I grew up in a Christian home, where every Sunday was church day without fail. I also did all my schooling from nursery school to high school in a traditional church environment. So I grew up knowing about God and aware of him. But I cannot say I knew him personally or had a relationship with him.
I was a confident girl, had great belief in myself and my capabilities and believed that God watched me, in order to remove any obstacles out of my way. All my accomplishments I credited to myself and never for a moment thought I must give glory to God. I was able to go to college and follow the course of my dreams without his input. I was fine – other people praised me and noticed my accomplishments so that was all right.
While in college I got married. Four years into my marriage, things began to fall apart in my perfect world that I thought I had absolute control of. I discovered that my husband was having an affair and all the self-worth, significance and security I’d built up for myself was shattered. I began to doubt so many things about myself – I was not attractive, maybe I was boring, I was not as intelligent as I’d thought I was and added to this, the economy had hit a downturn and I couldn’t find a job.
Those beliefs I’d had about myself all fell away. I’d given myself all the credit for what I was in my life, based on my achievements and the good things people said about me. Now if I was all those things, why had my husband found another woman?
Then began years of depression where I believed I was a failure, not lovable and would not amount to anything. The wall I’d build around myself in my own strength was shattered. I questioned why God let this happen to me, when he was there to keep all the bad things from happening to me. I became a perfectionist in all I did, aiming to prove that I was still worth something and this led to a lot of disappointments. My life became busy with doing things for people, seeking that approval to make up for the failure I felt, until it began to take a toll on me.
During this time, I found a church I enjoyed attending and had a lovely older lady mentored me. She tried to teach me that God was a loving God and everything was in His control, but I still had questions as to why this had to happen to me. My healing and changed outlook came when I did the course ‘Journey to Wholeness’ at the Christian Counselling Centre. Here I learnt things which were to change my outlook about God, life and myself.
I learnt that I had been looking to have my needs met in all ways except through God. This was such a revelation to me – people change and God doesn’t. The people I was looking to for security, self-worth and significance could not provide that as they were mere human beings also trying to survive so their reactions could change any day. God loved me as I was – I was valuable in his sight. I didn’t have to create an image of a person who was acceptable to him.
This knowledge brought so much healing to me and the awareness that I am what I am and owe what I am to God and not to myself. So in every hurtful situation I’ve learnt that there is a Father who loves me no matter what; I don’t have to do anything to receive that love and he alone can offer me the security, significance and self-worth I need, because he never changes.