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He proposed the very first time I went to visit him in his house—a small single corner room without a kitchen. He was a teacher so his financial situation was understandable. I looked at his single room and compared it to my life and all the rooms I’d ever lived in. I’ve lived in houses that will look like a castle when compared to his single room. I felt disappointed when I thought about the kind of future both of us were going to have. I liked him nonetheless.
I found him on Facebook. I was on Facebook soliciting for funds for my NGO project when this guy sent me a message in my inbox. I thought, “How did this guy even become my friend that he’s sending me messages?” He hadn’t commented on anything of mine or even liked any of my posts but there he was, throwing words at me in my inbox. He spoke about my NGO and continued to give me advice on some other things I could do to improve the fundraising. Judging from the way he talked, he was also very passionate about the work of my NGO.
He requested a meeting after a week of talking on the phone which I gladly accepted thinking he was going to make a donation to my NGO. I needed money and I needed all hands on board to help make the program a successful one but he had a different agenda. He was looking for an opportunity to meet me because he had been given a prophecy about the woman he was going to marry. He wanted to meet me and see if I fit the description of the woman in the prophecy.
We met. We spoke. While I had my mind on my NGO project, he had his mind on me. Checking me out and asking questions to confirm whether or not I fit the description. He said, “I was so convinced you were the one. From the way you looked to the fact that we had so much in common. It could only be the works of the Lord.”
I come from a family where the trend in the marriages of the women wasn’t good; they marry late, or marry early and won’t give birth or give birth with different men. I didn’t want that for myself so I started praying for a different marital story when I was just but a secondary school student. Again, I’m the last child of my parents. I had four sisters and they all got married while I was growing up. I was a witness to their marriages and that gave me the opportunity to imagine the kind of marriage I wanted for myself. I didn’t treat the issue of marriage with kid gloves. I wanted the first man I dated to be the only one so when he proposed, I also started praying about it to have a confirmation from God.
But he started giving me pressure. He wanted an answer as soon as possible. I told him, “Honestly, because of my upcoming program, I haven’t had the time to pray about it so give me some more time. Maybe till the end of the program so I can have a clear mind to decide.” Just when I had convinced him to give me some time, two pastors also came to me with their love proposals. Straightforward I knew I wouldn’t be at peace with them. One of the Pastors didn’t live in Ghana. Three of my sisters’ husbands lived abroad and I was a witness to how their marriage suffered so I wasn’t enthused about marrying someone who didn’t live here with me. I let the pastors go.
Right after the NGO program, this guy brought up the proposal again. He took me to his church and introduce me to his head pastor to prove how serious he was about me. At some point, I got the message. The calmness of my spirit any time I mentioned his name in my prayers was proof enough that he was the one. So, one afternoon I went to his house—that single corner room that made my house look like a castle. He was sitting in a chair, facing away from me. I told him, “Well, I asked you to give me more time to make a decision but you kept putting pressure on me. You leave me with no option…I think we should remain friends.”
All this while he kept looking away, trying to avoid eye contact but when he heard my answer, he looked up and said, “Okay, if that’s what you want.” I looked at his sad face and burst out laughing. I told him, “Oh I’m lying but seriously what do you want me to say?” He said nothing. I told him, “Yoo, I’ll do it.” Then he raised his head up and smiled. He reached out and rubbed my cheeks like playing with a little child. I just smiled and asked, “Now that we’re dating, how are we going to start?” Now, it was his turn to laugh. He said, “You’re one unserious person I’ve ever met in my life.”
Just four months after saying yes to him, he told me, “I want to meet your mother, my future in-law.” I wasn’t surprised because he had already introduced me to his parents. They were very happy to meet me but I was a little bit unsure of how my parents were going to receive him because of his tribe. At some point, one of my sisters brought a man from that tribe home and my parents said no to him so I hesitated and prayed about it. Finally, when I gathered the courage to introduce him to my mother, she asked him, “So when are you bringing your people here to start the marriage ceremony?”
I shouted in my heart, “Hallelujah!”
Not too long afterward, we got married. No, we didn’t go back to that corner room that made my house look like a castle. We put resources together and got ourselves a single room self contain.
He was a chemistry teacher for ten years before he resigned. He didn’t have to tell you before you know he was a man of vision. When he sets his heart on something, he never rests until he gets it, well except cooking. He had tried several times to cook a great meal but the results are always the same. He told me, “So why don’t I enjoy the food I had cooked myself?” I didn’t need to answer that question because the answer is always in the taste of the food he cooks. He might be a bad cook but not a bad help. He had been the hand that scrubs the bathroom since we got married six years ago. After I gave birth to our third child, he picked up a new role in washing the dishes every time. And before he leaves the house to the lab, He’ll ask, “Is there anything you’ll like me to do for you before I leave?”
It’s that sweet calm with which he asks the question that’s the most enchanting. Happiness is when both of us are together discussing issues of the lab. We are both scientists so we don’t say anything and just leave it like that. We explain everything to each other until it makes sense and that always gives us the opportunity to talk, giggle, and laugh about something.
In August 2016, he got admitted into a school here in the US to do his Ph.D. We had a baby then so we all joined him to travel to the US. While here, he has devoted his time to writing academic papers and had published lots of his research works. He later applied for permanent residence when he was midway through with his Ph.D. and was granted for us.
Most times I think about that single corner room where I met him, and how far the Lord has brought us, my heart can only be glad. When we gave birth to our third child, he asked me, “Which car do you want?” I told him, “Any three-row seater car will do.” The next day, we both went to the showroom and came back home with 2015 Nissan Quest. The last time he said to me, “I’m waiting for our tenth anniversary so we could have a grand anniversary to renew our vows. I didn’t like the kind of wedding we had due to our financial status then. Our love deserves something grandeur.
—Maame REY, Illinois, USA
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