I was a church girl through and through; ‘was’ because I am no longer a church girl but a Christian, there’s a difference. A Christian seeks to please God, I didn’t. A Christian is a follower of Christ and an imitator of his ways; I certainly wasn’t.
Growing up memories
My earliest memories date as far back as when I was two. I had lost my dad, although I didn’t understand this at the time. I remember my mother in tears and distraught with many persons around her in the one room apartment we lived in at the time. I remember being ignored and told to go out and play (which I was happy to anyway). So my mum raised me. Now I must point out that this affected me and as I got to know God, I was able to connect the dots. The Holy Spirit and the spiritual leader God placed in my life helped me understand this. I realized that not having a father while growing up connected with my need for acceptance all my life as I was always seeking to place older men in the position of “father figure” in my head. It was also the reason I acceded to those sexual advances because I felt ‘needed’ in some way.
Put in my care your children who have no father, and I will keep them safe; and let your widows put their faith in me. Jer 49:11
It is important for a child to grow up having a father, especially a girl child. They may not link it but it is connected to their wanting to be accepted by the male folk and usually results in their seeking this in the wrong places and in the wrong kind of relationships. This is why the best gift was encountering Father God for real.
Back to the story, I grew up in church; you could even say I was ‘given birth to in church’, because my mum went into labor in church, I mean her water actually broke in church. My mother was a die-hard prayer warrior (and still is) and the children’s coordinator, so I was always mistaken for the pastor’s daughter, which earned me the name ‘Little miss memorizer’. It was the title given specially to me because I memorized a lot of scriptures for the children’s day program every year. In fact, I did this till I was in Senior secondary school, but at least by then, I was called ‘Miss memorizer’ not ‘little miss’. I was also in the choir, and was the children’s choir mistress before I was moved to the senior choir but I was playing church all along. I was always used as the example of who other children should imitate. I was living a lie!
Early sexual interactions
I say I was living a lie because I had a lot of sexual interactions. None of these interactions involved actual sexual intercourse, but they were scarring nonetheless. The first encounter I remember, happened when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I was invited to stay in my late father’s sister’s house; my aunt. I thank God for the help I had growing up, because due to my Dad’s death, my mum needed a lot of help training me and she got it from different sources; relatives and non-relatives. However, at almost everywhere I stayed, I had some form of sexual interactions or molestation. So, back to my Aunt’s place, she had three children, a boy and two girls. The boy was the oldest, and would come at night and touch his sisters especially the older one, and I didn’t understand then, but looking back, I understand better. I however don’t remember him touching me at the time, but that was my earliest exposure to anything sexual.
Another situation, still while I was little, was in the compound I grew up in. A quick advice for those who raise children in a public compound like the kind I grew up in, would be to make sure your children are accountable to you about where they go and what they do, especially at their young stage, and they must be comfortable telling you if anyone of the opposite sex touches them in any sensitive area of their bodies. In my compound, this older guy we referred to as “uncle” would kiss me repeatedly and buy me sweets. I just thought of him as one of the uncles that really liked me, and he would carry me.
When I was in Primary two, by now I was about 7 years old, there was this news amongst the girls of how Emma, a short but older boy, would touch girls in the toilet. My school was what you would call a “pako school”, that is, it wasn’t the kind of school children from wealthy homes would attend, so it had just one bathroom and toilet. The toilet was supposed to be for the boys and the bathroom for the girls except they wanted to defecate. However, this boy would follow the girls in our class to the bathroom and try touching them. So one day when I went to the bathroom, he tried touching me and I allowed him, and I think it became a bit more regular. This memory is vague but I think one day we were caught and my mum was told – she cried. That was the first time I made my mum cry. She kept referring to a word she had been told that I would make her cry. I seemed to be fulfilling it.
I had other such encounters, ranging from the pastor’s son to the other houses I went to for the holidays. I even remember a supposed friend of my mother who was supposed to take care of me, give me a hair cream and tell me to massage his private area. All of these contributed to my hating men, because none of them fulfilled my need to be loved. The hatred transferred to my step father when my mum remarried. I hated him and was rude to him but when I encountered God, he gave me a love for him that till now I cannot fathom. In fact, it is due to this love that God gave me for him that I now believe that I can marry and actually love my husband. God had to heal that mindset even after I had given my life to God because I still had the idea of not getting married, and even if I backed it up with what Jesus said about some being eunuchs (Matt 19:12), – which concludes that not everyone one will get married – my saying this was actually related to my hatred for men, and believing that I would not be able to be a wife to anyone I would marry, because I believed I was irretrievably scarred; but like the potter that he is, God molded and is still molding the broken pieces together.
Whenever a clay pot he was working on was ruined, he would rework it into a new clay pot the way he wanted to make it. Jer 18:4
Another Evil Seed…
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death. Jam 1:13-15
I stumbled into a porn site. Now, I look back with the understanding that this was no mistake, it was rather water being poured on the seed of evil sown from my childhood. It happened in one of the places I stayed in growing up, my godmother’s place; there was another girl around for the holidays, but three years older than me. I took her phone one day and went through it and saw porn videos and began watching. Now I knew it was bad but that was my first introduction to any such thing. The girl however saw me watching it and was very angry, but I couldn’t understand at the time why she was so angry, I just concluded that maybe because I was not of age to watch it. After this, I didn’t see any such thing until the year before I got into school. I was using my aunt’s phone to check for something online, then stumbled upon a porn site. I googled one thing, something else showed up and that’s how I got hooked.
It reminded me of what I had seen years before and so I searched for more.
Long time Bondage..
He whose ways are true, and whose words are upright; he who gives no thought to the profits of false acts, whose hands have not taken rewards, who will have no part in putting men to death, and whose eyes are shut against evil; He will have a place on high: he will be safely shut in by the high rocks: his bread will be given to him; his waters will be certain. Your eyes will see the king in his glory… Isa 33:15-17a
Once I got into school I was a ‘newly-freed bird’, just waiting to explore, but I thank God for intervening in my year one. Before this, I was still addicted to pornography, it really had a hold on me and I would get different people’s phones just to watch it. Some without their knowledge, for example; at night I would take some people’s phones, and others that I took permission from, reasonably thought I wanted to use their phone to browse for assignments. This however was not the case. I would judge the act but would keep watching because I could not control it.
At the same time, I was this good church girl in the eyes of many and also an exco in the fellowship; assistant secretary then secretary and also part of their drama, choir and even the ushering units. I was over zealous but absolutely bound. This habit affected me a lot, for example, when I should be worshiping God, these filthy images would keep playing through my mind, even in times of prayer and at other times as well. The attacks were serious. I would sometimes imagine people naked. My phones were often stolen but even then I would still get someone’s phone, buy airtime and watch porn still. I truly believe that the perpetual loss of my phones was because of my watching pornography. God was trying to help me stop that habit but of course the typical Christian especially one like I was, tries to hide what is going on with them and present a picture of ‘perfection’. This is an aspect that has to be addressed in the church today. It is called hypocrisy.
This is why people are condemned: The light came into the world. Yet, people loved the dark rather than the light because their actions were evil. People who do what is wrong hate the light and don’t come to the light. They don’t want their actions to be exposed. But people who do what is true come to the light so that the things they do for God may be clearly seen. Jn 3:19-21
One of the ways I got my healing and deliverance was by coming into the light. Coming into the light could be in different ways, one of which could be by following the James 5:16 rule; So confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great effectiveness. Speaking to someone about some things as sensitive as this may not be easy, but it is a major step in healing your wounds, except you do not wish to be set free. If you do, you have to open up, but not just to anybody: it, advisably, should be someone spiritually mature. The first time I opened up on this was to my Pastor, I could barely look at him and was in tears. I put myself out there, and I thank God today that I did, because now I can stand in front of thousands to share this story as it is no longer a wound but a testimony.
Coming into the light is amazing and wonderful and shouldn’t end at the first time, but should be a continuous habit because we are meant to be sons and daughters of light after all, because, staying healed is another ball game entirely.
Sounds of freedom…the chains are broken!
I’ve had many experiences where I can say I gave my life to Christ but each time I’d take it back from Him. However, when I came to write post UTME exams to seek admission in University of Uyo, I happened upon this book that spoke of people that had gone to hell. It was a scary way to give my life to Christ but I know that’s when I became born again for real. Even with this, I was still hateful and disrespectful.
My decision was permanent when I finally followed a roommate of my mine to our Faculty’s fellowship. She had invited me repeatedly for the fellowship meeting, but I believe according to the order of things, it wasn’t yet time, because the very first meeting I attended, my pastor who at the time was not my pastor, had been invited to preach. As he preached, I was really broken and in tears as the Holy Spirit was convicting me seriously. I remembered that before I came to school, I had promised God I would be well behaved in school and would serve him and sing to and for him, and that to me meant joining the choir but I hadn’t even done that at the time. It was as though I saw myself through new eyes, and as I looked at myself, I realized that I was not who I was supposed to be, and though I usually do not cry, there was a downpour that day. He was talking to me, and so I renewed my walk with God, in fact you could say I “re-gave” my life to God that day, and last I checked, that was the last time I did.
I was however, still struggling in my Christian walk, and I desired more. I was part of a lot of groups and would attend a lot of church related meetings, and would write poems which I would post on Facebook, and of course…I was still watching porn here and there but not as before. I wanted more but I couldn’t find satisfaction.
Among the Excos were these two older girls I admired. They loved God, talked about him a lot and actually lived out scripture. I wanted that too. I saw that it was possible, but I didn’t know how to draw close to them. Growing up had made me a loner, and selfish because I wanted just one person who would be a close friend, but they always had many other friends around them, so I always ended up alone.
These two ladies; Ann and Amaka were always referring to going for a Bible study meeting with the Pastor who had begun the hunger in me. So, without inviting me, though their lifestyle already had, I just told them I would like to come to the bible study meeting the next time they were going, and they happily agreed. The first time I went, I knew I was where God wanted me to be. I had never been in a place where scripture was being broken down to my understanding like that and although I did not understand everything at the beginning, I kept going, and like scripture points out, it is through “faith and perseverance”, we will obtain God’s promises (Heb 6:12). I became consistent. The preacher would talk on a lot of things that I would not normally hear in the normal church setting. Soon I stopped attending the church I used to attend; I now call it my family church. They would send “emissaries” to me to encourage me to return, but I had found ‘greater light’, and had no intention of going back to a light that was full of darkness.
I remember that the General Overseer all the way from Lagos, called me and asked why I had left and what would happen to the children in the church, because I had been co-ordinating the children in the branch in Uyo. I felt like saying God would help them but somehow didn’t say anything. That marked the end of my persecution on one level, because the man ended up being the one praying for me, and that was it.
Porn became a thing of the past, because, the church group I now belonged to; God’s Lighthouse, veered me on the right path, following Acts 2:42-And they were continuing in the teaching of the apostles, and in fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Therefore, spending long hours with God’s words; studying my bible and praying helped me grow a lot. Also, having fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, and they on the other hand, encouraging and guiding you on the path of life. Many of them had gone through such things, some even worse so there was no condemnation, rather we all had a goal and were all pressing onto the mark of the high calling. Another very important ingredient in my freedom was listening to sound teaching, being part of a church group that emphasized and studied the words of God, and actually obeyed what they heard was really helpful in freeing me from the bondage of Satan. I learnt that OBEDIENCE IS THE STRATEGY!
If you receive the light, you receive power!
My walk with God has been an exciting one. The light has overwhelmed the great darkness that dwelt in my life.
God is no longer a fictional entity that lives in the heavens and played us like a chess game, he has become more real to me. I began experiencing him supernaturally. After joining the Bible study Meetings, my prophetic gifting was activated, and I began to encounter God supernaturally. I would have visions, serious revelations through dreams, and I could hear the Holy Spirit speak to me and teach me, this is a major work of the Holy Spirit; Jn 14:26-But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
I was no longer being fed with the lies by the devil, because I had now encountered the Truth; Jesus and His words, and I was set free – and free indeed! That was the beginning of my stepping out in faith. We were taught that a major job of believers was to make disciples, to open blind eyes and set captives free (Isa 61:1-3), and we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, to turn men back to God (2 Cor 5:18-20), so now I speak the words of Christ boldly. I am unashamedly a Christian!
Another amazing thing God has done through me is the kind of thing I used to think only pastors could do, and that is casting out demons and getting people baptized in the Holy Ghost. Awesome! Having a relationship with the words of God helps you see things you previously would never have;
And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mk 16:17-18
As of today, I have cast out demons from people, laid hands on the sick and they actually got healed, even laid hands on electronic gadgets such as systems and phones and they began functioning, just the stuff movies are made up. The truth is that it is the believers’ authority and all have access to walk in these things, but to be a partaker of these things, you must set yourself apart for the Lord Jesus, it is called HOLINESS. This entails living a separated life pleasing to God the Father, and to do this we must be intentional about it; actually caring about what God thinks of our lifestyle, what we say do, watch and even say. It must be at all times pleasing to God. I did not say you will not stumble here and there, the righteous falls but always rises up, but it is you actually intentionally partaking in the race set before you, not being a spectator, watching from the sidelines, being neither cold nor hot because if you are you won’t enjoy these things!
IT IS FOR ALL WHO BELIEVE!