– A place to share
I think it would be appropriate to start this blog with my testimony so everyone can get to know me.
I started life in an anti-theist family. To both my parents God was only a swear word and anyone who was a believer in any god was weak and useless as they needed a crutch.
Nowadays they also would have been known as child abusers but in those days the leather strap was normal and I did not feel loved unless I had at least one hiding a day. I was never naughty, just misunderstood. That is my version and I am sticking to it.
To my parents I was hell on wheels.
School, homework and chores were to be avoided, if at all possible, and sleep was for those who had nothing better to do. My music teacher abused me and my mother could not understand why I did not wish to become the next child prodigy, besides all that practise was boring, there were better things to do, fight with the neighbourhood kids, or just run around in the African bush. (it was safe in those days)
I was rebellious and stubborn, If I was my own mother I would have given me away at birth.
I was sent to boarding school as the standard of education dropped in the local schools after independence. I hated it initially and tried to run away. Home was only two countries away, but since when did reason come into these things. I cried when I left. Some people are never happy!
My parents divorced when I was thirteen, not a good time, and being at boarding school did not help, though it protected me from the worst of the fights. My poor younger brother suffered the brunt of it. he is five years younger than me and I am nearly three years younger then my older brother.
My father was a drunkard and all I can say is my mother gave as good as she got. Us kids hid.
I went to an Anglican boarding school and got into lots of trouble there too. Misunderstood again. I had a nominal knowledge of the God of the Bible and an aversion to church (every day and twice on Sundays, morning service before breakfast and kneeling for what felt like hours. Now THAT is abuse).
I could not accept that I was put on this earth to just to breathe and die. There had to be something more.
I started searching. I experimented with things that are best left alone and as a result suffered more than is normal, crazy how we try to destroy ourselves.
To me God had to be something better than what we have on earth, or He is not a God. The one religion I avoided in my search was Christianity.
My mother had taught us to sail on the dam, and watching everyone loosing houses, farms, insurances and pensions and some of my friends and their families beaten to death, or given twenty four hours to leave the country, I swore I would have a lifestyle and profession that could enable me to avoid a similar fate anywhere in the world.
I took up sailing. Besides I have a severe case of “Itchy Foot Syndrome”.
I was the first professional woman sailor in South Africa and the only one who has sailed professionally for over 30 years. When learning ocean sailing the men did not want me to sail initially, but because of my dinghy sailing on the dam in what is now Zambia, they could not refuse to take me, I nagged them mercilessly. They tried every trick in the book, and a few not in the book to get me to give up. Wet figure of eights round the ear hole if I did not move quick enough, swearing at me whether it was my fault or not, blaming me for everything that went wrong, thinking I was a mobile mattress and being upset when they found out I was not. I also learned to swear worse than a sailor. I was too stubborn, or stupid to quit.
I tied up with a man twenty five years older than me and ended up marrying him. He taught me a lot. He was also mentally abusive and extremely jealous. I could not even have girlfriends. I thought it was normal as I was brought up with abuse.
We sailed to the Island of Mayotte. I was tired of being accused when I was innocent. Being a stubborn rebellious person I told him I was going to have an affair and went off and had one. Not good for a relationship.
I was an angry, hurt, hateful foulmouthed person to whom life was not worth living.
On the beach at Longoni in Mayotte we met a couple with some friends. She had such an inner peace I knew I had to have what she had or perish.
My dear uncle Bob and I caught a local taxi, (back of a pick up truck with wooden seats, coconuts, chickens etc.) on twisty coastal hill roads, climbed up a steep hill in the tropical midday heat to find out what she had.
It was Jesus. She led me in the sinners prayer, all the hatred I had for myself and the world, all the anger left in those minutes it took to say the prayer. I felt clean, loved, cared for. I flew to cloud 99 and had an incredible peace. My hatred and distrust of people turned to love.
When I euphorically floated back to the boat, the first words my husband said was “What’s happened to you, you are different.” The next day he said “there is something wrong with you, you haven’t fought with me all day.”
I wish I could say I had not fallen from that first beautiful meeting with my Saviour but I admit to being so terribly human I need Him continuously. I know what Paul felt like when he said in Romans 7:19 everything I should do I don’t, and everything I should not do, I do.
If I could be perfect then why did Jesus die for me.