#YesGod: Charmaine’s Story

I believe every Christian actively following God has a #YesGod story! This #YesGod story is someone’s powerful testimony of declaring Yes to doing God’s will and stepping outside of their comfort zone to do amazing things for the Kingdom of God. For the month of May, I will be featuring young women, like myself, that have demonstrated bold faith and are actively pursuing God’s will for their life and ultimately declaring Yes to God!

I wish I could tell you that the journey we are all in is absolutely wonderful and tension free. I wish I could tell you that what The Lord commands, you will immediately do and obey, and I WISH I could tell you that everything and anything that is in His Word and that He places in your heart you will want to and can do. You will say YES to all.

This is both true and false.

Everything that The Lord commands in The Bible is contrary to our nature. So naturally, the first response to God is rejection. It gets deeper, anything He commands me to do for instance, I CAN’T do, because I do not have the supernatural power to change my heart. BUT I will say yes because in the end, which is really the beginning, I am truly His despite the struggle, despite the tears and despite myself. This is simply because of who He is, what He has done and what He continues to do.

I don’t even know how to begin without expressing how amazing this year has been so far. I have encountered so many wonderful blessings, so many different trials and received a hunger and a thirst for holiness and righteousness. Not always, but continuously. I am living in the freedom of my King, even though sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but it is truth. I am learning, truly learning to love God and love His Word and Commandments and confess and wrestle and repent over my disregard or rejection of Him and His Word. This year is truly glorious.

Prior to this, I had outright rejected the plans The Lord had for me. He had strategically orchestrated my life last year to get me to where I am now and where I will be soon. I claimed to be saved, and I sang songs in church and truly believed that what I was singing I believed and did; for instance “I give myself away, so You can use me…” Beautiful song, emotional words often with an emotional response and prayer until God says “Ok, this is what I want you to do” and you refuse. Which is what I did. God revealed to me what He desired for me to do the next year and that was to stay and intern for the church through a program they provided. Now, this town I currently live in is not glamourous but it is glorious, and it isn’t flashy and attractive, but genuine and true. I had moved from one of the most attractive cities to finish off my studies in this small town and now God wanted me stay on for another year to work and serve for free :/

An orthodox response to God’s command is to say YES Father, but I will be honest, I rejected it and flat out said no. My sinful self couldn’t submit and the songs I used to sing to Him in church grew cold because in my heart I knew I was singing a lie. But I did not confess it to God, I didn’t know how and I didn’t think I could. How could I tell God that I wanted to do my will? How could I tell Him that I still loved my life too much to give it to Him? How could I tell Him that I wasn’t sure if I loved Him, that I didn’t want to go to hell but I didn’t want to pick up my Cross either and follow Him? How could I confess my inability to follow Him? So I concealed my sin and His Hand rested heavily upon my soul because I refused to confess it to the one who is faithful to forgive.

Not glamorous at all, it doesn’t sound encouraging either but its true. Throughout this difficult and tormenting process, I asked myself hard questions I feared asking – was I Christian? Did I love Him? Am I His? I spent time with people who loved God and shared my struggles with them. I was blessed with a Bible Study teacher who taught the Word in truth and Spirit and really helped me understand the beauty and necessity of a struggle. God began to graciously draw my heart to truth even though His Hand was still so heavy on me.

Now I wish I could tell you that I woke up one day absolutely fine and shouted

“YES GOD! I will do what you desire for me to do.”

But I can’t, it took time, patience, energy, sacrifice, tears and finally confession. I couldn’t do it and He knew it, but importantly I knew it too. And soon, well a month before the program began, my No God became a Yes God through His Grace.

Here I am, this year doing what He told me to do and enjoying it! Here I am this year sharing in His Glory, learning the weight of His holiness and who He is. Here I am this year understanding that everything He commands, He gives the power to obey. Here I am this year, writing to you about the Glory and beauty of how God changed a No God, to a Yes God. And here I am today, a rebellious chosen Child being transformed into His Chosen Son.

Charmaine is currently volunteering full time at the His People Grahamstown church. She has devoted an entire year to serving God and His people without receiving any monetary payment. Her bold step of faith and queenly nature encourages many to seek God and allow Him to work His transformation power in their life.