Onyeje Ijaola is a mother, wife and a caregiver. Her passion for the message of restoration is an on-time word bringing healing and hope to the broken. She is committed to making a change in her world by sharing the comfort God used to comfort her in her darkest seasons.
My book is a story of restoration; it is a memoir of my life, the journey of pain, loss, grief, life’s challenges, widowhood, and God’s intervention. It is a story of how at a young age my home was destroyed by divorce. My mother left home when I was only thirteen and died when I was eighteen from cancer; she was forty years old.
At the time of her death, she was working as a nurse midwife in Saudi Arabia. My siblings and I had to live through the pain of a broken home, a loss of a mother, and the conflicts of three stepmothers. Most of my teenage years were filled with pain, not knowing who I was and not understanding what real happiness was. I married the first man I met to escape from my home; but not too long after my marriage, my husband died in a motor vehicle accident, and I became a widow at the age of twenty-three with a nine-month-old daughter.
The African culture is hard on women. I went through the primitive traditions of the widowhood practices. I lost my self-esteem and self-worth, and I did not have the will to live. My life was slipping away, but by the grace of God, someone told me about Jesus, and at that moment I began my journey of transformation, restoration, and change.
My book talks about my transition to a new country and how I started a new life, the challenges I encountered, acculturalization, the paradigm shifts, the problems of an immigrant, and the return to school to get an education. I talked about how I remarried, what we went through together, and where we are today. I am healed in my emotions to love again, and am walking in restoration. God used my pain and my healing process to open the door for me to help others in their time of grief.
I wrote this book dedicated to my mother, to shed light on the havoc of a broken home, the widowhood practices in the African culture, and the unfair treatment of women. I want women to be empowered no matter their religion, ethnicity, social/economic status or race, who may have gone through a similar situation. I want them to keep hope alive, I want to let them know they have a voice, and I want to help women walk into a place of freedom through forgiveness. I want women to understand the depth of God’s love and how He can heal and change any situation.