bustling about as if in preparation for something. Then I saw the flags come out. Large, brightly colored and decorated flags were thrown in the air by these excited older women. Then one was thrust in my own hand. The flag trailed orange, yellow and red colors as if it would catch on fire at any moment. I hesitated at first then grasped it firmly, myself grinning from ear to ear. As the thrumming and rhythm of the choir and band’s music took up and shook the building, we shook along with it. I led the way to the front of the church waving my flame colored flag, aunties behind me jigging and singing along with the choir and waving high their flags.

In the not so distant past I would have been too embarrassed to join in. I would’ve smiled demurely at the expectant aunties and shook my ahead, staying firmly rooted to my seat. That was before I realized what God had taken me through. You know when you die to your flesh because God demands it of you to be all His. That moment when I gave up what I’d thought the world could offer me and gave myself to Jesus Christ, because I had nothing else to live for but him. Instead of living because life was worth living, I lived because he was worth living for. It took an extremely tough time in my life that broke me, to decide between life and death. I chose death, death to the world so I could have ever lasting life through Jesus Christ. I’d seen what the world was capable off and it was Ugly. God saw my brokenness and made a new shell for me to fill.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

What I understood that day as I waved my flag high, as high as my arm could reach, was that, that death and resurrection connected me to these women. My church aunties who danced and sang, praising the lord, as if nothing else mattered. In their movements you could see a similar pattern of old pain healed and joy in a savior that had heard their cry. We were women like Hagar who at one point were struggling on our own, crying to ourselves, and seeking help or death when He heard us, saw us (Gen 16: 7-14). Or like the woman with issue of blood who had nothing else to lose but to believe that one touch from Him, even just his garment would give us a new life (Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48). That shared knowledge that Jesus Christ was the only reason we were alive today, made us the same despite our differences in age, tribe, and character. As our motley crew swayed, stomped and waved our flags around the room, we gave no care to the room full of gawkers we did not know, nor to how we must seem. All we knew was our audience was not in the rows of strangers, but in a higher seat we could not see with our eyes.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18

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The More I Seek You

Some time ago I had a quiet event that changed me forever.

I stood in church – heart swollen, eyes swollen, pained and loved. There’s that moment during worship when your worries and God’s love collides. The later enveloping the former, in a moment peace settles.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT

My troubles were numerous. They crowded my mind and pinched my nerves. Mimicking darklings that crouched just in my periphery, with claws extended ready to dig into me at any sign of weakness. Sometimes I’d sit or lay still, allowing myself to recede to my core. There I could curl within myself and wrap quiet around me snuggly. In those moments, nothing reached me. Not disparate finances, family wahala, brokenness, fear… absolutely nothing. Even then my corporeal body continued to play. My face would smile and my limbs would move in their own due process. In this way, I lived.

This Sunday, felt a bit different. Maybe I was tired of playing or maybe God was tired of it. There’s a point in worship when you realize you’re being singled out. People around you are moving and singing but it feels far away from you. At least it felt that way for me. If you asked me to recall the song we sang, no answer would come. Nor do I recall who sat with me or who led worship or ministered that day. What I do remember was feeling open. It was as if I was cracked open and filled till my spirit ran over. Did I hear His voice? Or his gentle whispers? I wish I could tell you I did. That He spoke to me as we speak to each other – in words and phrases and with a voice. However voice or no voice, I did feel we’d spoken. His words were not words but feelings and confirmations and words that were not encased in edges or hard lines. If man spoke by mind and not by mouth it might be similar. For the purposes of relating to you some of what was spoken, I will try to lay words down as best as I can.

“Why do you worry so? Am I not your Father with which all things are possible? You have such little faith in my faith in YOU. My love is not limited by your frailties and weaknesses. Your sin forgiven is gone. Washed white as snow and never remembered again. Accept what is new and LOVE as you were meant to. Joy is your name for reasons you do not fully understand yet. A Joy you will be and a Joy you have been. Forgive those who have hurt you. As I have forgiven you who have hurt me numerous times over. Most importantly forgive yourself. In that forgiveness, you will set yourself free. Get to know me again Little Eghonghon . . “

Little Eghonghon is my name from when I was very little. In just a simple name, so much meaning was relayed. I understood that He wanted me to be childlike again in my faith. Only in this way would I be able to accept Him fully and gain the Kingdom. He “spoke” of much more that I choose not to write here. Since then a lot has changed. I can’t tell you the same troubles that belabored my steps then have all gone. No they haven’t. In fact they’ve multiplied. However I can tell you that I am very happy. Doesn’t make sense, right? The thing is, my perspective has changed immensely. The bigger the conflict the more I get a chance to strengthen my faith. The troubles are there but my faith says they are taken care of in due time. My hope says my testimony will be great. My love that is ever growing says love covers all good and bad. Sometimes we need to be broken to reach a humble place where we can see God truly and depend on him fully. I was so overly independent, strong headed, and proud that brokenness was the only way for me to change. A change that I am still taking on day by day, scripture by scripture, prayer by prayer. My old ambitions and regrets have gone and new life has taken its place.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Cor 5:17 NLT