As we draw closer to the end of 2019 and the start of a whole new decade (where does the time go?), I can’t help but think about what an amazing, crazy, exciting and adventurous year 2019 has been. There have been some highs, there have been some lows and as per usual, there have been enormous lessons.
This is what I learned in 2019.
The importance of patience and trusting God’s timing
There is a saying I was reminded of recently that goes something along the lines of “when man makes plans, God laughs.” Oh, how true this is. 2019 has taught me not to get so fixated on my plans but to trust God’s perfect plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11). God has shown me time and time again this year that he will not withhold any good thing from me – I truly believe that. If it was withheld from me, then it was not for my long-term good.
I started a Digital Marketing company at the start of this year and like many start-ups, we had our challenges. Interestingly though, towards the end of 2018, I had applied for a Master of Arts degree in Digital Media, Communication and Journalism and then completely forgotten about it. Around the time when I felt I needed to take a step back from my new business and look at a fresh approach and a new way of doing things, I got accepted into the MA program that I had earlier applied for.
The content of the program is perfectly tailored to my needs, my passions, my interests, and my skills and it’s in a country that had been on my bucket list for years. I couldn’t have planned it better myself (if I’d had it my way, I’d have done my Master’s degree a long time ago and I’d have chosen a more general program that’s not as specific to me). I’m glad I didn’t have it my way.
I also learned to trust God with my relationships and in leading me to my future spouse. Every person that was not meant for me was withheld from me in one way or the other. I know from experience that when a relationship doesn’t seem to be going the way you planned or envisioned it can sometimes feel like your world is falling apart and yet, it’s actually the contrary. 2019 whispered, “be patient Fay, trust God’s timing.”
The power in pursuing your dreams
As we grow, it becomes easier and easier to settle. The world seems to echo “settle down and get married” or “settle down and get a job.” There is nothing wrong with any of those things when they align with our personal goals and purpose. There is something wrong though when we are settling for less than what we truly believe we deserve. The more I’ve travelled and interacted with different minds, the more I’m convinced that you’re never too old, or too young for that matter, to dream bigger and to pursue those dreams. In 2019, I have constantly challenged my thinking, and I’ve refused to settle for less than what I believe I deserve.
Here is another example. After I got accepted into the MA program in Greece, I had to go through the daunting process of applying for my visa. I call it daunting because for starters, Greece doesn’t have an embassy in Uganda and because this was a long-term visa that I applied for, I had to travel to Nairobi, Kenya and carry out the process there. Ultimately, acquiring my visa involved two separate trips to Nairobi and about two weeks of visiting numerous offices in Kampala to get numerous documents signed and verified.
Everything eventually worked out and now I’m more determined than ever to make the most of my time here in Greece. What I learned from that experience was that when you have a dream, push through and pursue it because when you do it leads to new goals and new dreams. Nelson Mandela famously said, “after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” I’m currently learning another language (not Greek) in order to pursue some new goals and dreams. But that’s a story for another day.
The value in continually learning
Speaking of learning, 2019 has taught me to never stop. As another, even more popular, proverb goes, “knowledge is power,” and I don’t believe we can ever know too much, whether it’s academically or in terms of our personal development and self-discovery. My focus in 2019 and prior has been the latter. In my E-book that I wrote this year I talk about how travel aids self-discovery and how as long as we are alive, we should be continually stretching and learning new things about ourselves. One thing I know for sure is that I am still learning, I definitely haven’t arrived and I will persistently be “figuring it out.”
And guess what, I’m okay with that.
Your thoughts? What have you learned in 2019? Let me know in the comments below. Xx