As the days went on God was showing her how much she had missed it in times past. Just because things hadn’t gone the way she planned didn’t mean she had to go against God and disobey what he wanted her to do. She remembered when He told her to wait and lean on Him. To trust in Him despite all that was happening with her. But she was so stubborn in her ways that she had neglected to adhere to it. Now she was still in pain . . . And had dragged someone else into it.
Amanze had been trying to reach out to her for days but she had kept to herself. Whenever they happen to go out for dinner or he called to check up on her, she was always distant. Because now more than ever she knew God didn’t want her to be in a relationship with him. All those times she felt uncomfortable and not at peace either by his comments, or the manner at which he handled certain things, just showed he definitely wasn’t a Christian. And she hadn’t done right in portraying herself as a Christian to both him and Pamela. The guilt of it weighing heavy on her heart.
Efe rubbed her eyes tiredly and stifled a yawn.
She stared at her bible opened before her. She had made up her mind to make out time to read a couple of verses each morning before setting out for work and if possible, a little at night. It was amazing how much one could forget by not spending time reading their bible. Spending time with God. It was a pleasant thing to be reminded of scriptures that encouraged her. She had forgotten how exhilarating it was to sit at his feet and glean from His Word. It left her invigorated for the day. But this morning’s quiet time with Him had convicted her on different levels.
First thing was she had to break things off with Amanze. She couldn’t keep postponing it and leading him on with the idea that their relationship was heading somewhere when it wasn’t. It was unfair to him. And then there was Amanze’s mother. What would she think of her now? She would definitely tell her son she had been right about him making a wrong choice in her. Would they also use her faith to judge her?
Lord, I’m sorry for misrepresenting You. She hadn’t said she had a daughter and covered up her being married. It was like the case of Abraham and Isaac telling their wives to mention that they were their sisters so the king wouldn’t annihilate them.
Then there was the teaching on love. Efe closed her eyes as she remembered the verses God used to teach her. Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Love endures long and is patient and kind. For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have?
God wanted her to love her husband irrespective of his wrongs and failures. Just like how He loved her still when she had failed Him a couple of times. Yes, Daniel had cheated on her but since he was willing to change why wasn’t she giving him another chance. Instead of choosing to walk out why hadn’t she chosen to pray for him and his restoration back to God. Why was she choosing the simple way out? Love wasn’t just about those moments when it was easy to love. It was more about the hard moments. God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son. He loved the world but He loved His Son a lot and must have caused Him great pain to send Him to die for people who didn’t even care about Him or think He existed.
It was just mind-blowing!
Efe rose from the couch and made her way to the kitchen to get something cool to drink for her parched throat. It would soon be time for bed and Pamela was already snoozing away on her bed. She chuckled. Blame it on pregnancy. She was glad at the progress her friend had made in her Christian walk. She was intensely interested in the bible and kept writing down questions that popped at her when she studied the Word or when someone preached a message in church she didn’t quite understand. Efe tried answering as much as she could and God was giving her answers as well when she went back to ask Him.
She had just settled comfortably on her seat when she heard the knock at her door. Who can that be? She wondered. And at this time? Her heart starting beating rapidly at the thought that it could be Daniel at her door. She recalled when he had first shown up at her door-step late last year. Was she ready to face him now? Could she tell him her feelings and what the future could be for the both of them? The knock grew louder and Efe hurried to the door so the persistent knocker didn’t wake Pamela up.
“Baby, it’s me. Amanze.”
Efe opened the door.
“Amanze. What are you doing here? You didn’t tell me you were coming.”
“Do I need an invitation to see my fiancée?”
She raised a brow. Fiancée? When did he propose and when did I say yes? She shifted aside to let him in. It occurred to her when he stared at her legs that she only had on a large T-shirt and boxers. She suddenly felt shy and awkward. “I’ll be right back.” She excused herself after she locked the door and hurried to the room to put on a baggy trouser and returned to the living room to find Amanze seated.
“So what’s up?”
“I wanted to see you. I’ve missed you and I can’t stand that we’re barely talking to each-other. I see you at work and we act like complete strangers. You’ve been giving me the silent treatment.”
“No, I’ve not!” She said in her defence. Although, it was true. She had kept to herself ‘cause there was a lot to think about after Daniel had left and she didn’t think it wise to discuss her thoughts with him.
“Are we still together?”
Efe bit her lip and look down at her hands.
“Don’t be afraid to tell me. Are you getting back with your ex? Are things over between us? ‘cause I can’t understand your behaviour these days and frankly I’m getting sick and tired of it.”
Ouch. “I’m sorry to hear that.”
“I’m sorry if I sound harsh.” He reached out and held her hands. “I want you to know I’m really serious about us.”
“Amanze, you’re an amazing guy. But I feel I have misled you greatly.” She took a deep breath before going on. “I shouldn’t have made you think we could work in the first place, especially since I’m still married.”
“You’re getting a divorce and I’m willing to wait.”
Efe shook her head. “It’s not just about the divorce. You are not a Christian.”
He jerked back with a confused look on his face. “What has that got to do with anything?”
Gosh I’ve been so blind! “It has everything to do with it. Amanze, we can’t expect to have a great marriage like He wants us to without Him in the picture.”
He scoffed. “Oh? Like God was in the picture when your husband cheated on you? Or how much you have suffered? Please, tell me how it was such a great marriage?”
Efe’s heart broke. How could she explain to him that it was her fault in the first place for not being patient enough to wait for His plan for her. That their foundation hadn’t started out right.
“You people carry on with this God in marriage thing as if without him nothing good would ever happen. With or without God you can have a wonderful marriage. So don’t bring that excuse here ‘cause I know you want to fault my not being a Christian as a reason for us not to be together.”
Oh God, how do I get him to see the truth? Have I also contributed to his ignorance?
“I admit I was wrong. I’m sorry for leading you on.”
Pamela snuck back to the room and got under the covers. She smiled to herself and said a thank you to God. She had gotten up to pee and had heard voices in the living-room. Shocked to find Amanze there she stayed behind to listen on their conversation and had prayed for Efe to make the right choice. Lately, her friend had gradually found her way back to God and Pamela was happy for her. She really hoped Efe would get back with her husband.
She thought about her own parents. Things hadn’t changed between them. He was still making life unbearable for her mother and siblings. He still didn’t want to see her as well. Pamela kept praying to God to perform a miracle when it came to her family. Her hand instinctlively went to her round tummy. She was expecting a baby girl. She had applied to different companies as well as her present company. She knew would put to bed around June and won’t have to work for long but she was going to try her best to gather as much as she could for her and her daughter.
Things were going to be hard but she trusted God would help her. If He wanted her to keep the baby then He definitely had certain plans for the both of them. Pamela drifted off to sleep with that comforting thought on her mind.
“Hmm . . . I’ve missed this.” She said, her mouth full of chocolate pancakes. “There’s no difference between yours and mum’s.”
He chuckled. “I’m the one that taught her how to make it. She always felt my choice of food was too foreign for her so I’m surprised she kept making it even after we went our separate ways.”
Zainab took a sip of water. “How was it like going out with mum? Did she frustrate you a lot? ‘cause knowing mum she could really get on one’s nerves.”
Her father shook his head. “Funny enough, your mum was really sweet. Guess you can say she was quite smitten with me.” He chuckled. “But there were times she proved stubborn when she wanted to have her own way.”
She could definitely relate to that. She remembered when her mother kept being on her case to get her to stop her from smoking weed. She would be proud to see how she lived her life now.
“What’s on your mind?”
Zainab looked up to see her dad staring at her with concern. “I just feel bad that she’s gone and I may not see her again. You know . . . Heaven and hell.”
He reached out and took hold of her hand. “I know what you mean dear. It hurts me too. But don’t get agitated because of that. You focus on living life as God wants and follow the lead of the Spirit.”
“Did you ever talk to her about Him? About Jesus?”
He sighed and shook his head. “Truth is I wasn’t completely serious with my walk with God back then. If at all I wanted her to believe it was just so we could be together. I loved her and to me that was all that mattered.”
“Then why didn’t God send someone to her?”
“What if He did and she wasn’t interested?”
Her vision was blurry ‘cause of the tears building up in her eyes. She nodded and forced a smile. Since God had given her another chance to live life for Him then she might as well live it to the fullest. She wanted to get involved in outreaches and sharing the news with others. There was a burning desire in her heart to share with others the joy she had and the love she had never experienced before in her life.
“How do you go about this evangelism of a thing?” She asked.
“It’s simple. You talk to others about Jesus. Tell them He loves them and came to die for them.”
Zainab raised a brow. “If it’s that simple then why isn’t everyone saved?”
“That’s a brilliant question.” He poured some hot water into a large mug and accompanied it with half a teaspoon of coffee and some sugar. “For various reasons. Some aren’t ready to forsake their wayward style of living and live the way Christ wants. Others have a religion they strongly believe in and don’t want to accept Jesus. There are even people that don’t believe God exists.”
“So how do we talk to them?”
He took a sip of his coffee. “You pray. That’s a very important thing. You pray for the lost souls to be saved. You can’t force someone to be saved if they aren’t ready or if they don’t even believe they need to be saved. It’s the Holy Spirit’s work to convict them. And there are others who truly believe there’s something out there they are missing. That there’s a gaping hole in their lives that needs to be filled and they have tried everything they could think of and nothing has filled the hole. God sees their desire and their open hearts to want to receive the Good News. He sends His faithful servants, which is you and I, to go out there to talk to them. Ever heard of the Samaritan woman?”
Zainab shook her head. “Who is she?”
“One of the women Jesus encountered. She had married five husbands and was currently with a man that wasn’t her husband. Who knew maybe he would have ended up as her sixth if Jesus hadn’t stepped in at that moment.”
“Why would she marry five husbands? What is she looking for?”
Her father snapped his fingers. “Exactly! What makes a woman jump from one man to another. What is she searching for?”
“Money?” She joked.
Her father chuckled. “Other than that.”
He nodded. “Love. Happiness. Satisfaction. Peace. Joy. And like you said, money.”
Zainab squeezed her face. “But you can’t get all that in one person. At least not in a man.”
“Only in one person. Jesus.”
She nodded in understanding. No matter how macho and amazing I.K was there were still some things he lacked and she had always felt there was something missing in her life. Now she felt filled. Satisfied. It was just like the scripture that talked about being filled. That all that were thirsty and had no money could come buy and eat and all that laboured for what could not satisfy. They all should come to Him so that their soul could be satisfied with what only He could give.
“When last did you talk to Efe?”
“A few days ago. Your sister has been through a lot and I’m praying to God to order her steps back to Him.”
“What’s the update with her and Daniel?”
“She said he came over to her place of work and begged her to give their marriage another chance but, as usual, she had been stubborn to consider that as an option. He gave her time to think about it and so far I believe God is ministering to her. They both need our prayers.”
“I feel guilty ‘cause I had a hand in it.”
“Old things have passed away and all have become new. Focus on the new and how you two can be the sisters that you are.”
Zainab was amazed at this man she could proudly call a father. He held no grudges and took no sides. He reminded her of how amazing God was to His own people.
“Why do you have that smile on your face?”
“It’s because of you. Is it weird to say you kind of remind me of God. That is, in a humanly way?”
“It’s only weird if you view me as some sort of god ‘cause I’m not. But I’m flattered. It’s all thanks to God and how much He has been working in me all through the years. This Christian journey is not a day’s thing. So sometimes you may fall, you would make mistakes, but you get back on your feet and keep going. You hear me?”
She smiled and nodded. “Loud and clear.”
“That’s my girl.”
The company had been closed down till further notice and Kobina was still under arrest. They had listed a couple of companies and people that were involved in his fraudulent activities. Adesewa was just thankful she wasn’t involved in any of it. God had gotten her out in good time.
So far so good she had looked at a few places and one had gotten her attention. It was a lovely building on the island that formerly belonged to a fast-food restaurant. It would need some renovations and the price was pretty steep but she had a deep knowing that this was where she had to be. She had taken pictures and sent to Korede who also agreed with her. It was a good location along the road-side with sufficient parking space.
“I can already imagine how it would look like.” He said to her over the phone when she told him how she envisioned the interior decorations. “The lighting is also important. I have a friend who deals with lights. I could have him call you when it’s all set.”
“Thanks love. The only thing is the money. I don’t have the complete money they’re asking for. It’s for sale and not for rent. I have given my business plan to a few people but haven’t from them yet.”
“Hmm . . . Have you prayed about it?”
Adesewa nodded. She opened the refrigerator and brought out a bottle of water. “Yes, I have. He that has started a good thing would surely bring it to pass.” She was about closing the fridge when something caught her eye. It was a cupcake with chocolate icing.
How did that get there?
She got it out and placed it on the counter along with her bottle of water.
“Then believe He would do it.”
“I just found a cupcake in my fridge and I have no idea who kept it there.”
“Probably your friends.”
She shook her head. “No. Zainab left some days ago and Audrey is still sleeping in her room. There’s no way this cupcake got here on it’s own.”
Korede chuckled. “You think it flew there?”
Adesewa rolled her eyes. “Yeah right.”
“It looks delicious though.” She picked it up and looked closely at it. There was something weird about it. As if . . . As if it had a cover on it. The icing on top had a know on it to lift. “I think this cupcake is sort of a box.”
“Box? Now that’s strange. What do you plan on doing?”
“Opening it.” She lifted it up and almost screamed at what she saw.
“Will you marry me?” She heard him talk. But it wasn’t over the phone. It almost sounded like he was behind her. Adesewa spun around to find Korede kneeling on one foot and a rose in his hand while Audrey was smiling and videoing the whole thing.
“Baby?” Korede said when she was too shocked to say anything.
“Efe do you really want us to get married?”
She turned to look at him. Shock written all over her face. He dropped the question without waiting to think about it. He needed answers. He needed a way out of this predicament. Probably if they were united in their decision not to get married they may have a fighting chance to get out of the situation their fathers were putting them through.
She licked her lips. “Elm . . . I told my father we didn’t need to get married.”
That was all he needed to hear. “Great! Together we can form an alliance and get ourselves out of this mess.”
She nodded and went back to what she was doing.
He heard her sniff.
“Babe you okay?”
“Yeah, it’s just the onions.”
He had missed the signs. He had been blind to her real feelings for him all the while. Daniel sighed and stared at the divorce papers in his hand. Efe had sent it over with a note saying she had made up her mind and she wanted the divorce. There was nothing he could do now. He had tried his best to get back together with her but it seemed he had missed out on his chance to do so. He let his thoughts drift back to when her father had asked to meet him to discuss the wedding.
“I asked you a question Daniel. What are your intentions towards my daughter? A year ago we had decided on a wedding. And now? It seems you aren’t sticking to your word.”
Daniel shifted on his seat. “Sir, in all honesty I had every intention to get married to Efe this year. But I’ve also had time to think it through, and Efe and I want the same thing . . .” He quickly added so it wouldn’t look like he was the only one with the same thought process.
“Efe and I feel we shouldn’t get married since we don’t even love each-other as people who want to get married should. We don’t want to be forced -”Daniel glanced at his father who looked back at him in anger and faced Efe’s father again, “- into getting married when we don’t want to.”
“Who told you Efe doesn’t love you?”
Daniel’s face scrunched up to a frown. “Efe? Efe doesn’t love me sir.”
“Have you forgotten the crush she had on you when she was little?”
He chuckled. “Sir that was only a teenager’s crush. A crush fades away with time. . .”
Efe’s father raised his brow at him. “What if that crush turned to love, my son? What would you do?”
Daniel was at a loss for words. He hadn’t even considered that. Can Efe really be in love with me? He shook his head. It had been close to ten years since she had crushed on him. When she was twelve. “I don’t believe she is.”
Daniel had doubted Efe’s love for him. He probably doubted it ‘cause he wasn’t interested and hoped for it not to be true. He picked up his pen from the table and toyed with it between his fingers. He allowed one more stroll down memory lane to the day Efe had told him about her knowing he was the one for her and how he had treated her. . .
“I know I did what was wrong and I’m truly sorry. What you’re saying is hurting me.” Tears fell down her cheeks but her tears meant nothing to him.
“I think we should be separated for a while. It would give us time to think and know what’s next. I believe you are going to be posted to a far place for your NYSC, so Ulunma would be here with my parents and when you come back we can see how it goes from there.”
She was speechless.
He picked up Ulunma from the couch and kissed her forehead. He could never hate his daughter. She had no fault in this. He looked down at Efe.
“Pack your bags and go back to your father’s house.”
She dropped to her knees and begged for him to reconsider. Her words barely audible as she cried. But he was hearing none of it, so he walked out on her.
He sat up on his chair. It was true what her boyfriend had said. He had caused her enough pain and it was time to set her free. He signed the papers. This was it. Things between them were finally over.
Author: Temitope Ogunyinka
Temitope Ogunyinka, is a loving, caring and friendly person. She is passionate about impacting the world through timeless wisdom and knowledge found in her thought provoking stories and writing that applies to all ages. Her stories and articles cut across love, relationship and romance in a way that does not deny the relevance of God in our everyday life. She is a devoted christian, passionate about bringing people to the knowledge of God’s true and unfailing love.
Read More of my stories on http://www.lifegodandlove.com