Hot Prayers

The Story of Infinite Grace – by Ayotunde Elegbeleye

In this story, Jay is Jesus, Holly is the Holy Spirit, Seth is Satan, and Megan is every one believer who had at one time or the other found Jesus but strayed from Him and grieved the Holy Spirit because of the deception of Satan and worldly pleasures. The good news is this, no matter how far you’ve strayed or how low you’ve sunk, Jesus still longs for you to come back to Him. He is the lover of your soul and He can’t wait to reunite with you. The Holy Spirit is eager to be your companion and guide again. Satan has no hold over you if you do not give him a foothold. Call and reach out for Jesus today, He will free you from Satan’s hold, restore you to glory and make you His forever! Shalom…

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PROLOGUE

It was the perfect day. The sky was clear, the weather cool, birds were chirping melodiously and flowers were giving out their lovely scents. The atmosphere was serene and solemn….something monumental was happening and it was happening to me! I was getting married! I was finally declaring and pledging my total undying love and allegiance to the one and only love of my life! I took a sideward glance at Holly, my faithful friend, confidant, and chief bride’s maid. Her eyes shone with so much love and as always, a quiet strong confidence filled with assurance. She beamed widely at me, her countenance charged with exceeding joy and in that brief moment, I acknowledged inwardly that I would not have made it to that point if it wasn’t for her. “Oh Holly, we’ve come this far, haven’t we?” I thought as I took a momentary journey back…….

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“He has done it again. He has dragged you into some misbehaviour and now taunts you with guilt-induced words, right?” One look at my face and Holly, my bosom friend didn’t need a seer to tell her what’s gone wrong again! We have been at this long enough for her to know when I’ve gone off to indulge my foolishness and stupidity.

I bowed my head like a remorseful child and allowed silent tears stream down my face. I couldn’t bear to see the knowing look on Holly’s face – she’s just too full of wisdom and me, I’m so stupid! Sometimes, I wonder how she puts up with me.

“Look at me.” Holly gently raised my face so her eyes could meet mine. “You know you can always talk to me.” Her eyes were the most gentle I had ever seen. It held no condemnation whatsoever, only unconditional love. “Do you want to tell me what happened this time?”

I sniffed a bit, and then wiped my face with the handkerchief Holly gave to me. “Oh Holly, I’m so stupid. I don’t know why I allow him to keep doing this to me.”

“But Megan, aren’t you tired of going back and forth with this guy? He’s definitely up to no good and you know it yourself.” A brief look of exasperation crossed Holly’s face as she searched mine for the faintest clue. “Why on earth you’ll remain with a guy like that, I would never be able to fathom.”

“It’s not easy as you say it Holly. I want to quit, I want to stop seeing Seth, but it’s not so easy. The heart wants what it wants. You know that Holly, don’t you?”

“What I know is that you should quit this relationship.”
“Ok, I know I shouldn’t put up with Seth doing this to me all the time, but you see, Seth excites me, he brings out the adventurous person in me, and he takes me high….”

“…..and then drops you!” Those words from Holly cut deep to my soul. I felt like cold water had been splashed on me to revive me from the blow of a rude shock.

“Holly….you don’t understand…”

“I do understand, Megan, I do. I understand that you are being influenced negatively. I understand that you know what to do but just wouldn’t do it. I understand everything and completely too.”

“But I need him, don’t you see? I need someone to give me excitement, someone to fill the vacuum. Holly, please understand me.”

I kept pleading with my eyes that Holly would understand and support my argument, at least a bit but she just kept staring at me like I had grown two horns in my head.

“How could you say such things, Megan? How could there be a vacuum in your life when I’m here for you constantly? What about Jay, has he not been there for you? Doesn’t he come to your rescue every time you need him to? What does this Seth guy give you that Jay can’t give you?”

“Excitement Holly,” my eyes flashed with a tinge of frustration, “Jay does not excite me the way Seth does. He’s too sanctimonious, too principled, and too perfect. He’s no fun at all. His dos and don’ts drive me crazy!”

“Megan,” Holly spoke my name ever so softly, “That is so not fair. Jay has always been so good to you. Whenever you make a fool of yourself with Seth; whenever you feel used, abused, and discarded; whenever you are forlorn and you need a shoulder to lean on for comfort; whenever you have a desperate need none else can meet; Jay is always to the rescue, despite the way you treat him. Doesn’t that count for anything?”

I didn’t say a word; I couldn’t at that instance because I knew Holly’s words were right. However, I sat there pouting like a spoilt child who wanted something her mother was not willing to give her.

Holly continued, “Megan, you know as much as I do that Jay loves you so much, he’d do anything for you. He respects you and is loyal to you. He doesn’t treat you the way this Seth guy treats you; he cherishes you and cares for you. He has your deep interest at heart and he can fulfil your innermost desires. Seth doesn’t and can’t do any of these for you and you know it. He’s just fooling you, luring you away from what is right and blinding you to the truth. He does not love you and he will NEVER love you. He’s using your blind folly to entrap and enslave your soul. He is…..”

“Enough!” I angrily cut Holly short in mid-sentence. “Enough already! I know all about my life I don’t need you rehearsing it to me. You’re not me Holly, you’re not in my shoes and I don’t expect you to understand what’s going on. So please, just cut it out and give me a break! Besides, what else would you have said about Jay? You both are birds of same feather – sanctimonious, rigid, and totally without fun. You two should get together one of these days, you’re a perfect fit!”

I had said too much, and by the look on Holly’s face, I knew I had grieved her. Holly had a sad look on her face as she said to me, “Well, I guess you’re a big girl and you can take care of yourself. You don’t need me chaperoning you and you definitely don’t need me around. I just hope you really know what you’re doing.” With that, Holly quietly walked out of the room.

When she left, it was as though the room had been sucked off every fresh and uncontaminated air. My spirit broke. Although Holly’s voice held neither condemnation nor a single trace of sarcasm, I couldn’t help but feel agony, grief, and guilt at the very heart of my soul. Agony, for allowing myself linger in such hopeless situation and feeling too helpless to do something about it; grief, for letting down Holly, my one trusted friend; and guilt for saying those horrible things about Jay, whom I know loves me unconditionally!

Let me tell you a bit about myself and these people in my life. Long before now, I was just what you would describe as a ‘loafer’. My life had no real meaning and I had no sense of direction. I constantly felt like an alien that had accidentally dropped on the surface of the earth with no purpose or intent. I didn’t know why I was here. I felt void inside, while gross darkness surrounded me. My faithful companions included fear, pain, insecurity, lack, rejection, failure, disappointment, timidity, and others like them.

You see, I used to go to church, in fact, I was a regular attendee but with that, life still held no meaning. I didn’t really understand what the singing, clapping and prayer were all about. To me, church attendance was simply a religious rite, which I observed with other worshippers only because I felt it would fill the void within but guess what, it didn’t! All the same, I kept up the attendance because there was this familial thingy going on in the church with church folks calling one another brother and sister, and I desperately needed that feeling of belonging somewhere. I really did not keep acquaintance with anyone in the church and it did seem that most of the church folks, except for a few that offered quick hellos once in a while, were oblivious of my existence until one bright Sunday!

It was like every other day but since it was a Sunday, I was all too glad to have a little bit of break from my usual companions as it seemed like it was only in Church that I was able to divorce myself from them for a little while. I got into the Church auditorium and sat at my favourite pew, somewhere at the back, where I could not-so-interestingly observe the happenings around me. No one ever sat beside me in Church before so I was startled when a rich deep voice asked if the seat beside me was taken. I looked right into the softest and most beautiful eyes I’d ever seen and a warm sensation spread right through me as the gentleman offered the most dashing smile I’d ever received.

“Can I sit beside you?” He said in that rich baritone of his.

“Ye-e-ss.” I stammered.

“Thank you.” He took his seat still looking intently at me with a relentless smile. He sat so close to me, our bodies were practically touching and his presence was so welcoming, so comforting, so reassuring and for the first time in many years, I felt SAFE and……..I think, ACCEPTED!

That was the best Sunday service of my life. I kept checking with subtle sideway glances to know if this gentleman beside me was real or just a figment of my imagination but he was real as real could be, sitting down there beside me and offering me his company like he’d known me all his life. I was almost positive that he’d be gone in a flash when service was over but amazingly, I still found him standing next to me after the benediction.

“Did you enjoy the service?” He asked me when benediction was over.

“Yes, I did.” I nodded my head emphatically to buttress the fact that I actually did. “Today’s service was wonderful.”

He flashed me yet another wonderful smile and excitement filled the very core of my being. What was happening to me? No one…no man had ever paid me so much attention before.

“I’m Jay”, he extended a hand, “it’s nice to meet you.”

I took his hand briefly. “Megan is the name. Nice meeting you too.”

“Where are you headed?” I told him my destination. “I’m headed same way. Do you mind riding with me?”

Of course I did not mind so I gratefully accepted his offer. On the ride home, Jay and I chatted like we’d known each other for ages. Besides his extremely good looks, Jay’s liveliness, responsiveness, and caring demeanour made him so attractive and easy to be with. Jay insisted on seeing that I got home safely and promised to pay me a visit. To tell you the truth, that was the best day of my existence – the day I met Jay!

Jay and I became fast friends. He constantly visited and spent quality time with me. He took it upon himself to defend me against any form of assault, and I can’t even begin to count the number of times he came to my rescue. He made sure I lacked nothing….NOTHING AT ALL! Anytime I called for him, he was always there and available to meet my need. He always came through for me….he was my solid rock. It was Jay who introduced me to Holly. He came with her during one of his visits and Holly became my instant friend and best companion. Holly is the gentlest personality I ever had the fortune of coming across and she is so full of non-judgmental wisdom. Jay and Holly helped me with a lot of adjustments that needed to be made in my life – including a change of environment and companions – and within weeks, my life experienced a huge turn around from the hollow, shallow nightmare it used to be.

Along the line, it became obvious to me that Jay was completely in love with me and oh yes, I was totally in love back….or so I thought….until Seth came along….

Back when I hung out with my former companions, Seth’s name would pop up a few times but I never really met him although he was popular downtown where I used to dwell. He had a bad boy reputation, was popularly known to be quite the glamorous charmer, which made him pull as much crowd as he wanted around him, and being very manipulative and sleekly sly, he almost always got what he wanted once he sets his sight on such thing. However, as charming as he appeared to be, he was also rumoured to be very ruthless. Well, what I had always heard about Seth happened to be completely true. Seth somehow set his sight on me and started visiting me incessantly, bearing exquisite gifts coupled with sweet charming words. It initially disturbed me that Seth didn’t notice me all the while I lived downtown, when my life had no much meaning and bearing, but suddenly picked an interest in me when my life turned around for good. Holly also didn’t hesitate to tell me that Seth’s intentions were no good but the more I allowed him to charm me, the more I threw caution to the wind, and the more I allowed myself to slip.

Once I allowed Seth into my life, I began to find his way of life fascinating. I began to listen to his counsels and carry out his suggestions. Gradually, I began to default in the way of life Jay and Holly introduced me to. I began to find fault with Jay and his approach to life, and would repeatedly say to him, “You are too boring. Why can’t you loosen up a bit and add some spice to your life?” Seth told me there was more to life than I was living and that Jay was only trying to influence me with his rigid, straightforward personality.
“He is way too straight in his thinking and that’s no way to live. Megan honey, you need to be flexible in your approach, that’s the spice of life. You can’t keep doing everything in the same rigid way. You have to find other interesting, less boring way of living your life and I’m here to show you how baby.”

I consistently listened to Seth and gradually allowed myself to drift from Jay. I no longer cared for him like I used to. He was still good to me and took care of me like as always but I found myself pulling away from him. He no longer fascinated me and I found myself spending less and less time with him while I spent more and more time with Seth. Jay didn’t stop reaching out to me. Most times, he would write me letters or give Holly some messages for me.

Before long, Seth started showing me the ugly side to him. He would lure me into doing unbecoming things – things I promised I wouldn’t do – and after that taunt and jeer at me endlessly. He would fill me with guilt ridden words and mock my relationship with Jay and Holly. He started traumatizing me emotionally and wasted no time in making me feel worthless all over again, an emotion I had become unfamiliar with since Jay came into my life. Every time Seth did this to me, I would run crying to Holly and she would soothe me in her gentle way. At this period, I would try to mend my fast breaking relationship with Jay by paying some attention to him but as soon as Seth came bearing the glamour of deceit, I would find myself running back to him and becoming defiant towards Jay again. This soon became a regular way of life for me. I was stuck deep in the mud but somehow couldn’t pull myself out. Holly kept speaking to me about this situation. She kept telling me to break my relationship with Seth and get back with Jay but I always found an excuse or the other. The glamour of deceit had completely clouded and blinded my sense of good reasoning.

This was how I kept living my life back and forth – one moment, I’m frolicking with Seth; the next moment, I’m finding my way back into Jay’s waiting arms, where, unfortunately, I would not stay for long before going back to Seth. Through it all, Holly stood by me and showed me the goodness of a loyal friend. She never showed resentment for my obvious stupidity, she never judged me, nor expressed anger towards me. But this time around, as Holly uttered those words in her calm demeanour and walked out, I knew I had over stepped my boundaries with Holly. I knew she was upset but I thought she would get over it, come back to visit like she always did, and everything would be fine and handy. However, when after a few days I did not see her or hear from Jay, I knew there was fire on the mountain. I knew instinctively that my life was about taking a complete horrible turn but sadly, I did not pay any heed.

In the days that followed, Seth came to me with all manner of gifts and soothing words. He lied to me that he would be closer to me than Jay and Holly ever did and I allowed myself to believe him. At the beginning, I had it pleasant that I thought my life was just beginning to get better but before I could blink my eyes, Seth had turned into the ruthless monster that he was. He turned me into a complete slave, forcing me to fulfil all his whims and desires. He afflicted and oppressed me to the letter. He molested me till he broke my spirit and I found myself in a worse condition than I was before I met Jay. At a point in time, when I desperately needed Holly, I sneaked away from Seth to go find her, but she was no longer where she used to live, she had moved. I couldn’t locate Jay either, and Holly was not there to show me his location. I was completely doomed!

I was in this despondent state for many months. I was battered and had lost my will to live. I recalled with regret how Jay had come to me when I had no one and how I had rejected his love. Those days, I wept and wept but my tears could not help me much…….then one day, being tired of my existence and wishing I’d rather die than live with Seth’s tyranny, I cried unto God to help me or take my life………and help me He did.

Seth had removed me from the house Jay got for me and put me in his own house. I never got any visit, and Seth kept me in as much as possible claiming that all I needed was within my reach as long as I stayed with him in his house. However, on this blessed day, I received a visitor, an unknown but yet familiar visitor. Seth was busy with other matters so I had the opportunity of attending to this visitor. When my visitor introduced himself, I realised and remembered that he was the pastor of the church I used to attend – the church where I met Jay.

“You’ve not been to church in a very long while. Is everything ok?”

“Fancy you coming to look for me, Pastor. I never knew I amounted to something much.”

“Of course you do. Every one of God’s children is precious.”

“So what are you really here for? If it’s to ask me to come back to church, forget it.”

The pastor gave me a smile that reflected an understanding of what I was going through. That smile reminded me of Jay and at that moment, I yearned for him with all my heart – a little wonder the pastor’s next statement brought me to the edge of my seat.

“Megan, I am not here to ask you to come back to church. I am here to ask you to come back to Jay, he sent me to you.”

At the mention of Jay, I broke down like a child and wailed. I saw my wretchedness and didn’t think Jay would want me back.

“I am not sure Jay would want me now, Pastor. Look at me, I am a wretch. No man, not even Jay will look at me in a positive light anymore. I am like filth!”

“Megan, Jay doesn’t care about all that. As long as you are willing to accept his unconditional love and sever all ties with the man you’re with now, he is willing to take you back. He loves you so much; he can’t bear to see you with another. He asked me to tell you this.”

“Really!” I looked at the pastor with dilated pupils. “Could it be possible to find forgiveness with Jay and Holly after all I’d done? They did me good but I repaid with evil and I don’t suppose I deserve a second chance.”

The pastor did a good job of convincing me that a second chance was very much what Jay desired to give me, if I would take it. Of course, I would take it! I was tired of the hellhole I was living in.

“Pastor, this is awesome. I feel so joyous and free already. Please tell Jay I am ready to accept his love now. I accept him and renounce my involvement with Seth.”

The pastor prayed with me and while we were yet praying Jay and Holly walked in. When I opened my eyes and saw them, I went ecstatic with joy. I unashamedly went into Jay’s embrace and he held me lovingly.

“Oh Jay, I am so sorry for pushing you away. Please forgive me. I will never let you go again, never!”

Jay held onto me tightly. “My darling, of course I forgive you. It’s so good to be back in your life again. Oh, how I love you so.”

I embraced Holly too and told her how sorry I was for not listening to her wise counsels and for speaking those harsh words to her. She enveloped me in a graceful embrace and assured me that I was forgiven.

“Please don’t ever leave me again, Holly!” I cried

“I won’t, I won’t. I will always be here. I won’t leave you as long as you stay with Jay.”

By this time, Seth had come to see what was going on but somehow, he wouldn’t just come near where we were, he only pouted and scowled from afar. I was astonished at this because I knew Seth was a trouble maker. I wondered why he was not trying to stop Jay from taking me from him. I asked Pastor if he understood what was going on. Pastor simply told me that Jay had won a court case against Seth sometime in the past and Seth had been given a restraining order not to move an inch close to wherever Jay was. I also wanted to know if I could go retrieve my belonging, which Seth had confiscated but Pastor assured me that Jay would restore all that and more to me. I did not need any other argument or plea. There was not one more reason for me to delay. I was ready to be with Jay forever. When I told Jay I was ready to leave, he and Holly held my hands on both sides, and led me out of the pit I had been living in, while Seth could only look on. I got delivered, FINALLY!

My friendship with Holly blossomed again, while my love for Jay grew in leaps and bounds. Jay’s love for me was inexpressible; it was too much for words to describe. I simply basked in the euphoria of his love. Then one day, Jay proposed to me.

“Megan, my love, I want you all to myself. I cannot bear you running off with another man again. I love you too much to lose you and see you suffer like you did. I want you to be mine forever and I yours. Will you marry me? Will you pledge yourself to me?”

“Y-e-e-s,” butterflies fluttered in my stomach, “Yes, my love, I will marry you. I will pledge my whole life to you.”

EPILOGUE

I married Jay and I am still married to him. I pledged my whole allegiance to him and I have not gone back on my words. With each day comes new grace to hold on to the love of my life. Jay’s love for me continues to know no bounds and my love for him keeps growing in leaps and bounds. We’re so in love, and nothing can ever separate our love……..

Culled from CirclesofLove

3 Comments on "The Story of Infinite Grace – by Ayotunde Elegbeleye"

  1. wow that was so sooooooooooo nice i liked the article really encouraging thanks for such a great post

  2. OOOOOOHHHHH,this was meant for me, thaks Jay and Holly for always being there for me, many times i fail but YOU never fail. Thank you for loving me, i vow to live for YOU forever and ever.Amen
    OH,Holly,thank U for being ma Help and Comforter, Teacher ,Friend and closest lifelong companion. Blessed be Your Holy Name.
    Thank you for posting.

  3. PLEASE I NEED TO CONTACT THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THIS WEB SITE FOR SOMETHING VERY IMPORTANT BUT CAN’T FIND AN ADDRESS OR SUITABLE MEANS TO GET TO THE ADMINISTRATOR.

    PLEASE IF YOU HAVE ANY IDEA, EMAIL, PHONE OR SOMETHING, POST I’LL BE VERY GRATEFUL. PLEASE ANYONE READING THIS, TREAT AS A MATTER OF EXTREME URGENCY.

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