I’ve thought of myself in many different scenarios over my few years on earth, but there are still some scenes I just can’t picture myself in. For example, I watched a documentary some weeks back which followed the stories of two women who didn’t know they were pregnant until they were sent to the delivery suite! And one of them had had a child previously!!! It looked impossible; how would you not know that you were pregnant for over 36 weeks? I remember one of the ladies saying she never dreamt something like this would happen to her, so it could happen to anyone – I instantly replied my television with a loud “Never!”
However, it got me thinking. There were probably a few things I imagined I would be and do by my thirties which I am yet to accomplish, and I often ask “would my teenage self be happy with the current me?” Okay let’s talk about looks. You have probably heard the phrase “…letting yourself go…”? It’s a kind-er way of saying a person has put on weight or does not really care about their physical appearance as much as he/she should. In most cases, the person in question is not aware of the issue until it becomes a serious issue. Well, when you meet someone for the first time, you give and receive a first impression. I certainly hold dear the first real impression I had of my husband. I liked the initial ‘packaging’ and I made a mental note not to spoil that package with my cooking or lack of. I also asked my husband how he felt about my size. Thankfully he was honest enough to say while he doesn’t expect me to look the same forever, he would prefer it if I wasn’t overweight, or too skinny. We had this conversation years ago, but I am still very happy with my husband’s physical attributes and he hasn’t complained about me – so I think I’m safe.
Now the weight issue can be a very sensitive topic especially to female ears, but if we are to be honest with ourselves in building healthy relationships, then we must face the issue realistically. In real life, our weight will change – accept this!!! Don’t focus on Celebrities and the one person who seemingly looks the same after six children because you might not be willing to pay the price those people have paid to look that way. If your loving spouse is genuinely concerned about the way you look in comparison to the first impression you gave, then you need to do something about the situation. That’s my two pence on the matter.
Next issue is ‘status’. As a young child, I was a flower girl for many Aunties. My teenage self thought about my ideal marriage age, the job I would be in, the car I would own, and the city I would call home. I had a decent enough plan, but I didn’t really account for lives-challenges. I assumed moving out of Africa would give me a fixed amount of years in Uni (since the likelihood of strikes would be slim), but then I had two extra years added to my five-year course. I assumed I would get a job within my career immediately after my studies – and then a recession like no other just happened. I expected to get married before certain of my friends because I was older and friendlier to guys; but I kept attending their weddings without a plus one. I suddenly realised I was ‘that person’ my mum had always warned me about. She would say “… in the race of life, make sure your friends are not calling you to hurry up and join them”.
No job implied that I couldn’t travel to the group functions, I had to politely turn down wedding invitations because I couldn’t afford to travel or buy presents, and I couldn’t even have a proper online presence! When LinkedIn sends out a message to your contacts saying congratulate Keisha on a work anniversary at ‘Seeking new opportunities’, you know things are really rough. During these times, the story of Job in the Bible can either be comforting or annoying. Yes, I was that person and I was ashamed of who I was because it didn’t make sense. I couldn’t move forward and there was no going back plus I was getting older! Prayer, fasting, laying on of hands, everything had been done but, on the outside, there was nothing to show for it. I think what made it worse was the friends who just didn’t understand. It looked like I was the only one, so it had to be my fault.
Are you dealing with a ‘Status’ situation? God really does give beauty for ashes. My story has changed and is changing. I am working within my career in a job that feels tailor-made to suit my needs. My wedding was amazing – trust me! And I am certain that my story isn’t over. Never say never – ok maybe you can say never to certain things (like not knowing you are pregnant until labour pains), but don’t assume you will never be in certain situations. Yes, we pray and prophesy and trust God to lead us daily, but there are trials and temptations we must face, and we don’t get to choose them. And if you are ‘that person’ today, then your status is changing, and you’re on your way to better days, so get ready!!!
In His Service,
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