I really admire a lady who has gone through a lot but still emerged stronger, brighter and more fired up. I admire her for her tenacity and resolve not to remain fallen but to rise up. It seems she knows her Bible well because Proverbs 24:16 says “For a righteous wo/man falls 7 times and rises up again, but the wicked are overthrown by calamity”. We all fall but the resolve to get back up again is not for the faint hearted. This lady is my cousin Eve, and darling, you’re goals!!
So when she requested me to be a guest writer in her blog, I was so honoured. I took time to reflect on how the year 2019 has been for me and this is what I have to share:
- Everything happens in good time.
This is a phrase we have all heard at some point in our lives, at times we hear it so much so that it stops having the meaning it ought to have. It often feels like a phrase used to get us out of our hopeless situation because we did not achieve what we hoped to achieve. I have had some highs and lows in 2019. I remember when I started the year, I had made a list of all that I wanted to achieve. Some of those items on that list have been there for years, hehe. But what amazed me is that some of those goals came to pass at a point when I had the capacity to handle them. I was encouraged by the story of the Israelites – they took 40 years to get to the Promised Land while they could have taken only 11 days. This is because God was building capacity in them to get to Canaan.
2019 taught me that everything happens in good time. I will get that job, I will get that degree, I will get that husband, I will drive that car, I will build that house, I will start that business, I will travel to that country, I will live that life but all in good time. 2019 taught me to be patient, I understood the importance of letting God have his way. 2019 constantly reminded me that God has made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time (Eccl 3:11). I have learnt to let God work within me so that he can align my desires to his to avert the disappointment that comes when things do not work my way.
- Invest in meaningful friendships
I will tell you something about myself – I am introverted and I take time to let people in. It’s a personality which methinks sometimes works for or against me. Reason being my inability to open up to people thwarts my chances of making meaningful connections and sometimes I end up feeling alone. It works for me in the sense that I remain mysterious and I love being mysterious, weird huh?
I have learnt to work on this in 2019 by allowing myself to be more vulnerable to people, open up more, share my experiences, etc. It has not been easy, am still work in progress though. I have also learnt that not everyone is your friend, not everyone is happy when you progress and make strides. Sometimes, based on the direction you have taken in life, you will lose some friends, and that’s okay because then it means they are not supposed to help you reach your destiny. On the flipside, you will gain some really amazing friends who even become family.
If your circle of friends does not help you get better spiritually, financially, mentally or physically, it’s the high time to let them go. Ditch them! Friends are those people who are happy when you progress, people who pray for you, and people who want the best for you. And am blessed to have such people in my life.
Conversely, I have been challenged to be that genuine friend. I want to check up on my family and friends more, pray for them more, show up for them more. Truthfully, this is an area I have struggled with but I am more intent and deliberate to get better. Let’s get better together, shall we?
- Dream big and mind your business while at it.
Remember Joseph in the Bible, when he dreamt and told his brothers that their sheaves of grain were bowing down to his? Those brothers of his, his own flesh and blood, hated him and plotted to kill him.
The reason I put this lesson as such is because dreams should be big and lavish and ambitious and extravagant. If they are not all that, then why bother dreaming? You don’t lose anything in dreaming driving an Aston Martin, or going on holiday in Maldives, or building an empire. I consider dreaming a gift that you can use to get better.
When I was 24, a year after I started working and earning my small salary, I made an ambitious goal of owning and driving my own car by the time I was 25. Needless to say, that dream never came to pass at that time, but I dared to dream regardless. To someone, that may not be ambitious hence ambition is relative here. But that notwithstanding, do you and dream.
But don’t just dream. Break that dream down into small goals, lay down strategies of achieving that dream and get down to work. Also, be mindful of who you share your ambitions with lest you tell a naysayer. As I mentioned above, not everyone is happy when you make progress.
I can confidently say I have seen that work for me in 2019 and it’s a lesson I’ll continue to implement in years to come.
- Never settle for less.
There are times in 2019 I almost gave up when things didn’t work my way. There were times when I lost hope and resigned myself to fate. But somehow, through such situations, there was always something that happened that reminded me why I should not give up or settle for anything less than what I set my eyes on.
I will share an example. There was a point in the course of the year where I experienced a heightened sense of job dissatisfaction. I won’t delve into more details, but it was bad. I wanted to just quit. But then I remembered how much a privilege it is to have a job in this Kenyan economy, I remembered the many people looking for jobs in vain, people with even higher qualifications than me are jobless. Having this in mind did not make my job easier, but it changed my perspective and strengthened my resolve to stick through it regardless of the circumstances.
2019 taught me that it feels easy to quit or settle for less when things don’t work your way, but it’s never a solution. In fact, it could be an addition to your problems. Even when it gets really tough, always remember you are blessed beyond measure and you have the capacity to ace what life throws your way.
- Stay prayed up.
My mum (God bless her) keeps telling me there is power in prayer. She tells me when you pray, be specific in your requests to God and believe. And I totally agree with her.
There is some divine power I experience when I pray, some peace and assurance I get that everything will be just fine because I have let my heavenly Father know the desires of my heart.
I have learnt to pray over everything big and small, I have learnt to talk to God wherever and whenever. I am convinced that God hears every single prayer we make to him.
I have experienced major breakthrough in some situations and I can’t help but say that that was God. I have overcome some very strong temptations and I definitely knew that that was power beyond me. I have received, in 2019, most of the things I prayed for, and for those I am yet to receive, I continue believing and trusting that God will build capacity in me to handle them.
I can personally attest that there is power in prayer. Talking to God who is all powerful and all-knowing is truly refreshing.
I would also love to know what lessons you have drawn from 2019. Did any of my lessons resonate with you? Please do tell.
I wish you all a lovely, fruitful, blessed and great 2020. Let’s spread love, laughter and light.
1. Invest in relationships.
For a very long time I was accustomed to building high walls around my heart to keep off people from hurting me or from seeing the mess I was. Nowadays am unashamed to invite people in so they can see the brokenness and beauty of trusting in Christ who pieces us back together, like the masterpiece we were born to be. 2019 taught me to invest in my relationships because after all is said and done, people forget what you did for them but they never forget how you made them feel and these memories that count.
2. Keep your circle small.
‘Find your tribe and love them hard’. Am grateful for my tribemates and the journey we’ve shared this far. It’s a blessing to have a circle of friends who have seen you at your worst and still see the best in you, friends who cheer you through your wins and still be bold enough to lovingly correct you when you stray. Years ago I was afraid of not fitting in the large crowd but the girl I am today thrives in her small circle, a circle where she’s confident that they’ve accepted her for who she truly is and can be herself. Growing up requires change which can be painful, people will fall out but once you find your ride or die, that’s your tribe.
3. Family is the constant.
Am grateful I have one that’s full of love and laughter. Am grateful that we can be honest with each other about things we go through knowing that we’ll always have each other’s back. Yes family can be annoying at time, lol.. But that’s your blood right there. They have a way of coming through for you in a way that no many can. I know it’s not always rosy for some families so if you have a great support system in your family, please count yourself blessed.
4. I am my own worst enemy.
Not all lessons are rosy to be honest. As I reflect back on the goals and dreams I had for the year, doing a review on what I achieved and what I didn’t, it dawned on me that some of the goals I had were not accomplished because of my own doing. Yikes. Yes.. Truth has to be told and it hurts. It’s not that I didn’t have enough time, twelve months sounded good, lol. It’s not that I wasn’t able to, some of those goals were way within my reach. Take for instance reading two books a month..no excuse whatsoever for failing to hit this target. Some goals were out of my control but in some, I was just lazy, wasn’t proactive enough, I procrastinated and thought I had enough time. Am learning to take responsibility for my progress. I have to keep my priorities right because if I continue aiming at nothing, I will hit it every time.
5. Enjoy the moments between.
For a long time I searched for happiness in people, things, situations until I learned that I couldn’t find it out there because it was elusive. I’ve learnt to find my joy and delight in the Lord and it’s what keeps me going even though the storms. Am learning some beautiful lessons every time I’ve had to wait for something, a prayer, a desire, a dream, a confirmation of a vision.. Name it. And the lesson has been trusting God even when nothing seems to be working out because He never stops working behind the scenes.
I’ve learned to enjoy the moments in between because if you wait until all things have fallen in place, you’ll will wait all your life. The test is not in the waiting but in the attitude we have while waiting. Some of us are waiting for open doors we forget to count the blessings we already have. Some of us have been stuck in the waiting cell for so long, we fail to be productive where we are and to serve in the best capacity we can as we wait. 2019 has taught me that I am my own sunshine and am responsible for how I feel and how others treat me. Am learning to take a pause once a while from chasing goals and dreams and to just breathe in and smell the fresh air,admire the beauty of nature and not be so caught up in the past or in the future but rather enjoy the present because it truly indeed is a gift.