'IT WOULDN'T LAST , . .
. SHE'LL SOON COME BACK' These were words enough to cause doubt in the heart of the 17yr old undergraduate.
This seemed to be one of the several times she had 'tried' to become born again. But this time she knew something was different.
I was brought up a church attending family. We attended the Anglican Church quite irregularly, though I did enjoy the activities in church whenever we were there, in addition to the dressing up and going out experience.
SECONDARY SCHOOL When I gained admission into the secondary school I joined the Christian fellowship and participated in the choir. I did give my life to Christ at this time, but I didn’t know what it was really about.
One thing I was sure about was that I didn’t want to go to hel -l that was the main motivation. It featured quite some in the messages in the fellowship.
Every time we were on holiday it was like being on holiday from ‘being born again’. When I changed school in my fourth year I wasn’t really participating in Christian fellowship activities anymore.
Whilst in my new school I had an encounter with one of the senior students. She preached to me and I did give my life to Christ ‘again’; she also prayed for me to receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit and speak new tongues.
I didn'’t really understanding the essence of what she shared, but when started praying in other tongues I started repeating what she was saying, and I think that satisfied her because she let go of me. UNIVERSITY DAYS AND DREAMS By the time I was in my first year in the University of Lagos studying Pharmacy I wouldn’t describe myself a born again Christian.
And I started making conscious efforts to avoid the “born again Christians” on campus. I attended fellowship once or twice because of pressure from some of my secondary school friends who incidentally were taking the same course as myself.
There is a particula incidence I remember vividly. One of the ladies who was quite well known amongst the Christians had asked to come and visit me.
Since I knew the plan was to come and preach to me I hatched a plan of my own. I ensured that about 5minutes before she would arrive I left my room and went to the adjacent side of the hostel which was directly opposite the entrance from the staircase closest to my room and watched from there.
Not long after she arrived and I watched as she went into my room and came out and left. I felt a bit guilty but relieved all the same as I didn’t want to listen to any preaching at that time.
Inside I wanted to be like” these “people but I just didn’t seem to be able to do it. This was also overridden by the desire to 'belong to the happenig group' - moving with the right group, attending the right parties, wearing the ‘right’ clothes; having the looks.
I must have been successful at these because I attracted the attention of the ‘senior babes’ on campus who wanted to sponsor me for a beauty contest. I came 4th in the contest, and that began my modeling career.
I had always wanted to be financially independent; to stop asking my parents for money. So the opportunity to earn income was quite appealing as it didn’t interfere too much with my studies.
Except that I started attracting quite some attention to myself. So at this time, I seemed to have everything I wanted-my studies were going well, I was earning money and becoming financially independent,(my career in modeling was coming up quiet well, and I was expecting a major break);I had two best friends I really liked; a boyfriend I knew I could introduce to my parents once I turned 18years (that was the official age) – but something was missing.
I started to feel like I was living to please others to prove that I belonged. SALVATION STORY At this time one of my roommates really started “on my case” she was a nice girl and l liked her and gradually began to respect what I observed about her relationship with God.
At this time too I was rounding off the 1st year and would soon be moving to the medical college (LUTH). I had heard it could be quite a boring place so I started to make plans to make the place interesting for me.
During the break just before I would resume at the medical school I went on quite a lot of outings and parties with my siblings and friends. One in particular was an escapade as my senior sisters had to smuggle me out of the house.
But something strange began happening at this time. On my way from such parties the question would just pop in my mind- what if Jesuborate back right now? It was a question I wasn't ready to answer; it became even ‘stranger’ as I started dreaming that the rapture took place.
I knew enough about the rapture to know the implication of being left behind. It was becoming quite a struggle but no one really knew what was going on inside me.
This went on till I resumed my first semester at the medical school this was early January in 1991. At this time I was seriously considering starting a relationship with a designer I had modeled for.
He had been quite consistent but I really couldn’t say I liked him but somehow I accepted to go on a date with him one weekend- the last weekend of January 1991. I didn’t think I should go, somehow inside me I felt that something was about to happen that would determine the course of my life but I felt strangely powerless to control it.
I knew my life was either going in the right direction or in a direction I would somehow regret but I didn’t understand fully. That weekend before I would go out on the date I decided to attend the birthday of one of an acquaitance who was now in medical school as well.
Looking back now that was most probably the best decision of my life; and quite frankly I knew it took the Holy Spirit to draw me to that party. It was on January 26th 1991.
THE ENCOUNTER It wasn’t such a big party, it took place in her room but obviously her fellowship was using it as an opportunity to evangelize. Interesting I was relaxed, not on edge, which was quite different from all my prior encounters with the beievers.
It seemed everything was directed at me. When the main speaker made the altar call, I decide to make a commitment to the Lord Jesus.
It just seemed like the right thing to do. As I repeated the prayer of salvation I didn’t know many eyes were on me( I got to learn this later) and many people were happy.
When I left there I knew I wasn’t going on the beach date anymore or any date for that matter. The transformation was quite dramatic.
It was as if this was where I was coming all along and I had reached my destination. I called my former roommate and asked to go with her to church.
She was quite excited for me. I also informed my best friends that I was now born again.
They didn’t take kindly to it at all and one of them said – let’s give her a short time, it wouldn’t last-she’ll soon be back. But I never looked back though the statement did get my attention at the time because I knew I could easily lose interest in anything.
But I didn’t want to lose interest in God. I wanted the love I felt for the Lord Jesus to last forever.
I wanted to protect it. so I made a pact with God - that if He would help me and I would still be in love with Him as passionately as I was by my 18th birthday which was just a few months away then I would serve him forever.
(I had just heard a sermon about Jacob’s prayer and commitment to God and stirred hope in me and I did the same). I knew that if I could stay born again for a few months-I would be born again forever! By my 18th birthday this special romance was still on.
I was so much in love with the Lord Jesus - had so much peace. I didn’t need to live to please anyone or try to belong.
I didn’t need to have a boyfriend. I was free to be me.
I was so happy and grateful to God for this new life. Several people would later tell me they didn’t know I would last.
This made them pray for me for my faith to be strong. At this time I started having questions about my modeling work.
Some of the older Christians I asked didn’t think there was anything wrong with it as long as I didn’t compromise; others counseled I should do whatever I thought brought glory to God. In the end I decided that I would rather give up anything that would make anyone doubt my Christian witness.
I had started going out with the evangelism group to witness, and I didn’t want my modeling to be a source of contentious arguments' or unnecessary questioning. I felt it was a sacrifice worth making for the One who loved me and gave Himself for me.
I also believed God would take care of me. But this resolve was about to be tested.
Just a few days later my agent came with a most juicy offer we had been working on. I had just been offered to be the face of a new beauty soap being launched.
I had been picked above some of the well known names . It was to be a long contract which would earn me money monthly.
I declined. I took time to explain to my agent that I couldn’t do it anymore.
I felt sorry for him because if he didn’t get another of his models to get the job he would lose his agency fee, but I wouldn’t give in to the pressure. He was quite a kind person, he took protective care of the models under him and didn't allow us to get harrassed by anyone.
He carried us around by himself, charged good rate, didn't delay in payments. I could have done the work because of Him.
But I knew my life wasn't the same anymore and I wasn't ready to take chances. After all I had made a pact with God, and I needed to keep my part of the bagain if I wanted Him to keep His.
Incidentally he gave his life to Christ later and would attend the same Church. He confided that my decision was one of the main motivation for him to give his life to Christ and be committed.
This would be a recurring statement from people who knew me before. LIFE IN CHRIST SO FAR- A LIFE THAT COUNTS! It’s been 20years.
20 years of fulfillment, of a life of impact and increasing influence for my Lord and Savior who saved me from a life of certain destruction, who loved me and wouldn’t let me go, who prevented me from a date that would have taken my life in another direction. He saved me and guided me to Pastor Chris to nurture and groom me for His use.
He has made my life so beautiful. I'm now a Role Model in Christ! Inspiring others to follow and love Him the same.
There’s so much to say but I’ll stop here for now. So they said it wouldn’t last but it’s been 20years since – a life time ago.
Now she’s doing great things for God, and loving every minute of it. Thank you Lord Jesus! .