The value of a Biblical mother

Being a mother is an important role that the Lord has bestowed on women.“Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.” Titus 2:4-5
Children are a gift from the Lord and it is imperative that parents understand the vital role they play. In Titus 2:4, the Greek word ‘phileoteknos’ ppears. This word represents a special kind of ‘mother-love’. The idea that flows out of this word is that of ‘preferring’ our children, ‘caring’ for them, ‘nurturing’ them, ‘affectionately embracing’ them, ‘meeting their needs’, ‘tenderly befriending’ each one as unique from the Hand of God.
Both mothers and fathers are commanded to do several things in the Word such as:
• To be available to their children both physically and emotionally (Deut 6:6-7).
• To be involved by interacting, discussing, thinking and processing life together (Eph 6:4).
• To teach and train their children in the ways of the Lord and help them develop necessary life skills (Prov 22:6).
• To discipline by teaching the fear of the Lord and drawing the boundaries lovingly and firmly (Eph 6:4, Heb 12:5-11, Prov 13:24, 19:18, 22:15, 23:13-14, 29:15-17).
• To nurture by providing an environment of constant verbal support, freedom to fail, acceptance, affection, unconditional love (Titus 2:4, 2 Tim 1:7,
Eph 4:29-32, 5:1-2, Gal 5:22, 1 Pet 3:8-9) Prov 10:9, 11:3; Ps 37:18, 37).

Mothers in the Bible
Eve – She is known as the ‘Mother of mankind’ because she was the very first mother.
Sarah – She was the wife of Abraham and gave birth to Isaac when she was over 100 years old.
Rebekah – She ensured that the more righteous son, Jacob, received the patriarchal blessing from his father. (Gen 27)
Rachel – She was the mother of Joseph the dreamer who went on to lead the nation of Egypt out of famine.
Jochebed – When the Pharoah gave an order to kill all the baby boys of the Hebrews, she hid Moses for three months. (Heb 11:23;
Exod 1-2)
Abijah – Her son Hezekiah was a king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. (2 Chron 29:1, 26:5; 2 Kgs 18:2)
Naomi – Mother-in-law of Ruth. Ruth accompanied Naomi to her homeland, Naomi guided her daughter-in-law into a marriage with Boaz.
Hannah – She was childless for many years, but after much prayer, became mother to Samuel the prophet.
Bathsheba – She was the mother of Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived. She is mentioned in Jesus’ family tree. (Matt 1:6)
Elizabeth – She was the mother of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for the Lord. She experienced a journey of faith for many years waiting on the Lord for a child against all the odds.
Mary – She is the Mother of Jesus and is often remembered for her faith when she answered the angel Gabriel saying: “I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as You have said.” Luke 1:38

For further reading and comprehensive answers to ‘Big Questions’ see

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Baptism of  the Holy Spirit
If any man be in Christ,” says the apostle Paul, “he is a new creature.” 2 Cor. 5:17, KJV. He also says that Christians are seated in heavenly places with Christ (Eph. 2:6).
If you are like many people, you will respond at this point:
“Well, I am different. Something certainly did happen to me when I invited Jesus into my heart, and for a while I had a deep sense of the love and joy you are talking about. I really wanted to tell everyone about it, too. But now I seem to be cooling off.  Life isn’t all that different anymore.  I still know that things have changed deep down inside me somewhere, but most of the time I feel just about as I did before.  In the mornings, when I get away by myself and pray, I do sometimes feel God’s presence, but I sure can’t keep track of Him during the day!”
Why is this? It’s not hard to understand if you will accept what the Bible says about the nature of man – you are a threefold being: spirit, soul and body (1 Thess. 5:23).
If you are still thinking of yourself as only two parts – soul and body – then you will inevitably confuse your psychological reactions with your spiritual life and this is not only confusing to your understanding but, in this psychological age, can lead you into false teaching. Many fine Bible teachers today, under the pressure of psychology, are identifying the spirit of man with the ‘unconscious mind’ or the ‘deep psyche’, simply because they do not take seriously the Bible’s ability to divide between the soul and the spirit (Heb. 4:12).
But if you make this division, you not only will be able to grasp what happens in the baptism of the Holy Spirit but will find yourself able to account for other things in your Christian life that may have puzzled you.
When you received Jesus as your Saviour, your spirit came alive, began to assert its new life and take its rightful place as head over your soul – your psychological part (intellect, will and emotions) – and your body, your physical part. Your body and soul, however, were accustomed to ‘running the show’, and it wasn’t long before they had pretty much overwhelmed your new life in the Spirit and resumed the driver’s seat.
When you pray in the morning, the busyness of your soul and body is quieted; your spirit has a chance to let you know He is there; and you get an inkling that deep inside you, the new life is very real.
Soul, body, spirit
But as soon as the clamour of existence begins again, you automatically start to trust your soul and body rather than your spirit. You were so accustomed to living by your thoughts, feelings and desires – by your soul, your psychological being – and by the demands of your body, that you soon lost track of the voice of the newly-living spirit deep within you.  It would seem that something needs to happen to your soul and body before your spirit can gain stronger control.
This ‘something’ that needs to happen is that the Holy Spirit, who is living in your spirit, needs to flow out to fill your soul and body.  This is described in the Scripture in a variety of ways.  Just as the experience of accepting Jesus is spoken of throughout the Bible in different ways, so a number of descriptions are given of the next experience: “baptism in (or with) the Holy Spirit,” “receiving the Holy Spirit,” “Pentecost,” “receiving power,” the Holy Spirit to “come upon” or “fall upon” a person. All these are expressions of the same truth, viewed from different sides.
There is much difference of opinion over what terminology to use. However, we feel on especially safe Scriptural ground using the term “baptism in the Holy Spirit,” since quite an impressive list of Biblical persons used it: God the Father, (John 1:33), God the Son (Acts 1:5) and God the Holy Spirit, Who is, of course, the Inspirer of the Scriptures in which these expressions are found.  There was also John the Baptist (Matt. 3:11, Mark 1:8, Luke 3:16, John 1:33); the four evangelists Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the places just cited; and the apostle Paul (Acts 11:16). If you will read these references carefully and compare them, you will see in each case it is not salvation that is spoken of, but a second experience.
Saturated with God
This is called in the Scriptures “the baptism in the Holy Spirit” because it is a baptism, meaning a drenching, an overflowing, a saturating of your soul and body with the Holy Spirit. When the Bible speaks of Jesus “baptising” in the Holy Spirit, we immediately visualise something external, somebody being put into something.
However, the word “baptise” in Greek means to completely suffuse – it is used in classical Greek of a sunken, water-logged ship – so it does not really make a difference whether Jesus, to suffuse our souls and bodies, immerses us in the Holy Spirit in an external sense of the word, whether He inundates us from the outside or whether He causes the Spirit to rise and overflow from where He is living inside us.
Probably both pictures are true – He “comes upon us” both from outside and inside, but it is important to remember that the Holy Spirit is living in you, and therefore it is from within that He can flood your soul and body.
Jesus says, “He that believeth on Me …out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” [the Holy Spirit]. John 7:38. The wording in The Amplified Bible is, “From his innermost being shall flow.” When we receive Jesus as Saviour, the Holy Spirit comes in, but as we continue to trust and believe Jesus, the indwelling Spirit can pour out to inundate, or bapitise, our soul and body and refresh the world around.
He lives in you!
This, too, is why again and again in Scripture the first normative evidence of the Pentecost experience is an outpouring: “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues.” Acts 2:4, KJV.
Some are puzzled by the term “receiving the Holy Spirit”. A Christian may ask the question: “How can I receive the Holy Spirit when I already have Him living in me?” This expression can be understood easily if we remember that we are talking about a Person, not a thing or a quantity of something.
Some have talked about the Holy Spirit in a quantitative way – as if you could receive some of the Holy Spirit at salvation and some more at a later date. But if the Holy Spirit is a Person, which He is, then He is either living in you or He isn’t.
The person of the Holy Spirit has been living in your  ‘house’ ever since your new birth – your salvation – but when you are baptised in the Holy Spirit, you fully acknowledge His Presence and receive His gifts.
Let us sum up by saying that the first experience of the Christian life, salvation, is the incoming of the Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ, to give us new life – God’s life, eternal life. The second experience is the receiving or making welcome of the Holy Spirit, so that Jesus can cause Him to pour out this new life from our spirits to bapitise our souls and bodies and then the world around with His refreshing and renewing power.
“Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water!” The Greek word used here for ‘belly’ is koilia, which refers literally to the physical body. It is by means of the physical body and its speech and actions that we contact our environment and the people around us. The world is not going to be helped or challenged until it sees and hears and experiences Jesus’ life flowing from us in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Imagine an irrigation canal in an area that is normally arid most of the year. The canal is dry and so are the fields around. All the vegetation is dried up and dead. Then the gates from the reservoir are opened and the canal begins to fill with water.
First of all, the canal itself is refreshed! The cool flow of water carries away debris and slakes the dust. Next, grass and flowers begin to spring up along the banks and the trees on either side of the canal become fresh and green.
But it doesn’t stop there; all the way along the canal, farmers open the gates and the life-giving water pours out into the fields to make the “desert blossom as the rose”.
The purpose of it all
So it is with you and me. The reservoir, the well, is in us when we become Christians. Then, when we allow the indwelling living water of the Spirit to flow out into our souls and bodies, we are refreshed first.
Our minds come alive in a new way to God’s reality.  We begin to think of Him, even dream of Him, with a new frequency and joy. Our emotions respond and we begin to be happy in Him. Our will responds and we begin to want to do what He wants. Our bodies respond, not only with feelings of well-being, but also with actual renewed strength and health and youth. Then the living water begins to pour out to others and they see the power and love of Jesus in His people. He is now able to use us to refresh the world around us.
It’s easy to receive an infilling of God’s power: Just follow these simple steps:
Scripture is clear: There are a variety of settings and ways in which people receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some receive the Holy Spirit when they are in a powerful service and hands are laid on them; others receive Him quietly when alone in their homes. However, there are some guidelines I followed when I received the baptism myself, and I later found those same guidelines useful in helping others receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
1. Have the assurance of salvation. Some people receive both salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the same time (Acts 10:44-48), but most are first born again. Whether you are seeking the baptism or helping someone else to receive, start with the assurance of salvation. To gain this assurance, the seeker must acknowledge his sinfulness, repent of all wrongdoing, accept God’s forgiveness and receive Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
2. Understand who the Holy Spirit is. The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity (1 John 5:7; John 10:30), sent by Jesus after He ascended to be our Helper, Teacher and Spirit of Truth (John 14:16-17, 26). The Holy Spirit ‘seals’ us in our salvation (2 Cor. 1:22, Eph. 1:13-14) as well as baptises us with “power from on high”. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8.
3. Ask your heavenly Father for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Jesus put it best: “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give a serpent instead of a fish? … If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” Luke 11:11, 13 NKJV
4. Relax, expect and allow the Holy Spirit to speak through you. The Holy Spirit is powerful, yet He usually works through our choices and decisions.  He will not force anyone to be baptised or to speak in tongues, but He will freely give the gift of a prayer language to those who ask Him (Acts 2:1-4; 10:44-48; 19:1-7; 1 Cor. 14:18-19). If you do not receive the first time you ask, persist. You will be blessed.

Divorce: Is There A Christian Alternative?

Divorce: Is There A Christian Alternative?
As a lawyer I used to ‘process’ at least four to five divorces through our court system every month.  It was usually accompanied by much hurt and bitterness and it was one area of the practice of law that I found most distressing as it rarely appeared to resolve anything. It was as though people were replacing one set of circumstances that were not ideal with another set of circumstances that were even less ideal.
We all know that it is very easy to get divorced in our courts today – all you need to do is make a statement at court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down and the court will grant you an order of divorce.
You need to ask yourself: In God’s eyes, has my marriage truly broken down?  Can man really put asunder what God has put together?
All of us set out in our marriages planning never to get divorced and to love our partners “till death do us part”.
Yet more than half our marriages end in divorce.
People still prefer to get married in a church, even if that is the only time in their lives that they attend church. There is a level of understanding even amongst non-Christians that marriage has been ordained by God and that the marriage needs to be sanctified by God.
I have discovered in my years of practice as a divorce lawyer that man (or our courts) cannot really set aside what God has joined together.  The parties remain connected to each other despite an order of divorce from our courts and they remain in a lif-long relationship. 
The dynamic of the relationship has however changed, and the intimacy of the marriage has been violated.  The relationship often becomes entrenched in the hearts and minds of the parties and the minds of their children, as one that has failed. There is often a lot of unforgiveness and the children of these marriages carry this brokenness into their lives and relationships.
I would like to encourage each and every one of you who might be contemplating a divorce, to earnestly seek God’s Will for your life and in the circumstances that you find yourself.  Nothing is ever impossible with God. 
The best advice I have ever received is that one should learn to forgive not only for the wrongs of the past, but right into the future.  This means that you truly set your spouse free. You will find that any hardness of heart on the part of your spouse will soften if you forgive. This will be the beginning of a restoration of your relationship.
You need to also make a conscious decision not to follow your natural urge to want ‘out’ of the relationship and you should make a renewed commitment to make your marriage work.  If such a commitment is truly made in an atmosphere of true forgiveness for whatever your spouse may or may not have done to you, or may even do in the future, only then can God start to make miracles happen in your marriage.
God will then also be able to show you where perhaps you had gone wrong in the relationship, or may speak into other areas of your life that might have hampered you in your relationship with your spouse.
If you make a renewed commitment to make the marriage work, it is one step in the right direction and God will honour that. God will come through for you when you suffer hurts and setbacks.
You will also find that at the end of this long and bumpy road, your marriage may well be restored to a position which you had never imagined. You may discover a richness in your relationship that you never previously knew existed or thought was possible.
Pray and expect the Lord to hear your prayers – He is faithful!

The Ugly Sin of Domestic Violence

The Ugly Sin of Domestic Violence
Sandra Dickerson Murphy never told her church family about her abusive home life. But week after week the 18 year old mother of two sat in the pew with black eyes and bruises. “No one would ask me about the bruises. So I kept quiet and obeyed my husband, as a good Christian wife is supposed to do.” Today her scars are impossible to ignore. As the hands and feet of God, it is our responsibility to address this issue within our churches and in the society around us. According to Nancy Nason-Clark, a sociology professor who has spent 15 years studying domestic violence within Christian families, “Most pastors who have not been sought out by a domestic abuse victim have never spoken against it from the pulpit or in premarital counselling. They have never made it clear that they are approachable and willing to help in this area.”
Why is this? Generally it’s because ministers and church members don’t know how to deal with domestic violence and the victims in their congregation. One has to hope that the apathy is not because they don’t want to help. The problem is, God calls us each into account for our actions and He will, on Judgement day, ask us why we didn’t personally help the helpless and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is our prayer that this article will challenge and motivate you to help these victims with practical information. 
I had been beaten up many times. I had broken bones, blue eyes, split lips, grazed flesh, many visits to the hospital, the police station and the lawyer’s office, suicide attempts, treatment for depression, incarceration in clinics and jail, and in the process I had obtained more prescription medication to calm my ravaged nerves than could be construed as ethical – and still I would go back to my abuser “to try and work things out.”  I had been entrapped in the cycle of domestic violence for nearly three decades. When I realise how close I came to death on several occasions, it is clear to me that denial would have been the actual killer.
Rollercoaster Ride
It is my painful experience that very few people (even doctors, lawyers and psychologists) understand the true nature of this beast. The power play, the adrenalin rush, the surge of self-pity – in fact, the constant drama of that kind of life is highly intoxicating. It is like taking a roller coaster ride every single day. Yes, it is addictive. And coming out of this addiction is every bit as challenging as any other. When I compare the photos of myself as a young professional model, with the degrading sight of myself on the photos that show the violence, I must question where the seething rage came from – was it my perpetrators’ rage or my own?
I have three daughters who had to witness my utter powerlessness and shame.  In the end this man managed to break my heart completely and as I am left to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life, I am constructing the innermost chamber of my heart just for God – leaving no place for false gods and idols this time round. It has taken real guts to begin to face the truth. Change is difficult…. even hell can be a comfort zone! The temptation to go backwards and trade my personal values and talents for the illusion of safety is always present. All in all it is comforting to know for certain that the Lord who holds galaxies together can easily take care of any problem, no matter how impossible it seems to be.
Are you in an abusive relationship?
Abuse is no excuse. If you are in an abusive relationship, or know someone else who is being abused, please read this and get help today. Abuse is NOT God’s Will for you! Please note that abuse is not only physical – it is emotional, intellectual, verbal, financial and spiritual.
Signs of a potentially abusive relationship are evident when someone:
1. Keeps track of what you are doing all the time, and with whom
2. Is jealous and possessive.
3. Accuses you of being unfaithful.
4. Brings up past relationships, as though you shouldn’t have had any
5. Shows controlling behaviour. Prevents or discourages you from seeing friends or family, going to work or college.
6. Gets angry when drinking alcohol or using drugs.
7. Is verbally abusive.
8. Controls all the money, including the money you spend.
9. Checks your bank statements or bank accounts.
10. Humiliates you in front of others.
11. Treats you differently when others are around.
12. Destroys your property
13. Threatens to harm you in any way; threatens your children or pets.
14. Uses or threatens to use a weapon against you.
15. Sexually abuses you
16. Blames you for their violent outbursts.
Help centres: Christian places:
Mercy Haven for Abused Women with Children               
011 892 2714
Christian Praise Centre Families with Children 
011 744 4350
Beit Shalom Christian House for Abused Women            
078 463 2857,  011 892 1079
L’a Bris di Dieu Safehouse Stellenbosch                               
021 808 8005,
Other useful information:
Stop Woman Abuse National Hotline 0800 150 150
South African Police Service 10111
Women’s Legal Centre 011 892 2714
Religion & Violence e-learning (for ministers)
What does the Bible say about abuse?
Quite often, if we as victims approach and confide in an elder, priest, or member of our church, hoping for some support and encouragement, we can leave feeling even guiltier and more trapped than we did formerly. We may be told that the abuse is due to our own lack of submissiveness, or our own sinfulness, or that we would not suffer if our faith was greater, or that we will be rewarded in the next life for the suffering we experience in this one. At times ministers have advised women that it would be better for them to die at the hands of their abusive husband than to seek a separation and protection for their children!

Ps 11:5 “The Lord examines both the righteous and the wicked.He hates those who love violence.”
Zeph1:9 “In the same day also will I punish all those that leap on the threshold, which fill their masters’ houses with violence and deceit.”
In a similar way, ‘wrath’ or anger is condemned as being sinful, as is sexual abuse:
Jas 1:19, 20 “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger.”
Eph 5:3-5 “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality (this includes sexual abuse), or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s Holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God.”
Prov 10:11 “The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.”
Matt 5:21, 22 “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment’. But I say, ‘If you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.’”
Eph 4:29 “Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for edifying as the need may be, that it may give grace to them that hear.”
Eph 4:31 “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.”

The Lord sympathises and offers comfort to those who are afflicted.

The Lord does hear our prayers, He does care when we cry. He is there to comfort, guide us and heal us. Ps 18:48  “He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, Thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: Thou hast delivered me from the violent man.”

2 Sam 22:28 “You save a troubled people. But Your eyes are on the proud whom You put to shame.”

Ps 22:24 “For He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath He hid His face from him; but when he cried unto Him, He heard.”

Ps 72:14 “He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in His sight.”

Ps 9:9 “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”

Ps 103:6 “The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.”

The Church has a responsibility to hold abusers accountable and to help victims.

Gal 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
Heb 13:3 “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
Isa 1:17  “Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”
Prov 31:9  “Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.”
Isa 35:3,4 “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, ‘Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; He will come and save you.’”

What can you do to help?
If you are being abused, you must go for counselling and get out of the situation. Your church is the first port of call, but a safe home is equally important. At JOY! we strongly recommend you to try and find a Christian organisation as you cannot overcome the wounds of abuse without Jesus.
If you or your church want to begin a Christian ministry/safe home for abused women, we suggest you use existing successful programmes developed by the Christian Women’s Coalition. Janet Jarrell, a formerly abused woman saved and restored by the power of God, runs these programmes and is available to train your team in dealing with domestic abuse God’s way. Her practical, effective and comprehensive programme is a MUST for every church wanting to start this ministry. She is willing to travel countrywide.
Janet Jarrell
078 463 2857;

When starting any domestic abuse safe house, it is CRITICAL that you comply with certain legal criteria. This is to protect yourself and the women you are taking care of. For more information and a vital manual called ‘The A-Z’s of starting a safe house’, please contact
Linda Fugard
021 797 4190

I Survived a Brain Aneurysm

I Survived a Brain Aneurysm
At 10pm, on the evening of 20 January 2002, I woke up with a light headache. Not thinking much of it, I walked to the bathroom and took two tablets. When I returned to bed, my husband Kevin suggested we pray. Soon after praying I felt an electric wave, combined with a pounding headache, flashing through my body – from the crown of my head all the way down to my back.  I was shivering from the shock and just waited for the next wave to hit me. Kevin continued to pray and comfort me as I lay there crying…
Eventually I went to sleep and got up the next morning thinking nothing of the night before. Though I didn’t really have a headache, every time I closed my eyes it felt like seasand behind them. Two days after my late night experience, I went to the doctor. She diagnosed a headache spasm and sent me for physio. When that failed to relieve the headaches, she referred me to the hospital for tests. The specialists did a lumber-puncture, found blood on the brain and booked me for an emergency angiogram.
Making right with God
I was terrified in the hospital. The doctor told me sternly, “You should be glad to be alive…we have to do a brain operation as soon as the swelling in the brain has come down.” I could not believe it. I started crying, dumbstruck and frozen in fear. The doctor asked my husband to walk with him. When they returned I knew from the look on his face that I should prepare for the worst. When Kevin left that day, he urged me: “Please make sure that you have accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour.” Though he was born-again, I was a lukewarm Christian and we both knew that I needed to get closer to God.
Worse than the thought of death, is the thought of life after a ‘botched’ operation. I was told only 33% of people with an aneurysm survive, with the possibilities for the survivors including a life of paralysis, epilepsy or worse.  My husband and I took the gamble and decided to proceed with the angiogram – but I had learnt in a very short space of time to trust God. According to the doctors, the operation would take seven hours and be performed under a microscope. I was terrified as I lay alone in the room mulling over the future. “Am I going to hell?”, “Will I make it out of the theatre?” The thoughts tortured me and I began my spiritual struggle that dark night, asking God to please forgive my sin; to please confirm that I was forgiven. I did not hear any voice or get any answer but I knew I was ready to meet God. Something in my heart changed and I knew the Lord was living inside me and that He would help me through the operation.
A terrifying time
A week later I went into hospital. The morning they came to cut my hair, I knew my time had come. I called for my children and my husband and we handed everything over to God in prayer. The atmosphere was tense in the operating room. They cut open the main vein of my right leg and began to work quickly. I could feel the stream of blood running over my body and was told not to move, but it was very difficult as I could feel the instruments prodding my body.  
The sister held my head in her hands. Suddenly I felt flames burning inside my brain. I cried out trying to tell them something was wrong, but they wouldn’t allow me to move or talk. They held me down as the tears streamed down my cheeks. As I closed my eyes I could see the relentless flames. I thought I was in hell and eventually, when I was too tired to fight any longer, I fell asleep.
After seven days I was released from ICU back into the general ward though still drugged on morphine.  Every morning I was injected with a blood thinner.Yet through all this, I was grateful to God for saving me spiritually and physically. Though I had survived, which was a major miracle, I did have double vision. It was impossible to walk properly and I could not go back to work.
Walking miracle!
For a month I stayed at home, helpless and struggling. I couldn’t drive, work, or see properly. I sank into a dark depression, my mind bombarded with thoughts of fear from the devil. The mind is the most powerful and easiest tool for satan to manipulate when you are vulnerable. It was a daily struggle to fill my mind with God’s Word and my hope for a future. Jer 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
I had to make a choice – to work through this and trust in God, or to give up. By the Grace of God I took the decision to fight and overcome the depression. I learnt to praise and worship God in spite of my circumstances and to thank God for everything in my life – good and bad.  Sometimes when I was singing to the Lord, the devil would flood my thoughts with evil laughter and a mocking voice.  It was difficult, but I knew I had to just keep focusing on Jesus and on the wonderful nature of God. God inhabits the praises of His people (Ps 22:3) and I knew that the more I kept worshipping Him, the easier it would get. My own prayers and those of my church family paved the way for my recovery and today I lead a ladies’ worship group.
Every day is a journey and it’s only by God’s Grace, His Word and His Holy Spirit that I make it through. Today I am working as a national sales manager and have almost no side effects from the aneurysm – I am a walking miracle of the Most High God! For three years I battled with double vision that the neurologists had said would only last for six months. Praise the Lord, today I only experience about 5% of that – and it is not significant enough to affect my daily life.
People often ask me if I know why I had the aneurysm. There is no family history, and often with these things it is a ‘freak’ occurrence. I know the Lord used this situation to bring me closer to Him – to save me and have a relationship with me forever.  The Scriptures have comforted me and I can truly say: “…in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Rom 8:2.