Letter to my Past

photo-1455390582262-044cdead277a

Did you remember that I mentioned that Martha used to dread sex? Yes, she once had fear of sexual intimacy with her husband Matt. Her husband specifically told me that she doesn’t look forward to intimacy and she has refused to tell him why. He tried to be patient with her but he seems to be tired to cajoling her to make love each time he is in the mood. What was supposed to be pleasure has turned out to be spiced with a lot of pressure.

I took time out with Martha; it was all written in her eyes, that there was something she is hiding, a past that has refused to heal. Martha was raped by her maternal uncle when she was six years and that singular incident changed her life forever.

For twenty years she struggled with self esteem and dreads any man coming near her. It was a miracle that she agreed to marry Matt who she never allowed to touch her till many days after their wedding. I told Martha that the journey to having a great relationship with her husband starts with forgiving her rapist and letting go of all the hurts. She needed to seek healing because the past was tearing her apart.

One thing I made her do was to write a letter to her past. I made her vent all her stored up anger on the piece of paper. She cried as she poured out bottled up emotions in words to her uncle who took her innocence and stole her virginity. Matt who watched from my PA’s desk couldn’t hold back the tears either. I remember holding Martha’s hand as I told her to call forth her uncle’s name and declare forgiveness. It was a hard nut to crack yet it was great seeing her go through closure after many years of internal pain and trauma.

It was after this healing process that she started learning to love her body and accept Matt’s show of affection. Matt learnt how to be gentle with her as she learns to accept his touch and take it one step at a time.

Pains of yesterday should never be carried into the future. Hurts from past relationships can hinder happiness of future relationships if not well taken care of. We may not be able to stop people from hurting us but we can determine how long we want to feel the pain.

A CALL FROM MY Ex

ImageJude is a promising young guy; he is a first class graduate of Mass communications and he has lot of dreams for the future. One of his goals is to be a successful on air personality (OAP). Getting the right job however seems difficult as he has to be joggling between one to the other. One of the bright sides of his life is his fiancée, Judith. Her daily phone calls always make his day colorful and he always look forward to it. Judith has however changed a bit since some days back, she rarely pick when he calls and she always sound not too excited at the sound of Jude’s voice. He would have paid her a visit to know the reason for the sudden change in her attitude but she is miles away observing her National Youth service Corps (NYSC).

Jude got a call from one of the best radio station in town to come for an interview for the post of on air personality (OAP) and as he puts everything in place on the morning of the interview, he got a call from his beloved Judith. This must be a great luck for his interview, hearing from his wife-to-be. Judith announced to him right there on the phone that she’s no longer in love with him and that they should give their relationship a permanent break because she has moved on.

It was a rude shock for Jude but he has to put himself together for his interview. He will deal with the issue later. It wasn’t easy for him to get composed. His heart was divided, interview on his mind, heartbreak ripping him apart on the other hand. It was his turn to be interviewed, he sat in front of the panelists and was asked to do one thing…..”You are the radio host for a popular relationship program on air, can you please give a brief introduction to today’s episode of the program”…..that was the task.

And here’s Jude response to his test, “Earlier this morning, my girlfriend, best friend and lover broke our relationship of two beautiful years at a time I need her most in my life; I am here with a heavy heart yet I have you my audience waiting for me so I have brace up because life continues. Now I wonder how I can balance life with this heartbreak and other goals I need to accomplish. Today I want to hear your views about how you handled previous heartbreaks in your relationship, let’s learn from you. We also have a Relationship Coach in the house….I, your host Judah Best will be right back after the commercials…”

The panelists were ‘wowed’….he got the job on the spot with lot of mouth watering benefits. His life changed on the day he was jilted. Within six months, he was in high demand as MC and live show host even in higher institutions. It was one of these days that he received a call from Judith, she wants to come back into his life….. 

Jude really loved Judith and he still has feelings for her but she actually left him for someone else once…she left when he needed her most and now she wants to come back…. She is probably making a comeback because of his current status….

Our Ex is our past. It could also be a dirty habit we left, a pitfall we survived from or weakness we had overcome. Seriously, you are married but there is this old flame that used to know the password to set your body on fire…. Just a call from her and you are already undressing her in your mind…To make the matter worse, she is ready to go on a date with you. You’ve got to take control of the ‘lust’ least it lead you to an early grave. Lot of married people made a total mess of their beautiful future because they gave entrance to an Ex into their lives. Some attractions are for your destruction; so beware!

 

Stop having a hangover over an Ex who has nothing to offer than heartaches. He/she walked out because he/she believes you are not good enough. Don’t stay around someone who only tolerate you but never celebrates you. Jonah (in the bible) had to do away with his ‘over-sleeping’ habit before he could fulfill God’s purpose for his life. Dis-engage from anything that will weigh you down from advancing into the future. You may need to stop picking that call or probably delete that contact from your phonebook or blackberry. You may have to block that follower on twitter that keeps sending you nude pictures. You have the power to prevent yourself from sleeping on the laps of Delilah least you end up like Samson.

 I once dated a guy who could walk in any time of the day to declare that our relationship was over. Each time this happened, I would cry and become very devastated only for him to come back few weeks or days later begging on his knees that his life would be meaningless without me. Going by my love for him, I accept him back easily only for him to repeat his folly few weeks later. This went on and on, the more it repeats itself, the more I became an emotional wreck. In about our one year courtship,the relationship got ‘broken’ and ‘repaired’ like seven times until I said it was enough. I told him that although I have forgiven him but I have discovered that he is not emotionally matured to handle relationships for now least he makes a mess of my life. I told him I can no longer trust him with my heart because he has no good track records.

 Any man/woman that takes pleasure in making you cry is not worthy to have you. Let me put it this way, if your partner toys with your emotions, then s/he cannot be your spouse.

Seriously, if the ‘bad’ that you Ex has to offer outweighs the ‘good’….don’t open the door of your heart to him or her again. Add me on this BB PIN: 29E55A9A if you need someone to talk to. I value you!

 

Bleeding Scar

ImageEveryone in Grace Chapel adores Lily where she is a worship leader. People always look forward to worship sessions led by her because God’s presence is always felt by her ministrations. Not only is she anointed, she is also beautiful, tall and slim and she is fondly described by her close friends. Everyone was looking forward to the blessed man that would have her hand in marriage and yes Lily accepted Paul’s proposal. Paul was envied by all eligible bachelors because it was not too long that he joined the Chapel that he proposed to Lily and she accepted almost immediately as if she had been waiting for him all her life. Their courtship period was memorable as they had chance to visit great places, attend life-changing seminars and of course go through the mandatory marriage counseling sessions. The counseling sessions opened them up to a lot of things. The courtship was already a year old and both have met each other’s parents.

They were at the last stage of the counseling session when the Counselor asked them if they had information which is very vital to their relationship that has not yet been revealed to each other. Paul had almost a clean slate as he would put it, still a virgin at the age of twenty-nine and he has promised to remain so till he gets married, so he expects his wife-to-be to be same. Lily however said she may have one or two things Paul need to know about her and she promise to tell him after the counseling session. It’s not going to be a big deal after all, she has always been a ‘church girl’, Paul muttered to himself. He however was in for a rude shock when Lily told him the most kept secret she never reveals to outsiders.

“I have a ten year old son. I had him at the age of fifteen. I was just a victim of circumstance. Armed robbers attacked our house, not only were my parents shot, I was also raped. I was rushed to the hospital after the incident to be taken care of. I don’t know what went wrong, it just happened that we later found out that I was pregnant as a result of the rape; my mum who had lost my dad due to the attack could not bear to have me go through abortion. I had to carry the baby to full term. My baby boy Hosea lives with my aunt in Ghana, I only go to see him once or twice a year. My family decided that he should be with my aunt so as not to be hunted by the memories surrounding his birth”, she said concluding her story.

Paul was speechless for so long, it was written all over his face that he was not happy with what he just heard. “I had always wanted to marry a virgin”, he lamented. He was not only disappointed that his fiancée is not a virgin, but that she was raped and also has a child out of wedlock? That sounds so terrible indeed. He really needs time to think about it. And he did think about it and came to the conclusion that he cannot marry Lily any longer.

It was a terrible time for Lily as she found it so hard to believe that Paul would leave her on account of a past she has no control over. She was devastated and heartbroken.

Lily, you don’t need to apologize over a past you have no control over. All you need to do is appreciate your creator for a beautiful tomorrow already promised. Not every man is man-enough to groom you. Someone has been specially equipped to accept you the way you are. For every Ruth, there is “a” Boaz waiting for her who will no longer remember her dirty past. If God in His infinite mercy decide not to remember your past anymore, who is that man that still condemns you? The adulterous woman was condemned but Jesus refused to condemn her with a warning to go and sin no more.

Naomi’s closest relation who was supposed to marry Ruth wouldn’t accept her because he couldn’t take his eyes away from her scar (Ruth 4:1-6). Anyone that wants to tear open your healing wound should not be allowed to come near you. This is because they will end up bringing back dried tears.

Let the bleeding of your scar stop, refuse to be stigmatized, wipe your tears, someone better is coming your way who will no longer remember your dirty past or hold you accountable for it.

 

 

 

Naked…but not ashamed

Ruth and Boaz has been my favorite couple in the bible and they still maintain same position in my heart. Their lives speak volumes about God’s grace. And yes, I love the way Ruth put those great words to Boaz, she said, “spread your wings of protection over me…” she literally asked Boaz to help cover her nakedness.  She knew she had a past that she is not proud of but she needed her man to believe with her that she has a beautiful future ahead. She knew her spouse been anointed to protect her and groom her to greatness. No wonder Genesis 2:25 carve it like this, “…the man and his wife were naked, but they felt no shame”.

No man or woman is perfect. We all either have a past we hid from or weaknesses we are not proud of. You are her groom so as to help her become a better person. You are his bride to assist in where the need arises. You both have been called to watch each other’s back wildly. You can actually cover your spouse’s nakedness via:

Prayer: Learn to pray for and with your spouse. The fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. If one can chase a thousand, two will chase ten thousands… (The power of synergy) and confirmed by the scriptures. If you have talked to her/him about those habits you do not like and s/he seems to keep doing, sometimes it is not that s/he is stubborn…it may be that s/he is addicted. Addiction of course is not easily broken away from; it takes discipline and conscious effort. When we pray…God hears, remember he is an important member of the marriage team.

Positive Affirmations: Learn to be positive in your words. Never insult or ridicule your spouse because of his/her weakness or past. Don’t be like Michal who insulted her King and husband David in front of his admirers. Boaz never for once reminded Ruth of her ugly past, rather he kept on praising her for being a compassionate, considerate, adorable and hardworking woman. You don’t pull down who you love; rather you praise them and let them know you believe they can become better. Speak to the you that you see in the future…are you also struggling with an habit or weakness…yes you’ve prayed about it…then work it out…speak positive to your life. Look in the mirror and talk back to the person you see…speak greatness….call forth those things which you see not as if they are…bring forth the best “YOU”. You can make it…you can overcome the weakness…believe the same for your spouse and confess it. What we believe and confess is what we become.

Get Help: Some weaknesses need to be addressed…don’t cover it less it become your woe. Talk to counselors…seek professional help…problem shared is half solved. Be there for your spouse, go all the way with him/her…read books that address your issue…take steps that will help you shed the unnecessary weight… if you need to take exercises/ visit the gym often to get your shape back, please do.

You have been called to groom your wife…you have been adorned to build your man.  She may look fragile yet greatness resides in her…you may need to give her a push out of her comfort zone, go ahead do it.

The weaknesses you see sometimes are gold mine in the making if processed, manage and converted well. What you have overcome, is what you can mentor other people on.

Naked but not ashamed means…I can talk to my spouse about anything and not be scared of his judgment, even if he is going to criticize me; it’s going to be a constructive criticism. It also means…I am not going to mask my vulnerability before him…I can be open with him knowing he’ll be there for me to encourage, cover, protect and guide me. That is what marriage is all about…pouring out your all to your soul mate without fear or holding back… knowing you are fully covered.

 

 

When the past comes knocking…

Quinn and Kate had just returned from their honeymoon and were both resting on the bed when Kate’s phone buzzed. ‘Ssssh who could that be’, she muttered and picked her phone to answer the call not interested in the caller’s identity. ‘It’s me Princess’ she could hear her mother’s voice clearly. Not willing to wake up her prince charming, she un-wrapped Quinn’s arms from her body and tiptoed into the bathroom. ‘What is it mum, am still basking in the fragrance of my honeymoon and…’ Her mum did not allow her to finish her statement as there was a matter of urgency that needed her attention. ‘It’s your son Richard, he has been sick since you left for honeymoon and we have been taking care of him, the case however got worse few hours ago when he lost consciousness, he is on his way to the theater as the doctor said the only way to save his life is to carry out a surgery on him immediately’. Kate held her breath, she couldn’t believe what she just heard, she left her five years old son, hale and healthy before her wedding which was followed by her honeymoon. ‘God…Richard must not die, I will die if he does because I went through a lot when his father denied his pregnancy and I singlehandedly took care of him till now’, Kate soliloquized as tears rush down her eyes. And to make matter worse, she never told her spouse, Quinn anything about Richard her son, she tactically hid him so as not to lose Quinn. He had loved and cared for her so much that she didn’t want to lose him because of her son. She was hoping that after their honeymoon, she would be able to ask him for forgiveness and then tell him. All of a sudden, she remembered Quinn must have felt her absence beside him; she turned back to return to the bedroom only to see her spouse Quinn, some meters away from her.

‘Who is Richard?’ he asked looking at her with great confusion. ‘Am so sorry baby, I was hoping to explain everything about him to you after the honeymoon, I didn’t want to lose you because of him,’ Kate said as she knelt down before him weeping profusely. ‘And what makes you think that you will not lose me now?’ he asked with disappointment written all over him. ‘I might as well not know a whole lot of things about you if you could hide the fact that you have a five year old son I have never heard about despite our one and half year of courtship’, he concluded.

No man/woman wants to be kept in the dark as regards his/her spouse. No one wants to be treated as a fool and no one wants his/her intelligence to be played upon. You owe your spouse the responsibility of disclosing any information about your past that needed to be known. Never let it be heard from a third party when you get married or few days/hours to your wedding, it kills trust. No sin is too big to be forgiven; no past is too ugly to be forgotten.  Pour out your heart, stop hiding your wound, let the wound heal. There are some past you may say are inconsequential, but there are some that leave scars, never joke with them. If you hide details of your past from your spouse so as not to lose him/her, what is the assurance that you will keep him/her after marriage when the bubble burst?

We all love our spouses to be sincere, honest and transparent. Openness does the magic in sealing trust in relationships. From the Holy Book, we learnt that, Ruth did not disguise her ‘Moab’ identity to fit it among the Jews. She was transparent and showed that despite her “unwelcomed” identity, she was ready to embrace The God of the Israelites and that endeared Boaz’s heart to her. If you hide things from your spouse-to-be now, you’ll keep hiding things from him/her when you both get married and that is detrimental to your marriage. Great couples don’t hide secrets, they share secrets.

Being open with your spouse helps him/her to watch your back and keep praying for you. You only hide what you are not healed from, you share testimonies of what you are healed from despite its scar; so if there is a past you need healing for, please get help, seek good counselors and advisers. We may not be the cause of what happened to us in the past but we are responsible for how we handle our reaction to it.

When you make mistake and keep hiding it from your spouse, you need to tell lies and compromise some things to keep ‘the covering’ going; the more you do this, the farther you drift from your spouse and the weaker your relationship becomes until you can no longer hold it together and then your cup gets full and overflows for everyone to see. Allow your spouse to cover your nakedness now because he/she has been anointed and called to do so; “they were both naked and not ashamed”… (The Holy Bible).  Don’t wait until your dirty linen is washed in the public. ‘I don’t want him to know I was once married; I don’t want him to know I was once a sex worker; I don’t want her to know I have a child out of wedlock with another woman…” All these secrets and more break up marriages and create unhappy homes when the truth is later revealed to the other partner. Save yourself from future unhappiness, embarrassment and heartaches. Tell him/her all s/he needs to know before you walk down the aisle. If s/he loves you enough…s/he will not leave you despite your past or mistake and s/he will be able to walk through with you in any circumstance you are in life. If s/he decides to leave you for being honest about your past or mistake, it means you deserve someone better, someone like Boaz to Ruth who will love you despite your past or mistake. It is better said now than later when it will be too late to bear.