Short stories,

I told you so

May 12, 2016 Ezer Kenegdo 2 Comments



Her constant pacing was making me uncomfortable. “Umitta, please sit down. This isn’t helping.”

“That’s easy for you to say.” She snapped. “I’m sorry. I know you are only trying to help.” She said sinking into the chair opposite me. “But it’s just soo frustrating. I told him this would happen, but he wouldn’t listen. He never listens!”

I knew I had to calm her down when she got up and started pacing again.

“Let’s go for a walk.” I said walking towards the door. The fresh air would do her some good.

Her husband had just lost his job. He’d gotten a job offer from a rival firm a few months earlier, which he had turned down against her advice because he was expecting a big promotion and bumper raise at work. Instead, he was sacked!. So even though I knew she was dealing with a variety of very different emotions, i wasn’t entirely sure which Ummita I was dealing with per time. Was it sad, mad or scared Umitta?

“What are we going to do? We just bought that land in Sango Tedo, so don’t have much in savings. How are we going to survive? I warned him this could happen, but he just wouldn’t listen. He never listens!”

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“Why did you come to me?”

“Huh? I don’t understand.”

“Out of everyone you could have spoken to about this, you came to me. Why?”

“Errr....I don’t know.”

“I think it’s because you thought I’d see things your way and possibly side with you.”

Her mouth opened as if to deny it, but was quickly shut because she knew I was spot on.

Ummita and I are very similar. We have the same “gift”- a gift which was a borderline curse during the first few years of my marriage. You see, we are able to tell the future. No, not in some mystical or psychic way, but…. It’s hard to explain. Just think of it like women’s intuition on steroids. We have this funny way of playing out a million different scenarios in our head, and somehow instinctively knowing what the outcome of almost all situations will be.

“Humor me a sec, I want to show you something.”

“Ok”

“Imagine I want to give you this key” I said holding out my car key. “But you get it under one condition- that you catch it when i throw it”

“Ok”

“I think if we both close our eyes when I throw the key, you have a better chance of catching it.”

“That’s utterly ridiculous” She laughed. “Both our eyes need to be open so you can throw it in the right direction, it’ll give me a better chance of catching it”

“Trust me. This will work. Now just close your eyes”

Watching her reluctantly close her eyes, I took a few steps back. Closed my eyes, and threw the key.

“Did you catch it?” I yelled.

“Of course not!  I told you it wasn’t going to work.”

“Yeah you did, but do you have the key?”

“I already said I don’t”

She didn’t get it. I had to try a different tactic.

“Ok, lets try this again. I’m gonna tell you something a very dear friend of mine told me before Aden and I got married, something that would probably have saved me a lot of grief if I’d taken heed of a lot earlier than I did.”

“Ok” she sighed. I could tell she was getting slightly impatient.

“She told me never to tell my  husband I told you so .”

I saw her mouth open as if to say something.

“Babe, let me land first.” I said before she could say anything. “I got married thinking- no, knowing I was smarter than Aden. After all, situations proved I was always right, so I didn’t understand why he’d have an opinion contrary to mine, and I loved to tell him so every opportunity I got. The more I told him I told you so the less he sought my opinion and the more mistakes he made. It got to the point where I patiently waited for him to make the mistakes I knew he would so I could tell him I told you so.”

I could tell my words had started to sink in, so I continued.

“I didn’t trust him to make the right decisions, and he didn’t trust me to support any decisions he made. It was a vicious cycle that threatened to destroy our marriage, because I didn’t trust his ability to make what I presumed to be the right decisions, I wasn’t in support of anything he wanted to do, even if it was right. It was spiraling out of control, it was no longer us against the world, it had become us against each other and I was powerless to stop it.”

“So what did you do?”

Laughing and shaking my head, I continued. “I fasted and prayed. Then fasted some more. I prayed that Aden would quit being soo stubborn and would listen to me. I prayed that he’d realize I was always right and fall in line!”

“Did it work?”

“Nope. Nothing changed, well except maybe my weight, I think I lost about 5kg from all the fasting.”

I could tell she was now slightly confused.

“To cut the long story short, a book by Stormie Omartian called The Power of a Praying Wife, found its way to me. It outlines specific areas women should pray about concerning their husbands. I thought it a little strange that the first set of prayer points were for wives to pray about ourselves. I mean, I wasn’t the problem, but it was a small price to pay to get him to fall in line.”

“Did it work?” she whispered.

“It took a while, but yeah, it did. Though not in the way you think. God convicted me in a major way! I was the one who needed to change. I felt my heart fill with the realization that it wasn’t about me, or what I wanted, but about what was right for us, because i can never want better for my family than God wants for us. The first thing I had to do was stop saying I told you so, the second was to lay down our opinions before God and ask for direction, conviction and humility concerning His will. If I was still convicted about my choice, the right thing to do was pray for Aden, generally that God would make him a man that I could trust to make the right decisions, a man that would hear His voice clearly concerning all things, and specifically that God would convict him concerning the issue at hand, and give him the humility to make the necessary adjustments. If I was wrong, then I had to humble myself and make the necessary adjustments. God showed me that I had elevated the “gift” He had given me for the benefit of Aden and I above Him. I realized that if I felt Aden was going down the wrong path, it was God and not my superiority complex that would get him back on track. In marriage there is no I. What affects one affects both. But what struck me the most was that most times, neither of us was right, there was often a different path God wanted us to go down.”

“Oh my God!”. She sobbed.

Realizing she was crying, I pulled her into a tight hug.



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2 comments:

  1. Loved this short piece. Many times God wants to change something in "us" and not the other way round. Beautiful.

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  2. Thanks so much for stopping by Ibmf, i'm glad you loved the piece. You really hit the nail on the head with your comment, most times the change we seek in others starts with us.

    ReplyDelete