Anita Okanigbe-John

Cheating Life’s Struggles

How do I overcome my life’s struggle? Oh pain, how did you become my constant companion? You follow me everywhere I go like a shadow. In fact you are like the very skin on my back. As hard as I try, I seem not to be able to get rid of you. No soap is strong enough to wash you away. You took away my childhood and how I hate you so!

Oh life, why did you play a fast one on me? How much pain can one human being bear? Is it not enough that I was taken away from my parents at age 10, dropped out of secondary school and became homeless, sleeping on the street and begging strangers for money?

Oh! Hunger and loneliness have become my best friends and comrades. But I did not ask to be born into this world did I? Why is it that some people’s lives are laced with joy, laughter, fun and celebration but mine is not?

Oh, I’m in so much pain! The emotional and psychological trauma of my abuse is unending. There’s no escape from the flashbacks and nightmares. I can’t go on like this.

Nothing makes sense anymore. If my pillows were human, they would certainly be complaining about my constant tears at night. No, I can’t take this anymore; I have to put an end to my life now! It shouldn’t be hard, I’ll tie a rope on my neck and hang myself. Yes, this will put an end to my pain.

Wait a minute; there is someone at the door. Who might that be at this time of the night? I waited and listened, hoping that the stranger will go away. Five minutes! Ten minutes!! Fifteen minutes!!! I can’t believe it, the stranger is still at the door knocking louder with each passing minute. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to show my face so that whoever it is would go away and allow me end my misery at last.

‘Yes, how may I help you’? I asked irritated and with an impatient tone as I opened the door.

‘My name is Hope Joy’. The stranger answered with a smile that could melt even the hardest heart.

What kind of a name is that? I mused inwardly in spite of my misery. His smile held me spellbound at the door and there was something in his eyes that captivated me.

‘He must be new to this neighbourhood’. I reasoned within me, as I have never seen him before.

‘Although we’ve never met before but I am aware you are well acquainted with my half brother’. He said cutting short my thought.

‘Y…yo..your brother’? I asked trying to search my memory.

Misery must have eaten deep into the fibres of my brain for I certainly cannot remember meeting someone half as handsome as the figure standing in front of me.

‘Yes, my half brother. His name is Pain’.

As the word left his mouth, an imaginary knife went through my heart and unconsciously, I put my hand on my chest to protect it. Then I remembered, I was going to end it all before this stranger appeared at my door.

‘What do you want with me?’ I asked hoping he would go away soon so I could go back and complete my self-imposed mission.

‘All I ask is for an opportunity to be your friend. Let me show you that there is more to life than what you’ve been through’.

He continued with a voice so tender I could swear it was an Angel standing before me.

‘If you let go of the hurt and the baggage Pain gave you, I will lead you through the path of Joy but you have to be willing to walk with me’.

I stood glued to the door as his words began to soothe my soul.

‘You are so loved by God and precious in His sight. He sent me here to tell you that your healing is possible however, it has to start from within’.

‘Could this man be real or am I dreaming’? I asked myself still unable to believe what’s happening.

‘Please give me a chance! Let me show you that God can turn your scar into a star and your mess into a message for others’.

And so began my journey with Mr Hope. Trust did not come easily but he was patient. As our friendship grew, I realized that his brother, Pain was nowhere to be found anymore. When I remember that I almost ended my life because of him, I shiver in horror. Thank God for a second chance.

Like an elder full of ancient wisdom, Mr Hope opened my eyes to the glorious future ahead of me and showed me the unfathomable love God has for me. He also taught me….

To read the full story, get a copy of my autobiography ‘Miracle In The Storm‘. Click here –