Written by Glorie Adepoju
(A SHORT STORY)
They both strolled leisurely. The chilly wind blew, and Iniobong hugged herself. Elliot took off his jacket and covered her with it protectively.
“Nini” he said, using her pet name
“I have a confession” He said
He had her complete attention
“Shortly before my trip out of the country. Something strange began to happen, each time I prayed about a life partner, your image would always flash before me, every single time, interrupting me, not to mention, you possess almost all the qualities that God mentioned I would see in my future partner, I had a prompting to tell you about it, but I didn’t because I couldn’t decode the message God was sending, and because…”
“…because, I must admit that at the time, on my part, you were nothing more than a friend and team member whose passion for the ministry matched mine. ”
“When I was overseas, I met a woman I began to pray about, once again your image flashed before my eyes as I prayed for a life partner. I don’t even know how it happened, but one day the message God was passing across to me all these years, suddenly dawned on me. I started having these longing for you. I still had a few months to spend back there, but I hurried back, I suddenly had this fear that you had already gotten married or were about to.”
“I was in ecstasy when I got back here to find you unmarried.”
He gazed into her eyes, and the longing lying in them, rendered her speechless.
“You have caught my eye, everything about you keeps holding me spellbound and I‘m not even tempted to look elsewhere.” he said holding her gaze
His phone vibrated just then, he reluctantly broke eye contact, and picked up the call.
“Hello, yes, what’s the situation?” he asked,
The call ended shortly, and he faced her.
“Nini, unfortunately my attention is urgently needed at the hospital” He said.
She took off the jacket and handed it over to him.
“You still need it, Moreso, it’ll give me an excuse to see you again.” he whispered into her ears, as he wrapped the oversized jacket over her.
His words rooted her to a spot and then he left.
Never in my wildest imagination did I believe that Elliot will finally look at me that way. She thought as she resumed her walk.
Elliot was an anointed music minister here in their hometown, the moment Iniobong discovered her calling into music ministry, she joined his team. Elliot mentored and groomed her into a rugged and seasoned music minister. Elliot was one handsome medical doctor, but there was a major reason why she had him in her heart.
Something that made him automatically qualify as the one for her. The reason had everything to do with her covenant with God. Apparently Elliot perfectly fit into her ministerial destiny.
Unfortunately for her, back then the feeling was not mutual. It was evident that Elliot regarded her as nothing more than a minister and friend, still Iniobong held on to the hope that over time he would come to see her as more.
Elliot had to further his studies out of the country. Something happened the night before Elliot left, and so she resolved that he would be back and she would wait for him.
She sighed as her mind wandered back to the present.
“Sweet Spirit, what is the wonder of nature you promised to show me?” She asked softly.
LOOK UP AT THE SKY, came the familiar soft whisper into her spirit.
Excited she looked up and spotted what looked round like the sun.
THAT’S THE MOON
“I thought that was the sun.”
THE SUN IS ON THE LEFT SIDE
Iniobong looked towards the left side of the sky, she spotted the sun setting.
Amazed, she looked from the left to the right, “I didn’t know I could see both sun and moon together in the sky like this!” she exclaimed.
A soft honking of a car, drew her attention, she didn’t have to look to know who it was.
“I saw that before you did” Michael announced proudly, referring to the sun and moon, flashing one of his charming smiles.
A smile that made her heart flutter.
“I wish I could get a closer view” Iniobong said wistfully.
“Same here, wait a minute, I know a place,” He said in excitement.
“Let’s go, we don’t have much time before the sun finally sets!”
She hurriedly hopped into the car, and the engine roared to life.
They arrived at their destination, which was at the foot of a slightly high mountain, they climbed it.
They both sat, in silence as they enjoyed the setting of the sun, and the mountain top gave a much closer view that was breath-taking.
Sometime back, Michael had relocated here, and their deep love and appreciation for nature sparked a close friendship between them. Over time she was able to get to know Michael better. Iniobong realized that Michael was an exceptional, low profile and very wealthy businessman. He opened up to her, about him being an only child to very wealthy parents who died early, and at a young age he had to prematurely take over the business and continue the legacy, which explains his immense wealth.
It was almost hard to believe that she was friends with a man of his status. Yet, she was afraid that she was beginning to care for him more than she would a normal friend, for a particular reason. She has declined all the suitors that flocked around her, because Elliot remained in her heart, afterall Elliot was the only man that met the criteria of her covenant with God. Unbelievably, she realized that Michael also met the criteria as well, and for the first time, another man unknowingly challenged Elliot’s place in her heart.
Michael took her by surprise when he began to verbalise his interest. It was at this period that Elliot returned. Interestingly, he wasn’t the same man who left, because the same Elliot who never glanced at her back then, now regarded her with a deep interest in his eyes.
Iniobong gazed at the sky, the full moon was a pretty sight.
“What a pretty sight.” Iniobong said,
“A very, very pretty sight, God is an amazing artist.” Michael said.
She turned to find him gazing at her in awe, unable to stand the intensity of his gaze, she immediately looked away.
“Michael, you always say that when you find your wife, you will just know. How will you know?”
“Growing up, my late parents invested in me, especially spiritual growth. As if they knew they didn’t have much time to spend with me. Not only did they groom me to step into my father’s shoes in the family business, but they also ensured that I was infused with depth and backbone at a very young age. It is those financial, intellectual, mental, and especially spiritual backbone that are still shaping me into who I am today.”
Iniobong now understood how come Michael seemed to have the spirit of excellence like a second nature. Though her first impression of a wealthy, and also incredibly handsome young man like Michael, was the quick assumption that such a man must be a shallow Christian, especially with his killer smile that made women smile sheepishly. Contrary to her assumption, their friendship showed her that his spiritual depth was intriguing.
“They taught me that God has a plan for everything including marriage, the end goal is always for the advancement of the kingdom. Their marriage was a perfect example of that and so I understood why I must allow God to play the main role in the process of choosing a life partner.” He said calmly.
“I spoke to my late Mom about my fear of marrying wrongly, I told her I really wanted to marry God’s will for me, and I will bring all the women I meet to them one after the other so that they can help me decide which of them is the will of God. She laughed, but told me something that I wrote down word for word, and I went back to it over and over again till it became a part of me.”
His words had Iniobong glued to him.
“She said, and I quote, Michael, there is the place of the guidance of spiritual pillars, yet you shouldn’t depend on them to help you discern the will of God for your life. God is your father. The moment you have a deep relationship with Jesus, you will begin to desire God’s will for every major juncture in your life, including marriage. Before I dreamt of meeting your father, God was actively involved in the decision process of my life, and so over time I had developed a pattern of hearing from him, and speaking to Him. Therefore I didn’t have to run from one prophet to the other to discern that your father was God’s will for me, I only got confirmations from others.”
“She said, my darling son, marriage is one of God’s plan for his children, it is not the only plan. If you rely on others to help you discern God’s will for you in marriage, you will need them to keep helping you sustain that marriage. This is because after marriage, you will have major destiny changing decisions, having a pattern of discerning God’s will for every turn in your life is very important.”
“That counsel made me level up my relationship with Jesus, and thus I began to desire God’s will for me. Over time, God was no longer the God of my parents, but also my own Father, and I was able to discern his will for me in various phases of my life. I never imagined that I would lose my parents that early, with the growing family business handed over to me. I wasn’t an established business tycoon like my father or outspoken and relational like my mother, plus I was very young, and so a lot of enemies were certain I would fail woefully.”
“I am grateful that I had an established relationship with Jesus, and so, I was able to discern God’s will concerning the kind of people I need to build my team, and so when I was faced with big or small decisions I was able to make the right decisions. Thanks be to God, the business has risen way beyond my expectations and that of many rivals. All aspects of my life including choosing the right mentor and discipler, including relocating to this village, discerning God’s will played a key role. Though I still make mistakes, but I have been able to avoid making choices out of flesh that would have altered the course of my destiny.”
“Wow, that is so incredible” Iniobong said, utterly amazed.
“It has even helped making the process of finding a life partner so much easier.”
“Now I understand.”
“Exactly, and when I eventually did, it came as no surprise when all my mentors started confirming it one after the other.”
“Whoa, backtrack a bit, you lost me there. When you did? Did what?”
…to be continued.
Have you been ministered to in any way by this first part? Please share your thoughts with me. God bless you.
It’s been a long while. How have you been?😁😁