My Early Days –Almost a Paedophile
At age 5, while living with my parents, some of the neighbour’s children who were a bit older exposed me to sexual activities, they were touching/playing with my private part. I was very unhappy but I couldn’t tell anyone because I thought I was the bad one, I thought telling others will get me into trouble accompanied with beatings. This continued for about one year of my life and it left me wounded.
Years later, by this time I was in the University, I watched a pornographic video showing the activities of paedophiles with children. I was on my way to becoming a paedophile even though it was something I hated very much.
Why? Because you can easily become anything you don’t sincerely forgive. It’s like a young boy who didn’t forgive his father for beating up his mother. When he grows up and gets married, he can easily begin to beat up his own wife. I believe some paedophiles are people that were molested as children and couldn’t forgive their offenders. As a result, they became full of anger and bitterness.
After I came to God’s Lighthouse in 2016, and sat under pastor’s many teachings on the importance of forgiving all who have offended us, I decided to obey. I sent messages to the different people who had molested me. I told them that I was now born-again and had forgiven them, that I hoped they too would forgive themselves and go on to know Christ (if they didn’t know Him already). Some of them replied with apologies.
The next morning when I woke up, I realised that I could somehow remember every single event related to my molestations. They were young boys and I was never penetrated! It was shocking because I had thought that I was, and this had tortured me for many years, making me feel dirty and guilty.
I thank God for saving me and removing all the hurt.
Both of my parents died when I was about seven years. So, my three sisters and I moved in with an aunt. In her house, we were not allowed to eat more than a plate of food in one sitting. It was a principle for everyone in the house including her kids. We were never to ask for more food and I was usually very hungry. I recall once when my elder sister cooked very little beans at midnight. I told her when she was through that I was hungry, she gave me the food to eat and watched me as I ate. I now understand the sacrifice she had made…she was also hungry but had allowed me eat.
Shortly after, my two older sisters went to a boarding secondary school, and I was left alone at the age of seven to look out for our eldest sister who was mentally ill (even though she died later of medical complications from diabetes).
Later on, we went to live with an uncle who was not a very close relative, but my father had made him promise that he will take care of us before his death because he trusted him.
We were about twenty one children living in that house and he took care of all of us.
I remember I used to be a grumbler; even as a little girl, I was highly ungrateful and unappreciative. I was a pain, and absolutely selfish.
I hated doing any kind of chores. A good picture of my ‘supposed’ condition was portrayed in some Nigerian movies – where the so-called maltreated child is shown going to the market, washing the toilet or doing any kind of house chores; then we, the viewers start sympathizing with the child especially when the song in the background is a slow, sad song! Thinking about it now, it feels quite foolish. Please who else is supposed to do the work? You’re the one being fed and housed for free, so who should do the chores?
This was exactly the case in my uncle’s house. I thought any kind of chore was a sign of maltreatment. In addition to this, he was always shouting. I never took note that that was his manner of correction as against flogging me all the time. He hardly ever flogged me; I mean, I would’ve deserved it. I thought my uncle hated me and that was why he was always shouting at me, but in reality he shouted at everyone that did wrong including his own children.
Now I realize that if my parents were alive until I had become a teen, they would have equally shouted at me and even flogged me. I thought I was suffering even when I had 3 square meals daily, attended a good school and was barely ever beaten physically. I thought I was suffering even when I had shelter and was never molested in his house.
But after his first wife died, some things began to go wrong. I recall my oldest sister coming back from the university with egusi soup and fufu. I asked her to give me some but she wanted to share it with my uncle’s daughter instead. After the girl had eaten some of it, she started acting up and behaving in a funny way. Even though my sister had finished eating her share of the food, my uncle forced her to eat the part she had given to his daughter because they thought it had been poisoned. I really pitied her but also laughed because she had refused to give me the food.
Anyways at some point, when I was in SS2, he kicked us out of the house. I didn’t know I was scarred by all these things because they made me laugh at the time. I thought that I had forgiven him since I wasn’t sad or depressed. My eldest sister kept telling us never to look at how badly it ended and how we were told to leave amidst beatings and chaos. She said he did good by us for even housing us for eight years. I couldn’t care less; I thought he was mean. But now, I thank God for giving me the same opportunity to look after other people. And I have come to the realization that he may have had his faults but he was very kind to have looked after us for eight whole years.
We moved out to a self contain apartment which became home for us, it was in this room that I bonded with my sisters. The house was in a university campus and so, during the holidays, we would be very few people left in the compound. Others came and went as that was their ‘school’ house while we remained because we had no where else to return to. Sometimes, my sister would take us to her best friend’s family house just so that we won’t be alone in the compound.
I experienced some very serious demonic influences – it started when I was in primary 5. I’d see a snake (it wasn’t physical and usually seen by only me) come into my room and seem to protect me. Years after, in a dream, I saw a fair young man return me to a chief because I was too stubborn. I also had a dream where a woman was in labour and I was one of the midwives who assisted her in birthing a female snake!
Even after I got born again, I would still be woken up around 2am to see a big python by my side. When I told my pastor about it, he told me to pray and ask why demons could comfortably touch me. I prayed as he asked me to. I was shown in a dream some things which I believed to be the reasons for the demonic woes that befell me.
I recall begging pastor to just cast out the demons, and I even began crying. My sister in church, sis A who was with me at that time began to console me, but pastor stopped her. He said I was getting trained by fighting snakes (spiritually) at the time so that in the future, I could fight dragons [that it was allowed so that I would overcome that fear which would be required to take on even bigger evil]. Blessed be God, my rock, who trains my hands for battle and my fingers for warfare. Psalms 144:1
Funny but I understand now [because I’ve seen scarier things due to the spiritual gift of discernment that I have, and I’m not afraid. Imagine if I wasn’t trained by snakes?]
A Wayward Life
My father had a photo album of all his girlfriends and this intrigued me so I decided to live exactly the same way. I dated a lot and I hurt as many people as hurt me. Revenge was key. I don’t remember dating anyone that felt sad when I wanted to breakup or leave them, they were all happy to be free from me. I said things to them, I was mean. I gave as much hurt as I got. I was venomous, most of them were afraid of me, I think they all thought I was sweet until they got to know me better. I tore people down and made them lose their confidence and their peace of mind.
I have apologized to many of these people as I got to know better after I got born again. I thought they were the ones at fault, I thought they were the toxic ones, I thought I deserved better but in Christ, I have evaluated myself and my past relationships and friendships and realized that I was the unhealthy one.
I used to send and upload my nudes without fear. I’d put up a nude picture as my WhatsApp profile picture and send out videos too. I thought I was cool. I had decided to be very wayward and believed everyone should mind their own business. I also thought I would never marry, never be a politician and definitely never be a pastor (but look at me now) so I felt I could do whatever I wanted and it wouldn’t matter in my future because I had no reason to be blackmailed. My parents were dead, my extended family didn’t have much of a say in my life, my sisters loved me unconditionally and accepted me just how I was. I was my own god. So there just couldn’t be any consequences of my actions, could there?
Always a First Timer
The first time I gave my life to Christ was in SS3. I had been taken to a church by my cousin. She wanted me to be baptized even though I didn’t really understand it. She wanted me to know God. After giving my life to Jesus, I got baptized in the Holy Spirit! I felt so much peace and joy, but subsequently, I didn’t know what to do with Him. I didn’t know I was supposed to obey Him and ask Him to teach me about Abba. I remember Him trying to correct my dress sense and how I’d laugh so hard and treat Him like one of my boyfriends.
I stopped going to church shortly after and even when I went, I would go around 12pm for a church service that will end by 12:30pm.
When I entered the university, all I did was come out as a first timer at the close of the service because I wanted to enjoy the refreshments that accompanied being a first timer. One day, I went to a certain church and wasn’t given food because they were fasting during that period and it got me very angry. It was difficult to go to a church twice.
But sometime in my second year, I was in the choir of the Christian Law Students Fellowship (CLASFON). During a meeting, it so happened that I listened to the preaching of a man that said there was no grey in Christ, that it was either white or black, and I was afraid. For the first time, I doubted my status as a Christian. Of course prior to this, I used to leave the meeting after the choir ministered, but I had a choir mistress that was quite tough and always made me stay – that’s how I heard that man that day. He said that one would know they are born-again after they have seen the Light. but I hadn’t seen any such light I thought. So I prayed to see one. That night in a dream, I saw a light from heaven shining towards me but I was in a forest and the light pierced through the thick trees and hit me on the ground. I woke up really excited.
The next week, it was pastor Ita who preached. All he said was so striking, he knew so much, he said shocking things. He was amazing and that day, I encountered the Holy Spirit in a whole new way. I prayed so much that day. Every Friday thereafter, he kept coming to CLASFON to teach us more things. He taught us to read our Bibles. I always enjoyed listening to him.
Then he stopped coming and my life took a down turn. All these happened in my second year.
Basking in His love
Pastor Ita had invited me to his home one of those times and I had gone only once as I was afraid because some men of God have been known to molest young girls.
Sometime in my fifth year in 2016, after I returned from gallivanting with my boyfriend at the time, I heard about a vigil that he was holding. I was so excited, I knew that something would change if I went, and it did. He laid hands on me and I saw my first vision. I couldn’t believe that the Almighty could give a girl like me such a gift, I thought I had to be pure and clean first. And I never stopped attending those meetings thereafter. For the first time, I truly believed that God was actually interested in me.
I came as a proper unbeliever girl so I still had a lot of outworkings of the flesh but I recall one time that pastor told me to pretend to be like Jesus. I had just bad-mouthed some girl and then, I said sorry and added that it was my old man. Another time, he had a meeting with a group of us and he told us that he had a reservoir of forgiveness waiting for each of us for when we misbehaved. Those words got to me, and I started seeing him as my family. I trusted I’ll never be thrown out or rejected. He taught me through his life and made me realize God’s love for me.
And The Clean-up Began…
I’m thankful for my brethren that were around me during my early days as a believer. I was never alone, we bonded in our love for God. We all wanted to live and die for Him. They taught me to go the extra mile, to fight some more when I felt like giving up and to keep standing even in the eye of the storm.
Jesus is real, He really did change me as I kept walking with Him. Every time we had a meeting in church, I always returned home with one thing I had purposed not to do again in my life.
I had dated a lot of boys, online inclusive. Around the time I came to Jesus, I was in love with some guy I thought I’d marry, but God told me to give him up. This was because as Christians, we aren’t meant to date or be unequally yoked with unbelievers but rather court when it’s time for marriage. It was hard but I prayed and God helped me to obey Him.
I used to also ‘dress to kill’. I was a ‘slay queen’ at the time. My clothes had to look a certain way, they always had to be provocative. But as I kept attending church services which was every day [because I was also attending the Believers classes], I realized I couldn’t wear those clothes to church. Neither could I find the time to wear it out with my ‘friends’ since church attendance was a non-negotiable for me. That’s how dressing-to-kill gradually fizzled out of my life. In church, we wore the simplest and comfortable clothes because we met in a parlour, which was like home during those early days. There was no need to be complicated.
I also was hung up on alcohol until I heard a message about being drunk with the Spirit instead of being drunk with wine. That was how I stopped drinking!
I hated school. I could stay for months in the hostel without attending classes. As a result, I saw some of my lecturers only once. I was tired of my law course. Yet somehow, I never had a carryover despite the fact I’d read 3 weeks to any exam.
Pastor encouraged me to start attending classes which I started doing in the second semester of my 5th year. However, when pastor told those of us in the same class to study together, I just couldn’t. Sis A would come to my hostel so we could study together but I would ignore her. And when my results came out, one of them was missing. I told sis A about it and she said it was impossible. She went to the board to check herself and there it was! That was a miracle, I mean I should know my name better than her, shouldn’t I?
My final results were full of E’s and I was angry at God but I apologized later and He began to speak to me. He told me that He was a just Father and that a lecturer giving A to His daughter that wasn’t worthy would be unjust. Rumour had it later that evening that our result in a certain course had been released and the lecturer in charge had given most people who offered the course an F. He was asked by the department to remark and I heard he added one mark to everyone. The new result came out and I had an E with a score of 40. It means my previous mark was 39! I was very grateful to God for this score.
So even when I had a pass in my law school exams and wanted to be sad, I refused and instead rejoiced and had joy like a river flow over me that day.
Ups and Downs
I’ve fallen to temptations sometimes but God has kept me with His love. The attitude to have is to never give up but endure till the end. A righteous man falls seven times, but he always gets up.
A major battle I faced when I left my brethren in Uyo to go for Law School was dealing with the ‘Slay Queens.’ My dressing had changed for the better drastically, but when I went to Lagos Law school with my free skirts, blouses, knapsack and simple hairstyles, nobody wanted to be my friend.
I noticed that I desired alcohol again sometimes. Once, I insulted a girl and used a foul word on her. During my NYSC, when I was in camp, my group was making a presentation and another group started to laugh at us. I became so emotional and screamed at the top of my voice using a foul word! Oh I was so embarrassed and wished I could bury my head after that because I had received prophecies prior to my leaving for Law School that I would be tempted. I wondered why my experiences made their prophecies apt (those words may even speak of something else in the future). However, having this knowledge made me very vicious in my battles. I fought and fought hard against the tricks of the enemy who wasn’t playing fair so I decided not to play fair too.
I avoided evangelizing to males I knew I would easily fall to – ‘soft guys’ as I like to call them but for other girls, they were termed ‘weak’. I protected myself and my salvation because I didn’t know any better but God has given me a change of mind now. Now, I’d rather that God had more children for Himself than have only me. I recall returning to Uyo one of those times and while I was praying and crying, one of my sisters in church knelt beside me crying and praying too. I thought she was slain in the Spirit, it was after the meeting that she told me she was crying because some girls in the hostel where we stayed had said Lagos would eat me up when they heard I had been posted to Lagos Law School. She was crying and thanking God that I had survived.
What Helped Me Stand?
I did what I heard preached in church by my pastor and regarded those who had come before me because they knew better. Their words were like laws to me. I understood God’s love for me as I saw it in the heart of my pastor, whom I fondly call ‘Barrister.’ If a man can love me this way, then I realized God can love me more. What kept me standing was a father’s heart; not wanting to disappoint him or make him shed tears because of me.
When I face things, I still say in my head “resolve” and then I just obey the Scriptures.
One day, I was returning from one of the places where I teach Believers Bible classes (Abak) around 10pm. Towards my house, there’s a pond that is knee deep especially when it rains and I had to pass through it to get home. My fear of water snakes (even though I haven’t seen any) returned but what did I do? I bought suya (roasted beef), said “resolve” in my mind and entered the scary pond while eating my suya. This is what I’ve done to fight fears – killing a chicken, picking up a dead snake, walking alone on a lonely dark path and filled with the fear of being attacked by a demon. While walking through the pond I heard a sound and my heart leaped out of my chest but I picked it up, dusted it and placed it back where it jumped out from.
Another thing that helped me stand was the amount of hatred I had for my past life. I knew that backsliding would take me back to the arms of pedophilia, prostitution, and lesbianism which was always in there though never expressed. I didn’t want to become a dumping ground for the enemy.
The Lord Is Making Me His Man…
I had issues with authority figures in my life – being under anyone or being submissive. I had developed traits of feminism too as I never wanted to be under any man. But God has taught me how to submit to authority.
He has also taught me how to be friendly and likeable. I’m not saying I’m the best, but, I’ve seen the difference in my attitude now compared to who I used to be. I’m much more gentle and soft spoken, not making snide remarks or trying to hurt people’s feelings. I actually care about being good and kind. One of my slogans used to be – “I cannot displease myself to please you”. But now I’m actually aiming to please others. I actually displease myself just to see another person happy.
God has worked on me emotionally. He has made me a more stable person. I used to be like a 13 year old, always throwing tantrums. I was very blunt and thought I always had to express how I felt but I’ve learnt self control.
I also used to be scared of talking to older people. Maybe because I lost my parents at an early age and was brought up by my older sisters who related with me very freely, I didn’t know how to speak or act respectfully around elders. Every time I met the parents of my friends back then, I felt they looked at me with this thought running through their minds, “we know you for what you are, we know you’re spoiling our daughter!”. But now it’s different, I’m getting more comfortable with elderly women. I’m talking to them and they smile and say – “Oh such a wise child”. Me wise?… They actually listen to me, and say things like “Oh you need to meet my daughters”. *God has replaced my foolishness with wisdom, and with confidence in who I am in God.*
In the past, I was always in one relationship or the other. It’s been 5 years now and counting and I’ve been in none. I used to thrive on seducing guys. Now, I’m not interested in all of that, I definitely keep them at arm’s length. I’ve been delivered of demonic influences – demons of seduction and feminism. Vanity too is a spirit that has left.
The dreams and visions of snakes lingered on even after I came to God’s Lighthouse like I said earlier, but now they’re all gone. I’m in a safe place because I’m with God. I’ve trashed out sin in my life, and God has kept me clean. I feel clean all the time, I feel fresh all the time. I’m not using bad or negative words anymore. God has renewed my heart and my mouth.
Even foul words and curse words like ‘stupid, idiot’, amongst others, I’ve seen God’s hand too in that. God has totally delivered me. Demons are responsible for many things people do especially when it seems they are helpless and not in control. Knowing this and casting them out will bring freedom to many.
I’ve witnessed many exciting miracles with God! I’ll tell two main stories.
During my elder sister’s traditional wedding in 2017, we planned for a only a few guests. One custard bucket of rice was the estimated quantity required as only about 35 people were expected. But when we arrived the venue, there were already about 70 – 75 people seated and of course we were to serve them the rice estimated for fewer people.
My sisters and I prayed over the food and started dishing. At first we were supposed to dish in little quantities, but my cousin who was dishing the food totally forgot and dished as though the food was supposed to be enough. And so, we kept on dishing. It was when we were through and everyone was served that we realized what had happened. God had multiplied the food! It reminded me of Heidi Baker and her children – how chicken was multiplied for all who wanted to eat.
Still in 2017, when I was staying in the hostel, there was no water in the school on a particular day and I really needed the water. I got to the tap and felt I should pray for the water to flow. While praying, I saw a vision of water flowing from the tap. But you see I needed someone else to join me, I needed someone’s faith as well. I remember sister M. was there, so I called her and we prayed for the water. There were girls around there who also came to queue up for water just watching and laughing at us, it was like a movie. Some said, “ah, this girl will not kill us”. Next thing, water started flowing from the tap. Nobody was laughing anymore, they were all bringing their buckets. God’s power was evident and no one could fault it!This didn’t happen once actually, it happened twice – at night and in the afternoon.
I’ve prayed for people with headaches and the aches left. Also, a girl had her monthly flow restored (which had stopped for about four months) after I prayed for her and many other amazing experiences! I’ve seen God’s words come to pass in my life, I’ve seen His power flow through me.
Unworthy But Chosen – A Warrior
After I was given responsibilities in my church group shortly after I got born again, I recall asking the Lord this question, “when You picked me, how did You know I wouldn’t fall?” His response: “Well, I intended to keep you” and that, He has done! I have enjoyed every battle I’ve fought standing beside God. I love my scars too, they are a badge of honour. When the going gets tough and people get scared, I’m always glad because I know I’ll earn some more rewards.
We are all born warriors, you just have to find the warrior within you.
I joined God’s Lighthouse in November 2016 and I remember telling some people then that I was just six months in Jesus and they were so surprised! They thought I had been doing this all my life and it was really beautiful to hear them think that. Now, I am five years old and going even hotter!
There was a time in my life when I didn’t know that holiness and my name could be put together in the same sentence. Look at me now. It’s really been wonderful.The feeling is so beautiful, so pure and so clean! It’s been God all the way.
Sis I is a lawyer with a passion for missions. She has discipled (and is discipling) other children of God and serves as a leader in God’s Lighthouse, a congregation in Southern Nigeria. She also works as a matron in an institution where she has access to many young people, mentoring and teaching them the way of God.
Full of the Holy Spirit’s power and grace, she freely gives of God’s love as she keeps receiving.
She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
©God’s Lighthouse 2021