I woke up. Sweating.
My head was aching so badly, and I wondered why I had such a nightmare.
‘Dad cheating on mum with Aunt Beatrice? No!’
I knelt down immediately and prayed. I prayed that God would keep my dad and mum and that God would show Himself in their marriage. After prayers, I began arranging the house. Everyone was still asleep, so I plugged in my earphones, listening to Audrey Assad’s Lament. I knew somehow, I was distracted by the cares of the world, in as much as I wanted to please God. I continued to pray in my silence, asking God to help me through the day.
While I was washing the dishes, I heard the door to the Kitchen open. It was dad alright. I guess he came to take his usual dose of Green Tea.
“Good morning dad”, I said.
The guy didn’t even look at me. He just continued what he was doing. I wondered what was up with him. Then I remembered the dream. Wondering what God was trying to tell me…. I know dreams could be *funny* but I knew there was something God wanted to show me. I knew dad was cheating (based on their last conversation), but I hoped it would be a lie. Right now, it seemed like he was really cheating.
He went back into the room. I wondered why he was quiet.
Until mum came into the kitchen (shocked face)
Her face was bruised. That’s the thing about fair skinned women; you can hardly miss a spot on their face. She seemed shocked to see me in the kitchen (I was hardly awake at this time). She couldn’t turn back, so we just stared at each other for a minute. I ran into her arms and we both began to sob. I heard the kitchen door open again, and from the smell of the perfume, I knew it was Joke. Joke embraced us both and we all began to cry silently.
Dad was beating mum. And mum chose to stay. I didn’t understand why. Was marriage this tough? I know Kingsley seemed all nice and Godly, but would things eventually change when we get married? I got scared of the marriage union and I didn’t hide it. My heart was thumping.
“My daughters, it’s gonna be alright”, she said as she released herself from out embrace. Joke was still crying. I didn’t even know what to say. As the first child, I felt I could go in and talk to dad….but I knew better. My mouth seemed closed anyway….I could barely say a word.
“God, what do we do”? I asked under my breath.
I was hoping for an immediate answer…and I didn’t get one.
As mum continued to arrange the shelf, I continued to watch her. Joke asked to leave, she had GRE exams coming up and she had to go for classes. I was so proud of her.
Mum barely said a word. And I wanted to kill dad for making mum go through all this.
“Mum why do you choose to stay with him?”
She seemed shocked that I asked.
“He’s my husband, Anike”. “I made an oath; for better, for worse. I can’t chicken out now, he needs me”, she stuttered.
‘He needs you? He is cheating on you and beating you. What husband does that?’
Judge not, that you will not be judged
That verse of the Bible struck me… deeply. I remember it was Joke who talked to me about it when I told her about some of our female church members who were sleeping around. What does it mean to judge sef?
I wasn’t judging dad, I was just saying the truth. He was a cheat, and he deserved to be punished.
I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy…
“Anike”, mum called. I looked at her as she signalled me to sit. I sat as she made a cup of hot milo for me. She sure knew what I liked. She sat down and put it in front of me.
“Baby, no one is perfect, really… As perfect as some people seem, they struggle with passions and pleasures that seem to have enslaved their souls…Are you listening to me Anike?”
“Yes mum”, I replied as I wondered what she was driving at.
“Daddy is going through some tough times baby. He lost his job”
My mouth was open! In shock. Did he lose his job? I couldn’t even believe it. That KPMG job was practically what sustained the whole family since mum’s job wasn’t bringing in too much money.
“He’s frustrated right now, and … I guess he needs to get himself back together. We all should pray for him”
“Mum, he’s cheating on you”, I said silently.
She didn’t seem surprised that I knew. “Yes, Anike, he is.”
“And you still want to stay?”
“Baby, he’s human like me. He cheats, I complain. You lie, Joke gossips. Aren’t we all the same?? We are all fallen humans baby. We should strive for perfection. The fact that dad is struggling with lust doesn’t make him worse than people who gossip or complain. Sin is sin baby…please don’t judge your dad…” she said as tears began to come down.
I didn’t know what to do. I was confused. The issue of sin became confusing to me. We all sin, but we have been redeemed… so why do we still keep falling into sin’s arms? Everything began to confuse me again.
Mum stared deep into my eyes. I wonder what she was thinking.
“Anike, even if you decide that you will stop lying, do you think you could possibly stop on your own?”
I stared at her, trying to understand.
“Baby, God is MERCY. God is GOOD. We are saved because of who He is, not because of what we do. Just accept His love and drown yourself in it. Nothing you do will ever make you more or less worthy, okay?”
I nodded my head as tears began to fall from my face.
“Mum, I am struggling with lust.”
She looked at me, urging me to go on.
“I want to have sex, mum. The urges are raging in my head, mum. Some days, I imagine myself in the arms of…in the arms of…”
“Anike, its Kingsley, right?”
I began to cry all over again. Mum didn’t move. She just watched me.
“I wish it could all go away. I want to please God. But anytime I make out with him, I feel so unclean, guilty and dirty, mum. How would God even use someone like me, mum?” I continued to cry, and I felt so… terrible that I always seemed to have sexual urges. I felt weak, knowing that I had compromised severally, even as a Christian. What would people think of me? What would God think of me?
“Anike, God loves you”
“I know mum….”
“Anike”, she cut in. “Soak that in.” “He loves you. What do you think love is?” She looked into my eyes. I was shocked at myself. At the fact that…
“I don’t know, mum…” I replied…and I bowed my head on the table.
What is love?
I am love. Drown in me
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…to be continued this Friday
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Written by Oyinkansola Ige
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