So… I’m married guys. Nope, it’s not a prank. I’m being very real. I realize that I haven’t shared a peep about my relationship here, so this blogpost may be a whirlwind tour, fasten your seatbelts guys, we’re in for a ride.
It’s June 2021, I’ve just taken a new short-term role in the sunshine coastal city of Scarborough – I needed time to myself, I had just escaped a terrible relationship and needed time to really understand what led me to almost make such a costly mistake. So I took a job in a town 5 hours away from home where I knew no one. A fresh start.
Back to the story – it’s my first day and the rota coordinator takes me to the ward I’ve been stationed at, the only doctor in the lobby area at the time is Samuel – my future husband – so she asks him to be my guide for my first week, you know to show me how things go around the ward. Funny enough after my first week we didn’t ever work on the same ward again haha, but we would bump into each other in the Doctor’s mess and exchange a few words here and there. That was it. It was only in the last week of my contract that there was going to be a Junior Doctors ball and I got invited by the committee. Samuel was the only unmarried (as far as I could guess) friend I had at the hospital, so I asked him to go with me. That was all the rationale I promise – I’m very clear on work relationships remaining strictly platonic so I never even considered the possibility of us being together. Samuel on the other hand, had been praying for an opening to tell me how he felt about me and grabbed the opportunity that this ball gave with both hands! I was so shocked, I literally had my eyes shut to anything love and was purely focused on being my best self – which he thoroughly appreciated. He said he loved that I was just happy by myself, was friendly with everyone equally and had an inner joy that was palpable.
So from the ball we continued talking even as we moved to separate cities and I began praying about my decision. You may be thinking “ah so serious?” Well on our first proper date, Samuel told me in no unclear terms that he would like to date with the full intent to marry me shortly afterwards – so I had to find out what God had to say about it, it’s a life altering decision after all. I was extra blessed because I truly didn’t have clouded emotions at the time. Having just escaped a toxic relationship I wanted to be extra sure I wasn’t making the same mistake, so I took my time to ask all the pertinent questions whilst I asked God for guidance.
Long story short, God gave me an answer as clear as day and we began a relationship. My parents were informed swiftly and he met them the very next month after we became official to ask for my hand in marriage – yes he really was as serious as he said! My parents quizzed him and eventually gave their blessing – next step was the church.
I had heard many things about my parents’ church’s marriage committee. I assumed most of the negative things that I had heard only occurred in Nigeria and that in the UK they would be far more reasonable. I was wrong. The things I and my husband experienced on the journey to get married in their hands… I still can’t fully speak on it. Many people excuse their choice of methods saying that it’s meant to sieve out the people who aren’t really meant to get married, but I don’t think the life-changing decision of marriage is one where you can apply “the ends justifies the means” rhetoric. It’s far too important.
I cried for weeks on end at some points in 2022. You’d notice I stopped blogging for a long time. I couldn’t bring myself to pretend to be able to write about anything when I was going through such pain – and I didn’t feel safe enough to talk about it openly. The few people that I did open up to during the storm would say to me “if you were anyone else, I would know exactly what to advise you, but because it’s you and I know what you value, I have to just pray for you”.
I realize I’m not sharing details and to be honest that’s okay. Some scars don’t need to be reopened to be completely healed from. After everything happened, we had to give up the wedding we were planning less than a month to the date – losing a whole lot of money.
It was as though I’d lost on all sides. You see, in the midst of being told that they’d never marry me [to anyone] by the church, and my mum insisting that I had to marry at that church, assuming the committee weren’t seriously going to deny their youth leader and choir member the honor of a church wedding – my life was on pause. Church said never and mum didn’t want to accept it and kept insisting we “wait indefinitely” – but the only person truly at loss was me.
Every Sunday service went on as usual, my mum was in her peaceful retirement – but I’m the one who had already resigned from my job in preparation for my move, my parents’ home had emptied out and our mortgage had started running in my new home. So if I didn’t make a decision, at best I’d have remained in an empty house, jobless and very soon very broke – whilst the people that would have influenced that decision would have continued their own lives, unscathed.
So, September 8th 2022, Samuel and I got married on a Thursday morning with my siblings as our witnesses in the local court. In under 30 mins, we went in engaged and came out legally wedded.
It wasn’t close to the wedding I wanted, but I was surely over the moon to finally be starting my new life with the man that God destined for me. Since then, marital life has been blissful. God blessed us with a beautiful home, and very shortly after we moved in I got a great new job too. We also found an amazing local bible-believing church that showed us the love of Christ from the very first day. The love was so tangible, I didn’t know how much I needed it till I received it.
Yes, we experienced so much hurt in the journey here, but strangely enough, it strengthened us. Our resolve to remain together was enforced and so our love truly became like the three-fold cord that couldn’t be easily broken.
So yeah, that’s the story! Our families were later informed of our decision and made peace with it. Maybe someday in future I’ll get to wear my white dress, but till then and beyond, I’m just so grateful for my husband. The things he withstood just because he wanted to marry me were…saddening. But he stuck by me and I’ll always be by his side too by the grace of God. My forever fave ❤️
Till next time,
Dr. ETP xo