Welcome to this week’s testimony in out Find Us Faithful Series.
Today we will be reading Part 2 of a 3 part testimony from Tanya about how God has lead her into a relationship with Him. You can find Part 1 here.
Now for her testimony….
As I got older, there were a lot of things that I did not like to do that my other family members did. I was not into a lot of the music that they liked and frankly I just could not understand it. And songs that were disrespectful to females rubbed me the wrong way from very early. I didn’t enjoy the school fairs or watching tv on weekends, but I loved doing things church related and going to the beach- we lived close and going to the beach was a BIG thing.
The distance between my likes and those of my family and nieghbourhood friends was getting greater. I remember back in 1994, when I was 12, we were at a church camp and the class lecturer asked us how old we would be in 2004. I remember thinking that 2004 was so far away. I remember picturing myself being a powerful witness for God and I remember thinking that heaven would be just around the corner from 2004 and I longed for it.
But then the teen years hit. I grew away from my church around 16. There was a lot of things I did not like about my church-a lot of prejudice based on your economic standing, who your family was…the class system was more than evident and I could not stand it!
My church friends and I often visited other churches instead of going to ours. That was great for a while, but we soon drifted away from God altogether.
16 was also a turning point for me academically too. I was intelligent and went to one of the “brighter” schools in my country. I always wanted to be a doctor, more specifically a missionary doctor to a Spanish-speaking country.
But my mother lost her job when I was about 15. Getting to school was hard. Most days she sent me to ask other family members for money so I could take the bus to school. Most days I had very minimal to eat. Some days I had to walk 1.5 hours to my home. I was extremely depressed and my grades plummeted.
I wanted to do A’ level Chemistry, Biology and Spanish. But even though I passed Chemistry I got the lowest passing grade and I was not allowed to do Chemistry. Instead I was forced to do English. Being poor, this meant that if I could not do it at school, there was no way I could do it outside of school since there was no way I could afford it. I remember begging my mother to go to the school and argue my case since there were students who got the same grade as I but who got into A’ level Chemistry because of their family connection. My mother didn’t go to the school and so I was stuck doing a subject I never wanted to do. The course I had envisioned my life taking was drastically altered and I could not do a thing to change it so I just went with the next best thing- I would focus on Spanish because I loved that too.
Looking back I see a great blessing in the way this worked out because I did not have a real relationship with God. I honestly believe that I would have been one of those arrogant, Godless, uncompassionate doctors that I unfortunately had to deal with in 2012 when my daughter was born. But who knows though?
In 2000 I graduated from school and went to university to pursue a BA in Spanish. It was here that I went to a couple of campus fetes with some friends and a couple of other ones with my church friends. But, I never liked the fetes and felt quite out of place.
During this time, I also joined a Christian volleyball team which was a tremendous blessing on my life. We not only played volleyball, but before each practice session we had worship. We also went out a lot, did sleepovers, and did square dancing on the board walk- lots of wholesome Christian fun! I know it was the Lord leading me back to Him.
While at university, my husband and I became great friends. We had both gone to school together and at university we became friends after we took a management course together. During the end of my second year at university, I finally was able to get a summer job. This was a big deal for me since getting money to pay for tuition and to purchase books was extremely difficult. My first semester I bought three books since that was all we could afford. This job was definitely a blessing.
Summer ended and my boss offered to take me on part-time. Hallelujah! I was able to work and finish university! During my time at this job, I began to really seek God. My husband, then boyfriend, also began to seek Him and we started a morning devotion/bible study. Oh how it refreshed my soul as I dived into God’s word with him. We prayed together, we studied God’s word together and we grew together in the Lord and in love with each other. I really began to have a longing to give my life to God. Many of the friends and acquaintances I had before, I no longer felt anything in common with and soon found that these relationships ended or changed. But, even though I longed to give my heart to God, I was afraid to surrender. I did not want to get baptized because I somehow thought I needed to be “perfect” before I made that step.
For 2 more years I battled with this until I finally surrendered to the promptings of God’s Spirit and one Saturday morning, I was baptized.
Look out for Part 3 of this testimony next week.