Her Story, XXXVI

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers who has asked to stay Anonymous

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

My story isn’t a story of strife or anguish
My story isn’t a story of blood shed
My story isn’t a story of loss of a loved one

My story is a story of pain and fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Would I ever be good enough? To anyone?.
I sob as i ask myself.

I try, I swear I do… but nothing is enough, nothing has ever beenn. I write this not this day, with tears burning down my cheeks and streaming like a waterfall while hearing the hurtful words in my head, not by strangers, not by enemies, not by passers by but by those who bore me. ‘You’re a dissapointment to this family’ and ‘I’m dissapointed in you’ are interchangably the stars of the show once the hurling begins.

Each year I always try and delve into something, anything at all that’ll make dem proud but I fail harder each time I try. First of all, I was the best of the best when it came to school work, academically I sas unbeatable, unstoppable, best in all 14 course-works (subjects), 1st position for 8 yrs straight meaning it took me 24 terms to realize that I wasn’t good enough and all  those fancy prices and stuff did them no good, made them no proud so I started doing it for me and it was a downward spiral.

That decision I regret forever.

Then I started doing sports. I have at least a medal in each sport. I do competitions and all and yet again, I was unstoppable, it became unfathomable swimming, running, ballet, gymnastics, even started playing table tennis and then when I hit the track, it was like love at first flight … yet, the hurtful words kept coming ‘I am dissapointed in you’. Sometimes honestly ’cause of those words I look into the mirror and all I see is a constant failure and a laughing stock, a laughing stock because I keep getting up to try again. My musical career was forthcoming and on the rise, at this point I could do no wrong, that’s what I thought, I was coached by the great pastor Kunle Ajayi and I rendered a solo for the General Overseer of the RCCG and all I wanted was a ‘I’m proud of you’.

But then…

It never came, it never ever and it hurts more than anything in the world. it’s not a shocker the next words that came. The series continued nd then an additional phrase was attached to the usual, they started complaining that I’m good academically and domestically useless while in actuality the only thing I was taught to do while growing up was to do the dishes. I fought tooth nd nail to get it right and lo and behold I did, all that was in my head was ‘Nothing could go wrong this time’ and to my disbelief day-after-day, night-after-night, I still hear the words ringing out loud ‘I’m dissapointed in you’ and I’m like I literally became a ‘super-hero’ to keep all this together yet the ‘dissapointing me’ was still forth coming.

I became above all a social outcast whose only mode of fun was visiting people and actually sleeping over which is after I’ve done some work around so they’ll look at me and be proud of where I’m from. I was labelled all sorts for my anti-social ways ‘omo pastor’ and stuff like that. People call me childish till tomorrow because I do every single thing mummy and daddy ask me to do and they find it weird, too weird that they just conclude I’m immature all in this quest to get that ‘I’m proud of you’ . It hurts sometime, but nothing on earth is as hurtful as those words my father would say.
In the quest of being a perfect child…I may not have figured a lot of things such as how to make them proud and how to stop that sentence from coming out, but I’ve learnt a lot and now I figured after so many years that I was on the wrong quest. Stuffing my pillow on my face while the tears penetrate through my pillowcase while I hoped for some miracle to happen that my pains are soaked away, I wonder who I really am I wonder what kept me good this long? I ask myself so many questions, that’s the Quest I am on…
…to make me proud and to make God proud.

Beneath this smile used to be a frown (with wrinkles sef) lol but then things have changed(a bit)…Beneath this smile is an Overtly confident young Overachiever with big dreams she plans on achieving..

Beneath this smile is an emotionally deficit lady with a bigger smile from the heart.

Beneath this smile is someone who took something so harsh and made a positive life out of it.

Beneath this smile is ME.

It took me more than 19 years, 17 medals, 3 honorariums’ for me to realize that nothing on earth is more rewarding than hearing God’s voice with the heavens’ open with his voice in a baritone saying ‘This is my daughter in whom I am well pleased”…:)

What’s beneath your smile?

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s  ’Her Story, XXXVII’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

His Story, XXIII by @wandeSPICE

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @wandeSPICE

This is his story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

*Steps into court dock* lol

This is a tell all….Yes… Everything.

Err… I don’t even know where to start. But this piece was gingered when I stumbled on this blog-site somehow. I spent about 3hrs reading everyone’s story (about 15 of them) and tears kept flowing down my eyes no matter how hard I tried to keep them back. The tears weren’t only because I was touched by what other people were going through, and still managed to put up a smile as a façade, but also because memories of mine kept coming bit by bit, and then I decided to write mine.

I’m not much of a writer, so pardon me if this isn’t written in a right “story-line”. Anyways, wandeSPICE, as I’m being called, is a name I got myself in 2006 while I was supposedly a student of OAU ife.
Wande, a short of Akinwande, my first name. And SPICE, an acronym for Special Person In Christ’s Eye.
“Just because you know my name, doesn’t mean you know me… just because I smile, doesn’t mean I’m happy… you think you know me? Think again… you think you know my story? Guess again”
Growing up for me was just like any normal kid, showered with love and care from both parents. They weren’t extremely rich, but they made sure we were comfortable.

My first challenge was growing up to have bow legs… yeah, my both legs were really bow, that I was told the bows were almost touching the ground, imagine. Hence, I had my 1st surgery at age 4, at the then best Orthopaedic hospital, Obafemi Awolowo University teaching hospital (OAUTH), and with the then best orthopaedic surgeon, Doctor Rufai on my case, so we were rest assured everything would be fine. As I was told, although I still remember vividly when the 1st leg was operated on, It went well and all, but before the second one, which was also to be done that same day, the doctor asked for a short break, but didn’t come back as at the time he said he would. As that was still the era of no mobile phones, locating him was hectic. Somehow, a nurse just came to suggest a club house, that he could possibly be there.

Lo and behold, our dear doctor Rufai was found there. After apologizing for not showing up early that he lost track of time and all, he was brought back to the theatre where I was, I remember my mum being sceptical about him doing the surgery that night, for possibilities of him being drunk, or trying to rush up the surgery to get back to his friends at the club house or something. But he claimed he was a professional and all, knowing what he was doing. All the nurses were telling her to calm down, that he’s the best and bla bla bla… and so he did the surgery on the 2nd leg. When I woke up after the operation, I remember my mum telling me she was worried, because the surgery was faster than the 1st one, and as such, she feared her premonitions were coming to pass.

But sha sha, we forgot about it. Time came for the POP’s to be removed… when I started walking back, it was discovered that the left leg was perfect, but the other (the 2nd 1 that was operated upon) was thinner and shorter than the other. And gradually, it began to go back to being bow. I can’t really remember, but I guess my mum would have been screaming “I said it, I knew that guy was drunk” and all of that. But in all of that, I wasn’t even all that worried (abi what would a small boy like me know as at then) but I knew my parents weren’t happy, my mum especially, Talking about suing and all. But my dad, the no wahala person (I love him die) talked her out of it, I’m sure he made her see a million and one reasons not to.

In short sha, another surgery was arranged, and yet another… after 3 surgeries, my right leg sha is yet back to normal, although a lot better, so I still thank God. In all of this, I still have that pain within me that the carelessness of 1 doctor somewhere did this to me, and so I decided to be a medical doctor. This leads to another challenge.
I forgot to add that I was brilliant growing up. I was always amongst the top three in my primary school, but then, in secondary school, I became unserious. I wasn’t failing, but I cared less about studying, simply because there was no position grading system, so I felt like there was no competition, as far as I didn’t fail any subject. I got used to this, and I started to jerk backwards in my academics.

I got into OAU through predegree in 2006, because I couldn’t meet the cut-off of for medicine in my Jamb, with the hope of graduating as a medical doctor 6yrs after, but something went wrong along the line. I remember vividly when my parents came to pick me up from the campus. How they heard, I don’t know. The 2-hours trip home was traumatising; my mum cried all through, and my dad was just there silent throughout.
I got home, went into my room and locked myself up for days without eating or speaking to anyone (atleast, so they thought, but err, yours truly sneaks out of his room when everyone’s out, or in the middle of the night to get food and also store up some that would last me till the next launch-out day, and I had my phone to talk to friends and all, but I was still sad and felt bad with myself though).

Anyway, after about a week, I guess, my mum came back home and slid a newspaper page through the door and said “pick the one you can do and let me know immediately”. I stared at the paper for a while before standing up to get it. Alas, it was Covenant University admission page. I was shocked! I looked through in disgust, but then what could I do? This was my mum giving me another chance. I decided Economics, at least I felt it would be a cool. So I went out to meet my parents, I told them I decided Economics. But my dad that had kept quiet all along just snapped out “are you out of your mind? You didn’t see any better course to select of all that’s there? Single Honours? I can’t waste my money on that! You will now graduate to become an economics teacher? You must be a professional!” at that point he said economics teacher, I wish I could laugh, but then I tried to keep my cool. He then said I should choose an engineering course, since CU doesn’t offer Medicine. I looked through, and I felt ICT was the simplest of them all, so I chose it.

I got my jamb form together with my younger sister (yes, she caught up with me). This made me think about my whole life. How much of a failure I was. I was gradually sinking into depression. I couldn’t study, I would just find myself crying to sleep. So after the jamb exam, I bailed out of the house, dropping a note! (just as you would see in nollywood movies). I changed my numbers, and went to stay at a friend’s. One fateful day, I called my sister to ask how everyone was and all, but I got a shocker. She told me that my mum suddenly resigned from work and packed her stuff and left the house after I did! I was broken! I knew I was in for more than I bargained!

I Summoned courage to call my mum, we both cried for a while, then she told me she moved to benin, where she knew nobody, to start her life afresh! Sounded like a joke. But it was real. I felt worse, because I knew it was all my fault. They’ve been having their own issues, but the fact that she walked out as at the same time I did. I started to pity my dad, because he was all alone. My siblings were in different boarding houses, mum’s moved out, and there I was, prodigal. I called him, We had a looooong talk, and I decided to go back home. He tried to make me see the bad in my mum for what she did, and insisted we cut her off, not talking to her again and all. I thought to myself that this man must be joking. How possible?! But I told him okay sha. He tried all his best to make us comfortable; made sure we never lacked anything. Mum on the other hand was trying her best. And we were enjoying the best of both worlds, hehee… imagine getting money for the same stuff from both parties because you knew both of them wouldn’t get to talk about it. But then, loads of pressure was on me. Family members calling me, saying stuff like “you’re the 1st child, a man, you should fix your parents’ marriage” and all of that.

In the heat of all of these, I resumed University, everywhere was so cool and all, and all I had in mind was what I’m gonna get out of this place. Make my parents happy, and just graduate peacefully.
We were 4 in a room; myself, one other 100level boy and two 300level boys. This helped me a lot, because unlike now that the 100levels are all kept in one hall, I had older people to rub minds with and all.
Back then in OAU I started showbiz with couple of friends, so when I got in to CU, I thought of a way I could implement that. I spoke to my 300level friends about it, and all I got was “forget it! CU will frustrate your effort! It can never work here”. I didn’t let all of that deter me. I still felt it could be possible. I remember my 1st Sunday in Uni, I went to chapel, and the only statement I remember from the mouth of pastor Ntia was “receive the grace to do that which had never been done, that seems impossible” hahaa… I felt like that was all I needed.

After the service, I went straight to the pastors’ office, told him about my parents and my plan to start something in CU. He prayed with me and I left. I went to my drawing board and the planning started. That gave birth to “Xclusive Awards”. I went home for the Easter break, and on good Friday, 9months after my mum left, she came back home. It was like a movie, because all I saw was dad hugging her, no stories, nothing. They went inside, and probably had their “talk”, and they’ve been living happily ever after.

Ok, back to Xclusive Awards. To many people in CU, this event had sooo many translations or interpretations. But to me, it was an investment gone bad. The 1st one I organized was in my first year. It seemed so colourful and all, but something went wrong; them bad belle people. After the event, people kept hailing me, calling me cash money and all. But unknown to many, that particular event left me broken. Not only was I disappointed in myself again that the event didn’t go as planned, but I was indebted in millions of naira. It was a tough one for me! I lived in fear of embarrassment from my debtors. I couldnt tell anyone, not even my parents. Walking around school that year, I hear people talk about me, and how rich I am and all of that, but beneath the smile lies all that pain. No one knew the true story. But with the help and grace of God, I was able to pay up a little. Then I did something crazy! I got my school fees for 200level from home, and I used it to pay up a part of my debt! Yes, I did that! *sigh*. Somehow somehow I was able to survive the session without paying my fees, as no one would believe the “cash money” wouldn’t have paid fees.

Unrepentant me, as a risk taker that I am, I got over the whole thing, went back to my drawing board and started planning for another event, still a debtor oh, imagine. But still, I gathered my little savings, and a funny thing was that I was on my own jejely oh, people came to meet me to invest, because they felt it was a gold mine. I took their money, added to mine and organized yet another. This time, it was bigger and it swallowed a lot more money. Nigga was happy, hoping this was gonna be the big break. Hammer time! But the worst happened!
Chineke!, the event was kinda cancelled by some of the ogas at the top. Sooo many complications. Owo jona! I literally died and resurrected! I lost hope in everything! And need I add that I was still on a 1st class as at then, after my first semester 200Level, but after the whole thing, I gradually went into depression, couldn’t think straight anymore, lost the vibe for academics, lost hope in life itself, as I was face to face with everything I ever worked for, gone just like that, loads of debt, and to worsen the whole situation, even supposed friends that brought money to me to invest started coming one after the other asking for refunds. Shet… I cry day after day! You cant imagine. A 200level boy, about 21years old owing about 3million naira and not having 1naira in his account! Worst of all was that I couldn’t do my registration for both semesters in 200level cause I didn’t pay fees, which still affects me till today. Even when I was able to now clear off my fees and all, I still have registration challenges every semester. As I can’t register my courses like every normal student.
I’m presently in my 5th year only by the grace of God. I manually collate my results using complaint forms and all. I remember in my 400level during my IT, I got a call from my exam officer, and in his words, he said “wande, are you still a student of this school?” I said “yes”. He replied “I don’t think so oh, because according to my records, its like you’ve been withdrawn, I don’t have any record of you in the department”. Jesus! You can’t imagine all what went through my mind during that 1minute call. My mind raced back to my family, so many things. I ran straight to school the next day. I spoke with him, pleading and all. He then offered to help. I left school that day in tears for what I had become. He called me the 3rd day and said he had tried all he could, but couldn’t get all my results together, that most of them were missing, and so he suggests I repeat 300level! God!!! I’m sure I went into a coma and woke up all in a split second. I couldn’t believe my ears. Going back to 300level when I was meant to go to 500level. I went back to God, I prayed. Yes, I pray. I’m not that spiritual, but I don’t joke with my God. Even in my unfaithfulness, he remains ever faithful.
He answered my prayers just like he always does. I called my exam officer, and he said he’s been able to find some of my 300level results, and the few he couldn’t find, I would do again as carry over while repeating 400level, because my 400level results couldn’t be traced due to the whole attendance ish and all. Hahaa… I gathered courage and faith, and I went back to my father God, and I prayed some more. Lo and behold, he answered. We were able to sort some of the results, and hence no more repeat. Even though I now have carryovers to deal with, but I still am not repeating any class. Now, the once upon a time 1st class boy is now struggling on a 2:1 – 2:2 borderline in 500level.

I remember recently, I was talking to 1 girl in my class, shortly before the exams, asking her to put me through one course like that, and she said, “wande, what happened to you? remember in 100level, when you used to teach me maths & all”. I cried that day, because now, I don’t even think I know anything again. I just struggle to pass tests and exams.

Anyway, Back to my gbese gist. It was a crazy experience for me, as I kept on sinking more & more in debts. Bills kept increasing, & so was my debt too. So many thoughts ran through my mind. I had sooo many rich friends. The legit and illegal, all join. But I promised myself, and I promised God that I wasn’t gonna do anything illegit. Yahoo oh, with the plus or minus sef, whichever. But I will continue hustling, and I know one day, e go better. And someday, it actually did better. I had a very funny experience. I went out of school one weekend like that, and I found myself chilling at the lobby of the hotel I was in, then there was this nollywood movie showing, where things weren’t going well for one guy, and an angel appeared to him and told him it was because he wasn’t paying his tithe. It dawned on me that that message was for me. I went back to school, and somehow somehow, that same day, a classmate of mine just came up to me and said, “wande, do you pay tithes?” I was stunned! That was a confirmation. There and then, I decided I was gonna pay my tithe from my next allowance before paying my debt, as that was what I do with my monthly allowance; paying up debt. imagine. Anyway, I payed my tithe, and God blessed me. I started getting contracts, and I made money. To the extent that the next tithe I payed was for almost a million naira. I was able to clear up most of my debts. And so I went up in chapel to share the testimony, because I knew I owe God that in appreciation. But mhen, that singular act of appreciation to God turned into something else in school. People started to beef, misyarning and all sort. Some said he came to show off, some even said he came to the alter to lie. C’mon… sha sha, na una sabi.

I know I did that for my God, and he hasn’t stopped blessing me ever since, he remained ever faithful. I kept getting more contracts, and more money, and my tithes keep shooting up; some 6 zeros something. Yes, Na God!

So, going through all of that, and yet I still remained the jovial me, you see me putting up a smile every day, everywhere, but would retire to bed at night to cry my eyes out, hoping and praying. And every day, I set out in the quest for happiness. I’m not totally there yet, but I know someday soon, I will.
So, if you think your case is the worst ever, please think again, because you don’t know what the next person sitting next to you is going through. And in all situations, always give thanks to God because he knows the end from the beginning.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with this Afternoon’s story ’Her Story, XXXVI’ by an Anonymous writer

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, XXXIII

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers, who has asked to stay Anonymous.

This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

Hi, I can’t tell you my name, this isn’t even a real account for fear that it might be traced back, but I feel its time to start letting go of my stories so I can have complete peace. I’ve let go of so much hurt already but I feel sharing my story on your brilliant blog would liberate me. Baby steps to becoming free.

I’m a young 22-year-old girl, currently in my final year of university in Ghana, I’ve found love as absurd as it may seem and I live everyday to the fullest because although my past is filled with gloom and despair, my future is bright. I smile and smile knowing this. My story is long, I hope you won’t mind.

I was for a long time the only child of my parents, I don’t know what happened when they had me, but for as long as I could remember they have hated each other bitterly. The terrible fights, the beating up, the smashed glass. All I had for solace were the numerous house-helps who came and went. It all went pear-shaped for me when I started secondary school. My dad didn’t really care for me, he just provided money for my upkeep and that was it. My mum and I would talk but she seemed so distant. I was basically in the world alone. I just came back from school on the fateful day, I was in Jss2 then, I walked in a bit late (no one really cared what time I came home from school, so I would spend time with my teachers or go to my friends houses before going home) I heard them screaming at each other and I looked to see what it was this time, I saw my dad wielding a knife at my mum, in my horror I rushed to help my mum but was pushed by my dad that I fell and injured my head on a stool.

That was the height for my mum’s best-friend (who I thought was my mums sister). She had just recently lost her daughter who was about my age and I made the perfect replacement. She took me in and loved me like hers, I wanted my mum to come too but to my despair my mum stayed with my dad. I couldn’t be bothered anymore, I had found a new family, my aunty, her husband and their son who she had when she was younger. He was older than me and was in university. I thought things were perfect until one night he crept into my room which was just opposite his and had his way with me, he threatened me and said if I told his mum she won’t believe me and they would send me back to my parents. This scared the living day lights out of me and I just let him do what he wanted, anything at this point was better than going back to a house with no love, it was in this process I learnt that he wasn’t really my cousin. This went on and on anytime he was at home and I couldn’t tell anyone. I didn’t have friends because I just couldn’t trust anyone.

I started to feel I was the reason for my parents hating each other because they seemed fine after I moved out, my dad stopped paying my fees and my aunt and her husband took on that without complaint. My feelings were later confirmed when I heard my mum telling my aunt she was pregnant. I hated her and my dad and I became very vocal about my hatred, I would walk to my mum when she visited and tell her a lot of things, call her a bad mother then I would run back to my room and cry. I finally finished secondary school and wanted to get as far away from everyone as possible. I didn’t want to demand too much from the family that literally brought me up so I opted for Ghana, at least I would leave Nigeria.

Shortly after I left Nigeria I heard my dad died. As sad as this sounds I was happy but angry, I was angry that I didn’t kill him myself but I was happy that the bastard had gone, finally got what he deserved. I went for his burial and I was a stranger to my mum and her son (I never regarded him as my brother). They opened the coffin and it hit me so hard. I was a carbon copy of him and there he was lifeless just lying there and I wanted to just hug him and tell him I forgive him, but I hated him so much.

Three years later I got a text message from my mum that she was remarrying and I was just too angry, is this woman crazy? I told my aunt I didn’t want to come but she convinced me to come as her son was also marrying that period. The same son that had raped me numerously. I just wanted to die, I didn’t have any friends to confide in and didn’t have anyone to turn to so I decided to go. To my surprise my mum came to see me, knelt and was crying, asking me to forgive her, that she knows she has been such a terrible mother to me.

I had so much hate that I couldn’t bear more so I decided to. The weddings passed and I decided to forgive my ‘cousin’ as well. That was the beginning of my healing process. On my way back to Ghana I met my love, I started out so terribly to him but he remained and persevered and one day I broke down and told him everything. He showed me God. I never really gave myself to God cause He was never a part of me growing up but now He is so real to me, He gives me peace and He has opened my heart to wonders.

I have recently started making friends but I am not able to share any of my stories with them. One day though, I will be able to openly come and tell the world what I have gone through. I want people to know that no matter how bad you have it, God has a super plan for you He will always execute.

• • •

Don’t just read, say a prayer.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with Tomorrow’s ’His Story, XXII’ by @OfficialWayde

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)

Her Story, II by @TheSilentMaeve

Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.

The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.

We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.

Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers@TheSilentMaeve. This is her story.

Please Read.

The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.

behind the smile

I feel it’s a little short, but please let me know what you think. I’ve never published anything on a blog before so all this is kind of new to me. Please be kind? 

Here goes:

Why are you so rude?!

You never smile!”

You’re just a snob.”

You will never amount to anything in this life”

If you can think it, I’ve probably been told it. People use words without knowing their true, direct effect. I’ve never had thick skin. I have not the heart to form one. It hurts more because mere words have the power to reduce me to nothing. To break my resolve. To shatter my dreams.

You can never be a home-maker..

I created a sanctuary to hide my pain.

The shell worked effectively enough, but heck it wasn’t bullet proof. I battled a lot with my thoughts and stayed deep in my mind for periods on end. I’d sit and stare into thin air whilst waging a war of unspeakable evil in my head. I lost countless times. With each loss, there came that inevitable choking attack of depression. The kind that knocked you off your feet and left you gasping for air on the cold hard floor whilst questioning life. You begin to imagine things that should never have crossed your mind in the first place.

What if I died?

Would anyone even cry?

“Oh, Nigerians don’t think about killing themselves.. we’re way too tough for that..”

Oh yes they do. They cover it all up perfectly for fear of more pain and ridicule. Who wants to tell the world that their brother/son/husband committed suicide? Chinua Achebe once captured the thought of a man obviously outweighed by the tribulations of his world who decided to finish it once and for all.

I have thought of ending it several times.  I have imagined it in a total of fourteen different mental pictures including exsanguination and self-induced asphyxia. How many times has that razor gleamed in my right hand?  I do not want to think about it anymore.

Yes. I won’t do that because it’s over now.  I’d found my peace in a place where I least expected it.

I became born again.

Are you laughing?

I hope not.

It was my salvation I never saw.  When random people would randomly open their bibles and read out  random passages. I shut them out because they were just adding to the noise in my head. The voices were several  octaves high already, anymore and I’d have exploded on my feet.  Nothing I ever did seemed right, so who were these strangers and what did they think they knew about my life? Get lost.

But they didn’t.

They stayed. God stayed.

I started out slowly, reading the word and trying to understand and whatnot. I got those little devotional books that had tiny inspirational quotes on the side. I prayed. For the first time in my entire life, I prayed and tears rolled down my anguished, tired face. They were hot and salty, but they felt absolutely wonderful. I’d never felt anything more exhilarating. I don’t know if I ever will.

There’s probably a million other people who are going through or have gone through something similar. I’m not an ambassador. I’m not a preacher. Sometimes I slip and do things the wrong way. But I just want  to deliver one, simple message:

There is a God..

..and He truly listens.

“But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercies in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.”
[Psalms 59:16].

I am Adanna.

• • •

THANKS FOR READING.

A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?

N.B. The project goes on with  ‘His Story, I’ by @FrankUgo_

You can still send in your own true stories to obafuntay@gmail.com

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Writing My Wrongs

Source: Google

I woke up this morning, checked my phone, scrolled through my twitter mentions, enlarged some avatars, regretted that I bothered opening others (they can be so deceitful in little sizes), checked my BBM updates, Display pictures, PMs… another day and this one still has yet another person she is wishing Happy Birthday! Ahn ah! 2 weeks straight? Anyway we all have that one contact, don’t we?

Nonetheless, I carried myself to twitter yet again, tweeted *walks in*, replied funny mentions, even got a TT to trend #LivedtheLife … it was just another typical day. I went down the stairs, opened the fridge and just like yesterday, there was nothing I was interested in eating there; I made myself noodles, turned on the  Xbox 360 and started playing Max Payne.

And just like every other day, leaves fell off trees, changed colors, the sun set and it was night again.

Now, it’s late, I’m reminiscing, remembering how my day went,  then it occurs to me how I went about my day without even saying “Good morning” to the one who really did matter. The epiphany of how I have been wrong in so many ways.

So tonight, I have decided to pick up my pen and write my wrongs. I want to right them, but first, I write them and hand them over to Him.

The other day, I did good to someone only because people around me expected me to be good, to do good. Was I just trying to impress them? …
In the dark, when no one is there, how I am ashamed of the things I find myself doing, the things I really don’t want to do.
I judge people without even knowing them, even if I knew them, who am I to judge?
Perceived as a saint, I guess I’m a con artist, you see not the taint.
That one habit I’ve been trying to quit, I’m tired of having it as #1 on my New Year resolution list every year.

I don’t know if you can relate to this, something I read somewhere “I aim to be good but sometimes, I miss the target”
I want to do right, I really want to. But just like Paul, the things I want to do, I do not. The very things I do not want to do, I find myself doing.

But tonight, I am trying something different; I have decided to write my wrongs, taking a step forward to right my wrongs. It may not stop in a day; I will not get everything right over the night, sometimes I’ll fall… You see, it’s okay to fall, what really matters, is if you decide to stay down or get up.

I’m starting from somewhere, realizing where I have been wrong, when I looked away when I ought to be compassionate, when I was quick to say rude and curse words when I should have been thoughtful and respectful, when I saw black, and called it white … I have been wrong in so many ways, tonight I write them down, all of them… down, all I can remember and I hand them over to Him. Let Him be my witness and these wrongs I write, be a reminder of the things I need to make right. I want to wake in the day and to Him I first say Hey.

These are my wrongs.

I don’t know what yours are… are you the drunk on Saturday and monk on Sunday? Or the one, who just like me, who would rather say Good Morning on Social Networks before  saying to God. Or the one who seek approval… wanting to impress and not actually make a difference.

I don’t know what they are… but you do.

I have shared some of my wrongs with you, please make use of the comment box below and write down some of the wrongs, you want to right.
You can write them on sticky notes too and put them in places you can get to see, so they serve as reminders and checks about what you have to make right.

It all begins with a step. Write a wrong. Right a wrong.

But then, this is what I think, what do I know?

Come, Let’s Reason Together

I found this on Facebook, and I thought I’d share. TAKE TIME TO READ…. It’s worth reading, trust me 🙂

Professor : You are a Christian, aren’t you, son ?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, you believe in GOD ?

Student : Absolutely, sir.

Professor : Is GOD good ?

Student : Sure.

Professor: Is GOD all powerful ?

Student : Yes.

Professor: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to GOD to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But GOD didn’t. How is this GOD good then? Hmm?

(Student was silent.)

Professor: You can’t answer, can you ? Let’s start again, young fella. Is GOD good?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Is satan good ?

Student : No.

Professor: Where does satan come from ?

Student : From … GOD …

Professor: That’s right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?

Student : Yes.

Professor: Evil is everywhere, isn’t it ? And GOD did make everything. Correct?

Student : Yes.

Professor: So who created evil ?

(Student did not answer.)

Professor: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don’t they?

Student : Yes, sir.

Professor: So, who created them ?

(Student had no answer.)

Professor: Science says you have 5 Senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Tell me, son, have you ever seen GOD?

Student : No, sir.

Professor: Tell us if you have ever heard your GOD?

Student : No , sir.

Professor: Have you ever felt your GOD, tasted your GOD, smelt your GOD? Have you ever had any sensory perception of GOD for that matter?

Student : No, sir. I’m afraid I haven’t.

Professor: Yet you still believe in Him?

Student : Yes.

Professor : According to Empirical, Testable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says your GOD doesn’t exist. What do you say to that, son?

Student : Nothing. I only have my faith.

Professor: Yes, faith. And that is the problem Science has.

Student : Professor, is there such a thing as heat?

Professor: Yes.

Student : And is there such a thing as cold?

Professor: Yes.

Student : No, sir. There isn’t.

(The lecture theater became very quiet with this turn of events.)

Student : Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don’t have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can’t go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.

(There was pin-drop silence in the lecture theater.)

Student : What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?

Professor: Yes. What is night if there isn’t darkness?

Student : You’re wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light. But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and its called darkness, isn’t it? In reality, darkness isn’t. If it is, well you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn’t you?

Professor: So what is the point you are making, young man ?

Student : Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Professor: Flawed ? Can you explain how?

Student : Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good GOD and a bad GOD. You are viewing the concept of GOD as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing.

Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it. Now tell me, Professor, do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Professor: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.

Student : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

(The Professor shook his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument was going.)

Student : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavor. Are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?

(The class was in uproar.)

Student : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor’s brain?

(The class broke out into laughter. )

Student : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor’s brain, felt it, touched or smelt it? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established Rules of Empirical, Stable, Demonstrable Protocol, Science says that you have no brain, sir. With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?

(The room was silent. The Professor stared at the student, his face unfathomable.)

Professor: I guess you’ll have to take them on faith, son.

Student : That is it sir … Exactly ! The link between man & GOD is FAITH. That is all that keeps things alive and moving.

P.S.

I believe you have enjoyed the conversation. And if so, you’ll probably want your friends / colleagues to enjoy the same, won’t you?

Subscribe to this blog and Share this to increase their knowledge … or FAITH.

By the way, that student was EINSTEIN.

#DearGod

Hey.

I want to pray to you, I know that on a norm, I’m supposed to be talking but truth is: I’m not sure I know how to do that properly I.e. Pray by talking, so I’ll just do this, which I think helps me express how I feel better.
I really hope you are listening or reading.

First of all, I’ve come to repent of my sins, I know I constantly mess up… I fall real short of your glory every now and then and I know that I deserve to be kicked out and not be forgiven but you said that I should always come boldly to your throne of Grace, so I’m here once more… Accept me, like that prodigal son in the bible. Take me back, forgive me. I’m sorry. I really am. Well, You know all things so check my heart, if it’s still hazy teach me, gimme the grace to want You completely.

I’d like to thank You for Your faithfulness in my life, overtime, I have come to accept that truly You are the unchangeable changer, the way You ever remain faithful amazes me even in the midst of all my mess ups and hiccups You remain firm, helping me. No matter how many times I consistently break your heart, You still believe in me and stay by me.

I’m grateful. You know I am.

I also want to thank You for the family you gave me, they are the Best, from my little sister (nicest, loving girl ever) to my Father(Super-Human) and my Brother(Large Heart) and Mother(a woman of virtue), they’ve all been the reason why I still believe in that word – LOVE.

I also appreciate You for my friends all of them, the ones I’ve kept and lost over-time…they went a long way in determining my very person.

God, I know You want me to be perfect as You are, I’m sorry I’m not there yet, not even close to near, but I thank you for who I am today, where I am today, and where you are taking me tomorrow. By your grace, I’d be Perfect.

I thank You for every part of my body especially my nose, I appreciate You.

I thank You for every passing day, how You manage to save me from things I have no idea of, is amazing. All I can do is to be in awe of You.

If every strand of hair on my body had tongues to say “Thank You”… It wouldn’t be enough.

I thank You for the person reading this post.

Amen.

You know, no matter how much you say Thank you to Jesus, you can’t just say it enough.

Please use the comment box to thank Him today for one or two or more things He is doing or has done. Starting “Dear God,”

But then, this is what iThink, what do iKnow ?

Much ado about a Candle light

I remember sometime last year, in fact, I think it was this time last year… I had a truck load of thoughts bouncing all up in my head, but most laden of them all was the nagging question of “Funto, what can you do?” … ” What really is my talent?”. Now, trying to answer this question was a major challenge for me and failing to come forth with answers was leading me into a state of depression step by step as I saw other people do things they were apparently gifted in… you know: singing, dancing, comedy, playing of musical instruments, soccer blah blah blah..
iRemember taking a walk one day in school talking to God, telling Him how I was tired of this state, I had been unhappy for a week or two… I cried that night and laid that burden upon him, asking him to take control. I stopped pondering on this matter entirely.
Then he took control.
He began to show me things I could do, firstly, I found myself coordinating Smile Care (a humanitarian org.) in my school (a position I totally did not deserve). I began to notice how the passion to help the less-privileged got fueled up In me.
Being the coordinator of this team in school required me to talk, talk in front of people and with people, planned or totally impromptu.
He showed me yet again that I could do this and do it well.
In the light of all of this I had not come to the knowledge that this was my talent, what I was good at, what I will always be good at, till He sent an angel(a friend) who said ” It takes TALENT to do what you do” and that was it for me! — EPIPHANY!

What's the sense in this?

Now take a good look at this picture to the left… read it’s caption…

Funny thing is that loads of people out there (search yourself, you may be included) do the same thing this rather “un-bright” fellow in the picture is doing.

What is the point of having a lit candle under a bushel? Is it not meant to be placed upon a candlestick that it may shine to all that are in the house?

I get burnt when I see an obviously terrific singer or a gifted instrumentalist  or an apparently talented person in whatever it may be, who just places his/her lit candle under a basket… I go thinking “Stingy son of  a _____”  (Disclaimer: Whatever you fill in the gap, you are totally accountable for it)

No matter what your reason maybe, my bible makes me understand in Matthew 5:16 that you and I are supposed to let our light so shine that they may see your, my good works and then through that means glorify our Father in heaven.

Imagine if Mother Teresa had hid her candle light? Imagine the millions of children that would have been left homeless today?

or

If Michael Jackson never overcame Stage-fright or general shyness and refused to get on stage, imagine all those good music buried 6 feet with him.

#Didyouknow that the Greatest orator of all time was a stammerer ? Demosthenes, imagine if he hadn’t overcome this challenge and trained himself to speak even to the extent of having pebbles in his mouth. He would have died but a feeble unknown Greek. This goes out to every stammerer out there, or any one with all of them factors (S, A, H, X and those yet to come)… You can do it! If you have a passion for singing, sing. If it’s in speaking, speak! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Don’t let your talent go to grave with you, be that one candle that can light other millions of candles.

Dr Myles Munroe said that the wealthiest places in the world are not the gold mines of South America or the oil fields of Iraq or Iran. They’re not the diamond mines of South Africa or the banks of the world. The wealthiest place on the planet is just down the road. It is the cemetery. There lie buried, companies that were never started, inventions that were never made, best-selling books that were never written and masterpieces that were never painted.

In the cemetery is buried the greatest treasure of untapped potential. Don’t let yours be one of them.

But then, this is what iThink… what do I know ?