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Joined At The Hip - Silent Beads

Joined At The Hip – Silent Beads

You wake up one day and you have a feeling that everything is changed yet you don’t know what really has changed. I felt lighter. I felt something was wrong with us—James and I. I felt the bond we once shared was breaking down gradually and yet none of us was doing anything about it. I called him, “James, are you Ok?” He said, “I’m fine.” I asked again, “Are we ok?” He said, “We are fine. Everything is going well by the grace of God.” I said, “James you’re changing and I can feel it. Slowly you’re distancing yourself from me. It looks like each day takes you further away than we used to be. Tell me what’s happening.” 

He laughed out loud. I said, “It sounds funny?” He said, “Not that. It’s the way you made it sound.”  I said, “I need an answer. Go ahead and tell me what has changed.” He said, “By the grace of God we are alive. We breathe. We talk. We are healthy. We can only be grateful to God for such a miracle instead of looking out for what is wrong. Nothing is wrong. Nothing is changed. Same you and same me. We are good.” I said, “Even the way you talk has changed. You never mentioned God in our conversations but these days every line you say has his name in it. What have you seen, James? I wish I could say I’m happy about this change but I’m not. It’s weird and it’s too unlike you.”

“Dear, I say I’m fine so everything is fine.”

“Maybe I’m asking the wrong questions. When was the last time you picked the phone and called me? I’m not talking about the times I have called you. I’m talking about you calling me or even texting me?”

“But what’s the difference? You and I can’t call each other at the same time? It can only be one at a time. You call me and we talk. It’s the same as me calling you.”

“James, you don’t get it. It’s never the same. Again when was the last time you came to visit me? You were doing that often so why did it stop?”

“So why don’t you also visit me?”

“The last two times I planned to visit you, something came up at your end and the visit didn’t happen. Remember?”

He was quiet. I could hear the sound of his breath through the phone. It was like he had met a wall that he can’t jump over. I said, “You see what I’m talking about? Things are not the way they used to be and it’s very obvious. You don’t want the relationship again? You have found someone else? There’s something about me that’s pushing you away? Or you’re simply out of love with me? Just say it. Let’s talk about it. Lovers usually get to this junction where things aren’t the way they used to be. They can only bring things back to normal if they can talk about it. So let’s talk. Or I should come over?”

He sighed heavily as though he was about to say something heavy. He said, “Yes, things are not the way they used to be. I’ve given my life to Christ. The old things are washed away. I’m a brand new man. My newness in the Lord is bringing up those changes you’re talking about.” 

Of all the reasons I assigned to his change, I never thought about Christ being the reason. It was funny to me and also very shocking. I laughed for a second but asked with a shock in my voice, “James, Are you serious? You? Giving your life to Christ? Since when? Where did it happen that I wasn’t invited?” He said, “It’s a personal decision I made weeks ago. This world and its flowery ways will come to an end very soon. I needed a shelter and I found one in Christ. Christ is the reason for the change.”

Even the way he spoke was different. I said to myself, ”If this is a dream, I want to wake up. If it’s a joke then it’s not funny. James? Not the James in the Bible but my very own James is in Christ?”

I asked him, “So what happens to this relationship now that you’ve found yourself in one with Christ?” He said, “I will go to church this evening. When I come back from church, I will call you so we talk about it.” I said, “I don’t want to talk about this on the phone. I want to see you face-to-face so we go into it. I’ve missed you. Let me see you.” He said, “We can meet outside if that’s cool for you.” I said, why not?”

I started dating James when I was in SHS. I’ve forgotten the year but I remember walking to James’ house in my uniform. It was a mid-term. I was supposed to be home with my parents but I spent the whole week in James’ house, eating, drinking, and having wild shakushaku. (Let’s call sex shakshaku today.) He taught me everything when it comes to shakushaku. He was my first boyfriend. He taught me how to kiss. How to close my eyes and take everything in. My favorite drink before I met him was Fanta. It was the only drink I knew Today if you ask me to talk about drinks, I will mention cognac. I will talk about wine. I will bring in beer somewhere. I won’t forget about the many different drinks we mix together to get a taste of our own. 

I was a teenager when he found me. The night we had that conversation, I had completed the university and was doing my national service. Six years of my life had been spent with him by my side. It hadn’t been a smooth relationship but through all the bumpy roads, he assured me that I was the one he loved. I caught him cheating twice. He came to me on bended knees so I forgave him. Whenever he was in financial difficulty, I was the one he ran to. I was in school so it was easier for me to get money from my parents. Twice I bailed him out with my school fees. Twice I nearly dropped out of school because he couldn’t pay back the fees I lent to him. When he finally got a job, he started giving me money—paying for what he owed and started spoiling me with gifts. 

We both had a dream—to die next to each other. We believed we were joined at the hip. There couldn’t be one without the other so waking up one day to hear him talk about his new relationship with Christ broke my heart. I knew the next thing would be, “I can’t continue living in my old ways so we should part ways.” That evening when I was meeting him, I went very prepared. I pepped myself up not to cede ground for him to walk away. After all, we are joined at the hip. One can’t walk away without the other.

We met in a football park. We found a large stone at the middle of the goalpost and I sat on it. He went around looking for another stone for himself. He couldn’t find any so we shared the one I was sitting on. I perched on the stone with my half buttocks so he could get a space to perch with half of his buttocks. we were joined by the hips once again—literary. I said, “Tell me. What happens to us. Don’t tell me to walk away because I’m not going to do that.” He said, “Then the solution is simple. Join me in Christ. There’s a space for you and me. His arms are opened and he’s ever ready to fold you up in his warm embrace.” 

I said, “No problem. We are joined at the hip. I go wherever you go. I’m ready.” He said, “Do you understand the commitment that comes with what you are saying? It means no wild-wild west behaviors. No drinking. No bar visits and no shakushaku in the pool. Are you ready?” I said, “I was a clean slate when you found me. I didn’t know what sins were until you introduced me to them. You took me there so you’re the only person who can take me out. I’m ready.” 

So the next Sunday I followed him to church. It was a new church he had found for himself. He introduced me to the pastor who made the change possible. The pastor said, “This is the beginning of your ministry James. One soul at a time and you’ll begin to fill a huge auditorium. Madam welcome to Jesus. What’s your name?” I said, “My name is Oforiwaa.” He asked, “Ofoariwaa, Are you ready to walk with Christ through it all?” I said, “I’m ready.” We prayed. We left the church. I asked James, “Now what?” He said, “Now there’s Jesus in you.”

I wasn’t the church type so things were very difficult for me. I couldn’t stop drinking so I made new friends who will take me there. In the night, I went out with them at the blindspot of James. I found a boyfriend who was at the same level of my craziness. He had money to spend so I followed him around. My ways awed the guy so he was madly in love with me. He gave me everything but what is everything without James—emptiness. I ran to James every now and then. He suspected I was doing something sinful but I was clever to hide it from him. 

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One night, I was at the bar with the guy when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned and it was James. He leaned towards my ears because the music was so loud. He said, “Let’s go home.” I asked, “How did you find me? He said, “Let’s go home.” I got up to go. The guy pulled my hand and scream, “Who the hell is that, and why are you following him?” James walked up to him and said, “She’s my girlfriend and I’m taking her home.” I remember the guy pushing James away and trying to take me by the hand. Two strong men were having a go at each other because of me. I felt mighty. I felt beautiful. On our way home, James said, “I’m sorry for everything I’ve ever done to you. I’m the reason you turned up this way. Forgive me but I won’t let you fall on the side. We are joined by the hip, remember?”

That night I cried. I cried for so long but I still had tears flowing after several minutes of crying. I fell asleep and the next morning when I woke up, I told myself, “I won’t allow this to happen again. No more going back and I mean it.” It looks like the tears I cried that night were the sins of the soul leaving my body. I followed James everywhere until October 2014 he held my hand and walked down the aisle to the altar. I said, “I do.” He said, “I do.” The congregation screamed out for joy. The pastor said, “What the Lord has put together, let no man put asunder.” This is what I heard, “What the Lord has joined at the hip, let no doctor perform any surgery of separation.”

We moved in as a couple. A year later, we had our first child. Two years after that, the next one came. By the time the third one came in 2020, My husband James was a pastor leading a large flock towards the Lord. We are still joined at the hip. There’s no me without him. And there’s no us without the kids.

–Oforiwaa

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Source: CelebritiesbuzzGh | Joined At The Hip – Silent Beads