#EkOok

My friend, Yolandi Claassens, writes Afrikaans motivational, Christian-based stuff drawing from her own testimonies.   She has published one anthology already, entitled Padlangs (translation in context of her writing:  The Journey), which started as a blog and Facebook page (much like Reflections of a Misfit).  Padlangs and it as well as her second manuscript, Padkos (translation in context of her writing:  Soul Food) are currently being edited by a different publishing house for publication later this year.

The story of why she changed publishers is outlined in this book I purchased from her today.  It is entitled #EkOok (#MeToo), a collection of stories written by various South African women from all walks of life who share their stories of hope after disappointment and rising after defeat.

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Obviously if I only bought the book today, I haven’t done much in the line of reading.  I jumped to Yolandi’s story, where she had penned the message “Jeremiah 29:11 – make it yours”.  I then happened upon another story about a woman who found out about her husband’s infidelity when she received a text intended for his mistress.  She fell pregnant and came to after the birth, only to discover her husband and his mistress in her hospital ward.  But that’s not all, he went on to tell her that due to her disobedience, he would not be tending to her-, nor the baby’s needs.  If she wanted anything, she would have to ask his mistress.  If your jaws haven’t all dropped in disbelief, then I’d like to know what is wrong with you?!  The writer goes on to say that she has moved on, forgiving her (which I gather must be her now ex-) husband, in order for her to be able to live her life to the fullest.

From my own experience, I know forgiveness is hard.  Especially when you did nothing but care for someone who betrayed your heart so badly, you would rather have died than go on.  But (there’s always a ‘but’, isn’t there?) forgiveness does enable one to move past the hurt, resentment and anger – eventually.  Also, drawing from my own life, forgiving someone doesn’t mean you have to let them back into your life when they have (apparently) seen the error of their ways.  I wrote, well ranted, about such an instance here.

Both Yolandi, and the other lady’s story have one thing in common:  We are not always in control of what happens to us, but (this is a good ‘but’) we do command the power of how we react.  As someone who needs medication to keep Darkness at bay, I do know that I can either decide to let It envelope me, or I can take a rest and give myself time to regain perspective.  That is where my authority lies – in knowing that I need to heed the warnings and that having a boundary of I’m not able to (insert whatever seemingly normal activity may become overwhelming at times) is not a weakness.  I can choose to do what I need to do to remain strong.

There are seventy-one stories in #EkOok and my intention is to read at least three a day, because there are stories in it that remind me that no matter how hard things seem for me, there are women that have faced worse and reached a point in their life where they can share their story – that’s true healing, right there.  There are times when I feel unworthy or unloved and there, on the crisp pages of this book, ink dances to remind me that I am enough!

 

A Man-Made god, used by God…in my opinion anyway…

Note to reader – You are welcome to comment on this post, but I WILL NOT get into a flame-war with you, should you disagree with my post.  I am entitled to my opinion.  This is MY space.  If you visit, respect that.  If you disagree with my views, and wish to comment, be adult about it.  I WILL NOT tolerate being sworn at, nor abused.  Such comments WILL BE REPORTED and subsequently DELETED. If you can’t handle that, then please leave.

Many people, have, in my opinion, made a god of Nelson Mandela, forgetting that he too, like you and I, was a person, created in the image of God.  There is a global outpouring of grief today, as his passing is mourned by millions.  I can’t help but wonder if Jesus had been on earth now, if His crucifixion would have got the same media coverage.  Now, before any of you decide to put me in front of a firing squad, stone me, burn me at the stake, or hang me by the neck until I’m dead, I’m not saying that Nelson Mandela wasn’t a great man, a great leader and a shining example to us all, not only as South Africans, but the world as a whole. 

A while ago my parents and I were listening to the news, where the report was about a six-week old little girl being raped.  A few weeks prior to that, two little girls had been gang-raped, their broken little bodies left in a make-shift toilet to be found.  In South Africa we daily hear news about rape, murder, looting, corruption and AIDS to name but a few.  So much so, that it actually isn’t news to us anymore, and THAT readers, is where the problem lies.  I believe that the only hope for us as a country, and the world as a whole is a Divine Intervention and while I don’t know what Nelson Mandela’s beliefs were, I believe in my heart that God made him a wise, humble and forgiving man and that the wisdom, humility and forgiveness God placed in him will be remembered for generations to come, and that many people who are touched by those traits, will feel a transformation in their hearts, and turn to the One True God.

Today my Facebook status reads:  “I think regardless of anyone’s political views, we cannot deny that Nelson Mandela was a great man, with a great vision for our country. He could very easily have incited a black on white war if had wanted to, but instead, he chose to FORGIVE and move on…

I’m in no way saying that our country is perfect – I often think that the vision Madiba had for our country has got lost as politicians fight for power, officials lie to the people, and ignorant people rape and murder women and children…and it saddens me and I could go on, BUT we need to remember that Madiba had a positive vision for us, that he loved this country, that he FORGAVE. He too saw the vision being lost – after all he was still alive during a great deal of it, but he continued to believe in this country. He remained strong in his vision and mission for all South Africans – for us to reconcile and move forward. Who knows, maybe now that he has finally gone, the vision will be re-instilled in the Rainbow Nation’s heart.” 

My only hope is that we get to a point where we all realize Who placed the greatness and vision:

We must therefore act together as a united people, for national reconciliation, for nation building, for the birth of a new world.
Let there be justice for all.
Let there be peace for all.

Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world.
Let freedom reign!
The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement!
God bless Africa!
’ (Excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s Inaugural Celebration Address)

upon Nelson Mandela and that we get to know Him, because “we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, and who are called according to His Purpose”.  Romans 8:28