Ifunanya was my classmate, but because I was more out of class than I was in it, I didn’t know him. We met during an Inaugural Lecture organized by my Department. The lecturer who presented the lecture was his uncle, so he helped in the organization and protocol. I caught him staring at me on a few occasions and I just laughed to myself. He was not my spec. He radiated so much tranquility and calm. I was used to ‘razzmattaz’ and ‘rastafarians.’ As I was leaving the hall at the end of the lecture, he walked up to me and introduced himself. He asked for my name and I told him. He then told me I had a beautiful smile and I should smile more often. With that, he walked away. I was taken aback. I expected him to ‘toast’ me or ask for my phone number or something. Well, not like I would have even given it to him anyway. I left for my hostel but I couldn’t sleep well that night. Ifunanya kept coming back to my memory and when I slept I dreamt of him fighting off a gang of robbers who had come to attack me.

 

As days turned into weeks, I saw more and more of Ifunanya but he never did more than to wave at me or say hi or smile widely. He had a well arranged dentition, unlike mine so his smile made him more charming. I wondered why he was being friendly. From my experience with men, they only got friendly when they wanted something from you. What did Ifunanya want?

 

We were given a group assignment in one of our courses and incidentally, we were placed in the same group. He was the group leader. Group assignments were an absolute no-no for me because I rarely attended the meetings or contributed mentally. One evening, I got a call from Ifunanya. I guess he must have gotten my phone number from the class list. He wanted to know why I had missed the group meeting for the third time. I didn’t have any plausible excuse. Ifunanya neither threatened nor raised his voice at me. He spoke very softly, pleading with me to be at the next meeting. I was touched. That was the beginning of our friendship.

 

I had never met someone like Ifunanya before. He was calm, soft spoken, gentle and he exuded so much peace that seemed unearthly. Talking with him eased tension off me. There was a fragrance around his life that was simply irresistible. I needed this kind of peace. I was tired of the emptiness I felt, even with my supposed fame and popularity.
One day, while we were walking back from class, he asked me why my smile never reached my eyes. I told him there was so much about me that he didn’t know. He wanted to hear all about it. We sat down at the lawn tennis court to talk. Sincerely, I didn’t realize when I opened up and poured out my heart to him. I was tired and frustrated. I told him everything about me. We were both in tears when I was done talking. Ifunanya was silent for some time. Then he took my hands in his, looked into my eyes and told me he had the solution to my challenges. He said he wanted to introduce me to the source of his peace and that I was going to have the kind of life I never imagined for myself. It was too good to be true so I walked out on him.

 

I avoided Ifunanya for weeks. His words kept ringing in my heart with every passing day. He left notes randomly on my desk, with my roommate, with the hostel porters. In each note, he gave me assurances that he was ready to wait for me until I was ready to accept what he had to offer and together, we would win. My resolve gradually weakened. I knew the peace in His life had everything to do with Jesus but I wanted nothing to do with Him. Jesus had failed me before, or so I thought.

 

I finally succumbed. Ifunanya’s relentlessness and persistence broke my resolve. There at the Chapel altar, that rainy night, I gave my life to Christ, again. I let go of all the pain and hurt I had carried for years. I forgave my mother. I forgave Osahon. I forgave the two guys who raped me. I told Jesus I was ready for a new life, a new experience and He gave it to me.

 

I graduated with a second class lower. Mother came for my induction ceremony and I could see the joy all over her. I needed to introduce her to Jesus too so she could forgive my father and experience the peace that I felt.

 

Today, I’m married to Ifunanya. It has been the best experience ever. Words cannot describe it all. Ifunanya has shown me that indeed, Christ’s love conquers all. Christ’s love for me brought me to Him, and His mercy and grace keeps me in Him. I finally found the fulfillment and satisfaction that I so desired.

“Then Jesus said, ‘come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest… for my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”- Matthew 11:28,30. (New Living Translation)

“God showed how much He loved us by sending His only son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him.”- 1 John 4:9 (New Living Translation).

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”- John 3:16 (New Living Translation)

 

Dear friends, your story may be similar to that of Chukwuma. You may have been hurt, bruised, grieved, battered or broken. You may have gotten to the point where you do not see hope in life anymore. Your dreams may have been shattered before your very eyes, and all you can feel is the emptiness and void within.
God’s love for you is much greater than you can comprehend. He loved you even before you were born, and the circumstances which life has thrown at you will never make Him love you less. He is calling out to you today. Come to Him and find true rest. True joy and satisfaction can never be found outside Christ. Like Chukwuma, embrace Jesus, the love of your life who is calling out to you. Though your sins are as scarlet, He will make you white as snow. He will give you the grace to live His new life according to His divine promises for you. Do not hesitate. Accept Him today and enjoy fullness of life both here on earth and above in heaven.
God bless you.

 

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