May 28, 2024
Why I Officially Married Her After 7 Years

When we discovered that Rachel was expectant with our firstborn son Jordan, I had only two options. To run, and turn my back on them, or to stay, get married and take up the responsibility. My final university exams were starting in a week. I had no job, nor a flourishing business. In essence, I owned simply nothing save for a child on the way. At that moment, I thought about my guardian and saw the disappointment on their face for this was not how they had possibly envisioned my life. The decision at this point seemed obvious, to run, and never look back. As fate would differently have it, I chose to stay. The harder route you may say.

A dance we had waited for: The wedding dance

YOU MAY HAVE MISSED: THE DAY SHE SAID ‘YES!’
The next couple of weeks after that life-changing decision proved to be the hardest. Here I was, a born-again Christian expecting a child out of wedlock. The shame, the guilt that came with it was unfathomable. Was I, however, going to progress with the negative self feelings which would only deepen if I chose to be a deadbeat dad, and betray my love for Rachel? It was indeed a trying moment in my life. I prayed about it and went with Rachel to our then-university pastor to report “our sins”. He listened intently to us, and as he prayed, he couldn’t hold his tears back. He wept for us. With his foresight, he saw how hard the road ahead was going to be. Regardless, I’d made up my mind to walk that hard path anyway. It was mine to face as a man of honour who doesn’t deny his own.

READ ALSO: HOW MY SON GOT ME OUT OF DEPRESSION

The Bible preaches to keeping oneself pure until marriage and here I was, with my sin everywhere for everyone to see. After leaving university, I needed a support system to help me cope hence I decided that telling my church elder at the time was the right thing to do. To my greatest surprise, he received us with such overwhelming love that my heart was completely moved. He looked into our eyes with compassion. This was not my expectation at all because the church has often been termed as no longer a place of refuge, where everyone regardless of their background, or what they have done is accepted, and warmly welcomed. It gave me the courage to face my guardian with the news even though I knew it would break their heart. This would not have been the case if he had rejected us, and even thrown us out of the church like many church elders tend to do in such circumstances.

Unto us, a child is born
Our graduation day with our firstborn

Fast forward, still jobless though, our firstborn was born. I remember vividly how I felt during the labour process, watching her groan in pain. Only wishing for a sense of relief which I couldn’t offer. During the pregnancy, we’d spoken about the wedding. I wanted to make our union official. However, with all the preparation pressure, my work dynamics, as well as the support around me, it felt like the timing wasn’t right. Did I want to rush through with a wedding merely because I’d got a girl pregnant? Not really. I’d be deviating from the true essence of what a wedding is. What gave me a sense of relief amidst it all, was my visit to Rachel’s home. Another warm welcome embraced me, lightening my load a thousandfold. In that setting, that was way earlier in the onset of our pregnancy, and my now father-in-law gave me sound advice. “Different people start their marriage journey differently. If you indeed love my daughter and have decided to stand by her and raise your child, I grant you my blessing.” To date, those words etched into my heart have led my path as a man, redeeming my honour. At my son’s birth, my heart leapt with the joy of seeing my new generation, but so did I feel a wave of anxiety about how I’d bring up this precious
human, and love their mother as I’d envisioned till death did us part.

Another child, more bottlenecks

It’s year three of our relationship. We’ve tried a gazillion job applications, and only a handful return the courtesy emails reading that ‘they wish you well in your future endeavours.’ Yes, we’re surviving by God’s grace. A donation here, a friend’s visit here, a business transaction there, and we lived each day as the Serenity prayer stipulates. At this point, our second bubbly baby was here, and no sooner had he landed than our short contracts ended. Unsurprisingly, we’d now closed five of our business trials. It almost felt like the heavens were against us. Well, no one said it would be easy, and it was our fate. During this season, we began content creation, recording our lives as a way of gratefulness, to help us notice the seasons that we walked through. A brief chat with our new church coordinator revealed that still, three years on, our heartfelt desire was, to one day have a wedding ceremony. It was so engraved in our hearts, and the route to that goal needed a whole load of patience. At this stage, we had everything written down in our journals. How we envisioned the wedding to one time look like, whom we’d invite, what we’d like to wear, to the smallest of details. It felt like having a blueprint of everything, just like Michael Scofield did in Prison Break. All we needed was a way around it, the time was still not right.

A step of faith that actualized the dream

One morning, when we were marking seven years of being together and raising a family, I asked Rachel, “Darling, I know it’s taken years. Do you still have it in you to marry me by law, in front of witnesses, and God?” She must have thought I was joking. You know the feeling of having shelved a dream for so long, it almost becomes unclear, or unattainable. A long silence later, she said “Yes”! Admittedly, I was elated. I’d made up my conscious mind, and the time was here. A few calls to my friends, family, and church community later, the dates were set, and the ball started rolling. To my belief, and attainment of my deepest heart desires, I married my best friend in a colorful ceremony. It may have taken years just as Jacob had taken his fair share of 7 to marry Rachel at his time, but standing my ground and wanting to honour my beliefs made me proud of myself. Indeed, if you can keep a promise to yourself, anything else is achievable.

Solemnizing our union- finally!
Written by
presentfatherhood
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