You know when you feel like you are in a rut and badthings.com seem to have your personal address? It’s depressing, it’s sad and you go through different emotions, and sometimes even create different scenarios where it even gets worse and you brace yourself for it? I know, its a dark and lonely place, but I just want to remind you that it is only a season.
Just like seasons, this too shall pass. There is a time for EVERYTHING, and it might seem like you are not only in a season but more of an era, but it shall pass. You might have been waiting for that big thing that you have given your all to and for, that you pray morning, noon and night but it seems you are so far from it. It feels like you are chasing the wind and grasping in the dark for something you can not touch but dream of, but I just want to encourage, maybe it is not YET the season for you to have it, maybe you are not ready. I will share a story with you.
When I was in high school doing Form 3/ Year 11, I was amongst a group of people who were chosen to go to a leadership camp, to be prepared and selected to be prefects. Just like everyone who went, I was hopeful. We went to this camping site where we did different outdoor exercises eg rock climbing, waking up at 5 am to hike and do exercises, we were tested on our communication skills, leadership skills etc. It was fun but scary at the same time. On the last day of the 5-day training, we were given our results. They mentioned how good I was good at communication, but my leadership skills and risk taker qualities, were quite low. ( P.S: We had to jump into rivers and climb high mountains with a rope around your waist, I already am not a fan of heights and large bodies of water, so I knew I was going to fail.) The prefects and hierarchy were not mentioned on that day but after the holidays. So from the camp, we went on holiday for about 4 weeks. You can imagine the anticipation, the nerves of having to wait that long to know if you were amongst the chosen or not.
The first day of school, I went ready and prepared for the best. I was confident that I had made it and some of my family and friends were also confident that I was going to be prefect. At the assembly, after the national anthem, pleasantries of being welcomed to the new term blah blah blah, our headmaster got to the exciting part- announcing the new prefects and the hierarchy. I had sweaty palms, butterflies and my heart jounced at every name that was being called out. When he got to the last name, I waited in anticipation, overwhelmed by emotions, feeling ready, but it was not my name that was called. I was crushed, I could feel my heart tightening then slowly deflating as I stood there. Most of my friends had made it but I hadn’t, and it hurt. I felt like a failure, like I wasn’t good enough, like this was my life. I remember I cried and I told my sister about it. It didn’t help that people were always stopping me to tell me how it should have been me and how I deserved it. It was a dark time.
Two years later, I was now about to start my 2 years of A Levels, I was amongst the people who were picked again for another leadership camp. The memory of what had happened before was at the back of my mind. I had fun, we did almost the same exercises but this time around it was more intense. At one point we had to build a boat/raft in the water, and I hated that bit. I was so scared for my life, but I made it through with the help of others. The same thing happened, we went home and came back for the next term. At the back of my mind, I was ready for failure, I had dismissed the idea altogether and had decided to skip the first day. I had to prepare for the next day too because we were going to South Africa for a basketball tournament ( to be honest, I was just a place holder, I never played and only went for shopping.🤷🏾♀️)
I was at home sleeping at 9 am when my school called asking me to come to school. I told them I would come tomorrow since I was preparing for the trip, but they insisted I come. So I showered 🙄, took 2 kombis because my dad had gone to work by then. They started the assembly late that day, I stood amongst my colleagues annoyed that I had to come and have my heart broken again. The whole thing was like deja vu until the names were announced. Guess what, I was amongst the “chosen” this time around. I was happy, and I was ok with that. When it got to announcing the hierarchy, they called in ascending order. They called the games captain (was definitely not going to make that cut.), they announced the senior prefects, they announced the vices and to save the best for last- the head girl and head boy. When I tell you I was shocked when they announced me as the head girl! My heart dropped. A whole me was chosen to lead the school and be the head of all the girls from Form 1 to Upper 6. A whole me they rejected 2 years ago, who thought she would never be good enough. Me!
( The official portrait of the heads and vices. From left: Kudzai, Tineyi, yours truly and Alice.)
(Not the exact day but happy nonetheless. With Rachel on the left and Stacie on the right.)
I went through different emotions, friends celebrated with me. Of course, other people came to tell me it should have been them if only they had done something different etc, but this was my moment. They had seen that I was ready. God had seen that I was ready.
( Top row, 2nd from the left, being nosey on our inauguration.)
I will never forget this story/memory because it clearly depicts how God works. 2 years prior to that, I was not ready or rather, I was thinking too small. God has plans way beyond my imagination because I had never EVER thought of being the headgirl of a school. So as much as it seems as if you are not good enough or things are very dark right now, it is only a season and it too shall pass. God had plans bigger and better than what you can ever imagine. I know He has amazing and unimaginable things and it scares me when I think about it. Have friends and family to talk to during your season, but be VERY careful. Not everyone in your bad season is there for you or ready to help, some are there because they want to feel better about themselves. They thrive on seeing you in a bad season because it shows how “better” their lives are, forgetting seasons change. They love hearing about the dooms of your life, but as soon as the dynamics change, when you now also bear good news, you see their true colours. They do not put the same energy they did when you were in the mire, your good news is just browsed through and they quickly segue into other topics apart from you. Be very careful, see how people react to your victories and also your losses. There are also those who will only show up during good times; those who stick around just in case something big happens in your life so they can claim they were always there. Protect yourself in each season, ask God to reveal those who are not part of your journey whilst you are still in this season so they do not contaminate your good season. Also, be careful those who make you feel bad for being excited about your breakthroughs or who quickly make everything about them. Do not share much with them, they will kill your dreams and discourage you from what God has said and ordained you to do. Yesterday at church, the pastor said, the people who kill your dreams or distract you, are not strangers but close friends and family. I pray I am never this friend/family member, I rebuke that spirit n Jesus’ name.
God is on your side, don’t always run to people for help or advise, ask God first. As much as people have different opinions and solutions, God has the plan and the means. He is the one who has promised you, He is the one who has instilled in you. You know what He has assigned you to do, you know. You very much know it. Also, do not wait for people’s validation, do not try and please people to be liked or accepted. Grow and improve yourself, like who you are first and always be authentic, trust me, a lot of things will not get to you. Validate yourself, validate your work, validate your art and if it is the criticism you seek, I would strongly advise you ask experts in your field or someone you know has a bit of knowledge or is excited by what you do. Everyone is not going to like your work, craft or just you in general, but keep pushing forward. You will fail, you will be mocked, looked down on but keep pushing, it is only a season and not your life story. And like the Shona people in my country say Mwari ndewe munhu wese which means God is for everyone. He sees you and He knows you, come on, we can do this. We will cry, attempt to give up, lose friends along the way BUT we know the plans God has for us.
So from one person in a bad season to another, keep your head high and just know your time will come. Maybe you are not ready, maybe what you want is not what God wants you to have or maybe, just maybe, you are thinking too small. Keep doing you, keep thriving to be a good human being, keep drinking water, keep minding your business, keep competing with yourself and keep trusting in God.