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Blessing Omakwu: The Beauty of Surrender



The minute I heard the knocking on my door at 12 am, I knew. Something in my spirit had denied me sleep that night and I was restless. My mother walked into the room I shared with my younger sister, sat by my bed, and sort of just blurted: “So they said your Daddy is dead oh…” There was so much confusion in her eyes.

The two years leading up to this night had been a living nightmare filled with hospitals, pills, and vomit. I will never be able to fully describe the feeling of watching your father, the broad shouldered figure of strength in your life, debilitate to the most child like version of himself; to explain the pain of seeing the hero who carried you on his back, and told you stories about winning martial arts competitions in his younger days, unable to walk, read, control bodily functions, or string coherent sentences together.

Circa 1:00 am, the commotion in my house was Steven Speilberg meets Nollywood material. Someone, somewhere, was threatening to throw herself into the gutter. There was a choir of gut-wrenching tears-complete with alto’s, tenors, and soprano’s- in my backyard. There was my mother sitting on our faded green leather sofa in the living room, staring into space, lost.

My own theatrics were different: no tears, no words. Instead, I took my Bible, opened it up to Genesis chapter 1, and began to tear out the pages and shred them, piece-by-piece, page-by- page. I was mad at God. If my Father could die, God had to be a liar. This was the only thesis that made sense to me. 
The Bible said pray and fast. My mother literally packed her suitcase and lived in church. She prayed and fasted so much that she went from a US size 16 to a size 8 within the space of a few months. Famous men of God abroad and at home had prayed for him. Still he died. The Bible said to have faith: my faith wasn’t mustard seed status-it was at the very least golf-ball sized faith. Still he died. The Bible said sow seeds. We sold so much, to give to the church—clothes, DVDs, our car, everything. Still he died. The Bible said we had to forgive. I let go of some of my deepest and seemingly legitimate grudges. Still. He died. The Bible had to be a lie– a book in the same genre as Le Petit Prince or The Alchemist: filled with great life-lessons and profound nuggets of truth, but fiction nonetheless. So I continued to rip my Bible, until my friend who had heard the news and rushed over, stopped me.

As I got dressed in my mother’s room the night of my father’s memorial service, amidst the make-up everywhere, the head-ties and gele’s, I heard a calm sweet worship playing on her CD player. It was “Jesus Lover Of My Soul (It’s All About You)” and the chorus goes:

It’s all about You, Jesus
And all this is for You
For Your glory and your fame
It’s not about me
As if You should do things my way
You alone are God
And I surrender to your ways

That song was the first glimpse of light in the darkness that enveloped my spirit. While I can’t say I stopped being mad at God right there or then, or that I stopped having questions, in that moment, I felt God’s presence so thick that He was undeniable, and I felt like God had wrapped his arms around me.

Fast-forward to a conversation with my flat-mate, Rebecca, in Paris about 3 years down the road. We were both enrolled in the same study abroad program, and on many nights, we would stay up late into the night arguing about politics (it was the year of Barack Obama and John McCain), talking about our plans for the future (I wanted to go to law school, Rebecca wanted to eventually get a PhD in Finance) and reflecting on life. On one of those nights, Rebecca started to tell me about her experience watching her best friend die from cancer. With tears in her face, she asked me “How do you get over something like that Blessing? How?” I knew it was rhetorical question. One never really gets over things like that, but the world moves on with or without us, forcing us to bury or heal. Rebecca paused for a minute, and then said something I will never forget: “I don’t have the answers, but that’s what makes God, God. If I had the answers, God would not be God.” Another glimmer of light.
There is an Arabic phrase “Insha Allah” which means “If God wills it” or “God willing” that Muslims and Christians alike often use in Nigeria. The phrase acknowledges submission to God, and the person who uses it put his/herself and his/her plans into God’s hands. Over the years, I have found that sometimes, you just have to put some things in God’s hands and leave them there. It has been 10 years since my father passed away, and I have found that there is a beauty in knowing that you cannot rely on your strength or wisdom. There is sweetness and wisdom in surrender. I am not perfect-and neither is my faith- but I rest in God who is the author, and the finisher of my faith. I’ve learned to pray: “My father in Heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”

Sometimes, God’s answer to my prayers is yes, sometimes it is no and sometimes it is not now. Many times, I don’t even hear the answer. But still, I hope like my life depends on it–because it does. I don’t always understand God’s ways-but I trust them. I don’t always like God’s ways-but I respect them. There is no one plus one equals two in this. No logic. No solution. God alone is God, and I…surrender.

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  1. Timilee

    April 23, 2013 at 10:09 am

    wow. Awesome!

  2. Hurperyermie

    April 23, 2013 at 10:11 am

    wao!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i surrender to your will o Jesus pls take the wheels of my life from me

  3. Say my name, Honest

    April 23, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I surrender all to you Jesus. It is JESUS, yes is Jesus, it is Jesus in my soul… His blood has made me whole

  4. HRS

    April 23, 2013 at 10:18 am

    “I don’t have the answers, but that’s what makes God, God. If I had the answers, God would not be God.”…. “I have found that sometimes, you just have to put some things in God’s hands and leave them there” ….. “I am not perfect-and neither is my faith- but I rest in God who is the author, and the finisher of my faith.” …… “Sometimes, God’s answer to my prayers is yes, sometimes it is no and sometimes it is not now. Many times, I don’t even hear the answer. But still, I hope like my life depends on it–because it does. I don’t always understand God’s ways-but I trust them. I don’t always like God’s ways-but I respect them. There is no one plus one equals two in this. No logic. No solution. God alone is God, and I…surrender.” That’s all….

  5. Thanda

    April 23, 2013 at 10:18 am

    WOW, this is exactly what I needed at this hour. Well written!!! Permit me to share it on Facebook so my friends can see it. Some few weeks back, I was in a competition for a particular position. I saw the results this morning and I lost. I have been wondering how it happened because, I felt I did very well. I saw the results less than an hour ago. It’s as if this was written for me, though I feel sort of depressed, I know that everything works to God’s will. And since it is not His will that I get the position, so be it. This article has uplifted my Spirit. Thank you Blessing, you are indeed a blessing!!!

  6. crystalwhite

    April 23, 2013 at 10:22 am

    This write-up gave me peace in the midst of fiery storm roaring around me…………despite all,despite everything God will always be God

  7. pjoluks

    April 23, 2013 at 10:43 am

    The Beauty of Surreender, who are we to question GOD. He will always be GOD
    I stand in awe of you my Lord nd Master

  8. mama

    April 23, 2013 at 10:43 am

    despite all God is still God and good…..i have been married 8 years, had 2 miscarriages, a myomectomy, done HSG, HSN, hysterescopy, 2 failed IVFs, countless test and scans, have prayed – fasted, friends and family praying for me, have prayed for friends who have gotten their own kids but am yet childless……i got to a place where i said God even if you dont give me children I will still yet praise you……sometimes we just dont know why some things happen but God will always be God and i still believe he will one day bless me with my own children…….Blessing i attended your fathers church almost when it all started and his death was a shock to us all even after all the prayers….But God knows best and we r happy his legacy will forever live on till Jesus comes..God bless you

  9. desola

    April 23, 2013 at 10:46 am

    whaoh my heart was so heavy before with pains, reading this just gave me peace thank you so much, God is respecter of no man, God is God.

  10. Ann

    April 23, 2013 at 10:50 am

    Many people go through different things in life, pain, sorrow etc; but few come to this conclusion. Blessing, by the grace of God you have and its really wonderful sharing your experience. I’m sure this will help many others heal faster. God bless you. And yes I surrender to your Will my God

  11. dp

    April 23, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Pastor Ina Omakwu, i never met this man but every body that i hv heard talk about him say a whole lot of wonderful things about him i really wished i had met him, now see his daughter write this fantastic writeup, God will always be God and nobody can or will change that, i know he is resting in heaven. God bless you Blessing

  12. toya

    April 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

    this just made me open my heart to everything. I like the last part “I don’t always understand God’s ways-but I trust them. I don’t always like God’s ways-but I respect them. There is no one plus one equals two in this. No logic. No solution. God alone is God, and I…surrender.” I surrender too. God bless u for sharing your story.

  13. Itse

    April 23, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Thank you for sharing, never met your dad, but have met your mum and her messages sure do inspire me… God bless you real good Blessing

  14. simi

    April 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    And this write up brought tears to my eyes cos i can relate to every bit of it………. Even when i have nothing left to cry about or smile about I still feel God’s strong arms wrapped round me.

  15. purplepearl

    April 23, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    This article is on-point, i surrendered 12 years ago when i lost my dad and my life has never been better. God is ever FAITHFUL

  16. Olori

    April 23, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    God is King indeed and no circumstance we’re in can change His status.
    Lovely piece.

  17. Teni

    April 23, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I know the feeling. Lost my mum recently after series of fasting,prayers,calling men of God,crying to God to save my friend and pillar but she died and i just felt so numb but in everything i trusted God and even though it still hurts,i am healing gradually. Thank you for making me understand more,God bless you and your family.

  18. Inebaby

    April 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Wow! this is awesome and has lifted up my spirit! Like I always say “Let His will be done in my Life”, He is God all by Himself! Please permit me to share with ma friends on fb. God bless your soul!

  19. Iphie

    April 23, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Wonderful write up! Lord I surrender to u always. Despite everything going on around me, i can still say, You are a good God. You alone are God! pls may i share this with friends

  20. Havoc

    April 23, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Typical religious sentimental crap. Next.

    • Masked

      April 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      You must be an atheist!

    • Jenny Craig

      April 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      LOL!! I was waiting for one of these

    • Babycakes

      April 23, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Crap?? I’m not even mad at you….but I’d take this crap that gives me hope for the future.
      I’m (and a whole army of us) going through so much in my life right now, if not for the faith and hope I find in the knowledge of God’s reality and love, I’d be on the streets doing drugs or acting out my grief and frustrations by being promiscuous, or seeing a shrink who would be pumping me with anti-depressants (now those are the crappy options)
      You see, I tell people even if (and i mean an atom of if) God were not real, I wouldn’t regret one day following Him, as my walk with God has definitely helped me make better choices in life….

    • Turayo Tijani

      April 24, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      It is but if it helps them move on, then I can tolerate it. I am not a fan of religion, I am more of a spiritual person but if religion cAn help make someone a better person (which is rare enough in Naija) then okay. It’s just irritating to see the mention of god in every darn post…as if they have no free will of their own.

  21. phronesis

    April 23, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    Wonderful piece. thank God for the courage and perseverance to stay yet in him even in the times when the road seems so dark. i read your piece with rapt attention and would like to share some thoughts with everyone from some points i got from it.( am not claiming to know it all)
    firstly, i want to remind everyone that God is a GOOD God, no matter the way things are, he is one that can do no wrong, there is no shadow of turning with him, his personality can only emit love and love only and he delights in making our dreams come true. on the other hand, the passion of the devil is to destroy, he delights in
    the suffering of mankind. i say this because often times, with the pressure of life, all the fasting and praying, we tend to blame God. it has happened to me too, i even stopped praying and going to church but thats exactly what the devil wants. he wants you to blame God and forget who the real culprit is.

    Secondly, Gods will is wonderful and although it may not seem good initially, it certainly is the best. the lesser is included in the greater and the greater is Gods will and the lesser is our will. also, God never promised us a challenge free life( check the bible, its not there) but am certain of something he promised us, a life above challenges, there is a difference. he called us overcomers. how can one be an over-comer if he didn’t have any challenges? now, you may ask, how do we know his will? its imbedded in his word, just a continuous spiritual relationship with his spirit will do. its not the church going type of life oo. NO! its more than that.

    thirdly, indeed his ways are not our ways but i can confidently tell you that he is not hiding his ways from us. remember, he is love and love is not selfish so why should he be hiding the “runs way” from us? even in 1 Cor 2:16( NLT), it says
    For,“Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?
    Who knows enough to teach him?”
    But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.
    matter don end because i no no why God go tell us say we get him mind( christ is also God) then, we go still think say hin dey hide him way. the thing nor jell like that.
    therefore, we need to ask, how do we walk in this understanding? fellowship with his spirit. i tell you, God YEARNS to have a relationship with us!! i learnt that december last year and to be honest, i called on him and it has been wonderful ever since.( dat i said its wonderful nor min say challenges nor dey). i prefer to use challenges than to say problems. its more positive and i cant have problems. i handle challenges!

    Fourthly, this one may be a little dicey but meditate on it. Gods answers are always YES! it may seem so silly but John 14:14 says “if you ask anything in my name, i will do it”. he didnt say, i may decide to answer or not or i can say no but he said, I WILL DO IT. lets take the word of God as it is. its my understanding, as i saw it in the bible is how i believed it. someone may say, what if its not Gods will? well, the question is, what is Gods will? the word “will” according to this context is law so what is Gods law? Gods will or law is his word and if we study is word and take in all that there is, thats his will, Shikena, matter haff close!

    Lastly, God speaks to us all the time. the problem is that our minds are too clogged up with worries and struggles that we do not even listen to him and cant hear him speak. you may say, why cant he just shout and let me know he is saying something? God never imposes himself on anyone( only the devil does), he comes if you want him, if you are not listening, he stays quietly just watching you. lets assume that he is an imposer, then why has he not forcibly turned every heart to accept the gospel? just a food for thought. at all times, he is talking but the activities of the day take our attention away from him. he so wants to be a part of our every activity.
    i truly hope i have been able to help even if its one person to understand things better. we are all learning and growing in the knowledge of him. please, dont take everything i have said just like that, search the scriptures to compare. its what GOD would love you to do. i love you and thanks for your patience

    • Dabs

      April 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Thanks for this 🙂

    • phronesis

      April 24, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      anytime dearie. thankz too

  22. Lecker

    April 23, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    My must trusted friend and ally!

  23. Yes

    April 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    “I have found that sometimes, you just have to put some things in God’s hands and leave them there”…this struck home deep into my heart. God will forever be God. This article made me cry because I know that God just spoke to me through you. He knows the best for us, His children. Thank you Blessing…God bless you immensely for this article.

  24. Jenny

    April 23, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    This My God . He says that even if we don’t praise him ,the stones will rise up and praise him. I lost 6 uncles in a space of two years and I wondered at God but I have come to accept that this world is not my home but Heaven*grinning*.We are residents with the Devil who is known for everything evil. That being said, I looked beyond the dissapointments and noticed that for every misfortune in my life, God gave me triple blessings!

  25. cathy

    April 23, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Bless your heart.

  26. oluchy

    April 23, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    BN, thank you for this writeup. Was really what l needed now as l was going tru some things, Lord l know that You are usually with me. l give You all my cares and worries.

  27. Gorgeous

    April 23, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I can relate to everything this writer wrote. The pain of losing a loved one. For 2 years, i was in a daze. Almost had a mental breakdown. It is only by God’s grace that i am alive, and he pulled me through. God is God. Life is still very hard without my pillar, rock, backbone and happy place known as my father. But i am trying to live and be happy. It is not easy at all sha.

  28. x factor

    April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    WOOOOWWWWW…..some profound blessings from BN this afternoon….
    BN…Please you need to archive some this outstanding articles, in the future, you may need to start a column that will feature this kind of timeless piece

  29. BB

    April 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Just what I needed this morning. The passing of a loved one may never be understood which is why we have God to surrender all to.

  30. Jae

    April 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    Beautiful! it brought tears to my eyes, guess you reminded me of an overwhelming truth. Thank you!

  31. Adesewa

    April 23, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    awesome piece, God just always finds a way of talking to us, He just did through this piece. UNQUESTIONABLE GOD, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF MY FAITH!

  32. Mz Socially Awkward...

    April 23, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Blessing, isn’t that amazing to see how many commenters have admitted receiving strength and hope from your article? You’ve truly been used as an instrument to deposit a Word of knowledge in someone’s life.

    I pray that your father has been received into and is resting in glory with His Lord & Saviour, never to suffer pain or hardship anymore. You’ve touched me as well by sharing this – I was contemplating and almost contending with God yesterday, screaming in my mind “God why, what more do you want from me?”. I repented of my words almost immediately and made a statement to God that was more or less – “Well, my Father, come what may, I don bring my matter keep for Hand and na here I go tanda before Your throne because na im better pass anything”. And just when I did that, I felt that surrender that you’ve spoken of. My spirit just went into “It is Well” mode.

    So thank you oh, dear sister. You’ve confirmed some of what has been stirred up in my heart.

  33. queene

    April 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    o jesus, o jesus, your prescence is heaven to me.

  34. nnenne

    April 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    this just gave me hope and lighted up my on going sad day. i’ve been emotionally beat up and drained since the beginning of this year. nothing seems to be working in my life but i refuse to give room for the devil to have the last laugh in my life. All things will surely work together for my good. God is still God and i’ve committed everything to his hands and leaving it there cos i know he will never leave nor forsake me.
    Thanks blessing for being a blessing to us. God bless you.

    • Banke

      April 23, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      you’re not alone.

  35. Tracey

    April 23, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Blessing… As always you bless me with your words… I am speechless and in tears… As this was extremely emotional for me. I lost my favourite uncle a few years ago to cancer and he’d been a better father to me than my father had. I felt the way you feel… How could someone so kindle taken Away so soon… It hurt like hell but I got it eventually… To surrender all… God alone is God. God bless you darling

  36. beeess

    April 23, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Bless your heart…

  37. Molly

    April 23, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    I love this piece and i am tearing up………

  38. comment waiting moderation!

    April 23, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Death is always hard to come by,recently lost a dear lecturer who was full of life never knew I cld get over it including (Godie,Chinua Achebe,justus Esiri) death,I don’t know them personally ,but it weigh me down for weeks…On the other hand,I wish those writers will use their pic,instead of using an unknown person,are they scared they aren’t pretty enough?They give full details of who they are(most which school abroad) but not their pic!

    • Partyrider

      April 23, 2013 at 10:54 pm

      buhahahha but its the write up that is most important and necessary and not the face of the writer. anyway if you must know,blessing is a beautiful chocolate skin sister 🙂

  39. Nkem Morah

    April 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    This write up brought tears to my eyes. Thanks Blessing for these words. For so long, I sacrificed so much then became disappointed. I have asked God why so many times, looked for answers everywhere yet nothing. I am once again assured that its ok not to have answers. I surrender to you Lord.

  40. Peaches

    April 24, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Thank you Blessing for these encouraging words. You are truly a blessing. I have been lifted up by this piece. I truly surrender to God… He is God.

  41. Rosarii

    April 24, 2013 at 11:19 am

    God bless your heart for this write up. I have no words to describe the amount of strength i’ve drawn from this. God bless u Blessing, u’re truly a blessing 🙂

  42. XTY

    April 24, 2013 at 11:25 am

    touching… learnt to solely depend on God!!

  43. Anne

    April 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

    God bless you abundantly for this write up…Let His will be done in our lives. I surrender all. It is WELL.

  44. Anonymous

    April 24, 2013 at 11:48 am


  45. Marina

    April 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    Indeed God is God! he remains God is our most difficult times, he remains God is our most happy times… happy and sad.. God remains God….. Blessing is really a great blessing to me today. Thank you for this writing out an article so awesome!

  46. Uzor

    April 25, 2013 at 6:37 pm

    Blessing who are U? You have indeed blessed me and many of us who have seen your piece. Your Daddy must be proud of you wherever he is. Thank You

  47. Keren Morgan

    April 29, 2013 at 1:59 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart in such a humble and real way. Many of us can relate to your story in one way or another. May God continue to grant you peace in your surrender.

  48. Chiamaka O

    May 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    God bless you. This was very much needed at this point in my life.

  49. Chiamaka O

    May 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    This write-up made me burst out in a song: you are God, you no be man oh. God’s ways are not our ways. He does his own things when he wants and how he wants it. Thank you for this piece

  50. Tuffour

    May 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    very beautiful piece, sometimes i get confuse and i ask God alot of questions, why, why, why but i guess i can never have the answers to them all… “somethings are for God only”

  51. Alikwe comfort

    May 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Wonderful! Blessing may God bless you…………. O God I depend on you, let your will be done in my life.

  52. ANNE

    July 11, 2013 at 9:41 am

    i want more of you lord!have your way ooh lord.Thank GOD for you Blessing a lot of people are still wallowing in ignorance.

  53. Ellahillz

    October 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    Very emotional read. I can relate to her ordeal. Brilliantly put together. ??

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