I got this book from a good friend about two months ago. I remember waking up that morning to her message: I’m sending two books to you Franny. You need to read them. Obviously the text had been sent with the intention of getting me pumped and ready to dive into the books once they arrived, but I felt nothing. I planned on reading them, I just didn’t feel an immediate urge to especially since I had a pile of books I was reading at the time.
To my surprise, I received the books less than 48 hours after the text had been sent, still I didn’t see the need to tap into my friend’s “bizarre” excitement. I admired the book cover, skimmed through the information provided at the back about its content and author, then returned them back into the envelope they had come in. I’d read them once I’m able to.
Six weeks later I found myself seated with the same friend who had given me the book. “Did you like the books?” From her expression, I knew she expected us to spend the next couple of minutes discussing about them. “Not yet.” I had completely forgotten. It was another month, I was once again choked with a new set of books and I hadn’t remembered to include them (yikes!). I made up my mind on the spot that they will be my first read the following month .
Guess what guys? Exactly “48 hours” (sound familiar?) after I picked both books to read, I was done! And like my friend who had a burning desire to send them to me, I found my fingers itching to write about it. Some books are worth opening once touched, and these two books are definitely among such. I wish I had read them sooner, but all the same I’m glad I did… eventually!!
I hope this review gives you the craving you need to purchase your own copies!
The ChurchGirl tells the classic “girl/boy-meets-boy/girl” story we are all familiar with, but with tons of twists and turns.
Book one takes us on a journey with Ifeanyi, the ‘playboy’ and Mary the ‘church girl’, who both find love in the most unexpected place – each other. For Ifeanyi, what started out as a strategy to ‘get-the-girl’ ends with him getting her and finding Christ as well. It’s happily ever after until their pasts decide to catch up with them one after the other, and threaten both their love for each other and their faith in God. Amidst the temptations, trials, disappointments and rejection, Ifeanyi and Mary learn not to give in to their own feelings and emotions, but instead to look to, rely on and most crucial of all to listen to God. The book ends with them conquering, an achievement they got first by ‘dying to self’
In Book Two, we read as what started out as a perfect union moves on to become the ridicule of one mistake. As they struggle to live through the difficult times in their marriage, they must also deal with the consequences brought upon them as a result of this mistake. Once again they conquer, but we are taken through what they must pass through individually and as a couple before they eventually weather the storm.
One word? LOVE!!! From the minute I picked this book up, I was unable to put it down until I had read every single page. The story is so captivating and in as much as I knew it was fiction, it still felt very real to me. As I try to do with every book I read, I noted everything I learnt and will be sharing them right away!
(PS: I know I was really brief with the book summary. I tried really hard not to spoil your reading experience by giving away more info than necessary. It’s impossible giving a detailed summary without giving something away)
- There is no such thing as a “perfect” person. We generally assume people to be and act in a certain type of way judging by their upbringing and level of exposure, but mostly based on the environment(s) we find them in. Ideally meeting an active church member should automatically render the person to having a holistic and Godly character right? Well, that’s never the case. True character is not only about where we go and what we do, it’s also about who we are. This takes me to my next point.
- Everyone has a story. Good or bad, we are all products of our experiences and there are two things experience does to us: it either makes us bitter, or it makes us better. No one was born an adult, we all came into this world first as infants before passing through the various developmental stages to be where we are today. Now this doesn’t in anyway mean that we should judge everyone but their stories, it just means that we should take our time to know people beyond the surface. It’s in digging deep that we discover who a person is and with that understand them better.
- Life is a whole lot easier and less complicated when we live it as it should be: with God at the forefront. We were never meant to figure life out on our own, we may plan out how our day, week, month or year will be but in the end God is the one who orders it He is our life guide so leaving him out of the equation only makes our journeys longer and more stressful. So we must always listen for his voice, direction or clarity at every point of our lives.
- It’s not enough to meet the right person. It is meeting the right person, in the right place and at the right time. The equation must fit so it’s important to wait until every variable is accurate before taking the next step(s). Any actions taken with one or more variable(s) out of place can complicate or even destroy all possibilities of a successful relationship.
- Marriage is not the end of the road. I once thought graduating from university would be the end of all my troubles, but then I graduated and realised there was a lot more headache in the corporate world and then I wished I was back in school where all I need to do was patiently wait for a credit alert every month. Many people today still believe that being married is the king of all earthly achievements… I’m sorry to burst your colourful bubble but that is so false (seriously, you can wake up now!). Marriage is a non-stop journey that unfolds itself everyday, with its success a function of what happens while on it.
- As stated by the author in Page 72: ‘your marriage is only as strong as your connection to the one who binds you.’ It’s in marriage that the true binding factor is revealed because it’s that factor that keeps it all together when the going gets tough. There are many binding factors: God, money, beauty, fame, status, etc. Of course some are very important but when it comes to deciding on what binds a marriage, there is no better factor than one that doesn’t change. Money is spent, fame declines, looks fade, but God remains the same day in day out. Therefore, His throne must be established and maintained in the home.
- Self improvement still continues in marriage. You know there is a tendency for one to relax once married and begin to take certain things for granted (sadly, I’m kind of guilty of this!). Unconciously we find ourselves doing less of the things we did before we got married: less dates, less communication (duh! I see him everyday), less interest in how we look around him/her (but you spend ample time looking good for events, work, outings/ hang-outs etc.) … basically less effort. For those of you who are humble and honest enough to admit to this like I am, I have one word for us: ‘STOP!’ Now I’m not in anyway implying that you aim to always look like you’re going out for dinner when you’re home, I’m only suggesting that we put in a little more effort. Keep pampering that skin, keep working those muscles, keep improving those skills, keep developing yourself…looking nice shouldn’t be limited to only when you go out, you also need to look good at home (someone needs to be upgraded on a regular *wink!). So quit devoting time to only how others see you, and spend more of it being a better version of yourself first for you and for your significant other.
So there you have it!
I highly recommend these books for both single and married people and trust me when I say that there are a lot more lessons to be be drawn from them than I have shared (to avoid turning this post into a book on its own, I focused only on my key learnings).
Have you read this book yet? If you haven’t, what are waiting for? They are worth your time and definitely worth every penny! So please do me a favour: get your copy and when you read it don’t go quiet. Share your learnings, I will love to read them.
About the author (from the book)
Ufuoma E. Ashogbon is a young professional, a social entrepreneur and Founder/CEO of Fair life Africa Foundation. She loves to write and tell stories on her blog: blog.ufuomaee.org and also uses this avenue to share with others her faith in God. She is married with one child and lives in Lagos, Nigeria.
For more information about the author as well as other books written by her, follow @ufuomaee on Instagram. You can also visit www.ufuomaee.org/get-the-church-girl of purchase your copies of the book.