When Ruth accepted my proposal eight months ago, she pleaded we keep the relationship a secret until I got a job. Let them think we are friends for now and when the job comes, we can announce the plan for our wedding. Keeping the news away from my pastor and my parents was the most difficult thing to do. No one knew about our relationship except my sister, Dabira.
I confronted her after the worker’s meeting. ‘What’s going on?’
She looked me straight in the eyes. ‘Dare it’s over.’
‘You broke up with me without telling me?’
She turned her face away. ‘At least now you know. Time is running out. I want to get married soon. I can’t keep waiting till you get a job.’
‘Ruth, please give me some more time.’
‘I’m sorry, I can’t’
Was this really happening to me? ‘So who is the lucky brother.’
‘You’ll find out soon.’
I wanted to be angry and scream at her for leaving me when I needed her but instead I was calm and that annoyed me. Was it not abnormal to feel at peace when your girl just walks out on you. Why was I so relaxed? I should go after her and fight for this. The still voice from last night was back.
You want to settle for fig leaves or you want me to cloth you with thick coat.
‘No Lord. Fig leaves aren’t enough. Make me a coat according to your taste.’
Dabira and Tope were chatting and laughing in front of the church when I got to the entrance. My heart did a flip when Tope glanced at me and immediately looked down. Her shyness fascinated me.
‘Tope thanks for the other day. You were right. The story of Adam and Eve was just what I needed to read.’
My sister tickled Tope. ‘Prophetess Tope.’ Tope slapped her hand away playfully and still wouldn’t look at my face.
My sister moved closer to me. ‘Dare what’s happening? I heard Ruth and Bro Williams are engaged. They’ve even fixed a wedding date. That girl played you. No wonder she didn’t want you to tell the Pastor.’
As if on cue, Williams pulled his Matrix out of the car park and seated right beside him was Ruth. She looked away when she saw me. Again, I tried to be angry but instead I felt peaceful. I know it seem really strange but I sincerely cannot explain why I felt that way.
My sister returned to the church auditorium and I was left alone with Tope.
‘Dare, I thought of something this morning.’ Tope said, finally raising her head. While you wait for a job why not train with Elder Yemi. He is really good and handles many big installations.’
Oh my goodness! How did she know I had been battling with thoughts of seeing Elder Yemi and asking what it took to become an apprentice?’
‘Why are you staring at me like that? If it’s a bad idea, then forget it.’
‘No, it’s not that. I mean…It’s a good idea. Thank you.’
Why was I suddenly drawn to her? I should be mourning my break up and not jumping into the arms of another woman.
…Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord make coats of skins and clothed them.
The scripture again. Could this be the thick covering you have made for me? Help my heart Lord.
You won’t believe what happened when I got to Elder Yemi’s workshop the following week. He was talking to a man dressed in a t-shirt and jean and the moment he saw me, he clapped his hands and stood up.
‘God is wonderful. This is the person I’ve been telling you about.’
‘Dare, Meet Festus, one of my spiritual sons. He just got back from Netherlands.’
He shook my hands and smiled warmly. I stood there speechless
Elder Yemi returned his attention to the man. ‘Dare will fit that position. He was the administrator of my wife’s school for five years before he went for his Master program. If not for the fire incident that razed the school down and for my wife’s health, I would never have allowed him to leave. He is trust worthy and very competent.’
Right there, the man handed me his business card and for several minutes, I stared at it. The firm was one of the places I had submitted my application. I remembered because the gateman had been very mean to me and had refused to let me in. Here I was, holding the business card of the CEO.
The following day, the same gateman led me into Festus office. Our meeting took less than thirty minutes before he called the HR to get my appointment letter ready. My salary was twice what Ruth had offered me and that with an official car.
My heart pounded with excitement as I got out of the building. All I wanted to do was break the news to Tope. Should I go to the hospital where she worked or wait till after her call was over?
Two hours later, I was at the reception of the hospital requesting to see Dr Tope. They asked why I wanted to see her and I told them it was personal. There was a fine young doctor standing with the nurses as I made the enquiries. He sized me up and charged at me like I had come to take his possession. He told the nurses not to listen to me. At that moment I knew coming to the hospital was a bad idea but I waited.
After about twenty minutes of sitting down, I saw her walking to the reception with a nurse. She looked so beautiful and my body responded with desire.
A tiny warning bell went off inside my head. Didn’t Ruth just walk out of my life? Who says Tope would not do same. I knew right there that I had to get my heart straightened out first before pursuing another relationship. As I sneaked out, a nurse shouted,
‘Brother! I thought you came to see Dr Tope.’
Tope froze when she saw me. The initial shock gone, she hurried towards me.
‘Dare. What are you doing here?’
We walked out of the hospital and I told her what had happened. How I had secured a job as the assistant Operations Manager and would commence work by Monday.
I didn’t realize I had been holding her hands until I saw the doctor staring at us from the entrance. Instead of letting go of her hand, I held it firmly.
Three months later, I walked into the house tired and exhausted from work. Tope was on her way out when I opened the door. Excited, she hugged me and every trace of tiredness disappeared. I felt warm, covered and safe.
We were greatly attracted to each other, so why not get this ball rolling. That was when I popped the question right at the door.
‘Tope, will you marry me?’
My parents stopped eating and were grinning from the dining room. Tope’s face went completely red, so much for having a fair skin. She was tongue tied.
I held her gaze as I spoke. ‘I’m not in a hurry. Take your time and pray about it. I know I’ve found my coat. The one God made for me.’
Tope smiled. ‘Genesis 3:21.’
My sister covered her mouth. ‘Oh my God! Tope, that was the same scripture God gave you six months ago. Wow!’
Tope closed her eyes and a tear dropped from her eyes ‘Yes. I’ll marry you.’
My mother broke into a song. After I dropped Tope off at home, I returned to find my mother still dancing.
I know you can make beautiful fig leaves but that’s nothing compared to the coats of skin God wants to give to you.
Stop struggling to have that relationship. If it’s not moving with the rhythms of grace and looks like you are forcing it to work, stop.
If someone pushes you away from their life or treats you without much value, that may be God shutting a door for an opportunity to cloth you properly.
If you are at a point in your life where you are so frustrated and discouraged because you are yet to see a manifestation or answer to your prayer, I want you to know that God is making coats just for you.
Don’t jump the gun. Don’t settle for fig leaves. Don’t settle for less than God’s best. Faith is our currency in this new life we have come to receive. We trust him because he is faithful to do all he has promised.
…He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him freely give us all things… Romans 8:32.
So let me ask; will you make your fig leaves or settle for God’s coat of skin?
The choice is yours.
Read: Trusting God while you wait
A word for christian singles
Where is my man? Overcoming anxiety and fear