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Dania's Letters

While praying for me earlier this week, someone said something along the lines of: God would compensate Ugo and I for the two years we’ve had to be apart by giving us twin babies. I almost laughed out loud but I knew that they meant well, so I settled for an internal chuckle at the audaciousness of Nigerians’ interpreting the circumstances of your life, deciding how the rest of it should go and then telling God to make it happen as they wished. It made me think about how we interact with our time on earth – because that’s what it is – our time here, not life in its entirety. Time here, after which we move on to a different place to continue our life. However, seeing as we can’t be in two places at once, we have to end here to start there.

I thought about the things we place value on here. What we consider successful living. You’re born, you go through school, get a job to sustain a decent living, get married, reproduce, train your kids, maybe see some grandkids - then you're said to have lived a successful life. And maybe you have. There’s nothing at all wrong with this path if it’s the path written for you; you aren’t less or more important than the next person. But people have different paths, and what’s important is walking your own path and going home when you’re finished. For some people it happens over the span of 100 years, for some others, 30 years, others still, 5 years. 

Some babies are stillborn, yet the mere expectation of their presence impacts their parents’ lives in a significant way. Sometimes the doctor/nurses that guided them here will be affected, depending on the circumstances of their own lives at the time. Perhaps the stillborn child changes the course of their parents' lives which then leads to something big that impacts thousands of people. Your life, no matter the path, is a necessary story in a delicately intertwined tapestry of stories, orchestrated by God.

What is your story? Why are you here?

I thought about death a lot this week. Unsurprisingly really, given the passing of a number of prominent people in Nigeria – Dan Foster, Senator Osinowo, Ibidunni Ighodalo. I particularly thought about the reactions to Ibidunni’s passing. No doubt, she was a phenomenal woman who impacted many in her 39 years on earth. Just like Jesus, whose 33 years on earth is still impacting people > 2000 years later. Jesus finished His work and went home – didn’t stay a day longer than He needed to. (Did you notice that His disciples only mourned Him the first time, when they thought He was dead dead? When He left them the second time, they missed Him but did not mourn Him). I wonder, if God had given Ibidunni the choice of what we would consider a long, regular life, or the short, impactful life she ended up having – which would she have chosen? Which would you?

On Repeat
Starts and Ends

This is such a special song. A very tiny part of me was reluctant to share it because it felt like I was “giving away” something precious. God has met with me here a number of times.

When real life and peace won’t make amends

When all these starts

Start feeling like these ends

Like the world is unravelling

And I’m bound to come undone

There is a Shepherd; a Priest

There is a Comforter who comforts me

I wrote a story around the song last week and when I submitted it to the gatekeeper of its home, they liked it but thought that some of the lyrics might make people skittish, especially given all the talk of death in Nigeria this week.

Jesus my rest, in peace

My reconciler

You’re my every good thing

All my days and nights

You’re my death to life

You’re the wonder I breathe

Do you really know God if the thought of going home to Him unsettles you?

Binge Jesus.

I watched this video a while ago, but it featured in the aforementioned story I wrote last week, so I remembered it again. This isn’t the first ‘glimpse of the afterlife’ story to come out, but I think the reason this one is so compelling is how the kid isn’t trying to sell you his story. He’s like, “yeah, so this happened to me.” No extras, no embellishments. It’s not scary at all too, in case you get wimpish around things like this :)

Josh Miles, on heaven and hell

I hope you live this week in the confidence that comes with walking your own path. I hope you embrace the freedom of knowing that when your work here comes to its end, you'll go home to start your real life, unencumbered by the weights of this one. 

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Live free,
Live free,
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Chronicles of Dania

Lagos, Nigeria

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