The Presence

“Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the Lord, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the Lord.” 

– Leviticus 22:3

Your value for something is shown by how much you are willing to pay for it. 

If you say you want the presence of God and you can’t give up something you hold dear to get it, then you don’t want Him badly enough. 

When you begin to desire Him above all else, it will become easy to let go of everything just to be with Him. Nothing will be too big a price. 

If you’re struggling to let go of anything for God, pray for a desire, a drawing, a longing for God and the more you desire Him, the less significant everything else will become to you in relation to his presence. 

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS

Image by WiciaQ
Trapped between two worlds…

I cannot go forward

But I cannot go back to who I’ve been
The path ahead is broad and inviting

I need only take one step

And I’m carried all the way 

The path behind, the straight and narrow

Holds trails of my blood dripping

As I have walked it all this time. 
The path set before me, the one I need take,

Is the path I am supposed to have left behind

The path left behind me, the one I must take

Is the path I am supposed to leave behind
“Never look back!” “Never go back!”

I learnt on the path I now leave behind

So how then, am I to go back?

To look back at what was? 

To follow again the straight and narrow

When it’s the path I leave behind?
I’m still pressing on the upward way

And my way has led me here 

Do I walk on forward to the broad way future

Or do I turn back? Retreat? Surrender?

Retrace my blood trailed steps 

To live out my future in the past?
I am Trapped between two worlds…

I cannot go forward

But I cannot go back to who I’ve been 

SCARS (Contd)

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… Then I began to realise,”nobody knows who I really am…”

“Nobody can recognise me…”

“Nobody knows my name.”

 

But somebody did…

And He picked me up…

And He cleaned me up…

And He called me by name…

Not liar, or misfit… He knew my name.

And His voice was sweet as the nectar and smooth as honey…

And His hands were warm and gentle as he washed me clean with the water of His Word…

And his touch was so tender,

I didn’t even feel the needle stitching me back together again…

And in His eyes was the beauty of sunrise and sunset,

Setting my fractures and mending my wounds

And by the time He was through, they were nothing but scars…

Those scars…

And I said, “Jesus, if you would heal me, “Why leave the scars? They only remind me of the hurt…”

I didn’t understand then, you see…

Those scars…

The ones He left behind were not only to remind me of the hurt…

They were to remind me of the pain

And the times I hurt so bad

And the loneliness

And the anger

And the loss

And the rejection

And the times I was misunderstood… 

And the people I trusted to be for me

Went before me to hail me as the queen of the sinners and the condemned…

And I still hear their taunts…

And the names…

And I remember the feel of the earth as I lay dying,

With smoke in my eyes,

And the smell of the dust filling my lungs and the taste of my own blood in my mouth…

And you may wonder why I wear them so proudly… 

And you remember me by the scars you gave me,

By the names you called me…

Like liar and loser, and weak and dysfunctional, disobedient, a prostitute, disloyal, fake, unreliable, emotional…

And you look at them and see only flaws

That do not meet your standard of perfection…

Because they symbolise the hardships…

And failures and all the imperfections I embody.

 

These scars…

And as my shutting eyes fall upon these scars…

I feel it all again… And then I remember…

These scars are the trophies I carry from my battles.

They are the proof that I am more than a conqueror.

And you too will one day recognise me by the scars you have me,

Because they remind me not only of what I’ve been through…

They remind me that I survived.

Excerpt From: Okoye, Xyvah. “Zayin.” iBooks. 

SCARS

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As steady as a beating drum, my heart beats in my chest…

Pumping blood rushing through my veins to the tips of my fingers and toes

And only God knows how hard it hurts to stay alive sometimes…

And when all is said and done, and everyone is gone,

I’m left alone to dance to the rhythm of my heart playing in my chest,

And I begin to move, mixing my salsa with my tears as I gasp for the breath of life for what I think could be my last time…

And as my head begins to sink, and as my eyelids slowly shut,

My gaze falls upon my chest…

And I see them…

Those scars…

Those scars I wear across my chest

From times I failed to be the best I could be,

From times people looked and couldn’t see any good in me…

And they threw me aside as they took out the trash when they were spring cleaning out their lives…

Scars from times I loved so deep it carved a hole straight through my heart,

And it took days, and weeks, and months of surgery,

Lying under the blade of the Word setting asunder the cause of the incessant bleeding, as my heart beat faster,

A cupid’s arrow lodged in my left auricle

Filling my veins with the poison I called love…

And it was killing me softly… 

“I honestly didn’t know where to turn

Because everyone I went to seemed to think that

The only problem with my situation was me.

And as the daggers of “encouragement” pierced through my abdomen,

I realised it was harder to digest the truth

When the rest of the world thought you were the lie,

And lying there waiting for a Good Samaritan to hear my silent screams and help me to an inn, 

Then I began to realise,

“nobody knows who I really am…”

“Nobody can recognise me…”

“Nobody knows my name.”

 

But somebody did…

And He picked me up…

And He cleaned me up…

And He called me by name…

Not liar, or misfit… He knew my name.

Excerpt From: Okoye, Xyvah. “Zayin.” iBooks. 

Did you ever?

Dear Dotty,

It’s been quite an eventful week for my heart. I guess my body may not have done much but I swear my heart made it to the North Pole and back. 

I’ve been running it about in my head, trying to understand why people would purposely break someone else’s heart for no good reason. I mean, even if there’s a reason, no reason is good enough to crush another persons dreams. 

After spending the week gathering up the million and one pieces my heart was shattered into, I finally figured that the best way to deal with all of it was to just chuck it. After all, a broken heart’s no good anyway. And it’s not like he did it on purpose, I guess my heart was just the unfortunate emotional casualty in his personal war on life. I guess he didn’t really realise how much he meant to me and didn’t expect that I’d get hurt. 

People tell me I come across as very hard and somewhat uncaring and that’s why they don’t realise that a lot of things go deeper than they realise. They believe I have a tough outer skin and can handle almost anything but hardly ever do they see when I get home, peel off the smile and fall apart in bed. They never know the nights when I cry myself to sleep because of things they’ve said or done. I guess he never realised I actually did love him. I guess I didn’t show him how much I really cared, or how much I was willing to give up to spend the rest of my life with him. I guess it’s a good thing he’ll never know. I guess he didn’t deserve me anyway. I know I’ll get over him… Eventually… But the truth is, I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let my heart love again. 

I know you may not even know me but somehow, somewhere deep inside me, I know you understand how I feel. I often found myself wondering whether you felt the same way too. You know, when you left Grandfather and my mum. Did it break your heart too? Did you feel like you’d never love again, like your world was falling apart and you’d never be able to survive the chaos of it all? I know you were able to move on, get married and have more kids, mummy says you did. But in your moving on, did you ever get over it? Did you ever truly love again?

I know these are really personal questions but I feel like knowing the answers would help me understand how I feel and, I guess, help me move on, even if it doesn’t help me get over him. 

Lots of love, 

Your granddaughter. 

LOCKED DOORS AND LOST KEYS (Contd)

Image by Kovacevich

You can’t hurt someone else when you’re on your own… so the best remedy for living without a heart is to live alone. Building walls high up and a gate made of steel to prevent anyone her body would appeal to from coming in, to hear the silent screams echo through the dark hallways of a lonely heart as she watches the mould growing and spreading, dreading the day she hears another voice say those three words, “I love you…” 

But she does…

Yet she doesn’t respond because she won’t be held responsible for bleeding hearts or broken bones that aren’t her own so she locks the door and throws away the key because that’s the only way she can say, “Leave me alone” politely. But he doesn’t seem to understand that lending a helping hand to her is proven by more than just an outstretched friendly hand… He doesn’t understand that the only way he will ever see the real her is to get through the gates of steel and, down on bended knee, tell her the story of how he got the master key from the One who made the lock… but until then, as she sits silently listening to the “tick-tock” from her biological clock, she screams in her silence as she grows addicted to a sadness that slowly caresses her heart, spreading through her veins and as the toxins begin to reach her brain… she’s dying… softly so she hides away the pain behind the smile she now maintains, behind lies about locked doors and lost keys… hoping that maybe, quickly, one day, someone will find the remedy to a broken heart.
Excerpt From: Okoye, Xyvah. “Zayin.” iBooks. 

LOCKED DOORS AND LOST KEYS

Image by Danny Caramete

A locked door isn’t just a locked door; it’s another way of saying, “leave me alone.”

There’s a kind of sadness you can get addicted to.

The kind that slowly caresses your heart, spreading through your veins and killing you softly

It’s a good kind of bad feeling

More of an acquired taste, I’m told

It grows on your heart like a toxic mould bred from a life dampened with tears falling unto a pillow as silent screams echo through the dark, empty hallways of a lonely heart

It grows, spreads, breeds

Feeding on blood bled from the bleeding parts of broken hearts which no stitch from any surgeon or operation forgone proved successful

As gores soak up regret leaking from past mistakes… because a heart that breaks stays as broken as the words we speak stay spoken.

 

So as the days grow longer and the nights grow colder, the battle rages on as the heart grows old enough to retire but not serving long enough to receive a pension

She leaves bereft of attention, she remembers him making mention of a convenient way to love with a broken heart

So body young enough to fight for it but the heart too weak to nurture love, she abandoned the battle

Like a king without a crown, like a bride without a gown, she exits the ring… leaving an undeserved belt behind as he dealt the knockout punch shattering the glass cage which held the pieces of her broken heart, she realised she couldn’t find it in her heart to bear the title of a “wife” as she found she had no heart for him to find

 

The once empty cage, now shards as the shattered glass slices through her skin while she tries to search within for more than just memories coloured with blood and tainted with tears.

She searches for something she can’t find in a place that will only remind her that she failed, that her heart is a failure

That every cut and every bruise she was dealt was a well-deserved reward for a failing heart. That she was lucky her cardiac was not arrested for transgressing, and the death sentence was a just penalty…so she decides to stay at home.

You can’t hurt someone else when you’re on your own… so the best remedy for living without a heart is to live alone. Building walls high up and a gate made of steel to prevent anyone her body would appeal to from coming in, to hear the silent screams echo through the dark hallways of a lonely heart as she watches the mould growing and spreading, dreading the day she hears another voice say those three words, “I love you…”

Excerpt From: Okoye, Xyvah. “Zayin.” iBooks.