The Congruence XXI

When I got back to school in my final year, I became a victim of shaming from those that hated or envied my erstwhile “Cinderella” story because my lifestyle changed (obviously) and I had somewhat become the girl I was when I first got to school. But this time, I had confidence and wasn’t ashamed to share my faith with anyone who cared to listen. I was like a trophy of grace for the Christian community on campus.

Sister Grace also got married that year; her fiancé’s business experienced a turnaround and things started to look up for them. I was super happy for her

The Campus fellowship helped a lot with my spiritual growth…I hungered and thirsted for God. Bro Charles was always available to answer my questions. I didn’t have a lot of money but I was contented and God met all my needs…I had so much joy.

Many brothers at the fellowship liked me but I was busy falling in love with Jesus and just wasn’t ready for another relationship.

God was just so good to me; even in my academics…I graduated with a Second Class, Upper division. I also wanted to be posted to Abuja for Youth service; my spirit just wanted to go there but I didn’t have the “connection” to make it happen…Captain would definitely have been able to help with this. 

I was almost tempted to contact him but decided to talk to God about it instead. After all, Bro Charles had taught me about the will of God…so I prayed that if it was the will of God, He should make it happen without any human interference or involvement. And since the king’s heart is like a stream of water directed by Him; He should guide it in my favor.

I got my NYSC letter and was posted to Abuja…so, all I had to do was ask, seek and knock? My God!

I was excited about this next chapter of my life…I couldn’t wait to get a job and start taking care of my mum again. Our landlord’s daughter had promised to get a spot for me at the Abuja branch of the bank where she was now a Senior Manager.So off I went to Camp and like Bro Charles taught me, I quickly found the Nigerian Christian Corper’s Fellowship so I could be part of it.

“When you meet new people, be quick to let them know your identity in Christ before they start forming personal opinions about you. It helps repel bad company” those were his last words the day we got our call-up letters. I couldn’t help but hug him before we got on differnet buses at the motor park…he had been a huge blessing to my Christian journey. I knew he was definitely going to become a pastor…he had too much in him spiritually to do otherwise.He was posted to Lagos state but I had his number if I ever needed spiritual guidance.

After settling in, I went with some Corps Members to the NCCF Day 1 orientation service…it required putting together a worship team and people were asked to volunteer. I joined as a backup singer and Tokunbo, one of my new friends, led worship that night. Jesus! It was powerful…I was looking forward to fellowship the next day.

Day 2, when we got to the evening fellowship there were more people and new faces. We quickly tried to rehearse a worship set and this new guy taught us a song…it was a known song but a different version. I could tell he was a new guy because if I had seen him the previous night, I would have remembered.

“I worship You, Almighty God,

 There is none like You.

 I worship You, oh Prince of Peace,

 That is what I long to do.

 I give you praise, for You are my righteousness.

 I worship You, Almighty God;

 There is none like You”

It was as if I had never heard the song in my life…the new guy added a twist to it and his voice was angelic. We all decided to let him lead worship that night…even Tokunbo couldn’t say no. Heaven kissed the earth…people were crying and rolling on the floor as we worshiped. None of the singers could stand; we all ended up on our knees. That was the first time I saw a drummer abandon his duty post and prostrate fall.  

When we got back to the girl’s hostel we could not hide our feelings…Born again sisters started to talk about this new guy that showed up and dazzled us in every area…even spiritually.

 By the third day, data was flowing…

His name: Folahan

His course of study: Information Technology

School: Not sure it’s a Nigerian school, the guy had a little bit of American accent

Status: Most likely single

 Tokunbo was already “slain”…she could not even hide it. There was another girl, Obi, that was obviously ready to give Tokunbo a run for her money. It became a competition and more of a show of shame. 

They would both do everything possible to sit by the new guy. They would stay back at the end of fellowship just to talk to him. Obi switched platoons just to be in the new guy’s platoon. Tokunbo would deliberately add a part to the verses being sung by the new guy…after we already agreed during rehearsal not to add parts. One was always trying to outdo the other

I was just surprised that spirituality had little or no control over issues of the heart….but wetin be my own? (it didn’t concern me). I was more focused on getting posted to my desired place of primary assignment.  I would call our landlord’s daughter every night to greet her and remind her. She would reassure me that she already did what was required to make it happen. 

 The last week of Camp, after one of the evening services…I was about to sneak out like I always did when someone gently pulled me by my hand. It was Folahan

 “Hi Sister,

You are running away as usual…I’ve been noticing you for a while.I’m a total sucker for quiet and peaceful people.You just like to blend in and get out…I like that.My name is Folahan Bernard-OludiyaWhat’s yours?”

I told him my name and we talked for a little bit…but I had to go. I needed to check in with my contact because the placements would be released in a few days.

I didn’t even know that Tokunbo saw us…my God, was she angry? She couldn’t even hide it. I had to apologize to her later in the hostel…and promised not to talk to “her” Folahan again. I had more important things to focus on.

Continues in episode 22
-Lanre Olagbaju

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