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217185_3701532212436_242370562_nBy: Sandile Matebesi.

Beginning of the year, when the festive dust settles and reality starts kicking in, I had a joyful feeling that I had carried over from the previous year from having passed my third year. I’d be graduating later in the year and I was so grateful that God had carried me through the challenging times of tertiary studies and that he had afforded me with the opportunity to officially be a graduate.

Later in the same month of excitement and joy, I was involved in a car accident – something which I never expected nor predicted when thinking about my life. The cost implications of having damaged a car that wasn’t mine resulted in a very stressful time for me, still, I stayed grateful and rejoiced in the gift of life and humbly praised the Almighty for having survived. As the year progressed,  I recovered  from the accident and the faithful God we serve blessed me with a job which I was very happy about and while still praising Him, I declared myself greatly blessed and highly favored by God as I learned that I was one of the few to have progressed into the workplace straight after studying. Being a graduate and having no experience undeniably makes it difficult to find a job and I was privileged enough to have one.

Midyear came and I was working, happy and on the road to success and I decided to look for another opportunity to further my studies that will usher me to my dream job. Good news. After inquiring, I could gladly apply for a post-grad qualification that would confidently shape my future and inspire me to further my studies.

I applied and was told to wait 6-8 weeks for a response, and when that time passed and I didn’t get my reply. It was exactly two weeks later on a Wednesday afternoon that I got a reply informing me I couldn’t study further, as I wasn’t accepted into the course. It really got the better of me. I was certain that I had met all their requirements and that nothing could stand in the way of getting accepted. In my disappointment, I searched for reasons, asking myself questions that later reminded me of the bigger picture – that God has a better plan for my life and eventually I will study further.

I still looked forward to my graduation. It was drawing closer and really lifted my spirits and the excitement I felt in the beginning of the year came back as I started preparing for the big day. When it arrived, I couldn’t believe what an honor it had been to be the first in the family to be blessed with such an achievement, and as everyone expressed their happiness for me and I thanked God in abundance that I had made my family proud through His Grace. It was truly the happiest day of my life to see my grandparents who raised me, present to witness this day that the Lord has made for us to rejoice and be glad together with my parents who have guided me and encouraged me to keep going through the three years.

Although life soon went back to normal, the praise in my heart led me to testify at church and give thanks …  despite being a shy fella. It was a big deal to me and the fire in me wouldn’t allow me to keep quiet about it.

To sum up the year, the good Lord granted my friends and I the opportunity to drive down to Cape Town – something I wouldn’t dare think was possible at this time of my life. God’s grace took us there and back safely, in spite of many people’s doubts that we wouldn’t achieve this. Indeed it is really far-but the Lord’s love goes far beyond.

As the year ends, these and many more lessons and blessings are what remain for me to be really grateful and thankful for. I pray that the Lord remains relevant in my and other people’s lives. God bless.