Last year, my husband brought home a book called “Zara”, which he encouraged me to read. He thought it might inspire me in my writing. It looked lovely and promising, and I wanted to read it, but I never made the time. I was busy getting lost in my own stories at that time.
Anyway, last week, I decided to pick up this book and read it. I didn’t realise until last month that I actually knew the Author, and we were privileged to speak together at an event about our books, which both focused on marriage. She showed a depth of insight into marriage and the problems people face in marriage, and communicated that the purpose of her book was to address all these issues, and teach people the love of God.
Her name, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Olusola Oguche-Agudah. She’s an organizing and productivity expert, and the co-founder/CEO of PineTree Organizers. She is also the Founder of ‘Make Your Life Count’, an initiative which focuses on helping people live purposeful lives, build wholesome marriages and groom children to make meaningful impact that changes the world for good.
Now, about the book. “Zara. Love And Second Chances”, as it is written on the cover, is just what you think it is. A romantic book about love and second chances. If I were to use five words to describe the book, they would be: 1. Christian; 2. Classic; 3. Therapeutic; 4.Romantic; 5. Evangelical.
Even though it is not evident in the blurb or cover, the book was Christian and focused on delivering a message from beginning to end. Reading it felt like I was in a counselling session, where I was being exposed, and challenged by my counsellor who was sharing views that I wasn’t sure I agreed with.
The story begins with a Prologue, which was actually a snippet of part of the book, where Zara and her ex-husband, who are both not Christian, are told by a Christian therapist that the problems in their child’s marriage is because they had a failed marriage, which was a pattern in both their families, where none of their marriages have worked. That was understandable. Obvious, I think. Then comes the clanger; the therapist now says that unless they work out the issues, and get married again, that their child’s marriage was also doomed to fail!
There was an immediate knee-jerk reaction to this teaching for me, because I had never heard such myself. My belief has always been that you can’t compel unbelievers to do what only Christians can do, with and by the Spirit of God, which is to LOVE like God. Compelling two people to re-marry, who never married as Christians, and were not even at that point remotely Christian just seemed wrong… But thankfully, the therapist owned her feelings, and expressed that this was what she felt God wanted and needed them to do.
So, the story continues, and develops. It began to feel like one of those Mills and Boons romance novels I used to read as a teenager. That is where the word ‘Classic’ comes from. It depicts a classical romantic story, where a woman is hurt by a man, and the man returns years later, and still wants her, but she hates him now, though she’s still hot for him. Usually, in these stories, it turns out that it was a misunderstanding. That he had really good reasons for doing what he did, and when she realises that, she forgives him and allows herself to love him again.
Problem was, there was no misunderstanding where Zara’s marriage was concerned. Her ex-husband, who felt pressured to marry her, because she was pregnant, had treated her badly and cheated on her habitually, and even told her she could leave when she wanted to! Like, I hated him for her! No way did I want them to get back together. And Zara’s life was all the better without him.
But things happened. Circumstances threw them together. Their live, understanding and beliefs changed, and they were faced with a new reality.
As I read the story, I began to understand, adjust and accept that this was not beyond God. And the story sweetened, and many lessons were learned and I took heed of some lessons that I could apply to my marriage. The marriage counselling session, which was reading “Zara”, was effective.
So, if you are in need of some good marriage therapy, I would recommend “Zara”!
My only critique would be that I thought it was quite repetitive, and it was so obviously evangelistic, that some might be deterred from continuing in reading it. But for those whose hearts are ready, and who are longing for true and deep transformation, they will complete the journey and bear the fruit in their lives.
Thanks Sola, for allowing God to use you to communicate this powerful message! Many many blessings.
You can get your copy of Zara via www.solaagudah.org.
Photo credit: http://www.pixabay.com
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