I prayed. I fasted.
Over the years I had prayed and fasted for 3, 7, 21, 40, 60, >100 days at different times. I don’t fast like many Nigerians do. My wife never understood my fasting too. Sometimes, even for short fasts, I fast with plenty of tea with sugar and milk all day long, or I give myself permission to break any time after 3pm. All I want to achieve in a fast is a concentrated time of prayer for a particular issue. Friends and family prayed. Many sent or brought several anointed handkerchiefs and oil from all over the place for Wanle. What happened to those prayers? The prayers were answered, just not as we wanted. According to Pastor Simpson, God answers prayers for healing in 3 ways:
Physical healing: Here God takes the disease away from the person. An example is Jesus healing the leper. Jesus took leprosy away from the man in Matthew 8:1-4
Inner Healing: In this case God does not take the disease away but He transforms our attitude to it – 2 Corinthians. 12:7-10. God did not remove the thorn in Paul’s flesh but God gave him the grace to blossom through it
Ultimate Healing: In this instance God removes us from the disease, we die. And, it is a blessing for those who embrace it. This is the redemption of our bodies, Romans 8:22-23. This is a going home party for Wanle.
God took Wanle away from the disease. The Good Shepherd called home His sheep to come and rest. Wanle fought a good fight.
I want to sleep with a saint, same vault. Wanle and I intend to share the same vault. I cannot promise I’ll fight as hard and fiercely as Wanle did but I promise I won’t be a quitter. I cannot think of any better words or epitaph on the tombstone than,
OLAWANLE T. OJEWALE, 1959-2014
“I have fought a good fight.”
And, below that, down the road, will be
MICHAEL O. OJEWALE, 1952-xxxx
“I have kept the faith.”
And, together, we’ll receive “the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to [us] on that Day, and not to [us] only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7, 8.
“It is just two of us, please don’t leave me.” Those were Wanle’s words to me after I had a TIA in 2002. (TIA, transient ischemic attack is a fanciful name for stroke or mini-stroke.) I was tempted to but I never repeated those words to her during her long ordeal. Now I know why it is two of us. When a kidney or lung is removed, the remaining organ works twice as hard to meet the needs of the body. This surviving spouse, by the grace of God, will work harder than before; I promise. For Christ and for Wanle.
Wanle, I miss you. I celebrate you. You are the virtuous woman that Proverbs 31 seeks to describe. I salute your courage. Best of all, I thank you.
….This concludes the my unending epilogue about Olawanle Titilayo Ojewale (Nee Akinbode)
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