I am the second of seven children.
The second daughter just before my parents’ first son.
Growing up, I felt equally well loved and appreciated, Mum was not one for favouritism. She spread love and cheer the way no one has equaled. She was also a strict disciplinarian , but love and tenderness were made manifest in everything she did. I had a happy childhood and I had and still have a great relationship with all my siblings. I love them to bits. I genuinely admire and respect the men and women they have become.
However being the middle child has its own peculiarities, and there were times when I felt ignored or not important. There were just feelings, baseless and untrue, but there were there.
They would spring up when I least expected them and at the age of 12, I left for boarding school. My years in boarding school in an all-girls school some hundreds of kilometres away from home didn’t help, but that and the experiences as well as lessons learnt therein is a story for another day.
My perception about myself changed in my last year in secondary school. I was 15. I was home on mid term break and one bright, moonlit evening, as we were out in the front yard of the hospital staff quarters where we were living at the time, enjoying a family evening with roasted corns and pear. My mum asked my sister and I to sing for every one, (a family tradition as we were in our church choir). After a number of songs, Mum suddenly went serious and said she had a word from the spirit of God for everyone, all seven of us, as well as two of my aunts and two domestic helps living with us at the time.
Mum was a woman given to prayers, it was commonplace to have her praying from midnight till the wee hours of the morning. It was also normal for her to name every member of the family as she prayed. She would go on and on, making declarations and petitions. Little wonder she took so long to finish, we were seven children after all and then there were always people living with us at any given time, people who were always taken as members of the family.
And so, whenever Mum said she had a word from God, we all stopped and listened.
Today, I don’t remember the words Mum gave my siblings, but I have never forgotten mine.
They are words etched on my heart and mind and engraved in every fibre of my being. Those words have guided me and strengthened me. They have provided succour when I have been faced with self doubt.
Her words or God’s word to her for me that evening were simple but powerful. The words she released that evening were life. The words she told me were different from what she told my other siblings, they were personalised, they were authentic. I believed them. I still do.
She said that God said to tell me that I am “His very special princess”.
She said that God said that no matter how I err or what I do, that I should always find my way home to Him, because He has a special interest in me.
She said that God said that He will never allow me lose my way. She said that God knows that I have a very deep and genuine love for Him and that He loves me even more and that will never change.
She then said that God said to tell me that He wants me for great things, but that I need to keep myself a vessel fit for His use.
These were the words my Mum told me.
She said they were words God asked her to tell me.
I have held on to these words and they are the foundation upon which my existence is built. I have never doubted them even when faced with the fiercest of storms.
You may or may not believe in God, it doesn’t matter.
But, you will agree with me that when a mother convinces her daughter of such affirming words, a champion is born. A princess, a woman of virtue, one who is not afraid to fail, one whose confidence cannot be shaken is born.
That bright eyed girl is this day, the woman I have become.
I live life knowing that I am God’s very special princess.
I live life as God’s very special princess.
I live life knowing that no matter how hard it gets, he’s got my back and he won’t allow me to get drowned.
I live life knowing that I have a purpose.
I love life fulfilling that purpose.
The words you speak to your children indeed do matter. And, even if you don’t believe in God, the power of words is infinite. Whether they are God’s Words or yours, words are as eternal as their powers are perpetual.
It’ll be great to read your thoughts and experiences.