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J.T. Opemipo: Finding Love Beyond Mills & Boons (2)

Written by on October 15, 2023

Finding Love Beyond Mills & Boons is a 3-part story about love and relationship. Did you miss the first part? Read it here.

Contrary to any assumptions, my dialogue with the Holy Spirit didn’t simplify the journey. Instead, it ushered in a period of fear, and confusion like never before. The moment I encountered this newfound revelation, my disdain and irritation towards this man intensified threefold. I found it nearly impossible to tolerate his presence, and without my conscious intention, these negative emotions seeped into our interactions. Whenever I looked at him, I shuddered at the thought of marrying him.

However, deep down, I recognised that no matter how repulsed I felt, the wise course of action was to follow what God had instructed me to do. The most challenging aspect of this journey was the need to pray for him to recognise me as his future wife. It made me feel vulnerable as if I had to pray to catch a man’s eye, and it stirred memories of my teenage years when I yearned for love and attention desperately. I couldn’t bear the thought of facing it again in my adult years. So, with tears streaming down my face and a heavy heart, I pleaded with God yet again to end this ordeal. But, deep within my heart, I understood that the processes God leads us through often sound absurd and illogical at the outset. However, as we follow in obedience, things begin to fall into place, and the once blurry picture becomes crystal clear.

Despite knowing this, it still remained a challenge to confront the situation. Suddenly, prayer transformed from a spiritual connection into a burdensome task, and asking God to open this gentleman’s eyes became the most difficult task I had ever undertaken. This phase demanded that I have feelings for someone I had no interest in. It compelled me to shed layers of pride and humble myself to receive God’s ultimate plan for me.

This ignited some childhood memories when I was ridiculed for my dark complexion and facial features which I succumbed to. I was never part of the pretty girls at school. It was common knowledge that I was the ugly duckling of my class. And I carried this burden of shame with me throughout my childhood.

In response, I devised a coping mechanism – I avoided people and styled my hair in ways that concealed half of my face, sparing others from having to witness my ugly face. The logic was straightforward: if they couldn’t see my face, they couldn’t label me as ugly. At just 13 years old, I was already grappling with the cruelty that lurked in the world.

In a similar situation at home, I frequently woke up in the middle of the night to find my bed soaked with urine. I recall those nights when I would sneak to the bathroom, wash the bed sheets, and discreetly dry them in the water heater closet. No matter how much I refrained from drinking water or eating, I would still wake up at 3 a.m. to find my bed wet. Each day is a confrontation of shame at home and school.

None of the boys in my school ever seemed to notice me, and as my classmates entered into relationships, I could only daydream about the possibility that someday, someone might look at me and appreciate me for who I truly was. Unfortunately, the one time I allowed myself to have a crush and confided in my friends, it backfired as one of them disclosed my feelings to the boy I admired. His response, relayed by my friend, only added to the heavy burden of insecurity and pain I carried, as I constantly felt like I fell short of the standards of beauty required to be considered girlfriend material.

My longing to be liked grew so intense that I could do anything to attract the boys’ attention. I was prepared to showcase my physical attributes in hopes of being seen as a potential girlfriend. When my body became mature, I developed a curvaceous figure that made me well-known in school, I eagerly attended every party and danced with any guy who was willing to ask me. Over time, I became the girl every guy wanted to share a dance with at both school and house parties. 

In those moments when the boys would approach me for a dance, I felt a profound sense of luck and appreciation for being chosen. As they held me close while we danced, I experienced a fleeting but powerful sensation of being loved, beautiful, confident, and wholly accepted. However, as each party came to a close, I couldn’t help but notice that I was often left behind in favour of the other girls who were considered pretty.

Now, 20 years later, I was still earnestly praying to God to make this one man see me as his future wife. If I didn’t know any better, I might have suspected the hand of fate or even my own village people conspiring against me. I could have been tempted to engage in rituals to break the supposed generational curses that seemed to shape the patterns of my life. However, I chose a different path—to follow the clear guidance I believed I had received from God regarding this man. That’s when things took an unexpected turn, and I found myself engaged in the most intense battles I had ever faced, battling not only with my emotions but also with my body and mind.

Watch out for part 3.

 

 

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Feature Image by Rodnae Productions for Pexels

 

The post J.T. Opemipo: Finding Love Beyond Mills & Boons (2) appeared first on BellaNaija – Showcasing Africa to the world. Read today!.


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