Pains And Gains Part 1

What would you do to the one who shattered your dreams, aspirations, and life into pieces? Going forward is difficult But! The smell of revenge is even sweeter right? Let's see what Mirabel did in the series of this suspense-filled fiction.

ONE

Though our beginning may be small, our latter end shall be greatly increased; this dress is lovely on you,' Mirabel's mother, Deaconess Grace Ogunyemi, exclaimed in surprise. Mirabel, who was standing in front of the standing mirror in her room, looked back at her mother standing by the door. Are you sure, mum?' 'Yes, of course, you look like a queen. Get ready, so we won't be late for church service this morning. 'Okay, mummy, I am almost done .' Mirabel looked at herself, again and again; she could not believe what she saw; dressed in a pink gown with an off-white and gold flowery design, she looked for matching gold heels and a beautiful purse. Mirabel put on some powder and wet her lips with gloss, apply a little makeup to match her dress. As she began to pack her bible and jotter, she heard her father's voice calling all members of the house. 

'It's time to go to church; Pastor John Ogunyemi called out. It's 7 am already; if you are not ready am leaving you behind, He jokingly told everyone.

In the next two to three minutes, everyone was already in the jeep they were taking to church. A Godly family of five, the father, mother, and three children, Mirabel, Michael, and Esther. On their way to church, Mirabel was deeply thinking about the past. Five years ago, their father had called every one of them into the sitting room one sunny afternoon in January; he told them that the family meeting was to tell everyone the plan of God for their family at the start of a new year. 'God has been laying it upon my heart since last year every time I pray that he wants me to start a church that will minister and change the lives of people for good,' dad said that day. And the church will start with every one of us here. The church started in our sitting room and later increased to the front of our house, we didn't even have our own house then, but our landlord was kind enough to allow us to use his house for religious purposes. He and his family even became our members.  

Dad, who was working in clever hills company in Ibadan, had to resign because he was called to be a full-timer. We really had our difficult moments then, times when I even disagreed that God did not call Daddy to be a pastor. Sometimes, during those years, we went to bed in hunger and woke up with no hope of eating the next meal in the morning. We were just managing when dad was still working in the company, but now when there is no salary coming in, it was tough. Mum was just a petty trader, trading in little provision in a kiosk at the frontage of our house. Because of the hardship, we were enrolled in public schools. It was really hard; because of the normal strike in public schools then, I had to remain in SSS 2 for a long period of time. I even wrote my West African Examination Council (WASSCE) twice before I could make the required papers for my degree program.

Those periods before we finally had a breakthrough were termed by me as the darkest period of my family. I later realized that each and every one of us usually faces dark periods; it depends on how we face them that determines how we will face life afterward. We finally had a breakthrough when Daddy met a man who had a marital problem; his wife had not been able to give birth for eight years, daddy prayed for them, and the wife became pregnant. The man was so much happy that he gave daddy a parcel of land; not only that, he assisted the church in building a big modern church. The Heritage Bible Church became popular, and people from all works of life were coming in. The merciful God already knew the part I would be playing in the church before I would lead praises with my sister, Esther backing me up, but in our church, now I head the choir unit, the choir unit became one of the very best units in the church and outside the church. The Heritage Bible Church is now a big church with over 20 branches in the western part of the state. We now live in our own house. Daddy has three different cars; he brought one for mummy, actually. This family that once lack in everything now has everything to its fullness. I go anywhere I want to go; I even shop in shopping malls. I never thought I would do that; I saw them only in movies. This year I'm graduating from school as an accountant. My fiancé, who also attends the same church, is a manager in Wale and Sons Ltd. I can boldly say God has been good to me, my family, and the church of God. They that serve the Lord will never be put to shame.

TWO

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death Ps 23:4 'Mirabel, how are you preparing to resume for your final semester before graduating? Pastor John asked his daughter. Daddy, I am at a mixed feeling here, Mirabel replied sincerely, I am really happy, and at the same time, I dread this year; it's going to be tedious with projects, reading, and all sorts of academic activities. Her father smiled; don't worry, God will see you through. You will pass out triumphantly. Amen, Mirabel answered the heartfelt prayer. Two days later, in the evening, Mirabel's mother entered her husband's room with a frown on her face. 'What is it, dear Pastor John asked. 'I do not like how this money was brought here; it should stay in the church; two million nairas is not a small amount of money. During the service, money for the missions and those in the field has been contributed so that on Monday, the money will be sent to them. 

I know he replied, 'but there is nothing we can do; the money will be picked up tomorrow morning. 

'Okay, let's go downstairs to pray so that we can retire to bed early; I have a meeting with the women leader by 9 am tomorrow morning. 'That's right; it's 8:30p.m already, let's go and pray. Daddy led the prayers; the prayers ended at 9:00 pm; everyone said good night and happy night to one another and went to sleep. Michael waited for a few minutes to turn off all the lights and make sure the doors were locked before retiring to bed. At exactly 01:30a.m, there was a heavy bang on the door. Everybody stirred on their bed, even the heavy sleepers. 'What noise could that be, dear? I hope it's not what I am thinking,' mummy lamented as they scrambled out of bed. The Lord is with us; let's go and check. Open this door before I break it down; a voice thundered in front of the main door. 

Every member of the family is already gathered in the sitting room, confused, agitated, and trembling. Silently, they begin to pray for divine intervention; the banging continued furiously, even with the fearful prayer, as if God was not listening to the cry of his own children. 'If I force this door open, I am gonna kill all of ya.' Another angry voice thundered again, clearly reeking of alcohol. As if on impulse, pastor Ogunyemi fearfully opened the door. Four men wearing black masks rushed in angrily. How dare you keep us outside waiting? You are really going to pay for this. Get down on your knees, all of you, one of the men said. One of them even hit the pastor with the gun in his hand. 'We are really sorry, pastor cried out in fear, 'it won't happen again, just spare our lives.' 'If you cooperate, we will,' one of them said. 'Where is the money you collected from your members in the church today?' 'Ah! It's the mission money, for the missionary on the field'. 'O yes! Na, we are missionaries now, no be field we dey? 'We dey work now. Go and bring out the money, one of them supported. The pastor hesitated, begging them silently not to tamper with the money meant for God's servants. 

One of the robbers shouted, 'Ah! Why you dey waste time now, Pasco, he turned to the one acting as their leader, 'I go shoot this man o. Take it easy, Machu; let me take care of him. 'Na because you be leader, I for don hammer am since he retorted again. Mirabel spoke to her father in fear, 'Daddy, please let's give them the money; that's all they ask for. 'Na, who get that tiny voice? Machu asked, that voice sweet o babe. Abeg, make we do am like this, you people make una take the money, make I take this little beauty abi make I give you oga? Machu, now standing beside Mirabel, spoke, talking to the leader of their gang. 'I like her; she is beautiful; won't you like a little give and take, Pasco said, smiling wickedly at Mirabel, obviously dead drunk. Mirabel was shaking, trembling inside and outside. 'Let us not waste time, you guy; make sure you get the money from him, baby girl; let's go to your room now. Pasco thundered. Everybody except the robbers burst into tears. 'Ah! Don't do this, leave my daughter, let her be, Deaconess Ogunyemi cried; E ma ba aye e je she is just a small girl. All pleas fell on deaf ears. 

Pasco dragged Mirabel into the closet bedroom, Remove your dress, now he shouted. 'I won't, I don't want to; how can you lack a conscious? You came into our house not only to steal, but you want to rape and destroy my life, Mirabel shouted back at Pasco. 'Don't you ever shout at me, you idiot, Pasco said, hitting and cursing her at the same time; don't you read the bible? It says the devil comes only to steal, kill and destroy. That's what we are here for; if you don't want to remove your dress willingly, I will tear it off your body. Within the next four seconds, he tore off all her clothes and undies, set his gun on the stool beside the bed, and, loosened this belt and his trousers, jumped on the bed as if he had seen a prey he wanted to capture and indeed she is prey. He draws her roughly towards him and, before the next one minute, penetrates into her virginal. Mirabel felt empty and dead as his penis entered her. She hated her life, hated this man, and hated God. She will be 23years old, and she has kept her virginity up to this time because she has been taught that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and she should keep it holy. She has not allowed any man whatsoever to kiss her, talk less of romancing her body, even her fiancé. For all the keeping and holy living, this uncircumcised philistine has taken all away from her, everything, leaving her with nothing but an empty shell. The pain was too much to bear. Mirabel knew that today she had died within and without. 

The little give and take were really quick enough because, after five minutes, Pasco was through with her. 'Yeah! This is what I expect from a pastor's daughter; at least I am the first person to get there and disvirgin you; I am so thrilled; Pasco smiled wickedly, dressed up, and left the room in haste without even looking back. Mirabel tried to get up and sit, but she couldn't; she felt like committing suicide. Pasco came out into the sitting room and called the others guys that it was time to leave. The money for the mission has been taken, and they all left in haste. The rest of the family ran inside to check on Mirabel; when they got into the room, they all burst into another set of wailing; the robbers had not only stolen the money put in their care but were also destroyed their family; they all know that their family will never be the same again. No one could go to bed to sleep; they stood around Mirabel, trying all they could to console and comfort her. Counting her losses, Mirabel just continued weeping her eyes out. 

As the clock chimed, 7:00a.m, Pastor Ogunyemi urged Mirabel and her mother to take heart and lead them to the closest hospital for a check-up and flush her stomach. When they got to the hospital, the doctor immediately attended to them and gave her all the necessary pills and injections to flush out sperm from her fallopian tube. After the necessary treatment and counsel by the medical doctor attending to them, they decided to heed home; by now, Mirabel's tears had stopped because she had cried her heart out, and there was nothing left; her eyes remained sullen and very red. I never committed any sin; I kept myself all these while serving the Lord faithfully at home and in school. I have preserved myself right from a young age. I don't know why I should be the one to be raped by anybody, Mirabel soliloquizes in the car. Her mother just answered her question with the song. It is well, it is well, with my soul, with my soul. It is well; it is well. When peace, like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to know, it is well with my soul. 

Mirabel shouted, 'this is rubbish; this is God's punishment; how could God have allowed this to happen to me? Don't you understand? I have served him all my life, always trying to please me, and he can't even try to keep the robbers from raping me' she burst out her hidden thought, 'I think God is sleeping, or he is just wicked and heartless. 'No, he is not, her father gently replied. Do you know why Horatio Gates Spafford wrote this hymn your mother just sang? Horatio Gates Spafford was a good Christian; he was even a close friend of Evangelist Dwight L. Moody. He was a prominent lawyer and also a businessman, but in 1870, tragedy struck his family when their only son died from Scarlet fever at the age of four. Also, when the great fire of Chicago reduced the city to ashes in October of 1871, it also destroyed most of the Spaffords sizable investment. Two years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe and chose England, knowing that his friend D.L Moody would be preaching there in the fall. He was delayed because of his business, so he sent his family ahead, his wife and four children, but while crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the ship was struck by an iron Sailing vessel, and 226 people lost their lives, including all four of Spafford's daughters. 

'That is what I am saying; I never knew God is as wicked as this; I wonder why we are serving him. Mirabel cut in, in anger. Let him finish, dear, her mother enjoin her. After a brief pause, her father continued. It was after he heard about the tragic incident that he composed the song. It is well with my soul; they later gave birth to two daughters and a son. I don't believe he could do that; he didn't; they just lied, Mirabel said. He did; he understood God and had hope in him that something good was coming out of the tragedy, her father encouraged. What good is coming out of rape, molestation, and psychological tragedy? You are saying that because it isn't you, that was raped. Mirabel retorted. Her parents decided to keep quiet and give her a break; after all, she needed it. When they got home, people had already filled their house, neighbors, church members, ministers, and sympathizers. All of them are trying their best to console the family. Mirabel went into her room, wishing she could just die and be rid of all the pain, agony, and humiliation. Words traveled fast; some of her friends in school and her fiancé had already heard about the incident. The day following, her fiancé, Femi, and her two closest friends, Tolu and Opeyemi, came to the house to see her, rendering words of comfort and love; her fiancé even promised his life to stay with her and give her all the hope and love she will ever need. 

'Don't try anything harsh on yourself; God is in control, my dear. I love you very much, more than you can ever know, Femi encouraged. Mirabel took solace in these words; at least her fiancé still cares and loves her just the same. She didn't know that more was coming her way. ___________

The police investigated the whole incident and promised the family that they would find a solution to the problem and definitely the robbers would be caught. Mirabel, through Femis's help and that of her family, continued to attend her counseling session at the hospital, and within the space of two months, she is already trying to let go of the past and open the door of a new chapter in her life. 

'You are really doing good, and I can see that you are trying to let go of the pain, Dr. Makinde, Mirabel's psychologist, said. 

'Dr. that's right, I want to be rid of the pain and face my future; I have discovered that through this incident, the love of your family and your loved ones is the greatest you need to sustain you through thick and thin. Then I have your family and friends to thank for your quick recovery. That's right, Mirabel replied. It's just that I will miss both you and the bills I get from you. hmm! I have a comedian as a doctor, Mirabel said as both of them burst out laughing. Femi came in to pick her up; they left a few minutes later. When they got home, they received the news that the ministers and the whole church contributed a large sum of money for their G.O and urged them to forget about the ugly incident. Mirabel continued the life she lived right before the rape incident; she even served God like never before, took choir rehearsals more seriously, she promised herself to develop her Christian life more than before. Even in church and wherever she went, the respect she earned knew no bounds; people were so proud of her. Parents use her as an example in their homes, telling their children that if they face a problem, just be like Mirabel, who was able to bounce back and hold her head up high. She could combine not only beauty and brain;

she also has a fear of God.

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