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FIVE LESSONS I LEARNT IN MY FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE

Hey Fam,

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 superwoman.

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 the differences.

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 do better.

CONCLUSION

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.

I love you.

Your friend and sister,

Onome

see also: Our zero naira wedding

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.

THE INTERVIEW

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!

CONCLUSION

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 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!

RELATED: JEMIMA: GETTING OFF THE SHACKLES OF ADDICTION

You have my love,

Onome

DAVID AND VICTORIA: WHEN GOD WRITES THE LOVE STORY

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 music.

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 husband.

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.

David:Firstly, 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.

CONCLUSION

“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.

You have my love,

Onome.

OUR ZERO NAIRA WEDDING

I almost forgot I promised God, that if He sponsors our wedding, I would share the testimony. When my husband reminded me last week, I knew the time had come to share our wedding testimony.

It was my birthday and I was meditating with the father asking Him what He would have me do this New Year and he said marriage was the next assignment. I was genuinely surprised because I felt I wasn’t ready and kept asking myself where the money for the wedding ceremony would come from. That same day, my lover proposed and I knew God meant business. After the Euphoria of the proposal, I had to ask my lover how we were going to do the wedding because there was no money anywhere and we had no rich uncles to run to.

It wasn’t just that, my lover had taken a loan from a microfinance bank about four months ago that he was still repaying and it didn’t make any sense that we would choose to get married when he was not done paying the loan but all that mattered to us was that God had given a go ahead and we were ready to obey.

After the date was chosen, we started praying and each time we prayed God kept speaking to us that he was with us. I panicked, I was scared but each time I prayed I felt this peace that passes human understanding.

Three months to the wedding, it wasn’t looking like it; then the Holy Spirit started teaching me about confessions. He told me to write what I wanted for the wedding. He also gave me Philippians 4:19 (MSG) and I went ahead to write my confessions. I started making the confessions morning and night. Each time I made the confessions I felt this new level of confidence. Two months to the wedding, it still wasn’t looking like it. Our invitation cards were not ready and it felt as though the wedding would be postponed.

My faith began to shake but my lover kept encouraging me. Watching him make plans even without the finances boosted my faith; so I took the backseat to see what God would do. I remember having a vigil with my close friends I call sisters and we prayed together. A word of prophecy came out that God would supply all my needs and I should just relax. I started praising God knowing He would come through.

We were preparing to travel home for our counselling session when the Lord told me to sow a seed. I didn’t feel like it because I already had a budget for the money at hand and as at that time, I had not bought anything and the wedding was just in two months. I called my husband and he told me to go ahead with the seed that if we wanted God to sponsor the wedding, then we have to be obedient 100%. I sowed the seed in faith and by January God started coming through.

The finances started coming in and for every monetary gift we received, we paid our tithes and in some cases, we even paid 20%. It felt stupid but since we wanted God to be the sponsor, we had to trust Him completely. Our invitations came out a month to our wedding and honestly we still had a lot to do. Needs kept coming and God kept providing. The wedding day was getting closer and God kept sending men our way to help us. Our parents kept sharing testimonies every day of how God was sending men to help and support them, they would tell us how this person dropped this and how that person donated that. I was just so dumbfounded because indeed God came through.

Two days to the wedding, my mum called me to tell me that we were yet to buy drinks. I was worried but I knew God that started the good work will complete it so I went on to sort some other needs and I completely forgot but God did it again.

My mum was telling me after the wedding how God showed up that He didn’t just provide the drinks, there was even more than enough funds to sort out every other need.

It still felt like a dream. God had gone ahead of us to make all the crooked paths straight. He made the two days glorious and He alone deserves all the glory. I also want to say a big thank you to all our friends who decided to take up the ministry of intercession; we could feel your prayers and a lot of them also made sacrifices. We had friends who gave their all, cancelled all their appointments and travelled from Thursday till Sunday. We love you guys passionately.

We enjoyed the gift of men and God showed Himself faithful indeed.

CONCLUSION

“God is not a man that He should lie, Nor the son of man that He should repent.

Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken and will He not make it good and fulfil it?” (Numbers 23:19) Amplified bible

Planning a wedding for us was a step of faith; all we did was obey God. What is that assignment God is asking you to do or is He even telling you to get married but the present circumstances does not look like it?

Our wedding is proof that God never fails. Our resources were not enough but he multiplied our little and gave us abundance. The journey of faith requires obedience and complete trust in God knowing that He will do what He says.

If your wedding is around the corner and you are trusting God please don’t give up and at the same time don’t try to impress anyone. I tried my best not to put my husband under any pressure because I didn’t want him angry and cranky after the wedding.

We planned with what we had and God surpassed our imaginations. I don’t know what you are trusting God for but let our testimony be a proof that there is a God who never fails and with Jesus in your boat, you can smile at the storm. When it feels tough, keep praising and dancing, that weapon confuses the enemy.

God never fails.

If you missed our love story click here to read it.

You have our love!

Onome and Daniel

OUR PRE-WEDDING SHOOT

When Love happens you can’t deny and Let’s just say Love happened to me!

our pre-wedding shoot will definitely have you smiling, the wait is always worth it.

Enjoy our pictures and click here to read our love story


the chara wedding

The interesting part of the shoot is that we had fun!

the chara wedding
The chara wedding
the chara wedding

credits

Photography: @upfrontphotography

Makeup:@arikeglamhouse

White dress: @the7thbrooche

black dress: @bodacouture

suit and shirt: @xclusive_bbacouture

LOVE SO DIVINE: THE CHARA WEDDING

Hi family,

Forgive me, I know it has been a while.  I have been up to a number of things; reason I’ve been AWOL.

I have got news!

Your baby girl is getting married!!!

I am about to give you all the juicy details of our love story.

HOW WE MET

I took a decision to be single until the Lord sends my man (see my book, ‘Single Without Wrinkle’, for the full details). I wasn’t ready for a relationship, I was just enjoying my waiting season. During that period, I had been praying for a job. I finally got invited for an interview in one of the companies I applied to. The D-Day came and I aced the interview. I got called to resume work on a Tuesday morning. Upon my arrival on resumption day, I was asked to wait for the HR; that was when I met Daniel.

While waiting for the HR, this handsome dark-skinned young man walked up to me and said ‘hello’ amidst smiles. Although I wasn’t friendly, he however went on to introduce himself with the smile sculpted on his face (oh! he had such a cute smile). I told him my name and mentioned I was there to see the HR.

The HR finally arrived and guess what? I got sent back home because I was wearing a jean (the tomboy in me decided to embarrass me that day). I resumed the next morning, officially dressed and who did I meet….again? Daniel! As usual, he smiled and this time around, I smiled back as I was in a better mood. I overheard him talking about a Lecrae concert and how he didn’t want to miss the programme. In the course of the conversation, he mentioned being a member of Covenant Christian Center. That was all I needed to hear as I had just recently started listening to Pastor Poju and looked forward to being under his ministration live.

I asked for his number in a bid to go to church with him on Sunday and that was how we got talking. We went to church together as planned and became good friends. We talked about the bible and sometimes prayed together, all I saw in him was a “brother”.

I don’t know how it happened but I knew I started developing feelings for my so called ‘brother.’ I rejected it. I even took it a step further by praying and fasting. I kept telling God to remove the feelings but the more I prayed, the more it grew. Eventually, I had to call my spiritual father who told me to stop fighting but surrender it back to God.

I couldn’t run away because we worked in the same company and that was also a reason why I didn’t want the feelings to grow. I didn’t want to date someone I would see every day. I started avoiding him but he would always come around. One day, he told me we needed to talk.

We agreed to meet at Coldstone creamery. That day, he said to me  “Onome Omodara you are a treasure, you are like that bible passage that says a man sells all he has just to buy the treasure, but Onome I need time” I can’t forget those words. If you have read ‘There was a girl’, you will understand why those words meant a lot to me. I got home and cried. No one had ever said that to me. I had been told I am smart, beautiful, and intelligent but treasure? That hit me.

On the 2nd of May 2018, he officially asked me out. He didn’t ask me to be his girlfriend; he told me to be his wife. I was shocked and kept wondering what he saw in me. I told him to give me a month and he never pressured me. I prayed and waited for confirmation. I wasn’t ready to go through another cycle of heartbreak so I wanted to be sure.

On the 29th of May 2018, I said yes to him because it felt so right; I was at peace. Everything the Lord had said to me during my waiting season was apt when we started dating.

Daniel was intentional about our relationship; his love for me was so obvious. He was always willing to make sacrifices. There were days I thought we would break up but he would always say to me “Onome, I am not loving you by my own strength, mine would fail but God is my strength”. Daniel has been my safe place. Challenges have come our way but this man stood by me. This man prays with me and for me. He believes in my vision. He is God sent!

THE PROPOSAL

It was my birthday and my boss had told me she was throwing a birthday dinner for me and I should invite my close friends (I was surprised but happy to have a party). The day came and I saw my sister from Ibadan at the dinner; she appeared like a thief in the night (Fam, I was surprised). My friends came around and we were really having fun.

The waiter came in and said I had a special order, I opened and it was a ring! I wanted to run away (where was I running to sef?) The man of my dreams went down one knee asking me to marry him.

It was surreal. It showed that the wait is always worth it.

I have said enough.

 I interviewed my man and he has something to tell you

Enjoy

Tell us something about yourself

I am a graduate of computer science from the great Tai Solarin University of Education. Obviously I’m a Christian (smile). I am the first born from a family of four. I am passionate about Christ, my career and whatever I set my mind to do. I am a focused and purpose driven person with great leadership capacity. I see myself as a servant-leader as I enjoy taking up responsibilities irrespective of any position I am in.

At what point were you sure Onome was the one?

The chara wedding

(Deep sigh!) Well, it’s not like I heard a voice from heaven or something “spectacular” just like the days of Adam (smile), when something is right, you just know; the spirit bears witness remember. I don’t mean to sound too spiritual but pardon me; that is my default. Like the saying goes “Opposite attracts”. Onome is a “wokilumo” kinda person to put it in English, you will always notice her when she enters a room as oppose to my kinda nature; I am a reserved person. So I saw in her a woman that together we can do great things for Christ.

Onome is outspoken without being rude and very intelligent. Since men will always look at the outward, Onome is beautiful to behold and young at heart. Above all, I saw in Onome a woman that can help “womb” a vision and birth great dreams. A woman strong in the things that I seemed to be weak in.

What makes Onome special to you as a person?

(Deep breath) Permit me to keep the details to myself (smiles). But really, when you truly love someone you may not have a “special” reason for loving him/her. You just “apape” (add them together) them. Sometimes what makes somebody special to you could be the strength they exhibit that wowed your weakness. Many ladies have done wonderful things for me but the core of who she is, outclassed them all!

How do you feel about getting married?

CAPITAL MIXED FEELINGS (laughs) but I look forward to it.

What’s your most exciting memory about her?

The one I am yet to experience with her because every moment with her is a blessing.

THE CHARA WEDDING

We decided to use the chara wedding as our hashtag because we wanted a word that depicted exactly how we felt and “JOY” was the perfect word. Chara is a Greek word that means Joy.

CONCLUSION

“He hath made everything beautiful in his time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11a)

God is very intentional and each time I look at Daniel I am just reminded of God’s love. People have asked me how I feel about getting married and all I can say is “I am grateful”. If you know my story you will understand that God is faithful.

I don’t know how you feel right now but I need you to know that God has not forgotten you. Your marriage is going to happen and it’s going to be a testimony!

I look forward to sharing your story.

You have my love.

Onome.

IFY: THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE AND WEDDINGS

Her aura speaks peace, her intelligence and depth got me attracted and I asked myself “who is this girl?”. From the moment I heard her speak, I knew she had to be my friend. Ify is not your regular tech lady; she is an amazing personality.  We got talking the first time we had to work on a project. The passion she puts in her career is applaudable.

I was surprised when I heard she was getting married; not because she is too young but because she was just too calm to be preparing for a wedding. I wondered what her secret was and even after her wedding, she was still glowing.

I sat down with Ify one beautiful afternoon after her honeymoon and we had a chat about her wedding preparations and the place of love in relationships.

Take a bottle of cold Fanta and sip, as we have a chat with Ify

ONOME:  Tell us a little about yourself

IFY: I am Ify N. Ebelebe, a tech enthusiast. I am an individual who loves to learn and apply new skills. I am quiet when surrounded with people I’m not familiar with but jovial with close pals. I love simplicity and I also enjoy my space.

ONOME: At what point in your life did you start thinking about your marriage?

IFY: You can call me a geek but what matters to me is learning new skills and applying it, so marriage wasn’t on the table for me in my undergraduate days but after I finished school I had to ask myself what I wanted from life and while thinking about that, I knew someday I would get married. It’s safe to say I started thinking of marriage a year after my Undergraduate days.

ONOME: How did you meet your husband?

IFY: We attended the same University but never talked nor greeted.  We met again during NYSC at a conference organized by NCCF. We only greeted and parted ways. Not until we met at the wedding of a University colleague, where he sat on the same table I sat with other colleagues. He cracked jokes and made everyone laugh. We got talking after the wedding and exchanged phone numbers and the rest they say is history.

ONOME: When did you become certain he was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?

IFY: That’s a very interesting question Onome and very important. Love is very important but at the same time it is not the only thing you need to be convinced. I became certain he was the one because amidst the love his presence brought an unexplainable joy and peace and his dreams and goals align with mine.

ONOME: How did you feel the first time you were going to meet his parents?

IFY: Meeting the parents, that’s a lot. We are from different tribes so I was really nervous and also excited that he was going to meet my parents. I initially felt my parents would say no because of the tribal difference but it was a different story entirely. They love him and his own parents welcomed me with love too.

ify

ONOME: How is it like preparing for a wedding ceremony?

IFY: Preparing for a wedding ceremony can be stressful especially when you have no event planner.  I didn’t have the chance to shop during the week because of work. I only had weekends to do my shopping and planning. I tried as much as possible not to be excessive in spending since it was just going to be a day event; I could be very strict when it comes to budgeting. I stuck strictly to what I needed and nothing more. I wrote a list of all I needed in order of priority and it really helped in managing my finances.

ONOME: If you had the chance to change something about your wedding day what would it be?

IFY: My wedding day? Absolutely nothing! I had the time of my life and I was able to manage my finances well. It’s a day I can’t forget!

ONOME: What’s your advice to every bride preparing for her big day?

IFY: Spend wisely. This is very important. Don’t put your fiancé under pressure. Don’t try to please anyone because after that day you are left alone with your spouse to face the music. Cut your coat according to your cloth. Do not panic before the D-day because that day will come and pass and finally make sure you enjoy your day. Don’t allow anything to get you angry or upset. You are the bride! it’s your day, so don’t forget to smile.

ONOME: What is the place of God in marriage?

IFY: The way I see it is that He is the centre of a successful marriage. He is a very important factor and without Him, there is no successful marriage!

ONOME: What do you love about your husband?

IFY: A lot but these are on top of my list; He is neat, jovial and very caring.

ONOME: How does it feel adjusting to the new life of being married?

IFY: I see it as a learning process. It’s been fun trying new things. Adjusting is the big thing but I’m getting there but above all, it’s been an interesting ride so far; I’m really enjoying it.

ONOME: Thank you so much Ify, it’s been great talking to you. Thank you for being so real and honest.

IFY: The pleasure is mine, Onome. Thank you for having me.

CONCLUSION

“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.” Philippians 4: 6 (NLT).

Weddings are beautiful moments that can’t be erased and at the same time, pressures would always come around but you need to stop worrying. One of the things that attracted Ify to me was that state of rest she had. For a bride who had no event planner, she felt too relaxed; but this lady just knew God would come through and He sure did. Her wedding was a massive success.

Dear couples to be, you need to plan and relax. Don’t try to please anyone. Weddings will come and go but the marriage should be your priority. Everyone would go home but your partner is all you have; so don’t lose each other while planning your big day.

Don’t forget to speak into existence what you want for your marriage, confess positive things and close your ears to all negativity. Somehow everybody has the best advice for you when you are getting married, but you need to be sensitive and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.

To everyone preparing for their big day, it’s going to be a glorious day.

ALSO READ: LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL

Singles asking when, God is here already, He is writing the script in trusting Him, I look forward to sharing your love story.

Cheers.

Your friend and sister,

Onome Omodara.

He Is not into me

Have you ever wanted someone so bad but the person is not looking in your direction? Or has your love interest put you in the friend zone? I know that feeling; let me tell you my story.

He is not into me

I had eyes for him from afar and the first day we spoke, he said I was intelligent; this made me melt. Concentration was impossible whenever I was around him. I knew guys like him would never have anything to do with girls like me (I was first rejected by my low self-esteem). I was a nerd and a bookworm. I didn’t like parties so I was convinced he would never like me.

The first time we met, I liked him. We had a conversation on books and feminism, which led him to say I am Intelligent. He was impressed by my ability to hold an intelligent conversation, so he asked for my phone number. I knew he liked me but he was scared his friends would laugh at him if he had anything to do with me.

I desired him but we became platonic friends. I was that friend he would speak with for long hours on the phone but would avoid in public. I was quite comfortable being in the shadows; at least I was the girl he spent more than 3 hours over the phone with.

I wanted more but I only appealed to him intellectually. I was upset when he started dating a friend of mine. (She was sexy and cute; no surprise he went for her). I stopped picking his calls. I sent him a message when I found out he was with my friend but he didn’t reply to my message, so I let him be.

Some years later we reconnected and became good friends. We had both become mature and knew what we wanted from life. The problem was; my feelings were rekindled and this time it was intense. I wanted to deny my feelings but the more I tried, the stronger it became.

We had become best of friends and I didn’t want to lose the friendship, so I decided to play it cool, but deep down; I was in love. I prayed about it and heard a ‘yes’ (I actually wasn’t expecting any other answer). I started praying that God would convince him to ask me out but the prayer never got answered. I had to summon the courage to ask him.

I asked him what we were doing because we ended every phone call with “I love you” and he would call me sweet names. I needed clarity. He told me he loved me but was still praying about us.

I waited patiently but couldn’t pretend any longer. I needed to be sure where we were headed as I had no time to waste. I called one evening and told him we needed to talk. We spoke at length then he gave me the shock of my life. He said, “Bunmi, God is not saying anything about us”. I couldn’t hold back the tears. ‘What was wrong with me?’ I thought my days of singleness were behind but they just started.

I went back to God for healing. That was when I discovered it was never God’s idea but mine. I concluded on God’s behalf. It was a painful experience but looking back now, I am grateful it did not work out. We are still friends but it took me a long time to realize that we could never have worked out as a couple because our purposes do not align but I was willing to compromise because my feelings for him were so deep.

CONCLUSION

Here’s the thing; I know it hurts that he is not looking at your direction and that he sees you as a sister and a friend but you can’t force a man to love you! If he is meant to be yours, he will come around. You have to trust God to give you the best you deserve.

He is not into me

“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 11) NLT.

A lot of times we are in a hurry and we allow impatience to fuel our desires and influence our decisions but we have to be patient to get the best. I understand that you like him. He makes your heart skip when he is around and you can’t control your emotions. My sister, you need to relax.

There is time for everything. Relationships are way beyond butterflies in the belly. The one God has for you is always worth the wait. You don’t have to embarrass yourself and make stupid decisions to make a man love you. 

He is not into me

You can’t force relationships; it has to happen naturally. You need to stop worrying your head about the how and the when. Let God write your love story because He has your best interest at heart and He loves you so much so, you can be rest assured he will give you the best.

I know it hurts, but you have to let him go so you can embrace God’s best for you. Begin your healing process and allow God to give you the best at the right time.

RELATED: GOD, WHEN?

I look forward to sharing your love story!

Your friend and sister, 

Onome Omodara

RELATIONSHIP WAS MY IDOL

 

Hi fam,

Forgive me for taking a break. I know it has been a while but I can assure you that it is all for good. I have been learning, unlearning and relearning but thank you for sticking with me and cheering me on. You are more than amazing.

There was a time in my life when I made relationship my idol. I longed for closure. I irrationally hoped that a man would love me with all my baggage. I was not interested in making any attempt at self-development. All that mattered to me was being in a relationship. Hence, I became desperately obsessed.

I was told that God is the answer, so I intensified my prayers; in hopes that God would bring me a good man. Perhaps if I became a good Christian, I would attract a good man. This became my idol. I was desperately aching for a genuine relationship but I was the obstacle.

I had a lot of issues I needed to deal with. I had secrets I was not ready to share or come to terms with; rather, I expected a good man to show up like a knight in shining armour and fix my problems by the wave of his sword.

I was tired of making mistakes. I was tired of being broken and dejected. Coming to God meant I had to stop idolizing relationships and allow Him be my lover and best friend.

 

May I be completely honest with you???

Letting go was hard but I knew without a doubt, that God loves me. I had to come to the realization that I was idolizing relationships. I was overwhelmed with the need to be in a relationship that I had forgotten how to be single. I had forgotten how to live.

The day I handed over my relationship to God, I knew I had come to a place of rest. I was at peace with myself and my status. I became genuinely happy for my friends who were getting engaged or married.

READ ALSO: SINGLE AND SATISFIED

Many of us have idolized relationships in our hearts. We are so obsessed about getting married that we do not care how it happens but hey, you need to relax. God wants us to know Him first. We expect our spouses to fix us but God is the perfect fixer.

Many of us need to come a place of being satisfied with God. When you understand that God is enough, you will be at rest. Life is not a journey you want to leave to chance, we live by faith every day.

 

Conclusion

“Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and He will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life and as you trust Him along the way you will find He pulled it off perfectly!” (Psalm 37: 4-6) TPT.

I have come to love this scripture because each time I study it, I find the love of God being expressed. God wants the best for you. He wants you to be in a good relationship and have a good, very good life. Until we trust Him, we will keep taking wrong turns.

When you are single and in love with God, you will be at peace. When your friends are getting engaged or married, you would not be jealous or bitter but genuinely happy for them, knowing with assurance, that yours is on the way.

Relationship was my idol

Many of us need to come to a place of intimacy and fellowship with God. When we are lost in Him, we can trust that He will grant our heart desires. God is the king of surprises. Give Him your all and watch Him come through for you.

There was a video I saw, which completely brought me to total surrender and is a great reminder that God is real. I hope this video ignites a fire in your Spirit.

I would also like to encourage you to watch the crazy faith series by Pastor Mike Todd on Youtube, your faith will be strengthened.

 

I love you!

Your friend and sister,

Onome Omodara

 

 

 

 

 

LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL: BUSAYOMI ‘19

This particular love story is one that excites me, it’s the kind of love that comes your way and you will say “when the Lord turn around the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream” God is still the best matchmaker.

I met Busayo while she was going through a terrible heartbreak and you can tell how I felt when she called to let me know that she has finally met Mr Right, I was even more dazzled when she said he proposed and they will be getting married before the end of the year.

Busayo is an amazing lady with a heart of gold, she is a woman of virtue with a heart that yearns for God and Bunmi, on the other hand, is a man with so much wisdom, gentle as a dove and a kind heart.

The duo make such a beautiful couple and when you sit with them for a minute they can make you jealous but beyond the affection is the passion to be committed to each other and help each other grow.

Interviewing this couple was so much fun and a very enlightening one, they were both so real and ready to share their testimonies.

Make sure you grab a bottle of cold Fanta and a slice of cake to step down while you read the beautiful love story of Busayo and Bunmi.

Enjoy!

Onome: Tell us something about you and what makes you special?

Busayo: I’m Elizabeth Busayo Bada, a native of the famous Abeokuta town in Ogun state, I’m an artist and a proud believer. I am also a graduate of visual art from the University of Lagos.

I believe every person is very unique and we all possess unique abilities from our backgrounds to experiences, passion and even gifts, we are all specially made.

I am a very unique being and some things make me stand out, from my creativity to my belief, gift, strength, passion, my identity in Christ and all the word says I am.

Bunmi: I believe every individual is special. The mere fact that there is no one else in the world that possesses the same DNA, fingerprints, experiences, perspectives and imperfections as I do makes me unique. I am fearfully and wonderfully made by God with hopes and dreams geared towards a unique purpose.

Back to me, I’m Raphael Bunmi Ogunjemilusi from Ayegbaju- Ekiti in Ekiti State, Nigeria. I’m a graduate of marine biology from the University of Lagos and I’m currently a doctoral student at Bristol University, UK.

My favourite food is yam and egg and I relax by listening to music and binge-watching TV series

Onome: Tell us about your waiting season?

Busayo: Hmmmm…. Onome, my waiting season. That’s a long talk but I will keep it short.

It really wasn’t actually a smooth ride before meeting this handsome heaven sent. Actually hearing God for what he wants you to do and not what you wish in your heart will go a long way in getting it right at once.

For me, it was a lesson and a phase, to start with I didn’t have the luxury of getting it right at once as I’ve always wished. We all have wishes and dreams and one of my dreams was to meet Mr. right early, I always thought the first man I would meet will be my husband so I tried but it didn’t work out, I gave the relationship my best but it never worked out, I was heartbroken, lost and confused.

Little did I know God had something better and bigger… He is still the best love story writer that’s all I can say. During my period of a failed relationship, I poured out my heart to God, prepared myself the more in all aspect and understood I really can’t do it all by myself but to lean on Him to lead and guide me.

Good things they say come when you’re not looking or when you least expect it. Something my waiting period thought me is patience, personal development and hearing God for what he’ll actually have me do and not something I have concluded in my mind before approaching Him, I also got to understand that it’s not just enough to love someone, its only meaningful when you’re loved back, doing opposite of all these can be draining and can distract you from God’s will and purpose for your life.

Patience and personal development in all aspect of life are key things that will help to pull through the waiting period successfully.

Bunmi: I only started actively seeking a relationship shortly after university in 2011. I didn’t want to be in a relationship just so I can say I ‘have someone’. I wanted something meaningful and long-term. My first relationship was in 2013, but it didn’t work out. Since then I decided to focus on my personal development in all areas and at the same time praying to God for a life partner that would be a lover and a friend. So, I would say my waiting season was a period of self-discovery and building myself up mentally, spiritually and career-wise.

Onome: How did you meet your husband/ wife and how did you know he/she was the one?

Busayo: Well, I met him through a mutual friend who is a dear brother to me and someone I can call my confidant, he really knows a lot about me. I had a lot going on with me personally during this period so at first, I wasn’t really thinking about starting a relationship, but as we progressed we grew so attached… so it’s not really some love at first sight thing or a fairy tale story, like I mentioned earlier due to the fact that I had a lot going on with me personally as at when we got introduced to each other so I wasn’t even thinking of a relationship but God had a better plan.

I saw a lot of amazing qualities in him from our first conversation, beyond the qualities what got me growing in love with him was first of all his eagerness towards the word of God and learning more another thing was his push towards me being a better version in all aspects, he believed in me even more than I believed in myself.

I was just getting over heartbreak from a previous relationship and this period made it kind of hard for me to embrace the signs and leadings I was getting towards building something more with him but the more I fought, the more it became stronger, I felt I needed more time to get healed

I wanted to be very certain because I didn’t want to make the same mistake but like the bible says, He makes everything beautiful in His own time so when it became so clear, I took the step of faith and began this journey and till date I have no regrets and I would never have.

Bunmi: I met her through a mutual friend. I was on a phone call with the said friend and during our conversation, he mentioned an artwork he is currently looking at on Instagram. He told me the artist is his family friend and sent me her username on IG. I went to check out her page and told him it was really beautiful. Long story short, he gave me her number and said I should say ‘Hello’.

From our conversations from the very first time I called her; I could tell she was someone I wanted to be friends with. Our friendship grew over time and after some time I noticed she possesses all the qualities I wanted in a significant other. I was convinced she was the one for me. I took out some time to pray about it and I felt the peace of God surrounding the steps I was about to take.

Onome: How is it like preparing for your wedding?

Busayo: Onome to be real with you It’s really challenging, especially when you have to do this within a short period of time and with your partner not close by to do the planning, shopping and all with you physically.

But thank God for maximum support from families and friends that God put in our lives who were always ready to sacrifices just to make sure we are not alone.

On the other hand, it’s fun to spend more time with and to plan with these wonderful people.

Bunmi: To be honest it’s a mix of fun and challenges. Planning for the wedding day – contacting vendors, shopping etc and at the same time carrying on with other aspects of life requires a lot of wisdom and dedication. The key is to always communicate with your partner and all the parties involved. It is also helpful to get families and friends on board quite early to assist with the preparation

Onome: What is the place of God in choosing a partner?

Busayo: The place of God is something that should never be compromised in choosing a partner because it’s not enough to love someone, the God factor cannot be thrown away. He’s the only one that can lead you to the right partner because He knows the end from the beginning so its best we rely on his leading when it comes to choosing a partner.

Bunmi: God knows the end from the beginning and the inner workings of everyman, so as a believer, It is ill-advised to not seek the mind of God in choosing a partner. The place of God in choosing a partner cannot be overemphasized really. He is the third cord that joins and holds the other two together.

Onome: Your advice to singles who are waiting

Busayo: It’s good to understand that finding the right person is a matter of being the right person

So don’t just wait for the right person to come into your life, be the right person by intentionally and deliberately developing yourself in all aspects of your life, no aspect is too small to pay attention to.

Bunmi: I believe marriage doesn’t change who we are but only amplifies who we are while single/waiting. Therefore, it is important to make the most of your waiting season. Give utmost attention to your spiritual, personal and career development. Trust and rest in the promises of God and develop habits that are consistent with who you are in Christ.

Onome: Congratulations to you guys, when is the wedding.

Busayo: it’s this weekend 20th of July, all road leads to Ijebu-Ode in Ogun state.

Onome: I hope we are invited?

Bunmi: (smiles) of course! The more the merrier.

Onome: Thank you for your time, we do appreciate you.

Bunmi and Busayo: It’s an honour, we appreciate the opportunity to share our story!

Conclusion

“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT)

I know there are days you want to just throw your hands up in the air and give up but the truth is God is behind the scene working out the best for you. Busayo’s story is one that gives me so much joy, her story is proof that God can work behind the scene and give you the best.

She was really heartbroken, frustrated and pained but look at God, He gave her beauty for ashes. He gave her a man that adores her, I’m not kidding, Bunmi adores and values her and with the help of God, their home will be heaven on earth.

I don’t know what you are going through but let this story encourage you that you are not alone, you will come out stronger. Keep getting better, keep building yourself up and keep growing to be whom God has said you will be.

I look forward to sharing your love story because when God aligns you it will be a forever love story!

Your friend,

Onome Omodara