Written by: Lizzy Oyebola Oyekunle
Is that not Dr. Oladejo?
As I alighted from the taxi that had conveyed me to the SmallVille Kindergarten School (SVKS), looking up, I saw someone who looked like Dr. Oladejo in front of The Special Lodge and I was dumbfounded!
I had just spoken to Glory and she had told me her father was still very ill and in bed!
How could the man that was dying just two weeks before, walk so hale and hearty on his two legs in SMC?!
“I thought he and Prof. Bello don’t agree!” I thought so quietly as I walked briskly to the Kindergarten School.
Earl suggested that Somto be brought to SMC so we could all watch him grow better and I did so. He enrolled him into SVKS by himself and Somto started becoming fleshy and all healthy again.
As I approached Somto’s personal class (Since he was secluded from other children so he wouldn’t infect them with whatever ‘disease’ he had), I heard a baritone voice sing from inside and wondered who it could be that was with my son.
“Somto” The voice called
“Les” My baby replied, obviously meaning ‘Yes?’
“What is my name?” He asked
“Dati” Somto replied again meaning ‘Daddy’
My heart warmed up at that! – what a totally different man!
A man that could look pass my past and love me for who I really am even if I might not get married to him-such a great man is rare!
A kind of heat rushed through me and tears started forming.
“Lord, I want to do Your Will in marriage. Lord, be the One who will order my steps and give me what You want for me oh Lord!” I muttered from the depth of my heart.
“Lord, I don’t want my parents’ kind of marriage. I don’t want a marriage that is not in accordance to Your Will oh Gracious Father! Choose for me Lord. Please choose the bone of my bone and the flesh of my flesh for me my Father.” I swallowed and fumbled with my handbag.
“I know life will make sense, Your work will be easier and more fulfilling when You lead me in my marital life. Hence Lord, work it out in the Name of Jesus!”
“Chai, Lord I am grateful that You broke off the love I had for Cole out of my heart. It was actually a selfish, ambitious love, just to get what he has and use it for my family.” I shut my eyes firmly and wrapped my fists into balls.
“Lord, the feelings I am having for Dr. Earl, if it is Your Will, purify the love and perfect it. If it is not Your Will Lord, let me not even see any good in him or what he does or says anymore from today in the Name of Jesus. Amen!”
“I love you my son!” I heard him say again and tears rushed into my eyes anew.
“Ai yob you dati” My son replied and I smiled, sniffing as I did.
“I can smell mummy” Came Earl’s voice and I knew I had been caught. I sniffed in the tears that was gathering in my insides and straightened my chiffon skirt. Entering the classroom, Earl beamed a large smile at me that made my knees wobble.
“Hello sir.” I muttered, trying to regain my strength.
I had never felt that way before.
“Morning Bev” He replied, his nice of teeth greeting me joyously. I gulped.
“Momi na dati” Somto started singing and we burst out laughing as I lifted him onto my laps.
“I love you my boy! Keep prophesying. Mummy and daddy! Sing it loud!” Earl teased. I laughed and shook my head as if I wasn’t enjoying it, though a permanent smile was etched on my face.
“Why are you here at this time of the day doc?” I asked, still trying to avoid eye contacts.
“I am becoming so used to Somto and he seems to love me so much too. I love to be here whenever I am free” He said and I nodded. It felt so good.
“That reminds me doc. Do you know Dr. Oladejo?”
“Sure. Your sponsor and guardian”
“Is he close to your dad?”
“Hmmm…maybe, maybe not. Why do you ask?
“You know, I left him really sick two weeks ago. He still sounded so feeble when I spoke with him five days ago. But today, I saw him entering The Special Lodge on his two legs with Prof. Bello!”
“The Special Lodge?” Earl seemed to rack his brain. He stood up almost immediately.
“Let’s go towards the place. I have a premonition that we need to be there. I think the Holy Spirit wants us to visit them. I don’t know but I feel it strongly in my spirit that we should move close to that place” He said, rushing his words like he was talking and swallowing hot noodles altogether.
“Somto, we will be back darling” I pecked him and he staggered back to his cushioned bed.
As we left, I saw his nurse walking back inside to meet him.
I kept wondering why Doctor Earl would want us near The Special Lodge!
Holy Spirit, what would You have us do here?
My heart kept beating hard as we moved to the back of The Special Lodge.
“Sir, what are we doing here?” Beverly whispered so quietly, her nice pink lips dancing as she did.
“Shhh…let’s be quiet” I whispered too, placing my right index finger against my lips. She nodded and carefully, we got to the back of the office. The window was opened slightly and we could hear some voices inside.
The Holy Spirit whispered and I racked my brain. I didn’t have any recording device on me except my phone which could even ring any time.
He said again and I frowned slightly, fumbling with my pockets as I did- it was there! – the recording chip I used in class during lecture. I had used it that morning but never did I know that I still had it in my pocket. I would usually keep it in my briefcase.
“Thank You Holy Spirit!” I whispered as I signaled for Beverly to wait behind while I moved to the window side.
“So, what exactly did you say you…” I heard the voice asking which eventually faded away as I pointed the recorder down into the office.
“Lord, make my hands invisible please. I don’t want to be caught here Lord” I prayed silently.
Suddenly, the window hit my hand and gbam! the recorder fell into the office. There was silence at once and I quickly bent down, using some leaves as covering, my heart racing vigorously.
I signaled for Beverly also to hide and she ran behind a tank house.
“I am sorry Holy Spirit. I failed!” I whispered, rubbing my forehead anxiously.
How could it have fallen?!
The men must have realized that it fell. They must have picked it up and- oh gracious me!
“The recorder has my name!” I exclaimed quite loudly, yet quietly!
When I heard their voices resume, I quickly stood up and ran towards the tank house, where Beverly was hiding. Her eyes brightened up.
“How far?” She asked. I sighed.
“The recorder fell inside and unfortunately it bears my name” I said and her eyes widened.
“That was why I said we shouldn’t go. Why are we here in the first place?”
“I thought I heard the Holy Spirit telling me to go. I must have been wrong” I said, sighed and waited for the Holy Spirit to say “No you aren’t wrong” but I didn’t hear His Voice.
“Let’s go now sir. We will come back to retrieve your recorder when we can” She said and I nodded, even though I knew that The Special Lodge was only meant for my dad and he only held the key.
Getting it back would be a miracle!
I felt quite uneasy as we walked back to SKVS and I wondered why.
“Hello mummy, this is Beverly”
“Oh my darling, are you here already?”
“Yes ma. I am at the gate”
“Okay. Press the doorbell and tell the gateman to lead you up to Flat B, the main building” Mrs. Bello said and I nodded like she could see me, dropped the call and walked up to the gate to press the bell.
Dr. Earl had pleaded with me two days before to go to their house and spend some time with his stepmother as she was lonely with no child or even her husband at home.
It felt weird at first but when I thought about her as being the mother to my friends and roommates, I decided to go.
“Oh darling Beverly!” The beautiful woman in her early fifties rushed at me and drew me into a very close embrace as the door to the main building opened.
We were in the embrace for a while and I really loved it as I wafted in the sweet savor she exuded. I had never been hugged by a woman that sweetly, not even by my mum!
I moved into the elegant house and I was stunned!
The high-end look that greeted my eyes when I entered into the elegant house was absolutely amazing! Not to talk of the wide crown molding and the baseboard trim of the roof and walls.
“Come with me darling. I specially asked all the workers in the house to take the day off, leaving only the gateman” She said as she settled in one of the elegant couches.
Whenever I entered SMC, the feeling that took over me always said that I had left Nigeria and had landed in one of these developed countries!
SMC is heavenly but The Bellos’ is heavenlier to the extent that I wondered how gloriously blinding the beauty of Heaven would be.
“Oh…I am so happy to meet you mummy” I said, placing a large overstuffed green pillow on my laps. She smiled.
“I am more blessed to have the lady two of my children are really dying to have under my roof” She said and I blushed.
“I really do not know what they see in me that much ma” I joked and we both laughed out loudly.
“And mummy, I am really sorry about everything that has befallen a number of your family members.” I said and she smiled.
“My dear, we have a lot to discuss. I have a lot to teach you also.” She paused and readjusted herself on the couch. “Any woman who is married without any knowledge of God and the knowledge of the devices of the enemies has already failed in that marriage!”
“I married and felt it was all I needed to do! I forgot that immediately I get married and start having children, my battle in prayer increases!”
“Wooow! I am seriously learning ma” I said and she burst out laughing.
“I have a strong belief that my family is coming alive my dear so don’t let me bore you with the sad tale the devil wrote about us! Things are already being realigned by God for us!”
“Amen! I strongly believe momma”
“So, let’s move to the kitchen. I wouldn’t know what you will like so I didn’t prepare much.” She stood up and I followed suit. “I have some grilled chicken, Gizdodo, catfish, some pepper soup and what else sef?” She was saying as we entered into the kitchen.
I couldn’t hold myself as I entered into the well-lighted peach colored kitchen with so many gadgets and heavy duty, expensive-looking drawer knobs and pulls.
“This kitchen is too beautiful!!” I exclaimed and she laughed.
“We thank God my dear.” She said as I moved in, stepping triumphantly, yet cautiously on the well-polished hardwood floor.
“I hope you can find your way around the kitchen darling. I was in the process of preparing some pastries for Cole when you called.” She said and I nodded at the blank cheque I had to do as I wanted in the elegant kitchen.
Looking at the glassy pots and golden racks, I was really so excited than I couldn’t even feel hunger anymore.
“I can always have the grilled chicken you talked about ma. Let me help you with the pastries” I said and she smiled.
“God bless you my dear” She said and we got to work, sieving and mixing and rolling and cutting.
“Add a little sugar for me please” She said and I opened the transparent jar with the inscription ‘Sugar’
“Thanks dear” She said as she mixed on.
I covered the sugar jar and examined it very well.
“Ma, is it that there are no ants in this house? No matter how tightly I close my sugar, I will always find an ant or two the next day but there are no ants in here” I said and she smiled.
“That’s because this is airtight. No ant whatsoever can enter into it” She replied calmly and I nodded. I replaced the jar on the rack and returned to the working table.
“I just got an inspiration now.”
“Please share with me” she said humbly as the mixer went to work.
“The bowl which is airtight can’t be invaded by ants. But the careless bowl which even seems to be covered will still get ants in it!” I said and paused.
“That’s quite deep o” She said and I smiled.
“Be all overly enclosed in the Lord, let Him be all over you and you will realize that the ants can only try and try, they will never be able to penetrate.”
“And then, on the other hand, be indecisive about God. Loving God a bit and still giving room for Mammon, then see the invasion of millions of ants in your life!” She completed, nodding repeatedly as she worked on.
“Yes mummy. You get my point”
“Hmmmm…This is what happened to my life o. I was serving God but I hadn’t totally let go of some of these worldly things. Then, from the little space in the jar of sugar, there was an invasion, a mighty invasion and see, none of my family members, none except Earl is able to stand! Can you imagine?” She wiped her hands against the apron and shook her head, the veins on her forehead palpitating so badly.
“Hmmmm” Was the only thing I could say at the precision of her words. They were the exact things the Holy Spirit had dropped in my mind earlier on.
“Beverly, I have woken up! My family is hung up in the mid of life and death but you know what? They are coming back down to the fulfilment of God’s Will for their lives! I am now awake! No more dozing! No more lazing around!” She said so passionately as she started oiling some of the cookies pans.
I could feel the smoke!
I could feel the passion!
I could feel the downpour of anointing!
I stirred in bed.
Turning to look at the time, it was 12am.
And I could hear Mrs. Bello’s voice blaring prayerfully dangerously from her room.
I smiled instinctively and fell back into sleep.
The power of a praying woman!
After a while, I stirred in bed again and sat up. I had just had a very beautiful revelation and I was going to write it in my diary when I could still hear the passionate travailing from Mrs. Bello’s room.
I turned to look at the wall clock and it was 4am!
I picked up my Bible, tied a scarf on my head and rested my back against the wall for a while, placing aside my sweet dream for a while. I listened closely to the gentle, yet firm voice of Mrs. Bello.
Of course she had had enough!
“I know you devils work so tirelessly in the midnight and that is why I bring to you the Greatest Name above all names this same night!” Her voice travelled into my ears sending some electric waves down my spine.
“You are working darkness in the dark but I bring light into your dark works, hence, you are arrested in the Powerful Name of Jesus!” She cried out again and my heart started palpitating so loudly.
I jumped down from the bed and paced to and fro the room for a while, being seriously touched by the tireless travailing of the first lady of SMC!
“Who art thou that troubles my family? Oh the Lord of Host is disturbing you tonight!” She continued and my heart started thumping.
I could feel power!
I could smell the uprising of the golden incense of prayer and the glorious downpour of answers already!
“In the Name of Jesus! Every evil that entered into my family while we were asleep, yes, I can tell that we were careless, out of my family from today in the Name of Jesus!”
“Amen!” I almost screamed as if we were saying the prayers together.
“Because the Bible says, when man slept, the enemies came and planted the tares amongst the wheat and went on their way! In the Name of Jesus, I command every tares that had been sown amongst the wheats of my life and family to be uprooted, raked together and set on fire in the Name of Jesus!”
“Yes Lord! Amen!”
When I realized I was feeling sleepy even as I walked around, I moved to the bathroom, placed my face underneath the shower till I knew the water had dealt with the sleep.
I went on my knees and started shaking the sleep off my head.
If I would be a great woman, a woman of influence, I must be a woman of prayer! Sleep is an enemy of prayer!
“Brethren, I must tell you something today.” Earl’s voice came to my mind.
“Sleep will stop you from praying and praying will stop you from sleeping! That’s the fact! When you are delivered from sins, congratulations! There are some more monsters you need to conquer. One of them is sleep! Another one is food!” He had preached at a Bible Study the week before.
“Hmmmmm” I exhaled loudly as tears rushed to my eyes.
“The evil hands reforming my sweet home into a wilderness, Heavenly Father, break them off in the Name of Jesus!” Mrs. Bello’s voice rung in my head as I raised my hands as one who digs a shovel into a mountain of sand!
I was ready to pray!
I was ready for warfare!
Enough is enough!
Things must start changing in my life, in my family and in our situations!
“Lord, I will stay in the gap and I am tired of the many negatives Lord! I am tired of them!”
Looking into Cole’s sleeping face, I could only sigh.
Reports had it that he was only jumping after a meeting with Earl when he hit his hand and broke it.
How on earth!
“Devil, you are crushed!” I said under my breath when I realized the devil was already trying to attack my thoughts with worries.
The door to the ward opened and Beverly entered, looking all radiant in her flowery, silky gown and a small hat. She was holding a paper bag. Her face broke into a smile as she walked towards me.
“Hey mummy!” She called out and I opened my hands widely so we could have a sweet embrace.
“How do you do?” I asked as I pecked her softly. She smelt so beautifully.
“How do you do momma?” She replied too as she patted my back reassuringly.
“I am blessed this morning. Trust you are very very blessed” I asked and she smiled, settling into a seat close to my side.
“I had the best night ever yesterday!” She said and I smiled, wondering what good she could have experienced in our house.
“The way you prayed ehn! Oh my God! I woke up around 12am to ease myself, you were all soaked in serious agonizing prayers! I woke around 4am again and your tireless voice resounded in prayers! Chai! Your type is seriously rare!” She said and I smiled, looking into her eyes.
“You are so adorable!” I said and she blushed, looking shyly away while muttering a ‘Thank you’.
“Beverly, let me be sincere with you. If you can be a woman of prayer before marriage. I mean, if prayers can mean a lot to you before marriage, if you can learn the mastery of prayers before marriage, I can’t see any hurdle you can’t cross when you are married!” I said and she nodded.
“I am sincerely learning from you ma” She said and I chuckled.
“The young me was a very foolish, powerless woman who only depended on her intellects to work her family out. No wonder I failed woefully! The wisest woman on earth is not a woman with knowledge but a woman with knowledge and the weapon of prayer! That is the wise, virtuous woman!” I said again, each word pinching into me through my ribs.
I knew of a truth that if I had been a woman of prayer from my youthful days, life would have made a whole lot of sense!
“I am so thankful that you are now an example to so many generations!” She said and I smiled at the flattery. I hadn’t even done anything yet.
“Beverly, would you believe that it was when my prayer life woke up that I had more problems!” I said and she looked up into my eyes.
“Why should that be momma?”
“That’s prayer for you my dear! I started getting worried at some points before the Holy Spirit made me understand that the whole thing is like a construction process. You demolish the old structure and yes, it’s so painful to you. However, it is for a greater glory”
“Yes my dear, so when you start praying and things look much more difficult that they even were before you start praying, open to Romans 8 verses 18 and feel reassured” I said and she started pressing her phone- obviously looking for the chapter.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
“Hmmmm” She kept nodding as she repeated the verse over and over again.
“And you know what I will tell you now my dear, please keep it in your left hand. Don’t ever take it for granted.” I said and she turned towards me, looking into my face squarely.
“Whenever I look at you, I can see a glory! It is a crude, unrefined glory! There is something about you that the world hasn’t even seen! I can see it! No wonder the devil keeps trying to catch you!” I said again and she frowned slightly, obviously confused.
“The glorious should be more careful at the verge of marriage than any other! It is what determines what your life turns out to be and the devil hates that glory!” I said again and she sighed.
“I must be sincere with you dear. My sons love you. I don’t know if you love either of them but whatever the case, pray seriously and hear from God before answering any of them!”
“There are so many lies flying around now. Some people say you don’t need to take the matter of marriage spiritually, ah, don’t mind them o! The bad eggs of marriages we have cannot dictate to us anything contrary to God’s Word!”
“I am seriously learning ma”
“God bless you my dear. So, as I was saying, some will tell you that you can marry anybody as long as the person is a child of God! All lies! There is a general Will of God which says you should not be unequally yoked with unbelievers! The unbelievers here are not people of the other religion alone! Many unbelievers are even in the church!”
“Yet, there is a specific Will of God. This is where God reveals who the person is. The person who will help take you to Heaven! The person who will live out with you the real and original purpose for which marriage was created”
“I personally believe that individuals need to get to some levels with God in prayers and commitment and they will see how friendly God is! He wouldn’t give His child poison! And He would answer any, just any question the child asks Him!”
“God is a friendly God!” Beverly repeated.
“He sure is. When one asks Him to lead one, He definitely will! If you desire that He shows you the future of you both together, He will show you! If you want Him to show the face of the person He chooses to you, He will show you! We haven’t received because we haven’t asked! We should keep asking till our joy is full!”
“Hmmmmm…until my joy is full and even overflowing!”
“That’s the spirit! Immediately we decide to not ask God for His leading in some or all aspects of our lives, we are declaring ourselves independent of Him and that in fact is a sin!” I said and she sighed.
“Marriage is a decision of a lifetime. People that are undermining the fact that God can reveal His Will in marriage to His children have in fact not known God! They preach total reliance on God and in fact, do not practice it.”
“Gideon was called of God and before he answered, he asked for several signs from the Lord. If it is Your Will, let dew fall on this fleece and not touch the ground. God answered. He squeezed the fleece dry and asked that if it was God’s Will, He should let the dew fall all around the fleece, but not touching it. The Lord did so! It is not faith or ignorance when you ask God for signs!”
“Woow! That’s in the Bible?”
“Study Judges chapter 6 and you will see the experience of a man that knew how best to tap of his Heavenly resources with the Father”
“Woow! I will study that. I will” She jotted down excitedly.
“What of Abraham’s servant? He stayed by the well and asked an impossible request. The woman who would come, give me water to drink and water for my camels to drink also, that shall be my Master’s son’s wife. The poor lady came and did the impossible task! I can only imagine how many times she had to deep the fetcher in the well to draw out water, feeding tens of thirsty camels while Abraham’s servant watched on.” I explained and she sighed.
“So insightful! It would only take a divine intervention to make such a young lady fetch such gallons of water to feed a stranger and his numerous beasts!” She said and nodded excitedly. She was obviously enjoying the discussion as I was also.
“God had to back the words of Abraham’s servant up. He is a God that doeth the impossible just to prove His divinity and the possibility and reality of that thing He has laid in our hearts”
“I seriously feel like praying now!” She said, sweat breaking out on her face.
“Momma, I feel like speaking in tongues! I feel like saying some things to God right now that don’t make sense to the human understanding” She stood up and started pacing to and fro the room.
I was inspired, mere watching her! I could see a soul that was ready to knock on Heaven’s door! There was something about her that I just couldn’t look away from!!
Such glory embedded in her, that shone so beautifully and brightly!
“I can feel something happening right now” She said again and fell on her face.
Soon, she had started speaking in unknown tongues, tears rolling down her face.
“Ah my Father!” She said sometimes, beating the floor hard, sweating profusely.
“Oh Lord! Oh Lord!” I kept waving to the Heavens when my spirit swelled up within me as I sang to the Lord God, speaking in tongues too as I did!
The room felt so charged!
Sitting before my reading table, I stared at the laptop for a long time, listening to a marriage sermon by Billy Graham.
Soon, some snowflakes started falling before my very eyes.
I looked on in shock and decided to be calm, my face still buried in my palms, the earpiece with which I was listening to the sermon, plugged to my ears.
“Come to me”
I heard those words spoken in a baritone voice, deeply in my ears.
Surprisingly, just covered in those snowflakes was Earl!
“What are you doing in the snow?” I saw myself asking him and he bent down to look into my eyes, tears in his eyes and a sweet smile on his face.
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” He said and stretched his hand to brush a straying twist off my face. The way it felt when his fingers touched my face was so tingling I had to come back to life!
Throwing the earpiece away, I stood up and started pacing to and fro the room.
“What’s all this Lord?” I asked, biting at my fingers noisily.
“Why am I thinking about this man? I am trying to get him off my head and he keeps popping up Lord!” Tears started welling up in my eyes as I moved around.
I wanted to get a message from the Lord as regards the issue of marriage. As far as I knew, I wasn’t any too young to know that especially when there were some people on my neck- and even in my own heart!
“Cole is very handsome, caring and jovial. He is not a child of God though and he doesn’t even know much about me, like I have a son” I said, settling down on my bed, racking my brain seriously.
Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; NOW it shall spring forth!
As I heard that in my head, I knew the Lord was already in the matter but my heart felt so disturbed at that verse of the Bible.
“Who is the former Lord and who is the new thing?” I asked like I did not know. It was at that point I realized that I had more feelings for Cole than I could possibly imagine.
Take the idols out of your heart!
Isaiah 46. The last part of verse 11. Read.
I was so amazed!
God had started speaking so expressly to me!
“Wooow!” I picked up my Bible and opened to the verse with immediate effect.
I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
“Hmmmmm” I nodded continuously as I saw the verse. Of a truth, the Lord is interested in all my affairs.
“God, You are interested in my marital life, huh?” I asked again, pacing to and fro the whole room.
If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him?
“Woooow! Lord, You are indeed speaking to me!” I suddenly felt a cold in my spine and weak in my legs that I fell to the ground in awe!
Call upon me and I will answer you!
“Hmmm…and You will show me great and mighty things which I knew not. Yes, this is actually too mighty Lord! It is!” Tears rolled down my face as I looked up to Heaven.
“Why would you choose me Lord? I am not qualified! I am seriously not qualified to have Dr. Earl. He is too holy! He is too nice! He is too chaste to have me! Who am I Lord that You would give me such gift?” I wept on, my head pounding as I did.
It is I, the Lord who qualifies the unqualified! What God hath cleansed, that call not thou unclean!
I trembled at the words!
The Lord knows me!
He cares about me!
He talks to me!
He keeps qualifying me!
And He gives me undeserved gifts still!
“Thank You Lord! But I have another request. If truly, Dr. Earl is for me. If he is the gift You are delivering into my hands, give me an anchor verse for our relationship Lord. What I will hold on to in the stormy days” I said again, clinging to my Bible.
I rested against the wall, my eyes shut.
Show me Lord!
Show me Lord!
Show me Lord!
I kept whispering in my spirit.
There was silence all around me and then, I saw a vision.
I saw myself crying so hard in a bush, holding on to my chest like I had been heartbroken. I started staggering off the path into a thicker green bush, not knowing exactly where I was headed.
“Help! Help!” I cried.
I kept staggering deeper into the bush till my strength failed me and I fell to the ground, hyperventilating.
Just then, I felt a cold rush in the wilderness where I was and when I tried to raise my head, I felt weak all of a sudden.
In my state of confusion and despair, I felt a shadow cover me and flinched as I opened my eyes to see the long, shining white legs of the person.
Beverly my beloved! The Glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.
There was another cold rush in the wilderness and when I opened my eyes, bent over me was Dr. Earl, smiling sweetly as he helped me up.
As we stood up, his hands on my shoulders, the wilderness cleared away and became a very large field.
There were so many people working on the field.
He held my hand and we started walking through the large field, people hailing and saluting us as we passed.
“Hail Boaz and Ruth! Boaz and Ruth!” Some chanted and they all burst out laughing.
“This case is Earl and Beverly, so hail Earl and Beverly!” One person intervened.
“Hail Earl and Beverly! Hail Earl and Beverly!” They chanted on and I turned to look into Dr. Earl’s face which was so full of calm and love.
I opened my eyes where I was seated and sighed loudly.
“Woow!” I exclaimed, rubbing my hands together. My head was full of the scene the Lord had just shown me.
What does the vision even mean?
My phone beeped and I picked it up.
I clicked on the message he had sent.
Morning Bev. Trust you had a great night. Read Haggai 2 verse 9. I think God wants to speak to you from there. The Holy Spirit just dropped it on my mind now. Shalom!
I raised my nose.
“He’s not even romantic at all. Lord, I really hope that as You are taunting me with his images and thoughts, you are feeling his head and heart with Beverly too o” I said childishly, pouting as I did.
As I rose up to pick up my Bible, it felt as if my heart would burst from the amount of love that had been imputed in there!
Of course, my beloved Earl is mine, and I, Beverly am his!
“Glooory!” I danced excitedly at the thought.
Sighting the verse before me, I blinked really hard to comprehend what was happening.
“What. Is. This?” I exclaimed as I wore my glasses again to be sure I was really on the right page.
I picked up the phone again to check the verse he had sent.
Haggai. Chapter 2. Verse 9.
“Wooow! Are you serious!” I exclaimed as I ran my index finger over the text like it could jump into my heart from the Bible.
The Glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.
How could it be?
The words the ‘man’ in my vision had spoken rung in my ears again.
Beverly my beloved, The Glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.
Oh my good God!
“Hasn’t the exam committee been fair enough? We aren’t shifting the exams any further. You people are writing your first paper next week Monday” Prof. Garba said sternly as I tried to beg for more time for my fellow students who had pleaded that I talked to the exam committee chairman to shift the time forward as the notes were too bulky.
“Sir, what I am trying to…” I tried saying again when he raised his hands.
“Do you know since when other faculties in this school have written their exams? They have finished the first semester exam two weeks ago! You people have only had series of oral exams and all. We’ve shifted your exams three times already. No more mercy!”
“Sir, the thing is…”
“I know you are personally ready for the exams so stop being a good Samaritan! Because the Bellos’ are having issues, you have been pushing this forward right?” He asked and then I sighed.
We all had reached a consensus that we wouldn’t write the exams until the Bellos got well.
Prof. Garba leaned towards me.
“I will tell you something now. This exam is organized and conducted by IMCEB. You know what that means?” He asked and I nodded.
“International Medical College Examination Board”
“Brilliant! They organize the whole thing and so we go with an international timetable. This year has been so different all because of some influential people! Think about it dear, does it make sense?” He asked and I sighed.
“It is well sir” I said and he burst out laughing.
“No need being diplomatic about this whole thing darling. These people, even after missing the exams for a year can fix it and get it done because of their influence but what of the members of your class that are not as influential as them? What of even you?” He asked and I sighed, nodding as I did.
“I get your point sir” I said and of course I did get his point. He was obviously saying the exact truth- I was extremely poor!
“So, just tell your classmates that the timetable is out. Monday, exam kicks off. If God helps the Bellos, they will be fine before the day if not, they have to use their long legs o” He said and I nodded.
I sent the timetable to everyone’s email right there and started walking out of the examination room when my phone rung.
Oh my! This insulting girl!
I hesitated a bit and then picked the call.
“Hey big sis!” She sounded so excitedly that I was shocked.
“How are you?”
“I am fine o. I have a gist for you”
“I am all ears”
“I am so sorry for the times I had been so bad to you. I called you selfish when I was just selfish myself. I didn’t understand the whole thing but you know what?”
I smiled as I listened to her- my prayers were being answered!
“Tell me” I said.
“I am born again! I mean, I have surrendered my life to Christ! I love Christ already and gave my life to Him three Sundays ago!” She said and I was dumbfounded.
“Tell me something!” I exclaimed as I settled in a gossip chair and listened with rapt attention.
“When you left and I remembered how badly I talked to you and how calmly you took it, I realized that a great change had occurred in your life! You looked like an angel when you wouldn’t take revenge of all the ills I targeted against you.”
“The Sunday after you left, I attended The Christ’s Fellowship Centre, close to our house and the pastor called an altar call after a powerful message. See sis, I felt like there was a big stone on my head, in my chest, in my hands, just everywhere! As the prayer was over, I felt so light and free”
“To cut the long story short, I started attending the church. Last Sunday, the pastor called to ask if I could help take care of an old grandma for a token per month. I agreed so I could manage that before gaining admission.”
I sighed, listening on, hating the suspense like craze!
“The grandma is a very rich one o. I would eat in the morning, afternoon and night, gist with grandma, make her meals, take care of the house and get five thousand naira per day.”
“Woow! Per day? That’s quite good”
“Five days ago, her last born in Jamaica asked her to come over. His wife just gave birth and he wanted his mum close by. Grandma started crying that she wouldn’t go unless I go with her o” She said and I smiled.
Of course Bailey was beautiful, gorgeous and hardworking!
“Summarily sis, grandma and I just came back from the embassy. We got a travel visa for now. They are making plans if I do well over there to send me to school there and be my guardian!” She said excitedly and my heart got swollen up with excitement.
“God is good! Woow! I am so excited with all these good news” I said, words really failing me.
“So, when Jesus comes into one’s life, He brings all the goodies with Him! Woow! Oh my God! Thank You Lord! Oh thank You Jesus!” She said and I started waving to the Lord.
“Baby, when God works ehn, He goes an extra mile! Just allow Him into your heart and you will see how many signs and wonders He will start showing you! But, the challenges increase too anyways!”
“I am ready to face any challenge o! I will defend God’s Name and I know His Name will defend me! When the enemy throws his darts at me, I will win because I am soaring on His wings like an eagle!”
“Wooow!” I exclaimed excitedly.
God had caught my sister too!
“That reminds me of a special song. It’s a song of confidence in God no matter what faces us”
“Teach me o. I have been learning different powerful songs in recent times” She said and I swallowed.
And I will soar on wings like eagle
Held by the Hands of God
I will run and not grow tired
When on His Name I call
For the Lord is never weary
His ways are beyond my thoughts
I will trust in Him with all my heart.
We kept singing, we gisted some more and realized that even my dad was getting all better.
The Lord that answers by Fire.
He is my God!
Jesus, we enthrone You
We proclaim You are King
Standing here, in the midst of us
We raise You up with our praise
And as we worship, build Your throne
And as we worship, build Your throne
And as we worship, build Your throne
Come Lord Jesus and take Your place
That song by Don Moen played across my flat from the home stereo as I mopped the floor. I snapped fingers, wriggling my head as I sang along.
My recorder came to mind at once and I paused.
“Oh my! That is so true!” I said, washed the mopping stick, dried it in its drier and walked into my room.
I picked my phone from my bed and dialed Beverly’s number.
“Good morning doc”
“Morning Bev. How do you do this morning?”
“How do you do?” She replied.
“I am very blessed”
“I am much favored” She said, a smile obvious in her voice. I smiled briefly too.
“Bev, you remember that day you saw Dr. Oladejo and Prof. Bello together?”
“Yes sir. Anything the matter?”
“What do you think could be the subject of their discussion? It just crossed my mind and I was thinking, what could they be discussing?”
There was silence for a while.
“Hello sir. I am so sorry but I have a visitor now. Let me call you back” She said and soon the call had dropped.
I sighed, my right index finger curved against my lips, thoughtfully.
What could they have been discussing?
“Are you sure that you don’t want me to serve you anything?” I asked Glory who looked quite lean than the last time I saw her.
“I am fine sis” She said and I looked at her, so worried.
“No chocolate, no candies, no cakes, no water, no juice, what then? What do you want?” I asked again. I loved it when people visit me and leave with numerous gifts.
“Nothing sis. I am fine actually”
“You are watching your height?” I teased and she chuckled.
“No joor, it’s my complexion I’m watching” She laughed. “I was going to a friend in this hostel and decided to check on you”
“That’s so thoughtful of you darling. We are just preparing for our own exams unlike you people that are done with yours”
“Ah, but what of the assignments and seminar presentations? SMC dey try mehn!” She said and I nodded.
“That’s vry true though. I can’t count how many tests and pre-exams we have written in my department” I said.
We gisted some more and as she was about taking her leave, I stopped her.
“Glory, how is daddy?” I asked and she sighed pitifully.
“He is worse from day to day o. He was on that bed till I left for school” She said and I paused.
“He has never left home since?”
“Can he even walk? So, how can he go anywhere?” She said and I shook my head, a doubtful smile on my face.
“I saw daddy few weeks ago with Prof. Bello.” I said and it was her turn to laugh.
“You saw him? Why didn’t you stop him then?” She asked and I paused.
“I saw him from afar.”
“You must have seen wrongly then”
“Ah, so you mean I would be that bad not to recognize Dr. Oladejo?”
“Do you know my dad more than I do? He hasn’t left home o. The man is seriously sick. You saw how feeble he was nah” She said and I shook my head.
“I did see him. Would I see my guardian and not recognize him?” I argued and she smiled.
“I really don’t know what you are implying but whatever the case, he hasn’t left home since his sickness started. Let me call my mum so you could hear from her” She said and dialed her number. Soon, it was ringing. They exchanged pleasantries.
“I am in Bev’s room.
“Oh, how is she? Is she feeding well?”
“I guess so mum” She said and winked at me.
“Mum, Bev said few weeks ago, she saw dad in SMC with Prof. Bello” She said and mummy started laughing.
“These days, a lot of people are just mistaking your father for someone else o. The man is right here, so bedridden that he can’t even lift his finger” Mrs. Oladejo said and I sighed.
How could it have been?
I saw the man in SMC the Monday before! I knew I did!
Or, did the person look so much like him?
I was raising a spoon of my well-milked Coco Pops to my mouth when my phone rang.
“Hi doc. Glory Oladejo, Dr. Oladejo’s daughter was the one that walked in while we were talking. Sorry I had to drop the call.”
“No problem dear.” I said and mopped my mouth with a serviette. “How is her dad?”
“Erm…I am actually so confused now. She said it wasn’t her father I saw that day. That her father never left the house. Her mum also confirmed that. Yet, my head keeps saying it was him I saw”
“Hmmmm” I said and started racking my brain, asking for the Holy Spirit’s direction and leading.
“I am thinking that his spirit was the one that I saw appearing to your dad. I really hope that doesn’t mean he is dying.” She said and I smiled.
“Oh really!” I said, waiting for her to say more. She did.
“You know Dr. Oladejo has always been against my relationship with Cole. Then, I have heard that when some people are about dying, they appear in so many ways to leave warnings that…” She was saying when I cut in.
“Can I be sincere with you Beverly?” I asked.
“Of course doc”
“We need to get that recorder! There is absolutely nothing else we need right now other than the recorder!” I said as a matter of urgency.
“Okay, so how do we gain access to the place when your father is the one holding the key?” She asked and I sighed.
“We don’t even know where he is hiding, you would have just gone to meet him for us and get the key subtly” I said, obviously teasing her.
“God forbid o! Don’t you know how much your father hates me?”
“I don’t think he hates you. I have never seen him go crazy about anyone in his entire life! You were a bone in his neck! I am so sure he got fond of you” I teased on.
“Continue to whine me o. Go on” She said, obviously catching me.
“I sent a message to the janitor maintaining the lodge not too far from The Special Lodge to contact me when Prof. Bello comes over to the place. He’s been updating me for some hours now but there’s been no news of him and the place is locked”
“I seriously hate suspense.” She said and I smiled.
“I think we can settle this in prayers. That the Lord should work it out in such a way that the recorder is still very intact and that we weren’t really caught that day. That the recorder should get to our hands according to His Will”
“Hmmmm…Amen o.” She said and I sighed.
“It is well. How is prep for exams going?”
“I thank God o. I can’t believe that all that’s been happening to me has happened only in the space of few months of coming to SMC!”
“I can understand” I laughed as we discussed some other things relating to our families and Christianity in general.
Peem! Peem! Peem! Peem!…
I could hear the patient’s monitor sound and slowly, I opened my eyes.
“Where am I?” I muttered
To my left, I saw an EKG machine and looking down at my hands, I saw different tubes connected to my hands.
I removed the oxygen mask that I was wearing and kept looking around.
As I tried to raise my head and sit down, I screamed as I felt an excruciating pain in my legs.
I looked down at my leg and realized my right leg had been hung, firmly held together with some heavy casting.
“What happened to my leg again?” Tears rushed to my eyes as I started trying to remember how I landed in the hospital.
As I tried to touch my leg, the pain rose up from my legs up to my hip and travelled straight to my brain.
“Yeeeeeeeh! I am in trouble!” I cried out, my head throbbing heavily.
Every movement I tried to make caused me so much pain.
“Who is there? Help! Help!” I cried, tears rushing out my eyes like a dispensing tap.
The door opened and a nurse rushed in.
“Oh my God! You are awake! Thank God!” She said and I swallowed hard, my nose getting blocked all of a suddenly.
“Remove this nonsense bandage! Remove it now” I cried as a matter of urgency.
“I want to sit up, so remove the cast now! I say NOW!” I thundered.
As much as I wanted to keep my voice down and take it all calm with her, the way I felt made me want to stand up and dish out some slaps into her face for being too slow and indecisive.
“Miss Ava, I am really sorry but I can’t take that off. I am…”
“Stop speaking English!” I cried out at once. “Stop your dongo turenchi and remove this nonsense!” I cried but she didn’t respond. I saw her dialing a number on her phone.
“Don’t call my dad o! Don’t call my…” I was saying when she came close and touched the cast.
I screamed, my voice almost deafening.
“Miss Ava, you want me to remove your cast and you are still crying this much! I find you impossible!” She said, obviously angry and frustrated.
“Yes sir. She is awake now…okay sir” She said on phone, dropped the call and slipped the phone into her pocket.
“Who did you call ehn? Who? Why aren’t you answering?” I cried out, so depressed. I knew I was being a dramatic patient but I felt the nurse was too short-tempered too.
As she only placed her hands on my leg to start removing the cast, I kept screaming, especially at how inhumane she was behaving.
The pain felt like a car door had been closed again a single finger of mine- it was maddening!
After removing the cast, as the nurse placed my leg down, I sat up instinctively and pulled at her collar!
“Yeeeh! Why are you this wicked? Why did you remove the cast?” I screamed aloud.
“Put a pillow under my leg NOW!” I screamed and the confused nurse ran helter skelter.
As the pillow got under my leg, I screamed again. It felt like my hip bone was coming out of its socket.
“Take the pillow away! Get me some Ice packs NOW!” I screamed again and soon, she came with some. Placing the ice packs against my hip and knees seemed to calm the thing down a bit but soon, I was screaming again!
“See Miss, I understand your pain but please just hold it in. You are a woman an…” she was saying when I started crying again.
“And you call yourself a nurse! Ah, can you even imagine what I am passing through, ehn? You think I want to be bossing you around like this too?” I asked, quite normally for a while. When the pain took a hold of me again, I pulled at the sides of the bed, travailing like a woman in labor.
“Get me some hot compresses. Take the icepacks away NOW!” I screamed again. Soon, I had the hot compresses on my legs.
“Put the cast on again! I can’t deal! Wear my cast for me again NOW!” I cried out again and the nurse paused, shaking her head.
“You are a very wicked somebody! I can’t deal with you!” She said and leaned against the wall.
WEAR. THE. CAST. NOW.
I kept screamed, pulling at her skirt every now and then. The door flung open and turning to look at the direction, my heart leapt for joy!
“Big bro!” I screamed.
“Smallie!” He ran close to me, hugged me against the bed and we wept together for a while.
“I miss you best friend! I am happy you’ve come around” He said eventually and I sighed for a while, though still gasping in pain.
“I am in pains big bro. What happened to me? And that nurse is wicked, so so wicked!” I reported. Big Bro smiled, facing her.
“What happened nah?”
“Remove the bandage NOW! Don’t remove it NOW! Wear it back NOW! Get me icepacks NOW! Get me hot compresses NOW! I was tired myself!” The nurse said
“As a medical personnel, you need to learn endurance, patience and love for your patient. You must have dealt with arthritis patients, right?”
“So, you should at least guess how terrible it feels. Her own case is even medically worse than any form of arthritis, so kindly treat your patients nice next time”
“Yes sir” She bowed slightly before him and turned to face me. “Forgive my negligence and ignorance Miss Ava” She bowed slightly again.
“Yeeeeeh!” The pain gripped me at once again and I pulled at Big Bro’s shirt till a button ripped off. He stood up at once, knelt beside me and started rubbing my hairline.
“What painkillers did you administer?” He asked.
“Darvon and Vicodin” She said and he nodded.
“Get me some corticosteroids and hyaluronic acid injections” He said and the nurse scribbled some things down on her note and jumped out in no time.
After the painkiller had taken its course and we were both alone again, Big Bro fixed his eyes into mine without blinking for a while.
My inside stirred.
What could it be?
“You trust me right?”
“You confronted daddy without asking the Holy Spirit, true?” He asked and I swallowed.
“You were really frustrated and decided to fight for God, right?” He asked again and tears started rushing into my eyes.
“You were embittered and harbored unforgiveness in your heart towards daddy, true?”
“True!” I broke down into tears.
“Ava, I need you to be very sincere with God at this point. I will explain to you why.” He said, went to the x-ray light and placed an x-ray film on it.
“Look at the state of your hip.” He said and I was dumbfounded at the destruction that laid before my very eyes.
“I am sure you can recognize what’s before you. Right?” He asked and I nodded.
“I can see an osteolytic destruction of my two femoral heads” I said, gulping really hard as I did. My throat getting filled up with phlegm, making it difficult to breathe well.
“You are right! You can see that the femoral neck is articulating with the acetabulum.”
“What is the solution to such things like this?” He asked and I shut my eyes in absolute frustration and a sorrowful heart.
“A total hip replacement!” I said and he gave me a thumbs up.
“Does it even make sense that someone with AA genotype and such a young age would have an issue like this? To me, it doesn’t make sense at all!” He said, walking back to me.
“Depletion of the head of the femur is common in sickle cell anemic people, old people, people involved in an accident and some other cases like that. Where oh Ava did you get this from?” He asked, looking deeply into my eyes.
“Why does God hate me so?” I asked and he shook his head.
“Why do you hate God so?” He asked and I swallowed, tears streaming down the sides of my face.
“I don’t get you!”
“Ava, at this point, I want you to search deep into your spirit, soul and body! I can assure you that God doesn’t do evil! When I started praying for you, I realized the devil has a legal standing in your life which he used to send those horrible sicknesses into your life!” He said and my heart skipped a beat.
“What is that beloved sin of yours? The beloved sin that you even love more than you love God!” He asked and I broke down in tears the more.
My secret had been revealed!
“See my dear, after a person has searched through his life and finds no sin that could have sent any sickness into his life, it could be God trying to glorify Himself in such situation! But when sins are found in every nook and cranny of such life, the devil will have a field day in such person’s life!” He said and I smiled ruefully.
“I know where I have fallen short.” I said calmly, my head throbbing with the subtle pain in my leg.
“Sexual sins! Secret sexual sins!” I said, my heart really failing me. “If Christ had come earlier, or if I had died, I would have gone to hell!” I wept profusely.
I couldn’t even look up at my brother’s face anymore.
I was totally shattered as the dread of the Lord who could communicate my very deepest fears to an entirely different person fell upon me.
“It will be nice for you to talk to God and ask for mercy! I have asked for mercy for you and God heard me. He brought you to life again! You need to fight the remaining battle yourself now!” He said, rubbing my hands as he did.
“If you confess your sins to Him, deeply regretting it and promising never to go into such sins again, the Lord is faithful my dear. He will answer you and grant you grace!”
“Big bro, I really did try fighting the addiction but it was difficult!”
“As the sins much more abounded, God’s grace multiplied! You just haven’t hated the sin enough! That oh Lord, grant me the desire to hate this sin! I want to hate it so much I will not taste it!”
“Hmmmm…help me Lord Jesus to hate this sin so much I will not taste it! Ah Lord!” I placed my hands on my head, my eyes, so weak from too much weeping.
“Baby, do you know what John 5: 14 says? I will tell you. ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you!’ That was Jesus’ statement to a lame man He had just healed.”
“Hmmm…” I shook with great trembling and terror.
“There is a connection between affliction and sin! Except God allows certain things to happen to a man as in the case of Job who was perfect, according to the Bible, afflictions could be symptoms of underlining sins! We have to break this yoke! By rising above your sins!”
I started laboring in pains again!
“Oh Lord! Have mercy on me! Of course, You have warned me so many times but I just wouldn’t listen…Father…” I started wheezing, gasping for breath as I did.
Big Bro. came close, rested my back against the pillow and was about to fix in an oxygen mask when I raised my hands in objection, weeping like that was what I knew best to do.
“Big Bro, let me struggle in breathing like this. Let me understand what death means! Who am I that the Lord of all the earth would care to know my name and would still have mercy on me to deliver? I am surely fine this way bro” I said and he looked so worriedly into my face.
“My baby, let me tell you something that you do not know about God. He forgives in advance! Just come close and mention it, like you would withdraw cash when you are broke and then you will be good to go” He said and I frowned slightly.
“I didn’t get that”
“You were sent a hundred thousand naira by your father and you squandered it. Unknowing to you, He has sent more money in your account, though the card has been seized. You need to come collect the card from Him, telling him you are sorry for wasting the last money sent. You will then make a promise to spend wisely from that time forward.”
“He will give you the card then, so you can make the withdrawal. If you keep punishing yourself and beating, slapping yourself, it doesn’t matter at all. You will find yourself in the mire again!”
“It’s His Will that all sinners should come to repentance. Just come as you are, take the card and withdraw the cash! The bill has already been settled by the Blood! It covers just so much that no sin is too big for It!”
“Micah 7 verse 8 says, ‘Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall rise again. When I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a Light unto me!’ Just rise up my darling! He is already right beside you! And He is ready to take your pains away”
As he spoke, something brought me up from my lying position and I tried coming down the bed.
“Your legs are weak. What are you trying to do?” Big Bro tried to stop me but I broke free.
‘They are weak to you but it’s all I can give God!” I said calmly, struggled down on my knees and resumed praying seriously!
I felt so weak and light-headed but as I went on my knees and later fell to my face on the ground, it felt reassuring. Like I could see the smile on God’s Face.
Like I could feel the warm pat from His large hands on my shoulder, welcoming me back home!
“If nothing oh Lord, I must thank You for welcoming me back home and I am sure that this phase shall also pass! Give me more sworn hatred for the enemy as I hate him every day! Amen!
“I am not happy with you” Bella said slowly, her lips white and cracked.
I picked her soft, weak hands and pecked them.
“I can understand how you feel my friend. I am really sorry. I came around here almost ten times but I wasn’t allowed into the Intensive Care Unit. I wasn’t, even though I tried.” I explained and she nodded.
“There are many ways you could have still shown me that you care” She paused and coughed. Mummy gave her a new handkerchief and she spat some thick blood into it. It was tossed into a waste bin close by.
I cringed at that!
“How do you feel?” I asked but she turned her eyes away.
“Don’t try to change the subject like you care” She said and I sighed. “You could have sent a letter through my mum. You could have plucked some flowers from the SMC Garden into a vase, no matter how cheap and send to me! That would show me you really care!” She retorted.
I went on my knees beside her quickly and pecked her cheek.
“Aren’t you scared you could contract a part of my unknown ailment?” She asked and I smiled.
“As I peck you, I send life that is in the Blood of Jesus to you!” I said and she smiled.
“Mummy, my friend has turned to a preacher o and I am kinda loving the revolution” She laughed and I smiled too.
“Has dad contacted you yet?” She asked her mum and there was still no response. I tapped her and she almost fell off her chair.
“Mum, what are you thinking?” Bella asked, looking really worried.
“I only need rest my dear.” Mrs. Bello said and blew her a kiss.
“What of dad?” Bella asked again.
“I haven’t been able to reach him. None of his friends know too.” Mrs. Bello said calmly. “I am sure the Lord is with him anyways. I can tell that it shall be well” She added.
“You asked how I felt right?” Bella faced me again. I nodded.
“I feel dead! Like I am seriously dying! All my insides sizzle every now and then as if hot drink is being poured on some raw meat!” She started crying.
“How can my legs be having issues that much, then my liver, my kidney and my heart at once? Ehn? I have started seeing some sad dreams already. I have started visiting grandma and grandpa. I feel at home in my dream. I love death! I wanna die!” She said on, tears strolling down her face.
“Ah Lord Jesus, what is this girl saying? Father what has come over her? Why is everything harder even as I prayed to You? Aren’t you even listening, ehn?” Mrs. Bello wailed and I sighed.
“Mummy, don’t say that anymore! The devil is trying to cheat you!” I said and she broke down into tears again.
“Forgive me Lord! I can’t believe I just said those words! I really can’t Lord. Forgive me” She wept on for a long time, Bella joining her.
I was stirred in my spirit and started singing.
It’s always darkest before the dawn
Don’t be discouraged
But carry on
He’ll not forsake you
Your sun will break through
It’s always darkest before the dawn
Soon, Bella had picked the song. She kept singing with all her heart and wept seriously as she did.
I prayed with her, shared the word of God with her before leaving there. That song remained in her mouth as I left!
“I found it!” Dr. Earl exclaimed and I walked closer to him.
The recorder was right on the window side from where it had fallen!
“Woow! The person intentionally placed it back on the window for us!” He exclaimed and I was speechless.
“How many minutes is the video?” I asked.
“40minutes” He checked and replied.
“Wow! In actual fact, the person must have intentionally allowed the whole thing to be recorded. Then, he or she stopped the recording and placed it on the window in case we would be back.” I said and he nodded.
“Brilliant! Because if it had been recording since the last time we were here, it should be over 300 hours” I said too.
We picked the recorder and started walking briskly to the car we had driven down.
I had been disturbed in my spirit to go pick up the recorder and I had to ask Beverly to join me and it was right there!
Who could have placed it there?
What could the content of the recorder be?
My phone started ringing and I reached out for it.
“Earl, what do I do now?” She was obviously crying and I had to stop in my tracks, Beverly stopping too, looking all worried.
“Bella was singing and praying with me when she suffered a heart attack!” She said and my head banged severally like a bouncing ball was inside it.
“Mama, is she still in the hospital over there?”
“Yes o. I am tired ooo” She wailed and before I could say anything, the line dropped.
I was about explaining things to Beverly when my phone rang again.
“Where are you?”
“Come to the teaching hospital now. Your father has been chanting your name. He just suffered a stroke” He said and I frowned slightly.
“We need to go Beverly” I said, picked her hand and we started racing to the car.
She did not even ask a single word! Very understanding and wise!
Everywhere seemed so dark as I entered the intensive care unit where my father was even though the lights were shining like the stars.
I plead the Blood of Jesus!
My father was surrounded by so many medical personnel and they were examining so many x-ray films. When I looked at the films from afar, I could see that his brain was in great danger!
Immediately the doctors saw me, they started moving out of the unit one after the other till it was remaining both of us.
The right side of his mouth was already sagging and when I lifted his right hand, it was weak.
I placed a finger in the almost withered hand and he couldn’t hold it.
“Father, where did you get a stroke from?” I asked, tears rushing to my eyes as he looked into my eyes helplessly.
“Bevyi” He said like a small child learning words. I had to rack my brain to get whatever he tried to say.
“Beverly? What about her?”
“Mawi kole” He said and I swallowed.
“But daddy, why do you want Cole to marry her? I don’t get you!” I said, obviously confused about the whole matter.
“Likoda” He said and I couldn’t figure that out. “Sesa lote” He added and I tried calculating the whole thing.
“Oh…recorder…special lodge” I said and he tried to smile, some spittle gathering as the sides of his mouth.
“So daddy, you caught us while we wanted to record?” I asked and he nodded.
“Wow! So, you stopped it after your discussion and dropped it on the window so we could find it?” I asked again and he nodded once more.
“We haven’t listened to it. Should we listen to it first?” I asked and he nodded.
“Alright then, I will be back” I said.
“Bevyi…” He said and shook his head vigorously.
“I shouldn’t let Beverly listen to it?” I asked and he nodded.
“Okay” I rubbed his hands. “Hang in there dad!” I said and moved to the door, to find out what exactly it was!
I knew that whatever the case was, the recorder was leading us to a particular destination.
Between my dad.
I knew I was in for surprises! I wouldn’t know what surprises they were but I was on my way to finding out!
The whole thing had to end!
I really thanked the Holy Spirit for leading me to record the whole thing. When the recorder fell inside, I didn’t know that all things were simply working together for our good!
As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the songs of God!
I smiled at that and threw a peck at the Holy Spirit!
Lead us Lord as You help unravel the whole puzzle before us! Amen.
(Watch out for the LAST episode!)
PS: The story is 30% Non-fiction and 70% fiction.
I hope you have learnt a lesson or two. Stay tuned for more lessons by the Special Grace of God!
Chai, I am really sorry this took a long time again! The last episode will come within this week by His Grace. It wasn’t intentional at all!
Each episode contains about a hundred pages that is why the story consumes a lot of time. Subsequent stories will be shorter so you can have them in fact, almost every day! Forgive me!
And remember, I love to hear from you, kindly leave me your comments below. I love it when I read from you- that’s communication!
I love y’all!