I didn’t have my first crush like most people my age already had, until I was almost done with secondary school. It is perhaps because I fell in love at a very tender age — I was barely 4. I will tell you how it happened.

You know how we were taught various kinds of families in primary and then junior secondary schools? Remember the family that included nuclear and every other person that shared blood ties with you living under the same roof ? Aha ! Extended family — that was my family. Virtually a community lived in my house. If they weren’t sleeping there because rooms weren’t enough, they were coming all the way from their houses to cook and eat in ours so we were like a close community . Up until now, when I’m introduced to any ‘removed’ relative, I ask my mother “Did they live with us when I was younger?”

My paternal grandmother also lived in our house (although she occupied the boy’s quarters alone, she was also mostly in the main living area). She and I used to be really close, we share the same names — even my pet names are hers passed down to me. My grandmother had a huge influence on some of the decisions I made when I was younger because we spent virtually every time together. I remember the only time my father caned me. This old woman stood between me and the cane and did not mind that it fell on her too when I dodged , that’s how intense our love was. My grandmother used to take lots of drugs back then and I would watch her swallow almost all at a go. Watching her do this everyday and later cleaning my sister’s wounds, I changed my mind from becoming not only a lecturer like my dad to becoming a doctor too ; probably so I could treat my grandmother and also clean people’s wounds so they feel better 😂. I was one of those few children who was sure of what they wanted to be at 4 and had strong reasons to support it.

My grandmother is a devout Christian. She worships the Lord with Deeper Life Bible Church but she was very interdenominational in her journey with the Lord. I remember she liked watching pastor Chris Oyakhilome and any other Christian material she could lay her hands and eyes on.

Every Sunday, my siblings and I attended church with my mother but I doubt I remember anything they said in church or anything there changed my life as watching my grandmother’s romance with the Lord. That was how I fell in love with HIM. I fell so deeply. I had heard that ‘the church’ would be his bride and I prepared myself. I was a member of the church after all , I was madly in love with him, he had to pick me. I imagined our wedding (the feast). I resolved I had to marry this Jesus — because I had fallen for him through the relationship my grandmother had with him. Because this Love was based on ‘influence’, it died as spontaneously as it had started. Don’t get me wrong — I didn’t start doing immoral stuff, or become an unbeliever, I just fell out of love and was comfortable with going to church (even though we had started attending this church that taught with practical examples on the life of Jesus, even though my mother stacked our rooms with DVD bible stories and I watched and was excited, I still felt nothing — only excitement)

Many, many , many years later, I got to know the Lord myself. It wasn’t based on something I’d heard, someone’s life or an influence or anything. I got to really fall in love. I was almost done with secondary school as at then. And today, I’ve never stopped loving, believing in him.

The decisions we take on our own rather than out of influence is very important. While external influence can help shape your life, you should be more involved in your life than letting anyone else do it for you.

Don’t forget to tell someone about Jesus today.