Thoughts of Peace

I have been away for some time tidying a book project.  Yes, by God’s help, the book was successfully published on April 1st 2016 for worship Leaders titled ‘Leading worship’. Want to order for your worship teamLeading Worship Cover.jpgs? Please send an email to chinyere.ibeabuchi@gmail.com

Book projects are interesting.  From the conception to publishing stage is a robust process that takes a lot of time, idea processing, editing, negotiations, design, and preparation and loads more. It totally reminds me of our lives. Though unfinished; we are constantly under review mode going back and forth with the ‘Editor.’  Through the process, frustration is never an option because we want the end result.  In our hearts, we know that at the end, the sum of the entire process  will be beautiful.

The good book says – hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when it comes, it is a tree of life.  My prayer for you is that that season of ‘when it comes’ will come sooner for you.  So, keep hope alive.

I also learning to keep my hope renewed too.  You know my daughter turned two last month.  Since her birthday, my conversations with people have become interesting.

‘‘How now? How is Oga and Princess’’.

‘’They are both fine.  God is faithful’’.

‘‘Oh, thank God o! Your daughter is a big girl now o, when are we expecting number two?’’

OR

‘’Chi well done with the blog, am so impressed.’’

‘‘Please when are the boys coming?’’

Sometimes, I really feel like replying ‘‘did you read my etiquette article?’’

One other time, I actually began to fret.

Then I remembered that fretting leads to harm.   Yes, it does.

For everything, there is a season; a set time under the earth.   Therefore, in every season, we must keep faith alive, for we know that ‘‘surely there is an end and the expectations of the righteous shall never be cut off,’’ (Prov 23:18).

This is that season where every hold of delay is broken by the Spirit.

Our human eyes may not fully see the workings but our hearts must trust God’s plan completely.  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. peacethoughts(Jer 29:11).

If the Almighty God is thinking thoughts of peace concerning us, then we have no business fretting.  No matter what is being delayed in our lives.   Peace then must become like a pill you take at every time you feel threatened with fear.

 ‘‘Let the peace of God RULE your hearts…’’ (Col 3:15). 

My new favourite song is No longer slaves by Bethel Music.  I really like the audacity in the line ‘I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God.’    The assurance that we have a Father in heaven that cares for us is enough reason to be peaceful and hopeful.

My prayer for you is that the peace that transcends human understanding will guide you each day until your miracle comes.

Fill your mind with thoughts of peace.

I believe God for you.

Email: chinyere.ibeabuchi@gmail.com

 

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Become a miracle

Have we ever paid true attention to the news lately?  In church yesterday, we received updated news about the death of 60 children (actually reported as 25 in the news) in a village located behind my Church in Lekki, Lagos.  As reported, the cause of the sickness that resulted in these deaths was mainly dirty water and measles.   I was sad to discover that a simple resource like water and hygiene can still cause such mayhem today, but was relieved to know that some good work is already in process to support that community by drilling a borehole immediately as well as providing other supplies. Please follow this link if you want to give towards this cause http://www.thispresenthouse.org/give-online/.

All that kept resounding in my heart was: these are children many of us are praying for.  It became a reminder that while we are waiting to receive our own children, we must remember that we can become a mother/father to many others.  By deliberately looking out for as many that need support in raising their own gifts.  I must become a miracle to others. Giving is one sure way of keeping heaven’s doors open over your life.  Everyone has something to give; if we are sensitive we would see areas that need our attention.  Sometimes, we are caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and as such neglect or forget to impact (empower) those around us.  The times of waiting, famine and recession are the best times to give.

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Some years back, I gave someone that had a pressing need some money. He was so grateful, such that he exclaimed ‘Thank You, You are a Miracle’!  In humility, I responded, ‘no oh, thank God!  This brother of mine, smiled and said to me ‘Jesus came to earth as a miracle, to show us the way.  Now He has now empowered us to become a Miracle to many others’, so I know what I meant when I said you are a miracle.  I meant that God had used you to bridge the gap where I was in need’.   This response has been the reason for my giving.  I know that I have been empowered to become a miracle to someone.

Most of us are already givers.  Do not relent or be discouraged, rather REJOICE! Because, this is the season when God will send His rain to fall upon every seed you have sowed.  You have been praying, sowing; now God will send his rain upon your harvest.  The song ‘Send the rain’ by William McDowell aptly captures this prophecy.  Rain matters only to those who have seed in the ground.  You have done all that is within your power to do.  It’s time to cry out for the rain (the blessing).  The blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow (Prov. 10: 22KJV)This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming–it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time. (Hab 2:3 MSG).

May God give you a testimony, but while you wait for it you must become a testimony to others too.  In other words, make happen for others what you desire for yourself.  Our God is a rewarder, oh yes children are a reward from the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward. (Psa 127:3KJV).  May you receive your own reward in Jesus name.  Amen.

I believe God for you.

VC & Lily Perez’s story to Childbirth

Our own story is a complete story of grace.  I didn’t increase my prayer or make special requests for a baby.  But God sent us people at every key stage in our marriage to encourage us.  He gave us men as gifts.  Our 1st year was honeymoon, 2nd year ‘moon honey’ and then in the 3rd year, I became curious as to why pregnancy has not happened.  And because my wife was not faithful in keeping her ovulation calendar, I kept asking her to keep records assuming she was the reason for the delay.  Then finally, we went for tests in various hospitals, and alas! they diagnosed that I was the problem.  This was a shocking revelation to us.  To me especially, I never would have imagined it.

Finally, we went for treatments after receiving several cash gifts from family members and friends who supported us all through the process. God helped us all the way.  People kept calling and reassure us of God’s words.

Listen to counsel

As Christians, our answers cannot/may not come in the same form.  Our testimony came in the form of friends and family giving us loads of advice on fertility.  They were pointing us in the right direction, to seek medical help.  As usual with our society, Lily took most of the heat at all fronts.  I must thank both families for the patience, faith, concern, and encouragement.  As soon as we started the process, God stepped in and gave us our miracle.  Finding out that we had conceived, brought so much joy, emotions and gratitude. Then, we received the most shocking news.

We were still in the early stages of our pregnancy, when tests results revealed that the baby was not forming properly, so the doctors were asking permission to flush it out.  Tough! We were battling with so many negative possibilities.   At the same time, my good friend Gboyega (I fondly call him Bishop G), who didn’t really know what was happening, received a word from God for us and came to declare it, that ‘our time has come, and that my son has come to be a sign’.  It was this word of prophecy that kept us strong throughout the decision making of flushing the baby out or not.    We had to pray and believe God, then decided to leave the pregnancy still.  God did it for us.  The pregnancy blossomed, my wife carried the baby without any complications to full term. It was a seamless process.  God is God.  He sent His word to strengthen us and now His word has become flesh.

Toya Toya 2

Our baby boy came in perfect condition according to the word of the Lord.  We have named him Toya (meaning ‘praise Him’ in Igbo).

Adding action to faith

I must add that it was at the point of our accepting advice, going for tests and seeking medical help that God came through for us.  The faith that acts is greater than the faith that just sits.  In the 1st three years of our marriage, we were not concerned, we were just cruising our marriage.  We were ignorant about why we were experiencing a delay.  While you are waiting, do all you can in faith.  Faith in motion is the God kind of faith, because when you seek, you will find.  We are humbled by God and his infinite mercies.  I don’t think my income doubled from when we expected the baby till when he came but we did ALL we needed to still. God used people to provide for us.  Some of these people did not even know they were  being used to be a blessing to us.

My takeout…

Support your wife : Men please don’t leave your wife to go for testing alone.  For a long while, we were ignorant but God had mercy on our ignorance.  Ask information, seek help from people around you and He will give you direction.  Remember to use and value the people God has given you.  God works in mysterious ways, so we must open our hearts to him.

Prepare for the baby: Infact on a lighter note, I think we spent more time waiting for a baby than preparing for him to come.  Because we are now confused on some basic things a child requires and needs.  Now, I realize that a baby needs his own bed; I kind of assumed he can sleep in our bed.

God answers prayers:  My son came in the 5th year of our marriage.  At his delivery, people came, gave, and sowed extravagantly.  Toya came out blessed! Everything was paid for.  I wanted a boy!  I believe God heard me.  I sincerely desired a boy because we already had a girl, Esther whom we adopted early in our marriage when she was just about 4 years old.  Esther is 9 years old now.

In summary, two words ‘God’ and ‘readiness’.  Once you are ready, He will break the yoke.  In every area of my life, I have seen God prove himself over and over.  For you waiting, be joyful because when it comes, you will almost wonder why you were anxious.  As long as you desire it, and you can read our testimony, just know that it is not an impossible situation.  If it has happened for others, it will happen for yvcperezou too.  Now I know that childbirth is just a tiny fragment of what God can do.  So never lose hope, seek counsel, support your wife (or husband)  and hold on to God.

VC Perez is an ace music producer and entrepreneur based in Lekki Lagos. He can be reached via email kingvcperez@gmail.com, on Facebook VC Perez and Instagram  KingVCPerezoflife.

ETIQUETTE: 10 Things to note when ‘encouraging’ waiting couples

Most times with good intentions, we engage couples in order to know the reasons for the delay in conceptions.  For some, this has been seen as prodding or invasion of privacy which may cause anxiety and create unnecessary pressure.  Then the ‘encouragement’ becomes a ‘discouragement’ to the hearer.  Here are 10 things we can note when ‘encouraging’ waiting couples:

  1. Don’t ask a married woman if she is expecting, even if you are close – don’t prod. After all aren’t most married women expecting?  Pregnancy does not hide, please be patient.
  1. Don’t go off the scale talking about your little ones achievement and milestones while in conversation with a waiting mum/dad except they initiate the talk, in any case be sensitive.
  1. Allow couples to enjoy their marriage, honeymoon and waiting periods. We are on different race courses in life so rather than make them worry by your salient comments, give them space please.
  1. When they come to you, replace their fears with wise counsel, advice and commit them to God.
  1. The fact that couples do not yet have children of their own does not sentence them to become pity candidates or prayer projects. Even while praying, don’t let your actions negate your proposed intercession.
  1. There are fun ways to reassure a couple while waiting – visit them, pray with them (prayers of faith please!), write them encouragement notes, send texts or scriptures to remind them of God’s promises, give them space, remember not to ask how far?, any more ideas? Please post in the comments box.
  1. Remember Job’s story? Not all challenges are as a result of sin. When couples are waiting, they are not serving a punishment. God is always faithful to all His children and there is a plan and purpose for everything.
  1. When you are scheduled to meet with someone who is waiting, please don’t always attribute excuses for lateness to your children especially when they are still waiting for theirs. Plan your time properly and be on time except for emergencies.  More than once did I hear the line ‘it’s the children, you won’t understand’. I was like, really?
  1. When a married woman is ill, don’t be quick to ask if she’s pregnant unless you are her doctor. Even if you are her doctor, you would at least run some tests.
  1. NEVER tell someone who is waiting that they won’t understand. If they offer to help you, you can nicely decline or gladly accept. In whatever case, remember to be polite.

Be careful to be the one that plants the seed of hope for someone waiting rather than dig up the wells of anxiety.  You can never tell the impact your words and actions will have especially when they are alone.  Be a source of encouragement today, determine to bring hope, stir up a smile and reassurance that God is still working miracles, as we can see proofs everywhere.

Blessings!sarah position

PS:  Don’t ever give anyone the license to make you happy or sad during your waiting period.  You must encourage yourself daily in the Lord, remember His promises and continually rejoice in His goodness!  May the Lord satisfy you early.

TRIUMPH IN ADVERSITY

My name is Nneka Obiagwu, and this is the story of my triumph IN adversity ranging IMG_20160126_110144from fibroid complications, infertility, miraculous delivery of two exceptional boys and sailing on through a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I was born and bred in the eastern part of Nigeria in the 70’s and  all my life all I wanted was to be a diplomat; in particular I aspired to be the first African Female Secretary – General  of the United nations. As the daughter of a lecturer of political science I was quite politically aware and had made a decision after coming across a book of my father’s on How to be come a Specialist in International Relations that I was going to become a conflict negotiator, I picked out the courses I would have to study to achieve that, the schools I would have to attend and the requisite skills I would need to have, that was how serious and focused I was.

I swiftly went about accomplishing all those objectives; I graduated with excellent grades in Political Science from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and moved on to Abuja where I subsequently worked at our National Assembly and The ECOWAS Parliament, hoping to horn my skills before leaving for my graduate  program. It was at this stage in 2003 that I hit my first serious obstacle. Continue reading

Uche and Lola’s Journey to Childbirth

What do you do when the doctors say its impossible for you to conceive?  How do you keep faith when the years are rolling by to no avail?  How do you cope when people around cannot understand why you are waiting?   The sum of these answers  form Uche and Lola’s testimony and Journey to childbirth.  Their shared testimony will reassure you that ‘there is nothing impossible for God’, so here it goes:

UCHE:  From the moment we got married in 2004, we had our foundation in Christ and trusted Him solely for providing for us according to His promises.  We had a pleasant outlookUche wedding of God’s love towards us. However, from our second year we began to experience challenges in conception, but it never discouraged us because we took note of a couple of places in the scriptures giving us assurance that ‘the Lord is good, all the time’ to His people.  We believe that it was the goodness of God that helped us during the years of waiting, when people around us could not understand why we had to go through such period of waiting.

LOLA: We waited until our 10th year of marriage and God gave us a miracle.  On the 5th of October 2014, I was delivered of a preciousUche2 and adorable baby girl! We named her “Tehilla,” a Hebrew word which means praise, in honour of the Almighty God who made it possible for me to experience the joy of motherhood after many years of hope and expectation.  Handling the challenges of waiting can be daunting, looking back here are some things that helped me through the long process:

  1. Shut out Strange Voices: Listen to the voice of God alone when you are waiting for conception. The bible already assures us that none will be barren in the land, believe it and also look for more encouragement in God’s word.  I refused to listen to the opinion of people rather I chose to believe God.
  2. Get Busy: Like the shunnamite woman in the bible, who set a room in her house and relentlessly provided for the Prophet’s needs, I also plugged into my ministry; that ofworking with kids.   I have always being a passionate lover of chimba picldren, and for years I have voluntarily cared for other people’s children, including the ones with special needs. I went further to obtain a Master’s Degree in Teaching Special Education from the United States and also set up a ministry to help Children with special needs.  And when my own child did not appear to be forthcoming, many years after being married to a most wonderful man, I chose to place my absolute trust in the knowledge that God will eventually make it happen for me someday.  Please read more about my special needs activities from my blog (www.lolasnap.blogspot.com).

UCHE:  The joy I felt on receiving the news that my wife was pregnant was like the one described in Ps 126 ‘when the Lord turned the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dreamed…’  Infact it was such an awesome moment in my life because it had never happened in our 10years of marriage.   Are you going through moments of challenges in your marriage?  Possibly the expectation of a child or a desired dream in your heart, the scriptures assure us that ‘surely there is an end, and the expectations of the righteous shall never be cut short’.  As a couple, we held onto this verse while trusting God and He proved Himself faithful on our behalf and I believe that God will also come through for you.

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There were several nights we stayed up to pray and also to sing praises to God in faith.  We activated our faith whenever we heard the news of childbirth we would go over to rejoice with them and also give the child a gift including money.  Also, if there was a child dedication in church, we would rejoice with family joyfully such that you may even think it was our child being dedicated.  Often times, we felt people staring at us in wonder, but we remained unperturbed because we were certain in our hearts that we were on the right track.  We prepared ourselves and we were very expectant always, and particularly during our church’s (The Commonwealth of Zion Assembly – COZA) 12 days of fasting and prayer at the beginning of each year.

In our 5th year of marriage, we had gone through several medical tests in renowned hospitals in Lagos and Abuja and every step of the way we were told that my wife had issues.  However, we kept on trusting God.  In 2010, I was on assignment in Ghana and while in Ghana we underwent another medical test, it was then that the doctors diagnosed that my wife had no fertility problems rather I was the one with fertility problems and I was told that I would never have a child of my own.  However, we chose to believe the report of the Lord.  So we waited on God, served joyfully in our local church and believing that God would come through, and truly He did.  Some years later, two weeks after the annual 12 days program in church, we discovered that my wife was pregnant!  At first, the doctor didn’t believe us, He even considered that possibly there was some hormone imbalance, but however the test results came out positive.

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LOLA:  While we were waiting on God, I went back to God with His word severally; He maketh the barrenUche 1 woman to keep house, [and to be] a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD. (Psa 113:9).  This is a very strong scripture to me because despite the fact that the doctors had said it was impossible, we knew that God’s word was greater than any doctor’s report.  So, I spoke to my body continuously and by faith I would declare that, “I am fruitful,” that “every irregular thing in my body become regular,” “I am fruitful, I am the mother of children.”  In fact, by faith, I named by boutique “Tehilla’s Place”, and at home we would call each other ‘Papa Tehilla’ and ‘Mama Tehilla’.  And God made His word flesh in our lives.

God never fails and we trust that He will come through for you as He has for us.

We believe God for you.

REIMAGINE

Happy 2016 everyone, God is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all that we can ask or imagine…(Eph. 3:20) Take the limits off God. Congratulations everyone #2016.

FB_IMG_1451932229855Today marks our 8th year in marriage and counting, we are truly overwhelmed by God’s infinite faithfulness, love, grace, mercy and strength in our home.  We waited till our 6th year to be blessed with our beautiful gift; it was that process of waiting and delivery that birth this blog to encourage other families that are still waiting, not to lose hope and trust in God’s plan. It is almost a year since we began to share articles and stories of miracles as shared by other waiting couples.  We have seen God do it again and again and we are certain that your miracle will also happen, so do not lose faith or allow anxiety to overwhelm you rather REIMAGINE.

Can you picture yourself with your miracle? Can you see people rejoicing with you? Can you see yourself shopping for baby items? Can you see yourself out of shape lol? Can you believe again? God is able TO DO not only what we ask but also what we can imagine, infact He can exceed our imaginations.  The beautiful thing about imaginations is that no one can stop you from doing it, also you can imagine wildly and it is absolutely free!  Imaginations form a creative nature of man, if you can picture it then IT CAN BE DONE.  Let nothing stifle your creative power to imagine this year and beyond, meditate on what is what is right and true (Phil 4:8), strongly refuse to dwell on impossibilities.  For with God, nothing shall be impossible (Matt.19:26).  Even if all you can meditate on is: God is able, keep thinking it, and keep declaring it, it will become true for you.

We must be careful not to limit ourselves by our thoughts moving forward.  When God is involved, there is no limit whatsoever.  All things exist in Christ, and He is not bound by our limitations including time.  Because of our frailty, we are bound by TIME because we do not know when our conceptions will happen; this limitation can make us anxious. However, we are encouraged in Philippians 4:6 to be anxious for nothing (Conception, marriage, job, whatever seems to be delayed) but by prayers and supplications, let us make our requests to God (Why?) because we trust that HE IS ABLE.  So before your panic again, make sure you have prayed, then you won’t have to panic.

It is my prayer that this new year will indeed mark the beginning of great miracles in your life and marriage, GOD IS ABLE.

I believe God for you.

FRET NOT, IT’S CHRISTMAS!

merry christmasIn a season full of love, gifts and celebrations, the Christmas season reminds us of hope that what has been promised is still possible, it will happen.  Imagine Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus, still young in her teenage age, engaged to be married when the promise came to her.  It seemed totally impossible even to comprehend; she innocently asked the angel ‘how can these things be’? The angel responded ‘that the hand of the Lord will overshadow you…for with God nothing shall be impossible’ (Luke 1: 35-37).

There is no better time to read Luke 1, the two stories of Elizabeth and Mary are stories written to bring hope in this season.  Elizabeth and Zachariah had also been married for some years, ‘and they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the my familyLord blameless.  And they had no child, because Elisabeth was barren, and they both were [now] well stricken in years. (Luk 1:6-7).  However, when the word of the Lord came through the angel to them, that word broke the cycle of delay and she conceived immediately.  It doesn’t matter how long you have waited for this miracle, like that Angel of mercy, I speak into your life that you will conceive and bear children that the word of the Lord will break that cycle of delay right now in Jesus name.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t quite believe it, Zachariah didn’t also believe, thus he became dumb, because the word of God cannot fail, it must accomplish the purpose for which it has been sent (Isa 55:11).  You can also choose to respond like Mary: And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her (Luk 1:38)

Christmas is a perfect reminder that God’s words/promises cannot fail.  So whenever, you say Merry Christmas, you are also saying ‘It is Possible’!  You are re-enacting faith. There are load of testimonies written in the bible, more so there are testimonies living in our time, you have also read our stories, mine, Rev Laurie Idahosa and Gospel Amaugo.  Will you believe?  God’s word is greater than any situation. Elizabeth was barren and old, yet God’s word cut through all of that, and she conceived.  That is the reason Jesus came, to bring hope and liberation from dead situations.

2016My prayer for you is that while you celebrate with friends and family this season, you will suddenly discover that ‘something’ has happened!  That you will also become an Angel (prophet) to many by reason of your testimony.   Don’t give any time to fretting this season, rather spend time in thanksgiving, mediate on God’s promises, build your faith by reading Luke 1 and other scriptures, and believe God for a miracle; ‘And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. (Luk 1:45).

Merry Christmas, it’s possible! I strongly believe God for you.

Wishing you a 2016 filled with testimonies.

MIRACLE OF CHILD BIRTH

Testimonies abound everywhere as proof of God’s faithfulness.  The essence of sharing these testimonies is to strengthen our faith, ignite hope and create a reminder in the deepest places of our hearts that God is never late.  Writing from a male perspective, my friend Gospel Amaugo has graciously written their testimony to  encourage  us, so here it goes… please read and share with someone too! Blessings.

GospelAmyMy wife and I got married more than 6 years ago. We knew that ordinarily, there would be challenges to encounter in marriage, which is common in most marriages. The issue of how to meet our financial goals, ministry assignment, career development, adjustment to each other and integrating into the extended family, etc, are common areas that could be challenging for a young couple. Consequently, we expected that having children would be based on our plans and timing but our experience proved otherwise. We waited for 5 years to no avail. Naturally, it is expected that when a man and a woman are married, they are to have their first child within the next one year but when that does not happen, friends and family members could be agitated or worried about what could be responsible. Hence, the first step we took after many episodes of unprotected sex without conception was to seek medical advice. We went through a thorough medical examination and we were informed that there was nothing wrong with us. In a sense, that was a relief knowing that from a medical standpoint, the chances of conception were high. However, it was a bit complicated after about 3 years without any child. It became worrisome as we could not figure out the root cause of the problem. Meanwhile, living in the UK gave us the opportunity to access more effective healthcare service; thus we felt probably, the doctor that examined us in Nigeria was not as accurate in his analysis as he should be. Consequently, we had to go for another medical examination in the UK; nevertheless, the outcome was similar to the initial medical report. When you look at the issue from a cultural and a spiritual perspective of an average African, a woman’s inability to conceive is being interpreted as a problem associated with past wayward lifestyle, curses or as a result of witchcraft activities.

This mindset could be one of the reasons couples who are faced with issues around delay in childbirth or infertility are stigmatised in the society especially in developing countries. Thus, I could understand the emotional and psychological pressure that family members including extended family members go through as a result of this kind of situation. The situation could be well managed if the pressure was just external and not from the husband or the wife.  Unfortunately, most times, internal pressure comes from the husband who might see the wife as the reason for his predicament even if that is not the case. This has led some men into adultery, polygamy, divorce and remarriage. One of the reasons I did not for once play the blame game was my understanding of the source of children and their place in marriage. I believe that the primary purpose of marriage is not childbirth; marriage is a platform, which God gave to man to help him tap into the benefits of synergy as he partners with his wife towards the fulfilment of God’s assignment for him. Furthermore, children are part of the benefits of marriage. Having and raising godly children is in fulfilment of the divine responsibility of replicating God’s image and likeness. This means that any failure to raise one’s children in a godly way and in the fear of God is a failure in fulfilling that divine obligation. Thus, when the biological children were not forthcoming, we were sold out to God and focused on our divine assignment which includes raising spiritual children for God than being worried about children.

However, when the pressure became very compelling; for instance, when we heard of some amazing testimonies of people whom we were married long before we did and some of them have two or three children, yet we did not have answers to why our case was different. Friends and family began to make reference to some of these testimonies and why we need to do everything possible to break the jinx. We could have withdrawn from people but we did not allow the pressure colour our perspective to life and our relationships. If we received an express word from God that children were not our lot, we would have been settled with that knowing that He has our best interest at heart. However, in 2012, while we were in the process of deciding what next to do medically; God gave us a clear word.

One afternoon as my wife and I were about to take a nap, I had a trance where two hands carried a fair and handsome boy to us and led him in-between my wife and I. At the same time, I heard a voice say to me, “I have given you a son and you shall call his name Emmanuel”. EmmaThe message was sound and clear; it brought comfort and faith to us. However, it took another 2 years before that word came to pass. There were suggestions for IVF and adoption, but we were convinced that God did not want to share his glory with any man or perform this miracle through any other means that would make any individual question the integrity of what He promised. It became a trial of faith. The challenging thing about God’s promise when there is no specification as regards ‘how’ and ‘when’ it would be fulfilled is that one is vulnerable to human error in the bid to decipher the process and the timing of its fulfilment. That was the problem Abraham and Sarah had when God promised them a son, which led to the error of having Ishmael. However, when God clarified how and when the promise would be fulfilled, waiting became less burdensome for Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 15-18).

The other thing about indefinite waiting is that you get to a point where you don’t care anymore. For instance, you could end up not keeping record of the woman’s cycle. Imagine preparing for sex within a certain time in a month and you have done that for more than 60 months without success, the tendency to be nonchalant is likely to be high. However, faith in God’s word helps you never to give up. Before my wife became pregnant, I was the only one keeping record of her cycle, so I knew that the likely date for her menstrual flow to commence had passed. I did not want to alert her but I was hoping that something positive would happen.

Though in the past, preggy amy2we had occasions when her menstrual cycle was delayed for a few days, which ignited hope that she was pregnant but after the pregnancy tests, they were negative. Those moments were very disappointing; thus I did not want her expectation to be dashed this time. So after about 4 days without any changes, I convinced her to buy the test kit. It was so funny how the whole process of buying the kit and testing for pregnancy happened. We were curious and we were scared at the same time. We were curious to know if it has happened and scared that the result might turn out negative. I assured her that the best thing to do was to try the test and it was better that it came out negative at the end than going through the emotion that comes with uncertainty. It was funny how reluctant she was in knowing the result since I was left alone to check the outcome. When I said to her that it was positive, she did not believe me. “Honey, please be serious”, she said. At that time, I was wondering if I did the correct thing or maybe I misinterpreted the result. I had to double-check the strip to be sure which one signified positive. When we finally confirmed the result, my wife and I were emotionally hysterical; she was crying while I was praying in tongues.

It was just like a dream even though we had prayed and believed God for it. The next day, we went to the hospital to see a doctor who confirmed that she was pregnant. The gestation period was smooth and the delivery was awesome as well. Baby Emmanuel was born according to the word of the Lord. Sometimes, people ask me where he got his complexion from but I was not surprised because he is exactly the picture of the baby that was delivered to us in 2012. GospelAmaugo

One thing I have learnt from the whole experience is that God is faithful to keep his promise no matter how long it takes; and for anyone who is waiting on God for a child, all you need is a word from God and not the report of the doctors or the people around you. In honesty, it is not going to be an easy process, but if you hold on to his word without letting your situation mar your marriage or your relationship with God, you will surely experience the miracle of childbirth.

GEGospel Amaugo is a marriage and relationship expert with core focus on sexual health awareness, love and relationships.  He is the President of Relationship Builders Int’l Foundation and has authored 7 books including Sex Lies, Help! I’m in Love, Lovers Forever and Strength for your Marriage. You can keep in touch with him through Twitter: @gospellamy, Facebook: Gospella Amaugo, BBM:  74D02358 and Website: www.relationshipbf.com

Instead of worrying, PRAY

Is it easier to worry or pray?  Let’s think about it for a while, when you are faced with any situation, what exactly is your default position? (A) Worry or (B) Pray.  Most of us (including me) tend to choose option A in any situation, we worry about everything then likely remember to pray when things are looking like they are spiralling out of control, so we respond by saying ‘we have done all, we can only now pray’!.  I am learning to trust God more by praying in every situation, regardless of the circumstance and truthfully, it has helped my peace a great deal.  The popular hymn says ‘oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer’.   My desire for you today is that you will super-impose worry with prayer while waiting (or better still in every area of your life), that instead of worrying, you will pray.

 So do not fret or worry instead of worrying, pray.  Let your petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.   It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life (Culled from the Bible-Philippians 4:6-7 MSG Translation).

Most writers have given different formats to praying which works.  I have learnt to be sincere in my prayers to God because He knows my heart and understands my frailty.  So praying for me has ceased to be mere words, they have now become my hearts true reflection; just the same way I would converse with my Daddy.

prayCouplePrayer is not ambiguous, neither is it complex, nor reserved for a special breed. God loves when we pray to Him and truthfully He answers in His infinite mercies, and in His time.  He knows what is best for us and will give us His best at all times if we can TRUST HI
M wholeheartedly.  He makes all things beautiful in His time (Ecc. 3:11).   I pray to God for the little things, big things, infact everything about my life.  The scripture assures us that the prayers of the righteous avails much (James 5: 16).

Sometimes we talk about our problems to everyone but God; we forget to ask the One who can truly help us.   If we are lucky, we may find someone who may point us back in the right direction, but most times all we get in return is pity or maybe tears.  Some tears are really unnecessary; they do absolutely nothing for you. It is the prayer of faith that moves God and not only tears.  For without faith, it is impossible to please God Hebrews 11:6.

Prayer should be constant in our lives while waiting.  If you truly pray, you will not need to worry.  You will:

  • Be inspired to live joyfully,
  • Hear God clearly
  • be encouraged to keep your eyes on Christ
  • be led to the right medical team
  • receive answers for your prayers
  • rejoice even before your answer comes
  • testify in no short while

I sincerely hope that like Job “You’ll take delight in God, the Mighty One,
and look to him joyfully, boldly. (Job 22:26)
, that you would pray at all times instead of worrying and as you do, may you experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7).

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do itworried