Today I write a note to Demilade Fayemiwo, about her book, “I died at 26”. I very scarcely get to share my honest thoughts about believing God so this book review will have to serve as one of those rare occasions.
So I read your book. And it took some time to write the review, not because it wasn’t fun to read. It was hilarious to read at certain points that I actually found myself laughing aloud, which I rarely do for books. Life just kept happening in between the pages. Think I read the first 20% after I first got it.
Then 1 day of stomach troubles gave me enough time to complete the rest.
I honestly worry that God remains much of a mystery and I am happy that I have come to accept that he cannot be demystified. Somehow the book gives a sense of that but also makes an attempt to reassure the reader that it’s okay to not know all.
I could relate a lot with your journey towards the story of Job because it stood out for me as the most honest conversation about God in the Bible. In fact, in some of my most difficult times, I often found Job’s story insightful.
Job didn’t pretend to understand his circumstances and this might be the biggest question that played on my mind all throughout.
I understand that the tunnel experience for a lot of us “has to have had some meaning”. Maybe God was trying to teach us lessons like Joseph and David had to learn lessons on their way to the throne.
Yet, I am often more able to see the world from the eyes of Job. Really, nothing that happened to him was deserved, neither was it a lesson he had not learned through his life of righteousness. God wanted to be proud of what he had created and Lucifer played on that to make Job’s life miserable. His friends tried to make him see God’s hand in all his trials.
In the end, Job’s refusal to be accused of some misdoing was justified, God sort of confirmed that maybe not everything was meant to bring some grand lesson, sometimes he just does what he will. And importantly, most of the lessons his friends shared, which a lot of us still make reference to as Christians, were basically not what God wanted for him.
So this brings me to a point where on one hand, I truly enjoyed the journey through your story but I wonder if life truly has meaning or we just try hard to give it one. I laughed, I had moments of deep reflection, and the story affirmed a lot of my beliefs about what it means to be a Christian or not.
I like how it was able to shock me especially with the end of that lecturing role which you so much loved and the way that experience shows that sometimes we should question things and be careful about the motives of even those close to us. I don’t know if I would have demanded more than you did in your shoes and struggling with ill-health for so long, I can imagine that made it even harder to fight.
Eventually, I am happy that your miracle came through. The book ended almost like Job; hurriedly skimming over the final resolutions and as such not trying to submerge the reader in an overly dramatic ending.
I have not read a more honest memoir in a long while. As one who finds Christian books sometimes designed poorly, stuffed with Bible verses as if reprinting the Bible, yours was a true saga. It held me spell-bound and it was as fun to read as if I was watching a movie. The bigger philosophical questions still remain and I am certain the idea is to keep answering them daily as that is how God is known. I doubt there is a complete unraveling in this lifetime. I hope your story helps more people find pointers to their own answers though. Thanks for sharing it with us.