OPEYEMI: BEAUTY FOR ASHES
“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” Isaiah 61: 3 NKJV
Writing Opeyemi’s story gives me bittersweet memories. We were friends from afar before we got close in 2018 when a mutual friend recommended her services. She became my hairstylist and we got really close.
I always knew there was more to her, so when she called me last month and said, “Onome, I want to share my story”, I knew the time had come. Listening to her while she shared her story, gave me a lot of emotional chills. I cried and wondered but at the end of the story, something stood out, and that is the fact that “God is good and His mercies endureth forever”
I want you to read this story and see a woman who was broken but not despaired, struck down but not destroyed. A woman who went through the fire but came out stronger, one who God loves.
Grab your bottle of orange juice and let’s meet Opeyemi Oguntimeyin nee Olagunju.
Onome: Tell us a little about yourself
Opeyemi: I’m Opeyemi Oguntimeyin nee Olagunju. I’m a businesswoman, I love money, please. I’m married to an amazing man who is a pastor and I am a full-time child of God
Onome: What was growing up like?
Opeyemi: Wasn’t fun, had so many memories but looking back I think everything worked together for good. I started looking up to men early to meet my needs, my parents were not poor; we were comfortable. When a need arose and my parents could not meet up, I had a man I could call that would meet that need.
Onome: If I may ask, when did you start looking up to men to meet your needs?
Opeyemi: I lost my virginity to rape. There was a young guy around my compound, who kept having sex with me at a young age; that was when I was within age 11 and 15. I became wild and started going out with guys when I was 15. Within age 15 and 17, I had slept with about 10 guys and three married men, just to get money. In fact not just for my needs but to also help others.
Onome: (At this point I was crying) I’m so sorry you had to go through that but would you say you were addicted to sex?
Opeyemi: Yes I was, couldn’t go a week without sex. Along the line I got pregnant by one of my older boyfriends, I tried getting rid of the pregnancy but was unable to do that. That was how I had my first son. It was a disgrace on my part then but after giving my life to Christ, it became a blessing to me and my family.
Onome: How did your parents react when they found out you were pregnant?
Opeyemi: Hmmm…my mum, a mother I can’t trade for anything, accepted me with all her heart, but my wonderful dad, being disappointed in me at first, was so bitter and he angrily told me to move to the man’s house.
Onome: What did you do at this point?
Opeyemi: My mom kept on pleading that he should let me stay. I kept crying because I didn’t know what to do.
Onome: Did people stigmatise, did your friends laugh at you?
Opeyemi: Yes, a lot of them. In fact, I almost cried my eyes out.
Onome: So sorry. Did the father of the baby accept responsibility?
Opeyemi: The father of the baby accepted the responsibility and was providing what he could afford for a particular period, but suddenly he stopped. When I realized, I told him I couldn’t marry him. My sister, that was just the tip of the iceberg oo! There’s a lot more to say.
Onome: (Sigh) We are here for the story. Please take your time (At this point we were both getting emotional).
Opeyemi: I started sleeping with different men and boys after I stopped breastfeeding my son. There were times I slept with two or three men in a day, I masturbated and In fact, I tried lesbianism once. I just couldn’t stop myself. I travelled to different places like Lagos, Abuja, Minna and a lot more to meet with men I had never seen before.
Onome: Did you at any point, abort a pregnancy?
Opeyemi: The first time I aborted, it was painful. I even landed in the hospital but at a point, I got used to it until Christ himself saved me. I had nothing less than 10 abortions, 6 D &Cs and the rest with drugs. I went for nursing training which exposed me to all the drugs I could use instead of going through the stress of D&C. Onome Jesus loves me, that’s all I can say.
Onome: How and when did you get born again?
Opeyemi: I love to answer that question with a smile because that was how I experienced a sudden change in my life. I got born of Christ totally, and finally in the year 2017, with my husband’s help, I received the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It happened through a phone conversation also, all just within a space of three months.
Onome: How did you meet your husband?
Opeyemi: I have been waiting for this to come. I met my husband at my brother’s wedding. I was to serve his food that day, he appreciated me and my stature. That was how the friendship started, but it was just a lustful friendship. We had to break up our friendship for a while, I guess it’s the Lord’s doing, in order to make the relationship a pure one because we were already lusting after each other, but we didn’t date. We came in contact again in the first month in January of 2017.
Onome: How did you guys start dating?
Opeyemi: We were just discussing on phone that day and he asked me a strange question, “Can you marry a pastor?” I never wanted to marry a pastor but I told him to let the will of God be done. I was not born again then oo! but I was tired of the promiscuous lifestyle. So my behaviour had reduced to the minimum, you know as a normal worldly person, one boyfriend at a time. So he told me to go and pray about it, which I did but what I did not understand, was how someone would have peace about an issue when you are not saved? Because I had peace to go with him when I prayed about him that was how we started.
He gave me different books and asked me to read the Bible every day, starting from the new testament and explain what I read in the book, then take pictures and send it to him every day. Until one day, I told him I masturbated and he asked if I have given my life to Christ, I said yes but no more in Christ; so he led me to Christ that day. Onome, 2017 was the year the Lord changed my story.
Onome: After you got born again, did you still have sex?
Opeyemi: Yes I did but with a man. Truth is, addiction is not something you just stop, it’s gradual. I had sex four or five times before my wedding.
Onome: Was it with your husband?
Opeyemi: My husband fulfilled his promise to abstain from sex until we got married but I did not. I had sex anytime I needed something urgently and it was delaying.
Onome: Was your husband aware you did this?
Opeyemi: I confessed to my husband and he forgave me. Each time I messed up I felt bad but I was relieved when I confessed to him and we moved on.
Onome: When would you say you stopped?
Opeyemi: I just knew it was gradual but a few months to my wedding I stopped totally. I honestly think I’m a product of grace. God loves me and He is a merciful father. I saw God’s love through my husband. I kept messing up but he chose to stay with me. We got married 22nd September 2018 and God gave us a son in June 2020. Like I said I’m a product of God’s love.
Onome: Thank you for sharing your story Opeyemi. Hope you don’t mind me interviewing your husband for a follow up of this story?
Opeyemi: He is looking forward to it. He was the one who encouraged me when I got the nudge to share my story.
Onome: Thank you!
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” Ephesians 2: 4-5.
Opeyemi’s story felt like I was listening to Hosea and Gomer’s story in real life. It’s a story of God’s love! I don’t how far you think you have gone but our father is rich in Mercy and love. He is waiting for you and just like Opeyemi, he will give you beauty for ashes.
Ps: Fam, I would be interviewing Opeyemi’s husband very soon for a follow up of this story. Stay tuned!
You have my love,