With barely a month to the wedding, Kingsley went house hunting. He would call to ask my opinion as he went about and when he finally found the house he felt would do for our first home, he scheduled a meeting with the agent so I could see it before the rental deal was sealed. The landlord had some renovating to do to make it ready and it was clear we wouldn’t have time to furnish it before the wedding but we were happy and totally at peace about this house.
We decided we weren’t going into any debt in the name of having an elaborate wedding ceremony. We worked with our budget and with some benevolence from friends and relatives. We weren’t under any pressure and we refused to be put under pressure by well meaning loved ones who tried to push for more guests, souvenirs, a longer train, and so on. We would rather have a small wedding, than have a big one and then go home to weeks of being unable to meet our basic needs.
A few days of compassionate leave made it possible to travel to Abuja with some time left for last minute preparations for the wedding – hair, dress fitting, and our pre-marital counselling crash course. Yep! Crash course – it was done and dusted in less than four hours. You see, our residing in different cities and the moves to Lagos just before the wedding made it logistically impossible to fit into our home Church’s counselling sessions. No adhoc session was organized either. Another church was kind enough to organize this crash course for us and it was a blast. The pastor confirmed that we had read wide on the subject of relationships and marriage so he focused on critical issues – money, sex, love, submission, and God. Then he sent us to a hospital for the pre-marital medicals. That pastor really took a chance on us, and I’m glad we didn’t disappoint him.
I woke up on Saturday, December 22, 2007 and said to myself, ‘I am getting married todaaaayy!’ I was determined to be absolutely happy for the entire day. No photographer, MC or DJ was going to upset me. I got up, got ready and left for Church. Our family members and friends showed up from across the Country and we had a happy celebration, after which we retired to the Chancellery Hotels in Abuja for our very brief honeymoon cum Christmas holiday. We were both due back at work on Thursday, December 27.
We travelled back to Lagos the day after Christmas and I received great news from my office – my leave had been extended and I was to resume on January 2, 2008. God was gracious. Over the weekend, we got the keys from the landlord and moved into our home. We moved in with two suitcases – one for me & one for my husband – and a newly purchased mattress which served as couch, dining table/chair and bed. For the first few nights, my wrappers served as drapes and we had the most fun in an empty house. Now I completely understand that song by Nadia Fay that says ‘Home is where you are, home is where I wanna be, wherever you are, you can come home to me’.
That’s how we began our journey together… and now, mops, brooms, pots, plates, cutlery, curtains, TV, furniture, cars, and three wonderful children later, all we can say is ‘God has been good to us’ and we are ever so grateful for His first show of love to us in sending his only son to die for us in order to redeem us even when we didn’t deserve it or ask for it… even when we didn’t realise we needed saving. And now that same love overflows in our hearts, helping us to love each other through thick and thin, and to forgive each other again and again.
This journey is still on and we’re enjoying every bit of it.