Looking back into the years gone by and into the years ahead of me, certainly, there was a turning point from dim to gleam. Life began on a simple note with not-so-robust privileges. Growing up as a child, I had tailored education owing to the sacrifice and determination of my parents. My father loved education passionately. I had an environment with varying influences and beliefs, with not so much to shine the light on. The impact of nature and nurture weaved with lots of intricacies in my peculiar environment no doubt contributed to character development. A man will only see what he finds within reach of sight and make acceptable the available whether good/bad, unless he questions the wrongs in the norms or sees correctly.
Notwithstanding, a day of rebirth is crucial in every man’s life where he will be born, though he is already living. In my case, I had some pockets of church exposure growing up as a child. During my high school days, a chapel was present, and two volunteers from scripture union fellowshipped with us at some point. They contributed their quota the period they availed themselves. At other times, the school chaplain will lead the service and there were times we had to do our service ourselves. A period came of not too regular or compulsory religious activities like we used to have on Sundays. After a while, Sunday service was held again, with very few students in attendance. I decided to attend one of the Sundays during my final days at high school. An elderly minister was present presiding over the service, probably from Scripture Union not so sure of his affiliation. While he ministered, flashes of me and the days gone by with all of its happenings and the things I had done ran through my mind. I felt I needed to be saved though I already attended church. I accepted Jesus that day and went back to my dormitory and marked that date in my diary as the day I got saved. Outwardly and experientially, not so much changed because there were pockets of things I did then I could have done better or that I wouldn’t do today owing to growth in the Lord. I was not so explorative as a teenager, (not because of growth in the Lord per se), even though the circumstances of those days created an enabling environment to get into pitfalls and hurt oneself before realizing it. Somehow, it played in my mind then that some things were wrong and somehow restrained from them. My mum also played a crucial role; I can say she did her best providing and inculcating values of contentment amidst others. Ultimately, it was the mercy of God that preserved me in those seasons. By and by, time kept rolling, and my environment changed shortly before getting into college. I joined a church in the neighbourhood, a lively denomination with a vibrant teenage ministry. I was new and had a very reserved personality. The teenagers who were already being groomed in the ministry would normally reach out to other teenagers not participating. They invited me for fellowships which usually held on Sunday afternoon. Reluctantly, I began to attend their meetings. I had heard about the teenage ministry in the classroom before from another classmate who attended the same denomination. It was revolutionary, a time of remarkable worship and growth after I decided for Jesus at high school. Seeing a teenager like myself lead worship, preach, and run a program was challenging, and gradually, I began to come out of my shell. With time, I could come out before an audience to make a presentation and go on evangelism to preach to other teenagers. Some youths in the church mentored some of us by introducing us to reading books, Christian literature and other developmental resources, praying in the Holy ghost etc. Thank God for those days and the opportunity they offered. During my days at college, the Nigerian fellowship for evangelical students (NIFES) was awesome for leadership development, and I thank God for those days too. I met my amazing husband in some interesting way and he has been instrumental in the growth process, of course, growth is an ongoing process.
There were times laden with sorrow, pain and shame and like David said, I also say if it had not been the Lord who was on my side. There have been times of waiting and waiting not-in-vain because God came through; and the joy is so immense that God answers prayers. There were times of praying to break free from shackles owing to wickedness and things I ordinarily had no clue about. Of course, there were times when I asked the questions, God, why!, God when! God how is this going to be resolved etc. In it, and through it all, I have learnt to trust in Jesus and still learning to be anxious for nothing.
I write this article today marking a new year in reminiscence of the day I had a rebirth and reminding myself of the goodness of God. As you read this article today, you can think and tell the point you had your rebirth, unless you are yet to be born again. When a person is initiated into occultism or the likes, he is introduced to dimensions and experiences leading to death. It looks to him like he is having the best experience of his life, because that’s all he sees and knows. He will even laud idolatry as profitable unless he sees correctly and experiences a rebirth.
As you reflect, thank God for His mercy for your rebirth or better still, ask him for His mercy if you need to become a child of God.
Thank you for reading!