So, how far has God brought me?
Once upon a moment that shook the world, I travelled through fire, but I was mercifully not burned, I walked through deep waters, and did not drown. Me, being alive and being here is enough testimony to that. Looking back at my life (before, in the midst of the pandemic, and after), I can confidently and boldly declare that only God’s mighty hand, held mine throughout all that time.
I can’t write on behalf of other people; I can only write for me as everyone has their own version of their story to tell, even though my story isn’t different from anyone else’s story. When the world was falling apart, shaken, twisted, battered, and bruised. When fear and doubt were the most dominant of feelings. Lives changed drastically, even until this present day, there are things that will always be a reminder of that time.
So, how far has God brought me since the beginning of the pandemic up until now? Through the sorrow and hardships? First let me start by saying there’s so much to be grateful for. During the darkness, his light was and still is guidance. Even back then, there was always something to be grateful for and even now, I stay grateful in a way that no words could ever describe.
Just a little over a year ago, things were different. Who would ever forget when we were required to carry face masks and sanitizers in our bags like we carry our cellphones. Just a year ago, in our homes, workplaces, airports, churches and many other places, things weren’t the way they are today. Today, I know I’m in a better state overall. There came a time when I had to put one foot in front of the other, put all my energy into the present, because I knew my future is waiting, ready to bloom and embrace what is to come. Learning from the past, as the popular saying goes, ‘learning from the past can help you in the present day’. The same as too much looking back into the past can drag you down and hold you back.
So, I decided that looking back will never be an option, only looking ahead and being present in the existing moment that I’m gifted with to be alive and serve.
“Rediscover this day” / “One year ago today” / “Relive your best memories, my cell phone notified me, displaying a photo of me a year ago, a photo of me at church wearing a face mask and holding a hand sanitizer. A month later, another Relive your best memories photo of when I was in hospital pops up. Thanks to Uncle Google and his famous feature of Google photos called Memories, where your memories are brought to life, exactly a year after photos were captured.
Interesting thing is, a year later, I still remember those moments very well. Especially that day in church. It was one of those Sundays, when people still had to be sanitized and wear masks in the church services. Even though some areas had done away with sanitizers and face masks, there were other areas like my parish that were still strict on following the safety precautions.
April 2022 - St. Anthony's Catholic Church Langa
The one statement that always gets me deeply thinking is - “Relive your best memories.” Most of these photos are from the past two years and throughout my life, I’ve come to learn that a lot of changes happen in our lives in twenty-four months, and some of the changes can’t be classified as best memories.
As a photo reflected on my cell phone with - “Relive your best memories.” - I found it a bit funny to see a photo of when I spent a week in hospital. Many wouldn't classify it as one of their best memories, but looking back, I would consider that moment one of the best times in the past year. Even though I wasn't in a good healthy state, but God relieved so many things in my life that week while in hospital. I spent most of the time praying, as I was in a very challenging moment in my life. I needed that moment away from reality to think deeply about what I really want in my life. God answered by prayers because weeks after being at the hospital, I started a new job and focused more on my writing.
June 2022 - Melomed Hospital
I was a finalist in a writing contest and the week I spent in hospital I couldn’t write, so that really affected my progress in focusing and finishing my story. Which had a major impact later in the competition as I handed in my manuscript months later, but I knew it wasn’t the best of my writing due to a whole of setbacks throughout the year, but mostly spending time in the hospital. But the God we serve is a God of restoration and chances, even though I spent that time in hospital and fell behind on my writing, God spoke to me about things I was praying for and things I need to do in my life, especially things to do to serve and help others. One of things God said to me was, whatever you don’t stop writing.
So, as I left the hospital I kept on writing and sharing where I can, until God blessed with a wider audience of readers when one of my articles was featured in the Southern Cross Magazine.
God has certainly brought me far and looking back I'm grateful as I see where I was and where I am now.
April 2023 - St. Anthony's Catholic Church - Langa
A YEAR LATER
I'm holding a copy of the Southern Cross Magazine where I have a feature article titled 'Good Morning.'