My story is nothing special but I am grateful to God that HE LOVED ME SO.
I grew up in a christian family with a culture of going to church. I loved the Lord in my own messed up way.
As a little child I suffered from Asthma and practically lived in hospital for 4 years. Then miraculously all that stopped when I was just about to start school.
Then when I was about 16 it started all over again with such great intensity. I had to keep an inhaler with me. Sometimes I had to be admitted and be put on the respirator. I also developed a bedwetting problem when I was 17 and it destroyed my youth vigour and innocence. I was full of shame (You can imagine being in a boarding school, a teenager and a leader- also bedwetting), as if it was my fault. It distracted my concentration in school and I failed my final examination in senior high school (a preparatory exam for university).
It (bed wetting) destroyed my relationship with my mother, we were like enemies.
I started dating at 18 seeking solace from outside our home. Please understand me, its not that my mum was not loving and supportive. She was. Infact had it not been for her, I would never have made it through that phase of my life. I am forever indebted and grateful to her. She is my pillar of strength. But at the moment I didn't see it as such. It felt like she was suffocating me and I think I had the same effect on her. I was in so much turmoil that I couldn't embrace her selflessness and love. She prayed for me. She woke me up every night so that I wouldn't mess my bed linen. She washed them when I was too embarassed to do it. BUT she couldn't take it too and she would scold me every chance she got.
I now know it was all out of love but not when I was in the midst of it. At one time I had an overdose of salbutamol as I was going to bed. Hoping that I wouldn't face tomorrow.
But when God has a plan for your life, you can't wrestle or run from Him and win. Jonah tried and ended up in the belly of a fish. Even Paul in his ignorance had to be struck with blindness for God's purpose to prevail. I vomitted all the tablets in my sleep. I felt like it was unfair, some people just do it and they die. But not with me. Probably God was saying, "girl I have some unfinished business with you."
So I had my silly relationships. I also developed whaped character traits. I was withdrawn especially from my mum. I started stealing little monies from home. And everytime my parents would know it was me. I would be remorseful and shameful. But the next chance I got I would do the same thing again. (But even though things went bad between mum and I, we thank God that she has a great husband and I have a super-hero dad; he kept us together.)
Then in the midst of it all in 2004, I had a dream. I was standing with my congregation, and nearby there was another congregation. Then I heard a voice saying to me from above, "Move from where you are and go over there". To the other group. I had no prior experience of hearing from God. Like Samuel... Anyway I told my mum that I wanted to change church(we went to the same church) because of the dream and she said no, never. By then I was 19 but in our culture we hardly insist on rights and all. We just respect our parents and do as they say. So I did nothing about it.
But God has a way of orchestrating our lives according to His perfect will. The next year, my problems and sicknesses were still persisting. One morning my mother just asked me to get ready and told me we were going somewhere. I had no idea where. But I did prepare. When we were on our way, she told me that we were going to THAT Church, to which she had previously said no. She said she felt she had prayed all she could and she needed help from elsewhere.
So we went in search of the pastor. We didn't find him, but we found one of the elders. He told me about confessing sin, repenting, God's love, kindness and forgiveness (Rom 10v9-10). He taught me that I needed to realise God loved me and so did my parents especially my mother. And so the journey started. I would go there almost everyday in the next weeks and he would pray with me and never condemn me. Always encouraging me.
On the 17th of July 2005, after having got permission from my parents, I went to the AFM Church. I attended the service and was immediately stirred up by the teaching. I went up to the alter when the call was made and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. That's when the most beautiful journey of my life started. I haven't been an angel and a perfect girl through and through, but I can testify that I am not where I used to be.
The Lord touched and changed my life. He healed my body and my soul. He gave me laughter for my tears He filled my heart with joy He gave me honour for my shame. He gave me love and relationship instead of religion. I got to know Him as my Father.
I started enjoying being in His Presence and like David says, " Though I constantly take my life into my hands, I will not forget your law" Ps119v109. I often take matters into my hands by worrying. I still need deliverance in that area lol. At times I worry like crazy.
The Lord has been good to me. He has restored my intelligence. He has taken me to places I never imagined I would be. He has restored me to my most precious mother. He has blessed me He has been gracious to me. He has given me a great friend and husband-to-be He has reconciled me to Himself in Jesus Name. I can approach His throne with confidence. In so many little ways He uses me.
At one time I worked in our Church office for over a year. It was a blessing for me. And like Paul says. Not that I have attained it, but I live the past behind and press on. I love God for He loved me first and unconditionally too. As undeserving as I was, He sought me. And now I am seeking and pursuing the God who sought me. Asthma is gone Bedwetting is gone Stealing is gone Most bad attitudes are gone
Praise God, I am still a work in progress in His Able hands.
He has also made me a member of a dynamic and loving family, and you are a part of it too.