* MY RICH WIFE *

*Episode Eleven*

I spent one week in custody, before I was charged to court and later sentenced to six months imprisonment. Six months in jail seemed like six years. No member of my family was aware I was in jail. Pastor Lanre and his visiting team came once a while to check on me. I would say that it was on the order of Jocelyn’s father. Visitors were allowed to bring food for us but it had to ve cooked or processed food. Days when Pastor Lanre and his team came around were like days of victory for me. They didn’t just give me the foid, they also fed me with the Word of GOD.

Days and nights seemed longer in prison than outside the prison. 24 hours was like 240 hours. Prison life was better imagined than experienced. The isolation and boredom cannot be overemphasised. No friends to relate with, No place to go to, Nothing to keep one busy.

But instead of staying idle in prison, I began to invest my time in prayers and studying of the Holy Bible. I became a prominent member of Prison Fellowship; a very vibrant fellowship of convicted inmates.

While in prison, I began to retrace my steps back to my Lord. I became closer to God and fully re-dedicated my life to Christ. Other Christian bodies and religious organizations always visited us in the prison to encourage us with God’s word and to pray for us. My commitment and dedication in the prison fellowship pushed me to the position of the assistant secretary of the fellowship. My experience in the prison really humbled me. Our fellowship president, Brother Ishaku, became my mentor and role model. He had been sentenced to life imprisonment and had spent twenty years already in prison. His faith and trust in God, despite his condition, was a motivation to all of us who were his disciples. It really takes a strong faith in Christ for a condemned inmate to talk about God the way Brother Ishaku did when he gave us exhortations.

Pastor Lanre was not able to contact my people until a month to my freedom from prison. When my father was worried of not hearing from me for such a long time, he sent one of my uncles to trace me to Jocelyn’s house where we held our traditional wedding. When he got there, he was shut out(according to what my parents told me) on hearing he was from my kindred.God so kind, they were able to get news that I had been in Garki prison. When my parents finally visited me in prison, they wept for me, seeing my condition, but i assured them i was going to be fine, with thr knowledge that I would be out of prison soon.

Even though i stayed beyond six months in prison, I was released on the 21st of August. That’s eight months instead of six months.

I, who was thrown in prison as a backslider, came out as firebrand for Christ. I had learnt my lessons well, the hard way; with hunger and hard labour.

Upon my release, i was warned never to step my feet into Jocelyn’s or anybody close to her ever, or else i was going to be sent back to prison.

I came out of prison without a place to go. All my things were still in Jocelyn’s house, but I was told never to step there again. Thanks to Pastor Lanre, a man with a good heart. He admitted me into the church mission house. He gave me hope and a new life. My faith in Christ waxed stronger by the day, seeing how pastor Lanre and the church rallied round me to give me shelter when I had no place to lay my head, food when i was hungry and clothes when I was naked. Pastor Lanre tried to secure a job for me, but that wasn’t realistic without my credentials. He begged Jocelyn to release my credentials, but she refused. As a matter of fact, she stopped attending our church, after i was thrown behind bars.

Pastor Lanre engaged me as one of the staff of the church, even there wasn’t vacancy. I was engaged to do special duties, As special duty officer.

My job was nothing more than running errands for the church and staff of the church. This time, i ran those errands not just because they were my official duties, but i did them as a service unto God.

* MY RICH WIFE *

*Episode Twelve*

All my efforts to reach or hear from Kauna proved abortive as I learnt she later relocated to the UK to cover the shame our action had caused to the family. I was reliably informed also that sge gave birth to a baby girl and may never come back to Nigeria again. Mrs Kalu became my informant. She was a member of our church and a staff of NNPC. She was the one who informed me that Jocelyn, out of annoyance, had burnt all my things in the house, including my credentials.

After about five months I was released from jail, Pastor Lanre began to talk about reconciling with my wife and her family, but I saw this as a pipe-dream that may never come to fruition. The humiliation done to Jocelyn’s family by my action could never be repaired. The scar would also be there and would cause the seed of bitterness and hatred to ever bear fruit anytime they saw me.

I knew Jocelyn would never forgive me.Even if she did forgive me, not for impregnating her younger sister. Even though i knew i needed Jocelyn’s forgiveness and that of her family, getting it seemed elusive.

However, I began to give consideration to pastor’s suggestion on reconciling and restitution, but how would i go about it? Who would convince Jocelyn I had become a new creature ? Who would tell Jocelyn’s father to take me back again as his son-in-law? It was a difficult bridge to cross, I concluded. I started a chain of prayers for God’s lead, guidance and wisdom.

Pastor Lanre had said I couldn’t marry another woman while Jocelyn was still alive. On the other hand, I was not getting younger and my parents were getting closer to their graves by the day.

“When are we going to embrace our grandchildren?” was a popular song on my parents lips. I wished i could tell them they already had a grandchild, but i felt i may never see the child all my life, let alone they.

I moved out of the church mission house to a one room apartment to enable me to start a new life and re-plan my life. Pastor Lanre, through Mrs Kalu, was able to trace Jocelyn to her new church. One way or the other, he became friends with Jocelyn’s pastor and began to talk to him on the possibility of reconciling Jocelyn and I, after narrating to Jocelyn’s pastor all that happened. The pastor(Jocelyn’s) felt sympathetic and promised he was going to be of help.

The first meeting arranged by Jocelyn’s pastor to discuss our reconciliation was fruitless. Jocelyn walked out immediately she realized the subject of the was on reconciling her and me. It took her pastor a month’s rigorous follow up to ve able to make her return to the church. She returned to the church, but gave her condition. She threatened never to attend that church again if any matter about me was ever raised. The matter was put on hold for another one year. One year of loniness and silence.

Meanwhile, many sisters in the church i worshipped began to show interest in me, but Pastor Lanre had warned me never to give attention to any of them.

“You are a married man. You can’t date or marry any sister in this church.” This he had said to me several times. Among these sisters who danced around me in church, Sister Eunice was dufferent. She was truly an epitome of beauty and humility. Her smiles were good enough to heal the brokenhearted. I wished i could get closer to her, but Pastor Lanre wouldn’t let that happen. Sister Eunice was a total opposite of Jocelyn. “She would make a perfect wife”, i thought. Nonetheless, i couldn’t disobey my pastor.

But, could i remain obedient to my pastor’s warning when it was dawning on me that i was falling in love with Sister Eunice ?

* MY RICH WIFE *

*Episode Thirteen*

I cherished and honoured Pastor Lanre for one thing. He was one who was always determined to get what he wanted. No matter how long it took, what it was, Pastor would eventually achieve what he’d longed for.

After a year, he was able to reconcile me with my wife, Jocelyn. The conditions for reconciliation put me further into something i would call “marriage prison”. It was either i accepted the conditions or i remain unmarried all my life. Staying unmarried for the rest of my life was a prison on its own. Going back to Jocelyn, living under the same roof was also a prison on its own. The decision was to choose between two prisons. I decided to choose the latter, since according to the Holy Bible, it was a sin to marry another when his real wife was still alive. Besides i had given my life to Christ Jesus.

I returned to Jocelyn’s house. The price i had to pay was to obey all conditions set for me and obey God in all my dealings. Besides, i had signed an undertaking with Garki Police Command never to engage her in any violent activity. With these conditions and my new spiritual status, Jocelyn became a “total” goddess and a monster. The bitterness of what i did to her younger sister still lingered in her mind. As a matter of fact, the presence of my wife in the home or around me became a terror to me. She didn’t treat me like a husband should be treated. I was practically losing my mind. Whenever i told my pastor of what and how mt wife was treating me with disdain in the house, he would pray with me and encourage me to endure. He assured me that all be well and that it was just a trial i was going through in my marriage. Well, as a true born again, I would take the advice of my Pastor to heart.

Whenever i got back home late, Jocelyn would lock me outside. I stayed late moat times because if fellowship and the nature of my job in the church. I was always the last person to leave the church everyday, beause i had to ensure all the doors and windows were locked. Sometimes, when she locked me out, i would return to the church and pass the night with the security guard or in the church auditorium. The stings and sometimes, the irritating sound the mosquitoes played in my ears was annoying, but what would i do?

While i went through these untold, or unfair as you might call it, maltreatment, i sang gospel songs to comfort myself to sleep. Sometimes, i wept. Some occassions, I doubted my faith, asking myself if God truly was watching all i was going through and felt easy on His throne. And when it was as though losing my sanity, a small indescribable voice would comfort me from within.

Other times, to avoid questions from whoever was concerned about my situation, I passed the night on the balcony of my church. I became a victim of domestic violence. Initially, it was emotional violence but it later deteriorated to physical assaults.

Those in the church who saw me with admirable clothes did not know the agony those scars the shirts and trousers covering. Many people didn’t know why I was always wearing long sleeve shirts. Well, i wore the long sleeve shirts because i had a wound around upper arm, an injury inflicted on me by Jocelyn with a stick because i accidentaly broke a glass cup. In addition, i wore long sleeve shirts to hide the wound that refused to heal. The wound around my forearm was infected badly that sometimes, it emitted pus and gave disgusting smell. Often, i had been to the hospital to get rid of the wound all to no avail. So, i had to always see the doctor in the hospital to dress it everytime.

It didn’t cost Jocelyn anything to hit me as she did this often with whatever tool she saw around at that moment over every little mistake i did.

On many occassions, Jocelyn would slap me, and when i wanted to retaliate, i remembered the conditions and the words of my pastor, as well as the small voice in my head. I couldn’t hit ir scold her in an act of defending myself, it would be termed as domestic violence against her.

My life became miserable more than it was before i went to prison the first and the second time. I really desired to go to heaven and for this si gular reason, i vowed to myseld that no amount of oppression would make me turn back to my old ways. “Nothing again will separate me from the love of Christ, not Jocelyn nor the things she did to me”, I assured myself, with a wry smile.

* MY RICH WIFE *

*Episode Fourteen*

All my attempts to retrieve my credentials were futile. Getting a police report became a headache for me. They wanted me to grease their palm before the report could be issued. But i was a new creature in Christ Jesus, so I couldn’t give bribe to them. Besides, the Bible is against it. All my years of labour in school were burnt by a woman I called my wife, just to get back at me for sleeping and impregnating her younger sister.

Well, who was i to blame but myself. I felt that moment i was only swallowing what i chewed.

Many things I suffered in the hands of Jocelyn were unimaginable nad cruel. Some i had never shared with anyone, not even with Evans, my buddy. How could i tell people that my wife was beating me ? How could i tell an outsider that my wife denied me sex for more than two years after our reconciliation ? How well could i explain my emotional pains and my secret groaning ? My marriage was tantamount to living life in hell fire. Many times i had thought of committing suicide, but on secomd thought, it would hinder me from seeing my “pilot” [GOD] on the last day. I couldn’t endure the sufferings here on earth and still end up in he fire.

Jocelyn’s attitude towards me grew worse by the day. To further frustrate me, Jocelyn started bringing in different men into our matrimonial home. I would serve hwr and the men she brought to the house meals at the dining table. These men she brought home only saw me as Jocelyn’s houseboy, sonthey treated me like one. They did a lot of things in my presence, yet i didn’t react, because i must not react. Most times, she hugged them, kissed them and they smooched my wife right before my very eyes, but I held my sanity. At night, those who passed the night were given sex by my wife. My own wife who deprived me of sex for good two years!

At night, i would hear their moan and groan during sex. Gosh! My head was telling me that moment to react, but my mind and that small voice kept me still.

After each night of free sex from Jocelyn to those her men friends, she would go to work, leaving me alone in the house to clean up their mess.

I wanted to marry a wealthy woman, a wealthy woman i got.

When this continued and became unbearable for me, i paid a visit to my pastor and told him i wanted a divorce. I told him i was ready to live my life outside marriage.

Pastor Lanre tried to discourage me from seeking divorce, but this time, the advice didn’t move me. I felt my patience was being tested and i was losing my sanity. Besides, my Christianity was not guaranteed with Jocelyn. Divorce was better than what i called marriage. I would have been ordained as a minister in the church but my marriage was a setback.

What would you advise me if i were your brother ? Don’t you think the punishment meted on me by Jocelyn was too much for my sin? If you were in my shoes, what would you do ?

Though the Bible discourages divorce, what would you advise i do? Should i endure this stupidity from my wife and wait patiently for her to die so that i could be free before i re-marry ?

What do you think ?

* MY RICH WIFE *

*Episode Fifteen*

For weeks, I contemplated divorce, but my Pastor never stopped dissuasing from jumping into such mistake. He gave me Bible passages to read on divorce and its consequences. This, i read and within the space of time, I began to have a change of heart. All this while, Jocelyn never knew my plans of filing for divorce. Even if she did, she would havr asked me to go ahead.

After i decided to discard the idea of filing for divorce, something strange happened to me. Maggots started coming out of the wound I had on my forearm. It was later discovered that rhe knife Jocelyn used to tear my forearm was not an ordinary knife. It was one of those traditional knives by Northern warriors to infect their opponents and leave the wound to kill that enemy of theirs gradually. These warriors from her tribe had their machete, arrows, guns, and other instruments of war imbued with a special traditional water to make it poisonous against their opponents. Jocelyn saw all these happening to me, but she never was disturbed about my situation.

When all treatments failed, surgeries were performed on my forearm twice( my pastor paid the bills), but instead, it grew worse. The doctor advised that i be taken to US or India for another surgery and that it would cost me twelve million Naira.

Where on earth would i get such amount of money ?Jocelyn’s father could afford twelve million naira for my medical bills, but he would not help. I took to faith and fate as i remained in Nigerian hospital where it was constantly dressed for eight months, the specialist who was often dressing the wound on my forearm suggested my arm be amputated. He said the maggots have eaten and were eating deep into my flesh and marrow, and that if nothing was done, the maggots will spread its feasting. I began to wonder, having given my life to Christ, why would GOD not show me mercy and let this cup pass over me ? The pain was unbearable. With my pastor at hand, I told the specialist to give me time to think about it and that I was going to get back to him. He advised that i should sleep on it and come up with a decision soonest.

A week after, Jocelyn moved my things outside my room to a shop attached to the rooms in the boys quarters in the compound. She did this because she could no longer stomach the stench emanating from my wound.

My parents, on the other hand, when they heard about all i was going through, they tried to persuade me to come home to seek the help of traditional medicine man, but i felt i couldn’t go back to my vomit again.

I would never go to Egypt to seek for help. I would prefer getting the hand amputated to going fetish about it.

My calanity was beyond what i could bear, hence i began to pray to God to take my life.

In all my predicaments, Pastor Lanre was with me. He stood by me like a true father. If any pastor was Christ-like, it was pastor Lanre. He paid most of my hospital bills.

After much thought about my wound, I met my pastor and told him the decision i had made. We went to the hospital two days later and my arm was amputated but “it had to be done to prevent a further spread, Mr Patrick” the specialist had said, consoling me.

A week after my arm was amputated. I began to see myself as a liability to the church for a year.

My church members rallied round during this trying time to assist me financially and whatever way they deemed necessary.

In all that happened to me during trying time, GOD remained faithful..

* MY RICH WIFE *

*Episode Sixteen [Final]*

After the amputation done to one of my arms, I went on with my life. If not for God, my church members and Pastor Lanre that God used to assist, encourage and support me in all spheres, perhaps i would have died out of frustration or taken the alternative of taking my own life.

In spite of my predicaments, Jocelyn never sympathised with me. She never showed any feeling of concern, but i wasn’t bothered either. This was because, even before situation(s) turned me to a one-handed person, I had become used and immune to Jocelyn’s attitude.

Although, anyone would agree that it was during a period like this my wife could have been supportive, instead she became worse. Despite the fact that we were under the same roof, she avoided me like a plague. She treated me with disdain and never honoured our matrimonial vow.

Then one day, Jocelyn fell ill. Her parents came around and took care of her. I offered to assist but they insisted that i should not. For close to two weeks i never set eyes on Jocelyn. She was in her room on her bed. Her father had ensured that three mobile policemen kept watch over his daugter. They guarded the door to her room, and took turns whenever one felt tired and needed to rest or to eat something. This was a ploy of Jocelyn’s father so that i don’t go into the room to see Jocelyn, my own wife.

Well, i went on with my duties at home for those two weeks and lived under the same roof as though i were a widower. Nobody to speak with. I saw three policemen, greeted them but they never responded. Jocelyn’s parents often came and went on with family doctor. They never spoke to me and they instructed the family doctor never to reveal anything to me concerning my wife’s illness.

After two weeks to administering treatment and doing check ups, Jovelyn was taken to the hospital.When i realised her parents didn’t bring her home, i knew she had been admitted into the hospital.

All this time, her family sti refused to reveal to us, me and my Pastor, what was really wrong with Jocelyn. During this time, I started praying for my wife Jocelyn. I even went on dry fasting for a week, asking God to heal her.

A week after i ended my fast, I was at home that day when Jocelyn’s father called me on the phone and told me softly that Jocelyn needed my presence in the hospital. After the call, he texted me the address and the description to the hospital. He condluded the text that I was permitted to drive one of Jocelyn’s cars parked in the compound. That alone filled my heart with joy.

“After four months she was taken to the hospital, i was going to see my wife!” I said it aloud. Quickly i dashed into the bathroom, took a shower, got dressed and off i dashed to hospital in one of Jocelyn’s cars.

By the time i got to the hospital, i met one of the nurses and told him the patient i came for. I got to the ward, what i saw on the bed made me shed tears. Jocelyn wasn’t looking herself at all. She had grown thinner. She just laid on the bed, staring at me, with tears dropping from her eyes. As i moved to sit beside her, she stretched one of her hands for me to reach. When i held her hand, tried saying something, but i stopped her from saying anything. ” Pa…..trick….” she managed to whisper.

“Jocelyn, please reserve your energy. I am here and will still be here. You can tell me whatever you wish to say” i told her with a smile on my face and a tone of assurance.

This though didn’t stop her from weeping. A few minutes later, the family doctor walked into the ward, i didn’t even allow him settle fully when I enquired the illness that had eaten up my beautiful wife.

“Mr Patrick, your wife is dying” he said. “She has FULL BLOWN AIDS” the doctor said.

The news shook me terribly. I just stood, moving my eyes to where my wife laid and back to the doctor’s face.

“I am very sorry, Mr Patrick.” he said and left the ward. I sat beside Jocelyn’s bed again, and assured her that i was going to stay beside her and if she needed anything, I would be by her side to run errands. She looked at me in the eye, with tears still dropping from her eyes, she slowly nodded her head. I kept to my words. I stood by her all through the period she was in the hospital. I prayed for her.

For crying out loud, you may say she didn’t deserve my care, but in God’s eyes, forgiveness is the key. Besides, when we were joined as man and wife, i made a vow that, “in sickness and in health”, I was going to be with her. She may have wronged me in many ways, she was still my wife and i needed her to understand what forgiveness was all about.

Back to my story

I didn’t pay evil during her sickness. I was not afraid of contracting the disease from her.

I preached to her about Jesus and prayed for her to have an encounter with Jesus. I desired a second chance for her as i asked God to perform a miracle.

“God, please make the sickness ro turn her to you, and let her experience peace Oh Lord.” This was always my prayer. As the days rolled on, the sickness grew worse and she was flown abroad. According to her father, he did that because he thought of cloning his “dearest” daughter. Six weeks later, news reached me that Jocelyn was dead. My feeling was a mixed one when the news hit me. I cried and mourned her for a few days. At the same time, i was very happy, on the grounds that before she passed on, she had given her life to Christ.

Of a truth, her death was supposed to be a sad news, but it was the death that set me free from “my bondage.” I didn’t wish her dead, but her death liberated me from the shackles of marriage enslavement.

My case became like ” In the year that King Uzziah died, i saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and His train filled the temple.”

The death of Jocelyn opened another episode in my life.

Before she died, she had written a will willing all her properties, her savings and investments to me because, according to her, despite her actions towards me, I was with her throughout her predicament. I brushed her teeth,fed her and washed her clothes while she was in bed in the hospital. When the lawyer read the will in the presence of Jocelyn’s parents, I couldn’t hold back my tears. Jocelyn was worth over N100 billions in properties, savings, and investments. Everything wss willed to me.

Now i believe the saying, “Those who wait on the Lord will never be put to shame.”

Six months after the death of Jocelyn I was joined in Holy matrimony with sister Eunice. A month after, I was ordained as a pastor in my church and since then, God has been using me tremendously in His vineyard.

My story has changed from “being a slave to being king”.

I went to bed very poor and wretched person, but woke up a billionaire. Truly, it pays to serve Jesus and hold unto Him, even during the face of painful trials.

A year after my marriage with Eunice, God blessed us with a lovely baby boy whom we named “Emmanuel” meaning ” God is with me.” Today, I am very happy. My beautiful wife, Eunice, is a Prayer Warrior.

She is in fact, an epitome of beauty(like i mentioned before).

*¤ The End ¤

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