I Found Peace
My name is Samuel. I’m the only boy and the last born of four kids. My parents are devoted Christians; Pastors actually. My father had envisioned my life after Matthew Henry of the 17th century who was able to read at the age of 3. So my father tried teaching me to read at age 3, unsuccessfully. By the time I was 4, I was able to read anything presented to me. By the time I was 6, I had read the Bible back-to-back. At age 14, I had read the Bible 8 times. It was more of an academic endeavor than it was spiritual.
My education was equally fast-paced. I was home-schooled for my primary education and was done by age 7, then moved to secondary school when I was 8. The transition wasn’t smooth as I was lacking in the social skills that I should have developed earlier. I moved from a classroom of 1 to a group with 60 people. I lagged behind. I recall praying to God for help. (That was my first experience with him.) God showed me a vivid vision where he took out my old brain and gave me a new one. By the time I was 12; I had done WAEC (final secondary school exams) and passed. I was done with secondary school by 13. At 14, I got into the University of Lagos to study Architecture. By 19, I was done with university and by 21, I had a Master’s degree.
Things were not all rosy. I consistently battled very poor health and was in and out of the hospital. I suffered from pains and palpitations. The pressure on me was so intense that it showed up in my health. My parents being Christians would always pray and by the time I was 14, my health stabilised. I also had a very short attention span. This phase led me to read stuff and search for answers to questions I didn’t know existed. While I was being admired for brilliance by others, I felt a deep resentment for my parents. I believed that my father was using me as an instrument for his personal glory. I felt my parents didn’t know what I was going through mentally and were just glad I was doing well in school. Things were really tough mentally but I was very good at masking my feelings.
I had an issue in my last year of university and was held back for a year. This was a really dark period in my life and I felt so alone. I needed friendship and love which I wasn’t getting from anyone. Thankfully, I was able to get through that phase and finish university but during my Master’s, bouts of those very dark moments came up. Again, no one knew what I was going through and the emptiness I felt.
I finished school and got employed by a top tier firm. I told myself if I made more money, had a nice car and moved to a nicer neighborhood that the emptiness would be filled. It was then that the reality dawned on me that one could only buy so much. You can’t buy love, friendship, family or happiness. That was when I decided to find God again. This scripture helped: “Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NKJV). I prayed for God to give me rest – I didn’t want to go through what I was going through anymore. That’s how I found rest, friendship and companionship in God and also in the body of Christ. The Church became a family to me and I found love and fellowship, things that I never really had. For that I’m grateful.
During that period, I read Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” I realised my father had laid out my life but I decided I was no longer going to follow his plans. My life was in God’s hands now. I wasn’t going to be stressed over unnecessary expectations. God was the only one I had to please.
I don’t know what you may be going through or the expectations you have to live up to. I don’t know what weight is on your shoulder. True rest, peace and satisfaction can be found in God. Talk to him now.
God bless you.
May 18, 2017
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October 20, 2016