MANY of us consider ourselves to be Christians because we grew up in Christian homes and we visit church from time to time, but many of us do not have a close relationship with God until we really need Him.
It is often in the lowest valleys of our lives that we call on God to help bring us through, and we see Him work things out for us. We asked some of our readers to share what situations in their lives caused them to realise that they needed to have a closer walk with God, and here are their testimonies.
Tonia, 38, teacher:
I was at my absolute lowest point when I started going to Bible study, because at that point it was either church or suicide. I was supporting my son with no help from his father, my car had just died, and I was facing eviction. I was passing the church one Tuesday night when it was raining and I stopped for shelter and went in to where they were studying the Bible. I soon got caught up in the discussion and was there the following Tuesday and Sunday. I can't say how everything turned around, but they did in mere weeks. My son's father found his conscience and started support, my father gifted me a car, and I got a new apartment through the church. I was soon baptised and I am now a member because I am a living testimony that God works miracles.
Christine, 26, writer:
I almost got hit down by a car once, and it really shook me up. I couldn't stop thinking of the fact that the car narrowly missed me, and if the driver didn't swerve a little, I would have surely died. It caused me to feel like I now had a second chance to make things right before my time comes, because I can die in an instant.
Toni-Ann, 35, teacher:
After trying to get pregnant for a while with my boyfriend, it just was not happening. I went to the doctor, who told me that there was an issue with my ovaries and I may never be able to have children. My boyfriend left me because he wanted a family. I started seeing a pastor just for counselling, and eventually started attending the church and teaching Sunday school because of my love for children. I still felt empty though. I went to a youth convention where they prayed for my womb even without me telling anyone that there was something wrong, and that same night I met the man who is now my husband and the father of my daughter. I have to give God the glory.
Shanna, 33, store clerk:
I got pregnant early and my stepfather put me out of his house. I had to go to stay with my cousins and then my child's relatives for some time. My babyfather migrated shortly after, and they put me out too, and I never heard from him again. I didn't have any subjects but I got a job in a store and found a small place to rent. Not having a man around to help caused me to go to church and pray constantly, because I needed God to make it through. My son sat his exams the other day and passed most of them, and I have to thank God that he will be better off than I was.
Junior, 42, tiler:
I really have to give God praise when I look back at my life. I watched a whole [game] table of men get shot and I was not even grazed. My car ran off the road with me and landed upside down, and I walked out without any serious injury. My children never had to miss school because I didn't have it, and they never had to go to bed hungry. God always makes a way when there was no way, and I am blessed.
Shelly, 29, chef:
I grew up in the church, and even sang in the choir, but my heart was not really into it. I stopped going when I left home for university, and became a heavy partier. I barely went home because I couldn't face my family. I was on my way home from a beach party one night and I was robbed at gunpoint at my gate. I heard one of the men in the car ask the one who came out if him “nah tek piece”, and I started saying a silent prayer in my head. My attacker said he couldn't bother. They just took my phone and purse and drove off. I prayed all night afterwards.
Chrystal, 27, early childhood educator:
It was while I was grieving the loss of my mother that I got closer to God. At first I was angry that God took her, and even at her funeral I felt like there was no God, or my mother would not die. But eventually I started to understand that she was in a better place and free from pain, and I felt her presence more than ever when I went to church, because she was a Christian.
— Candiece Knight