What are those experiences, those defining moments for you as a young person?
MRS KEMI FRED-ADETIBA
The first experience I had of God is my parent; seeing God through them and experiencing God through them. My parent and their relentless love irrespective of whatever happened to me or irrespective of whatever I go through. I could see them love me through it all. So, that kind of gives you a sense of worth as it were because it is a typical representation of the love of God to you. I was privileged to have that. That’s one.
The other one will be God. When I went through school, I experienced a little bit of not fitting in. At the first secondary school, I went to, I didn’t really fit in. It was Life Forte High School in Ibadan. I lived in Abuja, but my parents heard about the school and they took me there. I struggled there, and visiting days were harder because my parents would have to fly, so they weren’t always coming. It’s either an aunty or grandma, and even though I enjoyed seeing them, there would always be “why are her parents not coming to see her?” That really affected me in those first years. I struggled to really fit in until I encountered God. I really encountered God there, that was my first introduction to God on a deeper level.
I gave my life to Christ there, when I was in my first term of JSS 2. I remember my heart being sold out to God and I said “God, all of me, take it all.” That was a major defining moment and I still remember it. Now, after that, I probably took back my life. I took back my life a couple of times over the years, but it was a major defining moment for me because it was from there God started to reveal to me who I am.
Let’s fast-forward up until secondary school. I once shared this story on my Instagram one time. Because it still remains a defining moment for me. We were to write our WAEC (West African Examination Council) exams. It was a school in Abuja. But usually, you go through mock exams before the WAEC exams. And my school, they were very strict with the mock exams, “you have to have As’ and Bs’. They make that kind of mock exam so rigorous that if you don’t pass it, they are not going to register you to write the WAEC exams. Everybody was fidgeting and panicking. We even started to hear that they were only going to take 20 or 25 out of everybody in the set.
We were really worried and we kept having those conversations. I remember one day we were having that conversation with friends about the mock exam, and then the principal turned to me and looked at me in the midst of the crowd and he said “if everybody is complaining, why are you complaining? If everybody is scared, why are you scared?” and I remember I was very surprised and it was one of those moments that I recalled that I was thinking to myself “what does he mean by that?” And he said, “even if we were going to take just 10 or 5 from your set, don’t you think you will be a part of it?” And at that moment, I still cannot forget it. It was a case of someone helping me see who I am, it tapped something inside of me.
There is something in our world now called relatability, everybody wants to be relatable, even if it means going outside your identity to be relatable, these days I see people doing it. At that moment, I didn’t just hear him as him. He was like God. It was as if God was saying “you don’t have to fit in, you are different. And even if there was one person that needed to pass the exam, can’t you believe it can be you?” It wasn’t about competing with the others and it wasn’t about being better than the others. It was about realizing that if I decided to be who I am and be great, it gives others the chance to be as well.
Sometimes, you are the first person in that chain of reaction to remind others of who they can be. If I stood in my position of being smart or intelligent and cheering others on, I can make them decide that it is possible. If there was one person to say that it is possible, I’m sure everybody’s energy would have changed. That was what was been highlighted to me that, it’s okay to be the person who stands out and says “we can do this.” And so, that was kind of like a defining moment for me. There were times in my life even till this day that I feel like “God, is it me you are talking to? Or is it me you want to use?” and God is like “why not you?”
But every time you stand in your place of identity and stand in your place of authority or your place of relevance and prominence, you are giving others permission to do so as well”. That was a major defining moment for me.
I had an accident recently where someone lost a life in the process and it shook me, it made me realize what was worth it and what wasn’t. And so, I’m just in that place now where I’m going to just live as God would have me live and I don’t want to have to lower God’s grace over my life just because I want to play or dance to a tune of not knowing who I am. I want to live and know that I have lived well here on earth and given it all.
That’s why now, it seems like she is confident, she knows who she is. It’s all these things that have happened over the years but more importantly who I see myself in God. It’s like God just opening up a script and saying “this is who you are, begin to walk in it.”
Listen to few minutes podcast HERE