And so we come to an end of SEPARATED. Makes me feel all mushy to see this end. Thank God for the inspiration. Thanks to hubby for all his support . Thanks to all the readers that embarked on this journey with me all the way from ‘Always One More Time’. God bless you guys. All Ghost readers please come out of your hiding place and drop a comment :). Feel free to share lessons learnt. Love y’all!
SEPARATED EPISODE 31- FINALE
Isaiah 61:3 KJV, To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Three months earlier . . .
He made a mistake. They both had. And it was too late for either of them to turn back. Amanze closed his eyes and rubbed the back of his neck. Why did he have to sleep with her? He wanted to blame it on the alcohol he had consumed that night. But then the alcohol he took hadn’t been so much to rub him of his senses. He was glad to see her and share a passionate moment with her even if it was the last. Whatever reconciliation she had in mind wasn’t going to happen now.
He opened his eyes and exhaled.
Memories of last night wouldn’t leave him alone. It was wondeful to have her in his arms. To breathe in her perfume and wake up next to her. But then no one knew the future would bring . . .
They are driving me crazy!
Adesewa wanted to shut out all the noises in her head. On one hand she had ideas she wanted for her own wedding but the mothers, both hers and Korede’s, seemed to have other plans of their own. And what was worse was they agreed on the same thing! It was supposed to make her happy that they were like-minds and would flow seamlessly together but Adesewa was concerned for herself and how they were going to push her into fulfilling her dream of running away with Korede to have a secret wedding where none of their family members would be invited to. Well, maybe her father would be there. They were just starting Marriage Counselling.
But then she knew Korede would never agree with it and sweetly talk her out of it. He didn’t want a huge wedding as well but there was no way they could avoid it. Both their families were well-known in the society and there was no way they were going to or wanted to hide it.
“Can’t they just take a break?”
Audrey chuckled and swallowed the roasted plantain and groundnut she popped into her mouth. “This is just the beginning. Better get ready.”
“They haven’t even asked me what I want yet.”
“Do they have to? It’s their money and they are ready to splurge on you. You are the only child of your parents and Korede is the only son from her first mariage. It’s going to be explosive. Oooh . . .” Audrey clapped her hands. “I can’t wait! Please don’t choose any yeye colour for the bridal party o. Choose colour that would suit my beautiful complexion.”
Adesewa rolled her eyes. “I can’t wait for it all to be over. What time are you picking Zainab?”
Audrey glanced at the time on her watch. “Like around five-thirty ish. Hopefully there won’t be traffic and we can make it back here on time. I don’t want to miss my soap opera.”
Adesewa rolled her eyes. “Don’t you get tired of all those fake romance those people have? They are all lies.”
“And so? Not all of them are. Besides who cares? I need the entertainment abeg. My love life is nothing to write home about. You know I ran into him at Dubai.” She looked away from Adesewa. “We sort of had something back there.”
Adesewa didn’t need to ask who she was talking about. She knew Audrey had always liked Dayo way before Funlola got into the picture. When Dayo and Funola broke up to get married to John, Audrey had expected they would finally be together. But things hadn’t gone as planned as Dayo still saw Funlola even aftwr she got married. Now. Funlola had changed for the better but Dayo had continued with his lifestyle. Adesewa had always known he wasn’t good for her friend. He was a womaniser and wasn’t willing to give up that title anytime soon.
“How did that happen? Was that why you travelled to Dubai?”
Audrey nodded. “Very silly of me. I just couldn’t let him go without trying first. We had been texting since he left Lagos.” She used a finger to clean a tear at her eye and chuckled. “I gave myself to a guy that cares nothing for me. He was just interested in my body. I was so stupid to think he could ever love me.”
Adesewa got up and went to her. She pulled Audrey into a hug. “Don’t beat yourself over it. At least you now know the kind of person he is and can move on with your life.” Adesewa rubbed her back. “It’s all going to be fine. Only God can give you the greatest love.”
Audrey opened her mouth to speak but it was then her phone rang. She reached into her pocket to get it.
“Hi Daniel. What?!” Adesewa mouthed at Audrey, asking what was wrong. “Funlola is in labour. I’m on my way. Thank you.” Audrey ended the call. “I have to rush to the hospital. She’s been in labour for a couple of hours.”
“Oh wow. Okay. I’ll go pick up Zee myself.”
“Keep me informed!” Adesewa yelled after Audrey as she ran out the door.
She picked up one of the numerous bridal magazines and flipped through it. Her mind not totally focused on it. Shewas getting married in three months to the man of her dreams. She allowed herself daydream a little at how the day would be.
She could hardly wait!
Present Day . . .
Efe held her daughter in her hands. Tears in her eyes. It had been a year already and she had learnt so much at her stay in Calabar. She remembered when God told her to wait on Him and rest in His love but she hadn’t. She had made mistakes. Costly mistakes that would have affected her being with Daniel if she had gone ahead with it. The night her sister came over she had stepped out to get phone credit so she could be alone and call Daniel. She had been pressed to call him and explain things about the divorce papers. She didn’t want him having the wrong opinion of her. She didn’t want to give room to the devil to put the finishing touches in destroying her marriage. She called the lawyer first to cancel the proceedings and then she called her husband.
That night they had spoken for over thirty minutes. Their conversation still gave her goosebumps. She had gone to a corner of the compound and sat down, happy she had her jeans on so no mosquitoes would dine at her feet.
“Hello?” He answered.
“Hi Daniel. This is Efe.”
“Efe? What’s up? Are you okay? Why are you calling at this time?” He asked, the concern evident in his voice. Her heart melted. Despite thinking she had wanted the divorce and giving her what she wanted without any question . . . He still cared about her. That was enough to give her the go-ahead.
She licked her lips. “Everything’s fine. How are you?”
“I’m good. I’m at the hospital.”
Her eyes widened. “Why? Are you okay? Is Ulunma okay?”
“I’m sorry. We are all fine. Sorry to scare you. Funlola is in labour and I brought her and John to the hospital.”
“Wow, that’s wonderful. I can call back later if you’re too busy to talk.”
“No, it’s fine. I’m not the father of the baby. So we’re good. What’s up?”
She swallowed hard. This was it. “I didn’t send those divorce papers to you. I don’t want a divorce.”
“What? What do you mean?”
Efe had explained what she thought happened even Amanze hadn’t said anything about it. Daniel remained silent a few seconds after she was done.
“Are you there?” She asked.
“Yeah. Hang on let me get to some place more private.” She heard him walk and a door close. “I’m here. I’m just dazed about it. Here’s a guy that loves you so much willing to do anything to keep you. Are you sure you don’t want to be with him? ‘cause I’m the guy that did everything to lose you.”
“But you aren’t the same anymore. Or you didn’t mean all you said when you came over?”
“I meant every single word. I love you Efe. I didn’t know what love was in my past but I do now and God is teaching me more and more. I want you to be my wife and I want to be your husband and father to the children we would have.” Efe could feel the tears gathering in her eyes. “I want to hold you and dance with you to a music that only we alone know. I want to be the man you prayed to God for. I want . . . Gosh I can’t say it all ‘cause I have a lot of things I want to do. But I promise you, God willing, that I won’t disappoint you and Eluwa.”
Efe shook her head. “Ulunma is fine. We would call her whatever you want.”
He had smiled. “Ulunma it is. I would take care of her and the other children God will give us.”
The tears were rolling down now. “I’m also sorry about what I did. I shouldn’t have rushed ahead of God and made us go through all this pain we went through.” It reminded her of how Jacob had cunningly taking his brother’s blessing when God already planned it out or Sarah giving Haggar to Abraham to have Isaac. “I should have waited.”
“We have all the years to make it up to eachother love.”
Efe smiled to her Ulunma and kissed her on the cheek. Both her father and Daniel’s parents were ecstatic at their decision to remain married. She looked up to see Daniel approaching the stage and she could literally feel her heart bursting with love for him. God had given them another chance as both individuals and as a couple. He was teaching them He was the God of restoration. He was showing them that there was nothing impossible for Him to redeem. Just like when it had to do with us as sinners and God sending His son . . .
“I made a mistake being with her. Kokomma just came that night and I had taken too much alcohol trying to ease the pain of letting you go. I don’t plan on getting back with her even though she wants us to.”
Efe didn’t know what to say. Shoud she be hurt at what he did? How easy it was for him to fall back to his old love? She searched her heart and there was a little pain. They had both hurt eachother. But there was soemthing more on her mind. “If you ever plan on getting back with her, I hope you do so because you love her or it’s God’s will and not ‘cause you are forced to since she’s the mother of your child.”
“How would I know if it’s God’s will? Isn’t love enough? Isn’t our having a son and me not wanting him to grow up without a father enough reason for us to be husband and wife?”
She shook her head. “It’s more than that Amanze. Marriage is more than just wanting to be together ‘cause you’re in love. It entails reflecting the image of God, fuilfilling purpose together. You can know God’s will if you’re His own. If you believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.”
He glanced at her then. “It’s not like I don’t believe in God. I make contributions in church when necessary, but . . . Reading my bible, praying for long hours,” He shook his head, “I don’t do those things.”
Efe felt her heart drop. “Why is that?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I just don’t see much of a big deal there. I go to church and I listen to what the pastor preaches. He’s already telling me what’s in the bible.”
“I’m sorry to say – you’re living in ignorance.”
Amanze frowned. “Ignorance like how?”
“Like you don’t really get to know the God you serve; to have a relationshp with Him. To get to know who you are in Christ and live a victorious life. It’s beyond religion. . . Way beyond religion.”
She suddenly felt gratitude in her heart for the kind of relationship she had with God. Being able to learn at His feet and chastised in love when she had done wrong. At that moment it was only God she had to help her with whatever the future would bring.
“I never thought much about having a relationship with God ‘cause I guess I just saw it as something too difficult to acheive. Only for pastors and the likes.”
She laughed. “No, it’s not. You can have a relationship with Him. Talk to Him and wait to hear Him speak back. Once He sees the effort you make He would surely help out.”
“Help out how?”
She told him how much God loved him and desired for a relationship with him. That He sent His Son to die for us all and it wasn’t for us to live life without knowledge of Him or acknolwedging Him as our Lord, Father and friend. God was good to them all. Too good. Amanze had made the decision to accept Jesus into his heart and seek Him out for a relationship.
Efe smiled. Thank You Jesus.
He had never thought he would hold a microphone again. But here he was with the whole congregation’s eyes on him. He caught John’s eyes and he nodded. The song, You Covered Me, by Dr. R. A. Vernon & “The Word” Church Praise Team was what he was to minister. It was a song that touched his heart so deeply. It expressed the exact way he felt and he was grateful to be able to be the one to render it. His heart was filled with love for God. Love for how far He had brought him. How much God’s love had been there for him when he was at his lowest.
Daniel raised the microphone to his lips and closed his eyes. He didn’t care if there were a few people in the crowd that were appalled at seeing him there. He knew people like Tamilore would be cheering him on and thanking God on his behalf.
I don’t wanna sing the latest song
I don’t want to percolate the crowd
I just want to make you smile
I don’t care who thinks I’m right or wrong
I don’t care who tries to calm me down
I just wanna praise you now
You covered me in the midst of it all
You love me, gave me another chance
You saw my needs when others saw my faults
You forgave me
Daniel felt tears in his eyes as he sang his heart out. His thoughts drifted to when he had committed the sin of adultery. He had almost ruined his life by being with another woman other than his wife. He had indirectly pushed his wife to seek solace in the arms of another man. God had been merciful to him. He had been playing with death all the while he was sleeping around.
He felt like the prodigal son who had come back to his senses. He didn’t need people patting his back or any good or bad attention that would come his way. He just wanted to please God. He just wanted to love Him and have a relationship with Him. His Saviour, the Lover of his soul.
I don’t have to listen for my name
They don’t have to walk me down the aisle
I just wanna make you proud
Should I make the hall of fame
Or they have a special seat
I just hope that you’ll be pleased
You covered me in the midst of it all
You love me, gave me another chance
You rescued me
I was going to fall, going to fall
You saved me
His mind went to Mitchell and how she had handed him the flyer inviting him to her church. She had been there for him every step of the way. He remebered how God had used her to teach him about love and forgiveness. Now he wanted to praise God. All Daniel could do now was give Him thanks for all He had done for him and his family as he rounded up the song.
So in my life, in my life
Be glorified, Be glorified (yeah, yeah)
You get the glory
You get the praise
You get the honor
I just want to say . . . Thanks
(I’ve come back to say)
Thank you’thank you Lord
Thank you (For everything you’ve done)
His heart was so full of thanks. The sounds of applause and people shouting Hallelujah resounded in his ears. He opened his eyes and looked at Efe and their daughter seated next to Funlola and her twins; Isaiah and Isabella. Isabella was a surprise to them. John couldn’t hold back the tears when he heard they had twins. Daniel looked back at Efe, his wife. They had been through a lot. Especially with the supposed divorce that had occured. He really had a lot to be thankful for.
God had taught Daniel something major and it wasn’t something he was ever going to let go. The church wasn’t filled with perfect people but with people who were broken and had been mended. People in the process of being mended. With people yet to be broken. It was filled with all sorts of people and the best thing was to pray for others to receive a touch from God, ‘cause it was Him alone that could bring about a change.
She blinked. “What?”
Mrs Ernest smiled at her. “God willing, I was able to get them to extend your work here. I heard your boss was pleased with how you handled her work and is more than happy to let you continue with her, especially since her former assistant had to resign ‘cause her husband got a job in another state. You can start after you give birth since she won’t be relocating until the end of the year.”
Pamela couldn’t believe it. God was showing her how faithful He was. She had spent days crying out to Him and asking for direction. After NYSC, it had been difficult finding a job and the bulge on her tummy was now obvious. She wouldn’t lie that she had doubted God in her darkest moments and found it hard to trust that He was still there for her. But she hadn’t known He was walking behind the scences and settling things for her. He had told her to cast her cares and burdens on Him but she kept some to herself because if she truly had she wouldn’t have been so worried.
Oh Lord, I’m sorry I ever doubted You. Please forgive me.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Yes, Lord. My faith was so little, but after today I would never doubt You again. Thank You Lord. Thank You Jesus.
She couldn’t wait to tell Efe the great news.
“How’s your mum doing? I can see she’s feeding you up nicely. See how your cheeks have become round.” The older woman teased.
Pamela chuckled. Things had changed over the last couple of months. Her father had finally decided to divorce her mother and it was funny how things had gotten better for all of them. She hadn’t heard from him since she last spoke to him to find out how he was doing. He hadn’t been happy to hear from her and told her outrightly. It was hard. Hard listening to him talk bad about her and her mother and God kept imprinting it in her heart to not be rude to him and love him.
She only prayed for him to come to the light.
“She’s always pumping me with food. I just don’t want to lose my figure. It’s bad enough that some of my shoes aren’t my size anymore.”
Mrs Ernest smiled. “It happens dear. I remember when I was pregnant with my own children. Gosh! I was always complaining about how I was adding so much weight and my clothes were practically shrinking as the weeks went by. My mother would tell me not to worry about it, that it’s a part of motherhood. My dear, I lost that weight as fast as I could.”
Pamela placed her palm over her mouth as she laughed. She enjoyed Mrs Ernest’s company a lot. The older woman was in charge of the youth group in church so Pamela had stopped being surprised at her ‘youthful exuberance’. Pamela was super happy she could work beside her and could see her at church on Sundays. God had used the woman to be a blessing to her. Pamela knew that whatever the future brought . . . She could handle it with God on her side.
Thank You Jesus!
They held eachother close as they danced to their song. God had been so good. Her business was still in the process of being birthed but all was going according to plan. Adesewa rested her head against his chest. She loved this man. She loved him with everything within her. But not as much as she loved God and was thankful to Him for bringing Korede her way. A man after God’s heart and had the desire to want to please Him.
The wedding had been glamarous! It was all she could have wanted and more. Adesewa let her mind go back to that very day. Her wedding dress had been specially made for her by a popular Nigerian Fashion Designer. It was modest, simple and gorgeous. Her makeup done by Zainab had been amazing. The look in Korede’s eyes said how good as she made her way towards him on the arm of her father. Touches of turquoise blue and lavender had beautified the hall. The reception had been filled with family and friends; Audrey, Zainab, Efe and Daniel, John and Funlola, Korede’s sister, Ezinne, and a whole lot of people she didn’t know.
But the crowd didn’t matter ‘Cause she had just the person she wanted to be with. . .
It was barely a week now that they were husband and wife. She had wanted the wedding to be at her church and had won that. Her mother had suggested their church but Adesewa didn’t want that. She didn’t want a pastor who barely knew her doing one of the most important thing in her life. She could still remember the message her pastor had preached at the wedding. . .
“I take my bible reading from two books in the bible. Genesis chapter two verses twenty-four. ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.’ And Ephesians chapter five verses twenty-eight to thirty-three. ‘So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.’”
He smiled down at the couple. “Marriage. It’s more than what we think. Most people enter marriage without knowing how much of a commitment they are making. It’s not like when you were in courtship. There’s no breakup. There is no option of divorce. Marriage won’t be comfortable all the time. There would be struggles, disagreements, ups and downs and either of you may want to call it quits.
“You are one. To be one flesh means they are together in unity. Together in spirit, soul and body. You cannot hate your flesh. As the two of you have become one, Korede you cannot abuse this woman you have made your wife. Physical, emotional, verbal abuse is out of the question. She’s a part of you and treat her with and in love.
“The both of you must remain committed to your love for eachother. This commitment is as demonstrated in God’s love for Israel when He told Hosea to love a prostitute that would cheat on him. Love is, if she stops loving you, you don’t stop. If he treats you unlovingly, you would love him. The both of you are one and you reflect this oneness and unity to others as your marriage is to reflect the image of God and give Him glory.
“And I want to assure someone here who may be going through divorce due to adultery, ‘Cause thats the only reason stated in the bible for divorce, that there is still hope for restoration. This also shows commitment in love. My final word is this, honour God above eachother. Marriage isn’t just about you guys. It’s about reflecting the image of God. Reflecting His love. Let the love of God abound in your hearts. . . With it you can conquer any storm.”
“You are thinking about the wedding again?” Her husband asked, carrying her away from her thoughts.
She nodded, eyes still closed and swaying to the music. “Mmm-hmm.” She sighed. She was happy to see Daniel and Efe together. But then. . . “I feel sad for your sister. She kind of looked . . . Lost. Sad somewhat.”
“Yeah, I noted the same thing. Oh well, I keep trusting in God for her. There’s nothing He can’t do.” He pressed his lips against her forehead. Just like what He did for our wedding.”
“It was beautiful.”
“Absolutely. But it’s not going to be as beautiful as the many years we have to love eachother.”
Adesewa opened her eyes then and pulled back to look at him with a smile on her face. “No, it’s not. I love you Korede Willams.”
He smiled and moved his head close to give her a kiss on the lips. “Don’t ever stop.”
Zainab jotted a few things down and raised the can drink to her lips. She knew there were a lot of things she was yet to know. But each day was an opportunity to learn. She was planning a trip to the north. All her life she had been a radical. Doing things the wrong way and going against her mother and whatever rules she never agreed with. She remembered Sonia then. Ever since the incident at the wedding they hadn’t spoken to eachother. Zainab only hoped for her cousin to come to Christ. There was always hope for a new beginning never minding the past. The scripture came swiftly to her mind, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. Zainab felt her new beginning was just starting. Now she was going to be a radical for Christ. He had done so much for her. She wanted to serve Him with everything within her.
Over the last few weeks she had been studying the book of Acts and other bible passages that spoke of Paul. It was interesting as one could relate with some of the people In the bible. In a way she could see herself in Paul. He was one willing to do anything for the sake of the Gospel. Just like she was. She wanted to share the Good News with everyone and anyone who would listen. She wasn’t afraid of what may lie ahead or the rejection she may face. She was going to rely on the Holy Spirit for directions. . .
“Are you busy?”
Zainab looked up at Audrey. “Not really. Just writing down somethings. What’s up?”
Audrey sat down and crossed her legs. “I need… I would like if you could tell me about this new found relationship you have.” She chuckled nervously. “I mean I’ve been going to church more than you have and don’t have what you have.”
Zainab smiled, joy filling her heart. “Its all about relationship.”
If this story ministered to you and you would like to give your life to Jesus Christ, say this prayer: Dear Jesus, I confess with my mouth and believe in my heart that you are the Son of God. Come into my life. I accept You as my Lord and Personal Saviour. Come into my heart and make it Your home. Thank You Lord, in Jesus name I’ve prayed, Amen.
Congratulations! You’re now born again!
If you said the above prayer please contact me @ [email protected]
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Bible Quote for the Day:
But to one who, not working [by the Law], trusts (believes fully) in Him Who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited to him as righteousness (the standing acceptable to God). Thus David congratulates the man and pronounces a blessing on him to whom God credits righteousness apart from the works he does: Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried.
Romans 4:5-7 AMPC
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