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Happy Easter 

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Happy Easter 

God is good! This truth resonates deep within me now, but reaching this place wasn’t a straight path. My story is a testament to the enduring power of resilience and the transformative embrace of faith.

My childhood was riddled with hardship. As a young girl, I was dealt a series of traumatic experiences, culminating in a particularly devastating one at the tender age of nine or ten. From that point until my teenage years, I became the target of relentless bullying at school. They attacked everything about me – my skin colour, my personality, my very existence. It was a relentless assault that chipped away at my self-esteem, leaving me feeling worthless. In the throes of that pain, I yearned for revenge, a desperate need to prove them wrong. However, this desire for retribution came at a heavy cost – I lost myself. My sensitivity, the very thing they mocked, became a weakness I felt compelled to eradicate. Emotions were bottled up, replaced by a burning resentment, a thirst for revenge, and a relentless drive to prove them all wrong.

Despite the darkness of those early years, a beacon of hope emerged when I transitioned to a better school at sixteen. Here, I was surrounded by a more positive environment and blossomed. The love and acceptance I received began the process of healing, but beneath the surface, the embers of anger still smouldered. It was an outspokenness that, while initially empowering, harboured the potential for future conflict.

This unresolved anger reached a boiling point during my university years, from eighteen to twenty-three. The emotions I’d suppressed for so long erupted in a torrent of rage. I used this fire to indiscriminately lash out, burning everything in my path, including myself. It was a destructive period fuelled by a misguided sense of empowerment.

Leaving university, I envisioned a smooth transition into a fulfilling career. My optimistic and outgoing nature (being sanguine) made me believe life would be easy. However, the harsh realities of the working world awaited. Backstabbing and office politics shattered my naive optimism. My fiery personality, while initially effective in asserting myself, lacked the necessary direction. In my fight for what I believed was right, I burned countless bridges. The vibrant and social life I once enjoyed – filled with friends, activities, and popularity – evaporated. From eighteen to twenty-three, the world seemed to be my oyster; now, from twenty-three to twenty-five, I felt utterly alone. In the depths of this despair, I strayed from the faith I had discovered at sixteen. My belief waned entirely, replaced by a consuming bitterness.

It was at my lowest point, at the age of twenty-five, that I found myself in a desperate situation, a direct consequence of my own anger. In that moment of utter despair, God offered me a lifeline. I rediscovered my faith and slowly began the arduous climb out of the abyss of depression. The path to healing wasn’t instant, but it was steady. Between the ages of twenty-seven and twenty-eight, I found a new church community, one that embraced me with open arms. This experience stood in stark contrast to the negativity I encountered between eighteen and twenty-three. Those previous churches treated me like an outcast, unworthy of belonging. One church even expelled me, labelling me a threat in need of deliverance and psychiatric intervention. Their judgment and rejection had deepened my wounds.

However, the warmth and acceptance of my new church family became a powerful source of strength. My childhood church remained a constant source of love and support, with my pastor regularly checking in on me. Here, in this new church environment, my pastor’s wife became a guiding light. Her gentle guidance, filled with love and devoid of manipulation, nurtured my spiritual growth. Through her support, I found a deeper connection with God, experiencing a profound sense of peace and acceptance.

Many grapple with the question of God’s presence during periods of struggle and pain. In my experience, these challenges are not random. They are a crucible, a furnace that refines us into our best selves. Through these trials, God’s power is revealed within us. We learn that our true value comes not from external validation, but from our connection with the divine. He teaches us to face our fears, to shed anxieties, and to embrace the present with courage and faith. He reminds us that we are not alone and that He will provide for our needs. Just as He allowed His own son to suffer, our tribulations have a purpose. Our wounds can become beacons of hope, testaments to God’s transformative power. Through our struggles, we become instruments of inspiration, demonstrating that even in the darkest hours, God offers redemption and the opportunity for a new beginning.

Today, I say it is good that I have been afflicted, for I would not know how great, loving, forgiving, merciful, and good God is. Even in my darkest moments, I know I can call him Abba Father and have peace beyond understanding. I no longer lash out and find healing in angry outbursts. Instead, I find healing and peace in the woman of God I am becoming, the strong and virtuous woman I am meant to be.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” (Romans 18:18-21)

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

Author: Akosua Darko

creativeisme7@gmail.com

London, UK

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