AIMEE - MAY (1)

In her quest to escape the debasing life her mother and siblings live, Kaine decides to live a godly life. Far from seeing an immediate improvement in her life, however, she immediately begins to experience severe trials and tribulations.

From being raped to suffering an unwanted pregnancy and being expelled from school just as she is about to take her final secondary school exams, her life after making the decision to follow God is far from what she dreamed of.

Will her faith in God buckle in the face of the trials and hardships, leading her back to the life she wanted to escape, or will she remain steadfast in her walk with God, holding on to past miracles and being sustained by His grace?

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1

In the month of May, we took on the novel “Morning Does Come” by Rita Okoroafor. We met Kaine, a sweet little girl who happened to be a victim of wrong choices and a bad environment… Not her choices in the beginning, but those of her parents, elder siblings, and other influences right from her childhood. Yet she’s resolved to be different. As she struggles hard to stay on the radar, after finding Christ, we find that everything doesn’t all of a sudden become rosy for her and it becomes up to her to either cling to grace or walk away from all that Faith represents.

2

In the novel, we find that Kaine’s misfortune began when one of her friends connived to have her raped, just because she started to feel jealous of her “over-righteous” lifestyle. You see, Kaine is like the only ‘good girl’ in her committee of friends. The only one who believes that following her family’s footsteps would lead her no where. The only one who was bent on keeping her sanity no mater how tough things got financially. But having a friend like hers? Who’s no longer on the right path… A friend who constantly sees her as ‘holier than thou’… A friend who has either given up on a fair chance at life or believes in one that’s always cruel, where nothing comes for free. With such a friend, Kaine was bent on getting into trouble some day, it was just a matter of time before that happened, and when it did, all hell broke loose.

Sometimes, we find ourselves with friends whose values are totally different from ours and then we’re left to wonder, how do we deal with such friends? We got to chat about it on #ThePraiseworldShow with TOLA & A’Cube on PraiseworldRadio, and here are a few comments that were sent in…

temiladesoji – Make sure that your friends get it, who you are, why you are who you are and what you stand for; they would try to persuade you and even advice you on why you shouldn’t be what you “claim” to be, but if you are properly grounded and know what and whom you believe, with time, they would either walk away, switch your way or just leave you to be who you are. Although, this doesn’t work for everyone, worked and is still working for me. “To thyself be true” if you know staying away is better for you, then by all means stay away.

Even though we got diverse opinions, the part about holding on to your values, and not compromising one bit stood out, and seemed to be a best way to deal with friends with opposite values from ours. Just maybe if Kaine wasn’t at the wrong place at any point in time, she would not have been raped.

3

Kaine got caught up in a place we always find ourselves when the going gets tough… The “Why Me” phase. And constantly, we find that God placed someone in her life to take her through most of those phases, if not all. His name is Walter. He shares a story with her during one of their chat periods that we’d love to highlight.

“In my first term in senior school, I wanted to earn all A’s. Now there was one exam I took, in physics, which I was not comfortable with. So I prayed that I would pass that exam. As the results were coming out for the other subjects, I was getting the scores I needed to give me an A. But the result had not yet come out for the one exam that I prayed about.

Then two weeks before the term ended, the physics teacher called me. He said he was ill and needed help with marking the exams. He wanted me to help him, because he trusted me. So I had a preview of the answers to the exam. I later on went and changed some of my answers in the objective session… When he marked my exam, because I could not mark on my own, I got twenty-nine out of thirty correct. This, combined with my grade on theory section gave me the score I needed to give me an A. So I got all A’s in my first term exams.

But that was surely not how God wanted to answer my prayers. When we got back from the first term holidays, I was surprised to hear that everyone in my class needed to return their report cards. They said there was a mistake with the physics results. They remarked and I ended up with a B. The answers I had initially written down were the correct ones… Each challenge we will have in our walk with God will require complete trust, patience and belief. Though difficult, if you just let Him do His thing, you will never regret it. And when you look back you will see that He ALWAYS has good plans. Always!”

Finding God doesn’t mean smooth paths and calm seas… Faith is just Trusting God over and over again to come through in the small things… And big things too! And if only we get a sneak peek into the last chapter of our story, we’d see what it was God had planned after all.

4

How many times have we found ourselves in situations we either permitted or didn’t?

Temptations are everywhere… And when we’re faced with these shackles that are threatening to keep us bound, it’s not a time to wonder how and why we got there… But to flee!

Simple right? No!

But to deal, takes discipline, fear and reverence for the One we’re about to grieve when we allow ourselves a few moments of satisfaction.

Temptations are meant to strengthen our cords, stretch our faith and test its limits… And you know what? There should be no limits to our faith, ’cause our God is FAITHFUL… And He will not give you more than you can take!

5

It’s a new day… Maybe you just can’t see the rays of sunshine because you’re still cuddled up in your duvet, comfort zone, hurt, pain, and miry clay. Maybe you’ve still got the dark shades on… Trying to protect your eyes from the scorch or you’re trying to keep the world from seeing the hurt in your eyes, the tears and vulnerability in you…

But those dark shades? Are keeping you from seeing the light, the opportunities that come with a new dawn… What is it that you’ve been a victim of? Disappointment? Incest? Addiction? Lack? Rape?
You’re still here… So there’s HOPE!
Take off the shades.
Wake up.
Open the blinds.
Look out the window.
Take the first step.
Find HOPE again.
Open the blinds dear one… Let the streams of today’s light wash over you and illuminate the darkness that has creeped into your soul.

Morning is here!

author chat

Author Chat

Speaking about the inspiration behind the book “Morning Does Come”, Rita says:
“There was once a little girl I cherished who came from a family similar to Kaine’s – siblings did not share the same father with her and she did not know her father. I did not get to see her for a long time. Many years later when I did, she had grown into a beautiful teenager loving and serving the Lord. And then I wondered how her life would have been if she did not know God. I wondered if she would have had her contagious joy and hope despite her background. And that was when the story line began to play in my head.”
Rita joins the fight against rape, incest, high divorce rate, and other menaces in the society as highlighted in her book. Here’s why.
“The first thing I would like to say is that these are real issues – rape, incest, divorce, etc. Don’t be surprised if the ‘girl next door’ has been through or is going through one of these issues.
My message to the world is that every victim of these things – rape, incest, divorce, goes through deep emotional pain, sometimes so intense that it leads to depression and negative feelings toward oneself or the world. Not only am I praying that we are more sensitive to people going through such – and we do not blame them or judge them, I also pray that there are better systems in place to enable the victims speak up and put them on the path to emotional healing.”
The most emotional point of writing this book?
“That was when Kaine was raped. I could almost feel how violated yet helpless she felt, and it was a sober period for me as I wished to take it away from her.
What I wrote was fiction. The message I hope to portray with it is that the reality can be worse – from the circumstances under which it takes place, to what is done to the female during the very act of sexually violating her, and even to the physical and emotional damage to the individual. It can be, and in most cases, is worse than what was described in the novel. Hence if rape is ever taken lightly, it is time to look into how it can be treated seriously.”
Sometimes, we think money or the lack of it is responsible for the actions and reactions of our youth today, as against values… What does Rita think?
“It is hard to say. While the bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil, and this is true, we still find that some of the actions and reactions of our youths today are due to lack of love and attention. For instance, all a girl might need is the reassurance from her parents that she is beautiful and cherished, but when it is not there and a man outside is able to tell her that, she falls for the man and is ready to do anything for this man who appears to love her. What I am trying to say is that there are a couple of factors responsible for the actions and reactions of our youths today and one cannot conclude that money or the lack of it contributes significantly or totally.
On fiction, Rita isn’t really planning anything new. However, she is currently putting together finishing touches on a non-fiction book she’s been working on, and also thinking about unique Christian books for toddlers.

Here are her final words… 

“When I read Morning Does Come, what appeals to me is the inspiration from the lives of others associated with the story. They are minor characters but major things happen to them.
God remains a faithful friend and father, a miracle working God and a story changer. It is my prayer that anyone who reads the book finds something inspiring if not from Kaine’s life that indeed joy comes in the morning, but from the lives of the other characters associated with hers.”

Meet Rita Okoroafor

Rita_Esuru_Okoroafor

Rita Esuru Okoroafor is a petroleum engineer with more than ten years working experience who is passionate about writing.

Rita is living proof of the love and grace of God. She is passionate about the things of God and often expresses herself through writing. Every day in her walk with God, she learns to let go of self and let God.
She is a wife to adorable and loving “Mr. Rita”, mother to many, sister to many and a friend to an endless list of them.
Rita has a heart for ladies who are not realizing their full potential in God and as women. Rita loves kids so much that she ended up being a teacher in the children’s church.
Connect with Rita:
Twitter – @EROInspirations
Instagram – @rita_esuru
Blog: erolyrics.blogspot.com.ng
Get your copy of Morning Does Come on Amazon
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