Today is October 31st and most people are celebrating Halloween. However, I am celebrating that it is 21 days until my 21st birthday on November 21st in the 21st century. 21! 21! 21! 21!
A quick recap of events that I attended/hoped to attend this October: NSA-SFU Nigerian Students Association-Simon Fraser University threw a very successful independence day party on October 2nd. That weekend was also Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO) Fall Retreat 2015. I couldn’t make it to both events because I was working that Friday but everyone at both events had very good feedback so praise God. L’s baby got baptized on October 8th 🙂 It was so cute! Can I just say that L’s husband and his family are so amazing! L became Catholic after their marriage and her husband comes to Catholic events, got his baby baptized and his non-Christian parents who live in China also attended the baptism. He says that it means so much to L so he would do anything for her. How sweet is that? Canadian Thanksgiving was October 12th and on the 11th, The point(the church on SFU campus) hosted a potluck dinner, really great food and people! (My favorite person at the potluck was Ella, she’s an adorable baby but unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures because she is not mine)
Photo copyright: Angel Tsui
This October, CCO SFU started this cool event called JAM(Jesus and Music) every Tuesday after weekday mass on campus. They provide us with free lunch and we eat, hang out, sing praise and worship songs, meditate on the gospel and pray together. Sounds like a lot to do in an hour and the time flies by when you’re having fun 🙂 This October also had graduations, two of my all-time favorite people in the world, Shirin and Ally along with superstars M and A graduated this October *holds back happy tears*
On October 23rd, SFU African students Association had their cultural night, I could only go for a bit but I am glad that it went well. They also ordered from Jambo grill which has been my plan since forever so I was really happy to hear that they did. On Tuesday, October 27th, I went to the 5 love languages tour. To be honest I only went because of A and I know I won’t be attending her birthday celebration next week so I decided to follow her to this event. It was actually a great event. The speaker/author of the 5 love languages book, Gary Chapman was really funny and his content was nice. Basically, he spoke about the 5 love languages we all have: receiving gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, spending quality time and physical touch. Just because person A feels loved when they receive gifts does not mean that is person B’s love language. We have to understand each other and each other’s love language so that each person can feel loved. As there are bilingual people, it is possible to have more than 1 primary love language! We also learnt about the 5 apology languages(expressing regret, accepting responsibility, making restitution, genuinely repenting and requesting forgiveness). We also learned 5 things that forgiveness does not do: Destroy our memory, remove painful emotions, remove all consequences of sin, rebuild trust and it does not always result in reconciliation. I took a quiz today and apparently, my love language is “Acts of Service”
I was supposed to go to the CFC youth prayer meeting on Thursday, October 29th but I went back to sleep after my 8:30 am class and woke up too late to attend. I also woke up with a full blown cold. Last Night October 30th we had Summit- Night fever Edition. Summit is the name for Eucharistic Adoration hosted by CCO and the Night fever edition is when volunteers go out into the streets and invite people to the church to light a candle/say a prayer. I went despite the fact that my cold was still bad and I forgot to take my pill for two days so I had a bad stomach ache. I also went out to dinner with friends before the event but I did not have an appetite. My plan was to stay for 30 mins to 1 hour and leave. I had earlier signed up to welcome people but I had to cancel that. Surprisingly, at the Church, my stomach ache disappeared and I was even able to sing along and stay until the end. When the night was over, I discovered that I had lost my voice HAHA but praise God that I lost it singing praises to HIM.
In terms of my life and how things are going, I would say that things could be better but I am holding on to hope! On October 19th, I was really excited because I was scheduled to start my 33 day Marian consecration novena in preparation for my birthday which is also a Marian Feast day, “The Presentation of Mary”. However, on that day, I got the worst news I could ever imagine. I didn’t know what to do, how to fix it, how I would move on etc. All I did was go to class and sleep.On Tuesday, I had a session with Sarah which really helped me with my self-reflection and see things that I can control, things that were not in my control and possible steps/avenues to get help. That Tuesday, I attended Ablaze because I promised Gill that I would meet her there to pick up a ticket that I ordered earlier. When we met, she told me how tired she was that day and she only attended because she promised me she would be there. Hahaha, Classic way that God works 🙂 I really felt that the message that night was addressed to me so I asked for a copy and shout out to Tita Mita for sending it to my email.
My dearest ones, I know the plans I have for you and be assured that they are plans of goodness and of hope. Even if you are presently going through the most difficult and challenging moments of pain, illness, loss of loved ones, brokenness in relationships, financial difficulties and other tragic and traumatic circumstances, do not despair. Do not give in to the lies of the enemy who wants you to believe and make you feel that you have been forsaken and that I have forgotten you. My dear ones, how can I ever do that to you? Your names are carved on the palms of My hand. I am with you always, now and until the end of time. Do not fear nor be discouraged. I, your God, am your Rock and your Fortress. I will give you the strength you need to see you through the darkest moments. Unite your pains with My pains on the Cross, and you will be helping Me with the salvation of the souls of many who are lost. As you cry out to Me, I will open the floodgates of heaven and pour My graces and blessings, healings and deliverance upon you and your loved ones, says the Lord.
That was really reassuring! and on the following Thursday (last week Thursday night, October 22nd) and all day Saturday, October 24th, I attended the “No longer an Island” conference. This much-needed conference in one word was AWESOME! Shout out to Jacqueline Loh and Grace that reigns society for putting this together and the 50% student discount. I wish I could have the patience to sit and type out all my notes on this event! We had a bishop and a psychologist both from America speak about topics such as forgiveness, guilt, depression and anxiety. I missed the Friday session on pornography and addictions because I needed to work on an assignment(school first!) It was very enlightening to hear the spiritual and psychological concepts about these topics. We also had healing prayers and pray overs. Jacqueline gave me very nice words of affirmation, thank you! The bishop did a lot of reflections with Psalm 139. This psalm is beautiful ❤
Also this month, I tried to get another job but I didn’t get it and honestly, I have mixed feelings. Obviously, I am sad that I didn’t get the job but I am wondering if I can keep up with two jobs, full time school and an active extracurricular life. It is most likely a good thing that I didn’t get it because I have realized that my current job requires that I also need to plan two events each month, I thought all of us had to plan two events as a team but each of us hired is responsible for two events each month. I really hope and pray that my events go well and people show up and enjoy themselves. They reminded us that “quality over quantity” Why not both? Lol
On a happier note, this month I got my Canadian visa. Praise the Lord! If you have kept up with my blog, you’ll understand the struggle that I had from December last year till around May this year to get a new Nigerian passport because of my fingers. And after everything, they discovered that I have had permission since 5 years ago to use a passport without doing the fingerprint exercise…Even though I kept telling them that my fingers have been like this since I was born and this is probably my third passport. Anyways, it’s all in the past now (No more immigration hassle until next year July when I have to renew my American visa), my mum’s friend has confirmed that I will be going to America to spend Christmas with her family this Christmas. SFU Teaching Assistant Strike is over so we can finally get feedback on our midterms and assignments, Somebody shout hallelujah!
I also did a good presentation this month in one of my classes despite the fact that my partner was a very interesting character. The first day we met, he texted me 10 minutes before our scheduled meeting that he hadn’t read the chapter because he didn’t buy the book so he would have to read my copy during our meeting despite the fact that the library had copiesss. Then he brought along a friend because she was lonely. The next day, the friend was lonely again so she came to our group meeting and she eventually invited about 3 more people, thank God he realized it was too much and asked them to leave after a while. Later, he also had to go early because he had to prepare for his date and he needed to shave and look fresh. I also kept having a bad feeling that he would not show up on the presentation day but he did and we did a good presentation. Praise God! I am sooo glad that everything worked out!
And for little things in my life, I have been able to attend the sacrament of reconciliation more often and this has really enriched me spiritually. I really recommend weekly confession to everyone! I have also been able to outgrow my insecurity of being seen without earrings. I have taken steps that would enable me move forward in the circle of things I can control and all I can do now is wait and hope that my circle of things out of my control does not spiral into a mess.
”The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.” –Saint Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church
Peace, love and joy,