God Almighty sought me out, stepped into my well-cultured mess and totally turned me around.
My name is Adedayo and over the next, I hope few paragraphs, I will share with you my Salvation Story. Perhaps salvation story is not quite the right title for my story. I think “how I began to take the Lord seriously” would be a better fit. I would let you decide that after you’ve read it.
The great thing about salvation stories is how incredibly personal and yet surprisingly relatable they are and I think my story just might be too.
A Conflict Of Faiths
I was born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother. My mother was my religious compass; she set the tone for our family and all the children followed.
My three sisters and I always considered ourselves Christian although we did go through the weird phase where we were unsure of what to say when we filled forms for official purposes. We were not entirely unsure of ourselves; we just respected our dad a lot.
I was taught the rituals and modalities that a young Muslim should know. Well, I say I was taught because I did not really learn anything. I remember being enrolled in an after-school Quran study class on two separate occasions by my dad mainly because of pressure from his parents. In hindsight, none of that stuff really stuck with me. They never caused me to think, so when I met the Lord, I did not have any Muslim teachings to get in my way.
I remember going to Central Mosque in Abuja with my dad one Friday afternoon after school for Jumaat prayers. I did not know how to pray the Muslim way so when everybody bent and muttered words I also bent and prayed to God the way I knew how – in Jesus name. Mom made sure we knew how. She used to quietly gather us to pray in the mornings when it was outlawed in our house. When that became too risky, she began conducting morning devotions in the car on our way to school every school day. She made sure that we saw God the best way she could show Him to us. God bless Mothers.
However, I think my most defining moment as a boy in trying to form a perception of God was one my mother couldn’t give me.
Healed By A Pastor’s Prayers
I was about six at the time when I suddenly fell ill. I was playing horse-back riding one moment and the next I was convulsing on the ground. I do not quite remember how it felt but I do remember what happened next. I was taken to a clinic but was turned away. Running out of answers and in panic, my mother suggested I be taken to her Pastor’s house. For some reason, everyone agreed.
I remember the Pastor’s house being well lit, him cradling me in his arms and praying. He asked me a few questions I do not recall right now but I distinctly remember him saying that that was the last time anything like that would happen again (because that was not the first time). That was it. I was well and it never happened again just like the Pastor said. I told the testimony everywhere they would let me. I loved the reaction I got every time I told it. It was my blockbuster.
A Well-cultured Mess
Secondary school was a big chapter of me growing up and finding God. I went to an all-boys boarding school. Let me tell you, there is nothing quite like an all-boys boarding school. It is like a whirlwind – it never leaves you the same. If you have attended one or know someone who has, you would most certainly relate to what I am writing.
I went through school trying to be the good boy that went for choir practice and I also tried to be the cool guy with excellent grades. As you may guess, that didn’t work out so well. I fell into the usual bad habits – pornography, lying, stealing, cheating.
Related Story: Jesus Saved Me from Resentment and Sexual Perversion – Osasu
I left secondary school a well-cultured mess and I did not know it. I wrote my WAEC and JAMB exams but my scores were not good enough to get me into a higher institution. That wasn’t good enough for me being the “guy with the good grades”. I did not take it too well and neither did my dad. He always expected excellence from his kids and anytime a poor result came along, he voiced his disappointments and this time was no exception.
Over the following year, I studied to retake those exams, determined to have better grades. I was serious about it too; more serious about it than I had been about anything in my life prior to that point. I put in the work, studying harder than I had ever done before. So, naturally, when the exams came and passed, I was confident. I had prayed to God about my results, asked Him for success and was expecting the best. The results eventually came and they were bad, worse than the ones I had back in school and the walls were closing in. I sank.
Many people have gone through this same ordeal (or even worse) and handled it better than I did. I cannot claim that my circumstance was special. All I know is that at that point, I had never felt disappointment so profoundly in my young life. I was drowning with no help in sight, staring down the barrel of another year of being a disappointment. The days that ensued were morbid and I expected that the following months would follow suit but God in His ever Godly way interrupted my pity party. I was in the shower when it happened. The words broke into my mouth as if they had started somewhere else. It was a song I sang carelessly in my choir days in secondary school.
He knows my name, He knows my every thought, He sees the tears that fall and He hears me when I call.
Saved From My Well-cultured Mess
That was it. I had never felt anything like that before. I just knew that God was reaching out to me and everything would be alright.
The months that followed were wonderful. I somehow got offers to two of the better universities in Nigeria. I was in awe. This was not a preacher ministering to me or a collective experience. It was just God and I. I could not live my life the same way anymore.
It’s fine if you expected me to share an altar call moment but I had answered several altar calls before this and even after this for that matter. But this… this was different. This is my new blockbuster testimony – that God Almighty sought me out, stepped into my well-cultured mess and totally turned me around. This is not the end of our story (God and I). So many adventures lie ahead and I am eager to see where our journey takes me. Hallelujah.
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