Click here to read Debby’s Prayer.
Click here to read Memoir of a Christian Lover Girl.
I took a deep breath as I knocked on the door to Pastor Sam’s office. He had asked to see me after today’s service. He didn’t state why, but I suspect that it had to do with Chidi. Ever since we informed Pastor Sam of our relationship, I noticed he didn’t look excited or happy about it. Whenever he saw us together, he had this look of disapproval on his face. I once mentioned it to Chidi but he said I was being paranoid. “Pastor Sam has nothing against us”, he had said.
I knocked again when I didn’t hear a response.
‘Come in’, Pastor Sam said.
I opened the door and stepped into his tastefully furnished office. The office was cold and there was a sweet fragrance in the air. Pastor Sam was seated at his giant table, a paper file in his hand. He was a well-dressed man in his mid-forties. Strands of grey hair were already appearing on his hair and his beard.
‘Good afternoon Sir’, I greeted.
‘Good afternoon Ifeoma. How are you doing? Hope you enjoyed today’s service?’ He asked with a smile on his face.
‘Yes Sir. It was powerful’.
‘Bless God. Please sit’.
I sat on the chair and put my hand bag on my laps.
‘Ifeoma, how is everything with you?’ He asked, leaning back on his chair.
‘All is well Sir’.
‘Have you been able to secure another job?’
I bent my head. I lost my beautiful, well paying job three months after I said yes to Chidi’s proposal. The company was downsizing, and they said they no longer needed three procurement officers in their organization. Sadly, I was the one they chose to fire. I had gotten a few job offers, but none of them was in any way compared to my job at Mckenzie & Hammond Global. God had not said yes to any of the offers either, so I was patiently waiting.
‘No Sir’, I responded. ‘I have been applying to various companies anyway’
‘Hmmmmm… It is well my dear. God will do it for you’.
‘Now, let’s go to the reason I invited you here’, he said as he cleared his throat.
I sat up.
‘Ifeoma, were you fully persuaded and convinced before you said yes to Chidi?’
‘How do you mean Sir?’
‘I mean, did you pray very well about Chidi’s proposal before giving him an answer?’
I smiled. ‘Sir, I prayed and I got God’s approval before I agreed to marry Chidi’.
‘Are you sure it was God that spoke to you and not your emotions?’
I narrowed my eyes. ‘Yes Sir’, I said politely. ‘I have been walking with God for almost ten years. I know how my Father speaks to me. He has never misled me, and I know He wouldn’t do so at this most important junction of my life’.
Pastor Sam gave a short laugh. ‘Ifeoma’, he started. ‘You are like a daughter to me. I’ve watched you grow in the faith and I am so happy with what God is doing in your life. I’ve seen your zeal and commitment to the ushering unit and I know you are a genuine child of God. This is why I don’t want you to make a mistake in the choice of a marriage partner’.
I was listening intently.
‘I want to say a few things and I want you to know that whatever I say or do, it is in your best interest. I cannot see you heading towards a dangerous forest and pretend like I didn’t’.
Where was all this leading to? I wondered.
‘Chidi is not the right man for you’, he landed.
His bluntness caught me off guard. ‘Excuse me Sir?’
‘Yes. I’ve been praying about your relationship and I heard God expressly tell me that you are in a wrong relationship. Chidi is not your husband’.
I was speechless. My mind couldn’t process what Pastor Sam just said? How can Chidi not be my husband? Even before Chidi proposed, I had sensed God was bringing us together so I started praying. My convictions got stronger and stronger by the day. When he finally proposed, I was already seventy five percent sure, but I persisted in prayers. I kept Chidi at arm’s length while I pressed deeper to know the mind of God. I informed my disciplers, Mummy Areo and her husband about it and they joined me to pray. My final confirmation came when God showed exactly the same revelation to the three of us on the same night. I woke up to hear a voice saying “fear not, it is I”. That was the day I gave Chidi an answer.
‘Sir, did God say why Chidi is not my husband?’ I asked carefully.
‘Ah, isn’t it obvious? Chidi is not a serious Christian. He is not spiritual’.
I almost laughed out. Was Pastor Sam talking about my own Chidi, or another Chidi?
‘Yes, he continued. How can any serious-minded brother not join any unit in the church? I have talked to him about it several times but he keeps giving different kinds of excuses. Have you also not noticed the tight jeans and fitted body hug that he puts on? That’s how people of the world dress. How about his afro hair cut? Is a good Christian brother not supposed to keep his hair very low?
I was staring at pastor Sam. His reasons were not making concrete sense to me. Chidi did not join any unit in church because he belonged to an evangelical outreach group outside the church and he was one of their principal leaders. The outreach group took up most of his free time and he told me that he didn’t want to join a unit in church and not be committed to it. “What is worth doing is worth doing well”, he would also say. He was however very active as a Sunday School teacher and he never missed any Sunday service except it was inevitable.
‘Have you not noticed that he carries bad luck and it is gradually rubbing off on you? I mean, how can you explain losing your very lucrative job just a few months after you agreed to marry him?’
‘I’m sure he hasn’t told you this, but do you also know that madness runs in their lineage?’
‘His grandfather died as a mad man. His father is mad and is currently nowhere to be found. One of Chidi’s uncles is currently in a psychiatric hospital. Do you want to marry into a family of mad people?’
‘Excuse me Sir’, I interjected. ‘How do you know all these?’
‘I am a Pastor remember? We have our way of finding out certain things’.
I sighed deeply. I knew about the madness thing. God had revealed it to me even before Chidi proposed and then told me about it. We held hands together in fervent prayers and broke that ancestral curse of madness, standing solely on the Word of God. Pastor Sam probably didn’t know this yet, but Uncle Neto, Chidi’s uncle was discharged from the psychiatric hospital three days after Chidi and I addressed the issue of madness on our altar of prayer. He was certified mentally fit.
‘Sir, what do you advice I do?’ I asked. I sensed Pastor Sam had an agenda in his heart.
‘Good question. Ifeoma my dear, you have to end the relationship. Let Chidi go his way and marry his kind. You are a special treasure, and you deserve more. I know it’s a painful thing to do but don’t worry, your true husband is already around the corner’
I closed my eyes. Something was not right.
‘Sir, you said my true husband is around the corner?’
‘Yes, and he is patiently waiting for you’.
‘Sir, I am curious to know who this man is’.
Pastor Sam smiled.
‘You will know him very soon. I can’t tell you anything more for now, but the earlier you break up with Chidi, the sooner you will meet your Mr. Right.
I closed my eyes again. I was now quite certain that there was someone Pastor Sam had in mind for me to marry, so he was looking for a way to frustrate my relationship with Chidi. “Holy Spirit please give me wisdom to handle this situation”, I prayed.
I opened my eyes and looked intently at Pastor Sam.
‘Pastor Sam, thank you so much for sharing this with me. I sincerely appreciate you for looking out for my best interest’.
‘Thank God’, he responded.
‘However Sir, I wish to respectfully disagree with you. As much as I respect and honour the anointing and call of God upon your life Sir, I am also a daughter of God, and God also speaks to me. He has spoken to me in various ways confirming that His son Chidi is His will for my life. I have accepted Chidi, together with his flaws, weaknesses, strengths, background, past, present and future. God has already given us His promises for our lives, marriage, family and ministry and we have embraced it with both hands’.
‘Secondly Sir, Chidi does not carry any bad luck. Me losing my job has nothing to do with Chidi’s presence in my life. Losing my job is actually a blessing in disguise because, as you always say, for the big to come, the small has to give way, right?’ I said, smiling.
Pastor Sam leaned back on his seat with a quiet look on his face.
‘On the contrary Sir’, I continued, ‘Chidi’s presence in my life has been a priceless blessing. I cannot begin to state how much of a positive impact Chidi has been in my life’.
‘Yes’, I continued. ‘There was madness in his lineage but we have both taken care of that. Madness is banned from Chidi’s family forever, and so it stands.
‘Besides Sir, I am not afraid of ancestral curses. I am a light bearer, daughter of the Most High God. I am a chosen and sanctified vessel. My presence commands light, and every darkness bows. God has nailed every ancestral curse in my lineage to the cross, so it has no power over me or my seed’.
‘Finally Sir, as much as I appreciate your concern, the choice of who to marry is mine to make. I choose who God chooses, and I am satisfied with His choice. I have no plans of breaking up with him, not now, not ever. Thank you so much Pastor Sam’, I said as I stood up.
He shook his head. ‘Ifeoma, I pity you. I thought you were a sensible lady that can be reasoned with but I can now see that you are not. You want to marry that unserious fellow without anointing, right? You think marriage can last without anointing?’
I didn’t respond.
‘Ifeoma, there are more anointed and spiritual brothers in this church that you can choose from, brothers like Gabriel. Think about it. Remember what the Bible says about obedience to constituted authorities. I am your Pastor, and I have the right to tell you what to do’.
‘Sir’, I cut in politely. There’s really nothing to think about. You are trying to emotionally blackmail me and that’s not very good Sir’.
I walked to the door. ‘I really have to go now Sir. Thanks for your time. My regards to Mummy’.
I opened the door and walked out. My phone rang almost immediately. Chidi. As I pressed the green button, I heard God’s voice very clearly again- “Fear not, it is I”.
I grinned widely.