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.
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!