Today on day 2 of The Victory Tour, I am pleased to introduce Chioma to you. Her raw and sincere story of redemption and victory is so inspiring!
Chioma Oparadike is a Christian Blogger and Writer on a mission to help more single women live happy and purpose-driven lives. You can find her at her site and on her various socials, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
A Story of Redemption & Sanctification
‘God works in mysterious ways’.
You’ve probably heard this quote before and it couldn’t be truer with this story I’m about to share with you.
As a Christian lifestyle blogger, I write about things that affect Christian women, particularly single women. However, I have been unable to write on purity and sexuality. I thought it would be too sensitive and deep though I have unpublished posts in these areas just waiting for the “right” time.
I told God I was waiting for Him to give me the go ahead but that’s not the whole truth. I was also scared of sharing too much and of being judged.
Then comes Cassidy with an offer to write for this Victory Tour. I remember saying yes before I had even read what exactly it would entail. I loved the sound of a Christian Victory tour.
There’s certainly a lesson here. Read, understand before you accept.
But then again, I believe it was also God at work. I probably would have refused the offer or found a “nicer” way to get out of such a commitment, but I’m thankful that He didn’t let me do that. I believe it’s the time to share this story.I believe it’s the time to share this story.Click To Tweet
“Many are the plans in a person’s heart but it’s is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”
The Journey to the Fall
I’m no saint, though I started out thinking I was. In my mind, I believed there were certain things I would never do, one of which was to have sex before marriage.
I believed in the virginity gospel but not the God ordained one; rather the gospel according to Chioma. One spiced with my unique blend of independence and foolishness.
“…Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)
I believed it was within my power and my strength to stay “pure”.
What I had failed to consider was that the battle didn’t start and end with me. I had ignored my opponent.
“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you may have life and have it to more abundantly.”(NIV)
My foolishness made me believe it was safe to dip my feet in and not be swallowed up. After all, I was the girl who hadn’t dated all through high school and college.
That changed during my Postgraduate degree.
At this time, I was going through a mini identity crisis fueled by feelings of uncertainty. I was also feeling like I may have missed the dating boat, and perhaps it was time to date. Not too longer after I met my childhood crush. The timing seemed “perfect” or so I thought.
He became my first boyfriend and first kiss. Thankfully this didn’t last long.
With my second boyfriend, I believed we really liked each other and somewhere along the journey of liking, I slept with him and lost something I had held on to for 22years.
Getting into the second relationship, I believed I wouldn’t sleep with him since I hadn’t slept with my first boyfriend. I thought we could “safely” make out with nothing more.
This was me delving into deep waters without support or even seeking wise counsel. I was yet again trusting in my own strength.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths”
Yes, I fell. I did something I had sworn never to do. I remember speaking with a friend who, unbeknownst to the what I had done, spoke about living right as a Christian. This was the wakeup call I needed and helped me break off the relationship. But that was only the beginning of the pain.
I became filled with shame and unimaginable guilt. For years I harbored the guilt, couldn’t forgive myself and I certainly wasn’t ready to date or marry.
I asked God for forgiveness but felt my sin was too great after all I couldn’t get my virginity back. It was gone forever.
“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
John 8:36 (NKJV)
Saved by Grace
The simple truth is that God saved me. He saved me from myself and many years of self-inflicted pain and guilt. I asked God for forgiveness for 5 years and felt that I had to pay penance for what I did. God recently reminded me that he forgave me the first time I asked even though I kept asking many times after.
Has this ever happened to you, where you believe you’ve done something so bad that it’s hard to accept that God will forgive you?
“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”
1 John 2:1-2
The Lessons from the Fall
There were many lessons from my experience. The most profound was realizing that, many times, our sins don’t just happen. It starts small, with the seemingly inconsequential or innocent things. From our thoughts, from deep within our heart and minds.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
For me, with the way I was heading, it was only a matter of time that I would end up where I did but I had been oblivious to these. I was once again confident in my ability to defend myself against any strongholds including sexual temptation.
But, I had forgotten that these things had taken root many years ago. These were years spent reading adult books as a teen, watching the wrong movies, accepting the world’s idea of romanticism.
In my heart I had already fallen, what took place afterward was only a physical manifestation of what had happened in the spirit.In my heart I had already fallen, what took place afterward was only a physical manifestation of what had happened in the spirit.Click To Tweet
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
2 Timothy 2:22
But our God is a wonderful and loving father. I am so grateful that he didn’t see me as I saw myself. While I saw a sinner burdened with guilt, he saw his beloved whose mess he was going to use as a message.
Do I wish I had never done these things? Certainly.
But I am also comforted knowing that notwithstanding all of this, God is still using me for his kingdom. He turned my pain and sorrow into a wonderful testimony.
What’s your story, what are those things that have kept you awake, filled with shame and anguish?
I pray that you will let our victorious God in, let him comfort you as only He can. Let Him cleanse you and strengthen you for the walk ahead. Because there is one thing I’m certain of: no matter what you’ve done, God is able and willing to use you for his Kingdom.no matter what you've done, God is able and willing to use you for his Kingdom.Click To Tweet
“Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
I hope this incredibly raw story of redemption can be an encouragement to you.
Thank you, Chioma, for being obedient in sharing your story with us!
If Chioma’s story was an encouragement to you, be sure to check out her site.
Do you have a story of Victory to share?
Let me know in the comments below or use the hashtag #walkinvictory2018. I would love to read them!
P.S. Did you miss Carmen’s story of victory yesterday? You can read “A Mother’s Story Of Strength & Courage” here!