1. I learned to look more with my faith instead of my fears: In 2016 I spent a lot of time trying to get past my fears in an attempt to see with faith. God spent time teaching me this by making sure I had to learn to look at Him because there was nowhere else to look for opportunities, there was no one to depend on for direction on the next step, and there was nowhere I could face to understand what was waiting for me ahead. And I remember that was hard for me because I’m a planner by nature. I want to know what I’ll be doing in the next few months, tomorrow, in the next year and so on but God taught me last year that was all going to have to change because that’s not how my Father works lol. This year I started to put that into practice. I moved back home after studying and working in the States because I knew that was where God was telling me to face at this time. I started another journey here in Lagos in my studies because I knew that was what God was telling me to do this season. And all of this was in spite of my fears. Through my experiences last year I was able to flow much quicker in my faith this year. I was able to respond much faster and see much clearer because I have learned not to focus on where I want to be but on where God has called me to be in this moment, in this season and its brought me closer to Him.
2. God doesn’t lie whatever He says He does: This year my trust in the LORD grew deeper. I’ve discovered whatever He says He will do-He has done. He doesn’t necessarily tell you how He’s going to do it or what will bring it about-whatever that it is-be it relationships, business, academics and so on-but He comes through each and every single time. This has increased my love for Him and has made my dependency on Him grow stronger. Its also put me in a position where I do not care what others say or what they think my concern is-what is my Father saying to me?- because He is the only one that I listen to and this year I learned through the fact that He always comes through that He truly doesn’t lie and He never goes back on His Word if you come through on your end. (Numbers 23:19)
3. Forgiveness is a choice: Yes its truly a choice. I may not want to forgive you but I choose to forgive you so I can release myself. I’ve learned this year there’s no point holding a grudge against any one for anything. You may very well remember but it doesn’t have to become a dagger that is constantly twisting at your side whenever you think about that person or run into them. I’ve chosen this year to forgive people I didn’t feel like forgiving because I decided I have no time to waste thinking on someone else’s mistakes or actions when there are things I myself need to be doing right now. I have learned to learn my lesson and move on.
4. You don’t have to like me-not everyone will: And this is another lesson I learned this year lol. Its okay if not everyone likes you in fact if everyone does like you there’s probably a problem in there somewhere. You have to understand no matter what you stand for even if its right and you’re doing it right it’ll still rob some people the wrong way and it has nothing to do with you, your personality or your principles-they just don’t like you. And that’s just fine. There’s a certain confidence hidden in not caring what others think about you. There’s freedom in that and I started to unearth that freedom this year. I learned that even if I’m doing my best, I’m acting my best, I’m sticking with what is right-some people just won’t appreciate it and guess what? That’s just fine. And I found freedom in allowing myself to accept that.
5. If you do the right thing long enough you’ll inspire others to do the same: This kind of flows from my last point but I thought I should mention it anyway. You may be doing the right thing and thinking no one is being inspired, no one is looking, no one is watching but I’ve learned a lot of the time, its not about who is watching you or what you’re doing its more about why you’re doing it. I do what I do every day because I feel that is what God has led me to do-not my friends or my family or even myself cause to be honest on some days I’d rather just not do anything at all and just be. But I’ve learned that when I do these things and even when I do them long enough others slowly and then surely start to join in because I chose to go against the grain, I chose not to conform, I chose to stand by what was right even when I was told it was wrong-it inspired others to also move. And I realized if I hadn’t done so, I would have lost an opportunity to learn what it means to stand by your values when others quickly give up their own.
6. My beauty shouldn’t be compared to any other person’s beauty: As a woman I’m sure you will agree ladies-you are judged based on your outer beauty as opposed to your inner beauty. I’ve known this since I was a child because I like to think I’m very perceptive of what goes on around me. I remember even until now when its a girl the compliments are more based on how she’s pretty or she’s beautiful but when its a boy its not the same line of comparison. Its more to do with his character than his facial features like he’s strong, he’s confident, he’s assertive but when its a woman none of those qualities are examined-its more to do with how she looks, how she walks, and sometimes even if she’s confident its seen as unattractive. Well this year I just decided I’ve had enough lol. I’ve had my fair share of being compared based on my beauty instead of my brains or my brawn and this year I just decided I am not going to stand for it anymore. I’m tired of being qualified by men especially based on my appearance or how I look when that has absolutely nothing to do with who I am. And women do this to themselves as well. Towards the end of this year I just decided instead of smiling-I’m going to start calling people out on this. I’ve had enough of it. I’m not going to be compared to another woman based on who is more beautiful or who is better looking. I realized it was happening because I accepted it and I laughed it off or I smiled. But now I’ve decided its not a compliment if you tell me I’m prettier or she’s prettier its really just an insult. to both of us. And I won’t tolerate it anymore from anyone. And yes ladies there’s freedom in that too.
7. You say you can’t-God says you will: A lot of you know this year I qualified as an attorney in the State of New York. The journey to being qualified was one of extreme faith. I mean my faith was PUSHED. I remember so clearly I did NOT want to take that exam but Daddy-thats who God is to me-was literally pulling AND pushing me towards it. And I say He was pulling me because I’ve learned to listen to Him even when I don’t want to-and thats the definition of obedience-doing it even though you don’t feel like it. Well He kept saying it through my spirit, my mother, my family members that I should take it and thank God for my mum because I did end up taking it. I remember I was so afraid. I was terrified to be quite honest. And then it happened-I passed. I literally broke down when I found out because I knew it wasn’t me-it was God. The Tolu I know wouldn’t have the courage to even consider taking that exam not to talk of actually sitting and then passing it. It was notorious for failure. Its notorious for its difficulty and yet God enabled me to pass it after just one sitting. I learned A LOT through that experience. I learned where I say I cannot-God says YOU WILL. I learned who God has called me to be does not resemble who I think I am. The Tolu I knew never aspired to be an attorney in New York because it seemed to lofty an achievement and quite frankly it never crossed my mind but the Tolu God knows is an attorney in New York and He introduced me to her-and through this experience I’ve learned if Daddy says I can do it-I’m going to do it because I’d rather be the Tolu He has called me to be than the Tolu I think I am. I also learned I really don’t know who I am but God knows me very well.
These are just a couple of lessons I learned this year! I shared a whole lot more with my mailing list! You can join by entering your details and you’ll be added to our little family to receive more insights into what this year has taught me.