Community//

I Shared A Room With Five Girls In My Mid-Thirties

Here is what I learnt from community living and sisterhood.

In my mid-thirties I was just waiting for someone to pull the plug for me.I felt utterly bored, unfulfilled, with an intense sadness from my job and life. The standard brown plastered make-up, with a splash of pink and gold colour covering my face and broad smile was a mask I had to wear for years.

I was extremely grateful for having a job, but gratitude was not enough to keep me hanging around for another year. I knew I had to let go of deep rooted inner fears and let go of a lot to go on the adventure I always longed for.

Apart from the romance and feel good vibes I felt from travelling, it became an escape for me in my early twenties and I longed to have those feelings again.

This time I was avoiding even more than ever, in what seemed like a two year long battle with grief and trauma.

In Decemeber 2018, I finally gained enough courage to quit my job and sell my car to travel. I did not want to just travel, but i wanted to travel with a purpose and for a cause.

My goal was to heal, find myself again and the God who I grew more and more distant from.

In March 2019, I joined a global faith-based organisation and enrolled for a six month programme called DTS (Discipleship Training School), I became a student again at thirty-four amongst eleven other young people, with the average age being twenty-four.

The first three months of the school focused on creating an intimate relationship with God,learning about different topics, whilst the second part was practicing what we had learnt and travelling to different parts of the world to make God known.

We were twelve young people living in a Christian mission focused organisation amongst hundreds of other young people from all over the world. I felt I was in a bubble within a bubble for the first three months.

I shared a room with six young woman, and felt I could not relate to most of them due to the relatively large age gap between us. I struggled to fit in and felt nostalgic on most days choking up on how I did not fit in throughout my life. I also longed for my space, my apartment and the freedom to be an introvert.

I hated the fist three months, and saw how little we have progressed in our democracy.I felt we were exposed and influenced subconsciously by an apartheid South Africa which guided us to gravitate to the familiar shade of brown or white among us.

The next three months on what was called outreach, was the ultimate game changer in the dynamics of our relationships. The leadership deicided to mix and split the team between two different locations. It formed new strong relationships that we would never intentionally pursued.

Two teams travelling and volunteering through Africa, serving communities, and bringing hope in places that have not had any light shon in a long time. I finally let go of most of my gaurds and became vulnerable to the strangers who now became my new family for the last six months.

I learnt that there is unity in diversity, diversity is beautiful. I began to understand and be a little more gracious to other cultures accepting that “it is not wrong,just different”.

I accepted I needed help, and help was offered. I let go of some important boundaries, which pained me at first and morphed into a new culture.

The most important lessons I have learnt is that time is so precious, it is no use expecting anyone to change, it is being able to find the gold inside of them. I write these words so easily but it was a tough lesson to learn.

Leaving your home, your culture, and everything that is safe to enter the unknown is scary, but in community I have found lasting friendships.

The inate nature of a woman is compassionate, loving and forgiving. I experienced love, kindness, upliftment, ears to listen, shoulders to cry on, a glance and smile to assure me all will be well but above all, I have learnt that we are constantly growing and need each other.

In community I found friendship beyond the barriers of age,race, nationality,language and culture. I found my faith in God again,and began a process of deep healing.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention there were definately moments of being sick of each other,drama and cat fights. It was all worth it!

If you think it is too late to do and be something different, stop thinking that! Click the link below if you would like to know more about opportunities with YWAM.

www.ywam.org

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