2015 – MY YEAR IN REVIEW

 

In this past year, I personally experienced all the seasons any human being can possible experience – some of them brutally.
I experienced situations that veered crazily and constantly between sadness, euphoria, high, low, sadness, happiness, anger, loneliness, betrayal, confusion, sadness, clarity, happiness, contentment, etc etc etc. Sometimes I wept bitterly at the unfairness of life; sometimes I just screamed, raged and shouted often behind my closed doors. Each betrayal or bad news or disappointment brought their own unique set of depressing reaction and set back.
But the feelings that remained constantly with me throughout and regardless of whatever the season I was experiencing was Peace and Joy.
I found that no matter whatever I was experiencing, I simply could not stop smiling.
I had that constant and deeply grained confidence that things will be alright even right in the middle of my tantrums.
I had that Peace that passes all human understanding that even when the bad seasons and violent storms were raging and almost sucked me under, I couldn’t stop smiling
Some of the times I appeared in public in glam attires and flawless make up were when I was going through the worst personal ordeals.
But scripture says “All things work together for those who love the Lord…..”
It also says “After you have suffered a while, he will strengthen you, restore you and give you peace”
Another one days “Cast your bread upon many waters and in due course it will return to you if you do not give up”

I know some people reading this do not believe in God or in His word. Others may have believed at some point but delay has caused doubt to grow and fester in their heart and destroyed their faith. Trust me, I faced many struggles with my faith too. We won’t be human if we didn’t.
Sometimes I even questioned God.  But each time, He answered me by reminding me of all I have learnt about Him.
His words of promise and encouragement come to me even at my lowest point and I am encouraged and gingered-up again.
I also find great healing through Praise and Worship and at times when I’m too drained and weakened to pray, hymns and spiritual songs minister to me and lift my spirit.
Every time I had come close to giving up and saying “I can’t take anymore”, I find a massive dollop of strength miraculously deposited in my soul and I carry on.

We as human beings often believe that life should be a problem-less bed of roses and blame God when bad or even terrible situations arise. But He has already informed us in His word “In this life you will have troubles. But be of good cheer – I have overcome the world”
Admittedly, I don’t read my Bible as much as I should but there are many Scriptures and Biblical stories that I have read, studied and committed to heart that come to my mind at the most appropriate times. And these are where I draw my reassurance from.

As this year ends, some things have happened in my life that have convinced me that the pain of delay has not been in vain.
All that happened over the past 12 months including having my vehicle seized and the embarrassing threat of homelessness  – many other painful situations have simply made me stronger, wiser, more determined and more thankful.
I was promised that I will end this year on a HIGH NOTE and for the past couple of months, I have been smiling more than ever.
I gained major recognition in a career that I inadvertently found myself in.
I have made and developed the most wonderful friendships and relationships. And just when I had started to believe it wasn’t going to happen again, I found love again after 10 years of divorce with a lovely hardworking and God fearing man.
I have seen my kids develop into young adults and come into their own grounded personalities with my youngest getting a major part in a major BBC TV series.
On a flight ticket miraculously provided and paid for as a gift, I travelled to Nigeria to witness my mother celebrate her 70th birthday –  a major testimony because my dad painfully passed just before his 60th.

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Even my vehicle that was taken away was miraculously replaced – in less than a month.

BEFFTA AWARD

I look back over these things and say this surely must be God at work. The coming year, holds its very own special place for me and I look forward to it more that I have many of the other years past. It is the year of my Golden Jubilee. The year of my 50th birthday and I am filled with so much excitement and joy for this new age – the age I become “An Elder” according to the principles of the Redeemed Christian Church of God of which I am a member. I may not be a fan of the title but I am proud of what it stands for and entails. The age of greater responsibility and higher values.

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Those that don’t believe in God, do so because they haven’t seen Him at work. But it can also be as a result of not knowing God and His word. The Bible says “Faith comes by hearing, hearing the word of God” You simply cannot believe in He that you do not know.

I would at this juncture, like to summarize the lessons that I learnt from my experiences over the past year:
1 In times of trouble, many people will disappoint you and let you down, But some people will stand by you and come through for you.
2 No act of kindness – no matter how small is inconsequential or forgotten.
3 No matter how bad things get for you, there will always be a way out.
4 Help always come sometimes from the most unexpected sources.
5 Hardship will destroy you only if you let it.
6 The saying “crying may last through the night but joy comes in the morning” is TRUE.
7 You are much more stronger than you think.
8 Don’t let other people’s negative opinion of you define you.
9 Stay focused and believe in yourself and your abilities.
10 Don’t give up on your expectations and dreams no matter how long they take to materialise.

11 God can bless you with just 1 thing that will wipe away the pain of 10 bad experiences

12 DON’T EVER GIVE UP ON GOD

 

2015 is our past.

2016 is our present and future. Old things have passed away – behold, all things have become new.

Lets leave all past hurts, bitterness and anger in the past and look forward to new and fresh experiences in the new Year.

 

A song I know says:

Your latter will be greater than your past

You will be blessed, more than you could ask

Despite all that has been done

The best is yet to come

And your latter will be greater

Your latter will be greater

Your latter will be greater

Your latter will be greater than your past

All things are possible, the best is yet to come.

 

As I write this piece, we are just a few hours away from the end of the year. Many of us see the New Year in the short horizon.

As long as Jehovah lives, may we reach it, pass it and outlive it.

 

Jummy Ariyo

31 December 2015

 

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