Why I Won’t Give Up…

So my brothers and I have this inside joke, whenever I start to tell a story that they have heard a hundred times before, they start to sing “story of my life, searching for the right”…(I know, it’s only funny if you hear them sing it)

6:10 am; standing in front of my bathroom mirror, toothbrush in hand, trying to gather myself to start my day. My tooth was throbbing so hard I was very afraid to put the toothbrush in my mouth. So I stood there for a while, and then I did what children do when they are in pain, I called my mother. She cheered me up, told me to be a big girl, brush my teeth and get on with my day but before she hung up, she said; wait, let me tell you a story of why you should never give up, Insert music; ” story of my life”…

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December 1988, Olodi Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria. I had been sick for months, been admitted at LUTH for several months, I was not getting any better and the doctors gave up. They told my mum to take me home and let nature take its course. My fever was so high that my mother couldn’t sleep a wink, she had been up for days and she was exhausted but this particular day she was really tired and had to catch a quick nap. She had barely closed her eyes when she heard my cousin screaming for her, yelling at the top of her lungs because I had stopped breathing. My mum did not even look to see if it was true or not, her daughter was dying and she was terrified so she ran, she ran out the door into the street, wailing and crying for help, she was so overwhelmed and all she could do was cry.

I was convulsing again, and this time my jaws had locked up and my airway was completely blocked. Mama Chiago, one of our neighbors had heard my mum wailing and she ran into our house; she and my dad managed to pry my jaw open and administered medication to me. My parents weren’t even born again at the time, but my mum said she could remember my dad praying from the depths of his soul saying” Amarachukwu, you will not die! Not today, please God not today. It is safe to say that God answered that prayer because here I am today!

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My mother,my hero

My mum told me that after that day, I never had another seizure and I thrived and grew like I was supposed to. She recollects holding me for hours, looking at  my tired little face, bruised and battered from the efforts to pry my jaw open and just weeping and thanking God for sparing her little girl’s life. Amara, If God didn’t want you here, He would have taken you that day, you are here today for a reason. You went through that, you can go through anything! You see why the woman is my best friend? Anyway after we hung up, I braced myself, took a couple of pain pills, finally brushed my teeth and went about my day with a huge smile on my face. My tooth might ache like hell, my life might be going in the opposite direction from where I planned for it to go, 2016 might have been a whirlwind of tears and low moments; but I won’t give up! I have come too far from where I started from, God has been my God through all of it, and He didn’t bring me this far to leave me…

Don’t give up, not when the sun is just about to shine. 2017 will be our best year yet… ps: this is a heartfelt thank you to Mama Chiago, God bless you wherever you are today!

Fall seven times and stand up eight.”- Japanese Proverb

Miracles

 

Miracles from Heaven. This movie has changed my life immensely. It was quite an emotional movie and I wept while I watched, but at the end of the movie, I felt a peace and joy that I haven’t felt in a while and a reassurance that God is still in the business of performing miracles, we just have to position ourselves to receive them. I highly recommend that you all watch it, it is an awe inspiring movie. So today, I would like to share with you guys a miracle that God gave to me in 2013.

As at March 2013, I didn’t have a job and I was MISERABLE! I was so depressed and I hated myself. I went for countless interviews; in areas of Lagos that I didn’t even know existed. It was an exhausting cycle of rejection emails. Each time I got my hopes up and each time they came crashing down. I stopped praying and just went about my life sad and beaten down. All that however changed on a Sunday night. I remember vividly not wanting to go for that service because I had already gone to Church in the morning and I couldn’t be bothered to go twice, but my mother made me, so I reluctantly went to the room to look for a scarf to cover my untidy hair and follow her (I was too broke to even make my hair)

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We were a little late so the worship session was already underway and I just sat quietly at the back and put my head down but somewhere during the worship, I started humming along and before I knew it I was overwhelmed by the love and presence of God and I was singing at the top of my lungs, completely oblivious to my surroundings. After the worship came the word and it felt as though God had told my pastor everything I was dealing with, I remember my mum looking back one time to see if I was hearing what she was hearing. And then it was time to pray and I did something I had never done before. I walked to the altar and lay on the ground and told God all my frustrations and that I wanted a job asap. I didn’t even care who was watching or that my clothes were stained. All I cared about was emptying my heart at my saviour’s feet. The service ended and we went home.

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We had just walked into the house when my phone rang and a very well spoken lady asked if she was speaking to Amara and when I confirmed it was me, she started to apologise profusely for not calling me earlier and that I had an interview scheduled for the next day which was Monday. I was rendered speechless and just a little confused because I had no clue who she was, how she got my number and what company she was talking about, she told me to look out for an email with details and that she’d see me tomorrow. I was dazed to say the least, I ran to my mum’s room screaming and dancing and my sister and I figured out what I was going to wear the next day.

I was so clueless about the company and the interview I was going to, so clueless that I had to read about them on the bus ride to the island. I got there and I couldn’t believe my eyes. The environment was so serene and I got such a warm reception. The two ladies that interviewed me were so friendly and awesome and it just felt like we were three old friends catching up with each other. To cut this long story short, it all played out like a dream. I went for a follow up interview with the CEO and in a matter of days the job was mine. It was so surreal, but God didn’t end there. Two days after I resumed I went on an official trip where I met a governor for the first time in my life! And I was paid enough money for that trip that I was able to buy myself a new blackberry. Till date, the ladies who interviewed me who by the way are now two of my closest friends refused to tell me how they got my resume. I NEVER applied for that job, I didn’t even know about the company till I got there, but somehow they got my resume and hired me out of the ten more qualified applicants!

God orchestrated my working for that company perfectly. The first time I went to America, they sent me there all expenses paid. It was like a movie to me, I found myself at the white house taking pictures and it dawned on me how far God had brought me. I live in America today and I would never have been able to do my masters here and stay if I hadn’t gone on that first trip to Washington DC. You see how one miracle sprouted many more? It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

I am sharing this story because I have been going through some difficult times and I completely focused on all that was going wrong and I forgot about the God that brought me here, against all odds in the first place. Don’t let the devil rob you of the greatness that God has for you; don’t limit God and His infinite power. Miracles still happen, and if they happened for me they will definitely happen for you. By the way I have a brand new miracle! I’ll share it soon, watch this space.

Knowing there’s one thing I still haven’t told you: I now believe, by the way, that miracles can happen. ”― Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”Albert Einstein