I found love,finally. In a place I never thought I would. In a place I had only known pain and judgment. In the one place I didn’t belong. I have found a family. A peace like never before. A resting place. And I can’t wait to tell you about it.

Before I say anything, I would like to sincerely apologize to anyone I ever so angrily “loved”. I’m sorry. There was a deep void I needed to fill. Find it in your heart to forgive me for the unnecessary stress and my emotional burden. To those who fueled my pain, thank you. These experiences have made me who I am today, and have equipped me for the work I’m about to do. To Emefa, your love and patience and unwavering understanding and prayer have done more than I could tell you.

I grew up in church. So it’s obviously no surprise I had read the Bible cover to cover a couple of times by assignment. I spent years in Sunday school. And growing up in a lower middle class home (or probably upper lower class, depending on what perspective you look at it) I had a lot of pressure on me to grow up get rich and save the family. I was intelligent. Effortlessly acing classes, a teachers pet and a super fast learner. I grazed from kindergarten to class 6 like life was a breeze.

Little had I known what I was setting myself up for. Even at that age my life had a few not so pleasant highlights. I was visibly not one of the rich kids in my rather affluent school. I had enjoyed a brief moment of acceptance when I went to Germany and returned rather quickly, thank you racist white kids. I had no friends by class 4. And life revolved around avoiding Mr Siaws cane at all times, maintaining a permanent position in “heaven” competing keenly with Daisy and Nana Adwoa. When I wasn’t doing that, I was busy gloating over how I knew everything in integrated science class and the rest didn’t. Or my perfectly constant hundred percent score in Miss Giftys French class.

But I had no friends. Atleast no real life ones. I made friends with Lucky Santangelo. A powerful woman in Jackie Collins novels. I loved Lucky. Strong smart successful, I aspired to be like her. And there was one thing she had, men. So that’s what I got. Men. I can’t give you details of the developments but by junior high I knew a bit too much. And although I met my best friend and sister, Hannah somewhere along the line, I was already sick and twisted. The condition at home is one I’ll talk about later. But I needed love. I needed validation. And the only way I’d get it was men. That need grew to become quite insatiable. Over seven years I had worked my way through a number of failed relationships and flings obsessing over them and needing them to function. And when a problem arose, I’d let him go. And find one as quickly as possible.

I started to realize no one loved me. I knew. But I just wanted the involvement for the sake of it. I needed some peace. My family was counting on me to raise them out of poverty. And for them, I had so many angry questions. I was so angry. Honestly, a part of me still is. I was in pain. Then I spiraled into depression. I’d spend days in bed. Not leaving my room or even seeing the sun on my balcony. I abhorred human contact. I brooded over how to die. I wasn’t suicidal. No. It was worse. I understood perfectly the fact that if I killed myself I’d have a free pass to hell. I didn’t want that. But I wanted to die. I’d go out late at night. I’d drive high. I once drove drunk as hell from Osu to school and got very very angry when I woke up and I wasn’t dead. I had planned it out. I’d get drunk have an accident. And die. Quick and painless and not exactly suicide.

The crippling depression affected my ability to study. I studied. I really did. I always have. But I wasn’t getting results. So I started to pray. And it got worse. My health deteriorated. I would cough up blood and I had constant chest pain from smoking too much. I started smoking more. Hoping I’d go to bed and not wake up.

Then I met Him. It wasn’t a church service. It was a Wednesday MC at commonwealth. I honestly don’t remember anything the preacher said. I don’t even remember who preached. I just remember my mind wondering. A peace filled me that I didn’t ask for. A clarity entered my mind. So I started going to church voluntarily. Maintaining a steady place. And although I took a month break to focus on exams ( which I shouldn’t have) I quickly found myself four young women I’d pray with and discuss God with(hey blue witches). I felt the neediness melt away. My bad habits dropped like dead ticks. I just became very disinterested in certain things.

So that’s where I’m at now. At peace with myself. Finding a place in the house of God. Enjoying the love of Jesus. And in a committed relationship with the Holy Spirit. I’ve always understood these things theoretically. But it’s something else when God literally lifts you up from the miry clay. And sets your foot upon the rock.

My final acknowledgment goes to the entire Love Economy family. Skoozie, my ever present shepherd. Pastor Elikem, for finding solutions to my every complain and Chief Elder Roland, for praying with me and for me.

I’ll take this opportunity to be the person I needed. To love and support from here in my own little way. To share the things I saw in my lows. And to lend a helping hand to anyone in the abyss I was in.

Thank you for the love and support.

Ivy.

3 thoughts on “Shit to Shine?

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