Friday, June 19, 2015

A Unique Pathway For A Unique Purpose

Subconsciously, my mind chose to focus on the process by which pearls are formed this morning. I was still in bed, musing on the events of my life in the past years and especially in the last few weeks. The several discussions I had with my Sistas, Bidemi and Audrey, while we were in London for the Sistapower Gathering in UK floated back into my mind. 


These three words are so intricately woven together that they are inseparable. I had a light bulb moment as I pondered on how these tightly woven words have played out in my life story. That was when I remembered that I had written a blog post on pearls some years ago. I sought for it and found it.

I posted The Pearl Necklace on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. I still cannot remember what inspired that story. My jaws dropped as I read the blog post over again today. It was prophetic on many levels.

At the time of writing The Pearl Necklace, I had no indication that I would at some point in my life own a beading business. It was not even on my list of dreams and goals. But eighteen months later, I made my first bead jewelry set and my beading business was launched six months after that first set was made. 

Process and pain marked the path between March 2012 and June 2013 when purpose began to be revealed. I am overwhelmed at what God has been doing with Hands of Grace Creations; the doors this business has opened to me to share my testimony and the provision when most needed. 

Dear Friends, through it all, I learnt the following lessons:
- there is purpose in the process
- there is purpose in the pain
- my process is unique for my calling.

Your pathway to fulfilling your God-ordained purpose is unique for you. Be assured that God's grace can sustain you through whatever lies along the way

Read below The Pearl Necklace:

An unusual wandering in the “muse-land” took me to Chinatown. I walked along the street lined with jewelry shops and an array of beautiful necklaces displayed on the window of one of them drew my attention.
Through the window, I saw an old man sitting in front of a table laden with many bowls; his eyes beckoned me to come in. Unable to resist if I wished, I went in, with a swift sweep of his hands he directed me to sit across him. I did.
He picked a measured length of silk thread and threaded it through a needle. With a long deliberate pause, his eyes swept over the array of pearls in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors in individual bowls on the tray in front of him, dazzling in their rich and vibrant luster.
He stretched his callous hands to the farthest bowl on the tray with tiny round pearls looking like caviar, picked one of them,  and passed the needle through it along with several others. He placed a knot after each one, gradually increasing the sizes until the midpoint.
Then he picked a shimmering drop-shaped pearl with the colors of a peacock, lifted it up to the rays of sun streaming into the room and turned it around on the tips of his gaunt fingers—it sparkled in sunlight.
Precious,” he declared.
He strung it and continued with the round ones decreasing the sizes. It was a beautiful well-matched symmetric strand. I thought he would fix the clasp and finish it but he laid it down on another tray, picked up another strand of measured silk thread, and began the same process, this time the pearls were irregular in shape and size.
“Each unique.
I imagined so, since each pearl will bear the unique “signature” of the mother oyster that produced it.
Again at the midpoint he placed another shimmering peacock-colored pearl larger than the first one and finished up the strand as before. He laid the second strand below the first.
I was intrigued, but I glanced at my watch and shifted in the chair: “Where is he going with this?”
He must have read my mind, he smiled and said, “Wait, be patient.”
He picked the third strand of silk thread. This time after the first few small round pearls, the sizes increased dramatically until about the midpoint, and he placed smaller shimmering round pearls here and continued symmetrically to the end. He placed the third strand on the tray below the second.
Then he pulled one side of the three strands together, knotted them and worked the threads through one end of a gold clasp. He did the same for the other end. An exquisite picture emerged as he pulled the strands together, the midpoint pearls fitted on top of each other shimmering with the colors of a peacock. The irregular shaped dark green center strand was sandwiched between a thin rounded glittering black top strand and a thicker bottom strand in the same color. It was a perfect fit.
Beautiful, eh?”
Admiring what he created, he said, “Each piece, part of the story. Without one, necklace not same.”
I agreed with him. The product of the painstaking process was indeed beautiful. Each pearl, irrespective of the size or shape, had to be in a defined location for the strung pearls to come together in a perfect fit. Each strand could have stood alone, but together they formed a beautifully created elegant necklace.

It is reassuring to know we are precious, unique, and beautiful in the sight of God—fearfully and wonderfully created by Him. He meticulously strings together every divinely designed event in our lives, and fit them together for our good and to fulfill His ultimate purpose for us.
The pit, Potiphar’s house, and the prison—all are fitted together to prepare the perfect path to the palace for Joseph. Each experience was a unique event, which took Joseph closer to the fulfillment of his dreams. It was from the pit he was sold to the Medianites who brought him into Egypt and sold him to Potiphar, a Pharaoh’s officer. It was from Potiphar’s house he was sent to the prison. The prison brought him in contact with the Pharaoh’s Chief Butler, who at the appointed time provoked a recommendation on his behalf.   
Every event in our lives is allowed for a purpose and has a part to fulfill in the ultimate story. I got impatient because I did not know the design the old man had in mind for the pearls.
We also we get impatient and fidgety during the hard and difficult times when we seem to have more questions than answers. But this is the time to wait patiently with expectation trusting God Who knows the end from the beginning to work it all together for our good.
Do you know you are precious to God, and He has a good plan for you?

Do you know that God's good plan for you will require a painstaking process?

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jer. 29:11

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Appreciating The Goodness Of God

It has been a whirlwind of events over the last three weeks; memory making moments, many moments of recalling the mercies of God and moments when dreams turned to reality.

With great joy and gratitude to God, we heard the Master of the Ceremony announce; "From the Federal Republic of Nigeria....." And he called the name of our second son, not once but three times. The young man walked across the stage twice to receive the awards for Highest Academic Achievement and the Director's Prize. And the third time to receive his High School Diploma. The journey of his basic education began in the kindergarten school in Ibadan, Nigeria and took him through two years of primary school in Tamale, Ghana at the age of four. The last leg of twelve years in College de Leman, Geneva ended gloriously on Saturday, May 30th, 2015.

He not only did us his parents proud, he made all African Parents present at the Graduation Ceremony proud. When families and friends, started calling him "Professor" at the age of four months because of his receded hairline, little did they know they were prophesying greatness into his life. He is the geek of our family. He is following the footsteps of his uncles and big brother into the field of Engineering. I can never thank God enough for this fine God-fearing young man who we declare, like his namesake, shall be a man after God's heart.

I do appreciate You, O God for the great joy You have given us over this child you blessed our lives with and over his brother.

The following evening, our family gathered together reflecting on the amazing goodness of God to us. It was May 31st. It was a day my friend who is also an amputee tagged, "Ampuversary." It was two years since my legs were amputated below the knees. We reflected on how far God had brought us from that day when we shed tears together as a family. We talked about how God gave purpose to our pain and birthed the Feet Of Grace Foundation. My sons remarked that I would never have been involved in this Charity and Fund-Raising activities if my legs were not amputated. My husband said I had to go through this process of losing my legs so that others may receive their legs.

There is indeed purpose in the process and pain. For this, I truly appreciate God.

We praised and glorified God some more on Tuesday, June 2nd. We remembered how God took the sting out of our pain on June 2nd, 2013 when the nurses switched off the supplemental oxygen and the ventilator. For the first time in eight years, I was breathing without support and effort.

Top on the list of things we take for granted in life is breathing. We don't think about it. We expect to take the next breath, to the extent that we don't appreciate that it is God who gives us the grace to breath. He holds the breath of man, and with it He holds man's soul in life. I learnt to appreciate the value of every single breath when breathing became a conscious effort for me.

Looking back to the last two years of effortless breathing, I cannot but fall on my knees and appreciate the goodness and mercies of God.

By this time, I had barely four days left to translate my gal's dream to reality. Her dream needed the exercise of her name to be made manifest. It has been a walk of faith since we started planning her wedding. We needed to exercise faith the more as the day drew near. I needed grace, strength, wisdom and divine help. The list of things to do was as long as my height stretched out.

God amazed, astonished and overwhelmed us. June 6th was exceedingly beyond what we dared to imagine. The bride was radiant with joy and the glory of God. Her dream became a reality. I must admit, it was truly a beautiful wedding. God raised all the help and resources we needed far beyond our imagination.

I don't have a biological daughter, but I am blessed with many daughters. Faith is one of them. She gave me the joy of what it feels like to be the Mother of the Bride. For this and all that God did for us over the six months of planning this wedding, I do appreciate my All-Sufficient and Ever-Faithful Father in heaven.

It is not yet time to rest; another dream is about to come true.

It started as a figment of my imagination in 2014 when a dear Sista asked, "When would there be a Sistapower Gathering in London?" Subsequently, at the 2014 Return of the Helpers Conference (ROTH) in Lagos, it was strongly impressed on my heart that ROTH will go to nations. I announced there that London is on the list. But the question; "how can it be?" assailed my mind. I needed someone in London to anchor the event.

God sparked the flame of enthusiasm in another daughter of mine living in London, and she began the work of organising the first edition of UK Sistapower Gathering with excitement.

If you are in London area join us on Saturday, June 13th, 2015 as we encourage one another to be the Solution God has created us to be. He is preparing and processing you and me to be a solution and to impact our world. Please don't miss. My heart rejoices in the Lord for what He has in stock for us. I am expectant and so grateful for how far He has brought us.

Dear Friends, I encourage you to take time each day to reflect on the amazing goodness of God in your life. I am persuaded that God is causing fresh water to flow in abundance in the midst of the seemingly hard and unyielding situations you may find yourself each day. Just draw near to Him in faith and obedience.

Do take a moment to share with us one thing you are appreciating God for and let's join you to give praise to God.