I had just joined the choir and was still a little lost in the crowd. We had finished choral recitals that day when some lady stood up and wanted to make an announcement. With a shy smile, she said, ‘Today makes it 1000 days since I’ve been married to my best friend and lover…and she had many more accolades to shower on her husband who was also a member of the choir. As per romantic, I was very moved; somehow down the line we became friends, and then family.
First thing I noticed about them was that they were friends constantly struggling to outlove each other. For example, one could organize a surprise for the other and end up being surprised instead. More so, they had such a marvelous heart for God and loved kids. It was easy to love and be inspired by them. This is really not about them though (yes, I could gush about how much I love them). My friend, M, had been diagnosed with severe endometriosis when she was younger and doctors said one of the side effects was sterility. MM (her husband) had courted and married her knowing that. They both wanted kids so it was in faith and with the full understanding that God will do it and every month, he went through those painful periods with her.
Let me digress a little. I had seen this couple go through different seasons and seen them serve and see God come through. The testimonies are always amazing proof that they were helped by God in every area. But you know how it feels like God has done all but ONE thing. That was their situation. Later they moved into an estate on the Lekki Axis, a lovely child friendly environment. One evening, they took a walk within the estate and a neighbor stopped to say hello.
The conversation was somewhat like this
Neighbour: Good evening Mr and Mrs
M and MM: Good evening
Neighbour: Welcome to XYZ estate. Good to have you here
M and MM: Thank you. We are glad to be here
Neighbour: It is a lovely estate, do you have kids?
M and MM: No, we do not. Neighbour: Oh, too bad. This is an estate for children
I felt the pain as my friend told me, you know how we say things carelessly and hurt people without knowing. We say things that people take to God in prayer in their hurt, like Hezekiah did the threatening letter from King Sennacherib. That day, I took those words and fed them straight to God as it was hurting. It hurt me, even as a friend. I told God those words; I remember that day like yesterday. After that experience, I made a conscious decision to be more deliberate about how I assumed and what I said to people even with the best intentions.
One of the many things I love about them was that they remained selflessly serving through their pain. Week after week, through the rehearsals and all, they stayed faithful. And one evening, I was at my parents out of town when I got the call, they were pregnant. I jumped up and screamed. I remember how much I screamed, my mum rushed out in a worried frenzy. I was really excited. God had come through. Not too many weeks afterwards though, we were called to the hospital, my friend had a miscarriage and there had to be an evacuation. I felt pain; how does this kind of joy come and not even stay? The pregnancy wasn’t even showing yet. And then the pain continued and she had to go right back in for another surgery. But I loved her hubby’s response, it reminded me of Paul’s instruction to us to be joyful in hope, patient in tribulation. He was unperturbed. This was in 2012/2013.
Now to my testimony: God ALWAYS keeps appointments. He is always on time. One morning in January 2014, I remember it very clearly, it was the 11th day of January and I was in church for an early meeting. Apparently my phone had been ringing. When I got to it eventually, it was my friend, M. I picked the phone, wanting to quickly dismiss her as per presentation ahead and I heard her sob. I heard her heart heaving and she was weeping. My heart broke. She was crying so much that everything could wait. Something had happened in her family that brought her pain to the fore. That day, she sounded to me like Hannah at Shiloh. My heart was moved with compassion as I encouraged her. I kept asking God to give me a word to speak to the weary. And as we ended the conversation, I heard myself say ‘by this time next year you will have your own child’. ‘Eeeeewo’, Where did that come from? As soon as I hung up, I was terrified. God!!! I had no child to give so if that wasn’t God, I was in trouble. I didn’t want to be guilty of speaking what God hadn’t said. But I knew I didn’t make the words up just to comfort her. I left the words to God and moved on about my life leaving God’s words to Him to fulfill.
It was my birthday in March and they both came to the house and she took me to the kitchen and told me that God had come through. That was like the best birthday gift ever, I immediately remembered that conversation in January. I remembered that the doctor had said they had a 2% chance of natural conception. I remembered the woman who passed the spiteful comment in their estate. I remembered how they had considered IVF and were planning to begin the process sometime around then in faith. I remembered all the hearts lifted in prayer for them as their life and service continued to inspire and then I remembered the FAITHFUL FAITHFULNESS of God. God kept that pregnancy till term, the whole process and birth is another entirely different miracle but He gave us the beautiful Joanna in September of that same year, exactly 9 months after He gave me those words.
This is an encouragement to me; to have faith in the faithfulness of God. It was not an easy journey. There were storms, infact, I remember one big one and I saw the enemy trying to bring division so they couldn’t approach God as ONE. But God quelled that storm. His wisdom prevailed. I have seen that the devil often wages war against couples and families trusting God by bringing division. UNITY is a tool of war. Don’t allow the enemy bring any distraction your way. Don’t stay focused on the challenge, rather stay focused on the faithfulness of God. Fill your life with things that give you hope and remind you of the promises of God., instead of staying focused on your need.
God showed his faithfulness by giving them Jojo – a bright and beautiful girl. She is growing every day and her life encourages me so much.
I’m not sure what the doctors have said about your condition. Don’t be weary in well doing because the answer hasn’t come through yet. Keep trusting God to do what He has said He will do. God is always on time and when words are spoken that hurt you while you wait, take them like the mockings of Peninah and go to Shiloh. We have a God that answers prayers.