Don’t Waste The Pain


“Don’t waste the pain-
let it prove thee.
Don’t stop the tears-
let them cleanse thee.
Rest, cease the striving-
Soon you’ll be arriving
in His arms.
Don’t waste the pain-
let it drive thee
deeper into God.
He’s waiting,
and you should have
come sooner.”

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Of Reports and the Likes…


Errmm… Happy New Month, guys. It’s been forever, I know *covers face*. I can’t even think of a suitable excuse… There’s none. I’ve missed this space, can’t even lie. I have missed you!!!!
A lot has been going on. Is it just me or has this year been super fast?
Anyway, this post is an update of sorts.

*I quit my job, finally! Yes, I did it. I mentioned that I took my annual leave at the beginning of the year. After taking out time to clear my head and pray about it, I dropped my letter of resignation in February. It’s not the easiest thing I’ve done, but it’s so worth it!

* Some opportunities will never come to you until you make room in your life (and in your heart). I’ve gotten so many offers in this past month, it’s amazing. Like, where were y’all when I needed a break from the drab job?!

* I’ve learned that God’s timing is perfect. I’ve learned that God knows what He is doing. He knows! The Bible isn’t just a book of fictional stories.

* When God told me last year that He was calling me to trust Him without borders in 2014, I thought I knew what He meant. Boy, was I in for a shocker. I had my plans for the year all laid out; with His approval, of course, or so I thought. So when things weren’t working out as I’d hoped, I wanted to scream, to cry, to break things. Then He reminded me, “Kov, trust me without borders”. I’m so glad I did. The story is still unfolding, but it is a good one! Trust me.

* The plan to travel the world has begun. Hallelujah! Starting with road-tripping around Nigeria, we will get there. Had the most epic weekend… Took a road trip to Badagry and Abeokuta with a group of awesome people. Now we are going to make a thing of it. Yes! You can check it out on Tumblr: Yellow Mitsubishi, Twitter: @YelloMitsubishi, or Instagram: Yellowmistubishi.

* There’s a words project coming up sometime this month that I’m a part of. I’ll share details as time goes on. In the meantime, you can follow @LeFaireDuMots on Twitter.

I may have an announcement to share with you soon. *fingers crossed*
There’s so much I have to say but it can’t all go up in one post. Hopefully, soon I can arrange my schedule properly and have enough time to write.
Thanks for all the love in my absence ( yes, I’m back).

Love and light,
Kov!

When Someone Else Says It Better…


Because sometimes I find myself here…

The Skeptic Goes To Sunday School – Joshua Bennett.
One.
The first time I imagined
what being in hell would feel like
I was six years old.
In an attempt to scold me for my disobedience at home
my aunt quotes the book of Exodus, Chapter 20, Verse 12.
Honor thy father and mother, so that thy days may be long, in the land.
She says it as a threat.
An attempt to curb my habit of letting the tongue run wild.
Lest it lead me right to death’s door.
It wasn’t the words themselves.
But the ashes in her teeth when she said them.
How the scripture wrapped itself like a blanket of knives
around my tiny body.
I was so small then.
Barely a coffee stain on the backseat of my mother’s Toyota Camry.
She drives a silver Volvo now.
It looks like one of God’s nickels gone missing.
I sometimes feel the same way.
As if something wonderful in me
has evacuated its throne.
Two.
I’ve wanted to be a pastor ever since I was in kindergarten.
Would run up and down the stairs of my home
preaching sermons that I had made up on the spot.
I’d be lying,
if I could tell you that I remember exactly what I preached about back then.
But what I do recall,
is the electricity in my parent’s faces.
How they hung their hopes on every single word.
The world’s smallest congregation
gathered in our family dining room to hear their son
expound upon the nature of joy.
Using words like faith and super-strength interchangeably.
Three.
I spend most nights failing to pray
that that boy is not dead yet.
That there is still something my mother would still call holy about these hands.
Though I have come to trust them
So much more than the words that used to shepherd my steps.
The scripture
that would flow like a news ticker across my mind’s eye.
Sometimes, it feels like i’m in a battle royale
with a room full of younger, more devout Joshuas
and it’s not that I don’t have the will to win,
but that my eyes are too full of tears to see where i’m swinging.
Four.
The day before what would have been my first sermon
I wrote a one page email to the pastor of my church,
saying that I would not be showing up.
Saying, I’m sorry for sending this so late.
But I cannot proclaim what I no longer know to be true.
I have forgotten the shape of my Lord’s face.
Five.
The hardest part about starting graduate school is not the work.
It was the realisation that my faith had made me into some sort of zoo exhibit.
The day one of my white male colleagues saw a pocket-sized bible in my backpack
and laughed in my face.
The Ten Commandment jokes
thrown like flawless javelins across the room
hitting no one but me.
I remember
calling my friend Ashon in tears
how everything changed,
when he told me,
They will always try something
but do not let them send you home.
They have not earned that right.
Six.
Two months ago
My three year old nephew looks in the sky
and asks
How come when I pray
God doesn’t speak back?
I wanted to say,
of course He does Miles
just look at your mother’s face.
Gaze into her frozen lake eyes
and lose yourself in all that glow.
Nephew,
There is so much that we simply do not know.
So much beauty to be found
in the depths of an honest question.
Seven.
I am done with running.
Finished with feeding the feeling that my parents’ religion
is an electric fence with everlasting arms
that there was only one way to live
to love
to see
what is invisible to the eye
but readily apparent to the voice inside
my grandmother’s prayers
are a suit of armour
that I will wear
until the day that these bones break free.
I just want my life to be a light.
a megaphone
blaring Agha Shahid Ali
Prisons
open your gates
a refugee from belief seeks a cell tonight.
These are not poems anymore
This is me
trying to build a diorama of heaven for the people I love
May all fear be expelled tonight.

Because I do not always get it. Because I do not always see it. Because sometimes I want to understand what I ought only to trust. Because trapped within the multicoloured layers of self-doubt is a woman yearning to keep up with the journey; not to become, but to grasp the concept of being, and along the way enjoy “carefully curated pieces of happiness”. Because we are not always broken.
May all fear be expelled tonight…

Love & Light,
Kov!

Off The Playlist – Glorious Ruins


Glorious Ruins is one of my favourite songs from the Hillsong 2013 album of the same name. The first time I heard this song, it shook me to my core.
There is nothing/no one too ruined that God cannot transform. I know we hear things like this all the time but let it really sink in. What area of your life do you think is beyond repair? How damaged do you feel? Think about it. I’m not talking about the mess that you feel you can wipe away with a little prayer and a few drops of the blood. I mean the secrets that you’ve buried in the deepest, darkest recesses of your heart. That part you don’t remember until you’re lying alone in the dark. That story that no one else knows. The hurt that you feel even God cannot understand. Yeah, that one. From that lowest of the low where you’ve sunk to, allow God reach you right there. He sees, He knows. He wants to bring beauty out of those very same ashes. He wants to make the ruins glorious. He wants to show forth His glory through those scars. He wants you to experience His love right there in the filth, so you too can sing, “I will love You forever…”

When the mountains fall
And the tempest roars You are with me
When creation folds
Still my soul will soar on Your mercy

I’ll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I’ll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace

Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your Name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign

And my soul will find refuge
In the shadow of Your wings
I will love You forever
And forever I’ll sing

When the world caves in
Still my hope will cling to Your promise
Where my courage ends
Let my heart find strength in Your presence

I’ll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I’ll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace

Let the ruins come to life
In the beauty of Your Name
Rising up from the ashes
God forever You reign

And my soul will find refuge
In the shadow of Your wings
I will love You forever
And forever I’ll sing

I really didn’t plan to post anything today but this song came up on my playlist as I was praying this morning, and I had the same experience like I did the first time I heard it. It can never get too dark for God’s light to shine through. He’s right here, even in the ruins. And He makes all things beautiful… Rising from the ashes… Glorious!

Prisoners of Promise


January is almost over. I’ve not decided exactly how I feel about that. On the one hand, my ‘break’ is coming to an end and I can finally start off with what the rest of 2014 holds (all the planning can finally start coming together) and that’s a good thing, but on the other hand, I’ll have to get out of my comfort zone and basically start from scratch with a lot of things… Ouch! I mentioned before that I took January off work but it hasn’t exactly being a lazy month. I’m moving on to a new phase of my life that has me both excited and scared and I wanted a ‘chill period’ in between. Surprisingly, I’ve been quite busy but I’ve loved (almost) every minute of it.
You know how at the beginning of the year a lot of people spend time with God getting direction for the year ahead, some take a fast and what not. Well, I’m one of those who is super excited about all that my Abba has promised me in 2014. I generally try not to get too excited about things so if it doesn’t work out, I don’t get disappointed. With 2014 however, I can’t help myself. I’m super psyched to see these promises come to pass.
A few days ago, I ‘accidentally’ found myself in a meeting and the teacher was talking about the need for perseverance. Now, that’s one message a lot of Christians these days do not want to hear. We like the ‘feel-good’ messages, and the slap-happy ‘easy-believism’. And yes, God has promised us a lot of good and perfect things but we refuse to see that these often come with trials.
Psalm 105 16-22 “16 He called for a famine on the land of Canaan,
cutting off its food supply. 17 Then he sent someone to Egypt ahead of them—
Joseph, who was sold as a slave. 18 They bruised his feet with fetters
and placed his neck in an iron collar. 19 Until the time came to fulfil his dreams,
the LORD tested Joseph’s character. 20 Then Pharaoh sent for him and set him free;
the ruler of the nation opened his prison door. 21 Joseph was put in charge of all the king’s household;
he became ruler over all the king’s possessions. 22 He could instruct the king’s aides as he pleased
and teach the king’s advisers.”

Joseph had been given a dream (a promise) of greatness. God had shown him a beautiful picture of the future. But the process sure didn’t look beautiful. Look at verse 19, it was the Lord who tested Joseph’s character until the time for the fulfilment came. King James Version puts it this way:  “Until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him.”
It is true that the Lord has promised you wonderful things but be rest assured that promise will attract problems. The journey between where you are now and the fulfilment of that promise will not be without problems. The fact that God promised a thing doesn’t guarantee smooth sail to the final destination. There will be nights, but morning WILL come. These challenges are there to build character in you. “To your faith, add patience”. Your faith is incomplete without endurance. Let it do it’s work!

James 1:2-4 “2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

Most of the time when these trials come, we want to pray our way out of it as quickly as possible. When that doesn’t seem to be working, our faith starts to waiver. We begin to question the things that God has said to us. We become unsure and allow depression kick in. One translation of James 1:4 says, “don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do it’s work…” Don’t be quick to say God has abandoned you. Let the challenge do it’s work!
As you patiently (and joyfully) go through these not so pleasant experiences, remember that God hasn’t abandoned you.
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.”(NLT)
“Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.” (THE MESSAGE)
Habakkuk 2:3 “3 This vision is for a future time.
It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,
for it will surely take place.
It will not be delayed.”

So maybe you’re still basking in the euphoria of His promises, excited and eagerly anticipating, or maybe you’ve already come down from the ‘high’ and you’re already being knocked about on every side… Be encouraged. You’re a prisoner of His promise. At the appointed time, it will show forth. ENJOY the process.
2Peter 1:5-8 “5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Okay, sermon over *phew*. Lol! Pastors try o. We hear these things all the time though, why is it so easy for us to forget when the trials come?! No more, Amen? Hehe.

Peace & light,
Kov!

P.S. If you have any specific requests for 2014 (or whatever) and you’d like someone to join faith with you in prayer, I’d love to. Please leave a comment here or send me an email.

20.01.14


*Of nonsensical jumble of words…

I haven’t been able to write for sometime now. I could have a subject of interest. Subjects. I could also have the words, but only in my head. And there seems to be a disconnect between that place where the words are stored, and the fingers that should eventually transform them to actual, readable work. The ton of unfinished poetry sitting quietly in my drafts, do not count.
I have however taken to reading instead. As many things as I can lay my hands on. Books. Blogs. Magazines. Oh, I’ve also become addicted to Tumblr. Words. Pictures. Random ideas. It’s just beautiful. The goal is to read at least a hundred books this year. Possible, if I read at least two books a week. I’m currently on my sixth.
*NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, is my favourite so far. It’s funny without even trying to be. And the humour doesn’t take away from the seriousness of it. It was quite a lovely read.

Making music is such a beautiful thing. I really hope I do not screw it up at some point. Someone asked me yesterday if my music was ‘marketable’. I think what he meant, really, was that Nigerians only listened to one genre of music. And as a music-loving Nigerian, I was slightly offended. Only slightly though, because in reality…. I’d rather not go there. I’ve shared my music with only a handful and well… I guess those who will love it, will. It’s impossible to make music (or anything really) for everyone.

I took January off work. Best. Decision. Ever.

The greatest thing about 2014 for me, is the promise of laughter. Just you wait and see.

I love my church for many reasons, one of which is the opportunity given to everyone to use their talents. And if for some reason you’re not exactly sure what it is, the ‘trial and error’ friendly policy works in your favour. How else would I have known that I could work in video production? Or actually enjoy being in front of a camera? Motion camera. Or love editing and publication? Endless possibilities.

Haaaaayyy! I finally learned to drive stick. I still hate it though… But at least now when I’m asked if I know how to drive, I can say yes without having to worry about Efe’s voice in my head saying driving automatic cars isn’t really driving. In related news, I also learned how to beg an agbero… Errrm something about a major dent on a commercial bus, and a missing headlight from my mother’s Mercedes. Long story.

I should put an end to this rambling. And pray that the writing comes back. In the meantime, enjoy what’s available.

I just looked up from this screen to find the guitar staring back at me. Hmmm… Someone will be getting a Voicenote tonight.

Peace, love, and laughter,
Kov!

Update (Of Sorts)… Heart Of The Matter.


I’ve grown accustomed to the sound of my laughter. Isn’t that a funny thing to say? But I have. I hear it so often now, it warms my soul. I can’t see much of a difference between then and now. It’s the type of joy that I can’t explain. I guess it’s a heart thing. For the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost…
The endless giggling and continuous smiling, even when I don’t have reason to… Especially when I don’t have reason to. D had to look through my phone searching for the source of my ‘entertainment’. He pronounced joy wrong. And you won’t find it there, Sir, it’s a heart thing.
Recent decisions have brought on serious questioning, and in some cases, chastising… Are you out of your mind?! I believe I am. Out of the mind I’ve allowed myself believe was mine, because that’s what was expected of me. And in the midst of the craziness, I laugh. You wonder why? Darling, it’s a heart thing.
I’ve stopped trying to figure it out. I no longer want to make sense of it. It’s here, it’s now. For the fruit of the Spirit is… joy…
I delight myself in Him who grants the desires of my heart. Even when I don’t see it. Because, my friend, it truly is a heart thing.

Dear God… Because You Bid Me Come.


*Prayer for 2014…

Dear Abba,
Here I am, literally at ground-zero… I understand that this is the best place to start. I come to You with nothing but a heart that wants to love You, eyes that long to see You, hands that yearn to feel You. I come with nothing but my faith and a willingness to go wherever You lead. An enthusiasm to walk on water, not because I have the ability to float, but simply because You bid me come. A desire to say yes to whatever You will. I come to You with all that I have, all that is me.
Eternally Yours,
K.

Promises For 2014


Happy New Year!! (Better late than never :-))
As the new year unfolds, I am reminded of some of the lessons Abba taught me in 2013 that I plan to hold on to in 2014…

  • Count it all joy… (James 1:2). It’s best to accept now that hard times will come, there will be trials, it will get rough. It’s also wise to know before hand that the process is for my own good. I can rejoice in it. I can look forward to its building and developing me into the person Abba wants me to be.
    “2. Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” – James 1:2-4
  • Consider the lilies… (Luke 12:27). And when it begins to feel like I can’t catch a break, or like He’s abandoned me, or like I’m not making any headway… When I can’t stop my mind from worrying, or I’m beginning to lose faith, I will consider the lilies.
    “22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?
    26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?
    27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.
    28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
    29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs.
    31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.
    32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
    33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.
    34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
  • Luke 12:22-34

  • To whom would I go… (John 6:68). No matter how turbulent it gets, I’ve made up my mind already, I am stuck to Him. Really, where would I go? To whom would I turn? Who’s a better option? And when my heart is overwhelmed, it is to Him I would run.
    “Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.” John 6:68
  • As sure as the dawn… (Hosea 6:3). Though the manifestation of His promises may tarry, I will wait for Him. He will show forth, as sure as the dawn. If He promised it, He will fulfil it. He watches over His word to perform it. Therein lies my confidence.
    1 “Come, let us return to the LORD.
    He has torn us to pieces;
    now he will heal us.
    He has injured us;
    now he will bandage our wounds. 2 In just a short time he will restore us,
    so that we may live in his presence. 3 Oh, that we might know the LORD!
    Let us press on to know him.
    He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn
    or the coming of rains in early spring.”
    Hosea 6:1-3
  • Customised pathway… (Psalm 32:8). I trust Him to direct me along the best pathway for my life in 2014. If He says, “this is the way”, I will not hesitate to walk in it. Abba knows best. He leads me along the pathway He specifically customised just for me. Whoop!
     The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
    I will advise you and watch over you.”
    Psalm 32:8
  • Anyone excited about 2014 yet? With promises like these, why wouldn’t I be? 😀

    Giveaway Winner!


    Hello everyone,
    Hope we all had a great holiday? It’s back to work for me today *sob*
    So the giveaway ended yesterday. A big THANK YOU to everyone who participated. Today, we pick our winner. If you don’t win this one, there’ll be another giveaway soon enough.
    To select a winner, I used a Random Name Picker.
    Without further ado, *cue drum roll*
    Our winner is…

    TIWA!!!
    Congratulations girl! I’ll contact you via email with your amazon gift card for Warsan Shire’s Teaching My Mother How To Give Birth, Binyavanga Wainaina’s One Day I Will Write About This Place, and Lola Shoneyin’s Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.

    Love and chicken grease,
    Kovie.