Divine Lao... AUTHOR 1 year ago I'd like to see some your comments here in the comments section...🤗
THE STORY OF FIVE BROKEN, DAMAGED, ABUSED INDIVIDUALS` WITH A HAUNTED PAST THAT SEEMS TO DESTROY THEM. THE LOVE OF CHRIST WILLING TO SET THEM FREE. WILL THEY ACCEPT HIS LOVE OR SURRENDER TO THE VOICES THAT DRAW THEM TO HELL WHERE LUCIFER RESIDES?
Note to readers; Hello, guys! It's been a while in this space; I know I promised I was going to release this chapter real soon, but I was swamped with a lot of work over the weeks. It was a lot, but I'm back with another chapter. Who's excited?... If you enjoyed reading this story, then please support the author by liking, sharing, and commenting. And also, follow this account to get notified when a new article is posted.
The streets were busier than usual. It was 6 am, and from where she sat, she could see traders opening their shops, setting things in order before they received their customers. The city was static for hours, held together by an endlessly looped stitch of cars, tricycles, motorbikes, trucks, lorries, and tankers. They were all competing for space on the road, as each person was in a hurry to reach their destination. There was an accident upfront, a bike had crashed into a truck, and from what was heard on the radio, seven had sustained an injury; one died that very morning, which led to more hours of traffic.
The air was choked with dirt, exhaust fumes, ash, music blaring from churches, light showers of cement, car honks, and competitive cries from bus conductors to get into their black and yellow buses with wooden seats instead of the other black and yellow buses with wooden seats and broken fenders. Lagos, the finest and most developed state in Nigeria with all its flamboyant structures, seemed to be the dirtiest city.
Despite everything, Hilary was glad to be back. Another day spent with Ifeanyi would be her death of her. Not that she hated him or anything. She was upset. Her wedding was in three months' time, and she wanted everything to be perfect. But why did she want him there? Why did it hurt so much? She looked up to him; he was her role model. At a young age, he had achieved so much. At some point, she talked to her fiancée about him, to emulate and follow his ways. It always ended up in an argument.
Tolu was infuriated at the fact that she compared him to her boss, feeling he wasn't man enough for her, but it was quite the opposite. She only admired him the same way one would admire Arit Okpo, an award-winning presenter and journalist who was the host of CNN International's African Voices Changemakers, or Ato Ulzen-Appiah, a social entrepreneur, consultant, blogger, and director of the GhanaThink Foundation who was named 2018 African Male Youth of the Year at the annual Africa Youth Awards. Young African men are doing great things.
She smiled at that thought. Tolu would fit into that category only if he stood up for himself and stopped living in his father's shadow. "Babe," she felt a light tap on her left shoulder. "What?" she shrugged as she was brought back to reality. "Are you okay? You've been quiet since we left the airport." Tolu asked, worry-filled his voice. She gave a reassuring smile to let him know she was okay. Tolu Adebayo, her fiancé, an eminent architect working at Adebayo and sons construction limited, the company his grandfather had built in 1988, a major building and construction company, has built the finest structures in Africa and received multiple honorary awards, recognized as one of the Top Companies in that industry.
They met at Harvard, where they both obtained their master's degrees. She bagged a degree in Global Digital Marketing and in Advanced Architectural Design. It had been rocky at the start, with a lot of distractions, but with time they grew to be a solid couple. After dating for three years,
Tolu decided to pop the question at a private dinner, which marked their anniversary at one of the largest rooftops in Dubai, Hilary agreed immediately, and six months from then, they planned to get married. "I am, really. Thanks for picking me up; you know I could order a ride. You didn't have to stress yourself, coming all the way here…."
"Any time, babe," he laughed, suddenly realizing something. "What?" Stella asked. The traffic was beginning to slow down; two policemen were controlling the traffic. "I could kiss you right now, but my hands are tied." Did he need his hands for this? Then she realized what he meant; all his attention was on the road. She shifted closer and planted a wet kiss on his cheeks. "There." She used her thumb to wipe the red stain on it. "More kisses, babe." He whined. "I promise, as soon as we get home, I'd smother you with lots of kisses. Are we good?" "Yeah." He suddenly turned into another street and fewer cars, but more people were walking on the sidelines. There was a Catholic Church up ahead, and the parking lot was full. It was a shortcut to the main road that led to his home.
Hilary turned down the volume of the radio. Nothing was positive on the news today; everything was filled with stories of murder, accidents, bankruptcy, and corruption. Living in Nigeria sucked. Did this country have any hope? "I talked to your boss today. He seemed nice." Whoa! When did that happen? She was going to avoid the conversation, anything more, and they would end up in a rift. Tolu hated his guts, and now he was talking to the guy, even going as far as to compliment him. Something was wrong. She wasn't going to fall into his trap. What changed? Maybe his trust in her grew, and he realized the whole fight had been silly.
"Good to know. I'm just glad to be back. We're meeting your parents today for dinner, right?" She blew the hair off her face, taking a good look at him and hoping to catch him in his little game, but she realized it was nothing of the sort. He was genuine. "He said he's coming for the wedding. I didn't know you invited him." Tolu said again, his eyes steady on the road. Was that an accusation? She was going to play it cool. "I invited everyone; it would be weird not inviting him." Hilary eyed him, waiting for a response, but it never came.
"I was a little skeptical about this, you traveling alone with him. I'm sorry I doubted you." he took her right palm into his and laced his fingers with hers. A jolt coursed through her body, sparking up her insides. Hilary thought to herself she was the luckiest girlfriend in the world. God had indeed blessed her with a man like him. Faithful, loving, and patient. Three things were hard to find in men, especially Yoruba demons. She was glad he couldn't see her face now; it was all red. "I'll forgive you on one condition." Her eyes were on his wallet, so he made a simple assumption, "Let me guess, I should take you to the mall to buy you the latest jewelry or something." He cooed.
She laughed. "No, I mean, wearing one would be nice; I could use a change of jewelry, but you should reconsider talking to your dad," Her voice softened, "About the proposal… You can't work under him forever. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." "We'll talk about this later. Right now, I should focus on getting us home safe." Tolu said, getting serious all of a sudden. He pulled his hands away, groping the steering wheel. When was getting them home safely ever a problem? She opened her mouth to speak, but her body betrayed her. Way to ruin the mood, Hilary. She would apologize later when things had cooled down. She tried to stay awake, but her eyelids were heavy as she drifted off into a heavy slumber.
Aduke knocked on the door lightly. "Come in." A male voice called out. The man sitting before her was the pastor of Grace Encounter Ministries, a small church community in the heart of Lagos. They met at NCCF, Lagos chapter. Apparently, he was an ex-co serving in the bible study unit, while she was a regular member who just loved attending their fellowship meetings. She attended his classes and became his best student. They became good friends after, and he began to mentor her in the ways of the Lord. He had a ministry before then, which just started out on a WhatsApp platform. A few months after the end of their service year, he sensed a leading to start the church out on a physical location. It had been going great; in just a year, they had about 356 members and 38 dedicated workers.
She stopped abruptly to greet the old lady, who nodded with a tired smile, her wrinkles appearing on her face. Mrs. Sarah gave her cheeks a light pat before stepping out of the office. The short, light-skinned, plump lady in a dark red pantsuit sat on one of the white plastic chairs; crossing her legs, she placed her white Gucci bag on the wooden table. She took a good look at the small office; they had just renovated it, adding little furniture and AC to it, with the little money they were able to gather from church building funds. One side was painted blue, the other side yellow, two colors that oddly went well together. Different books were neatly arranged on the shelves. Pictures of notable Nigerian pastors and members of the church units were displayed on the wall.
He was wearing a black suit, and the jacket was off, hanging loosely on the chair. His brown leather Italian shoes matched his shirt. She could tell he just had a haircut; his features were that of a model, well-built, well, because he spent most of his mornings in the gym. He flashed her a smile, and her insides were melting. She was starting to rethink this whole thing. Maybe the Holy Spirit was wrong. Maybe… "Lord, am I doing the right thing?" She whispered, trying to control herself. If he touched her right there, she would give in, forgetting all that had been said to her. She prayed for strength. If she was not careful, this man was going to be the end of her. "Sorry to keep you waiting this long; I had to attend to some pressing issues. You see, Mrs. Sarah just lost her first child, Gloria, to cervical cancer, gotten due to her promiscuous lifestyle. It took some time consoling her." He smiled. She did too, but it was fake; she didn't have to know about something as personal as this. Why didn't he stop at cervical cancer? Why did he have to add the other part? And wasn't all this supposed to be confidential? So much for counseling. "But of course, the Holy Spirit is our comforter. He would comfort her in the best way." He continued.
Mrs. Sarah was the women's leader and welfare coordinator. Having served God for ten years after she lost her husband, who left behind a fortune that was enough to take care of them for years, even if they never worked. Her only child, Gloria Nathaniel, was different; she didn't share the same faith as her mother did. After sleeping with different men as a way to get back at her mum, she discovered her illness and mentioned not a word to anyone. Three days later, Mrs. Sarah received a call from the hospital. Gloria was found dead in her apartment in New York City. "Do you have an answer for me?" She grew silent, thinking of what to say. The only thing that could be heard was the cool breeze blowing from the AC and prayer band members roaring voraciously in tongues downstairs. They waited after every church service for their meetings.
He asked her out some weeks ago, and their almost-relationship was already progressing; they went out on a few dates, but she was reluctant to commit because she hadn't heard anything from God. Some weeks after, she had gotten her answer but was afraid to confront him. It took a little nudging from the Holy Spirit, filled with boldness; she was going to tell him the truth. Matthew was a good man. He was smart, funny, and spiritual. And damn, he looked good. He always did. A tall, dark man with this physique. Come on, who was she kidding? But it wasn't about the outward appearance. Something God said to Samuel when he was choosing a king for Israel. She hated to break his heart, but he wasn't the one God wanted for her. They were not compatible on many levels.
She could sense heavy desperation; after the proposal, he would call like ten times a day, claiming he was boyfriend worthy because he cared so much; he sent her books on dating, marriage, and motherhood. He even changed her contact from Aduke Media team to future wifey, heart emoji. "I was praying today, and the Holy Spirit whispered to me that I was going to receive a yes." She pressed her lips with a slight frown. He was taking this too far, and she was going to end it now. "Matthew Ante Mfon, I'm sorry to say this, but I decline. It's a no on my end. You need to check back with the Holy Spirit." she said sternly. "So, are you saying I misheard the spirit?" He was slightly infuriated.
"What?" She thought of what to say next. "Don't take this the wrong way, but It's possible. It can happen to anyone, even the best of apostles." he turned away, his face buried in his hands. Aduke wanted to reach out, but a strong feeling told her not to; if she did, they would end back at square one. "Do you know how many young ladies, beautiful and more vibrant than you, are dying to date me? I just looked in your direction because you seemed spiritual." He looked up at her, his eyes filled with hate. She felt a slap on her face. This was the same man who preached about spiritual maturity some hours ago, now parading himself as a baby.
"Okay, let's say you have challenges hearing God. The meeting today should tell you. Otherwise, many were healed, I received words from six people, and they were confirmed right there. So, what are you saying? This is an insult on my anointing." She wanted to lash back but heard the Holy Spirit whisper to her, "When there are many words, sin is unavoidable, but one who controls his lips is wise." He didn't stop there. "I'm disappointed in you, Aduke. I thought you were different or is it that you don't believe in my vision?" "What? If I didn't, I wouldn't be here. It's just you can't force things like this."
"I'm giving you three days. Three more days. If your answer is still a no, then you can no longer be a member here." "Matthew, is that a threat?" she couldn't bear it anymore. "You are very selfish and arrogant. I would never date you, not even if you were the last man on Earth. What is it you think you have? Just because you can move powerfully in the anointing, you-" SHUT UP! It was the Holy Spirit. Tears were streaming down her face. She had never been this angry before; she clenched her fists, nails digging deeply into her palm; at that moment, she could hit anyone who dared to cross her path.
"Complete the statement. I'm listening." He jeered, leaning back in the chair with his hands behind his head. "You see yourself; you can't talk. The anointing is so strong that you became completely paralyzed." The crazy thing was that he was right. "I would spare you this time; at least Jesus said we should be merciful. If you want to continue here, you must undergo a month's probation." For any form of disobedience or rebellion, each worker would undergo probation, which meant you couldn't undergo your duties as a worker, and you were subject to a month of counseling. You would also join the prayer unit in their weekly meetings; also, a written apology must be submitted to the pastor.
Immediately, her tongue was loose. "I have to go." Her fingers were unclenched, and there were red marks with blood streaming gently from it. She walked out of the office with her head bowed in shame. "God, how could you allow this to happen? There's no way I can continue here after what happened today." She cried as she sat in one of the pews. The whole place was silent. She waited for a few minutes, but nothing came. She was starting to doubt her hearing. Maybe Matthew was right. She dusted her clothes, packed her things, and left the building, never to return again. Little did she know God had been there all right along. (Don't forget to like, share and comment down below.)
To be continued... Thank you, guys, for reading❤❤. Without a reader, there would be no need for a writer. You can check out my other articles, where I talk about how you can grow as a content writer.
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