God used Alpha to stir my ship away from self- destruct, to His divine will for my life.
Ijeoma Ogenyi or Rubby as she is fondly called, is a graduate of Business Management from the University of Nigeria, Nsuka, Enugu Campus. She did her National Youth Service in Lagos. While in Lagos, Rubby realized that though life could be fast-paced and highly challenging, it also motivates one to reach for the best because of the abundance of opportunities around and the inspiration you get from others who are not settling for just a good life but hustling to make a better life.
She decided to stay back in Lagos. A decision she is always grateful for, as she got invited to Alpha.
MY FAITH JOURNEY
Have you ever heard of people who have always thought of themselves very special? Well, I always thought I was. From 10 years of age, I started having dreams that come to pass! Like a superhero right? From then on, it became worse. I started having physical twitches in my body whenever something bad or good is about to happen to me. It always kept me in fear because when I have these negative indicators, I know something bad is about to happen so while everyone is unsuspectingly enjoying life, I am always praying. In retrospect I believe it was a spiritual possession of the devil.
When I got into the university, I started getting feedback from friends who thought I needed to get more serious with God. Well, I was the very jovial sanguine type that didn’t think being spiritual was too necessary. Besides I was in a theatre group in school organized by my church. How more spiritual can I get? However, it was always a struggle between the two forces in me; One who wants to be spiritual the other who gives no hoot about spirituality.
I am from a very sound Christian Home which gave me some basic understanding on how to live a spiritual life. So sometimes, I would force myself to pray, but to my dismay, I discovered that more negative things happen to me whenever I do. This got me very confused. Why will I pray more and be at the receiving end of bad outcomes only to stop praying and begin to get positive outcomes?
SEEKING SPIRITUAL HELP
This kept happening to me over and over again. I can remember on several occasions when I would be in a room alone and literally feel the presence of many spirit beings present with me. How so many nights I suffered from sleep deprivation because I was terrified of being visited by evil while asleep. This was very disturbing, to say the least. It got so bad that I had to be taken from Benin city to Ebonyi state in the southeastern part of Nigeria, for a spiritual recovery process. It was a serious prayer session that literally changed my life.
That was my very first encounter with the power of the Holy Spirit. I started speaking in an unknown tongue and prophesying. It cut me loose out of a lot of spiritual trouble. It seemed like I was possessed again, but this time around with a different kind of spirit that rather than produced insecurity and fear, gave me courage and freedom! It was in Ebonyi that I can say I had my first Spiritual awakening.
It was such a good time that I began to notice changes in not just my spiritual life, but other areas of my life as well. My taste for worldliness totally changed –parties, ungodly music became things of the past.
TOO BUSY FOR GOD
After my university days at Nsuka, I came to settle in Lagos and as expected got a job. However, the job, as good as it was began to corrode my spiritual fervour as I got more encumbered with work. I got so busy trying to catch up on deadlines and meet my targets as my spiritual life took a downward spiral. Eventually I lost that revival I had in Ebony and was back to ground 0. I was now a regular Church goer; even reading my Bible became a problem, I got so busy and so cold. Work routine took the best of me. I didn’t have time for God or myself any more. I lived for the hustle. Even my principles began to change.
I got so busy and became so cold. Work routine took the best of me. I didn’t have time for God or myself any more. I lived for the hustle. Even my principles began to change
I knew my relationship with the Lord was on the rocks again and that he wasn’t happy with me. Nothing seemed to be working. Though I knew exactly what to do to get back on track I did not have the courage to go for it. However, in February another reawakening happened. In the midst of deep worship at a Christian concert, I literally broke down, knelt down and apologized to the Lord for everything I had done wrong and told God to come back into my life and make it right with me again. Not only did I became serious with the Lord, I began to reach out to friends about my new found faith.
However, the devil began to cause me to fear again. He started asking if I was ready for this kind of life and ministry. It was at this point a friend of mine told me of the Alpha Course happening at my Church and urged me to attend it.
MY ALPHA EXPERIENCE
My first experience of Alpha was at the Catholic Church of the Divine Mercy Catholic, Lekki Lagos. My Parish Priest Urged me to attend their Holy Spirit day away which was awesome. They later invited me for the full course in my parish at St. Charles Borromeo which I didn’t resist especially because of the awesome food! We all love food, don’t we?
The first day was great but I wasn’t too excited about the video. But from the second day, especially from life testimonies on the video, I was extremely excited about how God really changed bad people. It made me feel I wasn’t alone in this. I was just as bad when God changed me. Besides I was still struggling with a habit I developed back in my university days that just wouldn’t go away try as I did. After my Ebonyi experience it seemed to stop but when I came to Lagos, it came back in full force. On Alpha, I just couldn’t cope with it any more. I began to ask the Lord to help me through it. I wanted it gone for good!
From life testimonies on the video, I was extremely excited about how God changed really bad people. It made me feel I wasn’t alone in this
I particularly loved the way Nicky Gumbel broke down spiritual subjects to address real-life issues real people like me was going through. His talks really had an impact on me. Alpha helped me overcome my deep fears and addictions which I was dealing with and gave me freedom indeed. I began to love gospel music again as opposed to the rather immoral and empty songs I had become addicted to. Alpha deeply changed me
On the Holy Spirit day, May 26, 2018, which happened to be my birthday something very special happened to me. I was initially very skeptical about attending a Church program when I should be enjoying calls from my friends and loved ones rather than being in Church. However I am so glad I didn’t opt for the latter. On that day, I went to confess my sinful habit to the priest who prayed with me just before the ministrations.
As i joined the worship session and was singing to God, I couldn’t control my emotions any longer. Suddenly I began to speak in tongues, crying in ecstasy and enjoying the presence of the Holy Spirit once again. Wow, I felt different and totally free!
LIFE OF VICTORY
I consider my Ebonyi experience as the beginning of what God wanted to do, and my Alpha experience, a journey into the fullness of God’s plan for my life. I was totally free. Weeks passed and I didn’t even feel the urge to go back to my old sinful habit again. I was even skeptical and thought I would go back. Even when I tried to go back deliberately to test my resolve, I totally hated the experience and wanted nothing to do with it. I totally gained control over my flesh after my Alpha experience and I am so grateful! People are going through struggles like I was but very few people run back to God as I did. If only you can go back to God, he will receive you and clean you up.
Alpha also help me define who I am! It clarified what God wanted me to do with the rest of my life which is to serve him with my gifts
Alpha also help me define who I am! It clarified what God wanted me to do with the rest of my life which is to serve him with my gifts. Not long after my Alpha, I felt a leading to quit my job; not because I was not enjoying my fat pay at the end of the month but because of the distractions and pressure it constituted which took me away from the Lord in the first place. I was heading towards a new direction that needed my full attention in obedience to God. I was at a stage of rediscovery and I knew I had to focus fully on the perfect will the Lord was leading me into. I am Presently serving Him full time, through a major vlog outreach called Radical Rubby.
God used Alpha to stir my ship away from self- destruct, to His divine will for my life. The Lord gave me the courage to make this jump into purpose and I remain grateful. I haven’t gotten to the apex of his perfect will yet but I am definitely not where I was before my Alpha experience.
Rubby currently runs a vlog called Radical Rubby, where she encourages people to be the best of themselves in the perspective of God word. She touches on several issues that border on everyday life and sheds the light of scripture to bring about validity to the truth she presents. To subscribe to her vlog visit www.radicalandrubby.net