When the ToF challenge was birthed I could only see as far as my testimony: and even though I remain expectant that many others will have the courage to share their story, each time I hear one, I feel humble and really excited that others are actively denouncing the shame and guilt of the past . Below is the movig story of one of the regulars on this site – Single NigerianMan, shares the hurt and pain of his past. I hope it encourages you as it has me…
The one thing they never tell you when you give your life to Christ, is how difficult Christian living is. I don’t mean the weekly Church meetings or the awesome Sunday services. I am speaking of the drudgery of life in between. They never tell you how difficult it is to be the flavour of your society or a beacon that everyone looks up to. Most of all they never tell you how exciting life in the world seems to be. If this was war, I would say, they give you a gun and a map to find bullets but then they never tell you when to shoot. I gave my life to Christ as a teenager because at the time it seemed the right thing to do. I lived right, avoided wrong and that was it. I do not remember once doing anything extraordinary, but one thing I do remember was this… Peace.
I could go on and on, but there are questions that need to be answered. Here they are
What was life like before I became a Christian? I have always had a curious mind, a mind that wanted to see things for myself, to try things for myself, to create my own experience and learn from my own mistakes. I read a lot of books on a wide range of topics as a kid and I knew a lot more than kids years older did by the time I was 12. The first time I gave my life to Christ was as a teen. After a while, I got bored, went back to trying things, drinking, smoking, sex, drugs, I guess about the only thing I did not do was kill someone. It was a fun life, so I thought. I won’t go into details, but you should know how a kid who realised God wouldn’t strike him down if he finally drank alcohol or kissed a girl would behave. I ran amok. Friends that knew me then and see me now, wonder how I did it.
Why did I become a Christian? In the course of my life, I had my first major shock when I got a girl pregnant and had a kid. The second shock came when my mum was diagnosed with cancer. They both happened in 2005. I remember thinking that I had to clean up my life and I did. I stopped the drugs, stopped the smoking, reduced the alcohol. I met a girl, I fell for her, fell hard, reduced the sex too. But after that discontent started brewing in my life. I remember thinking that there is more to this life than all this. There just had to be more, being good was not enough. This was in 2007
How did I become a Christian? In my search for more, I started searching the scripture, and when I say search, I mean search. Read the bible and sincerely the more I read, the hungrier I became. I grew up in a Christian home, grew up in the church. So I had done the works. Sang as a kid, danced, was a “Sunday School kid” started playing the keyboard for my church at 9, so I knew the church and I also knew the inadequacy of me. I did not base my faith on priests on pastors, I had learned the hard way as a kid, not to do so. I wanted it for myself, my faith, my belief, so I tested every word I heard for truth and I mean every word. I finally rededicated my life to God in 2008, became a church worker cleaning toilets in spite of all my talents because I wanted to serve quietly rather than showcase myself and those were the best days of my life. I met wonderful people in that period, people I still know I can go back to. I call them family.
How/Why did I backslide? Sigh. I lost my mum in April 2009 and in about the same time I lost my relationship with“her”. I have never put it this way and possibly never will after today, but something in me snapped. You can say I went crazy, but all through that period, God kind of held me together. Looking back now, I don’t know how I survived so I can only say it was Him that held me together. I came back to Nigeria in that same year and I haven’t been able to do what I did in the UK, get into a church and serve, I could name many excuses, but they don’t quite cut it. People might say I am trying but personally I know it is not good enough.
I dare not claim perfection, but this I know, God is the one thing that holds all my broken pieces together right now and through all that has happened to me in the past 3 or so years. If not for him, I would have let go this I know for sure. Miracles are real and they are good but keep them. There’s nothing like the joy and peace that come from a forgiven heart. If you have truly felt God’s presence, felt his touch then you will know that there is no other comparable feeling, none other. I write to you as a sinner, I am far from perfect. But God has called me Saint. His grace is sufficient for me.
So to the lost and broken, I will say this. Live Strong, You are not alone
Jesus truly is Lord. His power is here and real in my life