We did a story a few years ago on a woman named Princess Noma Siziba who had authored her first book Why l Never Gave Up, which detailed her struggles as a teen mom and how she overcame numerous obstacles. Princess has made even greater leaps and bounds in recent years (we’ll cover that in an upcoming story) but today, I’d like us to look back on some of the highlights we gleaned from her story.
Princess became pregnant soon after high school. As a teen mom, she didn’t know what her future held. Many of the voices around her told her she would not amount to much and that she had ruined her life.
“I was that girl constantly in the shadows, the one you write off, the least likely to succeed, the one who watched others graduate and get married.”Princess Siziba
1. Don’t let your circumstances dictate your future
Sometimes in life we settle for where we are because the very idea of ever achieving anything substantial seems out of reach. We feel we have too many disqualifying factors and so our dream disintegrates into simply hoping to get by. This is where Princess was.
Your circumstances don’t control your future, God does. You may be in the shadows today but you are so much more than where you are right now. Shadows are temporary. Change your perspective. The people around you that are advancing in life are proof that it is possible. Hold on to that.
2. Your deepest pain can become your greatest catalyst
“When l wholeheartedly submitted to God, He began to show me who l was and the hidden abilities l carried. The things that broke me brought me to a place of total surrender to Him.”Princess Siziba
I listen to a sermon a couple of days ago by Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church entitled “The Mentor you Didn’t Ask for.” In that sermon, he explain how we often have an agonizing thorn in our lives that God uses to teach us critical lessons. We often despise it and ask Him to take it away because it brings us so much pain, but it is through that thorn that our greatest breakthroughs occur.
We all have something that we wish we didn’t have to deal with. When we come to the understanding that nobody’s life is perfect, we realize that it is a waste of time to wish you were somebody else or you had someone else’s life. They have problems too. They may not be in a season of their life where they are experiencing challenges, but problems are assured to everyone. However, if we allow them to, our struggles can bring us closer to God.
3. Relationships ARE a big deal
We need to spend time reflecting on our relationships to see where we made some missteps. Many times, we find ourselves entertaining the wrong people because, at the time, we didn’t have a good grasp on who we were, and therefore, were willing to except something that turned out to be detrimental just so we could fill a void.
Princess went into detail about the lessons she learned from a toxic relationship she was in. I appreciate her transparency.
“To love a broken man is demise. A man who was attracted to my light put it out. And when he had done so, he began to see darkness in me too. A man who began to view me as an object and proudly declared all he wanted was my body.”Princess Siziba
We often pick the wrong people when we are not in the best place emotionally and spiritually. Romantic relationships are far more influential than we think. Love can do a number on us and sometimes rational thinking eludes us. So we must be mindful of the kind of people we allow ourselves to fall in love with.
4. Accept your mistakes
We often look back and scold ourselves for choices we made in the past, but what we need to do is remember that we made the best decision at the time with the information we had at the time. We need to give ourselves grace for making mistakes and choose to learn from them instead of rebuking ourselves. You did the best you could at the time. And if you knew better but didn’t do better, it’s worth investigating why you made that choice. But that process should not involve flogging yourself.
We are curious to find out what you learned from Princess’ story. Read it below and let us know!
Vimbai E. is a writer, journalist, ghostwriter and the founder of The Weight She Carries. With hundreds of articles publishing online, in print and for broadcast, her love of language and storytelling shines through every piece of writing that bears her name.