A Glimpse of Why I’m Still Holding on

I’ll be right to say 2017 was a WILDERNESS. I heard people claiming that it was their year. “This is my year” is defined differently according to one’s experience and I know I’ll be right to say that it was my year too. I don’t say this because of whatever good experience I had, breakthrough, victory or achievement I had but because through it all, I saw God.

I was excited about the new year 2017 and of course it was my final year at the university. Who wouldn’t be excited after waiting for almost 4 years to hold a degree? I was left with 5 months before the final exam which would determine if I graduate or not. My coursework went downhill and obviously I lost hope. The thought of repeating brought me to my knees and I’d cry endlessly. I knew that even if I wanted to repeat only one module, I wouldn’t because I’d not be able to pay for the fees.

God being a loving Father and ever present help, He calmed my fears and brought people who encouraged me to do my best even in that last minute I was left with. I was blessed to meet the lady from Uganda (Anna) who came to Lesotho to pastor a church. I happened to interact with her and we somehow built a relationship. I shared my fears with her and what she said was, “Hey Thandi, you are such a princess and I don’t think God brought you this far to shame you. Go and nail that exam. I assure you, you’re gonna graduate”. That was enough and I ran with it.

My lecturer’s words echoed in my mind everytime I convinced myself that I will graduate. What she said was out of concern and worry that I might not make it, not to discourage me because she noticed that my performance deteriorated. She was worried. I wanted to prove that I can do better and I can do that because God’s by my side. It was May and we sat for exam. I remember when I was supposed to write this particular module I struggled with the whole semester. I had to prepare for it but I was stranded not knowing the exact strategy I should use to understand. I tried to read, join discussion groups, memorize but none of those worked for me. Then I told God, “Father I tried and nothing works for me. So, do what only you can do”. I went in the exam room and my mind was blank. I didn’t even think of questions that might possibly be asked. I looked at the question paper and said, “God, this is yours.”

I know that I wrote, I answered questions but I have no idea what I was writing on that sheet. After that, I went straight to my room. I didn’t want to discuss the paper and then start feeling discouraged because of the answers people would say they provided. When the exams were complete, it was a relieve. So there was moving from the university to town where I was gonna begin with the internship. I think I was ready for the change.

All went well for me. I made new friends, volunteered to help kids at the orphanage with their school work, joined prison ministry and joined youth band at church. I loved my life and besides going to work during the week, I had other things to keep me busy on weekends. I didn’t feel burdened. I enjoyed. Sometimes I had to walk for 6 hours to and from the orphanage. Transport didn’t stop me from doing what I loved.

Towards the end of August, I had this terrible dream. I have always believed that dreams are important because in the Old Testament, God spoke through dreams too. I have this wonderful sister that God gave me. She was the youth leader at church. So in my dream I’d visited her. Then these strange guys came in and attacked us. I told her about the dream. Few days after the dream, I was attacked at my place by two guys. They wanted to rape me but I fought and one of them stabbed me and then they left with my laptop and a pair of shoes.

I was terrified and stuck in the house alone. It was in the evening so I couldn’t go to the hospital. Then I had to sleep on a bleeding wound. The following day, my colleagues came and took me to the clinic. I didn’t have strength to walk, talk, laugh or do anything. I was scared. After seeing the doctor, I had to go back to that house again and be alone with the silence which reminded me of what happened. I couldn’t close my eyes, I couldn’t think, I couldn’t erase the look on those perpetrators’ faces. I remembered everything, my voice crying out for help, their scent, the gigantic hands that wanted to strangle me to death.

I was scared to be in that house but I had to sleep. In as much as I thanked God for my life, I still thought they might come back and finish what they started. My Ugandan pastor had gone back home. So I told her about this and she prayed with me. She thought praying wasn’t enough…I needed to be safe, so she organised my temporary shelter where I could be with someone and feel safe. And on agreement, I went to stay with my youth leader (Ketsia). God used her mightily and with her, I felt the “touch of heaven.” I remember that night I arrived, I was restless. Tossing back and forth, screaming, sobbing none stop but she tolerated that.

She organized counseling sessions, did all she could to make me feel that I wasn’t alone. I recovered physically and emotionally and went back to my house. Few days later, my laptop and shoes were brought back with the “I’m sorry” note. I didn’t know how to feel but I was thankful to God. Towards the end of September, there was another crisis to deal with. I became terribly sick and was admitted at the hospital. I didn’t know how I was gonna pay the bill. It was a private hospital and such hospitals are expensive. I had to lay on the hospital bed and deal with the sickness and worry about finances too. Miraculously, God used the church to take care of all the charges and that was a relieve.

I was kept there for 3 days. Then the lady whom God brought in my life came to pick me. We went together to the house where she stayed and she introduced me to her other “kids”. They were all excited to see me. After the intro, the girls went to sleep and I was left with the lady. I was still weak and I was very hungry because I didn’t eat lunch at the hospital…hospital food. So she prepared me food(supper). I ate though I didn’t have appetite for I had to take meds.

I finished and the moment I tried to swallow the meds, I threw up and I was so embarrassed. But because I was sick and weak that I couldn’t do anything, she cleaned after me. My whole body was in pain and she gently helped me to bed. I felt bad but there was nothing I could do. I felt better each day. She wrapped me with love and care. There were aftermaths(passing out which led me to the hospital again, eating disorder and womb discomfort) but because she was there to make sure I felt better, we fought together. The focus wasn’t just on physical recovery, but emotional and spiritual.

I recovered. So, I had to go back to my own place. My life was back on track again. After some weeks, I felt terribly ill again and was admitted at the hospital where I was diagnosed with ruptured appendix. Unfortunately, I had to go for surgery. That was a horrific pain and I lost like 10 kilos in few days after the surgery. All in all, God brought people who stood by me.

I was hopeless at some point but the God-send lady was always there for me. She had some stuff to take care of but that didn’t hinder her from checking up on me everyday. God was there, the lady was there, friends were there, people who love me were there and I recovered. After battling with the sickness, then another thing was thrown at me just when I thought all was over. That’s how 2018 welcomed me. Someone says, “hell has thrown kitchen sink at me but am still standing”. Contrary to this saying, I couldn’t stand. I fell apart, I was left with pieces to pick. I had no strength to do that and gave up on life. I was broken and shattered. I became an emotional wreck.

I wanted to live my life. So after recovering from surgery scar, i decided that I’ll love my life. It was a new year and I lied to myself that everything was new. I told myself that I needed to move on and live again. I thought I’ve won. I felt on top of the world, in control of my life. Puzzles were fitting perfectly. I stood on top of things and lived again. I shoved everything that wounded my heart under the carpet and thought all was well. The biggest mistake ever. Dealing with pain, cleaning the wound, pressing it to let the pus out, it becomes easy for it to heal. I didn’t give myself a chance to heal and that’s where the enemy took advantage and attacked me using my vulnerable side.

I acted like a wounded animal which attacks any that comes near it. I attacked everyone, I lost friends, I withdrew from people, some distanced themselves from this dangerous beast I was becoming. I looked for things that can help me forget the whole scandal in my life but none of what i did, really helped me. Instead, my life became more complex and went downhill. I lived as if nothing happened, as if I had it all under control but deep inside I was falling apart.

It was terrible that I didn’t realize the attack of the depression. I withdrew from people and God too. I spend less time with God and each day, I drifted away from Him. I knew He was there but I felt a bit better when I didn’t think about God and that shoved me deep into depression. My friend would say, “Thandi my princess, there will never be a day when the devil will roll a red carpet for you to walk”. This time I was battling with depression, I understood what she meant by that. I felt defeated and opted for suicide. My life was at stake and I could see it hanging by the cliff.

I survived suicide. My youth leader sent me a text asking about the whole thing of suicide. I felt like she was judging me. I thought that she definitely didn’t understand what I was going through…but who said she needed to understand. I knew that she said whatever she uttered out of love but I found it unfair. After the conversation we had, I thought, “No, I can’t just give up to the devil who has been defeated by my God. Jesus was crucified so that I have victory, so why should I give him the glory he doesn’t deserve? I stopped acting strong and being the master of it all. I was empty inside and needed to be filled. None of the things I tried filled the void in me.

I knew i needed to do one thing. One thing that has been working for me all these years. I needed to step down and let God on the throne of my heart, acknowledging that I have failed by myself and giving Him full control of my life. The decision was not that easy but I trusted Him. I knew He’s the only one who can heal my heart and make me whole again. It is a process but God is very patient.

I decided to spend time in prayer and reading the word. The more I did that, the more I got the clear picture of who God really is other than what I told myself based on the crisis I was dealing with. I stood for my life and fought on my knees. I studied the word, I journaled, I poured out my heart to God. Together with God, we won. Not that it’s over because the devil is always looking for someone to devour but I got the control and I know that I have power over my life, the power to overcome, be it sickness, death of a loved one, depression, suicidal thoughts, sexual assault, miscarriage, rejection, condemnation, any addiction, judgment from those I love or anything that the world would throw at me. I will fight a good fight in prayer.

I’ve been focused on dealing with crisis after another and neglected the important things in my life. When life showed me the worst side, I was in the middle of fundraising for my book to be published. I lost focus and put a halt on everything concerning it. I’m back on my feet and still trusting God. I have something I can point to say at least I was able to do in the midst of storms. I STOOD…and I’m still standing. I know God is in everything and He will alwyas be. My Master is faithful, My Father is loving and He’s got my back. I know we plan for a new year hoping that things will work out very well and when they don’t, we claim that it wasn’t our year. Whether life decided to stone me or was kind to me, each year remains my year with whatever it has to offer. I’m still standing and am stronger than before because Christ is the one who strengthens me.

Peace and Grace!!!!

She is Unleashed – My inspiration

It’s been two years since I joined the She is Unleashed group or rather a “family”. I remember when I first joined the facebook group around June 2020, I saw the invitation from Dr Mirriam and I was hesitant to accept because I wasn’t sure of what to expect. Curiosity led me to a single click and I was in. When people create groups on facebook, they name them to appease certain group of people and I knew that She is Unleashed was not exceptional. I wasn’t familiar with the word “unleashed” but going through it’s purpose, I was interested. Since then, i haven’t regret my decision or felt I needed to leave the group.

In 2020, the pandemic had just hit hard and caused uncertainty. It was extremely hard. Lot of people lost their loved ones and some lost jobs, myself included. We hoped, we cried, we felt disappointed and totally taken aback. Honestly I was devastated when months past and the virus was spreading. I kept hoping that life will get back to normal not knowing that it was leading me to a new normal. The She is Unleashed came just in time of desperation and serious need. Churches were shutdown and we were deprived the right to socialize. The spirit and energy to fellowship with others gradually faded and we somehow got used to it. That became a new normal that was hard for me to adapt. I still had personal prayer, devotion and worship but I needed a place to meet with other children of God, I needed to sit with others and dig deeper into the word together, I needed people i can sit with and laugh, pour out our hearts, pray together and for each other. I needed to let out the pain of loosing people I loved, I needed to take out the frustration and anxiety.

I found that place in She is Unleashed. People were pouring out their hearts, relationships were build, there were lot of stuff that empowered me and helped me stand again. All the challenges I participated in, the conferences hosted and other conversations I engaged in, they build in me a strong person who stood in the midst of the chaos caused by the covid. Finding a new place to fellowship made my life easier though it was through media. What was more important was the prayer call which I still don’t want to miss even today. I have build relationships with amazing women that I haven’t met but we talk like we’ve sat for coffee before(God willing, we will do that one day).

Before I became part of this family, I was not connected to my destiny or I didn’t know what God called me to do on this earth, I didn’t know my purpose. God will never leave us stranded, He always show up. I didn’t know that there was more to unfold in the She is Unleashed. There were lot of offers that some I hesitated to take thinking that they were meant for other people whom I thought or classified as “better than me” and can master whatever placed before them. There is this one particular offer I gave it a try, the FINISH STRONG 2020 Mastermind Class which helped me connect with my destiny. Through it, I was able to connect the dots and find direction. Truth is that, I felt comfortable hiding behind the mask, feeling safe in an unsafe place. It wasn’t a smooth road. I cried when Dr Mirriam pushed me to do the work, encouraging me to keep going, I doubted myself when she said, “Do it this way”, I felt frustrated when I didn’t do things right but she didn’t give up on me.

There were moments I cried and threw everything away and told myself that I quit. There were days that I was mad at her because I thought she doesn’t understand but eventually, the picture became clear. She is Unleashed helped me be the person I am today. I knew I was passionate about helping young girls but I was doing it without direction. Today, I know exactly what I am doing, what I’m called to do. I didn’t know myself and the “who are you?” question was a struggle when I had to define myself but today I’m able to do so. She is Unleashed helped me gain confidence. My perspective towards my past changed. I learned to embrace it and own my story. I learned to take off the mask and be real about who I am. I learned to allow God peel off the scale.

This space challenged me to come out of my little box where I felt comfortable. I had to step out and face the world that used to terrify me yet longing for my presence. I am grateful for this space that has become a family of sisters who are willing to build each other, pour out to other, encourage and pray for one another. Our past has become stepping stones to live lives we were created for. We stand together, we pray together, we trust together, we laugh together, we journal together and celebrate each other. There are days for tears, there are days for joy and celebration, there are days for quietness and each day, God is building our charater, transforming our lives and shaping us. I wrote this to encourage you to rise up and take your position. If you don’t know how, you still feel stuck or going around circle, please join us and be part of this tremendous growth and shift God is doing in our lives.

I’m still in the process of healing but I’m different from the person I was five years ago and it was God through the She is Unleashed family. I’m healing from the inside. My spirit feels stronger each day. I see growth and love the person I’m becoming. I’m able to take care of my body, build healthy relationships, know when it is time to let go, I’m able to say NO without feeling guilty. I stayed because I found what I was looking for. You might not be in the similar situation I was but you find yourself dealing with crisis after another, going through pain that not even doctor’s prescription can heal, have chronic disease that you struggle to accept, you fail to understand what is happening in your life, you don’t know how to trust God anymore, Join us on zoom for prayer call every Monday to Thursday 5:30 am – 6:30 am EST/12:30 pm – 1:30 pm CAT. Meeting ID:194454364 and the passcode is UNLEASHED. You will find a group of ladies who will hold your hand and walk with you towards your healing. You might want to stay too.

Shalom!!!!

Sisterhood…Inspired by She is Unleashed

The word sisterhood may differ to people based on how they understand it. It may mean going out together every weekend to grab some lunch or rather do the simplest thing as having ice cream together. To some people it may mean sitting together and chatting the whole day or exchanging calls often. It really is wonderful to have sisters whom you can share your heart with. The journey becomes easier when you are walking with someone else especially if they understand where you are heading to. I isolated myself when I was a teenager after I felt rejected by people I expected them to love and accept me. I didn’t trust anyone and I thought it’s better I keep the distance no matter who the person was.

I did that out of anger and hurt and I didn’t realize that little by little, I was rejecting myself too. I began to see flaws on my body and tried to change it or even hide it. I remember that for years, i decided to wear pants only just so I don’t expose my legs. I never wore short skirts. I began hating the way I looked, the way I laughed and the way I walked. I was bullied by one particular student who would twist my arm asking if I was Indian. I don’t know why she persistently asked me that question because when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t seen what she was seeing. So I asked one of my friends if I looked Indian and she said, “No. However, your nose is sharp and one would conclude that you are Indian. ” Since then, I hated how my nose looked. There are lot of parts I detested and wished they looked different. Even after I got saved, I was still insecure about my body and how I did things.

In 2014 I met Dr Mirriam who gave me a new perspective and helped me see things differently especially concerning my body. I began to love “some” parts of me that I never loved: My smile, my laughter and my legs. I’d started wearing short skirts but I was never comfortable especially if someone looked at me in awe. So after that transformation, I began wearing shorts and didn’t care whether I was looked at or not, whether they wanted to know why my legs looked that way or not. I was comfortable walking on the streets with my legs not hidden anymore. Since then, I’ve been learning to love the way I am though it’s been hard sometimes.

Sometimes I’d look myself in the mirror and see the opposite of what I expected and all of a sudden, what Dr Mirriam made me to believe about myself would change. She has been patiently reminding me whether direct or indirect. Indirect reminder would be through what she posts on social media. I graduated from the university still struggling to believe the truth about myself. So last year (2020) I joined the She is Unleashed group which helped me in an amazing way to work on my insecurity. I listened to women globally talking openly about their struggles and how they overcomed. That gave me hope and I began working on myself. There are few challenges I participated on and they also contributed to my victory.

I can’t say I’m there yet but I have victory and if I’m able to stand infront of more than 40 girls and talk boldly, that’s victory. I knew I needed that confidence after God revealed to me what my purpose is. I started working with girls back in 2009 in the townships of Port Elizabeth, Jeffrey’s Bay in South Africa but they intimidated me a lot that sometimes I’d wished I could get sick so that I don’t go meet the girls. It is better now. They’d whisper to each other and laugh, it’s ok. I don’t feel less or think maybe they are talking about how ugly my body looks. My life is getting better each day. I made a commitment to myself that any opportunity that contributes towards my personal growth, I’ll not let it slip through my fingers. God has surrounded me with amazing women but I want to point out those that we’ve been walking together for some time now. I met these ladies through She is Unleashed Facebook group which gathered women from different race, language, continent, nationality and country but serve one God.

I dedicated my time to the prayer call which is not only a zoom prayer call but a sisterhood gathering which has become a safe space. I have build relationships through this space and I have found myself attached to it that if I miss it once, I feel that I’ve lost an important word from God straight to my heart. Wait! Have you joined the group? Please do. You will not regret.

In this room, the ladies see beyond what our eyes see. They push each other, love one another, encourage and speak life into one’s life, unleashing those shackles that we even thought it’s impossible to breakthrough them. I sometimes feel like I don’t belong because I’m not fluent in English and I do envy the way they speak English, the way they pronounce words but I don’t really have energy to impress but I have much energy to be myself. I know that I can talk about anything and I won’t be judged or condemned. I’d enter the room with misery all over my face but an hour is enough for me to replace the misery with gladness, joy, peace…

So if you are a woman and want to dedicate one hour of your time each day, join us in the prayer roomevery Monday to Thursday at 6:30am EDT or 12:30pm CAT. I guarantee you, it’s a safe space and life-changing also. Also, search for She is Unleashed group on Facebook and join, that’s for you too to benefit. My life is richer and I don’t want you to be left out. Even if you feel like you need someone who can just listen to you and not say a word but listen as you pour out your heart, join the family. I’m also here. You can reach out to me, I’m a good listener. You don’t wanna be left behind, right.

Shalom!

UNDOING? YES! AND BECOMING

16/09/2021

“My heart, Oh God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul” Psalm 108

I’m at peace.

I cannot have enough words to thank God for these past 60 days for the incredible things He did in my life. There is an amazing FB group, She is Unleashed, that has reached women globally and lives are being changed, transformed, restored and women discover who they really are, what their purpose is. There has been a great shift in lot of women’s lives in that group.

When I got the invitation to join the group, I was hesitant because these FB groups instill indecency in people’s minds and I don’t want to entertain such but this one was different. So I accepted the invitation still wondering what the word “unleashed” exactly meant. What I discovered in the group blew my mind and I loved what God was doing in people’s lives. So I’ve been part of the family, building relationships with women on the other side of the world and funny enough I have women I communicate with regularly but haven’t met in person. The relationship I have with them is better than with those I’ve met face to face. There is genuine love, support, care, lifting each other up, inspirational…

Last year was rough for many of us and some found themselves deep in the pit of despair. It’s hard for them to keep up amidst the challenges unfolded due to the pandemic. It came unexpectedly but truth is lot of things have changed and lot of people lost precious things and loved ones. I wasn’t exclusive because I lost my job and people close to my heart. I had hope that maybe our lives will get back to normal but it didn’t look like it. It was report after another of how rapidly the virus was taking over the world. My hope gradually faded and I was left with just a spark that kept me going.

There were lot of unanswered questions that no one was able to reply to. God seemed far and each day, i drifted from Him.I lost interest in reading the Word, i couldn’t pray, and the restrictions on socializing left me feeling alone in the dessert. It was hard and I remember the other day i went somewhere to just be alone with God so i ask Him questions. I sat there for hours without hearing anything. I cried, I screamed, I wept, I listened but He was quiet. I thought to myself, “The world is terrified and has veen caused to pause or rather stop everything and God also decided to be quiet.

I left the place disappointed and hopeless. I needed to hear something, just a single word from Him but there was nothing. I journal a lot about almost everything so i kept journaling, telling God how i felt about not hearing from Him. For months i couldn’t hear from Him until when He told me to move back home. I was scared, worrying about what’s going to happen when I’m at home and the kids (my sister, niece and nephews) be looking up to me to put food on the table. That’s when I heard Him saying, “I’ll be with you” giving me the scripture from Isaiah 41:10.

What I discovered was that God wasn’t quiet, He was always speaking but the uncertainty caused by the pandemic was louder and that diverted my attention from God to what was happening around me. He showed me all the virtual conferences I attended and that He spoke to me about being unleashed from fear and destruction. Also, the Unmasking the captor where I had to discover the captor and unmask it directly, knowing what I was dealing with. There is a lot and God spoke and spoke.

So I moved back home where He eventually took care of everything. I didn’t have to worry about what to eat or anything (OK, I worried sometimes) but still, He took care of everything. He was there making sure we lacked nothing. At home I cut time I spend on any social media platforms so that I don’t feed myself with unnecessary and depressing information. I could still feel myself far from God, trying to reach Him but there was a barrier.

I waited eargerly for the year to end hoping that at least 2021 will be better. December was better with family gathered together in love. I ended the year with hope, love, peace and positive vibes and my heart was at ease. Unfortunately, we had to disperse to different places and that was the end of laughter and beauty of being together.

I got the new job and I was excited but nervous at the same time. Moving to a new place, to new people caused my heart to pound in my chest. I didn’t know what to expect, fear of the unknown gripped me and at some point I was wondering if I made the right choice. It’s been 7 months and weeks since I started the job. A lot has happened and I’m thankful to God.

God has been opening doors and giving me opportunities to improve my skills. I mentor about 46 hostel girls and this is happening after I completed the masterclass with Destiny Connections that helped me connect with my destiny. That is where I discovered where my heart is. I didn’t plan to run the program this way but God opened the door widely for me and what I had to was walk in. Also, He presented opportunities to develop new skills. I was offered to be responsible for photography in the church or whenever there is any occasion. I was new and there were people who have been members of the church for years but there I was, within a short time God presented opportunities that I said, “Yes Lord”. I saw God because I’m not even a professional photographer, I just know how to hold a camera that’s all. I’ve been learning. I was offered an opportunity to teach the primary students computer. I’m not a pro but because I said “Yes”, my students are the best and God has been holding my hand, helping me do my best in instilling knowledge in those little minds. Sometimes I don’t know what to teach but as I do lesson plan, God intervenes.

There is a lot to mention but all in all, God proved that He “chose” me in different occassions. So still in the journey with Him who promised to “uphold me with His righteous hand” I signed up for the UNDOING challenge presented by Mirriam Knight Wilson who is the founder of the She is Unleashed FB group I mentioned earlier. God has used her tremendously in my life and I knew the challenge was not something to miss. Healing from the past is the process and I joined the challenge knowing that I needed God to UNDO and DISMANTLE things in my life. Spending time with God and journaling has been the most therapeutic for me ever since I learned the significance in journaling. So as I journaled and listened to God, it helped me be intimate and transparent with Him, and that made it easy for me to allow God peel off scales and UNDO. I loved the process especially with ladies God surrounded me with. Lot of things changed, how I see things (my perspective) was what God has been dealing with and He is still on it even today.

After 21 days, I was transformed and restored socially and spiritually. My emotional state improved though I can’t say I was “there” yet. The next challenge was The BECOMING and unexpectedly it was tough, full of tears when God was calling me to “become”. The UNDOING was still in process. I thought “becoming” was going to be smoother but stepping into being me, the authentic person I needed to let go of the mask and the shackles I was holding on to, deceiving myself that it was the safest place to be, I needed to stand “naked” before God and allow Him do what ONLY He can do. I remember weeping because I couldn’t handle the process anymore but God reminded me of Isaiah 41:10 and with this scripture, He gave me strength to keep going.

God is not done with me yet but having the right tools helps me continue with the journey without fear. There path is rocky sometimes but I cry, clean my face and keep going. What’s important is that I gathered enough and all the tricks the enemy tries to pull me down, I know where to run to and what to do. The biggest struggle in both challenges was to believe what God says about me. Sometimes I’d say it with tears welling down but the more I say it, the deeper it sinks. I have affirmations I say to myself, it might not be a big deal for some people but it is for me especially recalling the dungeon I come from. Another thing I took home was the “breathe” exercise that works miraculously for me. It feels like the load is lifting off my shoulders leaving me light. I’m able to concentrate after doing that exercise.

I never knew how to take care of myself but other people. I’m concerned about others, making sure they are OK, they have what they need but I’ve been neglecting myself. It didn’t bother me as long people around me were alright. The challenge didn’t only focus on our spiritual and emotional state, our physical also. So I learned to take care of myself, to rest, to beware of what I feed my body and how I treat myself. This has improved my health. I began workouts, I quit some food that was poison to my body, I drink water a lot and this is improvement. I still struggle with letting go of some food but little steps help.

I’m thank to God for Mirriam. She’s been the best sister since I met her and God has been using her mightily in my life. I pray blessings over her. I thank Him for the ladies I’m walking this journey with. Those “you can do it Thandi” “You are a blessing” “You are enough” “We are here for you Thandi” when I wanted to give up are most appreciated. Those ladies are the best sister globally. I know I can trust them with my worst and be showered with love and support. May God bless and protect them till we finally meet.

Shalom!

Sit Silently With Me

31/07/2017 – I’d walked out of the clinic silently feeling empty and alone. The wound was extremely painful. I wanted to scream, I wanted to just do something to feel better but I had to catch a taxi back to my place.I went back there, where perpetrators had stabbed me. Fear gripped me.

“Maybe they are gonna come back and finish what they started”, I thought to myself and started shaking.

I screamed in terror and felt alone with a monster I didn’t see. My heart started pounding in my chest as if it wanted its way out. It literally felt painful.

“What’s wrong with me? Am I dying?

I felt like I was choking from my own breath. I had to take medication and afterwards went straight to my bed. Staring at the roof, I began to question God. I couldn’t close my eyes because the video of what happened the previous day, my mind faithfully recorded it and it voluntarily played at a time I was trying to rest.

I waited for myself to miraculously fall asleep but it took me hours and a lot of thinking. Around 16:57 pm, I woke from a nightmare and tried to remember where I was. I was still on my bed shaking endlessly. I was so afraid to be on that bed, to be in that room and to listen to the sound of my heart beat.

I needed someone who can just hold me or even sit silently with me. Text messages and calls were great, encouraging and made me feel loved but I needed someone to just sit silently with me and allow me let the fear out from my eyes.

I needed the presence of someone who cared, someone who understood and would allow me cry and scream. I was afraid of the monster called silence and needed some company to conquer it. I needed someone to help me fight silence that was continuously reminding me of the fight, sound of my voice crying for help, my powerless hands trying to strangle the giants in my room, rage and anger on their faces.

At around 8pm, I received a call from a friend in Uganda (Anna Pack). Yes she called and told me that God cares and that she’s praying.

“Oh my goodness! God is that how you work? Sending someone from as far as Uganda to remind me of your love and care? Someone to let me know that even if she can’t be with me physically, she is praying for me? And that she understands what am going through?”

I couldn’t stop crying…Actually we cried together and she cared much that she wanted to know if I had someone who can just stay the night with me so that I don’t sleep alone in that room, so that I feel safe with someone else in the room. As far as Uganda, she organized some company for me and a sister in Christ (Ketsia) picked me to her house. I felt numb the whole part of my right leg. It wasn’t painful because I didn’t feel it but I felt the pain in my heart.

I had someone who sat on the bed while I tried to sleep. She sat silently with me and I felt safe. I was able to close my eyes and sleep but terror didn’t allow me. I could still see the knife pointed at me with anger trying to end my life, I could still hear the sound of my voice screaming and suddenly I’d wake up in fear and literally cry. She was still there next to me sitting silently with me and trying to comfort me, trying to convince me that I was safe with her. Yes she was busy with some things on her laptop but the fact that she was there with me, that was what I needed.

She was patient with my panics, crying in fear and the jumpy me. She had another day of waking up to work but she stayed with me, calmed me, comforted me, rocked me back and forth, cuddled me and gently reminded me time and again that I was safe.
As much as God was always there which I questioned at that time, I needed someone to be there with me and He gave me a sister who lovingly and willingly took care of me even when I was groaning in pain, tossing back and forth on bed causing her discomfort. Yes I needed someone who could just sit with me silently.

During the day I’d be alone and still be afraid but in the evening she was there. Even if she didn’t say a word, I was content that at least she was there. So, we do need someone sometimes to just sit with us even if they don’t say a word but the fact that there is someone, it makes us feel better each minute, each day and each week. It brings back the whole picture of what love is.

Unleashed?

The word “unleash” is defined by Cambridge Dictionary as, “To suddenly release a violent force that cannot be controlled”. The synonyms are: release, let loose, let go, set free, unshackle and many more. Something violent is strong and involves force that intends to hurt and damage.

Lot of people have spend their whole lives under the leash and some have settled there. They created themselves comfortable spot and they believe that it is where they should be. The shackles have hurt them until it didn’t hurt anymore. They have wounds that don’t heal, wounds that have been bleeding for years but are hidden. There are those shackles that we felt comfortable with for long in as much as it hurts. We can’t let go.
Have you ever felt like your heart is painful much that you want to rip it off to ease the pain that feels like no remedy will ever heal it? It happens. You are not alone. I’ve been under the leash for years and I lived comfortably with shackles hurting my wrists and ankles whenever I tried to move. I didn’t want to be hurt anymore and I created myself a spot where I can stay. I knew I needed freedom, i knew I needed healing, I knew I wanted to be whole, I knew I wanted to be who God created me to be but fear gripped me every time I thought of leaving my comfort zone.
Fear, shame and guilt couldn’t allow me. Imagining myself being a different and new person I didn’t remember how it felt to be, threatened me. I opted to be where I used to be and be the person I knew for years. The problem with this person I’d become was that I hid behind the mask. I admit that it felt safe to wear the mask and be someone else but the pretense killed my whole being(spirit, soul and body). I couldn’t be myself before God. I couldn’t stand before God naked without hiding anything. I focused more on being the person God can accept than focusing on God who accepts the raw me.
My soul wept for peace. I felt sick in my body to my soul. My body felt sick and it overwhelmed my soul. Medication was not enough, injection was not enough. I needed a remedy that will heal not just the external pain.

I wanted to be free. Praying didn’t help me because I was doing it with a resentful heart, my prayer was flowing from the springs of bitterness, unforgiveness and anger My life was a dilemma. I was caught up between seeking for help, tell my story and be free or rather sit in silence and drown in my sorrows. I convinced myself that I’ll overcome the pain without exposing my brokenness to anyone. I believed that no one would want to listen to my junk so I’d better keep it to myself. Depression saw a door open and made its way in. My biggest fear was to face another day. I loved the night, the dark where no one would look at me, where I’d cry my lungs out, where I’d sleep and wish I never woke up. Life felt better in the dark.
Sometimes I imagined how it is to live in freedom, how it felt to be completely healed. I lived in my fantasies about freedom and healing, and it felt awesome but the reality scared me. Healing scared me, freedom scared me, taking off my mask scared me. I couldn’t stand showing the real self because of shame. People were gonna laugh at me, were gonna reject me and not love the person behind the mask. I had to present someone they will love and accept but the non-existing person.

I remember at the university, everything was falling apart. I was dealing with crisis after another. One day after the lecture, I stood from the third floor and thought that if I jumped, it would be the end of my sorrows. I was tired of living in despair and affliction that pierced through my heart. Pain knows its way to the heart and it knows how to settle. Reaching out for help was the best decision. I met this amazing woman (Dr Mirriam) who walked with me. Thankful to technology because we did the sessions on phone but it always felt we talked face to face. I was referred to her by the overseer of the church. She was busy preparing to move to USA but she offered to help me go through healing process. That was priceless.
Peeling off scales, being transparent and honest about my pain was rough. I wanted to give up and go back to my shackles, atleast i wouldn’t have to deal with emotions and relived skeletons. What helped me was honesty. I’d tell Dr Mirriam Knight Wilson that the route had thorns and I couldn’t continue. She was patient and didn’t rush me. Her love and acceptance gave me strength to continue. It became better each day and I saw progress. I learned to journal. Communicating my feelings and emotions with my journal was therapeutic also.
My life changed, my viewpoint and perspective changed and my attitude changed. I learned to stand and run to God. After the sessions, there were challenges still but my approach was different. The only struggle was that I would always feel guilty and drift from God whenever I messed up, thinking that God’s angry with me. I’d not feel free, the freedom I found the moment I opened up with Mrs Wilson. I’m still in the process and sometimes it’s easy, sometimes it’s rough but I do enjoy the journey and cry on the road.
Taking you back to the word “unleash”. Am I unleashed? My small victories give me the confidence to say that I’m not yet there, I haven’t reached but YES I’m UNLEASHED. It doesn’t feel like it sometimes. I do feel discouraged, hopeless, I do feel like I’m alone, I do feel overwhelmed, I do feel that it’s painful when the wound is cleaned and dressed, it’s painful when the wound has the dead cell which need to be removed and pressed for the pus to come out but it’s worth it. So, yes I’m UNLEASHED.

If you are a woman and you come across this and read it, know that this is me, my story. You have yours and you know in your heart that you too need healing, you need freedom, you need that wound cleaned, reach out for help and break the silence. You are loved, accepted and appreciated. As you seek help, search She is Unleashed and join the group on Facebook. That is a safe space for you. Who knows? You might find someone who will walk with you till you are on your feet again in there. So join the family and be among beautifully flawed daughters of the Most High.

If you feel you need professional help, go to

http://www.destiny-connections.com

or email:

connect@destiny-connections.com

You will meet with a selfless lady who’ll walk the journey with you till you conquer. You can join the zoom prayer call every Monday to Thursday 5:30am-6:30am EST/ 12:30pm – 1:30pm CAT

He defines me

Pounding in my chest
My heart danced violently
Tears welling down
Questions popped
“Where were you?”
“Were you there God?”
“Did you even care?”

My heart heavy and bleeding

My chest hurting, I yelled

“Where are you God?”

“Why did you leave me?”

A whisper in my ear
Calm and loving
In His gentle hands
He held me closer
As a faithful shepherd
He carried me in
His arms curled ’round me
Rhythm of His heart
Assured me of His love

Love covered me
In Daddy’s hands yes
Love wiped all worries
Worrying turned to dream
One thing was left
Trusting the One on the throne
The Father and Comforter
Pillar of strength I held on

Day by day I lived
Knowing that am loved
Taken care of, wonderfully
The Holder of life himself
Each day He whispered
“I love you” turned to a song
Melodiously I listened
Believing changed things

A mess changed completely
To beautiful mess indeed
In His hands he moulds Me
Crown of shame thrown away
Bestowed with beauty instead
Defined by Him alone
Known by true name, I know…
My Daddy loves me

Calls me His beloved
The princess in the kingdom
Crowned by the King
No greater love than this
Ain’t just nobody

I am…
A child of God
Justified and redeemed
Fellow heir with Christ
Accepted not rejected
Been set free in Christ
Chosen by the Father

He defines me

Me too

I thought I was strong when I didn’t cry. I believed a myth that only people who are weak cry. I was chased out of the house at night and had to sleep outside. I had to hide during the day so that I won’t be seen. I thought I was strong and didn’t cry. I was traded when I was a teenager, someone else had to take all the money I earned and I didn’t cry because I thought I was strong.

My family went through an extreme poverty and we had to sleep on empty stomach without hope that there’ll be food the following day. I had to pretend that all was well yet my heart wept. The situation was overwhelming but I didn’t cry thinking that I’ll be considered weak. I had to live with emotional and physical abuse, and then walked on the streets with a smile because I thought I was strong.

I thought I was strong when I didn’t cry after being molested. I’d tell myself that crying won’t change anything and I portrayed a face of a strong woman to the public. As heavy as my heart was, as overwhelming as the situation was, as traumatized as I was, I didn’t cry because people were gonna think I’m weak. I wanted to be seen as a strong woman who walk in raging storms and walk like a strong woman. I knew I needed to let it out, express how I felt but I was not allowed to cry. I had to be strong.

I didn’t cry when almost everyone at church treated me like an outcast. I didn’t cry when I was stoned by the same people we’ve been worshipping God together. Rejection made its way through my heart and I didn’t cry. Oh yeah! They were gonna look at me and see a weak person. So I had to be strong and not shed any tear. I didn’t cry when the cops assaulted me because I had to be strong. I had to stand and fight for the truth and not cry. My body was weak but my spirit was strong.

I had to stand strong for my siblings after loosing our beloved mother. I didn’t cry but my heart was bleeding. She didn’t even wait for me to come back home, so as our dad. He too left me unexpectedly and I didn’t cry. I realized the cost of being the eldest. I had to comfort the young ones, I had to tell them that it will be OK, I had to allow them weep and console them. No one comforted me, no one understood my pain, they saw me smiling everyday and thought I was strong.

I didn’t cry when I received a message that my younger brother died in a car accident. He was gone forever, my best friend and pillar. His last words echoed in my mind everyday and I didn’t cry. I had to be strong for his wife who continually wept for her husband. Most of what was supposed to happen in preparation for the funeral was my responsibility. Exhaustion made its way through my eyes. My heart was overwhelmed, my body needed rest but I had to be strong. I had to answer for everything. No one understood that I lost a beloved, no one knew that I wanted to scream on top of my voice, no one knew that I had sleepless nights. I didn’t cry because I had to be strong.

I didn’t cry when I had to run around carrying my nephew (he was 3 years then) who acted like he understood about his father’s death and didn’t want to sleep but cried the whole night. I didn’t cry when people who were supposed to help, neglected their duties and I had to multi-task. I failed most of the courses when I was doing my final year at tertiary. Some of my lecturers said some hurting stuff and I didn’t cry. I had to be strong and work hard to boost my coursework.

I didn’t cry but stood strong when I was at the hospital battling the sickness I didn’t know. I didn’t cry when I was with my brother only on my graduation and my extended family decided not to show up or even send a message to congratulate me. I smiled, took pictures, celebrated and danced on my big day. No one was supposed to see any tear welling down my cheeks. I had to be strong.

I had to be strong though my flesh failed me. On hospital bed, I thought crying will make me feel weak. So I stood strong even when I was in the theater room not knowing whats gonna happen. I knew I wanted to cry, I wanted to express how I felt but no one was supposed to see my tears. I had to be strong even when I had excruciating pain due to surgery. I didn’t cry when my family didn’t visit me at the hospital. I didn’t cry but stood strong.

In all these, God was there. He felt my pain, He cried with me, He made me strong, He helped me stand on my feet again. He was not far. He saw my bleeding heart, He saw my weak body, He saw my wound and His love penetrated through my heart. He heard my cry and gave me His rod and stuff to comfort me. He understands when i cry, He understands every drop of my tears and stand with me. My heart and body failed but he remained the strength of my life. He doesn’t expect me to be strong because He is always strong for me. Just as the shepherd carries his lamb, He too carried me close to his heart. He was there when I was faced with a stranger who wanted to strangle me to death, He was there when a giant’s hand stabbed me with a knife, He was there when I couldn’t fight anymore. He was there when I was laying helplessly and the pain penetrated through my heart and caused me deepest grief, He was with me in the theater room, He was with me when I couldn’t walk, breathe, laugh, sneeze, cough due to the pain on my belly, He was with me everytime, in everything that was beyond my strength and He’ll always be with me forever and ever AMEN