Often times, we go on about what we lack. I mean, you hear people go on about not having the most trivial stuff and you wonder, is that person complaining of a half-empty glass or one that’s half-full?

Most of it is pure vanity while some people just complain because they don’t know what else to say about a life near perfection or one that will never be worse because of sheer insatiability, if that does makes sense. I, for instance, often go on (silently) about not having one or two things that (whenever I sit back and think carefully) I’d actually do without, yet how I’d love to have them for sheer luxury! Oh the human/woman in me!

When I watched the story of Vivian Stringer, I thought, “Wow! I don’t know what I’d do if something like that were to happen in my life! I’d give up. I’d stop having any zest whatsoever in life, I’d wanna… I don’t know… DIE! But then again, I think, I’ve undergone deep losses in my life too. I’ve lost someone I hoped would be a life partner to cancer when I was, what, 17. Four months down the line, I lost his unborn child through a miscarriage – the only thing that would have left a trace of him in my life forever. Something I’d have held onto.

However horrific that period was, I’ve had to go through worse situations in my life, but I overcame them through the grace of God. I mean, how else would I have made it to where I am today if it weren’t for the grace of God, huh?

But you see, I’m not sharing this for your “oohs” and “aaaahs”! No ma’am/sir. I’m sharing this part of life, my life (for the first time in public) for you who’s reading this to get out of your shell. Stop complaining for all the things you don’t have and start thanking the Almighty for all that you have. Stop blaming the Universe about your horrible past and start thanking it for how far God’s brought you.

Yeah, I know you must be reading this and thinking, girl please, I’m gonna go to church whenever I need a sermon, so keep yours. But hey, neither you or anyone else will stop this feeling inside of me. The peace that I find in knowing that all that’s happened did for a reason. That God had and has a plan for me; a good plan. I mean, after starring death in the face for three years and coming out victorious (even if it’s just for now), full of life and ready to take on the world, what more could I ask God for except happiness, contentment (with the much or little I have depending on how you perceive my life from an outsider’s point of view)?

Let me just say that when I learned that I’d be writing for ElleAfrique Magazine,  I thought, “Wow! This is me. With everything going on, God’s still got my back!” I’d just made it to the executive committee of the Editor’s Forum of Namibia (EFN) right about the time I found out that I’d be writing for the magazine. So here’s to say that I haven’t written to date not because I had nothing to say, but because I was wondering where to start for I have so much to say. Then I stumbled upon an inspiration; Vivian Stringer, the basketball couch.

I know her story isn’t “African” because she’s American, but let’s face it, as an African woman – no matter which part of the world you live in – how many of us go through life’s setbacks and still come out of it all with a smile?

While people different things in the name of hobbies like collect beach sand in bottles during vacations or landscape pictures, mine is… let’s see… I collect stories about people’s lives. We all have stories about our life experiences to share. I run after those.

Watch Vivian Stringer’s story if you’re still wondering whether you should thank God for a glass half-full or one that’s half-empty.