Sandra Peters quietly crept into the bed beside Patrick who was already asleep. She had deliberately stayed up late so that by the time she gets to bed, he would be fast asleep. She slipped pieces of wool in to her ears in other to shut out his loud croaky snore which left her awake most nights; having fought tooth and nail to move into another room, but he would not have it.
She has always had a struggle with walking in the fruits of the spirit where Patrick is concerned. Usually, she is regarded by all as even tempered, a spirit filled model Christian, someone to seek sound counsel from. Ever ready to give out counsel to the discouraged and weary soul, always know what to say. There have been instances of turnarounds in the life of a few members after listening to her counsel, and even, the pastorate has been considering making her one of counselors, based on recommendations and glowing reports about her spiritual maturity and efficacy of timely counsels.
Her neck has fully recovered from the wounds he inflicted a few weeks ago. She wondered how long she would endure being beaten black and blue by her husband. No one knew that the much admired and respected assistant to pastor Dan physically assaults his wife as she wipes off all the marks of beating.
Sandra will forever question God why she ended up with a man like Patrick. Everything was perfect until two years ago when his business began to fail. He would come home angry, depressed and frustrated, yelled at everyone who came across his path.
As time went on, he began to go into fits of rage and would to throw objects against the wall. Her mother had advised her to walk away and save her life. But life is not as simple as that. She had considered the possibility of separation or a divorce, but shrank from the implications on her church image and the children. What will the church say? Would they still behold me as a woman of God as they do now?
And on what grounds would she explain why the marriage fell apart? Irreconcilable differences? Violence? She had also considered the children, Johnson and Ella, who are thirteen and ten years old respectively. Will I marry again or remain single? What if I marry again and end up in a worse predicament? At the same time, she doesn’t want to lose the glory of being held in high regard as a virtuous woman. So she remained stuck with Patrick.
To her dismay and horror, she had secretly wished he would drop dead one day, making her a widow and enabling to be free again. She remembered when her sister in law called about a year ago, weeping on the phone that Patrick was involved in an accident and was terribly injured. Her heart had leapt in anticipation that the end had come for him. She had wondered what kind a woman would wish her own husband dead.
She had wept in remorse that she is in no way different from a cold blooded murderer in spite of her piousness and religiosity. On the surface, they look happy and perfectly in union, regarded as the model couple, having won the best couple award during the last couple’s retreat. She shuddered with remorse, marveled at the ability to deceive everyone through their pretense and play acting.
Many times she would look at the other smiling couples and wonder if their home is also thickened with friction and criticism, if behind the façade of smiles, there is a tug of war going on. She had tried to accept her situation and come to terms with being Mrs. Sandra Patrick, afterwards, they have birthed two kids together.
She has stored up scriptures in her heart on love, long- suffering and patience, but it will only take a while before she slipped and gave in to her dark emotions and the flesh. She prayed fervently for his business to revive again, hoped that if it does, he would stop this violence and return to his old self. But it seemed that the more she prayed, the more the fortunes of his business nosedived.
She once heard that fiery Pastor, Elder Jeremiah talked about how the wrong marriage can lead one into hell . How right he is. If Christ should appear at a time when they quarrel, then none of them will go anywhere near heaven.
Oh God, please deliver me from the pit of emotional battles. Have an encounter with Patrick that will make him to turn back from the direction he is treading. And help me to relate with him with your agape love. Flood my heart with love for him, so I can overlook his inadequacies and imperfections.
Then he turned towards her in the darkness. She held her breadth, hoped he is still asleep, tensed as she felt his hand on her shoulder, then groaned in protest, her body clamping up and unwilling to succumb to his physical ministrations. In silence, she allowed him have his conjugal right, her mind far away. Moments later, when he was done, he turned to the opposite side of the bed and slept off again, resumed the irritating, loud croaky snore once more.
A tear slipped down her face at the thought of going through this for the rest of her life. Stuck in a loveless marriage with a man she has come to detest. Love covereth a multitude of wrongs and it is also the fulfillment of the law. Knowing that the Holy Spirit has given her an antidote for her situation and not willing to accept it, she shut her mind against the voice as her body shook violently and the pillow soaked with bitter tears.
Available on OkadaBooks.