I put up Dee and CC on the same day because in their cases, they had to look backward to testify forward…
Many people misunderstood me and sent me 2013 round up rather than 2014, and I sent back the mails and asked them to readjust… For this two, the HS prompted me to let them be…
Sometimes, to even have the guts to believe for a new year, you have to draw strength from the past year(s) which is what these two people have done…
You may need a hanky for this post cos I am actually teary eyed as I read… But thank God. They all end well…
First off is my darling girl Dee
I dunno why this babe wanted to stay anon picture-wise but no dice baby…
Heavens know I love this babe. With all my blood… And her writing? Only her speech sounds better. Dee speaks like a newscaster. The kind that should be on CNN ooo. Then she has hands down the best voice I have ever heard. She sang ‘Miracle’ at my wedding (with my friend who is Gemma too) and trust me both Cariah and Whitney they ain’t got nothing on her. The potential within this babe is incredible… Infact me sef jealous jor… Lol. OK enjoy Dee
So it’s a few minutes to eleven am, Christmas Eve 2013 and I finally put pen to paper after waiting in vain for a Christmas writing miracle. Yup! I’d hoped in the spirit of Christmas, divine inspiration would descend on me, enabling me to write a world-class article worthy of Eziaha’s blog. Seems like Chukwu has other plans for Christmas this year.
And so I write, after relentless prodding from the ever-efficient Lizzie!
I scribble without effort but write nothing worth-while without her prompting these days. Her efficiency has often saved my life *no exaggeration, trust me* so, I totally appreciate it. Most of the time. The rest of the time, this slacker doesn’t like efficient people. They make her look bad! *comical face* But enough with my whining already; that’s not why I’m here. I’m here because Mrs. Olojo has honoured me by making me believe my writing is good enough for her blog and by God, I’ll make sure it is.
I am Nnedimma Gemma Ofili, a young woman somewhere in her twenties, 400level economics student of the University of Ibadan. Call me Dimma or Gemma or Dee or Miss Ofili; those options are wide enough, no? *wink* I meant to stay anonymous but obviously had a rethink.*tell me I won’t regret it, please!* There’s no reason to hide now, is there? Who testifies anon, anyway? No pictures though except E’ adds one herself. *unrepentant grin*
***I even added two and may add more sef***
I’ve had an amazing year 2013. For starters, I went back to school in January after a two-year break. I had been ill at a sub-threshold level for years, with a lot of hospital trips, diagnoses, misdiagnoses and non-diagnoses. 2011 was the year it all came crashing down on me. I was such a mess, I wound up in a psychiatric hospital with a severe case of depression and an eventual diagnosis of Bipolar II disorder, placed on meds and therapy. I was by turns and sometimes concurrently, lethargic, suicidal, weepy, high-strung and near-catatonic, among many other things.
Nobody understood. No, I’m not mistaken. I don’t mean few people understood. I mean NOBODY understood, myself included.
**** I believe NO ONE understood ooo. Cos even when she lived with me, I didn’t understand at all…And not understanding meant all I had to do was cry and pray to God…*****
But thankfully, a good number of people loved. My mother, aunts, friends (Anita Ogbuigwe! Amazing friend. Eziaha was instrumental to getting me professional help in psychology and psychiatry. Psyche much, eh?), my friend and priest, Fr Patrick Akunne, has no equal. He’s family now. My spiritual sibling, Rev. Jude-Mary, my doctor, my teachers… I really could go on but the list is too long. Point is, they all loved. And that love saved my life. I survived.
****Huge lesson!!! When you don’t understand, you can LOVE. Fr Patrick BTW is an ANGEL!!! Kpom quim****
2012/13 was about learning to live again. I really and truly started from the bottom, babyhood. I could hardly feed myself. By December, my mother was still spoon-feeding me some of the time. Ah! That woman! She cried and prayed and paid! She loved! She wasn’t perfect (who is, pray tell?!) but she loved me back to life. And she hoped I’d be back in school by January 2013!
Considering I was still being spoon-fed and other family members still had to do basic stuff for me like laundry and meal-preparation, resuming in January 2013 seemed not only far-fetched but downright impossible yet resume, I did. I had recovered a lot, no doubt but self-sufficiency was far away. What was left of my already low self-esteem had been totally shot by this time. I had to remind myself that I come from a line of strong women to get through some days. But then, I met Lizzie upon resumption and we became fast friends. She’s been a pillar of strength and support since then.
***Short story here. Lizzie and I were in this amazing hostel off campus. Lizzie is a darling trust me. So when I was graduating and Dee was resuming school again, I made sure she not only got a space in my hostel but also got my room oooooooooo. I pulled all the stops to ensure that cos she came kinda late and my hostel was hot-cake. Smart God move cos apparently, God needed her close to Lizzy. Can we thank Lizzy enough? BTW, hope you are still taking care of my haven..?
My meds had me “stable” but my energy level was forever low. It was a high price to pay for “stability”.
In April 2013, my cousin called from the US in tears. She is a nurse studying for her Master’s degree. In the course of her research, she recognized all the symptoms my mum had related to her over the years as symptoms of iron-deficiency anaemia, among other things. What had happened up until that time was a steady advancement of the undiagnosed anaemia, leading to many other complications. I was supposed to be dead; it had advanced so far, the next thing would’ve been cardiac arrest! A little thing had messed up my whole life.
I made a decision. I would stop the medication and live a healthier life. An iron-rich diet, patience and self-respect would be my key principles for this new lifestyle. Since I did have real physiological issues that had gone unnoticed by the health system (or what I had experienced of it with a botched procedure *a lost ovary* and misdiagnoses), I would have to be my own doctor.
***And thank God for the Doctor of all Doctors. He is surely at work in you, repairing and fixing all the lost…***
By June, I had escaped a potentially abusive marriage and entered my best relationship to date *no pun intended*. I was growing from strength to strength in every way. By October, I had let go of long-standing resentments I hadn’t been aware of before 2013 and by November, I was beginning to thrive. From practically being an invalid in 2011, I had gone to running my parents’ household in my mother’s stead. If that isn’t a testimony, I don’t know what is.
*** I know a testimony when I see one, This one is a BIG miraculous testimony***
In 2013, I’ve learned the power of love, forgiveness, good relationships and the human spirit. Better than all of that *what could be better, yeah? I know*, I’ve grown to know my Creator in a most basic and intimate way and that is the point from which I expect 2014 to take flight. It’s the next logical step for me, after all; I crashed, survived, lived and I now thrive.
***Devil lost this one big time… Now lets move to 2014***
In 2014, I expect to fly.
I will write the best final year essay ever recorded in my department and I will master the guitar!
I will continue to wax stronger physically and I will be a better person in every way imaginable.
All my relationships will flourish.
I will write a lot more and I will be incredibly Favoured and Blessed by Chukwu, my source of life, love and restoration.
***Amen my love. Chukwu can!!! ****
The Christmas writing miracle did happen, after all; I wrote the truth. And nothing makes better writing/reading than the truth. So a big thank you to Lizzie, my Christmas angel.
***You really should write more. And I can’t wait for you to GRADUATE!!! Nne, we have to throw a party for that one oooo. Thanks sweetie. You will continue to testify…***
OK on to my secondary school mate Chioma Chuka. Awesome super smart babe. Has an amazing blog here www.fairygodsister.WordPress.com (nne please upgrade ehn, thank you!!!).
I got the inspiration for this #31F.A.B.Voices Testifying from a series she ran on her blog in December featuring 31 writers talk about their 2013. I was up on Christmas eve… http://t.co/UUOQgoi4Xd
Can I just get out of the way and let Chioma testify…
2014! Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude! Nothing more, this is the year that God and I have agreed will be full of gratitude alone. Gratitude.
2013 was a difficult year. Ooh, very difficult. SO difficult some days I was scared that one day I would do something to hurt myself. It was incredible, wearing a smile outside because people were ‘counting on me to smile’ and I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, but I was really struggling inside.
To put this in perspective, I’m not a stranger to rough patches, but I’ve always seen the good in every unpleasant situation, felt like it would get better. But when I woke up on the 21st of July to news that my aunty Pat had passed, the term ‘numb’ came alive. Ooh it came alive.
***Oh my!!! I can’t even imagine how CC felt. Blog post after blog post dedicated to Aunty Pat. You could feel her pain… God rest her soul darling***
Can I say a big thank you to Olamide Craig here? I rang him, and he left school and his preparations for his exams, literally came running. I remember kneeling down by the train station, wailing. He stayed through my rants, tears, and only left after I slept. God bless you for me Craig, God bless you richly.
***We all love Lamide Craig. I think many of us had crushes on this hot Doctor in school. Thank God he was already my friend so no need to crush loool.
Lamide is amazing… Guys like him are rare. I dropped a few lines about him in this post http://eziaha.com/2012/06/26/birthday-gratitude-to-some-of-those-who-have-colored-my-life-beautiful-pt-2/ Oya follow him and his ministry on twitter @revdrcraig . Thank you Craig…***
By November it started dawning on me that the weight I put on in the hospital caring for my aunt wasn’t planning to ‘leave me alone’ (lol), and that was a very present worry. One day on Twitter looking through the handles of some fitness experts (if looking /watching Insanity curled up in bed with a hot drink could scare the pounds off my body I’d be anorexic by now I promise), I chanced upon an idea that became the #31Days31Writers project after I tweaked it a bit.
Amazing! Whoop! It’s one of the best things I did last year! Loved the distraction it became, and when the stories started coming in, oh what a joy! Mrs. E’ sent in an entry too, she was up on Christmas Eve! I’m excited at the Christians I’ve been exposed to and become friends with via this blog; it’s such a blessing to be part of a blossoming community of young people who love the Lord!
****Nne this 31voices adiro kwa easy ooo. It is really draining. Plenty times I have cried ooo cos frankly, I have poured my ALL into it and sometimes my emotions get all over the place but i am just like ‘this is God’s work so shut up!!!” Loool***
It wasn’t all gloom and doom though. Matter of fact, when I said I’d send in an entry, it was actually a challenge for me to find things to be grateful for. All I had to do was think, and boom – testimony after testimony. Have time for a few?
*** Like I said, sometimes we gotta look back to go forward… So let’s enjoy CC’s 2013***
In 2013, I was sought out on LinkedIn by the project manager of MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation to provide social media consultation for Shuga.
In September I stood in for a friend at Social Media Week London, moderating a panel of people I can honestly say I wouldn’t have been able to meet all at once otherwise. Off that event, by December I had gotten two all expenses paid speaking trips for 2014. One of them is in three weeks (butterflies of life and destiny!)
In the same 2013, I went to bed and woke up every morning, no struggle. I traveled (and I like to move around), and there never was an evil report (except me missing a flight to Aberdeen, falling asleep on the train back home and therefore missing my stop, losing my train ticket – all in one morning, sigh). Even in that, there were funds for another ticket, strength to go back to the airport that same evening, and a safe trip to and fro. God loves me walai!
My family is healthy. Big miracle. We might have fallen ill once or twice, but we always got better. I remember crying to church one Sunday in October cos my sister sent me a photo of my nephew with bumps all over his body, suffering from a reaction to something. But, he got better, and now feeds himself! My darling boy!
Speaking of healing, God healed my dad of some strange, excruciating pain in his shoulder, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I tasted love in 2013, met an awesome young man. I’m excited at the big and great things my Father has designed for me this year, for the grace and humility that led me to read books, listen/watch messages, especially this January. I’m growing (in faith and in my mind), learning about myself, amassing tips I will adapt as necessary; readying myself for the great man and home He has designed for me. And I can’t wait!
***Whoop whoop whoop. CC’s Booski, are you there? Me too can’t wait****
I’m not where I should be but ooh this year is so bright I’m excited at the things the rest of the months in the year will bring!
And so I testify today, of His goodness, and His mercy, and His grace, and His love, of His awesomeness and great glory.
I testify because there can never be a good enough explanation for God loving me the way He does, with all my flaws, imperfections and weaknesses. I can’t comprehend it (but then if I did, it wouldn’t be God na… He has to ‘show’ Himself)! Whoop!
I testify because I see 2014. Want to know what I’ve seen? I’ve seen a great year, full of peace, good news, love, hearing from and speaking to God, a complete dissociation from everything that doesn’t please Him, prosperity (oh yes, ooh yes), and immeasurable joy on every side.
This is the year, and I testify!
***Phew… 2014 will defo be plenty better with NO MORE LOSSES amen… Thanks Sugar and again, I am mighty prouda you!!! ***
Before I go tho, the amazing blogger One plus who was anon before has COME OUT and my, is she FABULOUS or WHAT?!?!?
Awww Sugar, welcome to the non-anon world of bloggers. E remain @inthemidstofher @naijawife and @marriagebydbook
OUT OUT OUT!!!!
BTW, Aku m and I featured on her blog here.
And this is her ‘Reveal Post’
I can’t wait to finally meet you hun…
And Ayo is my besties name… Now you are my blog bestie… Yay!!!
OK enough of my One’lurving… He he he
Finally, happy birthday to one of my FAB praying sisters Chinwe ikele
Just featured her last Sunday or so on my blog
My prayer for you is that you have a FORWARD year in all ramifications. Whatever ‘FORWARD’ reps to you, please enjoy it. Love you mega duper and God bless you