Friday, 15 September 2017

Thought Picnic: Sustained by the power of hope and somebody somewhere praying for me

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For when I die
Somebody somewhere is praying just for you, it is the only thing I can say considering I have not been praying that much for myself.
Uncanny as it seems, I was in conversation with my friend about people I had somewhat chosen to be my pallbearers if anything ever happened to me just over 5 years ago. I was at my lowest ebb, I had lost every material possession and all I had left was hope, the hope that things would turn for the better.
On the eve of my leaving the Netherlands after almost 13 years of sojourning there, I wrote to my six friends informing them of my decision to return to the UK. My Netherlands odyssey was over and the future was just out there without anything in the horizon.
I told them of my desire to be laid to rest in the place where I was born, I was however surprised that some read it as a sign of giving up, I had not, I was just aware of my vulnerability and not ready to deny that it loomed just as large as the inner strength that bore me on through my toughest hours.
Suddenly and uncannily
Of the six, one is sadly deceased and many of the others I have not maintained that much contact with, the vagaries of life usurping the ability to concentrate and contemplate. One of my friends I had not spoken to in years, I surmised he was fine and we left it at that.
The next day, my phone rang and guess who was calling me? The friend I had not spoken to in years. He apparently was praying at home and there he had the unction to call me, which he immediately did and we talked at length catching up of lost memories and current events. I thought in my mind, there is something going on outside of my control.
In another conversation with another close friend, we chatted about my search for new work which had been going on for weeks with my resources and reserves literally completely dwindled and bills piling up. Then weeks ago, I suggested to her that the job might just come suddenly, I just did not know when the suddenly would be.
The unexpected job offer
It was last Friday morning; my phone rang the person who called had just reviewed my LinkedIn profile and decided I was a good fit for the role he had in mind for me. It was an interesting short-term contract and within that conversation we had agreed on a rate before he offered to have their CTO call me for a chat.
When the CTO called, I was expecting an interview with trick questions and all the wily interrogation that constitutes interview processes nowadays. It was a discussion and it came down to basically understanding my kind of thinking and mindset as regards the role on offer.
As the conversation came to an end, I was expecting another set of interview hurdles, however, what I got was a job offer, straight to contract negotiations, the word of a gentleman and by Monday morning the deal was sealed to start on Tuesday. The same job had been offered by an agency a week before at such a paltry rate that I could not at all countenance.
Really running on empty
Then I had another little difficulty, but for the sustenance of my best friend, I was living from hand to mouth, I had already lost 7 kilogrammes and in terms had nothing left to take up the opportunity in a city far from home. The quest to recoup loans was getting nowhere that my only option was to borrow some money and then find a place to couch-surf for a week or two until some income came through.
I sometimes wonder how much stress and strain a person can endure in the quest for a modicum of means and independence. It does not get any easier, yet hope endures in ways that even astounds me, it all looks bad, and something whispers in me that all these encounters of misfortune and brushes with penury will not last.
A life of gratitude
It will all come good, it just needs a bit of time and the hope that the little one has can stretch to the time when there is no need to fear for limitations and lack.
I say, somebody somewhere is praying just for me, angels are falling over themselves with supply and friends are holding me up from falling to the ground. I am reminded daily that my life and existence is one to be thankful for with every sense of gratitude.
Even when I don't seem to have anything, nothing can stop me, something keeps me going and there is everything to live for. It remains the story I am glad to tell.


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