Like Graceful Pillars (Written by Ife Grace Dada)
I miss my mum. She’s been away for six weeks for a training somewhere in the north. To think that she’ll not return in another two months makes me want to cry.
Something happened recently that made me miss her more. Usually, when stuff happen in school, I would head straight to her room once I return from school.
There was always wisdom in her lips. I couldn’t talk to dad because I knew he was really busy preparing for a major meeting. He’d have listened though but somehow I chose not to say anything. I felt I could handle the matter myself.
What exactly am I talking about?
At the beginning of the first term in SS2, a girl joined our class. Her name is Funmi. Dark tall babe like that. What attracted me to her was her Introverted nature. She rarely talked and I noticed she was a keen observer, listening to discussions but rarely participating. She wasn’t snobbish at all because she laughed at jokes, said hi to my class members but she kept to herself.
Well, I didn’t try to be her friend. I already have my inner circle-Victoria and Bolaji. Three of us had been friends from JSS 1. I was content with that.
A couple of weeks after mum travelled, I sat in my class, bored. Our Biology teachers were not around and as a result of that the two periods for the biology lesson was free.
I had finished reading all the novels I had with me and I didn’t feel like reading my bible or praying. I was also not in the mood to read my school books. I couldn’t gist with my friends. Victoria was busy with her literature assignment. Bolaji was teaching a subject in Government to another student.
I saw two of my classmates working out a cross puzzle. I stood up to join them and that was when I saw Funmi, the new girl I talked about earlier, standing in front of my desk.
‘Hi Franca.’ She said, smiling.
I was surprised. Apart from the perfunctory ‘good morning’ greeting on the assembly ground, Funmi has never approached my desk.
She pushed a novel towards me. ‘I know you like to read a lot. Here’s a novel for you. I’m sure you will enjoy it.’
I was so happy! I almost started dancing for joy. My face was lit up and I was overly excited.
‘Thank you so much!’ I exclaimed and hugged her.
I can be like that when it comes to reading novels or short stories. There is this joy that wells up my heart when my eyes fall on a story book.
When she returned to her seat, Immediately, I flipped to the first page and began to read.
I had barely gone past the second paragraph when I started to feel uncomfortable. It was like my heart was in some sort of a turmoil. I can’t explain it, really. I just sensed a heavy load of darkness.
The story was intriguing and I didn’t want to stop. I continued. By the time I got to the end of the first chapter, I had become very restless.
What was going on? Is this not just a novel?
When I closed the book, I felt at peace but the moment I opened it, the restlessness returned.
I was tempted to continue reading it but I knew I shouldn’t. The restraint was too intense. I had to obey whatever nudging the Holy Spirit was giving me. I shut the novel and returned it to Funmi.
‘What happened? You don’t want to read it again?’
I shook my head. ‘No. Thank you Funmi but I can’t.’
Funmi looked at me puzzled. ‘It’s very interesting. I’m telling you, it will keep you glued to the end. I read it four times. Just keep reading.’
I shook my head. ‘No thank you.’
She seemed annoyed and I wondered why. Did she feel like she had made a friendly gesture for the first time and I had turned it down?
I felt bad as I returned to my seat but I knew I had done the right thing.
I took my bible from my bag and settled for the story of David and Goliath. I had not even gone halfway when Victoria rushed to my seat and we began to chat.
Some days later, Funmi started to come close to me. Victoria and Bolaji were art students. Whenever it was time to go to the laboratory, Funmi would wait for me so we could go together. She ensured we sat together and before the teacher showed up, she’d talk to me about herself and her family.
I enjoyed listening to her at first but I started to get uncomfortable again.
One afternoon, we were in the Physics lab when Funmi started to say things about Victoria. Our Physics teacher had stepped out at that time. I couldn’t believe that I was actually listening to her say those words and that I believed them!
Seriously It beats my imagination! How did this girl succeed in polluting my mind against my best friend.
This is a friend that we’ve prayed, ate, slept on the same bed, gone home together, studied together. Why should a girl who had just barely joined the school say words about Victoria and I’d sit there taking the junks all in.
The more she talked, the angrier and bitter I was with Victoria. In my head, I was already saying, ‘To hell with our friendship’
I’m not kidding, the things she was saying about my best friend didn’t even make sense.
Victoria told her I was a dog, a public toilet, who had no control over her sexual urges. All the boys in my area have had sex with me.
Victoria dislikes me with passion and she was looking for a way to get rid of me. That I was irritating and Bolaji too wants freedom from my clingyness.
Victoria this, Victoria that.
I felt like I had been jazzed. The bitterness was welling up in my heart. I was actually having deep conversations with the thoughts she had put in my head.
When we returned to class, Victoria came to my desk, laughing hard. Something funny had happened in their literature class and she wanted to gist me. The laughter died when she saw the look on my face.
‘Are you okay?’
‘Can you just leave me alone!’ I shouted.
She left without saying another word. My head was swimming in crazy thoughts.
What was happening with me? Why was I acting this way?
Immediately, my Father’s words returned to me.
‘Franca, whenever you feel restless and your thoughts are scattered in different directions, get into the place of prayer. Train yourself to respond on your knees. Let this be your default mode. Pray and then speak utterance as the Holy Spirit gives them to you.’
The moment the bell rang for break time, I stood up and marched to the rest room. I didn’t care about the stench, (our school cleaners actually work really hard where the toilets are concerned) I just wanted to pray.
I got into one of the rest rooms and locked the door and then I went on my knees. I prayed in tongues, I prayed in my understanding.
As I prayed, I saw Funmi standing over me with a black blanket. She put it over my head and tried to strangle me with it.
My heart fainted. Who was this girl for goodness sake?
I continued praying. This time I saw I was in a room and everywhere was in disarray. As I tried to arrange the room, I saw Funmi scattering the things I was painfully putting in order. I shouted at her to stop but instead she laughed and then said,
‘You let me in. Babe, you are stuck with me.’
And then she threw a mug across the wall and scattered my documents while I stood there crying.
Immediately, I spoke out the words I heard in my spirit. ‘In the name of Jesus, I break every demonic influence hovering over me! I have the mind of Christ and I think the thoughts of God! I hear only the voice of the Lord my shepherd.’
Gradually, the bitterness and anger dissipate. My heart felt at peace.
When I came out, Funmi was waiting for me outside the rest room. She smiled.
‘Let’s go to snack bar to get something to eat.’
I smiled back. ‘Thank you but I have to find my best friends.’
She grabbed my hand and fixed her gaze on me. ‘Why are you acting so foolishly after what I told you.’
I returned her gaze, this time charged with the consciousness of my authority in Christ.
‘Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!’
She pulled her hand away quickly. I walked back to the class.
Victoria and Bolaji were seated at the back with donuts and soft drinks in front of them. I went to them.
I wrapped my hands around Victoria’s neck. ‘I’m sorry for snapping at you earlier.’
She squeezed my hands. ‘Remember when I said I’ll always forgive you in advance. I meant it. I knew you were not yourself and whatever it was, you’d come around.’
‘Thank you.’ I said and sat down.
‘Be careful of that’s funmi girl.’ Bolaji said as he bit into the brown donut. ‘The first day she sent me a chat on WhatsApp, I heard the Holy Spirit say, Don’t respond.’
‘How did she get your number?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know. I thought the following day she would ask me why I didn’t respond to her chat but she didn’t. Girl dey avoid me. We are not ignorant of the devices of the devil. We stay led by the Spirit.’
‘We are praying together this weekend right?’ Victoria asked.
‘Sure!’ Bolaji replied. ‘My living room is always opened as usual. My mum will be so happy.’
‘I miss your mother’s puff-puff.’ Victoria said, grinning.
I am forever grateful for these two powerful friends in my life. But still I can’t wait for mum to return so I can give her this gist. One major lesson I learnt is this:
To be led by the Spirit, this is wisdom.
…May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars carved to adore a palace. Psalms 144:12.
Source: Ife Grace
Hello dear readers, welcome back to the blog after some days break.
I promised we were going to resume back days ago with another series but it wasn’t possible.
In order not to keep you waiting I had to get this inspiring Story published.
I believe you were blessed by it so please do well to drop your comments and share with your friends.
Thank you very much and Stay Blessed.