I think the theme for my life from 3-15 years should be “In pursuit of love”, but how could I have pursued what I didn’t know? I didn’t know what it was, but I knew I wanted something long-lasting. I wanted something that was higher than me, something satisfying, I just wanted to feel special.

At different points in my search, I thought love was different things. I selfishly sought for it in humans too, (Imagine! what I couldn’t give, I desired).

...what I couldn’t give, I desired Click To Tweet

At some point, I started to consider girls as my tool. My ideal guy was not forthcoming, you have to wait for him to approach you, right? Then sex scenes from movies help arouse lustful desires in my heart.

However, I couldn’t really act on the lust- at least not yet- because I saw the way “homosexuals” were treated. They were literally ostracized! Let us not forget that many secondary school students were mean, unforgiving bullies, plus I did not want to lose the validation friendship gave me.

I needed someone who wasn’t my mate, who could easily be manipulated, and who wouldn’t tell. I thought it would take some time, but it didn’t. After a while, I found someone, and we practised sexual acts together. I wasn’t really remorseful or guilty; I enjoyed it.

It wasn’t satisfying like the love I sought, but I continued anyway until I found someone- a guy- whom I thought was the Love I had been searching for. I began practising sexual acts (not sex) with the guy. I liked it, but it wasn’t like I enjoyed it so much. I just loved the exclusive and undivided attention I got. I was still very much attracted to girls though, but I was more scared to keep acting on it because I didn’t want to lose the “love” that I had found.

Fast forward to when I was about to get born again, a lady, Lola (which I am using for the sake of this article) would come to talk to me about Jesus. Her emphasis on God’s love for me cause a growing curiosity about God, It was surprising and new to me, (not like I hated Him, I was just indifferent). 

I realized that the audible voice that spoke the words “I love you”, which I heard a number of times when I was younger, was God’s. I thought it was my sixth sense! (You had better hold your laughter). I never imagined that God would speak to me. Like why?! Funny how the voice came anytime I considered the possibility of God being interested in me.

I realized that the audible voice that spoke the words “I love you”...was God's Click To Tweet

Anyway, I started opening up, I allowed Lola to teach me the gospel. Everything seemed fine until Lola said, “I love you Anthonia”. Ha! Ye! Jesus!  Hmmm! O ga o! Nawa!  My God! You zay?! 

That is how shocked I was, like how can she love me?  I thought she was born again?! This was me trying to respond to the love of God, which seemed too good to be true. I wasn’t going to let some “Lola Love” distract me (trust me, if you searched for something for years, you would fight to keep it).

I avoided her throughout the next semester. However, I met other ladies in her group who seemed to “love” me. Like, they literally fought for me, and I noticed their love was different. It wasn’t complicated, it was always there, kind, beautiful and pure.  ‘Pure’, literally sent shivers down my spine,  I wasn’t very familiar with it, (even pure water wasn’t exactly pure). Also, I felt like I didn’t measure up plus I was scared too.

Responding to and accepting that love took a lot of boldness and courage!

I grew to understand the kind of love Lola was talking about; it is PURE.

I grew to understand the kind of love Lola was talking about; it is PURE. Click To Tweet

Here are some lessons I have learnt in my post new birth:

– RENEW YOUR MIND.

You are not your feelings. (Trust me on this one).  It is actually true. Some people in their anger, have felt like killing someone. It doesn’t mean you should encourage them to do it, because they “feel” like doing it. You can be tempted also, but you have to decide not to obey your temptation.

Remember, whatever you give attention to, you build affection for. One way to resist the devil is to submit to the word of God, and not yourself. Remind yourself of who you are in him.

Whatever you give attention to, you build affection for. Click To Tweet

– YOU ARE FREE TO LOVE; LOVE IS PURE AND HOLY

Because of my experience, I also thought I probably couldn’t have pure, authentic female friendships. I was scared that I would see them as lustful objects instead of people who are cherished by God. I thought I didn’t have the ability to love God’s way. It was even worse because I am very expressive and touchy. I like to say those nice words because that’s the way I am. So, the things that helped me in this area were:

  • Seeing people the way God sees them.
  • Reminding yourself that you can love as God does.
  • Working on yourself by learning about God’s love.
  • Loving without reservations. You might be tempted to hold back love because you don’t want to be misunderstood. Sounds noble, but also understand that it is your responsibility to show people God’s love.
  • It is okay to be expressive and touchy. 
  • There is no fear in love. Be bold! Boldly accept God’s love, love fiercely. Don’t listen to the voice that calls you a hypocrite for desiring to love God’s way, the voice that wants to always remind you of your past, the voice that tries to cripple your confidence.
You might be tempted to hold back love because you don’t want to be misunderstood. Sounds noble, but also understand that it is your responsibility to show people God's love. Click To Tweet

– SOCIETAL GENDER STEREOTYPES.

I think this issue is so prevalent in African society. There is an accepted form of “manliness” like high interest in sports, must not be so sensitive, should be a little bit aggressive, must BE MOVED BY WHAT HE SEES. There are accepted forms of femininity, like higher interest in physical appearance, interest in domestic things, not so much interests in sports, must BE MOVED BY WHAT SHE HEARS.

I mean, there is a difference between observing the way people of a particular sex act over time and saying this is how they should be as a result of those observations. Human beings are more complex than that.

The people who don’t fall into such categories, start to feel like there is something wrong with them. They feel confused and misplaced. I saw this happen first hand with a friend in Secondary School. I will call him Thomas.

Thomas was the only boy of four children, he lost his dad while in Junior Secondary School, so he was the only boy at home. He didn’t have the extra physical “prowess” guys seemed to have, but his sharp tongue was his weapon. He enjoyed talking and gisting, he had more female friends (I was one of them), so he was almost always with girls.

Was he to be blamed for this?

No! I don’t think so.

He grew up around girls, was probably given more attention because he was the only boy, was nursed by his mum and two elder sisters. He had sisters as play and gist mates, was most probably a very sensitive child, of course, he wasn’t to be blamed!

I watched as people addressed him as gay, because of these things I just mentioned. At some point, he started seeing himself as a homosexual, then started acting like one.

So, I think we can help in this regard, by being more intentional when we relate and speak to people.

That is the end of my story. I searched for love, but Love found me.

I searched for love, but Love found me Click To Tweet

With LOVE,

Anthonia.

The purpose of these stories isn’t to entertain you, but to let someone out there know that they are not alone. Every story under #MyDamagedStory series is exactly as told by the person. Read the other here – https://lifegiva.com/tag/damaged/

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