My NYSC: A Full Year of Redefinition | Part 4: Grace™
I promised that with the fourth part of this series, I would talk about my spiritual walk with God and how that had as well gone through some modicum of redefinition in its own right.
I call this part ‘Grace™’ because there is no other way to put it. It is trademarked because nothing except something that is proprietarily heaven’s could do what grace had done for me in this past year.
I am a Christian, a devout one. I grew up in a Christian home, and – many children do not get to say this, that is why I am privileged to – I have my mother as both my spiritual mentor and role model. We grew up with messages and instructions that buttressed discipline, holiness, humility, sacredness of body, respect, and most of all, reverence, unto God. And I was a pliable child; I believed, wholeheartedly; but at first, I believed because I was told it was the right thing to do. Then, later on, when I had faced and seen some soreness and dents in the world, and experienced, first-hand, this earth’s sourness, and saw, in many occasions, grace at work in my life, saving me from harm, and then, exploring, and understanding, and discovering the God in the Holy Bible for myself, I begun to believe because I truly wanted to.
Ever since that day (a faithful church prayer meeting), my faith has gone through so many tests, some mild, others eternally scarring in its magnitude, while the rest not understood yet, even at the moment of typing these; through my academics, social life, relationships, life projects, and family, even my personal interests, I have exercised what can only be called benign blindness, carrying my faith through it all. But God Almighty, knowing my person, and knowing that all my beliefs and belief-systems thrive on empirical or near-empirical understandings of the mysteries to be believed, HE has, in the persistently exercised blindness of my faith, granted me understanding where He may, and I can say that in many aspects than few, I can go ahead and prove my faith (and I trust I will keep understanding more). For me, as far as the Christian faith is concerned, I refute Kenneth Kitchen’s dictum, and say, “The Absence of Evidence is in fact The Evidence of Absence”.
And so, I fellowshipped with NIFES – HARD! – and I trusted God, and if not for anything, the miracle I narrated in the first part of this series proves that the trust paid off. But God did not stop there. Scripture says he is the rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. He was not done rewarding.
For the next one year, my faith was to go through a redefinition in ways that prove that grace, grace, it is immeasurably astounding when it is all over you; and man, you do not need to do anything for it to operate. My faith had graduated from completely blind to blind with certain understandings; in one year, it had moved past that to blind with certain understandings operating under the momentum of grace. And that is the redefinition of my Christian race during my NYSC year.
The journey to Abuja from camp, the night spent under the cold in the open under the rain, is another example. The fact that the very next day, God sent a messiah in the form of an erstwhile unknown cyber café worker to use his own ATM account to pay and print the redeployment paper I needed to go to Asaba with the next day;
Then arriving in Asaba with only my NYSC cap (1/7, for those who understand), and being spotted immediately by another stranger in a town I had never been in before, taken to his house, given a full NYSC kit (7/7) so that I can even be listened to when I got to the NYSC office, which he took me to, because I had earlier landed myself in the wrong one in a closer local government to Asaba;
Another, using a man I had never met before to influence my posting so that I was posted to a place doing something similar to the course I studied in school – PTI;
Getting to PTI and finding out that the help I sought from three different sources to secure acceptance, ended up pointing to one individual, and all three sources never knew they were directing me to the same person, a staff, and I have been friends with her and her family ever since;
Starting off not having a place to stay, or a dime to rent a place, and finding help with a colleague working in a branch of my father’s work company; this fellow going the extra mile of letting me crash at his place for three months, even though it was a bit far from my PPA (place of posting), even despite having a starkly contrasting moral upbringing from him (and grace aiding me for all three months to remain untainted by him), despite the inconveniences;
Finding favour in the eyes of a corper who happened to be a senior from my school, and having him speak for me, and I successfully moved to live in the lodging made available by my PPA, against towering odds and severe competition;
Finding the temerity to serve as the secretary of the corps members’ forum at the PPA, and in essence, growing my circle of influence, and connections indeed;
Meeting friends to cherish for life, who helped me through thick and thin; through the times of lack, and the times of sadness, and the times of confusion;
Creating a lasting family around me, adding to the many families He has surrounded me with;
And letting me pass out a happy, fulfilled, honoured, but most of all, grateful ex corps member;
And all these without serving in the popular non-denominational fellowship for Christian corps member, NCCF, even though it was nearly 100% likely while I was in Kebbi state, and it was my character to find an organization like that, join, and serve. It was not intentional to not be active; circumstances got in the way, and I heaped excuses. But amidst all that laxity and procrastination, grace found me; grace never allowed me to deteriorate. Grace replaced time with NCCF with quality time with RCCG, going as far as integrating me into the church in toto, and grace still leads me to this day.
Words cannot begin to show the thanks. This article does not in any way make up for it.
But I thank thee, Lord, for Grace™.
This piece is a non-fictional account of my one year experience as a youth corps member.
I promise that every information shared here is factual and true. I, however, have willingly withdrawn information I would rather not share on a public platform such as this.
This piece is inspired by the feeling of gratefulness that overwhelms me whenever I remember my service year.
It is the third part in the series.