How can a woman wait to have a child for almost five years only to have her prayers answered but the same child she waited for was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at 21 months?
It is said that a bitter experience either makes or mars a person and that depends on the individual’s perspective.
In this month’s edition of “Inside the Mind of a Creator”, Hilda Manyo Dickson, a finance professional, positive mindset strategist, takes IBIENE through her journey of unimaginable personal challenges of her own, and how she was inspired to write about her experience to help others stay hopeful amid their storms.
She is referred to by those who know her as the ‘Encourager’, that friend who is committed to helping those around her maintain a positive outlook, no matter what they are passing through.
This Wife to a fine, pragmatic man and mother to three gorgeous children, loves good company, cooking, travelling, shopping, writing. Her faith in God, love for family, and fitness fuels Hilda in her daily life.
What did she do through the very difficult times? Keep reading to know more;
IBIENE: You wrote a book titled “Osunyameye”. What does that mean, why that title and what is the book about?
Hilda: Osunyameye simply means nothing is impossible or beyond God, a Ghanaian name I borrowed from my sister-in-law. After a doctor boldly proclaimed it was impossible for my husband and me to have a baby naturally, I couldn’t think of a better name when by divine intervention I conceived.
The name “Osunyameye” has since remained a constant reminder and faith booster when life trials surface – Nothing is difficult for God!
IBIENE: Were there times you were depressed or felt like giving up? What did you do to come out stronger and brighter?
Hilda: I am only human, so what do you think? There were several times when I felt low; I just did not stay there long enough to allow the negative emotions to take a permanent seat. I intentionally stayed positive and focused on keeping my thoughts pure. I reminded myself of the great things God had done for me in the past, listened to songs of hope, cried when I needed to and got engaged in activities that distracted me in a good way.
IBIENE: Most from the African continent still operate on the “God-forbid, “it’s not my portion” mindset. As a deeply spiritual person, who has had difficult and unexpected experiences, how do you react to that?
Hilda: It’s a good place to start. If only phrases could wish trouble away, why not? However, that is living in fantasy because we are all born of a woman and only need a few days to start experiencing trouble. God never promised us a life without trials or pain, He only promised to be with us through it all. So I will say brace up, build yourself up in the word of God and take the trouble as an honour when it shows up because you serve a God that is bigger than any situation.
IBIENE: Should parents prepare for any eventuality for their children seeing that cancer has no known causes and can affect even children?
Hilda: Parents should prepare for life, not cancer because life will happen! I couldn’t have done anything different from what I shared in the book ‘Osunyameye’. Just live!
Eat well, play hard, have an emergency fund account running, love people and have a close-knit partnership with God when the going is good. You will need that reservoir to draw from when those eventualities occur.
IBIENE: What should (a) parent(s) do once the doctor gives the sad news?
Hilda: Once you are given bad news, don’t just accept it.
Counter it with God’s word. That way you are setting up the foundation to tackle it.
I would always recommend a second doctor’s opinion where possible and especially if you have a feeling of unease with the diagnosis.
Once confirmed or reconfirmed, do anything that makes you come to terms with your reality: cry hard, laugh hysterically, dance, call family, call friends … Just allow the emotions to flow but don’t stay there for too long. Snap out of it and step out in faith. Don’t magnify the problem, magnify God!
IBIENE: You seem to leverage the power of storytelling and sharing of experiences. Why?
Hilda: Shared experiences lighten the burden for anyone dealing with similar challenges.
I believe that any frustration I face should propel me to do something different as a child of light. When my daughter was down with cancer, I longed to read an authentic story that could ignite hope and restore courage but I found it difficult to find any.
It was at that point I made a vow to write a book and share my story trusting it will restore hope and bring healing for someone out there.
IBIENE: Some people suffer in silence for fear of negative reactions. What do you have to tell someone in that category?
Hilda: Whether you are quiet or loud, good or bad, rich or poor, sick or healthy, people will always talk or react in a way that could tamper with your self-esteem.
Be vulnerable! Your story is your superpower and has the power to save lives.
Stay focused on the positive impact you will make on those that need to learn from your experience.
IBIENE: What did you learn from your experiences that can be used to encourage someone going through difficult times today?
Hilda: I learnt so much and I struggle with how to sum it all up in the allotted space.
I learnt that ‘Nothing is impossible with God’ is not a cliche but an active phrase with the power to turn a death sentence into a new birth.
So, I pause at this point and reassure anyone in dire need of hope that amid that pain is room for extreme growth; so, persist to take a leap that will defy what any man or woman might ever have expected.
Hang in there and while there, grab your copy of the book ‘Osunyameye’ read and start winning.
Do you have any question or comment? Do share with us in the comment section.