My life changed a heap in the last 10 years. When I look back several things stand out. Things that have shaped me and continue to shape me. Things that have shaken the core of who I am and what I believe. Things that have unraveled me and built me.
I will share 5.
1. My physical health
On 7th November 2009 I got married. I was 25 years old, less than 3 months shy of turning 26. What I did not know at that time was that the decision to get married would launch me into a decade of battling for my physical health. As soon as I got married, I got pregnant. This began my journey into a reproductive health downward spiral. I fought for and still lost that first pregnancy and the one that followed it. I have been admitted in hospital in the last 10 years countless times. I have been wheeled into theater for DNC, for a myomectomy and 3 CS’s.
Physically, the last 10 years have taken a toll on my body, on this tent that I call home. Every single year I have ticked one or two of the following:
- Trying to get pregnant
- Lost a pregnancy/baby
- Recovering from the loss of a pregnancy/baby
- Reeling from the side effects of fertility drugs
- Delivered a living baby
But God has never left my side. Psalm 23 is the testimony my physical body gives. The Good Shepherd has walked with me through the valley of the shadow of death. I am hoping to be kinder to my body in the next decade. Top of the list is of course to finish my #36to36 journey. Looks like I will fall short though, I turn 36 in a couple of days and I only managed 10 out of the 36kgs I need to shed. But the journey continues. I am grateful for this body God gave me, it has served me very well in the flames and furnace as well as the fulfillment and fullness that was the last decade.
This last decade has been a healing decade for me. Mind, Body and Spirit. Lots of healing. Healing is a very interesting process, it comes with pain. Whereas we would all chose to heal and skip the pain, unfortunately healing is entangled with pain. It is from pain and through pain that we get healing.
One of the skills I teach my students is the skill of ‘Tracing’ Tracing is such a life giving skill. However the process of Tracing can be life sapping. Tracing basically involves questioning things until their conclusive end. You can question emotions, you can question memory gaps, you can question reactions, you can question stimuli just to mention but a few. You ask why until you reach the end.
Tracing is haaaaarrrrd!!!!!! But it is worth every single effort.
Every time I teach tracing in a class, we go back and forth with the students. But as days and weeks go by, I get a lot of positive feedback of course coupled with the realities of the painfulness of the process and how the students have managed to overcome them to reap the fruits of tracing.
And that has been one of the sources of my healing over the last decade. Tracing. You should try it as well.
3. I am Black
I grew up black. I did mix with white people a bit from an early age. But I knew I was black and that was it. It had not really hit me that being black was ‘bad’, was ‘low’, was a ‘disadvantage’. In the last decade I have come into the full force of racism, in a way I honestly wish I hadn’t. I miss my innocence as far as races were concerned. I miss my blind trust and faith in humanity. I really miss it. But unfortunately all that is behind me now.
I am now very aware of my blackness and what that would mean in different spaces. I have become aware of the different levels of blackness, from mixed black, to rich black (money, networks, heritage, name etc) to bottom barrel black.
I have also become a mum to three most precious living children. And my awareness of my blackness and what it means in reality worries me. I look at my growing children and have discussions with them around race and I get worried. The inferiority complex is so easy to teach, to unteach it however takes the hand of God! And the reality is:
“You can love what you see in the mirror, but you can’t self-esteem your way out of the way the world treats you.”
In this new decade that God willing will end up with me having teenagers in my house, I am seeking ways to walk with my black children through this maze of race, racism, colorism (yet to really figure out this one) and all other ism’s that have to do with the colour of their skin that might be thrown at them. Do I worry, yes I do. Do I know what I need to do or say, not all the time. But I am willing and ready to walk this journey for myself and with my children.
And yes I have read Sulwe, the Lupita Nyongo book. And no, I have not yet read it with my children. I am still reflecting on it. I look forward to read it with them and have the ensuing conversations.
4. Self – Actualization
At some point in between the lostness of my High School years, I discovered a love for the Bible. I was born in a Christian home. I became a Christian on 3rd December 1993 at a Church camp, mostly because I do not want to go through hell fire. But embracing and owning the faith has been a journey over the years. So, when I ell in love with the Bible in high school, I read it cover to cover. It is during this time that I got so struck by Deborah, specifically how she is introduced in Judges 4:4:
Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.
And the more I read, the more a desire grew in me to study Hebrew and Greek. I am from a minister’s home. So Greek especially was not foreign to me, especially how hard it is to learn. But I still wanted to learn the Bible languages, primarily to be able to read and understand the Bible better. And secondly to teach it more faithfully.
I tried to go to seminary after my undergraduate in 2008 but it did not work out. But in God’s own time, in 2011 I joined seminary. And yes, I studied the languages. For some reason, Greek really refused to mix well with me so I enjoined myself to Hebrew and made it to the very end.
The ripples effect of fulfilling this dream of mine is that I made wonderful friends from across the globe. And one of those in 2017 spoke life to me and the result was the birth of my blog which has produced 5 published books!
What I have learnt with achieving quite a number of dreams in the last decade is the reality of dream killers and dream fuellers. The reality of the continuous war you have to fight between the words of life to your dreams and the words of death for the same. I have been so blessed in the last decade to have been surrounded by a steadfast Village, a village that has spoken life to my dreams and pushed me to excellence. A Village that has raised it’s voice above the roar of the naysayers.
I am anticipating with great excitement the next decade. Started off with the Mel Robins #BestDecadeEver 1 month program and I am energized to scale more heights.
Next decade is for achieving more dreams. For actualizing. For Living.
5. A plastic free space
I am not really sure where this came from but at the close of the decade I grew a hatred for plastic. I am currently doing a trace for this one.
Being the real Kenyan that I am, my house is infested with plastic! My life is surrounded by plastic. I have so much plastic in my house from food containers to the hangers in my wardrobe to plastic shoes aka crocs.
I am not really sure where this hatred is going to take me. I am not even sure how to become plastic free let alone the process to get me there. All I know is that I want to be plastic free and to hand over the same as a heritage to my children.
If you are in a similar journey or know anyone who is please reach out. I need a village for this journey.
Bonus – Love and Loss
Last decade I buried many people. Many people that I loved and were very dear to me.
Two walk with me daily. My grandmother Cucu Wakamanda and my dear friend Willy.
Every time I think about these two, I think about how priviledged I was to have met them, to have know them and to have been loved by them.
There is something about pure love. There is something about knowing that you are loved. There is a healing, a life giving essence that flows out of such love.
It is what I miss most about both of them, yet it is what binds me to them; until we get reunited in eternity!
. . .
I am grateful to have lived through the last decade.
I am grateful to God for my body that took a lot of the load for that decade.
I am grateful to God for my Village that played a huuuuuuge part in me making it.
I am grateful for the gifts God brought my way in the last decade – gifts of friends, gifts of experiences, gifts of pain, gifts of healing