Olanma felt so tired. This was just the second week and she felt like quitting the catering school. Chidinma had enrolled her in a catering school, saying it will keep her busy, and give her something to fall back on, whatever that means. The catering school was quite a distance from the village, which means Olanma woke up very early in the morning to do her chores before leaving the house for the school. Her teacher sometimes treated her like a house help, but Olanma chose to ignore it and learn. She didn’t want to disappoint Chidinma who had pleaded with her husband to pay the fees for Olanma. Chidinma’s traditional marriage was in a month’s time, and Olanma missed her already. She wished she could go with her friend to Lagos, but she knew it wasn’t the best. She had to learn to start planning her own future. Which was why she decided to learn as much as she can at the catering school, as Chidinma had said, the knowledge might come in handy someday. ‘Mama good evening’ Olanma greeted her mother on getting home. ‘Good evening Ola. How did your day go?’ ‘It went fine Ma. I’m just really tired.’ ‘ Ndo . Just learn well, so you can make Chidinma proud.’ ‘Yes Ma. I’m hungry too.’ ‘Your food is in the kitchen.’ ‘Thank you Ma.’ Olanma replied, already heading to the kitchen. When Olanma was done washing the plates and cleaning up for the day, she took her lamp to her bed and started studying. Chidinma had given her some new tips on how to study, not just reading. Olanma could still hear her voice “Write down notes which you can revise before your next study time. Try as much as possible to study at the same time each day. Give yourself short breaks during study. Start with the least tasking subject, so you don’t wear out your brain. Olanma, you also have to pray as if your success depended solely on prayer, and study as if your success depended solely on your study.” Olanma smiled, remembering the last tip she had given her “finally, you have to love God. To love God, you have to study His word, and in studying His word your mind becomes enlightened and you get more intelligent. Try it.” The tips had made Olanma look forward to her study times, and she understood better because of the revision notes she took down. She was yet to see the link between studying the Bible and getting intelligent, but since she also learnt a lot from studying the Bible, she couldn’t complain. Olanma yawned for the third time and, looking at her watch, realized the time was past ten p.m. “It’s time for my break” she murmured to herself as she put away her books and laid down to sleep. For the first time in a long time, her life didn’t feel stagnant. ************************ Chidi felt a mixture of happiness and worry. All his friends were getting married, except him. Well that was exaggerating things a bit, but it was beginning to bother him. Some of his mates have three children, and he is yet to even meet a woman. His father had stopped badgering him about his marriage status, but it didn’t erase the fact that he should be married. He missed his wife who he doesn’t even know. He imagined her cooking in the kitchen, encouraging him, praying with him. He even went as far as imagining her teaching their children songs. But he hasn’t even seen a woman that God approved. He must admit he was becoming impatient. ‘Congratulations Obinna’ Chidi said. Obinna had just told him about his coming marriage ceremony, and Chidi was genuinely happy for him, just that he wondered when his own will come up. ‘So,’ Chidi asked, ‘where will you be doing the white wedding?’ ‘We won’t. We think it’s a waste of money, doing two ceremonies. We decided instead to do the traditional marriage in a big way.’ ‘Wow! I like that. How did you get a lady that agreed to having only a traditional marriage?’ ‘Hahaha, it was actually her idea. Her family and friends are in the village.’ ‘How did you meet her? You went to her village?’ Chidi asked, wondering if he needed to start visiting villages to find a wife. ‘Chidi, I actually believe it was the Lord’s doing. I know her uncle and she came to his place during her school break. I noticed she was a good person, basically. I started talking with her but didn’t go far until I spoke to her uncle. I think that was when she took me serious.’ Chidi wondered why it sounded so easy, when he knew it was anything but. He shook his head, bringing himself back to Obinna. ‘Congratulations again man.’ ‘Thanks. I hope you are coming, as you are among my men, and Chidi don’t worry, God will bring her in His time. He makes all things beautiful in His time.’ ‘Thanks. I will be there by God’s grace. Just let me know about other details as soon as possible.’ ‘Alright, let me leave you to work and one more thing Chidi, I hope you can dance.’ Obinna laughed, bringing out his hand for a handshake. ‘Let me see you out and I think I can dance better than you.’ Chidi replied, accepting the handshake. As Chidi drove home that evening, he was deep in thought. He had felt he was ready to get married a long time ago, but nothing had happened. It seemed all the good girls were either taken or not for him. He just wished he knew what to do. He didn’t believe in trial and error, it was either a woman was for him, or she was not. Ask that your joy may be full ‘Maybe it’s time I engaged in serious prayers for this sole reason. It has taken longer than I expected.’ He muttered to himself as he joined the rush- hour traffic home. ************************ Uchenna was officially tired of life. He missed his family, he felt lonely and alone, he felt hopeless and sometimes he felt useless. “How can I call myself a man if I can’t take care of my family?” he thought out loud to the dark, empty house. “My wife and kids are somewhere else because of lack, and I don’t know how long I can continue like this.” He remembered all those years he had opportunities to plan for the future, but he had taken it for granted. He remembered when he had been about to employ the driver who had brought all this upon him, and how he had refused to follow the due process. “I wish I could turn back the hands of time, I would do many things differently. His thoughts were so depressing, that he decided to read something, anything. He put on his rechargeable lantern and looked around for something to read. His eyes fell on a Bible, but he ignored it, looking for something else. He picked up a magazine, and flipped through. His eyes caught a single phrase TAKE THE BLAME. He decided to read through When things go wrong, instead of pointing fingers at who you think is at fault, ask yourself what you can do to repair things. It saves time, and breeds responsibility. You can only change yourself and pray for others FORGIVE YOURSELF You are human, you will make mistakes. You might have messed, and you keep remembering your regrets, and imagine what would have happened if you hadn’t made the mistakes. Well guess what, you did make the mistake. Learn from it, forgive yourself and move on. The most important thing is that you learn from it. You can’t go back to the past, not to talk of changing it, so stop dwelling on your past mistakes. FORGIVE OTHERS Many times, the hurt we bring on ourselves is because we refused to forgive. Forgive not for the person that wronged you, but for your own peace of mind and, most importantly, because God asks us to. Forgiving the other person is also an aid to leave the past behind. Let it go. No scratch that, give it to God, He alone is the rewarder of men. FORGET THE PAST… IN TOTALITY Leave the past where it belongs- in the past. Leave every part of it behind- your past glories, your past mistakes, your past successes, your past failures, all of it. Your past should serve as a learning tool, not as a dwelling. The Lord focuses of doing great, new things for you. Embrace it and move on. Uchenna looked at the heading of the article HOW TO MOVE ON. He agreed he needed to move on. He decided to start with the driver. It had been long he spoke to God. It was about time he went back to Him. He picked the Bible and went to the book of Psalms, if he remembered correctly, he can be sure he will find something relating to him in the Psalms. After a while, he knelt down to give the hurt the driver caused him over to God. Standing up from his prayer, the light was restored. He took it as a good sign that the future was bright. He needed to start a new journey. Ngozi felt dizzy. She knew she overworked herself, but this was not the first time she has overworked herself. She tried to remember when last she ate a meal, and she couldn’t remember. She stood up to get a glass of water, and staggered. She tried calling her assistance ‘Cynthia! Cynth…’ she gave up consciousness, falling down with a thud, before she could finish the second call.