As the days went by, I slipped deeper and deeper into sin; I became lost to sin and couldn’t help myself. And finally, I was caged in the act of fornication; I slept with Charles at will and didn’t feel any guilt. I went clubbing on Fridays and partying on Saturdays, that leaves me too tired to go to church on Sundays. My family saw this new state of mine and was glad that I had finally removed the scale off my eyes😞 (my family members weren’t born-again and had always stood against my faith and convictions).
Charles started cheating on me and hurting me without remorse. I saw him as the source of my happiness and that made him unremorseful as he always reminded me that I am nothing without him. I cried day and night, I was battered and wounded.
One certain day as I went through my photo album, I saw some pictures I had taken some years back. The smiles on my face were genuine, it reflected so much peace and joy within. I remembered how the joy of the Lord feels. I remembered how I could always run to God in the place of prayer when confused and in doubt, and how I always left the place of prayer refreshed and renewed. I missed those days and craved to have such experiences again.
I saw my shortcomings, how I allowed desperation and impatience to ruin my relationship with God. I realised only God could give true joy and peace which passes human understanding. I packed my belongings and left for my apartment. I left a note for Charles; It was over, I was never going back to the godless and abusive relationship. Christ is all I need.
At about 8pm that same day, Charles knocked on my door. Immediately I opened the door, he reached out to slap me. I quickly held back his hand. I could see confusion on his face as I had never challenged him before. He put his hands down like a defeated wolf and demanded an explanation to the note I left behind in his apartment.
I looked him in the eye, told him I had reconciled with Jesus. I told him that the relationship was over. One more look at me, he knew my mind was made up. He saw a new Hannah expressing confidence and resolution. He left without saying another word.
I met Emmanuel in 2013, I was age 28 then. Unlike Charles, he is a dark-skinned man and of an average height. Emmanuel is a civil engineer by education but a Teacher by profession. He is such a man who fears the Lord and put God above everything and everyone else. When Emmanuel proposed to me, it was unexpected. From my previous experience, I knew it wasn’t a decision I can take at my own will, I needed to seek the face of my Father (God). Emmanuel was willing to give me enough time to seek direction from God.
About two months later, I accepted his proposal. I had so many confirmations that it was the perfect will of God for us to partner together through life as couple. I also sought counsel from one of my spiritual leaders, I call her Mummy Abbey. Courtship commenced in earnest, I introduced him to my family and to my utmost surprise, he was accepted without hitches. He also introduced me to his family and along the line, I blended so well with them. I admired his zeal for the things of God, his conduct, care, love and sacrifices. But one thing was lacking – Money, he wasn’t financially buoyant. Although he is hardworking, but he has nothing to show for it. His salary was too meagre for his qualification😟.
When we started the courtship, I was very hopeful that he would get another job soon. I wanted him to get a new job as an additional confirmation that God is in approval of our relationship. Few months passed by and no new job was in sight, I became apprehensive. I began to think of what I will miss if I eventually become his wife. I want a man that is financially buoyant, a man I can proudly present to my friends and all that cares to know. I’m used to living in a mansion all my life, Emmanuel can’t obviously afford one. I even own a car, Emmanuel doesn’t own a motor bike talk more of a car. How on earth can I marry a broke man?
As I began to focus on material things, my love for Emmanuel dwindled. His presence began to irritate me. I started finding faults in his actions and motives. I once ran to Mummy Abbey and gave her a summary of all that had been going through my mind. She advised me to look beyond the present and see the future of Emmanuel. She assured me that Emmanuel has a very bright future ahead. As I listened to her, I determined to be patient no matter how long it took.
I continued courting Emmanuel, days turned into weeks and weeks into months. We were eleven months in the relationship, I had exhausted all patience. Emmanuel made several job applications and attended several job interviews, yet no hope was in sight. Despite this, Emmanuel was very loving and sacrificial; he puts my needs above his, yet I wasn’t satisfied. I desired more because I thought I deserved more than he could afford. I had run out of patience and decided to quit, I couldn’t continue with the relationship.
PS: Names, Character and Events used in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is completely coincidental.
Story by Christiana Oghogho Okafor
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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