” When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I curiously took one of his systems and secretly searched through the files on it”
I want to thank God for giving me the boldness to testify. I used to be a shy person who hid behind the crowd but Im glad that God is working on me.
The Laying On Of Hands
My dad is a computer engineer so he is always working on computers. When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I curiously took one of his systems and secretly searched through the files on it. I found a pornographic video and watched it. That was the beginning of my struggle with lust. There was nothing more to trigger it; no phones or bad friends. However, during the holidays, since I had no phones or friends, I would just sit and replay the images from the video in my mind. This was how I developed the desire to masturbate. At first it was fun, but after a while I realized I had become addicted to masturbation. This all began from just one video.
In Senior Secondary School (SS1), I had friends around me who read tons of immoral novels. I loved reading novels, so I usually got romance novels from them. The rule was that before a novel is given to you, you had to exchange a novel in return. Since I didnt have any, I would usually have to wait till the examinations period when other students concentrated on their school books to get a novel. While reading it, I would look for a hide-out so I could masturbate freely with no fear of being caught. The desire to masturbate usually got worse when I went home for holidays. Every romance novel I had read in school would play back in my mind. I could imagine every single line of every page in the novel. All the while, my parents had no idea about what was going on. They thought I was their perfect child.
Upon graduation from Secondary School, I applied for admission at the University of Calabar but didnt gain admission into the school. I could not understand why this happened then but now I do. I applied for Basic Programme (Pre-degree) at the University of Uyo, Abak Campus. I saw this as an opportunity for total freedom to do as I pleased, away from my parents.
At school, I stayed alone, off campus. I did not really like dating so I decided to have only one boyfriend whom I would stick to. He knew about my masturbation problem and we eventually got engaged in a number of immoral activities.
Attempts at Freedom
I used to attend the campus church at Abak. Sometimes, the pastor would preach against having boyfriends and living in sin. I would get convicted and cry while talking to God about it. I just did not know how to stop the things I was doing. Sometimes, I would get really frustrated as a result of the state I was in. I could not control the urges and at the same time, I could not delve fully into worse evil.
I kept on reading these romance novels while telling God that I wanted to stop. The struggle lasted for a long while, about 4 or 5 years. In one of the meetings in church, we were instructed to get rid of our boyfriends. I did but it did not stop the urge in any way.
Thereafter, I got admitted into the University of Uyo to study Medicine. Before I left home, my mom instructed me not to have a boyfriend. She gave me a phone and warned me not to make contact with any guy. With the phone, I became addicted to chats and would waste valuable time on that. The interesting thing was that most times, I wouldnt even know some of the people I was chatting with. It got to the point that my mom had to seize my phone because she caught me chatting. Later, I was given a smaller phone by my dad with a new SIM card. He took back the old one so that I would not communicate with the people I used to.
I had another boyfriend. My mom asked me severally if I was in a relationship and I always lied to her. One day, my boyfriend came to my house in school at about 8pm. My sister had just come to stay with me to write an entrance examination (JAMB). So I introduced him to my sister and they got talking. We had no idea that my dad would pay us a surprise visit that night. He came to give my sister materials for her exams and he met the guy. After he left, I did not receive any call from my dad so I thought they (my parents) had forgotten about it. The guy became a regular visitor to my house; in fact he started sleeping over at my place almost all the time. He would only leave when he had classes to attend.
Not by Power or Might
One day I called my mom and asked why she hadnt called me in a while. I did not know that she had a spy and she had found out that I had been living with the guy. She told me to come home to settle the matter. I did and found out that my dad had told my mom about the guy he had met in my house. They were both disappointed because they had warned me thoroughly not to have anything to do with guys. They thought my sister knew about it and hid it from them. After the conversation, I felt wounded. Usually, I break down easily when someone corrects me through words. Punishment, on the other hand, does not usually have much effect on me.
Before the talk, my mom had promised that she would give me money to make my hair. But after then, she told me she would not give me the money anymore. In fact, she instructed me to do three things: cut my hair, pass my MBBS exam otherwise I would be chased out of the house and to cut off all connections I had with my boyfriend. She told me to cut my hair the next day which was a Friday. I was wondering how I would look. She did not want me to wait until the new week so I did cut my hair low. She thought the low cut would be a solution to keep my head straight.
When I returned to school, almost everyone asked me what had happened to my hair. I gave excuses because I didnt want to tell anyone the truth. I tried to cut off communication with the guy. I explained everything that had happened to him and he seemed to understand but the communication did not fully end, we still kept talking here and there.
God’s Extended Hand….
It was during this period that Michael spoke to me, around the end of December. I wasnt really social so it was weird that he would talk to me. He asked me about my spiritual life. He went on and on for about two hours. I did not listen to some of the things he said. At some point, I had to tell him to round off because I was going to meet my dad. That day, Edidiong and Beatrice were crying and I was wondering why they were crying though I actually thought within me, I want to have a close relationship with God.
After that, Beatrice was so excited about certain books especially The Final Quest by Rick Joyner. Michael said that it was only a person who was deep into God that could understand the book. This challenged me because I had been a reader and so felt I could read and understand any book. I decided to get the books from her but did not read them.
Then they all started inviting me for the believers classes. Beatrice would frequently call to ask can you come? and this gave me room to give excuses. Michael was different; he was on my neck. He started talking to me about reading the Bible which was always boring to me. I didnt understand how to read the Bible. When he mentioned having a bible study note, I felt it was stressful. He would always pester me about it so I decided to buy a book so that I would escape the pressure from Michael but I got an old book. He pressurized me to go for believers classes and gave me two options: to attend it or have him teach me. I was tired of the pressure so I made up my mind to go.
Deliverance by the Word
I went with Beatrice and the class was on the laying on of hands. Most of the areas that were taught addressed the issues I had been struggling with. Everything the teacher said gave me new insight and I was annoyed at myself for allowing those things get a grip on me.
The Pastor showed up for the first three classes I attended. I was used to seeing pastors dress up in a complicated manner. He was dressed simply and I felt at home in the environment. Beatrice asked me if I would come the next day; I replied that I did not need anyone to ask me anymore. I started coming for the classes.
I made up my mind not to read the novels anymore. Sometimes I would fall when I heard about a new book and read it. Then I stopped reading generally and told my sister to stop reading them as well. I started reading my Bible and was surprised at the understanding I received. Then sometime around February, the masturbation urge stopped.
I used to have a lot of dreams before I joined this church group. I knew my dreams were prophetic but didnt take them seriously until I dreamt and saw my granddad dead, and in reality he died.
At Abak, I had a dream where I was walking with some people who were covered in dirt and they fell into a big hole but a hand carried me and saved me. I told my mom and she misinterpreted it to mean passing my exams but now I understand. If I had been to the University of Calabar, I would not have been here; in fact, I would have become worse. God has been teaching me His ways. Now, I study my bible and have understanding.