Of Types & Shadows

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Funny, but when my pastor preached on ‘Types and Shadows’ it had no bearing on the context in which those words would play out in my spirit later that day. Nene’s* frantic phone call had me immediately on edge. In between the tears and exclamations, I must admit it took me quite a while to figure out the source of her anger.  ‘Can you imagine? No, I can’t take it! Never! This girl will not kill me. After everything I have suffered for her? ’.  I sigh, thinking to myself that no one listening would realize Nene was referring to her 19year old daughter Frances*.  ‘Take it easy sis, I’ll be right there’. I arrive to find   Doyin and Ndidi both looking perplexed but sitting quietly at her side nonetheless. Nene bursts into tears. ‘Why did I even call you?’ she cried, ‘I know as usual you will take Frances side?’.  Na wa! I never even sabi wetin de happen. ‘Nene love, it would help if I at least know what’s going on’.  Nene hisses, glaring at me through her tears. ‘Read this’ Doyin said, handing me a letter. Basically, Frances wrote her mum to say she had decided against going to the Law school but was taking steps to launch herself as a serious musical artiste. She felt as though Nene had manipulated her into studying law, by playing up the sentiment that her late father’s dying wish was for Frances to study law.  Frances felt her fathers’ ghost was standing in the way of her pursuing her own dreams and passions. Her passion was music and she was ready to pursue it even if Nene refused to support her, though she was praying for her mum’s support. ‘So what exactly is the problem Nene?’ I ask. ‘How can you ask that?’ Ndidi asks ‘You know Jide wanted Frances to become a lawyer like him, and you know it hasn’t been easy for Nene to train Frances this far on her own?’. Nene sniffles, emotionally spent. I sense that something deeper is at play and ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom to give the right counsel. I sense that Nene has been holding on to every vestige of Jide’s memory and with Frances decision, she felt she was being forced into some sort of ‘closure’.  ‘Types and shadows’ I say. ‘What does that mean?’ Nene sniffles. ‘Nene, your daughter is more like Jide than you realize’ I say ‘I believe he would have been proud to see that she is able to stand up for what she believes is her true calling. I’m not sure Jide would have allowed himself be fit into anyone else’s mould.  Ignore the words she wrote and rather listen in your heart to what she is really saying. She needs you to be here for her now more an ever. Remember, you are also all she’s got’.  My thinking is that as a parent you need to be prepared for times like these, when the winds of change blow and you realize that the path you purposed for your child is at variance with the inner desires that God has put in them. Those are times to pray and listen intently to the voice of the Spirit, asking God for the strength to subdue your personal aspirations for your child in order that His will for their lives may shine forth. I remain prayerful inside asking God to complete what He has started. Nene is thoughtful, ‘Types and shadows’ she repeats. ‘She’s breaking out of Jide’s shadow.  She smiles ‘ Jide did love to hear Frances sing’.

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