Life.... The Tests and Testimonies.
We have all been tested in life and many of us have the scars to show it. Most of us do not like being tested, but there is “No Testimony without a Test.” I use to complain during my testing period and afterward conceal my testimony. I concealed it out of guilt, shame and because "Telling Your Business" is frowned upon.
God has challenged me to praise Him instead of complaining during the storms of life. I have learned that sharing one's testimony is personally therapeutic as well as uplifting for others. The testimonies shared here are to strengthen us in our moments of weakness, inspire us in our seasons of doubt, and remind us of who and whose we are in a world that sometimes obscures our self-image.
Oluyomi Victoria to you, but Queen Victoria, Ige Baby and Victorious Victoria to us, was an extremely bright human. Beautiful, Radiant and Feisty. Oluyomi was a fashionista, an expert at gele tying and make up. A perpetual shopper with impeccable taste. When I go back though our messages, mails and pictures I realised I had forgotten what she looked like. I will always remember her very essence, her incredible beauty and naughty smile, her frequent bridesmaid duties.
I remember her shy period after becoming a child star on TV. The stupid comments and insensitive jeers that came with being Uzie on 3rd Eye meant that for a season her back would hunch, eyes cast down. Yet she soared. She took her common entrance while very ill and still did incredibly well in those exams.She blossomed again in Secondary School and in University. She was lively and confident with her friends turned sisters. She took to a legal career with zest.
And then the stroke…
Sometimes we think of our lives as pre and post stroke. Yomi was admitted to hospital for treatment for nausea. On Saturday, November 26, 2011 exactly one month after she married her ‘Hot Chocolate’, Olaniyi, Yomi was found on the floor of her hospital room.
It took the medical team three critical days to realise she had suffered a brain injury. Yomi’s employers were magnificent and flew her and her husband to the UK for treatment and rehabilitation. We are eternally grateful for the care and support Oluyomi and her family received over the years from Shell PDC. Thank You.
Oluyomi Victoria was excited to be alive. She continued in her strong Christian faith supporting her family emotionally and positively. She fought to live. She fought to work. Her left hand was now her dominant arm and she learned to type, churning out work reports, emails and texts. So yes, I am mad at God for letting her die and a little with Oluyomi for dying... She had hung on fighting, beating every expectation, they said she would be locked in, that she would only be able to blink for yes or no, that she would never talk, never have use of her limbs...
She defied those predictions. Oluyomi Victoria lived out her life trusting God fervently... So should we!
She was laid to rest on Monday, September 23, 2019.
Look at Me Now!
God has miraculously transformed my life—in the most profound way! I give God all the credit, praise, and glory. I have been addicted to crack-cocaine, alcohol and was homeless at one stage in my life. I have been badly beaten, stabbed in the head with a hatchet, shot, struck by lightning and badly mistreated by others for a very long time.
I've counted at least 6 different times in my life that I should have died, but God saved my life. I was an alcoholic for 35 years, a crack cocaine addict for 15 years, and helpless, hopeless and homeless for 10 years. I spent 5 years sleeping on the streets of Miami and underneath bridges, followed by another 5 years sleeping in an abandon house.
I use to “dumpster-dive”- eat food from large garbage cans behind fast food restaurants and supermarkets. I eventually hit rock bottom and was literally on my deathbed. While I laid on the floor of that abandon house surrounded by urination and defecation, my cardiovascular and respiratory systems were beginning to fail me. Out of fear of being found dead in that state, I desperately sought God with all of my heart, mind, body and soul!
I knew (from my friend) that the only way to get God to work in my life- that I first, had to go to and through - Lord Jesus! Therefore—I cried out to Jesus on my knees and begged Him to save me. After praying for a few nights without seeing any signs that He had heard my cries, God woke me up in the middle of the night. He saved me and I know this because I felt God. I knew it was God. I felt brand new!”
I thanked God all night, and early that morning I went to the grocery store where I would begged for drinks to get my shakes off. My hands would shake uncontrollably until I had enough alcohol in my system. This particular morning Mr. Ralph, offered me a dollar to go buy myself a beer—as he always did each morning. But I did not accept the dollar this time. Thank You Jesus! This was the 1st time in my life—since I began drinking at the age of 13—that I turned down an offer from anyone who wanted to buy/give me a drink.
Mr. Ralph asked me,“What about your shakes?” I laid my hands out in front of Mr. Ralph and let him see that my hands were as steady as a surgeon in the operating room. I told Mr. Ralph that for several nights I had been crying out to God to save me and God heard my cry—and He saved me! That morning I went to a Better-Way Of Miami, a Residential Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility for Homeless People and I haven’t had a drink or drug since that day. Glory Be To God!
I am now 65 years old and I haven’t had a drink or drug since that day—16 years ago!
I even graduated from College with a BS Degree in Criminal Justice. Graduating at the ‘very-top’ of my class at the age of 56 “as a straight-A student.” I was awarded “The Annual Outstanding Academic Achievement Award” which is given each year to the Graduating student with the highest GPA. This award—is the same as being-chosen the Valedictorian, in High School. "Glory—be to God!" Because of God—I have become a righteous, respectable, responsible, successful and productive member of Society.
Before I turned my life over to the care of God, some people use to literally call me a piece of shit. They look at me now...and they call me -"Mr. Lonnie." I am a living witness to the absolute Truth—that Jesus is still Alive. He is still working in the lives of His people today—just as He did, back in the day as illustrated In The Bible!!