“2018 post” A new kind of challenge

When the year began, my mind was set out to achieve a number of goals. I however didn’t anticipate the challenge I am experiencing now. I was optimistic about the year that lay ahead. I am always optimistic and look forward to any new year with great hope — just like everyone else. Ten months down the line, I have achieved a number of my setout goals. As a PhD student, I completed my course work in July, 2018. I won a research grant in February. I began part-time teaching at various local universities in Nairobi. In the months of May and June, two journal articles I co-authored were published. Everything seemed to be going well for me. In August, the editor of the book volume in which I had contributed a chapter wrote to me. The final manuscript was out and I needed to have final look before it going to print. In the first week of September, I received an author’s copy of the book.

Amid this great academic success, my personal life was not that great. It was actually unraveling. It is not something that I am going to speak about today. The great accolades and achievements on the academic side meant nothing amidst this life challenge. The smile that I always exuded has faded. Nothing seems normal again. I try and look at the positive side of things. But am reminded of what happened. It is hard. Very hard. I take courage and get encouraged by my close friends. This one friend has been very helpful. A shoulder to cry on and always a call a way. I am grateful for the friendship. As I look forward to the close of the year, am reminded to be thankful despite everything that has happened. There is joy that comes from being alive and healthy. As a Christian man, I hold to God’s unending love. His mercies endure forever. I know all things work for good to them that love God — because I am called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

As I await the PhD Comprehensive Exams in the first week of November, I believe things will have turned around. I now prepare for the exams with anxiety — but with hope. It shall be well. In the fullness of time, there will be a renewal and restoration. It is always the darkest just before the day dawneth.