Ibi (real name withheld) and I have been friends for over 9 years now and it’s been so amazing to see her growth in Christ and the effort she puts in to strengthen her relationship with Him daily. I was really glad when she told me she’d like to share her story and I won’t lie, there are things I didn’t know she was going through at the time which I only found out here. Goes to show we really need to be ALL UP IN OUR FRIENDS’ BUSINESS so that we are shoulders for them to lean on when times get hard. So read and be blessed!
I grew up in a Christian home, but I didn’t have a relationship with God because I was scared of Him, I just did not understand the whole idea of God and Christianity. The church my family and I attended gave me the idea that if I didn’t do the right thing all the time that I was going to hell and that was it. I remember one evening when I was about 8 years old, I was with my mum and I did something wrong and immediately after I burst into tears and would not stop and when my mum tried to console me I told her I was scared because I was going to hell. That was the only thing I knew about God and I used to dread Sundays because I did not want to go to church. I guess I felt like I was not good enough and He did not love me.
My teenage years were very tough for me due to a number of different things: I had a bad relationship with my dad and because of that my self esteem was very low which then led me to make a number of bad choices. I was depressed for a very long time and 2012 was a very tough year for me because everything in my life was falling apart and I had nobody to turn to. My depression made uni very difficult and in the end I barely passed my undergraduate degree, which then led to me being rejected from all the schools I had applied to for my masters. I found myself in a situation where I had nothing to be proud of, I felt like a failure in life and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I went through phases of cutting my wrist because that brief moment of physical pain took my mind off the emotional turmoil I was going through. I couldn’t sleep and I was constantly tired. Getting up in the morning was just impossible. Thankfully it was during that period that a good friend of mine started taking me to her church and I found it to be an amazing experience. I started going to church more and praying a whole lot. I ended up getting into another school to do my masters and I prayed for God to be my backbone and help me turn my life around. I graduated with a Distinction. I still thank God for that everyday.
After I finished my masters degree, life got hard because I could not find a job. Even though I got a distinction, my undergraduate degree made me ‘unemployable’. I felt hopeless because I had a lot of friends who went to better schools than I did, who graduated top of their class but couldn’t get jobs so how on earth would I now be the one to get a job?
One Sunday I was feeling a bit down and questioned if I should go to the evening service. I believe the devil was trying to stop me from going because if I didn’t go, I don’t know where I would be right now. Thanks be to God because I felt something push me to go so I went. After the service I went down to the prayer room and this young lady came up to me so we could pray together. She asked me what I wanted to pray for so I explained my situation to her. She told me she thought God sent her to me, to let me know that I should not give up and He was going to perform a miracle in my life. Turns out a few years ago she was in the exact same position as me but God performed a miracle and got her a job just in time for her to get her work permit sorted. So we prayed, and I did not give up. A few weeks later I got a job with a company that was happy to sponsor me so I could remain in the UK. That moment changed my life.
All my life I felt like I did not deserve God’s love, but He loved me, He loves me, He loves all of us. The journey is difficult but God is my strength and He has seen me though dark times and I’m excited to see where He takes 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