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Impacting Nations

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

LETTER TO MY FUTURE HUSBAND

Dear Future Husband,

I prayed for you this morning. I asked God to watch over you as you go through this day. I told Him to grant you wisdom in the pursuit of your dreams and to work on you while we wait to become one.

I am the definition of a Proverbs 31 woman in the flesh; did I just write that? That is a lie: I am still growing into a completely balanced woman. The truth is, I still make silly mistakes and my mum still reminds me that I will get married soon, so I need to be better. Another thing is, God is not done with me yet.

Baby, I know you are not perfect either so we can use our imperfection to build a marriage that is beautiful! I want you to know that your past does not matter because Christ already forgave you; so I won’t hold your past against you and I hope you can do the same when it comes to mine.

I know you are the Ephesians 5 man: a man who yearns for the father, so I am confident that you will lead our family in the way of the Lord. You see, I know people have different opinions about me; some think I am proud, others think I am talkative, some even think I play too much, others just think I am secretive, while some think I am a flirt, but I know you are the best person to tell the world who I really am.

Baby, I know you are a man who will support and encourage my dreams and with you, my dreams can only get multiplied. I am also willing to carry your vision so that together, we can fulfil God’s mandate and purpose for our lives and relationship.

You have been given grace for this journey and when we are together, we will create magic and make our Father proud. I am not like the other women you have met: I am different, always ready to learn and eager to grow. I have been in different situations, met some bad eggs, but I am grateful because they have taught me to appreciate and love you better.

I am coming like a child; humble and open to learning. I am also coming like a mature and experienced woman, to work with you in building a great home. Someday, I will write books and dedicate them to you and our children. I will write about our marriage, to help inspire the next generation.

Together, we will take Jesus around the world and show people that good marriages still exist. I know we will have beautiful and smart children who we will raise in the way of the Lord.

Dear future husband, I look forward to the day I will look into your eyes and make that vow of commitment, to be right by your side for the rest of our lives, because I know our coming together is a blessing!

I want you to know that I love you already and with Jesus, we can overcome any challenge that may come our way.

 

Your future wife.

 

Conclusion

I wrote this letter to my future husband, and at the same time, for every single lady reading this; to know that the journey to the covenant is very important and the wait is always worth it. While we wait for the day we get to say “I do”, let us make a commitment to grow and pray for our future husbands; because when the Ephesians 5 man meets the Proverbs 31 woman, you can bet that marriage will be heaven on earth.

If you feel so lonely you need to know that you are not alone. I am your friend and we can always talk about it.

Until we meet again, which is very soon: I love you!

Your friend and sister,

Onome Omodara

IN LOVE WITH A CHURCH BOY

 

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.

Cheers to your beautiful love story!

Onome Omodara

Onomewrites@gmail.com

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

THE LOVE ADVENTURE WITH SAPELE JACKSON

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.

 

Conclusion

“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.

Your friend and sister,

Onome Omodara

LOVE AND ME WITH LIZZY

Hi,

My name is Lizzy and I’m here to tell you a story about what Love means to me and my journey with Love.

Growing up as a child, I never really understood what love meant and Valentine was just one of those days, I didn’t even such a day really existed and even when I knew it meant nothing.

My parents were meant to be my yardstick but from as a child, I  never saw them show themselves any form of love ( let this not surprise you) my parents are African and expressing of love was just not a common thing while I was growing up,  I grew up as a  mean and sad child. At age 10 I left my parents and I grew worse.

I started staying with different people, moving from one family to another some treated me well and some didn’t but still I never really understood what Love meant.

I started dating at age 14 thinking dating someone would help me understand what Love is but then I hated those I dated at some point, it went on and on like that for a very long time.  I got into the University and I hear so many of my friends fantasize about Love, then it occurred to me that love is here and then I said to myself “is this what Love truly is” I went ahead to date someone else, this time I didn’t even stay one week in the relationship as I started to grow pure hatred for him. Then I realized there’s more to love than dating or learning from other people experiences.

Life was going on as usual but some unusual happened to me, I came in contact with the person of Christ and for the first time I felt loved, I felt there was someone that loves me so much in spite of my errors and mistakes but then I still couldn’t reciprocate this love to people there was still a void in me that needs to be filled.

I dated this beautiful soul after my NYSC, with him I almost felt the same way I felt when I met Christ. This guy loved me unconditionally, he loved me with everything but then I still couldn’t reciprocate the love and at some point, I grew so much hatred for Him.

Having gone through all of these, I felt really devastated and confused.  I became really bothered about myself,  I wanted to know what really went wrong and then a question popped up in my heart “Christ loves you,  people love you but do you love yourself? ” so I was quick to respond why not,  I love myself why wouldn’t I?  Really why wouldn’t I?  Then I stopped to think well, I asked myself some basic questions and then I found out I never really loved myself.

I grew up never knowing who I really am, my identity was messed up, I lied to myself as often as I can remember. I crave for people’s opinions about me, I crave for their love but then I never loved myself. I felt I wasn’t good enough, I felt dead to myself.

Now I know what really went wrong, I couldn’t love others as much cause I never loved “ME”. I couldn’t stay in a relationship for so long because I never loved myself,  I jumped from relationship to another seeking for someone to fill the space I was meant to fill myself. I never felt happy being single because I never loved me, I couldn’t even stay alone because I felt it was someone’s duty to make me feel loved.

I know what the problem was, and remember you can only provide a solution to a problem you know of.  I started paying much more attention to who I really am,  I started channelling love to myself.  Yes, I tell myself I’m just good enough, I tell myself the best thing that is to be told. I remind myself each day about the love of God for me and it has kept me going.

It’s Valentine and I know you feel lonely, there’s no one to take you out. You feel jealous of friends that you know would definitely receive wonderful lots of valentine presents. If you love yourself I’m sure you wouldn’t feel strange staying alone on valentine and buying yourself a beautiful gift.

No one would ever love you more than you love yourself, you have to see yourself as the best to make someone find the best in you. Come to think of it Valentine is not just about boo and bae, it’s beyond what we find ourselves doing in this generation.

Valentine is a day to impact lives, a day to make people understand that they must first love themselves genuinely before they can love others and before someone can find them worthy of love.

Rather than wait for someone to love you, buy you a present or take you out. Love yourself, take yourself out, and give yourself that best treat you think you deserve. Enjoy your own company!

Be happy being single and if you are not single be sure not to make your happiness dependent on the other person.

I have promised myself to enjoy my day and have fun being by myself and I am content this way until God sends the right one.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yours

,Lizzy!