Wednesday, February 28


I just thought I should use a tantalising title... wink ;-) no not really.

Okay I mentioned in one of my past posts (here) that I was going to talk more about abstaining. At the beginning of our relationship, Mr had told me that he would respect my decision to wait until we were married before having sex. I was really pleased that he was supportive and willing to help me. We both had a duty to help the other person to stay pure. At the time, both of us hadn't had very long abstinence relationships, so we didn't know what lay in store for us. We just started and let things take their course. As time went on though, we realised we had to come up with ideas on how we would not to get tempted to take things too far. As you know, it is one heck of a slippery road to keep your body under control when you are in a loving relationship.

I remember attending a few singles' seminars. No matter what topics are discussed, whenever there is a question and answer session, the question of "how far should you go before marriage?" always comes up. And whenever the topic of physical stuff in relationships comes up, there is usually a hot debate. Some people think everything you do is fine, as long as you don't have sex. Some people think even kissing is wrong. And then there are people like me who are in-between. So what's the verdict? Can we hug? Kiss? Make out? There are still no definitive answers. For me, I thought kissing was okay, but we just had to be very careful not to get carried away.

The first year of our relationship was great. I was learning and discovering so much that we didn't get too physical, nothing more than hugs and kisses. I was learning to trust Mr too, and I really respect him for not pushing me to go further than I wanted to. After we got engaged, it seemed things got much harder. We had been going out hugging and kissing for a year and naturally our bodies wanted more. At first we ignored it. But it became more and more obvious to us that we had to do something, otherwise we would slip. So we tried everything. We limited the number of time we saw each other each week. Nope, that didn't help. We decided not to visit each other at home. Well that didn't work too cos we could still hang out in his car or at the cinema. We stopped seeing other on weekends, and saw each other at weekdays. Still had issues with controlling our body's desires.

At the end of the day, we had to come to our own decision. So in a moment of "wisdom" we decided we would stop kissing. Maybe that would give us some relief. Well it did last us a couple of months. It was good to go back to basics again like before we started going out. And it was like rediscovering that we had things to do and stuff to talk about. Those months were great! Did it last long? Hmmm... a bit. We kissed twice in three months. But then held on for a few more months. Eventually we gave up and actually prayed to God to help us cos we couldn't resist the temptations on our own strength alone anymore. This is where some Bible passages came in handy: Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT. So now when my friends ask me now how we managed to stay three years without sex, I just say it was God that helped us.

Oh I must add that my mentors helped me a great deal too. Every once in a while, they would call me to ask how our relationship was progressing and then reiterate about the benefits of remaining pure before marriage. That often encouraged me. One of my uncles also had a girlfriend for 10 YEARS before they got married. When they told me they abstained for that long, my jaw dropped. And then I thought, if they can do it, then so can I. It still wasn't easy, but it made me feel more positive about achieving it.

Tuesday, February 20

Spreading the News

To say that the event that had just happened to me was a surprise would be an understatement. I was so unaware of what Mr had been planning. It was after the whole thing, that I started noticing clues. A week before, my cousin was asking me when I thought my boyfriend would propose and I told her, I didn't think he would propose till two years time! Meanwhile he had asked her to help him find a ring! LOL. I also remembered him checking my fingers and commenting that they were very slim. At the time he had been trying to judge my ring size but I hadn't suspected! And then I also remembered meeting his siter-in-law in church a week earleir and she had practically begged me to come for the party. And on the way to the party, my uncle was grumbling something like, "they should come to us, we shouldn't go to them..." I also remember him bugging me to give him my mum's number because he wanted to ask her something, and I had told him to tell me what he wanted to ask her but he wouldn't. Now it all added up. I'm glad I didn't guess though because I would have spoilt the surprise. I'm sure no lady wants to ruin the moment when her boyfriend asks her to marry him.
As soon as we left the party I called Mr. I teased him endlessly and asked him how he set the whole show up. He was blushing as he told me how he had planned it with his brothers and my family, how the party was a cover-up, how he had chosen the ring with my cousin, and persuaded my uncle to bring me. Awwwww..
The next day was a Sunday. As an usher, I smile when I welcome people, but it seemed everyone noticed that I was smiling even more that morning. My pastor came to ask me what was up and I showed him my finger. He was like, "Wow, so the man is serious? That's good...." I showed off my ring to my ushering team, and they were so excited too, as another member was getting married and we were planning a bridal shower for her that afternoon. After the service, I attended the shower and was imagining what mine would be like.... Later that afternoon, I called my mum and told her the news. She was pleased and she said it was time to tell my dad that I was in a serious relationship. I told her I would tell him when he came to England for my graduation in three months' time and she said that was fine.

For the next week or so I was floating on clouds. I remember getting to work on the Monday after, and my manager asked me if I'd had a good weekend. I smiled and showed him my ring. He jumped and shouted to everyone in my department, "Look everyone, Favoured Girl* got engaged over the weekend!" and they all crowded round my desk to congratulate me, offer to make my tea, ask questions about how it happened and such like. It was fun. I also told my sisters and two of my very good friends that I was engaged. At the time none of my other mates were engaged or married, so I was the first one to share such news. They were excited and happy for me, and I remember telling them to hurry up and join me soon.

But gist spreads fast o. Before I knew it, they told someone who told someone who told someone etc. I started getting different calls and emails from friends, well-wishers, haters and other random people. The funny thing was three of my male friends came out of the shadows saying they had crushes on me and were hoping something would still happen between us. I told them that it was too late. (More on this later). Some people were calling me to say congrats. Some people were calling just to hear gist and do "gbeborun". Some people called to say they heard from somebody else and they were offended that I didn't tell them myself. Some people called to tell me they heard I was married and I hadn't invited them to my wedding. Some people called my best friend to confirm fom him, then he called me to tell me that speculation was rife among some friends who didn't know me very well. People were spreading all kinds of rumours that I had gotten pregnant and was rushing into marriage to hide my shame. I heard another rumour that my parents could not afford to keep me in England anymore, so they were marrying me off to some rich old man who wanted a young wife as soon as possible. I was 20 when I got engaged, and I know that's young, but people can be so hateful. Why would such a thing enter somebody's mind if not for envy? At least find out the truth first, before spreading spiteful rumours.

Well I wasn't going to let rumours dampen my joy, so I chose to ignore them. I really enjoyed being engaged. It was fun telling and re-telling the story whenever people asked. It was great fun planning and anticipating the next steps that we were going to take. I still called Mr my boyfriend though cos I never really got used to introducing him as my 'fiance'.

Wednesday, February 14

One Year and a Surprise

It's Valentine's Day today! I thought it would be perfect to write a happy, oh-so-romantic post today. So here goes.

Before we knew it, time flew by and Mr and I had been going out for a year. I remember looking back at the year that had gone by, how much I had grown, how many things I had learnt and being so happy that I was a better person that I had been the previous years. We talked on the phone the day before. I suggested we should celebrate our anniversary by going back to the cinema where he had asked me out a year ago, and actually watching a movie this time. It sounded like fun. After the movie we hung out in the car (like in the beginning), swapped anniversary presents, and talked about the past year. I teased him about when he was asking me out then, hoping and praying that I would say yes. He teased me back saying I was already "jelling" for him so I couldn't resist. Had a right laugh about it all. I couldn't stay there till 3.00am though. I had to wake up early the next morning cos I was ushering at a wedding.

Besides we were meeting up in the evening anyways. The event was a party at his older brother's house. He had told me a week before that his brother was having a small get-together and I was invited. Initially I told him I wasn't sure I was going to make it because I had to attend and help at the wedding and my family was going to be there. He came back to me and said that my family had been invited to the party too and they had agreed to come, so we could all come to his brother's place after the wedding. That was cool by me, so I agreed to attend.

The next day I had a busy but nice time at the wedding. I like hearing the couple making vows and dancing and the whole point of getting married. Throughout the day lots of people were teasing me saying, "you are next!" and I was thinking "you people need to slow down". At the reception, I remember watching the happy couple having their first dance and thinking, love is sweet o! Little did I know.

Eventually I rounded up my family and we left the wedding to go to my future in-laws house. When we got there, I met Mr there already, his brothers and their wives were there getting things ready. I offered to help in the kitchen but they said I shouldn't worry, I should just go and chill with the kids in the living room. While I was playing with the kids, Mr's second brother got up to give a speech. I think it went like this. "Thank you all for coming, and many thanks to the family for bringing Favoured Girl* here. Let me not take too much of your time. I'll just step aside and allow the person that called us here to do what he wants to do". I looked up in confusion, wondering what was going on. Then I saw Mr who was sitting beside me, fiddling in his pocket. He brought out a ring, knelt down in front of me and said "Babe, you have been the best girlfriend I've ever had. The past one year has been wonderful (I was in a complete shock, it wasn't really sinking in, I managed to hear a few words) ...... official..... like to ask you .... ..... Will you marry me?" He must have waited for ages before I recovered and finally said "Yes!" and then he hugged me and put the ring on my finger. Then everyone came round to hug us and congratulate us. The rest of the party passed like a blur cos I was floating on some clouds all the way home.
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