The Congruence XXXVI (The Final Episode)
When he came inside, he ran to me and knelt down next to me as I was still on the floor.
“Oh my God!What happened to you in 24 hours?
You look like you’ve been sick for a while
Ara mi, talk to me…”
He turned to his dad and Uncle Ade
“Has she told you what the problem is?
Were you able to get through to her?”
“Folahan, you need to sit down
Your fiancée has something to tell you” Uncle Ade responded as he tapped on the cushion next to him, a sign to tell Folahan to come sit there.
There was dead silence
“Go ahead Aramide, God is in control” Uncle Ade urged me on
I fought back the tears as I opened my mouth to speak
“Folahan, you know I would never willingly hurt you
You have shown me so much love…God used you to erase every bad experience and memory I ever had with men…my dad inclusive.
I never hid anything from you right from the start…I told you about my past relationship, my only relationship and how it ended.
How it brought me to Christ.
I told you about the pregnancy and how I lost the baby…I did not want any surprises so I shared my journey with you.
However, I didn’t tell you the most important part of this journey…not because I didn’t want to but because I did not know until I got to your house yesterday”
I paused for a moment, Captain couldn’t look up while Folahan looked so lost…He was sitting next to Uncle Ade, who held his left hand. “Aramide…go on. God is still on His throne” Uncle Ade said again
I could not help the tears anymore…
“That bad relationship I’ve always talked about was with Captain Festus Awodiya”
Folahan went blank…his face was void of emotions.
I could not tell what he was thinking or how he took it
Captain made an attempt to say something but Uncle Ade signaled to him not to…at least not yet.
The silence continued…until Folahan sighed heavily.
He looked at his dad, then looked at me…I felt so bad.
Uncle Ade started to talk
I don’t think I had ever heard anyone speak so wisely.
He shared personal experiences, life experiences and scriptures to appeal to Folahan.
He shared the story of a family…where the husband’s younger brother was the real father of the first born in the marriage. Husband used to travel a lot for work in the early years of the marriage and his younger brother was living with them.
The wife later gave her life to Christ and couldn’t live with the secret anymore…so she talked to her pastor and they informed the husband. It was a hard nut to crack but God came through and there was reconciliation.
He shared another story of a man who, somehow slept with his mother-in-law and was caught in the act. The shame pushed the man to God and after many years, God restored the marriage.He talked for a long time but there was something he said that sunk deep into my spirit
“Forgiveness is the highest form of love…it is the closest a mortal can get to being God-like. Real forgiveness is God’s nature; because it is not based on merits but on love” Then he asked Folahan
“Do you have enough love in your heart to forgive your father and Aramide?
Do you have enough love within you to drop this discovery at the feet of Jesus?”
Folahan did not respond Uncle Ade continued“Ephesians Chapter 4 verse 32 says “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you”.
Jesus also said in Luke Chapter 17 verse 3 “If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him”.
Folahan, do you have enough love in you to forgive?”
There was no responseCaptain cautiously moved closer and crouched down next to Folahan“Son, I’m sorry to be yet at the center of another family crisis.
Just when I thought I had cleaned up my act; something from my past showed up to further drive a wedge between us.
Is there a way out of this?
Can we move past this?
I will do anything you want me to…I will pay any price if it will fix this
If I had seen the future, I would have made better choices
Folahan, I beg you with everything that means something to you
I beg you in the name of that God that you know and serve.
Captain held Folahan’s right hand as he started to chant his family “Oriki” (family praise-poetry).
I could see the veins on the sides of Folahan’s head throbbing and his face turning red…it wasn’t long before he burst into tears. I had never seen him like that before…his tears were like drops of acid on my heart.
It was a heart wrenching five to ten minutes as Folahan cried like a baby…I sat on the floor and cried along. I felt like comforting him but I couldn’t…it hurt me that I hurt him that much, even if I didn’t intend to.
Folahan, all of a sudden, snatched his hands from both his dad and Uncle Ade. He wiped his face, got up and said
“I can’t do this.
I am so sorry but I can’t do this. God! This hurts so bad…”
“I thought I was too grown to be hurt by you again…I thought I had passed that stage” (pointing at Captain)
“Aramide…I know you are hurting too but I can’t do this.
I am trying not be mad at you because this is not your fault but I gotta be honest, I can’t I just can’t”
I was devastated but I couldn’t do anything about it…I managed to say “I’m so sorry”
Then he turned to Uncle Ade
“I’m sorry Uncle…not trying to disrespect you or anything but I gotta get out of here”
He walked out of the door as he slammed it hard
“Sir Ade, ó mà ti nlọ (He is leaving)
You won’t say anything?” Captain asked Uncle Ade…he was still pointing at the door when we heard Folahan’s car zooming off “Don’t worry about him…
God is already working on him
That’s why he is struggling…
I understand the struggle, we are all human and I can only imagine what’s happening in his mind.
Even Jesus struggled a bit when the time came to do the father’s bidding…that was someone who knew that day was coming. It was his reason for coming to the world, yet he struggled at the culmination of the reality.
It’s hard to bend towards God’s will at times…especially when it demands so much from us.
But God will never ask a man for something He knows the person can’t give.
Let’s give the poor boy time to battle this in his mind; ultimately, God will be glorified”
Uncle Ade then continued to talk to me…“That “God said it” does not mean it will just fall on our laps.There are times we have to fight for it because of forces that like to thwart God’s arrangement.
David was anointed King but he still had to fight his way there…it wasn’t automatic
The children of Israel were already promised the land but they had to fight for it
Are you ready to fight for this?”
Those words helped me to understand the dream I had so I shared it with him.
Then we prayed together…Wow! The man can pray.
Captain just sat on the chair sapped…throwing in some sighs and some “Amen”
Captain later made a call for someone to come get them…they were going to stay at the Nigerian Navy Guest House in Abuja. The person showed up about two hours later in a Military vehicle.
As they were about to leave, Uncle Ade’s phone rang and it was Folahan calling…they talked for a while but the facial expressions and responses didn’t give much away.
He ended the call with
“Aramide knows the place right?
We’ll be there shortly”
It was Pastor T, calling from Folahan’s phone…that was where Folahan went to and they needed us to come over…everyone of us.
I tidied up a little and off we went…I wasn’t really familiar with that part of Abuja, I had only been there a couple of times but luckily the soldier that came to get Captain knew his way around and got us to Pastor T’s house.
We were ushered into pastor T’s home office where we saw Folahan, face down; flat on the carpet…Pastor T was sitting next to him. I no longer cared if he did or didn’t want me around him; I went ahead and sat by him. He didn’t say anything, so I placed my head on his bicep/elbow region and laid down next to him. It wasn’t long before my tears were dripping on his hand.
After introductions and pleasantries, Pastor T recognized Uncle Ade as one of the Departmental heads at a church he attended while in Lagos, many years ago before he became a minister. It would have been a sweet reunion as Pastor T started sharing the leadership skills he learnt from Uncle Ade while watching him from afar.
“I’m very happy to have you here with us sir…I know I can count on your godly elderly wisdom in case I am handling this the wrong way.
And please sir, if I’m going out of line don’t hesitate to tell me.
I have been talking to Bro Folahan for over an hour, he is broken and hurting.
He told me he wants to fulfill God’s purpose for his life but doesn’t know how, considering the new developments.
When he said everybody was around I decided to call for you because there are times we have to confront issues to make headway.
I have told him that living for God is a call to a life of surrender and as negative as the word sounds, it is the key to victorious living.
Surrendering to God’s leading, counsel, directions and decisions.
Trusting Him more than our senses
Trusting that He has the best plan for us because He knows the end from the beginning.
Genuine surrender says “Father, if this problem, situation or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another’s, please don’t take it away”
Surrender is warfare and it does not weaken us, instead it makes us stronger. Once a man surrenders to God, you don’t have to fear or surrender to anything else.
The truth is, we all surrender to something…opinions or expectations of others, cultural beliefs, ego, pride, fear, lusts, resentment, unforgiveness but the only surrender that guarantees victory is when we surrender to God’s will.
The Bible says in Job Chapter 22 verse 21“Surrender to God, you will find peace and prosperity”
Then he turned to Folahan and said
“Bro Folahan, we are here…all five of us with God in our midst. You said it times without number, before they got here, that God has told you again and again that Sister Aramide is your wife, and whatever you decide here today will receive heaven’s stamp.
What do you want to do?”
Folahan raised his head so I got off him, then he sat up but did not respond. His eyes were bloodshot
Pastor T suggested that Uncle Ade should talk too
“Thank you man of GodI already said a lot o and your words are just confirmation from God.
Olufolahan…I can’t say that I know exactly how you are feeling but I know that feelings are transitory which is why we cannot base long-term decisions on them.
I also know is that a sure word from God is valid for a man’s lifetime.
You already got that and God also confirmed it with others, including me.
I once told you that if God tells you to walk through a wall, don’t hesitate…
If He tells you to walk through fire, forget your senses…
If you see an open road, straight and smooth but God says NO…please don’t follow it…
It is time to trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
It’s time for God to be true and every man a liar
Like I asked you earlier at Aramide’s house “Do you have enough love in your heart?” I will add this to it…do you trust God enough? And like your Pastor said,Are you willing to surrender ALL to Him, withholding nothing?”
Folahan nodded, then reached out and held my hand…he tried to say something but started to cry again. I wiped his tears with my other hand but I was crying too.
Pastor T got up and started to sing songs of praise…Uncle Ade joined him as they praised God. It was so intense that they started to pray in the spirit
They both walked over and started to pray for us…I wept uncontrollably but it wasn’t tears born out of pain. I felt a release in my spirit…I felt a hand trying to grab my other hand, I opened my eyes and it was Folahan, he held my hands (a sign of agreement) as the prayers continued. I could see that he had a different demeanor…the bitterness on his face was no longer there.
The prayer went on for about 15 minutes and Pastor T rounded it up.
When we were done, we saw Captain on his knees…his hands up in the air like he was surrendering.
“The God that did what I saw just now, I want to know Him
I want to serve Him
I want to spend the rest of my life serving Him”
Folahan crawled to him and hugged him tight, saying
“I forgive you dad…for everything
I forgive you dad
I wipe the slate clean
I let go of the hurts
I forgive you dad”
That was what messed Captain up…he was sobbing, sniveling and screaming
“I need You God…I need You God
I want You in my life
Take everything…take over every part of my life”
Pastor T led him in the sinner’s prayer…it was such an emotional night.
We were there till very late…it was agreed that Folahan’s mum be kept out of this. Uncle Ade promised to take care of it if she asked to know what happened.
After Folahan’s dad (I stopped referring to him as Captain) and Uncle Ade left, Pastor T reiterated that what we brokered that evening was divine and we should never tamper with it. It should not be brought up or referred to in our marriage or whenever we have misunderstandings. He also advised us to prayerfully consider relocating to the United States as it would make things easier and help with any form of awkwardness.
By Lanre Olagbaju
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