At different stages of our lives, we meet people who will be thorns in our flesh, who would hurt us so deeply, how we handle the hurt goes a long way to show what fabric we’re made of. This is a story about choosing to love despite all odds. Read, share and drop your comments…
It was a beautiful morning as the rising sun shone its rays on Omolewa’s forehead while she walked briskly through the pavement leading to the reception. She opened the entrance door with all excitement as the gap between her teeth beamed with all its beauty while greeting the receptionists.
“Good morning, my name is Omolewa and it’s my first day at work,” she said as she hummed while signing the attendance register.
Working in that organisation for her was a dream come true as she had pictured herself working there for a while. For four years, whenever she passed through the high-rise building, she would tell herself with full assurance, “someday, I will work here.”
When her dream company was hiring, it was with joy that she applied for the position of a copywriter, little wonder she was full of excitement when she was selected to have qualified for the job after rounds of tests and interviews.
She was dressed in lycra leaf-green pleated-midi-skirts with an olive green v-neck green top and a jacket with a mini pendant on the gold chain hanging beautifully on her neck. She also had a pair of button-gold-earrings to complement the outfit. No one would pass by her without noticing her elegant outfit with matching suede brown shoes and a leaf green midi handbag. You wouldn’t blame her; it was her first day at work and she needed to cut a dash on her appearance. She excitedly followed the receptionist who escorted her to the lift that would take her to the Human Resource manager’s office.
Still full of excitement, she entered the third office to the right on the third floor which had the inscription, ‘HR,’ on the door.
“Knock! knock!” “Come in,” someone said from the inside.
Opening the door, again she couldn’t hold back her smiles. “Good morning, ma. My name is Omolewa. I am resuming today,” she said.
The HR manager answered, ” Hello Omolewa, we met during the interview sessions. It’s good to see you again. I am pleased to welcome you on board. I believe you will add so much value to our organisation. Let me show you around and take you to your office.”
On hearing those kind words, the new employee could not hide her joy as her face lit up as she entered her office. It was as beautiful as she had imagined. The office was painted in white colour with three big desks shared by two staffers each except for one space that was left vacant. There was also an inner office where the boss was. There were five people already in the office, Omolewa quickly helped herself with the last space in the room as she exchanged pleasantries with her new colleagues.
The HR manager said, ” Hello everyone. This is Omolewa, your new colleague.” “Hello! Hi!” echoed in the room. She continued, “This is Emeka, Japheth, Ife, Nasir and Nosa.” The latter was her sit partner.
” Is your boss inside?” the HR manager asked as she went to the inner office with Omolewa. “Hello, Mr Ola. Good morning. Our new staff member is here,” she stated as she entered the office.
“Mr Ola, meet Omolewa. She is your new team member. She is a pleasant lady and I am sure she will add so much value to your team.”
Ola answered, “Welcome Omolewa. I am so pleased to have you on my team. I am sure we will get along very well.”
Two years later, Omolewa sat on her yellow fur-sofa wondering how things had gone awry between her and her boss. She couldn’t stand his eccentric behaviour. Many times, she had concluded that it was a mental health issue.
“I can’t stand this anymore,” she said on the day she typed her resignation letter after one of their constant arguments. “No one works with such a toxic person and remains healthy,” she cried. He had wounded her emotionally and psychologically that she swore never to have anything to do with him, not even in the future or her lifetime.
After she left the organisation without any form of notification, she suddenly became afraid to apply for jobs as she wasn’t ready to have another workplace dramatic episode. Besides, she knew she needed healing. She was too hurt.
Omolewa remembered how she sat in front of her laptop typing her resignation letter after another scuffle with her former boss who rained brutal and careless words on her as usual.
She had just finished working on a copy and was so sure she got the concept perfectly well. Enthused about the breakthrough on the project, she had mistakenly misused a word. But the boss who always had an eye for bad things quickly spotted the error and insisted that the entire copy was bad and useless.
That day, she recalled that he had described her as good for nothing and ordered her out of his sight with her “Godforsaken” work. Devastating could not capture how she felt. She didn’t just feel bad that her boss acted, as usual, rather, she felt disappointed in herself for not being able to impress her overbearing boss.
She rushed to the restroom and cried her eyes out, “Can anyone ever please this man? ” she muttered as hot tears strolled down her puffed cheeks. She cried bitterly for about five minutes. Then she managed to say to herself, “I am not the problem. I am not the only one he does it to. He’s just like that.” After speaking positive words to herself, she applied some powder, went back to her seat and corrected the word that had led to the verbal insults. She afterwards took it to him and the issue was sorted.
He could have simply said, “Change the word from this to that.” But no, he’s a master at spoiling people’s mood. The issue wasn’t really the word, it was because the team members voted for her idea over that of the boss. They had just got a brief from a client and at the desk meeting, each of the teammates was asked to come up with an idea on Wednesday. Thay all went back to their drawing boards and each came with a copy that was perused. After serious scrutiny, other ideas got were eliminated except for that of the boss’ and Omolewa’s. They had to pick one of the two and after reviewing the two, the teammates voted for Omolewa’s over that of the boss.
He had been very cranky since they voted and as his usually vindictive self, he devised means to deal with all of them and secretly sought an opportunity to rubbish her work. Unfortunately for her she didn’t tie loose ends and gave him the chance he bitterly wanted.
“Arrogant Idiot,” she screamed as she jerked back to the present. His brash words had utterly affected her self esteem that she hadn’t found the courage to apply for another job. Instead, she had enrolled at a university to get a masters’ with the hope that she would be fine after taking that long break. She had rounded up her programme but the effect of the pain hadn’t left her. She dreaded the corporate world even when she knew the ‘sudden entrepreneur’ thing had never been her life ambition. She had been living on her savings and financial support from her parents, uncles, aunties, and friends.
She wasn’t thinking of business neither was she confident enough to go job hunting. Fortunately for her, she had gone to see an old friend when she bumped into her former colleague and sit partner, Nosa. He had resigned not too long after Omolewa resumed at the office because he couldn’t stand their boss’ narcist attitude. But one thing was constant, Nosa never disrespected their boss like others even when they were having a heated argument.
Nosa had become who you would refer to as a big boy was driving a Benz C-Class. But she wasn’t good with automobiles. So, figuring the model wasn’t her business. He was married and had added some good flesh. She was shocked seeing Nosa doing well and they gisted for a while before exchanging contact and promising to keep in touch.
Nosa is a staunch Christian but she hadn’t seen any connection between being a Christian and overcoming mental torture meted on them by their former boss. She was concerned about how Nosa moved on so easily that things had changed for him within a few years after leaving the job. He was happy, there was no pretence and his joy was communicable. But she was still trying to figure out what could have been behind Nosa achievement’s in such a short period of time while her life was at a standstill.
She could tell that she never even enjoyed her master’s programme. For her, it was just an escape route. But the programme was over, there’s nowhere to run to anymore. She needed to face life even if she had to ‘do it afraid’. While trying to figure how to move on with her life, the thoughts of Nosa crossed her mind and she immediately knew she must have a conversation with him.
Omolewa checked her clock; it was 2am and definitely a wrong time to place a call to someone, let alone a married former colleague. She had to call him first thing in the morning. She could barely sleep as she kept rolling on her bed until the sleep eventually overpowered her wandering mind.
By the time she opened her eyes, it was 10 am. Whew! she jumped out of bed, picked her phone and dialled Nosa’s number. The phone rang but a voice from the service provider said, “Sorry, the number you have called is not answering.” She tried once more and didn’t get a response. She was about to drop her phone when the thought of sending a text message felt like the right thing to do. She picked up and phone and typed, “Hello, Nosa, it’s me Lewa, I would love to talk to you.”
Nosa finally called back ” Hey Lewa! I’m sorry, we were having our morning devotion. How have you been?” After the duo exchanged pleasantries, Omolewa went straight to the point not mincing words on how tough life had been with her moving forward. They had a long conversation on the phone after which he extended an invitation to his church’s Sunday Service to her. When the call ended, he sent her the address: Glory Centre Community Church, 15, Efon-Alaye street, by NNPC filling station, Ojodu Berger.
After the long conversation with Nosa, she sat on her bed reminiscing on the details of their chat.
Nosa had said to her, ” It takes two to fight. Yes. Our boss was mean but I never fought with him. I didn’t let his words get to me. I understand my Identity as a Christian; my nature is Love and Love is all I owe any man. It’s true, I didn’t let him bully me, but at no point did I hold him to heart, rather I kept praying for him while I trusted God for a better job. Yes. God answered me, my new job is everything I ever wanted in life. Irrespective of what Mr Ola did to us back then, I made a decision to Love him and I really do love him. I am more grateful to the Holy Spirit for helping me to love the seemingly unlovable. Omolewa, if Jesus did it for me, He can and will do it for you, just surrender and let him give you a fresh start.”
By the time, Lewa recalled those words, a strange fire filled her heart as tears uncontrollably flowed freely down her cheeks. Sobbing like a child whose biscuit had just been collected by a wicked uncle, she went on her knees and said, “Lord Jesus, I am sorry to have ignored you all the while, I have come to lay down all the weight in my heart and I surrender to you. Do the same works you did in Nosa’s heart with me. I want to experience that kind of LOVE, PEACE and REST in my soul. Thank you, dear Lord, in Jesus name, amen.
She went to her bookshelf and found her old bible, she dusted it and started to read the Book of 1st Peter and when she got to chapter two verse nine, the scripture struck her. It reads, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”
Throughout the day, she exchanged reading of novels with Bible reading and praying, she even fasted. Later in the day, she prepared her outfit for church and sent a text to Nosa to confirm that she would be in church the following day.
Sunday morning came and she found herself in front of the ash building with a black gate. She was beautifully welcomed by the ushers at the entrance. It was as if the host of heaven held a meeting with the pastor over her matter the night before. The pastor’s message centred around Identity in Christ. During the alter call, Lewa came out and rededicated her life to Christ. Nosa introduced her to some church members and pastors. With a fervent desire in her heart, coupled with the love in the church, she soon enrolled for the discipleship class and her spiritual journey continued in an upward spiral.
It didn’t need a prophecy for anyone to observe that her life had changed. She was filled with joy and love. She became that person people wanted to associate with and one of those days, the Holy Spirit inspired her to call her former boss to greet him. She was at first resistant but soon enough, she obliged, having been used to the way the Holy Spirit talks to her particularly through nudgings in her heart.
She picked up her phone and called him, and he was shocked to receive a call from her. However, the conversation ended with a heartfelt apology from him to her. He narrated how he was going through certain challenges in his home back then which was why he extended his frustration to his subordinates. Things were better but they could still be in the best state. Lewa didn’t end the call until after she had prayed with him over the phone and extended the Love of Jesus to him.
A day after the call, she opened her email inbox and found out that she had a new mail. In the mail was a job offer at a multinational company she had earlier applied to. The pay and position were three times higher than that of her former organisation
She jumped off her bed and started to thank God as she wept. She knelt by her bedside and remembered exactly three months ago when she knelt by the same bedside and her cheeks widened as she let out a beautiful smile.
She said to herself, “In God, I can tell how it will end, IT ALWAYS ENDS WELL.”
Lewa found out that:
She had denied herself a good life while holding on to the past.
She cut herself from meeting wonderful people because she had put herself in bondage.
Her life was at a standstill, she couldn’t even get a job.
She held herself bound in chains of her own.
She was susceptible to health issues
She could become a monster worse than her former boss.
Holding on to pain makes you a broken person.
There is no forging ahead for a person holding on to hurt or hate.
BETWEEN TO HATE AND TO LOVE, The latter is always the BEST CHOICE.
Litmus Test for healing:
Check the temperature of your heart when you think of or talk about these issues or the people who have hurt you. How do you feel? Angry, pained, frustrated, hurt, battered…
Or do you feel normal? Do you smile, laugh or pray when the thoughts come to you?
The way you feel in those categories shows whether you’re are being healed, healing or still very much hurting.
TemmyFlorah is a lover of God, a journalist and an enthusiastic person who believes that nobody is useless except as a reason of choice.
Temmy had her own share of fear which held her down from discovering her real identity.
Having gained her freedom, she helps and encourages others to break free from whatever holds them bound.