HE SAID NO
Mrs. Akinwale could not hold it in any longer, she bur-st into fresh tears. She had told Grace all about her husband, how they met, and how much she had been throu-gh staying with him. They talked all throu-gh the night, Grace figured that she just nee-ded someone to listen to her at that point and that she did, listening closely and catching the slightest detail. At a point, she [email protected]£ emotional and started crying, Grace lent her a shoulder to lean on, and soon enough she found herself crying along,
“You have been throu-gh so much, I can’t begin to imagine.” Grace said as she wiped the tears of Mrs. Akinwale face with her hands, “I’m so so sorry about this,” she continued,
The rest of the night was a silent one at Grace’s place, the only audible sound was that of Mrs. Akinwale’s intermittent sobs which were finally fading off into the night.
The loud [email protected] of thun-der enveloped the whole room accompanied by brief flashes of lightning. Grace ca-ressed her short and lvstrous loos£ned hair as she watched her drift off into the night, her dark brown face had a lot of dark sp©ts and pimples, even at that she looked beautiful. Grace could not help but imagine how much more beautiful she would have been without them. Her eyes spoke of so much pain and anguish, Mrs. Akinwale was younger than her but she looked twice her age. Her heart welled up in compas-sion for this woman who was resting on her shoulder all the more, she doesn’t deserve all that she had been throu-gh, no one does, she sighed,
“Father, plea-se help me to find the right words to say to her,” she prayed, then a verse of the scripture that she knew too well dropped on her heart,
“The Lord God hath given me the ton-gue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.” It was quoted from Isaiah 50 vs 4. She picked up her bible and re-ad it to herself a couple of times before she spent time praying. She decided to sleep, after all, God would wake her up the next morning with the right words to say.
“Grace, thank you so much for your hospitality, I do not take it for granted,” Mrs. Akinwale said beaming with smiles, Grace and her guest were having a meal of sliced bre-ad, scrambled eggs, and tea. All thanks to worker’s day, and complementing cold weather, Grace was at home on a cold Wednesday morning. As for Mrs. Akinwale, she looked better than she did the previous day,
“Its fine ma, I hope it’s manageable?” she asked all smiles.
“Grace, plea-se can you do me a favor?” she asked, ignoring her question.
“plea-se call me Grace, st©p all this ma, ma. “ She said, Grace smiled as she took a sip of her tea, “After all, you know my age,”
“It doesn’t matter Mrs. Grace, Respect does not have to do with age, moreover you are married, you even have a son and I have neither “ Grace answered,
“You seem to be a very obstinate person ma,” Mrs. Akinwale said as they both laughed,
“Is that how we want to be doing it now?”
“You called the sh0ts ma,” Mrs. Akinwale continued, as they finished their meals while chatting happily,
Grace was quite in a fix, Mrs. Akinwale seemed so happier and she didn’t want to destroy her mood by bringing up the discussion they had the previous night, just as she was wondering when it was best to come in…
“Grace, I am sorry for putting you throu-gh any form of inconvenience,” Mrs. Akinwale said as Grace packed their plates to the kitchen,
“No no no, of course not. I am glad to have you here,” she said as she took her seat beside her on the be-d, “What’s the plan now? “
“I have not exactly figured anything out, I know I will, with time but what I do know is that I am done with Wale. All I ask for is a little time to plan things out and I’ll leave,
“plea-se st©p talking about leaving, left to me, I don’t mind having you around for as long as can be, but I know you can’t stay here forever,” Grace said, she paused a little to watch Grace countenance, so she could tell if it was ideal to continue, it seemed it was because she continued, “You said something yesterday about God punishing you, what makes you think he is the one punishing you?”
“Grace, you won’t un-derstand, I have been a rebel, I won’t even dare call myself a child of God. I have been a liar, a cheat, and a thief, ever since I got married, I haven’t stepped a foot in a church. When things began to turn so-re in my marriage, it occurred to me to go to a nearby church around where we lived but I have been away for too long, I don’t even know how to go back. God must really be mad at me, I know that for sure. ” Mrs. Akinwale said as she gave Grace a light tap at the back before she continued,
” I and God are not on good terms and that is what makes my condition worse, I have no one to turn to for comfort, no one to come to my rescue. The only one that might have helped is not happy with me, ” Mrs. Akinwale sulked,
“Uhmm… What if I told you that you were mistaken? ” Grace asked,
“I don’t un-derstand,”
“What if I told you that God isn’t angry with you?” she continued,
“God isn’t angry with me? But I am a sinner and God does not roll with sinners, does he?”
“Yes, he does, God hates sin and not the sinner, that was why he s£nt Jesus to die for us,”
“My sins are many Grace, very very much,”
“Not too much for Jesus to handle,”
“Do you think God can by any chance want anything to do with me?”
“Of course he does, if he could have anything to do with me with all of my dirty pasts and escapades then he sure will want every other person. God loves you Mrs. Grace, and his love for you is unconditional. Nothing you have done or will do can make him change his mind about you, Listen, John 3 vs 16 says that For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever will believe in him should not perish but have everlasting life. Salvation is God’s gift, packaged in the person of his son Jesus and it is available and free for as many as would believe, anyone who believes Jesus becomes God’s child, he receives forgiveness for all his sins and he becomes righteous by faith in what Jesus has done, ”
“All these? For me?”
“Yes, sis, all for you, courtesy of Jesus, ” Grace smiled,
” This is different from all I have thought about God all my life and If this is true, I want this Jesus, I want forgiveness for my sins, I nee-d peace again, my soul has been in bondage for so long, ” Mrs. Akinwale sobbe-d, Grace hurriedly took her Bible from the table and fli-pped it over,
“The Bible says in the book of R0m-ns chapter 10 verses 9 to 10 that if you would believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and confess with your mouth that God raised him up from the dead, you would be saved, for with the heart man believes unto righteousness and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation, ” she re-ad, “plea-se repeat after me, I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord and I confess that God raised him up from the dead, ” Grace said and as Mrs. Akinwale repeated after her, she felt the peace of God flood her heart,
“Now you are new, whatever has happened in your past does not matter anymore because you are now new, God holds nothing against you, you are now God’s child and he is your father, ” Grace continued. She spent half of the day teaching her a little on who she was in Christ Jesus, she quoted from R0m-ns 5 vs 1, 2 Corinthians 5 vs 17, Hebrews 8 vs 10 to 12, and a host of other bible verses, she went on to get her filled with the holy ghost.
It was an incredible experience for Mrs. Grace as she discovered that God accepted her irrespective of all that she had done. She had lived a life of regrets believing the lie that God was punishing her for going astray but now she had met with Jesus and she knew the truth. Her slate has been wiped clean and life for her is never going to be the same again.
No more condemnation!
Mrs. Akinwale was preparing to go over to her mum’s place to see her son, she had been going occasionally for the last two weeks since she had been staying over at Grace’s place. She had refused to speak to her husband nor disclose her whereabouts to anyone. She felt it was best to stay away from him in the mean-time.
Although he wasn’t complaining, she purposed in her heart not to t©uçh his money or anything that belonged to him.
After much thoughts, she decided to call Daniel, her brother, who was in Germany for his MSc. They used to be very close growing up but they drifted [email protected] slowly as they grew older until Akinwale, her husband finally created a chasm between her and her brother. They haven’t been in t©uçh on a regular, since he left for Germany a year after her wedding and as such, they had to catch up on a lot of things. He was done with his Msc. program but he had no plans of coming back anytime soon, she also told him about all that had been happening and he was so furious with her for keeping him out,
“Grace, plea-se do me a favor,” he said,
“plea-se don’t go back to that bastard for any reason, plea-se, “he demanded without waiting for a response, Daniel never liked Akinwale and he did not hide it “And plea-se call me if you nee-d anything at all,”
He s£nt some money for her to secure a decent [email protected], She and Grace alre-ady got one some streets away from Grace’s place but she still had a lot of cleanings and arrangings to do, she also planned to take custody of her son.
“This looks to me like you are heading towards separation from your husband,” Grace said after she told her,
“No, I’m not. Trust me, ”
“Then, pick his call and hear what he has to say,”
“No, Grace. His voice is the last thing I nee-d to hear, I think staying away from him is the best thing I can do to myself for now,”
“Don’t you think he nee-ds help too?” Grace asked as Mrs. Akinwale answered her with a shrug,
“Yeah, he sure does.”
“And don’t you think you might just be in the right position to help him?”
“Grace, I am only just beginning to find my feet. Jesus is still working on me, Lets still give this a little time, “
“I agree with you on that, plea-se take your time. God is your wisdom, ”
“Amen, thank you, Grace, thank you for being there for me in these turbulent times,” Mrs. Akinwale said as she held her hands in hers,
“Mrs. Grace, I am doing this with plea-sure, you really can’t imagine how glad I am, to see you happy, ” Grace replied, while gently squee-zing her hands, they [email protected]£ emotional and hvgged a moment,
“Let me be on my way,” she said as she stretched to pick her brown handbag from the chair, where she kept it. Grace got her a new brown handbag and refused to allow her to use the old black one, even though she argued that nothing was wrong with the old one and she claimed, no one was looking at her, she had to suc¢v-mb to Grace’s persistent naggings.
While Mrs. Akinwale was still trying to put on her shoes, there was a knock on the door.
As soon as she opened it, she wished she had gone as Amifel walked in staring at Mrs. Akinwale like she had just seen a ghost,
“I was just about to call, I thought you changed your mind, ” Amifel alre-ady called to tell her that she was coming around,
“Meet Mrs. Grace Akinwale, my namesake, she is the nice woman I told you about, “ Grace said proudly as she turned to Mrs. Akinwale, “ This is Amifel, my sweet sis,”
“Oh wow! Grace!” Amifel said, she still had the look of shock on her face,
“Amifel, “ Mrs. Grace said coldly, she felt uneasy and could not hide it. Amifel was the very last person that she wanted to see,
“What is going on here? You two know each other?” A perplexed Grace asked,
“Yes, I know Grace very well, she was my childhood friend,” Amifel announced, the way they looked at each other like some stranger made it obvious that they were no longer friends,
“Been great, thanks and how are you and your beautiful family? ” Amifel asked, grinning from ear to ear,
“We are fine, ” Mrs. Akinwale said, there was an awkward silence between the both of them and Grace was wondering how to salvage the situation when Mrs. Akinwale [email protected]£ to her rescue, “I was actually on my way out before you [email protected]£ in, ”
“Oh, okay, I guess we’ll see some other time then?”
“Yeah, take care,” Mrs. Akinwale said, as she hurried out,
Amifel jumped excitedly on the be-d as soon as Mrs. Akinwale left, bombarding Grace with a series of questions, “Is this the rich woman you told me about?”
“Yes, I was…” Grace was about to ask a question but Amifel wasn’t done,
“The one you said was having family issues and all?” She continued while articulating,
“Yes Amifel, where do you know her from?”
“Do you remember this girl I told you was the daughter of mumcy’s friend?”
“I can’t recollect, ”
“The one that I told you I saw at the mall sometimes last year, no almost a year and a half now, ”
“Oh oh oh, the one that was [email protected] about her beautiful family and all?”
“You are sharp girlfriend! Your smartness will not disappear!” Amifel [email protected],
“Wow! I am speechless, such a small world indeed!” Grace remarked,
“I’m telling you, babe, it’s such a small world! Who could have thought that she was living in a boxing ring while pretending and telling everyone who cared to know that her home was a paradise, ”
“If this was not coming from you, I wouldn’t have believed all you said happened at the mall that day, ”
“Ah! The lord has vindicated me oh! I am single, but my life is far better and enviable than hers, ” Amifel [email protected],
“Don’t talk like that Ami, she is changed now, that I am sure of, it is not Christ-like to make jest of people who are going throu-gh stuff, ”
“But she and her mom do the same thing to me at every chance they get. At least I am nice enough not to do it to her face, ”
“But you know better, moreover I am sure the person you just saw would never do such again, plea-se let this go, ”
“Thank God for Jesus sha, if not, ”
“If not ‘Kwa’? ” Grace asked with a sm-irk,
“I would have staged a drama here today, ” Amifel said as she stood up to demonstrate, while Grace laughed profusely.
What could have happened at the mall?
TO BE CONTINUED
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He said no Episode 19 & 20