I burst into tears when the lady I was against was the one comforting me during my ordeal. Yes, I was young and stupid when I teamed up with Zara, Ify and Dara to condemn Kendra. I was in my early twenties then and felt I could take over the world…as though everything was planned in my favour. Yes, I am favoured but God allows us to go through difficult times to build our faith and character some more.
My life had its ups and downs but my most trying period was as a matured single in search of a spouse. At 33, all my friends were happily married. Well, I presumed they were ‘happily married’ cos that’s what we saw from the outside.
All my prayer points were geared toward finding The One. I made myself available for all church activities because I believed God would bless me that way. The truth is that I presumed a church gentleman will notice my hard work for God and marry me. Unfortunately, that was not the case.
It is funny how you never know which friends will stick with you through thick and thin until you thin out in worry. I just noticed that my friends weren’t coming around or reaching out anymore and no invites were being sent my way.
One day, I bumped into Ify discussing her daughter’s birthday and I guess that was why she invited me because when I graced the event, she did not really pay attention to me. I felt kinda stupid for attending as they kept calling out moms and dads and I was none of the above so I was seated most of the time, feeling ashamed.
I left the party early and no one noticed. My shame even made me walk out with the gift I got Ify’s daughter. I sent it to her though. This made me withdraw and I became less confident.
I started hanging out with my unchurched friends, well they recently became my friends as I found them through social media groups.
One day while we were hanging out and I was talking to one of the guys, one of the ladies attacked me, warning me to keep away from their men. That was not even my grouse. What she said after that, causing the other ladies to laugh was what really got to me. She called me menopausal and that I would never get a man with my holier-than-thou attitude.
I went home that night with a heavy heart and I cried myself to sleep. I reminisced about the 3 men that had proposed to me in the past. I wished now I had said yes to one of them even though, then, I felt they were not right for me based on one bad attitude or the other. The last actually told me that he was my last chance…that no man wants to marry an old woman. Even though I liked him, I said ‘no’ and swore I would prove to him that I’d get married and to a man richer and better looking than him.
Now, I wished I swallowed my pride and accepted his offer. At least I’d be married and the shame will be wiped off my face.
So it was no shock that when an altar call asked for people seeking for a miracle from God, I stepped out, with tears in my eyes, praying for that miracle. This was how I was sent to Kendra for mentorship. Knowing what she went through, I opened my heart to her and told her all my pains. She was so supportive. She did not limit our relationship to a church gathering, instead, she visited me often and called me often too. I was happy to have her by my side and wished I was at her side during her own ordeal. I confessed to her that I was one of the ladies that spread false rumours about her and she told me she forgave me years ago and that I should forgive myself and stop thinking about the past.
Kendra gave me a reason to believe in myself again and more: to love those who persecuted me. I understood Jesus’ love for the first time and how to show it to others. It took 4 more years, four full years of recovery, character-building and heart-cleansing before God gave me my own man.
Those years were my trying times and I used them to grow closer to God, to understand the reason HE died for us and most especially, to groom other women in supporting their fellow women instead of backbiting them.
Funny, my challenges did not end on my wedding day. Instead, a new challenge came up and guess what? My fellow women were the ones that criticized me the most.
Have you ever faced any or are facing victimization from other ladies and even men and will like to share or need someone to talk to?
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See you next week with part 3.