2023, is a year for the books, but then again I feel like I say that about every year.
If you had told me in January that by December I would be a single 31-year-old full-time entrepreneur, living back at home with my parents in Nigeria I would have laughed in your face and then muttered to myself “Anything is possible sha”.
You see, I came into this year with MASSIVE question marks because I knew that transition was around the corner. I knew it because, in December of 2022, my best friend and roommate of 6 years got engaged so at the least I knew that by December of 2023, I would no longer have a roommate. What I didn’t know was that my life was about to take so many dramatic turns.
I would spare you the details, mainly because I’ve already talked about all the major transitions in former blogs but long story short - burnt out from work, went on leave, quit my job, entered a new relationship, became an entrepreneur, moved to Nigeria temporarily, ended the relationship. OK, you’re all caught up. This reflection I want to write is less about the actual details of my life but more about the faithfulness of God.
The way God came through for me continues to blow my mind daily because, despite the year of so many unplanned changes, I can now say that I am truly at peace because I’m in obedience to God’s will. To understand why I say this, I have to go back to January 2023 when I decided to create a vision board. I hadn’t done a vision board since 2020 for obvious reasons (the pandemic, the whole world burning, and “planning” for the future seemed like a futile exercise). Nevertheless, for the first time in 3 years, I attempted to plan and the heading of the board was “Ibiyemi’s Vision Board - Partner with God” and at the top of that plan, I simply wrote “TRUST GOD”. Wow, I didn’t know what exactly that meant but now I can truly say that I indeed trusted God.
I was listening to a friend’s podcast and she talked about how we need to reflect based on God’s metric of success for us and not where we “think we should be”. So many times we reflect based on where we thought we would be in terms of the details, and if we are not careful we can be disappointed because it doesn’t look like the picture we had in mind. Someone once said to me, that we are so happy to get God’s will for our lives but we are so reluctant to accept God’s way and timing.
I'll paint a picture for you of what that looks like:
What was the “goal” I wrote down
What was the picture in my head?
What actually happened? /What was God’s way?
New Job with more money
Transition into the Tech Industry
Bloop, quit your job and become a full-time entrepreneur
The financial goal was to save 20K
Put away another 5K from my new “high paying” job because I already had about 15K saved over the years.
Get a lovely pension check from the job I quit + plus a MASSIVE high-paying contract from my first week as an entrepreneur (almost double savings goal).
The Health Goal was about finding true rest.
Create boundaries at work, Eat well, work out, and go on Vacation to rejuvenate. As a by-product, I planned to lose another 20lbs like the year before.
Experience the worst burnout in your life, go on medical leave, get diagnosed with anxiety/depression, quit said job, redefine success, and redefine what work looks like while prioritizing JOY. Let go of food addiction/ emotional eating and find true REST in Christ alone. As a by-product of depression gain the same 20lbs you lost last year lol. God is still in control sha.
Find a boo
Meet someone online, become “girlfriend/boyfriend” bring them home for Christmas, and introduce them to my parents as someone I’m interested in long-term.
Met someone, dated for 6 months, experienced safety in a relationship for the first time in my adult life, and learned so much about myself. Moved countries, plan to do long distance, and then God tells you to “let it go” and because you are obedient, you do.
Read my bible, spend time with Jesus, and actively add Him to my plans, while going deeper into my relationship with Him and the church.
Allow Him to completely destroy all my “coping mechanisms” and ideas of security until the only logical next step is to Trust Him. Learn about radical obedience and truly follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit while connecting with a life-transforming church community.
I would say, although this year turned out like NOTHING I expected, I am beyond grateful. I would say by God’s standard I accomplished everything he had for me this year. That being said I would encourage you like my friend’s podcast encouraged me to reflect with God, and take stock of your life with Him in the room. Society might say, that a single 31-year-old moving back home with her parents has “failed” but according to God, I’ve been obedient, and for me, obeying God looks like success. Being at home has been incredibly healing, clarifying, and edifying. I truly have no idea what 2024 has in store for me but the resolve I have to simply follow God is unmatched to previous years. This year was the embodiment of Proverbs 3: 5-6 which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path”.
My prayer for 2024 goes like this - Father lord, although this is not where I saw myself, you keep making it more apparent that this is where you have placed me. Thank you Jesus for your generosity. I wholeheartedly submit to you, your will, and your way. Guide me, lord, every step of the way. I trust you, I trust your timing, I trust your move in my life, I trust your motives. I trust you wholeheartedly.
Here’s to another great year of blogging, see you in 2024
Your reflecting friend,