Of Birthdays and Reflections

A few weeks to my 21st birthday. I met my Lord. It wasn’t until months later that I began to understand what this new life meant. Then words broke through the dam of self righteousness and flowed like a river. The beginning of my pen and paper romance.
For many months after that I still played around with the world. Drifting between two opinions, trying hard to merge light and darkness and fit unequal yokes together. Flirting with the sons of Belial, barely seeing through the foggy lens of my foolishness.
Until something happened that forced my eyes to see the futility of my unblessed efforts. I saw the darkness for what it truly was. Then I heard His voice calling me deeper. His word broke me away from the ties that bind and entangle.
Just when I thought I was doing great and communing with Abba in Eden, a stranger tried to undo what God had sealed…thank God for His mercy! He said “no way, she is Mine”. And so I was shielded and hidden in the palm of His hand.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phillipians 3:12-14
I owe Him my life, now I urge you to partake of His goodness; to taste and see that the Lord is good. I invite you to meet my Lover and Saviour. His name is Jesus. He is the reason for my joyous hope, the story behind my flowing ink and the anchor that secures my glorious future.
The message is simple, only believe!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Olamide

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the making of a son

This poem is dear to my heart, it was written in 2014, a couple of hours to my 22nd birthday. It was initially titled ‘Reflections’ and has passed through the Refiner’s fire many times. It was ‘performed’ at Ablaze 2015 with over 600 freshmen in attendance.I pray it blesses your heart and draws you closer to Abba Father.

………….
My inheritance was the slavery that my fathers sought to keep
It became my own undoing
It was only natural that I walked in the path that was laid before me
And so my journey as a slave began

I was proud of my heritage
And I became an addict
To everything that looked good
My eyes were the end of me

I sold everything for my next fix
I thought that I would die without it
That was an illusion that he painted
And I believed every lie
I became primed for the next best thing
The newest drug on the market- ecstasy

Every high took me to cloud nine,
But the lows, took me to a place where
I thought of ten different ways to end my life
Where I set my clothes on fire
Broke dishes in anger

For it I sold my peace,
It was true love
He brainwashed me, filled my head with lies
Compelled me to forget the one who made me
Gave me something else to serve

I ran until I came to the end of myself
Until the ‘I Am’ found me; strung out and homeless
With bits and pieces of dignity
Worthless, not worth saving, suicidal
I cast my pearls among swine
Content with eating with dogs

Until, you pulled on the strings of my heart
And flooded my eyes with light
Your love for me is red-hot fire burning
Brick by brick, I lay down my walls
Beat by beat, my new heart beats in sync with yours
Step by step, our feet step
Stroke by stroke, my pen is yours

I will forever be chasing after you, as sure as the dawn,
As certain as the sun will rise
Your presence is my heaven, it is where I found myself
Where my mess became yours
You keep me from falling, you continually renew my strength
And you gave me the right to call you Abba
I choose You today, forever my all in all
Without You, living is a dead existence

(c) Olamide Oti, 2014

Machseh(Refuge)

As the tides rise
And my fears with it
My eyes search for the shore
Looking wildly for arms made with clay
As the waves billow
You test the limits of my trust
And ask me to come to You
With steps barely a whisper, I crawl

The ground quakes
Disintegrating into a million pieces
My mind spins frantically
Molding shoulders into existence
Discarding without a thought- precious promises
You heart speaks to mine, reminding me who You are
“Close your eyes and walk by faith” You say

You are my place of rest,
Inside of You I am secure,
Enclosed, shielded from the sun
Wrapped In the palm of Your hand
My eyes look afar off and all I see
Is men given in exchange for me
I will rest in hope
Quietly trusting in You

heartstrings

my mind is a hollow mess of a thousand echoes
bouncing off the walls of my heart
they whisper to me in loud voices
preying on labile feelings and desires

my gaze rests upon glitters and sparkles
with eyes like lust, I stare
coveting the things I cannot have
and the days long gone

this flesh made from clay
craves to be admired and adorned
it needs trophies and applause
it delights in vain glory

lIke the strings of a newly wound guitar
you pluck gently yet firmly
producing a melody so perfect it hurts
you hold out Your hand for a dance
my feet stay glued, tired from the journey of mistakes past

your eyes search mine gently,
I hear the words Your mouth need not speak,
“trust, put your hand in Mine, dance”
I see your eyes swim with tears
your hand is still held out
your body poised to dance with me

you strip me away gently
with hands like love
removing the debris upon my spirit
breathing me to life
you quiet my will firmly
with words like fire
setting me ablaze
breaking me to stillness

Life!

Hi guys! this is a short story written by my lovely sister and upcoming writer, Gbenga Oti. Enjoy! She would appreciate your kind thoughts too, there just might be a sequel.
……
I had waited so long for the day when I would walk down the aisle, with my arms locked into my fathers’ and my eyes set on the man I love. Everything was going as planned, the venue was booked and invitations were sent out.
He travelled for a business meeting. The meeting was successful, I was speaking to him as he was about to board a bus back to Germany, all of a sudden the line went dead and his mobile phone was switched off. I found this very strange as he never switches off his phone, maybe his battery died. An hour later, my mind went into overdrive, flooding itself with multiple scenarios of what could have happened, none of which were good.
The days that followed were tortuous; it is commonly said that “it’s better for someone to die than go missing”, then I understood, you grieve everyday hoping that they will return. I couldn’t sleep, eat or concentrate on my work. I contacted the Embassy and the police in Sweden; I got the standard reply “we are working on it”, this was really frustrating. I could not just sit around and do nothing, what if he had been kidnapped, but why wasn’t anyone calling for a ransom, was he dead? but NO that cannot be. A week later, my phone rang, it was HIM, he said he would be back and the line went dead. He was alive, that was good enough for me.
Then again, two weeks of silence, I could not contact him. I began to worry again; at this point the date of our wedding had passed by, my dream wedding was in shambles, my man nowhere to be found.
A month later, the embassy finally responded, he was arrested for paying for a bus ticket for some men he had just met over lunch. These men were illegal immigrants (unknown to him), his story was verified. I was so happy all this was over, and he would be back by weekend.
Or so I thought…

One day soon

One day soon, our pens will no longer
be melancholic, hoping for change.
Soon our ink will dance on paper,
happy that the days we longed for are here

Those who profited
from a sad narrative- a tale of woes
will search for the words to describe
the joy on our children’s faces

They will sit before
blank sheets and black pens,
praying for the words to describe
our new streets of gold

One day soon, our pens will no longer
be melancholic, hoping for change.
Soon our ink will dance on paper,
happy that the days we longed for are here
(C)Olamide Oti

Black Roses

black

In a voice dripping with so much empathy it was disgusting, they doled out rehearsed lines, a million times retold. “We are truly sorry madam, we did our best to save her”. Those were not the words i was expecting to hear, this was not a possible scenario. I was supposed to become her mother today, now I’m not sure who I am. “Oko  yin nko“, the nurse was asking me where Ade was, like I was supposed to know. Knowing his whereabouts was not my problem. It was his mother’s. My mind, traitor that it is, remembers. it remembers exactly why this was not supposed to happen.

…………..
“Mum, I’m pregnant”. I blurted out the truth I had known for weeks, as her eyes travelled from her pot to my eyes, I knew she had already figured it out. “Whose is it?”, she asked, “is it that stupid boyfriend of yours?” her voice heavy with disappointment and dangerously veiled anger. She stirred the stew with so calmly that I thought she was going to pour it all over me. She proceeded to tell me what I already knew, she expected more, with eyes glistening with tears, she told me my options, the ones she was willing to give me. “Tokunbo, listen to me very carefully, you can either get an abortion(which is illegal in my country) or you can marry him. If you’re old enough to have a baby, you’re ready for marriage.” Then the real speech began, how she a single mother struggled to put me through school when my father(whom I had never met) left. Then the tears began while I watched, dry eyed.
Two weeks later, mummy Tokunbo dragged me to my future in-laws house to explain how their son and I were stupid enough to put a fetus in my body. His parents were pastors, they had a reputation to uphold. It was decided, we would get married. I was a fresh graduate, he had just finished his service year. He said he loved me, that was before this alien invaded my body, now he looks at me with contempt. I barely remember if the sex was good now, apparently condoms are no guarantee.
His parents would pay for the wedding. Mama Tokunbo had no husband, I was her mistake too. I wish I could tell you that it was perfect, that I wore a lovely white dress, that my father walked me down the aisle. I wish Ade looked at me like I was the only virgin in the room, but that would be a sweet delusion.
I had a dress, it was yellow and it was ugly. I walked down the aisle alone. Their stares were like daggers, they wondered how I could break my poor mother’s heart after all she did to support me Their thoughts ended with ‘like mother, like daughter’, I’m sure. Halfway down, it chose that epic moment to kick.
Ade could barely look at me, He blamed me for being the irresponsible womb that chose to carry his alien. At least, he showed up, albeit unshaven, dishelved, and hung over. What is left of what is right for us is this façade of a marriage built on guilt, and a never-ending blame game.
In my mind’s eye, I tried to imagine what our lives together would be like. Would he become an alcoholic? Would he give up on us? Would he love it? Would he be the father it needed? What would become of it? Could I love it? Would it repeat my mistakes?
I slowly walked down the aisle to my new life, a spineless bag of fears and doubts. The deep baritone voice of the pastor told me that I had reached the altar and it cut into my thoughts unapologetically as he asked, “do you take this man to be your lawful wedded husband?”, with such expectation. My mother’s eyes told me what I must say. I wondered if she would live with him and cook his meals. I allowed myself that playful thought before I heard myself say ‘yes’, when I wanted to scream ‘no’ from the rooftops.

………….
The tears would never be enough, I held her for all of five seconds before she turned blue and stopped breathing. I was supposed to be a mother, she was supposed to make him smile at me again. My heart is ice cold, barely beating beneath my chest, if I could go back…

END

Author’s note: This is based on a true story. There is nothing new under the sun, but a story though a thousand times retold should never lose its ability to stir our hearts.
Olamide

Let’s talk about weddings!

Source: Google images
Source: Google images

it has been a great journey so far with you guys. I decided to do something interesting this month.I would be inviting different writers to write on the above theme. If you would also like to contribute send in your story or poem to my email. Entries should be between 350-600 words. Sorry there’s no reward or anything yet, this is for the love of the pen. It closes on 17th April, 2016. I am sorry in advance if your entry is not published.
Cheers to April, our month of weddings!

Looking ahead

Yesterday was the day your life changed, when the house of cards you built on loftily crafted plans came crashing down. Buried deep within the rubble of despair are your hopes and dreams. Your trust flickers with each pang of sorrow as the darkness looms.
The pain will last for a night, but joy comes with the dawn of a new day. Perhaps like Jesus, you are here to learn obedience or like Sarah, patience
Tilt your chin upwards, let the scales fall. Look! See the place that I have been preparing for you, do not look to the left or to the right. What lies ahead is more glorious than what has passed.
Before you are jars of untapped grace, your eyes see them not- clouded by worries that you exalt above Me. Cast your burdens upon My shoulders and draw your strength for tomorrow.
My plans for you are bigger than your narrow field of vision can see. Look ahead child, and stand like Daniel, obey like Noah, fight like Joshua, trust like Abraham.
Daybreak is coming, its light will pierce the darkness. Be still and know that I Am. Soon, you shall laugh!
(c) Olamide Oti, 2015

This piece was written about a year ago, at the time I had not yet experienced its words. It was based on a theme and written for a church program. Yesterday, I experienced its words and I know that I’m not alone. I pray it blesses and encourages you as it has me.
Rom 8:37(NLT) “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us”.

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