Sharing Hope and Peace…

I have lived with shame for as long as I can remember. I was always ashamed of who I am, Ashamed of where I came from, ashamed of where I am. I never felt good enough, I never felt worthy and I always felt rejected. I was a false human being who didn’t like myself, who didn’t love me, so how could anyone else, let alone God, love me.
I grew up in a Home where there was a lot of alcohol abuse, my mom tried to drown her sorrows and my dad beat my mom because he had unresolved issues. Both of them reached for alcohol in order to escape their pain. Although I had a mom, she was never really there for me. In order to escape the weekend abuse and drunkenness I used to visit my aunt on weekends. Unfortunately her paedophile husband was also around. I was molested and was way too young to understand what was going on. I had nowhere else to run…had to choose between a weekend at home where I saw my mom’s head being beat against the walls or my aunt’s house where I was touched inappropriately and shown things that no seven year old was meant to see.
By the age of ten I still wet my bed and the doctor had to prescribe calming tablets to enable me to cope with life. I was this dirty, smelly little kid that no one really wanted to play with. I could only bath once a week because we had no electricity at home, you could imagine that I was not very popular. By the age of 12 I started working in my spare times in order to buy the necessities a girl need as my parents could not afford it. I had my first relationship at the age of 13, he was 17 and I lost my virginity at 13. I gave him my virginity in the hopes that he could save me from these circumstances, obviously he couldn’t.
At the age of 16 I had to leave school as my parents needed help. My dad was boarded due to health problems. I started working full time. I worked very hard and started to do well for myself. I decided that work was all I have and that was what I focused on. No matter how hard I worked and how much I achieved, it was all fake because I never felt any real acceptance for who I was as a person, I didn’t even know who I was. I put on a different mask every day to enable people to like and accept me, but on the inside I was dying.
By the age of 21 I fell pregnant and wasn’t even sure who the father was. I went through the entire pregnancy alone. A paternity tests indicated the father was a man that I hardly knew. In order to do the right thing we decided to move in together and I had to learn to love this stranger. Things were really bad, we were trying to destroy each other by hurting one another, by saying and doing the most terrible things, we were both broken people and hoped that the other one could heal what was broken inside of us. We did more harm than anything else.
At the age of 22 I fell into a very bad depression, refusing to take any pills, trying to cope. By the age of 24 I could no longer cope, I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital, going back every year for 3 years. I was diagnosed with Manic Depression and Bipolar Disorder, I drank 14-16 tablets a day – antidepressants, mood stabilizers, calming tablets, sleeping tablets, pain tablets, all in order to cope. I cut my wrists, I overdosed on my medication. The Psychiatrist even gave me shock treatment. I had the best doctors, physiatrists, psychologists, who all tried to help me but they couldn’t. I did not want to live anymore. Eventually they wanted to send me to Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital. I remember saying: ”if only someone can pray for me”, I don’t even know why I said it, but I knew deep down that there is no hope for me. My sister tried to organize for a Pastor and other Christians to visit but no one would come, I was not worthy to any one of those “Godly people.
Then, out of the blue, a lady came and prayed for me. This lady herself was in a very bad place in her life but she cared enough to pray for me, not even a very Godly person, according to common standards. From that moment on I knew that God was talking to me, because this woman could not speak to me in her own strength with this much authority. I do not remember what was said, but I remember the peace and hope her words gave me. The next day I was released from Hospital. I refused to go to Weskoppies because Jesus awoke something inside of me, something that gave me hope. I did not know what this was, but I needed more. I needed to know more of this overwhelming calmness and peace.
A colleague at work told me about a Woman’s Camp and I decided to go. The Truth that I heard on that camp that weekend changed my life. I met Jesus and His Truth set me free. The change was almost instant. All my life, through everything I’d been through, I always wanted to know the reason for my existence. I wanted to know why God created me. I could never find the answer. On that Friday evening Jesus came and softly said: “Anita, the reason I created you is to have a personal, intimate relationship with Me.” I still remember thinking: “that can’t be, is that it, is that all? There must be something more, something I have to do, something I have to prove, something I have to sacrifice…”
Jesus calmly said: “I already did, I sacrificed Myself so that you don’t have to hurt anymore, I sacrificed Myself so that you don’t have to suffer anymore, I sacrificed Myself so that you don’t have to live in bondage and fear. The only thing you have to do, Anita, is to accept what I have already done for you and believe that I already set you free, I already forgave you and I already healed you. You just have to accept me and what I have already done for you.” I remember crying so much that I could hardly breathe, I reached out my hand and cried: “Yes Lord, I accept You as my personal Saviour, I believe that You are the Son of God, I believe that You died for my sins and I believe that You rose again and conquered death, not only hell but also the hell that I feel in my soul. I believe in Who You are, I believe in What You can do and I believe that, although I spent my entire life feeling rejected, You Lord, will never reject me. Although I never felt good enough, I believe, Jesus, that I am good enough for You, I believe that You washed away any sin that I have ever done, am doing, and will still do in future. I believe that You made me special and that You accept me, the real me. Thank you Lord that nothing that I could ever try to do could ever deserve your Love and Mercy, it’s for free and I choose to accept it, Thank you that nothing can ever separate me from Your love, Thank you, Jesus, for loving me.”
I have never experienced such relieve like that Friday night. Jesus saved me, He Accepts me for who I am, He forgave me, and Jesus really did heal me. I immediately stopped all my medication as I really believed He did what He said and I really believed He is who He said He is. He Is Jesus and nothing is Impossible for Him, I chose to believe that and that set me free.
It took almost 3 months for my body to get rid of all the toxins from all the medication but I can honestly say that there is no doctor, no medicine, no treatment that can heal us as Jesus does, He is the ultimate Healer, He is the ultimate Saviour. I am living proof of that. If it was not for Jesus I would not be able to share my testimony with you today, I would be dead. I’ve been through enough to know that only Jesus can truly save you, only Jesus can truly heal you, only Jesus can bring you Hope and Peace. No one else could, only Jesus. You just need to decide to invite Him into all of your life, decide to make Him your best friend. It’s the best choice I have ever made. Thank you for receiving my testimony, I pray that Jesus will be glorified through it.
Anita Swanepoel

If and when this Testimony has spoken into your heart, please go to the Commitment page.

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