The wedding ceremony was splendid.
Far and wide, a congregation assembled under the tropical April sun. The gardens were brilliant, bright and just right for a city-style outdoor solemnization. Grouping and regrouping, little caucuses were pulled apart by others. Under an influence of soft-rock music, everything was in motion. Decent cocktails, serviettes, waiters, children, gifts, greetings, love, everything! Even the bride could not help meeting someone or bumping into others until she saw a man talking with the best lady, her niece.
The man’s presence was something like her fifth grade high school history text paging the story of her life, chronologically. Memories rushed faster than her forming tears. How fast a decade! Her life was next to wasted—not until God proved that he could shine up any vessel so thoroughly just as if it’s never been used.
Never been used? Like,… she had never been married by cohabitation to him?
Yes! This was one chance to make things right.
She approached ‘the guest’ and gave him a ‘we-need-to-talk’ invitation behind the thick bushes of roses, balloons and ribbons.
Spontaneous was how she laid bare the tragedies of ten years ago. Of course, she need not mention their elopement on her sixteenth birthday. Neither did she need remind him of their son, which she had a year after. That was when their sugar-candy heaven was reduced to so much torture that he just vanished.
Responsibility had become her new match. Her feeding, her baby; schooling, bills and rent; her mortgage and a whole world of HERS left her no less determined but desperate enough to cut down on feeding, stop schooling, quit the mortgage, and do without water and light supplies. Of all deadlocked jobs she did, she ended up as a commercial sex worker—that meant beer, smoke and drugs beside intercourse. Within three years, life had graduated to a criminal record for drugs and for sexual nuisance with a combined penalty of ten years nonetheless.
She had served her terms, partly with her son, for a fortnight when Chuks, her brother, bought her bail and took her with him. This only withered the weak marriage Chuks managed. He had told his wife that she had come to stay, and stay she must. For months, the house was uneasy. Everything, including church services, became a mere routine. But with time, the two women began to bond so closely that Chuks’ wife noticed her pregnancy.
Impossible not to abort!... A bastard, fathered by one of numerous sex-clients, was not in her scope. The family was the more divided. She finally did it, but it botched. And, although she survived it, the crack in the home did not. Instead, the incident had ripped relationships wide apart. From prostitute to junkie; then murderer, now home-breaker… what more could she be?!
That was when God decided to run a clean up on her—in her. He had been in the scene all along; she was only a little too busy to notice that someone cared.
She continued her story; he, the listening.
She narrated how she had found God, got a job, enrolled both herself and son in school, then won a degree. Still with her brother, she did her best to suture their marriage where it gapped. She taught her brother’s wife to love him unconditionally. It worked. Even her eighteen year-old niece got the domestic revival she had to offer. Just over four years her life had turned so Christian that it opposed her records.
Dropping the tale, she apologized for honestly declaring him dead after eight years without contact. She had to free herself of their relationship, which the law said was a presumed marriage. It was quite strange that she did not get the slap she anticipated. However, it the more shocking to hear that he ran from her only to run into Christ at last, not minding the hell he went through. By now she hosted a pity-party within her and he knew it best to let her go, totally speaking.
Behind their testimonies, they heard the best lady shower heart-felt praises on her aunt’s biography in the pride of Proverbs 31:10(KJV).
“Who can find a virtuous woman?... Her price is far above rubies! Virtue is not the absence of flaws but the will to mend any. God needs weakness to perfect strength.”
The resounding cheers confirmed it…
To her niece, her ex, her groom and her God, she was still Virtuous!
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