My mother’s closest friend, confidante and prayer partner has been a single mother for as long as I can remember. She has two beautiful and smart girls who have grown into wonderful women. I never met their father. Ever since I came on the scene, the story was Aunt’s husband had left her to be with another woman in the UK.
This is not a story of a church girl who fell in love with a bad boy and later had to live with the consequences. Oh no, this is one of a vibrant Christian music group member who fell in love with a fellow member who was a songwriter and a pianist. A man ‘on fire’ for the Lord.
I can imagine the hopes my aunt had, as she stood in front of the altar with this man, of raising a family in the fear of the Lord and growing old together, maturing in their love. But fate had other plans.
Five years later, she was a mother of two. That would be the only number of years she would live as a married woman. For the next 30 plus years, she would live as an abandoned hopeful wife waiting for her husband to return to her.
Perhaps it was the time that she was in but it seemed the only option available to her was to hope for the best and expect him to come back to his senses and to her. Being the Christian woman as she is, her weapons were vigorous prayer and fasting.
The first time she called her husband in the UK and the other woman picked up, it was traumatizing. She mocked her that she wasn’t a woman enough and that he was hers now. Something snapped in my aunt and she would spend months in a mental facility, trying to recover from the near insanity as a result of the shock.
What prayer and fasting regime didn’t she partake in? What consultation and deliverance session didn’t she go for? All she got was advice that she should keep the faith, that God would return her husband back to her.
Being a public teacher, bringing up two girls singlehandedly wasn’t easy but God saw her through. Her first daughter met a Ghanaian doctor based in the UK and they got married. When they moved there, she was eager to meet her father whom she hadn’t seen for over twenty years. She managed to get his number and called, requesting for a meetup. All the times she did, he cancelled at the last minute.
Whether it’s out of guilt and shame that he had been a terrible and neglectful father to her, I can’t tell but if it is, I feel sorry for him; carrying this burden and not seeking forgiveness from the people you’ve hurt most must be exhausting.
Now, whenever my mum thinks of her dear friend, she feels regret for also encouraging her back then to keep waiting for her estranged husband. As devout Christians back in the day, the idea of divorce was not to be entertained as God hates it. She has spent her youth and adulthood waiting for a man who will never return. At least, she didn’t allow herself to wallow in self-pity forever. She had picked up the pieces and had done all she could to raise her daughters.
If she had annulled the marriage and moved on, my mum would say, who knows, she might have found another good guy who would have loved her and enjoyed life together. She was in her mid-twenties when she got married and she’s now in her early sixties; only living as a wife for five years.
She has such a big heart and I know that if she had had a second chance at love, she would have had a lot to offer. It might be too late for her to find love again, now that she has come to terms with the sad reality. If she could turn back the hands of time, would she still marry the man? That’s difficult to answer because she believes her two daughters are the best things that ever happened to her regardless of who their father is.
What I admire about her is that, in spite of what happened to her, her faith in God remains unshaken. She has been a strong pillar of faith and encouragement to my mum over the years.
Whenever I think about her story, I can’t help but wonder: did she do something wrong? Was her faith not strong enough to turn things around? Were they meant to be together in the first place? At what point should she have said ‘time’s up?’ Where was God in all this?
May God grant us spouses who won’t leave us hanging and will be by our sides till death do us part. And if something is not meant to be, may He reveal that to us quickly so we don’t waste our lives waiting for what isn’t ours. Life is too short for that. Lord, have mercy on us all.
© Josephine Amoako 2019