01 March 2018

My wrong choices caught up with me

"The excitement I saw on the faces of many young people in the church made me realise that making the wrong choices as a teenager had robbed me of peace and joy.

I lived with my grandmother while my mother worked and stayed in Johannesburg.

I did all the wrong things before I came to the church in 2015. I left school before I even got to matric. I became pregnant and the father of my child left me before I gave birth to our baby. He told me he had found someone else and wanted to marry her. I was left bitter and hurt. I started blaming my mother for all the mistakes I had made and developed suicidal thoughts.

I always told myself that if I had not been raised by my grandmother I would not have had a child and dropped out of school. I believed that my mother failed me. That was when I lost my sense of self- worth and became suicidal. In 2015, I moved to Johannesburg to live with my mother.

She was a member of the Universal Church and invited me to attend the services with her. I did so only to please her.  It was four months later that I started enjoying coming to the church, after I was encouraged by a pastor who said that it was never too late to make better choices. I developed hope for a better future, even though I did not know where to start," said Thuleleni.

Thuleleni started attending Wednesday services and asked God to give her inner healing from the anger she had towards the father of her child and her mother. She also came on Fridays for deliverance from suicidal thoughts.

"I understood that God had good plans for me and my life was precious to Him. The suicidal thoughts came to an end. I attended the YPG meetings and was surprised how excited and happy other young people were, while I was sad, thinking about all the mistakes I made as a teenager," she said.

She was invited to self-help meetings where she was given counselling. "I was able to take full responsibility for the bad choices I made. I also stopped blaming my mother for my mistakes. I understood she was in Johannesburg because she wanted to give me a better life. That gave me the peace I did not have and the joy I had desired for many years. I went back to school and completed my matric. I'm now doing my second year in a tertiary institution. The presence of God in my life gives me good guidance," she said.

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