Tendai only half listened to the Doctor’s instructions choosing instead to stare at her left hand which was expertly banged. The nurse had recently given her some pain medication so she wasn’t feeling any pain but she could imagine that she was going to experience a lot of it in the next coming days as the cut healed. She felt very stupid for having gotten herself cut, and in front of the children too. How was she supposed to function with one hand? Could she still use her hand? Her fingers were not cut up and so they were not bandaged and the hand was still somewhat flexible but she imagined it would probably hurt some if she tried to use it too much. The cut, while a little deep, had not bad enough to warrant an overnight stay in the clinic. She had only needed a few stitches for it to be closed.
She had however been in the clinic for two days though, and it was not because of her hand, apparently she was suffering from exhaustion. Her irregular sleeping hours and being constantly under stress had finally caught up with her. In fact, the doctor had gone as far as to say that he was happy she had cut her hand otherwise she would have probably gone on for much longer not taking care of her body. In her mind, Tendai had to stop herself from accusing the doctor of just trying to make money by making her stay in the clinic as private clinics were expensive in Harare. Not to mention the fact that the economy had gone haywire and things were generally just expensive anyway. The only thing that stopped her from saying anything is the fact that she had apparently been sleeping the whole time even though they had not given her anything to make her sleep. She had been asleep for more than 35 hours without the aid of medication, that was probably not healthy.
And now that she had woken up, she felt completely exhausted and she knew she could have slept a little longer. She just felt so tired and could barely concentrate on anything for too long, in fact, she was fighting to keep her eyes open even at that moment. The only good thing she could think of is that the headache she had been carrying around for months now was gone, but maybe that was because of the medication for the pain? Tay hoped that it was really gone and would not come back when she stopped taking the pills for the pain in her hand. It was also possible that she was not experiencing any headaches because she was not at home. What would happen in the next hour when she finally got home?
Ben was being nice and caring now because they were in public but she wondered how he would act when they were alone in the car? She could only assume that he was being nice now because there nurses around them and because of the doctor of course. He was probably was mad at her for putting him in this situation because she really had no one else who could have come to get her and assure the doctor that they would watch her and make sure she rested. Tay was sure she could sleep for at least another day but she was not sure about resting for a whole week. And she was also afraid that this was just going to be another mark against her from Ben’s point of view. She had been careless and it was something he could use against her, also because she had apparently been exhausting her body, she couldn’t have fun with the children as she had been planning to do this week.
Everything was just a disaster at the moment but Tay did not blame Ben anymore, why would she when it was all her fault? Whatever happened, Tay just prayed that God would be with her and would give her the strength and endurance to deal with it all. And to think all this time she had been thinking she had to forgive him for treating her the way he did but it was really her that needed the forgiveness. Tay wondered why it had taken her so long to realize what was going on? The fact she had not been able to stand being around him even for the sake of her children should have warned her there was a lot more going on. She was usually more level-headed than that and did not usually let other people’s behavior dictate her own. That she was doing that with Ben should have made her realize something else was going on. But considering how deep in denial she had been, she was thankful that she had even come to this place of self-awareness.
The process if signing her out from the clinic did not take as long as she hoped and she knew that it was just the dread of being alone with Ben that had made her want it to stretch for longer. She kept quiet as Ben led her to his car and quietly accepted his help to get into the car. Tendai yawned as Ben drove out of the parking lot, she wondered if he would say anything to her or if he would just give her a cold shoulder. But then she realized that cold shoulders were her thing, Ben was more likely to say something and now she just had to wait for him to start. The motion of the car was really comforting to her though and Tay found herself falling asleep even though she had not to meant to do that. She wanted to stay away for them to talk before they got home, well for him to talk but she could barely keep her eyes open.
When she woke up Tay was surprised to find herself in her room in her bed, checking the time she noticed that it was the next day already meaning she had slept for almost another 24 hours. Slowly getting up from her bed, she realized her body was weak and she did not have much strength, it was probably because of a combination of both her hunger and the exhaustion that was plaguing her spirit, soul, and body. As she sat at the small desk in her room where she kept a bible, some devotionals, and some other things, Tay stared at everything wondering if she even had the energy to open them or read anything. Picking up her bible, she stared it for a minute or two trying to convince herself to read it before she dropped it back on the table. She just was not feeling up to it. Picking up her phone instead, she wondered who had brought it in here and put it on the table for her. Staring at her screensaver she thought about how the children were doing. She really wanted to see them as she hadn’t seen them since she got cut.
She wondered if they had come to visit her when she was in the clinic and decided that they probably hadn’t gotten a chance to. She thought about the fact that she hadn’t even asked Ben how they were doing or where they were when he came to pick her up. Of course, she had been too stuck in her pity party to remember her beloved children, what else was new? Shaking her head at her wayward thoughts, she decided she needed to get out the funk she was in before she left the room to seek out her babies. She needed to be in a better mood than she was in that moment before she faced anyone. Tay ashamed to admit even to herself that she did not even have the energy to force a smile and somehow she needed to get a little energy into her body. Deciding that she would take a shower to get her energy up and then go look for food or something, she unlocked her phone and set a couple of alarms to make sure she would now be waking up every couple of hours instead of going for 24 hours again.
Over 40 minutes later, having bathed and dressed, Tay fell back on the bed in complete exhaustion. A task that would have usually taken her 20 mins, just taking a quick shower and dressing herself in some sweats had taken her double the time and left her even more depleted than when she had woken up. Was that even normal? Tay reached for the bottle of water that on her bedside and wondered why she had not seen it earlier, there was a plate of fruits as well and some yogurt, which when she touched was still cold. That had definitely not been there when she woke up earlier. Someone must have been in her room while she was taking a shower, she wondered who it was again but then decided it must have been Chipo. All the fruits there were fruits she actually likes and so was the yogurt. Sitting back in the bed, she tried to drink the water first but she found her hands were shaking and she was just tired, she wasn’t even sure she was hungry anymore.
Knowing she had to eat though, she forced herself to finish all the water and everything else that had been left for her. It wasn’t a lot and any other time she would have needed more but right then she was just exhausted and wanted to rest. When she lay back in her bed though she found that she could not sleep, despite how tired she just could not seem to fall asleep. The major problem, she knew, was that her mind would not shut down, a voice kept on playing in her head and she fighting to shut it down. It had nothing pleasant to say to her and kept reminding her what a failure she was, a hypocrite, and that she was a bad mom among other things. Tay felt as if she was fighting a losing battle to shut the thoughts down. She tried praying, reciting and meditating on some verses but even that fell flat.
Grabbing her phone to play some music hoping it would soothe, she went through all her music trying to figure out what would help her out. Frustrated because she couldn’t make a decision, she was about to throw her phone away when an email notification popped in. Deciding that since she could not sleep, or shut down her mind, she might as well find something to concentrate on she went to open her email. Sure she could have left her room and found distraction from her family but she was too much of a coward to face anyone so she wasn’t about to leave the room. Though probably dealing with Ben or even the fear of dealing with him would probably exhaust her enough to knock her out. When she opened the email she noticed that it was a Meditate Devotional and she rolled her eyes and was about to throw the phone away when the title caught her attention.
Let Jesus Save You.
Looking down at the scripture she saw Psalm 46 verse 1 and it made her sit up straight in her bed. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. As she read the rest of the devotional she realized that she had been trying to fight the battle on her own, even when she was fooling herself that she was giving it all to God. Whenever it seemed like the Lord wasn’t doing anything, she was stepping out and doing her own things to handle things. And she immediately realized that part of the reason was that she was suffering from self-condemnation, she had been lying and keeping a secret from her husband. Obviously, it seems he knows already but the fact remained that she was not the one who told him and she was pretending like it’s a not issue. That was definitely not something she was supposed to be doing as a Jesus-girl.
And she had been toiling for months and months trying to get right and apologize to God for the sin she was choosing to live in. And she was also trying to control her relationship with Ben instead of leaving it God because of her guilt, because of her imperfection. She was flawed in one of the worst ways in which a woman could be flawed, and while she knew it was not her fault and it was nothing to be ashamed of, she was definitely ashamed. She knew it was wrong to think of herself in that way and she had allowed other people’s words and opinions color her view of herself instead of letting God be the one to determine who she was. And that in itself was another thing she was ashamed of when it came to her relationship with God.
The reminder from the devotional that God loved her no matter her failings had her crying as she reread the devotional over and over and again. All she had to do was to go to Jesus as she was, flaws, imperfections and all, and Jesus would save her and love her into wholeness. Jesus would transform her with His perfect love. She laughed a little as she was reminded about Pastor Todd’s statement where he always says that God blesses who you are, not who you pretend to be. She had been going to God in pretense all the times refusing to acknowledge the fact that she punishing herself for lying and failing to live by God’s image of who she was. Somehow it just easier to believe the lies and the labels that people have put on her instead of standing on God ‘s word and believing what He had said about who she is.
She realized too the all the medical examinations she had gotten to test her fertility, and people’s constant comments probably did not help. She had to constantly deal with reminders of what she could not do and that was definitely distracting her from looking at what she could do in Christ. Because the honest truth is that in Christ she could even have the baby that she wanted, not that her children right now were not awesome but watching her aunt and uncle fall in love with each of the children as they were born made her want that as well. She wanted not just a loving husband and a happy marriage but she would have loved at some point to take care of a little one in her belly and watch her husband fall in love with it. In the natural, that wasn’t possible, because not only did her husband hate her, she also couldn’t have children, and she was lying to her husband about it.
And since she was on a roll with being truthful with herself and with God, she also had to admit that she knew the reason her aunt and uncle had chosen Ben for her. Though treated like a son in her uncle’s house, Ben was actually the son of a family friend and had been adopted by uncle Ben’s older sister, tete Tari…who was now her adopted mother-in-law. Like her, he had lost his parents in his teens tete Tari had taken him and his siblings in their home and raised them as their own. Ben didn’t have any close relatives that lived in Zimbabwe when his parents died and he been so grateful to have his parents’ best friends take him in. So Ben knew what it felt like to lose your parents and feel alone in the world, he would understand what Tay had gone through. But even more than that, Tay had had a crush on Ben for as long as she could remember, in fact, before moving back to Zimbabwe with her aunt and uncle she had pretty much been in love with him. It had been so bad her aunt and uncle had probably known about it.
What they did not know, however, is that Ben had not been so nice to her during one of his visits to their home when they were still in the States, in fact, he gone so far as to tell her that he did not like her. He has told her that he would never date her, even if she was the last girl on earth. Someone had made a joke that he should take her on a date and he had shot the idea down immediately and told her and everyone who was around them that he didn’t like her, that he hated her. Obviously, it had not been in front of uncle Andy and tete Angie, and Tay had never told them what had happened. If she had, she probably would not be married to Ben; she wished she had told them. Instead, she had shrugged off his comments and raised an eyebrow at him and pointed out that it had just been a joke, not a suggestion he ask her out. She had changed the subject to other things, acting as is he had not just shattered her heart into pieces.
She had locked away all her feelings into a tiny little box and moved on with her life, refusing to acknowledge the conversation ever took place. It was not like she ever expected that he would ever love her back anyway, it had all been a fantasy she knew would never come true. But because she had failed to be truly honest with her aunt and uncle, she was now stuck in this mess of a marriage where she was doing everything wrong. Now that she thought about, Ben probably thought she had set her uncle and aunt up to this to make him suffer for what he had said to her. He could not be any more wrong though and she was just grateful that he loved the children enough not let them be separated as they would have been if the two of them had not gotten married.
Again, she wondered though what her aunt and uncle had been thinking of writing such a will? Why would they make it so if she and Ben had not gotten married the children would have to be separated? Did they have so much faith in her and Ben making it work? How would they have felt if Ben and Tay had decided to just take two children each and not get married to have the children grow up together? Or maybe they had not considered that they would die any time soon and making sure she got the girls and he got the boys was just so that each of the children would go to someone who would understand their needs? Shaking her head knowing she would never know the true answer to that, she decided that she needed to get up and read her bible after-all. She would have some much needed Jesus time before she left the room and looked for the children. She cried some more as she read the bible and prayed, letting go of all the pain, the hurt, all the guilt and all the self-condemnation in the hands of her loving savior.
She cried for all she had lost in the last few years, she did not need to be strong anymore, Jesus was her very present help in time of need; He was her refuge and strength. She cried for her broken heart and her lost fantasy of meaning anything to Ben, she cried for all the friends and community she had lost when she came back to Zimbabwe, she cried for the loss of her parents, and her aunt, she cried for the children she was told she could never have and lastly she cried for the loss of her dream husband. That to her was the most painful of all, she never expected it to be Ben, but she had hoped one day she would have her very own Andy, who would love no matter what and help her become a better person. Someone who would be there with her through the highs and lows of life. She cried as she gave it all to Jesus.
When she was done, Tay washed her face and decided it was time to join the rest of the world. Weirdly enough, though she knew she was still tired, she wasn’t feeling so utterly exhausted anymore, she wasn’t feeling so defeated. She felt a deep peace in her heart and mind and while she knew she would probably still sleep a lot for the next few days, she also knew that whatever happened, she would be okay. Stuffing her phone into her pocket, she grabbed the tray of dirty dishes and made her way to the kitchen, but before she got there she could hear voices and she slowed down when she heard the voices of her in-laws. Taking a deep breath and sending a silent prayer to Jesus, she walked more slowly until she got to the door. When she got there she realized her mistake, they had been about to leave and if she had waited a minute longer she would have missed them, but the moment her mother-in-law caught sight of her, she narrowed her eyes at her and turned back from the direction of the door towards her.
Her change of direction caught the attention of everyone else in the room, and Tay was grateful for Ben who showed up from nowhere and grabbed the tray she was holding before her children barreled into her. Their shouts of joy filled her heart with joy as she knelt on the ground to have a proper group hug with them. At that moment, she closed her eyes and forgot everyone else in the room and she received their kisses and gave her own. This was her family, so what if she never got her own Andy, she had her four beautiful little ones who never failed to bring joy in her life since the day each one of them was born. Sure there were days they got on her nerves and made her so angry but they truly were the light of her life. And for them she would get better and be better, never again would treat them as she had in the last couple of months.
Too soon she let go of them as she realized she had to acknowledge the adults in the room. She wished she could hold Joseph in her arms as she greeted everyone but she knew she did not have the strength. She was happy though that the children stayed plastered to her and did not move away from her. She needed the comfort that they were bringing to her. The greeting her in-laws was always an awkward process, but she was pleasantly surprised when she saw her cousin Grace also in the room. She and Grace had not been talking since the time Tay had refused to tell Ben she was incapable of having children before her wedding. They had not been best friends exactly before then, but they had been close enough and losing her had been painful for Tay. As she smiled at her, she hoped that this meant they were close to mending their relationship.
“Took you long enough to wake up.”
Tay’s eyes snapped to her mother-in-law who did not seem pleased with her in the least bit, but then again she never was. Tay looked to the ground not knowing how to respond, she knew her mother-in-law probably did not appreciate the whole exhaustion thing and probably thought she was faking.
“Mom…” Ben started but he was interrupted.
“We all get tired occasionally Ben but that does not mean we get to sleep for three days, its laziness, that’s what it is,” his mother cut him off.
Tay looked up at Ben wondering if he had been about to defend her, but that would be crazy, he didn’t like her so why would he defend her to his mother.
“Anyway, it looks like I am going to be staying for dinner, after all, we have things to discuss with your wife. I will just call her relatives so that they can be here for this. It cannot be said that we ambushed her without having people to represent her from her side of the family. I am pretty sure since you have been resting all this time you are now fit enough to make some food for us, Grace is there to help you with whatever you need I am sure, I will in the lounge,” and with that, she walked away.
Tay watched her walk away with a sigh, and her husband followed her without saying a word.
Tay looked down at the children who were all still clinging to her and she smiled. It was a genuine smile because no matter how her in-laws acted or treated her, her children would always brought a smile to her face.
“Yes Rumbie,” she responded kneeling again now that she had greeted everyone else.
“Are you okay? And why is tete mad at you for being sick?”
“I am still confused, should we call her tete or gogo?” Tino asked
Tay laughed, shaking her head at Tino, he wasn’t the only one who was confused, she was confused too. Obviously, when their parents had been alive they had called her mother-in-law tete, but now that Ben was their father, what were they supposed to call her?
“I am getting better, just tired, nothing a little more sleep won’t fix. And as for you calling her tete or gogo, I don’t know, maybe you should go in there and ask her huh? I will stay here in the kitchen and cook for her and when she has eaten everything will be so much better!” Tay lied giving them both extra kisses.
It was a lie because things were probably just going to get worse. She was a little annoyed that Ben’s mom had not waited until the children were out of the room but there was nothing to do about it now. She was glad she had not given any response because that might have caused an argument and she never wanted the children to see the way she was treated. It was bad enough Chipo probably knew more than she had admitted and as Tay turned to look at her oldest she realized she was right. While all the other children looked confused, the look on Chipo’s face was one Tendai hoped the others would never have. It was a familiar face that Chipo made when she disappointed at having been proven right, she had probably expected something like this would happen but hoped it wouldn’t.
“I missed you guys, sorry if I worried you, I will try my best never to let anything like that happen again.”
Tay looked at Chipo as she said this because she knew Chipo had probably suffered the most, she knew some of what had been going on in Tay’s mind and had probably been worried about her the whole two months.
“Are you really feeling better mama Tay, like with everything?” Chipo asked sounding very skeptical. “And how is talking to them going to help you?”
She looked towards the door to the lounge before looking back at Tay. She tried to think of a response that would be good enough without alerting the younger ones that something was wrong but all she could think was that her little girl was going to deserve some sort of explanation and an apology.
Everyone turned and looked at Grace and she smiled at all of them coming to Tay’s rescue.
“Hey Ben, why don’t take Tino, Joseph, and Rumbie into the other room while we three ladies prepare for supper if you mom is calling more guests we are going to need an extra pair of hands so we have recruited Chipo to help us out. I am sure your parents would benefit from having you guys entertaining them.”
Tay had kind of forgotten that Ben was still in the room but she was glad though when reluctantly agreed to take the children and then it was just the three of them in the kitchen. Suddenly feeling more tired than when she had walked into the kitchen, Tay gladly accepted help getting and quickly set down in a chair at the table instead. Motion for Chipo to sit down, beside her, she wondered exactly where she should start.
“What happened mama Tay Tay? With the glass, what happened?” Chipo asked
That a question that she had not been expecting she realized she should have, Chipo never missed anything.
“Everything was fine one moment and then it wasn’t,” Chipo added.
Taking a deep breath, Tay decided to be honest with Chipo. Things were about to change and whatever direction they took, she decided she needed to prepare her most trusted sidekick. Whatever happened, Chipo was probably going to pick her side, she had proved that when Ben first moved in and Tay wanted her to make her choices with all the information. She wondered briefly about her bad parenting skills because she should not even be encouraging Chipo to pick a side and neither should she be accommodating.
“Remember how I was angry a lot at Ben?”
“Well yeah, that why you are suffering from exhaustion now, it’s dealing with him and trying to avoid him right?”
“Hmm, yes, but then when I broke the glass I realized most of my anger towards him was because I felt guilty, I have been lying to him, though I think he already knows anyway, but then I realized I was angry at myself because I had been lying to him,” Tay responded wondering if she was doing the right thing, maybe she should just stick to lying?
But lying wasn’t the right thing and it was what had brought her here in the first place.
“What did you lie about?” Chipo frowned.
“Remember that talk we had with your mom when she sat you down after she had caught you eavesdropping, the one about me being unable to have children?”
“Yeah, she said that when I got older I would have to get tested again to make nothing was wrong with me? Where confessed to having me tested before without my knowledge?”
“Wait, tete Angie did what!?” Grace cut in.
“Yep, she had her tested, uncle Andy wasn’t amused,” Tay responded laughing in response. “But yes, that talk. I never told Ben I couldn’t have children and to be honest, most men would not marry someone like me. That’s why your mom had you tested, just to make sure you were okay and that she didn’t wait too long, just in case you needed treatment.”
“So why did you drop the glass? What sent you into shock?” Chipo asked.
“I woke up hating him and I realized at that moment that he had more reason to hate me than I had to hate him.”
There was silence in the kitchen as they all absorbed what she had said. Chipo was the first to speak after a few minutes and from her words, Tay knew she had made the right decision because Chipo understood.
“You were using anger to cover up the guilt you felt without knowing it?”
“Yeah,I was in denial, when I made the decision to lie, I convinced myself that it had to be done and so I ignored the guilt and brushed it away but deep down I still felt guilty, I just denied myself the chance to deal with everything by refusing to admit something was wrong. Does that make sense?” Tay asked.
“Hmm, I think so. Do you think God is angry?”
Trust Chipo to always get to the root of the matter.
“I think I thought He was, but when I woke up I read something that made me realize that He wasn’t angry at me. It made me realize that Jesus loves me no matter what, He knew who I was and that I was going to lie but He still died for me anyway.”
“But He doesn’t like it when we do it does He?” Chipo asked further.
“No, He doesn’t, because when we do it always hurt us. Like look at me, I was hurting and in turn, I hurt you and your siblings, and even Ben, just because I lied. And I hurt your aunt Grace because she stopped talking to me when I refused to be truthful. I know its a lot to take in but I don’t want you to hate Ben just because he and I don’t get along, especially since I am the one to blame.”
“You think that he is mean to you because he knows you lied to him?” Chipo asked.
“Yeah, I realized it at that moment too, why else could he act like he did? I mean I know he did not like me already from before but to leave you guys as he did when you still needed him, he must have been extra mad at me. So I should probably apologize for being the reason he abandoned you guys too.”
“But the bible says to love your enemies remember and to treat those who hate you very nicely, so I still think he could have been nicer. So maybe yeah, you were wrong to lie, but he is also wrong in the way he has acted. You lied to him to be able to save us, I know that, but he is just being mean for selfish reasons. But how are you feeling now?”
“But Chipo wait, he also married me to save you guys did he not, even when he did not like me much, to begin with?”
“ I guess,” Chipo shrugged,” but you didn’t answer my question, your eyes are red, you were crying, why were you crying? How you feeling now mama Tay Tay?” Chipo insisted.
“She is right, you were crying, you never cry…unless you are watching a movie or something, but never as bad as to have swollen eyes,” Grace said.
“You guys are right, I was crying, but don’t you think it was time I did cry a little? You know I never really cried when my mom and dad died, and since then I have had a lot to cry about that I never cried about either. That’s why Chipo I would always tell you to cry if you needed to. Never hold it in, that’s bad for you, and I would never wish for you to go through what I went through keeping things in.”
“You have never cried with Jesus as you told me to do?” Chipo asked putting her hand on Tay’s cheek.
“I did today,” Tay responded closing her eyes a lit bit to enjoy her daughter’s warm touch.
“Good,” Chipo responded before hugging her.
Tay enjoyed the warmth of Chipo’s hug for a few minutes before she decided it was time to get up and figure out what to cook. Moving around the kitchen, she turned to Grace, wondering again what she was doing there.
“I love that you are here because I missed you but what brings you here?” she asked.
“Ben called me when you got hospitalized, I am guessing you never told him we were fighting a little?” Grace responded.
“Uh, no, I didn’t. Chipo, please was the tomatoes for me,” Tay instructed Chipo before turning back to Grace, ”so you are the one who has been taking care of my babies, thank you, I really appreciate it.”
“Yes well, I decided it was time we bury the hatchet. And seems you have been doing a little soul searching on your own but what we disagreed on anyway so maybe we need to mend bridges. Plus anyway, I am kind of going to need your help soon.”
“Help with what?”
“Well, I am kind of pregnant,” Grace said quietly.
“Oh my God, that awesome, where did you get IVF? When? How?”
“Nop, it happened supernaturally. I am officially in the 2nd trimester so the doctor is more hopeful the pregnancy will stick, but I keep telling them it’s not going anywhere anyway. God has me covered. ”
Tay could see the excitement and joy in her cousin’s eyes and went around the table and hugged her. She was so happy for her.
“I know it might be a lot to ask since you still haven’t gotten your miracle but I couldn’t think of anyone else I wanted to share this experience with. You were the one always telling me to pray and believe in God, that with Jesus all things are possible. It’s been killing not being able to share this news with you so I actually decided I wasn’t going to tell anyone until I had talked to you and you had prayed with me.”
“Okay, its okay, don’t worry about me, I got enough trouble Chipo for a daughter so I good,” Tay said hugging her tighter. “And of course I will pray with you, you should have come sooner. Oh my gosh, this is so exciting, and it’s only the beginning, God will definitely bless you with more to come.”
“Hey! I am not so bad!” Chipo denied as she too put her arms around Grace.
Laughing together, the three of them hugged each other and they stood in the kitchen praying for Grace, the baby and Tay even prayed for Grace’s husband and their marriage. When they were done, the put on some music and started working on the meal. When Chipo left the room for a bit, Tay was shocked at what Grace had to say when she paused the music and confessed something to her.
“So there has been talk in the family about you and the children, people have been saying that tete Angie died that you might have children.”
“Yeah, they are not coming right out and saying you killed them but there has been talk that their deaths were so that you would have the opportunity to have children. They are saying its weird that the moment you started to stay with tete Angie is the moment she was able to get pregnant and now she is gone and you have custody of the children. They heard how IVF is not even an option for you, how you have even more fertility issues than the rest of us…”
Tay sat down at the table completely shocked by what she was hearing, how could people think that…
“And that’s not all, they are saying that bamukuru Andy was probably not supposed to have died with her. They are saying that since he died days after his wife, he was probably meant to have lived…they are saying that you would have taken over not just tete Angie’s children but her husband as well.”
Tay could not believe what she was hearing, she knew that people hated her but for them to assume she would be that devious and that cruel…as the words she had just heard circled in her head, she could feel her breathing getting heavier and her heart beating wildly. How could they? How could they spread such lies about her? Had Chipo ever heard any of this? Had she ever been exposed to these lies? Turning to Grace, who was now standing beside her, she accepted the glass of water her cousin was holding out to her.
“Hey, calm down, I am telling you this so that you do not hear it from someone else, someone who might not be so nice in the way they say it. But Tay, it doesn’t matter what they say, only what you believe and what you say. God has you in arms and He will defend you and keep you. Remember that, Jesus loves and so nothing they say or do can ever succeed against you…what’s that verse?”
“ Isaiah 54, ’No weapons formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that rises against you, you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,’ says the Lord,” Tay muttered.
“Right, see, you know way more about the bible and our promises than I do. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, you are blessed and highly favored, And if you want a child God has given you all things, no one has to die for you to have that.”
“The blessings of the Lord maketh rich and it adds no sorrow…” she muttered again.
“Right…yes, does that talk about money or you can apply it to other areas of your life? But either way, God’s heart is not one that would take life from His children so that someone else can be blessed. So it wasn’t some God plan and it definitely was not something you did either,” Grace added.
Tay sat there listening to Grace and trying to bring her breathing back under control. Grace was right, she could not let people’s thoughts or words control her like she had been doing all these years, she had to turn it all to Jesus and trust that He would defend her. The Lord was her refuge and strength, a very present help in time of need.
‘Help me Lord, I cannot, only you can.’