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

CONDEMNED TO DIE

“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 to die.

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!!!

Condemned to die

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 risen!

Your salvation is eternal.

CONCLUSION

“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 door.

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 hymn.

The strife is o’er, the battle done by Francis Pott

  1. The strife is o’er, the battle done;

The victory of life is won;

The song of triumph has begun:

Alleluia!

  • The pow’rs of death have done their worst;

But Christ their legions has dispersed;

Let shouts of holy joy outburst:

Alleluia!

  • The three sad days are quickly sped;

He rises glorious from the dead;

All glory to our risen Head:

Alleluia!

  • He closed the yawning gates of hell;

The bars from heav’n’s high portals fell;

Let hymns of praise His triumphs tell:

  1. Alleluia!

Culled from (https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Strife_Is_Oer_the_Battle_Done/)

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.

Thank you, family!!!!!!

You have my love.

Onome.

GOD, WHEN?

 

Writing for me is beyond a hobby. It gives me great pleasure and more so fulfilling when people send me feedback about how my writing has helped them. However, there were times when I did not feel like writing. What happens when the one major thing that makes me happy feels like a strange place?

These past few weeks have been quite challenging. I was dealing with a major writer’s block and not just that; nothing made sense to me. I felt like I was running on an empty tank and it became crazier when I couldn’t even pray.

The fact that God loves me was not in doubt but then, it felt like He was so far. I could feel Him all around but I needed more than just a feeling. I had a lot of questions to ask and I knew He had so much to say to me but I wasn’t ready to listen.

It’s in all of these I got to understand, that God surrounds us with the best people. While I was being so grumpy and angry, my significant other just decided to be so patient. He listened as I kept ranting. His presence is a deep assurance of God’s love.

If God could give me this man, then He surely loves me. Even in the midst of love and pampering, there was a vacuum that nobody could fill. There was a longing in my heart that needed satisfaction.

The journey felt so long and I was getting tired. The truth is, I felt like I was becoming invisible and because I had writer’s block I felt I was not functioning in purpose anymore but what I forgot was that God had to take me through a process and I must be willing to wait.

It wasn’t until I found my way back to the father; the one whose arms are always open wide to welcome me home in love, the one who would never give up on me. I cried my eyes out as I asked him to fill the longing in my heart, I asked him for strength because my own strength had failed.

I don’t know what your own story is, I don’t know the pains you are feeling right now. Yours might be a loss or a big failure and just like me you have been seeing God doing it for others and you are asking the same question “God, when?” “When will you answer me?”

CONCLUSION

“Be strong. Take courage. Do not be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) MSG.

Your waiting season is like being in the wilderness; it is not going to last forever. In the middle of the storm, God is right there with you. He has promised not to let you down and you can count on Him not to fail you.

When you decide to leave your challenges at the feet of the father, He will give you peace that passes all understanding. It was after I had cried out to the father that I found peace. I am at this phase of my life, where I am at peace in spite of all that is going on around me because I am certain that the father would always come through.

I listened to a sermon that helped my faith and strength. I believe it’s going to be of great help to you too. It is by Pastor Mike Todd. The title is Peace under Pressure.

Press play and listen

You are not alone and you will come out of this stronger and better.

I love you!

ALSO READ: DEAR GOD WE NEED TO TALK

Your friend and sister,

Onome Omodara

DEAR GOD, WE NEED TO TALK


“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14 -15 (NIV).

It was a Tuesday evening, Lagos traffic did no justice to my tiny body I was really tired and I just couldn’t wait to get home and rest. It was not even about the traffic, I was psychologically and mentally tired, as a matter of fact I felt so frustrated and somehow I mumbled the words “Dear God, we have some talking to do”

I got back home and had a conversation with God, I have been trying to bottle up how I felt for a long while and somehow I just assumed God would never understand because I couldn’t even put my emotions into the right words and I had forgotten that God doesn’t need my eloquence but all that matters to him is that I come just as I am.

I had gotten to the peak that evening and I knew if I don’t find a way to let out my emotions I would only be hurting myself the more so I got into my room that evening and had a conversation with my heavenly father and the interesting part was that I didn’t have the say the words the tears was enough and I could feel the warmth of his presence.

I felt real peace that evening and I knew there was a shift. I might not have not gotten all the answers I needed but I can’t trade that peace for anything!

Dear God, are you even listening?

I don’t know what you are going through and I don’t what and where you are expecting the lord to come through for you but one thing is certain; if you can pray, He is ready to listen. There are some days where it feels as though God is far away because the challenges feel overwhelming but even on such days learn to rest in the arms of your loving father.

Prayer is not a one communication channel, it works in both ways while you talk be patient to listen to instructions but beyond that enjoy the fellowship and companionship of His presence. Don’t come into his presence with a perfect heart, if you are heartbroken tell him how you feel and you don’t have to say the perfect words.

The bible says in Hebrews 4: 15 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin” (NIV). Jesus became human and he felt all you are feeling, how do you think God felt at that point when He had to deny his only son on the cross? He must have felt a big loss and his heart so broken and have you also thought of how Jesus felt too when his dear father who has never denied him of anything turned his back on him, no wonder he had to cry “my father, my father why have you forsaken me” and all this happened because the father loves us deeply.

We have a high priest who understands how exactly we feel. The next time your heart is so heavy and you can’t even process how you feel you can silently whisper the words or even scream it out loud “Dear God, we need to talk” with that you invite Him and even if you can’t find the right words just tell him how you feel and exchange your worries in worship.

ALSO READ: PATIENCE WHILE WAITING

Enjoy His presence and watch him give you a new name.

You are deeply loved.

Your friend and sister,

Onome Omodara

2018: LESSONS LEARNT AND THE JOURNEY AHEAD

Phew! 2018 is finally packing its load to leave for good. It has been a wonderful year actually, it came with its own challenges and of course it had its own good moments. I know if I ask you how the journey has been you sure have a lot to say.

A lot has happened during the course of the year but we are grateful for the gift of life and we can all say in sincerity that God has been faithful. I know yours might not be so cozy, it is even possible you have not achieved all your goals but look to the brighter side! You can still do more so don’t give up!

LESSONS LEARNT

There are so many lessons I learnt this year but some stood out for me and I hope it helps and challenges you as you progress and journey into 2019.

Whatever God tells you to do just do it:

One major lesson 2018 taught me was that God’s instruction does not have to make sense before you listen. I remembered trying to argue my way when I heard the instruction to write “there was a girl” but looking back at the journey the number of testimonies that came after that book humbled me and I’ve learnt to always listen to the father’s voice and obey, It saves you from a lot  of stress so in 2019 just like Mary said to the servants “whatever he tells you to do just do it”

Build relationships not platforms: 

A lot of times we struggle to be relevant and be seen but the secret is simple just build good relationships. You will always need people, when you are good men will always come running when you need them. Life was not designed to be lived alone so in 2019 be intentional about your relationships.

Be humble and teachable

This is  one major lesson 2018 taught me. Humility opens door for you, when you are willing to learn you will sit before kings. This coming year I can assure you that humility will help you if you choose to keep her.

Be intentional about growth:

Growth is not a very easy process, I can tell you it takes a lot of effort. This year I promised myself I was going to read a lot of books but at the end of the day I didn’t meet my target but it was a big lesson for me that is not about the words of my mouth but it is an intentional process.

Always acknowledge the place of God

I can’t underemphasize the place of God. He is the most important factor. I am never self-made I’m just a girl loved recklessly by the father! Take time to always acknowledge God after every little victory and I can bet you are setting yourself up for bigger victories.

THE JOURNEY AHEAD

 

I know we are all excited at the thought of a new year but what happens when the Euphoria ends and we are faced with a major challenge. Like a preganant woman we are all expectant about what 2019 will bring but while we wait we need to be very intentional.

Earlier this month, I tried writing my goals for the New Year and it occurred to me that did I really achieve all my goals in 2018 and all of a sudden I became so disheveled and at a point I was getting so paranoid but I had to come to myself and I realized that it’s okay not to have it figured out, just relax and celebrate your little victories.

It is not enough to set goals there is a need to be very intentional, what are the steps to take to achieve the goals and have a good result. Be very deliberate and intentional and if you can, get an accountable partner to put you in check.

CONCLUSION

2018 is coming to an end and if you didn’t get to achieve all your goals, don’t wallow in pain cheer up and start again. To those who encountered heartbreaks, pains and major challenges this year it is not the end of the world.

2019 promises to be brighter, don’t give up on love, don’t give up on your dreams I look forward to celebrating and sharing your success story.

Thank you for staying me throughout this year, if you ask any writer the real deal is in getting feedbacks. Feedbacks encourages us to do more. Thank you to everyone who sent me a mail, those who wrote me a note, and those who even recommended my books I am really grateful! Onomewrites is nothing without your love and support.

I am your invisible friend and I do love you!

Thank you for staying with me

Let’s do more in 2019.

Your friend,

Onome Omodara