When ECee (not her real name FYI) sent me her story, I read it with wide-eyed wonder because the honesty was so raw and authentic and as I kept reading, it hit me “sh*t! This is my cousin!” not because she sent her story anonymously to me but rather, it was the realisation that this wasn’t some person that I was merely connected to through social media or from her support of TheStephWay but actually by bloodline. I’m so grateful and honoured she shared her story with us because though she’s anonymous to you, it took courage for her to not be anonymous to me. Read and be blessed!
I’m ECee, I live in Lagos Nigeria and I’m currently in between jobs. To begin, I’ve always sort of been a Christian and I say ‘sort of’ because I’ve never not believed in God but then there was a point in my life where I didn’t go to church or read my bible or even pray (except saying the grace and other generic prayers) for like 5+ years. Anyways I made the decision to properly follow Christ at the age of 21, sometime in August 2014.
My life before Christ was interesting, it was very bad girl gone good, gone bad again. So I grew up as a Catholic going to church regularly with my family up until the age of about 13. I was never a rebellious child, usually quite well behaved, star student in school and all that. So I was able to use this as leverage when I wanted to go for parties and what not. Of course it didn’t always work and yes I did get grounded a couple of times but all in all I was a pretty good child. At least that’s how it seemed to my parents. But behind closed doors, things weren’t quite like that and I had ‘friends’ who were influencing me negatively. And these were friends I used to hang out with quite a lot.
My first sexual experience probably happened at the age of 9, when a friend my age would touch me in inappropriate places and, of course I didn’t know better and thought it was a fun game so I went along with it. This happened until I was about 14. I tried several times to cut it off but I was always emotionally blackmailed back into it. And yes I won’t lie, a part of me liked it even though deep down I knew it was wrong. It affected me in school because when everyone found out I was pretty much labelled the school slut and even my friends didn’t want to be associated with me either. At one point I couldn’t understand how I allowed things to get this bad. I blamed myself and considered ending my life. I knew I was never going to follow through with it but the fact that I even attempted it was scary.
I lost my virginity at the early age of 15 to a 19 year old guy who wasn’t even my boyfriend at the time, it just kind of happened. Although I regretted it, from then on sex wasn’t a big deal to me. Shortly after that I had a long-term boyfriend for about 3 years who I was madly in love with. We had sex all the time and I loved it. I remember even saying to some friends once, “I know I’m a Christian and I love God but I can never imagine giving up sex”. In my mind, I had fully justified sex and convinced myself it was okay and that God understands.
I’d say the beginning of the turning point was when this particular guy and I broke up. I literally felt like my whole world had come crashing down and I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t want to do life without him and it was excruciating not being with him. The pain I felt, not just emotionally but at times my chest would actually hurt. I cried almost every day for months. I couldn’t even talk about him without crying. During this time I remember crying and praying to God, this God that I had neglected for so long that He should please take the pain away. I had never begged for anything more in my life. I also remember apologising to God for allowing someone else have such a huge impact on my happiness and well being. “This isn’t normal”, I would tell myself. And I knew I had to do something about it. But in the meantime, to numb the pain I explored other options. I slept around a bit, smoked weed, got very drunk very often, watched a lot of porn, masturbated, etc. In short I did everything not to feel anything. I hated being alone with my thoughts and wanted so bad to fill the void.
Then I met a guy. A really nice, sweet guy and for once I was approaching happiness. So I promised God because He took the pain away, I would take Him more seriously. I started reading scriptures daily and then I tried attending church a few times. It didn’t quite stick though and I was also still having sex even though now it was just with my boyfriend. But then it got to the point where every time I had sex, I had this feeling that I was doing something bad and disobeying God, which I had never felt before. I ignored it for a while but couldn’t anymore so I told my boyfriend at the time that we had to stop. Just before I moved back to Nigeria I followed a friend to Hillsong in London and I remember crying so bad as I sat there and watched them, the way they were so happy serving God. I knew I couldn’t continue giving God just half of me (one leg in one leg out as they say) and that I had to go fully in and commit myself 100%.
Initially, I struggled with not having sex, I mean this was probably the biggest struggle at the time. But I’d say growing my knowledge of the Word and listening to Joyce Meyer (that woman is a life saver) really helped me. I was able to focus all that energy elsewhere and distract myself from the urges. Even in these past 2 years I’ve had many setbacks but one thing I refuse to do is give up. I’ve experienced life without Him and there’s no way I’m going back. At times its hard to get up each time you fall because you’re filled with shame and there’s this thought that God doesn’t love you and will never forgive you but that’s not true. It took me a while to learn the concept of grace and I’m by no means an expert on the subject still. I still have a lot of spiritual maturing to do and I’m currently learning how to pray (this was never easy for me) and how to discover and develop my spiritual gifts.
The thing that really helped me in my struggle was coming to the realisation that the love Jesus has for me is honestly out of this world. It is infinite. It knows no end. I don’t understand who won’t want a love like that. Me I know I like to be loved and pampered and no human can come close to giving you the kind of love Jesus provides. It is not determined by your actions or your looks or anything you say. He just loves you, full stop. I think people need to know that. Because once you understand the way Jesus loves you you’ll want to do anything to try and reciprocate that love, although it’s not possible to love Him the way He loves you, but you can love Him with all your heart and show this in your actions and thoughts towards yourself and other people. Love literally knows no bounds. It’s the most amazing feeling and every time I think about it, I have to fight the tears because I know I don’t deserve it.
I can’t thank God enough for old friends that have followed me on this journey and for new friends I’ve met along the way. Honestly you’re not meant to do life alone, and the Bible says this. They make the journey so much more enjoyable and are there to encourage you to keep pushing for greater spiritual heights. I also can’t thank God enough for Joyce Meyer because she shook the life back into me.
#NoteFromSteph: We don’t share these stories just for sharing sake but we share them to show what life before and after Christ is like for many people all over. If this story or any other stories you’ve read on The COMING-TO-CHRIST Stories Project has inspired and encouraged you to give this God-life a chance, please feel free to contact us here and we’d be more than happy [and feel exceptionally honoured] to be the ones to hold your hand as you make a decision to give your life and heart to Jesus Christ in exchange for REAL LOVE, REAL PEACE and REAL JOY! If you’re still on the fence, that’s okay too! Comment or private message us with your quessies/concerns because they are all valid.