The man who changed my life.

I grew up in a christian home, raised by a mother who truly loves the lord and made sure she brought up her kids in the same way. Many times we were persuaded kindly and other times not too kindly to attend services, pray, and study our devotionals. In retrospect, I cannot say this did not help, but until I experienced God beyond what I thought I knew and what I heard about this God, nothing had really begun.

In 2010, I had an eureka experience, the beginning of a revolutionized understanding of God and my relationship with him. I met the man, Jesus. My friend invited me to ‘Higher Life Conference USA”, an experience I almost missed out on, due to my then extremely skeptical and saucy character. On the first day, I hardly remember any part of the message, but I remember “God wants you well.” Logical? In all my 19 years on earth, I had never considered that thought intently. I just “worshipped” God and “loved” God. I heard he loved me, but I never paused to consider what this really means. In a split second, God was no longer grey or black and white, he was color, beauty, substance. Tears flowed down my eyes and a warmth overcame me.

Preceding this day, I was an undercover bad girl. Although many are of the opinion nothing was undercover of my character and ways. I wasn’t righteous by any standards. I didn’t even have the sense enough to know that there was something more. I was comfortable in my then reality. By the time the Conference was over, the presence of God had completely overwhelmed me. I had come to know God as more than just the one who gave me breath, I had come to know that God was indeed in jesus, reconciling the world unto himself ( 2 corinthians 5:19.)

I didn’t want this bliss to end. I had an experience that far supersedes the routine of – go to church, clap, sing and “dance for your God” and I wanted more. I wanted to understand who Jesus is, what exactly he come to do, what does he see in me, and if he actually loves me, for real, for real. I accepted the invitation to continue to grow and learn at the Local christ embassy church in Baltimore.

The first thing I learned about this Jesus, is that he loved me first. I lived a life that did not match up or even come close to God’s desire, yet he loved me! I had made many mistakes, yet he loved me! I couldn’t measure up to God’s righteousness, but Jesus gave me his righteousness, free of charge. In Jesus, I see my value. I understand that God so loved me that he sent Jesus; I was worth the life of Jesus. My insecurities about myself were dissolved. Even in the moments I made mistakes, he welcomed me: he wiped my tears, he set me on my feet with his soothing charge to “live in the grace and righteousness I have given you.” what manner of love!

In the four years he’s been in my life, I’ve realized that he’s the only one that has an accurate knowledge of me. I dare say that no-one knows me like he does. He knows what I like and what I don’t. He knows how unique I am. He knows my hopes, he knows what I care about, what inspires me, my unspoken concerns. Jesus, the only one that can speak soothing words that calm the raging thoughts, the words that cast out the confusion, the words that soothe the hurt, and the one that fills my heart with dreams I could never have imagined, along with the ability to accomplish them. He knows how important words of affirmation are to me, far more precious than any gift you could ever give, and he never ceases to tell me how much he loves me! How much he believes in me! How much he delights in me! Jesus loves me real good! A love that’s nothing like the fickleness of a man’s love.

An attribute of his character that has me juggling between amazement and gratitude, is his strength. I’ve become so deeply acquainted with this strength, that has given me hope and eventually victory in seemingly hopeless situations. Life has become worth living and the fight of faith worth fighting, because I’ve come to believe in, trust in, rely on, and rest my hope and confidence in his word, being certain that it doesn’t fail. Not only have I stopped feeling like a looser, it has become impossible for me to loose.

I remember watching passion of the christ and weeping soberly, feeling so sorry for Jesus. Many times growing up, I was told about the cross and it seemed like such a sad experience. The day I finally moved from mental assent to consciousness was when I realized that he was actually pierced for my transgressions, he was bruised for my iniquities; the punishment that brought me peace was on him, and by his wounds I am healed. His pain and suffering were as a result of how much he cares for me. In my 22 years on earth, many people have told me that they truly care about me, however only one person has demonstrated this devotion to me. He gave up his life that I can live. He took away sickness, sin, poverty, failure, fear, insecurity, confusion and death, so that I can have LIFE! He went to hell, so I will never have to go there. Still in unwavering commitment, he arose from the dead to ensure I remain not guilty and in perpetual peace with God, and in life!

I dance! I squeal from time to time, just because he also gave me the best gift anyone could possibly receive; the holy spirit. The holy spirit, more than an “it”, a rational person, the precious third person of the Godhead. The holy spirit, who has become my best friend. From making the presence and love of the father real to me, to instructing me in the way to go. From supplying all I could ever need for life and Godliness, to being the reason my heart can never fail in spite of challenges. The reason I am not fearful, intimidated, cowardly, or unsettled. My strength spiritually, mentally and physically! Yes, I know an unwavering devotion, an ever-present and unceasing love.

In 2012, I bought a guitar that I still haven’t completely figured out how to play, because I want to spend my days singing of his love in my crooked voice. When I’m in school, when I’m working, when I wake up, right before I go to sleep, when I’m hanging out, when I’m studying his word, when I’m eating a bowl of cereal, I never fail to think of the one who changed my life. The one who is worth my love, my devotion and all of me.

In church on wednesday night, I began to re-assess the reasons why I’m in love with Jesus and how he changed my life. In an effort to share this Love with someone else, I decided to write this short post. To my intellectuals, non believers, those who have never experienced the love of God before, I want you to know – “God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame.” (1 Corinthians 1:27)

I pray that your heart and mind be open, and he sweeps you off your feet as you fall in love with him like I did in 2010 and still continue to do everyday, in Jesus name!

Sincerely,

Damilola Akinyele.

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