My mother grew up on her family’s small farm in the Eastern Cape. After the family were forced to leave their farm in the late 1950’s, they moved to different towns in South Africa to look for work. When the family eventually split up, my mother, grandmother and aunt came to live in Cape Town.
It was here, in Cape Town, that my mother met my father and got involved with him. After a few months, she fell pregnant with me. But very soon, in approximately the fourth month of her pregnancy, she was to find out that this man was in a relationship with another woman, who had two children from him. Although he proposed to her, my mother declined and asked him to leave and not to come back.
The LORD revealed this entire event to me in two different dreams. He took me back into my mother’s womb, where I started to kick furiously when I heard my mother talking to my father. It was as if I wanted to jump out of the womb. In the morning after the dreams, my back and my stomach felt very sore, as if somebody had actually physically kicked against them.
When these things took place, my mother was already a Christian and she immediately repented. Nevertheless she still had to live with the consequences of what had happened and theshame attached to the situation. It took her many years to deal with all of this. My grandmother’s sister joined us to help look after me and, as a young boy, I grew up with four women and no man in the house. I had no father figure in my home to guide me, to model after and to affirm my masculinity. All the years I so longed for a father to tell me “You are my son!” This became especially painful when I saw other children being picked up from school by their fathers, who greeted them with kisses and hugs.
I became very angry with God. I questioned Him a lot and often asked Him: “If You are a God of love, why did You let this happen to me?” In particular, each year on Father’s Day, I would feel very ashamed amongst all the other children. I hated God and sometimes I would even swear at Him for putting me on this earth. I felt utterly alone and rejected by Him.
As a result, it was impossible for me to relate to God as my heavenly Father, thus not giving Him the opportunity of filling that empty space deep down inside of me that was longing for a father’s unconditional love and acceptance. I struggled with this emptiness for many years. I became very involved in the church in an effort to try and fill this void.
God, who knows all things, in His faithfulness did not leave me alone. In 1992 I discovered that I had step-brothers and sisters. Upon visiting my father’s grave, all my anger began to rise to the surface. God started dealing with me a few months later in Montréal, Canada, where my wife and I underwent a two year training period in Urban ministries. For one year I received counselling, but emotionally I was still very detached.
After our two years in Montréal, my wife and I went to Wales in Great Britain to attend a five week Leadership Course on Inner Healing. It was God’s perfect timing to really deal with my father issue. I was brought in touch with the fact that I actually resented being on this earth. During this time of ministry, it was necessary for me to be brought in touch with all the pain and anger involved, and to mourn the losses that I had suffered as a consequence of the circumstances surrounding my birth. I also had to come to a place where I was able to forgive my earthly father, in order to be able to move on to a better place and allow my heavenly Father to fill the void and re-father me.
I realise more and more now that healing is a process. At times I still find it difficult to relate to God as my father but it is so much better than it was 15 years ago. I can only praise the Lord for what He has done thus far and I know that He still has so much more for me.
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