A few weeks back, Morris and I were discussing the very important issue of the children we will have one day. We are yet to agree on the names we will give them and whether we should have a girl or boy first, but we did agree on one thing: that we’d give them a far much better childhood and life experience than we had. We agreed that they would have most of the things they wanted and we’d not let them anywhere near those things that hurt us, haunted us and nearly broke us. It is only natural that we think this way; I honestly do not know anyone that doesn’t think of giving their children better than they had. But then again, I thought about my life’s journey and all that I have been through (both the good and the ugly) and wondered the person I would be if by any chance I had had a different journey. If history gave me one more chance and I went back in time, would I change the family I was born in? Would I change my home area from Bubulo, the small village I grew up in, to some fancier place like Munyonyo? It would be so tempting; this second chance to have an “easier” childhood, but I am positive that I would hit the reject button and leave my life story exactly how it is. This is why:
I didn’t get the best childhood there is to have: fact is, it cannot even be remotely described as good. I mean for the most part of my primary, I went to school barefooted, carrying a black polythene bag as my school bag. When I finally got the chance to go to a better primary school where I could wear shoes and socks, there isn’t a term I remember my name not appearing on the fees defaulters list. For my secondary, I went to one of the prestigious schools in this country but by the time I was in S.4, my self esteem levels had hit rock bottom. Clearly, there are many things I could change, but I would not. I have learnt that my life’s journey is special and my experiences are unique to me. There may be parts of my journey that are similar to other people’s, but the sum of the whole journey is unique to me and no one, not even my siblings can claim to have a story exactly the same as mine.
This is the beauty of it all: God has placed each of us on a unique path so that we may be the unique people we are supposed to be. Even more beautiful is the fact that we are designed to be the heroes of our stories and not just the victims. I know for a fact that many people go through really horrible experiences: defilement, rape and sexual assault by their own parents/guardians, death of loved ones, abandonment by parents, poverty of the worst kind, a lack of parental love and the list goes on and on. But even as horrible as these things may be, they do not have the power to break us unless we let them do so, by giving up on the one that created us in the first place. He didn’t create you out of boredom, no. He had a specific plan and purpose for your life: that purpose and plan is bigger, way bigger than all that you may have gone through till date.
Psalms 139:12-14 Even the darkness hides nothing from You, but the night shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You. For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will confess and praise You for You are fearful and wonderful and for the awful wonder of my birth! Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well. [AMP]
His works are wonderful, and you are one of His wonderful and exquisite works! Even more than just a work of His Hands, you’re His beloved child and nothing: not that rough childhood, not the days you slept hungry, not your battle with low self esteem, not the clothes, shoes and bags you never had, not your parents that were never there for you, not the people that bullied you, nothing can ever change that fact about you! Those horrible things you endured only serve to make your story a much more wonderful one.
And so now, as I think about giving my children a better experience than I have had, I am not thinking about the toys, shoes, clothes or meals I never had, am not thinking about the mansion I never grew up in or the International school I never went to (although these are all good things). I am thinking about letting them know as early as I can that they are special, unique, fearfully and wonderfully made and ahead of them lies a great journey called life. And that this journey may get bumpy sometimes but they should know that despite their experiences, they are destined for greatness because the One that created them has a wonderful plan for each of them.
And yes, I am grateful for the pleasant, not-so-pleasant and the really unpleasant things I have experienced so far. They have made my story a unique and wonderful one.
I am especially grateful for Pastor Joanita Nansamba: you’re one of the reasons this article finally got written! 🙂
And am grateful for you that has had the patience to read this till the very end! Thank you ❤❤