From bitter to believer

By femi akinola

It’s been a hard road since my marriage ended in divorce about 15 years ago. I became a man full of anger, bitterness, and wrath. I would blow up at the slightest offense; and would stay that way for weeks after, just stewing over the offense, making a huge mountain out of a molehill. I was also very lonely, hated marriage, and engaged in sexual immorality. I believed in my head that marriage was the place where men went to die. If not death, maybe twenty-five to life. So I started going clubbing all the time. I was filled with lust and misery. I made one bad decision after another. I moved from city to city trying to find peace in my mind.

Although I was a believer in Christ, my heart had become hardened. I felt as if I was lost. I was bound by the bitterness in my heart. Relationships with women were short-term and selfish. I couldn’t keep a job and got let go from one job after another. And, if I wasn’t fired, I’d quit. Basically, I was under a lot of self-inflicted duress.

I moved back to Indianapolis late last year, after a 10-year wilderness wandering in California. I was looking for godly connections when I visited Grace Church early this year. I knew I needed accountability and was hoping for small group connections. I couldn't believe it when they started talking about Rooted. This was what I had been longing for and knew I needed to sign up immediately.

Needless to say, I was beyond excited when Rooted got underway. We opened up with each other very early on in the program. During the week on prayer, we had to go off on our own to pray. I had such difficulty praying that evening. It felt like everything let loose and the demons were unleashed against me. I couldn’t pray! It was scary, I felt like dying. I thought, if I couldn’t pray, then what else was there to live for? I wanted God to just take me to heaven. I was done. I think my words to my group that night were this, "I wish God will do both me and Him a favor and put me out of my misery since I am of no use to Him here on earth.” I said some awful things to God that evening that I am not proud of. I am so grateful that we serve a loving, merciful God. That night, everyone laid hands on me and prayed for me. I felt so loved. It felt like family. And, it felt like something was beginning to change within me.

During the week of breaking strongholds, I was done carrying around all of my baggage. I gave it all up to the Lord through confession and repentance. My brothers prayed for me again. During that period, I was also engaging in fasting and prayer because I really needed my life to change.

As the weeks progressed, I kept sensing in my heart that I needed to finally commit my whole self to God and get baptized. Twice, I felt it strongly in my heart. So, I knew what I had to do. When Fred asked the group if anyone was wanting to get baptized, I did not hesitate. “Put my name down,” I said. It was time to turn a new page, to hit the reset button. It was time to say good riddance to all the critters and all the cobwebs. I needed to make a statement to the Lord; “I’m all in, I’m surrendered.” It’s time to live for God and no longer for myself; for His will and no longer mine. It’s time to get baptized.
 

femiobaptism.jpg

I give God thanks for what He did in my life through the Holy Spirit and through my Rooted group. I praise God. Amen.