“At one time you lived in darkness. Now you are living in the light that comes from the Lord. Live as children who have the light of the Lord in them.”
From the Bible, book of Ephesians 5 verse 8
After I announced news of my pregnancy on social media, some well-meaning friends and family members started calling and texting us (Bud and I) telling me to take the photo of my scan down and to stop saying anything about my pregnancy until after the delivery.
Apparently, all the witches and wizards in Africa, ancestral spirits, warlocks, cankerworms and professor Severus Snape have been riled by my announcement and are gathering in some coven somewhere to plan their assault.
In a nutshell, I had provoked the dark side.
Now you all know I’m an Afro, Lagos-born, black-attitude, Jollof rice-advocate, Nigeria-representing Sista. Still, I am a Sista who tries to keep it real. So let’s get real
First, let me clarify that my Christian faith is a major influence for me NOT for the following reasons;
1. Not because my mum dragged me to church when I was little and any African child with any common sense would know that contending with an African mother is worse than being thrown into a den of lions (those mommas are not playing so you better not play with them). I must admit though that the ‘dragging’ influenced my decision years later.
2. Not because it is a fancy thing to do and church people are the best around (Don’t even get me started on that one, Mmhmm!)
3. Not because I didn’t have any other options. As an African, the chances of being a witch doctor among other ‘occupations’ are very high. So there were other options.
The reason I decided to choose Jesus was (and still is) because – I totally believe there is a very powerful God who completely loves me, sent His son to die for me (to bring me out of the dark into His light), so I can experience the joy of living in His light and blessings EVERYDAY.
I’m just going to get my T.D Jakes groove on (with a holy organ sound in the background) and say that I believe that one key aspect of living in the light (with God) is living without fear (except the fear of needles cos’ no blinding ray of light is going to make me sit still for a blood test! We are all allowed a handful of fears to keep us in line I guess)
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear. He gave us a spirit of power and of love and of a good mind”
From the Bible, book of 2 Timothy 1 verse 7
So here are my reasons for not taking the post or photo down.
1. I had good news to share
‘What’s the good of news if you haven’t a sister to share it?’
Bud and I have been married for a good number of years and are about to have our first child. There are lots of friends and family who have been expecting, hoping and even praying for this good news but not a lot of cash (or time) to spend calling everyone. Praise Jesus for brother Mark Zuckerberg who came to our rescue and made Facebook available for simple and humble folks like us.
Now announcing stuff on social media should be based on one’s prerogative and done with consideration and respect for other users. I also think everything shouldn’t be put out there. Still, some things need not be a cloak and dagger affair (especially out of fear of the witches and their consortium of haters). We wanted our friends to know without spending a lot of money and it worked. Working hard versus working smart, people!
2. I needed all the help I can get
‘…That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times…’
Excerpt from ‘That’s what friends are for’ by Dionne Warwick
This is a new experience for Bud and I and much as we love our immediate family living in Nigeria and the outermost parts of the earth (mmhmm), they couldn’t be of much help to us here in the U.K.; and for our friends close and near, well, they couldn’t be of help if they do not know what or why we need help, to begin with.
At the start of last year, I suffered from depression and a lot of friends didn’t know but a few close friends. I had some good help because I ‘announced’ my situation to trusted friends who helped me through it. Fast forward to present day. Being currently preggers and unable to cook (from still being sick) while dealing with random cravings would have been detrimental to my health and baby not to mention wallet (no! Richard Branson didn’t adopt me yet) but for the incredible support of friends who encourage and provide us with tasty and delicious meals because they know I’m pregnant and want to help me through it.
3. I believe light is more powerful than the dark
“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it”
From the Bible, book of John 1 verse 5
I have had the privilege of being part of a couple of baby showers, home/hospital visits after birth, Mothercare/Toys R Us gift sprees when I can afford to (cos’ girl! these babies keep poppin’ like it’s an invasion!) and 1st birthday celebrations, not to mention welcoming and helping new babies settle into the nursery. That’s because I absolutely adore children and I think babies are the cutest (this is as mushy as I can get) and whenever I hear news of a friend’s pregnancy, I am always overjoyed.
Now before some Africans go for my jugular, I know witches exist (thank you Nollywood and the ten thousand churches across Africa), I know there are haters and descendants of ‘The Grinch who stole Christmas’ (people who are never happy because they are professional grumps and really need Jesus), and I know there are all colours of juju out there; white, black, brown, etc (there is no racism in juju land. Mmhmm!).
However, I ALSO do believe in the power of prayer and do not pray simply to score brownie points in Sunday school. I believe that the God who loves me is “packing” far more than the hater who doesn’t and I choose to walk in His light.
4. I’m a grown and growing woman!
“Too many cooks spoil the broth”
I once wrote about the ‘busybodies‘ (Pronounced bizee bodee) in Nigeria. Well, it turns out there are ‘busybodies’ everywhere. From cosmetic and fashion ads to news anchors and the perpetrators of fake news to ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians’ to social media to friends and family. There are a million and ten thousand voices trying to dictate, coarse, insinuate, nag and tell you what you should do and what’s best for you…in their opinion.
Well, proceed with caution and where necessary, be assertive!
Thing is you can’t please everyone all the time and chances are you won’t always make the right call but chances are you will learn some lessons along the way.
That is called the journey of life. It’s also called growing up.
Bottom line, do you live out of fear of the dark, or a revelation of the light?
Let me know your thoughts.
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
From the Bible, the book of 1 John 4 verse 4