“Wow,” he mouthed, interest piqued. “Please tell me about it.”
I laughed softly. “Well…umm, I was so broken. He was everything; father, brother, friend, mentor.” My voice turned melancholic. “He was everything.”
“Interesting,” William said, inclining his head as he analyzed that.
“And I umm, have this weird way of feeling things. I feel so deeply. So, when the hurt came, it was deep too.”
My right thumb stroked my left palm, while I revisited the past. It didn’t hurt anymore. I was only left with the ashes of a bittersweet memory.
“What happened?” His brows furrowed slightly, as if he could totally relate to my story.
“Nothing actually. Or maybe, a lot. Honestly, I think it was more of an issue of incompatibility than anything else. I think God called it off because we simply were not meant to be; but by then, I’d already given all my heart. It was difficult.”
I took a deep breath, wondering why in the world I was telling Bro Will about this. This was something that I never shared.
“We argued a lot. I felt he was being complacent about his vision in life as a whole. He didn’t tell me where exactly he was going, so I couldn’t follow him. I couldn’t trust his leadership.” I laughed, shaking my head.
William laughed. “Honestly, you’re so driven that if a man doesn’t have the same grace, it would be quite challenging to keep up with you.”
My cheeks heated up with a blush. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“It is.” He smiled.
“He actually thought I was always pushing too many projects, but that’s just me. I don’t know how to be idle. If I’m not working on something, then I’m planning for something. The real issue here was that I’d often prefer a spelt out plan for the future, but he wanted us to trust God one day at a time and leave tomorrow’s worries for tomorrow.”
William smiled. “Eyaah. Both ways right. Approach to life different.”
“Maybe. That’s incompatibility, I guess. Cos no matter how hard I tried, his approach to life didn’t give me any sense of security.”
And I was still the same person. I knew when to let God handle it while I followed and I knew when to let God guide me on creating a plan.
Same God manifesting in different ways according to His purposes. The problem became when we were insensitive to what He’d have had us do at any point.
“You see, opposites actually attract so that they can balance and help each other grow in areas where one is deficient and the other is strong. Each contributing in building the other from his or her own area of strength. That’s what draws them to each other in the first place. Initially it’s all sweet and stuff. Later, opposites frustrate.” He leaned back, putting both elbows on the step behind him.
“Yes. The very thing that attracted them becomes the issue. They can’t recouncile their differences in a way that complements each other. I’m sure he initially admired how driven you are and that was something he lacked. And you probably liked his serene, unruffled lifestyle.”
I chuckled. He was so accurate. “Okay…? So you’re saying we were meant to complement each other?”
“Well, in this case, you have a conviction that God didn’t want it, right?”
“So, no matter how compatible or incompatible we think we are with anyone, we must check with God first, because He knows the actual structure of everyone and sees the things we don’t see. He’s the perfect match maker.”
“Very true.” I thought back to what I used to have. The point was that after the whole thing ended, I was hurt though, but I was at peace. I’d let the peace of God guide me. I had no regrets.
“So, let me guess. You turned to Jesus for healing and fell in love with Him.”
I laughed. “Yes sir. I discovered such depth of love I couldn’t find anywhere else. I was lost. God became everything. I have a feeling that He’d been trying to get my attention and when I needed Him, He was waiting with arms wide open. He’d been waiting. Soon, He began to place a demand on my appetites.”
Bro Will chuckled. “Typical.”
“My self ambition and pride had to go first. I developed this obsession to do only what God would have me do. I didn’t care if I became the next Okonji Iweala or not. If Father was not leading me there, then I wanted none of it. I only wanted to do what he’d have me do.”
“Mmm,” he said. “That drive being dealt with and channeled appropriately.”
“Yeah, right?” I’d never thought of it that way.
“Secondly, my desire for popularity had to go. I’d always wanted to be a well known teacher of the word. I took the ministry to twitter and quite frankly, I was doing well, but it was all about me and very little about God.
“I wanted to be seen and Jesus was simply a platform to make that happen. Then one day, my sister’s phone got lost and she needed one for an urgent project. I relinquished mine.”
I reached out and gently slapped his neck. I opened my palm. The dead mosquito had had a feast.
“Thank you,” he said.
I nodded. “Left with nothing else to do, I began to sit more with Abba. When I wasn’t reading my books, I was praying, meditating on the word, reading a spiritual book or listening to a message. It soon became a life. You know, like oxygen. I breathed prayer. I also began to get scriptural insights.”
“Mmm. I remember praying for this.” He looked at me from the corner of his eye and winked.
“Sir?” If he meant that he prayed to have a similar experience, I would say it was actually something everyone should pray for. It was quite an adventure.
“I prayed for something like this. Please don’t mind me. Continue.”
“Okay. So I began to embark on spiritual exercises that transformed my life.”
“Wow. Which spiritual exercises did you embark on?”
“The first was focusing on God. I began to yield my thoughts to God. I no longer thought what I liked per time. If it did not align with Philippians 4:8, then it had to go. At first, it was war. The young man was all over my mind.” I laughed. “He was the first to go.”
William hooted with laughter. “I think I understand that.”
“God asked me a question before I embarked on this thought yielding process. He asked, ‘do you think people go back to their exes because they want to? Do you think people pursue those who have rejected them, because they want to?’ I said no.
“He told me that there’s such a thing as giving someone your heart, so much that a soul tie is literally formed, and breaking the tie is war. Then He gave me the scripture, 2Corinthians 10:3-7.
“Every night, I would wake up and break any soul tie to anyone, whether intentional or unintentional. Each time the young man came to mind, I brought the thought under obedience to Christ. I uttered words.”
“Exactly,” Will interpolated. “Sometimes, you don’t fight thoughts with thoughts, you fight thoughts with utterances.”
“True,” I said. “Normally, I would fantasise about a lot of erotic things, until I began this project. I began to fight back. I gave them no space. Then I made out time to fill my thoughts with wholesome things and scriptural meditations.
“With time and exercise, I crossed a certain threshold where holy thoughts began to come naturally. They became the default setting of my mind. Though I hear one nonsense song or word almost everywhere I turn, I take my time to engage my mind with the word of God.”
“I’m learning a lot,” Will said, checking his wristwatch. “It’s 5:45pm already. I think you should go. Sleep, then wake up to study and pray. I would have loved to spend more time with you, but you need to study.”
“Yes,” I said, getting up. “I was equally carried away. Thank you so much sir. I appreciate you.”
He smiled slightly, inclining his head so he could look up at me. “You’re welcome. I don’t know when else we can meet. When are you getting done with exams?”
“Next two months,” I said. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to continue seeing him. I didn’t want to get addicted to being with him.
“Alright. Your exams come first. Give it your best shot. William always prays for you.”
“And I appreciate him,” I said.
“Take care dear. I want to pray for a while before I go,” he said, picking his bible. “And next time we meet, I want to show you something.”
Curiosity lifted my left eyebrow. “What is that?”
“Something. Something you’ve never seen before.” His lips curved with an enigmatic smile. My curiosity increased.
“Hmm. Okay,” I said, turning to leave.
I already looked forward to our next meeting. I couldn’t help it. He had a way of making sure I didn’t cut him off. For all his calm, innocent demeanor, the young man was so full of surprises. You never knew what he was up to. I didn’t know spiritual brothers could be this exciting, but he’d changed that misconception.
There was never a dull moment with him. He always kept you on your toes. You didn’t know when next he’d show up or what he’d come up with. He always had something up his sleeves. Why was I surprised anyway? God is creativity Himself and His sons wouldn’t be any less intriguing.
To be continued…