2013 – a year of anguish, tests, challenges and lessons – is finally coming to an end!

I am not going to mourn over the ending year! Oh no! I shall cherish all the lessons I have learnt, but am so ready for new, good things to come into my life now! It is almost like leaving Egypt behind by the Israelites, going through all the challenges of journeying through the desert and finally getting to the Promised Land. I am ready to enter my Promised Land, a land of wholeness in spirit, soul and body, and relationships with others.

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I am glad to report that I am feeling a lot better and my energy levels are a lot better! I feel like I am on the other side of that dark valley of suffering! The end of the year inspires all kinds of reflections. I mentioned one post a few months back that it seems like every decade of my life ends dramatically, or the next one begins dramatically.

When I was born, in a country behind the iron curtain, it was a very cold winter. The umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck rather tight, so if they did not carry the emergency c-section, I would have been born either dead or seriously handicapped! The first months after I was born were not easy either, I was told by my mum. I was a sickly child and my father, an alcoholic was making my mum’s life hell and soon left for another woman. So, I was welcomed into this world by challenging circumstances…… but I survived! 😀

When I was about 10, my younger brother (by my father) was born, which I discovered by accident, already having detective intuition. It was a big thing for me, I remember. Around that time, too, a cousin of mine tried to rape me, as he was bothered by my genderqueerness, that I was a tomboy. Fortunately, I was a smart kid and did a runner before things went too far! It did leave a mark on my heart, though. I had a deeper sense that there was something about me that was not ok, that must have invited this kind of reaction from my cousin. I was already studying the Bible in those years and decided I’d follow this amazing stranger called Jesus. My faith has never ceased since! Also around that time, I had my first surgery on my leg as I had a suspicious growth, which, fortunately proved to be benign. The second decade of my life, as you can see, also had a dramatic beginning.

When I was reaching 20, I was already a university student. By that time, I had already visited the UK for the first time and was madly in love with the country. I was also a passionate vegetarian and developed a strong interest in the Eastern philosophies. I was also rather discouraged to see far too many discrepancies between what I witnessed in the Catholic church I had been brought up in, and what I had been reading in the Bible. One night I was invited to a Pentecostal service where I experienced a kind of enlightenment, I believe I was baptised in the Holy Spirit then. Things became very clear. I knew I had to leave the Catholic church if I wanted to be true to my faith. So, I did it. Naturally, all my family turned against me. The thought I was joining a cult, that I was back sliding from faith. What I was experiencing was the exact opposite – I had never felt closer to God than at that time. It felt like I found the long lost Father, the one I had never had and so wanted in my life……. In this way, the third decade of my life started with me feeling spiritually alive and happy, but  at the same time becoming the proverbial black sheep in the family. In those days, even my mum was angry with me and on the verge of kicking me out of the house….. and all because I left the Catholic church. Well, it was meant to be this way, as I found out later.

As the third decade of my life was approaching the grand finale, I experienced the most major loss of my life – my Mum, my best friend and the only person that loved me thoroughly, passed away…….. It was as if part of my heart was ripped out of my chest. I wasn’t 30 yet. She was merely 67. It was too early. I so needed her and still do…… Later, all hell broke loose…… I lost most of my contracts and ended up in huge debts, unemployed and grieving…… This is how I entered the 4th decade of my life…. That’s not all though. 10 years ago, today, I flew to Nigeria to meet a man, I had met online and chatted with for a year, a man I fell in love with (well, I convinced myself I did). Yes, I left everything, new jobs, friends, etc. and went to an unknown country, in an unknown continent to meet a stranger……. Now I know I was reacting to my grief…. So, within a space of two years then, I lost my Mum, my career, my financial stability, my friends (well, I thought they were my friends) and moved to a different land to marry a stranger….. Hmmm…. I’d say that was a rather explosive way to start a new decade of my life, eh?

10 years later and where did I end up? Well, just after I turned 39, I finally could not take my husbands abusive behaviour any more and filed of a divorce! Soon afterwards I developed a serious chest infection which was very suspicious but which I ignored and went to Poland to visit a friend there with one of my sons. I was not getting any better after coming back to the UK. Around may, I found that discharge from my left breast, and then felt that golf ball size lump…….. A few weeks later I received a diagnosis: invasive ductal carcinoma stage 2b, grade 3…… I was about to be divorced, and now felt as if I was given a death sentence….. That was not the end of the ‘end of decade’ disasters… While I was going through chemotherapy, a neighbour of ours used my vulnerability and groomed my older son, in order to start molesting him…….. I truly could not find a single reason why all this was happening and I did not even try to look for one….. I had to learn to let go of what I could not control……. and keep on walking through that hell so that I can come out of it sooner rather than later.

We are now at the very beginning of the New Year. The 1st of January. For me it is not just the end of the horrible 2013 but also the end of a decade full of challenges, changes and lessons. I am beginning the fifth decade of my life and am now a cancer survivor and a happily divorced, single mum of two lovely boys and a gorgeous adopted bulldog Nala. The past 4 decades have been like walking through fire. My heart has been softened by all manners of pain and I cherish all the lessons. However, I am now ready to enter the land of good, the land of blessing, of joy, rest, happiness and most of all, love.

Happy New Year! Happy New Decade to me!!!

new beginning

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