This year, on the occasion of my birthday, I choose to celebrate GOD. And I have many reasons. I am grateful for life and strength, for the love of my husband, friends and family and for divine health and protection. But this year, I am most grateful for His grace that has kept me, like truly kept me. I’ve been through many stormy times and looking back, I can’t help but wonder how I made it this far. There were many times when my faith wavered, when it seemed like God was stalling…like taking too long to respond. There were many seasons when I was left wondering if God even heard me. There were days when I felt like throwing in the towel, when I questioned myself, what’s the point of serving God and having to go through all those difficulties? I knew the scriptures and I understood that hard times would come but I felt trapped in a vicious cycle.
As I write this, my mind takes a trip down memory lane. My 27th birthday. I remember it like it was yesterday. I turned 27 exactly one month after I got fired from my job. At the time, I shared an apartment with my Nigerian roommate at 2110 First Avenue, New York, New York and we lived on the 26th floor. I spent my day within the confines of my room (and it wasn’t even that big). My roommate didn’t realize it was my birthday until late in the evening. My parents and siblings had called to wish me a happy birthday and pray for me. Even though my lips had moved in agreement to their prayers, saying ‘amen’ at just the right times, my heart and mind were tossed by the winds of doubt, despair, shame and depression. Yes, I was depressed. I had isolated myself from friends and family and of course Facebook so I didn’t have the usual stream of well-wishes pouring in. I was 27 and seemed to be an eternity away from achieving all the things I had set out to accomplish. I had exhausted every ounce of optimism and there I was… scared, pessimistic and afraid of the future. Around 9pm, weighed down by the many negative thoughts that oppressed my mind, I took the elevator down to the first floor where I alighted. I walked into the ‘courtyard’ and secured myself a spot in the dark, under the trees. Feeling pretty dejected, I lifted my eyes to the heavens. And I cried. Oh how I cried! I cried and sobbed uncontrollably as I poured my heart out to God. This is not where I want to be. Was this Your plan? What is Your plan? You promised me you’d take care of me, You promised to help me. You are all I have. Do not let me hang my head in shame, I pleaded.
There were no flashes of lightning or thunder but I believe God heard me that evening. But things didn’t change immediately. It would take a few years but I am grateful for the grace of God on my life, the road I’ve travelled and for the woman I have become and I am becoming. God, in His infinite wisdom, has used all those situations to prepare me for His work and purpose for me. Truth is, I wouldn’t have chosen that path but I am grateful that God kept me through it all… For His hand that held me and kept me from backsliding, for His love for me – pure, true and unconditional – I am grateful.
Today, i celebrate God and His grace upon my life and for making me #GLOW in a dark world. I am a wonder unto many but God is my refuge. Happy birthday to me!
Daughter of the King!
P.S – This is my testimony … Only He can change any situation at all!