Today, I lay on my bed and listened to the voice of the Holy spirit clearly, as He told me somethings I needed to do.
It wasn’t always like this.
Born into a very Christian home, I couldn’t have known any other religion but Christianity. My parents, especially my mum ensured I and my siblings knew even more than the basis of Christianity at a very young age. We were taught that Jesus loved us, we were taught to tell people about Jesus and we were taught to be like Jesus. All these actually just seemed to me a set of dos and donts I had to abide by. Morality was the Christianity I knew. And the Christianity I practiced.
Although I preached a sermon in church at age eight and lived in constant fear of hell, my definition of Christianity was far from anything synonymous to the love of God. The fear would die down every now and then and be rejuvenated by the common Jesus movies played in the Scripture Union camps my parents made us attend. At the peak of the fear, I would be a saint, living a frigid life, walking on egg shells because Jesus could come anytime and I wanted to be in the number. When the fear would quench with time – it always did- I would become the bird that appeared calm and collected – needless to say, only because it was caged – while in truth I was the one that had gone haywire already. Indeed I could have committed a lot more atrocities than I did but for the fact that I had very little opportunities.
And so it continued like that. Countless morning devotions that I didn’t understand fully the reason for and even evangelism trips with me merely repeating to my audience what my mum or Sunday school teachers had told me.
But through it all – Maybe because of an upbringing that gave you no reason to- I never doubted the existence of God. I had heard He answers prayers. I had prayed too and seen answers. Like the day I cried out to God that I needed to stop bed wetting and I stopped, just like that. And the many times I prayed for my WASSCE , asking God to just dash me grades above D7. And it happened, exactly how I asked.
Still, I didn’t yet truly love Him or know Him or understand even a tiny bit of who He is. I didn’t yet understand His love for me and I wasn’t ready to yield my heart fully to Him.
Some bit of growth would later teach me that even when we want nothing to do with God, He, like the unwavering suitor, remains there for and with us, showing us even more love than He did at first, giving us even more pointers and landmarks that lead us to Him. This, I believe is why he sent that awesome friend to me. The one who really knew His love and spoke about it with so much spark in his eyes. I should have easily been swayed at this friend’s words. After all, I was the one who was normally easily influenced. But I wasn’t. I guess there’s just almost always a struggle to choose life and so despite this friend’s many God- talks, I still was wary. I felt surrendering to Jesus meant everything but an interesting life. I felt I wasn’t just ready. I felt with time I would be.
This was my life till that cold morning in September, 2011 when my 14 year old self woke up and just knew it was time. I just knew I had to and at that moment on my bed and in the presence of no one but God, I said my first heartfelt sinners’ prayer. That morning, I started out my walk on the road, not to heaven, but to full and complete Christ likeness. I am yet to finish even a tiny bit of the journey but the roads I have plied have been littered with bits and pieces of God’s love. I have found Him in my dark days and in my brighter days.
I cannot say it’s been a smooth ride or walk. There have been many speed breakers. Many have come in form of guilt and condemnation for wrongs I have done. I have held my brakes on this journey and even turned back, many times. I have at one time shut Him out completely from my life and then gone from being spirit led to just going to church as a ritual so everyone around me would feel I’m still there, still very born again. But in all these times, I have found that it simply doesn’t work any other way for me. The emptiness and void I feel when I am not with and in Him bears witness to this truth. I am absolutely nothing and useless without God.
I’ve reached here finally, this point where His love for me means everything to me. I have embraced Grace and forgiveness. I have seen even more answered prayers. But most especially, I have experienced His Peace, perfect peace that is inexplicable.
I have felt Him calm the storms that wage war in my heart and I have seen Him reward my faith, many times. I do not need stone to turn into Bread for me to believe. I do not need to see or witness the supernatural before I believe. The signs, my belief, my conviction, everything I need, they’re all in my heart, firmly planted, firmly rooted.
And like I did today, anytime I hear Him say something and it happens, just the way He said it, I chuckle, I blush even. But this is not the reason I believe, It is only a confirmation of what I already know in my heart.
God is and He loves me so. The things I’ve seen in this world are yet to shake this conviction.
This is my salvation story.
This is my testimony.