IN THE POTTER’S HANDS
“Thank you, your work helped us attract good tenants!”
“You exceeded our expectations!”
“You have brought life to this place.”
“You contributed to setting an exemplary standard for the school.”
“The garden of the new home we purchased was unsightly. We desperately needed a landscaper. Mrs Hove and her team literally transformed our garden within a month. Now we bask in the lush green lawn and blooming flowers …an excellent place to start an early morning walk from, and a haven to relax and unwind after a long day!
The above are complements from various ones who have shown appreciation for the work done by Visual Splendour in their premises and it gives me joy in abundance. It makes me rewind my journey in life which was so full of pain and distress. But, when you are in the Potter’s Hands, you move from pain to praise.
I grew up on a farm in Gokwe. I always had eye problems and at some stage in my childhood, I fell and injured my back. No one knew the severity of the health implications in both cases until later when I came to Harare. My eyes were attended by an eye specialist who said that I had a foreign body in one of my eyes, and that the other eye had permanent marks that blurred vision, possibly caused by side effects of measles. He advised that even the one effective eye would need regular checks.
I got to know Christ as Lord and Saviour of my life in 1987. This was new life in Christ and I went to Faith Ministries where I met my husband, Stanlake Hove, resulting in our wedding at the end of 1989. However, when I was expecting our first child, Rumbidzaishe (meaning Praise the Lord), I started having back pains but thought this was usual as people say when a woman is pregnant, she might experience all sorts of pain. We were blessed with a daughter and the extreme pain stopped. The second pregnancy was characterised by more pain than the first.
“Well Mrs Hove, this is just a painful and difficult pregnancy. It will pass.” This was the advice I kept getting from health personnel. After the birth of our second child, the pain continued to bother me on and off. Towards the end of 2001, I started experiencing continuous extreme lower back pain. All efforts to get a solution failed and the Doctors could not identify the problem until we were referred to South Africa, where they noted that there was an old lower back fracture on the lower part of the spine that had happened at an early age. The specialist said there was need for an urgent major operation called laminectomy, back surgery to relieve compression on the spinal cord. There was also going to be fusion and bone grafting. The operation was done in 2003 when foreign currency reserves were at their lowest. We had to take our turn to await the Reserve Bank approval and allocation. This took a long time and there were many support documents required. To cut a long story short, the Reserve Bank eventually approved the application and paid the required fees direct to the hospital. The specialist Doctor advised that I was not going to have children. I told him that I already had two children.
“What! Mrs Hove! With such a back? How did you carry two babies?” I realised then that the children God gave us were a miracle, and this put to rest the question of why I had the painful pregnancies. The operation was successful but that was the beginning of a long journey to recovery. As soon as such a major operation is done the Doctors advise that one should attend physiotherapy and hydrotherapy. I was referred to Saint Giles where they began to take me through the processes. This was a lonely time as my husband would be at work and the children at school. It was also a difficult time as I had scheduled appointments which sometimes clashed with my husband’s timetable. Many times, I had to kill time waiting. I started visiting a plant and flowers nursery to while away time, as I waited to be picked up. I had always liked flowers as I had previously done flower arrangements, but I started buying flowers and plants for my garden and this engrossed my mind I forgot about the pain. I could not attend even Church services for a long time due to the back pain. There are times I talked to God almost angrily. I said,
“God, you are a God of love. But, why is it that I had a difficult childhood, and now I continue to suffer as an adult? When will it all end?” I definitely had more questions than answers. All I seemed to sense were the words, “Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10. Surprisingly, I experienced such peace and joy as I attended to my plants and flowers in the garden. Working in the garden was therapeutic. The love for using my hands in the garden continued. Visitors and neighbours started to inquire who was doing our garden. They wanted to have their gardens developed. Visual Splendour (Private) Limited was born to do landscaping, garden maintenance, plants and flowers and still does today.
My son Joseph was not keen on my gardening activities. He worried that I would experience more back pain. But when neighbours and friends started complementing the work I had done, he started noticing the beautiful garden I had developed. He began to see and appreciate the beauty of what I was creating. I can never forget the expression on his face when he saw one of my works and his
shout: “Visual Splendour!” That was the birth of the name of my company. I also remember his inspired words, “Only God can create something beautiful out of nothing! We are in the Potters Hands!”My daughter, Rumbidzaishe (meaning praise the Lord) once said, “Hey Mom, I never knew or understood the pain that you underwent. I did hear that you had many sleepless nights, but I could only just imagine the severity of the pain. It was after the operation when the doctor was amazed how on earth you had carried two children with such a back that it started to sink in. Mom, you carried us both past our due dates. That can only be the power of God and display of His sovereign will. I appreciate you Mom!”
In 2005, as I was recovering and experiencing healing from this gardening experience, I seemed to sense God saying,
“I allowed what happened for a purpose. Remember, I am the God of all comfort, who comforts you in all your troubles so that you can comfort others in trouble” 1 Corinthians 1:3, 4. God wanted me to leave a mark, like an ivy plant. As a result, I composed my first song, as I told myself I can only find the answer from the Lord. I recorded my first album titled. “Munoshamisa!” (You are amazing!). However, I faced many challenges in trying to record my first album and am still facing challenges in recording my second album. But I remain persuaded that He who started a good work is able to perform. The Lord has given me more songs of hope, healing and comfort for myself, others.
I underwent physiotherapy sessions at St Giles for many months and became better. I am not completely pain free as the eroded bones were replaced with titanium plates which create discomfort. Thank God, I am not always thinking of the pain. When I am in my garden, and when I look at the beautiful works by Visual Splendour, I am filled with joy, thanksgiving, praise and worship. I am thankful for my loving family. My husband has been my pillar of strength. He was always by my side even during the long nights.I was in pain and difficulty but in all situations, God made a way in the wilderness. There was truth in my favourite verse, “We know that in all things God work for the good of all those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28. He came through for me as Jehovah Jireh and He converted my pain into a project, and praise. Visual Splendour is my miracle from God. I wish to encore my son’s words that we are indeed in the Potter’s Hands.
Mavis is married to Stanlake and they have two children who are now married.