Wake Up, Walk Tall and Win Strong

I was reading Facebook comments on a post that I shared on a personal experience of being a childless pastor. Most of the responses were giving hope in waiting for a child. Not one gave the prospect of thriving when the answer is a bold “no.” I understood that the culture we are living cannot stand untoward circumstances.

As I went through these comments, my thoughts were drawn to a biblical example when the answer was a “no!” The record is that Michal the daughter of king Saul died without a child (2 Sam 6:23). I said to myself, “There are some who like Michal will die childless. They are battling with an undesirable ‘no.’ They should have a way of thriving amidst such conditions.” Some have tried IVF and failed. Others unfortunately had a hysterectomy before having a child. Some had cases of salpingitis and other advanced endometriosis.

In my culture when one dies childless, he or she is buried together with a rat. This is a sign that the person never contributed biologically to the society. This kind of thinking neglects other achievements that this person will have done. Ironically, in the same culture, people who die having robbed the world of visions, people whose ideas never saw the light of day and whose great dreams were never born are eulogized as heroes.There are three things to remember when the answer is “no.” Keep them in mind as you wake up, walk tall and win strong.

1. Wake up. When you discover that you will not be able to have a child, it knocks you down. You may decide not to wake up. Life will have thrown you briers. Facing the world will be difficult. There will be many loss reminders like pregnant women and crying infants wherever you go. With the dark fog of gloom clouding your vision, never cast a clout till May be out. There will still be other rainy days. Do not throw in the towel, your life is more valuable than producing a child. Wake up and face the unkind and cruel world. Childlessness is not who you are but part of what you are.
2. Walk tall. The secret to a prosperous life is knowing that challenges in life may make us or kill us. When we compare ourselves with others who have children, we may have a slouchy disposition. In the words of Siphathisiwe Moyo, we are to remember that we are a first rate version of the person we see daily in the mirror. We walk with our head high, knowing that childlessness is like having flu. It does not “define us.Never permit any individual to make you feel worthless. Such an attitude will add a spring to your step and oomph to your life. The world is not the same without you. You are a unique shade in the abstract portrait of life. Fight like a Zulu warrior that never gave his back to the enemy.
3.Win strong. You may be wondering who will benefit from your victories. Torrents of self-doubt may be bellowing past your way and blurring your vision. You may be feeling so worthless that you feel like quitting. Remember, winners in any race have felt so, but they pushed and finished strong.Success can never be the place where you are, but where your vision takes you to. Challenge yourself, improve yourself, dress well and be the best version of yourself. Fight the good fight and focus on winning strong. Though they may bury you with a rat (as in my culture), it should feel privileged to be in a coffin with a game changer who wins strong. We leave you with February’s hope inducing poem entitled:

When the Answer is “No!”

Tried to knock on the bolted door
Others who had gone past before
Exceled, prospered and left me in awe
The means they used I didn’t know
Clouds of anguish hung on my brow
Furrows of sadness began to grow
Still the answer I got is “No!”

“You were not meant to be among those”
Is a song my thoughts sat to compose
The pain darted my heart I couldn’t foreclose
My body cringed and my swollen legs froze
My head boiled as if plugged in heated tongs
I knocked, begged and smashed the doors
Still the answer I got is “No!”

When I learnt that the answer is “No!”
Was I to mourn and have insults to throw?
Or fearlessly walk the path of scorn
All putdowns I chose to shun and ignore
The life’s pilot who in a manger was born
Painstakingly plodded the painful path I trod
In Him was my example and hope untold
Of thriving when the answer is “No!”

Sikhumbuzo Dube