FIRST QUARTER (Q1) – Firing up for the year
Like every new year, one of the things to do this year was to spend more time building up myself in spiritual things. I made some resolutions and laid out practical steps towards achieving that. It started well and was going on fine until the pandemic. The lockdown order was given and I was happy that I would have some time to rest and more time to read my bible, pray and read the books that I had planned to read. It didn’t work out that way because after a few weeks, I started getting bothered about the effect of the pandemic on the nation, about the deaths around the world, the effect of lock down on people around me, and on work.
SECOND QUARTER (Q2) – Lockdown and Freedom
The lock down had lasted for a month before the partial ease by the government in May. My former workplace had asked that we resume as soon as the lockdown was partially eased. Rewind to 2019, I had been planning to leave the job for a new one and I had hoped that would work out well in 2020. I had been involved in recruitment processes for about 2 to 3 firms, that weren’t concluded but I was hopeful for a positive outcome. In January 2020, one of them sent a mail abruptly ending the recruitment process because “they had found the right person for the position”. Back to Q2, I had become so tired of where I was working, I didn’t even want to resume there again. I submitted my resignation letter in the second quarter after getting some form of confirmation that it was the right thing to do. Now, I appeared to have some free time. Again, I felt I could spend more time doing the things I wanted to do. I felt happy, prayed and read my bible more, read for a course I had registered for earlier in the year and continued carrying out the responsibilities of a role that I was assigned in my church’s youth fellowship.
THIRD QUARTER (Q3) – When life hits you
The third quarter is what you call ‘when life hits you’. Let’s rewind to the beginning of the year. In February, I was appointed into the leadership of my church’s youth fellowship as Secretary. I was also informed that I would be representing the youth fellowship at the church’s leadership meetings (comprising of the HODs and group fellowship heads) and I will also function at these meetings as Secretary. The duties for the first role started rolling in immediately but the second didn’t start until June/July. I was already beginning to feel some kind of tension from the first role because it always appeared that there was a lot to do. However, the real tension from the roles, for me, started in the third quarter. I really believe in being responsible and I hate appearing otherwise. So, I tried to keep up with the pace of work. In the midst of these, I had to prepare for my exams, job aptitude tests and interviews that came along the way (By the way, job searching is a job on its own). Anyway, the most important thing to note is that in the third quarter, I became consumed with all the things I had to do and I neglected the things that served as my source of strength.
FOURTH QUARTER (Q4) – Omooo!
I’m smiling writing this because this was the height. I don’t even know what to call this period. All I can say to describe it is “Omoooo!”. So, fourth quarter, nothing had changed from the last quarter except that I was increasingly getting detached from prayer and all the other exercises that strengthened me. In fact, I got myself to the point where I stopped reading my bible or my 2 minutes devotional book, because I could always do that later. Prayer was also left at the back burner. Rejection mails were coming in. Other applications were being ignored. I still had to keep up with my responsibilities in the fellowship, although, I had typed my resignation letter on two different occasions. I became confused, sad, cried a couple of times and a few more times. Confidence level dropped (this is another story because my confidence level had been dropping since 2018.. lol). Started to doubt my abilities, even the things I could ordinarily do. I felt like a car running down a slope on an empty tank. It was probably the worst period of the year for me but wait… all of these was just at the beginning of Q4 (October and first two weeks in November to be precise).
JESUS TO THE RESCUE!
Honestly, God has been rescuing us since the world began and he won’t stop now. In the second, third and early fourth quarter of the year, God had been speaking to me about keeping my focus on Him, not getting distracted, seeking Him first. It didn’t make much sense to me in the second quarter because I felt I was doing that. In the third quarter, I felt I would do that. By early fourth quarter, I knew I couldn’t do that (on my own). I remember I had a dream that clearly instructed me to put God first (this was Q2). Somewhere between Q3 and early Q4, I remember two occasions where I would be so engrossed in all my activities and I would literally feel in my Spirit that I had left important things undone but somehow, I felt they could wait.
Another way Jesus kept me was through the prayers of the community of believers. I know I had family and friends who were praying for me because they would just send me random messages of encouragement and money to go with it. The age band within the group fellowship also held prayer meetings and the ones that I joined were so uplifting and encouraging especially during the end sars period (I needed those prayer meetings to stay sane and think straight). I also had members of the youth leadership team randomly checking on me and encouraging me, by the leading of the Holy Spirit because some of it came at the appropriate time.
The final rescue operation happened in the second week in November. God had been speaking but I wasn’t listening. Maybe I was too familiar with all the modes of communication. I felt in my heart to speak to someone in my church about my career but I ignored because I didn’t even know what to say and I was confused at the time and I didn’t want to give that person the impression that I was a confused person. But you know our God now, He probably looked at me and said “this coconut head girl will not talk to anybody unless I make it happen”, so he orchestrated the circumstance in the most unlikely way and got me in the same location with this person and we had a lot of time to talk. Let me spare you the details of the conversation and just let you know that from a career talk, the conversation ended in me being faced with how I was heavily distracted from fellowship with God, how that was draining me and how I needed to get back to the place of communion with God. I was made to realize that it was the most important thing that I needed to do.
I felt grateful for this chastisement. I was happy that God applied the brakes to the car that was running down the slope. I told everyone around me of what God did for me by inclining my ears to His instructions. It meant a lot to me. I didn’t start praying as much as I used to or reading my bible immediately. I first revelled in the joy that filled my heart, knowing that God truly won’t leave me to my ways. I didn’t know how to start praying again or where to start reading my bible from because I had lost touch with what I was reading before. So, I just stayed in thanksgiving till I started receiving more instructions through prayer and from my pastors, on what to pray about, what to meditate upon and what scriptures to study.
Jesus loves me! (You can’t tell me otherwise)
Jesus is a provider! (The story of how I have been keeping up financially without asking anybody for money is another story).
He will never leave me nor forsake me! (Even with my coconut head)
He orders my steps!! (those things we call coincidences are not. Like you would look back and be like “what are the odds of these things happening?” It could have only been God)
I have an amazing company of believers! (in my family and friends)
I didn’t achieve any of the things I wanted to achieve this year but I learnt a lot, I am convinced about somethings and I am eternally grateful for the love of God. I wanted to highlight the lessons learnt but I will just let you pick out whatever lesson you have learnt from my 2020 story. I’ll leave you with this: God loves you so much. You mean the world to Him and He will stop at nothing to let you know that!
Thank you Doc. You are an inspiration and I love you very much.
Compliments of the season from Perry’s Tots.🎄
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