In honour of celebrating Jesus upcoming birthday, I have decided to share my testimony about finding Jesus and making him the Lord and saviour of my life at 18 years of age.
I was adopted as a 5-month-old baby into a family with older siblings and parents who I call my real Mother and Father.
At the age of 17, I started going to parties, funnily enough, I was not smoking, using drugs or drinking alcohol but pretending to be drunk so I could fit in. I was still playing competitive sports. It was getting more expensive to compete at a certain level, so different family members contributed to the costs as my casual referee job was not enough money to pay for the fees to go away and compete. I remember a family member intervening and telling me there was no point with the sports I played because it would not pay the bills. There were no opportunities for women in sports to be paid at the time as there are now. It was really brutal and harsh at the time, but it was the truth. I didn’t really think about life after school as I was trying just to survive school.
A few months later, I met Almond at a friend’s birthday party, and I fell madly in love with him. Almond was the first boy who truly meant everything to me, and he consumed my world. So, I got the courage to ask my Dad if I could have a boyfriend one morning before school. I was so nervous, and I said ‘Dad, I really like this boy’, and before I could say anymore, my Dad cut me off with ‘NO, NO and NO!’. My Dad told me that once I finish school, I will be able to have a boyfriend. So, I thought, given graduation day was only a few months away, I could wait it out. Almond and I continued to hang out, and as graduation day arrived, Almond gave me a bracelet and asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes. My family had found out and were not happy about the relationship, so I had kept it a secret.
6 months later…
On my 18th birthday dinner, my family invited Almond to officially meet him because they knew I was dating him as I told one family member the truth about him. In the space of those six months, a lot had happened. My grandpa passed away (he lived with us since I was 12, and my Mother was his full-time carer). The transition from school girl to the real world was a steep learning curve. I was trying to find full-time employment after school by myself, which was challenging. I also stopped playing sport altogether because I could not afford it, which was even more challenging as it had been part of my life since I was 6 years old.
My parents and I moved in with a family member and their family, which was hard. And on top of all that happened, I was trying to maintain my relationship with Almond. Meanwhile, poor Almond had no idea what was truly going on because I was hiding it from him.
Life was changing rapidly for me and I couldn’t keep up and my parents/family had enough of my attitude. I was an 18-year-old who got a credit card that I couldn’t handle, lost her full-time job, was going out clubbing, never wanting to be home, eating my feelings in the process and continuing to hang out with Almond 24/7. My parents thought that Almond was a bad influence on my life, and after the worst argument, words that were said cut like a sword into my heart. I was given an ultimatum by my Mother; it was either Almond or them? And I remember just sitting on the ground as tears flowed from my eyes as I mumbled the words ‘him’ and ‘I love him’ and I want to be with him.
My parents were devastated and in disbelief, so their response was essentially to kick me out of the home. I was asked to leave the house, so I called Almond to please come and pick me up. As I waited on the street with one bag of clothes hoping they would come out and say come back inside. I was just uncontrollably crying about what had just happened and thinking, what am I going to do given the fact I am 18 years old who is jobless, and now homeless.
The next 24-48 hours were mentally exhausting. I was at the lowest point in my life and felt absolute hopelessness. I asked Almond to drop me off at the local train station and lied to him by telling him that I was going to stay with a family member who lived an hour away. I was having deep suicidal thoughts and wanted to jump in front of the train as I waited on the platform for a train to pass. I believe with all my heart that God sent Almond back to save me and protect me as he took me away from the train station that night. I stayed with Almond and his parents for the night, where I mostly just sobbed. Almond’s parents offered to let me live there with them but I knew deep down it wouldn’t work out well.
A family member found out what had happened and offered me a lifeline; it was the opportunity to live with them. I did not have any other options, so I moved from my hometown to a very unfamiliar town an hour away, but it was essentially a fresh start that I needed. I was given some ground rules that if I wanted to live in their household, for example, cooking once a week, contributing to rent and cleaning up around the house etc.
One of the non-negotiable rules was that I had to attend church every Sunday with the family. It took me a couple of weeks to adjust and settle in; I was so depressed and thought going to church every Sunday is not going to kill me. I had also put on 30kgs in the space of a year and needed professional support for my mental wellbeing which i will share in another blog. However, I will never forget the moment i experienced the overwhelming peace and love of Jesus in my heart as I cried on the alta and made a commitment to live for him for the rest of my life.
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
ROMANS 10: 9-10NIV
This Christmas, I am incredibly thankful to Jesus for the gift of salvation and grateful to God for his plan over my life. I am blessed that God used people in my life to share the love of Jesus. I believe this blog is an opportunity to share my journey to finding Jesus because his unconditional love supernaturally saved me. This year, for me, is about sharing the love of Jesus unashamed and in an authentic way of sharing my journals with Jesus. I pray that this Christmas you will declare Jesus is Lord and believe it with all your heart!
Love G x