My family is in a good space at the moment. When I look back on the past seventeen years of being a single parent, I know that we are here by God’s grace. Nothing else. We had an eventful life, full of ups and downs, uncertainties and stress. Despite everything that happened, we survived. God pulled us right through the mud, the tsunamis and fire. He chipped away a lot of excess and self-entitlement, we had front row seats in the school of gratitude.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
I remember the days when things spiralled down, how I questioned myself, how I doubted my faith, how I searched for reasons why God allowed these calamities in our lives. I wish I had kept a record of the amount of time that I wasted searching for answers at the outside borders of my life. How many days I wasted feeling frustrated and angry. I held onto Scripture because I had nothing else.
You have taken up my cause, O Lord; you have redeemed my life. (Lamentations 3:58)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
Change never came from the outside. I had to change my thought patterns, the way I perceived life. I had to adjust my expectations. I had to embrace the radical turnaround that I was facing, going forward into an unknown future without any guarantees.
I freaked out on many occasions. I had panic attacks, fearing the unknown, but I had God in the middle of my storm. I could focus on Him and search for the purpose of my life in the shadow of His wings.
We cannot allow our circumstances to compromise what Christ paid the highest price to attain. We must awaken our hearts, stir up our faith, and begin to look again at the places God has positioned us in. (Charlotte Gambill)
God wants all His people to sing in the struggle because they know barrenness is not the end, but just the starting point of their turn. (Charlotte Gambill)
We all go in the wrong direction occasionally (or more often than we care to admit). We all need a wake-up call like Paul did on the road to Damascus. I realised that I was going in the wrong direction, but my pride and fear kept me going. I thought I knew myself but I was in complete denial. I vividly remember the times when I said to myself that this can’t be happening to me, this was way too painful and uncomfortable. I had to lose everything before I was humble enough to serve other people and to wait on God to open new doors and opportunities for me.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. (Genesis 50:20-21)
I am so grateful for the compulsory spiritual journey that I embarked on. I learned to follow my heart. I had to accept my reality and absorb the truth of the situation before I was able to embrace everything that had happened.
The hardest part was to take responsibility for my own actions and acknowledge that I was where I was because of all the choices that I had made. God opened my heart to help me to change the things that I didn’t like about myself and where my own behaviour could jeopardize the future that He had planned for me.
My spiritual journey led me to seek the Lord.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)
I went on an intentional quest to find myself, not the false persona I had created, but the real person that God envisioned when He knit me together in my mother’s womb. It is easy to sail the known waters, but frightening yet exciting to set out to discover new possibilities.
Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands. (Pema Chodron)
When we flex our spiritual muscles God enables us to deal with the adversity we face in life. We face our fears by entering the unknown and leaving our old selves behind. It was through losing myself, when I could no longer recognise my old self, that I found my significance. God revealed to me the things that matter most to Him and by responding to His call my life found meaning.
We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness. (John Hope Franklin)
We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us. (Marcel Proust)
We are not human beings on a spiritual journey. We are spiritual beings on a human journey. (Stephen R. Covey)
I learned that there is a difference between happiness and wholeness.
Happiness without meaning characterizes a relatively shallow, self-absorbed or even selfish life, in which things go well, needs and desires are easily satisfied, and difficult or taxing entanglements are avoided. (Roy F. Baumeister)
Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all those things which makes us who we are. (Hugh Mackay)
I needed to become passionate about my life again, without the limiting beliefs of who I thought I was. I had to make a complete turnaround to form deep and meaningful relationships again, where I could give pieces of my inner self to others and allow them to see the real me.
I had to believe again; I am significant and I might be the tool through which God can change lives.
Never underestimate the difference YOU can make in the lives of others. (Pablo)