Christy ushered us into her living room where Titi sat waiting for us.
“I went to the estate shopping mall to get some things,” she said without preamble “when someone jerked my arm and spun me around. I looked and saw that it was my husband. I wanted to scream but he told me that he had brought our son to see me. My heart was in my mouth. I didn’t know if he was lying or not. Then he asked me to follow him out of the shopping mall to his car. He held my hand in a vice like grip.”
She paused for a second to wipe her eyes and continued’. “When we got to the car, there was nobody in it but he shoved me in and drove off immediately.”
“I started screaming and trying to open the door but no one heard me. Then he told me to stop and listen to him that he had only one message for me. He discovered that I had moved out of the house and he was giving me one week to move back into our house or else he would find me and kill me and make sure I never saw our son again. He said I had no right to leave him like that.”
“I was so scared. All I could do was nod. He said that I shouldn’t think about leaving him or asking for a separation because we took a vow and according to that vow only death can separate us. He then dropped me off at the bus stop. I shakily got out and called our family friend to ask if my son was still with her. She confirmed he was still with her and also said my husband had not called her. I hope he doesn’t know where our boy is.”
Ike was visibly deeply moved as she told her story. All the awkwardness of the past was forgotten even though this was their first meeting since that time. Here was a woman whp needed our help and protection. I felt bewildered and like we were out of our depth which in fact we were.
Ike spoke first.
“I’m so sorry Titi for all that you have been going through. We will do all that is in our power to protect you. We need to make an official police report as well. Perhaps you should also not go anywhere unaccompanied…”
As he was talking I was reminded of something I had been learning over the past week. Of course we were out of our depth but then we had a God who could handle anything and our God had given us authority. Enough was enough!
“My dear, your husband cannot kill you. If he sees you and tries to do anything to you, rebuke him in Jesus name,” I said suddenly. Everyone turned around to look at me, shocked. I could see they couldn’t really understand what I was saying.
Titi smiled tremulously and said : “Ok.”
“Guys, don’t forget who our real enemy is here. It’s not your husband. It’s time to go on the offensive and wage war against the oppressor. The weapons if our warfare are mighty through God to thr pulling down of strongholds.” I said trying to make them understand
Everybody seemed to listen politely but Christy shifted in her seat uncomfortably. I guess they thought I was talking strangely. Although they were all Christians, they couldn’t see how what I was saying could be applied to Titi’s situation. They both offered more practical sounding advice to her. She was to block her husband’s number. Ike would follow her to the station so she could make an official report. She was not to stay in the house alone for any reason/ I listened to all they were saying and then I told Titi that I would come by to see her later.
When we got to our house, Ike turned to me and asked me what I had meant by all I had said in Christy’s house.
By way of answer, I told him we needed to pray first.
The following day as I sat beside the lawyer in a taxi I thought about the events of the previous day. In less than a week I had shifted from being a worried victim of circumstances to bold warrior. I had decided I had ha d enough of cowering and simpering. In the process, I had learned what it truly meant to have a God who reigned in the affairs of men. I was glad that when I talked to her Titi had listened to me and understood. I told her I was not advocating fanaticism or any strange ritual or a charm of any sort. I was just advocating a strong belief in the efficacy of prayer.
“We will do all we can to protect you but there is a limit to what we can do. It is God who is mighty to save. Call upon him and He will deliver you and show you what to do,” I had said to her. Somehow, the messages I had heard in church were starting to make real life meaning. It was even more gratifying now that Ike had also received a fresh infusion of faith and was less despondent than before.
He told me this morning that he had got up to read his Bible and that he was led to read the scripture that said the Lord would fight for him and he would hold his peace(Ex 14). I was glad of that because I needed God to be on my side as we approached his former associate’s house. I knew that this idea to see them had come from Him. But I really had no plan of what I would say when I go there. What if they threw me out? What if at the end of everything Ike was still convicted despite our strong faith? What would that mean?
I was suddenly filled with doubt but then I was reminded about people in the Bible who I had read about who were not given any guarantees. Esther who chose to step forward in faith and said: “If I perish, I perish.” The three Hebrew children who were ready to die in the fire. It occurred to me that even if things did not go the way I prayed it would, if the worst happened, God was still God. It would still be infinitely better to face this calm and unafraid than scared and helpless.
The car lurched to a stop interrupting my reverie. We got out in front of the gate of a modest looking bungalow and rang the bell. I still didn’t know what I was going to say as we waited for the door to open…