Have you ever read a poem, a short story or a novel and thought - ‘what inspired this?’
I do it all the time. From the short films I watch, to the songs I listen to and even the art that I enjoy... I find myself wondering how and why the creatives brought their ideas to life. In my head I ask: what were you thinking of? How did this idea come to be? What gave you enough faith and determination to see the vision through until the end? So many questions.
To me it’s always inspiring hearing stories of how these works of art came to be. For that very reason, I thought I’d share my own stories for each of the poems in my collection Words of Faith. This will be a two-part post series so stay tuned for the next one.
Now, if you’ve not read the collection then it might not make so much sense to you... But it might just inspire you to get yourself a copy and read the final product!
If a poem left you confused or deep in ponder, then I’m here to provide a little insight into what I was thinking when I wrote each poem and what I intended to do. I’ll be sharing my inspirations for this poetry book and simply providing a little background story to the poems you’ve been reading.
With that said, I love when people give me interpretations of my work which I had not even considered. That is the beauty of poetry and its ability to get different reactions from each of us. Each reader’s opinion and reception of the poem is unique to me and I enjoy hearing how my poems have had an impact on readers in many different ways.
What was the vision for Words of Faith?
As a whole, my vision for Words of Faith was to inspire readers and create work that would outlive me. I wanted to write poems that were simple yet thought provoking. Easy to read and understand yet filled with deep metaphors, imagery and symbolism.
I wanted my poems to be accessible and to be easily enjoyed by anyone who picked it up. Whether it was read cover to cover or read a poem every so often. I wanted to provide words of encouragement, inspiration and motivation to my reader.
My vision with this poetry book was to challenge readers to think beyond what they already know. To open their eyes into the life of a young Christian and to view the world through my own personal lens.
Words of Faith is personal yet it is meant to be shared.
The Stories Behind Words of Faith Poems
The poetry book contains twenty-one original poems and, in this post (part one), I will be giving a very short back story for the first eleven of them. Each poem is heartfelt and carries a depth that I won’t delve too deeply into but enjoy these snippets into my thought process and inspirations.
Some stories are simple and other stories are even simpler but still here they are (without spoilers for those who are yet to read).
Dear Friend, by Faith Olajuyigbe
I wanted to write a formal introduction to my poetry collection, but then I didn’t want to write a formal introduction to my poetry collection... So you have this.
A poem which introduces the collection in a subtle way but also gives meaning to how I wanted readers to feel. I wanted readers to become my friend as they journeyed through the words, some of which detailing deep thoughts and emotions.
Now Is The Time by Faith Olajuyigbe
I wrote this poem for those afraid of discovering who they are. I wrote it for the people who have the tendency to retreat back into their shell when life feels uncomfortable. For the ones who have not yet discovered the beauty that they are capable of.
I wanted to inspire the reader not to doubt their individuality but to have faith in the process of growth and step boldly into the person they are meant to be. I wanted to encourage those that are ready to step out in confidence and in faith!
Drought by Faith Olajuyigbe
This poem was inspired by the biblical story of Elijah and his servant as they prayed and waited for the rain. You can read this story in 1 Kings 18:41-46 to get a clearer picture.
Now, when I read that story, I thought about how much faith it takes to still believe in the rain when there has been nothing but drought. I thought of how foolish others would think you looked to believe in something that you’ve not seen consistently in a while.
When I wrote this poem, I wanted to encourage the reader to have a hope that doesn’t fail when you don’t initially see what you’ve been hoping for. If you’ve been praying, hoping or having faith and you’ve not seen any results? Keep believing because one day it will come to pass.
Where Are You Going? by Faith Olajuyigbe
This poem stems from the thought of how life can be like a journey. In this life, we’re all walking somewhere. I stopped and asked myself: where am I walking to and who am I walking to? Where are my decisions taking me and how can I be sure these decisions will get me anywhere?
Each decision is a step and so I wanted to express how I’ve set my mind on walking to a specific destination.
Dreams? by Faith Olajuyigbe
I’ve always been fascinated by dreams. How whole worlds and ‘realities’ are formed as we dream and how most of the time our bodies are unaware of where our minds are taking us through these dreams.
I believe there’s a fine line between dreams and reality but both are significant so I wanted to convey that through this poem. Finally, the poem ends with a slight ‘sting in the tail’ where I draw an unlikely comparison. An idea I’ve always wanted to explore deeply.
Have a read of this poem again and let me know what you think and if you’ve noticed what I’m on about...
The Flame Within by Faith Olajuyigbe
This poem is one written for the ladies. It’s intended to inspire women to cultivate a beauty that transcends the external. To focus on what rests within as opposed to the exterior. To me, traits that are cultivated and worked on inside are the most precious forms of beauty that a woman can have.
Outer beauty will certainly fade with time, but an internal beauty and a character of integrity will always remain.
Why Am I Not Growing? by Faith Olajuyigbe
In this poem I used a simple metaphor to highlight the importance of self-care for growth. I believe we all require the right nurturing conditions to be able to grow, bloom and thrive to the best of our capacity.
Without this, we can often be left feeling stuck and hindered as though we are not growing. Once correctly nurtured, we will begin to see the growth in ourselves which we desire.
Through reading this poem, I wanted readers to acknowledge any areas of their lives which have been prevented from growing because of a lack of nurture.
Unworthy, Yet Worth It by Faith Olajuyigbe
This is a faith-based poem which looks at the passion of Jesus Christ.
As a Christian, I’ve always wondered why a sinless God (through the person of Christ) would die for a sinful person. Many times I questioned myself as to what made me good enough to be forgiven by Jesus Christ. I felt that this could be a common thought amongst Christians so I wanted to explore this idea deeper and the resulting poem was this one.
I learnt that God’s love is the ultimate reason why He finds us worthy and worth it.
Getting Better by Faith Olajuyigbe
This is a personal poem of self-reflection that I almost didn’t include in the collection. It’s quite self-explanatory as you read it and throughout, I share my thoughts on how learning more about Jesus Christ brought me on the journey towards becoming a better version of myself.
Despite not wanting to share this poem in the book, a few people reached out to let me know how much the poem resonates with them and how they can easily relate to it. This truly encouraged me and still inspires me to share my work today (especially when I’m doubting the impact it may have).
I believe transparency is a beautiful thing and when you’ve reached a place where you’re not seeking or regarding the opinions of man, it becomes easier to share your journey. With the good, the bad, the negative and the positive all included.
To The Crucified Christ by Faith Olajuyigbe
Another poem pondering the passion of Christ.
Through this I reflect on God’s sovereignty and His grace that overlooked what was to come. How He knew the outcome and yet still allowed Christ to be crucified. And all because of a love of us.
Conversations With An Artist by Faith Olajuyigbe
This poem was inspired by CalledOut Music and a track he released titled ‘In Due Time’ - an interlude that features Chibuzo.
In the track, he describes how he came across an artist in town who was painting. At first, he didn’t understand the painting that was being created but once it was finished, the masterpiece made sense.
That made me think of God. The ultimate creative and Master of masterpieces. An Artist with a blueprint that supersedes our biggest imaginations. God is always working. Always painting... And if we let Him, He will paint the perfect picture with our lives.
And there you have it. The little stories behind the poems in Words of Faith. I hope these short stories have given you a better understanding of my poetry book. I also hope you’ve been inspired to read even more of it with the knowledge you have now!
Stay tuned for part two where I'll be delving into the final ten poems to share the stories for them.