I was 18 when Jesus became real to me.
I had always been a quiet person. So even when I had so many struggles within, people hardly knew. They just saw me as a good girl with a good life which wasn’t true.
I suffered a lot, I suffered from depression long before I knew what it was, had suicidal thoughts on several occasions. I couldn’t understand this myself, left alone telling anyone about it.
I had great resentment for my father
My parents divorced when I was a child, so I sort of grew up without a father. I developed great resentment towards him as a result. I also had to bear a lot of guilt about the whole situation. Now, this unwholesome relationship I had with my dad and the way people spoke about God made Him seem like a taskmaster who was impossible to please. Hence, turning to Him when I suffered all that I did was never an option.
Through my teenage years, I suppressed those suicidal thoughts as best as I could with a plastered smile on my face. I hid the things I suffered with a smile. But the smile wasn’t enough. Eventually, people sensed that something wasn’t right and started asking questions, which still didn’t solve anything.
Things got worse when I traveled to the UK to study. I had never been to boarding school so living on my own so far away from home was an entirely new experience. Whatever vacuum I possessed became larger. I found it difficult to make friends, and this loneliness became added to the depression I already suffered.
First semester exams came around and I did poorly. I felt like a failure and became anxious about subsequent exams.
Failed attempts at finding joy
I tried filling this vacuum with a couple of ‘outlets’, none of which made me feel better, but only left me feeling emptier than before. I got into a sexual relationship in my first year because I was lonely, and I thought it would fill the void. I went clubbing a couple of times to make friends even though I wasn’t a fan of the activity. None of it worked. I would often spend the next moments after I returned home in tears due to how empty I felt.
I heard of a loving God
At the same time, I started to see God in a new way. I heard people call Him Father, and speak of Him as someone who loved them immensely and with whom they could just sit and talk. I watched them enjoy this beautiful relationship with God instead of just following religious rules.
This new-found revelation of Him and His love formed the basis of my decision to receive and has sustained me more than any religious code could.
Though I had become ‘born again’ several times before then, March 2015 was when the real journey with Jesus started for me.
Mentally, I was in such a bad place the day it happened, and after crying and begging God to help me, I could feel someone’s arms wrapped around me in a warm embrace (although I was alone in my room). That was the moment I knew He was real and greater than my fears or the negative thoughts I had. I’ve had this experience more than once; sometimes I see someone holding my hand and guiding me and peace comes upon me. I’m getting emotional thinking about it now.
There have been ups and downs as several things have tried to steal the joy God replaced my depression and ALL the other mental health issues with, nonetheless, this has been an amazing journey with Him. God saved me from myself and continually shows me how much He loves me. His faithfulness has kept me in Him.I could feel someone's arms wrap around me in a warm embrace (although I was alone in my room). That was the moment I knew He was real and greater than my fears or the negative thoughts I had.
My life has become a whole lot better with Jesus, my joy is fuller. I also eventually graduated with an upper second class honors in the end.
I desire for everyone to experience His love just like I did. We have often failed to realize that our greatest need is God’s love. Therefore, I coordinate a bible study group of about fifteen people where we study the epistles with the aim of coming into full understanding of our identity in Christ.
And I paint too…
The peculiar thing about my painting is that they are mostly inspired by Jesus. After taking a long hiatus from art, I started again after coming to Christ. He floods my mind with ideas during my quiet time and I tend to draw or paint what He teaches me per season. I’ve been learning about Patience of recent and even started an art piece on it but it’s unfinished because I’m currently at Law School.
I also love painting and taking photographs of nature because I am just always in awe of how beautiful and deliberate God’s creations are.
I appreciate this opportunity to share my story and hope it blesses and causes anyone to experience the fullness of His love as I did.
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