I really won’t be talking much about the storm, but rather about friends. Well … a bit of both. The storm, however, made me start thinking about friends. The first half of 2009 was not particularly pleasant for me. At the beginning of the year, my mother was terribly ill and I had to rush home to Zambia. Parents always stress when their children are sick, but there is nothing worse than feeling as if you are about to lose a parent. That fear grips you so tight, and no matter how many healing scriptures you quote, it never goes away. At the same time, you have to be strong both for your parent and for your siblings. It was only after my mum was out of the danger zone that my family and I were able to breathe normally. That was one draining experience that I do not ever want to go through again.
Later on there came my job situation. My contract ended with P&G and I had no clue what to do. I felt so lost, and most times I felt like giving up. At the same time, a whole bunch of issues came up. I was also trying to figure out how I was going to make it. Yes we have faith in God and yes we stand on his word, but when all is said and done, I still had bills to pay; I still had a stomach to fill (though this would have been a perfect time to lose weight). I used to wake up thinking about what I was going to do or when I was too tired, I’d avoid the issue altogether.
But God had a different purpose in this all. Actually he had two main things to teach me.
The first one was trust in him. Previously, whenever I was going through a “crisis” I would call my family and let them pray for me. I was one of those “walking prayer requests” people. Which was okay, but I needed to also pray for myself and this time God made it close to impossible for me to stay in touch with them. He was having none of my laziness. He showed me that he is the only one I should put my trust in. I can’t count how many nights and early mornings I spent pacing up and down asking God to make a way for me because I honestly couldn’t see myself getting out of my situation. I do remember coming to the realization that God is still in control. He knows what I’m going through and in his time he will make things beautiful. I’m still not sure how he will accomplish that, but he hasn’t let me down once … he definitely isn’t going to start doing that now.
In this time of uncertainty, God has kept me. How he did it, only he knows. I’m still here today … a much stronger and better person than I was before all this started. You see, God wants to have fellowship with us. He doesn’t need us, but he desires to have us worship him, trust him, depend on him, love him. TD Jakes said in Woman Thou Art Loosed that (and this is a paraphrase since I can’t remember his exact word) for single women, God thinks he’s our husband. So he looks out for us, he takes care of us, he opens doors us, he loves us because that is what husbands do. We in return need to do our part. My time this year has been spent learning how to love God, worship him, put him above all else. It hasn’t been easy … the old me always tries to get out. But he has always helped me through his word, teachings, and friends.
The other thing I learned was that God has given me wonderful friends. I sometimes think that like my family, I don’t deserve having them in my life. Each time I think about each one I start tearing up. I never actually told them what I was going through, yet there was always an encouraging word, a hug, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and help when I needed it. There were days I did not want to see or talk to anyone, but someone would decide “Oooh! Let me go see Caroline.” And the time we’d spend together would be so uplifting; I would not trade that for anything else. Some other friends would come over knowing I didn’t have much and they would bring whatever they had and we’d just chill at my place. Other times we’d pray together. Other times they’d get me out of the house so I could have a breath of fresh air. But whether it was a simple SMS, email, short phone call (or a long one), or coming to see me to make sure I was okay … it meant so much to me. Because I realized I’m not an island, but I do have and need friends around to help me out. Where my faith was failing me, they had faith for me. Where I was too weak and tired to carry on, they came and encouraged me. Like the four men who made a hole in the ceiling and lowered their friend through it so Jesus could heal him, my friends did he same for me. They were strong where I could not do it myself. They helped me with my burdens when it all seemed too heavy to bear.