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Blessings in Disguise

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”

Today, I’m going to tell you about two of my most difficult challenges and how they turned out to be blessings in disguise. I hope to be a source of inspiration to you and trust that after you’ve heard my story, you too would look back at your life and find things that once seemed like bitter trials turned out to be blessings.

I have always endeavoured to succeed no matter the hurdles that confronted me. I have been described as fearless, exceptionally strong, a willing horse and a great achiever. However, the one thing in my life that seemed destined to fail was the thing I worked the hardest to save. Yes, it was obvious that my marriage, cooked up with all the wrong ingredients was about to be a “spoil” and I couldn’t’t accept that I, Karen James, was going to fail at something as big, so pivotal and as precious as my marriage.

I cried for my marriage more than I cried for anything else, I prayed for it more than I prayed for anything else and I trusted God to save it more than I trusted him for anything else. However, my greatest fear came upon me despite all my tears and prayers when it became obvious that to maintain my sanity, find my purpose, validate my worth, be the best mother I can, realize my dreams and find my happiness; I had to let go of the one thing I desired to hold on to most. Yes, my greatest personal failure was my marriage.

I decided since I was going to lose my marriage, I couldn’t’t be a victim of a broken marriage but a victor. I purposed to have more strength, more influence, more worth, more pride, more faith and more flavour as a single woman than I had as a wife. Gradually, I began picking up the pieces of my life and examining them. Some I decided to discard and others I dusted off and re-arranged. I fitted the missing spaces with new traits.

I threw out fear and doubt, weakness and insecurity, dependence and mediocrity. I made perseverance my bosom friend, experience my wise counsellor, caution my elder brother and hope my guardian genius. With an upright posture, a direct gaze, a confident smile and an I know what I’m about stride I set off.

My victories have been endless. I have exceeded my target. I am a million times more a better woman now than then. I’m stronger – ten times stronger, I’m independent – twenty times over. Beautiful – thirty times more. Confident – a hundred fold. I love me - there’s no one else I would rather be. I know my worth and my faith, yes, my faith that once wavered by unanswered prayers is now grounded firm and deep. I now see that what God wanted for me was so much more than what I thought I had deserved. The last six years of my life have undoubtedly been the best. Losing my marriage was such a blessing in disguise.

Amidst all of the battles I have fought, trials I have faced and mountains I have climbed, I consider my journey on Mustique as the second most difficult challenge I have had to face. Not long after arriving here I realized that the place made me quite uneasy. The disparity pulled painfully at my heart’s strings. I had a reputation since school days of being very out spoken and I couldn’t’t see how I would survive in a place where everyone was timid to speak.

With just one year behind me, all I had learnt and observed had left me burdensome, I was fuming; experiencing emotions I never knew I possessed and like a volcano unable to contain its pressure, my cover popped, I erupted. I did the unthinkable. I penned my feelings and presented them in black and white to my boss. As he read my letter he changed colours, from white to pink to red. Not much would change in principle but as my letter had stated, I couldn’t’t dance to the music. It was out in the open, this girl had a voice and she was not about to stay silent, hence everyone stepped carefully.

My voice didn’t win me favours or awards; my obstacles have been gigantic and my path rocky and steep. I walk lonesome valleys but I am not afraid; I go through deep rivers of disregard but the waters do not cover me; I have been through fires of oppression but the flames have not consumed me and there were seas of disappointments but they have not swept me over.

Instead, through the fires I have been transformed, in the valleys my strength is renewed and as Rocky Marciano I remain undefeated in every obstacle battle. As an eagle I continue to soar at exceptional speed and height. I am grateful for every mountain and every valley. Through my voice I have earned my respect and I wear my integrity cap with pride. My journey here continues to be a blessing in disguise.

Are you afraid to speak out? Is it because no one has dare to before? There are many people who are willing and ready to let their voices heard. They just need a leader. A leader is an ordinary person with extraordinary determination. YOU… are a leader. Score of people are waiting for be led. Let you voice be heard. Earn your respect. Wear your integrity cap with pride.

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