2013 was a memorable year for me. That year was full of personal struggles followed by intense breakthroughs.
So, I will tell you one of the highlights of the year. I had a major thing I was believing God for back then. It was tiring and I was nearing depression because I was finally giving up hope – I had been believing God for a long time .
Anyways, I encouraged myself and decided not to give up just yet. That was October 2013 by the way and coincidentally there was an upcoming event in church – a 3 days worship program – and we were to fast for the three days and attend service daily .
Day one was a Sunday, I fasted but I couldn’t stop staring at the wall clock in our living room. The moment it was 12 noon, food was in my mouth. Lmao. Like food was all I thought about all through. Day two, I think I fasted till about 3pm or so. I went to church. Felt ‘worthy’ cos I fasted till 3pm .
Then it was day 3 – the last day of the program. And I think I fasted till 4 or 6. And guess what? I had packed party jollof rice from home which I intended to break with. Luckily for me, one correct office driver was willing to drop me at church – I was ecstatic cos that was exactly what I needed.
While in the car I ‘felt’ I should give him my food. After all that is the kind of fasting described in Isaiah. The moment that thought came, I quickly opened my food and few seconds later, rice was in my mouth. In my defense, I had planned all day how I was going to devour my party jollof rice. So I couldn’t possibly give out my food .
As you might guess, by the time I got to church, I was feeling guilty like ‘Day one – I broke the fast too early. Day three – I didn’t share my food’. I felt so condemned that I had to drag my feet into church – motivation was gone. I had no ‘right’ to pray. I had messed up big time.
Anyways, service progressed while I watched with a sad face. Finally it was prayer time – last prayer of the three days of intense worship.
Then from no where, I heard myself say something like ‘Dear Father, I have messed up. I broke my fast too early. I didn’t share my food. In fact I didn’t do most of the things that I should have done.
But Father, remember how you looked at that blind man in the bible with those eyes of mercy that day, Lord look at me with those eyes of mercy too today. And answer my pending prayer ‘stated problem’.’
Then I continued with a puppy face ‘Father, please say something to me tonight to give me hope. I am honestly discouraged at this point. Please give me a word’.
Then my pastor mounted the pulpit and started to prophesy to people. Instantly I changed my prayer to ‘Lord wait…please let Pastor B give me the word. Cos if you tell me now sef, I will think I am the one speaking to myself . But if he says it from there, I will believe it ‘ LMAO!
Then Pastor B prophesied some more and he didn’t mention my case. He said several ‘there’s a lady here… there’s a man here’ etc, but he didn’t mention my situation. And before I knew it, he was now rounding up .
Next thing I did was to close my eyes tightly and said ‘Father, if you don’t give me a word I will not let You go. Shebi, Jacob said if You don’t bless him, he will not let You go and You answered. Me, I am not even asking for anything other than a word. A word, just say something “Lord please. I really feel you have forgotten me. And I need to be sure you haven’t “.
While I said these, my eyes were shut and Pastor B continued to sound like he was about to close. But in my mind, I was holding God’s garment like Jacob and wouldn’t let Him go if the Pastor didn’t give a word. Still nothing happened then I said with tears in my eyes ‘Lord, all I need is a word that you haven’t forgotten about me. Please ‘.
Then Pastor B from no where paused and said ‘There’s a lady here called Arin (the moment I heard my name, I sunk into the chair like this is just not possible), the Lord said He hasn’t forgotten about you. He said He wants you to hold on to your faith…”
My reaction?? I broke down in tears ‘Like God . Like WHOA! The previous prophesies didn’t even include names. He only said ‘There’s a man here’, ‘There’s a lady here’. But He didn’t want me to have a doubt about it. He wanted me to know He was talking to me’.
It was an extremely emotional moment for me cos, prior to that, my Pastor didn’t even know my name. Our church is quite big so you can picture the scenario. After service I ran to my pastor and told him with tears on my face. And even after that I couldn’t seem to get up and go home ‘Like Father, you know my name? ‘. So I just sat there after church crying, albeit excitedly .
What am I trying to say? It’s so easy to feel condemned especially when you know you haven’t done all the right things that you ought to have done. It’s so easy to sit under the heavy weight of condemnation.
But rather than that, I’ll implore you to reach out to God regardless of your ‘mess ups’. And let Him know that you’re truly sorry.
Then after that, like Arinola, ask Him ‘to look at you with those eyes of mercy‘. I am sure He will .