There was a time in my life when my dream was to marry a committed Baptist church member. I was born and raised in a Baptist church, and as far as I was concerned, my church was the best. I wanted my children to experience being rooted and raised in the Baptist church because I believed it was the only place the word of God was preached lol (blame it on my not going out).
If you have read my book Identity crisis, I mentioned that the Baptist church was the foundation of my church; all the lessons I learnt in my sunbeam, girls auxiliary and Lydia auxiliary is all part of my faith. The interesting part was that I was so naïve to believe that as long as he is Baptist, he is automatically a good man.
I remember trying so hard to find a Baptist man, I wanted a royal wedding by force (in the Baptist church, when a member of the Lydia auxiliary marries a member of the Royal ambassador, they have a royal wedding, which is always ceremonial with parades and uniform) but I have come to realize over time that a good marriage goes beyond that.
I once dated this guy who was a Baptist member; I had no business dating that guy because we had no chemistry and nothing in common. The only common thing we had was that we were dedicated baptist members and our folks were pastors. He liked me, but I felt nothing for him. I told myself I would grow to like him because marrying him meant our kids would experience what I experienced. Looking back, I was so selfish and silly. I wasn’t looking forward to his call and was eager to return home each time we saw each other. I waited for the perfect excuse to break up, but he was just so sweet. He did everything right, lol.
I can’t even remember how I broke up, but I had to come up with a lie. I knew I hurt him and felt terrible, but I knew if I married him, I would remain miserable for the rest of my life, and he would not forgive me.
When I decided to hand over my relationship to the lord, one of the idols he removed from my heart was marrying a Baptist man or nobody. The Holy Spirit asked me, “would you rather marry a man after my heart or make your decision?”. God worked on me until I reached the point of surrender and absolute trust that He has my best interest at heart.
At the end of the day, I did not marry a Baptist man, but I married the best man for me. I have seen Baptist marriages crash, and I have also seen those that flourished. My point is that a good marriage goes beyond the denomination.
RIP OFF THAT LIST
I don’t know what your idol is. Yours might be a particular tribe, job or position. It goes for both genders. I have met men with ridiculous tastes, and I laugh because we often demand what we don’t have.
It’s time to surrender and trust the father. Rip off that list and start afresh. God knows the end from the beginning. Let God order your steps. Your assignment and calling are bigger than you, and whoever you are in a relationship with must understand that you are called to fulfil a purpose, and your union itself is to serve a purpose.
Marriage is beyond that list you are holding. Trust the father and watch him take care of you.
In May 2017, social media and blogs were on fire.
Everyone was reposting and sharing this love story. Two A-list celebrities just
got engaged. It was so sweet and cheesy; our faves were getting married. I
remember that season of my life because I had just ended a relationship and was
having a love walk with the lord.
I was so jealous of this love story. I remember when they announced they were getting married in November 2017, everyone wanted to be a part of their wedding. I was one of the people who stayed glued on Instagram to watch their wedding live. We, the online guests, really meant business. I watched their vows with admiration. I can’t even deny I want what they have.
When Banky released that track, he called “Susu’s Song”,
I streamed it all the time. I just love these two. I want a man like Banky. I
have always wanted a man who can sing all my life. I wanted a man who would
release a track for me, too, it’s so goofy, but I love it. Banky felt like the perfect
man; I’m sure God was up there laughing and wondering when this child would
I’m not a hopeless romantic, but I love to see
beautiful marriages. I love it when a man dotes on his woman and is not shy to
acknowledge it. When I met my husband, he was not Banky W; well, he can hold a
key sometimes when he is singing, but no offence if that man releases a track,
I’m not buying it because it’s not his calling, lol.
I almost lost a good man because I wanted him to be
the man I had envisioned, so when we started dating, we had some silly arguments
because I wanted him to be what God did not create him to be. I kept trying to
make him into something he was not. I was angry when he was not working on any
project; I just wanted him to be out there like Banky W.
Somewhere in my heart, I was comparing him to somebody
I had never met. One day, the Holy Spirit asked me, “Do you trust me? then
remove the idol in your heart and let me mould this man”.
That was the day I buried my obsession and trusted the
father with this man He gave me. My relationship got better, and I allowed my partner
to be the man God wants him to be. When I look at him, I am grateful and
blessed to have a patient man like him because it takes patience to deal with
I don’t know if you are anything like me, you want a
love story like your favourite celebrity couple but can I advise that you trust
God with those dreams and lists. The person you admire has their flaws, don’t
compare your partner to somebody else; it’s not nice.
“Find your delight and
true pleasure in Yahweh, and he will give you what you desire the most. Give
God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way, you’ll
find he pulled it off perfectly” (Psalm 37:4-5) TPT
When you find your
delight in God, He will grant your desires. I did not marry a Banky W. I
married the one for me who treats me like a queen. Everything I wanted, God
gave me more. God knows more than you, so I challenge you to rip that list and
let the father give you beyond your imagination. God can be trusted!
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.
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.
“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!