Being the choir mistress, I was the one to take the worship songs that night, but I manoeuvred my way to his home.
“Can we go another round?” Fred asked teasingly.
“I need to join them in the church,” I said, uncovering myself from the bedsheets and hurriedly picked up my dress from the floor.
“It’s already late and dangerous out there. Just pass the night here again, please.”
“Akuna! It’s better late than never. Don’t forget; I’m the one taking the worship.”
“Do you want to get raped out there? The one I gave you is not enough for you, right?” he asked mockingly as he sat upright on his bed, placing a pillow on his laps to hide his erected stuff.
“I won’t get raped because we are going together. Dress up, please.”
“Have you gone insane?” he giggled. “I just finished feasting with the devil, and you expect me to go to the presence of God? Come on, babe, I still have a conscience.”
“What are you insinuating? Are you saying I don’t have a conscience? Thank you for reminding me that I’m Jezebel.” I said, trying to ease the guilt.
I hurriedly picked up my Bible and my scarf from the floor and dashed out of the room.
“Onyeche, wait, let me see you off,” I heard his voice from a distance.
That was not the first night I spent in his house in the name of vigil; neither was it the second nor third.
You may think that was the worst thing I have done. No, I did worse than that. I aborted two babies for Fred, the assistant prayer bandleader who was always leading the prayer section.
My father, who was an elder in the church, was glad that her daughter was burning for God.
I was not just deceiving my father; I was deceiving the members of the church; I was deceiving the pastor whose favourite I was.
Never had he ministered without me acting as the backup singer. He trusted and believed so much in me. And above all, I was deceiving myself as my self-worth was dwindling.
When I got to the church, Agnes was still leading the praise section.
It seemed she was stylishly waiting for my arrival to take the worship section as I was considered to be the most fire-branded member of the church.
As the choir mistress, I was supposed to be seated at the front seat, but I sat behind so that my incoming would not be noticed.
I glanced through the pulpit, the pastor’s gaze was on me, and I trembled within as he signalled an invitation.
“Onyeche, what happened?” he asked affectionately.
“Daddy, I slept off,” I lied, kneeling beside him without any iota of the fear of God.
“I wanted to rest before time, but when I woke up, it was already very late. I told myself that it’s better late than never.”
I know you ‘ll come regardless. Thank you, he said, smiling and patting me on my shoulder. “Hope you are prepared.”
“I’m always prepared, daddy.”
Right at the pulpit, I was confidently lying to the man of God. Yet, unlike the days of Peter, there was no discernment, I would have fallen dead like Ananias and Sapphira, but there, I was being praised.
Like the pastor’s praise was not enough, when I climbed the podium, I was welcomed with a standing ovation by the congregation. They yelled and shouted my name. Others jumped to their feet, shouting and clapping. My head was becoming larger like I was sharing the glory of God with him; that’s if I did not steal it all. Had they known that I just left Delilah’s lap, or maybe I was even the Delilah. Had they known I just left the dungeon of sin, just like the lady of Magdalene, they would have picked up a stone.
I struck the mic with a finger, and the sound was pleasant to my hearing.
“Alleluuuuuuuia!” I shouted into the mic, stressing my word, and the crowd yelled even louder.
“Can we just compose ourselves as we worship the El Shaddai, the Elohim, The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the I am that I am, mandalekatushaldaba,” I burst into speaking in tongue. “The Bible says, God is a Spirit, and they that must worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
As I was trying to elate the crowd, I saw Fred enter the church. Well built, muscular and light in complexion. Like the Biblical Joseph, very handsome and good to behold. I still doubt if I were the only one in the church, he was having an affair with. Many of those young girls flopped around him, calling him papa and M.O.G.
He was also very much adored and loved in the church because of his activeness yet, my partner in sin.
“Close your eyes and lift up your hands unto the Lord as we worship him.”
As I began to sing deeper, those emotional tears began to pour from my eyes.
Some of the people were also singing and crying while others were blasting in tongues.
I glanced at Fred, with hands akimbo, he was shaking and nodding his head in all direction as though he was translated to another realm.
His voice was louder than every other person. It seemed he was trying to tell them that he prayed in tongue more than any of them as he seldom prays in the language of men.
It may surprise you to know that Fred was not the only person I was sleeping with.
I did those abominable acts outside the church too. I was scared that my evil deeds would one day be exposed if I involve other members. So, whenever those decent boys in my church asked my out, even for a serious relationship, I will politely turn them down preaching the gospel to them. Telling them how it’s going to affect our relationship with God, but there was never a no from me to the outsiders: the fallen brethren as they will never be in my church to see me pray or sing.
You see eh! You would want to blame me for this hypocrisy of the highest order. Go ahead. Judge me, condemn me. Cast the first stone, but remember, you didn’t die for me. It is Christ that died. Yes, it is God that justifies.
You may think I did not feel sad for myself. You may think I loved what I was doing.
No, to me, it was also disgusting. It made me look so dirty like a pig. It made me feel like I did not belong to the family of the true children of Jesus Christ.
I have judged myself enough, so you don’t have to judge me again. If there’s anything to do, it’s to pray for me because secretly, I was dying.
Just like the church of Sardis, I had the reputation of being alive, but I was dead. Yes, I had the reputation of being vibrant and burning for God, but I was on my way to hell.
You may think I was not born again. Well, I was genuinely born again.
I spoke in the tongues of angels, I’ve received the gift of the Holy Spirit, yet, I was swimming in sin.
On Facebook and other social media, I was an apostle of holiness as I never ceased preaching and posting scriptures on my wall. My WhatsApp status was always preaching Christ, but my lifestyle was contrary to the Faith.
Apostle Paul said that he’s the worst of all sinners. I don’t want to drag that position with Elder Paul, but one thing is certain, nobody can drag the second slot with me.
My situation became critical when I became addicted to sex. Sex became my driving force.
I was always happy during weekly fellowship as it was the only opportunity to visit Fred before heading to church together.
After fellowship, we’d return to his home for more fun before he would see me off.
When I could not make it to Fred’s home, I resorted to masturbation.
There was no single day passed by without me masturbating as I began to find it more pleasurable than sex.
Even on Sunday morning, before service, I would masturbate at home before handling the microphone on the pulpit to lead the praise and worship.
Don’t think I ever felt comfortable at the pulpit.
I hated myself for what I was doing. I only needed a way out of my predicament.
I was always kneeling at the front of the altar for every altar call. But that same evening, I would be in my room, thrusting myself with cucumber.
I have gone days without food and water in the name of fasting but to no avail.
You see! Haven’t I tried?
You that want to judge me, how many days have you gone fasting and praying for your own secret sin? Or do you want to tell me that you’re not battling with any private sin?
Man may not be watching you, but God watches everything that happens even in the most secret place.
So, please don’t judge me. I understand hypocrisy already. Or have you not read that you should get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye?
Oh young minister, put yourself right with God first and then we can sit down and talk judgment.
There was this day I rounded off my seven days fasting and prayer. I made up my mind never to see Fred again, never to masturbate again and never to see any guy again.
My determination worked perfectly well for weeks, but after a month, I found myself in Fred’s bed again.
Pathetic, right? Very pathetic indeed. Fred shouted at me with rage and almost hit me for keeping him for a whole month without sex.
He threatened to quit the relationship, but I begged with tears. The only thing that calmed him down was when I promised to spend the night with him instead of going to the vigil.
When it was dawn, I carried my Bible and went home. I did not just return to Fred; I returned to my old way of life.
For years, I continued living such a wayward and bitter life until one particular night.
After satisfying my inordinate desire, I picked up my Bible as usual and began to flip through its pages just to fulfill all righteousness and ease the guilt I was feeling.
I read several pages randomly. The urge to study that night was stronger than the urge for masturbation, even stronger than the urge for sex.
I continued reading carelessly until I came across Psalm 145:18-19.
I read it over and over, then over and over and over and over. For more than a dozen times, I was reading just these two verses.
I read it until it sank so deeply to my innermost being.
As I continued reading, tears began to well up in my eyes.
These were not the emotional tears I used to shed at the pulpit. These were tears I even tried to control but couldn’t.
When my Bible was getting soaked, I closed it and dropped it on my bed.
The next thing that happened was mysterious. I found myself on the floor, rolling, crying and praying.
“Lord, it’s either now or never. I die here tonight.
“Tonight, I bring into captivity every thought and fleshly pleasure to the obedience of Christ.
“My strength, my ability, my will, my wisdom, everything has failed me. It’s just you now, oh, Lord.
“Lord, may I never see the rising of the sun again until I’m delivered from every devourer.
“Lord Jesus, except you want me to die in my sin, you will deliver me tonight.”
I knew I was disturbing my parents and probably, neighbours, but my problem was bigger than one sleepless night.
I thought I was disturbing my parents, but it didn’t take much time before I heard them blasting in tongues from their room.
That night, I didn’t sleep. Even when I wanted to sleep, I could not. I prayed till dawn then slept off.
When I woke up, it was around 9 a.m. I switched on my phone, and it was Fred’s message that came in.
Gud mrning lov,
D tot of U cudn’t allow
me sleep last 9t.
I mesmerized ova ur
beauty & ur magical
touch till dawn.
Wherever U ar is
exactly where I wnt 2 b
I’ve wasted too much
I dnt wnt 2 waste
anoda single day
without U & I’m ready 2
make it up 4 d lost
Baby do U mind
comin ova later in d
I no U wudnt mind.
I love U. Expecting U
I stared at my phone a bit, confused if to reply or not. After a second thought, I pulled off my sim card and broke it into pieces.
“I’m starting afresh,” I murmured. And as if pushed by an external force, I opened my drawer. I stared at the cucumbers, and the toys I bought and shame overwhelmed me. Slowly, I began to break everything. “I’m done with you,” I spoke to the toy as though it could hear. “I’m done with sin,” I continued talking to myself.
As I searched my room thoroughly for all the instruments of sin, a song came to my lips.
I’m no longer a slave
To sin (fear),
I am a child of God.
I sang only the chorus for hours, reminding myself who I’ve become.
Days rolled into weeks and weeks into months, I did not go to Fred’s home neither did I do anything stupid.
I thought of Fred several times, and the urge came powerfully sometimes. Of course, I’m human.
The urge was there, but the power and grace to overcome were stronger.
I would stare at the mirror and applaud myself for not going back to the way it used to be.
I would use my right hand to shake my left hand in jubilation, congratulating myself.
I still remember when I took myself out on a date. Funny, isn’t it? That’s what we called self-crush.
You may think I overacted. I don’t really mind.
You will never know what it is like to be free until you have found freedom in Christ Jesus. I am sure you will celebrate more than I did.
One of the mistakes the devil made was that he still allowed me to fellowship with the brethren, even in my sin.
He still allowed me to pray and study even after committing those evil acts.
If he was wise, he would have cut me off from the gathering of the brethren.
Had he known, he would have sealed my lips from praying to God, who was actually waiting for me to call upon Him.
And because he was not all-knowing, he couldn’t stop me from praying, and he couldn’t have ever stopped God from answering my prayer.
After three months, I found myself in Fred’s house again.
I was surprised too because I thought I’d never go there again, but it’s like I was compelled.
No! It’s not what you are thinking. Haba na! I did not go alone. I went with the Most-High. I went to offer him, Christ.
I stood at the door, feeling reluctant to knock. After a while, I did.
He opened the door and was surprised to see me. He stood at the door, confused about whether to let me in or not. We stood in total silence, staring at each other.
After a while, I broke the silence, “Fred, I’m….”
“No! No! No!” he cut in. “You don’t need to be sorry,” he said emphatically. I should be the one apologizing.
“Onyeche, I’m sorry, it’s over between us.”
“Over?” I asked, faking the surprise just to hear more.
“Please forgive me, Onyeche; you’re now my past.”
“Fred, what happened? Did I do anything wrong?” The woman in me wouldn’t tell him the reason I visited. I wanted to feed my curiosity.
“No Onye, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that I have found true love.”
“Fred will never change,” I chuckled. “Is that why you couldn’t even welcome me in? Is she inside?”
“Nobody is in,” he said, paving the curtain to give me a better view of the room.
“You mean your love for me was never true? Where did I get it wrong, Fred?” I enquired just to hear his opinion because, from the onset, I knew we were into an illicit love affair that will lead to nowhere except hell.
“Onyeche, I must confess, you were not my first love. I left my first love for you. I thought I could hold on to both of you at a time, but it’s never possible. I’ve decided to return and start all over again with my first love.”
“Hmm! Who could that be, Fred? You told me you love me and promised never to let me go.”
“This love is different from what I felt for you then,” he said confidently, exuding great joy.
“This love is genuine. This love is pure. This love doesn’t fail. This love has covered my past and given a future. This love is shed abroad in my heart.” He was nodding his head as he spoke with total peace.
“Onyeche,” he called, placing his hands on my shoulders. “I HAVE FOUND TRUE LOVE IN CHRIST JESUS. I have returned to my first love. Onyeche, there is no better love than the love of Christ. There is no love outside Christ. What have we gained from the sin we called love? What has fornication added to our lives? Why not give this love a chance to find its expression in your life?”
The joy I felt in my spirit knew no bounds when I heard those words from Fred.
“Fred, this love is what brought me here. This love found me some months back. I came here just to offer you this love, but I’m overwhelmed with joy to know that this love has found you too. This is miraculous.”
“It is the Lord’s doing,” he said. “Do you mind coming in?” he added, leading the way.
“No, I don’t mind,” I replied as I followed from behind.
This time around, I was not on his bed. We knelt beside his bed in prayer thanking God for His unfailing love, amazing grace and His undeserved mercy.
I was dead and now alive again; I was lost and found.
I am Onyeche. I only exist in
To all those in the church of God but still struggling with one sin or the other.
Don’t just relax in that sin. Hold on to Christ for a little while.
He is more interested in helping you than you are interested in helping yourself. Just one more prayer, and you will see the handiwork of God.
Remain blessed. See a good follow up to that choir mistress story. Thank God that she repented, anyway.
We can *speak in tongues* and miss heaven.
We can *win souls* and miss heaven.
We can *see vision* and miss heaven.
We can *prophesy* and still miss heaven.
We can *cast out devil* and miss heaven.
We can *perform miracles* and still, miss heaven.
We can *read the whole Bible* and miss heaven.
We can *attend all church services, fellowship activities and camp meetings* and miss heaven.
We can have *anointing* and miss heaven.
We can have all *spiritual gifts* and miss heaven.
We can be *rich, prosperous and wealthy* and still, miss heaven.
We can *give and sow seeds* and still miss heaven.
We can *wield power and be influential* and still miss heaven.
We can have a *powerful voice to sing* and miss heaven.
We can also have *fame and popularity* and miss heaven.
*•••But we cannot LIVE A HOLY LIFE and miss heaven•••*
*HOLINESS IS THE REAL DEAL!*
Without holiness through salvation in Christ, one will not make heaven.
Forwarding this is *Evangelism.*
Let us win a soul for Christ.
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