Endless worries

“When we are not in a romantic relationship, we worry about why we aren’t in a relationship and whether we ever will be. When we start a relationship, we worry about whether the other person will like us and where it is going. When we are in the middle of a relationship, we worry that it will end. If it ends, we spend hours wondering why and trying to change ourselves to become someone new. If the relationship doesn’t end, we worry about when it will take the next step, and the step after that.” – Amy Przeworski, Ph.D.

Stand Up! Stand Tall!

Perhaps, we should not live life expecting people will always stand up for us or stand with us…because most often they won’t and we would be left disappointed. People these days don’t put their neck on the line for others. Rarely will you find people standing with you in your problems; many will only do from a comfortable distance but will not go through the thick and thin with you all the way.

We must perhaps accept the fact that life is, and gets lonely, and therefore learn to stand up for ourselves every time and when we fail trying to, just accept our fate and move on.

In the face of life’s trials, we hope to get the courage to stand strong and tall, even if we must alone. It does get so hard fighting life alone, but the reality is that sometimes life offers no other options, except being your own life support, backbone and motivator. You can’t force people to always be there for you, and even if they promise to, chances are that they will fail you; so we maybe just have to be mentally prepared to face life alone and on our own terms. The decisions or mental preparations we make today may sometimes be the difference between whether we can weather tomorrow’s storms or not when they do come.

Like a child learning to walk, we can always learn to get up when we’re down at our lowest and alone in life’s battles, with nobody standing for or with us. Our mental preparation and baby steps back up will eventually lead to giant leaps to the top. The struggle is real but to give up we must not.

Stand up, stand tall, through it all!

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Cover Image Source: https://instagram.com/grittyvibes?utm_medium=copy_link

Unfuck Yourself 😊

What matters right this minute is that we’re still alive, irrespective of our present circumstances. Because once we have life, we have hope that we will still achieve our dreams no matter how slow it takes. All that we’ve lost that had “dimmed” our shine, we surely will get back, through legitimate means. Yes, no matter the odds, we will not give ourselves to illegitimate dealings.

We will continue to give ourselves to study, working hard with integrity and dreaming our big dreams. The progress may seem really slow but it’s better than being dead, obviously.

Hopefully, life will afford us the chance to “unfuck” ourselves and get back on track…then just maybe, we will earn some respect from those who look down on our today, just because we seem to have lost our shine. 😊

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Featured Image source: https://instagram.com/teens_gh_?utm_medium=copy_link

Death Note

You see, people die everyday, and people will always die as long as the earth exists.

I don’t care who we choose to blame when someone dies – some blame God and give up on Him. They are of the strong opinion that, He being a good God means He shouldn’t allow people to die. Perhaps, that’s a very limited way of thinking about it.

You see, when God took away the most important person in my life, He didn’t forget to leave me the most important lesson about life and death. That lesson for me is that when He (God) takes away a loved one from us, He makes sure He leaves what’s most important about the person with us – right here in our hearts. And that’s not for us to be bitter and hateful of Him (well, He still gives us the choice to), but to still know He cares enough to give us such a heart and fond memories of them.

Perhaps, a deep mind and strong grounding in Christ is required to fully comprehend God’s ways.

So here’s catch, when I die… hahaha, don’t worry, I will definitely die one day, for it’s only a fool who thinks he will never die; I only ask of you one thing: that you should not be bitter with my God, my maker. Can u do that?
I hope and I pray thee!! 😊

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Bittersweet life…

At the most fundamental level, life is simple and basically made up of both good and bad (evil). The fact remains that everything you’re looking for in life, you’ll find both good and bad. Good and bad kind of coexist in this life and it is simply our job to find a balance. There are good people; there are bad people…and we’ll experience them all, whether we like it or not.

Similarly, there are good investments and there are bad investments. There are good Christians / Christian leaders and there are bad ones too. There are good jobs and there are bad jobs. There are good parents and there are bad parents. There are very great relationships and marriages; and there are equally very bad or toxic ones. Also, and quite importantly, there is good sex and there is bad sex. 😊

Life is superficially simple but most times gets complicated, quite frankly, because of the juggling of all these many good and bad experiences. And the more we grow and experience life in much more details, the more complicated things get. The only sure way to avoid a complicated life is to remain babies. But, grow we must!

Quite frankly, we can’t live life just wishing the bad away; at some point, we will experience bad people, bad situations and stuff that will basically try to suck the very life out of us. Whilst that is actually normal in principle, it is also a make or break situation in reality.

Perhaps, it is only when life has got you into a state of hopelessness, chronic depression, giving in to suicidal thoughts, suffering protracted health conditions or terminal illness, experiencing extreme hardship, or having to deal with loved ones in such state, etc., that you will understand the stark reality of the breaking point situation.

Our outlook on life will be largely influenced by which of the two worlds (good or bad) we mostly come into contact with. Should you find anybody with a bad outlook on life and so lost on hope, check their history of life experiences. And if you are privileged to have experienced a lot of the goodies of life, don’t be too quick to judge or write others off.

©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Featured image credit: https://instagram.com/curlsaunaturelkids?utm_medium=copy_link

The Domestic Violence and Divorce Conundrum…

I have always maintained that we must be alive, first of all, to make our marriages or relationships work. That stance I do not think will ever change.

It is therefore absolutely important that people are encouraged to run from toxic and abusive unions and not waste anytime trying to save it, especially with physical abuse. Chances are that, the more minutes one wastes to stay and save an abusive marriage / relationship from collapse, the more opportunities one loses to even save themselves.

Sometimes, we put undue focus on preserving the sanctity of the marriage institution than safeguarding the sanity of the people in it, who are affected the most from any fallout, and who should at all cost be protected from abuse of all kinds. Jesus loves the individuals just as much as the institution of marriage; does He not? It would be difficult to wrap ones head around any religion or culture that wouldn’t value human life more than doctrines or practices.

Maybe part of the problem is that good people wait forever for bad situations to change, and that’s how they get played by bad people or their abusers who overtime get convinced and emboldened by the victim’s own decision of clinging on to a false hope that things would eventually change. Indeed, some choose to stay because of the kids, but in the end still die at the hands of their abusers, leaving the kids.

And how on earth a large part of society, including some churches still encourages people to stay, fast and pray away abuse in marriage and it will somehow disappear miraculously sometimes beats imagination. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer but I do not believe it is the solution to everything. I can never understand why in our part of the world, every problem we face must be attributed to some fact that we are either not prayerful or praying hard enough, or might have sinned against God.

Maybe we erroneously interpret the “for better for worse” marriage vow to simply mean people should die in their marriage irrespective of whether they are being physically abused or not. It always comes down to the sad conclusions that after all, “God hates divorce“, “what He has put together, no man should put asunder“, “infidelity is the only grounds for divorce“, etc. Then, there are often other statements that suggest that the victims perhaps did not pray enough or sought well the face of God in choosing their partners, hence the situation they find themselves in. Really? Godly people don’t change? We’ve not seen enough examples of very spiritual people who are intoxicated by the Holy Spirit himself acting like beasts? What’s even the guarantee that somebody being spiritual and approved by God today cannot change tomorrow or when it comes to God revealing marriage partners, that kind of revelation no longer comes in part but in full? I shudder to ask because anytime revelations / prophesies come from God, we are always told they come in part and not in full; and that is sometimes used to explain away why some revelations or prophesies fail, or?

Sometimes we just use our own interpretations and the ones we’ve grown up to be taught to limit the wisdom of God. And sometimes, we do it so much to suggest that we the interpreters of the Bible are ourselves wiser than God. We really try so hard to put God in a box, our own little boxes, outside of which He has no room to operate.

Marriage is great but sometimes we make marriage look and feel more like a bait for some, allowing many evil and unthinkable things to happen in the marriage, and people cannot break free as long as the issues does not involve infidelity. We have continuously pushed the rhetorics of infidelity at the expense of things that are sometimes worse than infidelity, such as physical abuse or domestic violence and maltreatment. Perhaps we forget that some people in a marital union are more accepting of infidelity and can live with it but can never stand violence, maltreatment and physical abuse. There are spouses who will never commit infidelity and yet are so wicked and abusive that continuing to live with them is more than signing ones own death warrant.

Apparently, the kind of rhetorics we push, even in our churches, makes God look like someone who approves of every kind of vice in marriage, except infidelity. We are happy as a people for women (who are mostly victims of physical abuse) to continue to hide behind makeups and concealers to paint beautiful faces that hides the scars of abuse, saving face in public and deceiving themselves and younger generations that they are enjoying a “God ordained marriage”.

God must be happy too, right?

As for me, I only tell people one thing: don’t buy anybody’s idea of “God hates divorce” and die in your abusive marriage. God does hate divorce, and neither is divorce a thrill for many right thinking couples because nobody enters happily into marriage to just get up and divorce. Context is very critical in the evaluation of every issue to which a rule or law applies. I have always asked extremists who lean on the rhetorics of “infidelity is the only grounds for divorce and that is final” this simple questions that I never get answers to: To whose benefit is it when people endure physical abuse and die in their marriage? God? Are the victims given a crown for that in Heaven for staying and dying? You think it’s enough to just preach “God hates divorce” and life goes on? Do you know how many Christians are perpetuating so much evil within the walls of marriage but will not even cheat for their spouse to as it may have at least that “one ground” to seek divorce?

You must be just a religious fanatic to think that far worse things do not happen in marriage than infidelity and people feel trapped just because God has only given one ground for divorce in the Bible. Just like any enterprise, if a marriage won’t work after you have put in your everything, including prayers, it just won’t work. Accept that and move on. Run even when it involves physical abuse.

In any case, even though marriage is an institution of God and a spiritual union, aside it being physical, no marriage will ever exist without the willingness of two individuals committing to the journey. Christian marriage is not a union solemnized at gun point or with knife to the throat. Two consenting adults find each other, express love for each other and decide to live together, seek approval of parents, bring the marriage to be covenanted before God in a Church (which then makes it a Christian marriage, as legally, the laws only see the Church as a venue for holding marriage), then a certificate from the state (not church) is given to them and they go on to live as married couples. So, at any point where one partner, irrespective of the circumstance, becomes unwilling to go on, and all effort to solve the issue fails, the union is as good as dead and no amount of not allowing them to go their separate ways because “God hates divorce” can ever make that marriage a happy one. The ability of a marriage to stand is always premised on the two consenting individuals who must be committed at all times, with a great dose of God’s grace to make it work.

In any case, even if the Church does not consent to divorce under any circumstance, except infidelity, have you ever seen married couples dissolve their marriage in Church instead of the law court before? The Church may play a big spiritual role in instituting the marriage and helping it last with godly counseling but when it comes to dissolution of marriage, it is a matter solely for the courts (the body that certified the marriage). Well, if you think that marriage certificates belong to the Churches that issue them, then think again.

Yes, God hates divorce and would be unhappy with couples divorcing not on the ground of infidelity (perhaps they may miss heaven, which I don’t even think is the case as context matters as much as rules), but it is more a matter of faith than legality.

Truly, may God grant grace where it is needed and may all parties to a lasting marriage play their part because the wellbeing of society depends on happy marriages and happy homes. And if we all raise our voices against domestic violence and physical abuse as much as we advocate against divorce, we would all achieve the same thing and we would not have to constantly fall on the “God hates divorce” rhetoric to cower people to stay and die in abusive unions.

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Cover Image Source: https://instagram.com/elcarnastudios?igshid=dr0gdfq3qa3g

Love Sometimes Gets Messy

Love is a good thing; people make it messy.
Be careful the kind of advice you give to people in love or blinded by love…for good or for bad. Some people are not wise enough to read between the lines when you offer advice.

Someone once told me “when two lovers fight in a toxic relationship and you advice one to leave the other, the next time they have make-up sex and re-establish their bond, the mess will be on you, because the one you advised will surely tell the other you proposed that they break up”.

Yes, it happens all the time. That’s how unwise love makes some people.
So, it is always best to avoid rubbing your mouth into people’s love affairs, and be especially wise even when they invite you themselves into it!

We all get tangled in that web sometimes and you just don’t know what to say or not to say.
It’s not our fault though; love sometimes just gets so unavoidably messy! 😊

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

Featured Image Source: https://instagram.com/carlosdanielart?igshid=1kgw0qogzpaj7

Remove the labels!

You may have had some negative things spoken about you lately or throughout your life, but you must know this:

YOU ARE NOT WHAT PEOPLE LABEL YOU…YOU ARE WHAT GOD LABELS YOU!! HE ALONE MUST HAVE THE FINAL SAY!!!

So quit believing those things…and put on your new found label in Christ. And begin telling yourself all the good stuff: I am beautiful, caring, intelligent, the best… (the list is endless!).

Say it TODAY! Do not remain what people think and say that you are. There’s never a great time to break free from all that negativity than everyday. Everyday is the right time! So, make a conscious effort everyday to cast off all those cloaks of negative labels!

See you at the top!

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©Mark Gadogbe, 2021

THE CHOSEN

From many I chose you

‘Cos you were the most favourable amongst them

Your lovely character seduced me

And played tricks on my emotions

A part of me gets excited at thy graceful sight

An excitement that heightens

With every lovely thought of you

You are so amazing a figure

A blessing amongst all the Lord’s carvings

So beautiful a living monument

So sweet a manifestation

Of God’s gift of love to me

My heart craves strongly for thy love

And breaks whenever thy love

So rich and true

Is far from reach

Inside my emotions are stacked up

Like full old wineskins ready to burst

I have been looking for so long

And I bless the day I found you

‘Cos you brought light to my spirit

Oh how the light of my soul shone the brightest

The day you accepted as true, promising and trustworthy

Those carefully chosen and well rehearsed sugar-coated words

In your eyes I find the radiance of true love

Your lips are so blessed with soothing words

That puts my agitated spirit to a sweet sound rest

That reassures my soul of a hope

And a future not too far away

A life together and forever

© Mark Gadogbe (McApple)

(PS: A poem to mark the celebration of our marriage proposal anniversary today)