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  • Writer's pictureIbiyemi Balogun

Seed, Time, and Harvest.......my thoughts about planning for 2024



Image gotten from Hope Cathedral website (Not affiliated)
Image gotten from Hope Cathedral website (Not affiliated)

I’ve been thinking a lot about this idea for the last 2 weeks, it has just been coming up in all my bible readings, sermons, quiet time, etc. I tried to write about it on LinkedIn but I realized that wasn’t the right platform so I’m attempting to articulate on the blog. 


This year is the first year I can say, I’m truly relying on God from the very beginning. I am fully surrendered to his will and his way. After last year and the rollercoaster it brought, one thing I can trust is the timing of my life by trusting the master of time. This sounds so dramatic, but all I’m saying is that I have finally realized that I can’t tell the future, so therefore I can’t control it. Uncertainty is all around us and I don’t need to treat it as some scary thing but like a normal thing. I mean does anybody know how their year is going to go? Can anybody tell the future?. This illusion that we have had for many years that we can plan and know the future, is just that, an illusion. 


For the first time in a long time, I am somewhat at peace. Living in Lagos and coming home at the time I did was the best possible decision I could have made for my mental health. I didn’t know that I had been carrying so much for so long and operating at a very high level of anxiety until I stopped and came home. This is ironic because, for the longest time, being at home used to major source of anxiety. This is why I know it has nothing to do with Canada Vs. Nigeria and everything to do with the season I’m in. 


So what is Seed, Time, and Harvest? I think it’s a way to explain the way I hope to relate to the rhymes and timing of my life. I hope to change from “goal setting” as such to following this principle of seed, time, and harvest. 


Seed is a small thought, an idea, a vision, a Google doc, a prayer, a date, an application, a phone call, a conversation, a text message, a small step, a mustard seed. It’s hard but ever so worth it, to plant it.


Time is a process, a growing, a nurturing, a wait, a season, a period, a watering, a hardship, a suffering, a transition, a grind, a stepping into, a staying, a breeding ground. It’s so tempting to yank your seed out of the ground before it grows, but that’s your anxiety on display. Let it grow. 


Harvest is a reaping, a joy, a manifestation, a receiving, a work, a time for celebration, an accepting, a thanksgiving to the one who made all things, a time of reflection, and a forgetting of the pain thus far. Don’t miss the harvest. Don’t simply pray for the harvest without preparing for it. Don’t miss the harvest because it doesn’t look like what you envisioned. 


The truth is, my mental health is thriving in Lagos and I haven’t been this happy in a long time AND I’m grieving the loss of a relationship and that makes me sad. 2 things can be true. I can be happy to attend your wedding and be sad that I’m farther away from marriage after this breakup. 2 things can be true. I’ve spent a long time feeling embarrassed for not having healthy romantic relationships in my 20s despite “doing the work” and praying for guidance AND I feel more at peace, mature, connected, and vulnerable in my relationships in my 30s. 2 things can be true. I can feel frustrated with the pace of my romantic life AND trust God’s timing in my romantic life. 2 things can be true. Why am I saying all of this? Because I feel the burden to share my story with any woman or man who only sees the setbacks and not the growth. Just because you are not a mighty oak tree yet doesn’t mean your roots aren’t growing deep. Just keep watering those seeds. In fact, water them with your tears, let them grow. Don’t let your dreams die because you haven’t seen them manifested yet. Yes you have been writing the book for 2 years and you are still on draft 1, keep going. Yes, you are on failed relationship #15 and your family keeps asking for grandchildren, heal, and then go on another date. Yes, you have been doing that business God called you to do 4 years ago and you don’t know if your impact even matters, keep showing up. Yes, you have been paralyzed by fear and have refused to even plant seeds, take a chance and plant some seeds. Even if your anxiety is so strong that it chokes the soil up, and all your seeds die at least you now have the knowledge of planting, so just go ahead and plant more seeds. Yes, you are depressed, and you can’t even fathom watering any more seeds, lean on your community to water the seeds on your behalf. I guess all I’m saying is that life be lifing and as cliche as it sounds, don’t give up. 


I want to share a testimony that only a few people know about. In 2023 when I was on medical leave and contemplating quitting my job. I knew deep down that I couldn’t go back BUT I didn’t know how I was going to afford my life if I just quit. I will spare you the details but I basically needed 3 months salary to come through somehow before I moved back to Nigeria. I remember having that conversation with my roommate about not quitting and just working the 3 extra months. In her true fashion, she said “God has delivered you from Egypt and you want to go back?” 😅😅 (her government is hard). So I whispered the smallest of prayers in my spirit, I didn’t even have the strength to pray out loud and I left it. The very next day, I got a call from a friend I hadn’t spoken to in 2-3 years, saying “Hey, you’re a coach right? How would you like to coach black youth on a freelance basis?”. She connected me to her boss and long story short the offer was exactly 3 months of salary for only 36 hours of coaching and that was the confirmation I needed to quit my job. Sometimes it’s those tiny, tired, spirit-led prayers at the end of yourself that make you rely fully on God. 


So here’s the thing about Seed, Time, and Harvest; it’s a shared job. Your responsibility is to plant seeds. There is a shared responsibility between you and your community to nurture those seeds BUT the harvest is all God’s work. It’s not your job to know how your rinky dinky blog with 89 followers on Instagram is going to turn into a New York Times Bestseller book, it’s your job to open up a Google doc and start writing the manuscript. It’s your community’s job to encourage you to continue writing and it’s God's job to “make it happen” in His time. 


I can’t lie, I have struggled with “setting goals” in 2024. I’ve felt overwhelmed by it because I’m like what if that's not God’s will? Aren’t I just setting myself up for disappointment if God takes me in a different direction? What is the point of even planning, if you have surrendered your plans to God? And I think what I’m realizing is that I don’t need to be fearful of setting goals, I can just plant seeds, nurture them, and ask God to turn them into mighty oaks while directing and re-directing me all year long. So if you’re like me, a recovering “plan-a-holic” maybe this perspective shift can help you think about goals and plans differently……… But then again, I don’t know; maybe I'm just talking out the side of my mouth?? I really don’t have the answers but for the first time in my life, I think I’m ok with that.


Ok i’m done! 


Hope it blessed you.


Till next time, 

Ibiyemi 





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