First of all, MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones. And if like me, you didn’t get any actual pressies, it’s okay – the fact that we have life and those who we can spend the day with, we can always find blessings we forgot to count 🙂
As I wind down for the year, I hoped to make a video for y’all but I wasn’t really feeling it so I’m writing instead.
2016 was NOT my favourite year…at all.
It wasn’t a bad year but it was a NECESSARY year. It was my year of levelling up mentally and psychologically by virtue of my experiences. It was my year of putting myself out there in more nerve wracking ways. It was my year of dipping my toe in the pool of vulnerability. It was my year of deciding that enough was enough. It was my year of handling humiliation with Grace. It was my year of constantly giving myself pep talks in the middle of dealing with incessant anxiety. It was my year of getting acquainted with myself. It was my year of strength when I was clearly weak. It was my year of really deciding what was most important to me.
2016 was tough in some parts and victorious in other ways and I’d like to share what I termed my purpose-defining moments with you:
April 2016: My 5 year relationship ended due to infidelity. I remember waking up on that blessed day, 8th April 2016, to a series of messages from a young lady explicitly detailing her relationship with my now ex-boyfriend. People who know me really well know that two things I will not tolerate in relationships are infidelity and physical assault but what actually crushed me in this situation was how much personal information this stranger knew about me. She was clearly not just a one-time fling…
That morning as I read her messages, sent though my ex’s phone, I felt so exposed like I was standing in the middle of the WHOLE world naked and not one person was offering me something to cover up with. It was painful, it was surreal, it was breath-taking in the worst way. I literally never saw it coming.
Looking back, 9 months later, I understand much better why God had to let it happen as it happened. All good things come to an end especially when God is wanting to birth better in your life. I used the opportunity to fall deeper in God and let Him heal me emotionally and remove any traces of bitterness. I also let God take me on a journey of knowing who I am in Christ Jesus because when you date someone for 5 years (between 19 and 24), you can lose a sense of who you actually are.
August 2016: God not only blessed me with my 25th year of life on the 11th August 2016, but He also gave me the incredible gift of catching a glimpse of one of my core callings. For most people who have been following my writing since TheStephWay days, they’d know how much my work life was a struggle. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding my career and it was very anxiety-inducing.
But as I sat in a hotel conference room for 2 days, learning more about Coaching as a profession, I couldn’t contain my excitement as to how much I could tell I was in the right place. I made a decision that day that I would pursue this further by doing my diplomas in Personal Performance and Small Business Coaching and eventually set up my own practice as a Coach. I didn’t know how I would pay for it or how it would all materialise but I knew I wanted it bad enough and true to God’s awesome nature, He provided all I needed to get going.
By November 2016, I had taken the first steps to set up my Coaching business (I had actually set a timeline of 5 years to break out into this but God’s plan doesn’t need my permission or input). It’s still very early days but I’m enjoying the learning process even though it sometimes feel like I’ve started from the bottom again but one thing I’ve definitely learnt is that being a novice in your purpose is more important than being an expert in something that has no bearing on where God is taking to you. God wants to bless us but He won’t bless who we are not.
What I must add is that, as I approached the age of 25 (a year I have eagerly anticipated since I was 18), in my prayer time I kept hearing these words in my Spirit “A New Season Is Coming”. I had no idea what this new season was but I was convicted enough to hold on to God for the full revelation in His time. Don’t ever take for granted what you feel in your spirit but instead hold on to it as your own personal and customised word (compass) from God. Pin it up and let it be an anchor for your hope and faith even when it feels like you can’t feel God at work.
October 2016: On the 6th October 2016, I was handed my dismissal letter with 3 months’ notice from the only employer I have ever had pre- and post-uni for the last 4.5 years. To be honest, they beat me to it because I was getting ready to actually hand in my notice but God orchestrated my exit in the way He deemed necessary.
I was dismissed mainly because: I failed 2 of my last 3 ACA exams and I was unwilling to retake them in the next sitting.
On top of that, my performance review for previous year was a 2 (and you shouldn’t hit below 3) – this was because I had already mentally checked out of my job. I hated it and my mental welfare was increasingly unhinged. Some days I’d go to work and stare at my laptop for an hour before turning it on because I was terrified of the streams of emails to come. I spent all my energy trying to survive each day instead of thriving. I may or may not have started unconsciously sabotaging myself because the policies didn’t make it easy for me to just quit without repaying heavy costs that two months’ salary wouldn’t even cover.
So getting fired, actually meant I had nothing to repay. But it also meant that I was now free to pursue my preferred career path without feeling not good enough and without feeling stupid – when clearly I was a fish being judged by my ability to climb a tree.
I don’t know what my next job will be but I won’t be picking another one out of desperation, that’s for sure. I do have a business to build so I will be enjoying my time off work by focusing on that.
As I said, 2016 was not my favourite year BUT it was a NECESSARY year.
My experiences improved my fellowship with God and also introduced me to the real me. I still struggle with comparison sometimes and I occasionally feel like I’m falling behind everyone else but God’s peace always reminds me that I’m in the right lane for me.
So to anyone who has had a bit of a wonky 2016, you and me both! but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Many lost their lives, families have been torn apart by all sorts of tragedies and things are far from perfect for many of us but truth is:we have Jesus and when you have Jesus, you have EVERYTHING.
Here’s to a glorious 2017 already prepared by a God who can do exceedingly and abundantly over what we can think or imagine. Keep the faith alive!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!