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FIVE LESSONS I LEARNT IN MY FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE

Hey Fam,

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary. Yeah, it’s been a whole year I came to give you the news of getting married, and it’s been a journey. Honestly, nothing has stretched me like marriage. I have grown, learned a lot, and unlearnt some things, and I’m still growing on this journey.

I want to share with you quickly five major lessons I’ve learned in my first year.

YOUR MARRIAGE IS WHAT YOU CALL IT

When I was getting married, I heard different things from different people. Everybody has an opinion to give newlyweds, which I think is not bad but you have to sieve what you hear. Some people told me the first year would be the hardest, and others said it would be easy. The people who said it would be hard have their reasons, and honestly, I fed on those words, and I found myself always afraid of what’s going to happen.

When we had no conflict, I was scared because I felt the peace was never going last. It took me a while to deal with this fear. I want to urge you if you are about to get married, protect your heart and declare what you want. I think the first year is the learning year, but at the same time, it can be sweet. The question is, what do you want?

I AM NOT A SUPERWOMAN

Ouch! This truth hurts. I grew up doing everything by myself, and it’s the reason I broke down quickly. Marriage is a partnership, and that is the whole point. After we got married, I noticed I was doing too much. I had a full-time job, a blog to run, a podcast, and other commitments, so I got tired quickly. All I had to do was ask for help. When I started asking my husband to help with some things, I felt better. I know you have been raised to be a home keeper, but you can’t do it all by yourself. It’s okay to ask for help. I find it easier when I’m cooking, and my husband is keeping me company. It lightens my burden. Women, it is okay to ask for help! You are not a superwoman.

MEN AND WOMEN COMMUNICATE DIFFERENTLY

You will learn this in marriage counseling, but the real deal happens when you enter into marriage. The way you communicate is different from your partner. I’m the one who wants to bear it all out, but my husband, on the other hand, wants to spend some time thinking about it before he voices out, so I find out that I get angry when he doesn’t tell me things on time. We had a talk about it, and we came to a middle ground, marriage is communication. Don’t expect your partner to communicate the same way you do. If you are not okay with anything, talk about it. Giving your partner silent treatment is not a wise decision. Talk about it.

DON’T TRY TO CHANGE YOUR PARTNER

This was a lesson I had to learn. For a long time, I wanted my husband to do things in my way. Let me give you an example. I believe in doing things ASAP, I don’t like it when decisions are taking a long time, but my husband, on the other hand, takes his time. He spends time analyzing and calculating the risks involved. This act would annoy me, but I noticed that he doesn’t like it when I forced him to make decisions on my terms. I had to sit down and understand the differences. Your partner cannot be you, so don’t force them to be like you. If you married yourself life would be boring so celebrate the differences.

YOU NEED JESUS

If you don’t remember anything, please do not forget this lesson. You cannot run marriage without God. You need the Holy Spirit. Forget about the paparazzi married people display on social media. It takes the help of God to keep a good home. You are two different people from different backgrounds trying to build a life together, so there would be frictions. We have had fights this first year that I thought would last for weeks but what we realize is that by the time we are on day two, the HolySpirit is dealing with us individually, and by the end of day two, we are apologizing and promising to do better.

CONCLUSION

Marriage is beautiful, and I can tell you that it’s fun, but the real deal is getting it right. Being on this journey with my partner has been blissful, and I can tell you that the wait is worth it. There are still good marriages, and yours would not be an exception.

I look forward to sharing and celebrating your love story.

I love you.

Your friend and sister,

Onome

see also: Our zero naira wedding

OUR ZERO NAIRA WEDDING

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

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

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

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

God never fails.

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

You have our love!

Onome and Daniel

LOVE SO DIVINE: THE CHARA WEDDING

Hi family,

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

I have got news!

Your baby girl is getting married!!!

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

HOW WE MET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE PROPOSAL

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

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

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

I have said enough.

 I interviewed my man and he has something to tell you

Enjoy

Tell us something about yourself

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

At what point were you sure Onome was the one?

The chara wedding

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

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

What makes Onome special to you as a person?

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

How do you feel about getting married?

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

What’s your most exciting memory about her?

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

THE CHARA WEDDING

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

CONCLUSION

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

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

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

I look forward to sharing your story.

You have my love.

Onome.