When I was nearly five months pregnant with my first child I found myself with a sawn-off shotgun at my forehead in an armed robbery while living in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea. While I knew that PNG was a violent country, it had never occurred to me that I might one day experience its lawlessness so directly. Ten days later I learned that my unborn baby had died.
The two events, back to back, turned my world on its axis. Up until then, despite the challenges I'd faced, I'd lived by the assumption that bad things such as being caught in a robbery or losing an unborn baby happened to other people. In the months that followed I was forced to dig deep as two more miscarriages further challenged my faith and knocked at my confidence.
However, as people extended sympathy to me, I can remember thinking to myself that I wouldn't allow myself to be defined as a victim. Yes, I'd had a tough time, but I didn't want it to define me. I worked hard to keep my head in the right space. I swam daily; wrote in my journal daily (sometimes twice a day); prayed frequently; ran regularly; spent a lot of time with my closest friends; and read a lot of books to help me process my experience and face my future with optimism.
While some days I did better than others, I was instinctively drawn to the people and activities that would help to build my resilience. Following my instincts ...