I have a lot of my story spread out over a few blogs and referring to certain events of significance related to the topic I was writing at that point in time…
Just a brief introduction to me… I enjoy the journey I am on, and I know there is still a long journey ahead… my testimony is long from complete.
I was born in Boksburg (a town just outside of Johannesburg in South Africa) in 1980, I have been in Boksburg ever since. Around the time of my birth my father was very sick following numerous brain surgeries, turning around at death’s bed, he was as much as a baby as I was… My father had a personal encounter with our Living God, God has touched my parents and since that day, we had awesome God-Fearing parents.
Life was not easy, but my parents made sure we had what we needed, never going to bed with an empty stomach, never leaving home not being neatly and warmly dressed.
In primary school I was a forerunner in sports, with quite a bit of accolades behind my name. In Std 5 I was the only boy in my school selected for Provincial colors for cricket, I couldn’t pursue this as there were no funds available for a cricket kit or tour fees, it broke me, but I never blamed my parents for it, I understood…
Early on in my secondary school years I was approached on numerous occasions by the rugby and cricket coaches to join and play for the school’s team due to the reputation I had at primary school, as much I wanted to join, it was my passion, but the recent disappointment in primary school had me stay away from what disappointed me before…
I chose a different route, thinking about it now, it was most likely rebellious of me. I started smoking and drinking at the age of 14, before long I was pulled into a crowd using drugs. It started with Dagga (Marijuana), and evolved into harder drugs over time, mandrax, ecstasy, LSD, Heroin, Cocaine etc. At the age of 14 I attended my first ever Rave party, I am not going to lie, it was mind blowing, surrounded by over 10 000 ravers, everyone as high as a kite… I got caught up with this for all of my school years and beyond, every weekend, sometimes we started on Wednesday nights and only stopped Monday mornings, consuming whatever drugs we could find, seeing some of the best DJ’s in the world. Around the age of 16 I started selling drugs to support my habits, I always had substances available. I was caught on numerous occasions at school, but somehow never expelled. There is a bit more detail around this time in my life in the blogpost If God is for Us. The reckless life continued, getting more reckless, ending up in hospital on a few occasions, never due to illness but due to silly, self-inflicted, choices and actions.
I met my ex-wife at the age of 21; You guessed it, at a New Year’s Eve rave party. And we remained partying for the coming years. I got my first real job at the age of 22, and the partying eased down a bit, not totally, just slightly.
My job became a career, and I am still doing it today… “You don’t choose retail, retail choose you.”
I had an encounter with God around the age of 23, also detailed it in If God is for Us, but I did not head to the call, I often think “What if…?”
My career accelerated quite fast, we got married in 2005. The demands of work grew more and more, as this grew the time for partying grew less, but still drinking every weekend… I spent most of my time a work… and to my shame I started having an affair, the dumbest choice and mistake of my entire life, I moved out for 4 months to move in with the other lady… going from an escape of drug abuse and addiction into pornography, lust and adultery. I was definitely running, from what, I didn’t know. We managed to work things out and I moved back home.
Fast forward to 2011, my daughter was born, a sure blessing of the new season. And so, life continued, working hard, never stopped drinking though.
In January 2018 I got a job offer in Saudi Arabia, after long deliberations and discussions we decided to do it.
It was a very long, tedious process to finally get on the flight, and in October 2018 I started in Saudi Arabia as a General Manager for a Hyper for the biggest FMCG retail group in Saudi. After selling our beautiful home and all our belongings, the family followed me to Saudi in August 2019, it didn’t go according to plan and they went back to South Africa 5 weeks later due to her having an affair with another man during the time of my absence. A lot has led to this, I was to blame for a lot the choices I forced her to make, she experienced rejection from me that I wasn’t fully aware of, she did mention it, but I never took it seriously; and then to pack up everything we worked so hard for and leave for a foreign country, we were both to blame, one not more than the other.
I came back for 2 weeks at the end of September 2019 to try, persuade and salvage, to no avail… I returned to Saudi to resign, miraculously, against all odds I got paid severance pay, more than what I should’ve, I was actually supposed to pay them because I left before the end of my 2-year contract. In this time between them leaving and me returning for good, God worked in me, very hard, days on one sitting in His presence, just me myself and I, in a country of 99% Muslims, with no alcohol, no drugs, no women… God knew, there were no substitutes available to quench the pain; He was the only source and I experienced a hunger for God, and praise God, it is just growing more and more.
I landed back in South Africa on the 24th of November 2019, with nothing, but nothing except for my 2 suite cases of clothes, landing at the airport with no one to receive me, walking out, alone, into the great unknown, not knowing where to go or where to start. I had many ideas and plans with the bit of money I had brought back, but everything I started or wanted to start had a blockage or an obstacle in front of it.
Finally, something promising came up, and I had the cash to invest… I was in the process of setting up a Franchise restaurant Mid-March 2020… Negotiations were done and agreed upon, I was awaiting the first draft of contracts when Covid hit South African shores 2 weeks later. There goes that idea, Praise God!!!
I met a con-artist during the lockdown, he played me well and drained me from every little cent I have on my name. This left me with nothing, absolutely nothing on my name, not a cent to pay rent or buy food. I was trying to get my money back, but sadly in March 2021 he committed suicide, with nothing to claim against.
In this time my ex filed for divorce and we came to a settlement agreement after one sitting, the divorce was finalized in August 2020.
I was unemployed for 18 months, and after 12 of these my money ran out. I got a job in January 2021, knowing that what they are paying me is not even close to cover a quarter of my expenses, but I had to get back into the game. In April 2021 I got a job offer back into retail, the way it all played out was straight from the throne of God.
Something that really hit me hard in the last 3 years was my relationship with my daughter, my princess. There was a time I didn’t have contact with her for almost 5 weeks (while awaiting my exit from Saudi). She had a fear in her the first day I saw her after my return from Saudi, I saw something in her that I couldn’t understand, she was a different person, and nothing I could do or say on that day could change it. As time went by, she started trusting me again and our bond grew stronger than ever before. I wish I could see her more, my time of influence is very little, but I try and make every second count I have with her.
And that is where I find myself today, a quick nutshell of my story. There is a lot more detail, but these are the significant events with great detail and pain that the Holy Spirit had me working on… and I know as I revisit certain areas or events God will lead me in writing on how I was taught to heal from it.
The Holy Spirit had me revisiting these events mentioned above… from forgiveness for my father for taking my “baby years” from me, that I had to fight for attention over him when he was a “baby” himself. Then running from disappointment, on numerous occasions, substituting it with carnal pleasures. The rejection upon rejection; from people that should’ve had me covered; trying to justify my actions and choices throughout my life. Me rejecting people, sub consciously, because of the pain I experienced, and forgiving myself for the pain and disrespect I showed towards people I love.
I had to be made aware of this… If the Holy Spirit didn’t show me these events and areas I would not have been healed. It takes courage to go tell people you forgive them for things they didn’t even know they did to offend you. It takes humility to go and ask for forgiveness from the people you offended. It takes boldness to admit you were wrong. It takes time in God’s presence to get to know your acceptance and validation is not found in any person or source other than God. It takes you to experience God’s love to make you aware that you love differently when you know that you are of the truth. It takes time in God’s word to know and discern when the enemy try and condemn you.
We will relive similar events in our life to make us heal from it… you have a choice, and the choice will determine the repetition of these events… “How do I get through it” or “What do I learn from it.” The latter will have you growing towards the fullness of God, we will never reach it in this realm, but it is a step closer to wholeness in Christ.