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As I look forward to having another birthday celebration on the 14th of November, I reflect back on life and the past: how I have fared in life and how far life has brought me. Has life been good to me or bad to me? Pondering on such questions, I realize how amazing life's journey has been so far despite its accompanied challenges.

But hey, life has not been easy. I have had my ups and downs, highs and lows, tough, rough and smooth times, happiest and worst days, fears and strengths, failures and triumphs, failed expectations, hopes dashed, some prayers answered and some not or yet to be answered, some dreams achieved and some not or yet to be achieved. There are heights I have dreamed of reaching but yet to reach.

I have had losses: lost properties, lost loved ones such as friends, relatives and my mum. Like every other person, I have also had failed relationships, taken for granted and appreciated by some. I have been loved and hated (surprisingly, secretly hated by even closed friends and loved ones for unthinkable reasons), betrayed by closed friends, looked down upon and looked up to, mocked and praised. I have taken regrettable decisions that I wasn't aware of the full implications and I have also taken decisions I was proud of the end result. Decisions taken have made turning points in my life either positively or negatively. Either way they made impacts in my life leaving me with valuable lessons learnt.

In all, these are things that make me human. These things, negative or positive are what have shaped my life and made my life this beautiful.  My failed expectations, failed relationships and every other negative experiences I have ever had in life make me trust God more. They help build my patience and faith in God. I have learnt to be patient, hopeful and be contented with what I have, where I am and who I am. I may not be where I have always wanted to be but I know I am getting there. My satisfaction is in God knowing He is not through with me yet. I am still a working progress heading to heights God has prepared for me.

I have come to realize that life is a process, For every pain or heart break I suffered, I did not just heal but got stronger and wiser. For every mistake I made, I corrected, gained experience and learnt never to repeat same mistakes twice. For every betrayal, I learned to depend on God and me and not on man. I got to learn that life is not just about a day's experience, good or bad but to keep pressing forward and trusting in God never to have a better yesterday but a better tomorrow. Each day gets better with the lessons of every yesterday.

My life hasn't been a perfect one but hey, I am blessed beyond measures. I've got good health, good appetite, a roof over my head, I am able to pay my bills, I go out and come in safe and sound. My family and loved ones are in perfect health. You see, we may not have all our desires met, but the gift of life and a sound health is in comparison to none: It is priceless. Each day we see gives us a hope of a new start, renewed strength and faith of accomplishing all we set to do.

I realized, so much time is wasted in worrying or being anxious over things. These same things I was anxious and worried about where things I either achieved or never had. If only I knew I could have them, I wouldn't have worried but worked hard and if I knew I wouldn't have them, then wouldn't have bothered worrying too.
This reminds me of an experience I had when I  had just gained admission into the University. After being cleared from the admin, the H.O.D, of my department then, said my results were fake stating there were no I.J.M.B centers in Port Harcourt. This got me thinking and worried to the point that I felt the center where I wrote my exams was actually fake. I did not just worry and think but cried my eyes out knowing all I have been through just to gain admission into the University and all the efforts I put in to pass my exams with good grades. So, I asked the lecturer to please hand the result over to me so I can go back to Port Harcourt to know where the problem was coming from but he refused and insisted I see him the following day in his office, (meanwhile the following day was to be matriculation day). I got home in tears and spoke with some friends who advised I shouldn't go to see him but attend the matriculation ceremony. Despite the little make up and dressing up a friend who was with me did for me, my eyes were still teary on that day. But something positive came out of me attending the matriculation ceremony rather than going to see the lecturer that day.
While on the matriculation ground, it occurred to me to go see the admin head and explain to him what was happening to me; what I did not know was weather he could be of help or worsen the situation but I went anyway. After explaining to him, he gave me a note to go give the lecturer, which I did but the lecturer sent me back to get the phone number of the admin officer. When I got to the admin officer, he was furious and did not just give me his phone number but made a copy of my result from the volume of books he had in his office containing results of all I.J.M.B students, signed on it, and asked me to go give the lecturer and see what happens next, surprisingly, that put an end to the torture just like that.
To this day, I can't say if the lecturer was actually unaware that Port Harcourt had an I.J.M.B center or he did that to frustrate me but what ever it was, he pushed and motivated me to work harder in my studies. I decided not to joke with not just my studies but to take his courses very serious so the lecturer gets to see that, I merited my results and as God would have it, I had a B in the very first course of this same lecturer I took and at the end of my studies in the University, I was among the eight students who came out with the best results in my department that year.

I remember a friend who was two years ahead of me in school then say to me of recent;
That time in school you were not this fine ๐Ÿ˜Š" and my reply was;
hahahahahaha...we were thinking of making it out well now."
" You know when you are serious with books ๐Ÿ“– you won’t dress well to be noticed. I remember you used to carry one scattered scattered hair like that. See you know all baff up to use the Naija parlance slang." He responded.

The ensued conversation above between me and my friend might sound funny but that was the truth. I had no time for fashion, games or fun. All I ever thought of then was making it out of school with good grades in a strange land and making my parents proud. Till date, I still do not know fashion. I just wear what ever I feel fits me, comfortable with and off I go.

 I always say to myself, if only I knew the school had the results with them, I wouldn't have bothered so much or wasted my precious tears but in life, every experience teaches us a lesson. It depends on us what we do with every experience that comes our way.
Today, this same lecturer comes to my office to pay his DSTV subscription and we relate fine like nothing had happened in the past.

Read also: create-your-happiness-and-be-your-kind.html

The failed relationships I have had, gave me a better perspective on what I want in relationships and for every failed relationship, I give God praise thanking Him they never worked out because I realized, I would have made terrible mistakes that probably would have affected me in my career and other areas of my life. Every rejection I faced, had the tendency of making me hate myself like I wasn't good enough or was a bad person then I realized, I wasn't a perfect being like every other person and not everyone will like or accept me so I stopped placing importance on what people think about me but what God says about me. What ever opinion any other person had about me was just their opinion which they are entitled to and had no effect on me.

I have also encountered situations where I would have lost my life without my parents knowing but God kept me alive and saw me through every difficulty in life and like Mordecai said to Esther, in Esther 4:4, I also tend to ask myself  if I was called for such a time as this because all these life's experiences inspired my motivational blogging into full existence.

Nothing I have ever been through, going through and will still go through that Jesus did not encounter here on earth. He was despised, betrayed, denied, mocked, spat upon and eventually crucified. The same people he fed, healed and ministered to were the same people who shouted "crucify him". He had passion for them but they had no compassion for Him at the point of death. The beauty of all He went through was so that prophecies and the fulfillment of scriptures concerning Him would come to pass. It all led to the fulfillment of scriptures of Him being the savior of the world. These situations contributed to Him fulfilling his mission here on earth.

In life, there will always be challenges, set backs, dashed hopes, betrayals, mockery, failed relationships, failed expectations and so on but when all these happen to you, know it's for a reason. God has a perfect plan for you. He said in His words " Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5.
Jeremiah 29:11 also says " I know the thoughts I have towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." God has you in heart and wants the best for you. He knows what you are going through in life. God allows you go through all these to help refine you into a better person. A gold doesn't come out fine and as beautiful as it is until it has gone through fire.
The experiences you go through in life be it good or bad add beauty to your life and they are stories you tell some day to the younger generation with smiles on your face to inspire them.

Read also: the-beauty-of-life.html

You may have lost somethings in life but God is the major reason why you haven't lost everything.

Quote for the week - " In retrospect, we can only be thankful for all the mistakes we made and the lessons we have learnt from them." - Avijeet Das

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