Where Are You Planted?
What Matters is not How We Were Planted but Where We Were Planted
I was born and spent my early childhood days in a small village called Kanthuni in the District of Meru along the slopes of Mount Kenya over four decades ago. I boast of having the privilege of having two great mothers (my biological mother and my adoptive mother). I was born to a single mom and from what I am told, my father loved my mother so much but due to some traditional beliefs they could not be allowed to marry. My maternal grandmother was particularly quite strict on cultural values and therefore could not allow my mom (her second born daughter) to get married to my dad.
As I grew up I was constantly told that my father loved me so much but I never had the privilege of meeting him or knowing who he was. I learnt that due to the pressure on who was to have custody of me, my mother and my aunt conspired (things only mothers can do: read mama Moses in the bible) I had to be separated with my mother and handed over to my maternal aunty mama Rebecca who was then living in a different town (Embu) when I was about 3 years old.
I believe this act of courage preserved my destiny and today I am because two people paid the price. From there hence forth I got new sisters, and a lovely brother with whom I grew until the day I got married. My biological mother would later get another beautiful baby girl who stayed with her till she wedded. Meanwhile my father and mother lived their lives singly, separately and peacefully until she passed on peacefully in her sleep in August 2013. I never got to meet my biological father till many years later when I was almost 30 years old and till my mother’s demise, I had met my biological father only twice.
When I began my new life at my aunt’s place, there were some odds that I had to cope with. Firstly, people always saying we did not look alike, then I was extremely tiny and I remember my first day in school where we were taken together with my sister and I could not be admitted because my right hand could not cross over my head to touch the left ear. This was the test done in those days to confirm if a child was ready for school. Kelly who was like a twin to me having been born the same year was admitted but I was denied the chance. Of course you can imagine what happened thereafter, the tantrums and all the drama. I was taken to a different school and admitted and would later-on join my sister (cousin) in primary and we grew up and studied together until high school where we went to different schools. My new family loved me so much that it took me many years to know that my biological mother was different from my aunt (who was now my mother) and the one I knew as my aunt was actually my biological mother.
When I was in form two, I started having a deep desire to know my true identity as by then I had discovered that the parents I knew all the years were not my biological parents. Even after discovering my real mum, my biological dad remained a top secret. During that time, I felt betrayed and bitter because of being denied the opportunity of being part of an ideal family which we read in our social studies books consisting of father, mother, sister and brother. I started sliding slowly into depression which progressed and became severe and I had to be put on anti-depressants.
Where we are planted in the world is beyond our control, and we need not worry or be concerned too much about that. The thing that should concern us more is what kind of fruits we can bring forth from where we are planted. We don’t choose our families but we can choose our destinies. What matters in life is not really where we are now rather the di-rection we are heading to
– Pepe Minambo
I dropped out of school for a while in protest, became completely withdrawn and lost all hope in life. I spent many days crying, sickly, feeling rejected and low and occasionally considered disappearing from the universe but I did not know where to go. All these time no one could really understand why I was behaving that way or what the real issue was and I was not confident enough to share openly what I was going through. My esteem was also very low and always felt like a lesser child regardless of the fact that I had all the basic needs met.
I thank God that I got to know Christ at a very tender age because when I was going through all that, deep within I still knew God loved me and had a great plan for my life. But as a child, I needed a true identity – despite the fact that my biological mother would visit frequently and show me a lot of love. Each time she visited I would feel so empty when she left to go back to her home. The extended family also showed me a lot of support but there was still a deep feeling of emptiness. I hated everything about life. I’m grateful that I had a support system in my family otherwise I don’t think I would have lived to tell my story. I’m also thankful that I also got spiritual mothers and fathers who have been a great support and encouragement in life’s journey. I can also not forget the friends who have always been there for me and have inspired me through my career, business and other aspects. This has taught me one thing: You are never alone!
Today as I look back, I celebrate my late mother for her strength, and courage. I still remember vividly the many times I saw her withhold tears as I pestered and threatened her as a teenager to tell me who my dad was or else…..She did labor for us and never gave up. She did not have much but as she lived her humble life, I consider her a woman of great strength who went out of her way to support and touch all her siblings and their children’s lives in a special way, neighbors and all who interacted with her in life. I remember she cultivated her small piece of land and with every harvest she would share the harvest with all that were connected to her and wait for the next planting season.
I celebrate my aunt/mum as my heroine and whom I seriously cherish together with her late husband (Mr Kirimi) because they did what not many people would do. I remember with nostalgia how she woke up many nights to encourage and pray with me as I suffered from insomnia and cried because of what I considered as life’s unfairness. I always shed a tear every time I remember how she carried me on her back at night taking me to hospital when I was overcame by depression and how she watched over me through the process of bringing my life back to line.
I celebrate my four sisters who are my ‘sheroes’ and my only brother (Edu) for they never felt like I was an intruder or a burden in their lives. They gave me a great sense of belonging. Though at some point we had to squeeze on a mattress in a small room with a single blanket it created a very strong bond between us. Today, we have many precious memories together. I am always grateful for that and I never take it for granted! The Lord in His own power would later help me, picked up my broken pieces and as the master designer and architect, mended them up and shaped me into what I am today. . I cannot boast of anything because it is only by the Grace of God and His favour that as a mother I’ve been established as a strong mountain.
As a mother of four biological children, I have come to discover that motherhood is no ordinary stewardship – it’s a high calling. Mothers carry seeds that produce great hope to the universe. Just like a single seed will produce food for generations, shelter to many creatures including wild animals and fowls among other great benefits, mothers endure a lot to produce the beauty of the numerous fruits seen in the lives of people around the globe regardless of their race. The description of a mother is so deep that there are no words enough to describe how we are wired.
The nature of a promise is that it is future. Between the giving of the promise and its fulfillment is a period of time during which our faith can go up and down. The assurance that a promise will be fulfilled is dependent on who made the promise! If God has spoken a promise to you, how long have you been waiting for the fulfillment of the promise? How do you judge
I recently read an article by Carrie Craft where she described an adoptive mother is an embracer, not only of the child with many hugs and kisses but of the child’s heritage and history even when it’s different from her own. She embraces her child’s past with strength for herself and for the child. Adoptive mothers know that they are menders of wounds — not just of physical skinned knees but of hearts.
An adoptive mother gives love, acceptance and permission to ask and talk about the day the child was born and about his first parent or parents. This role is not for the weak of spirit, nor the easily wounded. Loving, nurturing and raising a child not biologically born to her is her calling. A mother will feel paid when a child cries, whether they are their own or not.
As I write this, I know there are many ladies who have found themselves in a complicated situation where you are bringing up a child singly, or bringing up a child that is not your own. Many times you have to be very patient due to internal and external pressure. The situation is more difficult where the parent/parents have to bear the burden with scarce resources. Our society does not judge single parenthood fairly either. Having gone through this experience as a child, I truly empathize with such parents as well as the children. Many times I felt like if I was not in my aunt’s family, may be they would spare some resources to take care of the other children But where would I go?
There are many children who have grown without knowing their fathers and worse still others live without their mothers yet cannot get any explanation as to what happened. The pain to such children can be unbearable and if necessary steps are not taken, no matter how much they get in life they could grow with very low self-esteem which hinders them from achieving their full potential.
Daughters especially feel dejected because they lack the protection that according to all children comes from the father. This affects them so much especially when they mature and they have to relate with men. Others protest from within and become rebellious and they too fail to achieve their potential in life. There are many forums and avenues through which help can be obtained for such cases.
As a born again woman, a mother and a wife I want to encourage a lady somewhere. May be as a mother you are living each day at a time and with hope for a better day tomorrow, or you may be a daughter wondering how it will be even as you search for many answers and they are nowhere in the vicinity.
Remember all human beings have different challenges at different times in their lives. Like Sarah in the bible, you may be feeling expired and with no hope left to bring anything good into this world. But you can rise over it and be a testimony!
Through faith Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised Hebrews 11:11 (KJV) . Sarah’s case was hopeless, and no one would have imagined her as a mother of nations. So put your hope and trust in God and soon you shall also have a story to tell.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “what lies behind us and what lies ahead of us pales in comparison with what lies with-in us. Therefore, rise beyond your fears and conquer – the power lies within you! You are a planting of the Lord to display His splendor. Isaiah 61:3 and those who are planted in the house of the Lord will flourish in the courts of their God Psalms 92:13
You may feeling weak, low, discouraged and even in despair today. Your state is not permanent and shall not remain like that forever. Remember this – just like Esther in the bible, you cannot be down and hidden for too long if you are aligned with the purposes of God. At the appointed time you shall be exposed to the greatness you were created for. Also note Isaiah 42:3 states – a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice; (NIV) Prophet Isaiah prophesied concerning our Lord Jesus. He will not extinguish your dimly burning wick.