Winter 2016. I'd been indoors for days with the windows drawn. I'd been sick for almost one week and didn't leave my room for anything except getting my mail. That was also the period I couldn't get my phone to work so I couldn't even make phone calls out. The closest thing to consolation was a netflix binge catching up on The 100 and The Office. It was a trying time because I tried to set up conversations with my closest friends and it just didn't work out. People were busy with exams, or writing, or working and just seemed to neglect me. Someone actually promised to reduce the amount of talking we did because... It cut deep and it's taking some grace to still love them. Yes, love. A trying time to love people. It really didn't cross my mind that I was carrying a load of beef. There was this guy that knew something about me and used that knowledge to more or less stab me in the back, in the heart, everywhere. And the worst thing about it? He was still smiling to my face and...anyway. I didn't realize I hadn't actually forgiven him until I said out loud that if he were on fire and I had a glass of water, I would probably drink it. And then I felt convicted in my Spirit about the main command Jesus gave- to love God with our whole heart and strength and soul...and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. That night I let it go and prayed for the strength to love even the hurtful. The gloom did not disappear though. I was thoroughly alone with nowhere to go. I started to think that a lot of the unhappiness came from comparing my life in Canada with my life in Nigeria- friends, church, familiar food and places and just the sheer craziness that's bound to pop up every single day; and the weather. I'd toyed with the Idea of just burning all the bridges and looking forward. One day it got too much and I began to think- how I wish I could end it all. How I wish i could just disappear from earth and leave no trace I ever existed. How I wished my parents didn't just meet at all- then there wouldn't be me and I wouldn't get to this low point and... I knew those thoughts were definitely not coming from the right place. I laced my shoes and took a walk out of the house heading to fellowship. At least there I would spend time in worship and be refreshed with the wonderful music. When I got there the hall was empty. Of all days for fellowship not to hold it had to be THIS day? I walked along the walls trying to find the light switch. Then I noticed someone else making the same mistake I made earlier- heading to the thermostat thinking it was the switchboard. I would strike a conversation with this person and eventually spend 5 hours talking with her. And breaking out into a worship session with a third person who came up to the chapel with a burden to just worship and pray. Anywhere two or three are gathered in His name, there he is in the midst of them, right? Well that was true. It was an awesome time taking just three songs and feeling the atmosphere change. After another hour Miss Third Lady left and it was just me and Miss Original Lady. Nikki. Within a short time I noticed something was happening to me. I wasn't sad. Or depressed. I was thoroughly happy. It was as if someone had turned me inside out like a wet bag and left me in the sun to dry. Or someone shone a bright light into a very dark room. I laughed my heart out in a way I haven't done since...November. While I walked her to the parking lot to meet her Dad, I thought to myself- I need this kind of person around me. Someone that'd make ME laugh effortlessly (not me trying crazy things to make people laugh). I didn't leave the next possible meeting to a lucky encounter. I straight up asked for her number. Deoye Feel my boldness! Thank you, Thank you! Over that week we'd meet in school, talk for a while, break out in worship, talk for another 5 hours then go home and text all night. She seems to believe it's MY fault. That is a is a charge I deny to this day (It really is always YOUR fault Nikki). Everyday she'd ask me- did you pray this morning? I would smile and wonder why it was so easy to be looking at a physically attractive person and be thinking about how I need to be close to God. She more or less became a nurse. She happened to be a psychology student and loved counselling people. Maybe it was a chance for her to practice whatever she'd been learning; maybe it was just her caring nature, but Nikki listened and listened to me vent. I would go to her feeling gloomy but after 10 minutes I'd be completely fine. (Sign me up for when you finally set up shop, Nikki). One time I was doing a study on Paul's letter to the Philipians and we got into an argument about whether the Sons of Sceva had actually cast out demons before using the name of Jesus. All my life I'd never checked to see whether they had been successful before one demon challenged them. Now that I look back I realize I'd never read that Scripture close enough to see that they were Trying to cast out a demon. I must have heard the story from Sunday school teachers who glossed over the back story. I'm learning to be careful, you know- spare myself another embarrassment :-D ___ Spring 2016 I'm happy as a clam at high tide. I don't need to hide. I don't need to be scared. Light has covered me, Grace has swallowed me. The Love of God is working deep inside me, healing wounds, sealing cracks, making this shattered heart whole again. I'm healthy, I'm working towards my goals again. I find that I can write again, that music sounds pleasant once more; that I can dance without dying a thousand embarrassment-induced deaths. I promised to make this as long as possible so she wouldn't read to the end. Hopefully she won't get here. But if she does then Nikki, you a good bredren fi true!