You’re walking along the shore, kicking out the beach sand from your sandals. You plunk down, putting your feet partly in the water. You pull your knees up to your chest, rest your chin on it and wrap your hands around your legs.
You’ve reached the end of your road and today You’re determined to end your life, right here at the beach.
The deep rumble that comes from ferocious waves crashing into one another and producing frothy masses that disappear as quickly as they appear, fills the air. The super imposition of the water waves is just like that of the waves of problems in Your life.
You’ve been rolling from one degree of sorrow to the other, one angry wave of pain tumbling into another, and you can just take no more.
Your mind casts back to your university days, days when male lecturers and H.O.Ds wouldn’t let You be, how a number of them flunked you at courses you normally would’ve aced and even at times made you carry those courses over all because you didn’t succumb to their pressures.
You walked out of the university with a third class which wouldn’t get You any meaningful job, not because You weren’t smart enough to make first class. No, in fact, if things were right You would’ve graduated with honors, but because You refused to defile yourself. While girls Charlotte had second class upper– which they worked for but not by brains or hard work but bed-work.
You didn’t because of that give in the towel or give up on God. Instead you served him more faithfully.
God gave you a man. You thought having a man like Dave was the bomb. What else could anyone pray for?
He was successful, awesome and of like passion.
Staying faithful to God paying off, You thought.
You enjoyed a few idyllic years with him but the good fate started taking a nosedive when after three years of marriage you still hadn’t conceived.
Everyone was hassling.
Dave suggested a medical check up to which you obliged.
When the doctor said both of your Fallopian tubes were blocked, you blanched.
How could that ever be possible?
You only heard of blocked Fallopian tubes in movies and only thought of it as a retribution for reckless living.
You could easily think of a plethora ladies you knew from university days who had committed a lot of abortions and yet were happily married with kids of their own.
They ate their cakes and still had it. You had waited for the right time to have your cake, why then should it be withheld from you?
You went back to God. He sent his word. You didn’t stop hoping, you didn’t stop trusting, you believed him because you knew he’s faithful and just, because you believed he’s a loving God, because you knew he doesn’t go back on his word. You continued trusting the miracle worker until-
Until the last straw broke the camels back.
Two weeks ago your husband died and that’s why you’re here at the beach -to also die.
When there’s life they say there’s hope. The hope of conceiving, of a miracle. But what of when there’s no life?
All there could be is despondency!
You are now wondering why you wasted your whole life living by God’s rules.
What’s the use of staying chaste till your wedding night when You can’t even birth. You could have given yourself to a life full of fun and glee and not the unattractive life of Christ you led back in school. You could have hopped from bed to bed and got good grades without even having to burn the midnight candles like you did.
Because now that you didn’t do all that, there’s nothing to show for it. All those who persecuted you have a better life.
Tears run down your cheeks.
You scoop a handful of sand and let the sift through your fingers.
You don’t care anymore, you are going to take your life, damning all consequences.
If hell is where you deserve after all. Fine.
What’s the use of living when all that tomorrow promises is fresh pain?
All the bitterness in you is directed towards God.
He shouldn’t have created you in the first place. He shouldn’t have led you on with all those false promises.
All you want right now is for the angry tides to roll you into oblivion.
You stand up to thrust yourself into the waters but you can’t. You close your eyes, ball your fist and muster all the courage in you, but you still can’t.
The waters become still. The stillness is so great that it unnerves you.
And the stillness isn’t just in the water, it’s in your heart too.
You inhale a lungful of salt-scented air slowly, eyes closed and exhale it slowly through pursed lips. Breeze gusts over your hair and face and rustles the fronds of the tall palm tree some miles away from you.
A song is bubbling in your mind and all of a sudden you are feeling sorry for all that you thought and said in your mind. You’re feeling the aura of God close in on you. You feel reassured.
You are now pleading for forgiveness right in your heart.
You spread your arms and let the song flow through your lips.
The first time you met her was when you were still on campus, you were in 400L then.
She was walking up and down, clearly confused, around your faculty. She was a freshman and was having problems with course registrations.
As disheveled as she looked – ashen face, sweaty blouse, confused JJC and all – you still saw her as a beauty.
The moment you saw her butterflies swarmed in your belly. There was an instant chemistry. The Love-at-first-sight kinda thing.
Lover boy to the rescue.
You dropped the boring lecture note You were struggling to comprehend in your backpack. Professor Debile’s test could wait. You got up from under the mango tree and walked up to her.
You helped her with the registration, showed her around, helped with assignments and difficult courses. You were playing the perfect gentleman, you were careful not to make any amorous move since you saw she was the moral type and… The rest is history. In a nutshell, the fish fell into your net.
You loved Doris sincerely and swore that if she agreed to marry you, you’d be all she’d ever need in a man. And you meant it. You weren’t the kind of guy that says things he doesn’t mean.
She agreed, to your greatest joy.
You worked hard to provide for your family and all was going on well until your wife joined the wrong clique.
Your simple and understanding wife became materialistic and whiny. She became fire – consumed all you had, never had enough and scathed you badly.
You were working really hard but your pay wasn’t enough to feed your wife’s desires. She sang your promise to you more often than pupils sang the national anthem.
You needed to do something about your income, you needed to satisfy your wife. You had to defraud your office.
Unfortunately you were discovered and consequently landed in jail!
You were sentenced to two years imprisonment, thankfully the judge didn’t come down heavily on you. Being jailed wasn’t the painful thing, the painful thing was that after the judge passed his verdict that day in the court, Doris strutted down to you, her heels clacking on the wooden floor and spat the emotionless ‘See what you’ve brought to the family? Shame. You’re just a disappointment.’ Her disdainful eyes rolled over you like fireballs.
The sharp jab you felt in your heart at that moment left you numb.
You served your jail term hoping that when you’re out you’d be able to make it up to her.
Immediately you were released from prison two weeks ago, you started your frantic search for your Doris and your kids.
Funny how human beings became pins.
When you asked around you were made to know that your wife married a chief three months after you imprisonment and she left with him and your kids to the United States.
With how quickly she moved on, she was probably flirting even before you were jailed.
What else could you do but end this ever unraveling scroll of misery that your life is?
That’s why you’re here at the beach. To drown!
Hitherto you thought suicide was for cowards, people who couldn’t face what tomorrow proffered, but now you know better. Your life ended the moment Doris walked away with your children, you’re only here to finish what she already started.
You guzzle some more whiskey as you totter along the shore.
You yank the empty bottle into the ocean.
Just when you’re about to lunge into the waters, it all becomes calm. You are taken aback.
The stillness of the water body is so sudden, and so great. The only thing that seems to defy the stillness is the empty whiskey bottle bobbing on the surface of the water.
You wonder what could possibly have made the wildly pulsating water body go calm so immediately. Something pops into your mind, it’s a story your granny told you as a little child. You remember vividly; She was bathing you in the clothe-bound cubicle that served as the bathroom in Nnewi, when she narrated the story to you. You remember her saying that Jesus hollered ‘peace be still’ to a turbulent sea and there was a great calm.
You shove all the thoughts aside. None of it matters- the still waters or the reason for it- all that matters now is that this life of yours is ending for good!
You hear hums, soft, soothing hums. You look around for the source. You sight her in a distance. A tall, slim lady clad in a long, black gown that spells grief, standing against the setting sun. Her arms are widespread and she’s now singing;
Will your anchor hold in the storms of life?
When the clouds unfold their wings of strife;
When the strong tides lift the cable strain,
Will your anchor drift or firm remain?
She has this mellifluous contralto voice, like Adele’s that sounds really cool, but much more than her water-amplified-sweet-voice there’s something that strikes you in her song.
It’s the words.
The lyrics of the song is coming to you as straight questions. Questions that are rocking you to your core.
She goes on to sing;
I have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll;
Fastened to the rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour’s love.
She sings so convincingly as she swirls slowly to the rhythm. You are trying to forget about her and whatever she is singing and just dive into the water, but somehow You are helpless. In a way you can’t explain, You are fixated to that point, absolutely taken by the words of her song.
She switches to yet another song.
Even the thunder and the wind obey,
At the command of my father, father-
Could that be it? You wonder. Could it be her father that made the waters so still all of a sudden?
Who could this her father be?
She said the thunder and wind obey him…
So many questions clutters up your mind, such that you can’t hear some part of her song over the many thoughts in your head.
Let the waters rise,
I will stand as the oceans roar,
Let the earth shake beneath me,
Let the mountains fall.
You are God over the storm
And I am yours.
You are stunned to find out that there’s someone who could dare the billows of life. She seems so confident. A confidence that isn’t in herself. That’s in her father. In the anchor she claims to have. In an unmovable rock.
The more you think about it, the more confusing it all gets.
She changes the song.
There is hope in the promise of the cross,
You gave everything to save a world you love,
And this hope is an anchor for my soul,
Our God will stand unshakable.
You sigh resignedly. Enough of struggling endlessly to wrap your head around this enigma of a lady. You decide to walk down to her and ask her what this anchor of hers is.
Perhaps you could find help thereby.
Songs; Priscilla J Owen’s Will Your Anchor Hold?, Lauren Diagle’s I Am Yours and Hillsong’s Anchor