BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN ASK, THINK, OR IMAGINE

Good day to thee. How has been your week? Good, I hope…

Let’s get into it

The village, the village, the village…

It just appeared to me that I learned too many things from my time in the village that if I was to make a blog post about each one of them, this would turn into a blog post about The Village Chronicles of Delsha. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but just moving on seems equally, erm, necessary. As such, today let’s leave the village. Yes, I think let’s do that…

I cannot quantify how grateful I am that my journey included a village stay. It was such a crucial season for me. Well, in reality, all the seasons of our lives are well thought out by God., making them all crucial. Anyway…

Romans 8:28 And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.

One aspect I am continually grateful for is that, even though I was in the village, my education was not affected. At some point, an NGO took over paying my tuition fees and it greatly helped ease the burden on my grandma. Also, my body hardly changed, so constantly buying school uniforms was unnecessary. In fact, I continued with my school uniform from my previous school (the perks of a rural school) up until it got too worn out and my granny went and bought me a school uniform that was oversized enough to reach my toes! Much to the amusement of my teacher & co. What a sight! Yes, it was a dress. Try and imagine something meant to just reach your knees, reaching your toes!

Putting that aside, at that point, I had a goal for my life and that was to excel in my education and advance in it. This was quite an ambitious and extravagant goal for a village girl, I must admit. Back story: my dad had gone to a certain boarding school in that vicinity which was claimed to be one of the best schools in the land, Sanyati Missionary School. Nothing that fancy I should believe but good enough to be aspired to by a rural little girl. I knew as well that, finances aside, there was also a need to pass with flying colors to be accepted into this school. It then became my primary focus to pass with flying colors and get that out of the way before conquering the issue of finances after that.

Let’s just admit it; education from a village perspective is tougher than average. There are times when I went to school barefoot, and times when the only available lotion was cooking oil that I would heat on charcoal to get rid of the smell. There are times I went to school tired from early morning gardening and came back to more things to do. (Sidenote: I don’t say these things because I want pity. I don’t even think it is anything peculiar, it is common in the village.) I look back with a smile at these things because they gave me an opportunity to have a solid character that would keep me grounded (provided I am wise enough to put it into use). I am not saying poverty or seasons of it build character perse, but it did build mine to see life from a compassionate, wholistic and humble standpoint.

Regardless of all this, I insisted on learning at a boarding school, which meant great dedication to my school work. I kept reading books that could inspire my dream to advance to high school, qualify for boarding school, and become someone of substance. I saw it as a way of connecting with my dad in a way, and lowkey escaping the chores at the village as I pursued my education. Selfish much but abeg…

Eventually, the time to write my final primary school exams came and I gave it my all. I nervously collected my results and I was particularly thrilled with the outcome. I had gotten 7 points!!! Let me explain the grading a bit: the standard was to write 4 subjects in which passing is getting one point per subject and failing is getting 9 points per subject. This meant the best you could do was get 4 points and the worst you could do was get 36 points, so 7 wasn’t that bad. There was a possibility of going to that boarding school. Eeeek!!!

Let me share a little ray of sunshine with you. Perchance, the examiner who marked my English exam paper was originally from my village. When she happened to be in the village just a while after the results came out, she visited our home and specifically asked to see Delsha. She said she was so impressed with my English, my writing skills, and my vocab and that after reading my narrations and storytelling, she was determined to see me in person as she had marveled at how a village girl could write English like that. I was quite surprised to hear that and shyly thanked her.

As surprising as it was to me at the time, it is not surprising at all. This was a harvest of the seeds I continually sowed through my continuous reading of books. As soon as I could read, I continued to expose myself to enough English terms until I had enough exposure to English words to use them correctly in an exam. Of course, I will not disregard the grace of articulation God gave me and even in that gravitation towards reading books.

My point is we have a role to play in seeing desirable results in our lives, that nothing in our lives is a result of happenstance, and that every seed we sow eventually comes to harvest, all things being equal.

Genesis 8:22 As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”

Anyway, where were we? Mission #GettingToBoardingSchool? Indeed.

Well, there was no guarantee that I was going to make it to my dream high school. In fact, in reality, I was highly likely to just go to the local high school which required an hour+ of serious walking to get to. I did not want that to become my reality, but ultimately, I would have been grateful to continue with my education anyway.

Alas!!!!

When I least expected it, the only surviving of my three aunts I had stayed with in the city, visited the village. I was happy to see her. I always looked forward to seeing her because I was convinced she loved me so just seeing her was often a joy. However, this time it was going to be more than just seeing her. She dropped a major surprise that she had come to take me from the village. I cannot think of any hyperbole I can use to emphasize how life-changing this was for me.

Firstly, at this point, this was one of the toughest seasons in my farming journey. One of the most notorious types of weeds had grown in our field and we had to not only weed it out but put it in dishes and carry it out in dishes and throw it outside the field. Hectic! Was someone about to remove me from that environment? Hallelujah!

In my aunt’s words, she had gone to a work workshop and within it, it had been mentioned that making a child stay with a grandparent is a form of abuse as they would make a role model of someone already too advanced in age to shape their thinking properly. (This is a paraphrase. I vaguely recall the exact words) This is what made her decide to come and get me, as she could not ignore it. Do you really believe that this was a coincidence? NO!!!!!!!!!! I laugh at the orchestration of God in my life. This had absolutely nothing to do with some form of abuse and everything to do with God orchestrating His plans for my life.

God exceeds expectations. That is what he promises all the time. I just genuinely wanted to go to a boarding school somewhere close to the village, God exceeded that for me. I had thought that a boarding school education was the utmost God could do for me! I praise the Lord for His wonderful wisdom.

Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG) I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Always remember this, God can exceed your most extravagant desire. He is not only able to promise it, He is also capable of achieving it! There is no God like our God

Psalm 100:5 For Yahweh is always good and ready to receive you. He’s so loving that it will amaze you-

so kind that it will astound you! And he is famous for his faithfulness toward all.

Everyone knows our God can be trusted, for he keeps his promises to every generation!

I leave you with this; never despair to a point of hopelessness, no matter what you face in life. God is faithful, that is eternally true

Off the village, we go…Shalom!

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Delsha R L Mangava
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