March, The Month Of Joy And Open Heavens
I give all honour to my Almighty Father for the privilege of knowing Him. He has kept me over the years through thick and thin. Glory to His name, I am still standing.
I also thank Him for planting me in a church such as Glory House where I have been fed and watered by one of the greatest Pastors I know, my spiritual father, Pastor Albert and having the most supportive Senior Pastors, Pastor Nathan, Pastor Timothy and Pastor Charles not to mention the ministers and fellow members. May God continue to cater to all of your needs according to His riches in Glory?
My testimonies are many but I feel I have to share some so that it can encourage someone who can relate to at least one of them.
I have kept each one brief, and apologies in advance if it seems disjointed but they are interlinked and I have attempted to put them in a coherent order.
I am one of four girls in my family, the oldest being 58 and the youngest 47 and none of us were married. I was the first to get married just over a year ago at the age of 50 and for years, it was my mother’s cry for her daughters to be married. This made me feel guilty and pressured. I had a number of failed relationships in which I forced myself to make them work in order to please my mom. I wasn’t raised in a Christian home and my parents knew nothing about God and Godliness.
My mother left home, leaving my four siblings and I, when I was 9 years old. I later realised that she had no intention of coming back to my father because he was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to her and he continued to be the same with us. I struggled to forgive my mother for leaving us in such chaos and trauma.
At 21 years old, I gave birth to my daughter. I walked away from the relationship I had with her father who was also physically and verbally abusive towards me.
He took my daughter away from me when she was 13 months old and told me that I would never see her and that over his dead body would I ever get her back. This broke my heart and for years I did everything to make contact with him and my child but to no avail. These were the worst years of my life.
I would question myself as to why all these things happened to me but only understood fully when I became born again at 26 years old. I remember hearing an audible voice whilst I was in a nightclub saying ‘Can’t you see you don’t belong here?’ this frightened me; I looked around to see who was talking to me but there was nobody there. Something instantly happened after hearing the voice, the music didn’t sound right and I felt bored and uncomfortable around my friends who I had partied and drank with on a weekly basis.
In that same week a friend of mine invited me to church the following Sunday. It was Easter time and the message was about the crucifixion. I gave my life to Christ and my questions were soon answered after studying the scriptures.
I soon learnt that praying was one of the keys to my deliverance and that if I wanted God to forgive me, I needed to forgive others. Mark 11:25 and Micah 7 showed me that I couldn’t remain angry forever and that I needed to delight in mercy. I realised that I was walking in un-forgiveness towards my mother because she had walked away from us when I was 9 years old. I blamed her for allowing my father to abuse me. I was also walking in un-forgiveness towards my father for all of the abuse he subjected me to verbally, physically and emotionally but I took the step of faith and forgave them both and asked God to take the pain away.
That day, a heavy weight was lifted from me and that was then I understood the scripture about casting my cares on Him for His yoke is easy and His burden is light in 1 Peter 5:7.
Today I can hug my parents and tell them I love them with a clear conscience and support them in every way I can. Praise be to God, He turns our heart of stone into a heart of flesh!
Secondly, not long after I became born again, I understood the power of prayer and fasting so I prayed that I would be reunited with my daughter. Within weeks of doing so, after having no communication with her father for 5 years, one day out of the blue I received a phone call from him saying that he couldn’t cope any longer and could I take her. It was just like that! My prayer was answered – I got my baby back!!! Praise be to my God who answered my prayers! These incidences really strengthened my faith in God.
I came back to England, where I was born, and raised my daughter in the ways of the Lord. I had to cope with being a single parent. I observed and encouraged her in her areas of strength. She excelled in everything she did at school. It was challenging for me but by the grace of God, I never gave up. I raised her according to the scriptures concerning training your child in the way they should go. She was baptised and very active in church.
She went off to university and I believe she continued as she was raised as she would call before she went into exams, for us to pray and she would also call for us to have devotion on the weekend.
When she left university, something changed. She became very bitter towards me and she claimed that she found it difficult to talk to me. She also became hostile and aggressive towards me. I tried my hardest to get to the bottom of what triggered her anger but she wouldn’t explain or tell me, because she didn’t know why. I soon realised that she was backslidden! I will come back to this.
Now back to my mother’s cry for her daughters to be married. After years of feeling pressured and guilty, when I became born again I soon realised that it wasn’t about just getting married to please my mom but I actually needed the right attitude and the love of God to be a good wife. I developed myself by becoming the woman God called me to be after understanding the role of a wife in Proverbs 31, and also the scripture in Prov 18:22 that says: He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord. I knew the right man would find me and I continued to serve faithfully in His house while I waited. I believed that if it was God’s plan for me to be married, it would happen in His time not mine.
At 48 years old, I met a lovely young man. We communicated via written communication and developed a good relationship. After a year, we decided to meet. This man was amazing, lovely, kind considerate and he had a passion for God. I realised that we had a lot in common.
As the relationship grew, and because he lived outside of the UK, I went out to meet up with him. He respectfully introduced me to his family and before I knew it he proposed to me in the presence of his immediate family. Needless to say, I accepted.
I was so excited to share the good news with my mother believing that she would have been pleased for me, considering her cry over the years. Instead, her reaction was ‘what can he offer you?’ he’s younger than you; he has nothing in life to offer you. I could understand in terms of his age as this was an issue for me at first but the thing is I knew in my heart that I didn’t choose him, God gave him to me. If it was left up to me, I would be with someone who they felt was suitable for me but I know that our God is no respecter of persons when it comes to His purpose being fulfilled.
When I told my daughter, her attitude towards me got even worse. She made it categorically clear that she didn’t want to have anything to do with the wedding nor did she want to know about this relationship, that in fact she despised it.
In all of this I didn’t question if I was doing the right thing because I already had an inner witness in my spirit that this was the man for me. After all, my husband is not my source but God is my source who has promised to supply all my needs. He instructed me to seek him first and His Kingdom and all things would be added unto me. He never promised all would be easy. So we did get married.
Following the wedding we submitted my husband’s paperwork in December 2013. Our solicitor told us that I would be contacted by telephone as part of their investigation.
We were informed that it would take upto 12 weeks to process and were given a date of 17 March 2014 to collect his passport from the British High Commision. It was my prayer before it was submitted that we would get a response much quicker than the date that they given us.
At the beginning of March, Pastor Albert stressed that the month of March would be a month of joy and there would be an open heaven. He declared that it would be an outstanding month. I received this vehemently in my spirit and this was my prayer.
It was the beginning of March and I heard nothing from UKBA so I contacted my solicitor that week to find out if this was normal practice. She told me that if I didn’t hear anything it could mean that they didn’t have any discrepancies in the paper work and to have faith because we had three weeks to go. The next day, she contacted my husband and informed him that of all her clients, we were the only ones that the UKBA contacted to inform that they were in fact preparing his passport much earlier than expected and that he should go and check to see if it was ready.
Lo and behold, when he got to the British High Commission he was told that it had been ready since 25 February 2014 and was stamped with his entry clearance to the UK!!!!!!!!!
Our solicitor said she had never experienced this level of speed in getting clearance before. She was adamant that for a settlement visa it would takes them 12 weeks to investigate. She was so impressed that she invited my husband to share his experience of the process on her radio show. A lot of people called in sharing the horror stories and their experienced regarding the length of time and amount of money they had to spend and that they were still waiting with no joy.
To this, we give God all the praise for indeed He answered my prayer and it came through before the date given to us.
The relationship between my daughter and became so strained, to the point that I had to ask her to move out of my house. No parent, no matter how bad they are, deserved that level of disrespect from any child. Despite that I never stopped praying for her and encouraged her via text, as she didn’t even want to speak to me over the phone. She never responded any of my text messages.
In all of this, I remained strong as I was encouraged by the Word to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. The joy of the Lord was truly my strength.
My testimony is that my daughter who had been so bitter, angry and twisted for the past few years, resulting in us not having a great relationship and her not being receptive to my marriage, has started to change.
I recall Pastor Albert preached message series on Love and the message on 08 March 2014 was about forgiveness and that even when people treat us wrongly, we needed to forgive. This wrenched my heart as I knew that despite her total disrespect and hostile attitude towards me I constantly forgave her and tried so hard to reach out to her, but the more I tried, the more she resisted.
This was so painful, but God who is my keeper and the lifter up of my head, encouraged me that despite all of this I must let love prevail. So much has happened since then but to cut this testimony short, I am happy to say that I called her on Friday 14 March 2014 and asked her to meet up the next day, she happily accepted. I went with the intention of treating her to breakfast but she ended up treating me. She took me shopping and asked me to help her shop for her holidays. I even told her that my husband was coming over and she responded in a calm and loving manner!!!!!!!!!
Since then, she is in regular contact with me; she is no longer hostile, she continually sends me kisses and tells me that she loves me.
If I didn’t know God, these responses would take me by surprise but I know the God I serve is faithful, and that this too would pass and it would last forever.
She went on holiday to Egypt and missed Mother’s day which was around the same time, however she sent me a video expressing her love for me and saying how blessed she felt and wished me a Happy Mothers day.
God is good. There is nothing too hard for Him. I give Him all the praise. My next testimony will be that she has rededicated her life to the Lord. Watch this space because I know that He is working it all out for good.
One of the points emphasised in Pastor Albert’s messages late last year was winning souls. All of my work colleagues know I am a Christian in the sense that I talk about church and treat them with love and respect and vice versa. However I never felt led to reach out to them or mention anything about Christ.
There are two girls in my office in particular who are hostile and cold towards me and would try to put me down at any given opportunity. I realised that they were insecure and for this reason I had no interest in trying to engage with them.
From hearing this message, I felt a bit guilty because I felt I deliberately did not reach out because of the way they treated me. I then started thinking that their attitude could just be because they didn’t know Christ. I prayed about this and asked God for wisdom on how to approach them. I started to openly talk about prayer and fasting and the why I do it.
Since then, it has become the talk of the office, so much so that when I’m fasting they say comments like ‘starving yourself is not good for you, you know’ or ‘you can’t save the world you know.’ This didn’t faze me in the least and I continued to share my faith with them. After all, Jesus went through much worse than this for me.
I continued to pray that they would incline their hearts towards God. However, all of a sudden, I started to notice a change in these two women. A few weeks later, one of them told me she wished she had my faith. I asked her why and she said that she was jealous of people who had a faith because they always seemed happy and contented and she didn’t have one and didn’t know what to do. I shared with her on how I became born again and what God is to me. Since then, she has started sending me Christian clips and music that she found on the internet or people would send her. By the way, this colleague was the worst of the two. It is my continued prayer that God will open her eyes that she will know the truth, which will make her free. Please continue to pray with me.
The same week, my other colleague told me that from me sharing my experiences with her, she has found a church that she would like to start attending and has made a pact with her son that they start giving out food parcels to homeless people in her area on Saturday morning. She thanked me for encouraging her over the past few weeks.
As if that wasn’t enough, last week she gave me a present of a night at a hotel with Jacuzzi, spa, steam room and swimming pool, all expenses paid for my husband and I, when he arrives. The deal is her husband would pick us up and take us to the hotel and pick us up when we are ready to leave.
I asked her why, her response was ‘you have been a tower of strength and encouragement to me over the past few weeks; this is just a thank you for all you have done. You wouldn’t understand but you are amazing!’ I was like; no, my God is amazing. He makes a way when there seems to be no way. Even when situations become complicated, He makes every mountain become plain.
I cannot fully express the love I have for my heavenly Father, my Master, my Saviour, my Shield, my Deliverer, my Defence, my Provider, my Rock, my Everything.
To Him all the praise is due.
These are just some of my many testimonies in Jesus name.
March, The Month Of Joy And Open Heavens