The Journey – According to Toyosi

I will never forget the day that I laid my eyes on Ola. It is so fresh in my memory, it seems like yesterday. Although Lanre says the day started off great for him, my day was not so great but little did I know that God was working something out in the middle of my cloudy day. I had just moved back to Houston after graduation not really knowing what life had in store for me. At that moment in my life, there were a lot of unanswered questions. Questions I could only share with my father in Heaven. So on that faithful Sunday, I decided to visit RCCG Dominion Chapel. A friend of mine had invited me to visit since I was still looking for a home church (thanks Yemi ). I decided to sit upstairs because I did not want to be noticed and I also wanted to observe and concentrate on the service without any distractions. I laugh about it now because I can just imagine God saying, “hmm…. No distractions huh? Well, that is your plan but I am the MASTER planner and I have a BETTER plan…. Buckle up cause A GREAT DISTRACTION is coming your way!” I did not know that I was about to meet with my destiny.

I thought he was some gangsta wannabe looking like a fake mob boss

I will be honest, I do not recall the sermon for that day but I do remember it being so real to my situation that it broke me into tears. I kept sobbing not caring if anyone saw me or not….well I thought I was invisible being that I was at the top in the balcony. Then came Olanrewaju with a question: “Are you okay?” To be honest, I was so embarrassed that I just blew it off by simply saying “I’ll be fine.” He simply said it is well and walked away. I wiped my eyes and looked up. Then it hit me, I know him! That is the guy from the flyer. (I had seen the flyer for his album release ‘DECLARE’ on Facebook). Upon realizing this, I busted out laughing. I bet you are wondering why. Well, when I saw the flyer on most of my friends pages back then, he had such a serious look on his face that I did not even know that he was a gospel artist. I thought he was some gangsta wannabe looking like a fake mob boss (forgive me honey, I know better now). More on the story of the flyer at the reception….. ;-) . Service ended and I went my way.

Another Sunday came by and I found myself at Dominion Chapel again. While sitting in my usual spot, I had another encounter with him. Yep. The guy in the black suit from the flyer. He was sitting on the opposite side of the balcony so I just looked away. I was running late that morning so I left my bible in car while rushing into church. The pastor wanted the church to rise and read the Word when I realized the mistake I had made in my haste. I left my bible in the car. Who comes to church without their bible? I thought to myself. Before I could get my thoughts together, there he was beside me asking if I wanted to share the Bible with him. “hmm, all these ‘church boys’ trying to pull numbers instead of focusing on the word.” Yep, I thought he was throwing a pass at me but I needed a Bible so I agreed. As we kept reading the Word together, I realized that he didn’t even look up much less look at me. Can you imagine that? There was this beautiful damsel standing next to him and he didn’t even show color? What kind of man is this? LOL, no I am just kidding. His focus on the Word was what got my attention. I also happened to like his Bible translation so I let him know. As the pastor closed on the message, he asked anyone who needed prayer to come forth. At this point in my life, I was praying for so many things- A job, peace at home and also my future husband….. I was praying for restoration with someone I thought was my husband. I laugh now looking back at everything. I went to the altar, prayed with a minister who told me something I will never forget.

She said, “Leave your husband to God. Let Him prepare him for you.” I did not fully understand…

She said, “Leave your husband to God. Let Him prepare him for you.” I did not fully understand and I was still devastated but I kept walking back towards the staircase. My eyes were filled with so much tears that I could not even see. Suddenly, I saw a white handkerchief dangling in front of me….. Ok it was tissue. Lol. I took it and wiped my eyes. Upon opening my eyes, it was him again. See the power of my God. I was praying about ‘my husband’ and he was standing before me without my knowledge. I just stood there, looking down as he guided me towards the stairway then he let go after I told him that I was okay. From that point on, I knew there was something different about Lanre and I wanted to know what it was. I just wanted to know him. At the end of the service I pulled Yemi aside and inquired about Lanre. I asked Yemi if he was the real deal. Let’s be honest, in our age and time, there are lots of men (and women too) that live double lives. They are deeply involved in church activities but outside of church, it is a totally different story. So I wanted to know because Lanre just seemed so REAL. Yemi looked at me like I had lost my mind. He asked why? He asked if I had a crush on him and I said no with no hesitations. I just wanted to know. Yemi responded by telling me, YES! What you see is the real deal. He was not faking it. “Ok”, I said. I still wasn’t convinced.

Our paths crossed again at a friend’s concert. I approached him because I was interested in being a bone marrow donor for a patient battling leukemia at that time (there was an announcement at church earlier and he was the spokesperson). He requested for my number so that the organization could contact me. I gave it to him and walked away. According to Lanre, he said I was rude but I was just getting to the point (maybe that is why he stored my name as ‘Toyosi Bone Marrow’ on his phone…yep, my last name was bone marrow. lol). Later on in the year, there was a youth program at RCCG Kings Palace and I was in charge of the choir and also helped with the drama team. Godswriter (Lanre) was one of the guest artists invited. His ministration really touched me. There was something different about this man…FOR REAL. Prior to the ministration, he was just this quiet, relaxed person and upon getting on the altar, he was on FIRE for God. I sat there saying to myself. I want this man to be my friend. I can learn a lot from him. It did not matter if he was a man. All that mattered was he had a passion that clearly showed his dedication to the things of God and I needed people like that around me to keep me grounded. I called him later that day and asked him to be my friend. Not sure what to expect, I heard him say “anything to encourage someone.”

The ‘brother /sister friendship’ was established but it took a whole year for us to truly become friends. I was helping with fundraising towards his concert and he was there to pray with me during a very dark period in my life. He was the ray of sunshine through the cloudy days but I did not think much of it. I was just grateful that he was there. All of a sudden, he no longer was. He disappeared. He was gone for almost 2 months!!! I was truly worried. I did not know if I had offended him or if he just did not care anymore…. I was upset. When he reappeared, he explained the reason for his absence. He said that I was his wife but he needed time to pray about it. Ladies and gentlemen, I bet you think this was the beginning of our happily ever after right? Nope. I turned him down! Yep, there was no way he was my husband. What? Impossible I said to myself. I felt so horrible because I had just hurt my best friend but I was in a committed relationship and no matter what, I was staying committed. Little did I know that I had made a terrible mistake but thank God for his mercy.

A couple of months later, I knew. It was like a dream to me. Someone I had thought was nothing more than a friend, the man with the white handkerchief, the guy in the flyer was my husband!!!! Wow, God is truly amazing. Yes, I had to go through some things but God knew that was the only way that I would be in HIS will. You can only run from God but his mercy will always find you even when you hide from Him. That is my testimony. The MASTER planner began to put the pieces back together to realign me to HIS will and my Ola was there every step of the way. Looking back now, I am grateful for every tear, every scar, and every pain because it led me to my DESTINY. My GREAT DISTRACTION is now going to be my husband. The fairytale has just begun :-) .