Realising that things might not be better, caught in a deep dark valley of hopelessness can be draining to one’s soul and even one’s joy.
Yet, we made it out.
We made it out of the valley. We reached the clear skies and I can assure you, if we could, what in the world makes you think you can’t? We spent a few years travelling and moving from place to place. We could never settle, but whenever we settled it was time to move again. We only rented these homes, we never bought them; they weren’t ours. Until one day we stayed with my family in the backyard.
It was either that or nothing.
We chose a roof over our heads instead of nothing. God provided when we had nothing at all. I never knew we could ever get to that place, that deep desperation of seeking for a home. A home to cater for a family of eight, and these included toddlers and teenagers and others somewhere in between.
I can’t even explain the humiliation, when asked to explain where I lived. I was so embarrassed. When it was up to me I let them drop me a few houses away from where I really stayed. But eventually the truth comes out. And they all saw, and suddenly I got looks of pity and shame. I felt degraded. I felt humiliated. Yet, I embraced it, because inside that ugly poverty stricken backyard was a home to a family of eight, who started to become closer.
We had one bedroom to share. All of us, clustered in. We had no other choice but to get along and we suddenly had a deeper understanding for each other. We prayed together. The fighting calmed down and the hugging started. We were a family. Although there were so many times we went to bed hungry because we had just about enough to feed eight people, just barely making it.
We lived clustered for two years. Then finally it was time to move on.
We got our own house, no longer renting. It was ours. We made a home out of it. We had so much space. Our own space, yet we still kept the bond.
What we learned was what it is to be without and what it is to have enough. We believe we are not there yet, at that level of abundance and overflow. But it is surely around the corner and there is a due season for it.
We have learned to be content with all things, trusting in God’s beautiful plan and knowing He has a purpose in all things.
“Even when the fight seems lost, I’ll praise You. Even when it hurts like hell, I’ll praise You. Even when it makes no sense to sing, I will only sing Your praise.” Hillsong – Even when it hurts.
The above lyrics had so much meaning to me because we know, I know, what it’s like to hurt like hell, to have nothing, yet still praising God in faith. But I can surely say, the trials were just a step closer to God’s heart. It taught me humility, endurance and such great faith.
Nothing lasts forever; the dark valley soon becomes a bright spot on a hill. Keep going. Everyone has a different story to tell, some more tragic than others. And some might have had a smooth, beautiful road with not much hurdles, but they might have struggles with other things. Everyone has a battle, be kind and just hold on, whatever you do – don’t lose hope.
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