Ending On A Good Note
I thought I’d end the year on a bit of a reflective note.
On the 11th January 2017, I wrote an email to my parents and close friends.
In this email, I was high on New Year juice and immensely optimistic about the year that was to come. I suppose the optimism was expected. I really didn’t like or enjoy most of 2016 and couldn’t wait to be rid of it. So perhaps my optimism for the new year was a form of desperate hope. In any case that doesn’t matter.
I wrote to my family about the fact that God had told me during our New Year’s service, that 2017 is going to be a great year for me. I didn’t hear it audibly, but I felt it with a certainty that even through the difficult times of the year, could never be dismissed.
I listed 6 things that I wanted from God- normal stuff, health, career, relationships etc. I told Him what I wanted and how I wanted it, forgetting He had been the one to indicate that the year was going to be good and not me.
I spent half the year frustrated and angry. It was as though God wasn’t coming through. Hated work. Was mostly unhealthy. And my relationships with people and God were just OK. I think I hit my lowest point when I’d show up to work like an hour or more late and just watch Netflix the whole day. I didn’t care. Wasn’t really living. I was just waking up and existing. I certainly wasn’t my whole self. And quite frankly since I saw my job as meaningless, I felt my life was meaningless. Still, somehow I had hope. It was tiny but it was there and stubborn. For that, I am very grateful. That certainty that when God says something, he means it, is what got me through it all.
Then through a series of events, I started listening to this Audiobook called Conversations with God by Neal Donald Walsch. One particular part of the first chapter struck me and I think that’s what set in motion the transformation that began in my life in the second half of the year. I had run out of my own steam. It was as though God was saying to me, ‘now that you have done what you want to do to fulfill my promise to you, I will now take over and show you what indeed that promise really is and also teach you that you can never fathom the extent of my love for you or the plans I have to display that love.’
What was said in the book is that ‘God speaks to us through our experiences.’ I heard that line and stopped to reflect on my life. I took a look at my experiences. What things were repeating themselves and what could those repetitions mean?
I learnt a lot by taking that first step to look internally. And over the course of the rest of the year, I stopped blaming other people and things for what I didn’t like about my life. I started learning to listen more to my experiences and apply those lessons as I moved forward. I learnt that when you ask God for patience, He will give you many opportunities to learn patience. He doesn’t just dump the patience in your head. So seeing life as a massive journey of daily opportunities was a huge turning point for me. I stopped waiting for God to give me happiness or fulfillment, and saw that I had multiple opportunities to be happy and fulfilled. I also learnt that having a relationship with God is not a license to expect magic. Every human being will reap what he or she sows. All these things changed my perspective on life immensely. To be sure it was a journey. I still had and have moments where I went back to being afraid or blaming other people or looking outside of myself for answers. But these instances reduced over time as I became more conscious of myself. It was a transformation indeed.
When I felt that day in church that this year is going to be my year, I thought it meant I’d get a killer job and model boyfriend and a new banging body for myself. I didn’t know that my whole worldview was going to change even as I still did get more than the things that I asked for and in ways that I could never in a million years have predicted.
Why am I telling you this story?
I am not sure. I was just reflecting on the year and today realised that all my requests for my life this year were answered even as the answers came in the most unlikely ways. None of it was through magic, but by the grace of God and conscious effort to listen to myself more and be obedient to that part of me that God has given me to look out for me. It took a removal of my false belief that I had no part to play in my life and that I had to wait for God to do everything for me. I also learnt to stop being afraid and focus on loving myself instead.
As the year comes to a close, I honestly pray that each and every person reading this blog post will have much to hope for and look forward to in the coming year. I pray that you will at this time, know what you want, patiently and consistently working towards it, in your own way and without fear of failure. I pray that you will learn lessons that transform your life for the better. And that all the blessings due to you in the year will manifest in your lives without delay.
May next year be a year of peace, progress and the deepest love for ourselves and all those around us.
Happy New Year (in advance/arrears - depending on where in the world you are)
The year shall be wonderful for each of us.