I am thrilled to have Joseph Iregbu visiting The Scenic Route today. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Joseph this past month on the Wrecked book launch team. As you will see, Joseph’s life has been one incredible journey. His words reminded me (personally) of how easily I have tendency to take things like food, shelter, and education for granted. Please take a few moments to read his beautiful message of hope and then visit his online home HERE.
Hope is very powerful. A man can lose everything in this world and can still work hard to regain his lost estate. But when hope is lost, it’s difficult to win in life. The reality is that many people are losing hope today. And for some, it’s no making of theirs.
Life can be tough and unfair at times:
People are broken.
People are going through challenging situations.
People are struggling to feed their families.
People are dropping out of school.
People are hurting from wrong relationships.
People are dying everyday.
People are struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments and the banks are threatening.
People are waking up each day only to realise their pension pot is drying up.
People are tired… really tired.
People are losing hope.
I’ve been there before. I spent my teenage years in Lagos, Nigeria. Born to a father I lost 11 days after my 13th birthday and a mother with 5 other children, I lived 645KM away from my family.
The good life I knew changed when I lost my father to asthma and diabetes. Everything changed! The years that followed would become my worst nightmare:
- Almost dropped out of high school without education support
- Destitute at 17
- Slept in the church for months
- Lived in a slum for 3 years
- Hungry. Seriously hungry
- Begged or stole for at least a meal
- ‘Hunted’ every tree in the neighbourhood for unripe fruits to eat
- Cooked and ate hand-picked vegetables with salt and no other ingredient
- Fanned and burned charcoal because kerosene was unaffordable
- Borrowed a uniform for my final exams in high school because I could not afford one.
- And at university? Oh dear, where do I start? Results withheld each year because I owed tuition, paid my way through university and stayed hungry half the time, the only child of six to achieve university education
Life was tough for me. Life was hopeless. My teenage years were unbearable. The shame was ludicrous; it just didn’t make sense most times. I nurtured a dream to go to university abroad. Many scorned me for it. They couldn’t fathom how a lad from the slum could find himself in the UK. So they laughed. Only a few listened and even fewer supported.
I remained resolute in my hope. I refused to give up. And then my story changed:
I graduated with a first class honours degree in Computer Science, achieved the best result at faculty level, was recipient of the best graduating student award by the British Computer Society and have my portrait on the university’s gallery for outstanding achievement… against all odds.
Today, I’m a living testimony of hope and I live to inspire others with my story. I didn’t sit down and curse the world for my plight. Yes, events I couldn’t control happened but I refused to resign to them.
I encourage you today: DON’T GIVE UP.
Your story will change if you keep hope alive.
Dead visions can and will be revived.
And here’s my prayer for you; that God restores hope in you to dream again.
Question: What is your story and how are you living and sharing it with a world in desperate need of hope?
This is a guest post by Joseph Iregbu. Joseph leads on purpose and is passionate about helping others discover, pursue and live the God-intended life. He blogs at www.selahblog.org and is a Coach and Mentor to young leaders. He is the author of a book (Even in the Well), husband to Temi and father to a new-born Isabel-Juda. They live in Germany. Connect with him on Twitter J_Iregbu