Saturday, July 9, 2016

                TWO DECADES AND A HALF
ME AT 25

So just like that I am 25. Honestly it feels quite amazing and unbelievable at the same time. I am super blessed and grateful for so much. And God has absolutely blown my mind away with his unending love and care towards me since I was a child.

Growing up, I was sort of stubborn and kind of all over the place, but even at that tender age, God was never far away. I knew who he was but was not so sure what to do with my relationship with him. So God was just this abstract person my parents had told me about and who we are to pray to and ask for help and all of that. Now you see life wasn’t always so perfect for me and my family, we have been through some very serious tough times that you would never believe till we open our mouths to tell you. So the first thing I discovered in my Christian walk was prayer at a very tender age. I had to learn to tell God to provide school fees, I had to pray for my parents, and I had to pray for provision. So prayer was the first thing I learnt.

I got into boarding school and well that was when God began to shape and mold me into the woman he wants me to be. Just like everyone else, I had my first serious crush hehe. He was a serious catch back then oh, and it was me he liked out of all the girls in the school. I sort of knew he liked me but trust a Lagos baby like me to do small yanga. I liked him but I had to front a bit. I liked the fact that he could sing, was super intelligent, and was pretty much my family friend. So this was perfect. In mind head this would be my husband in the very distant future and we would have a big house with lots of kids. Em don't blame my small mind, I grew up with 5 siblings so it was always fun and drama. Little did I know that life was not that simple. The devil was not only that black man with two horns, he could sometimes manifest as that pretty girl who wants nothing else but your man. Covers face and runs away. There were a lot of things my little mind could not understand back then, like how can one want what already belongs to someone else and why should you get confused as to what you want because of distractions. From the sound of it, I am sure you have already guessed it. I got my first heart break and I cried for one whole day secretly on my bed. No one was worth seeing my tears and I discovered the magic tool of malice. I smiled when everyone was there, but will not talk to him when no one was there. This was my first lesson about making plans. We can picture our lives and even tell God who should play certain roles but God knows best and he knows that sometimes where you think will be the perfect bus stop, is just a path leading to your destination. Through my first heart break, I learnt that well life is not perfect all the time and people make mistakes. Wise people learn and grow from their mistakes so never hold it agaist them forever.

Moving forward I still had a picture of how my life should go. I would get into the university, acquire my law degree, I should be give or take 22 at this time, and of course I will meet a nice man (tall, dark, handsome, God fearing, kind, funny, just name it), who will be ready to marry me after NYSC. We will have the cutest babies and live happily ever after, Hehe for my mind. If things had gone according to my plan, the interesting stories I am about to tell you and all the lessons and wisdom I have gotten through those situations will be lacking. And I honestly would not have discovered my purpose. So please get your popcorn and milk shake as I take you on a cruise to what led me to this amazing time of my life. Keep in mind that I can laugh and talk about most of it now, but some of it was really not funny when it happened.

I got out of high school with pretty awesome grades. But trust Naija to ruin my plans by not admitting students into the school I applied to that year. I wondered how it was my fault that they had a backlog of students and now I will have to be at home for one whole year since Covenant University did not have a law department at that time. This was a very sad time for me. I was so depressed and angry. I would watch movies all night, sleep all morning and afternoon, dash to the bathroom when I hear my mom’s car horn, and of course will not cook or eat anything.  My mom noticed how grumpy I was and she gave me a pep talk. She did not scold me, she just reminded me that I was not the first to stay at home for a year. Sharon my immediate elder sister now of blessed memory also did not get in immediately for similar reasons. But the difference is, she made the best use of her one year at home. She was so instrumental in the church and at home that when she was going to school, mom did not have to buy much, as people were moved to give this and that because they wanted to key into the anointing in Sharon’s life for their children. I mean pots, plates, and many other things were given to Sharon along with lots of prayers and encouragement. I thought about my life and what I want it to look like. I decided Sharon's story was the motivation I needed. The next morning I was up and I became the chief cleaner, chief cook, chief toilet cleaner and madam church.  My own even went beyond because Sharon was just involved with the teenagers in our little parish in kubwa, but me I decided to join the teenage ministry not just in my church but in the whole of Abuja. This was where I served happily and trusted God for my own big miracle, since most of my high school friends were already in school. I was also the dance instructor for the children’s church, and assistant dance director at the regional teenage church.

WHEN I WON MISS NIGERIA IN RUSSIA

I told my mom that I really had a desire to study abroad. I knew that it sounded selfish with just one person in a federal university and the rest in private schools. My parents were already working so hard to keep things together. And here I was dreaming of schooling abroad. My mom did not scold me, she just told me let us say a prayer of agreement. We said the prayer, and she told me to join her at the church prayers from 12am till 1am. I accepted her offer happily. We are a praying family. The pastor told us to bring our requests and drop them in the offering basket before the alter. I brought my request and told God I wanted to study abroad. My mom told my dad about it and he spoke to my aunt and told her about my good result.  I applied for a scholarship and with the help of God and my lovely aunty who told us about the scholarship and was super instrumental, I was given admission to go and study law in faraway Russia. My mom began to get cold feet, and was worried if her 17 year old who had never travelled by herself in Nigeria could go all the way to Russia. I told her not to worry so much, we prayed for this and now it is finally here. University of Ilorin made it easy for me to leave as that year they decided to give me admission but to study History. I made up my mind to go to Russia and study law. Can you imagine those people history? When since I could talk all I heard about was how I would be a great lawyer and I sort of also knew that is what I would want to do. Anyway I got to Russia and I thought it would be like all the nice American college movies I had seen. But I got the shocker of my life. My hostel was not nice oh. And if you see the kind cold wey catch person, asin no be here oh. To add pepper to injury, the room I was given had a cracked window. So I pretty much stayed with my friend till I got a new room. I was such a young girl who was well protected at home and was always in a sanitized environment. Growing up as a pastor’s child, I had only seen alcohol on tv and never been around anyone smoking a cigarette. But thanks to my Russian experience, I was able to see life in a different way. I learnt that people are different and not everyone shares your views on life. It is not your job to judge anyone, but to encourage people lovingly to strive to be better.

I learnt so much about myself and about other people in Russia. I learnt that I was capable of making big mistakes and small mistakes alike. Little did I know that this was where God was going to break and remold me into the woman he wants me to be. My dad gave me specific instructions. He told me that when I land in the airport and my feet hit the floor, I should speak to the land. He told me what I should say, and I wrote it down in a small jotter. I remember some of it and at first I was shy because everyone else was taking pictures and talking to new friends. I brought out my jotter and I was a little shy, but I began to speak to the land, Russia you will favor me, I will accomplish my aim here, I am Gods ambassador here in Russia, this land will not swallow or burry me, I will shine forth as a light and be a salt. When my dad told me to say these things, it felt like a joke. Little did I know that those declarations and prayers will be what will be the foundation for my six years in Russia which to me is now my second home. I was told how the people are racists and how Africans never achieve much. But there was one guy who told me to shun all of that and focus on my goals. Honestly it was really challenging having to learn a new language and study law in a language I learnt for just six months. But with God’s help, encouragement from my family and determination, I was able to scale through.

WHEN I WENT ON A DATE WITH GOD. YEAH I SOUND CRAZY.

    I joined the local church where most of the African students worshiped called Salvation Army. It was very different from what I was accustomed to and was not as loud as our Pentecostal churches. At this church I learnt about sanctification, I learnt about Gods love, I practically learnt what it truly means to love God and serve him. Now all I learnt happened through some really painful experiences which I am now grateful for. In the first 6 months of my stay in Russia, I kept asking God why it was Russia he sent me to, and he told me I was never specific with my request. I told him I wanted to school abroad and he made it possible by granting me a scholarship that many people wish for. From this point on, I became thankful for the opportunity and decided to make the best use of it. I still believe this scholarship was Gods way of rewarding me for that one year service in my teenage church.
    In my first year I met this boy who was a year my junior in school and we became friends. He would call me about the youth ministry and invite me for the programs. I was totally indifferent about the youth church before he came. But well I decided to attend it and see what it is all about. We began to talk a lot and I told him to make sure he is not using church to try to get close to me, he should just come as he really is. To cut the very long story short, we began to like each other and well things progressed. He was a nice young boy but was really not ready to lead. I was also a nice young girl but I also had a lot to learn and unlearn about what a relationship should really be. Maybe one day I will be able to talk freely about some of the very painful lessons I learnt from this on and off relationship that even led to an engagement in front of the whole church. I really did not want anything loud but he wanted it so I just went with it. I knew deep down in me that he could not lead me and the relationship was not even honoring God, but I stayed in it because I did not want to deal with side talks, or people laughing at me.

ME AT 25
I remember waking my dad up from sleep and crying so hard, he had to call my younger sister who started crying when she heard me crying. My dad just let me cry and when I got myself together, I did not even have to explain but he sort of just knew what I was feeling. And he told me, prize you are a beautiful girl, God will send someone else, and he will use all that you have been through to bless many young girls and even women around the world. I felt better after talking to my dad. But I began to think back and I realized that I made up this plans and I wanted my life to go in the direction I wanted. I wanted to be engaged in my third year and it happened. I wanted to be married by at least 22 or 23. Thank God that did not happen. This heart break and some other experiences thought me to throw my plans out the window and learn to start trusting God and follow his lead. This was where I realized I had a lot to learn about submission and what God even expects in a relationship or marriage.  The ultimate purpose of anything is to bring glory to God and that includes marriages, courtships, relationships, and friendships. My first step in trusting God began with a question in my heart. The question was, if God is all you ever have, will he be enough for you? If you never have so much money, a husband, kids or the best job, will you still stick with God? The honest truth is this question showed me my heart and how I had been treating God in the past. God was someone I asked for things and not really someone I loved back as much as he loved me. I still could not answer that question sincerely but I made up my mind to love God back with all my strength. And the more I loved God, the more I realized he is all I need and every other thing is just an addition. I would tell God how I was feeling, I would talk to him about my plans, spend time praying and studying the word. I left the choir and was not involved in any church department, because I just wanted to practice obedience to Gods word and grow deeper in love with him. Of course people were talking and some even wondering why I had backslided but little did they know that when I was even serving and active in so many departments, I was drowning and crying out to God to save me. He tried many times to get me out of that relationship but I kept going back to it, but what hit me was when I lost my sister and I asked myself where will you end up if you died today. That gave me the courage to walk away and not look back. Walking away was good, but the type of loneliness that followed was super intense. I had to constantly fill myself up with the word of God. And the good thing about the whole heart break was it helped me realize what I want and what I will never settle for. All of a sudden I understood my worth in Christ and that life is not meant to be endured but enjoyed. You really do not have to manage a bad relationship, you really do not have to stay and manage toxic friendships, and there is so much freedom and joy on the other side of your obedience and trust in God.

GRADUATION!!
Being single again was so liberating, I remember telling God how I sort of missed going out on dates. And that gentle voice inside of me said well I have been waiting for you to give me a chance to date you and show you what real love looks like. And I was really confused, I asked God, how do you want to date me, and that voice said, prize dress up really nicely, look really good, dress up for me, go to a nice restaurant, and eat and spend time with the word which you like to read on your Ipad. I got up, freshened up, looked super-HOT and told my bestie I was going on a date. She looked at me and asked with whom? And I told her with a secrete admirer lol. I went out to my favorite spot, had the best meal and just thought of how good God has been. And I realized how much God loves me and cares about the tiniest details of my life. And after that experience and a taste of the love of God, I told God if he was all I ever had, he would be all I ever need. And if he ever decided to give me someone who would love me, I wanted someone who would protect my crown and lead me closer to God and not farther away from him. Believe me after I got to the point of God being all I ever need, the blessings just kept rolling in. I was crowned the first ever Miss Nigeria in Russia, I graduated with my bachelors and masters degrees, and so many more blessings I am not going to talk about just yet. Am I saying tough times don't come, absolutely not! But when they come I hold on to God and I remember he loves me dearly and tough times will pass, tough times are really not to punish us but to grow us and maybe move us directly into Gods purpose for us if we have stepped out of it.

ME AT 25
I am 25 and super thankful for how everything in my life has played out till this point. I have learnt to place Gods plans ahead of mine and trust his will because he knows what is best for me. He knows where I will be years from now, he knows who I will marry, he knows where I will work, he knows who should be in my life and who should not, he knows every little thing about me and my job is to trust him and follow his lead. Now the reason for this post is to remind you to trust God. Don't compare your life to other people. Life is not a competition. You see that your age mate, who is already married with kids, does not mean you are a failure or that you are late. It just means that God has a different plan for you. The fact that some of your friends are already working and you are in school does not mean you are late or a failure it just means God is taking you through a different route. You look small when you place yourself side by side with other people, or you end up with pride feeling that you are better or have achieved more than others. Our ultimate purpose in life should be to fulfill Gods plans and purpose for our lives. So I am happily unmarried, happily still in school, happily walking in line with Gods purpose for my life, happily happy that God interrupted my plans and is constantly leading and teaching me. I am 25 years old and grateful for all the moments that led me here, the good moments and not so good moments. I am celebrating my life and the goodness of God in my life. Cheers to living life Gods way!

20 comments:

  1. Bless you sis! God is so good at bringing His message out of our every mess. Shine on! I celebrate you always. Flourish!

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    1. Thanks a bundle for reading and yes God really does take us through the shaking, the beating and the pressing just like an olive so our oil can flow. bless you and celebrate you too sis.

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  2. powerful message.........thump up

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    1. thanks so much for reading thomas God bless you :)

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    1. Awe thanks so much sis I really appreciate and celebrate you. thanks for reading.

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  4. God is awesome. ...
    He'll never forsake you, not now not ever...
    You're His project and he'll never abandon you...
    More grace dear

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    1. Amen. And thanks so much. God will perfect everything concerning our lives in Jesus name. God bless you.

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  5. this is very Inspiring to me. .God bless you pz al

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    1. Awe my barbie thanks for reading. And I know God will perfect everything concerning your life. Keep pushing girl.

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  6. this is very Inspiring to me. .God bless you pz al

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    1. thanks so much and God bless you for reading :)

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    1. thanks a bundle Eliane I am glad it inspired you. God bless you and keep rocking and soaring higher.

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  9. Wow dear dis message really got mi and i must say am bless,thanks dear

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  10. Wow dear dis message really got mi and i must say am bless,thanks dear

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  11. Well just one thing I have to say Happy for you and Prize has grown oh. Glory to God

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