It’s the last day of the year and in a matter of hours, 2016 and 2017 will have an unprecedented handshake that will translate us from one year to the next.
It’s that time of the year when lots of people prepare to chuo afo (whatever that translates to in English) by burning old wears and anything they don’t want to step into the New Year with. It’s that time of the year when lots of people soberly reflect on the outgoing year and make New Year resolutions they may never keep in the coming year. It’s that time of the year people pen down a list or more of prayer requests of what God should do for them in the incoming year…
I do some of the above too. One more thing I often do is to publish a Facebook Thanksgiving Post listing my blessings for the year and expressing my heartfelt gratitude to God for answered and unanswered prayers. I’m always conscious of thanking God for the grace to wade through 365/366 days of any year and still come out strong and victorious. You can read some of my thanksgiving posts HERE and HERE.
2016 came with its own challenges and numerous blessings like I mentioned in my 2016 Thanksgiving post published on TWTW Blog HERE . This year, I experienced and understood God’s love like never before. In spite of my numerous shortcomings and sometimes nasty attitude, He cleaned my mess and gave me a fresh start. It’s not something I can aptly put in words but Itunu’s My Love Diaries does a fine job of expressing it.
This year too, God taught me how to Love and Forgive. Still an undergraduate in this class but thanks to the “The Women at The Well” WhatsApp group and a couple of other avenues He is using to drive this lesson home, I’m getting better by the day 🙂😊
Like most other years, I didn’t accomplish all I set out to achieve this year but today, more than ever before, I’m at peace with myself and God and sincerely happy for some dreams that didn’t come true. I have learnt to live life one day at a time. Yes, I certainly will continue to dream big, write the vision down, make plans and be intentional about achieving them. But no more will I let the anxiety of what may or may not be, rob me of the blessing of appreciating the moment.
One other profound lesson that 2016 brought home for me is that the end of a year is not the end of God’s timing. According to my Uncle, the dates as we have them are mere constructs – Time never stops, never pauses, it continues its flow, taking us along for the ride and changing us in the process. This is a lesson he (my uncle) has been trying to teach me for years now but the below testimony from my youngest sis aka my Honey-loaf finally drove it home.
8 December, 2016 – I prayed to God for a testimony but then He gave me a test… and a promise!!!
“I thank God for all you did in regards to my admission this year but I must ask you for a favour – please don’t feel bad anymore. As the saying goes, man proposes, God disposes. And as another goes, we could choose to live in the past or move forward to the future.
Every day I receive news that a classmate of mine has gotten admission and all I can think is “I should be sharing this news too” but reality shows that I’m not and I can’t change it. At least not this year…
I cried, I cried and I cried again. I held unto what could have been instead of what shall be and it hurt like hell. Throughout the period of waiting, I held on to a sentence I saw in one of your posts, “it shall end in praise”. It took me a while to realise that the end is just not this year.
Most importantly, I think this is just God’s way of drawing me closer to Him. I told you before that I lost complete faith in God so much that I stopped praying but now, I’m beginning to trust God again, not just for my admission but for a host of other things too.
Do I have my doubts? Of course I do.
Am I hurt?? Yes!
Am I angry at myself? Double yes!!
Am I wishing the story was different? How loud can I shout this yes?!!!!!
But am I disappointed in God? Capital resounding NO!!!
If anything, I trust Him more now.”
This for me is the biggest testimony that crowns my 2016. Earlier in the year when my dad’s assistant lost his only child, just few days after the January fasting and prayers (wrote about it here), my Honey-loaf had reached out to me to express her sadness and disappointment. You know that phase when you question and get angry at God for allowing bad things happen to good people; that phase when you question God’s faithfulness and good-intentions… My sis was really broken and said a lot of things.
I’ve been through that phase sometime in my life so I calmed her down the best way I could, shared some scriptures and articles with her and left her to the Holy Spirit to convict her. That was sometime in February. I continued praying for her but we never talked about that again in our subsequent discussions.
Concerning her admission, it’s something I took very personal. Asides praying for it, I was consistently following up on her studies, results and registrations. Since she wanted to attend UNN where I graduated from, I was the one who contacted and followed up on the person who did her Post-UME online registration. At the initial time of filling the Post-UME form, WAEC results weren’t out yet so she registered them as AR (Awaiting Results). When WACE results were released, the portal was re-opened so students could update their results. I sent her results to my contact person and we waited patiently for admission lists to be rolled out.
Merit list came out, her name was nowhere on it. We bought shopping form, the list came out and her name was still not on it. Some of her friends she had similar results with got admission to same school she was applying to, yet hers wasn’t forth coming… That was when we discovered her WAEC results were never uploaded to the Post-UME application portal.
This automatically meant that she was not on the database of those considered for admission. She and mum went to UNN admission’s office to find out if anything could still be done and the answer was a resounding No! We cried, prayed and hoped against hope for miracle but it all proved abortive. I took it very personal and cried for days…
You can imagine my joy when she sent the above text via whatsapp on 8th of December. That more than boosted my faith in God for the things I was believing Him for including my sister’s admission. It may take days, weeks, months or even years to come true but He sure answers at the perfect time. And if He chooses not to ever answer, it’s still for our own good.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28, NIV
2016 has barely 6 hours to go. I don’t know what your experience in the year has been but I can assure you that there is yet hope for the living – which is the greatest gift. For me it has been a most Fruitful and most Fulfilling year amidst numerous tests, challenges, disappointments and near frustrating situations.
2017 is just around the corner, what you say about it is what it will bring forth for you.
Don’t forget or misuse the power of your tongue in the coming year.
PS: So sorry I couldn’t share the Christmas giveaway gifts on the 25th as promised (traveled to the village and there wasn’t strong data connection to make any posts and I didn’t schedule any before travelling), will do that right away.
- For the Christmas/New Year giveaway, I have N1500 worth of airtime (in any network of your choice) for the first 5 persons to comment on this post. Just holla in the comment box 😉 😉 😉 😉 😉
- My friend Bolaji has a beautiful Christmas gift for anyone who clicks on this link
- Also, due to the poor network connection in villa, I couldn’t publish this week’s episode of the SFF Series. Really sorry about that and thanks to everyone who reached out to find out why. It will come up unfailingly next Thursday.
Y’all rock and you most definitely made my 2016 more fulfilling and worthwhile.
Much Love again,