His banner over me is <3

image

The year 2012…..
I remember listening to a sermon towards the end of 2011, and because of that sermon, I left church that day believing that this year was going to be my year of exceeding abundance.

And it has been!
I can’t say it’s because of anything that I did. I mean sure…I did try to read my Bible and devotional more often and more consistently. But a lot of people must read their devotional everyday and still not feel that the year has been as awesome for them as I feel it has been for me.

Now I’m not saying that nothing bad happened to me this year. There were quite a number ranging right from accidents to….in fact, nvm. I’d rather not bore you with the bad stuff.

I’m just saying that throughout the year things happened that showed me that in everything, God is watching. That when things are going a certain way and I feel that all hope is gone, He’s actually working on changing those circumstances for my good.

Harsh words that at the time left me feeling very discouraged led to my landing a very awesome job and boss for my service. I couldn’t have asked for better 🙂

I graduated this year with results that let’s just say made lots of people ask why I’m not having a party.lol. Meanwhile others were shocked because to be honest they almost always saw me lying in my bed when others were burning the midnight candle (yes, I do have my bouts of laziness.lol). Truth be told there were papers I wrote and said “God please you just don’t let me get a C” or “God please just let me pass” and then the results came and it was an A or A-.

The list goes on and on. Little prayers I said in my head while walking to work, almost as if I were just chatting with God only to see them answered in no time. I’m not a perfect person. In fact I was recently chatting with a friend when he asked something and I said “it’s only God” only for him to say “kai! are you that chrif?” lol. So that should tell you something. I do try though and I keep praying to become more and more the person God intended me to be.

I just want to end by saying His banner over us is <3. You may not think that 2012 has been a particularly awesome year but how about you pause and re-examine the evidence?? Who knows, those blessings may be more than you thought they were. His faithfulness is forever more and maybe once you look a little closer, it may just hit you how much worse things could have been but for his grace. Let’s enter the new year with renewed hope!

the signs

This is a post that went up on http://www.kuulpeeps.com a week or two ago, thought I should post it here too. Enjoy!

suicide

“There’s something very enticing about this bridge” I remember Judith saying. “makes you feel like you should jump in.”

It was such a  hot day. I wasn’t in any mood for my friend’s dramatic tendencies.

“Jump eh” was my quick reply “I’ll remember you for the two minutes it takes to finish my malt at your funeral. Oh yeah and whenever I’m wearing any of those clothes you got over the summer. You know your mum will give them to me I mean we’ve been best friends for ages. Hey! I’m sure I could even take your place at home.”

“Yeah, yeah…you’re such a meanie. I’ll be sure to note it in my will; no clothes for Ally” was all she said and simple as that the topic was forgotten. Soon we were laughing about mundane stuff but I couldn’t shake the nagging voice at the back of my mind. Yes…Judith tended to be dramatic but lately the morbid thoughts were becoming one too many.

******************************************************

I watched the woman fall to the ground before the sand she threw could even hit the coffin. She was wailing so hard, we could barely hear what the minister was saying. Not like I was listening anyways. My mind was just all over the place. I felt like I should go over to her and comfort her but I hardly knew what to say. I mean I was her best friend, I should have seen this coming.

******************************************************

“Look” I called out to Judith from the depths of her closet. We were in her room. Since she was so busy filling an entry in her journal, I was entertaining myself by rummaging through her closet to see what delights were hiding in there.

 “I’ve never seen you wearing this jacket since you came back” I said; coming out of the closet.

“Oh that” she said after barely a glance. “It’s just……..where am I even wearing it to? It’s hardly ever cold here.”

I couldn’t believe my ears.

“Are you serious!” I exclaimed. “You go out in the evening all the time. You could wear it then! It’s not like it’s some winter jacket. The material is light and……”

“You can have it” she cut in. “You obviously like it and like you said I never wear it.”

I was sorely tempted. I could just imagine myself in it……it was a black blazer with large gold buttons. In fact it would even give what I was wearing a lift but I also remembered how Judith had gushed about it when we were checking out her loot the day after she returned.

“Are you sure?” I couldn’t help but ask.

“Yes!” she replied, hopping out of bed. “Try it on. Seriously. In fact let’s see what else I’ve got in there.”

She walked up to the closet and pulled out all her gorgeous clothes. By the time I realized we were in the middle of a fashion show, with me as the model and Judith as the photographer. I went home that day with a lot of the clothes that Judith used to be so in love with and for some reason didn’t want anymore. I couldn’t understand why but Judith and I traded clothes all the time so I decided not to make a big deal of it (besides I had been eyeing these clothes for a while anyways, who was I to complain?).

*****************************************************************

It was 5am but it seemed the person on the other end of the line didn’t know this. “This better be good” I grumbled as I groped for the phone. I’m not a morning person on the best of days so a call that early had me ready to fight.

“Yes?” I said tersely when I had finally found the phone. “Please tell me Judith is with you” the voice on the other end said “don’t lie Ally, this is very important”. By now I had bolted out of bed. I tried to remember whether Judith had mentioned covering for her but I came up blank. Her mum wouldn’t call me at that time if it wasn’t important but I knew Judith would kill me if it turned out out she had asked me to cover for her and I forgot.
“Please Ally, I just got a very disturbing call from the police” she continued.
Police?? Now I was confused. This sounded really serious. I hoped Judith would understand why I ratted her out when she finally found out.
“She’s not here Mrs. Danquah” I eventually said.
“Thank you” was all she said before hanging up but I heard what sounded like a sob before the click.

Now I was really worried and thinking about the million and one ways I was going to kill her when this scare was over…I called all of Judith’s numbers but there was no answer. Without a word I started bundling up thinking she was probably at the one place we both liked to go when we needed to think. Just when I was stepping out I heard my phone beep and checked to see who had sent me a message at this time.

It was a voicemail notification text, 1 unread message from Judith. Excited, I eagerly called in to hear the message.
“Ally, it’s me. Don’t worry I knew you’d be asleep. I just wanted to say goodbye. You’ve been a good friend you know. This is in no way your fault! Just remember that. Oh and take care of my mum for me please. Everything you need to know is in my journal. Love you!”

Drat! I thought. What had that girl done now. Suddenly I remembered that day at the bridge and I knew where I should go instead. Changing directions, I run faster than I ever had, heart in my stomach hoping I wouldn’t be too late. I didn’t dare check what time she had sent the voicemail, I was too scared.

I got there just in time to see them put a covered body in the ambulance. The police were trying to drive the crowd back but they wouldn’t budge.
“It was a girl” I heard someone in the crowd say “I think she jumped”.

********************

I still can’t get closer to the wailing woman; I have no comfort to give. The minister says ashes to ashes and dust to dust but I can only infer this from reading his lips. She’s drowning out all sound now. I can hear the lady next to me say suicide is a family curse in a very loud whisper. I wish I could slap her mouth shut, teach her a thing or two about curses but I just sigh and swallow my anger.

It may be no curse but I wish Judith had talked to me. All that crap in her journal still doesn’t tell me why she did what she did. Pregnant? Tough! It’s not like she was the first girl to come back double after summer vacation. Her mum would have killed her at first sure but she’d have taken the baby eventually. Plus the news is out anyways so she didn’t spare her mum any embarassment. *sigh* Like they say, permanent solution to a temporary problem.

…..

Contrary to what most people believe, more often than not, suicidal people give warning signals. Some of these include observable signs of serious depression such as pessimism and withdrawal; always talking or thinking about death; making a plan i.e. giving away prized possessions; and saying goodbye. Yes, it’s incredibly funny to think that the buff guy you see acting all tough tried to kill himself because a girl left him but at the end of the day we all react to situations differently and rather than laugh, maybe you could pay attention when that guy/girl you call a friend suddenly seems depressed (even if it’s over something you deem trivial); save a life.

She waited.

And waited.

Finally she checked the text again. She had read it right. She was right where she was meant to be. She checked the time. It had only been twenty minutes. “A few more minutes won’t hurt” she thought. Max, after all was the poster child for lateness.

She sat on the ledge she had been leaning on, tugging her jacket as if to close it. The night was a little cold. Still; she’d sit for however long it took in any kind of weather where Max was concerned.

She thought back to her first encounter with Max. She was in physics class, the one class she hated most of all. Somehow the lecturer was late and while she waited she doodled her way across the back of her book, half-listening to the guy screaming his lungs out at her small class of 30 people under the guise of preaching the gospel. “This guy should just finish already” she heard someone say behind her. Turning to look, she turned back to her book and found someone had put a folded piece of paper on it. She picked it up to fling away but somehow curiosity got the better of her so she opened the note.  “Curiosity killed the cat” was all it said. She didn’t know whether to be annoyed or to laugh but she put the note in the middle pages of her notebook anyways, looking round to see if she could spot the guilty party. Soon the lecturer came and the class started but every few minutes she caught herself smiling; for no apparent reason.

All the people in her immediate vicinity were girls. She didn’t think they’d write her a note. On the other hand she hadn’t turned her head for more than a minute. The person must have been really near to write it out and get it on her book before she turned around again. It was while she was packing up after class that he walked up to her.

“I’m Max” he said. “I see my note got you smiling”.

*******************************************************************

Laura checked the time again. The weather was getting colder. Somehow another ten minutes had flown by while she reminisced. Time to call Max. At this rate she’d be sitting for another hour if she didn’t call. As she listened to the dial tone, she found herself back at their first meeting.

*******************************************************************

“You must be really arrogant” was all she could say. She, who was known for giving people hell for the smallest of reasons couldn’t seem to get any more words out. He was just stunning. Tall, with skin the color of Cadbury milk chocolate (her favorite), he had what seemed to be the world’s deepest dimples.

He followed her as she stepped out of the class. “I’d defend myself” he said “but since you’re going to get to know me better I feel like there’s no point”. Rather than answer, she kept walking in stony silence. He, however, wasn’t fazed by her silence. The whole way to her room he kept talking. A few times she had to hold herself to keep from laughing. As they walked, she kept asking herself what he could possibly want. He was too cute to be bothering with a girl who had given him the red light from the get go. She was sure he had a lot of girls throwing themselves at him. “Unless he’s just doing this to win a bet or something?” she thought.

Immediately the thought occurred to her everything fell into place. She knew she wasn’t very popular with the guys. She had shot several of them down on their first attempt to talk to her. She saw the way they always got closer together and laughed whenever she was passing by, and several of her girl friends had told her about the nickname they had given her: ice queen.

When they got to her hostel she stopped abruptly, causing him to pause mid-stride and mid-sentence. With a lot more composure than she felt within, she gave him a piece of her mind; ending with “whatever the wager was for this bet, you better go back to your guys and tell them you failed.”

She paused for just long enough to watch him cringe and then turned on her heel with great satisfaction.

*********************************************************************

Laura checked the time again. Max hadn’t answered her call the first time. “Please don’t let him have changed his mind about coming” she prayed silently. She shifted on the ledge, trying to find some comfort and hit the dial button again.

Part II coming soon….