Christian Fiction: Who are You?

Christian Fiction: Who are You? by Lois Nguveren Ugbu

She was lost in thought. She leaned slump over the sink. She stared in the mirror, she couldn't see anything. Her eyes were heavy with tears and blinded her vision. She quickly ran water over her face, soiling her makeup as she heard footsteps down the hallway. She was at work, she couldn't risk anybody seeing her like that. She was a strong woman, she could hold up. She quickly applied a bit of makeup and wore a plastic smile just to fit her face as she walked out of the office rest room.

 She was the warmest person you could ever meet. She loved to be a total support to everyone she met. She loved to sprinkle little pieces of perfectly ground joy and warm smiles on people's faces and hearts. You'll almost think she never had any issues. Nifemi loved her work and worked so hard at it. She was purpose driven. She always delivered. She was hardworking. She was such a lovable young lady. She was a committed christian and she worked in the same firm with her best friend. Abigail worked as the project manager with Nifemi as head of growth and retention. Abigail was also her personal assistant and sister. She had someone she could always talk to but the particular reason why she snuck out to cry seemed like what no one will understand.

Nifemi grew up with so much to bear. Her emotions always danced with fear and cringed up within her. She was always laughed at. Someone always had something to say about her nose, or her hair, or her legs, or her forehead, or even her nails , or eye lashes. To the littlest of things on her body, she was mocked and laughed at. It was such a difficult time. She never fit in. It was more difficult when even at home she became the object of laughter at some silly things thought as jokes. She grew up wanting to have a better nose, or better head or just being changed totally. She never felt confident in her skin.

She started a beautiful walk with God and she was enjoying it. Coming to God's presence transformed her mind each time and she soon forgot she wasn't how she wanted to be. She started making resolves that she'll be a safe spot for as many distressed people in life that come across her. She tried her best everyday to pray for people and make them smile. Her best friends; the Holy Spirit and Abigail made it easy each day. She was grateful. She had forgotten totally that she didn't fit in. She was happy.

Today was one of those days. The feeling had come back. She didn't know how to communicate it to anyone. She didn't even know how to talk to God. It weighed several kilograms on her shoulders and it made her slump. She still held up because she was strong.

Nifemi was in courtship with a nice young man from her church bible study group. He was born again and you could tell he treated her right. He always wanted the best for her and always offered to help even at little opportunities. She was grateful to God for sending such help her way. She loved him and she loved the fact that she loved him. She was willing to pick him over and again. She was grateful God had picked him rightly for her. Their relationship blossomed everyday.

She liked how secure and happy she felt with him. 

Last week, these two love birds had dinner at Treats&Emotions. The food melted right into her heart. It was a great time, so peaceful. She could tell John had so much on his mind. She knew him too well to easily tell that. She asked him if he was alright and he mumbled something. He finally spoke out.

"When are you going to get thick?"

She was startled. Was being thick even a thing? She didn't know what to say. She just realized she was back to the cycle of not seeming to fit in again.

She just listened to John reel on and on about having a better shape.

It didn't mean anything serious to her. She thought he was joking. She knew beauty was beyond her body and face and physical but it sprang right from her heart. She even forgot about the discussion and went home to sleep. The next morning, John called immediately after her quiet time to check on her and remind her to eat up and "add flesh in the right places". She just smiled and ignored him thinking he was pulling her legs.

She casually asked Abigail who seemed to have had a perfect body how she'll get to having one too and Abigail advised her to eat more. She took that in. She started eating at every single opportunity. She even skipped her fast some days.

Everyday she woke up to measure herself with hope that she had grown an inch fatter. Nothing was happening. She was getting tired. Almost no discussion went on with John that he didn't mention getting "thick". Every picture she showed him of her and her friends made him comment in that direction. She was too small to be seen as it was just her "thick" friends he saw. "..Look at how thick and beautiful your friends are", he'd say. Little by little pressure started to build up within her. She wanted the best for him. She wanted him to always be happy. She hated that something bothered him so much but she couldn't do anything although she was trying so hard. 

She continued eating. More calories and then more. She wanted so bad to be thick. Her flat tummy started protruding little by little. If she thought of John by 1am, she'll have an impulse to eat and get "thick" and respond immediately. John picked her from work yesterday and commented that her belly was getting fat and he didn't like it. This totally got to her. She thought way back when she was trying to fit in. Maybe life was a cycle after all. Here she was trying so hard to impress a man and there he was seeing more faults. It wouldn't have hit her enough until she came home to the comfort of Abigail and was not comforted. She told Abigail how she was trying to grow "thick" like her and how John wasn't acknowledging it. She also expressed her thinking beauty should spring from the heart. Abigail listened with rapt attention and went on to make a silly joke about everything. "John is correct na, them no de chop or see good heart. Your good heart concern you. You love birds should leave me alone..." she mumbled and left for her room.

It startled Nifemi. She didn't know what to say. She was tired. She knew she could easily talk to the Holy Spirit but didn't know where to start. She just mumbled little prayers and cried right after and slept off. She had gotten so unhappy and insecure around the people she loved most, especially John. She woke up the next day, head heavy, eyes red. She didn't want to go anywhere. She managed to go to work and here she was crying in the restroom of her office. She avoided John throughout that day and spied on him just to be sure she was fine. She put her phone on airplane mode and wouldn't open her door to take the phone from Abigail when he called to reach her through her flat mate and best friend.

It was a Friday without a single emotion. The usual excitement that came with Friday and the dinner with John at their favourite restaurant that had become a ritual wasn't there. She knew she had to be at work, but she wanted to sleep in. No emotion was supposed to stop her from doing her quiet time and she knew that.

She knelt by her bed that morning and poured out her heart to God. She wasn't happy. As she prayed, Colossians 2:10 dropped into her heart. She opened it and began to read out 

"And ye are complete in him..." She paused, she started to shout. She received a warm flow of peace and love into her heart. The Holy Spirit whispered into her soul that he had been following every activity and just wanted her to talk to him. "I've been with you, through it all". Those reassuring words stuck all through the day. While getting ready for work, her playlist played on the background and she did little dance steps in between. She was so excited. As she sat down to wear her makeup, Who you say I am by Hillsong started to play in the background. She sang along and this time the words hit differently:

"..Who the Son sets free

Oh is free indeed

I'm a child of God, yes, I am

In my Father's house

There's a place for me

I'm a child of God, yes, I am

I am chosen, not forsaken

I am who You say I am

You are for me, not against me

I am who You say I am..."

She quickly set her music player to auto repeat as she smiled broadly. Abigail was surprised at her excitement. She hasn't seen her this way in a long while.

She drove to work thinking of how she allowed herself to be set back and how she risked her health consuming alot of calories because she wanted to impress a man and she wanted validation from man, of who she was. She just smiled and was grateful. She was going to cancel on John this evening because she wanted her personal space only to get to work and see a bouquet of flowers and a note on her desk. The note read,

"I know someone more beautiful than these flowers but I'm shy to ask if this desk belongs to her. See you in the evening meine Schatz, I'll pick you up." 

She read and smiled. She hated that there was that soft spot for him that she couldn't hide. John traveled alot and could speak German, french and Spanish fluently. She loved how cute he was when he started speaking what she preferred to call tongues to her in those his languages but hated the stress of having to find a translator just to understand what the loverman was saying. She knew she couldn't escape that dinner, so she braced herself for it.

John picked her up and rained praises on himself of how good he was with lines and being sweet and how he had swept her off her feet. She would normally argue and try to win the contest that she was nicer and better with lines but she just chuckled. She was quiet all through the ride. She chewed on her Basmati rice quietly. She was hungry, the sauce was great, she would usually say it but she kept quiet. It felt awkward. John knew something was wrong. "Babe, are you okay?" he asked. She couldn't lie. She recounted how the past one month was for her and how insecure and unhappy and pressured she had felt all this while. She felt she was never going to meet up being what he wanted.

John was so sorry. He felt really bad. His intent wasn't to make her unhappy. He wanted to spur her to eat better and healthier. She was always working and skipped meals too often. He apologized and felt really remorseful. He went on to tell her how he really loved her and was grateful for her. She forgave him and was grateful she spoke about it. He went on to make jokes and make her laugh. He told her how it was ironic for the pot bellied man to want his wife to have flat tummy without trying to help her or work out with her. He told her nobody had perfect bodies and how we were made just perfect and right in God's image. He was going to be intentional about her feeding habits, abandon being thick and concentrate on being healthy. He didn't say it the right way the other time but now he was willing to help her adjust to feeding and being healthy the right way.

She went home grateful for God. She was grateful for the reassurance that who she was wasn't subject to change whether she grew fat or got slim, whether her nose was big or small, whether she was black or white. She had an assurance deep and safe. She wasn't just happy because things were okay with her and John but because she was a child of God. That was absolute. She was a child of God and her body could never change that. The way she felt could never change that. She changed into her night robe and stood in front of her standing mirror in her room, one hand on her chest like a little child pledging allegiance to his country, she looked straight at herself in the mirror and smiling she mumbled; "Nifemi Kolawole John..." She added John's name to her's and laughed. She continued, ".. you are not just a beautiful lady with a great personality and a beautiful friend, family, job and fiance, you are a child of God and you are complete in Him and that is enough". She smiled and knelt as she prayed. She finished praying and slept off. She woke the next day clothed with peace and happiness. She was dressed louder than a police siren because joy overwhelmed her. The power of identity was beyond what she could ever think of.

Who we are can never be defined by what people say, how we look, or what we do. Who we are is a function of God's Spirit in us as believers and nothing should change that or makes us feel different. Everything is beautiful being a child of God. Not knowing Christ is dangerous because you might actually never know who you are. Before you wish for a John or a Nifemi in your life, remember, your identity is everything, hold on to it with everything. Bad days come but who you are never changes. Keep your identity with everything you are. Preserve and cherish it. Being good at what you do and excelling is good but always remember "...Luke.12.15b for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. (KJV) What you have is never your identity.

Now, think quietly and honestly, "WHO ARE YOU?" 

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  1. 😢😢😢😢
    I'm sooo blessed
    What I have doesn't define my identity but who I am in Christ
    Praise the Lord I am complete in Christ

  2. Thank you for writing this beautiful piece! The journey might not be easy but keep writing! God bless you.


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