I thought that my birthday this year would be very quiet. No photoshoot, no outing. I wanted to stay in bed and watch a movie, post old pictures, evaluate on the previous year, pray and eat fried rice and chicken. That didn’t work. Well, my bosom friend ensured I went for a photoshoot, I had an amazing time hanging out with a beloved friend and my friends and proteges blew my mind away with amazing gifts. It was the best birthday celebration I’ve had and I’m glad I was pushed out of my comfort zone.
Ife Grace is gradually building her social skills…oh yeah…. Who knows, I might just become a fan of attending social events that are not conference and summit related. Have you read a post I shared few years ago about my personal life? Read here Yeah…parties still freak me out sometimes…
Enough of the small talks, I want to share 8 interesting things that I am grateful for. There are more but I’ll just share a few. Ready?
1.I’m grateful for my friends and their support in the previous year. My friends, particularly those in my inner circle, have had to hold my hands when I was confronted with making one of the most difficult decisions in my life.
I’m thankful for my friends who looked beyond my introverted self and pushed me out of my shell. Two months ago, I was with a close friend at a conference in Lagos when she grabbed my hand and took me to meet the host, a woman who had become a voice in my life. When she first suggested we go see her, I bluntly refused. One, there were lots of people around her and I just wanted to get the knowledge I came for and leave. Every excuse I gave fell on deaf ears. With her hands holding tightly to mine, she ensured we press through until I had a face-to-face contact with the woman. Even though I couldn’t say much, I confronted my fears. A month later, I’d walk up to a known figure in the film industry and introduce myself. I went alone! I can’t even believe this! It got me an opportunity for another meeting with her.
I’m grateful for friends I can be vulnerable with. With these ones, I can lay my heart bare.
2. I’m grateful for the courage to make tough decisions. Recently, I had to make a decision that left me in tears several nights. I had my own crafted plans but when God scattered that and placed His before me, it came with a lot of pain and doubts. Now that I think about it, was it possible, Abraham also cried when he was to leave Haran? Was it possible that he was already established, flourishing and gaining a level of influence before the instruction to leave came? Had he thought these words, “God, are you really saying this?” Were there nights between Genesis 12:1 and 2 where he felt heartbroken and wished the cup could pass over him? Was there any temptation to stay back and continue with his former life?
3. I am grateful for the mentors, teachers and fathers God placed on my path. My God! I have escaped making grievous mistakes because of my connections with them. I’m grateful for my biological father. His prayers are working big time. I’m grateful for my disciplers- missionaries at Osun state, I’m grateful for Rev’d Peter Alabi (Dad as we call him). He was instrumental in cooking this girl so well. He fanned the hunger for prayer and attention to the word in me. I’m thankful for Debola Deji-Kurunmi, my mentor and coach. I’ve lived a life of ease in the pursuit of my vision because of her. She modeled a possibility I never knew existed and I’m consistently pressing into it. I’m grateful for Pastor Emmanuel Iren. Is it the impartations? The confirmations? The shattering he did to my fixed mindset last year?
I am grateful that I am not a wanderer, jumping from one place to another. By the Spirit, I recognized my fathers, my teachers and mentor. I know where I should be per time, who to listen to and I discern correctly my seasons and times.
4. I am grateful for the ability to recognize God’s love distinctly. I’ve seen this love transferred in varying measures to the people around me. My love walk was a major prayer point last year, with my desire to reflect the true nature of Christ. While I’m still growing in this, I’ve seen a measure of God’s love revealed through me. I saw this love expressed in my communication with my mentees, my flatmates and my friends. I’m also grateful for the grace to give generously as an expression of my love walk.
5. Oh! I celebrate the great impact made from my books last year. With Ayanfe and Diary of a Nigerian Girl reaching over five thousand persons, testimonies flooded my mailbox. Testimonies of deliverance from oppression, courage to step away from making wrong decisions, testimonies of restoration and stirrings towards the life of the Spirit. I’m grateful for the souls saved last year. I’m grateful for the boldness to preach on the streets and lead men to Christ. I’m grateful for souls saved through my blog and facebook platforms. Two of them have become solid disciples in my community.
6. I’m grateful for the big moves I made with the launch of my ministerial work at Elevate Transformation Clinic. It has been a great delight fanning prayer altars to flames and re-engineering minds towards purposeful living. I’m grateful for the move I made with narrating stories on my podcast, an experience that first felt weird. This was a far cry from my regular comfortable writing style.
7. I’m grateful for the gift of men. God brought men to me last year. They took my projects on their head and ran with the tasks I delegated to them even when there was no promise of an immediate reward. They were ready to stretch with me. Oh I’m so blessed.
8. I’m grateful for the grace to continually press into a life of prayer and the word. The hunger keeps increasing. I’m grateful for fulfilled prophecies. I’m grateful for the passion to know God and to make Him known that keeps blazing from season to season.
And yes, I’m grateful for a beautiful year ahead.