I was born in Accra, the capital city of Ghana, on the 24th of January (year withheld, lol). My father held the “Elder-ship” position in the church, so you can say my upbringing was very strict. We went to church every Saturday, prayer meetings during the week and monthly all-nights.
Let me just state here that we were not Jehovah’s Witnesses neither were we Seventh Day Adventists.
Our lives were pretty much centered around the church. To people watching from the outside, we were a solid family unit. But behind closed doors, it was the Battle of Armageddon. Constant arguments which sometimes led to physical altercations with emotional and verbal abuses thrown into the mix. My brother tried his hardest to shield my sister and I from witnessing most of the fights but there was little he could do.
At the age of Fifteen, with three brothers six-feet under and the only surviving brother losing himself in the bottle, I questioned whether this God loved me at all. If He did, why did He take three of my brothers? Why was He sitting up there on His throne doing nothing while my parents tried to kill each other? Why was He not answering my prayers? Why? Why?Why? I had so many questions but none were answered (or shall I say I did not wait for those answers). I finally concluded that God did not love me……that He was angry with me for some unspeakable sin I had unknowingly committed. I stopped praying and gave up completely.
Don’t get me wrong, I was still a Christian but with questions; one who did not understand Him nor His ways and His dealings with me.
Years later I went to college with questions in my heart. Who am I?What am I here for?Do I even have a purpose?This so-called life, is this it? These questions roamed my thoughts throughout my time in school. I was dissatisfied with what I was hearing of God, what I was hearing about life after school; JOB!!JOB!!JOB!!!!. I had had enough with the “we are grooming you for the job market and life-after-school”. I was in search of who I was. It was burning deep in my heart and I could not contain it. I needed answers.
It would take four years for me to realize this was my destiny knocking on the doors of my heart; it was God calling me.
During my final year, I attended an end-of-the-month all-night session (which was led by one of my peers) on campus. That meeting will mark the beginning of a flourishing relationship. We were less than 50 in that meeting. At the tail end of the service, my friend, who was leading the prayer meeting walked up to me and gave me a word that would begin to stir up my spirit to desire a relationship with God.
There was this yearning to know Him and not to hear about Him. I didn’t want to hear other people’s testimony of Him neither did I want to just hear sermons preached about Him. I wanted that closeness……that belonging…….that personal relationship. It would happen on my last night in school.
I had submitted my final dissertation, finished packing and was taking a nap on my bed for the last time in school. As I got off the bed to go to the cafeteria, I was suddenly hit with this wind. It just rushed into the room and all of a sudden I was en-wrapped in this unexplainable LOVE. I can’t explain it to you into details but I felt this undeserving love just hug me.
My knees buckled to this overwhelming presence which filled the room and without any prompting,started confessing my sins. I felt dirty and not worthy of the love that had filled me up. But as I wept and murmured,”Forgive me Lord”, He wrapped himself around me and I knew He had forgotten about them…..It didn’t matter what I had done, He had written them off. Even though it was a brief period,it felt like eternity. This was my FIRST ENCOUNTER OF THE GOD-KIND.
From that day onward, I made the decision to follow God completely, withholding nothing. If this God can love me this much even though I had disregarded Him and probably said some hurtful things to Him in my anger, then the least I could do was to give my life to Him in service. I later found out that was the definition of being LIVING SACRIFICE. I have not looked back since. I have discovered and experienced God like never before. God completely turned my life upside down and changed the direction of my life.
I have truly come to understand what the Apostle Peter said in Acts 10:34,
“Then Peter started speaking: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism in dealing with people,”
It doesn’t matter whether you are the new kid on the block. God will reveal Himself to whomever diligently seek Him.