She prays that her testimony will help others see God’s greatness
[notice]This story does include sexual content that may be shocking to some. It is however a testimony of the grace of Jesus and His power to transform lives.[/notice]
I recently had the privilege of talking to a young woman named Siya, who was born again a few months ago. Speaking to her, one would think she had been a committed Christian for a long time. Her fire and hunger for God struck me and made me want to find out more about her and her journey with God; what makes her so fired up for God. She told me her testimony and I knew that I had to share it.
21-year-old Port Elizabeth university student, Siya, is still in awe when she thinks of what God has done in her life; what He has pulled her out of. Growing up she attended a church every Sunday; she knew of God. But the loss of her father at a young age led her to resent God. She felt alone and robbed of a father’s love; not having a real bond with her mother and her siblings because of the age gap between them. She tells me that in the last 20 years she had an anger she did not understand; feeling unwanted and alone. She would slap her self uncontrollably when angry or irritated. She had friends during that time, but never let anyone close enough to her to share all her problems.
Siya says “I admit I turned into the devil’s slave to sexual sin, destroying many men’s lives, without out even realising it.” She does not know when she started masturbating; she says from as young as five years old she remembers enjoying it. It filled the void of love in her life but was followed by feelings of guilt. She carried on masturbation with some of her female friends and sometimes alone until she was 16 years old, when she graduated to a new method of coping with loneliness.
“I found a new and attractive way to maintain this void and boys had it all” she says. Between the ages of 16 to 20 she slept with more than 28 men. There were times that she slept with men for money (that she didn’t need) or to be taken to the hottest party scenes. She tells me that her family know nothing of the life she lived. In fact not a lot of people know about her past; she is what she would call “ an undercover wild child”. Siya’s lifestyle led to her being raped twice in 2011. She says it felt like she was being punished for living gthe way she was. She had suicidal thoughts from a young age. She used to find relief in cutting her inner arm; it helped her to focus on the physical pain rather than on her painful thoughts.
She started feeling like there had to be something more in life. She felt that she was worth more and was meant for something greater but she didn’t know what it was. She started a journey in which she promised herself that she would change. But she kept messing up because she was doing it with her own strength and was not seeking God. After a failed relationship with a man who she thought would save her, her arm cutting became worse. But her methods of filling the voids of loneliness and worthlessness stopped working.
Crying out to God
One night she decided to cry out to God. It was the first time that she really prayed to God, and sought His help to break free from all of the turmoil in her life. That night she woke up from her sleep and saw a dark shadow walking past her bed. She also had a nightmare about being raped and forced to eat raw flesh.
The next day two Americans from Christ Crusade started ‘randomly’ talking to her about God. She says she realised that it was God answering her prayer.
She started a journey of seeking God. Until then she had no idea who Jesus really was but she discovered that He was the Saviour and offered her the way to salvation. But her nightmares got worse during this time and she had more frequent lustful dreams. She never felt alone in her room. It felt like there was a continuous dark shadow over her. She says she started praying to God to take her life. She had stopped trying to fix her life herself and had asked Jesus to take over. She says that God started to bring strong Christians around her. She was aware of fighting off the devil while God was changing her within. Finally she reached a breakdown point where she wanted to end it all. She thought of taking an overdose of pills but she had no lethal pills. So she decided to cut her wrist but God stopped her.
Siya says after God’s intervention she started seeking His counsel and decided to hand her life over to Him. She fell down on her knees and experienced a joy she had never known before. She laughed and smiled because she was so happy.
Siya who now fellowships with a campus-based church says she knows that God has been right by her side through all of her past troubled life. She thanks Him that she never contracted any diseases or unplanned pregnancies. She learned to forgive the men that raped her and she believes she has been made new and whole, her past no longer has a hold over her, she is forgiven, and the devil has lost this one. She has found the love of a father that she has been longing for; the void has been filled with a love that can never be taken away.
Siya says it took a breakdown for her to realise who God was. She says she finally has the right to call Him Father and understand the meaning. She feels like a huge treasure box has been handed to her full of truth. Life in Christ has much more to offer than a life outside of Christ.
She prays that who ever reads her testimony, will realise how big God is; how much grace He has for even to those who spat in His face.
“Something did happen. I died and now I am born again, adopted in His family, into royalty,” she says.