As a child I was raised in a Christian family. I grew up in a small but well-connected community where families supported each other. The belief that it was important to take care of family and live by Godly principles was firmly embedded in my mind by my parents. As I grew up I held on to the beliefs I was taught. I married a Christian man and we were set for happiness. Not long after I was married my husband died in a road traffic accident in service as a policeman, now referred to as ‘the fallen’. At the time I was just a few weeks away from giving birth to my son, but I became a young widow. It is now more than forty years since that fateful day. For many years hence my faith was sorely tested. All the dreams and aspirations for happiness I had instantly disappeared as if in a puff of smoke. I struggled for many years to reconcile this tragedy. I wanted to understand why this fate had befallen me. I asked God why me? I wanted him to take away the pain and heavy burden and restore me to that former happiness which had barely begun. What was the lesson in this for me?
The thing about life is that it throws us all sorts of experiences the good, the bad, and the ugly at us. Thus, the lesson I had to learn is that it’s not so much the experience as what we do with it. Happiness is not so much about what others can do for us, but what we can do for others. As a young woman I was very dependent on my husband and I was looking to him to bring me happiness.
When we are going through difficulties, the sparkle has gone, it is still possible to hold onto our faith by thinking about how our experience can help others. I learnt how to rebuild my life by setting goals all of which I achieved. I have moved to a place where life has made me the person I am today. Did losing my husband at the age of twenty-one have anything to do with it, you bet it did.
Looking back I can say that as family and friends gathered round, I received the comfort and practical support I needed to sustain my faith and rebuild my life. I moved away from blame and feeling sorry for myself to creating a new life story for my son and myself. I was renewed by two thoughts, the first is that I had to live by faith not sight and the second was an old West African proverb ‘ the one-eyed man doesn’t thank God until he sees a blind man’.
If you are struggling with a challenge in any area of your life and would like to connect with your ability to no just survive but thrive contact me at CLC to book your first consultation session.