I have never been to therapy, I have never been formally diagnosed with depression, but if you were to ask if I know what depression feels like, the answer would be yes. I know that I have felt emotions that made me feel like, being me is the worst thing a human being can be. On the contrary, I have felt like I am the most blessed person in the world. My childhood was amazing; I grew up with incredibly supportive parents and awesome siblings, and I have been afforded many beautiful opportunities. Not being where I thought I’d be at this age, led to discouragement and a distorted view of my identity.
For someone like me, one would expect me to have all my ducks in a row at this age. For the longest of time, I have felt like a failure because I felt like I didn’t make life happen. I have been told that there are people who accomplish so much whilst living under dire conditions, and me, with all this support, this is what I bring to the table? Maybe God made a mistake with me. Maybe I just don’t cut it. Life events, decisions, rejections, can all contribute to a negative self-image. I have always struggled with the way God made me. Misunderstanding my gentleness for timidness has led to me feeling unworthy. A lot of things that I am learning to love about myself are the things that have made me cringe for the longest of time.
Not growing up in the church, I got saved at the age of 21 and it was nothing supernatural or mysterious. I didn’t plan on getting saved that day and I didn’t know I was getting saved when I put my hand up in the church I had been invited to by my aunt. One thing I can say though is that something did change forever from that moment. It didn’t come to me immediately, but over time some things felt different.
Fast forward a few years later, I have made countless mistakes, I have prayed from a place of rest, and I have chosen to trust God in everything. I have been through the motions and right back to focus. I have been broken and blessed and I have learned to recognize where some patterns stem from. Being intentional about recognizing things I do; that make me feel bad about myself, is part of the journey to self-love. I have always envied people who accomplish greatness in this world. Greatness has always felt like something that is out of reach for me. But there is a reason God says, His ways are higher than ours, and everything He put in us is of good use to His Kingdom and purpose for our lives. The God who died for sinners is the same God who knows what He deposited in us.
As I draw nearer to God, I realize that being myself is a gift; not only to me but to this world. My biggest prayer is to walk in the fullness of who God has created me to be, to have an undying zeal for the Lord and to trust Him with all my heart. Before I can walk in the fullness of God, I need to be me. God first created me and knew that there is still another me that needs to be uncovered. To be born again, you need to be born first. The prodigal son had to approach his father in the true state he was in and as himself. He then was presented with the best robe for a king as well as a ring and sandals. Coming from a pit, he went back to his father’s house, where he was crowned with love and compassion.
I can tell you that ever since I started praying about my failures, my future, my desires (basically everything), I have come to realize that greatness doesn’t have to be out of reach for someone like me. Also, it does not have to be defined by the standards of this world. We don’t need to have anything figured out to pray. His Word says that He is full of compassion and mercy towards us. As I take it one day at a time and cultivate a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, directed by the Holy Spirit; I find myself with pen and paper, jotting down this message. I want to know what God can do with my life. FYI, I think therapy rocks and I am soooo excited to embark on that journey.
Puleng Mapholisa is a young woman who fights every day to keep Jesus at the center of her life. She is a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend. She works in the procurement field and believes she has a bright future in ministry as well as corporate. She holds a degree in Public Governance and Management and attends Victory Sandton Church.