Day 10: Oluwafunmilayo
December 10, 2016
Day 12: Osetemega Iribiri
December 12, 2016

In the beginning

Beyond any doubt, 2016 was a promising year with great anticipation; I set out into the then New Year having certain plans in my head. After the watch-night service my mind travelled back to those agendas and I was ruminating on the many plans and the executions. In the nick of time, a vivid message dropped in my mind ”if you must conquer any of these, you must first conquer yourself.” If you have ever been privy to receive divine instructions from God at any point in time, the messages are always simple, clear, and direct but most often deeper than the face value. Hence, if you missed the details, you might get the application wrong and find it tedious. What appears so simple a message may become a seriously complex task to get through. I assumed it was as simple as the message in itself and would later highlight the necessary points to achieve the agenda but alas I realised I broke the code like Moses broke the tablet. One major lesson is that no matter how tired or seemingly important other things are at any point, one must cultivate an attitude to wait and follow through with God, because it is practically impossible to recreate an atmosphere for same revelation, except God decide to repeat himself, an instance which is rare and purposeful.

Growing in Faith

Spiritually it’s an awesome year and I was able to deepen my personal relationship with my maker and can boldly recount some personal encounters and revelations, which often precede manifestations. That doesn’t mean I got all I wanted but nothing I needed was missing! There are some low moments when I feel like given up but faith and re-assurance in Christ keeps me going. As human we are completely assured and satisfied when God said I will do it, we also want to know how and when, a place where anxiety crept to trouble our peace of mind. At some point, I get encumbered with slow pace of things but never remain on ground for long because the supply of grace was in abundance. Sometimes, I rolled out tears as a reflex or to reflect the emotional being in me but laughter and joy from heavens were never out of supply. In all these my sense of Christianity was redefined as I rediscovered Christ, myself, people and learned new narratives about humanity, religion and faith. Christianity is not only professed but lived, not only attendance in worship centers but continuous appearance and impressions in God’s heart through dealings with people; not breaking people but making them, not using people but raising them. Christianity is never selfishness, self serving or self indulgence but selflessness, sacrifice and service.

My bible character for the year was Daniel and I learnt a lot by examining his life in details, a true revelation of a man that conquered himself to conquer his world. I am glad that I have a great teacher and mentor in my pastor as well, who tremendously help me to climb many steps on the ladder of faith this year. A parting gift on this is that we may never discover who we are in Christ until we discover who Christ is in us and to us. As a matter of fact, he’s more than just the personal savior and God and we are more than just children of God as well. Some of the major receipts for me this year are endurance, brokenness and desire to give my best in all.

Career and Self Development

One major strive is never to get tired of being better than whom you are yesterday and always be your own competitor; competing with others who are on different course and running different race won’t help one to dig out for the next great personal move, even if we are doing the same thing. Last year I set out to start some personal project and expand my professional connection and networking. Certain human elements were mobilized to do some jobs but were done wishy-washy and failed the standard I desired for the launch out. Though, I could not launch the project as planned this year but no longer at the incubation stage. Initially, I was unhappy because those human antics threw spanners in the wheels of progress, which made me to suspend the project entirely. The motivation to follow true was never missing because what is bound to fail doesn’t get attacked. If a project is stalled by people who ought to work with you to make it a reality, it must be counted as an opportunity to correct and make it better, as well as an indication that certain good must be up for grab if you persevere.

Equally, I set target for certain professional certifications but I could not do any because of sudden ‘change’ in foreign exchange since they are across boarder and the budget is like three times higher than the planned. Since I am not a government, no supplementary budget can be raised to take care of the excesses and to also avoid throwing other equally important plans overboard. But 2017 is another year and opportunity to try again. Though I did some local trainings relating to my current job functions and I can say I aimed for the moon but still find some space somewhere in the sky.

Another major vision on the track of self development is to read more books this year but surprisingly I bought more than I read. That’s quiet unimpressive and annoying to me! I hope to do better in 2017. The intention to do better alone is not enough, I have to question myself if the failure this year was a product of no time, which I doubt because I spent significant time playing computer games, watching screens and engaging in musing over some other things; how positive or negative are all these other activities? I can’t really tell but I believe some of those time can as well be cut down to read a bit more than I did throughout the year.

Social Engagements

I was prompted by certain exposé over time to start two blogs; one to anchor professional mentoring in my field while the other is to focus on relationship insights. I have a big burden to mentor young talents and to co-develop with peers while we all learn from established and seasoned minds in the field. Similarly, I was burdened by misconceptions, recklessness and carelessness of my generation about relationships, which often lacks visions, full of pretense and deceit, as well as leading nowhere. This is not also far-fetched from the alarming rate of divorce among young couples lately. Anyway, I could not kick start any the blogs this year because of certain variables. Instead of the blog I currently used my personal Facebook account to share relationship nuggets and some proven and practical materials from trusted sources but the amusing misconception was that some think sharing such info has to do with my personal life. Some female friends even asked at different occasions whether some the posts are standards for a potential partner. The misconstrue was amusing anyway but it was never an intended platform for searching and the details of posts are not by any means way personal narratives. Anyway, still using the Facebook to collect data as a test-run for the relationship blog in the coven.

However, my engagement with a global NGO – Academic Stand Against Poverty (ASAP) was fruitful in terms of linkage and partnership with others like minds. This stride resulted from the successful hosting of a two-day international conference hosted by the West Africa Chapter of the organisation, where I currently serve as a member of the management team. The climax of the event hosted at the prestigious University of Lagos attracted participation from the United States of America and the United Kingdom. Also, this paved way for networking with other international non-governmental organizations, as well as universities in Nigeria coming together to deal with menace of poverty within human society. And 2017 is earmarked to reach out to other academics institutions in West Africa.

Personal Relationships

I got certain vision and goals for the outgoing year; while some are actualized, others are in the burner but overall it was a beautiful year. I have always maintain a trimmed inner circle to ensure quality of friendship. I have some major and important progress in terms of friendship this year; while some of the old union gets better, some that are not meant to last beyond a phase fades off and there are also notable and progressive minds that came on board. There is a great asset still unfolding who in particular inspired me to get back to writing, an area which I am almost becoming rusty. My indulgence and interest permeates deep knowledge, enterprise, creativity, unperturbed spirit and ultimately the fear of God. And whenever or wherever I see these, such life simply become a haven of true friendship for me. Equally, there is another friend, though we live across continents but always there; we celebrate moments of victory and also share pain of defeat together around sport characters and games we both love – Lawn Tennis and Football. Our senses of humour and amusement are equally on the same radar. Therefore, I cherished these treasures in friendship. I have learnt over time that for any to move ahead in life, you must always be in a ship, either friendship, relationship, partnership, courtship or fellowship. Always be in a good ship that is capable of steering you to a great destination or next level.

My sense of family was deepened in the year as well, as I understudy a mentor of mine who I can refer to as great friend, lover, husband and father in his home. I have learnt from him overtime what sacrificial leadership in the family is about. Sometimes, this year I told myself never to be a failure in my family life because I have passed through a formidable tutelage.

Similarly, I learnt a great lesson about spiritual watch over children. As parent (s) or to be, we must not be controlled or get carried away by emotions over our children but effectively watch over them spiritually. Such later brings instability and storms beyond remedy. Some parents never pray through on certain decisions or choices made by their children but get carried away by the affections they have for them. When they are making gruesome mistakes in life, no one to spiritually checkmate or travel ahead in the spirit to gain insight about the mind of God.

Personal Assessment or Evaluation

From time to time, we need to examine our lives. Some we can do ourselves, some areas we need frank people or friends to assess us. When things are not going well in some areas I have close and witty pals I asked questions about me. This helps to know where I need to improve or get better. The last check I did was on relationship. I asked a close pal who is a female to tell me why things won’t or can’t work between us if two of us decide to go into a relationship. You have to be sincere with yourself on the feedbacks to checkmate what is wrong or might go wrong later with your relationship if you are in one or intend to go into one soon. Mind you, this must be done or it is only possible with a frank and truthful friend that have deep knowledge of you but no intimate feelings for each other if you are using the opposite gender.
Mind you, most often, the problems in any relationships directed or anchored on God are non-existent in the real sense but only in our heads. When we act on the fear and illusion this creates in our heads, then we give the real problem a face and a life in our partner. If most of the relationship problems are discussed and solution are collectively agreed and genuinely acted on, there won’t be any crisis or breakdown in our relationships. But we live in a world where we trust our human instincts or friends with relatively provisional knowledge than God.

This also applies to other areas of life; we must do regular assessment to become a better version of ourselves. Mind you, all the feedbacks may not be perfectly you but if you operate an open conscience about yourself you will know what is right about you and what is seemingly misjudged, what is problematic and what you need to change. No one is devoid knowing what is right or wrong, the issue is that we often deadened our conscience when we act out evil. Devil only qualifies to be the accuser of brethren because he knows the right from wrong and that’s why he could fish out our evils and report to God to call for punishment.

Summary!

At this point, I considered the outgoing year as fundamental to learning and growing with many visions, targets and aspirations. Some achieved some in the incubator or in the burner. It may appear normal to get agitated and apprehensive about life as a growing person, holding fast to faith may be a challenge sometimes but if one is able to hold on, there is always an unusual man in the ship of our lives and the winds and the waves obey him, provided we call on him fervently and regularly to help or rescue our situation (s).

Seasons Greetings from Perry’s Tots.🌲

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