Home Community News Interview with Biola Shofu-Author, Sheltered Emily

Interview with Biola Shofu-Author, Sheltered Emily

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Your story is very poignant, very moving and evokes a lot of feelings- why did you choose the title- “Sheltered Emily”?

I chose the title, “Sheltered Emily” because I knew it would cause people to ponder its meaning. “Sheltered” in fact, has three meanings, and in this case, they all apply to my story. I think God dropped the word into my mind while I was struggling to come up with a title. I immediately said, “That’s it!”

 

You tell a story of a very painful growing up years of sexual abuse and other difficulties. Did you write this book to heal and has it healed you?

That’s a good question. I wrote the book to serve as a warning to women not to toy with God. I also felt an urgent deep spiritual burden to pass on my experience in an extremely transparent way. I was to use my story as something of a sacrifice. I was to hold nothing back. As I got towards writing the end of the story I was transformed into something of an advocate. I am outspoken about my experience because I want to help women.

As we know healing comes by employing absolute truth to one’s situation. Though I was oblivious to this fact. As I recanted my story over and over even trembling at times. The end result is that I am released from it. It no longer has a hold on me. The bondage broke. In other words, I can tell my story as though it’s someone else’s. I feel no emotional pain. So, tell me, am I healed?

You painted a picture of a troubled marriage with Aldo and when that failed with three kids in tow- you had a downward spiral into homelessness and a string of bad relationships. Would you say you were naive in looking for love in the wrong places during those dark years?

More than naivety, I was in bondage up until just before the time I completed writing the first draft of my story, which was only about two years ago. Despite my strong and faithful relationship with God, there was a major part of my life yet to be brought into submission to him. As a child, my emotional foundation was a mess. I took those misinformed childhood beliefs with me on my companion-seeking journey. By the way, I was not aware of the bondage, it came to light while I was writing the book. Writing is a powerful tool.

Bondage put me in a bubble which sheltered me emotionally from the consequences of my real-life actions. It was as if there was no consequences for the decisions I made. namely, having a sexually intimate relationship with a man outside of marriage. This is common with many Christians today. I literally felt a spiritual battle for my soul in this area. Something was blocking me from steering clear of spiritually-camouflaged men. I kept getting caught in a trap. It was not my will.

Now, I take God at his word. It doesn’t hurt that he’s satisfied my curiosity recently by answering my prayer. He’s shown me that Hell is a tangible, real place. I always wondered about that. I mean I thought Hell could be an analogy for something. Through my journey, God has brought it to light that Satan is a coward whose only power is our fear. You are safe as long as you are growing with Jesus.

In trying to heal, do you draw strength from knowing your Nigerian roots and past experiences?

I know for a fact that my Nigerian heritage is part of what saved me. I was eleven when I landed in Nigeria. It’s about the time one starts to become aware of who they are as a person. At thirteen, it dawned on me that Ronnie, my foster brother, had, in essence, stolen my innocence as a young child. I might have had an emotional break-down had I been in England when I realized this, but I was able to deal with the knowledge privately and hold my head up high. I don’t advise this for others.

Looking back, my father along with the motivation I witnessed in Nigeria gave me the right to jostle for what is mine: self-respect, and confidence. I’ve always loved my spirit.

Timothy,1: 7

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self-discipline.

How did your children fare during all these years of turbulence and where are they now?

I protected my boys from the abuse, the best I could by serving as a buffer for them. At the same time, I didn’t shield them from reality. Jesus has held everything together as he does so well. I thank him that my boys are strong, intelligent and talented young men. I tell them that the rest is up to them. I did my job. They are free spirits, like their mother. I think we’ve all gone in the direction that God is directing, without apology.

We are an artistic, entertaining bunch. My older boys who are very close in age, are in the social media arena. My youngest, still in college, is interested in movies, and voice-over acting.

What advise will you give young girls launching out into the world from your life lessons?

It is a humble honor and responsible position to be asked to offer advice to on this scale. God is pulling the strings behind the scenes you know.
To young women, I say let God be your guide. Truly get to know him if you don’t already—God has no limits. There are no short-cuts in life, don’t be fooled. We always end up paying for them, anyway. Have a way of encouraging yourself when all else fails. Though God will never fail you. The closer you draw to him, the closer he will draw to you. Believe!

I am literally crying for the level of difficulty involved in applying this advice and for the burden of pain I feel for older women. Some are suffering silently from hidden and suppressed pain and abuse. They know who they are. Many women are running after the wrong men, desperate for financial and emotional security at any cost, be it here or in Nigeria. It’s tough I know. Only God can provide security. I would place all bets on him.

My God is no figurehead. He is no toothless lion!

Get brutally honest with yourself as I did and cry out to him for help. Read the word. Did you read Psalms yet? It’s an example of how we have permission to get personal with God. The Creator of the Universe can solve your so-called impossible dilemmas as he did mine. He needs your faith to be able to work on your behalf. He is friends with the humble.

I had no legal status in the US, I was going through a divorce around the time I became homeless. I was totally vulnerable and unprotected with my boys. I clung to God. He did not let me down. He will not let you down, neither will he turn away from you, if you trust him. Wait patiently for him, and he WILL act.

What goals have you set for yourself after this book and are your plans for the future?

I am working on a second edition of “Sheltered Emily”. The book is my purpose. Very soon, I will be working at a well-known female agency for abused and broken women. As one with a relatable international accent. I am a speaker using my voice to lift women up and hope seekers

I speak to hurting women. I will do this internationally also. I want to imbue women with pride for their heavenly father and align them with their identity and purpose. I want to motivate women to do what they are meant to be doing and to re-introduce them to the delightful, humble, down-to-earth yet firm God I know. My journey has prepared me for this. I am currently aligning with ministries and agencies who are in agreement with this goal. Of course, I am leaving room for God to use me wherever he wants me. I know better.

Where can the reader obtain a copy of this powerful book- “Sheltered Emily”?

“Sheltered Emily” can be obtained in book and Kindle format on Amazon.com.

It’s also obtainable digitally on Apple iBook’s,

https://www.amazon.com/Sheltered-Emily-Biola-Shofu-ebook/dp/B077V58CC9

 

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