Gratitude (2016)

I wasn’t going to write an end of the year post cause I honestly didn’t know where and how to start. I still don’t. A lot of amazing things have happened this year that I have found it hard to translate my gratitude to words. So, I just let God listen to my heart. But unfortunately, I can’t do that with you guys. So, I must write. I am really going to try my possible best to start from somewhere and be as concise as possible. Forgive me if I end up being all over the place.

The bible verse that was very much on my lips throughout the year is ‘This God that has called us to fellowship is faithful’ (1 Corinthians 1:9). I could not (still can’t) fully grasp the magnitude of those words cause it’s amazing when someone is faithful most of the time, but when it’s all the time, it’s hard to comprehend, especially when the receptors of that faithfulness are not often faithful. Travis Greene’s words that ‘we are standing here only because God made a way’ rings true in my life, my family, in the lives of friends and in the lives of so many other people. God made a way every single day of year 2016 and its unfathomable especially when you know in your heart that it’s not because of anything you did. He simply made a way because he is a faithful God and he makes his grace available to us though we would never deserve it.

My family is standing today only because God made a way especially when we thought there was no way. God exceeded our expectations so much in this year that the thought of it fills my heart with so much gratitude. I thank God for the love that he poured out on us, the love that made us confident every single day of the year that God has us. Love is too faithful to let us down. The kind of love that enabled us to come so boldly to the throne of grace, not only to obtain grace and mercy in our times of need, but also to fellowship knowing that though God doesn’t need us, he loves fellowshipping with us. I am eternally grateful to my dad and mum, for the solid rock they have been to my siblings and I, for the love they never hold back. I am grateful that they have been excellent custodians of my siblings and I on earth. I really can’t ask for better parents. I have siblings that make me bless God too easily for gifting me with them. I thank you PL, Oyinda, LK, Demola for being those siblings that can really annoy me, but whom I am grateful I have, to annoy and love me. I wouldn’t trade you guys for anything. Our gift, Oluwashikemi, my writing thanks you for the inspiration your life readily gives.  Thank you for always filling the house with so much warmth whenever you visit.

I am very grateful for Stephen Furtick who doesn’t know me, but whose words have helped build my spirit this year. Stephen Furtick inspired me to have a little journal which I titled, ‘my gratitude practice book’ where I write what I was grateful for in the day before going to bed.  I started writing in it in June and I have written in it almost every day since then. On the days when I feel there is nothing to be grateful for, PSF’s words ring loudly in my ears: ‘You don’t have to feel grateful to be grateful’. And it has encouraged me to write. It’s amazing to open the journal now and see how much I was consciously grateful for. It’s been a worthwhile experience ‘cause it has really helped with a perspective shift. I also thank God for the eye opening and life changing lessons I have learnt from listening to Pastor Dele Oshunmakinde, especially his study on David. I thank Akinwale for introducing him to me.

There were unexpected friendships this year and there were unexpected growth and closeness in some friendships this year. My heart is grateful for the friend’s I was not looking for, but God knew would add beautiful colours to my life. I thank you guys for walking into my life and staying. I thank you, old friends who pop in occasionally. I thank you Akinwale for being such a gift to me this year. I learnt so much from you, so much and I’m eternally grateful. My Aderinsola, my tender-hearted friend, I love you so much. You were one of my strong pillars this year. I am eternally grateful for you pimpim. This year, my life is better because of all you amazing friends; new, old, constant and distant. Thank you, Olive Tenders for giving me the privilege to serve at Salt n Light camp (2016). It’s an experience that will stay with me for a long time. Squad Kee, you have left an indelible mark in my life.

In January, I officially launched my first book, ‘IT’S YOUR LIFE TO LEAD and up till now, I still can’t believe what God has done and is doing through the book. I am going to confess and say I don’t think the words in the book are that inspiring, but God has shown me time and time again that the book is not about me, it’s about him. I thank every single person that has read it, plans to read it, told someone about it… Everyone that has reached out to encourage me, especially kids and teenagers who have thanked me for being a blessing to them through the book. I am deeply humbled and those words have encouraged me on the many days I have felt like quitting writing. Thank you! Thank you, Paul, for coming back after your graduation to get a hard copy of the book. You don’t know what that singular act means to me.

At the beginning of the year, a series titled ‘Our Stories’ ran on the blog. I am so grateful to all the amazing writers that contributed. Those words were doses of encouragements, lessons and inspiration that I held on throughout the year. Thank you for believing enough in this platform to share your work on it. Thank you to all the amazing readers who keep coming back to the blog despite my lack of consistency. Special thanks to you Josh Caleb for your unwavering support. It means a lot to me.

I really do have a lot of people to thank, but I will end with Inspired Vessels. I am grateful for Inspired Vessels connect group. I look forward to connect every Tuesday evening because I know that I would definitely leave refreshed and encouraged. It’s great to be a part of such an inspiring family. There are so many lessons I learnt this year and so many things that kept me going and kept my soul in peace almost every day. If am I to pick one, I would go for lessons learnt about God’s love. I had a deeper understanding of God’s love this year and I’m telling you, it changed the way I approached a lot of things. I stopped worrying less. I started trusting God more. I felt more loved and that just affected my relationship with God positively. I chose to see God in everything in the year and lord knows, that put my whole being at peace.

2016 was not the best of years for many of us, but we are still standing. We still had things that brought smiles to our faces and gratitude to our hearts in the year. We are still going to be given another chance in 2017 to go out and be all that we can. To laugh, to cry, to love and be loved, to inspire and be inspired, to give and be given, to be there for someone and allow someone be there for us. We will have many second chances in 2017. I really do hope and pray that we will let God be our everything in 2017 and we will see him in everything.

I will end this rather long post with two very important scriptures to me in the year. In 2017 and in the remaining hours left in this year, when your anxious thoughts multiply within you, God’s comfort will delight you. (Psalm 94:19).

The Lord is your shepherd, you will lack nothing

He will make you lie down in green pastures,

He will lead you beside quiet waters,

He will refresh your soul.

He will guide you along the right paths

for his name sake.

Even though you walk

through the darkest valley,

you will fear no evil,

for God is with you;

His rod and staff,

Will comfort you.

God will prepare a table before you

In the presence of your enemies.

He will anoint your head with oil;

Your cup will overflow.

Surely, his goodness and love will follow you

All the days of your life,

And you will dwell in the house of the lord forever.

Amen.

*

Happy New Year in Advance guys. I look forward to journeying with you in 2017.

P,S: You can get my book, ‘It’s Your Life To Lead’ on amazon for a very affordable price.

Photo credit: Innerchange.com.au

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