AGAINST ALL ODDS; FAILING FORWARD

A picture of a lady and guy who are both smiling as they go through a phone.

My life is a compendium of failing forward. In 2017, I was led to start a WhatsApp group strictly for single women to read a book (31 days of Prayer for your Future Husband by @thetiffanylangford). The idea was to shut down the group after that purpose had been achieved but by the time the read was over, we were over a hundred and fifty ladies from all over the world.

It looked good, it felt good, I got distracted, there was no plan yet I decided to not dissolve the group and figure it out as each day passes.

A year later, the platform had become home to over 240 ladies. The discussions, prayer sessions, various life sessions where we either had in house facilitators or external facilitators, financial aid to fellow sisters (even though I dreaded this part)… and more added up to what made the platform home for all of us.

All these, yet I was burning out. It looked and felt good but it was not sustainable. I was passionate (still am) but I needed to approach things differently.

For months, I thought about bringing the group to an end, it weighed me down. I tried to ignore the thought because in a world that glorified activity more than results, I did not want to be called a failure.

In July this year, I started service. I went to camp an emotional wreck. I was under undue pressure from family based on a decision I had made and that pressure I was indirectly passing on to the person in my life, thereby putting a strain on the relationship.

After much thought, I decided to do away with the group. It shocked me how instantly, those I thought were ‘sisters’ became instant enemies. In their eyes, I was not only confused, but I was also a failure. One of the ladies even claimed that she was ready to take in the ladies I was throwing out. Haa! I tried to explain that my vision had not changed but approach had as I was going to become more deliberate but no one wanted to understand. I mean, it was the vision God entrusted in my hands after all and it is not like anyone can understand the weight of it more than me. I felt like a complete loser.

When my folks eventually became aware, it was not funny. I called the one person I held dear to cry and vent. Mind you he had also sidelined me and stopped picking my calls for about a month for reasons best known to him). I needed a listening ear, someone to just be bare with. I needed him to ask me what was going on and be a listening ear. I cried as I summarised latest events over the phone but unfortunately, the response I got was not what I had hoped for. Instead, I was told that everyone was right and maybe I had a problem that needed fixing. I was told I should have evolved not shut it down. While all that made perfect sense. It was not what I needed at that time…

I was losing my mind literally. I needed a change of environment fast. The migraines I had been fighting came at me. I could not sleep, could not think straight, I lost interest in everything, lost so much weight and the scariest part? I began forgetting things… Immediately after leaving camp, I deactivated my social media accounts because I needed sanity. I needed time to think. I needed space off the virtual world. Soon after I did that, I lost my phone. It was a blessing in disguise for me. Negative words that were being doled at me took me back to a traumatic experience and after speaking with a trusted friend in the US she made me understand that I might be having Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). How can I be reacting to an event that happened in my childhood I asked…(this isn’t half of it but I will stop here and maybe write the rest of it in the memoir).

You see? There are seasons in life when it seems as though everything is falling apart. Wilderness/dry seasons where it seems as though nothing is working out and everything is working against you. Just as it comes, surely there is an end.

Hold on just a little while longer, fight through it once more, take a step of faith again, forgive again, reach for the stars again, love again, serve again, push again, dream again.

One thing I know is this;

Fighters may not win all the battles life throws at them but eventually they win at life. – Chidinma

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