Whenever I see curves, beauty, brain and brawn, and elegance of a person, I am spurred by an adrenaline rush that brings to remembrance my vivacious youthful exploits, and of course my mistakes. Hey, don’t imagine things for me; I’ll tell you. I’ll share with you what I mean by the beauty of undoing your mistakes.
I always tell myself that I am still a youth, and even in my forties, I am still as strong as I was twenty years ago. In my journey so far, my experiences has shown that we face peculiar challenges as youths, and that only a few of us survives and are bold to raise our shoulders high. The various challenges we face as we journey through life has a way of affecting our efficiency especially when they are not properly handled.
So, this was where mine started from; yes, from teenage. Growing up, I suffered from peer pressures (I know many of you can relate with this). How we did those nasty things because we had friends that did it, and who convinced us it wasn’t a bad try. How we lied so we could fit in and be accepted into the group of the famous and notorious gangs. Oh! the thought of what we do for acceptance startles me!
I allowed myself to be pressured by my mates because they all had girlfriends and were doing stuff with them. It was said to be fun, and because I wanted to experience the ecstasies that the “big boys” enjoyed too, I got involved and entangled. I never thought there could be anything as enjoyable as satisfying my sexual passion, neither did it occurred to me that there could be a regrettable outcome until I got a girl in the family way.
I became a father at age 17 shortly after my SSCE. Like my mates, I was then awaiting the result of the high school exams, and was also preparing to write the Jamb exams for the university admission when this news broke out. I did not only killed my ambition but also shattered the dreams of an innocent girl, all in a bid to become a “big boy”.
Did I mention that I wasn’t from a well-to-do family? I was only fortunate to attend a top rated school because of the scholarship I got in my elementary school. Of course, all the ‘big boys’ that I wanted to be like had fathers that were either Managing Directors and CEOs of multi-national companies, politicians or astute businessmen.
After this first stage you think I would have learnt my lessons, right? But the opposite was the case; in my frustrations, I did drugs, womanized, and was part of a robbery gang. I was only lucky to have escaped the prison, an event I considered a divine intervention. After I had it very rough, I decided to make sense of my life, but it was difficult. Initially I thought It was too late to make any sense of my life because of my many hurtful mistakes until I experienced a divine transformation.
I was assured that if I could undue my mistakes, my life will be beautiful again, and I would be able to recover the lost opportunities. It was difficult because I tried hard on my own to put things right, however, the turning point was when I surrendered to the life-changer, Jesus Christ. My life was beautified and restored by the blood He shed on the cross. Trust me, I have no regrets anymore because I let him give me the courage to undo my past mistakes.
At this time, I was already disowned by my father, who could no longer put up with my disgraceful life. I took up the courage to pursue my career and to fulfill my dreams of becoming a Chattered Accountant. Even though, I struggled through school, but I was determined to stand out and make my family proud again.
God was faithful and His loving kindness kept me. Finally I graduated from the university at the age of 29. And I completed my National Youth service (NYSC) before I clocked the age of 30. Then, I became a Chattered Accountant at the age of 33, and by the age of 37 I was the Group Managing Director of a private indigenous Oil and Gas firm.
I have reunited with my family, and my lovely son. And of course I married my girl friend, who has also become the CEO of a top fashion firm. Dear friend, my life is beautiful and I am proud I learnt how to undo my mistakes. I have learnt that there is beauty in every age, and that mistakes aren’t fun, but they are powerful teachers. If we could keep all of the lessons that we have gained from our mistakes, while also freeing ourselves from the guilt or regrets of our painful pasts, we would become a masterpiece in God’s hand and become a beauty for the world to behold.
Many youths today have faced different challenges at one point or the other from victimization to abuse, peer pressure, single parenting, pre-marital sex, substance abuse and addiction, early maturity, violence, obesity, education disparity, poverty, unemployment, juvenile delinquency, racial discrimination, sexual pervasion, pregnancy, materialism and so on. Many may have come out shinning like me, while many others may have been consumed in their mistakes.
You may have experienced any of these issues in your journey through life, but that doesn’t give you a reason to be lackadaisical. or give in to a frustrated and regretful life. Sit up and shake off the snake into the fire! Even though life is full of troubles and everyone bears the pains of mistakes or victimization, yet if you, like Paul, put your faith in the promises of the Lord and believe Him for the help you need, He will come to your rescue and neutralize the poisons! Acts 28:5.
In our times of trouble, we have some very precious promises. (His presence, Heb. 13:5; His victory, 1 Cor. 15:57; His purposes and plans, Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17; His power, Eph. 3:20, Matt. 28:18. He will move Heaven and earth to meet your need if only you can trust Him.
Never be comfortable with mediocrity. Create, Maintain and Improve on your life. Never forget you can always re-write your story with God. No matter what the mistakes were, your life can be beautiful again. Control-Z (CNTRL-Z) it! You’re winning! Yes, we are winning!
Story by Afolayemisi Ogunwale