As a little girl, Mama gave me lectures and sermons
about you. She taught me about how important you are in everyone’s life. She
said you are the one people hold on to for survival a lot of times. She also
added that you had two siblings called Faith and Love, she said Love was the
eldest, but I needed all three of you to survive, I remembered that sermon, and
it became my mantra.
Growth happened, and the little girl became a
teenager, life came at me, and I was so scared, I was scared to trust you
because humans failed me and I felt you would too, but you did fail me, I held
on for so long, but nothing happened, they said it was going to be better, but
it wasn’t. Life dealt with me, and you didn’t save me, so I let go of you and
Throwing you away became my greatest regret, the
minute I kicked you out your rival took charge of my life, I can’t remember
asking him to, but he did, and it almost ruined me. Depression took over, all I
thought of was death, and I didn’t even know what to do so I resolved to tears
and pains, and I wished I didn’t run from you, nobody could save me.
Fear crippled my life, Uncle Faith’s rival, and life
wasn’t just worth living anymore. Still, in the middle of all of these, your
brother Love found me. He looked for me, did all he could to rescue me from
hurting myself. He came in a different package, I was so stubborn, yet he was
patient, he was so persistent yet gentle, and because depression was gradually
killing me, I succumbed to love, and my life received a revival.
Hope, I’m sorry I kicked you out, but I need you, I know Love will never leave me, but I have to keep working on my relationship with you and Faith, but it’s incredible to see that once I can work on my relationship with Love, you and Faith will be so natural. How I love your family.
I know it’s not going to be easy, even as a grown-up
lady I still get scared about tomorrow, I sometimes worry about getting things
right, I still get nervous I will mess things up and frustrate Love. Yet, Love
said there is nothing I can do to push him away. I cried when he said that, so
does that mean I have you and Faith for the rest of my life? That is such a
Life is always going to push me, challenges will come my way, friends will disappoint me, I will fight with my man, my parents, and siblings will get on my nerves, but I will choose you and your siblings over and over again, I will walk in Love, embrace you and keep Faith.
Hope, if there is one lesson the year 2020 taught me is that I need you to survive, you were my succour throughout the year.
I will remember Mama’s lecture because I can’t live
life without you. I can’t run my marriage without you because there will always
be challenges there, I can’t run my job without you because my boss will still
want more from me, I can’t run my relationship with my friends without you
because there will be issues, but I hold on to you.
With you and your siblings, life is worth living,
and we can go to bed knowing that today may be challenging, but tomorrow is
certainly going to better.
Thank you for being a constant support and strength!
I love you so much, please give my warm regards to Faith and Love, tell them they mean a lot to me, and one of these days I will write a note to them too.
The year 2020 tested me on so many levels, there were days I cried like a baby, and there were days filled with laughter, but each season taught me growth, perseverance, and God’s Love. I don’t know what this year brought for you but look at you, God kept you, and you survived!
And make an everlasting covenant with them.” (Isaiah
It’s been days since the #endsars movement started. It’s
been a season of liberation with the youths demanding for justice. What excites
me about this movement is how young people of different ages, religion, beliefs
and tribes put aside their differences to support one cause which is to put an
end to police brutality in our nation Nigeria.
I am excited at what God is doing because this is a sign
that there is hope for our dear nation Nigeria, it means my generation is awake
and like the Israelites, we are ready to crush down Jericho. I have seen a lot
of believers who have decided to be lackadaisical about this movement because
we believe that grace covers us so we are safe.
I’m not disputing the fact that grace covers us but we owe
the next generation a better legacy, we cannot inherit the silence of our
fathers, Jesus died for all of us and its time for a revolution. God loves
justice, isn’t that why he destroyed Pharaoh and the Egyptians because they
refused to let His children go (Exodus 9:1).
The next question is, what can you do to lend your voice?
“Then if my people who are called by my name will humble
themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will
hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land” (2
This is the first thing to do, God answers prayers and we
can’t deny His love. There are lots of prayer walk in cities around you, look
for the nearest one and join. This battle is of the lord and we are certain He
will give us victory.
Intercessors this is the time to arise and call on God for
intervention. Nigeria is our country and we must do the best we can for our
home, we need to ask for mercy and speak peace into the land. Let’s use our
authority to seek the father’s face.
Each time believers gather to pray; something happens and we
can be a great spiritual support if we choose to pray.
I’ve heard people speak negative words, things like “Nobody
can help Nigeria” “You are only wasting your time” as a believer we know that
our God is an expert at impossibilities and Nigeria will not be an exemption.
Let’s decree over this nation that the #endsars movement
will yield good results, that an end will come to brutality and senseless
killings. Let’s call forth unity and that the eyes of every police officer are
opened to know that we are not fighting against them but for them. Use your
words to encourage and speak positivity.
Nobody is against you going out to protest. It is perfectly
okay for believers to protest, it’s time to remove the sentiments and face the
truth. You are a citizen of this nation and you pay tax so it is your right to
demand justice. It is wrong to say believers cannot protest because we are covered,
remember that Joshua went to battle with the Amalekites to take over the land
the Lord promised the Israelites (Exodus 17:8-13). While you are going out to
protest, stay safe and don’t fight. We are advocates of peace and don’t forget
to shine your light.
USE YOUR GIFTS
Designers, programmers and content creators’ whatever gift
you have let us use our gifts to promote the #endsars movement. This nation
needs you right now and you can’t afford to fold your arms. Play your part, use
your platforms and let us fight for the peace of this nation.
“On that day the LORD will shield those who live in
Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of
David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them.”
I am convinced that a new nation is arising, the lord is
redeeming Nigeria and it’s time for the change we have all been praying for. We
did not inherit the fear and silence of our fathers, we owe our children a
better nation, we owe them a transformed nation and we owe them a legacy that
they have a voice in Nigeria.
If you can’t be a Joshua that will go into battle then be a
Moses holding the staff to help Joshua win the battle. Use your voice and let’s
Shall we pray?
We speak peace to your borders
We pray increase
We pray for passionate leaders
We ask for mercy Lord
We ask for peace and justice
We ask that an end has come to bloodshed of innocent lives
We pray you are an enviable nation
We pray your light shines for all nations to see
Everyone protesting is safe
An end has come to brutality and victimization
Dear Believer, refuse to be silenced the next generation is counting on you. Arise and let’s put an end to injustice in Nigeria.
“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
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
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
Onome: So sorry. Did the father of the baby accept
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
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
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
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!
There is nothing regular about this couple; theirs is a
story of love, patience, God’s intervention and grace. It is not just exciting
but it is also a beautiful story.
David and Victoria are my friends and their love would make you jealous. The way David watches out for Victoria and the way he protects her, is something I admire. The interesting thing about them is their friendship. Victoria is the shy one while David is quite outspoken. It’s a perfect blend but what amazes me the most, is how they always look out for each other.
Beyond love and affection, is the commitment they share and how passionate they are about purpose. Victoria has been a great helpmeet and I’ve seen how she supports and encourages David when he goes out to minister or when he holds his programme.
Another gist about this couple is that they share the same
birthdate and today is their birthday.
Interviewing this couple was a great experience because they
were both real and their story is one you will learn from.
It is time to meet this beautiful couple, so grab your
bottle of orange juice and get a slice of cake to step down with, while you
read how God wrote Victoria and David’s love story.
Onome: Tell us something about you and what makes you special?
Victoria: Everything about me is special, Onome and it’s because God is my creator. He is the most special person on earth, and He created me, thus, I am special.
I am Victoria Adeola Ibitoye (nee Ajayi), I am a child of
God and an Accountant by profession, trained at the Federal Polytechnic, Offa.
I served in Rivers State. I love reading, dancing, travelling and I also love
David: The scriptures from A to Z testify to it about me. I am special because God says so. After all, why will Christ die for a nobody?
I am David Iyanuoluwa Ibitoye. I am saved and I love Jesus more
than my breath. I want to die loving Him. I am an alumnus of the great
University of Ilorin; the Better By Far University, and the Nigerian Baptist
Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso. Needless to say, I am a pastor. I got born
again in the year 2009. I love music, reading, travelling (not on Nigerian
roads though), gisting and meditating. I’m a lazy writer but oftentimes I
stumble on writing and it comes out fine…I guess.
Onome: Tell us about your waiting season
Victoria: God helped me during my waiting season because I decided from the beginning, not to play around. I wanted my first love to be my husband, and God did just that for me. Not that I didn’t have suitors, some of them looked so much “like it”, but God helped me out.
At a time, I looked at many of my friends getting engaged
and I was just there, but the Holy Spirit kept encouraging me to wait and I did
just that. Then God showed me, love, by giving me the best man on earth as my
David: Well, when I was single, I was helped by God. I had a breakup as a teenager. I was the one who broke up. I regret that decision because I knew I hurt the lady. So, I decided never to enter into any other relationship unsure. I promised myself before God that my next girlfriend would be my wife, and God helped me.
Onome: How did you meet your husband/wife and how did you know he/she was the one?
Victoria: On the 3rd of August 2014 in church,
after the Sunday school class he took, he asked me to please wait behind to see
him, for an important discussion after service, which I did. Interestingly, I
wasn’t expecting it. I thought he wanted to discuss some “Kingdom assignment”
with me (not as if toasting me was not kingdom assignment though), to my
amazement, he told me he would like to walk life’s journey with me, and that
was it. He did not over-spiritualize the proposal, he didn’t try to impress me
or sweep me off my feet with some spiritual talk. He just said, “I love you
sister Vic, and I will like you to be my wife.” What impressed me the most was
that his words were brief and straight to the point. With a little sprinkle of
arrogance which I enjoyed though, he asked if I would like to be disturbed for
my answer or if I would just get back to him whenever I was ready. I loved
that. I told him I prefer not to be disturbed.
Actually, immediately he came, I had this inner peace in my
spirit man, compared to what I had experienced with other suitors. But you
know, as a lady, I didn’t want to rush into my response like that, so I told
him I would get back to him, and I did on the 1st of October 2014 after being
fully convinced by the Holy Spirit.
David: Actually, I have received her since 2010. That year,
I was working a menial job and came home hungry one day. I was scrambling for
what to eat at home but couldn’t find any. So I went to my mom’s WMU bag (Women
Missionary Union, it’s the women arm of the Baptist denomination) for WMU
biscuits and the likes and was disappointed again. While searching inside the
bag, I saw a picture of a prison evangelism team of my church and saw my
fiancée among the prison evangelists.
Then I clearly heard the Holy-Ghost say (so audibly, I had
to turn back to check if someone was behind me) “That is your wife” and that
was it. Though I ignored for some time because I wasn’t at first pleased with
it, God had to teach me how to love His will, and if I have to choose over and
over again, I would still choose my Victoria. In 2014 after having been fully
convinced by the Lord and just after graduating Unilorin, I went to deliver my
manifesto to her after a Sunday service. Three months later she said yes.
Onome: How was it like preparing for your wedding?
Victoria: Hmmm… I would say interesting but ours was a
testimony so I would say God did it.
David: God gave us a word in Matthew 22:2 “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son”… That was it. God told us in the order of heaven, the Father makes marriages for His children, so He began to give us specific instructions on what to do. He sent many angels in human form to us. For example, when it was time to get introduced and it was looking impossible, it was one of my Pastors, Reverend Shola Sangoleye, who advised us to just pick a day and trust God. We chose November 30 and God made it work. Then we were left with the wedding date. We found it hard to conclude on a day, then God just told us to pick by faith. We settled eventually for May 30, then coronavirus came. We decided we were not going to shift the day for anything. God granted our hearts’ desires and it worked out just fine. To God be the glory!
Onome: What is the place of God in choosing a partner?
Victoria: God is the author of marriage. Any relationship
that will not become a snare must be God’s idea. Even with the partner that God
gives you, there are lines to straighten out, not to talk of jumping into it
all by yourself…
David: The thing is that no man knows himself fully, not to talk of another person. Even if you court a lady for 20 years, you still don’t get to know an inch of what she is. So, why not take the short-cut; go through her Maker who knows all about her? He calibrated her being so He is the best person to tell you if it is safe to marry some lady or not. Furthermore, God knows your capacity as a person. He gives you the partner that your faith and desire can walk with. No one is perfect, but if you choose without His leading, the probability to choose the one your faith cannot walk with is incalculable. Thus, God is not to be an after-thought after choosing someone, but the One Who directs your heart into what to do. Not all good, godly, born-again ladies are right for one o! so we must not be fooled into gambling with our marital lives.
Onome: so David and Victoria, How did you keep yourselves
while dating? How did you abstain from sex, what was your secret?
David: My wife is the best person to answer this
Victoria: (smiles) Honestly, God kept us. We were determined
from the onset to keep ourselves. Our father in the Lord, Reverend Paul Debo
Adeyemi told us when we just started, that the lady should be at the driver’s
side. I sat comfortably at the driver’s side ooo! Our Reverend further advised
us that whenever we were alone, we should beware of tempting situations. We
were able to achieve this. Whenever I go visiting my single fiance, I would
sleepover at someone else’s place instead of his, because we were wise enough
not to trust ourselves prodigally. Sex is worth waiting for. Thus, it is unwise
to rush into it.
Onome: Hmmm.. Thanks, guys. The last question. What’s your
advise to singles who are waiting?
Victoria: I will put it in one sentence and that sums it up;
It is good to wait for God’s time because His time is the best.
relax! Build a relationship with God first. Don’t start emergency prayer life
when you’re looking for a partner. The God you cannot hear when you’re deciding
which cloth to wear, you can never hear when deciding whom to marry.
John Piper’s daughter once said, “A girl should get so lost in God that a man has to know God to find her.” That ought to be everyone’s maxim. Just get lost in loving God, you will be found by a lover of God.
Onome: It has been a great time with you guys. Thank you for
your time, we do appreciate you.
David and Victoria: Onome,
It is an honour, we appreciate the opportunity to share our story!
Onome: Oh, happy birthday guys, God bless and increase you
on all sides.
David and Victoria: Onome, we appreciate. Amen. Thank you.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. (Proverbs 3:5-6) NLT
There are days it gets overwhelming, I know being single is
not fun when you see everyone around you getting engaged or married but God is
not done with you. Let this Love story encourage you in your wait, I’ve known
Victoria for more than 15 years and I know her to be so committed and faithful
to God’s work and God blessed her with the best.
David had to submit his will and desire to God and God the
perfect fit for his purpose and assignment. He had to allow God to teach him
how to love this special woman. David has been my friend for more than 10 years
and each time we talk about love and marriage, he was never worried because he
believed God had his best interest at heart.
You think God is late, He is not. He is busy writing your
love story, be patient and trust His timing.
I look forward to sharing your story.
PS: Don’t forget to show our couple some love in the comment
section, it’s their birthday let’s wish them well.
“He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.” (Mathew 28:6) NLT
Life feels so hard, nothing is working and I just want
Those were my words, I said that for so many years. I
thought of suicide a lot of times but I never dared to try it, I was thirsty
for affection and I desperately needed someone to love me. I cried myself to
sleep so many nights and maybe no one loves me after all.
The church was somewhere I found myself because I had
no choice, when I heard people share testimonies about God and how he spoke to
them, I was jealous because I wanted what they had.
I read the bible every night because momma would ask if
I had my quiet time, I enjoyed reading the stories other parts were boring as
far as I was concerned. Where was this God who did all these things recorded in
the bible? I had a lot of questions but who would answer them.
That was my story that was me. The one who didn’t
deserve love and mercy, the one condemned to die. The devil reminded me of my
pains but all Christ had to do was show me Calvary where he bled for me. He
brought me freedom and grace.
Thank God the story did not end at Calvary, he was taken down to the tomb and on the third day, He resurrected!!!
I can’t contain my joy that he arose. He went to hell
and fought for my freedom, he defeated death so that I won’t die, he defeated
sicknesses and diseases that I might live in total health. He took the fall
just for me.
It took me years to understand what love meant and when
I did my life took a new turn. I could understand those testimonies I was
jealous about because when you come in contact with the father of light you
radiate his light.
Today, all you have to do is thank God that Jesus has
Your salvation is eternal.
“I have told you all this so that you may have
peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take
heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) NLT
I understand what pain means, I know what it means to
desperately want approval but the truth is you have been looking for answers in
the wrong places. Love has been knocking and all you have to do is open the
No one can love you the way Christ loves you. He paid
the price for our freedom, he purchased us with His blood and gave us victory.
Let me end this article with the lyrics of my favourite
The strife is o’er, the battle done by Francis
The strife is o’er, the battle done;
The victory of life is won;
The song of triumph has begun:
The pow’rs of death have done their worst;
But Christ their legions has dispersed;
Let shouts of holy joy outburst:
three sad days are quickly sped;
He rises glorious from the dead;
All glory to our risen Head:
He closed the yawning gates of hell;
The bars from heav’n’s high portals fell;
Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell:
When you are searching for love, just look at Calvary!
I recently started a podcast called “Naked” it centres on relationships and inspirations. Check it out and let me know what you think, click here to listen to my latest podcast and if you would love to download click here.