The year 2020 left me confused and angry, I ended the year with tears and bitterness, but God stepped in. I never prioritized the role of mental health until I came face to face with a situation that almost destroyed my happiness.
April 2020, I took a job that affected my mental health. My life was in chaos, and every day, I asked myself why I had taken this job. Let me not spill all the juice yet.
I shared this story on the latest episode of the Naked with Onome podcast. As the year ends, I want you to know that you are a big deal, and it is okay to take a step back to restrategize.
Nothing is worth losing your mental health over.
Thank you for sticking with me and for believing in me. It means a lot to me.
Life comes in ways we don’t expect and sometimes the only words you can speak is tears.
I met Damilola Agboola recently, we were in a programme and we were talking about pains, she raised her hands and said she has a story to share. By the time Damilola and her husband were done sharing their story, we were all moved.
Her story was emotional and I knew in that instant she had to share her story on Naked with Onome Podcast. The Lord had been speaking to me about starting a series on sharing testimonies and I have been struggling because I am in my season of pain but after interviewing Damilola I knew that God has better plans for me and this podcast is blessing me.
Tolulope has been a lady I’ve always admired from afar, she
knows what she wants, and she keeps going for it. She is that person who will
give you some tough love and at the same time cheer you on when you are succeeding.
I interviewed her when she was getting married, and the joy she had was undeniable, but what happens when after your wedding, a baby is not coming? I tried my best not to have this conversation with her because fertility is a very sensitive topic.
I never knew Tolu was fighting some silent battle. I loved
how she always showed up to celebrate with her friends who had a baby. I was
over the moon when a mutual friend told me, “Tolu gave birth”. Tolu
reached out to me some weeks ago and said she would like to share her
My prayer is that this testimony spurs your faith to trust
Onome: Let’s meet you and how long have you been married?
Tolu: I’m Toluwalope Matthew, and I’ve been married for
2years and 5months.
Onome: How has the journey been?
Tolu: I will say with God the journey has been smooth.
People indeed find it hard to share the good sides of their marriage; all we
hear about is the turbulent ones. It has been a period of growth in all aspects
of my life.
Onome: Hmmm….. I hope we can change that perspective.
Tolu: Yes, we can, and we will.
Onome: What’s your greatest challenge about marriage?
Tolu: Hmmm…. my greatest challenge was the difficulty in
accepting my new location. Moving from an urban area to a semi-rural area with
little or no opportunity is not a child’s play.
Let’s talk about your waiting
Onome: How long did you, and what was it like waiting?
Tolu: We waited for a year 6months.
Waiting, waiting, where do I start from Onome? is it from a
monthly period or counting ovulation or cramping. It was not easy. I
practically counted my period days and made sure I stayed indoors so I won’t
show myself to the world.
The environment where I find myself even has its stigma. If
you have been married for months or years without a child, most people address
you as ‘iyawo’. So when you find yourself in gatherings and they say ‘iyawo’,
everyone knows no child yet.
Or is it concerns from family or friends? Well, I believe
none of them knew their concerns came as pressure indirectly, and that alone
leaves one with silent thinking. I remember getting in touch with an
undergraduate roommate in 500l when I was in 100l, she also had a delay, and
her experience helped me put myself together.
Onome: Did you ever felt like God left you?
Tolu: No, I never felt God had left me. Never. Physically
speaking, I was so anxious for this miracle but spiritually speaking, I knew
God was preparing me for something extraordinary, even though I don’t know how
long it will take.
Onome: How did your husband support you all through the
Tolu: My husband and my immediate family are my special gift from God. I am incredibly grateful for the gift of in-laws too. My father and mother-in-law were just so supportive; they were a shoulder to lean on—their care whenever they hear me down lifts up my soul. My husband stood by me all through. When I insisted on going for fertility tests, he declined but supported me afterwards since I told him it would give me peace.
Onome: How was your miracle birthed?
I had multiple urinary tract infection
(UTI) in secondary school. It was left untreated until I got to the
university. In my final year, I got involved in a running competition. I fell
on my stomach, I began to bleed, and it was not properly treated because I
visited a general doctor and not a gynaecologist.
Less than 3years
after, I got diagnosed with an ovarian cyst. It was treated early enough, a
year after (2019) fibroid was detected, and in 2020, we began our fertility
journey, went through all the processes, and it was fine.
I had to proceed to take a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) which is
meant to determine the potency of the fallopian tubes; before I continue, my
HSG scan was torture. I went to heaven and came back o. Hsg was deadly for me.
After the test was over, my husband told me that no more fertility test. He
told me I was more important to him than a million kids.
Hmmm, after the test, I got the shocker of my life. I was
told my two tubes were blocked, and the only solution was to go for In vitro fertilization (IVF).
It was a rude shock. My husband stood by me. He made sure we
kept it within ourselves and built our faith. I started getting depressed. I
cannot just count or express the support, but the truth remains that there are
still good men.
I enrolled in a fashion academy about an hour 30mins from my
location. My husband was willing to let me go for anything that will help me
gain my sanity.
I enrolled in July. I got back home excited and very busy
cutting clothes. I had my last period that same month.
It was indeed a miracle. It was the least expected. It is
only God that can say how it was birthed. But in all, positively, prayer seeds
were sown by different people, financial seeds were sown, faith was built,
relationships were built too.
Onome: Wao!!! God is undoubtedly a miracle worker. What
would you say is the biggest lesson you have learnt on this journey?
Tolu: The biggest lesson I learnt while waiting is to hold
on to God, turn deaf ears to negativity, gain my complete sanity. In all, I am
indeed grateful for the gift of motherhood. It is an opportunity I will forever
cherish. The waiting is worth it when I sight my bundle of joy.
Onome: How did you feel after delivery?
Tolu: Truth ehn, I
wasn’t so conscious the first day. But after naming when I got stronger, even
when he gets cranky at night and I want to get frustrated cos of sleepless
nights, I just look at him and thank him for coming and thank God for the gift.
Onome, sometimes, waiting helps you appreciate God the more.
I won’t know when I
will burst into singing or just begin thanking God for the baby. It’s not as if
I don’t get weak because I have sleepless nights but remembering how much prayers,
fasting, pains I just can’t help but thank God.
Onome: How did you handle the pressure?
Tolu: The main pressure I experienced was environmental
pressure sha. God didn’t allow room for family pressure but seeing the status
of people that just got married or someone talking to you about his or her
kids, and all can be overwhelming. Though not negatively o, I tried not to give
room for envy; that’s why I remind myself that everyone has their time.
Onome: What would you say to anyone waiting?
Tolu: I sincerely pray for everyone waiting that God gives
you double for your trouble and link you with people with the right mind.
While waiting, seek medical attention (gynaecologist or
fertility specialist), get busy, pray, pray, pray and pray, have a mind of your
own because advice will come, speak out to people who are willing to hear and understand
Onome: Thank you for sharing your testimony Tolu.
Tolu: It’s a pleasure, and it’s a promise I made to God that
if He blesses me, I will share the testimony, and so it’s a big honour doing
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their
strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be
weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31 KJV.
Nothing is exciting about the process of waiting, it is demanding, and a lot of times, it is filled with tears. The beauty of waiting is when you get results. You forget about the pain when the answer comes.
I don’t know what you are trusting God for today but let
Tolu’s testimony encourage that joy comes in the morning.
If you are friends or a family member to young women who
just got married or are trying to conceive, please be sensitive with them and
don’t put pressure on them. Children are the heritage of the lord, and parents
should have them at the right time. Let’s encourage each other and shield our
women from societal and environmental pressure.
Let Tolu’s testimony increase your faith because God is
writing your story, and I know it will be a marvellous testimony.
Worship is something I enjoy doing, especially when I’m not
in the best mood. It always makes me feel like I just slapped the devil in his
face. Worship is my therapy when I’m sad, and even when I’m happy, it gives me
this peace and joy I can’t explain.
I remember worshipping and praying one day, and the Lord
said to me, “Whatever happens, always find your way back here” that
day, I felt new, and I felt loved. On this journey of faith, there is a lot the
Lord is teaching me, and I’m always excited to share the lessons.
You can’t get it wrong in the place of worship. When it gets
tough and you don’t know what to do, enter into the place of worship, submit to
His will and watch how He comes through for you.
These past months some songs have spoken to me in ways I’ve
never imagined. These songs are my go-to songs, and each time I worship, I have
my faith strengthened and renewed.
The songs are:
Nobody by Tim Godfrey ft Ntonzo Mbambo
Jireh by Maverick city &Elevation Music ft
Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine
You’re Gonna get the glory by Tasha Cobbs
One moment by Freke Umoh
Hymn Medley by Maveric city ft Chandler Moore
Victory belongs to Jesus by Ric Hassani ft
Called out music and Frank Edwards
Yah by Dunsin Oyekan
I’ll be here
Isaiah song by Maverick city ft Chandler Moore
Olorun Agbaye by Nathaniel Bassey ft Chandler
Moore and Oba
Click play and enjoy a time of worship
When listening to these songs, let your faith be activated,
key into the messages and watch how Papa comes to dine with you. Oh, don’t
forget to go into His presence with a pen and a jotter. He is always ready to
talk to you.
You can download each song by clicking the download icon by the side of each song
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. Yeah, it’s been a
whole year I came to give you the news of getting married, and it’s been a
journey. Honestly, nothing has stretched me like marriage. I have grown,
learned a lot, and unlearnt some things, and I’m still growing on this journey.
I want to share with you quickly five major lessons I’ve
learned in my first year.
YOUR MARRIAGE IS WHAT YOU CALL IT
When I was getting married, I heard different things from
different people. Everybody has an opinion to give newlyweds, which I think is
not bad but you have to sieve what you hear. Some people told me the first year
would be the hardest, and others said it would be easy. The people who said it
would be hard have their reasons, and honestly, I fed on those words, and I
found myself always afraid of what’s going to happen.
When we had no conflict, I was scared because I felt the
peace was never going last. It took me a while to deal with this fear. I want
to urge you if you are about to get married, protect your heart and declare
what you want. I think the first year is the learning year, but at the same
time, it can be sweet. The question is, what do you want?
I AM NOT A SUPERWOMAN
Ouch! This truth hurts. I grew up doing everything by
myself, and it’s the reason I broke down quickly. Marriage is a partnership,
and that is the whole point. After we got married, I noticed I was doing too much.
I had a full-time job, a blog to run, a podcast, and other commitments, so I
got tired quickly. All I had to do was ask for help. When I started asking my
husband to help with some things, I felt better. I know you have been raised to
be a home keeper, but you can’t do it all by yourself. It’s okay to ask for
help. I find it easier when I’m cooking, and my husband is keeping me company.
It lightens my burden. Women, it is okay to ask for help! You are not a
MEN AND WOMEN COMMUNICATE DIFFERENTLY
You will learn this in marriage counseling, but the real
deal happens when you enter into marriage. The way you communicate is different
from your partner. I’m the one who wants to bear it all out, but my husband, on
the other hand, wants to spend some time thinking about it before he voices
out, so I find out that I get angry when he doesn’t tell me things on time. We
had a talk about it, and we came to a middle ground, marriage is communication.
Don’t expect your partner to communicate the same way you do. If you are not
okay with anything, talk about it. Giving your partner silent treatment is not
a wise decision. Talk about it.
DON’T TRY TO CHANGE YOUR PARTNER
This was a lesson I had to learn. For a long time, I wanted
my husband to do things in my way. Let me give you an example. I believe in
doing things ASAP, I don’t like it when decisions are taking a long time, but
my husband, on the other hand, takes his time. He spends time analyzing and
calculating the risks involved. This act would annoy me, but I noticed that he
doesn’t like it when I forced him to make decisions on my terms. I had to sit
down and understand the differences. Your partner cannot be you, so don’t force
them to be like you. If you married yourself life would be boring so celebrate
YOU NEED JESUS
If you don’t remember anything, please do not forget this
lesson. You cannot run marriage without God. You need the Holy Spirit. Forget
about the paparazzi married people display on social media. It takes the help
of God to keep a good home. You are two different people from different
backgrounds trying to build a life together, so there would be frictions. We
have had fights this first year that I thought would last for weeks but what we
realize is that by the time we are on day two, the HolySpirit is dealing with
us individually, and by the end of day two, we are apologizing and promising to
Marriage is beautiful, and I can tell you that it’s fun, but
the real deal is getting it right. Being on this journey with my partner has
been blissful, and I can tell you that the wait is worth it. There are still
good marriages, and yours would not be an exception.
I look forward to sharing and celebrating your love story.