My Pain, My Gain Part 3
‘Where do I go from here? The event that took place several hours ago was life wrecking. I couldn’t get over what had happened. I kept playing the whole scene in my head. My mother finding out that I had been sleeping with Paul; the fact that my mother isn’t my real mother, or the fact that I am mother’s daughter? I just couldn’t believe how I have played my life. All these years, I had blamed my mother for all that had happened, not knowing that the blood of a betrayal had been flowing freely through my veins. Wait a minute! Make that the blood of two betrayals. My father whom I had always looked up to; he was my hero, the man that gave me everything I ever wanted. Yet, he was the same man who betrayed his own wife, and slept with a prostitute and a thief. Yes, I said it. My blood mother was a prostitute and a thief. She was the one who started this whole battle in our lives.
I had no idea of what to do or where to go from here. Mum had excused herself to her room since the whole confession. I knew her heart was breaking; finding out that her husband had molested her only child, and kept her as his mistress under the same roof was a horror to behold. I actually wouldn’t blame her if she hated me after this. She was the victim in all these; she had been the victim all the while. She had been living with all the lies, deceits and betrayal all her life. She served them, loved them and was loyal; she stood by them all, and got nothing good out of it.
Sophia sat in the living room staring into the air. She was tired of crying; the pain in her chest was becoming unbearable, and she didn’t want any illness added to the one she was dying of. She realized how difficult the revelation would do to Kathleen, and how she would move on from all these. She knew she had to make things right, she had to let her know that none of these were her fault.
This morning after she left Kathleen in her room; she had gone into her own room and started to bring out everything that belonged to Paul. His clothes, shoes, their wedding pictures, and everything he had in the house. She took them all to the back garden and burnt it all. She couldn’t believe how she’d lived with the monster for many years and never figured out what he was doing to her daughter. Although she’d suspected he had been cheating on her; from the numerous text messages she had seen on his phone, the unexplained business trips and excessive spending and bills. But she never knew he was also sleeping with her own daughter. She felt like a total failure.
Kathleen had locked herself up in her room for three days. Her mother had to force her to eat something during these days. Sophia also took the time to apologize for neglecting her all these years, and for many other things that had happened. She had refused to go back to work; she knew something was changed inside of her. She couldn’t go on doing the things she did before. She had to make a change in her life, she had to come clean to herself and to everyone she did hurt, but didn’t know how.
She couldn’t bring herself to face Mrs. Jones; she felt bad for all that she did. She also regretted sending the email to Collins. She felt ashamed, and couldn’t face him after all that he knew about her. She had logged off from all social networks, and deleted all her accounts from them all. She refused to pick up any calls that came through her phone, and after few days of messages alert and missed calls, she took out her sim card and flushed it down the toilet drain.
On the fourth day, she got out of bed to have a bath. She finished, and got dressed; then she decided to go through her wardrobe to throw some of her old clothes away. She knew she would never wear some of it again; it was her way of letting go of some of her pasts. Then, she spotted an old box she’d kept as a young girl. They contained some old photographs, diaries, a bible and some books she used to treasure, but had kept them locked away for many years.
She opened it, and the first thing that caught her attention was an old picture she took with her father. It was on a fateful Sunday he had taken her out for ice-cream, and then took the picture when he poked her nose with some of the ice-cream. The beautiful smile on their faces brought tears to her eyes. She missed him so much, and wished he was here to tell her what to do. She remembered that particular day; she had left the tap running in her bathroom, and went off to church with her parents. On getting back home that afternoon, the whole bathroom and her bedroom was flooded with water. When Kathleen discovered this, she switched off the water, and went to hide somewhere in the house. She felt because she had been warned severally to always switch off. Her father had discovered this, and found her where she was hiding. He asked her why she was hiding, and she said she had been afraid. That day, her father reminded her about the story of Adam and Eve, how they also hid from God after eating the forbidden fruit. That incident brought about sin to mankind. He explained that, although they had sinned against God, but He still loved them. He also loved us so much that he sent his own Son Jesus Christ to die for all our sins. Her father also explained that he had also done many terrible things, but the Lord forgave him all his sin. He told her that when she does anything wrong, she should never hide from the Lord. She should always come clean to him, and His mercy and unfailing love would always be available to her.
Kathleen learnt in that incident that her father loved her no matter what she did. Even more, that the Lord loved her no matter what mistake she’d made in life. She’d forgotten that lesson until now. The picture reminded her of something great, something that was about to bring about a change in her life. She realised that she had been hiding and making more mistakes. She felt she was unworthy and couldn’t stand in the presence of God because of her sins. Just like Adam and Eve, she was afraid of what the Lord would do.
Kathleen allowed the tears bunching her eyes flow freely down her cheeks. She knew she had to go back home. Her father had always taught her that her home wasn’t just the four walls of her house; her home was also the presence of the Lord. She never did understand much of what he talked about then. He would always speak of the unfailing love of God. He said he wasn’t perfect, although Kathleen thought otherwise. She saw him as the most perfect man in the whole world. He did no wrong in her eyes; he was a good father to her. She remembered him telling her that when he sinned against the Lord, he did felt ashamed of himself. He said he couldn’t stand to go into the presence of God, but he knew the more time he was away from God, the greater the chances the devil had in his life. Kathleen had no idea what he meant in those days, but she knew now. He had been talking about the things he did to her mother, his betrayal. She was too young then to have understood all these.
Kathleen placed the picture on her bed, and knelt down. She wanted to pray, she wanted to say something to God, but words failed her. Her heart was screaming out to God to help her, her body was asking for forgiveness, yet her mouth wouldn’t utter the words in her heart. She was flooded in tears; she was moaning, and her hand had a tight grip on the bed.
“Oh Lord…” she whimpered.
She felt unworthy to stand before him. She couldn’t just ask him to forgive her of all sins. It felt like a free ticket than she deserved. She wouldn’t believe she could just pray and ask the Lord to forgive all the things she had done wrong, the people she had hurt, and he would just forgive her. Just like that! She felt she does not deserve to be forgiven, she does not deserve any mercy from him.
She knelt down there moaning in tears, but her mind was re-counting all the things she had done in her life. The mistakes, the sleeping around, the lies, deceit, those that trusted her, but she betrayed. The burden was just too much to bear; the pain was breaking her heart.
“Please, help me…,” she cried out. “Help me daddy…,” she broke down into more tears. She had not meant to say the word ‘daddy’. It just came to her. She was referring to God as daddy. She couldn’t imagine how torn down her own father would have felt if he was alive to see all the thing she had done. How much more God had felt knowing and seeing all her sins. She felt like a filthy rag before him, she wanted to stand up and run as fast as she could.
“I am sorry…,” she wailed, “Please forgive me….” She cried brokenly. She knew there was no where she could run to that the Lord couldn’t find her. In fact, she was tired of running, she was tired of hiding. Her mind flashed back to when she was hiding from her father after she had flooded her room; she remembered how her heart had been pounding so fast in fear of the punishment she could receive, only, her father never did punish her. Instead, he told her about the love of the father. The mercy that we do not deserve but he gave freely to us.
She knew that if there was anyone that could save her now, it could only be the Lord. She lay down on the floor and cried out for mercy. She prayed that he could wash her clean, that he would take all the evil she had done and cleanse her heart. A lot of things were making new sense to her now; she remembered when she prayed as a young girl and she would ask God to forgive all the sins she did committed. It was merely a religious routine to her back then, but it had a new meaning to her now. It wasn’t enough to ask the Lord just to forgive without cleansing. She had to also pray that he wash away all the things she had done. To take away the pain and the effect it had on her. She wasn’t asking for a new memory, like it never happened before, she was asking that He takes away the dirt, the stains it had on her. That night, Kathleen cried and prayed. She begged and prayed for mercy; she asked the Lord to make her new, to change her life. After then, she slept off there on the floor.
Sophia sat with unease at the waiting room of the St. Andrews hospital. She’d been waiting to see her doctor for twenty minutes; her heart seems to be pounding so fast that it felt like it was about to burst out. She had called in a few days ago to book this appointment after some unusual way she’d been feeling. A part of her didn’t want to get too optimistic about the result, but another part believed this may be the result of her prayers. Compare to weeks ago, she’d been feeling much better and stronger in the past three days. The fatigue she usually felt was lessening, and a renew of strength in her body. She had been praying for a miracle, a healing that only God could give to her, and felt this was it.
“Mrs Coker.” The Nurse called, but Sophia was lost in her thought.
A gentle tap on her shoulder made her jumped.
“I’m sorry to startle you,” the nurse said politely, “the doctor is ready to see you now.” She smiled at her.
Sophia nodded, and picked up her hand bag from the seat next to her. She followed behind her without saying a word. The pounding her heart made it difficult to speak.
The nurse led her to the room, and opened it. There, Doctor Lucas was waiting.
“Sophia, how good to see you.” He greeted.
“Hello.” Sophia smiled, and sat on the chair he offered.
The nurse dropped the medical file on his table, and went out of the room. Sophia noticed how big the file had become; it was only a few pages several months ago when she discovered something wasn’t right in her body.
“I’m so sorry I couldn’t see you before this, I was away on a medical retreat.” He took off his glasses, and smiled tenderly at her. Doctor Lucas had been their family doctor for quite some number of years. He had been a friend of her late husband; they attended the same University back then several years ago, and remained friends. It had been heart breaking for him when he announced she was dying of cancer, and that there was nothing medically he could do for her after months of treatment.
“So, you are here about what we discussed on the phone?” He made eye contact.
“Yes.” she braced herself to hear his thought, but before he could speak further, she started to explain. “It is possible, right?” she asked, and didn’t wait to hear his response. “Anything is possible,” she added. “I can be cured,” She sat forward to him. “I know medically it can be deem nonsense, but there is nothing impossible for God to do.” Her face lilted up to hear his response. “You and I know that God can heal all diseases? I have heard cases of people dying of cancer, and suddenly, the doctors couldn’t find any traces of it in their body.” She clapped her hands together. “It is possible, right?” she saw the distress look on Doctor Lucas’s face, so she settled back in her seat.
Lucas smiled warmly to her, and closed her file on the table. “You know I am all for miracles and I certainly believe God can do anything-
“Exactly what I am saying,” Sophia jumped in her seat. “I feel so much energy that I haven’t felt in months. I feel strength in me.” She raised her hands into the air.
“Yes I understand.” He said, and inhaled deeply.
“But-“ Sophia looked at him like he was about to say something different. She sat down. “What you mean but? I mean, you don’t feel the same way I do?”
He stood up from his seat and went to stand in front of her. “Sophia, I am your number one fan of fighting this disease. I want you cured, healed in fact from any traces of cancer in your body, but I don’t want to get your hopes up until I can see the results of the test I ordered you should take a few hours ago.”
“And what does the result say?” she swallowed hard.
“I expecting them by tomorrow.” He put his hand on her shoulder. “However, I want you to take plenty of rest; I don’t want you stressing yourself because of so much energy I see in your eyes.” He smiled at her.
“I haven’t felt this much energy in so many months,” tears were bunching in her eyes. “I just feel great.” She wiped the tears quickly before they could roll down.
“You look great.” He said to her.
She let out a soft laugh. “You always say the nicest things to me, but I stopped believing you a long time ago.” She teased him.
“You do look great, and I know the good Lord is in control of your life.”
Sophia brought her hands to her cheeks. “Thank you Lucas. I am blessed to have you as my doctor.” She stood up.
Doctor Lucas stepped away from her to open the door. “Please, do take things easy, ok.” He opened the door for her.
“I will. Thank you again, and my love to Angela and the kids.” She said on her way out.
“See you soon.”
“Bye.” She said, and walked out of the room.
Sophia walked out of the hospital building in haste. She was eager to get back home and do the things she’d been dreaming to do for days now. She wanted to go to the beach, and had planned to ask Kathleen to come along with her. She was looking forward to walking in the sand barefooted, and the wind blowing over her face.
She was getting to her car when she saw a familiar face standing by it. Anger arose in her when she saw Paul.
“How dare you.” She shrieked.
“Sophia.” He looked solemnly at her.
“What are you doing here?” she shouted at him. She had wanted to call the police on him the day after Kathleen had confessed to her. She had been furious and wanted to lock him up, but Kathleen had begged her not too.
“I was waiting for you.” He said.
“You do have the gut to come near me after what you did.”
“It’s not what you think, please Sophia-
She interrupted. “What!” she was stunned. She couldn’t believe he just said that. ‘What should she have thought?’ “Did you just say that?” She shouted. “You raped my daughter, you sick bastard.” She screamed at him.
“Please Sophia.” He tried to hush her when a man walking by had looked at them.
“Don’t you dare hush me?” She shouted louder. “I don’t want to see your face again; I don’t want you near me or my daughter.” She warned.
“You have to hear my side of the story.” he tried to touch her.
She jerked away. “Don’t you dare,” she shouted out in tears. “What kind of an animal are you?”
“Sophia.” He called out.
“Don’t ever call my name again.” She stepped away from him, and then walked back and faced him squarely. “I was at the hospital, grieving for the baby I had lost, your baby, and you were at home forcing yourself on my daughter. She was a child Paul; she was just a child, my baby.” She screamed at him, and started to hit him harder on the chest.
Paul tried to hold her hands, but she moved away before he could stop her.
“You are a wicked man,” she spat at him, and then wiped her hands down her face. She tried to steady her breathing, and reduce the swelling in the chest. She could feel her heart racing, and wanted to get it under control.
“I really don’t know what to say to you in this state you are in.” He said coldly.
“This state.” She repeated, and felt anger bursting through her dam. “In this state, I would like to kill you!” She clenched her fist in disgust.
He looked stunned, and then he had a smirk look on his face.
Sophia felt repulsed by him standing there. He had no sign of remorse on his face. She realised that he was just a monster, he was a man whose mission was to destroy her life, and he almost if not succeeded in doing that. She had made a mistake the very first day she meant him, and then another greater mistake when he asked her hands in marriage and she accepted. She had been so blinded that she refused to reason with few friends who had warned her about him. They said he was in for her money, but she believed otherwise. He had been so nice to her, but preyed on her vulnerability.
Paul looked at her for a minute, and then picked up his car keys that had fallen on the floor when she was hitting him.
“I came home –“
“No no no….” she shook her head to disagree. “Don’t you call it your home; It’s not your home. It was supposed to be a haven to protect my daughter, to keep her safe but you made it hell for her.” She pointed angrily at him. She couldn’t believe he could still come to the house. He had no business to come over again, that was her house, the house she owned.
He chuckled. “Alright, I went over to the house, and Gabriel said you went to the hospital, but I couldn’t find any of my things.”
Her head dropped forward in exasperation. She made a note to warn Gabriel, her gateman about this when she got home. He had no business telling anyone where she went.
“Your things.” She looked at him in disgust.
“Yes, my things. I couldn’t find them.”
“I burnt them all, everything.” She straightened.
“You did what!” His hooded obsidian eyes held nothing but disdain.
“I burnt them.” She saw the horror on his face. She wanted to do more to him; she wanted to take everything away from him, just like he took something away from her daughter.
He threw his hands in the air. “God! You are so-“
She moved closer to him before he could finish, and faced him squarely. “if you dare mention God again, fire will strike you right here.” She poked him hard on the chest.
“How could you?” He looked angrily at her.
“I would like to do more than that to you,” she clenched her jaw at him. “I will like to destroy everything you hold dearly, but couldn’t find any. “Now listen and listen careful cos I am only going to say this once. I do not want you in my life. Your name has been written out of my life, my accounts, my properties or anything it was on before. You do not hold or have any right over me and if you dare come ten meters to where I am again in your life, I promise, you will regret it.” She locked eyes with him so he could see the fire in her eyes.
Paul swallowed hard.
“One last thing, let my lawyer know where to send the divorce papers.” She pushed him hard from her way; got into her car, and drove out of the parking lot leaving him standing there.
Sophia felt her hands trembling after driving for a few minutes; she had to pull to the side of the road to try to steady it. Tears flushed down her cheeks; she had sworn in her heart to kill him when she sets her eyes on him. She couldn’t believe she had to let him get away with his crime. She wanted him to pay, she wanted him to rot in jail, and above all, she wanted him to rot in hell.
Kathleen had begged her not to involve the police; she said no one would believe her, considering her own lifestyle now. She said Paul knew who she had become, and it would only be her words against his. She had confessed to her mother all the other things she had been involved in, and not even the police would give her the justice and clean slate she wanted.
She struggled to steady her breathing and reduce the swelling emotion in her chest. She broke down into more tears right there in her car, she felt defeated and hopeless. She had thought if God had indeed healed her, it would be a second chance to make things right, but somehow, she knew there wasn’t any second chance. Lives had already been destroyed, mistakes that no one could go back to amend had been made. Suddenly, she put the car into ignition and started to drive away, she knew one place she had to go. It was a place she had not been to for several years, somewhere she’d dreaded for a long time.
After about thirty minutes of driving, she parked her car in front of the Lagos city cemetery and found her way to her late husband’s grave side. She stood there for a few minutes staring at his name on the headstone, ‘Edward Coker’; there were over-grown weed all over the place. Then, she bent down and started to pull out the weed with her hands; tears sprang in her eyes. Her heart was breaking, she had tried so hard to stay away from him, and from the memory they shared. He had been her first love, the only man who knew her; they had their weaknesses, and setbacks in their marriage, but they worked through it, together. When Edward died, it was like her whole world had crashed.
After clearing the leaves away from his tomb stone, she knelt down and wiped the tears away from her eyes.
“I haven’t been here in a while,” she started. “I am so sorry….” She whimpered. “I am sorry for staying away……; I just couldn’t bear to see you here.” Suddenly, she let out a loud groan. Her throat felt like it was burning, there was pain in her chest; tears of utter despair filled her. She had a tight grip on her stomach and cried out.
“Oh God,” She cried out. “I messed up Ed. I really messed up.” She groaned. “You always knew what to do, you were the strong one.”
She felt a hard lump growing in her chest. “I am not strong like you, I don’t know what to do…..Tell me what to do,” she whimpered.
“Madam, are you okay?” A man was standing by her side. She had not seen him walk up to her.
“What!” She jolted.
“Are you alright?” The man asked again.
She stiffened, and stood up quickly. “Yes, I’m ok.” She said, and started to walk away.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” the man called after her, but she continued to walk away.
She continued into her car, and drove away.
Kathleen had been hiding in the downstairs guest toilet for over an hour. It was when she heard a car drove into their compound. She had looked through the window and saw Paul came out of the car. She couldn’t believe he was back; she became frightened; old memories flashed through her mind so she went quickly to hide before he could see her. She had gone into the toilet to hide, but heard his footsteps when he came into the living room. A few seconds later, he walked upstairs, and then back downstairs.
Kathleen was trembling in the toilet, she sat with her knees to her chest, praying so hard he couldn’t check in there. Then, she heard him cussing and shouting for his things. Kathleen knew he wouldn’t find any of them since her mother had burnt them all. Then, after few minutes of barking hard in the living room, she heard a big bang on the front door. She later heard him driving out of the compound.
She couldn’t believe the amount of fear she felt, she wanted him out of her life, not to be afraid of him, and hiding for the rest of her life. But she couldn’t bring herself to face him; she was not strong enough to stand and look straight into his eyes again.
Again, she heard the door open again and someone walked in. She felt her heart skipped a beat. She heard footsteps fading away, like the person was going up the stairs, then few minutes later, the steps started to get closer. Her heart was beating so fast, sweat beads rolled down her head. The door opened, and her mother poked her head in.
“Kathleen, are you in here?”
She swallowed hard when she saw her mother. Sophia was stunned when she saw her face; she looked like she’d just seen a ghost. “Are you alright? she asked.
Kathleen went quickly into her mother’s embrace. He was here, he came home.” She shivered.
“Did he hurt you, did he touch you?”
“No, no he didn’t. I hid in the toilet; I couldn’t let him see me.” She whimpered.
Sophia brought her back into her embrace. “I am so sorry dear, I am so sorry…,” she rubbed her back. Sophia didn’t want her daughter living like this; she didn’t want her hiding for the rest of her life.
“I promise you Kathleen, he will never hurt you again. Never!” She patted her back to assure her. She knew what she had to do, she had to make things right. She had to protect her daughter at all cost.
Sophia sat in her car, looking straight at the entrance of the Ritz hotel in the central part of Lagos. She inhaled deeply and got out with her bag. She had called Paul earlier today that she wanted to come see him. He had been so thrilled to hear from her, so he texted his hotel address to her.
Sophia entered the building, and walked to the reception.
“Hi, I’m here to see my husband, Paul Adams.” She smiled at the lady at the reception.
“Ok, please give me a minute.” The lady picked up the telephone and spoke into the receiver; few seconds later, she smiled and put the phone down. “You can go up ma’am, room 46. Take the lift to the third floor.” She pointed towards the lift.
“Thank you.” Sophia nodded and walked towards it.
She took the lift, and pressed the third floor. Then, she walked up to his room, and knock lightly.
Her heart leaped when he opened the door; he had a solemn smile on his face.
“Sophia, I am so glad you are here.” He said.
Her face was void of any smile.
“I’m really glad we can work through this,” he went to stand at the centre of the room.
Sophia put her hand into her bag, and brought out a gun.
He turned around and froze up when he saw the gun.
Her face was quivering in rage.
He swallowed hard. “Sophia!” he put his hands up. “What are you doing with at?” he moved slowly away from her.
“I have to make sure you don’t hurt her again.” She pointed the gun at him, and used the other hand to shut the door.
“Sophia,” he muttered. “Please….”
“You can’t hurt her any more if you are gone.” She flashed an angry look at him.
“I will never hurt her…, I swear.” He was trembling.
Her face was smouldering with resentment. “But you did before, you hurt my little girl.”
“I….” he stammered. “I… don’t…” shame and indignation caused his mouth to tremble.
“You are a monster Paul, an evil man.”
Sweat rolled down his face. “I am sorry…”
“I have to protect my daughter; I have to make things right.” She stepped closer to him.
“Think about what you are about to do, think about the consequences.” He said.
“What consequences?” She shouted.
“You might end up in jail, or sentence to death,” he nodded his head, “Please…” He begged.
“Guess what? I’m already dying. I have nothing to lose.” She dropped her bag on the floor, and held the gun with her two hands.
Paul shook his head to disagree; he saw the angry look on her face and he knew exactly what she wanted to do. He moved away from her until his back hit the wall. “I will never hurt her; I swear to you; I will never touch her.” He moaned in tears.
“I know you won.” Then she pulled the trigger. Bang! She felt adrenaline drove through her body. Bang! She pulled the trigger again.
To be continued.
Thank you for reading. Kindly leave your comments here please.
From an Outcast to a Hero
The story of the four lepers in 2 Kings 7 is one of the extra ordinary events in the bible. God used ordinary people, out-casts; the rejected, disabled, and labelled for scorn to save the Israelites.
In those days, lepers were not allowed to stay in the city, but are banished outside the city gate and there, they would die. No one would look upon them; no one would even speak to them. During this time, there was a great famine in the land; not only that, the Arameans had camped not too far away to fight againstIsrael. There was no way the children of Israel would win the battle except the Lord gave it into their hands.
These four lepers were hungry, and thought they should probably go to their enemies and surrender.Â They went to the edge of the camp, and not a man was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army so they fled. ‘Look, the king ofÂ IsraelÂ has hired the Hittite, and theÂ EgyptianÂ kings to attack us! So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents andÂ theirÂ horses and donkeys. They left their camp and ran for their lives.Â
Wow! Can you imagine that? The four lepers who were considered nothing; the odds were against them. They had nothing, no title to their names andÂ I’mÂ guessing they had no sword or whatsoever weapon to defend themselves, but the Lord was with them. See Folks, when you are willing to do something, God will do the extra-ordinary. Where people have considered you as nobody, God will cause you to be a mighty one. As God caused their foot-steps to be that of mighty warriors, God will make your life an example of greatness, even beyond your own imagination. He will remove every label the enemy has put upon life and make His glory to show forth. Quit looking down on your life, God can use you for great exploits; He can take you to places you never thought you would get to.
He can make you pass that examination. He can make you reach that height in your career. God can do anything with your life. His power is not limited because you canâ€™t speak well in public, remember Moses, God still used him. His power also is not limited because people or even your family has tossed you aside to look over sheep, remember David, he became the King. He will not look down on you because of where you came from or because you are an orphan, remember Esther – sheÂ becameÂ a queen in a foreign land; what about Joseph, the slave who became one of the greatest ruler, what about Daniel? And the list goes on and on. Donâ€™t limit yourself because of what you can seeÂ aroundÂ you; He is God, and He can turn the same thing that has worked against your life to begin to work in your favour. He is the God of ALLresources, and He will make available for you what you need toÂ succeed. He is God, and he can cause even the smallest thing to be the greatest thing.
Now is not the time to hide because of the defect or weakness you think you may have, now is the time toÂ Arise and shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
Â© Circlesoflove 2013
Insight 4u – Cheating Partner 1
Insight 4u – Circles of Love
Insight 4u – His Reputation
Who is your husband?
You are his helper, so don’t turn him to a door mat; you have not only trampled on him but allowed others do the same – especially with your words. Some have resentment towards their husbands- maybe something they did in the past or doing to them, so they lash out their anger by speaking badly about them in public. Words are powerful, be careful what you say to that man. A virtuous woman has a husband who is respected. ‘He is known in the gates, when he sits amongst elders of the land’. – Proverbs 31:23.
Build His Reputation. You know those things you can do to ruin your husband’s reputation, right? (like talking bad about him behind his back or acting like you expect him to be thoughtless or lazy) Well, there are things that you can also do to build his reputation. How you act toward him says a lot to others. What you say about him in his presence and behind him, what you expect of him also speaks loudly.
Most men prefer to be admired to being loved. If you doubt this tell your husband that you love him and study his reaction. Then after prayerful consideration, think of something you admire about him. Say to him, ‘There is something about you that I truly admire’. Watch his attentiveness. You will be amazed at how powerful words of admiration are to your husband. Would you consider saying to your husband tonight, ‘There is something about you I truly admire’. Then share it with him. Lay your discomfort aside. Swallow your pride if you need to. Ask God for a spirit of humility and sincerity. Then step out in faith and tell your husband you admire him. You can do it! And God will bless you in your efforts. (From the book The Politically Incorrect Wife by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby)
If you find it hard to come up with ways to encourage your husband, saying thanks is a great place to start. If things are rocky just now and you don’t feel particularly thankful for your husband (believe me, this happens!), start small.
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MY PAIN, MY GAIN PART TWO
MY PAIN, MY GAIN PART TWO
Please click here to read part 1 of my pain, my gain.
Kathleen broke down in tears right there in the bathroom. She felt her heart tightened in dismay; in as much as she was hurting inside, her heart still sunk at the hurtful words she had spoken to her mother. Although, a part of her felt she deserved to hear the truth; she was the one who was battered and betrayed by the one person who should have looked out for her. It was the pain she had to carry for several years. She felt she had to tell the truth exactly as it was.
She couldn’t understand the sudden change of heart of her mother; why she was now interested in being part of her life. She knew the illness and the short time given by her doctors were a wake-up call for her, nonetheless, that was not an excuse to get a free ticket to a good relationship.
Kathleen hated the emotion she felt right now; it was a mixture of fear, uncertainty and regrets. The fear of losing the only family she’d known all her life overwhelmed her. The uncertainty of what the future held for her, especially with the pain and hurt she’d allowed herself to go through. Then, is the regrets of not making things right by her mother. In spite of their strain relationship, she was still her mother. Nothing in her life made any sense for a long time, but now, she felt something inside of her, something stronger than the pain and hurt she’d always carried with her. She wanted to scream out and ask it to stop haunting her; part of her was also trying to dismiss what it meant. ‘This was love’, a love she had denied her mother all these years, a love she’d tried to suppress with the pain, hurt and guilt. She realized that somewhere in her heart, she did love her mother; probably had caged it far away, but something or someone had let it out.
Then, she felt angry all over again. They had no right to do this to her, they have no right to make her feel this way; this was definitely not what she was made of, this is not who she is. They had opened her to a feeling of love, a deem weakness that she couldn’t afford to experience. She had trained herself to be numb to any feelings, in exception to the pain and hurt she felt. Then, she concluded that this was Collins’s fault; he had told her about love, he’d caused all these. He opened something in her, like a part of her she’d buried for a long time had suddenly awoken.
Suddenly, she stood up from the bathroom floor and walked back into her bedroom. She went to her computer, open her email to compose a message, and started to type. She felt If he indeed Collins loves someone like her, then, he should wait until he read her messages. She was not someone to be loved, not capable of loving anyone.
She started to write everything in her life to Collins; started with the rape, and how she became her step father’s mistress; she told him about her boss’s husband whom she’d slept with from time to time, also about the various things she had done. After she was done typing, without hesitation, she hit the send button and went straight to bed.
An hour later, Kathleen had been tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep. She had never opened up to anyone in her life; no one knew the things she’d done in her life. She wanted Collins to back away from any notion of love or admiration of her. She was not meant to be loved, not by anyone. After failed attempts to sleep, she decided to get up to take some sleeping tablet when suddenly the door opened, and Paul, her step father walked in.
“What do you want?” She looked hard at him.
“What!” he gasped in disbelief. He looked back to see if he had entered the right room.
“What do you want?” she asked again.
He moved towards her. “What do you mean?” He looked bewildered. She had never spoken to him in such manner before.
“I want you out of my room now!” She felt a strong anger in her to turn him away this night.
“I just got back from Port Harcourt, and thought to spend the night here,” he said, “your mother is fast asleep and doesn’t even know I’m back.” He started to unbutton his shirt.
She looked at him in disgust. Suddenly, every fibre in her wanted to strike him dead.
“So, let’s get down to business; I will leave very early in the morning before she wakes up and pretend I just got back.” He let out a wicked smile.
Kathleen rubbed her hand against her face in frustration. “Paul!” She shouted to get his attention. “I want you out of my room right now and out of my life!”
Paul was startled; he looked as if he was just woken up from a deep sleep. “What has come over you?”
Kathleen dropped her head forward in exasperation. “Nothing has come over me!” She raged out. “I’m doing something I should have done years ago.
He chuckled; amused by her anger. “So, you suddenly woke up one day and decided to do this?” he asked smirking.
Her breathing became rapid; even the thought of him standing there repulsed her. “I said I’m done!” she shrieked.
“I can see you’ve got your big mouth back,” He barked hard at her. “This reminded me of a certain fourteen years old girl, who thought she had it all, but later became the very thing she despised.” He growled at her. “I am not done with you girl, so neither get back on that bed and you will give me what I want or I will take it by force.” He demanded.
“You Bastard!” Kathleen raged, stood up and walked towards him with the scissor pointed at him. This time, there was no stopping, she wanted to cause him so damage, drive the scissor right into him. He was taunting her, and she’d had the last of it.
Paul saw the hot poker of anger in her eyes, he knew what she was going to do. He turned around quickly towards the door, opened it to escape, but found Sophia standing there, drenched in tears.
They both froze up standing there. A Few seconds later, Paul was the first to move, he walked quickly downstairs, took his car keys and walked hastily out of the house.
Kathleen dropped the scissors on the floor. She trembled, her body radiating heat. She felt an uncomfortable pain rose up in her chest. Even though she had blamed her mother for what Paul did to her, but seeing the truth out now was terrifying. she was the woman sleeping with her mother’s husband. She was the betrayer. She bowed her head in shame and indignation.
Right there, I knew it was over. I sat on the floor, with my back against my bed, a few meters away from my mother who was also sitting on the floor, in front of my bedroom. Both of us had broken down in tears the minute Paul left the house. I saw the pain in my mother’s eyes, she tried looking at me but each time she did, she was flooded with tears. At some point, she wanted to say something to me but nothing came out of her mouth, just more tears. The more she cried, the more I felt broken. Now, this was just the two of us, no in-betweens, just a mother and a daughter with a broken heart.
“I wanted to tell you,” Kathleen said wearily. “I wanted to tell you the very first day it happened but I couldn’t.” She was afraid to look into her eyes.
Sophia covered her mouth in a sob.
“It all started the few nights you spent at the hospital after the miscarriage, I was fourteen.” She gulped a sob.
Sophia gasped in disbelief, followed by more tears. Her hands were trembling.
Kathleen swallowed hard, “He said he would kill me if I tell anyone but after few trips into my room, I stopped fighting, I felt there was no use fighting; I thought you gave up on me,” she broke down into more tears; Sophia went quickly to her. She wanted to hold her, but Kathleen jerked away.
“Oh God.” She whimpered. She saw the shame on her, she wouldn’t even let her touch her. It’s been years since she held her daughter in an embrace.
“I gave up mom… I stopped fighting for my life.” She curled her hands around her body. She desperately wanted to be held, but couldn’t bring herself to it. she felt filthy and ashamed.
“What have I done?” Sophia whimpered, her hands were trembling. I caused all these…” she cried out.
“No no no no… Don’t blame yourself, mom, you never knew.” Kathleen shook my head to disagree with her.
“But I should have known. I am the mother here. God! All these years in my house and I never suspected anything, I never…” She continued to cry.
“I should have told you.” Kathleen wanted to stop her from blaming herself. All these years she had blamed her mother for everything that happened, but right here, right now, she couldn’t continue with that anymore. She couldn’t bring herself to do that to her.
“I should have known,” she shouted. “Oh God! What kind of a mother am I?” she broke down in tears.
“I allowed him mom, I couldn’t stop…..” Kathleen whimpered.
“You were just a child; you were my child, my baby.” She broke down into more tears. “God!” she whimpered. “Now, I know I deserve to die, I deserved what has come upon me…, I could not even protect my own child…
Kathleen wanted to say something but couldn’t find the right word. She felt heavy; the burden of the pain and hurt overwhelmed her and right there for the first time, she admitted she was tired. She became tired of carrying all the pain day to day, she was tired of blaming her mother for all that had happened, tired of fighting.
“I am so sorry.” Kathleen cried brokenly. That was the only word that came to mind. “I am so sorry for doing all these…
“What!” Her mother whimpered. “I am the one who disappointed you, Kathleen,” her voice was broken. “I let you down, I did not protect you.”
Right here, Kathleen knew she couldn’t let her go on crying; she was exhausted, they both were, but considering her health, she just couldn’t let her go on. She stood up and got her mother up from the floor and made her laid down on the bed; she also lay down beside her. She could still hear soft cries.
It was almost 5:30 am; Sophia had struggled to sleep. Sometimes, she stared long at Kathleen who was fast asleep, other times; she quietly cried and prayed to God to take the pain away. She finally stood up from the bed and sat on the one-sitter couch in Kathleen’s room.
All she wanted was restoration, healing and peace but feared she couldn’t have any of those.
She felt like a failure as a mother. How can a mother not know her daughter had been molested? How again could a mother have brought the beast that caused this into her home and continued to nurture the beast? She couldn’t understand these things, and how she allowed this into their lives. She had constantly prayed and does the things normal Christians should do. She couldn’t understand where she went wrong. But something was for sure, everything she had been doing especially since her late husband had been doing things all by herself. Trying to find a meaning to life, a path to walk straight on; to make things happen all by herself. She relied so much on her own understanding and thought she could do things all by herself. She failed to include God in her decisions, her affairs and her life. She felt the Lord did not fight for her when she needed him most; the silent tears, the scorned and prayers were all for nothing. She felt God wasn’t there for her, so she took matters into her own hands.
Her control of things increased when her husband had died; she thought she needed to be on top of things and prayer was slowing her down. She needed to make quick and fast decisions, and that was the beginning of a journey that had altered the rest of her life. Then, the decision to marry Paul was no exception, all of her own understanding and wisdom. All these were as a result of leaving the presence of God to do things her own way.
Then, she thought again, ‘Was it the un-forgiveness she had towards her own blood sister or was it the one she held against her husband? Was it betrayal or even abandonment? Was it the loss of a dear one or even anger that led her to this? Does that mean that the Lord had looked away from her when she walked out of His presence? Does God actually forget his own when they disappoint him? Are all these the consequences or punishment of her sins?
As she pondered on these things, she saw Kathleen turning in bed. Fear gripped her as the image that turned to her looked like someone she had tried so hard to forget.
Sophia felt pain gripped her heart. The face looked exactly like her sister’s; the one that took away everything from her.
Kathleen’s voice jolted her from her thought.
“Are you still crying?” Kathleen asked wearily.
She wiped the tears quickly away from her cheeks.
Kathleen sat up in bed. She wanted to say so many things to her mother but wasn’t sure of how to start. She felt sorry for all she did.
Sophia cleared her throat. “I have to tell you something dear.”
“Mum, please, I am sorry.” Kathleen voiced out before her mother could continue.
Sophia raised her hands up to stop her.
“No dear, it wasn’t your fault; none of this was.” Her voice went through her. “You were right about the things you said earlier, I left you all alone, I allowed anger and other things take control of my life,” she rubbed her hands down her face. “I did so many things wrong; I took a wrong step, made wrong decisions and I allowed this into our lives.”
She watched as the tears flowed from Kathleen’s eyes.
“God!” Sophia whimpered. “I wish I could go back to make things better, I wish I loved you more than myself, I should never have walked out on the one person that could have straightened my life.” She saw the confusion on Kathleen’s face and knew she didn’t understand.
‘Maybe it’s time to tell her the whole truth, a time to be completely open before her.’ Sophia thought to herself.
“You see, I walked out on God, I walked out of His Will for my life, I made decisions without Him, I gave up and allowed anger, un-forgiveness destroy the things I loved most in my life,” She started to say.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. Now is the time to do things right; Sophia thought to herself.
Kathleen listened carefully to her mother; for the first time that she could remember, she was actually eager to hear what she had to say.
Sophia started. ‘Many years ago; barely a few years after I married your father. It all started during a Christmas holiday. My sister, the only family I have in the world came to spend the Christmas with us. I was excited and happy to see her even though I was sceptical at first because of her wayward life. She was involved in all sorts of things, from drugs to different men. She always had me worried with her way of life, but no amount of pleading made her change.
Sophia flashed back to that day. She remembered her sister as the most beautiful woman she’d ever seen; a few years older than her but still maintained a great body feature. She was every man’s desire of a woman; she was smart, beautiful, confident and likeable, unlike her own reserved nature. You will fall in love with her within minutes of meeting her, she always had her charm on people and that didn’t exclude her own husband, Edward.
At first, during the visit, Sophia had nursed some jealousy within her when she saw something different in her husband. He lilted up when he spoke to Susan. He was a different man and would go on and on laughing and talking on matters his own wife couldn’t even find interest in. He was just happy, and Sophia felt there was nothing wrong in that. After few days, she felt she was being paranoid and was wrong to have felt jealousy towards her own sister.
Some Few days after Christmas, Susan left and went back to her usual life of partying and all sorts but that Christmas changed their lives. Sophia noticed her husband became withdrawn, she knew something was wrong but couldn’t lay a finger on it, not until Edward came to confess the abominable to her.
He confessed he had sex with Susan one day when she was out. He said he had no idea what came over him as he never imagined or even thought about it before. He wept and asked for her forgiveness. Sophia knew her sister; she knew how every man would respond to her charm. She always had that effect on men but never thought her own husband couldn’t resist her temptation. That sort of thing shouldn’t have happened; she felt her sister should have made an exception but she didn’t, instead she defiled her home.
After several pleading, she decided to move on with her life and accept him back, although, she wasn’t sure she had totally forgiven him, enough to continue to live together. But as for her sister, that was the last Christmas she ever saw her, not until they got the surprise of their lives.
A year later. One morning, Edward was about leaving for work when he found a baby car seat in front of their house. He moved towards it to have a better look; suddenly, the car parked by the side of their house did a quick speed and drove off. He wasn’t sure what that was all about until he saw the content in the car seat. It was a baby, with a note in it. The child was sleeping peacefully in the car seat. It took him several minutes to come back to the reality of an actual baby seating there in his drive way.
He carefully carried the car seat with the baby into the house; as suspected, Sophia was shocked and appalled. How could someone leave a baby out there? It wasn’t long to realize what this was all about. Susan got pregnant as a result of the Christmas episode, she never called to tell them but after three months of having the baby, she realized she couldn’t cope and her life had no place or agenda for a baby so she decided to drop her off. It took her just a few sentences to say she was sorry in the note she left in the seat, and nothing more.
Sophia was infuriated. She couldn’t believe her sister allowed herself to get pregnant for her husband. It was enough she had slept with him, but for her to keep the pregnancy was appealing. She knew her sister had aborted several pregnancies in her life time, and couldn’t believe she chose to keep this one. This was like her sister; she always had a way of destroying everything she couldn’t have. She couldn’t have Edward but kept the pregnancy to tell her she could have anything she wanted.
Sophia hated her sister even more. She tried looking for her, but as she knew, she had no permanent residence and had changed her telephone contact details. Her child became a symbol and reminder of what her sister did to her. She couldn’t even dispute the paternity of the child as she looked exactly like her husband, like the female version.
Days that followed after that was like torment to her, especially since she’d been anxious to have her own baby. She watched in silence and anger as Edward tried to take care of his baby. He bathes, dressed, fed her and every other responsibility was catered by him. Sophia wouldn’t even pick up the child or even looked at her. She was hurting, and the baby reminded her of what her sister did to her.
It was tough and she wanted to punish Edward for what he did to her. Two weeks after this, with several sleepless nights; he was tired and exhausted and most of all, his wife was moving farther away from him.
One night, Sophia heard the baby crying uncontrollably; she tried ignoring it like she always did, but the sound of her crying filled the house. Her heart would not take it, so she went looking for her husband and found him right there with the baby in the living room; he made no attempt to carry her. He was drenched in tears, tired and exhausted. Sophia couldn’t take the pain anymore so she moved quickly to carry the baby, the same child she had not carried or cared for in two weeks was being held by her. She rocked and held the baby until she fell asleep in her hands. Finally, when she was certain the baby was fast asleep, she gently placed her back on the mattress laid there on the floor and proceeded to leave her room. Suddenly, Edward held her back. He wept more and asked for her forgiveness. He said he couldn’t do anything without her and he knew how much pain he had caused her. That night changed everything; Sophia decided to forgive him wholeheartedly.
Sophia realised that forgiveness is one of the most painful decisions we can make. We know that somehow we’re supposed to forgive, but when we step right up to it, we feel as though we’re being asked to turn ourselves inside out, tear out our hearts, and give them into the hands of our enemy. That was how she felt.
It wasn’t an easy decision but was a decision she had to make to move on with her life. Of course, Edward did hurt her, he made a decision that caused them gravely but holding un-forgiveness could also destroy her.
You can’t heal until you forgive. Jesus used the analogy of setting someone free from a prison. When we get wounded by our spouse, what we do is we throw them in a little prison inside of our hearts, and we say, ‘You owe me, you hurt me, and I’m not going to set you free,’ But Scripture says it only poisons us. It’s only messing with our lives, and it messes with us spiritually with our relationship with God. Forgiveness is not saying that what they did was okay or they’re going to get away with it. It’s saying that I’m releasing my anger; I’m releasing this person out of a prison in my heart. I’m turning them over to the Lord; I’m turning my anger over to the Lord. God is judge, he’s going to deal with them, and I’m going to show them mercy just like Christ showed me on the cross.
Another Christmas was just around the corner but the betrayal and pain turned to a blessing as Sophia fell in love with the little baby. Since the child was abandoned in front of their drive way, she had no name, not even from her own mother but that Christmas, Sophia gave her the name, ‘Kathleen’ meaning ‘Pure’. She finally had a name that brought a new beginning, new hope; she was blameless and pure before her. Sophia felt God was telling her something, God had fearfully created the little child for his purpose and no matter the circumstances she was given birth into, that would not change the plans of God for her life.
Kathleen’s eyes grew wide when she heard her name mentioned as the baby. This was the first time she would ever hear this story; she stared at her mother in disbelief.
Sophia stared back at her; fear and uncertainty filled her. She wasn’t sure what to expect from her daughter, what the new revelation would do to her.
“Please say something.” Sophia’s voice was barely a whisper. “Please…”
Kathleen wore a blank expression so it was difficult to know what exactly she was thinking. “So, what happened to your sister, Susan?” she asked, looking straight into her eyes.
Sophia felt uncomfortable at that question; she took her eyes away from the intense gaze of her daughter.
“Mom.” Kathleen’s voice echoed through her mind.
Hot tears now stung her eyes and began rolling down her cheeks. Sophia made no attempt to wipe them. “She died seven years later; drug overdose.” she stiffened.
“We were called one day by some hospital to come claim her body; they said our names and numbers were listed as her emergency contact,” she brushed her hands through her hair. ‘Can you believe that?’ the question was more to herself.
“We had not seen nor heard from her for seven good years: no calls, no letters, nothing.” She wiped the tears from her cheeks. “Just to claim her body.” Sophia rested her aching back against the couch. “I was so angry, so furious that I wouldn’t even go with your father to the hospital; God!” her hands were beginning to tremble.
“I was so mad: not only for sleeping with my husband but also for leaving me. She shook her head in dismay. “he lived a kind of life that it was just a matter of time before she dropped dead and she knew but cared less.” She rubbed her hands on her chest, to stop the pain forming there.
Kathleen swallowed hard.
She looked softly at Kathleen, “You have to know that she was my only family; we lost our parents while we were young, she was all I had and she did this to me. She just had to let herself die.” She said in tears. “I hated her so much that I did not attend her funeral; your father, he took care of the funeral arrangement, and the small possession she had. I would not even read the letters or go through the things she left for me, I just couldn’t. “
Kathleen stood up from the bed and started to pace in the room. Her heart was racing so fast. She felt so much sadness all around her and for the first time, she realized she wasn’t the only person hurting; she wasn’t the only person in pain. All these betrayals and hurt had been all around her for many years.
Sophia saw the fear in her eyes, but that wasn’t the whole story. She wanted to tell her daughter how much she loved her despite all that had happened. She stood up and slowly walked up to her.
“You have to know that I never stopped loving you Kathleen, you became the only thing that mattered in my life, and you are my joy.” She reached out to hold her, this time Kathleen made no attempt to jerk away.
Kathleen broke down into tears.
Sophia held her in a tight embrace. Then, they both sat on the bed. “I know at some point I panicked; when you started those behaviours, I was scared of losing you, and I was scared of you becoming my sister. I remembered the way she started, the shouting at our parents, the life she lived so I freaked out at you but that didn’t mean I didn’t love you, Kathleen.” She said in tears.
Kathleen looked into her mother’s eyes and saw the pain there.
“Mom… I am my mother’s daughter; the very thing that betrayed you, the very thing that destroyed your home, I did that same thing to you mom.” she broke down into more tears clutching to her knees.
Sophia went down with her. “No, don’t say that.” She tried to bring her up, but she wouldn’t let her.
“What have I done?” Kathleen cried out. “I thought I was getting back at you but I was only destroying the best thing in my life.”
“Please, stop.” Sophia cried out. “Please…”
To be continued.
A New Thing
Here is the word of God for you today. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
The Lord is doing a new thing in your life; He’s making your path smooth, and clearing the way for you. The stone the builders rejected will become the chief corner stone. He will make a way for you and make every crooked place, straight.
I charge you therefore to stay focus on the Lord, get rooted in His Word; there, you will find answers to all those questions haunting you, you will find peace and have a great future. The Lord told Joshua, ‘Do not let the book of the Law depart out of your mouth, but mediate on it day and night, then you will have good success and your ways prosperous.’ Joshua 1:8.
For you to be a part-taker of God’s blessing this month; you have to speak His Word into your life; you have to get rooted in His word, you have to proclaim his blessing upon your household, you have to take authority. Don’t just sit around waiting for things to change, waiting for a promotion, waiting for your blessings to come. Get up, proclaim it into your life, and speak peace into your home. Command every tree the Lord has not planted to be uprooted, decree every shut door to your success to be open. The bible says,Â you shall decree a thing and it shall be established and light shall shine upon it. Decree the blessing of God right now!
Yes, the Lord will do a new thing in your life, but you have to be ready to receive it, you have to see it coming, you have to stand your guard to take what belongs to you. In the midst of all the confusion in this world, you will need a light on your path to see it coming.Â TheÂ Word isÂ a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.Â Do you want to see the new thing the Lord is doing? You need the Word to shine light on your path; to see the blessing of the Lord coming to you; you need the Word to proclaim it into your life.
The word of God is powerful; the word of God is life and the word of God is living. Speak His word into your life this day, declare his promises and remind him of His words in your life.Â As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,Â and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is God’s word that goes out from His mouth: It will not return to Him empty, but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of theÂ thorn-bushÂ will grow the pine tree, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for theÂ Lordâ€™s renown, for an everlasting sign, which will not be destroyed.â€ â€“ Isaiah 55.
The Lord is doing a new thing folks, donâ€™t miss it! Get back to the Word, and He will reveal much greater things to you. And guess what?Â We are part of a winning team!
Happy New Month.
Â Â Â© Circlesoflove 2014
My PAIN, My Gain
My name is Kathleen Coker, and I hate my life. That might sound harsh to you, but wait until you read my story. I am ruthless, selfish, wicked and all together despise the things I have done. In as much as I feel bad about my life, nevertheless, don’t you dare judge me until you know my pain. My pain however has been my source of strength; the raging pain I feel inside of me has carried me on for so long; my pain is what keeps me alive.
People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s rubbish. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.
I feel pain in every aspect of my life; no one seems to understand me. My story may not be different from everyday life, but this is my life; this is what I’ve been through, this is the kind of life I lived, this is me; I am Kathleen Coker.
It’s 7:30 am. Kathleen woke up with a pounding headache.
“Oh no,” she murmured. “another Monday.” She sighed, turning to the other side of the bed.
Her countenance turned to sadness when she saw the other side of the bed ruffled. She had come home quite drunk last night, and could not even give full account of how she got into her bedroom, but she knew her step father had passed the night here; his shirt lying there on the floor was a confirmation. She knew he was one man who would always take advantage of a helpless woman, not to talk of a drunken one.
She felt the nagging headache and tiredness in her body, but she knew no matter how she felt, that wouldn’t stop her from going to work this morning.
Kathleen had dropped out of school at the age of fifteen; a year before she completed her secondary school education. Despite all scolding, and begging from her mother, none of it mattered to her and no one could change her mind. Her father had died in a motor accident at the age of twelve, leaving her mother, Sophia to solely take care of her. She had started her rebellious ways shortly after her mother re-married, and Kathleen never for once accepted the new addition to the family. No amount of pleading and shouting changed her mind. A few weeks after she had dropped out of school, she announced she had found a job as a waitress in a fast food restaurant.
This behaviour had been so appalling and frustrating for her mother; nothing she did was enough to change her daughter’s behaviour. It became a constant battle between them and a struggle to keep her marriage and her daughter altogether.
My mother had always thought my rebellion was as a result of losing my father, but unknown to her; her new husband, Paul had been molesting me for many years. ‘How does a young girl tell her mother she’d been molested, raped and abused without feeling the alienation, humiliation and sadness in her life?’
I had just turned fourteen when my mother introduced me to the new man who is now her husband, she asked me if I was okay with it but of course, what would you expect of me?
I was furious, angry and so very disappointed at her. I told her I wasn’t interested in whoever she married as long as I don’t have to call him ‘Dad’. That was the exact answer I gave to her that day, but mom wasn’t happy about my attitude towards her husband. She told me I would understand better when I grow older. I honestly didn’t understand; I couldn’t comprehend why she would need another man, after all, Dad had so much money before he died and I knew money wasn’t a problem so why would she bring another man into our house, especially a man who defiled and ruined my life. I hated her for what she did. She’d brought the criminal into our house and she should be responsible for every pain and hurt he caused me.
The day that broke me into pieces, made me who I became was on the 15th of August. Before this day that had turned the course of my life around, I had been a little bit relaxed with my mom since she announced she was having a baby. The thought of a baby in the house made me secretly happy. I was going to have someone to call my brother or sister but all these turned sour that particular night. Mom was rushed to the hospital as she suddenly had a miscarriage. I was so angry and sad at this news, most especially scared of losing the only family I had left.
Paul repeatedly assured me mom would be fine especially the few nights she had to spend in the hospital. He took special care of me, and for the first time in months I knew him, I felt protected, loved and cared for. I felt I had been childish all along and should give him a chance. You know the feeling you have when you know someone is watching over you, but this didn’t last for long. I had been wrong. This particular night, I had gone to bed relieved and happy that mom would be discharged the following day and even made a resolution to take things easier with her. I made so many promises like, never be rude to my mother again, listen to every instruction, help out in the house and so on.
That particular night, I was fast asleep when I felt someone pulling the cover away from my body; I opened my eyes slightly, and saw my step father standing over me. His smile was unpleasant and something in me told me to run but I couldn’t. I asked him what he wanted but he looked hard at me, at that instance, I knew this was it. Within seconds, he pinned me down on the bed and held my hands tightly together. I screamed, shouted and scratched him but nothing worked. I told him I would tell my mother and cried telling him to stop. Suddenly I felt a cold metal on my neck. He looked straight into my eyes and brought the cold knife for me to see and said he would kill me if I ever tell anyone about this. I was numb, and scared to death.
I know many of you have read or seen stories like this before, but this horrific experience and fear I felt that day was something I had never encountered before. I begged, cried, whispered, shouted, and then did what a child could do to save her life, I laid down there and allowed him rape me. He thrust so hard into me that I felt my whole body shivered in pain; I felt bruised and repeated pain in me. After he was done, he jeered at me and told me to be the good little girl I have always been.
That was the turnaround for me. I cried that night and that was the last time I ever cried like that again, and the last time I ever prayed. I mean, where was God when all these were happening to a child like me, why didn’t he save me? Why did my mother bring that pig into our home, to defile and destroy me? They all caused it. The people I loved so much in life, the ones I trusted to protect me were never there. They had no excuse; this should never have happened if my Dad was alive. I felt the same God whom I love took my dad away and still allowed this evil in my house.
Mom came back as expected the following day but my promises never held up, in fact, I became ruthless, rebellious; I felt a kind of anger towards them. I hated what my mom turned me into and blamed her for everything that ever happened to me. Telling her about her husband was out of it, at first I was scared but when his visit became more frequent, I adjusted and just lived with it. Paul’s visit became part of my life, they were my pain and I needed that pain to survive. I don’t know if that made sense to me then but I just couldn’t stop him or stop myself. We were never friends or lovers, just sex mates. I got so addicted to it. He made me do so many despicable things but after a while, I got used to it. I told you I was rebellious, and cared less what my body went through.
I honestly don’t know how I survived those days, turning into weeks, months and years but I knew I gave up on life. I had no purpose, no destination; I had nothing except the untold pain inside of me.
Now, almost eight years later, things have just been the same. All grown up, but still live in the shadow of my past. My life has become a constant battle and regret. My step father still comes in to rape me or rather have sex with me. Well, I wouldn’t call it rape anymore since I am fully aware, and consciously given my full consent to it. It became a silent deed between the two of us; he comes in to do his business, like he owns me or something. In fact, I had no idea what life was anymore. It’s not like someone coming in to ask for permission or something. He doesn’t come in to ask, ‘Hey Kathleen, can I have sex with you this evening?’. He just joins me in bed and does his business, no words spoken, nothing, just a numb transaction. But can you believe mom still never found out? I turned from a rape victim into a mistress sleeping with her mother’s husband. But now, I feel so terrible, oh yes, the pain is still there but my life has been filled with so much regret and mistakes that I can’t go back to amend.
The worst of it now is that mom has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer; another shock to my life. She’s in the final stage of cancer, and nothing can be done for her, only to manage the pain and prepare her for death. That was the exact sentence the doctor said to me. Now, you can see how ruthless I am, my mom dying of cancer and me still sleeping with her husband. I don’t know how I turned from being a victim to the culprit. Maybe I have been evil all the while; Paul only brought that out to the open. He was just a phase in my life, this is exactly who I am, a cold blooded, ruthless and evil person.
Now, let me tell you more about myself.
Kathleen ran into the changing room at the restaurant where she’d been working for eight years. Closing the door behind her, she found Mrs. Jones waiting there for her. She had a stern look on her face.
“Before you say anything, I am so sorry.” She pleaded to her boss.
“Sorry! You are an hour late for your shift.” Mrs. Jones said.
“I am sorry. I was tied up, I mean, traffic was so bad, I couldn’t…..” She saw the angry look on her face and knew whatever excuses she made up this time wouldn’t work, so she turned to her sorry face to woo her over.
“I am so sorry ma’am.” She smiled at her and went quickly to hug her.
Mrs. Jones had taken likeness to Kathleen since the first day she walked into the restaurant, and asked for a job. She had been so impressed by her hard work and commitment to the job even after all these years. No matter how angry she was with her, she was still her best employee, and part of her sees her like family. She knew Kathleen never missed her weekend fun which always made her late to work every Monday morning, so she had waited impatiently for her in the changing room. Her smiles and charm are always irresistible and no matter how angry she was; she would always look past her all that.
Only if my boss knew the constant tears I have caused her. It all started about a year after I started working in the restaurant; I had finished my shift one evening and was walking home when a car suddenly pulled up to me. I looked into the car and realized it was my boss’s husband, Mr. Jones; he offered me a ride which I innocently accepted. He’d been to the restaurant several times and there was nothing unusual in this behaviour until I got into his car that day. He started to touch me right there in the car. I was shocked; he was old enough to be my father, but isn’t Paul and yet, they chose to have their way with me? The next encounter I had with him was in a hotel where we started to meet every fortnight. I don’t know why I did all these, I knew it was bad but that didn’t stop me.
This wasn’t about a man taking advantage of a young girl; this was me destroying lives, homes and myself. I was angry about life and this was the only way I could manage it. Those that know me would never imagine I did all these. I mean, I looked harmless. They all see me as this pretty young hard working girl. I wasn’t rude or anything, well, just to my mom but to every other person, I was the best friend, best employee and probably best girl friend to those interested.
I’m sure some of you have decided to hate me already. Why on earth would I sleep with another woman’s husband, especially the same woman who took me under her wings and treated me like her own daughter? I honestly don’t have an answer to that; I don’t understand what these older men saw in me and I honestly don’t know why I never resisted or just walk away. Mrs. Jones is one of the nicest people I ever met; she’d been kind to me and never did anything against me. I am the perfect young girl to her, ambitious and hard working. All our customers always find delight in me and would always come back because of the services they received at the restaurant. But this same young girl has done despicable things, things I cannot even put into writing. My life has become a shamble. I hate it so much but can’t end it.
Sophia sat in the living room, waiting patiently for her daughter to return from work. She was hoping to have some quality time with Kathleen since Paul was away on a business trip. She realized the short time she had left and hoped she could break into her daughter. She knew Kathleen had been avoiding her since the news of her illness. She understood what that will do to her; all she wanted now is to have her daughter in her life. So many things had happened in the past, the pain and hurt Kathleen had caused her. She was tired of the pain and bitterness, and since time was not on her side; the little left was all she had and hoped Kathleen would give that to her.
Sophia wasn’t sure how long she had but knew it won’t be long. Her pain had increased daily knowing her daughter would be left alone in this world and that alone broken her heart. These past few months, she’d been trying to remain strong for her daughter, not that Kathleen noticed but regardless, she hoped she would come around and it wouldn’t be too late.
How do you have a child and never understand or know her? Before the death of her first husband, Kathleen had always been a daddy’s girl. She was hoping she would have her turn when Kathleen grows into her teens, but things had turned sour and till this day, she never had a chance; no matter how she tried, nothing she did worked.
A few months into her marriage to Paul, she had regretted her actions and wished she never re-married; maybe things would not have gotten this bad.
Sophia turned to see the door open and saw her daughter walked in.
“Hello Kath; how was your day?” She asked.
“Fine.” Kathleen answered. She had been hoping her mother would be in her room.
“I made you some dinner.” Sophia smile.
“You shouldn’t have. I already had dinner at work.” She said calmly.
“Oh!” Sophia whispered; feeling disappointed.
Kathleen saw the sad expression on her face and felt guilt. “But that’s ok; I can have it tomorrow at work.” She said, and started to walk to her room.
“Kath!” Sophia called. “I was hoping we could talk.”
Kath turned to look at her. “This night?” She raised her eyebrows.
“If you don’t mind.”
Kathleen murmured something under her breath. She wanted to tell her she was tired but saw the pain in her eyes. “Ok, give me few minutes to take a shower.”
Alright.” Sophia’s face lilted up; she smiled as she watched her go off to her room.
Kathleen shut the door behind her and started to take off her work clothes to have a shower. Then, she heard her phone vibrate. It was a message from Collins.
Now, let me tell you about Collins. He’s a guy I started to chat with on the internet. I met through Facebook a few months ago, although I have to tell you that I have met a lot of guys through Facebook; just long chatting and all. Some, I have meet in person, and you know how that always goes. I mean, those who live locally but those who stay abroad, we just continue to have fun through the internet.
However, Collins seems different, although, they all always seem different, they try to be nice to you online; keep you going with chats and all but when you see them in person, you realize they are all the same and only after just one thing- your body. Collins lived in South Africa. We talk about everything, work, movies and all. He also talked about good living, he called it ‘Christian living’ but don’t they all? I mean, they talk about being a Christian, but that does not change who they are.
To cut my story short, he just sent a message that he is in Nigeria for a short break; apparently, he is from Nigeria but worked in South Africa. But again, I’ve had so many so called friends who come for short breaks or whatever they call it, and they all still want the same thing.
My curiosity had the better of me as I had been day dreaming and thinking of Collins. Don’t know why but something about him intrigues me. I felt butterflies in my stomach as I hurried to take my shower and came out shortly to continue my chat with him. He sent me the hotel address he was staying, and we both agreed to see the following day after work.
About two hours later, Sophia realized Kathleen wasn’t coming back to her so she decided to go to her room, but found her sleeping. Her heart sunk in dismay since she had been looking forward to this time. Again, another day is gone and never to be used again. A day marked away from her lifetime. She closed the door and went sadly to her room.
Kathleen woke up the next morning feeling like she’d left something undone. She later realized while in the shower that she had left her mother waiting up for her yesterday. Again, she felt guilty about this, but not guilty enough to do something about it. She hurried off to work and thought taking the food her mother made yesterday might do some good.
Today was like any other day, great customers, busy in the kitchen, baking pies and all together a satisfying day. She always took pride in her hard working and nothing gives her joy than to see every day a success.
The thought of seeing Collins that evening had been so exciting and made her day worthwhile. She took a cab to the hotel. Her heart raced as she was about to see the young man she’d been chatting with for over two years for the first time. She went to his room and knocked.
Collins opened almost immediately
“Hi!” She said shyly.
“Hello.” Collins smiled, letting her in. It’s so good to finally meet you in person.” He wasn’t sure if he should hug or give a handshake, so he did neither.
Kathleen smiled too, trying to control the excitement she felt inside. “Me too; it’s nice to see you.”
Collins chuckled. “You look different from your pictures online.”
“How? She was curious to know what he meant.
“I mean, different, like more beautiful.” He smiled.
Kathleen couldn’t hide the blush on her face. “Oh, thank you.”
“Maybe it’s about time to change your profile picture so we can see the real Kathleen.”
Kathleen laughed at his words. “Well, you are not too bad yourself; only taller than I had imagined.”
“Really? Thank you.” He beamed a smile. “Is that a compliment?” he asked, smirking.
“Well, I think it is.” She replied.
“Alright, what can I offer my guest?” he asked.
“Oh, any wine will do.” She smiled.
“Wine? That might be a problem.” He said. “Can you believe they have just alcoholic wine here at this hotel?” he said.
Kathleen was taken back. Of course, what else should they have?she thought to herself.
“I have requested some fruit wine which they just ran out off, but promised tomorrow.”
“Oh, that’s ok.” Kathleen murmured, not knowing what to say. “Any juice will do.”
“Alright then, give me a few minutes.” Collins took his keys and hastily went out of the room.
Kathleen took a careful look at the room, not that there was anything different, just a hotel room. She put her bag on the floor to relax properly on the chair; she had packed a pair of clothing for the following day since she had planned to sleep over.
A few minutes later, Collins came back into the room with some cans of drink and some pies.
“You are welcome.”
They talked and chatted all through the evening. The longer she stayed with him, the longer she wanted him. The dimples on his face made him irresistible; the excitement and increased heart beat made it so impossible watching him speak without touching him. Then, he said the unthinkable.
He glanced at his watch. “Oh, I have taken so much of your time. You should leave now before it gets too dark.” He stood up.
Kathleen gasped in disbelief; she was not expecting to leave this
Collins noticed her reaction to his words. “Did I say anything wrong?” he asked, confused.
The more he stood there, the more she wanted him. Kathleen was out of her mind, unable to resist him; she stood up and covered his mouth in a longing kiss.
Collins carefully pulled away from her. “Whoa!” he let out a soft laugh.
Kathleen was becoming angry by his attitude. “What?” She said angrily. “Isn’t that what you came for?”
“What?” he looked confused.
Kathleen stared furiously at him.
Then he realized what she meant. “Oh, you mean, this?” making gesture with his hands.
“What exactly are you doing?” She raised her voice. “Isn’t this the reason you came, all the long chats and all?” she asked.
“You mean I travelled almost 3,000 miles just to have sex with you?” He blurted out.
Kathleen flashed an angry look, embarrassed at his outburst. She took her bag and started to walk towards the door.
Collins quickly followed her. “I am so sorry.” He blushed; embarrassed. “I’m sorry.”
He took her bag away from her and led her to the couch.
“I think there was a miscommunication somewhere and I am sorry for this.” He apologized, looking straight into her eyes. “Alright, see, I like you, I like you so much. Talking to you these past two years has done something to me. I mean, I know I don’t know you enough but that’s why I kept at it and then made a decision to come here to know you.” He smiled softly.
Kathleen was shocked at his words and her effort to hide this was unsuccessful. Why would he want to know her?
“Why are you shocked?” he chuckled.
“I don’t understand.” She said. “I mean, it’s either you are joking or out of your mind.” She added.
“What! Why?” he asked.
“You just said you flew 3,000 miles to come here just to know me.” She said. “Me?” she questioned.
“Yes and I am not sorry about that. I have grown to like you and want to know if you feel the same.” He said.
She scoffed. “This is absurd. Honestly.” She stood up.
“You don’t believe me?” He followed her.
“Of course I don’t.” she blurted out. “I have met your kind, they all say the same thing and at the end, they want just one thing.”
“I’m different.” Collins defended himself.
“How different?” She faced him.
“I want to know you better; I want to know all you have been through, who you are, likewise, I want you to know me.” He said.
“Really.” Kathleen chuckled.
“I’m serious; this is not about your body; in fact, I have no intention of doing that.” He looked straight at her.
Kathleen straightened, looking straight into his eyes.
“Please, give me a chance in your life. I have few weeks to spend in Nigeria and this is all because of you.” He said.
“You are asking for something impossible.” She looked away from him.
“Nothing is impossible Kathleen.” He smiled at her.
Kathleen took a long look at him again. “I have to go now, as you said, it’s getting dark.” She opened the door.
“Alright.” Collins said, feeling a little disappointed. “When do I see you again?”
“I don’t know.” She answered.
“Kathleen.” He called out, going to stand in front of her. “I’m really sorry if I have done or said anything to hurt you this evening, please.” He looked sorry. “But I truly like you.”
The truth in his eyes scared her, she knew she had to get away from him and most importantly send him packing from her life.
“Good night Collins.” She said and walked quickly away from him.
Kathleen hailed for a Cab and couldn’t wait to get home. She was angry, embarrassed and so out of it. ‘Who does he think he is?’ She shouted out as she sat there in the cab. The Driver was taken back at her outburst.
She felt Collins had no right to say those things to her, I mean, she is Kathleen Coker.
Sophia sat quietly in her daughter’s room; she’d been sitting there for more than thirty minutes staring aimlessly into the thin air, but her heart was heavy and full of pain. She had waited for Kathleen to come back downstairs yesterday, but to her disappointment, she found her sleeping and this morning, she had left the house at the early hours of the day.
She realized Kathleen was avoiding her which wasn’t new, but right now, she was tired of the hide and seek games from her. They have both played that game too well for several years; avoiding each other or any confrontation and that has made their relationship strained. Although, Sophia blamed herself for not trying enough or doing things differently, rather she gave up on her daughter, but now she prayed and hoped for a second chance, a chance to make things better.
A few minutes later, she heard the door downstairs and knew Kathleen was back.
Kathleen quietly walked into the living room; seeing her mother wasn’t waiting up for her was a relief; at least, she wouldn’t have to face another episode of so called mothering love. She hastily climbed the stairs leading to her bedroom, opened the door and froze for a few seconds when she saw her mother sitting on her bed.
“Hello Kathleen.” Her mother greeted.
“Mom!” She took her gaze away from her and walked to the dressing table to drop her bag.
Sophia straightened; she followed her with her eyes. “How was work today?” she asked, trying to ease into the conversation.
Kathleen let out a soft sigh. “Good.” She replied, and then, stopped to look at her. “I’m sorry about yesterday, I slept off.” She said with a blank expression on her face.
“That’s okay.” Sophia managed a smile. “I gathered you must have been so tired.” She stopped for a second to get her attention. “I was hoping we could spend some time together now.”
Kathleen let out another sigh. “Not tonight mom; I am so tired.” She answered; she had hoped to get her head together after today’s meeting with Collins.
Sophia frowned with disappointment. All she wanted was just a moment of her time, but she felt her daughter cared less about anything, not even the fact that she was dying and wouldn’t even think to be a little nicer to her.
“When?” She asked.
“When would that be?” She asked wearily; she tried not to raise her voice. “When exactly are you going to have time for me? All I want is a quality time with my daughter but no, she wouldn’t give that to me”.
Kathleen gasped at the tone of her voice. “What exactly do you want from me?” she shouted. “What do you want from me Mom?”
“I want you to be my daughter.” Sophia whimpered.
“Since when?” she folded her hand around her chest.
“What!” Sophia froze at her words.
“Since when do you want me to be your daughter?” she asked again.
“What are you saying?” Sophia asked, standing up.
“You know what mom? You are so selfish and I am sick and tired of everyone telling me what they want from me.” She threw her hands in the air as a sign of frustration.
“All you ever wanted is just for you; just for yourself. You have never thought for once that I needed a mother; a mother to be there for me.” She shouted.
“I have always been your mother Kath,” she shouted back with her fragile voice. “Even when you never gave me the chance, I was there for you; I supported all your decisions, I stood with and by you despite all your disappointment and rebellion.” Her breathing became rapid and shallow.
Kathleen scoffed in irritation. “Now, I am a disappointment to you!” She gasped in disbelief at her words; quickly, she wiped the tears threatening to pour down her face.
Sophia took a step backward; she had not thought of the words before saying it out.
“Fine! What exactly do you want from a disappointment like me?”
Sophia saw the pain in her voice and that broke her heart. All the while, she had always thought her daughter was strong and nothing could get to her, but now, she realized that, underneath those strong headed child is her baby who is hurting, in pain and broken inside.
“I am sorry.” Sophia said in a shaky voice. “I didn’t mean to say that.” She moved closer to hold her, but Kathleen jerked away from her.
“Sure you did Mom!” She moved farther away from her. “You can’t fool me; I can see the disappointment, the regret all over you.” She said in tears. “In fact, you always felt I should have died instead of the miscarriage you had.”
“What!” Sophia gasped. “Don’t you ever say that Kath!”
“I see it all over you; I see it the way you look at me, I see it every day mom; You wish you had a chance to make things right with your new baby, to make her a perfect child, the one that would always make you smile, the one you would be proud of, but you lost it. You wished it was me instead of her.” She shouted out in tears.
“I have never for once in my life regretted to have you as my daughter.” Sophia choked back tears.
“C’mon mom,” she let out a weak laugh. “You just said I was a disappointment to you.” Kathleen retorted.
“You are a part of me Kathleen, the only thing left of your father in my life and I will never trade that for anything.” She placed her hands on her chest.
Kathleen scoffed. “My Father!” she looked straight into her eyes. “My Father was the only good thing in my life and that died a long time ago.”
Sophia leaned against the wall; her feet wouldn’t hold her much longer, especially the thought of her first love and husband broke her, not to talk of her only child rejecting her love and sacrifices all these years.
“You are my daughter Kath.” Her voice became more than a whisper. She put her hands on her forehead to relieve the ache forming there. “And I love you so much, so much that it breaks my heart everyday that you never for once accepted me.” She stopped to wipe the tears bunching in her eyes. “I love you my dear and nothing took your place in my life and nothing will take it.”
Kathleen’s anger rose within her, and her breathing became shallow and rapid. She wanted to scream out and unleash the anger within her. “Did you say nothing can take my place in your life? Mom, something already took my place in your life.” She looked straight into her eyes. “You left me Mom; you left me all alone and sure don’t make any difference if you are dying now.”
Sophia felt a sharp pain in her chest. Hot tears now stung her eyes and began rolling down her cheeks
“What…” Sophia whimpered.
“There’s no pretending here mom; this is me and this is you,” she gestured with her hands. “It never worked then, and nothing is going to work now even if you are dying.”
“Kathleen!” Sophia called out quietly with streams of tears pouring down her face. “I have just a little time to spend with you; all I’m asking for is a chance, a chance to make things right.”
“It’s too late mom.” Kathleen whimpered, and walked into the bathroom, slamming the door behind her.
Sophia jolted at the sound of the door; she stood there drenched in tears; she felt as if everything was tearing apart. After few seconds of staring at the bathroom door, she turned back and walked quietly to her room.
Getting to her room, she collapsed on the floor; clutching her knees up to her chest. The more she tried to make things right, the more difficult it became. Nothing made sense to her now and for the first time since she was diagnosed with cancer, and given few months to live; she felt death should come take her right away. There is no point fighting to live when nobody cares for her, and not even her own daughter or her so-called husband, Paul, who had been nothing but disaster right from the beginning.
Her marriage to Paul was more of desperation than love; it was all to get away from the crouching claws of her in-laws who started to make life difficult for her when her husband died. All they wanted was her money, and properties; they didn’t take recognition of herself and her daughter. There were so many disputes over who would survive their son since he had no male child to carry on the family name. Nothing made sense to her. Why couldn’t they consider her daughter as the heir to her husband’s property, why wouldn’t they think of the years she had worked so hard with her husband to build his company? This is her life, not theirs but they would not relent and swore to make life a living hell for them.
Sophia however did the only thing she thought was right; she got married to keep them off. She felt another man in the house would make them back-off to enable them live the rest of their lives in peace. True to this, they did leave them alone after Paul himself made life a living hell for them. A few years later, Sophia and her daughter were officially disowned by her late husband’s family and they swore never to be part of their lives again and utterly disowned her daughter.
She stood up from the floor and helped herself to the rocking chair by her bed; she felt she couldn’t carry on like this. There was more to this that Kathleen didn’t know about; the secrets that pierced her heart every day. What would happen if Kathleen actually knew the truth about who she really was? She’d tried to hide the truth all these years, just not for herself but for the future of her daughter. If Kathleen would not accept her now, what would happen if she knew the whole truth?
“Help me Lord…” she groaned in tears. “I have tried Lord; I have done all.” She broke down into more tears.
Has she really done all she could do? Over the years, she had thought everything she was doing is all for the benefit of Kathleen, to secure her future and make life easier for her. She taught her the way of the Lord right from a young age, she even led her to Christ at the age of eight but everything turned around after the death of her husband and it became a battle even after she got married to Paul. Kathleen became a different person, she would scream and shout at every provocation and the best Sophia thought she could do at that time was to leave her alone. She was scared she might send her right into the darkness if she fought back but now, she questioned her decision. Maybe Kathleen was right after all, she had left her all alone, she left her to face the world all by herself.
Sophia broke down into more tears. How can she make things right now, how can she make her daughter see that she really loved her? Is the secret worth telling or forever sealed up? Those thought weighed heavily on her.
Finding Love – Excerpt from the Circles of Love Magazine
Mariam was about going downstairs when she heard voices down the hallway; it was his mother shouting angrily and Daniel also raising his voice at her. Curiosity made her move few steps towards the door and then heard some of the things they were saying.
â€œYou had no right Daniel, you had no right.â€ His mother shouted angrily.
â€œMom, this is my life and I can choose to live it whichever way I want.â€ Daniel shouted back.
â€œI sure didnâ€™t raise a callous man like you; did London turn you into this or is it the Muslim girl you suddenly brought home who has turned you this way?â€
â€œFor the tenth time mom, she is not a Muslim. Mariam is a Christian and a born again Christian for that matter.â€ He countered.
â€œSo why is she called Mariam Idris?â€ she said out of spite.
â€œThat is her name and that does not define her religion. She is a Christian and from a Christian family; yes she is from the northern part but even if she is a Muslim, I love her and have made my decision.â€ He blurted out.
â€œYou dare not Daniel Muyiwa Badmus.â€ She shouted back at him. â€œWhat about your poor wife, the woman who had waited all these years for you to come back home, where would you put her?â€
Mariam felt her heart sunk. â€œWife!â€ she shuddered. She definitely knew nothing about any wife.
â€œShe is not my wife!â€ his voice jolted her. â€œFor Godâ€™s sake mom, I just got back and instead of you to be happy, we are here shouting at each other.â€ He spoke out of tiredness. â€œArenâ€™t you happy Iâ€™m home?â€
Then, there was silence in the room.
â€œI am happy you are home, but not happy about the trash you brought in here.â€ She spoke out angrily.
Mariam felt her heart skipped a beat. His mother had just called her aÂ trash. Suddenly, she felt the tears bunching in her eyes. This wasnâ€™t what she had expected, in fact, she had no idea what was going on. Before she could pull herself together, the door opened and her eyes locked with Daniel. Suddenly, the tears rolled down her cheeks, she stared at him for several seconds and turned to go when she noticed the other lady who probably had been standing behind her for a while, also drenched in tears.
Then it started to make sense. The lady was probably the wife his mother was referring to, and that was their son she was holding in the picture. Mariam looked from the lady back to Daniel and turned away quickly into the room.
This is anÂ excerptÂ from the third edition of our magazine.Â Please order your copy hereÂ or go to our E-Magazine section to read the full story and other inspirational stories. Please note that you can order your copy from any part of the world.
Finding Love – Excerpt from the Circles of Love Magazine
Rejected, but Rising Up
Have you been rejected, or tossed aside? You know, the very people whom you have great respect for, those you love and call ‘family’ are the VERY people who have rejected you. Maybe they are not totally out of your life, but they have rejected your abilities, your potentials, they have rejected you ever getting up or making it in life. You can’t even make comments or contributions in words in their presence; they think you add no value to them now because of your status or the amount in your bank account. You can’t speak up in family functions or even in the midst of friends. You have been scorned, rejected and disowned by the very people you love.
Psalm 118: 22 says, ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone’. Did you notice that it said, ‘the builders’? Who better should know about stones than the very builders who used it; the ones you should expect more from, the people that daily make use of these materials, the people that you live with and should know you better. The builders rejected the stone. Is it a loved one who has rejected you? Maybe due to one failure or the other; or a setback in your life or even during the struggles of life? Is it a partner who has looked down on your ability or your potentials? You will be amazed at how some couples, husband or wife has rejected the other party; they can’t seem to see anything good in them.
Is it a wife who has trampled her husband’s reputation on the ground because of his financial situation? She has looked down on him and tossed him aside because of setbacks in life. Those are like the builders. The same people who know the important of a stone in a building work; the same people who know very well the usefulness of it. Those that you value and expect their love, support and encouragement are the same who have rejected you. Is it a husband who has rejected his wife? They have looked down on their potentials and abilities in life? Because you are not like other career women or probably because you are still waiting for children of your own. You feel rejected, you feel trampled and you are discouraged. You have lost you confident and strength in the midst of all these. You have become the stone which the builders have rejected.
The builders- are those you expect much from; the people whose opinion you value and respect. The people who you love and look to them for counsel and comfort. Those are the very ones who have rejected you. Can you imagine how David felt when he was left out when Samuel sought the sons of Jesse to anoint as king? He wasn’t even considered to be present, he was left out. Do you feel like that amongst your family; your presence seems not to be relevant or appreciated? Can you also imagine how Joseph felt when he was sold out to slavery? He was rejected by the builders- the people he called family. But you know what? God remembered. God does not forsake and does not reject you. He said in Psalm 27:10, ‘Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. The Lord will never forsake or reject you; He will not toss you aside, He will not look down on you or think you are worthless.
Imagine how our Lord Jesus Christ felt when He was rejected by the people He came to save. Those that knew the prophesy, the people who have seen the miracles of God; now I’m not talking about unbelievers, I’m talking about those who profess to be called Children of God
This morning, do you feel like the stone that the builders have rejected? You feel you have no one else on your side? Maybe the stone had stayed outside too long; it’s been tossed and kicked around by everyone. You have been bruised and beaten on every side. Families and loved ones have all given up on you, asking how long? The Builders ‘your spouse, your parents, your friends, your colleagues, even your children’ have rejected you. You now feel you are not good enough.
Rejection can cause a lot of turmoil in one’s life, it can make you see things that are not even there about your life. You begin to doubt your own ability; you doubt your strength and see only the weaknesses. You begin to doubt God and his promises over your life. You doubt if you can ever become pregnant, you doubt if you can have children of your own, you doubt if you can find the right partner, you doubt if you can get that job or even promotion in the place of work. You doubt if you can pass that examination; you doubt if you can make it and reach your potentials in life.
Now don’t be discouraged. The story is not over; the stones they rejected became the chief corner stone. It became the head, the mighty, the ruler, the king, the Saviour, the prime Minister, the CEO, the president. The stone became the chief corner stone. Don’t give up on yourself, don’t believe the hateful and discouraging words they have said to you; don’t let those hurtful comments pull your down, don’t begin to live by what they have said about you. Don’t give up on yourself because your story is not finished. The stone became the Cornerstone, the stone made it, the stone became great. The stone rose up. Halleluyah.
Please, believe me this morning when I tell you God has not given up on you; God is not finished with you, God has not forgotten or rejected you. He is still working on your behalf and great wonders would be seen by all soon; the pain, the torment, the agony of rejection, but don’t let that pull you down, don’t let that discourage you; God is still in the business of making greatness out of you. Say to yourself: I am not forgotten, I am not forsaken; I am moving forward, I am going higher, I am rising up. Nothing is going to stop me. I love this slogan and have constantly spoken it into my life, ‘what God is said to do in my life, the devil can’t stop it, he can’t stand it and there is nothing he can do about it’.
Don’t let anything take your joy away; don’t let words and trials of life deprive you of your happiness. I love this song by Ron Kenoly – I still have joy. Please read the wordings, it would encourage you.
I’ve been tested
My faith has been tried
Satan has attempted to destroy my life
He’s robbed, abused, accused and stole
He’s done everything he could do
To conquer my soul
I still have joy
I still have joy
After all I’ve been through
I still have joy
Friends have left me
They’ve questioned my faith
The good I tried to do
Was thrown back in my face
The hurt and the pain brought tears to my eyes
But God has replaced a blessing
For every tear that I’ve cried
I still have joy
I still have joy
After all I’ve been through
I still have joy.
Your joy will be full in Jesus name.
I am rising up!
Have a blessed day.
– Abimbola CirclesOfLove
Insight4U – Forgiveness in a relationship
Every husband-and-wife combination needs the healing touch of forgiveness.
Where else could there be more opportunity to annoy, insult, offend, or ruffle another person than in the intimacy of married life when weâ€™re constantly under foot, get in each others way, and have to share all things in common (whether we like it or not)?
Thatâ€™s just ordinary living, without taking into account the astonishingly hurtful things husbands and wives do, which demands more forgiveness than any of us could work up on our own. (Dr Ed Wheat, The First Years of Forever).
Forgiveness is the oil that lubricates a love relationship, and itâ€™s an oil we need daily.
Forgiveness is not a one-time event; itâ€™s an attitude of wanting to partner with your spouse in spite of his or her imperfections and irritations. (David and Claudia Arp).
Mom, I think I’m pregnant!
Those were the words my fourteen years old daughter said to me. I froze up and stared intensely at her. It was a feeling I could not comprehend. I felt I was going to collapse right there.
â€œMumâ€¦.â€ The sound of her voice jolted me out of my thought. I walked quickly out of the room, and came back immediately. I was disorientated.
â€œHow can it be?â€ I was blabbing over, and over again. â€œShe canâ€™t be.â€ I repeatedly said, ignoring the trembling girl before me. â€œSheâ€™s only fourteen, and sheâ€™s my daughter.â€ I whispered to myself. I was talking more to myself, asking questions that I couldn’t answer. This was something that shouldn’t happen to someone like me, someone like my daughter. She was a good girl, all A’s in her studies. She was a very good girl, and I just couldn’t understand what she was saying to me.
Then I flashed an angry look at my daughter, and saw her flooded in tears; not that, I was bothered by the tears, but terrified at what my daughter had become.
â€œHow could you?â€ I shouted furiously at her. She jolted at the sound of my voice. I went to her, took her by the shoulders andÂ vigorouslyÂ shook her.
“How could you?” I shouted at her, ignoring the screaming, and fear in her eyes.
“Mummy, please….” she cried out in pain, but I ignored her. She wasn’t innocent as far as I’m concerned, and no amount of tears would get her out of this.
My eyes caught theÂ pregnancyÂ stick on her bed; seeing that made be more furious. “What on earth was she doing with that in the first place, sheâ€™s is only fourteen?”
â€œMummyâ€¦.â€ She pleaded again but I ignored her.
The voice of my husband, her father startled me.
What happened next is something I never want to re-visit again. We were so shocked, and mystified when Tess told us she was pregnant. I mean, sheâ€™s only fourteen, and couldnâ€™t even imagine her kissing anyone, let alone having sex. We later discovered sheâ€™s been sexually active a year ago, and had been on contraceptive pills without my knowledge.
I was so ashamed, and angry at myself for not noticing this in my daughter; I felt I had failed as a mother. Why didnâ€™t I notice? I just assumed my daughter knew what not to do especially when it comes to boys. I expected her to know the truth. That period was the most terrifying of our lives; our only daughter got pregnant at the age of fourteen. I was devastated. Days after this, we had to decide what to do; in fact, I had suggested abortion to my husband. Yes I did. ‘How can a mother could think of that?‘ I honestly donâ€™t know, and could never have imagined such thought in my life but I did. I just wanted things as they were before, you know, not pregnant. I mean, where does a mother go in this situation, what am I expected to do?
My husband became both our pillar; he was strong for us as a family. Yes, he was heartbroken but he became strong for us. He was totally against abortion but we all needed a way out. The first thing he did was to move us all away from our house; he got a transfer to another city to start afresh. The shame would have been unbearable for us all but the shame moved with us. Our daughter brought shame to us. The first few months, I was so angry at myself and my daughter. I made her feel the worst; I wanted her to feel the pain she caused us, I reminded her daily of how she disappointed us, and how she threw her life away. She had confessed she wanted to tell me the first time she had sex, but had been so scared of what I would think of her.
She knew it was wrong but felt good about the whole experience. She said she wanted to feel like a grown woman, and repeatedly explored that until she found herself pregnant. She confessed the young boy responsible for the pregnancy was the same age of her, but my husband thought it wasnâ€™t wise to confront him now. He just wanted us out first.
After five months gone, I was still broken but this time, I had to be broken in the right places. I went to my God; I cried and placed everything before him. I asked him if I were a bad mother, and if I had failed in my responsibility of bringing up my daughter in the right way. I needed answers; I needed to hear something in the midst of my tears, but I heard nothing. I mean, there was total silence in His presence.
The following day, I continued and cried before him, I cried, and asked Him to forgive me, most especially to forgive my daughter who had sinned against Him. I asked that he wash her sins away and clothe her once again in righteousness and yet again, there was silence. The next day, I was getting so frustrated but still went into His presence and cried more at my failure as a mother. I confessed I was ashamed of my daughter and even felt so ashamed of myself for feeling this way. I asked Him to forgive me and create a clean heart within me, a heart to love my daughter as I ought to have. I was broken in tears and just needed to hear a word from Him but nothing. He said nothing to me.
Now, the following day, I just stood right there in His presence without uttering any word. I let go my thoughts, worries and everything. I just stood right there in His presence for once without thinking or saying anything. Few minutes into this, I heard his voice saying, â€˜Be still, and know that I am Godâ€™. That was it, nothing more. At first, I wanted to argue within me; what has that word got to do with all that I have said to him these past few days? I wanted more than that, but nothing, so I decided against arguing in my spirit and just stayed there. I was still before him; I surrendered to Him. I put everything on hold; my fears, worries, shame, disgrace, guilt, disappointment, everything became quiet before him.Â I mean, I was tired of holding onto the hurt and pain, I just had to let go. In that time, I felt his peace overwhelm me; I felt his power within me, I felt his presence and brokenness of spirit. I felt slain in his presence. I felt my spirit crying out to take away the pain, to take away the anger, the weakness, hate and the fear. I was crying out for restoration. During this time, I knew what he wanted of me, just one thing- to be her mother. A mother who would be there for her daughter no matter the hurt and pain, a mother who would love unconditionally. Just as he loves me despite my weakness and disappointment, just as he would carry me when I feel so weak and exhausted, just as he would love me- he wants me to love my daughter despite all.
I wept in His presence but my heart was at peace. After that encounter, for the first time in months, I spoke to my daughter as a mother should. I listened to her fears. She was scared and so disappointed at what she did. She wept bitterly, and asked me to forgive her. Then, I made up my mind to hold my daughter, to help her through this and back to the Lord. I spoke blessing into her life and reminded her how great and wonderful she is as a daughter. Yes, she made a mistake but I would never judge her by that. I will not look down at her or remind her of her past. She had a great future ahead of her and that she would accomplish by the help of God; nothing will stop the plan of God in her life. She is my daughter after all. The following months were not easy but I stayed with my baby. All through the delivery which was the most excruciating, and painful experience a mother could ever witness, I mean my baby bringing out another baby; crying in pain and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. Well, she gave birth to a beautiful girl and I became a grand mother.
Ten years down the line, I am a proud mother of a daughter who achieved all her dreams despite all odds. She went back to school and also to college; gained a master degree in Business management, and going on to high places. I am a good mother and nothing can change that. I have learnt from this experience and I have been teaching mothers to have a good relationship with their daughters. Our teenage daughters need their mothers.
They need us to nurture them; a continuous nurturing and love them. Don’t just assume they know things or all is well; talk to them about their day, their friends. Donâ€™t be afraid to talk about the â€˜sex talksâ€™ with them. Be open minded about it. Let them get more information from you rather than the cosmopolitan or so called magazines or internet. Explain to them the feelings, the love and all other things they may be experiencing. Teach them through the word of God, tell them the mistakes you made yourself whilst growing up if possible.
Teach them the way into the presence of God. Now, if by any chance you have been disappointed; donâ€™t hold on to that pain. Give it to God, let him heal your heart and make you whole. That hatred does not belong there. You need to let go and be a mother to your daughters and Sons. If by any chance they have left home into the world and doing despicable things, pray them back into the presence of God; don’t give up on that child, most importantly, forgive them for the pain and hurt they caused you, for the things they had done. Love them and let God help you through. There is nothing impossible for God to do. No Child is lost if you give them back to the Lord. Let him heal your heart and heal your children.
God bless you.
Â© Circlesoflove 2013
Thank you for reading. Kindly leave your comments below. Thanks.
It was a wonderful day for a wedding; warm breeze from the north rustled in the surrounding, cooling friends and families as they took their seat in the Harringtonâ€™s garden. The smell of fresh cut flowers filled the air; childrenâ€™s laughter was a delight to hear. The great thing about a wedding is that everyone always seem happy, well, their physical appearances showed that. The gathering of friends and families to witness a bonding of two lovers; a vow made to be joined together for the rest of their lives take a lot of gut to commit to.
Then, the chatter stopped, and all heads turned to face the far end of the walk. Down the aisle she came. The bride was a beautiful young woman. Christy wore an off-white gown, with embroidery on her bodice; her hair tied in a knot with a lace around it. She walked slowly, her face was bowed, void of any smile or expression. Her dad, Mr. Harrington held her left arm, and smiled at her as they reached the bottom step. She didnâ€™t smile back, but nodded her head. There awaiting her was the minister, and her husband â€“to-be, Levi Brentwood. He was standing tall, his young face was firm. The rough, soiled farm cloth he usually wore was replaced with a clean suit, which seems a little bigger than him.
Kathy Barnes felt her stomach churned in a knot. A feeling of fear, and uncertainty filled her; she could relate to the reluctance of the bride. She was three years younger than her, and already on her way to be married. She did heard rumours that Christy had attempted to run away with her boyfriend a few days ago, but was caught in the process of leaving town. The boy had been shut out of the community for aiding this escape, and being a bad influence to her. Christy would also had received severe punishment if not because her father, Mr. Harrington was one of the top elders of the Church. Kathy thought this marriage was enough punishment for her; being forced to marry someone sheâ€™d despised and hated all her life. The bride and groom had been rivals since they were children; they would always fight at everything, and even sworn never to speak to one another again. This was no news in the community, and to their parents. But because of the fathers reputation in the Church, and the promised they made to one another several years ago that their children would be joined in marriage; they decided to bring this promise to light, regardless of how they felt about each other.
Kathy couldnâ€™t help but noticed some of the haunting eyes of the women glaring mischievously at her. She could imagine the thought going on in their heart; they did said the reason why she wasnâ€™t married was her lack of good manners, and her wild fantasy. They were laughing at her with their eyes, which she had seen so many times. They had told her she would end up being alone all her life. Kathy often reminded herself that she was only seventeen years of age, and no matter how they felt about her, she was still a young woman, and would never rush into the most important part of her life like that â€“ marriage. Especially not with someone she wasnâ€™t in love with.
It wasnâ€™t that no man had approached her; but she had rejected about six marriage proposals in the last two years. She couldnâ€™t find any of the farm boys or hunters attractive enough to say â€˜I doâ€™ to. One of the men, Steven was sitting to her left; he had eyed her when she walked into the ceremony few minutes ago. He was the last who had asked her hand in marriage, and went nut when she refused him. He was tall enough for her, strong and manly, but she couldnâ€™t feel any butterflies in her stomach when he asked her. That was what Marty Coleridge wrote about in her novel,â€™ Love, but Sourâ€™. Louis, the female character was a beautiful young woman who wanted nothing but love in her life. She wanted the right man who would sweep her off her feet. Everyone had told her such man didnâ€™t exist but she believed otherwise, and decided to travel around the world to find her prince charming.
Kathy wanted that kind of adventure and experience; a man who would sweep her off her feet, theÂ prince charmingÂ that will make her feel butterflies in her stomach. She grew up in a small town in Tennessee, United State of America;Â lived in a community known as â€˜The Believersâ€™,Â where every member followed a rigid code of conduct based absolutely on selected bible teachings. They isolate from other peopleÂ includingÂ other ChristiansÂ as far as possible because they believed the world to be a place of wickedness. The society labelled them, an exclusive and secret religious sect.
Kathy focused her attention back on the couple as they exchanged their vows, and then the minister talked about the rules and duties of a wife to her husband. He made it sounded like the women were meant to serve the men,Â only obey their husbands at all times. Kathy couldnâ€™t wait to get out of the ceremony. She glanced at Victoria at the other side; she was sitting with other married women. That was popular amongst the newly wedded; they isolated from their single friends the moment they say â€˜I doâ€™. They often think themselves more superior than them. Victoria used to be Kathyâ€™s best friend until few months back when she got married; she had not spoken a word to her. Kathy couldnâ€™t tell if this was her own doing or her husband had instructed her never to speak to her again. Although, Kathy wasnâ€™t too surprised since she had been the one who told her friend back then not to accept his proposal. He had been so demanding, and controlling. Kathy told her friend she deserved better, but after several weeks of avoiding him, Victoriaâ€™s parents finally got to her. She got married to him, and never looked back.
I am happy to announce that my novel is now available to download now. A compelling, and captivating story.
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It’s all lies
Today, I will like to encourage someone out there. Are you surrounded by lying tongues? Those who speak deceit against you? They throw accusations and try to bring you down with their words. Maybe it’s a co-worker, friends or even families. All they do is lie and speak words of hatred against you. Their tongues have become weapons against you and try to destroy all that you have worked for.
“Not a word from their mouth can be trusted; their heart is filled with destruction. Their throat is an open grave. Everyone lie to his neighbour; their flattering lips speak with deception. Hear this, May the Lord cut off all flattering lips and every boastful tongue that says, We will triumph with our tongues; we own our lips-who is our master.” Psalms 12:3.
The tongue is a very powerful weapon used by the enemy to destroy the righteous. They challenge with their words and boast of getting away with it. They speak negatively against you, destroy lives; manipulate and tear families apart with lies and deceit. Enough is enough! Many homes have been destroyed with this weapon; marriages torn apart with lies and deceit.
Are you a victim of this; suffering because of the words of the wicked? You’ve tried to plead your case but no justice has been given to you. Your bed is soaked each night with tears of sadness because of the agony in your heart.
This is what the Lord says, ‘Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, says the Lord. I will protect them from those who malign them. Psalms 12:5.
The Lord will arise on your behalf and fight your battle; He will speak fire against those who oppress you with their tongues; he will make all their plans void and destroy them with their own weapons. The pit they dug for you shall be their downfall; shame and reproach shall be their portion.
Folks, the word of the Lord is powerful and strong; listen, every negative word the enemy has spoken against your life, home, marriage, family shall be broken in Jesus name. It is written that, ‘there is no enchantment against Jacob and no divination against Israel. No enchantment of the enemy will stand in your life. Those that seek to oppress you with their words and lies will be put to shame in the name of Jesus.
Remember that the Lord will arise on your behalf and fight for you. He will give you justice and honour for every shame and reproach you have suffered. He will bring fruits from any part of your life that has been labelled barren. His truth shall pierce through every lies and deceit; God’s truth shall set you free and give you victory over your enemies.
Have a great weekend. God bless you real good.
I am not forgotten
Have you been neglected or forsaken in a place where you should feel secure and enjoy the good of the land? You have been tossed away because â€˜theyâ€™ feel nothing good can come out of you? You have been cheated on something that should be rightfully yours.
The strong taking advantage of the weak. The rich taking advantage of the poor and plundering them of the little they have. They take the good of the land but leave you with crumbs and bones? Your inheritance taken away from you, leaving you with no choice but desolation? The desert is so dry; no water to quench your thirst, no food to keep body and soul together? You feel bound, enslave in a place where you should be free.
This is the word of God for you this morning. Stand on it, believe it and trust Him this morning.
Thus saith the Lord. â€œI will make a covenant of peace with you and rid the land of wild beast so that you may live in the desert and sleep in the forest in safety.
I will bless you and the places surrounding my Hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessings.
The trees of the field and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land.
They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.
They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor the wild animals devour them.
They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid. I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of nations. Then they will know that I, the Lord their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign Lord.
You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.â€ Ezekiel 34:25-31.
Listen, all who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; who who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. The Lord will make rivers flow on your barren heights, and springs within the valleys. He will turn the desert into pool of water, and the parched ground into springs.
InÂ righteousnessÂ you will be established; tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear.
You are not forgotten, the Lord is with you and His word is true and alive.
Have a glorious weekend.
How He loves me so!
Please don’t condemn me. I am not perfect, I make mistakes, I fall down sometimes but I am trying. I am trying to put the past behind me, I am holding unto the cross. His grace and mercy I don’t deserve but he gave it to me still.Â I have fallen. I have failed him but He remains faithful.
He said,Â ‘ My Child, I won’t give up on you’.
At some point while I was in the pit, I kept trying to climb up but my sins held me down, those things that easily beset me weigh over me, I see people looking down in disgust at me, asking how long it would take me to rise up and then; I lost all hope of getting up. I wasÂ batteredÂ with sins, guilt, hurt and pain all over me.
Then, I looked up and saw the Lord who has been stretching his hands all along to me and I asked him, ”Lord, why are you wasting time on me? I’m never going to meet your expectations; see how deep I have fallen, I have done things I am ashamed of”.
Then, He looked at me with the most beautiful face and said,
”Child, I’m never going to let go of you, my hands would remain stretched as long as you want it. You are my most wonderful creature and I won’t let you go. I will wash you and clean you. I will make you whole, your sins I will remember no more, your shame I will take away. I will dress you up with my glory and establish your feet. I love you child”.
Then I looked up in tears, with all the strength I had in me, I stretched my hands so high towards him and he lifted me up, He took me into his arms not bothered by howÂ dirtyÂ I was, he dried my face from the flowing tears, he washed me in the blood of His Son- Jesus Christ, clothed me with mercy, cleansed me with compassion, fed me with forgiveness, restored me with grace, crowned me with glory and comfort me.
Then I asked him, ”what manner of God are you?
In His mighty soothing voice, he answered, ‘I am that I am, The crown of Glory, the Diadem of Beauty, the Great High Priest, the MercifulÂ God, the defender of the helpless, the Advocate, the Almighty, Ancient of Days, Anointed One, Author of Life, My names are endless but right now, I AM YOUR FATHER…..
Â© Circlesoflove 2013
God is Able
I will like to share something that has been on my mind lately with you all. In life, we go through challenges and situations that can sometimes make us doubt the power of God. We doubt if we can ever come out of that tight situation; if we can make it to our destinations. The turmoil and trials of life can be overwhelming; your strength failing day by day, hope is blurring and faith shaking.
You know the Word, you have been to the place of prayer; your knees are hurting, eyes swollen in tears for answers. All you want is just a way out, peace in the midst of stormy seas. My dear sisters and brothers, I want to remind you that God is able. He is able to save and deliver you; he is able to rescue you from the prowling lions.
I remember a man in the bible by the name â€˜Gideonâ€™. His people were been attacked on every side by the enemies; they destroyed their crops and livestock, killed and destroy his people. Nothing seems possible; in fact, there were in great fear of their enemy, hiding in caves and mountains just to live another day.
Some of us can relate to this; the attack from the enemy is so severe that nothings seems to be working, everywhere you go, they are all around you. Maybe itâ€™s a sickness, a stigma, an affliction, financial difficulties, something that has become a scorn on your flesh. You have become a mockery to your friends and families. Even those in the same faith are beginning to question your faith in God; they ask if truly you serve the living God?
In fact, you also ask questions like Gideon did;Â â€œIf the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, â€˜Did not the Lord bring us up out ofÂ Egypt? But now the Lord has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian.â€Â JudgesÂ 6:13
You feel abandoned and wasted. You long to see those great wonders youâ€™ve been told and read about; how he parted the red sea, how he made the impossible possible, how the barren became mother of many, how he blessed the house of Obededom, how he changed the name of Jabez. How about the great healings in the bible? How a man who had not walked for many years began to run around. What happened to those great wonders? Canâ€™t we experience such again in our lives? Is God the Lord of the past, and not of present or future? Canâ€™t we experience the great manifestation of the Holy Spirit as the disciples did many years ago?
I have come to remind you that YES WE CAN. His wonders are not limited to the past; they are also available to us now. We can be partakers of the great wonders and manifestations of his power. We can be transformed and changed by the power of the Holy Spirit like the days of old; we can be rescued and saved from the oppression of the enemy.
Like the three Hebrew thrown in blazing fire; when we are faced with such, the fire will not burn us. The waters will not overwhelm us, because our God is able. God delivered his children using a handful of soldiers lead by Gideon who was the weakest of his clan and the least in his family. Listen, God does not save by numbers, weapons or strength. He can use anybody, he can use you. He is God. The earth is the Lordâ€™s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it. He can change the minds of kings and president. He can break protocol for you, rules and laws to favour you.
Stop doubting and start trusting in his saving power. â€˜Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.â€™ He will contend with those who contend with you, and will fight against them. Those who seek your life will be disgraced and put to shame.
God is on your side and He will deliver you. He is Able Folks. You will be like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. The Lord will restore your life and bring you up from the depth of the earth. He will increase your honour.
Now to him who is ableÂ to do immeasurably more than all we askÂ or imagine, according to his powerÂ that is at work within us,Â to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.Â Ephesians 3: 20-21.
Say it with me folks, My God is Able.
Have a blessed weekend.
*Please note that the Unfailing Love Series will continue soon by God’s grace.Â
Picture fromÂ kelz88.blogspot.com
God has smiled on me
God is smiling on someone this morning. Have you had a tough time, struggling with issues and difficulties; you just need a break from all these and yet, nothing seems to be coming. Listen, be still for a minute and see the wonders all around you. Sometimes, the difficulties we face blinds us from seeing the goodness of God all around us. You have your health, you have your family, your children, you are alive today; c’mon, can’t you see his goodness and beauty all around you. He has smiled upon you and he’s been good to you. And if you think you have nothing to rejoice about, maybe, no family to call your own or struggling with your health, finances and all, still know that the Lord is with you, He’s working on you and His smile is an assurance of His love. He’s restoring you back to health, restoring all that you have lost; He is bringing your children back home, he’s bringing your husband back to you and he’s giving everything back; his smile works wonders and He is here with you. He is smiling on you.
Today, let’s leave all our worries behind and rejoice in his goodness. He has been good to you my friend, don’t let your trials and worries tell you otherwise, He has and He is still being good to you. Oh Precious! I don’t know who is reading this right now but know in your heart that he has not left you, you are not alone in all these, He knows all you are going through, he sees your pain and hears your cry. This morning, He is smiling on you, Yes He is, Look closer and see, God has smiled upon you.
Good Morning Folks.
Â© Circlesoflove 2013
The Everlasting God
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. Isa 40: 28-31
Do you believe His word? He will strengthen and renew your strength. Is there a dream you are running after, a project or something you have been working so hard on? Are you about to give up because you don’t seem to see any progress on it, are you walking out because you are weak and feeble?
Listen, the Lord is on your side, He has not give up on you. He will renew your strength and give you victory. Just Hold on, hold on to the dream; God never fails.
Confession of a Married Man
Deborah raced down to the hospital as fast as she could, shaking with indignation and fear. She struggled to steady her breathing and reduce the swelling emotion in her chest but all to no avail.
â€œOh God! Please………â€ she wiped the tears obstructing her eyes to see the road ahead. â€œPlease Lord…….., what have I done?â€ She pulled her car to a stop in front ofÂ St ThomasÂ Hospital, and ran inside.
â€œMr. Adebanjo please.â€ she called out to the nurse at the reception.
â€œExcuse me, who?â€ the nurse looked up at her.
â€œMy husband please, I was called by one of your doctors that he was rushed here yesterday night, Please, where is he?â€ Deborah trembled in fear.
â€œItâ€™s ok madam, I will take you right to his room.â€™â€™ The nurse stood up and led her to the ward.
She followed hastily behind, still shaking in fear.
â€œPlease, what happened? Is he ok?â€ Deborah asked.
â€œIâ€™m afraid I canâ€™t tell you much but would page the doctor in charge to come see you as soon as possible.â€ the nurse tried to ease her, but could still see the fear written all over her.
The Nurse opened the door to Dewaleâ€™s room; her eyes widen as she saw him lying helplessly in strings of tubes all over him, she rushed to his side, holding his hands.
â€œHoney, can you hear me?â€™â€™ she cried. â€œPlease honey, donâ€™t leave me, I am so sorryâ€¦.â€ she whispered in tears. â€œCan you hear me dear…..?â€Â Â Just then, the Doctor entered.
He just laid there with his eyes closed and the beeping machine makingÂ continuousÂ sound tightened her heart in fear. Her breathing became ragged as fear whipped up in her and pushed tears on her cheeks. She covered her mouth with her trembling hands.
â€œMrs. Adebanjo.â€ She called out.
Deborah jolted as she heard her name. â€œYes, are you Dr Olamide?â€ She walked toward her.
â€œYes, I called you.â€ She answered.
â€œWill he be ok? What happened….?â€ she whimpered.
â€œHe was rushed here aroundÂ 10:00pmÂ yesterday after a collision with a drunk driver. He was badly hit on the head.â€ Deborah gasped in fear.
â€œBut we were able to stop the bleeding. However, Due to the extensive damage to the head, we had to induce him into coma.â€ Dr Olamide explained.
â€œOh my God! Deborah gasped. â€œComa?â€ She pressed her hands against her chest as she felt tightened
â€œWe cannot say how much damage was done until he wakes up from the coma.â€ Dr Olamide said
â€œWhen is that going to be?â€ Deborah asked in tears.
â€œHopefully, very soon. We can only wait to see what happens.â€ Dr Olamide spoke softly; she gently touched her shoulder as a sign of sympathy. Few seconds later, she walked out of the room.
All alone again in the room, she looked at her husband and felt all strength drained out of her, she felt helpless and defeated.
â€œHoney, Please….., if you can hear me…..â€ tears ran down her face. â€œI am so sorry……, Please honey, forgive me, I caused all these….I put you in this state.., Please.â€ she sunk to her knees on the carpet square.
â€œOh Godâ€¦ Please help me, forgive me Lord and give me back my husband, please God….., Donâ€™t punish him for my sins, I committed the offence, I sinned against you; donâ€™t take him away……., she was flooded in tears. â€œI am sorry Lord……, please……, donâ€™t take him away from me….. I am begging you Lord, please…..â€ she continued to cry.
At some point, she couldnâ€™t even understand the words coming out of her mouth as her tears overwhelmed her, she held his hands and cried out to God. She couldnâ€™t believe how she had allowed the enemy used her to destroy her home and her relationship with her husband. Not just that, she had sin against God, and broken his commandment. She broke her faith, committed a detestable act against God.
As she knelt down there, she felt the word of God piercing through her,Â â€˜Drink water from your own cistern, and running water from your own well. Should your fountains be dispersed abroad, Streams of water in the streets? Let them be only your own, and not for strangers with you.â€ Proverbs 5:15-17.
She felt an increased pounding on her chest; she had not even thought about God in all these. She knew His words and Godâ€™s stand against this act, her body was only meant for one person which is her husband but she defied it andÂ gave it to a stranger and the evil.
She is an adultery who consciously walked into sin, just toÂ fulfillÂ the desires of her flesh. She is like a Â broken vessel that only the Master could mend, â€˜He that thinks he stands take heed lest he fallsâ€™, she knew this verse like no other and yet, she became a part of it. At this point, she had nowhere to go expect to her Maker; she cried to him to forgive her sins, to cleanse her and accept her back into his presence.
Itâ€™s been almost a week that Dewale had been in a coma; Deborah refused to leave his bed side until she was pressured by the teams of doctor to at least go home to change. She felt weak and guilty to the bone; she continued to cry to God to forgive her sins, to restore her home and heal her husband. During this time, she had called her parents to explain the situation but left the part of her adulterous act. Her parents helped to take care of Temidayo, their daughter while she stayed with her husband; they visited her in the hospital and also urged her to go home to rest.
After so much pressure, she decided to go home to clean herself up and change of cloth. Getting home to an empty house was most depressing; all she wanted to do is take a shower and get back to the hospital. As soon as she finished cleaning up, she left the house to go back to Dewale.
â€œMrs Adebanjo!â€ she heard one of Â called after her. â€œI was about calling your house; your husband just woke up.â€ she was excited.
â€œMy God!â€ Deborah exclaimed and ran to his room. Her heart leap for joy, she wanted to run to him and hold him close but cautioned herself when she saw his doctor attending to him, so she stood aside.
â€œWe are so glad to have you back,â€ she heard his Doctor say to him. â€œYou were in a coma for a week after the car accident you had; do you remember anything?â€ She flashed the pen light through his eye to access it.
â€œAccident?â€ Dewale was confused; heÂ touched the bandage around his hand.
“Do you remember anything?” she stopped to look at him.
“No.” He stammered.
â€œItâ€™s ok,â€™â€™ Doctor Olamide smiled at him. â€œIâ€™m going to ask you series of questions to determine how much damage was done, okay?â€ she said while Dewale just nodded.
â€œCan you please tell me your full name?â€
â€œAdewale Adebanjoâ€¦.â€ he murmured.
“When where you born?” She asked.
“10th of November, 1978.” He answered.
â€œDo you know what year it is?â€
He stared at her,Â Confused. â€œI think…, 2005â€¦â€ he said
â€œWhat!â€ Deborah gasped from where she was standing. â€œHe said 2005, what does that mean?â€ she asked Doctor Olamide, but before the Doctor could answer, she went to stand by Dewaleâ€™s side, staring into his eyes.
â€œHoney,â€ she looked into his eyes but Dewale withdrew his hands.
She saw the confused look on his face, like he had no idea who she was.
Deborah was close to tears at this. â€œDo you know who I am?â€ she managed to ask.
â€œIâ€™m sorryâ€¦.â€ Dewale stared back at her, then looked from her to the doctor. â€œI …donâ€™t know………â€ he stammered, puzzled.
â€œItâ€™s me, Deborah, your wifeâ€¦â€ she whimpered, searching into his eyes to see if he recognized her but she found nothing.
â€œOh God!â€ she gasped again. â€œWhatâ€™s happening to him?â€ she faced the doctor, â€œmy husband does not recognize me,â€ she whispered in tears.
â€œMadam, please,â€ Doctor Olamide took her hands and led her outside. Deborah reluctantly followed her seeing how confused and stocked Dewale was himself. Getting outside in the lobby, she broke down into more tears.
â€œWhatâ€™s happening to him?â€ she cried out.
â€œMrs Adebanjo, you need to take things easy,â€ Doctor Olamide spoke gently to her. “Itâ€™s not uncommon for recovering coma patient to have memory loss.â€ She looked into her eyes. â€œWhen people experience physical trauma, such as a head injury in a car accident, this can have effects on their brain.â€ the doctor explained.
â€œBut He does remember who he is except from 2005 till date, we met in 2008 so that means he does not remember who I am which centred into his loss memory, how can that be?â€ Deborah asked, mystified.
â€œWe will have to conduct further tests to determine the extent of his memory loss. Sometimes, a trauma can cause a repressed memory loss on a patient. When an event is so traumatic, the memory has not forgotten in the traditional sense, but removed from the conscious mind, still present in the long-term memory but hidden from the patientâ€™s knowledge.â€ Doctor Olamide explained. .
Fear gripped her hearing this information; she realized the event that happened at home may have caused him to forget all about her. She felt weak to the bone.
â€œMrs Adebanjo.â€ Dr Olamide tapped her as she was lost in her thought.
â€œIâ€™m sorryâ€¦.â€ Deborah jolted.
â€œIs there anyone prior to 2005 you can call, someone he can trust to be with now.â€ she asked
â€œTrust! Who better to trust than me?â€ She looked angrily at the doctor. “I’m his wife for God’s sake.” She snapped.
â€œIâ€™m sorry, I didnâ€™t mean to upset.â€ She spoke calmly to her. â€œAt this stage, we have to be careful and help him recover.â€
Deborah strengthened. She knew the doctor was right about one thing, she definitely couldnâ€™t be trusted; after all, she put him in this state. She inhaled deeply. â€œIâ€™m sorry.â€ SheÂ apologizedÂ to the doctor.
â€œThereâ€™s no one,â€ she said sadly â€œHis parents are gone dead and heâ€™s an only child.â€
â€œItâ€™s okay then; let me carry out these tests, and then we can go from there.â€ She gently touched her shoulders. Â â€œMrs Adebanjo, you need to take it easy, okay? She assured her before walking back into the room.
Deborah watched as the Doctor went back to attend to Dewale; this time, she could not bring herself to go in, she stood there watching through the window. Â She felt lost in herself, Dewale was not just her husband, he was her best friend, and he is everything she has. She needed someone right now to talk to and her only companion does not even recognize her.
After standing there for a while, she decided to take a walk, just go anywhere. She got into her car and drove away; she had no destination in mind, just to drive as fast as possible. After several minutes of driving aimlessly and in her thought, she felt the car behind her had been following her for quite sometime, she took note of it and drove around for a little while and was sure it was definitely on her tail, then she recognized the car and immediately stomped on her brake which made the other car to brake harshly too. She got out of the car, went straight to the other car and opened the door to the driver side.
â€œWhy on earth are you following me?â€ she shouted at Tunde. â€œWhat is all these.â€ she demanded.
â€œIâ€™m sorry Deborah, I was just trying to get you to speak to me; I was worried after you left your house the other day in a rush. I have called your phone several time but no response; youâ€™ve not been to work or even back home. I went by your house today again and saw you driving off so I followed you, I couldnâ€™t catch on with you when you drove into the hospital so I waitedâ€¦.â€ Tunde panted for air as if a gun was been pointed at him. â€œIs everything ok?â€ he searched into her eyes for answers.
â€œSo, what are you?â€ SheÂ challenged. Â Why are you looking for me? Why are you following me? To see if your mission is completed? Isnâ€™t itâ€ She shouted furiously at him.
â€œNo, no, I was just worried about you Debâ€¦â€ he said in a sad tone.
â€œDonâ€™t you dare call me â€˜Debâ€™, you lost the right to call me that a long ago.â€ she raged at him.
â€œIâ€™m sorry Deborah, I know you are still angry at me, but really, I am very sorry. I didnâ€™t plan for things to happen this way. I canâ€™t stop thinking about you Deborahâ€¦.â€
â€œNow, Tunde, I want you to stop right there.â€ She shouted. â€œDonâ€™t think about me; I am not interested in you and what happened between us was a great mistake and I regretted it. I love my husband and thatâ€™s not going to change.â€ She faced him squarely.
â€œTunde, put yourself in his shoe, how would you feel?â€ She asked searching his face but he was quiet. â€œI donâ€™t know who you are anymore Tunde, I thought you are a man of God; a man who knew God and walked according to his principles. Â What happened to the man that so preached against all these?â€ she asked. “I agree we sinned against God and what we did was wrong, but what I don’t understand is you.” She looked straight into his eyes. “You don’t feel remorse, you just don’t care.”
â€œDeborah, I am first a man before I became a Man of God, I have feelings, emotions and I loved you and still love you…….., Deborah, and I canâ€™t find myself without you…. please…..
At that moment, Deborah realized she was making another terrible mistake standing there talking to him; she should be in the hospital now, by her husbandâ€™s side, either he remembered her or not; with that thought, she turned back without uttering any word and walked to her car.
â€œDeborahâ€¦, please, donâ€™t walk away from me…â€ he ran after her. But she just continued to walk, got into her car and raced back to the hospital.
She was determined to work this through, in as much as she needed Dewale, she realized that Dewale also needed her, she was all that heâ€™s got, she was his only family and she believed that is hidden somewhere in his memory and sooner, it will all come back to him.
Deborah got back to the hospital and without hesitation; she walked straight to the ward. She stopped for a moment and looked through the window to his room, she said a word of prayer, and then she walked in.
Dewale tilted his head up to look at her, and then forced a smile.
â€œI am so sorry about the other time,â€ he apologized, â€œguessed I was still in a state of stock.â€ he followed her with his eyes as she came to stand by his bed.
â€œItâ€™s okay; it wasnâ€™t your fault.â€ she replied.
â€œYou know, waking up from a sleep and then you realized youâ€™ve lost six years of good memory is no good.â€ he chuckled.
â€œThat sucks!â€ Deborah smiled.
â€œYea, real bad,â€ he let out a soft laugh. â€œI must have scared the hell out of you.â€ he said with a look of concern on his face.
â€œWellâ€¦.â€ Deborah said, unsure of what to say.
â€œAnd to say I have this beautiful woman before me who is my wife, arenâ€™t I the luckiest of men?â€ he smiled at her.
â€œActually, I am the luckiest of all women.â€ she managed a smile.
â€œSo tell me, what I have missed?â€ he curiously asked.
â€œWellâ€¦,â€ Deborah smiled â€œYou have a beautiful daughter, and sheâ€™s two years old; sheâ€™s at my Momâ€™s now.â€
â€œI am so blessed.â€ Dewale smiled again. “At least, there is one thing I still remembered, that I am a Christian and love God; I’m sure He saved me and brought me back home, to you.” he touched the wedding ring on his left finger.
Then, he stared at her for few moments, trying to figure out her face.
â€œThe doctor said my memory loss is as a result of the head injury,â€ Dewale said. â€œBut itâ€™s not permanent.â€ He added looking into her eyes. â€œIt will come back soon, okayâ€¦.â€ He assured her.
â€œItâ€™s okay Dewale, Iâ€™m just glad to have you back,â€ Deborah smiled. â€œBy the way, my name is Deborah.â€ She felt like the very first time they met; anxiety filled her.
â€œHmm, Deborahâ€¦â€ Dewale said. â€œI love that name, Deborah, Debby….â€ He smiled.
â€œYes, you call me Deborah.â€ She reached out to hold his hands, this time, Dewale returned the gesture.
â€œEverything will be fine dear.â€ Deborah looked into his eyes.
As Dewale looked back at her, he tried to remember the face, the feeling of her hands, her smell, her eyes, even her voice but they were all blur; she felt familiar but nothing was coming up to him.
Dewale stayed in the hospital for two more week to heal after which his Doctor decided he was fit to go home. She advised that familiar places or things might help to jolt back his memory and she also booked him for weekly physiotherapy at the hospital. Deborah was glad to have her husband back home, even if they still behave like strangers, it was better than losing him.
Few days after getting home, Dewale went through the whole house to see if things would be familiar to him, especially when Temidayo was brought back to the house.
As he held his daughter, he felt so much love and warmth within him, love thatÂ overweightÂ above his memory loss; he knew somewhere within him that she was his and wept quietly as he held her close. Deborah longed to explain what happened before the accident to him but she was warned by the doctors to take things slow with him and not relate past trauma events to him yet.
Days turned into weeks; Deborah tried to get Dewale to come sleep on their bed but she felt he was uncomfortable about this; sometimes, he slept for few hours and during the night, he went away downstairs to sleep on the couch. There were times she heard whispers in prayer, even as she couldnâ€™t hear the words; she knew he was distress in his spirit. With all these going on, she felt guilty about having sexual desires for her husband; she wanted to be touched by him, she wanted to sleep in his embrace all night long, kiss him so passionately to express how much she love him, at the same time, she was unsure of how to come clean to him and felt deception about these.
There were days she wanted to ask him what he remembered as things were beginning to come back to him, but the fear of what it might be scared her.
Even with all these going on at home, she tried to keep Tunde off her back, although, she had quit her job, changed her mobile number but he kept sending her all sort of letters at home. There were times she noticed his car stalking her, at times he approached her and start begging and telling her he couldnâ€™t live without her, other times, he just followed her. It was so bad that even when he wasnâ€™t there, Deborah felt like she was been watched by him. Sheâ€™s beginning to feel so much hatred and resentment towards him; even the sight of him was beginning to repulse her. Â She stopped every confrontation with him as it was of no use. All she wanted now is her husband back to her but she knew she had to trust God. This all went on for almost two months.
One night, Dewale had offered to tuck in Temidayo to sleep, while she went to take a shower. When she finished in the bathroom, she found him standing there in the middle of the bedroom waiting for her.
â€œIs everything alright?â€ she was surprised to see.
â€œYes.â€ He smiled and walked toward her. He took her into his arms and hugged her tightly.
They both stayed in each other arms for quite a while, then, he brought her to face him; kissed her softly, and stopped to look at her face.
Deborah was lost in all this; she was about to speak when he kissed her again, this time, so passionately that she fell under his charm; she kissed him back too and held tightly onto him, ignoring her towel which gently slipped away from her tiny body; she held on so tightly ignoring the tears bunching in her eyes.
She moved with him as he carefully led her on the bed.
â€œDewale, I have to talk to youâ€¦.â€ she said softly.
â€œHoney, Iâ€™m done talkingâ€¦â€ he started to kiss her neck, finding his way up to her cheeks.
â€œItâ€™s really important honey…..â€ she whispered.
â€œWe can talk after this dear.â€ Dewale continued to explore her face with his lips.
Deborah knew what he wanted, but something in her held her back. She felt she would be deceiving and betraying his trust. She had to tell him what she did.
â€œPleaseâ€¦.â€ She suddenly broke down in tears. â€œI did something….., something very terrible…. and you donâ€™t remember.â€ she allowed the tears pour down her face as her lips began to tremble.
â€œHon,â€ he stopped and looked at her with a kind face. â€œI donâ€™t want you to talk about anything dear, whatever you did, I forgive youâ€¦â€ he gently wiped the tears from her face. â€œI love you so much and I know you love me too; whatever it is dear, letâ€™s forget about it Â and move on with our lives.â€ Dewale looked straight into her eyes, trying so much to steady the pounding in his heart. He felt he had to make this perfect; he had to get it right. He wasnâ€™t ready to go back to the past.
â€œBut, donâ€™t you want to know?â€ she asked in tears, overwhelmed by his kinds words to her.
â€œI donâ€™t want to hear it; now can I get back to kissing my wife?â€ He smiled and before she could reply, he started to kiss her all over again.
He placed his lips on her eyes and gently kissed it. Deborah felt the warmth that rested on her wet eyes and her heart sunk. She felt she didnâ€™t deserve the kind of love heâ€™s shown to her. He wasnâ€™t even interested to know what she did or was it that he knew but didnâ€™t care? Deborah felt a release from him, a kind of release devoid of any form of anger or resentment like he had forgiven her whatever she must have done against him. She wasnâ€™t too sure but right now, right here, she was grateful for his love.
Then, Â She turned her face up to his, Â her half-felt protest became a moan of surrender as he drove his mouth down on hers with a hungry kiss which splintered her. She felt love like never before. Â As he touched her, she moved with him and enjoyed every step of it. This is what love making should be, a feeling of total love and surrender to your partner, not of condemnation, deceit or betrayal.
Unknown to Deborah, Dewale had recovered completely from his loss memory but thought that revisiting the past would not make things better between them; rather, he decided to deal with things in his own way. During those days of recovering, he had spent several time praying and pondering over things. He prayed for the heart of forgiveness and restoration. He knew Deborah was sorry for her act and he needed something stronger to let go of the pain and hurt.
At first, he felt the hurt and pain in his heart, he felt she had betrayed his trust and could never forgive her. But the more he thought about this, the farer he was away from the presence of God. He couldnâ€™t stand before God to pray, he couldnâ€™t even think or move on with his life. Then, one day, he wept and cried to God, he told him he was weak to forgive her, he was hurt beyond words, and he needed God to help him, to heal and restore him back. He knew he needed to forgive her, and only the grace of God can help him through that.
That day, he made a choice to forgive her; he made a choice to let go. After he completely surrendered to God, he felt peace beyond all comprehension within and knew God was working in him.
Tunde jolted at the sound of the doorbell. Opening the door, he found an unfamiliar face standing before him.
â€œHello,â€ He greeted. â€œCan I help you?â€ He stared at the stranger.
â€œYes you can.â€ Dewale brushed passed him and walked into the house. â€œI think its best we come inside to talk.â€
Tunde was taken aback at the outburst of his guest.
â€œMy name is Dewale; I think you know my wife, Deborah?â€ His face was taut.
Tunde shuddered when heÂ realizedÂ who he was.
â€œYou actually havenâ€™t met me before and yet, you had the gut to come into my home and defy my wife.â€ His head dropped forward in exasperation. â€œEven still, you are still trying to find your way back.â€ He furiously looked at him.
Tunde was bewildered; he wanted to say something but his throat became dry as shamed caused his lips to tremble.
â€œI want you to listen and listen carefully.â€ His wide eyes rested on him. â€œMy wife is my Jewel. I love her and would do anything to stay that way. Henceforth, I want you to stay far away from her; you donâ€™t dare to call her, see her or even think about her.â€ He felt like dropping some few bunches into his skull so he can properly understand what he meant, but took all the strength in him to restrain himself.
He stared long at him for several seconds while Tunde bowed his head in shame.
Then, Dewale reluctantly took a step backward, walked toward the couch and sat down. â€œYou know, when I first met my wife, before we actually started dating….â€ Dewale rested his back on the couch.
â€œAll she did was talk about you, mostly about how she admired your commitment to God, how you served him and upheld your faith,â€ He rolled the wedding ring on his finger. â€œshe said you never touched her or even tried to; You know she told me specifically,Â ‘I respect and love him because he never took advantage of me even when I was weak’,Â she called you a man after Godâ€™s own heart.â€ He chuckled.
â€œI knew she loved you and it was hard for her then, but she felt God brought you into her life to teach her some value, to grow and learn. She said she knew and understood God through every teaching you ever taught her.â€ He looked up for a moment and saw Tunde drenched in tears. He was trembling and Dewale knew his legs wouldnâ€™t hold him much longer.
â€œMan, you raised such a high standard for me to meet up to. I mean, I wasn’t perfect or a man of God, I was just growing but I loved her so much that I would do anything, anythingâ€¦â€ heÂ emphasized. â€œTo make her happy.â€ Dewale ran his hands over his face.
â€œI told her to go back to you; I made herÂ realizedÂ that she was not bound to marry me because our parents insisted it or pressure from anyone. I wanted her to make her choice and be happy.â€ He inhaled deeply as he felt his heart sunk; for a moment a part of him felt he must have caused all these.
Tunde felt weak all over so he walked towards the next couch and quietly sat down.
â€œShe went away and a week later, she came back to me. She said she was convinced that I was the will of God for her. She said she loved me.â€ Dewale looked widely at him. “She chose me.”
â€œYou know, I never knew you then but I admired your commitment and all the things she spoke about you,â€ he tilted his head forward. â€œBut now, I donâ€™t know what happened to you but one thing I know is this, you are lost.â€ He said in a firm tone. â€œFor you to come into another manâ€™s home, eat his fruit and demand to take it away, then I am most certain that you are on a path to hell.â€ Dewale looked straight into his eyes.
Then, he became silent, intensely staring at him to what seems like forever. In as much as he felt some hatred towards him, he knew what the Lord had sent him here to do, to deliver a message; although it had been against his own wish, but who is he to question God. He inhaled deeply and silently asked the Lord to help him.
During his recovery, after his full memory had come back, he was so disappointed and angry at his wife, those nights he spent downstairs praying and pondering over things. He had asked God to help him get over all these. He so much loved his wife but he couldnâ€™t get pass her betrayal and infidelity. He was shocked and surprised when the Lord had asked him specifically to go over to Tundeâ€™s place to bring him back home to Him. He was stunned at this request, he had out rightly told the Lord that he couldnâ€™t commit to that request; he wasnâ€™t the best person to carry out that mission. Tunde had sinned against him too; he had defied his home, his wife. But days after this, Dewale couldnâ€™t resist the word of God; heÂ realizedÂ that he had to open his heart to the Lord to heal him too, he needed to let go and forgive, he spent hours crying and asking the Lord to help him.
â€œI know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repentâ€. Dewale quoted.
â€œRevelation 3.â€ Tunde whispered.
â€œI see, you still know your bible.â€ Dewale said.
â€œYou need to move on…â€ Dewale spoke softly, â€œYou need to let go, and let God back into your life.â€ At this time, he saw Tunde swelled up in tears. He realized how much he had fallen, he thought it was Deborah he needed but in the true sense, he needed his Lord and Saviour; he knew he had gone far away from his Maker. He tried to destroy another manâ€™s home.
â€œThe Lord asked me to tell you to return back to your first love.â€
Tunde gently lifted up his head to look at him. He was surprised to hear what he said.
â€œI donâ€™t know how and where you fell so low but God asked me to tell you that He is waiting for you to come back home, back into His presence. He said He would accept you back, cleanse you, wash and restore you back. He said he has not found all your works completed and…â€ Dewale rose up from the couch. â€œHe loves you.â€
Tunde suddenly broke down into more tears; he couldnâ€™t believe God would still want him after all he did. His sins and disappointment to the kingdom of God; he felt this was too much and he didnâ€™t deserve the kind of love God was giving to him.He sunk to his knees and wept bitterly.
Dewale felt pity instead of the anger he had walked in with; He felt the power of God piercing through the lost soul before him. He knew God was ready to work on him, if he truly surrender all to him. â€œYou were a man with great vision; a purpose but you sold out to the devil, go home man!â€ Dewale turned and began walking to the door.
Tunde, who was swelled up in tears looked up at his guest leaving.
â€œI am so….very sorryâ€¦.â€ Tunde spoke out in tears, â€œI am sorry, please, forgive meâ€¦â€
Dewale looked back at him, nodded and walked out. He felt the tears threatening to pour down his own face.
He hurried into his car and there allowed the tears pour down his face. This time around, the tears werenâ€™t of bitterness or pain, it was of restoration. He felt the presence of God all around him and knew it could only be God who can make the most bitter situation and turn it into healing. Â The last time he spent in the presence of God, asking him to help him forgive and restore his marriage, he had thought the Lord was finished with him as he felt his presence and healing that day, but right now, right here, heÂ realizedÂ that God was still working in him. He was taking every bitterness and hatred he thought he had let go of, he was giving him a clean and a new heart. A Heart like God, the kind he gave to Jesus to forgive our sins even after we nailed him to the cross. A heart that forgives even when we were still sinners. He continued to weep right there in his car, and felt the Holy spiritÂ remoldingÂ and teaching him into the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ. He knew what he had to do when he gets back home, and even the things to continue doing. He has to be a priest in his home, to teach and nurture not just his wife but his family as a whole.
Sincere forgiveness isnâ€™t coloured with expectations that the other person apologize or change. One shouldnâ€™t worry whether or not they finally understand you. Love them and release them. Life feeds back truth to people in its own way and time . I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note â€“ torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.
The wrong has been done, the way forward is to keep looking forward; forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. Forgiveness does not mean that we suppress anger; forgiveness means that we have asked for a miracle: Â the ability to see through mistakes that someone has made to the truth that lies in all of our hearts. Forgiveness is not always easy. At times, it feels more painful than the wound we suffered, to forgive the one that inflicted it. And yet, there is no peace without forgiveness.
The love of God is able to conquer everything that life throws at us; we need the willingness and courage to give it our best. Your love for each other isnâ€™t enough to hold through storming seas but the love of God can break through every pain, disappointment, and betrayal. As he sat in his car, he felt at peace, the kind of peace you cannot comprehend, the peace that only God could give. He realized that to forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.
Forgiveness is not a cruel demand that a sadistic God imposes on the hurting.Â It is the painful but healing door to freedom. It is surgery on the heart that extracts the poison of bitterness so we can move forward into a healthy life.
Forgiveness is a choice we make intentionally, not because we just want to put the memory behind us, because weâ€™ve been told we must, or because we think it will cause God to give us what we want. We choose to forgive because we recognized the tremendous mercy and power in Godâ€™s forgiveness of us. If God is able to forgive us our enormous cache of sin, our forgiveness of one who has hurt us is small in comparison. (MarriageÂ Mission)
With those thought, he drove home to meet his love.
The End. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Please kindly leave your comments below. Thank you for reading.Â
Confession of a Married Woman
Deborah paced around the living room in anger. Her eyes full of rage towards her husband, Dewale; her heart beat skimmed the top of her chest.
I don’t understand why you have to be so difficult about this. Deborah raged at him. One day, you are all into it, another, you complain like hell. She threw her hands in the air in frustration. She brushed past him putting space between them.
I know I agreed you could go back to work, but it’s getting at me; your work takes toil on you and you hardly have time for us at home. Dewale said back in anger.
Dewale, what is it you want from me? I do everything I’m supposed to do as a wife for you and my kid; your food is on time, the house is always spotless and I do my best to satisfy all your needs. What else do you want from me? She challenged.
All I want is to see you more often at home, I want to come back home from work and see my wife waiting for me, not coming in four hours later. He grumbled.
Why are you so selfish? All those time when I was all alone at home with our daughter and you go to work; do you remember how you work all late at nights and endless meetings and conferences all over, days you travel and all that? Â I endured and was patient with you. I had to put my career on hold to help you achieve all that you are today. She frowned.
Can’t you do the same for me, I’m starting to build up a career for myself and you want me to quit? She threw an angry look at him.
“No one is asking you to work Deborah; is there anything you lack in this house or anything you ever wanted and don’t get? I don’t see why you have to work or take up such a career that demands so much time from you, especially away from your family.” he answered back.
â€œDewale, I am not working because of the money and you know that; I love the job I do, I love a challenge and I love to work. I can’t stand it anymore, moaning about in the house all day. I found something that I am good at and now, you want me to quit.â€ The emotions inside her collided and fused to a red-hot poker of anger.
Dewale stared angrily at her. He couldnâ€™t understand why she would remain headstrong and always want to have her way. All heâ€™s asking of her is just time to spend with his wife and for their daughter to have a stable family.
â€œDeborah, I’ve had enough of these arguments. You know, these days, I do wonder where your priority lies. I have made my decision and going to bed.â€ he turned to walk away from her.
â€œFine.â€ She exhaled. â€œCommander Chief of armed forces,â€ Deborah called after him â€œYou can’t control my life, okay; I also have my own life to live and no one is going to stop me.â€ She shouted after him, while Dewale ignored her.
Deborah was so infuriated with him; she couldnâ€™t understand why he could be so selfish about this. They had both been on this issue for months now, but he still insisted she quit her job despite knowing how miserable she was in the years she stayed at home. She realised the demands and handwork bank jobs could take on their workers, but was determined to work her way through; in fact, Â she had reduced her hours at work and tried to finish on time each day, but still, heâ€™s still adamant on her leaving the job. She was so angry with him that she decided to stay in the living room until she slept off.
A few hours, Dewale realized his wife was not in bed, so he went in search of her and found her sleeping on the couch in the living room.
â€œDeborah.â€ he gently touched him.
â€œHmm.â€ she murmured.
â€œPlease, come to bed.â€
â€œOhâ€¦ohâ€¦ Dewale, please leave me alone,â€ she muttered. â€œAh! Do you want to control my sleep too?â€ She hissed and went back to sleep.
Dewale stood there staring at the wife he loved so much, slipping away from him. They had both been having series of argument lately which has proven difficult for their marriage and sleeping in the living room was becoming a habit. He wondered if he handled the matter in the right way or his insecurities were getting ahead of his relationship with His wife.
He loved it when he gets home every day and finds her in the house, waiting on him, giving all her attention to him but now that sheâ€™s started working, he hardly see her or spend time together as they used to. In fact, they had to cancel two holidays because of her work. He feared that her work was taking much demand on her which is affecting their relationship. Â One day, He had surprised her at work to take her out for lunch, he was taken aback by how much commanding she was at work; not in a bad way but seeing his wife with so much confident scared him. She was good at what she does and the best. He saw how she attended to all her clients, all smart, confident and beautiful.
Although, he knew he was way out of line telling her to quit her job just because of his selfish interest but he would rather do that, than to lose her to her job or another man. Heâ€™s seen the way men exploit female workers especially with these qualities. These days, men don’t care how many wedding rings you have on your fingers, they still chase after them; he has seen how his married business partners runs after women, even married women and he despised this a lot. He does trust Deborah, but not the craving wolves out there and heâ€™s sure would do everything to keep them away from his queen.
The next day, Deborah did her best to ignore Dewale; she prepared his breakfast and hurried out of the house as she would have to go drop their daughter first at the day care. She was not ready to give in to him yet; she wanted to work and would make him realize how much this means to her.
Deborah knew she could get anything she wanted from her husband and she knows well how to get him to do her bidding but she was still determined to stay angry at him to get his attention.
After a long day at work, she had one last client to see before going home.
â€œHello Mr…..,â€ she looked through her appointment book. â€œWilliams.â€
â€œCall me Tunde.â€ the gentleman offered his hands to her.
Deborah looked up to see the gentleman and was shocked to see who he was. It took her few minutes to pull herself together after seeing her ex-fiancÃ© standing in front of her.
â€œOh my God!â€ Deborah shuddered. â€œTunde!â€ She said excited.
â€œOh my! Deborah.â€ Tunde hugged her. â€œI can’t believe this.â€ he laughed out in amazement.
â€œI know,â€ Deborah blushed. â€œPlease, let’s go into my officeâ€ she showed the way. â€œHow have you been?â€ She looked back at him, still amazed to see Tunde.
â€œMe? Right now, feeling so great.â€ he laughed. â€œYou?
â€œI’m fine.â€ Deborah answered, â€œSo surprise to see you, Pastor Tunde,â€ she teased him. â€œYou are still a pastor, right?â€ she asked.
â€œOh yes, very much a pastor,â€ he smiled. ”I just moved into town and decided to come open an account at this branch.â€ He couldnâ€™t get his eyes off her. She had grown more beautiful and mature from the last time he saw her.
â€œThatâ€™s good.â€ Deborah smiled, hoping he wouldnâ€™t notice the excitement in her. She stared at him as he told her about his work and how life has been. She occasionally blushed and tried to ignore the emotion popping inside of her.
They both dated in the past for a long time; first love, she would say. Â They had planned their life together, their dream home and their future. Things became tough for them when Deborah’s parent pressured her into leaving the relationship. They insisted that they had no future together. They wanted her to marry one of their family friendâ€™s son whom they had tried to match make her with for several years.
After so much pressure and threat to disown Deborah, she eventually broke it off with Tunde. The break-up was so painful that she had to break all contact and even moved to another city to start a new life. It’s being three years now, but seeing Tunde today woke up those feelings she thought had gone away. How she loved him and wanted things to work for them back then.
Getting home that day, she tried to avoid any confrontation with her husband since they have been giving themselves the silence treatment. She wouldn’t say they have both fallen out of love for each other but things have become so dull between them, like the passion had gone. All they do is argue about little things they could easily overlook and when they aren’t fighting, it’s the silence treatment.
After several days of catching up with Tunde on phone, texting and chatting, they eventually planned to meet up for dinner at Tunde’s place. She tried avoiding his intense gaze on her as they ate their meal, but since it was just the two of them in the big dining table, it was difficult to avoid him. She would blush each time she caught him staring at her.
â€œI can see you’ve still got the cooking touch.â€ Â Deborah took a sip of her drink and smiled warmly at him.
â€œOh yes, thank you for graciously eating.â€ Tunde grinned.
â€œYou are welcome.â€ Her tone of voice was dark and sensual.
He chuckled. â€œSince you ran away from me, I did comforted myself with my cooking.â€ He grimaced.
â€œC’mon, I didn’t run away.â€ she smiled, getting up to clear the table.
â€œPlease no,â€ he held her hands to stop her. â€œYou are the guest, I should do this.â€ He smiled.
â€œIt’s the least I could do, you did all the cooking please, let me do the cleaning.â€ She countered, and continued to clear the dishes and walked quietly to the kitchen.
As she washed the dishes, she smiled to herself. ‘Irony’, who would imagine her washing dishes in Tunde’s house after all these years. She felt her heart pounding so fast at the increase emotion in her; she couldnâ€™t but wonder why she had come to his house in the first place, and what fire she was playing with. Was it an ignite love or just a closure of their past, but part of her was enjoying the whole attention and the stares he was giving to her. Just then, she felt his hands around her waist.
â€œTunde!â€ she moaned softly at his touch.
â€œI know,â€ he whispered. â€œI can’t help myself, Deborah.â€ he held her tightly.
His voice trailed through her, although she felt some hesitation on her part, but before she could do something about it, she felt his breathing on her neck.
â€œOh!â€ she whispered as his lips touched her neck. â€œPlease,â€ she turned around, â€œDon’t let us do this, Please.â€ she looked into his eyes, but saw a man longing for her. She knew she had to stop herself before it went too far.
â€œI’m sorry Deborah,â€ he reluctantly released her. â€œYou are right, we shouldn’t be doing this.â€ He moved away from her, but their eyes were still locked together.
Deborah noticed how hard this was for him, and then realised she had made a mistake coming over, in fact; she had deliberately ignored her heart on her way to his place. All she had thought about for a whole week was seeing him one more time, and felt nothing was wrong in it, or perhaps had deliberately ignored the feelings of the lust that had eaten her up.
â€œYou know how much I have thought of you since you left.â€ He brushed his hands through his hair.
Deborah saw the pain in his eyes as he spoke.
â€œI tried working on other relationships, but they never work, never Deborah.â€ His voice was weak and full of sadness. â€œI missed you Deb, I missed you so much.â€ He stared into her eyes.
As he said those words, tears filled her eyes, she was unsure of what to say or how to act. She knew what her head was saying to her, she ached to pull him closer, tell him everything would be fine, and probably ease him of the pain.
â€œDo you remember when we used to sit all day talking about our future, things we would do, ministry, our house, kids……..â€ He asked as his face filled with excitement.
â€œHmmâ€¦â€ she tilted her head towards him.
â€œYea, those days.â€ He chuckled. â€œI wished I could go back there; Come,â€ he stretched his hands towards her. â€œLet me show you something,â€ took her hand and hurried towards the front door.
â€œRemember, when we talked of how we would build our first house, and how the interior would be,â€ he brought her to the entrance, facing the living room. Â â€œEntering the house, the first thing you want to see is the crystal light chandelier hanging from the ceiling.â€ he grinned in excitement.
â€œYes.â€ Deborah answered; almost surprised he remembered the late night talks of their dream home and aspiration for their future.
â€œSee,â€ he pointed to the beautiful chandelier hanging on the ceiling â€œand then, you want to see a very large living room with the couches in a big circle.â€ He pointed at the arrangement of the house, filled with so much excitement as he explained the whole details according to what they both had planned years ago, laughing and smiling.
Deborah had not noticed this when she entered the house two hours ago, maybe it was the excitement of seeing him again, but right there, she was able to see the beautiful interior in the whole house.
â€œI did it Deborah, It took me two years to buy the perfect land and I had to build it, I had to.â€ he whispered, and stopped for a minute.
â€œI had to Deborah; that was the only way to keep you alive in my heart.â€ He gently took her right hand and placed it on his chest. Deborah made no attempt to move away.
â€œI can’t seem to get it right with another person; my heart still aches for you my dear. This is all for you.â€ He stared into her eyes, hoping she would see or sense some form of love still waiting there for her.
Deborah was short of words as she stared right back into his eyes, she could feel his pain and disappointment. She saw how sad he was, she wanted to say something but couldnâ€™t find the right words. Just at that moment, Tunde pulled her closer, his lips pressed against her lips so passionately that she gave in to him; she found herself releasing her body to him, more like, sheâ€™s being longing for it.
The past few weeks of chatting and talking had ignited the fire in her and she had once or twice lust after him. She held unto him as long as she could, her mind totally blank of all sanity, afraid to think. He lifted her unto the couch and just then, she felt him unbuttoning her blouse, kissing her neck all the way to her mouth, so engrossed in having all of her. Before she knew it, he was thrusting into her; she felt hot tears of shame and betrayal flowing from her eyes as she gave into him.
The drive back home was the hardest she ever did in her life; her heart pounding faster than usual, her hands shaking and fear all over her.
â€œWhat have I done?” Tears flowed from her eyes. It was a feeling of fear, anger and betrayal. There was no excuse for what happened and she knew the worst was about to happen. â€˜How can she face her husband now?â€™
She spotted her husband’s car in their compound as she drove in. She looked through the window, but noticed there was no light on.Â ‘Dewale has probably gone to bed’, she thought to herself. All she wanted to do was run into the shower and wash every smell and touch of Tunde away from her body. She was grateful Dewale had called her in the afternoon and offered to pick up their daughter from day care.
Opening the front door, she was taken aback at what she saw; rolls and layers of candle lit on from the entrance all the way to the stairs leading to their bedroom, pedals of roses on the floor, the house full of scented aroma, she noticed the dinner table was set and scented candles on it; a mixture of fear and betrayal filled her. She followed the candles upstairs to their bedroom and as she suspected, all filled with pedals of roses as she had never seen before, glowing candles everywhere and there, her husband standing there holding a rose for her. She stood there with tears flowing down her cheeks.
Dewale felt the increased anxiety in his heart when he spotted her walk into the bedroom; he had heard her car in the drive way minutes ago, and had stood in the middle of the room waiting for her. It was a mixture of anxiety and excitement, considering the amount of work he had to put in today to make it special for her. He felt like a groom waiting at the altar for the arrival of his bride.
He smiled warmly at her, and as suspected, she had been surprised.
â€œSweetheart, I know things have been a little strain between us lately,â€ he cleared his throat. â€œI am sorry honey for being so selfish, and absorb in my own world. I should be more considerate and help you towards your dream, not to put you down.â€ He stopped to steady the pounding in his heart. He had worked all day to make this night perfect for her, and apologise for all the wrongs he had done against her. He just wanted to make things right.
â€œThe truth is that, I love that you are an independent woman, but sometimes it makes me feel unwanted but that shouldn’t be. I should be more secure in you, believe in you and encourage you to be the best God created you to be, I love you honey and I am so sorryâ€ he paused searching her face to see how she felt but all he saw was blanked. Just then, she busted into tears.
â€œWhy are you crying honey?â€ he moved closer to hold her; he didnâ€™t realise how much he had hurt her these past few months with their constant arguments. â€œI am so sorry dear, I know I put you through a lot, I know honey, please forgive me?â€ He looked straight into her eyes. â€œI’m going to be here with you, I will help out in the house, even bathe our daughter, clean the house if you want, make dinner, do the laundry, anything to make things easy for you, anything my dear, I am so sorry honey.â€ He pleaded with her; afraid he had hurt her more that he had thought.
Deborah wiped the tears clouded on her eyelid to see him properly.
â€œNo dear,â€ she finally said in the mist of the tears. â€œOh God!â€ she cried out, fearing of how she would tell her husband. She knew she would not be able to keep this as a secret from him, she had to come clean and that scared her.
â€œPlease Honey, I have offended youâ€. She found herself speaking in tears. â€œI have wronged you dear.â€ she cried out, jerking herself from him.
â€œDeborah, What is it? You know you can tell me anything dear.â€ he moved closer to hold her again.
â€œWe both have wronged each other and said hurtful things, but thatâ€™s okay dear.â€ He spoke warmly; he felt his heart ache seeing her in a distraught state.
â€œNo honey, Iâ€™m so sorry. I did something terrible.â€ she begged, shivering all over.
â€œDeborah, what is wrong?â€ he asked again, this time with so much concern.
â€œI am sorry dear, I am so sorry. I didn’t mean to do it…., I was not even thinking….., I don’t know what happened…..â€ she continued to cry. â€œI don’t know what I was doing…., IÂ allowed myself to fall into this. Please, I am sorry…., I am so sorry…â€ she collapsed on the floor crying, shaking uncontrollably.
â€œWhat happened?â€ His tone of voice was blank, dull of any emotion.
Dewale was confused and scared seeing his wife in such state. He looked at how scared she was, he wanted to pull her to himself, he wanted to tell her everything would be fine, wipe her tears but his fears held him back.
“Deborah, what did you do?â€ he asked again but this time, his tone was firm.
Deborah jolted at the sound of his voice.
â€œWhat happened?â€ he asked again.
â€œI cheated on you……â€ she cried out, trembling in fear.
His eyes widen and something like panic flashed through him.
â€œYou what!â€ He shuddered. Sweat bead up on his lips.
â€œI am sorry………â€ Her breathing had become ragged as fear whipped up her in and pushed tears onto her cheeks.
Dewale stood there dog-smacked, staring furiously at her. He walked to the end of the room and walked back, still confused at what he just heard.
â€œWhen? Who? Where?â€ Â He demanded; his eyes burned through her.
Shame caused her mouth to tremble.
â€œI said with whom?â€ He shouted at her.
She jolted again, afraid to look him in the eye. â€œTunde…â€ She blurted out, shaking with indignation and fear.
â€œTunde….â€ he whispered to himself, thinking the name should mean something.
â€œWhich Tunde?â€ he asked.
â€œTunde Williams….., my………â€ She covered her mouth with her hands, trembling in shame.
He felt blood draining from his face as he attempted to swallow but canâ€™t because his mouth suddenly was dry. He stared at her for a long moment, trying to gasp and fully understand what had just happened.
Tunde……â€ he realised who he was. Then a sudden spurt of laughter broke free of his mouth for a brief moment.
He stopped and stared at her in fury.
â€œHow? When?â€ His voice echoed in anger.
â€œI……â€ She stammered.
He took few steps towards her, this time, Deborah moved away scared he was going to hit her.
â€œWhen?â€ He shouted
â€œThis afternoonâ€¦..â€ she cried out.
â€œYou mean, today, this afternoon?â€ Her words made no sense to him; he never imagined or thought something like this could ever happen to him. She was supposed to be at work, and he had been imagining her on her desk, staring long at the files on her table, not sleeping with another man.
â€œYou mean, while I was planning a surprised dinner for my wife; cooking and cleaning my ass off, you were sleeping with another man.â€ He pointed out savagely, his head dropped forward in exasperation.
”I dropped Temidayo with your mum so we could spend time together, I wanted to spend time with MY WIFE and she was somewhere sleeping with another man, this same Tunde!â€ he shouted.
â€œUnbelievable.â€ His eyes boggled. â€œDeborah, you are unbelievable. I can’t believe this.â€
â€œDewale, please…….â€ Deborah cried out, reached out her hands to touch him.
â€œDon’t you dare!â€ Tears were clogging his throat.
â€œI can’t believe you; you know, I fought like hell to get you over this same Tunde when we were dating; I went through a lot to get you to marry me, I waited for you, I was patient, I did everything you wanted me to do, you know it all.â€ He threw his hands in the air in frustration.
â€œGod!â€ He wiped his hands across his face. â€œI made you realise you didnâ€™t have to marry me because you parents wanted it, I waited for you to make your decision on your own terms because I loved you, I loved you so much and would do anything just to have you in my life.â€ He fought the tears threatening to pour down his face.
â€œI walked away, I walked away Deborah so you donâ€™t feel coerce into this relationship but you came back to me, you told me you loved me and would want to spend the rest of your live with me.â€ His voice was full of sadness and pain.
â€œHe couldn’t have you then, so you went to sleep with him now, just to see how good he is in bed, isn’t it?â€ Â He allowed the tears clouded on his eyelid to pour down his cheeks, and made no attempt to wipe them off.
â€œNo…… this was a mistake. It was a terrible mistake.â€ She crawled on her knees to him, but the fury in his eyes made her stop a few meters away from him. Â â€œHe showed up at my work place few weeks ago and things went out of hand, please Dewale, I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you, please….â€ she begged him.
â€œYou know what? You can have him,â€ he shouted â€œYou never for once loved me, I knew it, no matter how much I loved you, how much I waited for you to love me back me on your terms, No…., you only agreed to marry me just because you had nowhere to go, now he’s back, you can do anything you want to do.â€ he walked downstairs while Deborah ran after him.
â€œNo Dewale, this was a mistake, I love you honey, you are my life, you are everything I want, Please, forgive me.â€ Â She cried after him.
â€œGod!â€ He turned to look at her. â€œCan you hear yourself?â€ He shouted. â€œYou just slept with another man; you cheated on me and you are right here crying to me to forgive you, this is unbelievable!â€ He looked hard at her for a second and continued to walk down the stairs.
â€œPlease Dewale, Pleaseâ€¦â€ she ran after him. She heard her phone ringing from the table where she had left her bag but ignored it.
He scoffed. â€œIndeed, you love me; I can bet heâ€™s the one calling.â€ he looked towards the direction of the ringing, and then walked out, slamming the door in her face.
Before she could reach him, he had gotten into his car and drove speedily out of their driveway. She went back in and slummed on the floor crying uncontrollably.
She never wanted to hurt him, and Dewale was very wrong at one thing. She does love him, and couldn’t live without him. This was all a mistake, it was like watching herself in a dream and couldnâ€™t even believe how she had destroyed her marriage with her own hands, As she continued to cry, she heard her phone ringing again, she went over and saw it was Tunde; with so much anger and hate in her, she threw the phone against the phone and watched it crashed into piece.
She crouched her knees against her chest and cried herself out.
Deborah woke up in the living room to the sound of the doorbell. She realised it was morning, and had cried herself to slept yesterday night. She ran quickly to the door thinking it was Dewale since he didn’t come home last night.
â€œDewale!â€ she called out before she could open the door, but to her surprised, she found Tunde standing at her door step.
â€œWhat are you doing here?â€ Â She shuddered, â€œWhat do you want?â€ she looked over his shoulder.
â€œI’m sorry to come here Deborah, the way you cried out of my house yesterday; Â I tried calling you, but you didn’t return my calls, I was afraid something had Â happened to you.â€ His breathing was heavy as if heâ€™s been running few meters to get to her. Â â€œI saw your car was parked outside, spoke to your security guard outside, and he said your husband wasn’t in.” He noticed her swollen eyes as if sheâ€™s been crying.
â€œWhat happened?â€ he asked.
â€œWhat happened?â€ she shouted back at him, â€œYou happened, you have destroyed me Tunde, you have destroyed my marriage, isnâ€™t that what you wanted all along; destroy what I have so that I can run back to you, isn’t it?â€ she shouted at him.
â€œNo Deborah, I will never do that to you. I love you; what happened yesterday was not planned, I just wanted to spent time with you, I love you Deborah.â€ he whimpered.
â€œHow dare you Tunde, I am married now and I love my husband, I made a terrible mistake yesterday, I regret it, I regret meeting you ever Tunde.â€ she cried out at him.
â€œPlease Deborah, don’t say that.â€ he looked over his shoulder, to be sure no one was listening to them. â€œThis is not the right place to talk about this, Can we meet up later please?â€ he asked.
â€œWhat!â€ she gasped in disbelief. â€œI never want to see you again.â€ she shouted at him.
â€œYou can’t do that Deborah, I love you. I can’t do anything without you, please.â€ he reached out to touch her, but she jerked away from him.
â€œWhat! It’s been three years Tunde, you lived your life before you saw me again, didn’t you?â€
â€œI lived a terrible life, I searched for you after you left, I tried other relationships, but none worked, then, I started searching, I searched everywhere until I found you. I could not do anything Deborah, I failed at every thing; I left my ministry, it was all in a mess, and I could not concentrate.â€ He broke down in tears.
â€œI had to find you, please. Donâ€™t take this away from me again.â€ he begged with tears from his eyes. â€œThey tore us apart in the past because I had nothing, no money or anything to my name, but they canâ€™t do that to us now, they canâ€™t.â€ he spoke in determination.
â€œSo what do you expect me to do, leave my husband and run back to you?â€
â€œAll I know is that I love you Deborah, and I would do anything to have you back.â€ he said back at her.
Then, Deborah heard her house phone ringing, but she couldn’t get herself to leave the door, she was stunned hearing what Tunde was saying. She saw a different man from the one she knew years ago, she saw a man with no sense of purpose, a man drifting away on a lost mission. He was changed. Eventually, she left the door to answer the phone.
â€œYes.â€ she said in an angry tone.
â€œMrs Adebanjo.â€ she heard the other end.
â€œYes, Can I help you?â€
â€œMy name is Doctor Olamide fromÂ St ThomasÂ hospital in Ikeja; we have been trying to reach you on your mobile phone all night but just found you land line.â€
â€œI’m sorry, what is this about?â€ Â Deborah asked.
â€œYour Husband was brought here yesterday night after a collision –
â€œWhat!â€ she screamed out, dropped the phone, picked up her bag and ran out.
Tunde staggered as she pushed him away from the front door and walked angrily passed him.
â€œWhat is it?â€ He followed her to the car.
â€œHave you seen what you have caused me?â€’ she shouted at him in tears. â€œListen and listen carefully, don’t you ever call me again, don’t come near me; never again do I want to see your face, do you understand me?â€ Â She shouted in tears and drove speedily out of the driveway.
Please CLICK HERE to reading the Concluding part: Confession of A Married Man
Because He Said So!
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have toiled all day, or even months or years; in fact, you have worked hard for a very long time but nothing seems to have yielded from it?
You have studied hard for a particular examination, worked on a project or even started a business, but still have not seen any profitable result in it.
Does this sound familiar?
Let me quickly show you something I read from the bible. First, you have to know that every scripture in the bible is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16.
The Word of God is still powerful and effective to us in this age as it was many years ago.
Now, back to our text. One day, Jesus was speaking to some people, and then when he had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch. But Simon answered and said to Him, Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless because You said so, I will let down the net. And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. So they signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. Luke 5: 4-7.
The same words Jesus spoke to Simon many years ago is the same words He is speaking to someone right now. Have you given up on that dream, on that project, on your life? You have worked and toiled hard in life but now have given up. He is asking you to launch out into the deep. Launch into the economy, Launch out into the industry, launch out into the profession.
Is it the marriage you have given up on or the child that has proven difficult? Have you been waiting on the Lord for a life partner or is it even a child of your own? You have tried everything you know all night and caught nothing. Jesus is asking you specifically to launch out into the deep.
Now listen, did you notice he said into the deep? Not the surface or just a little in the deep. You are launching this time around to get something out of it. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t go for the river bank, go straight into the deep; the same place where the mighty and great people are, the same place where high class and extra ordinary greatness lies. That is the deep!
Did you hear Simon says, although we have toiled day and night and caught nothing, but because you said so, I will let down the nets? Now, that is what someone should be saying today. Because God said so. Because the Almighty said so; because the Creator of Heaven and Earth said so; because the Mighty Man in battle said so. Because the Great Healer said so; because the God who cannot be limited by any standard or organization said so. Because the Commander of Chief said so. Because God said so. Because the God who cannot be limited by any laws of gravity or science, or even laws of men said so. Because God said so!
When the Lord says so, it doesn’t matter how long you have toiled or worked hard in life without any result, it doesn’t matter how long you have waited to have a child or even how far you’ve gone in age. It doesn’t matter if you are in your mid-thirties and still waiting for a single man to come your way; it doesn’t matter what you current situation is, it doesn’t matter what your bank account says. It does not matter what you think. Did you get that? It does not matter what you think; what matters is what God says.
Launch out Folks. Launch out your nets; spread them out, stand up and go forth. You see, there is someone who has been rejected in a particular place of job; it’s time to get back there, why? Because God said so. Is there anyone whose application has been refused or rejected; listen whatever you have applied for; God said launch out again – re-apply; Because He said so.
Now see what happens to people when they obey God; when they believe and listen to the Author of Life. Verse 6, When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signalled to their partners in the other boats to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
When the Lord blesses you, it will overflow. Our God is not just a little blessing; When He does His own thing; He makes it grand. It brings celebration out of it. The kind of blessing the Lord wants to give to you would not just be enough for you or your immediate family, NO. It will go a long way to generations to come. Do you want that kind of blessing? A kind where you will lend to nations, where you will give out to people without hesitation.
This is the Lord message to you today; to be a part-taker of this blessing, you will need to obey Him. Launch out into the deep, BECAUSE GOD SAID SO.
And God said, Let there be light!
AndÂ God said, â€˜Let there be light, and there was lightâ€™. Gen 1:3.
Light brings clarity to a situation, it guides you through lifeâ€™s journey, it takes away confusion and gives you direction.
Are you in a situation where you feel darkness all around you; thick darkness that makes the journey difficult to go through? Imagine walking through a thick dark street with no light whatsoever, what happens? You find yourself tripping and falling over several times, you hit a kerb or even hit your head on something. The journey becomes frustrating and useless as you have no idea where you are or if the path you are on is right.
This can be compare to a lifeâ€™s journey. You have no idea what turn to take; you fall several times and get wounded on the way. You try so hard to find the right path but it all seems fruitless and frustrating. You start a project and nothing good comes out of it, you work so hard to succeed, but it all look as if nothing is been done. You have been wounded, afflicted and scorned. Youâ€™ve fallen several times and nothing seems to be working. Today, you need to ask the light of God into that situation. You need to speak into every darkness and decree the light of God upon your life.
Some days ago, the above verse rang in my head.Â And God said, â€˜Let there be light, and there was Lightâ€™. Folks, I pray for the light of God into your life, into every situation and circumstances you are going through, I pray His light will shine into it and darkness will flee in Jesus name.
Isaiah 60 says, â€˜Arise and shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy, your wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.
Can you see what happens when there is light? Jesus is the light and he has come to save us from every darkness, he has come to save you from ever oppressing situation. He will deliver and rescue you. He will show you the right path to go and lead you all the way.
Today, I pray for the light of God in your lives and home in Jesus name. May this season bring joy and unending peace to you in Jesus name. Have a blessed week.
All I Had
ElizabethÂ Cole peeped behind the curtain of the town hall of Suffolk county, United Kingdom. She watched as more people made their way to their seat; parents and family friends greeting one another. The school play had been announced two months ago, and had been the talk of town every since then. She was nervous, excited and terrified all at the same time.
Ms Elisa, the drama teacher beckoned to her to proceed, she inhaled deeply and slowly walked out on the stage. Within minutes, everyone were seated, all staring back at her to proceed; she watched nervously at the faces, her hands trembled.
She realised she had not thought thoroughly about taking this part in the play. She was to narrate the whole story in a manner where the actors would act accordingly. It was a master piece play that enhanced the work of art. Sheâ€™d been excited at first, but the stage fright that overwhelmed her made it impossible to speak. She looked to her left on the stage, and saw Ms Elisa waving to her to start, but her hands were only glued to the microphone but no sound was ready to come out from her mouth. Quickly, she dropped the microphone on the floor which made a thunderous sound and ran to the backstage. She was trembling, hysterical, nervous and scared. She never thought of how difficult it would be to speak in front of a large crowd; now sheâ€™d going to disappoint everyone and drop out of the play they have all been working on for the past two months.
The idea and concept of the play was all of her own and her teacher and class mates were so excited about the whole story and all gave their total support throughout the rehearsals but now, her fear and phobia is going to destroy everything. She was swelling up in tears seeing Ms Elisa walk up to her.
â€œWhat is itÂ Elizabeth?â€ Ms Elisa asked.
She covered her face with her trembling hands.Â â€œI canâ€™t do it, I canâ€™t.â€ She whimpered.
â€œWhat!â€ She gasped in disbelief. â€œWhat do you mean?â€
â€œIâ€™m scared Ms Elisa, I canâ€™t stand there in front of all those people, I canâ€™t.â€
â€œOhÂ Elizabeth! What are we going to do? Everyone is waiting for us to start.â€
â€œIâ€™m sorry, I am so sorry. Canâ€™t you see everyone is there; the mayor is there, every important people in the town we had thought would not honour our invitation are all there, I am so scared Ms Elisa.â€ Her lips pale and trembled, then, she looked up to her. â€œMaybe you can take my part; you can narrate the story better than me, I promise, you can do it.â€ Her breathing becoming ragged, then, she placed her hands on her chest to reduce the fear popping out, but it looked useless.
Ms Elisa smiled solemnly. â€œAlright, take a deep breath dear,â€ She held her hands. â€œLook at me dear.â€ She gently pulled her head up to look at her. Â â€œthis is your time to shine; you have worked so hard these past weeks for the success of this story and no one is going to stop that.â€ She brushed away the brunette strains of hair that had settled on her face.
Elizabeth swallowed hard.
â€œI have watched you pull this off with your classmates and I know you are not about to disappoint them. You can do this dear, just imagine the audiences being your friends, the whole drama group seated there and most importantly dear, what you have always told us; we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so you can do this.â€ She looked straight into her eyes with all determination and conviction.
Elizabeth looked into her eyes, even though she knew her words were only meant to strengthen and encourage her, she also knew in her heart that this was something she had always wanted to do, not just for her, but also for the people who had made it happen, the people whose stories are to be heard. She inhaled deeply and forced a smile on her face.
â€œI canâ€¦.â€Â ElizabethÂ whispered to herself.
â€œYes you can.â€ Ms Elisa reaffirmed.
ElizabethÂ inhaled deeply again, and looked at the remaining drama group staring back at her. She saw the fear and distraught on their faces, and knew without no doubt that the show must go on, and she had to pull all the courage inside of her to make it happen.
â€œOk, give me few seconds.â€ She said.
She turned away from them all, and closed her eyes. She knew she needed the courage and confidence that only God could give to her, she bowed her head and said a word of prayer. She turned back to the eyes which were still heavily staring at her and then smiled at them.
â€œAlright, letâ€™s go give it our best.â€ She announced in a brighter tone and walked back to the stage.
She could hear the murmurs and the whispers from the crowd, but this time she was determined to stay strong and focus.
She picked up the microphone on the floor, took a deep breath and warmly smiled at the audience. The whispers and murmurs became still silence, and everyone stared back at her in anticipation.
She swallowed the lump in her throat. â€œGood evening everyone.â€ Her voice was barely a whisper. â€œGood evening.â€ She spoke out in a much louder voice. â€œWe are sorry about the delay, and would start shortlyâ€ She smiled, and received a generous amount of smiles back.
ElizabethÂ was the narrator of the story, whilst her other mates were going to act the scripts as she read it.
She began. â€œA Long time ago inÂ Northern Ireland, there was war around the world. Crisis and disaster filled every country; young men were being recruited into the war, some made it back home while others were either dead or missing in action.
There was this young couple, Victoria and Matthew who were engaged to be married as soon as Matthew returned back from the war. Even thoughÂ VictoriaÂ was so young, she had been filled with so much excitement to get married to the love of her life.â€
ElizabethÂ stopped for a brief moment as she watched the scripts being acted.
Victoria and Matthew held each otherâ€™s hands, walking down the stage.
She continued. â€œit wasnâ€™t uncommon in those days for a young girl to be engaged to be married. Even though they were both young, both were looking forward to the days when they would be together. Matthew already had a farm he inherited from his grandparents which he would be working on as soon as he got back from the war and Victoria had taken up the job of teaching young children arithmetic in schools. Both had ambitions and prospects for the future, not until disaster struck.
One day,Â VictoriaÂ was in her room when her parents came in; fear was written all over their faces.
â€œWe have something to tell you.â€ Her father spoke out, looking straight into her eyes.
ElizabethÂ sat up quickly, straightened her dress; she watched her mother standing quietly behind her father, and her eyes were moist.
â€œWhat is it father?â€ She asked, nervously.
â€œWe have news, about Matt….â€ He said, his face filled with sadness.
Fear struck her at the sound of his name; she stood up on her feet staring into her fatherâ€™s eyes to say something.
â€œIâ€™m afraid child, He died in action.â€ Her father said soberly.
â€œWhat!â€ She whimpered. She stood there motionless staring into his eyes. â€œThat canâ€™t be father, No!â€ She cried out.
â€œIâ€™m sorry.â€ Her father bowed his head in grief and he left her room. Her mother quickly went to her, held her as she collapsed into her hands.
â€œIâ€™m sorry dear.â€ Her mother held her close.
â€œNo mama! Matthew couldnâ€™t have died; it is a mistake, no mamaâ€¦.. They got it all wrong, it canâ€™t be Matt. He just left four weeks ago, he wrote to me that he was fineâ€¦â€¦.â€ Victoria said in distraught, crying.
Her mother gently patted her back. â€œIâ€™m sorry, his parents sent message to us; heâ€™d been dead a week now.â€
â€œNo mama, noâ€¦.â€¦â€ She cried out. At that point, she felt as if her whole world was collapsing, like everything was over. She started to tremble vigorously, screaming out in pain.
“I cannot lose him mama, I can’t….. ” Her scream filled the whole house.
The actors acted the part perfectly; the audience watched quietly waiting for the next scene.
â€œSeveral weeks later; Victoria was still dejected about the whole news. Her parents were troubled at her withdrawal, but the death of Matt wasnâ€™t just their concern as Victoria was found to be pregnant, almost four months gone and that troubled them the most. They wouldnâ€™t let her carry the baby, which would be disgraceful to them.
They were strict catholic, and when the church finds out their unwed daughter is pregnant, it would bring so much disgrace to the family and her father was not about to have that.
Victoria heard her father shouting as he walked towards her room. Itâ€™s been three days since she confessed to her mother that she was pregnant. Her mother had taken it so bad that she cried all through the day, she knew the consequences of her being pregnant and especially now since Matthew was dead. No one wants to marry a pregnant woman or someone with a child. Victoria was surprised her father had not come to her since she told her mother but later discovered it took her mother three days to tell her father.
â€œHow dare you!â€ Her father shouted at her. â€œYou have brought disgrace to this family.â€ He raged at her.
â€œNo father, this was not meant to happen. Everything was supposed to be perfect if not because of Mattâ€¦.â€ Tears poured down her face.
â€œThatâ€™s not an excuse,â€ He shouted at her. â€œYou were not supposed to know a man, you know that!â€ His eyes darkened ominously.
â€œPlease father, I am sorryâ€¦â€ Victoria whimpered, avoiding his intense fury gaze on her. Â She saw her mother hiding behind the door, probably scared to death at his wrath. She sobbed quietly and jolted at every shout.
â€œNow, I have to call Doctor Albert to do something about it.â€ He said staring wildly at her. â€œHe will be here shortly to take care of it.â€
â€œWhat! Father! No please, you canâ€™t do this.â€ Victoria screamed out.
â€œItâ€™s better this way. We will be banished from the church, spoken at, and disgraced. You will remain unwed for the rest of your life; that is the consequences of your actions. Is that what you want?â€ he roared out in anger. â€œIt is better we get rid of it.â€
â€œGet rid of my baby!â€ Victoria shouted in fear. â€œMother!â€ She called out, but her mother lowered her head trying not to see the pain in her eyes.
â€œYou canâ€™t do this father, this is Matthewâ€™s child, and this is my baby
â€œMatt is dead; you and I donâ€™t want any embarrassment from his parents when they get to know. Â What happens if they donâ€™t accept the child, what happens to you?â€
â€œFather, Please, I can keep this child, I will take care of him, and you donâ€™t have to worry a thing, please father, donâ€™t do this to meâ€¦â€
â€œMe!â€ He roared out. â€œYou did this to yourself when you opened your legs…..â€ He stopped, looked angrily at her, and stomped out of the room.
Victoria collapsed on the floor in tears. She never imagined things to be like this; this was far from the fairy tales she had imagined for herself. Matt had promised her good life not this torment; now heâ€™s gone and sheâ€™s left in this mess. Her mother came to hold her but she jerked away from her. She couldnâ€™t understand why her mother could not support her in this; why she had always been so afraid of her father and never stood up to him or his decisions. Now at the most important part of her life when she needed her to stand up for her, sheâ€™d been hiding.
â€œOh my child,â€ she said quietly to her. â€œYou have to listen to your father, his intentions are right dear.â€
â€œRight! Mother! What is right about killing an innocent child?â€ She said in disgust.
â€œItâ€™s not as simple as that.â€
â€œLike how mother?â€ Victoria shouted as she stood up from the floor. â€œWhat better explanation do you have for this mother?â€
â€œThe church does not accept a young girl pregnant before her marriage, you will never be accepted in the church, and you will be an outcast. Your father does not want this for you, donâ€™t you understand?â€
â€œThe Church! Is everything all about the church? What about God? Does he condone taking an innocent childâ€™s life, does he? You are all hypocrites, all liarsâ€¦â€ She screamed at her mother.
â€œI understand how you feel Victoria, but that doesnâ€™t change your fatherâ€™s decision.â€
Victoria looked at her mother with the most disgusting look. She couldnâ€™t believe her. All she wanted is her mother, not her fatherâ€™s photocopy, a woman who could share her sorrow, her pain, who would hold her up and make her feel safe. She watched her silently and after a while, her mother left her in her thought.
Victoria knew her father was determined to terminate the pregnancy, but she was helpless, she knew nowhere to go and who to ask for. Her father had been right in one thing, Mattâ€™s parents might not accept her or the child so there was no going to their place but she couldnâ€™t bring herself to kill her child whatever the circumstances. That was the only reminder of Matthew in her life and no one would take that away from her. She needed to devise a plan and the soonest the better. She didnâ€™t want to wait until her father truly comes with the doctor, she had to run and run really fast.
During the night, Victoria planned her escape; she was going to run away from her home, her only family, run as fast as she could from everything she ever knew. Very early the next day, she woke up at the earliest hour of the morning, packed some clothing into a small bag, took the small money she had been saving for a while and left the house. She was grateful she had accepted the money Matt insisted she had before he went to war; that would at least do her some good. She ran as fast as her legs could carry her. She took the first train that arrived at the station heading to London. Sheâ€™d heard so many stories about the big city, although never had once in her life went there, but she knew the big city was full of opportunities for a young lady like her and would make way for her.
Elizabeth (Narrator) saw the eagerness in the audience for her to continue with her story; every eyes were fixed on her, but by this time her fears were gone, she was filled with confidence and excitement at the whole scenes. She watched as the curtain was drawn to set for the new scenes.
â€œA Few months in London, Victoria had exhausted all her money on accommodation and food supplies, now; she ran out of money with no job. She had tried endlessly to get a job as a secretary or teaching but no one would employ a young pregnant woman who was not even married. Her expectation had been cut short to what she had imagined about London, yet, she was determined to work her away through.
On a particular day, she walked into a hotel to try her luck again and apply for a secretarial position but on entering there, she was surprised to see men lurking around in the hotel parlour, drinking and smoking; she saw ladies in the most despicable dresses entertaining them with their dancing in the most indecent ways. She was sure she saw the sign hotel at the front post but this wasnâ€™t just any hotel, it was a saloon, a brothel.
She sighed and walked quietly to the woman who seemed to be in charge.
â€œGood afternoon madam.â€ She greeted politely.
â€œHow may I help you?â€ the madam looked arrogantly at her.
â€œI am looking for a job.â€ She lowered her head.
The madam looked at her from head to toe in the most distasteful look and busted in laughter.
â€œYou! Work!â€ She had a smirk look on her face. â€œWhat kind of work can you do?â€ She asked, mocking her.
â€œI can write maâ€™am, I can type and do any accounting work.â€ Victoria answered.
â€œWhere do you think you are?â€ She jeered at her. â€œThis isnâ€™t a bank. We donâ€™t do typing, accounting or any writing here. Look around you dear, what do you seeâ€¦?â€
Victoria did as she was told; she took a moment and looked around, and then it consciously dawned on her where she was. She tried to fight the tears coming from her eyes. Those ladies were prostitutes and the Madam she is talking to seems to their boss.
â€œSo my dear, what else can I do for you?â€ the madam asked.
â€œIâ€™m sorry maâ€™am to bother you.â€ Victoria stiffened, and then turned to leave.
â€œWe do need a cleaning lady here if you are interested.â€ She heard the madamâ€™s voice behind her.
â€œA cleaning lady!â€ Victoria turned back to face her.
â€œYes, cleaning, you do the normal daily chores; washing, cleaning and sometimes helping in the kitchen. The money isnâ€™t great but you will have a roof over your head and food in your stomach,â€ She looked at her belly. â€œAnd the little one in there can be fed.â€
Victoria was surprised she knew she was pregnant; she had tried so hard to hide her swollen belly for fear of rejection. She swallowed hard and looked around once again. She wasnâ€™t sure she could work in this kind of place, but now she had no choice; no one had been willing to give her a job since her arrival in London and her whole saving was gone, itâ€™s either she took the job or sleep on the street which she was not about doing to her child.
â€œWhen can I start?â€
â€œAs soon as you are ready.â€
â€œI will be back in the evening. Thank you maâ€™am.â€ She said politely. The madam nodded at her and for the first time, she smiled back nicely at her.
â€œVictoria moved into the brothel to resume as a cleaning lady; even though the pay wasnâ€™t that great as the madam had said, but she was grateful for the roof over her head and the food. She knew all the ladies in the house by name, although they all ignored her and she in turn had always done her duties without any word to them or complain about the kind of job they provided. She washed all sorts of things away from their clothing and bed sheets and never asked any questions.
She watched with disgust as men paraded their rooms like a football field. She often wondered if the men had wives at home and for those that do have wives, why on earth would they go to a prostitute and then back home to their wives. As time passes, her hatred for men in general had grown, she would look them in the eyes with so much disgust in her eyes, they were dogs that would eat from anywhere.
A Few months down the line, Victoria was due for her baby to come out. The little money she earned, sheâ€™d used to buy baby clothing and materials for her baby. She was determined to give her baby the best that she could afford and spent all her available time making the tiny room a comfortable place for the arrival. One day, She had woken up in pain in the middle of the night; although, she had thought she would walk herself to the few miles to the clinic, but since the pain was unbearable, she did made it to the cookâ€™s room who was a male and had in turn rushed to the madam to ask for help.
Victoria was surprised to see the Madam rush into her room in her night wear and immediately, told her what to do. She took charge of the whole procedure and told her to breath in each time she felt the pain. That day, she saw a different woman right in front of her, to think that since she started working there almost three months ago, the madam had never spoken to her or even looked at her. Victoria was amazed at how the madam handled her and her curiosity took the better part of her when the madam noticed her staring.
â€œSure, you are surprised child.â€ She said.
â€œHmmâ€¦.â€ Victoria whimpered.
â€œI will tell you something I have never told any of my girls.â€ She said rubbing Victoriaâ€™s back.
â€œI came to London at about your age from Liverpool Â long time ago. I was also pregnant. I guess I have been promiscuous at a very young age and had an eye for the business,â€ She laughed. â€œI couldnâ€™t afford a place so I slept anywhere I could find for the day and after several months, still on the street and no help from any one, I was living and eating from the street. The day I delivered my baby, it was late like this and pouring rain like hell, I was alone and scared to death. Eventually, I had my baby all by myself, but the little one was dead. I guess the Lord spared her the pain of having a mother like me.â€ She jeered.
â€œShe had been long dead in the womb before she finally came out. It took me several weeks to get myself together and can you believe that I found work just immediately. My madam then was getting old and after several years of working with her, she eventually died of some disease and I became the owner of this place.â€ She squeezed towel from the water and place it on her head.
â€œI guess I still have a soft spot for young women like you; still remind me of my young days, maybe when you are through with the baby, you can come work for me.â€ She smiled at her.
Victoria couldnâ€™t smile back at her offer as she felt another sharp pain in her stomach. A Few minutes after that, she gave birth to her baby girl, and named her Elizabeth. She was everything beautiful and pure and itâ€™s a shame she was born in that kind of a house but Victoria was still grateful she was well and healthy. She vowed within herself never to take to Madamâ€™s offer no matter how tempting it seems, she would rather wash dirty clothing for the rest of her life to keep her child safe. She was determined not to expose her to that kind of lifeâ€.
The school actors finished that scene, then quickly cleared and prepared for the next stage. Every eyes were glued on the stage in anticipation of what it is to come.
Elizabeth felt gratitude to God for the renewed boldness to stand before this crowd. She braced herself.
â€œSix years after, Victoria was still working at the brothel but still as the cleaner. She had moved to the Cookâ€™s quarters after he quit; she took over his job which meant more pay for her. She had been saving for years to have enough money and move away from there. Elizabeth, her daughter had been the most amazing child, Victoria tried her best to shield her daughter from everything around her, and made sure she stay inside and took her time to teach her everything about reading, counting and ways of life. She knew her time there was numbered as she had few more months to work hard and gather all the money she needed to start off by herself.
During these times, Victoria had several proposals from men, from the delivering man to the post man and even some men that come to visit the prostitutes had come to ask her hand in marriage. Victoria had made up her mind she would never give her heart to any man especially since her arrival in London and had to see the way men had patrolled the hotel all day and night.
She had concluded all men were alike, and she would never give any man the pleasure of ruining her life. But there was still one of the men that stood out; David, but Victoria was determined not to be deceived by looks or behaviour. David was the man that brings in their food stock every two weeks, he was a farmer.
Each time he came in to drop her supplies, he always took his time to talk to her about God and that displeased Victoria. God was far from what she wanted, needed to hear about. The same God whom her parents had used as an excuse to try to kill her baby, and caused her pain and leaving her home. She felt God had never loved or cared about her. He condemned us and punishes us for our sins. But David was a different man, he knew she had a child but that didnâ€™t bother him, he said he wanted her as his wife and he would love and care for her as Christ loved his church. Victoria couldnâ€™t understand why any man would want to live as Christ example to the church when the church was filled with people who had no regard to life.
She was tired of hearing about different kinds of religion that aims to punish and separate sinners like her from godly people. His religion repulsed her and couldnâ€™t understand why so much love for a God like that; but David didnâ€™t give up on her, he continued to visit and tell her more about God.
Victoria was happy with her quiet life and was looking forward to the days when she would leave the brothel for a well respectable work, not until disaster struck.
She had been woken up by shouting and screaming; she went out of her room and discovered the house was on fire. Then, she heard some loud shouting from men in white clothing and white covering over their faces shouting, â€˜Go to hell! Go to hell!! Go to Hell!!!â€™
She wasnâ€™t sure what was going on, so immediately, she woke her daughter up and took her through the hole in her room that led outside and told her to run as fast as she could and hide. She immediately tried to pack as much belonging as she could and her lifeâ€™s saving when suddenly, some men stomped into her room and carried her out.
She was screaming and struggling with them to let her go; at least to take her money which had dropped on the floor but no one was listening. They dragged her outside, and Â threw her on the floor. She wasnâ€™t sure what they wanted or why they were doing this; some of them were still pulling down the whole building. Fear gripped her as she watched helplessly at the whole confusion, they were shouting and screaming; only then did she realized they were anti-prostitution group that aim to wipe out every brothel from their community. They started to beat and throw stones at her. They called themselves â€˜God-sentâ€™, Christians who were repulsed at the way prostitution has destroyed their community, taking young men, fathers into sins and bringing the devil into their homes. They said they were Godâ€™s messengers and would kill and destroy any one that stands in the way of their God. Before their arrival at the hotel, someone had hinted the madam who in turn had woken up all her girls away from the house but forgot to wake her. She was left at their mercies.
After they were sure the brothel wouldnâ€™t survive the fire, then, they focused on her and started to beat again , stone and pour dirt on her. She cried for help and asked them to stop as she was just a cleaner in the hotel and not a prostitute but no one believed her. Some poured oil, water and everything they could find on the floor on her. They called her the devilâ€™s agent that aims to destroy their young men and homesâ€.
Elizabeth (the narrator) was stunned when a man from the audience suddenly stood up in anger, shouting.
â€œDonâ€™t you dare lay another hand on my daughter again.â€ He shouted, walking angrily towards the stage.
â€œPlease, stopâ€¦, pleaseâ€¦, sheâ€™s only a child.â€ The manâ€™s wife cried out to the actors on the stage.
â€œYou donâ€™t beat a woman like that; you donâ€™t ever lay hand on any woman!â€ He shouted at the men who were beating the young girl acting as Victoria on the stage
The whole audience was taken aback at this outburst. The story seems too real to everyone in the room and every scene took them into the lives of the characters. The actors on stage were confused and didnâ€™t know what to do.
â€œPlease sir,â€ Elizabeth spoke through the microphone. â€œItâ€™s only a play, sheâ€™s not hurt.â€
â€œIâ€™m okay daddyâ€¦â€ the young girl playing Victoriaâ€™s part stood up to face her father.
The man stood there breathing heavily. He swallowed the lump in his throat and looked bewildered. For a few seconds, he couldnâ€™t believe he was just watching a play, not to talk of someone harming his own daughter or any woman for that matter.
Elizabeth went quickly to the actors, and picked up the sticks, belts and puffed stones that was being used and the bottle of ketchup hid carefully to pretend to be blood.
â€œItâ€™s only a foam stick, not real; these arenâ€™t weapons, and this is ketchup, not blood.â€ Elizabeth gently showed it to the man.
The Parents stared at them in relief, and reluctantly went back on their seats. The whole place was tensed, but no one could blame them at their reaction as their acting seemed so real. They all could feel the pain as Victoria was repeatedly beaten. They shivered in fear and couldnâ€™t understand why some people could be so heartless to beat a young woman like that.
Minutes later, Elizabeth motioned to the actors to continue.
She started to read again. â€œAfter they were certain Victoria couldnâ€™t survive their terror on her, they left her to die. Victoria was weak and in pain, she tried to move but her legs were so weak and sore; she weakly opened her eyes as she felt someone pulling her.
â€œMama, mama, wake upâ€¦â€ Elizabeth cried out but her mother wouldnâ€™t move.
â€œPlease, mama, stand upâ€¦â€ Elizabeth cried. She was just a child and had no idea what to do; no one was there to help her or carry her mother. Her mother had made sure of no contact with anyone; but the only person her mother ever took her to was Davidâ€™s farm for supplies when they ran low and couldnâ€™t wait for their usual delivery. It was quite a distance for a young girl but that didnâ€™t stop her, Elizabeth ran as fast as she could, her legs were tiring but that didnâ€™t stop her either, all she saw was her mother lying there, helplessly on the floor and for a six years old girl, that was the most dreadful feeling. She got to his house and knocked violently on the door until it was opened. David looked at her, confused. He tried asking her what the problem was but Elizabeth couldnâ€™t speak, she was all in tears.
â€œMamaâ€¦â€ She was breathing heavily.
â€œWhat happened?â€ David asked but she couldnâ€™t say much, all she kept saying was â€˜mamaâ€™ so immediately, he took her in his wagon, and drove back to the hotel and there she was still lying on the floor but unconscious, he carried her quickly and back to his place.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Elizabeth (Narrator) stopped to look at their faces but they wanted more, the audience wanted to know what happened to her, if she was dead and that scared them.Â
She continued. â€œA weeks later, Victoria was still badly hurt but was beginning to open her eyes and see where she was. She realized David had been the one taking care of her; she was embarrassed. She wanted to leave as soon as she regained her strength but David had begged her not to leave. He told her she was welcome to stay as much as she needed to and every other thing was being taken care of. He told her he loved her and want to care for her, but Victoria would have none of it. She on the other hand had been so angry about the attack especially since her lifeâ€™s saving had been burnt down in the fire. She had nowhere else to go or where to start from.
â€œFew weeks down the line, David arranged the visitorâ€™s room for her and her daughter. He never took advantage of her, and decided not to rush her about his own feelings. Over the months, he had taken keen to Elizabeth; she was a bright young child. She comes into his own lodge every morning to clean it and thank him for his kindness to them. Â After a while, Victoria was beginning to like David; she couldnâ€™t understand where the new feelings came from, but knew without doubt he was a good man.
However, there was still something missing in her life; she needed a purpose to live which has to be greater than that of her child, a purpose that would carry her through life even when all other fails. She needed to get rid of every pain, bitterness and hurt in her life and live a new life.
One evening, she couldnâ€™t stand the torture of knowing something was missing in her life, so she rushed into Davidâ€™s room and cried out. She wanted the kind of peace David had been telling her for a while now, she needed someone to take every pain and hurt away from her. She needed a sense of purpose and love in her life. David told her all about God and what He means and the gifts he offered to us. God is not a God of condemnation but of love and His love has kept her alive all this while. He had watched and kept her through all. Victoria broke down in tears and laid all her burden and fears before the Lord and he accepted her and gave her a new life, a peace that overweighs every pain and hurt, she forgave her parents and aimed to live a new life in Christ.
A month later, she got married to David; she had more children and continued to grow in the Lord.
Elizabeth (the narrator) stopped for a moment to see their face lilted up in joy.
She continued. â€œThis is a story of a woman that fought her way through pain and hurt in life. Her parents were not in support of her and used religion as an excuse for their behaviourâ€¦â€ She said looking at their faces. â€œBut she fought through it all. Now, Ladies and gentlemen, I want you all to please rise up to your feet and give a warm applause to my grandmother, Victoria Edwardsâ€¦â€ She smiled and pointed to the old woman who had been sitting quietly since the play started. She was helped to her feet by her son-in- law and daughter, Elizabeth.
â€œI was also named Elizabeth and my motherâ€¦â€ She smiled at her mother who was helping her grandmother up the stage. â€œShe told me stories about my grandmother; how she fought and struggled to teach her the right way, to love and to honour God in her life. Today, I live to tell the world the story about my Grandmother, Victoriaâ€¦. Itâ€™s not a fight against religion but a realization of a greater love that supersedes any other thing. The love of God conquers all and gives a new meaning to life.â€ She said facing her grandmother.
â€œHappy Motherâ€™s day Grandma.â€ Elizabeth placed a kiss on her grandmotherâ€™s cheeks and gently held her.
Victoria was filled with joy and tears; she took her grand-daughter in her hands.
The whole auditorium stood up in applause; some were in tears while others were fighting hard not to cry. The whole room was filled with joy at the survival of a young woman who had lived to tell her story.
Victoria took the microphone with her fragile hands from her granddaughter.
â€œI am ninety years of age,â€ She said in a strain voice. â€œBut God has been good to me. I am happy and gratefulâ€¦.â€ She said smiling. â€œHappy motherâ€™s day to every mother in here today and those yet to be; fight for your children and donâ€™t give up on them. Pray continually for them; God does answer prayers and donâ€™t be afraid to love.â€ She took her time to look at their faces. “All I had was my beautiful baby then,â€ She turned to Elizabeth, her grown daughter, â€œI forgot everything that was thrown at me but I needed God to live a fulfilled life. He gave me peace that the world couldnâ€™t give to me.â€ She smiled warmly. â€œEvery mother needs God, everyone needs God.” She said in the most beautiful smile. â€œHappy motherâ€™s dayâ€¦â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR.
Thank you for reading this story. It was written some time ago to celebrate motherâ€™s day. However, this story isnâ€™t just for mothers, but for everyone out there. If you have been let down by those who are closely dare to you, youâ€™ve been disappointed by the one you love and so have lost hope of love in life. Please, donâ€™t give up. The love of God can overcome every pain and hurt in your life. He will cleanse you in His unfailing love and give you peace. You may have all the security the world offers, the money and the things you desire but you still need God in your life. All you have now isnâ€™t complete without God in it. Have a glorious week.
Please kindly leave your comments here. God bless.
Gloria stood there, stunned and mystified at the scene before her. She had heard Hauwa’s voice in the hallway leading into the room, but seeing her standing there in her towel and pointing a broken glass at Edward was beyond comprehension.
Hauwa became dog-smacked seeing aunty Gloria looking bewildered at the scene. She saw the look from the broken glass back to her, and saw the horrific look on her face.
Edward smiled profoundly. “Now, you were saying,”
His voice jolted her.
“Why don’t you do what you had in mind?” He jeered at her.
“Gloria!” he called out rudely, “Kindly tell this slave and slut who I am in this house.” Edward said in utter contempt.
Hauwa could see the irritating look on Aunty Gloria’s face; she was definitely repulsed by his attitude.
When he saw she was quiet, he looked sharply back at Hauwa, “In this house, I am the boss; I can ask you to do anything,” he looked hard at her. “You can do nothing to me.” He said arrogantly.
Gloria became more irritated than before; she hissed and walked out of the room.
Hauwa smiled at herself, she had watched him go on and on about himself and feeling so pompous. She wanted to burst into laughter seeing the shock on his face when Aunty Gloria left the room without uttering a word. She smiled once again to herself, and changed back to the angry look she had before Aunty Gloria interrupted. It was her turn to jeer at him.
She walked towards him. “Now listen and listen well; I don’t care who you are, and what you have. I actually don’t give a damn about you.”
Edward swallowed hard.
“You can do all you want in this house for all I care but the next time I catch you peeping at me in the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter, I will so make sure you don’t see again with those eyes of yours.” She stared into his eyes. “Now, Mr. Edward, could you kindly leave my room
Edward looked at her in utter confusion; he was dazed at her confidence. At first, his impression of her was that of an illiterate, but the girl standing in front of him was different. She had something in her, something that commanded respect. He took his face away, gathered his things quickly, and walked hastily out of the room.
Hauwa inhaled deeply in triumph, closed the door and went back into the bathroom.
It’s been few months now, Hauwa had been studying hard for her entrance exams and thanks to Aunty Gloria; she’s been helping her achieve her dreams.
She was glad madam was always on one trip or another since she started her plans for Edward to travel abroad to further his education. Hauwa always cuss under her breath each time she madam talks to some agents about her son’s travelling. She felt she was only wasting money on him since he does nothing but watch despicable videos and plays video games all day.
During these trips out of the house, Hauwa would sneak up to Mr. William’s room and watch him while he sleeps. Since Aunty Gloria told her about his accident, she felt so sorry for him and wished good things for him.
On this particular day, everyone was out of the house including Aunty Gloria who had gone to the market. Hauwa went into Mr. William’s room; she found him lying helplessly on his bed, staring away into the thin air.
“Hello,” she greeted him while Mr. Williams only stared at her. Hauwa moved closer to him.
“I’m sorry to bother you sir, but I was just alone in the house and thought you might need some company.” She smiled at him but his face was still blank of any expression.
“I’m not sure if we have been introduced but my name is Hauwa, she smiled at him. “I am working here as a maid.” She paused for a second wondering if he understood what she was saying. “Let me share a secret with you,” she whispered. “I know I’m only a maid but I’m planning to go to the University, I want to study to be a physiotherapist.” Her face lilted up in joy as she shared her dream with him.
“love to work with people; you see, I have seen so many lives wasted away in illness because of lack of care; I want to do something about it, I want to change lives, give them a new purpose, a hope to look forward to.” She went on and on about her aspiration.
“Now Mr. Williams, I think I should make a deal with you.” She straightened as she looked straight into his eyes. “I’m going to help you and you are going to help me. I will make sure you walk with your two legs someday,” she smiled profoundly at him. “I know I’m only a child but watch what I will do when I have all the knowledge I need, but you will have to do something for me too.”
She looked into his eyes. Part of her knew he could understand her, somewhere in his heart was still alive and he knew what she was saying. All of her life, she’d seen people treating disable or helpless people as if they aren’t there, she wanted to make him feel alive again, relate to him as if nothing was wrong with him. Her first plan is to lift up his spirit, make him come out of the depression that had settled upon him.
“So, what do you say, are you interested?”
“I’m sure Mr. Williams would like you to pass your entrance exams first before you talk of a deal.” Aunty Gloria walked up to them.
Hauwa froze as she saw her come in, but relaxed after seeing her smile. Aunty Gloria always has a way of sneaking on people.
“Now, off you go young lady and let Mr. Williams have his rest.” She said to her. Without hesitation, Hauwa took to her heels out of the room.
She really doesn’t understand the relationship between Mr. Williams and Aunty Gloria; her devotion and care for him is effortless. Despite Madam’s bad attitude to her, she never stopped helping Mr. Williams; she still respects him as if he was well; never for one day felt discouraged at her duties towards him. She wished she could learn from her; never to treat people as they deserve but with respect and dignity.
It was the day of the entrance examination. After studying so hard, Hauwa was satisfied she had answered all the questions completely so she went ahead to submit her papers. She realized she’s been gone for a long time and didn’t want madam to get back home before her. A few minutes to get home, her heart started to pound so fast, the anxiety of just taking an examination and the fear of being caught settled on her.
Entering the compound, she found madam’s car parked inside, there, she became more agitated than ever. She held the loaf of bread she had bought tightly to her chest; that was the plan just in case madam got home before her. They had planned that she had just stepped out to buy some bread.
She decided to go through the back door that led to the kitchen, but to her surprise madam was waiting in the kitchen and it looked like she was actually waiting for her.
The angry look on her face scared her to death.
“Where are you coming from?” She raised her voice at her.
Edward had walked into the kitchen with the smirk look on his face.
“Have you gone deaf? She slapped her in the back. “I have been in this house for almost thirty minutes; where were you? Is this how you go out on endless journeys when I’m not at home?” She hit her again. “You go around with those useless boys on the street, is that it, harlot?” She shouted at her.
Hauwa shivered in fear; madam hitting her made her more scared than ever. She went on her knees, trying to shield her face from the hands that were furiously attacking her.
“I will not have this kind of behaviour in my house.”
Gloria had been pacing in the hallway since madam came into the house and asked after Hauwa. She lied to her that she just stepped out to buy some bread but madam knew she was lying so she waited patiently in the kitchen for her return. She couldn’t bear to hear the soft scream and begging from Hauwa, so she ran into the kitchen.
“Please madam,” Gloria stood between them, going on her knees. “Please madam, she will never do that again, please.” She begged while madam stood breathing heavily.
“It’s my fault ma, I shouldn’t have sent her out.” She had tears running down her own cheeks.
Madam looked angrily at both of them and scoffed. “I don’t know what you two have got going on but I will find out.” She looked widely at them, “and if any of this repeats itself,” she pointed at Hauwa, “you are out of this house.” She hissed and walked out of the kitchen with Edward smiling after her.
Hauwa wept bitterly on her knees. Madam has always slapped her once in a while but never had she received such a beating before in her life.
“Look at me.” Aunty Gloria took her into her arms. “Look at me.” She brought her weeping face up. “You are not going to give up on me Hauwa; you will not let this put you down, ok.” She looked into her eyes. Hauwa sobbed quietly as she listened to her. “These are tough times dear and it will pass; I promise you, it will pass.” She took her into her embrace and patted her back whilst she continued to cry on her shoulder.
Hauwa stayed in the kitchen until she was certain madam and Edward were off to bed. She was so sad but had comfort and peace in the words of Aunty Gloria. She was determined to fight on and never allow anything or anyone to stop her from achieving her dreams. She wanted to be able to throw it all at their face, especially Edward that she did made it. She wasn’t about to give up.
It’s been few months since she took the examination; Hauwa would always go outside to check if they had any letter; she had instructed the security man to let her know if any mail comes in for her, in fact, she specifically wrote her full name on a paper for him to compare with any letter that comes in and keep it for her. During this time, Edward had travelled to the United State of America to continue his studies and Madam had gone with him for a few months to help him settle in. This time away gave Hauwa enough time to brush up on her studies; fortunately for her, Edward left his laptop at home so she practiced on it day and night, and taught herself everything that will help her achieve her dreams.
She was in the living room one day when she heard the door bell, she went quickly to answer it and found the security man standing there with a brown envelop in his hands. She knew instantly what it was, without any word; she took it from him and went back inside to find Aunty Gloria.
“It’s here!” She gave the sealed envelope to her. Aunty Gloria knew what it was since she’d been so anxious for several days about the result.
“You should open it.” Aunty Gloria passed it back to her, but she folded her hands in hesitation. “Take it Hauwa.” She said.
“No please, open it, my hands are already trembling.” She whimpered in fear.
“Alright then,” Aunty Gloria inhaled deeply. She was trying not to show any sign of fear, but her heart was pounding so fast. She brought out the paper and read it for few seconds.
“What does it say?” Hauwa was trying read the expression on her face.
“I think you should read it yourself.” Aunty Gloria passed it to her.
She took it whilst her face was still fixed on Aunty Gloria.
“You made it girl!” Aunty Gloria broke into a big smile.
“What!” Hauwa gasped. She read the score and immediately screamed out in joy. “I made it!” She threw herself on Aunty Gloria. “I made it! I made it!! I made it!!!” She continued to scream. “Thank you Aunty, thank you, thank you.” She hugged her and then, ran out of the room down to the basement.
“I made it Mr. Williams.” She shouted in joy. “I made the score, I made it.” She put the paper forward to his face. She noticed a smile on his face but she wasn’t so sure. “I am so happy Mr. Williams, I am so very happy. I am on my way to the University and of course, on my way to helping you get better.” She smiled at him. “I made it!”
The excitement and joy lasted for only a week and then, the thought of actually going to school while Madam is in the house, without her finding out became the problem. Another issue was the funding, she had no idea where the money would come from; her monthly salary was out of the question since madam paid mallam Abu who gives it to her parents. Aunty Gloria kept assuring her that all will be well and that God will provide all of their needs. Another thing Hauwa is yet to understand is the issue of ‘God’ in their lives; Aunty Gloria had tried to explain about the existence of God but she never considered it. Although, she had been a Muslim from birth but even as that, she wasn’t a practicing muslim but the thought of another God was something she wasn’t about to consider.
A few weeks later, another letter came in for Hauwa, she wasn’t sure what to make of it since she had already received her scores but was astonished when she read the content of the letter. It was a full scholarship to study Physiotherapy at a prestigious University in Lagos. She was shocked for several minutes when she read the letter. Although, she knew her score was very high but she had not expected to receive any scholarship, in fact, she had no idea such was given. Aunty Gloria was so overjoyed and excited when she read the letter; she knew it was God’s answers to her prayer believe if Hauwa believes it or not. Things were looking brighter now; with this new information, Hauwa was determined that nothing would stop her from achieving her dreams, not even madam.
Days were turning into weeks and weeks turning into months and months were almost a year. Hauwa had started University; Madam’s travelling’s to the United States made it easier for her and when she was home, Hauwa would either wait for her to leave for the day or not go to class for that day and that meant she would have to study extra hard to meet up. Things were looking good for her.
Towards the end of the first year, she realized she would have nothing much to do during the holidays so she made a plan. She searched every local hospital in the town, anyone who is willing to offer her some form of internship job, in fact, she had told them she wasn’t interested in the pay if they are not willing to pay her but she would like some experience to help with her studies. Being an intelligent student in school, her lecturers were more than willing to support her application with some recommendation and her progress in school spoke of itself. Finally, after weeks of searching and applying, the Lagos state teaching hospital was willing to give her a three months trial. She would come in three days in a week to work in the Physiotherapy department.
Hauwa wanted to be the best in all she does so she continued to work very hard. Everything she learnt back in school and in the hospital, she would come home and relate it back to Mr. Williams. Gradually, she was gaining his attention, she found him more responsive to her and one particular day, she heard him call her name. Hauwa was taken aback when she heard her name, she wasn’t sure she heard right but when he stammered again, trying to pronounce her name, she knew definitely, he was talking to her.
Hauwa watched carefully as the doctors worked with the stroke and accident patients in the hospital. Then, she would come back home and with the help of Aunty Gloria, they would put Mr. Williams on his wheelchair and massage his legs. After weeks of trying this, Hauwa was becoming weary when she couldn’t see any result, so one day; she spoke to one of the doctors who had taken her under his wings. She asked him if he could attend to someone on her behalf, just to do some general check-up and x-ray to determine the extent of his injury. Doctor Emmanuel was more than willing to perform this check and luckily, madam was on her usual trip so they hired a bus where they took Mr. Williams on his wheel chair down to the hospital.
Doctor Emmanuel diagnoses- he is definitely suffering from stroke- an illness in which part of the brain is suddenly severely damaged or destroyed. This results in loss of function of the affected part of the brain. It usually causes weakness, paralysis of the arm and leg on either the left or right side of the body, twisting of the face, and in some cases other effects which may include loss of balance, and difficulty in swallowing. He stated that if he had been taken good care of after the incident, he would have gotten better, so he advised he be admitted to some rehabilitation programs so that proper activities such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and recreational therapy can be administered to him. Hauwa knew this was not possible but she is willing to do everything possible to get him better, which was her deal with him.
Hauwa took him back home and started her research on helping him; she decided to focus on learning more about occupational therapist, which would provide exercises and proactive to help him do things he could do before the accident such as eating, bathing, dressing, writing and walking. Also to help in speech language skills.
She devoted her time and attention to this, the more she read and learnt at the hospital, and the more she was determined to help Mr. Williams. Something should have been done a long time ago but Madam just left him to die; a heartless and wicked woman. Maybe because she knew her husband is an only child and his parents have passed away which meant no one would be coming to check on him. She just wanted him useless. Hauwa couldnâ€™t understand why she would just leave him all alone without proper help. She knew there was more to this but her main concern now is to get Mr. William better.
A year later; there has been a tremendous change with Mr. Williams’s health and well-being; he’d able to stand on his own with an aide of walking stick. His speech had improved and his confidence was returning. During this time, Hauwa laid strict guidelines for his daily exercise and Aunty Gloria helped and supported her when she wasn’t not home. The relationship between the three were distinct and unique especially with the fact that they had to keep all these away from madam at Mr. Williams’s request. He said he wasn’t ready for her to find out. Aunty Gloria and Hauwa respected his wishes and hid this from Madam when she was home; not that she’d really cared enough about him to notice any changes in her husband’s recovery. She goes into his room once in a while and sees him just lying on his bed; she would look around the room and find something to complain about to Aunty Gloria. The room was never cleaned enough; she would see crumbs on the floor or the bed is not properly washed.
Aunty Gloria had learnt to ignore any of her outburst, she knew she was somewhat frustrated about life and the only way she could survive is to moan and complain at everyone.
Hauwa had been working very hard to be the best that she could. She would always throw extra hours at school and at the hospital to learn and work better. She was dedicated and determined to be the best she could. Things were working better at home; every success and improvement she saw in Mr. Williams was an indication of how far she’d come and she was determined to do better.
During this time, Hauwa was struggling with some personal issues. She felt she needed something better, more like a void in her that needed to be filled. She wasn’t so much interested in material things; all she did wanted in life was coming into place, but that was not enough. She knew something was needed to fill the void in her life, and she knew she wouldn’t rest until she found it. Sometimes she wakes up very happy and other times, she’d feel terribly sad for no reason; a kind of uneasiness settled on her and the search has been unending with nothing to come out of it.
One day she was working a Saturday shift at the hospital; she had received a message from one of the nurses that Doctor Emmanuel would like to see her.
She knocked on his door before opening the door.
“Oh Yes, Hauwa,” Doctor Emmanuel said to her, “Come sit.”
Hauwa smiled shyly and sat in front of him. Doctor Emmanuel had taken so much likeness to her dedication and commitment to her career. After working with them for almost one year with no pay but had remained steadfast and hardworking, the administrator in the hospital decided to give her some money every month for welfare and transportation. Over the months, she had become a valuable asset to the hospital and all the patients took likeness to her. She had her way of getting them on track and her encouragement was always near to anyone that needed it. She made them believed in themselves and lifted up their spirit when they are down or discouraged.
Hauwa stared back at Doctor Emmanuel, she felt something was wrong.
“Hauwa.” He called out.
Hauwa jolted at the sound of her name.
“I have something I have been willing to tell you dear,” The expression confirmed this was quite serious.
“Firstly, I will like to ask you a question.”
“Do you believe in God?”
At that question, Hauwa relaxed a little, she let out a sigh.
“Well, I think I do.” She answered, unsure of what to say.
“Hmmm, you think you do.” he smiled. “My dear, it’s either you do or you don’t. You see, I have been watching you for quite sometime, you are intelligent, brilliant, lovable; You have everything you need to soar high in this world but you are missing something.” His face was fixed on her for a few seconds.
Hauwa felt uneasy about the conversation. She’d heard stories and talks about God but never considered thinking about it; after all, all that she is now had been her own doing. She’d made it this far without any God in her life.
“I don’t think I need God sir, I am definitely fine without any God in my life.”
“You are missing the point Hauwa. No matter the success you have in life, no matter how great, wealthy or comfortable you think you are and have no God in your life, you are nothing! He looked straight at her.
“Now dear, I’m not talking about any religion; I am talking about accepting Jesus Christ into your life, I am talking about the Saviour who died for you and me. There is a void in your life, you need God to fill that, you need his peace in your life. Listen girl, he has brought you this far; all that you have or you are, is not your own doing. Before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb, he knew you, he called you by name.
Hauwa straightened in her seat; every word he spoke was piercing through her. It’s like a knife cutting through every bone in her.
“There is more to life than what we see here; there’s eternity; that is where you and me will spend the remaining part of our lives when we die. Have you ever considered what will happen to you after this world? Do you know where you will go?” He searched her face for few seconds. “I’m sure you’ve heard of heaven and hell before, the question is where will go after this earth, heaven or hell?” He paused again to search her face for answers.
“Except a man is born-again, he cannot see the kingdom of God; except you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, you will not see his Kingdom. You know, most times when I see you at work, you look so happy, there’s something about you that even makes everyone around you happy but I don’t see peace in you, I see someone struggling to live everyday, someone trying so hard to be accepted. But with Christ, you don’t have to struggle- there’s a peace that is beyond comprehension. A peace you cannot fathom, a joy in your heart that he gives freely to you. My dear, you have nothing to fear when you are in Christ, your future is secured with him. He will take the pain and hurt away from your life and give you so much joy you can never imagine.
Just then, Hauwa busted into tears, every word he spoke pierced more into her. She needed God in her life; all her life, she had thought everything she did or have had been as a result of her handwork and intelligence but no, it was all the Master’s plan. God had been watching over her even when she didn’t know him; he loved and cared for her. Although, she had her own share of tough times in life but God had helped her through every one of them, standing here today is as a result of his love for her. She continued to cry as she felt an opening all over her, like she was seeing things as she ought to have seen them; the void in her life needed to be filled with God, she needed to know this God who had been so gracious to her. She’d been abused but here she is today, she’d been looked down upon and here she is today, she’d been beaten and told she wouldn’t amount to anything but here she is today; she’d been broken but he mended her back together. He had watched over all her these years, and here she is today.
Doctor Emmanuel told her more about Christ and led her to him. He prayed with her and asked her to speak to God as she would talk to a friend. Hauwa knew she has so much to learn and she was definitely going to learn more about God. After the prayer, she felt a peace within her, she knew something was different; a kind of feeling you know it’s there within you but can’t explain with words, she knew God is present in her life.
David Williams watched quietly as Gloria helped him with his activities; Hauwa has given instructions on the exercise to be done daily. She was so strict to these guidelines that sometimes she would forget Mr. Williams was her boss. Since she was out today, Gloria was in the basement.
“I think we’ve done enough for today.” David stressed out the words as he gently made his way back to his bed with the aid of his walking stick. His speech has greatly improved these past few months, although he sometimes stammered.
“Oh no, we still have a few minutes to go.” Gloria warned.
“I am… tired.”
“You know how Hauwa gets when you don’t finish you laps.” She dropped the laundry she was folding and walked to him.
David smiled at her. “Hauwa…is not here.” He smiled. He knew he could get away with anything when it comes to Gloria.
“Help me please,” he said as he carefully lifted his legs onto the bed which Gloria gave him a hand to.
She placed his legs properly in bed and tucked him in. David looked at her; he tried to hide the uneasiness as his heart raced. He had been thinking a lot about Gloria for months now and he knew the feeling wasn’t going anyway. He was gradually falling in love with her, a love that filled his heart, a love he could not question but his fear was if she felt the same way.
Gloria felt tingling feelings within her, coupled with the way he looked at her. The power of a simple touch is amazing; goosebumps rising, nerves tingling and the heart racing. She wanted to stay like that forever, but something in her held her back.
A few seconds later that seems like eternity, she turned to walk back to her laundry when he held her hands.
“Gloria.” His voice was soothing and that drove right into her. She turned to look at him, but David became tongue-tied.
The eyes staring back at him made it impossible to utter any word. He swallowed hard. He stared into her eyes as she did for several seconds; he wanted to pull her into his embrace and thank her over and over again for all she did for him. He wanted something greater; the feeling in his heart was becoming difficult to tame.
“Thank you.” he stammered.
Gloria blushed and nodded.
“Really…. thank you for everything.” there two eyes locked together. “You have done so much for me Gloria,” his hands were trembling, Gloria quickly covered his trembling hands with her other hand.
“God!” he flushed, and felt his heart pounding to the base of his pores. “I wish I can tell you every..thing in here; you have done so much for me….”
“You don’t have to thank me sir, you were there for me when I needed you, you are a good man sir, and you deserve every good thing.” She smiled shyly.
“You are the good thing for me.” He whispered. “I love you Gloria.” he looked straight into her eyes.
Gloria was taken aback at his words; she stared into his eyes, unable to utter any word.
“I am in love with you.” He uttered out.
Just then, the door opened.
To be continued.
© Circlesoflove 2013
Please leave your comments below.
What God is set to do in your life
Are there days where it feels Â like you are going in circles? One disappointment to the other, we often wonder what God is doing in all these, if He’s left us to our fate or taking His time in responding to us or probably forgotten us? Â Life’s disappointment can pull us so far from trusting God especially when we have done all we can do and have no other help. We have been faithful to His words, cried in prayer and waited on His help. Has he forgotten his promises to bless us and make us great? To lift us up lest we dash our foot against a stone? To fight for us while we hold our peace?
One thing I know beyond all reasonable doubt is that, God never fails. HisÂ faithfulnessÂ endures forever, whatsoever His promises are to you will surly stand, nothing can stop it. It may not look like it now but trust his love, He always come true.
Remember, His thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways His ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than your ways and His thoughts higher than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return to without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seeds for the sower and bread for the eater, so is His word that goes from His mouth: It will not return to Him empty but will accomplish what He desires and achieve the purpose for which He sent it. (Isa 55:11)
He won’t let you fail, His mighty hands will hold you high, and his words will come to pass. Our God is not slow in keeping his promises (2Pet 3:9), so do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You will need toÂ preserveÂ so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised (HebÂ 10: 35).Â Remember, what God is said to do in your life, the devil canâ€™t stop it, he canâ€™t stand it and there is nothing he can do about it.
What God is set to do in your life, the devil can’t stop it, he can’t stand it and there is nothing he can do about it. The promises of God are yea and Amen. For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
Â© Circlesoflove 2013
Together as One
Anna Crane walked down the aisle at Tesco’s super market; she noticed the familiar face she had been seeing for some days now. The tall black built man reminded her of someone from her past, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. Just as she was about to walk up to him, he hastily left the store. She stood there watching him walk into the thin darkness outside.
”Here you are.” she heard her husband’s voice behind her.
”Got the vegetables,” Chris said. He noticed the uneasiness on her face. ”Are you OK Honey?”
She shrugged. ”Yes,” Anna lied ”Just a long day from work.”
”Alright then, let’s get going.” Chris took her by the hand and walked to the checking point.
That evening, when they got home, Christ asked Anna to lie down while he cooked dinner.
They both have been married for ten years, been through the tough times together, their love for each other held them stronger as years passed; although, they have been trying to have a child for years now but their faith was strong; they believed God would answer their prayers and give them their heart desires.
By the time Chris finished making dinner, Anna was fast asleep.
The next morning, Chris was already out of the house while Anna slept late since she was off from work for the day.
The doorbell rang.
”Who’s there?” she walked to the door and leaned against it.
”British gas ma’am.” She heard the voice at the door.
”Ok,’ she opened the door and there he was, the same man she has been seeing for several days. Her eyes widen. She realised it had not been a coincidence all the while; she definitely knew him from somewhere.
The man smiled broadly at her. ”Tamina.” He called out her name. No one knew her by that name; not even her husband. In that instance, she remembered who he was; Nazim, the smuggler, one of the guys that helped smuggled her out of her country many years ago.
”I remember you.” She pointed at him, You! What do you want?” she demanded in anger.
”Hmm.” He scoffed, brushing her away from the door; he walked himself to the kitchen, open the fridge, and brought out a bottle of drink.
Anna felt her heart skipped a beat. She was terrified but tried not to show her fears. ”What do you want?” She shouted at him, ”My husband is home.” She lied.
He chuckled. ”Oh no,” he let out a roar of laughter. ”Do you know how long I have been watching you, I saw him leave this morning,” he said with a smirk on his face.
Dread was binding itself tighter and tighter around her heart. ”What do you want?” She felt an uncomfortable pain in her chest.
Squealing with excitement, he looked up at her. ”I want some money.” He barked a hard laugh. I know your husband does not know who you truly are.”
Anna’s jaw clenched in disgust.
“Easy, tiger,” he jeered at her. “You know, that day your mother begged us to help her smuggle you out of Dominican Republic to the United Kingdom. I never knew who you were until I returned back; I heard that one of Dansley’s wife had run away; then, I connected the dot, the young woman we helped smuggled out.”
Anna felt a hard lump growing in her chest.
“I came back to London a few years later and then, one day, I saw you at the hospital where you work, I knew instantly who you were,” he touched her face briefly. “Your face, I couldn’t miss it, it’s been so long but I can’t miss that face,” he said mocking her. I have you on my list of insurance, you know, in case I need something and what do we know.” He cast a glance at her, I do now-
”Enough!” Anna interrupted, ”Enough!” She straightened and walked up to him. ”My mother paid you well; you took your share, this was twenty years ago, what else do you want?” She raged.
”Don’t you dare shout at me,” he faced her squarely, ”I want a little token for damages.” He demanded.
“Damages, compensation; whatever it’s called these days.” He shouted.
“What! This is blackmail.”
“Oh, is that what it called.” He jeered at her. “Call it whatever you like. I want what you owe me. My business was shut down shortly after I returned back home. Your so-called husband found out we had something to do with your disappearance.” His eyes darkened. “Most of my team were beaten and some were even killed. I barely escaped to another town and all was because of a little brat like you.” He looked straight into her eyes. “What I want now is the damages you caused. I want £5,000.”
Anna was gobsmacked. ”£5,000, where on earth do you want me to get that kind of money?” She was trembling, her body radiating heat.
”I don’t care where you get it from, it’s a small token to protect your secret; I give you 48 hours to get it.” His face was hard. He stood another drink from the fridge and began to walk towards the door.
”Good day Mrs. Williams, I hope you enjoyed our service.” He smiled and walked out of the house.
”Oh God!” Anna sat down against the door and cried out. She began to shiver uncontrollable, scared and afraid of what it is to come. She realized her past was catching up to her, the secrets she’ s worked so hard to bury, not even her husband knew about it, now she’s been blackmailed.
Anna managed to serve dinner as usual. After Chris had finished his dinner, he sat down to watch his favourite soap opera, just then, Anna came toward Him, all drenched in tears kneeling down before him.
Chris sat up. ”Honey, are you ok? ‘Why are you crying Anna?”
She covered her face and gulped down a sob. ”I need to tell you something dear.” She couldn’t bear to look him in the eyes. She feared for her marriage, losing the man she loved so much and everything she worked for broke her heart.
Chris held her head to look at her. ”Honey, please, don’t cry, you can tell me anything, Please.”
Her heart twisted in dismay. “I…” she stammered. She looked up to his face again and this time the tears flowed freely and made it impossible to speak.
“You are scaring me Anna; please tell me what happened.”
Anna wiped the tears away from her cheeks; she inhaled deeply trying to sum up the courage to speak to him. She swallowed hard. ”You know how I told you about my past, living in the Dominican Republic?” She held her trembling hands together.
”What about it?”
She stood up from where she was kneeling and walked a few distances away from him. Her hands folded against her chest. ”I grew up in Barahona, in the Dominican Republic with my parents and fourteen siblings. As I told you, my father was a drunk; he drinks everything and everywhere, all his savings goes to his drinking,” She sat gently on the couch, facing him. “He was in so much debt that he was always beaten by his creditors. After a while, he started giving out his children in exchange for money, especially the girls to marry, and the boys to work for his creators. ” She paused for a minute.
”So, one day at the age of fourteen, my father called me out of the room and told me I was to follow some group of men who were already waiting outside to take me to my new home. He said my bride price has been paid and I was to be a good wife to my new husband.” She allowed the tears bunching her eye pour down her cheeks. She stood up and walked towards the wall.
She saw the hard look on Chris’s face. He swallowed hard.
I screamed and shouted for my mother as I was being carried away. I knew he was marrying me away. She whimpered. God! I was only a child. I cried so much as I was driven to the new home. The men only laughed and mocked me as they drove.” She paused to search her husband’s face to see what he was thinking but this time, his face was harder than before, and that scared her so much.
”When I got to the new house, I was handed over to an old man; old enough to be my father; he said he was my husband and I was to obey everything he tells me. I cried so much and wouldn’t allow any one touch me so I was locked up in a room for several days until I stopped crying. Almost every night after that; the man would come into the room and rape Me.” she cried as she cupped her hands around her body. ”I was so scared; no one to call, no one to help me. I wasn’t allowed out of the house, not even to go see my parents. Her trembling legs made it difficult to stand, so she sunk to the floor and sat against the wall.
After several months, I was very sick, so sick that they had to call my mother to come look after me, then, I realized I was pregnant.” She paused.
”From that day, my mother started to plan my escape; she said she knew some people who could help her take me far away from our country, and she was saving towards that. Finally, the day of my delivery came, my mother was there. I gave birth to my child, a baby girl, my mother told me to go take my bath which was just behind the house.
Chris’s eyes widen.
Her lips trembled. She wanted to stop, but knew she had to tell him the whole story. When I got outside, some men were waiting for me and from there; they took me down to the port. They said my mother had planned an escape for me. I told them to please allow me take my baby with me but they wouldn’t let me go back; they said, my mother only paid for my price. I cried all through the journey, I was so weak and tired. I mean, I just had a baby. Anna said in tears. All I had was a letter from my mother and some set of clothing and money she had given to the men to give to me.
Chris stood up abruptly. His face showed the strain of hurt. He stood still for a moment and then walked towards the window.
I was taken away from the city and into a ship with some goods that was supposed to be taken to the United Kingdom. I hid in the store room with some number of people who wanted to leave the country. It took us five days to reach the United Kingdom and then sought for asylum.” She stopped to look at him. He just kept quiet, staring back at her.
He was confused and never realised his wife of ten years had kept such secret away from him all these while. He watched her again and took his face away.
Anna was afraid of look at him as shame and fear made her bow her head.
”Why didn’t you tell me Anna, or is that even your name? He asked angrily.
”My name was Tamina, but I changed it legally when I got to this country.” Anna said in tears.
”So, Tamina or Anna or whatever you answer to,” he said angrily, ”Why didn’t you tell me?”
”I wanted to Chris,” she cried out. ”But I was so scared of what you would think of me, I was scared you would stop loving me,” she cried out again. ”Please, Chris, I am so sorry for keeping this away from you. This was many years before we even met, that was my past, and I didn’t want to drag that into our lives. My mother told me I had to go far away and never look back, that was my escape, I was just a child€¦..” she cried out.
But you are a grown woman now, no more a child. You had a choice, and you chose to keep it away from me. He tried to keep his voice low but the anger in him wanted to explode in torrent.
I just wanted a new life, a life far away from that€ She cried out.
”God! After ten years married to you Anna, it took you ten years to tell me this. Why now?” he shouted.
Anna was silent.
”I said, why now?” he shouted at her.
She jerked at the sound of his voice. ”A few days ago, I noticed a man had been following me, and at the store yesterday, I saw him again€ She let out her breath This morning, he came over and then, I recognized him, he was one of the men that smuggled me out of my country and now, he wants to blackmail me. I don’t know how he found out about me, about us, but he know you are unaware of my past and he’s willing to expose me out, only if I pay him Â£5000.” She bowed her head in shame.
Chris stared at her with so much anger. ”So, it took a man to blackmail you with Â£5000 for you to tell me?” he raged out. Â â€˜â€˜Tell me, if he had not come to you, when were you going to tell me?” he asked but Anna didn’t answer him.
”No! You were not planning to tell me, were you? So long as your secrets are safe.” He took his keys and headed towards the door.
”No€¦ no€¦ no€¦ no€¦ no€¦, Chris, please, I am so sorry. I know what I did is very wrong, please.”, she knelt down holding his legs, ”please, I am begging you.” she cried out.
”I love you so much……., we have been through tough times together, I told you everything about myself, even things I was ashamed of. I was naked before you Anna. It’s been ten years now, ten good years we€™ve been together and trying to have a baby and I have never for once challenged you, we’ve prayed together, laughed together, cried together,” he allowed the tears flow freely from his eyes. ”Please, take your hands off me.” he jerked away from her, and left the house.
”Oh God…., please. Chris, please……, I am sorry, don’t leave me. God, I am sorry, please Lord, help me this time. I am so sorry.” She cried out.
Â CHAPTER THREE
A few days passed, Chris didn’t come home, although, he left a message saying he was ok and needed time to himself. Anna prayed like she’d never prayed before, she asked God to help her and keep her marriage even though she has been unfaithful by lying to her husband. Anna managed to go to work to keep herself sane. Two days after this incident, Anna was coming back from work, walking toward her front door, she saw Nazim coming out of her house.
She was frightened. He had been in her house. ”What are you doing here?” she asked him but he just ignored her and walked passed.
Anna was stunned and confused; she watched him drive off in his car. She unlocked the door and saw Chris in the hallway.
She was stunned. ”What happened?” She asked.
”Nothing you need to worry about again.” he said and walked to the sitting room.
Anna had no idea what had happened between Nazim and Chris but she was certain that Nazim won’t be seen or heard from again.
”Honey, I’m glad you are home.” She went to him.
”Come sit down Anna.”
Anna sat opposite him.
He inhaled deeply. ”For the past two days, I have thought and searched myself. I don’t understand why you took this long to tell me; I don’t know Anna.” his face was filled with disappointment
”I am so very sorry.” Anna started to say
He put up his hands. ”No, please, let me finished.” he said. ”Anna, you really don’t know how much I love you and would do anything for you. Right now, I don’t know how I can ever trust you again.”
She looked at him solemnly. Her eyes were moist as he spoke those words.
”I am so sorry Chris; I know I hurt you.” Anna begged.
”I don’t know what to do Anna, I really don’t know.” He wiped his hands down his face.
She made eye contact. ”So, what are you saying?”
He shook his head and grew silent.
After few minutes, Anna started to speak. ”I need to tell you something too.”
”Hmm,” he chuckled out of spite. ”Another something?” he flashed an angry look at her.
Anna ignored the sarcasm in his voice. ”These past few days, I have been thinking€ She inhaled deeply. I need to travel back home€ She searched his face to know what’s he is thinking.
”You have nothing to stay here for Anna, everything you ever had or want is back home.” he said in an angry tone.
Her heart tightened its beat. She couldn’t believe he said that to her. ”You know that€™s not true Chris; I have to go make things right, I have to€¦”
”I don’t know what is true anymore,” Chris cut in. ”You know what, you just do whatever you want to do, and I don’t care.” he walked out of the house.
Everything was falling apart for Anna; the man she loved was walking away from her, her life in total confusion. Chris wasn’t even talking to her. He refused to eat at home, he sleeps on the couch. Sometimes, Anna hears him talking to himself and it breaks her heart to see him like that. She even heard him prayed to God in tears, telling him his feelings and emotions. In as much as she wanted to stay and settle things with Chris, she felt she had to back home and face her demons; everyday, her heart ached for her daughter and her mother. Since she’s never heard from them since she left; she felt guilty for putting her child through what would be horrific. Her mother had made her promised she would never come back. She had to run away, run so far from everyone. She promised she would look after her daughter, the daughter she didn’t even name. Her baby would be 20 years of age now, not a baby any more, a full grown woman
She left a note for Chris the day she left the United Kingdom, telling him how much she loved him and sorry for all she’s done.
Getting down from the plane at Dominican Republic brought fear and uneasiness to her. She hailed for a Cab to her Father’s house. During the two hours€™ drive, She kept praying to God to see her through this ordeal, she prayed for wisdom and guidance, She prayed for restoration in her marriage and peace for Chris. As they drove into their street, the whole place looked different, the roads are now tiled, more houses and a fresh breathe of air. As the car pulled in front of the house, she paid her fare and walked into the house, the house seems so quiet than usual, no women and children. She knocked but no one answered so she opened the door, seeing no one was in-door, she walked through to the back door leading to the garden and there, she saw her mother folding some clothes.
She stood there as her legs became weak to move.
”Mother!” she called out in tears
Her Mother looked back and was shocked to see her daughter standing there
”Tamina, My child,” her mother gasped, opened her arms towards her while Anna walked into her.
”Oh Mother.” She hugged her tightly while they both cried.
”Oh, I knew you would come back one day, I prayed for you my Child.”
”You prayed.” she looked into her eyes.
”Yes I did.” she laughed, and hugged her again.
”And God did answered mother, He did.” hugging her again. ”I am so happy Ma, I missed you.”
”Come,” her mother took her hands to sit down.
”Where’s everyone?” Anna asked looking around.
”Everyone” she sighed ”It’s just us.” she said. ”So much story to tell you my child.” She cupped her face into her hands staring deep into her eyes.
Her mother told her the short version of all that happened after she left; her supposed Husband was so angry when they couldn’t find her; he threatened the whole family and threw her father in jail believing he€™d set up the whole thing. He ordered her child be given to her Mother to take care of. After few years, He died of heart attack. At this time, Anna’s father had been in jail, had some infection in the eyes that lead to his blindness and stroke. Things were so tough for them as they lived on debt and nothing. During this time, all his other wives left with their children leaving her Mother to pick up all the pieces. She cared for her father and her baby.
”Oh Ma, you have been through so much€ she cried.
”I worried so much about you dear; it was tough for us but God took over. He found us. He took away all our suffering and gave us joy and peace.” Her mother said in tears.
Anna smiled softly. ”He found me too after I got to the United Kingdom and He has watched over me ever since.” she said in tears, then she looked around her anxiously.
”Oh, I know who you are looking for; Esther.”
”Esther!” Anna covered her mouth with her hands, awestruck.
”Yes, Esther, your daughter. That’s what we call her or don’t you like it?” she asked
”Esther is wonderful Ma.” she answered in tears.
”Your daughter, most beautiful like her Mother, She’s gone to School.” she said
”School.” Anna smiled.
”Yes, she’s worked so hard and she’s very smart too. She’s going to be a doctor,” she smiled, so proud of her.
”Ma,” Anna hugged her Mother again, ”Thank you Ma, thank you so much.”
”Now, you have to go see your Father, he’s in the room; Please go easy on him, He never forgave himself for what he did to you.” Her mother said.
”It’s okay Ma.” she stood up, and walked to his room.
As she opened the door, she saw her father, so fragile lying in bed.
”Angie.” her Father called out, thinking it was his wife but Anna was too shock to answer seeing how thin he was.
“Is that you Angie?”
”It’s not Ma.” Anna said softly. It’s me, Father€
Her father was shocked and surprised but He knew that voice.
”Tamina………..” he stammered. ”Tamina………, is that you?” he asked again, struggling to stand up.
”Yes, it’s me, father,” she reached for his hands
”My Child, you came back. You are really here.” he pulled her close to his embrace.
”Please forgive me…….” he whimpered.
”It’s okay Father.” Anna took his hands as she was drenched in tears.
Anna realized why she came back home; it wasn’t to face her demons as she had thought but a time for healing and forgiveness. She realized even as she already knew God and His love, she was yet to forgive her family, even herself for all that had happened. They all needed restoration and indeed, God had gone ahead of her to make a way for his healing. The tears were not of sorrow but of joy, of peace because she knew it was all God. They all cried and laughed together but most importantly, thank God repeatedly. Anna told them all about her life in the United Kingdom, about her husband.
As evening came, she went outside for some air while her mother attended to her father. There, she thought of her husband, how she wished things were not as they are now, she wanted him so close to her now. Just in her thought, she saw her pretty angel walked into the compound and she knew instantly who she was. Standing just there, she was filled with so much joy that she couldn’t move.
She watched as Esther moved closer to her, also staring at her.
”Ma.” Esther said
But Anna’s eyes were filled with tears
”You know who I am.” Anna said in tears
”It’s you, Ma.” Esther replied. ”My Mother.”
There was silence between them as Anna thought of hugging her but the fear of being rejected held her; as they both stood facing each other, she wanted so much to hold her. She watched her looking into her eye too and just then, Esther pulled her into her embrace and held on so tightly.
”Mama.” she heard her say repeatedly as she held her.
”I am so sorry.” Anna cried out.
”No ma, don’t say that. I never held anything against you.” Esther cried on her shoulder.
“I love you dear.”
“I know Ma.” Esther said looking into her eyes. I know€
They both held each other in tears.
As they prepared the bed for Anna, her mother walked up to her.
”You look very tired dear; have some tea then, you will go to bed.” Angie said.
”I am not tired Ma, I could stay all night.” she laughed out.
”You know,” Angie took Anna palms and looked into it, then into her eyeballs.
”Ma, I’m ok.” Anna said
”Yes, you are my daughter, I know you are. You are with a child.” she smiled. ”Are you keeping more surprises for us€ she joked.
”What! No, I can’t be, Anna smiled. I just had my period€
”Hmm, When?” her mother asked.
”Actually, was supposed to have had……..’ Anna sat down, trying to think.
”Don’t you be deceived by periods,” her mother said, ”I know a pregnant woman when I see one.” she smiled and left her room.
Esther, who had been listening to their conversation, spoke out.
”Don’t worry Ma, would get you a pregnancy kit first thing in the morning€ She hugged her good night.
As her Mother and daughter both left the room, Anna was stunned. She wondered if really she could be pregnant. She had been so stressed out for some couple of weeks, she knew stress could delay menstrual cycle but still, she knew something was different.
Anna and her family spent the days talking and enjoying each other€™s company. They spoke about everything they did miss in their lives. They laughed, cried and hugged repeatedly for several days.
A week later, Anna and Esther had woken up earlier and took a long walk outside, talking about almost everything. She wanted her to come with her to the United Kingdom but Esther insisted on finishing her Degree first and would probably come to study for her school of Medicine in the United Kingdom, and also, she wanted to stay back with her grandmother for a little while. Esther told her mother how she thought about her every day and looked forward to seeing her. After a long day outside, they both decided to go back to the house. As they were about entering the house, they both heard chatting from the inside, opening the door, behold, Anna saw Chris in the living room.
”Chris!” she gasped in disbelief.
”Anna!” Chris stood up to hug her.
”What is…’’? Anna stammered. She couldn’t believe he was there.
”Oh honey, I am so sorry dear€ Chris said.
”No, honey, you didn’t do anything, I did all this.” Anna blinked back the tears in her eyes.
”It’s okay honey, I’m never letting you go again, I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you, you alone€ He stroke her cheeks with his hands. We are together as one, I can’t leave without you dear; You are all that I am, you are everything to me my love.” he held her hands looking straight into her eyes.
”Well, it’s not just me alone you have to leave with.” Anna smiled.
”Yes I know, your mum told me everything about Esther, She is always welcome into our home and lives as long as she wants and your parent too. A€ Chris smiled.
”Well, but there’s still someone else.” Anna whispered.
”Who?” Chris asked, taken aback
Speaking in to his ears, ”I’m pregnant honey, we are having a baby.” Anna whispered.
”Oh my God!” Chris carried her and turned around to face her parents. ”We are having a baby€ he said out loud. ”We are having a baby.” he said again and took his wife’s hand and kissed her so passionately. ”I love you honey.” Chris said with tears of joy in his eyes.
”I love you too Christopher Crane.”
We are together as one. He smiled.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHORÂ
To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness€ Robert Muller.
‘To forgive is to set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner was you’. Sometimes, it’s not just forgiving those that hurt you but also forgiving yourself. Forgiveness is the oil of relationships.
Forgiveness holds the key to freedom. Sometimes, the pain may be stronger than our will to forgive; we need the love of God to strengthen us during the hard times of our lives. We forgive those who have wronged us, and forgive ourselves too.
Story written by Abimbola CirclesOfLove
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