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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

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.