- Ashy Akakpo
The Faithfulness of the Father
Do you know what blows my mind? Like, constantly makes me just think, woah! The Father’s faithfulness. I mean, if I just sit down and think about it – I have honestly placed myself in so many interesting situations over the years because of my budding curiosity and child-like naivety. But even then, every time the Father sees me in danger, or sees me about to walk into a sticky situation... He just causally shows up, swoops me under His wings and carries me away to safety. I don’t even deserve it half the time, but that’s how deep His love is for me.
Today, I thought I’d share two of those experiences with you. Why? Because God has truly been faithful and that is worth sharing. So, before I begin, as many of my testimonies are – this is going to be chicken breast juicy, so go grab yourself some popcorn and let’s go. Spoiler alert, this post might not make much sense if you haven’t read the previous one sooo, go read it.
Anyway – shall we begin?
One thing to mention about me is how easily influenced and naïve I can be. For as long as I can remember, it’s been my greatest flaw. The amount of people who have manipulated and coerced me into things I didn’t really understand or wished to do, just because well – it was them – is kind of crazy. Throughout the years, I’ve placed myself quite happily in harmful situations, unknowingly though. Most times, anyway.
Remember the “church” I nearly joined back in 2020, (the one that ended up being a cult - yeah that one) well you would have thought that after that eerie experience in my bedroom, I would have gotten the hint and backed away, right? Righttt? Wrong. I opted out of going to any Bible studies for the time but opted into going to social gatherings with them instead and making friends with these people. Dumb move Ashy, very dumb move.
So, here’s me actively engaging with these people, but saying no to any kind of Bible studies they offered to me. Mixed signals? Sure. Now, there’s a scripture that God slapped me with at this point in my life. Ephesians 4:27, ‘Give no opportunity to the devil.’ Give the devil an inch, he’ll take a mile.
Soon it was January 2021 and suddenly people from this church from outside of the UK were contacting me and offering me Bible studies. We’re talking about the USA and even Nigeria. At this point I was very perplexed, for many reasons, but mainly because these people were from the same group but just a different country. I remember seeking God for guidance and Him screaming at me, “Stop! Stop! Red flag!” But of course, I heard go and went along with it – until they offered to refer me back to the ladies I had already met from the UK and at that point I said, “Sorry, I’m not interested but thank you for the offer.”
What was I actually doing? Anyway, at this point my curiosity got the best of me and I really wanted to start Bible studies with this church again (as remember initially I had stopped quite early, in fact, two studies in), so I started contacting all the girls who had given me the bible studies the first-time round. Only one of them responded and by her response, I doubted she wanted anything to do with me, so I sought another way. Now, this was a very unwise move, I assure you, but even after all of this, the Father had compassion and protected me. How? Let me tell you.
Remember the young man who introduced me to the church? When I had accepted to attend the women’s support group he had told me about, he had given a young woman my number. A young woman who actually had an important position for the women in the church. She called me and we spoke, and I immediately gravitated toward her (even after she mentioned it was actually a personal bible study). In fact, I liked her alottt and was so disappointed when I couldn’t continue the first Bible studies with her anymore as she was too far from where I lived, so they had decided I should continue the Bible studies with ladies who were closer to me. Fun fact.
Now, remember I said I started contacting the girls who had given me the Bible studies the first-time round? Well, I had completely forgotten about her. Looking back now, I now see it as God’s protection. Why? Well, she knew quite a lot about me, not just from what I had told her, but also from what my friend had told her, plus she was highly experienced. I really, wholeheartedly believe that if I had remembered her and contacted her, I really would be a fully integrated, committed member in their church today. I say this because she would have known exactly what to say to sway me and I would have probably happily gone along with it.
Long story cut short, due to mainly a lot of miscommunication, misunderstanding and me just knowing too much – she ended up being the leader of the ambush that fateful afternoon on Thursday 15th July, 2021 at 3:45pm in Stratford. Even that experience was full of the Father’s protection once again. How? God gave me a very clear warning 2 to 3 weeks beforehand not to meet with a young woman who they actually used as bait to lure me but – I, unfortunately, didn’t listen. God even gave me an ultimatum, don't go or go with someone. Literally. A good friend of mine who had a bad feeling about the church, actually offered to come with me, as they felt like I would be ambushed but I didn’t take them up on their offer.
I thought God was giving me a heads up, but looking back now, it’s clear to me, He really didn’t want me experiencing any of that. It was never in His plan, but even then He still protected me. Can you imagine? Wow. I'm happy to say I learnt from it and have been striving to be wiser ever since, not in my own strength though. Nope. I've been leaning unto the strength and wisdom of the Father, because clearly by myself... I'm useless.
Another experience of God’s protection was actually back when I was in secondary school. There was this trip that I really wanted to go on and my parents, especially my mum, were set on me not going. The idea was, we had to take ourselves to the place, and we’d meet the teachers there, so I had planned to meet with a friend and go there together.
Now, the night before, I remember picking out my clothes and placing them on my chair. I sat down and carefully planned what time I would meet my friend, how long it’ll take to get there and what time we’d get there by.
I remember how unsure mum was of me going on this trip, but I tried to reassure her I would be fine. The next morning, I woke up super excited to go. It was going to be so much fun! I remember walking over to my chair to grab my clothes and go to the bathroom, but that was when I realised my joggers had magically disappeared. I immediately started panicking.
I ran downstairs, conscious that now I was running late and asked mum if she had seen my joggers but alas, she hadn’t. By the time I had found them, it was too late. I could no longer go on the trip.
Okay, marvellous story, but where does God’s protection come in? Well. The next day, I found out that this girl, my friend had decided she didn’t want to go with me anymore and had gone without me instead, not even having the decency to tell me. But if you thought that was bad, on top of all that, she had actually planned on giving me the wrong directions and get me to go somewhere completely different instead. Woah.
See, the Father had protected me once again. I truly believe that, because only He would have known her plans. I honestly never expected it. I genuinely thought she was my friend, but in reality she didn't like me that much. But God, in His love, wanted to keep me from danger and allowed me to misplace my joggers, to prevent me from going.
God truly is my protector, and He has been so faithful to me throughout the years and even now. Most of the time I don’t deserve it, but He really loves me that much.
Lamentations 3:22-23 says it best, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
I hope this encouraged you, as it has truly encouraged me.
Stay blessed family!