All the members of the Men and Women of Faith fellowship had assembled and not even one was missing despite the fact that it was almost seven am on a Sunday morning. Patricia was seated on the ground at the centre of the hall while they all surrounded her. She looked at them and shook her head.
“What is this Rosita? I thought you brought me out of that mad house to take me home but is this your ploy to bring me back to the fold? You brought me to our fellowship centre?” She turned to address an invisible Chuks. “Can you see what’s happening? This woman is mad ooo…Chuks, all because I decided to leave her God, she has decided to work so hard to get me back. I guess I’m special, that’s why.” She laughed.
Emmanuel, one of the members began praise and worship, the members of the fellowship closed their eyes and sang with all their hearts while Patricia stared at them and laughed. When they started the fourth song, she jumped to her feet and struggled to leave.
“Give way! I think that at this point, I shouldn’t humour you any further. I am leaving.”
Rosita placed her arm around Anna’s husband’s elbow and he did the same with the other members, they didn’t stop singing as they looped their arms around each other’s arms and firmly stood their ground.
Patricia began to panic, what was going on? She thought. She looked around for Chuks but he seemed to be fading away.
“Chuks! Chuks!” She called out hysterically. “Rosita, don’t send Chuks away! Rosita! Stop this…”
She suddenly couldn’t find Chuks, she began to look around in fear and then, she saw him but, he was standing by the exit door.
“Chuks please…come back…come and take me with you. Chuks, don’t leave me…. please…Chuks…” She cried.
She struggled hard to break the link of arms but she couldn’t, it was as though there was some kind of extra power added to that of Rosita and the Men and Women of Faith members.
“Rosita, why are you doing this to me? Why don’t you want me to be happy? What have I done to deserve this? Please…let me go! You guys are not going to solve anything with all these tactics of yours. Let me go! Chuks and I are getting married soon and I don’t want him to leave me.” She sobbed hysterically.
Rosita and her members didn’t stop their songs, they were inspired by the Holy Spirit and more songs came pouring from their lips in quick succession. Patricia began to weep. She sat on the ground and felt some kind of flame engulf her. She saw different things that she couldn’t explain. She found herself in a house, it was the Mother of Love’s house. She staggered in and searched for the Mother of Love but she saw no one. She only saw skulls and bones. She wailed, searching the house for a sign of the woman and her assistant.
“Mother…mother of L…love…” She said weakly as she lay on the ground, writhing. “Come to my…my…aid…”
Praise and worship ended and Rosita raised her voice in prayer;
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever. To Him alone who does great wonders, thou great and mighty God, we worship you. Thou who goes into battle and comes out with the heads of champions, we worship you. Thou, who sent thy angel and he killed one hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrian soldiers, in a night, we worship you. Thou who threw great stones from heaven, we worship you. Thou who commanded the sun to stand still for Joshua and the moon in the valley of Ayalon and they obeyed you, we worship you. Our God who created heaven and earth by His great and mighty power, we bow before you. Father, what is man that you are mindful of him? Oh God, we will serve you all the days of our lives, as long as we have breaths in our bodies and as long as we live, we will worship you. Our lives are dedicated to your service, Lord.” As she worshiped, the members joined her in worship and thanks. She prayed and asked God for mercy for her sins and for the members of the Men and Women of Faith fellowship. She also prayed for mercy on Patricia.
“In Isaiah chapter ten, verse twenty-seven, the Lord God said; ‘It shall come to pass on that day, his burden will be taken away from your shoulder and his yoke from your neck and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.’ In the Mighty name of Jesus, I stand on the promises of God and I decree that henceforth, every wicked power tormenting the life of our sister, Patricia, shall be broken. Let us pray!”
The members began to pray hard and in concentration. Patricia writhed on the ground and screamed. Deep in her subconscious state, she saw Chuks, he was walking away from her and when she ran after him he made his way into the bushes and there, he turned into a slithering snake. She screamed again and again as she thrashed about.
“Ezekiel twenty-eight verse twenty-one says, ‘Son of man, set they face against Zidon and prophesy against it.’ I hereby prophesy against all the powerless powers holding our sister captive. I stand against all the powers against her life and I command them to be devoured and all her adversaries to go into captivity, right now in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.”
The members resounded a loud ‘Amen’ and fresh bouts of prayers began. Patricia was feeling very tired, she suddenly felt something heavy, like a stone of some sort, leave her body. She opened her eyes, sat up and looked around. Her vision was clearer than ever and suddenly, she looked up to see the men and women of faith with linked arms as they prayed for her with all their heart. Everything started coming back to her, it all felt like a dream, she burst into tears and began to sob loudly.
Rosita and the members heard her cry and they rounded up their prayers. When the prayers were over, they unlinked their arms and stared at her in silence. Patricia looked at them.
“What…what happened? What happened to me?” She sobbed.
Rosita held out her hands to her and she reached out for them, as she took her friend’s hands, she felt as though she was being given a second chance at life.
“Rose…” She cried.
Rosita pulled her into an embrace and she hugged her tight.
“It was all an illusion, wasn’t it? Chuks wasn’t here… he wasn’t here…” Patricia sobbed.
“God opened your eyes…He removed the blinders and now, you can see.” Rosita said.
“I am so sorry…I am so…so…” Patricia cried.
“Shhhh…it’s all in the past now, God has wiped your slate clean.” Rosita said.
Patricia broke the hug and turned to look at the men and women who were standing around her.
“Thank you…thank you so much…” She cried.
It was a day of joy as the two former members of the formerly known Women of Faith fellowship, made their way into the hall. The members clapped as they welcomed Patricia and Marianna into the fold, once again. There were chops, drinks and a huge welcome banner which read ‘Welcome Home Marianna & Patricia’, was displayed on the wall.
“We have grown…in leaps and bounds.” Marianna said with a catch in her voice as she stared at the people in the hall.
“It is all the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Anna’s husband said to her.
“Thank you all so much, for the prayers…the kind words and most of all, for being the family that we can rely on.” Marianna said to everyone in gratitude.
“How’s Ifeanyi?” Rosita asked her when Marianna had exchanged pleasantries with all the members of the fellowship.
Marianna gave her a small smile and said.
“He left for Abuja last night…he said he has no idea when he’s coming back…” She sighed. “That’s if he’ll ever come back to me.”
Rosita gave her a brave smile.
“I spoke to him and I know that deep down that still loves you. I guess moving to Abuja for the meantime is his way of healing but I know he’ll take you back. Just persevere, be humble and patient.” She said.
Rosita looked at Marianna’s protruding stomach and smiled.
“Don’t worry, this baby will bring the two of you together.” She said.
“We both know that it’s complicated.” Marianna said.
“Shhh…nothing is complicated with Christ at its center. Ifeanyi worked so hard for you to leave that cell and because of him, Robert dropped all charges and has left for good. If he didn’t love you, he’d have never fought so hard to get you out of there. I believe that he is still rooting for your family.”
“Thank you so much Rosita, I don’t know what we’d have done without you.” Marianna said. “What of you? How’s your husband?”
“He’s attending counselling class at the church…” Rosita said.
“I wish everyone had a heart like yours. You forgave him from your heart and you took him back.” Marianna said.
“I had to weigh a lot of things. It wasn’t easy, believe me but I asked for help from above and it came. The Holy Spirit has been my greatest friend through all this and I am glad that I forgave him. I am at peace.”
Marianna hugged her again and Patricia stood there and watched them with a smile on her face. As soon as Marianna broke the hug, she said;
“I learned the hard way to find myself first and learn to love God with all my heart because getting married doesn’t guarantee happiness. If you’re not happy as a single woman, then, that won’t change even when you get married. I thank God for you, Rosita. Thank you for all the spiritual books and also for the devotionals, they are very helpful and please can we make our fellowship twice weekly? I enjoy spending time in His presence.”
“Well, let’s see how that goes.” Rosita said with a wider smile.
“At least, I am happy and single while waiting for the right man to come along. You’re the real MVP, Rosita.” Patricia said. “Thank you for never leaving us behind, you are a true friend.”
Rosita smiled and held out her arms to both Marianna and Patricia for a big hug and they both wrapped their arms around her.
The three women hurdled close to one another while around them, the Men and Women of Faith laughed and chatted over chops and drinks.
“In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent.”- Luke 15: 7.
I hope you enjoyed this season, let’s hope for a new season soon (by God’s grace)
Thank you all so much for being patient with me as I wrote this season. Thank you so much for being such avid and beautiful readers.
May God bless and make you happy, just as you have made me.