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Laying It Bare

January 21, 2024

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There is a sentimental attachment that we all have with familiarity if someone or something had kept us warm and safe and happy for a while or several seasons, letting such a person or place go can be a challenge

Sometimes we know we must let go of such but the fear of the unknown, the shared history, and the mutual benefit we believe we are getting from such a relationship, friendship or union keeps us from seeing that as long as we hold on to such, we will never make progress

Take for example a young lady who met a man at a party

She was an undergraduate and he was working with a bank

He was ten years older than her

He came to strike up a conversation with her because he was bored and she looked bored

He was right

She was bored and was suffering through the party because she did not want to offend the person who invited her

He was good company

He made her laugh and took her mind off the party and other issues bothering her Within a few minutes of being with him, it felt as if she had known him all her life

She was easy on the eyes and therefore attracted a lot of male attention

She knew the look in the eyes of men and could interpret and separate lust from like and genuine interest

She had never been the one to ask any man for his phone number before but by the time the party was over, her phone was out and she was taking his number

He was rich, classy, smooth, handsome, well-connected, wise, witty, clear-minded and purpose-driven

He was the kind of man anybody would do well to have in their circle of influence

All the way home she was thinking of him

When she got home, she excitedly sent him a message thanking him for the night and hoping he would keep in touch

He had her by her intestines and she didn’t even know it

She had fallen for him

He replied to her message

He thanked her for bailing him out of boredom and keeping him enthralled throughout the day

He promised to call her as soon as he could

He called her the next day and told her he was at her school

He came to see her instead of talking to her on the phone

He took her to lunch and then they took a long walk and just talked

When they were done with their date, he began to walk away from her to his car

Her heart started pounding fearfully

She didn’t want him to go

They had connected on levels that she did not even know she had

He fit right into the “life partner” category, the one! And it was only the second time they would be together

The third time, she was the one who called him after several days of daydreaming about him to ask him if he was available the following weekend

She wanted to see his world

She needed to know if he was for real or catfishing

She told him she was free and wanted to spend some time away from the campus

She said she was willing to stay in a friend’s house close to him but she would like to have his address

He sent it to her

She lodged in a hotel close to his address

She visited him the next day which was a Saturday at home

She saw with her own eyes that he was single and unattached

She looked for all the signs

She had been in relationships with both single and married men before she met him

She considered herself an expert at detecting if someone was single or married

He was single

He was her final answer to the question of getting married or staying single

If he asked her to marry him, she would say yes immediately

She had never felt that way about anybody before

Later that afternoon, she forced the conversation the only way she could

He kept talking and being all nice but he did not make any move to have any physical contact or intimate moment with her

He was polite and distant, almost as if he was friend-zoning her

She said, “Are you not sexually attracted to me?” The question took him off guard but he adjusted quickly and started laughing nervously

He didn’t reply, he just looked at her and lapsed into silence

This made her unsure of how he perceived the question

Did he think her too forward or she was throwing herself at him somehow?

He gave her the impression that he was liberal and open-minded

She hoped she didn’t read him wrong

Suddenly he leaned toward her and kissed her

She gave everything to him- the key to her blouse, skirt, upper safe, and lower safe

She gave him all the contents of the safe and the safe itself

He took his time to take everything she offered

He was a meticulous lover

She expected the relationship to progress from there

It did but not in the direction she wanted

They did everything a happy couple would do for each other but he was determined never to get married

She didn’t know she ought to ask a man if he was the marrying kind or not

Every time she talked about marriage, he would shake his head and change the subject He gave her everything

She became his travelling companion, his best friend, his lover, his unofficial secretary, his advisor, and his heart song

She had access to his laptops, his phones, his local and international documents, everything

She had a key to his apartment in Lagos and Port Harcourt

He took her to the studio apartment he owned in London and Paris which he uses for Airbnb whenever he is out of the country

He listed her as his next of kin on several documents

She would sometimes fill out sensitive documents for him so that all he had to do was append his signature

Sometimes she signed his hand

It was the best relationship anybody who had ever been in love could ever hope to have She was essentially his wife in every vital way

He got her a job as soon as she graduated ensuring that she was independent of him financially

Encouraged her to save and even helped out members of her family who fell on hard times or needed anything he had to give

Her parents got to know about him and later got to know him

He was the only man in her life The only man she ever wanted to be with

Ten years later, she was in her mid-thirties and nothing had changed

Her mother had called her to have the talk several times

Her father never bothered her about it but he was concerned even in silence

She tried everything she knew to convince him to marry her

He said he was not the marrying kind

She broke off the relationship but the first day without him felt like the moment a fish is taken out of the water

She was sure he would come for her, bend for her, make a compromise for her sake They were too in love not to do much for each other

He didn’t

He didn’t date another babe or block her or throw tantrums

He just kept his nose in his job and if he cried about her leaving him, he kept his tears to himself

She joined a church and started searching for a husband

The church was obviously the first place to go

She felt if he saw her with someone else, he might be stirred to jealousy and do the right thing

She knew he was not made of iron and steel

He was a man and he loved her, of that she had no doubt

She wanted a wedding; she had dreamt of it since she was born

She wanted a home, she wanted to have children

He gave her so many things but he denied her the very things she wanted and truly desired

She met new prospects but they were nothing compared to him

Sometimes she would call him in the middle of the night, crying

He would drive to her place and comfort her

He would move mountains and level valleys to give her temporary comfort

He refused to yield on the issue of marriage

She even offered to have children, even if it is just one child for him

He refused

Clearly, they didn’t want the same things in life

She knew he wouldn’t bend or change his mind

She continued to search for alternatives but she still couldn’t let him go

She kept telling herself she had invested too much in him for another babe to come into his life and get married to him in less than six months

She knew it could happen

That would really break her

So, she kept an eye on him while looking for another match with her second eye

The redefinition of their relationship did not faze him

That she was having dates with other guys did not move him

He would call her whenever he needed her and she would run to him

She had moved out of his apartment and started trying to wean herself off him

When he is travelling abroad for the summer holidays, he buys her tickets and she goes with him

She just couldn’t let go of those perks especially as he was offering them with no strings attached

Another three years went by

By this time she had dated many other guys but none of them got to the point of proposing to her before she broke things off

She went to see the Brother in Jeans and T-shirt for counselling

She told him everything that had happened

She also told him the man was no longer a lover, that the two of them had settled for friendship

She was closer to forty and he was a bit above fifty by this time

She still felt a strong desire to get married but to who? She was worried she would not be able to have children at that age or that the children might have some issues because the quality of her eggs must have depreciated

She was worried she would live alone and die alone with nobody to love and care for her as he did

Even as friends, he was the only one person she was sure would drop everything he was doing and come rushing to her if she just sent him a smiley or any signal indicating she wanted him around

She didn’t understand his fear of marriage and why her love for him could not break it The Brother in Jeans and T-shirt told her she must do what she believed was best for her “Take a few days off, talk to the Holy Spirit about your situation, and listen to him. Whatever he tells you to do, if you do it, you will find yourself rejoicing in fulfillment in no time”

Her relationship with the Holy Spirit was just a few days old by this time

She had been a nominal Christian all her life before her situation made her turn to spirituality for succour

She took some days off as counselled

She spent them praying in tongues and reading her scriptures out loud

She had talking sessions with the Holy Spirit

She laid it all bare

On the fourth day, she got an email from a headhunter

A company in the United Kingdom required her expertise and the pay was good

She had never considered living abroad

She felt this was something new and a change of environment may not be such a terrible idea

She said, Yes

One month later, she left for London

It was an opportunity for her to start all over and she took it with both hands

She couldn’t resist telling him about it, hoping he would maybe tell her not to go and propose

She couldn’t resist the longing for a miracle in that direction

It never happened

She got to the United Kingdom on a Saturday

 

She resumed at her desk two weeks later

Six weeks into the job, she met a guy

He asked to take her to lunch and she said yes

As soon as they sat down to their meal, he said, “I am going to marry you”

She almost choked on her food

He meant it

They were married four months later
She was forty-one years old and he was thirty-eight

PS: I am happy to announce that they delivered their first child overnight

The baby came at 12:03 AM WAT

She said it was as if God recovered several years for her in the last year

She kept saying, “Brother Gbenga, but you know, you know where I am coming from, you know my story, it is as if I am dreaming”

We must all learn to trust God early and not lean on our own understanding

We must learn to go to him and say, “See, sir, see the mess I have made”

Children do it to their parents always and parents help their children to clean up their messes

The earlier we do this, the better for us

Especially as Born Again Christians

 

-GSW-

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