#1000Speak -Today and always you are my family

I am Nigerian living in South Africa but I have most of my family in Nigeria and one of my little sister in the north, Abuja.

When Boko Haram started their terror I was already here. Anytime there is news on their attack I hold my breath and try to disassociate myself from the news. I have never been good with pain. I have never been good with talk of death. Anyone very close to me knows not to use the word “death” around me- I just can’t- God knows that I would completely break down and lose it if anyone close to me that I love dies- so He has spared me till this day. When the girls were kidnapped I didn’t even want to imagine or think of them or of what they were going through or being subjected to. It made me uncomfortable because I was once a girl and I have been through some certain life challenges I didn’t want to remember.

But today, I refuse to disassociate myself from the pain of the families whose girls were kidnapped and the girls too, from the families who have lost their loved ones in any bomb blast and anyone who has been affected by this gruesome act.

Today I become their family. Today they become the ones I love.

If I could visit them, I’ll sit with them and cry, cry for the life of my brother that’s been cut short, cry for my sister who would not get to see her son’s 5th year old birthday, cry for my niece who would not have her first kiss, cry for my nephew who would not kick that football with his friends no more, cry for my daughter who I won’t plan her wedding and cry for my son who I won’t attend his graduation or grill him about his girlfriends.

I would cry, roll on the floor and wail. I will sit with my sister and hold her hands; I will go to my brother’s house and cook for him and his kids because his wife won’t be coming home again; I’ll bath and feed my nephew and niece because mommy is not going to be able to do that no more.

Today and everyday from now I’ll pray that God give them STRENGTH and the WILL to go on, to live, to take each day as it comes despite the pain and sorrow. And to the girls that were kidnapped, their lives have been changed forever and as a woman who was once a girl and who has gone through some life challenges not EVEN close to theirs, I pray for HEALING for their body, their soul and their heart.

Today I hope they know that somebody somewhere loves them with all her heart and wishes she was there with them.

Today I decide not to disassociate myself from the pain of others and show more empathy for my fellow brothers and sisters.

Today I speak out for compassion.

for the global movement 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion.  

updated 23-02-2015
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60 Comments

  1. So hard to be displaced from your country and I’ve heard / read of hostility towards refugees and immigrants within South Africa. Sometimes when one has so much to cope with oneself it can be hard find compassion for others. Bravo to you that your’e doing so!

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    1. So so true! If not that I am married to a South African I would have left a long time ago. You are spot on on your analogy. Read in many #1000Speak posts on how hard it is to give compassion when you receive none and it made alot of sense. It takes making a ‘choice’ to have and give compassion. Thanks for reading Anne!

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  2. So heartbreaking! Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by the trauma in the world, that we forget we can triumph through our intentional acts of love and compassion. Thank you for being a voice for both.

    With blessings,
    Dani

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  3. Joy, I am just getting round to reading your post now and it’s just sunk in what you’ve been going through. When I read your post in the group, for some reason I didn’t put it all together. This is all the more strange since reading about the massacres in Nigeria was one of the motivations for starting 1000 Voices Speak.

    I am can only imagine the anxiety you must go through on a daily basis. This post literally gave me shivers as I read and realised what I was reading. Thank you for being part of our group. I am going to make your post featured for today.

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    1. oh Yvonne, being compassionate is heavy sometimes especially when it has to do with death…gruesome death 😦 We can’t carry guns and go and fight (if only) But hoping that one more prayer up each time, one more post on compassion, one more word of love, one more tear shed, will cause a ripple effect and a change happening in the universe that will bring rest and put to stop ISIS and BH . Thank you for featuring this post 🙂

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  4. My heart goes out to each daughter, son, brother, sister and human being who loses a loved one due to someone’s monstrosity or otherwise. I join you in feeling with them. It is such cruelty which is being wreaked by people like Boko Haram and ISIS. Just makes my mind blank.

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    1. Yes Rachna. I know what you mean. It was easy to dissociate myself from what was happening in Northern Nigeria especially since I am not directly affected. But when I made a ‘choice’ to feel their pain, it is so heavy 😦 So many thoughts- What can I do? How can I help? I can only but write and pray- for now… thanks for stopping by Rachna.

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  5. My heart and mind are with you, joyezeka. It’s the 21st century and this world is still so primitive. Such monsters! Things will change eventually but it will take some time. I know you are still mourning and it will take a good deal of time to recognize that there is hope. There is always hope. And my wish for you is that you find it sooner rather than later. Much love and hugs to you!

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  6. Since I first heard of Boko Haram, the kidnapped girls and their families have been in my prayers, and I included them in my blog post about compassion. We must not forget them. Thank you for sharing. I join you.

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  7. You’ve obviously seen more pain than a lot of us here. My heart goes out for all the unfortunate things that have happened to people around you. God give you the strength to endure this adversity. Only compassion can attempt to heal this kind of pain. Take care. Hugs.

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  8. The tragedy of this situation you write about and are living with, Joy – your words so deeply move, trouble and sadden me!!! My heart literally hurts, and words of my own to express how much I wish this horrible condition did not exist for you or for anyone in the world, fail me. Bless you for your heart of compassion! Bless you for so eloquently writing this piece – for bringing it “home” to me and to all who read of your struggles! Please know that I pray all the time for those suffering in the world. Please know that today and going forward, my prayers will specifically be for YOU and for your homeland! I wish so terribly that I could do more than that – that I could do more than pass a plea out to the heavens! I wish I could do more myself to comfort and help make all of you feel safe. Until we all figure out a way to do that for each other … God Bless and Keep You, Joy!

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    1. Marcia, even after this I’m wondering what more can I do, what more can I say to help? Sometimes I feel guilty and shielded being away from home but I always pray for my family. Most of us won’t go 10 foot close to the affected area. #1000Speak has made me conscious, aware and more prayerful. THANK YOU for your prayers Marcia, God Bless You Marcia ❤

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  9. My heart sobs with you… and prays with you… for OUR brothers and sisters. We are all family… these are precious lives we all should be praying for, crying for, and shouting for. Thank you, for this.

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  10. Thank you for reminding us again about the atrocities that Boko Haram is committing! I find it outrageous that the mainstream media does not concentrate more on these stories to put pressure on world leaders to offer more help to the Nigerian government.

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    1. You know Roshni maybe if more of us talk and write about it like this maybe then we will get the attention of the right people or maybe we can just pray and believe for a miracle. Thanks for reading Roshni ❤

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  11. My hands are raised in empathy for what you, and all Nigeria, and all Africa, and all the world are going through. I want those girls given back. I want the big countries to stop ignoring this kind of thing just because the small countries have no oil that is wanted. I want people like those in Boko Harem to know what it is to feel the pain of compassion.

    Very well written indeed. Well done you 🙂

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    1. Thank you Lizzy. Maybe someday they will notice and I hope i’s soon. So long we keep praying and believing that our prayers will rise up like dew and fall like heavy rain bringing restoration and healing on our land. Thanks for reading Lizzy 🙂 ❤

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  12. My heart and prayers go out to you, and to all those girls and their families. I cannot fathom the heartbreak and fear they are suffering, and I am angry that this has not continued to be a story of importance in international media.

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    1. Thank you for your prayers Jenn. With a new election coming up the present President suddenly seem to be doing something about it. Whatever his reasons, better late than never. Thank you for reading Jenn.

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  13. […] One post for our very first #1000Speak link-up came from a Nigeria woman, aptly named Joy. She now lives in South Africa and to try to protect herself from the pain of what was happening in her home country, she shut it out. After joining 1000 Voices Speak, she found the strength to open her heart to her country’s people, writing: Today and always you are my family. […]

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