When Hopes are Dashed and Prayers Seemingly Unanswered

Talking about our reactions to disappointments. What to do when hopes are dashed and it appears like God has failed you…when in spite of your confessions, prayers, alms giving and good deeds, that singular request, the object of your prayer focus is seemingly denied you and you feel terribly let down.

I have been a recipient of God’s unmerited favour and grace. Many prayers that were mere thoughts, too grandiose to voice out lest I be accused of greed and covetousness have been miraculously granted. I have however also had moments in which I found myself wondering what I did wrong for God to have decided to humiliate and humble me so.

But how wrong I was! How much I know now with the benefit of hindsight makes me passionately desire that we patiently wait through the process, not drawing the curtains till the Master’s script is fully acted out.

When I was in paid employment, I worked with this very nice company, a non-bank financial institution. Even though I read law and was employed to assist the company secretary at the company secretariat, We had a CEO who felt I could do much more than legal and company secretariat duties. I was therefore parcelled off to the Funds Management Department to cut my teeth in non-bank financial services. Within a short time, I became the head of the department, taking my place of pride on the Management Team of the company.

Even though I was in a different department, I still got recalled from time to time to relieve the company secretary whenever she was on vacation or indisposed. I was therefore used to being the acting Company Secretary.

I should mention here that being a Management Staff meant you got to have your picture and your designation on the glossy Annual Report of the company year in year out. I remember my first photo shoot was arranged and paid for by the company along with those of other Management Staff for only the best pictures were good enough for the Annual Reports.

I remember my first application for a British Visa some seventeen years ago. The moment I brandished the Annual Report at the interviewing Officer in support of my claims of being a Management Staff of a leading financial institution, and he flipped to the page where my picture was, the interview was over, my visa was granted. That was how beneficial being on the Management team was.

You can therefore imagine how distraught I was when news filtered to me that some roles were likely to be switched and the Company Secretary is being contemplated to come head the department I was overseeing and rather than I being moved over to head the Company Secretariat, rumour had it then that I was being billed to remain in my department ostensibly to play second fiddle to the incoming staff, who being more senior in ranking to me would naturally head the department.

My first thoughts were DEMOTION! The next was DISGRACE!! DEMOTION because that arrangement meant I would no longer be a management staff since I wouldn’t be heading a department anymore and since no ship can accommodate two captains. I thought of the Annual Report without my picture and felt even more despair.

The accompanying disgrace stemmed from the fact that I had won a few awards for diligence and even one for the ease with which my marketing presentation slides were always delivered. I even got a commendation letter from the CEO Commending the effortless way in which I ran the Company Secretariat along with my job function for a long spell of time. The question that will be on most lips I knew was “if she did so well, why was she not given the opportunity to take on the role when the opportunity arose and why is someone else being brought to head the department she had hitherto run effectively and efficiently.

The “prayer warrior” in me got up, ferocious as a lion. This must be the devil at work I concluded, and I started praying, binding, losing, decreeing that I will remain at my duty post as head of the department or be allowed to move to the Company Secretariat as the Company Secretary/Head of Legal Department. I prayed and I must have fasted too, knowing myself…

Then, one of those days while praying, I heard clearly in my spirit, “Don’t bother” It is a done deal. Another person will be brought to head the department and you won’t be given the opportunity to be Company Secretary. I was also warned to cooperate with the incoming individual.

What a blow that was and oh! how I struggled. In the midst of my struggles, an opportunity came on a platter of gold to arm twist and lobby but I refused to utilise it for I knew it wasn’t a God given opportunity

Finally, the reorganisation was officially announced and oh! How embarrassed I was. I saw the furtive looks and quick glances. I heard the whispers and saw the looks of pity. I felt like someone who lost out in a power game but I drew strength from the fact that God sanctioned the move. He knew about it and must definitely be up to something.

I therefore did a small analysis and decided to throw caution to the wind. I stopped being self-conscious and miserable. I decided to identify my silver linings and chief of them was the fact that my new boss was and still is a very good friend and gist partner. I decided to enjoy the pleasure of her company and we really became a good team.

All of a sudden, before the turn of that financial year, there was a vacancy for someone to head a technical area. We interviewed and found no one suitable. The CEO all of a sudden sent for me and said he was throwing a challenge my way to head that department. I felt inadequate but he told me he knows if I set my heart to it, I would get it done. I took up the challenge and the rest is history

The amazing part is that every minor and major concern I had was sorted out.

  • I returned to being a management staff 
  • By the very next Financial year, my picture was back in the company’s Annual Report
  • My new responsibility wasn’t one I qualified for, it was by grace and favour
  • That new role was actually God going ahead of me to prepare an additional means of livelihood for my family.

It was while overseeing that department that I got exposed to the immense opportunities that exist in the real estate sector. I cut my teeth while on that assignment and today, I run a profitable Real Estate Agency – all because God went ahead of me and was kind enough not to answer some prayers I prayed. He was good enough to ensure some expectations got dashed just so I can look back today and say even when it appears like you are slaying me, yet will I trust you.

So, when next it appears some prayers are not being answered, just dare to trust God. He sure knows what He is doing.

Let’s walk it together.

Bisi Adebayo
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Bisi Adebayo

I am Bisi Adebayo, a dynamic woman of many parts. I am a lawyer with over 27 years’ work experience spanning maritime practice, commercial law and general practice. I have had a decade long foray into the Financial Services Industry and at various times oversaw the legal, marketing, credit and treasury (assets trading and intermediation) functions of the organization I worked for, a testament to my versatility.

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