by Lenie

When I think of events which have caused great pain and anger in my life , uppermost in my memory are the two times when I was age 10 and 12 when my cousins tried to sexually manipulate and abuse me. Because of good sex education given by my parents, I resisted the abuse, but I slapped my one cousin through his face and cursed him. These events left in me a deep sense of shame about my own femininity as well as a hatred and mistrust towards men which stayed with me for the next ± 30 years. Only as I was involved in counselling others and doing counselling courses myself, did the Holy Spirit bring me in contact with my true feelings of pain and anger. God, in His love, gave me wonderful leaders and friends to walk with me into the wholeness which Jesus gained for me on the Cross.

Today I can truly say that God has redeemed my past as I am able to minister to men with God’s heart of compassion. God has also given me a few special male friends who are Godly men and their respect towards women and their commitment to me has been a great redemption in my life. I can truly say that if we are willing to let Jesus into our darkest places of pain and anger, He is there to not only heal our hearts, but also to redeem the damage totally!

Another area of severe pain and anger that I had to face and allow God to heal, occurred when I was involved in a car accident in May 2000. Two of my friends, myself and three of their children drove from Stellenbosch to Johannesburg. An hour before we would have reached our destination, we had a tire blow-out and our car rolled. Two of the children, who sat next to me in the back-seat of the car, were killed and I had severe internal injuries, cracked ribs and a fractured hip, broken in three places. My one friend who sat in the passenger seat in front, was also severely injured and she nearly died in intensive care.

When I regained consciousness in hospital, I experienced severe shock as I heard that the two children (both age 5) had died. My whole body was in the most severe pain for the next three months and often the strongest injections did not bring relief. At one point I felt that I wanted to just give up and commit suicide. Never in my whole Christian experience of 31 years did I ever think that I would come to such a low point of wanting to give up life. God sent me precious friends to love me and pray me through the darkest valley of demonic attack on my mind, and after a whole year of recovery, I was able to really cry for the first time.

I realised then that the decision was mine as to whether I was going to turn to God and allow Him into the depths of my aching heart, or to stay in anger over what has happened. I realised that my faith in God’s love had been shaken and tested to the utmost and I knew that if I didn’t allow Him into my pain, that I would be living with unbelief, sorrow and passivity forever!

My friends’ love and prayers caused my heart to be able to soften again towards my Heavenly Father, and His Holy Spirit tenderly ministered to me for months on end. As I now look back over the past two years of recovery, I can see that my love for God and my desire to please Him daily, above all, has become deeper than ever. The suffering has produced in me a brokenness and tenderness that I never had before and I realise that the very thing that Satan planned to destroy me with has become the thing which God has turned around for my good and for His glory!


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