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The Other Woman


“My heart was blinded by you. I’ve kissed your lips and held your hand.Shared your dreams and shared your bed. I know you well, I know your smell. I’ve been addicted to you. Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend…” ~ Goodbye My Lover, James Blunt

Today I find myself intimidated by the blinking cursor on my screen.I know what I want to write but the memories of the events that have led to this point threaten to open the floodgates that have remained securely closed since the day I made the discovery that shook my whole existence. It would be easier to shut my computer down, switch off my side lamp, pull the duvet over my head and go to sleep, burying for another day what lies in my heart but I won’t. Doing so will only be an admission that this is the end of me which it isn’t. This is just an end of a painful chapter in my life, even as I type that a smile crosses my face because I know this is an important step.

February 2008 I met a guy who I did not pay much attention to because to me he was just another guy at work and I happened to be madly in love with my boyfriend with whom I was piecing together our relationship after it was blown apart the year before. Over the year that followed we became friends and even worked together on a client in August 2008. Still I felt nothing because well I still had a five and half year relationship I was focused on. Funny thing about the things we focus on though, they don’t stop disintegrating simply because we are focusing on them!

January 15, 2009 was the day I was dumped. I received an IM from the then love of my life telling me he was tired and our six year relationship was over. We didn’t need to discuss it in person he said. He was just tired and he wanted out there was nothing more to it. There was no other woman, he still loved me but he couldn’t do this anymore. So somewhere in the midst of all that focusing I had missed all of this completely!

 His supposed unhappiness which seemed very sudden to me was not the only thing I had missed. As I later discovered, I had missed the other woman in his life. How long had she been there? To this day I do not know and do not want to know. What I do know though is that they got engaged in a conveniently short amount of time for people who only started dating after I was out the picture.

In the months that followed I spent my time nursing my broken-heart. February is simply a haze, I do not remember how I got through it but I pulled through. People often told me that the best way to get over someone was to find someone else, so that’s exactly what I did. I went out, had fun and met a few hotties in the process. 

By the time April rolled around I was all hottie’d out and was taking a breather from the men with good genes so when my friend re-entered my life in mid-April it was a welcomed relief. He’d been on holiday for a few months and our differing client commitments ensured that we hadn’t crossed paths in close to six months. In that time he’d moved up the ladder and moved departments and had bought a new car that he was quite excited to show me so Wednesday April 29th was set as the evening he’d come visit and we would catch up. 

We had a fantastic night on the Wednesday, I cooked, we ate and watched tv and just chatted. Thursday he was back at my place again. This time we stayed up till 6am watching movies, chatting and laughing the night away. It was somewhere in between that he confessed that he had liked me since the day we had sat down to write part one of our board exam. He hadn’t said anything to me because I had a boyfriend and he was respecting our relationship though at times he did try show me he liked me and I just never noticed. I sat there laughing at him as he recounted all the little gestures that I was supposed to have realised were signs of his affection. Before he left in the morning we kissed and I was instantly hooked on him. Sunday the 3rd of May we talked about what the kiss had meant and from there decided to build a romantic relationship.

That relationship lasted close to 18 months  and as far as I knew it was still in progress when he moved cities end of September 2010, six weeks before I was to leave the country. However, I was wrong because the week after he moved he stopped answering my calls and replying to my messages and that was that. For the past seven months I have been stuck in a state of confusion, anger, frustration and most of all hurt because I just could not figure out what I had done wrong. Secretly I still loved him very much and had a glimmer of hope that we would one day reconcile, perhaps when I went back to South Africa. All of that was blown out the water when I discovered two weeks ago, on May 3rd, that he was now engaged and his fiance was pregnant.

I did not realise up until I was typing it that I learned of his infidelity on the anniversary of the day we first started going out. But then again why would it have clicked in my head? We never even celebrated that anniversary! We never went anywhere in public together, very few people even knew we were together. Quite naively I thought it was because we were preserving the sacredness of our relationship from the prying eyes of all our colleagues. Little did I know I was being taken on the worst joy ride of my life! For seventeen months all I really was to him was a dirty little secret. I was the other woman and I did not even know it.  I was the home wrecker that I had sworn to myself I would never be again. Yes, again.

In January 2007 I had met an older guy and to this day I cannot figure out what attracted me to him let alone made me risk everything for him. He is nothing like the two guys I’ve loved in life, he is short, chubby and way older while they are both tall and no more than two years older than I am. I cheated on my beloved with him and even though the affair itself was short-lived it had lasting consequences. It tore my relationship with my boyfriend apart when I confessed what I had done and my mother was less than impressed with me. I paid for what I had done, dearly and in ways I am not ready to write about. Seeing how much harm my cheating had caused, I vowed never to put another person through that again only to have it done to me. Not once but twice! When they say, “what goes around comes around, multiplied”…they are not kidding!

In “Unworthy Entanglements” I first acknowledged that I knew both relationships were bad for me. Later in “Three Versions of The Truth” I wrote about how I felt my second ex-boyfriend had been lying to me but I never thought it was to this extent. I never saw this coming, it’s as if he had lived another life altogether and I was completely oblivious of it. I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to piece together every sign that I missed, the breadcrumbs that he was leaving behind but none lead to me discovering that he proposed to someone else without my knowledge. 

 I could spend the rest of my days blaming myself for everything I should have seen but failed to see because that would be a rather futile exercise. I loved them both and that love was completely wasted on them. As much as I accepted the first as me paying for when I hurt him as well, the second betrayal makes no sense at all. I had never hurt him in any way for him to repay me with such malice and cruelty.

I am grateful though that I found out when I did because this knowledge extinguished whatever flame I had flickering in my heart. All ties are broken, I look ahead with no wish to ever look back. For months I have been upset and have been dissecting what we could have had, but now I am know we never would have had it anyway. My life with him may have ended but my life has certainly not ended.

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Three Versions Of The Truth


“Dear Lie, you suck! You said you could fix anything. Instead, I’m {done} you made things worse for me. If I had balls I’d tell you get away from me. Guess I’m not smart, I let you unnerve me.I let you control me afraid the truth would hurt me when it’s you that hurts me more…”   ~ Dear Lie, TLC

For the past few months and more so the past few weeks I have been performing a thorough relationship post-mortem. Yes the tears were shed a long time ago, eulogies read and friends rallied to be with me in my time of loss, but my heart was just not at peace. It became even more apparent to me that I had to have the relationship exhumed for a further post-mortem when I became acutely aware of the anger and hatred that was consuming me. What was the whole process supposed to prove? What was I hoping to gain? The truth!

The very sad thing about the truth is it’s not always what we expect it to be. Even worse, it does not offer us the absolution we so desperately crave when a relationship ends. We do not want to believe that we were responsible in whatever way or form for our heartbreak. We want to walk away thinking that we did all we could. We want to believe that we did what was right, we were true and honest, not only to the other person but to ourselves. Yes, you were perfectly happy, and then one random morning you woke up and with no warning whatsoever you were faced with heartache so great the arteries in your heart were constricting with every breath. No, you are not the one that should be facing the firing squad for killing all the dreams, hopes and plans you had for the future. Right?

I have spent the past six months vehemently hating someone because I felt they had used me, abused my love and kindness and when they were done gorging the most delicate parts of me discarded the very little that remained of me, not caring if I lived or died from that point on. I was justified! He lied to me! For two years I was a victim to his lies. Every time I spoke to him and saw him in two years he lied. He never cared at all, it was all a carefully orchestrated plan for my demise. He knew how he was going to get me to love him. He knew he was never going to love me back so he lied about it. Over and over and over he lied and I was convinced that my happiness would only return when I’d seen to his demise. This was the testimony I was willing to give in any court and in my view this was nothing but the truth, the whole truth. Since this was the truth, the cross-examination shouldn’t have been a problem.

Are you sure he lied to you over and over for two years?

Yes!

He never once told the truth?

No, not once!

So you’re the victim in all of this?

Yes!

In two years you could not tell he was lying to you?

….silence

Answer the question please.

I’m sorry what was the question?

How can a fully grown, intelligent and perceptive woman like yourself not know that they were being lied to, “over and over and over”?

….silence

Did you not just swear that your testimony is the truth and the whole truth at that?

Like I said, the very sad thing about the truth is it’s not always what we expect it to be. There are three versions of this story; his, mine and the truth. As much as I want to believe I only just discovered the truth now, I would be lying. I knew all along and I allowed him to lie to me.

It has not been easy for me to admit this but if I am to ever have a chance at piecing my heart back together I need to come clean about the hand I played in all of this. I believe that guilt and shame only intensify the pain we feel and part of the healing will come from dealing with the root of the guilt and the shame.  Unfortunately for me, I do not think I have matured enough in my spiritual journey to have fully mastered the ability to forgive and let go. I can’t just write this all off to a lesson learned and move on from there. For a while I have been flogging myself for all I have allowed to happen and all I have become as a consequence of the past few years. I am hardest on myself simply because I feel that I should know better, after all I did come up with the code of conduct for my life.

My code has explicit rules on what I will and will not tolerate. Rules are explicitly laid out on how I would like to be treated and in turn how I will treat you. In each instance there are rules on how to proceed when a contravention has been identified . But what do I do now that I taught someone the code, allowed them to repeatedly break the code and then stood by idly and watched as they unleashed destruction in my once peaceful kingdom? No ruler wants to ever be seen as weak and not serious about the laws they set. I have become despondent, I have stopped fighting the upsurge in lawlessness and with great dismay I can’t help but stand and watch everyone else disregarding the code. Though yes some people do it very innocently, for others it all seems pre-meditated. I watch as friends now treat me way worse than any ex-boyfriend ever did. 

As the dust starts to settle in my head, I’m starting to realise that I can’t expect to regain some sense of control until I have cleared away all the debris. No foundation is going to stand if I build it on top of rubble. Some important questions need to be asked and answered in an effort to level the ground again. I allowed a lie to unnerve me. I allowed a lie to get under my skin and reside there for so long it became my truth. 

The levelling exercise is going to take a long time still but at least I can smile because I know I am making progress. There are a lot of feelings I need to work through before I can even start to make peace with them. Dear Lie, I would like you to know that you can stay in my mind a little while longer but I WILL find a way to uproot you once and for all.

PS: The truth did not hurt me more, you did! You weren’t just trying to be my friend and protect me now were you? I guess you lied about that too, huh?

Questions of Faith


For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. ~ Ephesians 6:15

Life is never what we expect it to be. We float through life never realising the danger that lurked around the corner that we just missed, never thinking as we leave the house in the morning that we might never make it home again. Yet, so many leave their homes and never make it to where they were going let alone make it back home. A routine checkup turns into an indefinite hospital stay for others. Some sleep with clothes ironed and laid out for the next morning, to-do-lists and appointments set for the next day and then, with no forewarning whatsoever, just never wake up.

One of the sad realities of being separated from your family and those you love is the constant fear of that call you are about to answer being bad news. Without even realising just how tense you were, you breathe a hectic sigh of relief when you are greeted by a lively, warm voice on the other end that reassures you that everything is ok. Yes you trust in the Lord and you pray to Him to keep your loved ones safe but then sometimes you wonder if that is enough. Did that fragile young child who has just become an orphan because her parents got killed in a random act of violence just didn’t pray enough?  Did the twenty-two year old who’s just died of cancer, never experiencing the joy of independence and the fulfilment of a life well lived die because they did not believe in God’s promises? So many questions pop into mind and if you were to try answer them all you would surely get nowhere.

My life has been filled with so much sadness and tragedy lately leaving me pondering so many questions of faith. To be clear, I do not question my faith, my hope remains firmly implanted in the Lord. I do not ask, “where is God” but rather, “what have we done Lord? What have we done to make you so angry that You allow us to continue to live in this barren wasteland?” My heart breaks when I think of all the pain, the hatred and the sheer evil that seems to consuming this world one heart at a time. What makes a man molest a vulnerable little girl over and over and over again, in school no less? What gives people the heart and the courage to plot and kill church leaders? Why are so many walking amongst us declaring to be Christians, declaring to be godly and yet unleash hatred and cruelty at every chance they get? Is this the life we are destined to live?

In as much as we live in discouraging times  I do not believe it is time to lose hope in humanity and in life. If God, knowing all He knows about each and every one of us, knowing our hearts’ desires, the evil and sin that lurks in us still has faith in us and undying love for us, why should we despair? I believe the Bible when it says, “His compassions never fail, they are new every morning.” I believe in the promise that “those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Which is why I get almost furious with the things that happen in my life. I find myself asking Him, “how it is that I dwell in Your house and yet still I find myself uneasy, surrounded darkness and serpents?” This is where the questions just multiply and then, without warning yet almost always on que, the battle of scriptures ensues in my mind. First witness for the prosecution is Exodus 20:5 which reminds me of God’s stern warning that “(He) will lay the sins of the parents upon their children; entire family is affected, even children in the third and fourth generations.” To which, almost callously I ask, “wait a minute Lord, what happened to nothing can ever separate us from Christ’s love?” Then of course, in an effort to prove that I did not just make this up and to point it out to Him and say, “see, see, You did say it!”  I storm to fetch my Bible, flip to Romans 8:35 and as I read it I feel the rays of God’s smile on me. I feel Him laughing at me saying, “Gotcha!”

As much as I would like to believe that Paul put his pen down at that point and declared us inseparable from God’s love and thus never having to suffer anything(which admittedly is how I read it). There are still four and half verses left in the chapter. Seven chapters till the end of the book of Romans. Twenty-one books till the end of the Bible. So sheepishly I go on to read, “Can trouble do it, or hardship or persecution or hunger or poverty or danger or death? As the scripture says, For your sake we are in danger of death at all times; we are treated like sheep that are going to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we have complete victory through Him who loved us!”

After allowing these words to simmer in my mind a while, the words of my favourite Psalms start coming into focus like a train appearing in the distance, just a flicker at first before full brightness and clarity. Psalm 42 is very dear to my heart because so many times I, like the psalmist, feel exiled to the land of the forgotten. The land where you have only your tears, heartache and longing for days gone past to keep you company. I too, feel like God has turned His face from me. As if refuses to look my way let alone smile His favour upon me. The psalmist puts so eloquently what I find myself grappling with far too many times; the longing to be with God and be in His presence instead of what feels like exile in a corrupt, rotten land, the heartbreak and tears that come with remembering the good times and most of all the enemy taunting you and adding to the feelings of abandonment.  I love this Psalm because even in the midst of all that depression, he says, “Yet I will praise Him, my Saviour and God.” This always gives me courage because it reminds me that because His mercies are new every morning, He will once again bring back the happiness I once knew.

It has taken me a while to learn that not all questions of faith mean you are questioning your faith. It has taken a lot of training to learn scriptures that will enable me to answer my questions when they do arise. I did not absorb from reading Ephesians 6:15 once just how much the Bible prepares you for. In as much as I get extremely frustrated that I cannot recall scriptures verbatim, I have come to realise what a blessing that is. It is because my memory fails me that I find myself constantly referring to my Bible and whenever I open it I never just read one verse, I find myself reading others as well which bring fresh and also renewed knowledge and understanding.

It is only now I realise and understand yes, Romans 8:35 is right. Trouble, hardship, persecution, hunger, poverty, danger and death cannot and should not separate us from the love of God. In these tough times, when everything seems sombre, we ask Him questions and to find answers we turn to His Word and there we find the truth and the peace that keeps us going because, “He chose to give birth to us by giving us His true word. And we, out of all creation, became His prized possession.”

Unpaid Dues


Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~ 2 Corinthians 4: 16 – 18

For the past few weeks I have been struggling to write, I have worked on two posts and abandoned them halfway because they just didn’t feel right or I just didn’t know what to say anymore. I have spent more time reflecting on my life these past two months than I have possibly in my entire life and it all boils down to me asking God, “Have I not paid my dues yet? I thought Edinburgh was about me getting a well deserved fresh start, one that is debt free?” For weeks I have gone back and forth with differing versions of these questions and I have not found a satisfactory answer. Well, until now that is.

I came to Edinburgh eager to learn, eager to gain valuable experience that would catapult my career when I eventually returned home. My stay here was supposed to be about building my relationship with God, serving Him and furthering His kingdom. Edinburgh was supposed to be the city where I finally found my happiness, where I was settled in my career, love life and finances. I didn’t care that I was forgoing a third of the salary I was worth at home. I didn’t care that I was giving up the title that I had earned after paying my dues through my five years of university, three years of training and two qualifying board exams to my name. I’d paid my dues and was ready for the next level. I’d worked hard to get to that point in my life and went through so much, had my decisions questioned by friends, colleagues and sadly family. Scotland was supposed to be the answer to my prayers, I was on the verge of my breakthrough. Life was about to get a whole lot better, easier and happier. So I thought.

It’s been three months, seven days and nine hours since I left the comfort of South African soil. It will be a month and ten days till I set foot on that soil again. I wonder though, do I have the strength and heart to get back on a plane and leave my home and come back here? Can I move on from the three months and particularly the last two? Will I able to see past the pain, the frustration, the self-doubt and the heartbreak that I have felt in the past two months? To be honest the answer to that question, which I ask myself more than twenty times in any given day, is probably not. Undoubtedly this  could be the answer to the question why I haven’t booked my flights home. Put simply, I still do not know with unwavering certainty whether I am buying a return or a one way ticket.

So what’s changed while I have been here? What is driving me away from the beauty of Edinburgh, with its picture-perfect old buildings, cobblestone streets, breathtaking views of the castle and city’s travel connectivity to Europe? It isn’t the strangeness of celebrating my birthday in the dead of winter when twenty-five of my past birthdays were in the glorious summer sun. It isn’t the bitter cold that had me wearing thermals, at least three layers of clothes, a scarf, thermal gloves and ear-muffs when I first arrived because in about a month that had been stripped down to just three layers when outside and two for indoors. It hasn’t been the loneliness and pain of being away from my family and my closest friends because firstly, I lived 1300km away from my family for five years and secondly thanks to BBM, Facebook, Skype and other technology, I speak to my at least two of my closest family members and friends every single day.  What has broken my spirit is this feeling that I am not supposed to be going through what I’m going through because I have already paid my dues.

Plans I made, expectations I had and visions of my life here, couldn’t be further from what I am experiencing now.  My heart really cannot understand why God, in all His mercy and love, would demand that I continue to pay a debt that I think I settled a long time ago. Surely after two major heart breaks and investing eight years in relationships that left me in devastation, I had earned more than the deafening silence that I come home to and the anguish of loneliness and longing for a companion? Surely with a total of eight years of training I had earned the right to not be made to feel like I don’t know what I am doing and not to be treated in a manner reminiscent of my second year of articles? It would certainly bother me less if I’d been put back a year, but two? Really? Does being part of one of approximately 26 000 professionals in South Africa with my title really buy me the ridiculous hours, the numerous nights crying out of sheer frustration of what I still needed to get through? Seeing as how hard I work for my money, how hard I worked in school and university so that I can get the scholarship to see me through university so that I can study and pass and become the professional I am today, do I now owe a debt to everyone else around me? Is it not enough that I am still paying off my debts incurred when I was still earning barely enough to get by? When will God look at me and say that I have paid my dues, I have endured enough it is time to lighten the load? I do not even ask that it be removed completely. I just ask for it to be a little lighter.

Today as I was entered my flat, it finally hit me….you can never say you have fully paid your dues and have earned the right to not go through a particular problem. Suffering in whatever way or form is part of the human experience and I don’t think it will end while we are on this earth. I am always in awe when I think of what Jesus was going through the last few hours before the crucifixion. What greater pain can there be than knowing you are about to die, a very painful and humiliating death? I cannot even start to comprehend what it must have taken for Him to finally say in Matthew 26:38, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…” What I find completely humbling and very admirable is that minutes later in Matthew 26:39 He says to God, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” In as much as Jesus had the authority and ability to not go through the crucifixion and to be raised to heaven to be with His Father, He submitted Himself to His Father’s will and endured through and paid the ultimate debt for all of us.

I often have to remind myself that the Bible is not a multiple choice book, where you can pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe and more importantly what to obey and what not to obey.  Therefore I need to obey 2 Corinthians 4:17 and realise that not only are my problems light and momentary but they are doing the very important job of “achieving eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” I have often said in my posts that I would love to be like the two servants in the Parable of Talents in Matthew 25: 14-28 who pleased their master and used what they had been entrusted with wisely. To one day go home and have God say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness” would be the ultimate eternal glory.

I now realise that I am very far from paying my dues and that I need to submit to God’s will as painful, hard and confusing as it might be at times. I never made the decision to come here alone. I consulted heavily with God and in my heart, when I wade past the confusion and frustration I still know that I am where He wants me to be. For that reason, though my vision may be blurred by tears and my heart riddled with many confusing emotions, I am going to focus my gaze on Him and being His good and faithful servant. That is a debt that is due, not to Him but to myself and will remain unpaid till the day I appear before Him to give an account of my life.

Unworthy Entanglements


“I would do anything for you, I would go through all this pain, take a bullet straight to my brain. Yes I would die for you, but you won’t do the same!”  ~  Grenade by Bruno Mars

I fell in love with this song almost instantly. From the moment I heard the first verse I knew it was going to be one of my favourite songs. Quite like everything I have professed to love, in a matter of days I had worked myself up into a frenzy and my love had morphed into obsession. It became the subject of almost all my status updates on both Facebook and Blackberry messenger, it was playing on my mind all day everyday. I’ve come to realise that there’s a pattern in how I love…I’m an obsessive, compulsive lover!

Being single is, without any doubt, a sad and lonely time and it chips away at your self-esteem one piece at a time. As much as you know you have  friends and family that love you, you still feel like you’re undesirable and unloveable. This feeling is especially heightened when it seems like everywhere you go you’re bombarded  with couples including events and activities exclusively for them that are designed to specifically alienate you, the lone single person. It feels like a cruel, undue  reminder that you have scarcely had time to forget because the feeling of emptiness just never leaves you. Every time you are catching up with old friends and relatives you hear of all the people getting engaged, the upcoming weddings and the freshly announced pregnancies.  What deals the biggest blow however is undeniably the moment you find out your ex is now engaged!

No matter how much we protest and how many volunteer hours we spend to prove we are not, we ARE inherently selfish! I for one do not love my ex, do not want him back and I strongly believe I am better off without him but do I want him engaged? No! Especially not when I am single and I consider myself to be the more decent one of us both! What makes it so painful is you start thinking, “Well there must be something wrong with me if he spent six years with me and didn’t marry me and before I even have time to fetch my stuff from his place I hear he’s with someone else and less than two years later they’re engaged!” When the bitterness creeps in I just smile to myself and start singing, “I pity the fool who falls in love with you, oh shit she’s a gold digger, I just thought you should know…” and yes I go on to sing, “although there’s pain in my chest I still wish you the best” which I’d be lying if I said I meant it, I just sing it because I love the medley.

I have to wonder though, will I meet somebody or will I die of a broken heart, a non-scientifically proven yet still very real cause of death? Of late I have started thinking a very scary possibility; God will not bring me my life partner until I get over my addiction.

I am known as a person who loves others and showers those I love with immeasurable amounts of love. I used to think that this was a great quality to have but now I have come to realise it is also my Achilles heel. I have come to realise that the reason I love Grenade so much, is that it is about me. I have spent many, if not all, of my romantic entanglements catching grenades for people who would not do the same for me! As much as it is as a sad realisation, it is also a liberating one because it makes you realise that you deserve so much more than what you were getting and it’s ok to let go because you will not get anything worthwhile from that relationship anyway.

I might be wiser beyond my years in some areas of life, when it comes to relationships though, my growth is severely stunted. I do not think I will progress much until I learn to overcome all my weaknesses that feed into me being the way I am now. I always find it amazing how all my failures in life are always linked to me disobeying God. We all assign different names and different sources to that ever-present, still, small voice we converse with everyday. Pinocchio’s was Jiminy Cricket, who can forget the legendary, “And always let your conscience be your guide?” My small, still voice? Well that’s God of course. I am ashamed to say that He speaks and oftentimes I do not listen and I wonder why when I get hurt and have to crawl back to Him with shattered pieces of a violated heart.

I have had two serious relationships in the past eight years and in the interests of complete honesty, I was never meant to be in either one of them. I knew they were bad going in. I knew both guys were not ready to give me the relationship that I wanted and I still entered into relationships anyway. Not only that but I gave them both(not simultaneously of course), all that I had to offer and they became the very core of my life and that is my greatest sin.

First two commandments, notice how it’s two and not one and also how it is number one and two and not nine and ten, are about worshipping no one other than God. Exodus 20:4 commands us to “not make an idol of any kind…not bow down to them or worship them.” One of the dictionary meanings for the word “idol” is, “One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.”  Just like that, I have been repeatedly breaking two commandments in the way I conduct myself in romantic relationships.

I would be lying if I said I had stopped, though I do pray for the grace to stop. I do understand a bit more now that it is for my own protection that I remain single up until I can love someone in a constructive healthy way. It is time to accept God’s call to rehab and stay there till I am healed. Up until then I am ducking all grenades that I spot flying my way and I am certainly not about to go catching any for anyone who would not do the same.

Beyond A Shadow Of Doubt


Birthdays. The days you’re supposed to demonstrate you’ve gained a whole year’s wisdom so that you can be allowed to advance to the next level. Nothing quite invokes extended periods of contemplation quite like a looming birthday and with my twenty-sixth merely days away I have a lot of burning questions on my mind, questions I need answered to prove that I actually learned something from being twenty-five and I am now ready for level twenty-six.

 I’ve always had this feeling that I cannot shake that I will not be around for a very long time. My grand time line for my life does not extend anywhere past mid-forties and not because I’m incapable of seeing that far ahead but because at that age my life just goes black  in my mind.  Thinking about it now, I can’t help but wonder if I have been using this ‘premonition’ as an excuse to get things done and get them done right now!  I do however acknowledge that this might be legitimate, but how can I know for sure? Is it even possible to know for sure?

I am a woman of many convictions and I absolutely cannot cope with doubt. Doubt tends to cause some of my very unbecoming character flaws to rear their ugly heads for all to see. So quite naturally I do not appreciate it very much when I have to spend time, least of all weeks doubting and doubting my own beliefs no less.

There are three things I am certain of in my life:

1) God is the author and finisher of my fate  and He knew exactly how every second of my life would play out before I even took my first breath,

2) God is merciful, loving and compassionate and He is the definition of the word good, and

3) I have a flair for the finer things in life and therefore was never destined to be poor. Yep it’s true! I make no apologies for it!

I am absolutely convinced that all three of the above are true. Number three I have known all my life and have held onto through the darkest times in my family’s life. Even as I slept on floor, didn’t eat meat for sometimes weeks on end, only received new clothes once a year, I still knew that I was not destined to live like that and I knew it was going to end. I remember when I was ten years old my father said to me, quite prophetically, I would never amount to anything in life and I would forever be poor because I am too extravagant. Weirdly I did not believe him even though I believed him when he said I was stupid and wouldn’t get very far in life. Through my parents divorce  when I was twelve when we had to start from scratch, the conviction was there. I think it is therefore safe to say it’s one of those knowing beyond a shadow of doubt situations. But where did such an unshakable belief come from?

I still remember having to scrape my bottom lip off the floor when I heard a pastor say, “Not all good things and not all good thoughts are from God.”  I thought he’d lost his mind but as I sat and listened, it all began to make more sense. You see, the devil’s been a scam artist for ages now and has evolved in his trickery. He knows that he is more likely to fool us with a lie that appears good and feels good and right rather than one that feels wrong. I don’t think I am the only person to have been in a relationship that was ultimately wrong and I even knew it was wrong but was still in it because it felt to right! This revelation of course opened the brimming box of questions that led to me doubting my intentions, decisions and beliefs.

About two months ago a close friend asked me how you know if you’re destined for something and whether it is possible that some of us are destined to not of have our heart’s desires fulfilled. Almost immediately, I told her that that was ludicrous. I was of the belief that God doesn’t put desires in our hearts that He would leave unfilled, this belief I had picked up from a sermon I had heard a while back. Rather than being laid to rest at that point her question haunted me, two months later it is still haunting me! It is not that I necessarily think my original response was wrong, I do however think there are multiple options that I had not considered.

The first being; if satan was capable of deluding us with seemingly good things what would stop him from trying to lead us astray with good desires? Mine for example is to be married and be a good wife and mother. I can honestly say that that is my heart’s biggest desire. One day I started thinking, what if the enemy is using my desire to drive a wedge between God and I? Could he be somehow standing in the way so that I can discouraged and start doubting  the truth of scriptures like Jeremiah 29:11?  Within days my thoughts jumped to the other end of the spectrum…why was I so convinced that it was supposed to be? Could I not tell from all my failed relationships that God was trying to tell me something?  I soon realised that I was caught in the depths of doubt!

After weeks of contemplation, presenting arguments back and forth in my head, I think I am finally ready to deliver a verdict. There a millions of things that we were predestined to do all of which we will do. Then there are things we believe we were destined to do, these may or may not happen. Sound like I am still stuck sinking in the sea of doubt? Let me clarify further. As humans we have a finite view of the world, God does not! What we do not understand is that we are eternal beings and part of what we were predestined for was never meant to unfold on this earth. Whilst things that we predestined for WILL happen, there is no certainty for the desires of our hearts, they will however fulfil their purpose in our lives. I’m a firm believer that every experience and non-experience(if I can call it that) serves a very specific purpose in our lives some purposes we will never get to grasp simply because we are human.

Some things are just not for the human mind to comprehend and I think at some point we need to reach the point where we are willing to stop trying. God is the only one who knows things ‘beyond a shadow of doubt’, we just don’t have it in us to comprehend the space that exists beyond a shadow. Whilst I remain convinced that I was never destined to be poor, I think it would be quite arrogant to think my beliefs will alter what I have been predestined for so spare a thought and a penny should it one day turn out I was wrong.

Just God and I


Sitting staring at the cursor flickering on the screen, I can’t help but feel a little bit of anxiety over what I am about to do. It’s been over two months since my last blog. As I typed that I could hear the opening lines to a Catholic confession in my head. I must say, I have been living a lot in my own head the past two months all with good reason though. So here’s what you’ve missed while I’ve been away….

I moved to Edinburgh just over six weeks ago, left my family, friends and all that is familiar to me to embark on my greatest adventure yet. I was in London for a week seven weeks ago, that’s where I landed when I came across. I instantly fell in love with the city on  my first day there, not to say I don’t love EDI because I do, I’m just not too sure I’m in love with it…sorry baby, I hope we can still work things out, most importantly I hope you’ll let me stay.

I started my job which has turned out to be not what I expected and I find myself thinking, “Really God, like really? This is why You shipped me all the way  across the  globe?” Then of course I give my ritualistic, Oscar nomination deserving  stomping and screaming performance (in my head, told you I’ve been living in my head). He, not at all moved by the rerun of the show that has been playing since I was four and I’d come home to find my peaceful kingdom usurped my screaming doll-like creature, just glances over His shoulder, chuckling to Himself and then somewhere in the middle of my hissy fit He says to me, “Go ahead kiddo, just remember that it’s just you and Me out here and you’re not going anywhere until we’re done!”

Being alone is something that I thought I was accustomed to and I thought I was cool with and naturally as with most things I smugly think I’m right about, I was wrong! I was reminded how wrong I was on my first solo Christmas. A couple of days later when I spent my first solo New Years I was reminded yet again that I was not built to be alone. Christmas day I spent cowered away in the darkness of my temporary accommodation because I did not want to be the only sad lonely sod in church or any other public space without friends and family. So I watched Christmas movies that I had seen more times than I can remember, slept, cried and in the evening finally decided that a hunger strike was not going to miraculously bring my family all the way from South Africa. New Years Eve was a little better, I dragged myself out my flat(by now I had found my own cozy place) did a little shopping and went to a church service just after 11pm. It was beautiful and moving and I was glad I went. The church I went to is right at the foot of the castle which, I didn’t realise until it started, was the best place you could be to view the Hogmanay fireworks display. Wow! What a beautiful scene it was. As I stood there I felt a quiet reassurance that I was where I was supposed to be. Which I don’t doubt by the way but must He make it so hard?

In all fairness, I must say though that He has provided for me far more that I deserve and I live comfortably and don’t really long for anything. Well except for companionship and to see my family and friends again. Though I moan like I have been exiled here, in truth I will see them in about three months time but it feels like forever. People keep saying to me I will be alright as soon as I make friends. My polite response to those people is it’s hard to make friends, real friends like the type of friends I want to have when almost every social gathering revolves around drinking. I have been invited to more drinks gatherings than I have been my entire life since I have been here. That for me has been the biggest shock to the system….more than the temperature that is yet to venture anywhere higher than 10 degrees celsius. My not so polite response? You move to a country where you don’t know a single soul and then you can come preach to me about making an effort to make friends! What do you want me to do? Get all dressed up and go sit at the nearest pub(I should mention I live within a 30 second walk of three) and ask people there if they would like to make friends with the lonely black girl?

While on the topic, that has been another culture shock point for me…being acutely aware that I am black! I’m the only black person I have seen in the past 24hours. On a good day, I will see one other black person. On a really good day two. It’s always funny how I walk past them and try avoid eye contact because I’m scared I will burst into spontaneous, random conversation.  I must confess however that I did stop to ask one black lady at a bus stop two weeks after I arrived here where she gets products for her hair and where she gets it done because mine was so dry and coarse it actually had static!!! I had spent two weeks looking for even just shampoo for my hair and every time I was in hysteria about my hair my colleagues would say, “But it looks lovely, there’s nothing wrong with it.” My response, in the protective confine of my head of course, was simply, “When your hair looks drier than a desert and you can’t even put a comb through without it looking like you’re shedding hair like a snake shedding skin, then and then only can you tell me there’s nothing wrong with my hair!”

I miss my family, that I can’t stress enough. I miss the craziness, the drama but most of all I miss that annoyed feeling I would get when I was sleeping and I’d be interrupted by my door squeaking open and there one of them would be looking sheepishly at me. Well except for my mother, my mother feels no remorse about waking me up, especially since it’s her house. As I sit watching the flickering cursor yet again, I can feel tears welling up in my eyes because I am painfully aware that I have no one else here. It’s just God and I…