After the scorching months of April, May, June and July, August bring with it pleasant breeze calming one beyond measure
By Rebecca L Kingbawl
The past few months have been gruelling and hard, really hard, to say the least. I was struggling financially, mentally, and physically even, with the virus, in all its glory, crowned me in the very first month of the year. I was bed-ridden for a week. What a thrill! Then came ‘still very cold’ February, and this is when my colleagues and I were met with the news every once -financially-independent-adult dreads most: our service was discontinued.
The project we were working on suddenly discontinued all contractual services without prior notice. Cut to the chase: I was fretting about looking for jobs, and around the same time got into a very de-humanising situation, if that word exists (even if it doesn’t, I’m taking the liberty of coining new ones that best describe my SoM since English vocabulary doesn’t suffice any longer). The latter rendered me homeless – well, almost.
I was mortified and terrified and confused all at the same time! There were many nights I didn’t sleep, but would still wake up and show up at work, albeit with swollen eyes and a dishevelled mind. Well, there were times my mental health was so down I failed to show up. This resulted in a vicious cycle of cut in salary, more stress and anxiety – so the stressed and anxious me won’t show up at work hence pay cut… you get the drill. Thus March, April and May rolled in. What happened around these months cannot be described in words. It’s an experience of a lifetime with lessons after lessons learnt and re-learnt. Life had been throwing lemons after lemons at me, and I had had enough of lemonades and lemon tarts.
Thanks to the circumstance, I had to realign my worldview of trust and confidence, not just in me but especially in people around me. Of course, I was called back to my previous work place with a fresh appointment but this time my colleagues who had also become my friends, were no longer reappointed. This meant that there was more work but two times lesser (wo)man-power. I will not go into details but rather sum it up in two words how I felt: grateful and exhausted.
Grateful for the source of income, but at the cost of a proper rest. So much for trying to be independent. Also, peeking shyly from the corner of my e-mail was my ‘PhD’ (P=praying for H=help, D=desperately) which I had no will left to touch. It’s a lovehate relationship between the two of us. I want it, but I ignore it. When it tries to go away from my (academic) life, I cling on to it for dear life. Then when it’s finally safe in my draft folder, it’s treated with the least regard. Talk about a toxic relationship! My ex has got nothing on my PhD.
(If I may add, the unforgiving heat and humidity added to the pain and suffering. I wish I could sweat my extra fats and anxiety out, but nah, no such luck.)
Cut to present: I came across yet another round of gossip about me that had travelled around town to finally reach my ears – fortunately or unfortunately. There’s a longer story behind this, but we’ll leave that for another day. It was the night of 31st July…the world was on the threshold of a new month, a month that I believe, summons the cool Autumn breeze which is my favourite time of the year. I had two options in front of me: revert or reinvent.
Do I want to get stuck or go back to the sticky, unforgiving memory of the past or would I rather reinvent myself, reinvest myself in what’s worthwhile and make a change? A change for myself this time, for my health but ultimately for God’s glory. What’s note-worthy is, that God’s love and his goodness, His true nature as a loving father got magnified during these times of loneliness and despair. If it wasn’t for his resurrection-powers, I wouldn’t have had the courage to face tomorrow. If it wasn’t for his gift of love and grace, I’d have no will to carry on. Despite everything that’s been, I choose grace over anything. I forgive because I’m forgiven, and I love because He first loved me.
Today I’m equally thankful for the cold winter season, the summer heat, and also the season of persecution from people I once called mine. It’s all good in its time- I grew exponentially in faith through all seasons, enjoying literal fruits and fruits of the spirit. I am today because of my yesterday. Henceforth, I’m moving onto a better tomorrow and I hope to find you there all healed and saved just like I am. Happy August! God bless.
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Rebecca is passionate about languages. She works as a language instructor at a college in Tura, Meghalaya while pursuing her PhD in Linguistics. It is her love for reading, writing, and story telling which has inspired her to put her thoughts to pen and paper.