Rich In Faith

Rich In Faith

What ‘Rich in Faith’ means to me:

To hold the promises and the pleasure of Christ firmly in my mind until it pushes the other images out.
Its my willingness to abide in a place I don’t understand….’



National Hospital, Abuja – Nigeria.
July 2015

It rained heavily that night, causing everyone in my ward to retire to bed early. Feeling pressed, I got up to use the toilet and as I rounded up, I sensed a shiver creeping in slowly. The feverishness became recurrent as my left lung was filled with fluid. Typically, I recycled a routine that helped calm the shivers & soothed the pain.

But as I got back to my bed, the force that took over me was not familiar. I remember calling out to “Cynthia,” my ward mate’s Auxiliary Nurse, to fill my hot water bottle as the recurrent knife-stabbing pain on my upper back hit me. Before she boiled water and filled the bottle, I started shivering so hard. As I struggled to control the tremors from my body, the bed-frame also shook.

I remember the Aux Nurse confusedly dashing out of the ward to alert the hospital nurses and doctors. Surrendering every strength left in me to fight, I latched tightly to my bed rail with cold hands—as if it shouldn’t dare let me go, reminding myself to keep holding till I go out of strength.

I noticed my room filled up with nurses and doctors, asking me questions I had no answers to. I wanted to scream for help, but my voice failed me — I could no longer speak. I stared right back sensing the warm tears streaming down my face. The next moment I remember; a doctor jabbed an injection into my right thigh. As I held onto my bed rail, getting numb, the Nurse counted in seconds till I slept off.

After a few hours, I woke up, struggling to breathe again.

‘Spirit breathe………… come have your way, because I know that you are here with me. Into Your hands I commit my spirit. Let your voice be all I hear.
Even in death my soul will long for You—and trust You—as I no longer want to fear when I am in the storm.’

As the Nurse on duty rushed in, she hurriedly fixed an oxygen mask on my face.

And that was the moment fear crept in!

I stutteringly confessed every Healing Promise I remembered from earlier meditation—again and again, repeating them under my breath (thinking it was my faith working).

But what happened was, I rejected myself through fear—manifesting my faith in reverse, fearfully reassuring God of His promises, forgetting that everything He does, in life & in death is love.

It’s beautiful

The Nurse signalled me to stop talking as I reached breathlessness.

“It’s enough Nicole. Please let’s try to manage your strength & breath.”

I listened & adjusted. At once, I kept quiet and apologised for using up my energy to talk. I stopped fighting to be saved—I simply let go.

Fear visited, and I tried to hang on to it. What’s the point of fighting with fear? Nothing changes!
Rather than allow it to move through me, I disrupted the flow—deciding to own it.

Then I remembered the conversation Tolu & I had. On his regular hospital visits, we had our mini fellowship: through chit-chatting/bible study/prayer/worship/laughter. We discussed our victory after death (the great unknown). We also agreed that, during trials, we delight and rejoice in Gods sovereignty—that the end of man is to drink deeply of the pleasure from praise.

That memory readjusted my faith, that if it was His will for me to leave, at best, let my transition be glorious.

I shifted my focus from fear to love. I surrendered.

Rainer Rilke wrote this beautiful line, that “If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.”
She reminded me that I had the power to transform fear, bitterness & suffering into a song. That when my faith dwindles, if I speak in songs, I will be heard.

Spirit consummated with gratitude, I burst into worship and adoration.

‘Take all that I am. With all that I am, I will love you.
I will sing praise to You while I have my being. The God Who gives and takes away: My strength is almost gone, but You are Who You are wherever I am. May my praise be sweet to You.’

Through worship, Holy Spirit stilled the voice of fear in my heart.

I had a glimpse of my 29 years on earth: feeling grateful that I had treasured and enjoyed life.

With a cloud of peace over me, I rested.

***************************************************************************

That was the last memory I had till I woke up. I wanted to breathe but I sensed something uncomfortable obstructing the flow of air — it was the oxygen mask.

I reached out again, to the Aux Nurse sleeping by me to help get the Hospital Nurse.

I asked her to take the Oxygen Mask off my nose. I needed to breathe and felt restricted. But she refused to, until the Doctor on-call gave the directive.

‘Please trust me. I can breathe properly………. I promise.’

I just needed to leap out of the boat.

She left to call the doctor on-call (unfortunately he couldn’t be reached).

She took my vital signs again, then took the oxygen mask off my nose.

The next morning I remember her (the nurse), pleading with me, not to scare her again.

I struggle with words to quantify how I felt but ‘liberating’ is fitting.

***************************************************************************
It was almost 5am. I reached for my phone and saw several missed calls from my elder sister. Quite strange for her to call at this time, so I returned her call. She kept asking if I was okay. And I assured her I was, still holding back from narrating my previous night experience till she came visiting.

But I noticed how distressed her voice was.

So, I asked if she was okay and she worriedly said no. My sister confessed to hearing voices while she tried to sleep. The voices kept creeping into her spirit, convincing her she was wasting time in faith and prayers, because I was going to die. She mentioned ignoring and fervently praying to get it out. But this particular night, it was frighteningly vivid and she was overcome by fear.

I found myself encouraging her about having hope for my health. I told her the devil put the spirit of fear in her mind to replace faith. His corny ways know the mind is the battlefield. Fear is the only weapon he had over her.

After uplifting her spirit, I was compelled to tell her about the early hour of the night. I shared everything I could remember.

***************************************************************************
I couldn’t sleep anymore because I was intoxicated with praise. My entire being was in awe of the flow of His presence. I found strength and meditated with the Book of Psalms. My spirit kept bursting in more praise till the dawn of the day.

I found more comfort in Psalm 30.

“What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it declare Your truth?”

Later that day, my recovering ward-mate, “Mrs Onuoha.” an elderly woman who had lost some of her memory due to a stroke, became my voice of testimony. Mumbling words, she narrated the previous night to everyone that visited (doctors/nurses/my visitors and hers — bits I couldn’t remember.

Feeling slightly embarrassed, I watched her praise God on my behalf.

I wish everyone reading this Divine Peace. May the voice of God be louder than all your fears and concerns.

As you go through turbulent times, may the peace that surpasses all understanding be your shield. May you have the voice to stand in the face of fear and ask it to go! As an alternative, dive deep into the ocean of God’s love through praise and receive the gift of peace.

We unconsciously substitute having faith with the spirit of fear. Big illusion!

Just let it all go.

Don’t strive.

Be still.

Do not be afraid. Rest on His words. Keep on breathing.

Trust Him!

In the dark there maybe fear, but there’s also hope…. there is peace… there’s love.

Perfect love casts out all fear.

Revive your spirit through worship.

In all things give thanks!

What an honour to be able to glorify Him.

Follow:

1 Comment

  1. Busayo
    August 2, 2018 / 7:43 am

    No fear in love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This is my story

Hey there, I am Nicole and this is my Survival Story in style.

I was living my best life, feeling quite balanced: physically, spiritually and emotionally, until May 2015 when I fell chronically ill with series of unrelated diagnosis. I eventually got a breakthrough in March 2017 with a provisional diagnosis: Inflammatory Myositis, an autoimmune condition.

It's been a whirlwind journey: from immense pain, to tears, laughter, love, comfort, fellowship, fear, confusion, anger, despondence.

And then, Hope.

Somehow, all the suffering I had to endure has lit my way and given me new courage to face and live my life victoriously and cheerfully.

I am grateful for this whole experience, as it has pivoted me into a different spiritual realm {The Zoe Life} and reshaped my general mentality about life.

This blog chronicles my walk through the valley and shadows. I will be giving my best to you, my readers, by stealing momemts to do the things I love: which is to share my catharsis through words & my complete passion for FASHION & STYLE, in hope that it will encourage and inspire you.

I hope we remain a community that support and uplift each other.