By Ifeyinwa Kojo
Hmm, I did ponder for a while what I should say on this first note of the year. Should I tell you about my resolutions? The dos and don'ts that I will eventually breach?
Should I tell You about my goals? The long list of things that will keep me awake at night and keep me praying for answers?
Should we talk about the lesson learnt these past years?
Hmm, I doubt if I will ever graduate from my school of lessons.
I finally decided to just say Thank You again. Yes, Dad.
Please don't laugh at me, I may be repeating myself but if it's not such a bother, I'd say Thank You again and again.
For all the healings You already did this year....Oh I have a special reason for this... Thank You.
For the amazing Grace that will take us through it all... Thank You.
For the certainties and uncertainties... Thank You.
For the knowns and unknowns... Thank You.
For the tears that will follow and the joys to come... Thank You.
For the ones we will win and those we will lose... Thank You.
For all the challenges to come and the corresponding triumphs... Thank You.
For the times I will be faithful and the times I will be faithless... Thank You.
For the times my heart will leap and the times it will sink.... Thank You.
For all things beautiful and all things ugly... Thank You.
For the times I will give and the times I will receive... Thank You.
Dad, what I am saying in effect is that I am ready for this year. Yes I Am.
I fear no Fear. For Thou art with me.
See, Goodness and Mercy follow me around...Yes? So what's to fear?
Goodness will ensure my triumphs and Mercy will keep me safe from all evil.
So, let's do it Dad, let's drive through this year. I so look forward to it.
Hmm, If You like Smile, if You like shake Your Head..... Thank You Lord!
I actually love saying it... Thank You.
This is your daughter and I am so checking in with Thanks.
A long time ago my fellowship in school declared a fast and in that same blessed weekend, my friend decided to celebrate, without consultation.
Lord, You remember my struggles with fasting then, whenever I engaged in it, people with culinary skills appear, and meals for kings crawl out of nowhere.
So that day, the innocent me, determined to do the will of my Father walked into my friend's house and the first things that assailed me were a variety of aromas from the kitchen.
My first thought was "RUN! GET OUT!"
But my legs had already stepped on glue, I stood there... stuck! Staring and wondering why on earth I got born-again!
All around me friends were having fun! Dancing, eating and drinking. They hailed when they saw me, and I smiled. My heart was doing its own lumba dance.
"Get out or you will fall! "..One voice urged me.. (The voice of the Law)
"You are not a coward", the other reminder me... "You can do all things".... (The voice of Grace)
"Do All things?... Hmmn, it's not your tummy that is riding a roller-coaster inside"
I hugged my friend, gave her my sincere wishes and sat down!
As if on cue, a tray of everything I love appeared before me. Right there in a plate all by itself, was "fried meat" Meat! My favorite thing in the world! Chai, when temptation means you, it comes prepared for you. How many times my hand voluntarily stretched! How many times I mentally questioned the rational for the fast!
Poor Eve! Is that what you went through when you saw the Apple? I forgive you! I sat there like a nice girl but the battle I fought in my heart was mind-blowing. Finally, I stood up, I had to leave. My friends didn't believe it.. She did NOT eat meat?
Dad, Thank You so much for helping me that day. That I did not eat meat wasn't because I was strong, it was simply because You did NOT want me to.
Today, I know that even if I had eaten that meat, it wouldn't have meant Jack to You, because it's not what enters a man that defiles him, it's what comes out of him.
You helped me because my heart so wanted to obey You so Your Grace stood up for me. Thank You.
Today I know that coming short of Your Glory is simply Not believing The Who that You are and The Work of Grace.
Today, I understand why I came back from fellowship that day and found out that my friends packed the whole foods plus the "meat" and left them for me in the room.
Today this reminds me that righteousness is by Grace and Not Works.
Today, I again Thank You for The Cross, and for The Grace! I am so proud to be Born-again. To Believe.
This is Your daughter and I am checking in.