A Friend in Need (29)
“I’m not very good at story telling but I’ll try.” Tayo started, taking the centre position in the living room as we circled around him to listen. “It all started during one Sunday service in my second year; it was as if a sudden realization of Maria dawned on me. She had being in the fellowship all along and she’d being an usher too, but it was as if I was noticing her for the first time that Sunday. Honestly, it was difficult for me to concentrate on the remaining part of the service to the point that I had to caution myself and refocus on the preaching.
“The service ended that day and I went home thinking the feeling would go away. In unexplainable terms, my heart started yearning to see her again. I anticipated the next service more than my next meal. When I took it to God in prayer, I could almost feel the Holy Spirit sit beside me and was reading a recommendation letter about her to me. The more I tried not to think about her, the more I found myself thinking about her. My eyes began to open to certain things about her, like her dedication to God’s service, her love for orderliness, and her charming personality.
“Eventually, I can say, God won. I knew He was passing a message across to me and to ignore it would be self-deluding. So, after praying about it, I accepted that God was saying something to me about her concerning marriage. The day I surrendered to God, I experienced a peace in my heart that I had not had since the struggling began. It came to my understanding that struggling with the will of God takes away one’s peace of mind. It wasn’t that I disliked her, in fact, she’s beautiful and if I were to choose by sight, I would have chosen her anyway; the main issue was that I’d promised myself that I wouldn’t consider entering into a relationship until I was done with my Master’s Degree.
That sudden knowledge spurred up the emotional part of me that I began to feel a need for partnership—with her. The emotional connection was so strong that I thought God wanted me to get married at that instant, so I built friendship with her hoping it would lead somewhere one day. But as I tarried in prayer and meditation, I understood from the word of God that the vision was for an appointed time. Habakkuk 2:3 says ‘For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.’ I can quote it by heart today because I read it every day for many days.” He chortled.
“Back then,” he continued, “I wondered why God would reveal His will in marriage to me when He knew I wasn’t ready. But today I understand better.” He sighed, then continued again. “Acts 15:18 says ‘Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.’ The rest, as they say, is history.” He concluded.
As the self-appointed moderator, I turned to Maria and said, “Over to you.”
She smiled and answered, “I’ve already shared my testimony with Brother Tayo. Maybe he should share it with us.”
“No!” I protested. “We’d like to hear it from the horse’s mouth.” Others nodded in agreement.
“If you insist,” she shrugged, “I had no dream. I saw no open vision. I heard no still small voice either. I just felt an impression in my spirit that he was the one. Praying about it made the conviction stronger. Plus, he’s cute, brilliant, and spiritual; so I didn’t have any hard time believing that God was speaking. I’d known that he was the one about six months before he had his first thought about me.
I did have dreams about him but they were not concerning marriage. The dreams I had about him came during his internship, and they were scary nightmares. I knew something had gone wrong with his spiritual life and I tried to reach him on phone but he didn’t answer. I took it upon myself to intercede for him and as I prayed over those revelations, I understood a little of the details. That’s why I wasn’t so surprised when he told me about Tolani and Benjamin.”
Little Ben stirred in his sleep and opened his eyes at Maria’s mention of his name. I gestured to her to pause and allow Ben go back to sleep before she continues. The silence gave room for some meditation which was cut short when Tayo’s phone rang. It was Tolani.
“Hello Tolani.” He answered the phone and put it on loud speaker, perhaps showing us he had nothing to hide anymore.
“Hello!” Tolani screamed from the other end, “Mrs Okafor has been delivered of twins; a girl and a boy.” We all screamed with excitement and started singing praises to the God who had put an end to barrenness, while Ben slept on unconcerned. We sang till they returned from the hospital later that evening when we took our journey back home.
To be continued…