“Bode, I’ve done everything in the book. I pray all the time, study my bible, and attend all the services. I also followed the doctors’ instructions to a ‘T’. How long do I have to wait? Are seven years not enough?” Nnenna asked, gesticulating with her hands in desperation.
Pastor Bode had a hand covering his mouth, and the other wrapped around his midsection while he listened to her. He was praying.
He had known Nnenna since Secondary school. They attended the same one. Now, God had them meet today, a day after her last IVF treatment failed. The woman in front of him was not the easy-going, life-loving Nnenna he’d known in school. This person looked like life had been sucked out of her with a suction pump until nothing remained. With all the money her appearance displayed, her gaunt look described another existence.
“Nnenna, I’m so sorry you’ve been through so much, but it is well. Our God is a solution provider. Do you have time? Can we find somewhere to sit and chat?” He asked, looking around the bank’s exterior where they had met and still stood.
“I know a place around here. Follow me.”
“A taxi dropped me in front of the bank.”
“Oh, then join me. I hope this isn’t an inconvenience?”
“No, thank God I have the time today. I’m leaving town tomorrow, back to my parish.” He said as they walked to the Toyota Prado jeep, parked behind the bank’s gate.
“I thought you lived in town,” Nnenna said as they both got into the car, and she started it.
“No, I live in the East with my family. I came here for the quarterly convention.”
“Thank God I met you. I need a friend who understands.”
They were both quiet as she drove, and five minutes later, they arrived at their destination. They sat, ordered lunch, and turned to each other.
“How is your husband dealing with the situation?” He asked.
“He tries, but he’s tired as well. He runs an off-shore company in the East, so he travels a lot.”
Bode nodded. He understood the implications of that statement.
“Bode, Pastor, I have confessed past sins. I have gone to people I hurt in the past to apologize. I have checked the histories of both families, my husband’s and mine, and no horrible curse is following the children. Why is mine different?”
“Nnenna, you can call me Bode. Please answer my question as honestly as you can. What is your relationship with God like?”
Nnenna sat back in her chair, bending her long neck. “Well, I read the bible and pray. Like I said before, I go for special services and the weekly ones. I pay my tithe with faithfulness. I try.” She said all that as she looked down, and that alone told the Pastor what he wanted to know.
“How is your faith in God?” He asked, sitting forward to look at her.
“I don’t know, Bode.” She paused, then looked up at him with resolve. “Right now, it’s in shreds. When the doctor gave me the pregnancy result yesterday, and I called Ikenna, my husband, he sounded so distant. I feel like I’m losing him.” She said.
Bode nodded. “Let me tell you about God in my life. After college, I drifted away from Him and my calling, which I knew before leaving school. The pull of the material was strong, so I decided to do business. I had a knack for buying shoes and accessories people liked. I decided to sell them and not wear them.” He said, smiling.
“In five years, the business seemed to prosper. I was married with a child on the way when disaster struck. I ordered my goods online, but this time through a different wholesaler, my friend introduced me to, who was supposed to be cheaper. I never saw the man, my money or goods, and my friend again. I invested so much in that order thinking I’d hit the big bucks. I hit the ocean depths from there.
“I lost a lot, money, friends, my confidence, and my family almost until God showed up. He sent a friend from school to tell me He was still waiting. Now that doesn’t happen all the time, and that’s when I knew it was time for the prodigal to return home. The build-up of our relationship wasn’t only about the external. It was founded and built in my heart.
“Today, I call Him Father because He has become my Dad. I have learned to sit at his feet, to know and understand His ways. I humble myself before His Holy Spirit, who leads me in all things. Faith, Nnenna, insists that you abandon your life in His hands and start to wait on him, every second of every minute. It means you don’t depend on what you see on the external; you depend only on what He tells you. His presence becomes your hiding place, classroom, resting place, and from there, you obtain joy, peace, and life.”
“Wow, Bode, how does one start, and how long will it take to get there?” She asked, chuckling, not relieved at the mountainous task Bode seemed to load on her.
“Nnenna, is your dad still alive?”
“Yes, he lives, the old bugger.” She said with a smile. “I’m thinking of traveling home to spend time with him.”
“Your relationship with him was a source of envy for me. You seemed to be the apple of your father’s eyes.”
“We were close. We did most things together.”
“That’s what God wants. He wants to be the Father that does everything with you. I want you to go to Him as a Father and to start to talk in the place of prayer. I believe He is sending me to you today to say He is waiting. He loves dearly, Nnenna. You cannot imagine what we miss by being away from His presence. The peace, joy, endless grace, all of that is available.”
“But what of children, Bode? That’s what I desire.”
“When you get to know the Father of lights, then you will understand that he withholds no good thing from those who walk in His righteousness. The problem here, Nnenna, is that you are looking with short-sighted eyes. Go to the one who has seen your end from your beginning and knows all your whys. Don’t seek the miracle; chase after the miracle giver.”
Their food arrived, and they ate in silence for a while.
“What if I lose everything as I wait?” She asked, chasing her food around the plate with her fork.
“What you lose in God’s presence may not have been yours from the beginning, and if it is His will, you will gain it back. Take time out and seek the Father for yourself. I will be praying with you, and I will send you some scripture verses to meditate and pray. Start this journey, Nnenna; it’s the best thing to happen to you in this life. Once you begin to see life with fresh eyes, then you will begin to live.”
She nodded in acceptance and gratitude. She believed God was waiting.
Till next time, be transformed!!!