What do you do when your foundation sinks when you thought you built it on solid ground ? Just over five years ago, my life was almost perfect: My business was going well and making good money, my relationship with my partner was good and we were expecting our baby girl. I was happy and surrounded by many friends and close girl friends who formed my support system. My life goals were progressing well, as I undertook my Masters Degree. I was a christian, prayed most days, lI had no enemies and no stress, my life was normal. However, a year into my degree, my foundation began to sink rapidly, everything went wrong, one by one and in no time, I found myself very stressed and struggling to shake it off.
My daughter was born into this stress. Although this should have been my greatest moment, I struggled to keep her safe from the aggression and stress that was building up in our home. Soon after, my relationship failed leaving me a single mum with a new born baby living in hotels and B&Bs, almost homeless. My business also started failing as the business relationship struggled after various conflicts and disagreements leading to multiple litigations and a lot of financial pressure. My girl friends left, some for work reasons, others were no longer interested or just got busy. Furthermore, my mum who was supporting me was denied a visa Renewal and had to leave the country.
Consequently, My faith was shaken, the events in my life for the last couple of years got me doubting my faith in God. I found myself fluctuating between faith and despair and asking the big questions: Where is God in all this ? How is this working for my good ?how will I cope?, What will happen to my daughter?, I was very stressed and I felt guilty for not being able to trust God through my situation. I had failed. Thats how it felt.
My reality did not match my understanding or knowledge of God or the Christian life. I spent lots of time analysing my life in search of the mis-match. I looked into the bible personalities who had gone through stressful times and how they overcome them. Discovering these stressed people in the bible justified my struggles as I could identify with them without feeling judged or condemned. Other emotions that were tangled up with my stress emerged including fear, guilt and shame. It was during this journey of self discovery that I gradually found peace, a profound peace through a realisation that God is a good, good father who is sympathetic, non judgemental and supportive.
I’d not realised how tightly wound I’d become, wrapped up in the grid of worry and anxiety until I found the place of peace. This place became my perfect escape in times of anxiety and stress. It was a safe, organic place where I could hide and experience the same peace, every time, many times over. In fact, I could continuously dwell in this place of refuge where stress no longer overwhelmed me. It was not a quick fix, but a gradual, sometimes painful change of heart. I learnt to listen and hear HolySpirit reminding me the words of God and guiding me into the solutions of life. Although this was not an instant change, Im beginning to realise the the change is constant and permanent if I am continuously stayed upon God.