Begin, Begin, Begin, right where you are.
This new year already has brought with it such a good feeling, such joy, and such peace. This year is coming with several major changes in my life, so I definitely appreciate the joy and peace that have brought me into 2017. Before I get into the new things that are coming my way this year, I’d like to do a quick, quick recap of my 2016. 2016 was the best year in my life so far, and the best part is that 2017 is going to be an ever better year and here’s why: The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. (Proverbs 4:1)
I came into January nursing yet another breakup from a relationship I had no business being in. We had broken up in January 2015 and somehow got back together in August 2015, then finally everything ended (again) in January 2016. The Lord showed me that when He doesn’t want something to stand, He will take you out of it and if you try to fight Him, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. Also, anything that causes you to sin HAS to be cut off if you want to move forward in life.
I read T.D. Jakes’ Woman Thou Art Loosed to facilitate my complete healing. I really believe that God was determined to heal and deliver me from whatever negative feelings the breakup brought so He prompted me to watch several christian videos, fast, and pray very deeply and consistently. He healed me. He completely took the negative feelings and made a whole woman out of me. I’m not where I know the Lord is taking me but I’m always in awe of His goodness and kindness to little me.
February saw me make a deeper commitment to my blog. I purchased my domain name and new blog theme in mid-January and my dedication to the blog certainly increased following that decision. I wrote my first blog post on a slightly controversial topic and I’m glad I did. I don’t generally write my blog posts based on what’s happening in the news but this was one small way to test the water.
As always, Lent in March saw a very deep post about my spiritual life, relationship with God, and the very many tears I shed in His presence. Sometimes I wonder what an onlooker would think if they saw me in personal worship. I don’t care, really, because worship time with God is my absolute favorite time on earth. One thing though- I like the conditions for me to worship (completely) to be very particular- quiet place, laptop for loud music, water to hydrate after the tears, but I'm learning to worship and stay in tune with the presence of God everywhere I am. I also shared some fiction in March!
In April I wrote more very deep spiritual posts! I’ve missed writing posts like these, where I share the things I learn from sitting with the Lord and from my personal relationship with Him. I also received very great feedback from all of you. My blog readers have been very special to me, honestly. I cannot believe that I write this blog from one corner of the world and you all connect and are blessed by the word that God has placed in my mouth.
The Lord showed Himself mighty in my affairs in May! My family had (and still is, considerably) been facing financial challenges so my stay in school was uncertain. Somehow, the Lord filled my heart with joy and I completely surrendered my life to Him. While I knew that the Lord who began His good work in my life would bring it to completion, I was open to whatever the Lord wanted to do. I was ready and willing to move back to Nigeria to complete my education there, and I was willing to take some time off to work or whatever. Honestly, I was ready for a good challenge and I was willing to work through any changes that may have come, just so that God would take all the glory. He came through majorly. You all know the testimony!
In June, I did a fantastic summer internship. Let me tell you all a little secret: I pay my tithe in advance of what I want to earn. During my first internship in Lagos, Nigeria, I gave a lot (of money) to God. I had never done this before. I didn't even know what tithing was, but I knew that when I gave to God, He promised to bless me too. That summer, The Lord would literally drop figures on my heart and I would swipe my card and just give whatever He asked me to give.
Then I asked the Lord to pay me the next summer based on what I had given to Him as tithe from that summer. What I earned the next summer working in D.C. was two/three times more than what I earned in Lagos the previous summer. In D.C., I also gave as I was led by the Holy Spirit and my next summer in N.Y. saw me earn almost two/three times what I earned in D.C. I have never paid house rent for a summer internship in my life and there’s so much more hassle that the Lord has shielded me from.
July brought more exciting times in my life. I blogged a lot during the summer and I saw my blog views soar. I learned the value of consistency and hardwork. I learned that what I give is what I will get. As much as I put in, the Lord blesses and multiplies. I also fell deeper in love with my calling to write this blog. I try not to get too personal here but I certainly can say that I’ve enjoyed blogging much more than I ever imagined. I wrote a blog post about us never being enough because it’s never about us, that featured two readers- Muyiwa and Kwadwo Truimph, and it got rave reviews haha!
I also wrote this sad post for parents who have lost children.
In August, I eased into a second internship and I enjoyed the slower pace of life. Unfortunately, I got a little naughty in the city and did some things that shall not be named. Or was that in July? Whatever the case, I once again ran back to God for forgiveness and resolved that me and alcohol are never going to be friends ever again. As much as I’ve never been drunk, I certainly understood the havoc that just two cocktail drinks can wreck in your life. Be wise friends, don’t take any substance of any form! Oh! In August, I also shared a few lovely poems!
September had me back in school and taking my most difficult classes ever. It was a tough ride last semester. There were tears and there were all-nighters, but there also was victory! The Lord gave me a completely new work ethic and a desire and drive to do well in school. He showed me how to work hard and He gave me grace and favor for the times when I fell short. I have learned to trust Him completely with every area of my life and I’m so grateful for His hand upon my life.
I started to see God literally supply my blog posts in October. There were times when I’d come back from church, or be taking a leisurely walk through campus and a blog post would drop in my spirit. The Lord always told me what to write and He always lead me to the scriptures to include in my posts. I realized that God cares deeply about this blog and He’s intentional about where He’s taking me. Also, in October I made a new friend. There was a lot of fear and uncertainty, but now I know that the Lord has His hand on everything that’s happening in every aspect of my life.
School only got more stressful in November. Our church had our annual three day conference and I attended every single event- Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, and Sunday morning and evening. As I shared in this post, I was exhausted for most of the month and just as I thought that I had caught my breath, I was off to a Christian women’s conference for three days. I thoroughly enjoyed all the time I spent in the presence of God and I gave and gave, and as always, God gives me exceedingly, abundantly, and above all that I ask or imagine!
In December, I shared with you that as graduation approaches, I’m thinking about the new spiritual community that the Lord will give me after I leave my school. My current church has been a huge blessing in my life and as much as I wish that I could stay there and serve more, I know that the Lord may want me to go to a new community. I pray for His leading and for a church where I can serve. I want the Lord to teach me how to serve Him in a ministry. I want to be around adults who serve Him in spirit and in truth. I want to learn, to soak up as much as I can, and to work hard for God.
That was my 2016 friends. It was an amazing year filled with the Lord’s goodness and kindness. 2017 will be an even more glorious year and I promise that serving God is the best thing you can do for yourself.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every one of you who has kept up with me. I’m just a tiny girl walking with God.
I sense a LOT of growth this year; I sense that God will push me COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone. I know that God will TEACH me a lot of things. Learning and growing come with some birthing pains, so I pray that this time next year, I will have tangible FRUIT from my walk with the Lord that I can share with you all.
How was your 2016? What would you like to see in 2017? Please give me feedback, questions and comments are also welcome!
God bless and keep us all.