A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE
Jeremiah 32: 27
I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?
Saturday, 25th December
“That miracle you have been expecting all these years, because of the birth of Jesus Christ, your heart desires will be granted.” The Minister echoed and the whole congregation chorused a thunderous amen that reverberated the whole building. The minister went ahead to sing “Abasi asinam utom idiongo” (God still does miracles). The band took over and in seconds, everybody was up and dancing.
“Miracle indeed, they do not exist.” I scoffed.
I’d waited 7 years for a miracle but to no avail. As a young girl, I started planning my life at the age of 18. I wished to have a great job, a tall, dark and handsome husband with 5 children, three girls, two boys.
Some of my wishes came to pass. After I graduated from school as a lawyer, I worked with the best law firm during my service and I was retained at the end of my service year. 2 years later, I met my husband, Akan. He was everything I prayed for and even more. He was tall, dark, very handsome, and loved me like no man’s business. We got married in a grand style surrounded by our friends and loved ones. It rained money everywhere that day. That night, we consummated our marriage by giving our bodies to each other for the first time and it was a wonderful experience. As children of God, we’d honored Him with our bodies and fled from anything that would have led us to temptation.
After our honeymoon in South Africa, we came back, and our lives began. We wanted the first year for ourselves to enjoy so there was no pressure. Then came the second year, my husband brought about the topic one night so we started trying for a child. Nothing happened, not even a miscarriage.
The doctors I met all said one thing “You are in perfect condition to birth a child, your husband too.” So what went wrong? I didn’t want to believe the tales of village people but lately, my thoughts had been drifting. All I wanted was a child to call mine. I could see the yearnings in my husband’s eyes each time he played with his nephews and nieces. No! He never pressurized me. He was very understanding and loving and I just wanted to make him proud.
” What’s the matter, baby?” My husband who was sitting beside me asked, drifting me out of my thoughts.
I shook my head slightly and smiled as he squeezed my hand lightly.
After a few minutes that felt like hours, the pastor spoke “I am still moved to prophesy to someone in this auditorium. That thing you have prayed for, that thing you have cried for, that thing that struggled for, receive it now!”
The whole church erupted in shouts. I could feel the tears threaten as I weakly answered “Amen.”
Soon, the service ended on a bright note with shouts of Merry Christmas filling the air. All I wanted for Christmas was my bed and pillow, where I can cry my sorrows out without anyone noticing. While we left the church, I could sight my best friend, Victoria, and her family. I smiled as I saw she was approaching us, her 5 months old baby carefully held close to her bosom.
“Ufan mmi (my friend), Merry Christmas”. I greeted her with a side hug then extended a handshake to her husband.
“Same to you dear” she replied and assessed me. “I think you are adding up in the right places or is it my eyes?” She asked.
“What do you mean?” I asked in confusion.
“Your breast is fuller and your ass is getting bigger. Tell me the secret o”
“Ah! Vicky, which secret? These days, I don’t even have an appetite for food” I defended
“If you say so then. Come on, my mum is in the car”.
I nodded and stood up from the stone I was sitting on. Together, we walked closer to where their car was parked. Victoria’s mother was like a mother to me. Right from when our friendship began, she supported me and loved me like her daughter.
” Good afternoon mum, Merry Christmas.” I greeted her and she engulfed me in a long hug. She pulled away and looked at me then pulled me back into her arms again.
“Eyen mmi, idib udot” ( My child, pregnancy looks good on you). Instead of answering my greeting, the older woman simply stated.
Shock ran through my veins as I stood still. The words in my mouth got stuck.
“Mammy, are you serious?” I heard Victoria ask her.
“Yes, she is pregnant.” She said confidently like a doctor that just brought the test result from the lab. “Take a test to confirm, my dear”
I turned to look at my husband who was still discussing with Victoria’s husband and two other deacons from the church. He would be so elated to hear the news. He looked at me, his lips pulled up in a smile. I did the same. Unconsciously, I rubbed my hand on my stomach. I didn’t want to get my hopes up until I confirmed that it was true. Victoria was as speechless as I was. She hugged me and told me everything will be fine.
I called my husband and told him I wasn’t feeling too well and I wanted to stop by a pharmacy. He did not hesitate. Soon, we were on our way back home. We were quiet and it seemed uncomfortable. The car came to a halt when we got to the pharmacy just a few miles away from our home. He offered to help me get the drugs I wanted but I insisted to go there alone. I got not just one pregnancy test kit but twenty. Going back to the car, he’d fallen asleep so I nudged him with my shoulder and he woke up.
“You need to rest dear,” I said
“That will be when we come back from my parent’s house this evening.” He replied and kept a hand on the steering and we continued our journey back home.
Our gateman, Udo, opened the gate as soon as Akan hooted. Immediately he drove in, I told him I needed to use the toilet urgently. Before he could say jack, I was off. Sitting on that toilet seat, a lot of things ran through my mind. After seven years, could this be happening? My period was always inconsistent so I never really paid attention to it. Was I with a child? I didn’t want to get excited but I could feel it cooking from the pit of my stomach. Out of twenty pregnancy kits, I used five at once. I just wanted to be sure it was real. Five minutes felt like five years.
” Babe, are you sure your intestines are still intact? Cos you are taking time in there”. I heard Akan call out.
“I’m coming, dear”. I replied. I took the first kit to check the result. I saw it, the two lines. I took another, it was the same. To be sure, I checked the remaining three, it was still the same. I could barely conceal my delight. It felt like my feet barely touched the ground. I looked down on my stomach and smiled. Placing my hands on it, I whispered ” Hello baby, I am your mother”. I felt the wet hot tears fill my eyes. No, it was tears of joy. I stood up slowly and packed the test kits then walked to the room. Akan was changing his top. I snuck and hugged him from behind. He held me close to himself.
“I have told you to stop thinking about these things. At the appointed time God……..”
“He has done it already baby. I’m pregnant.” I announced. I could feel his muscles stiffen. He was too stunned to move.
” Please do not joke with me babe,” He said and finally turned to look at me. I was bursting with happiness.
“I am very serious. I just checked it now.” I said and showed him the test kits. He got them and stared at each of them then looked at me. His eyes widened and he sniffled, the tears threatening to fall. He had no words for the gratitude he felt so he carried me.
” You’ve made me the happiest man on earth, thank you.”
I could not hold back the tears again as I cried on his shoulder. Earlier that morning, I never believed that a miracle could happen but God surprised me. Indeed, it was a Christmas miracle. Truly, what God cannot do does not exist.