I recently met a group of amazing women. They are strong, happy (well, most of the time 😉 ), bubbly, driven, and they are mothers. Now, they are not your average mothers. You see, theirs is a bit peculiar especially in this part of the world (and our obodo nigeria). Their own motherhood ehn! They have to add a bit of fatherhood too o! They are single mums.
Now before you scrunch up your self-righteous noses at me and ask me what makes them amazing. Don’t worry whether you ask or not, I will tell you. And because nigerians are largely judgemental about situations like this I will not give you too much gist. Just small eh! 🙂
But before that let me share something they taught me. I remember the first time I met with a few of them. At the back of my mind somewhere I really was thinking okay, so what exactly are we going to talk about. It’s just a bunch of women who have made mistakes that they cannot shake off or hide (except there’s now a disappearing device for children. Hmm… Now won’t that be a great sell? When they’re cranky or stressing you out you just zap them #villian laughter#)
Anyway the Holy spirit said “don’t teach. Learn!” And learn I did. I learnt about their pain, their confusion, their dilemmas, their resolve, their shame, their need for love and acceptance, their love for God and their kids but above all their hope and strong faith in God.
I heard a lot of stories that day: some were raped, some were deceived, some were looking for love and found babies, some were running from something, others were running towards something, some were running too fast (into marriage) and some others were simply just running. I saw women cry, I saw vulnerable girls struggle with forgiveness, I saw people breakdown but what I found recurrent with each person’s story was at some point they said to themselves “I’ve made one mistake must I now make another by having an abortion?”. If that isn’t strength and the fear of God then tell me what is. They do not absolve themselves of their own fault in the matter. after all, it takes two to tango or baby-dance as the case may be. But they’ve all chosen to do the right thing in the face of being denied by the father of the child, being disowned by parents, being ostracized in church or school or office. So before you judge ask yourself: “If na me I GO FIT?” Remember before you judge walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. A lot of girls are having premarital sex but as I often say, “na who dem catch be thief”
Someone once shared her experience with me of how she got pregnant and wanted to abort it as was her usual custom and the night before the planned abortion she had a dream where she was standing under a big tree and it seemed like all the fruit from the tree were smashed all over the floor under the tree. Then she saw there was one left and her hand (as if it had a life of its own) was reaching for it to throw it down and she heard a loud voice say “Stop! that’s the last one” and she woke up covered in cold sweat. She had the child and the guy eventually married her. She’s married but that’s the only child she has now. God is a God of mercy and I believe she will have more but just imagine….
Another woman I know got pregnant when in school. She wanted to abort it but her mum convinced her somehow to have the child and give her. She did, moved on with her life and the child grew up calling her aunty. Years later she got married, No child! She went helter skelter- hospital, church, mosque, shrine, babalawo, prophets, seers, etc just name it. She’s in her 70s now. All she has is that one child who thanks to her mum she has today.
These women I’m talking about today, some of them have no such luxury. Sometimes they practically have to live hand to mouth to make sure their kids are well taken care of. They make extra sacrifices. They don’t have the luxury of being sad or sick around their kids as there is no daddy to take over. They are daddy and mummy all rolled up in one.
These women are brave. I’m telling you. Very brave. Some had to run for dear life with their kids. One of them was chased by the father of her kids with a cutlass after being thoroughly beaten and to make matters worse the man hadn’t even married her.
After the first meeting I asked a couple of them what they believed for and this is the biggest lesson they taught me:
“Like ruth, they believe that God has chosen to give them a second chance, a fresh start in Him and it isn’t uncommon to hear them say someday they’ll meet their own Boaz #hopeful smiles all round# They also believe that the children didn’t have to be born in the circumstances they were born into but they are a gift and blessing from God and will be loved and raised as godly seed”
I’ve learnt more from them than I can ever teach them and in case any of them gets to read this, I just want you to know that I’m so blessed to be a part of your lives and I love you girls with all my heart and I’m humbled to be your Naomi and I say to you as a Naomi to her Ruth: “my dear daughter, shall I not seek rest or a home for you, that you may prosper?… Wash and anoint yourself therefore, put on your ‘joy’ and go down to the threshing floor…” (Ruth 3:1-3)
You know I love you girls even when you guys make my bb battery die (you’re always talking on that group #rolling my eyes# :D). Can’t wait to start throwing y’all bridal showers. Mwaaaah!
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