‘The Gifted Child’
Charlotte often wondered about her name. She was named by her grandmother and was called Lotte’ by her friends. She would ask her grandmother “Nana why such a long name?” Her grandmother would tell her that her name was revealed to her one night by an angel. “An angel nana?” “Wow” she would think, “I am so special”. “Yes you are and one day you will find out just how much” her grandmother answered. When Charlotte was 6 years of age she learned about God, how kind, forgiving, loving he was to those He loved. This was taught to her in Sabbath School, she also realised that she was a little different from other kids in her class. She loved to sing and listened to the children stories taught in Sabbath school. This made her happy.
Charlotte received a pet turtle from her grandmother because she loved pets and she especially loved turtles. Lotte called him Mr. Brown Shell- because of the colour of his shell of course. She would play with him and feed him the right food for a turtle. She did this every day with the guidance of her mother or grandmother and her turtle grew nicely. One day she woke up to feed her turtle but he wasn’t moving, he was as still as a rock. She burst into her parents’ room screaming “Mr. Brown Shell is dead”, with tears streaming down her face. Her mother and father looked at each other and leaped from their bed and raced back to Lotte’s room. Sadly, they had to confirm that the pet turtle had indeed died. Lotte was so sad, she sobbed uncontrollably for what seemed like hours. Her mom tried to cheer her up but it didn’t work. Her parents had to keep her home from school that day so that she could grieve.
Charlotte learned about prayer in Sabbath School and her parents taught her about bedtime prayers and prayers before eating. Each night she would pray her special night time prayer.
She had asked her parents if she could bury her pet in the back garden that day and they agreed. They placed Mr. Brown-Shell in a box that fitted him perfectly and chose a spot beneath a shady tree to bury it. The little girl asked if she could say something before they placed some dirt on top of the box and her parents said yes. Lotte then started praying and asking God to bring back her turtle so that she can take care of it. Her parents stared at each other and thought oh no! However, while they were just about to tell her that her pet turtle wasn’t coming back, the box moved. Everyone stared at the box as it stirred in the ground. They were both afraid and perplexed at the same time. Lotte’s dad took the box up and opened it. There was Mr. Brown-Shell blinking at them with wide eyes. Lotte screamed for joy and shouted, “thank you Lord for answering my prayer!” Mom and dad stared at each other in amazement, “what just happened?” asked dad. “I am not sure”, answered mom quietly. What both knew was that the turtle was dead before and now it is alive, how could that be? Did the prayer actually worked or was the turtle just playing dead? They were both puzzled and bewildered but didn’t press the matter.
Lotte was super excited and ran to her grandmother to tell her what happened. Her Nana smiled and hugged her grand-daughter because she knew this was only the beginning of more amazing miracles to come by her gifted grandchild.
‘An unusual Love story – The Beginning‘
Deeply reading her book on the express train to Banbury, Stasia hadn’t noticed that a young man had sat across from her until she heard ‘hi’. She looked up slightly startled and replied ‘hi’, briefly smiling then returning to her book. The young man went on to say ‘that book must be really interesting!’ Stasia nodded in agreement and peeped above the top of her book to look at him as she does.
The young man continued by saying, ‘my name is John, what’s yours?’ She politely lowered her book and said ‘Stasia!’ He extended his hand and said ‘nice to meet you.’ Stasia stared at his hand for a while before replying, ‘nice to meet you’, without shaking it. John withdrew his hands then asked ‘Don’t you shake hands?’ Stasia replied, ‘I do, but only when I have hand-gel, and since I hadn’t anticipated such a meeting as this I am ill prepared.’ Her comment made John smile, his smile was cute, he had perfectly straight teeth.
John didn’t allow that mishap to stop him from speaking to Stasia. He wanted to know about her. He wondered where she was going and about the book she was reading since she had the cover folded inward. He started to probe slightly but politely and Stasia decided she would answer without going too deep, after all, she didn’t know this man, he could be a starker or one of those weirdos who act nice at first and then becomes a nightmare. She did answer however about the book she was reading. The book she read was written by Doug Batchelor the Seventh Day pastor of Amazing Facts! The moment she answered the book became the topic of discussion, they both had found out they were Protestant Seventh Day Adventist, what a coincidence! or was it?
John explained that he got on the train and felt drawn to sit by her, instead he sat across from her since that seat was empty. He declared that while looking around for seats he felt a small push to walk a little bit further down the aisle and then was led to her seat. What does she reply to that? Was this man spilling hot ash just because she had said she is a Christian? She knows the enemy can play games, but she also has the gift of discernment! However, at this moment she wasn’t sure if she should believe his story! Stasia looked out the window to avert the eyes of John who had just spoken words to her that she wasn’t quite sure to believe. John apologised to her because he felt that a moment of uncomfortableness had appeared. He then spoke up and said, ‘I think you are beautiful, I see it in your eyes, I am not just talking about your face but your heart. I can see that it is your desire to love the Lord and serve Him fully and that makes you beautiful and refreshing to me.’ Stasia smiled, and sat back in her seat, she then thought to herself, ‘what am I hearing?’ Thank you, she replied humbly and shyly. ‘Yes!’ She replied ‘all you have said is true.’ She decided to ask him about himself to get the attention off of her. ‘So John, she asked, tell me something about you?’ John revealed that he was actually a Youth Pastor at an SDA church in Birmingham. ‘What?’ No way she excitedly exclaimed, ‘yes way’, John retorted.
Their conversation from that moment flowed constantly, she wanted to find out about his journey to his faith and how he became a Youth Pastor. He answered all of her many questions which she found intriguing and piqued her interest even more, they both had sat enjoying each others company and decided to exchange numbers to keep in contact. This was something Stasia didn’t normally do, but this guy was surprisingly one she didn’t hesitate to exchange numbers with. Her stop was coming up shortly and she almost regretted it. They said their goodbye and promised to call each other. Stasia waved to John as she departed the train onto the platform and disappeared around the corner to meet her friend Nicollette who was waiting on her. Stasia and her friend were glad to see each other. They chatted until they were exhausted. Stasia told her friend about her encounter and the interesting train journey she just had. Nicollette was enthused about it all and hoped her friend would at least give this guy a chance since she has had a tough time for many years after separation and eventually divorce and had given up on men and didn’t trust them. She knew her friend very well and so she bravely stated, ‘Stasia, I think that if he asks you out you should go!’
Stasia agreed to Nicollette’s surprise and they both giggled like school girls. The next day while sipping her tea Stasia’s phone rang and it was John, she was pleasantly surprised and they spoke for a while before he asked her out to brunch the next day in a town nearby. She didn’t accept right away but told him she will confirm after speaking with her friend whom she had travelled to see. He agreed and they hung up. After speaking with Nicollette, Stasia rang John and agreed to the meeting the next day. Stasia hadn’t prayed yet about this encounter with John and decided that she needed to before meeting him purposefully. She always allowed the Holy Spirit to guide her thoughts, and her life. She had a feeling this was the work of the Lord because He heard her prayers, but she also knew the devil can intersect prayers. Stasia and John met for brunch the next day in a quaint little shop that offered vegetarian and gluten-free food. They were both happy to see each other and sat down and started to chat and laughed as if they were old friends. The day was perfect, it was May Spring Bank Holiday and the environment was filled with the beauty of Spring and a ray of warmish sunshine that made all the difference. They could both feel this is the beginning of something great, something special and something that will belong to God first and then them – the beginning of love!
John and Stasia had been dating for 6 months now and even though they lived in separate cities they ensured that they saw each other at least every other week. They would meet somewhere in the middle, mostly Sundays since they were both Seventh Day Adventist. It was always great to see him. She was surprised at herself for still having an interest in John after all these months. She had really changed from being intolerant to men and having no patience, she smiled at herself as she thought it. They would laugh and chat and speak at great length about the future. John wanted to get married. Which was good to hear Stasia thought, after all she was a great catch.
Stasia invited John to her church as a guest. He would spend the day as a visitor, fellowshipping with her and her friends. She told her adopted big sis Shermain about him and of course a feast was being prepared. That week Stasia was a bit nervous but Shermain help to calm her nerves. Shermain had many question about John, how come Stasia didn’t tell her earlier? Nevertheless she was happy for her and wanted to make a good impression on John. The Sabbath came and Stasia was excited and nervous, she hadn’t really told anyone about her boyfriend the youth pastor. She also felt a little bit uncomfortable because she didn’t like the spotlight to be on her.
That Sabbath she dressed exceptionally well, ensuring she had covered all areas of exposed flesh, but in a dress that made her look classy and delectable. She had minimal make-up, a clear lip and of course her natural curls. They had agreed that John would make his way there since a train station was only 10 mins away. He arrived promptly at 10 am and was greeted and showed inside. Stasia was on her way with her church family, including Shermain, she announced to them about her 6 month dating life and about who John was. They all wanted to ask questions but was genuinely pleased for her. John was already seated inside when Stasia and her family arrived, she quickly went inside and scanned the room for John’s familiar face. He must have sensed her because he turned immediately as she walked through the door. They hugged and she took him outside to greet her family. They went to sit in her usual spot and greeted Domonique whom she sat beside each Sabbath and were friends with. Stasia was popular at church and so it was noticed when she sat with this handsome young man. John was just about 6 feet tall, low cut hair, chiseled cheekbone, strong shoulders and long arms. He dressed immaculately and always stood out. That day he looked exceptionally good, and smelled devine. He had a great sense of humour which was important to Stasia since she loved to laugh. John’s smile lit up whenever he looked at her, she would blush beneath his gaze and lower her eyes until her flush went away.
John whispered to Stasia that he knew the pastor of the church, of course, Stasia thought, but she hadn’t even allowed it to entered her mind before. She a little surprised but not shocked since John was indeed from Guyanese background. Her pastor was also from Guyana. That Sabbath her pastor was the one delivering the message and decided to give John a shout out as he normally does when he sees anyone he knows. That sermon was amazing and lit up the hearts of those who attended, pastor was a blessed man and when he preaches hearts were touched. He was gifted! John and Stasia went to see him after the service. John explained that they were seeing each other for 6 months, he told pastor how they met and how much they were in love. Stasia’s pastor was pleasantly surprised and expressed his joy for them both. John told him that he had already spoken with his pastor at length and that there will be an announcement at his church the following month when he preaches. John asked if they could have a similar announcement after it was made public at his church in Birmingham, Stasia’s pastor agreed and shook John’s hand and hugged her with delight. Things were moving quickly and she felt dizzy at the thought of marrying and building a happy life with someone else. She was happy but nervous. Her and John had spoken about marriage, her past, his past, fears, worries etc, he was a great communicator and tried always to ease her troubled thoughts with positive words. They both trusted God and placed Him first. They both knew they had prayed for something beautiful and they found it in each other. They had lunch with pastor and the rest of her friends who by now was eager to find out who Stasia’s mysterious guest was. They were surprised that she had a boyfriend and expressed this in unison!Especially Shenise, who exclaimed ”you naughty girl, you didn’t tell me” They were all delighted for her and were very friendly towards him as they are towards any stranger who comes to the church.
The rest of the Sabbath afternoon went by in a blur, it was so different having him there. She introduced John to those individuals she had a special connection with. They had a sociable afternoon, however, Stasia wanted to have a bit of time with just her John. She took him walking around the block so that they could have some quality time together. She was happy and held on to his arm as they walked. They spoke about everything and nothing. He invited her to meet his family, they had already known about her from the first time they met. She felt incredibly blessed and so did he. As they walked and held hands she felt like a young school girl, they walked silently for a few minuets until he stopped her and bent to kiss her. They hugged and walked back to the church, since it was soon time for him to leave. He said goodbye to everyone and they walked to the train station together hand in hand. Stasia felt sad but had a lasting joy within her. She like the idea of being with John, it felt good. “call me when you get home?” ”of course darling!” he answered before hugging her and kissing her cheek. They both knew that they were in love and wanted to be together, however, before that could happen they had to ensure they seek counselling, have meetings with the families, be grilled by her sisters, whom were 4 in total and very protective, she hadn’t told them about him yet. She knew she must! Stasia and John knew that they were many things beside sexual attraction and emotions, therefore they must be prepared.
As Stasia walked back to the church she felt good inside, a warm glow came upon her and she pondered about the future. She knew she loved this man and she realised that this was the love she was missing and never had. She had joy and happiness before meeting him, those things weren’t required from him. Now she had love, loyalty and trust. She felt complete. Stasia stood outside the church before going in, Shermaine, Domonique and Shenise came outside to meet her. They all hugged and chatted about the day’s event. The women encouraged her and she felt great about John coming to visit.
Stasia’s life was just about to get even more amazing.
Original piece Written by
Images by Google