2016: The year I got to know that the lessons I thought I had learnt in 2015 was just an introduction to ‘People are disappointments in disguise’ and ‘Let go and let God’. This might be long…
“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” —Mark Zuckerberg.
We finally launched Madam K Events as a subsidiary business from madamkarakata.com. It had been a long time coming and even though we thought we would officially open quite earlier, I’m glad it got launched in God’s time. In the short time since we started, I have learnt that as a lawyer and business woman I can get too sentimental when it comes to friends. Not only do I sometimes underprice my services, I am not usually so enthusiastic about ensuring friends sign a contract. In reality, business and friendship don’t mix, you need to separate the two. I also learnt that there are people who will disrespect your small beginnings. And that’s okay, because they do not understand the greatness that lies within you. It is up to you to prove them wrong.
“I believe you were created to be empathetic and it could be tiring sometimes and you feel like people are taking advantage of you, but Grace has been made available to us. You are supposed to be the light”. ~ Single Dee
I finally got to know that I was in an abusive friendship that had kept on with a ‘I am your blood and I care about you’ pretense for way too long. I had given a lot to a friendship that gave nothing in return. I was being disrespected and ripped off everything I could give and I only realised this when I was far too spent. It hurt badly. It hurt so badly, there were times I cried. There were times I hated me for putting myself in a ‘Na me fuck up’ situation. There were times I was so angry, I was bitter.
I always thought I didn’t expect much from people, but apparently there are people you give so much to, the least you expect back in return is an iota of decency. I had to learn how to forgive from the very scratch. I spent mornings listening to Bible teachings on forgiveness and reprogramming my mind to let go of the bitterness that was eroding my soul.
But more importantly, I learnt that one person can’t be everything to you. It’s too big a shoe for any human to fill. That shoe is for God. So I’ve learnt to be grateful for the bits and pieces. The friend who will give me solid advice but not bail me financially. The friend who will bail me out of a financial fix but not lend me a shoulder to cry on. The friend who is just a talk buddy. The friend who’s an encourager and a talk buddy. I’m grateful I have people to fill the in-betweens. And thank you, Dee, for sliding into my DMs to drop the above gem. For you reminded me that a huge part of my purpose is in my giving.
“Sometimes it can feel like nothing is working. But what I’ve learnt is God is just working in the background for the perfect opportunity” ~ S
I walked away from a job that wasn’t making me happy anymore. It was a huge and possibly silly leap, but my sanity and emotional well-being was starting to run away from me. I needed to walk away. I had a couple of interviews with Fortune 500 companies and something always happened to make the next stage fall through. That made me cry the more. I’d spent the whole of August fasting and the interviews started trailing in by September. Surely, God must have seen how much it killed me to not eat breakfast and lunch for a month and bless the legwork of prayers I had put in. So why wasn’t I getting the feedbacks I hoped to get? What was I doing wrong? Was a mediocre life my portion? Why wasn’t God hearing my prayers?
In spite of my chaotic emotions, I heard the still small voice. I needed to stop being busy comparing my life with that of people who seemed to be getting way ahead. I needed to learn the distinction between friends who make me aspire for better and people who work hard to convince me I should be dissatisfied with my life. I needed to cut ties with people whose voices were so convincingly strong, it was starting to overshadow the voice of God in my life. I needed to know what I don’t receive from God now is not needed for my final destination.
I learnt my journey is different, I have to live the story so I can fit into the glory. I am going through the fire so I can come out refined like pure gold.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; Your walls are continually before me”. ~ Isaiah 49:16
This year, I was happy a lot of the time. But I was also sad a lot of the time. One minute I would be happy, the next minute I would be struggling not to cry. I experienced every emotion in the book and strongly displayed all of them. There were days I wanted to sleep and not wake up. There were days I envied people who went through with suicide. Oh, there were days I wanted to curl up in my bed and not feel anything. Not move, not breathe, not know. There was confusion. And doubts. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted, it almost felt unreal.
Still I rose. I got so tired of fighting for myself and achieving nothing, I finally let God be Him. King of my life, Sustainer of my being.
Dotun made me write a list of things I’m grateful for even in the midst of everything that seemed not to be going well.
I’m grateful for my Grandmas. One danced closely with death three times this year. But God knows I want 4 grandmas at my wedding so He had mercy on me, answered my prayers and has hopefully added a decade or more to her number.
I’m grateful for my niece and the opportunity to travel down to the U.S. to meet her for the first time. Kissing, laughing, hugging and dancing with her have been some of the best feelings I have experienced this year. I am thankful I have got the best sisters in the world; for they are truly incomparable. For the joy only Christ can give. For The One that keeps encouraging me and proves to me every day I’m right in choosing him, a man who encourages me to be the light shining from the hilltop and not from underneath the bushel. It means more to me than I will ever be able to tell you in words, Sugar.
For the friends who showed up even when they didn’t have to. For the friends who have become family. For N and U who cared about me and made my work life bearable with their sense of wit and humour. For my businesses. For my Eritrean neighbor who calls me his sister. For being quite independent: I’ve single handedly paid my rent and bills for the year, even met about 60% of my savings goal without having to borrow.
I’m thankful my parents convinced me to start going to a brick and mortar church again because I actually love it there and I’ve made new friends. I’m thankful I get to spend my first ever Christmas alone this year and cross it off my list of things to do before I get married.
I am grateful for Sinach and all the other gospel singers whose songs held me up when my heart was too heavy to mutter words of prayers. I am thankful for all the times I almost lost hope and friends encouraged me. Like that time R was led to share her testimony with me so I could be encouraged. I am super thankful for all the times I could look beyond my troubles to encourage other people.
I’ve written my goals for the new year to make me accountable and I’m looking forward to smashing them.
I want to start breathing the fire that swells in me. This year, I remembered how passionate I am about women and children rights. And so next year is for taking a step towards the realisation of that dream.
I hope the world sees the God in me. I hope to be happy and experience the joy that comes from stopping to smell the flowers. I hope I finally take writing seriously. I hope I learn to pray without ceasing. I hope I learn how to swim and how to apply my make up like a pro. I know God will fully equip me to embrace the next chapter. I hope I finish losing the weight I added after my initial weight loss. I hope I find a rhythm and that rhythm is a sweet melody. I hope to travel. I hope love comes closer. I hope to live, give and learn. I hope to stop living so much in the future, I forget to live in the present.
2017: I’m not ready for you, but God is. After all, when God takes me through the fire, He will always remain the fourth man in it.