Life can sometimes present us with trying times. It may be a rejection, the lost of a loved one, financial difficulties or some other adverse situation that we cannot imagine. These situations can sometimes hit us so hard that all we want to do is give up. Give up hope. Give up on oneself. Give up on life.
I found myself in such a state. It was October 19, 2003 when I watched my mum fall to her death, moments after entering the house of her friend. She had lost a lot of energy climbing a flight of stairs to the last floor of the building. This in it self was a distressing time for me, my siblings and our father. But we soon realised that it was only the beginning of a very dark time.
A few months after my mother’s passing, we were kicked out of our maternal grandfather’s estate and after squatting with our father’s distant relative – our dad was forced to bring us to the UK, where we were to begin a new life. The only problem was, we did not have the right papers to live legal in the UK.
A glimmer of light however came when a Church member helped me and my sister get into school and I was able to study up to college level. This was the first person I was comfortable to call “mum”. After finishing my BTEC Diploma at college, I was unable to progress my education because I did not have the right documents – neither was I able to work for the same reason. So, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. I watched my peers – who I helped in college get the required grades they need to gain admission into the university of their choice – move on with their lives. I did not see anyway forward for myself and did not really have a hope for the future. The only thing that kept me going was my faith in God, fellowshipping with fellow Christians and working in the Youth Ministry of my Church.
But thank God my story did not end there. Whilst volunteering at my Church, I met the love of my life – who is now my wife, and our union has brought untold ray of sunshine into my life. Now, I can see more clearly and the future that God has promised is unfolding. Though the story is not over, whilst discouragement still knocks, I can confidently say, after more than 15 years of loosing my mum – up to this point – that I am in a better place.
My story and that of my siblings show that life will always give us a reason to be discouraged. But what I learnt whilst going through this ordeal is that feeling discouraged is not something to be sorry for, nor feel bad about. It is our natural response to a disappointment. What is wrong, however, is if we allow the feeling to control our lives.
I have learnt from my experience that to handle discouragement, you must:
• Take time to acknowledge what has happened. Even cry if you must. Tears are better out than in. Trying to ignore it by putting on a brave face will only cause further damage and lead to a total breakdown
• Talk to God about your feelings in prayer and share your thoughts with god-fearing people -those with wise and discerning hearts
• Think about the options available to you, the resources you need and the people that can help you make it happen. Make sure you just don’t think, but you act, also
• Trust that God loves you, He has your best interest at heart and He will guide you on the best part for your life
I pray for you today, that God will heal your heart from the injuries that you have experienced as a result of disappointing situations and that you will received courage in these dark times. But don’t forget to take time to acknowledge what has happened, talk to God and god-fearing people about the situation, think about your options – as well as the resources and people you will need to help you and trust that God loves you and knows what is best for you.
I hope this article blesses and encourages you. God bless you!
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