My name is Shola (one who is blessed).
There was a time I could not introduce myself this way, stuttering and stammering because how could anyone look at me and call me blessed?
I lived by standards foreign to my original design, upheld cultures contrary to my soul, and turned strange myself.
The rat race? I was the fastest rat, but I realized over time that it does not lead to cheese or dry fish. The sad truth, people are still running.
When and where did all this start? This need to be someone relevant and respected, who my parents could be proud of.
I grew up with the understanding that if you were not someone of importance, beautiful, connected, or knowledgeable, you were not relevant and could stay stuck on a wall for the rest of your life.
My parents loved us, but no matter their education, they were already part of the system that expected a girl child to grow up, make something of herself, lay all that at a man’s feet, have children, and die happy.
But alas, though I sought it with all my heart, things didn’t go as I or my parents planned. Though passably intelligent, I failed at school. I was too big when the ‘it’ girls were slim. Life seemed to conspire against me, and in shame, I developed a low self-esteem that kept me at home, eating and happy.
Instead of finding happiness in the externals as I thought, I turned inwards to the stuff that could keep me happy-books, movies, and then God last. We always had that relationship I couldn’t define. First, it was about the fear of hell, but I lost interest when I realized that bad people weren’t dying and going to Hade’s palace. Then it was for help with school after I messed up horribly, and when help didn’t come the way I expected, I lost interest again till I found the truth.
Now, what does the truth do? Light for your darkness. For the first few years under my spiritual father, I heard the truth and grasped the concept a little, but I still sought to live by the culture and way I knew and grew up to live. To meet their goals no matter how I had failed to before. To press on and meet the challenges family, friends, and society had set for me, regardless of what God wanted.
I ran that race. I chased those goals. I didn’t meet any; none.
I have seen many in life who checked all those boxes and got t-shirts with their achievements printed on them. I have seen some who met some life goals and were celebrated, but I didn’t meet any of mine. I didn’t understand; my parents didn’t understand. I needed help grasping the problem, as I had all the resources available to succeed.
I faced challenges trying to conform to the rules and regulations, to belong, but I have yet to do so. Now I know that someone planned that I would not. No, could not until I came to Him, rid of those shackles that held me down in a race I could never win.
Liberty, what is that? The ability to live life as God created me led by His Spirit, not in the flesh. Is that way of life possible? Ask everyone from Abraham to John. They all lived facets of that life, but I am to live it fully in my day.
I still live in the world; how can I say I will not live by its rules and regulations? But Christ died and freed me from the chains of sin and death. Therefore I am enabled by grace to live the God-life in God-awareness.
From the moment I wake until I sleep, I am to immerse myself in God, doing His will and being led by Him (His word). Not led by my desires, friends, family, or life. I do what God tells me at all times, not what I want, what my parents or society wants. I live as God’s child, protected and provided for by Him. That is my reality, my daily walk, and practice.
Is it easy to leave this life behind? It is by faith, enabled by grace. The truth is that this world is dark, and what we all do at best is to grope around in search of some light. I would rather live by faith in Him (the Light).
How do we live by faith? Hebrews 11 defines faith as:
💡 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
Living by faith is living with the assurance that you have what you hope for and that the evidence of the unseen realities God has promised are yours. How can you get this assurance and proof? From God.
We have turned away from our true selves because, from birth, we have been mired in the operations and life existent in the world. The eyes of men are blinded by the god of this world, who propels them to live by doing instead of by seeking and waiting.
God said in Jeremiah:
💡“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 NKJV
God expects our all. Not some parts of us, but all of us. That is the only way to live in Him, not the world. I live daily to ensure He is my all, as His child. In that practice, I see how He protects me and how the miraculous can be possible at all times. Unbound, unrestricted, enabled for the impossible.
Is such a life possible? Walk with me.
6 thoughts on “In The World, But Not Of It”
This life is possible
With me too.
Shola. One whom God has given wealth, true riches.
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Is that the meaning?
Ola is wealth in yoruba.My mom’s name is Shola and she agrees perfectly with your definition. It is rounded and exactly the meaning. But my definition came from within, recognizing and appreciating the true riches that you have found.
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Amen. God bless you!
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