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I’ve found out that many challenges come with the ability to self-destruct. That is, they expire on their own with time.

I know this because the biggest needs I had in the years before I was ten were toys, playtime, and playmates. In those days, there were many trendy toys I craved but didn’t get to own because my parents thought they were not suited for me or that I could do without them. They were right.

Some toys were so popular and my craving for them so intense that I cried—shamelessly and literally, sulking and refusing to do what I was told as a form of protest for what I termed “injustice”.

Well, I probably didn’t know what “injustice” meant at that age, but I thought I was being denied of what was duly mine. Anyway, mom and dad ensured that I was relieved of such silly thought patterns. Do I have to tell you how they did it?

under the sheets

Fast forward to my teenage years, and new needs reared their ugly heads. Peer pressure packed its bags and came to live with me. Soon we switched roles: it became the landlord, and I, the tenant.

Everywhere I turned as a teenager, new standards were being built for me to measure up to. So my needs were many and changing quickly. I wanted a girlfriend, because why not? Every boy I knew had one. And they made it a condition for belonging to their clique, something like a commandment: “Thou must have a bae!”

I may not be able to tell how thoroughly miserable this commandment left little, shy me.

I wanted to go to boarding school, own a bicycle, a phone, boots, and many more things because someone in my circle had set that standard. And I wanted these things so badly that I did whatever I was told could bring them to pass, including fasting and prayer. I felt like a failure without them. Yet they were phased out without my active participation. Time and chance happened to them, I guess. Shrug.

In the same way, you want a raise in your salary but it doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.
The same way you want that admission, promotion, inauguration, marriage, etc.

Don’t stop making efforts to achieve your goals, but learn to fight from a place of victory; you were here before the challenge came, you will be here when it fizzles out. Have the presence of mind to allow time and chance to happen to the things that plague you. You need to understand that time is a solution in its own right.

That challenge may have a lot of validity, but does it have as much longevity?

Light and understanding came to me when I became an adult. It was like a breath of fresh air from the surface for a drowning man. I dragged in until my lungs and every part of me were full.

So I’ve learnt to set sail even in unfavourable winds, knowing that with God I will outlast the storm.

That’s my message to you today, beloved:

You will outlast the storm!

I know that good news is scarce in the media these days, and goodness seems to have gone on sabbatical.

Everywhere we look we are faced with some sort of ‘vawulence’, to the point that we have normalised it and even began to intentionally create such situations, so I’m bringing you something different. It’s no new message; it’s old but gold.

You will outlast the storm!

I’ll end with this verse from a poem I wrote in 2020:

“all our problems will fade like days
either washed into irrelevance by time
or squeezed thin by solutions, like lime”

Rest assured and be encouraged.

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I am a firm believer in the salvaging, boundless authority of words. I reckon that when words are given flow, they can gift a banishing blow to everything that's not letting all of our joy show.

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