Stronger, Kinder, Wiser
December 4, 2017
Over the past year I have learned so much and my way of thinking or handling myself has definitely completely changed. I was going to write about details of the classes but if I did only that, I would have robbed this essay of what it truly represents and means to me, a turning point.
When I enrolled for GEMS I was distraught, severely depressed, lonely, afraid and outright a wreck. I had moved to America in search of a safe haven from political threats in Zimbabwe, also escaping a horrible abusive relationship, I came, I thought, to the safety of family. But the worst was yet to be revealed, I was pregnant!
So I went to a pregnancy resource center and was seriously contemplating abortion. This would be my third child at 29; I wasn’t ready for that. I needed to get a job and was living with family. They had already expressed grave disappointment in me. I went from the awesome cousin who had accomplished great things and was going to get spoiled rotten for her excellent achievements in her previous career, to a mere useless, mass of disappointment. I was a lower level family member having a full-on hard time at this point in my life. So when I was invited to enroll for the GEMS program, I developed hope that at least I wouldn’t have to go through everything on my own any more.
Over the months I learned many things; from how to treat yourself to how best to take care of my children (I have three). As a person who was settling in America I gained knowledge on how finances worked, what to watch out for and managed to get a feel of the culture and people. My mind finally had a break. The classes became my safe place, and though I rarely spoke to anyone or smiled, deep inside I was building relationships and bonds with everyone.
As time went on I was assigned an Angel… the beautiful soul that is Ms. Maria. There are no words to describe this lady. She took me in welcomed me into my life and mentored me. She responded to my needs and did everything she could to assist me. Doctors’ trips, Walmart runs… you name it. My family even nicknamed her my Godmother!
I digress. Having the GEMS experience, to me, was finally getting taught things I yearned to learn as a teenager. It was as though someone opened up my eyes and helped me see life from a whole new perspective. I grew, I learned I discovered… Certain skeletons in my cupboard were swept out. If my life was a room I would say GEMS did a thorough job of cleaning it up. One can never have enough of knowledge and in my country there’s a proverb that says,” Yours is the person who gives you advice,”
As I approach the end of another year, I find myself stronger, wiser and kinder. I find myself better equipped to tackle the challenges life has to throw at me, this time I do it clothed in dignity and standing firm on wisdom. GEMS has taught me a whole new way of Christian life and selflessness. A new dimension of giving of self to ministry. I hope to continue to walk with my sisters who I’ve come to know and love, the GEMS moms and to one day myself become an Angel sent to assist God’s people.
By: Gabriel Mom and Outstanding GEMS candidate Sibo Rumumba