New Beginnings
Bobby Amira

I grew up in a home where we were taught about Jesus being the Son of God and we attended Sunday School for as long as my dad could force us to and skipped it the moment we were old enough to. Believing in God never really meant that much to me and I am so grateful that my mom was saved and all that time continued to pray for her family - God heard her prayers. Back to when I got saved.

At the age of 17, I became involved with a very wealthy Jewish man, who was 13 years older than me - we dated behind my parents back until I turned 18 and then I moved out of my parents home and in with my boyfriend. By the age of 18 I defied my parents and went to live with my boyfriend. My mother told me she was praying for me and even though she did not agree with my choices, she loved me. Thank you God for such a mother.

After 13 1/2 years of living together I wanted to get married. I was sure this is where I was meant to be and whom I was meant to be with. I thought of "magiaring" becoming Jewish because my boyfriend was not keen on the idea of marriage. We frequently went to Johannesburg for the Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur, Rosh Hoshanah or Pesach. It was about two years ago and we were visiting his parents to celebrate Rosh Hoshanah that God's plan took formation.

When I think that while I was being formed, God knew me - and He knew what he had planned for me already then. He knew that this night in Johannesburg was coming. How incredible is that.

It had been a terrible evening because even after all these years, I wanted marriage and even though I was convinced I was where I was supposed to be I had always battled to try and fit in. I was always on the outside, never really recognized, perhaps because of my not being the same faith or because I was not married after all this time and therefore not recognized by the rest of the family as my boyfriends choice. If anyone has ever met an only son Jewish mother then they will completely understand what I mean.

I was extremely emotional because I had always blamed God for me not being married. I couldn't understand why religion was a reason why people couldn't be married. I had wrestled with him because of my circumstances, thinking that my mother praying was the hold up. Funny how it is with women, how the idea of marriage can make them only see life in a certain way and view nothing else but marriage and getting married. After 13 1/2 years I felt I had paid my due and it was my turn to have what I deserved - marriage, children and recognition.

I was tired that night, tired of shouting and God, tired of wanting to know why I was not good enough. That night I lay in bed and spoke to God and told him that I was really tired of trying to please everyone and that I did believe in Jesus and that I really needed help. I asked for him to help me and I promised to change my life. A peace came over me and I fell asleep.

I returned to Cape Town - this peace was there and I also felt that I absolutely had to find a church. The very girl who had once mocked Christians as being space cadets, or mocked anything that related to God or religion had to find a church. I had remembered seeing a church just off the road to High Level in Sea Point and drove there on my way to work to see what time they were going to have a service that coming Sunday. They had closed down. So I sat in the car and said to God, "Lord, I need to find a place. Please help me look." I drove down to Main Road and drove past Atlantic Christian Academy. I drove slowly and thought -good place to start. I called and got the service times. God does work it all out even though we don't always see it right away - interestingly enough the very building that I had gone to look at turned out to be ACA's old premises they had just moved.

That Sunday, I was so nervous. Firstly I had to tell my boyfriend that I was going to church and then I actually had to go and go on my own! Well not really because Jesus went with me.

I arrived feeling very out of place but the warmth and love at ACA was overwhelming. I enjoyed the worship and I felt God's presence and realized that God was living. His presence enveloped me and I sobbed out to him. He who saw me naked and broken - He who died so that I could be saved. I was forever changed and I knew it. The service was so good and the message was for me. Jesus had called Lazarus from the dead but Lazarus had to take the step out of the tomb of death. Jesus had rolled the stone away and called to Lazarus but the choice was Lazarus to rise up from the dead, to stand and to step toward Jesus. I resolved to find my bible out of the box of "junk" I had brought when I moved from my parents to live with my boyfriend, I had to read this for myself. I was Lazarus, I was dead, I had to get up I had to go to Jesus. I had to remove the grave clothes that bound me to death and I had to go to the light to be with Jesus. My spirit soared with this truth.

I prayed and asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins, to start a new work in me and to take my life and make it for his glory. Little did I know that almost 2 years to the day - God will fulfil that part of my prayer and after a thirteen and a half year relationship God will allow me to realize something so significant and change my life completely.

I went home and felt very peculiar trying to share with my boyfriend what had happened at church knowing that with his roots he would think I was completely mad. I thought about that Sunday the whole week and couldn't want for the next Sunday!

So, that is how I got saved. Now onto the realization of God in my life and the change.

Thank you for allowing me to share my story.

All my love

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