When I decided to share my journey to self discovery, I felt a bit nostalgic. This is partly because it brings back memories I have long forgotten (or purposely decided to forget) and the beautiful experiences along the way. Also in keeping with the rules for taking a Soul selfie, I had to be sincere and real , no pretenses or trying to paint a false picture. The purpose of sharing these experiences however, is to highlight some of the moral challenges faced by young people as they grow up and hopefully help parents and young children stand up for what they believe.
Starting the journey from my childhood, I was born into a middle class family of six. Both parents were teachers and if you have parents who are teachers, you will most likely have a disciplined upbringing. Anyway, that did not stop me from being adventurous and wanting to explore the world around me.
My parents did their best to give us the basic necessities of life but I remember vividly that for entertainment, we had only one “black and white” television (President brand), which we would often have to slap so hard, to be able to get a clear picture (now, I find that completely hilarious). We had no video player , so we often had to sneak into our neighbors apartment to get a peek at some cartoons and movies and oh I loved movies. In the midst of it all, one thing my parents did not fail to give us, was a sound foundation of Gods word. I recall that in my house at the time, we had a family altar – yes, a real altar with a crucifix and pictures of Jesus Christ and Mother Mary in a section of the house. Each morning we gathered there to say our prayers and my parents would read scriptures to us and teach us how to be good Christians. I must confess that at the time, we did not find it very interesting. We would rather do something more exciting or better still get more sleep. Despite the things we did not have, we were still happy kids, very happy kids indeed, who were well nurtured and trained for the future.
Now when I look back, I realise that even though may parents could not afford all the luxury rich parents give their kids, they gave us something far more precious, something more valuable than any expensive clothing or shoes . They gave us the word of God and taught us to be respectful, humble, prayerful and have sound moral values which have helped us successfully navigate through the vicissitudes of life. I know that character is not built by the multitude of your possession.
Looking around the world today at a majority of our young folks, my heart bleeds. I see young men struggling with drug and alcohol abuse, thuggery, terrorism, rape. Young men who lack respect and character and who would rather spend time playing video games or listening to music, than read good books. I see young girls who do not appreciate the dignity of being a woman, who believe that the way to be attractive is to wear little or no clothing in the name of fashion, who sell their body to men for money and behave in ways unbecoming of a woman. This raises some questions in my mind – WHAT ARE PARENTS GIVING THEIR CHILDREN? Have they become so consumed with trying to make ends meet, that they no longer bother to train the children and know what is going on in their lives?? Who are the parents of the terrorists, the rapists, prostitutes, drug abusers? What kind of training did this kids receive at a tender age? Do parents now think it is better to spend millions on gifts ,vacations and luxury than to spend a few hours to teach the word of God and sound moral lessons? Little wonder our world is filled with so much immorality, treachery, terrorism and crime. We may not realize it, but we are paying for issues that were not addressed from the foundation. Those seeds sown into the life of a young child, indeed buds and blooms with time .( Proverbs 22 vs 6). Now I am not in any way blaming parents for all the problems in the world, but I am just stressing that they have a key role to play.
Well back to my life journey, time went by and I found myself in high school. I attended an all girls school and was kept in the boarding house. It is amazing how much little girls know at that age. In the school,there were different cliques with some girls who felt they were more fashionable, trendy and beautiful than others , even in secondary school! The subject which I found most disturbing was the issue of lesbianism among young girls. It was alarming to see a fresher being lured by an older student to engage in acts capable of defiling and distorting a child’s mindset. I knew from the word of God, that it was sinful and I did not want to be involved. I received several advances from girls who wanted to have their way with me but though my parents were not there to check me, I knew this was wrong and I was not going to join the band wagon. I was successfully able to graduate from high school but my heart went out to my friends, who even though were genuinely wonderful people were ignorant about what was wrong and right and could simply not say “no” .
I eventually got into the university and it was as though a whole new world had opened up to me. I was officially liberated from all the restrictions of being in a boarding school . I could now fully experience all I had read in magazines or seen in movies about life on campus. In my first year I got so carried away with the frenzy that I derailed for a while. I had a few friends who liked to party, high fashion and be the so-called “it girls” on campus. I even went ahead to have a boyfriend, who was then a much older student in school. Prayers and bible study were no longer a priority for me,as I was too busy having “fun”. I noticed however that through out this period I never really had peace. My mind kept tugging at me reminding me of all my parents had taught me and telling me I was not living the life God wanted from me. Eventually in my third year in the university I met a good Christian friend who encouraged me to begin to attend church fellowship again. During one of the services , I decided to repent from my sinful ways and return to God the father. This was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I began to learn more from Gods word and I discovered who I was in Christ. I learnt to see my self the way God sees me through his word and I realized that as a Christian I was different. I simply could not live my life like the others. I had much more to gain serving God and living for him than to live my life serving the devil. Right there on campus after I surrendered my life to Christ, I finally discovered who I was . That was several years ago.
Feel free to share your journey with me! God bless you.