This is the concluding part of Elvis’ story. You can read the first here.
Uyi, a friend from university, remained my friend even after I was withdrawn. He came visiting once while I was home doing nothing and waiting to figure out where my life was headed. My parents, who were around, knew him to be one of those I was expelled with.
We spent some time together, talking, laughing and having a great time. Then he left. Before he even got to the gate, my mum confronted me and asked while I kept such bad company after all that had happened to me.
I got angry, and, after responding disrespectfully, walked out on her and went into my room.
My dad, who had witnessed all that transpired between mum and me, reacted. He began talking.
I Very Nearly Committed Suicide
Things got a little interesting as Dad spoke. I can’t explain how but somehow, I ceased hearing his voice. It felt like I was hearing someone else’s. The things he said began piercing my heart. I was still hearing his voice but it wasn’t actually him who was talking. I was almost screaming to have him stop. The words reached my depths, not exactly painfully, but they pierced my heart.
In a flash, my sins, the fact that I had wasted my life accomplishing nothing, all the bad things I had done, they all became clear to me. This was around August or September 2013. I started to weep bitterly because I felt I had lost hope. ‘Frustration’ doesn’t do justice to how I felt that day. Devastated and hopeless, I felt there was nothing else to live for. I felt I had wasted the life God had given me. Then I got rat poison.
I can’t forget that day. I held the poison in my hand and just kept staring at it ready to take my life. How did I get to this point? How did this happen?
My mum walked in while I thought about these things. You could tell from her eyes that she had been crying. She couldn’t say much when she saw me. There was so much trembling in her voice when she managed to speak.
“You want to kill yourself? Oya, go ahead, kill yourself.” I felt my death at that moment was going to be a relief to many people, at least my family. And to me too. I didn’t want to live anymore. I just wanted to die and let it be like I never existed.
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Then I Met God…
While I considered suicide, I heard God. It wasn’t for the first time in my life, but I clearly heard Him that day. I could hear Him say, “do you know I can give you another life? Do you know I can change your life? Do you know I can give you Life?” The third question stood out for me.While I considered suicide, I heard God. It wasn’t my first time doing so, but I clearly heard Him that day. I heard Him ask, “do you know I can give you another life? Do you know I can change your life? Do you know I can give you Life?”
Those words surely came from eternity.
I was a walking corpse as far as I was concerned. In fact, I reckoned myself as dead. I was as good as dead. He continued, “Do you know I can make you live?”
And suddenly, I started craving life just as I had craved death. The desire for life was so intense, and I fell to my knees. I didn’t exactly know how to pray but I knew I had heard God and was willing to engage that. I lifted my hands and just kept shouting, “I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” I can’t remember ever crying like I did that day, or if I’d ever do so again.
My prayers stayed roughly the same, “Lord, Lord, Lord, Lord, I want You, I need You, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. This thing you’re offering me, I want it. I want this life you’re offering.” I kept shouting. I was there for a long time, was literally going to cry myself to death. Those in the house became worried. The ones who were angry with me became afraid.
I began feeling Him in my heart at this point. I don’t have words to explain what happened. My cousin even came to beg me, telling me that it was okay, that God had forgiven me. Both my parents were weeping. As much as I’m joyful now that God forgave me that day, I don’t ever want to make my parents weep like that again. That was the day my life changed; the whole template of my life became altered.
The Initial Bits Of Change…
After receiving God’s forgiveness, next was my parents’. I can remember how things transpired that day. I was on my knees apologizing to my parents, telling them how sorry I was, when my dad said, “see, I’ve forgiven you, but have you forgiven yourself?”
It took a long time for me to forgive myself. I knew I had met God that day, but I had not yet given my life to Him, which probably sounds. I had touched Jesus that day; I had touched His love for humanity. I discovered how eagerly in search of broken vessels He is. So, when I see people with stories with such depth as mine, I can only smile. I know how much God is in search of the broken ones, to give them life.
My dad kept speaking, advising and encouraging me. He decided to look for a way forward for me. So, he sent me first to a Computer school. That was where I began to learn Web-design. I didn’t know I had a passion until I started learning it.
In October, I got a job in a hotel. It’s weird how it happened. A graduate of Computer Engineering was relieved of his role so I could be employed. I was being paid well to be the Network Manager, IT Consultant and Hardware Specialist; Network Administrator basically. I became the head of the unit after my boss resigned.
In 2014, I got to know about Covenant University, told my dad of my desire to school there and he agreed, “since you want to go there, let’s give it a try”.
My parents didn’t exactly have the resources to fund my education at CU but they were willing to consider it.
I took UTME lessons from January up until March that year.
During this period, my elder brother invited me to come to visit him in Owerri where he underwent his medical posting. I never really wanted to go, but in March, I went which was sometime around his birthday period.
While all this happened, I hadn’t fully forsaken the desire to live recklessly. Although I had met Jesus, I hadn’t really received Him yet. I still had my cult hand-band and all.
Finally Turning A New Leaf
The night I arrived at my brother’s, we were supposed to go clubbing. But for some reasons we couldn’t.
There was a program organized by a church the following day. And Fela Durotoye was invited. Since almost everybody went, I went along.
When we got there, I sat at the back and spent more time ogling ladies than I did listening… Until FD began to speak.
Although I wasn’t quite interested in his speech, I listened. He started to share with us how that God showed him that Nigeria would be the most desirable nation for people to live in by the year 2025. He said he needed 50 persons who would join him in that divine assignment.
As I said earlier, I wasn’t really interested. But suddenly – without knowing how or why – I left my seat and found my way to the front. I literally ran to the front, hitting everyone I met on the way, just to pave a way for myself.
When I got there, I lifted my hands for the pastor to pray with me and while he did, I closed my eyes, and, in a vision, saw Jesus. Jesus walked up to me and with a big smile on His face laid His hands on me. It just seemed like he had been waiting for me to come to Him all the while.
In a flash, I saw Him dying on the cross, taking my place. I saw the substitution which took place. I almost fell under these, but quickly regained composure.I saw Jesus. He walked up to me and with a big smile on His face laid His hands on me. It just seemed like he had been waiting for me to come to Him all the while.
A New Creature
I can confidently say that immediately after that prayer, my whole appetite for cultism died. After I left that program, I removed the hand-band, cut it and threw it away. I told Jesus, “now I want to know You; let our walk begin.”
My brother couldn’t explain or even understand the change he saw in me. It was all too sudden, too quick and too unreal. It was so evident that when I got home, my mom used a plate of rice and two pieces of meat to welcome me. Up till now, I’m still annoyed at myself for rejecting the second piece of meat because that was a rare opportunity in our house.
When I got back from the journey, I just kept thanking God. I told Him that if He took me to Covenant University, I would serve Him. I didn’t realize I was talking to an Immortal Being who doesn’t joke with covenants. I struck a covenant with God that day and not long after, I found myself in CU. Again, a miracle.
Ever since then, it has just been me wanting to know more and more of Him. When I saw how much love and acceptance I had in Him, my longing for acceptance from other people died.
After that experience, I’ve never smoked again. In fact, I stopped drinking in 2014. And I remember how He spoke to my heart and asked me to stop drinking. It didn’t come as a law but as though He was writing it in my heart like part of the things I will start doing from then onwards, the same way we write out a daily routine. It wasn’t because I wanted to be holy. It was out of the abundance of God’s holiness that was already at work in my heart.I didn't stop drinking because I wanted to be holy. It was out of the abundance of God's holiness that was already at work in my heart.
As strange as this may sound, I don’t need to see the Bible say, “do not drink alcohol.” My decision to cease drinking resulted from fellowship with Him and not some religion. I want people to understand this.
I still live for God until date, growing in love for Him and being ever grateful for the work He did in me.
I hope this story blesses someone out there and leads them to experience His love. Thanks for this opportunity to share my story.
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