TEHILLA (A SHORT CHRISTIAN STORY)

Written By: Fortune Jacob

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The banging on the front door was persistent. Ronke wondered who could be hitting the door so loudly that ​early ​and how they managed to get through the front gate.

 

 

‘Where is Abdul, the gateman anyway?’

 

 

She tossed in the bed, trying to ignore the incessant banging.

 

 

‘Abdul can deal with whoever it is. Today is my ‘forced’ day off and ​I’m not going to let anyone or  anything take over it​.’ She thought to herself.

 

 

“Romoke!, Romoke! Romoke! Se o o ni si ilekun ni? (Won’t you open the door?)”  Mama Ore bellowed in her thick Ibadan accent.

 

 

“Not again!” Ronke groaned.

 

 

How does Mama Ore manage to come each time Eghosa is away?

 

 

How?

 

 

Why?

 

 

It felt like​ she had some sort of monitoring ​device ​to know when her husband would be out of the house.

 

 

“Romoke!, Romoke! Romoke”! This time her voice was louder than the first.

 

 

Ronke hissed and got out of bed.

 

 

“How many times do I have to remind her that my name is not Romoke? But she insists on calling me a name I don’t even like the sound of.” Ronke murmured to herself

 

 

Ronke stretched, trying to ease the knots on her back, but stopped midway ​when she felt a sharp pain​. The pain in her abdomen reminded her of the reason for her forced time off. As she tried to move, her headache worsened and threatened to burst her temples. The dizziness also returned when she started down the stairs. She stood for a few seconds to stabilize herself.

 

 

She opened the door to let in a petrified ​Mama Ore who pushed past her and eased​ herself into a chair.

 

 

“Romoke, today that is Monday, you are at home sleeping your life away. Eh, is this how you will give my son a child?” Mama Ore asked in Yoruba.

 

 

‘How does going to work help one conceive a child?’  Ronke thought

 

 

“Good morning maami” Ronke greeted

 

 

“That’s not the answer to the question I asked Romoke”

 

 

“Maami, I heard you the first time. I am off work today.”

 

 

“Off work? How many days a month are you off work? You are always not at work, abi are you ​gradually becoming a stay at home wife?”

 

 

Ronke could feel the heat rising to her face. She felt an answer form in her throat but knew the outcome would not be pleasant​ if she voiced it. She looked at the woman sitting in front of her ​and felt disgusted. The first day she set her eyes on Mama Ore, she knew the woman was trouble. Why her husband would give the woman continued entrance into her home was what she couldn’t answer.

 

 

“So Romoke, it has come to ​you ignoring my questions abi?​ O ti da be (it is okay). Give me something to eat.”

 

 

“Ma?”

 

 

“Are you deaf? Give me something to eat.”

 

 

Ronke hesitated.

 

 

How is she to let Mama Ore know that she is strictly on bed rest?

 

 

How can she best politely ​pass it across that she feels too weak to ​do any chores​ or cook?

 

 

How does she explain the pain in her abdomen that hurts so much that she sometimes feels like passing out?

 


Lord, I know I have been praying more for the fruit of the spirit, but this woman sure knows how to test all nine of them. Please make her go prepare something herself or better still, send someone in sooner.

 

 

“Alright, alright. I know my way to the kitchen.” Mama Ore suddenly ​said. Ronke ​looked up at her surprised, and heaved ​a sigh of relief and gratitude to God.​

 

 

That prayer sure got answered quickly

 

 

“Maami, I will be upstairs in my room.”

 

 

“You can go.” she dismissed Ronke with a look of disdain.

 

 

As Ronke made her way upstairs, she heard Mama Ore muttering.

 

 

“Five years of marriage and nothing to show for it. Everywhere is so clean ​because there are no children here​. Look at her ​watching ​her weight and looking so trim like she’s not bothered. Let Eghosa come home. I wonder why he is quiet about all these nonsense”

 

 

Ronke’s eyes were filled with tears. Tears of being misjudged and tears of the pain she was going through.

 

 

“If only this one had stayed” She muttered. “​If only this one had stayed.”

 

————————————

Eghosa (fondly called ‘Osa’ by family and friends) drove towards the gate. He had no intention of leaving his wife all alone because she needed him by her side for comfort and encouragement as much as possible but he needed to submit a proposal for a contract.

 

 

Turning into the Complex’s parking space, he stopped and parked the car. He grabbed a brown file and flipped through it. Just when thought that the content was complete, his eyes caught sight an envelope that didn’t seem to belong there. He pulled it out, instantly opened it and wished he hadn’t almost immediately.

 

 

‘Greenwich laboratories and radiology’ was written in bold red letters across the top. He did not need to read the content as it held what he already knew and had tried to forget- the diagnosis the doctor had given to him and Ronke.

 

 

They had gone to see the doctor after the second miscarriage and Dr. Ken, a man in his mid fifties with lovely looking eyes and a fatherly disposition, sat across the table from them and gave the diagnosis.

 

 

This miscarriage was due to an ectopic pregnancy. It was going to happen sooner or later. The fetus was growing outside the womb. And …..”

 

 

Eghosa got out of the car and tossed the envelope with the letter in it into the backseat. He felt fear beginning to enclose on him like a cloud. He did not want to relive the conversation because it shook every ounce of faith he had gathered for years.

 

 

But God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of courage, of love and of a sound mind.

 

 

Yes Lord, I need a sound mind, I need courage, and we need a miracle. He prayed silently.

 

 

Straightening up after some moment of pacing to and fro, he went in to submit his proposal.

 

 

———————-

Ronke waited for her husband to come home, it was more of an angry than anticipatory happy wait.

 

 

“How could he expose me to Mama Ore? For God’s sake, she’s not even my mother in-law.”

 

 

She exhaled loudly as she heard his car drive in.

 

 

Eghosa stopped in front of the door and felt for his vibrating phone. He had gone to submit a proposal on behalf of the company he and Dele his best friend shared. They had started the company 3 years after working for an engineering company owned by a Jewish man.

 

 

He looked at the caller, Dele.

 

 

“Dee, how are you?”

 

 

“I’m fine Osa, just checking on you and Ronke. Have you gotten home yet?”

 

 

“Yes, was about stepping in when your call came in.”

 

 

“Ok, in that case I will call later. Take care of Ronke, I will take care of the office.”

 

 

Eghosa smiled appreciatively. That was what he loved most about Dele. He understands, even with the little explanation he could give him.

 

 

“Thank you Dee.”

 

 

The door flew open before Eghosa could reach the handle. Mama Ore stood grinning widely.

 

 

“Oko mi kaabo (Welcom, my darling)” She greeted. wrapping her arms round him. “You came home early, Hope no problem?”

 

 

“Good morning maami.” He genuflected slightly. “No problem at all. Remember I have a company of my own now and besides, Dele is taking care of it.”

 

 

“Dele? which Dele? That ijebu boy? Hmm, Osa, open your eyes, that boy will suck you dry. Ahh. Aye mi! Is it until he finishes you before you will listen?” Mama Ore protested.

 

 

Osa sighed. That part of Mama Ore was not new to him- she was always trying  to bring someone down.

 

 

“Maami, Dele is a child of God and besides we are co-owners of the company.  We have been through thick and thin together so relax. It’s okay. Besides, I want to enjoy today with my wife.”

 

 

“Ahh, omo daada (Great child).” She smiled. “It’s ok then. Romoke is upstairs.  I told her to rest while I prepare food for her because she looked tired.”

 

 

“Why does her story sound false?” He thought. “Thank you maami, you mean Ronke is upstairs?” He emphasized his wife’s name. “Let me check on her.” He said, getting up before another conversation would begin.

 

 

Taking the steps two at a time, he hurried up the stairs to their bedroom hoping to find a sleeping Ronke but was surprised to see her wide awake.

 

 

She welcomed him dryly and looked the other way.

 

 

“Babe, are you okay?”  He moved close, eliminating any space between them and planted a kiss on her forehead.

 

 

She stiffened.

 

 

“Ki lo de? (What happened?)”

 

 

“Osa, did she give you money to pay for my bride price?”

 

 

Eghosa looked confused.

 

 

“What? Who?”

 

 

“Mama Ore.” Ronke answered

 

 

“Where did that thought even come from?” Osa asked, really surprised at the bouts of questions.

 

 

“Because she seems to have a say in my home. She comes here unannounced, takes charge like she owns the place. She makes some statements and they seem binding, and the disturbing part for me is that she’s not even my mother in-law. I am starting to think she contributed to this marriage that gives her the guts to have a say in it.” Ronke rambled in one breath.

 

 

“Remember what she said the day we went visiting mum at Auchi?” She asked again.

 

 

Ronke would never forget that day. She had gone to see Osa’s parents for the first time.  Mama Ore, who is his mom’s eldest sister, was there. Eghosa’s mom had fallen in love with Ronke  immediately, and on hearing she was an orphan, drew her even closer. A type of love she had prayed for.

 

 

Ronke on the other hand was surprised yet grateful, she would go back to tell her friends that such woman still exists. Earlier, they had filled her with fears by their horrible mother-in-laws tales.

 

 

“What if she doesn’t like you?” Nkechi her friend had asked. “You know how these mother-in-laws can be full of venom.”

 

 

“Not this one Nkechi, I have spoken with her on the phone and she is lovely.” Ronke had countered

 

 

“I asked God for a mother in-law like Naomi. One who would take me like the child she bore. One who would draw me close and teach me things my mother would have taught me if she was alive.”

 

 

“That’s a nice prayer but my dear after I heard what my coursemate’s mother-in-law did to her eh, I joined to pray that my own mother-in-law would be dead by the time I marry her son.” Nkechi had said.

 

 

“Nkechi!” The other ladies chorused in shock

 

 

“What a wicked prayer.” Bisi, another friend rebuked. “In that case your mom is on the line since you have 3 brothers?”

 

 

“God forbid? Nkechi shouted,  snapping  her fingers in earnest.

 

 

Ronke remembered laughing at her reaction.

 

 

“God forbid what? When you pray for someone’s mother to die, someone else would pray the same over your own mother.”

 

 

Nkechi became sober. “Honestly,  I didn’t think of it that way ah. God, please forgive me. Ronke, I key into your prayers jare.”

 

 

“Ehen, that’s the Spirit.”  Ronke had smiled. “Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue.”

 

 

“Babe! Babe!” Eghosa called, tapping Ronke gently.

 

 

“You were saying something.”

 

 

“Yes, the day you took me to meet your parents for the first time. Remember what Mama Ore said?” She asked and Osa seemed to rack his brain.

 

 

“I wonder, if she could see into the future because it’s exactly what is happening now. 3 miscarriages within 7 months after 5 years of waiting.”

 

 

“Aderonke, what is coming out of your mouth?” Osa asked in surprise.

 

 

He knew something was taking hold of his wife’s mind and he needed to deal with that fast.

 

 

“Sorry, but today those words came back fresh into my heart and I can’t help but wonder what Mama Ore saw in me that first time to speak into my life without any motherly love.”

_________________

 

Eghosa wanted to stop Ronke because he felt fear was getting a better hold of her. As he proceeded, however, there was a restraint in his spirit.

 

 

Let her speak, Listen to her, Let healing come.

 

 

The words were gentle, yet firm.

 

 

Let healing come. He relaxed as he felt the Holy Spirit was in charge. He would listen and let his wife find healing.

 

 

With this assurance, he encouraged her to continue talking.

 

 

“The first meeting of mom ( referring to Osa’s mom) was heavenly. She practically lifted me off my feet.” Ronke continued, smiling as the memories came flooding back.

 

 

How could Eghosa ever forget that?

 

 

He had taken Ronke to see his mom for the first time. Dele his best friend and Bisi Ronke’s friend had accompanied them. There they met Mama Ore, Eghosa’s aunt. She came to visit too.

 

 

As soon as they got into the sitting room Eghosa’s mom called Ronke away to the kitchen.

 

 

“Thank you for agreeing to marry my special boy – my prayer machine.” she said.

 

 

Ronke smiled.  “So you know that name, Ma?  That’s what we called him on campus.”

 

 

Her mother-in-law laughed. “My dear, among all my children, he was the only one I thought we would have to persuade or even coax to marry. He was practically focused on God and his books. Nothing else mattered to him. When he told me about you, I was overjoyed because…”

 

 

“God has already shown you.” Eghosa finished the sentence for his mom.

 

 

The trio laughed.

 

 

“Osa, please leave my daughter and I alone. Go and hang out with your father, friends, or your aunt.”

 

 

Eghosa turned to his mom. “You mean Mama Ore?” He asked, making a face. “No, thank you.”  He shook his head after his mother nodded in affirmation to his question.

 

 

“I will go talk with Dad.”

 

 

Turning to Ronke, she said “Tell me about yourself.”

 

 

Ronke spoke about her childhood and losing both parents while in secondary school. She described how she was cared for by a couple who were members of her church till they were killed in an accident, and how she was taken custody of by their pastor. She talked about her salvation and how she had met Eghosa during their NYSC year.

 

 

“Oh, my child!”  Her mother-in-law exclaimed gathering Ronke into her arms. “You have a mother now, and I pray that this relationship between us will be like Naomi and Ruth in the Bible times.”

 

 

Ronke was surprised. Wasn’t that what she had asked God for?

 

 

Ronke felt at home with the woman whom she could finally call mom. Eghosa’s mom went ahead to explain the dynamics of marriage to Ronke.

 

 

“Honey.” Ronke called, bringing Eghosa back to the present. “I wish mom will come back from the U.S. already. She has stayed for more than one year with Abies and her husband” (Abies is Eghosa’s younger sister residing in the US.  Eghosa’s mom had gone to care for her new baby).

 

 

“I remember what mom told me that day. She said as a woman, I am the gatekeeper of my home and my husband is the head. More than that, as a godly man, he becomes a priest and as a priest of his home, he is a man who hears from God and God hears from him concerning issues in his life and home. He becomes a man in charge spiritually, physically and in major areas of his family life” Ronke paused briefly and continued.

 

 

“She also said as a woman, that I am the gatekeeper of my home. Everything stops with me. I determine what comes in and goes out of my home. She said I call the shots. As a gatekeeper, I determine what door gets open and how wide, but that the job of the gatekeeper is much more than that. She determines who even comes near her gate. There is no unusual loitering around the woman who understands her place as a gatekeeper. She said a gatekeeper is a dangerous woman on her knees.”

 

 

“As I remember her words now, I ask myself how much of a gatekeeper have I been” Ronke paused, allowing her own words to sink in. “I can’t just bring myself to staying comfortably with Mama Ore after the words she threw at me that day”

 

 

Osa sighed as he watched his wife describe situations helplessly.

 

 

He could remember the evening very vividly. It would have ended on a perfect note that evening but Mama Ore walked into the kitchen and on seeing mother and daughter-in-law in an intimate conversation interrupted loudly.

 

 

“Jumoke ( referring to Osa’s mom), is this the girl that Osa brought home for us to see?” She had asked slapping her hands together in a derisive way.

 

 

“This one that is so thin, you can count her bones and intestine. This one looks like something that cannot even hold a child.”

 

 

“Osa!” She called called out to Eghosa. “Are you sure this one can give you a child? Think well o before you will be full of gray hairs without any children.” She concluded in her usual broken English.

 

 

“Sister mi!” Eghosa’s mom rebuked Mama Ore. “Please don’t talk about my daughter that way. She is my Wuraola, my gold. Osa and Ronke are for signs and wonders. They will enjoy their union in marriage. They will be fruitful, and they will excel.” Eghosa’s mom had declared vehemently silencing Mama Ore for the rest of the evening.

 

 

But that incident had left a sour taste in Ronke’s stomach even after Eghosa’s parents prayed over them and gave their blessings. Ronke could not shake Mama Ore’s words off her mind. She wondered why the woman disliked her so much.

 

 

Eghosa finally understood that a seed had been sown in the form of words over his home. It was time to change the tide. Although he had canceled Mama Ore’s words that same day, and encouraged Ronke not to take it to heart, he realized there was more to do. It was time to silence any and every tongue or occurrence that had taken hold of his home.

 

 

He turned to Ronke.

 

“You know I initially wanted to stop this conversation, but the Holy Spirit said to let you speak so that healing can take place. I think it is time for us to take our rightful places. You as a gatekeeper and me as the priest. However, we first have to make sure there’s no room for the devil so that the wicked one cometh and finds nothing in us.” Eghosa said and held his wife.

 

 

“We are going to take out any root of bitterness. Any words that have been replaced with God’s promises over our lives and home.”

 

 

As they held hands together and knelt to pray.They knew it was time to give the devil some licking of his own wounds. It was not a time to face Mama Ore or the diagnosis given to Ronke. It was time to take their rightful places as children of God and put the devil where he belongs.

 

 

Once the devil is bound, every other name fades away.

 

 

As they held their hands together, there was a shaking in the Spirit realm. Didn’t the word of God say:

 

 

One shall chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight?

 

 

It was so. As the gatekeeper and priest raised their voices to the Ancient of Days.

 

—————————–

The house was extremely quiet for days. Yet, Mama Ore couldn’t be at peace. She felt so uneasy at every corner of the house. A sudden fear was gripping her too.

 

 

Eghosa and Ronke had gone to see Dr. Ken. It would be the first time Ronke would be stepping outside the house since her last miscarriage. She felt lighter and at peace.

 

 

The meeting with Dr. Ken had gone on smoothly. Earlier, he diagnosed Ronke with Endometriosis which he explained as a painful condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. This tissue can grow in other locations like the intestines, stomach or ovaries. Sometimes, the patient may have painful periods, excessive bleeding and infertility are also possible.

 

 

Osa and Ronke had been surprised at the Infertility part since she had conceived thrice and miscarried.

 

 

“Ectopic pregnancies may occur which is what Ronke experienced. A fetus cannot survive outside of the womb so miscarriage happened.” Dr. ken added, answering their silent question.

 

 

As Dr, Ken gave them the available options for treatment- hormonal treatments, medications and/or possible surgeries, they weighed their options, asked him questions and received answers.

 

 

They had ended the session asking Dr. Ken to give them some days to think about this and decide which route they would take.

 

 

The ride home was extremely quiet. Each with his or her own thoughts, wondering and praying. The silence was disturbed when Eghosa’s phone rang.

 

 

He looked at the caller, it was the company he had gone to submit a proposal earlier.

 

 

After confirming his identity, the caller scheduled an appointment for Eghosa to meet with them the next day.

 

 

Eghosa ended the call smiling.

 

 

“What is the good news?” Ronke asked with a quizzical look.

 

 

“You remember that company I submitted a proposal to the other day? We were awarded the contract and this time to a German investor.” Eghosa broke the news to her.

 

 

“Wow! How much are we talking about here?” Ronke was curious.

 

 

“75 million Naira!” Osa answered punctuating every word.

 

 

“This is a huge one. Wow!”

 

 

“Hold on let me call Dele.”

 

 

He immediately dialed Dele and broke the news to him. Dele couldn’t hide his joy at the announcement. It was indeed a time of lifting up for them.

 

 

As they drove into the compound, Abdul rushed over to let them know that something might be wrong with Mama Ore.

 

 

“E be like say she dey cry. I ask am wetin make I dey cry, but gaskiya I no hear am for answer.”  Abdul explained in his Hausa baritone.

 

 

“It’s ok, Abdul, thank you.” Eghosa said and dismissed Abdul.

 

 

They found Mama Ore, sitting on the floor. As soon as she saw them she went on her knees.

 

 

“Maami, ki lo se le?” ( Mother, what is happening?)  Osa asked

 

 

“Ejo e da ri ji mi” She cried, pleading for forgiveness.

 

 

Ronke became afraid. What is she asking for forgiveness for?

 

 

“Are you diabolical?” Ronke asked impatiently, looking scared.

 

 

“Ra ra o!” She acknowledged, gesticulating with her hands in the air as she continued to speak.

 

 

“Eghosa, I have always been jealous of your mom. Her marriage is still intact and her children are succeeding. My own case is different. My husband is with another woman and my children go from one trouble to another, so I vowed to interrupt your happiness. I convinced your mother to stay with Abies in the U.S. as long as possible while I plant seeds here and there that will cause the home to be in disarray before she returned. But for some days now it seems that I am not myself. I am startled each time I hear movement.”

 

 

“Hmm.” Eghosa sighed and shook his head

 

 

Strangers shall fear and run out of their hiding places.  

 

 

Indeed, there’s power in prayers.

 

 

He proceeded to tell Mama Ore that no seed that is contrary to God’s promises can have an effect on his life and that of his wife because their lives are hidden with Christ in God.

 

 

“Omo mi.” Mama Ore called Ronke. “Forgive me.” She pleaded. “When I could have enjoyed you and be a mother, I was busy depriving myself of every good thing. Forgive me.”

 

 

It was a reunion and a time of forgiveness as the women wept seriously while Osa worshipped silently.

 

 

She prayed for Ronke and informed them that she would be leaving the next day.

 

 

Mama Ore had seen the Light!

 

___________________

It had been a few months since Ronke started treatment.

 

 

One day, she just wasn’t herself.

 

 

Unable to keep anything in her stomach, she had vomited four times that day. She left the office early and sent a text to Eghosa that she’s going home.

 

 

As she drove home, a sudden realization hit her. “I have missed my period.” She muttered.

 

 

“No way! Dr. Ken said it will take a while for this treatment to be effective. Could it be?…No!” She argued with herself.

 

 

She got home and grabbed her pregnancy kit. She tested herself and it showed positive.

 

 

She called Eghosa and left a message for him to meet her at Dr. Ken’s. She was confirmed pregnant and two months gone.

 

 

It was both an ecstatic and fearful news. Her previous pregnancies had not survived beyond three and a half months. They waited, they prayed. Eghosa’s mom later arrived to take care of Ronke. She waited and prayed along with them.

 

 

Four months passed. Six. Then eight and a half months. Ronke couldn’t believe it. She fantasized about one day holding this tiny little human. A part of her and Eghosa.

 

 

She had gotten up to use the bathroom one night and felt wet. She walked to the toilet as fast as she could but something continued dripping down her legs as she left the bathroom.

 

 

“Huh!” Ronke sighed. “I can’t even control my own bladder anymore.”

 

 

She tore off some tissue paper so she could wipe down but the fluid was a little too thick for urine and sticky too. As she bent over, she felt a dull pain in her lower back. She straightened herself again and leaned against a wall to rest and wait out the pain. But just then, a painful cramp started that worsened as the minutes went by. She screamed for Eghosa.

 

 

Ronke was rushed to the hospital that night.

 

 

Surprisingly the birth was easy. “It is a girl.” She smiled at Eghosa who had not had a minute of sleep. He had been praying over his wife all through the labor and delivery. As they took the baby to clean her up, Ronke noticed the whisperings and hesitations of the midwife and doctor. A strange sad feeling hung over the atmosphere. She saw the doctor whisper something to another doctor as they examined the child.

 

 

“Can I have my baby please?” She asked no one in particular.

 

 

They turned towards her with the tiny bundle.

 

 

The baby was not moving. Her eyes were shut. No sound came from the little one.

 

 

“I’m sorry.” The doctor began. ”I’m sorry about your loss. Your baby couldn’t make it.”

 

 

“We think she might have been stillborn.” He added. “I’m sorry!”

 

 

Ronke collected the child and laid it on her chest. The word ‘stillborn’ echoed in her heart.

 

 

Most of the medical personnel left the room soon after to give the family some privacy. The room quieted down. Ronke and Eghosa stared at the little one.

 

 

Ronke couldn’t cry. As much as she tried, no tears came but her heart felt shredded in pieces.

 

 

“Lord, why did you allow me to carry this one till term? It had been better if my hopes weren’t raised. I had dreamed of being a mother. I fantasized about holding this one. I even waited until now to see the gender of the baby.” She lamented quietly.

 

 

Even though he slay me, yet will I trust Him.

 

 

The bible verse came back to her from the book of Job. She was reading that two days before.

 

 

And Eghosa?

 

 

She couldn’t bear to look at Eghosa. The man had endured many things. He had been her constant support. His hopes of being a father once again had been dashed in pieces.

 

 

“I’m sorry” She mouthed to him without looking at him.

 

 

She felt his hands envelop hers and as it tightened, she knew he was praying.

 

 

Just a week ago, she had gone with Eghosa and Dele’s family for an official party. Eghosa and Dele had been invited to speak as the only company that won the contract. She was afterward introduced to the CEO and was surprised he was Jewish.

 

 

The man carried so much grace and gentleness. He introduced them to his wife and kids. A 4 four-year-old boy and a 6-month-old baby girl. Their little baby caught Ronke’s admiration and she wasted no time in asking to hold her. As the baby laughed and cooed, she imagined a day like it with her own child or children. She asked the mother for the baby’s name.

 

 

“Tehillah” The mother had told her.

 

 

“What language is that?” Ronke asked. “I love the pronunciation.”

 

 

“Thank you.” The new mother replied. “It’s Hebrew, Tehillah means Praise. She daily reminds me of God’s faithfulness. We called her Tehillah as a constant reminder of God’s love towards us.”

 

 

“Hmm, I love that name” Ronke gushed.

 

 

But then, her expectations were cut short- her prayers left unanswered.

 

 

How would she walk around without attracting pity from all who knew her? Just the day before, she was heavily pregnant and she had suddenly become childless.

 

 

She looked up at Eghosa who held her hand. Together they formed a hold over the baby’s back as Eghosa prayed. Though his words were not audible, she knew he was praying heartily. She also knew there is a possibility of a miracle.

 

 

Ronke closed her eyes. This time, her tears poured.

 

 

Even though You slay me, yet will I trust You, For Your love is better than life

Your Love is better than life

Your Love is better than life

 

 

She moved her lips quietly, repeating those words.

 

 

Suddenly, she heard a faint cry. Then another faint cry. It grew louder.

 

 

“That sounds so close.” Ronke thought.

 

 

She had been too overwhelmed by the desire to hold her child that had begun to hallucinate the cry of a baby even when hers was stone-cold dead and in her arms. She smiled sarcastically at herself.

 

 

Her thoughts were interrupted by another cry.

 

 

Eghosa loosened his hands from hers. She opened her eyes and looked at him. He looked ghostly like he also heard something. She moved the baby lying on her chest and realized she had been crying but the sound was muffled because her face was flat on her chest.

 

 

Ronke was still trying to come to terms with this reality when she heard Eghosa scream.

 

 

“She’s alive! She’s alive!”

 

 

He rushed to the theatre door, pushed his head halfway through the door and gave out a deafening shriek “Doctor!” He rushed back in almost immediately.

 

 

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Lord we give You praise.” Eghosa cried, jumping up and down in excitement

 

 

Ronke stared in shock. Her baby was moving and crying too. Then it suddenly hit her and she screamed the loudest “My baby is alive!”

 

 

The room was soon flooded by hospital staff and other patients and their caregivers. The baby was examined and was in perfect condition. Eghosa kept crying and so was Ronke.

 

 

Then she heard in her spirit.

 

 

TEHILLAH!

 

 

“Honey, I will call her Tehillah, for the Lord has given us reasons to sing. She will be a reminder of God’s faithfulness and love to us.” She said and Eghosa nodded in affirmation and began to sing.

 

 

I held my head in my hands.

And bowed my head to the earth

Not in worship but in shame

For all, I have imagined being

Were wiped away before me

As much as I tried to see

Or understand even in bits

I came to the realization that

Things were not going my way

So I came to You and brought them to You

My hurt, my shame, my pain

Seeking answers, seeking solutions

But what you gave me was more

Much more than I could imagine

 

 

Instead of giving answers you gave me Your love

Instead of giving solutions, You gave me a path

Instead of taking my pain away, You gave me healing

Without a trace or scar from my wounds

You added double for my shame and caused me to dance

Now all I sing is nothing, just nothing BUT YOUR PRAISE

 

 

-TEHILLAH (PRAISE)

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this short story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Over and over again, we see God’s faithfulness. I see His call for us to draw near, so close to Him. His promises never go unfulfilled and His love is better than life.

 

I pray our lives will constantly be filled with blessings that we will always have reasons to lift our voices in praise to God. I pray that TEHILLAH will give healing and give hope even to mothers waiting for the fruit of the womb and homes aching for the wine of love.

 

May Praises never cease from our lips. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  TEHILLAH.

 

 

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Author: Deraconteur

I am Lizzy but friends call me Lizziefreezie, De-Raconteur or Mrs. Yaks as the case may be.😅😂 By the special Grace of God, I am a child of the Almighty God. I represent the Name of Jesus and seek to get to Heaven. Not willingly to go to Heaven alone, I desire strongly to encourage others, inspiring them and holding them sweetly to look heaven-ward.  Writing stories that would touch you, inspire you, make you cry, laugh and which in summary draw you into their own world is all I crave to do. I am a graduate of Mass Communication from Bowen University, Iwo, Osun State, Nigeria. I also hold a Masters degree in Journalism from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State. I am a Christian actress, a seasoned teacher, a counselor and an on air personality. I am also a good caterer by passion and you can consult me for your catering services- (for your parties and occasion)  I am also an experienced Master of Ceremony with many accolades to my name. I advertise also, sing, write and of course, PRAY! I got married to my hearthrob, Michael on the 11th May, 2019 and it's been really amazing being in the Will of God. I would love to meet you all as your lives are being touched for the better. You are welcome to my world!!! Jesus is Lord! 

10 Replies to “TEHILLA (A SHORT CHRISTIAN STORY)

  1. Thanks and God bless you abundantly for uploading this wonderful piece. Ma, I’ll love to forward an urgent message on your e-mail. I’ll be glad if my request’s met with utmost importance. Thanks

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