My post on ‘Sleeping your way to the top’ reminded me of this story. For NYSC (A mandatory 1 year paramilitary service in Nigeria where you are posted to a state different from yours to work usually in a rural setting), I had lots of adventures. I was posted to a village in the Niger Delta, whose health centre had always been run by a nurse. She was surprised but happy to see me. They delivered skeletal services and she came from the town 3 times a week. I told her I needed accommodation, so she took me to the village head.
He was a dark, tall and stocky man in his 40s. Once I was introduced, he made an exclamation in his language (which I didn’t understand). It didn’t need interpretation. His wife(from within the house), began scolding him loudly and he laughed. He promised to rent a room for me and deliver fresh fish to me daily. Next he collected my number (to keep in touch), and told me I was highly welcome. I left the village fearful. Obviously, my medical skills were not required as much as ‘other’ skills, I need not mention. Therefore, I began to pray for a change.
While the accommodation was being prepared, and my phone being bugged daily by the village head, a miracle occured. The male nurse I worked with in the orientation camp clinic, was an elderly man. One day, he had severe abdominal pain from peptic ulcer. I felt so concerned because of his age and went all out to ensure he had food to eat, before taking his drugs. At a point, I had to spoon feed him since there was no other nurse on duty. He never forgot it.
Turns out he was a chief in his village (who would have thought). The doctor posted to their health centre absconded since the village had no electricity. He convinced their king to request that I be posted to them. Before I knew it, a letter was written to the NYSC authorities, with the King’s seal, requesting me personally. I was therefore sent to give the local co-ordinator my new posting letter to that effect.
What surprised me, was that everyone, from the NYSC state staff, to the local staff kept asking me how I met this King. I narrated the above story but they all snorted. One particular woman told me to my face that I should be careful how I dated older men. I got tired of protesting my innocence. Coming from strangers, it was less painful. However, a colleague also wanted to be posted to this health centre. He told me to either decline or ask for both of us to get the job, as he needed the freedom it would give him. The pay would be higher and he would report to no one. Prior to this, he was posted to a secondary health institution where he would answer to many senior doctors.
The king insisted he wanted to try a lady, as they had never had one and all. I thought the matter ended there. Few months later, I went for a free medical treatment scheme sponsored by an NGO. They paid us a stipend to provide our services for 1 week in a village only accessible by boat. One of the dentists who came with us, had worked with me at the orientation camp. He began to narrate his bitter experience at the hands of the colleague who had contested my job with me.
It turns out my colleague reported him for sneaking off to do the free medical treatment scheme since he was not invited. Meanwhile, the dentist had told him in confidence, that he arranged for another doctor to cover his duty. Full of regret, he apologized to me for believing the lies that one spread about me.
“Do you know he said you slept with the king of that village? Everyone heard it. In fact, I not only believed, I help spread the story”, he confessed.
“But we worked together. Did I give you any reason to believe I would stoop to such measures?” I asked.
“You know how it is. Many girls do whatever it takes. I just thought you were pretending earlier”
“I feel so foolish. Look how he has showed his true colours. I am in danger of getting a query or a sack, because I trusted him”
“Never trust a gossip”, I laughed.
Yes, I laughed. You see, the bible says “Why do the heathen rage? He who sits in the heavens shall laugh!”
I shared this to remind you, you don’t need to make it your headache to prove people wrong about you.
Are you doing the best you can?
Is someone insinuating otherwise?
Do you wonder why the conversation changes when you enter the room?
As long as your conscience is clear, please wait for God to vindicate you. I know what I went through that period. This is not familiar terrain because I was fresh out of medical school and had never encountered such evil. Remember that in school, everyone knows what you can do. But, God gave me the courage to forgive and to let go.
Today, I urge you, let go of bitterness and move on. Peace means that a storm could be raging, but you’re just sitting on Jesus’ laps, munching fries. Munch on then, munch on.