The Morning started like every other day, my younger sisters got ready for school,my parents left for work and I was home as the universities were on strike in my home country,Nigeria. However, there was something different about this day… I was about to make a decision that would change my life forever.
I was 22years old and had fallen in love with someone who promised me a world that was not a reality yet and somehow it appeared to be better than the one I had. For as long as I can remember I had never felt that I fit in (now I am wondering why I was trying to fit in when that was not the original intent).
Picture this, from being an overweight teenager, getting teased often, applying to study medicine in the university, doing a transfer to another university that offered more and then watching it all get dashed with me stuck between going back to where I came from or starting over in another school was just too much for me to handle at age 20 but I never found a way of escape.
This became too much for me to deal with at that age and I did feel like I had lost so much in Life already. So imagine the relief, when someone showed up and promised a life that seemed to make up for the years lost and with so much assurance…I guess I perceived this was finally my chance to fit in!
Perhaps, the adventurer in me wanted to go on the journey of discovery and I was willing to walk away from everything I held dear to my heart and step into an unknown territory.
9years later, I found myself alone with two sons wondering…How I got here.
Eloped at 22, Divorced at 31 with two sons and picking the pieces of my life again was a lot to handle. I went through all the emotions you can think of…depression, anger, bitterness, hatred, fear, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, grief-the list is endless.
How was I going to pick up the pieces of my life again? How was I going to care for my little ones who had experienced and witnessed things that no child should ever have to go through? Was I going to ever love again after the betrayal? Will my family take me back after everything I put them through? What about the stigma and shame? What will people say?
Somewhere in the middle of this has always been my Faith in God. I was raised up as a Christian child with Godly values and although I had derailed, God was not through with me yet, He was just getting started.
I picked up the pieces one day at a time; I gave myself the greatest gift of forgiveness because it’s never about the other person. I found healing for my aching heart and even met an amazing man who has now become Dad to my two sons and 18years after that turning point, I am now a proud mom of 4 lovely children, An International Speaker, Certified Coach and Chief Storyteller of the Global Movement- The Women with Stories.
Want to make a point or raise an issue? Tell a story- Janet Litherland.
It’s undeniable the issues that plague our society today, from depression, suicide, sexual abuse, deep seated bitterness, trauma from past hurts, living a life of constant regret. It is not uncommon to hear cases of people just throwing in the towel and taking their own lives. Imagine, a world where you knew you were not alone and that what you are going through right now, someone else has gone through it and not just survived but are now at a place of serving others from the Gift in their pain. What a difference that would make!
I never imagined I would birth a Global Movement from my Pain, but 18years later… I can boldly say that indeed ‘Your Story is Your Gift’.
You’ve read a bit of my personal story, but if I may ask… What’s your story? What drives you? What makes you do the things you do? Pause and think about this for a moment. The choices you make today determine the kind of life you live.
Today, I have only one mission and that’s to live my life to the fullest and die empty taking none of what God has blessed me with to the grave. I don’t consider myself a Feminist just because I lead a Movement focused on Women. I have never been a fan of labels and truly, one word is not enough to define the Woman that I am!
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke.
I just want to do good!