Women of Reverence welcomes Unathi Tembo as our guest blogger.
Unathi is a South African woman who resides in Zimbabwe. She is married to Stan Tembo (a Zambian living in Zimbabwe) and a mother to two sons plus three “bonus” children. Unathi is passionate about staying active by going to gym, running marathons, reading books and loves people (and Children). She enjoys reading, studying the Word of God and unpacking the Scriptures with family and friends. She is a BCom graduate having majored in Business Management and Economics from the University of Port Elizabeth. Unathi has 15 years work experience in Corporate SA. She has worked for several Blue Chip companies. Currently Unathi is a full time mom and house wife; she also assists her husband in his business while also teaching English on-line.
After packing up my life in South Africa to join my love in Zimbabwe, I had to navigate the terrain of single-ness, motherhood, geography and jobs. Transitioning from singleness required so much learning - Learning to be a wife (after marrying at the age of thirty eight) Independence was deeply engraved on my heart. I had to learn to be pliable, to consider another, to submit, to come alongside and to honor my husband (I’m still learning). Leaving behind South Africa meant leaving my world behind, my people, my job (which I really enjoyed), my family, friends, basically life as I knew it. To enter a world whose economy I would struggle to understand, including the basics of the Zim ‘bond’ (currency) and its volatile inflation rate. Family-wise, I had to navigate being a mom again after 24 years with a blended family, and on the job front, (from being independent and building a thriving career in the corporate world) to being a housewife and stay at home mom in a new country. Navigating these changes was not easy, even though I knew in my heart of hearts that I wouldn’t have it any other way with God at the center. I quickly had to find ways to help me stay focused despite the discomfort of change.
What helped me navigate?
The Compass of CONVICTION:
Knowing that God was at the center of this move helped me at times when the going got tough. Without this conviction, discouragement would sneak in and threaten to blind me from the blessing of this new beginning and season as a wife which I had longed for many years.
NOT LOOKING BACK:
It was easy to want to look back and compare - I realized looking back wasn’t helpful as it hindered my progress. I had to make the switch so I could embrace the new season and all that it had for me.
An Attitude of GRATITUDE:
I had to keep before me the reasons for this massive change, i.e., my biggest gift…my wonderful man, so I could keep ‘the main thing the main thing’ (and be careful to not throw away the baby with the bath water) I also kept a ‘gratitude journal’ (an idea I got from R.T Kendall’s book: Just say Thanks!) where I would jot down things I was grateful for that day, the list needn’t be long. This trained my mind to focus and keep ‘the main thing, the main thing’. Change takes us out of our comfort zone and therefore carries with it a level of discomfort. A discomfort zone. Should you find yourself in a place of change or transition - don’t lose heart! Just know that the discomforts are best navigated by looking to the one who can sympathize with you…
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. (Hebrews 4:14 NKJV)
He’s the one who knows you (Psalm 139)
And the one whose hand is mighty to save.
‘The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.’ [Zephaniah 3:17]
God is trustworthy! It’s been three years and I’ve successfully transitioned. I’m grateful to God for all that He’s impressed on my heart through this transition because I’m richer for it.