When I was much younger (sigh I miss those days) my dad wanted to send my brother and me to learn about the other side of life. No…we were not spoilt kids. In his words, he just wanted us to learn that life is not always a bed of roses. Well that lesson I did learn; but not by spending time in Ajegunle. Life taught me that lesson.
There I was an excited 17-year old going off to university in another country. No parents, no boundaries. I was thrilled beyond words. I had lived a caged life while growing up and this was my first chance at freedom. I didn’t go crazy though; a few parties here and there, a taste of alcohol and mingling with the opposite sex. That was pretty much me being adventurous. I had everything I wanted…ok maybe not everything but I lived a comfortable life and daddy was the answer to most problems.
Life was bliss until my final year. Daddy couldn’t pay tuition and rent for the whole year as he always did. “Let’s pay for three months first” he said. Alarm bells should have off in my head but this was just a phase right? Actually, it wasn’t. The one time rich girl was now a regular face at the debtor’s section of the student finance office. I was always begging for a deadline extension to pay my fees because as it turned out, daddy couldn’t get the money as planned. I called and cried to daddy until I suddenly realised – this was a matter for the bigger guy; God.
I learnt to trust in God. It was rough. There were times that I had no food to eat and times where I couldn’t study because tears clouded my eyes. Somehow I managed to finish university with a good grade. I remember my final year dissertation; after long hours or research and putting it all together, I did not have any money to print my work. “Will I fail because of £10”, I asked myself as I walked to church on that rainy day 2 years ago. I cried in my heart to God but as I entered the sanctuary I felt my burden being lifted. My pastor walked past me and shook my hand and I felt an object being deposited into my palms. I looked down. Yes there it was…all I needed…£10. As I walked across the stage to collect my degree on graduation day, little did I know that the journey was going to get even uglier.
Tuition for law school gave a constant headache. I was always absent from lectures and to top it off I had visa issues to worry about. I was no where near satisfying the new stringent rules for extending my visa but I still had faith. I got the tuition quite all right, but it was a little too late. Although I had to go back home, I returned a few weeks later. Yet, things were not easier. Through the pain, hunger and frustration, I made it through law school with a distinction. Till today, I am most convinced that God did some magic there because all I was expecting was a pass.
Then I proceeded to apply for masters. Actually I didn’t want to but daddy said I should. I listened to daddy but I committed it into God’s hands first. God was faithful. I had until November to pay my fees and renew my visa. Surely God was going to provide. From being months away, November became weeks and days away and still there was no money. Panic mode was in full gear. I cried to the Lord. “How can you do this? Please make a way for me. Don’t let me go through this all again Lord”. Maybe he heard, maybe he didn’t but that trip back home soon became inevitable. As I led praise and worship on the morning before my trip singing “Me I no go suffer, I no go beg for bread”, the future looked bleak.
I was depressed when I got home. It just didn’t make sense. How can God promise that he will never forget my labour of love and still let all these things happen to me? Then I remembered Job. I remembered his words, “though he slay me yet will I trust Him”. I continued to trust in God. Through the hustling, jumping from danfo to keke marwa, His mercy kept me. I began to see a clearer picture of my future. I began to dream again. Ah…it felt good. I was thankful for the life I lived because though it may be a struggle, the fact is there are people out there who would kill for this same life. Everyday I wake up is a day closer to my victory. I know it, I feel it. When I feel myself being pulled back into painful memories, I think about how far God has brought me and I smile.
That’s exactly what I did today as I waddled through the dirty pool of rain water caused by the almighty Lagos rain and remembered the lesson my dad wanted me to learn. I smiled. Life indeed has taught me that lesson. Daddy doesn’t have all the answers. No… only God does.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.