NOT HIS ‘YES’ (A Christian Love Story)
(Based on some true life stories)
Written By: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle
Lizzy: Lord, I ask that You speak to the soul about to read this story that such person may be charged and hear correctly from You what You want he/she to hear. Amen.
6/4/2013 (IN A RESTAURANT)
I looked into Dave’s eyes as he anticipated the answer that would proceed from my mouth. It had been two weeks since he proposed to me again and I knew those were the most pensive days of his life.
I smiled as I fumbled with the hairy twists that rested on my shoulders.
“June, are you laughing at me? Please be quick” He said hypertensively and I nodded. He blinked fastly and sighed numerous times. I could see that only one quarter of his buttocks was even sitting on the chair and I smiled largely.
“Dave, after praying, God has allowed me to say ‘yes’” I said, deciding to allow him calm down.
It was as if my answer was a bomb that had the capacity of blowing off mountains as his eyes widened suddenly and he jumped up, dancing and screaming:
“She said yes! She said yes!” Notwithstanding that we were right in the middle of a restaurant. All eyes turned to look at us and I couldn’t help but cover my mouth in happy embarrassment.
The relationship started. We had the introduction and everything. Courtship snowballed and it was wedding time…
10/10/13 (IN THE CHURCH)
“Please let’s be patient. Its long past the time that the bride is supposed to be here. Its already 10.30 for a wedding that should have started by 9. Please let’s hold on” The pastor said and dropped the mic.
Another pastor whispered into his ears and he looked shocked at first before standing to pick up the mic again.
“The reports reaching us now says that the car bringing the bride is faulty. Due to the hold up on the way, the driver passed a longer route and now the tyres are bad. The car we sent again from the church to help convey her has also been involved in an accident” The pastor said and the church became a marketplace as there rose up murmurings like an offering reaching the roof.
“Let’s keep praying for them instead of murmuring please. Thank you.” The pastor said again and the church became somewhat quiet though shock was written on everyone’s face.
Dave faced Collins, his best man and shook his head in confusion. Collins signalled for him to call her again and he nodded.
Dave picked his phone and dialled her number.
“Hello sweet, hello…can you hear me?” He asked as he bent his head to speak to her. June kept repeating ‘hello’ and it dawned on Dave that the network wasn’t favourable.
10/10/2013 (ON THE ROAD)
“Baba, how can two tyres be faulty at the same time? Isn’t there something to do?” I asked, very confused and sad.
I checked the time again and it was very late. The road was very deserted as our vehicle had stopped in the middle of tall and thick bushes. Every car I stopped either zoomed off without listening to me or stopped to tell me they weren’t going my way.
“I checked all the tyres before leaving home, sincerely. Even daddy inspected and we pumped the tyres before coming. I can’t place what could have happened to the tyres. I can’t” The driver said, beads of sweat forming on his face.
Tears had formed in my eyes as I muttered some words of prayers to God for mercy. I saw a bike approaching just then and I waved it down. I was glad that it stopped and even decided to take me to the church.
My dress had become so dusty and my hair was scattered by what was all those compared to the joy that would follow our wedding?
We hadn’t gone for more than five minutes when the bike also stopped- the tyre had burst suddenly. I was alarmed as I watched the deflated tyre immediately I disembarked from the bike. He started fixing the tyre too. I check the time- eleven!
Ah! I exclaimed and started crying. We had prayed against all forms of disappointments and what was this?
Soon, dad’s driver came again and I looked up with joy as I wiped my face. The jeep had been fixed!
My chief bridesmaid, Emmy helped me enter the car and pecked me comfortingly. I sighed and gasped for air to sooth my dry throat.
As Emmy was arranging my scattered hair again, the jeep stopped suddenly again- the four tyres had deflated.
“Please call the church if they can send another car” Emmy said, obviously disoriented too.
“My phone is dead. The last time I called the pastor, he said they had sent three cars already but one has been involved in an accident while we haven’t even see the other two” He explained and my head couldn’t stop spinning.
I picked up my phone too and it was dead! I thought it was 100% just now?!
“Let’s use the car charger then” Emmy suggested and I nodded. I had forgotten that option.
“Ah, I think the car charger was left at home o” He said after searching the whole compartments for it.
I had no choice than to jump down the car so he could repair the tyres again! I went under a tree and couldn’t stop crying.
“See dear, let’s pray. I believe that when we pray, something great will happen” She said and I relunctantly gave my hands to her as we started praying.
“Lord, why is all these happening? You know about this whole thing. You gave Your permission to enter this relationship, so why?” I started crying as Emmy started praying and suddenly grew very cold that she fell on her knees, still holding my hands!
I was used to having Emmy fall into trances and see revelations but why must it be today? Under this tree?
What’s all these??
“No!” I heard the familiar voice- the Voice God uses to talk to me. I could hear it from Emmy. But the voice was different from Emmy’s!
“No?” I asked and I heard it again.
The second ‘No’ brought me to my knees as I remembered fully well where I had heard that word spoken to me by God less than seven months ago.
1/3/2013 (IN A ROOM)
“Lord, its Dave. Its Dave I want Lord” I had kept on praying. I had heard that God grants the desires of a righteous man.
I had also read in my Bible that the effectual, fervent prayer of the righteous man availeth much.
What about the verse that said I should decree a thing and it shall come to pass?
“Dave Lord, grant my desire! Show me a sign about Dave Lord. Give me a ‘yes’ Lord” I kept praying.
“Joe. Not Dave” I heard and I covered my ears and wept bitterly.
It was the second time God would tell me ‘Joe’!
But Dave was just the best! Every quality that I desired in a man was all embedded in him!- he was a muscular, dark, tall, hairy, well spoken, well educated, independent, caring guy with a posh car, a spiritual countenance and contagious graces.
Dave, it must be!
I had never seen Joe as a husband material for me. We had been friends for a long time and I liked him as a friend- nothing more!
Joe was a very God-driven man who prayed so fervently. It was actually his spirituality that threw me off as I knew that marrying him would mean that I would become a pastor’s wife!- a role I would never want to assume!
I loved spirituality but not deep spirituality like that!
“Lord, Dave, Dave Lord!” I had prayed for the third time and I heard a bigger ‘No!’
As I gave the ‘No’ answer to Dave, he couldn’t bear it! He was obviously shaken and I wished he could see my heart- he could see that it wasn’t that I wanted to do wickedly but it was just God’s decision.
“God didn’t agree” I said and my spirit smote me that I hadn’t explained in the best way.
That I was supposed to explain to him that the Almighty God who knew us both and what was each best for us had seen the past, the present and the future of us and had said we wouldn’t be good together.
“But, you love me, don’t you?’ He asked and I blinked hard to avoid the tears.
“Of course I do” I said and the Lord ministered to me then that I should have avoided the question. I should never have answered.
“Then pray more June. Love is all that matters. You love me, I love you more, that’s all that matters. Why don’t you pray more? Why don’t you ask God again?” He asked and I sighed.
Love is all that matters only if the Love is towards God and not towards your body. If your body is what he or she loves, any change in that well graced body would send him/her packing!
A man that loves God genuinely will love you genuinely!
If you mary someone that cajoles you to forget about what you can hear God telling you loud and clear, you will be sorry afterwards!
Those were the things that God dropped in my heart after he had said it but I was intrigued by the love that Mr Perfect professed towards me that I couldn’t think right.
“Don’t you think you are being overly sensitive? The will of God is for Christians to marry Christians. There is no problem afterwards. Or do you also believe that God can tell you his name, show him his face or stuffs like that? As long as we are compatible, what else?” He asked and I frowned a bit.
Of course I believed that God can show me anything I want to know about the man He wants me to marry if I but ask but I just couldn’t say anything. I didn’t want him to call me a fanatic or stuffs like that.
“Immediately we get married, we are going to Dubai immediately. I can see that you love writing so well, see I will sponsor you! You want to be a professor, I will make sure you reach that height! Just say ‘yes’. Just pray again!” He said and I swallowed.
I had always heard about men who after their marriages to talented people end their carreers and ministries. Hearing from a man what every lady would want to hear made my tummy jump for joy.
Who else would provide me these juicy opportunities?
“Let me ask God for the last time and I would get back to you” I finally said and we left the amusement park that day looking so sad.
I got home, went on my knees and before I could even open my mouth to pray, very loud in my eyes, I could see ‘Yes!’.
I opened my Bible and the verse I saw was ‘…Yea and Amen!’
My sister came in that time, a song playing from her phone rung in my ears, my spirit, my soul- ‘I’d say yes Lord, I’d say yes, I surrender to Your Word, to the truth that I have heard…’
I rose up instantly and thanked the Lord for answering my prayers.
About a month and few days later, I asked that we meet at a restaurant where I gave him my ‘yes’.
10/10/2013 (UNDER THE TREE)
I started crying again.
What should I do then?
Say a ‘no’ when the wedding is here?
What about our friends and families that have gathered from all over the world to celebrate with us?
What about the foods and the drinks?
The souvenirs, the aso ebi and my bridal train?
How would my family and his bear the shame of a cancelled wedding?
Lord, how? Why? What way should I convey this to our families and to him?
When you get to that river, you will see that a bridge has been placed over it which will lead to a better day.
He said but I screamed aloud.
“Lord, why couldn’t You stop me? Why did You bring me this far to disgrace me? Why Lord, why?” I cried out at once.
Emmy had come back to her senses and was all over me, holding me and consoling me.
Sometimes when God is trying to put off some fire that had started in our lives, we bring fuel from nowhere, push Him off the way and set ourselves on fire till we have no choice again that to shout His Name!
I heard His Spirit speak to me but I couldn’t bear it anymore! It was just too late!
If it is not too late to turn away at the aisle, it is not too late to turn back from the road!
“Oh Lord! Oh no!” I struggled with my soul. As if Emmy could hear what was going on, she was crying profusely andrepeating ‘Mercy, Lord!’
‘The shame Lord! The shame!’ I cried again, feeling so frustrated. Catarrh had even blocked my nose. My eyes had shed so much tears that there was no more water in them!
“But I clearly heard a ‘yes’ from the Lord! I heard it!” I argued and Emmy came close and laid her hands on my shoulder.
“Balaam also heard a yes from the Lord. A yes which wasn’t from the Lord but from himself!” She paused and I sighed.
“After hearing a solid No from the Lord with the explanation that the Children of Israel were blessed and couldn’t be cursed by anyone, he still decided to ask God again after considering the lot of goodies that Balak had sent me plus the honorary positions he had promised him if he could only curse God’s children. He heard a yes then but it wasn’t the Good Will of God. It was His permissive Will!” She said and I was wondering why she was just telling me.
A closer look into her eyes made me understand that she wasn’t actually the one talking to me. She was the vessel God was using for me. I was sweating profusely.
You have set up your idols in your heart and put the stumbling block of your iniquity before your face before even going on your knees to pray to me! I the Lord answered you according to the multitude of your idols!
I remembered those verses in the Bible (Ezekiel 14:1-4) and I shuddered as I cried to no avail. I looked up at Emmy and nodded. I walked up to the driver who was cleaning his engine-oil stained hands and smiled ruefully.
“This car wouldn’t start” He said dejectedly and I smiled again.
“The wedding has been cancelled” I said and he gave me a look as if to ask if I was crazy.
“During the reception, the pastor can conduct both the wedding and the luncheon together. Don’t worry. God understands why all these happened” He said and I nodded.
Only Emmy and I knew how God had dealt with me under the tree.
I entered the jeep which started immediately the key was turned and I sighed. It was then I realized that it was God that had been stopping the cars and the tyres like He stopped the ass that was conveying Balaam to Balak.
To think that I had gone through 6 months courtship with the wrong man!
10/10/13 (IN THE CHURCH)
As the car pulled into the church, I met the dull stares of everyone.
Weren’t they excited to see the long awaited bride?
Or was my gown too dirty?
I continued to walk down the aisle by myself with Emmy closely behind me.
All eyes turned to look at me but turned back to either shake their heads, shed a tear or two or bend their heads silently.
My dad wasn’t even at the way to lead me in.
Could they be mad at my lateness?
How do I now tell everone that I wouldn’t be able to go on with the wedding now after seeing them this sad?
I looked towards his parents and mine and their heads were bowed down. I looked to the front and my pastors were seated gloomily, their Bibles clutched to their chests as if they knew what time the rapture would sound and they wanted to be ready when the trumpet sounds.
There was pin-drop silence as I stood before the altar.
I turned to look at Dave and his friend where they were seated and his eyes were so red from probable tears. I was getting crazy.
“What’s happening here?” I asked so loudly that my voice rung throughout the congregation.
“June, do you take Dave as your lawfully wedded husband, to love and to care, to cherish and to honour in health and sickness to the Glory of God till death shall do you part?” The pastor asked and I swallowed.
What kind of question was this when I could see that all wasn’t well with everyone in the church??
What should I say?
“Lord, teach me to talk” I prayed.
“No!” I heard Him say again and I nodded.
I looked all around me and couldn’t find answers in anyone’s face. I looked at Dave’s face and saw fear and sorrow as he seemed to plead with me. I was dumbfounded.
Something must have happened here while we were away.
As I turned to look round the congregation of well dressed people, I suddenly felt dizzy, my eyes became so blurry, my head became very light, I dropped the bouquet I was holding and ‘gbam’ to the ground I fell.
10/10/2013 (AT HOME)
“Bring me some water. Check my room for an inhaler and ventilator too and bring them very quickly!” I could hear my mum’s voice from afar.
The last time I remembered, I wasn’t asthmatic!
“Lord, what’s happening here?” I heard Emmy’s voice. I seemed to squint and racked my brain.
I couldn’t fathom what was going on.
I felt as water was being sprinkled on my face and as the inhaler was about being forced into my mouth, I opened my eyes slowly and looked around questionably.
“Praise the Lord!” Some women shouted, clapping excitedly.
“Halleluyah!” I saw my friends shout in response, happily.
I tried to sit up with the help of some of my friends and stared at the crowd in my room.
“As the wedding ended?” I asked and some burst out laughing while my mum burst into tears.
“The devil has failed ooo! Ah, on the day of my daughter’s joy, see how he tried to pour sand in our garri…ah! Shame on you satan oooo!” She cried and waved her hands swiftly in the air.
I sought for the answer to my question in everyone’s face but they all looked so happy to see me up again.
I looked to the other side of my big room and found my wedding gown, well arranged bouquet, shoes, clutch, wristwatch, undies, furry fan and other accessories for my wedding on the bed and I knew immediately!
I had been in a trance!
It was a vision!
“We all slept yesterday after the bridal shower and this morning so that we can start taking pictures shap shap before going to church, we woke you up early to no avail! Its been over an hour now that we’d been trying to waking you up. So its a testimony that you are back to life my darling” Emmy said and I looked deeply into her eyes.
Didn’t she know what had happened?
I smiled with tears in my eyes. How do I burst the bubbles of these people by saying ‘No wedding’ now, Lord?
Most time, I give you people a chance to obey Me in private but you disagree. You don’t only disobey me in the private but you take the disobedience to the public and get disgraced before everyone!
I heard Him say and I rested my back against the pillow, my head aching badly. I could hear people cooking downstairs. The excitement of visitors around greeted my ears too.
“Oya, help me lead her to the bathroom so she can bath and start getting ready” Mum said and I cleared my throat.
I needed to tell everyone now!
“Mum…” I was about saying when the door opened and I saw my parents-in-law and some of his family members come in. They entered with an aura of sorrow that I quickly smelt.
“Ki lo sele?” My mum jumped up in fear. My dad entered too and all eyes faced my in-laws.
My heart started racing.
Could he be dead?
“Ah!..Lord, it was I who heard You and insisted on going on. Don’t kill him Lord!” I prayed silently.
“We want to have a word with the Olaronbi’s family. Please every other person should leave?” One of my in-laws to be said but my impatient mum waved the question aside.
“Say it. Do you need anything? Everyone here is a relative. What is the matter?” She asked and my in-laws to be all went down on their knees and bowed.
We all exchanged questioning looks.
“I am sorry for raising an irresponsible son!” Dave’s father started and there was murmuring at once. Everyone stopped again almost immediately to continue listening.
“Come in Peculiar” He said and a young, beautiful, pregnant lady entered.
“Tell us what you came to say to us today” Dave’s father said to the lady and we all turned to look at her. She started in a British tone.
“Dave is married to me. We got married two years ago in the United Kingdom and we have two children. This is the third pregnancy. I heard the information of another wedding two days back and I had to fly down to Nigerian instantly” She explained and I smiled sadly as I shook my head.
My blocked nose gave way and light stream of mucus streamed down my nose which Emmy quickly wiped away.
“We never knew of any marriage or children. He didn’t tell any of us. We are sorry” His mother added and I blinked my tears out as I breathed heavily.
I watched as my mum sunk into a cushion close to her and raised her two hands to her head.
“Mo daran!” (I am done for!) she cried out.
Some of my aunties had started crying.
“That’s not all o” Dave’s elder sister said, tears streaming down her face.
Three young ladies came in, all pregnant!
“We were to get married immediately I give birth to this child. I am seven months pregnant” One said and I was dumbfounded!
“I didn’t have it in mind to come scatter someone else’s wedding but I felt discussing this after you both are married will be evil. I am five months pregnant for Dave!” The other lady said.
“Ah!” Everyone in the room exclaimed. I chuckled sorrowfully.
“I am carrying his baby too. Its eight months old” The last one said and I breathed loudly, pulling the blankets tightly to my chest.
It was unbelievable!
“We have asked the boy concerned and he has said that all that these ladies said is true. We know the family is highly disappointed. We are in shame already too. Please we ask that you forgive him. Forgive us” The father asked as they bowed lowly the more and I couldn’t help but smile ruefully as tears streamed down my face.
“That’s wicked. Omo yen wicke…” My dad was saying when he fell down flat. He was quickly rushed out while my mum faced my friends.
“Help me hold her, e joor (Please) Nitori Olorun (For God’s sake) comfort her for me. I will be back” She rushed her words and ran after those going away with my father.
As my friends held me and spoke sweet things to me, I couldn’t help but smile.
“Just help me thank God” I kept repeating.
If God hadn’t pitied me and had mercy, I could have gotten into the marriage before four heavily pregnant women would surface to say these things.
Who knew if they were even more than four?
I would have only found out that my ‘tush’ Dave was promiscuous, unfaithful and far from God!
Five months, seven months pregnancy showed that he was still sleeping around those times he was pestering me and even during our courtship!
“See, I just want you ladies to learn from me today! I am supposed to be a spiritual lady with sharpened spiritual senses but as you can see, I was as blind as an unbeliever!” I said and some of them started crying.
“For talented children of God whose minds are rested on God, the devil knows their marriages will create heavens where he wants to create his hells, hence he would fight tooth and nail and wait at different junctures for such children of God to destroy the essence of their coming together.” I said again, talking to them but reminding myself of what the Holy Spirit had taught me before my engagement to Dave.
“The devil could wait at the juncture of marriage, at conception, at childbirth, at children training, at other very sensitive spots to stop that glory from shining! Ladies, let’s be watchful!” I said as I taught them from my woes!
“Talented, gifted, spirit-filled, glorious-futured brothers and sisters need to be extra careful while about making choices of who to marry, what job to take, where to live, just prayers at every point of our decisions! Making decisions by sight or by taste would only land us in problems!” I paused again to swallow the spittle that had gathered in my mouth.
“The very things that look so good and perfect should be checked and rechecked. It might feel like God and be very far from God!” I said and people nodded more here.
“The biggest lesson to draw out here is this- If He has told you ‘No’ before and you ‘successfully’ turn it to a ‘yes’ by too much pestering, wait for the unexpected to happen because you have just received His permissive will like Balaam did!” I concluded and looked at the very sad faces before me.
I tried to make them feel good!
“But for His mercies my dear ones! Who says He doesn’t love me? Just this close and He delivered me? For real??!! He loves me!” I screamed it out and started laughing.
“Don’t leave it in dear. Let it out! Cry.” Emmy said and I chuckled as if I didn’t know what she was talking about.
Suddenly, it dawned on me that the repercussion of everything that had happened would be bigger outside the door.
My visitors would return to their houses sadly!
My friends who had been screaming on my timeline and Whatsapp statuses that ‘Today na Mama J’s day’ would be disappointed!
Everyone waiting for my pictures would be shocked!
Different Whatsapp stories would emanate from what had happened to me, encouraging everyone to look before they leap citing the example of ‘one lady’ they know!
My life experience would be used to write stories that everyone would ‘hmmm’ about!
As the realization dawned on me, a mighty shaking ran through my veins and bones so much more that my eyes couldn’t contain the tears anymore!
“Oh Lord!” I screamed out as I wept uncontrollably, pulling the bed spread round myself and rolling severally on the bed till I had no more strength to move!
I was so full of regrets and sadness yet with gratitude that God delivered me from the mouths of the lions!