“In five years”, she said.
“In five years, I would be made.”
“In five years, I would have all I want.”
“In five years, I would be settled.”
Then they all clinked their glasses in agreement.
Nathi had just gotten the first paycheck from her first job, and she was at the famous, Tree Restaurant celebrating with her friends. Things had always worked out the way she planned, so she knew this wouldn't be different.
However, she wasn’t prepared for the pressures that started coming from here and there.
“When would you marry?”
“Any bobo coming ?”
“You’re becoming old oh what’s up?”,
“I’ll advise you to get a new job. ”,
“Try this”, “Try that”. And when the pressures became too much, she lost sight of what really mattered.
As the years were subtracted from her big “five”, Nathi drifted farther from her goal. Her years were a mixture of Broken relationships, stagnation, failed businesses and wrong decisions. A bitter mixture she was not accustomed to.
She was driving on a road she was unfamiliar with and every turn took her deeper into a maze she could have avoided altogether. The bread crumbs she didn’t leave behind weren’t there to help her find her way back. So, many nights were spent awake wondering what went wrong.
“I had a plan, what happened? Where did I miss it?”
The more she thought, the more lost and hopeless she felt.
Her “five years” were finally up and all her friends who had celebrated with her on that “memorable night” five years ago were high up in their career ladders, some were married, and some had children. Everyone had moved on while her only “achievement” was thirteen successful bridesmaid duties. At her job, things weren't better either. No promotion, no salary raise, she had been in the same position since that day.
A superior at the office had been stopping all plans to promote her even though she was working really hard. This was all because she didn’t want to give in to his requests. Each time she rejected, he would say,
“Well, because I like you, I’ll still give you another chance. Whenever you need a raise, you know where to come”.
Right now, she was really considering his offer. It would be quick, and she’d finally have her way. She really needed help and she was already very desperate.
“Maybe I should just go to h-”
“Come to Me, and you will find rest”
The voice was calm almost like a whisper but very close like the person was in her mind. She wasn’t sure where the voice came from and the fact that she was the only one living in the house made it more creepy.
Suddenly, Her eyes caught something moving on her chest of drawers, so, she turned quickly to see what it was. On the chest, was an old Bible that had not been used for five years. The pages were flipping really fast with no one visibly flipping them and as soon as it started, it stopped.
Slowly and cautiously, she went close to the chest and looked at the page that was open in the Bible. Matthew 11:28 was highlighted in blue. It read,
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Everything finally clicked. She had made all those plans, and she thought she could make it all work by her own will and might. She had been doing it all her way, and she wasn't successful because she was just human. Her capabilities were limited.
So, that day, she gave all to Him who knows all. She cast every care, worry, sorrow and pain on Him, and He said, “Rest in Me, Seek Me, Know Me and I will perfect your plans”.
The peace that consumed her heart afterwards was amazing. Everything that had been dragging her down was lifted and replaced by a yoke that’s easy and a burden that’s light. This time, she decided to rest. All the time she rested and believed, He did the rest of the work and what she had planned to do by her power and might in 5 years and failed, He did in 6 months.
He settled her and He gave her all she needed.
A short story by Esther Ohifumere Adeoye
Inspired by the Holy Spirit