Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Beyond The Pain To Life Beyond Imagination

We will remember, we will remember
We will remember the works of Your hands
We will stop and give you praise
For great is Thy faithfulness
– Tommy Walker

It was a Sunday morning. We were getting ready for church. I picked up the huge box of cookies my cousin gave me and said to my husband, “I’m taking this to share with the children in church. I dare not eat this alone.”

He laughed and looked up to heaven.

You're our creator, our life sustainer
Deliverer, our comfort, our joy
Throughout the ages You've been our shelter
Our peace in the midst of the storm

“Blessed be God. Do you remember once upon a time, you had to drink Resource Protein and Energy supplements and eat high-energy cookies?”

How can I forget? For many years, I lost weight so rapidly that my doctors placed me on these not-nice-tasting supplements. I was compelled to drink a bottle twice a day. I remembered how often my husband searched the shops for tasty high-protein high-energy snacks. I remembered how difficult it was for me to eat or hold down what I had eaten. I remembered the awful pain in my tummy after eating, which often left me groaning and rolling in pain.

When we walk through life's darkest valleys
We will look back at all You have done
And we will shout, our God is good
And He is the faithful One

I spent time over the past days reflecting on that season in life’s darkest and lonely valley. I remembered how God has been our peace in the midst of the storm. I remembered how God has been turning it all around. In the past fifteen months, I can eat without the fear of pain. I can eat and hold down my food. I have moved from under 50kg to 63kg. I no longer have to use pins to hold my skirts and trousers at the waist. 

Yes, indeed I do remember the work of God’s hands.

It is apt at this turning point in my life to look back into this decade of my life and consider the goodness and mercies God showered on me. Indeed, I see God’s hands turning ashes to beauty. The haggard and strained visage is gone. I am blossoming again in every sphere of my life. God’s mighty hands brought me out of my long winter season and caused my life and strength to spring to life again. It is a brand new season. God is doing a new thing, and it shall yet break forth. In the month of September alone, I stood and shared my story at many places I could not have imagined just a year ago.

As the old year fades away tonight and  new beginning dawns for me on October 1st, I wish I have a thousand tongues to sing the praises of my Lord and King. How I wish I could employ the host of heaven to join me in adoring my Father and God. He is a good Father to me. He is the epitome and definition of a good Father.

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my dear Redeemer's praise,
the glories of my God and King,
the triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
Composed by Charles Wesley (1739)

Go Beyond The Pain:
Joseph could have become bitter and remained angry after going through the pain of rejection in the pit, the distress of false accusation in Potiphar's house and the despair of abandonment in the prison. But he looked beyond the pain and considered that all the adversity he endured was God sending him ahead to prepare a posterity for his family (Gen. 45: 7-8).

My life story has several chapters of misery, pain, discomfort, and distress, but it is not a tragedy. God’s grace richly abounding to me empowered me to channel my season of pain and adversity to bring about good in the lives of others. If my story can become a means of inspiring hope and pointing others going through adversity to the Supreme Source of hope, then it is not a story of tragedy but a story of victory. My pain is not in vain. My pain is not purposeless.

I am persuaded that our story of pain and affliction can become a source of encouragement to others if we tap into the grace of God that is abundantly available to us. I believe that our season of affliction and adversity can become a unique opportunity to reach out and touch the lives of people in our community for good. I believe there’s someone waiting at the end of our dark tunnel who can derive comfort from our experience if we refuse to give up on hope, and if we refuse to give in to despair but push through to the end.

I have many friends who have suffered the pain and grief of losing a precious loved one. But they have turned the pain to an opportunity to reach out and bring hope to others going through similar experience or ensure that others do not suffer from the same experience. Someone else can derive comfort and be blessed because of what you have gone through this challenging experience, and you have endured through the keeping grace of God.

Dear Friends, there is absolutely nothing you have gone through or still going through that can go to waste. God is using it all to shape you, mould you, and prepare you for the purpose He ordained for your life. I encourage you to look beyond the pain, and you will see how God is working it together for good. You will see God turning it around not only for your good but for the good of many others waiting at the end of your dark tunnel.

There is a grace that is sufficient for every situation that we may find ourselves. Grace is God stooping down to reach out to us at our point of need. He is the God of all grace. After we have suffered for a little while, He will Himself restore us, making us strong, steadfast and firm (1Pet. 5:10). Grace empowers us for victory. We begin to appreciate the import of grace when we are in a dire need of the supernatural ability to live beyond the circumstances and challenges besetting us. It is only the grace of God that can empower us to go beyond the pain of the moment and expectantly look forward to living life beyond imagination.

"Grace abounds like an ever-flowing stream in the valley of adversity."

I have tasted of this GRACE. I can testify of its sufficiency. That is why I can say with confidence and gratitude to God; I am living life to the full again. I am living my dream. I am traveling and talking. My story of over twenty years of being tried in the crucible of affliction has become a testimony touching lives for good. It has become a ministry inspiring hope beyond what I could ever have imagined. It has become an opportunity to enrich lives and galvanize action for amputees and physically challenged persons who do not have access to services that can make life bearable. It is beyond my wildest imagination.

Join me to celebrate life and God's goodness during October (my birth month), by encouraging people around us to GO BEYOND THE PAIN.

Share your story of a season of pain, adversity and challenges, and how God has turned it around for good. Tell us how a difficult season in your life has become an opportunity to reach out and touch the lives of other people for good. Share here on the blog, by email, on the Facebook or twitter.

Please add @Irene Olumese and #GoBeyondThePain to your story when you share on the Facebook or Twitter. That way others can be blessed and encouraged by this one month of #GoBeyondThePain event. 

This blog post includes excerpts from the sermon I preached at HOTRIC, London – Beyond The Pain on Sunday, Sept. 20th and the talk I gave at the Q Commons Talk – Beyond Imagination on Friday, Sept. 25th, 2015. 


  1. Praise God! My dear sister Irene, you are indeed a bright shinning light and we are all grateful for God's grace of sharing your life with us. May you continue to lift-up and inspire people, spreading the name of God and bringing His presence closer to our hearts. Jugs, kisses, and best wishes.

    1. My dear Juliana, it is always good and refreshing reading from you. Thank you very much for your kind words. I bless the Lord for what He is doing with the story He is writing of my life. I give Him all the glory. Looking forward to seeing you again. May God's grace richly abound to you always. You are loved and appreciated.


Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and comments. I appreciate you. God bless you.