The first part of this fictional story shows a young woman who is feeling depressed because she believes she’s getting on in years and has nothing to show for it. She refuses to entertain a more positive view but let’s see if anything can make her change her mind in this final segment.

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MY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY (II)

The song playing in my mind refuses to let up and it’s messing up my routine. My pity parties usually start with bawling my eyes out the moment I get home. After which, I stuff myself with comfort food. I guess I can skip the lachrymal phase today and move straight to the food. You can’t have a decent party without serious food involvement. I go to survey what’s in the fridge.

“Count your blessings, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

“Really!” Now, I’m angry and slam the fridge shut. “Since you won’t let me eat, I’m not just going to count them orally, I’ll write them down – that is, if there’s anything to count.”

My phone rings as I rummage in the handbag I came in with for a notebook and a pen. I find both and take them to sit on my bed as the phone rings again. It’s my parents – the cutest couple on the planet, if you ask me. Super healthy and active in church, very caring (dad’s a teacher, mum’s a nurse), with a sense of humour to beat AY, Basketmouth and Clint the Drunk put together. Money’s tight at home but they laugh through their hardships. “No stress and no sweat” is their motto.

They always call me when I’m in the dumps. The timing never ceases to amaze me. Must be divine inspiration. They normally put the phone on speaker so they can both converse with me. One of today’s hilarious tales by Dad was about how he nearly got killed recently by a machete-wielding husband when he went to settle a marital dispute and ran so much he was in the next village before he had the presence of mind to stop. I told him to quit exaggerating. My mum teased that she had no idea he loved his life that much. They usually leave me with, “Jesus loves you, dear,” after I nearly break my sides with laughter. And of course, “Praise God, our King is coming soon!”

By the time the call is over, I feel so good and I’m still laughing, picturing my dad running for his dear life and not looking back. I look at the notebook beside me on the bed and feel very foolish. Count my blessings! How could I have forgotten that my parents, in fact, my entire family including my loquacious younger brother, are such a delight? Some people have no family, some families are torn by strife, some are far from God. I am blessed in having a family like this. I kneel down and ask God to forgive my constant indulgence of moodiness and comparing myself with others, rather than appropriating His perspective in assessing my life.

When I get up, I continue to count my blessings. On a personal level, I have a lot to thank God for. I have no physical or mental deformity and I’ve always had excellent health, not even malaria and typhoid fever attacks as most people here are prone to. I may not be super-model thin but I’m sort of pretty, some even call me beautiful. I can tone my body if I eat right and exercise, not a big deal. Even if after trying, I still remain plus-size, I’m sure there’d be someone out there who will be willing to love me.

I have a good first degree and I started an event planning business by myself. Location, location, location, experts say, is key to running a successful business. I need to move to a city where things are constantly happening rather than stay in this obscure town. And I should be more aggressive in publicising my business: nothing wrong with exploiting the social media.

I have a singing talent too. I am one of the solos in my church choir. I need to groom myself in that area and see where that leads. I have a functional car, no temptation to robbers, though, which is therefore a merit. I live in an efficiency apartment. Won’t qualify for MTV Base’s “My Crib” but it meets my needs now. I can go on and on. Wow! I feel a lot better and look at all those ideas on how to make my life better that came as I recounted my personal blessings.

My anxiety about my age as you have noticed is because I’m still single. I have casual male friends and suitors I detest, like the insurance salesman who wears the same suit and tie everyday under the blazing sun. I guess I feel my time is running out. But will isolating myself get me the bae I long for? (Make that husband, I have no patience for romantic relationships that are not heading straight to the altar.) Is it even wise to hang all my hopes of happiness on having one? The right guy will find me in “due season,” as they say in church.

In the meantime, I should be grateful for what I have. The song has won after all! I should count my blessings often and believe God for what’s missing. And what better way to do that than celebrate my thirtieth? I still shudder at the thought. Thirty, THREE ZERO … where did all the years go? But I choose to be brave and call Fred to see how we can have that blast tomorrow.

-The end-
Ⓒ Edith Ugochi Ohaja 2016

If we think carefully, we’ll always find cause to be grateful, praise God!
What are the things you wish to thank God for?

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You can also connect with me via my Facebook page (facebook.com/auntyedith), LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram. Jesus is Lord!

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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42 thoughts on “MY THIRTIETH BIRTHDAY (II)

  1. Wow!so inspiring. Many of us make this mistake of overlooking our blessings and focusing on our hardships. I hope to be better.

  2. 30 Years is enough reason to be worried, but God has given us more than enough reasons to smile. Let’s just count our blessings and we will discover more than enough blessings to see us through the enough reasons to worry. Praise God. This story is a blessing, credits to Aunty Edith.

  3. hurray!!!!!
    this is it. one family is the biggest thing in this life. togetherness is another.
    mumy nice work

  4. Will definitely be thanking God everyday for the grace to read such an inspiring story. Beautiful order of events as always.

  5. the scripture in first John says that, “if you claim to love God whom you have not seen and can’t show that love to your neighbour whom you see daily, you are a liar” but from this story, “if you say you don’t have a reason to thank God, you are not only a liar but criminally responsible to the fact” in fact – it is a felony. thank God Fred’s elder sister realizes that in time.

  6. Inspiring because often times we fail to appreciate God for what He has done choosing rather to be focused more on the things He is yet to do for us.

  7. it is wonderful to have parents who are good role model to their children. to have a lovely family is great. thanks for her change of mind that took away her sadness and she had to see reasons to count her blessings. let all be poitive

  8. this piece has just reminded me of how selfish i have been towatd God…i usuall count my problems instead of my Blessings …thank u very much ma for this piece

  9. Most times we tend to focus on dreams and achievements and hoping to achieve more and we overlook, the blessings that are already in front of us, God’s blessings, our greatest achievement, MA please keep it up, God is using you

  10. A man who is not grateful is a great fool, we should always thank God for what we have and wait for him to do what we ask for, the story is very motivating

  11. hmm! lots of inspiration. Thanking God for life is everything. Even if things are not going the way it suppose too. God bless you ma.

  12. count your blessings is a way which i use to cool off especially when things are difficult for me and i feel like my situation is worse than everyone else, it shows you how good your situation is compared to those who were involved in an accident, those who have no one to turn to and other problems which makes you feel hopeless, just count your blessing and you would always see there is something to LIVE for.

  13. This story is really educating. we only remember and blame God in bad situation forgetting the good things He has be doing in our lives. i thank God for the type of parent she has because is their humorous attitude with her that made her come back to her senses.

  14. My family is the reason am still struggling to be a better person in life. I love them so much that I can’t help but to keep telling myself that am the luckiest lady to have such a wonderful family who are willing to support, pray, and care for me all d tym.

  15. It is always good to be grateful to God both for the things he has done for us, the ones he didn’t do and the ones he will still do. God has given us thousands of reason to smile. Nice one ma.

  16. Whoa!! thirthy years and still not married? that is enough reason to be worried but we should always appreciate what God has done for us even if things are not going the right way

  17. Count your blessings name them one by one such a motivation. We should always learn to be grateful at all times.

  18. Some times we ignore the time God has be doing for us and be chasing after our desires and dreams without acknowledging or saying thanks for the once he has done fore us. we have to thank him for what he has done for us first before any other things. I really love this fiction.

  19. I love her gratitude. Although she’s not married at thirty she’s still thankful to God for all she has achieved in life. We should learn to thank God for all he has done even before thinking of the ones we still await him to do. We should always be grateful to God in all aspects of our life

  20. I think we should not judge ourselves with others, we have different talent and skills that make us unique, we should be satisfied with what God have given to us and am happy that the lady realized her mistakes and ask God forgiveness for blasphemy.

  21. That’s the spirit gurl. Go trash that birthday. It isn’t everyday u become thirty. Plus she really shouldn’t hang her happiness on anyone. Only she has the power to make herself truly happy. But am glad she finally snapped out of her melancholy

  22. Above all,she is alive to witness the new age,that’s a thing of joy….
    We must not have all in platter but the truth is their are people out there aspiring to be you, so we owe God nothing but gratefulness.

  23. We should always be grateful in any condition we find ourselves. It might be a test from God. The life we are living is enough reason to show gratitude. If we are grateful to God, He will surely do more.

  24. We should be grateful to God in any situation we find ourselves. Counting our blessing will help us improve ourselves just like it helped her. But not beingarried at 30 really can make one be anxious but God’s time is the best.

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