imageI have often been asked what I wish the younger me had known! What I would tell myself at 15- knowing what I know now. This question always leaves me wondering where I would start, because I would want to tell me different things for different aspects of life- something about working with excellence as if the buck stops with you. Being a wife with grace but realizing here that submission is strength and not weakness- that the buck stops with him. Loving God with all your heart- as if church folk have never represented Him wrongly- as if you haven’t… About purpose and fighting for your dreams, about silence, about noise, about wholeness, about me- “who exactly am I?” There’ll be soooooo much I’d like to tell me, we’ll probably cry together, laugh together, marvel at the silliness we are capable of together…

Anyhow, today, thanks to my dear friend Udo Okonjo , I stumbled upon something that I would absolutely, absolutely tell the younger Hajara! Something that condenses a lot of what I wish I had known in one place! Something so true and so beautiful, it made me do something the younger me would do! I transcribed a poem from its audio version! You know how when we were young, in those days when there were only tapes and no Internet, we’d listen to a song we love and then start to transcribe it, pausing the tape after every line and re-winding, to be sure you got the words right- that’s what I had to do with this! It was the most beautiful piece of spoken-word poetry by a lady called Janette…Ikz for the Status 31 project! Please please go to http://www.status31.com and support them. Watch the beautiful rendition of “Status 31 to be Exact” by Jannette…Ikz (pronounced genetics) here! Watch it and then read the rest of this post. It is too beautiful to miss and helps put the rest of my post in better perspective!

Have you watched it? So what I have done is transcribe “Status 31 to be Exact” and added my own commentary to it in italics. Everything not in italics is Jannete…Ikz work, it is so beautiful and I do not take credit for that level of genius! All I am seeking to do, is talk to the girl in me and tell her things I wish she’d known and didn’t have to learn the hard way! To remind her of her beauty, her strength and her place in the world! Will you come on this journey with us?

Jannette...Ikz.  Photo courtesy www.mysteriousgenetics.com
Photo courtesy http://www.mysteriousgenetics.com

STATUS 31 TO BE EXACT by JANETTE…IKZ (Commentary in Italics by Hajara Pitan)

“And God said, it was not good for man to be alone so He created YOU! (Wow! I am the solution to the first problem God identified. Everything else He did, He said was good, when He first said something was not good, guess who He brought in to remedy the situation? You! All those lies, all those voices that said you were not beautiful, that said you were “useless” are BIG LIES! In God’s view, you are a solution to what ails the world! So build you up! Be excellent! Learn! Learn more and contribute! Be the solution you were created to be- not a burden, not a critic!)

But somewhere along the line someone changed your perspective, shifted your view! Like Eve, you listened to the wrong voice and took a huge tasty bite of deception! Now your stomach’s upset because your spirit won’t digest it! No longer the woman that walks in the confidence of the ultimate artistic design! Submit your name change, we’ll call you COMPROMISE! (Ouch, the hurt as the memories flood in. What would I have done differently if I had realized early that the “they” whose opinion mattered so much to me, we’re not even looking at me, they “they” were also wondering what “they” would think. Or that even if I made their news, it was only for a while- they will soon get bored and move on or find a more willing participant)!

This is what happens when the gospel is according to whoever is at the top of your playlist and the media has become your bible. Searching scriptures of magazines to be told ‘you are dancing, lead” in satan’s recital. (Don’t you just feel that? The gospel according to whoever is at the top of your playlist!  when I  feel myself struggling with fear, I usually find I’ve been listening to the news- the wars, the rumors of war, the kidnappings, the threats. When all my thoughts are material, I  find  I have been at the Kardashians too long! Or with Cosmopolitan or in that club! When I feel the cold clutches of covetousness and envy, I realize that n what’s at the top of my “playlist” is sight driven and my focus has shifted from God- so I would say to little me “guard your heart, watch what you let in, because it’ll determine your reality!)

But you are not her! And she is not you! Because we are called to so much more than make-up, hair, clothes and shoes and dropping it like its hot- even if we are able to! WE ARE WOMEN OF A DIFFERENT STATUS! 31 to exact! (Wow! This I have always sensed! I am not her! I am not my hair and my good looks (wink). I refuse to let myself be judged by my outward parts! Partly because I am not blessed with the gift of flexibility and partly because I have always wondered why I should be defined by how well I can shake my “booty” I have never felt the need to drop it like its hot, or “twerk”. Honestly! My dad used to say to his daughters “if a princess dances who can watch? [Great dad, he probably realized early, I couldn’t dance to save my life and wanted to spare me the embarrassment]).

We are content with not looking like anyone else because we know our differences are not a reason to be jealous but God’s finger print! (Little Haj, please enjoy being you, don’t envy someone else’s looks, gifts, talents or charmed existence! You do not want to know the price they have had to pay- for being them! Be your very best you! Celebrate what’s different about you! You are a designer original, not a copy!)

We don’t run around talking about how there are no good men. We know that if we apply half as much effort on the inside as we do on the out, we’ll stop drawing the wrong attention. (Dropping it like its hot anyone? If all you display is lips, hips and fingertips, guess who’ll come shopping in your store?)

Slow to speak, quick to listen. Receiving intervention from a higher dimension. Seeking purpose, watching our God-given vision come to fruition. Never forgetting that we have been forgiven much- so we eat, we live, we breathe, we give, even sweat- love! (This lesson serves me well- I know myself o! If God can forgive me and accept me and use me- I honestly should be able to forgive anyone anything -that does not mean becoming best friends with them again- but I should be able to let go and forgive much, knowing how much I have been forgiven)!

Always ready to hear from the women with silver hair- seeds have been sown, and their wisdom saturates our soil, clipping our dead ends for growth. You’ll find us always promoting unity, (as a wife this really speaks to me. When you come into a family- do you bring cohesion or create division. At your workplace do you spread gossip, deepening divides or building bridges? In church- are you the one whose duty it is to criticize the church or point out what sister soandso has done again? Do you promote unity or strife?), serving in our community.

Using our gifts and talents as an “all glory to God opportunity”. Wake up in the morning with a grind for the Most-High on our mind! Constantly being refined to be the exact of our architects design. We have no hearts- so here’s the answer before the question- ‘anyone who wants our hearts will go to Christ knowing its in His possession.’ Yes we are beautiful and barefoot in the kitchen of grace; pregnant with purpose, baking up praise. Jesus is who we crave. Awaiting to come to full term so we can deliver back what has been deposited in us. Knowing good and well, one day we will all be audited. (Haj, live everyday with eternity in mind! Don’t bow to the loudest voice! You are here for a purpose and it is in living that purpose that you will find fulfillment).

Mercy gives us second chances so we ain’t receiving what we ought to get. (Tell me about it!). We needed an intervention, Christ came to do loss prevention! On a cross He was stretched and fully extended, and we were given an extension! Hear me, an extension! Hear me! Because this price was worth more than your finest Indian remy. I know we can change the things we do not like, all for a simple cost. But Botox, lipo, and implants ain’t got nothing on what was accomplished on that cross. Cause you can’t implant in yourself a new spirit or lipo-suck away your sin. You can’t lap-band your addictions and can’t Botox away your depression. (Ohhhh…. How true! It is not things that satisfy, that pair of Jimmy Choo’s will only seem to satisfy till its yours. Once you get it, you find that the hole still exists, until retail therapy becomes a drug! That little tweak to your nose that Dr. 90210 promised will fix you- actually didn’t- you want another tweak and another, until you need to be introduced to the person in the mirror).

WE ALL NEED HIM! It’s time to change your status- 31 to be exact! Don’t be afraid of what’s abstract, let the Spirit of God be what attracts! We are women of a different status, this world, we must impact! We are women of a different status, 31 to be exact!”

Lastly Haj, you are and will be- a woman of a different status! A child of God! Ambassador of Christ! Joint heir to an inheritance of beauty, grace, dominion! You don’t follow the crowd, you blaze the trail! Don’t live apologetic! Live out loud- being the very best you! The ones who love you will stay, the ones who can’t stand your shine, will leave, and though it might hurt at first, you are far better off without them. By all means go where you are celebrated, but don’t leave celebration of you, to other people! Celebrate yourself! Create your reality, don’t believe when people say “it can’t be done”, that’s what they’ve always said till it gets done! And Haj? Smile! This too, no matter how tough it currently seems, shall soon pass! Those are some of the things I’ll tell the younger me. Tell me, what would you tell the young, hopeful you?


  1. I would tell the younger me you are beautiful, wonderfully made and handcrafted by God! I would tell the younger me you can achieve your dreams because God who put them there is watching over them to bring them to reality just let him build you into the woman he wants you to be. I would tell the younger me to spend more time knowing her heavenly father discerning his heart,I wil tell her to live life lively,fully and to enjoy the gift s of people that are in it but yet keep a distance from the ones running without purpose, yes I will telly her to live life fully but wisely always remembering that the fads, fashion, craze, wealth, possessions and all in it will pass away. I will let her know her status 31*smiles* so I would tell her all of those things above!
    Beautiful post as always Thank you !

  2. I will tell her she’s wonderfully made,handcrafted by God. I will tell the younger me that she can achieve all of her dreams because God who put them there is watching over them to make them a reality while building her up into the woman he wants her to be.
    I will tell the younger me to spend more time with God discerning his heart, I will tell her to love the gift of people in her life but be mindful of keeping a distance from those running and living without purpose.
    I will tell the younger me to enjoy life and live it lively and fully but she should know that the fads,fashion,craze,wealth,ambitions and possesions in it will all pass away so she should live it wisely.
    I will let her know her status 31 to be exact*smiles* and tell her to always keep it mind.so I’ll tell her all of those things written above.
    Beautiful post as usual.Thank you!

  3. Hajara, you knew I would love this right? I hope so. I do read all your blogs and love ‘travelling with you’ but THIS one I had to let you know. This poem like you said, puts into words most of, if not all of what I believe I am/should be and what I pray other women too will be see that they are. And you know I do wish I could go back and tell my younger me all of this but you know somehow I sense that I would not have ‘gotten it’……but I hope my daughter does cos apart from sharing it on my FB page just now, I am sending the poem to her….All our daughters need us to be telling them this now….they will get it….because God will help us. Thanks Haj for sharing. Miss you o!

    1. My love, I miss you too o! And I wish I could make the book signing in Laterna today but I can’t. I will make up for it! This really really spoke to me! And you are right! Our daughters will get it because God will help them. You know, I actually thought about it, if I heard it from my mum and aunts will I have gotten it? And it made me also glad that the message comes through a young, funky girl, in a non-judgemental or incident specific way, hopefully that helps pass it across better too! Thanks for travelling on all the journeys with me ! See you soon.

  4. I would tell a younger Tope don’t undermine your capacity, you have it in you step out of your comfort zone and do it! I would say Tope don’t apologize for being excellent, keep at it and be the best! Tope don’t cry when your mates don’t accept you and criticize you unfairly, they are entitled to their opinions but hey it doesn’t define you. Finally, I would tell a younger me; Tope you deserve the very best don’t doubt yourself, whatever your heart conceives you can do it, Tope you CAN be it

    1. Wow Tope! Yes, Yes, Yes! You absolutely CAN! And you know what? The opportunities are endless! There are no limits to the change you can bring. No limit to how much you can change your story! No limits, period! Tope have you completed the Bar finals? You have been in my prayers. I’ll like to hear how it went, email me at hajelsblogs@gmail.com and tell me please. Big hug!

  5. This pierce is Nice Haj! Tears fill my eyes and words crowd my thoughts…..O! so so much I wish the younger me had known! Arrrgh! But only Jesus could have helped the younger me become the girl I wish I was then bcos the circumstances around me were strong and limiting….I spent my days in front of the TV, listening to the radio and reading mills and boom instead of reading my school books or even watching cartoons like my peers…..how would the younger me have done things differently even if I was told…..yeah i knew the line (book before boys brings bastard babies) hahaha (thank God I didn’t get into that kind of trouble o!….I’ll tell me younger me not to be insecure and focus on her strengths, she should make friends with those who are good role models and who compliment her and ignore the gossips and critics. it’s because I’m important they are talking anyways…..so in a nutshell, I’ll tell the younger me to focus on Jesus only and let him be my guide in all things……..
    I think, to be able to give good advice to our children in a way that they will understand, as a parent we need to first differentiate what is right and wrong and explain why…..because just telling what to do and not to do like some of our parents did, doesn’t fix the problem….don’t be judgemental, discuss in love, tell your own stories to put live into it….

    1. Fantastic! Put life into it! I can so relate with that! I often wondered especially as a teenager if the adults around me had forgotten what it was like to be a child and why things like ” because I said so” just are not enough! I also find even now that I relate more and learn more when I can see “your heart”, see that correction comes not from a place of judgment but from “you can do better, be better, deserve more”… From a place of love! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your beautiful comment! Big hug!

  6. Hi my Haj, lovely piece and like the fact that I could sit and truly reflect on what I wanted my younger self to know. This for me is a wonderful write up because each time I stand in front of my teenagers teaching them, I know truly I am responsible for them, thus I teach them as if I were teaching myself. Without mincing words and going straight to the point.
    First, as a Christian which forms the basis of my faith:
    I would tell a younger me, Helen Solange, like I would have loved to be called, you are beautifully and wonderfully made, above all a rare Gem. You were created most of all to serve the Most High God and not Man, thus never seek to please man.
    Helen Solange, Love GOD with all your heart, be kind to all and never underestimate your worth. Always go for the best, knowing in your heart that you were made to be the best. Aim for perfection yet trusting the Lord for him to make you so.
    Know that whatever you become is not by your power nor by your might but by the Spirit of the Most High God. Above all Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flow the issues of life.
    As participant in this world
    I would say, work hard but be smart, never allow circumstances override your dreams, goals and ambitions. Be focused and continue to aim for the best. Be all things to all men and never get carried away with social vices or peer pressure. To attain perfection and respect in the sight of the world does not mean you have to conform or compromise to vanity.
    Helen Solange, have it in your head at all times that there is a consequence for your actions thus be wise and in all thy knowing get understanding. Remember everything is for an appointed time so vanity never gets you anywhere. Instead obeying God is the utmost key to success. Live modestly and aspire to make the world around you a better place.
    Finally, Helen Solange, remember success is not measured by what you have but by how well you have influenced others positively. Remember it’s not about what you have but about how many lives you touched, wisdom is profitable to direct above all in all thy knowing get understanding.

    1. Aww, Helen, for some reason that just made me cry! Very beautiful thoughts and since there’s no end to learning, it suffices that you know all this now! May we continue to grow and make a positive impact on the world. Thank you for your beautiful comment.

  7. I would tell the younger me:
    As focused as you are, As sure as you are of what you want, you can’t always decide the plan God has for you.
    You need to learn to yield and put your heart into where He is leading you to, even if you are not sure how long.

    …and being paralysed is not allowed.

    So try to be less rigid and go with God’s flow instead of struggling against His direction.

    1. Beautiful message Tessa! And one that we would all benefit from internalizing. Going with and enjoying the seasons that we are in. Maximising gratitude, knowing that the One who holds our times and seasons in His hands, is absolutely in love with us and makes all things beautiful in His time… That He is the master-planner, His delays are not His denials and that everything, eventually works for our good… Thanks for stopping by, your comment took me to a happy place…

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