The Story of One Man retold

Hello lovely Family. Are you excited? I am. First, let us apologize for not posting for two weeks now. We are so sorry and we have no excuses. Please accept our apologies and we promise to do better. Moving on, we are bringing a new series and we trust that your lives and ours will be enriched by this. We are re-modelling bible stories to fit our modern day realities and struggles. Now sit down and enjoy the ride and as always we hope this inspires you to do better and live right with God.

 

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When I think of myself, I see a lot of things.

 

I see a person of integrity and great strength of Character. It is not boasting, it is simply being self-aware, you know that quote by Socrates: ‘Man know thyself, for an un-examined life is not worth living.’ Okay let me tell you a little secret, at the foundation of who I am is God and the fact that I have a wonderful Mother whose knees are constantly in prayers and supplication. My personality connotes a lot of things, it is pride in all I have achieved through God’s grace. It’s the confidence that radiates from knowing God has my back every single time. There is this peace that fills my heart, you know that passage in the bible Philippians 4:7 (And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus) even when difficulties arise.

 

Let me tell you a bit about myself:

I grew up in a family of 6. It was your typical Nigerian Family: father, mother and four children. I was the last child, pampered but not spoilt, yes I was disciplined when the need arose as I was quite mischievous . Laughter rang often in our house and I had this feeling of wholeness. Everything I needed to survive and thrive was given to me, sent to one of the best schools in the country. I close my eyes and the memories of my childhood are breathtakingly beautiful.

I grew up in a strong Christian background and was taught from childhood about Christ and his redeeming power. I came to know God for myself and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior sometimes in my teens. Church for me was not just a routine activity, it was home and a place where I knew I would always find succor and refreshment for my soul. I had my undergraduate studies in Finance at one of the Top Ivy league schools; can you take a guess? It’s the University of Pennsylvania and my MBA at Harvard Business school. I graduated top of my class, yes Summa Cum Laude. I remember taking walks down the streets, reading at the library and all the numerous visits to the museum.

I came back to Nigeria after my MBA and served in the compulsory 1-year National Youth Service Corps. I was posted to Lagos and the three weeks orientation programme was fun. I got posted to one of the top investment banks in the country, the year flew by and I was retained. Imagine my excitement of not having to roam the streets of Lagos looking for a job. I was so happy; my mother’s prayers were working. I had heard the tales of the job seekers, the relentless sun beating down their backs, the hustle to get a job and the depression that followed each rejection mail and it made me realize how blessed I was. Life was all rosy and I never lacked for anything.

 

 

Now to the Present:

 

I am an investment Banker (I like the sound of it, very prestigious). I work at one of the top investment banks in the country.  I enjoy my work and the whole dealing with numbers appeal to me. I have taken some professional certifications and with steady promotions I was rightly placed on the corporate ladder to reaching the peak of my career. I often wondered what I would do if I decided to resign one day and it clicked, I loved teaching, I could become a lecturer. I had the requisite qualifications and if I didn’t have them all, I could get them. I love to read and travel and worship in church, yea you guessed right, I am in the choir. There is this thing about worship that is a balm to my soul, praising God through everything, through every trial and difficulties and through the good times. I am sure that you would probably say I have never witnessed any hardship and you would be right but then praise was the fastest way to God’s heart and I loved it.

Love found me sometimes in 2009 . I met my wife on social media. I can literally hear the wheels turning in your head. She commented on one of my tweets on Twitter and from then I was hooked; the intelligence, the humor in her words caught me by surprise. We started talking and the more I got to know her, the more I knew this was the one I was meant to spend the rest of my life with. I prayed and the peace I felt was the final confirmation I needed. I married one of the most amazing woman in the world if I do say so myself. She is a Christ lover and worker in the church, an entrepreneur, a fitness expert and operates a fitness and dance studio for kids and teens. I am often left amazed by how she manages to juggle all of these and remains calm. I married God’s best for me and I can say she is the bone of my bone, the flesh of my flesh, the woman after God’s heart and the love of my life. We are blessed with four children, two set of twins exactly what I prayed for. I have all I need, and God still blesses me with more. My children are the light of my world and we are committed to training them up in the way of God. I give them the best in life and at the center of our home is God ruling over us all. I have my own home in Lekki, had investments (money market, mutual funds, real estate, stocks, bonds, name it). I even have a farm, someone had told me that I could invest in them plus it felt good to eat fresh farm food. Things were so perfect, everything I touched seemed to turn to gold and I felt God’s hands at work. Life was so perfect and nothing could go wrong.

Then tragedy struck.

 

Do you want to know what happened? Then keep a date with us next week Monday.

Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising and don’t forget that God loves you even more than you can ever imagine or comprehend. God bless you all.

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Grass to Grace…The Story of a Reluctant Nigerian Church Girl… How we broke up and made up

Hello Lovely Family. We are continuing  with our story on the  series titled #GrasstoGrace. We were unable to blog last week and as such we are bringing the concluding part today. It’s a lengthy read but trust me that you would enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed writing it. If you are new to #GrasstoGrace series, It’s Christian fiction that depicts real life situations; the struggles that often go on in our lives and the often rough road to grace. What matters most is that Grace finds us and our lives become a testimony. Dig in:

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Back in Uni., a lot of things drove me, one of which was the constant ringing in my head of my teachers predicting that I wouldn’t make it. They probably thought I would end up pregnant and become a liability. In High school, I dreaded open days because all I was sure to hear was how I was not doing enough; how I was unserious and without focus.  I don’t know what happened.. looking back I am sure it must have been God who inspired me but I pushed hard to succeed in my academics…though I really didn’t have any ambitions.

I was constantly fighting demons, depressed but feigning happiness. I’d crack jokes and make people laugh while I wallowed in depression; I was trapped in my past and was not really living, just existing. I fought depression and I was, and still kinda antisocial.You see, I had been abused by family friends when I was about 9 and it messed me up real bad. I could’t commit to any relationship as whenever I truly started to like a good guy, I’d ruin it. A friend once told me “You have a very attracting personality, you are very welcoming but whenever someone truly tries to get close there’s this great wall around you.” He told me this about 6years ago but it stayed on my mind ever since.

I didn’t realize at the time but it was like I constantly felt I wasn’t good enough. I was attracted to “good bad guys” the ones who would go to church every Sunday but had a different lifestyle during the week. I didn’t know I had not seen enough after being sexually abused by 2 brothers at about 9 and a failed attempt by a close friend, years after…I was raped (He would tell you otherwise) by the guy I was dating and that did it! It felt like I was damaged beyond repairs and I told God in more ways than one that I was done with Him!  I mean He allowed all these happen! He could have prevented them, I got into an even worse place. I attempted suicide more than twice, death promised a better release than the life I was living, I thought of how hell wouldn’t be such a bad alternative, since my life felt like I was already there, I wanted to see God and ask Him how and why He failed me. But, I didn’t succeed. Saved again and again.

And then I got a job after 3 years of searching, only to lose it before i could even be given an offer letter, I was terribly depressed, jobless, angry and frustrated! I tried going for counselling, something anything to free myself from the pain, anger and hurt I carried around. Somedays were okay, days when I could move without feeling like I was drowning, some other days I could barely breathe and I hurt so much. Pain was my constant friend, sorrow and hopelessness my companion. I think the journey to redemption started at that point, on that couch at the therapist’s office. These words kept me up at night; ‘Forgive, let go. You can’t heal until you are willing to forgive.’ Forgiveness came hard. How do I forgive those who had hurt me so badly, who had made my life this miserable mess that it was. How do I let go of the anger when the anger fueled my desire to do better. How do I let go of the hurt when the hurt was what kept my heart free from more pain, how do I let go when the only thing I know how to do is to hold on tight? How? How?? How?!!

Yet they kept preaching forgiveness. I kept up with church attendance because I didn’t know how to explain to my parents that I had no business with God. I didn’t know how to relate with my parents, I was angry at them too. Right under their watch, I lost my innocence, they could not protect me. It felt like I everywhere I turned Forgiveness was being preached and the harder I tried to play a deaf ear, the deeper the message sank into my soul. I made the decision one night to forgive, to let it all go.

I thought I was able to forgive the parties that hurt me though I couldn’t forgive myself and I definitely couldn’t forgive God. I felt like there was something wrong with me that made me the target of their abuse and I felt unloved by God. I was still at my lowest point, steeped in depression, fear, anxiety, pain and hurt, prone to panic attacks and I didn’t know what to do.  The pain became my strength and it drew me to a place of recognition. You know the saying…When life pushes you down, at your lowest there’s no other place to go to but up.

I decided to try again, praying was difficult as I didn’t know how to do that. I started having discussions with God, I realized I could not truly let go without letting God in, I could not forgive without His divine grace and mercy. It was at this point that I realized that I am nothing, can be nothing without Him. Oh what a sweet revelation! His presence became my succor, in His fellowship I found a resting place. I would lie in bed and just talk to God. I would tell Him everything on my mind and tears were my food. I kept up with the discussions and they became my life-line. One night I cried and begged God to turn things around for me; I was tired of doing things my own way, of living a life of pain, of not knowing what each day held and the hopeless despair that my life was. He did! The changes came slowly. I felt relief. I started coming out of the depression that had plagued my life for years. Guess what within months of mending my relationship I got a better Job offer and every other thing was falling into place. I went from being a reluctant church girl to a vibrant Christ lover.

When I look back, I am humbled by how far I have come.  Grace had sustained me during those trying times; there is no iota of doubt in my mind that nothing but His Grace had kept me safe and sane. I know the future holds better things in store for me. In times of troubles I am relaxed because I know He has not and will not fail me. God does not ever fail, He is constantly aware of everything that happens. Do not lose hope, trust Him. I hope this inspires you to find your way back to Him as I did.

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The end of a reluctant Church girl.

 

I know you can’t wait to see what the next story is, I am too but Monday is just a week away. We are retelling the story of One Man; adapted to Modern day Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.

Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising

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Grass to Grace…The Story of a Reluctant Nigerian Church Girl…Our Dysfunctional Relationship

Hello Lovely Family. We are continuing  with our story from last week on the  series titled #GrasstoGrace. It’s Christian fiction that depicts real life situations; the struggles that often go on in our lives and the often rough road to grace. What matters most is that Grace finds us and our lives become a testimony. Dig in:

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My first year of high school I was sent to an only girls missionary school..that should help my relationship with God right?

Wrong!

It only made things worse. I was constantly struggling with peer pressure, academics and spirituality…I was almost initiated into lesbianism but God had a deliverance strategy. He used sickness and negligence on my school’s part to remove me from such toxic environment. I spent the rest of high school in a somewhat sane environment that provided everything  (some would say we were spoilt)

High school was always God reaching out to me and me constantly avoiding him (like the boyfriend who won’t let you breathe. The one who loves you with all his being, you know so you take him for granted ) I wanted to prove I could have it all…

I would go to church on Sunday and spend the whole servicing criticizing everything…the way the choir sang or the length of the sermon. Save to say Sunday was not my favorite day of the week.

High school was a blur with me performing less than expected as I was always distracted  (by perfumes and boys ). Yes, Perfume so that I could smell nice for the boys. My teachers wrote me off probably thinking I would in the nearest future end up pregnant and useless. Though I was a “virgin “ who prided herself too smart to fall. You know the R-Kelly “I’m a flirt “ song..it was my jam that year.
Oh my parents tried…and they usually would succeed for a few days, at most weeks I  didn’t bring shame to them which I found weird because I was certain I wasn’t as bad and they were just too uptight. My only prayer was for high school to end and for me to get admission into a university far away and hopefully outside this country, where I won’t feel choked by God.

 

 
But would things go according to plan? Was I just building castles in the wind? I guess we’ll find out next week. Till then ciao!

 

I know you are curious as to how the story unfolds, I am too but Monday is just a week away and just may be the story might come to its peak. Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.

Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising

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Grass to Grace…The Story of a Reluctant Nigerian Church Girl…The Genesis

Hello Lovely Family. It is a new month and we are starting a new series titled #GrasstoGrace. It’s Christian fiction that depicts real life situations; the struggles that often go on in our lives and the often rough road to grace. What matters most is that Grace finds us and our lives become a testimony. This will be in parts and today we will be starting from the Genesis.

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The story of a reluctant Nigerian church Girl

Whew!

Are you even ready for this? Because I definitely do not think I am, but like the African proverb this “turtle” must stick out her neck to go forward. But before I jump…

Let’s start from the beginning

Part 1: The Genesis

I grew up indifferent about God, in fact I didn’t really like Him.

Not what you were expecting right?  Ok, let me give you a minute to scratch whatever storyline you have in your head and start afresh.

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I wasn’t a fan of God. In fact, talking about church or God was a quick way to get me disinterested in a conversation.  It must have started out as rebellion…me trying to prove that my parents couldn’t control me as they wish, I wasn’t going to allow them “dictate” my life. No!

They could force me to Church on Sundays but they can’t force me to like God or become the model child they wanted. The older i got, the more disinterested I got, and even when I tried I couldn’t relate, I could not stay in the relationship for long as I was always wandering off. Why? I still can’t say.

My parents tried all they could to ensure we were all raised on the right path. They did their part, but like the African proverb, you can only drag a horse to the stream you can’t force it to drink therein.

This is only the beginning of how I became reluctant towards God, to find out how we broke up and if we eventually made up stay tuned.

Till we meet next week.

I know you are curious as to how the story unfolds, I am too but Monday is just a week away. Stay tuned and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog.

Do follow us on all our social media handles @Godlywomenarising

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