Towards the end of 2018, I got to know my buzzword for the year 2019 as “obedience,” and there was nothing I thought would be more easy for me than saying yes to God at every turn. The reality? A different vibe. Prior to this year, I understood obedience to God as easy, especially when you trust and have faith in Him. And to be honest, that’s what it really is, but 2019 had a different set of situations that required a whole new level of trust.
For instance, when it came to prayer requests in the past, obedience involved trusting God and doing what He said in the place of waiting, but waiting always, and I mean always, led to a reality of the exact expectation or a greater reality than I expected. 2019, like I said, had a different vibe. I got a no after no in the place of prayer. For two to four months between the third and eighth months of the year, it was one closed door after another for the most part, but here was God reminding me that He’s in control every step of the way.
While all of this was happening, I realized that God never fails, and that God is really intentional. If I backtrack a bit, my buzzword for 2018 was “INTIMACY,” so after building a whole new level of personal relationship with God, I knew more than ever that He is real and He has his hands on me. So, keeping the faith was easy because I knew who I was holding on to, even when I didn’t know what was happening. How did I go through the year then? Prayers and Praise breaks. We will all have moments upon moments where we don’t know what to do, and sometimes praise is the answer. Because in reality, the devil is trying to steal your joy and keep you down and under, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to keep your head up. For every no, I had a Thank you Jesus. For every closed door, I had a time of intimacy. It was quite hard to keep my head up, but it was more devastating to see my head down, so I chose hard over devastating.
Was there a testimony eventually? Yes! There were numerous testimonies, and this is the funniest part: most of the testimonies were things I never even prayed for. They just kinda happened. And the ones I prayed for didn’t come through as I envisioned and expected. They happened in ways that I would have never imagined, and it made me realize that God will truly do things in a way that He alone gets the glory!
How about Group Therapy as the title of this post says? I took two courses outside of my department in the just concluded semester. One of them was from the Psychology Department, and it was called Advanced Human Growth and Development. A huge chunk of the course, as you may have guessed, was focused on life from infancy to death and all the experiences in-between that are common to humankind. So, this course is how I “coincidentally” found myself in group therapy, and the professor is a doctorate degree holder and a certified therapist. It was a regular class period, but it was towards the end of the semester. It was about half of the regular attendance, and we were in a circle. Then, conversation into conversation, suddenly, everyone was randomly selected to answer two questions: what is your high point and low point in life?
For confidential reasons, I can’t share any of the specifics that went on in the room. However, that moment helped me realize a couple things and conclude on preexisting opinions. First, I realized that we really have so much in common with others, and it pays more than ever in this individualistic generation to remain kind and full of listening ears. I also concluded that I hope the men of our generation will do better in terms of fatherhood. I’ve always wondered at books and conventions for women. Women have self-help books, finance books, books on becoming a wife, motherhood conventions, and all of that, but it’s not the same for the male counterpart, and it shows in the long run. The family still remains the basic unit of a society, and once dysfunction sets in, it hardly takes its leave, but that’s a broader topic for another day.
In all, 2019 has been a year of growth – growth that I wouldn’t trade for anything – all-round spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional growth. For one, I have always seen myself as empathetical, but I believe I had that side of me better rekindled based on my own experiences in the year and that of others that I got the privilege to know in different places where I found myself. I bet we all have stories to tell, and I hope someday I’ll set up something to have you tell your “yearly recap” on this blog.
I intentionally did not make this post about wins and achievements, because I am more thankful and excited with who I have become in the processes that came with the year. So, as the year ends, these are my nuggets:
- It pays to trust God.
- Community, friendships, family, and fellowships are truly crucial and necessary in life.
- Never ever give up without a fight. However, never fight alone. Exodus 14:14
- The process is what makes the product worth it.
- Don’t let anything or anyone steal the smile or joy God gave you.
- Always see and treat yourself as salt and light. You matter. Your gifts matter. Your goals and vision matter. You are very much needed, whether you like it or not.
I pray that we all have a most wonderful 2020! Did you catch the blogiversary post? We had a great blog year too, and subscriber list increased by 15 between the blogiversary date and now. Y’all are the best!!! Thank you, and thank you for always reading!
With Overflowing Love,