“She fell. She broke. She cried. She crawled. She hurt. She surrendered. And then she rose again… turning her cant’s into cans, her pain into power and her power into purpose.” - www.facebook.com/sheconquers.one
This quote is a summation of my life. I read it continuously because I am proud to say that my story is turning out positively after being in a place that felt void of the presence of God for so long.
I was ecstatic to be getting married to my high school sweetheart. We’d been on and off a number of times after high school yet today we were set to meet at in court to officialise our union. I made myself up, dressed my 7 month old baby up and made my may to the magistrates’ court. There he was, dressed in formal clothing waiting for me together with his witness. We were the first couple to be joined in matrimony amongst many other couples that stood outside the court waiting. This was the beginning of my happily ever after… or so I thought. Little did I know that the next six years were to be the most difficult time of my life ever.
I spent the next six years of my life, paying for debts that I knew nothing about. I would have people approach me telling me that my then husband owed them money for this or the other and I would pay it off. Some of the amounts were so huge that they were out of my control. He was accumulating debt within the town we lived in through borrowing money and not returning it and selling business ideas that never came to fruition after receiving funding. I had no idea really what that money was being used for as there was absolutely no progression in our lives. I was in and out of the prison cells bailing him out and taking food to him. I was 5 months pregnant with our second child by this time. I held on in the name of being a good and faithful wife through asset attachment from the Sherriff’s court, through degenerating relationships with my relatives that were owed money. I held on through alienation from friends and through being left alone to nurture our 5 year old son and take care of myself through my pregnancy. In my seventh month of pregnancy he left for the big city to look for a job to pay off the debts. I was left with the insurmountable task of facing his debtors alone whilst fending for our family… I fell.
I was hardly making enough to provide food, clothing, transport just the basics for my children. I would move around from shop to shop selling wares just to make enough to buy food for the day. No one trusted me because of my husband’s ways. My former glory as a model and pretty young woman working for a successful corporate had vanished into thin air. In its’ place was a heavy laden mother who was struggling to make ends meet and very desperate. I literally felt myself sinking into an endless abyss. I broke. I cried.
I gave birth to my second son alone through C-section and the female doctor who carried out my operation paid for the anaesthetist from her own pocket. My older son was staying with a friend whilst I was in hospital. The nurses were amazed as I started to walk hours after my C-section operation. It usually takes four days to a week before one can walk without aide. There were two souls looking to me therefore I did not have the luxury of giving myself time to heal. The hustle of putting food on the table for my children continued. An aura of hurt, sadness and desperation constantly engulfed me and the people around me pitied me. My only support system was the maid who looked after my baby whilst I hustled for food money during the day. When my baby was three months old, my then husband returned with a bag full of new clothes he had bought himself and nothing for the new baby or us… I crawled. I hurt.
The love was gone and in its place was indifference. I had suffered too much to carry on being protective of this man that had not protected me but had left me wide open. Within several weeks of his return, I asked him to leave and look for a job yet in my heart I knew that I was actually checking out of the marriage. I had tried all that I could… I surrendered.
The organisation that I was working for decided to take me to school for a yearlong programme in the capital city. Every month I would go to the big city for a week. I started to see possibilities, opportunities and a better way of life. I started to feel worthy of the good things in life. I formed friendships and rekindled others. I laughed again. I used the allowance I would get for the travel to buy my children clothes and food. The situation had improved slightly. I remembered who I had been before the marriage, an ambitious beautiful young woman who saw a bright future for herself. Yet I was still riddled with crippling fear, low self-esteem and a strong feeling of being open and vulnerable.
Having completed my schooling, I was moved to another unit within the same company, this was a lateral move. A year after this move, I had to transfer my sons from their schools to less expensive ones as I could no longer afford the school fees. My older son and I plunged into a deep depression over this. My older son is sporty and he was thriving in this regard at the school in spite our financial situation. I now had to move him to a school that did not see the value in sports. “My son does not deserve this I thought. All he did was be born. He deserves the best in life!” That was it, it was enough. This was the last straw!
And then I rose again…
I bought a company and decided that I was going to exert every fibre of my being and all of my soul into carrying out my passions and ensuring that in the mid-term my business would sustain me. I faced the challenges the every new business does; no one believed in what I was doing, my ex-husband’s reputation still hovered above me, I was already working in another company and time constraints were real and l had the responsibilities of being a mother and homemaker. The fear was overwhelming. “What if they see this as a ploy to take their money? What if they laugh and jeer?” I felt the fear and did it anyway. I turned my cants into cans, my pain into power.
As I write this article, I am approaching my ninth month of social entrepreneurship. I have received overwhelming support from the community in all my projects. I am a part of an organisation that seeks to build the community. Opportunity abounds in the way of my business and it is just a matter of time before my business escalates to the next level. It is a matter of time before I leave my job to pursue my passion and calling full time through my business. It is a matter of time before I live the life that I always envisioned for my children and myself. I can stand and declare that I am a living example of a woman that felt the fear and did it anyway. I turned my power into purpose. So should you.