A Year Of Reflection: 2-0-1-6!


The beauty of 2016 – Before I tell you about how this year has been for me, I mus take this opportunity to acknowledge my Father who has brought me this far! Without Him, I would not be writing this blog post. My words are truly not enough to express how thankful I am. I’ve been in many situations where I’ve complained and worried about things I did not get when I wanted it, and the plans I was not able to achieve. This could be you – maybe the goals you set were not met, disappointments and rejections came your way, lost a loved one, yes, they will happen, but through it all, you are alive and well and reading this post!

What 2016 taught me: Where do I even start? Okay, so in January, I was made redundant at my previous job and had to look for another role. I was blessed to have a temporary Teaching Assistant role considering the fact that I had no previous teaching experience. I found it easy and convenient, although I knew in my heart that it was not the path I intended to go through. I assumed that they would have taken me on for a permanent position, but to no avail. I was only there for one day. When I realised I was not wanted, I decided to use my savings to buy a camera, and today I am using it to make YouTube videos: for those who are not subscribed, my channel is Esther N J.

In February, the same thing happened again; I was offered another position at a primary school to find out I was only staying for one day. The reason being? The person who I covered is back. In March, I was offered another role working with students who wanted to study CIPD courses. I was there for 1 week when I was told by the recruitment agency that it was a three-month contract. I was disappointed and frustrated because when the workers informed me that I was not needed, that was the time I put the job on Linked In. I received a few congratulations here and there and was so embarrassed to mention that the job was taken away from me, so I had to delete it. I was even on the verge of deleting my Linked In account to show you how frustrated I was, but I knew in my heart that I should not have put it up to soon. God knew the position was temporary, but I assumed it was permanent. It just comes to show that His ways are truly not our ways…

April! I remember confiding in a dear sister of mine regarding the constant rejection of jobs. She introduced me to a book she was reading at the time called ‘The Wait’ by Devon Franklin & Meagan Good. She also wanted me to listen to their testimony which I did. As I was listening to it, a vision came to me. It was my book that I started in 2014 but did not finish it. As I finished listening to their testimony, I decided to take a break from social media and the job search, and just listen to God. I was able to finish my book in perfect peace within two years. I didn’t know how this book would touch lives but it did, and on top of that to have my first book launch event in July was a day not to be forgotten.

I told God that I wanted an opportunity to have my first event and it happened this year. God enabled this to go forth and I enjoyed every moment of it. I still am in awe of those that I personally do not know and able to attend. I was saying to myself that because of my position, I considered my book as a full-time job. I did not have to wait until I was employed by a manager to prove my worth. I trusted God with this new venture and He made it a success. Over 100 copies have been sold in just 6 months!

As the book launch event was done, God also surprised me with a part time job that I started working in the evenings. I absolutely enjoyed it! Being able to work in a different environment was God’s way of saying ‘I can provide for you anywhere you are, no matter what position you are in, I can bless you anytime I desire’. That is exactly what I got out of my experience this year. I was then invited to another interview during my time of working. I went through two stages of the interview process to have eventually received the job I desired.

Up till now, I do not have the words to express how Faithful God has been to me. This is the opportunity where we all should take some time to thank Him for all He has done for us. This blog post could have just been about my downfalls, disappointments, betrayals, but no, I wanted to mix it up and let you all know that God is still in the business of blessing His children. Yes, all my prayers were met this year including being able to travel to Italy with a few friends (whilst still not working!). What I learnt this year is that you don’t have to wait for God to grant you your desires before you start enjoying life. Enjoy your life now and the blessings will follow you because how you think today will determine your tomorrow.

It would not be fair of me to keep asking for a job if I don’t put my mind into action and find one. Instead, I asked for wisdom to guide me into the right path and truly He did so without fail! The best blessing to ask God for is W-I-S-D-O-M! Don’t doubt that. We all need it. I could have everything I desire right now, but without wisdom, I may not be able to handle it all because the load will be too much to carry. This year has exposed me to God’s goodness, despite me not being perfect, yet He still saw potential and chose to bless me,

Now I ask, what have you learnt through your experience of 2016? I will be doing a video shortly regarding what I have gained from 2016 on YouTube so keep up to date with me.

Activity: Write down what you have learnt throughout this year. The highlights of joy and pain. The silent moments that made you anxious, the thoughts that kept you up all night. What have you learnt when God granted you the blessing you were asking for? What did you take away from losing your loved one? I lost my Grandma in August and it was not easy, but God gave my family the strength to cope. I am sure some of us have lost a relative or loved one this year. But how has that loss helped you to become a better person? It truly taught me that life is precious and it’s not worth holding a grudge or being resentful, but learning to let go of the pain that people caused you.

I’ve also learnt to appreciate people no matter the level of relationship I have with them. To understand that God loves them the way they are and should also do the same. I know that 2016 has already prepared me for 2017 ahead. The goals we set today will surely determine our tomorrow.

A few words of encouragement:

  • Endeavour with all your heart to seek God in all you do by putting Him first.
  • Understand that your personal pain serves a high purpose; your story is powerful so don’t hide it.
  • Learn to accept failure as an opportunity to be successful.
  • Be humble in all situations; do not think you are better than anybody else, we all have flaws.
  • Be determined to achieve your goals in 2017.
  • Surround yourself with the right people. A few friends are better than a large crowd.
  • Be concerned about your personal performance than people’s opinions of you.
  • Have goals so big you feel uncomfortable telling small minded people.

Remember, God is up to something, and that is why we tend to experience difficult times, but what truly matters is your Faith in God, remaining focused and being steadfast in all we encounter. Remember He is the voice of hope and His plans for you are good and not of evil (Jeremiah 29:11) <— Let this be your prayer to start 2017. Remember to keep up to date with me on my video on YouTube soon!