It was in 1996 when I defined who God is in my life. I believe I was raised in one of the greatest and loving families ever, but there were challenges. My parents were not in an ideal husband and wife relationship and as a 13 year old, I knew that this was not normal.
For the longest time my parents fought a lot and I understood this to be a result of alcohol consumption. My father was an alcoholic. Every time I came back from December holidays, the energy in my house was not welcoming.
I have very clear memories where my parents would be fighting and I would find myself in between, screaming and begging them to stop. I have clear recollections of punches being blown by them both, I have witnessed one of them fainting and collapsing on the floor due to the sever nature of their fights.
This lifestyle was a constant; I don’t recall a peaceful night as a child, wherein if my father was drunk and all was okay. It was a norm, as soon as we heard him outside, walking towards the house, rumbling as usual; we quickly turned off our candle lights and went to sleep. This was our life.
As a result, I can remember that I had a number of evenings wherein, going to sleep was very sad for me. N those nights, I would cry myself to sleep. I could not comprehend why so many fights, I just knew that it hurt, it hurt so bad. The pillow was my fried, I wept silently for most nights. The words uttered would be around provisions, my mother would be asking my father about the money, food and I would like to think that this was the basis of most of their fights, provision…
The last straw came in January 1996, I had come back from Natal , I came home and I saw that the significant part of the kitchen wall was covered in blood. At first I thought they had slaughtered a sheep, but then I asked myself, why they would smear its blood on the wall. The blood was everywhere; I remember I had to scoop up dry blood inside the 80kg of maize meal as I prepared the pap for my family to eat in one evening. This, I never shared with anyone because I thought they would not want to eat the pap if they knew that it had dry blood inside it.
My parents are traditional; I knew that most holidays they would consult a traditional healer to seek help; I would in most times find that there is a traditional medicine to be used as per prescription by the healer. I would observe with much curiosity, the fresh crosses on the door posts and fresh ingcabo on their arms. It is from such experiences that I would hear stories such as how stuff flew in through the window with bad items that were meant to destroy our family as the consulting process went on. I loved these stories and I looked forward to them every single year. These stories also gave me hope, I also hoped that maybe, maybe each time, the bad spirits would leave our family and that perhaps finally my parents would stop fighting. I didn’t know what they consulted for and I never asked, but I silently thought that it was to stop the fighting; I thought it was meant to bring peace.
The one thing that stayed in my mind from a small age about the visits from the traditional healer is that, they would leave my parents with so much hope and positive words, my parents always tell us that there is wealth on top of our heads. My mother would touch my head and say, you are rich, and there is wealth, imali igcwele emakhanda enu. So I believed this and every time I thought of the possibilities of being okay, having good food and nice clothes, I felt hope. This belief propelled me to really believe that one day, we will be wealthy, we are rich, it’s just a matter of time … J this belief also made easily face discouragement with much ease, I believed my parents words and they were final g me, nothing else mattered
I believe I had a relationship with God from a young age, however I don’t recall accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour until1996. This was the same year that I had decided if God is God, then He has to show up in my family.
The pastor was SD Gumbi, he read from the scripture 1Samuel 21: 2-6, I have no regular bread on hand, only the holy bread. The call for that evening was to ask God to keep me, asks God to protect me; I desire not to be any ordinary bread but the bread that is kept in the holy place. This was my call to salvation. Pastor SD has such a profound way of calling one to the altar, he likes saying , yangena inhlanhla ekhaya lakini, yangena insindiso, yangena impumelelo and this I took and I believed that by accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and saviour, healing and restoration will enter my family home.
By this age, I was aware of the social perceptions about what salvation is, even though I had a divine experience after the service of accepting Jesus Christ, I still felt I needed assurance about God’s existence. I felt I needed my own way of understanding who God is and not be based on the church’s understanding only. So I made a prayer, I asked God to help stop my parents from fighting, I asked God to reveal Himself to me. As I prayed, I was afraid of seeing angels, so I kind of wished that I would not see angels, because I was afraid of experiencing something like that. So in the month of January 1996, that worst observation of war and strain between my parents would be the last year that my parents fought and all glory goes to Jesus Christ. I never testified about this in church as it was important to me that I don’t, but I praise God for the peace that was now present in my family.
This gave me assurance that God is alive in my life and that God answers prayers.
My second prayer was answered in a voice, in my sleep, again I needed assurance, I had heard many unkind things said about people who are saved and I was a bit confused. I heard a voice, “ungesabi, ngiyakuba nawe nomaphi la uyakhona” I woke up to the shock and instantly the voice told me to read Joshua 1: 5 -9, I was shocked, I knew God is alive and He is with me. From that age on, I believed God for myself. I knew something special was happening in my life.
And all I needed to learn was to trust Him, trust the process….
Be strong and courageous; do not be terrified or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go!!!!