She couldn’t utter any words but hugged her tightly and began to pray for her. After settling down in the new city, she dreaded going to any church until she met Clement, a Nigerian at the bus stop. They exchanged pleasantries and he gave her a pamphlet. Clement politely invited her to their church but she declined. He didn’t bother to persuade her but only smiled and left.
Angela couldn’t think straight with all the disappointments coupled with job search. She contacted Evelyn who had already travelled back to her country for encouragement and prayers. She advised her to put sentiments aside and begin to fellowship with God’s children. Angela and her daughter later attended the church and were welcomed with open arms. It was a small church but the atmosphere was filled with joy. She was surprised to see Deacon Clement teaching the Sunday school with authority and the way they comported themselves challenged her to do more for God.
They began to fellowship with them until she got a job offer through one of the church members. God looked favourably upon her and things began to fall in place. Within two months, Angela had grown deeper in the Lord in the Young believer’s class and Deacon Clement helped them to know God personally. Her zealousness attracted bro Philip to her. He fell in love and promised her heaven and earth until she told him her ugly past. He began to give unreasonable excuses until he called it quits. It was a painful experience for her which made her lose interest in men. One aspect of her relationship with him that really inspired her was his love for God. She had desired a man who would continually point and guide her along the narrow path to heaven.
Mrs Debby, a neighbour and believer from another denomination took interest in her and her daughter. She introduced her to her younger brother, Richard who lived in another city. Richard promised to marry her and take care of her daughter provided she followed him to his church and renounced her conservative way of worship. After one month of courtship, she followed him to his church where their Pastor hugged and kissed her openly in his office. He prayed for them and asked them to continue to live happily. To clear her doubts, she asked Richard what he meant.
“Our Pastor loves everyone. He wants us to continue to express our love in public and in private.”
“But we aren’t married yet?” Angela challenged him.
“That’s the problem with your church. Our church celebrates and promotes love among brethren. Angela, this is a contemporary church. Wake up!”
In her confused state, God sent one of her church members to her. Mama Blessing, a grandmother sought Angela’s permission to visit her at home. It was after the Sunday church service she followed her home. Mama Blessing started by narrating her own story to her.
“I remembered when I was yearning for love and to be loved. I ignored all the red flags and admonitions from church leaders and my family. I then eloped with my fiance to Ghana to enjoy ourselves. Within one month, my fiance brought another lady home. When I challenged him, he told me we weren’t married yet and that he was free to do whatever he liked. His remarks cut my heart into pieces because I had put my hope in him instead of God. In fact, I abandoned my godly convictions because of him. Sister Angela, I don’t know why God led me to share my story with you but I know there’s something in the mind of God.”
Angela listened to her as she continued,
“I regretted my decision thinking I knew it all. I left him after he had used and abandoned me. The only thing that cannot fail you is God and your godly convictions. Don’t allow your love for a man overrides your love for God. Another thing is to surround yourself with godly and matured counsellors because the Bible says in Proverbs chapter 11 verse 14 that where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety. My sister, there’s safety when you seek godly counsels. Oh, how I wished I had listened to them then! I thought my level of education would sustain and guide me but I was disappointed.”
Angela’s face was filled with tears as she listened with rapt attention,
“You know what? I made another mistake when a Christian brother approached me. I fell for him without praying and he impregnated me. When I couldn’t hide my shame, I went for an abortion.” She paused to wipe the tears on her face.
“It was a painful abortion. I had to wait for five years before my husband eventually came. Within those five years, it was from one strange sickness to another. I lost my weight and my breasts shrank in size. Sometimes, I was mistaken for a man. One doctor even told me it was a rare sickness until I besought the face of God. His mercy located me and I was restored to Him. Oh, it was a wonderful day when God called me his precious daughter. My sins were forgiven and God healed me.”
Before Angela could say anything, Mama Blessing brought out…
To be continued in Episode 23.