Something Borrowed


I get stuck in worship trances.

Do you know what those are? No? Great, because I just made that up! Let me try breaking it down for you.

It’s 2:46 a.m. and I am asleep. But no, I am not really asleep because there’s a song playing in my subconscious. My subconscious is far from normal; it is a very crazy space. If getting to know someone meant getting into his or her subconscious mind, no one would ever fathom anything about me.

So, in my subliminal, in the wee hours of the morning, there’s a song playing. I’d listened to a friend sing this song and it stuck onto me like a tick on a cow’s udder. It’s been playing over and over for days on end and won’t go away. I go to bed and it’ll be playing. I will be in the shower and it’ll still be playing. Weird right? I know.

It sounds perfect in the subconscious. My voice is even better than John Legend’s. I hit those notes that make the best singers want to give up their singing careers until I decide to sing out loud. It is then that I realize that we cannot all be singers. Some of us should just be content to talk through the song, and that’s fine.

I would love to say that it is inspiration that woke me up that early but, no, it was a worship trance this time. It was the music playing at the back of my mind.

My worship trances are mostly caused by those guys who lead others to sing in church.

Today, they are called worship leaders. The name has morphed into different variants and it keeps changing by the day. When I was growing up they were the ‘praise and worship team’ a.k.a. kikundi cha sifa na ibada or wale vijana wa kazi. But church has advanced, so we call them the band, the choir or the worship team.

Back then; it was a bunch of boys and girls who were eager to do the work of the Lord in whichever way. We weren’t trained, no! We had perfected rudimentary music skills and we didn’t mind using them. The number one qualification to becoming a member of the ‘kikundi cha sifa na ibada’ was availability. If you were available, you could become anything. You could be the drummer today, lead the worship tomorrow, play the keys the next day, and be the sound guy that other day.

We didn’t care much; we just wanted to serve the Lord.

I think we sounded good but who’s asking even? As long the old women in the church danced crazy like David danced, we knew we’d done a good job.

Today music in church is serious. Most churches have a pastor whose work is to just lead worship and arrange music for the services. Being in a band or being a singer has become serious work. You can tell a worship team member from an intercessor by how they dress. Bands are paid and paid well. I have no qualms, because for some of them, that’s the only source of income.

Now, I have had to talk about church and worship so that you understand that this story is about a worship leader.

She said that we could call her Avery.

There’s a crazy obsession with names in our times. I mean, years back it was a noble thing to call your kid bible names like Hannah, Ezekiel or Abraham. Today, you could be sued by a toddler for calling them Manasseh or Jeconaiah. They will allege that you have caused their ego irreparable damage from the ridicule  their peers mete on them. Kids want cool names and Bible names are no longer cool.

It was easy to decode what the idea behind calling the little one Joseph was. Now, you need an updated encyclopedia to figure out names. They will call a kid anything. Woe unto you if you are born in a Christian family. You could end up being called ‘Miracle Blessing’, ‘Glorious Dawn’ or ‘Alpha King’. We are not short of creativity. My friends from the lakeside already have babies called ‘Covid-19 Ochieng’ and ‘Corona Awiti’.

Anyway, because I have no idea what Avery means I decide to search for the meaning because, Google is Bae. I find that the name was originally used as a male name! So now I am wondering why she wants to use a male name on herself. I get some relief when find that today the name is commonly used for girls. It comes from the Old English words aelf (meaning elf) and ric (meaning king/power), which is why Avery means “ruler of the elves.” Elves were considered beautiful and magical creatures. To cut to the chase, I guess it would mean the ‘ruler of beautiful and magical creatures’.

She strikes me as a very spiritual person so her first question to me isn’t much of a shocker. “Have you ever been out of the will of God? How long were you in that space? Did you know you were out of His will? How did you get there?” She asks. I don’t get time to answer so she proceeds. “Well, I have been out of God’s will before and the last time I was there I promised myself never to go back.”

At this point, my mind starts conjuring images of the Bible prophet of old Jonah. Dude is the only person I know, who has ever called God’s bluff. Imagine the guy was told by God to head to Nineveh and he told God, “By the way God, utajisort! Siendi!” Who does that? Aaaaiiii! Si guys can be daring yawa? Dude wasn’t afraid of being smitten and crashed into a million tiny pieces? I wonder if he walked away telling God “Smite me, oh yea mighty smitter!”

I ask her how being out of God’s will is like.

“Speaking for myself, when you are outside His will, there is this emptiness that you feel. At that time everything in my life felt off, my prayer life was off and even the prayer itself was weird in the sense that I wasn’t myself. How I would pray and even study the word was off. On the outside everything was great! In my heart I knew it wasn’t right.” She says.

“I would think that that is well deserved because, I mean, you just told God to hit the road. What did you expect?” I think silently.

Some thoughts sound better unspoken.

So guess what the genesis of this bluff on God was? You guessed right. It was a boy! Imagine someone would risk being smitten by the Almighty because of a boy! I would be thinking it’d be something crazier than Jonah’s act of mutiny but no, it had to be a boy! The things we do for the folly of love! Sigh!

“So where did you meet this boy?” I ask.

“Let’s call him Kyle, because that means something to me.” Avery says.

“We met in church, he was singing. He froze me, literally!” I tend to do this when something is extremely good or completely wrong. I thought I had known the best vocalists in town until I met Kyle. He was from the Capital. Kyle could sing!”

I ask Avery to describe him to me and she lights up, almost like she can see him standing right there! She says “Eish! But this boy was fine! He was chocolate and short. He literally drowned in charisma when leading praise. He had one of those infectious smiles and his voice, oh his voice! That completely got my attention. It literally gave me goose bumps.”

She says that she doesn’t really remember his dressing. You can be so awe struck by someone’s presence that you forget what he or she wore. Avery tells me that even though she is normally very reserved and rarely makes a first move on people to compliment them, this time, because of that singing she just had to!

“When I went to compliment him the guest speaker joined us and asked whether we were related. Kyle joked that I was his sister. The guy that I was crushing on had already sister-zoned me!” She says.

At the back of my mind I am wondering whether that wasn’t a hint from God that this wasn’t going to go anywhere but I keep that wonder to myself.

They started and continued talking after that. There was chemistry. Great chemistry. She says that she later joined his church. I ask her whether she joined the church because of him. She laughs out loud vehemently insisting that he wasn’t the primary reason. She tells me that she loved the pastor’s teachings. She however notably points out that Kyle was definitely an added advantage! He even gave her directions to church and made sure she got picked up at the stage on her first visit.

When they started dating they agreed that they were not going to seriously date. They did more of fun dating.

“I had initially told him I knew who my husband was.” She tells me.

I am dumbfounded and ask her why she would then date another man when she knew who her supposed husband would be. Avery contemplates this question then says, “Well there was a kind of chemistry that I had never experienced before. We would easily talk about anything. But I think majorly, I just didn’t want to go where God wanted me to go.”

During one of their dates, Kyle would mention to Avery that God had told him that she was his chosen wife. She says she wasn’t convinced and so she remained mute. He didn’t pursue it further so they left it at that but from thence, she’d start entertaining the idea of being married to him.

Because girls get really excited about the idea of being married she told her family and close friends about him. Guys do not even know what they are doing even when they are reciting the vows on the wedding day. That announcement put the relationship out there! A relationship that was meant to be ‘fun dating’, quiet and private was all over social media. Social media is the dearth of privacy.

Social media has a way of amplifying the most mundane moments and making them astounding. With this comes pressure. We are so fixated on social media and the performance that comes with it that we want to share the fact that we boiled an egg with the world.

So their business was allover and she was getting cozy with that idea. On the Sunday of the same week that they had talked about marriage, he was leading worship. She always found it difficult to keep it together whenever he either led worship or was preaching. What with all the charm! This particular Sunday, he was on the pulpit leading worship and she heard the Spirit of God tell her that he was not her husband.

She says, “He (the Spirit) literally said, “This is not your husband! Your husband is in another city.”

Yes, God still speaks to people and they hear, but most of them just like Avery, ignore that voice. Avery says that when she started reasoning she did not hear the voice again. “That was it. It was like he just hushed.”

She travelled for her college alumni meeting that same evening. Here, she’d meet the ‘right’ guy for her. She couldn’t look at him twice because; she wasn’t going to leave Kyle for him even though he had been pursuing her for months.

I ask her how she knew the ‘right’ guy for her. She tells me that when she was younger she asked her mum how she knew Dad was the one. Mum told her that she had this incredible peace about dad even before they got married. “She said that when I meet him, I will know. That sounded like a storybook kind of thing to me at that time. But true to mum’s words, when I met him I had the peace she had talked about, I had never felt like that before.”

But she still continued in her ‘Jonah way’. She stuck to Kyle.

Even then, she tells me that God still pursued her. She was deep in the middle of the troubled seas still insisting on her way when out of nowhere, one of her best friends told her that she was in the wrong relationship. She didn’t want to hear any of it. Before she left the college meet up she had a conversation with one of her mentors. When she discussed the two guys with her, the mentor did not choose Kyle. She was torn!

That night she decided to ask God for one last sign. “I told the Lord that if the man He had kept telling me about was mine, then it should rain.” She says.

Mungu ni nani? He answered.

That night, it didn’t rain, it poured! It was like God was waiting for the cue. The rain didn’t even ease in the morning. For avoidance of doubt, it rained till noon the following day.

Avery needed one more sign though. On her way back, she asked the Lord again, that Kyle break up with her if he wasn’t hers. She had used this kind of prayer countless times and it had always worked.

It didn’t happen immediately.

A few months later though she noticed that he had become withdrawn. She knew that his sister had been unwell, but she also knew that that was the beginning of the end. When they finally talked about it, he said that he’d been thinking about their relationship. He wanted to break up but she wanted to hold on. He had his way.

A break up would ideally mean that something gets removed from another but what do you do when you work in the same place with the person you have broken up with? They went to church together and served in the same team. They met in almost all church events. “I couldn’t stop coming to church, I was too committed.” She says. Being around him all the time didn’t help. She couldn’t heal. It was an awkward place to be.

“It wasn’t easy. It took a toll on me and I slid into depression.” Avery says.

“It was one of the hardest times. I had never been depressed before and I would never wish it on anyone. I wasn’t eating. I would wake up, listen to this song “Ekweume”, cry in the shower, pick myself up, go about my day and come back home to repeat the same drill. That became my life.” She says.

I ask her about her bout of depression. She reminisces that she couldn’t talk to anyone other than God about what she was going through.

“He was the only one I would go crying to. Yet, in spite of the fact that this was my doing, He never even once told me “I told you so”. That even now amazing me.” Says Avery.

Kyle wanted to be there for her. “But how was that going to work?” She asks me. “At first I wanted to talk to him but then I saw that we weren’t helping each other. In the outside I was fine! I was jolly, and going about my day. I would go for rehearsals so that I could at least see him. I wanted to hate him but I couldn’t bring myself to.”

“The church can be the worst place when things go wrong for you.” She says. “I would hear words spoken behind my back. That hurt. The place where I was meant to find solace wasn’t comforting at all. Pain was coming to me from every direction.”

“Are you over Kyle now? How did you get over it?” I ask Avery.

“I asked God to get me out of the country for a few weeks and He answered. When I traveled the space healed me. I came home fresh. I could pray again. We were now at a good place with God. I was ready to listen and follow what He wanted me to do.” She tells me.

I am curious to know how Kyle is. Whether they still talk, and what happened to “Mister Right.” She tells me that Kyle is married now. They still talk. He regrets leaving her, she doesn’t.

About Mister Right? “We ended up together! Turns out that God was right after all.” She says glowingly.

We all have “Jonah escapades.” Those times when we feel brave enough to call God’s bluff and walk away huffing and puffing. But we always come back.

Thing is, we always lose. You can’t play against the man upstairs and win.

He’s always right.



In other news… Leo appreciates that so many ladies here want his number but he tells me that he’s not healed enough to date. Give him time. Keep sending the stories

  1. True…u can never win against the man upstairs. Its easier and healthier to just walk in the path He has choosen for you.
    The ‘in other news’ bit is hilarious😂

  2. I love the way God does not give up on us.. I always thank Him for that…
    Btw… ambia Leo ye ni celeb sasa🤣🤣🤣🤣…lakini you really sold him.

  3. That rain that poured till noon the following day for avoidance of doubt 😂😂. That was one big sign. Very hard to be missed. 😂

  4. A very similar experience! Anyone who believes in God and wait on Him is the safest being ever!… God does everything to protect them from situations hard to understand at the moment… Only later when one realises that it was God protection joy, peace and humbleness takes over…

    Always we should be very very keen to hear God’s voice just to escape hurtbreaks,

  5. May we learn to hear and abide when He talks to us. He did not create us to live our plans…hafanyi hiyo biashara kichaa….. He has good plans for us. We only need to hear and abide….toughest route.

  6. Hmmmmmm, Jonah Jonah we’ve all been here somehow…. Meanwhile she should stop talking to Kyle and let him figure out his marriage. The other woman, ) Kyle’s wife) would not be happy if she knew her husband is telling his ex that he regrets marrying her. It’s not a good thing to keep such kind of a relationship .. it can be harmful to their marriages. My opinion 🤗

  7. Hehehe easier said than done… God always knows best, He knows the end from the beginning. Hilarious though, Avery! Leo take your time!

  8. More Grace to Kyle and more of joy to Avery.To each their own! This you have addressed in the real rawness it deserves.Lakini kama ni mimi Avery nahama kanisa 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

  9. Boiling eggs on social media-yep, that’s me!

    Funny how girls can pursue a relationship knowing very well it won’t work out. Actually, not so funny.

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