It is often said that adversity is needed to build character in people. I believe that God uses the adversities of ordinary people to help them build extraordinary lives.
I found God on the corner of Willemore and Denton, in a quiet room, alone. A fan was spinning, the rain was pouring, and the room was silent. My thoughts were parading back and forth in whispers and screams. I felt them throbbing and hitting my lobes… disrupting my process, disrupting my progress. I laid still with tears streaming down my face. Fists clenched, my heart racing. I asked myself- have I not been faithful? Why has He forsaken me? I was angry. My feelings of abandonment weighed heavily on me, so much that I cried out. I screamed for Him. I challenged Him.
The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’ - Deuteronomy 33:27
On the corner of Willemore and Denton, I connected to a higher power. This was an experience that later brought me insurmountable joy and served as a navigation tool for the spiritual journey that followed. I was not alone. He found me in desolation and turbulence, under attack. The room was silent, though chaos and discord brawled within. He heard my cry and His love came crashing in. That was when I knew that in order to become the woman that God was shaping me into, I had to be still. I had to listen for his voice and ask Him to be the God of my life, the God of my future. I re-dedicated my life to Christ about four years ago. It was then that I made the decision to intentionally live my life for Him. When I made that decision, I made it with every fiber of my being.
All I wanted to do was to live for Christ and to make Him proud, but you all know how life can be- it’s never that simple. I stumbled over and over again in my faith; I wanted to give up on myself several times, but He wouldn’t let me go. He had a hold on me that urged me to seek Him more and more and to go deeper into his word. Years before, I lived my life so differently. I let my trauma narrate my story for me. I was crippled by disappointment and somehow convinced myself that I was flawed and would remain that way permanently. I give glory to God for His silent nudges and for His unique way of pulling us out of our turbulence and into the place of grace. His love found me and transformed me from the inside out. From there I learned to walk in His favor. I’ve learned to believe in good things and to stop thinking small. My faith journey is my favorite part of my life. That is where I became a woman after God's heart, perfectly imperfect.
With that being said, please allow me to introduce myself. I am Oluwadamilola Emuze, a beautiful mixture of the Edo and Yoruba tribes of Nigeria. I am the oldest of five and a very proud big sister. I am a sinner saved by grace who loves doing devotionals and watching thrillers with a glass of my favorite wine - Lambrusco. My musical interests are split between Afro beats, gospel music, and jazz (man, do I love the saxophone). I recently earned my Dual Master's degree in Public Health and Public Administration and am on the verge of alignment with my career goals, shifting from my short-term aspirations to my long-term desires. I accepted a job promotion and moved to Chicago two months ago, which has been a long time goal of mine. I am in constant pursuit of my dreams; checking off milestones and achieving greater heights all by His grace. I will admit that I am a recovering perfectionist who is being transformed daily, I love my trials and I love the woman that God is shaping me into. I have learned that no matter where I am in my life and no matter what I am going through, I must continue to trust in God and to praise Him through my storms. Even when I am disappointed and even if my prayers don't get answered, God is still God. He never changes and His plans for me will always be better than anything I may plan for myself.
Thank you for reading my story.
Written and Lived by Oluwadamilola Emuze
August 28th, 2019
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