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.
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.
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
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
“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.
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
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
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!
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
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?
(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
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.
“He hath made everything beautiful in his time”
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!
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
“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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
“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.
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.
While growing up, I was eager to date a church boy: I felt they would be kind and know how to treat a woman right, but that mindset changed as I grew older. I encountered the bad eggs and was petrified to realize; that some approved sex before marriage.
I have had my share of wrong relationships; the scariest heartbreak I had was from a guy I met in church. After the experience, I made up my mind I was done with church boys. As a matter of fact, I didn’t mind dating an unbeliever: I told myself I would drag him to church, but God had better plans for me. Interestingly, I got to meet a church boy about two years later and I am passionately in love with this man.
This article is not about me. I know there are people like me, who gave up on church boys, and some, who would rather meet a man in a club, than in church. I am not judging your decisions but before you give up on godly men, you need to read this…
THE EPHESIANS 5 MAN
“In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself” (Ephesians 5:28).
The reason a lot of us are dealing with heartbreaks is because, we keep doing things God didn’t ask us to do. God never asked you to date a church boy. It wasn’t written anywhere in the scriptures, that you have to marry a man you meet in church.
The church is like a hospital: some are sick, some are recovering while others have fully recovered. Therefore, anybody can be a church boy, but it takes more than going to church to be an Ephesians 5 man. It took me a while to understand that, when you choose to wait on God, He will give you the best.
The Ephesians 5 man is a rare breed. In simple terms: he is “the kingdom man”. This man doesn’t just go to church: he loves God passionately and is pursuing a relationship with the Lord. This man loves his woman, sees her as the helper for his journey to purpose, pursues and covers her as Christ does.
There is a difference between a nice man and a kind man. Also, there is a difference between a good man and a godly man. The fact that a man is good, does not translate to him being godly. The real difference is that a godly man does not make decisions without consulting the King, and every day, he is pursuing after righteousness and holiness. Interestingly, this man is even asking the father how to love you right. He is not just a random man: he is a gift!
Stop stressing yourself over meeting the right man: hand over your love life to the father and I assure you, that He will make your paths cross. You may not meet him in church, but when you do, you will be grateful you waited; because the Ephesians 5 man, is worth the wait!
At the end of the day, the Ephesians 5 man is a church boy, who loves the Lord and is committed to the growth of the kingdom.
I pray for everyone waiting on the lord for their Ephesians 5 man, and for those searching for their proverbs 31 woman: may the father order your steps, and at the right time, your paths will cross. While you are waiting, keep pursuing God. The best is here already.
I was trying to check through Instagram to see what’s happening and all, then my eye caught something. It’s my friend Jackson he is getting married and I was so excited. I could be hopelessly romantic on some occasions and I get so excited when I have to share love stories, it actually proves the faithfulness of God.
I reached out to Jackson and he was more than ready to share his love story. I must appreciate his sincerity and humility to share this story. Love is a very beautiful thing when you find the right one and if there is one thing I have to come to discover is the fact that God writes the best stories.
Do me a favour, grab a bottle of Fanta and let’s go on this adventure together. I can assure you that you are in for a great ride!
Onome: let me start by saying a very big thank you for creating time out of your busy schedule to do this. What makes you special as an individual?
Jackson: You are welcome Onome, it’s a big honour. What makes me special? I would say new birth in Christ which has opened me up to a unique identity with Christ and eventually led to divine election and calling.
Onome: hmm, tell us something about you.
Jackson: I’m SAPELE Egwonor Jackson, a Nigerian citizen from Delta state, okpara inland in ethiope-east LGA to be precise. I’m a graduate of Sociology and Anthropology from Nnamdi Azikwe University Awka. I am currently based in Yala LGA of Cross River State, serving as a full-time pastor with Living faith church, Aka winners chapel under the mentorship and fatherhood of Bishop David O. Oyedepo.
Onome: Tell us about your waiting season
Jackson: Early years on campus I began to pray about my life partner. In my 200level, I made a silent prayer, asking God never to make me get married to a person that will bring dissatisfaction and lack of fulfilment to my life. I tried a couple of relationship two precisely but they didn’t work out, in all God was busy orchestrating my path I believe.
I decided to pursue purpose, I obeyed the call of God to go into full-time ministry and in my first assignment, I understood the real meaning of help meet. So I will say my waiting season was a period I focused on pursuing God’s divine purpose for my life. I believe it is purpose first before life partner. From experience, I discovered it is easier to discover your life partner while pursuing God’s purpose.
Onome: Thank you for that, so how did you meet your wife?
Jackson: As I said, I met her on my first missionary assignment. The very first day I reported, it was obvious to me that I have found my missing rib. I met her in church. The very first day I stepped into the church I was posted to serve, she was the one leading the opening worship, I couldn’t stop looking……. Onome, you know the rest.
Onome: (laughs) how did you know she was the one?
Jackson: Hmmm, sincerely, it took some time before I finally accepted what my heart desired. I was trying to heal from the past relationship, I wanted enough time, but God had a better plan for me, funny enough after few months of praying, seeking counsels, thinking(i thought more) and observing her as a friend, I discovered she’s the exact person I have been praying for right from my campus days. I had peace, lots of Joy and I was always satisfied and fulfilled talking with her. As friends, we could talk for several hours. I just knew and to crown it up, God gave a series of scriptures to back up my convictions.
Onome: How is it like preparing for your wedding?
Jackson: It’s exciting and fun-filled. Going out together for shopping, and other arrangements. Though we are doing more of reading marriage books, to gather adequate and sufficient knowledge for the life journey together.
Onome: What is the place of God in choosing a partner?
Jackson: The place of God is irreplaceable. When God is absent in a believers choice for a life partner, then someone or something else is present. I have always had the notion years ago, that God knows the future better than us. He knows the internal workings of everyman better than even our parents. God knows if someone is pretending or not, no man can deceive God, no matter how you think someone is good for a spouse, you will need to seek God’s face for approval and confirmation. Venturing without God’s leading and His backing is an unknown and unsafe journey.
Onome: What’s your advice to singles who are waiting?
Jackson: Your waiting time shouldn’t be wasted time, locate your God-given purpose for living and venture to it as led, that’s the best way to wait. Adam the first man was on his divine assignment and his wife met him there. Ignore anxiety and rest on God’s promises, the delay is never a denial. It doesn’t take time, it only takes God.
Onome: Thank you for this deep revelation, when is the wedding and I hope we are all invited?
Jackson: Of course everyone is invited if they can come. The wedding takes place on the 16th of March at cross-river.
Onome: Thank you so much for your time.
Jackson: Anytime Onome, it’s a big honour.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3: 5 (NKJV).
There is always time for everything and God has it all figured out. All you need to do is trust His timing and leading. Sometimes, the road is lonely and feels so long but you can be so sure God has got you and He is writing your story. Don’t try to steal the pen from Him, be patient because when God aligns you with your partner it is a forever kind of love story.
Congratulations to Jackson and Mercy, we wish them a happy married life!
Trust the father and enjoy the season, I look forward to sharing your love story.