I do not have sufficient words to encompass the gratitude I feel for the love and commitment that was shown for Our Stories Series. I am so grateful to all the writers that contributed and the beautiful readers that not only read each post, but also shared it. I am grateful to the beautiful souls that showed more enthusiasm for this series than I probably did. I am so grateful to you Paul (Tamed designs) for helping with designs for the series even though you had a crazy amount of work load. Bless your heart love!
The series was a product of a communication I had with a precious soul during my period of doubt and I have watched this unintended, but very needful series touch lives including mine. Honestly, I am so grateful. I learnt so much from this series that I hate to see it end. Good thing is though it is ending, I know the lessons I have learnt will stay with me and I know these words that have been etched in the sand of greatness will always be there for me to re-read.
The series must come to an end at some point. Today is that day. I honestly didn’t want to share a story because I feel all the beautiful writers have said all I have to say, but I gave it a second thought and decided it wouldn’t be OUR story if my story is missing. So kindly read my story and share. I would not be a consistent blogger in the next few weeks. Please bear with me, but in the main time, remain awesome loves. Bless your hearts!
You cannot underestimate what you are doing because you don’t know who depends on that even if you are not aware of it. Do your part in the world- Pastor Aaron.
It had really been a long while since I cried the way I did after my book launch on the 19th of January (I am yet to post the many pictures from that day. I have been lazy, but I assure you that they will be posted soon). I cried like someone had ripped something out of me. I cried without exactly knowing the reason why. I cried and wished I could rewind the past few weeks. I felt choked by fears, doubts and insecurities. I was mad at God for giving me a gift and a heart that pushes to use that gift. I was mad at him for making me a perfectionist who always wants everything to be just perfect, meanwhile he knows life is a mess. I cried so much that no one could get to me. I was not even allowing God get to me at the time.
The beautiful souls that God has brought into my inner circle could not understand why I would even shed a tear, except it was a tear of joy. They were proud of me for taking a bold step. They were proud of me kick starting one of my many dreams. They were excited for me, but I was there; letting my mind be manipulated by doubts and fears. I was focusing on the silly mistakes the publishers made in the book. At that point, I wished my vision would have remained delayed. You see, I had the manuscript ready for almost two years before publication. In fact, I had already handed it over to the publishers who delayed me for almost two years. I was frustrated during those times and I held on to Habakkuk 2: 3. I wondered why they were trying to sabotage my vision for no good reason. Then the vision was finally realized and I wondered why it couldn’t have been delayed for a little more time. Human beings are funny, we want something one minute and do not want it the next.
I did not touch the manuscript since I handed it over the publishers. So when I held a copy of my book and went through it, I was mad at myself for writing the way I did. I thought to myself that my writing is far better. I wondered who would read the words I put in the book which I felt were archaic for a weird reason. I was devastated and slept like that.
It is a blessing to have people that believe in the gift God has given you and will stand in the gap on your behalf when you don’t see God through your gifts. It’s amazing to have people that will speak words that are clearly inspired by God and not the world. Those words are able to stir up your spirit man because they were drops from their source, which is also your source. I love God so much because he feels what we feel. He doesn’t ignore our feelings and emotions like they are not there. I believe when you are sad, God feels it cause the bible says he is in us. So I love the fact that he wasn’t trying to get me to act like I wasn’t sad. He is not pretentious that I could tell him that I am sad and this is why. And I love the fact that he listens and doesn’t start preaching at me ‘cause he knows beautiful stories can come out of my sad state. So he whispered soothing words in my soul and those words made me stronger than I would have been if I ignored my feelings and started pretending to be happy at the time. He wanted me to be real with him, and from that, I am able to tell you something’s now.
Last week, a friend said ‘I will be waiting for you at the top’. I smiled because indeed his ‘top’ has enough space to accommodate me if I want to go there. The thing is only aliens start great. So if you don’t start great, you should actually buy soy ice cream (I know soy ice cream might not sound so yummy. But trust me, its part of the good life) and congratulate yourself for being normal or extra-ordinary. Jokes apart, whether or not you feel you are doing nothing, start something and keep doing that good thing. Don’t trivialize the gifts and inspirations that the giver of all good things gives. I kid you not when I tell you that God always gives things of value. Why else do you think Solomon said a man’s gifts makes room for him and brings him before kings? (Proverbs 18: 16).
Like I wrote earlier, the beautiful writers have already said everything that needs to be said. I will just share some words that JT said to me:
You might not think you are doing something, but people outside might think you are. Don’t beat yourself up Mayowa. You have done a good job which can be better as we can always better our best.
So I am saying the same words that encouraged me to you. If you took a step, it’s not child’s play. So give yourself a pat on the back. The thing is, if you are courageous to take a step, then you are courageous enough to take other steps and you must keep taking steps because someone believes in you and is blessed by what you are doing.
For all the perfectionists out there or those just beating themselves up about the quality of what you have produced, please smile at the words of Akinwale to me:
We are human beings. We are allowed to make mistakes. Just give yourself room to grow.
Don’t shelf your gift and passion because you think its light is too dim and mediocre. No matter how dim the light is, it’s bright enough to help someone else see and pick up his own instrument of light.
And like my weird, weird, weird housemate, Simbiat said to me, ‘If you are not confident about your work, then how do you think people will be confident in it’.
I am not going to tell you that I feel like I am walking on sunshine yet about my work, but I feel good. The joy that took over my soul on the day that two primary school children whose dad had come for the book launch came to my house to see the writer who is now their role model. I missed them and because my mum promised that I was going to see them before traveling back, I had to wake up at 7am to see the kids before they left for school. It didn’t matter that I had to wake up early. Their ‘thank you’ to me humbled me. I looked to God and with tears in my eyes, I told him thank you. The kids finished reading the book in two days and were excited to tell their friends about it. If I should delve into the love and encouragement I have received from others who have read the book, this post will be longer than it already is.
You don’t have to feel good about your gifts before you use them. Your feelings are fickle and they should never determine your use of God’s entrusted resource to you.5