A 60-year-old woman who got married at 43 had to wait for 16 years to have her first baby.
A 60-year-old woman who got married at the age of 43 and had to wait on God for another 16 years before being bless with the fruit of the womb, has cause to thank God as He is never late.
Tunrayo Alagbe, against all odds, got married on 3rd September, 1998, to Paul Alagbe, and when everyone, including family members and friends had given up hopes of the couple ever having their own child, she was blessed with one on the 29th of December, 2014.
The miraculous story of the faithfulness of God is carried in the Tribune Newspaper when the couple christened their new baby on the 5th of January, 2015, and journalist cum blogger, Rita Okonoboh goes back memory lane and chronicles the journey of the trials nd tribulations of the couple through the years in this motivating piece.
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him (Psalm 40: 1-3).
The above Psalm verses aptly describe Mrs Tunrayo Alagbe’s testimony of the Lord’s goodness as she finally gave birth to a daughter at a few months shy of 60 years of age.
It was a sunny afternoon on Monday, January 5, 2015, and the atmosphere was radiantly purpled by the stylish outfits of many who had come to witness the naming ceremony of the lovely daughter of the Alagbes.
The crowd was surprisingly large, even for the African setting, as many braced the burning rays beating down on the premises of the Women Missionary Union (WMU), headquarters of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC), Total Garden area, Ibadan, just to show their solidarity with the couple.
As the President of the NBC, Reverend Dr Supo Ayokunle, affirmed during his address at the naming ceremony:
'This child has, from the beginning, started breaking records. I have never seen a naming ceremony that attracted this kind of crowd. Also, no naming ceremony has been conducted on the premises before now. This goes to show that God can do anything, anytime, anywhere and anyhow, pleasantly, for his own people. For those who wait upon God, it is never over until it is over. This is an occasion for us to understand that God’s ways are not our ways.'
The Retired Executive Director, Women Missionary Union, Nigeria, and a close friend of the family who anchored the naming of the baby, Reverend Mrs Yemi Ladokun, took the audience through the time of waiting. She showed to the crowd some flowers from the bouquet used during the wedding and stated that she had kept the flowers thinking she would use them during the year after the wedding during the naming ceremony of a child but she was wrong as she had to wait for almost 17 years.
The child was given close to 40 names including, Halleluyah, Testimony, Esther, Jesulayomi, Ileri-Ayo-Mi, OkikiJesu, Adepate, Oluwatoyin, Omoronike, Ibiyemi, Oluremi, Motunrayo, Mo-F’Oluwa-ke, Aderonke, Odunola, Eri-Ipe, Ewa-Iyin, Itan-iyanu-ife, IturaOluwa, Favour, Oluwadamilare, Titilayomi-niwaju-Oluwa, among other significant names."
According to Mrs Alagbe:
"I wouldn’t say we were not worried, but God was comforting and encouraging us. It was not a pleasant experience at all. We experienced delay before marriage but this one was more excruciating. However, God sustained us.
In Africa, having children is very important. If you’re married and childless, it’s like you have no honour, no respect, no place. You’re nobody, so to speak.
Medically, I was told my husband has no problem, but I was the one whose fallopian tubes were blocked. I felt like I was a burden to him, like I shouldn’t have come his way and instead allowed him to live his life.
I kept hoping. I cherished my personal relationship with God because I know that the day you die, this issue of having children no longer has meaning. So, I was jealously guarding my personal relationship with God, especially in relation to eternity.
I tried to enjoy other things God has blessed me with. Although, I was often disturbed by that one thing he had not done, I tried to enjoy what he has done and in my own little way, I served him, hoping He will do it. I thought that if He doesn’t do it, He knows why and knows how to sustain me.
That’s also why I didn’t visit all sort of places because I know that if I eventually get a child from the wrong source and I end up in hell, what use will it be? Besides, God encouraged me that He will do it and I trusted in His promise."
For the elated new father, Paul Alagbe:
"She would sometimes say if she had known that it would be like this, she would not marry me as it seems like she is a problem to me."
But when she learnt she was pregnant, Mrs Alagbe said their reaction could not be sufficiently capture in words.
"I didn’t believe it. It didn’t have much meaning to me. It was like I was dreaming. However, as time went on, I saw it becoming a reality. I just kept thanking God because He said He will do it according to his promise in Psalm 40. I know that this miracle is for God’s name to be glorified and for the hope of people to be reawakened so that they believe that God still works miracles. God never comes too late.
I just praise God. I’m delighted that God kept his word. In January 2013, there was a prophecy in our church that God will do it. Several people came to me and told me to hold on to that prophecy because it was for me.
In addition to what others had been telling me, and the support I received, especially from my church, El-Shaddai Baptist Church, Pastor Mrs Olateju and many people, I am happy that God has been faithful to His word."
The couple attempted to relive the priceless memory of viewing the child for the first time. For Mr Alagbe:
"There was anxiety at the time of delivery. But when I saw the baby, I almost cried. I was very happy."
For Mrs Alagbe:
"I was just happy. I don’t know the words to use. I was excited. I was thrilled that the baby had come at last. I had her through Caesarian section at Vine Branch Medical Centre and at the theatre, when they told me ‘this is your baby; it’s a perfect baby,’ I wanted to scream and say ‘Wow! So this is what was in my womb!’ I lack words to explain.
Even though I was in pains, I couldn’t sleep throughout that day. I was just looking at her and I kept saying to myself, ‘So this is you I have been waiting for. Where did you hide?’ I was really very happy."
For Mr Alagbe, his reception of the good news was almost unbelievable. In his words, “It was like a dream. I kept asking myself if it was true.”