This is not a story about god or religion.
I want to write about my old boss, a beautiful human being and my first ever mentor.
This man is a Minister. His church and his congregation saved my life.
I’ll never forget the first day I met him, the day of my job interview. Tragically, my interview was on the day after my aunties funeral.
(She took her own life)
I was in pieces that day and by some miracle I got the job. I was relieved because I was so broke and needed to find a part time job to fit around university.
I was desperate to make enough money and save up for a deposit so I can move out of my grandmothers house.
The mad house, as I used to call it.
Little did I know at the time – just how much of a blessing this was. A few months into the job I was suddenly made homeless because I was being threatened with violence.
A couple of my cousins were after my blood.
It all started one night at my cousins house. She got deliriously drunk and tried to strangle her 8 year old son. I was stone cold sober and was able to stop her.
We managed to escape from the back door of her house. My cousin then called the police and told them I had abducted her child.
The police found us standing in the street. It was pissing it down and we were in our bare feet waiting for a taxi.
They picked us up for questioning and her son disclosed that his mother tried to strangle him, and I confirmed his story.
As a result of this incident, my cousin and her sister decided I was in the wrong and told my grandmother they were going to kill me.
It wasn’t safe for me to stay with my grandmother anymore.
I reached out to the Minister and he arranged for one of the congregation members to give me a place to stay – and I am eternally grateful for that.
I am seriously convinced that if I hadn’t got that job and I hadn’t worked for the Minister I would be dead or in jail right now.
At one point I ended up in A&E nearly dead, in need of an emergency operation and blood transfusion.
On top of all this, I was such a lost soul at the time, so young and absolutely clueless.
This was pre-ADHD diagnosis so I was broke, unstable, un-medicated, historically unable to hold down a job and just barely keeping my head above water.
My minister was more than just a boss – he was my first mentor and at the time, the only person in my entire life who saw my potential and invested in me.
He inspired me and taught me what I needed to know about life and my own abilities so I could dig myself out of rock-bottom.
He had “unconditional positive regard” for me and everyone he met.
Such a legend.
He emailed me today and asked me where I was on “my journey”. I responded straight away, but I reframed the dark stuff. I disclosed all the recent traumatic events with a positive spin.
I wasn’t as honest and raw as I am here on this blog. It didn’t feel necessary.
I thought about posting a redacted version of my response but I decided against it in the end.