About a year ago, I came across this quote:
I don't recall why I posted it on my Instagram account then, but tonight, I do know the reason why I'm posting it.
You see, it's so easy to post quotes and pretend that we truly understand what the words mean. Personally, there are times when I post it just so I can be reminded of the right way to feel and the right way to do things. However, it's never quite that simple.
As an example, I have been feeling off for the past week. Admittedly, there has been nights of crying to my best friends and nights of intense prayer. You know, those Job like prayers where you feel like all the doors are shutting firmly and you just can't see the light.
It felt that way and once again, I felt like giving up. But of course, there came the BUT God.
You see, walking with Jesus means that life never quite turns out the way that we want it to. And it is quite true that when we pray, more than just changing our circumstances, God changes our hearts. Once again, this is a quote I've read so many times over the years but never quite understood until I've experienced it myself.
Tonight, I experienced the encompassing power of kindness. And not just fake kindness that you do to win a new friend over, but kindness that comes from a place of darkness. You see, it's so incredibly easy to be kind to a kind person or someone we need something from. It's ridiculously easy to be kind to someone who just gets us or to people who are on the same wavelength as us.
All of these things are easy. What's difficult is to be kind to people who want nothing but to see you unhappy, particularly someone who sees you as a threat and a competition of some sort. While I do hope that one day we live in a world where girls are kind to each other, instead of constantly competing with each other for the affection of men (as inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie), I learned to empathize with her instead of creating a checklist where I showed up to be better.
For the first time in my life, I didn't play the victim card, instead, by God's grace, I looked at her as I would myself. And I finally understood that the reason she felt the need to do what she did.
Life, I've learned, is not a competition.
And in understanding, I finally had the courage to be free. Free from wanting to prove myself, free from wanting to be the better one, and free from wanting to win.
It made me recall the times that I too felt that way towards other women and made a vow to break the cycle. It made me realise that being kind to those who are not deserving is one of life's greatest victories.
And now, as I write this, I thank God for changing my heart. He is the reason why I'm no longer the angry and insecure girl I used to be. And while I'm still a work in progress, I have learned that it's important to celebrate the little victories.
For someone like me who used to be extremely insecure (I still have those days), wanting to see someone else win what I would want for myself is a victory in itself.
So tonight, I thank God for this victory.