Wednesday, 31st May 2023

Travelogue: Nigeria, an exciting country

By Felicia Marie-Oni
26 March 2023   |   5:19 am
My life has changed forever because of my diligence, trust, sacrifice and commitment to trust God and go all the way back to the beginning and start all over again. That would begin in Africa.

Marie Oni

My life has changed forever because of my diligence, trust, sacrifice and commitment to trust God and go all the way back to the beginning and start all over again. That would begin in Africa. I researched for a few years and studied the lives of African people and the battles they face that has made Africa the Mecca of the world. 

I never imagine I would meet the love of my life from all the way across the world in Nigeria. But in my search of my purpose, our worlds met. Our spirits were searching and seeking God for our soulmate and his purpose for our lives. And we did this soberly, lonely, feeling rejected, unworthy, and tired of life as we had been experiencing it and we wanted more.

Not living life in purpose is a very miserable, uncomfortable, discouraging and disappointing life. Your life is moving but it’s not feeling fulfilled.

Trying to do things your way and partially in God’s way will misguide and mislead your life to the wrong places and people and things. Once I went back to the person I was as a little girl, things changed.  

The church girl who everybody rejected, teased, disliked and misunderstood. The church girl who wore dresses everyday and went to church thrice a week. The girl I was ashamed of and whose identity I was trying to change. I went back to being her and not this wannabe, to impress and blend in with people to be accepted. I became the person who God was developing me into in the years of my youth. I dared to be different and came from among them and separated myself, and stayed true to God and walked behind God instead of in front of him. I let God lead my every step and I just stayed the person really nobody liked. I was different. I tried to alter my personality to a personality that people liked but it didn’t work because it was not me. I was a more gentle, loving, kind, understanding, Godly, African person, which was not really cool. Other people rejected her and so did I. I found my life going deeper into a hole that was not befitting for the real me and the vision I saw for myself.

I saw myself in the church, married with children and living a righteous life unto the Lord, so I rejected my past and went back to the real Felicia Marie. The rejected stone went back home… home to her real father, God.

This decision blinded me because I now was walking behind God and not in front of him. It’s a journey that you don’t know where you are going but you know it’ll be okay because I was walking behind God, and I began to become comfortable in my new shoes and God began to show favour in my life.

My business grew, my family life grew, everything in my life started looking and feeling more like right. I began to preach the gospel with no shame and proclaiming the name of Jesus over the internet, which is how I was introduced to my loving husband, crowned Prince, pastor, politician, Overseer Solomon Ayodeji Eniola Oni.

He found me proclaiming the word of the Lord, and I found him doing the same. When God is in it, there are no limits. Now my husband has come. I knew he was my husband because I was in my season and I saw all the signs that he was heaven sent to me by God.

In order to receive from God, you have to believe in God, believe in miracles, believe in signs and wonders. I believed and received. I forsake the challenges and work that needed to be done to meet my husband and God moved me beyond them.

I left to marry my husband on January 22, 2023. When I arrived in Kenya, Nairobi, I realised that I had made it to the motherland, a place that had never been visited in my past generations, besides my daughter who visited Ghana, Africa six months prior. I had touched the golden land and a milestone. The struggle was worth it. Once I waited for the plane to touchdown at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, I made it home to my Man, Marriage and Motherland. I knew I was in the right place and with the right people. I knew God was pleased and leading my life. I knew once I made it to the Motherland that I had been rewarded from God. I was on the road to my new future in life. You must humble yourself to God all the way, before you see the goodness of God you have to see all facets of his life and his people.

Sometimes all we want to see is the good parts of God’s life and his existence but there is good in seeing all of someone and that’s what I saw in Africa. Africa has no shame, it’s a place that is thankful and appreciates its origin and culture. There are struggles in Africa that I’ve never faced before in my life and it has humbled me to appreciate everything – the fortunate and the not so fortunate, because it all represents a whole. The life and the death. It’s all part of life.

I was greeted with so much love, compassion, excitement, and acceptance. I didn’t have to put on any airs; I was accepted for me being me. I found my family. Unbelievable. Only God.

Upon arriving, my first stop was the Redemption Camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). This is the first place my husband and I prayed together and blessed our marriage, wedding and praised and thanked God. The people on the Camp were so beautiful to me; we gave to whom ever we could because we were just so moved by their hospitality and true love. I felt like I was around people like me. Nobody was a stranger to each other; we all treated each other like brothers and sisters. It was so relaxing and calming. I felt like I had met myself in so many people, especially my husband.

I say I met myself because that is who I am. No one is a stranger to me and we’re all equal. Nobody’s greater. No matter what you may hear about the Motherland, it is important to go and meet who we really are as a people. We carry personalities that are not who we really are and are afraid to change because we won’t have as many likes, but it doesn’t matter. Be yourself, An African Queen and King, Prince and Princess. My wedding was as beautiful as we prayed for.

My royal wedding was held at Ibadan North Local Council Registry, Agodi Gate and our reception followed at Nigeria Army Officers Tiger Mess, Agodi GRA Ibadan with the military officers hosting our reception. It was phenomenal. I experienced and enjoyed my head being wrapped and wearing custom made clothing, which I had never experienced in my life. I felt like the Queen that I am. I felt royalty for once in my life in the African way and the country of Nigeria. I felt beautiful, respected, and royal.

My wedding day was very emotional for me because I was getting married in the Motherland to this great man of God surrounded by father of the Day, Ambassador Dr. Yemi Farounbi, former Nigerian Ambassador to the Phillipines; General Overseer, Apostle Dr. Opemuyi of Agbala, Holy Michael Church, Ibadan, who also hosted our wedding thanksgiving on January 29, 2023, amongst other influential people and Army generals.

My trip to Nigeria has taught me so much about my culture and has brought me full circle now. I’m complete and being married to my husband, my Prince, Oni, I know is a blessing and divine intervention. I would like to do all I can do to help bring change to Nigeria and be a spokesperson and advocate for the churches, children and schools. I’ve seen the needs of Nigeria and that’s so important. Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. I’ve seen the heart of Nigeria and of my husband whom many thought was not my true love because of the reputation or relationship that Nigeria has with certain countries, mainly USA currently.
I’ve met really nice people and the focus needs to be on the building of the kingdom and my husband, and I will make strong efforts to make that happen.
• Chaplain Mrs. Felicia Marie-Oni wrote from New York, USA.

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