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 am 22 years old. When I look back on my life thus far it’s been more eventful than I would ever like to admit. Sometimes I think that I am 60 years old because my life has been so full of ups and downs of every kind, it feels like it’s reaching the end.
If we hop into my magical time machine and turn back the clock 10 years, I am a South African girl living in America. I was happy, sporty, friendly, Jesus-loving and loving life in Texas. Our family wasn’t perfect, but what family is perfect?
Let’s go back into the time machine and fast forward one year. Now I am a thirteen year old girl, suddenly back in South Africa, with a broken family and no sense of security in Christ. You see, in the span of a few months, my mother decided that she wasn’t happy with our life anymore. My life felt like an episode of Days of our lives. My dad’s church was torn aport by the lies, my family was broken and we had to start our lives over. None of us were happy, we just got by. High school was a blur of bad decisions, burning out from over-working, feeling incredibly sorry for my brothers (who are the sweetest guys you will ever meet) and marvelling at how my dad made it from day to day, let alone working to keep our family together. All through the hardships, I resented God. Why had he let this happen? Why was my dad struggling to keep food on the table? Why did He uproot our lives? What kind of loving God lets this happen? (Yes, I know, I went there)
For years I struggled through with the thought that God was playing a game of Sims with my life. My dad’s unwavering faith just made me more irritated with the idea that God still cared for me and had a plan for my life. I looked to the future and saw nothing but poverty, heartache and abandonment. I didn’t make plans, I just waited for each day to end. I gave up on all my dreams: having a family, travelling, even making it to my 21st birthday.
Fast forward to 2015. I look back now and am incredibly thankful that God never gave up on me. I am now a University Graduate. I am living in San Francisco. I have had multiple opportunities to travel over the past few years (and have taken them ALL). I am the proud owner of a car. I proudly led a small group. I graduated from first year Bible School. I can now look back on my life and realise that God has ALWAYS had His hand upon me. Even though there were times when we had no money, we never went to bed hungry. We had no way to send me to university but God made a way. I didn’t think I would make any friends at university, God sent me strong, Jesus-fearing sisters. I never thought we would be able to move out of our tiny apartment, God blessed our family with more income than ever before. I never saw my dad’s ministry thriving again, God increased His ministry and it is now thriving.
People tell me all the time that I’m mature for my age. That I know how to handle myself, my finances, relationships, etc. They always say that they love how I honour and respect everything that I am blessed with. I am only that way because of the hardships we went through. I am only that way because Jesus kept His Hand on us and brought us out on the other end stronger than ever before. My path back to Jesus was not easy. I had to humble myself, say “yes”. I wish that I could say life was easy after that and I never had to sacrifice anything to say “yes” again, but…no. My life has been a journey of saying “yes God” everyday. Some days I really want to say “no”. But if I think about all that Jesus has done for me, how can I not sacrifice my life for Him? How can I not say “yes” everyday until He comes again?
Justine is now living in San Francisco, California! She will be living there for a year working for a family as an au pair. Her #YesGod took her all the way from Cape Town, South Africa to the United States to follow the call of God on her life and walk in bold faith. Check out her adventures at Just in (suit)Case.