How have you been doing?
Me? I have been in my season of waiting for the promises of God to come to life. Not that easy in the flesh but in the spirit, God reassures us that it renews our strength, and enables us to mount up on wings, run, and not be weary, walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31) so I am in my season of strength. If you are also in your season of waiting like me…congratulations, you are in a season of power! (I know you don’t want to hear that, I know. I don’t even want to hear it too myself if we are being honest, but well truth is not dependent on feelings)
Back to the village…
I grew so much during my time at that rural primary school. I developed what I can refer to as stamina. Besides earning the title of the skinniest child in that primary school, I did pretty much stand out for relatively positive things. In small rural schools, the children who are believed to be bright, get the privilege of marking other children’s work, cleaning the female teacher’s house, doing her dishes, and other such ‘noble tasks’. It was such an honor back then to be part of the teacher’s inner circle, priceless! Generally, young female teachers were drawn to me so I was part of the select few that teachers wanted around them to make their lives easier. As I said, it was an honor then.
I also got the honor of organizing books in the library! Surely, if you have read every blog post I have published here, you know how ironic this really is! Delsha made responsible for books? Laughable! Before you jump to the conclusion that I did the abominable, I didn’t. I had learned my lesson and since I had access to borrowing every book I wanted, there was no need to give myself these books. I followed the proper channels. Phew!
Growing up in the village, I used to be hungry for a role model. I used to look at everyone who visited the village from the city and tried to see how I could make them my role model. I always adapted my imaginary future self to the lifestyle of the person I sought to emulate. It was so ridiculous to the point where if I saw a single mother, I looked forward to becoming one, if I saw a person who had allergic reactions to village things I looked forward to the day when I would become so ‘rich’ that village things would not align with me. I was so naive and impressionable, let’s call it that. I assumed everyone who came from the city had a perfect life and hence was eligible to become my role model. It was no different with books! If I read of a female air hostess who got married to a pilot, I wanted to become an air hostess, if I read of a female architect who advanced in her career and eventually got married to an architect, I aspired to become an architect, if I read of a female lawyer, of course, I aspired to become a lawyer. Sigh!
Amazingly, I found a way to use books to bond with my grandparents. I started the habit of borrowing Shona (my native language) novels that I could read to my grandpa and grandma and during the afternoons that we didn’t need to go to the fields, I would read a novel to them both. I read chapter after chapter gradually until we finished the book or until the plot got a bit scary and I would be too scared to proceed so I would tell them that the book didn’t have the rest of the pages so I couldn’t proceed with the story or that it was now time to return it at the library before I was going to get fined for staying with the book longer than agreed. My grandpa had a second wife and was rather transactional with my grandma (who was his first wife) so I used to see this as a means to bring them to some form of ‘togetherness’ where there could be just harmony. Fun times. I look back on such memories with a smile.
Speaking of grandparents, I learned a lot from them and cherish the time I spent in their care. My grandfather was such a storyteller. I loved sitting close to him at night and hearing him narrating his life story from his time working for the whites as a teaboy to him hunting down elephants, and deer and going into the woods to seek honey, getting in fights with people (for no solid reason really) and winning the fights, becoming an anointed man of God at some short-lived point and having people come over for healing and deliverance and everything else dramatic that he did since he was a man of great drama. His narration and story-telling skills were unmatched, especially when he was drunk! Maybe, just maybe, my love for story-telling comes from him. My grandma used to confirm the authenticity of most of his stories which made them even more fun and believable! I vividly remember the picture of myself sitting close to him with admiration seeing him as a hero who was capable of killing an elephant, a whole elephant! Since he is now late, I particularly remember one key memory when I was sitting next to him and he randomly got deep with me, which wasn’t his usual style. After having given me a gazillion condescending nicknames before, on this day, he affirmed me. He told me a paraphrase of;
You know ‘Doisha’ (this was his pronunciation of my name haha. My grandma’s version is Dewusha by the way, in case you might be curious)… anyway…you might be the skinniest of my grandchildren, but you are by far the prettiest of my granddaughters. If you tell the others I said that I will deny it, this is between me and you. You, Doisha, will go very far in life so do not look down on yourself or base your value on your body type or anything else negative anyone tells you. I see you going beyond this village life. Just keep your focus on your school work and please respect your granny, she has gone through a lot this one, you can’t be a headache to her too, my grandchild, da da da…
Knowing my grandfather, he wasn’t a man given to flattery or even compliments, if anything he loved offending people and he made sure his insults were accurate and spiteful enough to drive the point home, haha. He truly couldn’t care less about using words to please the next person so I knew at that moment that he meant every word he had just said to me. That meant so much to me at that time, I held on to it and smiled back at him. You see, God uses the person we least expect sometimes to minister to us. At this moment he chose my grandpa and those words carried me through some moments where I needed a bit of affirmation, which wasn’t in abundant supply in that environment.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
* therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.*
As for my grandmother, one creature I can use to summarize her is a dove; very peaceable, and pure-hearted. She is one unique woman with her own vocabulary, slang, and way of talking which is both fascinating and entertaining. No one else speaks the way my grandmother speaks, her tone, and her choice of words is entirely her own. Not even her siblings speak the way she does, no one speaks the way she does. Set apart she is! She is equally one of the most consistent people I know. From the time I got to know her until now, my grandma prayed for her day and everyone in her life every morning, she worked so hard during the day in the field, prayed for her children and family members before sleeping, and stayed in her own lane consistently, kindly, lovingly, living in an unruffled sober state, hardly exhibiting any unbecoming behavior and although I am not present with her currently, I know she is still doing some of these things, especially prayer. A woman of note!
Your childhood molds the type of adult you become it is believed. Mine was molded by a wide range of characters who kept passing on the button stick to each other in the relay race and I am grateful that my grandparents were part of those people. I used to find it interesting that my grandma could pray in tongues, pray to thank God for all sorts of things, and pray for every single person she cared about daily and even mention them by name, I understand her now. Prayer is such a pillar worth leaning on, and one worth leaning on daily.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
My grandma could have been bitter and vile after my grandpa married another wife, but she didn’t, she is so God-loving, and every time I get a chance to talk to her she always insists that I live a prayerful life surrendered to God. Such a remarkable woman. I have learned how to be prayerful, peaceable, hardworking, loving, and have a solid relationship with God (she insists she is going to heaven very confidently one day when the time comes and I believe her)
God is faithful. He surely has been very faithful to me. It always doesn’t seem like it because my storyline is not typically rosy (yet) but His faithfulness has been evident in even the unexpected ways. I remember one of the books I eventually borrowed from the library. It was the small blue Gideon’s New Testament Bible. You are highly likely to know this one, or maybe not. I was keen on reading as much of it as I could before I could return it, especially during the mornings. I remember vividly when I came across Matthew 6 and read this part;
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? 28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, 29 yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
This became so vivid to me. I was in the village, so I was very familiar with sowing, reaping, barns, birds, grass, and flowers which made me see vividly what God was saying. I was so excited and overwhelmed with love and I kept meditating and repeating this phrase over and over, telling anyone I could about ‘what God was saying in the blue Bible’. I did not understand much about the principles of the word of God but that particular chapter jumped out to me.
I also got to read the book of Revelation and I was terrified beyond measure and determined in my heart to not sin a day in my life. I told my younger sister that we had to pray that our bodies don’t develop in puberty until we finished high school so that boys could not notice us and distract us from living holy lives so that we wouldn’t eventually live the Revelation reality. I was so diligent in carrying out all the mythical things that could slow the process of puberty, from sweeping my chest with the broom to covering my chest with the plate that the father ate from behind the kitchen door (oopsy). Goodness! As embarrassing as it is looking back at it now the extent to which I went, in actual fact, my body truly didn’t develop much significantly until I got to form 6 and no boy bothered me until then like I had believed. Did I need to take it that far? No. Did what I believed, declared, prayed over, and foolishly acted upon yield results for me? Yes
The words we say or determine in our hearts have such tremendous power. It is extremely amazing!
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
* and those who love it will eat its fruits.*
My point in today’s blog is to show you the footprints of God in my life and point you to his goodness. Sometimes God’s goodness is not as grand as we would expect to have it, sometimes all it is is a kind affirmation from a grandparent, receiving favor from a teacher, or access to a library where you can access a Gideon’s Bible or books that help you visualize a better future for yourself. If we live our lives waiting impatiently only for the grand gestures we desire from God, we might miss God in our midst as He shows us His love for us. Look around you at the moment, what can you be grateful for? Is it a parent, a friend, or a smile from a random baby in a supermarket? God is present in the everyday subtle moments. Look for opportunities to see Him and you will begin to see His presence in your life every day.
I am personally grateful for this blog. I was feeling rather down, which is a weapon the devil has been using to discourage me from writing these blogs in a timely manner but because I chose to write this one anyway, I feel revived and grateful. I am also thankful to you for setting aside your time to read it. May God begin to be seen by you in your life daily.
Shalom dearest reader…