I Made It Through 9 Chapter Seven: Hope Renewed
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Soon after arriving in London, I quickly landed a job through a referral set up by a family friend working for an insurance company. Months later, in what can only be described as another act of
G.o.d's undeniable intervention through a newspaper job advertis.e.m.e.nt, I got recruited by and began a new position at the Kabel Halsey Financial Services Group, based in the city of London. My new boss at the company offered initial and ongoing training, so I began in my new career as a trainee ftnancial consultant. Not too long after joining the company, the two princ.i.p.al directors of the group decided to part ways. They split the company into two new ftnancial ent.i.ties, and I went off with one half of the group at the newly formed brokerage ftrm, A J Blake & a.s.sociates at their new offices on Denmark Street, London WC2. Having witnessed at close range how one's life status can so swiftly be dramatically altered, I had lost a lot of my G.o.d-endowed conftdence, so working in London's ftnancial district was beyond any of my wildest dreams at that point. I counted this new job among the many blessings from G.o.d and an undeniable witness to me of the faithful care He had promised when I left Nigeria for good. This was yet another miracle on my journey of faith. The years I spent at A J Blake & a.s.sociates are part of my fondest career memories, ftlled with unforgettable lunch and dinner events sponsored by our very generous boss at many of London's best restaurants.
After a quick commute to work, my mornings began with a hot cocoa from the deli across the street, followed later in the day with lunch at a pasta place called "Fatsos" with my new colleagues. Their extremely generous portions would place us in a food fog almost on the verge of a food coma, and then we would all head back to the office. We each had our favorite eateries in and around London's Soho district; mine was a wonderful Chinese restaurant in the area. Evening drinks after work with work colleagues who had now become friends would end the day. Strictly no alcohol for me, there would be lots of chatter about setting me up on dates, whining about difficult clients, and so forth.
Oh we had so much fun! Life was full and busy with seemingly endless appointments and meetings all over town, building the ftnancial portfolios of our clients. We always looked forward to the end-of-quarter events to celebrate and award our star performers as they took place at some of London's sw.a.n.kiest restaurants. The best part of the year was the lavish Christmas parties, sponsored by our generous boss Adrian. Dressed in all our ftneries, it was a wonderful turnaround for me from the previous traumatic years. I worked tirelessly and was rewarded with managing part of the ftnancial portfolios for some very well-heeled cl i e nt s, o n e o f wh o m wa s t h e fa m e d N i ge r i a n industrialist, the founder of A degoke G roup of Companies, the late Chief (Elder) Amos Olasupo Adegoke, based in Ibadan Nigeria. I continued to partially support my family.
Working tirelessly, I got promoted and soon became one of the team leaders in our company. This meant even more fun on the job, including one-on-one lunch meetings with the boss, and the best part, access to a program a.s.sisting in the purchase of our ftrst home! So some months after my promotion I was able to purchase my very ftrst home: a beautiful flat in Croydon. I also bought myself a new car. The previous years' agonies begin to fade away, and life again began to settle into a happier rhythm. Finally, things were again looking up!
I loved my new home on Brampton road in Croydon. It was a quiet little haven from my hectic work schedule and just the right size for me. I had also become a very active member of a newly formed local church congregation introduced to me by one of my ftnancial services clients who worked at the Commonwealth secretariat office in London. Grateful to G.o.d for all He had done and loving Him with all my heart, I wanted to express my heart toward Him through wors.h.i.+p and service to Him. I was usually the very ftrst to arrive for the Sunday morning wors.h.i.+p service and would join their new pastor to set up the congregational meeting hall for the service. I was also one of the last ones to leave. Soon I became the volunteer choir leader, children's Sunday school teacher, and any other odd jobs needed by the new group. This drove me to seek G.o.d more through the scriptures so I could better know and serve Him.
All was, however, not perfect in my world. During the previous nightmarish years spent with my siblings, I had met and dated a non-Christian young fellow in my ignorance of another of G.o.d's faith principles.
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellows.h.i.+p can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV)
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Therefore, unfolding alongside my new wonderful life was an increasingly unpleasant dating relations.h.i.+p experience. It was proof of and a lesson in my young Christian walk, that ignorance of and violating G.o.d's word will not spare us the consequences of wrong belief systems and actions. We, however, have a merciful and forgiving G.o.d who continually reveals His loving kindness and tender mercies to us without fail, and I was yet again about to experience His amazing grace in the midst of my spiritual ignorance, deep emotional unhappiness and an inconsistent Christian walk. Halleluiah! G.o.d brought a handsome, fervent young Christian man to our church! His name, Jide.
He had been born and raised in West London, spent a few childhood years in London, but then had returned to live with his parents in Nigeria. His parents had lived in London, completed their studies and training there, and then returned with their young children back to their homeland. Jide had lived in Lagos, Nigeria until becoming an adult, attending Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School in Lagos and then completing his university degree as a pharmacist at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He had decided to return to London to further his studies and career. Upon his arrival, he met our young local pastor and was now living in North London. A fervent disciple of the word of G.o.d, his love for G.o.d was clearly evident to all. He was soon being asked by the elders of our church to share Sunday morning sermons with the congregation. I was very impressed with his humility and the unabashed swiftness with which he would kneel down to pray.
Being already extremely pa.s.sionate about G.o.d, I was deeply hungry for more knowledge of His word and had begun to seek answers to ftx my unhappy Christian walk. I was drawn to this young man's conftdent knowledge of the scriptures. We developed a friends.h.i.+p, and he invited me to attend a midweek Bible study group he was a part of; so after work, we would all gather to learn from the scriptures with some other young Christians. Sometime later during the summer months, the church hosted a visit to London from the founding pastor of the church who resided in Lagos, Nigeria. He was coming in to support the new London congregation. Jide and I were asked to serve together in various capacities during this special event, so we got to know each other well. I also got to ftnd out that I had attended the same university in Nigeria as his sister and that we both had friends in common from our college days.
Through various church encounters, a lot of praying, and some unexpected matchmaking work of the Holy Spirit, it came as quite a shock to us both, but nonetheless a happy surprise, to slowly discover G.o.d's plan for us to get married. He proposed to me, we called our parents to inform them, and went to our church leaders to receive their blessing. All went well, so the following year, 1990, on a lovely spring day that also happened to be his birthday, I had the wonderful privilege of marrying this wonderful, G.o.d-honoring man. We became one as a family and had the joy of having many members of our family and friends in attendance.
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh" (Ephesians 5:31). A brand-new chapter in our lives began to unfold, and we quickly got settled into our married life. Building a new family comes with its own unique set of joys, challenges, and ups and downs. This beautiful G.o.d-ordained, lifetime union between a man and woman is a huge responsibility and not to be entered into lightly. When done G.o.d's way, it leaves no room for exits and requires one's full devotion and sometimes many unexpected sacriftces to succeed. I am forever grateful to G.o.d and feel so very fortunate to say that my precious-beyond-words husband has been and continues to be a very special blessing from G.o.d in my life. As I write this faith memoir over twenty-ftve years after that glorious wedding day, he has grown to become an even more devoted witness for the Lord Jesus Christ. A deeply humble, committed, faithful and loving spouse, he continues to be a delight. I had again been blessed by G.o.d with more than I could ever have asked Him for.
I Made It Through 9 Chapter Seven: Hope Renewed
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I Made It Through 9 Chapter Seven: Hope Renewed summary
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