I grew up in a predominantly Christian home, my mother was a very active Christian, Deacon and Sunday School Superintendent at church but my dad showed no interest in Church and rarely attended. It could be said that I was pretty much born in the church, though not in a literal sense. However, what is true is that I grew up in church. My mother ensured that all the children in her care regularly attended the programs of our church and actively participated. Many of my birthday parties were morphed into the Sunday School’s Christmas treat because it happened around the same time. At the age of 15 I was baptised and became the Youth Fellowship President at my church shortly after. In my university years, I wanted to know about the world and so I partially explored it. Thankfully the Lord drew me in before I made a complete mess of my life. The Christian journey is not easy, I’ve fallen and gotten dirty maybe too many times but God’s grace always grabbed me.
Growing up I never had dreams of getting married, I never planned my dream wedding to the ‘T’ like most girls. I became fearful of marriage somewhere in my journey because I was surrounded by infidelities and flawed marriages. I never wanted that, looking back I think my thoughts were “I’d rather be alone than unhappy”. My parents are separated now but it wasn’t just their marriage that caused me to feel the way I did because between family, my friend’s parents and people at church my eyes had seen flaws in marriages in every sphere. I think finding a love of my own is what helped me to get to a place of realising that their story doesn’t have to be my story. Don’t get me wrong, even after finding love and knowing I would marry this man the fear was very much present just not at the surface.
My Husband Jonathan and I met as children at one of the many activities of our denomination, we had no eyes for each other nor did we develop this shortly after meeting. I met him as the guy my cousin’s best friend had a crush on at camp and later found out he was a “hit” at their camp. I met his older brother and he then became known to me as John-Mark’s little brother. Though we saw each other over the years, we only engaged in small talk until 2012 when we became friends about 10 years after our initial meeting. I remember the night at camp very vividly, I was sitting on a wall after doing some reflections with Jesus and I saw him lost in thought, and obviously not ok. I was led to ask if he was ok and if he wanted to talk about what was bothering him and to my surprise he took me up on my offer. We spent the remainder of that night talking about what was bothering him and what I was reflecting on. As it turned out, our stories were very similar. Following that night and throughout the entirety of that camp we continued sharing very personal details about our lives with each other, which is very weird considering we weren’t friends before that night.
There is no mystery surrounding the fact that when men and women engage in deep and personal conversations, with little to no effort the romantic feelings will make its entrance without invitation. So it was for us, we left camp and expressed our feelings, went on dates and hung out all the time at school and decided to pray before committing to something serious. In my mind things were good between us but he later told me he didn’t feel the way I did and it left me devastated. The hurt lingered for a very long time and became intensified when I realized his new interest was a very close friend of mine. It was difficult, but Jonathan and I eventually became friends again. I had however made a resolve in my heart that I’d never put him in a position to hurt me again, that was until the Lord intervened and drove me to a place of true repentance and I confessed the unforgiveness to Jonathan and open my heart to him. This led to us proclaiming our love for each other and what the Lord was saying about our future in 2015.
Our relationship started with us knowing that we were going to get married, 2 years later we tied the knot. But before we got married, I had to work through my childhood fears about love and marriage. The Lord brought it to the surface so that we could deal with it. Jonathan and I spoke about it, prayed about it and read scriptures about marriage and what God’s ideal for marriage was more than a few times. After being married for two months I can say my fear is truly gone and I didn’t mask it. I am confident that we are writing our own story, better yet, we are living out God’s story of us. Marriage is a beautiful thing and when the Lord is at the head it’s even more beautiful. Each one is different, but all beautiful.
It was confirmed the very first night and again the first morning that “every marriage is different”. We’ve read books, watched movies and even heard personal accounts about how weird it will be especially the first morning waking up next to this person. When we shared our expectations based on what others have said, we both attested to the fact that our reality was so much different. The weird talks were so prominent that we kept looking out for it and bracing for it. We still haven’t experienced the weirdness 2 months and we’re not disappointed.
The best thing about being married so far is not having to say goodbye and going our separate ways after visiting each other, living together has been the highlight for us. I remember how it became a routine of mine to call him to keep his company as he drove home from spending time together. This was mainly so that I could know where he was and so that he was awake as he drove. There’s also a level of comfort knowing that we are “official” in the sight of God and the law which is higher than defining the relationship or a Facebook relationship status. There’s a certain level of comfort that comes with the intended longevity of marriage in the “till death do us part” of it all.
We entered our marriage on strong grounds because of challenges that we’ve had to deal with and overcome. A reality of life is that it comes with struggles and challenges and I have had my fair share of that in each season of my life. The season of my life leading up to marriage was no different and I wasn’t spared from the challenges or struggles that one comes to expect in life. One of the struggles that I faced was getting the money needed for the wedding in time and dealing with how I felt about the spending especially since we only had one income stream. Planning a wedding is a very emotional time and I remember saying very seriously, several times, that we should just go to RGD (Registrar General Department) because I resented the planning process and the fact that we were spending so much money. I didn’t believe my wedding was elaborate or over the top but I believed that it would have been more cost effective to make a trip to RGD and save the money for the future.
There were times I cried to Jonathan because I honestly didn’t think we had the money that we were spending, we never missed a payment deadline we never borrowed from the bank, we got married and didn’t owe any one but in the moment the pressure was high for me. I believe I am a visual person, I have to see things so in making plans I will draw or write things down. In the case of the money for the wedding I wasn’t seeing it all come together or where it was coming from and that was a big problem for me and a high stress factor. Meanwhile, Jonathan kept saying stop worrying we’ll get the money it will be fine and I would honestly get annoyed until I realised that was his faith at work. He was my stress reliever and he always pointed me back to God and how He came through for us several times before. This man the Lord gave me balances out my life so good and I laugh when I think of the mini bridezilla I almost became a few times. Because though physically we had one income stream, spiritually we had all the abundance of our Lord, and he led me to realise that.
The Lord came through by opening the store houses and He provided for us mainly through our family members. I never felt as loved as I did through the act of kindness and love poured out on us by our family and ultimately by God. They truly rallied around us and supported us in a major way and seeing that was like manna from heaven to me, a miracle. The whole process helped me remember how good and how awesome God is to us His people. I wasn’t worrying about a second stream of income after the wedding, I just prayed and waited and of course the Lord came through as always.
We had no doubt that the Lord ordained our union and as much as I’d love to be able to say we’re together because we love each other I know that is not the main reason. There is a ministry to be birthed out of our union. He has a purpose in this and it’s bigger than us, it is so that He will get the glory, so that He will be lifted and so that His family will be extended. We have seen glimpses of what the Lord can do through both of us in ministry and I am still amazed and looking forward to the great things we will be doing for our Lord. The marriage is still very new, you could say we’re still in the honeymoon phase. We’re being very careful not to stay in this phase for too long as we might distance ourselves from our friends and loved ones. However, we’re still in the process of getting things together. We’re also still navigating through the newlywed waters, discussing with each other and praying and seeking the Lord together for his guidance as to what’s next for us. We’re married but this isn’t it, we want to improve on life, keep learning and growing. I’m all about goals and plans and we’re currently thinking of our 3-year plan which considers 1. What’s going to happen before children? 2. What do we want to achieve personally and as a couple? 3. Where do we want to go?
In my single life I despised hearing that it was a time to get to know myself, I wanted a companion, not necessarily a husband but a good/loyal boyfriend who knew the Lord and didn’t pressure me for sex. The speech often came from people who were either married or dating and so it felt as if they had no right to speak because they aren’t in the struggle, in my annoyance it never occurred to me that they must have been single at some point too. One summer I read a book titled “Single and Satisfied”, it mentioned persons asking Jesus to delay His return until after they’ve been married. The funny thing is that I’ve heard it all too often to think it wasn’t the reality of many single Christians, mostly females. My advice to singles is:
1. Wait upon the Lord! Often, we want something so bad that we willingly accept less than we deserve, this was true for me, I’ve kissed many frogs before I found my Prince. The Lord knows what the future holds and who should and will be in it, He knows the time for it and His timing is perfect. Therefore, just trust God and stop looking! You don’t know what you need or who you need for the journey. Many of us have a long list of must haves in guys but some items come with this superficial person. Eve never went looking for Adam, God woke him when it was time.
2. Get to know yourself and allow Got to fix you! It took me a while to get to know myself and allow God to fix what needed fixing. I now know that the first time around with Jonathan was not the right time because I would have messed that up in no time. I was an insecure mess, I wasn’t ready for a forever love.
3. Get lost in serving the Lord: Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.
4. Marriage is worth waiting for and should be the goal! Dating is not the goal, and if that’s something you’ve being asked to settle for then don’t take it.
You’ve just read a chapter of the book of Oprah Simpson. I am not afraid to be transparent. My chapter is my testimony.
Heavenly Father, You are an Awesome God. I come to you in prayer for all who will take time to read this excerpt from my life, which is a story of you and your love because without you I am nothing. Father I pray a blessing on your children who are single and waiting or single and satisfied that you will keep them pure and that their testimony will not be tainted in this time. Lord, you know the struggle and the temptation that comes along with the wait, but you know what is on the other side and that it is possible to wait. Help your children to place You at number one Lord and not the desires of the flesh or the things of this world. Father please provide an outlet for your children as we often feel alone and trapped and that is never a good feeling or place to be. We need to be there for each other as a community of believers looking out for each other and keeping watch over each other so help us to feel safe to share our stories to help others just as the stories from your word have been given to help us learn from the lives and mistakes of others. We may be Joseph escaping the temptation or David who fell into it but Lord help us to realise that we are never too far that you can’t reach us, cleanse us and use us. I pray that you will restore the hearts of those who have been hurt by sharing their stories in the past, heal them and help them to be willing to share again to help others or to overcome the enemy as your word says in Revelation 12:11 ”And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimonies…” Thank you for your Grace that abounds Father and the promise of your presence with us.
NB: I originally wrote this post for my friend’s blog I however thought it was a fitting first post for my blog!