If I was not sitting on my couch, I would have fallen off from shock: how, what, when, where—those were the questions running through my head. That phone call was the beginning of my journey into advocacy of Women’s Wellness and Mental Health as part of the mission of the church.
Our vision for the period of 2017-2020 was “Go Tell – Women as Missionaries.” In line with our theme, our mission has been centred on bringing hope to the hopeless, making churches centres of healing and transformation. The Women’s Manyano understands how deeply mothers are bleeding from different wounds, similarly to the visionaries who started this organization. Mothers continue to be subjected to injustices, as well as economic and social marginalization.
For me as a medical doctor this was an extension of my day-to-day activities in my professional work—the church became another platform to exercise the gift of healing. Little did I know that God had other plans for me. My life took a turn for the worse in September 2018. I went through a turbulent storm in my work life. My worst fears were realised; I was on the brink of collapse physically, mentally, spiritually, financially and my family watched helplessly as they were also drawn into all.
I felt so alone as a medical doctor. I could not reach out to my colleagues as my reputation had been tarnished. I was shunned and isolated by some. As a reverend’s wife I could not reach out to anyone because I was the one who people came to when they needed help. The adage “who heals the healer?” became my reality. I was drowning in a deep sea of despair. I sank into a deep dark hole of despair. I experienced love and support from my family, and encouragement from the few friends that remained. A friend of mine gifted me with a book “Man’s Search for Meaning”by Viktor Frankl. I heard God speaking to me through these words.
“The one thing you can't take away from me is the way I choose to respond to what you do to me. The last of one's freedoms is to choose one's attitude in any given circumstance.”
“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”
“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”
Through the Wellness Program I rediscovered purpose. I used my hurt and pain to heal other women in the church who were going through challenges of mental health, I became an advocate and champion of Women’s Wellness and Mental Health as part of the mission of the church, because for me it became a healing balm to this wounded healer. That same year I graduated on the 14 December with my post-graduate diploma in Health Management, on my birthday and wedding anniversary.