I guess this is the part I enter the scene with the infamous ‘Hey Stranger’ greeting. It has been nearly two months since I last posted a blog post. I would take the time to explain why that is the case but thankfully this is a blog about a journey so we will get to that at a later stage.
I sincerely hope you have been doing well all this while.
Let us get back to it, shall we?
We are still in the village, we have survived famine, we have survived an unsuccessful goat shepherding session, what’s next? Growth, more growth…
Let us begin by getting into a bit of a culture lesson…
In the Shona culture, particularly in rural communities, when a young man marries his bride, she stays in the mom-in-law’s household for a while until the mom-in-law releases her when she is satisfied that she can now stand on her own feet as the mother of her own household. Before that time comes, she does most of the household chores, she cooks for the whole family, fetches water and firewood, does the family’s laundry, etcetera. The reason for sharing this information is so that you understand the whole gist of today’s blog post. This is because initially when I moved to the village, two of my uncles had married their wives who were still living with my grandmom, their mom-in-law. However, during the course of events, the time for them to be released eventually came…
What this meant for me was that I had to step up and take over almost all of the roles that they used to fill. I had to learn how to cook, how to clean, how to sweep the big yard, how to fetch firewood, how to fetch water, start a fire, and how to do an endless list of endless things that were essential and top it off with farm work. Phew! Talk about shock and awe!
I have no clear memory of when exactly this transition took place, but I remember vividly how tiny I was. It didn’t matter how I looked, what mattered is that there was work in front of me that now had me as the main character. Of course, I was not entirely alone, I had a nephew who was a year older than me who assisted me in some of the chores. Also, my aunts sometimes helped me, especially during the first days when I was still being trained to handle it all. This transition was by no means easy, especially in the early stages. I felt like I was an eagle’s chick brutally kicked out of the nest because it was time for growth. (Of course, this is just an exaggerated symbolism to paint the picture vividly to you.)
Let me just say this to you, if you are ever going to fulfill your purpose or destiny, or become a person of substance, you are definitely going to have to do things that look like they are beyond your capacity (and they initially might be). In fact, they are supposed to be so that you can rely on God to do them. You were created to rely on God, you are not meant to be self-sufficient and walk around claiming to be ‘self-made’. God created you to need Him, whether you acknowledge it or not, it is truth. As your boss, (figuratively speaking) God loooovesss assigning you tasks that appear to be beyond your capacity, it’s just company policy!
Let us look at the Israelites, for example. These were former slaves God expected to fight giants and overtake the PROMISED LAND. They had to outgrow their background of being shoved around to proactively fight for their own property. The giants they had to fight were indeed giants in the most literal sense and God expected them to fight them because He was on their side and he had given them the grace to handle the war. We all have bashed these Israelites at one point or the other, but I believe it must have actually looked quite scary, the giants must have looked quite big, but it didn’t matter, it still doesn’t now. It doesn’t matter what it looks like in the natural, you are beyond capable to scale the mountains unique to you that you face. (with God in you and on your side enabling you. Only then.)
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
My purpose or destiny is not to do countless chores seemingly beyond my capacity, of course. It was still of crucial importance regardless because God begins very early to train you in/for what he intends for you to become or do although it might seem totally unrelated at the time. Joseph was trained in how to become a Prime Minister by being in charge of Potiphar’s household as a servant and also by being in charge whilst he was in prison although it certainly did not appear so at the time. Do you think he could have handled this role, no matter how glorious, had he not had these two experiences?
Just as an encouragement, make it a habit to pay attention to your life, the patterns, good or bad will surprise you. God wastes nothing in your life, even the worst experiences can work in your favor in awe-inspiring ways. I am in awe of how God trained me in resilience, humility, compassion, and countless other traits essential to my destiny during this time in my life. These are all aspects I know I possibly could not have grasped in any other setting.
I am still shocked at how I eventually managed to do all that I managed to do, even though I messed up some of it along the way. Just for laughs, I can share with you how I naively thought mopping the house meant covering the floor with as much water as possible for the mirror-like result. Needless to say how messy that turned out to be! You too will not always get it right at every stage.
The point of today’s blog is to encourage you that sometimes you can look at the mountains in front of you and they might seem quite impossible or beyond your capacity to handle them but you have what it takes to scale them. I most certainly weighed nothing beyond 20 kgs at that time and I am being very generous with my estimate there, yet I carried 15 liters of water on my head and pushed wheelbarrows with 60 liters of water (strategically placed of course so as to not be too heavy for my tiny body.) How did I do it? I do not know. What I know though is that I managed to do it all and do it very frequently.
I am very grateful for that experience. Given the chance to pick it or pick an easier phase of life, I would pick it again! Why? It revealed to me that I was capable of more than I give myself credit for. It remains a strong reminder to date that I can go through any phase of life and prevail and overcome. Even if it is not labor-related, I remind myself that at some point I managed to do what I did in the village with no prior expertise nor enormous strength and it gives me the much-needed reassurance that this too, I can do. (regardless of what that will be at that point)
Let me assure you that whether you are currently in your green pasture season or dry parched land season, at some point in your life, you will face things seemingly beyond your capacity more often than you would love to. My hope is that when the going gets really intimidating or tough, remember this portion of my journey, if a 20kg-weighing little girl could carry 15 liters of water on her head, you can scale that mountain too, and you better believe it! There are no browny points for giving up or looking down on yourself or magnifying your mountains. The browny points come when you force your mind to see every mountain as scalable (because it is) and then go ahead and scale it (with complete reliance on God, of course.)
This is not necessarily a motivational blog post, it is a principle that you can trace throughout the Bible. The same Goliath that had an entire army in hiding was defeated by a young shepherd boy, David, for example. My story can be quite farfetched from yours because you might never find yourself having to carry water on your head in a rural setting but the principle remains the same. In the word, we find Joshua having to take over from Moses, he was terrified, it seemed like too much of a task, which it was, but God was looking to him to carry it and he kept reassuring him that he would not be alone during the process. God is still the same He was then because He is an Unchanging Changer, THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER, THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA…Take Him at His word.
In the word of God, Gideon, Moses, Esther, and King Asa of Judah are all examples of people who faced tasks that seemed to be beyond their CVs yet God enabled them to overcome the mountains…In fact, God took it as a sin when the Israelites did not believe in their ability to scale the mountain in front of them, in turn showing a lack of faith in their God. Yes, it is that serious. You need to scale all the mountains you come across in your life. I am cheering you on as you do, so please do…
2 Thessalonians 3:16
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.” “May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.”