…”I was envious of those who I thought dressed better than me, and got angry at them for doing so. A friend of mine called Lisa was one of them. Whenever she dressed better than I did, I would get angry and say to myself, “I must out-dress Lisa”. … I’d go to the extent of asking her what she would wear the next day so that I could look better when we met. It was that serious.”
PART 1 MY FASHION IDOL
I would say I worshipped fashion. I could be on Instagram the whole day stalking people and looking at pictures of celebrities. I even had a role model – a celebrity. Her name is Zendaya. I was so obsessed with her to the extent that, I had a lot of her pictures, her app, and followed her on social media. Gosh! It was all about her. Well, I liked her because she was tall and slim and I was so excited when people said I looked like her. I saw myself always wanting to dress like her and all.
I was so into fashion that I’d look out for people that dressed well and kind of got covetous, as I saw myself wanting what they had and all.
It all boiled down to my appearance. I was very conscious of my looks because all that mattered to me was how people saw me. I’d wake up in the morning thinking of what I’ll wear just to look good and get lots of compliments on my dressing. I went as far as collecting some of my mother’s clothes which were cool and perhaps expensive, and adjusting them to my size.
But a lot of that has changed now! I really want to thank God because this was a big issue for me. Now I don’t see myself acting that way towards people again. My appearance doesn’t really matter anymore and I’m really less conscious of myself. God has become a bigger deal in my heart and life.
How did this happen?…
PART 2 MEETING CHRIST YET AGAIN
Currently I’m in my 5th year (2020) in the University. Before I came to God’s Lighthouse ( I joined God’s Lighthouse in my 3rd year), I wasn’t serious with God. I didn’t see the need to read my bible because I thought that those who read it, were aspiring to become pastors and evangelists. The first time Michael (a fellow student) spoke to me about God, we were in class. “Do you know about the age to come?” He asked.
He went further to talk about the inheritance we had in Christ, the resurrection of the dead and the truth about eternal (aeonian) judgment.
As I listened, I asked myself, “What is this guy really saying?” Then he went on to talk about giving my life to Christ. “I have already given my life to Christ many times before now and I don’t like going out for altar calls anymore because I feel people would look at me as a sinner” I responded.
Michael became a serious bug to me. He wouldn’t stop talking to me whenever we met. This made me avoid him and even run away anytime I saw him. He kept being persistent and didn’t stop talking to me despite the fact that I was an annoying person and often joked about what he said. He wasn’t moved but rather he spoke with so much passion. This was weird to me. For this, I am thankful to God.
I started to join him for some Bible study and prayer meetings. From teachings in the meeting and encouragement from Michael, I started having my personal Bible studies. This helped me to begin to be serious with God.
I began to attend the morning devotion that was held in the female hostel with other sisters from God’s Lighthouse. There was a girl I didn’t like because she would always come to my room to drag me out for the devotions. This was a big issue for me because I often went to class to read through the night and would be tired and sleepy in the morning. She refused to even notice this or accept my excuses. She was just all about my attending the morning devotions.
Once, she said to me, “share the word” during the devotion. I brought a devotional manual (book) to use. I noticed that the others looked at me quite oddly. I felt somewhat embarrassed when I realized that other people often read and shared the word from their own personal notes taken while studying their Bibles. This was a challenge to me because in my case, I just read from the devotional book and closed it.
At a point, she stopped coming to wake me up. I missed her and it was then I began to understand the importance of fellowship and brethren.
Downward Spiral And The Way Back Up
Discouragement came at some point when I had started out to learn more about God. I felt like giving up on God and that He didn’t love me at all. I would throw a pity party and feel that this Christianity thing was not for me because, I felt I was always trying but I just couldn’t stand. But then, I came to understand that it isn’t by my might that I stand but by the grace of God! This lesson encouraged me and I decided to trust God to help me stand.
Consistency and Hunger
I continued to attend the devotions, now on my own, and became consistent in attending the church meetings. I really began to grow in God. For all these I thank God because, having people that love God around you helps you a lot as it has helped me.
I thank God for my godly friends. I feel that I’m easily influenced by people and what they say can easily change my mind. If I was in the midst of the wrong set of people, I won’t probably be giving this testimony at this time.
PART 3 – DELIVERANCES
…I sought the Lord and He answered me. He delivered me from all my fears… [Psalm 34:4]
I want to thank God for delivering me from the spirit of fear also. I had always been a fearful person. I found myself being afraid of so many things; the unknown, of people looking at me, and of things that don’t exist and hadn’t happened such as; the thoughts of someone breaking into my room in the hostel and staring at me while I slept.
I was someone who had terrible mood swings. I could go from being lively and talking excitedly to not talking to anyone for quite a while. I don’t know what really used to happen when I’m off in one of my moods. My friends always complained each time this happened because I was the person that usually bubbled with excitement and made them laugh. So, my moods affected them as well and could make them gloomy too.
But this isn’t the case anymore. I am a much more consistently happy person!
Another thing God helped me with is – delivering me from the idol of “self”. Everything was always about me. Before I made any decision I would consider whether it would end in my favour or not. I didn’t care about other people.
Deliverance from covetousness
I was really covetous and wasn’t contented with what I had. I wished that I wasn’t born to the family I was in, and wished I was the daughter of a commissioner or the President. I wanted to have whatever it was when I desired it. In secondary school, most of my roommates were all what I had wished for; they were rich, always travelling abroad, touring the world and they’d come and tell me about all their adventures. This made me query my parents about how they’ve not taken me to Disney land and Wonderland and complain that I’ve never even entered a plane. It all made me angry with them and ungrateful.
But when I came to know God for myself, I came to understand that all these things are not prerequisites for having a happy life. I also learnt to be grateful to my parents for their efforts. I think God purposely kept me away from them. I most likely would have been worse of if I had all my desires granted.
This was a big issue for me too.
I’m the only female child of my parents but I didn’t like doing house chores. I preferred to stay with my brothers and just talk for hours and leave my mom all alone in the kitchen. I hated kitchen work, especially cooking. The fact that my brothers would sleep while I worked usually got me angry and I always thought that God made us equal. So, if I worked, they too must work, but they didn’t. So, I joined them to sleep. I thought; “if they can sleep, so can I”. I’d be in the parlour with my dad watching TV, while my mum was in the kitchen busy. It felt so good and comfortable because my dad didn’t have any problem with me not working. This encouraged my refusal to work and the comfort I had in not doing so.
But being under the word of God and learning what is required of me as a good child, I’ve been repenting and want to thank God for delivering me from the laziness. I participate in house chores now; I’ve learnt to cook more and better. When I go home, I assist my mum where necessary, whenever I can.
I remember a time in secondary school, -JSS3 precisely, when people were prophesying and I was part of them. I don’t know what came over me or them but I couldn’t help it. Rumours had it that I had prophesied someone’s death. It was all weird because I didn’t even remember saying such. This news affected me as I wasn’t myself that period.
After I began to get serious with God, I spoke to a brother – Michael about it. He told me that “people had different gifts”. When I asked about mine, he told me that maybe I had received the gift of prophecy.
I always thought that God didn’t speak to everyone, but God has revealed things to me through impressions, some visions. Also, I dream a lot, and most of my dreams seem to be fulfilled in one way or the other. The feeling is really nice to know that God speaks to me also.
LEARNING TO TRUST GOD IN MY ACADEMICS
Concerning my academics, I’m grateful to God.
I like reading a lot so I always read my school books. However, the results I had in my tests and exams usually didn’t show for the hours I put into reading my books.
I remember something remarkable that happened. During a certain semester, at the time for examinations, I had to sit for a paper on a Tuesday. The day before, that is Monday, was free for me. Two days earlier, a brother in church said that strangely, he was led to spend time with God on that Monday before the exam, and he feels that I, alongside my course mates who attend God’s Lighthouse, were meant to go aside and seek God too. When I heard this, I was shocked and didn’t know what to think, because I wasn’t someone that joked with school books at all. I thought to myself, “How would God do such a thing?”
I was scared because my result the last semester on this course, “anatomy” was not very good and this is a course that needs a lot of memorizing and had a lot of content. I felt I hadn’t read enough for the exams, and needed that particular day to prepare.
Finally, I said to myself, “Okay then. Let me just obey to avoid problems for myself.” To be honest, I was scared that something would happen if I disobeyed.
Monday came. I and my friends read our Bibles, prayed and discussed what we had read from the Bible. Along the line, we went to a friend’s room and prayed for someone that was really ill (she had been vomiting over and over again). To my amazement, she was okay and hearty the next time we saw her. This encouraged me because God actually healed someone through me! This made me really happy.
Concerning the anatomy exam, we wrote it the next day, and when the result came out and I passed. I concluded then that indeed the one day in God’s presence was really worth it because I actually spent time with God.
Usually, I rush through my personal Bible studies and write down little. But that day, I took time and studied well and enjoyed the Holy Spirit’s company. I really learnt to trust God and just let my plans go whenever they clash with His. That result was the best I had ever had in that course.There was also a time that my anatomy continuous assessment score was missing and this bothered me a whole lot. I went away crying, but a sister from church, Ibim encouraged me and told me to ask God for a score I wanted. I prayed and went back to the lecturer who now found my script and my score earned me a good pass.
PERSECUTION FROM FAMILY
I had been having the urge to pray for my little brother. When I did he got fine and healed. God has also used me to bless my family.
I thank God for my family. I remember always sleeping during my family morning devotions but now, I’m the one leading the prayers. My mom would always encourage me to preach then but I didn’t take it seriously. But now my parents have actually seen the change since I became serious with God. Praying and sharing the gospel are amongst the best things I love to do.
However, after a while, something came up that made my parents turn against me. It was abnormal.
I had a dream where I was instructed to go aside and seek God for three days or four days. When I told them, they flared up and turned against me saying; “We sent you to school to become a medical doctor and not a preacher”.I was hurt because my parents were acting strange. They were initially happy about my new walk with God but all of a sudden, they got so angry about it. It was indeed weird. They were condemning my new change and really attacking me. I prayed to God and asked Him for wisdom to handle the situation. He told me to learn to be calm and silent, thank them and go back to my room. During this period, God gave me peace and this was amazing, because normally I’m not one to handle pressure very well. I just want to thank Him for every single thing and this wonderful spiritual family He has given me.