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I Couldn’t Call Myself A Christian – Sharon’s Story

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My name is Sharon Olanrewaju. I was born into a Christian home; my childhood and growing-up years were filled with people, togetherness, fellowship. So I had Christian friends and real relationships – it’s one thing I’m still grateful for.

I began questioning the existence of God. It stemmed from my concerns about suffering in the world.

Why I Started To Doubt God’s Existence

I was made an executive in my senior secondary school year and that’s where I remember I grew a pleasure reading the Bible.
Fast track to my third year in university: I began questioning the existence of God.

It stemmed from my concerns about suffering in the world. It was scary seeing myself doubt and disbelieve the things I had always loved and believed.

The World I Knew Was Rocked!

I remember many times I would cry, I would weep! Because I did not know how to handle it. You know it’s like, “God can’t you see I need help and you are just there silent!”

I would weep! Because I did not know how to handle it.

At that time I stopped performing poetry because, you know, the art is thorough and your faith – your belief – rocks everything; rocks your entire being. So you really can’t separate them and I stopped because I wasn’t sure and I needed to clear my head.

My Mother’s Support

Although some people could not understand why anyone would dare to question the faith, I thank God for particular friends and family. I remember my mom would knock on the door on Sundays and ask, “Are you going to church today?” I’ll say, “No.” And she will nod and say, “I’m praying for you.”

Some Christian literature I remember, Case For Christ by Lee Strobel, helped a lot. So, I came out of it! Or so I thought.

Fast track to December 2017. I remember thinking to myself that I would read the Bible more – especially because of my poetry. So the year started good, you know, I put out much faith-based poetry. It went good for three months.

I Couldn’t Call Myself A Christian

Some time in March I started to feel this sense of loneliness and… a sense of loneliness. And I remember one morning at my PPA I was serving then. It just came to me like seeing: we’re only holding on to something that is fast slipping through our fingers. The world is becoming more secularised and that was it! I was slipping back into that period and slipping into depression.

I was not describing myself as a Christian at this time because I knew that I was not putting my trust in Jesus consciously. So people thought, “Oh, she’s a Christian”. But no – I was not describing myself as a Christian.

I was not describing myself as a Christian… because I knew that I was not putting my trust in Jesus consciously.

Searching In Lagos

So three months after service I traveled, I came to the city of Lagos. I came because of my career path and because of church. I thought I needed a church I would love – I needed to be part of a church I would love.

Coming to Lagos I was listening to sermons, attending church, listening to sermons. I remember a particular sermon about God’s responsibility towards evil and good on theology day. It was particularly touching seeing that the church was sensitive and addressing issues like that that really really mattered to me.

At this time I also wasn’t describing myself as a Christian but I was going to church and the songs, the lyrics, words, God used all of that. I had many conversations with my brother. I also read some more Christian literature: Reason For God by Tim Keller, Cold Case Christianity, and I believe God used all of that and the prayers of believers to restore me.

The Proof I Needed

Some time in April I thought to myself, “Sharon, what is your greatest objection?” and I responded, “Suffering, evil”. I was asked, “Did he promise to heal all of this?” and I said, “Yes he did. What’s the proof? He resurrected. Christ resurrected”. And the question was then, “Why are you holding back?” So I put my trust in Jesus again.

In my doubts I often remind myself that he resurrected – Christ resurrected.

I sometimes feel like a joke – like really unstable as the waters – yes. But I’ve come to be really humbled.

This Christianity thing that I thought I had figured out since childhood it was Him it’s all of Him. It’s his mercy, it’s his grace. That’s why I’m here. And in my doubts I often remind myself that he resurrected – Christ resurrected – and that is my only evidence and stay. That is why… that is why I die here!