I am so thankful every time I get emails that are uplifting especially from people who have experienced painful tragedies. I got this email from Simi and it lifted my soul. I am so inspired by her faith and trust in God after the loss of her Dad who she was very close to. I hope this would help everyone who is dealing with the pain and loss of a loved one or other difficult situations.  In Simi’s words: “The most important thing is that you keep your faith even as you go through that horrible experience and when you come out, use that experience to strengthen others”.

Hi Tito,

My name is Simi and I got to read your post through my friend Fona. It is such an awesome testimony and after reading it I felt relieved and encouraged to know you have been able to embrace the love and grace of God. I can’t imagine what you must have gone through but I as read your story I could relate so much because I lost my father on March 22, 2015.

 I would spare you all the painful details but after battling with a bone condition for about 5 months, he eventually stopped breathing (the easiest way for me to describe it). I have 4 siblings (plus 4 sibling in-laws) and a wonderful mother, and we couldn’t have survived without support from every single one of us.

My father was one of a kind. Simply the best father anyone could pray for. He was so in love with us and he always put us first. He was our friend and our biggest supporter. Not the typical Nigerian dad.

After we found out about the condition, he started receiving treatment and everything was going well until one day.  One day he suddenly passed out and I was there with him. I called 911 and he was rushed to the hospital. The next 14 days were the most difficult days of my life. Somehow my siblings and I never gave up and we had this unexplainable joy. Since he started his treatment last November, we stuck to the one thing that we knew, the Word of God. I never gave up mentally. I was very sure my God was going to get him through. He was a believer too thankfully and we all encouraged him with God’s Word.

We were not afraid to put God out there and as the doctors told us he was not likely to pull through, we were very quick to tell them he will surely make it. This was no wishful thinking; this was confidence in God’s Word. As we watched him lay on the bed unconscious and helpless, we talked to him, prayed for him and sang praises. To us it was just a temporary condition. The bible says we will be satisfied with long life and die in good old age. My father was not satisfied with life so why should he die? He was only 67 years old.

Despite our faith, prayers, scriptures and confidence, the Lord took him. There was a relief that he had gone to rest but then I felt betrayed, like the devil won the battle. We had prayed and believed like never before. By His stripes my father was healed so how can this be? I struggled for days and weeks. Does God really answer every prayer? I felt like God betrayed us. I felt like I lied to my dad all those times I told him he would surely make it.

I thank God for my pastors and my mother! She is the strongest woman I know. When she heard the news she said God allowed it to happen and He knows we can certainly handle it. She just knew it was part of God’s master plan. Immediately she told us this is the time to pray and praise God even more.

Fast forward to 4 months later, God has started revealing himself and his love to me…more than ever before. Shame on the devil! True victory comes from being able to STAND after going through trying times. Last Sunday I got this revelation during the sermon and I couldn’t help but smile during the service and I almost screamed. We won! Here I was thinking the devil won the battle.

As Christians we forget that we will go through difficult times. In fact, it is guaranteed. How can you exercise your faith if God never allows you to go through anything? In Luke 22:31-32, the bible talks about how Jesus was aware that the devil literally wanted to deal Peter but Jesus did not rebuke the devil or somehow with His mighty power prevent this from happening, instead He said,  “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”Wow!

The most important thing is that you keep your faith even as you go through that horrible experience and when you come out, use that experience to strengthen others. Jesus knows we can handle it and that’s why he allowed it to happen. The victory is being able to come out of that experience and still testify to God’s faithfulness.

Do you know the story of Job? God literally gave the devil permission to attack Job. I don’t know why you had to experience what you went through and I don’t know why I lost my Dad before he ever got to walk me down the aisle but I know God allowed it to happen for a reason. The great news here is that after all you went through, your faith did not fail and you still acknowledge his love and grace.  

Regards,

Simi Erogbogbo