Guest Posts Life

Crowned by Mary Kamau

Mary and I go way back. We met in university and she always had this sort of poise and composure about herself that would probably heighten your insecurity as a lady if you weren’t sure of yourself. She was the way I imagine the statue of liberty to be – inspiring and unintentionally intimidating. But her heart! Oh. There have been few that I’ve met with a heart like hers. She’s warm, a die-hard tea drinker with such a beautiful labyrinth mind and my favourite of all – a lifer ready to do the deep and hard with you and one of my favourite spiritual cheerleaders.

Earlier on this year at a time when I was fighting doubt and all my prayers sounded like a cry to God to help me believe again in what He’s said of me and in the dreams He breathed in me, she pulled me aside after service and peeled off my “I’m okay” mask. You know the one we ladies wear so well. The one that collects our tears in jars during the last five minutes of worship so we have enough time to compose ourselves after. Yeah. That one.

And we sat by the gazebo, me weeping as she peeled off this mask of self-doubt that I’d been wearing that she saw through. Every word she said was a cleansing and I felt my heart beat again as she prayed with me at the end of our conversation.

God used her that day in February to answer that quiet prayer stirring within me that didn’t want the elevation, or the stuff, or the house (because Lord knows a move has been our desire for some time). Like Solomon, I didn’t want much. I wanted to believe again and dream again with God and expect from Him who keeps ALL His promises.

Mary (who writes every week on her website) came with Spirit wind and blew on my dry bones and I’m certain she will do the same with you through this post.

Her current series on womanhood as Divinely designed by God has had me walking taller and confident in my call and function as a woman as I’m sure you will too.

Thank you so much Mary for showing up here. I do not take it at all for granted. Besos!

So guys, you’re in for a treat. This round’s on her so enjoy!

***

Crown

/kraʊn/

to invest with a regal crown, or with regal dignity and power.

to honor or reward; invest with honor, dignity, etc.

to complete worthily; bring to a successful or triumphant conclusion

***

It’s the brown stilettos that get my attention first.

Seated in a Kencom bus, stuck in traffic on Kenyatta Avenue, I don’t have much else to do but stare out the window and daydream.

My vivid imagination is usually powerful enough to drown out the world around me.

But those brown stilettos shatter right through my airy castles and demand my homage.

I shift my gaze upwards and see her.

Strutting down the pavement like she owns it…and she knows she owns it.

With a brown leather jacket to match, the world is hers for the taking.

Something stirs violently deep within me.

I wish I had that.

Not the stiletto heels. For the life of me, I still don’t understand how we haven’t figured out how to have beauty without pain.

Maybe the brown leather jacket. It’s a classic statement piece that would make a beautiful addition to my wardrobe.

That.

That confidence.

That surety.

That je ne sais quoi that makes the world around her give way in reverence.

She embodies a desire I didn’t know how to voice until now.

The need to belong in my own skin.

***

Around the mountain we go.

My intellect and worth are defined by grades and I don’t get it.

Am I not more than a set of exams?

I’ve mastered the art of passing them so much so there’s no challenge anymore.

I’m bored and it’s showing on my report card.

I’m looking for something to justify all this effort and everyone tells me to get the A and the purpose will come.

You mean put the cart before the horse? That makes no sense to me.

I stop asking questions out loud because no one seems to get me.

But they rage within me still.

I’m scoffed at by people I thought would know better for doing a “simple” degree.

I stumble into my career still desperately trying to figure out my why.

I have to give up everything I want to gain everything I didn’t even know I need.

But finally I get it.

My why.

What a glorious why it is.

I’ve found my voice.

***

Around the mountain we go.

I feel the stares and instinctively look towards where they’re coming from.

Two olive skinned men in a car right in front of me waiting for the lights to turn green.

Me about to make a dash across the road before they do.

I look around to confirm what I already know. There’s no one in my immediate radius.

I look down in confusion. I’m in jeans and a top that goes halfway up my neck.

I close my eyes in frustration. It’s the middle of the day in a crowded busy street.

Why are they leering at me like that?

Why do they look like they want to buy me off the street?

I look away when they start beckoning me over, their wild expressions vividly showing their intent.

My heart sinks.

I pass behind their vehicle. Not in front of it.

Their eyes follow my every move until the lights turn green an eternity later and save me.

It takes a few more rounds on this mountain to realize why I’m shying away from form fitting clothes, from outfits that showcase my God-given femininity.

I can’t be angry any more.

I can’t be scared any more.

I shake my head in determination.

I refuse to be ashamed of my womanhood.

I allow God to speak life where has been death.

My wardrobe begins to change.

***

Around the mountain we go.

I’m waiting for a mutual friend with my then boyfriend.

We’re in a bar & restaurant that is more bar than restaurant.

And since it’s early morning, it’s practically empty.

That’s when they come in.

Two older white men with a black girl more than half their age.

They’re deep in conversation when they sit down and she remains standing beside one of them.

His arm is around her waist but she may as well be part of the furniture.

She’s with them but she’s not there.

As though realizing his faux pas, he smacks her ass and cracks a joke that has her pasting a coquettish smile on her face.

But her body is screaming what her mouth won’t.

The dead look in her eyes haunts me till today.

I have heart-wrenching conversations with God about womanhood spanning years.

Him calling me to women’s ministry makes more sense with each passing day.

How I can go where He sends me is no longer in question.

It’s been replaced with – how can I not?

***

Around the mountain we go.

It’s been a hard day.

The kind of hard that has me seated on my bed the minute I get home thinking it would probably be best for me not to have any daughters.

The kind of hard that makes me stark raving mad five seconds after the thought crosses my mind.

Angry at a world that has gotten me to the point where I contemplate the only way to save the women in my lineage is to have them never exist.

It takes a while to burrow out of the pain, fear, confusion and anger. But what I find underneath all the debris shocks me.

Hope.

Hope in Jesus.

Hope that this world can be made better.

Hope that in my own way I can play a vital role in making it better.

For me and for my children.

Hope that they need to be here because the world needs what they carry.

I can’t wait to have daughters.

***

Around the mountain we go.

He just wants to have sex with me.

This is what I get for putting myself out there.

I knew it was nonsense but I gave it a try anyway.

Unfortunately for him, I know men who don’t rush women into their beds.

Unfortunately for me, I keep hoping what I do have to offer will be enough.

It’s not.

He ghosts on me when he doesn’t get what he wants.

It takes me over a year to realize that the person I’m truly angry at, who is in more desperate need of my forgiveness is me, not him.

I release myself from my disappointment and expectations and those of the world.

I extricate myself from “out there”.

And wouldn’t you know it, he still finds me – my forever man.

Who champions me in ways I have yet to find adequate words to describe.

Who cherishes everything I have to offer for the priceless treasure it is.

***

Around the mountain we go.

Sticks and stones break bones.

And words can hurt me.

Oh, how they’ve scarred me.

They have defined me in terrible ways.

The top is a lonely place for a ten-year old.

Brokenness in human relationships and friendships has left me painfully crippled.

Surrounded by people who think they know me but know nothing at all.

I’m asking begging God for silver and gold but He knows what I really need.

He grabs hold of my crippled ankles and begins to speak life.

I want to give Him all the reasons why I’m still on this mat.

But He won’t let go of my ankles.

He unravels the beauty of family and community and it leaves me breathless.

He takes my hand and won’t let go till I rise from the mat.

It takes a few tries and fails before I begin to get the hang of it.

It.

Not walking alone.

It’s strange and unfamiliar to be among people faithful with my heart.

Like a beggar painfully aware of the value of a feast laid out before them.

But I’m a beggar no more.

I’ve found my way home.

***

Into the promised land we go.  

I look in the mirror and smile at the woman looking back at me.

She is breathtaking.

The glow in her skin.

The sparkle in her eyes.

The stubborn mane on her head that will not be tamed for nothing.

The crown resting sassily right above said mane; the gems within taking their time to wink at me.

The golden marks in her soul that show all the places she’s been.

Light shines brazenly out of her.

She’s done hiding.

She’s done apologizing.

She’s made peace with who she is…and all the more, who she’s not.

She smiles back at me.

We’ve found the place where we belong.

I love being in my own skin.

***

Wasn’t that a trip ladies? Such an amazing journey into embracing your call! There’s a whole lot more where that came from on her website and a great place to start would be the series on womanhood that she’s been doing that you can catch up on here, also here, here too and definitely here. Pass by and show her some love.

I guess all that’s left to say is may us ladies take our rightful place in the army of God.

xo,

Mary Kamau is:

Beloved. Writer. Wife. Incurable romantic. Chocolate hoarder. Author-in-the-works. Deaconess. Koki’s friend (lol!) These are but a few of my many hats. 🙂 I write for and run operations at Kairos Consultancy Group – a resource platform for Christians in the marketplace. I scribble about my adventures with God over at marykamau.com. I’m all about finding joy in the everyday and never losing the wonder of what it means to be known and loved by God.

  • Reply
    Angel
    July 13, 2018 at 3:57 am

    Such an amazing and inspiring piece. Thank you Mary and Koki.

    • Reply
      Koki
      July 13, 2018 at 6:49 am

      All the yaaaaays Angel!

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