Guuys!! I know sometimes you have to go all the way back to read from the start, because there’s so much time between episodes. lol. I promise to do better. For now though, here are all the previous episodes.
It’s funny that we’re both in the same country… and have been for the past couple of weeks, and haven’t made any proper plans to meet. Would you like to come to the service tomorrow? I will be speaking on ‘Where is God in my hostile world?’
How are the parents? Has Mackenzie made any new friends yet? Did you finally get him to go to the ‘evil forest?’
You asked if things had gotten better. I can’t quite tell… we’re still civil, she still hasn’t acknowledged the letter I wrote her. And whenever I ask about it, she seems too preoccupied to say anything. There was one day when she deliberately walked away when I asked about it. Nady I need big prayers. The kind that require excessive faith. She refuses to go for therapy. That much she’s stated categorically. Somehow, she doesn’t seem to understand that we could be so much more… have so much more. I’m at my wits end now.
I told you about the morning prayers we usually have together? She spent about fifteen minutes three days ago, praying “Lord, please change my husband.” For a couple days now, I’ve been soul searching. Maybe I’m being unreasonable? You’re a woman, you can tell me? Is it too much to ask that my wife and I get closer? Share an intimacy that we were put together for? Half the time, it makes me wonder, what if… what could have been? Was I right in making this life altering decision, just to please a woman who’s now in God’s bosom enjoying His peace?
Enough talk about this though… I’m still soul searching, who knows, I may be the problem. Aren’t men the problem 80% of the time?
Any chance I could meet with you after church on Sunday? I’ve got meetings with the presbytery, after which I could come by the house if you’re fine with that? Just let me know if that works for you?
Tonight, Nady, I miss you badly. I had you on my mind all through yesterday. You’re in Ghana Nady… and I wish I could see you.
Akyia had not imagined it to be this crazy. She’d been through stress doing house job at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, and she’d assumed nothing could be worse. This stress was a whole new level. It wasn’t only a physical stress. She was constantly questioning and second guessing herself. Imposter syndrome had never felt so real to her. And she didn’t know what to do about it.
She’d called Papa daily over the first week. Their first conversation was really just him asking… no yelling “Why?”, and her, sobbing on the other end of the line. Of course he was mad. Of course he’d thrown a tantrum and sent her very mean accusing messages. But gradually it looked like he was coming around. She didn’t regret leaving, and the work load and mental plus emotional stress kept her too busy to rethink her decision.
Papa on the other hand had too much time on his hands, and it was affecting his thinking. Some of his friends weren’t helping matters either. “How can a grown man sit there and watch his wife leave without telling him, and you’re still with her?” He’d had so many of such comments; but then he’d had some others congratulating him on allowing his wife to go and reach her goals. He was torn. He knew he loved her, but he felt so disrespected that she had actually left. There was little to be done about it, and he was gradually trying to come to terms with it.
The church had changed a lot from the last time she had been there. It was definitely a lot larger, and some of the people were genuinely nice to her, asking if she was only visiting or staying on for good.
The sermon started with a beautiful song Nadia had listened to so often. It brought back memories. So many hard memories. She tried hard to keep her tears in check.
“May your struggles keep you near the cross…
And may your troubles show that you need God.
May your battles end the way they should…
And may your bad days prove that God is good.
And may your whole life prove that God is good.”
She thought about her struggles, and how they truly kept her near the cross. If she’d wound up with Bruma would she have known God for herself? For the protector and strength He was to her? Would she have ever thought that she could do life with no one else? She had happy tears in her eyes as the song ended. She’d done it. With no one but God. And right now, she knew she could carry on. Mackenzie made it much more worth it. She missed Bruma, madly, terribly… but she’d done it before. She could do it. She would do it!
“Definitely the three men in the fire wondered where God would be as they walked into the fiery furnace. Imagine being asked to walk into a blazing furnace. Not because you did anything wrong, but because you refused to stand for what was wrong.
And that’s the world we live in today. Wrong is celebrated. And right is ridiculed.
But hey, there was another in the fire! There was a man in the fire with them. They did not burn. They were in the fire with Him. So that’s where God is when the world is hostile. Right with you. Right in the fire. Right there. Every. Step. Of. The. Way! No matter how long it takes, or how impossible it seems, remember where He is. Right there in the fire!”
He smiled, and the congregation clapped as the choir started singing Hillsong’s “Another in the fire”
“Don’t forget, there was another in the fire… He never leaves nor forsakes us. The church friends might leave you – and trust me, sometimes they do…. In today’s world, half of the time they will – even family might desert you…but Jesus never leaves!”
At the end of the Sermon, the MC asked Sarah to say a prayer. Nadia whispered a prayer for Sarah as she mounted the podium. “God, bring happiness into this woman’s life. Teach her to love Brumah how he wants to be loved. Help me not to come in the way of that!”
The music was playing softly as Nadia tried to get some work done. Even though she was on holiday, there were always a few things she needed to check on from work. Today, she was doing way more thinking than working.
“God is just a prayer away
All you need to do is call
He will hear your faintest cry
He’s concerned about you.”
Back when she’d gotten divorced, apart from the relief of not having to be beaten daily, she’d lived with a constant fear. A fear that maybe she wasn’t good enough. That maybe Brumah had left her because of that, and her marriage hadn’t worked out either because of that. Therapy, and finding God had dulled that thought in her life for many years. Mackenzie had made it a lot easier to not think that way.
“So while your tears are flowing through
Your time of mourning
He is here to lift your heavy heart
Because He’s in love with you.”
But being back home, back in the environment that so hostilely threw her away, seeing Sarah today, in her lovely Kaba and Slit, and the almost customary headgear, Nadia started to wonder again. Was she good enough? Was she damaged in anyway?
She thought about how hard it’d been trying not to contact Bruma for a meeting. How she would go into the backyard and sit for hours, thinking about what they could have had. She missed him. But she didn’t want to be a weakness. Especially not when he was this vulnerable. She wasn’t going to be the reason why he lost his family, or his right standing before God.
“He knows, He cares
He sees, He’s there
He’ll carry you
He’s concerned about you.”
She couldn’t hold back her tears much longer.
Why had Bruma’s mother hated her so much? Why couldn’t she have had him? Why did she have to be the trade off?
She was so glad she hadn’t come to church with Mackenzie. He would have had so many questions.
“Weeping may endure for a night
But the morning will bring joy
He won’t give you more than you can bear
He’s concerned about you.”
“Dear God why do I still want this man? Why is this so hard?”
Andrea hadn’t been to church in weeks – months actually. She’d had enough of the pointing fingers and the whispers. She told Gyedu she’d get a fresh start elsewhere with the kids. So he didn’t have to bother about her saying anything to anyone. The truth of the matter was that she had gotten sick and tired of the judgemental way that people asked her questions. “Don’t you think you could have solved the matter amicably? The Lord hates divorce you know?”
She’d gone on a good third date yesterday. They’d texted for a couple weeks, before finally meeting and he seemed like a good guy. The first date had been lunch at a cafeteria close to her office. The second had been a fleeting thirty minutes when he passed by her house and they sat and talked for a bit in his car. Last night had been dinner. He was fun to talk to, and hadn’t flinched when she mentioned her twin boys casually in conversation. He asked their names, and seemed interested when she mentioned how Panyin was always talking, and Kakra was the constant listener. He’d held the doors for her, and opened her car door. He was a gentleman.
And most importantly, at the end of the evening, he didn’t harrow her for a kiss, or anything more. He gave her a hug, said that he’d enjoyed the evening, and drove off after making a plan to meet on another day.
She knew it was too early to get attached, but he made her giddy – something she hadn’t felt in a very long time! And she’d been giddy over him for over 2 months.
The kids were at her mothers, so she could sleep in all Sunday. She had no plans and she liked it that way. It was a good day to laze about and think about last night. Just when she tossed over the other side of the bed, her phone beeped.
“Thank you for a swell time last night, Andrea. I don’t know if I told you this, but you were stunning. You are beautiful, and I had to mentally stop myself from saying/doing anything inappropriate. I really enjoyed dinner with you. If you’d like to, I could cook this afternoon so we eat and talk. I’ll send you the address if you can. Hugs.”
Suddenly she didn’t want to sleep in anymore.
“That sounds good. Would I need to grab some Imodium on my way though? And I could bring some wine, I don’t know your preference.”
“Imodium would definitely not be necessary. Trust me on that. I like my wine white and dry. Anything else you prefer should work too. 238 Trassaco Valley. 1PM. See you soon”
When Bruma visited Nadia, he was a wreck. Mackenzie had gone to the town centre or so with his grandmother. She hadn’t been expecting him to come over the house, so he somehow caught her by surprise.
The house hadn’t changed so much. He was hit suddenly with so much nostalgia.
“On Sunday, that was a very beautiful –”
“Nady, I’m losing my mind! I… I” She really didn’t know what to say. Because somehow she’d seen this coming. She handed him a bottle of water from the counter, and asked him to sit. Her mind was racing, and she really didn’t know if she had the strength to be strong for him. She’d seen him like this before. Many years ago. Maybe not this bad. But it was obvious he wasn’t in a good place.
She sat in the chair across from him, waiting for him to calm down and speak. He didn’t, only pulled out the note from his pocket.
It was from Sarah. “Bruma, I don’t know if it’s appropriate that I read this…” “Trust me Nady, it’s definitely not a love letter.”
I have never told you this. But when my parents asked me to marry you, I thought I’d done something wrong. I asked my mother why she wanted me to, and apparently your mother had approached her about it. I knew for sure that it wasn’t your decision.
I accepted to marry you because it was the right thing to do. You were going to be groomed to be a pastor, and it’s what I’d been brought up for – the pastor’s wife. Before you, there was a young man I cared about. But he was not even a Christian. He was my little secret for about 3 months. And in those three months, I only saw him twice. I knew I had to get rid of him when he started demanding things from me. A hug, a kiss… on and on. But my mother found out about him before I had the courage to get rid of him. For many reasons, I’m almost certain that marrying you was the punishment for entertaining him.
As your wife, I have the daunting task of the care of almost all the women in this church. I have the task of ensuring you’re fed, and I have the task of making your kids.
I’ve done this well for the past 9 years. I really don’t understand what more you want from me, Osofo. If it’s the bedroom stuff you want more of, I can always take it.
If I had to do this again, I don’t think I would. It’s been really hard, Bruma. We’re from completely different worlds, and sometimes I wonder how we’ve been agreeing on how the kids are brought up.
I’m very sorry if I haven’t been what you wanted in your wife. I know you’ve had extensive experience in the women department. So I can understand if you don’t think I’m the most ideal, but I need you to know that you were not my first choice either.
I don’t think the therapy is necessary, Bruma. How do we explain to the Presbyters that we have marriage issues so we have to go for counselling? If we’ve managed to live well together for the past 9 years, I’m sure we can manage for the rest of our lives.
I know I should not accuse a man of God of certain things, but there are days when I think you’ve found someone else. I don’t care what you do, Osofo, but I will not be disrespected. If you have found someone else, please be discrete about it. If she takes good care of you, it means you won’t come back worrying me at 3AM for sex. Also, please protect yourself. I will not be riddled with disease because of your outrageous libido.
I’m sorry if this letter sounds disrespectful, but I’ve been keeping in all this rage from long before you wrote me that letter three months ago. We both know we don’t love each other. But we have a congregation to lead, and kids to bring up. We’ve pretended for the past 9 years, and we can definitely do a few years more. I’m absolutely fine with the sham we call a marriage, and I’m quite sure we’ll do just fine.
Nadia couldn’t believe her eyes. She’d never read such a callous letter.
She moved to Brumas side, and held him in a hug. He was breathing really heavily. He wasn’t crying, but she thought he probably would. They stayed this way for a few minutes, until his breathing settled. They hadn’t been this close in years. It felt good.
“I’m sorry Nady, I shouldn’t be bothering you with these things. I just…I don’t…”
“Don’t be silly Bruma, who else would you tell?” she was right. Nobody else knew anything about what was going on.
“I miss you Nady. I really really do.” She had to stop herself from saying me too. She knew she had to be the sensible one for the two of them.
He wasn’t in a good place, and she couldn’t take advantage of that.
She held him really tight in a long embrace, and just before she could let go, her mother walked in, with Mackenzie in tow.
Yaa had fallen hopelessly in love with the baby. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. She understood now why so many of her friends who’d decided they didn’t want marriage, had decided they still wanted kids. He had such beautiful eyes!
She’d also met twice with the delightful Nigerian doctor, and she knew she was probably finally falling in love. Why did he have to be wearing a wedding band? Why was he so well cultured? Why did he constantly smell so good? They’d sent each other messages a few times, however they hadn’t progressed to the point where she could ask him about his personal life. She didn’t know if she wanted to get to that point. He wore a wedding band. He was off limits, and she knew she had to stop.
The last time they met, he was explaining to her what the adoption protocol was, and how more often than not, the hospital personnel were not involved in the dealings. He’d offered her a cup of tea or coffee, and she’d only accepted to take the coffee, because she knew he was not going to have his secretary brew a fresh cup. She’d overhead on their last visit that he didn’t like instant coffee. The only thing she liked about coffee was the smell – it tasted like earth to her. But she wanted the extra five minutes. She hadn’t felt this way much before, and she loved the way he treated her.
She had to keep reminding herself that he was off limits. And that was a really hard thing to you.
Wendy didn’t know what to do about Yaa falling in love with the doctor. They’d talked about it in passing, but she could tell that Yaa was definitely falling. She was happy for her, but she knew it wasn’t right. Wendy was also happy that Yaa was adopting the child. It meant she would always have him in her life, and that made her happy. She’d started preparing to start back at school, and Pastor Brumah had called her a few times about returning to church. It seemed as if the other pastors did not really care that much.
“Dear Miss Yaa. It will be quite a long while before the adoption process is finally over. However I found out from the hospital’s lawyer that the initial part has been approved. Congratulations, you’re a mother! It would be nice to celebrate this. There’s a lunch meeting that I have to attend, and I’d need a plus one. If you’d be kind enough to be my plus one, we could get some drinks after.
Here’s a link to all the songs mentioned in this piece!
God is Good – Jonathan McReynolds, Another in the Fire – Hillsong United, and He’s Concerned – Cece Winans