Forgiveness will make you lol.
I remember when I was in the university, our Constitutional Law professor had this written on her door ‘I am not religious, but I love the Lord’. This caption was ridiculous to me at the time, as I thought, how can the wife of a pastor not be religious? At least she loved the Lord. She was also a preacher of ‘Forgiveness will make you lol’. This caption has never left me till date.
I had a small talk with my big sister on forgiveness. She taught me that when I relieve past event of how people have hurt me, I should thank God the experiences have made me a better person and how strong I have stood all through those trying times.
I mean, my big sister made a lot of sense that day. Still, in reality, this forgiveness philosophy became a herculean task for me to follow as an adult. I use to be a pro at avoiding people who wronged me by deleting their contacts or even blocking them sef. Yes, I thought these actions of mine was me forgiving them, by making them not nauseate me any further as anything that gave me peace, worked.
My big sister then told me about an acquaintance of hers. She said the lady practically never remember wrongs done to her, and how she even gained more friends in a foe-situationship. To my mind, it was preposterous.
She shared with me Isaiah 49:3-4 (NIV) saying ‘You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendour. But, I said I have laboured in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God’.
I couldn’t get over the word splendour in verse 3. I couldn’t get over the fact that I shared in God’s brilliance, in his magnificent grandeur. Not only did I read the NIV version, but I must also have gone through at least 10 other versions of the Bible; it was just bursting my brain. Let me share a few here;
‘You are my servant, Israel; you will bring me glory (NLT)
Israel, you are my servant; and because of you I will be highly honoured (CEV)
You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will show my glory (AMP)
You are my dear servant, Israel, through whom I’ll shine (MSG)
Israel, you are my servant; because of you, people will praise me (GNBDK)’.
So, it is through I, Olúwatóyọ̀sí that God will shine, it is through I, Olúwatóyọ̀sí that God will be highly honoured, it is because of I, Olúwatóyọ̀sí that people will praise God. Immediately, I desired to do better. That day I forgave everyone. Like, I honestly did.
So, if you read this and have the inkling that I haven’t forgiven you of the wrong you committed against my person, this is my open letter to you, that you have been forgiven. It was that day I truly appreciated Prof M words that forgiveness will make you lol.
A few days into my journey of forgiveness, a mutual friend informed me of how one of my friends, Baby geh swindled me and brags about it openly. This girl had taken my money and lied that she was a victim of some sort of fraud.
She not only did that to me, but she also overheard how they weren’t saying good things about me either. A lot of shit happens at the beautician studio.
Imagine your close friend do such ill and bags her bragging right on her actions and still give you all sorts of stupid names.
At first, I was boiling mad and threatened to use every known channel to deal with her till I was exhausted. I begged for sleep, cried for sleep, till I finally prayed for sleep. A prayer God did not answer but instead directed my heart from the 1000ways to make Baby geh and her descendants suffer while her ancestors watched.
I stood up from the struggle to sleep, and Prof. M words struck me and my conscience became very loud in my ears that Tóyọ̀, you are not going to do any of those things you are thinking. No, you’re going to do what you preach as someone who loves God. I hated myself and tried to resist.
I read the devotional that even made my conscience leave my ear and sat in my heart. It gave many examples that I too, I am not infallible.
If Abraham, the father of faith, lied; Elijah, one of the Bible’s greatest prophets, was suicidal. I shouldn’t forget that Moses also murdered someone.
Samson also broke his covenant with God, while Rahab was a prostitute. The Samaritan woman was divorced and still sleeping around. Noah got drunk.
Jacob lied, over and over. Paul killed Christians. And the different flavours of dysfunctional people that God chose. I quickly realised that we all struggle. We are all merely human.
Better ideas of how to forgive her engulfed my soul. So, I drew a plan for my sake and to be just like my Big sister acquaintance.
I incessantly gave her presents, ordered her breakfast. For days, I appreciated her for being such an awesome friend all through the years.
Baby geh first taught I was having nightmares of her. I will laugh like a madwoman. I, Tóyọ̀, I don’t use to dream o. My mind just kept thinking about you ore miiiii! I will end the call like that.
Then she thought I dreamt she was going to die, she asked me to pray for her. That day ehn, I did a prayer session, where I did not forget to rub Isaiah 49:4 that what is due to us is in the Lord’s hand. Our reward is with God, who sees our heart and will not hold back our blessings because we have never wronged another human being. Baby geh’s Amen wasn’t consistent with my ‘In Jesus Name’. On this occasion, I swear, I didn’t laugh too much, I mean, I was also praying.
Then, she started sending people to beg me, even the friend from the studio that reported her to me. What are you begging me for gangan, bayi? (Mind you, don’t ever join the bandwagon of pity-party people who will be pleading for others without knowing what they are begging for– these set of people still shock me).
People of God, even though I have been working on our situationship Baby geh aff now block me o. What I do? Kini motu shey bayi?
What I remember most about the situation is that as soon as I started taking action to do something good for her, it just got so funny to me. I was laughing out loud in my house, in the office, on the road, all by myself. I felt joy. Pure bliss!
When we can look at people who’ve hurt us with compassion, there’s a party that goes on inside of us. I woke up this morning and saw alert, gba gaun! I can’t stop laughing at the mighty God I serve.
So who can you forgive and do something nice for today? Forgiveness will make you lol in such a way and manner that you can never explain it. Practice forgiveness!
For my previous post, see http://oluwatoyosiabikoye.com/index.php/2020/08/20/toyo-the-elevator-princess/