“Yes, I do,” Bode’s deep voice echoed throughout the White Hall of Palmville Estate.
“Miss Catherine Martins, do you take Mister Bode to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and health, to love, honour and obey, in good times and hard times, for richer or poorer, keeping yourself solely unto him for as long as you both shall live?”
Turning to behold the man whom I am well pleased to spend the rest of my life with, I can’t help but smile. His mesmerizing eyes and the smile coming from his heart to his mouth made my stomach leap for joy.
Bode is the man of my dreams. He ticked off all the qualities I’m looking for in a man. His jovial spirit made it for our relationship to kick off at our first meeting together at De-Palace Restaurant.
“Miss Catherine Martins, Do you take Mister Bode to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and now lth, to love, honour and obey, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer, keeping yourself solely unto him for as long as you both shall live?”, I heard the Pastor say for the third time.
Without taking my eyes off the very man who’d be my husband in just a few minutes, I let the words flow from my heart as I said “Yes, I do”.
Looking back now at my two years marriage with him, I realized in tears that marrying Bode is the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life. Being a very good Christian and also a worker in church, having a divorce is not an option for me.
The tone ringing from my phone brought me back to reality. Finally, my darling Sis. Happy thought to give a call today.
“Hellooo Sister Happy. How are you doing? I hope you are fine even though it’s been a while since you called. I refuse to get angry sha”
“hahahahaha… Cathy Catherine, I’m deeply sorry for just ignoring you like that. It’s not my fault na. Na work make man dey busy o”
“Okay oo. I hear you. So what’s the gist?” I teased her and we laughed together.
Knowing Happy too well for years in my church, she is notorious for having first-class gossip at hand.
“Erm.. the gist is not too good but I’ll say it anyway. I went to visit my friend, Lolade, at her work place today. I remember I have told you about her before right?”
“I remember her too well. Yes! She is your childhood friend.”
“As I was coming out of the hotel she works, I saw Bode and a lady just entering the hotel. Really, I just thought to let you know,”
Well, you should have kept it to yourself instead of telling me, I said to myself.
“Sister Happy. Thank you so much for informing me. That must be his secretary he told me he would be having a meeting with today. My regards to your family ehn.” Well, I wouldn’t want to discuss my marital issues with a single mom.
Oh God! I’m so tired of this man. Not only is he a cheater he also drinks. Imagine me telling a lie to cover up his shameful acts.
Dear Lord, what will the whole church say of me if Happy tell everyone about my so-called adulterated husband.
Bode Martins, I regret ever knowing you. I regret saying yes to you.
Buzz…. Buzz….. Buzz
Getting hold of my I-phone, the name I saw startled me. It’s been a year I talked to my favorite pastor. In short, Bode will always give me an excuse to not go see him ever since I told him about Pastor Akinlade.
“My Pastor Akinlade! Happy New Year to you Sir. It’s been ages we talked o” I have always been so free around him ever since he led me to Jesus five years ago.
“Daughter, how is Bode?” The silence that followed was so loud and deafening and lasted for about two minutes.
“Actually Daddy, Bode is …. I don’t even know what to do again.” I tasted the liquid that dropped on my lips. It was salty. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing.
“So how has it been? It has been a while since you put up a post on your blog. I checked your youtube vlog channel just this morning and found out you haven’t uploaded a video for the past 8 months. Tell me, what is really happening Catherine?”
“I hate to admit, but, I have been with the wrong guy all along. You know I have always wanted a TDH guy (tall, dark and handsome). He came along looking so promising and full of life. His zeal for the work of God seemed to confirm to me that he will not be a hindrance to my fulfilling God’s plan for me.”
The guilt I feel whenever I open my blog came back at me. It’s time to face the truth now, I thought.
“Not only is Bode the wrong guy, he is the wrong guy in every way. After the post of the ”My Lost Love” story went viral, I got direct messages from a lot of people. I was even invited by Uncle Jimi Disu to come speak about the story on his radio station.
Well, it turned out that Bode was not comfortable with my limelight. He beat me up the day I came back from the Interview at TVC station and threatened to kill me if I ever write or do a video again. All my backup and writing materials were gone. Even my camera and laptop are gone (sobs). Daddy, I regret ever saying yes to Bode”
Pastor Akinlade gave a loud sigh before speaking.
“I will enlighten you a little about that statement “Yes, I do”. Do you know the point at which you say that statement to any man is a point of no return?
“A point of no return?” I asked as it doesn’t seem clear to me.
“Yes dear. So you have no cause to say it to any man if you have even just a reason to return. Why reach the point of no return when you have reasons to return?”
“You saw all the red flags Cathy, but you chose to ignore the signs God gave you.”
“I really agree with you Daddy. I am just beginning to realize that I had been listening to myself all this while.”
“Catherine, you neglected the word of God to be reading the faces of men, emotions, body language and lips of men to find your approval and convictions. Is he the one? Is he not the one? You chose the word of people over the word of God? That is a very dangerous thing to do, you know?”
You see, it is only when you have lost your position that you will settle for anything less than God has prepared for you.”
“For I am royal priesthood, a chosen generation, a peculiar people…”
“Exactly the point, daughter.” Daddy said. “…as a royal queen, you must be well positioned in the palace to marry a king. When I say to be well positioned, I mean for you to be at the Lord’s feet, day and night, drawing life from the Living Water.
Have you forgotten that when the devil wants to bring down a man of fire, he only needs to send a person of water to quench that fire. You must be very guarded, dear, not to fall into the trap of the enemy”
As he spake on, I wept profusely. Bode quenched the fire and zeal in me.
“Daughter, go back to the Lord in prayer. Many people are out there whose deliverance lies in your books. Many souls will not get to see light if you don’t do the will of the Father. Your home is your number one duty. Your home should mirror the glory of God.
You need the strength of your marriage for the fulfillment of your life’s vision and purpose. In other words, if you miss it in marriage you miss it in everything. Do not let anyone push you to say ‘yes’ to someone the Lord has said ‘no’ to.
Now let’s pray. Pray as I say the prayer points. Are you ready?”
“Yes, I am ready to take back my mantle” I tied my scarf and stretched my fingers ready to fight back the enemy
“Lord, I thank you for the glorious marital destiny I have in Christ Jesus.”
“Oh Lord, bring me into the centre of your will. Help me to see when you show me, to hear when you speak and to discern.”
“Father, I must not miss it marriage. Every storm against my marital bliss, I silent you today in the name of Jesus. Open the door of marital bliss for me.”
“Every power trying to push forward what the Lord has commanded to stop, I render you useless by fire in the name of Jesus.”
I prayed on that point for long before moving to the next point.
“I rebel against every reproach of marital disappointment. Lord, roll it away by fire.”
As more and more prayer point dropped in my heart, I prayed with all of my spirit.
“Catherine wake up ! It’s 1:00 o’clock for crying out loud.”
I jumped up from the bed at the sound of my name. With sleep still in my eyes, I looked around trying to take in my environment. Then, it hit me.
“It was all a dream. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Lord. Thank you Holy Spirit. Thank you Jesus for saving me.”
I brought out my prayer journal. I wrote on a piece of paper beside my bed-lamp “NO”. I’ll send my reply to Bro. Bode’s proposal later in the day. Right now, I need to pray.
Getting down on my knees, I took my Bible and prayer journal giving thanks to the Most High God.
“Mo ti mo wipe Oludande mi mbe laye
O mbe laye sibe.
Eni ti n pami mo kii togbe beeni kii sun rara… ”