Happy New Year!
It’s that time of the year when resolutions, plans & goals for the year are being made and also a time when some resolutions have already been broken. I am not here to suggest more resolutions for your list but I wanted to give some food for thought as we begin 2017, by reflecting on an experience I had in the last days of 2016.
Since the start of 2016 my family had planned to travel to Nigeria for the Christmas break and so by mid 2016 half of the ticket fare had already been paid. As the days drew nearer, the excitement grew more and more, it had been ages since we had all travelled as a family. The day of our departure arrived, we woke up early and got to the airport in good timing in order to check in and collect our boarding passes. To our shock the man behind the counter told us we could not check in until we contacted our Travel Agency as something was not right with our tickets. This was far from what we expected, to cut the long story short we sat and watched our 9:44am plane to Lagos, Nigeria fly out of Heathrow. Despite all our planning and praying something had gone “wrong” and was out of our control. It was not until we were all back in our house later that afternoon we realised what had really happened. We were not in Nigeria and we were really uncertain about the possibilities of getting another ticket / flight to Nigeria. My mum said “I understand how those in 1844 must have felt“. 😭😂😂 This was a perfect phrase to explain how disappointed we all were.(For those who don’t know 1844 was when seventh day Adventist Christians predicted/expected the 2nd coming of Jesus, but to their great disappointment he didn’t.) For the rest of that day, we were pretty much silent while we moped around. The next day: Tuesday, we didn’t have a confirmation from the travel agency about tickets to travel so we sat at home. After a while, my mum said even though we’ve been disappointed we have to somewhat carry on with our lives instead of sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves. That evening we watched 2 movies together as a family and laughed around. Despite our predicament, we enjoyed the family time we had because we are not all usually at home at the same time (apart from Sabbath’s when I’m back from Uni). Unaware of what was still to come, we laughed, shared stories and relaxed. Very late on Friday evening, we got a confirmation from our travel agent that we would be able to fly on Saturday evening and arrive in Abuja on Christmas morning. Wow? This was not what we expected, we were eventually going to travel to Nigeria, and now we had the extra opportunity of travelling to Lagos via Abuja (a place I had never been to). The excitement kicked in and to cut the long story short we went to Nigeria and spent the festive period with families and friends. For those of you who have me on social media (especially snapchat), you could tell I had a blast!
So what am I trying to say? Yes, we may have disappointments thrown at us but it is important to view them as positive experiences. Towards the middle to end of last year, all I seemed to see on social media were people talking about Ls ( Losses) which could have been financial, emotional, social, academical, related to friendships etc. you name it. For example, my family not being able to travel to Nigeria on that day was a major L. It’s perfectly valid for these Ls to be seen as negatives, setbacks and disappointments so it makes sense for people to be determined that in 2017 they will not be collecting Ls. However, from my experience that I described above, I learnt that even though we do have these setbacks and disappointments our responses to them are very important. My family and I could have spent those extra 6 days at home, feeling low, sitting in our rooms and not talking to each other. But we didn’t; we took advantage of the situation and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Every cloudy experience in our lives has a silver lining. I never really understood the phrase silver lining, but now I have a new light to its meaning. Cloudy experiences which we don’t understand are bound to happen, things we don’t like or didn’t plan but if we stay alert and optimistic we will be able to see the blessing that has been disguised into that experience. If we get bogged down on how bad the experience is we will not be able to receive the blessing. At first, it can be really difficult to understand how an L could be a positive thing but if we believe that all things work together for those who Love God (Rom 8:28); we will understand that some of those Ls are a display of God’s Love. Then we will truly understand that Every Disappointment is an Appointment with God.
So in this New Year, I urge you don’t count your Ls (setbacks, disappointments and Losses), Pray that God will use those experiences to display His Love towards you and eventually make things work together for your good.
Even if sickness may be an L I collect,
I know that: The Lord will restore my health and heal my wounds. When I come to him he will give me rest. He will save me from my distress.
Even if I may collect academic Ls,
I know that: He will make a way where there seems to be no way. When I ask God for wisdom, he will generously give it to me without finding fault. He shall grant me favour with my examiners, lecturers and peers.
Even if I may collect financial Ls,
I know that: God will meet all my needs according to the riches of His glory. He is also able to do exceeding abundantly above all that I could ask or think. Because I seek the Lord I shall not lack good things.
Even if I may collect Ls from relationships with friends or family,
I know that: God will give me peace that passes all understanding. He will give me insight and direction in order to make the right decisions. The Lord will help me see my blessings in disguise.
Finally, to answer the question posed in the title: this year may not be free of Ls but it certainly isn’t God free. Even though we may receive what seem like Major Ls, sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough. Pay attention to how God turns what seem like Major Ls into Ws ( Wins)
Wishing you a glorious & blessed year,
P.S – Don’t forget to send your prayer requests on the prayer request form here.
Shoutout to my mood board 👊🏾