This morning I woke up reading about the resurrection of Lazarus and the conversations Jesus had with his sisters, Martha and Mary in John chapter 11. Despite standing in front of Lazarus' tomb with a man who had been dead for 3 days, Jesus still gave thanks which became the lesson from our morning devotion. This evening, I wanted to make some quick Nigerian chin-chin, then I discovered we were nearly out of white sugar and nutmeg spice but I wanted to make the chin-chin anyway.
It was raining and I could not go to the nearest shopping mall to white sugar and nutmeg. So, I remembered my forgotten cinnamon spice and rarely used brown sugar; thinking of using it to see the outcome. The quality and taste of this "accidental" chin-chin surpassed my expectations. It was better than the one I usually made with nutmeg spice and white sugar. I would say this is my top 2023 pastry recipe discovery.
The title of this piece is never empty because being reminded that we should find something to be thankful for no matter what and realizing how my chin-chin turned out perfect after being forced to substitute the regular ingredients with the forgotten ones; is a prove that our lives are never empty. There is something still there even in our mess and dry season, that is valuable and that should keep us grateful. I have had so much rollercoaster this year. Being in the driest and darkest valley, I found myself at the point where I was contemplating giving up. I was already dealing with what I thought was the worst, then it got even worse.
There I was crying and struggling thinking it was over for me because too many things were going wrong at the same time but at that moment my podcast was born. My idea of designing my own website became really urgent. After that, my e-commerce store was born and I spontaneously self-published my book on Amazon. A book that has taken me to different platforms and made me even more visible. That dark place where I thought I had nothing left had me scrambling from the very depths of my being to discover my strengths and my gifts, triggering my creativity to soar.
Our moments of adversary can become our moments of strength. The times we are broke, alone, and seems that we have been forgotten is when we find our true selves because at that point when you are that bottom with nothing else left to lose, you just let yourself go and you just walk around no longer with shame and then you exist in the stillness of your nothing. You can suddenly count your steps, your phone no longer rings, the emails stop coming, and no one is checking on you. It is you all by yourself and whatever you are dealing with.
The good thing though is that you learn to appreciate the little ordinary things and accolades and all those lofty dreams become the tiniest things to you because really what is ambition when you are on the floor? Worse, you go to social media and it seems everyone else is winning but you. Maybe, you laugh or cry. Maybe you sulk for a while, refuse to eat, scream and cry yourself to sleep, hoping it is a dream but you wake up again and go through that cycle until you find you realize it is not that bad; it is just life dealing with you.
Like my accidental chin-chin, our beauty is still in the mess. Our ingredients will mix well to make a worthy meal. When we think there is nothing left in us to be useful, our lives are still worth something. Our lives are still valuable and as long there is life, there is hope. When I was going through that dark moment in my life earlier this year, it was so depressing that it felt like I would stay there forever. But I came out stronger and even more determined to win. That experience became the catalyst for taking concrete steps to build the skinfully booked brand and bring it to life.
If you are going through your wilderness experience, I want to encourage you to never give up on yourself even when it feels like it. Allow yourself to go through the emotions and feel, so you can heal and get better. Use this moment to look within yourself to find the little things in your life to be thankful for.
Life will test us but we are never empty.