Once upon a time, a very long time,
There was a handsome young man, seeking a woman to wife.
One day, this young man met a very beautiful young woman, and he fell in love with her. He asked her to marry him, and she said yes, and made him the happiest man alive.
The young man was next to penniless, but he had a lot going for him in terms of intelligence and hard work.
Naturally their wedding was less than prestigious, but there was a preacher, there were rings and there was food.
The couple rented a little one-bedroom apartment in the slums of their town, because that was all they could afford. They were Christians, so they prayed every day.
One year down the lane, there was no baby. They were confused. They prayed harder, they thought there was something they were doing wrong.
Two years, there was still no sign of a baby. The couple was even more confused. They went for church revivals, they fasted, they prayed, yet there was no baby.
Three years, four years, five; no baby…
The woman went for a surgery to remove a supposed fibroid.
People began to talk. Her friends said that she had destroyed her womb by having many abortions; some said that she had used her children for money in the spiritual world. They talked and talked, depressing the couple more. But the young woman knew she was a virgin when she got married, and she trusted her husband.
Six years, still no baby…
The young woman went for another surgery to remove yet another supposed fibroid.
The young man’s friends came along. They told him he was getting old, and to take another wife who wasn’t barren. He refused. He told them he had married his wife for better or worse. He trusted her, and he was a Christian.
They said he was a fool. They said she had poisoned his heart. They called her a witch. The young man was furious. He told his friends never to speak about his wife that way again. They threw back their heads and laughed at him, and he walked them out of his house. They didn’t go quietly. They hurled insults on their way out. They told him he would come begging, and they would refuse.
Seven years, the same story.
The families came along. They brought concoctions and lit candles, and tried to make the couple drink the rubbish. They refused. They begged their parents to leave them alone. Of course they refused. They continued to bring other stuff each week. But the young man’s mother was very good to her daughter-in-law. She encouraged her every day, and prayed with her.
Eight years…nine years…no baby.
The now not-so-young couple cried unto the Lord for the umpteenth time, with faith burning in their hearts and tears burning in their eyes.
In the tenth year of their marriage, the woman went to the market to shop for foodstuff. An old market-woman told her to take everything easy so as not to stress her baby. The not-so-young woman looked at her in a weird manner, shook her head and gently told the woman that she wasn’t pregnant.
The old woman only smiled back and went on her way.
A month later, the woman looked at her un-used pack of Always. She frowned. She had never missed a period since she started menstruating at fourteen. She remembered the old woman’s words and quickly went to the hospital.
Good news!! The doctor came back with a thousand-watt smile and hugged the not-so-young woman. He told her she was two months pregnant, and watched the tears quietly flow from her eyes. He knew what the couple had gone through so he was very happy for them. He told her their baby was due in mid July.
The woman ran home and told her husband. His joy knew no bounds. They worshipped the Lord.
In mid July, the baby decided to come. God gave the couple a bouncing baby boy who looked just like his uncle, the not-so-young woman’s brother. The christening ceremony was prestigious. The couple spent most of their savings on this long awaited child. At the end of the christening ceremony, the bouncing baby boy had twenty names.
At around bouncing-baby-boy’s first birthday, the woman discovered she was pregnant again. This time the baby was due in February. February came but there was no baby. In late March, the doctor induced the pregnancy and out came a bouncing baby girl! beautiful with her mama’s eyes. The steadily-growing-couple was overjoyed. They planned on having two more kids.
In January the next year, before the bouncing baby girl’s first birthday, the woman got pregnant again. This time, the baby was due in late October. The family was a very happy one. On the baby’s due date, the baby refused to come. The woman was in labor. They said they would have to do a Caesarean on her. She didn’t want. She said her Bible said she would deliver like the Hebrew women. She refused. The labor continued for three full days. The woman was delirious with pain. Yet she refused a CS. Around midnight, on the eve of the not-so-young man’s birthday, a bouncing baby girl complete with her dada’s lips, was born to the couple.
She didn’t cry.
She didn’t die.
They thought she was dead, or would be in a few hours. But she stayed. And became the most intelligent child in the family. They tried for one more baby, but they didn’t succeed. They were still very happy, and they taught their three children the way of the Lord of Hosts. They taught them to love the Lord. They taught them everything they knew how.
And now, the quite-old man, and the…almost-quite-old woman, and their three almost-grown but rather rambunctious kids are living happily, and will live happily ever after.