I remember the time in 2011 when you suddenly went quiet and I wondered what was going on. At some point in that season, I thought maybe you had had a baby outside wedlock and just needed some time to yourself. I didn’t want to ask. I knew that if I needed to know, you would tell me. So I decided to mind my business and pray.

Soon after that, in December of 2011, I saw a status update on your FB saying you were very happy, and I knew that it had to do with a man. There is a happiness that a woman exudes that those who know her can tell is not just “ordinary” happiness. So it was not belle. It was love.

And then the news began to flow. You had met someone. You were getting married. “I get married in April,” you said. Eeh? Abeg.. But we just spoke in September, now? It was March. Did you already meet and get to know somebody and get engaged in just six months?

I was happy for you, all the same. I was actually ecstatic. And it’s been a beautiful journey ever since.

You have gone through so much in your first year as a wife. It has been so intense that I have often forgotten that you just recently got married. I keep thinking it’s been two to three years. Some of the trials you experienced caused me to wonder why you. Yes, we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory so we do not deserve anything, but I felt that you of all people deserved to be happy. I wondered why you were chosen for all the struggles you went through.

And I think my theory is right: it is because God could trust you with them. He could say of you, like He did of Job, “Have you considered my servant Ngozi?”

I have been watching and learning through these past twelve months. I have been taking notes o, I don’t play. Lol. I have seen you trust God even when you have no words to pray. I have seen you be a dutiful and beautiful wife, supporting your husband and walking with him. I have marveled as you stayed up with him at night, even with belle, because he had to study for an exam. I have had to end BBM chats because you needed to waddle down to the kitchen to make stew so that he would not starve after Tamsco decided to comot for your stomach. That Tamsco, enh. Hia. I need to open a new tab and write him a letter. LOL.

And you have never bad-mouthed your husband.

Throughout our friendship, and throughout your young marriage, one thing stands out for me: You have never once said anything against God. You have never once asked me, “Why me?” You have never once said to me that you think God has forsaken you. Not even a hint to that effect has wafted my way from you. You have never questioned God. Your faith has been unwavering – even when to you it seemed to have wavered. Your love for your husband and his for you has been so refreshing.

“I feel like I can’t pray,” you have said a couple of times. And I have sensed that you are speaking under the weight of your trials – trials that have defeated people with ten-year marriages. But in the same breath, you proceed to glorify God. And you don’t seem to realize that you are actually praying.

In this one year that you have been married, I am sure D’s life has changed for the better. I hope he has been thanking God o… the man chose well. He needs to genuflect ten times and then prostrate twenty times before God because the stress wey 2013 women dey give their husbands no be joke. Bros D, you really married a wife. Clap for yourself abeg (I only added that last one because I doubt he will read this, otherwise I really think I would curtsey and say “Good day, sir. Congratulations, sir.” – and that in itself is a testament to the fact that you speak of him as a dignified and respectable man).

You are so beautiful, Ngozi. In fact you need to tell me what lotion you use and if it is available at ‘Walment’ so I can buy it. My Lily Akobs. Fine girl, no pimples. Mama TamTam. My friend, my sister. You inspire me. I know you inspire many more. And I continue to pray for you like you asked me to a year ago: Your marriage will not be a statistic. The gates of hell shall not prevail against you and D. The wine of marriage will become sweeter and sweeter like the wedding of Cana. Your children will not disgrace you. Your husband will be known in the gates.

And you will continue to give me recipes. LOL!

In Jesus’ Name.

I love you soooooo much!!!!! You are a wife of noble character. I celebrate you. Thank you for letting your light shine.

Blackberry Messenger hugs,