I know that for a while, many of you my readers have wondered why I became so inconsistent in my blogging when I had started out so well. I have received a lot of mail from you guys, both good and bad but for me no matter the content; it was a blessing that a lot of you missed my work enough to lament about it.
I should however, state that I found it very encouraging and comforting when some of you wrote messages simply to ask; “Nisha, are you alright?” or “Nisha, is everything okay?” Rather than vent for the delays in updating the stories, you took time to ask about my well-being. I deeply appreciate your love and care. Thank you very much.
I bet many of you are wondering why am writing this.
For me, the year 2016 has been both good and bad. About 89% of it has actually been very very BAD but I choose to take this bit from it all: It was a dame GOOD year overall because I got to re-dedicate my life to Christ! So today, I decided to pen this article to my loyal fans because they’ve been so patient with me during the worst time of my life. I felt I had to explain myself a little bit as to why for a while I had lost my motivation to write:
I got divorced.
I know in reality that I don’t owe anyone an explanation but I woke up today and thought, “oh hell, this year is ending and I plan on leaving every possible dirt and hurt behind as I enter the new year!”
So when 2017 comes, I do not expect anyone to address me as Mrs So-So or Bana So-So. My name is Anisha Namutowe and I am happily divorced. I say happily because all through the drama, I had the strongest arms holding on to me and giving me the strength to carry on. I had never before experienced God as I did during this period. Of course this is not to say that I never cried or that I’ve stopped crying. Believe me, I have days when I wake up in the middle of the night crying over something that doesn’t make sense at all. But all in all, I am a very happy and contented woman.
Even though I cannot divulge the issues that led to my divorce, here’s what I can say; marriage is a very beautiful thing and I enjoyed most of my life as a married woman. Yes I was betrayed by someone I trusted the most but rather than focus my attention on blaming someone, I asked myself; what could I have done better on my part to avoid such an ending? Don’t get me wrong (especially my sisters who I know are reading this very part with goggled eyes fighting the temptation to cuss because they think am taking on the blame for the failure of my marriage)…no, am not taking the blame.
This is merely a reflective moment for me.
My point here is that in order for a marriage to work, all three parts involved in the covenant (God, husband and wife) must all play their parts effectively. Granted, someone pushed the trigger that brought about the divorce, but I still couldn’t help asking myself; what could I have done differently on my part to avoid this somewhat tragic ending? And this is why I am sharing my story today.
When my husband…Who’s now ex-husband made his feelings for me known….and later even proposed marriage, it never occurred to me that I had to consult someone or have a deep conversation with someone very important about the decision I was about to make that would affect the rest of my life. That someone is God. You see, I was raised in a Christian home and as I grew older, the default religious setting in me was that of Christianity. I never really had any personal relationship with God and for a while I actually believed my mum’s faith was enough to get me through the gates to eternal life. For me, Christianity was never my own, it was simply something my parents imposed on me and because somewhere in the Bible there’s a book that talks about honouring thy parents, I had to keep going to church for fear of experiencing those things written in the Bible Book of Revelations. For some reason, that book always spooked me as a kid.
But of course everything I had learnt under my mum’s constant care withered the moment I left home for varsity. I started noticing the beauty around me…the men mostly and my heart started beating in ways it had never done before. For someone who did not take the Christian values instilled in her personally, it was very easy to edit those beliefs if it meant easing my troubled conscience. Suddenly, it was okay to kiss passionately and fool around physically because I was in-love. Eventually, having sex with people I never even loved but was attracted to didn’t seem like such a bad idea. It was around this time that I met the man who was to become my husband.
Earlier, I did mention that there was someone I never consulted when the proposal came. That someone is God. You see, the issue with some of us women is that we get over-excited over the idea of marriage that we forget about the basics. That very marriage we are celebrating when the proposal comes was instituted by God! So isn’t it natural that we should have a conversation with the Father above about who we are to spend the rest of our lives with. For me it really didn’t matter whether this marriage to this particular man was God’s will for my life or not. All that mattered was that I was engaged!!!!
How foolish of me.
In retrospect, that was my very first mistake: Not seeking God’s guidance.
The second mistake naturally was that because God was never at the center of my life or that of my marriage, I (or we) lived ‘our’ lives freestyle, never guided by the principled that bound us together in the first place and only once in a while would we mention the name of God…you know, like an unmarried woman would hail praises to the Lord when she falls pregnant and delivers a bouncing baby boy or a beautiful girl because the world will now focus more on the blessing than the sin or… because now the poor man who knocked her up will be forced to marry her. Or like when you take a beautiful selfie and you caption it ‘feelin blessed’ when what you were really thinking was ‘dame I look too hot!’ That kind of praise.
Buy a car, hail ‘am so blessed!’
Buy a house, scream ‘God’s great!’
Get a promotion; shout ‘I serve a living God.’
Like that’s the only time the word God comes out of your mouth and the rest of the time it’s #chikubabe season.
Granted, those things ‘could’ be blessings but clearly, there’s more to life than only praising God when we gain material possessions or when we wish to deceive others.
Naturally, the inevitable happened.
Of course this is not to say that those who are not Christians (or those that are Christians but still living in sin) do not have good marriages. I know some couples that ‘appear’ to have great lasting marriages and yet they have no active working relationship with God. The last time they read the Bible was at Sunday School and the last time they stepped into church was on their wedding day. Until I discovered certain things about my partner, I too was extremely very happily married! Extremely happy I tell you! Every once in a while, one will discover that little comfort they can get from the darkness. The bliss of ignorance or the bliss of not knowing any better. Unfortunately, day will come and the light will shine right through because it was never God’s design for man to be in eternal darkness.
For a while through my marriage, I put my husband in a position that was meant for God. There was nothing on the face of this earth that my husband would not give to me…as long as I asked. A man with the most giving heart, humble, loving and attentive. He adored me and I lacked nothing. What more could I possibly need? Who was God when I had a man to give me all that I desired? He was a baptized Christian quite alright but just like me his faith in God was very moody and selective. I remember looking at him once and thinking;
He might not be such a Godly man but he is kind and caring, better than most men I know claim to know God and go to church every Sunday. They are busy abusing their wives and sleeping around but here’s my man…just look at this package of manliness.
Ooooh…*hides face in palms*
I was indeed the epitome of foolishness.
If I had died a few months ago, the words engraved on my stone would probably have been:
Herein lies a very foolish woman
There’s been a lot going on lately in our country concerning women killing their husbands and somehow, I found myself sympathizing with them. A part of me understood why a woman would feel like taking the life of the man she had promised before God to love and cherish forever. This foolishness of some of us women thinking that our source of happiness and loyalty is first from and to our husbands. For everything we want and desire, it’s to our husbands we run. Somewhere along the way, we forget that there’s a grand provider; our heavenly Father Jehovah. Doesn’t the Bible caution us to seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else shall be added onto us?
Of course seeking God’s Kingdom first doesn’t mean going for midnight prayers every day of the week and coming home at 8 in the morning, spending all your time at church whilst neglecting your spouse and children. If truly you say you are of Christ, then how can you keep from reading his Word and praying daily in order that you may be guided all through your life?
The only reason why someone would resort to murder is if they feel they no longer have any reason to live…when they feel the only person they are accountable to does not deserve their accountability. In a fit of rage you think your whole world has come to an end, he has betrayed you, he deserves to die for hurting you like this. He was the reason for your breathing…the very air you breathe. How can he do this to you?
Bang. Bang. Bang.
There goes Ba shi Joe, down to the ground.
Woman, what have you done?
He was not the source of your life, someone else is. You definitely can live without him. How can you not know that there’s a Man out there whose love is unchanging? He laid his life down for you just so you could have eternal life. How can you forsake such a Man just because a mere mortal has let you down?
Here’s something I want my fellow women to remember as we enter 2017: God first, man/husband second. If you love God first, he will take care of everything else for you; your husband, your children, your relatives, your job…everything! Your husband is not the reason you’re breathing, yes he makes life fun and interesting to live but he’s not the source of your happiness. God is. If you think I’m lying, read the Bible. I could quote a whole bunch of scriptures for you but there are just too many!
Your love for God will move you to become the sort of wife you ought to be to your husband. And it is only a man that fears God that will know how he ought to treat his wife and family. The reason why most marriages are failing in Zambia and the world over is because people have chosen to listen to the world more and have forsaken the teachings of God. Because the world tells you that a man’s promiscuity cannot break a home, so you go and sleep with any moving (and sometimes crawling) womb-bearing figure. But is that what the Bible teaches?
Unfortunately, the society we live in has turned sin into law and the Law of God into sin. Those upholding their faith in Christ are considered weirdos, strange people with nothing better to do. Don’t they have anything better to do, they keep asking.
This wicked society we live in has given birth to a generation of men who think that providing financially for their wives and families is their only sole responsibility. They lie and cheat with impunity and brag about how well-taken care of their families are.
Dear men, it is because you are busy bathing your families in gold and diamond soup that they end up killing you with the very weapons your money bought. A woman that is well-fed spiritually and emotionally will not even consider murder as an option to solving her problems. I am yet to hear of a husband who was killed by his wife because she caught him reading the Bible….at least here in Zambia (not sure about other countries).
Let me not forget the real reason I’m writing this piece to you.
A lot of Christians shudder at the mention of the word Divorce. And indeed I’ve had a number of them question my decision to divorce my husband when I claim to be a born-again Christian. I have had scriptures shoved in my face willy-nilly, scriptures that talk about how God hates divorce. To this day I can recite those scriptures even in my sleep! Away from my Christian community is society at large. Society simply refuses to accept that a woman can divorce her husband. Only a wicked woman dares to leave her husband no matter what he does! You are supposed to shipikisha.
“How many women out there are dying to get married and here you are throwing yours away?” They asked me.
“Do you want another woman to come and reap where she did not sow?” They asked over and over again.
“Didn’t your Bana Chimbusa teach you anything?” The women spat their venom into my ears. “Do you think all these women you see married are happy? Their husbands have cheated on them plenty and fathered children with other women and they’ve stayed. So what’s so special about you? Your issue isn’t even a big deal!” They said.
From some Christians I heard:
“God hates divorce.”
“God hates divorce.”
“God hates divorce.”
It really didn’t matter to any of these people what had really happened in my marriage. They were quick to give advice but not quick to inquire about the developments that led us to that point. you can’t offer a solution (no matter how Godly you sound) to a problem you have no idea about.
“So he didn’t impregnate anyone or fall in-love with another woman so what’s your problem?” That’s the question they kept asking me.
I discovered during this period how well society had graded and categorized sin.
I will reiterate this: I cannot divulge the actual reasons for my divorce but I can confidently say that I had biblical grounds to go through with it, not because I was hard-hearted as many have candidly pointed out to me already, but because of reasons best known to the three ‘people’ whose opinions matter the most in this case; God, husband and wife.
My decision to keep silent on certain things and to explain to some relatives the full story has led to them labelling me an uncultured woman. I have been cursed, cussed and screamed at in person and on phone by people who do not even know half the story. Whether in marriage or in divorce my loyalty remains to the man I love, even if it means being misunderstood.
The idea that my friends would get to discover that my marriage had failed was very daunting. It is actually one of the reasons I considered staying in my marriage when leaving would have been the right thing to do.
What will they say? This is so embarrassing? They will know I didn’t have such a perfect marriage OMG. They will laugh at me. They will gossip about me. I will forever be known as having failed in marriage.
I had these and many other fears. If there’s anything I’ve come to learn, it is that sometimes it is the very people we call our friends that will celebrate when we fail in life. And this I proved through my experience. But today I want to talk to someone else that might have gone through what I went through…or someone going through it right now. I want to tell that woman that no matter what your fears are, God will see you right through it. He did for me and He still does take care of me. And he will continue doing so in future.
I was very scared at first. After living a certain lifestyle that my husband enabled, I wondered how I was going to take care of myself if I left his side. Under his care I never lacked much materially. He was a great provider. But there I was, an educated and talented woman worrying about how I would survive without my husband…that’s how dependant on him I had become. Also, the idea of another woman replacing me made me go crazy! That’s the worst really. The idea of him and I no longer together just made my blood freeze.
But one day, it was during one of the classes I was taking from The Alpha Course at church when I heard someone say:
God loves you. God wants what’s best for you. He is the grand provider and he will provide you with all your needs.
I had just started my new journey as a Christian and I was still operating on a very shaken up faith but when I heard those words, something in me moved. It was like my eyes were suddenly opened. All this while, I had been looking up to the wrong person for my provisions.
In just a few seconds, my belief system was shuttered and a new one was birthed in me. It was a simple statement, one I had probably heard many times before but for some reason, in that moment, it meant everything and it changed everything.
Suddenly, all my fears were gone.
From that moment on, I stopped caring about what people might say about me. I made a decision from that point on to seek God in ways I had never done before and to this day, I still shock myself by the things I’ve realized I can do through God’s guidance.
I think the test of faith for me came in the realization that I had to acknowledge for the first time that everything I had, the air I breathed and just my life in general was made possible by God and not by my husband. I also had to realize and trust that even if I walked away, Jehovah God was going to continue taking care of me because I am His child. He was never going to abandon me especially in my hour of desperation.
But for a while I had fears; how could God forgive me when I had been such a terrible person? I had for a very long time turned my back on Him and lived my life however I saw fit. There was even a time when i questioned his existence! Would he even answer my prayers?
My heart was not pure. It was filled with shame, disgust, bitterness, resentment and all other such negative things. It’s like i had created a shrine in my head and heart for the Devil to dwell and he went right in and made himself right at home. I harboured terrible vengeful thoughts towards my husband when I was hurting, wanting to hurt him as much as he hurt me. I hated the way he breathed, the way he chewed or swallowed and a thousand times I killed him in my head. I imagined poisoning his drinking water or lacing his meal with arsenic poison. That’s how angry and bitter I was. What made me even angrier was the fact that he appeared to have absolutely no idea just how much hurt he had caused me. That made me kill him over and over again…in my head of course.
Through the Alpha Course at church, I soon learnt that in order for me (emphasis: on me) to experience God on an intimate level, I had to learn to forgive myself. I had to understand what exactly Jesus’ death meant to me and what I had gained from his death. It was a whole new lesson on forgiveness, something I had embraced as a concept for years but now I got to actually experience it. Let’s just say, it’s true what they say; theory is much easier than practice!
But everything slowly started to change. The more I prayed and the more I read the Bible, a certain kind of peace entered my soul. Sometimes it was so strange that my best friend would ask me if I was normal! I was going through a divorce and yet I could laugh and joke about with those around me easily. I could not explain it to her, for how could I when I could hardly understand it myself!? Of course there were days (and nights) when I cried but I pulled through alright through most of it. I was a woman who never imagined I could live this life without my husband. He was the love of my life.
But here I am. Alive and praising the Lord.
Of course this is not to say my life is perfect now. Far from it! But it is liveable and manageable…and it is certainly most peaceful.
Every now and then I think back to that very first time when I learnt the truth about my marriage; from my bed I fell straight to the floor, gasping for air and reaching out for someone to breathe life into me. I thought I was going to die. In all my twenty-eight years on earth, that was the lowest point in my life, literally. I have heard lovers say ‘you took my breath away.’ On that day, my husband literally took my breath away…and it wasn’t in a romantic sense.
I can laugh about it now…but I think I actually died for a little bit that day. So I guess it’s not that funny…or is it?? Oh well….
I think back to that day and I look at myself now. I am not ashamed of who I’ve become or who I was. What the devil meant for bad, somehow God took that and turned it into something GOOD!
So yes, dear friends, family, and my loyal readers, I am a Divorced Woman.
I will repeat: I am divorced.
It still hurts yes and sometimes it hurts even more when I realize how lonely it keeps getting but somehow am not bitter any more, I can smile more and I laugh easily. I have learnt the true meaning of forgiveness and happiness and I can proudly encourage my baby sister who watched in a front row seat as my marriage crumbled to pieces…now I can look her in the face and tell her; Marriage’s not a bad thing!
I know that you’ve wondered (my readers) why I haven’t been finishing up on my stories but you have no idea (until today) the battle I was fighting emotionally. Most of the time I was writing those chapters, I had to force myself because Google kept telling me I was running out of space in my drive cause the complaints just wouldn’t stop coming! LOL.
On a serious note, I am very sorry that my two stories Kondwani’s Debt of Love and An Untimely Love took so long to be finished. I was struggling mentally and emotionally to concentrate on delivering the stories as well as I would have loved them to come out. Still, there were moments during this period when it felt so great to disappear through my characters and forget about all that was happening in my life. And sometimes, I would start writing and somewhere in the middle lose my concentration and give up. It’s been a struggle…one that I am already winning because today I sat down and wrote down this whole long thing!
If there’s anything I want someone to learn from all this, it is that God loves us more than anyone here on earth ever will. For my fellow women I want to say, in all matters relating to the heart, please always seek God’s guidance first before seeking approval from anyone else (here I am assuming that you put all other matters relating to your life before God…but am being deliberately specific on the matter of love). Let us not get swept up by the idea of marriage just because we hear a proposal or see an engagement ring.
Let us forsake this habit we have of ignoring certain traits we see in our potential suitors believing we can change them once we get married. The purpose of courtship indeed is marriage but the intention is that during this period you assess your partnership and your partner to see if indeed you would want to spend the rest of your life with them. Whereas you can compromise on certain things like bad sleeping habits (snoring) or bad breath, you cannot compromise on your principles or character. Human beings on their own have no power to change anyone, only God can change man so do not think for a moment that you have that power over your fiancé who has already cheated on you twice before he’s married you. I know that women too cheat, but my focus today is on the women so forgive me if am coming off too biased.
Don’t just hope to get a husband, pray for a God-fearing, good husband. Just because someone proposes marriage to you doesn’t mean you have to marry them. it is okay to say No even when the ring is right under your nose if you feel deep down your heart you might be making a mistake. There’s also nothing wrong with asking him to wait while you consider his proposal. Always pray for God’s guidance in everything you do, especially in decisions that will bring great change in your life.
For the single woman with no potential suitors in sight, don’t focus on envy too much. Not everything is as it seems on social media. Do not marry just because everyone around you is getting married. I know it’s easier said than done but it is doable. Social media only gives snapshots of people’s lives, it doesn’t tell you their full story. What you are seeing every day are well edited and well-thought out scenes from their lives. Didn’t you know that married folks aren’t supposed to air out their dirty laundry in public? Isn’t that why you only see the good and never the bad on their profiles? So why would you think that couple you are envying has a perfect life just from seeing their Facebook updates?
You will get married and want to re-enact the things you saw on Facebook and when things don’t work out the way you thought they would, you start thinking marriage isn’t all that.
The idea that marriage is a woman’s ultimate achievement is what makes most women desperate to settle down even with mates they clearly know aren’t husband material. Yes being alone can get lonely, it actually is lonely let me not sugar-coat that. However, rather than focusing on the loneliness, how about focusing your energy enjoying your own company by doing things that are uplifting to your spirit (like serving at church, reading the Bible daily, praying, and investing in yourself could be education wise, take up a hobby, hang out with friends, etc). The idea is that you are not supposed to wait for someone else (am talking about a human being here) to come and make your life fulfilling. This is why women end up being too dependent on men and when they are let down, they kill them thinking; my life has come to an end, the source of my happiness is gone.
If you cannot enjoy your own company or love your life enough to want to make it more fulfilling for yourself, why would you want to give that half-baked life to someone else’s son to live with for the rest of his life? I think that’s unfair. In marriage, you do not bring 50% of yourself and expect the other 50% to come from your spouse in order to make a 100. You each bring a 100% to make a complete whole because you are both bringing the whole lot of you and not just half of you.
I think I’ve written enough for today. So far this is my longest article ever!
Maybe I should mention at this point that KDOL and AUL will be back in full force by next week Friday so that we can start new stories in 2017. What do you think?
My name is Anisha Namutowe.
Or you can just call me Nisha.
Thank you for reading and happy holidays!!!