I’m quite sure we’ve all heard the cliche ”Story of my Life”. If you haven’t you just did. I’m bout tell a short story, yes it’s the story of my life. I don’t really know where to start from. I’m very conservative and private, but let me just give it a try. My name is Nsikan (like in-see-can). This is my blog, for new readers “Welcome!” Feel free to check old posts. For my friends that have stood by me all this while “Thank you so much”. I have not blogged for a month or so. I tried making it frequent and I was getting consistent in preparing blog posts ahead of time which helped though. But that’s past tense.
Over the months, it has been a journey for me. A struggle. In fact a battle. With wars from almost everything around. This is not a random post with poetry embedded in between. This is reality speaking through words. Even as I type these words, I almost considered not posting, not saying anything. Just bursting from the blues with a new post like nothing happened. But that will not be fair. I respect everyone who view my posts, thus it’s important to build connection and nurture healthy relationships too. “So what happened Nsikan? ” you’d ask. Something did happen. I will drop the gist like it’s hot.
I recently read a book by Lecrae with its title: “Unashamed”. The book basically contains his autobiography and his walk with God. He shared his story, his fears, his weakness and everything. I got to understand what it really means to be “unashamed”. I also got to understand that the devil wants us to play hide and seek in the dark just like Adam and Eve, with sewn fig tree leaves dress, hiding our shame and living in the lie of being covered. Later on, he creeps in the midst of the dark to torment us with condemnation and guilt. That’s how he works. We may try get our acts together, do church weekends and midweek, we may look covered and clean; but inside we are filthy, rotten and we stink. No wonder our self-righteousness has the stench of rags. The truth is, our shame is not covered because God see through our hearts. He sees and knows everything remember?
While reading the book and seeing similar struggles (sexual immorality and the struggle for acceptance/approval and attention) that He (Lecrae) had, I realised that our stories, our struggles and the battles we face can be the same with out next door neighbor and we are not even aware of it. Where am I heading with this? I’ve got a story friends. I have a past I’m healing from. I have struggles and battles I face daily. I guess our Saviour was right after all: “we have to carry our cross and die daily”. Yes! As a young Christian I’ve had my pitfalls. I’ve trusted myself so much instead of resting on God’s grace. Don’t ever think I had my acts all together from birth. I’ve made some terrible decisions that has birth severe consequences. Till date, I’m still working on making the right decisions. Like Paul, I want to logically state my case (this is not an easy pill to swallow, my pride, my shame; but I’m going to speak the truth and shame the devil).
I’ve struggled with sexual purity and pornography coupled with masturbation. I say the “I won’t do” prayers, like confessing before a priest countless times. Made new year resolutions but nothing happened. I can’t remember the exact year when it started, but I can vividly remember my childhood, my teens and the beginning of adolescence. I tried to fix myself. I tried, but I got tied. Tied to my lusts, tied to my ignorance, tied to my pride; ensuring I kept my cool. After all I had a secret. Eventually I hit the wall and made a turn to follow God just before concluding senior secondary school. Moving on, I got on spiritual high before my university days. I met God, and I got to serve Him through my university days. But like the Romans 7 story, I longed for his will but did evil anyways. I stopped the acts of my flesh but my mind was at work. Tormented with the images of my past, I had another battle to face. Indeed, it was a battle field. I contained my mind without acting. Spiritual community helped, they kept me on check. They reminded me of who I’m meant to be. Big ups to Oma Amadi, Lamide, Kitan, Cell meetings with Dami and BLW members that came around to the room, ABUAD Chapel choir, Pastor Dami – Our prayer co-ordinator (even though you were not titled yet), Ebi Ashidi and his Friday Bible study in lecture halls, Busola Beckley, Adewunmi Adeyanju (RIP), Josef and Oracles. These ones(they are actually more than this) inspired and reminded me of God and not give up.
Was that the end? Technically, it was not over, school was just over. I was aware of God’s love, grace and righteousness. But still wanted to taste the fruit. I was like Eve that had the garden to myself but still longed for the fruit that was not be eaten. Seeing several seasonal movies that had explicit content drove me for another adventure (All things are lawful but not all things are beneficial. A lot of movies that trend these days were never produced to help you grow spiritually. Do yourself a favour by not seeing em. You are not missing out). With all the awareness and knowledge, I fell. I was distracted. I was fooled by the lusts of my flesh to remain a mediocre and above all live under the bondage of being condemned. NYSC came knocking and the real life started. This was more than just attending lectures, passing exams and submitting assignments. This was reality. This was life and I made up my mind I won’t fail. Did I fail? Woefully! I had a lot to work on. Managing finances, relationships and communicating with people, becoming a leader, learning what it truly takes to be a man that loves God and maturing in faith. I fell again. I fell into immorality. Things and days were moving fast. Coupled with no constant academic or intellectual work. I hit several bottoms. I ate myself with terrible thoughts. A deep sense of loathe and bitterness came buzzing around my mind. I was just going through the days, trying to count my good deeds and the number of times I got it right. I lost touch on my understanding of grace and God’s love. I was trying to pay my way back in. I was not making progress with anything. Deep down I knew I wanted more than just the cheap life of sin. Deep down I knew I needed healing. I was silent, mute all through. I chose not expose my filth because I was ashamed. I knew I could be judged and labelled a hypocrite; which was not a lie. Trust was an issue. My thoughts: “What would they think of me? “All the people that you’ve impacted and look up to you… “. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to host a pity party. I just want to clear my conscience. I know you may be disappointed, but just hang on tight and bear with me. I was not proud of my actions, I knew I had to face the consequences. Back to the story. I was eluded, not considering that there are still loving persons within my reach. I wanted somewhere to be alone, somewhere to hide and deal with my issues with God. I did not exactly find, but I spoke to Him daily.
In the midst of my emptiness God stepped in and tore down the walls I’ve built. Thank God for brothers that stood by me – Lamide, Kitan and Breade – when I chose to tell them what was happening. These guys reminded me of God, His love, His grace, His righteousness and His everything. Though it was not instant, but it came through. Thank God for Nyakno (Jewel), she forgave me when I told her about what I’ve done. She remained a true friend even though I crushed her heart with disappointment. I was in a relationship? Yes. I still regret my actions; I lost a jewel. Thank God for Team Inspire, I was reminded of the lives that needed to be touched and restored. God stepped in and reminded me of His purpose for my life by speaking with my friend Mfon Bassey that had an encountered Him. I was reminded about my gifting and talents. I can’t forget Oracles and the Coalition committee. I was reminded of my gifts and the call to serve people through spoken-word poetry. God bless each and everyone of you deeply. Just know, I love you so much. Thank you for joining faith with me and accepting the vision and purpose of God.
After reading the book – Unashamed, I decided to leave my shell of emptiness into God’s fullness. I realised my shame for my past was because I had not accepted the new life in Christ. Logically, our brains can’t process it. It takes more than logic to have faith (trust and rely) on God. The old is dead, the new is alive in Christ; how does that make sense? I don’t know. All I know is I’ve seen the light and I’m not going back to pry in the dark. All I know is there’s peace and joy when each time I commune with Him. All I know is that there’s someone to run to that will show me love and grace. All I know is I’ve chosen to follow God because the life of living in sin is a very low one with complete emptiness coupled with “pleasure” as the bait to get our attention. I’m unashamed of my past because the old man was at work. I am unashamed to follow Christ because He is alive in me. I’m unashamed to share my story because I know it will inspire someone out there to live for God. The new Me is the real me, the old man was not real. HE IS DEAD. I’m not ashamed of mercy. I’m not ashamed of grace. I am unashamed baby!
So that if anyone be in Christ, there is a new creation, the old things passed away; behold, all things have become new.
-2 Corinthians 5:17 ABP
Christ never thought or did any wrong things. But God punished Christ as if, like us, he was wrong. God punished him on our behalf. So then, as a result, we become right with God when we are united with Christ.
-2 Corinthians 5:21 EasyEnglish
Friends, the only acts we can get together is by trusting God and following the ultimate principle of repentance which are in the words of Jesus: “Go and sin no more”. Each day, we must die to our flesh, press towards the mark of a higher calling and leave what’s behind. I won’t deny, there’s some sort of pleasure in sin. But friends, it does not satisfy. No matter how long we involve ourselves in it, we will always long for something that will satisfy us and bring peace. God satisfies! You may have been through a lot than I could imagine. You are surely enjoying pleasure in what you are involved in. But the truth is, it won’t last. You will wear off. You can’t drink booze forever, you can’t pop pills all day, you can’t smoke a bible of weed(if you can, then your lungs will tell the story). You can’t sex all the girls forever. Ask Solomon, he had a thousand plus 300 and he still concluded with a vanity statement. “So what’s the problem?” The problem is Sin and it is deeply rooted in our hearts; only God can fix it through the person of Jesus and the workings of the Holy Spirit. There is more to life, and that “more” is in Him -Christ, the hope of salvation. Accept his life, love, grace, righteousness, peace and his finished work at the Cross today. It’s not too late. God is ready to give you a fresh start just like me. Don’t give up too soon.
I hope this story inspires someone out there to keep fighting, keep trusting and remain unashamed because God got us.
Possibly you want to begin that fresh start and start a relationship with Christ Jesus. You want to make the move to receive and accept Him and you don’t know how to. All I can do is help you with is some sentences of confession. The real deal is between you and God. Whichever words you choose will just be fine or you could use mine.
So let’s speak with God:
Abba Father, thank you for sending your son Jesus to die for me. I receive his life, I receive his love, I receive his forgiveness, I receive his grace and I receive his righteousness. I thank you for making me righteous. This day I accept Jesus as Lord. Thank you for healing my past and securing my future. Dear Lord, help me to love and know you intimately. Thank you for the grace to always please you. Thank you Lord for answered prayers. For in the name of our Lord Jesus I pray.
Start scouting for spiritual community, friends, family member that will help you grow spiritually. Start reading good books. Start listening to sermons. Start a bible study plan. Get deeply rooted with God’s word and who you are in Christ (I advise you to read, study and meditate on the book of Romans for a start). Start communing regularly with God. Go and sin no more and start living in His righteousness! Even if you fall, stand up and keep going. Don’t give up. God loves you dearly.
I won’t mind comments or anonymous emails :firstname.lastname@example.org or buzz me on Facebook : Nsikan David Friday
Grace and Peace.