The Marriage Requirements List

The Marriage Requirements List

“Hey Simi, what qualities would you have on your marriage requirements checklist?”

“My what now?” My BFF coughs, sputtering her drink.

I give her a pointed look.

“Wow Ticg, for someone who is mostly reticent, you sure know how to dig out really deep conversations.”

One corner of my lips lifts in a small smile. 🙂

Everyone calls me “Tris” as a short-form for Beatrice while my twin brother Bitrus was dubbed “Truce” by his rather obnoxious friends. 🤨 But somewhere along our very unlikely friendship journey, my best friend decided that I should go by “Ticg“(which she pronounces somewhat like “Tick” by the way) as an acronym for That-Introvert-Christian-Girl. Of course, everyone else kindly refused to adopt that nickname for me, but she stubbornly continues to call me that. So now, it’s kind of our thing. Not that I mind the name anyway; it is everything that I am – I am a christian, I am very introverted and I am a girl. 🤷🏽‍♀️

“Fine! I will humour you.” says Simi.

I notice that the room has gone quiet and that Bitrus, Chuks and Judith are now listening to us. Simi does a slight hair fling, immensely enjoying the attention before proceeding. “In order of importance, I would like to marry a guy who is God fearing, visionary, TDH, richhhhh and romantic, as in veryyy caring and understanding.”

“TDH?” snickers Chuks.

“Tall, Dark and Handsome” Judith provides.

“Oh, cool. This is getting interesting. 😀 Why don’t you go next, Twinnie?” Bitrus says to me.

I count with my fingers as I think aloud about my expectations;

“My must-haves… The guy must be born again. Spirit filled, He must have good character; it’s very important to me that I see him actually bearing the fruit of the Spirit, being loving, patient with others, kind and at the same time in control of himself…” I pause, “He must have a serious job or business, or at least be willing and ready to work. He must have the same values as I. He must have respect for everyone – he must not be abusive of others but must treat the weak, women, children and poor people with respect.”

I suddenly realize that I have held everyone’s attention for a few minutes so I grow self-conscious and smile sheepishly, apologizing.

“Sorry guys, I got into my head for a while there.” 🤦🏽‍♀️ 😁

“No, actually that was really good, Tris” Chuks encourages.

The others concur and Simi squeezes my hand affectionately, “Now you make me sound so superficial” she whispers so that only me can hear and I pat her hand to reassure her, “Of course not, Simz. You are one of the deepest people I know.”

“What are your nice-to haves, Beatrice?” Judith urges me on with a quiet, contemplative tone.

“Umm… It would be nice if my man plays an instrument, sings, paints or something” I confide shyly.“Oh, I would love it if he teaches the Word.”

Everyone breaks into a grin and Bitrus gives Chuks a high-five. I do not know what that is about.

“Finally, maybe he could have a nice British accent, have a healthy sense of humour and know how to cook.”

“Preach it sisturr! I like me a brother who can whip together some real meal for his pregnant wife! Simi practically yells.

If you haven’t figured that out, Simi can be extra but I love her just the way she is. We are almost polar opposites. One of us loves being expressive and in the spotlight; the other is rather reserved and mostly observant but we understand each other just as well.

“Pregnant! How did this discussion drift to that direction so quickly?” Chuks shakes his head and we all laugh heartily. Simi and Chuks are usually the life of the party. 

When our laughter dies down, Chuks offers, “I can share now.” 

“Here are my deal-makers. She must be born again, Spirit-filled and must have good character, especially respect and kindness.”

“Only 3 must-haves?” Judith’s question echoes my own surprise.

“You have no idea how hard it is to find those seemingly common qualities altogether in just one person.”

We all take a moment to reflect on Chuks’ statement. 🤔🤔

It is true that Chuks tends to put up a jovial-boy persona but anyone who knows him well knows his deep and unwavering Christian conviction. Chuks and Bitrus are leaders of our youth fellowship.

“Sadly, most people these days chase ephemeral goals and temporary fills. People are addicted, anxious and easily distracted, with only skin-deep beauty or a given number of pack abs. Yet, we lack true compassion and selflessness.” 🙁

He lets out a long sigh and lightly scratches his beard. “Anyway, I have hope. By the consistent work devoted by my buddy Truce,” he slaps Bitrus’ shoulder loudly, “and by reason of these kinds of meaningful conversations, I think better days are just ahead.”

“Amen!” “PreachIt!” “Yeap!” Everyone around the room nod their agreement. 

After a beat, Simi says, “What about your nice-to haves? After you’ve had your say, Judith will share hers and we will end with Truce.”

Chuks responds enthusiastically, “Let’s see… An intelligent woman! Neat – no mouth and body odour. Hardworking. It would be cool if she has long and beautiful hair. 👩🏾 BUT I won’t hold it against anyone who doesn’t, because well, she isn’t her own creator now, is she?”

I love my friends. And I love this space right here. I love that it is a safe space and that we can each express opinions or preferences without judgement. 💜💜

We all turn to Judith as it is her turn.

“What?? 🙄 You guys know that I am never getting married. I’ve told you that like a million times before.” Judith snaps at us. Then she seems to notice our sad eyes and backtracks, “However, if I decide to go hypothetical, my singular dealmaker for a marriage relationship would be integrity.” 😐

Her voice breaks at the end of the sentence as she sniffs and Simi walks across the room and to give her a warm hug. 👐🏽

Having all grown up together, we witnessed how Judith had to deal with having an absentee father most of her childhood. Her father provided Judith and her mom with the finer things in life including a large mansion in our town and a few sleek cars but sadly, he never lived with them. There were ugly rumours about his other family in the big city. To makes things worse, during her teenage years when Judith and her mom had grown to become a part of the church family here, they learned that her dad had been arrested for insider-trading and had been sentenced to prison. The news shattered them, to say the least. They lost most of their possession after her dad was convicted but thanks to her mom’s hard work and our loving community, they sure have come a long way. Judith did not attend school for a whole term hiding away at home. When she finally resumed, she became this resentful and bitter girl. She still tags along to church and hangs out with us but she told us categorically that she had lost her faith in God’s goodness. We do our best to be just the friends she needs and whenever she starts a conversation, we respond as best we can.

I watch her now as she sniffs again, subtly wiping her eyes and sipping her drink. I smile at her to say, “I understand. It’s going to get better. You are much stronger for it” and she nods in acknowledgement.

Everyone turns to Bitrus to tell us about his marriage requirements list but I peek at Judith for a couple more seconds because I saw something else that others probably missed.

You see, that is one of the perks of being a conscious introvert like myself. There is an adage that goes thus, “The raving eyes see the roaming legs.” In my quietness, I tend to perceive more about my environment than is evidently visible, but I have learned to keep such perceptions hidden within my heart while I bid time like Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus. 

Because I can almost bet you that in those seconds while Judith tells us about her hypothetical, singular dealmaker, she held my brother’s gaze with hope in her eyes.

I am not saying anything 😜 but if you ask me, perhaps MrTruce will be receiving a heavenly vision soon. Perhaps our friend will not stay single forever. 😍 Hopefully, God would heal her heart and join her heart with one of his son’s. 🙏🏽

Never say never, unless God says so!

ExcellerBlog

Bitrus clears his throat, “It’s my turn now, isn’t it?”

“Uh-huh,” Simi responds.

“Heads-up folks! firstly, I have a rather long list.” 😬

“Bring it on!” 💪🏽 Chuks says, good naturedly.

My twin pushes his spectacles further up his nose and starts rattling off with a smile.

“The woman I am trusting God to marry must be a child of God – born again. She must be a committed worker in church. I want someone with whom I can do God’s work like evangelism and mission visits. You know, someone who is interested in fruitful works. She must be reasonably intelligent – basic IQ level. She must be moderately fashion-conscious. She must be generous, even when she has just a little.”

“That’s a really tall list, Truce.” Simi points out.

“I know… 😩😩” Bitrus groans, pinching his nose again, “Which is why I need God to either break any idol that I have in my mind, or go back into His factory if such a human is nonexistent yet.” 🤦🏾‍♂️

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

Proverbs 19:21

 “I don’t think that those requirements are unrealistic or impossible.” Judith says meditatively, surprising us all. 😮😲

“Yea?” I ask.

“I mean, isn’t Truce’s favourite Bible quote, “All things that pertain to life and godliness?”

Now we are staring at her like she grew three heads overnight. 😮😲😱

“So, if God feels you need someone with those qualities for doing all He planned for your life, I bet He has already thought to provide it.” Judith finishes.

“Wow! If it isn’t from the mouth of babes and sucklings.” Before Chuks can complete the statement, Judith flings a throw-pillow squarely at his chest and he doubles over laughing hysterically. 😆😆

Bitrus jumps in to complete his part, “My good-to-haves! Equally juicy, I really hope for a curvy woman.”

“Carnal!” Chuks says under his breath but loud enough to be heard. We all laugh at Bitrus’ expense.

“What? Not all of us were designed to prefer beauty model figures like you do.” My twin brother defends his choice. Simi catches me rolling my eyes and punches my arm. 😃

Bitrus continues, “Now where was I? Nicely shaped and preferably dark-skinned. And I will like a spouse who is homely and caring. That’s it from me.” 

“So, a true African beauty.” Chuks concludes.

“Yea, man. That’s exactly it.” They do their signature fist-bump. 👊🏽

“What I am hearing from all of us is that basically, we mostly want a professing, practicing and spiritual Christian.”  Simi says thoughtfully. “Because, a practicing Christian would be respectful of others,” she points at Chuks and me, “They would have integrity,” she looks at Judith. “A spiritual Christian would have a heart for kingdom work, be generous and kind,” she briefly faces Bitrus, “and they would be mindful of the divine vision planted in their hearts by God.” Simi finishes pointing at herself.

“Basically, yea.” Chuks acquiesces.

“Hmm… I have another question.” I drawl.

“Not again, Ticg. You started all this in the first place. Now, I’m hungry. What wants pizza?” 

I know LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.

Jeremiah 10:23

Nota Bene: Thanks to Amaka, Brighto, Trisha, Oma, Mercy and Chiomy for sharing their marriage dealbreakers and dealmakers with me. With their permission, I have cooked those up in creating the above story about my favourite fictional characters, Ticg and her friends. I hope that this article blesses you so much, because their personal values are a great inspiration! ❤️
Unwinding

Unwinding

Hi friend, 🙋🏽‍♀️
How did you “unwind” this weekend? 🤣🤣🤣

There was a season in my life when my modus unwindi 🤪 after a particularly long week or a stressful season was to buy this pricey brand of shortbread, and just enjoy it. Haha. Please do not judge me right now. There was something about the way that those crunchy creamy cookies crumbled and melted in my mouth that instantly relaxed my wound-up nerves and muscles; and made everything a lot better. 😅

In another season, it was a warmly lit, quiet room with a good storybook.

In yet another season, I loved to give myself a treat of barbecue fish and creamed coleslaw every Friday to celebrate yet another win at this game called adult-life. 😅

The small pleasures of life. The seemingly little things that keep all the big sacrifices, long hours going.

Some people unwind by listening to music.

For others, unwinding comes from taking looooong showers.

Even naps or extended sleeping hours do it for another set of people.

Relaxation, refreshing. Bliss!

Therefore the question is, if taking time out to unwind can be so revitalizing, why do we often go very long without taking breaks, even when our bodies and minds give us every indication to?

Why do we experience burnouts and disillusionment; why do we work and stretch to the point where we become bitter at ourselves, our loved ones, our employers and everyone else?
If taking time off would make us bounce back better in body, mind and mood 😆 , why do we not do ourselves and others the favour?

Perhaps because in the sincerity of our minds, we are drawn by the deceit of “Just one more.”
“I’ll just finished working on this last paragraph.”
“I’ll just mark off this one more thing on the To-Do list.”
“Oh, it’s just 1 more chore and then I would turn in for the night.”

In our minds, it’s possibly the one extra thing completed that would leave us fulfilled at the end of the day. But we fail to take into account the much which we have already accomplished; and whether it would be healthy for our minds or bodies take on any more tasks.

Or maybe, the pressure to do work to the point of breaking down comes from the deceptive lure of “This can’t wait.” We feel an urgency for the responsibility that sometimes isn’t even real!
“This can’t wait. This really can’t wait. I gotta complete it today.”
Overtime. Long hours after work. Unnecessary midnight candle burned.
But really, can it not wait?

I’ll tell you a story – a very sad story. 😔

I’ll let everyone be the judge of how urgent our heaps of files, unread emails and To-Do items really are.

There once was a lady; let’s say her name was Jill. She was a sophisticated, modern and upwardly mobile woman. She believed in the dignity of labour. She hated half-measures. So she worked hard. She had her sights on a promotion at her workplace but she also had a personal business which she had built from the ground up and was already becoming a brand. 🤩
Unfortunately, all these consumed the entirety of Jill’s time because she had to prove herself deserving of the position she was aspired for, and at the same time nail her target in the business world. She told herself that this was her season! She had to make it now as things were booming. Who knows? With the email she received last month, it looked like she was being considered for Forbes Under 30 2022. It’s now or never.
So, Jill drove herself. Long work hours, longer hours at night. Proper nutrition was ignored because who cares about food when the world has bigger problems? Right? Sleep was neglected because “My dreams are so big, they keep me awake at night!” [or whatever that quote is that they are so fond of.] 😊


I guess you can tell what happened to Jill. She broke down. Oh, she broke down. Her body and mind closed shop.
Unfortunately, her employers didn’t- they got someone else to fill Jill’s coveted position. Her business, however, suffered. The visionary could not see it through. Her dream got cut short because she didn’t delegate much in a bid to deliver excellence all by herself.

I do not like these kinds of stories. 😬 Personally, I prefer happily ever after’s. So, I’m going to rewrite Jill’s story, if you all agree.

I’m going to say that Jill set all her goals on sight. She also did the work, the grind and the hustle. But Jill also knew to unwind. She listened to her body, noticed when she was worn out and took long breaks. She gave herself treats.
She kept doing excellent work, delegated the tasks she could, made time to call her loved ones, enjoyed some quiet evenings and showed up every next day to slay more! 🤩
And then, happily ever after: she got her promotion and her business became a global brand. Woohoo!!!

By the way, if we wanted to add to Jill’s story, should we also say that she also made it on Forbes list? 😁🍭🍬

I mean, the Most High God took a day to rest after the work of creation.
I think to myself that if God our Heavenly Father who is omnipotent – able to do all things took the time to rest, it is definitely His pointer to us that this is a matter of principle, His design for our optimum performance.

Unwinding here we come!

Note that this does not in any way advocate for laziness. Unwinding is specifically for those that have worked. May the Lord help us to continue to uphold the dignity of work.

The good thing about unwinding is that we do not need to break the bank. Unwinding is not about your next vacation because relaxation is something we need way more frequently than an annual vacation.

In fact, the higher level is when we move unwinding from “as needed” to “a part of the schedule.” 👌🏽

Right there in the calendar! Along with other important items like “attending that meeting” or “Grocery shopping.”

Unwinding is essential. Unwinding is a necessity.
There are different ways that people plan it into the schedule: some couples have date nights. Some families have movie nights. Some individuals have 30 minutes blocked out daily under the title, “Me-time.” One thing or another.

Because unwinding is an essential!

I acknowledge that there are some rare seasons in one’s life when it is almost impossible to get breaks. For instance, for a new mom who has to watch her little one 24/7, it feels like long cycles of working and even when her support system is intact, it won’t take long before she needs rest again. Or for a company that is rounding up a fiscal year – it is often quite intense in those peak periods. One can only hope for that phase to pass as soon as it can.

Ultimately, our Christian hope is for that time when our bodies would be released from all suffering; when we would take on our new bodies prepared for us by our Heavenly Father, woohoo!!! 🎉🎉 At that time, we would no more experience wearying or troubles. It would be unending bliss! (Romans 8: 23)

Suffice it to say that at that time, we will be forever unwound! 😁

Follow-follow

Follow-follow

“Follow-follow” is a popular colloquial we used growing up in Nigeria, to refer to a person who mindlessly and sheepishly follows and supports a person or an idea. We say you are a follow-follow in the Nigerian pidgin english. 😁

Photo Credit: https://images.app.goo.gl/C7F4Yh72rcYZsGEN8

When I returned to Facebook after my 2 years long “social media” break, one of the things I really enjoyed was following people who posted very interesting content on their walls.

Some of them were people whom I didn’t personally knew in any way. As a result, I did not wish to send them friend requests. I simply clicked the Follow button, to receive and follow up on their posts.

Some of them posted about the Christian faith, some about business or politics, and others were just really good or funny writers. I mean, if I come to Facebook during my relaxation time, I might as well laugh, right?

That was how I started following.

Until I saw some things on some of their walls that made my eyes pop.

A few of them really liked to scorn or belittle men of God, clothing themselves in what felt like cloaks of superior self-righteousness or grace. A few others were unashamedly posting about things that should rather be spoken about in shadows or hushed tones. Some were simply hateful and full of bad belle negative vibes.

So, I was taken aback.

And then I backed out.

Because I cannot come and go and have you quench the kyn faith that I need fanned to blazing flames. Or to kuku turn my fun time into horror.

And thanks to the simplicity of technology, all it took was to simply click the Unfollow button. Shikena. And I was instantly rid of bad rubbish. 

You see, when Apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ,” he might as well be saying, “Unfollow me if I don’t follow Christ” or “Be a follower, but not a follow-follow.”

I have been richly edified to a lot of people whom I follow. They open a whole new world of insight. They make me want to become a better me, to grow and to spread my reach. I imagine how unfair it will be to let a few bad eggs spoil the lot. 

I owe it to myself and to all the others in my life to have a constant access to rich content, uplifting, positive and upwardly mobile associations, beautiful and challenging pictures, lots of light and laughter. Right at my fingertips. Nothing less.

The Priestess of Onuma

The Priestess of Onuma

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Once upon a time,

I was the priestess of Onuma, the god of Vengeance

Onuma was a deity greatly feared by men.

Not him alone, but his worshippers also

For he was known to uphold justice

And mete out harsh punishment to deserving culprits.

His anger was like roaring thunders

He ruled his subjects with an iron fist.

Mercy was never known with him,

Compassion was an outlaw.

People feared him more than they respected.

His name and shrine was avoided like a plague.

The sacrifices they brought to me, his priestess

Were more like bribes than love offerings.

Two kinds of people frequented the shrine of Onuma

The deeply hurt and the cruelly pervert

The former were people who had been wronged.

Men and women suffering from a broken heart

And desiring that their offenders’ be broken too.

Onuma did as they asked

But I, the priestess often wondered

If a potter ever mended a broken pot by shattering more pottery

“Blood for blood, sword for sword”, they snarled

Onuma, typically stirred, obliged them.

The cruelly pervert also sought justice at our shrine

Or would you rather, in-just-ice.

For they came, looking innocent and naïve

And told tales that sounded rather juicy and inciting

They too spelt judgment on their fellow men

And not a few fell victim of their lies and Onuma’s wrath

For Onuma, with all his good intentions

Yet lacked discernment

Of the true nature of man’s heart.

Perhaps I was the only loyal follower of the god Onuma

For many a mornings,

My voice was heard crying out his adulations

And late night watchers could easily spot my footprints

As they trailed into the deep bushes.

Until I observed that the wicked was blessed by Onuma

And he never did heal any heart or home.

Until I observed a striking contrast

Between the countenance of Onuma’s worshipers

And those who served only Chi-ukwu, the Almighty.

The former were pissed, anxious and grim

The latter; free, generous and in bliss.

I wondered and sought and learned

And what I learned tore me bare.

Chi-ukwu seemed to me like a paradox, a mystery:

How could One uphold rightness and love

Recompense and forgiveness

Justice and mercy

And never leave anyone unsatisfied?

How could a deity be equally revered and loved?

How could a king be a shepherd, a judge and a father?

He punished the wicked

But none of his followers demanded vengeance of themselves.

In fact, they forgave in advance

And repaid evil with good.

They gave a cup of water to strangers

And never required repay for the good they did.

My discoveries astonished me greatly

But they also drew me in…

I crept into his temple in the shadows

In fear that anyone else will see me, a disloyal priestess.

But no one seemed to notice or judge me

For they all seemed captivated in adoration.

I waited, I listened till the tears dropped

And I knew that there was no going back for me.

However, I was told with a pat

That I could not serve two masters at a time;

“If you are in, you will have to be all in”

That same night,

I took the toughest decision ever with great ease.

Talk about paradoxes.

I ran back with sprinting feet and light weight

I pulled down the altar of Onuma

Broke the pots of herbs and roots

Gathered cowries and priestly costumes

And with a match-stick, set all ablaze.

As they burned and villagers stared,

Something deep stirred in my belly

I fell to my knees and wept:

Tears of relief that a stronghold had been broken.

Tears of sorrow that I had represented an error for so long.

Tears of resolve that henceforth, I will follow only Chi-ukwu.

Bent over in ashes, people’s drowning voices and my own grief

I didn’t see but felt

Two pairs of hands draw me up into warm embrace

And cover me with some blanket.

I sniffed, I looked and recognized

They were followers of Chi-ukwu

Apparently, they had seen me in the temple earlier

And had come to stand by me now.

I managed to signal towards the temple,

They nodded in understanding.

Together we made our way away from Onuma to Chi-ukwu

Followed by a handful of spectators,

Some merely curious, some deeply affected.

This time around,

I enter into his courts through the door

With deliberate, decisive steps.

I make my way to the altar and kneel

I begin to feel forgiven and relieved

I am caught up in the wonder of His love

Something in my guts tells me

That this is a good thing.

I will follow Chi-ukwu all my days

I will be His priestess

I will sing His praises

I will be just

I will be loving

I will be forgiving

I will be happy

I will be free.

 

 

 

 

(In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins. At that time you followed the world’s evil way; you obeyed the ruler of the spiritual powers in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God. Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God’s anger.  But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great, that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved. In our union with Christ Jesus he raised us up with him to rule with him in the heavenly world. He did this to demonstrate for all time to come the extraordinary greatness of his grace in the love he showed us in Christ Jesus. For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it. God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do. Ephesians 2:1‭-‬10 GNB)

Identity Crisis 3

Identity Crisis 3

CORRECT IDENTIFICATION

None of the aforementioned is bad in itself. It is cool to have good looks, a loving spouse, a calm personality, the support of good friends, to be intelligent, be talented, be spiritually sound, have intelligent protégé and a thriving career. All of these are blessings from our loving Father who blesses us with all things richly to enjoy.

But all these are only what? Blessings.

Sometimes, these blessings subtly become idols, so we must keep checking. Nothing compares to the great treasure of knowing Christ and being known by Him. Like Apostle Paul, we must count all things as unimportant because of the excellency of knowing Christ and being found in Him having the righteousness of God that is based on nothing we have done but completely based on faith in Jesus.

Each time, our mouths and hearts should unreservedly be able to echo 3 things:

  • “I am what I am today only by the grace of God.”
  • “Without God, I can do nothing but I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
  • “For me, to live is Christ but to die is even better. It is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me. The life that I now live in this body, I live by faith in Jesus who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

This here, beloved, is correct identification. Anything beyond this boundary is an identity crisis. But if our lives uphold these 3 truths, we have found identity. In Christ!foot of d cross2

Identity Crisis 2

Identity Crisis 2

In the following lines, I will attempt to paint some pictures of people in different life stages but all with a clash of identity, contrary to the definition of Identity for a Christian Exceller put up in the previous post.face id

THE CAMPUS PLAYBOY

All through your childhood, there was a lot of fuss about your good looks. Everyone seemed to adore you; ‘Oh, such a cute boy’, ‘Darlington is fine, he is my friend.’ And so on. So, everything seemed to go your way. As you grew older, you learned and perfected the art of seduction and people-manipulation. You know what they say, Power is addictive and intoxicating. Especially with the female folks, many of whom you realized were particularly gullible. Then, you lost respect for fellow human, you enjoyed the short – lived power of using people and you invested more in keeping up good looks.

Would it be that you push on so far because deep down, you fear that the good looks is all you have – the only reason why anyone would notice you?

Identity Crisis.

THE UNLOVED WIFE

As a little girl, you dreamed of the forever-love. You thought you found it with Ali, so you knotted hands with him and walked down the aisle. But it turns out that although Ali loves you, he loves something more (maybe God, his job, his football club, fast cars or anything else). So your hopes are dashed. The identity you sought as someone’s Number 1…goes down the drain. So, displeasure turns to sadness, to disappointment, to anger and bitterness and finally to resolve. You decide to “marry” something else too. Although you still wear Ali’s ring, you turn to your children, your job or ministry to give your life meaning.

But was your life supposed to be defined by your relationship with Ali in the first place?

Identity crisis.

THE OVERLOOKED INTROVERT

You have never really been a loud talker, never been among the popular cheerleaders. Your favourite place has always been the back seat in class or close to the library shelves or the street corners with other low – key people who don’t intimidate you. You do not want to strife with the loud cheer-leading group, therefore you give yourself an identity with the shade of ash. You know, not black, not white. Just somewhere in the middle.

When God spurs you to do something outside your comfort zone, you simply back out. You would rather prefer to keep it cool at all times, in the shadows. But, really? Fear of the limelight just might be an identity crisis.

THE BFF CLIQUE MONGER

You are with the “in – people”. The campus – shakers. The company VIPs. The crème de la crème of the society. And guess what? You have the classiest friends – others just like you. You see yourself as one who has a good understanding of things with a clique of best friends who could make everyone else in the pack appear insignificant.

But whenever you are not with your friends, you begin to feel quite lonely and irrelevant. Not as important as you used to feel.

Have your friends become your identity? I’m afraid, you may have an identity crisis.

THE SMART-HOLIC GURU

For you, your relevance is perceived in how high your IQ is, how high your examination result scores are or how well you perform at your job.

THE TALENTED MAGIC FINGERS

Everyone knows that you are a skilled instrumentalist, great at working on appliances, at painting and drawing artworks. But if this talent of yours is taken from you, will anything be left of your self-image?

Identity crisis.

THE CAREER (WO)MAN

All the energy you invest in career development and pushing to the apex of your professional field is quite commendable. But what if your career changes, can you still walk with your head raised and your shoulders high? Identity crisis.

THE PARENT OF EXCELLING KIDS

Your kids are high fliers and you are naturally proud of them. But will you do a correct assessment to understand that those kids are only under your charge from God and that what you mean to God is much deeper?

THE VERY SPIRITUAL INFLUENCING PERSON

When your ministry and work for God and their fruits become more valuable to you than your faith in what Jesus has done for you – the free gift of salvation…

Identity crisis.

Are any of these evil in themselves? What constitutes correct identification for a Christian Exceller? The next post concludes with thoughts to answer these all important questions.