Being Alexis Oladipo-Adjei
Rising to Victory
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden”
- Jesus (Matthew 5:14)
I just want to take this opportunity to thank my best friend Dara for allowing me to share ‘Being Alexis Oladipo’ with her wonderful readers, I pray that when reading this, it inspires you to dig deeper and seek God further in Jesus name, Amen.
Bare with me, this is a story that can’t be chopped and screwed, so grab a tea or coffee, sit back and enjoy my Being.
Alexis Oladipo “The One Who Was Lost and Then Found”
Let me take you down memory lane. I grew up always knowing who God was, and in all honesty, never paid attention to Jesus or even respected Him for that matter. Yes. Believe it or not, I had ZERO reverence for Him. I lived my life making my own decisions, doing things my own way, I was disobedient in school and at home, which led me down a path to near destruction.
They say growing up without a father figure in the home can be detrimental to children, particularly young women. I used to think that theory was untrue until I started looking back at behavioural patterns and putting the pieces together of my past. I realised that it was very true. It’s not till I was saved and became whole I knew that God is the Father to the fatherless.
“A Father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, Is God in His holy habitation”
- Psalm 68:5
My relationship with my mother in my early teens was challenging and I would do things to upset her daily. I soon found myself exploring my femininity and unhealthy relationships with the opposite and same sex. Promiscuous from young, and not really understanding the error in my ways, I continued this path. I had long-term relationships with guys who I had no business being with, I say this because the relationships, no matter what “love” was felt, did not honour God. God frowns upon fornication and sexual immorality, I knew this as I got older, but again didn’t really care and it wasn't until around the age of twenty-two the conviction came.
I was in a relationship I knew was going nowhere in the end, and I wanted out, desperately! I was feeling uncomfortable having sex, being touched and expressed that it was something I didn't want to do anymore. But being in the flesh and leaning on my own understanding and strength and not God’s (Proverbs 3:5), I fell back into it, feeling so uncomfortable that the only times I felt 'happy' doing so was when I was high & intoxicated with alcohol. The devil was really working and my gut, my heart and my head just knew that it wasn't right, so I ended the relationship and felt free!
I remember making a vow to MYSELF that I wouldn't sleep with another man again until I got married and just like that I thought had everything under control. The devil probably let out a loud cackle and probably let off a big stinking fart simultaneously when he heard that, he definitely was not done with me there.
As mentioned I felt free and was living my life like it was “golden”. I was still in the clubs, barely attending church, listening to worldly music, basically doing the opposite to strengthen my relationship with God. Six months later, I met another person who I thought was “the one”. Soon found myself swept off my feet and infatuated with this person's character. My vow to myself soon had adjustable clauses, going from never sleeping with a man again till I was married, to till I was engaged, to till I was in a relationship and telling him this, all he had to do was ask me out then, and BAM! Oops, I did it again!
You see I made I vow with myself and not with God, that's the mistake I made. It didn't take long after for this relationship to plummet faster than the twin towers. This relationship soon turned hurtful, ugly, openly embarrassing and frustrating. I went into depression and lost heaps of weight and the relationship ended faster than it had started. I said enough is enough! And with that said I ran, not physically but spiritually back to God. The conviction to stop having sex outside marriage came to me in the previous relationship, however, I had put my trust in myself which was the first mistake and not having the spirit of discernment was the second.
“The wise man’s eyes are in his head, But the fool walks in darkness”
-Ecclesiastes 2:14 (NKJV)
I begged and pleaded for forgiveness from God, and this time round made another vow to GOD, that I would NEVER give myself to another man again unless he is my HUSBAND. That meant no sex, no sexual activities, no touching lustfully, NOTHING! The war was on, and I was determined to win!
But the desire for this person didn't just die like that, I’d be lying if I told you it did. I found myself still crying, thinking, and talking about this person any chance I had, doing and acting out of character like showing up at his house 3 am in the morning! I thank God for my best friend Dara who really helped me overcome this because this wasn’t me. I searched for God in all of this, I knew to truly be over this and get back to being Alexis, this soul tie had to be broken.
I attended a church conference and the guest pastor did an alter call. I went up, apprehensive but the desire to be truly free of sin & iniquity was greater. When the pastor came over to me she smelt me, looked me dead in the eyes and asked me if I smoked. I scoffed and said no (I hadn't touched weed in over a year). She then asked me, does my boyfriend smoke. I burst out laughing because the guy did and it was a clear sign that his spirit and our souls were still tied together.
She prayed for me and I went back to my seat amazed by the revelation. We went into deep praise and worship, and then it happened. Something I’ve only ever seen happen on TV or to adults in church and to be honest up until that point I thought was a display of theatrics, until it happened to me. The Holy Spirit descended on me and knocked me to the floor. I was crying and screaming out 'Jesus' over and over and over and over again. I remember a lady came over and covered me with a blanket and told me to let it out.
From that very day, as God is my witness, I was well and truly free, I never wanted, lusted or desired this person anymore, let alone another man and my relationship with God just grew stronger and stronger. I was saved. I was once lost in it all but then found. Jesus saved me. It's amazing what power and strength you have when you have it in Jesus. Four years on still abstaining from sex, free from sexual immorality and lust I am engaged to my amazing fiancé David Adjei.
I give Him the glory because in that very same year I was gifted my salvation and I began Rising to my Victory!
Alexis Oladipo “The Teacher & Prayer Warrior”
“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves but our sufficiency is from God”
- 2 Corinthians 3:5
I grew up not thinking much of myself and capabilities to do much of anything really. My confidence came in my early 20’s and I believe that's the time God started calling me to do greater things with my life. You see I had to go through what I did so God could prepare me for what He had in store for me. Before a diamond can shine, it is first dug from the dirt, broken, cut, shaped and then polished to shine, not forgetting that many still come with their flaws. I highlight the latter because I am not perfect, I still have my flaws but God still chose me to shine.
Late 2015, I was expressing again with Dara that I felt like I wasn't doing enough for the Kingdom of God, there was this burning desire to do more but I just couldn’t place my finger on it. It was so heavy on my mind, I literally couldn't stop thinking about it.
At the time I read an article in Stylist magazine about successful business/career women all having one thing in common, which was starting their days at 5 am. Having come across this theory before I was immediately intrigued and inspired. I then remembered the power of 5 am prayers, waking up before dawn and seeking the face of the Lord. My spirit was excited, I decided to challenge myself to wake up at 5 am every day to pray, seek God and cast down all demonic powers gearing up to sabotage my day.
Prayer breaks chains, prayer free’s you from bondage, prayer is God’s given authority for you to step on serpents and scorpions, prayer opens up the communication lines between yourself and God, prayer is the master key.
I was fully thinking about myself, not realising that God had other plans. My spirit moved me to post the challenge across my social media platforms. I banked that my friends would be the ones to join me in this challenge. But to my surprise, women I have never spoken to a day in my life came forward, asking to join! (Hallelujah). I couldn't believe the overwhelming response and immediately felt discouraged, thinking how am I supposed to teach the word and pray with a bunch of random women. I had a minimum of 40 requests in the space of 12 hours, I felt unqualified to teach, minister and pray.
But the devil is a liar! When it is time for God to move, the devil can try but he won't stop the work of God. Even with all the discouragement, I went ahead and set up a prayer line and put things in motion. God put it in my heart to call it ‘5am Rise To Victory’ and at this point, I knew God had called me.
“I rise before the dawning of the morning, and cry for help; I hope in your word. My eyes are awake through the night watches, That I may meditate on Your word.”
- Psalm 119:147
All the fear had disappeared and was replaced with a burning desire to minister to the young women who were once lost to find themselves in Christ. Who needed healing by His amazing grace. I wanted to appeal to women and show them that if they humble themselves before the Lord, that no matter what they've done in their past, He would hear and heal them.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land”
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NKJV)
And all glory be to God, to this very day almost two years on, 5 am RTV is held every Tuesday and Thursday, where I share the word God has given me, along with a short exhortation, we pray prayer points, take prayer requests and open the call to testimonies and thanksgivings. I thank God for putting me in this position, I won’t pretend and say that it hasn’t been challenging but He is my strength, He continues to uphold me to do His good works, propelling me to my victory.
“God is my strength and my power, and He makes my way perfect”
- 2 Samuel 22:33
Alexis Oladipo ‘The Foodpreneur’
How I got here, is a miracle in itself. If I was told 7 years ago that I would be an entrepreneur in the food industry, I would have laughed and told you to go to bed, wake up and try again. However this journey to my current career showed me that I truly am not in control of my destiny, but God is.
In school, I was never the bright one and actually struggled in most if not all of my academic subjects, the only class I enjoyed was media studies. I enjoyed it because it was creative and pretty fun. Moving onto college 6th form, I enrolled with just 5 basic GCSE’s, without an A or B in sight. I felt dumb but thankfully was accepted.
This was my chance to prove myself so I picked Politics, Sociology, IT & Media Studies, it's safe to say that I failed all my classes with a ‘U’ (Unclassified) result except for one, Media Studies. I remember crying and thinking how stupid am I? Why am I so thick? I thank God for His grace now for back then because I was given the opportunity to start over again and pick courses I would genuinely enjoy. I chose health and social care and media studies which would give me the A-levels I needed to get into university.
Once again I scraped the barrel with my results and just about got into the University of Roehampton through clearing. I remember my mum shouting on the phone telling me to get into a uni, any uni! So I did. Not that I cared anymore, I knew at that point education wasn't for me.
Fast forward to university, three excruciating, pointless years of studying media and culture studies which felt like psychology and sociology. There was one module that allowed us to do work experience, and at the time I was really into fashion, so I applied for an internship at Now Magazine, IPC Media Fashion department. I was there for two weeks and I loved everything about my experience, which then inspired the career choice I wanted to pursue as a fashion editor or stylist.
I graduated with a 2:2, (no surprise) and continued working my job as a sales assistant at New Look. Having worked in retail since the age of 16, being 22 and still working it was becoming very unfulfilling. I applied for a job at Selfridges and to my surprise was offered the position, and I thought 'yes' I am one more step closer to become this great fashionista person I was trying so hard to become.
However, it was far from the dream job, I applied to work in the high fashion department, but was put on the street (urban) department, as that's where they thought I fitted in best. lol. Soon after the feeling of unfulfillment began rearing its ugly head again, and I was soon looking for my way out. I began applying for roles in the fashion industry here and there but it was all in a vain. Nothing of substance came my way and I was becoming frustrated and disheartened by it all.
Whilst at Selfridges I came across a book called Rich Dad Poor Dad. This book was the book that opened my eyes to the way I had been living in the ‘rat race’. I was so pumped up and inspired by this book, that I handed in my notice and said 'If nobody is going to give me the job I want, I’m going to create the job that I want’. And that is what I did. I set off to become the biggest and hottest fashion stylist the world had ever seen… This is where Proverbs 16:9 comes into play.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps”
-Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)
You see, I had all these great plans but never did I once consult God, or even ask for guidance, heck I didn't even know Him!
I continued my path regardless and things went from good to bad, to really bad. Two and half years into my freelance career as a stylist I was still not getting paid a pound for my work and all my efforts. I had worked on projects with Kelly Rowland, Nicki Minaj, Mel B, Iggy Azalea and was sitting down to have consultations with the likes of Tom Ford HQ. I couldn’t put my finger on it but something wasn’t right.
After months of deliberating with myself, I decided it was time to pack this styling thing in and go get myself a “real” job. With all my collective experience, I thought by now, someone would be desperate to higher me in the industry. Once again, I was wrong! No one even battered an eyelid at my CV and portfolio, suddenly all those feelings of being a failure started pouring back in like a tsunami flood.
Soon after, in 2013 I secured a job as a cleaner and began doing nights in the city for minimum wage, cleaning at wealthy investment banks. I had no direction, no drive but I had a little bit of faith. During this time, I had gone through two medical procedures (operations) and an unfortunate situation with a person I thought cared about me, left me heartbroken. Depression sunk in again and I lost a lot of weight.
As down and out I THOUGHT I was, this season was used to strengthen me. As a creative, your mind is always buzzing with ideas, even though previous businesses had failed, I still had that little beacon of hope, that I could still be successful at something.
“If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea’ and it would obey you.”
- Luke 17:6 (NKJV)
My faith was that small at this point but it was enough to trust God with all of me, and that's what I did. At this point in my life, I wasn’t doing much, my styling career was definitely in the pit and I was just working my cleaning job to get by. A friend recommended the Princes Trust Enterprise Scheme, it sounded interesting enough, you get a mentor, they help you develop a business idea, and if it’s good enough, you get to pitch for a business loan. Why not?
I joined with several business ideas, till one day I broke down in front of my mentor crying with bogeys and all, telling him I don't know what I want to do, I just know I want to do SOMETHING. I believe this man was heaven sent. He sympathised with me and asked me to think about the things I was good at, I mentioned fashion and food. I liked food, I’ve always been “THE cook” at home, at uni and amongst my friends but didn't think I could make a career from it.
We came to the conclusion, mutually that I should let the fashion industry go… It was hard accepting at first, but hey, being a consumer isn't so bad. lol. He encouraged me to explore ideas around food, and as mentioned, being a creative there's usually a storage box of ideas living in the back corner of your head. So I opened it and shared one.
That one is what Gym Bites is today, a healthy eating food brand, providing nutritious options to those who have little or no time to prepare meals to aid their healthy and active lifestyles. Alongside with Gym Bites, came opportunities to be stocked in Selfridges, press coverage with the Daily Mail and BUZZFEED, guest speaking opportunities with the likes of Virgin Media Business and at the House of Commons, being nominated for Young Entrepreneur of The Year Precious Award 2016, WINNING Best Health Food Provider, UK Enterprise Awards 2017 and the launching of AlexisOladipo.com. Not to mention, I am back at University studying my Master's Degree in Food Business and Product Development and excelling with 1st, and 2:1 results! That is how my God works!
As I list all the above achievements, I want you to note that NONE of this was my doing, but the doing of The All Mighty God. Everything I have been through and am going through is strategically done for Him, and Him alone to receive the glory, honour and adoration! Yes, I had a helping hand from various individuals like my blessed mother, my fiancé, family and friends, but God equipped them ALL to bring glory to his name.
So my advice to anyone reading this is:
Matthew 6:33 - “But seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you”
Stay blessed, stay encouraged and remain faithful that everything is working out for the good of those who love The Lord. (Romans 8:28) x
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And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
- Romans 8:28