I got to spend time with some absolutely incredible people in Uganda, but I think one of the people that touched my heart the most was one of the Mum’s of a sponsor child. She brought her daughter to the craft and sports day we held for the sponsor kids. I absolutely fell in love with her daughter so spent quite a bit of time with her. She was a little afraid of us whities at first so her Mum came over to sit with us while we played. Her English was quite good and I was asking about her family. She told me that her 18-month old son had died 3 months ago. I told her how sorry I was and asked if it was from an illness. She then started to explain that he was playing in a pot of water and had accidentally drowned.
I could see the tears starting to well in her eyes as she told me her story. She went on to explain that her husband had blamed her so had thrown her out of the family home along with her daughter. Now, in Uganda they don’t have a welfare system. If you have no money you are on the dirty and very dusty street (literally) and fending for yourself. So here was this gorgeous woman on the street with her 5-year old daughter, the clothes on their backs and absolutely nothing else. My heart broke as I listened to her story and tried to stop the tears which were by then streaming down my face. I could not even begin to imagine what she was going through. She was thankful some family had taken them in so they at least had a roof over their heads.
The thing that really struck me while talking to her was there was no anger or bitterness in her voice for what had happened, just sadness. Sadness at losing her son, her husband and her family home, but not one hint of anger.
She praised God for all she did have! Holy Cow, I don’t know how she was so peaceful about her circumstances. If that was me, I think I would be mad at my husband, mad at the world, mad at myself and especially mad at God!
There were a hundred things she taught me that day in the short time I spent with her, but I think the biggest lesson I learnt was to accept where you are and accept what has happened to you. What good was it going to do her getting mad at herself or even God? It wasn’t going to change things for her, it wasn’t going to bring her son back, but by her accepting her circumstances, gave her and her daughter a peace they would otherwise not have. I could see in her eyes that it didn’t take away the sadness, but it helped her cope with it.
How many times have I got mad at myself (or to be really honest, gotten mad at God) because of something I was going through that I wasn’t willing to accept? How many times had I blamed God for things not going to (my) plan? How many times had I thrown a tantrum and pouted because I hadn’t got my own way or “it wasn’t fair” How much easier would things have been for myself if I had just accepted things as they were and made the best of the situation I was in?
My prayer for all of you reading this is that you would accept where you are. Now, I’m not saying to settle for where you are, God always has more for us. But no matter where you are at the moment, accept that you are where God wants you to be for the moment and be content!