Alcohol abuse and physical abuse were common in our household from as early as I can remember and, when I was six, my parents got divorced.
I stayed with my mother, who instilled a moral compass and good values in me. At home life wasn’t easy for me. I was the eldest of two and sibling rivalry was fierce as single parenthood took its toll on all of us.
However, to the outside world, everything had to look perfect. I was quite capable of covering up my sinful deeds and so everything was ‘perfect’: I was the perfect daughter, friend, girlfriend and eventually the perfect wife — or so I thought!
As the perfect daughter I went out clubbing, but never came home drunk or used drugs. I never slept around and knew the rights and wrongs in life. I was the trophy child my parents could be proud of.
I went to a Dutch Reformed Church and completed my catechism. My friends were few, but the few I had I valued and they trusted me. I was the responsible and sensible one, the one they could phone up at 4.00am for advice or to talk to — the best friend.
Then there was being the perfect girlfriend to the perfect man, and in 2004, after travelling 5,700 miles from South Africa to the UK, I found that life could get very lonely and out of control in London on my own.
After seven months of enjoying independence, my long-distance relationship with my boyfriend Quintin was falling apart and things were happening around me that were never part of my perfect world.
Quintin then followed me to the UK and we decided to move in together for financial reasons. We married on 18 March 2006 and had the perfect wedding to go with the perfect marriage.
However, soon things weren’t so perfect any more. We had constant arguments over the most trivial things, and working shifts didn’t help either.
Quintin started to yearn to go to church, but I wanted to spend my Sundays in the park or in front of the TV relaxing, not spend it cooped up in church. But soon I found myself going to church with my husband, because that’s what a good wife does.
Eventually, we started going to listen to the evening sermons when the gospel was preached, and suddenly I didn’t mind going to church.
In 2008, I reluctantly agreed to go on the church holiday, and soon realised that these were genuine, Christ-like people, with genuine love for each other and God. During that week, someone spoke of their spiritual experience, and it had such a profound impact on me that I had to leave the room.
Behind one of the buildings, away from everyone else, I broke down and cried. I realised that I was separated from God and admitted to him that I was wrong about everything. My life wasn’t perfect; I wasn’t the perfect wife. But I poured my heart out and prayed the sinner’s prayer and asked God for forgiveness.
There was no magical moment and I still had many questions, but I was given a new life and a new relationship to walk with God in Christ.
To this date I have no regrets about being saved and I believe the difference in my life is noticeable. My thoughts, attitudes and emotions have changed. Being a Christian has made me realise that I am not perfect at all.
I still sin and falter, but I know that I have been saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ and that through him I can ask for forgiveness. My relationship with my family has dramatically improved and my marriage is the best it’s ever been, with Christ as the cornerstone of our household.
Since I have been saved, I have a desire to be used by him to fulfil his purpose for my life and I am striving to follow the Lord Jesus with my whole mind, body and soul. At Amyand Park Chapel I have also found an extended family in Christ and true friendship.