‘You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mothers womb.’Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marveloushow well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I cant even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Psalms 139:13-18 NLT
Birth and Childhood..
I want to thank God first and foremost for being born. I wasn’t supposed to be. My conception was what men would call “a mistake.”
My father was 21 and my mother, 17 when they met. My father just got settled a few months before they met after apprenticing in a provision shop for 7 years. Mother was a final year student in a secondary school. My father courted her and asked her to marry him and in the midst of their whirlwind romance, Mother got pregnant. She panicked.
What was she to do? Who could she tell? She felt she couldn’t tell my father. She felt that maybe he wasn’t serious about marrying her, that maybe he’d deny everything and leave her saddled with a pregnancy she couldn’t afford. She couldn’t tell her father either. She was the apple of his eyes.
“O, how disappointed he would be”, she thought. Then she told her friends.
“You can’t keep it,” one said.
“Don’t worry. I’ll take you to a drugstore to get some pills. You have to abort it.” Another concurred.
The third friend was there, fuming with jealousy. She had wanted my father for herself. She saw her opportunity. An opportunity to drive a wedge in my parents’ relationship. She wasn’t going to let it slip.
As Mom returned from the drugstore with her other two friends, a bag with the pills she’d just purchased in her hand, she happened upon my father who was bouncing towards her, fuming with rage.
Long story cut short, he stopped what would have happened, from happening. He married my mother and so they were joined as young as they were, got married. I was their firstborn.
I also want to thank God for keeping me alive as a baby. Apparently, soon after I was born, I fell terribly ill. Everyone thought I wouldn’t make it. Well, I’m still alive and kicking.
As a child with young parents, I lived in a rented flat in a building with many such flats. It was basically a ‘yard’.
My father had begun making good money and Mother was already on baby number 3. She needed a lot of help with a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a baby. So we started employing helps for the house. They were always female. I don’t remember a lot from my childhood, however, most of my earliest memories are sexual. Things the helps used to do to me. I was masturbating and having sex with teenagers before I could spell my name. Apart from the helps, the landlord’s daughter used to do the same thing, even worse things. It became normal to me.
I remember returning from school everyday, dropping my bag in my room, hurrying over my food and then running over to our Landlord’s house to ‘play’. Whatever I learned from these games, I practiced with my little sister and other children in the yard.
By the time we moved out into our own house, when I was 5, the devil already had me wrapped around his little finger. I was doing all sorts of things that I didn’t understand. I didn’t even think they were bad.
One of those days, I think I was about 8 or 9 years, I stumbled on some pornographic videos in the house. I watched them. That began another line of addictions that strengthened the devil’s hold on me. By the time I was in Senior Secondary School and until I was in my third year in the university, I was watching tons of them every single day. I’d never let a day pass by, unless I didn’t have data.
Abuses… I decided to tell a lie
By the time I left for Secondary School, I had become bound to these things, however, something else threatened to grab me. I thank God that it didn’t happen. I wonder what kind of creature I would have become.
There was a boy in the hostel with me. We were in the same class. He seemed to always enjoy touching me in weird places. I didn’t seem to see anything wrong with this. I was young. Ten years old at the time.
It went on for about a month or so. He would always want me to spend the night on his bunk, or he would spend it on mine. By the time a month had passed by, I began to get disgusted at him and whatever he thought he was doing. I began avoiding him like the plague. Soon after, we were barely talking.
By the end of that school year, I had changed schools. I lied to my parents to get that to happen. A very terrible lie. One that has affected my relationship with my father since then. I lied because I felt they wouldn’t agree otherwise.
This is what happened; One morning, my father woke up talking about a dream he had the night before. He claimed there was a witch/wizard in his house. He proceeded to interview everyone one by one. I honestly don’t know what went through my head, but I confessed to being the one. I confessed to being the wizard. I went on to accuse my school of being a coven. Father wanted to believe it so much that he didn’t notice the inconsistencies in my story. An exorcism was conducted on me.
I resumed the next term in another school. In my new school, due to my feminine tendencies ( in carriage and gesticulation), a senior student started coming after me.
He caught me one day and… to be honest, I don’t really recall what happened that day, my brain kind of deleted that incident. All I can remember is squirming in the white sand as he held me down with powerful arms and took advantage of me.
A Depressed and Suicidal Young Man
I changed after that. I became the lonely boy. I could no longer share a bed with a guy, except maybe I fell asleep first or something. Even then, when I woke up, I changed positions. Depression problems began in full swing. I began to find solace in writing and reading books. No matter how big a book was, as long as it wasn’t one of my school books, I read it.
I hated my father growing up. A lot of things contributed to that especially his anger issues. I remember the many scars I was always left with each time he was done “disciplining” me. In fact, it seemed the only person I could please was my mother.
I hated him for repeatedly putting himself in situations where he would be accused of infidelity by my mother. I never let myself believe her accusations. I felt I would lose all my respect for him if I did.
Subtly, I used every chance available to be rebellious. I also stole a lot from my father and mother. Most of what I stole was spent on books or on other stupid things (one of which when I got older, was sex).
At 16, I was done with secondary school and waiting to get into the university. As I waited, my addictions, which had now included alcohol, got much worse.
I started having sex.
I wasn’t dating then, so I paid to have sex. This happened about twice every week, sometimes more.
The depression got worse, so much that I attempted killing myself once. The pills I took didn’t work. I thank God for that. Every once in a whole, suicidal thoughts still flashed across my mind but I was never bold enough to try it again. I lost myself in books. I read so many books that I got tagged with two nicknames in secondary school, ‘Encyclo…’ and ‘Brown Paper’.
School was my favourite place. In school, I could be someone else. I created a different personality for school. It worked so well that I was given the post of chapel prefect in SS2. Eventually, I began to have so many different personalities, one for each person or place. The way my brain worked was that as soon as I was with that person or in that place, whether I knew it or not, I put on the personality the person or place required.
For example, a girl I dated once thought I had a terrible sweet tooth. I would always lick pectol (a minty candy) whenever I was around her. I don’t know how but somehow, I always seemed to just have it whenever she was around. Funny enough, years after, it seemed (and still seems) like each time I saw her, I suddenly had a craving for pectol. It would get so bad that I couldn’t help but buy it.
I got so lost in my different personalities that I no longer knew who I was. I don’t think I ever truly knew.
Regrets and Guilt
In 2016, my first year of medical school (after transferring from microbiology where I had been for two years), I got a girl pregnant.
She had an abortion. I asked her to. I didn’t want a baby. I forgot how I’d come to be.
After this happened, I felt so bad that I tried to get close to God, to ease my guilt and soothe my pain. I no longer missed church meetings in a bid to obtain penance for my sins.
This lasted for about 2 months.
After that, depression hit me like never before. I fell into the bottle (binging on alcohol) much deeper, though I was careful not to ever get too drunk. I got into relationships that never truly meant much, trying to fill the empty space in my heart.
I stopped going for classes, stopped writing tests and exams, stopped reading books except they were novels. I practically shut down on everything that really mattered.
Light in the Darkness
One day, I got so depressed that I couldn’t take it anymore. I took myself out for a drink, more like three drinks. I went back to the hostel after downing the bottles of beer. Unlike other times, however, I still felt depressed afterwards. So I went down stairs to watch TV in the hostel’s common room. That was the day everything began to change for me.
I saw my classmate (now my sister in the Lord ) and she was going through what we call a “crisis” in medical terms. She probably was going through one right then or maybe she was just recovering from one, either way, I saw her buy a bag of sachet water from the common room shop and try to carry it to her room. I, in my drunken state, immediately walked up to her and offered to help. As we walked back to her room, she asked me a simple question.
“How are you?How come you haven’t [Why haven’t you] been coming to school?”
On any other day, I would have simply either dodged the question, or given her some flimsy well formed excuse. However, alcohol has a way of always making me very honest. I began to talk and I didn’t stop.
I spilled my guts out to her that night, and she listened patiently. She said a lot of things to me that night. Things that I had never heard anyone say. Things that I knew in my heart of hearts were true.
She talked about holiness, righteousness, faith and true repentance. She said things that convicted me so much that I began to weep. I went down on my knees that night and prayed for forgiveness then I received a joy like never before. I was happy. I knew I had just been given a fresh start. I went to school feeling joyful. I forgot that the devil was unhappy and will lie in wait.
That same day, a girl I had admired from a distance for a time agreed to go out with me. I was lost all over again.
For the next month, my life became a whirlpool of lust, loneliness and even worse, depression. I felt so guilty, but I wouldn’t stop. There was still that hole deep inside that nothing could fill, not even sex with a beautiful girl who ticked every string I ever had. I was deep in sin and I knew it.
In all of this, that classmate of mine never stopped talking to me. I felt a bit embarrassed, having told her so much about myself ( things no one ever would have known otherwise ). She invited me to God’s Lighthouse on one of those days. I declined. “I’m going for my own church’s meeting.” I explained.
Finally, on another day, at about when the fling with the ‘dream girl’ was just about cooling off a bit, she invited me for Believer’s Bible Class on a Thursday. I was free on Thursday, so I promised I’d be there. I kept that promise. Thank God I did.
Hope by God’s Word
I heard so much I’d never heard before that I was amazed. The class was supposed to end by 9pm, but I asked so many questions that it lingered till almost midnight. I still had many more questions, so I went back the following week. By the third week, I wanted to find out where they were getting what was being taught. I wanted to know how they knew so much. By the time I began worshipping with them, I knew I’d found the place to be.
My change was slow. It didn’t happen all at once, although some things left me quite miraculously. One of them was my foul words and coarse jokes.
I stumbled so many times and ran away so many times that I’m still amazed at how patient my brethren were with me.
Slowly but surely, after months of listening to truth, I realised I could fight lust and win, every single time. I had started attending church meetings by February, but it took until November for me to be free of pornography, fornication and masturbation for good.
The depression lifted. Looking back, I can’t even remember the last time I was depressed. That hole in my heart is being filled more and more each day. By God’s word and by the love that permeates through me from my brothers and sisters.
The grace to stand..
My father kicked me out of his house. “How dare you leave the family church?” He exclaimed, nostrils flaring in rage. I didn’t’ mind. All things work together for my good as long as I love God, I’ve learnt. The experience taught me to depend completely in God and trust in him for sustenance. He hasn’t let me down. He never will.
I have learnt to keep myself consecrated to God in ways I never knew was possible.
I grew up not believing in prophecy. That ended during my first Sunday meeting in God’s Lighthouse. God opened my eyes to see a vision; a sneak peek into my life. It was terribly scary. I watched myself fall into a never ending ditch. I saw black creatures fly out of my mouth and I saw my soul, black as coal.
I got to see the continuation of that vision months later. This time, I had wings. I was no longer falling.
I’ve learnt how to pray the proper way. I’ve also learnt the beauty of praying in tongues.
While I was much younger in my walk with God, I even had the opportunity to pray for healing for sick people. It happened twice on the same day and both of them got well. It’s a gift I know I’ll be walking more in when the time comes.
I thank God so much for bringing me to where I am today. I know with everything within me that he will do the same for you, maybe even more, if only you’ll let him. Amen.