Seyi had been noticing some changes in her brother. He was now cheerful and always happy. He didn’t use to lock himself up like before. His room was now neat and most surprising was how he always spoke about God. Hearing him talk about how Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him was the straw that broke the Carmel’s back. She was convinced something had happened to her brother and whatever it was, she wanted it.
She got back to her room after her mother’s return and sat on her bed, facing the window. Her mind went back to when she was much younger and believed so much in God. Then, she’ll wake up and say a prayer to God before getting out of bed. She was always proud to talk about God wherever she went. She’d listen attentively to her Sunday school teacher as she was taught the Word of God. All these began to change when she started witnessing her father beat her mum. Then, she’d pray to God to make him stop but he never did.
One Saturday before Bimbo was born, she was home alone with her father. Her mum had taken Bayo for a hair cut. He called her into his room and as she entered, he locked the door behind her. She didn’t understand what was going on She was just eight.
‘Daddy please I want to go out.’ She begged him that day.
He removed the key from it’s hole and kept it.
Seyi was so scared, she ran into the bathroom and prayed for God to help her. She prayed hard and believed that God was going to save her that day.
Her father forced the bathroom door open and bundled her out like a cow being taken to the abattoir. He flung her on the bed and removed his belt. He flogged her with it and asked her to keep quiet or else he’d keep flogging her. She cried for God to help but her father removed his trouser, got on top of her and raped her.
She cried because of the pain she felt. The pain her father inflicted was unbearable but it was nothing compared to the hurt of betrayal she felt as a result of God allowing her father do what he did. She hated her father and wished she was never born. And although it happened just once, the hurt never left. She stood up from that bed that day determined never to trust in God again. She was convinced that He didn’t care for her or her family. She drew back from Him. Things got worse in her home and she was sure God not only didn’t care for her family but also didn’t want to have anything to do with her. However, today when she heard Bayo speak about God’s love, something was awoken in her.
Hope that things weren’t always going to remain the way they were. Hope that there was light at the end of the tunnel and most importantly hope that Jesus loved her.
She closed her eyes to fight back the tears. Her heart had become hardened over the years and nothing broke her. She couldn’t believe she was about to cry. She lifted her head to resist the tears but the more she did, the more she knew she had to let go. Not just the tears but the grudge she had held against God all these years for allowing her father rape her and allowing her family go through such hard and difficult times.
‘God why?’ She cried out. ‘Why did you allow all these to happen to us? Where were you that day when the man who calls himself my father raped me? Where have you been all the times he beat my mum and made all of us live in fear?’ The tears flowed uncontrollably. She fell on the bed, buried her face into her pillow and screamed.
‘No God, you can’t tell me you love me or this family?’ She was ready to argue with God if He gave her the chance. She hugged her pillow and cried so hard. As she did, she felt an awesome presence around her. She felt hands wrap around her and someone hug her but she saw no one. Her sobs gradually subsided.
‘Where have you been?’ She asked, convinced the presence she felt was the Holy Spirit.
‘I never left.’ The voice was audible and brought with it so much peace.
‘What? You mean you were there when he did that to me?’
‘I was much more hurt, my daughter.’
‘Why didn’t you stop him?’ Seyi had always wondered all her life why God allowed it to happen. She immediately remembered a scripture from the Bible: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they will not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you.” Seyi sighed. She knew what it meant. The word is ‘when’ not ‘if’. It wasn’t God’s desire for what happened to happen. But even though it did, He was right there with her.
‘I want to heal you. Allow me to love you.’ There was so much peace that accompanied those words.
Seyi cried, ‘Jesus I believe you. I now believe that you never left me. Please heal me.’ She went on her knees. ‘Help me to love again, restore my faith in You. Help me forgive my father.’ As she prayed she had an assurance that her prayers were being answered.
She released all the hurt she had locked up for years and in its place, she felt joy and peace. Her tears where no longer tears of hurt but of joy.
She remained on her knee for a few more minutes and when she knew the work was done, she got up and sat on the bed. She thanked God for healing her then she lay on the bed and slept off.
To be continued… Next Week Sunday! Please drop a comment on your thoughts on this so far.
What things have you learnt, and what do you think happens next?