The Experience that Drew Me Closer to God
It will interest you to know that my current wife is my second attempt at marriage. My first marriage failed. I got married to my childhood sweetheart immediately after my National Youth Service in 1977; unfortunately, the marriage broke down after four children. After the breakdown of my marriage, I decided to wait on the Lord, praying and fasting the first seven days of every month. I never believed my marriage could end up that way. At that time, I was already a consultant Surgeon and well-known in my specialty, both locally and regionally. My wife left with the children and I was now alone, and I couldn’t trust my judgments again.
Now, I live alone in a 5-bedroom apartment and women now saw me as available, but I became afraid of them. If a woman greeted me more than once, I would ask why? Isn’t this too much?
There was nothing my wife and I did not share as students when we were courting. I was on a National scholarship, and she got bursary. We spent the money of the one that comes first. The scholarship would pay my fees, and I will have a lot left. The scholarship was ten pounds every month, so when everything crumbled, it was a rude shock.
I was at the University of Ibadan, and my wife was a student at the University of Ife, and every weekend, I would find my way to Ife. Some people even thought I was a student at the University of Ife. So, it was shocking that our love story ended abruptly. Many of our friends till tomorrow would ask what went wrong.
This period of stress pushed me closer to Jesus and I continue to grow spiritually, so henceforth, you will be hearing me say ‘’God told me’’ as I continue to tell you about myself.
I don’t go to prayer mountains; I stay in the valley by my bed, and He has always hearkened to my voice. At a point God told me, “ When you are ready, I will bring your wife to you” So, I reduced my fasting from seven days to three days.
One day, on April 16 1985, I was alone in my apartment when the doorbell rang.
I opened the door to see who was at the door, and I saw two women. I recognized one as a medical student but did not know the other. I later realised that they were both members of the Evangelical Christian Union on Campus. They were on city evangelism and were visiting converts in my neighbourhood. Someone had told them that I live around. The lady was intrigued that anywhere I am, I will first pray. I ignored the comment and entertained them, after which they went away.
In the night as I was just praying, God interrupted my prayers and said, “I have brought your wife”, two ladies came to you” I wondered what kind of voice, will I marry two women?
The voice asked, “Which one do you know?” I responded ,” the medical student”.
I kept fasting so that God should prevent this woman from coming to me again. God said, “Satan wants you to miss my plans for you” So we stated courting.
Another challenge arose when she took me to her family for an introduction. The parents objected because I was considered too old for her. To worsen the case, I was a divorcee. They queried why she was that anxious. They concluded that she had been dazzled on the campus by my Volvo GLE saloon car. The opposition was fierce from all flanks in her family. The mother said her daughter brought a man old enough to be her father.
We started another round of prayer and fasting. My wife said God told her I was the man for her.
In 1991, I was already a Commonwealth fellow, I went to Birmingham and we planned that, if her family continued to prevent the relationship, we would stay back and not return to Nigeria. I tidied up my CV to enable me to search for a job. I realized any experience, no matter how painful, that drives you to the Lord is a blessing.
I could also recall that in 1979, when I won a Prize of the Royal College of Surgeons, given every year to the best student world over, all of which I took along to collect the prize money in England. I started working like Jackass because I wanted to have favour with men. Sometime in December 1991, there was a bad flu outbreak, and I was affected, yet they kept putting me on duty, whereas. If I were to be a Briton, I would be allowed some days off. To worsen the matter, those churning out instructions on the job to me were professionally younger, and that became a psychological issue for me.
I started another round of prayer and fasting. God told me, “You were created to be royalty, but you are begging me to let you serve as a slave. When you are done, go back home.”
Subsequently, my career progressed. In late 1992, my wife’s sister in Ibadan said she would like to see me. She said she had come to apologise and asked for forgiveness for standing in the way of my marriage to her sister.
“Any experience, no matter how painful, that drives you to the Lord is a blessing”.
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