First the doctor said it was dysentery, then cholera and now acute malaria. Everyday of my life since I arrived at Igbokoda, one rural area in Ondo state has been hell. No good roads, no constant electricity compared to where I was coming from, no classy girls as friends and to seriously worsen my case, no network!!! I mean of all things, there’s no network in Igbokoda.
Let me quickly introduce myself so I don’t bore you with all my stories that touch. My name is Hailey meaning Highest praise. I come from a family of 4, my dad, mom and my naughty little brother. I’m just 16 but dad says I’m too mature for my age. My Mum is a Doctor and my Dad was a lecturer until he got ‘Called’ like he would put it. Well dad’s call got us all packing and saying goodbyes to everything and everyone in Lagos including my maternal grandparents, and so began our journey to Igbokoda.
Igbokoda like I’ve mentioned before is a very rural area filled with so much pollutions which made me a regular customer at their local hospital. The church dad pastored is a direct opposite of the sophisticated chapel we attended in Lekki but because we had to be good kids to strengthen dad’s ministry, I bottled up all resentments and complains. The only thing that brings joy is the every Friday pepper soup and catfish we get from the members of the church, it can’t be compared to the ones we had in Lagos, it’s worth the hype.
After settling down in our crumbled/crumpled building, I still wondered how I was going to survive another month in this place.
Now, I guess I haven’t mentioned this but I’m a Christian, a born again believer and this is one of the reasons why I had to follow my dad to our new home without throwing a lot of tantrums. But despite all that I do to make myself happy and belong, I feel like I’m at this dead end and I can’t make do of whatever it is that’s happening. In church, I don’t look happy and I heard they’ve already nicknamed me “Aruga baby” meaning ‘the proud baby’. And I’m definitely sure it’s not pride. It’s like something is bugging me, or I haven’t done something very important. I just couldn’t find answers to the numerous questions on my mind and it is looking like I would snap into depression anytime soon.
Sometimes last week, I was invited to this retreat by a classmate and I decided to go since mummy said going out would help me a lot. I went there basically to sightsee and relieve myself but halfway into the Apostle’s teaching, I knew better than to give those reasons up and concentrate. He spoke on submission and total surrendering of our lives to the God who gives life. Gradually, all enigmas started unfolding. I finally found a solution to my problem. I have been so bothered about the transfer issues that I never gave myself a chance to speak to God. I had reduced drastically in my relationship with God and even my parents. I didn’t want to know how my parents were keeping up, at least they sacrificed their jobs and left their comfort zone too. I was just too selfish to see.
So that night, I gave it all to my maker, the excuses, the pains, the bottled-up feelings and everything. I gave it up. I surrendered all to Him. And then for the first time in months, I heard the small still voice again
“OBEY ME AND I WILL ESTABLISH YOUR FAMILY IN THAT PROMISED LAND. I WILL SET YOUR FEET ON THE ROCK TO STAY. I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD WHO TAKES HOLD OF YOUR RIGHT HAND, I’LL SEE YOU THROUGH. FOR WHEREVER YOU GO, I HAVE GONE THERE BEFORE YOU AND I AM ALWAYS THERE WITH YOU”
Talk of words that soothes!!!
Talk of words that brings tears to the eyes, tears of everlasting joy!!!
Talk of words that makes the difference!!
This is our sixth month in Igbokoda and I can proudly say that the Lord has done more than he ever did for us while we were in Lagos. He gave us every reason to praise Him. Remember my name is Hailey!!
Surrendering to God is not resignation or an excuse for laziness. It’s not associated with weakness. It’s not you giving up your dreams,desires and hopes for a purposeless life. Instead, it’s the exact opposite. It’s you enhancing your personality and not diminishing it. It’s you taking your hands off the steering wheel and placing it in God’s hand. It’s you saying ‘Yes Lord’ to whatever He asks you to do.
You see,the irony of life is that everybody eventually surrenders to something or someone;if you don’t surrender to God, you’ll surrender to people’s opinions about you, you’ll surrender to fear,to resentments,to depression,to money,to pride and ego. Now, you’re free to choose what you surrender to but you’re not free from the consequences of that choice. It’s either you surrender to Christ or you surrender to chaos. The choice is all yours. Now is your only chance to surrender to God.
Give in to God,come to terms with Him and everything will turn out just fine(Job 22:21)MSG.