God Story: Tolu Osemwegie

When I was asked to share my God Story, I took a quick mental scan of my walk with God and got teary-eyed. I grew up in a devoted Christian family, so faith has been a part of my life since childhood. God is a house- hold name in my home country Nigeria. Even before Christianity and Islam were introduced to the Nigerian culture, spiritualism and worship of deity had been a part of the African identity.

I was born into a Nigerian family, 6,000 miles away from Milwaukee. I am the youngest of ve siblings: four sisters and one brother. My parents grew up in an orphanage that was run by missionaries from the United States. I later found out that the missionary, Kathryn Dick, who came to my father’s village has ties with Eastbrook’s first Senior Pastor, Pastor Marc Erickson. While growing up, his church used to pray for Kathryn. See how the Lord orchestrates things? He is amazing!

My family is a product of individuals responding to God’s call to go on the mission field. God continues to display His sovereignty as He orders events and lives to make a beautiful symphony.

I am grateful for daily family worship and frequent church-going that got me God-conscious at a young age. The choir and Bible quiz team were my favorite church groups. The salvation message was always preached at church and call to salvation was part of the sermons. Around the age of nine, my brother explained the meaning of being saved to me; he pointed out that I needed to believe that a relationship with God started the rst time I asked Him to come be my Savior.

Despite being born into a Christian home, my family was not perfect, neither were my experiences as a child. I struggled with fear; I feared death and the unknown. Nightmares and anxiety attacks were part of my daily life. I also had fear of rejection and self-esteem issues. I found it difficult to explain my fears or seek help, those fears became my secrets.

It took a while in my walk with God to realize that God wants to ll every area of my life with His presence. Initially, I had a legalistic mindset about God; I did not understand His grace and mercy. I did not know that I could share my struggles with Him; that He wanted “to do life” with me. It was comforting to discover in God’s Word that I could come boldly to the throne of our gracious God to receive His mercy, and find grace to help me when I need it (Hebrews 4:16).

The more I shared my fears with God in prayer and search for promises in the Bible, the more I experienced deliverance from fear. It was liberating to read the Bible and see that many people struggled with fear and anxiety, and read how God always promised protection for those who trust Him. There are still days that I doubt God’s promises rather than trust Him. I am grateful that our loving heavenly Father gently guides.

I remember learning to trust God for daily things like a night free of nightmares and big choices such as a career path. I trusted Him when I chose my life partner (Osas) and when we decided to start a family. I trusted him BIG when we decided to relocate to the USA. God has bless- ed Osas and I with two energetic and sweet boys—Timi and Tohan—and we trust God daily to raise the boys in His ways. We believe that God has planted us at Eastbrook Church in this season of our lives. Eastbrook Church has blessed my family since we moved to the USA and we regard every opportunity to serve at church a privilege from God.

The uncertainties of life have not stopped, so my life of faith keeps on. I must trust God that He has empowered me to lead people into His presence through worship, and trust that He is the one who nudges me to be an encourager and counselor. When doubts arise, I am reminded through God’s word that (I am) we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).

I believe that God longs for His children is to receive the fullness of His love and purpose. My prayer is that the body of Christ takes hold of the power to understand, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is (Ephesians 3:18); May the understanding of God’s perfect love cast out every fear and liberate us to be bold ambassadors for Christ. May the knowledge of God cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.

May each of us be ready and willing daily so that God may flow through us to be a light to our families, relationships, work place, and schools. May we hold nothing back, give God our a and live out everything that God placed in us.