Hey hey, its been a really long while since our last rendezvous, partly because of circumstances beyond my control but also due to circumstances I refused to control and for both I am truly sorry. Forgive a girl for giving in to the cares of life and not defining priorities rightly for a brief period 😫, I do hope this finds you all well though 😊 and I would love to know what has happened in the time I’ve been gone, both in the blogosphere and your daily lives; feel free to mention them in the comment section.
I’m trying to give the site a little makeover as you may have noticed 😄, the former theme isn’t all that to me anymore if you understand what I mean 😥 and I’m still trying to fine tune things but worry not, whatever look we end up with will most definitely be reader friendly 😉. Next year may be the year we upgrade to a personalized domain name; maybe 🙃. So, what do you think? Yay or Nay for the current theme? We’re in this together, so speak up if you have any difficulties with navigation and all.
Today’s piece I’m dedicating to three people 😊:
Avershima; a lady that gives me joy and the person who suggested I do this particular piece – you have no idea what our correspondences mean to me ma’am, I’m everly thankful for every conversation we have.
Dara; a somewhat annoying but caring being who reminded me that my writings have been missing from the universe – it’s hard to figure you out sometimes but I’m grateful for that reminder and the fact that you even noticed.
Seunle; one who has always been my person no matter how far away we drift from each other and would most likely have me killed if I do not put up today’s post as I swore I would – you are a wealth of knowledge, thank you for taking my words as important to your life and tasking me to do better.
Now that we have the mushiness out of the way, let’s get down to the business of today (okay, that rhymed! 😎). Today, we’ll be talking about faith… not just any faith, we’ll be talking about my faith journey; how it all began and how it grew till I wound up where I am right now. If I’m being honest, writing this piece is scary for me. It was suggested to me immediately after the piece we treated during our last rendezvous and asides all the other things that led to no posts, I can’t say I would’ve chose it for today’s topic.
Still, God works in mysterious ways and I may not know much, but I know enough to know that when the Spirit of God moves you in a certain direction, it is the best way to take and the only way he will do what he desires to. So, let’s begin our journey, shall we? I’m curious as to what he has in store for us today.
I was born into a bi-religious family with my dad being a Muslim and my mum a Christian, thankfully the question of which path we would be allowed to follow never arose, from infancy my father let our mum take us down the Christian route. Matter of fact, I barely remember any encounters with the Islamic religion except where our childish exuberance made us want to follow the others during religious celebrations and all, even then, this happened sparingly and only when we celebrated said occasions with my paternal extended family in the village. So, yeah, God spared my siblings and I the stress of fighting any such major battles as they should have being in regards to following Christ.
Some things were still missing however, I have very few memories of morning or even evening family devotions or personal ones (there was a brief period I think of morning devotions but certain things ended it 😫) and church was a strictly Sunday affair (it was never really a law, just the way things were). Still, I’m grateful for the way God made that still baffles a lot of persons till date. I mean my dad would drive us to church now and then and some of my favorite memories have to do with him giving us offering money cos it meant more biscuit and mede-mede for me 😌– I was one of those children who saved offering money for personal consumption until I had sense 😅.
My mum is a catholic so needless to say, I grew up surrounded by and immersed in Catholicism. For as long as I can remember, during my early days I always had a longing for more; yes, even when I was stealing God’s money (I didn’t consider it stealing and in my defense, there was no children’s unit so I wasn’t taught not to in Sunday school 🤷) and it seemed like regardless of what I did nothing made sense. I mean I knew God but I didn’t know him.
I’d spend hours reading this lovely brown cover bible my mum had and we were allowed to touch(who else remembers the Gideons 😀), I have to admit I never went past the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles and Revelations; I mean they had all the awesome stories, Psalm 23 was reserved for dark, scary, lonely nights. Albeit this, it was my fascination with things pertaining to God that kept taking me back.
Over the years that came with growing up and teenage-hood, I did everything within my power that I felt could take me closer somehow to this God. I joined the choir when I was 9yrs old, my first year in high school (JSS1) and narrowly escaped being an aspirant (a term they used for little girls who wanted to become reverend sisters), I put down my name and all but God had other plans for me.
I got pulled out of the school after that year and continued my education elsewhere. I remained the eager girl, joining the Catholic choir there (this school had provisions for both Catholics and Pentecostals) and staying on despite the punishments and stress that came with not meeting our seniors’ standards and the like.
When we got to SS3, the time when most flee or take their “rest” that was when I got even more active. Somehow, I was appointed as the female V.P for the students, I was in the choir, I was a lay reader (lay readers are the ones who take the readings and psalm before the Priest takes the gospel), I joined the people dressing and decorating the altar and pulpit now and then, I even did stints as a warden (usher) sharing communion cards now and then.
I did anything and everything I could. All folks saw was probably a girl who was just so enthusiastic about the things of God or didn’t mind the work; a “good” little girl, they had no idea it was born not merely of love for or knowledge of God but of an emptiness and a need for fullness.
Fast forward, to the year 2012 when I got admitted into a private tertiary institution and I went in eager and with a mind made up to seek out the Christian community and bury myself completely in it. I got in about a month late so didn’t have the luxury freshmen have of being shown round and all, I had to find my own way.
In typical Osione fashion, I tracked down the then President of the Catholic students fellowship on my first day in school, we talked and exchanged contacts but yet again, God had a different plan. That conversation we had was the last time I had any personal relationship with Catholicism, for the very next day, God took me somewhere else for what should’ve been a perfunctory visit that ended up changing the whole course of my life.
In short terms, I experienced something I can only describe as being eye opening, a ‘literal tearing of the veil’. I had attended a bible study for a particular fellowship after I fell in love with their choir and dance team during an interdenominational event that took place the weekend I got to school, during that study it was like I was hearing scripture for the first time in ways I had not thought possible.
By the end of what was less than an hour of word study, needs I hadn’t even realized I had, had been met! I didn’t need the Holy Spirit to tell me that was a place to be. That same night, together with a friend (I see you Bere 🤗) I signed up for the workers in training program and the rest is an amazing history from there.
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I’ve given this really long history to make clear my situation even before I truly understood what it meant to be loved by God and what came with being a son of God and an ambassador for Christ (thank you Psts. Kunle & Yinka 😄🤗). There was always a yearning, there had always being a desire, and somehow he designed me for complete surrender. All my life, I’ve never had to think about choosing between God and something, it has always been more like a reflex to pick God, to me it has never been a choice. Still, if I say my faith has not grown over the years, I’d be reiterating the fact that practically all men are liars.
The growth of my faith came from a couple of factors, the major ones being a constant hunger for more of God, even when I wasn’t aligned with him and being prodigal. There was also the backbone of a strong Christian community constantly exhorting, reproving, encouraging, as well as inspiring me towards more. There was the place of prayer and word study, the place of repentance in light of wrong, the willingness and openness to the things of the spirit and an unquestionable deference to God’s sovereignty.
I must admit that a major part of my growth was in learning both directly from others and indirectly by watching them. The place of assignments and responsibilities that came with being a worker in the part of the body of Christ that I found myself also went a long way to groom me.
The more you give yourself to the things of God, the more you grow in the things of God.
There is no magic formula to growing your faith; it is a long arduous journey you’re going to consciously decide to take, for it requires a whole lot of sacrifice and selflessness. The fruits of a faith-filled life are tremendous and will always leave you stunned and amazed about the person of God. The only formula to growing your faith, is building an ever growing intimacy with God and all that is God; there is also the place of the gifting of faith. Seeing the faith of others also has a way of challenging one to greater heights.
Your faith will grow naturally in direct proportion to your spiritual growth; constant perusal and study of the word, as well as honest prayer and God time cannot be overemphasized. As you study to show yourself approved, there is an increase in might and a growth in faith is one of those increments. The more you give yourself to the things of God, the more you grow in the things of God; thus, the more you grow in faith. There are no shortcuts; there have never being and will never be.
The only formula to growing your faith, is building an ever growing intimacy with God and all that is God.
You want to increase your faith? Increase in God. Make the conscious decision to trust him more, accept his goodness and sovereignty even when it hurts like hell, and give yourself completely to going beyond church gatherings in your relationship with him. Listen to sermons and messages pertaining to the things of God and read books as well, talk to others, have a circle of friends that are constant God-chasers even in their lowest moments (Ecclesiastics 4:10, Proverbs 27:17), do not neglect the gathering of the brethren and always go with an expectation. Do all this in reverent surrender to the Holy Spirit and watch him turn random, regular things to mind blowing revelations and faith boosters.
I could go on and on but this piece is already so long and I do not want your reading to turn into a hostage situation 😁. Just remember this if you remember nothing else; actively growing in God and growing your intimacy with him will grow your faith. May we always be on the move, never stagnant, never regressing, but always wholesomely increasing in faith; for with faith we move mountains and without faith we please not God. Shalom.
Hey guys😊, so this was really long and I love you for getting to its end. I’m going to try not to let my life’s drama get in the way of our Saturday rendezvous and please, say a prayer for a girl whenever you think of her; better still, a girl would really like it if you took out time consciously now and then to do so.
Comment, Comment and Comment!!! There’s no such thing as a comment that’s too long, share your thoughts and contributions. I look forward to more pointers on how to grow one’s faith, plus I’m hoping you’ll share a bit of your journey with me.
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Arigatou 🤗🤗🤗 for coming around, don’t forget to go through previous posts. See you next Saturday, ja ne😍😍😍.