THE FIGHT FOR LOVE (A CHRISTIAN STORY BY DE-RACONTEUR)
“Should I tell her?”
“Should I not?”
I lingered and struggled for while in my room, not knowing what to do. I was finding it really hard to inform my mum that I had entered into a relationship without her knowing but I didn’t just know what kept pulling me back from informing her.
She used to be my very best friend but along the line, as I grew and graduated with a Masters in International Relations, and she wouldn’t sit still or stop asking ‘Who is the lucky man?’ when there was really no lucky man, I had to let our friendship bond slack a bit.
“You no longer talk to me! Why? Have you been told that I am a witch somewhere? Ehn? Mopelola, I am a child of God! I can’t do you any harm if you tell me things. Your secrets are safe with me” She had cried out one day and I felt really bad.
Being a quite reserved girl, I apologized and told her it wouldn’t happen again! I couldn’t tell her that it was her who had caused the severance.
But, the love of my life had proposed, I had prayed and given him a ‘Yes’ without even informing my parents, especially my mom! Ugh! I really didn’t do right!
I nodded affirmatively as my heart rose with determination.
“I have to tell her, NOW!”
I quickly wore a flowing, floral evening gown on top of the camisole and tight I was wearing, slipped into my flat footwear and moved out of my room.
“Lord, help me to be bold. Help me to be bold” I whispered silently as my once determined heart started thumping hard.
I looked towards the sitting room from my door and there sat my mum laughing hysterically, throwing popcorn in her mouth as she saw a scene from an ongoing soap on the TV. I sighed.
“Would this be the best time to tell her?” I asked myself. As I tried turning back into my room, I heard her voice from behind.
“Mo, any gist for mama?”
I turned to look at her and realized her eyes were still focused on the TV.
“Kinda. But you are busy mum. Maybe when you are less busy” I said and I there was a sudden silence from the TV.
“I have switched off the TV Mo, come here please” She said and my heart started thumping again.
“Help me not to stutter Lord” I muttered but another thing told me it was okay to stutter before one’s mum. It said there was nothing bad about it and I nodded in support.
Soon, my mum and I were looking deeply into each other’s eyes intently. I swallowed and smile uneasily.
“Mum, why do you look so expectant?” I asked and she started laughing, dusting off the pop corn particles on her wrapper.
“I am looking expectant because I am expectant now. Please talk to me jare” She said and I rubbed my cold palms together.
“Yes?” She said and raised her nose “You have started this your shyness again abi? Even in front of your mum, Mo? C’mon, I wouldn’t swallow you up”
“Right?” I chuckled “Mo, let’s start please” I reassured myself.
“I am all ears, all eyes, our nose, all everything. Go on!” My impatient mum said, dancing uneasily in the cushion.
“Mum, easy joor”
“Okay. I am easy now” She rested her back against the cushion but soon, she was leaning forward again. I smiled.
“Mum, there is this guy…” I started after summoning some courage and my mum’s face suddenly lightened up. I saw as she bent her head to conceal her delight.
“Mum, look into my eyes na” I said and when she did, she was blushing all over and her smile couldn’t be concealed.
“If you see my eyes now, you won’t want to talk again so let’s avoid eye contact abeg” She said, her smile, fitting perfectly on her face like it was plastic.
“Okay mum. There is this guy. His name is Emmanuel. I call him Emmy. He was the President of the fellowship when I was in school. He was two years ahead of me so we only knew each other from afar”
“Somehow somehow, we got talking well when we met at an alumnus’ wedding few months ago and from there, the Lord started speaking…” I had not landed when my mum jumped up and started dancing.
“Thank You Lord, thank You Lord, all I have to say, is thank You Lord” She danced, waved her hands in the sky for a while and thereafter sat down.
“Do you love him?”
“Ah, I love him so much o” I said and she smiled in a funny way again. I chuckled shyly.
“Does he feel the same about you?”
“Yes mummy. He even liked me first”
“Of course, you are my daughter. You are beautiful, intelligent, spiritual, calm, submissive and all an embodiment of sweetness. You are just irresistible!” She started counting and all I could do was smile.
“Mum, it’s okay nah.” I started smiling that she loved my news.
“It is not okay o. I have to express my joy!” She said like the typical Nigerian mothers would, gesticulating as she did. “You are my first daughter, your twin sister isn’t showing me any sign of seriousness yet but your girls are growing old. I happy for you, girl”
“Thanks mum! Thanks! But mum, I really want you to meet him. Even he can’t wait to…”
“I can’t wait to meet him too o.” She smiled really largely and suddenly stopped. “Isn’t it the Marriage Council of the church that should schedule the meeting with the parents?”
“Erm, yes mum. But according to how it is done in his own church, it is…”
“He is not a member of our church?” She asked, the skin on her forehead, knitting up into tiny, thin lines.
“No mum” I said, starting to feel uneasy with the look on her face.
“Ah! What church does she attend?”
“The Way of the Cross Ministry”.
“Ahhhh! This girl will not kill me o. What did you say? I have never heard that name in my life.”
“It’s a Pentecostal church like ours and…”
“Don’t compare it with ours my friend!” She shouted at me and I shivered like someone who had just received a life-threatening news. “If you go out now to ask people if they know ‘Bible Life Church and those who know ‘The Cross way…’ abi what did you call it, we will have virtually nobody knowing that church while there would be virtually nobody that doesn’t know our own church”
“Mum, that is…”
“Mopelola, you have not found a husband yet o! You said God was the one speaking to you right? No! It was not God! Go and hear from the Lord again!”
“You wanted me to get married and…”
“Of course, I do my daughter but I would rather you remain single forever than marry someone that is not from our church. Olorun ma je!” She said and my eyes shone in shock.
“Mum! Even when the Holy Spirit bears you witness that these people are His?”
“I have been a Christian before you became one!”
“I have had experiences, lived life, been a leader in the church even before I met your father! I know what I am saying. Mopelola, you have not found a husband yet! Look further for the real person!” She said with a finality and when I realized that I was going to burst into tears right before her, I stood up suddenly and started running to my room.
“Come out for devotion in five minutes o. Cry if you want to cry, na you sabi. I have spoken!” She still said after me as I ran into my room.
My heart felt so tired almost immediately!
I had never seen my mum as religious and denominational to that point! I had never even considered it an issue, otherwise, I would have started to pray about it from the onset.
I held my chest and wept! I didn’t know exactly what to do. My twin sister who was more outspoken was away at a Police Seminar in Kaduna, otherwise, she might have had something to say to me.
I fell to my knees and shook with totally encapsulating sorrow.
I couldn’t even imagine passing such information across to Emmy. I couldn’t!
At the thought of that, my heart gave way again and I sobbed really hard!
Soon, there was a heavily, loud banging on my door and the way it was being banged, made me run to get it at once.
“Who is it?” I opened and saw my mum’s angry face.
“You didn’t know when we started praying abi?” She looked deeper into my face and must have seen my tears. You were busy here crying that you didn’t hear the sound of our clap and even the sound of the piano? You didn’t hear the knocks on your door?”
“I didn’t mum. I didn’t” I said, quite weakly and she hissed, clapping her hand mockingly.
“Orisirisi! Come to the parlor o. Daddy wants to share the Word of the Lord with us” She said and started moving away.
“Okay” I said, picked up a silky scarf from my hanger, closed the door and started moving to the sitting room, my legs almost giving way.
“The Bible says ‘Love not the world and the things that are in the world…’ Yes! It is the Bible that says so and we have to be careful too. God has placed us in the church of God and yes, we are here to live in the confines of what God has provided for us in this church. We live, bear fruit and thrive here! Nothing ever should make us look out of the church, nothing, not even marriage! That is loving the world and the Bible says an emphatic ‘No’ to that” My dad ‘preached’ on and I shook from inside.
I kept wondering what mum had gone to tell him. They should have spared me their sermon. They should have. As they kept speaking, I kept getting really mad.
“How many churches do we have in the world dad?” I asked all of a sudden.
“You shouldn’t ask que…” My mum was interjecting when my dad raised his hand.
“Let her ask. I will answer all of her questions” He adjusted his glasses and frowned slightly “We have many churches in the world, Mo. It’s uncountable”
“You are wrong dad! We have only one church! We have several denominations but only one church! Many church buildings but only one Lord! We thank God for our church but that does not mean other churches are bad! I can’t overrule the fact that many so called ‘assemblies’ are springing up who are not members of the body of Christ, yet, we shouldn’t forget there are saints out there in other assemblies outside ours! Even in our church we have bad people, right?”
“See Mopelola, the beasts in our church, are better than the angels in other churches. Let that sink in! All this long English you are presenting will not work.” My mum added and coming close to me, she screamed into my ears “Daughter, love not the world!”
“Mopelola” My dad called out.
“Stay in the church!”
“I am in the church! I am in the body of Christ! Emmy is in the church; he is in the body of Christ!”
“I will never give my consent to anyone outside our own church”
“Dad!” I screamed like all my hopes had been dashed.
“See, there is no need for you to scream. I rebuke every power that wants you to make terrible mistakes and disgrace our family in the Name of Jesus. I reject it and I cast it out of your life in the Name of Jesus” Mum started in her dramatic way again and I could only sigh and shake my head lightly.
“But I don’t understand why you are both…”
“Sister Mopelola, I am a leader in the church! I will never be glad to have any of my children leave the safe room of my church to another place.” My mum said again.
“Emmy is genuinely born again! I am his convert! I stayed in our church for a long time, yet, I didn’t give my life to Jesus there. It was under his ministration that I …”
“No wonder! So, for converting you as you said, you must be his wife? That is the price abi?” She laughs while I looked on in shock. “In our own church, salvation is free!” My mum cut in again and spewed those words out. The words almost deafened my ears.
“And no wonder you are able to reject the words of your parents when the Bible says you should obey your parents in the Lord. When a child gets born again in our own church, she learns the whole acts of the Master, including obedience! You didn’t learn well from your Emmy” My dad said and my mum sighed deeply.
“I didn’t even know that you saw that side too my husband. God will save our children of nowadays from half-baked salvation!” She said.
“Mum! You are doubting my salvation now?” I asked, my lips quaking in total disappointment.
“I have counselled many children and they listen to my advice. Children that are not even pastor’s children like you, get married in the church! It won’t start from my head o. Lailai!”
“Mopelola, will you listen to me?” Dad asked and I nodded, sniffing wetly and sobbing really hard.
“We love you and we care about you. You love us too and you care about us. To prove this to us, you must learn to be obedient to us. You will reflect on your level of disrespect today, pick up your phone, call your Emmy and tell him you are no longer interested! He must have better ladies in his ‘Cross of Life’ or what is the name of the church again o jare? He should go for them and leave you alone. Okay?” He asked and I smiled sadly, tears rolling down my face. My throat had become dry that I had to swallow to lubricate the area.
“She can’t even answer, ah! If my gentle and meek Mo could suddenly look like a beast tonight because of so called love, that guy is not even worth it at all o. God, please save my daughter o” Mum cried out. I sobbed on as my heart felt like it would rip off into pieces.
“I have spoken! Let us share the Grace in fellowship” Dad said and they prayed on but I couldn’t bring my mouth to even utter a single letter of the prayer.
“Good night everybody” Mum greeted loudly.
“Good night” Daddy replied and I watched amidst tears as both of them left the sitting room and started climbing the stairs to their room as if nothing had happened.
My head that was banging wouldn’t stop. I assured myself to stop crying but I kept failing!
When I stood to start going into my room, I fell back into the chair. Eventually, when I stood up, I had to start groping at the wall till I got to my room.
Once inside my room, I rested my back against the door and wept even more. Afterwards, I dragged myself to the chair and brought out my ‘Testimony Journal’.
As I opened the pink cover and read on the testimony of my leading to Emmy, tears flowed.
“Are these all lies then oh Lord? Are these not true?” I started to weep again.
When I was done weeping and I had no strength to continue, I walked to my bed and jumped in it, covering myself with a thick duvet.
My phone started ringing and I checked the screen- Sweetness.
I shook my head as I realized my hand wouldn’t even stretch to pick the call.
“I don’t have good news for you, Sweetness. I can’t even pick up. I can’t” I wept on as Emmy kept calling my line severally.
When I was finally able to pick up the phone, I started typing a long message to tell him of what was on ground.
As I typed my ‘essay’ to him, tears from the two sides of my eyes and mucus from my nose made the top of my upper lip their meeting point; my heart and mind, shredding into pieces.
If not Emmy, then, who?
WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 2.
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