My IHS Christmas GiveAway – His Reassurance

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If you are on my BBM or WhatsApp or you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably had ‘enough’ of my fuss over this IHS win.
Maybe you’re thinking “what’s the excitement about? They’re just books!”
I know, I didn’t think they were precious stones (literally). I knew before I put in for the quiz that if I won, I’d be getting books…

So, why the over-excitement on the win?

It is partly because I have never won anything in my life!
Yes, you read that right. NEVER!
Not even free Coke or recharge card – Nothing!
I have since accepted that I don’t have ‘head for awuf‘ so, it’s no issue for me when people around me get free gifts or ‘win something’. I just celebrate with them where necessary and I move on with my life.
I don’t even try to ‘win anything’.
Mi O l’ori awuf.

So I said it is partly because I won something for the first time in my life (at least, that I can remember).
The other reason, which is the main one, is because God used that win as a ‘come through’ for me. He was right on time!
See, for a while, I’ve had some personal issues; issues that were bordering on psychologically and emotionally paralysing me and, I felt stuck, irredeemable and wanted to give up. I had prayed and I had peace on the issues, trusting God to make it all perfect but, as if He knew (of course, He did) that I’d waver in trust, He decided to show me in plain terms that He meant what He’d said.

And He ‘showed’ you by letting you win books?
Yes.

A lot of times, we look out for the huge ones… The earth-moving, lightning-accompanied signs; like a voice booming from the skies or a word of prophecy from the Preacher…
But often times, we don’t get those and unfortunately for us, we think that God is ‘not there’ so we despair while this awesome Father is frantically waving His assurance in our faces with the simplest and most unassuming things.

God has no need to impress you!

Remember the still small voice?
Even the unassuming infant born in a manger?
Simple, little reassurances.
Let’s take a challenge this period, shall we? Let us make out minutes, even seconds, to thank God for the simplest things we often overlook in our lives – like sleeping and waking up; a reassurance of His need for you – and ask that He helps us to see the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Don’t forget to give even more special thanks for the unassuming infant born in a manger – the sole reason you can eat all the chicken and rice you want this Christmas.

“… He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him” Isaiah 53:2

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Merry Christmas!

I Hate Christmas

There’s no wreath on the door. The Christmas tree we dust and place in the living room every year is still in its resting place under the stairs gathering dust. Although I love to be up to date musically, my playlist hasn’t changed. I’ve found the courage to tell myself the truth.

I don’t believe in Christmas.

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In the days before the ‘fall’, Christmas used to be fun. We would spend days planning the menu and deciding what to wear. My brothers and I would debate what beach would be best for us to spend the day with my suggestion always coming out as the winning one.

At the beach, We would run out of the huts where our parents talked with our buckets and tiny shovels. We would build sandcastles and moats and play pretend. We would have too much to eat and go home exhausted with sandfly bites all over our bodies. Christmas WAS fun.

On our way to school, we sang ‘Jingle Bells’ in the car with the volume at the highest. We cried when we didn’t get parts in the school play and we laughed like hyenas when the presents where just what we had asked Santa for.

We were young and stupid and grateful

and we loved Christmas.

We didn’t understand that mum had to pay through her nose to get us new bikes and toys and clothes during Yuletide like Dad used to. The Christmas Eve before he left, We didn’t know that the papers that made Dad and Mum argue when they thought we had gone to bed weren’t bills but divorce papers. 

We didn’t understand why Dad stopped going to the beach with us. We didn’t understand why he had to move to another state to live with another person with another kid. 

We didn’t understand why mum’s explanation for Dad’s absence was cold hard silence.

We were young and stupid and we didn’t stay that way.

We grew up to see that other families weren’t that way. We grew up to see Dad’s with Mum’s who lived together with teenage sons. We grew to realize that we were an anomaly in the school system. We were a demography bound to produce more like us. We grew up ashamed of our home that didn’t have cute family pictures with Dad in it. We were young so we adapted.

We learnt to live and we learnt to lie. We learnt to live a lie.

Dad wasn’t around because he had to go on business trips abroad was my favorite  line. We accepted that we were the reason our parents couldn’t stay together and since there wasn’t anything we could do, we would not waste time grieving. 

We grew tired of singing ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Joy to the world’. All the talk of reindeers and snows and mangers and angels finally got to us. We had been raised Muslim so we weren’t under any obligation to endure Christmas and all the pain it brought.

Along the line, we fell in love with the Man on the Tree and surrendered to him. Somehow still, it was too late. We had become too old for the magic of Christmas to enthral us.

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It was when I opened the door to let my brothers into the house that I noticed there’s no wreath on the door. The Christmas tree we used to dust and place in the living room every year is still in its resting place under the stairs gathering dust because nobody remembers it. I make a joke about how having black Santas isn’t cool. My brothers laugh to honour me. In their tired smiles and weary eyes, I see the truth we’ve known since the divorce but haven’t told each other. 

We don’t believe in Christmas. In fact, we hate it.

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Adeyinka Shittu writes less depressing things on his blog. You can follow him on Instagram and his is oh-so deep twitter.

And remember to send my Christmas gifts!

Merry Christmas!