“Although I can certainly understand how you came to those conclusions, I still don’t agree with them all. Based on what I’ve learned about God and from what you’ve told me today, God didn’t abandon you while you were in trouble, princess. He was right there with you the whole time, keeping your head clear in the face of danger, giving you enough wisdom and fortitude to not only help yourself out of a bad situation, but to also grow up and help others. I thank God for never forsaking you, for never forsaking me either now that I think more about it. I’m grateful for His intervention in my own life over the years, for the fact that I was sent to the Edenfields at all. Some kids never find good homes, especially when they get to be as old as I was when I first met my future parents.”
Inaya abruptly stopped pacing and stared at him with open mouth. A frown creased her forehead. “I never thought of it like that before. It can’t be that simple. Have I laid blame where it didn’t belong all these years?”
“I think so. Just reflect back over all the good things that have happened to you since that incident,” Chandler replied. “I think you’ll find that God has been giving you double for your trouble in so many ways.”
Inaya nodded as she recalled how easy it had been for her to find a place of her own when she moved out from her mother. How the new neighborhood she and Kali lived in was quiet and wholesome with caring neighbors who looked after them in ways that their mother never had. How quickly she’d been accepted into college and all the scholarships that she’d gotten there. Some of those scholarships she’d been able to use to keep their rent paid and utilities on. How easy it had been for her to get a good job after college and how fast she advanced up the ranks in her career. Not to forget the lucrative orders that she still got for her baking business. Just last week she baked 5,000 camouflaged themed cupcakes for a 4-star female general’s retirement party. That order helped to pay off her car early with plenty left over for her growing nest egg.
“Is it true, Lord? Have You been here with me the whole time?” Inaya looked upward as juicy tears rolled down her cheeks. “It was You, wasn’t it?” she said, answering her own questions from the growing peace in her heart. “How else can anybody explain all those years of undeniable favor? Those years where every new person I met was good to me and didn’t mind going out of their way for me and Kali. And let’s not forget this good man that you sent me. A man that could’ve had his pick of women, but yet he chose me. Me!” She pointed to herself. “He loved me so much that he never gave up on me, even when I gave up on us both. Then he made me his wife, so that we could avoid hurting You with further sin.”
Chandler’s eyes watered at her heartrending words. He sprung to his feet when she suddenly dropped to her knees in humble surrender.
“I’m so sorry, Lord. Please forgive me. Please forgive me, God,” Inaya sobbed, burying her face in her hands.
Chandler joined her on the floor and held her as she continued to cry penitent tears. During that time, he encouraged her to forgive herself again and anyone else that she hadn’t completely released yet. Then he led her back to the Lord using a simple and heartfelt prayer of repentance.
Inaya readily forgave. She just as readily received forgiveness by rededicating her life back to Christ. It was such an awesome moment.
After the prayer was over, they remained on the floor just hugging, crying, and praising God together. The awesomeness of that moment went up a notch.
“I tell you one thing, princess. If we could get into heaven on works alone, you would’ve been the first one in line,” Chandler said, inserting a touch of humor as only he could.
Inaya laughed. She leaned over and kissed him on the forehead. “You sweet man, you.”
“Yes, just call me sexual white chocolate.” He grinned, standing to his feet.
Inaya laughed harder, feeling more peace than she had in years as he helped her to her feet.
Thank You for not giving up on me too, Lord, even when I gave up on You. I also want to thank You for sending this wonderful man in my life. Chandler’s the best, she prayed as her husband held her in silence like a precious treasure.
After Inaya washed her face and freshened up, she and Chandler rejoined the family downstairs. The Edenfields had stayed behind to make sure she was okay and that their marriage was still intact. When they learned that she rededicated her life to the Lord, there was much rejoicing in the house.
Mario got so caught up in the spirit of things that he gave his life to the Lord, too. He also vowed to stop messing around with married women and decided to go the celibacy route since it had worked out so well for Chandler.
Later that night, Inaya called her sister to tell her the good news. She ended up leading Kali back to God, as well. Then the sisters placed several conference calls to their childhood pastor and old church friends. They made amends with them all.
The only person they didn’t call was their mother. There needed to be some fasting combined with their prayers before that pivotal call could be made.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier