When I think about turning 30 in three days, all that comes to my mind is, “Where did all the time go?”
Ok, maybe that’s not all that comes to my mind but it is usually the first. I remember being a teenager and having a strong dislike for the age ’30’. Why? I saw first hand the pressure and weight placed on that age. I didn’t like it. “Why must everything be hinged on 30?” I used to wonder. And then there was also the issue of wanting to remain a twenty something for as long as I possibly could.
As I crossed the 25 mark, something changed however. I began to look forward to each new age and I wasn’t so averse to 30 anymore. I look back at the last decade of my life, especially the late twenties and I smile. I am sure my 20 year old self will not recognize this young lady who is about to turn 30!
I started my 20s as an undergrad in final year at the University of Leeds who was about the graduate with a Law degree. So many things were uncertain at that period of my life. While I gained admission to study a Masters in Law at Kings College London, there was little money for tuition. I opted instead to go to BPP law school to buy time really. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life even though I was about to graduate from University. Law school wasn’t as expensive as getting a Masters at KCL and it would give me another year to figure things out. So I thought.
With much struggle, plenty tears and the sheer grace of God, I finished Law school with a Distinction and an offer to study Finance and Mangement at Cranfield School of Management. How did I go from Law to Finance? I am actually smiling as I recall these series of events. Well, in Law School, I discovered that I enjoyed the Corporate/ Commercial aspect of Law and I wanted to see what it was like on the other side of the table. For me, that meant a degree in Finance. How I got into Cranfield is a story for another day but I could only stay for one month because no money still.
This was quite devastating because I really believed that the hand of God was with me on this one. I mean, the mere fact that I got in was a miracle in itself and also being able to pay the acceptance fee. I must pause here to say that throughout the struggles of my early 20s, one thing that kept me going was my faith in God. Of course, there were plenty times I felt He had abandoned me but I held on to Him like my life depended on it. It actually did.
Abruptly leaving Cranfield to come back to Nigeria and losing a really good job opportunity with Ernst and Young in London broke me. When I thought I was beginning to have a direction for my life, it all came tumbling down and I found myself once again in my mother’s house in Lagos. All of this happened when I was 21. By the time I turned 22, I had been through one month of depression, listening to different options from different people, oceans of tears but I still had my faith in God.
I look back now and I wonder where this faith came from because things were so bleak during that period. From interning with an HR Consulting Firm to a Media company, I began to lay the foundation for my present career. I also had to confront actions that were contrary to my values. You know when you say to yourself, “I can never do this!” But somehow, you find yourself on this slippery slope that leads right to the middle of the thing you said you will never do. That happened to me…twice! I slipped. I was ashamed. I felt I had let God down. This wasn’t something that Adedoyin should be caught doing but I learnt something new about God’s love and grace on both occassions.
It will be nice to tell you everything became better once I started working but it didn’t. Aside from slipping in my walk with God, I had a major breakdown just before I turned 25. Another depression in my 20s all because I had set these high goals for myself but as I looked at my life I was nowhere near those goals. Instead, I was broke. I was all the way in Ibadan. No boyfriend or fiance. No job. I felt I was just coasting!
I’m grateful to God, however, for always sending people to me at every meltdown or low period of my life. These people spoke words of life that lifted my spirit. If I begin to list them, I am afraid I wouldn’t have enough space in this post. But I will say, “Thank you to every mentor, pastor, sister, friend, colleague who stood by me and held my hand at one point or the other in my 20s.”
The best part of my 20s as I mentioned earlier started as I turned 27. This age remains pivotal because that is when I began to have a better understanding of God’s purpose for my life. That is when I began the process of submitting and surrendering to His will. That is when I began to go deeper. My life has not remained the same ever since. I borrow the words of a dear friend as I say that I have been on an exciting adventure with God.
No, it hasn’t been all smiles! In fact, just a few months ago, I began to question whether I really hear from God because what I thought would happen didn’t happen when I thought it would. I know now that God has a greater plan. Even in the midst of my questions and doubt, He sent me answers and strong confirmations to remind me that He is in control. I have said that I had my biggest trial of faith this year but it has been the most wonderful year filled with God’s overwelming love and blessings all around.
As I countdown to 30, I am excited in my spirit. Not just because God has changed the trajectory of my life or because of the new assignments I have to execute for the Kingdom but also because I am eager to see all that God will accomplish through my life. I am excited about the privilege to walk with God more intimately and for endless encounters with the Holy Spirit.
I have completely fallen in love with the woman I have become (and still becoming) in Him. The pain, tears and struggles of my early 20s and even my childhood have led to this moment. They’re part of my journey. They’re part of my story which is for God’s glory.
Adedoyin is by no means perfect but I am committed more than ever to chase after God with all I have. I know you have many prayers for me but I ask you to pray this one for me – that I will walk with God until the very end.
Thank you for reading and thank you for being a part of my life. Of course, feel free to send me gifts on Saturday! 🙂