Born for a time such as this

I thought I liked change!

If you asked me what I thought about change at the beginning of 2020, I would have said, ‘Bring it on!’ I am no stranger to change or re-inventing myself, as I like to call it.

I have had significant changes in my life – moving away from home to study law, meeting and marrying my husband in under a year, moving cities, losing my father, having a child after a decade of marriage. I moved continents, trekked from one regional town in the south-west to another regional town in the Goldfields, had another child, bought a business, sold the business when hubby was made redundant and relocated to Perth. I authored three books in between these changes, with two more in the pipeline, and I am trying to homeschool my children. So change is a constant in my life – like coffee. Some change I invite, other changes, like my changing body, ever-increasing facial hair, and cracking shoulders I don’t – they appear without any invite. But I expect them, so I am not too shocked, insulted, yes, but not so much surprised when they happen.

Then this lockdown happened…

But I admit, this last lockdown in Perth pulled the carpet from under me. Maybe it was because the virus and its host came shopping at my local hangout. Perhaps it was because I now know what it feels like to breathe with and without a mask, and I genuinely prefer the unfogged glasses version of a maskless existence. However, this stint had me shaking my fists against the ever-elusive ‘thems’. I slung criticism towards unknown forces, went down rabbit holes where no wonderlands were waiting. In short – I was angry because I felt so very helpless; it felt as if I had no control and no say in what was happening. Furthermore, the constant dialogue from outside (i.e. social media and news companies) threatened to overwhelm my senses – and the copious amounts of caffeine that I consumed were not good for my racing heart.

I struggled with the question – how do I adapt when I do not have control over the changes brought over my path?

I can keep on being angry – but why should I? It will make me and the ones I love miserable. They don’t deserve an angry and upset mum and wife. 

I can fight against ‘them’. But do I have the capacity to try and figure out who ‘they’ are? What if ‘they’ do not exist? What price will I pay for my fight? Do I have the mental capacity for that as well?

I did not want to do that. The above scenario sounded exhausting. 

My way back to sanity

Instead, this was the alternative that I adopted:

  • I blocked the outside dialogues, which contributed to my anger and my fear. (I blocked specific sites on both my phone and computer.)
  • I started healthy internal dialogues with myself. I told myself that I had been born for a time such as this. Like Queen Esther.
  • I realised that I have all I need to be able to survive and thrive in this season.
  • During the sunny days of this past week, I spent a good few hours on my tummy on my picnic blanket with my trusty camera and macro lens. Seeing the smallest detail of creation always fills me with wonder. Thankfully insects know nothing about social distancing and lockdowns! (My poor neighbours must, however, think I have a screw loose when I walk around with a flashlight at eight at night and take photos of snails, locusts, flies and the odd spider!)
  • As a person of faith, I was reminded of the Potter who shapes and forms a ball of clay into a useful vessel. And I started asking, “If I was born for a time such as this, please help me to be useful.”

Let go and let God

For the past year and, more specifically, during this latest Perth and Peel Lockdown, I realised that I could let go and trust God, especially in the face of uncertainty and change.  I had to trust that opportunities would show up in the unlikeliest of places. That makes me excited for the future – knowing that I have a future, and that it will be a place where I will be able to thrive and serve.

About Marlize Venter

Marlize writes what others think but are too scared/shy to say. A coffee lover, she enjoys the catch ups that accompany coffee dates. Marlize is a homeschooling mum to two boys and have been married a lifetime to the same man. She loves taking photos of jumping spiders, flowers and women. Marlize studied law at uni, obtained an Honours in Latin, published a book of Afrikaans spiritual poems and co-authored an e-book about the first 1000 days of immigration. She ascribes to the motto of reinventing herself often.